Why would any parent do this? »« An important historical question!


  1. says

    General *hugs*, esp to Crudely

    I really hate job-hunting, the more so when it seems to accomplish exactly nothing. It takes more energy every day to even bother to try, because I can’t really make myself believe that it will do any good. I’m at the end of my tether here, I just don’t know what the fuck I’m supposed to be doing. I’m sick of stupid fucking ‘personality tests’, I’m sick of trying guess what arbitrary answer has been decreed to be correct to the nonsensical questions the interviewers ask, I’m sick of trying to justify applying to the minimum wage retail monkey jobs that ask me why I want to work for their shithead company. I want a fucking paycheck, what the fuck do you assholes think? That my ambition since I was young was to spend my time being harrassed by assholes while running a machine that could just as well run itself? Seriously, where the fuck to these shitheads get off?

    Sorry to whine, it just really gets to me sometimes.

  2. says


    I use a very simple plant taxonomy, best illustrated by my clear classification of all flowers into a dozen or so easy groups: there are reds, yellows, greens – a LOT of plants are in this one – blues, purples, whites, blacks, teals, oranges…

    My animal taxonomy is somewhat less complex. Birds, fish, doggies, kitties, little critters, bugs, scalies, big critters, scary critters, and turtles. It suits well enough, though I’m sure I misclassify many things. :)

    Happy Loungerey!

  3. Portia, in absentia says

    Dalillama – don’t be sorry – I’m really sorry it’s so frustrating and sucky. : ( Adds insult to the injury of needing to do it in the first place. *hugs*

  4. cicely says

    Re Vehicular Madness, The Husband has the manual, and does the maintainence, to the degree that on-going cash-flow allows. Didn’t prevent the current Ugly Surprise…which we suspect the mechanics shop of facilitating; there is a suspicious similarity to difficulties that some others have experienced with this particular establishment. Would have been nice to have known this in advance; the Alleged Car coulda been towed further, to a different shop.
    But today, I am deliberately not dwelling on it, or on napalm!, or gasoline, or matches…or the need for Plausible Deniability….

    University of Florida quarterback is accused of rape. The family of the accuser in the rape case of Florida State quarterback and Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston said police warned her attorney that Tallahassee is a “big football town” and her life could be miserable if she pursued the case.

    Again…and again…and again.
    Nothing wrong with Sports Culture, nope, nope, nope….
    *hugs* for Dalillama.
    Wish I could help.

  5. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    So…the Senate just voted to ban filibusters for any appointee to federal office in the executive branch, and any judicial nominee of rank lesser than that of the Supreme Court.


  6. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Esteleth – Huge news!

    Some reason prevailed?

    Naw, probably just political calculation, but still – at this point I don’t care about the reason that they did it. If they can’t be trusted to use the filibuster responsibly, then taking it away is more than reasonable.

  7. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I sympathize with your difficulties. When I got back from the Peace Corps in 1991, I was facing one of the toughest job markets for PhD physicists in memory. Not only had peace broken out and gutted gummint spending on science, the Soviet Union had collapsed and world class Russian physicists were competing for liberal arts college teaching positions in the US. I spent 6 months sending out resumes into the maw of the black hole that was the job market all the while knowing that a person who does Peace Corps after he gets his PhD is liable to be a flake. I was fortunate enough to get a part-time teaching job at my old University (I was back to being a glorified teaching assistant), and that paid the bills. However it was really depressing sending off all those CVs and never even getting an acknowledgement back.

    In the 6th month, I got a job offer for the next fall–not great pay, but a job at least. I would be teaching physics in the Appalachians, and my Peace Corps experience was the thing that got me the job. Then I got 2 other offers in rapid succession that I had to turn down.

    I don’t have much advice other than to try to find out as much about the company you are applying to as you can and if you can find out anything about the hiring manager, try to do that, too. It’s buzzword bingo, and people like having quoted back to them what they’ve already said. Hang in there.

  8. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    OK, I’ll tell my wife to start working on the honey-do list for the gummint shutdown in January. Things are gonna get ugly in Congress now.

  9. says

    I don’t have much advice other than to try to find out as much about the company you are applying to as you can and if you can find out anything about the hiring manager, try to do that, too. It’s buzzword bingo, and people like having quoted back to them what they’ve already said. Hang in there.

    How? Most of the outfits that advertise on Craigslist don’t say what the company is, let alone who the hiring manager is or how to find out what they’ve said. Even when I can identify the company, there’s often no way to find out who might theoretically be involved in hiring, let alone what they’ve said.

  10. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    rape, for the prosecutor to even bother.

    No, no rape culture there.

    Esteleth @7:

    So…the Senate just voted to ban filibusters for any appointee to federal office in the executive branch, and any judicial nominee of rank lesser than that of the Supreme Court.

    Cue the right wing noise machine screaming about Obama’s dictatorship.

    Or equivalent.

    a_ray @10:

    OK, I’ll tell my wife to start working on the honey-do list for the gummint shutdown in January. Things are gonna get ugly in Congress now.

    Didn’t even think of it that way. This is going to get uglier.

  11. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    Shit. I fucked up the copypasta. All hail Tpyos and hir accolyte Copypasta!

    cicely @6

    Again…and again…and again.
    Nothing wrong with Sports Culture, nope, nope, nope….

    Listened to a laywer on a radio show (ESPN) and he kept harping on the idea that if the physical exam at the hospital, when they did the rape kit, showed physical trauma or injury, then the prosecutor would treat it as a rape. And if there was no trauma or injury, he doubted the prosecutor would indight. I guess she would have to be the right kind of rape victim, a survivor of the right kind of rape, for the prosecutor to even bother.

    No, no rape culture there.

    Esteleth @7:

    So…the Senate just voted to ban filibusters for any appointee to federal office in the executive branch, and any judicial nominee of rank lesser than that of the Supreme Court.

    Cue the right wing noise machine screaming about Obama’s dictatorship.

    Or equivalent.

    a_ray @10:

    OK, I’ll tell my wife to start working on the honey-do list for the gummint shutdown in January. Things are gonna get ugly in Congress now.

    Didn’t even think of it that way. This is going to get uglier.

  12. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says


    At my work, we almost, one year, released a site bulletin in which one of the tours was listed as “Coupling Demonstration” (coupling and uncoupling locomotives and cars). We caught it just in time. It became ‘Switching Demonstration.”

  13. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Sometimes the ad itself may give some clues–but you are right, usually you don’t have much to go on with Craig’s list. What kinds of jobs are you looking for? Is there another source of ads you can draw from that might yield more info? If you can at least identify the company, what other positions are they advertising for? If you can look at multiple sources of ads, can you find the same job in both sources and compare the ads. Any information you can get might give you a leg up. Other than that, you are sort of stuck trying to make your resume and/or cover letter stand out from what is likely a big pile, and that is difficult. The main thing is not to despair–a tall order–but remember, it’s not YOU being rejected. These people don’t know you. They’re just sorting through a hundred or so resumes until their vision blurs. You just have to get your foot in the door, and then they can get to know you.

  14. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    First, this is me, loving you.


    he doubted the prosecutor would indight.

    ummm. this is me, celebrating your offering to Tpyos with your interesting spelling of indict.

    Remember that in courts, the syllable starting with “D” and rhyming with “byte” is pretty much guaranteed to be based off the latin for speaking or declaring – that also gives us interdict, contradict, etc.


    “Coupling Demonstration” (coupling and uncoupling locomotives and cars). We caught it just in time. It became ‘Switching Demonstration.”

    which, fortunately, isn’t awkward at all, since no one in their right mind could associate “switching” with sex. Unless you’re trying to distinguish it from “caning” by the flexibility of your impactor.

  15. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Good luck with the job search! I hope you find something soon.

  16. says

    So I kind of just busted my dad for blowing past our internet usage limit. Cross referenced NetLimiters times for high Firefox bandwidth usage with the Firefox browsing history, and found a sea of porn site entries.

    My mom wouldn’t mind too much the porn watching, but sending our internet from 10mbps to a nominal 512kbps(and realistically much slower) with it is probably not going to go over well.

    At least I’ve got conclusive data showing where our usage limit is going, and it’s not on my computer and I’m often not even home when this is going on. There are some limitations to how well I can pin down how much bandwidth is used on each site, but it’s looking like 2-4GB on porn on that computer over this billing period. This is in the same range of what I take up for *all* of my internet usage, and some of mine goes over my cell phone(latency is much better over 3G than satellite).

  17. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    Crip Dyke @20:

    Damn. I knew indict would get me. I even meatn to spell check it before I copypasta’d. Fail again :)!

    And no, no S&M involved with the switching demonstration. Just trains. Sorry to disappoitn.

  18. brett says

    “Would you kindly open the discussion thread?”

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    In good political news, most of the filibuster is dead now – and I assume the rest of it will die if or when we get Republicans in control of the Senate. That might mean some awful stuff if we get a Republican Congress and Presidency in 2017 (imagine a late-term abortion ban passed along party lines), but it also needed to happen. In an era of extremely partisan government, all the filibuster does is make completely impossible for anyone to govern effectively.

    More personally, I’m feeling the ennui again. I was feeling slightly excited about the prospect of taking some upper-division course and maybe trying to get into some research to see if I wanted to go to Economics Grad School, but now I’m just feeling extremely hard to get motivated. Do I really want to give up my job for this? It’s full-time and fairly low paying, but with regular hours, benefits, and not hard work. But I’m going nowhere here, and I’m already in my late twenties.

  19. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    brrett @23:

    all the filibuster does is make completely impossible for anyone to govern effectively.

    To the GOP, that is a feature, not a bug. The GOP campaigns on the idea of government incompetence and then, every chance they get, through funding cuts, bizarre tax breaks, creating debt, and outright obstructionism, they show that the government is incompetent. Which it is anytime that the GOP gets any input at all.

  20. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Damn. I wish there was something more than offer support my friend. ::Hugs::


    I feel you on the ennui.
    The current job I have is one of the lowest paying ones I have had in over a decade, and it is far from the most stimulating environment, but it provides a steady paycheck, which has been helpful.
    Hopefully your boredom will fade soon.

  21. says


    What kinds of jobs are you looking for?

    The kind that pays me money.

    Is there another source of ads you can draw from that might yield more info?

    Not really, no. The newspaper ads are no better on that front.

    If you can at least identify the company, what other positions are they advertising for?

    Who gives a shit?

    If you can look at multiple sources of ads, can you find the same job in both sources and compare the ads.


    Other than that, … can get to know you.

    Really, really not helping with this crap, mate. Every stupid fucking seminar I’m required to attend to keep such minimal so-called benefits as I do get is full of this same bullshit, but never accompanied by statements of what to do to ‘make your resume stand out’ or whatever the fuck.

  22. Pteryxx says

    leaving a note here for rrede – mind if I drop you an email? Mine’s my nym at the g mail thingy.

  23. Pteryxx says

    and while I’m here, butting into the jobs conversation, ‘get to know the managers’ and such these days really is code for ‘go through informal networks of People You Know’ and not just sending cold resumes. I’m not sure there IS a way to make a resume “stand out” as a positive thing and not just avoiding all the often discriminatory reasons to cull (such as having a non-white name).

  24. says

    and while I’m here, butting into the jobs conversation, ‘get to know the managers’ and such these days really is code for ‘go through informal networks of People You Know’ and not just sending cold resumes.

    And unfortunately, such informal networks as I have don’t seem to include any hiring managers, HR drones, or similar. In fact, it pretty much includes 1) people who work for a company that previously fired me, 2) people who haven’t got jobs either, and 3) people who don’t live within 500 miles of me, and therefore couldn’t help even if they did have a job opening in the company they work for.

  25. Pteryxx says

    anyway, Dalillama, for what it’s worth it isn’t you – job-searching is a grinding, soul-crushing experience and about all I can suggest is to take as much self-care as you can. And you’re right – the required job-training seminars are just there to crap on aid recipients.

    I was trying to find advice on streamlining resumes to get them through automated searches and resume mills such as most of these ad sources will use, but you probably know that already and maybe sympathies are more important right now. I hear you.

  26. Pteryxx says

    also I’d guess the HR drones or hiring managers aren’t making the decisions either – someone else in the company makes a suggestion that goes right past HR, maybe with HR called in after the fact to rubber-stamp the hiring. Meaning even knowing *an HR person* wouldn’t do any good unless you were looking for a job *in HR itself*.

  27. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I understand your frustration and I am sorry to not be more helpful. The reason why most seminars don’t tell you how to make your resume pop out of a stack is because it is really hard to do, and if you could reduce it to a recipe, then everyone would do it and then no resume would stand out any more. That is why I suggested trying to find out about the places you were applying.

    I wish I could help more, but you are trying to find a job in a really shitty job market. All I can suggest is that you keep that in mind and try not to take the rejection personally. It is not you that is the problem.

  28. Pteryxx says

    heck, one of the suggestions I just found online was basically to try anything. That’s … encouraging? srsly?

    * Do The Not So Obvious. If you’ve sent out hundreds of resumes already, and aren’t getting any responses, do something different. Put a picture of yourself up on the top right hand corner. Change your resume color to a green back ground. Make your objective statement a prediction on who will win the Super Bowl and why? Then parlay that with a follow up interview if your prediction holds true. If you aren’t getting any call backs, you have nothing to lose. I guarantee you that if you do any one of the following things above, you will stand out and get the recruiter’s attention.

    from http://www.financialsamurai.com/2011/02/08/examples-of-good-resumes/

  29. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I guarantee you that if you do any one of the following things above, you will stand out and get the recruiter’s attention.

    Sending a naked picture of yourself kissing a fish would get recruiter’s attention. Not necessarily in a hiring-consideration kind of way.

  30. opposablethumbs says

    Fuck, Dalillama, I am so sorry. That has to be just about one of the hardest things there is – constantly having to pretend each damn job is special and unique somehow, when everybody knows it’s just a dance you have to do. I hope you take every chance you get to give yourself a treat, a moment of respite, a moment to remember that people who know you – say, in the case of the Horde, people who have had the chance to read you – admire your integrity, intelligence and compassion, your capacity for analysis, your lucidity and your eloquence.
    Good luck wishes and hugs.

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


    following things above

    maybe financial samurai could open up a job position: editor!

  32. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Pteryxx and Dalillama,
    I think that one of the problems a lot of people have is that companies have such a short fuse on hiring decisions that there is very little time to do any research to tailor the resume, etc. It is definitely tougher now than when I was looking 20 years ago–however the jobs I was competing for didn’t need to hire for months after I applied.

    The advice Pteryxx found might not be terrible–a hiring manager might at least remember a pop-up resume.

    I am very sorry you are having to go through this, Dalillama. You do deserve better.

  33. rq says

    Sending a naked picture of yourself kissing a fish would get recruiter’s attention.

    On a green background, don’t forget. :P


    Mall roof collapse in the city. 4 dead (incl. one firefighter doing rescue work), 50 still trapped. No medics allowed inside because there’s too much rubble to clear away. Bad building – overloaded the roof. And that’s where corruption in the construction sector will get you: cheap and rushed never saved/spared any lives.

  34. says

    I ran across this story only this week, though it’s two months old. A search of FTB didn’t turn up anyone talking about it, so….

    Scientists in Europe may have proven a link between left handedness and genetics. As one who grew up with religious bigots (parents and teachers) who tried to “correct” kids like myself, this story made me pump my fists in the air. I’ve got students who are still putting up with that garbage today, in 2013.


    Genes linked to being right or left handed identified

    A genetic study has identified a biological process that influences whether we are right handed or left handed.

    Scientists at the Universities of Oxford, St Andrews, Bristol and the Max Plank Institute in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, found correlations between handedness and a network of genes involved in establishing left-right asymmetry in developing embryos.

    ‘The genes are involved in the biological process through which an early embryo moves on from being a round ball of cells and becomes a growing organism with an established left and right side,’ explained first author William Brandler, a PhD student in the MRC Functional Genomics Unit at Oxford University.

    The researchers suggest that the genes may also help establish left-right differences in the brain, which in turn influences handedness.

    They report their findings in the open-access journal PLOS Genetics.

  35. thunk: she'd rather be on a train says

    rq: yowch.

    dalillama: I sympathize. that must be horrible.

    leftover1under: I am told I was one of those people who was “corrected”. I guess it worked. around 2000, with irreligious bigots, even.

    also I’m slowly getting less freaked out with myself, but it’s draining a lot of my mental resources. yeesh. transitioning is hard.

  36. says

    thunk: transitioning is hard.

    It is indeed. Empathy and the usual bent and wobbly hugs offered. If you think there’s something I might be able to help with personally, don’t be afraid to e-mail me. I’m badly behind on my fullmetalfeminist e-mail (well, the account associated with that blog, which has a different name), but if you have something more urgent, get hold cave of me at the babe e-mail scattered in bold in 21 this sentence, at the mail-thing that the Goog provides. I even happen to have unlimited NAm long distance calling, if telephonic communication is more to your taste.

    I hope you can find a path that’s comfortable for you soon. After the initial burst of AGH wears off, it can be kinda euphoric to get to be yourself in public for a lot of people, so at least there may be some up-points on the way through.

  37. says

    Oklahoma anti-gay Republicans are going to show gay couples just how much they are hated.

    The Pentagon has ordered national guard facilities nationwide to extend equal treatment to married couples in the U.S. military – including same-sex married couples – and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave them a Dec. 1 deadline to comply.

    While most states have gladly gone along – because, really, what kind of governor wants to deny active-duty military personnel equal treatment, especially during a war? – there are a handful of far-right, red-state governors who continue to resist the order, citing their state’s anti-gay policies.

    As Rachel noted on the show last night, Oklahoma’s Republican governor has taken this position to its logical extreme.

    Oklahoma will stop processing all military spouse benefit applications at state-owned National Guard facilities rather than begin accepting the applications from same-sex spouses, Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday. …


    Tulsa World link.

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Strange evening here at Casa la Pelirroja. I’m finally cooking the meatloaf that has been expected from the weekend, but the Redhead never grasped the concept that an hour cook time doesn’t mean an hour from the time you start to peel the onions….. Two hours of prep time prior to insertion into the oven–for an hour cook time (no wonder dinner was so late so often).

    Tomorrow is an Opera, so the neighbor just arrived to rebraid the Redhead’s hair. Just as I was heating some plan-overs to feed us before bed time, when the meatloaf, and after the purchase supplies baked potatoes were requested (ordered), and acorn squash also added thankfully before I could get to the store.

    Since the Opera tomorrow night gives me a free evening, I plan to do some shopping for an HDTV for Operation Apple TV, where I stop compiling DVDs, and start streaming the TV shows. But, Comcast is involved somewhere for a new decoder box downstairs. Had to make sure he proper inputs will be available for all boxes to apply the old KISftR principle (Keep It Simple for the Redhead). I’ll gladly pay a premium not to have to appear on Black Friday for a discount….

  39. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Hello folks.

    I’ll just leave my portmanteau of varihugs over here on the sideboard for those who need them.

    When last I ventured into the lounge I begged for some restorative beauty from you all. What I got helped spectacularly. Thank you all so much.

  40. carlie says

    FossilFishy! I hope you’re getting adequately ambulatory, and that all of the seismic activity going on in your life has calmed down somewhat.

  41. rrede says

    Pteryxx : email would be fine–I log in over here under my yahoo account — not sure it shows up in my nym, but will also drop you an email!

  42. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks for that carlie. Yeah, things are okay at the moment. Well, other than Ms. Fishy getting a $20,000 tax bill on a Canadian pension she cashed in when we moved here six fucking years ago. She’s fighting it, but if that fails it’s going to eat all up what’s left of my inheritance. Ah well, easy come, easy go.

    I did get around $500 from in insurance policy my grandmother took out on my mother in 1948?! I’ve decided to hell with our debts and whatnot and I’m going to use it to buy myself something nice.

    Here’s what you can do with it, if, er, you’re someone with more talent than me. ;)

    Two days ago my physio kicked my ass, metaphorically. When I pointed out how I hated the walk of shame from the waiting room to the treatment room she pointed out that I’d started out fine and was now shambling* a mere 30 seconds later. Doh! We went over what I was doing and what I should be doing and then she made me walk in front of another physio. Ah well, all that negative attention has got me focused on re-learning the art of smooth bipedal motion.

    Anyway, enough self-referential whinging.

    How are you?
    *I’m pretty sure that was the technical term she used.

  43. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    good to read you FossilFishy. Hope your wife is able to beat that 20 K tax bill.

  44. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Hey Dalillama!

    I’m sorry to hear about your job hunting woes.

    I used to hire for the bookstore I managed. I started to write a long thing about what I looked for but I suspect that all that stuff is basic enough that you’ve heard it before. And I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re sick of getting unsolicited advice.

    If you’re curious as to what it’s like on the other side of this process I’d be glad to talk about it, keeping in mind that I was completely on my own. It was a small, family owned company with no HR department. All I had to do was justify my choice to the owners, which only happened rarely.

  45. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks Tony. Either way, we’ve got it covered. Good thing I don’t believe in fate, ’cause it would wreck me to believe that my mother died so we could pay this bill.

    I may not have been around much in the typing sorta way, but I’ve been lurking off and on. I have to say that you’re impressing me more and more as the time goes by Tony.

  46. thunk: she'd rather be on a train says


    yeesh. “for his own safety?” that makes no sense. you don’t protect people by tasering them.

  47. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    What the everlovin’ fuck?
    Trigger Warning:

    Nothing screams white-girl problems louder than a good old-fashioned eating disorder.* But they’re more than that. Eating disorders have been—quite appropriately—declared a luxury reserved for only the most privileged members of the female race. In other words, the presence of one of the classic eating disorders is a reliable predictor of various socio-economic, cultural, and personality traits in a young woman–features that, in the end, are desirable to today’s American man. In a world where the “retail price” on the typical Western woman continues to skyrocket—while their quality continues its precipitous decline—there are some real gems to be found in the bargain bin.

    Retail price?
    Declining quality?
    These women are human beings you douchecannon! They are not objects…things…with a price. Fuck you.
    And whats up with “female race”?

    That is only the intro paragraph to an article that I will not link to, as it is misogynistic, MRA crap (www.returnofkings.com/21313/5-reasons-to-date-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder). Thankfully it is getting pushback, according to AlterNet.

    True to form though, the publisher of this online tripe played the Freeze Peach card:

    Was Tuthmosis’ article offensive? Was it tasteless? Not to me and not to the bulk of our male readership. It is not our job as a men’s publication to ensure everything we write does not offend 7 billion human beings on this planet, so there is no legitimate reason to remove the article, and those who are calling for it to be removed should instead visit the graves of America’s great founders and speak into the ground about why they don’t believe in free speech simply because their feelings have been hurt by mere words. As a staunch believer in free speech, I will do all I can to make sure ROK contributors like Tuthmosis can share their opinions and experiences freely, especially when it does not advocate for violence or breaking the law.


    Who is the publisher?
    The name may sound familiar.
    Excuse me while I go puke.

  48. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    FossilFishy in The Lounge & Theophontes from Thunderdome:

    While I am not entirely certain what I have done that has impressed either of you, the compliments are appreciated.

    (crossposted to the Dome)

  49. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I wish I could point to one thing Tony, but it’s more the way in which you engage in arguments as a whole. Your ability to express yourself clearly with reason and evidence without sacrificing passion seems to me to be growing in leaps and bounds. Perhaps that seeming growth is an artifact of my inattention, but even so the fact remains that your posts of late rock.

  50. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I think I am becoming a strident, militant progressive atheist. Last week I had the discussion with a former friend about oppressed people speaking up.
    Now I am chatting with another friend who thinks some psychics have to be real, that not everything can be proven scientifically and that you have to take some things on faith. My response was cordial, but blunt and honest.

  51. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony! #57:

    that is a case in FossilFishy’s #56 point.

  52. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Oh hell, now that I’m done embarrassing Tony I shall move on to Crip Dyke. :)

    You are one of those Hordians who makes me wonder what I’ve been doing with my life. Not in a bad way mind, in a “Wow, I never considered that!” kinda way. Thank you so much for contributing to the expansion of my world view Crip Dyke, that view is so much better with a broad horizon.

  53. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I’d be seriously getting my coat if it wasn’t a warm spring evening here. It’s time to go do all the pre-schooler rituals that ensure a peaceful* transition to sleep. Night all.

    *Yeah right, random moods are random.

  54. chigau (違う) says

    (first. *hugs*)

    right now
    -15°C snowing, 15cm predicted

    predicted for Saturday
    +6°C sunny

    Don’t you wish you were here?

  55. says

    Thank you FossilFishy.
    I am in agreement with you about Crip Dyke.

    It is so wonderful to be able to hug on, pet and generally love on the felines and canines in the house without worry of fleas. The scabs around the neck on both cats are gone. The dogs can sleep throughout the night without constant scratching. Plus I do not have flea bites all over my legs. Seems minor, but that bit of stress off me-and the four legged animals of the house–has been awesome.
    Good night all.

  56. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Walton with his immigration activism & Esteleth with comments like this one both have that effect on me.

    Tis a good place, this “pharyngula”

  57. rq says

    @ Tony‘s link

    Not to me and not to the bulk of our male readership. (bolding mine)

    Ummm yeah, because no men, ever, ever, would be offended by people saying or writing misogynistic things. Because the bulk of men really just want to read trashy articles without thinking about who (or what, as it were, :P) they are about. Because, you know, the bulk of men (and especially those who read) just don’t care…
    And that phrase goes a lot to say about what kind of a male readership they have. I’m glad you didn’t post the link here. :/
    And yes, you (Tony!) are fantastic for engaging in such conversations in real life.

    I’m glad you’re getting better and walking better and improving overall – that’s crap about the tax, and I hope you win the fight against the Canadian government.
    *hugs* if wanted!!


    I wish human-infesting micro-organisms would just leave us alone. Youngest just got over a virus/strep thing, and now he’s running a fever again (to the point where, once again, last night was filled with very little actual, restful sleep).
    Also, the roses should realize it’s November (now mid-to-late-November) and should stop trying to bring summer back. It’s a bit depressing (although the unseasonably warm temperatures make me think…)

  58. rq says

    Update on that mall roof collapse: 32 dead, incl. 3 firefighters (which means things are still falling), and no prognosis on how many are still inside, and whether they will be found alive. :(

  59. carlie says

    Rant about the way that shopping works these days and how it disenfranchises everyone except those who need it:

    So Child 2 desperately wants a particular Game for Christmas. It started out at $100, which I said no to, but then quickly fell to a standard price of $75. Still not great. I follow Black Friday ad leaks online, so knew by last week that several stores were going to be carrying it for $38, and I have a $10 off coupon I’ve been holding onto. Great. Except then the day before yesterday, it leaked that one of the Big Box stores was doing a big sale today starting at 8am, for $37. And then this morning when I got up, the news online was that they had already started selling them a few hours ago at that price, which sucked because I still couldn’t leave the house until 7:40.

    Got there, there was a man about my age looking at the equivalently-sale-priced Other Game right next to the one I wanted, and an elderly gentleman looking at the same ones I was. I grabbed what I thought was the one I wanted, and tried to engage them in small talk about the sale (assuming that had to be why they were there, but wanting to make sure they knew it was a sale price if they waited 15 minutes if not). The elderly man was politely annoyed that they didn’t have it for the Wii, I pointed to the one I had just grabbed, and he noted that it was for the WiiU. Oops. I thanked him for stopping me from buying the wrong one, told him that Other Big Box Store was matching the price today (which was also breaking news as of this morning) and went off looking for an employee, hoping there were more boxes not yet put out. She pointed me to another aisle display, and I saw only one for the Wii. Sigh. To be honest, my first thought was “MINE!”, but then I stopped and remembered that I could buy it online probably more easily than the older man could, even though then I couldn’t use the coupon (I had done a test run online with the coupon earlier and the site wouldn’t accept it as valid). That might be a bit of ageism, but he had the demeanor of someone who had been told to go get it, not that he had been doing all of the legwork himself. So I was resigned to losing it, then walked around to the other side of the display and found one more left for me. Yay. I managed to find him as he was leaving the other section to get it to him.

