Do your children know who’s coming down the chimney tonight? »« We were more free under Nixon than we are under Obama

Comments

  1. Crudely Wrott says

    I don’t come ’round these parts much because I don’t care for argument. While I am fairly good at argument I don’t enjoy it. Others peel themselves raw much better and more readily than I can even in my wildest dreams.

    That said and, I can only imagine, having challenged those who feel at home in such cold climes, I will stop with this:

    Merry Christmas to All. And to All a Good Night.

    May each of you feel free to interpret my greeting according to your own standards.

    Not beating up nor beating down. Just some of that old, easy rolling spirit. The ghost of the moment however it tickles you.

    Hey! Did you notice? The days are getting longer! Whoa! How cool is that?
    *Is it any wonder we are glad?*

    No, but argue amongst yourselves if you must. I will simply try to sleep until tomorrow when I will comb the library for books to give to grandsons. Leave it to grampa to have no imagination at all. How can I compete with the latest game machine that makes imagination a relic of a previous age? Still, I strive to teach, even if weakly.
    Shit. The kids can’t even wash dishes and they both think they are on the verge of taking the family car for indeterminate reasons. Sometimes Christmas is a cause to weep.

    Next hopeless cause: to instill the notion that all privileges have attendant responsibilities. Weep for me, my friends, for I am on a fool’s errand.

  2. yazikus says

    I will comb the library for books to give to grandsons.

    May I ask how old they are? I think books for christmas is a wonderful tradition.

  3. Crudely Wrott says

    @yazikus

    Twelve and fourteen. Coming twenty something, don’cha know.

    For the younger I’m considering Gary Larson’s There’s A Hair In My Dirt! because he’s the one that always makes a funny face for the camera. Anything Larsonesque suits him. I think.

    For the elder man cub, I’m thinking my copy of Einstein’s Relativity. Mostly because I think he needs to know buttressed by my geekiness. (just added geekiness to FF dictionary)

    But my expectation is low; about four months ago I gave him my copy of The God Particle taking pains to point out the wonderful dialog between the author and Democritus. To date there is no feedback nor indication that he has cracked the cover. But he is hell on killing imaginary zombies on the BigScreenTeeeeeVeeee! Can do so for entire weekends. Pity that he can’t write one line of code.
    ________________

    Oh! Caine! Flower of Intense Purpose and Boggling Creativity!
    I assure you that this Mishmush will be memorable. If for nothing else but it’s forgetability. (another addition to FF dictionary)
    *recalls the ones of old when I had full control of lighting the tree . . . vast sigh . . . *
    May all Your Days be as Mishmush. Also, Happy New Year filled with lengthening days!

  4. Crudely Wrott says

    Leave now to seat in new brake pads installed yesterday. Much rapid stopping is anticipated.

    Mishmus!
    Indeed . . .

    I love you all and am so very glad to be so persuaded.

    Holidays!!

  5. says

    Mikhail Kalashnikov died, age 94.

    Regardless of what you think of the man and the weapon he created, he is a significant figure of the past one hundred years. His weapon may have become the tool of communist expansion and terrorism, but he is no worse than (read: is equally as awful as) any American, British, Belgian, German, Israeli, French or other gun designer.

    http://www.mail.com/int/news/europe/2536074-rifle-designer-mikhail-kalashnikov-dead-94.html

    “Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer,” said Kalashnikov. “I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery.”

  6. Crudely Wrott says

    Yes, left0ver1under. He did change the world by putting power into the hands of the average guy. His death will be more noticed less than what the average guy does with his boon.

  7. David Marjanović says

    Do I even want to know what’s in Santa’s bag?

    Ask not what is in the bag, for it is you.

    “Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer,” said Kalashnikov. “I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery.”

    *sigh*

  8. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    I like the picture, PZ.

    And, Crudely Wrott, I <3 Einstein’s Relativity.. Among other things, it’s proof that one can write clearly about any subject.

    Happy Yuletide, Solstice, Christmas, Mithras’ Birthday, and Holidays to you all.

  9. Crudely Wrott says

    oops–strike “more” before “noticed less” and dance around such as you will. You dance so nicely and with precision and intent,

  10. Crudely Wrott says

    My intent was not to mislead or imply hidden agendas by leaving that trailing comma @15.

    NB. My intent is always to further deeper thought and colorful comment. Seeing as you are all so good at that sort of thing.

    Happy Christmas and Merry New Year.

    Period.

    Love,
    Crudely

  11. Crudely Wrott says

    @Markita:

    Einstein writes in short chapters. That is good form for I find it necessary to read them several times in order to understand.

    Imagine doing that with Dostoyevsky or King. It would take a lifetime and even then you would have no assurance of “what?”.

    Go then. And sin no more.

  12. Lofty says

    Adelaide area Summary
    Max 28
    Sunny.
    Chance of any rain: 0%
    Rainfall amount: 0 mm
    Sunny. Light easterly winds, tending northwest to southwest 15 to 25 km/h during the day.

    Today I celebrate the theft of the northeners’ sunshine. With white wine. In the sun. Did I mention sunshine? You can have it back in a few months, when I’ve finished with it.
    Merry solstice everyone.

  13. Crudely Wrott says

    . . . or, as famously published, Go, and sin on more.

    Now man cub the first has challenged me to an actual board game. Actual face to face at a table. I’m doubly impressed.

    Will return in the Lounge with results. And declarations of happiness . . . I hope.

  14. Steven Brown: Man of Mediocrity says

    @18 Lofty:

    I’ll drink to that my fellow southern-hemisphereian. I think I’ll stick to cider though as wine doesn’t do it for me.

    Listening to that song right now for the umpteenth time this holiday season.

  15. Desert Son, OM says

    On the road tomorrow for a few days of seasonal holiday with my parents and my sister.

    • Gifts bought

    • Packing . . . sort of started . . . o.k., o.k., fine . . . laundry started

    • Electro-mechanical metal-and-plastic enclosed conveyance fueled

    • Bananas and breakfast bars stocked for both legs of the drive

    • Route to cleverly avoid the nightmarish driving experience that is U.S. Interstate 35 in Texas planned

    • Tea for tomorrow morning’s steeping and drinking selected

    • Psychological preparation for three days with conservative Christian parents . . . in process.

    Best wishes to all and sundry for whatever you may regard this time of year, even for no special reason at all, and with hope the days find you and your loved ones in good health, traveling safely, surprised by beautiful moments of peace and joy and compassion, and welcoming some small respite from the world’s injuries.

    I continue in gratitude to the community here for as fine and powerful an education as any I have ever received. I remain, I hope,

    Still learning,

    Robert

  16. says

    Lofty:

    Adelaide area Summary
    Max 28
    Sunny.
    Chance of any rain: 0%
    Rainfall amount: 0 mm
    Sunny. Light easterly winds, tending northwest to southwest 15 to 25 km/h during the day.

    Almont, ND:

    Partly cloudy. High -8F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Currently -12 °F (Feels Like -30 °F). Cloudy skies this evening. A few snow showers developing late. Low -12F. Winds S at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 40%.

    I’m having red wine. Zinfandel, in my toasty warm house. I’m pretending outside doesn’t exist.

  17. says

    Desert Son:

    Psychological preparation for three days with conservative Christian parents . . . in process.

    All the best, Robert! You’ll sail right through, I’m sure. (Happy thoughts, think happy thoughts!) Stay safe.

  18. Desert Son, OM says

    Caine at #23:

    All the best, Robert! You’ll sail right through, I’m sure. (Happy thoughts, think happy thoughts!) Stay safe.

    Many thanks! I remain positive!

    I’m having red wine. Zinfandel, in my toasty warm house.

    That sounds lovely! Last week I had a delightful zinfandel early in the week, very nice. I wish you warmth in the midst of a Great Plains winter!

    Still learning,

    Robert

  19. Menyambal --- Wallace's Bullpup says

    The neighbors have one of those inflated-fabric lawn decorations for Christmas. It’s a penguin, and looks okay when the blower is running. When they shut off the electricity, it collapses over backward as if it were sleeping. The blower sticks up through the fabric at the crotch region, and it looks like a sleeping penguin with an enormous erection.

    The tent is definitely up. Happy holiday, indeed.

  20. says

    Memyambal
    Thank you, I needed a laugh. I’ve been having a very frustrating day with UPS, whose delivery person apparently left a package for us somewhere in the complex, but corporate has no idea where and are apparently such incompetent jackasses that a manager hasn’t just called the delivery person and ask what the fuck they did with it, nor can they say when this simple task will occur, other than within 8 days.

  21. Bicarbonate says

    Crudely Wrott

    Just wanted you to know that I shared your spider post with a friend who I believe is a very good judge of literature and she was keenly interested in you and what else you may have written as well as moved.

  22. dornierpfeil says

    The Sunday New York Times Book Review for Dec 22, 2013
    The ‘By The Book’ interview
    Subject, Beil DeGrasse Tyson
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/books/review/neil-degrasse-tyson-by-the-book.html?ref=review&_r=0

    When asked for the greatest books ever written about astronomy his answer was,
    “Because the field of study changes so rapidly, any book that’s great in one decade becomes hopelessly obsolete by the next. But if I am forced to pick one, it would be Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” (1980). Not for the science it taught, but for how effectively the book shared why science matters — or should matter — to every citizen of the world.”

    He also plugs for books written decades, even (gasp) centuries, ago and some by women.

  23. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Desert Son – *pouncehug* It is truly a pleasure to know you. May your visit with your parents hold few traumas. Merry Squidmas!

  24. says

    David:

    Ask not what is in the bag, for it is you.

    Me?
    But I’m here.
    Here, in my home.
    How can I be in the bag too?
    Is there another me out there?
    One that is battered, broken, beaten…and more than a little bloody, I’d guess, given what’s dripping out of the sack, unless that’s dribble.
    Hmmm, now I’m curious who shall receive the gift of me from Demonic Santa…

  25. says

    Here‘s an uplifting xmas message for y’all.

    I’m currently and until Jan 19 resigned to a 10Gb limit on a horribly slow USB stick connection, so expert more quiet for a while. But then 1Gbps. Or so they promise.

  26. rubato says

    Does anyone notice the FTB banner blocks the top field (desired username) during registration? Or maybe it’s just my browser…

    Anyway I was reading this blog in NYT:

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/raw-milk-a-hazard-for-children-and-pregnant-women/

    One of the commenters “raw milk mike” seems familiar, judging by the nonsense he spouts, lack of peer reviewed evidence he comes up with and obvious cherry picking of data. Not that I think the webmaster of a tinfoil hat site would actually care about what a bunch of people on the Times blog say, but it’s funny to imagine (not really).

  27. Callinectes says

    Merry Cthuletide, everyone!

    My house flooded this morning. The river by my house is now flowing through my living room. Worst weather ever. Zero stars, would not buy again.

  28. Walton says

    Merry Christmas, Horde. I know I haven’t been posting of late – November and December were very busy months at work. (For those who don’t know, I started in October as a trainee immigration lawyer.)

    It is a saddening line of work to be in. Every day the UK’s immigration system puts more people through a cruel and senseless hell. Obviously I can’t talk about my own clients’ cases, but I can say in general terms that things are very bad. And the system is getting worse rather than better. The new immigration bill (which is expressly designed to create a “hostile environment” for irregular migrants) will likely soon be law, racist “spot checks” by immigration officers are to continue, and LGBT people are still being returned to Uganda at a time when that country has just passed a new and harsher anti-gay law. And no concessions are made for migrants who are sick, disabled or traumatized.

    Thankfully I have a week off work now, and I’m home for Christmas. I finally got around to writing a blog post, the first one in months.

  29. Cryptomaniac says

    Lucky I even made it onto this site… I use the Tor network and FTB uses WordPress, which in turn uses CloudFlare, an internet service that usually serves me with a CAPTCHA screen blocking my access to all FTB blogs.

    Trouble is, I find nearly all of their CAPTCHA graphics to be unreadable, failing to pass 4 out of 5 tries, which is ridiculous, I’ve never seen such unreadable letters in a CAPTCHA before. It’s so bad, I had to realize I’m nearly locked out of FTB because it rejects traffic from anonymizer proxies.

    I tried to complain to CloudFlare, but the only way to get a message to them that I could find on their website was to create an account and then submit a Support Ticket. But their submission form was so broken it would not even submit (it asked for an item of info but presented no box to enter it into).

    I had the same problem with JesusandMo.com. I emailed the author, he replied promptly and said, “Try now” and it Lo! it worked. I asked him what he did, he said this:

    My DNS is looked after by Cloudflare, who implement various selectable
    levels of security. Although my security level was set to ‘low’, it appears
    that Cloudflare challenged anyone trying to visit my site using Tor. I fixed
    it by changing my security settings to ‘essentially off’.

    Fortunately my web host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net, is very experienced in
    dealing with security issues, so the extra Cloudflare level of security was
    probably redundant.

    So I’m back into JesusandMo.com now.

    I’ve done my best with CloudFlare. I asked the author of J&M if he felt like contacting CloudFlare to tell them they need to do better. But I don’t suppose he thinks he still has a dog in this fight. I also sent PZ an email, but then I managed to get into this site without CloudFlare butting in and so I emailed him again to tell him the problem seemed to have been fixed and thanked him on an assumption he’d changed a setting or something. Now I know better, the problem has not been fixed, it just depends on what profile I am given when I log in to Tor. Sometimes I get a CloudFlare CAPTCHA screen, but the CAPTCHA graphics are in a different style that is generally readable.

    It’s not an issue with Pharyngula, it’s an issue with CloudFlare->WordPress->FTB->Pharyngula. Does anyone have any suggestions? I intend to keep using Tor rather than give up anonymity. I’ve already swallowed the bitter pill of not being able to watch YouTube unless the video is in HTML5, so I am committed to this course. Unless I’m on Tor, I no longer interact much with websites, I just look at them.

  30. says

    Cryptomaniac, I’ve never had to deal with cloudflare (thankfully), but I have the same reading the graphic problem with the captcha yahoo uses on flickr. They have an audio option on their captcha though, which I use with no problem. Does cloudflare not have an audio option? I thought that was fairly standard on captcha these days.

  31. Cryptomaniac says

    Thanks, but when I try the audio option, I am told (via audio) that my network traffic is “unusual” and they therefore cannot serve an audio captcha. On one occasion for some reason they did serve one but I could not even *begin* to make out what was being said! It was considerably worse than the graphics – amazing considering how awful the graphics are.

    When I said 4 out of 5 attempts fail, I was being too generous. It’s more like 9 out of 10. Really.

    BTW, my vision is quite good, and my hearing is quite good. It isn’t me! It’s CloudFlare, they have no excuse for using such noisy graphics and audio recordings. CAPTCHA means Completely Automated Program to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. Their CAPTCHAs are by self-referential definition not in fact CAPTCHAs.

    I’m just rambling now, aren’t I? This is what happens when I’m upset on the internet.

  32. says

    Callinectes

    My house flooded this morning. The river by my house is now flowing through my living room. Worst weather ever. Zero stars, would not buy again.

    So sorry to hear that. I hope all loved ones and pets are safe and that you’re able to get this horrible situation resolved swiftly.

  33. Callinectes says

    Rescued by my uncle in his 4×4. Apparently the village was evacuated, but the message (and the authorities) didn’t get as far as my end of the woods. I’m freakin’ exhausted.

  34. ChasCPeterson says

    I do a lot of downloading, and CAPTCHAs are getting tougher all over. Just today a new black/white contrast style rolled out that I’m finding damn near impossible.

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

    Well, that sounds scary.

    I’m glad your uncle was there for you, Callinectes. I hope you can have some rest, wherever you’re staying now.

  36. Crudely Wrott says

    Merry Christmas and Squiddly Greetings, Walton.

    Perhaps your professional efforts will be meaningful in creating a more welcome climate for people. Everywhere.
    ___________
    Here’s hoping for a Dry New Year for Callinectes. Good to see you seem to be weathering the weather well. Do hold on. Remember, it’s not how how you swim, it’s how you hold your breath.

  37. Cryptomaniac says

    Thanks Beatrice #53, I submitted about a ten thousand word report to them.

    Chas #57: I think those are the same graphics, also the letters are so fuzzy that where they touch or come close it’s impossible to tell what’s what. Are we on the same page? Is there also a box where you can send a 100-chr max msg to the site owner (don’t bother, nothing happens, I did that 3 times, doesn’t even indicate which site anyway: theirs or the one you’re being blocked from!)?

    Dealing with internet issues is tougher than things used to be. I remember a day when you just grabbed the phone, talked to a person who was real, live and *pleasant*, and then the problem got fixed. Soon. (Then again, it was uphill to school – both ways. And there was no air.) I’m only here now because I’m still in the same Tor session. As soon as I log out and back in, I’ll probably be blocked again.

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

    I always thought that the best CAPTCHA would be one in which there’s no fucking pattern at all on the screen, and you’re supposed to guess not only the alphabet employed, but the font, the font features (underlining, bolding), and the actual characters presented. Hang a cookie on the page, and let people try as many times as they like.

    If they give up after <50 tries, they're human.

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

    Here’s some general good wishes for all TDers, upside down (I’m looking at you, katkinkate) or otherwise.

  40. Crudely Wrott says

    Now that y’all have nudged me into thinking about it, some of us are right side up, some are wrong side down and an unknown number of us are either left, west or crooked.

    Such a marvel would not exist without gravity.

    This is, to be weighty, a grave situation.

    If only “down” were not intuitive . . .

    . . . we’d all be properly collated.

    Of course, if that were so, there would be no use for this forum.

    Reality gives such sly gifts to us each of the other 364.25 days.

  41. Cryptomaniac says

    Alexandra #45, I had trouble accessing your site too! (see this comment for background.) I left a msg. for the site admins. But looking at the page for the plugin that blocked me, it seems that the form presented to contact the site admins might be just a decoy that doesn’t actually send anything to anyone (yeah, the plugin actually brags that it sometimes does that!).

    Either way, this issue too is on a WordPress-powered blog. WordPress is setting itself up for losing a lot of visitors for its clientele. Proxy servers are a lot more popular now that the NSA story is out, and the Tor network I use (which provides anonymizing-PLUS) claims to be growing rapidly.

    Here I am trying to innocently block websites from learning too much about me and my workstation, and I’m being heavily penalized for it by supposedly the very nicest of people! I can’t even watch YouTube unless the vid. is in HTML5. The only people who want my personal info are hackers. Non-hackers should not be upset if their website can’t obtain unnecessary details of their visitors.

    WordPress, and CloudFlare: you are breaking the web. That’s not nice. Stop it please.

  42. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Callinectes – I’m so sorry about your flooding, but I am glad you are safe. *hugs*

    Walton – *pouncehug* Merry Christmas!

    katkinkate – Merry Christmas!

  43. says

    Unfortunately, to the rest of the world, people who use TOR are crazy, creepy hackers and by not rolling over and subjecting yourself to the NSA, you’re probably some sort of terrorist or something.

