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May 20 2013

[Lounge #419]

caecilian babies

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Ooh, momma and baby caecilians!

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

673 comments

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  1. 1
    chigau (違う)

    Twice in one day?

  2. 2
    mythbri

    Never go up against a caecilian when death is on the line.

  3. 3
    rq

    Twice what?

  4. 4
    Asad Aboobaker

    Caecilians, you’re breakin’ my heart, you’re shaking my confidence daily
    Oh, caecilians, I’m down on my knees, I’m begging you please to come home

  5. 5
    cicely

    And never get involved with a landshark in Asia.
     
    Or something like that.
    -

  6. 6
    cicely

    :)
    -

  7. 7
    chigau (違う)

    Two first comments.
    It’s the holiday, I’m doing nothing but internetting today.

  8. 8
    chigau (違う)

    caecily
    I’ll never remember how to spell that!

  9. 9
    cicely

    Don’t sweat it, chigau! I was just attempting a Funny.
    *looking at the pic again*
    Or a Scaly.
    -

  10. 10
    rq

    caecily
    Are you changing only for this Lounge iteration, or will you be permanently becoming a multilimbed arthropod?

  11. 11
    rq

    chigau
    If you refresh frequently enough, you can catch all of PZ’s posts as they go up, and be first for all of them today.

  12. 12
    rq

    Saint Caecilian, Blind Patron Arthropod of Music.

  13. 13
    ChasCPeterson

    Arthropod

    nope, that’s a tetrapod vertebrate, same as you.

  14. 14
    Lynna, OM

    In their never-ending quest to see how far right they can go before they fall off the sane plain, Republicans in Virginia have nominated for lieutenant governor one E.W. Jackson. E.W. is a black man with toxic views such as:

    Gays and lesbians have “perverted” minds and are “very sick people psychologically, mentally, emotionally.”

    Gays and lesbians are bigoted against African Americans and Christians.

    Homosexuality “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies.”

    Homosexuality will lead to God’s judgment.

    President Obama has “Muslim sensibilities.

    Democrats have a policy agenda “worthy of the Antichrist.”

    Liberals who support gay rights “have done more to kill black folks than the Ku Klux Klan.”

    The Democrat Party supports Planned Parenthood, which kills millions of unborn black babies.

    Women should be required to report miscarriages to the police. Failure to report will result in jail time.

    Some of the above info comes from Right Wing Watch.

    More at Talking Points Memo.

  15. 15
    cicely

    rq, I am totally limbless for a while.
    :D
    -

  16. 16
    Lynna, OM

    The Supreme Court will soon hear a church-state case:

    The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether a town board in upstate New York violated the First Amendment by starting its sessions with a prayer.

    The case comes from Greece, a town near Rochester. For more than a decade starting in 1999, the town board began its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month.” Town officials said that members of all faiths and atheists were welcome to give the opening prayer.

    In practice, the federal appeals court in New York said, almost all of the chaplains were Christian.

    New York Times link.

  17. 17
    Lynna, OM

    WTF is up with teenagers posting rapes to Facebook? I despair.

    It’s yet another story of how social media can apparently become a tool for abuse — and evidence of it. But the lesson seems all wrong. In Chicago this weekend, prosecutors announced three teenaged boys will tried as adults for aggravated criminal sexual assault after allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl — and posting a video of the attack on Facebook.

    Prosecutors say the girl went to the home of Scandale Fritz last December and, “after she declined his demands for sex, he raped and sodomized her,” and then “demanded the girl have sex with the other two boys” while he recorded it. Chillingly, prosecutors add that Fritz’s companion Kenneth Brown can be seen holding a gun in the video. After the incident, the girl filed a police report and was examined at a local hospital. Two days after the alleged assault, the video appeared on all three boys’ Facebook pages. …

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/20/worst_horrifying_new_trend_posting_rapes_to_facebook/

  18. 18
    Lynna, OM

    Kanye West rapped about the private system and the incarceration of blacks on Saturday Night Live. He got a lost of pushback thanks to his blunt lyrics, but journalists have been pointing out that those lyrics have a basis in prison and arrest statistics:

    … Various industries — from call centers to weapons manufacturers to retail companies — rely on prison labor. Private prisons pay inmate workers as little as 25 cents an hour; prisoners who refuse to work are regularly held in isolation. These are the de facto “new slaves” of the prison industrial complex. The CCA (the Corrections Corp of America) is one of two major private prison corporations (along with the GEO Group) that share in a market worth $70 billion.

    And West’s implication that the CCA and the DEA are “tryn’a” lock up black people, leaving racist intentionality aside, is supported by troubling statistics. While the entire U.S. population is only 13.6 percent black, 40 percent of its vast prison population (over 2.5 million) is black. In 2010, black males were incarcerated at the rate of 4,347 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents of the same race and gender, compared to 678 inmates per 100,000 for white males. The disparities are striking, especially when the majority of those held in U.S. prisons are guilty of minor drug offenses. This brings us to Kanye’s reference to the DEA. …

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/20/the_truth_in_kanyes_anti_prison_rap/

    … CCA has floated a proposal to prison officials in 48 states offering to buy and manage public prisons at a substantial cost savings to the states. In exchange, and here’s the kicker, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and states would have agree to maintain a 90 percent occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. The problem with this scenario, as Roger Werholtz, former Kansas secretary of corrections, recognizes is that while states may be tempted by the quick infusion of cash, they “would be obligated to maintain these (occupancy) rates and subtle pressure would be applied to make sentencing laws more severe with a clear intent to drive up the population.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly what has happened. Among the laws aimed at increasing the prison population and growing the profit margins of special interest corporations like CCA are three-strike laws (mandating sentences of 25 years to life for multiple felony convictions) and “truth-in-sentencing” legislation (mandating that those sentenced to prison serve most or all of their time).

    Huff Po link to John Whitehead’s “Jailing Americans for Profit.”

  19. 19
    rq

    Chas

    Ech. Tetrapod, arthropod, they all have pods. Multiple ones.
    (But yes, I stand corrected.)

    +++

    Speaking of poda, we have Official Bipedalism in Youngest. The little Primate may now go about Wading with impunity. ;)

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Lynna, OM

    This is a follow up to post #14. Yet another Virginia politician wants women to go to jail if they don’t report a miscarriage within 24 hours. Virginia Sen. Mark Obenshain was selected by Republicans to become the next top prosecutor in the state. I wouldn’t want this guy sitting on the prosecutor’s throne.

    The text of Obenshain’s bill:

    [SB962] requires that when a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother at or after the delivery or abortion, the mother or someone acting on her behalf, within 24 hours, report the fetal death, location of the remains, and identity of the mother to the local or state police or sheriff’s department of the city or county where the fetal death occurred. The bill also specifies that no one shall remove, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any remains without the express authorization of law-enforcement officials or the medical examiner, and that a violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor. …

    Salon link.

  22. 22
    broboxley OT

    finished my book yesterday “Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13)” fitting end to the series, no shark jumping like the trueblood series on TV

  23. 23
    broboxley OT

    Lynna, OM #21 perhaps the ladies should start mailing their used tampons to his office, detailing where they were found, and the time noted on the envelope.

  24. 24
    broboxley OT

    Dangit, hit something wrong, addendum to post 23
    Just in case there was an egg with a carryon. He needs to know right?

  25. 25
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Fucking hell. 6am, been up for an hour. The Small Fry woke us crying her tongue was swollen. Her breathing sounded laboured and she coughed some too. A check of her tongue didn’t show anything I could identify as real swelling. But it was really hard to see what with her crying and trying to kick me so I would go away. All I could think was anaphylactic reaction!! But it also could have been just a bit tounge and an I’m-not-really-awake over-reaction on all our parts. I love her dearly, but she’s not yet old enough to be a reliable witness to even her own discomfort.

    She’s breathing easily now, took herself to the toilet and can speak normally. I on the other hand, am a bundle of raw, sleepless nerves. I don’t own a pet because the stress of worrying about its well being is too much for me for fuck’s sake. Why the hell did I think I was fit to be a parent?

  26. 26
    thesandiseattle

    Did FTB lose a blog? I think it did I read Brute reason and Butterflies and Wheels and check for anything new on Blag Hag, and I’m sure I remember a gap between one of those and the others. What Blog went?

  27. 27
    yazikus

    What Blog went?

    I think two were added actually, and that is what caused the shift.

  28. 28
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Everything sucks
    Nothing particularly bad happened. Everything sucks all the time anyway, I just sometimes feel tentatively optimistic about it getting better…. not today, apparently

    Hugs and key lime cake with dark chocolate frosting to Beatrice.

    Horses are the personification of Evil.
    Mosquitoes are merely Their servants.

    I’ve been bitten by a Morgan horse. I have been bitten by mosquitos. I have been bitten by black flies. Of the three, mosquitos are the least evil.

    Twice in one day?

    Occasionally three.

    Wait. What are talking about?

    Lynna:

    The rape? That is horrible. I have no words.

    The GOP? That is horrible. I have no words.

    The VA senator? That is horrible. I have no words.

    I think I need to get drunk tonight.

  29. 29
    cicely

    FossilFishy, does anybody who is fit to be a parent, believe that they are fit to be a parent? Unequivocally?
    -

  30. 30
    Parrowing

    So sorry for your scare, FossilFishy :-/

    *

    Conga rats (and maybe soon conga lines?) to the Youngest, rq!

    *

    thesandiseattle: The missing blogs are Assassin Actual, Blasphemous Blogging, and Cristina Rad’s blog.

  31. 31
    chigau (違う)

    Tauriq Moosa, eh?

  32. 32
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    FossilFishy, does anybody who is fit to be a parent, believe that they are fit to be a parent? Unequivocally?

    The only people I have ever met who thought that they were, unequivocally, fit to be a parent were right wing, neo-nazi, evangelical Christianist dominionist asshats who managed to raise children who were either carbon copies or punching bags. But they knew that they, and only they, had the only right answer and were the embodiment of Truth.

    I’ve learned to be very suspicious of those who claim to have the one and only possible answer to almost anything.

    If I remember correctly, my scoutmaster was sure that he was not only a perfect parent, but also the only one who could possibly raise children to be men.

    I look back at parenting my children and see so many mistakes I made, things I should have (or should not have) done, but Wife and I viewed parenting in a pragmatic manner. Our job was to prepare our children to be functioning adults and to make informed decisions. Were we fit parents? I certainly can’t say that we were. Not unequivocally. But we did our best and admitted our mistakes.

  33. 33
    opposablethumbs

    Conga rats in succeeding in getting everybody to the bipedal stage, rq :)

    And FossilFishy, I am so right there with you. Bringing up Having kids is frightening. And we actually live within walking distance of a hospital (very handy on several occasions). I frequently ask myself what the fuck was I thinking … And none of those things even turned out to be really bad. Agree 100% with Ogvorbis, I would never dream of thinking I had all the answers. Ever. Not even on the same planet as having all the answers. You do your best to give them a chance to grow, intellectually and emotionally, and you fuck up and you just try to fuck up as little as possible (and you still fuck up, and you just try your best). Oh, and tell them you love them a lot.

  34. 34
    markbrown

    #14
    Should that be Eeeww Jackson?

    Hello Horde.

    Week 3 of giving up smoking has begun. I’m slowly getting used to having a sense of taste and smell again. Unfortunately, I realise now that I dislike the smell of the laundry tablets I use :-(

  35. 35
    Ragutis

    This doesn’t compare to the news out of Oklahoma, but Ray Manzarek has died.

  36. 36
    yazikus

    Chiming in to stand in solidarity with FossilFishy, parenting is a wild ride! You sound like an awesome parent.
    My child had a cold last week, and he was sitting on my lap being miserable so I decided to call the doctor to see if they thought I should bring him in. While I was on the phone with the nurse , he shouted (weakly and sickly, if you can imagine) “Tell that nurse I need a shot!”. (he just turned four). So, I believe as parents, sometimes we have to make medical decisions for our kids. He would totally get a shot every time he fell down or felt off if he had his way.

  37. 37
    Jackie

    We just signed the adoption papers!

    Now I see the lawyer tomorrow and soon after get a court date. After that all we have to do is send out invitations and buy too many balloons!

    *Happy Dance*

  38. 38
    Nick Gotts

    Some good news out of Ukania. The passage of the Bill for marriage equality in England and Wales looks assured, and not only that, it’s contributing to an ongoing coming-apart-at-the-seams of the Tory party. I’d say the chances of the current government lasting the year are no more than 50-50.

  39. 39
    raven

    Keyboardist Ray Manzarek of The Doors dies at age 74

    Says it all.

    They played about the time I started becoming sentient. A huge influence.

    Never did get to see them live. The Doors didn’t last all that long because Morrison died young, IIRC, 27.

  40. 40
    mildlymagnificent

    ongoing coming-apart-at-the-seams of the Tory party

    Are there any loose threads that onlookers can grab to help get the process over and done with promptly? These things are never pretty. Shortening the time we have to watch is the best option.

    Though I suppose sitting back, basking in a warm glow of schadenfreude is another.

  41. 41
    Jackie

    Fossilfishy, that sounds scary. Do not feel unqualified. A social worker just told me about some of her panic worthy parenting experiences. Even the pros find this stuff pretty damn difficult.

    Broboxley @23, That was my first thought upon reading about that this morning! I’d feel sorry for the mail carrier though.

  42. 42
    mildlymagnificent

    As for the children thing. Our youngest is almost 30, but I still occasionally have a frisson of guilt/ shame/ fear at some thing or other I reckon I/we did wrong.

    Most reassuring of all, they often tell us that we’re the best parents they know of among their friends. So, either we did do a good job regardless of what we think *or* we successfully indoctrinated them to think so. Win! anyway

  43. 43
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Ooh, momma and baby caecilians!

    I assume it was by caecilian section?

  44. 44
    mildlymagnificent

    Talk about serendipity. Was watching a rerun episode of David Attenborough’s Life In Cold Blood series Sunday night which featured – caecilians.

  45. 45
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Thanks for the support folks.

    In the light of morning she’s got a sore throat and a truly spectacular (very infrequent, not pertussis I’m pretty sure) cough. It’s deeper mine which sounds crazy coming from someone who’s head only reaches my belly button.

    Azkyroth

    That was……outstanding! As one who is willing to perpetrate a pun at every opportunity I do appreciate a good groan.

    And so too was your physics of heat lesson. Thank you so much for that. It made a lot of sense, but I wonder if there’s some sort of sphereing the cow going on in your assumptions. Not because I can see any flaw personally, my physics is far too poor for that. But every site I’ve seen on this matter, including the link you provided talked about turning down the heat by 10 or so degrees at night rather than turning it completely off.

    On the other hand I’m also wondering if they are all using that lesser reduction because the figure no one will actually turn their heat fully off in winter. And now that I think about it, back in
    Canada that wasn’t really an option in some of the house I lived in. Eight hours without heating would be perilously close to frozen pipes, so maybe that advice comes from a CYA place on the part of those sites.

  46. 46
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    And a big HOORAY! with associated pyrotechnics for Ms Paper!

  47. 47
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    There kind of is…but the thing is, real cow shapes have considerably more surface area relative to their volume than spheres, and most of the simplifying assumptions in my analysis would either underestimate heat loss rates (not considering convection, especially not considering radiative heat loss in detail, ignoring drafts and extended surfaces, etc.) or would be self-correcting since the house would cool with the heat off by the same mechanism it loses heat with the heat on…just at an exponentially decreasing rate (I don’t mean “rapidly,” I mean there’s literally an e^x term in the equation).

  48. 48
    cicely

    The only people I have ever met who thought that they were, unequivocally, fit to be a parent were right wing, neo-nazi, evangelical Christianist dominionist asshats who managed to raise children who were either carbon copies or punching bags. But they knew that they, and only they, had the only right answer and were the embodiment of Truth.
     
    I’ve learned to be very suspicious of those who claim to have the one and only possible answer to almost anything.

    And this is my experience, as well. Reminds me of the saying, “Anyone who desperately wants to be (king/president) should on no account be entrusted with the job”.
    -

    Week 3 of giving up smoking has begun. I’m slowly getting used to having a sense of taste and smell again. Unfortunately, I realise now that I dislike the smell of the laundry tablets I use :-(

    Then don’t smoke them.
    -

    We just signed the adoption papers!

    *confetti&balloons&fireworks*
    -

  49. 49
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    You know Azkyroth, you said in your first post that your assumptions were making it look even worse for the don’t turn the heat down theory. You’d think I would have noticed that. Sigh. Cheers for your patience.

    My plan is to do the damn experiment. We have access to a power meter that’s separate from the one the electric company uses. Ms. Fishy spruiked a collective solar panel buying scheme for a living last year. The only thing I lack is proper thermometers for inside and outside. But we’re going to need those for the new house, it’s crucial to know when to open and close the windows for maximise heating/cooling from the outside air.

  50. 50
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Oh, I should have mentioned that we use big electric panels to for heat because the antique, uninsulated farm house we now live in has intrinsic heating of any kind. That makes it easy to track the energy use of the various heating schemes.

  51. 51
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Or, maybe not.

    Is there someone with a fair amount of experience (first or secondhand) with heavy marijuana use who’d be willing to look over an account of what happened this weekend and tell me how consistent it is with marijuana effects?

  52. 52
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    *warning*
    Possible long post ahead (it ends on a good note
    ):

    I’m sitting here feeling something.
    I’m not sure what.
    I’ve just spent a while discussing drug addiction and treatment with a stranger at Emerald City. By the end of the conversation I was moved to tears.

    The bar has been empty for a while. Other than myself and the bartender (J), only one other person was here, a gentleman named R. I wasn’t paying much attention, but I noticed that they were engaged in a conversation for a while (corner of the eye kinda thing). I don’t try to pry into conversations, but having developed ‘bartender ears’, I’ve found that I pick up on things other people say.
    At some point, R made a comment about triggers.
    Having spent several years at Pharyngula, I’ve come to have an understanding of triggers and why they’re important.
    Upon hearing R talk about triggers, I perked up somewhat. I was still surfing around online, but I was paying a bit more attention.
    As their conversation continued, I found myself drawn in, deeper. I decided to see if they were open to my presence in their talk (they were). I thanked R for discussing triggers and the need for them. He went on to talk about how his son has been suffering from drug addiction (heroin) for many years. We discussed the approach to drug abuse and addiction in the US. I found that R and I shared many of the same opinions. I found myself very engrossed when he began talking about his son’s troubles. R mentioned that he and his son had explored several places that treat addiction, but so many of them never treated the underlying issue. R said he found somewhere in Arizona (his son lives in Iowa, and he lives in SC). He has spent $44K for a 3 week treatment for his son, who finishes up this week.
    Listening to R talk about his son, I really felt his love. He never once denigrated his son. He never talked about what a failure his son was. He never said anything other than “I would do anything for my son”. Listening to him talk about how his son has struggled for years until this program, I could tell it pained him. He and I talked at length about the criminal justice system in the US, the War on Drugs, the illegality of drugs, proper treatment, and so much more.
    At the end of our talk, I gently asked how long his son had been done with the program, and R told me he finishes this week.
    I paused for a second and looked at R and told him:
    “I look at you and see the love you have for your son. The unconditional support you have shown for him is evident. I am so happy for you and for him. He is incredibly lucky to have such a loving father as you. You are a good man.”
    He clearly had to hold back tears as he said “thank you”.

    I may never see R again, but I hope that his son remains drug free, and that they have many years together. He is one of those parents that I would like to read more of. I find myself in tears just typing this out. I read stories frequently of parents that kick their children out for being gay or pregnant. I read stories of parents that try to get teens arrested because they fell in love with their child. Even though the subject matter we were discussing was deep…even though drug abuse is a serious problem…I was overjoyed to listen to a father talk about how he loved his son.

    It was amazing.

  53. 53
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    markbrown:
    Hello, and good luck in your attempt to stop smoking.

  54. 54
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Azkyroth

    Is there someone with a fair amount of experience (first or secondhand) with heavy marijuana use who’d be willing to look over an account of what happened this weekend and tell me how consistent it is with marijuana effects?

    Dude, what’s the what?

  55. 55
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    WMDKitty:
    I feel lost as well…
    Unless Azkyroth is referring to the events of WiS2..?

  56. 56
    chigau (違う)

    See. #52
    That’s why I love Tony.

  57. 57
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    chigau:
    :blushing: thank you

  58. 58
    chigau (違う)

    Azkyroth has an ongoing issue with an ex-spouse and offspring and custody.
    Offspring is often in the ‘custody’ of ex-spouse, who is an alcoholic.
    Recently, ex-spouse is switching from alcohol to other substances.
    Azkyroth is asking for advice in a round-about way because this is a meat-space issue involving actual lawyers and judges.
    And they all have Internet access.

  59. 59
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    chigau:
    Ok. Thank you for the clarification.
    ****
    Azkyroth:
    I have some first hand experience and would be willing to look over the account of this weekend.
    My email is tanthonyv at the yahoo thingee.

  60. 60
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Tony, thank you so much for sharing that. Beautiful.

    markbrown

    Some find it useful to realise that the act of quitting smoking is a skill in and of itself that must be learned. Rather than an all or nothing mindset which can produce extra stress, their thinking is more “I’m finding out what works for me to achieve this goal.” That way if they fail there’s no shame, just more data on what works and what doesn’t for them. I can’t think of any other skill where people are expected to be perfectly capable of doing it the first time the try. So why should quitting smoking be any different?

    Another thing to consider is that for a minority of people nicotine affects their brains in a much more profound way. In the presence of nicotine their brains grow more nicotine receptors. They get a much greater kick out of it because of that, and consequently have a much, much harder time quitting.

  61. 61
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    FossilFishy:
    Have you had some experience trying to quit smoking? From your comments to markbrown it seems like some firsthand knowledge on your part. Apologies if this is too personal a question (I often wrestle with myself when curious about others here in the Lounge. There’s a part of me that wants to inquire about things, but at the same time, I recognize that I have no right to any information and it can be rude to ask, so if I’ve crossed a line, please let me know).

  62. 62
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    I’m offering my own experiences with weed, man.

  63. 63
    SallyStrange

    See. #52
    That’s why I love Tony.

    *snif* Something in my eye, man.

    I’m offering my own experiences with weed, man.

    Whoa.

  64. 64
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    All second-hand Tony, much like the smoke.* I’ve had those I love struggle with quitting and being an evidence based guy I looked into it a bit. Mind you, this was years ago, so there may be better information out there now. IANAD and all that.

    One of the things they don’t tell you when you’re encouraging someone you’re intimate with to quit is that kissing them will become much more chancy. Before she always tasted like smoke, after it was whatever she’d been eating recently. Came as a bit of a shock that. :)

    *Why yes, I do think I’m funny, why do you ask? ;)

  65. 65
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I finally gathered enough courage to go get my blood work done. The last time I’ve had my blood drawn was more than a decade ago, possibly even 15 years or so.
    I was pretty much terrified, even though my vague memories don’t include much pain. But blood! Going out of me! Via a thick needle! !!!
    I have no idea what was so scary now that it’s done. Pain can be compared to a slightly more than usually aggressive mosquito, and I don’t even feel faint or anything.

    If I weren’t too thin, maybe I could even go and donate blood now. But I don’t think I could deceive anyone into believing I weigh over the limit.

  66. 66
    rq

    Good morning!
    Thanks for the conga rats for Youngest. He’s got the Zombie Stagger down pat, but I’m pretty sure he’s still trying to balance out the nimbleness of his feet with inertia and gravity. The humand brain is a magnificent thing!
    FossilFishy
    I’m with everyone (that is, caecily, Ogvorbis, opposablethumbs, yazikus, mildlymagnificent, and myself) here: if you’re capable of questioning your own abilities, and if you’re capable of rational thought, and if you’re capable of worrying to the extent of losing sleep over your children, you’ll be alright as a parent. Plus, the stories you tell seem to show SmallFry as an adorable, well-adjusted, well-fed, spritely and too-smart-for-her-own-good adult-to-be. :) *hugs*
    Jackie
    *confetti&sparkles&champagne*, that is fantastic news, congratulations!! *morehugs*

    markbrown
    Good luck with the quitting. Unfortunately, I have no advice, myself being in an on-again phase, seeing as how I just lack the will-power to drop it completely. *sigh* Ah well, you’re better than I am!

    Tony, man, you’re, like… I think I’ve called you amazing and awesome too many times, so I need a new word for you. :)

  67. 67
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    My dad was pretty amazing at quitting smoking.
    He had a heart attack, ended up in the hospital for two weeks, doctors said he should quit smoking and he did. Hasn’t smoked a single one after the heart attack.

  68. 68
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Beatrice
    I feel exactly the same way about having blood drawn, plus also the pain. That aside, I still couldn’t donate blood here in the States, on account of the whole having sex with men thing.

    Tony
    You kick ass.

    Markbrown
    My husband had exactly that same problem with the laundry when he quit.

    I hate the flu (or whatever the hell we’ve all got, but fever and nausea lasting several days sounds like it to me)

  69. 69
    rq

    Beatrice
    I hate getting bloodwork done. :( But good for you for getting it done! The only way I walk (semi-)willingly into the blood nurse’s office is when I’m pregnant and my ob/gyn tells me I have to go.

    Dalillama
    Oh no, get well soon for all of you!!! *hot tea* :(

  70. 70
    mildlymagnificent

    More recent Australian quit smoking ads have taken the line, never give up giving up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQpcK5gL5W8

    There’s a more recent one than this telling people that every giving up experience makes it easier to give up completely in the future. (Which sort of lines up with another series which talks about the health benefits of every cigarette you don’t smoke.)

