Aug 03 2013

[Lounge #428]

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

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


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  1. 501
    Nick Gotts

    can someone please explain to me the mentality that leads otherwise reasonable, progressive people to answer: “No [I couldn't date someone who has children from a previous relationship].” – Azkyroth

    Perhaps, if they are thinking of more than a causal dating relationship, they feel that they would (if the person with the children is a good parent) always come second to those children. There’s also the question: “Am I going to like those children?” I don’t think either motivation would be unreasonable; but I’m not speaking from personal experience.

  2. 502
    Weedless Monkey

    rq, that makes sense. Dagnabbit I hate those people!

  3. 503

    Grab ammonia out of thin air for fuel of the future http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929286.600-grab-ammonia-out-of-thin-air-for-fuel-of-the-future.html
    -Does anyone know if water is soluble in ammonia? I fear the tanks might rust, just like the ethanol tanks “contaminated2 with water.

    Hmm -elsewhere on Freethoughtblogs, we learn that some muslim priests think they know better than astronomers when a new lunar moon begins (facepalm).

  4. 504

    Weed Monkey
    [whisper] I just heard they cause a lot of accidents in Priuseseses… Be careful! [/whisper]

  5. 505

    Stephen Fry, sometimes you make being human worth it. Here is his letter to David Cameron and the IOC regarding the Olympics in Russia.
    Also, why are other countries so damn silent on the issue? I don’t think anyone has spoken up particularly loudly about the legislation and about the Olympics / moving the Olympics. Has any country actually gone out and condemned Putin for this loudly? Threatened boycott of the Olympics publicly? Stood by their LGBT athletes? Anyone?

    Something more light-hearted: The Fatberg Chronicles by Scalzi and co.

  6. 506

    Blessed are the cheesemakers?

  7. 507
    Weedless Monkey

    Well, I’m off to get shitfaced. Despite my ‘nym I haven’t actually smoked any in a year, mainly because everyone I know who might sell me some are enormous assholes, and I’ve been too lazy to grow my own and too much of a shut-in to find new contacts. But finally a friend asked me over for a smoke and a beer. Ta ta! –>

  8. 508

    Have fun, Weed Monkey!

  9. 509

    And this is why I hate public proposals – (a) the pressure to say ‘yes’ because everyone else wants it and (b) the fall-out when you actually say ‘no’.

  10. 510
    thunk: turmite city

    rq, maybe.

    It’s not just the government that’s the problem– plenty of my distant relatives would be all to pleased to beat up any gay people that come along. (Yep, this is apparently something that’s normal enough to toss around casually).

    Not to mention the Circassians being kicked off their land, or also importantly, the huge amounts of money corruptly being transferred from state reserves to obscenely rich people. The most expensive olympics in history, $50 billion spent. (aaah capitalism run amok)

  11. 511

    50 billion ??? I know Russian extravagance is fabled and all, but… Wow. I’m not surprised at the money-transfers, too. I’m sure the Olympics are a great cover for a lot of all kinds of dealing.
    And I know it’s not just the government, when it comes to being anti-gay. I’m pretty sure I have relatives here who wouldn’t mind beating up a gay or three on an ordinary Friday. :/ (Although we do have conservatives in office right now (not that there’s a single liberal party in Latvia – a couple are attempting to be).)
    But there’s a huge lack of public, official responses, too. Sort of markers of what a country wants to stand for (and citizens are allowed to disagree) on the official level. That’s what I find a bit surprising, especially considering the Olympics coming up.
    I did read, though, that Obama cancelled a meeting with Putin today (yesterday?). I’m just not exactly sure what specific message that’s supposed to send.

  12. 512

    And this is why I hate public proposals – (a) the pressure to say ‘yes’ because everyone else wants it and (b) the fall-out when you actually say ‘no’.

    Which is why, regardless of the truth of any of the other allegations, I was grossed out to find out yesterday in a comment link that Bill Nye threw a “surprise wedding” for his now ex-wife.


  13. 513

    “Page cannot be found” :(

  14. 514

    can someone please explain to me the mentality that leads otherwise reasonable, progressive people to answer: “No [I couldn't date someone who has children from a previous relationship].”

    My guess is that it’s that they have no interest in putting in the extra time and effort involved in dating someone with children. It’s nice of them to let you know up front, I guess.

  15. 515

    Everything Russian is big, unfortunately the scale of corruption too.

    Loki’s Castle http://www.thelocal.no/20130802/Volcanic-range-discovered-in-Norwegian-waters “Volcanic range discovered off Norway”
    The Norwegians are such bloody show-offs, with their bloody oil fields and their bloody fjords and their bloody underwater volcanoes (get off my lawn!).
    ” some just 20m below the surface.”
    -So we can expect a new Surtsey in the deep Arctic in a few decades?

    And can we use this volcanic island as an Arctic stronghold for Pharyngula, the way Superman has his arctic castle?

  16. 516

    Yeah, Norway sits around looking at all the other countries saying, We’re so independent and neutral! Na-na-na-na boo boo!

  17. 517

    I also love two things about that article:
    1) no one ever defines the term ‘soon’ (human-soon, geological-soon, cosmological-soon, cheese-is-on-my-plate-soon?);
    2) new species discovered automatically equals new drugs – what, fishing for more research funding already?

  18. 518
    Crudely Wrott

    G’Morning, all. May I introduce you to LZ Granderson? http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/07/opinion/granderson-anti-gay-russian-olympics/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7

    If you haven’t already you should add this CNN contributor to your list of worthy reads. I’ve read about a half dozen of his columns and found his point of view refreshing and encouraging. Today’s column is topical (Olympics, Russia, anti-gay laws) and needs to be read and repeated widely. Perhaps the increasing swings of opinions world wide can enjoy increased momentum and inertia by spreading the message that LZ is calling for.

  19. 519
    Crudely Wrott

    As long as I’m beating CNN’s drum for the moment, here’s a huge piece by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He makes an apology and then describes exactly how he found out that his earlier opinion was wrong. I find it hugely satisfying that his change of opinion was arrived at by using basic scientific principles.

  20. 520
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)


    Kids are hard, even for people who parent them. It’s really hard to date a parent with whom you don’t share children, in my experience. (S has kids). I don’t know how else to put it without going into a diatribe. Partly, I’ve become aware that I’m just not suited to stepparenthood, and if someone if aware of that, it’s far better that they don’t try anyway. It’s just no fun for anybody. : p (I realize this sounds like “It’s not you, it’s me” but sometimes that’s actually true). I’m sorry that it sounds like that sentiment is hurtful to you, though. I don’t think it’s necessarily rooted in any kind of prejudice, though.

  21. 521
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    [Finland]What is “traction con-troll?”[/Finland]

    “Traction control” is a “feature” the Prius has which is apparently supposed to protect the car from skidding and the continuously variable transmission from impact loading when a skidding wheel reconnects with the road, which it does by cutting power to the wheels if it thinks it detects skidding. For instance, if you’re turning left out of a driveway with oncoming traffic, and there’s a trickle of water in the gutter adjacent to the driveway…

  22. 522
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Thanks for the thumbs holding! Boss is actually really really nice, it’s just that being his secretary is a pretty responsible job, and I’m not really a secretary material (self-confident, chatty,… ).
    I survived, but I had so much work I didn’t have time to eat a biscuit. Not a single bite. I was writing something, calling someone or running somewhere the whole day… as well as getting mobbed by everyone who needed to see the boss. My admiration goes to the woman who does that job every day.


    First thing that comes to my mind regarding dating someone who has children from a previous relationship is “Oh no, they are going to hate me forever because I’m not their mum”… but that’s probably just my low self-esteem talking. Still, even with the amount of anxiety about the situation that I would expect, since I know how I am, I wouldn’t make it a deal-breaker if I’m interested in the man otherwise.

  23. 523


    For me, children from a previous relationship are a dealbreaker because I do not want to be a parent or step-parent or any kind of parental figure. I don’t even like kids. I wouldn’t want to get involved with someone, get serious, and then find that I’m suddenly a stepmother in all but name.

    So it’s not the fact that my potential date has produced children with someone else that turns me off. That’s okay. I just don’t want to participate in the raising of those children, in any way.

    Right now, anyone old enough to have adult children would be out of my dateable age range. But in 15-25 years, I think I would be totally okay with dating someone with grown kids.

  24. 524
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Okay, that makes some sense but I see it even with people who explicitly aren’t looking, or at least necessarily looking, for anything beyond casual dating.

  25. 525
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I take it back to: kids are hard. Not that they’re not great for people who want to have them in their lives, but they’re hard. It’s a big priority to work around if you want to date a parent. Even casually. Lots of people, I’m sure, are pretty insensitive in how they express that aversion of theirs.

  26. 526
    la tricoteuse

    Yikes. This place is hard to keep up with.

    Lots of people said stuff I don’t feel justified in commenting on because I don’t know you yet. :) But.

    David. Elephant. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have died of cute.

    Azkyroth: Some people probably are shitty and(probably unfair judgement on my part.) don’t want to deal with kids who aren’t “theirs,” I guess. But. Some people might just not want kids at all, and not want to “waste” time developing a relationship with someone who has them if that means a potential future with that person as a step-parent. Some people might want kids very much but have some romantic notion of having a first child together, and if their first isn’t your first, you don’t get to share that experience. Some people might not want the potential extra hassle of the ex who is always going to be around because babymomma/daddy. Some people might just not have the energy for the extra work that goes into dating someone with kids, all the juggling, etc. Some people might not like having to share that New Relationship Absorption with someone who divides their new partner’s attentions. Some people might want a relationship that involves doing things that a parent would have less flexibility to do. Jetting off to wherever for the weekend, or whatever. Some, all or none of the above may apply? Or something else entirely. It’s hard not to be frustrated about it if you’re the parent and everyone you meet seems to be averse to the idea of dating a You With Kids, though, I imagine.

    cicely: Maybe having the horses/ponies and peas in the same place at least means you have fewer locations to be suspicious of? Also, are ponies, being a lesser evil than Horses, still more evil than peas? Or are they on an even keel of evil? And can they be keelhauled? Separately or together, I’m not picky.

    rq: asdhgsfgkshfjkhs!!!! I watched the kitty forever. And can it be a window seat? /greedy

    LykeX I have been devouring Gunnerkrigg Court. On Chapter 11 now, and I only stopped there because my eyes were like “aaaauuugh stop pointing us at stuff!!!” Love love love. Thank you!

    I realize I am woefully ignorant of lounge protocol. Is it customary to announce one’s arrival and departure? Because I completely failed to do that.

    Also, hello.

  27. 527
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy


    “No [I couldn't date someone who has children from a previous relationship].”

    Because if I’m dating them, the probability that I will have to deal with their children at some point in the relationship approaches unity, and I don’t like kids. That’s why I haven’t got any of my own.

    Has any country actually gone out and condemned Putin for this loudly? Threatened boycott of the Olympics publicly?

    No. Shitheads.

    Best of luck on the ongoing secretarying.

  28. 528
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    la tricoteuse,


    As far as I know, there is no protocol (or maybe I just haven’t been following it) :)… I just go with sometimes saying hello and sometimes just popping in.
    I do like to say I’m leaving if I’m in the middle of conversation with someone at the time.

    So. Broadchurch
    yes/no/must ?

  29. 529
    thunk: turmite city

    not liking kids; I totally understand. throughout my growingupingness, I just hated anybody younger than me, stopping a year or two below my own age at the time. I guess I’m less antithetical now, but I don’t want to take the responsibility to parent and all that, when I have precious little life.

  30. 530

    Out of Context Science.
    Happy First Date, Azkyroth!

    [California]What is a “win-ter?”[/California]

    Sometimes, in the late part of the year (Northern Hemisphere), the temperature drops below 50 degrees!
    Sounds crazy, I know, but nonetheless true.
    la tricoteuse, I would recommend stuffing the Evil Equines with the peas, then keelhauling the result, thereby scoring a twofer.
    And I’d have to say that the ponies, being mobile and interactive, are at least functionally eviller than the peas. A pea will not generally pursue if you choose to Disengage From Combat, whereas a pony gets a free shot at your retreating back.

  31. 531
    la tricoteuse

    Beatrice Hello! Thanks for the info. I’ll probably try and fail a lot.

    I haven’t seen Broadchurch, but it looks like fun. I don’t have tv (well, I have _A_ tv, but don’t get any channels on it), so I pretty much only watch things online via bbc iplayer (so, y’know, only bbc stuff on that), or by recommendation if on other channels like itv.

    And now I sound like these guys.

  32. 532
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m still not actually sure whether I want kids or not.
    Kids leave me completely baffled, I just don’t know what to do with some little bit running around, yelling things I don’t understand or even just being there and cute. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t know how to interact with a kid. At least (most) adults won’t start crying if I say or do something wrong.

    Hm. On a rereading, it seems the right decision would definitely be not having kids. But maybe I’d just learn if I had one since before it could do anything but drool and poop, or even being forced by circumstances to interact with a bigger kid (like for example in the already mentioned situation of getting together with someone who already has (a) kid(s)).

  33. 533
    la tricoteuse

    cicely: I can say from experience that ponies will pursue tirelessly, even stalk, at the slightest provocation. I wouldn’t ever recommend turning your back on a pony. I fully support any pea-stuffing and keelhauling measures taken to eliminate the menace.

  34. 534

    la tricoteuse
    It’s like in real life – sometimes I want people to notice I have arrived, sometimes I just sneak in with a side-comment somewhere. Then again, I’m here most of the time GMT+2, so… Sometimes a conversation feels like it warrants a good night/goodbye, but sometimes the whole evening routine just catches up with me and I forget.
    And don’t worry, there will be lots of windows! (So yes, u can haz windowseet.)

    I’m glad it’s not secretarying from hell. And no problem with the thumbs, just imagine me looking like this on your behalf.

    Everyone else seems to be answering your question much better than I ever could, but I can offer *hugs* instead, if wanted.
    Also, as a Person With Children, I would like to commend your courage in entering the dating world (even if currently online). Because it just seems like a brave thing to do; the idea terrifies me as an idea.

  35. 535

    I gasp at your quick agreement with cicely’s dastardly plans, la tricoteuse! And our friendship was developing so smoothly!
    It’s the cargo hold for you.