    *sigh*

    (You know how they caught that Harvard bomb threat guy, right? He was the *only person* who used TOR on Harvard networks in the hours leading up to the emails.)

  44. chigau (違う) says

    Y’know, if our cobbled together temporary internets didn’t shut down or have a minor stroke every half hour, I’d probably be able to keep up.

  45. chigau (違う) says

    Caine
    I am at my parent’s place and she it not connected.
    The sibling does something arcane that causes wifi to be but its powers are weak.
    I just need to be patient.

  46. says

    Chigau:

    I am at my parent’s place and she it not connected.
    The sibling does something arcane that causes wifi to be but its powers are weak.
    I just need to be patient.

    Ah. I’m familiar with wifi of weak powers. It’s hard to be patient.

  47. David Marjanović says

    This is my last comment on the indirect discussion. Bring your creationists here.

    You quite simply cannot appeal to “common sense” as a means of trying to prove your case.

    In many cases, common sense and logical, rational thinking is indeed adequate, this is one such example.

    We know that a protein exists in an organism, that protein wasn’t present in the organism that it allegedly evolved from. Ancestry doesn’t explain the existence of that protein, in an organism. Is that not a logical statement??

    By no means. Proteins aren’t simply present or absent. The genes for proteins evolve from other genes by mutations ( = individual changes to the DNA sequence), from junk DNA by mutations, or by horizontal gene transfer…

    Sure there are exceptions, but when you consider the track record of how often we use common sense, and how often that common sense pays off, you’ll find that common sense has a pretty darn good record.

    It’s not good enough. It makes mistakes too often to simply rely on.

    Exactly the same applies here. Creationism may well seem to be “common sense”, but upon closer examination it holds as much water as a sieve

    Care to elaborate?? On what basis do you think that it leaks like a sieve?? Why should biology operate on the assumption that observational science is invalid??

    What. How does creationism at all follow from “observational science”? And is “observational science”, a term I’ve never seen my fellow scientists use, Ham’s silly creationist distinction from “historical science”?

    From a more philosophical perspective, why should we as rational beings, not accept what you even admit, “seems” to be common sense if that is our reality??

    Because it simply doesn’t fit the facts! It contradicts loads of them! It only fits at a quite superficial first glance!

    Duh! :-)

    If life “appears” to have been designed, then what’s wrong with accepting that which appears to be true, and deducing from that design, that there must also be a designer??

    Even accepting all that, “it’s true” doesn’t logically follow from “it’s probably true”.

    Why throw out that which “seems to be common sense”, and “appears to be designed”, in favor of that appearance simply coming about by random chance, for no particular reason, defying the massive improbabilities against it??

    *sigh* Mutations are random, but selection is not, it’s determined by the environment. Mutation frequencies are known and can be looked up; to really understand the whole thing requires an understanding of quantum chemistry and population biology, two very mathematical fields.

    If we can’t even trust our reality enough to accept what we can observe in the natural world,

    Ever observed life being designed?

    IOW, if our universe and reality are so uncooperative and unpredictable that we can’t even trust our own senses to give us a rational, logical picture of the world that we live in,

    The senses give us facts, not explanations. The theory of evolution by mutation, selection and drift does not consist of “I can see it”; and neither does creationism.

    If it appears to be designed, and what we observe seems to be common sense, then why fight against that reality?? Why not accept that reality??

    Again that embarrassing jump from “it’s probably true” to “it’s true!! it’s true!! it’s true!!”.

    Please.

    I think the obvious answer, to that last question, is that science can’t address the metaphysical or supernatural.

    Which isn’t true. Simple example:

    Metaphysical hypothesis that appeals to the supernatural: the sun will only rise tomorrow if we sacrifice living human hearts today.

    Scientific test: stop that practice and see what happens.

    That experiment was conducted 500 years ago. We’re still observing the unchanged results.

    Regardless of a scientist’s personal beliefs, science properly done HAS to operate materialistically. It HAS to assume that there IS NOT, and CAN NOT be, a designer. The endeavor of science HAS to operate as if faith and religion, thus the designer, never existed.

    The untestable is beyond the reach of science. Not all religious ideas are untestable. Many have been tested.

    Say anything specific about the designer, and we can test whether a designer with those specific characteristics exists.

    Keep in mind that simple falsification isn’t the only part of the scientific method. The other part is the principle of parsimony: no more entities should be assumed to exist than necessary. If there’s no reason to make an assumption, don’t make that assumption; make it when the data require it, and only then.

    our origins are not nor can they logically be, materialistic

    What, why?

    It’s up to us, as rational individuals, to realize that materialistic science has limits that it can’t impose on itself. Yes, scientISTS can believe in God, but science as an entity, cannot, nor should we want it to.

    Science could. It just, as it turns out, doesn’t need to.

    It seems perfectly logical to me, to look at the world and accept it for what it shows us, rather than adding in parsimonious explanations, which we can never determine the truth of. Rather than yield his or her decision making power to a false authority, individuals need to use their own God-given common sense to interpret what the world around them is saying.

    Evolutionary epistemology explains not only why common sense works pretty well, but also why it fails where it does fail, and why it fails in the ways it does.

  48. David Marjanović says

    Figure out the blockquote fails yourself, jonmilne, and bring your creationists here if they’re still interested. It’s 1 in the morning, I have to go to bed.

  49. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    My eyes have seen the horrors of the latest Christmas episode of Doctor Who.

    What the ever loving fuck was that thing?

  50. Cryptomaniac says

    I’ve been having no trouble accessing FTB blogs since yesterday. No blocking for the last 8 or 10 logins. I think something got fixed somewhere. Thanks for everyone’s help. [Now, the Preview window isn’t working, but that I can live with].

    I can read Alexandra’s blog, I just can’t submit a comment. Spent 15 minutes writing one (had to do some research) and then couldn’t share it! Don’t worry Alexandra, I’m not griping at you, it’s the internet in general, thanks partly to the NSA, that I’m griping at. I saved the comment in a text file, I might yet post it!

    Ed Snowden put out his own Christmas Message (BBC). In it he is shown using one of his laptops. It has a ‘Tor‘ sticker on it. The only ‘brand endorsement’ on it. I feel slightly better now.

  51. ChasCPeterson says

    > 24 hrs between Thunderdome posts?
    here‘s some white guys playing reggae in the snow.
    (my little brother on drums)

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

    Janine,

    re:Doctor Who

    I have no idea. It made no sense. It wasn’t even appropriately cheesy to cover the lack of sense. The height of wit was Capaldi’s “Do you know how to fly this thing?” in the end. Or maybe I was just happy it was over and got too generous.

  53. Pteryxx says

    from comments on the Mary Sue review:

    My partner noted on Facebook that he cared more about Handles after one episode than he does about Clara after a season and a half.

  54. says

    (cross posted from the Lounge)

    Caine? You’re probably not here yet, but if you see this, I need your advice (or anyone else who may know of such things) Tonight a wild rat made its way into our house and got into a fight with my pet rat Jules. He has two bite wounds. They are both superficial, and I washed him as best as I could. Obviously I’m calling a vet in the morning, buts its 4 am now and I’m wondering what I should do?

  55. says

    Thank you chigau, but I’m thinking by the time she can reply, I will have been able to speak to a vet. Its 5:30 am here now. It was quite the night adventure. No sleep for me now. At least Dutchbaby slept through the whole thing.

  56. pakicetus says

    Hey, NightShade. Would you want to have every Bit of your personal information read and collected from people you don’t even know. I have to say, TOR & other proxies are one of the only ways to circumnavigate that.

  57. says

    Dutchgirl:

    Tonight a wild rat made its way into our house and got into a fight with my pet rat Jules. He has two bite wounds. They are both superficial, and I washed him as best as I could. Obviously I’m calling a vet in the morning, buts its 4 am now and I’m wondering what I should do?

    Rats below! That’s a hell of a thing to have happen. Washing the wounds out well is the best thing, getting to the doctor is the next step. You’ll probably be given a course of antibiotics for Jules. I don’t know how far away you are from your vet – we have a long trip and can only get to town 3 days of the week, so our vet keeps us stocked up with Baytril. You might see if your vet would be willing to prescribe you a bottle to keep at home, that way you can start antibiotics right away in emergencies. If rats are a vector for rabies where you are, your vet might ask you to keep Jules quarantined.

    In this case, there really wasn’t anything else to do but clean the wounds and keep Jules warm and comforted (that must have been scary for him) until you got to the vet.

  58. says

    Thanks Caine! Jules doesn’t appear to be in pain, but the larger bite is sensitive. Calling the vet now. Luckily we live in town and no rabies here.

  59. says

    Dutchgirl, good news, that! Yes, I imagine the bites will be painful. You can get metacam for Jules, to help with the pain. The big thing is to prevent an infection. This wouldn’t really be any sort of a deal at all if it had been another pet rat – fights do happen, and rats heal very quickly. With a wild rat, though, you just don’t know what they might be carrying, so infection is more of a worry.

  60. says

    My wireless is acting up and I’m having a very bad day, so I’m out. Dutchgirl, I hope Jules is well, please keep me updated. For anyone who might e-mail or call, I’m taking tonight off, I’m not ignoring you.

  61. smartbean says

    I’ve written an educational Android app that might be of interest to those who frequent this forum. It allows using Bayes’ theorem to assess the probability that God exists.

    It starts by asking the user to consider what he or she means by God, then presents a series of observations. The user is asked to indicate how consistent each observation is with the existence and non-existence of God. In the end, a probability is computed for whether God exists. Rather than deal with actual numbers up front, the app asks for input and shows results in terms of a number of stars with a qualitative description (e.g., 0 stars = “completely unlikely”).

    At minimum, a religious person using this app will get a strong dose of cognitive dissonance. I don’t think it is possible to answer the questions honestly and get a high probability of a loving, omnipotent god. (The user can also specify other gods, e.g., indifferent, evil, …) Depending on how much use it gets, I’m also thinking to write similar apps for climate change and evolution.

    Link to app

  62. jonmilne says

    Hi there. Dragonfang has finally responded, though I’m showing a later response of his after I told him that he needed to pony up with evidence. His excuse for why he can’t come to FTB incidentally, (and the same also applies of medic and others) is that he’s banned from FTB, although he wasn’t specific about what his username was. In any case, I need help with the response he gave:

    Enough is enough. Either provide the actual specific evidence of indoctrination and dogma, which in turn logically leads to a conspiracy, and also in turn demonstrate how evolutionary theory somehow magically is an exception in the science field and that it doesn’t get subject to the same level of high scientific scrutiny (if not higher) as other scientific theories. Also demonstrate with evidence why scientists wouldn’t pursue the more profitable option of successful disproving evolutionary theory and discovering a new theory to better explain the evidence existent to currently support the existing theory (which would in turn net said scientist(s) a Nobel Prize as well as earning them millions). Finally, provide the definitive evidence for your magical argument that somehow disproves evolutionary theory, even though for some bizarre reason you won’t take this revolutionary argument with you onto the big stage so that you could be the recipient of the Nobel Prize and millions of dollars or whatever currency you use. What’s the matter? What’s stopping you?

    The first half of your post have been answered within my dropped “stuff”, minus the strawmen and false dilemmas.

    “As I said, it is simply people who fooled themselves into believing that they know something that they don’t, and so they, mostly unintentionally, fool other into thinking they know it too. Group psychology does the rest; after all, no one wants to look foolish by rejecting “The truth” or prefer making large changes to their perspective. Result? Indoctrinated dogma! Have fun with that! :)”

    As for your lot, you evolutionists demonstrate multiple signs of dogma for me to make a safe conclusion; you tend to avoid answering the questions with anything (Ad homeniem, demeaning, dissing religion, red herring etc…), you repeat cliche statements, you in particular linked me to the abiogenesis section on Talk Origins that does not answer the question I asked (namely, to explain how abiogenesis happened), you lot lack critical skepticism regarding evolution thus would believe the most preposterous set of events imaginable about evolution.

    Regarding an alternative theory, I simply admit my ignorance about the physical steps or the mechanisms in which life appeared. Which is superior to creating fairytales and pushing them as science like the ToE.

    There’s also another poster called RoderickSpode, who also says he’s banned from FTB under another username and can’t comment here. He replied to my query as to why creationists call evolution a “fraud” with this:

    I think at least part of your answer might be in your very last statement:

    (I’ll add as an extra note here that in contrast, Creationism/ID are shams and court cases like Edwards vs Aguillard and Kitzmiller v Dover as well as sites like Expelled Exposed and Talk Origins as well as the work of groups like the ACLU and FFRF have done a lot of our work for us in showing how much a fraud creationism/ID clearly is.)

    We have to take into account the possibility that at least some of the Creationists/IDers use such strong language in retaliation to similar accusations against Creationism. Not that that should rightfully happen, but it can’t be ruled out.

    I would think however that the opposition towards evolution should be welcomed. I think that it would stand for reason that if ID was actually given a chance in the public square (the classroom, secular periodicals….anywhere outside of the courtroom), it would eventually be exposed as fraudulent, a sham, etc. if it really is. Why not put it all out on the table?

    We have to realize, about 95% of biological scientists (the branch of science generally credited to being the experts on evolution) that are members of the National Academy Of Sciences are atheists and agnostics (and who knows about the other 5%?). So it really is a matter of religion no matter how one wishes to get away from that theme. We do have to consider bias if we really wish to be honest about it. Another thing to consider is that there is really no reason to dismiss other avenues of discovery like history (which I believe technically is a science anyway). So references to the historicity of Jesus (and any other religion/religious figure) should be taken into consideration. Plus, there are still around 40% of Americans who believe in Creationism. Rather than attempt to run with the progressive indoctrination theme of hoping the percentages will just dwindle down to 0% Creationists after multiple more decades, why not bring it all to the table and prove to everyone that Creation is a fraud (No, these orgs you mention have not proved anything).

    And let’s be real. Do you really think that the 50 plus% evolutionists really represent the educated majority? From what I see, no. From what I see, there are many people who learned an evolution lingo that merely gives an appearance of being a part of the educated elite. And the lingo provides for kind of an intellectual/appearance safety ground . And the lingo is fairly aggressive using key words like “moron”, “uneducated”, “backwards”, “hick”, etc. (yes, intimidation seems to play a convenient role here). So in other words, there are the few real experts (professional scientists) that seem to represent a sort of hierarchy, and there’s the followers. And it doesn’t appear to be much different than the hierarchy/followers scenario we’ve seen historically in State religion. The scenario where villagers followed the religious experts (priests) that represented them. Evolution scientists like Richard Dawkins certainly seem to attempt to play the role of public priests.

    I could do with as much help as possible with these.

    Thanks :)

    Jon

  63. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I could do with as much help as possible with these.

    Since they haven’t evidenced any claim the there is a conspiracy with evidence, their OPINIONS are dismissed as fuckwittery. Either pony up real evidence, not idiotic “possibilities”, or shut the fuck up like ignorant and evidenceless liars and bullshitters would do if they had honesty and integrity; which they obviously lack.

  64. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and JonMilne, I would tend to think that the admission that they have been banned from FtB in reality says all you can reasonably conclude and them and their message is that they are nothing but ignorant liars and bullshitters who were just caught lying and bullshitting. No other conclusion makes sense, as FtB is a series of independent blogs, as anybody who isn’t lying and bullshitting would know.
    And clean up my double use of evidence in my first sentence in #105 if you copypasta.

  65. jonmilne says

    Actually RoderickSpode has clarified the situation. While not giving his username, he says he’s not banned as such but he has commented before on FTB and apparently found the atmosphere he faced “toxic” which is why he’d rather stick to the forum he’s on. So while I have no mind to tangle with DragonFang anymore, I think since it’s the first time Roderick responded and he’s at least been semi-polite that I’d at least like to be able to provide a full response to him before I can then provide more responses that can simply ask for definitive evidence after he inevitably responds.

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’d at least like to be able to provide a full response to him before I can then provide more responses that can simply ask for definitive evidence after he inevitably responds.

    You don’t need to respond to any unevidenced allegations, and shouldn’t. Dismiss them and his imaginary deity from the get-go. Until evidence is provided by him, all he has is noise, ignorance, and presupposition.

  67. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    JonMilne, keep in mind most creationists have this logical fallacy: they argue from philosophy/theology, not science. They will always loose the argument if it is utterly science based. They have to do a shift in argument to a philosophical one. Their general philosophical goal is “If I can show evolution is wrong, creationism is right”. The problem they don’t see is that all they show is that evolution is false (and that is only done with more science, not their OPINIONS or RELIGION), that is the not only logical conclusion available; their deity and creationism will be considered on their merits. Ergo, their imaginary deity and creationism must be shown with solid and conclusive physical evidence to exist, and be SCIENTIFICALLY correct and accepted. Never let them avoid doing and showing science.

  68. David Marjanović says

    he says he’s not banned as such but he has commented before on FTB and apparently found the atmosphere he faced “toxic” which is why he’d rather stick to the forum he’s on.

    Excuse me, this is ridiculous. How exactly does he believe scientists talk to each other?

    You don’t need to respond to any unevidenced allegations, and shouldn’t. Dismiss them and his imaginary deity from the get-go. Until evidence is provided by him, all he has is noise, ignorance, and presupposition.

    If you just tell him that, and never explain to him why this is so, he’ll never figure it out. Instead, he’ll probably suppose you’re afraid and want to just shut him up so the pain goes away. That’s your weak point. That’s why you repeat yourself ad infinitum et nauseam in every discussion you participate in.

    Long, frustrated reply to the creationists forthcoming in my next comment.

  69. says

    Jon Milne:

    he says he’s not banned as such but he has commented before on FTB and apparently found the atmosphere he faced “toxic” which is why he’d rather stick to the forum he’s on.

    Why don’t you link to the forum and discussion then? That would be better than you only showing up here for other people to do your work for you.

  70. Nick Gotts says

    another poster called RoderickSpode

    Interesting choice of nym. Roderick Spode is a character in several of P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves and Wooster” novels. When first encountered (in The Code of the Woosters), he is founder and head of a fascist organization “The Saviours of Britain”, more commonly known as the Black Shorts (by the time he formed the Saviours, all the shirts were taken). He persecutes Wooster and his friend Gussie Fink-Nottle unmercifully, but Jeeves eventually discovers his dark secret, and the words “I know all about Eulalie” (although in fact he doesn’t) enable Wooster to bend Spode to his will.

  71. David Marjanović says

    Their general philosophical goal is “If I can show evolution is wrong, creationism is right”.

    That’s true. However, the fact that this is a logical fallacy has nothing to do with religion vs. science.

    “As I said, it is simply people who fooled themselves into believing that they know something that they don’t, and so they, mostly unintentionally, fool other into thinking they know it too. Group psychology does the rest; after all, no one wants to look foolish by rejecting “The truth” or prefer making large changes to their perspective. Result? Indoctrinated dogma! Have fun with that! :)”

    Written like somebody who hasn’t read more than two scientific papers in his whole life. Rejecting “the truth” without evidence would look (and be) foolish, but disproving the truth would result in all the career advancements and Nobel-and-similar prizes you mentioned!