  71. 71
    rq

    Sadly, it’s not just nerds and techies with the objectification. Poets and other writers do it, too.
    While I strongly object to this Brazilian referee being automatically labelled as gay, I do think he mised his calling as a professional ballet dancer somewhere along the line.
    Some people have all the luck, even when swallowed by a hippo. Not quite Jonah and the whale, but still.
    Is quantum cryptography really going to save the internet? But the way this system is described, I am reminded of the old telephone network with a poor operator at the center, plugging those jacks all day long.
    Why Murcans are not flocking to Canada even with all the ridiculousness down there.

  72. 72
    opposablethumbs

    Thank you for telling us about R, Tony. That must be unbearably hard to deal with. I can’t think of much that could hurt worse than seriously bad shit happening to a Spawn… :( I hope it works out for them. And I hope maybe you can help out Azkyroth with some info.
    .
    Good luck with the ongoing quitting, markbrown.

    And long, long lines of ululating conga rats to Jackie! Adoption festivities FTW!!!!
    .
    .
    I am so dreading this coming weekend. SonSpawn is so, so unhappy. When you’re really little, you’re not fully aware of having a disability; now he’s aware of it but conflates it with the delusion that he’s unlikable (he really isn’t. But it’s logical-to-him: no-one to do stuff with outside of scheduled activities = no friends = nobody likes him = he’s unlikable). I know I’d be a wreck if it were me. And it’s right in the middle of exams, too. :((((

    We should have a quite nice present for him (picking it up today or tomorrow, I hope), but that isn’t going to do much more than take the edge of the edge off. The only thing we could think of to do is take him to a late-night jam session the night before, so at least technically he’ll be out on his birthday (unfortunately it may be a guest-musicians only one rather than an anyone-can-sit-in one, so he may not get to play, but the music should be OK at least. We went to one last Sunday at a different place and he got to play on two numbers, which was not too bad. His birthday falls on the Saturday, and venues tend not to have jam-sessions on Saturdays because they’re not big-money draws. Luckily there seems to be one possibility for the Friday night, but we’ve never been to that one before so don’t know what it will be like. Fingers crossed).

  73. 73
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Sent.

  74. 74
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I feel for your SonSpawn, opposablethumbs.
    It’s good of you that you are taking so much care about finding enjoyable tings for him to do. Not all parents would, and would take an easier path of just letting him deal with everything alone.

  75. 75
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi folks
    We had a good night with my friends
    Here’s the playmat/quilt I made
    Don’t go looking for right angles, there aren’t any as I quilted the blocks individually.
    Also: German Post: Driving you nuts since 1490…
    rq
    Yay for bipedalism
    And as for the umpire video, this is the one and only time a top youtube-comment is good

    It’s not being GAY it’s being FABULOUS

    At least he seems to very much enjoy his job.

    Yay for Jackie and adoption papers signed.
    And for mildlimagnificent for getting Mr. magnificent back where he belongs.

    Hugs for Fossil Fishy and spawn

    opposablethumbs
    Could you contact the people from the jam session so he can play or would taht feel too much of “surprise for the child”. I feel for both of you. I’m so glad that #1 has finally decided that she wants to interact with other kids and since we ran out of luck somewhere back in the 1990s the two of them are younger than her and will stay in kindergarten when she goes to school…

  76. 76
    rq

    opposablethumbs
    Good luck with the birthday, I hope it is enjoyable for everyone, and I hope that SonSpawn may soon realize that he is likeable!
    Also, I hope the jam session ends up being open to everyone, and that he gets a chance to play.
    And, you are an awesome parent, because of everything and what Beatrice said above.

  77. 77
    bluentx

    Caecily ‘… I am vindicated! When Cicely can’t even spell Cicely… *
    -
    I know you’ve probably all seen this but I can’t get over this particular image:
    Cleveland.com/
    Modern suburban wasteland…
    90 fatalities and counting… the search continues…

    -
    *I know only I obsess about that Tpyo** but vindication is vindication, damn it!

    **Hail!

  78. 78
    rq

    The colour purple for cicely caecily. (As you may have noticed, the lilacs are out!)

    First climate refugees? You mean global warming is for real??

  79. 79
    rq

    bluentx
    I think your link is out!

  80. 80
    bluentx

    Well, link didn’t work and now I can’t find the exact photo..
    Stand By … We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties…

  81. 81
  82. 82
    rq

    Wow, bluentx, there’s just nothing left. :| Wow.

  83. 83
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Good morning!

    I’ve been taking stock of my character list in my story. Non-human races aside, I have a pretty decent diversity of the different racial archetypes of the humans. Dark-haired white people, light-haired white people, tan-skinned people, dark-skinned people. I’m impressed that it just kind of naturally ended up that way. I have more white people cause there are the two separate archetypes (the Tavserian blond-haired, blue-eyed race and the Moorian dark-haired, brown-eyed race) but there’s about equal numbers of the four.

  84. 84
    bluentx

    A discussion on a radio talk show brought up something I think about every time there is a ‘Severe Storm Warning’ locally. [And the Storm Warnings seem to be more frequent in the last few years- as opposed to the 1970's when I was living in the same area and actually the same house as I am now.]
    Why don’t houses have storm shelters anymore?
    A doubly strange question considering that the house I live in was built around 1920. In that era – and in this area- backyard storm shelters were common. (Why didn’t the builder/owner- supposedly well off- not include a shelter?) Basements are not common here but in the past, storm shelters -as seen in the movie Places In The Heart were.
    Maybe they should become common again!
    -
    Exactly. rq ! And this wasn’t a trailer park like the day before:
    http://www.news9.com/story/22297740/gov-fallin-to-tour-oklahoma-tornado-damage

  85. 85
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Has anyone joined Secular Women? My CFI donation dollars need a new, good home. Any other good orgs needing my $$ I should consider?

  86. 86
    bluentx

    “Here Comes The Sun”:
    http://youtu.be/Bj1AesMfIf8
    Better get out there and mow while it’s ‘tha coolest’- before I get some ZZZZ’s….

  87. 87
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    bluentx
    Wow that leaves you pretty speechless.
    Oh, and if you think it’s too warm, just send some 10°C over here, we could do with it (temperatures of 3-10°C expected for the rest of the week).

    +++
    So, I’m digging through the WiS 2 disaster.
    Yeah, Ron Lindsay compares Rebecca to North Korea but he is reasonable and civil and polite and meassured an most of all gets smeared by the evil womenz.
    I think I need to make a Bingo card. With “North Korea” and “Witch Hunt” and such we should get the 25 spaces filled. Free space: You need to be more civil. Like them.

  88. 88
    rq

    Katherine
    Yay on diversity! When it comes that effortlessly, you’re probably glad it’s not another one of those things that really needs thinking about!

    Giliell
    Heck, forget bluentx, I can send you some degrees, shipping will be a lot cheaper. We’ve been around
    +30s since Friday, with intermittent thunderstorms, and I’d be glad to reduce that to a comfortable, non-humid (maximum of) 24 or so. With the sun, of course. But you can have some of that, too.

    bluentx
    I was going to ask about storm shelters, especially re: the elementary school. I thought those things were standard (or at least, easily accessible basements, like in Wizard of Oz!), in light of the tornadoes that have a tendency to hang about in the area. And you’d think that one of those would be obligatory for a school (a gym-sized one), for everyone to hunker down for an afternoon if the tornado warnings are out. :/
    I’m surprised to learn they’re not. :(

  89. 89
    opposablethumbs

    Thank you for the good wishes, Beatrice, Giliell and rq! Much appreciated ::hugs you all hard::

    It’s just hard to know that your spawn is unhappy … dog knows being a teenager is hard enough at the best of times, and parents are all very well but no substitute for having people your own age to hang out with. Still, who knows, maybe he’ll eventually meet a few people who want to hang out with him. It looms so large at that age that it’s hard to see anything beyond the social issues, but eventually I hope he’ll realise how lucky he is in some other respects. (you can’t really say anything at a jam if you’re not a player yourself, but generally speaking he’s learning to deal with joining in or not in these sorts of situations, same as any other newcomer. If he gets to play, that’s great; if not, he’ll enjoy listening).

    Who did you mean with “two of them younger than her”,Giliell? I wasn’t sure if this was about #1′s fellow kindergarteners, or her sibling …???

    Yay for the mildlymagnificents! Damn, I meant to say that earlier but I think I forgot. Being able to live at home again is HUGE. And yes to having a proper health service system that makes that possible.

    Good to hear about how the writing is coming on, Katherine – it sounds more and more interesting … this must be world-building on a truly epic scale.
    .
    Ron Lindsay … I should have known better, I suppose, but I managed to be surprised as well as disappointed. You really don’t expect the head of any organisation to start a conference off by undermining it. In what universe was that going to be a good idea?

  90. 90
    Jackie

    Thanks for the pyrotechnics and confetti bombing!

    Good luck on putting down the smokes!

  91. 91
    md

    Hey Hey, some mildly optimistic news on the climate change front.

    http://www.uwe-merckens.com/bilder/Wetter/ngeo.pdf

  92. 92
    rq

    Yesterday’s Official Milestone: Bipedalism achieved.
    Today’s Official Milestone: Climbing the stairs all by his lonesome.
    *sigh* They grow up so quickly! Soon he’ll be surreptitiously ‘borrowing’ the car for a date of which we do not approve.

  93. 93
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty
    There are never enough balloons!

    As an adoptee, I’m especially happy for ya’ll!

  94. 94
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    rq
    Bipedalism rocks!

  95. 95
    rq

    Ye Olde Blacksmith
    I love the Spocktopus addition! :D

  96. 96
    rq

    Ye Olde Blacksmith
    Indeedy it does. Also means that he can now (more) easily reach all the table-tops and window-sills. Funny, facing this issue the third time around, I can safely say I’m a lot more blase about it (the reaching bit, seeing the mix of excitement, joy and trepidation at their own walking abilities is still awesome!).

  97. 97
    chigau (違う)

    rq
    Yeah but can he go down the stairs all by his lonesome?
    That’s the tricky part.

  98. 98
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Smokers: Public Service Announcement: You may email me for a concise buyer’s/user’s guide to the best e-cigarettes. I’ve been off cigs for three years after 22 years of smoking 2 packs a day. Yes, they work, yes they’re infinitely better for you. It’s not the nicotine that’s likely to kill you, it’s the smoke. If you’re not afraid of nicotine gum or patches, you shouldn’t be afraid of e-cigarettes.

    Yes, my smell and taste came back after a month, and yes, I lost the morning cough and phlegm. My cardiologist (oh, how “amusing” it is to have one in my 30s) approves of them foursquare (I’ve already had a heart attack): “I don’t care how long you use them, just don’t smoke. You’re getting clean nicotine, and that’s fine.”

    If you’re interested, spokesgay at the google mails.

  99. 99
    rq

    chigau
    I know, which is why there’s a gate at the top that closes once he’s on the second floor. ;)
    (He does fine on the outside short stairs, but that’s only 5 actual steps, rather than the ~20 and far steeper indoors.)

  100. 100
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Katherine
    Yay! I’m glad to see it coming along.

  101. 101
    rq

    This might be something worth watching, a piece of history of which I was not aware!
    And maybe this site is well-known hereabouts, but it was an eye-opening read on feminism as white privilege to me.

  102. 102
    dianne

    It’s not the nicotine that’s likely to kill you, it’s the smoke.

    Technically nicotine can kill you-it’s a poison the tobacco plant makes to protect itself against animals that might otherwise eat it. But e-cigarettes are vastly less dangerous than smoked nicotine. Congratulations on stopping smoking.

  103. 103
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yes, Dianne, I know. I also knew it would be very, very important for someone to “correct” me and point out that nicotine is a poison, even though the scenarios in which it could kill a person are so vastly unlikely as to be perverse to consider in this context. Thanks for that. I’d feel bereft if someone—especially a physician!—didn’tfind a rusty lining for any solution that’s not “quit or die.”

    Sorry, but yeah. That.

  104. 104
    blf

    Soon he’ll be surreptitiously ‘borrowing’ the car for a date of which we do not approve.

    When I read that to the mildly deranged penguin it not-quite-intentionally came out as “Soon he’ll be surreptitiously ‘borrowing’ the cat for a fate of which we do not approve.” She, of course, is now wondering what you have against using kitties as trebuchet ammo.

    (And fir the fost time in a long time, I spelled trebuchet correctedly teh frsit tiem!)

  105. 105
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    rq
    With mine, I especially enjoyed watching her begin to explore away from our immediate location.
    *toddle X feet away*
    *look at us to make sure we are not too far away*
    *explore a little further*
    *look back at us*
    *woops, too far…toddle back*

  106. 106
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Josh
    Creepy synchronicity! :)
    Better Half and I were just discussing setting *another* quit day this morning. I’ll be sending you a RFI later today.

  107. 107
    boygenius

    @ rq #96:

    I’m picturing Allie from Hyperbole and a Half: REACH ALL THE TABLETOPS!

  108. 108
    boygenius

    Why don’t Firefox text editor tags work w/ FtB?

  109. 109
    dianne

    Sorry to offend you, Josh. Goodbye.

  110. 110
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    *hugs to everybody that need or wants them* y’all are awesome!

  111. 111
    boygenius

    Josh,

    If you don’t mind, may I hit you up for the e-cig tutorial as well? I quit smoking tobacco right about the time you had your heart thingy. (Which is also about the same time period that I dropped out of cyberspace. I’m back. For what it’s worth.) I reverted back to my ‘gateway-drug’ of smokeless tobacco, however.

    I tried one of the e-cigs (Blue-Cig, or some such.) but wasn’t impressed.

    As gum disease, tooth loss, and my very own 3D-printed replacement jawbone are not really attractive alternatives to heart disease, emphysema and lung cancer, I would be interested in an alternative nicotine delivery system. At least until I can wrassle the demons into submission.

  112. 112
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Boygenius: Anyone is free to email me for the e-cig guide. I did all the shit ones (like Blu) so you don’t have to!

  113. 113
    rorschach

    Josh, don’t be an asshole to Dianne. For god’s sake, I think your diet is much more likely to kill you than your smoking. Everytime I read about your culinary extravaganzas here I shake my head thinking how can anyone eat that much. What you profess here to eat on any given night with friends visiting, I eat in a month. I realize it’s an American thing, but it’s deadly nonetheless. Don’t have a go at us for pointing it out.

  114. 114
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    What in the world is wrong with you, Rorschach? My god. . .

  115. 115
    rorschach

    Thank you for smearing me on twitter now, Josh. When I wasn’t blaming you for anything, but merely pointing out that I think your diet, as you tell us about it here every now and then, is not entirely healthy. It’s not fat-shaming. I’m insulted you would think that.

  116. 116
    chigau (違う)

    That sure is a cute picture of baby whatevers there at the top of this Lounge thread.

  117. 117
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Please stop talking to me Rorschach.

  118. 118
    rorschach

    Stop smearing me on Twitter then. Good night. There goes another presumed rational atheist.

  119. 119
    David Marjanović

    the fact that her friend did have sex with Mal

    Oh. That wasn’t even hinted at in her tirade, so I forgot it’s in the same episode. Now I get it, thanks!!!

    rot13 on the Doctor Who:

    :-} Always good when main characters turn out not to be jerks after all.

    Really? Really??!!?? WTF does that even mean?

    Pretty obvious to me: the question was if you’ve grown milk glands.

    What makes somebody start a conversation about boobs out of the blue, on the other hand, is not obvious to me at all.

    I have a feeling more than a few here might want to sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/assistant-state-attorney-brian-workman-stop-the-prosecution-of-an-18-year-old-girl-in-a-same-sex-relationship

    Most popular reason: “I’m currently defending this nation’s rights and freedoms across seas. The prosecution of an innocent girl is not what I signed up to protect.”

    *threecheers&confetti* for the magnificents!!! :) That is excellent news!

    Seconded :-)

    I already miss being able to chat and hang out with Pharyngulites T^T

    *hugs* *emergency kittens*

    Everything sucks

    It does. *hugs* *emergency kittens* *chocolate* *calming manatees*

    And never get involved with a landshark in Asia.

    Or something like that.
    -

    caecily

    :)

    ♥ ♥ ♥

    a multilimbed arthropod

    It’s a limbless amphibian. Even in their embryonic development (where known), caecilians have no trace of limbs or girdles.

    WTF is up with teenagers posting rapes to Facebook? I despair.

    Well, at least that makes it very easy to find them. Now excuse me… my mouth is oddly dry.

    Speaking of poda, we have Official Bipedalism in Youngest. The little Primate may now go about Wading with impunity. ;)

    Yay yay yay! :-)

    Lynna, OM #21 perhaps the ladies should start mailing their used tampons to his office, detailing where they were found, and the time noted on the envelope.

    “Fetus” means “in the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy” (somehow it’s never applied to eggs, so birds or crocodiles stay “embryos” all the way to hatching).

    The GOP? That is horrible. I have no words.

    True even without any context!

    We just signed the adoption papers!

    *confetti&balloons&fireworks*

    Seconded :-)

    I decided to see if they were open to my presence in their talk

    How did you do that?

    Pain can be compared to a slightly more than usually aggressive mosquito

    Horsefly. Definitely not mosquito.

    If I weren’t too thin, maybe I could even go and donate blood now. But I don’t think I could deceive anyone into believing I weigh over the limit.

    *chocolate*
    *more chocolate*
    ;-)

    (…No, seriously, it doesn’t seem to work. I live off the stuff and haven’t gained weight in years.)

    never give up giving up

    So… full… of… win…

    swallowed by a hippo

    What? No, not swallowed. The hippo just took him in his mouth.

    And I’m surprised he didn’t know that hippos are territorial enough that they will kill you for trespassing. They kill a lot more people than crocodiles. Crocodiles will kill you when they’re hungry – and they’re not always hungry.

    Why Murcans are not flocking to Canada even with all the ridiculousness down there.

    “The Beaver Lake Cree have documented 20,000 treaty violations in the face of tar sands expansion.” I giggled. Sometimes reality is just ridiculous.

    It’s good of you that you are taking so much care about finding enjoyable tings for him to do. Not all parents would, and would take an easier path of just letting him deal with everything alone.

    QFT.

    temperatures of 3-10°C expected for the rest of the week

    Huh. It’s warmer over here – though still rather cool for the season, at less than 15 °C all week. On Sunday it was summer.

    Yesterday’s Official Milestone: Bipedalism achieved.
    Today’s Official Milestone: Climbing the stairs all by his lonesome.

    o_O Wow.

    *sigh* They grow up so quickly! Soon he’ll be surreptitiously ‘borrowing’ the car for a date of which we do not approve.

    My… second half-cousin once removed in Serbia eloped with her boyfriend on his motorbike when she was three. (It was, admittedly, a toy motorbike.)

    This might be something worth watching, a piece of history of which I was not aware!

    I didn’t know either!

    Thanks for that. I’d feel bereft if someone—especially a physician!—didn’tfind a rusty lining for any solution that’s not “quit or die.”

    Sorry, but yeah. That.

    …I don’t quite get your point. While there’s AFAIK no question that nicotine is harmless in such doses, it is, in fact, a poison in higher doses. It’s sold as a herbicide, which has occasionally been used for suicides (where people drank, like, 20 times the deadly dose because they underestimated how poisonous it is). What’s wrong with dianne pointing this out, even though it’s a bit off-topic?

  120. 120
    David Marjanović

    What in the world is wrong with you, Rorschach?

    He had been holding back for too long for fear of offending you (which he avoids because he likes you) and because it wasn’t on topic, and now he’s blurting it all out at once.

    I think I know the feeling; I get it every time I point out to Nerd of Redhead that he’s had an automatic reaction to keywords again instead of reading for understanding, or complain to Kagehi that he’s used quotation marks for emphasis again (much of the time it’s obvious that that’s what he means, but it’s not uncommon that it takes me a long time or I don’t get it at all).

    There goes another presumed rational atheist.

    And you just had to blow this up into a comparison to people who harm others instead of themselves, who even contribute to a whole culture of harm. *headdesk* That’s not rational either.

  121. 121
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Not just that, David. It’s rude, presumptuous, mean, and bloody inaccurate to boot. Not that it’s his business anyway, but if I were eating myself to an early grave I wouldn’t be 30 fucking pounds lighter than I used to be.

    That’s not “noting” or giving a shit, that’s getting off on calling someone a pig.

  122. 122
    sisu

    thesandiseattle @26:

    Did FTB lose a blog? I think it did I read Brute reason and Butterflies and Wheels and check for anything new on Blag Hag, and I’m sure I remember a gap between one of those and the others. What Blog went?

    Assassin Actual is gone.

  123. 123
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Must stop reading FTB and get something done today. :(

  124. 124
    rq

    Ye Olde Blacksmith
    I know the feeling!

  125. 125
    David Marjanović

    that’s getting off on calling someone a pig

    I can’t see him getting off, and “pig” strikes me as an oversimplification… but he’ll have to answer to that himself.

  126. 126
    David Marjanović

    I keep forgetting to post this video: while a man catches his wife cheating on him and confronts her, her lover escapes out of the window in his underpants and walks away on the street – all in front of a cheering or jeering crowd*. Don’t be afraid when he jumps, he lands softly.

    * No sound here.

  127. 127
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Congratulations, Jackie!!!

  128. 128
    birgerjohansson

    “Origins of human culture linked to rapid climate change” http://phys.org/news/2013-05-human-culture-linked-rapid-climate.html
    #
    Younger Dryas: “Comprehensive analysis of impact spherules supports theory of cosmic impact 12,800 years ago” http://phys.org/news/2013-05-comprehensive-analysis-impact-spherules-theory.html

  129. 129
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    And you’d think that one of those would be obligatory for a school (a gym-sized one), for everyone to hunker down for an afternoon if the tornado warnings are out. :/
    I’m surprised to learn they’re not. :(

    Children are replaceable; the peasants will make more without even being asked.

    Now, tax dollars, on the other hand… *spits*

  130. 130
    Lynna, OM

    Here is an article from Politics UK that notes some Moments of Mormon Madness, and that also questions the UK government’s need for a ministry that represents religious people.

    As you must have seen, the Church of the Latter Day Saints have capitalised on the attention given to their sect by the musical The Book Of Mormon (which I recommend to you) by mounting a major advertising campaign in search of converts. This activity benefits from the charitable status accorded to that Church and contributions towards it are eligible for gift aid. In effect, they are being subsidised by non-Mormon taxpayers. I shall be asking you shortly to give your views on this situation on behalf of the government, but I would first like to put some general questions about your ministerial role.

    Why do you and the government believe it necessary or desirable to create a ministry specifically to represent people who hold religious views? Why should they be paid special attention in the framing of public policy? How does this fit with the concept of equality of representation, which is at the heart of our modern democracy? The evidence of history and of many contemporary states suggests that religious politics are a scourge: why does the government want to encourage them in our country? Why does the government assume that any religious faith represents a coherent interest group and that all its members have a common view on any political, social or ethical topic?…

    As to the Mormons, I made a considerable study of that faith last year due to the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney. I did not like what I found…

    It [mormonism] compels its members, including children, to study the Book of Mormon and other “scriptures” which are a fraudulent farrago, purveying as history events which are totally fictitious and often preposterous, and with numerous passages based on racism or sexism. It has suppressed criticisms of its narratives, and encourages members to obey the authority of its ‘prophets’ and ignore normal standards of reasoning and evidence.

    It extorts from members, rich or poor, a tenth of their gross income …It also requires members to contribute free labour.

    While professing admiration for family life, its activities eat into family time. It disparages certain kinds of family which do not conform to its model of family life, particularly those with two working parents and those raised by choice by single parents. It still promotes sexism and regards gay people as sinful or afflicted (who should not raise children).

    … It requires them to wear strange undergarments and to forego many normal and lawful pleasures.

  131. 131
    kimbeaux

    Is PZ stepping out on the Horde? Posting to–of all things–a Kitty diary?

    (Scroll down to the kraken for proof!)

  132. 132
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good evening
    So, if you’re still following the latest disaster in the sceptical movement, <a href="http://giliell.de/Sexism%20in%20Secularism.pdf&quot; I made you a Bingo card to play

    Opposablethumbs
    Sorry for not having been clearer. I meant #1′s friends in kindergarten. She never ever showed more than an academic interest for other children and never played with anybody except her sister. She would mostly sit at the drawing table and live in her own little world of paintings and ba happy at that as far as we could tell. And now she finally has some friends, but they’ll stay behind when she moves on.
    But I’m also hopefull because she me quite a lot of progress recently like talking to people, volunteering answers and groking some basic social norms like saying hello when other children greet you by your name, so I think that she’ll move on to primary school and make new friends.

  133. 133
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    kimbeaux
    Not stepping out… Represent’n!

  134. 134
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Mostly threadrupt.

    Beatrice and FossilFishy – *hugs and chocolate*

    Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty – Congratulations!

    chigau:

    That’s why I love Tony.

    Me too!

  135. 135
    opposablethumbs

    Ah, now I get it, Giliell, thank you. I remember you mentioned a bit about that before, but I wasn’t sure I had understood and thought I might be getting mixed up.

