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Jan 18 2014

[Lounge #448]

happymantid

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

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

687 comments

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  1. 1
    Inaji

    Reposting, because this is well worth reading:

    N.K. Jemisin on “Concern trolling and “gratuitous diversity

    Yes, pity the poor straight white guy, endless recipient of profane anger whenever he drops a bit of earnest, well-meaning bigotry. (Warning for Shetterly, linked and in the comments.) So pathos. Much meanies. WOW.

    I’m afraid the white peoples have been jumping all over Ms. Jemisin for “gratuitous diversity”, y’know writing minority characters who just don’t have a good reason for being a minority, and that means they just don’t have a good reason to be in this, that, and every setting, because they aren’t for reals. So sayeth the white peoples.

  2. 2
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Crip Dyke
    That was my logical conclusion, but I’m wondering if I said something wrong. Or, more to the point, what I said wrong.

    No; I hadn’t refreshed. I find the “GET OF MY LAWN”ing about pubic hair removal really grating; where people are consciously eliding a distinction between rational criticism of a culture *demand* for it irrespective of individual preference, the stuff they’re eliding that distinction from reminds me of the comments people make about vegetarians – “WE DIDN’T EVOLVE TO EAT RABBIT FOOD” and so on. (Only, you know, kinda-sort-implying that people with different preferences are latently sexual predators, rather than just ‘wusses’, which seems like it’d make a difference to me….)

  3. 3
    chigau (違う)

    When the default SF writer was a white male, one could sorta expect that his default characters would be white males.
    But that was 60 years ago.
    Harder to excuse it now.

  4. 4
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    yeah, I’ll take that seriously when “gratuitous whiteness” is a thing.

  5. 5
    Michael

    There is a trailer on imdb for an upcoming movie called “God’s not dead”. The basic plot is that a religious college student is taking a required philosophy course where the prof is a militant atheist. In order to earn a passing grade, the prof requires all the students to write “God is dead”, to which the religious student refuses. So in order to pass, the student has to debate the prof in front of the class, and win. Highly realistic plot, and the atheist prof is not a caricature of what the religious think atheists are like of course.

    The film has a facebook page where you can discuss the film, which is currently dominated by Xtians looking forward to the film.

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

    Ah, Azkyroth:

    okay, responding to Lynna’s 637. That makes sense. Enforced pubic depilation is fiendishly awful.

  7. 7
    rowanvt

    She’s just about my favorite author. I love her books. And there is no way to express the contempt I have for those pooooor pitiful whitefolks who may not get to only read about other whitefolks. *spits*

    In grand news, I have put in my 2 weeks notice at VCA and will be soon working at the local amazing Humane Society. I will be able to do more fostering that way. *cackles* Plus the whole pay increase + more hours = making almost twice as much as I do currently certainly helps matters.

  8. 8
    chigau (違う)

    rowanvt
    Yay for you.
    Nice to see you again.

  9. 9
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    When the default SF writer was a white male, one could sorta expect that his default characters would be white males.

    Sure, because not only was that the norm default, [many] authors do tend toward characters somewhat like themselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. In spite of that very human tendency, you have Ms. Savage saying “I want characters to be themselves, not reflections of us.” which makes me want to spit, because of course this only applies to minority characters, who aren’t reflections of “us”. Fuck. That. Noise.

  10. 10
    Inaji

    Rowan, congrats!

  11. 11
    chigau (違う)

    “I want characters to be themselves, not reflections of us.”
    Then she should get a ‘bot to write stories for her, ’cause human authors have a tendency to be human.

  12. 12
    anuran

    Dispatches from the Culture Wars has a great news item.

    Bryan Fischer of the American Patriarchy Association really believes in Old Time Traditional Values. He wants to go back to “colonial times” when only property owners could vote

  13. 13
    left0ver1under

    Chinese New Year is coming, January 31. 2014 is the year of the horse.

    CNY is the only time of the year that religion in Taiwan gets annoying. I hate fireworks and the headaches they bring.

    chigau (違う) (#3) -

    When the default SF writer was a white male, one could sorta expect that his default characters would be white males.
    But that was 60 years ago.
    Harder to excuse it now.

    Does that apply to self-insertion fanfics too? ^_^

    Kidding, of course. And yes, it’s true. How many novels (of any genre) can you think of where the central character in the story – the first novel, not the sequels – was not pale and male? It’s a small percentage, by my count.

    If an alien species knew of Earth only by our entertainment, they would think we were 90% male, and say, “No wonder they’re at war all the time.”

  14. 14
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/God's_Not_Dead_(film)Josh
    Wheaton (Shane Harper), a freshman college student, enrolls in a philosophy class taught by an infamous and dictatorial professor. Prof. Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) deman
    ds that all of his students must sign a declaration that “God is dead” in order to get a passing grade. Josh refuses and will go to anything in order to defend his belief in God. But, he needs to take this class to meet his academic requirements. And so the professor strikes a bargain: Josh must defend his position that “God is Alive” in a series of debates with him in order to stay in the class. If he loses, he flunks. When Josh accepts the challenge, he gets more than he bargained for—jeopardizing his faith, his relationships and even his future

    link to the Wikipedia entry for the movie Michael @5 was talking about:

  15. 15
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Michael:
    Thanks for the heads up on that movie btw.

  16. 16
    rowanvt

    Thankee for the congrats Caine and Chigau. I’ve been borderline depressive over my job situation for quite a while because of a great deal of bitterness and resentment over my sudden transfer last October. Getting this new job has certainly made me feel a hell of a lot better, though the time between my working interview at the actual call of “we’d like to hire you” was a fascinating 3 days of jumping between hyper-excited-optimistic and “they hated me and that’s why I haven’t heard anything”-style pessimism. I have a much better (though doubtless still nowhere near complete) understanding of what my bipolar sister-in-law goes through.

  17. 17
    palaeodave

    #13 left0ver1under

    Chinese New Year is coming, January 31. 2014 is the year of the horse.

    CNY is the only time of the year that religion in Taiwan gets annoying. I hate fireworks and the headaches they bring.

    Hello. Are you Taiwanese or a foreigner living in Taiwan? I ask because I was the latter many years ago and just wondered if you might have come from the same sort of background that I did. No need to answer, of course. I don’t mean to pry!

  18. 18
    Inaji

    The Sorbo flick is old news, Ed covered it last September.

  19. 19
    A. Noyd

    chigau (#3)

    When the default SF writer was a white male, one could sorta expect that his default characters would be white males.
    But that was 60 years ago.

    I’m not sure I can excuse it in the guys from 60 years ago. This is a genre that’s supposed to be about imagination. Funny how white people fail so bad at imagining a world where whiteness isn’t normalized (and/or people of color aren’t fetishized for their race).

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    left0ver1under (#13)

    CNY is the only time of the year that religion in Taiwan gets annoying. I hate fireworks and the headaches they bring.

    Is it much worse than the new year in the US? My neighbors were setting off extremely loud shit every night from like 12/26-ish to 1/4, at least.

    How many novels (of any genre) can you think of where the central character in the story – the first novel, not the sequels – was not pale and male?

    Well, a lot of protagonists in paranormal romance are women. (Although, they are typically white, or even hyper-white*.) They’re a weird combination of stereotypical “strong female characters” and need-a-man-to-be-complete romance heroines. Not what I would call an improvement.
    ……….
    *Alabaster skin, violet eyes, flame-red hair, of explicitly Celtic or Norse heritage, that sort of shit.

  20. 20
    palaeodave

    #18 Caine

    The Sorbo flick is old news, Ed covered it last September.

    I can’t bring myself to watch the trailer. I keep trying but I just can’t do it.

  21. 21
    Inaji

    palaeodave:

    I can’t bring myself to watch the trailer. I keep trying but I just can’t do it.

    Seriously, don’t worry about it. The, er, caliber of acting induces a near-fatal eyeroll. Avoidance is best.

  22. 22
    palaeodave

    I used to enjoy Hercules and the New Adventures of Superman when I was a kid :(

  23. 23
    Inaji

    palaeodave:

    I used to enjoy Hercules

    Eh, Hercules was a guilty pleasure of mine back in the day, especially the eps with Bruce Campbell. I’d still enjoy them now.

  24. 24
    Great American Satan

    Off that topic, shouldn’t the tiny bloodthirst warrior in the photograph above be used on the Thunderdome instead?

  25. 25
    palaeodave

    That crossed my mind, too. There are videos on youtube of mantids catching hummingbirds.

    Speaking of hummingbirds, I went on a walk around the UC Berkeley campus today looking for them. Didn’t see any. Sorry for the anticlimax.

  26. 26
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    That’s an odd coincidence, palaeodave, there weren’t any hummingbirds around when I went out earlier today either.

    It is -15, but still…I am disappoint.

    What do hummingbirds do in the winter, anyway?

  27. 27
    rq

    That mantid? Dangerous? It’s just happy to see the sunshine! ;) Though I am glad I’m not a hummingbird.
    I miss hummingbirds, actually.

    It’s -16 today, coldest this winter! The skating rink is looking pretty good!

  28. 28
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Heya!
    Little one fit, #1 slightly improving. But I guess I need to recruit my MIL for the next two days again.

    +++
    That article, so full of win, the one(s) it replies to, so full of fail.
    It is always telling when SF and Fantasy authors/readers have no problem with worlds full of magic, physically and biologically impossible creatures and things, but heavens forbid that there are characters who ain’t straight white cis dudes!

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

    10°C here.
    Way too warm for this time of year. I can’t remember the last time I could walk outside comfortably in my leather jacket in January.

  30. 30
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    It got up to 38c yesterday, not as bad as the 42 the previous day, but still not great for cycling. I had a group in the store who’d ridden 50k or so and were looking pretty hot and tired. They mentioned that there’d been a cool change in Melbourne before they left and they’d assumed that it would be cool here too. At which point one said “If only we had someone who knew weather.” which got a general laugh. The guy I’d been helping* looked sheepishly at me and said: “I work for the Bureau of Meteorology.” I couldn’t help laughing. He was a good sport though.

    *The glue on his rim strips had melted allowing them to shift and cause a puncture on the inside of the tube.

  31. 31
    opposablethumbs

    Thank you, carlie and cicely!

    And congrats to rowanvt!

    Also yay for improving child health, Gilliel!

  32. 32
    blf

    Hang on, hang on, the upcoming year is the Year of the Horse?

    That’s perhaps the most significant clew yet as to the whereabouts of the mildly deranged penguin. She wouldn’t want to spend an orbit with those evil monsters clomping around owning the place. Therefore, she probably isn’t on the planet at all. Perhaps deep inside the horse- and pea-proof orbiting cheese vault, or more likely, in another universe. One without horses.

    There should be an Orbit of the Bacon. And an Orbit of the Cheese. And an Orbit of the Moar Cheese! Now to mention The Orbit of the Penguin. And an Orbit of the Beer. And on on…

    (There isn’t a Year of the Pea, is there? Naming an orbit after one vicious fiend is already quite bad, but as for making a habit of it…)

  33. 33
    blf

    Now to mention…

    Once off those daze ill lean two used that rite world.

  34. 34
    rq

    The Year of the Pea… How long until someone misspells that as the Year of the Pee? Don’t know if I want to be around for that one…! ;)
    Several Cheese Years in a row would be delicious, though. MMMMMMmmmmmm…

  35. 35
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Caine, Fleur du mal , do you recall the short conversation we were having towards the end of last year about my rather large arachnid ‘house guest’? Well, not long after that I found it trying to climb out of the bath, so let it use my arm as a ladder. It ran up my arm, paused on my shoulder then made straight for my beard – which, whilst not being exactly the full ZZ Top is quite full – and tried burrowing its way in.
    It clung on in there like a drowning man clinging to driftwood, taking quite a while for me to persuade it to leave, and I’d been wondering ever since just what it was doing in there.
    On Friday night I was watching QI, the excellent and quite interesting Stephen Fry programme on BBC2, and the subject of why spiders tend to go into baths and sinks was raised. Apparently it has nothing to do with needing a drink, but is instead to make themselves more visible to potential mates.

    Wow. it turns out I had a horny spider trying to copulate with my face-fungus. Should I be expecting a batch of AoS/arachnid hybrids any time soon?

  36. 36
    rq

    Acolyte of Sagan
    It’ll be a whole crop of spiderchildren! Squee! (I wanted to find that clip from Charlotte’s Web where all the little baby spiders fly away to show what will happen to your beard, but I can’t find it. :( )

  37. 37
    Acolyte of Sagan

    I remember the scene you mention rq. Can’t wait for the hatching.
    I wonder if they’ll have Peter Parker-esque powers?

  38. 38
    Great American Satan

    Re: hummingbirds in the winter. Anna’s hummingbirds are the most populous on the West Coast USA as far as I know, and they pulled that trick the same way coyotes did – expanding to the extent humans provided a banquet for them. Historically, I don’t even think they were found in my state (WA), but now…

    They are here year round, in the deepest snow, whatever. I’ve seen the tiny things wearing snowflakes like big hats. The easiest way to find them in the winter is (by going to feeders obviously, but even in the middle of nowhere you can sometimes spot them) by learning to recognize the call. It’s not a hum, it’s a scratchy scraping like a miniature starling. And though quiet, it carries great distances.

    Using that, I’ve spotted them looking like a black speck in the top of a bare tree under a dismal sky. Not bragging on that because I’m sure anyone could figure it out & I’m far from an expert, just letting people know who might find that a fun diversion to try.

  39. 39
    rq

    Acolyte of Sagan
    Probably, they all will. It’ll be awesome.
    Pictures or it didn’t happen. ;)

  40. 40
    carlie

    rq, was it you who linked to the “I hate everyone” song? Because my whole family is loving it big time.

    :D

  41. 41
    rq

    Haha, Sherlock Holmes!! (The comments have some pretty good versions, too.)

  42. 42
    rq

    carlie
    David linked to it, though I was thinking it all day the other day. :) It is an awesome song.

  43. 43
    Pteryxx

    Conservative Protestants raise divorce rates, even for neighbors

    Surprisingly, the study also showed that people living in conservative religious counties have a higher risk of divorce, even when they aren’t religiously conservative themselves. The authors chalk this up to living in a cultural climate where most people expect to marry young, with little institutional support for young people to postpone marriage and children for education and career. “Abstinence-only education, restrictions on the availability of birth control and abortion, support for marriage as the resolution of unexpected pregnancies, and distrust of secular education (especially higher education) among the populace in religiously conservative counties work to create an environment where young people of every religious belief – or none – tend not to pursue higher education or job training, and instead to engage in early marriage and child-bearing,” the authors wrote.

  44. 44
    Pteryxx

    *blink*

    MSNBC: Christie camp held Hurricane Sandy relief money hostage

    Two senior members of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration warned a New Jersey mayor earlier this year that her town would be starved of hurricane relief money unless she approved a lucrative redevelopment plan favored by the governor, according to the mayor and emails and personal notes she shared with msnbc.

    The mayor, Dawn Zimmer, hasn’t approved the project, but she did request $127 million in hurricane relief for her city of Hoboken – 80% of which was underwater after Sandy hit in October 2012. What she got was $142,000 to defray the cost of a single back-up generator plus an additional $200,000 in recovery grants.

    [...]

    “The bottom line is, it’s not fair for the governor to hold Sandy funds hostage for the City of Hoboken because he wants me to give back to one private developer,” she said Saturday on UP w/ Steve Kornacki. “… I know it’s very complicated for the public to really understand all of this, but I have a legal obligation to follow the law, to bring balanced development to Hoboken.”

    Constable and Christie – through spokespersons – deny Zimmer’s claims.

    “Mayor Zimmer has been effusive in her public praise of the Governor’s Office and the assistance we’ve provided in terms of economic development and Sandy aid,” Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak wrote in a statement. “What or who is driving her only now to say such outlandishly false things is anyone’s guess.”

  45. 45
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    the Year of the Pee

    I don’t know if I could live like that – holding it 11 years at a time?

  46. 46
    rq

    Crip Dyke
    Talk about the Great Flood…

  47. 47
    consciousness razor

    I can’t bring myself to watch the trailer. I keep trying but I just can’t do it.

    It’s bad. Very bad. You’ll probably hate people more after watching it. So there’s that.

    But I honestly don’t know whether I’d laugh through the whole thing because of how absurd it is, or if I’d turn it off after about ten minutes in disgust. (I wouldn’t watch it in the theater, of course.) Finding that out is the only reason I can think of to watch it.

  48. 48
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Crip Dyke?

    Did you get my email?

    I have a shiny that I’d like to send you.


    The highlight of my first week of nursing school is a bit of advice, to wit: if you are going to insert yogurt into yourself to treat your yeast infection, please do not use Dannon fruit-on-the-bottom. It will end poorly.

  49. 49
    rowanvt

    @ Esteleth….

    O_o and I thought I got weird stories as a vet tech.

  50. 50
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Esteleth:

    if you are going to insert yogurt into yourself to treat your yeast infection, please do not use Dannon fruit-on-the-bottom.

    Introducing live bacteria to deal with a yeast? What next? A paramecium to deal with the bacteria? A filter feeder to deal with the paramecium? A fly to eat the filter feeder? A spider to eat the fly? etc?

  51. 51
    Nutmeg

    Holy shit, guys. I just signed up for queer women’s camp this spring.

    Eeep. Social anxiety, activate!

    (Seriously, I am pretty proud of myself for doing this. It involves travel and new people and uncertainty and spending money, all of which make me anxious. Now I just need to follow through, do some planning, and actually go.)

    ***

    @ dontpanic, way way way upthread:

    Yay geocaching! I was out again yesterday, plowing through hip-deep snow for a lot of it. I won’t post my username here, since I give more identifying detail there than I’m comfortable with here. But I’m at 350ish finds and really enjoying getting back into it. I don’t have any other outdoor hobbies for the winter, so geocaching is a good way to get some fresh air and exercise. I’ll probably do a little more this afternoon, if I can get my act together and get organized.

  52. 52
    rq

    Ogvorbis
    Put a spider where…?
    This does not match up well with the previous spider conversation.

  53. 53
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    This does not match up well with the previous spider conversation.

    Sorry. Trying for humour.

  54. 54
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Oggie:

    Introducing live bacteria to deal with a yeast?

    Generally speaking, if someone gets a yeast infection, the reason is because their indigenous flora have been weakened or wiped out (broad-spectrum antibiotics do this, as can some traumas), making an opening for an invasion. The theory behind the yogurt thing is that by reintroducing a culture of healthy bacteria, the indigenous flora will be replenished and the yeast fought off.

  55. 55
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Esteleth:

    Sorry. It started as an honest question (thanks for the answer) and morphed into attempted humour. Sorry.

  56. 56
    rq

    Ogvorbis
    Your humour was rather successful – but first it was baby spiders in the beard, now it’s spiders in other locations, and it’s funny, just that squicky kind of funny. That’s all. You’re doing fine!!! Well, your humour is, at any rate. :)

  57. 57
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    It’s alright, I laughed.

    Granted not quite as hard as when the prof related the “blueberries falling out” story…

  58. 58
    left0ver1under

    palaeodave (#17) -

    Are you Taiwanese or a foreigner living in Taiwan? I ask because I was the latter many years ago and just wondered if you might have come from the same sort of background that I did.

    I highly doubt we have much in common besides being atheists and ignorant waiguoren, but you never know. I’ve been here for eight years, there’s far less religion, pollution or smoking than South Korea (four years there). Isn’t/Wasn’t it nice living in a country where christians are such a small minority that they keep it to themselves?

    A. Noyd (#19) -

    Is it much worse than the new year in the US? My neighbors were setting off extremely loud noise every night from like 12/26-ish to 1/4, at least.

    Yes and no, it depends where you are. I had the misfortune of living one year less than a kilometre from Taipei 101 and it was louder than a jet aircraft. I thought the windows were going to break. In some ways, the worst are the people who blow up leftover firecrackers on the street for the next three weeks because it’s one at a time, and you never know when it’s coming. At least on CNY eve I can put in earplugs and be ready.

    Where I am now there isn’t as much, but I live on a high floor with few buildings to shield the noise. This year I planned ahead an am shipping out to the Philippines for a week, a 90 minute flight away. It’s also been unseasonably cold this year with about three weeks under 12C (it’s 14C as I write) when there’s normally less than seven days. I haven’t seen snow since I left Korea, but in the last few weeks I wouldn’t have been surprised to see it fall.

  59. 59
    carlie

    Esteleth – it’s frowned upon because of the amount of sugar most yogurts have too, right?

    And also that “stuffing a bunch of stuff up there” isn’t really how to recolonize a mucous membrane area?

  60. 60
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    esteleth
    Oh, you meant that end for the yoghurt…

  61. 61
    rq

    I love how Latvia’s top 4-man bobsleigh team captain’s name translates to ‘blackbeard’.

  62. 62
    rq

    Esteleth
    Perhaps if you dilute it enough…

  63. 63
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Carlie,
    If you’re using no-sugar-added plain live-culture yogurt, it isn’t the worst thing to use for a yeast infection. Not the best (there are some good anti-fungals that are well tolerated by most people out there), but it has a low risk of causing more harm.

    The trick is that you have to use no-sugar-added plain live-culture yogurt.

  64. 64
    Lynna, OM

    More on the pubic hair discussion, this time it’s a store window in NYC which uses mannequins with pubic hair:
    http://gothamist.com/2014/01/16/american_apparel_mannequin.php

    Link to discussion on previous thread

    See also Azkyroth @2 and Crip Dyke @ 6 on this thread.

  65. 65
    rq

    Lynna
    It’s strangely comforting to see that they can’t hide all of their natural pubic hair underneath those particular panty models…

  66. 66
    Lynna, OM

    rq, some of those mannequins look relatively “natural” to me, while others seem to have three times the normal amount of pubic hair. I suspect a 1970s porn parody.

    However, what do I know about female pubic hair, being mostly familiar with my own and much less familiar with the foliage and drapery of others.

  67. 67
    rq

    Lynna
    Oh, I agree, some of them seem a bit over the top. It’s just nice to see them have hair. At all. And some of it not following the carefully designed outlines of underwear. *shrug* :)

  68. 68
    Lynna, OM

    cross posted from the “reason opposed by unreason” thread:

    […] A Maryland mother stabbed two of her children to death and wounded two others while attempting an exorcism, authorities said. […]

    Norell Harris, 1, and his sister, Zyana Harris, 2, suffered fatal stab wounds while their siblings, ages 5 and 8, were hospitalized with injuries, authorities said. […]

    Police said they found the four children Friday morning after a neighbor called 911 to report suspicious activity at the home. The neighbor reported seeing a car with a door open and a knife next to it. […]

    “Investigators have learned that the two defendants [another woman helped the mother] believed that they were performing an exorcism.[…],” police said. […]

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/19/justice/maryland-exorcism-deaths/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    So, the kids are not really sick, but they have demons and an exorcism is required. Another way for parents to use religion to kill their children.

  69. 69
    Lynna, OM

    rq@67, I agree. Better a little over the top with the pubic hair than the hairless android look.

    Research shows that shaving, waxing or laser removal of pubic hair also increases the chances of getting genital herpes. I’m on a little bit of a rampage, having been subjected by to pressure to remove all hair down there to suit boyfriend’s tastes. He is an ex-boyfriend for that and other reasons. No contact.