    POINT BEING, what the hell? I got it for a reasonable price, but that was after doing tons of background online and being able to get there just at the right time. And it was a flash sale that you couldn’t possibly know about if you weren’t online; there were no in-store ads about it at all. And on top of that, they didn’t even adhere to their rules in the online info about the sale, and started selling earlier, so that they were almost all gone when I got there at the “right” time from the people who had noticed the update online at midnight last night – but not even at midnight on the store online site, rather from the ad leak site. The store online site still had it at reg. price. And I have a job that lets me be late to work if I need to on certain days, today being one of them, so I had the ability to just go to the store in the morning on not a holiday. And the coupon I had was from a multi-pack of snacks, so again, have to be able to afford the bulk size in the first place to get another discount.

    I mean, fuck. The amount of economic and educational privilege involved just to get a fucking toy on sale is staggering. And the people who need that sale price the most are the least likely to have a computer, have broadband, have jobs that let them just say “oh, I’ll be late today”, check the internet all the damned time for sale, etc. … fuck.

  60. says

    On the up side, carlie @67, at least you noticed that privilege. That puts you a hell of a long way past most people who bought that game before you, most likely.

  61. carlie says

    CaitieCat – so I’m the one who’s not happy about it, GREAT. Stupid awareness of life wrecking everything.


  62. says

    On the job search troubles people are having… I need a second job. I love my current job, no excessive and boring downtime, not too difficult but not so easy I quickly get bored, I like my coworkers and even management is on the ball – their downtime is spent in receiving or on the sales floor helping all the worker bees, but they make sure to get all their other stuff done first. And I’ve gotten hours over senior people without having to kiss anyones ass, just doing a good job- I’m the juniormost permanent employee in our department, just here a couple months, and I’ve gotten hours over people who have been here for years. Without kissing ass or having a highly specialized job.

    But while I’m making just enough to move out on my own(housing prices here in Missouri look like theft to this Connecticut guy), the lack of guaranteed hours makes that a dangerous gamble. So I need a second job. Or a different job, but ditching this one in favor for a completely new one involves risks of its own.

    I’m looking into going back to school as part of the long term plan. More short term, I should probably hunt down an affordable A+ or other IT cert program. I have my A+, but it’s only current because CompTIA grandfathered certs from when they were permanent. A more current date than 2003 would look better on a resume(especially with the lack of recent IT employment), and a lot of the tech has moved on since I was last heavily involved, so the training would make me more useful, at least if it’s decent training.

    On the massive plus side, though, there’s Skepticon here which was amazing and a Freethinkers group, so I get everything church is good for without all the stupid theological bullshit and moral judgements.

  63. wizardofwestbridge says

    Hi there,

    I’ve just read this article:


    I think there’s something quite wrong with it (condensing genetic information etc.) and was going to tweet the journalist to point this out, but words are failing me at this point! Has anyone got a link that I can send him that summarises the problems? (Happy to discuss and to be put right if wrong)


  64. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes, y’know if the Earth rotated in the other direction, I’d be the one saying that.

  65. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    @ theophontes:

    … on second thoughts … would that not be counter-revolutionary?

    No, that would be moving the counters in your kitchen.

  66. rq says


    Also, for people who enjoy dance and ballet, Ian Brown speaks with Mikhail Baryshnikov in Banff.

    TW for mass fatality
    Friend on Facebook complains people are being too negative on Facebook lately. Besides the obvious, I’m still waiting on news from friends who may or may not be among the victims of the building collapse here (47 dead and probably more to come). Things are going slow because bits of the roof keep falling and the whole place is unstable, but they’re not likely to find anyone alive anymore – November weather and hypothermia and all that… Dunno, should I be posting ‘Think positive!!!’ messages??
    (It’s all a bit ironic or something, too, because today, on opening the Latvian version of FB, one of the advertisers had one of those posters up that says ‘Whenever you’re experiencing some bad luck, just think of all those unused opportunities you’ve had!!’ Considering the circumstances, and the national state of mourning issued for the entire weekend, plus with recovery and rescue efforts still underway, that seemed… callous, at best. Sometimes, ‘positive thinking’ just doesn’t cut it.)

  67. says

    A more reasonable look at the problem of cancelled insurance policies, you know the problem that Republicans are blowing up to gigantic size in order to make a case that President Obama is a liar and that the Affordable Healthcare Act is a disgrace:

    When pressed for specifics, the Affordable Care Act’s detractors tend to focus on two main areas of concern: the website and the cancelation notices. The website is obviously important and administration officials are doing what they can. Maybe it’ll be fixed quickly, maybe it won’t – we’ll find out soon enough.

    But the cancelation notices are different kind of concern. As we’ve discussed, we’re talking about a very small percentage of the population that has coverage through the individual, non-group market and are now finding that their plans are being scrapped. When the House Republican “playbook” looks for people saying, “Because of Obamacare, I lost my insurance,” these are the folks they’re talking about. ….

    “It is important to keep a perspective about the small portion of the population that might be adversely affected,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA. “That number is a tiny fraction of the 65 million non-elderly people with pre-existing health conditions who will gain new protections through the Affordable Care Act. It is also a small fraction of the tens of millions of uninsured Americans who can also get help.”

    Let’s put this another way. A tiny percentage of consumers will receive cancelation notices, and of them, more than 70% will get new, more secure coverage that ends up costing them less.

    They’re not, in other words, victims. They’re beneficiaries.

    I snipped out some text about subsidies that many individuals will get when they buy insurance through Obamacare. And I snipped text about Obamacare already lowering healthcare costs, slowing the growth of healthcare costs! Think about that. Looking at the previous decade, slowing the growth of healthcare costs seemed like an impossible goal. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/about-those-canceled-plans

    The Republican “playbook” for destroying Obamacare.


    Only a small sliver of the Americans who buy their own health insurance plans and may be seeing them canceled under Obamacare will pay higher premiums, according to an analysis released Thursday….

  68. says

    The Texas Board of Education is debating evolution … again.

    Long-simmering ideological objections to teaching evolution in Texas boiled over at a late-night meeting, as the Board of Education extended preliminary approval of new science textbooks but held up one biology tome because of alleged factual errors. …

    Publishers submitted proposed textbooks this summer, but committees of Texas volunteer reviewers – some nominated by creationists who are current and former Board of Education members – raised objections. One argued that creationism based on biblical texts should be taught in science classes, while others objected that climate change wasn’t as settled a scientific matter as some of the proposed books said. …

    The concerns included differences of opinion on how long it took Earth to cool. Another objection called for emphasizing that modern discoveries in the fossil record reveal a “balance between gradualism and sudden appearance,” suggesting that rather than developing over time, life got a boost from an intelligent designer. …

    Associated Press link.

  69. says

    Corn may be drastically reducing the numbers of monarch butterflies and other insects. We’ve all heard about bee colonies dying, with some of the deaths related to pesticides (neonicotinoids). Loss of habitat may be a major player in the crash of monarch butterfly populations.

    Last year, about 60 million monarch butterflies made it back to central Mexico for the Day of the Dead. At the time, that 60 million was record low number. This year, the butterflies didn’t arrive on time, they were about a week late, and they were weak, straggling, and low in numbers — only about 3 million. Yikes.

    …. “There’s no question that the loss of habitat is huge,” said Douglas Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware, who has long warned of the perils of disappearing insects. “We notice the monarch and bees because they are iconic insects,” he said. “But what do you think is happening to everything else?”

    A big part of it is the way the United States farms. As the price of corn has soared in recent years, driven by federal subsidies for biofuels, farmers have expanded their fields. That has meant plowing every scrap of earth that can grow a corn plant, including millions of acres of land once reserved in a federal program for conservation purposes.

    Another major cause is farming with Roundup, a herbicide that kills virtually all plants except crops that are genetically modified to survive it.

    As a result, millions of acres of native plants, especially milkweed, an important source of nectar for many species, and vital for monarch butterfly larvae, have been wiped out. One study showed that Iowa has lost almost 60 percent of its milkweed, and another found 90 percent was gone. “The agricultural landscape has been sterilized,” said Dr. Brower…..

    New York Times link.

  70. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness averted or cut short, reason prevails category. A mormon Bishop in Portugal has left the LDS church and is making his decision public. http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1089125

    My name is Ricardo Pedrosa, i’m from Portugal and i’m 33.
    I converted to mormonism at age 14, served a mission at Portugal Porto and served as a Bishop of Setúbal 1 until 4 months ago. There hasn’t been called a new Bishop yet, but I’m not attending and have already asked for my name removal.

    I’m now an Irreligious Moderate Antitheist.

    Irreligious for not professing any religion.

    Antitheist for promoting the end of every religion as a propagator of faith or other supernatural superstitions.

    Moderade Antitheist because I proclaim that the end of religions should come not by decree, but by informing and educating the individual.

    I just wrote a book with my new philosophical-existential vision.

    Anyone here from Portugal? Anyone here served mission in Portugal?

    There is not a formal group of ex mormons in Portugal. Leaving the church and declare it publicly is a trip in the desert, but ok. Better alone in the desert, than inprisioned inside the cell of faith, now I have to look for an oasis of rational people to dwell in.

    Don’t spend your time living yesterday or tomorrow, enjoy today to the fullest because you shall not live it again.

    Ricardo Pedrosa

  71. cicely says

    *pouncehug* for FossilFishy.
    Tony!, I agree with the assessment of your impressivitude.
    It’s a pleasure to read you.
    There are so many impressive posters hanging out, here. As Crip Dyke sums up so neatly:

    Tis a good place, this “pharyngula”

    :) :) :)
    *hugs* for rq.
    The building collapse is bad news, any way you slice it. No silver lining, butter-side-down for everyone involved.
    Positivity would probably be perceived as “callousness”.

  72. says

    Republicans said they wanted to expand their base. They wanted to be more appealing to latinos, women, gays, non-white minorities, etc. Having failed on all of those fronts, they are now trying to pass legislation that will shorten the lifespans of poor rural white folks. Republicans are killing white people that are part of their base.

    … the GOP base is predominantly white, older and hardly the picture of diversity. But the fact that President Barack Obama, in 2012, won 93% of the African-American vote, 71% of the Latino vote, 73% of the Asian vote, 67% of the non-married female vote and 55% of the overall female vote isn’t the only problem the GOP is facing when it comes to demographics. The GOP’s dirty little secret is that Republican and Tea Party policies are literally killing the GOP’s own base. …

    Hoping to stir up racial tensions, far-right AM radio talk show hosts and Fox News wingnuts try to paint food stamp recipients as strictly or mostly people of color. But the facts don’t bear that out. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly half of food stamp recipients are non-Hispanic whites (in Ohio, it’s around 65%). So when Republicans vote to cut food stamps, many of the people they are hurting are white. OnSeptember 19, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to slash billions of dollars from the U.S. food stamp program during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. …

    Cutting food stamps isn’t the only way in which the Republican Party is doing things to literally kill its own base. The GOP, from Sen. Lindsey Graham to Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz, has been in lockstep in its opposition to the Affordable Care Act of 2010. … A major difference between being poor in the U.S. and being poor in Switzerland or France is that in Switzerland or France, the poor have easier access to healthcare (including preventative medicine). The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index has found that Americans living in poverty are more likely to suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes than Americans not living in poverty. The fact that men in poverty-ridden McDowell County are dying 18 years younger than men in upscale Marin County bears that out.

    Another way in which Republicans endanger the lives of their rural white male base is by endangering Social Security. President George W. Bush advocated privatizing Social Security and turning it over to Wall Street. It became obvious just how terrible that idea was when Wall Street went into cardiac arrest in September 2008. But instead of backing down from that idea, Republicans have doubled down on it. In 2010, the Club for Growth proclaimed, “Privatize Social Security? Hell, yeah!” …

    Salon link.

  73. rq says

    In more positive news (ha):
    Kids were watching Dinosaur Planet, the episode where it is explained that some dinosaurs died from botulism (a disease, which I explained to Middle Child). Eldest was watching the episode for the first time, and they got into a screaming-and-scratching argument about the dinosaurs – Eldest insisted that they were all bitten to death, while Middle Child tried to explain to him that no, they all got a disease. Ah, science! (Personally, I think it’s about the best reason for them to argue.)

  74. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I’ve been thinking about the difficulties of making a resume/cover letter stand out positively from the rest. What if you were to include a joke–something inoffensive, but funny, e.g.:

    The past, present and future all walk into a bar…let me tell you, it was tense!

    You could perhaps introduce it by acknowledging the difficult task of the reader and say that you want to give them a break. On the plus side, this acknowledges the humanity of the reader. It breaks the stride of the reader, perhaps making it harder to just automatically toss the resume on the reject pile. It demonstrates that the applicant at least has a sense of humor (and so might not be too bad to work with).

    On the downside, some HR types have no measurable sense of humor (typical of many undead). They might think you aren’t taking the process seriously.

    Any thoughts?

  75. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    That’s awesome.

    If it gets too loud, have them each take time out to write 1 page of their best arguments for their side, then get together and compare them.

  76. opposablethumbs says

    rq, horrible news about the collapse. I hope all your friends are safe, but obviously I wish nobody’s friends had been caught by this :-(

    I agree about the false-smile “positive thinking” tropes. I’m not on the book of faces, but I see enough of them doing the rounds and they are all, I think, so dismissive - dismissive of the reality and importance of the fact that a lot of people have seriously bad shit to deal with. It often smacks of “pray harder” (smile harder, mouth more platitudes and if that doesn’t work it’s your own fault). I know people post these things with the best of intentions, often, but they certainly grate. And in this case the timing could hardly be worse.

    I applaud the inchoate scientific discussion, though! :-)

  77. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    When they’re old enough to write, I will. :) That’s a great idea! And sure to foster critical thinking and debating skills.

  78. says

    *hugs* offered, rq. To offer a tiny glimmer of hope for those missing, hypothermia can actually help a little with serious trauma, in lowering blood pressure and heart rate and stuff. Not forever, but it can help. Also less likely to get dehydrated in colder weather (less sweating).

  79. carlie says

    To paraphrase Mr. Rogers*, when you see a sign of unspeakable tragedy, when it’s such an overwhelming, awful think and you have no idea how to explain it to your children, look for the helpers. You will always see someone trying to help, someone risking themselves in service of helping someone they’ve never met before and will never see again. The reality is terrible, but at least there is always someone, somewhere, unconsciously showing the best of humanity and trying to mitigate the damage.

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

    * Fred Rogers ran a tv show for children in the US for decades. He is one of the few people for whom no bad story has ever surfaced.

  80. ButchKitties says

    This is a trivial gripe, and I don’t need a response, I just need to let it out somewhere. I have chronic migraine that about a year and half ago got really bad. After trying just about every med possible, I decided to give Botox injections a try. The good news is that they seem to be working. The downside is I’m getting a medical treatment that looks like a cosmetic procedure. I absolutely loathe having this stuff in my face. It’s just by far the lesser of two evils.

    People eventually notice that my eyebrows don’t move. And then one of two things happens. They either don’t know it’s for migraines, in which case they feel it’s their duty to tell me that I don’t need to “do that” to my face. (Actually I DO need to “do that” to my face or I get crippled by insanely painful headaches, but thanks for sharing your Very Important Opinion about what I should and shouldn’t do with my personal appearance.) Or they guess/know it’s for migraines, in which case they go out of their way to tell me how jealous they are and how lucky I am to get Botox that’s covered by insurance. (Really? I’m lucky I was getting 20+ migraines per month? Because that’s how you get Botox covered by insurance.)

    Bah. People don’t intend to be mean, they just don’t think. End whinge.

  81. says

    ButchKitties, sympathies on the migraines. I get them about three times a year, and that’s way more than enough for me. I’m glad they’ve found a treatment that helps, and sorry to hear people are being jerks about it. :(

  82. rq says

    That’s a really nice thought, and there have been a lot of people helping, a lot of helpers. Which helps with the tragedy, but doesn’t diminish it.

    Unfortunately, I think it’s at the point where the hypothermia would be causing more damage than helping with trauma. :( Although you never know, it has been unseasonably warm (which only means temps slightly above 0 as opposed to below 0 (Celsius)). But still.

    Sympathies, ButchKitties. I’m glad you have found a treatment that works for you.

  83. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    This new job is exhausting.
    Brought my laptop home with me, to finish up some stuff during the weekend because I won’t have time next week.
    I just hope my first paycheck will be what we unofficially discussed (nothing extraordinary, but fair enough for someone with little experience), but there’s a couple of weeks more to wait for that.

    I think I’ll go to bed now, and it’s only half past 9.

  84. says

    I’m trying to decide if I should get back to blogging. I’m in the middle of some horrible personal shit, but its a feminist issue and basically no one talks about it. I think I might finally be ready to talk about it with my usual blogging name attached. Would anyone care? It has to do with pregnancy and childbirth.

  85. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Free wine is the best kind of wine.

    Just saying.

    I am now going to toddle off somewhere in a safe manner.

  86. says

    This is Rush Limbaugh speaking:

    Limbaugh sees rape, nuclear option parallel
    11/22/13 03:07 PM
    facebook twitter 4 save share group 55
    By Steve Benen
    Rush Limbaugh has frequently struggled to understand the nuances of the Senate and the “nuclear option.” The radio host recently argued, for example, that majority-rule in the Senate would mean President Obama “gets to play dictator” with judicial nominees, which really doesn’t make any sense.

    But today, as Media Matters discovered, Limbaugh took his confusion to a whole new level.
    “Let’s forget the Senate for a minute. Let’s say, let’s take 10 people in a room and they’re a group. And the room is made up of six men and four women. OK? The group has a rule that the men cannot rape the women. The group also has a rule that says any rule that will be changed must require six votes, of the 10, to change the rule. Every now and then, some lunatic in the group proposes to change the rule to allow women to be raped. But they never were able to get six votes for it. There were always the four women voting against it and they always found two guys.

    “Well, the guy that kept proposing that women be raped finally got tired of it, and he was in the majority and he was one that [said], ‘You know what? We’re going to change the rule. Now all we need is five.” And well, ‘you can’t do that.’ ‘Yes we are. We’re the majority. We’re changing the rule.’ And then they vote. Can the women be raped? Well, all it would take then is half of the room. You can change the rule to say three. You can change the rule to say three people want it, it’s going to happen. There’s no rule. When the majority can change the rules there aren’t any.”

    Limbaugh should contribute to the “North Star” paper at the University where PZ works. Limbaugh has that tone-deaf-and-ignorant thing down pat.


  87. says

    carlie (#99) –

    Fred Rogers ran a tv show for children in the US for decades. He is one of the few people for whom no bad story has ever surfaced.

    Some people tried to manufacture a “scandal” out of his swimming habits (naked, at the local YMCA). Most people went out of their way to ignore the story, or downplay it by pointing out that it was normal at many Y pools.

  88. Portia, in absentia says

    I’m mildly rupt. Hugs all around.

    I think my mom might get here tomorrow with my nieces. I’m pretty happy about that.

    I’m also pretty sleepy. My cough is way improved over last night. Thank goodness.

    Night Lounge.

  89. says

    Now for something different
    Mother Jones has a piece up about Edward Boatman. This guy has managed to distill nouns into icons in a really cool way.

    In college, Edward Boatman was a “pretty rigorous” sketcher of simple objects like “cranes and sequoias and trucks.” As his collection grew, “I thought to myself, ‘It would be really interesting if I had a way to visually communicate every noun or concept in existence.’” Hence the Noun Project. Run by Boatman and Sofya Polyakov (they’re married), the website collects and distributes iconography for a pittance. The 17,000 icons to date include existing ones you may recognize from airports, hospitals, and national parks—and loads more submitted by artists from around the globe.


    It was just very much a concept at this point. And then when I was working at [design firm] Gensler in Santa Monica, I was putting together a lot of presentation boards for clients and I needed a way to communicate graphically—sometimes abstract concepts, sometimes concepts as simple as a bicycle or an airport—and I just couldn’t find a library online that could provide me with the content I needed. I talked to a lot of other designers with that same gripe, and so I took this old concept that I had back in college and steered it toward solving this real-world problem. We started as a resource for designers, but very quickly we got a lot of teachers reaching out to us, and people dealing with kids with autism. We realized that being able to communicate an idea through a symbol is powerful for pretty much anyone.

    MJ: Why autistic kids?

    Sofya Polyakov: A lot of autistic children tend to be visual learners and visual communicators. We started to learn about this because of the Noun Project. One of the things that caretakers or parents will do is put together a visual storyboard of your day. It’ll have a symbol for get out of bed, brush your teeth, have breakfast, put on clothes, put on your shoes, to help them get ready in the morning, for example.


    MJ: Do you have any favorite Noun Project contributors?

    EB: Luis Prado. He’s extremely talented and very creative. He deals with concepts like “cheating” or “helicopter parents” or “shaking babies,” “child abuse”—so it’s very off-the-chart concepts that obviously need to be iconified, but not a lot of people want to take it on. One icon he did was for “impotent.” He just uploads whatever he comes up with. Like recently he added a symbol for “prostitute,” male and female.

    Theres an image for ‘binder full of women’ and one for global warming (I really like the latter icon).
    Despite how cool the images are I did notice things like:
    -date night showcasing a man and a woman; though he does mention a few different icons for couple, so theres that


    -the aforementioned Binder Full of Women shows the [filled in] outline of a woman wearing a dress. I get that the idea is to create an image that represents women, but one of the things I have learned here is that women are incredibly varied. So much so that you cannot distill women down to one iconographic image.

  90. Funny Diva says

    Hi, Lounge-y Horde!

    I haven’t been posting much, but have been lucky enough to get to read and lurk regularly here at Pharyngula and FtB.

    I just had something in my Book of Faces news feed leave a really bad taste in my mouth and wanted to get it off my chest (to mix a couple of anatomical metaphors).

    Content Advisory: Acute Blindness to White Privilege when discussing slavery.

    [this person and I are both white USA-dians, neither of our families afaik could be remotely considered recent immigrants]
    A friend I’m no longer in close contact with AFK posted a link to an article at globalresearch.ca entitled ‘The Irish Slave Trade–The Forgotten “White” Slaves’ (scare-quotes are in the title, it’s subtitled “the slaves that time forgot)
    This was how they introduced that link:
    “They didn’t sign a contract so they were not indentured. When discussing the slave trade in college, I brought up the Irish slave trade and almost got punched by a classmate who thought her heritage had a monopoly on suffering and oppression.”

    I just…wait…what now? Did somebody just say “Whaddabout teh menz?!!” but to the 23rd power or what?! And this person is writing this a good decade plus post-college.
    (I sincerely doubt the classmate said anything resembling “only MY people have ever suffered or been oppressed!”)

    And what to make of this comment, also from a white person:
    “Africans might have been the last slaves, but they weren’t the first.”?

    And even the (yes, white) commenter who understands that human trafficking is the modern name for slavery and is still a problem manages to “other” that classmate with:
    “I imagine she wasn’t keen on hearing that the Cross-Atlantic slave trade was, in part, supported by native Africans that sold their neighbors away, either?”
    Though they do finish up with “…truly, when we recognize our similarities, the pains we have suffered, we can find another lens to see equality and empathy through.” Which on one level is true, but sounds way too much to me like a member of a _highly_ privileged group implying that members of a still very marginalized group should just, um, get over it and/or not be such a martyr and/or not be so angry/hostile because, hey, we’ve all suffered.

    And why do I even notice this and feel like I want to either go all DIVA SMASH! or just go take a shower instead of sort of nodding in agreement as I might (probably would) have done not too many years ago?
    Yep. Horde Awesomeness, Bystander/Lurker Education Division. IOW the many regulars in the many long, contentious, often ugly comment threads on social justice posts who come through time after time after time with the 101-level explanations and links even in the face of JAQ-offs and trolls. I have learned much by following those discussions. Thank you all, many times over.

    PS: I just read the article at globalresearch.ca. Yep, it’s all “whaddabout the poor white Irish slaves?”. Somebody is no longer shown in my news feed. Bleh.

  91. says

    Good morning

    *hugs* butchkitty
    I’m glad you found treatment that helps with your migraine

    Big hugs to you, too. The economy, it sucks.

    #1 declared tody to be craft day ( no argument from me). She’s not happy about the fact that she has to do her homework first…
    A friend got me hooked on Fröbelsterne, which are actually easy to make nce you get the knack (does anybody want instructions?) and #1 wants to make them, too. She already did one last night and I was impressed, because though they’re easy to make for adults, I woldn’t have tried with a 6yo.

  92. rq says

    I wouldn’t mind directions. I never knew what those were called, but the Latvian Lutheran christmas tree back in Ottawa is covered in these and only these every single year. Some of the ladies from the ladies’ auxiliary make them fresh each year, and also sell them in the annual christmas fair. I once learned how to make them, but have forgotten – but it would be a neat project to try with the kids, Eldest loves folding paper – Middle Child does too, but his dexterity is currently more limited to the itty bitty pieces of paper (although he’s learning paper-folding co-ordination rapidly).

  93. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    I always like the taste of grape Jell-O. It doesn’t taste anything like grape (just like grape KoolAid) but it is good. I also like the black cherry Jell-O. And the lime.

  94. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I think I’ll make arepas this evening. Saw the recipe a while ago, but forgot about it.

    They looked delicious.

  95. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says


    I like it straight. Or with vodka in it. I have never liked any Jell-O salad concoction.

  96. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Dutchgirl – Congratulations!

    Crudely Wrott – *many pouncehugs* I’m glad you’re back.

    Dallilama – *hugs, chocolate, and support*

    Portia – I’m glad your feeling better, and I hope you have a great time with your family!

    Ogvorbis – I agree that Jell-O should be eaten straight.

  97. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Natural Beauty, I has it.

    Pacific Canada can be pretty beautiful, even when relatively citified. One thing about it is that the sunsets are often better than the sunrises, but it’s the sunrise when I’m up alone with my computer (putatively) studying, before the disruption of family chaos after everyone else gets up. It’s a peaceful time, but often there are few clouds in the east, or when there are clouds, the bump right up against the ridges and hills/mountains so that sunlight can’t get under.

    This morning, we had moderate cloudiness in the south and east, but high and not stretching to the horizon. Cloudless to the north and west. So the sun could sneak under and paint the clouds over the water and mainland while the ridges, hills, and mountains to the north caught bright colors under a brighter sky. A bit of snow at the very tops helped create a bright, golden gleam where land and sky met.

    Seriously, this is the kind of morning that makes moving to another country (and, not least, leaving your social network behind) almost worth it just for the natural beauty alone.

  98. says

    It was a squeaker. Reason prevailed … but just barely:

    In a 4-3 decision issued [Tuesday], the Ohio high court said Mt. Vernon City School District had the right to fire eighth-grade science teacher John Freshwater because the First Amendment does not permit him to ignore orders from his bosses or display whatever religious items he pleases in his classroom. […]

    In the lead opinion in Freshwater v. Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education, Justice Maureen O’Connor wrote: “Freshwater not only ignored the school district’s directive, he defied it. After he was directed to remove the items, Freshwater deliberately added to them, incorporating the Oxford Bible and Jesus of Nazareth into the classroom.”

    Freshwater ignored a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled that public schools cannot teach creationism as science, then Freshwater ignored directives from his school district. A 4-3 decision indicates that 3 of the Ohio Supreme Court judges thought he was right.
    Americans United link.

  99. says

    A follow up to my comment #127: Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog wrote, in part, “… it was a 4-3 ruling. In other words, three justices on the Ohio Supreme Court concluded that the teacher in question was justified in blowing off the school district, scientific cannon, modern biology, the religious liberties of his students, and legal precedent.”

  100. says

    On the theme of religion in schools, the Hobby Lobby president who recently fought to have contraception benefits struck from insurance for his employees, that guy has extended his campaign of stupid to include bible study courses for Oklahoma teens.