    Sounds good, in fact, and she’s what, about 4 or 5??? (don’t know what age you go from kindergarten to school in Germany). So will this be in September this year? I hope she likes her new school – and from what you have said in the past, I bet she loves a lot of her lessons (as long as they let her read ahead when she wants to! Schools are pretty good about that, usually, aren’t they? Sometimes I wish I could go back to primary school … :-))

  136. 136
    vaiyt

    Anyone can help me? I’ve been trying to follow up a discussion on Taslima’s blog, but my login isn’t working well…

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima/2013/05/17/misogyny-knows-no-bounds/

    If someone could bring the heavy argumentative weaponry, it would be nice as well.

  137. 137
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Sorry, vaiyt. I skimmed the comments and I can’t go there right now. Sorry.

  138. 138
    Lynna, OM

    Matt Taibbi, writing in Rolling Stone, seems to be one of the few journalists examining the most recent series of attacks on financial regulation. Our regulatory system is being torn down, and no one is watching.

    … this is the key to understanding how financial lobbyists succeed in getting what [they want] on the regulatory front: They never stop. It’s not a war of ideas, it’s a war of resources. You march up the Hill with some crazy idea about overturning a bill prohibiting bailouts of companies that engage in risky derivative trades, you get knocked down, and you march up again, then you march up again, and again . . .

    With each successive attempt, you peel off a few more Committee members in the House, slowly but surely weakening resolve. And while you’re attacking on the legislative front, you also file a series of lawsuits that tie up the process by targeting reforms in court, and then you also send armies of lobbyists to sit in the laps of regulators during the rule-making process, so that key new laws (like the Volcker rule, designed to separate risky trading from federally-insured depository banking) are either written in reams of industry-friendly language, or delayed altogether.

    No matter how bad your ideas are, and how unpopular they are (or, rather, would be, if anyone in the general public understood them and/or cared enough about them to complain to their congressional reps), you can still score huge wins just by continually attacking and chipping away.

    Which brings us to this month: A little while back, I got a call from someone in the House. “You wouldn’t believe the shit they just pushed through the Financial Services Committee,” he groaned. …

    A partial list:

    H.R. 992 would “repeal most of Dodd-Frank Section 716″ of the Dodd-Frank Act:

    … we banks would like to remain eligible for bailouts when we engage in hedging, which we think is everything we do, and also additionally when we engage in “certain structured finance swap activities,” which will mean whatever we tell the rule-makers it means after the bill is passed.

    H.R. 1062, the “SEC Regulatory Accountability Act,” requires the SEC to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of any new rule before it is adopted.

    H.R. 1256, the “Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act”:

    … if you’re Goldman or Chase and you have an office in some place like Mexico or Turkey or Russia or Saudi Arabia, you can do all the swaps business you want from there, undet whatever film of derivatives regulation exists in that country, without having to comply with U.S. swaps rules….

  139. 139
    John Morales

    vaiyt, Taslima’s blog is threaded.

  140. 140
    cicely

    Tony: R is one of those parents I’d like to read more of…and that can provide an important demonstration to other parents that kicking your troubled child out is the “done” thing.
     
    Example. That’s the word I was looking for. R is an excellent Example, the likes of which we need more of.
     
    Of course, you yourself are also such an Example, Tony.
    :)
    -

    I can’t think of any other skill where people are expected to be perfectly capable of doing it the first time the try.

    Sexing. In a mutally-satisfactory/satisfying way.
    -
    *big hugs* for opposablethumbs, large enough for you to break off a piece for SonSpawn.
    -

    but vindication is vindication, damn it!

    :D
    -
    rq, the lilacs are lovely! Thanks!
    :)
    -

  141. 141
    Rowan vet-tech

    I aplogize for the threadrupt, but I need to rant for a moment.

    This morning, at work, I developed a case of hives. On the bottoms of my feet. Both feet. Benadryl did little to relieve it. I am currently wearing some bandages with SSD cream that has helped some. However, being on my feed for my scheduled shift + overtime did not help.

    But I still want to rip the bottoms of my feet off. With my teeth.

    And I have a headache because I got walloped in the jaw by a dog waking up from anesthesia. Dog skulls are HARD and my face now has intimate knowledge of this fact. Same dog also bit me on the elbow (pinched, no punctures or bruising) after I finally got all 80lbs of it into a cage to recover in.

    At some point tonight I need to bathe Parsnip and Rosemary and be a terrible person by taking photos of sopping wet kittens.

  142. 142
    ednaz

    Gosh, rowanvt, that sounds like a rough day.
    Shall I send chocolates or Angus with a massage?

  143. 143
    cicely

    I wonder if the decrease in home storm shelters isn’t related to today’s increasingly mobile society; you don’t expect to stay in one place for too many years, so the risk vs. the expense seems to run in favor of the shelter not being needed while you’re living there, so why invest the money.?
    -
    I notice lately that ecigs have been getting more positive exposure hereabouts, just this last year or so. Before, every time they were brought up in the news media, it was likely to be along the lines of “eCigarettes: The Hidden Dangers”. I cynically suspect $$$$ input from the tobacco industry in defense of the “traditional” method of nicotine delivery.
    -

  144. 144
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    ‘rupt.
    sleepy.

    but I have to tell Jackie congratulations. Participating in an adoption (as GAL for the child) was one of my happiest moments as a lawyer so far. When I did the home visit, she made me a pipe cleaner heart. It’s around my rear-view mirror to remind me that there are happy times when I’m frustrated.

    and mildlymagnificent! hooray!

  145. 145
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    and caecily, i can’t help but pronounce your name properly now. :D

  146. 146
    markbrown

    Tony, rq, Dalillama, mildlymagnificent, opposablethumbs

    Thanks for the encouragement; It helps.

    FossilFishy

    I’ve been giving up on and off the past 2 years, with the odd attempt before then too… so yeah, you’re totally right. Best I’ve managed is 8 months, average is probably a few weeks; I’m kind of an expert on giving up short-term one might say :-)

    Josh

    May be worth thinking about e-cigarettes if I slip again, but *fingers crossed* shouldn’t be necessary for now.

  147. 147
    markbrown

    While I dislike linking to the Daily Mail, maybe this will be of interest:

    Meet the ‘vapers’: E-cigarette craze inspires bizarre new sub-culture

  148. 148
    yazikus

    @parents

    Sounds good, in fact, and she’s what, about 4 or 5??? (don’t know what age you go from kindergarten to school in Germany

    My little person will be in school in the next year or so, and we have many choices. Public school where we are offers a dual-immersion program, 1st through 5th grade, spanish and english, which is super cool. However, I learned that TRex ate watermelons in a public school. Choice two, small religious classical education school. That could be good right? Multi aged classrooms, small student to teacher ratio. But one of the teachers recently lamented that a newly menstruating girl couldn’t “control” her flow, to not bleed on her seat. SCARY!
    Homeschooling, I don’t have the time or income to do it. What is a parent to do?

  149. 149
    John Morales

    yazikus,

    What is a parent to do?

    You can only do what you can do, and so it must be one of the schools.

    (Sorry, not very helpful, is it?)

    Seriously, seems like whichever option you take, you should keep abreast of what’s going on so you can step in as required — perhaps a bit of corrective home-schooling may be within your resource limit?

    (Best wishes on your life-adventure!)

  150. 150
    John Morales

    PS OBClarification: I am not a parent; I’ve never wanted the responsibility it demands.

  151. 151
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    markbrown

    Hang in there. It is possible for even those folks with a nicotine lovin’, receptor growin’ brain to quit. It’s just very, very hard in a way that’s unimaginable for folks lucky enough to have a neurotypical brain. And for those who find giving it up impossible Josh’s solution seems like a great, least-harm sorta option. Reduce the harm as much as is possible for you, and then fuck anyone who tries to tell you’re a failure for not doing more.

    The Small Fry* came third in the under 6 category of Jazz Dance in her Eisteddford Dance Competition. The first and second place winners appeared to be 6 years and 364 days old, where SF is still two months out from her 6th birthday. It seems to me that there should be a much finer age division when comparing the abilities of the very young. Anyway, very proud daddy here!

    *She’s still sick, but was game to go. Damn but I wish I had her immune system and her ability to selectively ignore how she’s feeling.

    yazikus

    I think you need to do more legwork on what the local schools are like. Public school, like all schools really, come in all sorts of flavours. Your local one might be quite good. I’ll also point out that things have changed, and most likely changed again and again, since you were in elementary school. We can’t go by our experiences when picking a school.

    I’d say go with the one that offers the best education and if it seems a wash then prefer the secular one. It’s perfectly possible to raise a critically thinking atheist child while still sending them to a religious school. Though much care and attention will be needed to do so.

    Our options were Catholic or public and it was no contest. The public school here rates very well and because this is a heavily Catholic town the class size in the public school is great. Wins all round. Though The Small Fry was a bit downhearted because most of her friends from pre-school ended up in the Catholic school.

  152. 152
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    rowanvt

    Yikes! Hives on the feet!? I just…er…gah…no!

    [offers USB balms, ointments, analgesics, and a fluffy ottoman for good measure]

  153. 153
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning

    *calming manates and icepacks for rowanvt

    Opposablethumbs, yazikus

    Sounds good, in fact, and she’s what, about 4 or 5??? (don’t know what age you go from kindergarten to school in Germany

    She’s 5 and will turn 6 at the start of July. Actually I could keep her at home for another year without any trouble. Because she was born on the 5th and cut off date is the 1st. But I don’t think that’s a good idea, given that we’ve been carefully steering her away from “schoolwork” for the last year so that school still has to offer something new (I was a discipline problem in primary school. It was just so boooooooooooooring. “Susi sees Uli”? Seriously? Where’s the fun in that?)
    We fed her brain with animals and dinosaurs instead so she can tell you what’s the three big groups of mammals, what’s the difference between them and if you’re nasty she’ll call you an echidna :)

  154. 154
    rq

    Ugh, school for children…
    Eldest starts next year even though he turns 6 this year and I think he’s ready enough to start, but he may as well spend another year with his friends. School-wise, though, until about grade 9 or so, we have little choice, since this town only has the one elementary school (technically it goes all the way up to grade 12, but if he shows particular interests at some point, we can send him to a more specialized school in the Big City – there’s one with an excellent math/science reputation (best in the country) but it all depends on him, really). Fortunately, our local elementary school is supposedly a pretty good one. I have another year to see if that’s true, but judging from the attitudes and such I’ve had from other educational institutions (the kindergarten) and municipal government, I have hopes that the rumours of decency and excellence are True.

    FossilFishy
    Congratulations to Small Fry! That is a fantastic result.
    Kids and their immune systems, harrumph. ;)

  155. 155
    rq

    Ah! Good news for Arctic researchers in Canada, and they quoted my friend (and I think used his photo again) – thank you, Norwegian media! (That PEARL lab I was going on about now and then has actually received extra funding to remain open. Maybe Harper is learning something (or other) about the value of science.)
    You lawyers out there, is it really like this?

    Oh, and David, thanks for that article yesterday about the Younger Dryas. I confess, when I first read your intro to the link, I thought the Younger Dryas was an Important Person of some kind. *blush* Just goes to show how well I know my world history (and by ‘world’ I mean ‘geological’). But it was a very, very interesting article to me for various reasons. So thank you!

  156. 156
    rq

    Speaking of smoking.
    It seems to be the current Monster in the media eye (wow, mixed metaphor?), who knows if concern is real (and very sudden) or if it’s a way of diverting people’s attention from the upcoming municipal/regional elections, but in any case. Their main point is that it’s bad to smoke in front of children (with which I mostly agree) but I have problems when the media go out of their way to tell people to photograph these people and send the photos for publication. I dunno, this kind of public shaming feels very wrong to me, especially since most of the photos seem to be of young mothers (some of whom probably have a slew of other problems in their lives) out for an outdoor stroll. Still waiting for the first smoking-father picture.
    I know the best way to teach is by example, and you can’t convince your kids about the benefits/harms of something if you don’t/do do it yourself (they just won’t believe you). But is public shaming on the internet (considering the kinds of ‘wonderful’ and ‘impartial’ comments we have on our local media sites) really the best way to educate?

    +++

    Yeah, it’s so easy to joke abot your giant ass when you’re a male actor… And I have another question: what is it with straight actors playing gay roles? I mean. It’s a no-no to have a white actor play a black role (see Cumberbatch and Khan), why is it so ok and accepted and career-defining (sometimes) for straight actors to play gay roles? I don’t get it. (But I’m glad Matt Damon and Michael Douglas were so comfortable with each other to do a good job.)

    Some modern-day Robin Hoods being assholes about being good guys.

  157. 157
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    rq
    That’s a good question, actually.

    Mostly ‘rupt, house is mired in flu and depression. Hope the rest of you folks are having a better week.

  158. 158
    rorschach

    that’s getting off on calling someone a pig.

    Thank you for choosing the most uncharitable interpretation you could find.

    But I obviously triggered you last night with my remark, and for that I want to apologize. It was not intended at all.

  159. 159
    chigau (違う)

    Dalillama
    got nothin’ except rum and *hugs*

  160. 160
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Dalillama,
    Have some tea from me (in a separate cup from chigau’s rum, of course, only to be mixed if you wish).

  161. 161
    brianpansky

    hi, i was wondering if people knew about new age misunderstandings of energy. they seem to talk about it as if it is a substance or something.

    even on wikipedia, it is quoted that “in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is.”

    so i want to say how i thought it was, and see if people can point me in the right direction if i’m wrong:

    energy is just something we measure, like “loudness”. we don’t say “hmmm but what IS loudness? we don’t know. but maybe it is a liquid that piggybacks on the pressure waves!” it’s just a name for a measurement of magnitude for air waves currently happening. (not sure if this was the best example)

    perhaps the confusion is mostly from the conservation laws? makes it look like substance is passed around? i think there is a category mistake being made by these people.

    but ya, the question itself “what is energy” seems wrong to me because it seems to assume that energy is a “stuff”.

  162. 162
    chigau (違う)

    re: brianpansky#161
    They don’t do “Science” in junior high school any more?

  163. 163
    John Morales

    brianpansky, energy is stuff; the material stuff of the universe physicists call mass-energy in the framework of space-time.

  164. 164
    brianpansky

    hmmm rationalwiki is saying that:

    “[Regrettably, various forms of the "everything is energy" meme have been propagated in popular science, where it is sometimes used as a shorthand for the principle of mass-energy equivalence.]”

    and it also seems to have an example similar to mine:

    “[Energy is not a substance any more than "velocity" or "volume" are substances, and therefore nothing can be "made of" energy any more than it can be "made of" volume or "made of" velocity.]”

    but ya i totally don’t really get mass-energy euivalence at all…

  165. 165
    brianpansky

    ya, matter is stuff that HAS some mass and some energy associated with it, i think maybe the problem is thinking that matter IS mass for that one…maybe?

  166. 166
    brianpansky

    f*** nvm wikipedia says it’s the opposite, matter itself is converted to energy and it is wrong to say that the mass is converted to energy…hmmm

  167. 167
    John Morales

    brianpansky, in mechanics, energy is the measure of work done. ;)

    f*** nvm wikipedia says it’s the opposite, matter itself is converted to energy and it is wrong to say that the mass is converted to energy…hmmm

    Yes.

  168. 168
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Brianpansky:
    I do not have an answer for you, but there are some Pharyngulites who hang out in the Thunderdome who may be of assistance. You could cross post.

  169. 169
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    No slight to John meant.

  170. 170
    John Morales

    brianpansky, check out the Grand unification epoch article.

  171. 171
    opposablethumbs

    Thank you caecily {{hugs you back}}. I appreciate the hugs, it really does give that bit of an emotional boost when it’s needed.
    .
    Sympathise with the misgivings, yazikus. Dual immersion is potentially fantastic, because it is so incredibly easy for kids to learn languages at that age. We never had that option at school, but we did do Spanish immersion at home (especially when they were tiny) and it seemed like it was less than no effort for them to learn both; neither of them is what I would consider truly bilingual (and nor am I), but they can both function almost as well in Spanish as they can in English (we got a lot of stick at one point from well-meaning people who thought this was causing or exacerbating SonSpawn’s communication delay and disorder; we read up on it and obviously observed the kind of difficulties he was having very closely, and correctly predicted that his progress thanks to speech therapy (conducted exclusively in English) would be exactly parallel in both languages. It wasn’t a language being a foreign language to him, it was language being a foreign language. And it’s handed him a tiny nuggett of “success” at school and a couple of much-needed school exam results almost on a plate, as well as enabling him to talk to the family on skype)). Sorry, that was a long parenthesis. What I was going to say is, I think both JM and FF are right; there could be a lot of difference between individual local public schools (that’s certainly the norm here) so that one might be poor while a mile in the other direction there’s one that’s great. Worth checking out in detail, getting other parent’s experience … and as JM said, keep tabs on what they teach as you go along, so you can work on weak spots at home if necessary. It can even be a valuable lesson in pointing out that no authority is necessarily going to be absolutely right about everything all the time; the teachers might know more than your parents about [subject X] but they can be completely wrong about [religion ...] :-). DaughterSpawn caused consternation at primary school by matter-of-factly saying she didn’t believe in god.
    .

    I’ve never wanted the responsibility it demands.

    Nor have I, tbh. But I’ve got it, and we’re just doing our best I suppose :-\
    .

    and if you’re nasty she’ll call you an echidna :)

    :-D

    hugs and hot toddy for the flu and depression, Dalillama :-(((

  172. 172
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    The new health education law fell on the constitutional court. The law is supposedly not properly aligned with parents’ constitutional rights and freedom of deciding how they will raise their children.

    In short, bigots won, children won’t get sex education, or education about gender and sexual orientation. Go Catholic church!

    I fear we will also get a referendum about adding that the marriage is a union between a man and a woman into the constitution, so that marriage equality that has been getting some tentative support from the government gets another setback.

    *sigh*

    We’re moving backwards.

  173. 173
    rq

    I’ve never wanted the responsibility it demands.

    Nor have I, tbh. But I’ve got it, and we’re just doing our best I suppose :-\

    Yup.

    Beatrice
    Hey, at least you’re not alone! We’re going backwards, too, for exactly the same reasons! Last Bastion of Christian Moral Values Standing, may the arse-forwardest win! To which I say, *spits* tplrplrplrplrplrplrprlplrplr.

  174. 174
    mildlymagnificent

    it was likely to be along the lines of “eCigarettes: The Hidden Dangers”. I cynically suspect $$$$ input from the tobacco industry in defense of the “traditional” method of nicotine delivery.

    Maybe. I see it mostly from the same kind of puritans who oppose safe injecting rooms or syringe dispensers “Why don’t they just give it up?” They see no value or point in harm reduction. The fact is that getting rid of the smoke in the lungs (or the juice in the mouth and throat) is a huuuuge advantage in reducing cancer incidence. Just incidentally, people who don’t like paying taxes should be glad about this. The costs to society at large of cancers and other problems in people far too young is extremely high. But too many people behave in relation to cigarettes the same way as those misguided proponents of prohibition of alcohol.

    You have to acknowledge that others are not like you. And even if they wanted to be, they may not be able to do so ….. yet. So strategies that reduce harm while the cause of that harm, the booze, drugs or smokes, is still being used are to be applauded not derided or rejected. Puritans seem unable to see it that way. So much so that they are easy targets for cooption by people or corporations with entirely different objectives.

  175. 175
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    rq,

    I went to my lunch break right after posting that comment, and I found out that haters collecting signatures for the referendum have put one of their little tables right across the street from my workplace. I’ll have to change my lunch break stroll route, because looking at them makes me want to puke.

    Bastards are everywhere, on every busy street, a young man and a woman (I observe that they managed to gather a hell of a lot of young haters. People in their twenties. I am disappointed.) with their little table and “movement for the family” signs.

    *spits*

  176. 176
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    No, the sign actually says “In the name of family”.
    I mixed it up with another organization, I think (probably same shit, different name)

  177. 177
    bluentx

    rq:
    I had a detailed response to you (yesterday) re: storm cellars- aaannnddd lost it while trying to ‘submit’. I was too tired then (after mowing duties) so here (now) is a reconstituted Readers Digest version—-

    Locally, basements or even large underground shelters are (generally) unfeasible (high water table, difficult digging, etc.) The few (one or two) single family-type shelters I’ve seen personally were small, cramped and damp. Perhaps there are legit reasons they are used less now (higher water tables, say) in areas formerly compatible to the practice?

    At the water plant, we have a ‘Designated Tornado Shelter’- the lower portion of our filter building. It has concrete walls aprox. 24″ thick. To build something like that for a large population (schools, etc.) would probably not be ‘cost effective’- especially in this era of ‘austerity’— even when it’s for kids! :(

  178. 178
    birgerjohansson

    Miscell. medical news:
    Scientists uncover how grapefruits provide a secret weapon in medical drug delivery http://phys.org/news/2013-05-scientists-uncover-grapefruits-secret-weapon.html
    New tumour-killer shows great promise in suppressing cancers http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-tumour-killer-great-suppressing-cancers.html
    Reducing caloric intake delays nerve cell loss http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-caloric-intake-nerve-cell-loss.html

  179. 179
    rq

    birgerjohansson
    Here’s some new medical info on the immune system.

  180. 180
    bluentx

    I just saw this cartoon (and controversy) tonight:
    http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_23118387/texas-gov-rick-perry-disgusted-by-cartoon-depicting

    Gov. Good hair is “disgusted”? Well, Guv– I’m disgusted that you don’t see the point of the cartoon!
    -
    Apparently, even a news source with Christian* in the name doesn’t quite believe the ‘reasons’ behind this:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0521/Lesbian-couple-can-t-cohabitate-Why-not
    -
    You tell ‘em Hootie! :
    http://blog.chron.com/celebritybuzz/2013/05/darius-rucker-responds-to-racist-tweet/

    -
    *It annoys me that auto-correct insists that Christian be capitalized!

  181. 181
    rq

    bluentx
    But… but… Christian – it’s a proper name! :P
    Also, thanks for the Reader’s Digest version on storm shelters. You’d think, though, that there would be a solution out there, considering civilization’s other great feats of engineering. But.
    Gah. Children. Really, they don’t deserve a bit of extra protection?
    Oh right, god will take care of… oooooh. I see. :/
    Also, I started skimming the comments on the Hootie link, but realized it’s against my best interests.

    +++

    Speaking of tornadoes, these are some common myths regarding tornado safety, and their bustedness.
    Uh-oh, all youse practicing that piano 8+ hrs a day… it may not help you at all! (My personal opinion, though, is that practice does a heck of a lot to reach that elite level – but also the age at which one begins the practicing. I think their mistake is assuming that practice is the only thing people do to get to an elite level, when there are a lot of intertwining factors involved.)
    That same site also has an article on boys’ impulsiveness and better math ability. Because, you know, impulsiveness isn’t culturally curbed in girls or anything. Meh.

  182. 182
    birgerjohansson

    rq, thanks!

    Those who recall “Spitting Image” remember Tory chairman Norman Tebbit depicted as mean gangster with a black leather jacket. Old age has not made him more mellow and he does not like gay people.

    “It may be time for certain Tories to join the 21st century before they implode their party implodes” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/21/swivel-eyed-loons-lesbian-queens

  183. 183
    opposablethumbs

    Just wanted to mention to Cerberus : so impressed by your clarity of thought and expression over on the vacula-own-goal and the 4-am threads. Together with what you express, obviously, it’s a fine illustration of why you are clearly so damn good at what you do.

  184. 184
    opposablethumbs

    Oh, I saw the Tebbit drivelling – it made me laugh out loud this morning. He’s like a living caricature of the raving right.

  185. 185
    blf

    The mildly deranged penguin asked — well, grabbed my beard and wouldn’t let go — for help with a dream she had recently. Naked nymph creatures (sexes, ages, and species not clear) were crawling up a large Egyptian pyramid upside down and backwards (full frontal nudity at Cheops!) singing Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire in Pig Latin whilst Battersea Power Station–like smokestacks emitted huge flying winged skunks (pink and black) who didn’t seem to do much of anything except soar around (occasionally into the ground only to appear coming out of the ground or a skunkstack a bit later on).

    Yes? And…

    Apparently, usually, the nymphs sing in Klingon with subtitles in Linear A. And the skunks are blue and orange.

    Ah! Obvious… Take a look at what’s tattooed on the left rear paw of the second skunk to emerge from the North Eastern–most skunkstack. That explains everything.

    She thanked me — let go of the beard and didn’t hit me with the wheel of Brie she was holding — and has wandered off…

    Whew!

  186. 186
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    They see no value or point in harm reduction.

    Wow, this just clicked a whole bunch of conservative policies into perspective for me. Even if you believe teen sex is bad (for emotional reasons, for spiritual reasons, whatever), you should still favor comprehensive sex ed because it reduces STI transmission and pregnancies. But they don’t favor reduction in harm. Even if you believe that abortion kills a baby, you should still favor safe and legal abortion because without it two lives are lost. But they don’t favor reduction in harm. I’m sure this could go on and on.

  187. 187
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    blf:

    Can I trade my the MDP? She can have my dreams and I’ll take hers? Please?

  188. 188
    blf

    “Oh, No, It’s Teh Gay!” freakout, Part N in a history of bigotry. A fascist shoots himself in Paris in protest at Teh Gay being allowed to marry (now legal in France (the law passed)), French historian kills himself at Notre Dame Cathedral after gay marriage rant:

    Far-right essayist Dominique Venner, 78, shoots himself at altar after writing blogpost condemning same-sex marriage law

    A far-right French historian has killed himself at the altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after declaring that more radical action was needed in opposition to same-sex marriage in France.