    Every scientific paper proves that someone, somewhere, at some point, was wrong. Every single one. The more surprising the disproof, the more prestigious the journal that will accept to publish it; the more prestigious the journals you’ve published in, the better for your career, your chances at getting grants, and so on. (How extreme this is varies between countries, but it’s pretty bad in most.)

    Few scientists indeed would trade a publication in Nature for Confucian allegiance to their former thesis supervisors.

    As for your lot, you evolutionists demonstrate multiple signs of dogma for me to make a safe conclusion; you tend to avoid answering the questions with anything (Ad homeniem, demeaning, dissing religion, red herring etc…), you repeat cliche statements,

    This has a very simple explanation: sheer fatigue. Creationism is a PRATT. We’ve been refuting the same old tired arguments for years, some of us for decades, and there’s always a fresh new creationist who stupidly believes they’ve found a new argument no biologist could ever possibly have imagined. No wonder we shout “booooo-ring!” like Homer Simpson.

    you in particular linked me to the abiogenesis section on Talk Origins that does not answer the question I asked (namely, to explain how abiogenesis happened),

    Duh, that’s because it’s not known how abiogenesis happened in every detail. A lot more progress has been made than most people (and any creationists) know, I strongly recommend the Wikipedia article and the papers it links to – but it’s not a fully, thoroughly understood problem yet, so there is no short answer.

    you lot lack critical skepticism regarding evolution

    What can I say other than LOL?

    thus would believe the most preposterous set of events imaginable about evolution.

    Preposterous according to what criteria? Without criteria, I’m afraid it’s just an argument from personal incredulity: I can’t imagine that it’s true, so it’s not true.

    I think that it would stand for reason that if ID was actually given a chance in the public square (the classroom, secular periodicals….anywhere outside of the courtroom), it would eventually be exposed as fraudulent, a sham, etc. if it really is. Why not put it all out on the table?

    Excuse me? It’s not like ID is somehow secret. There are whole books that desperately try to argue for it. ID is in the public square, it is on the table, and it has utterly failed there.

    “Fraudulent” is a very different accusation; it’s not synonymous with “wrong”. I don’t think most IDeologists are fraudsters; I don’t think they don’t believe what they write. Some, however, are bullshitters at best.

    We have to realize, about 95% of biological scientists (the branch of science generally credited to being the experts on evolution) that are members of the National Academy Of Sciences are atheists and agnostics (and who knows about the other 5%?). So it really is a matter of religion no matter how one wishes to get away from that theme. We do have to consider bias if we really wish to be honest about it.

    That’s backwards. Biologists in the NAS USA disbelieve because they see no reason to believe, no data that can only (or most parsimoniously) be explained by assuming a god. It’s a consequence of their being biologists, not a set of tinted glasses they put on before they went into science and have never taken off.

    Another thing to consider is that there is really no reason to dismiss other avenues of discovery like history (which I believe technically is a science anyway).

    There’s no belief about it. History is a science. It fulfills the criterion – it uses the scientific method: falsification and parsimony.

    So references to the historicity of Jesus (and any other religion/religious figure) should be taken into consideration.

    I genuinely don’t understand what that has to do with biology. ~:-|

    Plus, there are still around 40% of Americans who believe in Creationism. Rather than attempt to run with the progressive indoctrination theme of hoping the percentages will just dwindle down to 0% Creationists after multiple more decades, why not bring it all to the table and prove to everyone that Creation is a fraud (No, these orgs you mention have not proved anything).

    Roderick has no idea what the world outside the USA looks like, has he?

    Before Bush’s campaign in 2000, most Europeans didn’t even know any creationists still existed! Over here, it’s considered as self-evidently nutty as geocentrism and belief in a flat Earth! The only creationists my former thesis supervisor ever had to deal with were immigrants from Algeria or Tunisia!

    It is all on the table. It has always been. The last biologist who was a creationist died in 1892, and his version of creationism would immediately, thoroughly and lastingly be mistaken for evolution by any modern creationist I know of.

    Why are there creationists left in the USA? Because the school system there is a really bad joke. Public schools are funded by micro-local property taxes, so schools in poor neighborhoods are screamingly, grindingly, screechingly underfunded; teachers are paid next to nothing, so only those who aren’t qualified for a better-paying job become teachers, so there aren’t any good teachers, so there’s no reason to pay teachers a decent salary – vicious circle.

    And let’s be real. Do you really think that the 50 plus% evolutionists really represent the educated majority?

    Absolutely. Admittedly, though, most of them don’t actually understand it; long-disproved nonsense like the idea of progress in evolution is still widespread among the general public.

    Speaking of Dawkins, though, I strongly recommend his book Unweaving the Rainbow.

  72. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you just tell him that, and never explain to him why this is so, he’ll never figure it out. Instead, he’ll probably suppose you’re afraid and want to just shut him up so the pain goes away. That’s your weak point. That’s why you repeat yourself ad infinitum et nauseam in every discussion you participate in.

    No, it’s taking back the argument. Creobots goal is to keep scientists always on the defensive.

    What is needed, is what Asimov said he would do if he ever debated a creationist. He would point to a scientific library, say evolution is a scientific conclusion, then ask them to present scientific evidence for their theory, then sit down.

    Scientists need to do that to creationists. Keep hammering home the point that no matter how they disbelieve and attempt futilely to refute evolution, at the end of the day, they must prove their imaginary deity with solid and conclusive physical evidence in order for science to even consider their idiocy; no presuppositions allowed. That way they can never *voila* slip in their imaginary deity.

    Remember poor txpiper. He just couldn’t believe in random mutation/natural selection no matter how much evidence was produced to refute his disbelief; he just couldn’t give up on his deity. But, he finally recognized he couldn’t forward his inane theory since he couldn’t show evidence for a deity as we required. Frustrated the hell out of him as we weren’t accepting his presuppositions.

  73. David Marjanović says

    What is needed, is what Asimov said he would do if he ever debated a creationist.

    I don’t debate. I write.

    But, he finally recognized he couldn’t forward his inane theory since he couldn’t show evidence for a deity as we required.

    What? When did he recognize that? Are you confusing his bannination for any insight on his part?

    Frustrated the hell out of him as we weren’t accepting his presuppositions.

    He didn’t really seem frustrated.

  74. chigau (違う) says

    On another thread…
    if the only really really reason for posting a snarky (off topic) comment is to provoke a fight with another commenter,
    I could just not bother, eh?

  75. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Been doing a bit of research on health care cost differentials between the US, Canada, and Europe. One glaring difference was the amount of debt a new MD had in the US versus say the UK. Between $160,000-275,00 for the US compared to almost zero for the UK. Paying for the medical education looks like a very good place to start in any health care reform, as you don’t have to pay the doctors to pay back the loans, so they don’t need to charge as high of fees. And the US doctors fees are far higher than their European counterparts.

  76. chigau (違う) says

    I have recently learned that They™ re-made The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
    Substituting Ben fucking Stiller for Danny Kaye.
    To whom do I send the strongly worded memo?

  77. anteprepro says

    I have recently learned that They™ re-made The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
    Substituting Ben fucking Stiller for Danny Kaye.

    I thought Meet The Fockers was just really jumping the shark.

  78. Jacob Schmidt says

    So I playing around on youtube, learning about this new “dubstep” thingy, when youtube recommended me a video: “Why feminism poisons everything.” I laughed. Really, youtube, you’re gonna have to step your game up if that’s the shit you think I wanna watch.

  79. Dhorvath, OM says

    Some of you may know that I had a business selling my service skills and some select models of bicycles, parts, and accessories, a business which fell apart about two years ago. I made my final bankruptcy payment today, just in time for New Years. There is a half decade of earnings which have done little but pay for two glorious years of being in my own space and inviting others to share my passion for pedals, wheels, rubber, and chains. I have regrets, but none strong enough to say I ought not have tried.

  80. chigau (違う) says

    and many hugs for you, Caine.
    Distribute among the other living things in your life.

  81. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    RUM????
    Have some Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor grog.
    *plops down several fuming tankards for people sample*

  82. Jimmy Carr says

    Nerd, @124:

    “Been doing a bit of research on health care cost differentials between the US, Canada, and Europe. One glaring difference was the amount of debt a new MD had in the US versus say the UK. Between $160,000-275,00 for the US compared to almost zero for the UK. Paying for the medical education looks like a very good place to start in any health care reform, as you don’t have to pay the doctors to pay back the loans, so they don’t need to charge as high of fees. And the US doctors fees are far higher than their European counterparts.”

    Nerd, this seemed to be just what I am interested in investigating myself, but the pdf you linked to does not (I believe) include the data re Europe and UK which you cite (“US doctors fees are far higher than their European counterparts”). Could you confirm, and link to appropriate source(s)? Thanks.

  83. Jimmy Carr says

    Haha! ‘Tis not me, unfortunately (If I had his money, I would pay all taxes due on it).

  84. ChasCPeterson says

    If I’m not mistaken, the original meaning of ‘grog’ was watered-down rum.
    To give British sailors something to do between sodomy and the lash.

  85. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    JC, Forbes article citing the differences.

    U.S. spending annual on physicians per capita is about five times higher than peer countries: $1,600 versus $310 in a sample of peer countries, a difference of $1,290 per capita or $390 billion nationally, 37% of the health care spending gap.

    The biggest driver of the gap is spending with specialist doctors, which is 3-6 times higher in the U.S. versus peers.

  86. Rey Fox says

    Argh!
    Libertarians! Fuuuuck me.

    Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, it’s at least an ethos.

    Don’t mind me, just droppin’ in to see what condition my condition is in.

  87. says

    Onoctony

    1. In the spirit of recklessness of the holidays, I posted many things in my Tumblr blog, including: a. my appreciation of furry gay art; b. a photo of myself; c. sufficient information to approximately locate the region of South America where my small conservative town lies.

    2. I also posted the usual depreciative comment directed towards American conservative political cartoonists.

    3. Today, an American anti-feminist redditor discovered my blog.

    4. I don’t know how much information about me he managed to gather before I deleted the blog, or if he managed to make the connection between a. and c. to figure the potentially devastating effect that outing myself to the people around me could have in my life.

    5. He was gracious enough to let me know he was aware of the existence of my blog, and to post an entry on his own blog about eating donkey meat.

    6. I don’t know if the reference to dead donkeys is just a freak coincidence or if he was actually referring to me.

    7. I don’t know what will happen in the next days. I can only say I didn’t look both ways to cross the streets today. I just can’t care anymore.

    8. I couldn’t find anyone I could talk about this to, and this was the first place I figured I could simply dump it.

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

    dõki,

    *hugs*
    That’s such a horrible situation, I hope the guy didn’t figure out enough information to hurt you (or that he will find some shred of decency in himself if he did, and keep it to himself).

    Regarding #7: Please, take care of yourself.

    more *hugs* (sorry, that’s all I have, as inefficient as it is)

  89. says

    Doki, I’m so sorry you were targeted by an asshole! Very sorry you ended up deleting your blog, too. Have a drink or three on us, and many, many hugs. Feel free to vent here all you like, we have lots of shoulder to cry on, and you start looking both ways again, please.

  90. says

    dõki
    *hugs* or other desired gestures of support. Hopefully nothing comes of it.

    Chas
    Indeed. The practice of watering the rum ration appears to have originated with an Admiral Vernon in the 1740s. Vernon was known as “Old Grog”, due to his predilection for wearing a grogram (cloth made of wool and silk, stiffened with gum) coat, which nickname passed on to the watered rum he gave the sailors.

  91. chigau (違う) says

    Why do JohnCornynUnitedStatesSenator ads follow me everywhere I go?
    and those 250mInfectedAmericans?
    and those bellyfatbanana folks?
    not to mention greenteawillkillyou

    what did I do to deserve this?

    I do not actually require an answer.

  92. Lofty says

    chigau

    I do not actually require an answer.

    What’s an ad? Haven’t seen one of them in years.Why are you using a device without an adblocker?

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

    @dõki

    CheeseWhiz.

    I’m so sorry, doki. Stay safe, and please feel free to dump anything you can’t carry alone right here in TD.

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

    @chas, #158:

    There was something between sodomy and the lash? Or do you mean that there was something between [sodomy and the lash] and the next [sodomy and the lash]?

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

    The quote is “rum, sodomy, and the lash.”

    The context is actually (IMO) hilarious. Winston Churchill wanted to reform the Royal Navy at some point. Someone protested that he was destroying the grand traditions of the Navy. His retort (supposedly, there’s no evidence he actually said this) was that the above were the only “traditions” of the Navy.

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

    Oh, I was familiar with the quote. I had to think about whether I wanted to play on rum not coming between sodomy and the lash in the quote or whether to play on SM themes.

    Guess which won between erudition and sex?

    Yeah, not even close.

  97. says

    doki
    *preferred gesture of support*
    These assholes are disgusting

    +++

    If I’m not mistaken, the original meaning of ‘grog’ was watered-down rum.
    To give British sailors something to do between sodomy and the lash.

    Grog is still a beverage in (Northern) Germany witn many different recipes. The one I know (passed down as “cold remedy”) is hot water, honey, lemon juice and brown rum. Actually quite nice.

  98. opposablethumbs says

    dõki, fuck, I’m sorry – and I really hope the creeps don’t give you trouble.

  99. Nick Gotts says

    Further to my #112, in subsequent novels, Roderick Spode, despite being described as physically imposing (being compared to a gorilla, and not just an ordinary one but “the large economy size”) is knocked unconscious three times (by Wooster’s Aunt Dahlia with a small rubber cosh, by the Rev. Harold “Stinker” Pinker in a fist-fight, and by a cook with a china basin containing beans); and is “plugged in the eye with a potato” by an unknown hand. It’s safe to say Wodehouse didn’t like him any more than Wooster did!

  100. says

    Giliell:

    Grog is still a beverage in (Northern) Germany witn many different recipes. The one I know (passed down as “cold remedy”) is hot water, honey, lemon juice and brown rum.

    I know that as a Hot Toddy. Most ‘mericans put whiskey or brandy in, though. One of my great grandmothers insisted on rum, though. Used to get those when I had a cold.

  101. ChasCPeterson says

    hot water, honey, lemon juice and brown rum

    In the Anglophonozone, this is a ‘toddy’.
    (and, yes, quite nice.)

  102. says

    Giliell
    I apparently responded with the same thing Chas and Caine did in the Lounge rather than here. Do you happen to know if the German grog comes from English, or does it have a separate etymology?

  103. says

    Things you would never expect to hear from Glenn Beck:

    “I said on the air this week, I will stand with GLAAD,” continued Beck. “I will stand with anybody who will stand up and say that’s crazy. That’s dangerous. That’s hetero-fascism.

    Said regarding a remark by a Russian TV personality to the effect that gay people ought to all be killed. Of course, he follows up with a Dear Muslima, ( “And we’re talking about Duck Dynasty. Really? Really?”) but it’s still a surprising thing to hear.

  104. ChasCPeterson says

    Another similar word is the Swedish glögg, which, however, is wine-based. (My grandfather used to make a big deal out of making it on Xmas Eve and giving everyone some regardless of age. Consenting adults also fortified theirs with, iirc, brandy.)

  105. Acolyte of Sagan says

    34.
    Rob Grigjanis
    23 December 2013 at 6:49 pm (UTC -6) Link to this comment

    dornierpfeil @32: Tyson is an ass. Astronomia nova is miles ahead of anything by Sagan. Fucker didn’t even mention Kepler, Copernicus or Brahe.

    I take it you haven’t actually read Cosmos and have based your critique on the tv series? I only ask because in my copy of the book those three chaps are very much in evidence.

  106. says

    Chas

    Another similar word is the Swedish glögg, which, however, is wine-based. (My grandfather used to make a big deal out of making it on Xmas Eve and giving everyone some regardless of age. Consenting adults also fortified theirs with, iirc, brandy.)

    Wikipedia indicates that some recipes use a base of whiskey or brandy, which makes me suppose that the North German grog comes from that, rather than the English one.

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Looks like I’ll have to put the creative cap on, and come up with an explanation of the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor grog. Maybe I need to invent an alternative spelling, like grogg, groj, gerog….

  108. says

    My wife, a teetotaler, bought a bottle of non-alcoholic glögg, which. to me, tasted like apple cider seasoned with cloves. I’m generally not big on sweet wines, so I’m not sure how I’ll react to alcoholic glögg or similar, mulled products.

  109. says

    Sadly, all my books are packed away, included by compacted Oxford English Dictionary. One online dictionary says this about “grog”: “from Old Grog, nickname of Edward Vernon (1684–1757), British admiral, who in 1740 issued naval rum diluted with water; his nickname arose from his grogram cloak).”

    This sounds almost too cute to be true.

  110. says

    A propos of nothing:

    It has been very gratifying to me these last couple of years to see some of what I’ve written wind up in print.

    So far, six of my poems have been published, on these sites:

    http://www.ascentaspirations.ca/drunkenness.htm

    http://journalformalpoetry.com/_archive/_pdfFiles/Spring%2013.pdf

    http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/assinaros-other-poems/

    http://www.ascentaspirations.ca/somewhatafterezrapound.htm

    I’m citing to them here for whatever comment anyone cares to make. Why this venue? Frank comment seems to be . . . not infrequent here.

  111. says

    @186: gerog. That could be “grog” in the Black Speech of Mordor. A lot of the Ork episodes seem alcohol-driven, so I’m thinking this may be the culprit.

  112. joey says

    Hi all, and Happy New Year. What’s new? Thunderdome appears to be a lot more tame since I last visited.

  113. says

    What’s new?

    Oh, as far as you’re concerned, nothing. All you bring to the table is the same old shit, and I might add that it won’t be any better just because the calendar’s clicked over.

  114. consciousness razor says

    And I thought you were banned.

    I should’ve made some kind of New Year’s resolution.

  115. blf says

    The Online Etymology Dictionary supports the Admiral Vernon origin of grog:

    grog (n.)
    alcoholic drink diluted with water, 1749, supposedly a reference to Old Grog, nickname of Edward Vernon (1684-1757), British admiral who wore a grogram (q.v.) cloak and who in August 1740 ordered his sailors’ rum to be diluted. George Washington’s older half-brother Lawrence served under Vernon in the Carribean and renamed the family’s Hunting Creek Plantation in Virginia for him in 1740, calling it Mount Vernon.

  116. Tethys says

    Thunderdome appears to be a lot more tame since I last visited.

    The kraken merely slumber in the absence of trolls. I’m sure several of them will awaken if necessary.

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

    @theophontes:

    I’m actually surprised to see so much brown and green. I’d have thought more snow would be blanketing the trees.

    Hmm. I suppose cold/clear is more common without a good nearby source of atmospheric moisture?

