Mar 19 2013

[Lounge #409]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Pay no attention to the freeloading baby gorilla in the corner.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


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  1. 1
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Lynna OM

    Crazy is not amenable to control. It spreads.

    This cracked me up :)

    Thanks for the info, I had no idea the LDS was so… conflicted. I was aware of the FLDS, but not the RLDS; and certainly not the myriad Prophets with their own little clique of followers.

  2. 2
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened


    Thank you :) The do is this Saturday; I will let everyone know how it goes and any reactions to the non-Goddy Grace.

    Also, first post, wahoo!

  3. 3

    To continue form the old thread:

    My point started out with “We should leverage social pressure so that people who insist on being hateful don’t subject the targets of their hate to the hate. You can’t force people to not be bigots.” So of course, I just think everyone is irredeemable.

    I don’t know your friend, but it sounds like he wanted to preach rather than have a dialogue.

    Hell, everyone has some racist thoughts and impressions. We are a part of a culture with these attitudes that are deeply seated. Fuck, we all know people who are bigoted but not out of malice. But rather out of thoughtlessness and ignorance. Some have such ego defenses that they will not confront their own bigotry.

    We should try to educate, and all. But your point is dead on. If a person is not party to examining their own attitudes and beliefs, preventing them from expressing their bigotry with social pressure will help slow the spread of these bigoted attitudes.

    It really does sound like someone had a pet point and really didn’t like being challenged. But that’s the impression I’m getting.

  4. 4
    Crudely Wrott

    I’ll be taking your good wishes with me, Oggie, Portia, Glodson, Beatrice, Esteleth, Opposablethumbs, Thumper1990, Pteryxx and Ednaz. I’ll be leaving all of you a heapin’ helpin’ of mine. ;^>

  5. 5
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Thanks to everyone who helped with and gave thoughts on the Grace, it is much appreciated :) ‘Nite all!

  6. 6
    thunk: turmite city

    hia all.

    I’m flustered, I guess. But rather destressy; the paucity of classes until Thursday, and the spring break, certainly help.

  7. 7
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    She’s actually dressed in a cub scout uniform, not boy scouts. that’s the uniform I wore when

    Quite right. Madonna wore a Cub Scout uniform replica, and she was not interested in authenticity.

    Sorry, Lynna. I wasn’t trying to be pedantic. That was an unthinking response on my part just because the uniform brought back some memories and a bit of panic. Sorry.

  8. 8

    Hope you’ve packed those hugs and warm wishes, crudely. Be sure they’re there every time you unpack.

    In other good news, mrmagnificent has had his surgery to implant a defibrillator. If all goes well he’ll be moving from hospital to the rehab facility on Friday. Meanwhile, on the home front, it’s 4 am and I’ve not quite finished cleaning ready for the tradies to arrive to instal the new kitchen …. at 8 am. (Actually, they’ll be ripping out all the old stuff first, but you know what I mean.) Off for a couple of hours of shuteye.

  9. 9

    Hi everyone. I delurked on the Thunderdome to show support to Caine and Pteryxx, and now I’m all full of warm happy thoughts about this community, so this seems like a better thread to spread my THANK YOUs and YOU GUYS ARE AWESOMEs.

    Anyone have any tricks on how to lurk less and post more? I suppose the answer is to just do it, right? :)

  10. 10
    thunk: turmite city

    well, de-stressed. also hugses, Crudely, I wish ya the best on your journey.

    Mildlymagnificent: Hope your hubby gets well and all of that.

  11. 11

    Folk singer Michelle Shocked has joined the “God hates fag” crowd:

  12. 12


    Good luck to Mr, and best wishes to you both.


    I should also throw out some support to Caine and Pteryxx. And the others who talk about their experiences. They, and many others around here, are just fantastic.

    Anyone have any tricks on how to lurk less and post more? I suppose the answer is to just do it, right? :)

    I suppose. I recently stopped lurking so much and started posting more. Thus far, I’ve managed to not make an entire jackass out myself, yet.

    I really can’t give any advice other than just get your feet wet here in the lounge. Since you’ve lurked, you’ve likely got a pretty good feel for what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. You’ll likely do much better than I at contributing. Good luck and I’m glad to see someone else take the plunge.

  13. 13
    Crudely Wrott

    Draggin’ my feet a little. Everything else is already loaded or ready to load. Time to power down and pull all the cables and hit the road.

    Thanks for the waves and good wishes, Mildlymagnificent and Thunk. See you up the trail.

    Till next time, Dear Horde.

  14. 14

    I… have no words. (The good way.) This needs messaging.


    The Steubenville rape victim, when offered money for her legal expenses or counselling, asked that people donated to a shelter for abused women and children in her county, Madden House, instead.

    Her attorney spoke in a local news article on why the family wanted this, and said they hope very much that “the attention … can help other people that have been victimized by this type of crime,” Fitzsimmons said, “and give them some strength and some assurance that people are there to help them when that happens.”


    The best way to show you support Jane Doe is to make a donation, however small and leave a Paypal note when you do saying “In the name of Jane Doe, Steubenville.” They are telling her how many people donate in her name so it’s a direct way of letting her know.

    There’s a Twitter #SupportJaneDoe hashtag.

  15. 15
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Crudely Wrott,

    Good luck and take care of yourself, OK?

  16. 16

    Oops, didn’t scroll down far enough. My bad.

  17. 17

    The Steubenville rape victim, when offered money for her legal expenses or counselling, asked that people donated to a shelter for abused women and children in her county, Madden House, instead.

    That is awesome. Really, there’s no words.

  18. 18
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Best of luck, Crudely

  19. 19
    Mayonnaise Jane

    It’s making it’s way around Tumblr as well. I reblogged it earlier today.


  20. 20
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Hello! I think I remember seeing you delurking for one thread a couple of weeks (months?) ago! Good to see you again (if that was you).

    Trick for commenting more? Just start typing and once the conversations start you won’t be able to get away again. Like now. ;)

  21. 21

    Hi Beatrice! Yep, that was me. I was gobsmacked after 3D5K and had to say something in thanks to everyone who took on that job. And then I slunk back into lurkerhood, heh. I am going to try my best not to do that again.

    And glodson, thank you for your words of encouragement. I think you are a dang good commenter. :)

    Off now to spread that tumblr — what a wonderful thing to do.

  22. 22
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi folks
    So, Mr. is already on holiday. It’s very nice to come home from work to two sleeping children instead of having to pick them up at their grandma’s

    My very best wishes to you

    big hugs

    I also LOVE gorillas. They’re my favourite great apes (present company excluded)

  23. 23
    Lynna, OM

    Ogvorbis @7

    Sorry, Lynna. I wasn’t trying to be pedantic. That was an unthinking response on my part just because the uniform brought back some memories and a bit of panic. Sorry.

    No need to apologize. I understand.

    I meant my Madonna crack as a joke at her expense. Didn’t come off, obviously.

    I should have recognized the Cub Scout uniform in the picture. Unfortunately, I think Madonna added some silliness to a serious discussion about gays in the Boy Scouts. Still, she did get press coverage.

  24. 24


    Awwww, thanks.

    Just put dinner in the oven, but now I have a problem. The little girl has decided today is the day we bake brownies. We did say would we would do so… but the baking dish used for dinner is the one I make the brownies in. I guess I will have a thorough clean up to do early tonight so brownies can be baked.

  25. 25
    David Marjanović

    Healthy, I’d say, except I’m still remarkably tired and can’t get anything started.


    ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    Could it be that dirty word some people hate—empathy?

    That must be it.

    And yes, you’re pretty much the only one who vomits when overwhelmed.

    Guess who has a child with an eye-infection…

    :-( :-( :-(

    Esteleth: Moar squee


    their house, which is so extravagant that it has its own name, Windsong. (So does the guest house: Windsong Too.)

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Funny anecdote I wanted to share here that happened last night:

    + 1

    Holy crap this is going to taste amazeballs.

    Yes, except for the wine. :-) Too fruity.

    it’s remarkably annoying that most major shoe makers act as though everyone has uniform feet that only vary in length

    Oh yes. In spades.

    I’m kinda emotionally falling apart.

    *hugs* *calming manatees* *happiness tea* *chocolate*

    What carlie said.

    Good news is that the kid feels much better today

    Yay! :-)

    I’m more than happy to do so but obviously don’t want a Goddy one; so I’ve written one. I’d appreciate people’s thoughts/constructive criticism.

    I love it.

    The following is an actual memo I received a few minutes ago. I’ve slightly altered it for obvious reasons.

    No private enterprise for me. Like, ever.

    Anyone have any tricks on how to lurk less and post more?

    …It’s very simple: when I see something and want to react, I do. I’m not capable of lurking. When I come across an interesting blog where I can’t comment*, I get angry and sad, and then I usually just leave without reading any more.

    * You wouldn’t believe how many Blogspot blogs have switched off the “Name/URL” option.

    In other good news, mrmagnificent has had his surgery to implant a defibrillator. If all goes well he’ll be moving from hospital to the rehab facility on Friday.

    Yay! :-)

  26. 26

    Sorry, Lynna. I wasn’t trying to be pedantic. That was an unthinking response on my part just because the uniform brought back some memories and a bit of panic. Sorry.

    Don’t feel bad about feeling bad. That way madness lies.

    In the spirit of sharing, I recently threw in the towel and acknowledged that I needed some serious help. I’ve talked to a counselor and have an appointment with a doctor on the other side of Easter. I expect to be diagnosed with some kind of anxiety disorder, probably social. I’ve been informed that cognitive therapy combined with some temporary medication is probably the way to go.

    Not a lot of fun, but it’s less than what a lot of other people are dealing with, including people right here. In some way, reading about other people’s problem is cathartic. It makes me feel like mine aren’t quite as bad. So, thanks, I guess.

  27. 27
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    If you don’t need them right now, they have no expiration date so you can save them for a rainy day.

  28. 28
    Lynna, OM

    On this 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the 10th anniversary of a war in which approximately 134,000 Iraqi civilians were killed, the anniversary of a war that cost the U.S. $2 trillion (and not done yet with the spending), on this anniversary Donald Rumsfeld tweeted:

    10 yrs ago began the long, difficult work of liberating 25 mil Iraqis. All who played a role in history deserve our respect & appreciation.

    So, Rumsfeld wants some love? Twitter followers obliged:

    Even YOU? Even shameful, despicable, murderous, ruinous, horrific history?

    Don’t listen to ‘em Donald. You had to run the shadow corporations for your fellow Lizard folk. No way around it.

    This is a joke, right? What did the war cost again?

    There’s a story of the defeated Napoleon, facing the people of Paris, being spat on: “Give me back my son, you bastard!”

    And some Twitter followers simply linked to Rumsfield’s past words: http://pages.citebite.com/l1f2q6c3k3ihv
    Hung on his own petard.

  29. 29


    It is almost like Rumsfeld doesn’t even get postcards from reality.

  30. 30

    If your unaware, Ray Comfort has a fb page. https://www.facebook.com/official.Ray.Comfort?fref=ts The best part is that atheists are not censored, unless you cuss or say things like god damn. It is currently being overrun by the heathens. *viking horn signaling charge*

  31. 31
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Regarding your over-apologizing… When I started working, it took my boss/mentor about a week to get annoyed and tell me to stop saying “sorry” all the time. I’m there to learn, and there’s no need to apologize for asking a question, misunderstanding him, answering the phone, not answering the phone or breathing. (and yes, I had to cut off my “sorry” after that)

    Um, yeah, no smart conclusion, really. Just that you have to listen to us when we tell you not to apologize so much. :)
    A lot of my over-apologizing is related to feeling insecure. I control my sorries a lot better since I’ve become more comfortable in my workplace. You’re cared for and valued here, no need to feel insecure with us!

    Besides, you’ve been here longer than I have, so I feel weird giving you that talk.


    It’s really good that you are seeking treatment.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Lynna, OM

    David Corn of Mother Jones posted a great article today. His way of looking at the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war is markedly different from that of Donald Rumsfield.

    One night, more than a decade ago, I was a guest on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show along with Bill Kristol, the godfather (or son-of-the-godfather) of the neoconservative movement. The subject: What to do about Iraq? The Bush administration had begun pounding the drums for war, claiming, as Vice President Dick Cheney had put it, that there was “no doubt” tyrant Saddam Hussein was “amassing” weapons of mass destruction “to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” As one of the few political analysts on television to question the rush to war, I noted that WMD inspections in Iraq could be useful in preventing Saddam from reaching the “finish line” in developing nuclear weapons. Kristol responded by exclaiming, “He’s past that finish line! He’s past the finish line!”

    Fox News … same as it ever was.

  34. 34

    I’ve heard you get banned for mentioning Bananas.

    What if you post that “Hollaback Girl” song by Gwen Stefani, where she’s like, “This shit! Is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!” Some who’s not at work right now should try that.

  35. 35

    David! ((((((hugs)))))))

  36. 36

    Best wishes to Crudely Wrott.

    Welcome to de-lurkers everywhere!


    It was great. He even talked about Horses (but not Peas)!! (I won’t say any more, Beatrice! Except that it was awesome.)

    Quick, your thoughts on:
    1) Horses
    2) Peas
    3) Cookies or Cake?

  37. 37

    Me, late to the party as ever. I hope Crudely sees me waving in his rearview mirror. Best wishes!

    Cerberus, I still weep for your situation. Gawd, it’s hard to find good, passionate science educators and I’m seriously sad to see you getting pushed out.

    Everyone else: hugs, chocolate, drinks, etc as needed or desired.

    Busy week for me. Three different projects I’m working with decided that this week would be the “hey, let’s all get together and have a workshop week” (including Saturday because taking up one our normal days off is just so awesome). Probably because this is “spring break” (doesn’t look that spring-y to me) for lots of universities; by random chance my wife’s two colleges and the local school district all managed to get them aligned for next week (1st time in 10 years). Those meeting obligations and the big push from one of the other projects for me to get some code done for them. Ack! The pressure is on and I’m here in lounge…

    And I’ve been offered Lyric Opera tickets by my elderly aunt and uncle who aren’t up to going this Saturday. No doubt good seats so I feel I should use them, but it will be a test of willpower to avoid falling asleep from exhaustion.

    And now I need to head home and make dinner for myself and the spawn…

  38. 38
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Phew, the last few days have been busy in RL. Getting some household chores/shopping done Saturday, so on Sunday I could get up early and cook three large crockpots worth of corned beef and cabbage dinners (one for the next door neighbor that does the Redhead’s braids) while the Redhead watched Irish themed shows, and Monday getting some deadline stuff done and work and cleaning up after all the cooking when I got home. Barely able to sit down to even scan the threads. Now caught up.

    Best wishes to Crudely Wrott, hoping they can do something for his back.

  39. 39
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    I’m glad you had fun!

  40. 40
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I will just leave this here.

    In a study that’s sure to shake up the soda ban debate, Harvard researchers have linked the sugary drinks to 180,000 deaths a year worldwide, 25,000 in the United States alone.
    “We know that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to obesity, and that a large number of deaths are caused by obesity-related diseases. But until now, nobody had really put these pieces together,” said Gitanjali Singh, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and lead author of the study presented today at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans.
    Singh and colleagues spent five years putting the pieces together. Using data from national health surveys around the world, the team tied sugar-sweetened beverages to 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 44,000 deaths from cardiovascular diseases and 6,000 deaths from cancer in 2010.

  41. 41
    David Marjanović

    the anniversary of a war that cost the U.S. $2 trillion

    Hah. It was at least 3 trillion by 2006.

    It is almost like Rumsfeld doesn’t even get postcards from reality.

    So true.

    David! ((((((hugs)))))))

    ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

  42. 42
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    So I joined a gym. It is cheap, and has a deal whereby for the first six weeks, you check in (and if you don’t come in, they call you), and a trainer develops a plan for you. The idea is to form a new habit.

    Anyway, today I was talking with the trainer, and the conversation went to my diet. I admitted that I have trouble here, and would like tips on improvement. The trainer asked for specifics, and I offered that a typical dinner is pizza and beer.

    Quoth he: “That’s not the best. Try to work on that.”

    Gee, ya think?!

    He did offer tips. But I was rather baffled by that.

    Re: the “bananas” song – when I was an undergrad, I was on the swim team. Because of a practical joke involving the coach when he was an undergrad at MIT in the 1970s (yes, that is the official reason), the swim team’s mascot is the banana. Seriously, the banana. So when that song appeared, it became a “thing.”

  43. 43
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Each team has its own mascot. This was because before about 1975, the official college mascot (for NCAA purposes) was the Virgin, and students revolted. The college dropped the Virgin and for awhile there was no mascot at all. Then we were the Unicorns (“if it is going to be a mythological beast never found on campus, let it at least be a cool one!”) for a few years, then nothing for awhile longer. During these interregna, each team selected its own mascot. Officially, the college mascot is now the Pioneer, and they’re slowly but surely pushing the teams to accept this and use Pioneer naming and iconography. But given that the swim team has more or less nothing to put said naming and iconography on, this hasn’t affected much (we wore blue suits and yellow caps – and swim caps are just big enough for the name of the school and our names).

  44. 44
    David Marjanović

    “if it is going to be a mythological beast never found on campus, let it at least be a cool one!”


  45. 45


    Quick, your thoughts on:
    1) Horses
    2) Peas
    3) Cookies or Cake?

    1) They’re fine if someone else is riding them. I have MS, so I’m wary of falling off or otherwise hurting myself on a horse through my own misadventure.
    2) Fresh, yes. Cooked, not my favorite. (I’m a USian, and I have to admit that the mushy peas thing is not for me).
    3) Cookies. But really neither, since I am trying a Paleo diet in a (perhaps futile) effort to manage my pain levels.

    Rumsfeld sounds like he’s trying to convince himself. “We did do a good thing! We did, we diiiiiid!!”

  46. 46

    Hi to sallystrange,
    You said something on a previous post about Michael Nugent having a fencepost up his butt or something like that… can I ask what that was about? I normally like his writing and was wondering if he has said / written something that irked you. Just curious.

  47. 47

    What is this blasphemy? The correct version of #3 is:

    3. Pie or cake?

    And the correct answer is of course pie.

  48. 48

    Hey, Mudpuddles, Nugent made a good impression on me early on, but if you check out his blog page, his last few posts have basically turned his blog into the Pit O’Slyme, the Irish outpost of the Slymepit, where a few dedicated trolls are spreading lies and personal attacks about Ophelia Benson, yours truly, and several other of their favorite targets. To go into detail would ruin the nice atmosphere around here, which at the moment is (in my head) redolent of strawberry rhubarb pie, so if you’re curious, leave me a note in Thunderdome and I can explain more.

  49. 49

    Oh hey look, Stephanie Zvan just did a post about it, so I don’t have to explain. Yay! http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/03/19/a-platform-for-reasonable-dialog/

  50. 50

    I control my sorries a lot better since I’ve become more comfortable in my workplace.

    I had a serious case of Impostor Syndrome after starting my new job. Took a few months to get over that. I was completely capable of doing the job, but just couldn’t believe that for quite some time.

  51. 51

    3. Pie or cake?

    And the correct answer is of course pie.

    No, the correct answer has got to be cheesecake. Which is a pie, not a cake.

  52. 52
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Does anyone here know about cars? D’s car died some months back, which we believed was due to a dead battery. Tonight, a prospective buyer tried to jumpstart the car, but the engine would not turn over. The lights etc. started working when the cables were attached, but the engine did not start. What is most likely wrong with it?

  53. 53
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    *runs in!*
    *drops baby picture!*
    *runs out!*

  54. 54
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    A+ is down? I had a really shitty weekend, and I’m finally ‘home’, it feels alien to me, but also the same old environment is a bit triggering to me. When I was away I thought my mood would be improved just from being back. I think it might have gotten lower. I was thinking of possibly rearranging after some tidying up to see how that goes. I also want to decorate (on the cheap). And sleep in my own bed will be good too.

    I heard about the Steubenville convictions but I had no idea how vicious the backlash was since I had no ‘net. Holy shit. Not shocked, just disappointed. Again.

    Sorry to post and crash, I’ll respond over morning tea.

  55. 55
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    What sort of car? Especially what year?

  56. 56
    Jake Hamby


    Could be a bad starter motor. If that’s not the problem, and if the “Check Engine” light is going on, there are devices that plug into the OBD-II port (usually hidden behind a panel near where the driver’s left leg would be) to display any failure codes from the engine computer.

    If you have an Android device plus $150 to burn, I’ve had good luck with the OBDLink MX, but there are cheaper options as well. I wanted something that I could use to log OBD-II data while driving, so I went with the Bluetooth version, but since you just need to troubleshoot why the engine isn’t starting, the $49.95 OBDLink SX plugs into any Windows laptop via USB and should work just as well for diagnostic purposes.

  57. 57

    If that’s not the problem, and if the “Check Engine” light is going on, there are devices that plug into the OBD-II port (usually hidden behind a panel near where the driver’s left leg would be) to display any failure codes from the engine computer.

    Some auto parts chains, like AutoZone, will run your diagnostics for free. /commentandrun

  58. 58
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE.

    Unfortunately, we haven’t got any money at all at the moment. In theory, how would we tell if it was a bad starter motor?

  59. 59

    Last time I had a dead starter, my car did nothing but click when I turned the key to the ignition position (no dimming of the lights, engine did not turn over, etc). What does your car do when you try to start it? I doubt I can help, but I know it’s difficult to troubleshoot something remotely without a lot of details about what the thing is doing when you try to operate it.

  60. 60
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Sympathies and *hugs* if desired.
    It makes a coughing noise like it’s trying to start, all the lights dim, then nothing. The lights come back up and it goes quiet.

  61. 61
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I need help. I seem to recall a video disproving the power of chi in a martial arts instructor. I remember a skeptic challenging the instructor and the end result being that the effectiveness of the chi was based on the amount of priming an individual had, rather than the actual power of chi. Anyone who knows what I am talking about…help?

  62. 62

    Sorry Tony. I do recall – with about the same level of specifics. I got nothing.

  63. 63

    Coughing noise sounds like it’s turning over (i.e. starter okay). Light dimming could be that the source isn’t strong enough to both crank and charge the battery — sometimes it helps to let the battery charge a bit before trying to crank. Silence might mean that it isn’t the starter motor that’s the problem but the solenoid — that’s the bit that connects the high-current wiring to the starter without running it all through the key switch (which would melt). It’s like an electromagnet that controls a metal bar that completes a circuit. These do in fact go bad (at least in my experience) probably as often as the starter itself.

  64. 64

    I hate it when our car has bronchitis, too. I hope the issue is resolved soon, sorry I don’t have some actual advice. *hugs*?

    I think your answer#1 is just fine, but watch out for cicely, she believes Horses are the Ultimate Evil. (Re: pain management and horses, I thought ride therapy was a good thing?)
    As for#2, you may find some Pea symPathizers here, but they are very few and far between. Mushy, crunchy or otherwise. Most prefer to nuke them from outer space.
    I forget the correct answer to #3 (but it must be Cookies or Cake, SallyStrange, pie is what saved the Lounge from Deeeeep Riiiiifffftssss filled with chocolate sauce), but welcome on board! ;)

  65. 65

    Oy. All Hail Tpyos for Mobile.
    Forgive me, MilLicent!

  66. 66

    I also wanted to add:
    sleeping at the opera is perfectly acceptable. Good lyrical music, mood lighting, soft chairs – what could be better? Besides, it’s not as if anyone goes to listen. ;)


    Some mornings I feel like this.

  67. 67
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    We let it charge for about 15 minutes. D’s sister is going to come take a look at it tomorrow, we’ll see what she says.

  68. 68
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Here you go Tony. Not sure if this is what you had in mind but it’s pretty famous.

    Trigger warning for someone getting hurt.

  69. 69
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    rq @66, where did you get that picture of me? ;)

  70. 70
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Some mornings I feel like this.

    I thought for a moment I was looking in the mirror.

  71. 71
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    The cuteness is overwhelming.

  72. 72
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    3. Pie or cake?

    Now, now, there’s room for both pie and cake, as well as a whole host of other dessert-y goodness!

  73. 73
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    [personal rant]
    I know people don’t know any better than to say these things, but the answer to, “Wow, you look good, have you lost weight?” is “Yes, I have lost weight.” When you follow that up with a question of “how” the honest answer is semi-chronic/chronic pain, the medications to manage that pain, appetite suppressant side effects of some of those medications, and the medical interventions to alleviate some of that pain.

    What’s fucked up is that I’ve said as much to some people and still had them look at me with *envy*, as though living with pain is worth it to be thinner. IT. IS. NOT. I can’t even go and exercise because of the pain. I forget to eat meals because I don’t get hungry. I can’t grok that people truly believe that being sick and thinner is better than healthy and heavier. It astounds me. It cuts me in a place so deep I can’t quite express it because there is nothing more a sick person wants than health and to hear someone so callously disregard something I consider so precious breaks a piece of me each time I hear it.

    And I can’t not hear it, I will continue to hear it, because to speak of a person’s weight loss is a positive thing, never a negative – so I will be exposed to this again and again, with the choice to lie or confront people with my painful reality, then open myself up to the effects of our culture. Thanks to each of you for the safe space to vent this anguish, this final straw unknowingly placed upon me tonight by a lovely person who means only the best.
    [/personal rant]
    *big hugs* to Crudely Wrott and Cerberus
    I enjoyed your grace, thumper1990.
    blf that was a joy to read for me, since I don’t actually have to deal with it on a regular basis (or do I?)… Thanks for sharing!

  74. 74

    I can’t even go and exercise because of the pain. I forget to eat meals because I don’t get hungry. I can’t grok that people truly believe that being sick and thinner is better than healthy and heavier.

    I remember getting my own personal lesson on this 30+ years ago. Waiting for the lift in the office foyer, a woman who I knew but had never worked with walked up beside me. She’d lost weight. I almost remarked on it, but we didn’t know each other well (and I knew she was not terribly fond of the wildradicalcommunist union committee person, me.) So I said nothing apart from the usual good morning. She was dead within a few months – obviously the “weight loss” was really her wasting away from advancing cancer. I’ve never remarked on apparent weight loss since. If someone’s proud of sticking to a new eating plan and getting healthier by getting to a certain weight, they will tell me. Anyway, I can always remark on a nice new outfit, which such people are usually wearing.

    Exercise? Pain? I get so sick and tired of being sick and tired out by pain. One daughter went to an initial pain management seminar before signing up for a course for that specific qualification. (She didn’t do it in the end.) She came home all enthused about a “new” method of controlling your pain by limiting your activity which they’d heard about in one session. All these suffering people who now live normal lives and take no drugs! Goodo, mustn’t disappoint the keen and eager daughter, willing to help her blighted parent. Do whatever you want, but stop it the instant you feel any pain. Rest for 15-20 minutes then try again. Never, never, ever push through the pain because you want to get something done now. That’s harmful.

    Out into the garden I go. 5 minutes on, I’m out for 20 minutes. Rinse and repeat. 2 hours later, I’m utterly exhausted and got nothing at all done (as near as dammit is to swearing). I may know it’s “harmful”, but sometimes I’m willing to pay the two or more days in bed price for getting something done – even if it’s a trivial task by ‘normal’ standards.

  75. 75


    Millicent, have you seen the animated flick Flushed Away? Because there’s a great addition to your ‘nym in it. You could be a Millicent Bystander.

  76. 76

    Oh, Mildly Magnificent I got handed exactly that bollocks at the Pain Clinic I (briefly) attended.

    You know, I’m sure there are some good yadayada people who do good work in the area of pain management yadayada, but really, you sometimes wonder if they’ve ever had any experience being a human being. I mean, garden for five minutes then – stop, clean hands, take off shoes, rest, garden again.