    … As reported by KOCO 5 News, the curriculum focuses exclusively on the Bible. Students would take intros to the Old and New Testament and sit through units that purportedly examine the Bible’s influence on society. Green introduced the curriculum to the school board at the invitation of its superintendent, Sean McDaniel.

    Green promised McDaniel and the rest of the board that the class would be taught from a historical, nonsectarian perspective. If that’s really the case, the class could meet constitutional standards, but his past and his connections to fringe figures on the Religious Right should give officials pause.

    A compulsive collector of Biblical artifacts, Green has dedicated much of his personal fortune to the promotion of Bible education. And it’s evident that he prefers a sectarian approach to the subject. In 2012, he decried the Bible’s declining influence in an interview with The Christian Post. …

    Green also partners with our favorite Christian “historian,” David Barton, to run full-page newspaper ads promoting the exhausted myth that America is a “Christian nation.” This is disturbing on its own, but Green also has strong ties to Bill Gothard, the leader of an extremist Christian fundamentalist sect roiling with allegations of child abuse….

    Americans United link.

  101. says

    Okay, fun die right-wing Republicans, thank you for putting all of your Crazy in one basket:

    Marco Rubio over the weekend delivered the keynote address at a fundraising event for the Florida Family Policy Council, a conservative organization that promotes so-called ex-gay conversion therapy and believes that gay parents are a “threat” to their children, among other odious views.

    But the organization isn’t exclusively focused on stripping LGBT people of their basic rights (though they are still very focused on doing those things), it also has a broader political agenda that includes abolishing reproductive rights and teaching creationist pseudo-science in public schools.

    Rubio, who must have felt plenty at ease among his ideological cohorts, used his address to explain why the separation of church and state is not even worth debating because “God is everywhere” and “doesn’t need our permission to be anywhere.”…

    Salon link.

  102. says

    No, no, no, no equality in Christendom! That would be unbiblical.

    The Southern Baptist Convention’s “top expert on family concerns” says that treating men and women as equal partners in a relationship isn’t just wrong, it’s downright unbiblical.

    “God designed us in such a way where we learn about him through family relationships,” Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore said in a recent interview. “We learn about the nature of reality in family relationships, and in terms of what it means to image God, by being faithful fathers and husbands and mothers and wives.”…

    Yeah, yeah, same old excuse for maintaining the patriarchy. Moore went on to include the problem of “wives who aren’t submitting to their husbands” in his spiel.

  103. says

    Look out women, Republicans will pay you less than your male counterparts, even if you are also a Republican:

    Susan Hutchinson, the chair of the Washington state Republican party, earns $20,000 less than her male predecessor, and her request for equal pay has kicked off an ugly internal spat among state GOP leaders….

    Mother Jones link.

  104. says

    George Zimmerman’s fans and spokespeople are of dubious character, but some media outlets don’t seem to care.

    … Zimmerman’s neighbor and de facto spokesman, Frank Taaffe, has pressed ahead with the media crusade he began in the runup to Zimmerman’s trial on charges of murdering unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. And despite revelations that Taaffe is a convicted criminal and unabashed racist who hosts a white-power podcast, cable news networks have continued giving him a platform. …


  105. says

    No justice in Texas:

    …PROSECUTOR: “You have determined that . . . the race factor, black, increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons; is that correct?”

    Quijano: “Yes.”

    The prosecutor again invoked Quijano’s discriminatory testimony during closing argument to suggest that Buck should be sentenced to death. Other Texas inmates have been granted new sentencing hearings because of similar comments by Quijano.

    This was not an isolated incident. Other evidence has since emerged showing that the the Harris County District Attorney’s office routinely engaged in racial discrimination. Almost half of the prisoners on Texas death row are from Harris County, and blacks are three times as likely as whites to be sentenced to death in the county during the period of Buck’s sentencing. …

    Think Progress link.

  106. says

    Oh, cheezits effing rice, conservatives writing reviews of the film “12 Years a Slave” should just stop.

    No, former National Review columnist John Derbyshire hasn’t seen 12 Years a Slave, but he knows it is a bad movie because it is unfair to the poor, persecuted and maligned slave-owners of the antebellum South. In his latest racist column, Derbyshire calls 12 Years a Slave “Abolitionist Porn” and chides the film for not including what he sees as the happier instances of slavery, such as one slaveholder who only doled out beatings “once in a while.”

    “Plainly there was more to American race slavery that white masters brutalizing resentful Negroes,” Derbyshire writes. “Slavery is more irksome to some than to others; and freedom can be irksome, too.” …

    Right Wing Watch link.

  107. says

    A recent influx of fundie religious organizations has turned Colorado Springs into a god-soaked hell.

    At Rampart High School, things have changed so much that 17-year-old Jennifer Fry said it “doesn’t seem like a public school any more.”

    Students drive cars with religious bumper stickers and wear T-shirts emblazoned with depictions of bloody fetuses and religious slogans. One student sobbed in the hallways because a friend had not accepted Jesus Christ.

    “In class, it doesn’t matter what we’re discussing, the ‘God thing’ is dragged in a lot,” said Fry, an intern at a weekly newspaper that writes critically of the growing religious influences here.

    “If we’re talking about an earthquake in Malaysia, someone will say it’s a sign of the Rapture. I call it plate tectonics.” …

    Now home to 50 national Christian religious groups–half of which arrived during the past decade–Colorado Springs has become a place where a police officer gave a religious pamphlet to a developmentally disabled apartment resident who was disturbing the peace and where children were invited to a carnival, only to be baptized without their parents’ knowledge.

    Colorado Springs is also the community that spawned the highly controversial Amendment 2, a 1992 statewide initiative barring anti-discrimination laws aimed at protecting homosexuals. Amendment 2 was ruled unconstitutional in state district court and is now on appeal to the state Supreme Court.

    Several leaders of the new religious groups say the concerns are unfounded…. If anyone suffers from discrimination or intolerance, they say, it is they and their children who are forced to live in a secular society and attend “Godless schools.” …

    In local schools, some teachers say they now choose their words carefully. One high school instructor said she prefaces her comments from the lectern with “this is only my personal opinion,” to avoid antagonizing pupils who cite biblical passages to dispute her lessons.


    Meanwhile, you’ll find that Ft. Carson Army Base, the Air Force Academy and the North American Air Defense Command, all based in Colorado Springs, are institutionalizing far-right conservative and religious views using your tax dollars.

    Gay rights advocates are demanding Air Force Academy officials explain why they hired a controversial anti-gay author as part of their ethics program, saying his views are offensive and potentially destructive. …

  108. Portia, in absentia says

    Tpyos punishes my hubris-filled teasing by inserting a typo into my comment. *hangs head in deserved shame*

  109. says

    More big toothy dinosaur goodness from Utah:

    … About 100 million years ago, at a time when T. rex’s smaller ancestors were in the early stages of their evolution, the day’s apex predators were a family of giant, fast-moving carnivores called carcharodontosaurus. And if a recent discovery in Eastern Utah is any indication, they are every bit as worthy of your nightmares.

    Two scientists announced Friday in the journal Nature Communications that at the Cedar Mountain Formation’s Mussentuchit Member (just southwest of the San Rafael Swell) they uncovered bones from one of the three largest dinosaur carnivores ever found in North America. And it was just a kid.

    They dated the find to 98 million years ago. The juvenile “Siats meekerorum” was “the major predator on the block,” says North Carolina State’s Lindsay Zanno, who did her masters and graduate work at the University of Utah and first spotted the animal’s hipbone in a hillside in 2008….


    Two images in the photo gallery.

  110. Portia, in absentia says

    There’s a knot in the chain of my favorite necklace :(
    I got the giant tangle out and can’t get the teeny last bit out. Sad.

  111. Portia, in absentia says

    Giliell and CaitieCat

    Thanks for the instructions – my 8 year old niece is arriving today (thanks for the well-wishes Hekuni Cat!) and I think she will love to try this. Fun!

  112. Portia, in absentia says

    I’m watching Glee and I have even more mixed feelings than usual. For one, they perform “Blurred Lines” and then Sue declares that it is about date rape and “coercive sexual advances”…which is all true but it makes me wonder if the viewer is intended to laugh off the truth when it’s declared from the mouth of the most over-the-top-overreaction character there is. Her next move is to try to ban twerking. So it’s not really a serious statement right? And it deals with a trans*person being banned from using their choice of restroom, and I’m sure there are problems I’m not even seeing as a cis person with that whole story line. And then, another character uses the words “slut shaming” and a lot of stuff that is true about shaming female sexuality, but again, it’s said in a way that tells the viewer it’s all a silly overreaction. Anyone watch Glee and have a take on any of this?

  113. Portia, in absentia says

    Found a lot of great stuff at the charity (secular!) thrift shop down the street, for great prices. Lots of toys for the girls, and work clothes for me. Feeling pretty good.

  114. cicely says

    skeptifem, *acceptable-and-refusable non-intrusive gestures of comfort and support*
    I’m so sorry.

  115. ButchKitties says

    Secular Woman is petitioning the Southern Poverty Law Center to recognize Cathy Brennen’s Gender Identity Watch as a hate group. Here is a link in case anyone wants to sign.

  116. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    What you’ve written about your birth experience sounds painfully familiar. In Ms. Fishy’s case I believe the intervention we were forced into was in fact necessary, but that didn’t change the fact that we were denied any choice in the matter. I’m so sorry you ended up in that situation. All the caring gestures and comforting foods I have are yours today.

  117. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    We fight and we rage, and rightly so. After all, the world seems a place unlimited in its capacity for pain and horror. But sometimes, despite it all, good people force their will through the cracks and make a real, profound difference.

  118. Portia, in absentia says

    ButchKitties –

    I have migraines, too, and not much is effective for them. When I saw the ads for botox-for-migraines, my interest was piqued for a second. Then I saw the part where it’s recommended for people with at least 15 migraines a month lasting four hours or more. Even when they were at their worst, I didn’t suffer that much. You have my sympathies, and vicarious annoyance at all those people who are just so…very much typical, sadly. Glad it’s working for you, though.


    I am so sorry to hear that happened to you. Every birth I have attended has had elements of your story – and it makes me so angry. I don’t have anything to offer but support.

  119. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    skeptifem, I am so sorry you experienced that. I’m also grateful to see you blogging about it. So often when people are victimized this way, the response centers on the victim’s medical choices (“you should have expected a midwife would be a quack”, “you should have known going into it that doctors don’t care”, “if only you had made the right decisions and chosen the right care, this wouldn’t have happened”). The violation of consent doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Thank you for tackling it.

    *insert gestures of gratitude and support here*

  120. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Yah, sorry about the lack of weep warning in my #158.

    Here’s the thing: We look at these historical moments of heroism and marvel at the extraordinary strength and courage of those who chose to fight back. We wonder if we would have done the same in that situation, or I do anyway.

    I’ve been brave in my life. I’ve done the right thing despite the risk to myself a time or two, but they were small things and over quickly. Could I have done what Winton did, for so long, and with such a horrific threat hanging over me should I get caught? I don’t know.

    So what I seek to do, what I can do, is make sure that no one ever has to make that choice again. I can speak up now, long before heroism is necessary, where mere boldness will do. I can temper the tiny part of society in my immediate vicinity. I can push, one interaction at a time for a world where large scale horror is unthinkable because the small daily aggressions never go unchallenged.

    Or so I tell myself when confronted with courage so epic that it borders on the unimaginable.

  121. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Looking into if further, he wasn’t in the same danger Schindler was. Still, my point remains.

  122. says

    What you’ve written about your birth experience sounds painfully familiar. In Ms. Fishy’s case I believe the intervention we were forced into was in fact necessary, but that didn’t change the fact that we were denied any choice in the matter.

    thank you. Some of what held me back from blogging about this under this name was that I had gotten into some arguments with people here about natural childbirth and felt foolish for it afterwards (even though things were done without my permission at the hospital, too). EMDR has helped me move past a lot of the shame I felt about what had happened. I’m glad it works for me, I know it doesn’t work for everyone.

    One of the most important insights I gained from therapy is that I can try to change the way that the world sees this problem, I can do something to help other people in the future. My therapist said Oregon is trying to pass legislation to address this issue so it may be possible other places. I might be able to get enough women together to say that this isn’t okay. I can at least make space online for women to talk about their experiences without a ton of judgment about their choices.

  123. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I can at least make space online for women to talk about their experiences without a ton of judgment about their choices.

    That would be a fantastic achievement I think. I don’t venture into those internet places where birth choices are discussed. The level of judgement is astounding in every one I’ve seen.

  124. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    No, no, no skeptifem! They’re not judgmental, they’re RIGHT ™, and anyone who disagrees is WRONG ™ and possibly EVIL ™. Blargh.

  125. ButchKitties says

    It never ceases to amaze me how much people think they should have input on another person’s medical decisions, especially if that person is a woman, especially especially if its a decision about reproduction.

  126. A. Noyd says

    A great article on cultural appropriation and food. (I’d steer clear of the comments, though. Too much clueless, ‘splainy bullshit.)

    (Sorry if that double posts. The first try didn’t go through because it links to B*tch Magazine and the full URL probably triggered the anti-misogyny filter.)

  127. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Skeptifem, I am so, so deeply sorry. I was checking your blog regularly in the hopes of finding out how things had gone for you specifically in how you were treated, and it saddens me that you were treated like that.

    I tried to fight the fight you’re fighting now earlier in my life. (My first child’s birth was one long nightmare of trauma that I experience flashbacks of still). I tried to raise awareness of the way pregnant women are treated, denied choices, seen as a mere container for what’s REALLY important – the baby – and how we are manipulated and outright lied to at times and forced. How the rhetoric of anti-abortionists infest the childbirthing scene (“selfish! it’s all about the baby! you must suffer through this for the greater good!”, etc)

    I couldn’t do it for long, I’m sorry to say. The Dr Amy types just got me down with their constant “you should be grateful for doctors” and “medical care is a privilege many don’t have, why are you questioning it” and “are YOU a doctor?!” and “your baby is fine that’s all that matters” and “how do you know, maybe your baby would have DIED!!!?!?!” and “you’re just selfish” and all that song and dance that you sadly know already.

    I got into some fights here as well and I just dropped it, because it inevitably turns into “but *I* did that and *I* was fine and grateful why can’t you be why must you force your worldview on us doctors and medicine are SCIENCE and SCIENCE wins every time”. Even here.

    But I’m older now and slightly more articulate, and maybe it’s time for me, too, to pick up the battle once more. Because make no mistake, the rotten core of the entire childbirthing scene as it is currently (and was almost a decade ago) is misogyny and denying women agency and choice in favour of what’s growing inside of them.

    But I’m not sure if I can, actually, ever. I’ve turned out to be semi-permanently mentally fragile for the last couple of years. We’ll see how it goes.

    I wish I knew enough back then to have been able to say: “Listen, I don’t care what interventions you had or what you chose, I only care about how you were treated and that you were able to make an informed choice without being fed lies and manipulated and forced. If that’s what you got that’s good! That makes me happy! Because that’s not the experience of a huge amount of pregnant/birthing women”.

    I do know enough now to say to you: You are right. It’s not just you. You are not just some selfish crybaby who didn’t get her “idehal byrthin hexpierience” or whatever complete with fairies and earth goddesses and are now throwing a tantrum – what happened to you was not okay. You were treated like something less than human, and that was WRONG.

    There is a HUGE problem in maternity care and attitudes toward pregnant women. Pregnant and delivering women get manipulated, lied to and literally forced into procedures they don’t want or need and denied their choice and agency time and time again. You are not alone, and that is heart breaking, but it’s also a kind of strength. Thank you for being willing to fight this fight. I don’t know the particulars of your story, but I don’t need to because I know the music it’s set to: it’s the old song and dance number “women don’t know what’s best for them” and “women are selfish crazy bitches who kill their own babies all the time given half a chance” and “any woman’s needs are a priori subservient to the needs and/or wants, real or imaginary, of any baby she might conceive and/or produce”.

    If you want to talk, shoot me an email. The one I check most often is under username grimmame and it’s a gmail account.

  128. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    (repost, since the previous one got trapped in the filter. Apologies all around)
    Skeptifem, I am so, so deeply sorry. I was checking your blog regularly in the hopes of finding out how things had gone for you specifically in how you were treated, and it saddens me that you were treated like that.

    I tried to fight the fight you’re fighting now earlier in my life. (My first child’s birth was one long nightmare of trauma that I experience flashbacks of still). I tried to raise awareness of the way pregnant women are treated, denied choices, seen as a mere container for what’s REALLY important – the baby – and how we are manipulated and outright lied to at times and forced. How the rhetoric of anti-abortionists infest the childbirthing scene (“selfish! it’s all about the baby! you must suffer through this for the greater good!”, etc)

    I couldn’t do it for long, I’m sorry to say. The Dr Amy types just got me down with their constant “you should be grateful for doctors” and “medical care is a privilege many don’t have, why are you questioning it” and “are YOU a doctor?!” and “your baby is fine that’s all that matters” and “how do you know, maybe your baby would have DIED!!!?!?!” and “you’re just selfish” and all that song and dance that you sadly know already.

    I got into some fights here as well and I just dropped it, because it inevitably turns into “but *I* did that and *I* was fine and grateful why can’t you be why must you force your worldview on us doctors and medicine are SCIENCE and SCIENCE wins every time”. Even here.

    But I’m older now and slightly more articulate, and maybe it’s time for me, too, to pick up the battle once more. Because make no mistake, the rotten core of the entire childbirthing scene as it is currently (and was almost a decade ago) is misogyny and denying women agency and choice in favour of what’s growing inside of them.

    But I’m not sure if I can, actually, ever. I’ve turned out to be semi-permanently mentally fragile for the last couple of years. We’ll see how it goes.

    I wish I knew enough back then to have been able to say: “Listen, I don’t care what interventions you had or what you chose, I only care about how you were treated and that you were able to make an informed choice without being fed lies and manipulated and forced. If that’s what you got that’s good! That makes me happy! Because that’s not the experience of a huge amount of pregnant/birthing women”.

    I do know enough now to say to you: You are right. It’s not just you. You are not just some selfish crybaby who didn’t get her “idehal byrthin hexpierience” or whatever complete with fairies and earth goddesses and are now throwing a tantrum – what happened to you was not okay. You were treated like something less than human, and that was WRONG.

    There is a HUGE problem in maternity care and attitudes toward pregnant women. Pregnant and delivering women get manipulated, lied to and literally forced into procedures they don’t want or need and denied their choice and agency time and time again. You are not alone, and that is heart breaking, but it’s also a kind of strength. Thank you for being willing to fight this fight. I don’t know the particulars of your story, but I don’t need to because I know the music it’s set to: it’s the old song and dance number “women don’t know what’s best for them” and “women are selfish crazy btches who kill their own babies all the time given half a chance” and “any woman’s needs are a priori subservient to the needs and/or wants, real or imaginary, of any baby she might conceive and/or produce”.

    If you want to talk, shoot me an email. The one I check most often is under username grimmame and it’s a gmail account.

  129. rq says

    skeptifem (I’m going to TW for discussion of birth / pregnancy experience)
    I’m glad you’re writing about it, and my heart goes out to you for your experience. I had… a rather unpleasant experience with Middle Child’s birth that made me really, really uneasy for the birth of Youngest. Thankfully, that time was much, much better, but I still get the shakes when thinking about what happened on Middle Child’s birthday. And I can’t say it was anything particularly bad, it was just a bad obstetrician/midwife (there’s a sort of crossover of functions here), in a bad mood, who didn’t give a shit about her patient. Mostly just a lack of providing information during procedures. With Youngest, Husband was sure to enlighten everyone we came in contact with that it was absolutely necessary to explain things to me, for my comfort and security, and not just to go ahead and do things. The response was reluctant, but positive (“Why the hell would you worry? What do you need to know, anyway?”). I’m so glad he stood up for me.
    Sort of related, is my question: what would be your opinion about letting medical students into the birthing room? I know that here, it is sometimes done without the consent of the person giving birth – because the students are there, and it’s a ‘great opportunity’ and all that. I can’t help but be even more terrified of that idea, since I’m already scared of doctors – putting another 10 or so into the room (strangers, no less – I can handle the 2 or 3 who are supposed to be there, the ones I am prepared for…) just puts my terror limits right over the top. I mean, I already freaked out when I went for my pregnancy checkup (a fully-clothed kind of checkup) and there were two of my ob/gyn’s med students in the room (I freaked out enough where I couldn’t speak and she finally told them to leave and I spent the evening crying to myself). So yeah… What I mean with that is that often, the response to someone not wanting students in the room is quite patronising and negative – how do I expect them to learn if they can’t examine real patients?? They have exams and assignments and need their marks, too! (Because I’m a Thing to be Examined.)
    Sorry for the long rant. I’m really glad you’re talking about it, you have all my support and good luck with further writing! Looking forward to it (well… you know what I mean!).

    FossilFishy, it’s great to see you around! And I saw that link before, and it made me cry again (in that good way). Wow.

    Thank you to CaitieCat and Giliell for the instructions, this is what we’ll be doing in the afternoon. Eldest is already excited – he knows what we’ll be putting in the tree this year. ;)


    ** TW for mass fatality **
    So the greatest mass fatality of post-Soviet Latvia has a final body count of 54, including 3 firefighters. The building went through a total of three collapses (one strip, then the middle, then – yesterday – the final standing bits), nobody is taking (that is, voluntarily accepting) the blame, even though there are some obvious immediate discrepancies with the building project and the actual construction of the building (including too much load on the rooftop garden), and because it’s a collection of bad laws, corrupt inspection system, big company that likes bribing, and irresponsible officials, I doubt any criminal charges will be made – except against that one scapegoated guy who will take the fall for everyone (most likely – I’m guessing here, based on previous experience in similar hard-to-target cases involving official government structures and bad laws). Husband (being in the construction sector) is hoping that some positive changes (in laws, permits, methods) will occur; it’s just tragic that it takes so many deaths.
    And I can’t help but be relieved that all bodies were identified immediately, because otherwise the process goes through our lab, and after handling the last one (a large fire in a senior’s residence), it’s not something that makes me want to go to work (except in the sense that I want to help people find their loved ones). It’s a very unpretty kind of casework, and far more depressing than the usual car robberies and house burglaries we work with.
    Personal tragedy in this case is a minimum, only a (somewhat lapsed) choir member was caught in the debris with her 5yo son, but they escaped / were rescued with significant but non-life-threatening physical trauma (spent some time in the hospital). I can’t imagine how long it will take them to recover psychologically. And they were lucky, so many parents and grandparents and friends and relatives lost…
    To all those out there saying they prayed for the building not to collapse but apparently their faith was too weak, I say, “Shut the fuck up.” This is not god’s problem, not any god’s problem – this is a human problem. We don’t get earthquakes, typhoons, giant storms… This is a human failing, human idiocy, and no talk of imaginary non-rescuing gods will change that. Because if god cared at all, he wouldn’t have let anyone make any construction mistakes.
    To all those saying, “Shopping is from the Devil, here is proof!”, I say, “Shut the fuck up.” Might as well tell people not to buy dinner, not to go into any commercial venue, ever again, because they’ll somehow find a way to survive without doing grocery (or any other kind of) shopping. And all because it’s pre-christmas, you know, that time when you’re supposed to feel closer to god because he’s about to be born 2000 years ago.
    I’m sorry for going on about it. I needed to say those things. I’ll talk about it less in the future.
    Thanks for the support. [/rant]

  130. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    [waves at cicely and rq]

    Nice to read you two ,er, too…

    /pre-bed drive-by

  131. Portia, in absentia says

    Honestly, this sort of treatment during L&D is why I’m scared to have kids…and one of the reasons adoption is appealing.


  132. Portia, in absentia says

    rq: all the hugs I’ve got have your name on them.

    take care of yourself, friend.

  133. says

    Reading you all speak about the lack of consent surrounding childbirth has been educational. I did not know that women were denied choices that late in their pregnancy. It angers me. Thank you for sharing.
    And thank you, Skeptifem, for blogging on this issue. I am sorry you were treated so badly.

  134. says

    Re: trigger warnings

    When I first began reading Pharyngula, I did not quite understand them. I had some idea that they preceded discussions or comments about material some could find offensive, horrific, or revolting. I understood the warnings as a way to prepare readers for the material to follow and decide for themselves if they wanted to proceed.
    But I did not understand what ‘triggering’ meant.
    I learned in short time.

    There are many times I wish I could capture and bottle that understanding and present it to the insensitive nitwits out there who do not understand or care how painful it can be when one is triggered.

  135. says

    […] Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the #2 Republican in the U.S. Senate, responded to this evening’s historic diplomatic breakthrough by tweeting, “Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care.” […]

    So, yeah, President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other Whitehouse staff can count the agreement that slows Iran’s march toward becoming a nuclear nation as just a move to “distract attention” from Obamacare. I swear right-wing politicians are becoming dumber by the day.

    U.S. State Department fact sheet on the agreement.

    Video of Obama speaking about the agreement is available here.

  136. carlie says

    Has this been linked to yet? Apologies if it has. Five-ish Doctors, a half-hour BBC produced special written by Peter Davison. It. Is. Fantastic. Especially if you weren’t wowed by the 50th special yesterday. Take the time, it’s worth it. Or at least try the first 5 minutes to see if you want to continue (because YOU WILL).

  137. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    From rq’s link @173:

    In most situations, GUI designers should not be forced to fight each other with
    tridents and nets as I yell “THERE ARE NO MODAL DIALOGS
    IN SPARTA.” …I accept everyone, …
    But when things get tough, I need mission-critical
    people; I need a person who can wear night-vision goggles
    and descend from a helicopter on ropes and do classified
    things to protect my freedom while country music plays in the
    background. A systems person can do that. I can realistically
    give a kernel hacker a nickname like “Diamondback” or “Zeus
    Hammer.” In contrast, no one has ever said, “These semitransparent
    icons are really semi-transparent! IS THIS THE

    ZOMG. This writer is fantastic.

    I’m not into the post-apocalypitc thing generally, and I despise the zombie thing specifically. (Much too lowbrow for me. Give me the Hulk punching Thor sideways any day.) Moreover, like rq, there’s a heck of a lot of inside-the-industry jokes that fly over my head, but I have just enough programming experience that this thing was a riot from start to finish.

    Although, I must admit, the above passage was my favorite.

    Okay, well maybe this one was good too:

    Nothing ruins
    a Friday at 5 P.M. faster than taking one last pass through the
    log file and discovering a word-aligned buffer address, but a
    This is a sorrow that lingers, because a 2893 byte read
    is the only thing that both Republicans and Democrats agree is

    Nothing ruins a Friday at 5 P.M. faster than taking one last pass through the
    log file and discovering a word-aligned buffer address, but a
    This is a sorrow that lingers, because a 2^893 byte read
    is the only thing that both Republicans and Democrats agree is

  138. Bicarbonate says

    Catholic Church Doesn’t Want People To Be Gay

    Today our public cultural radio is talking about the FIRST complete Catholic translation of the Bible into French to be used in church (only parts had been translated before and up until the 60s Mass was still read in Latin).

    They had a problem with Job 9:27

    The English of the New International Version of this verse reads “I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile.”

    The problem was that a common French translation of this verse — I translate word for word into English — is:

    “Unwrinkle your face, be gay” (Dérides ton visage, sois gai).

    I think the humor gets lost in my translation of the translation. Oh well.

  139. Bicarbonate says


    Yes, do blog about this. It is important. I am sorry that happened to you and know, first hand, what that feels like.

  140. says

    Hi there

    *safe hugs*

    I’m sorry things went badly. I wish you the best with your recovery.