  118. joey says

    Are we really going to have to go back and dig up whatever questions you dodged last time?

    If you want.

    Were you born in a barn, joey?

    No. Were you?

  119. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    joey:

    Are you still a presuppositionalist anti-woman irrationalist who will not consider evidence that doesn’t conform to your anti-woman irrational presuppositions?

    Caine & Beatrice:

    Hugs to you.

    I appreciate the heavy lifting you both are doing over on the Corrective Rape thread. I am too weak right now inside to do anything more than say thanks. reading that thread was hard enough, reading the article was worse. I feel like I should add to the thread but can’t see past my fear and rage. Sorry.

  120. joey says

    Just a lazy Sunday afternoon taking care of the kids. Thought I’d drop in for a bit to see what’s going on.

  121. says

    Ogvorbis:

    I appreciate the heavy lifting you both are doing over on the Corrective Rape thread. I am too weak right now inside to do anything more than say thanks. reading that thread was hard enough, reading the article was worse. I feel like I should add to the thread but can’t see past my fear and rage. Sorry.

    Oh no no no no, Ogvorbis. You’re fine. It’s difficult beyond measure, all that. I’m shaking myself right now, and the rats are suffering a massive clean up of the studio for it. Poor rats. Many, many hugs to you.

  122. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just a lazy Sunday afternoon taking care of the kids. Thought I’d drop in for a bit to see what’s going on

    Joey, quit sounding like a evangelical/missionary. Drop the trying to be a friend bit. You are nothing but the enemy, and will remain there until you acknowledge your deity is imaginry, and your babble is mythology/fiction. So, nothing has or will change until you do….

  123. joey says

    Are you still a presuppositionalist anti-woman irrationalist…

    I don’t think I’m any of these things, but of course others here will think otherwise.

    I’m actually not interested picking a fight right now. Just wanted to chat some. I know this isn’t the Lounge, but as far as I know I’m still quarantined here.

  124. consciousness razor says

    I don’t know about Nerd, but I have family members who are theists. But you’re not my mother. I know that, because for one thing, she’s not that fucking dishonest or evasive.

  125. Tethys says

    Ogvorbis

    I can’t bring myself to read the article or comment in the thread because I’m a coward bit emotionally fragile. I really didn’t need to know about jackrolling.

    It is entirely ok to put your own mental and emotional health as a priority in a discussion.

  126. joey says

    Let me throw out a benign question.

    Has anyone attempted to learn a foreign language on their own? If so, any advice on resources that you’ve had success with?

    I’m attempting to teach myself Spanish. I started as an absolute beginner 2.5 months ago. I’m using Pimsleur right now and I’m almost done with Unit III, about to start Unit IV. So far I think it’s pretty good, but it has its drawbacks. Not sure what to do next after I finish the last unit. One thing I do know for sure is that I’ll still be far from fluent.

    Any advice or suggestions out there? Has anyone tried lingq.com?

  127. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t think I’m any of these things, but of course others here will think otherwise.

    Anybody is is rational, not delusional.

    Nerd, do you not have friends who are theists?

    We practice Dinner Table Diplomacy. Which means you leave your imaginary deity and fallacious theology at the door. Then we do. You first.

  128. says

    Tethys:

    I really didn’t need to know about jackrolling.

    I didn’t either. I recognized the behaviour though, just not the name. I remember, very well, being the tomboy in a group of boys one summer day, and seeing everything change – all the boys got this…speculative look. We weren’t a group of kids anymore, it was a group of predators sizing up the prey. The hell of it is, you can’t just give in to flight or fight, you have to stand your ground long enough to assess the situation and choose the best option. It is a hellish thing to have happen, and I can’t describe how it feels.

    *hugs* for you. This shit never gets easier.

  129. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Tethys @ 209

    It is entirely ok to put your own mental and emotional health as a priority in a discussion.

    Absolutely. There’s no weakness in self-care.

  130. joey says

    We practice Dinner Table Diplomacy. Which means you leave your imaginary deity and fallacious theology at the door. Then we do. You first.

    Alright, as for this moment, I’m leaving all my religious beliefs at the door.

    So, what’s up? Tell me something about yourself. As for me, like I said I’m home with the kids right now. The wife will be coming home anytime now, so my free time on this computer is very limited. I’d rather have her come home to the sight of me starting dinner than on this computer, lol.

  131. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Caine @ 212

    We weren’t a group of kids anymore, it was a group of predators sizing up the prey.

    Maybe you can’t describe how it feels, but I know well what you’re describing here. Very much like being a deer worried to the ground by wolves. And the hell of it is, they’d been fellow deer just a little while before.

    *hugs and other forms of acceptable support for all who are struggling today*

  132. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tell me something about yourself.

    Evangelical/missionary bullshit. Who the fuck cares about you? Quit with the missionary work. We know the MO.

  133. consciousness razor says

    Maybe in a couple of months, I’ll suffer amnesia, or maybe my head will explode.

  134. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    What the hell was that? joey, I mean. Weird shit. [sniffs cigar] Nope, that aintent it.

  135. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Wife’s home. Gotta go. Maybe in another couple of months. Cheers.

    When you get back, say simply “this is what I believe, and this (link) is the evidence to back it up”. Fuck this playing friends shit, which is a missionary tactic.

  136. Tethys says

    Caine

    I recognized the behaviour though, just not the name.

    I recognized it too. Brought me right back to myself and younger sister being chased down by several members of the football team when I was 14. The chase was definitely predatory, they didn’t even know who they were chasing, just that we were female. I think the only thing that saved us when they caught us was the fact that the gymnasts (me) and football team shared time in the weight room, and they knew that I could legpress 500 pounds despite only weighing 90 pounds, and that I would kick the shit out of anyone who tried to touch me.

  137. ChasCPeterson says

    What a weird coincidence. Just the other day I was wondering to myself, “I wonder what happened to ol’ joey?”

    nah. I kid.

  138. says

    Alright, as for this moment, I’m leaving all my religious beliefs at the door

    If you want to go that route, you really have to start with it. You can’t begin being an apologist and then, once you’ve been kicked to the curb, start pretending that you’re just an unbiased observer.

    We’re neither stupid nor deficient in memory. We know what you are. If you wanted an honest, open discussion, you should have come at this from an entirely different angle. You need to back off and let someone else do the nice and friendly shtick. It’s simply not believable, coming from you. Don’t pretend the past doesn’t exist. It only makes you seem dishonest.

  139. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t pretend the past doesn’t exist. It only makes you seem dishonest.

    Amen….

  140. David Marjanović says

    Things you would never expect to hear from Glenn Beck:

    I sit in awe.

    Another similar word is the Swedish glögg, which, however, is wine-based.

    I bet that’s related to “glowing”; compare German Glühwein “mulled wine”, literally “glowwine”. Germanic languages aren’t supposed to confuse or interchange l and r; g/w confusions (and b/w ones), however, are commonplace (except at the beginnings of words), and irregular g/h alternations come from this.

  141. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ran across this while searching the previous Pharyngula the Opera Acts:

    Pharyngula the Opera, Act 8 1/2, scene 33 1/3. Syrup level extreme.
    [start Lifetime/Hallmark Movie script]

    ‘Tis the day before Squidmas. The big board shows only a little activity, and the PZ locater shows him at his daughter’s place and off-line. Somebody sprang for some iPads for the Pullet Patrol, which are located under the bar where they can be reached, and some of the pullets are watching fox hunts and appear to be cheering for the chasers, while a couple have a mad fury of pecking going on. A woman of indeterminate age is checking receipts, and smiling at the totals. A Squidmas tree is in the corner looking evil, with tentacles wreathing. Packages and gift sacks are under the tree.

    A taste-off for IPA beers appears to in progress whereby a lot of tasting, singing about the pros and cons of each brew as people takes sips. A bald-headed fat man is busy keeping the small glasses topped off. The IPA beers are shown on one of the side displays, and it looks like electronic voting for the favorite is in progress, but the results aren’t displayed.

    Someone posts on a thread with “freethinker” in their nym, and after a while one of the taste-testers notices and points it out to everybody. Without pausing the taste-test, a few people drift toward their computers for a brief response and return to the testing, looking up to follow the thread as others do the same. The “freethinker” claims to be an atheist, but can’t spell it right and is apologizing for Xianity. Everybody is busy sing the qualities of the beer, and their responses to the obvious concern troll, which increase slowly in vitriol , and fail to notice one of the fast pecking pullets starts softly clucking up a storm. Unnoticed on the list of beers, a new entry appears, as the lady behind the counter looks up and notices the entry, shakes her head and smirks, and then goes back to her accounts. The rest of the pullets cease watching the fox hunts and start pecking too. The fat man noticed the head shake and smirk, and looks up, and winks at the pullets.

    The poor concern troll is soon exposed and runs away after claiming Pharyngulites aren’t “freethinkers”, like he never looked up the definition of the term. The final votes are called for (obviously dubbing for the fat man), and everybody goes back to their computers or use their handhelds to vote. A drum roll fills the silence while the last votes are made. The display flashes the names of the beers, and finally solidifies on PP Brewing™ IPA, winning by a 10-1 margin. Everybody looks at each other, and then look over to where the pullets are ROFLTAO. At this time, a disheveled woman with a small child enters the saloon and stares at the laughing pullets. The woman behind the bar clucks a loud command, and the pullets, like a synchronized swim team, dance troupe, or marching band, seem to peel themselves one by one up off the floor and strut though a tunnel marked “Pullet Palace” while still laughing, as the woman and child stare at the spectacle. The taste-testers wave their drinks at the pullets, extolling the virtues of chicken fast food, but otherwise take the joke in stride. The real winner appears on the display, and some folks cheer. The woman behind the counter sees the woman with the child and asks her what she wants. When the reply is to use the bathroom and get a drink of water, and then they would leave.

    Everybody looks at each other, and one of the woman testers steps forward, getting a nod from the woman doing the accounts. The woman tester sings the equivalent of “follow me”, and leads the duo toward the facilities, singing in soothing tones, but asking questions like a social worker. Everybody else springs into action, with a singing discussion of the issue and the waving of tab cards. A few go to pick up things under the tree, avoiding the waving tentacles. When the women and child return, the one sounding like a social worker gives the usual tale of woe, being thrown out/running from a household due to maltreatment from fundie religious belief. Family is available for help, and has been reached, but due to the holidays, unavailable for couple of days, and the shelter was already full.

    The social worker type points the woman to a table, as the man fat brings some turkey pasties and water/milk from the back room, singing already paid for, and if you need more, let him know, as the woman and child dig in ravenously with muffled “thank-you’s”, but no grace which is noticed by everybody. The woman of indeterminate age says a room is available upstairs and is already paid for, along with food for that time period. The room will by guarded for your safety, and in timely fashion a squad of Lilac Berets™ appear with military precision and the child claps in delight. A quilt is draped over the woman’s shoulders, and she it told to hang onto it, as its previous owner no longer needs it. Packages and bags are set in front of the woman and child. The disheveled woman breaks out crying, asking what kind of place is this, like she’s expecting a trap? When hearing a description of the place, all the disheveled woman says is “thank FSM, he threw me out because I stopped believing. The religious charities also turned me down. I’m safe”, as the curtain comes down.

    [/end Hallmark/Lifetime movie script]

    Starting work on the Grogg act. While drinking grogg. Did I mention the Redhead often leaves the Hallmark Movie Channel as her nightly TV noise for the night? Inoffensive and boring, especially at Xmas (12 new movies this year, including all previous years from Someber).

  142. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Nerd:

    But what about the duet for the second tenor and the bedgoat?

    G’night, all.

  143. says

    @Crip Dyke

    I’m actually surprised to see so much brown and green. I’d have thought more snow would be blanketing the trees.

    I was expecting extreme cold, to the extent that I went out and bought a fleece lined jacket. As it turned out though, the lowest temperature we experienced was -3°C … and then only very shortly at night. Although there was some frost, and a little ice in the deeper valleys, we were into positive double digits most of the time.

    The “snow” that I saw from the air turned out, as much as I can judge, to be swathes of silvery cattails, glistening languidly in the sun.

    And yes, it was very dry, but a lot of the vegetation looked very happy – all green, in the case of the camphor, fir and pomelo trees and much of the bamboo. Our clients were apologising for the chilly weather. To me though, it seemed idyllic.

  144. chigau (違う) says

    When I shovel snow off my tiny 4′ x 6′ back- door landing, I am throwing it up on to the existing snow-pile.

  145. says

    -45 F today, with a warning:

    … Wind chill warning remains in effect until 6 PM CST /5 PM MST/
    Monday…

    * wind chills… to 65 below zero today through Monday.

    * Impacts… life threatening cold. Frostbite can occur in five
    minutes or less.

    Precautionary/preparedness actions…

    A wind chill warning means the combination of wind and very cold
    air will create dangerously low wind chill values. This will
    result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia or death if
    precautions are not taken.

    Yay.

  146. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When I shovel snow off my tiny 4′ x 6′ back- door landing, I am throwing it up on to the existing snow-pile.

    Sounds like Dah YooPee.
    The cold weather Caine mentioned is coming through the Chiwaukee area. It will only stay about 3 days, but nights are predicted at -15 to-20 F. The Redhead has a doctor’s appt. scheduled for Tuesday, with a predicted high of 2 F. I’m trying to get her to reschedule, as she has nothing she can wear that is warm enough while non-bulky so she can make the transfers.

  147. Nick Gotts says

    So, what’s up? Tell me something about yourself. – joey@214

    OK, I will: I have no wish whatever to exchange pleasantries with a dishonest creep like you.

    Now do us all a favour, and fuck off. Permanently.

  148. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Crip Dyke:

    If she had been male, white, and cis, and Schmitz had been black, it would have been an open-and-shut case of self defense. But we all know that women and people of colour and GLBTQ people can never defend themselves.

    A pardon would be nice, but I’d rather see a reversal of the decision to find her guilty.

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

    @Oggie:

    She pled guilty: I understand the reasons for it, but it does put her in the legal position of being pretty much completely unable to appeal for reversal.

    A pardon has the same effect, btw: she wouldn’t have to disclose on job applications that she had been convicted of a crime, etc. Clemency is also within a governor’s power and would look like early release, but without conditional parole. I’m not wanting clemency. I’m wanting the pardon: from everything I’ve read, it’s clearly the just result.

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

    @Og:

    No need for apologies. We’re all ignorant of a lot of things. Currently I’m noticing my ignorance on what time is my first class tomorrow morning.

  151. djr1 says

    This is a question to all – or to PZ if you are reading. This is my first visit to thunderdome – I am a background reader of pharyngula – and great admirer of PZ’s writing.

    I spend a lot of time reading articles on Physorg.com – and recently had an exchange with one James Kohl. I have a feeling some people here will have experience with Kohl. Long story short – I am way out of my league with the level of info that he is discussing – but I am secure in evaluating it as bull (any time you call the whole field of evolutionary biologists ‘ignorant fools’ – you give yourself away.

    Here is a sample of JVK’s posting.

    Ecological adaptation occurs via the epigenetic effects of nutrients on alternative splicings of pre-mRNA which result in amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types of all individuals of all species. The control of the differences in cell types occurs via the metabolism of the nutrients to chemical signals that control the physiology of reproduction.

    PZ – or anyone who has the depth of knowledge to rebut this stuff – would you be interested in doing a post that I could link to – to say ‘I don’t understand this stuff – but here is someone who does’?

    Here is a link to the whole thread – http://phys.org/news/2014-01-americans-dont-evolution.html

    Many thanks – and apologies if I am intruding – I will happily go back to being a silent reader. I understand that this runs the risk of getting sucked into the abyss, and folks may have no interest in going there.

  152. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Djr1, sounds like technobabble to me. But what do I know? I’m just a 35+ year professional scientist, but not a biologist.

  153. ChasCPeterson says

    “Nutrients” don’t control alternative splicing.
    Alternative splicing doesn’t cause amino-acid substitutions.
    It’s buzzword salad.

  154. says

    The Swedish bank boss who likes to do things differently. (Link to BBC)

    Those values – long-termism, and a philosophy of decentralisation encapsulated in the slogan “the branch is the bank” – seem almost too good to be true in a current banking era of fines, debt crises and outsourced customer service.

    Big banks, according to the popular narrative, were the primary causers of the global debt crisis thanks to their reckless investment in high-risk mortgage-backed bonds. Critics dubbed them “casino banks” that had subverted old-fashioned, prudent banking.

    But Handelsbanken remained above the fray, emerging with a balance sheet strong enough to make European banking regulators purr with delight.

    Even one of its institutional shareholders described the group as “thrillingly boring”.

    More good ideas from Sweden.

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

    everyone who says “that’s a poe” write “that’s a joke” instead.
    that’s all I’m asking.
    it’s not much

  156. jonmilne says

    Hi there. Very quick issue to raise. In a separate debate I’m having about ID/Creationism, I asked what precisely ID/Creationism can actually explain. When they answered with the Horizon Problem, I countered by simply saying “Inflation: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2003/0206mapresults.html . Next?” .

    They however countered by claiming that it’s not been proven (which I’m obviously going to counter with the factoid that nothing is ever proven in science and is simply demonstrated with evidence so that it becomes accurate beyond reasonable doubt), and they used this quote from the article:

    “WMAP detected E-mode polarization but not B-mode yet. B-mode detection could provide smoking-gun evidence for inflation. But with the temperature map plus the E-mode polarization map, the WMAP team can say several things about inflation.”

    And they finished off by saying “There always seems to be that one little thorn that gives the impression of the carrot before the cart. If only there was that B-mode detection.”

    Since I am not as well versed on inflation as others here will be, can someone provide some scientific help to this?

  157. says

    Beatrice:

    everyone who says “that’s a poe” write “that’s a joke” instead.
    that’s all I’m asking.
    it’s not much

    I would like every know-it-all ass on the ‘net to never once again claim “Poe!” or “Joke!” or “Shopped!”.* That’s not asking much either, however, the howls of outrage would be deafening.
     
    *Unless that claim is the truth, and they quietly provide the requisite citation[s].

  158. says

    Theophontes, Caine
    Likewise. I’ve got one from the Apathetic Agnostics too (Slogan: We don’t know, and we don’t care.) I’ve also got a Papacy from the Discordians, but everyone has that.
    The Right Reverend Pope Dalillama, S.G.

  159. chigau (違う) says

    Caine
    My socky-sense isn’t tingling about drinsomnia.
    I am willing to defer to your greater experience but who do you think they are?

  160. says

    Chigau:

    I am willing to defer to your greater experience but who do you think they are?

    I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the reference to ‘how pharyngula used to be’ and the cussing stuff, reminds me of ftk.

  161. chigau (違う) says

    Caine
    ftk?

    aaaand I just realized that
    drinsomnia
    is probably
    doctor insomnia
    rather than
    a sleepy river in Albania
    (I don’t like to question people’s nym-choices)

  162. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @259: I lived there from fall 1980 to spring 1987, while I was at the U of A. If, during that period, you were in/around the physics department, or played soccer on/around the campus, or spent much time in the Power Plant, we could have met.