    The motive for the suicide and the contents of the letter [left on the altar] were not immediately clear, although Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right Front National, tweeted her “respect” for Venner and said his death was an “eminently political” gesture.

    Venner, a historian and former member of the Secret Army Organisation that opposed Algerian independence in the early 1960s and waged a terror campaign against Charles de Gaulle’s government, had written on his blog on Tuesday about his anger over the recent legalisation of same-sex marriage, which he called vile.

    He also wrote of what he described as the risk of “a France fallen to the power of Islamists”, saying that for 40 years all governments and parties, except the Front National, businesses and the church had accelerated north African immigration. …

    Teh Gay is amazing! An imperialist, terrorist, facist, and Islamophobe is also so afraid of them he enters a well-known landmark dedicated to, well, ah, imperialism, terrorism, fascism, slavery, Islamophobia, homophobia, and anti-semitism and shoots himself in protest at the French no longer being any those.

  189. 189
    rq

    Knitters! I have found more projects for you! Fun ones! :D

    Look at these photos. Really look.

  190. 190
    blf

    “Oh, No, It’s Teh Gay!” freakout, Part N+1 in a history of bigotry. This time in USAlienstan, Gay teenager faces charges over relationship with younger girlfriend:

    Activists say authorities are unfairly targeting 18-year-old US high-school student because she is gay

    An 18-year-old American is facing felony charges over claims that she had sexual contact with her underage, 14-year-old girlfriend, prompting gay rights advocates to say she is being unfairly targeted for a common high-school romance because she is gay.

    The criminal case against Kaitlyn Hunt is unusual because it involves two females, not an older male and a younger female. But advocates say older high schoolers dating their younger counterparts is an innocuous, everyday occurrence that is not prosecuted — regardless of sexual orientation — and not a crime on a par with predatory sex offences.

    […] The day before she was arrested, police and the younger girl’s parents secretly recorded a phone conversation in which the two girls discussed kissing in the school bathroom, said Hunt’s father, Steve Hunt.

    “It’s horrible. For my daughter’s sexual preferences, she’s getting two felony charges. It could possibly ruin her future,” he said.

    […]

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said Hunt was being criminalised for behaviour that “occurs every day in tens of thousands of high schools across the country, yet those other students are not facing felony convictions … and potential lifelong branding as sex offenders”.

    An online petition urging that the charges be dropped crashed at one point because it got so much traffic.

    Kudos to the Ms Hunt’s father for being quite supportive.

  191. 191
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh, and good morning all. I am caught up but don’t quite have the wherewithal or time to David the thread (it’s a verb, right?) Hugs to Ogvorbis for the bad dreams.

    Mom and Stepdad and Nieces have headed back home to Michigan and I am now going to try to catch up on work. It stinks because I feel like I slacked off to spend time with them but I also feel like I spent the whole time they were here working. : /

  192. 192
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Portia,

    It is more conventional to Marjanović a thread, but I guess you could be a rebel and David it instead. :)

  193. 193
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I’m nothing if not unconventional.

    (I like how many negatives can fit in such a short sentence).

  194. 194
    blf

    Can I trade my [_______ for/with] the MDP? She can have my dreams and I’ll take hers?

    You can translate Linear A?

    I know you have a background in history but I didn’t think you were am expert in ancient Crete. Admittedly, in this case, there is “Rosetta Stone”: You know (or can obtain) the lyrics in English, and similarly for Klingon. So, assuming the subtitles are also the lyrics, then that’s a big help.

    This also assumes the dream resets to its — er, her — normal. She hasn’t tried to copy the subtitles, and since there is no cheese involved, doesn’t seem to be very interested. I can’t even determine if she knows Linear A or not, despite being fluent in both Atlantean and Gibberish.

  195. 195
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    You can translate Linear A?

    The secret is to whisk the egg yolks in a COUNTERcockwise manner.

    I know you have a background in history but I didn’t think you were am expert in ancient Crete

    No. I is an FM expert in ancient Crete. AM is so passe (except when it is resolved into a C-chord (in which case it makes for a nice affect)).

    Actually, I would just love some dreams that don’t involve me abusing another child (when I was young) or being abused or the damned ones from 9/11. I got a break for a week. Thought I was doing good. But I let them come through again. And again.

    Sorry.

  196. 196
    dianne

    it was likely to be along the lines of “eCigarettes: The Hidden Dangers”. I cynically suspect $$$$ input from the tobacco industry in defense of the “traditional” method of nicotine delivery.

    Whereas I cynically assumed that the manufacturers of eCigarettes were the tobacco industry. This appears to be at partially, but not entirely, true. http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/altria-marlboro-e-cigarettes/

    The tobacco industry also makes patches and gum. The nicotine has to come from somewhere and they’ve got a source.

  197. 197
    dianne

    Speaking of tornadoes

    Speaking of tornadoes, the OK legislature was meeting when the most recent one hit. They went to their underground shelter and waited out the storm in safety. Unlike the kids in the public schools that the legislators were probably debating a bill to take funding away from. I propose a new law: No legislative body may be better sheltered against weather disasters than the worst equipped school in their county, state, or country.

  198. 198
    blf

    Ogvorbis, There’s no reason to apologise! I figured that was what you were alluding to, and decided to attempt a bit of “creative misunderstanding”.

    Which you obviously understood. Complete with spotting an offering to Tpyos.

    And I’m told shaking by holding the text still whilst bouncing on a trampoline works better than stirring. But you must hold the text absolutely still. And, as the case of Prof Zywággoner shows, also not vomit.

  199. 199
    blf

    I propose a new law: No legislative body may be better sheltered against weather disasters than the worst equipped school in their county, state, or country.

    No, silly, it wasn’t a weather disaster. It was some of Teh Great Magic Sky Faeries showing how much they like that particular legislature’s actions. Deny AGW? Wipe out a school. Ban abortions? Wipe out another school. Why wipe out schools? Eventually there won’t be any left, so then you can raise a properly uneducated pool of mindless sheople / slaves (useful for many purposes).

  200. 200
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    cockwise

    hehe

    (brought to you by a twelve-year-old Beatrice)

    —-

    Bad jokes aside, I am so sorry about your dreams, Ogvorbis. *careful hugs*

  201. 201
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    No, silly, it wasn’t a weather disaster. It was some of Teh Great Magic Sky Faeries showing how much they like that particular legislature’s actions.

    I thought he was just angry about gay marriage in Minnesota.
    Or France.

    +++
    So, rape culture redux
    So, I’m doing this teacher training which means that I spend every Wednesday at a school, assisting the teacher, observe the teaching methods and so on.
    The teacher is a nice and clueless guy when it comes to issues of sexism. I noticed this before but today I really turned pale.
    The kids had some exercises where they had to fill in pronouns. The exercises were letters by teens to an agony aunt. One was about a boy who was datung this girl but they hadn’t kissed so far and everytime he tried she turned her had and what should he do?
    The teachers suggestion for answering the letter was “pull her into a corner and just do it”
    WTF?
    And I’m in a position where I can’t say anything.

  202. 202
    rq

    dianne
    Yeah, that would be great… But I wonder how it would work in practice? Lots of expensive, well-equipped secret backyard basements, I would wager.

    Beatrice
    This country is definitely going as backwards as yours. :(
    Today the parliament had a “giant” (for use of scare-quotes, see later) discussion about two children’s books, in which a girl does boy activities for a day, and a boy does girl activities for a day. And after inviting one gender ‘expert’, they decided to warn pre-schools against using the books. The whole meeting was for Traditional Family Values, with educated psychologists speaking out against these books because they will Confuse Children (by messing up the mind and the body and cutting of their ties with each other, yeah, no kidding!), and one even going so far as to say that gender equality is often mistaken for feminism, which causes gender equality to be misunderstood and to be a cause for worry (!!!). It’s an attack on mothers and their role (uh… fathers, hello, are you in the room?). It is anti-culture, anti-values, will destroy society… Leaders, do not turn from your roots! *wild applause*
    The pro-book side got a few words in edge-wise… After the official end of the session.
    Yeah, that was definitely an all-sided, non-partisan meeting.
    And considering that my children are all pre-school aged, and I would love for them to read these books, what the fuck is these people’s problem??? How can they be so stupid? How can I educate them? There’s a few who seem to have the right idea, but the majority just make me want to vomit. A lot.
    Fuck.
    Going to go char something to get rid of negative feelings. Dinner is going to be wonderful today, I can tell.

  203. 203
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The teachers suggestion for answering the letter was “pull her into a corner and just do it”

    Sigh. What a perfect teachable moment for the idea of enthusiastic consent.

  204. 204
    blf
    No, silly, it wasn’t a weather disaster. It was some of Teh Great Magic Sky Faeries showing how much they like that particular legislature’s actions.

    I thought he was just angry about gay marriage in Minnesota.
    Or France.

    Could be, could be. Their spatial and temporal aim is notoriously bad.

    At least when it comes to “punishment”, perhaps because they are enraged and not at all careful. In this case, it’s a “reward” directly furthering their purposes, so a calm and collected chucking of the fireboltstornadoes is perhaps possible.

    This is Sophisticated Theology™ in action…

  205. 205
    rq

    Giliell
    Wow and ew. :( Can you mention it to him afterwards somehow?
    Otherwise, what Ogvorbis said, regarding teachable moment going *whoosh* right past his (the teacher’s) left ear.

    Beatrice
    hee hee, at least I managed to hold my inner 12-year-old back, but I had the same idea. (BTW, is ‘counter-cockwise’ the same as pussy-wise?)

  206. 206
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Sorry for the borkquote. It should, ov course, have been “counterclockvise’. Sorry bout that. All hail Tpyos!

  207. 207
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    oh, Giliell, that’s horrible. : /

    rq, that’s really too bad that the kids will be deprived of what sound like great books. Damn regressives…

  208. 208
    blf

    [I]s ‘counter-cockwise’ the same as pussy-wise?

    Rooster-loving.

  209. 209
    mildlymagnificent

    The teachers suggestion for answering the letter was “pull her into a corner and just do it”

    Sometimes I think there’s a *huge* portion of the population everywhere that’s not seen a movie since all those ghastly 1950s/60s scenes of masterful men overwhelming lovely women with a kiss totally unavoidable by virtue of the _extremely_ firm grasp. (I’m very polite, I don’t use words like violent.)

  210. 210
    rq

    Ogvorbis

    counterclockvise

    Either you’ve taken on an accent in your typing, or you’re going for a Tpyos Holy Day, here.

  211. 211
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    (TW sexual assault)

    This kissing discussion calls this to mind.

    “It wasn’t my choice to be kissed,” Greta explained. “The guy just came over and grabbed me!”

    She added: “I felt that he was very strong. He was just holding me tight. It wasn’t a romantic event.”

  212. 212
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    rq

    It’s an attack on mothers and their role (uh… fathers, hello, are you in the room?)

    I’m in the room, but I’m busy vacuuming and doing the laundry. Seriously. Wife works corp job and I’m stay at home dad. Been so for most of 9 yo Daughters life. She doesn’t seem confused. :/

    Can you post the titles of those books?

  213. 213
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Giliell
    :(

    Ogvorbis
    *launching hugs and bacon trebuchet at you*

  214. 214
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    rq,

    Not that I’m trying to top your “my country is going backwards” or anything, but the opposition accused the minister of education of raping the parents and the children with his health education curriculum.

  215. 215
    rq

    Ye Olde Blacksmith
    Sure, but I’m not sure if they’re available in English. I can only find references to them in Danish (original) and Latvian (my country). Does any one of those work for you?
    If so, in Danish they are: Den dag da Rikke var Rasmus and Den dag da Frederik var Frida;
    In Latvian: Diena, kad Rūta bija Rihards and Diena, kad Kārlis bija Karlīna
    A Latvian vimeo link, should that be of any assistance…
    Pardon the non-information, don’t have the minutes at the moment to do a proper search!
    (Yeah, the reference to fathers was a comment on the fact that, when it comes to children, fathers are almost never mentioned (in this country), and it pisses me off, because I know how much work and car Husband puts into our family, including childcare. And he is routinely ignored and not addressed in articles, speeches, magazines, films, etc. Hate it. Go feminism, go! I’m on your side!)

  216. 216
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Beatrice

    raping the parents and the children with his health education curriculum

    I…but…what…*gah!*

  217. 217
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    When someone uses “rape” to describe something that is “not rape” I enjoy deadpanning about someone calling the police because of a horrible crime. They usually either repeat their offensive language until another person stops them out of embarrassment or they stammer and retract.

  218. 218
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    rq
    Thanks for the info. I can do the searching now that I have some points of reference.

    Here in the u.s., in my experience, the stigma attached to being a stay at home dad is fading ( albeit very slooooooowly) and is met with more positive but condescending “we’ll, bless your heart ” than ” really? What’s wrong with you?” I suppose that is improvement.

  219. 219
    blf

    The Grauniad is having fun with the current “swivel-eyed loons” row in the UK, How to spot a swivel-eyed loon (both emphasis and emboldening as in the original):

    A beginner’s guide to this increasingly vocal species

    Many species native to Britain are in sharp decline, but the swivel-eyed loon (Gavia articulata oculos) has recently seen a marked increase in numbers, although the rise in sightings could simply be down to better reporting. But how would you know one if you saw one? For the novice, we present a loon-spotter’s guide.

    Habitat: Generally to be found lurking in the grass roots, especially near local Conservative associations and seaside shopping precincts in the home counties and the south-west. Due to loss of habitat, however, they are increasingly sighted across England, going door to door for Ukip. …

    Migratory habits: Currently engaged in wholesale, one-way migration from continental Europe. Normally territorial, seeking firm and familiar ground, but will occasionally settle on wilder shores, especially during local elections. …

    Behaviour in the wild: Antic, with eyes that gyrate as if on swivels. Extremely vocal at this time of year, with a shrill cry, generally a long-winded lament about Britain going to hell in a handcart thanks to immigrants, the aggressive gay community, gay immigrants, out-of-touch ministers, urban metrosexual elites and Europe. Also rails against political correctness, while simultaneously getting offended by the term “swivel-eyed loon”.

    Behaviour in captivity: Tame, with a fixed smile and a steady gaze. Call reduced to soft, seemingly reasonable warble. Will patiently explain that hatred of immigrants is nothing to do with racism, nor does a firm stand against gay marriage constitute prejudice. Insists that restoring the economy by slashing public services and killing off growth should take priority over basic equality, for ever.

    Another way to spot them is to read some of the comments. Geesh! There’s some oldies but goodies there, such as ‘You are intolerant for pointing out my intolerance’ and similar. At least one commentator even points this out:

    Love the irony that this article has attracted a load of actual LIVE swivel-eyed loons complaining that the article is PREJUDICED and VACUOUS and LACKS OBJECTIVITY.

    Another commentator astutely observes, “On ‘migratory habits’ I would add: [D]espite fiercely saying that they love this country, they tend to build their rich nests and pay small taxes to overseas tax heavens.”

  220. 220
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Either you’ve taken on an accent in your typing, or you’re going for a Tpyos Holy Day, here.

    No, not trying for Tpyos Holy Day. Just normal failure on my part.

    *launching hugs and bacon trebuchet at you*

    Ducks. Bacon lands in a frypan.

    raping the parents and the children with his health education curriculum

    I am so sick and tired of people using rape in this way. It is a way of going for maximum impact while at the same time feminizing those who are affected (and by that, I mean the traditional view of women and children as helpless things who have no control over anything and are fair game for men™.

  221. 221
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Fuck. I guess it is a holiday. Not only to worship Tpyos, but also hir colleague Borkquotia. All we need now is an homage to Grammatia and we have the we have the trifecta!

  222. 222
    blf

    <borkquote>bacon trebuchet</borkquote>

    Bacon trebuchet? Even crispy bacon hasn’t adequate strength to make into a trebuchet. It’d probably just break and the kitty ammo would eat it. The mildly deranged penguin would also eat it (the trebuchet made of bacon, not the kitty (unless she’s in a hurry)).

    “You’re gonna need another trebuchet.”

  223. 223
    Lynna, OM

    Nine-year-old Asean Johnson, his school facing closure, had a few fierce words for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/22/9_year_old_slams_rahm_over_chicago_schools/

    Video of Asean Johnson’s speech at the link.
    “Education is a right, that is why we have to fight.”

  224. 224
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    “Education is a right, that is why we have to fight.”

    That’s not just philosophically true, it’s actually enumerated in the Illinois State Constitution. Of course, legislators and school boards don’t treat it that way.

  225. 225
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    rowanvt, Dalillama, Ogvorbis – *hugs and chocolate*

    opposablethumbs:

    DaughterSpawn caused consternation at primary school by matter-of-factly saying she didn’t believe in god.

    I’m sure she did, but I’m very pleased about it. :D Also, *hugs and chocolate*

  226. 226
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    blf

    Bacon trebuchet

    Yay! I can haz summer projekt!

    Fun to try (in small scale) and can eat the failures. Win win I think.

  227. 227
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Mac and cheese, nanana, mac and cheese, nanana

    Yeah, he really, really fucked that up. And it wasn’t even really the topic (the weren’T behaving and he threatened them that if they didn’t pay attention they would have to answer the letters. Like that, for example). And no, I don’t think that he actually approves of sexual assault. I think that he would very much disapprove of one of his male pupils attacking one of his female students like that. He just doesn’t realize that he made it more likely that his male students would behave like that and less likely that his female students would report it because obviously their teacher thinks that is funny.
    Pure unadultered privilege because it most certainly never happened to him

  228. 228
    Jackie

    Thanks for the well wishes! We got our court date. We finally do this thing on the 5th!

    W00t!!!

  229. 229
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Squeeeeeeeeeee for Jackie :D

  230. 230
    Lynna, OM

    Oh, those Canadian politicians! They can be entertaining in unique ways. Jon Stewart produced a segment on Toronto’s allegedly crack-smoking mayor.

    The alleged crack-smoking is the least of it.

  231. 231
    Lynna, OM

    Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld thinks that allowing gay adults to marry will lead to polygamy. I dunno. Allowing heterosexual adults to marry might lead to polygamy.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/22/donald_rumsfeld_wonders_aloud_if_marriage_equality_will_lead_to_polygamy/

  232. 232
    cicely

    *giant pre-emptive hug dump*
    -
    I’m no knitter, but that car sweater is soooo cute!
    -
    In USAia, there is significant overlap between Tornado Alley, and the Bible Belt. And yet, the Faithful do not perceive that the Almighty (Who/Whatever) is clearly and habitually targeting them.
     
    “None so blind….”
    :P
    -

  233. 233
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I do like the inanimate objects sweaters.
    Except for the tree one. I saw people doing that in Iowa City once, and it just kind of seemed like elaborate littering. #wetblanket

    (Hey, that’s what they were after it rained. Ha.)

  234. 234
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Congrats, Jackie!

    —-
    Being accused of being all kinds of a horrible person again after admonishing my father for talking about how fat a politician’s wife has gotten (for David : he said “što se ugojila” which is more offensive than just saying fat, but I don’t know a proper translation (the word is usually used for fattening up non-human animals).
    Apparently, that means I am not allowing him to say anything ever, I just want to argue all the time, I cause trouble the moment I come home,….

    I can’t confront him, since the last time I tried I cried until I screamed and he kept pointing to my mum to see, to see that I’m crazy and how I’m abusing him.

    I just… it was such a little thing. I don’t understand why he needs to make such drama. I’m trying not to be horrible, and I don’t know any more what of my behavior is horrible and what isn’t.

    Even worse? I can’t stand to even look at my mother when things like this happen. I always hold her side when she is treated unfairly, a lot of my fights with my father over the years have been for defending her… But I don’t get the same consideration. She wants peace. Not for me, apparently.
    Unless I completely shut up. I try it for a while , but I can’t be quiet forever. It’s funny, he accuses me of not letting him say anything, but the result is me shutting up and me being afraid to say things that might make him angry.

    Since the drama was set on “over the roof” already, I told him that I wish a car hits me tomorrow so that I don’t come home. Everyone happy, right?

  235. 235
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Ah, Beatrice, that’s awful.
    I’m sorry he’s so unreceptive to minor corrections or protests or whatever you’d call it. And having your mom not back you up is just so disappointing, I’m sure it’s really hurtful. I’m so sorry.

    *hugs*?

  236. 236
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    thanks, Portia

    I am spending a lot of time questioning my every move and word anyway, afraid of being wrong and doing wrong, so this whole thing that turns my perception of what I’m saying on its head is really unhelpful. And I’m tired.

  237. 237
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I just had to write my anger out somewhere. Thanks, folks.

  238. 238
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Glad if it helped to get it out. I understand that “questioning everything” feeling. But you are not wrong. Hang in there.

  239. 239
    rq

    *hugs* Beatrice :(
    I certainly hope that no car hits you, but that an out-of-the-blue clue-by-four slaps your dad across the face (likely, right?).
    I wish I could cut you a break somehow. *tea*?
    (PS No, I can’t top your rape-y politicians, yet. Soon, though, I have no doubt that the Latvian contingent will be catching up. And they say the EU is a civilized organization.)

    Ye Olde Blacksmith
    Well, we’re far from a stay-at-home-dad family (although we regularly talk about it, the fact of the matter is, finances win, and until I get paid triple what I do now, I guess I’ll be the one readjusting the schedule to fit work into the family calendar), but he still gets such looks when he offers to change a diaper or feed a child. And I do, too, when I casually (and with a somewhat ‘duh’ intonation) answer, “At home, with Husband.” when people ask where I’ve left the children, to be out [somewhere] alone.
    Oh, and his grandma’s sister, and probably his grandma, too, think he’s being less of a man because he bothers to look after the kids from time to time (which automatically makes me less of a woman, I know, because I don’t automatically collect my and everyone else’s kids for Fun Times).
    Sorry, ending getting-too-long rant now.

    Ogvorbis
    Can you please stop apologizing for being human? We’re going to love you anyway, and no amount of your excuses and tpoys will change the fact that we like you, and what you write, no matter what!
    *hugs* for everything

  240. 240
    cicely

    *extra hug ration* for Beatrice. Sorry that your parents are being beastly and non-supportive.
    But no car-hittings, mkay?
    -

  241. 241
    PZ Myers

    Wow. If you’re ever in the Minneapolis airport, go out to the G concourse (gates G1-G6). This entire area is loaded with outlets, comfortable chairs andtables, and every spot is equipped with an iPad…it’s gorgeous, and brings a crystalline tear to my chromed silver eye. It’s insidiously brilliant how they pay for this luxury, too: each iPad has a button that lets you order food from the nearby restaurant.

    I finally feel like I’m in the 21st century.

  242. 242
    Lynna, OM

    This is a follow up to post #14: E.W. Jackson’s reputation does not improve as journalists take a closer look at this Virginia politician.

    To the list in #14, we can now add that Jackson opposed housing desegregation in 1988:

    E.W. Jackson, the Virginia GOP’s nominee for lieutenant governor, began his career as a minister and attorney in Boston. While there, he lent his support to a high-profile 1988 fight against a plan to desegregate public housing developments in the neighborhood of South Boston.

    The 1988 battle over housing desegregation in South Boston began after the federal government found the city of Boston had illegally segregated public housing and prevented African Americans from moving into public developments in the neighborhood. Boston was ordered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to come up with a new tenant selection plan or face a federal takeover of its public housing system. …

    Jackson used to be Pastor at New Corner Baptist Church in Roxbury. In his 1988 anti-desegregation talks he referenced “scripture” as his guide.

  243. 243
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I wasn’t talking about any deliberate getting hit by a car, just so you don’t think I’m going to do anything like that.

  244. 244
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Either you’ve taken on an accent in your typing, or you’re going for a Tpyos Holy Day, here.

    A typed accent? Vho ever heard uf soch a ting? (Cookie for vhoever can guess vot accent diz iz)

    Gilliell
    Oi. Dot teacher definitely needs some teaching.

    rq
    Eet sounds like hyu hef a legislature as full uf ragink assholes as ours.

    Ogvorbis, Beatrice
    Big *hugs*, Hy vish Hy could offer more.

    Jackie
    Conga rats.

    Thanks for de hugs und sopport, everyone

  245. 245
    Lynna, OM

    Beatrice, I think it is the family thing that is getting to you even more than the substance of the discussion. There’s nothing like having the people closest to you thinking ill of you. You can’t turn them off, nor maintain objectivity as well as you can in discussions with people who are not members of your family.

    It must feel like being kicked out of the tribe. I recommend chocolate and a nap.

    Also, your father is wrong.

  246. 246
    carlie

    Ye Ole Blacksmith – our family is a stay at home dad family too. The most aggravating are the people who are pretty good friends who still don’t get it. They won’t stop saying how he needs to get a job, and it’s to the point that I can never even mention any money difficulties (even of the generic “I wish I could afford that frivolous expensive thing”) because that goes off into a big deal about how much better things would be if he got a job. In money yes, but there aren’t really any jobs to be had around here and yes, he does do the housework and the laundry and the after school driving around and the cooking, and I kind of like that an awful lot and think it’s really important. It’s always a frustrating conversation.

  247. 247
    A. Noyd

    @PZ
    I’m totally grossed out by the thought of sharing an iPad with random strangers in an airport. Especially ones who might order food and eat it while using the iPad. *shudder*

  248. 248
    carlie

    I’m totally grossed out by the thought of sharing an iPad with random strangers in an airport. Especially ones who might order food and eat it while using the iPad. *shudder*

    More grossed out than the fact that you’re sitting in the same seat someone else’s butt has been in?