    No, it’s not an easy topic. And I don’t think there is an easy solution, the big feminist win and we’ll all be happy. I think we need to take a step back and recognize that pregnancy and childbirth suck and are inherently dangerous and traumatizing. They’re disasters waiting to happen.
    We’re well versed in this when we argue pro choice and bodily autonomy, but somehow we seem to forget this when we talk about options and decisions in childbirth. Modern medicine has thankfully largely removed many of the scary aspects. Today we expect that a healthy happy mother leaves the hospital with a healthy baby. 200 years nobody expected that. People were happy if the mother made it, a living baby was more a bonus (unless it was an important baby, of course. Cesarians weren’t invented to safe the woman, they were carried out to save important babies.).
    That doesn’t mean we have the best possible care. We’re still emerging from a tradition where women were seen as necesary evils during childbirth.
    Yet there are conflicts during childbirth that are not easily resolved, and I’m not talking about some “fetus rights”. What about liability? Currently doctors and midwives can be liable for decisions the woman makes. Because courts recognise that during labour isn’t a good situation to make important decisions with a clear head and because women usually lack the knowledge to understand all the implications.
    There’s an anecdote one of my midwives told. During her own birth labour stalled. She’s a midwive and her husband is an OB/Gyn and they decided to wait some more time, monitor closely and decide then. She also said that she’d never do that with a patient. Because she was only taking her own risk and she understood it. She could not with a good conscience advise a patient to wait in that situation.
    Do you have a good solution for those situations?

  141. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says


    My position is and always has beenthat no matter how difficult it may be, an answer that requires a sacrifice of women’s bodily autonomy is not okay.

  142. says

    Noooo, I’m envious.

    That isn’t really an answer.
    Yes, I agree, women’s bodily autonomy must be paramount, but it doesn’t solve the problem of on the spot decisions and the problem of liability.
    I think that much can be done with good prenatal care, talking about possibilities and probabilities beforehand, like my midwife discussing why interventions are usually carried out when labour stalls. But I have no good answer to the hard questions that DO come up in this field and I don’t pretend that there’s an easy solution.
    I don’t want women and children to die because health care providers were afraid to carry out an intervention, I don’t want them walk a tightrope between being sued for violating a woman’s autonomy and being sued for malpractise for not doing so. I don’t want women to be bullied into interventions they don’t want to undergo and I don’t want them to have to sign waivers where providers weasel out of their responsibility.

  143. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Like ypu, I don’t have an answer. And i dont pretend that there are easy solutions either. All i know is that women’s bodily autonomy is being sactificed without their consent because their babies are seen as more important, more human.

  144. rq says

    Giliell and Gen
    I think the information aspect is paramount – women need to be informed about childbirth, and not only through woo-y pre-birth breathing classes. I know the ones I have been to don’t talk about complications and only address C-sections as a matter of choice, and I think only once mentioned it as a matter of emergency. At least a good review of how the science has made progress and great strides would be great. The real risks involved, even stats of some kind. Saying that fear is ok. Saying that it will hurt. Mentally preparing for the labour that is labour. Because I think it doesn’t really matter how much you want that baby, when faced with the reality of childbirth, there’s just too much stress and too many unknowns to wave it all away with ‘natural’ and ‘thousands of years’ and other similar bullshit.
    I don’t know about other countries, but I had to sign papers that I agreed to ‘physical manipulations’ in case of emergencies – basically written consent, in case of anything. That’s not a situation that makes me happy… but it does (sort of) cover the consent bit.
    For me, though, when I put myself in the hands of doctors, I more-or-less trust that they’ll make the right decision – hopefully for me, too. But. I need to be informed. I need to be told what they’re going to do, and why. And possible risks. And they should have a short, clear script to deliver, no waffling, no ‘oh but we always do this in this situation’, just ‘this is this, and this needs to be done, ok?’ Like I say, I more or less trust them to do the right thing… Because I’m not a doctor myself, and I have to trust them.

    In one sense, it’s a good idea to have someone with you, someone level-headed – but level-headed people in crisis situations are, most likely, in short supply, and I can’t always be carrying around my cool-headed expert-in-all-situations who can make my decisions for me (if I am for some reason unable to think clearly). And not everyone is lucky enough to have supporting personnel of any kind (I was lucky to have Husband with me). So this isn’t necessarily an option.

    Thanks. :)

    Crip Dyke

    I’m not into the post-apocalypitc thing generally, and I despise the zombie thing specifically.

    *high five*
    I love post-apocalyptic stuff, but I hate zombies (and cannibalism). I like post-apocalyptic-dystopias that manage to avoid zombies or other weird plagues that are suddenly capable of rendering humans mindless. And it’s hard to find other zombie-non-lovers around here, sometimes. :)
    As for the article, I re-read it this afternoon… I think it’s the gusto and enthusiasm with which the author writes that make it a delightfully fun read, even through all the obscurity. Because he clouds inside jokes with perfectly understandable (and even more funny) metaphors and juxtaposition, you just have to laugh. Or maybe it’s the absurdity. For instance:

    There will be rich debates about the socioeconomic implications of Helvetica Light, and at some point, you will have to decide whether serifs are daring statements of modernity, or tools of hegemonic oppression that implicitly support feudalism and illiteracy. Is pinching-and-dragging less elegant than circling-and-lightly-caressing?
    These urgent mysteries will not solve themselves.

    I liked this passage:

    “Look, I get it. Multiplication is not addition. This has been known for years. However, multiplication and addition are at least related. Multiplication is like addition, but with more
    addition. Multiplication is a grown-up pterodactyl, and addition is a baby pterodactyl. Thus, in your debugging story, your code is wayward, but it basically has the right idea. In contrast, there is no family-friendly GRE analogy that relates what my code should do, and what it is actually doing. I had the modest goal of translating a file read into a network operation, and now my machines have tuberculosis and orifice containment issues. Do you see the difference between our lives? When you
    asked a girl to the prom, you discovered that her father was a cop. When I asked a girl to the prom, I DISCOVERED THAT HER FATHER WAS STALIN.”

    And there are so many other truths:

    It’s like, French is a great idea, but nobody is going to invent French if they’re constantly being attacked by bears. Do you see? SYSTEMS HACKERS SOLVE THE BEAR MENACE.
    Only through the constant vigilance of my people do you get the freedom to think about croissants and subtle puns involving the true father of Louis XIV.

    (Well, I’m not actually sure if systems hackers solve the bear menace, but the part about French…)
    And finally, this one:

    You can’t just place a LISP book on top of an x86 chip and hope that the hardware learns about lambda calculus by osmosis.

    Apparently nothing works by osmosis except for osmosis. *sigh*


    re: Lounge Commune, urgent!! (ok, not so urgent)

    The main thing that I ponder is who will be in my gang, because the likelihood of post-apocalyptic survival is directly related to the size and quality of your rag-tag group of associates.
    There are some obvious people who I’ll need to recruit: a locksmith (to open doors); a demolitions expert (for when the locksmith has run out of ideas); and a person who can procure, train, and then throw snakes at my enemies (because, in a world without hope, snake throwing is a reasonable way to
    resolve disputes).

    By the way, do we have one of each of these (at least) for the Lounge Commune? Hmm? Or a systems programmer? Thought not. Sign up, people! Ragnarok is in February! (Lost my link, but I’m sure that’s true.)

  145. rq says

    ** Some TW may apply (reproductive rights) **
    I read your link @183 and I am just… wow. Especially this phrase:

    “her appropriation of the child while in utero was irresponsible, reprehensible.”

    Because she appropriated a fetus that had already appropriated her uterus? WTF? WTF? Because she could just calmly remove her uterus** (with imminent child) and move away to another state – in which case she’d get screwed over for abandoning a baby… I just can’t grasp the court’s attitude in this case. Imagine being pregnant and not allowed to move. At least the New York court seems mostly on the right track –

    “Putative fathers have neither the right nor the ability to restrict a pregnant woman from her constitutionally protected liberty.”

    ** Note: In real life, uterus is not calmly removable***, with or without fetus within.
    *** By ‘removable’ I mean ‘removable without voluntary or involuntary medical intervention’.

  146. Portia, in absentia says


    Yeah that was the bit that really got me, too. Absconded? With her own body? Yep.

    I feel I should say in this whole discussion about childbirth I’ve been a little cis-centric with my language and I want to acknowledge that “women” and “people possessing a uterus” are not coterminous categories, and I apologize if my language was harmful to anyone.

  147. rq says


    With her own body the fetus-incubator?

    Fixed that. And an incubator, we all know, is totally not autonomous or self-aware. [/snark]

  148. opposablethumbs says

    Argh. Don’t you just love people who see the problems with islam, right enough, but think xtianity is just tickety-boo fluffy-bunnies with unicorn-sparkles on top? And who believe we have xtianity to thank for western civilisation and all the benefits thereof? I’ve only exchanged a couple of comments with “Me” over at Maryam Namazie’s here – http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2013/11/23/rescind-endorsement-of-sex-segregation-at-uk-universities/ – and already my head hurts from hitting the desk. I might try again later, but aaaargh. (and also, yeuch, eeeuw and bleagh).
    wrt pregnancy and birth healthcare, I wish that it weren’t the case that in many places it seems like the only alternative to authoritarian over-medicalisation is mystical woo; the only alternative to withholding information, providing misinformation. I thoroughly disliked the whole damn business, and would most happily have handed off the entire thing to other-parent if I could, but at least I got a midwife I thought I could trust, so I felt more or less that she was the expert keeping procedures as close as practicable to what I had wanted. More or less. Approximately. Roughly sort-of similar-ish.

    I won’t be really satisfied with arrangements until all parents can take turns doing the whole being-pregnant-and-giving-birth thing, not just some of ‘em. Actually, scratch that – roll on the detachable artificial uterus, please!

  149. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, and having said that stupid joke I read up and see Portia’s post about the case at #185. Words fail me.

  150. opposablethumbs says

    I mean, about that woman being treated effectively as if she were no more than an ambulatory incubator.

    Of course if we really did have artificial uteri available … it could be great! Imagine, if only people who actually wanted to take charge of a pregnancy got to do so, and at no physical danger or pain to themselves … no more being physically at work 24/7 :-) (I always wished I could just take it off at night; working all day is one thing, not getting a break at night is quite another!)

  151. says

    Ok I finally posted about the birth. Its probably gonna be a case of tl;dr for most of you, but I still appreciate the support I’ve been given so far.

  152. says

    Yeah, I read that article about Ragnarok. I loved that they repeated the same info 3 (4?) times. Twas very silly.

    Btw, zombies are ok in small doses. Especially when social commentary is interwoven in the post-apocalyptic tale (Ala Romero’s original ‘Night of the Living Dead’, ‘Dawn of the Dead’ or ‘Land of the Dead’). I did quite like Danny Boyle’s ’28 Days Later’ as well. I like good zombie movies that deal with the repercussions on humanity after such a plague. The Walking Dead-comic book-works for me largely through exploring humanity in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak. Watching people attempt to retain their humanity amid ongoing life and death struggles is interesting. I wish the writers of these stories would use the opportunity to explore gender roles, or euthanasia, or other social issues more often. Zombie stories, unlike vampire ones allow for these type of stories.

    I would also like science fiction movies to explore the aftermath of events.
    What is the world like following War of the Worlds?
    Surely the worlds governments scooped up the warships. What did they do with them?

    Gojira just destroyed Tokyo? Though that fire breathing lizard was a metaphor for the uncontrollable, destructive forces unleashed by attempting to harness nuclear power, threre would still be vastly different repercussions than the fallout from a nuclear detonation. Heck, I wonder if the Big G left any skin samples…

    Stuff like that could be endlessly entertaining, IMO.

  153. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Jebus, skeptifem. :( :(

    *gentle hugs*

    Having concluded that my cat is utterly lazy and useless in this regard, I have bowed to pressure and left a few baited mousetraps about.


  154. cicely says

    rq, I read that piece, too, and though I also didn’t understand the more technical bits, I thought it was very lol-worthy. It reminds me of the way I deal with Stross’ Laundry series—I know I’m not getting everything, but I love what I do get.
    “HCI people discover bugs
    by receiving a concerned email from their therapist. Systems
    people discover bugs by waking up and discovering that their
    first-born children are missing and “ETIMEDOUT ” has been
    written in blood on the wall.”

    “Denying the existence of pointers is like living in ancient
    Greece and denying the existence of Krackens and then being
    confused about why none of your ships ever make it to Morocco,
    or Ur-Morocco, or whatever Morocco was called back then.
    Pointers are like Krackens—real, living things that must be dealt
    with so that polite society can exist.”

    “I have a network file system, and I have broken the network,
    and I have broken the file system, and my machines crash when
    I make eye contact with them. I HAVE NO TOOLS BECAUSE I’VE


  155. raven says

    A heads up here. You don’t want to stand next to Obama for the next few days. A group on Facebook is threatening to kill him.

    The Christian American Patriots Militia. Looks like they left “White” out by accident.

    Oh well. I guess we will find out if xian terrorism goes well with turkey.

    Sat Nov 23, 2013 Dailykos com
    Christian Militia Claims ‘Authority’ To Shoot And Kill Obama
    by Leslie Salzillo .

    Just when you think the right-wing ‘Christian’ extremists can’t get any worse, they now are making death threats against President Obama – on Facebook. Everest W, the administrator of the Facebook group Christian American Patriots Militia wrote a status that starts with:

    “We now have the authority to shoot Obama, i.e. to kill him.”
    They must not know it’s a federal crime and felony to make threats against any president. If they thought they were keeping it a secret, the word is out. Facebook, the FBI, and the Secret Service have been notified by numerous Facebook users claiming they called/contacted authorities.

  156. says

    *safehugs* or other appropriate/desired gestures of support.

    I tend to feel the same way about zombies; they’re ok in small doses, but not as the central plot premise. I’m fond of Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century novels, for instance in which zombies are a thing, but more of a sideshow to the increasingly steampunkish and brutal Civil War now in its third horrible, grinding decade, Seattle destroyed by toxic gases from the earth, and shell-shocked veterans getting addicted to a horrible narcotic that will ultimately kill and zombify them. And there’s also plot and characters and stories too.

  157. says

    *refills hugs supply*

    Zombie novels – I’m going to put in a vote for Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy – Feed, Deadline and Blackout. They’re well-written with interesting, engaging characters, and take place in the world after the rise of the zombie plague. The prequel “San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats”, which is available in Kindle format, is heartbreaking.

    Mira Grant is Seanan McGuire – under her own name, she writes wonderful fantasy.

  158. says


    I just finished an audio book of “This Book is Full of Spiders, Seriously Dude Don’t Touch It” Which takes the interesting premise that the most dangerous part of a zombie out break isn’t the actual infection but the wave of paranoia and panic that is triggered in the populations surrounding an outbreak.

    It’s also quite funny.

  159. says

    I hadn’t heard of that show. Though not exactly what I was thinking of, that show sounds interesting on its own. Hmmm…


    We seem to have similar preferences wrt to zombie movies.
    There is a looming question though:
    do you prefer shambling zombies or running ones?

    Personally either one is fine bc I am more focused on how humans deal with a zombie outbreak. The type of zombie affects how people respond to them sure. However, either scenario can result in varying levels of entertainment (down to and including *none*).

    Ingdigo Jump:
    Sounds interesting.
    Another aspect of zombie films I find intriguing: the deterioration of civilized humans as they struggle to survive. How much of our progress can we retain hold on when we are in a daily fight to stay alive and find shelter, supplies etc?

  160. says

    opposablethumbs @196:
    Wow. Those comments by Me* at Maryams blog are so similar to a commenter last week in one of PZs threads. I am sick of hearing how awful Islam is/Christianity is unicorns farting chocolate scented rainbows. Or ‘atheists do not call out Islam enough’. Gee, for many of us, Christianity is a more direct threat, or we live in a region where Islamists have little to no power, or a combination of both. I wonder how many people under Islamic regimes report on Mormons?

    *limitations of the English language? Other than wording the sentence as the commenter known as ME…, how else can I refer to someone else as, well ME? Kinda confusing.

  161. says

    Anne D:
    Wikipedia says this about the second novel:

    Without the setting of a United States presidential election to use as in Feed (waiting for the next election would have left too much time for the characters’ emotional wounds to heal), McGuire chose to focus more on the zombie virus itself; how a lab-engineered virus developed and evolved, and how humans were responding to it, on both societal and biological levels. [1] McGuire also wanted to look at the long-term impact of a zombie apocalypse on society, and the associated psychological conditions. Other themes covered in the novel include medical ethics and human responsibility.

    I wonder if I would be more inclined to finish a book if I read on a tablet…
    I have so many started-but-not-finished books around the house…

  162. says

    I’m not fond of zombie movies of any sort at all, really. I prefer my zombies literary. Generally, I prefer the slower sort. The main threat/horror is the implacable nature of them, on my view, and the fact that they can recruit your casualties onto their side. For more dangerous/scary zombies, I lean towards the magical/nanotech flavor: They’re not notably fast, but they don’t stop. Blow off their heads, they don’t stop. Cut off an arm, it crawls towards you, etc. The fast flesh eater concept fits better for ghouls, eaters of living or dead flesh that combine a predator cunning with a graveyard horror.

  163. says


    Fair warning that that book is a sequel and is written by a Cracked writer. Depending on your preferences that is either a selling or breaking point.

  164. says

    I just had a thought (I imagine others long before me have pondered this too):
    Given the widespread access to information today, would it be harder to create, sustain and achieve growth in a religion if it were created from scratch?
    Or even another xtian split like the LDS?

  165. rq says

    Nah, the less zombies, the better, for me… Preferably none at all. Dead people should stay dead. Things like 28 Days Later are borderline, because it is a disease and from what I remember the ‘zombies’ die eventually as the natural progress of the virus. The ones where the zombies keep living some kind of not-alive ‘life’ and enjoy eating brains and stuff… Naht reeeeally for me.

    If you want a rather quiet post-apocalyptic book that looks at humanity after the (viral) apocalypse (only 500 years into the future!), try A Scientific Romance by Ronald Wright. I don’t know how easy it is to come by, and it involves HG Wells’ time machine, but it’s a nice low-key book that I enjoy re-reading from time to time.

    Omynonexistentgods, all of them – I am so sorry for your experiences. *safe hugs* or other *[gesture]* if you feel up to it. It is so hard to believe that professional people would treat their patients that way – but there it is, in writing. Wow.
    The bit that really got to me (besides all of it, actually) was the part where the one midwife implied that you were just too stressed and too out-of-it due to labour to understand what was going on. *rageragerage* I don’t know why, but that little bit of false explanation there just…
    Thank you for speaking out.

  166. blf says

    I prefer my zombies literary.

    I prefer my baked. The mildly deranged penguin does a good baked cheese, zombie, cheese, and cheese pie, with an unusual topping of MUSHROOMS! Best served with rouge vin and a side of baby sashimi.

  167. opposablethumbs says

    Hi rq! Yes, the commenter-known-as-”Me” seems to be quite the picture-book example of a dyed-in-the-wool xtian apologist. Hir latest is simply to come out and admit it straight up – I said that they were being all “No True Scotsman all the way down” and “Me” answered that

    It IS the case that only good deeds are of genuine Christianity. And bad deeds only come from breaching the directions and values of Christ.

    I think that’s about as far as it can go, really :-\ I’m going to leave it there, because “Me” isn’t interested in anything but the perfection of xtianity, and the whole thing is a derail wrt the OT about universities giving in to demands for segregation so I feel it’s getting to be a bit rude to go on with it on Maryam Namazie’s blog.

    zombies, now … can’t abide ‘em! Never watch zombie movies (I might make an exception for Shaun of the Dead at some point, though. I liked Hot Fuzz).

    Zombies, huh. I’ts funny – I could have sworn I just changed the subject and then it suddenly struck me that “Me” is a bit like a zombie :-) – xe will just go on hir implacable way, with a one-track mind and an insatiable drive, brains long since eaten …

  168. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @opposable thumbs: where is this Xian commenter?

    Don’t know why I feel compelled to find out more, but there you are.

  169. rq says

    You might want to mention to ‘Me’ that, contrary to their belief that all science etc. was founded within christendom (there was a line about “Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read and write let alone use the infidels’ internet let alone be alive anyway.”), quite a bit of science and aids in science (like mathematics) have strong roots and strong influence in the middle east – pre- and post-christianity, and not always related to it. Algebra, for instance, is even named after the Arab mathematician who wrote about it (subject to correction). And christian cathedrals? Well, I give you islamic architecture, not all of which dates to the modern age… And some of it is also pre-christian and pre-islam. So… I don’t see religion as such providing people with the knowledge and insight to build beautiful things or to discover new wonders of the world. Maybe some stimulus (glory of god and all that), but not the knowledge and skills.

  170. says

    Tony @ 212,

    That’s a fair short summary of Blackout, but there’s a lot more interpersonal stuff going on along with the investigations.

    I think they’re well worth reading, and re-reading, even though they give me nightmares.

  171. birgerjohansson says

    What If Rich People Got More Votes? http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/rich-people-more-votes-hunt-alpaca

    -We actually had this system in Sweden during the latter half of the 19th century –at least in municipal elections. Not popular at all.

    — — — —
    “Pearls Before Swine”; Rat has thanksgiving dinner with his family

    and http://wpcomics.washingtonpost.com/client/wpc/pb/2013/11/25/

  172. opposablethumbs says

    Good points, rq. I’m trying to resist heading back over there, because I’m supposed to be working right now …

    I know there are a lot of things I’d rather do! :-)

  173. says

    For reasons grounded almost entirely in ignorance, U.S. Congress critters voted to make themselves sign up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act (they already had healthcare through their employer, the U.S. Government). John Boehner decided to have his attempt to sign up captured for posterity, but then, like a true lying, misleading sack of you know what, he left out some of the salient details and released an edited version.

    Late last week Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made a big show of trying but failing to sign up for Obamacare because of the notoriously buggy website. (Actually he appears to have been using the DC exchange site.) He even did a special tweet noting his hopeless situation. Not terribly surprising given the frustrating experiences so many have had.

    Actually, it turns out he had successfully enrolled and got a call confirming that about an hour after his tweet. But it gets better.

    According to Scott MacFarlane, a reporter for the local NBC affiliate in Washington, reports that a DC Health Care exchange representative actually tried to contact Boehner by phone during the enrollment process but was put on hold for 35 minutes, after which time the representative finally hung up….


  174. says

    The Hobby Lobby case is (most likely) headed to the Supreme Court:

    The owners of Hobby Lobby, a chain of crafts stores that plays religious music for shoppers, provides employees free “spiritual counseling” and closes down every Sunday, have been fighting tooth and nail to avoid providing their employees with the comprehensive reproductive healthcare required under the Obama Administration’s healthcare reforms because, they argue, allowing women to determine if and and what kind of birth control to use is a violation of its religious beliefs.

    As the New York Times notes, a federal appeals court agreed with Hobby Lobby on that issue, and now the Supreme Court on Tuesday will decide whether or not to hear the Obama administration’s appeal of that decision….

    Salon link.

  175. says

    The Koch brothers are negatively affecting small business organizations.


    The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) calls itself “America’s leading small-business advocacy association,” an organization formed “to give every type of small and independent business a voice in government policy-making.” Most recently, NFIB is famous for NFIB v. Sebelius, one of the legal challenges to Obamacare that reached the Supreme Court. You might wonder “how could a non-profit membership organization made up of mom-and-pop businesses take on a case this big?” Well, how else?

    NFIB and its affiliated groups received $2.5 million from Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a conservative advocacy group with deep ties to the Koch empire. Of the five men that sit on the group’s board, four are current or former employees of Koch companies and one is a friend of Charles Koch’s.
    Freedom Partners gave the NFIB $1.5 million last year, the biggest single contribution the federation received, according to tax records. The Koch-backed group gave three other NFIB-affiliated group another $1 million, making Freedom Partners among the top two biggest contributors to those groups, records show.

    More at the link.

  176. says

    Walmart’s PR people have been pushing the myth that all of their workers are excited to be working on Thanksgiving, and that said workers will receive all kinds of benefits for working on a holiday, including extra pay. This is not really true. Walmart has found a way to appear to be generous while actually screwing over their employees.
    Daily Kos link.

    … Wal-Mart calculates “holiday pay” for its workers differently than many of its rivals — Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney and Toys R Us — who pay workers time and a half.

    Wal-Mart gives employees a regular hourly wage plus additional pay for working the Thanksgiving holiday. The additional pay is equal to the average daily wage in the two weeks leading up to the holiday….

    Wal-Mart calculates “holiday pay” for its workers differently than many of its rivals — Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney and Toys R Us — who pay workers time and a half.

    Wal-Mart gives employees a regular hourly wage plus additional pay for working the Thanksgiving holiday. The additional pay is equal to the average daily wage in the two weeks leading up to the holiday. …

    Wal-Mart workers say their hours are cut prior to the holidays, so their average daily wage also goes down….

    “The extra pay is not really a benefit, since they cut your hours,” she said. “Your paycheck either equals the same amount or it ends up being less.”…

  177. Friendly says

    So, as a technical editor who was (for most of last year) looking for a job, I looked into some openings advertised by ProEdit, Inc., a Georgia firm that handles editorial staffing nationwide. I’ve been on their email list ever since, and most of the material they send out is related to job and contract openings, training, and other useful stuff. Today, however, I got a nasty surprise from them in my inbox, and here is how I responded on their “Contact Us” page:

    “I don’t mind receiving emails from your company about professional editing and related career opportunities. However, I take great exception to receiving an unsolicited, unprofessional, and irrelevant email from your organization titled ‘[FAITH] 10 Great Thanksgiving Prayers’ sourced from a site called ‘whatchristianswanttoknow.com,’ which, on their ‘About’ page, identifies one of ‘Our Beliefs’ as ‘We believe that those who die without salvation go to a literal place called Hell’. I have never given you my permission to send me emails with religious content and respectfully request that you never send me such an email again.”

    I’m wondering whether they’ll bother responding.

  178. Nutmeg says

    I’m just going to vent selfishly for a minute here, so that I don’t do it in meatspace.

    My best friend is having some depression issues. (Which she is not getting treatment for, but that’s another story.) I know, intellectually, that she’s not herself right now and it probably isn’t personal when she doesn’t reply to emails or show enthusiasm for hanging out. Or when she says, “Sure, let’s do something” and then doesn’t reciprocate when I try to set up a specific time and place. I know that she just might not be capable of the effort right now.

    But it still hurts. No one likes to chase after someone. And as a reader of Captain Awkward, I’m a big fan of the idea that reciprocity in friendship is important, and that people who like you and want to spend time with you will act like it. I know it’s probably just her depression that’s making her act this way. But I can’t be sure, and there’s always the little voice in the back of my head saying, “Maybe she just doesn’t like you anymore.”

    I know I need to make allowances for my friend’s depression. And I will. Unless I think of a better plan, I will keep initiating contact and inviting her to hang out. But this is hard and anxiety-inducing, at a time when I really didn’t need any more of that.

  179. blf says

    Another Walmart fail, U.S. Retailers Decline to Aid Factory Victims in Bangladesh. Sorry no detailed excerpts, I gotta leave, but here is a synopsis:

    The International Labor Organization is working with Bangladeshi officials, labor groups and several retailers to create ambitious compensation funds to assist not just the families of the dead, but also more than 1,800 workers who were injured, some of them still hospitalized. … [B]ut … neither Walmart, Sears, Children’s Place nor any of the other American companies that were selling goods produced at Tazreen or Rana Plaza have agreed to contribute to the efforts.

  180. Tethys says

    Sharing some good news about the Stuebenville rape case.

    Steubenville case: Four more charged, including superintendent, volunteer coach

    The charges were announced Monday by the state’s top prosecutor, who decried “blurred, stretched and distorted boundaries of right and wrong” by students and grown-ups alike.
    “How do you hold kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine asked.

    I applaud Mr DeWine, and I am having a little geeky chuckle at the appropriateness of his name.
    Whether it is wine or whine, Stuebenvilles football program worship is in dire need of being de’ed.