    I’ve also had the “Congrats you’ve lost weight” comments PSG. I respond with an air-punch and a “Woot! Give it up for chronic pain!” If you can’t punch, perplex.

    I should also add that my pain issues are much reduced since I was accurately diagnosed (by myself). It’s a rheumatological thingummy.

  77. 77


    This is really annoying, I know. But I’m pretty sure there are some people that this approach works with – but why on earth should that be everyone with chronic pain. (It also has some overtones of yer doin it rong, moral disapproval, if you dare to push on with a task and/or spend a day resting.) Surely therapists should be working with a menu of options which they can work through with individual clients and their needs.

    The only person I’ve ever come across who “got it” was an anaesthetist who specialises in pain management. He sees no moral weakness in needing medication to cope, nor in finding exertion of some/any kind too much to cope with. Haven’t seen him for a few years. His personal judgement was that my only real chance was a ketamine infusion, which doesn’t thrill me seeing as it’s not a gold-plated chance of real relief anyway. It’s merely the best among the limited options I’ve got in his view.

    At last, my GP has decided that I’m for the too hard basket with all the intersecting problems, so he’s going to refer me to a specialist physician. Someone who has some real chance of balancing the genetic, endocrine, autoimmune conditions along with the damaged joints. Once mr is settled into rehab I’ll get onto the round of all the bloods, scans and appointments that this entails.

  78. 78

    *big hugs* to PSG and midlymagnificent and Amblebury… The only person whose weightloss I’ve ever commented is my sister’s and that’s only because she mentioned it first (and it was clearly not due to illness).
    I stopped even trying to comment people on their weight loss after Minor Incident, where Husband’s mother called him a corpse after seeing how relatively thin he’d become (having been to a crime scene recently, it was a bit… unnerving); and Major Incident(s), where Husband’s mother wasted and my own father is wasting away from, you guessed it, cancer and chemo.
    So *big hugs* all round.


    re: the toad
    Interesting, FossilFishy and Beatrice… My sister sent me that photo, and while I saw myself in it, I was unaware it was a group shot of the Lounge. ;)

  79. 79

    *sigh* I have to stop yelling like that in the mornings.

  80. 80

    Just wanted to let people know, #safetytipsforladies is a very funny, sarcastic hashtag about to trend on Twitter right now. But it’s a bit trigger-ful, as you can imagine, so don’t read if you don’t want triggers.

  81. 81

    Dalillama, the jumper leads may be too scrawny to pass enough current for the starter to work. The original battery may have died completely and could even be dragging down the other battery. Car batteries resemble animals in the sense that if you starve then for long enough they don’t come back to life. The best bet is to borrow a good battery and install it to get the car to run. Once it’s warm you may be able to start it with the dead battery back in and a good quality set of jumper leads.
    /weak analogy but yeah.

  82. 82
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    That toad looks far too energetic to be me. I’m having a sick day, or maybe two: a flu-ish cold on top of my normal fatigue knocked me right out. My doc has decided to send me off for an exotic infectious diseases thingy. So that might be interesting, perhaps.

    As to the weight loss, I gained weight mostly via drug side effects. I’d love to lose some, but not if it comes at a cost of high blood pressure and suicidal ideation, thank you very much.

  83. 83

    Dammit, I’m in Twitter jail. *pouts*

    I love Audley’s baby pics.

  84. 84
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi folks
    It’s a rainy morning, again, but at least no snow, eh.
    And I finished the girls’ easter outfits, I just hope the weather will change so they can wear them. At least I didn’t go for bunnies so they should be good for the rest of spring/summer, in case they should turn up this year after all.

    Safe hugs for being in pain if you want them.
    Yeah, society is totally fucked up when it comes to weight. While everybody talks about the health problems caused by obesity, nobody talks about those you get from being size 0. Or about the fact that somebody who is overweight and exercises is usually much healthier than somebody who is thin but never exercises. NOnononono, it’s all about your size.
    People usually envy my sister who is fucking underweight and has a shitton of health problems. But doesn’t she look good?

    Hi Millicent

    Yay for Mr. Mildlymagnificent and Mildlymagnificent
    All the best for the surgery.

    Hope you can regain your energy soon, David

  85. 85

    I’ll tell the toad to tone it down. And have some warm tea with lemon. Feel better soon!

  86. 86
    xerxes the magnificent


    First time commenting. I’d just like to thank Pharyngula for informing me to the point where my super-intelligent-politics-and-languages-student girlfriend never has to worry about me having typical cis-white-male opinions on certain issues.

    Teenage me started reading back in July 2011, about three weeks BCE(levatorgate.) I’m from Australia, like death metal, jazz, fantasy by Robin Hobb and architecture.

    So, yeah. Hi!

  87. 87

    Hey, xerxes. Make yourself at home. Toads to the right, pies to the left.

  88. 88

    Hey xerxes.
    Toad pies are in the middle, but nobody seems to like them too much and we’re not sure who made them. So be careful!

  89. 89

    Hey yarn people!!! Check this out! yarn bowl with your name carved into it. Cool. Cool cool cool.

  90. 90

    Gidday maaate to you.

  91. 91
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Morning everyone!


    *waves* Hello! Welcome!

    @ David Marjanović

    Thank you! I’ve done some fiddling and added another stanza (I felt it needed more levity to counteract the rather heavy start) so for anyone interested, here is the “final” (doubtless I will fiddle) edit:

    As we are seated
    let us think of those who
    May perish this night
    through a privation of food

    Or through lack of medicine
    or for want of clean water
    Of those whose end comes too soon
    amidst conflict and slaughter

    And with them in mind
    let’s give thanks most sincere
    To all those whose labour
    has put this food here

    So give thanks to the Farmers,
    to the Butchers and Bakers
    To the Cooks and the Caterers,
    the Waitresses and Waiters

    For bringing this food
    from the field to the table
    And pledge to enjoy it,
    as well as we’re able

    This enjoyment we’ll show
    as the evening advances
    By abundance of clean plates
    and of course, empty glasses

    I’ll not labour the point,
    I know you’d like to begin
    So for now I’ll bow out
    and let you all tuck in.


    Well done for seeking treatment! I hope it works out for you.


    I am a big fan of pie, but mainly savoury pie… for dessert, I preferr crumble to pie. But I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.


    Try a new battery. If it’s from ’97 I assume it has old-style spark plugs, so try new spark plugs. If neither of those work, it’s probably the starter, so get a mechanic to have a look. I’m afraid I don’t know how expensive a new one will be, but it will vary depending on the model and age of your car.


    Thanks very much! :) Yes, that sounds infuriating, and not a situation to which there is an easy solution.


    *waves* Hello!

  92. 92
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I meant my Madonna crack as a joke at her expense. Didn’t come off, obviously.

    No, my fault. When I feel like this my sense of humour is off. My ability to recognize humour is really off. Sorry.


    Imposter Syndrome. Yeah. That’s me. I feel like I am an imposter pulling off a shitty impersonation of a human being.

  93. 93
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    HI Xerxes

    Argh, I swear that the boring, boring, boring editing that needs to be done painstakingly (you know, those things women are supposed to be good at) is much more times and nerves consuming than the damn thinky work

  94. 94
    Nick Gotts

    So I joined a gym. – Esteleth

    On Sunday I went to a gym, for the first time in my life – my wife and I both. The reason for this being that I currently have tennis elbow, so I can’t play badminton, which had become a significant chunk of my weekly exercise (she does far more exercise with me, and came along because we thought it would be more fun with two). We had a go on most of the torture devices therein – and unfortunately it exacerbated the lower back pain I also have at present. On past experience that will go away before too long, and I guess I might give it another try, but people do this for fun? Badminton was a social event, chatting to fellow-players between games and after the session – but in the gym, it almost seems like it would be bad form to talk to anyone. (Well, to be fair, being obvious newbies, we did get a few snippets of advice on how to use the machines from two fellow-users – alleged staff to give such advice being nowhere in evidence.)

  95. 95

    (semi-mostly threadrupt)

    thumper: I just wanted to say, I realize I never directly answered your question way back when; but I do hope that among all the various discussions over the last few weeks, you did manage to find the answers you sought. I don’t bear you any ill feeling for asking and I appreciate that you want to learn.

  96. 96

    @Beatrice & thumper1990

    Thanks. It was overdue, but it’s hard to ask for help when you can’t stand being near other people.

  97. 97

    Just going to leave this stack of *sunshine* here for those who want, we’ve been accumulating quite a bit (surprisingly) for this latitude the past couple of weeks.

  98. 98
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    So in South Carolina we now have A disgraced ex-governor who was cheating on his wife with an Argentine mistress while claiming to be hiking on the Appalachian trail running against the moderate sister of a Comedian who parodies Right Wing Talking Heads to fill a congressional seat that was left vacant because the Governor that replaced the disgraced ex-governor appointed the last congressman to be the first African American Senator from the south since reconstruction as a conservative Tea party favorite because the Senator who formerly held the Senate seat and espoused Family Values, honor and commitment to the constituents of South Carolina left for a higher paying job in the middle of his term.

  99. 99
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.


    Good news.

  100. 100
    chigau (違う)

    Happy Equinox, everybody!

  101. 101

    For those who were wondering, the memo is indeed a “translation” (or rapidly-written parody). I sort-of hinted at such when I said I’d “slightly altered it”, where slightly means “rewrote to express what I’d read into it” (or “… what was probably meant”).

    The original was full of vacuous buzzwords and meaningless clinches and babble, as well as what seems to be errors of logic and dubious — I assume invented — “facts”. For instance, the original said participation was voluntary but that participation requires your immediate manager’s involvement: So what happens if you decide to participate but your immediate manager does not?

    The statistics, whilst mathematically correct (unlike in my “translation”) seemed to be plucked out of the air, suspiciously advantageous to the company, and unlikely to be an accurate representation of any robust research results. And so on and on. And on.

  102. 102

    So that’s why it’s snowing today! Spring** is here!
    Wellp, I might need that stack of *sunshine* back; summer’s almost here.

    **One of the springs, anyway…

  103. 103
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Lest anyone forgot, Michelle Bachman is still a dishonest asshole of a person.

    Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota on Tuesday refused to answer questions about a recent speech she gave at a conservative conference.

    Bachmann claimed at the Conservative Political Action Committee on Saturday that Obama was living in opulence at the White House. She alleged the President was enjoying an excess of tax-payer funded luxuries.

    But when confronted by CNN reporter Dana Bash, the Republican congresswoman refused to elaborate on her remarks. Bash was forced to keep pace as Bachmann briskly walked away, insisting her speech was about the attack in Benghazi. Bachmann even turned the questions against the CNN reporter, chiding her for talking about Obama’s White House budget rather than Benghazi.

    Video here

  104. 104
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    one L Rev, one L

  105. 105
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened


    Thank you, that means a lot. I felt awful for being so insensitive. And yes, I have managed to piece together an answer :) Thank you for being so open, it is helping me to learn and hopefully grow.

  106. 106

    Arizona’s transgender community fights toilet ban:

    Legislators in Arizona want to ban transgender people from using public toilets, showers and dressing rooms not associated with their birth gender …

    Arizona’s Republican representative, John Kavanagh, has been campaigning to make it a criminal offence for a transgender person to use a public facility associated with a gender other than what is recorded on his or her birth certificate.

    How would you enforcesuch a ban? Inspectors at every toilet demanding to see your birth certificate? (A variant of Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks?)

  107. 107

    well I’ll just leave all this here. Links I’ve been collecting on Steubenville but haven’t had time to address in depth:

    *general warning for discussion of the case and re-victimization*

    About damn time.

    TIME: What about the victim’s recovery?

    But with so much attention focused on the lasting legacy the convictions will have on the boys, there seemingly hasn’t been as much concern for how the victim moves on from this very public exposure of a night she would rather put behind her. As the latest threats against her highlight, the fact that her experience unfolded in front of millions on social media may make her recovery all the more challenging. The social and emotional support that she does or does not receive now, experts say, could help determine whether she will be resilient or suffer lasting psychological damage.

    …They sought out other survivors and experts to discuss PTSD, treatment, and the importance of support.

    “The most important thing anyone can do is to decrease the trauma survivor’s sense of shame,” says Rachel Yehuda, a professor of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine (formerly Mount Sinai) in New York. “Even in nonsexual traumatic events, there’s a certain sense of shame at being victimized, and that’s certainly true in the context of sexual abuse. The provision of social support is mostly to try to not judge the event or the victim’s role in the event.”

    Other articles:


    Parents of victim just want everything ‘over’

    “The family just wants everything over. That’s their desire,” the victim’s family’s attorney Robert Fitzsimmons told ABCNews.com today. “They were hoping that the charges had been completed and that justice was served yesterday and they hope that they can move on with their lives.”


    DeWine also said Ohio lawmakers will unveil proposed legislation on Wednesday to create a trust fund to provide services to sexual assault victims.

    A survey conducted by DeWine’s office that began in May 2012 — three months before Mays and Richmond assaulted the girl during a booze-fueled August night — found that 52 of Ohio’s 88 counties do not provide services to rape victims.

    “If you’re talking about comprehensive services, the template is, we want a 24-hour call line, 24-hour response, no matter what happens, somebody can be there,” DeWine said. “We want people who can go with the victim to the hospital, stay with the victim, walk them through the process. Victims are fearful. This can be very traumatic. A comprehensive program that we do have in many counties, we have a volunteer, someone who responds and works with that victim.”

  108. 108

    Sally @48,

    Nugent made a good impression on me early on, but if you check out his blog page, his last few posts have basically turned his blog into the Pit O’Slyme, the Irish outpost of the Slymepit,

    I’m not quite so pessimistic, but I think there will be a bit of work to be done in Dublin to get Mick Nugent off his fencepost. As to the Irish atheists in general, I need to check out the situation on the ground first before making any judgments on that. Although some of the non-slymer comments on his articles by apparent locals were not encouraging(and EG was presumably Irish, so maybe there’s some local solidarity going on).

    You have to give it to them though, for a bunch of 5 or 10 creepy internet haters their PR work is pretty good.

  109. 109
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Why are you in Twitter jail, Sally?


  110. 110

    Why are you in Twitter jail, Sally?

    It may have to do with the 75 gazillion billion tweets from that hashtag she tweeted and retweeted…:P

    By the way, is it just me, or are more and more Pharyngula commenters exclusively to be found on Twitter now, like Josh or Jafafa Hots for example?

  111. 111

    Ok, since the great Mayan Calendar Collapse didn’t, we need a new absurd end-of-… silliness.

    Howzibout the incoming “comet” Siding Spring, on course for (a possible gigantic impact with) Mars, is actually the ancient Mayans (and their extraterritorial compatriots) returning to their currently mothballed base on Mars, from where they will bombard the Earth with peas.

  112. 112
    Eurasian magpie


    Re: chi

    It was only yesterday when I saw the episode “Superhuman Powers” of the NatGeo Tv-series “Is It Real?” There the two Italian sceptics Massimo Polidoro and Luigi Garlaschelli refute the no-touch knockout of chi practicioners by, well, not getting knocked out.

    Here’s a clip. The relevant part starts at 2:36. Pay also attention to the creative explanations George Dillman comes up with concerning why chi didn’t work this time.

  113. 113
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Twitter, don’t mention it. Hopefully I just finished the re-write of the re-write of that Twitter-paper. I would burn the print-outs now if I knew that I didn’t need them anymore.

    Now I have a full hour to prepare tonight’s class.

  114. 114
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I would burn the print-outs now if I knew that I didn’t need them anymore.

    When I finished my undergrad Honors thesis, I took the copies of the rough draft, tore them into shreds, made a “chalk outline” on the floor of my room, then rolled around in them for a few minutes.

    It was cathartic.

  115. 115
  116. 116

    Whilst following various links about comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), I found this rather hilarious spam (the links where already stripped out):

    ASTEROIDS, COMETS, AND METEORS ORIGINATED FROM EARTH: In the Earth’s past there were powerful volcanic explosions propelling millions of tons of earth soil and rock (now asteroids and meteors) containing organic molecules. Read my popular Internet article, ANY LIFE ON MARS CAME FROM EARTH. …

    Even if the right chemicals exist, life cannot arise by chance. The molecules that make-up life have to be in a sequence, just like the letters found in a sentence. Please read my popular Internet articles listed below:

    I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East” for my writings on religion and science

    The nutter who spewed the above is apparently a graduate of Bob Jones University, with a major in Bible and a minor in Biology:

    Mathematicians have said that any event with odds of 10 to the 50th power or over is impossible even within the entire time frame of the supposed billions of years popularly assigned for the age of the universe.

    That’s even dumber than the earlier paragraph. … There are 52 playing cards in a deck. The odds against the sequence resulting from a good shuffle are — as the mathematicians say — 52 factorial. … It works out to be 8.06581752 × 10^67. …

    So according to [the nutter] and his unnamed “mathematicians,” any sequence of a deck of cards is mathematically impossible. …

    Snickers uncontrollably. (Everyone wonders what he did now…)

  117. 117

    My left thumb has a tendency to tremor lately. It’s either sleeplessness, stress, or something else I should be worried about.
    I don’t know if I’m worried or just need more sleep.

  118. 118
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    This is what we are dealing with.

    Please note the Fox News comment down the page.

    You will need a facebook account to see it.

  119. 119
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    And it’s real. I know the Andy guy.

  120. 120
    Lynna, OM


    Newly minted brides should do more than vow to love their hubbies for a lifetime, say the majority of Americans. Some 70 percent of the respondents in a new study feel they should also take their spouse’s surname – and 50 percent say that it should be a legal requirement for a woman to take her spouse’s last name.

    Legally require me to take someone else’s name? Really?

  121. 121

    Lynna #120 – I think Skepchick or Jezebel or somebody already debunked that poll because of the wording. I don’t have the link to hand though (i know, right?)

  122. 122
    Lynna, OM

    Earlier we discussed the great leap forward in women’s rights that leaders of the mormon church are taking: they are going to allow women to lead prayers during their General Conference in April. Whoop-de-fucking-doo.

    For contrast, here’s a quote from a woman who nurtured, who honed her intellect despite the mormon church; a woman who fought LDS propaganda against passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, a woman who was finally excommunicated for being a smarter than the patriarchs by several orders of magnitude. Sonia Johnson wrote:

    I do not hate men. I hate the male-devised and -imposed system of supremacy called patriarchy. I hate it because it is lethal to both men and women. All persons born into and reared in a patriarchal society participate in the oppression of women and the aggrandizement of men. Most of us particpate unwittingly, but participate nevertheless. . . . It is difficult to understand–or at least, too few men seem willing to try to understand how feeling superior and exerting power over others gnaws away at their own integrity, leaving their souls barren.

    I do not hate men, but neither do I automatically respect and trust them. And neither do I accept any longer the role of guardian of their egos. . . . I have confidence in men. I am not afraid that they will shatter if I say that men have been and are our enemies–beloved enemies, perhaps, but often unwitting enemies, but enemies nevertheless. I expect them to understand that I do not believe all men set out consciously to hurt and stunt and thwart and destroy us. I also expect them to be decent and mature and secure enough to examine the evidence that this is the case without having tantrums or psychotic breaks, and to begin to help put a stop to it. I believe that the majority of men are capaable of this and more . . . .

    I cannot hate men. I have three sons whom I love as much as if they were daughters. But I mourn for them a thousand times more than I do for my daughter. . . . My sons do not understand what is happening to them, the insidiousness of it defeats me, defeats them. It is everywhere–in the very air they breathe–that they must be tyrants to be real. Benevolent, gentle tyrants, perhaps–if they are lucky, they get that message, though many men do not–but still tyrants. And always at the mercy of their egos.

    Thanks to Steve Benson for highlighting the text from “From Housewife to Heretic: One Woman’s Struggle for Equal Rights and Her Excommuncation from the Mormon Church” [Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1983], pp. 400-03

  123. 123
    Lynna, OM

    Chasing down Michelle’s Bachmann’s lies and exaggeration:
    Anderson Cooper. This link includes video of Cooper summarizing Bachmann’s past failures to vet her factoids, and video of an amusing sequence in which a reporter chases her down to question her about the CPAC speech.

    Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post. This article takes on the thankless task of fact-checking all of the claims Bachmann made in her recent CPAC speech. Some of her factoids were based on a self-published book “Presidential Perks Gone Royal,” by Republican lobbyist Robert Keith Gray. None of the claims in the book were sourced. Bachmann may have just read a summary of the book posted on the Daily Caller.

    Excerpt from the Washington Post article:

    As evidence of sloppy research, Gray at one point in his book refers to the White House paying $102,000 to a man who walks Obama’s dog, saying that one point the “handler” was flown to Maine with the dog. (This anecdote also ended up in the Daily Caller article.)

    This appears to refer to Reggie Love, then the president’s personal assistant, who was once spotted taking the dog off an airplane. But the local Maine newspaper initially misreported that Love and the dog were flown on their own airplane. The article was corrected, but not before the blogosphere looked up Love’s salary and went wild with the tale of the $102,000-a-year dog handler.

    And now, our dear dead-eyed Ms. Bachmann is blithely repeating the dog handler story at CPAC in order to condemn Obama for his lifestyle of excess and debauchery.

  124. 124
    Lynna, OM

    Pteryxx @121

    Lynna #120 – I think Skepchick or Jezebel or somebody already debunked that poll because of the wording. I don’t have the link to hand though (i know, right?)

    Not only that, but the poll, though still up, was referring to a paper and data that is over three years old. So, I really fucked up on that one.

  125. 125
    Lynna, OM

    JP Morgan is not a farmer, but JP Morgan is using the House Agricultural Committee as a venue for passing deregulation laws.

    Bankers were recently called on the carpet for the “London Whale” trades, with Elizabeth Warren being one of the sharpest interrogators. But you would be wrong to assume that JP Morgan and other bankers are slowed down or inconvenienced by this attention.

    You may be asking yourself why some bills on financial regulation run through the House Agriculture Committee. It turns out that the Agriculture Committees have held jurisdiction over derivatives since the mid-19th century, when farmers used derivatives to achieve stability over future prices. Traders still use derivatives for corn and other commodities, but the world of derivatives has grown far more sophisticated over the decades. Nevertheless, congressional committees zealously guard their jurisdictions, and so a bunch of lawmakers from rural states get to determine a major aspect of financial policy.

    The world’s largest banks love the House Agricultural Committee, and they court the members thereof.

    What we get in the end is a set of bills with Orwellian titles like the “Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act” and the “Inter-Affiliate Swap Clarification Act.” But amid all this improving and clarifying is a near-total rollback of the mild derivatives regulation that made it through Dodd-Frank.

    I asked Bartlett Naylor of Public Citizen what would be the worst possible outcome if these Wall Street-backed Ag Committee bills passed into law. “The worst would be an inter-affiliate swap, hidden, moves trades from the U.S. to the U.K., escapes oversight, blows up, and the trades are located inside the bank, which now needs a bailout.” This describes almost exactly the London Whale trade, proving why this activity must be tightly regulated in the public interest.

    You will be fucked over by bankers, if not one way, then another.
    Salon link. This is current.

    Bloomberg News link for background on the methods JP Morgan used to hide trades banned by the Volcker rule.

  126. 126
    David Marjanović

    *runs in!*
    *drops baby picture!*
    *runs out!*


    pie is what saved the Lounge from Deeeeep Riiiiifffftssss filled with chocolate sauce

    …Oh. Pie is evil, then.

    Some mornings I feel like this.

    Oh. That could be a rain frog. Here’s another! Mwa ha ha ha haaaaah.

    Hope you can regain your energy soon, David

    Not happening so far – I did manage to go to the museum, but then I read 78 pages of #whatshouldwecallgradschool (a blog on Tumblr). I’ll spam this place with links later.

    Just going to leave this stack of *sunshine* here for those who want, we’ve been accumulating quite a bit (surprisingly) for this latitude the past couple of weeks.

    Over here the sunshine stopped when the weekend was over. BTW, it’s still winter, with 10 cm of snow! And next weekend the temperatures are going to double down! *mad cackling*

    one L Rev, one L

    Yeah. Two would make French sense. But Bachmann instead bears the name of a male Italian.

    By the way, is it just me, or are more and more Pharyngula commenters exclusively to be found on Twitter now, like Josh or Jafafa Hots for example?

    It’s not just you, and I’m not happy about it.

    It was only yesterday when I saw the episode “Superhuman Powers” of the NatGeo Tv-series “Is It Real?” There the two Italian sceptics Massimo Polidoro and Luigi Garlaschelli refute the no-touch knockout of chi practicioners by, well, not getting knocked out.

    Here’s a clip.

    And one click away is this

    I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East” for my writings on religion and science

    I got spam about submitting my biography to Who’s Who, without a qualification like “in the East”. Repeatedly. Given the fact that the believers are often the credulous ones, I do wonder…

    Anyway. That’s only been 3 links! I must add 2 more, then!

    When people ask me what helped get me into grad school. Concept doesn’t apply where I come from.

    Dreaming about pipetting :-}

  127. 127
    Lynna, OM

    Reno Saccoccia new about the Steubenville rape early on, but he did not report it.

    Why does this head football coach still have a job?

    He breakfasts regularly with the sheriff. His sister-in-law works in the county’s juvenile court, where he is licensed as a mediator. He “molds young boys into men.”


  128. 128
    David Marjanović

    When I try to borrow reagents from another lab :-} – hasn’t happened to me…

    Trying to get all of my data into a 15-minute talk – happens to me all the time!

    Why I want to sell out to industry – I can’t, I’m not an oil geologist…

    The only way to get my PI to meet with me – not sure what a PI is, but there are definitely scientists like that… Exceedingly cute, but potential trigger warning for people who’ve been held down.

    When the best lab tech is retiring

  129. 129
    David Marjanović

    At any event with free beer

    What really happens at conferences – oh yes, it does, right before the after-hours party.

    Getting pulled away from my thesis by interesting side projects – so very familiar…

    When you look too closely at my data – oh no. Not mine. I’m careful, not like some other people. :-]

    The helpfulness of tech support!

  130. 130

    not sure what a PI is

    It’s a Big Science term for the Boss: the person who gets the grants and thereby employs a lab’s worth of postdocs, grad students, and techs.

  131. 131
    David Marjanović

    After examswarning: cute overload.

    When I can’t find the paper I’m looking for – I’ve spent hours at a time in Google Scholar that way.

    Thesis proposals! See also: grant proposals! That’s what they really are like.

    Most beautiful polyurethane catastrophe ever.

    When my friends ask if I’m dating anyone

  132. 132

    oops: Principal Investigator. (it’s NIH/NSF jargon for the responsible party on a grant).

  133. 133
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.


    I thought it was a Private Investigator (See Magnum, PI, for example).

  134. 134
    David Marjanović

    …I have no idea how that last line got bolded… that’s not in the HTML… oh. Wait. I wanted to close the <b> tag behind “warning”. Instead I put </a> there. Then a miracle happened, and…

    Anyway. Life as a grad student! It’s true. Just don’t ask me where they got that “Publish” button, it’s not from Manuscript Central.

  135. 135
    David Marjanović

    *headdesk* I did it again. I wanted to put </b> behind “no idea”, and instead wrote </a>

    Off to… work, where I don’t need to write HTML.

  136. 136
    David Marjanović

    Principal Investigator. (it’s NIH/NSF jargon for the responsible party on a grant)

    Ah, thanks.

  137. 137
    Lynna, OM

    “Where Would We Be Without Oil, Gas, & Mining?” is the theme of the Earth Day poster contest in Utah.