  70. 70
    Lynna, OM

    Gary Grice, aka GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, has been working for the past few years on an album entitled Dark Matter. Inspired by the Universe and his fascination with science, GZA is currently collaborating with Prof. Christopher Emdin at Teachers College at Columbia University to improve science education in New York City. I, for one, cannot wait to hear the full album after getting a taste of this Big Bang teaser he presented at the University of Toronto last fall. […]

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/week-geek-hip-hop-edition

    Still, unfortunate lyrics include, “god produced a speck of light.”

  71. 71
    Lynna, OM

    Plants that provide mood lighting:
    http://io9.com/this-plant-has-been-genetically-engineered-to-provide-m-1501474955

  72. 72
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Scene:

    Morgan, a placid 4-year-old kitteh, approaches the open bag of rock salt.

    She paws.

    She sniffs.

    She licks.

    She recoils, makes a spitting sound, and makes a beeline for her water bowl.

    I am trying hard not to laugh.

  73. 73
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    The trick is that you have to use no-sugar-added plain live-culture yogurt.

    I prefer the farmacy variety stuff for actual yeast infections (they love me), but yoghurt can be quite effective IMO if you catch the problem before it gets nasty.

  74. 74
    Lynna, OM

    Retouched human being appears on cover of Vogue. It’s not enough to be yourself.

    http://jezebel.com/here-are-the-unretouched-images-from-lena-dunhams-vogu-1503336657

  75. 75
    Lynna, OM

    The mood-lighting plants (link in #71) look like they put a cold, alien light to me. If your desired mood is alien-invasion or zombies-arrive-after-dark I guess it could work.

  76. 76
    blf

    Wait a minute, you have to catch the yogurt?

    Well, I suppose if it is still in the jar, with the lid securely attached, that’s “Ok”, but otherwise it seems a bit messy. And rather pointless, unless yer aiming for the pubic hairs.

    I’ve heard of nude wrestling in the mud, but nudes throwing yogurt?

    (Actually, Nudes Throwing Yogurt sounds like some sort of impressionist “masterpiece”…)

  77. 77
    Lynna, OM

    Glass sculptures of microorganisms:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/kellyoakes/12-beautiful-glass-sculptures-of-things-that-could-kill-you

    Really like the photos. The actual microorganisms, not so much.

    Talent galore on exhibit.

  78. 78
    blf

    Latvia’s top 4-man bobsleigh team captain’s name translates to ‘blackbeard’.

    So he’ll be sticking lighted candles in his beard and then swinging a cutlass and yelling “Har Har harr!” and “Boarders away!”, flying the Jolly Roger and attacking (boarding) the other bobsleighs?

    I could actually be bothered to pay some attention and watch if he did. Olympic Bobsleigh Piracy. Could work, albeit walking the plank might be a bit tricky…

  79. 79
    rq

    The glow-in-the-dark plants are indeed freaky… When they figure out a gene that lets a plant give off a nice warm yellowy glow, I’ll buy it.

    And the glass sculptures are beautiful, a stunning display of natural geometry. Too bad they’re all evil.

  80. 80
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Esteleth:

    No. I’ll look today.

    I’ve been isolating myself from a lot of things, including e-mail. But I promise to respond – after I clean house.

    That’s a legit excuse, right? Not just social phobia? Housecleaning? Totally not related to social phobia that I feel the need to clean house first, I’m sure.

  81. 81
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Damn. Since I am incapable of writing what I actually mean, and am incapable of actually reading what people have written (sorry, all), I will do the one thing I can do well — joke infliction.

    Quite a number of years ago, the Seattle Symphony was doing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Milton Katims.

    Now at this point, you must understand two things:

    There’s a quite long segment in this symphony where the basses don’t have a thing to do. Not a single note for page after page.

    There used to be a tavern called Dez’s 400, right across the street from the Seattle Opera House, rather favored by local musicians.

    It had been decided that during this performance, once the bass players had played their parts in the opening of the symphony, they were to quietly lay down their instruments and leave the stage, rather than sit on their stools looking and feeling dumb for twenty minutes. Once they got backstage, someone suggested that they trot across the street and quaff a few brews.

    When they got there, a European nobleman recognized that they were musicians, and bought them several rounds of drinks. Two of the bassists passed out, and the rest of the section, not to mention the nobleman, were rather drunk. Finally, one of them looked at his watch and exclaimed, “Look at the time! We’ll be late!”

    The remaining bassists tried in vain to wake up their section mates, but finally those who were still conscious had to give up and run across the street to the Opera House.

    While they were on their way in, the bassist who suggested this excursion in the first place said, “I think we’ll still have enough time–I anticipated that something like this could happen, so I tied a string around the last pages of the score. When he gets down to there, Milton’s going to have to slow the tempo way down while he waves the baton with one hand and fumbles with the string with the other.”

    Sure enough, when they got back to the stage they hadn’t missed their entrance, but one look at their conductor’s face told them they were still in serious trouble. Katims was furious! After all…

    It was the bottom of the Ninth,
    the basses were loaded,
    the score was tied,
    there were two men out,
    and the Count was full.

  82. 82
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    :D :D :D

    I’ve always been a fan of that joke, Oggie.


    So a Catholic priest, an imam, and a rabbi go into a bar.

    The bartender says, “What is this, some kind of joke?”

  83. 83
    rq

    Olympic Bobsleigh Piracy

    should totally be a sport. Where all the action occurs on the track, while careening around those icy corners at 100+ km/h. By comparison, handegg is for weaklings.

  84. 84
    blf

    It occurs to me The Orbit of the Beer should be just before The Orbit of the Pee.

  85. 85
    rq

    Ogvorbis
    That’s a nice one! And it must be a rather large orchestra, to have several basses. ;)
    My favourite is still the one about Beethoven decomposing.

  86. 86
    rq

    blf
    FSM forbid it come right after!!

  87. 87
    palaeodave

    #26 CaitieCat

    That’s an odd coincidence, palaeodave, there weren’t any hummingbirds around when I went out earlier today either.

    It is -15, but still…I am disappoint.

    What do hummingbirds do in the winter, anyway?

    Well it’s around 21ºC during the day here (the most incredibly pleasant environmental disaster I’ve ever experienced – I feel a little guilty about enjoying it so much), so apparently they are still around!

    #38 Great American Satan
    Thanks for the advice. I may have another look around there today. There are a few feeders around so probably my best bet is to sit and watch some of those for a while. Really want to see them in the wild before I fly back to London on Friday!

  88. 88
    palaeodave

    #58 left0ver1under

    Isn’t/Wasn’t it nice living in a country where christians are such a small minority that they keep it to themselves?

    Heh, I wouldn’t know – my parents were missionaries :p

    We lived in Taipei. I went to a Chinese pre-school but then did three years at the very American, very Christian Morrison Academy (Bethany) before we moved back to the UK. I have nothing but fond memories of the school (it really was a very nice, very caring community they built) but going there did mean I had to start out from the far end of creationism before getting to where I am now.

    I miss Taiwan. I was only eight when we left so my memories of it get more faint every year.

  89. 89
    left0ver1under

    Ohio’s assistant AG seems to enjoy the idea of a conscious person suffocating to death in front of others.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=262933145

    Botched execution – Ohio killer takes almost 25 minutes to die from lethal injection

    A condemned man appeared to gasp several times and took an unusually long time to die — more than 20 minutes — in an execution carried out Thursday with a combination of drugs never before tried in the U.S.

    McGuire, 53, made loud snorting noises during one of the longest executions since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999. Nearly 25 minutes passed between the time the lethal drugs began flowing and McGuire was pronounced dead at 10:53 a.m.

    [...]

    What was particularly unusual Thursday was the five minutes or so that McGuire lay motionless on the gurney after the drugs began flowing, followed by a sudden snort and then more than 10 minutes of irregular breathing and gasping. Normally, movement comes at the beginning and is followed by inactivity.

    “Oh, my God,” his daughter, Amber McGuire, said as she watched his final moments.

    [...]

    In pressing for the execution to go ahead, state Assistant Attorney General Thomas Madden had argued that while the U.S. Constitution bans cruel and unusual punishment, “you’re not entitled to a pain-free execution.”

    McGuire “made sounds”? “Not entitled to a pain-free execution”? Charming.

    You’re not supposed to make conscious sounds if you’re allegedly unconscious. It sounds like McGuire might have been awake and aware but paralyzed, not unconscious for the 25 minutes of what he endured. He was a murderer, but that doesn’t justify this. Then again, all state murder of criminals is unjustified.

  90. 90
    blf

    And now for something completely silly, Susan Miller, astrologer to the stars: ‘April’s so scary I’m giving classes on it’:

    There’s nothing the fashion industry likes more than a visionary — which is why they love Susan Miller, America’s most popular astrologer. [A clewless hack at the The Observer] meets her, and is bewitched

    Susan Miller has important news for us. “April’s so scary that I’m giving classes on it,” she says, tracing a series of points on her impossibly complicated astrology chart. “Look, we have a perfect square on 15 April — 15 April! You’ve got Jupiter at 12, and Uranus at 13, and Pluto at 13, and Mars at 16 — but wait! It’s going to get a little bit worse.” She furrows her brow while she studies the chart. “Look at 29 April!” I look. “Some people feel the stock market is—” She pauses for such a long beat that I offer to complete her sentence: “—going to crash?” She shakes her head. “This is even worse — we’ve not had this since the American Revolution.”

    At which point I burst out laughing so hard the rain outside temporarily reversed direction and “fell” upwards. Unfortunately, I didn’t find myself on the moon.

    I didn’t really bother to read the rest of the puff piece since it was rather obvious there wouldn’t be any critical thinking in it. Although a quick glance does suggest that (most of) the commentators aren’t buying any of it, and are quite critical.

  91. 91
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    That makes sense. Enforced pubic depilation is fiendishly awful.

    This is true; I’m not thrilled with attempts at enforcing non-, either, which is what I was referring to.

    See also Azkyroth @2

    Err, not necessarily. >.>

  92. 92
    rowanvt

    It is actually possible to ‘make noise’ and be dead. The nerves continue firing for a while, and can trigger the diaphragm and well…

    For example, when I put my cat Diesel to sleep (carcinomatosis) about 5 minutes after his heart had stopped, he began taking agonal breaths. And after a few of those, began doing a “*gasp* mrooooooooooooooow” that was entirely creepy. But he was completely dead.

    However, the drug combination they used on this man was horrible. Hydromorphone and midazolam are, on their own, actually fairly safe drugs. I can’t imagine the amount needed to OD on them to the point of death. If we used that combination on animals, we’d be accused of cruelty.

  93. 93
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty last weekend. It was actually quite good. Surprisingly, I don’t have quibbles about Ben Stiller’s acting, but some directorial (or editorial) decisions.

  94. 94
    Lynna, OM

    […] In a newly published research paper, this unnamed data junkie explains how he used some stupid simple hacking techniques to build a 420,000-node botnet that helped him draw the most detailed map of the Internet known to man. Not only does it show where people are logging in, it also shows changes in traffic patterns over time with an impressive amount of precision. This is all possible, of course, because the researcher hacked into nearly half a million computers so that he could ping each one, charting the resulting paths in order to make such a complex and detailed map. Along those lines, the project has as much to do with hacking as it does with mapping. […]

    Scroll down to view a short video of internet traffic changing as daylight approaches. Fascinating.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/this-is-most-detailed-picture-internet-ever

  95. 95
    Lynna, OM

    Awsome flyover video of the floodplains of Mars:

    http://www.universetoday.com/108106/fly-over-the-floodplains-of-mars/

  96. 96
    vernonbalbert

    Just saw this about the bakery in Oregon which discriminated against a gay couple: http://www.kval.com/news/local/State-says-Sweet-Cakes-discriminated-against-same-sex-couple-241025901.html

  97. 97
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    VB#96

    Just saw this about the bakery in Oregon which discriminated against a gay couple:

    Old news, discussed here.

  98. 98
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    An article I stumbled upon while reading about Hannan and Dr.V, by a journalist who’s also a decent person. The article talks about a journalist who was writing a difficult story, main source (a willing source, as opposed to Dr. V) of which committed suicide that may or may not have been related to the article.
    http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/gretchen-molannens-legacy-suffering-suicide-and-a-journalists/2154587

  99. 99
    skeptifem

    I would appreciate any help I can get from pharyngulites in holding a birth center accountable for repeated negligence. I started a web petition to try and keep midwifery students from studying at the place. If you need more of the story check out this link:

    http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/midwives-college-of-utah-dishonesty-again/

    if you are down to sign the petition just go here:

    https://www.change.org/petitions/midwives-college-of-utah-revoke-better-birth-s-privilege-as-a-clinical-site-for-midwifery-students#

    I’ve managed to talk the leader of the utah state health and human services comittee into talking with the utah medical association about creating more legislation for utah midwives. We are currently the only state where licensure is voluntary (though lying about being licensed does not result in any actual consequences for midwives). There are some pretty serious problems. I’m doing my all, but sometimes I get burnt out and would appreciate support from anyone willing to spend a minute or two on a petition site. Thanks for everything pharyngulans!

  100. 100
    A. Noyd

    left0ver1under (#58)

    In some ways, the worst are the people who blow up leftover firecrackers on the street for the next three weeks because it’s one at a time, and you never know when it’s coming.

    Yeah, that’s what the fuckers around here do. A loud bang or two every few hours at random, setting off car alarms and startling cats off laps at high speeds. They don’t keep it up for quite so many weeks, but they do the same thing again around the 4th of July. Not pleasant.

  101. 101
    rq

    Thanks for that article, Beatrice. Very much.

  102. 102
    cicely

    rowanvt, congrats on the new job!
    -

    if you are going to insert yogurt into yourself to treat your yeast infection, please do not use Dannon fruit-on-the-bottom. It will end poorly.

    O.o
    -
    *high five* for Nutmeg.
    -

    This does not match up well with the previous spider conversation.

     
    Sorry. Trying for humour.

    rq, I gotta disagree with you. As soon as I read Og‘s post at 50, my mind immediately did the humor-splice with the Spiderbeard.
     
    I *snortled*
    -
    The glow-in-the-dark plants look tailor-made for sci-fi/fantasy flicks.
    -
    Or zombie movies. That’d work, too.
    -

    Glass sculptures of microorganisms:

    Awesome.
    I especially ‘like’ the adenovirus and the T4 bacteriophage.
    The MRSA was a disappointment—such an uninspiring-looking thing to have been such a pain in my ass.
    -

    Olympic Bobsleigh Piracy

    I’d totally watch that.
    :) :)
    -
    rq

    should totally be a sport. Where all the action occurs on the track, while careening around those icy corners at 100+ km/h. By comparison, handegg is for weaklings.

    Indeed! With Color Commentary added in pirate-speak.
    -

  103. 103
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m feeling maudlin. Rereading Fry’s article Only the lonely.

    It’s a lose-lose matter. I don’t want to be alone, but I want to be left alone. Perhaps this is just a form of narcissism, vanity, overdemanding entitlement – give it whatever derogatory term you think it deserves. I don’t know the answer.

    The strange thing is, if you see me in the street and engage in conversation I will probably freeze into polite fear and smile inanely until I can get away to be on my lonely ownsome.

  104. 104
    rq

    cicely

    With Color Commentary added in pirate-speak.

    “Arrrgh. ARRRGH!! Arrrrgh, arrrrrrrgh, aaaaarrrRRRRRGGGGgghhhh…. argh.”
    Yah, that should work well. :D

    (Also, my comment on the mismatch of spider conversations was meant as an indicator of the inherent humour in the situation… My mistake, alas.)

  105. 105
    rq

    As a good night, here’s some romantic music from the ’80s, and some not-so-romantic music from the ’80s (the fashions!).
    And three songs that had great significance for me years ago (and still do, though now for different reasons): The doors are open again tonight, I wait for someone to come, in this darkness meant for one, in this secret living (…) I am powerless as a wizard who has no magic in her heart; and Don’t come with we, I’ll go on alone – Who will accompany me? The moon and the great crooked cart [(= the Big Dipper)]; and Brother, take me back to the wolves, let me howl with you the whole night through, until the morning, when this tired dog will be fed (honestly, it sounds much better in Latvian… ugh, it’s way too late to try to do poetry).

    *maaaaajor hugs* to all my friends here who will feel the impact of some threads currently active on Pharyngula far more deeply than I ever will (in many respects), and I’m so very sorry the world is so shitty in that way, and I wish there was some better way to help. You have all my support. Y’all deserve better than I can give.

  106. 106
    Acolyte of Sagan

    77.

    Lynna, OM

    19 January 2014 at 12:24 pm (UTC -6)Link to this comment

    Glass sculptures of microorganisms:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/kellyoakes/12-beautiful-glass-sculptures-of-things-that-could-kill-you

    That is pure porn to an art glass- and science-lover. I’ve got a fizzy tummy now :-)

  107. 107
    cicely

    Utah is Ending Homelesness by Giving People Homes
    True? Not true? Somewhere in the middle?
    -

  108. 108
    David Marjanović

    Two in the morning is linkdump time.

    Ed Brayton makes fun of the Nazis who tried to take over that town in North Dakota, naming specifically the organizer of this stunt, the former Grand Wizard of the KKK, Tom Metzger. Then Metzger actually shows up in the comments. :-) Claims to be totally left-wing (presumably putting the Socialist in National Socialist). Fun is had, and Metzger hasn’t come back.

    Okra-homa: As the climate warms, Midwest farmers plant Southern crops“. Will Sen. Inhofe find a way to deny that this is happening?

    Comic: President Chris Christie, Day 100“.

    Berlusco”li”ni is coming baaaaack. *epic repeated slow-motion headdesking, with splinters flying all over the place*

    Leaked UN Climate Report Paints Bleak Picture For Humanity“.

  109. 109
    David Marjanović

    It was the bottom of the Ninth,
    the basses were loaded,
    the score was tied,
    there were two men out,

    Please explain. The last two lines sound like team sport, but the first two?

  110. 110
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    DM, it’s baseball: the ninth inning is the last unless the score is tied, the bases loaded is a top scoring position (think free kick from just outside the box, with the defending goalkeeper and three tallest men sent off already), and there are three outs in an inning, which has a top and a bottom (home defense/away offense, followed by home offense/away defense, makes up an inning). So this is potentially the last play of the game (if the home offense scores at all, game is over), in a very tense situation, in baseball. :)

  111. 111
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Please explain. The last two lines sound like team sport, but the first two?

    Baseball lingo. Nine innings is usually a game. Bottom of the ninth is the last at bat for the home team in a regular game, which means the game is tied or they are behind. Bases loaded mean a man on first, second and third bases, making possible many runs to tie/win. Since tied, they only need to advance the man on third home. With two men out, the hitter must make a base via a walk or hit, which will score the winning run, or the game goes into extra innings.

  112. 112
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Also, my favourite long groaner is something I wouldn’t inflict on friends I wanted to keep (it has to do with pink ping pong balls and an untimely death).

    But my second-favourite is probably well-known, about a slightly deaf monkey’s paw, and ends “I SURE DIDN’T ASK FOR A TWELVE-INCH PIANIST!”

  113. 113
    Rob Grigjanis

    Ogvorbis @81 and CaitieCat @112: My fave (and probably the longest I’ve heard) involves mynahs, lions and porpoises, and the quest for immortality.

    With honourable mentions to

    I must have taken Leif off my census
    The thong has ended, but the malady lingers on
    The Koala Tea of Mercy is not strained

  114. 114
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Oh ye gods and fishes, I should have stayed away from the thread about Dr. V.

    I knew it, and it was like one of those horrific accidents people describe, where you can’t look away from the carnage and awfulness.

    Anyone who thinks almost any trans* person wanted to be trans, and not simply to be the gender they know themselves to be, really needs to get their sensory equipment checked, as they need to have a wee peek at the society they’re living in. If I could change only one thing about my life, it wouldn’t be being rich and trans* I’d choose. I’d be poorer than I am, and still prefer to have been a cis girl.

    I not infrequently cry, when I read about trans kids getting to live as themselves from the moment they arrive in school. I can’t even imagine…I believe I could have made the Canadian national women’s team in ice hockey, if I’d have had the opportunity. I know I was as good a defender, and a better goaltender, than the women who played in the 1989 Women’s World Championship. I might well have gotten my PhD, as I’d planned before giving it up as “too much on top of transition”. I’d still be poor, and scrambling for jobs, but I could be Doctor CaitieCat, Ship’s Linguist for the Unemployment Lines.

    Maybe my depression would be treatable, as my mother and sister’s have been, instead of enhanced by Living as Trans. :(

    Feeeeeck. I’m gonna go shoot some things.

    Also, a propos de something else this weekend, a brief open letter to the fictitious players of Fortaleza EC, recently of the Brasiliearao Serie C, now of the Serie B for the start of the 2015 season:

    Gentlemen, we play in dark blue and red jerseys, with blue shorts, and blue socks. It is my considered hope that after the recent debacle against the green-and-yellow-clad lads from Luverdense, you will please take the time to study up on our handy algorithm of Who To Pass To:

    If the player is wearing blue like you are: pass to him.
    If the player is wearing something else, and has no gloves on: do not pass to him.
    If the player is wearing gloves, then please try to recognize our friend and keeper Joao Carlos, and pass only to him, not the more numerous players in the shirts which are, as we mentioned, Not Blue.

    Thank you for your attention to this detail.

    Respectfully,

    Your Exasperated Fictional Manager

  115. 115
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Crap, I think I borfed an extra ‘a’ into that bit of pseudo-Portuguese.

  116. 116
    agnosticbuddha

    I recently came across a paper called “There’s plenty of time for evolution”. I also saw a post about it from 2010 on this blog. I personally accept evolution and so whenever I see something from our good friends at Evolution News and Views, funded by the Discovery Institute, I take it with a healthy dose of skepticism, seeing how pretty much everything they post has been debunked. However, they published a paper in response:

    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2012.4

    The way I found this paper from the DI is because there is a new Christian apologetics group on my campus called Ratio Christi, which endorses the viewpoints of Reasons to Believe and its so-called “Testable Creation Model” which says that we descended from two hominids (can you guess the names?), and they posted it on their fb page. I came across this blog and saw how many skilled skeptics there are and I was wondering if someone would like to see if the paper “Time and Information in Evolution” presents a valid criticism of “There’s plenty of time for evolution” (which I am deeply skeptical of. The criticism of the paper that is)

  117. 117
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    CaitieCat:
    You have all my sympathy.

  118. 118
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Ugh. I appear to have eaten too much, too soon, and given myself a relapse. Spent today feeling like someone’s been shoving a hot, dull rod into my midsection.

  119. 119
    left0ver1under

    CaitieCat (#114) –

    Also, a propos de something else this weekend, a brief open letter to the fictitious players of Fortaleza EC, recently of the Brasiliearao Serie C, now of the Serie B for the start of the 2015 season:

    That reminds me of a cartoon from a British comic I once read. A coach is standing in front of his players. The caption balloon reads:

    After last week’s game, I’d better start at the beginning.

    This is a ball….

  120. 120
    Inaji

    Dalillama, did you get that dramamine? Seriously, get some, and when this happens, take one when you think you’ll be able to keep it down. It helps.

  121. 121
    Inaji

    CaitieCat, many, many, many hugs. That thread has left me a wreck. Don’t go back.

  122. 122
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Dalillama:
    That sounds horribly unpleasant. I hope you’re able to get relief asap.

  123. 123
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Caine
    I haven’t tried dramamine for just the pain, no. I had a few tablets that I took when it was nauseating me too. One problem is that dramamine really knocks me out.