  181. says

    More anti-abortion legislation is finding a back-door means of subverting the Affordable Healthcare Act:

    During the fractious health care reform fight of 2010, one of the sticking points preventing the bill from moving forward was a controversial amendment proposed by Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat.
    The so-called Stupak amendment would have forbidden Obamacare plans from covering abortion, instead requiring Americans who wanted this coverage to purchase separate, abortion-only policies. Stupak lost the battle, but he’s winning the war. Twenty-three states have adopted similar rules—and Stupak’s home state of Michigan could be the latest to join them.

    On Monday, a state elections board is expected to certify a petition drive, organized by the anti-abortion group Michigan Right to Life, in support of a law prohibiting public and private health insurance plans from covering abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. … Under the law, individuals and employers could purchase an insurance rider specifically covering abortions. But because employers would have the option of not including the rider in their policies, some women might not even have that choice….

    Although Stupak’s amendment didn’t make it into the Affordable Care Act, a compromise gave states the power to opt out of the federal requirement that health care plans include abortion coverage. So far, 23 states have taken advantage of that provision, by passing laws prohibiting plans offered through state exchanges from covering abortions. Eight of those states ban abortion coverage in both public and private plans.


  182. says

    Uh … yeah, that’s a terrible reason to oppose immigration reform:

    At least Mark Krikorian knows his audience. In an interview with WorldNetDaily today, the Center for Immigration Studies director urged House Republicans who support immigration reform to oppose the Senate’s bipartisan immigration plan simply in order to deny President Obama a “victory.”

    “The only thing he has left now that would salvage the wreckage of his administration is an amnesty,” Krikorian told WND. “And why any Republican, even if they agreed with him, would save President Obama’s political fortunes is beyond me.” …


  183. says

    Four adults have been charged with helping to cover up the Steubenville rape case. Too late for the young woman involved to escape the post-rape harm caused by the cover up.

    On Monday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that the grand jury investigating the Steubenville rape case has charged four adults in the community for allegedly helping to cover up the crime that made national headlines last spring. That includes the school district’s superintendent, who is the only one to face felony charges.

    The aftermath of the Steubenville rape case, which involved several high school football players assaulting an unconscious victim, has stretched on for months. After two teens were found guilty of rape in March, a grand jury was convened to investigate whether any adults knew about the assault and attempted to keep it quiet. The grand jury made its first arrest last month, jailing a Steubenville school official who was accused of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. …


  184. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    skeptifem – *gentle hugs* I’m so sorry you were treated that way.

    rq – *pouncehug with chocolate*

  185. thunk: she'd rather be on a train says


    this trans-femininity thing (I think that’s where I’m at right now) is hard.

    I’m apparently not allowed to be butch and trans at the same time. The latter just mysteriously gets ignored.

    and I haet the pink and frilly.

  186. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Ugh, thunk, I totally hear what you’re saying. Although I think that with my talent for “butch” is fair to say that both get ignored. But yeah, I’m not femme either. No makeup, little jewelry to start with makes me think that I have a lot of room to do femme or butch when I want.


    Butch usually equals not-much-different-from Seedy’s-normal, and femme is swallowed into fairly average woman dress, given what constitutes femme for me.

    But I would kind of like it if my friends at least *noticed* when I was doing something overtly different from my usual.
    On a more important note, I have noticed often, but again and with particular frustration today, that there are many, many products that are lacking an appropriately garlicky option.

    I have pringles maybe once every 3 years. Seriously, I can’t remmeber when the last time I bought them was (before today). The last time I can remember eating them was….2009?

    But there I am, and pringles are on a massive sale & I’m stocking up on quick and snack foods (precut veggies, frozen taters, things I can throw in a pan while I’m still reading = quick, peanuts, dried pineapple, etc (things that aren’t cooked at all) = snack) and I see pringles on a massive sale. Less than 1/2 price. I think, can I justify $0.75 on a can of pringles with no nutritional value?

    hell yeah!

    “Where’s the garlic flavor?” I immediately ask myself.

    And… there is none.

    There are frosted flacks and bran flakes and frosted bran flakes, but where’s the garlic-coated corn flakes?

    Where, I ask you?

    How am I supposed to get through paper writing like this? Must I peel, chop, and cook my own garlic even during finals?

    The world weeps.

  187. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I am sorry for both you and your depressed friend. Of course, everyone’s depression is different, and everyone needs to deal with it differently. That said, it is likely that your friend simply cannot muster the energy to do much of anything. They may not believe that you really want to be around them and so are just being “a good friend.” They may feel that they will suck the life out of any gathering they attend. They may feel that things will never get better. And on and on.

    I do not know how severe the depression is. If it is severe enough that they are thinking seriously of ending their life (e.g. planning, giving away belongings…), they really need to get help. I put my friends and loved ones through hell when I was depressed, but in the end knowing I couldn’t hurt them was what kept me alive.

    It is possible that the episode may resolve on its own. Or it may require treatment. Or it may be that the prospect of getting better through treatment may itself provide enough hope to break through. If you can stand the black hole of negativity, you can help greatly just by being there, by continuing to provide reassurance that things can get better and by providing a counterpoint to the shit-colored glasses through which your friend currently sees the world. Good luck.

  188. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, a_ray. I’m doing my best to remember everything I know about depression, so that at least I can avoid making things worse for her by saying dumb things. Previous discussions around here have been very educational in that respect.

    Our group of friends has tried the “Give her time, she’s just burned out” approach, but she’s been struggling since at least July, and things are clearly getting worse instead of better. I’m pretty sure she isn’t in any danger right now, but I’d really like to try to talk her into getting some treatment. But that’s pretty hard to do when she’s not answering any emails about meeting for coffee, you know? *frustrated noises*

    Normally, this kind of behaviour from someone would lead me to conclude that they weren’t very interested in maintaining our friendship. I hope that’s not the case here. For now, I think I’m going to have to mentally file her in the category of “is dealing with too much shit to be a good friend right now”. And I’ll continue to swallow my pride and reach out to her without much hope of an enthusiastic response. And I’ll try to get my social needs met by connecting with the friends who are still treating me well.

    *sigh* I was already having a bunch of weird insecure feelings related to my friend group before this started. When it rains, it pours.

  189. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    ARIDS has the right of it.

    For myself, when the depression was at its worse I pretty much stopped socialising entirely. At no point did I think of what it was doing to my friends. I couldn’t. You see, depression can squeeze your point of view down until all that’s left is that which is literally right in front of you. When I think back on that time the visuals I get are little flashes of single objects or events seen as if looked at through a black cardboard tube. And again, I mean that literally.

    As an example of now narrow my focus was: I ate a lot of cereal at that time. Not because I liked it, but because the box could just sit on the table; it didn’t need to be put away to keep it at least somewhat fresh. I’d think “I’m hungry.” and if there was food in arm’s reach I’d eat it. If I had to get up and find something in a cupboard I often didn’t bother. Forget about cooking, wasn’t going to happen.

    I can understand how hard it must be for you. What you’re going through sounds like a normal human reaction to the change in your relationship with your friend. But please hold fast to the fact that this situation is not normal and our instincts don’t deal well with such things.

    I’ll also say that you have every right to do what you have to to keep yourself healthy. Finding a balance between that and helping your friend is no easy task. I’ve been on that side of the equation too and it sucks.

    I hope things get easier.

  190. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, Weed Monkey. I do know that intellectually, but reminders are good. Any kind of info about depression is good, particularly if I’m not handling something well with my friend. I’ve never experienced more than mild winter blues, so I don’t really know what a depressed person is going through.

  191. Nutmeg says

    Oops, missed one! Thanks, Fossil Fishy. That perspective is really helpful. This friend is normally the kind of person who is very careful to respond to emails and meet up regularly. I know that, if she was capable of doing those things, she would. The gradual slip in her keeping-in-touch behaviour over the past few months is a pretty clear indicator that she’s in over her head here.

  192. says

    I am so glad I do not rearrange the house often. Came home @1130 pm to no power. My first worry was stumbling over one of the cats, so I dragged my feet, rather than stepping. Then lighting the candles and finding the flash light. Not a big inconvenience really, since I do not have cable. The one thing I do not like is the q-u-i-e-t. Its been raining off and on for hours. Nothing severe, but it is not enough to match the rainfall setting on my alarm clock. Presently, I hear every piece of dropped food my cats are munching on, every car driving across the wet road and the annoying dripping outside my window.
    I do appreciate technological advances. I logged onto the power company website to report an outage, but it is already listed and the estimated repair time is in a few hours. I thought it was cool being able to find such info in no time. Years ago, you were stuck waiting for the power to come back on…whenever that was.

    How is everyone tonight/today?

  193. chigau (違う) says

    Hello Tony! in the quiet.
    The temperature is warmingish here which means every flat surface will be a skating rink by morning.
    But the city, starting at midnight, is removing snow from the streets, polishing the ice while they do so.
    Who knows, maybe this time it’ll work.

  194. says

    Friendly @233:
    I liked your response and I am curious if they will contact you further…


    Crip Dyke:
    As much as I *adore* garlic (my love for garlic matches cicely’s dislike of horses), I must say thee nay! to garlic corn flakes.

    Tony Tale: Religion
    (For a moment I had the silly thought that I would try to make this short…shyeah, right)
    Picture it: Sicily, 1933…sorry, Golden Girls flashback
    What is a good way to get my undivided attention?
    While finishing inventory in the office today, N (an agnostic I work with), approached me and said he had a question about atheism and religion. Guess who perked up?

    N said he had been thinking about religious stuff for a few weeks and did not really know anyone he could talk to about this, aside from me. He recalled that I call myself an atheist and anti-theist.

    (Btw, he never actually got around to asking the specific question he had)

    I reiterated that I feel religion is holding humanity back and has a far greater negative impact on us than a positive one–and that all of the PROs of religion can be met without it. His position is that he doesn’t begrudge people their beliefs as it helps people find purpose and meaning. I responded that that would be fine if people quit trying to regulate the lives of others based on their religion. I also mentioned that I am not the type of atheist who feels superior to anyone bc I got the god question right. I told him that there are many asshole atheists and many really good theists. For me, Humanism is my worldview, bc atheism is not enough on its own.

    I explained my problems with agnosticism, pointing out that I do not claim to *know* there is a god, but based on the evidence there is insufficient reason to believe any deity exists. I made a point to say deity as a subtle reminder that there are other skydaddies.

    N got excited at this point bc he had been curious about the difference between atheism and agnosticism. I explained multiple ideas here:
    1. knowledge vs belief- atheism is about what one does not believe in rather than the question of what one knows to be true.

    2. Preponderance of evidence- no evidence exists to support the existence of any gods, whether Yahweh or the Greco Roman gods.

    3. Richard Dawkins’ scale of belief. I told N that I am @6.5 and further explained that if evidence turns up to support the existence of a higher power, I would accept the evidence and believe–but would not necessarily worship. I pointed out the genocidal biblical god

    My response to the following question by N:
    “What do you think created everything?”

    I don’t know.

    That answer allowed me to segue into fallacious arguments. When I told him that was nothing more than Argument from Ignorance, he appeared uncertain. Until I drove the point home by explaining that just bc I cannot explain how everything was created does not therefore mean Godidit is the answer.
    ‘Where does the evidence lead?” I asked him.

    I briefly talked about the Argument from Complexity (which he quickly agreed was nonsense) before wrapping up by explaining “I don’t know is a perfectly reasonable answer” and that my life is not really going to change if I knew how the universe was created. Nor, I suspect would the lives of many people.


    Tony Tale 2: corporal punishment

    I really, really love it when light bulbs go off in peoples’ heads.
    J and I were cleaning tables tonight and overheard a discussion between servers about punishing children. When I mentioned being opposed to spanking, J looked puzzled.


    I pointed out that if one adult punches another (unprovoked) that thats assault. If I wrre to attempt to whip an adult with a switch or belt, the law is going to crawl my ass. So why is it different with children? Moreover, children are more vulnerable than adults, so harming them is a greater possibility through corporal punishment. I told her that kids are not the property of their parents and that such physical punishment reinforces violence as a solution. Given how much violence our culture swims in, this is not a lesson we need to keep reinforcing. J really seemed to get what I was saying. It was cool too, bc she is a parent of two.

    Between those two chats I was hopeful that N and J might think on some of what I said. I may never know if my words had an impact on either, but just the possibility of such made me happy.

  195. rq says

    Tony – making the world a brighter place, one important conversation at a time. *hugs* You rock!

  196. rq says

    *steals garlic flake recipe*
    Six to ten hours??? I want my garlic flakes NOW!!

    Oh Crip Dyke if you don’t want to go around peeling and crushing garlic, take a whole head of garlic (you know, that thing that has all the cloves), slice off the top (or not, this is optional) and stick it in the oven for half-an-hour. Then smash up all the cloves for a roasted-garlic dip, suitable for all types of Pringles!

  197. opposablethumbs says

    Good morning, Horde. I’m going to try to get (most of) my work done this morning so I can get in a quick walk while it’s still sunny (bright sun in a clear blue winter sky and cold, one of my favourites).

    Nutmeg, I’m sorry to hear about your friend. This is just a guess, of course, but it could be that simply by initiating contact and extending invitations you’re helping – because of that oh-so-lovely depression thing where you think, “why would anyone really want to see me/get a response from me anyway; I’m so useless and unlikable nobody would miss me if I never responded/weren’t there at all”. Even if your friend is too deep in the hole right now to respond, maybe contact from you and others acts as a tiny reminder that there is a world out there with people in it who know of her existence and care enough to send messages. And yes, of course you have to look after yourself! Here’s wishing you many spoons.

    I had an odd thought (well, a stray thought) pop into my mind a few minutes ago: given my age etc. I can be effectively 100% certain I will never be pregnant again (no, this is not something I normally bother to think about consciously!). My body, such as it is, will always be my own for the rest of my life. This is wonderful. Whereas if one is a young cis woman, making sure you have all your contraceptive ducks in a row is something that is always – not on your conscious mind, necessarily, but always a presence in your existence, I suppose. Or worrying about pregnancy, for the world majority who don’t have access to proper contraception in the first place. And then it struck me; this must be how cis men feel all the time. I’m not saying cis men don’t worry about paternity, of course I’m sure responsible cis men do, but they know – know – that as far as reproduction is concerned their bodies will always be their own.

    I don’t think I can put this into words very well, because on one level of course it’s utterly banal. It was just that sudden thought, that cis men just get to have this, all their lives – and probably think nothing of it –
    though of course there are some people for whom this may not be what they want, I do realise that …
    OK, giving up now. Eloquence, I does not haz it. Never mind, the sun is out and I’d better get that work done so I get to enjoy a walk later … My best hugs for all who would care for one, with extra for those for whom things are bad. See you later – bye for now. ::waves::

  198. rq says

    Wait, what? Now they’re trying to restrict what kinds of patients a doctor can see???


    Enjoy your walk! I think we have the same fantastic weather here, hoping to get outside for a bit, but Youngest is still slightly feverish, so we may just have to romp around the sunroom instead.
    And you needn’t have stopped your revelation so quickly – it’s a good read! I have to admit, I’ve had similar thoughts, but not quite with such clarity – and not in relation to my reproductive organs.
    (But other things, like when I get in the car after work, because it’s late and dark and I’m alone, the first thing I do is lock the door. Husband has asked me previously why I have the car doors locked if I’m on the inside. I just… how do you explain??)


    But the city, starting at midnight, is removing snow from the streets, polishing the ice while they do so.

    What, is there a city-wide hockey game planned or something?

  199. bassmike says

    So many things I’d like to respond to!

    Nutmeg: I know a number of people have already responded with great advice. I just thought I’d share a little of my feelings as I’ve been on both sides of the issue. Firstly, when I was at school, my best friend was continually doing to me what your friend is doing to you. I don’t recall any indications of mental issues. But every time I would invite him over he would either be very late, or not turn up at all. There was never any apology. Being a sensitive soul this used to hit me hard. Even now, almost 40 years later, I still have that little voice telling me that people won’t turn up when I invite them to meet up. I can’t emphasise how profoundly this has affected my view of the world. Even here in the lounge I get paranoid about whether anyone will read what I write and whether it has any worth at all.

    Now from the other perspective: I have bouts of mild depression and during these bouts I find human company really problematic. I have dropped out of social functions as a result. I try and keep myself to myself as social interactions are not good for me or anyone else. So if your friend is anything like me meeting up with someone they care about may be something that they wish to avoid in their current state. If they’ve previously been enthusiastic about meeting up with you I would be of the opinion that it’s a matter of time for them to start to feel better again. All you can do is be there for them and provide support when they request it. I know it’s a hard path to follow. Your have my sympathy and support.

    Tony: As ever, your writings are insightful and enlightening. Keep up the good work!

    opposablethumbs: Your thoughts on the priveledge that men have with respect to their bodies seems spot on to me. As a man, I’ve never had to worry about all the things that you list. I’d like to think that I’ve tried to empathise with the women in my life. I will continue to try hard support them and do what I can to help. Thank you for your insight.

    My daughter is not well again. Hopefully, no where near as serious as proviously, but it’s all worrying as she woke in the night with a high temperature and she was awake early and not happy.I worry.

  200. rq says

    I read what you write!!!
    And *hugs* for the daughter situation, heh, we had something similar – Youngest got over his bout of strep, and two days later came down with high fevers (only symptom, going all the way up to 40C). For five days. Just receding now. :( (BUT Eldest had similar attacks of something when he was little, so I had the benefit of previous experience to somewhat keep me calm – but it’s never pretty when the children are sick!)
    I hope she feels better soon, and her parents, too!!!

  201. rq says

    Oh and I don’t mean to minimise the potential for nasty diseases in your case (esp. considering you’ve just suffered through pneumonia), sorry if I came across that way. :/ Good luck and best wishes!
    This is what happens when I try to share personal experiences that may not apply. Ech.

  202. bassmike says

    rq: Thank you! As there are no other symptoms, we’re hopeful that it’s nothing too serious. She’s gone to nursery this morning and they will let us know if we need to come and take her home. She still has an appetite which is a good sign. Your concern is appreciated and I was sorry to read about your children’s problems and I apologise for not having responded before, but my posting is restricted to during the week. So anything that appears at the weekend won’t get a reply until the Monday, by which time it’s generally too late. Rest assured that I willl read all you write though.

  203. says

    Hi there
    I’m still busy as hell…
    *hugses galore*

    Special hugs to you and your daughter.

    The article you linked about the poor kid dying of strep because of woo mother reminded me of how good we have it. I’ve forgotten the times the kids got strep, either as throat strep or as scarlet fever. I swear it’s their most favourite germ.
    And every time we could just go to the doctor because it is covered and get medicine that made them well within 48 hours.

    Hope you get your power back soon. And please be careful with the candles. As Christmas time is aproaching I hear the fire sirens way too often as people burn down their houses with real candles.

  204. says

    I just read an article about FGM in Europe and Germany. While that is in itself a grim topic the authors managed to write it without muslim-bashing islamophobia.

    And in the news: Only 20% of German soldiers suffering from PTDS seek treatment.
    Now the “Wehrbeauftragte” (some special government official who is concerned with the armed forces) tells us that since 1/5th of soldiers are already suffering from untreated mental health issues before they are deployed we must make sure that only “psychologically healthy” people are sent abroad.
    Isn’t that a nice win-win?
    You indirectly blame people for the damage they suffered, making an unproven connection between prior mental health issues and post-service PTSD AND you stigmatize people with mental health issues further, making sure that they don’t seek treatment.
    Really, can’t have anything to do with the fact that we’re sending folks into unjust, dirty wars, can it?

  205. rq says

    Really, can’t have anything to do with the fact that we’re sending folks into unjust, dirty wars, can it?

    No. No, it can’t. Not at all. You silly liberal… leftist… girl… whatever… [/snark]

    I’m with you on the medicine, though… While strep for us so far hasn’t been too much of a recurring issue (*ahem*MiddleChild*ahem*), it’s so good to know that if it is, I can make that call, buy the stuff, and treat my kids successfully.

  206. Nick Gotts says

    Algebra, for instance, is even named after the Arab mathematician who wrote about it (subject to correction). – rq@223

    It is Arabic in origin, but apparently from al-jebr, “(the) reunion of broken parts”. Algorithm, alkali, Aldebaran… if a scientific or mathematical term starts with “al”, it’s probably Arabic in origin. Early modern west-European science drew a good deal on Arabic science (much of which was done by non-Arabs and quite a bit by non-Muslims – but it was written up in Arabic), and the Arabs/Muslims also transmitted paper-making (from China) and the “Arabic” numerals (from India) to Europe – both huge boosts to the progress of knowledge, as well as pre-Christian (and of course pre-Islamic) Greek science and mathematics (although more of this came to western Europe via the Byzantine Empire).

    There’s a popular work on Arabic science by Jim al-Khalili, Pathfinders. It takes a rather naively individualist approach – there’s not much on the institutional systems or cultural developments that made Arabic science possible and those that later stifled it – but plenty of examples with which to confound the “science was produced by Christianity” crew.

  207. says

    @ rq

    Six to ten hours??? I want my garlic flakes NOW!

    Making them now is tomorrow’s “NOW!”

    @ Nutmeg

    I’ve heard of one pet theory that explains things as such: There are different ways in which different families/people/groups treat illness. And it will depend on what is most often suffered. With colds and flues, recuperation, rehabilitation and the like, there will be lots fussing and chicken soup. In other illnesses such as (certain forms of) depression or migraines, quite the opposite holds. The person merely wants to be left alone in a darkened, quiet room without other people. The patient is tip-toed around and generally left in peace.

    (To me, recovery means being left alone for a few days in a cool, quiet, darkened room, cocooned in duvets.)

    I post this only to indicate that different people may have very different views as to what constitutes the right regimen for recovery. It is perhaps best, though, if you follow your instincts wrt your friend, if you think it is more serious.

  208. rq says

    Thanks for that info! I’ll admit I was too lazy to get to the specifics myself. I love the linguistic connection between the algebra of mathematics and the algebra of broken bones – that is just an awesome little bit of trivia.

    Tomorrow’s “NOW!”? Not good enough. (Actually I think I’ll have the chance to make some tomorrow – you know, for the ‘NOW!’ of the day after tomorrow – so thanks for the recipe.)
    How’s that steak machine coming along, by the way?

    And *hugs* or *[other gesture of support]* and/or *cookies* for Nutmeg, everyone else has far better advice than I could dish out, but you have my sympathies.

  209. says

    @ rq

    How’s that steak machine coming along, by the way?

    I’m out of Hong Kong for the next while, so the whole sous vide thingy is on hold. It still need insulation and an outer skin. But that needs time and money. I have used it though, as is. It works really well on anything from chicken to steak to pork ribs.

  210. says

    Nutmeg, if it helps, I’m in that same sort of seriously depressed, hermitty place. And even when I can’t go for whatever reason, I appreciate it every single time someone offers.

    For me, I don’t reach out because I don’t feel like there’s anything fun I can offer, not because I don’t want to see people I love and who love me. In my case, it’s multiplied by having no money, thus both lacking transport (bus rides aren’t free) and resources to do fun things outside my home, but even when I do have transport and money, the thought process goes a bit like this:

    I’m bored and unhappy.
    My friends are interesting and happy-making. I should see my friends.
    To do what?
    I don’t know, nothing seems fun anymore, least of all me. I don’t want to bore them.
    I could invite them over!
    I’d have to clean up some, and I’m still pretty boring to be around.
    We could go to their place!
    Nah, I’m not worth cleaning up for, and they’d probably resent me, because I’m tedious and dull.
    We could go out somewhere else!
    Grgh, then I have to worry about being presentable to people besides my friend(s).
    This is turning into a lot of work. Maybe I should go lie down for a bit.
    What time is it?
    Oh, wow, it’s taken me an hour to get through that thought process. I’m pathetic. I can’t invite people over to waste their time and energy trying to batter through my pathetic boringitude.
    GOTO start.

    There are variations, but that’s a pretty common outline. The key thing I hope you’ll note is, nowhere in there is anything even slightly negative about my friends, excepting possibly the implication that my friends are shallow and desperate for FUN FUN FUN all the time. But really it’s about not feeling worth it internally, rather than not liking my friends. I don’t like myself, and I have a hard time imagining why anyone else would either, right now, so I almost feel like I’m doing them a favour by not imposing my sadface with its concrete-filled balloon on anyone.

    I hope that helps, maybe? I think I might try to turn that into a blog post, actually, because I bet this perfectly reasonable concern/fear of yours (Nutmeg) is quite common. (hugs) offered, if wanted.

  211. says

    Also, people I owe e-mail to: I’m not hiding from you, but from the world, and I’ll try and respond tonight.

    I fucking hate being depressed.

  212. opposablethumbs says

    Well, the work (this particular batch, anyway) is not all but mostly done and the walk was had and the cold sunshine was cold and shiny. Thank you, rq!

    bassmike, you sound like a good voice to listen to, to me! Glad to hear from you. (I do that

    whether anyone will read what I write and whether it has any worth at all

    all the time. We’re quite a varied bunch, here, and I think the chances are that most experiences will resonate with at least a few other people in the Horde :-) ). I’m sorry your daughter is under the weather again, poor mite (in the very-small sense, not the entomological sense); hope she’s better soon. Also Youngest, rq! FSM but it’s tiring when kids are ill, and they’re miserable and you feel awful for them and it’s not their fault they can’t sleep … and you worry, of course, because things move fast when they’re little. Best Healthy Hordelings wishes to all where appropriate.

    OK, commenter “Me” is making me laugh now, over at Maryam Namazie’s (I’m not joining in at the moment, but couldn’t resist glancing back – it’s pretty funny). He complains that Mo nicked a couple of xtianity’s ideas because he didn’t have a degree in theology (lolwut) and solemnly avers that Jesus was never crucified because they got the wrong bloke … oh yes, and that islam comes from Satan. And he sermonises MN on her ignorance of xtianity and European culture … if he wasn’t so repulsive, he’d be hilarious.

  213. opposablethumbs says

    Gentle hugs if acceptable to Nutmeg and CaitieCat. I’m sorry the black dog’s got a tooth-hold on you just now, and I hope it lets go soon. Depression is the pits.

  214. bassmike says

    CaitieCat: The depression that you’re experiencing sounds all too familiar to me! I consider myself fortunate that my periods of depression are generally brief (I’m assuming that a couple of days is considered brief) and not as severe as you describe. On the positve side it helps me to understand some of what people with more severe depression must go through. If it had a physical manifestation maybe more people would be more understanding and compassionate. As it is we can all appear ‘normal’, which is why so many non-sufferers don’t understand. As always *hugs* if wanted.

    opposablethumbs: thank you for your kind words. I’m obviously anxious about my daughter after the recent hospital stay. We’ll have to see how she is tonight, but the latest report isn’t very encouraging.

    Giliell: your kind words are also appreciated.

  215. says

    @ opposablethumbs

    I best head over there for a chortle.

    Jesus was never crucified because they got the wrong bloke

    Actually, this makes complete sense. It was common enough to swap out the sacrificial victim with a stand in. This occurs in many historical cultures around the planet. It has to do with the symbolism of a scapegoat/sacrifice, so the human sacrifice can be replaced with another human, but more likely an animal or even a figurine. Whereas the terracotta warriors of Emperor Qin (or Ch’in, hence “China”) were all effigies, earlier emperors would happily have gone for real human sacrifices.

    Killing the Real King ™ ? Nah, that would be way too wasteful and old fashioned.

  216. opposablethumbs says

    It was common enough to swap out the sacrificial victim with a stand in.

    Makes sense for xtianity to think him worth swapping, I suppose, but if he was supposedly done in by groups of people who regarded him as a pretty ordinary criminal would it still make sense to think someone would manage a swap?

    I liked the idea of Mo being bereft of a theology degree (even if “Me”‘s assertion was presumably vaguely intended to be some kind of rhetorical device … maybe).