    Earlier in the year, several alarming articles made front page news in the Salt Lake Tribune. These articles detailed the dangerously bad air quality along the Wasatch Front (Salt Lake City, Provo, Orem, Ogden). Lots of mormons being transported to hospitals for pulmonary emergencies. One example out of many.

    So, WTF, Utah? Now you are encouraging your elementary students to create posters for Earth Day that describe “the benefits of coal, oil and natural gas, but not the impacts associated with burning them.”

    Both Utah and Idaho legislators have passed bills demanding that all public lands in their states be removed from federal control and given to the states. Yeah, like these doofuses have proven that they would be good stewards of air, land and water.


  138. 138

    David M: …It’d just be too ironic if I mentioned you owe me a keyboard right about now. ;>

  139. 139
    Lynna, OM

    David M. @131, that “After Exams” link led to video that was too cute by half. I found myself OMGing and playing the damned thing over and over. [still smiling]

  140. 140

    Thanks. You nearly blew my cover with those. I’m ‘working’ and had to hold some serious giggles in check (I like Dog as the technical help desk. Also, conferences and looking closely at data. Thank you for those, especially.).

  141. 141
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Eurasian magpie:
    Thank you !


    Welcome to The Lounge. The Grog is on Nerd, Sangria is on me, and someone is preping margaritas ATM.

  142. 142
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Twitter!!! I love Twitter!

    Also, I’m making homemade potato chips tonight. Three flavors: salty, extra salty, and jalapeño lime. *grins*

  143. 143
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.


    Be careful. If you get the lime wet, it can burn.

  144. 144
    Lynna, OM

    David M., I also liked “At any event with free beer,” which reminded me how much I admired Thor’s manners when I watched that movie.

    I guess that says more about me than I should have revealed.

  145. 145

    Thanks everyone for your warm welcomes. :) I even posted on a thread that isn’t this thread! What an adventurer, heh.

    Improbable Joe, do you deep-fry the chips, or cook them in a pan on the stovetop?

  146. 146
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    major potato chips craving

  147. 147
    David Marjanović

    David M: …It’d just be too ironic if I mentioned you owe me a keyboard right about now. ;>

    Why? What’s ironic about that? :-)

    I found myself OMGing and playing the damned thing over and over. [still smiling]


    Be careful. If you get the lime wet, it can burn.

    :-D :-D :-D
    Day saved!

    I guess that says more about me than I should have revealed.

    You don’t like people?

  148. 148
    David Marjanović

    major potato chips craving

    I know that feeling. *crams some into USB port*

  149. 149
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ogvorbis, different lime. The citrus fruit, not the backyard corpse-pit stuff. Not that I have a backyard corpse-pit… ummmm… yeah.

    Millicent, I guess I’ll be frying them in a skillet? I haven’t done this before, so… wish me luck? It is two days before grocery shopping day, and I don’t have a lot of money but I do have a whole bunch of potatoes.

  150. 150
    Lynna, OM

    Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman, wants the GOP to appear welcoming to gays — as long as they don’t demand equal rights.

    Priebus and cohorts recently came out with an “autopsy” describing why Republicans failed to win the Presidency, and prescribing cures. “Autopsy” is the right word for their dead party.

    Needless to say, the cures prescribed were all superficial, and no major policy changes were suggested. Nevertheless, Priebus got into trouble for vaguely, not-really considering gays to be deserving of respect. So what did he do? He walked that talk back of course.

  151. 151
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *frantically collects every last crumble from the port*
    thanks, David!

  152. 152
    Lynna, OM

    You don’t like people?

    No. I just it find it very appealing to break stuff, (like cups), as a show of how happy and pleased one is. Hence my love affair with the Thor character.

  153. 153
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Why are there chips coming from my USB port? David, you seem to have mis-aimed.

  154. 154
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I lost a word. Chips crumble into small pieces (I first typed peaces), but those are not called crumbles (crumble is a cake thing).
    Time for bed, I guess.

  155. 155

    @Improbable Joe

    I guess I’ll be frying them in a skillet? I haven’t done this before, so… wish me luck?

    Good luck! Do you have cast iron? That is definitely the way I would go, if I had my choice. Will you be slicing the potatoes by hand, or do you have a vegetable slicer or a mandoline? Sorry for grilling you about this; I trained as a chef and have done a fair bit of kitchen work, so I’m always curious about what people are doing with food. I hope they turn out awesome. :)

  156. 156
    morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor

    iJoe, have fun with the home made p’toe chips. I’ve made them and frying them can get tricky. A deep fryer works much, much better than a fry pan. Let us know how it turn out.

  157. 157
    David Marjanović

    Sign the petition to the German minister of the environment not to cut funding for renewable power sources.

    Why are there chips coming from my USB port? David, you seem to have mis-aimed.

    Are you sure you don’t want any? :-) :-) :-)

    Time for bed, I guess.


  158. 158
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    No cast iron pan, I’m using a cheap non-stick skillet… I’ll probably get one this weekend. Slicing with a mandoline, and I’ll be experimenting with the thickness a bit. I’m NOT trained as a chef, so I’m just winging it.


    I hate deep fryers. They never seem to get clean enough…

  159. 159
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Aha! Crumbles

    Gah, I’m stupid sometimes.

  160. 160

    @Improbable Joe

    Slicing with a mandoline, and I’ll be experimenting with the thickness a bit. I’m NOT trained as a chef, so I’m just winging it.

    It’s good that you’ve got the mandoline. I have yet to eat hand-sliced chips that come out properly; they are always uneven. And you have a lot of potatoes, you said, so the experimenting should be fun.

    Now I want potatoes. I have no idea if this stupid Paleo thing does jack shit, but I have completely run out of pain relief options, so I’m trying this. Does anyone know of a good takedown of the Paleo diet? I saw that Jen had posted a little bit about it, but I don’t have a copy of that book yet. There’s a strong contigent of pro-Paleo people in MS world, but there’s (shockingly!) not very good evidential support for their claims.

    The only real benefit I see thus far (it’s been a little over a month) is that since I’m making a point to eat more veg, the rest of my family is eating more veg. So, yay for that, I suppose. Otherwise it strikes me as complete bullshit.

  161. 161
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Hello Lounge. A bit rupt from the long drive back from Michigan (I usually avoid reading while driving ;)) but I’ll be caught up before long. I’m exhausted. Sad to leave the family, but happy to have had a whole week with them. I think my mom actually gets a little depressed after I leave, so I always hate to cause that. …I might get a little depressed myself, actually. Anyway. Hi all.

  162. 162

    I’m still in search of a good takedown of the Paleo diet, as well.
    The best I’ve seen so far is some ridicule about what Paleo people would really eat (locusts and stalks of grass and only local, which means tree bark and stuff in winter for my latitudes ;) ), and I always make fun of My Friend the Libertarian (Who Also Eats Paleo) that, if he wants to be a real caveman, he has to catch fish with his teeth… But I suppose that doesn’t help much.

    My sister has made some attempts at the Paleo diet, and mostly what she says is that it makes her pay attention to what she eats, rather than having any sort of intrinsic health value on its own. Yes, fresh fruits and vegetables (local, with less stuff on them during transportation) are very good for you; yes, eating a lot of carbs in a sedentary diet will do you harm; but (and to my mind, as well) we are not cavemen, not in shape and not in activity level, and since the Paleo diet limits the consumption of cheese (any kind), I can’t take it seriously.
    Plus it contradicts all those diets that say vegetable oil is better, because it says animal fats are better (for cooking).
    My Paleo Friend (Who Is Also a Libertarian), however, swears that the diet gives him more energy. I think it’s because he started exercising more regularly and started paying attention to what and that he eats at all.
    The purpose of this long ramble was to inform that no, I do not have a takedown, nor do I know of one, btu I have opinions. ;)

  163. 163

    Oh hi Portia, *hugs* and welcome back! ;)

  164. 164

    Re Steubenville: ** warning ** this is gross.

    Steubenville Rapist to appeal because “His brain isn’t fully developed yet”

  165. 165
    David Marjanović

    If it hasn’t developed to that point yet, I seriously fear it never will. Lack of enthusiasm from the other side isn’t that hard to notice.

  166. 166

    Also, Jane Doe is the same age. Really now?

  167. 167

    Should not have read that link. *grossed out*

  168. 168


    Wait…. wasn’t he tried as a juvenile? Isn’t that the acknowledgement that there might be some room for development?

    Besides, the article points out several reasons why this is bullshit.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is true that the brain at that point isn’t fully developed. However, it is a bullshit excuse, a means to attempt to dodge accepting responsibility for his crimes. It is disgusting.

    Also… fuck CNN.

  169. 169
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    My heart goes out to Jane Doe. I hope she (and her family) are able to get some privacy soon.

    And seriously, “my brain is not fully developed”?
    It is truly scary to think that rape is so minimized that someone could think __not raping__ is somehow separate from whatever morals and ethics he *had* developed.
    This makes me wonder though, for all the faults of religious beliefs, children are often imparted with some ethics and a system of morality over the course of their youth.
    Help those in need.
    Do not steal.
    Do not cheat.

    Where is _do not rape_?

    We already know sex education in America’s young women and men is sorely lacking. Add to that, the very real possibility that children-growing up in a rape culture-are not even taught the fundamentals of bodily autonomy and consent…? That is scary plus some.

  170. 170

    For something lighter…. Beowulf, as understood by Creationists.

    In particular, Beowulf has recently enjoyed great popularity with creationists. For instance, Kent Hovind’s now-defunct Dinosaur Adventure Land featured a Beowulf display,1 and the Creation Museum in Kentucky has a statue of Beowulf over the door of its Dragon Hall Bookstore.2 Curiously, creationists not only interpret the Bible as the literal, inerrant word of God, they read fictional works like Beowulf as literal, if not inerrant, accounts of actual events.

  171. 171


    My sister has made some attempts at the Paleo diet, and mostly what she says is that it makes her pay attention to what she eats, rather than having any sort of intrinsic health value on its own.

    Yeah, this is the feeling I’m getting too: if there is a benefit, I think it’s just that I’m cooking more, relying less on take-out, and not eating as much sugary processed stuff. Inherent value looks questionable.

    since the Paleo diet limits the consumption of cheese (any kind), I can’t take it seriously.

    And this. I’ve already added some dairy back into my diet, with no adverse effects as far as I can tell. Given my northern European ancestry, I don’t find this surprising.

    I had to take a break from Steubenville stuff. Too rage-inducing.

  172. 172
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Mostly threadrupt.

    mildlymagnificent – I hope mrmagnificent’s recovery is swift. *hugs*

    Crudely Wrott – Good luck. *gentle hugs and chocolate*

    Millicent and xerxes – Welcome to the Lounge!

    Audley – Squee!

    David – *pouncehug*

    Hi Portia!

  173. 173

    We already know sex education in America’s young women and men is sorely lacking. Add to that, the very real possibility that children-growing up in a rape culture-are not even taught the fundamentals of bodily autonomy and consent…? That is scary plus some.

    Based on everything I’ve read, I would say these young men knew they didn’t have consent. They knew. And they didn’t care. They felt they were entitled. They were stars, big time football heroes in the area. They knew the coach would take care of them, and the coach tried. Fuck, the entire fucking town tried.

    A few years ago… this would have worked. They would have gotten away with it. They tweeted about it, plastered their crimes everywhere. But it was okay, she was their toy.

    Rape Culture combined with a small town’s tendency to worship fucking high school football is scary.

    All those who tried to cover the crimes need to be put on trial as well. They created this mess, they taught these kids that they were special. They treated this kids like they were special. And they were ready to sacrifice this girl for their sport. I would also love to see the High School lose their football team.

    Maybe that will send a message to the coaches, and parents.

  174. 174

    My problem with Paleo is that it’s a little unclear on how evolution works….

  175. 175
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Muse – *pouncehug*

  176. 176

    Add to that, the very real possibility that children-growing up in a rape culture-are not even taught the fundamentals of bodily autonomy and consent…? That is scary plus some.

    Oh, we absolutely teach them the opposite. Look at the way children are handled, and I mean that in the physical sense of “handled”. You pick them up when you want to, or hold their hand when you want to, not when they want you to (although sometimes that’s necessary, like in traffic). You force them to let Aunt Edna kiss and hug them when she comes to visit, even though they have no clue who she is. You play games of “surprise” tickling. When they try to refuse a kiss goodnight from you, you feel hurt and try to badger them into it, or just do it anyway. When little kids hit each other, more often than not the corrective action taken is to make the hitter touch the victim nicely, to teach them the concept of “nice touch” v. “bad touch”, never mind if the victim doesn’t want to be touched at all. It was a constant struggle as my kids were little to not just smother them with the touching I wanted to give, and to hold back and when they said no, to believe them and not push it. I didn’t do that at all when they were really little, because I hadn’t then stopped to think about what bodily autonomy meant and how to teach it. Heck, when I finally did figure it out, it took awhile for my younger child to relearn what was going on, because the entire “game” to him was I would ask for a kiss, he would say no, I would pout, and then he’d give in – it hurt his feelings at first when I said “Ok” and moved away, because he actually did want a kiss and was upset that I’d changed the script. It’s still a struggle now to not try to ask for a kiss goodnight or a hug on the way out the door and do the hurt “pleeeease” act if they say no. And I don’t think I’m completely out of the ordinary.

  177. 177
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I agree.
    Let me add that I am not asking those questions to minimize the rape of Jane Doe by those assholes. They knew they did not have permission.
    Come to think of it, I will not even continue discussing this in The Lounge. I have seen too many people I care about be triggered recently, and do not want to use the social thread to talk about this.

  178. 178

    Sorry. I didn’t want to drop that turd in the (currently supportive and huggy) Thunderdome conversation… <_<

  179. 179

    You are not.
    I’ve been going through a similar change in routine, where Eldest got the whole touchy-routine, Middle Child is getting something in between, and Youngest (hopefully) will know more about bodily autonomy at an earlier age. With Middle Child it’s been a bit easier, since he’s a very determined and stubborn little person already, and the only way to help him calm down is to give him lots of space. Husband has issues with this, since in his mind, there should be Conversation and then Calming Down, and it’s taking a lot of emotionally difficult baby-step conversations to convince him that it needs to go the other way – to let him calm down, then try to talk to him or go near him. He doesn’t get upset nearly as much when he realizes that he has the option of returning when he feels more ready.
    And it’s been a real effort not to pout sometimes when they refuse a hug or a kiss, but also I’ve realized that they’ll do it spontaneously themselves. Middle Child, after all, one day, out of the blue, came up to me and said, “I like you. I like you a lot, a lot.” It made me cry, just a little bit.
    Eldest has a completely different emotional character, and in some ways he’s very compliant with the gesture of affection (especially towards “Aunt Edna”-like relatives), but sometimes I wonder if it’s because he’s learned been taugght from an early age that he really doesn’t have much option.
    Youngest – well, no concept of personal boundaries there, but since he’s not even 10 months yet and only recently has decided that sometimes it’s good that Mommy puts him down (and even asks for it), I think there’s time to teach him that it’s ok to not want Touch.

    Now if only I could convince Husband what it’s all about. He feels like his authority is being stepped on, if we allow (say) Middle Child to pull away before coming back to calm down. Or, sometimes the opposite, when he’s upset and wants that hug, to refuse it until he calms down. It’s hard to explain that what he needs to calm down is the sign of affection. That discussion can only happen once he is calm.


  180. 180

    Also, recall that when Planned Parenthood’s allowed the funding and access to help teach sex ed in communities and public schools, instead of being banned and defunded, they WILL teach the concept of consent. It’s really, really, really not about saving the babbies.

  181. 181
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    As someone with no children I never began to think of the many “small” actions we take for granted that reinforce the opposite of bodily autonomy. Damn.

    Thank you for that eye opener.

  182. 182

    Hekuni Cat – I’m here all the time. Just not talkative – as opposed to meatspace.

  183. 183

    Changing the topic, Science needs our help!!

  184. 184

    I hate the fact that English is a longer language than Latvian (more letters). I keep thinking I’m nearly done this translation, but the tail end keeps moving off just a little bit. I have to be done tonight, dammit!!

  185. 185
    Jafafa Hots

    I’ve been thinking about blogging again, but my past experiences have been so painful.
    I’m tired of wrestling with tech stuff.

    I did OK with tumblr (though that still involved hassle) but quit after a while.
    Google doesn’t index tumblr stuff well, and my blogging desires center around dispersing for public consumption the primary research I do. Adding to knowledge and stuff. Not even creative commons, just flat-out releasing my stuff into the public domain.

    Needs to come up in Google for there to be any point to that.
    Sure don’t want to try to wrassle with WordPress or anything.

    Why do they make it so hard?
    Why after all of these years do blogging platforms always still suck in various important ways?

    I love doing the research. I am a researching maniac, and if I do say so myself I’m freaking good at it. Over 20 years at it now.
    Writing is a pain in the ass, but I can force myself.
    I don’t need to add a layer of having to mess with code trying to get Disqus to work or any of the rest of that crap to discourage me further.

  186. 186
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Oh man. South Carolina politics have to be the most fucked up in the nation.

    As a topper to my #98, there are rumors that disgraced ex-governor Sanford’s ex-wife Jenny may endorse Colbert-Busch who is running against her ex-husband for SC 1st congressional district seat.

    If Jenny Sanford endorses Colbert-Busch that’s SC Political Incest Bingo. Get your cards ready.

  187. 187
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Thanks, guys!

    She’s been a handful lately– tooth numero dos is taking like forever to erupt. Luckily, the Darkling is every bit as cute crying as she is laughing†. :)

    †Okay, not really.

  188. 188

    Good luck with the teeth! They’re bound to come out eventually. ;) (Bid adieu to the adorable gummy smile, the toothy one’s about to make its entrance!)


    Well, that’s that done and done. Computerless for the next few days again, but I don’t know if I’ll be attempting the mobile, for [reasons]. We’ll see.
    Good night, or should I say good morning already?
    Tomorrow will be fun…

  189. 189
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    The Darkling already has one tooth and this is my favorite smile yet, but I have the feeling I’m going to say that every time she gets a new one. :)

  190. 190
    PSG (pharmscigrad)


    If someone’s proud of sticking to a new eating plan and getting healthier by getting to a certain weight, they will tell me. Anyway, I can always remark on a nice new outfit, which such people are usually wearing.

    That’s a good way to go about it… hadn’t thought about it, but you’re absolutely right on.

    Out into the garden I go. 5 minutes on, I’m out for 20 minutes. Rinse and repeat. 2 hours later, I’m utterly exhausted and got nothing at all done

    Fuck. That. Shit. I’m a bad patient. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to go hard or go home. Sometimes I do go home. But stopping the moment you feel pain? Like, what, should I cease to breathe? Define pain. Hell, with some conditions you are supposed to be active through the pain and not moving is actually more harmful. That’s why I take a dose of fuckitall once a day. Keeps me going.

    The only person I’ve ever come across who “got it” was an anaesthetist who specialises in pain management. He sees no moral weakness in needing medication to cope, nor in finding exertion of some/any kind too much to cope with.

    That’s because there is none. None. Just because the cause is hidden doesn’t mean the pain isn’t real.

    I respond with an air-punch and a “Woot! Give it up for chronic pain!” If you can’t punch, perplex.

    Love this. Love it.

    People usually envy my sister who is fucking underweight and has a shitton of health problems. But doesn’t she look good?

    THIS. So much this.
    1. As though you could look at someone and know how healthy they are
    2. As if the only thing that mattered was the looking good
    3. Why is underweight=looking good?
    Thanks rq, Giliell
    David Marjanović

    but then I read 78 pages of #whatshouldwecallgradschool

    Isn’t it wonderful?! If you need more entertainment, you could always check out animals talking in all caps. It’s less targeted but rather funny as well.

  191. 191
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Welcome to Xerxes – Aussie Aussie Aussie! um er sorry let’s not do that. I’m from Canberra, where are you?

    Thanks for the well-wishes. I am still home sick but I hope to be recovered soon. I have tickets for 3 shows on Sat night. I wish I could do some cheffing. Well, cooking really, I’m not trained but I am a very keen home cook. I don’t suppose adding chilli & cheese & (avert your eyes, Cicely) baby peas to a lean cuisine really counts :(

    AFAIK, Paleo is faddy and silly and based on incorrect premises, but the content is not too bad on the whole. More fruit & veg will do no-one any harm. (*Waits for pedantic & odd case to be raised of someone whom it will harm* Oh yeah, newborns. Are we done?)

  192. 192
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Welcome in to xerxes.

    If you need more entertainment, you could always check out animals talking in all caps. It’s less targeted but rather funny as well.

    I’m addicted to AITIAC.

    I’m starving but have nothing healthy to eat in my house. lots of less-than-healthy, though…

    Maybe I’ll just go to bed. I’m inordinately exhausted.

  193. 193
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Perhaps if you ate a portion of the not good stuff. I know I hate trying to sleep on an empty stomach

  194. 194
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Me too. It’s the worst.
    I scrounged up an orange that was a little past its prime but still sufficiently satisfying.
    I’ll do that math and see when I can get (better) groceries tomorrow. *shrug*

  195. 195
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    On a less trivial note: how’s work lately, Tony?

  196. 196
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    I had popcorn… speaking of less healthy, non-empty stomach sleeping solutions. :)

  197. 197
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Ooooh, popcorn is a great idea. Except all I have is the slightly healthier stuff that requires a lot more effort, so I’m not gonna get any tonight :)

  198. 198
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Well, I have the real stuff too, but I was lazy and made the last of the bagged junk. How was the drive? Other than looooong?

  199. 199

    I don’t suppose adding chilli & cheese & (avert your eyes, Cicely) baby peas to a lean cuisine really counts

    Lean cuisine? Having that in the freezer at all is probably just cause for banishment from the chef category.

    Speaking of kitchens ….. two rather nice, husky young men have just installed my dishwasher, oven and cooktop! Of course, having no water, power or gas in said kitchen yet means I have to wait a bit to restart my career as best home cook in my house, but it’s all good.

  200. 200
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Dammit, manners again:

    Welcome xerxes!


    Been a rough week, drinking wine of all things, just feeling sort of lost, going to bed at 10-11 and getting out of bed at 10-12. I don’t need anything from you folks, but I feel bad that I’ve been too checked out to be much use to anyone else. Sorry folks, I’ll try again in a few days when this bullshit funk finally passes.

  201. 201
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Improbable Joe
    *clinks wineglass*
    That’s where I’ve been spending my weekends. Much empathy.

  202. 202
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    PSG: Looooong is the primary thought about the drive, but it was not unpleasant. I stopped after a half hour of driving to half breakfast with my brother, some rare one-on-one time that was really great. Then I stopped at his house 20 minutes further to see his little girls (and SiL) along the way. They are almost-three and eight years old and they had a tea party waiting for me. Then we played hide and seek. (Cute kid story warning!) The almost-three one would hide under the couch I was sitting on and chastise me for not saying “ReadyornothereIcome!” properly. Hearing her squeaky funny correction had me in stitches every time so I just kept getting it wrong to see if she’d keep getting the concept of the game wrong.

    As for the actual drive itself: the sun was shining so brightly (humor me and say it varies) for most of the way that I kept turning off my heaters. Then a cloud would hit and I’d be chilly. Even though the wind chill is barely above zero here today, the sun had me feeling cheerful. (Except when a break up song came on…I’m apparently in the “every song is about him ” phase.)

    Joe: You don’t have to be doing anything “worthwhile” here to be welcome here. You know that though. Hope to see you around when you feel like it. *hugs*

  203. 203
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Ahem. My brother and I ate our entire breakfasts, not just half. *All hail Tpyos!*

    I’d talk about how yummy the breakfast was but then I’d start whining about being hungry again, ha. Anyhow, the place was tiny, about ten tables, and it’s an adorable little coffee shop. My brother does HVAC work for them so he has become a regular. It’s a really personal little place.

  204. 204
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    I’ve had a rough few days.

    Mostly thanks to Steubenville (and the surrounding bullshit, like CNN going on and on about how the rapists’ lives were ruined, and not giving much thought or voice (if any) to the lifetime of consequences their victim is gonna hafta deal with.)

    And people’s reactions. So. Not. Helping.

    It’s pretty well been a week of triggers, and, you know, I knew about Rape Culture. I knew it existed. I had some idea that it was a Bad Thing.


    Now I see that I’m fucking marinating in it.

    And I find it disturbing, scary, and WRONG.

    So, yeah, pretty much going, “I don’t want to live on this planet any more.”

  205. 205
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    PSG & Portia, thanks a bunch.

    It turns out that I don’t have a lot of “spoons,” and I’ve been arguing/fighting some online lately. I’ve been hiding in the Lounge so much, those emotional muscles are weaker than I remember them being.

  206. 206
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    *mild trigger warning*

    I’m sorry it’s hitting you hard. I know it sometimes comes as a shock to me. I feel inundated sometimes and just have to take a break. Especially when there’s some situation similar to mine that is being dissected or doubted or denied. (Which is statistically pretty likely…intimate partner and whatnot).
    *hot tea* and *other soothing items*


    Joe: I don’t see you hiding at all! You are so often out there chewing up the rape apologists and other jerkbags. That is, the not-often times that I have time to venture into other threads. You seem to always be out there fighting the good fight. Not that I would offer you any less support if that weren’t the case, but still: give yourself credit.

    Don’t spend spoons you don’t have. You, just like everyone else, are not obligated or even encouraged to run yourself emotionally ragged fighting any fight.

    Take good care of yourself.

  207. 207
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ah, work is…hmmm…at times frustrating and exciting. My biggest gripe is that the ladies who own the company know *nothing* about operating and running a bar (for that matter, it’s not like I do either). They both have been in the business side of operating/owning a restaurant, but the other locations only serve bottled beer and wine. Mine is full bar. On Pensacola Beach. It is a vastly different entity.
    But they want to continue runnig things like their other stores. Their lack of experience with running a bar that exists as part of the restsursnt shows: the bar is tucked away in the back and we had to do some wrangling to get them to accept necessities such as a Happy Hour. They feel that the food should be the main focus. We only have a bar because it was part of the structure. It is maddening because if they invested a bit more care into the bar, cultivating it, they could have an even bigger success than their prior stores. The amount of exposure our restaurant willvhave by summers end will be significant given how popular Pensacola Beach is for tourists. People travelfrom all across the country to come to these beaches. Hell, for the huge gay celebration on Memorial Day Weekend-on the beach-the city gets an influx of people exceeding 100K over a period of five days…from across the globe.
    Thankfully, the franchise owner has more experience with bars so I believe once we have been open long enough, he may push for some changes.
    Oh, I forgot, my other frustration is that the women in charge run things like a small scale mom n pop eatery. Instead of ordering much of their items in bulk from the appropriate places, they like to make WalMart runs 2 or 3 times a week. They also do not do applications. It is sit down/feel you out stuff. Then theres the fact that they want their place to retain the family feel…which is great in an appropriate location. We are on the beach. We have a bar. Maximize your potential. Then theres the fact that they have no proper training guides. Our GM, first assistant, myself and most of the staff were hired no having any experience with the food. The servers know squat about alcohol in general…argh!
    I like the structure of having guidelines, policies, training manuals, etc.

    Thankfully despite my inexperience, the company our franchise holder owns has informed us that if we need anything to ask. The Beverage Director for the company (there are like 5 or 6 businesses this company owns, in addition to the massive resort on the beach) who years of experience running snd operating bars has told me to call him for anything, anytime. In fact, he has told me I do not call him enough!

    It all sounds negative I know, but dammit I not only want the place to succeed, I need it to. Anyway, I am heading to bed soon. I have go learn how to code liquor invoices into Excel tomorrow morning. Did I mention my peeve about lack of training…?