  249. 249
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Thanks rq, caecily, Dalillama and Lynna.


    Dalillama,

    Transylvanian accent, but not of someone with overly large canines since your ‘s’s seem fine

  250. 250
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    More grossed out than the fact that you’re sitting in the same seat someone else’s butt has been in?

    Depends. How long ago did the other butt stop occupying the seat, or rather, is the seat still warm from the strange butt?

  251. 251
    PZ Myers

    The screen was sparkling and smudge-free. I think they wipe them down at the same time they clear the tables.

  252. 252
    Lynna, OM

    Here are a couple of stories about Utah politicians making questionable decisions. These stories double as Moments of Mormon Madness, since, not surprisingly, these Utah politicians are also mormons.

    The federal government would start collecting fingerprints from foreigners at the nation’s busiest airports under a plan sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch. … [sounds like Big Government to me] Link.

    Sen. Mike Lee sold his home in a short sale two years ago to a friend and then rented a home nearby from the same man, a neighbor, federal contractor and campaign donor…. Link.

    Of course, Lee claims the whole deal is above board. But he also managed to arrange the sale of his house, which was under water, so that the bank (read “the taxpayers”) took the hit for his loss instead of him.

  253. 253
    A. Noyd

    carlie (#248)

    More grossed out than the fact that you’re sitting in the same seat someone else’s butt has been in?

    People don’t generally go around pantsless while smearing stinky lotion on their butts or picking their noses with them or eating chicken fingers with them. Also, I don’t use my butt to touch my face or eat.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    PZ (#251)

    The screen was sparkling and smudge-free.

    That might be acceptable.

  254. 254
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Beatrice

    Hy knev Hy voz missink zumddink.

  255. 255
    opposablethumbs

    Thank you, Hekuni Cat! ::glomps all the hugs, scarfs down all the chocolate::
    DaughterSpawn’s a lot older now, and has graduated to (just occasionally) pointing out religious nonsense to friends-of-friends on the book of face.
    .
    Yay for the 5th of June, Jackie!!!!!!

    And go you and your family for putting those looks on people’s faces, rq!
    .
    Fuck, Beatrice, I’m so sorry your dad is behaving like such a total arsehole. I’m sorry he’s gaslighting you like this and making your life miserable. And I hope HUGELY that you get the chance to have your own place some day (I know you don’t have a proper job yet … but you will, dammit, you will). As for your mum, obviously I don’t know either of them but … has she maybe had any reserves she might once have had worn down by years and years and years of this bullshit? Or do you think maybe she doesn’t see it? Extra hugs, anyway. Damn.

  256. 256
    rq

    Dalillama
    I was going to go for Russian. :) Ah well!
    By the way, *extra hugs* and get well soon!!

  257. 257
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Dalillama

    Cookie for vhoever can guess vot accent diz iz

    Jägerkin from Girl Genius?

    Dots a nize hat…

  258. 258
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy


    Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Hyu gots it!

  259. 259
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ups, I was thinking of vampires. I should really start reading GIrl Genius again.


    opposablethumbs,

    She’s weary and on better days I can understand it, but sometimes it feels like a betrayal.

  260. 260
    rq

    Beatrice
    *more hugs*

  261. 261
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Can you please stop apologizing for being human?

    Actually, I would be very happy if I considered myself a full human. I just feel like I have failed at humanness on so many levels.

  262. 262
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I disagree, Ogvorbis. And I’m sure many more side with me. You have succeeded at the best elements of humanity far beyond what could be reasonably expected. You exemplify so many wonderful qualities of humanity. You are kind, compassionate, considerate, funny, insightful, strong, and brave. You make humans look good.

  263. 263
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    rq, you’re generous, so I’ll share the extra hugs with Ogvorbis (who is a great human being)

    Good night, folks.
    May you have good dreams, or none at all.

  264. 264
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Rest well, Beatrice.

  265. 265
    cicely

    I disagree, Ogvorbis. And I’m sure many more side with me. You have succeeded at the best elements of humanity far beyond what could be reasonably expected. You exemplify so many wonderful qualities of humanity. You are kind, compassionate, considerate, funny, insightful, strong, and brave. You make humans look good.

    We are the chorus, and we agree.
    We agree, we agree, we agree!
    -
    ‘Night, Beatrice.

  266. 266
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh, before going for realz I’d just like to mention that it seems I’ve managed to give myself an earworm with my latest comment, in the form of Abba’s I have a dream.

    If you catch it now too *evil laugh*

    And a problem with earworms by Abba is that they reproduce really fast, so you find yourself cycling through Abba’s “best of” instead of just humming Chiquitita over and over again.

  267. 267
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I disagree, Ogvorbis. And I’m sure many more side with me. You have succeeded at the best elements of humanity far beyond what could be reasonably expected. You exemplify so many wonderful qualities of humanity. You are kind, compassionate, considerate, funny, insightful, strong, and brave. You make humans look good.

    Hy hef noddink to add but dis.

  268. 268
    markbrown

    Beatrice
    Sorry about your dad’s behaviour. Don’t let him grind you down.
    —-
    Ogvorbis
    I reckon many of us feel that… it’s normal, and thus clearly untrue. I like to think that at least it means I’m unlikely to be a sociopath!
    —-
    Here’s one for Poopyhead:
    22 Reasons Bearded Men Are Better

  269. 269
    markbrown

    Beatrice
    No not the earworms! Curse you! *shakes fist impotently*

  270. 270
    David Marjanović

    Part 1 of 1:

    Petition against a piece of legislation that would introduce loopholes you can drive a truck through and was passed in a way that simply shouldn’t be legal.

    Petition “to stop the sexual assault crisis in the” US military.

    Send a message to Chancellor Merkel and economy minister Rösler to support them in stopping the European Commission from imposing a 47 % tariff on Chinese solar panels. It looks like this is a case where protectionism would damage everyone.

    If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him.

    So, if you’re still following the latest disaster in the sceptical movement, I made you a Bingo card to play

    (fixed the link)

  271. 271
    David Marjanović

    Part 2 of 2:

    Awesome! I love “you used a mean word, bitch”.

    While I dislike linking to the Daily Mail, maybe this will be of interest:

    One click away: Star Trek Into Darkness writer Damon Lindelof apologises for including ‘misogynistic’ Alice Eve underwear scene

    You lawyers out there, is it really like this?

    I haven’t laughed this much in meatspace in weeks!!!

    Oh, and David, thanks for that article yesterday about the Younger Dryas.

    That wasn’t me, it was birgerjohansson.

    Far-right essayist Dominique Venner, 78, shoots himself at altar after writing blogpost condemning same-sex marriage law

    That’s… interesting. In doing so, he has desecrated Notre Dame. It will “need” to be reconsecrated in a long ceremony.

    The Catholic Church agreed with him on that issue, so why did he do that to them?

    Look at these photos. Really look.

    O_o Whoa.

    You can translate Linear A?

    Well, reading it is fairly trivial, but the inscriptions are all so short that it’s not even clear how many languages they represent, let alone which ones.

    Admittedly, in this case, there is “Rosetta Stone”: You know (or can obtain) the lyrics in English, and similarly for Klingon. So, assuming the subtitles are also the lyrics, then that’s a big help.

    That would be fucking awesome.

    The teachers suggestion for answering the letter was “pull her into a corner and just do it”
    WTF?
    And I’m in a position where I can’t say anything.

    …For what value of “can’t”? Can you at least confront him next time you see him? Are you ever alone with the kids?

    which is more offensive than just saying fat, but I don’t know a proper translation (the word is usually used for fattening up non-human animals)

    Gah. *hug* *restocking hug truck*

    *hugs for Ogvorbis, too*

  272. 272
    David Marjanović

    Part 1 of 1:

    all hail Tpyos

  273. 273
    dontpanic

    Mostly thread ‘rupt. Read all, just don’t have spoons to reply to some of those that I might contribute (meaningfully) to.

    Good news for the magnificents, I’m happy for you.

    Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty We just signed the adoption papers! Conga-rats! Welcome to the world of “oh, #$%^, have I screwed up the kid” worries. And thank you for being the kind of person who would go the extra mile to do an adoption.

    Tony How is it that a dust storm must have blown through just as I read your story about R and his son. Definitely something in my eye.

    rowanvt …be a terrible person by taking photos of sopping wet kittens. Made me smile.

    John Morales@163 energy is stuff [side-eye] Ah, I know what you’re trying for, but I don’t think that is helping; IMHO it leaves itself too open to misinterpretation as something material. Things like potential energy, heat and dark energy really shouldn’t be described as “stuff”. Your followup, in mechanics, energy is the measure of work done — that I’ll accept, even expand with potential to do work.

    Giliell Guy’s suggestion for agony aunt letter … Ugh! [sigh] in agreement with Ogvorbis

    Hugs for Beatrice (and others as necessary/desired).

    Ogvorbis, sorry dude, but I gott’a agree w/ Portia, caecily, and Dalillama on your humanity.

    ** trigger warning ** Medical stuff

    Beatrice re blood work. Glad things worked out for you. For me it’s isn’t the pain, not even really the “blood” — caught a thorn in my finger while bushwacking this weekend and left a mess all over my hand without issue — even intellectually it’s not the “thick needle”. But woozy I get just from discussions of medical procedures.

    Got my biopsy done yesterday, with minimal amounts of drama. Badgered them into conscious sedation (which has the nice side effect of amnesia for the whole period), and apparently I didn’t have a vasovagal syncope episode as there was no side trip to the ER. Yeah, me. Now, I only need to wait for results. Came back to work today, but no one has asked about the large bandaid on my neck; I was going to plead “vampires”.

    Boo, for the nurse who tried to ‘comfort’ me with the story that “it’s usually big brawny men who have issues with needles” as he wheeled the bed from the recovery room (where they put in the IV) to where the procedure was to be done. Seriously, I don’t care; I just don’t want to think about it at all, so: stop talking. And the other nurse who post-op wants to cover the follow-up. Yeah, I understand you have to … and yes, perhaps my wife was a bit overprotective and snappish at you when you persisted to re-cover particular topics when we said to move on… [sigh]

  274. 274
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I missed the bar study comic. It’s pretty much like, that, ha. Except worse. There’s far too little mental breakdown in that comic for it to be accurate.

  275. 275
    dontpanic

    Funny story at the hospital: checked in and was sitting w/ scattered people in waiting room. Doctor comes in an calls for <one-of-the-top-ten-most-common-boy’s-names-from-the-decade-of-my-birth>. Two of us get up. Me being nearest, doctor asks last name. I give it and he waves off other guy. We traverse a maze of twisty little passages, all alike, all the while discussing the “Yeah, two X’s” and how he, the doctor, also has similar experiences with his common name. And me how once before I got to an examination room before they found out that I was the wrong <common-name> and we laughed how it was good that there were two of us in the waiting room, which triggered a lastname check. And then we reach a room and he has be sit down. “Okay, Mr. Xyzzy“. [WTF] “I’m not Xyzzy, I’m Xqrst“. He’d misheard (or only pattern matched the first syllable). And so we wind our way back to the waiting room to find a third guy (who I’m not even sure was there when we were initially called) who is Xyzzy.

    Is the point of calling only first names to attempt to protect a patient’s privacy?

  276. 276
    dontpanic

    Bah. Tpyos…

    …comes in and calls…

    …he has be me sit down…

  277. 277
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Gods I have this one male colleague who ignores and lectures and mansplains every time I express a preference about our interactions. Last time, it was “I never wink at you, I don’t believe I do that.” This time, it’s “No, I won’t check with you before I tell people to call you for consultations because that’s not how it works.” He could just say “Sure, I’ll check with you beforehand, if that’s what you’d prefer.” Instead he says “I get cold referrals all the time, I just turn them down if I don’t want them.” Well, I could have saved the poor guy the trouble of talking to another lawyer who didn’t want the case if you would have done what I asked. Same amount of hassle for you, less for me and prospective client. Rarg. But my lady brain can’t comprehend how Man Stuff works in Business Land.

  278. 278
    dontpanic

    Portia,
    How much do you think this failure to ask first is guilt on his part of feeling having to shrug off a client (sort of leaving them in the lurch) and hoping that you’ll accept them as a client (thus alleviating his feelings) if you’re not given the chance to pre-emptively forestall that, because stereotypically women have a harder time saying “no”. Blech, sentence structure, how does it work …. I think you can read what I’m trying to say.

  279. 279
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    dontpanic:

    I’m glad it sounds like things went relatively well. No one gave you a vampire-joke opening? Bummer.

  280. 280
    rorschach

    So Marcus Ranum helped Miri to get to WiS2, I read here.

    I think this is a great idea. I would love to help women go to these kinds of conferences. They should be there instead of me anyway. So I guess I’m offering my help. Any regular who wants to come to the Empowering Women conference in Dublin on June 29/30? Drop me a line, and I see what I can do. Maybe we can make this a community effort.

    Is the point of calling only first names to attempt to protect a patient’s privacy?

    As someone who calls patients from waiting rooms all the time, I can tell you it’s most often due to unpronouncable surnames that we avoid trying our tongues on…

  281. 281
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    dontpanic:

    This guy does have the compassion to feel bad for passing on a client. And if he did feel bad about that, it would make more sense to make sure the person he was sending the client to would not in turn pass them on. If I’m reading you right.

    And if he felt bad, he would be less likely to have just told me to deal with it when I expressed a preference

    After a minute he changed his story to “I realized after giving him your number that I should ask you.” So he’s just full of shit.

  282. 282
    yazikus

    Drop me a line, and I see what I can do. Maybe we can make this a community effort.

    This is such an awesome thing to do. I hope to someday have a similar conference somewhere near my little corner of the world, but that is fairly unlikely. I hope you find someone to help (and that we can all help)!

  283. 283
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, we finished our RPG adventure.
    Clue everybody including the gamemaster cheering on for NPC* getting his teeth kicked in.
    *I think the modelled him after Prince Charming.

    +++
    Dalillama

    Oi. Dot teacher definitely needs some teaching.

    Definetly. There should be a mandatory class about not being a privileged asshole. For dog’s sake, he’s an authority figure and sets the example.

    Can I confront him?
    That’s the bad part: I’m just a lowly trainee who’s there once a week and totally depending on his goodwill. And after I’ve seen the reactions of people who seem so nice and sensible and reasonbale to the slightest bit of criticism, I’m actually fuckin’ scared.
    Yeah, so much for silencing people….

    beatrice
    We’re sisters?
    Big hugs. Parents are the worst people to argue with because they still got that hold over you and can be real assholes.

  284. 284
    dontpanic

    Portia, True, though “make more sense” and following through with doing the right thing do are often not coupled. I was just trading off the idea of his feeling bad vs. the epsilon more effort that it would take to check with you first. In certain circumstances I could imagine it being a weak “…but I tried…” (minimally) effort — you know, the equivalent of prayer, of saying a few words but not actually having to do any real follow through. But it does sound like that isn’t really the case here; just jerk behaviour. Sorry.

    rorschach Yeah, I can see that tongue-tangling surnames could be a legitimate reason. Still, I was carrying a sheet of stickers that reception/check-in made up for me with my name on it (so they can attach them to various forms I have to sign, etc). If he’d have taken that from me at the start and glanced at it we wouldn’t have had the hike.

  285. 285
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I second opposablethumbs @184. Cerberus, your comments are amazing, intelligent and always worth reading.

  286. 286
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Portia @186:
    It does indeed go round and round. I was thinking about gun control..

  287. 287
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Lynna:
    Mr Rumsfeld would benefit from a Mormon Moment of Madness: Polygamy Special…

  288. 288
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Beatrice:
    Damn. I’m sorry youre going through that with your father. Is he oblivious to the emotional turmoil he causes you?
    (Here’s a wish that a car never hits you. We need more good people in the world, not fewer.)

  289. 289
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ogvorbis:
    1- YOU ARE A GREAT HUMAN BEING. Trust me, I hang out in the Lounge with some of the best humanity has to offer. You fit in seamlessly and are loved and appreciated by many.
    2- I do want to say that I don’t care for your post nym. I understand thats how you feel, but it is a constant in your face (not mine…yours) of what you do not want to be. You’re not a broken failure, and I worry that you seeing that everyday reinforces this view you have of yourself.
    And
    Even if I were to agree-which I do not-that you’re a broken failure, I hope you know that role is taken up by the Santorums, Bachmanns, Vaculas and various right wing assholes or MRAs. You’re so much better than any of them.
    3- you are not at fault. Never were. Never will be.

  290. 290
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Rorschach
    I can’t do much, but I’ll help anyway I can. I think it is a great idea!

  291. 291
    magic pants, celestial slacker

    I’m having a crisis of anti-faith.
    I am a postdoc, and need to start making more than minimum wage with my biology PhD before I go all the way to murder/suicide-land. So, do I apply for the opening to teach evolution and ecology at a Catholic College? Or do I keep waiting and looking?

  292. 292
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Oh thank you Blacksmith! I had more to say til I saw my six comments in a row. Not on the laptop, so it’s a pain checking comments and commenting in the David M manner (which is my preference)
    ****
    Rorschach:
    What an awesome idea! Thinking back to the times various people here have wanted to attend a conference but found themselves financially unable…this would be a great gift.

  293. 293
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Thanks, dontpanic. : / I just plan to keep drawing boundaries with this jerk and hope his jerkbrain catalogues them.

  294. 294
    broboxley OT

    hmm, gonna be in Minneapolis airport for an 1.5 hour layover on friday morning, will be sure to checkout G

  295. 295
  296. 296
    John Morales

    magic pants, it’s a no-brainer.

    Apply.

  297. 297
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Ogvorbis
    I second, and third, and fourth what Tony said @ 289!!!! His post sums up my thoughts exactly (except he is much more eloquent than I.) Thank you, both, for being here!!!!

  298. 298
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I agree with John. Apply.

    And if I hadn’t found out that Alice Cooper is playing two cities within 3 hours of me next month, I might daydream about going to Dublin that weekend. :)

    Alice Cooper, you guise! :D

  299. 299
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    magic pants
    I know exactly bupkis about academia so this may be stupid, but what about doing both?

  300. 300
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Speaking ofmagic clothes…where do Mormons acquire their undergarments? Are they specially made by and LDS garment factory?

  301. 301
    mythbri

    ‘Rupt, sorry.

    Senator Vitter and Senator Lautenberg have introduced new legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act, which I wrote about here. The post includes a link to the new legislation:

    http://geekinthebreeze.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/new-legislation-to-amend-tsca/

  302. 302
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Random:

    My shins have been hurting when I run, so I haven’t been running. Which makes me sad. One solution I’ve read online is getting better shoes. My shoes do suck. So. Any advice from anybody about shoes?

    (I am also trying to run on grass instead of the paved bike path right by my house. It feels like a shame that what is so convenient causes so much pain).

  303. 303
    cicely

    Came back to work today, but no one has asked about the large bandaid on my neck; I was going to plead “vampires”.

    *shaking head*
    A diamond opportunity, wasted!
    *whispering* Vampire Moths are very popular, just now. See if you can’t work it into your on-the-job conversation. Casual-like.
    ;D
    -

  304. 304
  305. 305
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Oh Lawd, please bless these underpants. May they ever be white. Let not these underpants ever indicate wether the wearer is coming or going. Laws, we ask that you help keep these underpants always on and never shall they be thrown off wantonly to land on the bedside lamp and knock it over.

  306. 306
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I did google shin splints but hadn’t read wikipedia particulary. Thank you.

  307. 307
    Rob Grigjanis

    Portia @306: FWIW, one of the stretches pictured here cured my running-induced shin splints forever (and they were quite bad);

    http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/shin_splints/shin_splints.html

    It’s the picture whose caption begins “Place top of toes on floor…”. IIRC, it took about a week.

  308. 308
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Wow, Rob, I tried that stretch and it really does get the exact spot that hurts on impact. I had no idea how to stretch it and no idea how to find how to. Thanks so much.

  309. 309
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Blacksmith:
    What happens if sky daddy fails to bless the underpants?

    Oh yeah…have you made any headway on the game your were working on for the little one?

  310. 310
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Tony:

    What happens if sky daddy fails to bless the underpants?

    I don’t think either of us wants to really know. :)

    Game progress has slowed dramatically. We moved last week so everything not related to unpacking a box is on hold. Hoping next week I can get back on it. I WILL finish it though! :)

  311. 311
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    dontpanic,

    I’m glad biopsy went with almost no drama, I hope the results will bring no drama at all, just relief.
    —-
    giliell,

    Thanks.
    Your situation sucks. Correcting people who have authority over you and little regard for you can make your life very difficult, so I understand the reluctance.
    —-
    magic pants,
    Apply.
    1. It’s a job, in your profession.
    2. Unless you sign a contract selling your soul to the pope (don’t do that!), you can always quit.
    3. Evolution and ecology? Nice, You can act as a subversive element at the College.

  312. 312
    rq

    Good morning to all!
    To start off, I would like to join the great chorus of positivity for Ogvorbis and his amazingness, with a shout-out to Tony for his wonderful and awesome eloquence.
    Other than that, it’s 8AM and there is no new news.
    Oh except that I would love to have an opportunity to go to Dublin, but, alas, I still don’t know if that’s a good weekend for me, since I have to start back at work in about a week and I’m pretty sure the first month will be hecticness, stress, and general confused wondering about time management. That being said, rorshach, I may still try to contact you about it. If that’s ok.
    PS Rob Grigjanis, thanks for that shin-splint stretching link! That may come in handy sometime in the neat future, too. :)

    +++

    Did this Matt Taibbi article on the ‘drug war’ go floating through here already? It’s a bit dated, but I just read it this morning, and… wow.
    I don’t agree with the conclusions about what word use says about us – not to the extent attempted here. But I have no concrete evidence for my point of view, so I have to think about it a bit more.
    Hey, Atheists! As long as we do good, Pope Francis says we’ll be redeemed! It’s even in the Bible!!!
    I just have a thing for waterfalls and aurora borealis, that’s all. Especially in combination.
    Mining company! Pink trucks! It’s a breast cancer fundraiser (but there’s a 20 minute limit on that browser session, weird).
    It’s not the killer bees, but the bee killer that’s destroying crops. :(

  313. 313
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Kinda ‘rupt.

    *hugs* and other *comfies* for those who need or want ‘em.

    Gonna try and get back into exercising a couple times a week. (Hit that winter slump back in late Dec.)

    Ogvorbis

    You are good people, man. Never doubt that.

  314. 314
    chigau (違う)

    oooh
    googledoodle for Canada

  315. 315
    rq

    Pretty.

  316. 316
    opposablethumbs

    dontpanic, glad about the biopsy. Hope the results are equally good – and sorry about no vampire opening, that’s really remiss of people.

    Giliell, that’s … ugh. I understand you’re in a tricky situation to say anything If he’s blind enough to say it in the first place, he could well be blind enough to take umbrage at being called out, too :-(((

    Good luck with the application to subvert Catholic college, magic pants. Would you have to bite your tongue a lot in the staffroom? (what country is this?)

    Tony and Ogvorbis – you are such good people. In fact you are Finest best good people. (insert Marks & Spencer advert voice: “these are not just good people. These are Pharyngula good people”)

  317. 317
    John Morales

    In Australian news: List of common chemicals used to make bombs released in bid to stem terrorism

    The internet has a new list of readily available chemicals that can be used for terrorism – not in an extremists’ instruction manual but rather an Australian Government publication.Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and the Australian Federal Police today launched the Chemicals of Security Concern campaign.In a bid to curb terrorism, the campaign lists 96 substances used for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and where they are found.”If you think that I’m being irresponsible in giving away bomb making instructions to terrorists, I can assure you that unfortunately these instructions are already easily accessible via the internet,” Mr Dreyfus said.

  318. 318
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi folks and thanks to all for your support
    Urgh, and can I cry about the weather? I know, everybody complains about the weather and hey, I live on the 13th floor in a house on top of the hill so I’m pretty dry (this is what the fun fair in my home village looked like 3 days ago) but it’s really, really getting on my nerves. We had a long winter. Coldest March in about 30 years. And now we’re at the end of May and weather would be OK for March and there’s no sun in sight.
    Guess that’s called depression rearing its ugly head. Because although it’s quite normal to complain about the weather I don’t think it’s normal to actually cry because you don’t think you can stand another week without warmth and sunshine….

    Ogvorbis
    What Tony said
    (((hugs)))

  319. 319
    rq

    Giliell
    Come visit!
    Unfortunately, that’s the best I can do, and wish for more sunshine in your direction.
    *hugs*

    And oh yes, dontpanic, congrats and yay on getting all the bloodwork done and for the god result!

  320. 320
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m not a fan of facebook, but on some days something so beautiful appears there, I almost get tempted to open an account.

    I wrote about the “In the name of family” organization, collecting signatures for a referendum about adding the definition of marriage into our constitution, sayng that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

    Someone started a facebook page “I want this to be added to the constitution” as a parody.
    It says there:

    [Mrziš ljude rođene u drugom mjesecu? Ne voliš patuljke? Zašto bi to zadržao samo za sebe? Angažiraj se, pokreni akciju, ustani i reci: ''Hoću da to uđe u Ustav!'' jer je tvoj stav bitan!]

    You hate people born in February? You don’t like midgets? Why keep it to yourself? Engage, take action, stand up and say: “I want this to be added to the constitution!” because your opinion matters!