  124. 124
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Is anyone else getting a pop-up from http://www.zedo.com when loading the frontpage?

  125. 125
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    So today is my natal day.

    One hilaribad film, a heaping plate of nachos, and …

    uh

    *vague gesture* some *handwave*

    beers, I am going to bed. I’ll wake up sometime after dawn. I’m 29 now!

  126. 126
    chigau (違う)

    Esteleth
    Happy Orbit Day!
    (youngster)

  127. 127
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Azkyroth

    *headbonks & purrs*

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

    Esteleth,
    happy birthday!

  129. 129
    rq

    Esteleth
    Happy Birthday!
    I’ve been 29 for most of a year now, and it’s not all that bad. :)
    *cake&sparklyconfetti*

    *hugs* for everyone else!

  130. 130
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Happy Birthday Esteleth
    BTW, you can also use yoghurt to make awesome cakes

    +++
    Caitie
    *big hugs* to you and all my other trans* friends here. You shouldn’t have to deal with the current shit in this of all the places

  131. 131
    rq

    A rather over-dramatic trailer for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. I had no idea the Olympics were about conquering nature. I thought it was just sports.

  132. 132
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    They’re about conquering nature when they’ve been put on for an estimated FIFTY billion dollars. At least half of which has gone to corruption, with roads to nowhere, venues built in swamps (literally), rampant ecological devastation because of toothless Russian environmental standards, in the only part of Russia which is subtropical, which is obviously a great place to have the Winter Olympics just like Florida would be. Also, there is no local demand whatsoever for more sports venues – local ones are already empty and costing money for maintenance – especially those built on swamps which run 170 METRES down to bedrock. They’re building stadia on 500 feet of mud.

    By comparison, Salt Lake was about 2 G$, Torino about 4G$, Vancouver 9 G$.

    All put on as a spectacle to reinforce Putin’s desperation for acceptance by the international community as being the manliest of bear-wrestling karate-chopping heads of state, and as not at all a despotic oligarch with Tsar-like levels of corruption and greed, and a zest for repression most unusual (it’s not unusual at all) in ex-KGB officers.

    Sigh. It’s not a good time to be a russophile, these last…few centuries. :(

  133. 133
    rq

    Too bad many heads-of-state will not be visiting this sinkhole of money, alas. Our dear old russophile of a president will be going. It’s probably like the old boys’ club to him.
    My only comfort? The opportunity to grab olympic gold in skeleton (and maybe in 4-man bobsleigh) from the Russians on home turf. They’ve been caught cheating before, and I don’t doubt they’ll have lots of pressure on them during the games themselves, but I think I’ll be assuming a fair fight plus home field advantage on their part. On our part? Wicked skeleton and bobsleigh skills. Yeah!

    I’m also assuming that’s fifty billion not including all the unnamed amounts siphoned off in bribes, skimming, and general greed of the richer participants.

    More than anything, though, I wish the concept of the olympics as Olympics could be revived – a level playing field for all, none of this competing for Most Grandiose New Useless Stadium or Most Lusciously Decorated Opening Ceremony or Most Photoshopped Fireworks Display, just a chance for athletes to come and compete against each other in their chosen discipline.

  134. 134
    rq

    *ahem*
    I promise I will try to read for comprehension, since I see that your fifty includes what I presumed the fifty not to include.
    Apologies.

  135. 135
    carlie

    Happy birthday, Esteleth!

    The Olympics really needs to find a place and stay put. If they want to keep the “touring countries and tourism and all” aspect, they could have a weeklong party just before or just after the Olympic games that takes place in a different country every time, where all the athletes go and maybe, hey, they have workshops for kids to meet athletes and learn some tips from coaches and whatnot?

  136. 136
    rq

    carlie
    If they had a set location on each continent that could be rotated… That would still be better than having each new host country build yet another Olympic village doomed for bankrupcy.
    Or the Olympics could do like the Vatican and create its own State of Athletics.
    Or, better yet, just take over the Vatican.

  137. 137
    bassmike

    I little threadrupt, but thought I’d check in to say that my daughter is once more out of hospital. There will now be follow up appointments to see if there is an underlying issue that has caused her to have pneumonia twice in three months. It was easier in hospital this time round as she avioded needles and therefore didn’t reacquire her aversion to medical staff or having the feet/hands touched. Which is a relief. She made some friends too, which made her visit more bearable. However, it seems like some sort of visit fatigue happens with relatives as there were significantly less visits this time round which rather disappointing. Anyway, she out and that’s the main thing.

    My father is due to be back home today too. Apparently they’re setting up a bed in the lounge for him and will have visits twice a day. Hopefully he can remain comfortable until the end.

    rq you’ve changed your picture, very pretty and seasonal!

  138. 138
    rq

    bassmike
    I’m glad your daughter is out of the hospital, and I hope there’s no serious underlying cause, just bad coincidences / freaky weather / Saturn in misalignment with Jupiter while in conjunction with Mercury.
    I hope you and Wife manage to get some rest and some relief, and some time for yourselves!
    There is definitely a kind of visit-fatigue, I can say from experience as a visitor, which has to do with one-time occurrences/exceptions vs. scheduling regular visits… But at least here are new friends this time!
    Also, glad to hear your father will be home, I just hope his remaining time is as comfortable for him as possible. *hugs*
    re: the picture – Thanks! It’s the globules of ice that formed when we put the first layer of water down for the skating rink.

  139. 139
    birgerjohansson

    “Conquering nature” was a big thing in the Soviet days. Like diverting the water that would have gone to the Aral Sea.

    Lynna, CatieCat
    50 billion USD is the estimated cost of a manned Mars mission. Imagine the prestige Russia could have had for that.

    bassmike, good your daughter is home.

    Giving religious offence: http://www.dilbert.com/2014-01-19/
    Happiest person in the room: http://www.dilbert.com/2014-01-18/
    I knew I had a lot in common with Wally!

    Boosting oxycotin levels: http://www.dilbert.com/2014-01-08/
    and http://www.dilbert.com/2014-01-10/

  140. 140
    rq

    How Shakespeare actually spoke, according to some very good guesses (because even with reading about pronunciations and researching them, I think the final answer still has quite a bit of guesswork involved). Neat!

  141. 141
    opposablethumbs

    Happy happy orbit-day to Esteleth!.

    And I’m glad to read your better news, bassmike. Hope your daughter’s vulnerability to pneumonia (if there is anything underlying, I mean) can be dealt with well, so she doesn’t have to go through any more such horrible times (and you parents too!). And I hope your dad is comfortable, and that the family copes as well as something like this can be coped with.

    I think I’ve missed quite a lot of things generally, what with my visitor taking up lots of attention, so my very best hugs to all who need and/or would care for one.

  142. 142
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Proof of chimps’ intelligence. I can’t confirm the truth of this story, but it’s pretty fucking cool and uplifting :)

  143. 143
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Yes, on this day in 1985, my mother was obliged to drive 30 miles in the midst of an ice storm when it was -20 Fahrenheit in order to have me removed from her uterus.

    She reminded me of this fact about an hour ago.

  144. 144
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    rq,

    If they had a set location on each continent that could be rotated…

    I like that idea. Although, two stadiums, one for winter one for summer games could be enough.

  145. 145
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Was this in Escherville, Esteleth, and maybe uphill both directions?

    :)

    Happy to hear you’re starting your 30th trip sort of around-the-Sun-ish*! I hope it is warm and wonderful as much as it’s supposed to be, and not more, and that your year’s studies go exceedingly well. May you get as many more as you want, nor more nor less, and may each be better than the last. I offer Internet hugs. :)

    My mother still occasionally says “33 hours. In August.” It wasn’t until the Internet came along that I found out that her claims about it having been a very hot summer in 1966 were…somewhat exaggerated. In fact, it was a cold, miserable summer. I have, however, long thought that it was in part my (younger) sister’s four-hour labour/birth total that made my mother like her so much better. ;)

    * I mean, it’s complicated, with the motion around the galaxy, and of the galaxy, and the general stretching-out of the universe and stuff. But for the sake of convenience, YAY! 29 ORBITS DOWN! Sometimes I’m way better at that getting-along stuff in my footnotes. There’s probably a rich vein of psychotherapy available under that marker, but I’m going to close this down without lifting a pick.

  146. 146
    blf

    Ed Brayton makes fun of the Nazis who tried to take over that town in North Dakota, naming specifically the organizer of this stunt, the former Grand Wizard of the KKK, Tom Metzger. Then Metzger actually shows up in the comments. :-) Claims to be totally left-wing (presumably putting the Socialist in National Socialist). Fun is had, and Metzger hasn’t come back.

    Metzger has since returned a few times, albeit there are some doubts it really is (or was) him.

  147. 147
    Lynna, OM

    Good news from North Carolina. So much bad news has come from that state in the last two years that it is a relief to see someone batting the bad news down for a change. http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/17/3542149/federal-judge-strikes-down-ncs.html

    A federal court judge on Friday struck down North Carolina’s controversial law requiring women seeking abortions to be shown an ultrasound image while a doctor describes the images.

    U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles ruled that provision of the 2011 law was an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment rights because it imposes state-mandated speech on medical professionals.

    “It is an impermissible attempt to compel these providers to deliver the state’s message in favor of childbirth and against abortion,” the judge wrote.

  148. 148
    Lynna, OM

    Oh, dear, Montana’s racist, bigoted, misogynistic U.S. District Chief Judge Richard Cebull got caught slinging bullshit via email.

    A former Montana judge who was investigated for forwarding a racist email involving President Barack Obama sent hundreds of other inappropriate messages from his federal email account, according to the findings of a judicial review panel released Friday.

    Former U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull sent emails to personal and professional contacts that showed disdain for blacks, Indians, Hispanics, women, certain religious faiths, liberal political leaders, and some emails contained inappropriate jokes about sexual orientation, the Judicial Council of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found.

    Many of the emails also related to pending issues that could have come before Cebull’s court, such as immigration, gun control, civil rights, health care and environmental issues, the council found in its March 15, 2013, order.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/54104712/ns/us_news/t/federal-judge-sent-hundreds-bigoted-emails/#.Ut1fKP0QGso

  149. 149
    blf

    How Shakespeare actually spoke&ellip;

    One line of evidence they didn’t explicitly mention was bad spellers, who tend to spell phonetically. They did mention spelling but also claimed that, at the time, the spelling (in English) was more phonetic than it is now. It may have been, but spelling was also much more variable then it is now, albeit perhaps when combined with the “more phonetic then” claim, that might just be an indication of the rapid change in pronunciation known to having been occurring at the time. That probably isn’t the full story, since, as one example, Shakespeare spelled his own name differently in each(?) of the six known surviving signatures (none of which is “Shakespeare” !) — and it seems unlikely he would have changed his own (preferred?) pronunciation of his name so many times.

  150. 150
    Lynna, OM

    The drought in California is worse, far worse than I thought.
    http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/01/california-drought-scary-facts-snowpack

    […] the City of San Francisco has received only 2.12 inches of water so far in this water year. The driest water year on record was from 1850-1851, at 7.42 inches. So as of now, San Francisco is below half of the all-time record low. […]

  151. 151
    blf

    If they had a set location on each continent that could be rotated…

    I prefer the continents where they are, and in the orientation they are in, and moving slowly, thank you. Rearranging the surface of the planet every few years to sell more athletic shoes and drugs is not at all reasonable.

  152. 152
    blf

    Rosetta has woken up! No sign of the mildly deranged penguin.

    But a possible clew, The great goat’s cheese shortage of 2014: “Why are supplies of chèvre running so low…”

  153. 153
    Lynna, OM

    This is good news for U.S. citizens who need to sign up for healthcare on healthcare.gov:

    Nearly three months after its launch, HealthCare.gov underwent end-to-end security testing and passed with flying colors, the top cybersecurity official overseeing the website told Congress [Thursday].

    Teresa Fryer, the chief information security officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the House Oversight Committee that results from the tests have alleviated her earlier concerns about risks of cyberattacks and theft of consumers’ personal information.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/01/healthcare-gov-passes-critical-security-tests/

  154. 154
    rq

    blf
    I for one would be glad to put the MDP’s massive amounts of energy to good use in the sub-tectonic rotation of the continents. Besides, I’d love to see what a sunrise from the other direction would look like.

  155. 155
    rq

    Attn: Londoners (UK version)!!!
    Friend of a Friend has unexpectedly shown up at Friend’s place in London in rather poor shape (drugs, homeless, general poor condition, etc.) and Friend is herself at rather short ends and is unable to offer full support, and from what I understand transportation is a bit of an issue. She would like FoaF to get some professional help, or at least point her in a more materially supportive direction – any suggestions / recommendations / numbers? Please email me at taarpinsh at hotmail dot com.

  156. 156
    carlie

    Rosetta has woken up!

    That made me think of the stone, which made me think of 2001, and that oh no, now we’re in for it.

  157. 157
    Lynna, OM

    This is bad news indeed. The Koch brothers, masters of deceptive advertising, are already gearing up for massive ad campaigns designed to elect Republicans and Tea Partiers in 2014.

    AFP [Americans for Prosperity, the Koch funded group] has spent a whopping $22 million on TV ads so far this election, part of a multistate campaign that uses Obamacare’s troubled rollout to attack vulnerable Democrats. AFP’s barrage has knocked several incumbents off-balance just as their reelection campaigns begin—especially senators representing Republican-leaning states. Their early efforts have helped send Democratic senators’ approval ratings plumetting in the states where they’ve spent big bucks. […]

    “Democrats need money at this early stage in order to fight back against the limitless spending from the Kochs,” Guy Cecil, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s executive director told The New York Times on Wednesday.

    […] by one measure, AFP has bought almost as much airtime as every other outside group combined.[…]

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/koch-brothers-are-outspending-everyone-for-a-gop-senate-takeover-20140116

  158. 158
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    My birthday present for myself was to finally replace my keyboard. The one I had was (1) ten years old (2) extremely loud and (3) barely functional.

    So! A new keyboard has been obtained and plugged in.

    It is very quiet. I can barely hear myself type.

    It is clean. It’s actually white! Just like the Apple engineers intended!

    But something boggled my mind.

    If there’s any little thing that has always bugged me about Apple products, it is how short the cables on their cabled products are.

    So when I unpacked the keyboard, I noted the shortness of the cable and shrugged.

    And then I saw it, nestled in the box, neatly coiled, shining white.

    A USB extension cord.

    !!!

  159. 159
    gworroll

    Esteleth- I’ve recently replaced my keyboard as well. Main reason for delay was it’s a MacBook, and I had a USB keyboard anyways and a tablet if I needed something on the go…

    It was an enormous pain. Why couldn’t they have stayed with the Pismo keyboard design, which could be replaced without tools?

  160. 160
    Lynna, OM

    Esteleth, congrats on the new keyboard. Sometimes a new bit of technology can be a happy-making thing. I recently replaced a 15-year-old keyboard with a too-spiffy-to-be-believed wireless Apple keyboard. I have to replace the batteries once in a great while, but the design of the keyboard and the fact that it is wireless make it just awesome to use.

    I also have a wireless, oversized track pad that my tech-savvy son gave me as a gift. It too has the unbeatable Apple design features, and it is much easier to use than a mouse — has more features too, that is, it responds to all kinds of gestures. Love both the new keyboard and track pad, and these two pieces actually increase my productivity.

  161. 161
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    bassmike – I’m very happy to hear your daughter and your father are out of hospital. Good luck to you all going forward. *hugs*

    cicely – *pouncehug*

    Campaign dying from Gamemaster Apathy.
    *sigh*
    I like my character….

    :( :( :(

    Giliell – Happy (Belated) Birthday! I hope everyone at your house is feeling better. *sterile hugs*

    JAL – I wish I could do something to help. *many hugs*

    A. Noyd:

    A cat that looks like the soot balls from My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away.

    ♥ =^_^=

    Crudely Wrott – *pouncehug* I will always wish you well. I will most definitely hold your hand and provide whatever courage I can. I have no doubt that I will be proud of you. Your friendship is one I treasure.

    Portia – *pouncehug* Congratulations on your victory!

    Ogvorbis – Others have already said this much better than I, but no one can fight every battle. We all have moments when we wish we said something but did not. *hugs* Also, Happy (Belated) Birthday!

    rowanvt – Congratulations on your new job!

    CaitieCat – *many hugs*

    Esteleth – Happy Birthday!

    A USB extension cord.

    An excellent addition to your birthday present.

    rq – *pouncehug*

  162. 162
    David Marjanović

    GeekMelange (formerly thepint)! *pouncehug* So happy to see you here again!!! :-)

    Hekuni Cat! *bouncy pouncehugs* =^_^=

    *restocks hug truck*

    Esteleth, have fun! :-)

    Pika pika! Pikachuuuuuuuu!!!

    Obama, Melville and the Tea Party“.

  163. 163
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Esteleth:
    Happy birthday!
    I’ll do a Shoopy dance in your honor :)

    ****

    A coworker told me that he and his wife were once looking for televisions (Vizio brand, IIRC) in colors other than black. He mentioned finding a white one several years ago, but it was refurbished and they wanted a brand new one. His comments made me realize that I’ve rarely seen a television that’s *not* black. Anyone have a clue why tv’s aren’t typically found in other colors?

  164. 164
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    bassmike:
    Glad your daughter is doing better. Hopefully her doctors will figure out if there is an underlying problem and what it is.
    Good to hear your father is released as well.

  165. 165
  166. 166
  167. 167
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Sorry, should have done this within the last comment.

    For the link averse, a quote from the article and a helpful interpretation:

    “Far from being the barbarians so vividly described by ancient Greeks and Romans, the early Scandinavians, northern inhabitants of so-called Proxima Thule, emerge with this new evidence as a people with an innovative flair for using available natural products in the making of distinctive fermented beverages,”

    Shorter archaeologist:

    Far from being barbarians, the residents of northern Europe known elsewhere for their weapons and raiding would, when at home, use practically any plant in an attempt to get drunk.

  168. 168
    opposablethumbs

    rq, email sent. Just a few links and a phone number for Shelter – I’m afraid I have no personal knowledge :-(
    hope they can at least point in the right direction …

    wishing your friend and FoaF good luck.

  169. 169
    cicely

    *gentle hugs* and sympathy for Dalillama.
    -
    Happy birthday, Esteleth!
    *cake (with or without candles) & ice cream*
    -
    *pouncehug* for Hekuni Cat
    :( :( :( indeed.
     
    When am I ever again going to be likely to have a character for whom such arcane technobabble as:
     
    “It manipulates the quantum foam, creating transient interdimensional interfaces and overlaps, in an area-of-effect restricted as per the description of the Burst power (page 110 of the pdf). The discrepancies at the created interface/overlap adversely affect chemical interactions and ion transport through permeable and semi-permeable membranes, causing ruptures at the cellular level.”
     
    can legitimately be used in describing a proposed Device?
    *extra sighs*
    -
    *pouncehug* for David.
    -

  170. 170
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’ve found that FF 26.0 for Mac is one pile of crap, hanging when open for a while I lurk here, and when I closed, it requires a forced close to actually close. Anybody else seeing this?

  171. 171
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Trigger Warning:

    A 16-year-old boy in Philadelphia was hospitalized after a stop-and-frisk encounter with police led to a brutal sexual assault by police.

    Darrin Manning, a black, straight-A student and star basketball player, was walking with his coach and teammates to basketball practice when they were stopped by three white police officers. The officer’s admitted reason for stopping the group was that they were wearing scarves to cover their faces–on one of the coldest evenings ever recorded in Philadelphia.

    http://www.alternet.org/philadelphia-teen-sexually-assaulted-during-stop-and-frisk-0

    Additional (and horrifying) information:

    Darrin Manning is still having trouble walking a week later. He suffered a serious injuries to his genitals. He claims his injuries came at the hands of a Philadelphia police officer during a recent arrest.

    “I think that was wrong, it was going overboard,” Manning said.

    Manning, a sophomore at Mathematics, Civics and Charter School, had just got off the subway with a dozen teammates in uniform on their way to play a high school basketball game.

    He says the group was confronted by police at Broad Street and Girard Avenue. Exactly why the students were stopped and questioned remains unclear, but Manning says he was put in handcuffs. He then says during a pat down a female officer squeezed his genitals so hard-it ruptured his testicle.

    “She patted me down again, and then I felt her reach, and she grabbed my butt. And then she grabbed and squeezed again and pulled down. And that’s when I heard something pop, like I felt it pop,” Manning said

    http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/24439892/hs-student-says-he-suffers-serious-injuries-after-recent-arrest

    That’s horrible.
    Another tragedy the supporters of Stop and Frisk must answer for.

  172. 172
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Eep! That cake is going to catch fire, with that many candles on it!

    *fetches fire extinguisher*

    *passes out cake to everyone*

  173. 173
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    A. Noyd @19:
    Thank you for that ‘strong female characters’ link.
    I agree completely with Ms McDougall.
    I really liked her closing lines:

    I want her to be free to express herself

    I want her to have meaningful, emotional relationships with other women

    I want her to be weak sometimes

    I want her to be strong in a way that isn’t about physical dominance or power

    I want her to cry if she feels like crying

    I want her to ask for help

    I want her to be who she is

    Write a Strong Female Character?

    No.

  174. 174
    Dhorvath, OM

    Tony,
    Black looks smaller in many environments which when combined with viewing screens increasing footprint pretty much guarantees the colour shift is to darker cabinets.

  175. 175
    Dhorvath, OM

    I must admit to a love for certain styles of keyboard. My current usual input device is not one such. Also, wireless mice are an abomination, gimme something light.

  176. 176
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    I actually have a grey TV. Of the last five I’ve owned, two have been grey, one was wood (an old console CRT we’d bought cheap about fifteen years ago), and the other two black.

    Of the grey ones, one is my current PS3/DVD screen, a lovely HD I got for about 1/3 the price, when a friend moved in with his new boyfriend; the other was my bedroom TV from back in university, a little 16-inch CRT with nice stereo speakers. The Ex-Cellent took that one, before it eventually died.

    My coolest TV? I have a 28-inch CRT, a Hitachi, that I bought in my second year of university, meaning it is now 25 years old, and still works perfectly – it’s my bedroom TV now. I bought it back then because I was jazzed about the idea of having a stereo-equipped TV, as I’d never had stereo TV before that.

  177. 177
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    On another note, having now player a week or so’s worth of NCAA Handegg on the PS3, the main annoyance I have with gridiron football is the whole “running down the clock” thing. The idea that not playing is not only a reasonable strategy, but a fairly important part of securing a close win, just seems bizarre to me. It’s one of the two reasons I don’t enjoy basketball, the whole timeout/intentional foul/fiddling with the clock stuff (the other is that there are just too many McGuffin-in-scorehole moments for my taste – I prefer the football/hockey range of 3 to 10 scores a game, rather than the basketball 2 to 3 scores a minute). And it seems to be an important part of the USan handegg game, and it’s irritating as hell. Even if I’m winning, I’d rather play the game and lose, than win by not playing.

    Also, the only playing one side of the ball thing is frustrating. I’m used to playing/enjoying football or ice hockey, where all players (keepers excepted) are part of both offence and defence. Especially in the game I’ve been playing, where my young college athlete is now in his third year as starting Milb for Navy, and our offence has a very stable pattern of play (stable: 1st down, 2nd down, 3rd down, punt, every time like clockwork). I want to do mean things to our quarterback for his general uselessness, or buy him a first down for Christmas, on the principle that it’s nice for people to have as gifts something they can’t seem to earn on their own.