  208. 208
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    It sounds like there’s lots of room for improvement. The “trips to Wal*Mart” thing is particularly baffling to me…sounds like a huge, awful hassle! As for the bar, in all my time in the food service industry I mostly worked in bars with kitchens and restaurants with full bars. (It’s a fine line, amirite?) The alcohol is where the profit margin is. Some places barely break even on their food and bank on the booze. It’s just how it is. People will pay $35 for a bottle of wine that is $9 at the grocery store if you open it and pour it for them. If you have a full bar and a liquor license, you’re a fool to not make that a big frikkin deal.

    I’m glad they have someone like you who is concerned with making things work efficiently and successfully. And who works so hard! Rest well, good to catch you for a minute :)

  209. 209
    chigau (違う)

    I’m not caught up but I need to say that it is Spring™.
    I am not shoveling any more snow.
    fuck you snowfall warning

  210. 210
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey Tony, sorry your work is rough, but it is great that you’re emotionally invested and seem to have enough support to make a real go at it.

    Portia, I’m good… maybe that’s the problem? I’m feeling better than I have in awhile.

    ****trigger warning****

    I’ve got major depression, and I’ve always heard that one of the real risks with depression is when someone comes part of the way out of the depression, because their lives aren’t really any better but now they have the energy to self-harm. That’s sort of what I’m feeling right now. Things had been so bad for so long, and I went through some horrible stuff and neglected my health and on and on… and now that I’m feeling a little bit better, I’m faced with the added depression-triggering feeling of being broken and useless. It is one thing to feel too tired to go for a walk, and a whole other think to be willing to walk and feel like you’re going to die ten minutes in.

    Same goes for online arguing, even though there’s no argument, I’m right and I’m fighting for my friends. It just wears me out in a way that it never used to, and I’m so bothered by that fact. I could argue more, fight harder… or have another drink and sleep for 12 hours. Dammit, I used to be stronger than this.

  211. 211
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)


    *shakes fist with chigau*
    Last year on the first day of spring, it was 81°F here.
    This year, it was 18°F here.

    (What climate change?)


    That reminds me, ‘nother cute kid story.
    Me: Can you count those for me?
    3 y/o nephew: One…two…elebenteen.

  212. 212
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Hail Tpyos! I just read it phenotically and then wondered if maybe he was a half brother or something. Ha! The tea party sounds fun, as does “ReadyornothereIcome!” which I imagine is something like the letter “LMNOP” :)
    But did they clean your kitchen when they were done? Then at least you would have a clean kitchen, if nonfunctional. Otherwise, well that’s just a damn shame.
    *scritches* also exchangable for *hugs* or the soothing beverage of your choice. We’re all simmering in it. I recommend the links David posted upthread if you need a happy or two.
    Improbable Joe
    I know for me, the more I opened my eyes to the pain and injustice in the world, the harder it was to be a Dudebro Philosopher about it. Even when it wasn’t about me I took those wrongs differently, they affected me in a way they never had before – not that they became expressly personal, but they became much more real in a very personal way. I strengthened a different emotional muscle (as someone said a few days ago – that’s called *empathy*) and that left me more emotionally vunerable for a while.

  213. 213
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Argh! Squared!

    I cranked the oven on too high and crispified my homemade pepperoni pizza (on a soft tortilla rather than true pizza crust). Ah well, it is still edible.
    What Portia said. You dont have to bring something special or worthwhile to be here. Well other than yourself, when you feel up to it. Take care of yourself buddy.
    Aaaaand because I forgot to do this earlier:
    welcome to the Lounge Millicent!.

    So many hugs. Enough to fill a warehouse. Soft hugs.
    Please take care of yourself.

  214. 214
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Recognizing what’s troubling you is a huge positive indicator, I think. I don’t know as much about the ins and outs of the way depression behaves, but I know for myself that knowing what’s going on with me is often a help, even if it doesn’t alleviate anything.

    If all I can do is listen, I will totally do that.

    You never have to be “strong”. You just have to take care of yourself and not hurt anybody else. And since you’re doing fine with the second, you just have to see to the first.


    Thanks for reminding me, Tony.

    Welcome, Millicent!

  215. 215
    chigau (違う)

    Elebenteen is a dam’ fine number!1111!!11

  216. 216
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Elebenteen is a dam’ fine number!1111!!11

    I’m cracking up. :D

    Tony: Sounds yummy, I prefer everything crispified. :) Your pizza is a good idea. I think I’ll put supplies for that on my shopping list.

  217. 217
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    …“ReadyornothereIcome!” which I imagine is something like the letter “LMNOP” :D:D Just about!

  218. 218
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    When I start failing at html and making tpyso it means I’m pretty tired, usually. Doesn’t mean you’ll get no more comments from me tonight, just means you’ll have to tolerate un=pretty ones :)

  219. 219
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Elebenteen is a dam’ fine number!1111!!11

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  220. 220
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Preparing pizza this way has a few benefits.
    1- You can eat the whole thing and not consume 1500 empty calories before bed.
    2- it take no time to fix. I put turkey pepperoni and mozzarella cheese on top. Had I stopped it at 10 minutes, rather than 15, it would have been perfect. A relatively light meal, low in calories that takes little prep/cook time?!
    3- it is relatively low cost

  221. 221
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I know I’m too tired when I try to convince you folks to pay attention to guitar stuff… which I almost did. I’m going to back away from it, except to say that a lot of it is/should be interesting to most of you, because you all of you love music and I’ll bet a lot of you love geeky tech stuff, and there’s a lot of cool audio stuff that’s happening that’s the sonic equivalent of the 3D CGI movie stuff.

    Also, I want to buy a new amplifier.

    The two things are totally related/not related, depending on whether you’re related/not related to my wife. *smiles sadly*

  222. 222
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    Do you have a Publix nearby? Because when I lived in FL the local Publix had fresh pizza dough that you could cut sections off of, let the sections hit room temp and rise individually, and have 2-3 days of fresh crusts and rolls and garlic knots.

  223. 223
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Tony: noted, thanks :)

    Joe: extra hugs

    I feel like I just got hit with a ton of sleepy-bricks. Good night y’all.

  224. 224
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Goodnight Portia, **hugs back** and I’m sorry I knocked you unconscious by mentioning guitar stuff. My wife similarly loses consciousness the same way on a regular basis.

  225. 225
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Do I really have the worst, dumbest, most boring hobby ever?

  226. 226
    chigau (違う)

    ell-leh-meno-pee was the oddest letter in the alphabet, as I recall.

  227. 227
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    You can take credit for the Tylenol PM if you want, but…

    I don’t think your hobby is boring. Of course, nobody else’s hobbies are ever as interesting as one’s own. :) I have never been good with technical knowledge like guitar-know-how but I think that your knowledge and skill are impressive. :)

    and now, I’m crash.

    but not because I made clumsy reference to guitar-knowledge:)

  228. 228
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    The bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar speaks guitar? But only when exhausted? [/teasing]
    The last interesting thing I heard related to music was when a musician on The Daily Show (I think it was Pete Townshend) was talking about how mp3 totally do horrible things to the quality of sound and music which I thought was utterly fascinating but he didn’t explain it in much detail and I was kind of bummed out about that because I wanted to know *why* – probably to have some rationalization for why I still buy CDs rather than downloading mp3s but that’s a whole ‘nother tale…

  229. 229
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Portia, just go to bed. I’m sure tomorrow you’ll have to put out a fire and then sue someone for piss-poor wiring. You know, interesting stuff. :)

  230. 230
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    OOOH!!! I can explain this one!!! Why MP3s are terrible for music? I am all over this one.

    OK. I want you to think about watching movies at home. Once, a long time ago, all you had was broadcast TV. It is basically a radio signal carrying picture too, terribly not high-fidelity. Then you had the VHS/Beta/laser disc era, trying to give a better picture into a box that was still mostly designed for broadcast TV. Then DVD came around, and TVs trying to keep up with DVD, and then HD-DVD and Blu-ray and computer monitors and video cards that produce even higher resolution, and now all the forms of transmitting and displaying video images are banging up against the upper limits of human perception.

    Audio? Especially audio for listening to music? Audio has mostly gone in the opposite direction. From vinyl to cassette/8-Track to CD to MP-3 to iTunes, it has mostly been a process of compression. Of shrinking to audio signal to the smallest possible components that don’t sound like bricks banging against each other. Video has been about cramming as much information into a storage unit, and making the storage units as big as possible. Audio has been about using the smallest amount of information in order to make it fit on the smallest storage unit possible. So video has been seeing the benefit of technology, and audio has suffered.

    I’ve tested this out myself. I have really good THX computer speakers, and pretty good surround speakers hooked up to my Blu-ray player. I’ve compared live concert CDs to live concert Blu-rays. The sound they add to Blu-ray discs is amazing. CDs are mediocre at best, by comparison.

    …OK, you’re right. Even I’m bored now. *shrugs*

  231. 231
    WMDKitty -- Survivor


    Okay, it’s really dry subject matter, but your explanation makes sense.

  232. 232
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Improbable Joe
    I laughed… a lot. You have a really great way of putting things, like this:

    Of shrinking to audio signal to the smallest possible components that don’t sound like bricks banging against each other.

    Having actually banged brick together in my lifetime, that produced some serious amusement. Horrible sound that is.
    But that makes perfect sense. And absolutely no sense at all. If I have a 32MB IPod Nano (I don’t), why can’t we make music files bigger so the song sounds good? For realz?
    Is the stuff they stream via internet radio (like Pandora) any better? I am not a music snob, more of an aficionado (of sorts), and I want my music to sound good for the sake of the FSM!!!

  233. 233
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    It would be easier and less dry to talk guitar stuff, really… since most of you own music, right?

    I know you listen to REAL music, so I could probably explain things in terms of things you know, since I’m always trying to dial in my rig to things I know. So like if I were to describe my three electric guitars, the Strat would be like the sort of cleaner Pink Floyd sounds like “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and I can get cool “Sultans of Swing” tones, and the Les Paul is totally 70s and 80s riffs like AC-DC and Deep Purple and early Whitesnake, and the Schecter Hellraiser plays like the whole of Metallica’s Black Album, clean and dirty parts.

    And maybe the stuff I say sounds technical, but what I’m meaning is something more like “imagine the sound of this cool part of a song that you love” and then I’m saying “… and I can make that sound happen with my fingers.” How amazing is that?

  234. 234
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    You’ve got to remember that this is a progression, and that 5-6 years ago lots of people were still on dial-up, and that “high-speed internet” was usually slower than what your cell phone does today. So all the streaming stuff is designed for the widest possible audience, which means the worst quality possible.

    If you try to rip a CD in Windows Media Player’s “lossless” format, the size of the file is huge compared to MP3, and streaming is something usually lower than MP3. For stuff you actually care about, it is worth buying a disc and ripping it in the best format your operating system will support.

    BTW, and just for reference? My guitar amplifier is not only analog, it runs on vacuum tubes. Old School FTW!

  235. 235
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Anyways… anyone wanna know how the potato chips turned out?

  236. 236
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Yeah, how’d the crisps turn out?

  237. 237

    @Jafafa Hots
    Wrestle with WordPress? Ah, you mean the .org thing
    Have you considered using WordPress.com? The hardest thing is to come up with a name that’s easy, but not taken. The rest is a breeze. Comments are integrated, you even get notifications here on FTB if you’ve activated the WP bar.

  238. 238

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that putting the dishes in the washing machine on the program that doesn’t actually wash them, instead of washing manually, doesn’t count. *sigh* Because my favourite thing to do in the morning is dishes.
    Improbable Joe
    I want to hear more about amp progress. Also, day before yesterday, I saw a Jaguar, and guess what colour it was? Yep, the colour of your amp! Something very distinctive about that shade of deep green.
    Yay for a good trip, cute kids, excellent food and awesome siblings!
    Good mornings to the rest of you lot.

  239. 239
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    re: Blogging

    I’m on Blogspot, my url is… unwieldy, yes, but it has Deep Meaning for me.

    I really ought to get back into the blogging, if only for therapeutic reasons — it provides a way for me to talk about my life, and the shit that goes on in my head, and — since much of my family is on FB — it gives my family an eye into my life without giving me the third fucking degree. I’m not a talker. I’m really not. Okay, there are some topics I can go on and on (and on!) about at great length, and I’m happy to share my knowledge, but for the most part? I’m not a talk-y type of person.

    My family — both adoptive and biological — is full of TALKERS. And they keep trying to pull me out of my “shell”.

    Nuh-uh. I’ll fucking talk if and when I feel like it, or if I need to obtain or convey information. “Small talk” makes me anxious because I never know what to say, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing, and there are some things I know they disapprove of and kinda have to keep below the radar (like, oh, smoking pot), and I just try really hard to keep things mellow because Dad is scary when he’s upset. Not, like, physically-threatening-scary or even intimidating in the slightest, just… LOUD-scary. (And that isn’t helped by (or helping) my PTSD.)

    It’s easier for me to articulate myself in writing. I don’t know why. But it works for me. I’m, like, a genius with words, but I can’t fucking string together polite conversation.

  240. 240
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning

    Steubenville Rapist to appeal because “His brain isn’t fully developed yet”

    Duh, that’s why he was tried in juvenile court. That’s the whole fucking idea behind juvenile court.


    Oh, we absolutely teach them the opposite. Look at the way children are handled, and I mean that in the physical sense of “handled”. You pick them up when you want to, or hold their hand when you want to, not when they want you to (although sometimes that’s necessary, like in traffic).

    That’s one of the more complicated areas where I find it fucking difficult to walk the line.
    It is easy with the “good touch”. Those are invited and offered. And if they say “no” I have to take it like a fucking adult. And by now they’re old enough so we can play games like trying to “eat you up”. They can distinguish between a teasing “no” and a real “no”. They have to be polite and say “hello” and “goodbye”, but never ever do they have to kiss. I hated kissing my great-aunts of which I had a damned lot. And when one of them wants be caress the other buth the other one doesn’t they are told to respect that.
    It becomes more difficult with the “necessary touch.” Often you don’t have much choice. They cannot run wild next to the main road. And I cannot just leave a stubborn 3yo who refues to move forward at the side of the road while her sister has wandered off already and when actually we’re running late already.
    And then there’s medical treatment. They cannot choose whether they take their medicine or not, they take it. End of story. But if they understood why this is not a point we can talk about it wouldn’t be necessary to force them to take it.
    Breaks my heart every. single. time.
    But it gets better.
    I currently have to give #1 eye drops and although it takes a while we manage with her not covering her eyes with her hands (and therefore nobody havning to hold her hands) and her not shutting her eyes as hard as she can (and therefore me having to force them open).
    I think that our respect for theit bodily autonomy in general makes them understand easier that we will not insist on something just because we’re bigger than them.

    And I don’t think I’m completely out of the ordinary.

    Well, we’ve been raised that way. We’ve been hit over the head with the “if you don’t kiss mummy you don’t love her” as children. So it’s just normal that we feel rejected when our children don’t want to kiss us. But I’ve also noticed how much more children love you when you respect their boundaries.
    I don’t think my friend’s middle-child will ever give me a kiss. But you can hear the enthusiasm in his voice when finally somebody gives him the chance to say “NOOOO!”

    hugs to Joe

    And now I’ll take a shower.
    And then I’ll go shopping, hopefully the last grocery-shopping in Germany before the holiday. And then I’ll hopefully get the last small feedback on that fucking paper and then the damn printer can show it’s worth. Yes, I managed to produce a 50 page term-paper, but 20 pages are the appendix

  241. 241
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well, and since we’ve been talking about kids and snuggling:
    Bunnylove (Cute overload)

  242. 242
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Yes, how did those chips turn out…?

  243. 243
    Jafafa Hots

    Warning, rant.

    Re: WordPress, blogger, etc.
    I used to use blogger, hated it. Hated it. hated it.

    Hated it. Nothing ever worked the way it was supposed to. Their photo implementation SUCKS, so I had to hand edit the code for every single post. And when I posted my tunes, I’d find that they’d broken something every month or so so I had to keep changing the code, or upload my tunes to a different server space and then reedit the old posts…

    That’s why I switched to tumblr. I want to blog a photo or two with text and have it not look like shit, and not have all kinds of trouble getting the photo to be where I want it to be. Especially since they’ll tend to be odd dimensions.
    Tumbler was a pain to get the way I liked it, and never totally worked right, and the lack of a decent comments system sucked, but I did get a look I liked, it was easier to just BLOG once you got it set… though it never was quite right.

    WordPress’ freebie site turned me off within a day or two of playing with it.

    There’s really no reason that a blogging service can’t be set up where you NEVER have to look at code.
    Tumbler is almost like that unless you want a real comment system,, and it’s no good if you want people other than tumblr people to ever find your posts.

    I just want photo on the right, the size *I* want, linked to larger size… text flowing to the left, the ability to add more than one photo, etc., and whatever the modern, better equivalent of a tag cloud is.

    If iGoogle was able to let you drag things around how you liked (but of course they’re abandoning it) there’s no reason a blogging site shouldn’t be able to be created where you can drag stuff around to design your layout, or even each individual post.

    It’s even worse these days because every company on the web has decided they don’t want to play nicely with each other anymore, deliberately blocking access to and from each other.

    I used to love playing with techy stuff, building my own PCs, etc.
    Hate it now. Despise it. No longer willing to spend days just trying to be able to get to post a photo, text, comments and a topic list on the interweb, with constant maintenance and bugs cropping up.

    And I don’t want my only way around doing all of that to be forced into using someone else’s way of thinking how I should be able to do it, or someone’s walled garden or Pinterest BS or whatever.

    I’m not a writer. I want a photo/art blog but with decent text ability. I want to be able to create a non-crappy background.
    I don’t want Blogger theme number 3, site number 305,825.
    I either want CSS to work the way it’s supposed to, or no CSS at all. Not this “it usually works this way except when it doesn’t” CSS.

    Sorry for the rant.

  244. 244
    Jafafa Hots

    (and no freaking border around the photo! Blogger always did that and I had to edit it out for every one. Am I the only person who thinks borders around photos look like shit?)

  245. 245
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @mildlymagnificent, I refuse to apologise for the Lean Cuisines when I don’t even have the energy to take a shower. So there.

  246. 246

    Tonight on the way home I swerved to miss a pobblebonk crossing the road.

  247. 247
    Jafafa Hots

    By the way, is it just me, or are more and more Pharyngula commenters exclusively to be found on Twitter now, like Josh or Jafafa Hots for example?

    While I was pretty active on Twitter months ago, I actually hadn’t used it for months until maybe a week or so ago. Mostly I’ve been commenting a little at Ophelia Benson’s blog and a little at a few other FTBers. Not Pharyngula much for a while, for various reasons.
    And slacking off on the others lately too.

    Most of my online ranting has been at non FTB blogs and various newsplace comments sections… and masochistically I’ve been spending too much time butting heads at the sickeningly horrible Huffington Post – which is just one step above fighting in YouTube comments.

    And spending a lot of time not getting out of bed… trying my damnedest to sleep 32 hours a day.

    Recent med problems have just made me a bit hyper the last couple of weeks which is why despite not wanting to, I’m actually doing a few things here and there.
    And why I’m filling this lounge thread with useless bullshit.

    I’m actually not liking the internet much lately, and apart from wanting to post result of my pointless but obsessive historical research, I’ve daydreamed of cutting the cord and saving my money for burritos.

  248. 248
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Ah Joe, you know that I for one am always up for a little guitar talk. Hell, I’ve even been dabbling with my eight track digital recorder lately. I also am nerving myself up to contact my old band mate who has my big box of guitar effects. We parted on poor terms and I haven’t talked to him since I moved to Australia. I hate that I’m only seriously considering getting in touch because I want my stuff, not that he’s a bad person or anything, it’s just awkward.

    We had been the best of friends, my only real friend in any of the bands I played in. But he was, and is, a heavy drinker and as time wore on I couldn’t deal with it. I had quit drinking entirely for a few years in my 20′s when it looked like I was heading the same way as my dad. By the time I met him I would have a few, but never too much, and as I got older being drunk got less and less interesting. And so too did being around drunk people.

    I finally told him that I would be glad to do stuff with him but only if it didn’t involve drinking. We stopped hanging out at that point except at band rehearsals. As I said, he’s not a bad person but his life choices triggered me more and more as time went on. Bah, why the hell is life so complicated?

    Anyway, I have a custom built (by me unfortunately) switching system for stomp boxes and no boxes to hook up to it, and a crippling sense of guilt that’s preventing me from getting those boxes back.

    Er, I’m not sure how that turned into a poor me rant.

    What I want back:

    Digital delay with a tappable rate input
    Big Muff
    Boss two stage distortion pedal
    optional: phazer/flanger

    I’ve still got my Crybaby wah for some reason, and my volume pedal, with those others and my Jazz Chorus amp I can make my guitar sound like any damn thing.

  249. 249
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    I am looking for – or looking to create in my spare time – a zombie apocalypse tabletop RPG. I don’t know with whom I’ll play, nor when I’ll have time to play it, but I want to find something like that. I’m thinking a game in the vein of Left 4 Dead.

  250. 250
    Jafafa Hots

    I don’t play guitar, but one of my hobby kinds things (until I moved into a house with no grounding) was making videos of old instrument promo discs and flexies and uploading them to youtube.
    Not too many guitar ones so far, a Les Paul, and one for the Godley & Creme gizmotron… mostly synths though. I do have some funny 1960s fuzz wah pedal demo discs to do, and ton of others. I was surprised at how much people like this stuff… my videos passed 500,000 views this month.

  251. 251
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Cutting and pasting from the “Do you deny that rape culture exists?” because I’m tired and should be in bed.

    How I feel about children and bodily autonomy:

    Do I deny that rape culture exists? Fuck no.

    I see rape culture everyday, or at least the tiny, oh so excusable, oh so dismissible, oh so deniable beginnings of it anyway.

    My daughter is five, she started school this year. I pay attention, close attention, to how she interacts with her peers. It fascinates me, the behaviour of youngsters, because I never had anything to do with them until she was born. And I’ve noticed something that occurs almost every time there’s a group of preppies together that scares the shit out of me.

    Inevitably there’s a couple of kids getting really rambunctious. Sometimes that exuberance is expressed by running and yelling and no one is involved but the child doing it. But sometimes they want others to join them, they follow other kids and won’t leave them alone. They tickle, or tease, or shout the rules to the game, or any manner of things, and won’t stop no matter what the target says or does.

    This is not rape culture, this is kids being kids and not understanding boundaries.

    What is rape culture, is the unwillingness of the supervising adults to put a stop to it. Sure, if there’s punching or pushing someone will step in, or if the target gets to the point of tears. But here’s the thing: the first ‘No’ should be enough.

    How can we expect our children to understand bodily autonomy, consent and meaningful boundaries when we set the bar at violence and tears? And to be clear, it is almost always the boys who are doing this, the girls get pulled up a lot sooner, get told to play nice a lot more forcefully.

    So yeah, I don’t deny rape culture exists.

    It starts long before sex even exists as a concept in their minds.

    It starts when we fail to teach the very young to respect that first ‘No’.

    It starts with us.

  252. 252
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Oh dear Jafafa, I’m not sure you should have told me that. I have enough time wasters as it is… :)

  253. 253

    Clean kitchen? Yup. All the rubbish neatly bagged, surfaces all dusted down, vacuumed up some stuff.

    But they’ll be back tomorrow for lots (lots) of fiddly finishing stuff and I fully expect the place to be spotless when they go.

    I’ve given up on the shower for the time being. I’ve been pretending I’m at boarding school/ holiday camp in really cold weather and having a basin bath for the last little while. I’m usually a bit nervous about showering on my own, especially when I’m tired and/or a bit lightheaded – but mr’s been out of the house for nearly 5 weeks now. Aaaand, the cold water tap is completely unreliable so I’m now too scared to have a shower at all for fear of being scalded if the cold tap spontaneously turns itself off *and* it’s parts sproing all over the place in response to the merest flick from the corner of a facewasher leaving hot water only coming from the shower head. New bathroom taps tomorrow, so that’ll be all good so long as I don’t get too tired. (What are the chances. Did the round trip to and from the rehab place tonight, 85 kms, peak hour the first half, late night shopping traffic the other half.)

  254. 254

    Jafafa Hots
    Borders around pictures look like shit. I definitely agree. On rare occasions, if done right, it can add something, but I despise the standard options usually offered. I prefer my pictures without, though.
    If I had a blog, my pictures would have no border.

  255. 255
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Dramatic house. We’ve been told to expect big things tomorrow and today’s (very, very welcome) rainy weather suited this bit of portentous foreshadowing.

  256. 256
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Hmmm, have you made a donation to Jpegs Without Borders? I hear they’re a fine organisation.

  257. 257
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So much for Don’t feed the troll
    Linky in German
    Short version: hater leaves “you bastard should shoot yourself” message on a goalkeeper’s FB page. Goalkeeper leaves it up, people dogpile on the asshole, asshole writes letter of apology.

  258. 258
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    this, is just so so stupid

    Hasn’t this argument been beaten past the point of deceased equine levels?

  259. 259
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Rev. BDC

    Hasn’t this argument been beaten past the point of deceased equine levels?

    If they believed in evolution they’d be beating the fossilized remains of the horse-ancestors by now.

  260. 260
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Rev BDC:

    Well, at least the majority of the 3500+ comments seem to be against the OpEd.

  261. 261

    The house looks promising (at first I thought foreboding, but that’s pribably not what you want your House to be).
    Unfortunately the file sise at Jpeg Sans Frontieres is too large for my mobile device.
    And yes, I saw your post on the Do You Deny thread and agree wholeheartedly. The rationale os that’children need to learn to sort their own problems’, with which I also agree, but they’ll never learn properly if they aren’t given the right guidelines at the start. Including a basic idea of bodily autonomy.
    Hey, any progress on that co-musication project you mentioned a while back? Any new ideas?

  262. 262
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Neat house picture, FossilFishy!


    Re: kid’s autonomy. Ever since I realized the ways we often ignore it, I have started trying to change my habits. When niece or nephew or any other kid says “No” or “stop” when I’m tickling or playing or swinging them around, I do immediately. They usually look a little surprised.

  263. 263
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao


    That’s an excellent lesson. I wish more parents (like my dad) would do that.

    I hate being tickled. By anyone. It is one of those little things that bothers me so much. Every time when I was young, my dad would tickle me and I would tell him to stop but nope.

    It’s probably the one thing that bothered me most about when I was dating Jerkface. He wouldn’t stop tickling me when I asked.

  264. 264
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    I’m open to suggestions about music rq. I had that grand idea in a moment of energy and optimism and since have slide back a bit, hell, a lot if I’m honest, in both those things. I’ve forgotten who expressed interest, besides yourself that is. I think the most common response was wary interest with some kind of indication of a level of discomfort at the idea of creating/improvising material. I’m happy to write something and share the parts, but a collaborative thing was more my goal.

    Anyway, all that said, are there Latvian sea-shanties, and does the Latvian word for ‘squid’ rhyme with anything? :)

    Thanks Portia, I’m really hoping that tomorrow’s [looks at clock], er, today’s picture is going to look substantially different.

    [looks at clock again, suppresses a curse] Night all, I’ll check in tomorrow rq and have a think about musically endeavours in the meantime.

  265. 265

    (Hope this doesn’t embed)

    Star Trek – Into Darkness trailer

  266. 266

    Thanks for more welcomes. :)

    Improbable Joe, I am really, really, really curious about the chips.

    Good vibes to everyone who is suffering. Chronic pain is just the worst frelling thing ever.

  267. 267
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I had this curiosity in the back of my brain for a while about the differences between wordpress, blogger and tumblr. As someone who knows little about them, they appeared to all be variations of the same thing, with different window dressing.
    Your post shows I was somewhat right and wrong.