  163. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A monitor has recommended drisomnia come here for further tone trolling. I provided a link.
    *sharpens titanium fang*

  164. chigau (違う) says

    Rob Grigjanis
    I moved to Edmonton in 1985 and while I was not around the Physics department or soccer, I was definitely around the Power Plant.
    Our paths may have crossed.

  165. says

    “A lot of the things we use today we got from them, you know – LED lights and microchips and Kevlar vests and all sorts things that we got from their technology, and we could get a lot more, too, especially in the fields of medicine and agriculture if we would go about it peacefully.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/06/canadas-former-defense-chief-says-space-aliens-live-among-us-but-hate-our-nukes/

    And here I thought humans were responsible for technological advancements.
    Silly me, it was aliens.

  166. throwaway says

    Tony! (from the last thread):

    Please gather your pearls and depart forthwith.

    Seconded. Probably trillionthed by now.

    I was accused of being a bigot, which I find very insulting, and far worse offense than anything I’ve said.

    Get off your fucking cross. We need the fucking space to nail the next fool martyr up. The only thing which was said to be bigoted was your statement about homophobes being closeted. Care to source where anyone directly labeled you a bigot or a homophobe? Because I never saw that happening.

    You, however, have been highly evasive at acknowledging that, yes, your initial comment is at the very least a contentious one, and that, yes, you probably should have read the comments before deciding to share such biting commentary with the rest of us, who also have functioning minds, and have also been exposed to that type of comment before about the phrase “shoving it down throats.” That’s not clever here. Shit, it’s not clever ANYWHERE and it never was, really. I wasn’t going to call you on that directly, though I implied it by calling you an “original wit”. But fucking hell if you’re going to be told that your participation wasn’t welcome in any manner! No sir! Immediately wax indignant about the impropriety of leveling upon you the Almighty F-bomb! destroyer of humanity! oppressor to the oppressed!

    Then you continued the derail into some mind numbing exercise in showing how firm you are in your conviction that it’s not homophobic or bigoted at all and you can keep using it because the opinions of even rainbow people – directly harmed by the use of such slurs and accusations – on the subject cannot trump your blessed reasoning abilities. Boy that was a mouthful. Please don’t accuse me of sucking dick now. Get it? Because a mouthful of… Oh fuck it.

  167. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    #271 chigau

    I was definitely around the Power Plant.

    My band played The Power Plant a number of times in the late 80’s or early 90’s. In the unlikely event that you saw us I apologise for any hearing damage that might have occurred.

  168. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd:
    Just one fang?

    Only one implant. My real fangs don’t need sharpening.

  169. Rob Grigjanis says

    Acolyte of Sagan @184: Sorry, been away, and just saw this. By ‘fucker’, I meant Tyson, who didn’t mention those guys in the interview. If Sagan did anything to match their contributions, let me know.

  170. ChasCPeterson says

    And here I thought humans were responsible for technological advancements.
    Silly me, it was aliens.

    Oh, yes. Bell Labs and DuPont are obvious extraterrestrial outfits. Post-It notes? Alien technology for certain.

  171. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Post-It notes? Alien technology for certain.

    Dang, aliens own 3M?

  172. throwaway says

    drinsomnia

    It’s OK to call someone a bigot, to equate me with these sheriffs in Utah (see: on-topic),

    This was probably the most precious part of your post. Being on topic was just an afterthought to you and this was your cop-out bargain to remain in PZ’s good graces. Ha!

    Fuck it, I’ll just deconstruct his whole last post in that thread. I’m bored and feeling generous enough to set you right, drinsomnia.

    Those words can be used to dehumanize and oppress. They are regularly part of the abuse that people of all stripes are subjected to every day. It is abusive language, and it is used to marginalize and dehumanize.

    I think what you meant to say here is that words like fuck, shit, damn, ass, asshole, etc. accompany dehumanization and oppression. There is no doubt in my mind that that is so. But there are also contexts where they are not used to do such things. They also do not have the insinuations associated with gendered or rainbow-phobic slurs, nor the effect of instilling fear or hatred of a group. The plain profane words are thus not tools of oppression or dehumanization directly. They are incidental to the oppression and dehumanization. Get it?

    The level of hypocrisy and intolerance is so high here that there’s no reason to have any discussions of any sort.
    This charge doesn’t hold since there was never an issue of hypocrisy an anyone’s part in that discussion, as demonstrated above.

    I was accused of being a bigot, which I find very insulting, and far worse offense than anything I’ve said.

    I don’t know who accused you of being a bigot, but I can understand why. Just because you say you’re an ally doesn’t mean you can get away with not walking the walk. Also, it would be nice to know the context of what you’re calling an accusation.

    Yet you hypocrites find that tolerable and acceptable. It’s OK to call someone a bigot, to equate me with these sheriffs in Utah (see: on-topic), because of your perceived slight, and without knowing a thing about me. I think that’s fucking ridiculous.

    We only come to know you through what you present to us. If someone got the impression that you’re a bigot in sheep’s clothing maybe you should take that as a sign that you’re doing something the fuck wrong and correct that.

    The level of hypocrisy out of a supposed freethought community is mind-boggling. It’s sad what this site has become.

    It all started the day you posted your witty observation that homophobes said something with a vaguely sexual context. It will end when you go away.

  173. throwaway says

    Borked a quote.

    The level of hypocrisy and intolerance is so high here that there’s no reason to have any discussions of any sort.

    was his, not mine. Shit, I know better than that.

  174. throwaway says

    Er, one more correction and maybe an observation about myself, something which I’m contending with right now that I did. Telling someone to go away. This is PZ’s blog and I shouldn’t attempt to chase someone off. I know things like ‘fuck off’ are fun for me to say, but I cannot justify subverting PZ’s authority on the matter by making their participation here forever verboten. That’s not my place.

    I don’t want drinsomnia to really go away, either. I want them to learn. To understand my perspective and why it’s important to those who are rainbow or have loved ones that are. Maybe what I’m really trying to say is that I don’t want you to go away drinsomnia. I just want you to go away long enough for you to have really thought about what you wanted to say. Then rejoin when tempers aren’t flaring. In the course of doing that, maybe you will have some chance at self-reflection and come to a different conclusion about your initial conduct here.

    So from now on, if I say “fuck off”, I do not mean “fuck off and stay fucked off”, I mean “fuck off but come back when you’re thoroughly unfucked.” If I even say it anymore.

  175. chigau (違う) says

    FossilFishy #276
    I expect that youse were Awesome.
    No apology needed.
    Right Rob?

  176. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau, the only damage I suffered at the Power Plant, apart from the usual liver nonsense, was from trying to dance to Rock Lobster.

    Actually, I don’t remember live acts there. Maybe that was after my time, but the Power Plant wouldn’t suffer anything less than excellence.

  177. chigau (違う) says

    Rob Grigjanis and FossilFishy

    The Power Plant did not do guacamole.
    They did green slime.
    I disputed this with my server one night…

    ….
    Beer was cheap.
    and it wasn’t RATT.

  178. chigau (違う) says

    Rob Grigjanis

    Room
    At
    The
    Top

    7th floor of the SUB
    smelly bar
    full of jocks
    great view

  179. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks chigau, we were awesome… for certain values of awe anyway. ;)

    RATT= Room At The Top, the bar on the top floor of the student union building. We played there a couple of times as well. It might have been a horrible bar but at least it had decent sound. It was also the site of one of my only full-on ROCK ‘N ROLL \m/ moments. The last song of our set I broke a string so I kept smashing at it, rubbing the strings against the amp while if fed back and so on until they all broke. /lamest rock excess story ever

    The Power Plant was a terrible place for music, all that exposed brick looks lovely but it plays hell with trying to get a good live sound. You know, I might be getting the time period wrong, it’s all a bit of a blur. It might have been late 90’s we played at TPP, maybe? The notion that The Power Plant wouldn’t accept anything less than excellence doesn’t fit with my experience of the place so we could be talking about a decent temporal separation here.

  180. chigau (違う) says

    Let us be honest.
    On Campus Bars are for drinking.
    Excellence?

    The Power Plant is a big box.
    It doesn’t have ‘acoustics’.
    It did have that large pornographic sculpture ….

  181. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @289:

    7th floor of the SUB

    There were floors? Views? I just walked in and ordered G&Ts.

    FossilFishy @290:

    it’s all a bit of a blur

    No kidding mate.

  182. Dhorvath, OM says

    jonmilne,
    I might counter with this:
    B-mode polarization spotted. But I know your conversant will just push the goalposts back. Still, hardly conclusive, just another stone in the large pile that the standard model of cosmology has supporting it.

  183. Dhorvath, OM says

    And I would note, that I suspect they didn’t know the signifigance, just that something wasn’t found by WMAP. We have learned things from earlier detectors which allow newer ones to work better.

  184. Dhorvath, OM says

    Rob G,
    My apologies, I read from the bottom and ought to be more careful of references I don’t follow.

  185. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I spent most of my on-campus time* in Dewey’s. A decision I wish to apologise for to all those poor folks who were trying to live above it.

    *All of it if I’m honest, I was never a student there.

  186. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @291: You mean the vaguely polynesian-looking wooden statue with a huge penis facing the corner?

  187. chigau (違う) says

    FossilFishy
    I liked Dewey’s.
    All those HUB denizens knew what they were getting into.
    probably
    even if English was not their first language

  188. chigau (違う) says

    Rob Grigjanis #300

    You mean the vaguely polynesian-looking wooden statue with a huge penis facing the corner?

    That’s the one!
    Campus legend was that it was a gift from the government of a vaguely polynesian government (none of my informants were well-informed) but because of the extremely large penis, the statue was deemed unsuitable for display anywhere.
    So it ended up in the bar.

  189. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I like Dewey’s too, and besides, just because your culture has no tradition of binge drinking, or even any legal venues for the consumption of alcohol that’s no excuse for not doing your homework. /victim blaming.

    Huh, I hadn’t heard that legend. After the initial “Huh?” I never really gave the thing a second glance. Mind you, the only time I ever went there was to play so I was busy, busy and had no time for phallic contemplation.

  190. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Our old friend slc1, now colnago80, is capering around one of Ed Brayton’s threads doing his usual Islamophobic, jingoistic, pro-Israeli cheerleading routine, and he apparently thinks it’s fine to referr to British people as Limeys and French people as Frogs. I told him they were racist terms and asked him to stop, and his response was to give me an etymology lesson.

    Now, I wasn’t unreasonable in requesting that he stop using those terms, was I?

  191. says

    Thumper
    Are you sure that colnago80 is the same as slc1? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them in the same threads before, and slc1 is still posting about FtB. Re: Limeys and Frogs, I don’t know that they’re racist per se in the sociological sense, inasmuch as there’s not been institutionalized discrimination against those ethnicities. That said, Frog is unquestionably derogatory and offensive, and should not be used. Limey is slightly more of an edge case, in that it’s not intrinsically derogatory, although it can certainly be used that way,but it is not unreasonable to ask people to refrain from using it anyway, as it is definitely questionable.

  192. says

    Thumper:

    Now, I wasn’t unreasonable in requesting that he stop using those terms, was I?

    No. If that is slc1 though, asking won’t help, it will just encourage them to sling more arrows of outrage about.

  193. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Dallillama

    Yes; racist was a bit strong. Derogatory and offensive to a particular ethnic group. And yes I’m certain it’s slc, several people on the thread have referred to him as slc and he hasn’t objected, and IIRC he outright admitted it on a previous thread and claimed it wasn’t sockpuppeting because he’d told people previously. Also, his writing style and chosen subject of outrage is identical.

    @Caine

    Yeah, he’s just obstinately refusing to address my concerns now, whether they be about those derogatory terms or the actual subject we were discussing, and the goalposts appear to be on wheels. I am rapidly beginning to tire of his antics.

    Thanks to both of you for confirming I’m not over reacting. I’m aware they are relatively minor on the scale of derogatory ethnic slurs, but they still wind me up.

  194. David Marjanović says

    I’ve got one from the Apathetic Agnostics too

    Me too! Me too! Instead of an ordained minister, I’m an ordained magister. :-)

    (And a year and a half later, I got an actual magister = master title from the University of Vienna.)

    …Funny. I just thought of it today, and of how I had never told anyone.

  195. says

    Warm hugs to all the Ordained Ministers ™ (and Magisters).

    For everybody else: Get thy selves ordained immédiatement!

    Link to Bishop Kirby’s website.

    We believe that everyone should be an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery. Anyone who has not yet done so is simply unaware of the accorded privileges to perform wedding ceremonies, funerals, baptisms and yes, even exorcisms. This church will legally ordain anyone who asks and we will never charge a fee for doing so.

    I came for the weddings but stayed for the exorcisms.

  196. says

    Peter Dickinson did a very interesting naturalistic treatment of fire-breathing dragons in The Flight of Dragons. IIRC it involved generation of hydrogen by allowing hydrochloric acid from the stomach to run across bone lattices, thus allowing lighter-than air flight (the ‘wings’ are merely extended ribs, akin to those of the Flying lizard, used for stability and steering. They breathed fire mostly as a mating display, by igniting (I forget how) the H2 as it left their bodies. The animated film of the same name has basically no relation.

  197. says

    In several of the Discworld books, pTerry went into interesting detail as to the workings of Swamp Dragons, who are basically a cobbled together mess, likely to blow themselves up at any time.

  198. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Dalillama

    That sounds interesting, I may have to give that a read. I always love naturalistic explanations for mythical creatures :) They’re often fascinating, and fun to come up with. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what a dragon would look like if they really existed. The image I have in my head has four limbs (not six as is sometimes displayed), with wings like a pterosaur rather than a bat, on the assumption they would have evolved from pterosaurs. It would be clumsy on the ground. A long tail for stable long-distance flight, balanced by a long neck, and a head that looks something like this. And the fire-breathing mechanism I mentioned in the other thread; two glands with chemicals which combust when mixed, and the dragon would simply spray the contents of each gland, the sprays would collide and mix in the air, and fire! So they wouldn’t be breathing fire so much as spewing it, kind of like a petrol-fuelled flame thrower. I also posit that the glands would be located just under the bottom corner of the jaw, so the fringe of spikes in the image would be there to protect said gland.

    I have an active imagination.

    @Caine

    I like the Discworld novels but haven’t read even close to all of them. I’m not familiar with the Swamp Dragons.

  199. says

    Thumper, there are three books in which swamp dragons figure heavily: Guards, Guards!, Men at Arms (the first two Night Watch books), and The Last Hero, which features many Disc notables, such as Leonard da Quirm, Havelock Vetinari, Rincewind, Genghis Cohen, and the barbarian horde, of course. (The Last Hero has beautiful illustrations of the various types of swamp dragons, and it’s there that moon dragons are discovered, too.) http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php/Swamp_dragon There’s more on swamp dragons here:

  200. says

    David

    (And a year and a half later, I got an actual magister = master title from the University of Vienna.)

    Given your profession it’s quite fitting that this means you’re a creature whose species is heading towards extinction as they all switch to Bachelor/Master systems :)

  201. ChasCPeterson says

    chigau (crank thread):

    “Stirring the Viscera” might be a good name for a band

    I think you’re on to something, but that seems like a better album title.
    The band would have to be something like ‘James V. Kohl And The Nutrient-Dependent Pheromone-Controlled Amino Acid Substitutions’.
    Or ‘Kohl And The Cabbage-Heads’.

  202. ChasCPeterson says

    Ha!
    I swear by PZ’s tentacles I posted the above before I saw Kohl’s #232 over there.

  203. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Cruciferae? Crushed juniper berries. Mmmm.

    Don’t mind me. I’ve been reading Clarice Bean and it messes with your head.

    Is Clem Hansson really to be trusted, even with the fly badge in her grandmother-knitted-hat?

  204. chigau (違う) says

    Chas
    gotta be ‘Kohl And The Cabbage-Heads’

    ‘James V. Kohl And The Nutrient-Dependent Pheromone-Controlled Amino Acid Substitutions’
    JV.KATN-DP-CAAS
    JVK And The Nut-Deps
    JVK And The AmAssSubs
    .
    .
    just doesn’t work

  205. says

    Cultural Learnings of Scandanavia for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of ‘Merkins:

    Everyone in Norway became a theoretical crown millionaire on Wednesday in a milestone for the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund that has ballooned thanks to high oil and gas prices.

    Set up in 1990, the fund owns around 1 percent of the world’s stocks, as well as bonds and real estate from London to Boston, making the Nordic nation an exception when others are struggling under a mountain of debts.

    Link here.

    (1,000,000.00 NOK = 161,408.36 USD)
    (US debt per capita = 54,563.81 USD)

  206. Nick Gotts says

    Are you sure that colnago80 is the same as slc1? – Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Yes, the very same genocidal scumbag (he has advocated dropping 6 15Mt thermonuclear bombs on Iran) and numpty (he insists on referring to Hitler as “Frankenberger”, because of a tall story told by a senior Nazi), but the use of the two nyms is not sockpuppeting: he had some problem logging in at Ed Brayton’s. He was banned here as slc1, but I think that was before the general amnesty. He’s much more openly bigoted elsewhere than I’ve seen here under the new nym, so is presumably trying to avoid rebanning.

  207. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Caine #316

    I need to read more Pratchett; I’ll make the Nightwatch series my priority. Love Sam Vimes, so they were high on the list anyway :)

    @Chas and Chigau

    I don’t even understand what the fuck Kohl is talking about over there. Does what he says actually mean anything, or is it just one big Argument by Gibberish? How exactly does he suppose evolution occurrs if not by mutation? I need a “Kohl’s Hypothesis for Dummies” book :(

  208. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Nick Gotts

    He’s still using the same tactics, too. He’s accused me twice of holding the opinion that Israel shouldn’t be allowed to “defend itself against terrorists”, and won’t provide a quote as proof (because there isn’t one, because that’s not my opinion). I also asked him how the implication of a quasi-apartheid state helps defend against terrorism, and he won’t explain; again, presumably, because he can’t. He’s tried to compare black- or latino-majority ghettos in the US to the West Bank and Gaza, thus enabling him to claim that, by our logic, the US is an apartheid state. He thinks entirely in groups rather than individuals; so if one Palastinian committs an attack on Israel, then all Palastinians are responsible and deserve to suffer for it. I’ve never come across a person more averse to logic and proof. It’s ridiculous.

  209. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Nick Gotts

    Turns out he’s just as openly bigoted here. He sent me a video of the launching of the Bismarck and the sinking of the Hood, and when i an 8D=X (may have got the symbol wrong there, in which case I apologise) wondered why, he responded with this:

    As for the matter of the sinking of the Hood, I enjoyed it because, as an American, I have gotten damn fuckken tired of this country pulling Britain’s chestnuts out of the fire as we did in WW 1 and WW 2.