  217. says

    So, just picked up #1 from a friend and on Saturday her friend is coming over. On Friday she’s invited to another friend’s brithday so social relationships are definetly on the way up.
    Friend’s mum was radiating this “there’s an adult to talk to, please, talk to me” feeling you often get from women with babies on their lap. What’s more, she just moved here in summer, so I guess she’s really happy to get to know people.

    As important it is to remember that your friend is suffering from depression, it’s also OK for you to feel sad and disappointed. One doesn’t exclude the other, it doesn’t imply blame.

  218. rq says

    I’ve heard the theory that they didn’t get the real Jesus. Just recently I read in a totally unrelated Latvian article a passing mention of Jesus teaching the monks in Tibet… Plus there’s that whole non-Bible gospel idea, I forget which one (Thomas? Mary?) that mentions Jesus switching with one of the apostles. And there’s supposedly some reason that Thomas is often called The Twin. *shrug*
    [/superficial perusal of relevant literature]

    But I’m ashamed to hear that Mohammed did not get his degree in theology. I thought he’d gotten all the proper papers stamped and sealed, and it turns out, no – he didn’t even finish his degree. Did he even finish freshman year??


    “there’s an adult to talk to, please, talk to me”

    Oh, I know that feeling. I hope she’s good company, and I hope she finds good company! And yay for social life picking up. :)

  219. says

    I know there were other who shared their stories of depression, and I have *hugs* for all; When I woke up, Bassmike and Caitiecat were recent responses, and I hadn’t gone through all the posts from when I was asleep.

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


    I don’t like myself, and I have a hard time imagining why anyone else would either, right now, so I almost feel like I’m doing them a favour by not imposing my sadface with its concrete-filled balloon on anyone.

    That sounds very familiar. *gentle hugs*
    Just for the record: you’re absolutely one of the people here I’d love to meet up with if circumstances allowed.

    Right now, none of those feelings of worthlessness for me (I mean, I still don’t particularly like myself, but I feel good enough to be able to ignore it). I’ve been in such a good mood it’s scary. It’s going to be a looooong way down.

    *hugs* for everyone fighting depression. You have my Stamp of Approval* that you’re great people and depression lies when it tells you anything else.
    Saw Catching Fire yesterday (second part of Hunger Games).
    It was good. I shed a couple of tears at times.


  221. says

    @ opposablethumbs

    Makes sense for xtianity to think him worth swapping

    On the other hand you would have to run with the hypothesis that Jesus was a mythological figure. You may want to check out “The hero with a thousand faces” by Joseph Cambell, who does analysis of the various hero myths and distils from this a general, recurent archetype. Jesus scores fairly well, but lags behind Moses.

    if he was supposedly done in by groups of people who regarded him as a pretty ordinary criminal

    There were a hundred and one ways to kill the king. One trick was to loosen the wheel of his chariot, so that he would have an “accident”. People were really quite inventive. Another was a mock burial (from one to three days) during which time a mock king ruled and was killed. There really was no shortage of creativity.

    I liked the idea of Mo being bereft of a theology degree

    Mo was quite intelligent and well informed. He was intent on being the next Jewish prophet (until they laughed him of the stage).

    @ rq

    The Twin

    In old pagan religions, the king would often rule with his tanist. The tanist would succede the king on his death (usually violent, and often with help from the tanist). He would become the king and a new tanist would take the old position. The king lived forever, because he was always being replaced by his tanist “twin”.

    (examples of mythological twins: Romulus & Remus (mother a Vestal Virgin, father a God, Mars) , Castor and Pollux (father= Zeus))

  222. rq says

    Neat. In a gory, that’s-so-pagan kind of way.
    Would the tanist take the king’s place in ritual sometimes, as a stand-in? And is there any relation between the idea of a tanist and the idea of court jester as representative/truth-revealer of the king (or is that last just a literary device used by Shakespeare)?

  223. says

    Bassmike @260:
    I can’t speak for anywhere outside the Lounge, but here…?
    A great many people read this ongoing thread. I suspect there are a lot of lurkers who never post, but follow along. Of the people who comment here, let me assure you- your comments do not go unread.
    I doubt I am alone in this–I check out the Lounge daily.

  224. says

    Giliell @264:
    I made sure to blow out the candles in the house before retiring to bed. In previous years, I would light candles throughout the house and forget about them. I wised up one day for no particular reason and now try to make sure I am present in the room where candles are active. Esecially since I get distracted easily.
    Btw, I woke up to power. :)


    I am not on Twitter, but is it too much to hope Dawkins gets responses ala JPMorgans “ask me questions”?




    The discussion of depression and the various symptoms hits home a bit. I hesitate to self diagnose, but will note I have had and currently have many of the various symptoms described. Esecially the social ones CaitieCat mentions.


    Oh, and to opposablethumbs and any others who feel the same:

    your comments are read and your input is valued. You are valued. You contribute to making this place what it is.
    (someone save this for me and repost it when I go through one of my low points, please? Why do I always forget the advice I dole out when I am in the dumps?)

  225. rq says

    It’s a lot easier to dish out advice for other people to take, than to apply it to yourself. Been there, (not) done that. Sometimes it takes an external source to tell you what you already know for the knowledge to be effective.
    And don’t worry, should you ever come in here feeling unworthy or sad or [negative emotion], you will surely be advised by several (or even many!) people here that you are, indeed, worthy of being read, that you are valued, and that you contribute to making this place what it is. Because it would be true. :)

  226. says

    For some reason I cannot comment at Maryams blog. I left a comment to ME a few days ago, then another today AND a comment that I signed her petition, but none of them showed up. Moreover, there was no “comment in moderation” message either. Drat.

  227. opposablethumbs says

    That’s odd, Tony. I could post on MN’s blog all right, and had no moderation period either :: puzzled frown::

    Thank you very much for those thoughtful words, by the way. Much valued, especially as you are one of the people in the Horde I would totally love to meet! Tony Tales are among my favourite things here :-)

    (funny to think of all the lurkers who might be following the Lounge and Thunderdome … I expect you’re probably right, there are almost bound to be at least a few)

  228. rq says

    Crowd-sourcing for assistance, please:
    I have been requested by the two impending dinosaur scientists (subject to change) in my household to find a film documentary about the very first dinosaurs and how they came to be. Tiktaalik (sp?) comes to mind, so I ask: is there a documentary (or book, incidentally) about tiktaalik that would be accessible to a 6-year-old and a rather bright soon-to-be-4-year-old? Any other suggestions about where to draw the line of dinosaur beginnings are also welcome. I’m somewhat out of my depth about something that specific. (Maybe David might know where to start…?)
    (For reference, they’ve been watching BBC’s Dinosaur Planet, all six episodes, on repeat lately – but anything with more pictures and less talking would be great.)

  229. rq says

    more pictures and less talking </blockquote
    By which I mean that Dinosaur Planet seems to have a good balance and great computer animation, and a similar balance would be great.

  230. opposablethumbs says

    I’m a bit out of date on this now, I fear … my two were addicted to Walking With Dinosaurs. Hope you find some cool stuff for them!

  231. says

    I have been informed that both Dominos Pizza and Papa Johns have given to anti gay groups or their leaders have made disparaging comments about gays in the media. I have not begun searching, so I thought to see if any of you were aware of such. I make a point of not patronizing places that are discriminatory*, so I am quite curious.

    This, sadly has limits in practicality. When I get off work and need cat or dog food at 11 pm, the only place open is WalMart. Grumble mutter razzum frazzum

  232. says

    Caitie Cat

    I don’t like myself, and I have a hard time imagining why anyone else would either, right now, so I almost feel like I’m doing them a favour by not imposing my sadface with its concrete-filled balloon on anyone.

    Oh yes, I know that. I was also firmly convinced that people who said nice things to me were just polietly lying, because I couldn’t think of a nice thing to say about myself. Which also made me very anxious.
    I myself believed that I was an abject loser, being in my 30s and still not having my college degree, so everybody else must despise me, too, right?
    Actually, people were nice, kind, and those “kids” I have classes with say things like “wow, that so cool that you came back to finish college” and “Oh god you have a lot on your plate, I’m not sure I could manage that” and slowly I start to believe them.
    What really hit me was when I realized that if Mr. had an abusive bone in his body he could have played me like nothing. Because I was already behaving in many aspects like abuse victims do without him ever being abusive. That’s what you get from an abusive childhood: You can perfectly well supply your own abuser.

    Oh yeah, I know that, too. That’s the really great thing about Pharyngula: it’s open 24/7. Well see how things turn out. Sadly I don’t have much time for new and old friends alike, but I see no reason why they can’t join us when we go to the Zoo with friends anyway.

    [Proud mummy modus]
    #1 is helping her friend with reading. “How did you teach the kid to read like that?” Well, we didn’t. I admit to being a lazy sucker in that respect: She’ll spell and read all by herself all day long anyway (especially when she’s supposed to go to bed: “Muuuuum, “Rattie” starts with an “R”, right? Do you spell it with one “T” or twor?…”), so I don’t need to practise with her.
    Somebody remind me why the kid wasn’t supposed to start school now?

  233. rq says

    Yes, Walking with Dinosaurs is up next, because dinosaurs just are awesome… But they were pretty specific that they want to know about the very first dinosaurs. :) A great chance to infuse the idea of evolution into their little brains. I just don’t know what’s out there.

  234. Dhorvath, OM says

    Walking with dinosaurs has a precusor series in our box set which starts with Cambrian megafauna and moves forwards from there up to one of the earliest dinosaurs, which name escapes me. Similar narration style (by Kenneth Branagh), but no actual walking bits with the Nigel dude. Dhorkid loved it intensly for several years, especially the permian stuff: Gorgonopsid for the win!

  235. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    It’s weird when you’re reading some random blog you like (unrelated to FTB), then follow a link to another random blog where a promising post title lured you in…. only to find [insert commenter from Pharyngula]* cited in the post.

    *it was Sally Strange

  236. says

    this is EERIE:

    Oh yes, I know that. I was also firmly convinced that people who said nice things to me were just polietly lying, because I couldn’t think of a nice thing to say about myself. Which also made me very anxious.

    I have long struggled to fight against feeling the above.
    I know my experiences are not unique, but seeing my thoughts echoed verbatim by someone else is eerie.

  237. rq says

    Is it titled Walking with Dinosaurs: Precursor, or does it have a more inventive title? That sounds like something we’d be interested in…

  238. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    FossilFishy’s post brings back memories. During my worst depressive episode (which lasted 18 months), I was in grad school. I didn’t even bother with cereal. I’d just pour milk on oats and let them soften. Sometimes, I’d get up enough energy to cook a pot of spaghetti or beans that I’d eat for a week every meal. It didn’t matter what I ate.

    I also remember the very minute the depression started to lift. I remember thinking, “It’s Fall.” Then I realized I hadn’t even thought about what season it was in months. After that things did get progressively better, but it took a couple of months for the depression to lift fully.

    Nutmeg, don’t underestimate the importance of providing human contact. Even of your friend is incapable of enjoying it at the time, it may be the thing that keeps her from completely turning in on herself.

    Caitie Cat, I always enjoy reading your comments. You provide a unique and very human perspective.

    Opposablethumbs–thank you for sharing your thoughts about owning your body w/o any new risk of having to share it with another fetus. I’d never thought about that–it helps me understand the feelings I see in friends/colleagues who are pregnant. Thanks again.

  239. says

    For whatever it’s worth, I lurked for a very long time before I worked up the courage to post anything, and I still lurk more than I post. But I read.

    *solidarity fist-bumps for anyone who is struggling or has struggled with depression*

  240. A. Noyd says

    I’d love to see a book called something like The Depressive’s Kitchen where people talk about all the crazy shit they do to feed themselves when they’re depressed so that other people with depression realize they’re not the only ones who resort to things like milk-softened oats. Or, in my case, just eating individual packets of instant oatmeal completely raw with a gulp of water here and there to help choke them down.

  241. Dhorvath, OM says

    I had to find the case. Before the Dinosaurs: Walking with Monsters is the title on our copy, although given the way distribution works it may differ from that. Definitely BBC.

  242. A. Noyd says

    Is there any way you can try posting from a different IP address (but from your same FtB login)?

  243. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Fist bumps Anne D.

    A Noyd

    Ha. I’d love to see that book too.

    Tangentially related story:

    The first time I met my mother-in-lay-to-be I freaked her out. We were having breakfast and I poured myself a bowl of muesli. I was happily eating it dry when she came over and offered me milk to put on it. I said ‘No thanks.’ and she hovered there, holding the jug, clearly not knowing what to do.

    You see, she’s a lovely person and I like her very much, but she’s also the kind of person for whom things have to be just so. One does not eat muesli dry and she could not fathom why anyone would. I could tell that if I had been a child she would have simply poured the milk on despite having my declining it. I have to admit her consternation was amusing to me and I’ve had enough occasions since to tweak her sense of propriety that she’s finally figured out what I’m doing. Fortunately it’s become a bit of a game and is taken in a lighthearted manner on both sides.

    Who knew that many years later there’d be an up side to all those kilograms of dry cereal I ate? :)

  244. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rand Paul is currently at 67% and Wendy Davis is at 33%

    The poll requires either a facebook or twitter login. I have neither.

  245. says

    Walmart’s overwhelming contempt for workers, expressed through its continued low wages and poor benefits, its retaliation against workers who organize, and its sole goal of profit —even pushing Black Friday deals up two hours to begin on 6pm Thanksgiving Day —has caused outrage. The outcry against Walmart’s working conditions has been quickly picking up steam, becoming a national topic of conversation right in time for the 1,500 Black Friday protests scheduled across the country, where people will rally in front of stores to demand respect and fair treatment.


  246. Nutmeg says

    Thanks so much to everyone who shared their experiences with depression or their other thoughts. Your perspectives and encouragement were exactly what I needed. I am making sure to take extra care of myself while this is getting me down. Lots of exercise, some new books, and some crafting supplies.

    I’ll be hanging out with my friend tomorrow afternoon (she finally got in contact with me). I’m not planning on doing a big “you should get help” push tomorrow. A mutual friend is currently researching low-cost mental healthcare options in our city, and I’d like to have that list available when we have that talk, because I know the depression might make it hard for my friend to do that research herself.

    I was thinking that tomorrow I would try to steer the conversation in a more serious direction and see what happens. I haven’t had a chance to tell her that I’ve been attending an anxiety-management workshop at the university, and I would want to tell her that regardless of other circumstances, so I was thinking I might just bring that up. I thought it might provide a chance to plant some seeds in her mind that getting help is an okay thing that lots of people need to do at some point in their lives. It might make it easier to talk her into getting some help, when we’re ready to have that conversation with her.

    And maybe, if I’m lucky, she will open up a bit tomorrow and stop pretending things are mostly okay when we all know they’re not.

    Does that sound like an okay plan? Constructive criticism is 100% welcome.

  247. cicely says

    General *hug-dump*; everyone feel free to help themselves.
    Damned jellyfish….

    I know I need to make allowances for my friend’s depression.

    *specific hugs* for Nutmeg, and a large side-order of sympathy and support, as well.
    Knowing Is (Only) Half The Battle; the Other Half still lies and lurks and looms, perchance to spring.
    Be sure to take care of you.
    A thought: Is your friend aware that you also have issues? Perhaps she is not communicating out of fear of dragging you down into the abyss, as well?
    *hugs* and encouragement for thunk.
    I join you in your haet for the pink and frilly.
    Crip Dyke, I have a story for you…about garlic.
    Once upon a time, my local SCA group had a Christmas party. Since we also had an event upcoming in late January, the feastocrat decided that the party would be a boffo time to run taste tests on his projected, from-period-recipes menu, and brought a pork roast.
    The recipe called for garlic.
    Apparently garlic, like (chikken) eggs, is/are larger in these days than they were in Days of Yore. But he liked garlic.
    A lot.
    Even more than that.
    Instead of using Ordinary Mortal Garlic, he used as many bulbs of Elephant garlic as the recipe prescribed of Period garlic.
    Much of that roast went home with him—but Son, who really likes garlic, filled up on it…and praises it to this day.
    *applause* for the Tony! Tales.
    I enjoy reading them immensely!
    You are a most excellently Humane being.
    bassmike, I read you, and what you write does have worth.
    Be told.
    Best wishes for your daughter’s health.

  248. cicely says

    *hugs* and *chocolates* for CaitieCat.
    And I’m sorry about how dead your fish are.
    Giliell, huzzah! for #1′s thriving social life!
    Tony!, I don’t know about Domino’s, but I’d heard that about Papa John’s before—about the time of The Great Chik-filet Hubbub, I think.
    *fist bump* for Anne D.

  249. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony!, I don’t know about Domino’s, but I’d heard that about Papa John’s before—about the time of The Great Chik-filet Hubbub, I think.

    The founder of Domino’s, Tom Monaghan, has been trying to set up a Xian town somewhere in Florida. Very conservative Xian of course. Trashing LGBT sounds right up his alley.

  250. cicely says

    Domino’s is apparently no longer owned by Tom Monaghan, its co-founder (the other was apparently his brother, who he later bought out). His brand of Xianity is Catholicism, and there’s a university he founded to go with his intended town.
    The Wikipedia articles on his “town” and university make for an interesting read.
    Ah…the Papa John’s guy was the one who got all pissy about how the Affordable Care Act was going to raise his business’ expenses, and was supposedly going to cut jobs and hours, just as soon as it passed.

  251. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    rq – It’s very nice to know you’ll be there to catch me when I pounce. :)

    bassmike – I hope daughter feels better soon.

    Caitie Cat and Nutmeg – *hugs*

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

    me me me me!

    Tired, have to go work. French classes afterwards… Home late in the evening.
    Rum please

  253. chigau (違う) says

    Hold out your mug.

    The cat and the SO are both snoring.
    It’s kinda annoying soothing whatever…

  254. rq says

    Good morning!
    I think I’ll have my tea before I go for the rum.

    [pointless story]
    Sometimes, when Husband sleeps in, he goes to work first and then returns, shortly before lunch, to pick up the two elder children and take them to daycare/kindergarten. It’s a location/traffic thing, and it works out rather well. So usually, as they wake up, I let them watch something (lately, dinosaur documentaries) while I dress Youngest and shower and start fixing breakfast and stuff. This is how I woke up today, ca. 8AM:
    - Mom! Mom! We’re awake!
    - *blurrgh*
    - Mom, there’s snow outside!
    - *blurgh* *pause* *blurrrrgh?*
    - Mom, maybe instead of watching something, we can go outside and play in the snow?
    - Yes! You can!!

    … And they made their own toasts. And it’s barely 2 centimeters of snow, but hey, it’s the first snow of the year!!


    Thanks very much!! I’ll take a look and see what comes up title-wise for us.

    That sounds like my kind of ideal roast.

    It keeps slipping my mind, but I’m really glad you’ve settled into a job that you seem to love, and that doesn’t seem to be killing you on the inside of boredom and bureaucracy. Yay you!

    I hope your commenting issues are resolved soon!

    And as for the Depressive’s Kitchen, I’d read that.

  255. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, I am seriously scared of how badly I’m going to do on a presentation in 7 hours. Oy. I really didn’t prepare myself for this adequately.

    There are reasons, of course, but there are always reasons. I hate my reasons, so, y’know, I’d be better off if there weren’t any.


    Back to work.

    Miss y’all.

    Portia – send me good thoughts. Paper & presentation writing isn’t as bad as preparing for 1L finals, but it’s not good.

  256. opposablethumbs says

    Rum is definitely good.

    Nutmeg, your planned approach sounds (to me) to be both helpful and caring. I’m glad you’re going to take good care of yourself, and that a chance has come up to spend a bit of time with your friend. It’s funny, isn’t it, how mentioning a difficulty one is encountering oneself works as an invitation to another person to feel OK about possibly mentioning their own problems. Just out of curiosity – I think this is something women (at least in my experience) do quite often; does the Horde think men do it … the same/a bit differently/just as much/a bit less readily … ???

    Anyway, you are a great friend, Nutmeg, and I think your friend is lucky to have you. Mutual-friend’s doing that research with her in mind is also very valuable, both because I’m sure you’re right she might not have the spoons to do it herself and because it’s such a gesture of caring in its own right. Hope it goes well, and I’m sure the contact will be good for her. Just knowing there are people around who care sometimes matters more than anything!

    Your kids sound great, rq :-D I sympathise with the waking-up bluuurgh!!!! But it’s wonderful when kids are interested in exploring and learning and knowing, isn’t it. And get the encouragement. (And there’s no resisting the siren call of the first snow ;-) )

    Fist-bump to Anne D. Very glad to share a tot of rum/Nice Cup of Tea/appropriate beverage for whatever time of day it is where you are.

  257. says

    commenting issues continue. It appears I can only comment at Pharyngula (tried five others to no avail)
    Perhaps god is punishing me for that time I the last brownie.
    Hey, you know if he were real, he would punish people for stupid arbitrary reasons like that.

  258. opposablethumbs says

    Nope, tot of rum it is. Small measure. No idea quite how small – think it’s a general term – running out door now, see you later! ::waves to Tony::

  259. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, so I have to take a bit of a break here & there even in the frantic lead up to the presenation b/c otherwise I’ll go (more) insane.

    But I pull down the Ron Sexsmith Songbook and try to play this really sad song called “Strawberry Blonde” (or maybe “Strawberry Blondes”, I forget).

    So I’m not finger-picking. I’m not trying to hit individual notes in the strum-and-arpeggiate style he uses (which sounds great, btw, and is a style I’ve enjoyed from other musicians). I’m just worried about fretboard technique (commonly called “left hand, b/c if you’re right handed, you are taught to fret with the left hand…I don’t know why). My right hand can blindly strum something like the rhythm, and that’s all I need.

    So this should be easy, right? But no. For some reason he includes Bm and B7, but not B in the song. And for the life of me, i can hit B, I can hit Bm. But the B7 is giving me fits. I have not once done it smoothly in rhythm. I’ve hit it cleanly, but only after an awkward delay. Yeesh.

    Also, let me just say that although C, D, and G aren’t exactly wild jazz chords, I was really struck by just a couple of phrases in the song where it totally struck me as a mirror (or slight variation of) Rancid’s “Ruby Soho”. I look it up, and sure enough, It’s got C, D, G, and a B in all the right places, and when I play it with B7 in place of the B recommended by some anonymous poster on the internet, it actually sounds better.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diddlysquat/2990425565/"Ron Sexsmith = Tim Armstrong?

    Who knew?

  260. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I don’t know how I did that to the Ron Sexsmith link. Oh well.

    Also, I didn’t even notice it – and I don’t know why – but the page hosting the Time Armstrong pic & his cover of Johnny Cash’s Big River? Misogyny pictorial TW.

    The cover is good though.

  261. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    I’m thinking good* thoughts for you, and holding as many thumbs as I can.
    Also, here’s some bonus cute.

    * Originally tpoy’ed as ‘food’. Must be the garlic.

    Well, now that you’ve confessed to eating the last brownie, you may as well beg forgiveness and FtB will relent. Eventually.
    More seriously, that’s odd. I’ve been commenting around with impunity, so it must be something on your end – though what you of all people would have done to deserve limited commenting ability, I have no idea (unless it is the last brownie…).

    Yes, it’s great that they get excited about it – they’ve been waiting for snow since the weather turned chillier. I’m double-plus-glad, though, that they’re of an age where they can mostly get dressed and feed themselves (they can handle the toaster, and Eldest is a butterknife expert), which means I don’t actually have to get up. (And seeing as I don’t actually get to normal sleep until 2AM most nights, this is good.) Anyway, I ended up joining them within the half-hour, once Eldest started complaining about how he couldn’t roll a decent snowball, so how was he supposed to have a snowball fight?? (Like I said, the snow came barely over the tips of the grass.) :)
    As for your question, I suspect that it’s as with many things – it takes one person to break the ice, to acknowledge that it’s ok to talk about [issue], and the rest follow. At least, in decent company (I have no doubt there are situations where trying to be the “first” results in huge amounts of ridicule and humiliation).

  262. says

    Hi there!

    Have you contacted Jason? If anybody can help it’s him…


    Yeah, I don’t need conservative politicians to shame me for having a life outside of mothering, I have a kid. Over the last days the little one has taken to clinging to me, crying and begging me not to leave the house and stay with her. I know things get better once it’s Thursday and we actually see each other, but damn.

  263. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    frantic work playlist:

    Communards, jesus jones, Katrina & the Waves, & The housemartins all make sense together.

    But combined with Jill Sobule, David Bowie, Metallica, Rancid, the Offspring, Operation Ivy, the Clash, the Beatles, the Kinks, Sonic Youth, the Breeders, k.d. lang, Carried Newcomer, Kim Barlow, the Kronos Quartet, Lily Allen, Michael Franti, Pink, Pink Martini, REO Speedwagon, Samatha Fox, and Danny Michel?

    What’s gotten into me this morning?

  264. jefrir says

    Nutmeg, it might be worth checking if a particular contact method is better for your friend. When I’ve had depressive episodes in the past, checking e-mail became a huge, scary Big Deal that I would put off, and then feel guilty about not having replied earlier so it just became more intimidating. Texting, on the other hand, was much easier. A friend of mine has got similarly avoidant about answering phonecalls.

  265. rq says

    DAMMIT our prime minister just resigned from his position, as a response to the recent tragedy. This is not good, because he’s been the best of the bunch of the last 20+ years, and while he hasn’t been perfect, he’s done rather well in the face of all kinds of furor. I don’t see too many appropriate candidates to take his place. :(
    This also means a new cabinet, a new government, and all kinds of other reforms/changes and other crap that will turn into the usual infighting and finger-pointing. Ugh.


    [random question, somewhat rhetorical]
    So a while ago, when discussing female characters in books, I think Giliell mentioned how female characters had to be created for The Hobbit because it was so male-dominated. Well, why couldn’t they just have cast some or half of the dwarves as women? Their names are androgynous enough (at least, to someone not of dwarf descent in Middle Earth). Or what about some of the other characters, like the archer Bard? Or the king of the wood elves becoming the queen of wood elves? Maybe some female goblins?
    I mean I know all about remaining faithful to the story – but would the story itself really be affected all that much by these changes? Leaving all else as is, just subbing in women for several of the parts… They wouldn’t even need pink bows and/or high heels!
    [/random question]

  266. says

    Good news re protecting women’s reproductive rights:

    A Lafayette Planned Parenthood clinic that offers abortions induced by medications, but not the surgical procedure, will be able to continue the practice after a federal judge in Indianapolis on Tuesday temporarily blocked a new state law that would impose new restrictions on the clinic. …

    Indy Star link.

    Bad news regarding the protection of women’s rights:

    As doctors who perform abortions in Texas must now get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals in order to practice, a pair of Pennsylvania lawmakers are marshaling support for a similar law. …

    Tribune-Democrat link.

  267. says

    Rachel Maddow presented an excellent segment on the “corporate religion” question that will soon be before the Supreme Court. This is related to religious bosses of for-profit companies suing for the right to refuse contraception as one of the basics included in insurance they must offer their employees.


    The segment begins with a brief roundup of other news, but soon gets into an examination of the anti-contraception campaign on the far-right. The segment thoroughly covers the demands of Hobby Lobby (and 40 other) corporations — and it covers the implications of letting the “Contraception is not okay” Republicans damage Obamacare. 18 minute segment that tells us all we need to know and is entertaining in a black-comedy way.

  268. says

    Yes, Janet Yellen is the most qualified Fed chair nominee in history. Yes, many far-right “Think” tanks are scoring a vote for Janet Yellen as a negative.

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/rachel-maddow/53378626/#53378626 (This is the intro and tease.)

    Yellen has the best record ever of accurately predicting the future, financially speaking. In this regard, she far outstrips her male counterparts. But Rand Paul and other Republicans are trying to block her nomination.

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/rachel-maddow/53378626/#53674578 (This is the segment that presents the substance of the issue. It begins with some history and segues into an in-depth look at Yellen and related issues. 6:20 minutes.)