  178. 178
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I’m seriously concerned that I’m going to have to drop one of my classes. I was most of a week late getting started b/c of my pancreas, the copy of the textbook I ordered still hasn’t arrived and I don’t know when it will, and I seriously don’t know if I’ll be able to catch up at this point. Many topics I’d be inclined to bull through anyway, but learning C++ isn’t one. I’m having trouble already, and this relapse isn’t fucking helping. Tech writing, fine, I can handle that, and I’ve got some Python already to the Python course I can pull, but I don’t know if I can manage this one too, in my current state.

  179. 179
    carlie

    Dalillama – I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s better to drop a class early, if the total is too much, than to keep it and let it tank all of your classes. Your GPA will thank you later, and as long as it’s a regular offering, that class isn’t going anywhere. It will be there later for you.

  180. 180
    Dhorvath, OM

    Knowledge isn’t gonna disappear. Learn well what you can, leave the rest for later.

  181. 181
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Indeed. It’s going to be available again next term I’m pretty sure, and I can take it then. I’m also in the last week I can drop and not have it show up on my GPA, so now’s the time to decide. It just aggravates me to do it, because I hate not following through on things.

  182. 182
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I never knew how financially costly it was to have children:

    Women giving birth in the United States without experiencing any medical complications can be charged anywhere between $3,296 and $37,227, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco. And the dramatically different pricing at different hospitals doesn’t lend itself to any kind of logic.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/01/16/3172671/giving-birth-cost-varies/

  183. 183
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    err, more accurately, that should be “I never realized how financially costly it was to give birth.”

  184. 184
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I’m also in the last week I can drop and not have it show up on my GPA, so now’s the time to decide. It just aggravates me to do it, because I hate not following through on things.

    Dealing appropriately with the fact that taking it will be an up-cliff battle at this point and you have others to fight IS following through.

  185. 185
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    DeAngelo Hall, the Pro Bowl defensive back who has played football in Washington for the last five and a half seasons, thinks the controversy around the name of Washington’s football will eventually cause it to change.

    “I think eventually they will change it,” Hall said during a Thursday morning appearance on Fox Sports radio show “Keepin’ it Real with Mike Hill,” according to the Washington Post.

    More than that, Hall thinks the team should change the name.

    [...]

    What makes Hall’s position against the name significant, though, is that he’s the first member of the franchise (though he’s a free agent this offseason, so it’s possible he won’t return next year) to say outright that the name should be changed.

    http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2014/01/16/3173801/washington-football-player-says-washington-football-team-probably-change/

  186. 186
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Also: Tony: can you suggest a substitute for creme de cacao (dark) in mixed drinks that is likely to be more available and/or cheaper?

  187. 187
  188. 188
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Eh, I was wrong, last week was the last one, but at least it’s showing as a W (Withdraw), not an I (Incomplete).

  189. 189
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Azkyroth:
    Most of the brands of Creme de Cacao I’m familiar with (Mr Boston, Llords, Newport, DeKuyper) are pretty affordable. Depending on how you define ‘affordable’, the prices range from $6-$12/bottle. As for availability, I think that’s largely a regional thing. The liquor stores I’ve gone to (here in Pensacola) have several of those brands, but that could be different where you live.

  190. 190
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Azkyroth:
    I forgot to mention-I’m not familiar with any substitute for Creme de Cacao (Godiva is a substitute, but it’s more expensive, rather than less).

  191. 191
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Around $7 a bottle here, only comes in 750mL, I’m most of the way through my third, and BevMo restocks them infrequently. >.>

    Also, I assume the sugar content is fairly terrifying.

  192. 192
    A. Noyd

    Tony (#182)

    I never knew how financially costly it was to have children:

    You might appreciate this video. It’s not about giving birth, but health care costs in general. Does a good job of pointing out the absurdity.

  193. 193
    A. Noyd

    Also: If anyone was ever in doubt that toxic masculinity is a thing… (Or doubted the link between misogyny and products to wash out your vagina.)

    (Sorry if that’s been linked before.)

  194. 194
    carlie

    It just aggravates me to do it, because I hate not following through on things.

    It’s not giving up, it’s strategizing. There’s no rule that says you have to march through with a certain number of classes every semester in a row in exactly the right way to get your degree. People juggle class schedules and obligations and priorities all the time to make it work best for them. I’d say the only thing to wrap up is to contact the department and make sure that it will be offered again in the near enough future that it will do you some good, and then that’s it. If you overextend yourself, you won’t get the maximum value out of your other classes and you’ll be miserable.

  195. 195
    carlie

    Here’s a good resource to keep at hand: False rape accusations in UK at .6%

  196. 196
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi there
    Kids are finally better again. Still kept #1 home today because now we need to feed her. I think she needs a diet of donuts and cookies, becasue seriously, you can see her ribs through the t-shirt.

    bassmike
    Glad your daughter is back home

    Hekuni Cat *pouncehug*

    Dalillama
    I learned that enough is enough. Because you need to pick your battles in college, too.
    *hugs*

  197. 197
    ImaginesABeach

    A friend elsewhere said this to me today: “When I first got ill, these five people by dint of their sheer decency,(brownian, ogvorbis ) human fallibility and intelligence, (John Morales) Humour and vulnerability (Louis) and fight (Caine) were able to distract me from my obsession with my own problems. I was very sick. After all this time I will probably never have an opportunity to say so personally but if you get the chance tell Ogvorbis “thanks”.

    If you see any of these people around and they don’t make it into the Lounge, please direct them here to know they have made a difference for someone.

  198. 198
    birgerjohansson

    Arctic warmth unprecedented in 44,000 years, reveals ancient moss http://phys.org/news/2014-01-arctic-warmth-unprecedented-years-reveals.html

  199. 199
    Pteryxx

    at Tor: Post-Binary Gender in SF: An Introduction

    People who do not fit comfortably into the gender binary exist in our present, have existed in our past, and will exist in our futures. So too do people who are binary-gendered but are often ignored, such as trans* people who identify as binary-gendered. I am not interested in discussions about the existence of these gender identities: we might as well discuss the existence of women or men. Gender complexity exists. SF that presents a rigid, unquestioned gender binary is false and absurd.

    I intend to use this column to examine post-binary SF texts, both positively and critically, as well as for discussions of points surrounding this subject.

    And I intend to use this column to go beyond Ursula K Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.

  200. 200
    Louis

    ImaginesABeach,

    Thanks very much for that. I have rampaging man flu at the moment, so I’ll make some stupid joke later! Just pretend I made a good one for now. ;-)

    Louis

  201. 201
    opposablethumbs

    I had not come across the black triangle campaign before. Just got shown this very useful graphic on their site – showing how benefit fraud in the uk pales into utter insignificance compared with unclaimed benefits – not to mention tax fraud. Bastards.

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/?attachment_id=97189

  202. 202
    ImaginesABeach

    Demonstrating some of that vulnerability now, and humour later, eh Louis?

  203. 203
    rq

    man flu

    ?

    *hugs* for everyone who wants, esp. Dalillama, and basically I just second what everyone else said re: dropping a course while you’re ahead. Good luck with the rest of the semester!!

    Work seminar today, so I got to ‘work’ during regular hours. Spent most of the day wondering what stuffing has to do with current problems in crime scene investigation and the quality thereof… Until I made the connection to HR and realized the man was talking about staffing. Well, at least I had images of turkeys and bell peppers to keep me awake all day… (Best phrase: “the stuffing of the van”.)

    Thank you, opposablethumbs, for the info – the very least I can do is pass it on!!

  204. 204
    rq

    … And I just have to laugh when I get sent a document for translation with the title “StatAnalRez”. Cue immature giggling.

  205. 205
    Lynna, OM

    rq @204, I once edited a document for some arabic-speaking doctors who wrote that they “wanted to improve suicide rates.” Now, you know what they meant, but really. Maybe they were planning to ship guns into the area? One gun per depressed person?

    Not funny in the big picture, but black humor for editors.

  206. 206
    Pteryxx

    viaDon’t Stir Things Up Too Much On King Day, Black Folks

    Everybody wants to hear somebody black offer a stirring rendition of black life. These days, many folks want to set limits on just how stirring the black speakers are permitted to be. In a particularly egregious example , University of Pennsylvania professor and poet Herman Beavers was invited and then disinvited to give a lecture on Martin Luther King at Moorestown High School in New Jersey. With Herman’s permission I have taken a screenshot of his Facebook posts because the behavior of Moorestown High School administration needs to be exposed.

    I transcribed the screenshots; here’s the text.

    Herman Beavers
    8 hours ago

    I’ve been asked to deliver a speech on MLK at Moorestown High tomorrow, where the history teacher who invited me asked me to “discuss more polarizing events like the Trayvon Martin case” after the speech in a private discussion with student leaders rather than the entire school. What was even more disturbing was the young black woman who said–without one bit of irony–that she and her teachers would be very upset if I “ruffled any feathers” by “making anyone feel they were being singled out for blame or made uncomfortable” by discussing the post-March on Washington King. Have they even read Civil Rights history? Did I miss the part of “Eyes on the Prize” where the Selma police had that big sign “We Welcome Martin Luther King to Our City” waiting when the marchers reached the end of the Pettis bridge? Was the Birmingham Fire Department spraying folks with fire hoses to keep them cool on a hot day?

    Herman Beavers
    about an hour ago via mobile

    I’m back at home after receiving a call from the history teacher and the Vice Principal–while I’m in my car driving to Moorestown High–in which she began by saying, “We are very nervous about your talk.”

    After a few minutes of back and forth, the Vice Principal (who identified himself as an African American) got on the phone and said that while he respected my position, he felt that the assembly was meant as an occasion for students to see that Ghandi, King, and Nelson Mandela were significant because they operated out of a philosophy of love, and that we’ve reached the point where we are today (where is that exactly?) because of that message. And then he disinvited me from coming to give the talk. I’m pinching myself to see if this is a bad dream. We’re in deeper trouble than I thought.

  207. 207
    Pteryxx

    that should be *via Brittney Cooper at Salon

  208. 208
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Whoa…mind blown.

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has killed tens of millions of people worldwide, and over 30 million people are currently living with HIV. The number of copies of the virus carried in someone’s blood can vary dramatically, but across all the people in the world, there probably exists about a spoonful worth of HIV.

    (my emphasis)

  209. 209
    blf
    Rosetta has woken up!

    That made me think of the stone, which made me think of 2001, and that oh no, now we’re in for it.

    Huh ?

    (This has been your pithy and intelligent comment. We now return to normal service. Horses and peas shall leave immediately.)

  210. 210
    rq

    Lynna
    :D Sometimes it’s just so clear why they hire someone to do their translating for them…

    +++

    This was rather interesting, on polite speech habits. Something to think about the next time I want to begin a sentence.

    Soon it’ll be a diet show-down – we’ve all heard the benefits of Mediterranean eating, but here’s some news on eating like a Viking, a.k.a. the Nordic diet. :) At least it’s more advanced than caveman food.

    WARNING: CUTE. Remember all that talk about octopoda or raccoons taking over the world? Well, forget about it! Porcupines, all the way – they’ve even got built-in armour for self-preservation. I’m not sure what was being said, but I’m convinced “world domination” were the words coming out of that animal’s mouth. Also, I did not know they had hands!!!

  211. 211
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    blf 209

    The Rosetta spacecraft waking up made carlie think of the Rosetta Stone waking up, which in turn spawned the thought for the black monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, a stone which woke up, the awakening of which had significant consequences.

    Pteryxx 206
    Facepalm

    All,
    Thanks again for your ongoing support.

  212. 212
    blf

    Ah! I thought “2001″ referred to the orbit, and hence wondered if there was some turn-of-the-millennium-ish woo about the Rosetta Stone going on a rampage.

    (Hum, that rather sounds like a potential Doctor Who story…)

  213. 213
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Lynna, 205:

    That’s nothing. In the US and canada we have “Domestic Violence Shelters” and “Sexual Violence Hotlines” all over.

    I didn’t really think that we needed to act to preserve DV, but there you go.

  214. 214
    Lynna, OM

    Missouri legislators passed some crazy pro-gun, anti-federal government laws before. The Governor of that state vetoed the unconstitutional laws, but far-right Missouri legislators are not deterred. They are trying again.

    A Missouri Senate panel is taking up legislation that would send federal agents to jail for enforcing federal gun control laws in the state.

    The measure being heard by the Senate General Laws Committee on Tuesday would declare certain federal gun control policies “null and void.” Agents enforcing them could spend a year in jail, be fined up to $1,000 and face other civil penalties. [Kansas City Star link.]

    Even in an era of Republican radicalism, this is just nuts.

    This new proposal isn’t identical to the one Nixon vetoed in July, but it’s no less offensive. It would declare federal laws that “tax firearms and create a chilling effect on gun ownership, require registering or tracking of firearms or forbid the use of guns by law-abiding citizens” to be null and void in the state of Missouri.

    It would be up to Missouri to decide whether federal gun laws are acceptable. If federal officials enter Missouri to enforce federal laws that Missouri doesn’t like, they would have to be accompanied by a county sheriff when executing a warrant – or face criminal charges themselves.

    To be clear, this is not in a legal gray area. This isn’t a judgment call. It’s not a question that could go either way if tested in the courts. Rather, the question of whether states can reject federal laws they don’t like was decided in the middle of the 19th century – and it was a dispute the nullification crowd lost. [Maddow Blog link.]

    Crip Dyke @213, LOL, never thought of it that way before. Yep, as rq noted, translators and editors are needed.

  215. 215
    Nick Gotts

    blf@149,

    Before movable type printing, idiosnycratic and variable but more-or-less phonetic spelling was the rule. Shakespeare was writing around a century after printing reached England, when the process of standardising spelling hadn’t yet completed.

  216. 216
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Before movable type printing, idiosnycratic and variable but more-or-less phonetic spelling was the rule.

    Huh. Woundre what haeppaende.

  217. 217
    rq

    Canadian polar research after facility shutdown.

    As for me, I’d be quite happy to revert to non-standardized spelling. I could go back to my old Latvian-style phonetic spelling of everything. :)

  218. 218
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I prefer fonetic speling az wel.

  219. 219
  220. 220
    Louis

    ImaginesABeach, #202,

    I don’t really see myself as vulnerable especially, but I’ll take what I can get! ;-) Especially given the current state of my immune system which does seem set to “dribble”. Unpleasant. But luckily for y’all I have photos, videos, samples and scratch and sniff cards….

    ….where’d everybody go?

    Louis

    P.S. rq, #203, “man flu” is a British joke term for the kind of self pitying indolence and idleness that is occasionally demonstrated by some men when they have a slight cold. In all seriousness I’m sick as a dog, I don’t have “man flu” I’ve got proper flu. Which is vastly less amusing, and doesn’t merely exist as an excuse to bunk off work for a couple of days, not shower, play computer games and get waited on hand foot and finger.

  221. 221
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Cerberus:
    I’m not playing in a couple of threads, b/c reasons. But I’m cheating a bit and dropping a note to you here.

    If we’re asking who is the closest to being the trans* Ellen, the answer is obvious: Ru Paul.

    If we’re asking who is the closest to being the transsexual Ellen, your answers are more accurate.

  222. 222
    rq

    Louis
    Ew! Well, man flu or not, get well soon!

  223. 223
    dianne

    @Louis: I hear you, brother! I’ve got a viral URI, NOS but possibly influenza slightly attenuated by a not very effective flu shot, and it’s the crap. Especially with the polar vortex making a visit this week…

  224. 224
    rq

    dianne
    You, too!

  225. 225
    Anthony K

    Thanks, ImaginesABeach! That’s nice to hear, and I hope the person who made the comment is doing well.

  226. 226
  227. 227
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Dianne, Louis
    Sympathies. I’ve now officially stumped the doctors at the clinic, so I’ve got an appointment Thursday with a gastroenterologist, who might have more ideas.

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

    And lo, on the fifth (yes, fifth) day of classes, there was an exam.

    I took it!

    And I got an 87% on it. Not the best, but not dreadful.

  229. 229
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Dalillama:
    Has your problem worsened, diminished, or does it come and go (crosses fingers and hopes for diminished)?

    ****

    A question for fanpeople (it may not have a “true” answer):
    I remember very few of my dreams. Usually I’ll wake up with the last vestiges of a dream fading from memory. Occasionally I will remember a dream, but even then, the details are blurry. One of the longest recurring dreams I can remember is flying, unaided, ala Superman. There’s no rhyme or reason to my flying dreams. I usually fly around the world, exploring various locales. Sometimes I’m flying underwater to undersea kingdoms.
    But I’ve been thinking a bit more about flying.
    My biggest question: How do characters know how to get where they’re going?
    Take Thor, for instance. If he’s in NYC and travelling to Los Angeles…how does he know how to get there? Did he have to study world geography? Does he have some tech to assist him? Iron Man has a built in explanation, what with the technology at his control. Tony Stark is just the kind of person to have the most sophisticated GPS in the world.
    But people like Thor, Wonder Woman, or Superman…how do they figure out the path to get from Point A to Point B?

    An extension of this question relates to speedsters. In the comics, the Flash is considered the fastest man alive, able to reach speeds exceeding 186,000 miles per second (yeah, I know. Remember: comics). Doesn’t mean he knows how to get from the US to South Africa.

    Such a question may have no answer, bc I think it’s part of the suspension of disbelief package. Surely others have thought about this, and I’d love to hear the thoughts of those who have.

  230. 230
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Esteleth:
    Congrats on the test score!

  231. 231
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Esteleth
    Congrats!

    Tony
    It was diminishing, until I started eating again, whereupon it got worse, although not quite as bad as initially. The clinic is stumped, that’s why I’ve an appointment with a specialist Thursday.

    Regarding the second question, Thor has probably got some type of divine sense that tells him where he is and where he’s going, Wonder Woman presumably has navigational equipment in her invisible plane (although the versions that fly independently don’t have this benefit). The others navigate by handwavium, basically, although I wouldn’t put it past Superman to have got a magnetic sense like some migratory birds.

  232. 232
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Dalillama:
    Handwavium? I like it.

    ****

    Sometimes comments are very much worth reading. In response to
    the article about police beating up an 84 year old man for jaywalking, a commenter had this to say:

    Wow, another crime wave broken up by the hyper vigilance of the NYPD. I for one would rather crack open the skulls of a few 84 year old jaywalkers than face the apocalyptic traffic nightmare caused by elderly jaywalkers. The brave men and women of the NYPD have saved America from elderly bedlam. Thank God that the NYPD took time from violating the constitutional rights of young minority males to quash this elderly uprising. Medals and commendations for all!

  233. 233
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Esteleth;

    Good job. I have a good idea what an 87 might be in a European scoring system. The Canadian system is much more like Europe’s than the US system. 87s are good scores, and if you’re in graduate school, they are outstanding scores, best-in-class or not.

  234. 234
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Well, in this case, 87 means that of 100 possible points on the exam, I was awarded 87. This has no bearing whatsoever on the scores of my classmates: I could have had the top score or the bottom score, or exactly the median. According to the syllabus, an 87% is a B+. Not excellent, but pretty good.

    *shrug*

  235. 235
    carlie

    IT IS FIFTEEN DEGREES BELOW FUCKING ZERO OUT.

    Ahem. It’s really damned cold.

  236. 236
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    carlie
    Is “fucking zero” the temperature at which no sex occurs anymore? In that case, I’m sorry.

    +++
    I think I’m out of sensible things to say atm

  237. 237
    blf

    Sun is currently turned on here. It’s c.10 ℃.
    On the other hand, there were several metric fecktons, and at least one imperial feckton, plus assorted mammals, of rain over the weekend. Some areas further east flooded.

  238. 238
    carlie

    Giliell – I don’t like cold, so if that’s the temp at which no sex occurs, my “fucking zero” is somewhere around 70 degrees. :D

  239. 239
    carlie

    It’s actually -26 out if I use C. I think I’ll do that so it feels even colder.

  240. 240
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Yeah, that’s the temp here too. Frosty windows again. And by frosty, I mean, “ice so thick my finger can’t melt through to glass before it gets too cold to melt ice anymore”.

  241. 241
    blf

    A use has finally been found for forty-foot high killer rats (other than stepping on peas and horses, that is), Giant rats put noses to work on Mozambique’s landmines:

    Landmine-detecting rats weigh as much as a domestic cat and are light enough to cross terrain without triggering explosives

    A small army of landmine-detecting rats is to be redeployed in Mozambique in a push to meet a deadline to have the country declared free of mines this year.

    Belgian non-governmental organisation Apopo trains African giant pouched rats to sniff out the explosives in landmines by conditioning them to associate the scent with rewards of food.

    The rodents, which weigh about as much as a small domestic cat, are light enough to move over terrain without setting off the mines. [Well, Ok, so they are not proper forty-foot high killer rats…] They are followed by a team of mine-removal experts with metal detectors.

    Apopo has discovered and safely destroyed nearly 2,500 landmines in the country as well as more than 14,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance, small arms and ammunition, and returned approximately 2,001 acres to local communities.

    The rats undergo nine months of training, learning to sniff out the explosives in old landmines buried underground. They scratch the ground to alert their handlers to mines.

    The rodents are quick learners and easy to work with, according to Alson Majanzota, leader of one of Apopo’s rat handling teams. The animals can check 200sq m of land for mines in 30 minutes; a human armed with a metal detector could take up to three days to do the same job, he adds.

    Assembling gun nutters in a formation and marching them back and forth across the mine-contaminated land is perhaps faster, and has additional advantages. However, there may not be enough mines left in Mozambique to make a serious dent in the hordes of gun nutters. Still enough mines, however, to be a significant risk to the people of Mozambique.

  242. 242
    blf

    Archaeologists discover 3,000-year-old tomb of brewer to the gods in Egypt. No word on any beer (or cheese) being found. Maybe a clew as to where the mildly deranged penguin was lurking…

    Archaeologists find remains of previously unknown pharaoh in Egypt: “Discovery of 3,600-year-old body of King Woseribre Senebkay confirms existence of dynasty”.

  243. 243
    blf

    I’m gonna have a sniny clean USB stick! I just stuck it in the wash…

    Along with some cash (notes and coins). Guess that means I’m a money launderer.

    (I’ve washed USB sticks before, albeit not this one. Recover as soon as possible, rinse with cold water, and then leave it to throughly dry out. Don’t even think about trying to “use” it if there is any possibility of some moisture remaining.)

    The mildly deranged penguin was not in any of the pockets.

  244. 244
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Penguin in a pocket?

    What is it, like, a baby?

    From the description, I thought the MDP looked like this

  245. 245
    blf

    Have you seen the size of my pockets? (Or the number of them?)

    Very useful things, pockets. A rare but very annoying problem is I sometimes loose things in one. More commonly, I get lost in one.

    Rather like the TARDIS. Bigger on the inside. Possibly also a time machine, I keep finding things in them I don’t recall putting in them.

  246. 246
    carlie

    Have I mentioned how much I love the tv show The Fosters? I think it may be steering a bit too much into teen angsty love territory at the moment in the main plyt, but they have also introduced a transgender character who is actually played by a transgender teen. Hooray! (link goes to his tumblr)

  247. 247
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    I’ve been to the movies twice in the last month or so (Saving Mr. Banks and Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and I’ve seen previews for the new Jesus movie. Or as I call it: Sparkly-Teethed-White-Skinned-Blond-Haired-Jesus-Who-Kind-Of-Looks-Like-Ashton-Kutcher.