    My personal favorite is “burek is a natural union between meat and pastry, it can be no other” (it can be made with cheese, but that just isn’t right, according to real connossieurs).

    It’s hugely popular, I’m just hoping all these people mocking the referendum vote against adding the definition if the referendum is ever actually held.

  321. 321
    rq

    Beatrice
    Ha, but I’m safe – all those chebureks I’ve been eating with cheese are not Real Bureks!
    But what happens if there is onion with the meat? *dundundunnnnn*

  322. 322
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    rq,

    Of course there is onion with the meat. That is a must.

  323. 323
    rq

    Beatrice
    But then it’s not a pure union of meat and pastry, unless ‘meat’ is defined as ‘meat and onion’. Uh-ooooh…! We have a complication!

  324. 324
    blf

    Ogvorbis, “I would be very happy if I considered myself a full human.”

    You gets to play with full-sized real-steam choo-choos, and when that gets boring, fly around the country to play with pyrotechnics. Yer an über-groovy dream, what every child wants to be!

  325. 325
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Are Bureks the same as Turkish Börek? In that case I vote for spinach and sheep cheese

  326. 326
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    You gets to play with full-sized real-steam choo-choos, and when that gets boring, fly around the country to play with pyrotechnics. Yer an über-groovy dream, what every child wants to be!

    Yeah, I have a dream job. I should be happy. But I keep letting this shit get to me. Sorry.

  327. 327
    blf

    made with cheese … just isn’t right, according to real connossieurs

    Unless yer talking about peas, this cannot be correct, says the mildly deranged penguin. If anything, it’s the other way around: “Diluting the cheese just isn’t right.”

    onion with the meat … is a must

    MUSHROOMS! Onion, leek, garlic, are all fine, but it’s MUSHROOMS! which is a must.

    (Meat with MUSHROOMS! is, of course, a side-dish somewhere in the proper meal of starter, soup, first, second, and third main courses, dessert, and after-dinner munchies of cheese…)

  328. 328
    blf

    Eoin Colfer’s top ten villains. Blofeld is, of course, № 1. But he fails to mention the chief of the child rapists (perhaps because all those villains are fictional).

    Which is a clumsy introduction to the child rapist’s dictator’s recent babblings, Pope Francis says atheists can be good:

    Just do good, and we’ll find a meeting point, says Francis in marked departure from Benedict’s line on non-Catholics

    Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good, Pope Francis has said in his latest urging that people of all religions, and none, work together.

    He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.

    What in Hades does that question even mean?
    And in any case, how the feck does a mythical creature do anything?

    “Even them, everyone,” the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. “We all have the duty to do good,” he said.

    “Just do good, and we’ll find a meeting point,” the pope said in a hypothetical reply to the hypothetical comment: “But I don’t believe. I’m an atheist.”

    Ok: Abortion-on-demand. No tolerance of child rapists. Or indeed, of any rapists. Same-sex marriage. Condoms and other forms of birth control. All of those are part of my definition of “good”. So what is our “meeting point”?

  329. 329
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    rq,

    Even pure unions need some spice. :)
    —-
    Giliell,

    Burek is a bosnian dish, so it’s probably the same or very similar to turkish börek.

  330. 330
    blf

    The current mafia running running the UK shows its complete contempt for anything except its own wallet, Government licensed secret buzzard egg destruction, documents reveal (my emboldening):

    Eggs and nests of protected raptors destroyed to protect pheasant shoot, according to FoI documents

    A government agency has licensed the secret destruction of the eggs and nests of buzzards to protect a pheasant shoot, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

    … Buzzards are recovering from near extinction and now number 40,000 breeding pairs, while 35m pheasants are bred each year for shoots.

    It is also less than a year after the wildlife minister, Richard Benyon, abandoned related plans citing “public concerns”. Benyon, whose family estate in Berkshire runs shoots, cancelled plans to spend £375,000 on testing control measures for buzzards around pheasant shoots after a public outcry in May 2012. “I will collaborate with all the organisations that have an interest in this issue and will bring forward new proposals,” he said at the time.

    “We were proceeding collaboratively and that is why we are so angry now,” said Martin Harper, the RSPB’s conservation director. …

    The licences were issued by the government’s licensing body, Natural England (NE) …

    NE issued the licences despite its own expert reviewer stating: “There is no body of published evidence demonstrating that the presence of buzzards is likely to result in serious damage to a game shoot.”

    Jeff Knott, the RSPB’s bird of prey expert, said: “The buzzard has full legal protection, so why are we undermining this when all the available evidence shows they are not a significant source of loss of pheasant chicks.” An independent study commissioned by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation found that, on average, 1-2% of pheasant poults released were taken by all birds of prey, Knott said, adding that a third of all pheasants are killed on the roads. …

    A key criteria for the granting of the licences was that all non-lethal control methods, such as creating places for pheasants to hide and diverting buzzards away by leaving food out, had been unsuccessfully tried. But the NE expert who reviewed the application reported: “Overall, there is a pattern of {non-lethal} methods being employed inconsistently.” The reviewer also noted that “the efficacy of {nest and egg destruction} is untested”. …

  331. 331
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Good morning Lounge!

    What with the meat pastry talk y’all are making me want some beef wellington.

    Maybe I should eat breakfast.

  332. 332
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Hey, Atheists! As long as we do good, Pope Francis says we’ll be redeemed! It’s even in the Bible!!!

    Now if only he’d know “good” if it walked up and patted him on the head.

  333. 333
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I don’t agree with the conclusions about what word use says about us – not to the extent attempted here. But I have no concrete evidence for my point of view, so I have to think about it a bit more.

    People have become less focused on traditional notions of “virtue” and more focused on justice and fairness and he thinks we’ve become “less morally aware.”

    I think we’re done here.

  334. 334
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    TW Violence

    Watching Rachel Maddow.
    The title of the first video segment was something about a gruesome attack in London being terrorism. She described the attack before describing the identities of the assailants and the victim. I was a little surprised to find out that the victim wasn’t the Muslim-looking person in the situation, but maybe that sort of hate crime is a U.S. thing : ( It’s so horrible and horrific. Pictures of the the “suspects” still on the scene in broad daylight covered in blood telling people they resent being called Muslim extemists and that Britain should get their troops out of Muslim countries. Yikes.

  335. 335
    blf

    On bloody hell, Five men arrested over claims of sexual assault at nursery:

    Police say young child at nursery in Worcestershire [England] told parents of incident alleged to have taken place last week

    Five men have been arrested over an allegation of a child being sexually assaulted at a day nursery.

    West Mercia police said officers detained the men after a very young child told their family about an incident reported to have happened last week.

    [Police] Superintendent Kevin Purcell … said: “A young child has made a disclosure that we are taking extremely seriously. We are also treating it as sensitively as possible due to the nature of the offence and the very young age of the child involved.”

  336. 336
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    beatrice – *many hugs and lots of chocolate*

    Ogvorbis – You are a great human being. I really wish you could see yourself the way we do. *supportive hugs*

    magic pants – Apply and keep looking.

  337. 337
    rq

    Azkyroth
    Yes, that’s it: I ended up coming to the same conclusion. The one paragraph where he mentions language of fairness, he immediately and only applies it to business, market and exchange, completely ignoring any of the rights movements that have also occurred in those same 48 years he is looking at.
    So, less traditional virtue, more actual fairness… And this is somehow bad.

  338. 338
    rq

    A positive story for today: two sisters in Somalia.

  339. 339
    blf

    y’all are making me want some beef wellington.

    You want boots made from mislabeled horsemeat?

    (Are they particularly effective against peas?)

  340. 340
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    (Are they particularly effective against peas?)

    I have anecdotal data suggesting that, yes, they are effective against peas. Except when they are filled with peas, then not so much.

  341. 341
    vaiyt

    Why would you fill beef Wellington with peas? That’s a waste of peas AND beef.

  342. 342
    rq

    Not to mention a rubber boot.

  343. 343
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    vaiyt:
    My comment was regarding blf’s comment:

    You want boots made from mislabeled horsemeat?

    I suppose I should have block quoted the whole thing.

    Does that help? :)

  344. 344
    rq

    Haven’t seen the movie, haven’t read this article: Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler FAQ.

  345. 345
    blf

    Facebook’s violently sexist pages are an opportunity for feminists:

    [Farcebork] both reflects our misogynistic society and is a conduit to change it — through campaigns such as Twitter’s #FBrape

    … Sadly, we live in a society in which many people are interested in rape jokes, believe violence against women is funny and habitually consume cultural products that depict women as glossy sex things. And so, Facebook is full of pages and groups that graphically depict and explicitly condone violence against women.

    As Tuesday’s open letter to Facebook … points out, Facebook routinely removes content that is violently racist, homophobic or Islamophobic. … While [Farcebork will] approve content that condones tying women up and raping them, it certainly wouldn’t tolerate an equally “humorous” page that riffed on the lynching of black people.

    In spite of complaint after complaint, Facebook continues to deem content encouraging violence against women inoffensive. When journalists publicise a particularly indefensible page …, the company tends to act by shutting down that particular page. …

    The question that arises is why Facebook continues to allow this kind of content to be published. It emits unconvincing chirps about being anti-censorship, but trips itself up by moderating, as pornographic, images of women breastfeeding, or body-positive pictures of post-mastectomy female torsos. This blogpost cuts wittily to the heart of the issue. The author lifts a typical porny pic from another Facebook page, Photoshops in a smattering of pubic hair, and posts it to her own group. Result? Overnight decision — a 30-day ban.

    So, the censorship explanation falls flat …, and the question remains: why is Facebook so committed to supporting gender hate speech? One possible explanation is that its company culture has naturalised sexist norms to the point where its members truly believe, along with the creators and users of pages such as Raping Your Girlfriend, that violently misogynistic content is acceptable and funny. …

    But Facebook has a brand and has money to make. The #FBrape Twitter campaign is hitting where it hurts, by tweeting big advertisers with screengrabs of their carefully cultivated logos floating alongside pages entitled things such as What’s 10 Inches Long and Makes Girls Have Sex With Me — My Knife! So far, many companies have responded quickly and publicly by condemning the content and complaining to Facebook about it. …

  346. 346
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    rq:
    Wait, you don’t sometimes fill your rubber boots with peas?

  347. 347
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Peas are very good in beef stew.

    So I guess now y’all can finally give me the boot?

  348. 348
    blf

    Not to mention a rubber boot.

    Whilst making Horsemeat Wellington with (or in) rubber boots is better than making it with (or in?) peas, it doesn’t sound too appealing. And filling the boots with peas is not an improvement. One minor problem is that when you attempt to cook the Boot&pea(&Horsemeat) Wellington, it will chase you around the kitchen. Presumably waving a whacking great cleaver, claymore, and cutlass.

  349. 349
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Ogvorbis:
    I will gladly give you a boot, but never the boot!

    blf:
    Bottom line is, Facebook just doesn’t give two shits about this problem. The only way to get through to them is via their revenue stream. I think #FBrape is fantastic but how to expand that concept beyond Twitter? Damned if I know and now I haz a sad.

  350. 350
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    blf:
    I ain’t scared of no claymore wielding pea and beef boot. I gots my rapier and know and how to use it.

    Speaking of which, yay for summer vacation soon. Daughter has asked me to start teaching her fencing. Yay!

  351. 351
    chigau (違う)

    My garden peas are coming along nicely.

  352. 352
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Cutlass? You mean one of these?

  353. 353
    chigau (違う)

    or one of these?

  354. 354
    blf

    Cutlass? You mean one of these?

    I suppose that might delay the coming of chigau’s peas. But I doubt it. They play soccer with starships. Not with the starship crews, but using the actual starship. As the ball.

    Peas are nasty. With multiple n‘s. And even more a‘s: Nnnnaasssssssssty, nnnnaaaaaaaaaaasssty peas.

  355. 355
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And now, for some unknown reason, blf is channeling Golem.

    This has been shown to result from a severe pea deficiency.

  356. 356
    chigau (違う)

    I am inspired!
    This crop of peas, I will train!
    World Domination is within my grasp!
    !!!

  357. 357
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    chigau:

    Not to worry. Wife and I have only two crops in our back yard this year: sugar peas and chili peppers. We are LEGUME!

  358. 358
    chigau (違う)

    Ogvorbis,
    What do you get when you cross sugar peas and chili peppers?

  359. 359
    Lynna, OM

    How does Fox News conduct polls? Poorly, and hilariously. Actual Fox News poll questions below:

    “Does it feel like the federal government has gotten out of control and is threatening the basic civil liberties of Americans, or doesn’t it feel this way to you?”

    “Do you think the Democratic Party should allow a grassroots organization like Moveon.org to take it over or should it resist this type of takeover?”

    “Do you think illegal immigrants from Mexico should be given special treatment and allowed to jump in front of immigrants from other countries that want to come to the United States legally, or not?”

    “Do you think the United Nations should be in charge of the worldwide effort to combat climate change and the United States should report to the United Nations on this effort, or should it be up to individual countries and the United States would be allowed to make decisions on its own?”

    “Former President George W. Bush stopped golfing after the start of the Iraq war. Do you think President Barack Obama should stop golfing until the unemployment rate improves and the economy is doing better?”

    Results from these polls are used in Fox News reports.

  360. 360
    opposablethumbs

    We are LEGUME!

    :-D :-D :-D

  361. 361
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Hey, Atheists! As long as we do good, Pope Francis says we’ll be redeemed! It’s even in the Bible!!!

    Yeah, but I would only want to go to heaven if the following would occur:

    a) I could watch Maurice Richard and Herb Carnegie play hockey together
    b) I could watch Satchel Paige (in his prime) pitch to Babe Ruth (in his prime)
    c) John Peel was the official DJ

    Oh, and nachos. There has to be nachos. Otherwise, fuck it. ;)

  362. 362
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Hey, Atheists! As long as we do good, Pope Francis says we’ll be redeemed! It’s even in the Bible!!!

    A friend posted about this on fb and one of his friends said ‘Yay! Now my dad has permission to love me again!” I had a sad.

  363. 363
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Lynna:
    I suppose that most of those questions could be construed as valid concerns, however poorly worded or thought out but this one:

    “Former President George W. Bush stopped golfing after the start of the Iraq war. Do you think President Barack Obama should stop golfing until the unemployment rate improves and the economy is doing better?”

    Really?! :o

  364. 364
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)
    “Former President George W. Bush stopped golfing after the start of the Iraq war. Do you think President Barack Obama should stop golfing until the unemployment rate improves and the economy is doing better?”

    Really?! :o

    Because black people are lazy, geddit? : /

  365. 365
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    UnknownEric @ 361:
    I’ll take hell then.

    ;-)

  366. 366
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Because black people are lazy, geddit? : /

    Actually, no; I’m still not getting it. :-(

  367. 367
    Lynna, OM

    As noted up-thread, where Matt Taibbi’s article about the madness of the drug war is discussed, that man knows how to dive into deep waters, journalistically speaking.

    His latest article, The Mad Science of the National Debt, is not easily summarized with a few excerpts. It’s worth reading the whole thing.

    Excerpts anyway:

    Welcome back to the dumb season. It’s debt-ceiling time again.

    We’ve been at this two years now. It was back in 2011 when the Republican Party, seized by anti-government furor, first locked on the lifting of the federal debt ceiling – an utterly routine governmental mechanism that allows the Treasury to borrow to pay for spending already approved by the entire Congress, Republicans included – as a place to hold a showdown over . . . government spending. That first battle resulted in a “Mutually Assured Destruction”-type stalemate, in which both parties agreed that if they couldn’t reach a deal by New Year’s Day 2013, a series of brutal, automatic, across-the-board spending cuts would take effect. At the time, it seemed unthinkable Congress would let that happen. By the time we passed that date, the thing that seemed unthinkable was the idea that Congress would ever make a deal. The cuts took effect in March and we were headed for a full-on fiscal crash on May 19th, when fate intervened to stop this stupidest-in-history blue-red catfight in its tracks, if only temporarily.

    In early May, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced that the federal government suddenly had enough cash on hand to stay afloat until “at least Labor Day.” We were saved by, of all things, a record quarterly profit from the notorious state-seized mortgage-finance company Fannie Mae, which is paying the state $59 billion, enough to keep us in the black through the summer….

    … Tea Party protesters descending upon Washington screaming about how not raising the debt ceiling is like giving your kids the bad news that they can’t afford to go to the movies – difficult but necessary, a kind of homespun tough love, except that a global superpower intentionally defaulting on its sovereign debt is actually way closer to an act of apocalyptic suicidal madness than it is to good parenting ….

    … it only led to this month’s latest harebrained idea: the so-called Full Faith and Credit Act, a Republican bill passed in the House that would direct the U.S. Treasury, in the event that we hit the debt ceiling, to pay interest to bondholders before making any other payments. In other words, we’d pay people who loaned us money by buying treasuries – China’s, for instance – before we’d pay, say, veteran benefits or Medicare.

  368. 368
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I’m not sure if you mean my snark is too blunt or you don’t quite see the racist undertones of the golf survey question.

  369. 369
    Lynna, OM

    I suppose that most of those questions could be construed as valid concerns, however poorly worded or thought out …

    Turning valid concerns into overly simplified propaganda for the right wing is a Fox News specialty.

  370. 370
    yazikus

    Amanda has a nice article over at Rawstory. The comments should be interesting.

  371. 371
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Portia:
    The racist undertones. I’m just not seeing how that question makes sense, even from a bigots viewpoint. I KNOW it’s there, cause, you know Fox…

  372. 372
    chigau (違う)

    I don’t get it either.
    “Former President George W. Bush stopped golfing after the start of the Iraq war. Do you think President Barack Obama should stop golfing until the unemployment rate improves and the economy is doing better?”

    After George W. started the Iraq war he gave up golf as a penance.
    Thereby ending the war.
    or
    After George W. started the Iraq war he negotiated with God to end the war. God’s price was George W. giving up golf.
    Thereby ending the war.

    Therefore
    Since the mess in The Economy™ is Obama’s fault maybe he should use the same methods.

    or something

  373. 373
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh, well, golf is a leisure activity. And the President is clearly just lounging around all the time, instead of working hard for this country like we pay him to. He’s just on the government dole, you see. Or at least that’s my take on the bigotry in that particular question. There’s a lot of focus on his vacationing and whatnot. I can’t remember if you’re USian or not (sorry) but “black people are lazy” is a pretty prevalent stereotype. Therefore, pointing out that the President “golfs too much” is, to me, trying paint him as a slacker.

    They conveniently ignore that Bush didn’t give up any and all forms of leisure, either.

    Also nevermind that sometimes when Obama golfs it is to do what they harp on him for not doing, trying to work with Republicans.

  374. 374
    Lynna, OM

    I’m not sure if you mean my snark is too blunt or you don’t quite see the racist undertones of the golf survey question.

    Sometimes we miss the racist undertones in polls about things like President Obama’s golfing habits because we don’t listen to enough right-wing radio, read enough right-wing blogs, and watch enough Fox News. It’s the repetition, and the many varieties of lazy-black-man insinuations that actually add up to a consistent undertow of racism.

    Link.

    …Last year after Obama’s horrendous first debate, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu attributed it to his being “absolutely lazy and detached from his job.” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell gave the Romney surrogate several chances to take back the line. “Governor, I want to give you a chance to maybe take it back. Did you really mean to call Barack Obama, the president of the United States, lazy?” …

    Last week, excerpts of Roger Ailes’s biography came out. In the book, authored by Zev Chafets, the Fox News boss called the president lazy.

    “Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life. He never earned a penny that wasn’t public money. How many fundraisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that.”

    There are multiple examples of people comparing Obama’s love of basketball with being too lazy to do anything other than basketball, and with basketball being a black man’s game (both false).

    House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy suggested presidential laziness was a reason for why the White House hasn’t yet released a budget. “I’ll bet you this. I bet you he spends more time filling out his March Madness brackets than he does writing a budget,” McCarthy said on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show…

    Oliver North said that Obama’s laziness on Syria leaves us vulnerable. Link.

    Then then are Donald Trump’s many claims that Obama was too dumb and too lazy to get into Harvard.

    Sarah Palin used “shucking and jiving” to describe President Obama, and also hinted that he doesn’t have the brains or self-discipline to run a country.

    More sources detailing the attacks on President Obama for golfing, and claiming he is dumb and lazy:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/17/the-press-is-peeved-at-the-golfing-president.html
    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/03/barack-obama-dumb-and-lazy

    Obama was too dumb to write his own autobiography. Obama was an affirmative action baby at Harvard Law. Obama can barely string three words together without a teleprompter. Obama is too lazy to attend national security briefings. Obama gives soaring speeches but there’s nothing behind them. Obama lives a life of sybaritic ease punctuated mostly by golf dates and basketball games.

  375. 375
    Lynna, OM

    Kevin Drum, writing in Mother Jones (link in comment #374), makes an attempt to explain the unfounded contempt for President Obama:

    Mostly, the tea partiers are convinced he’s dumb, lazy, and tyrannical. The problem is that this is so risibly wrong that (a) they have a hard time fighting back because they flatly don’t understand what they’re up against, and (b) it makes them look moronic. Nobody in their right mind thinks that Obama is dumb and lazy.

    So where did this come from? One obvious possibility is that it’s race related: a lot of conservatives are so thoroughly steeped in resentment against affirmative action that they just can’t believe Obama got where he did on his merits. This is probably part of it, but it doesn’t ring entirely true to me. In a way, it seems like this is really more a product of his phenomenal speaking skills. His speeches elate liberals, but they drive conservatives crazy. They simply can’t believe that anyone actually falls for this stuff unless they’ve been hypnotized by a con man, so that’s what Obama becomes: a slick but basically empty hustler.

    The impression I get from the far-right conservatives in my area is that you must know that no black man really got to the presidency based on merit, so we’d better start looking for the cheating he did to get there, and/or we’d better figure out who conspired to put him in that seat. In their hearts they think that most black people are “takers” and that they use cons and hustles to get what they want/need without working. And yes, they also think that the IQs of blacks and Latinos are lower than those of white people. God is responsible for this disparity.

  376. 376
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    What do you get when you cross sugar peas and chili peppers?

    A really good stir fry?

  377. 377
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    blood test results are ridiculously good. Cholesterol is a bit higher than recommended, but doctor didn’t even comment on it.

    It’s also barely half past 7pm and I’m ready to drop into bed and sleep forever. Something must be wrong with me.

    Thyroid hormones check next week, if I manage to make an appointment.

  378. 378
    yazikus

    @Obvorbis

    A really good stir fry?

    I just got word that I’ll be getting fava beans in my veggie box next week or so, I’m really excited and now I’m craving a delicious pea, pepper and fava bean stir fry. How big is your garden?

  379. 379
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    How big is your garden?

    Our back yard is about 20 feet by 30 feet. If you remove the area taken up by the wisteria, the Eastern red bud, the Rose of Sharon, the family bushes, and the rock garden and the grass, we have three garden areas planted: 4 feet by 1 foot, 4 feet by 1 foot and 2 feet by 3 feet.

  380. 380
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Got it! Thanks for the forbearance.

    ZOMG! He’s got a tv and a refrigerator, too!

  381. 381
    yazikus

    If you remove the area taken up by the wisteria, the Eastern red bud, the Rose of Sharon, the family bushes, and the rock garden and the grass,

    Sounds lovely. I had wanted to do a garden this year, but between not having enough time and the start up costs partner and I decided to wait another year and do a local CSA box instead. Maybe next year though!

  382. 382
    Lynna, OM

    John Boehner plays golf more frequently than President Obama:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/7/van-jones-roger-ailes-calling-obama-lazy-racist/

    http://99u.com/articles/7223/how-barack-obama-gets-things-done

    If you google “Obama working hard or hardly working” you will come up with hundreds of faux news stories about the President’s supposed laziness. There are claims that he spends thousands of hours watching pay-for-view movies, etc.

    Obama’s own description of a typical day: “I’m a night owl. My usual day [is]: I work out in the morning; I get to the office around 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; work till about 6:30 p.m.; have dinner with the family, hang out with the kids and put them to bed about 8:30 p.m. And then I’ll probably read briefing papers or do paperwork or write stuff until about 11:30 p.m. and then I usually have about a half hour to read before I go to bed . . . about midnight, 12:30 a.m. — sometimes a little later.”

  383. 383
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    My wife and I usually plant a small garden every year, but this year we couldn’t get our respective behinds moving to get it started. I’m really going to miss stuffing cheese into homegrown peppers this year.

  384. 384
    Lynna, OM

    A day in the life of our President, as documented by Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum:
    http://theweek.com/article/index/206163/a-day-in-the-life-of-the-president

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/09/broken-washington-201009

  385. 385
    Lynna, OM

    Republicans are quoting scripture to justify cutting the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) which was formerly known as food stamps. 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.”

    …the guy who’s trying to slash assistance for struggling families, arguing that it’s necessary to cut spending and let the poor fend for themselves, is also the beneficiary of generous agricultural subsidies? This Tea Party Republican wants the Department of Agriculture to give him money, but not the poor? Yep, pretty much. …

    Maddow Blog link.

  386. 386
    yazikus

    I’m really going to miss stuffing cheese into homegrown peppers this year.

    What sort of cheese and what sort of peppers, pray tell?
    Do you have access to a farmers market or something similar so you can at least get delicious veggies? Gardening takes a surprising (at least to me) amount of work.