  269. says

    Financial Head Honchos have found another way to rip of the public, and to rip off investors:

    … Subprime auto loans – given to people with credit scores of less than 500 – account for 27 percent of all loans for new vehicles in 2013, according to analyst Experian Automotive. That’s well above pre-recession levels. Financial firms have pushed strongly into auto loans of late, and are increasingly willing to fund subprime borrowers. This year, banks even sold $17.2 billion in auto loan-backed securities, which are bonds similar to the mortgage-backed securities that accelerated the housing bubble. …


  270. says

    Gary Oldman on Jimmy Kimmel punches Thanksgiving in the face food as an expression of England’s hurt feelings.

    Salon link. Funny and cathartic. And now I have to go work on my holiday cooking, minus all the punching, but perhaps with some of the swearing.

  271. rq says

    Dunno, I don’t really like the idea of ruining food like that for entertainment. Like food fights. Probably a carry-over from religious food-is-sacred days, but… Not really a fan. But I’ll watch the skit later, maybe it’ll make me laugh. That would be nice.

  272. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Thanks! I do enjoy work, I’m just having some trouble adjusting to this work schedule…. So I skipped French today.

    YOu know how much I feared having to go into teaching? Maybe it’s the lack of children, but I’m holding classes for our clients (teaching them how to use our application that they bought) and it’s no big deal. Being in those classes for eight hours straight (plus coming early to prepare and staying later to finish up other stuff) is a bit too much so I’m just about ready to drop now.

    Re: destroying food for entertainment
    I really dislike that. Food fights, that Spanish tomato throwing thing. Makes me cringe every time.

  273. cicely says

    Ha! One Mark 5 Festive Jellyfish, finally completed!

    And there’s no resisting the siren call of the first snow

    I can easily resist it. Effortlessly, even.
    Snow is coooooold.

  274. Desert Son, OM says

    Been absent several days with much going on here, and also with just taking some time to try and find quiet moments. I love the internet, but it’s like my experience of New York City: It’s always on, always exciting, always ramped up, and I have to take breaks or I get exhausted.

    Hence, so much has happened in thread that I cannot possibly keep up, and must tender apologies.


    Heartfelt sympathy and empathy to Portia and ButchKitties. I was felled with a migraine yesterday (I am fortunate to get them only infrequently). Lasted about five hours, which is good for me. I have had success with Sumatriptan (Imitrex substitute) in the 50 mg dose, which usually cuts the worst of the pain down from the 10 hour range to the five or less hour range, as it did yesterday, though obviously that medication doesn’t work for everyone. Largely nonfunctional during those five hours, of course: Light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, nausea (no vomiting, thankfully), trembling, and, as always, stunning pain and nothing but time in which to spend it.


    rq at thread throughout,

    Grievous news about the collapse and tragedy in Riga. Thoughts of support to you and your fellow citizens.



    That we have created a sweeping workplace culture founded on buzzwords and scripted “Gotchas!” masquerading as insightful communication during the interview process, and—on top of that—further created an unreasonable idea that every job interview (and by extension, job itself) must necessarily be a thing everyone involved in the process should cherish like gold, is increasing testament to yet another area in need of cultural change.

    When posed with the question, “Why do you want this job?” it should always be a perfectly legitimate, acceptable, and righteous answer to reply, “Because I need the money to pay bills so I can survive.”

    But every hirer is under pressure from someone (including, often, themselves) to find some koan-like answer that somehow not only validates their search for an employee, but the job itself (about which they may have their own less-than-stellar estimation), and thus, so often, the interview becomes a kind of farcical conversation that leaves the interviewee exhausted, frustrated, bewildered, and no closer to a paycheck.

    Having been there, and knowing I will be there again, I can only offer my support and encouragement as this process draws itself out. If I were hiring, I would appreciate the honesty of someone coming in and saying, “Because I need money to pay rent and eat.” That actually strikes me as sentiment from someone likely to be a good worker, because it’s a perfectly admirable thing to want a roof and food, and to work for those seems as worthy a reason as any, and often more worthy than, “I’m really hoping to transform the retail sales industry through personal communication. What gets said on the floor with a customer can translate all the way up to the corporate office to build synergy and brand dynamicism. Our customers become the corporate leadership, and that’s where I come in, because I speak ‘customer.’”


    (Worked in marketing for 9.5 years. The jargon bullshit is extensive, from the entry level all the way up to the CEO’s office. Who knows? May end up there, again. Corporate types should watch what they say. It’ll end up in a novel I write some day.)

    I wish I was hiring and could offer you a job. As it is, I’m working part time as a teaching assistant while full-time as a debtor-in-train . . . er, graduate student.

    I don’t know if it is helpful to you, but I have found some good thoughts at Captain Awkward on this very subject (including in the comments thread). There’s a lot to read in the thread, so it would be, unfortunately, more work on top of your already draining work, but if you do take a look I hope it can provide something more helpful than the poor grumble I have composed here.


    Tony! at #233:

    Great stories, great conversations. You sound like someone who is great to work with, willing to take time and engage in conversation about serious stuff on people’s minds. Here’s hoping Dalillama can find a workplace with someone like you. Here’s hoping that all of us can, at some point, as we seek the next place willing to transmit to us some variety of digital currency.


    Supportive gestures to Nutmeg, bassmike, CaitieCat, and Dalillama alike, all struggling in their own way with depression, from another who has depression and knows what it’s like to hide away.


    Running the local Turkey Trot here tomorrow a.m., and am under-trained, so it will be slow (well, slower. I’m already slow). I elected, once again, for a timed bib, and now will have the comic reminder of just how slow once the results are tallied. Should be fun, though: 20,000+ runners of wonderful diversity in size, shape, clothing, age, melanin saturation, identity, bodied-ness, costume (5 miles encased in nylon . . . not for me, but hey, you go, Asics-shod banana!), and species (dogs), has thus far been a very cool socio-cultural experience the last several years, and the proceeds go to feed the hungry.

    Good wishes to all for your Thursday in late November, in hopes it brings some measure of warmth, support, tenderness, relation, cheer, and curiosity.

    Still learning,


  275. rq says

    Desert Son
    Sympathies on the migraines. I think for me the light and sound sensitivity is the worst bit, because it usually accentuates the nausea. Actually, it’s all pretty terrible. Sympathies.


    In other news, I can smell!!! My missing sense has returned!

  276. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The recipe called for garlic.


    Apparently garlic, like (chikken) eggs, is/are larger in these days than they were in Days of Yore. But he liked garlic.

    *other eyebrow*

    A lot.


    Even more than that.

    *eager leaning*

    Instead of using Ordinary Mortal Garlic, he used as many bulbs of Elephant garlic as the recipe prescribed of Period garlic.


    ….wait, am I the only one for whom cooked elephant garlic tastes like soap?

  277. Nick Gotts says


    The bit before the actual Janet Yellen profile was interesting too – economists’ poor record of prediction, particularly of the 2007-8 financial crisis. I’m not sure you can actually reason validly from “economists fail to predict specific events” to “economics is crap”, but it’s much more telling that few economists (AFAIK) saw even the possibility of this type of event, or have any way of explaining it. I’ve just started a book on how neoliberalism and neoclassical economics have survived the financial crisis – Phipil Mirowski’s Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste, which could be interesting, but the style’s so turgid I’m not sure I’ll get into it. Anyone read it?

  278. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Elephant garlic is NOT garlic. It is a type of leek. In general leeks and garlic vie with each other for title of my favorite allium. Elephant garlic doesn’t make the list.

  279. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    As it happens, i did not die of a stress-induced CVA.

    However, I must now sleep to get back some of what I missed last night – no super-cool conversations tonight for me.

  280. Akira MacKenzie says

    I posted to the Thanksgiving thread and I noticed that its awaiting moferation. Is everyone getting moderated now, or is it just me?

  281. says

    A Noyd:
    Ugh. Hope you get back to health quickly.


    Thank you for suggesting I contact Jason. He said I have likely been caught in the WordPress spam filter that FtB uses. Hopefully he will be able to work some magic and I will not have my comments disappear. Thankfully once I realized something odd was occurring, I opted to leave short comments. As I am sure has happened many times to others, composing a lengthy comment only to have it disappear into the aether is Hulk Smash inducing. It is all the more frustrating when composing lengthy comments via cell phone. I haz big fingers and itty bitty keypad.

  282. chigau (違う) says

    Akira MacKenzie #363
    OMFG noooo

    more seriously:
    Tony! is having problems.
    I seem to be able to comment everywhere on FtB except Ed’s.

  283. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It’s funny, isn’t it, how mentioning a difficulty one is encountering oneself works as an invitation to another person to feel OK about possibly mentioning their own problems. Just out of curiosity – I think this is something women (at least in my experience) do quite often; does the Horde think men do it … the same/a bit differently/just as much/a bit less readily … ???

    I see it in some spaces, but not others. I’ll need to formulate my thoughts a bit on this; it seems to have some dependence on age, social consciousness, familiarity, and “traditional masculinity”-inflection of the space. >.>

  284. rq says

    Good morning!
    No snow, but sunshine… with a chance of flurries in the afternoon!!!

    LEGO art. I did not know you could be named a LEGO master builder and a LEGO certified professional. Apparently I still have things to aspire to.

    Some game show answers that go beyond the expected.

    And the mayor of Calgary shows symptoms of awesome.

  285. rq says

    I am now in moderation in the Lounge for my previous comment – I don’t even know what I said!!! There was nothing contentious!
    Maybe this LEGO link was too awesome…

  286. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Also, WMDKitty, you asked about Baal. If I’m remembering who that is correctly, I should give you a more nuanced opinion.

    Baal is a commenter I’ve encountered recurrently, mainly on other blogs. He (I’m 99% sure) is capable of being sensible, and I don’t doubt that you’ve had reasonable and enjoyable conversations with him, but has some very wrongheaded ideas, mostly of a “both sides” and “turn the other cheek” flavor, about which he is completely inflexible and fairly tenacious, and becomes quite frantic and sanctimonious when pressed. Aside from the aghasturbation about “violent rhetoric,” which he defines overbroadly and in the process does violence (OH NOES) to both proportionality and context, I’m afraid the details escape me; I’m somewhat chagrinned to note that my visceral distaste for the aforementioned sanctimoniousness and the frustration of repeatedly finding a string of sensible comments broken by a tendentiously idiotic one made a far stronger impression on me. My recollection is that he actively un-groks important aspects of privilege, in particular “punching up” vs. “punching down,” is prone to condesplaining, and might be teachable eventually.

    Of course, for all I know he may have finally grown out of that For Realsies, but I’d been hopeful about that before. If he’s claiming to have been banned here, that’s somewhat discouraging in that regard. If he actually was banned here it was almost certainly for concern-troll type derailing.

    Finally this recipe is broken.

    Use 1/2 cup brandy, though, and about half of the water/cornstarch mix (fucking REALLY?) and it comes out quite nicely, except for the inevitable blechberry* aftertaste.

    *some blackberries just…aren’t…sweet. Like, at all. Blech.

  287. chigau (違う) says

    You are not alone.
    I see your recent comments but not mine.
    I have put in an alert.

    putting this in just in case it works

  288. chigau (違う) says

    rq #375
    Your comments are dribbling in.
    I guess it’s a tech thingy.
    I still have one between 366 and 367.

  289. says

    Oh. my. goodness.
    Never again will I go to our regular discounter at 8 o’clock on the morning they have Advent wreaths on offer. What is usually a 15 minutes trip took me 45 minutes, but since I don’t buy advent wreaths (this year I made one out of farbric scraps which I’m planning to use for many years. It also doesn’t have 4 candles) this was totally not on my screen.

    Let’s see if that posts…

  290. says

    Oh, something nice:
    The little one’s kindergarten group has hung up rules.
    There was the ordinary stuff like “we don’t run inside the room, we don’t throw things, we don’t hit each other…” And then there was a rule that confirmed my view on this particular institution:
    “We ask for permission before we kiss somebody”
    Yay for teaching consent!

  291. says

    Hey, now my second comment is in moderation…
    I’ll repost below:

    Oh, something nice:
    The little one’s kindergarten group has hung up rules.
    There was the ordinary stuff like “we don’t run inside the room, we don’t throw things, we don’t hit each other…” And then there was a rule that confirmed my view on this particular institution:
    “We ask for permission before we kiss somebody”
    Yay for teaching consent!

    chigau & rq
    No candles at all, just 20 led fairy lights. I’ll try to take a picture tonight.

  292. rq says

    Pretty (re: advent wreath)!!
    And huge >YAY for the new rule, that’s amazing. I may have to suggest something similar here.

  293. opposablethumbs says

    I was about to post that I can see all of you, when I stopped to think that well, obviously, I can see whom I can see and anyone I can’t see, I can’t. So that doesn’t exactly narrow the field … Anyway, I can see several people who were apparently previously invisible to themselves – good to see you, btw! :-)

    Yay for teaching consent at kindergarten, Giliell, that is very very cool indeed.

  294. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Random thoughts:

    The pear custard thing seems to be working.

    I need to figure out a good “brandy vanilla cream” dessert sauce. (Or bourbon, but I think brandy will go better with the strained-out-raspberry-pulp custard said pulp is destined to become). As with the raspberry port sauce from which it derived, the pear custard, and the pumpkin lasagna, I should probably start from scratch. As with the pumpkin lasagna, I should actually write down the fucking recipe one of these years.

    Killed an HVAC exam earlier. Replacement laptop arrived today. I should bring it for family thanksgiving thing tomorrow. Projects…would be fine if I wasn’t already so fucking tired. Also, epoxy kinda sucks.

  295. rq says

    Unfair to put such delicious thoughts in my head at this time of day. ;)
    And congrats on the exam!

  296. rq says

    A few tips on how to be a great traveller, from an airline stewardess’ point of view (By the way, is there a non-gendered word for airline steward/ess? Does one just say airline steward?).

    A geographical survey of American students, that leaves much to be desired – although, to be honest, I think you’d get similar answers from Canadian students, and even from some European students. I know I can’t name and place all European countries… And hey, next time, why don’t they try the continent of Africa?? (Why is it always Europe?)

    10 most expensive works of art by women – don’t fear the language, just browse to your right. Some of these are beautiful.

    And look, Ontario midwives are looking for recognition! From what I know, they’re not the woo-y kind of midwife – they’re regulated and medically educated, they’re just not full-fledged obstetricians. Similar to the midwife/obstetrician duo here (there’s always an obstetrician on duty for emergencies, but the midwife does most of the actual work).

  297. thunk: she'd rather be on a train says

    rq: I think you’re looking for “flight attendant”. also I make up for the geographic illiteracy cuz I’m awesome at it.

    also comet ISON is mere hours away from perihelion, space news sources everywhere have it covered.

  298. rq says

    YES! Thank you. [/brainfart]
    And you remind me, I have to check if comet ISON is at all visible at a decent hour here in Latvia, I’d love to have a look.

  299. says

    I think the word “midwife” has by now kind of lost its useful meaning in English, because it ranges from “licensed health care provider with adequate training” to “person with no clue who think s they can conduct a birth.”
    I think our system is similar to yours: midwives AND ob/gyns. I quite like midwives as they provide a service that spans all three major stages: prenatal care during pregnancy, birth and postnatal care for mother and child. That’s something nobody else does and they’re also very “approachable”, so you can ask them about many things you wouldn’t bother your ob/gyn or paediatrician with.
    But since German healthcare is infested with woo you have to choose your provider carefully. My cousin’s ex is an “anthroposophic midwife” which basically means that she denies everything she learned during training.

  300. rq says

    Interesting, yes, I think it’s similar – although here, prenatal care is usually your own personal ob/gyn, but you can hire a midwife with whom to form a sort of professional contact, and have that person be with you for the birth – otherwise you get the luck of the rotation (sometimes good, sometimes bad), since they all work shifts anyway (and sometimes the shift changes mid-birth, and your midwife changes out, too). I think for some prenatal ob/gyns you can also request that they attend your birth, but that, too, is a luck-of-the-draw (unless you pay for and sign a contract with a specific doctor of your choosing). So some good, some bad in the system.
    And there are birth midwives and post-birth midwives, I don’t know if they overlap at all in duties, or if it’s by personal preference… Either way, it’s a lot of different people for different stages, which can get annoying.
    But the post-birth midwives do some really good postnatal care for both mother and child, and are definitely more approachable than the ob/gyn or the paediatrician – because they do they actual rounds and check in from time to time, whereas the doctors kind of live in their offices/check-up rooms a bit more, and mostly see patients in case of emergency or for the pre-check-out check-up.
    Ha, and our midwives all have a bit of woo mixed up in with the medical knowledge. Not too much, though, at least not at the birthing institutions I’ve been at. I think there may be more woo at some of these family birthing centers that have been popping up lately (everyone is still ultimately medically educated, but some add that touch of Eastern Mysticism or Old Pagan Ritual).

  301. says

    Giliell & rq – in Ontario, the midwifery licencing is fairly new, like ten to fifteen years or so new, I believe, but it is a reasonably proper practical knowledge certification here at least.

    When I was in my second year of university, I shared a house with a nursing student and a medical student (who used to drive us a bit bats with her constant playing of her heart-murmur diagnosis tapes really really loud, LUBDUB LUBDUB hiss LUBDUB LUBDUB hiss). The nurse was the friend of a sister of a high school friend, we’d met by chance in the uni’s housing office, and being simpatico and acquainted, found a place. The med student…oy. She was a practicing witch, which no biggie, so is Mysha Mouse (my partner). She was a vegan, which was occasionally smelly, but no biggie.

    She was also a homeopath, and was explicitly (at least to us, after a glass or two of wine, vegans can be such lightweights to alcohol) going to med school – and the one attached to my uni is among the best in the country (McMaster) – so that she could be licenced to practice medicine…as a homeopath. This was apparently a thing that homeopaths were doing then, don’t know if they still do, where they’d go to the trouble of getting official medical certifications, which they would then use to dispense homeopathy.

    The nursing student quietly inquired with her instructors, who were of course well-acquainted with the med instructors, as to whether or not this constituted an ethical violation, as homeopathy had no known medical value. Apparently, it did not.


    Anyway, the nadir of that particular housemate situation came when Steve, the guy our landlord had hired to re-paint the house, came in one day nursing a badly swollen hand. At a party the previous night, he’d been frustrated to see his ex-girlfriend (and mother of his child) cuddling up with her new beau, a high school rival of his. Alcohol did its magic, and he ended up rather fiercely punching a wall. A wall he had assumed to be drywall. A wall which was, in fact, cinderblock.

    He’d brokenm several bones in the hand, this was evident to the nurse and I, and while she did a bit of first aid in temporarily immobilizing it, I attempted to convince him to let me drive him to the hospital, the same one that both my housemates attended as students, for x-rays and probably minor surgery.

    When I went upstairs to get properly dressed to go, I came back to find that Christie, the homeopath, was instead rubbing his fucking badly smashed hand with a SALVE, and convincing him (with her superior status as an almost-doctor, ahead of an almost-nurse and an almost-linguist) that this would do the job just fine.

    It took us four more days of his increasing pain and one-handedness before we could convince him to get the x-rays and cast done, and he did need surgery, but not until after the bad infection he’d got, either from the salve on the abrasions or because he didn’t want to wash it because SALVE, ffs.

    Kid could have lost his hand or arm, because she wanted so desperately to believe that the ten or so molecules of whatever the fuck was in the salve might somehow magically knit shattered bone, attach tendons, and close flesh, after also curing the infection it was causing.

    Thinking about it now, the infection was probably the intended result. It’s a swelling, see, so obviously it would help him fight off the swelling. Or something.

    So yeah. Homeopathic actual doctor. :(

  302. rq says

    vegans can be such lightweights to alcohol

    I think that should say ‘homeopaths’, and for obvious reasons – you forgot to dilute it to 30C!!! (The effect gets stronger the more you dilute, or something, right?)

    re: Ontario midwives
    I heard about them because a friend of mine kept raising the issue on FB. If they’re medically licensed and are reviewed and monitored as any other medical profession, and properly educated, I don’t see why it could be a bad thing. :)

    And that’s so much bullshit about that salve… And that is why homeopathy should be illegal. And combining a medical degree with dispensing homeopathy should definitely be against any and all possible kinds of ethics, because that is straight-up bad medical practice – not to dispense medical aid to patients who come to you for medical aid.
    I’m glad Steve finally got help for his hand, but it’s horrifying to think what would have happened if you hadn’t been around to convince him. (Because waiting 4 days on a break, in the hand, already causes damage enough, even without the infection.)

  303. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    She was also a homeopath, and was explicitly (at least to us, after a glass or two of wine, vegans can be such lightweights to alcohol)

    How do you get a homeopath completely drunk?

    Put a drop of wine in the swimming pool and get them to lick their lips after a dip.

  304. says

    Nick Gotts@359:

    The bit before the actual Janet Yellen profile was interesting too – economists’ poor record of prediction, particularly of the 2007-8 financial crisis.

    Yeah, that was interesting. In the Yellen profile, Maddow made the point that Janet Yellen did warn, or try to warn, everyone about financial crisis. Yellen saw it coming.

  305. says

    Yeah, I definitely agree that the homeopathic doctor was unethical, but the doctors-en-chef have this silly thing about proof and presumption of innocence, you know the sort of bafflegab they come up with. ;)

    Janet Yellen, of course, was missing out on the P^4 axis. When prompted for her credentials to assess the truthiness of her assertions about the coming storm, she proved completely unable to prove that she was the Possessor of a Pale Penis of Power. Naturally (gruff agreement from the gentlemen of the Explorers’ Club, *harrumph*), her prophecy was discounted, in the traditional way going back to the wise men who so cleverly disregarded Cassandra when she bleated about doom and gloom, despite being underendowed in the P^4 region (heh-heh, he said “endowed”, sniggergrump the gentlemen of the Explorers’ Club).

    And thus did the world continue to spin on its pale fleshy axis.

  306. says

    Yeah, I definitely agree that the homeopathic doctor was unethical, but the doctors-en-chef have this silly thing about proof and presumption of innocence, you know the sort of bafflegab they come up with. ;)

    Janet Yellen, of course, was missing out on the P^4 axis. When prompted for her credentials to assess the truthiness of her assertions about the coming storm, she proved completely unable to prove that she was the Possessor of a Pale P*n*s of Power. Naturally (gruff agreement from the gentlemen of the Explorers’ Club, *harrumph*), her prophecy was discounted, in the traditional way going back to the wise men who so cleverly disregarded Cassandra when she bleated about doom and gloom, despite being underendowed in the P^4 region (heh-heh, he said “endowed”, sniggergrump the gentlemen of the Explorers’ Club).

    And thus did the world continue to spin on its pale fleshy axis.

  307. says

    Yeah, I definitely agree that the homeo doctor was unethical, but the doctors-en-chef have this silly thing about proof and presumption of innocence, you know the sort of bafflegab they come up with. ;)

    Janet Yellen, of course, was missing out on the P^4 axis. When prompted for her credentials to assess the truthiness of her assertions about the coming storm, she proved completely unable to prove that she was the Possessor of a Pale Pole of Power. Naturally (gruff agreement from the gentlemen of the Explorers’ Club, *harrumph*), her prophecy was discounted, in the traditional way going back to the wise men who so cleverly disregarded Cassandra when she bleated about doom and gloom, despite being underendowed in the P^4 region (heh-heh, he said “endowed”, sniggergrump the gentlemen of the Explorers’ Club).

    And thus did the world continue to spin on its pale fleshy axis.

  308. says

    Yeah, I definitely agree that the homeo doctor was unethical, but the doctors-en-chef have this silly thing about proof and presumption of innocence, you know the sort of bafflegab they come up with. ;)

    Janet Yellen, of course, was missing out on the P^4 axis. When prompted for her credentials to assess the truthiness of her assertions about the coming storm, she was completely unable to prove that she was the Possessor of a Pale Pole of Power. Naturally (gruff agreement from the gentlemen of the Explorers’ Club, *harrumph*), her prophecy was discounted, in the traditional way going back to the wise men who so cleverly disregarded Cassandra when she bleated about doom and gloom, despite being underendowed in the P^4 region (heh-heh, he said “endowed”, leergrump the gentlemen of the Explorers’ Club).

    And thus did the world continue to spin on its pale fleshy axis.

  309. says

    Bought the turkey yesterday, but forgot to thaw it out. Ah well, I am cooking for myself anyway.

    My father told me to have a blessed day. I opted for thanks rather than the much snarkier “…and I want to be blessed by an invisible genocidal asshole…why?”

  310. says

    Nick Gotts #359
    Economics per se isn’t intrinsically bullshit. It’s just that neoclassical, neoliberal, Austrian, and Chicago school economics are all intrinsically bullshit, but they align well with conservative ideology, so the economists who’ve been working for/representing the U.S. government and getting on U.S. for the past 40-odd years have been snake-oil peddlers, one and all.


    Yellen saw it coming.

    So did anyone who was paying attention during the last bubble, or had read enough history to know about all the ones before that, or knew anything at all about economics. This still makes Yellen vastly more qualified for the position than the shitheads who have had it, but it really depresses me that a prediction that easy counts for so much in the current political environment.

    I actually had a professor, in a class about the history of housing in the U.S., claim that no-one could have predicted the housing crash and general economic crash accompanying it, I was dumbfounded.

  311. carlie says

    Ridiculous amounts of food to try to compensate for being by ourselves and not near any family noontime update:

    Butter: churned
    Cabbage: braised
    Eggs: deviled
    Turkey: in progress
    Carrots with fennel: waiting in pan for roasting
    Stuffing: being prepped
    Sweet potatoes: wondering when we’ll bother to get around to them
    Pie: oops, forgot to cook it yesterday. Will once again be the long time after dinner dessert
    Green beans: sadly banned again this year because I’m the only one who likes them

  312. says

    Welllllll *draws a deep breath*
    There are basically two systems of midwife/Ob/Gyn care in Germany.
    One is where a hospital has its own staff, so you don’t know who’s going to be on duty, but they usually do prenatal care, too so you should at least know them.
    The other system is where a hospital has a maternity ward but only has its own nurses. Ob/Gyns from the area come there for their patients and they work together with free-lance midwives.
    So, when you go into labour you contact your midwife who will meet you at the hospital and take care of you until things get serious. I had a team of midwives, I knew them all from prenatal care and the one on duty then became “my midwife” who did the postnatal care.
    Actually, when I was pregnant with the little one I met the midwife from #1 at the Ob/Gyn’s, she was pregnant, too. If she trusted him, that was all the more reason for me to trust him.
    They are a good team, which is important, because you really don’t want them to have a bit of a fight during your birth.

    I would file many of the things my cousin’s ex did under “child abuse”. No antibiotics for scarlet fever, kid being really sick for 6 weeks, and so on.
    There is also the story about that one holiday. The whole family (my aunt, her daughter plus family, her son plus family, many friends) would go to the same campsite they’d been going to for 30 years. Now, one evening one of the friends fell out of his hammock and dislocated his shoulder, which must hurt like hell. Since the campsite is a bit off it took time before the ambulance arrived and in the meantime she pressured him so much into taking homeopathic remedy that in the end he took it so she would shut. the. fuck. up.
    The poor guy had seriously hurt himself and was in horrible pain and she made it all about herself and her homeopathy.

  313. Portia, in absentia says

    ‘rupt…hhappy Thanksgivukkah everyone!



    I can relate to the reasons for the big feast – we’re in “Cook lots of food and focus on each other and not how many people are going to be nearby but not bother to see us.”
    Pumpkin pie: Done
    Cranberry-apple pie: about to begin
    Turkey: Precooked, thawed, and ready to go in the oven.
    Potatoes: mashed
    Pumpkin risotto: creamy and delicious
    Grean bean casserole: ready
    Rolls: storebought and ready to be warmed up
    Cranberry sauce: ready to be opened with the can opener ^_^

    Hugs all around for all who need them.