  36. 536
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Aw, cute.
    I’m going to imagine that little fellow tomorrow too, since Boss will be there again in the morning. Poor man, can’t even have a proper vacation.

  37. 537
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Some people might not want the potential extra hassle of the ex who is always going to be around because babymomma/daddy.

    Hassle, heartache, tomayto tomahto. It’s not a trivial issue nor a trivial decision whether to date someone with kids.

  38. 538
    la tricoteuse

    Beatrice same. We have friends with a small boychild and when we visit them, I just have not got the first bloody clue how to interact with the kid. I have to resist the urge to sort of poke it tentatively. So I end up either talking to him like he’s a puppy or an adult.

    This is not helped by the way the child’s mother seems to think nothing of asking me/us to do childcare related things to the boy. Like “here, take him” or “can you give him this?” or “can you read him a story?” or whatever. Sometimes I am uncharitable and think to myself “You asked us over to get us to entertain your kid for you, didn’t you? Kind of a little bit?”

    Partnerman, however, is much, much better with children than I am. So I don’t think he minds as much as I do. They were also his friends first, which helps. :D

  39. 539

    Kids are something that are non-negotiable. The fact that a person has kids isn’t going to change, so if someone really isn’t interested in that kind of family configuration, it makes sense to not date people with that configuration to begin with.

  40. 540

    A pea will not generally pursue if you choose to Disengage From Combat

    Of course not. The only way to disengage from kamikazpeas is to have your flesh gnawed from your bones by said peas. Who, of course, also eat the bones, nearby buildings, and the closest nuclear submarine. Then they go on the attack.

  41. 541

    la tricoteuse
    [confession] Sometimes, when friends are over, I do use them to entertain the kids a little bit, because it’s jsut so fucking exhausting trying to entertain them and guests and stay sane. Now I don’t know how much your friend asks you to do, but ‘Give him this’ is usually something that feels and seems trivial to [person being asked], but at that moment is something that might save my concentration and keep my frustration in check at that exact moment. [/confession]

    Before I had kids, I had no idea how to interact with them. I still don’t. I manage with mine, but it takes a lot of effort. A lot. And only because I have no choice.

  42. 542
    la tricoteuse

    rq: Are there going to be ponies in the cargo hold? :( I have PPSD (Post-Pony Stress Disorder) from an unpleasant encounter with overzealous carrot-drunk pony thugs. They sharked and jetted me around the New Forest, complete with snapping and dancing. But mostly chasing. And sinister gnashing of ponyteeth.

    TRAUMA, I tells ya. They even surrounded the car when we tried to leave.

    Portia Yes, true. I apologize if I seemed to be trivialising the concerns people might have about dating people with children. I think I was trying to be even-handed, despite coming down pretty squarely on the ACK ACK NO NO NO NO KIDS NEVER NOOO side myself, so I might have been bending over backwards NOT to appear to be defending my own side disproportionately. Or something to that effect. Anyway, yes, it could as easily be heartache as hassle.

  43. 543

    la tricoteuse
    Well, I plan on taking at least one Horse to Mars, but xe can have your window seat. ;) You’ll be fine down there. With all the ice cream, chicken fingers and other necessary supplies.

  44. 544

    Blessed are the cheesemakers?

    I have a deranged, laughing (not so mildly), penguin here. Cheese is not made. It grows. On all sorts plants, trees, vines, bushes, molluscs, mosses, and so on. Wild cheese is typically found where the wild pastas roam, who apparently spread the pollen and seeds, and eat the careless cheese gatherer.

    Some cheeses have been cultivated. It is generally regarded the best cheese plantations are on Atlantis, with particularly notable vintages being before the first sinking, between the third and sixth sinkings, and from the undersea cheeseyards and some colonies since the ninth or tenth sinking. (Except for that embarrassing incident with Eric the Red, who insisted on translating “Danger! Wild pasta. Stay out of the cheese.” as “Greenland”.)

    Cows, goats, alligators, and other sources of milk have nothing to do with cheese. Other than sometimes attacking, or being eaten by, the wild pasta. Or Horace.

    How the legend arose that milk has something to do with cheese is a mystery. The popular story that it is from a slightly corrupted reading of a paragraph in one of the Martian Intergalactic Cruises sales brochures is so vague you might as well say the FSM did it. Which is actually more plausible, being the ultimate wild pasta.

    And now she (the mildly deranged penguin, not the FSM) has the hiccups from laughing so hard. This is going to be a looonnnnnnggg night…

  45. 545
    la tricoteuse

    rq: Between the ponies and the kids, I haven’t completely lost Mars trip privileges? You are too, too kind.

    I understand where you’re coming from (is there any way to make that sentence not sound horribly insincere and dismissive? I haven’t found it, apparently). And like I said, I mostly only think like that when I’m feeling particularly uncharitable. I don’t really blame them for it, not really. They’re exhausted. Parenting is more tiring and stressful than I could ever imagine, I know. I do think, however, that a lot more things feel trivial to the asker than the asked in this case, because it’s stuff you’re so used to doing that it’s like “what’s the big deal, just give him the thing and talk to him or whatever” but for the non-kid-haver it’s like “ack ack you want me to do what with the what with the small human ack aaaack.”

    But like…at one point it was “take that popsicle stick he’s chewing on away from him” and ended up being “and pick all those tiny bits of chewed up stick out of his mouth, too, so he doesn’t get a splinter.” Your own kid’s mouth goo (and worse) getting all over you is something you get used to pretty quickly as a parent, I imagine. So again, it would seem like a trivial thing to the parent, like “oh for god’s sake, it’s just some baby spit.” And objecting would seem silly. And there was no way I could refuse, anyway, because I didn’t want him to get splinters in his mouth, poor kid. But it was a decidedly untrivial experience for me, rooting around in another (admittedly small) human’s mouth for bits of chewed up wood. I was like “man, I came for the barbecue.”

    My partner and I being the only avowed childless couple of our acquaintance (three of our coupled friendpairs have had kids in the past couple of years (one had twins!), two more are still cooking theirs, one has plans, and another has no current plans but hasn’t ruled it out entirely), this is something we’re going to have to navigate more and more, I know (and as I said, he’s a lot better about it than I am, though this is also partly because they’re mostly his friends originally). And we see most of them very rarely as it is, partly because we don’t live very near to most of them but also, of course, partly because kids = very busy.

    I think it’s probably a really hard thing to juggle without resentment on both sides, which is why a lot of friendships drift apart a bit when one side has kids and the other doesn’t.

  46. 546
    Yellow Thursday

    Kind of ‘rupt, but I need to vent.

    Had a disappointing FB conversation with my Lutheran, pro-life, bigoted (but won’t admit it) aunt over the past few days. I shared an article about how most anti-choicers think that women who have abortions are either evil or stupid and tagged her in it. She said she doesn’t think women are evil or stupid (even though she has said that abortion is murder and suggested that women don’t know what they’re doing when they have an abortion), but that abortion is wrong because she has it on the ultimate authority (i.e. God). I tried to explain why the argument from authority fails, but she just kept turning right around to authority. The worst part is when she started saying everyone’s evil because thought crimes.

    I feel sad. She used to be my favorite aunt. But that was before I realized how toxic her views are on women’s rights and gay rights.

  47. 547
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    la tricoteuse

    I was like “man, I came for the barbecue.”

    Thanks for the laugh.

    Was the barbecue at least any good?

  48. 548

    la tricoteuse
    See, when it comes to picking things out of my children’s mouths, I still think I’m more qualified to do that, so I’d say there’s a bit of a boundary push there (because saliva is groooossss no matter who it’s coming from). I try to keep to things like handing over toys or showing a book, and picking up/holding only if they’re ok with it (because I’ve been on the other end of that, and it’s not fun).
    So, I see your point too, is what I’m trying to say. ;)

    Yellow Thursday
    If you accept *hugs*, I have one with your name on it. If not, it can be traded in for *drinks*, or *[anything else]*.
    I hate discovering that liked/loved/favourite relatives have huge flaws like that. :(

  49. 549

    … And somehow I totally missed the quip about the barbecue. At least I didn’t have any beer in my mouth that time. :D

  50. 550

    At least I didn’t have any beer in my mouth that time.

    What did you have in your mouth?

  51. 551
    la tricoteuse

    Beatrice and rq, it WAS a pretty good barbecue. ;)

  52. 552
    What did you have in your mouth?

    Beatrice and rq, it WAS a pretty good barbecue.

    Before, that is, rq ate the whole thing, coals, skewers, chef, table, fire department, and all. No wonder he didn’t have room for the beer.

  53. 553

    la tricoteuse, your sad story has moved me almost to tears. When, oh when, will people learn that A Pony Is There For Your Life? Yet, like a parent cluelessly giving in to their child’s noisy, though ill-informed, demands that they be allowed to play tag with the cute cepalopods, they also accede to the tearful, yet ignorant requests for “a real, live pony for Christmas”! This tragic cycle will never be broken while parents are willing to “buy” their childrens’ affection by bribing them with pestspets.
    *shaking head sadly*
    And of course, once the ponies have got their hooves in the door, the Evil Equines Horse-handle Their way into the security breach, and it’s all over bar the being-lashed-to-4-Horses-going-different-directions-very-fast.

    Some cheeses have been cultivated.

    Perhaps the word you want is “domesticated”?

    How the legend arose that milk has something to do with cheese is a mystery.

    It’s of a piece with the legend that mice are connected with cheese.

  54. 554

    You may refer to me as ‘she’, but if ‘he’ is easier (I understand, there’s a shortage of s going around the world currently), then I’ll settle for that, too. ;)
    Also, the fire department was especially delicious, fire-resistant outfits and all (I’m a big fan of their oxygen tanks – crunchy!).

  55. 555
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Oh FFS. Now when I try to call the unemployment department, I’m not put on hold. I get a FUCKING BUSY SIGNAL!!!!!

  56. 556

    It’s of a piece with the legend that mice are connected with cheese.

    Via mysterious superstrings. I have it on good Authority.

  57. 557

    Shall I pass you the sledgehammer? I have some old non-valuable dishes that require breaking, should that help you any. :(

  58. 558
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    The website notes that they’re unusually busy, and recommends I try calling later in the day and later in the week (like, say, 1 pm on Friday, people?). There’s a link to an FAQ about emergency extensions. Following that link tells me that to apply I need to call the center…

  59. 559
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    I’m sorry, that really sucks.

  60. 560

    cultivated [ˈkʌltɪˌveɪtɪd]

    3. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Agriculture) (of plants) specially bred or improved by cultivation

      — http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cultivated

    Albeit some cheeses, like Horace, could perhaps use a bit of:

    1. cultured, refined, or educated

  61. 561

    I’ve heard the blue cheeses and Camembert have quite a bit of culture.

  62. 562

    *hugs* and commiserations, Dalillama.
    Via mysterious superstrings. I have it on good Authority.
    Mysterious superstringcheeses!

  63. 563

    I understand, there’s a shortage of s going around the world currently

    Ye , there i . Mo t vexing.

  64. 564

    My teriou   uper tringchee e !

    Now we know where all the  , ah, horizontally-rotated z‘ , have gone.

  65. 565

    Mysterious superstringcheeses!

    My thoughts exactly!
    They bind rather tightly with the superstringmice.

    My teriou is uper, how’s yours?

    Anyhoo, signing off for the evening.
    Way too fucking hot.

  66. 566
    Lynna, OM

    Salon has posted an interesting article: Fetal pain is a lie: How phony science took over the abortion debate.


  67. 567

    Has anyone seen this?
    I’m mostly sure it’s a Poe but it’s so hard to tell these days.

  68. 568
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    You know…as recent as last week, I wondered how long things would remain quiet on the anti-feminist hyperskeptical front…


    Previews does not work at all.
    Yesterday and today, no matter what FtBlog I visit, it does not work. I wonder if it is my phone…

  69. 569
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Crudely Wrott @518:

    I read your link, then his links and I feel like a fucking inferno of rage. Between the sexual harassment and assault revelations of late and reading abominable crap like:

    In one of these videos, posted to YouTube, a group of neo-Nazis tease and bully a 15-year-old boy before kicking and pouring urine on him. The video cuts out after that, leaving the boy’s fate unknown. The video’s description notes, however, that all of his personal details including his name, parents’ names, address and school, were released to the general public and viewed by millions of Russians.

    Unsurprisingly, police refuse to arrest any of the perpetrators as homophobia is government-sanctioned thanks to Russia’s odious anti-gay “propaganda” law. VK.com occasionally shuts down groups and profiles associated with these acts, but they simply start up again the next day. The site’s founder, Pavel Durov, resides in the U.S. and has yet to comment on these campaigns.

  70. 570
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    la tricoteuse
    No worries, I see where you’re coming from. It’s obviously a sore spot for me : /

    This weekend is the annual festival in which the village goes bonkers. I am a block from the main street where it takes place and the music has already begun…the river valley acts like an amplifier so I get lots of horrible tunes to rock out to all weekend ^_^ Of course between fire safety patrol and the pancake breakfast I won’t get much sleep anyway. Here we go!

  71. 571
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    la tricoteuse:
    Feel free to dive in and comment as you choose.

    At one time or another, we *all* did the same :)

  72. 572

    (random) …

    The day after burglars ripped off the San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services office, they broke back in again and returned everything they’d stolen, with a note reading “We had no idea what we were takeing. Here your stuff back we hope that you guys can continue to make a difference in peoples live. God bless.”


  73. 573
    David Marjanović

    Petition to, at last, have a sense of decency and repeal the PATRIOT Act.

    Petition to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to put a damper on the paranoia in the “war on terror”. Part of the explanation for the petition:

    “A New York woman searched for information about pressure cookers. Her husband was looking for information on backpacks around the same time. Their son once read a CNN article on how the Boston bombers created their homemade bombs. The family was profiled as potential terrorists and received a visit from six armed law enforcement officials.

    Intelligence and law enforcement agencies are out of control.”

    Details of the story show up after you sign.

    A Reptilian Super-PAC “has put out a new online ‘game’ where they ask their supporters to virtually slap Hillary Clinton across the face.” Petition to cut the crap.