  387. 387
    Lynna, OM

    Glenn Beck on atheists in Oklahoma, on tornados, and on other subjects he clearly does not understand:
    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/23/glenn_beck_cnn_interview_with_atheist_tornado_survivor_was_a_setup/

    Glenn Beck believes that a CNN producer who “doesn’t like Christians” and is “sympathetic to the atheist plight” orchestrated Wolf Blitzer’s interview with Oklahoma tornado survivor and atheist Rebecca Vitsmun because the exchange was “really bizarre” and “not natural.”

    Watch the video at the link for the full effect.

  388. 388
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Yazikus @ 370:
    Thanks for that link. Great article. Only one cupcake in the comments so far.

    I know that when I first came across the concept of privilege, my knee jerk response was “I’m not that privileged. My life was hard! Grew up poor, rural, etc.” I have since come to understand my privilege better and, I hope, become a better person for it. I think many never get past that knee jerk response. :-(

    Portia:
    I’m white, cis, married with child, stay at home dad/blacksmith artist, middle class (now), male, USAnian (Texan). And now you know…the rest of the story.

    /TMI

  389. 389
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Because Glenn Beck is one of the most natural and not at all bizarre persons in the media.

  390. 390
    chigau (違う)

    They™ think that Obama did not get where he is on merit but George W. did?
    Risible is a good word.

  391. 391
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Lynna @387:
    In the video, just as he says ” I’m gonna tell you what my theory is here”* they flash into the ticker below him “Truth lives here”! (About 54 seconds in)

    *or something to that effect

  392. 392
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The marxist-atheist-homosexual-islamist knew in the early sixties that a biracial baby was the ideal vehicle to take over the Presidency. They are cunning in that way. Poor dubya was the oppressed scion of generations of senators and Presidents.

  393. 393
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Sorry, Tony. I just say

    I do want to say that I don’t care for your post nym.

    so I changed it. It’ll change again, I’m sure.

  394. 394
    cicely

    I ain’t scared of no claymore wielding pea and beef boot. I gots my rapier and know and how to use it.

    Nononono! This is a job for napalm!
    -

    This has been shown to result from a severe pea deficiency.

    Ain’t no such thing!
    -

    This crop of peas, I will train!

    Well…okay…but there are many more efficient ways of disposing of peas than lining them up on the tracks and letting the train do the work.
     
    If you can’t get your hands on the napalm! to do the job, I’d recommend a trash compactor.
    -

    What do you get when you cross sugar peas and chili peppers?

    A hot mess.
    -

    blood test results are ridiculously good.

    Hurray!
    -

  395. 395
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith
    blood test results are ridiculously good.

    Hurray!

    +1

  396. 396
    AJ Milne

    They™ think that Obama did not get where he is on merit but George W. did?

    (Briefly attempts to ponder where George W. could have got on his merits…)

    Hrm… That was… interesting. Y’know, this is actually kinda philosophically engrossing. In that haiku way a Zen koan can be…

    ‘Grasshopper, think on this: is there somewhere more nowhere than nowhere?’

  397. 397
    rq

    Hurray for Beatrice‘s blood work! :D That’s good news.

    re: gardens and gardening
    (Well the vegetable bit; you’ve all seen the potential roses!)
    This year, since it’s our first in the house, I decided to take it easy – four potential pumpkin plants, a couple rows of radishes (coming up nice!), lettuce, spinach, dill, basil, and some beans, but I have yet to put those in (the package says late May – early June, so I’m listening to the instructions).
    And then it’ll be everything that was already here: strawberries, raspberries, walnuts, cherries. The apricot is still too small to bear fruit, as is the apple tree. Oh, and the black currant crop looks to be magnificent.
    With a bit more practice, I would like to have some tomatoes and peppers, there’s nothing like home-grown tomatoes and peppers, but at least in the meantime, there’s lots of local farmers and produce available – vegetables, seasonal fruits, organic meat (at least it’s not from the large meat-farms). There are benefits to living in a European backwater.

    Ye Olde Blacksmith
    My rubber boots are sometimes filled with all manner of items… Peas would be the least of them. (I like to keep a horse or two in there, too. For safe-keeping and good luck.)

    +++

    I don’t like it when ChoirCreep is in rehearsal. He sits behind me, and I can’t help the self-centered feeling that he’s staring at me.
    But it looks like I’ll be skipping this year’s choir camp (yeah, yeah, it’s only for a weekend) because it’ll be happening at this hotel-thing-ish place that he owns. Maybe. Either way, I don’t want to go there.

  398. 398
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    What a bummer about the choir camp, rq : (

    I don’t think you’re wrong at all to be creeped out when Creep sits behind you. That’s creepy.

  399. 399
    cicely

    No reason to face ChoirCreep on his ground.
    It feels like a trap. Or a trap-like substance.
    Evasive Action is indicated.
    IMO
    -

  400. 400
    rq

    Portia
    Well, we only have one row of basses, and they sit behind the altos, so it’s not like he does it on purpose; they all sit behind me, and there’s only about 7 of them.
    But still. I’m just a bit on edge because I really don’t want him to try to talk to me, even though he’s made no effort to do so (A Good Thing).

    AJ Milne

    is there somewhere more nowhere than nowhere?

    Wow, that’s my Deep Thought of the day….!

  401. 401
    rq

    caecily
    Evasive Action will be taken.
    How to warn the others? :/

    Eh.

    Choirage:
    Song 1 (with missing beginning);
    Song 2;
    Song 3, with lots of interesting rhythms for FossilFishy!!!

  402. 402
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    is there somewhere more nowhere than nowhere?

    I lived for three years at Death Valley. I lived for five years at Grand Canyon. Both were in the middle of nowhere. At fires, I have been at Happy Camp, Orleans, Forks of Salmon, and Covelo, California; Augusta, Montana; the Okeefenokee Swamp in Georgia; Salmon, Riggins, and some hot spring I forget the name of in Idaho; fifteen miles north of Silver City in New Mexico. All are in the middle of nowhere.

    However, Scranton, Pennsylvania is that somewhere that is more in the middle of nowhere than nowhere.

  403. 403
    AJ Milne

    However, Scranton, Pennsylvania is that somewhere that is more in the middle of nowhere than nowhere.

    Hey! I’ve been there!

    Or, okay, technically more through it. Several times. On the way to DC or Ottawa. Lived in the former some years, usually took the 81 back and forth if going by land.

    And honestly, it didn’t actually strike me as especially nowhere-ish*. But then, I don’t think I ever stopped there, either.

    *This perception possibly helped by the fact that, going south at least, it is kinda getting close to the end of the bit of the 81 where you’re going through the mountains and in the winter playing tag with storm clouds and snow plows, so, yes, there are actually reasons to be glad you made it to Scranton, even if the plan is very much to keep on going.

  404. 404
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Now this reflects what I experienced in bar study. Especially the hysterical giggles looping back around to panicked sobs.

  405. 405
    rq

    Portia
    I saw another bar-exam cartoon on my facebook today:
    Multiple choice on bar exams hsould be easy: a) dump truck; b) purple; c) promissory estoppel; d) hungry. And the little person is sitting there and thinking I know this! I know this! :)

  406. 406
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And the little person is sitting there and thinking I know this! I know this!

    D! Hungry. Wife made some home-made pizza dough and we are having deep dish pizza for dinner. I am hungry.

  407. 407
    magic pants, celestial slacker

    Shenks,
    I guess I will apply for the job and shake off the icky feelings of dissonance. I am not sure I can teach (at all, really) evolution at a catholic school and not betray my own disdain.

    From what I know (as a mormon apostate and utah emigrant), mormon garments are bought only directly from the “store of the lds church” (store.lds.gov).

  408. 408
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    hehehe Promissory estoppel. We spend so much time on so many obscure concepts in law school…

  409. 409
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I’m white, cis, married with child, stay at home dad/blacksmith artist, middle class (now), male, USAnian (Texan). And now you know…the rest of the story.

    /TMI

    Ha! I used to listen to that guy all the time. He was on after Rush Limbaugh, which my dad listened to when he came home for lunch (and I was home because homeschooling).

    If that’s TMI, I have long been in W(ay)TMI territory ^_^

  410. 410
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Dear Acme Jewelers:
    You are not a “hardware store for women.” That’s called a “hardware store.”
    Signed,
    Customer Lost

  411. 411
    Lynna, OM

    Ladies, according to a billionaire hedge fund manager (male), you will lose your ability to focus as soon as you start breast feeding babies.

    Link

    …As long as women continue having children, he said, the industry is likely to be dominated by men.

    “As soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it,” Jones said, motioning to his chest during an April symposium. …

  412. 412
    Lynna, OM

    Moments of Mormon Madness related to oral sex, excerpted from http://www.i4m.com/think/sexuality/mormon_oral_sex.htm :

    “The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice. If a person is engaged in a practice which troubles him enough to ask about it, he should discontinue it.”
    - Official Declaration of the First Presidency of the Church, January 5th, 1982.

    From the October 2003 Ensign Magazine:

    “Touch not their unclean things. Too many Latter-day Saints today somehow believe they can stand with one hand touching the walls of the temple while the other hand fondles the unclean things of the world. We can’t do that. As Alma said, “Touch not their unclean things” (Alma 5:57). I plead with you, put both hands on the temple. Put your arms around the temple, and hang on for dear life to your family dream. If you don’t, the tigers will come at night and tear your dreams apart.”

    “….show your profound respect for that love—and for the doctrines about eternal love and family life—by bridling your passions. Don’t be deceived by the false idea that anything short of the sex act itself is okay. That is a lie, not only because one step overpoweringly leads to another, but because even touching another person’s body with sexual intent is part of the intimacy that is kept holy by the sanctuary of chastity. Please also beware of unnatural sexual acts that are just as immoral, if not worse, than traditional fornication or adultery.”
    - Elder Bruce C. Hafen, “Your Longing for Family Joy,” Ensign, Oct. 2003, page 28


    “Married persons should understand that if in their marital relations they are guilty of unnatural, impure, or unholy practices, they should not enter the temple unless and until they repent and discontinue any such practices. Husbands and wives who are aware of these requirements can determine by themselves their standing before the Lord.”

    In a letter responding to an inquiry from a married couple asking if oral sex was permitted, the late church Presient and Prophet Harold B. Lee stated:

    “I was shocked to have you raise the question about `oral lovemaking in the genital area among married couples.’ Heaven forbid any such degrading activities which would be abhorrent in the sight of the Lord. For any Latter-day Saint… to engage in any kind of perversions of this sacred God-given gift of procreation would be sure to bring down the condemnation of the Lord whom we would offend were we to engage in any such practice.”
    - Church President Harold B. Lee, http://www.solotouch.com/res/art/art00010.htm
    ….

  413. 413
    rorschach

    Ewww, what on earth happened to the fonts? Did I miss something?

  414. 414
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    This ‘Facebook has no problem with rape culture, but condemns other forms of violence and discrimination’ shit is pissing me off. I use FB primarily to keep up/in touch with friends and family, but I am sorely tempted to drop it completely.

    “Racism is not good.
    Homophobia is not good.
    Misogyny though…it can stay.”
    -the Facebook way.

    Argh!

  415. 415
    consciousness razor

    Uh-oh, all youse practicing that piano 8+ hrs a day… it may not help you at all! (My personal opinion, though, is that practice does a heck of a lot to reach that elite level – but also the age at which one begins the practicing. I think their mistake is assuming that practice is the only thing people do to get to an elite level, when there are a lot of intertwining factors involved.)

    Just from the press release, there’s no indication that they take into account the quality of practice or what is being practiced, just the amount of practice. If someone’s practicing very poorly for a long time, reinforcing bad habits, you might conclude “practice isn’t enough” so it must depend on “talent” or something else like environmental conditions. But this doesn’t follow, since practice isn’t just one thing that’s equivalent for everyone in all situations, so that it can be measured simply by the amount of time spent. (It’s a strawman in a way, since nobody ever says “practice makes perfect, even when the practice is awful and useless.”) If they had controlled by making people practice the exact same way doing the same task — it’s unlikely they tested them all playing the same games of chess, using the same meta-rules to learn how to improve — then they could have singled out some variation because of other factors.

    (There’s also research about how long your attention can last while continuing to learn effectively, so it does seem that, for example, 8+ hours/day is simply impractical. But that’s another story.)

    Anyway, that’s just what I’m left wondering after the press release. (Wondering why it isn’t acknowledged at all, even just to dismiss the issue with “yeah, we checked for that: look at our data.”) But I haven’t looked. Maybe the research is good, in which case you’ll have an excuse to skip practice. :)

  416. 416
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Nice stuff rq, your choir is way better than any I was ever in. Not only interesting rhythms, but some cool harmonies too. But why are the men reading and the women not?

  417. 417
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    *waves*

    Hey everyone!

    Little One has been sick for the last several days but back to normal today for her graduation. The only problem was that early this morning my back started fucking hurting so. fucking. bad. I slept the day away waking up in screaming pain when ever I turned in my sleep. I’m now up but I can’ fucking move. It’s the very bottom of my spine where my hips are. That entire span of my back is just on fire. I can’t straighten up all the way and I can’t bend. I just tried to get out of my chair this morning and all of a sudden I was literally screaming in pain. No fucking clue why it hurts or what’s wrong. So scared right now too.

  418. 418
    consciousness razor

    But why are the men reading and the women not?

    My guess is that they have cues which are hard to remember (or hard to conduct).

  419. 419
    carlie

    Dear Acme Jewelers:
    You are not a “hardware store for women.” That’s called a “hardware store.”

    Obligatory link.

    I have noticed that every time I go into a hardware store, I do two things: 1) I start talking with my dad’s midwestern drawl, and 2) I swagger while I walk. I don’t do either on purpose, but when I notice I’m doing it and stop, it’s no more than an aisle or so before I’m doing it again. I guess I’m trying to get more legitimacy? Dunno, but I can’t seem to not do it.

  420. 420
    consciousness razor

    “Augu nakti” = plant night?

  421. 421
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Big *hugs to JAL. IT Sound offhand like a muscle spasm. Try some strestches possibly.

    Things are also kind of rough at home right now, as D keeps swinging towards the suicidal, and we can’t get her in for another visit to her counselor til next week, so were doing our best until then . Probably won’t be on much for a little while.

  422. 422
    yazikus

    Dear Acme Jewelers:
    You are not a “hardware store for women.” That’s called a “hardware store.”

    Yuck. My towns local jeweler has a similar thing, they have a sandwich board out front, on one side it shows a jewelry box and says “A woman’s toolbox” and on the other it has a picture of a baby chicken and some giant earrings and says “Chicks love Studs”. Gross. I’ve been wanting to complain, but I don’t buy jewelry anyway so I doubt it would help. I like jewelry, but I’ve got a metal allergy, and the last time I wore earrings (ones that I was supposed to be able to wear) I had a lovely bout of contact dermatitis where my head swelled like a watermelon and I had to be on steroids for a week and a half. So no more jewelry for me.

  423. 423
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Big *hugs to JAL. IT Sound offhand like a muscle spasm. Try some strestches possibly.

    This seems so counter intuitive to me, like I’m in pain so why cause myself more? However, I just tried to move a bit and found myself able to walk to the bathroom without a cane! YAY!

    Still hurts. Still sucks. But either moving helps or the pills I took kicked in. Either way, I hope it goes completely away and stays the fuck away.

  424. 424
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    JAL: My sympathies. That sounds very close to an incident I had years ago when, upon waking, I rolled over out of bed like normal and felt excrutiating pain run diwn my back. To the point where I laid in bed for a while, unable to even sit up. When I finally struggled through the pain,I found that sitting down was painful. So was bending over. So was walking in any manner other than waddling like a penguin. I wound up going to an outpatient clinic and getting prescribed some painkillers, which helped until the pain went away, which was mostly the next day. I hope you’re better soon.

  425. 425
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Ah, makes sense CR. In the other clips they’re not reading and those pieces are a lot less complicated.

    One of the things I noticed rq was that the sibilants were pretty precise. My choir sounded like a a nest of snakes every time we sang a plural. Mind you, it was a college choir made up of voice majors (group singing is very different beast from solo singing) and those of us who didn’t play an orchestra instrument but still needed and ensemble credit. (Hello me and a bunch of other non-singers)

    Still, one of the best moments in college was singing Bach’s Mass in b minor in the stair well of the music building for his 200th birthday. It was the closest thing acoustically speaking to a cathedral. There was almost two seconds of live echo in there and it was the first time that us basses, and five of us, managed to fill out the low end properly. It was beautiful in that tingly, hair standing up kinda way.

  426. 426
    cicely

    JAL!
    *pouncehug*
    Sorry that Little One has been unwell, and sorry about your back pain. This doesn’t sound like my sciatica, so I have no useful advice to offer. Wish I could help.
    :(
    -
    *hugs* and moral support for Dalillama.
    -
    A question for the medically-savvy among the Horde: Are blood pressure cuffs prone to malfunction such a way as to give a falsely low reading? Is this a stupid question, even to ask?
    -

  427. 427
    consciousness razor

    Still, one of the best moments in college was singing Bach’s Mass in b minor in the stair well of the music building for his 200th birthday.

    You were in college in 1885? ;)

  428. 428
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Oh wow JAL, I’m so sorry to hear that. I had back problems as a teenager. It was muscle spasms and it hurt like hell over a wide area. This of course doesn’t mean that’s what you have, but it does sound similar.

    The couple of times I had them as an adult I found that drinking a sports drink with electrolytes helped. YMMV. Mind you, these adult spasms were far less severe so they could be from a different cause.

  429. 429
    Ichthyic

    Are blood pressure cuffs prone to malfunction

    yes.

    seen it happen on no less than 3 occasions while getting my blood pressure tested.

  430. 430
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Oh yes indeed CR. It’s my steady diet of babies and the souls of True Christians ™ that keeps me going.

  431. 431
    cicely

    And when the same cuff gives the same rather unbelievable reading twice in 5 minutes? I.e., is the malfunction likely to be consistent?
    -

  432. 432
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    ‘rupt. went to my first secular humanist gathering tonight. There were an equal number of men and women, all white though. All of them seem pretty progressive and feminist-friendly except for one woman who sounded a lot like she belonged in the pit. I’m going to have to figure out how to deal with her shouting me down every time I bring up gender issues. I think I’ll go to the next event too.

  433. 433
    MissEla

    Holy crap! I-5 bridge in Mount Vernon (WA) just collapsed into the Skagit River. Cars and people in the water. King 5 news. My mom is driving through there tomorrow to come up here… Scary!

  434. 434
    yazikus

    I think I’ll go to the next event too.

    I’ve been invited by the next town over to attend a gathering. I’m not sure if I am ready to go, as I’m not out in my community (would totally lose my job). I’d love to attend, but I’m also a little apprehensive. There is an unusually large population of scientists in the town next door (ask Xavius) and I wonder what I would be getting myself into, as a lay-atheist of sorts.

  435. 435
    yazikus

    Holy crap! I-5 bridge in Mount Vernon (WA) just collapsed into the Skagit River. Cars and people in the water. King 5 news. My mom is driving through there tomorrow to come up here… Scary!

    I’m glad your mom wasn’t there today. That is truly frightening. I hate bridges (I mean, I love the engineering, and where they get us to, but as a scaredy cat, I kind of hate driving on them).

  436. 436
    Rob Grigjanis

    CR @420: I think it means “all through the night”.

  437. 437
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    So, I just noticed this… O.O

  438. 438
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    MissEla:
    Glad your mom wasn’t on there.
    Also glad there are no fatalities.
    From your link:
    ” The bridge was built in 1955 and has a sufficiency rating of 57.4 out of 100, according to federal records. That is well below the statewide average rating of 80, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data, but 759 bridges in the state have a lower sufficiency score.

    According to a 2012 Skagit County Public Works Department, 42 of the county’s 108 bridges that are 50 years or older. The document says eight of the bridges are more than 70 years old and two are over 80.

    Washington state was given a C in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 infrastructure report card and a C- when it came to the state’s bridges. The group said more than a quarter of Washington’s 7,840 bridges are considered structurally deficient of functionally obsolete.

    Traffic on I-5 has halted in both directions and backups were significant. Southbound traffic was being diverted to SR 20 while northbound traffic was being diverted to the East College Way Exit.”

     

    I wonder how many bridges in the US are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

  439. 439
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Portia:
    Awesome! Glad the experience was largely a worthwhile one.

    Maybe one day ‘extremely nervous in new areas, especially in or around groups of people I am unfamiliar with’ ME will work up the willpower to go to such a meeting. I’ve characterized it before as needing a security blanket (when discussing how/why i don’t go on a cruise by myself), but I don’t understand my ‘worse than apprehension/not quite scared’ feeling about doing certain things solo.

  440. 440
    cicely

    WTG, Portia!
    :)
    Question: Do the other women just let this one gal shout them down? Can this become a mutual support thing for all of the rest of you?
    -
    MissEla, glad that your mother wasn’t near the spot marked ‘X’.
     
    I predict that we will see more of these abrupt failures of structural integrity, if Certain People In Congress don’t quit dorking around, toss this bogus “Austerity is the Cure!!!” crap off the table, and approve some expenditures on infrastructure.
    *grumbling*
    Or will it take one of them being personally inconvenienced for them to get offa their pampered fannies?
    -

  441. 441
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Argh!
    Trying to explore the 2013 Infrastructure Report Card for all the states, but my phone is not able to view any of the pages in their entirety. Nor can I scroll up and down. It’s like being at the top of the Lounge and being able to see only PZ’s intro and part of the first comment. Also cannot scroll left and right. Any other site poses no problem. Annoying.
    Anyways, I found this bit:
    ” Over two hundred million trips are taken daily across in the nation’s 102 largest metropolitan regions. In total, one in nine of the nation’s bridges are rated as , while the average age of the nation’s 607,380 bridges is currently 42 years. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that to eliminate the nation’s bridge deficient backlog by 2028, we would need to invest $20.5 billion annually, while only $12.8 billion is being spent currently. The challenge for federal, state, and local governments is to increase bridge investments by $8 billion annually to address the identified $76 billion in needs for across the United States.”
    Source:
    http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/bridges/overview

    Aaaaand now preview isn’t working…

  442. 442
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Somehow I copy pasted everything except ‘structurally deficient’ following ‘ …nine of the nations bridges rated as…’

  443. 443
    rq

    Good morning!

    FossilFishy and consciousness razor
    re:

    But why are the men reading and the women not?

    Actually, it’s because the men (most of them) can’t be bothered to come to rehearsal or to learn things from memory, no kidding. They do the first two from memory because those are old classic standards, the third one (“Augu nakti” in this case = “All night”, it’s about rolling the sun up a hill like a ball of cheese on midsummer’s eve, yeah, deep topics!) is a comparatively recent composition and the time signatures/entries for everyone are a bit tricky. But we have an excellent conductor, so if we know the music, we’ll hit the entries; the men (most of them) just can’t be bothered. The majority of them up there (and all the tenors) only showed up to rehearsals the last 3 or so weeks before the actual performance.
    Which is why we’re currently ranked 10th nationally (usually top 5) but the final showdown (haha) is on June 29, so we may yet improve our standings.
    FossilFishy re: sibillants – anyone who pronounces sibillants too long or in the long spots gets a very choir-public scolding from the conductor (in a good-natured way). We usually end up attaching them to the next syllable, or he tells us not to pronounce them, in which case one or two people always forget, and for sibillants, that’s quite enough. ;)
    We get to sing in cathedrals, sometimes, and it is amazing.

    *hugs* for JAL, and for Dalillama!!!

    Portia
    A hardware store for women? Well, if you use your gold necklaces in lieu of duct tape, or stud earrings as rivets, they wouldn’t be too far off… do you?

    Annnnd *hugs* for everyone else, too!

  444. 444
    rq

    Well. I have some food-and-drink related links today.
    First up, an ironic (?) look at those who obsess over eating The Only Healthy Way (sending this to my GMO-fearing BF, too).
    Then, for fans of Arrested Development, a list of Arrested Development-themed cocktails – I already dislike most of them. :D
    And remember that three-brothers boy band named Hanson? They now have a beer… called MmmHops. Apparently it is not a joke.

  445. 445
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Bloody tenors. /bass-centric stereotyping

    One of the only times anyone noticed me at choir, other than the conductor noticing that I couldn’t sing, was during one warm-up. The accompanist was running down the scale on the piano for the basses. I’d had a long night before, featuring beer, smokey air and much yelling over the roar of a small mob of blokes smashing the shit out of their instruments with much energy and little skill.

    I was in the back, slumped in a chair with my head against the wall and my eyes closed. (Why yes, choir was graded on attendance, how did you guess?) I found myself holding a note and slowly I realised that I was the only one singing. I open my eyes to see everyone staring at me, including the pianist who’d pedaled that last note.

    “What?” say I, a little belligerently.

    “I’ve run out of piano.” says the accompanist.

    I’ve no idea just how low that particular piano went , but is was a grand. Some of the others started calling me Foghorn, but fortunately I’m the kind of person for whom nicknames don’t stick.

  446. 446
    rq

    FossilFishy
    Bwahahahaha, run out of piano.
    I think only beer, smokey air and much yelling can bring a voice down that low.
    Although they say Mariah Carey could sing the whole piano, how are you with the higher end? :)

  447. 447
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    I cack out somewhere around the A above middle C with regularly voiced notes, and there’s a large gap between that and my falsetto. Been a while since I did any real singing though, if you could call what I did singing in the first place. Dueting New Order’s Temptation with my daughter doesn’t count.

  448. 448
    chigau (違う)

    The “overnight” commenting is going to be fun.