  314. carlie says

    Marissa Alexander has been released on bail for Thanksgiving.

    Portia – hugs back. I’m going to try a cranberry-apple crisp for the first time, but that’s waiting for the weekend. I’m not sure about the amount of cranberries to add, so any excess will be made into cranberry relish/sauce (also a first for me). I am jealous of the green bean casserole. :)

    Man, wouldn’t it be great to have a Pharyngiving with everybody? We’ll make it a different day entirely so it doesn’t have any connection to colonialism, and it would be one GIGANTIC EPIC feast of everything.

  315. Portia, in absentia says


    That sounds fantastic – can you imagine what Nerd and Oggie would make? My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

    And I’m jealous of your home-churned butter. MMMMmmmm

  316. says

    Giliell: What a douchenozzle, your homeopathic relative.

    Okay, here’s a question: Which are more annoying: homeopaths, Galtian libertarians, or Christian evangelicals (assuming, contra the evidence, that these are three separate groups with no overlap)?

    It’s a tough one. We know what folk medicine looks like (we call it “the Great Plague”), we know what minimal government looks like (waves at Somalia/Afghanistan/Iraq/Libya – funny how those places all have a certain recent occupier in common, huh?), and we know what a theocracy is like (Europe, for centuries; also Iran, more recently). They’re all hideous killers of thousands.


    *hugs* for those “celebrating”* the successful theft of land from the First Nations, especially those who are sad at being semi-alone for the occasion. Glad you have much yummy to have happiness. :)

    * What word would be better? While I doubt anyone here’s likely to forget this aspect, I also doubt that extended families will be in agreement…

  317. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Just dropping in to drop extra hugs for Ogvorbis, should he be reading.


  318. carlie says

    Portia – the butter is SO easy. Kids did it in preschool and we made it a family tradition – just get a tiny container of heavy cream (half pint?), put it in a tight container with more space, and shake until butter happens. Add a little salt to the butter after if desired.

  319. Portia, in absentia says

    carlie – that’s so neat! I always have heavy cream around because even my coffee has to be full of fat ;)

    My aunt and uncle make large batches with a big glass jar with a churner lid, but I never thought to try it so simply…maybe I’ll have the nieces make some, they have a lot of excess energy today :)

  320. carlie says

    Portia – do it! It’s fun for kids (heh). It has to go for a lot longer than the novelty of it warrants, though. The stages are sloshy, then it’s so foamy you hear nothing and feel stupid shaking what seems to be an empty container, then it finally starts to come together and it turns into watery with lumps banging around, then a couple more minutes to get all the butter to clump together. Maybe 20 minutes total if the shaking is all fairly vigorous.

  321. Portia, in absentia says

    Thanks for the tips. I was thinking maybe a glass jar since that’s the airtightest thing I can think of, and the older niece (9 years old on Christmas!) is pretty careful and conscientious. So then they could see the inside We’ll see. :)

  322. rq says

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis, just because.

    Also, Happy Thanksgiving (Harvest Version) to everyone!
    I read today about the absolution of the Whitehouse turkeys, and thought, “Oh hey, look, it’s a President making a stand about what the holiday stands for!” But no. Turns out, it’s a silly weird little tradition whereby some named turkey gets released into the farmland, while some other bloke gets put on the block.

    All these foods sound delicious. I’ll admit we were supposed to go see my American friend today because he does an annual Thanksgiving feast but everybody cancelled because of family sickness (including us – my fault this time). So we’ll be doing it next week.
    And I’ll have to try the butter thing. The kids will love it (and I too love heavy whipping cream for coffee… and tea… and everything).
    And (last one) apple-cranberry anything is delicious, just don’t overdo the cranberries (or else add extra sugar if in doubt). Unless people really like tart, but last time I overdid a bit too much even though I like tart. So there’s that, but otherwise apple-cranberry stuff is so damn delicious.

    I’ll think about your question. That’s a good one (I assume ‘all equally’ is not real answer?).

  323. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Today I am celebrating this USAnian holiday with brandy. Lots of brandy.

    I’m basically a teetotaler except for a couple of times a year, and this is one of those times of year. So delicious brandy.

    My sister is here and there’s a turkey in the oven, too. However, the real celebration for me today is that I was able to download a friend’s entire portfolio off for him while he’s on Afghanistan before it was deleted by his account expiring and am now uploading it for him. His wedding pictures, baby pictures, etc were all going to be lost and I got to save them for him. I find it much easier to take joy in helping people in whatever small way I can than just in being happy for what I have, as weird as that seems. I could be satisfied living in a tent in the middle of the wilderness, after all. Bringing some small light into the lives of others? That’s where the real joy is for me.

  324. Portia, in absentia says

    Niece got tired of it quickly but Good Sport Stepbrother stepped up for a while, now it’s my turn to “churn” :)

  325. opposablethumbs says

    “…and I want to be blessed by an invisible genocidal asshole…why?”

    I can understand why you just went for thanks, but the subtext certainly made me smile :-)

    Best wishes to you Tony, and to everyone who has important-day stuff going on.

  326. opposablethumbs says

    Man, wouldn’t it be great to have a Pharyngiving with everybody? We’ll make it a different day entirely so it doesn’t have any connection to colonialism, and it would be one GIGANTIC EPIC feast of everything.

    I’m in! Agree it has to be a completely different day; I want us all to enjoy it without Those connotations. Can we play charades after eating? Would that be too silly?

    agree that Nerd and Oggie in the kitchen would blow us away.
    Huh…just imagined them as a team on a cooking show.


    Mellow Monkey, that was a lovely thing you did.

  327. Portia, in absentia says

    carlie – thanks so much for the butter idea. We love it. It was a fun group project for the grown ups, as it turned out : )

    /end butter posts.

  328. rq says

    Haha, Portia, thanks for that article! :D

    *three cheers* for Mellow Monkey, saving Data everywhere!!

    Also, Pharyngugiving – I’m all for it. I can even assist in the kitchen – I would hate to relegate Ogvorbis and Nerd there without their express approval, and I don’t want to be assigned there myself, but if given the choice, I can help out. Random cutting, that sort of thing. Fetching a pot or a pan or a whisk. And the idea is making me salivate….
    But I’m with opposablethumbs on choosing a date without any particularly negative connotations (I think it would be near-impossible to find one completely without any). And location – we need a good location! Or do we just stick to the still-mythical Commune location?
    Either way, I’m packin’ the bags.

  329. rq says

    Oh, and charades would be great! At least then Tony and Portia wouldn’t start the old in-fighting about who’s the better Pictionary player.

  330. rq says

    carlie does have good ideas! Sorry for misrepresenting!

    Multilingual charades would be tough. Real tough. But fun. :D

  331. says

    Mellow Monkey:
    That was a very nice thing to do for your friend.


    I rarely get deep in thought when cooking, but I did today. In the midst of prepping the turkey, I paused and looked at it and began thinking about the animal I was holding, hoping that it endured minimal suffering. Once I started viewing the turkey as a whole living creature, rather than legs or wings, I began to feel guilty and realized that this may be the impetus for me to cut back on eating meats and slowly transition to vegetarianism.

    Related to that, I realized my empathy has grown deeper than I’d thought. In previous years, I would not hesitate to kill a spider or roach. But now I find myself not bothering with the occassional spiders I see. One was in my tub yesterday and I shoo’d it away before showering. I felt guilty last week when a roach crawled in from the patio at work and in my attempt to get it back outside, I killed it.

  332. Jackie: ruining feminism one fabulous accessory at a time says

    Ate a dead bird with some Fox News viewers today.

    How’s everybody else doing?

  333. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How’s everybody else doing?

    Since our feast will be Saturday, starting to clean the house for the guests. Dinner tonight will be a bag of shrimp, asparagus, and penne, with garlic bread and maybe some Italian wedding soup at the whim of the Redhead.

    The feast Saturday will include both Mexican and Indian food brought by the guests. I’ll supply the more traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. I think we will all waddle away from the table. Hopefully the guest will take home some of the dinner so we don’t have to eat turkey for the foreseeable future.

  334. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Addendum to #441. I would like enough leftover turkey to make a full batch of turkey tetrazinni. Yum…

  335. Dhorvath, OM says

    I suspect it will be easier to list who doesn’t want in on kitchen duties…And the Island is very nice year ’round.

  336. carlie says

    Tony – did the bread have goat cheese on it? ;) (GOATS ON FIRE)

    Shopping – got myself a season of Bob Ross dvds for my Christmas present. They’re half-price right now and I know from holding out and not buying them last year that this is the only time of the year they go on sale. I’m hoping that they help with the middle of night not able to sleep issue (plus I get asmr and brushing is the best). Also just bought a “zlideon”, which sounds like an alien, but is supposed to be a fantastic zipper pull replacement that will fix all of my broken zipper problems. Child 2′s winter coat had the zipper separation problem, and I really don’t want to buy him a whole new coat for it, so I ordered one from a fabric store online. It’s a gamble, because by the time it gets here the Black Friday coat sales will be over, but we’ll see. I also got a second one for an old purse I love that has had the same problem for a couple of years (seen here). I hope I got the right size/type and that they work.

    I hope everybody had a good day, and if not that you have some fun dreaming of Pharyngiving, and that the weekend is good for all.

  337. A. Noyd says

    Arrrrgh, why did I have to leave my term paper till the last minute? I’m kicking myself extra because I’m actually enjoying learning about the topic I chose, but my procrastination means I can’t take my time with reading.

  338. says

    rq @392:
    I liked the third image at the link for most expensive paintings by women. People who do not like spiders may want to avoid #10 tho.

    btw, Portia is a Pictionary player. A darned good one too.
    I, however, am Pictionary *Master*. From across the globe neophytes come to ascend the moutain in the hopes that they will be among those chosen few who will receive the gift of my teachings. They must first survive 13 labors…

  339. says

    I know, right?


    I know I am accidentally caught in the FtB spam trap, but there is a twisted sense of irony at play when Pitters can comment on Avicenna’s blog, but I can’t…

    Hmmm, this was not a problem before my recent nym change. Could that be affecting my ability to leave comments?

  340. chigau (違う) says

    I tend to comment mostly on Pharyngula, so if I go for awhile (dunno what time interval) without commenting on other blogs, I go into moderation (I see a message stating that).
    Mostly, eventually, the comment goes through.
    I haven’t changed my nym in a long time so I don’t know if that’s part of the problem.

    Ed’s blog just disappears my comments.
    I may have offended him sometime in the past. Dunno.

  341. says

    I am catching up on the Dawkins thread and your comment confirms my suspicion.
    Fuckity fuck.
    I am reaching my ‘so angry I will cry’ point.


    You are a wonderful person. I appreciate reading your comments wherever I find them. You are thoughtful, compassionate, conscientious, and empathetic. Much love for you my friend.

  342. says

    Guh – catching up with it because you folks mentioned it, that’s awful. I’m about to the CAITIE SMASH point wi these feckers.

    (triggery but indirectly so, non-graphic)

    Og, my relatively new friend, remember that these assholes don’t know what it’s like. I do, plenty of others here do, and I’m pretty sure there’re very few of us who’ve been there who don’t get exactly how it came about on a deep and scary level. I know I feel fortunate that I wasn’t under the control of my abusers directly enough that they could violate my psyche in the way that yours was. *unfearing hugs* of support from someone else who’s been there – if wanted, of course.

    I swear I wanna go all Sinfest Sisterhood on these people. :(

    Toss a few bent and wobbly hugs from the busted bod in the corner.

  343. Lysander says

    Had a pleasant but exhausting dinner with family, now back home and suffering horrible vengeance from my gallbladder.

    *hugs* all round

    Particular love and support to Oggie as well.

  344. cicely says

    Just got back from my best-friend-since-forever’s Thanksgiving dinner.
    I don’t like green bean casserole, or sweet potatoes…except the way she fixes ‘em.

    In other news, I can smell!!! My missing sense has returned!

    Oh, so many possible ways to go with this!
    :D :D :D

    ….wait, am I the only one for whom cooked elephant garlic tastes like soap?

    Nonono; that’s cilantro.
    Seriously, I didn’t notice any soapy taste—but then, my taste buds had just been Violently Mugged, and were in shock.

    Man, wouldn’t it be great to have a Pharyngiving with everybody? We’ll make it a different day entirely so it doesn’t have any connection to colonialism, and it would be one GIGANTIC EPIC feast of everything.

    Once again, Mellow Monkey displays Awesomeness!
    :) :) :)
    A. Noyd:

    Arrrrgh, why did I have to leave my term paper till the last minute?


    *food coma*


    Had a pleasant but exhausting dinner with family, now back home and suffering horrible vengeance from my gallbladder.

    I seem *knock on simulated wood-grain plastic* to have avoided The Wrath.
    This time.

  345. says

    Good morning
    Well, I didn’t have any Turkey. But we did the marathon cinamon-waffer baking last night. Thankfully I wanted to brag about how much dough it actually was, so I noticed at the last minute that while I had quadruapled all other indredients I had only doubled the flour. So we added the rest of it.
    It came out as 15 lbs of dough for the best cookies in the world.

    My ex-relative. I insist on it.
    She is actuall an all-around asshole. The kind of person MRAs want us to believe all women are.
    While they were still together she bullied my cousin with the explicit threat that if he didn’t behave she’d kick him out and since they were not married he’d have a hard time to see the kids. That way she also made sure he had no say in the medical decisions. After they split up she still kept him on a leash with the vague promise that maybe they’d get together again. She was totally upset when he finally had a new partner. Do I have to mention that she’d been seeing somebody else for months at that time?


    I don’t think it has anything to do with you. People are having commenting problems all over the place.

    I love you. You’re the kind of person I would love to have close to me.

    Ahhh, and since “bad sscience” came up recently:
    Remember the professor who thought that “male and female” were a really good model to explain binaries? Yeah, I’m coming more and more to the conclusion that he understands corelation but not causation.
    So he told us that “boys are disadvantaged by the school system*” And then he goes on to explain that “in primary school things like handwriting are graded and boys develop fine motor skills later than girls” and I was wondering how they got that data:
    Did they take 1000 male and female** babies and raised them in a controlled environment or did they get their data from kids who were raised in this world where girls get beads and craft sets and such things where you have to accurately and nimbly move your fingers while boys get toy tools where you have to forcefull yhit one object with another one?
    It’s also worth noticing that when an environment disfavours women the answer is “well, goes to show that women are just not cut out for this” but when it disfavours*** boys we need to change the environment to better suit their needs.

    *there’s a marginal truth to this. Even when you control forother factors girls get slightly better grades.
    **For a cisnormative value of those terms
    *** Ehm, no. I don’t think that we should just scratch fine motor skills. We need to change a culture that actively discourages boys from developping them.

  346. rq says

    A healthy post-gorging recovery to the Loungers suffering from overeating today (and all related afflictions). I hope it was worth it! (no sarcasm)


    Link dump:
    A volcano in Antarctica that could contribute to rising sea levels (at some point). Because volcanoes are cool.

    A slightly different view of 23andMe and why it is dangerous from Scientific American. Have to admit, it’s scary in the same way google is scary…

    I can’t get the full text, but the fistbump is the new handshake.

    More scary technology stuff from google. What, so now we’re just not supposed to interact at all?? And here I thought that whole Facebook make-up-a-status thing was a joke…

    [/part 1]

  347. chigau (違う) says

    If you are tempted track down what folks are commenting about …
    DO NOT!!! triggertriggertrigger
    just accept the support

  348. rq says

    Link dump:
    And she grew up to be a lesbian who doesn’t want kids. Not that the letter is a bad idea, but it still presumes too much…

    The True Story of Thanksgiving from a modern (?) perspective.

    100 cats in IKEA – serious business (dunno, I had the feeling throughout that they had a hard time taking themselves seriously).

    Oh, and it’s time the Conservatives left Canadian government, because things like this just piss me off. Also all the bigger things, but renaming and revamping a museum to reflect your views of history? No thanks. How long until the election?

  349. rq says

    (That was [/part 2].)

    I cannot imagine making so many cookies. You have my respect.
    (For encouraging fine motor skills in boys (and girls!!) LEGO is the perfect toy. I think all kids should just play with more LEGO. Even Youngest can use the smallish pieces with success, and Middle Child makes a point of selecting only the tiny pieces.)


    [pointless children's story]
    So the one time the kids are allowed something vaguely unhealthy and oversugared is for dessert, after dinner. Usual selections are hard candy or chocolate, or condensed milk candies – basically what’s available. Well, tangerine season here has just begun, so I’d bought a bagful. Towards the close of dinner, Middle Child announces:
    I’m going to have a tangerine for dessert, because they’re a lot sweeter than candy!”
    And because there are occasions when they just can’t agree with each other (because that would tear the fabric of the universe), Eldest replied with:
    “Well, I’m going to have a banana for dessert, because that’s even sweeter!”
    And healthy dessert ensued. (Youngest was satisfied with what his brothers were having, but ran into issues when he tried to hold All the Tangerine Pieces in his hands and… there were so many!)

  350. says

    I’ve given up on rationing sweet stuff except before or as a replacement for meals.
    They manage pretty well for themselves. I also couldn’t justify why I would allow the little one (who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth) two hot dogs as a snack but #1 would be denied a second piece of cake or vice versa.
    It is amazing how much the perception of those things changes according to the situation. Buying a donut in the afternoon is apparently acceptable, buying fries is not, even though people couldn’t tell you what’s allegedly the difference.
    Anyway, they’re both thin as a rake, the little one being at the low end of “normal” and #1 firmly within the “underweight” category, so if she gobbles down 4 pieces of cake after school she actually needs the calories. She’ll also gobble down fruit and veg in addition to the cake, but if I only offered them I think she would simply starve.

    As for the cookies: Me and my two friends worked for about 2 hours with two irons that produce 8 cookies each. And now the next batch of cookies is done, but this time only about 2 lbs just for ourselves.

  351. rq says

    We wouldn’t need to ration Eldest, but Middle Child has The Biggest Sweet Tooth Ever. I’m pretty sure that’s genes from my mum’s side of the family (along with heightened susceptibility to tooth cavities), but he does not really understand the concept of holding back, to the point where he won’t manage to eat any healthy stuff if he has a free hand with the sweets. On special occasions we let them both indulge, or if visiting (unless it’s a multiple-day visit).
    But I’m glad they both love their fruits and vegetables (and pasta!), and I don’t particularly worry about that aspect of their nourishment.
    Cake is not a sweet. ;) It is a full member of the bread food group, and may be consumed at breakfast, lunch or dinner. With other suitable breakfast/lunch/dinner foods, of course. But I actually don’t mind feeding them cake and/or pie for breakfast (when we have it). Well, most cakes or pies – there’s the kind that are pretty much all icing that probably have no nutritional value besides food colouring.
    Also, why is buying fries in the afternoon not acceptable?? [/curious]

  352. rq says

    I just read this article on a friend’s FB feed by a Dr Permutter (neurologist!!!). I can’t seem to find him on Quackwatch, does anyone have any rebutting information? I would like to leave a smart-n-snarky comment to debunk his mythological brainy bullshit (would have left the quackwatch link but there doesn’t seem to be one – yet).

  353. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says


    Thanks. But too late. I started in on the Richard Dawkins thread and went over.


    Sorry. To all of you. I have done some serious damage to the community. Sorry.

  354. Portia, in absentia says


    I don’t know what that thread is like or what’s going on with it but I still know you are wonderful, you are loved, you are valued. By me and many many other people here. I love you, Og. Please try to take care of yourself.

  355. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says


    Apparently, we, the FTBers, have branded Richard Dawkins a rapist yet coddle a confessed rapist within our midst. Me.


  356. Portia, in absentia says


    No, no, no. They are liars. We are not coddling you, anyway. We are loving you, and you deserve to be loved. Believe it.

  357. rq says

    Since when does the word of known liars and misogynists and various assortments of vile types of people count more than the word of your friends??
    Because 1) nobody has branded RD a rapist in this community. Don’t you dare start believing the Slymepitters (ew, I don’t think I’ve ever even typed that word before). And, 2), we don’t ‘coddle’ you. Not by a long shot. You are our friend, who has survived terrible things, and for that you deserve respect and support.
    You have done no damage to this community. You have made it better, you have made us laugh, you are loved. You deserve that love for being the person you are.
    Believe that.

  358. opposablethumbs says

    Ogvorbis – don’t listen to those arseholes. You are someone I’d be proud and happy to know irl. Take care – many hugs.

  359. says

    You haven’t done any damage to the “community”, whatever that is supposed to mean here.
    If you mean this little Pharyngummunity, it looks like it’s alive and kicking and much happier with you inside. You are not responsible for any bile the Pitters produce, it is nothing about you or your story. They are constantly lashing out, constantly producing that bullshit. You’re just one of their targets, but so is Jason. Hell, they even did it with Avicenna who is actually critical of A+.
    Remember, it’s nothing about the victim that causes bullying, it’s all about the bully

  360. chigau (違う) says

    You have NOT damaged this community.
    We are just fine and we are better for having you here.

  361. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    rq @473:

    Since when does the word of known liars and misogynists and various assortments of vile types of people count more than the word of your friends??

    It doesn’t. I was explaining where the conversation had gone over on Nugent’s blog.

    opposable thumbs @475:

    You are someone I’d be proud and happy to know irl.

    And the first thing that comes to mind is, “That’s because you don’t know me in real life.” I know that is not necessarily true, but I was already feeling down (note my ‘nym modifiers — that was from a week or more ago) and this just comes way to close to who I think I am. I seem to alternate between forgiving myself and blaming myself, but the ratio is never more than 51/49 either direction.

    Giliell @476:

    You haven’t done any damage to the “community”, whatever that is supposed to mean here.

    I wrote about something that is anathema, beyond the pale of acceptable human behaviour. And that has given the Watson and Myers haters ammunition. Sorry. I should know better than to be honest.

    Remember, it’s nothing about the victim that causes bullying, it’s all about the bully

    I know. The people I’ve hurt didn’t ask to be hurt. I’m so sorry.

  362. rq says

    Well, Ogvorbis, I’d still be glad to know you in real life.
    Even (especially) when you’re being honest.
    I would like to offer some *safehugs* just for you.

  363. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I know. The people I’ve hurt didn’t ask to be hurt. I’m so sorry.

    A very human statement, acknowledging wrong and apologizing for it. We can’t ask for anything more.

    Compare this to the ‘pit. Are they ever wrong, or they apologize if they are? Talk about your arrogant ignorant bullies, who are best ignored. That riles them more than anything. To be disbelieved and ignored. Torture.

  364. birgerjohansson says

    Turkey? See link about wrestling them @ 390.

    Why scepticism is important: “Owner of alleged Satanic sex abuse daycare released as case against her falls apart” http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/27/owner-of-alleged-satanic-sex-abuse-daycare-released-as-case-against-her-falls-apart/
    On the bright side, it took only 21 years for justice to triumph. Texas is great.

    (Yes, I know you Texans in Houston and other urban centers are a different species from the H. Heidelbergensis dominating the rural parts )

    Prenatal exposure to alcohol disrupts brain circuitry http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-11-prenatal-exposure-alcohol-disrupts-brain.html Big surprise. Not.

    Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime: A Book of Zombie Love Songs

  365. birgerjohansson says

    -in addtition to Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime: A Book of Zombie Love Songs”, here is another book of interest.
    I suggest you buy the title and give it to your local Tea Party types so they get some ideas for future recreation.

    “The Darwin Awards Next Evolution: Chlorinating the Gene Pool” http://bookoutlet.com/Store/Details/the-darwin-awards-next-evolution-chlorinating-the-gene-pool/_/R-9780452295636B?
    Giving a beer to a bear? A Palin relative?

  366. says

    Ogvorbis, if I may,

    You have done nothing to damage this community. Nothing. Those slimy slimers are lying liars and bullies. They are the ones damaging people and communities.

    You are someone I would like to hang out with for real, and I’m not even a people person.

    *Offers safe hugs*

  367. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says


    I jsut feel like I have failed at being human. That I regret does not change that I did what I did. They are right.

  368. carlie says

    THEY ARE NOT. They are making false comparisons, forcing an acceptance of agency where none existed, warping everything around to make their own undefendable position seem more reasonable. They’re like a magnet, bending everything around to themselves so that true north has no meaning in their sphere. No, they are not right, and they have no point, and I would rather see this whole community burn to the ground than let them drive a good person out because of their lies. I know part of your brain wants to listen to them, Og, whether you want it to or not, but don’t let it win. Let us take over for that part temporarily, and trust that we’re supporting you and that we’re not avoiding the truth, or making excuses – we know that you do not have the responsibility that they say you do.

  369. rq says

    If anything, Ogvorbis, you have done better at being human than they – their inability to empathize and to do harm where none is warranted speaks volumes. You are by far the better human being, broken and all… By far.

  370. Dhorvath, OM says

    The people who sabotaged your childhood learned, trained, how to take advantage of you, and the skills they used would work on any child. That you have risen above your abusers in behaviour affirms our love and trust in you, it doesn’t undermine our community at all.

  371. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I jsut feel like I have failed at being human. That I regret does not change that I did what I did.

    Nope, you were human in a bad situation not of your making. And you haven’t perpetuated the behavior as an adult. You are sorry you participated, despite your inability to give informed consent.

    The ‘pitters have never shown an understanding of the concept of context. We do. So should you.

  372. Portia, in absentia says


    You are not only human, you exemplify the best of humanity’s features: compassion, empathy, and love. We aren’t making excuses, we aren’t making rationalizations. You were honest with us, and we love you just the same. Because we recognize that you are a good person. Let us decide who we want to associate with – don’t let the pitters decide for us.We have collectively decided that you are a valuable member here (Pharyngula) and don’t you let them make you think otherwise. We love you. I love you. You have not failed at being human.

  373. A. Noyd says

    Obvorbis (#478)

    I wrote about something that is anathema, beyond the pale of acceptable human behaviour. And that has given the Watson and Myers haters ammunition. Sorry. I should know better than to be honest.

    How could you do damage to the community when you condemn what happened to you, including your part in it, every chance you get? What hurts the community is failing to say such things are wrong or defending them. If the pitstains and their pals would use what happened to you against you and the community, that’s their failing. They’re the ones damaging the community.

    And remember, you’re just one in a long line of people they’re doing this sort of shit to. Or should people like Stephanie Zvan and Melody Hensley and Karen Stollznow have known better than to be honest, too? No. You all deserve to be able to share and get support for what happened to you without a bunch of assholes making it into a weapon for their idiotic crusade against social justice.

  374. Tethys says

    No Ogvorbis, they are the ones who are failing at being human.

    They are lying about you. They know it, we know it, I wish you could believe it.
    You were coerced, and abused, and are in no way responsible for your abusers tactic of forcing you to be you complicit in the abuse in order to assure your silence.

    Your overwheleming feelings of remorse are PROOF that he failed to turn you into his protege.
    Abusive people never feel guilt or responsibility for their abuse.

    I am honored to know you, and deeply humbled by your openness and honesty and general awesomeness in the face of such horrible and extreme childhood experiences.

    *all the support and hugs*

  375. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Og, it’s not you it’s them. They are fractally wrong, and worse, they don’t even give a shit about rapists or anything like that (since pinning the blame on you neatly absolves the real rapists from their crime, which I’m sure is no coincidence), they just want some kind of “gotcha”. You are not the problem, they are.

  376. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    And you most certainly did not fail at being a human!

    You were failed by people you should have been able to trust.

    Horribly, unforgivably.

    You weren’t the one doing the failing, and you’re not the one doing the failing right now.

  377. says


    I have done some serious damage to the community

    The community here strenuously disagrees. I think you’re outvoted, my friend. :)
    We have your back, Oggie.

    And that has given the Watson and Myers haters ammunition.

    If they weren’t lying about and distorting what you’ve said for their mudslinging, they’d be lying about someone else and distorting what they said. It’s kind of what they do, and that’s totally on them that they’ve consistently chosen to be total shitheads to everyone.