    @carlie:

    That’s pretty awesome.

  248. 248
    rq

    87 is damn close to 90, and that is really good (in my opinion). Congratulations, Esteleth!

    +++

    Adventures in seminaring today:
    1) had my first chance to do synchro live translation due to an absence of properly capable translators hired, and, you know, it wasn’t that bad – it was kind of fun! Sort of a nice validation of my usefulness and language skills.
    2) Presenter #2 is a close talker, which is a bit freaky, considering he’s about 293874928374 centimeters taller than me, and likes talking about how he’s so divorced and going to Africa in the autumn; :/
    3) discovered the wage disparity between Swiss forensic professionals and Latvian forensic professionals… it ain’t pretty – put it this way: a Swiss forensic professional’s divorce alimony could support 10 Latvian forensic professionals;
    4) our (Latvian) forensic system is in the shit (in a very, very bad way) and salvage operations seem nigh impossible, though there’s a small core of willing victims to work towards improvement;
    5) I just may get work funding to do training courses in June for Canada, as long as I use that knowledge to aid in the raising of qualifications of Latvian crime scene investigators (which is not a problem since I love sharing in my knowledge and being all superior and having people do things my way, with the added bonus of actually contributing to a system in development, which will hopefully be in place for generations to come, and people will raise statues to me and have commemorative days and you can all come to my parties), and that is some good news.

    Also, it was -19°C this morning, but it warms up to about -10 during the day. This I like, since days have been sunny and windless, just like winter should be (quite bearable in the sunshine!!). Could use a bit more snow, but our skating rink is primed for first skating tomorrow!

    Now it’s back to work. These StatAnal translations will not complete themselves. *snortle*

  249. 249
    Lynna, OM

    Gay people have been excluded from juries on the basis on sexual orientation? I didn’t know.

    “Gays and lesbians have been systematically excluded from the most important institutions of self-governance,” Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel. “Strikes exercised on the basis of sexual orientation continue this deplorable tradition of treating gays and lesbians as undeserving of participation in our nation’s most cherished rites and rituals.”

    The decision arose from questioning of a juror at the 2011 trial of an antitrust dispute between two giant drug companies. After a potential juror appeared to reveal that he was gay, a lawyer for Abbott Laboratories used a peremptory strike to eliminate him from the jury pool. Judge Reinhardt said the strike was a case of intentional discrimination against a gay man in a case concerning AIDS medications of intense interest to gay people.

    NY Times link.

  250. 250
    opposablethumbs

    people will raise statues to me and have commemorative days and you can all come to my parties

    :-D yay! It’s great if you get the chance to make a contribution like this, one that will really make a difference. Go you! (and I would so come to the parties :-) )

  251. 251
    birgerjohansson

    Wintry mixology: http://www.gocomics.com/richards-poor-almanac/2014/01/20

    We had minus 42 in the village of Karesuando, down here it is much more balmy, minus 8-9.

    (clumsy translation from Swedish comic strip “Rocky”)
    Rocky: Isn’t the whole religion business heavy on men? God, Jesus, St Peter..
    Friend: Some think God is female…
    Rocky: -What about the beards on the statues? It would be more fair if God was a hermafrodite.
    Friend: What is that?
    Rocky: Something with both genders.
    Friend: A cross-dressing Jesus nailed to a cross? I think there will be a lot of complaining on Facebook
    Rocky: No, a hermafrodide is an organism with geninely both genders, like an earthworm or a leech.
    Friend: An earthworm nailed to a cross? I still think there will be a lot of negative buzzing on facebook.

  252. 252
    Lynna, OM

    Yes, Republican dunderheads are still blathering on about security not being adequate on healthcare.gov. And they have proven this with the use of expert testiphony:

    […] The Daily Caller, the Washington Times, Fox News, and others pointed to David Kennedy, the head of a head of computer security consulting firm, who reportedly claimed he could use a standard web browser to access 70,000 personal records belonging to consumers who enrolled through the ACA system – after just four minutes of effort.[…]

    Except, that’s not quite what happened, and those reports from conservative media painted a deeply bogus picture.

    The Washington Post’s Brian Fung discovered, […]
    “We never accessed 70,000 records nor is it directly on the Healthcare.gov website,” wrote Kennedy in an update to an earlier blog post. “No dumping of data, malicious intent, hacking, or even viewing of the information was done.”

    In short, Kennedy explained that he used basic Google tools to search the Web site, but he didn’t hack it.[…]

    OK, but if Kennedy didn’t access 70,000 personal records, as conservative media claimed, what did he access? There were 70,000 results of what, exactly? […] Consider this exchange between Fox News’ Chris Wallace and David Kennedy over the weekend:
    WALLACE: You say you did not hack the site and, yet, you say you could access 70,000 records of various people who have signed up for health care under – at the website within four minutes. How do you know that if you haven’t hacked the site?

    KENNEDY: That’s a great question. There is a technique called – what we call passer reconnaissance, which allows us to queering look at how the website operates and performs. And these type of attacks that, you know, I’m mentioning here in the 70,000 that you’re referencing is very easy to do.

    Hearing this, it’s easy to see how someone might get the impression that Kennedy was able to access 70,000 personal records, since that’s what Wallace asked and Kennedy didn’t correct him.

    […] there are no private medical records stored on healthcare.gov. […] the conservative media reports this week were wildly misleading and there is no real threat.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/about-four-minute-aca-hack#break

  253. 253
    birgerjohansson

    PS the humor in “Rocky” is mostly an ironic take on the “deep” discussions that take place long after midnight after all the beer has been consumed, a kind of grown-up relative to to “Beavis and Butt-Head”.

    Ted Nugent is still an idiot: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/22/ted-nugent-subhuman-mongrel-obama-should-get-just-due-punishment-for-treason/

    Here is another one: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/21/michigan-gop-official-herd-all-the-indians-to-detroit-build-a-fence-and-throw-in-corn/

  254. 254
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    David M – *return bouncy pouncehugs* =^_^=

    Tony – *pouncehug*

    I’ll do a Shoopy dance in your honor :)

    I want to see this.

    cicely:

    When am I ever again going to be likely to have a character for whom such arcane technobabble as:

    “It manipulates the quantum foam, creating transient interdimensional interfaces and overlaps, in an area-of-effect restricted as per the description of the Burst power (page 110 of the pdf). The discrepancies at the created interface/overlap adversely affect chemical interactions and ion transport through permeable and semi-permeable membranes, causing ruptures at the cellular level.”

    can legitimately be used in describing a proposed Device?

    Brillant technobabble!

    I share your pain. I am currently in mourning for my author/wizard whose minion invented moveable type printing, with which my character started a publishing empire.* My current character is reading her books, which makes the DM laugh when I ask if vendors have any of her titles for sale.** Of course they have actual titles; I had a lot of fun making them up. :D

    *Leadership feat for the win.

    **They have. :D

    Giliell – *return pouncehug* I hope school is going well for you this term.

    Esteleth – Congratulations on your 87%. *celebratory chocolate*

    rq – *pouncehug* – Almost in real time too. =^_^=

    people will raise statues to me and have commemorative days and you can all come to my parties)

    Oooh, parties! I can’t wait. But if we have to raise the statues and wait for commemorative days to be declared before the parties, that will be very sad. Those things usually take a long time. :D

  255. 255
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Dalillama – *hugs and chocolate*

  256. 256
    rq

    I’ll have a few parties before any commemoration occurs. Hopefully when they reveal my new statue. ;)

    *catchhugs* for Hekuni Cat!!!

  257. 257
    blf

    You should have a few practice orgiesparties before then… with solid chocolate life-sized “statues” of yerself filling in for the real thing (statue, that is, not you, you can fill in for you).

    Of course, when the real statues start to be raised, you will probably need to remind the people not to try and eat them.

  258. 258
    rq

    blf
    Oooh, nice idea! Now to find myself a chocolatier equal to the task… *rubs hands together*

  259. 259
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, how seriously do I have to take the feedback of somebody who starts with heavily criticizing their own essay topic?
    I admit to being a bit pissed….

  260. 260
    blf

    rq, Is rubbing hands together part the incantation for finding a chocolatier, or are you just standing outside in the cold?

  261. 261
    David Marjanović

    Arctic warmth unprecedented in 44,000 years, reveals ancient moss http://phys.org/news/2014-01-arctic-warmth-unprecedented-years-reveals.html

    From there:

    “The records suggest that in general, the eastern Canadian Arctic is warmer now than in any century in the past 5000 years, and in some places, modern temperatures are unprecedented in at least the past 44,000 years.”

    Um. 5,000 years ago the whole world was much warmer than 44,000 years ago, seeing as 44,000 years ago was squarely in the latest ice age. Last interglacial was roughly 100,000 years ago.

  262. 262
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    The up side of poly: Just had a sometime partner (she lives in the UK; we don’t see one another much, obvs) pop up in my chat window to say hello. Such a nice thing, to be able to have someone willing to just drop into your life and remind you that they love you, and that the continental drift bringing Europe and North America back together could just get on with it, thank you very much, and make you smile and laugh and cry and be loved and love and breathe more easily for a few minutes.

    And when I said I was crying, she laughed, and said “Oh, you great southern jessie, I don’t know, you can take the girl out of Hertfordshire, but…” (she’s a great strong lass from the dales of Yorkshire, and we entertain each other occasionally by dreadfully mocking one another’s accents, and playing up our enormous geographic differentness, in the way that can only make sense to people who grew up less than 200 miles apart and yet were unimaginable gulfs apart.

    And so what’s been a stressful day – January rent is yet unpaid, and today is the official date of my first-notice eviction running out, which should mean they file for second-notice tomorrow, which is much more serious, but MM is arriving today, and we should be able to sort it out in time, but still: STRESS! – gets a nice lift from a woman who loves me, and would be with me a lot if we were just able to arrange that whole same-side-of-the-stupid-bloody-ocean thing. It’s out text message to one another, when I used to have a phone: international texts were surprisngly cheap. I’d just send SBOA: Stupid Bloody Ocean Anyway.

    If I weren’t poly, that affirmation would have been of different character: either not romantic-loving, or probably-not-allowed, perhaps. This is one of the things I can get from poly that I can’t get without it, and is one of the most valuable things to me, that I’m rarely short of someone willing and happy to say, “Yes, Cait, I love you, and if I were close I would be very gently climbing upon your bones in some consensual manner!”

    Now I could sure do a better job of picking ones who were close by, that I’ll admit. :)

  263. 263
    rq

    blf
    Aaah, a bit of both? Also, maybe you know what bait works best in a chocolatier-trap? Chocolate itself might be a bit redundant…

    Yay for CaitieCat!

  264. 264
    blf

    Ah, hum, Hunting the Wild Chocolatier. First, make sure you use a trap that doesn’t harm her or him. An injured or dead chocolatier is not much use.

    Bait is a tricky one. Truffles are fairly reliable, but you catch a lot more than chocolatiers. Your basic chef bait, Brandy, often works, but again, you don’t get just chocolatiers.

    Coffee & bacon is known to work, but you still catch lots of others.

    Perhaps the thing to do is reverse strategies, and instead of trying to lure one, try to flush them out. Beating bushes won’t do it, but a carefully planned campaign of aerial bombardment with Twinkies might do it.

  265. 265
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Caitie Cat:

    Now I could sure do a better job of picking ones who were close by, that I’ll admit.

    Once upon a time, this was frequently my problem. I am happy to say it no longer is, but I wish you the best of luck in finding someone who lives close to you.

    blf:

    a carefully planned campaign of aerial bombardment with Twinkies might do it.

    We’re fortunate that Twinkies are being manufactured again. (Baked doesn’t apply when discussing Twinkies.)

  266. 266
    rq

    Hekuni Cat
    *ahem*
    I would like to borrow some Twinkies for to procure myself a chocolatier.

    blf
    I don’t understand, though – why Twinkies? And will it work? Will the disturbed chocolatier run into my carefully laid trap? Will the chocolatier consent to make a larger-than-life-sized statue of moi?

  267. 267
    Lynna, OM

    David M. @261, one of my brothers lives in Alaska and he says the amount of warming there is alarming. One of the worst visual effects is the decimation of thousands of square miles of forest by insects.

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r10/forest-grasslandhealth/?cid=fsbdev2_038873

    In most years, engraver beetles infest widely scattered individual trees or groups of 10 trees or less. Periodically during warm, dry summers after mild winters, engraver beetle populations build to such proportions that standing live trees are killed over large areas.

  268. 268
    Lynna, OM

    Moments of Mormon Madness, missionary category. The mormon cult is well-known for the control and brainwashing techniques to which it subjects both male and female missionaries. This is, however, a new tactic that stems from new technology:

    […] Just saw a post from a friend who has two kids out on missions. The daughter emailed about her week, which her mom posted so everyone could see and enjoy it. This sister missionary talked about how the missionaries in her area are going to get iPads for use in giving tours of churches and other TSCC purposes, but, to that end, it had to be made clear each missionary was worthy of that honor. So, in a large meeting, each missionary’s Facebook page was pulled up, in front of everyone, gone through publicly, and criticized for things not deemed appropriate. It was a public shaming and manipulation in the name of what the church has defined as proper and uplifting. I’m blown away. […]

    http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1143554

  269. 269
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    , try to flush them out.

    …care to rephrase that?

  270. 270
    rq

    flush them out
    ?

  271. 271
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    LOL – Roma’s new signing, Brazilian Michel Bastos, “inadvertently” held up a scarf at his public introduction to the club members the other day, given to him by a fan.

    The scarf said “LAZIO MERDA”, which fans of Romance languages will probably quickly recognize as saying “Lazio is shit” (cf. It. merda, Sp. mierda, Fr. merde). Lazio is Roma’s huge rival, from across the capital, including decades-old political/social factors, and having many pictures tweeted of the young man holding up this scarf.

    The inevitable apologies have followed, saying that the player didn’t speak Italian, and couldn’t be expected to know that the scarf was insulting, and so on.

    But in the memorable words of Free Waterfall Junior: I call shenanigans on that!.

    On a hunch, I looked up the Portuguese word for “shit”. I figured it might be at least somewhat similar to the Italian one, and that a reasonable person might be able to infer that the player should have known that it was not a complimentary thing, to have the word “Lazio” on a Roma scarf in Roma colours.

    So the Portuguese word for shit?

    Merda.

    So the scarf says exactly the same thing in Portuguese or Italian. No way did this guy not know what he was doing.

    Shenanigans, I say! SHE-NANNY-GUNS!

  272. 272
    blf

    why Twinkies? …

    A twinkie is to chocolate as rotten shite is to yer favourite food, drink & cheese. Or more specifically, a Twinkie in the vicinity of a chocolatire is the equivalent of claiming USAlienstani gridiron is a sport — something so absurd the only option is to Run Away! Run Away! (Cue Monty Python…)

    Will the disturbed chocolatier run into my carefully laid trap?

    Not “trap” per se… think Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, albeit with modifications to avoid the chocolatier smashing in her or his head.

    Will the chocolatier consent to make a larger-than-life-sized statue of moi?

    Well, as long as you don’t resemble a Twinkie, there shouldn’t be a problem… I mean, if it is a choice between you or a Twinkie, the choice is obvious.

  273. 273
    blf

    Shit(e) is basically the same in Français: Merde. And still equivalent to claiming USAlienstani gridiron is a sport.

  274. 274
    Pteryxx

    re mine-sweeping rats:

    [Well, Ok, so they are not proper forty-foot high killer rats…]

    They are forty, foot-high, killer rats. <:3~

    —-

    Housing the homeless saves money

    …There’s no question that providing housing for the homeless is the right thing to do, for humanitarian reasons. But it also makes economic sense, so cities can spend less money and still help more people. In 2005, Utah did a study that found the average annual cost for emergency services and jail time for each chronically homeless person was $16,670. The cost to house them and provide case management services was only $11,000 per person.

    via Shakesville: Gay-straight alliances reduce suicide risk for all students

    Key findings:

    In schools with gay-straight alliances implemented three or more years ago:

    The odds of homophobic discrimination and suicidal thoughts were reduced by more than half among lesbian, gay, bisexual boys and girls compared to schools with no GSA.
    There were also significantly lower odds of sexual orientation discrimination for heterosexual boys and girls.
    Heterosexual boys were half as likely to attempt suicide as those in schools without GSAs.

    In schools where anti-homophobic policies have been in place for more than three years:

    The odds of suicidal thoughts and attempts for gay and bisexual boys were more than 70 per cent lower. Suicide attempts among lesbian and bisexual girls were two-thirds lower.
    Heterosexual boys had 27 per cent lower odds of suicidal thoughts than heterosexual boys in schools without such policies.

  275. 275
    Lynna, OM

    Moments of Mormon Madness, liquor sales category. We’ve discussed Utah’s strange liquor-sales laws many times, including the infamous “Zion Curtain” which is required to hide the evil of drink preparation from those who might be in an alcohol-serving establishment but who do not wish to be exposed to such evil. Now, the LDS Church has put its oar into the legislative waters again. Mormon leaders are making recommendations, recommendations that are the equivalent of commands to mormon legislators.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement Tuesday stating its support for existing alcohol laws in the state.

    “…Alcohol policy in Utah is closely tied to the moral climate of the state and legislation should not enable, promote or contribute to an ‘alcohol culture,’” according to the release. […]

    The Church is opposed to any legislation that would weaken the current laws and regulations, which include the following:
    -privatization of alcoholic beverage control system
    -increase in alcohol license quotas
    -allow of the sale of heavy beer, wine and distilled spirits in grocery and stores or allowing direct distribution of these products outside the state control system
    -Other proposals that would promote increased sales or consumption of alcohol products

    The statement and videos regarding the issue can be seen in full at mormonnewsroom.org.

    More coverage here: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57429543-78/utah-alcohol-church-liquor.html.csp

  276. 276
    rq

    So I was watching this, and I began to wonder – can they do anything in unison?? (Actually I was pretty impressed.)

  277. 277
    Lynna, OM

    Update on the fight in Utah over same-sex marriage:
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57427853-78/utah-state-court-marriages.html.csp

    The ACLU of Utah and a private law firm filed a lawsuit in state court Tuesday on behalf of four same-sex couples who say Utah’s decision to put recognition of their marriages on hold has created a “legal limbo” that bars them from accessing critical protections for themselves and their families. […]

    But the state’s Jan. 8 decision to freeze recognition while it appeals a federal judge’s decision overturning Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage has “reduced these unions to second-class marriages,” said Erik Strindberg, of the Salt Lake City law firm Strindberg & Scholnick. Strindberg said the lawsuit was filed in Utah’s 3rd District Court in West Jordan rather than federal court because three of the four claims involve state claims.

    The lawsuit alleges the state’s move to retroactively strip the couples of their marital rights is illegal, arbitrary and capricious. It deprives them of their liberty and property rights, leaving them in a “constant state of insecurity and uncertainty, which is emotionally devastating.” The suit asks that the marriages be declared valid — even if Amendment 3’s ban is eventually deemed constitutional.[…]

  278. 278
    Pteryxx

    via BB: Syria’s polio epidemic as an act of war

    This man-made outbreak is a consequence of the way that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has chosen to fight the war—a war crime of truly epidemic proportions. Even before the uprising, in areas considered politically unsympathetic like Deir Ezzor, the government stopped maintaining sanitation and safe-water services, and began withholding routine immunizations for preventable childhood diseases. Once the war began, the government started ruthless attacks on civilians in opposition-held areas, forcing millions to seek refuge in filthy, crowded, and cold conditions. Compounding the problem are Assad’s ongoing attacks on doctors and the health care system, his besieging of cities, his obstruction of humanitarian aid, and his channeling of vaccines and other relief to pro-regime territory.

    [...]

    … This politicizing of public health meant that many children born in 2010 or later could not commence or complete the routine course of polio vaccination required for effective protection. Of the roughly 1.8 million children born since the conflict began, more than half may be completely unvaccinated. WHO estimates that the vaccination rate has dropped from 83 percent of two-year-olds before the war to 52 percent in 2012.3 The Syrian Ministry of Health states that the vaccination rate has dropped from 99 percent pre-war to 68 percent in 2012. More than three million children across Syria may now be vulnerable.

    According to the article, Syria’s government has already denied that a cholera outbreak was cholera, threatening and imprisoning doctors who reported it. They’re now in the midst of denying that many polio cases are polio.

    Yet the official government line—now adopted by WHO and the UN— is that Syria remained polio-free until October, and that no new cases of polio have been found since October 8. WHO has gone further, standing by its figures and reporting to The New York Times that polio is under control. These are the same WHO and Ministry of Health that have made no attempt to verify the cases confirmed through the Turkish Ministry of Health.

    Meanwhile, WHO, forced to toe the government line, cannot publicly acknowledge the Ministry of Health data, which I have seen, showing that a girl in Aleppo had contracted the virus in August, that the case in the Douma suburb of Damascus happened in September, and that in addition to the acknowledged seventeen cases of polio, four more meet the clinical criteria.Worryingly, these same official bodies report 124 cases of “non-polio” acute flaccid paralysis, without providing proof of an alternative diagnosis.

    My careful combining of the two databases—the ACU’s and that of WHO and the Syrian Ministry of Health—shows an absolute minimum of at least ninety-three cases of polio, of which at least thirty have been confirmed by laboratory tests.

  279. 279
    Lynna, OM

    Ptyerrx @278, I read that article. Assad’s troops have been killing doctors, ambulance drivers, nurses, etc. When threatening doctors doesn’t work, they may even kill the doctor’s family.

  280. 280
    cicely

    Here is another one: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/21/michigan-gop-official-herd-all-the-indians-to-detroit-build-a-fence-and-throw-in-corn/

    *slack-jawed amazement and horror*
     
    Not that I didn’t know perfectly well that there are people who think like this, and talk wistfully with their friends about how they wish it were like “the good old days”, when they could actually do shit like this…but….
    -
    Hekuni Cat: When I’m DM-ing, I have a lot of fun thinking up titles for the books (and Other Publications, such as applications for membership in the Squid of the Month Club) found in swag-piles and on bookshelves.
    :)
    -
    *hugs* and *purring kittehs* for CaitieCat.
    -

    So I was watching this, and I began to wonder – can they do anything in unison?? (Actually I was pretty impressed.)

    Clearly, you haven’t watched enough drum corps competitions, or marching bands.
    -

  281. 281
    carlie

    rq – it was impressive, but sadly when I hear that music, all I can think of is this.

  282. 282
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Cicely:

    That guy spouts an impressive amount of racism. I only hope the news doesn’t come to Caine. No good can come of hurting one more person. Ugh.

  283. 283
    cicely

    Crip Dyke: He left mere cluelessness in the rear view mirror, that’s for sure, on his way to deliberate malice.
    -

  284. 284
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Bleh. I haven’t been at a Denny’s forever. How horrifying are they at the corporate level? Anyone know?

  285. 285
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Heya
    Uhm, can I ask for some feedback?

    I want to write to the instructor who corrected and graded my outline, and I’d like to know if I’m coming off politely enough for a native speaker or if I’m sounding like the pissed German I am.