  210. says

    Theophontes:

    On the absolute need to make sense of shit: Link to Graphic.

    The rubber hand illusion is actual therapy which is done with mirrors and boxes for people who have lost a limb. V.S. Ramachandran details it in his book, The Tell-Tale Brain. It has a really high success rate for helping amputees with pain and other problems that amputation causes.

  211. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Rev:

    Wow. Epic quotemining. Imagine if that energy had gone to something useful? Like figuring out where the dirty water in PZed’s house came from?

  212. ChasCPeterson says

    Rev:

    #31 Which evolved first: the mouth, the stomach, the digestive fluids, or the ability to poop?

    damn, checkmate.
    (The author has clearly never read The Origin of Feces)

  213. chigau (違う) says

    Oggie
    I wanted to blame Rebecca Watson for PZ’s pipes but that trope seems to have run its course.

  214. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    chigau:

    Well, just wait until Resurrection Sunday to resurrect that particular mememe.

  215. says

    Chigau:

    I wanted to blame Rebecca Watson for PZ’s pipes but that trope seems to have run its course.

    I think you’re still good with blaming the proliferation of feminist hair.

  216. chigau (違う) says

    Caine
    I know that feminist hair was responsible for our last clogged-pipe episode.

  217. David Marjanović says

    So, I’m on the autism spectrum. Haven’t been diagnosed*, but it’s pretty obvious.

    I wonder if there’s an opposite condition that Namesake Wilford has. It’s like he only notices tone and completely overlooks substance.

    ~:-|

    * The last psychologist I saw refused to diagnose me – she never said I didn’t have “Asperger’s syndrome” as it was then called, she said she was afraid I’d hide behind the diagnosis.

    thy selves

    Contradiction in terms.

    Peter Dickinson did a very interesting naturalistic treatment of fire-breathing dragons in The Flight of Dragons. IIRC it involved generation of hydrogen by allowing hydrochloric acid from the stomach to run across bone lattices

    HCl + bone → phosphoric acid + calcium chloride (both soluble in water).

    If the dragons swallow metals (other than gold!), they can simply burp hydrogen without doing any damage to their bones.

    Given your profession it’s quite fitting that this means you’re a creature whose species is heading towards extinction as they all switch to Bachelor/Master systems :)

    :-)

    (1,000,000.00 NOK = 161,408.36 USD)
    (US debt per capita = 54,563.81 USD)

    Oh, snap!

    On the absolute need to make sense of shit: Link to Graphic.

    Awesomeness.

    Flying Cars!!! (I trust this answers some prayers around here.)

    It’s Norwegian! They have flying cars in Norway !!

    I don’t even understand what the fuck Kohl is talking about over there. Does what he says actually mean anything, or is it just one big Argument by Gibberish?

    It is one huge argument by gibberish, but I strongly doubt that he understands that.

    I don’t think any of the technical terms he uses mean what he thinks they mean.

    44 Never before seen reasons why Evolution is just a Fairy Tale for Adults.

    Nopenopenopenopenope. Too tired to engage my SIWOTI syndrome again. Not today.

    Chigau, yes, our bathroom sink is clogged today. It must be the feminist hair, can’t be anything else. Nope.

    + 1

  218. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Leaving this here for dhorvath, because I can’t imagine anyone* else would be remotely interested.

    It is in fact possible to manufacture a 5.5mm socket nipple driver for dtswiss/SRAM spoke nipples using a 5mm Allen head bolt, a pair of nylock nuts, a 10mm spanner, a Dremel, a bench grinder and a powerful need** to do it. /feeling proud of his ingenuity, and embarrassed that it was necessary

    *Possibly not even dhorvath

    **Customer has a race to get to and I couldn’t find my tool to save my life.

  219. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    @FossilFishy Well I’m impressed. I’m not much of a mechanic, but I do love the two wheeled beasties (and I’m always losing tool). Perhaps in a few weeks time I’ll post pictures of the fixie roadbike I’m having built. I’m still waiting on my LBS to get back to me with options, but I’m leaning towards a Durcus frame, Velocity Deep-V rims, and Phil Wood hubs. Sorry, I’m bragging but I’m sure you can understand.

  220. Lofty says

    FossilFishy, that’s bush mechanicking at its finest. Congarats, you are evolving into an archetypical Aussie. May your tool shed be forever fruitful.

  221. says

    @ Caine

    The Tell-Tale Brain

    I’ll look out for it. (The illustrations online look interesting.)

    @ David Marjanović

    thy selves

    Contradiction in terms.

    My babble-speak was a success!

    .

    Oh, snap!

    They are not going to learn, I am afraid.

    .
    Flying cars. Drones. (Aldus Missy Cummings)

    My bathroom drain is also blocked.

  222. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks dysomniak, and I do indeed understand. I’m not familiar with Durcus frames, Velocity Deep-V’s are nice but they’re bog standard fixie stuff, almost to the point of being a cliche, but Phil Woods hubs?… Yummy!

    Thanks Lofty. You know your repair is ‘agricultural’, as they say round these parts, when it involves fence wire, bailing twine and/or the inappropriate use of a hammer. I had one such repair today as well. The customer bought a used bike trailer over the internet. It came with a jogging wheel that had a broken arm. The thing has no branding on it anywhere and we couldn’t find a spare for love or money.

    I scraped out the hot melt glue the seller had unsuccessfully used, drilled a couple of holes on both sides of the break, glued it with a plastic specific super glue and ran wire between the holes. Felt strong, I have no idea if it’ll last but it was a proper bush fix. I wonder if it’ll count towards getting my Aussie citizenship?

  223. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    I had never heard of durcus either, but my LBS proprietor rides one himself and swears they’re as good as any other SS road frame out there, unless I want to pay ten times the price for a custom Ti job. I know the velocities are a bit of a cliche, and I may end up going a different direction, but durability is a big priority for me and it seems like they’re hard to beat there. Could I ask what you’d recommend?

  224. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Tomorrow I go unicycle shopping!

    O.o

    Can you actually shop for such a thing where you are? I mean, as far as I can tell there’s no choice at all here. Out of the dozen or so suppliers I have only two sell unicycles and they’re the same brand.

  225. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I haven’t really got any recommendations. As far as I can tell I have the only fixie in my small town of 3800 people and it has the original 27″ wheels. I hear good things about the Deep-V’s, don’t let their ubiquity put you off. Mind you, if dhorvath* shows up xe might have some ideas, xe’s experience is much broader than mine IIRC.

    *Shit, now I’m wonder if I’ve got the right person….

  226. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Actually I might have a recommendation. WTB makes a good double wall cyclocross rim, can’t remember the model off the top of my head. Not as sexy as the Deep-V, but the giant of customer that I got them for hasn’t managed to so much as put them out of true, let alone taco one.

  227. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Thanks, I’ll check those out. I think my LBS guy used to work for WTB back in the day, so maybe he can get me a sweet deal. All in all I feel like I’m in pretty good hands with the guy, and while I don’t want to over pay for anything I’m lucky to have a flexible enough budget that I shouldn’t have to compromise either. As much as I like the guy though , I’m wary of putting all my faith in one man.

  228. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Sounds good dysomniak.

    If I may ask a question? Are you going to put a front brake on it?

  229. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    I’m masochistic, not suicidal. Besides, brake pads are a lot cheaper than tires.

  230. ChasCPeterson says

    Phil Woods is a fine alto saxophonist (and a pretty good clarinetist too) but I know nothing of his hubs.

  231. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    On the one hand I’m glad, and not at all surprised, that you’re rational about your fixie-to-be dysomniak, on the other hand I’m disappointed I didn’t get argue about it. :) Many of the disagreement here are far beyond my knowledge and experience. The mystic bullshit about riding brakeless however is something I’m very familiar with.

    I have no idea if this relevant to you, but a fixed gear bike with knobby cyclocross tyres is the best thing I’ve used to go downhill in snowy, icy conditions*. When you’re braking by resisting the pedals you can feel the moment the tyre starts to skid. That feel allows maximum braking with maximum control. Mind you, a fixie is absolutely the worst bike for going uphill in those same conditions so it’s a bit of a wash overall.

    *I’ve never tried a fat bike.

  232. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    I’ve been riding a cheap internet fixie for about six months now, and a Kona Jake for a little over a year. Before that it was an assortment of junker mountain just to get around town. We don’t get a lot of snow in southern oregon but there was a freak blizzard in december so I had that pleasure of grinding the Kona through some pretty rough conditions. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my studded tires before the snow melted, but now I’m hoping that we get more before the winter is out.

  233. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I’ve got some advice on getting wheels built with an eye to longevity, but it’s bedtime here so I really shouldn’t get into it right now. If you’re interested I’ll post it here tomorrow. I really miss the challenge of riding in the snow. I liked starting my work day feeling like I’d already achieved something that required dedication and skill to pull off.

  234. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    theophontes @358:

    A tardigrade on a unicycle? I thought the 7th Plenary Council of The Peoples Republic of Pharyngia, North Thunderdome Soviet, had banned that.

  235. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    theophontes:

    Is that a big tub of guacamole front and center? Where are the chips?

  236. chigau (違う) says

    I really hate that “methinks … doth protest too much” thingy.
    If I trolled a comment to the effect that anyone who uses it must provide the bible verse it is taken from,
    would I catch anyone?

  237. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    theophontes:

    The spitting image of the Thunderdome: Interior view.

    I’d always imagined there’d be more lasers.

    Enough lasers that they’d (instantaneously) use more power than the rest of the United States combined.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2014/01/the-national-ignition-facility/100659/

    Some of the preliminary research was … interesting. From Pfft:

    Throughout these efforts, the amount of energy needed to reach ignition had continually risen … The Department of Energy (DOE) decided that direct experimentation was the best way to settle the issue, and started in 1978 a series of underground experiments at the Nevada Test Site … that used small nuclear bombs …

    These experiments are referred to in a fundamental document for the design of the NIF facility: the 91 page paper of John Lindl entitled “Development of the indirect-drive approach to inertial confinement and the target physics basis for ignition and gain”, published in 1995 in the AIP/Physics of plasmas.

    A joint Los Alamos/ LLNL program using nuclear experiments, called Halite at LLNL and Centurion at Los Alamos (collectively called H/C), demonstrated excellent performance, putting to rest fundamental questions about the feasibility of achieving high gain. It performed inertial fusion experiments using nuclear explosives at the Nevada Test Site at higher energies than those available in the laboratory.

    (My emphasis.)

    No shit.

    I’ll take anyone’s Sand Won’t Save You This Time and raise you a What to do when there’s a Nuke in the Fume Hood.

  238. ChasCPeterson says

    Yes, but only contemporary postcolonial interpretations are meaningful, not what some dead white guy meant by it centuries ago.
    I learned that recently somewhere.

  239. Dhorvath, OM says

    Fossil Fishy,

    It is in fact possible to manufacture a 5.5mm socket nipple driver for dtswiss/SRAM spoke nipples using a 5mm Allen head bolt, a pair of nylock nuts, a 10mm spanner, a Dremel, a bench grinder and a powerful need** to do it. /feeling proud of his ingenuity, and embarrassed that it was necessary

    You got me dialed, I love hearing about bodge tool improv. And I am impressed, I suspect I would have tried something SAE in the same situation, now I have a new avenue. Not that I have been anywhere similar. (14mm crank retention bolts can be convinced to remove some thru-axle freehub bodies, eh?!?)
    ___

    Dysomniac,

    I’m leaning towards a Durcus frame, Velocity Deep-V rims, and Phil Wood hubs.

    Depends on what you want to do with it. Aside from the PW hubs, they will be around for as long as you want so if you have the means, please proceed. I won’t get into it more than that, wall o bike text is my thing, but may not be everyone else’s.

    As much as I like the guy though , I’m wary of putting all my faith in one man.

    Are they building the wheels? At least pay attention to what they like to work with and don’t. They will know what they can cope with and what they don’t like. (I honestly think that the biggest issue isn’t the product, it’s the builder. I can make great wheels with rims that people I know can’t, and some of them can work with rims that I fight to get round.)
    ___

    Theophontes,
    I have a unicycle. Trialsy though, what are you looking for yours to do?
    ___

    FF,

    *I’ve never tried a fat bike.

    Imagine sliding, but not losing your balance. Low pressure, wide tires are great for footprint, but they don’t make much difference in terms of grip on ice.

    If you’re interested I’ll post it here tomorrow.

    Err, what time? Should I set my alarm? It’s not like I am interested or anything. No sir, not me. But, you know, just in case…

  240. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Shakespeare’s language
    Fardels by any other name
    Would the Bard be better in modern English? ‘Od’s pittikins, no

    Jun 13th 2002 | From the print edition

    ALTHOUGH welcome as a magnificent tool, this doorstop compendium prompts an alarming question: has Shakespeare become a foreign language to us? Are non-English-speakers, as some Shakespeare scholars have suggested, more at home with their translated Shakespeare than English-speakers with their genuine article? It’s not so much the hard words, such as “fardel” or “grise” or “orgulous”. The context will explain these, as it does whole passages: “Proclaim no shame,” says Hamlet in disgust at Gertrude, “When the compulsive ardure gives the charge,/ Since frost itself as actively doth burn,/ And reason panders will.” Don’t try—you get the drift.

    More insidious are the places that seem safe. When Hamlet asks Ophelia if she is “honest”, and two lines later if she is “fair”, do we feel the sexual sting? The word “sex” and its derivatives were not used in our sense then. Shades of meaning in honesty, affection, fancy, sense or blood, did the business. Lucky foreigners, it is said, who can render the connotations—and sweep away the inauthentic air of archaism.

    David and Ben Crystal, father-and-son editors, are aware of the unwanted message carried by the very existence of their book. Their introduction assures us that Shakespeare’s obscurity is overstated, that “it is perfectly possible to go to a Shakespeare play, with little or no awareness of Early Modern English vocabulary, and have a great time.” All the same, they can’t help admitting that if you know more, you’ll have a greater time.

    http://www.economist.com/node/1176741

  241. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    (Dear Lord, I remember reading that in a print copy. Which must have been 11 years ago. *sigh*)

  242. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    It’s a cabbage sort of week, it seems.

    My husband decided to make the cabbage and potato soup from Skyrim this week. (He found a recipe online) We liked it so much that he made it twice. I highly recommend it.

  243. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    @FossilFishy – I’m definitely interested, but only if you want to share. This isn’t a desperate cry for help or anything, as I definitely think I’m on the right track (so to speak,) so don’t put yourself out.

    @Dhorvath – I always welcome wall o bike text, and will do my best to understand it. Other people, I believe, have scroll wheels. Or you could drop me any links you think I should read. This is going a commuter and “personal fitness” bike. I’d like it to be track legal in case I ever get a chance to ride in a ‘drome, but that’s a long shot and I’m not really the competitive sort. Since it’s rare that I can afford to spend this way I’m looking to go all out on the frame, wheels, and cranks. I’m also planning to get a range of cogs, a couple chainwheels, and probably two sets of handlebars (drops and bulls).

    I am indeed having the wheels hand built. I hadn’t considered that different wheelbuilders would have drastically different results with the same rims, but it makes sense. Aside from some complaints about weight (usually with the admission that they are correspondingly rugged), I haven’t come across any really good reason not to go with the velocities, so if that’s what my guy thinks he can make me the best wheels with I should probably trust him.

  244. jonmilne says

    I require help with a guy called v3nesl, and he’s refused to come here. This topic’s to do with morality as well as Biblical genocide among other things. Here’s the latest response I ended up getting. Any help provided would be much appreciated.

    I would just note that everybody dies. People argue the morality of God taking life without remembering that the whole race is already under a death sentence. Mass death only reminds us of what is coming to each of us in our turn.

    And I can easily see that death is the necessary answer to misguided life. We kill cancer, and the strep bacteria. If we don’t, they become a nightmare that kills us. So I can see that God must kill off a race that has gone wrong. The important thing is that he didn’t do it all at once, but gives this race repeated opportunities to be healed. Some take that opportunity, many don’t, and will ultimately die.

    To clarify, women and children die all of the time, and in horrific ways. I asked you and your friend if you believe a creator is a possibility. You may have responded a second time (I have catching up to do in this thread), but stated it was a hypothesis, which I will take to mean a possibility. Your friend’s response was “I’m unconvinced” which at first glance sounds pretty decisive, I’ll still take it to mean it’s a possibility as well (he also followed up with references to an intelligent designer being a faulty designer if he exists, which I’ll have to address later).

    So both of you have to come to grips with the fact that, assuming you both think life is overall good,, it can only be good if there is no creator of any kind responsible for out existence. Any type of creator allows for death, even if not directly causing it. There’s no way around it, unless you make the argument that the creator may somehow lack the ability to prevent death. But if that’s the case, by your general definition, this faulty designer as per your friend should never have created us to begin with. Do you go along with that?

    Now, to the genocide. First off, no, the Biblical account involving the Amalekites does not qualify for any of the definitions of genocide unless you argue that the annihilation of an ethnic group no matter what the reason is. In which case, since you asked an extreme question, I’m going to respond with an extreme question (after answering yours).

    God orders me to kill a bunch of people because they will pose some sort of threat to Christianity in the future. Will I do it? Probably not, unless I go under such mental strain and duress to the point I eventually lose it. Why? It’s along the lines of God telling me He has changed His mind about the judgment of Satan, and made Satan God. It defies God’s own law of never changing. Your description of killing is murder. It does not involve war. It does not involve justice as I am not in a position to pass judgment on anyone. The Israelites were in an international (or inter-ethnic) war situation. I am not. When they carried out death sentences on their own, they had mutual collective consent to do so. I am under the authority of a government, not above it.

    Now we have many Christians in the world who won’t kill a dog or cat let alone a human being. Many. So it’s unlikely that God is telling Christians to kill people. Ah, but there’s people in mental institutions who say God talks to them. And people who have murdered that stated that God talked to them. Yes, and there are also atheists in mental institutions, and that commit murder. There are people who are under a delusion that they are God. And that doesn’t mean that they think they are omniscient, omnipresent, divine, a creator, etc. The conventional Satanist for instance is an atheist, and believe they are God. New Agers/Cosmic Humanists believe they are God. And fundamentalist atheists do as well in that they believe they are in control of their life. The God of their personal sphere/realm.

    The question to you is, let’s say the citizens of Guernsey Island collectively plan to wipe Great Britain off of the planet. The roaring mouse secretly accumulated the weaponry to do so. There’s only one choice. Bomb GI, or let them do it to you (GB). If you bomb them, the whole island will be wiped out, women and children. No chance of saving women and children because the island is barricaded such to where it’s impossible, and would actually be against the will of anyone old enough to know what’s going on. If you don’t bomb them, no more Great Britain. Period. What do you (Great Britain) do?