    Better news: two Late Jurassic mammals-or-similar clarify the early evolution of mammals… in contradictory ways. Something can’t be as it seems. :-) The news story I’m linking to offers a potential resolution.

    Does anyone know if water is soluble in ammonia?

    You mean if ice is soluble in ammonia? I’m sure it is. Gaseous ammonia is ridiculously well soluble in water: the molecules are polar like water, and they’re shaped like hollow pyramids so they can be stacked.

    Blessed are the cheesemakers?

    That article is fucking awesome.

    Especially this part: “a multidisciplinary project called LeCHE (Lactase Persistence in the early Cultural History of Europe)”

    and this one: “Some of the LeCHE participants are now probing further back in time, as part of a project named BEAN (Bridging the European and Anatolian Neolithic), which is looking at how the first farmers and herders made their way into Europe. Burger, Thomas and their BEAN collaborators will be in Turkey this summer, tracing the origins of the Neolithic using computer models and ancient-DNA analysis in the hope of better understanding who the early farmers were, and when they arrived in Europe.” :-)

    Bill Nye threw a “surprise wedding”


    The stupid oxide!!! It stinks!!!

    2) new species discovered automatically equals new drugs – what, fishing for more research funding already?

    Trying to justify the research to the public. Sad, really.

    David. Elephant. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have died of cute.

    *quietly buries la tricoteuse under the peas; hey, it’s a quarter past midnight, and there are peas growing in the garden*

    Sometimes, when friends are over, I do use them to entertain the kids a little bit, because it’s jsut so fucking exhausting trying to entertain them and guests and stay sane.

    Recognizing this, I once volunteered to get an extremely attention-grabbing four-year-old to fall asleep when I was invited in the evening.

    We had lots of fun playing with ALL THE PLUSH ANIMALS and ALL THE BLANKETS in the bed (the parents’ double bed) for a looooong time. Most children would have fallen asleep at some point. That one got visibly tired, but refused to sleep…

  74. 574
    David Marjanović

    ROTFL. It was a quarter past midnight when I wrote that. Now it’s less than a quarter to 2 am!

    I’m mostly sure it’s a Poe

    Poe’s Law states that creationism is indistinguishable from satire. Objective Ministries is known to be a satire site, though.

    (random) …


  75. 575
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    la tricoteuse

    I realize I am woefully ignorant of lounge protocol. Is it customary to announce one’s arrival and departure? Because I completely failed to do that.

    …we… have a protocol?

    I just wander in and out on little cat feet, and if I have something to say, I’ll say it.

  76. 576
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Mouth Agape. Won’t Close.

  77. 577
    Yellow Thursday

    rq: Drinks! That’s a great idea. Thanks! It wasn’t so bad before she friended me on FB. I didn’t have to deal with it every day.

    Re: cheese. I don’t care if cheese is made from milk, grows on trees, or is harvested on the moon. It is teh yums.

  78. 578
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Actually, I have more to say.
    Yeah, they were thieves looking for things of value.
    They did find things of value. The lives of many people–mostly women–would have been negatively impacted without the stolen items.

    I am glad they returned everything.

    But I am even more delighted that they did so for the reasons they gave. Too many in society dismiss rape and treat women horribly.

    These thieves treated rape seriously and women with respect.

    And that little bit of compassion and respect has swung the pendulum the opposite direction. The volcanic anger I felt within has been cooled by a misty eyed deluge of hope.

  79. 579
    Crudely Wrott

    Tony (had to backspace ’cause I typed “Toony” =)) wrote:

    The volcanic anger I felt within has been cooled by a misty eyed deluge of hope.

    Lotsa noise gets made about bad stuff. The good stuff so often just goes right along, unheralded, under reported due to it’s lack of drama.

    My history is full of small surprises that made a difference to me that is way out of proportion with the smallness, the lack of drama, of simple kindnesses. More than just a few times it has been quite literally a saving grace.

    Steve Miller Band, “Saving Grace”: Tomorrow’s come a long long way to meet you, Yeah, it’s your saving grace.
    I first heard that song . . . wait . . . wait . . . forty two years ago!!

    Well, there’s your answer, right there.

  80. 580
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    Right, have not read any of the thread and have not in fact posted here for at least a month, but I’m afraid I need to complain rather loudly and at length about my life. Apologies for all related offence I may cause.

    With that, into complaints: How is it reasonable for a lecturer to tell a perfectly talented student that she is too dumb to be an academic? How is this remotely acceptable? And why are so many of the other lecturers climate change deniers or creationists? And why is the atheist community busy tearing itself to shreds and making it unable for me to associate with them without feeling guilty? And why are the reasonable ones busy denigrating each other? Why is my government acting like Richard Nixon, only worse? Why is society going to hell in a handbasket? How does one cope with existential malaise acceptably? And why the hell is fundamentalism so… intrusive?

    Yeah… I wish I could delude myself, but I find myself unable to and now have to cope with the fact that my brief time on this earth is not looking good. Agreed, my life personally is not too bad, but that just makes me feel guilty for being ungrateful.

    Right, diatribe over.

  81. 581
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy


    And why are so many of the other lecturers climate change deniers or creationists?

    Serious lack of quality control in the hiring process?

    And why is the atheist community busy tearing itself to shreds and making it unable for me to associate with them without feeling guilty?

    The tearing apart bit is a good thing, I’d say. We’re at a point where we’re starting to work on driving the assholes out.

    Why is my government acting like Richard Nixon, only worse? Why is society going to hell in a handbasket? And why the hell is fundamentalism so… intrusive?

    These ones are all related, and probably have a lot to do with authoritarian thinking.

    How does one cope with existential malaise acceptably?

    Drugs? I dunno, it depends on what one considers acceptable. Sorry I havn’et got better advice on that one, but i’m looking for that answer too.

  82. 582
    Crudely Wrott


    Why? Well, in no particular order:

    Ignorance. Fear. Tribalism. Greed. Complacency. Sloth (apologies to all two and three fingered sloths). Vanity. Tribalism. Insecurity. Indecision. An irrational need to be on camera and seen widely and thus deal with feelings of isolation and irrelevancy. Irresistible compulsion to stare fixedly at a tiny part of a problem. Some other things. Did I mention tribalism?

    How to avoid? Do Not Emulate Them.

    C. W.

  83. 583
    Crudely Wrott

    . . . and what Dalillama said. ;^>

  84. 584

    Fetal pain is a lie

    I know some people who need that sent to them.

    (random) …


    Agreed. :)

    Recognizing this, I once volunteered to get an extremely attention-grabbing four-year-old to fall asleep when I was invited in the evening.

    The friends who actually offer these kinds of things are the best, because it means I don’t have to suffer through that conflict of entertain-friends or entertain-kids, especially if other guests are over, too. It’s hard to be a good host if all you’re doing is playing with your own kid. ;P (It also makes you kind of awesome, David!)

    Most children would have fallen asleep at some point. That one got visibly tired, but refused to sleep…

    Yes, the endurance of small children is, to put it succinctly, legendary. I don’t know how they do it. I think at one point, they’re actually asleep, but some weird brain function keeps them functioning as if consciously. Usually means there’s an exhaustion-screamfest coming up very soon, which will end with the sudden falling asleep of the child. (But not always.)

    *drink-of-choice* for Yellow Thursday; if it’s not up to your standard, you’ll have to ask Tony. ;)

    Do you accept *hugs*? As mentioned before, *drinks* available, too. You sound like you need one or the other or both. :/


    Yesterday I read The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman, which was sad and lovely, as NG often is. Then I read this response to it, and the comments are hilarious. He was so MEAN to C.S. Lewis! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    AI is moving up in the world: it’s learning about jokes! Turns out, humour is hard, but human humour is harder.

    Oh, you, with the impossible names! Mine is simple enough on the surface, but the unusual combination of letters (while rather easy phonetically) has caused me no end of pronunciation problems in school.

    And in honour of Shark Week: they just want to help you escape, and they’ve been misunderstood all along! (Who knows, maybe Discovery will try to pass on one of those as Real Shark Thoughts.)

  85. 585

    I wish this would happen more often. It’s not a lot, but it’s more than nothing. And in the current world, that’s… something.

    According to this article on How to Be A Man!!!, there were no men in the 1930s and 1940s. (It’s a terrible article and advocates a return to Spartan ideals. Yeah, really.)

  86. 586
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    Alcohol would indeed be very helpful. Preferably in copious quantities to dull the pain of existence. Thank you, all of you.

    588. The creationist is a really nice guy and an amazing metallurgist. I found out about the creationism by accident, but he’s in quite deep with Dembski Et. Al. , and it’s a bit offputting listening to him lecture about metal nucleation when you’re reading his ID text under the table and your eyes are popping out of their sockets.

    Maybe I should be more tolerant or something, because my blood pressure seems to be jacking up higher with every further perpetration of stupidity by this world.


    On the objective ministries note:


  87. 587

    That article is priceless. Vegans are lithe, long-haired men? Little did I know…

  88. 588

    Zoo animals in the heat: 38 pictures of cute (especially the first one!).

  89. 589
    Crudely Wrott

    I should have been sound asleep by now and would be if not for the grenade.

    The clock says I’ve been awake for twenty two hours.
    Damn . . .


  90. 590

    Crudely Wrott
    I know what you mean.
    Pharyngula is bad for the sleep cycle.
    But get some rest, we may need you later.

  91. 591
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    Indeed… rest, then caffeine, and all shall be well. Or at least better then the current situation.

  92. 592
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    For the next three days (starting in about three and a half hours) I shall be with my lovely girlfriend.

    I will be absent the Freethought Blogs experience for that long, and it’s a good time to do so, since all these revelations are starting to make me feel ill.

  93. 593

    Have fun, KevinKat!

  94. 594
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Well I’m off for a 7 day 6 night rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Due to recent posts, I expect this place will be on fire the week I’m gone.

    Be safe out there.

  95. 595

    Rev. BigDumbChimp
    Have fun!

  96. 596
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Thanks. I’m pretty fired up. Taking my 70 year old tough as nails Father in Law for his 70th b-day present.

    There’s a geologist on the boat with us so that will fucking rock…

    Plus the Perseid Meteor shower’s peak is next week so we’ll get that in all it’s glory (no light pollution FTW!!!).

    Just hope the guides are cool with all my camera shit.

  97. 597
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    So, I have a question/request.

    I recognize that posing this question now is somewhat ironic, but here goes.

    For a class (on statistics) I need to do a study of the relationship between two variables. I thought, and I said to myself, “What is the relationship between atheism and feminism?”

    So here’s my question: if I construct an anonymous survey, would people be willing to answer a few questions on their views on feminism and atheism? The purpose would be seeing if there’s a correlation between the fervency with which someone is an atheist and the fervency with which someone is a feminist/feminist-ally (my hypothesis is that in atheism-at-large, the graph would be bimodal: a hump of “fuck feminism” and a hump of “feminism is necessary” with a few “meh” votes; amongst this crowd it is likely to be mostly “feminism is necessary.”)

    These data would be used for the purposes of me demonstrating to a professor that I know how a χ-squared test works.

  98. 598
    Crudely Wrott

    Esteleth, Yes, I would.

    Also, belated greetings and *hugs*.

  99. 599

    Several groups of students were given access to the new Unreal4 game engine. They were told to make a game emphasizing Mendelian inheritance. Here were their submissions… http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/e8qvgn/unreal-development-kit-make-something-unreal-2013-highlights

  100. 600
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Fire away. At least your survey won’t be cringe-inducing.

    Bad weather approaching. Not the USian-raze cities to the ground- kind of bad, but there are warnings and the capital is labeled red. I hope our car won’t fare too bad. There are no trees where it’s parked, but if any windows and shutters start flying, it’s fucked.

  101. 601

    Hey Esteleth, I’d be happy to join in the survey! :-)

  102. 602
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Okay. My survey can be found here.

    If you need to contact me or whatever, shoot me an email at my nym (the bit before “statistically significant”) at the gmails. :D

  103. 603

    I’m not sure if “oppress and hold back” isn’t a bit too biased. I imagine that anyone who disagrees is going to have a big problem with that phrasing. I.e. not simply that they disagree with the statement, but that they’d disagree that such rules and structures even exist.
    I can imagine somebody going “Well, if such rules existed, I’d agree that they should be removed, but since the rules actually oppress men…”

    This is why making questionnaires is such a difficult thing. I’m not sure if it matters for your purposes.

  104. 604

    Have fun, KitKat, Rev.
    I’m sure things will still be on fire when you get back.
    I’m in, Esteleth.

  105. 605
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I did struggle a bit with the phrasing of that question, I will admit – it is hard to come up with a quick and snappy “equivalent” to “there is no god.” I mean, “women and men are equal” could get a “yes!!” vote from both feminists who see that as the goal and anti-feminists who see that as the status quo and want those uppity feminists to shut up already.

    Which is to say that if you have a suggestion for better phrasing, I’m all ears.

  106. 606
    Yellow Thursday

    I took the survey, Esteleth. I wanted to add something in the comments on the survey, but I’m having a hard time putting my thoughts together today. Something about the small possibility for finding evidence for a god or gods, and something about wanting to have people treated equally regardless of gender, not just under the law, but in practice, too. I’m sure somebody who’s much more eloquent will be able to say it better.

  107. 607
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Kevinkat, Rev BDC
    Have fun
    My sense of excessive pedantry almost compelled me to answer 9 on the question about gods, as various kings and emperors have historically been defined and worshiped as such, and their existence is not in doubt, but I don’t think they really count.
    Best of luck with the weather.

  108. 608
    Krasnaya Koshka

    I want to thank everyone here for being… you and for being here. I know I rarely post anything but I read everything. Reading the Lounge (TET before it) has been very important to me as an American living in Russia these past four years. It’s my link to awesome English-speaking people.

    I root for you, I commiserate with you and I’m sure I’m not alone.

  109. 609
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Stay safe, Krasnaya Koshka. I know this is a risky time to be LGBT in Russia. Take care of yourself!