  449. 449
    rq

    chigau
    Your overnight or my overnight?

  450. 450
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Today’s XKCD makes a very important point.

    Man, where the hell was that when I needed a retort? :(

    …at least I figured out “…yeah, but LIFE doesn’t know any better!” on my own.

  451. 451
    opposablethumbs

    Re Moment of Mormon Madness, I’m slightly surprised that they outlaw fellatio (not in the least surprised that they outlaw cunnilingus (did they even consider the existence of cunnilingus?)). I suppose it’s part of the whole thing getting people to “sacrifice” so that they can’t leave the religion without admitting they’ve wasted everything they committed to it :-\
    .
    I’ve always been under the impression that you need (at least) three ingredients – personal inclination (aka “aptitude”/”talent”), hours of (good) practice and luck (environmental conditions, where “environmental” includes money, safety, local culture, the social acceptability of someone of your ethnicity, sex, gender, appearance etc. doing this particular activity, family support/connections etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.) as well. None of which would be enough on its own (I suppose maybe that’s what they mean by “there are a lot of intertwining factors involved”?)
    .
    Ugh, JAL, I’m sorry – that sounds horrendous. Hope it is “just” a muscle spasm and resolves (with pain-killers, of course).
    .
    We have a local DIY shop that is reasonably bearable – there are a couple of women on the staff (out of maybe 6) and they seem equally willing to serve someone who knows exactly what they need or someone who says “I don’t know what the right name for this is, but I need a [threaded rod/hook/thing like a washer] about this big [gestures] and it has to [perform X function]. Maybe if I just explain what I need it for, you might be able to give me some idea?” (I’m usually in category B; very rarely in category A. Otherwise I’m in category C “I need another one of these, please” [shows (remains of) item to be replaced]).
    Even so, I know exactly what you mean about the legitimacy, carlie – it’s like, you have to prove you have the right to be there. I suspect that blokes don’t have that, unless they’re exceptionally clueless about DIY (i.e. even more so than I am, which is a lot).
    .
    Dalillama I’m so sorry. I hope D is OK and that counselor appointment next week comes soon :-(
    .
    Glad your mum wasn’t there, MissEla! Hope there were no fatalities/serious injuries?
    .
    Yay for the secular humanist gathering, Portia! Sounds like fun, despite the shouter-down (who I hope can be circumvented).

  452. 452
    consciousness razor

    Although they say Mariah Carey could sing the whole piano,

    Definitely not. I’ll put eleventy internet bucks on it. The higher end, sure, but I’d be very surprised if her range went below G2 or so (at most), leaving about two octaves left.

  453. 453
    consciousness razor

    personal inclination (aka “aptitude”/”talent”)

    Huh. When I read “personal inclination,” I would interpret it as “likes doing it” or maybe “tends to do it,” rather than something like “is good at doing it” (in the latter, what makes someone good or apt could be natural ability, learned skills or both).

  454. 454
    rq

    consciousness razor
    *shrug* It was a rumour I heard back in high school (no, I haven’t looked it up because I’m perfectly ok with it being an unsubstantiated rumour that can be brought up as a bit of a joke when FossilFishy runs out of piano at the low end and I don’t really care if it’s actually true or not, yes I’m a bad skeptical thinker in this case and probably all others, too). I would bet your version is probably more accurate.
    Oh, but what you said about practicing music resonates with my experiences – practicing well, even if less, makes a much, much bigger difference than just plain practicing a lot. The 8+ hrs was a bit of a joke again, I don’t think my personal practice sessions ever exceeded 2.5 hrs, ever, although I know my sister sometimes went on for 3 (the right way). Mostly, though, I managed to scrape by on just short of an hour most days, with the ‘marathons’ the day before appointment with Teacher, or the week before exam.

  455. 455
    rq

    And, in my personal opinion, strong personal inclination can work a lot more miracles (progress) than plain natural talent, when applied in cases where natural talent seems to be scarce.

  456. 456
    opposablethumbs

    “inclination” isn’t quite the word I’m after. Can’t think of quite the right one … maybe propensity? Something about the brain that means there’s a greater chance activity X will “click” with a person …

    I’d probably just say aptitude, but for encountering too many precious parents – and others – who seem to think and act like “talent” is basically a magic bean dispensed by their skydaddy (or “Nature” with a definite capital N) to make their speshul snowflake even more speshul.

    So it’s not that I think something we call “talent” doesn’t exist – it clearly does – it’s just that I have a problem with the way the word often gets co-opted into a narrative of Magic Speshulness which acts powerfully and almost deliberately to disappear things like the fact that some individuals have social approval and access to teachers while others are actively (or subtly) discouraged from activity X because it’s not appropriate for their social status. Leading to a self-perpetuating situation where the great majority of people who are outstandingly good at X all “naturally” come from social category Y. I just don’t have any good way of expressing all this (let alone expressing it clearly and concisely).

  457. 457
    consciousness razor

    The 8+ hrs was a bit of a joke again, I don’t think my personal practice sessions ever exceeded 2.5 hrs, ever, although I know my sister sometimes went on for 3 (the right way).

    Yeah, I understand. I like to break it up even more than that. Especially if it’s going to be practicing/rehearsing 6 or 8 or 10 hours, they need to be nice long breaks with no thinking. Naps, preferably, with someone quietly pumping coffee/food into my veins.

    Personally, I never enjoyed practicing very much. Performing also kicks my anxiety into high gear, but it’s more than enough fun to make up for it. So, one day in college I stupidly decided it was a good idea to switch to composition. So I still play (and practice), but now I mostly do writing marathons which are even more frustrating. *headdesk*

  458. 458
    rorschach

    I use FB primarily to keep up/in touch with friends and family, but I am sorely tempted to drop it completely.

    Trust me, your life will be so much better without it.

  459. 459
    blf

    Briefly attempts to ponder where George W. could have got on his merits…

    The drunk tank.

     ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

    And now, for some unknown reason, blf is channeling Golem.

    Golem? I Do Not Talk Like This, Am Not Made of Clay, And Am Also, Sadly, Not Fireproof.

    This has been shown to result from a severe pea deficiency.

    No, my peaciousssssss, that’s Gollum. Confusing giant clay creatures with small slimy Sméagol has been shown to caused by tolerating peas.

     ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

    What do you get when you cross sugar peas and chili peppers?

    A really good stir fry?

    Vastly improved if there are no peas, even if no rubber boots are added.

  460. 460
    blf

    …to be caused by…

    (Ok, that was my obligatory offering to Tpyos for today. Or at least until luncthime.)

  461. 461
    Nick Gotts

    Poor dubya was the oppressed scion of generations of senators and Presidents. – Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Plus a graverobber, and banker to the Third Reich.

  462. 462
    Nick Gotts

    Still hurts. Still sucks. But either moving helps or the pills I took kicked in. Either way, I hope it goes completely away and stays the fuck away. – JAL

    Sorry to hear about your back. Of the over-the-counter analgesics, I’ve found ibuprofen to work best. Almost certainly it’s nothing scary, very probably it will go away, but may well come back. If I neglect the exercises suggested by a physiotherapist twenty years ago for more than a few days, mine starts giving me twinges, but I haven’t had a “getting up to visit the loo takes ten agonizing minutes” attack for a long time. I guess you won’t be able to go to a physio, but you can probably find recommended exercises online – I’ll describe mine if you want!

  463. 463
    John Morales

    Tony:

    I wonder how many bridges in the US are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

    Alas that your country can afford wars (glorious as they may have been) in faraway lands yet be unable to maintain its infrastructure.

  464. 464
    John Morales

    JAL, it’s anecdotal, but I once had an episode eerily similar, and it turned out I’d overstrained postural muscles while trying to avoid the agonising bodily stances caused by the original strain so that they were themselves hurting.

    Discovered this after visiting a GP who gave me painkillers and muscle relaxants, and after a (blessed) day of (actually restful) bed rest the worst of it had gone.

    To be clear, what I’m noting is that I’m happy I did go to see the doctor, not imagining you may have a similar cause.

  465. 465
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Why does having your car serviced always take longer and cost more than expected?

    JAL
    Urgh, that sucks.
    You back sounds like a witch’s stroke (Lumbago) Had them once with each kid (because there is no way to ergonomically put a baby into the cot or the baby safe into the car).
    The good news: it will just pass
    The bad news: it will just pass
    Treatment is staying in bed and taking pain killer. I wanted to punch the doctor who told me because “staying in bed” is a really good plan when you have a baby…

    +++
    Sometimes I think that the folks over at Urban Threads read FTB and Skepchick.

  466. 466
    rq

    consciousness razor
    Performing? The only way I can get to performing these days is in a large group (see: choir!). Back when I still had a teacher and lessons regularly and practiced and had all that time on my hands, I’d gotten to a good-enough comfort level where I could perform without going through all the obligatory shakes and non-calm breathing and still do decently. These days the thought of playing solo is… terrifying, mostly because I know my whole entire skill-set has taken a dive through non-practice (although I’ve re-started recently, in small pieces). But at the same time, I’ve always enjoyed the post-good-performance high, kind of an extra incentive to do well, and I’m glad I still have it after good group performances: the kind of feeling where I’m all happy-jittery and not tired at all (never mind the whole-day rehearsals two days running and pre-performance stress) and just want to run around and share happiness with everyone.
    I think it’s fantastic that you compose, and actually can spend composing marathons – actually making new music is a concept that I find strange and unnatural (to me), and I’ve always been envious of those who can compose (and improvise, while I’m listing things) because I’ve never felt myself actually capable of the same.
    And, until very recently, I’ve never actually tried, so I only have myself to blame for undiscovered talents.
    Do you have anything out there that can be listened to? If you don’t mind sharing (if you do, say so, because I would, and I would hope nobody would hold it against me!).

    Giliell
    :D That reminds me of something I read on Facebook (see, I do get some good things out of it!): Somebody told me I was delusional; I nearly fell off my unicorn!

  467. 467
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hey, it’s no longer raining!
    It’s hail.
    Pea-sized…
    This year I actually believe farmers when they are complaining*

    Oh, I also discovered that there’s an inline-skate trail nearby. Maybe I can go there on my free day when winter is over…

    *Farmers complaining seems to be a ritual
    To me it seems not so much a bug but a feature that different crops prefer different conditions so that weather which yields an excellent crop A will give you less than average results in crop B.

  468. 468
    rq

    I just deja-vued your farmers complaining comment, Giliell.
    Although to be fair to the farmers, weather in which anything that is put in the ground rots before it can send up shoots is pretty crappy weather all-round.
    And I have learned that a summer that starts out super-dry and turns flooding-wet is a bad summer, because most root vegetables just rot in the wetness, if they’re not remotely harvestable when the rains start.
    (But they do it here, too (the complaining), whether it’s dry or wet.)

  469. 469
    blf

    Alas [USAlienstan] can afford wars … yet be unable to maintain its infrastructure.

    I forget the cost of the current mess, but its in the multiple trillions (of USDs). “Can afford” is debatable just from that aspect alone, not to mention the moral, respect, and other costs — Not just to USAlienstan, but to the invaded countries (at least). How many civilians were killed in Iraq? How many are being assassinated by drones without due process of law?

    And as I recall, Paul Krugman (along with other economists), has long been saying USAlienstan can afford to maintain and improve its existing infrastructure — and add new, such as high-speed Internet — now, and that by doing so, attack the current poor economic climate.

  470. 470
    blf

    …but it’s in…

    Another Typos offering. At leas tit’s lunchtime now…

  471. 471
    opposablethumbs

    Do you have anything out there that can be listened to? If you don’t mind sharing

    Seconded.

  472. 472
    rq

    blf
    And your biggest offering today is misspelling Tpyos’ name itself! What havoc shall wreak from your keyboard next???

  473. 473
    blf

    Hey, it’s no longer raining!
    It’s hail.
    Pea-sized…

    Yeah, a fair amount of the equipment is now working, albeit there’s still some celery jammed in some amazingly awkward places.

    Not all of it is working quite correctly, however. For example, the last werk or so, I’ve had the weird experience of sitting in the (outdoors) beach-side bar in the bright sunshine, appreciating all the topless ladies braving the freezing cold winds. I’m wearing a sweater for feck’s sake ! And shorts and sandals (no socks). Is this spring, summer, or winter ?

  474. 474
    rq

    blf
    All of the above. Time is speeding up, and we are now experiencing all seasons at once. Well, you are. We seem to be having a decent summer today.

    +++

    I love contradicting myself in a day, especially because my curiosity gets the better of me.
    Actual range of Mariah Carey’s voice: five octaves, so she could possibly be the Guinness Record for broadest vocal range. (Somewhat conflicting information, though, as the second link credits her with a ‘mere’ four octaves and a bit.)

  475. 475
    John Morales

    And so goes the early part of the second decade of the twenty-first century: UN investigator seeks ‘world moratorium’ on killer robots

    A United Nations human rights investigator has called on all countries to declare a moratorium to prevent so-called “killer robots” being deployed on the battlefield.

  476. 476
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Do you have anything out there that can be listened to? If you don’t mind sharing

    Major thirded.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    I’ll get my coat.

  477. 477
    blf

    The three or so hoardeites out there who want something to listen to, this might be it, …Christopher Lee’s new album will be ’100% heavy metal’:

    Actor to release Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, recorded with Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner, on his 91st birthday

    Sir Christopher Lee has completed his second rock record — and the good news is that it’s “100% heavy metal”.

    The veteran actor, best known as … Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will release Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, on 27 May, his 91st birthday. The album, which was recorded with Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner, is the followup to 2010′s Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross.

    “The first Charlemagne album is metal, of course, but what I sang was more symphonic,” Lee said. “Now on the second one, The Omens of Death, it is 100% heavy metal. I’ve done my bits and pieces, and they are heavy metal. I’m not screaming or anything like that, but it is definitely heavy metal.”

    Faulkner added: “… I remember how surreal it was sitting in my place at the time with Saruman blasting out over the speakers! I’ve no idea what the neighbours thought.”

    Lee was given the Spirit of Metal prize at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden God awards for By the Sword and the Cross.

    There’s a sample (video) at The Grauniad’s site (I don’t have audio so I didn’t listen to it).

  478. 478
    blf

    What havoc shall wreak from your keyboard next???

    Braahahahawww! My powers are limitless. And I know a certain penguin…

  479. 479
    mildlymagnificent

    However, Scranton, Pennsylvania is that somewhere that is more in the middle of nowhere than nowhere.

    Oh really. Try Dawson. http://www.bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&p=17160&cmd=sp&d=pics I could never, ever understand why my father always wanted to go “back to Dawson”. It was really yearning for his first youthful job as a stockman in the nearby Flinders Ranges, I reckon. We had the obligatory drive there (a fair bit more than a Sunday drive) when we were staying in the region. You really understand the concept of the “country mile” in places like this.

    JAL. I had a couple of events like yours – pain so bad it makes you throw up. I eventually realised after the second episode that it was related to muscle tension and posture/ computer use. Could just as easily have been exacerbated by bad sleeping because of residual tension caused by that activity as well. On both occasions I’d spent hours doing and redoing and starting all over again designs for individual students’ worksheets. Being self-employed at the time and alone in my office, there were no meal-breaks or other signals that anyone should take a break. First time was 36 hours or so to go away, second time was probably less than twelve. Might sound OK but being literally paralysed by pain is not a joke. Had to get to the toilet a couple of times, that caused yet more throwing up.

    Muscle relaxants of some sort would probably be the first thing to try to stop it happening again. Doctors often use the old-fashioned tri-cyclic anti-depressants because they are beneficial for most such conditions unless they’re contra-indicated on other grounds.

    Farmers? The classic incessant complaining of some farmers is brilliantly captured by the Australian We’ll all be rooned, said Hanrahan. http://users.tpg.com.au/dandsc/job/job01.htm

  480. 480
    blf

    GP who used ‘spy watch’ to film himself abusing patients is jailed for 12 years:

    Dr Davinder Jeet Bains assaulted more than two dozen women and covertly filmed more than 100 on watch with built-in camera

    A family doctor who used a secret camera inside his James Bond-style wristwatch to record himself abusing female patients has been jailed for 12 years after admitting a string of sex charges.

    Bains … committed offences against 27 women — aged from 14 to 51 — between July 2010 and May 2012.

    The police investigation began in June last year when a 19-year-old woman told officers she thought Bains had filmed her as she showered and said she had been sexually assaulted by him …

    [Detective Inspector Mark] Garrett paid tribute to the courage of a teenage girl who came forward with her concerns about Bains’s behaviour.

    “I would also like to acknowledge the bravery of that young woman and the patients who were also his victims.

    “They provided accounts of what took place and told us they were prepared to give evidence, had this case gone to trial. Happily they were spared that additional ordeal.”

    Garrett declined to comment on whether the surgery [doctor's practice / office] should have reported the complaints it received to the authorities but added: “That was a frustration in the investigation.”

    Quite disturbing, but it is the implications one can reasonably read into that last paragraph which has me outraged.

  481. 481
    blf

    Glowing cockroach and social media lacewing in top 10 new species (pictures):

    A glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge and the smallest vertebrate on Earth are among the top 10 newly discovered species selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University. A global committee of taxonomists — scientists responsible for species exploration and classification — announced its list to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Carolus Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish botanist responsible for the modern system of scientific names and classifications

    5. Glow-in-the-dark cockroach (Lucihormetica luckae), Ecuador

    Luminescence among terrestrial animals is rather rare and best known among several groups of beetles — fireflies and certain click beetles in particular — as well as cave-inhabiting fungus gnats. Since the first discovery of a luminescent cockroach in 1999, more than a dozen species have ‘come to light’. All are rare, and interestingly, so far found only in remote areas far from light pollution. The latest addition to this growing list is L. luckae that may be endangered or possibly already extinct. This cockroach is known from a single specimen collected 70 years ago from an area heavily impacted by the eruption of the Tungurahua volcano. The species may be most remarkable because the size and placement of its lamps suggest that it is using light to mimic toxic luminescent click beetles

    7. Tiny frog (Paedophryne amanuensis), New Guinea

    Living vertebrates … range in size from this tiny new species of frog, as small as 7 millimetres, to the blue whale, measuring 25.8 metres. The new frog was discovered near Amau village in Papua, New Guinea. It captures the title of ‘smallest living vertebrate’ from a tiny south-east Asian cyprinid fish that claimed the record in 2006. The adult frog size, determined by averaging the lengths of both males and females, is only 7.7mm. [The picture shows a specimen which is only half the size of USAlienstan dime coin. –blf] With few exceptions, this and other ultra-small frogs are associated with moist leaf litter in tropical wet forests — suggesting a unique ecological guild that could not exist under drier circumstances

    8. Social media lacewing (Semachrysa jade), Malaysia

    In a trend-setting collision of science and social media, Hock Ping Guek photographed a beautiful green lacewing with dark markings at the base of its wings in a park near Kuala Lumpur and shared his photo on Flickr. Shaun Winterton, an entomologist with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, serendipitously saw the image and recognized the insect as unusual. When Guek was able to collect a specimen, it was sent to Stephen Brooks at London’s Natural History Museum who confirmed its new species status. The three joined forces and prepared a description using Google Docs. In this triumph for citizen science, talents from around the globe collaborated by using new media in making the discovery. The lacewing is not named for its colour — rather for Winterton’s daughter, Jade

  482. 482
    rq

    Ooooh, I love articles on new species! Especially since it’s (almost never) something ‘ordinary’ like a large predator or a cute little primate, but all kinds of other amazingly interesting, scaly, usually-unnoticeable beasties.

    FossilFishy
    Why leave now? Are you feeling diminished somehow?

  483. 483
    rq

    mildlymagnificent
    Loved that, thanks! :D I think my all-time favourite experience in Australian folklore was back in 2000, we (that is, myself my siblings and my parents) drove from Adelaide to Sydney right after New Year’s, somewhere along the way stopping at a village church for mass, and one of the just-past-middle-aged men recited the ballad (?) of the guy who kept losing limbs at the sawmill and ended up with his head on backwards – all from memory, with dramatic intonations as necessary. It was hilarious!

  484. 484
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    No, no rq, I resolved that little issue.

  485. 485
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Of course the tonic helped.

  486. 486
    rq

    I’m glad you’re back in accord.

  487. 487
    broboxley OT

    dammit! missed my plane, alarm didn’t go off. Thank you delta for getting me on the next flight that allows me to make my connection at no further cost

  488. 488
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Thanks rq, now it’s just a matter of waiting out the suspension.

  489. 489
    blf

    missed my plane, alarm didn’t go off.

    The mildly deranged penguin’s solution to this problem is to use the plane as an alarm. Tie one end of a piece of string to the aircraft, and the other around her ankle (or more commonly, my ankle), and go to sleep or whatever without any worries.

    Don’t know which aeroplane will be used? Not a problem. Use a slightly longer string, and tie it to all of the aircraft…

  490. 490
    rq

    FossilFishy
    It’ll make for a nice rest.

  491. 491
    rq

    Wow, here’s a nice graphic for the anti-vaxxers!!!

  492. 492
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    GLOW IN THE DARK COCKROACHES!!!! OMG, I wants one for my (and Daughter’s) terrarium soooooo bad!

  493. 493
    blf

    Viktor Ullmann’s opera written in Nazi concentration camp revived in Berlin:

    Czech-German composer’s satire on Adolf Hitler, The Emperor from Atlantis, to be staged at former SS and Gestapo HQ

    It is a small operatic gem that was written under torturous circumstances and almost failed to see the light of day when its composer was dragged off to the gas chambers before being able to hear it performed. But it lives on thanks to a professor of philosophy who survived Theresienstadt concentration camp, where it was written, and who preserved the manuscript.

    Now a Berlin orchestra and an American conductor are to revive The Emperor from Atlantis by Czech-German composer Viktor Ullmann on a more than unusual stage — the former headquarters of the SS and Gestapo in the German capital, known as the Topography of Terror. “We wanted to reinforce the immediacy of the genocide of Ullmann and whole schools of composers of that time and this is a far more effective mise en scène than an opera house would be,” said John Axelrod, the US conductor who is leading the project.

    Ullmann … wrote the operatic satire on Adolf Hitler knowing full well that it would lead to his death. The nature of its contents was not lost on the SS authorities of Theresienstadt, who soon after the final rehearsal of the work, in March 1944, deported Ullmann to Auschwitz, along with his librettist, Peter Kien, where he was murdered on 18 October aged 46.

    “Ullmann clearly set out to make an anti-Nazi piece, in which art should hold up a mirror to what the Nazis were doing,” said Axelrod… The one-hour opera is an energetic mix of jazzy interludes, touches of cabaret, Bach-style chorales and sweet lyricism. It serves, according to Axelrod, as a bittersweet tribute to the long lineup of musicians whose murder or expulsion from Europe “destroyed much of the continent’s musical legacy”.

    He points to the direct cribbing in Ullmann’s opera of many of the works of the great composers of the German-speaking world who were either classified as degenerate because of their Jewishness by the Nazis and their music banned … or whose music was commandeered for propaganda purposes …

    At a rehearsal this week on Friday, the somewhat unusual array of instruments in the orchestra, including a guitar, banjo and saxophone, poignantly reflected the fact that Ullmann had to write his opera around whatever musicians were available to him in the camp. There are no female voices among the singers. Rather tellingly Eva Braun, Hitler’s longtime companion, is represented by the drums.

    Despite his musical prominence in his lifetime, most of Ullmann’s music was lost during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. That The Emperor of Atlantis survives at all is thanks to Emil Utiz, a Prague professor who was Theresienstadt’s librarian and took the score out of the camp when it was liberated.

    Interesting. I’ve never heard of this work.

    There is a bit of stupidity here (besides that of the evil fascists):

    It was first performed in Amsterdam in 1975, parts of it having been lightly edited after a spiritualist who claimed she could contact dead composers said she had received communication of the changes directly from Ullmann.

    Oh for feck’s sake!

  494. 494
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    rq:
    That anti-vac graphic is so going on my Facebook profile pic as soon as I get to my PC.

  495. 495
    rq

    All I can say, blf, is hope that they’re using the original version for this revival!
    I have also never heard of this piece, but it sounds worth a listen – if only for the satire!

    Ye Olde Blacksmith
    That was my first thought, too – except without the daughter and the terrarium. Just want! ;)

  496. 496
    blf

    [H]ere’s a nice graphic for the anti-vaxxers!

    But not all show a 100% decrease to zero cases!
    And the pre-vaccine numbers are only estimates! How do you know? Where you there!
    And yer ignoring the improved sanitation! And all the horrible chemicals — like Mercury! — they pin in vaccines!
    And anyways, that graphic is based on facts! Don’t confuse us with that malarkey! It’s all nonsense!!!1!

  497. 497
    rq

    Ye Olde Blacksmith
    Funny, that’s where I got it from… my Facebook feed! :D Where it has now been proudly shared further by me.

  498. 498
    rq

    blf
    How could I? I should have noticed that there’s no cheese or penguins in that graphic! I’m so sorry! :(

    +++

    Anyways, folks, I’ve been putting it off, but it’s time to leave for the weekend. Out to the country-side, where hopefully (comparatively) few external family members will be encountered and the weather will be excellent. Cheers and may everyone have a nice weekend (even those hating on the Real Calendar (that’s you, Ogvorbis!)).

  499. 499
    blf

    “pin in vaccines”? I guess I’m gutting all my offerings to Tpyos out of way teh early…

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    chigau (違う)

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