    Now for some miscellaneous stuff. You mentioned and described the First Rationale for Genocide http://randalrauser.com/2013/01/an-unbelievable-defense-of-the-amalekite-genocide/ , does this First Rationale for Genocide include killing members of another group for their actual survival/existence? There are people who want to wipe Israel off of the map today. Further on to this, iff the Biblical scenario of the Israelites killing the Amalekites is mere rhetoric, then the writer of the linked article has a valid point. If it was an instruction by the actual creator of the Universe, then it’s no longer mere rhetoric. Then, you are only left with questioning the Creator’s judgment. Does that make sense?

    I also pointed out before when justifying why God ordered the deaths of all the Amalekites including women and children, that based on readings of the Bible, when the Israelites did not carry out that command, they suffered for it later on when those children grew to adulthood. You dismissed this argument, and said that it could just as easily apply to Nazi soldiers not following commands to slaughter Jews. I couldn’t imagine why. This would only make sense if the Creator of the Universe instructed the Nazis to kill all Jewish for the same reason the Israelites were commanded to kill the Amalekites. Is there any reason I should believe that?

    We also discussed Hiroshima, and you said that while it may have been sufficient to end the war, it wasn’t however necessary. That’s fair enough, but just to clarify, are you absolutely 100% sure that it was unnecessary? That there’s no way anything worse could have happened if Hiroshima was not bombed? In the event of God existing, this goes quite smoothly with my point. Yes, the men responsible for bombin Hiroshima were not all knowing. However, God is. So if God knows the outcome of war depending on actions taken, then those instructions it would stand for reason should be taken seriously.

    And I’ll close with some quick questions: 1) Why is killing people “bad” in your opinion? 2) Pretend I’m from Mars. Explain to me what “bad” means. 3) Isn’t death an essential part of evolution? You can’t have selection without it, right? So why are you trying to stop this form of natural selection?

    Thanks guys,

    Jon

  245. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    I have two questions:

    1) Why do some people feel the need to “win” arguments with evil morons by getting others to do all the work for them?

    2) Why do some other people keep indulging this behavior?

  246. says

    dysomniak:

    1) Why do some people feel the need to “win” arguments with evil morons by getting others to do all the work for them?

    If you’re asking about Jon Milne, it’s all he’s ever done here. Refuses to provide links to where said argument is taking place so that people can argue for themselves if they wish. I assume he wants all the credit.

    2) Why do some other people keep indulging this behavior?

    Eh, this SIWOTI central.

  247. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    dysomniak and dhorvanth

    Alright, wall ‘o cycling stuff coming up. Sorry if this is too 101, it seems better to just go over it all instead of having to backtrack.

    All three components of a wheel, the hub, the spokes and the rim can wear out.

    Rims wear on the braking surface, assuming rim brakes are used. Obviously a thicker braking surface will last longer. I’m not sure if there’s much variation in that dimension though. Because the rotating mass on your bike has the most effect on its performance I suspect that there’s not much difference in braking surface wall thickness. The manufacturers are all trying to make their wheels as light as possible. If you have two rims of equal weight, I’d go with the one with a thicker wall, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much because with a fixie you’ll not be using the brake all that often.* Besides, cleaning the braking surface regularly and replacing the pads often will greatly increase the life of your rim.

    Spokes also wear, or more accurately: they work harden. An oft heard debate in times of yore amongst cycling geeks was whether or not the hub stood on the bottom spokes or hung from the top. It turned out that experiments with a force gauge showed that they hang from the top ones and the bottom ones go slack.

    What this means is that the spoke head, where it goes into the hub, is bending very slightly at the elbow each time the wheel goes around. Slowly over time that bending causes the metal to work harden, to become more brittle. Eventually it will break. I always tell customers that if they break one spoke at the head to replace it and not worry about it. If they break a second, replace it and start to worry. If they break a third it’s most likely that all the spokes are at the end of their life and need to be replaced so doing the whole thing will be more cost effective.

    The way to get the most life out of your spokes is to make sure that they are tight as possible. This reduces the flexing which makes the time to failure greater. For most rims the acceptable range of spoke tension is 95 to 120 Kg of force average on the drive side for rear wheels, and on the disc side for disc brake front wheels. Fixed rear hubs often are designed so that the right and left sides can be made equal tension, and front rim brake hubs always have equal tension. Some rim manufacturers have a specific range, often a bit slacker than the above, but this is usually on light-weight racing kit.

    So how does the consumer make sure that the spoke tensions are in the acceptable range? Without a spoke tension gauge it’s impossible. My suggestion is to ask your wheel builder if they use a spoke tension gauge and request that they tighten the spokes to the maximum that that rim will allow. If they say they don’t need a gauge and offer some bullshit about it being an art, walk away. Wheel building is no mystery, it’s just as amenable to testable, repeatable practices as anything else in the world.

    I’d also avoid fancy spoke patterns. There’s a reason that the three cross wheel is bog standard. The way the spokes line up, with one spoke pulling in almost exact line with one on the other side at the outside edge of the hub reduces that flexing of the spoke heads. A four cross wheel is even better at it, but most hubs won’t allow that and you might arguably end up causing the spoke to flex, and thus work harden, at the nipple because it will be coming into the rim at a greater angle.

    Hubs wear, but if you’re buying Phil Woods don’t worry about it. If you were buying something with cup and cone bearings and a quick release I’d have a few things to say about setting up bearing tension. But PW track hubs have sealed bearings and are bolt on, and quite frankly, have been put together by a company famous for its anal attention to detail. It’s unlikely in the extreme that anyone could do anything to them that would make them last longer.

    TL;DR

    Ask your builder if they use a spoke tension gauge and request that they tighten the spokes as much as the rim will allow. Ask them what that maximum tension is and if it isn’t around 120 kg average ask them why not. Acceptable responses would be along the lines of “This manufacture recommends….” or “I’ve seen the spokes pull through at that tension on this rim.” unacceptable answers include the phrase “I don’t think that’s necessary. and “That’s too much.” without giving a justification as to why its too much, and the like. Walk away from the woo.

    *Projecting here. I ride a fixie as if it didn’t have a brake on it. Part of the fun is the concentration, the anticipation that is necessary to compensate for the slower braking. I love the way it takes my full attention and shuts up that endlessly babbling internal narrator that lives in my head.

  248. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Er, that’d be dhorvath. Fucking hell, you’d think I’d know by now to cut and past nyms. Sorry.

  249. Dhorvath, OM says

    My tensionmeter is my best friend, but it still won’t let me build a reliable wheel with Stan’s rims. Grrr.
    ___

    And don’t sweat the spelling, I got the idea.

  250. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Never done one with Stan’s, what’s the problem?

    What brand of meter do you have?

    I use the Park one (it’s name is Rita) and have gotten grief for it from a supplier. I ordered a wheel, a full-on downhill beast, and when it came the spokes were just below 95kgf on the drive side. I called and asked what tension they’d done it to and I was told 120. I sent it back and they returned it to me unchanged, and they accused me of getting it wrong because of my meter.

    But here’s the thing, the Park meter is accurate, it’s not precise, I do interpolation to get precision, but it is accurate. I borrowed 90 kg of weights from the local gym* and spent an afternoon calibrating my meter using good spokes and cheap ones, as well as 1.8 and 2mm thickness. It turned out that my meter was just a hair low, not enough to be worried about, but enough to put it just below 95kgf. Never mind that they didn’t do it up to the top of the range despite telling me that. Blah. It also seemed like the good spokes read just slightly lower than the cheap ones, but that lack of precision means I’m not confident about it.

    *I’m never doing that again, it was a bit of a workout. I’ve now got a reference wheel with three precisely tensioned spokes to check my meter against.

  251. says

    The James Kohl thread proves that some shitclowns actually can respond to multiple commenters and keep pace. It dawned on me how some trolls/creationists/MRAs complain that they can’t keep up with all the comments directed their way. Next time one of them whines about that, I’m going to direct them to Kohl’s Thread.

  252. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Pharyngula is too weird tonight.

    An understatement so deep that it’s damn near subtextual.

  253. says

    Chigau:

    Pharyngula is too weird tonight.

    All the jackasses have descended. Besides Captain Cabbage still going, there’s a libertarian twit and a “hey, devil’s advocate!” takeover on the abortion thread. Something in the water. Gotta be.

  254. chigau (違う) says

    On another appendage, we did New Year pot-luck dinner at the community hall.
    I may not need to eat until Spring.
    *burp*

  255. Dhorvath, OM says

    Stan’s BST rims are non-eyeleted, thin walled nightmares. The most popular option in years past was the ZTR Race and that rim is only rated into the low nineties for tension, which means the non-drive spokes end up more like sixty. Too damn low for me to build a wheel that holds tension for any manner of time, but some people seem to get by just fine. I don’t get it. Even their stronger options top out at one-ten and I find I drop tension consistently on any wheel I build with them.

  256. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Caine @398:

    Something in the water. Gotta be.

    That would be the 4-methylcyclohexane methanol.

    Not to worry, though. The coal industry has our best interests in mind.

  257. says

    Ogvorbis:

    That would be the 4-methylcyclohexane methanol.

    I think it’s something else. I’m terribly afraid someone has managed to distill stupidity and dumped it in the water. Beware the liquid stupid!

  258. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Thanks, FossilFishy! Not too 101 for me at all (though I expect that was more directed at Dhorvath). It hadn’t occured to me to ask if my guy uses a gauge, but I certainly don’t want my wheels built by someone who doesn’t think he needs one! I’m seriously considering buying one of my own, along with a truing stand – not to build these wheels, but to start practicing and maybe do the next respoke? I dunno, maybe I woudn’t use it enough to be worthwhile, but I like the idea. Of course, I also need a trainer, some better cold weather gear, storage that takes up less than half my living room…

    Oh well, there are worse addictions to have.

  259. Dhorvath, OM says

    Dysomniak,
    Our new sales person who started early summer has something like twenty years of bike shop experience. He had no idea what my tensionmeter was. Not a mechanic, but he has seen his share of wheels built in those two decades. There are a lot of people who trust ‘fingers’ over springs. I don’t get it, I know how much my hand strength varies over a work week, but even knowing that I couldn’t dream of compensating to ensure consistent work. We see similar with carbon fibre components and torque wrenches, some people just won’t believe that a measuring device can be more useful than ‘feel’.

  260. says

    @vaiyt
    I’m not talking about that particular study. I was more interested in the general case. It’s well known that the way you ask a question can influence the answers you get. I was just wondering if anyone knew of studies of a possible effect of multiple scenarios vs. a straightforward yes or no.

    For example, a straight answer will force people into taking a stand; for or against. Multiple options allow them to moderate and consider exceptions. To take your cannibalism example, if you ask people “is cannibalism okay, yes or no?” I think most would answer no. However, if you ask them if it’s okay “if you’re stranded far from help, starving and the other person is already dead” you will probably see a change.

    Back to the case of rape, multiple scenarios allow people to say yes to some cases, while still considering themselves not rapists because “well, I only said sometimes.” It allows them to mentally distance themselves from the “real” rapists.
    The many options hide the fact that all the details are actually unimportant. People get sidetracked considering all sorts of things that don’t really relate to the central point: Lack of consent.

    It’s similar to (if you’ll forgive an odd comparison) word problems in math. Most such problems are actually ludicrously simple, requiring nothing more than basic arithmetic. However, people get confused because the important information is buried under an avalanche of irrelevant details.

    So, I was just curious if such a possibility had been studied (in general, not specifically in relation to this study). Any information is appreciated.

  261. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    So, Dhorvath and FF (I really appreciate you both sharing your knowledge with me here), what would I be risking if I were to buy a meter and do the initial assembly myself and then take the wheels into the shop for a final truing? I really want to learn how to do this stuff myself, but I don’t want to wreck a brand new set of rims doing it.

  262. says

    Wilford, you fuckwit, PZ has stated, numerous times, that he has nothing to do with A+. The fact that he provides a link to the forum means nothing, PZ links to all manner of atheist concerns, and does think that atheists being concerned with SJ issues is a fine thing. That’s it.

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

    There is no atheist pope, but there is atheist god. It is PZ. For from him and through him and for him are all things.

    Like Atheism + . And feminism. And squid.

  264. vaiyt says

    @LykeX

    To take your cannibalism example, if you ask people “is cannibalism okay, yes or no?” I think most would answer no. However, if you ask them if it’s okay “if you’re stranded far from help, starving and the other person is already dead” you will probably see a change.

    The point is, most of these scenarios aren’t even remotely as morally ambiguous as the one you cited. You’d have to come up with a lot of really out-there possibilities to get remotely the same approval to cannibalism as we see to rape.

  265. says

    Just because…
     
    Yahweh approves of cannibalism.

    “I also will do this unto you… You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.” — Leviticus 26:16

    “And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.” — Leviticus 26:29

    “And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters.” — Deuteronomy 28:53

    “And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them.” — Deuteronomy 28:57

    “Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm.” — Isaiah 9:19-20

    “And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine.” — Isaiah 49:26

    “And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend.” — Jeremiah 19:9

    “Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers.” — Ezekiel 5:10

    “I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.” — Zechariah 11:9

    “This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him.” 2 Kings 6:28-29

    “The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat.” — Lamentations 4:10

    “Who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.” — Micah 3:2-3

    “Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed. She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. — Ezekiel 24:10-12

    And of course, the one most people know:

    “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. — John 6:53-54

  266. David Wilford says

    Caine @ 411:

    Wilford, you fuckwit, PZ has stated, numerous times, that he has nothing to do with A+.

    PZ may not post there, but every time he states his view about atheism needing to be more than a dictionary definition and makes statements about atheism being a necessary starting point for ethics, he’s got plenty to do with A+ as a putative movement. There’s are unofficial connections elsewhere to A+ on FreethoughtBlogs too. As I said before, it’s like the Taliban that way. Lots of identifying with A+, even if there’s no direct connection to the aforementioned website.

  267. says

    Now you’re comparing atheism+ to the taliban, while elsewhere you defend the pope? Fuck off, gomer, you’re too stupid to post here.

  268. David Wilford says

    My apologies for making the analogy between A+ and the Taliban. There are other, better, comparisons for loose associations of like-minded people to be sure.

  269. says

    Chigau:

    That A+ looking link on the side-bar is apparently misleading.

    I’m pretty sure the mass amount of links on the sidebar are all misleading. I mean, expecting someone to think? Go by facts? Tchah, nonsense.

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

    There doesn’t even exist a link to atheism plus forums anywhere on the sidebar.

    Deliberate misdirection. I’m not surprised.

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

    I meant other links, not the flashy red A which is another deliberate misdirection (as the two of you mentioned)

  272. says

    Beatrice, well, ya know, if one wasn’t around for the Out Campaign, and didn’t know what the fuck it signified, one might go to the vast trouble of placing their mouse over the HUGE MISDIRECTION™, noting that it links to the out campaign, which one could then click, to see what it was all about. Work, work, work.

  273. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Geesh, sometimes I think DW is really an old fashioned concern troll, really a theist trying to damage the atheist movement from the inside, by being so concerned about swear words that get folks attention and might shake them up a little, having a progressive social change offshoot to soften the evil atheists image, trying to make us loose focus and effectiveness on our criticism of religion.

  274. consciousness razor says

    You know who else was confused about something one time?

    The Taliban.

    Not to mention Hitler. Well, okay, I’ll mention him too. Why not?

  275. Al Dente says

    So when David Wilford thinks about Atheism+ the first comparison which pops into his mind is the Taliban.

  276. says

    CR:

    Not to mention Hitler. Well, okay, I’ll mention him too. Why not?

    Might as well toss in Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. Why not?

    Oh, we can toss in that God the pope believes in, ’cause if you go by that book of his, he’s killed waaaaay more than any puny earthling.

  277. David Wilford says

    @ 429:

    It was the comparison that came to mind at the time, Al Dente. Again, my apologies.

    A better example that wouldn’t have had the emotional baggage would have been anarchists, which in the U.S. are rather fragmented organization-wise but do share common goals and purposes.

  278. consciousness razor says

    he’s killed waaaaay more than any puny earthling.

    I don’t see the connection. We were talking about Taliban and Hitler and so forth. We should probably stick with “loose” associations based on their more salient features, like that there’s lots of identifying with them, even if there’s no direct connection to their website. There’s also being a bunch of confused fuckers, like David Wilford. Of course, I’m sure if this god is omni-everything, it’d have to be pretty confused about itself being impossible, though I bet even lesser creator deities would have plenty to worry about.

    But violence? Hardly what they’re known for, you know?

  279. consciousness razor says

    A better example that wouldn’t have had the emotional baggage would have been anarchists

    You really have a talent for saying stupid shit, don’t you?

  280. David Wilford says

    @ 433:

    What’s your problem with anarchists? It would seem to fit your definition of “loose” associations, no?

  281. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    [CAUTION: Bike update]

    Just stopped by the shop while out running other errands, the owner assures me that not only does he use a meter but it is one of the fancy-schmancy ones. I’ve already forgotten the brand, but I feel better now.

  282. omnicrom says

    What’s your problem with anarchists? It would seem to fit your definition of “loose” associations, no?

    I think the problem is that comparing a group to anarchists is to say there’s no order at all. A loose collection of like minded people is not the same as outright anarchy. A collection of sites with sometimes overlapping membership with similar, but not always the same, ideals does not really equal a total lack of structure that is often connotative with Anarchism.

    But then again I don’t speak for actual anarchists. Of course I’m willing to admit this and I’d bet dollars to donuts that David Wilford, the amazing fact free human, has never met an anarchist either but presumes to speak for them like he does with basically everyone else.

    Also here’s a thought you might want to think David Wilford: Your immediate gut descriptions of the Atheist movement are “The Taliban” and “Anarchists”. However you bend over backwards to endorse and defend a corrupt authoritarian institution like the Roman Catholic Church. Do you think this says anything about you and your priorities?

  283. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Ugh, I am NOT going to wade into an argument about anarchism here (I only delurk for bike talk), but maybe before throwing the term around willy-nilly people could at least read the wikipedia entry?

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

    Okay, I’ve been away awhile, but I do know how to use ctrl-F and David W appears to have jumped in after Caine’s 411, and I hadn’t seen him here for a while when last I posted, which wasn’t that long ago.

    What am I missing in the current dust-up? Or did Caine just take a while to get back to David W after some trickling off of the discussion he kicked off when he was mortified I asked him to read the “fucking” thread not too long ago?

    Really, if the mere presence of the word fucking caused such danger to his valuable, valuable pearls, one would think he would advocate for my immediate bannination.

    Okay, gotta go. I’ll be checking in.

  285. omnicrom says

    David Wilford is being David Wilford in the recent thread “Clear-eyed commentary on the pope”. Wilford came to Thunderdome following a derail to the derail about Atheism+

  286. omnicrom says

    it’s been going on for days. no end in sight.

    I remember that David Wilford’s debut ran for over 6 weeks before PZ finally closed the thread. For a person who claims to not want to win and who thinks arguing is pointless David Wilford really does want to win arguments.

  287. brianpansky says

    i also think DW wants to cause anger and misery. DW can’t be that oblivious to the effect. especially in the subject of the catholic church etc.