  110. 610

    Esteleth – so if a person is signed into a google account when accessing that form, does it automatically record the person who did it? Oops. Oh, I’m the asshole who dissected every possible interpretation of the feminist statement, in case that wasn’t obvious by the language or, um, the google account. :)

  111. 611
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    No, Carlie. It doesn’t record that. I went back and double-checked, just to be safe. I’m left going “hmm, who wrote an essay?”

  112. 612

    *pouncehugging* Krasnaya Koshka. Be safe!

  113. 613
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Esteleth, thank you! Honestly, it feels no different to me because Saint Petersburg had the law before it was made Russian-wide. Plus, I’m older and generally spend my free time camping with my gf and other older lesbians. We’re not harassed because we’re “aunties”. There’s still a huge “respect older women” thing here so I’m very lucky.

    I did have an awful experience last Friday, of my own making. I’m still cringing over it. My gf and I were invited to a huge celebration given by a major construction company here and then she was awarded “Constructor of the Year”, because she spent the most. There were five hundred people there and it was sort of a big deal and I wanted to run up and hug and kiss her but I couldn’t, of course. Okay, it’s no different than when I was gay in Arizona in the 80′s.

    The horrible thing was that I got very drunk (endless vodka refills and endless toasting–too much for me). The last thing I remember was bawling to some perfect strangers about my not being able to embrace and kiss my gf as she was awarded. The next day I seriously feared this would fuck up my chances for a dual passport (I have an appointment for it on the 19th of this month). I’m still afraid, honestly.

    It’s been difficult to go from living in San Francisco for 22 years to Russia, but I deeply love Russia. I love the people here. I’ve only ever had one bad experience (a babushka spitting on me for being American) and I love my work. In my experience, every day humans don’t give a shit about me being a lesbian.

    Crap, I could go on and on about really poetic humans that are in constant contrariness to government as that’s normal here–Russians love to break the rules–but I’ll stop now.

  114. 614
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *waves at Krasnaya Koshka*

  115. 615
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Thank you, Cicely! You’ve given me so many giggle fits with your sense of humor and word plays.

  116. 616
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Beatrice, hi, my friend! *waves back with vigor*

  117. 617
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Krasnaya Koshka
    Hi! *Hugs* As others have said, best of luck.

  118. 618

    Krasnaya Koshka – stay safe, best of luck to you too. :) It’s nice to hear from you and I’m glad you’re ok (and congrats to your gf!). And I’ll put aside a thumb for that dual passport. ;)

    Good luck with the weather. :/ May the car survive unscathed!

  119. 619
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Dalillama and rq, big *hugs* and huge thanks!

    I’m so proud of my gf!

    In the last two weeks, I’ve given blood three times, had an entire body check (Russian immigration even checks your eyes! As if the fluoroscopy in a dank, 1960′s laboratory isn’t enough) so I’m hoping I can finally stay here without further health checks–this has been my third, in three years.

  120. 620
    Crudely Wrott

    Hello, Krasnaya Koshka. It’s good that you can stay in touch with us.

    I hope that your passport business gets done without a hitch. (I bet it does.)

    I’d like to visit Russia but that opportunity is probably out of reach. I love Russian names and always try to pronounce them aloud when reading. They make a different kind of music rolling off the tongue. Ekaterina, Yevgeny. Delightful.

  121. 621
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Crudely Wott, that was lovely! I, too, love Russian names though I’m not a fan of patronymics. My gf often has a hard time because her father was fanciful and gave his twins French names. She’s “passported” nearly every time she wants to buy anything — outside of her regular haunts.

    Russia is very rigid about names. About gender, really. Sadly.

    Anyone from Pharyngula is more than welcome in our home, if you ever want to visit Russia. My gf is an outstanding host and we have a comfy pullout couch.

  122. 622
    Krasnaya Koshka

    *Crudely Wrott. Sorry abou that!

    Completely unrelated:

    It really pains me to see so much anti-Russian stuff recently when it does not in any way jibe with the Russia I know. With the fantastic teenaged students I have. With the business people I teach. They’re nearly always questioning, intelligent, critically thinking people. It would be like judging me because of George W. Bush, or Barack Obama. We are not our leaders.

    “This law is a bone to the church,” a student recently told me. And I have never brought up politics in class.

  123. 623
    Krasnaya Koshka

    *Crudely Wrott. Sorry about that!

    Completely unrelated:

    It really pains me to see so much anti-Russian stuff recently when it does not in any way jibe with the Russia I know. With the fantastic teenaged students I have. With the business people I teach. They’re nearly always questioning, intelligent, critically thinking people. It would be like judging me because of George W. Bush, or Barack Obama. We are not our leaders.

    “This law is a bone to the church,” a student recently told me. And I have never brought up politics in class.

  124. 624
    Krasnaya Koshka


  125. 625

    There should be an internet law for this:
    Not all trolls consistently misspell Myers, but all who consistently misspell Myers are trolls.
    Maybe… the poopylaw? Help me out here, folks!

  126. 626

    Whoops! Whrong thread!

  127. 627

    Hi, Krasnaya Koshka! Hope everything works out with the dual passport! I’ll be at that point in 6 months.


    Thank you, cicely and rq! cicely, you can reach me at my ‘nym at the yahoo place whenever you like.


    I hope the weather isn’t too mean, Beatrice!

  128. 628
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Never mind. I like the proposed law.

  129. 629
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Weather is rather underwhelming at the moment. A bit of rain, a bit of wind. Meh.

  130. 630

    …we… have a protocol?

    Cheese, MUSHROOMS!, bacon, and grog; hold the peas, horses, and celery. Hugs from forty-foot high killer rats, patrolling pullets, and penguins optional. Fire stories most welcome; trolls not so much.

  131. 631

    Thanks, I’ve been following the “grenade” all day long… It’s harrowing to say the least. Anything to lighten the mood, really…

  132. 632
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Parrowing, good luck to you, too!

  133. 633

    Ditto on the grenade. *shudder*
    And I really, really, really don’t like this feeling I get, when reading that thread, that whenever a woman says something negative about a man, the hyper-skepticism comes out. That the default reaction to a woman accusing is ‘she must be lying’. It’s really telling, about society, that it should be questioned in this way. I have a deeper thought I’ve been trying to process along these lines, but I can’t really get it out. Either way, it’s a crappy thought and it’s making me sad.

    Krasnaya Koshka
    Husband keeps saying we need to take a trip into Russia to see the sights, because he’s been and I haven’t and he says it’s impressive. So, whenever we’re ready to be impressed (even years down the line), I may even think of imposing ourselves onto you. ;)
    But I’ll let you know in advance, to make sure the offer still stands.
    I wish you safe passage to full passport, because that would be So Awesome for you.
    And I would love to get a new and different (for me) perspective on Russia. See, rationally I know that people there are like people anywhere – of all kinds! And most of them are kind, decent, helpful, and positively amazing. But I grew up with an anti-Russian sentiment (honestly, it was the worst thing I could marry), and there’s a strong anti-Russian sentiment here in Russia (and to be… both-sided, we do get mostly the oligarchs crawling around this country, which doesn’t leave the best impression). So I admit to having a certain preconception. At the same time, I know that I don’t know any better, and I would like to see Russia in person, from its good side, just to have the experience to counter-balance my current worldview.

    Good luck with the passporting, too! *hugs*
    (And I hope you like the Shadowcamels.)

  134. 634

    Is there a killfile verions for FireFox 23? I need to block someone.

  135. 635
    Krasnaya Koshka

    rq, your husband is right (in this circumstance), Russia is impressive. I fell in love with Saint Petersburg on first sight and knew I had to live here. (Huge back story waived here.)

    I’m quite serious about our sleeping couch and its availability. We recently purchased a new place with two bedrooms so as soon as that’s built and decorated we’ll be even more available. Late 2016. I’m sure I’ll still be here as I’ve been reading PZ since 2008.

    I also grew up with an anti-Russian sentiment. I was told that Russians wanted to kill my family. As a kid, I was taught how to duck and cover and what bombs sounded like. “Like the whistling between your teeth or a bike tire losing air.” I spent a great portion of my childhood being scared shitless that Russians wanted to kill me. That’s what I heard in school. Then I move to Russia and meet so many fantastic humans.

  136. 636
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Krasnaya Koshka,

    I have a question. I was talking to someone who said that in the past 1,000 years the Russian people have known two things:

    (1) Anarchy, coupled with chaos and mass suffering, and
    (2) Autocracy, sometimes accompanied by plenty and comfort.

    But never really anything else. This person hypothesized that the issue is that when asked to reject autocracy, Russians see the only alternative as anarchy and turn away from that because anarchy really sucks.

    I am skeptical of this. Your thoughts?

  137. 637
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I mean, I fail to see how Russians are different from the rest of humanity in that regard. No one had tried a free and open democracy the first time someone tried it.

  138. 638
    Crudely Wrott

    Needing a break from the Grenade thread I decided to check out the streaming video from the Okeanos Explorer, the exploration vessel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, currently working the waters of the Atlantic off the New England coast. Waaay cool. Really.

    Ride along on a remotely operated submersible and investigate the deep canyons and marine life that thrives there. Simply amazing.

    Okeanos Explorer will be live streaming daily from ROV deployment at about 8:30 am EDT. Today’s dive has just concluded with retrieval of the ROV. You can listen to the ROV pilots as well as a capable live narration of what the camera sees. The mission is slated to run through August 17.

    Wow. Shades of Jacques Cousteau in the 21st century. Here is the link:

  139. 639
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    From my passing knowledge of Russian history, they were pushing a load of shit. The Slavs and their predecessors were mostly tribal pastoralists of various flavors, and not notably more anarchic or prone to starvation than any other such societies. They were fairly egalitarian among themselves, with the usual caveats involving patriarchy, also common in such societies. The first defined states in the area were founded by the Keivan Rus, Scandinavian traders and conquerors who established colonies along the major rivers, going far enough south that some of them hired on as the personal guard of the Emperor of Byzantium. Their rule was not notably autocratic, and indeed was somewhat more egalitarian than usual for the era, although less so than the previous societies; Scandinavians were of higher status than Slavs, for instance. The Rus eventually disintegrated into smaller states, most of which were absorbed by the neighbors, especially the Mongols and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The latter was fairly autocratic, while the former mostly didn’t care as long as they got their taxes and military levies. The others mostly continued in the traditions of the Rus, and were reasonably prosperous. Eventually, the Grand Duchy of Moscow/ Muscovy reconquered all of the territories of the Keivan Rus, culminating under Ivan III (The Great), who declared himself Grand Duke of All the Russias. His successor, Ivan IV (The Terrible), who took power in the mid 16th century, declared himself Caesar/ Czar of Russia, and claimed that Russia was the legitimate successor state to the Roman empire. Various flavors of autocratic authoritarianism have basically been the rule since then.
    TL;DR: Many tribal societies are/were fairly democratic. Many feudal societies aren’t. Russia has had both, like most places.

  140. 640
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Esteleth, I’ve never heard any Russian talk about Russians 1000 years ago. I rarely hear them talk about anything prior to the blockade. Well, I live in Saint Petersburg. The blockade was horrific here, so that’s what they mainly talk about. (Okay, I did have a marvelous chit-chat with the guide from the Anna Akhmatova Museum but she’s the only person I’ve found willing to talk about the revolution.)

    Every single Russian I know voted for Putin in the last election. Why? Because he’s already greased his pockets and he’s fat and sassy. The next guy will want to reap anew. This is all Russians care about. Truly.

  141. 641
    Krasnaya Koshka

    I should say “this is all the Russians that I personally know who have lived through Soviet times care about”. Younger people, people I don’t know, etc., may beg to differ,

  142. 642
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    It struck me as a “just so” story. I mean, yes. Modern-day Russia carries marks leftover from Tsarist times, and from the time of the Horde, and from the time of the Kieven Rus. Absolutely, no question.

    But, it seemed like just a tad of an overstatement.

  143. 643
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Autocrats often like to claim that the only alternative to them is chaos and death, but that’s pretty blatantly self serving propaganda, so folk who are thinking clearly tend to discount it.

  144. 644
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    (I left out a reference to Soviet times, because duh there are leftovers of an era that ended twenty-two years ago)

  145. 645
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Esteleth, I’m quite in love with reading so I have read endless books about Russian history, Russian art, Russian politics (there’s a great museum here on Russian propaganda).

    I have to say, I think you don’t really care about Russians. I think this is, to you, a philosophical fart.

    It’s like when my seventh grade science teacher, whom I adored, took out a frog and cracked its skull in a violent manner on the corner of his desk. I’d always adored him and thought he was really brilliant. Then he spoiled it by not showing any humanness. He could at least have let us know we were never going to be on his level. He was THERE, and we’d always be HERE.

  146. 646
    Krasnaya Koshka

    Come to Russia and see for yourself. If anyone can time-wise but not money-wise, contact me. krasniikot at gmail.

    Russians are not “others”. They’re wholly human and nice people.

  147. 647

    This post by Richard Dawkins is the worst attempt at a rebuttal I’ve seen in a while, and leaves me scratching my head in bemusement. Dawkins thinks that “race” is defined as “a limited group of people descended from a common ancestor”? And is annoyed at sociologists for arguing that race is a social construct? The man… has no clue about social science whatsoever. And yet seems to think he is an expert. *headscratch* Since when has “race”, as a social category, ever been defined cladistically? I thought it was uncontroversially accepted that racial categories are social constructs, not biologically meaningful distinctions.

    In any case, his pet definition of “race” is beside the point, because he’s continued to miss utterly the point of the arguments against his position. No, no one is saying that Muslims are “a race”. But Islam tends, wholly but not exclusively, to be associated with particular racial and cultural groups, who in our society are marginalized minorities. And certain kinds of anti-Muslim rhetoric are absolutely capable of playing into racist and colonialist tropes. Asylum-seekers aren’t “a race” either, but that doesn’t mean that the Daily Mail’s inflammatory rhetoric about asylum-seekers isn’t racist.

    He still seems to think that his opponents are making a simplistic argument along the lines of “the majority of Muslims are not white, therefore criticizing Islam is inherently racist”. No one is actually saying that. What we are saying is that some particular kinds of anti-Muslim rhetoric play into racist stereotypes and/or give ammunition to the far right. It’s not the same thing.