  268. 268
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    You guys‘all, it’s been three weeks since I was supposed to hear about the job. I has a sad. Guess I’ll go scouting for gossip as to whether they’ve filled it or are just dragging their asses about it. I know they filled a higher-level position with someone from the public defenders office (and I would love to work with her, given the opportunity) but I haven’t heard jack through official or unofficial channels about the entry-level one I applied for.

  269. 269
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Funniest exam question ever, slightly paraphrased: “Two students are doing data analysis using Mohr’s circle, independently. If one student has a 10% chance of calculating the angle correctly, and the other has a 15% chance, what is the chance that at least one will calculate the angle correctly?”

    (Professor Homen teaches Mechanics of Materials lab.)

    When I handed in my exam I pointed out the question and asked him “Bitter?” He chuckled. ^.^

  270. 270

    SC, if you read this could you shoot me an email thanks, I seem to have misplaced yours…

  271. 271

    AFAIK, Paleo is faddy and silly and based on incorrect premises, but the content is not too bad on the whole. More fruit & veg will do no-one any harm.

    No harm? You’re overlooking the danger it might contain peas.


    I need to say that it is Spring™.

    Northern Hemispherist!


    The mildly deranged penguin points out that shovelling snow is silly. It’s hard work, irritates the snow (so more falls, shovel again, repeat ad infinitum), and is not penguin-friendly.

    She suggests hugging the snow instead.
    Or belly-flopping on it and sliding down the hill. (An ocean full of sushi so fresh it’s still swimming at the bottom is a useful landing pad. And does not contain peas.)

  272. 272
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    No harm? You’re overlooking the danger it might contain peas.

    Feel free to kick me for pointing out the obvious, but, um, there were no peas before The Fall. Peas only appeared after Adam and Eve fell for the Ultimate Practical Joke in the Garden of Eden. So a paleo diet would have no peas.

  273. 273
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    This , from Huffington Post, is great.

    The Westboro Baptist Church is about to get a big surprise in the form of a new neighbor who plans to give the notoriously anti-gay group a taste of its own medicine.

    Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Planting Peace, a multi-pronged charity that has in the past concentrated on rainforest conservation, opening orphanages and deworming programs, bought a house that sits directly across from the church’s compound six months ago. On Tuesday, March 19, he and a team of volunteers are painting it to match the gay pride flag.

  274. 274

    @ Jafafa Hots
    I won’t say WP doesn’t have downsides, but it’s definitely easy, and you can post without seeing html.
    There are lots of ready made designs that aren’t bad for photos, see here:
    1, 2, 3. You can customise background and header in most themes, or you can take the sandbox and write your own CSS. Nothing is perfect, of course…
    (Hope the links come out OK, preview shows them as about 32pt and not in line?!)

  275. 275

    Women in science: know your limits!:

    The recent ‘revelation’ that a popular science Facebook site is the work of a woman prompted a number of sexist comments, which were in turn met by serious criticisms. But if you ignore the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it’s true that women just aren’t as good at science

    As a man, I of course have an innate understanding of science. As a bespectacled man who started going bald when he was 17 years old, this is even truer for me than most. I was often allowed to skip science exams at GCSE and A-Level. The teachers would usually take one look at me, correctly assume that I already knew more than enough to pass, and save my time and theirs by letting me avoid a clearly unnecessary assessment.

    Sadly, it’s an undeniable fact that the same cannot be said of women. It’s nobody’s fault, but it’s not something that should be ignored any longer. …

    As a scientist I know it’s important to provide evidence for controversial claims, and sadly it’s all around us. People often fear and mistrust what they don’t understand, and teenage girls have an inherent fear and mistrust of science, as evidenced by the fact that, despite my being the best at science in school, none of the girls there showed even the slightest interest in dating me. They were clearly frightened and intimidated by my science prowess. What other logical explanation is there?

    My own wife says she went to an all-girl school that was the first in the UK to teach girls maths, as there was a fear at the time that women’s brains would overheat if they tried it. But this is a very real concern. If I even mention to my wife that it may be the actual truth, she gets very red and angry and I have to sleep on the couch for a week. If that’s not indicative of an overheated brain, then I don’t know what is. Trust me on this, I’m a male neuroscientist.

    There’s also the belief that women’s menstrual cycles, whatever they are, can be affected by the moon. That’s the actual moon, influencing things on Earth. How unscientific can you get? …

    In conclusion, for anyone who still thinks this is a serious piece, if you’re a man who claims to “fucking love” science but are shocked to find out that women may feel the same, please go away and look up what “science” actually is, then come back and start again, as you’ve clearly gone wrong somewhere.

    Dean Burnett [the author] isn’t acually a massive sexist and admits that this blog is inspired by a classic Harry Enfield sketch …

    The people around me were wondering what I was giggling about 
    (No mention of the real problem, however: Cooties!)

  276. 276


    Feel free to kick me for pointing out the obvious, but, um, there were no peas before The Fall. Peas only appeared after Adam and Eve fell for the Ultimate Practical Joke in the Garden of Eden. So a paleo diet would have no peas.

    And indeed, peas (and all other legumes) are disallowed in the paleo diet. For reasons. I think there was some scienterric explanation for why they are bad!, but I’m pretty sure the main reason was “because.” Science!

    Portia, I hope it is an ass-dragging situation, and I hope you hear good news soon.

  277. 277
    David Marjanović


    Near the end of the previous page of the [Thunderdome], there’s a creationist! :-) :-) :-)

    I wonder if she’ll ever come back.

  278. 278


    Well, I had to do that at some point. :)

  279. 279
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    Chips turned out good, a little darker brown than expected but otherwise crispy and not greasy at all. The lime jalapeno seasoning was pretty awesome, and I had some weird leftovers that I turned into dip for the chips.

    FossilFishy, let’s talk about Crybabys… *grins* I don’t really know how to use wah, but I picked up a Crybaby From Hell a few years ago in a trade so there it sits on my board.

    You’ve got to get your pedals back! What did you build, some sort of true bypass switch or something? Better have your wah in that, if you know what’s good for you. I think my board is pretty much done. Lots of TC Electronic Toneprint pedals on my board, so when my board gets bored I can zap a new preset into it with my iPhone, or use the “will be released any day” editor software and program up all new delay, reverb, and chorus settings.

  280. 280
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Just dropping in to say hi. I might actually say something later if I have the energy. Depression sucks.

  281. 281
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Depression sucks.

    Aye, that it does.

  282. 282
  283. 283
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    *hugs* for Dalillama

  284. 284
    The Mellow Monkey

    Re: bodily autonomy with kids.

    This really is a huge problem, and a start of inflicting toxic ideas on kids pretty much from birth. One thing that really sticks out to me is how in popular culture, we often see portrayals of little boys being disgusted by having physical affection towards adults forced on them (“give auntie a kiss!” “blech!”) and this is portrayed as an endearing, masculine trait. While docilely accepting physical affection and doling it out on demand is portrayed as an endearing, feminine trait.

    At an absurdly young age, we’re teaching kids that bodily autonomy = male and physically gratifying others = female. Sure, it’s not meant in a sinister way, but the lesson is still there in cartoons every day.

  285. 285

    I’m not here. I am still in the middle of the Great Big Long (and sadly Not Terribly Interesting) Work, so I’m not here, but:

    in no semblance of order:

    the biggest hugs that are acceptable to Dalillama and Cerberus, and to everyone who has had to deal with horrendous stuff either in RL or right here on some of the threads I’ve tried (with varying success) to catch a glimpse of from time to time (including, but by no means limited to, Ogvorbis, Pterryx and Caine).

    Happy (but very small) virtual hugs to DarkBaby and Portia’s small relations and FossilFishy’s Little One and JAL’s Little One and Glodson’s daughter and indeed all the other junior and protoPharyngulites who are going around perpetrating teh cute (sometimes even without authorisation).

    Hugs and waves and lemon-and-ginger tea to everyone else, with good wishes – mainly on the employment and chronic pain fronts, but also just general hanging-in-there fronts including amp-building and the University of Monty Python.

    Yay for Eddie Izzard.

    Yay for young people leaving various assorted churches in droves, long may it continue (until there aren’t any droves left in them any more).

    Right, I’m heading back in. Interim deadline tomorrow.

  286. 286
    David Marjanović

    Oh, we absolutely teach them the opposite. Look at the way children are handled, and I mean that in the physical sense of “handled”. [...]

    So many good points!

    When little kids hit each other, more often than not the corrective action taken is to make the hitter touch the victim nicely, to teach them the concept of “nice touch” v. “bad touch”

    Huh. Never seen that.

    I’m not caught up but I need to say that it is Spring™.

    Not over here, nope. 15 cm of snow and counting!

    (Have we switched off the Gulf Stream for good? That wasn’t supposed to happen so soon.)

    Me: Can you count those for me?
    3 y/o nephew: One…two…elebenteen.

    It’s probably the one thing that bothered me most about when I was dating Jerkface. He wouldn’t stop tickling me when I asked.

    Christ, what an asshole!

    are there Latvian sea-shanties

    …For historical reasons, I’m sure they’re all German.

    Feel free to kick me for pointing out the obvious, but, um, there were no peas before The Fall. Peas only appeared after Adam and Eve fell for the Ultimate Practical Joke in the Garden of Eden. So a paleo diet would have no peas.

    + 1

    Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Planting Peace, a multi-pronged charity that has in the past concentrated on rainforest conservation, opening orphanages and deworming programs, bought a house that sits directly across from the church’s compound six months ago. On Tuesday, March 19, he and a team of volunteers are painting it to match the gay pride flag.

    Ha!!! B-)

    There’s also the belief that women’s menstrual cycles, whatever they are, can be affected by the moon. That’s the actual moon, influencing things on Earth. How unscientific can you get? …

    For fuck’s sake. The human menstrual cycle varies from 28 to 31 days among individuals – and that’s just humans; chimps have a longer one, rats go through the whole thing in just 11 days. It’s not the moon, it’s an imprecise coincidence.

    And the implication that, because the moon causes the tides by magic, it might also cause menstruation by magic… *steam*

  287. 287
    David Marjanović

    *hugs for Hekuni Cat and Dalillama and Pteryxx and Caine and Ogvorbis and Cerberus*

  288. 288
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy


    Anyway, all that said, are there Latvian sea-shanties

    I doubt very strongly that there are any that have survived, and there may well never have been any to start with. There are no Irish shanties, for instance, and never were. Even for those cultures that had shanty traditions, English (and Anglophone Colonial) ones are about all that survives. There are also quite a few French ones still around, but the Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch (the other major European sea powers) shanties are pretty much gone entirely.

    All Flesh Must Be Eaten is the usual go to for a zombie apocalypse RPG. I’ve never played, so I can’t say how good it is, but it comes highly recommended. Alternately, GURPS Lite is free, and some left4dead type zombie statistics can be found here. Hope that helps.

  289. 289

    @David Marjanović
    It’s annejones. You know, the one who made this blog and then never bothered to respond to the questions.

  290. 290
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Thanks Millicent.


    “We’re sorry to see you go! Let us know why you’re unsubscribing from the emails.”
    “Because libertarianism is solipsistic and sociopathic.”

  291. 291

    Excuse me, does anyone mind if I whine? Too bad, because I’m going to anyway.

    Patient 1 makes barely enough money from social security to pay his bills. S/he got behind one month when the weather was particularly bad and s/he had a big bill. S/he is now in a constant state of being threatened with having her/his electricity cut off because s/he can pay last month’s bill, but not this month’s so it’s constantly late.

    Patient 2 has been without insurance and therefore without the med that keeps him/her out of the hospital for a couple of months now. We found a patient assistance program that would pay for his/her med. Yay! Unfortunately, it still requires a co-pay. A co-pay of less than 10% of the price of the med, but still more than s/he can possibly afford.

    I’m very tempted to simply pay for patient 1′s electricity for last month and patient 2′s meds for a month or two until the insurance comes through. But I can’t do that for everyone and it would be discrimination to do it for these two patients and not for everyone.

    I think it’s time for me to run away and join the circus. Or move to Mars. Wasn’t someone trying to find people willing to spend the rest of their lives on Mars? I could go for that. At least there’d be no more issues about insurance…

  292. 292
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Er, that was the Federalist Society asking why I didn’t want their emails anymore.


    I’ll join you. I’m sorry it’s so stressful. At least they have a really caring person working with them.

  293. 293
    Lynna, OM

    Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has been live blogging the Senate Hearings on J.P. Morgan Chase and the “London Whale” episode. It’s fascinating stuff.

    Excerpts below:

    4:40:05 I almost choked when I heard this next thing: Waterhouse, in explaining how it was he didn’t pay attention to this explosive synthetic credit derivative portfolio, explains, “Given that it didn’t surface to our attention, we spent our time focusing on what we considered the higher-risk activities.”

    Higher risk? Like what? Were Chase executives juggling chainsaws in the hallways?

    Levin jumps on this. “You did not consider this to be a high-risk activity?”

    Waterhouse: “I did not.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to federal financial oversight! The chief examiner of one of America’s largest depository institutions — largest federally-insured depository institutions — has what is in essence a $100 billion hedge fund made up of insanely complicated exacta bets on inscrtuable synthetic credit derivatives, and he doesn’t think it’s high risk. …

    Waterhouse is killing me. This stuff is unbelievable. Levin asks him: is it true that, despite what you found out on April 6th, when you asked Chase about the SCp, they gave you “such reassuring answers” that you considered the matter closed on April 30th?

    Now, remember, the OCC has just found out that Chase has been systematically concealing what may be the world’s largest derivatives portfolio from them for years and years, and that this very portfolio had just exploded in billions of losses and Chase still hadn’t alerted the OCC to the problem, to the point where the disaster spilled into the newspapers before the OCC knew what the hell was going on. And yet the OCC’s response to all of this was to ask Chase what was going on with the SCP, and take the bank’s word for it when Chase swore up and down that everything was okay, man, nothing is fucked here …

    I wish ‘Tis Himself were here to add to this discussion.

    I especially like some of Taibbi’s “translations” of the testimony of J.P. Morgan personnel:

    Weiland’s answer here gets long-winded. Throughout the hearing, the longer the answers, the more the witnesses dissembled.

    “Because it wasn’t the business purpose it wasn’t what we were trying to achieve,” Weiland says. “Mr. Hagan had a misunderstanding as to what we were trying to achieve and was treating this regulatory capital exercise as a mathematical problem rather than understanding the actual rules in the process.”

    Translation: Hagan is just a math guy and didn’t know we’re not supposed to talk about fudging the law out loud.

  294. 294
    Lynna, OM

    Another excerpt from Matt Taibbi’s live blogging piece, one that works nicely as a summary:

    Repeat of link.

    What we find out from this hearing and from the research that spurred it into existence is that the accounting procedures at a bank like Chase, particularly with regard to derivatives, are closer to being an exercise in creative writing than real accounting. This giant mountain of a company is made up of a core of optimistic assumptions, almost kid-like fantasies, and in some cases, outright lies.

  295. 295

    I wish ‘Tis Himself were here to add to this discussion.

    He probably is. We just can’t be sure under what ‘nym these days.

  296. 296
    Lynna, OM

    In case you have been hearing news of the imminent financial downfall of Cyprus and wondering WTF, Paul Krugman explains the situation succinctly:

  297. 297
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m really looking forward to the culmination of nationalistic cock measuring tomorrow. *sigh*

    (football (soccer) game against Serbia)

  298. 298
    David Marjanović

    Sometimes papers are published by people with very fitting names. I’m right now reading a paper called Early Eocene frogs from Vastan Lignite Mine, Gujarat, India. Second author? Rajendra S. Rana. Rana happens to be Latin for “frog” and the name of the brown-frog genus.

    (football (soccer) game against Serbia)


    Did that really have to happen?

    Or to say it the way my dad would: Jao Božžžžže, Isuse, Hriste, Bogomater, pa zaaaaaaaaašto!?!?! (and so on for 5 minutes).

  299. 299
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    David, I will have you know that when I copypasta’d that into GTranslate, it pegged it as Dutch.

  300. 300
    David Marjanović

    Any hope they’ll gang up and just tear the referee to shreds together? …No? Didn’t think so. *sigh*

    I wish ‘Tis Himself were here to add to this discussion.

    You probably weren’t here when the scandal broke out. SGBM found out that all of ‘Tis Himself’s economical wisdom was plagiated. It was all copypasta from A to Z. He could simply have told us “well, that’s explained here and here and here” and added the links, but no, he decided to take credit for it all. *sigh*

  301. 301
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Smart man, your dad. Media has been pumping the atmosphere for days. I live near the stadium, so there is going to be a shitton of police around here. The kind with big guns, helmets and shields.
    And I’ll probably have to walk home, since the game is at 6. :/

    I hate nationalism and crowds at football games scare me.

  302. 302

    …but some say that late at night he haunts comment threads to this day, offering a few pithy and ambiguous sentences under the nym of a legendary seafarer…

  303. 303

    This wouldn’t help for everyone, but are the patients able to use the internet somewhere? They could apply to Modest Needs for a possible grant. I’ve been following and supporting it since it started – it’s a great resource for small, short term needs like that.

  304. 304
    David Marjanović

    David, I will have you know that when I copypasta’d that into GTranslate, it pegged it as Dutch.

    Awesome. Must be because I multiplied so many letters. Orthographically they’re all single…

    “O God, Jesus, Christ, Mother of God – gah – why?” Specifically Orthodox (Isus Hrist as opposed to Jezus Krist – post-Classical Greek as opposed to Latin) and therefore specifically Serbian. -e is the masculine vocative ending just like in Latin (it’s an old Indo-European feature).

  305. 305
    David Marjanović

    And I’ll probably have to walk home, since the game is at 6. :/


  306. 306
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Isus Krist – in Croatian
    Jezus Kristus – in Slovenian

  307. 307
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Is it time to again retell how the first words of Italian I learned were porco dio and porca madonna, from my grandfather?
    he wasn’t very fond of religion

  308. 308

    Carlie: Thank you so much! That’s perfect for this situation! I strongly suspect that they could both get grants-their needs are on the order of $100 each. If they don’t have internet access, we’ll get it for them.

  309. 309
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Thanks for the smile today, carlie and dianne :)
    Hope that all works out for your patients, dianne.

  310. 310
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Chas @302:
    Ha ha. Haunted Pharyngula?
    Damn. I am sorry about the depression. Whatever you do, remember this “it lies.”
    Good luck with the job hunt. Sorry nothing has come up yet. Pensaola is getting lovely this time of year if you are up for another long drive :)
    I got a jury summons set for 8 am March 25. A big part of me does not want to go. I have little faith in our justice system. I do not like the forced participation aspect of it either.
    OTOH, the opportunity (assuming I am even selected) could be worthwhile and the chance to expand my horizons is tempting.
    Also met another guy on Tuesday (he is visiting his brother-down from MN- who works for the same company I do, in fact he’s our IT guy). Took me some time to figure out he was expressing interest in me (I was working). Turns out he is going through a divorce and has not had intimacy with a guy for a while. He discussed being bisexual and facing crap from all sides. I noted it as one more aspect about him. I did mention the opinion I had years ago WRT bisexuals. I am sure many people here have heard the “xe is greedy”, “xe needs to make up hir mind” or “so tell me, really, which do you like better? –so called arguments. I was one of those. Once I accepted the spectrum of sexuality, those questions became meaningless to me and I saw how insulting they could be to others. We had a very engaging conversation beginning with chatting about sexuality.
    Turns out he majored in Psychology with a Sociology minor, he used to be a bigot, until he got educated, he is a Feminist, an atheist, and from comments I have made about my Humanism, he places great value on that belief system. We briefly discussed sex, where I casually talked about certain unique quirks I have and it turns out he has them too. It was great talking to someone openly about sexual activity without shsme, judgment, or deliberate vagueness. Also, he’s a former Marine with some world travelling under his belt.
    The funny thing is initially I didn’t feel terribly attracted to him. Not that I felt he was unattractive. Just that there was not much physically that caught my attention.
    After talking to him, and getting a feel for him, I find I am QUITE attracted to him.

    That is a new experience for me. It feels strange, but welcome.

    Now if only someone like this was a bit more local (J has decided to focus solely on the guy he was talking to already. Bummer, but his choice.)

    Oh, I mentioned the Deep Rifts in the community, and briefly talked about “guys dont do that” and the subsequent shitfest. His expression of surprise is something I want to chat about later if possible. I suspect that he, like others, expected atheists to be more enlightened about social justice issues.

  311. 311
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    What a great possible solution!

    Fingers crossed for your patients.

  312. 312
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    From rq:

    Latvian has all kinds of work shanties (by definition of shanty-as-work-song) and a few sea-shanties (or at least close enough for our needs). There’s the one about Miss Salmon marrying Mr Flounder, and a few traditional folk songs about silver boats and sailing with the wind and fishing nets and appeals to Mother Wind and the like. No, not too many are originally German, although I don’t doubt that a few are influenced. But we have our own songs from before all the occupations and crusades. ;)
    I’ll try to dig some potential material up once I have my semi-new computer back from the shop (new hard drive). And even working from sheet music or something would be a great start for me, I’ll gladly collaborate and add stuff and harmonize a bit, as long as mistakes are forgiven!
    Speaking of music, whatever happened to AJ Milne? it’s been a while…


    There’s a halo around the moon tonight. Pretty.


    Choir set off my Creep Radar tonight, which is a shame because otherwise it was an awesome rehearsal. Was chatting with one of the basses by the piano (he’s actually a friend with whom I interact quite a bit in choir) when one of the newer basses about 10 yrs older than me, without saying a word, came up behind me to reach around either side to get to the sheet music. You know, by default ending up pressed against me with his arms ‘around’ me. Not a safe place or respect of boundaries. I know I cross all kinds pd boundaries with Friend-Bass, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s welcome. No ‘excuse me’, nothing. I kind of froze up, threw out a couple of jokes while ignoring him, but I still feel a bit icky about it. At least next time if he tries something similar I’m going to try to unfreeze and say something impolite. *shudder*


    i hope the work is progressing well!

    *roundofhugs* for everyone, specially for Beatrice dealing with football fans, replaceable with gesture of affection of choice.
    Good nights from me, tomorrow night I’ll have my fixed computer back! Yay!

  313. 313
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    good night, rq!

  314. 314
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    And a little addendum that made me smile (with editing for the thread so it doesn’t embed):

    Also, caught this song on tv just now, thought of you:

    Hey Porsche by Nelly

    (feel free to post!) :)

  315. 315
    David Marjanović

    Interesting that Latvian does have sea shanties.

    On another note, a horrible one, sign this petition.

    Isus Krist – in Croatian

    Oh. Interesting. I extrapolated too much.

    Is it time to again retell how the first words of Italian I learned were porco dio and porca madonna, from my grandfather?


  316. 316
    Jafafa Hots

    Was contacted by a reporter from the NY Times asking about my having been booted off facebook for using this name. Looking into the whats and whys of when FaceBook cans your ass, and if they tell you (no…) and if not why not, etc.

    And he can’t get anyone from FaceBook to talk to him. How surprising.

  317. 317
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)


    Oh indeed, let’s talk about Crybabies. I’m not a fan of piercing highs (Tele begone!) so I bought the darkest they had. I can’t remember which model. I’m no good with it either. Part of the problem is that all it really is is a tone pot and the throw on the thing is so short that it’s hard to be subtle with it, well it is for me anyway. I mostly used it to slowly change the tone of my guitar over long periods, over the course of a whole verse for instance. Brighter tones can seem more urgent so using it like that helped build tension. Again, because of the short throw it wasn’t all that good at that. I’d love to have one that was as variable as an Ernie Ball volume pedal.

    My favorite use of a wah. Trigger warning for gothy angst.

    My switcher is a true bypass system based around electronic circuits designed by Craig Anderton from his book “Electronic Projects for Musicians”. I etched and soldered a bunch of those switches and mounted them in an old computer housing, the huge kind that used to sit horizontally on a desk. On top I wired in a bunch of sockets to plug my pedals into.

    The whole point* was to have two channels, one dirty and one dry, and to be able to switch between them or fade them into each other. That way I could control exactly how much effect I had and switch the order of the pedals on the fly. A fun thing to do was to have the clean channel thumping away with the digital delay and have the dirty one fully saturated with distortion. It sounded like two guitars.

    There’s been huge advances in this stuff since I made that thing. I know I could buy a pre-built rig that does all mine does, but hey, at least it’s unique.

    I’ll dig it out sometime soon and take some pics. It’ll be enough to make folks here who actually understand electronics weep and rage at the barbaric idiocy of my hack job. :)

    Having slept on it I think a way to go forward would be to butcher adapt a Latvian folk song. I like the sound of that song about the flounder and salmon, it would be fun to take that as a start and make some kind of hoardy tune out of it, especially if it’s in any way sexist.

    Can you point me in the direction of a recording or the sheet music? My idea is to take the melody and write new chords to it, or to take the chords and write a new melody in the finest tradition of medieval composition.

    *Actually that’s a lie. The whole point was to spend less time setting up and tearing down. Before I built it I had over 30 patch cables I had to set up each time we did a gig, it was a major hassle and I was forever trying to track down which cable was buggered.

  318. 318

    …The opposite of “dirty” is “dry” ? Fascinating. /noclue

  319. 319
    The Mellow Monkey


    Also met another guy on Tuesday …

    This story made me get such a big grin for you. Even though he’s not local, it sounds like it was a very nice interaction.

  320. 320
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Ditto what Mellow Monkey said :) So nice to find a kindred spirit, and fun to have an intellectual flirt-session!

    Jafafa Hots:
    Huh, interesting indeed. Facebook is so shady… /newstonoone

  321. 321
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I think this Malbec is past its prime. Ah well…it’s ok with spaghetti. : ) (Add molasses to your spaghetti sauce. You won’t regret it).

  322. 322
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Petryxx Er, I’m mixing my terms up a little. A sound signal which has not been altered is sometimes called dry. I’ve no idea why, and of course an effected one, one that’s been altered electronically somehow, is wet. You can also call the two signals clean and dirty. I mixed the two nomenclatures because, because…Ooooh look over there it’s a squid playing a banjo!…..[runs away]

  323. 323

    Hah! Thanks, FossilFishy, and if I never learn another thing about guitars or sound quality, I’ll always remember ‘dirty/clean’ and ‘wet/dry’.

  324. 324
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    No worries P.

    One of the things I’m curious about is why it is that most of the words we use to describe sound quality such as variations in timbre are pulled from other things. Complex sounds that have a lot of high frequency overtones are called bright, and ones that lack those highs are called dark. You can also call them sharp (as in piercing rather than out of tune) and dull. Why is it we have no specialized words for this sort of thing? Or is it a case of me not knowing them?

  325. 325

    Don’t look to me, I still can’t figure out sharps and flats. : #

    Where did the language for sound quality come from? Did it only arise once sound recording and sound processing became a thing, instead of part of craftwork and architecture in the eras of Stradivarius and cathedrals?

  326. 326
  327. 327
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Oh, now that’s an interesting question. I don’t know. We have plenty of old Italian, German and French terms for things like tempo and volume but I don’t know any sound quality ones. That said, there have to be older terms for that stuff. It’s not like musicians never thought about sound quality before the advent of recording. /argument from ignorance. Sigh, I really should have finished that music degree.

  328. 328
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    My favorite term for a musical sound is “crunchy”. It’s used to describe distorted electric guitars: “The lead guitar in the chorus sounds great, really crunchy.”