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

    @omnicrom & brianpansky:

    Wow, thanks.

    I decided to start from google-scratch and give a shot at finding the related thread….and found it on my own. Which means I needn’t have bothered y’all, sorry.

    On the plus side, you’re wonderful for embracing my laziness and threadruptness. Thanks again.

    especially @omnicrom:

    For a person who claims to not want to win and who thinks arguing is pointless David Wilford really does want to win arguments.

    Yeah, when I found the pope thread, I noticed the “diminishing returns” comment.

    Seriously? Addressing the same topic and/or using the same words in new sentences/conversations = a reason to shut up?

    Why hasn’t he called on the Catholic Church to dismantle itself already?

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

    and another error:

    It was drinsomnia I told to read the fucking thread recently. I remember David W’s fainting spells, but incorrectly gave myself a role in provoking one. Chalk it up to my megalomania.

  290. David Wilford says

    Crip Dyke @ 444:

    Why hasn’t he called on the Catholic Church to dismantle itself already?

    Because it ain’t gonna do that just because I ask it to, that’s why. Duh.

  291. says

    I’m just going to quickly say that back when Chris Clarke was blogging here, there was a general consensus to drop the pearl clutching meme, because of it’s sexist nature. Thanks to The Mellow Monkey, we settled on a happy new one, that of ‘popping a monocle’.

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

    @David W:

    Ah, but we’re going to stop using profanity because you’ve asked us to do so.

    I now understand the obvious utility criterion you have employed to determine which actions are worth your time. Thank you so much for making complete sense.

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

    there are so many reasons that I like The Mellow Monkey…and you, Caine.

    Thanks.

  294. A. Noyd says

    David Wilford (#412 of this thread)

    Cursing one’s tools, be they kanji characters or Enfield rifles is one thing. Everyone gets exasperated at times with stuff that’s frustrating to work with.

    Holy shit, that’s what you got from my example? Because that’s totally not what it meant. It expressed zero exasperation of my own. The extent of my own opinion was that the traditionalists in Meiji-era Japan who wanted to retain the old, kanji-heavy style of writing were assholes, but I’m hardly going to get upset with a bunch of ultimately ineffectual nitwits whose influence ran out at the end of the 19th century. Everything in single quotes was a paraphrase of their attitude, with lots of cussing added for emphasis and color.

    Letting loose a string of expletives in a lame attempt to insult someone is another. I suggest you reflect on the difference.

    And I suggest you reflect on the ill manners involved in telling other people what their intentions are. Especially after I just told you why I cuss. But noooo, you have a narrative to stuff us all into. And that’s so damn important that you can’t even be wrong about what we feel.

    (#414)

    Having the atheist position taken as seriously by John Q. Public

    “The atheist position”? What in the everloving fuck is “the atheist position”? And since when is the public unanimous in their feelings towards cussing? I’m asking seriously, so maybe when you get back from your “break” you can answer both of those.

  295. brianpansky says

    The length of threads on Usenet were long, and deep. I kind of miss those days now that the Facebookization of the web has lead to the demise of the long, drawn-out discussion.

    As for “derailment”, so what? Diversion is something that’s not necessarily bad, it’s really a naturally occurring thing in any thread that goes on long enough.

    the manifesto of david wilford.

  296. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    the manifesto of david wilford.

    More like agree with me or I will post unevidenced fuckwittery forever, just to piss you off.

  297. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    Caine,
    Thanks for the reminder about pearl clutching. I either had not read that thread or I forgot about it.

    A. Noyd,
    I don’t know either. Is it like the opposite of a missionary position?

    wakka wakka?
    No?
    Ok.
    *shuffles to the corner*

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

    @brianpansky & Nerd:

    Look, I have it on good authority through a back channel that David Wilford has been collecting data on every thread in which he has participated for 10 years now, and wouldn’t you know it, but the data shows that in any thread in which David Wilford participates, the probability of derailment does indeed approach 1 as n->infinity, with p >.99 @ n=150, where n is the total number of comments minus the number of comments before David Wilford joined the conversation.

    The guy is clearly just taking the rational position on derailments: after all, what could be wrong with this logic?*

    *You wouldn’t suggest that David Wilford is underneath these derailments, would you?

  299. vaiyt says

    David Wilford surely wastes a lot of time and effort in telling us he doesn’t care about what we do.
    .
    I feel I should also comment on his willingness to live and let live, as demonstrated by his months not-telling us to not-shut up because we’re not-totally doing things wrong.

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

    Is it like the opposite of a missionary position?

    For David Wilford, they are one and the same.

    Wakka wakka?

    No?

    I’ll be over here popping my monocle.*

    *why does that sound so much dirtier than “the atheist position”?

  301. A. Noyd says

    Jackie (#455)

    Is it like the opposite of a missionary position?

    Opposite of these? [Probably NSFW despite the lack of nudity.]

  302. omnicrom says

    Holy shit, that’s what you got from my example?

    The last day or two of interacting with our loathsome visitor has made me conclude that David Wilford has tremendously selective attention. You were saying something that contradicted him factually, David Wilford knew he was correct, ergo David Wilford could not read or understand what you said. QED.

  303. omnicrom says

    And now that I think about it I’m glad to know that David Wilford is at least consistent. That crack about Usenet tells me that David Wilford doesn’t just profess divine knowledge of arguing, he also takes his “My way or the highway” attitude to the Internet in general and I suspect to a great many other things. I would be thoroughly unsurprised if David Wilford professed supreme, unwavering confidence in lecturing nearly anyone on nearly anything.

  304. says

    David Wilford, about derailing threads – that’s against the commenting rules, you fuckwit. You know, you could at least attempt to learn a teeny tiny thing now and then, if for no other reason, then to demonstrate your brain is not completely atrophied as of yet.

    Also, usenet still exists. Sort of. Go back and relive your glory days of boring the hells out of everyone, and leave us be to have actual discussions.

  305. says

    Omnicrom:

    That crack about Usenet

    I have no doubt he thinks no one else here was hanging on usenet back in the day. I’d be right pleased if he would head right back there, to whatever groups which were tainted with his presence.

  306. says

    Vaiyt, yes, PZ was on usenet, so was I, so were half the commentariat. Wilford seems to wish to give the impression that usenet was a sort of rarified Algonquin round table. It wasn’t. Still isn’t.

  307. Dhorvath, OM says

    Dysomniak,
    Risk? Nothing. I would recommend Gerd Schraner’s book, The Art of Wheelbuilding for a start. You might luck into a process that laces consistently, but why not just use the knowledge that is out there and focus on learning a new skill. It’s not rocket surgery, but it is, in my opinion, the most satisfying thing one does with tools for bikes.
    I cannot stress enough the importance of process, if you try to just take one spoke at a time up to it’s rated tension bad things, (bad things I say!,) will happen. Egg shapes are common with first attempts. Small adjustments applied consistently to more spokes trumps coarse adjustments to one. As for learning, a track rear and road front wheel have the most consistent tension/dish requirement and as such will be easier than other options. (For comparison, I find a disc 135mm offset fatbike wheel something that ought to wait until some habits have formed(I actually drop spokes on some of these to compensate for bizarre differences between high and low tension spokes. At least, on my own wheels.))

    Damn, I said I wouldn’t wall of text. I do have a singletrack mind.

  308. Dhorvath, OM says

    Shit. I can stop, but I will not do so yet. If you have good starting materials, good process, and even tension the battle is, at least in my experience, basically done. You won’t arrive at even tension without good process and good materials, and once you have that, you ought to be within a quarter turn or so of round and true. The thing you may need assistance with given the two requirements I set is dish, but on the wheels you describe, that ought to settle of it’s own accord within, say, .5mm. Again, not rocket surgery, and something I think that most people can achieve.

  309. says

    [unicycle]

    Didn’t get it in the end – too small. I’ll be looking around for a small wheeled trickcycle when I get a round tuit.

    [Thunderdome interior view]

    Many good suggestions in the comments. Lasers, destruction and gore to be added. Along with Nachos. I’ll put the blueprints in with the Uniforms ™ .

    @ Caine

    Yahweh approves of cannibalism.

    I would be completely fascinated to learn how people like Ken Ham go about with such inconvenient biblical “facts”.

    @ David Wilford

    There are other, better, comparisons for loose associations of like-minded people to be sure.

    Thank GAWD you posted that comment, I was just about to compare our local Mahjong club to a bunch of murderous, vindictive, religious fanatics. You have just saved me from a lot of unnecessary embarrassment.

  310. says

    Theophontes:

    Thank GAWD you posted that comment, I was just about to compare our local Mahjong club to a bunch of murderous, vindictive, religious fanatics. You have just saved me from a lot of unnecessary embarrassment.

    That’s different. Mahjong is serious business.

  311. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s different. Mahjong is serious business.

    Yeah, when the Redhead reaches for the tiles, it’s time for me to go elsewhere. (Dang, time for a new card????)

  312. chigau (違う) says

    Next month, I’m going to join the Dance Club.
    I’ve offered to do the male rolls, since there are so few men in the club.
    This should be Fun™!

  313. says

    I don’t know if David Wilford is still reading, but on the off chance that he is:
    http://www.salon.com/2014/01/14/how_pope_francis_brought_me_back_to_catholicism/

    Until recently, being Catholic evoked the same shame in me that I felt when I was poor. Thirty years ago, I obediently followed my mother to the mysterious, majestic cathedrals of my youth to kneel at the foot of the saint I loved most, Saint Francis of Assisi. He had turned away from a life of wealth, like Buddha, to answer God’s call to repair the church. At the foot of his statue in New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Cathedral during the 1980s and 1990s, I remember the echo of ACT UP activists disrupting homilies while my mother, Marguerite, muttered disapproval. Homosexuals were evil, she said.

    We knew little about AIDS then. Death and dying to us were more foreign than the daily struggle to survive our homelessness and hunger. Marguerite was black and bipolar with borderline personality disorder. She pursued Jesus and the saints of God with a manic fever that obscured everything else a girl should know about a mother. She was never without a rosary near her palm, and she pinned the medals of saints inside her blouse to keep sanctity near her flesh.

    That fervor drove me away from Catholicism as a teenager. I didn’t long for it again until the second anniversary of my mother’s death from cancer at 72. Pope Francis, Time’s 2013 Person of the Year who took the patron saint of the poor as his namesake, awakened in me a renewed sense of faith in the Catholic Church. His ascendancy offered me a glimpse at something like a spiritual homecoming.

    {…}

    The Pope Francis Effect — his ability to bring Catholics back to the faith — is statistically limited in America, except anecdotally. My religious friends, from Catholic and other traditions, describe him in an almost universally breathless manner. Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, a New York-based writer, was raised Catholic, along with her sister. Though she attended Quaker schools, she remained Catholic as an adult. “It’s a unique experience to be black and Catholic,” she explained, “and I felt like it would be a loss not to be a part of that. This is as much a part of me as being black. I didn’t want to let go of the cultural heritage and the common language of that.

    But previous popes haven’t prompted her to post on Facebook, as she did recently, that the pope is amazing. “He is a wonderful representation of the good and progressive work that can come out of that space, a recovery of sorts. He also represents the postcolonial face of Catholicism.

    You see that?
    That’s the result of the pope’s PR campaign. He wants to get people back into the church by shifting the media focus away from their outspoken opposition to homosexuality and abortion. The RCC hasn’t actually changed any of their doctrine regarding either. They’ve simply changed the way they publicly speak about it. In the case of Joshunda Sanders (the writer of the article), it appears to have worked. I’ve no doubt others feel the same way he does. He’s fallen for the false hope that the pope has provided. A gay man, once driven away from the church finds himself drawn back.
    Not because the church has actually changed, but because the church is not opposing social justice as vocally as it did previously. But they haven’t stopped doing what they’ve been doing all along.

  314. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Dysomniak

    Yup, listen to dhrovath*, xe’s got the right of it.

    I’ll go further and say that how easy it is to learn to build wheels is in part dependent on your personality. For a couple of summers I was the chief mechanic at a community bike shop, one of those places where you buy a membership and then can come use the specialised tools and work stands to fix your own bike. There has to be someone there to say “Put down that hammer!” and “That’s not a hammer!” as well as coach people through repairs. One of the best jobs I ever had, bikes and teaching: so good.

    I found that there were people with whom I’d spend fifteen minutes explaining the basics of wheel truing (Not full building, but really, that’s just more steps.) and when I’d come back to check they’d have it done perfectly. Other folks I’d spend the same fifteen minutes, and then another, and another and eventually I’d end up having to stand over them to make sure it got done right.

    It’s fiddly, sequential work where you have to take your time and check often to make sure you haven’t got turned around, especially when starting out. But dhorvath is right, it’s not rocket surgery.

    I’d also point out that there’s no substitute for having the right tools. I’ve known people who’ve used the frame or fork on their bike as a truing stand but that’s really ill-advised when starting out. My first “truing stand” was an add on for my Park consumer grade repair stand. It only had one indicator arm, rather than the caliper-like two arms a proper truing stand has, and it was damn near useless to me as a beginner.

    The downside to doing it yourself is of course the cost. Even cheap truing stands are fairly expensive and the Park tension gauge is not all that cheap, though it is the most affordable I’ve found. If you’re only going to do this once then buying a wheel or getting someone to do it for you is likely to be more cost effective. Mind you, that didn’t stop me, passions are not always reasonable. :)

    If you live in a big city I’d look for a community bike shop like the one I worked at. They’re often called “Bike Kitchens”. It’s a good way to try this stuff out at minimal expense.

    I will also say that I love building wheels. It’s one of my favourite jobs. Taking a bunch of sticks, a hoop and an useless spinning cylinder and turning them into a *WHEEL* is incredibly satisfying.

    *That’s not a wall of text. Now this? This is a wall o’ text. :)

  315. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Er, that’d be “Bike Kitchens” if you’re in an English speaking part of the world. I have no idea what other cultures would call them.

  316. chigau (違う) says

    I am so glad that I imprinted on Pharyngula open threads as to ‘how to do commenting on a blog’.
    I ♥ this place.

  317. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Dance Club

    SHHHHHHHHH!!!! The first rule of Dance Club is always interpretive dance about Dance Club.

  318. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes
    They are mostly late-middle-aged to elderly women so they are basically terrifying.
    Not at all religious.

  319. says

    While we are on the subject of hyperbole:

    [Pope Francis]: “It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day,” … “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary.”

    Linky: Teh Beeb.

  320. says

    omnicron #461: […] David Wilford doesn’t just profess divine knowledge of arguing, he also takes his “My way or the highway” attitude to the Internet in general and I suspect to a great many other things. I would be thoroughly unsurprised if David Wilford professed supreme, unwavering confidence in lecturing nearly anyone on nearly anything.

    So Wilford is actually a horrifying mishmash of Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Polonius? Sent from the past to rescue the future from the dearth of proper USENet-type discursive discussions?

  321. Lofty says

    FossilFishy

    Er, that’d be “Bike Kitchens” if you’re in an English speaking part of the world.

    Our city has a bicycle workshop that helps the poor and refugee peoples onto wheels.

  322. Dhorvath, OM says

    Fossil Fishy,
    Too funny, I got my start in a community bike shop too. The one I was at was part of my university; no points for guessing why I don’t have a degree.

  323. says

    I’ve never heard it called a ‘bike kitchen’, but one of our local bike coops has a set of tools and a stand that folks can use. I’ve also gotten great help from the university bike coop during my student years.

  324. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    chigau:

    Next month, I’m going to join the Dance Club.
    I’ve offered to do the male rolls

    Forwards, backwards, or teddy bear?

    Are you sure you haven’t signed up for Gym Club?

  325. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Re. Gym Club, chez cm, kid #2 is all about the bridge kickover.

    Unrelatedly, kid #1 is currently devouring the Hyperbole and a Half book.

    And kid #3 is, for the record, The God of Cake. I shit you not. Should you come between her and cake, you have been warned.

    (It’s birthday season. Fun times!)

  326. says

    Kohl has a new entry on his Pheromone.com site:
    http://pheromones.com/chromosomal-rearrangements-ecological-adaptations/
    (excerpt)

    PZ Myers is an atheistic biology teacher who believes in mutation-driven evolution. Myers thinks I am “crank” and he compared me to John A. Davison, who Myers also thinks is a crank. According to Myers, Davison was a crank for proposing a theory that Evolution was all due to chromosome rearrangements…

    Discussion of who’s the crank ensured with more misinformation than I have ever seen spread by evolutionary theorists and atheists across 740 posts to Myers blog. Every comment I made was dismissed and usually ridiculed. Finally, I posted a link to research published yesterday that reported Estrogen receptor α polymorphism in a species with alternative behavioral phenotypes.

    Abstract excerpt (with my emphasis as above): “These behaviors are thought to be mediated by sensitivity to sex steroids, and the chromosomal rearrangement underlying the polymorphism has captured a prime candidate gene: estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1), which encodes estrogen receptor α (ERα).”

    My comment: This report links ecological variations in nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled alternative splicings of pre- mRNA to chromosomal rearrangements in sparrows and to their receptor-mediated sex differences in hormone-organized and hormone-activated behavior. Simply put, experimental evidence shows that Davison was correct, and that evidence also shows that touting mutation-driven evolution — as PZ Myers has done — is something only an ignorant atheist or biology teacher could continue to do.

  327. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony #490, not surprised at all. True cranks can never lose an argument. The soggy ape guy was never refuted in his mind, even though he had no real evidence to back up his theory. Txpiper just couldn’t accept random mutation no matter how much evidence was thrown his way; there had to be a plan. Once they become True Believers™, reality goes out the window.

  328. ChasCPeterson says

    Here’s the funny part: teh ECO compared Kohlkopf to J.A. Davison, and so even though Kohl has never read anything of Davison’s–all he knows is that PZ said that Davison thought “evolution was all due to chromosome rearrangements”–he’s decided Davison was right too, and incorporated just that much into his boilerplate:

    Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled alternative splicings and amino acid substitutions cause chromosomal rearrangements and species differences in behavior.

    The enemy of his enemy is his friend. That’s Science!!!

  329. Prof Weird says

    Tony! @ 490 : I noticed he put a few of my comments there, but did not answer them.

    Now he not only claims that chromosomal rearrangements are NOT mutations, but also that his All Mighty Pheromones induce them somehow.

    Whereas the reality-based community knows many ways chromosomal rearrangements can happen – NONE of which involve the intervention of magical pheromones (unless you call ionizing radiation a ‘pheromone’ … )

    Who would want to BUY those pheromones, given he claims they alter your DNA in magically directed ways ?

  330. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Why the fuck is that fucking popelicker Wilford still hanging around?

    David Wilford:

    What are you trying to accomplish by being here?

  331. says

    Actually, Wilford is taking a PZ enforced break at the moment. I’m sure he’ll be back for the next pope thread, claiming that the pope wiped his nose in a very liberal manner, indicating great changes to come.