  148. 648
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I’m sorry? I’m not entirely sure how it came across that I see Russians as other or am pathologizing them, because I don’t. :(

    I do not see this as a philosophical fart.

  149. 649
    David Marjanović

    Caine, I want to come over and, like, feed your rats while you work on the Shermer thread full-time or recover from it.

    Is there anything beyond offering Internet hugs I can do for you? Same question to Pteryxx, mouthyb, Jafafa Hots, and so many others. ♥

  150. 650
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    So let me guess, there’s a Totally Reasonable ™ explanation for “Would you consider a relationship with someone who has had homosexual sex?” “No” or “Depends on how serious it was,” too? >.>

  151. 651
    David Marjanović

    *facepalm* Looks like yet another case of Dawkins thinking he understands everything science-related, no matter how far it’s from his field.

    Anyway, link dump:


    15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media.

    Petition to the Texas State Board of Education to keep creationism & stuff out of textbooks.

  152. 652
    David Marjanović

    Scrolled up a bit, taken the survey.

    Pharyngula is bad for the sleep cycle.

    Oh yes. Oooooh yessssss… it’s 2:28 am over here.

  153. 653

    Is there anything beyond offering Internet hugs I can do for you? Same question to Pteryxx, mouthyb, Jafafa Hots, and so many others. ♥


  154. 654

    er, that’s a two-parter.

    Part 1

    Part 2

  155. 655
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    And now a bunch of usually sensible commenters on Daylight Atheism are using a line from Ayn Rand as a jumping-off point for BLATANT schoolyard bullying apologetics.


  156. 656
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Oh, right. Bullying is something that affected ME, so it Can’t Possibly Be A Real Serious Problem.

  157. 657
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    (Wait, wasn’t someone stupidly spouting off a while back about how a person of color “cannot bully white people because they have no power over them?” Is “bullying” the latest word that’s been commons-fenced so it only applies to systemic oppression? Because you can’t have that one. I still need it.)

  158. 658

    Parrowing, the Shadowcamels have got you in their sights; they are disguised as an email.

  159. 659
    chigau (違う)

    I hate blackflies.
    Hi, Everyone!

  160. 660


  161. 661

    The black flies should be sent to infest the hair, ears and eyes of all the rape apologists and rape deniers on the Shermer thread.
    I second David:

    Caine, I want to come over and, like, feed your rats while you work on the Shermer thread full-time or recover from it.

    Is there anything beyond offering Internet hugs I can do for you? Same question to Pteryxx, mouthyb, Jafafa Hots, and so many others. ♥

  162. 662
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    good morning,

    So… that horrible bad dangerous weather? Nothing. Nada. Zero. Rien. Reporters caused a panic for no reason, there was barely any rain and next to no wind. At least the temperatures are a bit lower this morning.



    Having kids is a pretty big thing, so yeah, it can be a valid deal-breaker. I can’t really think of a non-homophobic reason for refusing to consider a relationship with someone who’s had gay sex.


    Now to go see the grenade thread *deep breath*

  163. 663
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    And mosquitos.
    (why does my spell checker recognize the singular, but not the plural of mosquito!?)

  164. 664
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    There’s page four?!

  165. 665

    why does my spell checker recognize the singular, but not the plural of mosquito!?

    Either: (a) It is suffering from peas. Return to orbit and nuke it.
    Or: (b) Because it is spelled mosquitoes not “mosquitos” ?

  166. 666
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    er… (a), definitely (a)

  167. 667

    (Wait, wasn’t someone stupidly spouting off a while back about how a person of color “cannot bully white people because they have no power over them?” Is “bullying” the latest word that’s been commons-fenced so it only applies to systemic oppression? Because you can’t have that one. I still need it.)

    Disclaimer: I am drunk

    I thought it was racism not bullying

  168. 668

    If you need a little science in your ears.

    http://topaz.streamguys.tv/~spaceweather/ is the sound of the meteor shower that is going on right now. It’s a radar reflection converted to zips and zeeps.

    You can skip the intro by hitting the > arrow.

  169. 669
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Shit. By the time I finish page four of grenade thread, it will probably be long into page five.

  170. 670

    I think there’s about to be a Page 5. :/
    Also, I forgot – the black flies and mosquitos need to also infest their noses and mouths. Not to suffocate, but to cause acute discomfort.

  171. 671

    Hey PZ, when you get a chance. You know how FTB often erroneously displays the mobile page on Desktops and vice versa? The link that you can click at the bottom to be redirected to the correct format is missing the “freethoughtblogs.com” part, and is hence broken.


  172. 672

    Mammal Ancestor Fossil Found In China May Shed Light On Lives Of Early Proto-Mammals http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/08/mammal-ancestor-fossil-china-humans_n_3721196.html?utm_hp_ref=science

    Early mammals were already highly specialised 165 million years ago, a hundred million years before Chixchulub impact.
    The moron writers wrote “Early Proto-Humans”, a typo that might encourage people to think people and dinosaurs co-existed :)

    BTW I think Norway is cool despite previous joke. Russia would be cool, but needs to scrape off the layer of cleptocrats. That Russians still have some kind of culture instead of being shell-shocked victims proves the resilience of the people.

  173. 673

    David Marjanović @ 573,
    Sorry I did not see you had already mentioned the proto-mammals :)

    Hm, so ammonia fuel tanks need to be rust-proof.And cooled or kept under pressure. Not good.

  174. 674

    Azkyroth, as a rule, anyone who invokes Ayn Rand is clueless. There are exceptions, but those people generally outgrow the Rand stuff.

    BTW it was a pity the Chazar empire was overthrown, or Russia might have generated organised political entities even earlier than Northern Europe due to the Chazar influence.

  175. 675
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I thought it was racism not bullying

    In terms of “racism” that’s at least a reasonable assertion (though I’m not sure I agree that a person who’s a head taller, doesn’t give a fuck about being suspended or otherwise disciplined, and invading your personal space and threatening violence “doesn’t have any power over you”), but I recall seeing that assertion with regards to “bullying” as well, which is absolutely idiotic.

  176. 676
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Azkyroth, as a rule, anyone who invokes Ayn Rand is clueless. There are exceptions, but those people generally outgrow the Rand stuff.

    Other way around. Adam’s doing a review of Atlas Shrugged and he’s gotten to the point where Dagny asserts that other kids disliked her for getting good grades and people are saying shit like:

    No, high achiever, they dislike you because you constantly treat them like obstacles to be defeated or ignored or humiliated. If you could treat your “lessers” with equal respect regardless of how amazing you think you are, then they might find you less exasperating. Your grades aren’t the problem. Your fixation on grades is.

  177. 677

    I was a bartender in Antarctica:

    I convinced the right people I was the man they needed to look after the liquid nitrogen and helium used as coolants for the radio telescopes at the South Pole Station.

    One Saturday night soon after I arrived, I walked in and the seat behind the bar was the only one free. Someone said, “Hey, can you get me a beer?” “Do I look like a bartender?” I asked. “Well,” he said, “you’re behind the bar. Do you know how to mix anything?” I was 26, and had picked up a few tricks at parties. “As a matter of fact, I do,” I said. And there I stayed for the rest of the year.

    On special occasions, I combined the new role with my job and served what I called “cryogenic cocktails”. The first one I made was for a boss who came to a party one evening and asked for a martini. I poured in some nitrogen, blew away the fog and scooped out all the frost-distilled water that was left floating in it, taking the proof of his cocktail up to about 130% abv. He downed it, disappeared and returned with a brace of Swedish researchers. “I want you to make them what you made me,” he said.

    One drawback was the hangovers: after a particularly heavy session, I would have to nip outside to be sick. Any liquid that came into contact with the ice froze immediately and, if left alone, it would remain so for ever. It was a point of honour to clear up after yourself, which meant chipping away with a pickaxe.

    A decade on, I’m a radiation safety specialist, but still take time out to demonstrate my cocktail-mixing craft; liquid nitrogen remains a favourite. I’d go back tomorrow if the opportunity arose. Watching the aurora with a cocktail in your hand isn’t an experience you let go of easily.

    The mildly deranged penguin wonders if there is an opening for a cheese wrangler?

  178. 678

    James Risen’s risk of prison means journalism is being criminalised:

    That a New York Times national security reporter may be jailed for refusing to name a source is a total affront to press freedom

    New York Times reporter James Risen has been ordered to testify in the criminal trial of former Central Intelligence Agency official Jeffrey Sterling, who has been indicted under the Espionage Act of 1917 — for leaking classified information to Risen for publication in his book, State of War. Last month, the US court of appeals for the fourth circuit in Richmond, Virginia, ruled that Risen could not claim a reporter’s privilege under the first amendment to win exemption from being compelled to testify.

    In effect, the court has ruled that the journalist must reveal his source. That sets a dangerous precedent now applicable in Maryland and Virginia, home to the NSA and CIA…

    The Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers coupled with the court’s ruling against watchdog reporters highlight the federal government’s efforts to curb the flow of information from both ends. No one disputes that at times journalists have a duty of care when entrusted with secret information with possible national security implications, but Risen is critical of how government officials will use this argument cynically to delay or suppress a story. He said recently:

    I’ve been an investigative reporter for a long time, and almost always, the government says that ['you can't publish that because of the national security risk'] when you write a story. And then they can never back it up. They say that about everything. And it’s like the boy who cried wolf. It’s getting old.

    Stephen Engelberg, editor-in-chief of the investigative nonprofit news organisation ProPublica, said the fourth circuit’s ruling was “extremely unfortunate — given the criminalisation under this government of officials talking to reporters”. He stressed the need for a federal version of the “shield law” that already exists in many states and safeguards journalists’ right to protect sources.

  179. 679

    [A]fter achieving worldwide fame by teaching his pet mice to surf, Shane Willmott, who lives on Australia’s Gold Coast, has now trained them to ride skateboards. He decided to teach them to skateboard because it was too cold in winter to take them to the beach. “They love it,” he said. “Mice are built to surf and skate because their centre of gravity is so low. When they do fall off, they want to get straight back on board.”

      — The Observer‘s 20 photographs of the week (picture 10).

  180. 680

    New book following up where The New Jim Crow left off about race and the War on Drugs: “High Price” by neuroscientist Carl Hart. Interview in Salon:


    During the surge of crack cocaine use in the 1980s, you blamed the drug for devastating your neighborhood and other black communities. But you later came to argue that poverty, crime and violence had been present in these neighborhoods long before crack cocaine, and that what had changed was how politicians and the media were framing the issue. Describe this reframing and the persistence of myths about crack as a “black drug.”

    The myths about crack started in part because of the media. During the mid 1980s the media broadcast images primarily of black people in inner cities using and purchasing crack. The show “48 Hours on Crack Street” remains the most popular show in the history of television and it shows black people using crack cocaine. Those images and the photographs in newspapers are etched into the American consciousness. Most people don’t know a crack smoker personally, but all they have to do is watch TV or read the news and they get these images of black people on a crack rampage. So starting in the 1980s they thought this new drug — which wasn’t really new but they thought it was — was so awful, and they attributed all the problems in their neighborhoods to crack cocaine. But it simply wasn’t true. We also have more black people being arrested for crack cocaine, even though research shows that whites use the drug at higher rates. It’s because we concentrate our law enforcement resources in black communities.

    Your book argues that throughout history bans on certain drugs have been preceded by media-hyped fears about drug use among marginalized groups, such as minorities, immigrants and the poor. How has this trend continued today with the widespread prescription of Adderall and the demonization of its near-equivalent, methamphetamine?

    To get Adderall you have to go to a physician and have health insurance. The people using Adderall look like the people in Congress and their kids, so it doesn’t have the same stigma as methamphetamine, which is viewed as a drug used primarily by poor white people and gay people. These are vilified groups so you get the same reaction as with black people and crack cocaine. So we have one drug, Adderall, which is purchased through a pharmacy and associated with outstanding citizens, and the other drug, methamphetamine, which is illegal and associated with a group of people society doesn’t like. Most people don’t know how similar the two drugs are, which is why I wrote a paper about it. I am trying to bring more attention to the issue.

  181. 681
    la tricoteuse

    Aaaargh. Sorry, I know I’ve neglected some posts/replies directed at me in here. Have been slogging through…y’know, THAT post. Just reached the bottom of page 3 of comments and new pages are popping up faster than I can read the old ones.

    And. Aaargh. *headwallheadwallheadwall* AAAAAAAAAAARGH.

    I need a very hot shower. And a new planet.

  182. 682
    la tricoteuse

    …like, maybe Mars… *eyes rq*

  183. 683
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    hello, la tricoteuse!

    That other thread is exhausting.

  184. 684
    la tricoteuse

    Hi Beatrice! Yes. Yes it is.

    Shower obtained. Was hot. Not, however, as relaxing as previously hoped. Funny noises underfoot made panicbrain go “aaaah shower asplode! Bloody end is nigh! Manhalf will find body!”

    The fun, it is fun!

  185. 685
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m just waiting for blf to wander in and tell a funny about how Mildly Deranged Penguin was just transferring some cheese via underground tunnels when she encountered a battalion of cats armed with peas and had to defend herself by throwing cheap cheddar at them… and that’s why there were funny noises under your shower.

  186. 686
    la tricoteuse

    As long as it was mild cheddar, I accept that explanation. I am going to go ahead and assume that’s what happened, with or without the corroboration from blf.

  187. 687
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I took Esteleth’s painless survey.

    I’m at home during a brief respite from fire station duty. With the whole town gone awry for 3 days we congregate and stay on duty. I need to take a nap. I hope I can feel the lack of sleep long enough to crash.

    Last night was good people watching. Except I started feeling like I was in a cheesy movie, getting mopey at the couples walking by holding hands. Sigh. I’m tired of being alone. Already.

    And I don’t get to go be with my family tomorrow. Long story. Mainly because of work. It really suck because long story.


    I’m rupt. Hugs to all who could use them

  188. 688
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    You wouldn’t happen to know anything about this, would you?

  189. 689
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I made myself a birthday cake. It’s pretty. There is rum in it. And blueberries. And chocolate.

    It turned out a bit higher than I expected, so I almost ruined the outside frosting when I tried to put the lid on the cake box. But it’s still pretty. And the frosting is great (there’s rum in it, as in “Where’s all the rum gone?”)