    Hi XXX
    Thank you for the fast correction of our outlines.
    I have some questions regarding your feedback.
    First I was a bit surprised to find many corrections on the assignment itself, which I did not write but merely copied verbatim.
    Secondly, you asked where the thesis statement was, which I underlined as you had requested.
    Now I’m not sure whether I should write the essay about this topic at all, because I’m not sure if I can develop my line of reasoning to your satisfaction. It seems to me that the assignment itself might be the problem as it asks different questions and gives different examples which I cannot address all in a two page essay.
    Greetings
    Giliell

  286. 286
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Giliell

    The only change I’d make is changing “Greetings” to “Thank you”.

    Maybe.

    I dunno.

    It’s your call letter.

  287. 287
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Giliell
    Seems about as polite as I’d bother to muster in a similar situation, but folks have told me that I’m a bit on the brusque and crotchety side, and less then temperate in my expression, so I don’t know as I’m the best judge

    Azkyroth
    Possibly a little less than average; horrifying in what respect? They had some quite public problems involving racism a couple decades back, but they’ve made at least some efforts to fix it, so that puts them no worse than average for an American corporation and above a fair few. I don’t doubt they’ve got the usual industry practice of shafting the workers in expectation of tips and the other capitalistic screw overs, but I’ve not got documentation on how bad they do it.

  288. 288
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Ugh. Today… the last few days, really, have been tough, pain-wise.

    I’ve been at a fairly consistent 4, with a few spikes to “Fuck You” thrown in for shits and giggles.

    I want Vicodin, and that’s never a good sign.

  289. 289
    rq

    Giliell
    I think it sounds fine, very clear and polite, though with a “Thank you” (I sometimes add “in advance”) or “Sincerely” in place of “Greetings”. Xe doesn’t sound like a pleasant person to deal with, though…

    WMDKitty
    *scritches*

  290. 290
    rq

    Yes, yes – let’s make it a mothers and sons day, because it’s too much to let mum have a day of her own. And all she wants to do is to be like you. *siiiiigh* This was posted as ‘touching’ and ‘awwww’ and ‘so true!!’ on my Facebook timeline. Ew.

    On a more positive note, baby tree kangaroo!

    Musical interlude: The Visit – Between Worlds.

  291. 291
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    WMDKitty
    *soothing scritches*

    rq
    I think she’s actually a nice person, but I think that:
    -My writing and her writing don’t mix well. I damn well know I can write texts, I also know that I fuck up certain things (somebody kick me if I ever wrote “So,…” again) and the only person to blame for some things in that outlie is me. But she also didn’t approve that much of the text I ran by Caitie, but I can live with an A- or B+ because of “I don’t like it”.
    - ATM, she has more on her plate than she can manage, so she didn’t even notice that she corrected her own writing.

    Thank you all.

  292. 292
    bassmike

    Hi all.

    Good news: my daughter has been back at nursery this week and doing well. She still coughs occasionally, but otherwise seems fine.

    Bad news: We’ve been told that my father has only 2 – 3 weeks to live. I visited yesterday and I’m amazed how quickly he’s gone downhill. Considering that only six weeks ago the oncologist told him he didn’t need the last chemo session as he had responded so well, this is pretty devastating. I think the medial professionals who have dealt with my Dad have some serious questions to answer.

    Thank you all again for your continued support and hugs. I’ll probably only be around sporadically over the next few weeks. But knowing that you’re all there ready to supply comfort, will be of great help to me.

  293. 293
    rq

    bassmike
    *hugs*
    I think you can speak to the medical professionals, but keep in mind that cancer is not easy, and it is not predictable. I know Husband’s mother had several instances that could be either attributed to bad doctors, or just horrible, unpredictable cancer (although there was one specific instance of a bad doctor). The decline was extremely rapid, considering she’d been holding out for several years before that. So… Yes, ask questions, but remember cancer.
    *hugs*
    And that’s great news about your daughter! I hope the good health sticks around!!

    +++

    In other news, justice for lady parts, by Sarah Silverman. And Jesus. Kind of. :)

  294. 294
    bassmike

    rq I agree. Obviously from our perspective we want answers. If the answers are ‘Sorry, but we did everything that we could and couldn’t not have foreseen the problems’. Then that’s fine, I understand that medical science does not have definitive answers for everything. At the moment it’s just frustrating because no-one has been able to give us any answers.

  295. 295
    birgerjohansson

    Bassmike,
    hugs, if you want them.

    I finally identified the standalone “Lucifer” title with the badger.
    Lucifer: Nirvana by Mike Carey, art by Muth, features a badger from Orpehus’(Dream’s) realm acting as a guide through China.

    Speaking of Mike Carey, here is his latest (site is British Amazon)

    “The City of Silk and Steel” http://www.amazon.co.uk/City-Silk-Steel-Mike-Carey/dp/0575132655/ref=la_B001IOBH2W_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390479167&sr=1-17#_ by Mike Carey, Linda Carey and Louise Carey.

  296. 296
    rq

    bassmike
    I can imagine the frustration. :( Hope you get answers, one way or another!

    +++

    We have at least three kinds of tits coming to the feeder, plus one kind of nuthatch: the blue tit, one of or both the marsh tit and/or willow tit (they’re a bit difficult to tell apart), and the great tit. The nuthatch vaguely resembles a miniature kingfisher.
    I’m still waiting for a jay to show up, I know they’re around, but maybe the hunk of pork fat we have up isn’t tempting enough (else it’s just not cold enough for them to be desperate).

  297. 297
    birgerjohansson

    Falling Porcupine Injures Sandra Nabucco In Brazil (PHOTO) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/22/falling-porcupine-injures-sandra-nabucco_n_4645573.html
    (blast from the past) Talkative porcupine eats banana http://www.wimp.com/talkativeporcupine/

  298. 298
    bassmike

    rq for some reason we only get tits in our garden during the baby rearing season. At all other times they studiously ignore any feed we leave out for them.

  299. 299
    rq

    bassmike
    Sounds like they have a decent source of food nearby, which runs short during baby-season. Put out something yummier and more expensive than the neighbours. ;)

  300. 300
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    for some reason we only get tits in our garden during the baby rearing season.

    Do you know how funny that sounds if you read that and don’t notice that the conversation is about birds?

    bassmike
    *hugs*

  301. 301
    rq

    Yes, well, Giliell, we have three kinds of tits. ;)

  302. 302
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    That’s weird, rq, I only have two kinds (left and right). ;)

  303. 303
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    I say – you’re not from Eroticon VI, are you?

  304. 304
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    rq
    Oh, I think there are about 5 species of tits in my parents’ garden. And sometimes mine come to visit, too!

  305. 305
    bassmike

    Gliiell You’re right! On re-reading it, it could be read two ways. There’s me being all innocent and factually accurate too.

    rq I think part of the problem is that there’s a nature reserve close by and they always put food out for the birds. You’re right that during the rest of the year, there isn’t the competition for food that there is in those few short months. Also, during the breeding season, the tits use boxes in people’s gardens and look for food closer to the nests.

  306. 306
    rq

    CaitieCat
    Well, I’ve had perky, milk-swollen, and now have tired. ;)

  307. 307
    birgerjohansson

    Trigger warning:

    Indian Woman Gang-Raped By 13 Men On Orders Of Village Court In West Bengal: Police http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/india-gang-rape-west-bengal_n_4650743.html

    — — — — — — —
    I am trying to compensate a bit with some good news…
    “Twice-daily pill could turn leukemia into a highly treatable disease” http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-01-twice-daily-pill-leukemia-highly-treatable.html

  308. 308
    rq

    And I know nothing of Eroticon VI. Nothing.

    bassmike
    Well, to be fair, I used the word ‘tits’ first, because I thought it would be somewhat more comprehensible than the term ‘chickadee’.
    But on the subject of birds, I was surprised to see so many different kinds of tit here, because in Canada, the only one we were taught was the black-capped chickadee. But they’re prettier here, the Canadian one is all greys and blacks (striking, in its own way), but the ones here are yellow and blue. Much brighter for the winter! (I do miss cardinals, though.)

  309. 309
    Lynna, OM

    The Republicans/Tea Partiers are still betting on anti-abortion policies to get them elected.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/gop-coalesces-on-abortion-despite-gender-gap-124982339894

    Rachel Maddow covers this issue well. 15-minute video. The GOP is ignoring how many women have fled their far-right party, and are carrying on as if showing disrespect for women’s reproductive choices would win them votes. History, plus current news in the Maddow piece (1994 to today).

  310. 310
    Portia

    Rupt. But I have a big truck o’ hugs for all who need them.

    Special hugs for Dalillama – I’m sorry your pancreas keeps punishing you, and I hope you can do what you need to do wrt that class without bad consequences. *hugs*

    -

    Hekuni Cat:Thanks for the grats :D

    I won another trial yesterday – it was a bench trial but it was contested custody matter and I got everything my client wanted/needed, and it was really the just result. I feel pretty good about it. I need to hold on to these good times/feelings about work for the times when I have a rough week :)

    -

    How is everyone today?

  311. 311
    rq

    By the way, thanks, Giliell. Now the words ‘black-capped’ and ‘chickadee’ and ‘nuthatch’ are making all kinds of weird associations in my brain.
    Bird porn, anyone?

    Hi, Portia!!! Still rocking the law, I see. *high five* and *hugs*
    Go you!!

  312. 312
    Portia

    Hi rq! Thanks! *hugs* back. Good to see you.

    My mom’s always called me “chickadee” so I’m laughing extra at your musings.

    :)

  313. 313
    Lynna, OM

    Southern Baptist Moment of Madness, submissive wives category:

    Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) has a new book in which the congressman argues a wife is to “voluntarily submit.”

    […] In the book, the Vietnam War veteran says that both the military chain of command and the family unit need a structure in which everyone plays his or her role.

    He said that, in his family’s experience, this meant that his wife, Cynthia, would submit to him and he would lead.

    “The wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice,” he writes, citing the Bible. “The husband’s part is to show up during the times of deep stress, take the leadership role and be accountable for the outcome, blaming no one else.” Washinton Post link.

    It’s worth emphasizing that from Pearce’s perspective, the notion that wives should be submissive doesn’t necessarily mean wives are subordinate. “The wife’s submission is not a matter of superior versus inferior; rather, it is self-imposed as a matter of obedience to the Lord and of love for her husband,” he writes. […]

    Submissive but equal, a great example of religious double-speak.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-wife-voluntarily-submit

  314. 314
    birgerjohansson

    Lynna, it is as if the Republicans have discarded their self-preservation instincts in favor of Correct Thinking. Unfortunately, gerrymandered districts make the effect on actual elections weak.
    Inciden tally the co-founder of a group of gay republicans has finally quit the party, sensing there is no effort to learn from past mistakes.

  315. 315
    birgerjohansson

    “Submissive but equal” -the democrats have the next anti-Republican slogan written for them. At some point even women wh o have voted R all their lives will no tice…

  316. 316
    Lynna, OM

    Update on the investigation of Chris Christie’s administration. In addition to the Washington Bridge fiasco, there is now more evidence that the Christie administration tied private development deals to Hurricane Sandy relief funds for Hoboken.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/fbi-investigating-hoboken-mayors-allegations-124975171764

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/sources-fbi-questions-hoboken-mayors-aides

    Federal prosecutors and agents have also instructed key witnesses to preserve all documents and emails relating to the allegations by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, these sources said.

    After Zimmer gave her account of the alleged threat to federal prosecutors on Sunday, federal agents questioned Dan Bryan, Zimmer’s chief of staff, and Juan Melli, her communications director, the sources said.

    The two Zimmer aides are among at least five witnesses who Zimmer told the FBI could confirm that she had previously told them about the conversation she says she had with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno last May. Zimmer has alleged that during that conversation in a parking lot, the lieutenant governor linked Sandy funding to backing of the development project.

  317. 317
    birgerjohansson

    Tpyos comment: My keyboard is hypersensitive. S o al l sent ence s look li ke th is.

  318. 318
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    bassmike
    You know, if I’d started reading the conversation with rq’s comment my brain would have registered “birds”. But you know when you click on a comment in the side bar and you read just that one?

  319. 319
    cicely

    *scritches* and *catnip* for WMDKitty.
    -
    *big hug* for bassmike, and a large *care-package-of-hugs* to help you through the sad times ahead.
    -
    Portia!
    *pouncehug*
    -

  320. 320
    Nutmeg

    Yay birds! (Also yay tits! :) ) Those are some gorgeous birds, rq. I enjoy our black-capped chickadees here, but they’re nowhere near as colourful. I’ve only seen a boreal chickadee once, when I was canoe-tripping further north.

    Yay Portia for a successful trial!

    ***

    I have a slight cold, so I’m staying at home and not sharing my germs with my labmates. Which means that I should be doing all the work I can do from home. But I’m procrastinating about editing a labmate’s thesis chapter. Cold-induced brain fog is not helping.

    In more cheerful news, I seem to have a 3-month job (that would look very good on my CV) mostly lined up for next January. It’s not quite full-time, but the job market in biology is so terrible that everyone has to take what they can get. And short-term is what I’m looking for these days. Hopefully it doesn’t fall through before then. I still need to find something for September, though.

  321. 321
    Portia

    *running-start-with-a-gentle-impact-pouncehug* for cicely ^_^

    -

    thanks Nutmeg! *hugs*

  322. 322
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    rq: Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six. Seemed à propos, with the discussion of three tits.

  323. 323
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Great response to the Grantland bullying-to-suicide abomination from a trans woman writer.

  324. 324
    Lynna, OM

    Yes, the rabid right-wing is increasingly bold as we approach the 2014 mid-term elections. For example:

    […] “I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first,” Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.

    “God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she said. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.” […]

    Okay, then. Susanne Atanus is not afraid to speak out, to reveal the ragged edge of a mind broken by religion and far-right politics. The question is, how did she get this far? Where is the so-called moderate conservative who would shut this kind of campaign down before it even got off the ground?

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140121/news/701219738/

  325. 325
    Lynna, OM

    More whacko theories from the far-right:

    Beyoncé’s music will “lead naive young girls on a dangerous path that could lead some even into sex trafficking” and ultimately “abuse, abortions and abasement-sometimes death.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/christian-post-beyonc-leading-women-sex-trafficking-death

    In her latest radio commentary, Schlafly claims that “many Americans are dissenting with their feet, by moving away from same-sex marriage states and into the many states that continue to recognize the value of marriage as being between only one man and one woman.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/schlafly-claims-many-americans-moving-out-marriage-equality-states-protest

  326. 326
    Lynna, OM

    2014 is off to a deadly start: in the first 14 school days of the year, there have been at least 7 school shootings. For sake of comparison, there were 28 school shootings in all of 2013, according to gun violence prevention group Moms Demand Action.

    Yeah, not making progress with that whole gun control thing. One school shooting every other day is not good.

  327. 327
    rq

    CaitieCat
    I thought that’s where you were going with that one.
    Is she also in Total Recall? ;)
    (That was my first reference leap, at any rate!)

  328. 328
    Lynna, OM

    Well, yeah, we already knew this was his reason, but a leaked email confirms that the hired gun brought in to fight to maintain Utah’s anti-gay marriage laws is doing so because he is a mormon.

    In an email purportedly sent to his colleagues, Gene Schaerr made it clear why he was leaving his lucrative post as a partner at a prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm to defend Utah’s laws barring same-sex marriage: his Mormon faith. […]

    “I have accepted that position so that I can fulfill what I have come to see as a religious and family duty: defending the constitutionality of traditional marriage in the state where my church is headquartered and where most of my family resides,” Schaerr said in the Jan. 17 email to co-workers at Winston & Strawn. […]

    The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) certainly took umbrage with Schaerr citing his personal religious beliefs as the primary reason for taking on the case.

    “It’s alarming that the reason Gene Schaerr gives for taking this position has nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution or the legal issues at play,” Fred Sainz, HRC’s vice president of communications, said in a statement. “Schaerr’s entire motivation for taking this anti-equality case is to impose a certain religious viewpoint on all Utahns — and that’s wrong. When you become an attorney, you take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, not any particular religious doctrine.”[…]

    Salt Lake Tribune link.

  329. 329
    Lynna, OM

    Readers’ comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article (link in #328):

    […] my tax money is used to pay his salary. That he was “courted” based upon his expertise and his personal religious conviction. When did the State of Utah Attorneys General make “personal religious conviction” a hiring standard?
    ——–
    Defending the religious beliefs of your church over civil rights of Americans? Let your Corporate Church foot the bills & refuse any taxpayer money.
    ———
    He has tied his religious conviction to this case, which means he sees it’s success as a validation of his God. Therefore if he loses he ought to be prepared to admit his faith is flawed.
    ———
    Am I to understand correctly that Gene Schaerr has been hired by both the State of Utah’s Attorney General office AND the Sutherland Institute? If so, which master will he serve first?

  330. 330
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Hi everyone,

    Just dropping in to say there’s a surfeit of bullshit going on, there’s too many celebrities, and too many aggravations.

    Cheers!

  331. 331
    blf

    Final: The Rapture &mdas; the horror movie ‘winning people to Christ’:

    Low-budget horror film Final: The Rapture, about the end times foretold in the Bible, is aiming to convert cinemagoers to God — through terrible dialogue and cheap effects

    […N]ow Christianity and horror are being blended with pure evangelism in Final: The Rapture, a low-budget thriller that is — very slowly — sweeping the US.

    “We’re trying to share this so their eyes will be opened … so people go home with hope,” [said] producer Susan Chey […], comparing it to a “Trojan horse” that would introduce people to faith. “The Christian community loves the film because they believe in the Book of Revelation, when Christ returns,” says her husband, writer-director Tim Chey. “Atheists love the film from a horror standpoint.” [snickers]

    […]

    The film cost less than $10m (£6.2m), and frankly looks it: the badly recorded sound, hammy acting, and a thoroughly unconvincing plane crash sequence all look set to turn it into a so-bad-it’s-good cult hit[…]

    But Tim hopes it will be the first in a seven-film series[…]

  332. 332
    rq

    blf
    That film will probably be a horror. For all kinds of reasons.
    Then again, it might be good for a few laughs, too.

  333. 333
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Oh – and bassmike, I’m sorry to hear that your dad’s declining quickly, but if it’s inevitable, hopeully it’ll be as quick and painless as possible. I’m glad your daughter’s getting better, and I’ll look forward to when you’re able to come back and be around again. *hugs* offered.

    Josh, *hugs* offered to you too.

    And future Supreme Court Chief Justice Portia, off to a thumping 3-0 record in her early career before the bench! Bravissima! Your wisdom droppeth from heaven upon the places beneath. :)

    MyshkaMouse is now here, snoring snuffily on the couch beside me (she’s still sinusy from the flu her household all suffered over the holiday season – four adults, each down for at least 3 weeks with a knockdown/18-hour-sleep flu!), which is very happy-making. It’s been over a month since she was last here, easily the longest time we’ve gone without seeing one another since we started seeing one another 7.5 years ago. So superhappy Caitie. :)

    And tomorrow night Eldest is coming along with MyshkaMouse to hear me perform at a women’s erotica performance event, the 10th anniversary – 11th show – of such a thing (I’m not posting a link, which publicizes my IRL name, because Living While Trans*). I’ve performed at nine of them, missed two for painstorms over the years.

    Got the rent paid today, and now I have eight whole days to try and get together next month’s. Rentiers can bite me. Even more than they already do.

  334. 334
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Hy!
    This song has been popular lately so it’s often on the radio, and I feel tingly all over every time I hear it.
    Silente: Terca na tišinu

    I don’t know what it is about the song.

    Also, threadrupt. I was keeping up with some other threads (namely, Thunderdome) so something had to suffer (besides my sleep patterns).

  335. 335
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Giliell:

    Do you know how funny that sounds if you read that and don’t notice that the conversation is about birds?

    It does indeed sound funny. I’m catching up on the Lounge in reverse, so I didn’t know the conversation was about birds. I was confuzzled for a minute.

  336. 336
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    blf:
    Atheists love the film? Hee hee. Snortle!

    ****

    Portia:
    Glad you won another case!
    BTW, where did “semi bait” come from?

  337. 337
    opposablethumbs

    Lots of ::hugs:: to bassmike. Glad your daughter is doing better. Wishing you reserves of strength for your father’s remaining time.

  338. 338
    cicely

    Josh!
    *pouncehug with chocolate*
    -

  339. 339
    skeptifem

    found a recording of utah midwives reacting to a preventable death of a baby. Its some weird shit.

    http://safermidwiferyutah.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/remember-this-meeting-is-being-recorded-part-one/

  340. 340
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    bassmike:
    I’m very glad to hear your daughter is doing much better.
    I hope you’re able to spend as much time with your father as you desire before he passes away.

  341. 341
    Lynna, OM

    So, Mike Huckabee is speaking today at a Republican National Committee Winter conference. Here’s part of what he had to say:

    “Republicans don’t have a war on women,” Huckabee said. “We’re having a war for women. To empower them to be something other than victims of their gender.”

    “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,” he continued. “Let us take that discussion all across America, because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be.”

    Saw what!? Dude is confused. And lest you suspect a joke here, no, Huckabee was serious.

    http://swampland.time.com/2014/01/23/huckabee-gop-waging-war-for-women/

  342. 342
    Lynna, OM

    Some thoughts on Mike Huckabee’s comments (see post #341): He connects libido and birth control much like Rush Limbaugh does. That’s weird.

    Huckabee tries to come across as the aw-shucks, humble nice guy, but he is really cruel when it comes to comments about women. Underlying his rant is the message, “get your libidos under control, women!” Dude is afraid of female sexuality, and is therefore into bullying women. Also, he implies that Republican women can control their libidos, and miracle of miracles, they do it without the help of birth control pills. Another WTF.

    Maybe it is only birth control pills supplied by Obamacare that increase a woman’s libido?

  343. 343
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    So Huckabee prefers a form of government that tells women “no, you cannot have abortion services or access to contraception” rather than a government that tells women “if you make the choice to use contraception, we can help”

  344. 344
    Lynna, OM

    Another thought on translating the Huckabee rant: the implication is that chastity, not having sex, is the only legitimate form of birth control.

    Also, sex drive in females is a big, big problem.

  345. 345
    Lynna, OM

    Robert Reich seems to be following up on a recent post by PZ, one that slammed the sloppy thinking of David Brooks.

    http://robertreich.org/post/73764746576

    Occasionally David Brooks, who personifies the oxymoron “conservative thinker” better than anyone I know, displays such profound ignorance that a rejoinder is necessary lest his illogic permanently pollute public debate. Such is the case with his New York Times column last Friday, arguing that we should be focusing on the “interrelated social problems of the poor” rather than on inequality, and that the two are fundamentally distinct.
    Baloney.

    First, when almost all the gains from growth go to the top, as they have for the last thirty years, the middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power necessary for buoyant growth.

    Once the middle class has exhausted all its coping mechanisms – wives and mothers surging into paid work (as they did in the 1970s and 1980s), longer working hours (which characterized the 1990s), and deep indebtedness (2002 to 2008) – the inevitable result is fewer jobs and slow growth, as we continue to experience.

    Few jobs and slow growth hit the poor especially hard because they’re the first to be fired, last to be hired, and most likely to bear the brunt of declining wages and benefits. […]

  346. 346
    Lynna, OM

    Another excerpt from Robert Reich’s post about income inequality and its consequence (see link in post #345):

    Unequal political power is the endgame of widening inequality — its most noxious and nefarious consequence, and the most fundamental threat to our democracy. Big money has now all but engulfed Washington and many state capitals — drowning out the voices of average Americans, filling the campaign chests of candidates who will do their bidding, financing attacks on organized labor, and bankrolling a vast empire of right-wing think-tanks and publicists that fill the airwaves with half-truths and distortions.