  329. 329

    dianne – if you want to email me at carliesinternet at the yahoo and let me know after applications go in, I can target them from my account. I’ve never done targeting before, but I think I know how – donors can’t directly say their contributions should go to a specific request, but they can “support” the request and the amount of support can factor into how high on the priority list the request goes for funding. I wouldn’t need names (the requests get anonymized), just enough of a description/keywords that I’d be able to find them.

  330. 330

    Well well:


    accent: emphasize, make a particular part more important
    accentato/accentuato: accented; with emphasis
    acceso: ignited, on fire
    acciaccato: broken down, crushed; the sounding of the notes of a chord not quite simultaneously, but from bottom to top.
    acciaccatura: crushing; i.e., a very fast grace note that is “crushed” against the note that follows and takes up no value in the measure

    brillante: brilliantly, with sparkle

    ma non troppo: but not too much
    maestoso: majestically, in a stately fashion
    magico: magically
    maggiore: the major key
    magnifico: magnificent

    Those are mostly how to play, not sound quality as such, but… music really does seem to get described in emotional and sensual terms.

  331. 331

    Hi again sallystrange,

    Belated thanks for that link re: Michael Nugent’s blog. I read the post by Stephanie, and she has added an update to include this link: http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/20/a-proposed-agenda-for-structured-dialogue-to-move-beyond-the-rifts-in-the-atheist-and-skeptic-communities/

    She seems happier about the blog issue now. I’ve liked Michael’s speaking and writing thus far and we desperately need smart eloquent people representing atheism here in Ireland, so I’d hate to see him or his blog get crowded by slime.

  332. 332
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ooohhh… musical stuffs!!

    I’m guessing a lot of the terms electric guitarists use today are entirely new stuff. Hell, even “reverb” has changed from “how sound waves bounce around a space” to describing springs inside an amp, or how a time-based echo effect mimics different sorts of spaces. And the descriptions can be a little ridiculous to non-guitar players. Do I want my guitar to be clean but dripping wet, or have some fuzzy splatter, sweet warm crunch, or searing sizzling fizz? Because there’s a pedal for that!

    Add in flangers and phasers and wahs and bears, OH MY! and the whole things gets ridiculously complicated.

  333. 333
    Asher Kay

    I wonder how many adjectives there are that are used across senses, and if there’s one that’s used for all five. “Soft” works for sight, sound and touch.

  334. 334

    [Lounge]rupt. So very, very [Lounge]rupt.
    Good news: wheelychair!!!!!
    (Some assembly required. No lasers. No shark-flingers.)
    Bad news: The Husband’s gallbladder just tried to kill him. It’s why I’m [Lounge]rupt.
    Good news: In the course of post-surgically echocardiogramming him, we discovered that, contrary to what we were told lo, these many moonsyears ago, he does not now, nor apparently ever did have an enlarged heart, and that it shows no obvious flaws.
    Bad news: The ER fees…the ambulance ride…four days in the hospital…MRI…echocardiogram…the surgery….
    So much for the mad dreams of house repairs, Come The Day we once again own my ass.

  335. 335

    cicely! Welcome back. Are you both okay, or does the signal need to go up?

  336. 336
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    *megahugs* for cicely.
    How is the husband now?
    How are you holding up?

  337. 337

    I’m doing a Marjanovic!
    This will probably take all evening. I shall probably have to do some food shopping and cooking in the middle of it.

    I’m not quite so pessimistic, but I think there will be a bit of work to be done in Dublin to get Mick Nugent off his fencepost. As to the Irish atheists in general, I need to check out the situation on the ground first before making any judgments on that. Although some of the non-slymer comments on his articles by apparent locals were not encouraging(and EG was presumably Irish, so maybe there’s some local solidarity going on).

    You have to give it to them though, for a bunch of 5 or 10 creepy internet haters their PR work is pretty good.

    Stephanie Zvan seems to think his long experience in mediation will increase the chance of a useful outcome. I have no idea, myself. But the thing is, though Nugent has said that he won’t let outright lies stand, he’s not doing anything about posts containing lies, which others have pointed out to him. If he’d do something about that, I’d feel less pessimistic.

    He even started a spinoff post for people to “discuss rape prevention strategies” since the topic ballooned in his latest peace-making post. Guess what’s NOT happening in the comments on that one? That’s right, actual discussion of rape prevention strategies!

    Why are you in Twitter jail, Sally?


    Rorschach is correct; it’s because I retweeted about a million of the #safetytipsforladies tweets which I found so hilarious. Apparently there’s a limit. Then you have to wait a few hours before they’ll let you tweet again.

    I was going to post a bunch of quotes from those tweets, but I’ll just link to this excellent roundup of the hashtag by the awesome lady who started it: http://hilaroar.tumblr.com/post/45957899437/safetytipsforladies-or-why-victim-blaming-is

    There’s even one by yours truly in there!

    By the way, is it just me, or are more and more Pharyngula commenters exclusively to be found on Twitter now, like Josh or Jafafa Hots for example?

    I’m not sure if it’s just you, but I am using it more, and Audley is now using it… so maybe.

    It’s not just you, and I’m not happy about it.

    I guess it would be hard to Marjanovic on Twitter. ;)

    Shoot, my roommate just came home and informed me that it’s freezing outside. Fuck this shopping business, I’m staying in. It should NOT be in the teens on the first (or second, whatever) day of spring.

    BTW, I wanted to thank mildlymagnificent, Amblebury (heeeey gurl!), and Gilliel, and I think Millicent? for the discussion of chronic pain and losing weight. All your observations are well taken. I’ve never been one to remark on people’s weight anyway, but now I’m even LESS likely to do so. Sorry if I missed mentioning anyone. I’ve actually been keeping up with the Lounge lately, for a change.

    Also, I’m really appreciative of the body I have and that it’s not in pain and is pretty healthy. (This weather is doing me no favors; I’m completely discouraged from my running routine and I’ve been gorging on all kinds of snacks thanks to stress and frustration – more about that in a bit.)

    I’ve had a rough few days.

    I totally understand. It’s been like an avalanche of rape culture. *massive hugs*

    For IJoe, too, and anyone else who needs them. Man, I do.

    A little person update, because I want to get it off my chest. The other day, some stuff from previous conflict with Boss-Lady surfaced. She’s a control freak and a micromanager, and, I am realizing, a full-on bully. She was mad at me. So, her response was to freeze me out of the conference call with everyone else in the office—a conference call whose ONLY purpose was to “get everyone on the same page.” So, I guess I’m not on the same page. So, we’re all in the office and dialing in, and I dial in and say, Hello, I’m here, and she’s like, “You’re not on this conference call.”

    I’m like, “What?”

    “I didn’t send YOU the email.”

    “Oh. Well, okay, I’ll get off.” So I hang up, and then she is talking to one of my colleagues, and he’s saying something about meeting me later in the day, and I’m telling him that I have to leave by 1 pm to go to a presentation, and he’s trying to convey that to her, and then I’m like, just put me on. So I take his phone and explain that I’ll be away. So then she starts in talking about the older stuff that she’s mad at me about – basically not keeping her in the loop about some important stuff, which, okay, fine, but the response is ridiculous. And I’m like, “Didn’t you want to NOT discuss this on the conference call?” (I.e., not in front of everybody else, including the interns? Hello?) and she’s like, “Yes, but you’re going away this afternoon and so I have to do this now!” Basically an attempt at public humiliation borne out of anger. TOTALLY IRRATIONAL.

    So I’ve decided to look for new work. I really did want to finish out the Americorps term, I did, but no fucking $5,000 loan reduction or nice line on my resume is worth this sort of abuse. Yes, I should take it up with my boss’ boss, and yes, I will do that—tomorrow—but hey. One of the private companies that works with the program we promote is hiring and I’m going to submit my resume. Realistically speaking, Boss-Lady may slightly modulate her behavior but I am not hopeful that she’ll ever really stop undermining me. Backstory: she got in a car crash three months ago and has been on medical leave since then, barred by her doctor from working, and in the meantime I’ve been having some success starting an outreach program basically from scratch in one of the neighboring counties. I strongly suspect that she hates the idea of someone demonstrating that in fact, she’s NOT essential to the continuation of the program, and that actually, it’s GOOD to experiment a bit and take different approaches to doing outreach in different regions.

    I like the work, I really do. I could even be good at it. But not with this sort of backstabbing and bullying bullshit from my own boss. Did I mention that she once yelled at me, I mean literally yelled, inside a car, for about 30 – 40 minutes, because I briefly interrupted her during Q &A after the first presentation I did? Yeah. Anyway. I need to eat something. Sheesh, it’s nearly midnight, where does the time go. I’ll have to catch up on this thread later.

  338. 338

    Oh and of course then Cicely shows up!

    My inclination is for a pouncehug, but it sounds like you may need gentle hugs instead.

  339. 339
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    What a bunch of gaslighting horseshit, SallyStrange.
    Hope you find a job that is a good content-wise and far better co-worker/supervisor-wise.

  340. 340
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    *as good

  341. 341

    Thanks, Portia. And, just to clear it up, my co-workers are great. It’s been really nice working with them–there’s two of them, so three full time staff and three interns. The other two full time staffers have been nothing but great, but they haven’t been working as the BossLady’s underlings for as long as I have and they’re not on her shit list (yet), so they’re not quite fully cognizant of how awful she can be. Oh and also they’re better at following orders. That’s a weakness of mine. I’ll do what I’m told, but I have a hard time not tweaking it a bit just to see if I can make it work better.

  342. 342
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Hugs to Sally and Cicely. I’d be honoured to contribute if the Hoard-signal goes up for you Cicely.

    Joe, the real question is: Have you ever played some tasty riffs?

  343. 343

    *hugs&scritches&bacon&chocolate&kittens&cheese* to everyone who needed or wanted them in my absence.
    (After starting on this Thread)
    An especially large parcel for Crudely, who I gather (without catching up) particularly needs ‘em?
    mildlymagnificent: Glad to hear mrmagnificent is being ‘borged.
    Welcome in, Millicent!

    I should also throw out some support to Caine and Pteryxx. And the others who talk about their experiences. They, and many others around here, are just fantastic.

    And today is Free Pass Day for lovers of Horses and/or peas. No rain checks, no refunds.
    xerxes, welcome in!

    Oh. That could be a rain frog. Here’s another! Mwa ha ha ha haaaaah.

    That is not a frog.
    That is a rock that someone has superglued legs onto.
    *hugs* and a “Welcome home!” for Portia.

    Where is _do not rape_?

    Bundled under the general heading of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, I presume, without noting that there should be a mention of “Do not do unto others things you would not want them to do unto you”. ‘Cause ink is expensive.

    They felt they were entitled.

    In a nutshell.

  344. 344
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Well, good coworkers is a big plus. But it’s maddening to me when the people around me, for whatever reason, can’t see how shitty another person is. Makes me absolutely batty.

    I was going to *petulantly pop peas* but then I read your sweet welcome home and just want to hug you back. I’ll hold off on the petulance in the interest of this temporary peas peace. :)

  345. 345

    aww, thanks cicely.

    interesting and kind of disgusting: the Republican party plans to attract women by a concerted program of Tone and Civility.


    Acknowledging that Obama won the single women’s vote by a “whopping 36 percent,” the report’s authors suggest ways the party can be more inclusive of this critical voting bloc: Making a better effort to listen to female voters; fighting against the Democratic rhetoric against the “so-called War on Women”; doing a better job communicating the GOP’s policies and employing female spokespeople to do it; and using Women’s History Month to “remind voters of the Republican’s Party historical role in advancing the women’s rights movement.”

    Is there a National Sarcasm Reserve?

  346. 346

    Is there a National Sarcasm Reserve?

    …Isn’t that Pharyngula?

  347. 347

    Well, good coworkers is a big plus. But it’s maddening to me when the people around me, for whatever reason, can’t see how shitty another person is. Makes me absolutely batty.

    The thing that drives me up the wall, and is leading me to think that working elsewhere would be the best option, is the fact that our mutual boss, who is, in actuality, an AWESOME lady who is something of a hero of mine due to her relentless political activism and organizing, does not see that Boss Lady is a bully. She says things like, “She’s harsh but she’s usually right,” and defended her when Boss Lady tried to shut down my new project on the basis of Boss Lady’s mixing up Oswego with Otsego. I mean, Boss Lady was on the phone with me (and this was shortly after her concussion, so I think that played into it), saying, “I’m not sure which is which.. Ossego… Oswego… Otsiningo… but anyway, drop everything, and do something else. I know you won’t want to, but do it anyway.”

    I mean seriously, how does that even make any sense? You’re not even sure what you’re talking about, but you want me to dump 3 – 4 weeks’ worth of promising work into the crapper. Right. This is why I feel like she’s threatened and trying to undermine me.

    I never did drop the work she wanted me to, which I think is the real reason I’m on her shit list. I went to some higher-ups and got clarification, showed her she was wrong, and continued with my work, which is now bearing fruit. That was unforgivable.

  348. 348

    Working in the non-profit sector, I get to work in a really diverse workplace, and I really like that. It’s really too bad, if I do get a job at one of the companies I’m thinking of, I’ll be going from a diverse workplace with lots of women in authority to a really male-dominated, mostly-white environment. :(

  349. 349
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)
    Is there a National Sarcasm Reserve?

    …Isn’t that Pharyngula?

    True. But they’re thinking of moving it off-site safety reasons. There are concerns that it’s too close to the Snark Reserve, a potentially catastrophic situation should one or the other ever spring a leak.

  350. 350
    chigau (違う)

    I need sleep.
    There is mighty snow-shoveling to be done in the morning.
    *hugs* for all as needs ‘em.

  351. 351
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    You know Sally, I’ve never understood how someone can come to be in a position of authority and not understand just how powerful it is to say “I was wrong, sorry.” to those who work for you. I suspect it might have to do with the authoritarian mindset where strict hierarchies are seen to be a good thing.

  352. 352

    And now I’m having (what I sincerely trust are) phantom gallbladder twinges.
    Panic may be imminent.
    *hugs* for iJoe.
    Tony: They are lucky to have you.

    Do I really have the worst, dumbest, most boring hobby ever?

    I just don’t understand much of what you post about it.
    However, regardless of how many of us do or don’t “get it”, that is no reflection on the worthiness of the hobby, itself.

    Depression sucks.

    Sing it.
    *hugs* for dianne. Your patients are lucky they have you.

    At least next time if he tries something similar I’m going to try to unfreeze and say something impolite. *shudder*

    “Personal foul! Fifty yard penalty!”
    Pteryxx: We’re both fine (as far as I know….), but the better part of a week spent in a hospital, whether as a patient or as a Worried Spouse, is not like unto a stroll in the park. I don’t sleep well in chairs under the best of conditions, and now feel as if I’ve been beaten vigorously with a stick.
    As for sending up The Signal…I’m fending off the lower depths of depression with the knowledge that (in the persisting absence of insurance) we will have to first file for, and be denied, Medicaid (which took a good long time before, and I can’t see that it is likely to move any more quickly now), then run our application for the hospital systems’ (yes, two, two, two hospital systems are involved) financial assistance programs, then (hopefully) negotiate payment schedules…
    …all of which means that I can put off the serious hyperventilation ’til later.
    It’s just that the fact that it’s lurking there in the future, waiting to spring, keeps leaping up and mugging me, with resulting dread-in-pit-of-stomach feeling, with added Increase in Stomach Acid.
    Portia: I will gladly accept your *megahugs*. And the *chocolate*.
    SallyStrange: Best of luck with the job-hunting.
    And I’ll very happily accept both kinds of hugs.

    And now, the cat craps await. ‘Night, all.

  353. 353
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Night chigau. May the Chinook to end all Chinooks waft in as you sleep.

  354. 354
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    cicely – Yay about your new wheelchair! *lots of hugs and chocolate* about The Husband’s gallbladder. Also good news about your husband’s heart NOT being what he was told many years ago. *more hugs and chocolate*

    *piles of hugs and lots of chocolate* for everyone who needs them, and even for those who don’t.

  355. 355
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Good night cicely. Here’s hoping things at least feel a little easier in the morning.

  356. 356

    definitely *hugs* and *chocolate* and congratz on the new wheelchair and reprieved heart.

    We’re both fine (as far as I know….), but [...]

    I swear, the second prong of letting people suffer and die through lack of a functioning health-care system, is leaving everyone who’s healthy to live in terror of utilizing it.

  357. 357
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    good morning

    *hugs* for cicely and SallyStrange and anyone I forgot in my morning fuzziness.

  358. 358
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Improbable Joe

    My guitar amplifier is not only analog, it runs on vacuum tubes. Old School FTW!

    Totally awesome… as long as I don’t have to carry it around! I’ve moved my fair share of CRTs, oy vey!
    Thanks for the mp3 primer! I really did enjoy it. I have varied and esoteric interests – that particular question has been pinging around the skull for a bit, so it’s quite nice to have a good answer to it. :)
    *yay* for the clean kitchen! Tidy workers are the only kind to have. Here’s to a *real* shower soon. *hugs*
    That’s an excellent article blf. Too bad the bit about the author is absolutely necessary these days, else someone believe he’s serious…
    *hugs* Dalillama and SallyStrange
    Thanks for the reminder random people can be cool in real life too. :)
    After an appendix-induced *close call* I can vouch for the phantom twinges that will occur for the next few weeks. Yes, I still have the appendix. It becomes a *close call* when you show up so late there’s no point for them to remove it. [Why show up too late - because crappy insurance of course.]

    Is there a National Sarcasm Reserve?

    …Isn’t that Pharyngula?

    True. But they’re thinking of moving it off-site safety reasons. There are concerns that it’s too close to the Snark Reserve, a potentially catastrophic situation should one or the other ever spring a leak.

    FossilFishy: That. Is. Awesome.

  359. 359

    Yaaaay, but ….

    Cupboards all finished and spiffy looking. Oven, dishwasher, rangehood, lights all through the house all light up when various buttons are pressed. So what’s wrong?

    It’s 4.30 pm on Friday and no sign yet of the plumber. So the sink and the dishwasher won’t go and nor will the gas cooktop. And I had planned on washing all. the. things. before putting them into their nice new homes. Then cooking something. Anything.

    Or maybe I could just sit in a chair and stare at it and gloat while studiously ignoring the stuffsplosion in every other room of the house. (Waking up in bed to look deeply into the eyes of the microwave is at least a new experience.)

  360. 360

    I suspect it might have to do with the authoritarian mindset where strict hierarchies are seen to be a good thing.

    Did I neglect to mention that she’s aggressively Christian? Wow, I kinda miss the days when her constant cries of “Praise Jesus!” were at the top of the list of weird things she does.

  361. 361

    True. But they’re thinking of moving it off-site safety reasons. There are concerns that it’s too close to the Snark Reserve, a potentially catastrophic situation should one or the other ever spring a leak.

    The situation is ripe for a heist. Who’s in? I’ve got a tractor trailer.

  362. 362
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Or maybe I could just sit in a chair and stare at it and gloat while studiously ignoring the stuffsplosion in every other room of the house. (Waking up in bed to look deeply into the eyes of the microwave is at least a new experience.)

    Sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Cease the moment, right?! (I love *stuffsplosion* – The word, not the situation.)
    Or, open a bottle of wine and hope for the plumber???

  363. 363
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Did I neglect to mention that she’s aggressively Christian?

    I am shocked, SHOCKED I say!

    The situation is ripe for a heist.

    What about the guard-squid?

  364. 364

    I really should be in bed, and will be shortly.

    I just wanted to drop in and wish everyone a good… whatever time it is wherever you are at.

  365. 365
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ugh. It sounds like your boss is trying to drive you away. If you do pursue another job, heres hoping you wont have crap like that to deal with.

    Damn. Sorry to hear the medical problems with the Husband. Glad he and you are doing ok.
    :: crosses tentacles hoping the insurance to kick in soon::


    A came over tonight and we had adult fun times.
    Sort of.
    There were issues on both our parts about *blood flow retention*, which made him embarrassed at first. Until I told him that it is ok. That I know the penis and the mind are not always in sync. That once I accepted-years ago-that having ebb and flow did not mean something was wrong with me I was able to extend that understanding to others. I mentioned that I have read a little bit about erections and how often they are not in our control. He was surprised to learn that men get erections while we sleep. I had to mention a few times that no apologies were needed. I knew he wanted to be with me.
    Of course, the ebb and flow was not helped by us chatting about religion during downtime. Or me talking about the Creation Museum (which he never heard of) or Talk Orgins. We had a great time overall.

  366. 366
    xerxes the magnificent

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck”
    Yeah, I’m still scarred from the most recent Straya Day.

    I’m up in Brisbane, but I think the current political climate (and actual climate) are about to drive me far, far away. Probably to Europe, if Tony Abbot becomes PM…

  367. 367

    That sounds very sweet, Tony. :)

  368. 368

    Probably to Europe, if Tony Abbot becomes PM…

    Well, he will. Labor is too fond to self-destruct, and there are enough dumb blokey blokes in this country who will not mind Abbott’s misogyny enough to not vote for him. That, and somehow people here seem to think that the Greens are of the devil. Like with the internet, Australia is 10-15 years behind in realising that climate change is a thing, and that there can be more than 2 parties in a democracy. It isn’t called binocracy. after all.

  369. 369

    (Sodding power outage knocked out most of the local servers. Since today’s plans included intensive use of c.3 of them, I’m currently twiddling my undernosehairs…)

    In some places this would perhaps be NSFW due to the pictures, which is a bit ironic considering the subject matter, Rise of the naked female warriors:

    Known for its topless protesters, Femen is a worldwide movement against patriarchy. But are the activists’ breasts obscuring the message?

    One day last summer, Inna Shevchenko went into a forest outside Kiev, to learn how to use a chainsaw. …

    The next day she went to a hilltop overlooking Kiev, and stripped to a pair of red denim shorts, worn with heavy boots, leather gloves, and a mask to protect her eyes. The Pussy Riot verdict was due that day, and in tribute to the Russian punk activists — and to mark her opposition to all religions — Inna proceeded to chop down a 13ft wooden cross that had been there since 2005. …

    Death threats arrived instantly. She says there were official calls for her arrest, and Russian TV reported that the cross was a memorial to the victims of Stalinism. Inna denies this, but Ukrainian journalists repeated the claim, and anger towards her sharpened. Men she suspected of being secret service agents immediately began milling outside her apartment, and a few days later, she was woken at 6am by the sound of her front door being kicked in. She escaped, jumping through a back window, then down from a first floor balcony, and made her way to Warsaw with $50, a mobile phone and her passport. She feared jail if she returned to Kiev, so some days later, she travelled to France, where women had expressed interest in joining Femen, the feminist group she runs with three Ukrainian friends.

    Femen’s aims are straightforward, broad and radical. A war on patriarchy on three fronts, calling for an end to all religions, dictatorships and the sex industry. …

    On some level, [topless protests are] working. Each time Femen stages an action, videos pop up on websites worldwide. But are their breasts obscuring their message? When I tell a friend I’m due to interview them, he is fascinated by the idea of topless feminist warriors — but switches off as soon as I mention their arguments. I suspect there are long-time feminist activists who take one glance at their tactics and, jaded by the use of women’s bodies in art, advertising, commerce, don’t pause to hear what they’re saying.

    The group has been accused of deploying only young, slim, beautiful women. But a new book about Femen, just published in France, features photos of women of different shapes and sizes on demonstrations, pictures I’ve never seen elsewhere. The media, unsurprisingly, pick the most obviously attractive photos.

    The Grauniad could be accused of doing just that in this article.

    Their actions have sometimes been dismissed but there is no doubt the women of Femen take serious risks. In late 2011, for example, Inna and two other activists travelled to Minsk, in Belarus, to protest outside the KGB offices against Alexander Lukashenko, the man often called Europe’s last dictator. While they expected to spend New Year in a Belarus jail, they allege that they were, instead, abducted by secret service agents — a claim the Belarusian KGB denies.

    Femen aren’t subtle, they aren’t inoffensive, and they certainly aren’t sorry. “We’re provocateurs,” says Inna, “and the reaction depends on those who are provoked.” With members having faced loss of livelihood, alleged abduction, arrest, jail, death threats and ridicule, it seems they are in it for keeps. …

    The mildly deranged penguin refuses to paint slogans on her feathers.

    (Servers are back up…)

  370. 370
    John Morales


    On some level, [topless protests are] working. Each time Femen stages an action, videos pop up on websites worldwide. But are their breasts obscuring their message?

    Not for those for whom breasts are the message. :)


  371. 371
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Well, suddenly the house looks like a house. Windows! Doors! And a fetchingly random blue and green ,er, condom?

  372. 372
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Fucking waffles why are you so awesome?! :D

    I was walking through the work area here, and happened to catch Fox News on one of the TVs. It was Brian Kilmead being critical about the President (who’s surprised?!) Seems there is a video of chemical weapon victims in Syria, but the President isn’t ready to go to war because it’s shaky evidence, and it’s from a source critical of Assad.

    What’s so bad about our President not wanting to go to war on suspect evidence from a source who would benefit from the war against a secular dictator? Hmm, doesn’t that sound familiar…


    Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have to check it out when I get home cause it’s blocked here.

  373. 373

    Fucking waffles why are you so awesome?!

    Belgium — sorry for the naughty word — needs to be famous for something…

    Seems there is a video of chemical weapon victims in Syria…

    That’s been all over the news here (or at least the English-language papers I read). It is only now showing up in the USAlienstan’s “media”?

    Syria attacks involved chemical weapons, rebels and regime claim: “Both sides blame each other for rocket attacks that killed scores and left others in respiratory distress”.
    White House ‘deeply sceptical’ over Syria’s chemical weapon claims (video).
    Syria condemns rebels’ ‘chemical weapon attack’ (video).

    I have not read / seen anything (yet) about what really happened or who was responsible.

  374. 374
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao


    It’s just something I saw this morning. I applaud the president for not running into another war on flimsy evidence.

  375. 375

    Any lawyerly or Washington state area folks, Dana Hunter’s asking for help:


  376. 376

    New Neil Gaiman (short) story, Down to a Sunless Sea: “A rainy encounter in London on the banks of the Thames unlocks a tale of loss and grief in this exclusive story from Neil Gaiman …”. (I haven’t read it yet myself, but I believe a number of inmates here will be interested.)

  377. 377
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi folks
    Although we’re not going for Rupt sur Moselle this spring, I’m still ‘rupt.
    I worked like stupid to get that fucking paper done (the writing has been finished days ago. Re-, and re-, and rewriting, formating and printing, last night) and handed it in today.
    And I almost managed to get the whole University of Monty Python shit done, if it weren’t for the fact that the UMP keeps office hours and mail-adresses top-secret, only to be published at office doors and not on the internet.
    And packing stuff for spring break is annoying as hell since you need to pack everything from summer cloths to the snowsuit.
    Also, fucking magnets, how do they work end up all over the place?

  378. 378

    London’s mayer Boris Johnson did not break law with ban on Christian ad, high court rules:

    Judge says mayor of London did not abuse position by blocking ad which suggested gay people could be cured

    The mayor of London’s decision to ban a Christian group’s controversial bus advert targeting gay people did not contravene the law, the high court has ruled.

    A judge found on Friday that Boris Johnson did not abuse his position as chairman of Transport for London (TfL) last April when he imposed the ban on the advert, which suggested that people could be cured of homosexuality.

    The decision is a defeat for the Core Issues Trust, a Christian charity that funds “reparative therapy” for gay Christians, which it claims can “develop their heterosexual potential”. …

    The ad posters earmarked for the sides of the capital’s buses read: “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!”

    Sitting at London’s high court, Justice Beverley Lang ruled on Friday that TfL’s process in introducing the ban “was procedurally unfair, in breach of its own procedures and demonstrated a failure to consider the relevant issues”.