  190. 690
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Oh my gosh.
    Finally caught up with that thread…
    Now to catch up here…
    I guess Rev BDC is gone on that trip…which sounds Awesome times 10!

    If it is not too late, I am in!

  191. 691
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Survey taken.

    I echo the wishes for you to remain safe. I think of you and your partner whenever I hear about the horrible violence against LGBT in Russia.

    Happy birthday!

  192. 692
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Thanks, Tony.
    Birthday’s tomorrow, but the cake needs to cool so I decided to go ahead and make it today.

  193. 693

    And mosquitos.
    (why does my spell checker recognize the singular, but not the plural of mosquito!?)

    I blame the Horses.

    Or: (b) Because it is spelled mosquitoes not “mosquitos” ?

    Well, yes, but I blame the Horses for that.
    *hugs* for Portia.
    Happy birthday (early), Beatrice! The rumcake sounds awesome.

  194. 694

    Mmmmm, cake.

    I’m sorry, I got distracted. What were we talking about?
    Oh yes, cake.



  195. 695

    Oh look, Beatrice, it’s your birthday! Happyyyyy!!!! *ballons&confetti&sparkles&fireworks*
    I hope the cake is delicious!

  196. 696

    Happy birthday, Beatrice.

    Today I wrote a post critiquing Richard Dawkins’ recent attack on his critics. I am completely bemused by the nonsense he was spouting.

  197. 697

    Happy birthday, Beatrice! Here are your presents (and now I get to test out the new preview): a tall sandcastle, a Daniel Merriam painting, and an extra cake in case the one you made is eaten too quickly. Oh, and stockpile of hugs for whenever you need them!

  198. 698

    threadrupt but this is pretty neat – a huge textbook-style ecology infographic.


  199. 699
  200. 700


    Took your survey. Hope it helps. To be honest I’m a stats/data/research methods geek and seeing a survey after going through the grenade thread was a welcome relief. I’d love to know what you find.

    Seconded on the “mmmmmm rum cake” thought, althouhg my mmmm is more for the rum than cake..

    In other news I just received my “Authority to Solemnize Marriages” in the State of Ohio today in the mail! Now I just need to pass the notary test and get a certificate to perform a wedding in Nevada(based on the Ohio one) and I’m all set to marry a dear friend to his husband in September. Due to Nevada law it will be common law, but they will still get a marriage certificate from me because screw that law.

  201. 701
    Weedless Monkey

    Thanks, everyone and PZ, for keeping up the good fight on the grenade thread. I’m not much help there, but I’m reading and learning.

  202. 702
    chigau (違う)

    hugs and return hugs
    did survey
    Caught up with that other thread

  203. 703
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    FSM bless him, FD Captain made the call to send us all home early being how the band across the street was horrible and there was nothing going on that warranted our staying down there. Maybe now I can sleep. I found out that a cousin I really really wanted to see is going to be at my mom’s tomorrow after all. Gah. Really sad about that, we grew up together but I haven’t seen him since a funeral 9 years ago for someone our age that we uniquely shared the loss of. Now, I may not see him until our grandpa’s funeral, if he comes. He didn’t come to our grandma’s funeral five years ago. Mope mope mope.

    Hugs back, cicely, thank you.

  204. 704
    Weedless Monkey

    Yesterday, sometime in the afternoon, I woke up from a nap to the sound of dripping water that didn’t quite sound like rain, so it was somewhat off… and found my kitchen cabinets were leaking water, to the counter top and the sink.

    It turned out my lovely upstairs neighbour had first put his cans of beer in the freezer, and passed out. Then when he wanted to drink them, he tossed them all in the sink to defrost and opened the tap… and passed out again.

    Or at least that’s what he told me, can’t guess what he’ll be telling the building manager or insurance company, if that will be necessary.

    At least it’s not a structural failure in the water pipes, which is an upside. And the water did surprisingly little damage, actually: it ruined only two bags of flour and forced me to rewash some dishes.

  205. 705
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Weed Monkey:

    Glad to hear it wasn’t worse. Sorry to hear you have such a …thoughtless neighbor.

  206. 706
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    What’s pounding through amps outside my window is not so much music as it is screeching to an irregular beat.

  207. 707
    Weedless Monkey

    What’s pounding through amps outside my window is not so much music as it is screeching to an irregular beat.

    That’s what I thought last weekend when Rally Finland was raging around here. Every fucking vehicle was both loud and noisy.

    The smart ones rent away their apartments for these yearly special occasions, netting many hundreds. I just couldn’t think of doing that.

  208. 708
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh very smart neighbors you have. I wish there was a market for that with this annual festival, ha.

  209. 709
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Oh boy. I think THAT THREAD may be dying down. For all that there are 2959 comments we could have cut it off at 750 and everything would still have been covered…EXCEPT-and this is one of the good things about that thread-those who have been victims of sexual assault were able to speak up in a climate where they would receive compassionate support and lurker after lurker expressed their support for Jane Doe and PZ. As frustrating as those idiots have been, helping to provide a place for victims to speak up was more than worth it. Thanks to the Horde once more.

  210. 710

    Thank you, Tony. Caine is getting much deserved love over there (I’ll be back myself to be specific at some point), somebody should point out that you rawk like Aerosmith in the seventies. Guess that’ll be me then.

  211. 711

    This may come in handy for explaining splash damage at some point in the future. Warning: may contain elements of slam poetry.

    Yeah, I broke away from that thread to blast some slam poetry. What?

  212. 712

    Parrowing, did the email go through okay?
    That cake looks so very nomable….
    *applause* for HappyNat.
    Have we “met”, before? Do I owe you a Welcome In?

  213. 713
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    good morning,

    Thanks, people. Parrowing, that’s the bestest sandcastle I ever got! :)
    (now I really want a sandcastle)

  214. 714
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I got myself a book yesterday that might be of special interest to Walton:
    Right-Wing Populism in Europe, Politics and Discourse edited by Ruth Wodak, Majid KhosraviNik ans Brigitte Mral (it’s a collection of essays).
    It reviews situations in several European countries, and there is at least one essay talking specifically about immigration.
    Will get back with more info when I finish it.

  215. 715
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Well I WAS tired. Then annejones came back. I am tempted to grab the popcorn. Xe has trotted out the “you are bigoted because you are intolerant of different views” meme.
    Can we take that little meme out back at put it out of our misery?

  216. 716

    annejones is back? I am NOT going over there tonight. I’ve read all of the recent grenade thread that I could, tried hard to comment well, and came away admiring the folks who can stay in there.

    Goodnight, Horde.

  217. 717

    1) We’ve been six months in the house as of this weekend.
    2) It’s starting to get dark at night again; summer is nearly over.
    3) My brother arrives in two days.

  218. 718

    Why pterosaurs weren’t so scary after all:

    These flying reptiles are traditionally seen as scaly, ungainly beasts, but the discovery of new fossils has led to some surprising findings

    Pterodactyls have suffered more than most in popular depictions. We frequently don’t even employ the correct name for them. Strictly speaking, the term “pterodactyl” refers to a specific type of flying reptile found in Upper Jurassic rocks (145m years old) of Germany. The correct name for the group is “pterosaurs”, which translates from the Greek as “winged lizards”. They are named after their flight apparatus which, like the wings of bats, is made of membranes supported by their limbs and digits. Unlike bats, however, pterosaurs supported their distal wing with a single, retractable finger instead of the entire hand. The well developed shoulder anatomy of pterosaurs indicates that they possessed large muscles to flap their wings, meaning their flight was self-propelled instead of gravity assisted (as with gliding animals). Pterosaurs achieved this milestone in vertebrate animal evolution well before birds or bats appeared, taking off approximately 225m years ago. Their dynasty lasted at least 160m years and ended 65m years ago, leaving only strangely proportioned fossil bones as evidence of their existence.

    … The past three decades have seen a dramatic rise in the amount and quality of pterosaur research, calling for the revision and overturning of many long-standing ideas and a greater degree of consensus among pterosaur researchers. … Most fossils known prior to the 1980s were fragments and scraps, and only a few sites in the USA and Europe yielded complete, well preserved specimens. Even fewer specimens recorded delicate soft tissue such as wing membranes and integument.

    Good pterosaur fossils are rare because, in life, their bones were expanded by air sacs to enhance their size (and therefore wingspans) without adding mass. Like inflating a bony balloon, these air sacs pushed pterosaur bones to their mechanical limits, reducing their bone wall thicknesses to mere millimetres. Enormous but lightweight skeletons like this are excellent for flying animals (modern birds use a similar trick) but they make the process of fossilisation particularly tough on pterosaur skeletons.

    Accordingly, the relative bonanza of good pterosaur material stemming from Brazil and China (including many 3D skeletons and a wealth of preserved soft tissue) gave pterosaur research a shot in the arm, providing scientists with considerable amounts of new data on pterosaur anatomy, paleobiology and diversity. When combined with increasingly detailed assessments of other pterosaur fossils, the new remains improved our understanding of pterosaur skeletal function, brain shape, and soft-tissue anatomy considerably. They also revealed a swathe of new pterosaur groups, many of which had anatomy that must be seen to be believed. We now know of more than 130 pterosaur species sporting all manner of bizarre jaws and teeth (or no teeth at all, in several lineages), variable wing proportions and tail lengths, and many with ridiculous looking headcrests which were probably employed in interspecies communication. It’s no exaggeration to say that some pterosaurs are among the most bizarre looking vertebrate species in the fossil record.

    With this increased appreciation of pterosaur anatomy and diversity came a revised understanding of many aspects of pterosaur paleobiology. Pterosaurs are now seen as a successful, diverse group of animals with sophisticated anatomy and interesting lifestyles. Exactly where they plug into the reptile family tree remains uncertain, but it seems increasingly likely that pterosaurs were close relatives of dinosaurs (although they were not, as is often stated, “flying dinosaurs”), and they share many surprising characteristics with this group. Like many dinosaurs, pterosaurs seem to have possessed an extremely effective, bird-like respiratory mechanism comprising a solid lung ventilated by air sacs lining the body cavity (the same air sacs which invade and inflate the skeleton). Their bodies, also like many dinosaurs, were covered in a layer of hair-like fuzz, the structure of which may even be homologous to the “proto-feathers” being discovered in many dinosaur lineages.

    These features are probably indications that pterosaurs were warm blooded, insulating their bodies to store heat derived from burning calories like mammals and birds, rather than deriving warmth from their local environment like modern lizards and crocodiles, and requiring high oxygen uptakes to sustain their activities. Pterosaurs .were probably as hyperactive and energetic as modern birds and mammals, and nothing like the slow, laboured gliders they were once thought to be. Far from being scary, scaly beasts, pterosaurs would have been warm, soft to the touch and eminently strokable. Pet stores would be lining up to sell smaller pterosaur species — some with wingspans of under 50cm — if they were still around today.

    Prototype flying forty-foot killer rats!

  219. 719

    Shower obtained. Was hot. Not, however, as relaxing as previously hoped. Funny noises underfoot made panicbrain go “aaaah shower asplode! Bloody end is nigh! Manhalf will find body!”

    [T]he Mildly Deranged Penguin was just transferring some cheese via underground tunnels when she encountered a battalion of cats armed with peas and had to defend herself by throwing cheap cheddar at them… and that’s why there were funny noises under your shower.

    blf, You wouldn’t happen to know anything about
    [Norway goat cheese fire closes tunnel], would you?

    Ah yes, the famous Tunnelling Goat’s Shower Cheese, which is widely thought to have given Hitchcock the idea for that shower scene…

    With widespread electrification, Tunnelling Goat’s Shower Cheese is rarely found these days. Water heaters, electric or gas, are certainly safer, more convenient, and less noisy than a cellar full of Tunnelling Goat’s Shower Cheese. Also less likely to explode, or to escape and strangle (rarely slash) people in the night.

    Contrary to the name, Tunnelling Goat’s Shower Cheese is not made from goats, tunnels, or showers. Like all fine and homicidal cheeses, it grows. Specifically, it is the fruit of small bushy tree, growing underground like tubers. Whilst goats do like to nibble the tree’s leaves (when they can get close enough), that is not where the “Goat” in the name comes from.

    The main problem with growing the tree is it is covered in sharp spikes and thorns, probably as protection from the goats and penguins. There are some particular fearsome thorn-covered branching spikes growing straight up, which are thought to protection against pterosaurs.

    Getting close enough to the tree to harvest the cheese is exceptionally dangerous, and there are many legends of heros attempting the feat. Not too many succeeded, and the stench of their decaying bodies is what gave rise to the idea the trees are carnivores. That’s not true, it’s the cheese which is a paranoid strangler.

    Also tasty and, as was quickly discovered, highly inflammable. A compact source of energy, either when yer feeling a bit peckish or in desperate need of some heat. If you can harvest the stuff, the main problem then is simply keeping it subdued.

    No-one knows who solved the harvesting problem. The legends speak of a wild-haired milkmaid dreaming of being an Amazon warrior and trying to get one of those spikes for use as a spear, but it could have equally well been a hungry unemployed drunk. In any case, someone had the brilliant idea “Teach the cheese to tunnel”.

    Problem solved. Teenaged cheese, anxious to escape the parent root, tunnel their way out, into the fields of goats eying those delicious leaves. The goats and waiting cheeseherders easily subdue the inexperienced frustrated cheeses, which are then packed away in baskets on the goat’s back. Trains of goats carrying packs of immature stunned cheeses winding their way into the neighboring villages is a popular tourist attraction. Especially when a basket explodes, showering bits of goat all over the place…

    Hence the name, Tunneling Goat’s Shower Cheese.

    The remaining cheeses are kept well stunned and shipped off to fireproof escape-proof cellars to mature. Extracting the cheese from a cellar is surprisingly easy. Each cellar has a carefully constructed “drain” pipe, also escape- and fire-proof, normally blocked by a remotely-operated door. When some cheese is wanted, just open door, count to to three, and then close it again. Some of the cheese makes its way into the pipe and eventually out the other end, where the highly-trained cheesemongers are waiting. Freshly stunned, the cheese is now ready (but must be consumed before it wakes up).