  347. 347
    Lynna, OM

    The Pope says the internet is a “gift from God.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/pope-francis-calls-the-internet-a-gift-from-god-9080117.html

  348. 348
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    bassmike
    Glad to hear your daughter’s doing better. My condolences regarding your father, and I hope that you can spend time with im.

    Josh
    Indeed. *hugs*

    Portia
    Congratulations

    Tony
    Her car was hit by one recently while she had the misfortune to be inside.

    Lynna
    Well, Republicans can be relied on to be total scumfucks, so it’s no surprise that Huckabee is on type.

  349. 349
    Lynna, OM

    Mormon Moments of Madness uncovered. Trigger warning for sexual abuse.

    A lawsuit filed Wednesday in the 2nd Circuit Court in Hawaii, alleges that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Maui Land and Pineapple Company Inc. and Youth Developmental Enterprises, recruited youths from Mormon communities in Utah and southern Idaho to go to camps in Maui to pick pineapples in the 1970s and 1980s, which led to them being sexually molested. […]

    The lawsuit claims that Mormon men in their 20s, who qualified for supervisory positions after completing their two-year missions, ran the camps, which recruited minors from church wards and scouting organizations.

    The lawsuit claims that one man, who was appointed camp coordinator, branch president and stake high counselor for one of the camps, molested the two boys from 1986 until 1989.

    The lawsuit also claims that the defendants knew of the camp coordinator’s “pedophilic sexual violence.”

    The alleged victims are seeking unspecified monetary damages, as well as changes to how the LDS Church deals with sexual abuse, and a written apology from the church. […]

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57438270-78/church-lawsuit-camps-claims.html.csp

  350. 350
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    rq:

    baby tree kangaroo!

    Squee!

    bassmike – *hugs* I’m so sorry about your father.

    Portia – *pouncehug* Congratulations on your latest victory!

    Nutmeg – I hope you feel better soon, and congratulations on your prospective job.

    Josh – *pouncehug* I’d offer chocolate too, but cicely got there first. =^_^=

  351. 351
    rq

    Nutmeg
    Get well soon!!

  352. 352
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    The Pope says the internet is a “gift from God.”

    The puppetmistress just asked me; does that include all the porn?
     
    Good morning lounge people!

  353. 353
    rq

    Good morning and good night, gobi! :)

    (And in answer to the question – most definitely! God wants us to have fun.)

  354. 354
    cicely

    “Morning”, gobi.

  355. 355
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The puppetmistress just asked me; does that include all the porn?

    Just that involving priests and/or nuns.

  356. 356
    ChasCPeterson

    crosspost:
    Attention friends and fans of Chris Clarke and/or North American desert ecosystems:
    https://www.beaconreader.com/projects/defending-the-desert

  357. 357
  358. 358
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Conservative Diminary D’Souza

    FIFY.

  359. 359
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Hello cicely!
    It is always morning somewhere in the world. :)

  360. 360
    ajb47

    Lynna @342

    This is what one of my friends posted on FB about this. And I am gobsmacked at Huckabee’s audacity. The idea the Republicans, by trying to tell women they have no bodily autonomy and that they must be under a man’s authority, are waging a war *for* women is absurd. And his disingenuous misinformation about “government” paying for birth control is astounding to me.

    It’s possible I misunderstand, but the AHA just says the insurance companies have to provide coverage for birth control, yes? I understand there are government subsidies for those who can’t afford the full cost of their insurance policy on their own, but declaring the government to be paying for women to be slutty slut sluts is… Well, I need to ask here if I am misunderstanding what the AHA actually does.

  361. 361
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Good morning, Gobi.

  362. 362
    rq

    This poor victim of her gender greets you all on this fine, cold morning. I’m so glad to know that there are people out there, looking out for my very best interests. I feel so safe!!!
    (Someone pointed it out upstream, but the conflation of sex drive and birth control is… amazing.)

  363. 363
    bluentx

    …raise statues to me and have commemorative days and you can all come to my parties…

    Yea for parties and commemorative days for rq! However, if Latvian statue etiquette requires posthumous awards… MORE PARTIES instead!

    Could use a bit more snow…

    You can have the inch or so I got overnight!

  364. 364
    rq

    I’ll take the snow.
    And some new glasses (or at least a hint as to where my old ones are). Youngest has proven his extended reach capabilities, by reaching for, acquiring, and subsequently breaking them. *sigh* Have to find the warranty, too.

  365. 365
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Good evening Hekuni Cat – it is always evening somewhere in the world :)

  366. 366
    rq

    gobi
    It sounds like you’re always somewhere in the world.

  367. 367
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    rq – wherever I go, there I am…

  368. 368
    rq

    gobi
    And so, presumably, wherever you do not go, there you are not.
    *wooooOOOOOOoooooo*

    +++

    I don’t understand why, what with all its internal processed sugar reserves, my body insists on craving sweets, cold outdoor exercise notwithstanding. I feel like I spend my afternoons wandering the house, moaning “chooooooocolate” in a rather desperate tone. (Since we’re not a particularly high-sugar-consuming family, reserves are constantly low or unavailable. Boo.)

  369. 369
    rq

    So it’s not the thought, but the lipservice that counts. Or at least, that’s how I read the results of that… ‘experiment’. Heh.

  370. 370
    rq

    Ugh. Another depressing conversation with Single Choir Friend. And once again, I’m sad for the women around me (I know two or three, including SCF) who are single and without kids, and who are actually depressed due to this fact – because they attach so much social status to having kids, they seriously feel themselves incomplete without them (SCF has even said she’ll take any husband/donor at this point, as long as there’s a man and children). And they all have decent, independent careers that they (for the most part) enjoy. I hate that they have to live with that kind of cultural pressure.
    Alternatively, sometimes I feel bad for having kids because I feel like I’ve betrayed my independent, feminist ideals. Which displays a definite dichotomy in thinking about what it means to be feminist and independent. *sigh* The world should just be fair.

  371. 371
    birgerjohansson

    Re. preventable death of a child…

    “Ancient Carthaginians really did sacrifice their children” http://phys.org/news/2014-01-ancient-carthaginians-sacrifice-children.html

    The past is a very different country indeed. Proto-Utah?

  372. 372
    rq

    Another comment eaten. Full of links. Oh, the horror! Ah well…

  373. 373
    birgerjohansson

    Article: Superhabitable Worlds http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/ast.2013.1088

    Summary: Looking for a ‘superhabitable’ world? Try Alpha Centauri B, paper says http://phys.org/news/2014-01-superhabitable-world-alpha-centauri-paper.html
    — — — —

    Do we all have genes for hibernation? – Research sheds light on groundhog’s shadowy behavior http://phys.org/news/2014-01-groundhog-shadowy-behavior.html

  374. 374
    birgerjohansson

    Spiney Norman, the giant hedgehog from Monthy Python turns up in Luleå, Sweden
    http://www.thelocal.se/20140124/the-man-behind-the-biggest-and-coolest-hedgehog-in-sweden

  375. 375
    birgerjohansson

    Swedish divers find artifacts dating back 11000 years, including organic matter at a one-of-a-kind site [see the 11,000-year old tree trunk]. http://www.thelocal.se/20140124/swedes-dive-in-stone-age-excavate-site-drawing-atlantis-comparisons If the auroch bones found in the gyttja (which is sediment rich in organic matter at the bottom of a eutrophic lake) contain well-preserved DNA maybe we can bring back the ancestor to cows, without the genetic bottleneck caused by domestication?.

  376. 376
    birgerjohansson

    Evidence that land animals evolved the ability to breathe air as ancient fish http://phys.org/news/2014-01-evidence-animals-evolved-ability-air.html
    Evolved the ability to breathe hot air ….proto-spinmeisters?
    .
    Did the South American Hoatzins originate in Europe? http://phys.org/news/2014-01-south-american-hoatzins-europe.html
    Flying ruminants who can climb trees.
    For maximum cool, let’s make a grey parrot-hoatzi hybrid. And it should retain the wing claws as adult. And have opposable thumbs.
    .
    Acoustic lens generates tunable ‘sound bullets’ for ultrasound applications http://phys.org/news/2014-01-acoustic-lens-tunable-bullets-ultrasound.html#ajTabs
    Btw… detecting defects using ultrasound in the kind of ceramics used by space planes/shuttles would allow load-bearing heat resistant ceramic components. Or maybe ceramic components in engines with very high combustion temperatures.
    .
    Rock’s power to mop up carbon revisited http://www.nature.com/news/rock-s-power-to-mop-up-carbon-revisited-1.14560

  377. 377
    birgerjohansson

    Pakistan sentences British man to death for blasphemy http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/24/pakistan-sentences-british-man-to-death-for-blasphemy/

  378. 378
    Portia

    Thanks for the congrats everyone ^_^

    The good feels really helps numb the annoyance at the client who decided to imply that I’m a sex worker when I couldn’t get him his desired outcome.

    -

    Tony:
    About a month ago I was hit by a semi that ran a red light and totaled my car. I guess I should come up with a new suffix soon :)

  379. 379
    birgerjohansson

    Portia, can you sue a client for implying that?

    Here is a smart response to Huckabee stupidity:

    Time To Start Asking Republicans Directly: How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex? http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/24/time-to-start-asking-republicans-directly-how-much-sex-is-too-much-sex/

  380. 380
    Portia

    birgerjohansson:

    Actually, yes. *pdf* But only if he had said to someone besides me.

  381. 381
    Lynna, OM

    More oil was spilled from trains in 2013 than in the previous 37 years combined. Many of the spills were accompanied by explosions/fireballs of volatile crude oil.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/01/20/215143/more-oil-spilled-from-trains-in.html

  382. 382
    rq

    Portia
    So if he says it to you, it doesn’t count? How the hell is that logical? I suppose it might be, from a legal point of view, if there were no other witnesses… But still! Ech.
    How’s the new car driving, by the way?

  383. 383
    Lynna, OM

    How Fox News conducts polls: tell the respondent what to think and then ask them a question. Here is some text from a Fox News poll: “In the aftermath of the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya, the Obama administration falsely claimed it was a spontaneous assault in response to an offensive online video, even though the administration had intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda.”

    And here is the question following that text: “Which of the following do you think best describes why Obama administration officials gave false information?”

    And that’s how we get more faux news that real news, and how we get poll results that should be thrown in the trash.

  384. 384
    Portia

    rq:
    Ha, yeah, you’re right, it seems wonky. But the damage in defamation is to your reputation, and if he didn’t tell anybody but me, there’s not really any damage to my (spotless) rep. :)

    The new car is a dream. I feel so lucky to have a reliable car I like so much. She’s an Equinox, so I named her Autumnal ^_^ I’m considering saving up to replace the factory radio, but the fact that the radio is functional at all is a step above my previous car.

    How are you, friend?

  385. 385
    Lynna, OM

    To answer the question posed in #360 about birth control and the Affordable Health Care Act:
    The Affordable Care Act makes birth control and other preventive health care services accessible without a co-pay. The big, bad “Uncle Sugar” government isn’t giving out contraception to women, but is requiring private insurers to cover it.

    This is just one of many preventative health services that are now required of insurers. Insurance companies can no longer get away with selling policies that do not cover preventative care without a co-pay. You pay your premiums, and even if you don’t get sick or injured, the insurance company gives you something for your money.

    No one has to take birth control pills, even if their insurance company covers them. You are free to choose. There are also carve-outs in the AHC for religious institutions, but I won’t get into that.

    http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/the-gop-war-on-women-hasnt-died-down-125500483680

  386. 386
    Lynna, OM

    When it comes to right-wing radio and TV hosts, who is as bad, as poisonous as Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity of Fox News. So who is Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) bringing to the State of the Union address on Tuesday? Sean Hannity.

    Hannity is the newscaster that falsely claimed a White House adviser “advocated compulsory abortion,” and he routinely casts doubt on the scientific consensus about climate change. He fueled the myth that President Obama is a Muslim, and he fueled the popular Repbulican myth that Obama wants to raise taxes by 30%. Those are just a few of Hannity’s sins against journalism.

    Gohmert isn’t the only Texas Republican bringing a contentious State of the Union guest. Rep. Steve Stockman is bringing Chad Henderson, a former Obama campaign volunteer who caused a stir in October when, amid Obamacare website enrollment woes, he told reporters that he successfully signed up, only to reveal later he did not.

    Last time, Stockman invited Ted Nugent.

    So, far-right Republicans are seeding the audience with buffoons. That should be interesting.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/sean-hannity-louie-gohmerts-state-of-the-union-2014-102509.html

  387. 387
    Lynna, OM

    Another view of Mike Huckabee’s comments re the libidos of women and the use of birth control:

    [..] There are two reasons Republicans keep getting tripped up on these women’s issues. The first is, they’re the ones who have nothing else to talk about. They oppose pay equity and raising the minimum wage; most of them voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. They’ve relied on culture war issues for so long, in the absence of strong economic policies that can lure voters who aren’t wealthy, that these culture war themes have become their “Uncle Sugar,” bad for them, but reliable and familiar, so they keep going back. I should clarify: Bad for winning national elections, but great for raising money, as Huckabee’s grifting email shows.

    The other reason is: They really believe this garbage. Huckabee himself is on record that women should “submit graciously” to their husbands – so “controlling their libidos” means only having sex with their husbands, and only when he says so. Just this week, in his new memoir, New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce wrote that he believes “the wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice.” Virginia State Sen. Dick Black doesn’t believe “marital rape” is a crime, opining “I don’t know how on earth you could validly get a conviction in a husband-wife rape when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie and so forth. There’s no injury, there’s no separation, or anything.” Black just dropped out of the running for a congressional vacancy, insisting he’d prefer to keep his state senate seat. […]

    who is “Uncle Sugar?” He sounds like a pimp. Is Huckabee back to the Rush Limbaugh argument: that women who want birth control covered by health insurance are prostitutes? Or is it just the avuncular form of the Obamacare “sugar” that Ted Cruz warned about? That makes women not prostitutes, I guess, but maybe like horses, trading their loyalty for a lump of sugar? […]

    http://www.salon.com/2014/01/24/will_the_last_republican_woman_turn_out_the_lights/

  388. 388
    Lynna, OM

    Jon Stewart talks about Davos. Rich people talk about poor people. The poor people can’t be bothered to come to Davos.

    http://www.salon.com/2014/01/24/must_see_morning_clip_welcome_to_davos_where_rich_people_talk_about_poor_people/

    Scroll down for video.

  389. 389
    Pteryxx

    Time To Start Asking Republicans Directly: How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex? http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/24/time-to-start-asking-republicans-directly-how-much-sex-is-too-much-sex/

    In other words, he said that one can believe that women are wonderful or you can believe that women use contraception, but you cannot believe both at the same time. Believing a woman uses contraception immediately and apparently permanently erases any respect you have for them, and causes you to see them not as a “smart, educated, intelligent, capable” creature, but a sex-haver who can’t control her libido. It is impossible, by his own measure, to respect women who have sex for pleasure instead of procreation.

    …and that’s why Republicans go on rants about Viagra coverage by insurance companies, slut-shame sports stars who advertise it, picket urology clinics, and boycott NASCAR.

    Oh wait, it’s only morally righteous to have a libido if it results in someone *else’s* pregnancy. Gotta spread that seed, it’s biblicalogically genetically men gonna werewolf.

  390. 390
    ajb47

    Lynna @385

    Thanks. I thought that was how it worked.

  391. 391
    rq

    Portia
    More later, neighbour came by to christen our new skating rink with rum (haven’t had it in ages) and since we haven’t had dinner yet, well, I need to let it settle for a bit. :) But more later. :)

  392. 392
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Conversation I just had:
    Me: I cannot get into my email or Blackboard.
    IT Person: Why do you need to get into those?
    Me: ???? They’re useful?
    IT Person: *patronizing tone* But you’re not an employee anymore. Did you actually think you’d maintain access?
    Me: I’m a student here. I need to access my classes and the emails my professors send me.
    IT Person: *checks system* Oh, yes, I see that. Fill out [form] and you’ll get a new account.
    Me: Why not reactivate my old account?
    IT Person: Oh, would you prefer that?
    Me: It would be nice.
    IT Person: Well, okay. It’ll take probably 24 to 48 hours.

    And it’s Friday. So that means I’ll be locked out all weekend.
    ARGH.

  393. 393
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    …wait…

    We’re not supposed to enjoy Frozen now?

    I give up. >.>

  394. 394
    A. Noyd

    @Azkyroth (#393)
    There are a lot of problematic aspects to the film from a social justice perspective. But it’s Disney, so that goes without saying. And no one’s said you can’t enjoy the film, only that you should be conscious of the problems as much as possible.

  395. 395
    rq

    Azkyroth
    It can and should be enjoyed… But it shouldn’t be accepted without criticism. Had a FB conversation (a productive, enjoyable one even though we disagreed) on why a vampy look was associated with dangerous females – and why an uncontrollable and unpredictable magic power still needs to look vampy in order to be truly dangerous. Among other things.
    But it’s a great movie, better than a lot of other things Disney puts out… And they get so much right in this one, it would have been nice for them to go the extra few steps.

  396. 396
    rq

    Wow, that was a mild case of incoherence. Uff. Still need a moment, it seems.

  397. 397
    cicely

    gobi:

    It is always morning somewhere in the world. :)

    True.
    They are nastily persistent, that way.
    :)
    -
    Portia:

    The good feels really helps numb the annoyance at the client who decided to imply that I’m a sex worker when I couldn’t get him his desired outcome.

    I’m totes sure that he—I’m assuming that the client in question was male, but I could (hypothetically) be wrong—would have implied exactly the same thing of a male attorney who he felt had similarly failed him.
    *tongue-so-far-in-cheek-as-to-actually-poke-through-the-skin*
    -
    birgerjohansson:

    Time To Start Asking Republicans Directly: How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex?

    Well, duh! Any sex a man doesn’t want, is too much sex.
    *rolling eyes*
    -
    *hugs* for Esteleth.
    -

  398. 398
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Heya
    *hugs* all around.
    Mr and I went to the thermal spa today.
    I love that place!

    Also, #1 is seriously impressing her teachers by now. The one who despaired ix weeks ago over her sharpening a pencil for 10 minutes was seriously impressed with her writing a coherent story after six months in school.
    You kick ass, kid!

  399. 399
    rowanvt

    Despite the fact that I’m still scheduled for a week of work, my manager and supervisor asked me to not come in. Apparently, I’m too happy to be leaving that hellhole and it’s affecting morale, especially as apparently it’s extra clear I don’t want to work there and I’m just moping about.

    Dear manager who will never read this:

    First, due to stress and lack of sleep I’ve apparently decided to have a bipolar-like episode of rapid cycling that lasted 5 days. I am exhausted from it, as I wasn’t sleeping well. Sorry for being tired and a mental wreck.

    Second, maybe what’s actually hurting morale is the fact that I told my coworkers how little I am making, and how much I will be making, and pointed out to them that they will never get paid a decent wage while working for that corporation.

    Third, maybe what’s also hurting morale is the fact that all the front staff and 2/3rds of the techs are wanting to leave anyway, and many have been half-heartedly looking for other jobs. I’ve acted as a catalyst and many of them are now actively looking to escape. One of the doctors is even actively looking to escape.

    Fourth, all the doctors are currently upset with the corporation because it’s currently contemplating jumping down the privy hole in regards to standard of care and what the non-specialty practices are allowed to do. This is going to affect how they interact with the staff and how the staff in turn feels.

    Fifth, you try taking 15 different radiographs on a single animal who is flailing and arthritic and mouthy and see how energetic and enthusiastic YOU are when told “Hmmn… could you take just one more?”.

    Honestly, this job can go fuck itself sideways. They treat the staff like shit and how dare one of show just how deep the pile is.

    And now, for my extra week off, I’m going to have fun, and I’m going to buy new scrubs, and I’m going to make the new heated rack for my baby snakes.

  400. 400
    cicely

    Giliell, a *hugback* for you, and a *high five!* for #.
    -
    rowanvt, you are clearly a troublemaker!
    :) :) :)
    You go!
    -

  401. 401
    rq

    cicely

    Any sex a man doesn’t want

    But men always want sex, so obviously there can never be too much sex.
    Right?

    Giliell
    Hooray! :) Sounds like all those who said she wasn’t ready for school should eat their words several times over.

    Portia
    To reply. We’re doing well, what with the cold settling in. Sometimes the car doesn’t start in the mornings, one morning the whole street was unstarting cars, until Husband’s colleague kindly showed up to help out. The bonus is we have a skating rink (yay!) which the kids love.
    I have a more positive feeling about getting some funding out of Work for the possible prof.dev. seminar in June, more or less provided I use that knowledge to improve the situation here – and gods know the situation here could use improving, at the moment doesn’t matter from where (was at a seminar about quality assessment in preparation for an autumn audit for accreditation for our crime scene techs, and the situation is… sad). So I may yet get a chance to leave a lasting mark on Latvian forensics. *fingers crossed*
    I’ll be buying plane tickets soon (hopefully, if the car doesn’t completely roll over and die), and I’ll let you know some dates for your potential-maybe-very-exciting-possible trip to Canada. ;) If that’s still on the table, that is.

  402. 402
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Giliell, one of the things I truly loved about being posted to CFB Baden-Soellingen was that it was a half-hour cab ride (in a Mercedes! That was pretty boss, coming froma country where most cabs were propane-farting old Buicks) from the Caracalla-Therme, the spa at Baden-Baden (from which, those not in the know, Baden gets its name, meaning ‘the baths’, rather like Bath in England).

    My friends and I had a solid pattern: on the weekends we got paid, we’d take off for a European city that we had access to (because of security clearance and the Cold War – without which to be fair I’d not have been there at all – I never got to Berlin, or Praha, or Budapest, or anything east of them), spend the weekend partying and touristing, arriving back just in time to make presentable for Monday morning work. I was 19, I could do that kind of thing.

    The other weekend, we’d spend at least one day at the baths, doing the sauna circuit (four saunas, each 5 C hotter than the last, interspersed with crazy-cold plunge pools or short trips to the snow-balcony), sunbeds, lazing in the thermal baths…ye gods and little fishes, it was luxury.

    I am envy, Giliell. I am much envy. :)

  403. 403
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Oh, also, I felt I’d mastered my local dialect when I was able to say Caracalla-Therme in a way that my local informant assured me was quite perfectly Badener. :)

  404. 404
    rq

    The ark was round? This is cause for a reconstruction of historical technology! Coming soon to a documentary near you! (And all those animals in a reed-and-rope coracle… Does this mean the Creation Museum needs to revise its design?)

  405. 405
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    LOL, three-post rule be damned.

    Reminded me that when in Thailand, I met a lovely German fellow whose company imported exotic fish to Germany, who was staying in my hotel. We had a nice dinner, and chatted in some German and some English, and I enjoyed seeing him around the hotel.

    Later in the trip, I ran into him again, only this time his daughter was along; we shared a cab up to the Ramkamkhaeng Road to go shopping, and he struck me dumb: he introduced me to his daughter, and in doing so, said, “…und sie spricht fast perfekt Deutsch!”