    However, she said that was outweighed by factors against allowing the ad to be published on buses across the capital. Lang said it would “cause grave offence” to those who were gay and was perceived as homophobic, “thus increasing the risk of prejudice and homophobic attacks”.

    [Paul Diamond, appearing for the charity] said the Core Issues Trust had nothing but “utter respect for people struggling with same-sex attraction”.

    He denied that it was attempting to offer a “gay cure” and said the ads were a response to a bus poster campaign by the gay rights group Stonewall, which carried the message: “Some people are gay. Get over it!” …

    TfL refused to carry its ad on the grounds that it was “likely to cause widespread or serious offence to members of the public”, and it contained “images or messages which relate to matters of public controversy and sensitivity”.

  379. 379

    Also, fucking magnets, how do they end up all over the place?

    Extra-energetic maneuvers?
    Rather unusual taste although I suppose they are rather attractive.

    (Runs off and hides…)

  380. 380

    Posting the above snark just gave me this:

    Error 503 Service Unavailable

    Guru Meditation:

    Varnish cache server

    Guru Meditation: Varnish cache server?

    Ok, who is trying to prove the 1000-chimps hypothesis now…

  381. 381
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Good morning!


    What you said about guitar stuff is exactly what I couldn’t articulate myself the other night.

    OMG WINDOWS! :D Looking good. Love the big banks of windows.

  382. 382
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Because I’m geeking out in advance of seeing “HER” live, have some Rachel Maddow ringtones and wallpapers.

    Topless protesters: I suppose they’d get less attention with their shirts on, for better or worse. Which is the point, of course. I mean, the coverage still talks about their message, so it’s not totally obscured by bewbs.

  383. 383
    chigau (違う)

    blf #380
    You should NOT have received that message.
    Now We’ll have to …
    Just cooperate with the MIBs…
    It won’t hurt a bit…

  384. 384

    Witches: from hideous hags to sexy sirens — in pictures: “The Witches and Wicked Bodies exhibition coming soon to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art explores how myth, legend and folk belief have shaped the depiction of witches over the past 500 years. Packed with sensuality and magic, these works show why witchcraft has cast a spell on artists for so long”.

  385. 385

    Cute kid stuff: My daughter told us she had a new word. She pointed to her thumbs and said “These are finger-babies.”

    And then she grabbed an unopened box of toothpaste to take to her school, so she could show her friends. They do a show and tell on Wednesday, which she’s insisted on showing the same toy… for a month.

  386. 386

    They do a show and tell on Wednesday, which she’s insisted on showing the same toy… for a month.

    Ah, yes, April is Green Sex Toy Month.

  387. 387

    The Grauniad seems to be warming up for April Fools… Is the weather worse under the Coalition government? (or they are just bored silly today). There are some graphs to illustrate the results in the article:

    How does the weather under the [UK's] Tory/Lib Dem coalition compare to previous administrations?

    Is it possible that David Cameron’s Britain is a colder place than Tony Blair’s? Or one with less sunshine? Well, maybe.

    For those who feel that the UK is turning — like Narnia under the White Witch — into a land where it is “always winter and never Christmas” we wondered how the weather has changed under this government — and how it compares to previous parties in power.

    The Met Office handily publishes monthly averages for sunshine, rainfall and temperature on its site. So we took the data and performed a crude analysis on it to work out the difference for each month of each Prime Ministers’ rule compared to the ten year average before they took power. …

    This is how that data looks. It appears that under David Cameron [current PM (replaced Gordon Brown)] it has been colder, and less sunny — but there has been less rainfall too. Under Tony Blair [replaced Thatcher / Major], there was more sunshine and warmer temperatures than the decade before — but more rain. Margaret Thatcher saw a lot more rain and less sunshine — and Gordon Brown [replaced B.Liar] saw more sun but colder termperatures [sic].

    [T]he averages for almost every month that David Cameron has been prime minister are colder than for the ten years before he came to power — the exceptions being March and April (although that may change when the data for this month comes in).

    [Things that could be wrong with this analysis are that it] doesn’t take account of climate change happening anyway; PMs in power for shorter periods (ie, Gordon Brown and John Major) will have less variability in the weather anyway, compared to Blair and Thatcher, each in power for over a decade. There are probably many other reasons not to do the analysis …

    Currently the UK is in an Siberian deep-freeze with more snow on the way. The mildly deranged penguin is delighted and is heading there to hold an outdoor baby barbecue to celebrate the fine weather. The sentient but stoopid cider may also be en route, especially if England succeed in loosing / drawing the last test match in New Zealand, to celebrate the return of the English Men’s CricketComedy Team.

  388. 388
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Made a solution too dilute. Now I have to mess with filter tubes to make it more concentrated. FML.

    (Oh, and no, throwing out the too-dilute solution is not an option. The stuff is $5,573 a milligram.)

  389. 389

    Good day!

    cicely , I hope all is well with your husband (and you). I just read an article (am running a brain scan to see if I can remember where the hell I read it and thus link) about how the pricing at hospitals is mostly just made up, and the initial bill that they give you isn’t written in stone, it’s their first offer. Gah, hospitals.

    Sally Strange, that sounds super stressful. I hope you can find something different (and better!)

    glodson, how old is your daughter, if I may ask? I have two sons, myself, aged 13 and almost 10. Having a 13-year-old is such a joy. The moodiness, the surliness, the sudden moustache fuzz on his upper lip (my baby! Getting a moustache! Hee hee). Such fun.

    I’ve been reading along with the convo about how we touch kids, how we teach them to disrespect bodily autonomy, and I too am in the place of having been a bit too touchy and pushy with my older kid, and better about respecting and reinforcing boundaries with the second kid. I think in our case, it was my older son himself who made it clear to me that if he didn’t want to touch or be touched, he wasn’t going to do it. And that, along with all the social justice reading that I’d gotten into when he was a baby, made me a whole lot better about letting my younger child control his own body and the physical interactions he has. It’s important to me to raise them so that they know that they don’t just have the right not to be touched if they don’t want to, but so does everyone else.

  390. 390
  391. 391
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    cicely yay for wheelchair! Boo for The Husband’s gallbladder! Yay for non-enlarged heart! Boo for medical bills! Sorry that you’re depressed, but there’s a couple of things in the “yay” column so that’s a start, right?

    SallyStrange, sorry about your job situation, and good luck finding something better.

    FossilFishy Yep. Tasty riffs and slithery licks. *grins* And the house is really coming along!

    PSG, as an aside to the MP3 thing and musical/computer terms, taking analog music and shrinking/compressing it into MP3 format is actually two kinds of compression. In the musical recording biz, “compression” is what happens when you remove dynamics from music, making the louder sounds more quiet and the more quiet sounds louder… and MP3 conversion compresses that way as well as compressing for size. Guitarists use compressor pedals to even out and balance their tone, which is useful when you want every picked note to sound the same volume which is hard when you’re playing a lot of notes across all the strings with a lot of different techniques.

    Tony, it sounds like you had a pretty decent night even with the ebb and flow issues. Good!

    And good morning/afternoon/evening to everyone! I drove my wife to work at 4:45AM so that I would have the car to run errands, and then I sleep until 9:30AM. So much for at least half of the errands, since I have to get the car unloaded and leave to pick her up at 1:30PM. That gives me 2-3 hours, so I should at least be able to go get the shopping done.


    I’m driving across town to the fancy meat market. I’m going to spend like $100-150 on meat. I’m going to see if they have capons, because I’ve always wanted to try a capon. I probably don’t have the money for a duck though… we’ll see. They also have the best selection of sauces and seasonings, as near as I can tell. That helps when you get close to payday and run out of ideas. Wish me luck!

  392. 392

    Millicent , she just turned 3.

    I am learning about the same issues, but I am worried that I’m fucking bad as a parent. Bad.

  393. 393

    Helping an abused person. Details scarce on purpose, but:

    Woman, Austin, TX-area. Four kids; need divorce lawyer for either payments, pro-bono or otherwise.

    Serious contacts only: 512-670-0712 or harwelle at hotmail.com

    Can’t say I’ll be checking this thread for replies, but I will be checking ehat I posted above. Thanx.

  394. 394

    Carlie @329: Thank you so much for the information and the offer! The contrast between your offer and the advice for “poor” bankers to not tip so much brought tears to my eyes. Why aren’t you in charge of things instead of a bunch of greedy jerks whose idea of “economizing” is to make their 13 year old children work and screw the lowest paid employees out of what little they do get? Anyway, I’ll let you know when/if we get anywhere on this. (I’m concerned that one person is so beaten down by life that s/he will have a hard time even applying…Fortunately, we’ve got a social worker who is much better than we deserve who is very good about helping people out of that sort of hole. She got a raise last year, despite the budget being flat because she deserved a fucking raise and it was going to happen no matter what.)

  395. 395

    the pricing at hospitals is mostly just made up, and the initial bill that they give you isn’t written in stone, it’s their first offer.

    Holy fucking shit. I thought I’d got some idea of how vile this system is, but this never even occurred to me.

    So they make you pay through the nose for private insurance, half the time they refuse to cover what you need, half the rest of the time there’s still a copay many people can’t afford …. and on top of all that they expect you to fucking haggle ? After your emergency treatment? (Like you’re going to shop around right in the middle of a medical emergency. Right)

    This system could hardly be more counterproductive – and cruel – if it had been deliberately designed that way.

    cicely, all my hugs and best wishes. I so very much hope you’re ok and that it works out.

    Always tried to respect the Spawn’s physical boundaries when they were little, except for issues of health (like taking medicine) and safety (like crossing the road). This was hugely extra difficult in the case of non-neurotypical SonSpawn when he was much younger. But these days they are teenagers and both (most of the time) love hugs. Hugs give you dolphins.

  396. 396

    Eric: National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233

    Along with everything else, the shelter networks provide limited pro bono legal assistance and can help clients make contact with Legal Aid.


  397. 397

    I’m going to see if they have capons, because I’ve always wanted to try a capon.

    I should probably try a professionally-prepared capon, but the very few times I’ve had organic ones at home, I didn’t see what the Big Deal is… Yes, it did seem a bit more moist, but beyond that I’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference from a not-caponed(? is that a word?) rooster. And in a blind test, I’m not at all convinced I could tell the difference.

    Organic goose, on the other hand… Yum! (And duck is great, just remember to wear yer duck-proof suit.)

  398. 398


    Appreciated, but not useful. Sorry, cannot get into why that isn’t useful. It is appreciated nonetheless.

  399. 399
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I can’t wait for spring break so MAYBE I can go two days without hearing some dumbfuck talking about “being ‘alpha’”. >.>

  400. 400
  401. 401
    The Mellow Monkey

    Well, this is an interesting choice of picture to share, considering the source.

    For those link or Facebook averse: The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science official Facebook page has posted a political cartoon of two women in burqas talking as they walk down the street together.

    Woman 1: “We’re not alone…women are still oppressed in Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia…”
    Woman 2: “Yeah…but this is Arkansas!”

    And in the background a newspaper has the headline “ARK. PASSES ABORTION LAW.”

    The comments are about what I expect for Facebook:

    Funny how you only care about the rights of the woman and not the rights of the child or the father.

    I know it’s rarely Dawkins himself posting these, but after all his weird abortion crap on Twitter I just don’t even know where to begin.

  402. 402
    Lynna, OM

    When they are not giving themselves two weeks per month vacation, Congress Critters have been doing work that makes them look busy, when in fact they are just playing.

    … “Exactly how many Obamacare repeal votes are we up to now?” By one estimate, the new total is 39 times.

    Ted Cruz pushed a nearly identical measure a week ago, and according to the Washington Post, that was repeal vote #35. Earlier this week, the House voted on a Republican Study Committee budget plan that eliminates the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, which was #36. Yesterday, House Republicans voted for Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which also eliminates most of the health care law (#37), and then last night, Senate Republicans voted on the same plan (#38).

    That makes this morning’s Senate vote the 39th time congressional Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, in whole or in part, just over the last two years….

    Very productive, eh? Link.

    To listen to Republican rhetoric on Capitol Hill is to hear a series of complaints about President Obama: he’s not being “serious” enough about getting things done; he’s too focused on electoral considerations; he’s not “leading” …

    But it’s against this backdrop that Republicans vote, over and over again, to repeal a health care law they know won’t be repealed.

  403. 403
    Lynna, OM

    What are mormons doing to mark the occasion of California’s Prop 8 coming before the Supreme Court?
    They have enlisted some B-roll Osmonds to help them “Celebrate Marriage.”

    With oral arguments scheduled to be heard at the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of California’s Prop 8 and also the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), it is time to stand for marriage by celebrating it. You and your family are invited to a Celebration of Marriage on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Utah State Capitol Rotunda. Scot and I will be there for the celebration because we believe that marriage is worth celebrating and that every child deserves a mother and a father.

    Hosted by Alan and Suzanne Osmond, that evening there will be lots of entertainment, addresses by leaders representing several religious denominations and members of the state legislature. Many other states are having similar celebrations to cheer for marriage–an institution that is becoming an endangered species.


  404. 404
    Lynna, OM

    More on the mormon effort to sway the Supreme Court as it considers Prop 8:


  405. 405
    Lynna, OM

    Mormons explain Noah and the Flood:

    Because of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Latter-day Saints have additional knowledge that confirms the reality of these world-changing historical events.

    Those who totally deny the historicity of Noah and the Flood and those who accept parts of the story are persuaded in their disbelief by the way they interpret modern science. They rely upon geological considerations and theories that postulate it would be impossible for a flood to cover earth’s highest mountains, that the geologic evidence (primarily in the fields of stratigraphy and sedimentation) does not indicate a worldwide flood occurred any time during the earth’s existence… In spite of the world’s arguments against the historicity of the Flood, and despite the supposed lack of geologic evidence, we Latter-day Saints believe that Noah was an actual man, a prophet of God, who preached repentance and raised a voice of warning, built an ark, gathered his family and a host of animals onto the ark, and floated safely away as waters covered the entire earth. We are assured that these events actually occurred by the multiple testimonies of God’s prophets…

    “Further, with all of the advancements of science in recent decades, we still cannot explain how angels are able to defy gravity and descend or ascend through a building’s ceiling; how rapid interplanetary travel is possible for heavenly beings; how a righteous man can raise the dead using God’s power; how heavenly messengers can appear to mortals; or how Jesus Christ’s divine sacrifice is able to atone for our sins.

  406. 406

    My computer has a new hard drive and the ventilation unit hasn’t even switched on yet and it’s been turned on over an hour and I think I like the sweet sound of silence (except I hear the kids a lot better now, but oh well, I’m sure it will be for the best for all parties involved!).
    So, in more-or-less order:

    David @315
    Why would it be interesting for Latvians to have sea-shanties?
    We have lots of coastline, and a history of marauding sea-farers comparable to vikings (see: Courland, ca. 8th century) and transatlantic colonisation (see Duchy of Courland, 17th century). While some of that occurred under the benevolent guidance of territorial occupants not descended from one of the many Latvian tribes, I doubt their influence extended as far as to write the populace’s songs for them.

    FossilFishy @317
    I will look up some music, I’m pretty sure I can find the sheet music online. I’ve found the lyrics, and it’s actually Mr Eel marrying Miss Flounder, with following verses about a fisherman going off to sea and refusing mermaids because his love is on shore… I’ll pass it on, I don’t know if it will do, but it’s an… interesting song. It’s from a 1960s (I think?) Latvian film, so it’s not a real folk song, but it’s definitely a drinking kind of song.
    Oh, and squid in Latvian is tinteszivs (fem., Group VI), literally inkfish. And it can be rhymed with a lot of other fish names, like haizivs, valzivs (now just plain valis due to science proving it’s a mammal), etc.

    Pteryxx @330
    How to play something in music quite often involves the quality of sound that has to be transmitted – so, there’s a technique to play something abrasively, and hopefully, abrasive is the sound quality you hear. But there isn’t always an overlap, such as for maestoso… Definitely a mood thing, not a sound-quality thing!
    I believe, though, that it was Claude Debussy who had some of the strangest annotations in his musical scores… with clairvoyance, indeed… as if wandering… Made interpretation interesting, to say the least!

    I wish you all the best in resolving your work situation. I’m glad your co-workers are awesome, but it’s shitty that your boss is such a shit. :( If you look for a new job, I hope you find a better (and better-paying, for what it’s worth!) position fast, in a similar field, since it sounds like you’re good at it (and also enjoy it).

    Well, so I missed you yesterday by a comment or two, but I nevertheless extend all possible and wanted *hugs* and *pea-freedelight* at seeing you comment, as I was starting to Worry just a Little Bit.
    I’m glad things are more or less sorted, but I wish for the speedy recovery of Husband, and *threecheers* for the new wheelchair!

    I hope the plumber came. If not, I hope staring at the new cupboards was suitably satisfactory. ;)


    Something is strange about the keyboard and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. It’s just nice knowing I have a new, safe and working computer!

  407. 407
    Lynna, OM

    Uh-Oh. This does not sound good. Arizona legislators snuck a bill past watchdog groups. The bill makes it easier for Arizonans to disobey laws they don’t like on the basis of religious beliefs.

    A group of Arizona religious groups and conservative lawmakers quietly introduced legislation Thursday that would offer significant new religious protections.

    The legislation was introduced as a strike-everything amendment to Senate Bill 1178 and given a hearing on one of the last days allowed for public hearings of bills. No one showed up to testify against it and civil rights groups were left scrambling to figure out what it actually does.

    Conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy, which was behind the amendment, says it simply updates current law and clarifies protections. The ACLU of Arizona disagrees.

    “What you’re doing is creating an entirely new path for people to sidestep laws they don’t like by claiming religious freedom,” said ACLU of Arizona public policy director Anjali Abraham.

    The amendment, which passed the House Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote with Republican support, makes it more difficult for a state or local government to enforce any law or rule that an individual says burdens their exercise of religion….

    “It allows anybody to sidestep any state or local law or regulation in the name of exercising their religion,” Abraham said. “It is extremely broad. It could cover medicine, education, child welfare, domestic violence, the law, anything that falls under state and local governance.”


    This bill will make it easier for FLDS colonies to abuse women and children.

  408. 408
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Sorry to be such an ongoing downer, I just need to vent again. There’s been no business on L’s shop at all this month, unemployment is jerking me around, and money is basically nonexistent at this point. I keep looking for work, but I can’t even get a callback, and I wouldn’t get a paycheck in time to do anything with it at this point anyway. I’ve been trying to put together a business plan to maybe get a loan of an indiegogo thing going, get some capital for advertising and raw materials, but it’s hard to muster the energy. L and D are having a bit of a spat, fueled by both of their preexisting issues; D has shut herself up in her room again, because she’s feeling ugly and ashamed about having a meltdown last night, L is feeling rejected and hurt (and also has the flu, which isn’t helping), and everyone’s stress levels are through the roof because of the financial situation and the fact that none of us get out at all (atrophying social lives, depression and anxiety disorders, and no money to go anywhere anyway) so we’re all kind of cooped up together. My folks are helping out, but there’s a limit to how much they can send. I’m just feeling completely helpless and useless and generally at the end of my rope.

  409. 409

    OH and Tony, your story of having a night with company made me smile huge, too. :) I’m glad you had a nice evening!

  410. 410

    And the anti-science news from Canada. Go, Harper… *siiiiigh*
    And people keep asking me when I’m going back (although I can’t swear Current Location is much better, to be honest).

  411. 411
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


  412. 412
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Congratulations, btw.
    It’s not suprising that there were Latvian sea shanties, but it’s surprising that there still are, as most shanty traditions died with the tall ships.

  413. 413


  414. 414

    Hmm… Does singing a song out of context change the way it’s categorized?
    I know a lot of songs are old, but they’re still sung, and quite often outside of their original context (huge oral-singing tradition). So, singing a sea-shanty at a kitchen party – still a sea shanty?

  415. 415

    Something is strange about the keyboard and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    That would make it a strange keyboard pretty much by definition, I should think. How are you managing to type? (thumbs? Nose? pencils? :-) )

    Fuck, Dalillama, I wish I could help. I’ve had work the last couple-three weeks, but a big gap before that :-(
    I really hope things get better for you. All I’ve got is a bunch of hugs, I wish I had more.

  416. 416

    Toes, in fact. (Better than licking the touchpad.) ;)
    Actually, the Enter key seems to have a second hidden button somewhere and I keep putting the heel of my thumb on it. Something is feeling extra-sensitive after a visit to the shop.

  417. 417
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    If kitchen singalongs, music halls, etc. don’t count, then noone has a surviving shanty tradition. For various reasons, of the major Atlantic seafaring powers, only the English shanties survived that way. Basically, at the beginning of the 20th century (the last days of the windjammers), Britain and the U.S. were having a revival of interest in folklore, and the songcatchers went out with their notebooks and phonographs to pin the old songs down before they slipped away. The rest of Western Europe wasn’t having such a revival at the time, so no one bothered to write the songs down, and they died when the sailors no longer hauled ropes and turned capstans with sheer muscle power.

  418. 418

    That’s very sad, in a way, losing those traditions… Lots of great songs lost, no doubt. And I was mostly musing, previous comment.
    Well, Latvian has never been a particularly popular language, and there’s only a couple of songs I’d feel comfortable calling shanties (as others are more traditional folk songs, which may have had a purpose in labour, but are more descriptive and less of the call-response type – and there’s a lot of call-response type songs (but more of a sing-a-line/repeat-the-line type of song) in other labour areas, such as sowing and reaping and milking and herding and stuff…). Anyway, the point being that I don’t know if anyone has actually gone out and studied Latvian sea songs-as-shanties in a language other than Latvian. It’s a rather narrow field.
    (The Latvian folk song tradition has been well and amply studied, and continues to be so, including modern folklore revival music groups and the like… I’ll get on youtube in a bit and flood the Lounge with contemporary singing of Latvian traditional songs. Prepare to be impressed! Or not. ;) )

  419. 419
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Yeah, there are about a half-dozen Dutch shanties that are still known too, but there are literally hundreds of English-language shanties still in circulation.

    Does anyone have any advice on improving sales on an internet shop? L is getting plenty of traffic, but no one’s buying.

  420. 420

    Here’s the song on Youtube. Original 1957 recording, I believe. As you can hear, it’s neither shanty nor folk song, but it might do for starters. ;) Can’t really find any sheet music for it online, though. I think I have it in a songbook somewhere, though – the challenge now is to find it amongst all the other stuff in post-packing limbo.
    Here’s some chords in the meantime, maybe something rather nice can be pulled out from that mess. Here’s the lyrics, translated as follows:

    Mrs Salmon rolls her eyes,
    The cod is shouting at full voice:
    “Now there will be action in the depths,
    The eel is marrying the flounder!”

    The eel to the flounder – hee hee hee,
    The flounder to the eel – ha ha ha,
    The sea roars and the wind blows,
    Life passes in joys and sorrows.

    The fisherman’s son leaves for the sea,
    The girl cries sadly on the shore:
    “Don’t go to sea, a storm is raging,
    The waves are rolling, danger threatens.”

    The sea mermaid – hee hee hee,
    Hungry for the boy – ha ha ha,
    The sea roars and the wind blows,
    Life passes in joys and sorrows.

    The mermaid pulls the boy closer,
    But he remains hard as flint:
    He has promised to the girl,
    Sails to shore whistling.

    Now in winter – hee hee hee,
    A wedding in the village – ha ha ha,
    The sea roars and the wind blows,
    Life passes in joys and sorrows.

    And here’s a half hour of Latvian folklore. Not quite what I was looking for, but it will have to do as I am falling-down-tired at the moment. (And yes, I know a few other very nice sea songs and others if this isn’t quite what you’re looking for.)

    Also Dalillama, I have to admit I’d defined sea shanty a bit more broadly than it is apparently intended. So, I’ll have to back away and say Latvians have a lot of sea songs, and maybe only an actual shanty or two (and those need some serious ferreting out in the real world, as I doubt they’re anywhere online). I am now curious, though, to see if there has ever been an actual study of specific kinds of Latvian sea songs (shanty-like ones as well). Like I said, the general folk song arena has been well-studied (including the subset of raunchy sexual folk songs, all collected in Volume XIII of the Grand Collection of Latvian Folk Songs (not actual title), the volume that everyone’s parents hid away), but I wonder if the sea aspect (and the Latvian tradition of sailing) has been looked at more closely.

  421. 421
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    Twitter? I buy a lot of crap from people who are cool people on Twitter.

  422. 422
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    This is the difference between me and my wife in a nutshell: today is payday, so she bought herself an hour massage and will be ordering pizza later on. Today is payday, so I bought myself a little baby amplifier for my office, so I can practice late at night with headphones.

  423. 423

    Yesterday was payday. I spent half as much on bills as I usually do (yay house and living independently?).
    Good night!

  424. 424
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    G’night rq!

    … did I mention that I’m broke? *grins* That $50 amp was my whole allowance for the next two weeks.

  425. 425
    chigau (違う)

    No particular reason…
    (maybe the sea shanties made me think of Stan)
    (not a sea shanty)
    45 years

  426. 426

    cicely and opposable thumbs (and everyone in the broken US healthcare system), that article about hospitals and their pricing is here, in Time magazine, which is usually crap but occasionally has journalism in it still. It’s a pretty angry-making article.

    Dalillama, this internet stranger sends you good wishes. Depression really fucking sucks.

  427. 427
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Night rq. I was going to email you today (maybe I still will). I was very good in the face of temptation to engage with S today. So good, I bought myself a whole bunch of groceries as a reward. Healthy groceries ftw!


    I haven’t read the Richards thread, and I’m a little scared to…I think I’ll unwind a little first and then maybe dive in.

    *big hugs* to Caine and Ogvorbis and everyone else either duking it out in there or hurt by the jackwads who are stinking the place up.

  428. 428
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Congrats on the fun new toy! :D

    *Homer drool*

  429. 429
    chigau (違う)

    I was out hacking ice off the patio and a took an icicle on the back of my head.
    I take it as a Sign® to start drinking.
    and make a greek salad

  430. 430
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    *ouch!* I’ll join you.

  431. 431
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Unfortunately, there’s a reason you don’t see me on twitter; I just can’t cope with it. L and D are even worse off on that score.

    It’s quite possible that there never were any proper shanties in Latvian; the shanties were mostly an artifact of the big ships that sailed across the Atlantic or around the Horn to India and China; the Baltic trade, let alone fishing fleets, never had the same crew sizes or the number of ropes, winches, etc. to coordinate, so there was a lot less need of the shanties. It is kind of a shame that so much of it has been lost, and not just the songs. During the heyday of the clippers, each ship would have a crew of 500-1000, and a busy harbor might have 100 ships at anchor of a night. And sometimes, at night when the work was done, one of the crews would start to sing, and the others would join in, and pretty soon, 50-100000 people would all be belting it out in unison. It is said to have been an awesome (literally) sound, but it’s one that no-one will ever hear again.

    Stan damn well counts in my book.

  432. 432

    I haven’t read the Richards thread, and I’m a little scared to…I think I’ll unwind a little first and then maybe dive in.

    Whatever your expectations are… expect worse.

    The stupid was strong. And still is.

    It is like the sexism apologists’ relay in there, one hands the baton off to a fresh poster to keep up a constant supply of nonsense.

  433. 433
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Ugh. That’s awful.

    Major hugs. I’m really sorry things are so rough.

  434. 434
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Portia, thanks! And here’s the technical stuff… HAHAHAHA! Not going to do that to you, just going to mention that it is the same brand as my main amp, and I didn’t realize until I got it home that it has a magical/digital ability to sound pretty much exactly like a mini version of that exact amp!