    The cheese making its way through the pipes can be quite noisy. And if the cheesemongers don’t do it properly, then indeed there are funny noises underfoot and “aaaah shower asplode! Bloody end is nigh!”

    And due to its extreme inflammability, and especially when it hasn’t been consumed in time, in past times it was often burnt. Providing hot water for the showers. Although the name, Tunneling Goat’s Shower Cheese, is just a coincidence.

    (Nowadays, instead of burning it, they use it to “frack” for gas…)

  220. 720
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    So, I might have differences with my father, but he’s just raging about a pharmacy worker who refused to give contraception pills to a woman, and ended up in the news but not fired.

  221. 721

    It’s off-topic, so I’ll stick it here instead of the thread. I just couldn’t help get the association when they mentioned reputation repair.

  222. 722

    Ah, dinner prep time!
    When finding yet another POSS becomes something like Mission: Impossible.

    And yay for your dad, Beatrice!

  223. 723
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I have decided to enjoy a day of no obligations except washing dishes, instead of moping and crying about not being able to have the Family Day I wanted very much. Sitting here watching Buffy and drinking coffee is actually pretty nice.

  224. 724
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    When I was a kid, my family went to church every Sunday.

    Every Sunday, the service would start with the preacher standing up and saying, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

    I am abiding by that rule and keeping the Lord’s day. I have put pants on.

    I do need to get a new pajama-shirt, though. This one is falling into “collection of holes connected by fabric” territory.

  225. 725

    Just call it a fishnet shirt, and you’ll be all stylish n all.


    Contrary to evopsych beliefs, I went out and picked blackberries the other day. And today I made blackberry jam, but I’m sad. This country does not sell pectin all on its lonesome, so I tried the jam sugar, but I think it’ll be too runny. And I missed the deadline, my brother could have brought me some, but he’s already in transit. :( [/firstworldproblems]

    Also, yesterday, I went to see some showjumping with Real Horses (so pretty!) and tried some archery on the side. The guy switched me up two bow strengths (You’re still pulling it too far back way too easily!) and I got a higher score than Husband. [/small victories]

  226. 726
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Screw Jesus, I haven’t put on pants and I’m not gonna. Harumph ;)

  227. 727

    So for anyone who needs to be cheered up, I put up some cute avian pictures at my blog.

  228. 728
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I’m not wearing pants for Jesus, I’m wearing them to keep my ass from sticking to my chair.

    And because I’m cold.

  229. 729
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Hi Walton! I’m celebrating not being in bed any more and my hives receding (yesterday ended with me saying “fuck it,” popping a benadryl, and passing out) by putting pants on!

  230. 730
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)


    thanks for the giggle.


    That jam sounds tasty in any case.

  231. 731
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    For the cold, I’ve resorted to a blanket. Thankfully my recliner is not the kind of chair to which my butt could stick.

  232. 732

    Yup, worst comes to worst, we’ll eat it over ice cream.
    And I put on pants because I had to go to work. And now it’s not hot enough to take them off and still look reasonable.

  233. 733
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Eeeeeeeeee behbeh birds. :)

  234. 734
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)


    Oooh, you just made my mouth water. Yummm.

    I’d advise against taking your pants off unless you have the lab to yourself. Then go for it.

  235. 735
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    There are auditions tonight for the local Shakespeare company I played with in college. I’m really considering auditioning, but it’s always a big time commitment. Choices choices. They’re doing Two Gentlemen of Verona this time.

  236. 736

    I love blackberries! They grow in the hedges here in autumn.

    (I accidentally just posted this on the wrong thread by mistake. Hopefully I’ve managed to get it right this time.)

  237. 737

    Aww. Here I thought it was some really deep point you were trying to make. Like, autumn is the end of rape culture, when the hedges of society will bring forth the blackberries of trust.

  238. 738

    Go, Portia, go! :) If you have the time, that is. Could be fun!

  239. 739

    Oh and for the record I’m back at home now. ;) I don’t go to the Lounge at work, I’d never get any work done. Plus, they’d keep all my internet records on archive for 3+ years, and I’m not exactly sure how Pharyngula-reading would reflect on me under the current administration. :/

  240. 740

    Aww. Here I thought it was some really deep point you were trying to make. Like, autumn is the end of rape culture, when the hedges of society will bring forth the blackberries of trust.

    Alas, no. Such a subtle metaphor had not occurred to me.

  241. 741

    I thought it was about how blackberries and other dark berries could stain the lips of those eating them, causing them to falsely advertise the color of said lips. ;)

    I just picked some blackberries in my backyard yesterday. There aren’t many this year, and sadly the canes have been taken over a lot by fox grape.

  242. 742

    Foxes aren’t grapes. Stop messing with my head.

  243. 743

    :) fox grape

  244. 744

    It’s an awesome blackberry year here, I picked the ones from Friend’s garden because they are literally breaking the branches, and they’re plump and juicy and sweet and within my reach. A second crop should be ready in about a week, I’m going back with a bigger bowl. *yumyum*


    Alas, no. Such a subtle metaphor had not occurred to me.

    It’s probably too subtle for the courtroom, too… :(

    (Nice metaphor, LykeX. Also thanks for pointing towards Gunnerkrigg Court, I’ve been reading it slowly and I love it and the kids love it, and now I want my hands on a paperbook copy for them. Otherwise they hog my computer time. ;) )

    The blackberries of trust. That should be a meme.

  245. 745

    Although what’s not in the wiki article is that it’s a fuckin’ weed that will take over everything and not produce anything useful.

  246. 746
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I really like a coffee mug that fits in my hand, but it has a fatal flaw in that it doesn’t hold as much coffee.

    rq: I’m really considering it. It involves re-entering a social circle (or at least being around people) that I’ve not really talked to in a long time, so it makes me anxious. We’ll see :)

  247. 747

    I really like a coffee mug that fits in my hand, but it has a fatal flaw in that it doesn’t hold as much coffee.

    Isn’t it interesting how just the feel of things can be such a big deal sometimes? I have one mug that fits my hand perfectly, and although I have several sitting in the same place, it’s almost the only one I ever use. I don’t even think about it consciously, I just grab for the good one.

  248. 748
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    It really is, carlie, the feel is so critical. I think I got the “small mugs are better” from my mom :) She likes hers particularly delicate, though, while I like mine palmable.

  249. 749
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Happy birthday

    The blackberries are ripe around here too. They’re very tasty.

    From the Grenade thread, ‘cos discussing it further is kind of off topic over there:

    Suuuure, nothing to learning 4 languages. Hey, lots of people do it all the time!

    In fact, lots of people do, often because they grew up somewhere that 4 languages were regularly spoken (One of the TAs I had at university was on his 6th language with English; he’d grown up speaking French and 4 Nigerian languages I can’t remember the names of, then learned English to come over here for college.). Myself, I only speak English and French, and a few fragments of Spanish here and there.

  250. 750

    I have a nubbly green juice glass I picked up for a quarter from the thrift store, and I love it so much. It sits in my bathroom cabinet and is what I now use for a drink when taking my morning medicine, and it just gives me a little happy jolt each day because it’s so fun to hold. It looks just like this only tiny.

  251. 751
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    That’s fun, carlie. I thought I was weird for having that feeling about objects, especially drinking vessels, but I’m glad to know there are at least two of us. :)

  252. 752
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    So… what’s the Horde opinion on having problems with weight loss? Last time I was this thin was in high school, but that was a period when I exercised three times a week and ate half-a-bread sandwiches at all times of night.

    If it weren’t for the face, I think I’d be pretty attractive in this body at the moment, but I kinda feel the weight loss is getting a bit out of hand. It didn’t really start deliberately, but it turned into something half-work-related, half-deliberate. I realized today that when I notice that I’ve gained a kilo back, I reduce the amount of food until I lose two. If I continue like this, I’ll be very lucky if I’m at 45 kilos at Christmas (and not less).

    Sorry for dumping this like this and then leaving (going out for drinks with my friend in a couple of minutes), but I felt like writing this now and I’m not sure I would have written it later.

    Not really expecting a solution, just saying something I’m not sure where/to who(m) (haven’t figured whom out yet) I can say.

  253. 753
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I usually forget to count Slovenian, but it’s actually my second language, with English being the third.

  254. 754
    Crudely Wrott

    @ Morgan re: #407:

    Hi, Morgan. I want to thank you for your (pre) cooking tip for butternut squash. I chucked up a long, 3/8 inch drill bit and bored several holes in three planes clear through the squash and nuked it as per your advice. The treatment softened the flesh enough to make cutting and peeling less of an exercise in chopping and more like normal slicing. My sssssharp knife helped too!

    It proved to be a real crowd pleaser. Best of all, both man-cubs liked it and ate it right up.

    So, thanks again and know that I’ll be passing your tip along.

  255. 755
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    There’s a lot of factors involved in weight loss/ healthy/ ‘ideal’ (there is no such thing, but many sources use the term anyway; the closest anyone can come is to note that there’s a range of BMIs statistically associated with lower mortality/morbidity statistics than other ranges; I forget exactly what the range is, but it starts a ways above what’s classified as ‘underweight’ and ends about the midrange of what’s classified as ‘overweight.’ This seems to imply that those categories should be changed. (I know, BMI is a statistical tool and not necessarily relevant in individual cases. Nevertheless.)). Without knowing a bit more about your height and build, I would be unable to make any estimation regarding how your current weight might be treating you, although I will note that it’s a rare adult who’s doing well at 45kg; not impossible, but neither is it common. I’m painfully thin @63 Kg, and my weight concerns are exclusively related to not losing any more of it; I haven’t got any to spare. I’m also about 172 cm, though. L, at 157 cm, weighs in at 54 kg, and while he’s not skin and bones the way I am, he’s still on the slim side (these days; he has weighed above twice that in the past). So, I guess that what I’m saying is that from the sounds of it there is no earthly reason for you to work at losing weight at this time, and doing so might well be actively unhealthy. I don’t mean to preach, and your body is of course your own to do with as you will, but that’s my take, FWIW.

  256. 756

    When you must use a drill to prepare your “food”, you need to reconsider exactly what it means to be edible.

    Squashes are dumb oversized peas, albeit until peas, they do have some flavour (horrible) and texture (appalling). The mildly deranged penguin says bombarding horses with trebuchet-launched squashes is reasonably effective, provided you have earthmoving equipment handy to later collect the confused horses and stunned squashes.

  257. 757

    I have a favourite mug, too – well, two now, because one’s usually in the dishwasher, so I needed to settle with a spare, but I’m positive it just doesn’t taste the same in a different mug. And, in addition, there are at least 3 mugs that I actively avoid using. For no real reason.

    *hugs* and sorry I can’t really help out in a constructive manner.
    But I’m on your side, whichever side that may be!

  258. 758

    If the coffee doesn’t taste right in a certain mug, that simply means the mug isn’t growing enough of (or, in some case, the proper crop of) green fuzzy things.

    I prefer self-propelled mugs; that is, there is a dense forest of green (and purple and pink with the occasional orange) fuzzy things. With legs.

    However, there are two problems with green (and purple and pink with the occasional orange) fuzzy things propelled coffee mugs: First, yer never sure where the feck it is. Second, the coffee often refuses to go in, leading to LOUD arguments in the coffee room, which, it must be said, are often the most intellectually stimulating of the day. (Except when the coffee is a philosopher.)

  259. 759
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I am making chocolate-chip cookies, because today is a good day to eat chocolate-chip cookies.

    My apartment currently smells.

    Like popcorn.

  260. 760
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)


    all I have is hugs for you.

    I’m thinking about making cookies. Along with several DIY projects for which I don’t have the supplies

  261. 761

    Beatrice, I think that if you’re at a point where you think that thinking about your weight is taking up too much of your brainspace, and that if you think you’re being too hard on yourself, then that’s good enough reason to at minimum call an eating disorders hotline just to see what they say about it (or mention it to your own doctor if you have a good enough relationship). Some people have supertight control over their food and weight and it doesn’t bother their lives at all, and some people get sent into a tailspin of problems just noticing the nutritional label on something they’re eating. If what’s happening bothers you, listen to yourself and trust that it’s your brain sending out the first warning signal to you.

  262. 762

    I thought I was weird for having that feeling about objects,

    I think Steve Jobs built an empire on feeling those things about objects. :) I nearly cried when having to put a case on my shiny feely ipod because omg handfeel.

    I’m thinking about making cookies. Along with several DIY projects for which I don’t have the supplies

    Heh. All day now I’ve been saying I’m going to attempt a puff pastry to try to do something with all the blueberries I have. The recipe is still sitting forlornly on the table. It’s mocking me.

  263. 763
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Good point, carlie :) Hand-feel is important. …innuendo not intended.

    I’m considering making a purse out of an old casebook I got at a yardsale. I am normally loath to destroy books in any way, but this one caused so much misery in its day and is now obsolete but not valuable so I don’t feel so bad. :)

  264. 764
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Another thing I have to do today is address the fact that the downstairs neighbors still get their mail in my mailbox. That I went through a huge hassle to put up down the street. That I get my business mail in. That I am not okay with sharing. Ugh…conflict. They are always super nice and understanding, I just hate feeling like that uptight, persnickety person who always has a bone to pick. Sigh. Guess I’ll just have to be a grown up and use my words.

  265. 765

    If the coffee doesn’t taste right in a certain mug, that simply means the mug isn’t growing enough of (or, in some case, the proper crop of) green fuzzy things.

    I had a colleague once who refused to ever wash his mug, because it had a patina that he swore made it taste better.

    I’mma just drop this here. :) cheap fidgets

    I have this one. It’s amazing. I have had plastic tangles, and nubbly tangles, and nuh-uh. Heavy chrome all the way.

  266. 766

    I am making chocolate-chip cookies… My apartment currently smells. Like popcorn.

    Yer not doing it right. Even I can tell that, and I’m no baker.

    (Baking seems to require paying attention to the recipe. That concept is too weird for me to handle. Besides, I’ve never even seen a recipe calling for green fuzzy things, one of the essential ingredients, along with cheese, MUSHROOMS!, bacon, and garlic.)

  267. 767

    along with cheese, MUSHROOMS!, bacon, and garlic.)