  435. 435
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Awesome, Joe! (Thanks for saving me the confused look I get when I hear a huge *whoooosh* of something sailing over my head :) Sounds like it’s purty neat though.

  436. 436
    chigau (違う)

    Dalillama #429
    *sigh* I miss Stan.

  437. 437
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Yeah Portia, wouldn’t want to do that to you. The most I’m willing to make you suffer through is my attempts at layperson-level explanations. *grins*

    For instance, what’s basically happening in my amp is a cross between auto-tune and that creepy voice disguise thing from the Scream movies. Programming magic making my little nothing amp sound kind of similar to a collection of different amps just by turning a switch, from the small blues amps you see in clubs all the way up to the giant stacks of amps at the arena shows. Not exactly the same, because the speaker is really small that the processor isn’t super-awesome… but for $50 and at a volume that won’t bug my wife in the other room? Close enough for me!

  438. 438
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Sweet! Programming magic ftw :) Pretty cool that you can get satisfactory sound out of such a small amp. (And I feel you…I have trouble making my interests layperson-accessible sometimes, too. Don’t feel obligated on my account, but it is neat to hear about your music stuff when I can get it :)

  439. 439
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Oh, and tomorrow is string-change day… I’m probably going to blog about it, simply because I’ve got little else to talk about.

    Well, except for…


    I didn’t buy a capon. A 7-pound roaster costs around $15, a 7-pound capon costs $50!!! And since the majority of it would wind up as soup and chopped into salad, it didn’t seem like a very good investment. So I bought a duck instead. DUCK! Not goose, that shit is like $100! They also had whole suckling pigs and goats and lambses for sale, but I have no way to cook a 50-pound goat. Just saying.

  440. 440

    The Far Left Side—The Power of Prayer
    Jedi divorce likely to end in lightsaber duel
    Thank you all for the *hugs* (whether *pounce*-ful or not) and commiserations. Y’all are Beyond Awesome.
    And did I properly *hug* and commiserate with everyone in need? I don’t remember…and don’t want to scroll up, ’cause I rather suspect that I would find that I embarrassed myself at least once…yesternight is all a bit of an under-slept, over-anxious, hyper-ventilated blur. At any rate, *hugs*, commiserations, and moral support where needed and wanted.

    I swear, the second prong of letting people suffer and die through lack of a functioning health-care system, is leaving everyone who’s healthy to live in terror of utilizing it.

    You are not wrong, Pteryxx.
    Tony: What is this in-sewer-ants thing, of which you speak?

    There were issues on both our parts about *blood flow retention*, which made him embarrassed at first.

    Sometimes, the hydraulics don’t work as well as they could….
    FossilFishy: The House is coming along nicely. The condom suggests that it will be a Safe house.

    the pricing at hospitals is mostly just made up, and the initial bill that they give you isn’t written in stone, it’s their first offer.

    Wait…what?!? We’re supposed to argue them down, like we were in a pawn shop? “Ten for this, you must be mad!” type bargaining?
    I wonder how they are on barter….

    Something is strange about the keyboard and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually.

    You have a keyboard that you can’t quite put your finger on, and you can’t instantly Spot the Strange?
    The answer is obvious; you have accidentally enabled the keyboard’s forcefield, designed to protect it from Unauthorised Enter-y. All the other keys are also similarly protected merely as an unintended, but serendipitous, result of the selection of the force field manufacturer by Low Bid—installing a Discrimination switch would have upped the price-per-unit, and therefore reduced the profit-per-unit, which (as I’m sure we all agree) would be Socially Unacceptable.
    *extra hugs* for Dalillama. Vent away!…and wish I could help.
    I swear—if my Ship (ever) Comes In, I am so bankrolling a corporation to gainfully employ us all. We’ll figure out a product(s)/service(s) and such trivia later.

    Does anyone have any advice on improving sales on an internet shop? L is getting plenty of traffic, but no one’s buying.

    What does L sell? Maybe add some kittens…or squid?

  441. 441
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Hello, all. Hugs to everyone who needs one.

  442. 442
    chigau (違う)

    hugs back Oggie
    [I'm listening to Loreena McKennitt]

  443. 443
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Costumes, handmade clothing, stuffed animals (including Cuddles the Octopus), and candy. D also has some lovely watercolors.

  444. 444

    Dalillama: Linky?

  445. 445
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    Yeah, I’m just going to keep watching this video and try not to cry too much, and I’ll feel better at the end of it.

  446. 446

    Threadrupt update:

    Boss Lady has abandoned her vendetta against me, at least for the time being. Still going to put in applications for other jobs.

  447. 447
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Great news SallyStrange! What let you know she let it go?

  448. 448
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    It’s the link in my ‘nym.

  449. 449
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Oh, I guess I should probably note that the video I linked to is the GREATEST HUG OF ALL TIMES! and is kind of fucking beautiful, not horrible or scary or anything.

  450. 450
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.


    Our 30 pound housecat will hug Wife or I like that if we sit on the floor.

  451. 451
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Ah, Joe, that video…I just…


    I’m going to replace “bear hug” with “lion hug” in my lexicon.

    Or wait…is that what a pouncehug looks like? :D

  452. 452
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ogvorbis at 30 pounds, it would HAVE to be the floor, wouldn’t it? One of our cats is probably 20 pounds, but she’s not a hugger… more of a “feed me now!” sort of thing. We’ve got a 42 pound dog that tries to jump into our arms like that every time we come home though.

    It is pretty wonderful, isn’t it? And one of the cats would love nothing more than to spend 12 hours a day curled up against me in bed. Unfortunately, most of those hours are in the daytime.

  453. 453
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    I know, right? I saw that video years and years ago, and even thinking about it makes me a little sniffle-ready, in the good way.

  454. 454
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I just discovered my local grocery stores carry organic, fair trade, locally-roasted, variously flavored, coffee. For about $9 a 12 oz bag. Not too bad at all. I am going to have Tiramisu in the morning. Pretty excited about it.

  455. 455

    (random) Be wary of Skype:

    It’s been more than a year since the WSJ reported that Skype leaks its users’ IP addresses and locations. Microsoft has done nothing to fix this since, and as Brian Krebs reports, the past year has seen the rise of several tools that let you figure out someone’s IP address by searching for him on Skype, then automate launching denial-of-service attacks on that person’s home.


    From the referenced article:

    Beyond exposing one’s Internet connection to annoying and disruptive attacks, this vulnerability could allow stalkers or corporate rivals to track the movement of individuals and executives as they travel between cities and states.


  456. 456
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    *googles alternatives to skype*

  457. 457

    Dalillama: Nice! I particularly like the jellyfish and the purple roses.

  458. 458
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I feel drained.
    I didn’t have a fraction of the stress many of you had from the Richards thread. I hate that so many of you-my friends-were triggered. I think between that and the unintentional dredging up of my memories of Max in Chris’ Thistle thread, I feel rather melancholy. A and his brother asked me to come out for a drink on my way home, but I just don’t know if I want to. Not quite in the curl in a ball and cry mode, but somewhere not far from it.

  459. 459
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Today was apparently Casual Sexism Friday. I went to lunch with LawyerfriendA, to meet up with Lawyerfriend B. B said on our arrival, “Oh I figured it was her that was joining us, by how you said it.” Me: “…what’s he say?” B: “He said he was bringing arm candy.” I gave A some grief, then B said “Oh, yeah, but there are way worse people out there than us, and you know it, which is why you’re having lunch with us.” Me: “Yeah, and there are murderers, and I haven’t murdered anyone, which is why you’re having lunch with me.”

    Later, A and I are discussing a client he might refer to me.
    A: “I think I’ll tell her I know this girl that is great at this sort of case…”
    Me: “Might help inspire confidence on the client’s part if you refer to me as a woman, instead of a girl.”
    A, looking sheepish: “…that’s what I said, right?”

    Rarg. Every fucking day.

  460. 460
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Sorry for dumping the rant. Thanks for being the people that never say “Well, I’m sure they meant well.”

    Take care of yourself. Go home and put on a favorite movie if that’s what you feel like doing. *hugs*

  461. 461
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Assholes. I admit, I still do the ‘girl’ thing myself when I’m not thinking, because a part of my brain treats it as the female form of ‘guy’, but I’m working on that.

  462. 462
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Hello and good night, everybody! *waves sleepily*

    “See” you all when I get up.

  463. 463
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I do the “girl/woman” thing myself and try to fix it as well. To me, on something like this, the trying is the most important part.* I think it gets to me most in professional situations like that one.

    *For instance, I was bothered not at all when the fire chief said last week “I should get [equipment] out and let the guys—folks look at it.”

  464. 464
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    *waves at WMDKitty*


    I should add that it bothers me because I like A alright and we trade tips and tricks a lot and work together a lot, both being solo practitioners. B is a relatively recent acquaintance but seems like a decemt guy with an engaging personality and lots of useful knowledge he’s willing and happy to share. That is, a great person to “do lunch” with. I wish he’d stop being “ironically” sexist so I could stop being cranky every time we have lunch.

  465. 465
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I don’t use Skype because I already have a cell phone that never rings, why would I set up a second network of people who could talk to me but don’t care to?

  466. 466

    Did someone here link to the new BBC production of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere last week?

    At the time, it had not actually started broadcasting yet. However, all the episodes have now been broadcast, and are available for listening, and download for some.


  467. 467
    Orange Utan

    I only use Skype to make free calls to our support partners in the US. Just discovered recently I can call 1-800 numbers through it for free which is handy from NZ.

  468. 468
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I only use skype when Nephew asks his mama if “Auntie is on the ‘puter.” :D

    And now I’m gonna snuggle in my fuzzy robe and watch West Wing and zone out

    Night everyone.

  469. 469
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    No, no one did, as I wasn’t aware there was such a thing. Rq mentioned the book, and I brought up the 1996 BBC television miniseries, but I had no idea about the Radio 4 series.

  470. 470
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Yeah, “girl” makes me twitchy. Especially in a semi/professional setting/context. Guys isn’t as bad, because *patriarchy* ya know?

  471. 471
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Yes and no. Guy isn’t really cognate to girl; that would be boy or lad. The thing is that guy is distinctly gendered, and there isn’t really a female equivalent in the language. That said, referring to men as boys or lads isn’t always diminutive in the same way that referring to women as girls is, because patriarchy. e.g. ‘Our boys in uniform’ and similar constructions.

  472. 472
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Busy lurking… back to working too much. I’ll just leave this pile of *hugs’n’scritches* over here for anyone who could use some. I peeked into the second page of the, well the thread that is over 700 comments now I’m sure. Urgh. Extras for all of you!
    Spending more time explaining to people how they are correct, I have lost weight. Made a couple of semi-snarky but accurate responses (prolonged use of narcotics; forgetting to eat dinner for a month helps). I just answered others and ended up having some nice conversations with people – you never do know what any one of us is going through on a day to day basis, and I have found out some things about people I genuinely like that I probably would never had known otherwise. So, as tiring as it can be, the comments have opened the doors for some good conversations, even with bystanders to the original question. The one who asked me twice deserves hir own special place in the ring of fire though. Mer.

    (Oh, and no, throwing out the too-dilute solution is not an option. The stuff is $5,573 a milligram.)

    It is just not right, the cost of the things some days. The concentrating never works right either. *sigh*

  473. 473
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    That is true. Boy would be the correct comparison. I was taught that “gal” was the feminine version of guy. I know it isn’t used, hardly ever – one could get into how the masculine term is the default and thus the feminine term is rendered moot, but regardless, the point stands. As you states, more clearly than I,

    That said, referring to men as boys or lads isn’t always diminutive in the same way that referring to women as girls is, because patriarchy.

  474. 474
    PSG (pharmscigrad)

    Improbable Joe

    “compression” is what happens when you remove dynamics from music, making the louder sounds more quiet and the more quiet sounds louder…

    You are talking about analog music here… so is this different than converting it to a digital format as well AND compressing it for size AND doing this “dynamic compression”?
    I’ve watched enough live concerts in small venues to see the amount of work that can go into getting all the notes to come out of a guitar and feed into the speakers in such a way that I can hear them (yet have nothing to do with actually touching the strings), but this whole level of “through the wires” physics distortion of the sound that makes it suboptimal fascinates me. Perhaps also confuses me at times. :)
    The playing is art but it also is so mechanical, there is so much apart from the guitar but a part of the guitar, it’s a little bit crazy. Beautiful too.

  475. 475

    Next time I’m feeling down, I’m going to remember Christian the Lion. Thanks for that, Improbable Joe! Keep speaking guitar. I miss music-speak. I used to live around it (brothers in bands and in jazz piano and all that stuff, got an earload of all kinds of music-related stuff), and I miss it. Not that I understand everything that you say even then, but… I just miss it. ;)
    And yay for spending the allowance on things that make you happy. ;) I spent some of the money not spent on bills on two new dresses for casual/work occasions. That makes me happy, since it’s been about a year since I bought myself something pretty. Pretty and useful.

    About that pharmaceutical monopoly (sorry I keep forgetting). As I said, I don’t remember the details of that game, but I do remember that the board was structured like a 3D pyramid – where you go around and around to get to the top on these golden-yellow coloured squares that had selections on them (Actions?) and you could buy stuff on them and things like that, with options to upgrade if you had the right cards. Don’t remember any of the labels, though, which is too bad, because I think this may have been a great money-making option for me. ;) Board games being Big Business and all, and I could market it to students in pharmacy studies and whatnot. ;)

    re: girl
    Makes me twitchy, even the Latvian version, but there’s no good substitute, because saying ‘woman’ in Latvian is also a bit strange. Another option is ‘tante’, but that has a slightly negative connotation and implies greater age, and just doesn’t sound right in Latvian unless applied to the actual relation (it means aunt). I’ve been teaching the boys ‘gentleman’ and ‘lady’, because they sound nicer, but you can’t use ‘lady’ for my-age-and-under (personal opinion), so I still say ‘girl’… I wanted to say that it’s not quite as demeaning here, because at work we’re a bunch of women in chem and bio and we always call each other ‘girls’ and ‘you girls in chem’ and ‘you girls in DNA’ and all that stuff, but I realize that that’s not much of an excuse… We do call the mostly-male departments ‘boys’, though, not ‘guys’, no matter how old they are (especially when they give us grief for whatever reason).
    This requires some thought. It’s different saying ‘hey women!’ amongst ourselves, that just sounds… weird. But is that a question of (a) being used to ‘girls’, (b) not wanting to be labelled as older, or (c) it actually sounds weird? Definitely food for thought. (Usually, though, these ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ labels are used in informal conversations amongst ourselves, when speaking to outside parties everyone is ‘most honourable expert’ and the like… ;) ) /incoherentramble

  476. 476
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    [looks at the ball laying quite firmly in his court]
    [tries to kick it under the begonias, rubs forehead where the rebound hit]


    That song is perfect. I’m pretty sure I can do something with it, though you might not recognise it when I’m done…..

    I have hedges, caveats, disclaimers and no doubt flat out excuses to proffer, but I’m really keen at this point. Mind you it’s midnight and having a big bowl of chocolate, chocolate chip ice cream right before I go to bed is also seeming like a good idea.

    Here’s my initial plan. I’m going to tidy up the piece I’ve been working on and post it for you and anyone else who’s interested to hear. Not because it’s so fabulously shit-hot, it’s not, and that’s the point. Folks seem nervous about making mistakes and suchlike, it’ll hopefully be reassuring to hear just how bad a singer/composer I am. And it’ll give you some idea of where I’m coming from musically. Hint: it’s just west of What-The-Hell-Land in the county of: Seriously-Dude-You’re-Telling-Me-You-Went-To-Music-School?-Really?-Have-You-Asked-For-A-Refund?

  477. 477
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Welp, HTML failure, a sure sign that bed is best. Night.

  478. 478

    Good night, and for what it’s worth, I’m keen on this project, too – mostly to get some music back into my life (on a slightly higher level than pre-school singing/piano activities once a week, that is), and because I’m itching to do something that remotely qualifies as ‘enriching’ or ‘educational’. I figure, the more mistakes of mine get corrected, the more I will learn in the long run (if only about how terrible me own music skills are).
    (Long) Caveat: I never went to music school, just did 8 grades of RCM piano and then up to grade 9 of RCM violin and a lot of informal/amateur singing (although, for the past 6 years or so, under the tutelage of one of Latvia’s the world’s (personal opinion) best conductors). I have a grade 3 RCM grasp of music theory, so no harmony, no composing, nothing, just informal harmonization in informal settings amongst friends and lots of beer. I get horribly nervous for solo performances, though (everything shakes, including my voice and my usually-more-or-less-rock-solid-intonation), so I’m hoping this will be a kind of intermediate group-solo project that might, just might, improve some of that self-confidence ordinarily lacking. It’s never too late to become an outrageous soon-to-be-middle-aged rockstar, but it helps if I could carry a tune when having to do so alone on stage. ;)
    So, let’s just leave it at I’m keen!!! with desperate puppy eyes.
    Good luck with the song! (It’s under the begonias, if you’re looking…)

  479. 479

    re: US health care

    Wait…what?!? We’re supposed to argue them down, like we were in a pawn shop? “Ten for this, you must be mad!” type bargaining?

    Yeah. My current worry in this regard: Spawn had a CAT scan last year at a (one of many) doctor’s request; the company got around to attempting to bill ($1000+) insurance company ~7 months later. Insurance company rejected claim (rules say must be billed within 6 months). So far the CAT facility hasn’t sent us the bill directly, but I’m a bit worried that they might; I only know about it because the insurance company sent me, as well as the facility, notification when they rejected the bill.

    I figure that if-when they do try to bill me I’ll offer them something on the order of $120. My reasoning: normally there is a “you have insurance” discount for most medical bills (negotiated discount, which
    in itself if worth a ::eyeroll:: of its own) dropping the bill to ~60% of the original. And then normally I’d pay out-of-pocket a 20% out-of-network copay. So if they’d been timely, then I’d be out $120. But I certainly don’t need the stress/hassle of trying to argue that…

  480. 480
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory


    Oh noes! Are you being harassed out of a gig at work too? That’s awful. Well, hopefully at least she’s ceased your assault, but good luck finding another place to land at.

  481. 481

    I totally forgot to respond to your comment about S and dealing with him… I was just making salad for dinner and running through some of the day’s comments in my head (because I do that sometimes when I manage to get everyone else outside and have the space and quiet to think), and I realized I haven’t responded!
    So: if you want to email me, ever, about anything, do! :) And yes, I’m proud of you for holding up against temptation (and superyay for healthy groceries!!). Just so you know, I cheer for you every time. And I’m glad you’re successful in that respect! *hugs*

  482. 482
    Lynna, OM

    Journalist Michael Lind has been exploring the idea that it is the rich folk like Romney who are actually the “takers,” the moochers, in the USA. Lind has posted another chapter in this disquisition.


    Mitt Romney — the poster boy of rentier financial capitalism — paid 13.9 percent in taxes in 2010, lower than the combined employee and employer payroll taxes paid by low-income workers who pay no federal income tax (and not counting the state and local taxes that they pay). ….

    Not only progressives but mainstream conservatives used to agree that natural monopolies, such as many infrastructure services—water, electricity, transportation — should be either publicly owned or publicly regulated utilities. Today, however, some plutocrats, seeking guaranteed, recurrent streams of money for little or no effort, fund politicians and ideologues who favor privatizing or deregulating infrastructure and public utilities and cutting or voucherizing Social Security and Medicare, to force the elderly to buy financial products and costly health insurance from the rentier sector.

    I would add privatizing schools, privatizing the entire educational system, to this search of endless streams of money that require little effort. That’s what I see happening in Utah, Idaho, Louisiana, and other states. State legislators are happy to go along with this by passing laws that funnel federal and state funds to private schools.

  483. 483
    Lynna, OM

    Another excerpt from the article referred to @480 — I like the idea of forming an Anti-Rentier alliance.

    That’s the Rentier Agenda, then — low tax rates on unearned income flowing to passive investors, replacing public utilities with private toll-charging monopolies, and pursuing policies that deter inflation, even at the risk of prolonged, mass unemployment and idle factories. It is no exaggeration to say that the private sector rentiers are not only the real “moochers” and the real “takers” but also are the greatest threat to productive industrial capitalism, in the United States and the world.

    What we need is an Anti-Rentier alliance. Such a coalition would scramble the usual patterns of politics. Progressives and conservatives alike would have to distinguish between productive businesses, which we should encourage, and rent-extracting parasites that need to be dealt with. Pro-manufacturing liberals and Main Street conservative populists should unite against what the progressive economist Michael Hudson calls “the tollbooth economy” in alliance with what James K. Galbraith calls “the predator state.”

  484. 484
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    You are talking about analog music here… so is this different than converting it to a digital format as well AND compressing it for size AND doing this “dynamic compression”?
    I’ve watched enough live concerts in small venues to see the amount of work that can go into getting all the notes to come out of a guitar and feed into the speakers in such a way that I can hear them (yet have nothing to do with actually touching the strings), but this whole level of “through the wires” physics distortion of the sound that makes it suboptimal fascinates me. Perhaps also confuses me at times. :)
    The playing is art but it also is so mechanical, there is so much apart from the guitar but a part of the guitar, it’s a little bit crazy. Beautiful too.

    Compression… is really complicated. I have a compressor pedal on my board that I use to “even things out” when I play using a relatively “clean”(as in not distorted) tone. That’s a good thing, it also lets me control the volume and the amount of treble in the signal coming out of the guitar before it goes into anything else. A lot of country music players use compression for that big clean twangy sound. When I play with a more distorted tone, a second sort of compression happens naturally, in that the bigger “peaks” in the signal hit against the upper threshold that the equipment can handle, so as it gets louder some frequencies can’t get any louder and the other ones “catch up” in a way. A certain amount of that is good, that’s where you get awesome rock music like AC/DC. Too much of it is bad, and you get the muddy-sounding mess of certain kinds of extreme metal. And then you lose some of the upper-end frequencies due to the impedance in the cables themselves, which is fun times.

    As far as the general “let’s make an awesome noise with all these gadgets” business, electric guitarists are in a special sort of category of musician because we’re not just playing our guitars, we’re “playing” the pedals and the amps too. Getting all of it to work how it is supposed to on demand can be really difficult, especially in a live setting. I haven’t played out in years, and when I did my rig was MUCH simpler than it is now. Now? Now I’d be ascared to try, and would probably chicken out and use all-digital gear and just plug it into the venue’s PA speaker system.

  485. 485
    Lynna, OM

    Republican Senators, including mormon Mike Lee of Utah, have come up with yet another ploy to slow down or deny passage of gun control laws.

    The Senate is expected to reject an assault weapons ban when it’s introduced as an amendment to a large gun control package next month. But Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) isn’t taking any chances. On Friday, the first-term conservative is planning on filing an amendment to the Senate budget resolution making it impossible for any gun control legislation to pass the Senate without a two-thirds majority—a standard currently reserved for the ratification of treaties. (That’s an even higher threshold than that imposed by filibusters, which can be broken with 60 votes.)


  486. 486

    Re: ASL as a language, partially related to a previous conversation.
    Word. I really like what’s been happening lately with awareness about the native peoples and their rights. I just hope there’s a good result from it all; I have nothing but support and respect for them, but I’m afraid if I talk about it too much, I’ll come off as a pompous privileged ass, so I’ll leave it at that!

  487. 487

    I occasionally check out The daily beast to see what the few moderate Republicans are talking about, and I came across this article:

    “Less is Moo: The Genius of Gary Larson” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/22/less-is-moo-the-genius-of-gary-larson.html

  488. 488
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I think maybe it is because ‘girls’ is what you are accustomed to.
    Me, I still feel iffy on ‘guys’. I know some people find it acceptable to use for mixed gender grouping, or even same gender groups, but I do not quite understand why. ‘Guy’ is such a male term.

  489. 489

    You’re probably right, which is why I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t know if I want to admit it… If that makes any sense. I mean, amongst friends/close colleagues, I have no problems addressing each other like that. But – professional setting. So… Yeah. Thinking.

  490. 490
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Eh. Well, if I have my own company I hope I can get away with addressing emails to everyone as “Gentlecritters, …”

  491. 491
  492. 492

    I don’t surf the Lounge much, mainly because my reading is erratic, so I apologize if this is a threadrupt:

    Just wanted to say thanks to Caine for contributions and comments near the end of that awful Adria Richards thread. Appreciate the consideration and responses! Also, this male-identified person will continue trying to speak up more. Your posts on that subject have been very encouraging and, dare I say, goading.

    It felt like a further derail to continue that there, but the Thunderdome didn’t quite seem the right place. :)


    P.S. This feels like a hagiographic, so I’ll just say that rats are sometimes cute, but chinchillas are infinitely better. Fair and balanced!

  493. 493
    Orange Utan


    You’re probably right, which is why I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t know if I want to admit it… If that makes any sense. I mean, amongst friends/close colleagues, I have no problems addressing each other like that. But – professional setting.

    A couple of weeks ago I called out someone for starting an email sent to all students (inc. postgrads) with Comp Sci Kids. I get the alliteration but really? It bloody pissed me off.

  494. 494
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    The funny thing is, if you adjust your use of words or phrases in one setting, it may bleed over into others.

    At work, we have been instructed to answer guests with “My Pleasure”, rather than “sure thing”, “no problem”, or “you’re welcome”. I was resistant to it at first, simply because I’m accustomed to saying “no problem”. Intellectually, and from a psychological standpoint, I fully understand why “My Pleasure” sounds better, but my preference had been in place for so long, shaking that took some work.
    *Now*, I find myself saying “my pleasure” everywhere. Even outside of work. Last night when I met A and his brother out for drinks, we were chatting about something and I said “my pleasure”.

  495. 495

    “Less is Moo: The Genius of Gary Larson” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/22/less-is-moo-the-genius-of-gary-larson.html

    Highly enjoyable!
    And now I have inflicted it on all my Farcebork Friends.
    The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County…how I miss them! The re-runs are good, and no mistake, but….

    Eh. Well, if I have my own company I hope I can get away with addressing emails to everyone as “Gentlecritters, …”

    I favor, “Dear [insert appropriate salutation here],…”

    The Venn diagram of irrational bollocks


  496. 496
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    If I’m talking to a group of people, I usually use neutral terms like “people”, “folks” etc. Sometimes gender-inclusive guys. (Best misspelled: u guize!!) Otherwise, I aim to use exact equivalents. Girls & boys, lads & lasses, men & women, ladies & gentlemen. I make a point not to mix them. Sometimes this leads to awkward uses for the men when I follow their lead. You speak of the girls? Ok, I call you a boy. Heh heh.

    Has Scalzi’s take on the PyCon case been pointed out? http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/03/21/two-simple-observations-regarding-women/ (The comments are mostly good, as in, some idiots but they are getting called out.) I am liking Scalzi more & more.

  497. 497
    Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit

    Good evening/whatever time it is where you are [Lounge]-dwellers!
    University has been reducing my free time to practically nil during term time, so I’ve only been skimming the main posts, not comments, but now that it’s Easter break, I’m going to try posting a little more regularly. And also try getting involved in *those* threads.

    On which note, and the main point of this comment, I want to say a massive thankyou to everyone who has been involved recently – major props to Caine, Pterryx, JAL, Tony, and everyone else – I can’t remember all the names who’ve been involved, but thank you for all the work you do, in the face of all the different flavours of douchecanoe, triggers, and everything else.

    *deposits pile of hugs/scritches/comforting feelings/happy thoughts*

  498. 498
    chigau (違う)

    I’m up to March 23, 2012 on Sinfest!

  499. 499

    Beatrice! Four shots of Beatrice up at Rattitude.

  500. 500
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy


    What’s wrong with “Gentles, all”?

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