    Throw in some egg noodles and cream of whatever soup, and you’ve got yourself a nice casserole. :)

  268. 768
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy


    I had a colleague once who refused to ever wash his mug, because it had a patina that he swore made it taste better

    I’m sure he was correct, for given values of taste better; assuming that the discussion is still about coffee, said patina is probably the oils from the beans clinging to the cup, and then getting mixed into the next batch as he pours it in, adding flavor. Mind, the flavor in question is pretty bitter, but some folks like that sort of thing. Also, if he’s pouring hot coffee in there on a daily basis, that’ll probably stop anything nasty growing there.

  269. 769
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The cookies are out the oven.

    They taste great.

    And not at all like popcorn.

  270. 770

    The cookies are out the oven. They taste great. And not at all like popcorn.

    Yeah, but what do they taste of?

  271. 771

    Yay cookies!

  272. 772
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    What the heck??!

    Almost every time I try to leave a comment at Lousy Canuck my comment is ‘held in moderation’…

  273. 773
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Waltons duck pics are cute.
    I miss feeding the ducks at one of my prior jobs. Tossing crackers to them at 3 am is much fun. Especially when they have been asleep. Watching them wake up, take off and skid across the water is awesome.

  274. 774
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    If the coffee doesnt smell right, toss it and make cocoa or cider. Coffee is more evil than Dr Evil.

    For some reason, I want to watch The Incredibles…and Iron Giant…and Alien 3

  275. 775
    Crudely Wrott

    blf sez:

    When you must use a drill to prepare your “food”, you need to reconsider exactly what it means to be edible.

    Ahh, I see your difficulty. It was not necessary to drill the food. It was, however, most expedient and, seeing as I have a wide selection of very long and very sharp drill bits close at hand, why, it was the very thing. Though, next time, I’ll use one of lesser diameter and thereby save more of the tasty food.

    The techniques I applied in preparing the squash not only persuaded it to stop being hard as masonry but also tricked it into tasting like . . . like . . . well, like something man-cubs consume with self admitted gusto.

    Expediency and minced ginger root — no kitchen should be without them!

  276. 776

    The techniques I applied … tricked it into tasting like . . . like . . . well, like something man-cubs consume with self admitted gusto.

    Like Crunchy Frog.

  277. 777
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    THanks for the comments. As I went out with the friend, she told me that her parents commented on my looking very thin when they were looking at the photos from our trip last weekend.

    I’ve gotten a lot of comments about my weight lately, and I noticed that I’m stepping on the scale almost every day compared to remembering to weigh myself every couple of months. So yeah, it all got me a bit worried.
    I’ll have to think about this.

    Dalillama, you weren’t preaching. I very much appreciate your take on this as well as others’.

  278. 778
    Crudely Wrott

    Like Crunchy Frog.

    Now you have me at a disadvantage for, you see, my computer is now running in Safe Mode (due to, apparently, some internal disagreement between some quantum devices so there’s no telling what or why or even if there is an argument never mind a solution) and will not operate the AV equipment in a satisfactory way.

    Now, had you referred to a Firesign Theatre bit I would probably gotten the reference . . .

    Pardon, but do you have a recipe for this “Crunchy Frog” and does it require that cheese that goats don’t eat?

  279. 779

    For the youtube imparied:
    - “We use only the finest baby frogs, dew-picked and flown in from Iraq, cleansed in the finest quality spring-water, lightly killed and then sealed in a succulent, Swiss quintuple-smooth, triple cream milk chocolate envelope and lovingly frosted with glucose.”

    - “Don’t you even take the bones out?”

    - “If we took the bones out, it wouldn’t be crunchy, would it?”

  280. 780
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Yeah, but what do they taste of?

    Chocolate chip cookiness.

  281. 781

    Beatrice, I’m glad you’re monitoring your situation. It’s a huge good thing that you noticed and are concerned about it, even though it may not be a problem developing.

    Puff pastry: failed. It’s a nice flaky crust, but puff it ain’t.

    Now trying to dry mint. I don’t use it much in cooking, and never liked straight mint tea, but I’ve come to notice as I’m aging that it really is good added to other teas, especially for stomach calming. Trying to capture some of the abundance of summer. It’s too humid to air-dry, so attempting an oven method. I’ve read about doing it in the microwave too, but I’m not so sure about that. I got a food dehydrator when there was a perfect storm of “OMG these dried root vegetable slices I just tried are so tasty” mixed at the same time with “cheap food dehydrator went on clearance at the store”, so maybe I can try doing it that way too.

  282. 782
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    So, I have 6, 2-cup, tupperwares partially filled with blackberries that are past their prime and of which an inordinate number, though not the totality, appear to have no sweetness to them at all (hence the first half of the statement). Any suggestions for a relatively easy recipe to do something with them?

  283. 783
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Here’s a pretty simple recipe for blackberry cobbler.

  284. 784

    Azkyroth – if you have freezer space, freezer jam is a good idea. It adds a lot of sugar, so the sweetness thing wouldn’t be an issue, and doesn’t require the cooking and sterilization and stuff of normal canning. The pectin might not be necessary if you have some unripe ones in there.

  285. 785
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    So the grenade thread looks to be dying down. An interesting conversation is going on over there but it is probably OT, so I thought to shift it here.
    Why is the term “panties” icky?

  286. 786

    It’s forecast to be a clear night. I’m only a half hour from an area mapped as really good in terms of low light levels on light pollution maps, and there’s a tractor dealer right on the main road there where I could park and watch the Perseids later. But…

    I’m not. Because I’d be going by myself, and I just can’t shake the “you shouldn’t be out at night in the middle of nowhere alone because you’re a GIRL and bad things will happen and it will be your fault” mantra. I wouldn’t last long enough for my eyes to adjust properly, never mind long enough to watch for awhile. And god forbid I attract the attention of the local police, because that would freak me the fuck out. Maybe I’ll try my backyard, or drive a few minutes to a nearby campus to see if that’s a little better.

  287. 787

    Why is the term “panties” icky?

    I associate it with little girls. Like little little, like ruffly-bottomed toddler bottoms. So I see its use towards women as infantilizing and demeaning and gross in a pedophilic kind of way.

  288. 788

    Getting close enough to the tree to harvest the cheese is exceptionally dangerous, and there are many legends of heros attempting the feat.

    For example, straight out of classical Greek mythology, we have the story of Jason and the Golden Cheese.
    *applause* for Beatrice’s dad.

    Also, yesterday, I went to see some showjumping with Real Horses (so pretty!) and tried some archery on the side.

    Jumping Horses do make pretty fair subjects for target practice.
    Blackberries are yummy.
    So. Sleepy.

  289. 789
    WMDKitty -- Survivor
    Why is the term “panties” icky?

    I associate it with little girls. Like little little, like ruffly-bottomed toddler bottoms. So I see its use towards women as infantilizing and demeaning and gross in a pedophilic kind of way.

    Makes sense.

    On the other paw, “panties” is a nice, two-syllable word. What can we replace it with that isn’t either bulkier or equally infantilising/cutesy?

  290. 790

    I am normally loath to destroy books in any way, but this one caused so much misery in its day and is now obsolete but not valuable so I don’t feel so bad. :)

    I have a librarian friend who is ruthless about dealing with old books that are in that category. DUMPSTER, unless they can be upcycled. Books can be a huge burden (literally!) and aren’t sacred in any way in and of themselves.

    I think I’ll go out to a nearby space where I feel pretty safe and it’s kind of dark to see if I can see meteors. Now to keep myself up late enough…

  291. 791
    morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor

    Ha! Crudely, I have nearly every kitchen implement known to mankind but I’ve never employed the power drill for culinary purposes. Well done! I’m glad the squash was a success. With your and Horde’s indulgence I’ll probably be posting other gustatory tips and such. The kitchen is my decompression chamber and I’m pretty good at producing tasty things, if I do say so myself.

  292. 792
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    Aussie colloquial slang for underwear:
    under-chunders (uncommon)

    and knickers, for lady undies, which I don’t personally like. Undies is the normal usage.

  293. 793
    chigau (違う)

    ooh meteors!
    soo tired…

  294. 794
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)


    To me, the flakiness is the best part :) Hope for better results next time, if you want them.

    Never heard of freezer jam, but it might be just my speed, thanks for the link.

    I probably do have an over-developed reverence for books, and it’s probably a “feel” thing again. I also hate to ever toss anything out. I think that part is partly from growing up (and still being, heck) poor and getting every bit of use out of something. Which is, I guess, what upcycling is all about. My next thing will be: this. A friend bought a house full of lots of junk and let me scavenge tonight, and I found a piece of plywood that seems perfect. Now I’ll just have to figure out how to hang it on my ancient plaster/stucco-style walls that resist anything on the surface or driven in. We’ll see, but I’m excited at the prospect. And when I mention it to people, everyone has old law books that need repurposing. Huzzah!

  295. 795
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh, and sorry you’re missing the light show in the sky. Stupid societal conditioning :(

  296. 796
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    And I am in moderation at Ophelias. Bizarre. I almost always comment from my phone. I never have problems at Dispatches and I just posted at Maryams for the first time in over a year and my comment went through immediately.


    Thanks to NateHevens I learned Raisin Juice is a thing.

  297. 797
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Now to keep myself up late enough…

    I have some creepypasta to recommend.. :P

    Here’s a pretty simple recipe for blackberry cobbler.

    Ooh. I maeks. :3

    Tweaked it a little. Can tell I’ll have to tweak it more next time, but it’s promising so far :)

  298. 798

    *boggle* I have been trying to figure out making a headboard. Is that a freestanding or stuck to the wall? I need a freestanding kind (that can be attached to the bed).

    Tried driving around looking for a place, turned out skies were cloudy anyway. :(

  299. 799
    Crudely Wrott

    LykeX, thanks for the transcript. That was funny. Reminds me a bit of Firesign’s bit about everything from soup to nuts.

    During your stay here we will be having everything from soup to nuts. Tonight we are having mushroom soup and beetle nuts. Here, have some grubs. They are very tender baby worms cooked in holy corn oil. That’s oil from the corns of holy men. Known in your country as polyunsaturated ghee!

    Hey, Morgan. Like I posted above in reply to blf, the drill was expedient. The squash was very hard and the bit was new and quite clean. Zip, zip. Done deal. No slippage or blood letting at all.
    I’m looking forward to your kitchen tips. Since I’ve got extra time these days and the man-cubs need to be fed regularly I’m seeing more kitchen time than usual. Plus it saves the money making adults from having to segue from work to kitchen without a break in between.

  300. 800
    Crudely Wrott

    Carlie, I can give you some help concerning your headboard. I need to have a description of the frame under your bed. Particularly a description of the corners. Also whether it is wood or steel. Many bed frames have some sort of attachment point specifically to fasten a headboard to. Usually a foot board as well. I’ll be back here in the Lounge tomorrow so maybe we can synch up and accomplish something. OK?

    I am a jinx when it comes to meteor showers. It has been a good twenty years since I, clear skies and a named meteor shower have been in the same place at the same time. Right now there is a large, slow moving thunderstorm overhead. Rats! I really wanted the man-cubs to watch with me. Well, there is at least one more night . . . one more forlorn hope.

    At least I saw one Perseid Friday morning at about 3am. Interestingly, it was followed about a half minute later by an apparent Earth grazer (quite bright) traveling from south to north — directly toward the Perseid radiant.

    Carlie, I’ll look for you in about eight hours or so from now. Hopefully you won’t be obscured by clouds. ;^>

  301. 801
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    As an ex-professional destroyer of books, I can slaughter hundreds of paperbacks with nary a tear, sleep like a baby, and get up to do it all again the next day. Mind you, I’ve got a dozen or so boxes of my own books slowly compressing into coal out in the shed. Books that I shipped all the way to the other side of the world because I couldn’t bear to cull them. Hypocrisy: not just for the religious anymore. ;)

  302. 802

    “Swedish men warned of crotch-chomping fish” http://www.thelocal.se/49558/20130809/

    Comment to sexual molestation thread: Fill a swimming pool with these. Then throw in the *ssholes.

  303. 803

    “I am a jinx when it comes to meteor showers. It has been a good twenty years since I, clear skies and a named meteor shower have been in the same place at the same time.”

    — — — — — — — — — — — —
    “I’ve never employed the power drill for culinary purposes”

    For smaller prey, I first paralyse them with venom and then inject them with digestive juices so I can ingest liquid food directly from the source. Since humans often have a “shielding” of thick layers of fat , I have found it conveinent to use a power drill on occasion.
    — — — — — — — — — — — —
    Norway’s Prime Minister Spends Afternoon Working as Taxi Driver to Hear From Voters http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/08/11/jens_stoltenberg_norway_s_prime_minister_works_as_taxi_driver_for_afternoon.html
    I don’t see many DC politicians trying this…

  304. 804

    Would rq and other fellow/former Canadians be really ticked at me for ….er…uh… praying that this is true*? :

    Oh, the irony… an ineligible Republican? Nawww… couldn’t be… THEY are always above board…… [/delusion]

    * I really, really DON”T wish that dishonest/ self-hating/ ‘race-traitor’/ publicity hound on anyone.

  305. 805
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    anyone noticed today’s google doodle?

  306. 806

    Beatrice :
    Notice it? Not until you mentioned it. Thanks.

  307. 807
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    So I’m back from a wonderful weekend, and I’m happy to say that the 48+ hour stress test with my girlfriend went along swimmingly.

  308. 808
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    The instructions recommend attaching to the wall, but perhaps with Crudely’s help you can figure something out. Good luck :)

  309. 809

    Thanks, Crudely. It’s a typical metal frame with the slots to attach a headboard to – I think it’s just a matter of a couple of posts and a big piece of plywood, but I worry about my skills combined with something that could easily fall on my head in the night if I do it wrong… ;)

  310. 810

    It isn’t a huge deal, but I’ve noticed that mold is growing on the wall in the winters because of the bed being pushed right up to the wall and impeding air circulation there, so I want to pull the bed out from the wall a ways and yet not lose the pillows in the night.

    Yay KevinKat!

  311. 811
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Hooray KevinKat! :D

    carlie: Lots of glue! :D On the plus side, book covers aren’t heavy if they fall on your head (if that’s what you meant).

  312. 812
    PZ Myers


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