    And she turned and spoke to me, and I was so tongue-tied by the compliment that I sounded like Gomer Pyle using his USMC Occupation Japanese. “Nay, nay, ik no – er, I mean, nik – I mean nicht me- not mich- no, oh god, what am I doing?” and I shut up before I could embarrass myself any further. Mortifying. Dude was laughing, because I’d told him that I didn’t respond well to compliments, and he’d specifically done it because he’d seen me respond similarly when he said it to me directly.

    Which goes to prove: you can’t trust a German fighting-fish salesman that you meet in a Bangkok hotel.

    It’s not the most useful rule I’ve ever codified, but I’m prepared for next time, i’ll tell you.

  406. 406
    rq

    You have the oddest, most entertaining stories, CaitieCat. Thank you for sharing! :)

  407. 407
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Caitie
    Now I’m trying to figure out how they do pronounce it. I s’pose with a rather soft sound somewhere between “k” and “g”.
    We did two rounds of Sauna today: First time with a salt rub in the middle. Funny thing was that the smell in the sauna was like the bubble bath my grandma used when I was a kid and I was instantly taken back in place and time.

    rq
    They can eat something else, if you ask me…
    I mean, right now it’s already a pain in the ass to get her to do something she finds boring. She missed a full week at school and the teacher and I agreed that we don’t need to pay much attention to this fact. I’m way more concerned about the weight she lost…*

    *Cookie and donut diet FTW

  408. 408
    SallyStrange

    HAAAAYYYY EVERYONE!

  409. 409
    cicely

    rq:

    But men always want sex, so obviously there can never be too much sex.
    Right?

    Well, but you see, sometimes a man’s gotta watch sports, or drink beer, or hang with his friends. And when any of these are the case, obviously, there is too much sex.
    It’s one of them Religious Mysteries. Completely incomprehensible to Mortal Woman. ‘Cause, after all, we don’t comprehend much, what with the fluffy-pink lady-brains and all.
     
    *exaggerated eyelash-fluttering and giggling*
     
    Hell, I think I’ll throw in a *simper*, too, while I’m at it.
    -

  410. 410
    rq

    I can’t actually view this first broadcast about the internet, but I’m told Peter Mansbridge has hair in it.

  411. 411
    rowanvt

    Haaaaaaaaaaay Sally!

    CaitieCat, that story is hilarious!

  412. 412
    cicely

    SallyStrange!
    *pouncehug*
    -

  413. 413
    rq

    cicely
    But every game has a commercial break… Every guys’ night needs a pee break… Even when drinking beer, sometimes they have to get up for refills, and I’m pretty sure all of those are perfect openings for spontaneous man-sex.

    *shudder*
    I think I’m giving myself too many shivers to continue with this one, simpering and all.
    Ew.

  414. 414
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Giliell, the tricky bit is, yes, the softness of the velar stops (k), but also their combination with the uvular fricative for “r”, which means you’ve got a rapid series of articulations at velum and uvula. And just as it’s much easier to say “dabadaba” repeatedly fast than “dadadada” because of the clearly different articulation points in the former, multiple quick articulations at velum (much used in English) and uvula (not so much) are challenging for the English speaker. A velar semi-fricative followed by a uvular fricative followed by another velar semi-fricative…that’s an articulation challenge of impressive proportions. :)

    The principle behind designing a tongue-twister in a language is to introduce as many closely-articulated (but ideally not identical) points as possible: she sells seashells, or peter piper’s peck of pickled peppers, or Fritz’s itch for fresh fish, illustrate the point clearly. “Caracalla” would be dead easy if the R was tapped or trilled or flapped, as the Italians or Spanish would do. :)

  415. 415
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    So Sallie Mae – apparently aided and abetted by the Financial Aid office – has decided to screw me royally, by reducing the amount I was loaned.

    The logic is that I borrowed “too much” for the first two semesters – I’ll do a second FAFSA and round of loans for the third and final semester (i.e. the fall 2014 semester).

    Never mind that I requested the loan I did because I knew that in August (when said second round will all happen) I won’t have the credit for another loan. What with the fact that I’m unemployed and don’t have a co-signer and all that business. I DELIBERATELY requested enough to get me through all three semesters.

    So the upshot is that – if my math and budgeting is right, I will run out of money in October. And I will be unable to get any more.

    Fuckheads.

  416. 416
    cicely

    ‘Course, during The Game(s) the wimmenfolk are supposed to be keeping the sammiches and nachos coming…and refilling the beers. No time for sex! Not without interrupting Other Necessary Services!
    -

  417. 417
    rq

    cicely
    I think it’s a matter of striking a balance between the ONS and the sex, because a woman always has time for sex with Her Man, no matter what else she’s doing. So it’s a bit of a dilemma.
    I sitll think too much sex for men is impossible.

  418. 418
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Oh, language stuff!

    :D :D

    One of my siblings does a lot of work with the Latino community and is (as such activities require) fluent in Spanish.

    She does, however, have the difficulty that her name is flatly unpronounceable in Spanish. Both in the sense that it contains a phoneme that does not occur in Spanish and in the sense that the spelling contains a letter cluster that also does not occur in Spanish.

    Gotta love Welsh.

    Her solution? She goes by her middle name. Because “Maria” is quite possibly the most common feminine given name in existence.

  419. 419
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I sitll think too much sex for men is impossible.

    …but…chafing…. D:

  420. 420
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Esteleth
    That sucks.

  421. 421
    chigau (違う)

    今日は皆様!

  422. 422
    Dhorvath, OM

    Lube does wonders about chafing. I mean, having spent ten and twelve hours in the saddle, let me say that without lube I would have been crippled. Wait, we aren’t talking about bikes. Nevermind.

  423. 423
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Azkyroth

    Chafing isn’t limited to guys.

  424. 424
    chigau (違う)

    rq 410
    Not a whole lot of hair on Peter, even in 1993.

    The first guy interviewed said there was hardly any swearing or name-calling on the Internet.
    huh.
    Maybe in the first week…

  425. 425
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    違う: 嬉しいだ!

  426. 426
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Chafing:

    The reason sex on the beach doesn’t happen.

  427. 427
    Dhorvath, OM

    Well, maybe lying down…

  428. 428
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Ahh, chafing. A concept I tried to explain to some of my guildmates in my MMO, as a bunch of them were talking about how since some female bodied people are capable of multiple orgasms, therefore all female bodied people can have enjoyable penetrative sex ~*continuously*~.

    They refused to believe me when I said this was not the case.

  429. 429
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Good morning People of the Lounge!

  430. 430
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    They refused to believe me when I said this was not the case.

    Once the Redhead and I tried for a weekend of whoopie. We were both sore long before the weekend was over, ending with a mutual decision to cease activities for a while.

  431. 431
    chigau (違う)

    Someone stopped for the light just in front of my house had the bass on their sound system so high it rattled my windows.
    What was that like inside their car?

  432. 432
    A. Noyd

    The Mellow Monkey (#428)

    They refused to believe me when I said this was not the case.

    Should have challenged each of them to pick up a jumbo package of hard candy at the supermarket and then vigorously suck each candy till it dissolved, one after the other. And then get back to you if they could finish the package before their mouth was feeling too bruised and raw to continue.

  433. 433
    cicely

    Dhorvath, far be it from me to criticize, but srsly…10 to 12 hours of sex with a bicycle?
    -
    WMDKitty:

    Chafing isn’t limited to guys.

    But it’s the only chafing that counts, ammirite, guys?
    </sarcasm>
    -
    The Mellow Monkey:

    Ahh, chafing. A concept I tried to explain to some of my guildmates in my MMO, as a bunch of them were talking about how since some female bodied people are capable of multiple orgasms, therefore all female bodied people can have enjoyable penetrative sex ~*continuously*~.
     
    They refused to believe me when I said this was not the case.

    Ah…one of the Old Standards!
    I ran into this one…let’s see…it was ’82 or thenabouts, making it around 32 years ago…back when I was new to tabletop.
    The guy who set up one of the other womens’ (there were 3 of us, in a group of 7, officially making our group a Waltzing Bear) female character to be gang raped by over 300 guys thought she’d appreciate the “favor”, for exactly that same rationalization. And he believed us no more than the goob you were talking about.
    -
    “Morning” again, gobi.
    :)
    -

  434. 434
    chigau (違う)

    g’night gobi.

  435. 435
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @cicely:

    The guy who set up one of the other womens’ (there were 3 of us, in a group of 7, officially making our group a Waltzing Bear) female character to be gang raped by over 300 guys thought she’d appreciate the “favor”, for exactly that same rationalization.

    I had one person stage an RPG rape *once*. He was DM. I left the game. He wanted in my game. I said no. Never fucking ever.

    Although there were 2 guys who were players in my game who joked about rape during a session and I didn’t completely discard them…but after some stern words it never happened again.

    Staging an RPG gang rape?

    Only one reasonable response.

  436. 436
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    But it’s the only chafing that counts, ammirite, guys?

    >.> Up until Mellow Monkey’s post, I wasn’t aware that the idea that there’s no such thing as too much sex for women was ever floated. :/

  437. 437
    cicely

    Crip Dyke, he didn’t remain in our group much longer.
     
    I believe he no longer felt welcome.
    For some reason.
    -

  438. 438
    rq

    cicely
    … He was chafing?

  439. 439
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    Win.

  440. 440
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning

    Caitie
    Tres tristes tigres traen trigo a un trigal.
    One of the difficulties I had in Spanish is that the “correct” Spanish R is done with the tongue, while in German, (if you have a post vowel r at all, there’s a reason why I prefer RP to General American pronounciation) it’s of course glotal. My Russian-German grandma has a lovely flapped R.
    Fortunately, language instructors have become much more tolerant. Because not everybody in the Spanish speaking world does their Rs like that.

    Esteleth
    My name is easy in Spanish as long as people don’t see it written. If the first contact is going to be in written form I simply substitute the J for an I and everything is fine. My last name is impossible in Spanish, too.

    +++

    I sitll think too much sex for men is impossible.

    I might have found that out once. The words “I can’t keep up with you” might have been uttered.
    But yeah, I remember how Mr. was totally surprised to find out that small tears and such were frequent occurences for me. Really, guys.

    +++
    cicely and CD
    Wow, that’s totally fucked up.
    I mean I love me some adult content in our RPGs (somehow my characters usually end up on the slutty side of things), but that’s not OK. The “worst” we ever had was when both male and female characters used sex to distract the guards and I’m pretty sure the DM would have allowed us different solutions as well.

  441. 441
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    That is to say, I believe that rq has won that exchange decisively.

  442. 442
    rq

    Thank you, thank you!! *accepts potato award with pride*

  443. 443
    blf

    …the bass on their sound system so high it rattled my windows.
    What was that like inside their car?

    They probably couldn’t hear yer windows rattling.

  444. 444
    carlie

    If I may indulge in my rant of the week:

    Child 1 has had stomach/intestine problems for about a month and a half now. We went to the dr once and saw one of the nurse practitioners, who said she thought it was allergy sinus drainage, said to use allergy meds and antacids. Did, he got better, dropped antacids, then started in on slightly different symptoms including intermittent intestinal/stomach cramping and loss of appetite. Like, huge loss of appetite: one day he had half a bowl of cereal, an egg roll, and half a cup of rice. All day. A teenaged boy. So he went in to the doctor yesterday. The doctor, who we’ve had a kind of rocky relationship with forever, said that this was a good thing, because he’s overweight. (almost 6 feet tall,,slight belly, wears a size large). Showed zero concern for the sudden appetite loss, just said he wasn’t eating healthily enough and current amount of eating (by my estimate 800 calories a day or less) is fantastic because he’ll lose weight. What the everloving fuck?! I’m morbidly obese and have never had that kind of fat-shaming dismissal from a doctor. He has 15 extra pounds or so and gets fat-shamed and his health concerns ignored, and told to his face that he needs to lose weight (oh hai eating disorder, come on in!). Spouse took him, and was adamant that we are finding a new doctor as soon as possible. Yep. This is probably absolutely nothing at all in terms of health other than a minor sick blip, but that kind of attitude…

  445. 445
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    carlie

    So he went in to the doctor yesterday. The doctor, who we’ve had a kind of rocky relationship with forever, said that this was a good thing, because he’s overweight.

    WTF?
    I mean, yeah, being skinny, most important thing in the world. What does he recommend next? Induced vomiting?
    But sadly, not uncommon. Happened to a friend of mine, too. Her daughter was 4(!) at that moment and the kid is definitely not “overweight”. Her whole frame is heavy, broad shoulders and such. And then she only ate like a piece of sausage each day and when the concerned mum went to the doc they told her exactly that.
    Do those people think that kids have no ears? And that eating disorders are something psychiatrists invented?

  446. 446
    blf

    accepts potato award with pride

    Here are some suggestions on what you can do with potatoe, The 10 best potato recipes: “The potato (and its sweet distant cousin) may not be the sexiest of foods, but they deliver. Try these sensational recipes for Indian veg burgers, hash, and even a passionfruit cake”.

  447. 447
    rq

    blf
    Thanks, but I’m Latvian. Believe me when I say I know what to do with a potato. ;) And potatos don’t juts deliver, they can be sexy. I’m pretty sure.
    (But Indian veg burger….? I’ll give it a shot, as long as there’s dill in it! hahaha…)

    carlie
    *hugs*
    I hope you find a better, more caring doctor soon, and that Child 1′s health issues are short-lived, and swiftly taken care of, in an appropriate medical fashion.

  448. 448
    blf

    Apparently, new islands are made in a bakery, The Scottish island bakery that supplies delicious biscuits to the world. Or at least that is how I first read the title… (Note: The link is a video.)

  449. 449
    rq

    Ugh. There’s one Luddite inspector who absolutely refuses to type up his requests and does them all by hand. I wouldn’t mind so much if he had decent handwriting…

  450. 450
    rq

    Ugh. There’s one Luddite inspector who absolutely refuses to type up his requests and does them all by hand. I wouldn’t mind so much if he had decent handwriting…

    … And the universe just had its revenge on me for saying that: papercut!!!

  451. 451
    rq

    Weird double post…

  452. 452
    opposablethumbs

    ugh, carlie. What an attitude … as if being a couple of kilos above skeletal is so important that you don’t even look at the potential health issues behind a sudden and radical loss of appetite? Argh! Hope you get a different and better doctor soon! Reminds me of the hearing specialist (fortunately no regular doctor of ours) we were referred to with a very young zoic#2 because he wasn’t speaking yet (purely routine: to eliminate any possibility of hearing issues being involved). The idiot heard him jargoning – (for those without a non-neurotypical kid: copying the rhythm and vague sounds of speech, as a lot of kids with speech and language disorders do) – and said he seemed to him to be speaking plenty. He never even stopped to think about whether there were any actual words in there (there weren’t) – he heard us talking something other than English between ourselves, and just assumed that the noises this toddler was making were words. He never fucking thought to ask us – just assumed that we were hysterical parents worrying about nothing. Still makes me angry now, which is ridiculous but some measure of the fears and frustrations we were dealing with back then.
    Hope child 1 is OK again soon, carlie. And I hope you get a doctor soon with the skill and intelligence to actually do something useful. This shit makes me feel angry for you too!

  453. 453
    Dhorvath, OM

    cicely,
    Well it does press on my nether regions…

  454. 454
    rq

    Dhorvath
    By that definition, I’ve had sex with every chair and seat I’ve ever sat on. Hmmm…

  455. 455
    Lynna, OM

    Legalizing religious beliefs as an excuse for doing something wrong — latest flea brained idea from ultra conservatives in Arizona.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/01/21/ariz-religious-protections-bill/4721825/

    Among the first bills moving through the Arizona Legislature this session is one that would provide significant new religious protections, some say to the point of legalizing discrimination.

    Senate Bill 1062, pushed by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and introduced by Sen. Steve Yarbrough, a Republican from Chandler, Ariz., would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense in a lawsuit filed by another individual.

    Specifically, the bill proposes to:

    • expand the state’s definition of the exercise of religion to include both the practice and observance of religion;

    • allow someone to assert a legal claim of free exercise of religion regardless of whether the government is a party to the proceedings;

    • and expand those protected under the state’s free exercise of religion law to “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity.” […]

    Bill would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense in a lawsuit
    Opponents say it could protect a corporation that refused to hire anyone who wasn’t Christian
    Sponsor says it clarifies Arizona’s existing religious-freedom law

  456. 456
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    cicely @ 433

    The guy who set up one of the other womens’ (there were 3 of us, in a group of 7, officially making our group a Waltzing Bear) female character to be gang raped by over 300 guys thought she’d appreciate the “favor”, for exactly that same rationalization.

    Ugh. Reminds me of something our DM did back during college. My sweetly natured character had been flirting with a dashing rogue type NPC for a while and the DM thought he’d do something “nice” for my character. The NPC used an aphrodisiac artifact on my character to compel her to have hot monkey sex with him while the party was temporarily divided up. My character was able to recognize what was happening, resisted it, and stabbed him.

    Most. Satisfying. Dice roll. Ever.

    Nobody else in that group seemed to grasp that magic to force someone to have sex = rape, unfortunately. I miss tabletop gaming, but I’m glad to no longer be playing with those people.

  457. 457
    Lynna, OM

    Ameericans United for separation of church and state link.

    Lawmakers in South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee are debating bills that are designed, supporters say, to “put prayer back in schools.” The tactics vary, but in each case the desired outcome is the same: a potentially unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. And the legislators behind the bills aren’t shy about their motivations.

    In a proposal to designate the first Sunday of August as “Prayer Walking Day” for public schools, Tennessee State Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City) credited America’s Christian majority as justification for the bill, and added a dose of theology in its text.

    “WHEREAS, we, as citizens of the State of Tennessee, value the freedom we have to gather and pray, and we acknowledge that ultimate power, protection, and security come from God,” it asserts, and later adds, “[G]iven the violent acts that have beset our nation’s schools-from Columbine High School and Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook Elementary; it is imperative that people of prayer should join together, to ask God for his blessing and protection upon every child in our schools.”

    Yeah, prayer will stop school shootings. Not.

  458. 458
    Lynna, OM

    Whoa! Glenn Beck has wandered further into LaLa Land than usual.

    Glenn Beck has a new theory as to why cable providers are refusing to carry his television network, The Blaze. No, it’s not because his previous job at Fox News lost viewers and scared off advertisers: it’s because of demons!

    Beck shared his theory with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Washington Watch yesterday, where he was promoting his “Get The Blaze Day of Action” campaign in which he urges fans to call their cable providers and demand they add Beck’s news channel The Blaze. […]

    Later, Beck suggested that demonic powers are trying to keep his television network off of cable, telling Perkins, “You also have other forces at work that aren’t necessarily earthly forces that would like to see voices silenced.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/glenn-beck-thinks-demonic-forces-are-keeping-his-tv-network-cable

  459. 459
    Lynna, OM

    S.C. Sen. Lee Bright is celebrating by raffling off a semi-automatic military-style rifle. What is he celebrating? The fact that “gun-grabbers” were not successful in tightening up gun laws after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Kill a bunch of school children, celebrate by raffling off a military-style rifle.

    Nothing wrong with that. /sarcasm. Oh, and Senator Bright wants you to donate to his campaign.

    http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/23/3223394/election-2014-lee-bright-giving.html

  460. 460
    Lynna, OM

    xkcd comics nail climate change denial

    http://xkcd.com/1321/

  461. 461
    Lynna, OM

    The taxpayers of Kansas are paying for legal battles prompted by the far-right anti-abortion legislation passed by their sludge-brained legislators:

    A raft of recent abortion restrictions have cost taxpayers in Kansas more than $1 million over the last three years. The state has paid a private law firm “slightly more than $1 million” since 2011, according to records obtained by the Associated Press.

    Kansas has some of the most sweeping abortion restrictions on the books, including mandated state-directed counseling designed to discourage women from going forward with the procedure and a ban on public and private insurance coverage for the procedure, and lawmakers — with the support of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback — are poised to introduce more in the coming year.

    Leaving regular people on the hook for politicians’ anti-choice agenda is particularly unconscionable at a time when funding for education, prenatal healthcare, and other social services have been drastically cut in recent years. […]

    Notice the intent to introduce yet more anti-abortion bills in the coming year. Throw a few million more dollars at the lawyers, restrict women’s rights. Lord-a-mercy Kansas residents, vote those guys out of office!
    Salon link.
    Associated Press link.

  462. 462
    Lynna, OM

    Moments of Mormon Madness in New Zealand, exploitation of the native population, and bogus education categories, along with some heavy-handed mormon real estate deals being questioned.

    A little ways down from the temple stands the sprawling campus of the LDS Church College of New Zealand, equivalent to an American secondary boarding school […]

    It, like the temple, was built in the late 1950s by an all-volunteer crew of Maori Mormon workers, known as “labor missionaries,” who lived on the site. With each nail and plank, these laborers constructed what they considered a holy place, while at the same time creating a cohesive, self-sacrificing core of devoted Latter-day Saints. […]

    Together, the temple (the church’s first in the Southern Hemisphere), school and homes formed a distinctly Mormon village, much like small Utah towns, where every aspect of social life was entwined with the faith. […]

    The first word was that the campus would be razed, reduced to grazing land. After vehement objections […]
    Now, church officials and designers have spent years crafting a less-drastic plan, which would save at least five of the historic buildings and put them to a new purpose as a “Legacy Park,” while enhancing the landscape, upgrading the road, erecting a new LDS stake center for regional meetings, creating a nature preserve and youth camp, and, later, opening a small part of the 1,700-acre parcel for residential and retirement housing.[…]

    Ponga says her stake president told her bishop — who happened to be her twin brother — to call her in and ask if she “sustained” (supported) local LDS leaders, and whether she had prayed about her actions and position on the plan.

    She answered yes to all of the above.

    “My worthiness and sustaining of priesthood leaders has never been questioned before,” she writes in an email. “And I did shed a tear or two in the bishop’s office last week.” […]

    Salt Lake Tribune link.

  463. 463
    Lynna, OM

    From the comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article referenced in post #462:

    See back in the day Mormons were known for their unique architecture and society, and local units made their own decisions for their faith community. The corporate mentality took over and now even the members equate progress with real estate development rather than personal development. On the far edges of Mormonism, this corporate money focused mentality didn’t quite make it all the way, and you are in a culture that has accepted it for so long you don’t bat an eye.

    Retires have money, kids don’t. So tearing down schools to make way for rich old people may make economic sense, but it shows the people who actually live there that the leaders are not concerned with anything but money.

  464. 464
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Oh, gaming.

    Sometimes a sexual scene can be set up and everyone involved is gleeful about it.

    Sometimes things go oddly. An example:

    Me [DM]: You are on a balcony of a bordello.
    Player: I open the door and go in.
    Me: Roll Stealth to avoid being noticed.
    Player *makes the roll, succeeds.*
    Me: You see an elegantly furnished room. It is occupied by a prostitute and her client. They do not notice you. The door to the hallway is directly ahead of you.
    Player: I shall impersonate the prostitute.
    Me: She’s a bit busy at the moment.
    Player: I’m rolling. Give me a difficulty.
    Me: Fine. [Absurd difficulty]
    Player: *makes roll, succeeds*
    Me: *flabbergasted*. The client does not notice. Uh, roll to avoid being grappled.
    Player: No. I am grappled.
    Me: …
    Player: C’mon!
    Me: Fine. Roll for damage.
    Player: Why?
    Me: Are you prepared for grappling? Did you prep anything this morning?

    He ended up taking 3 points of bashing damage. I was irritated.

    ‘Course, I should have been prepared when he made his character and decided that his character’s name was “BadAss the MinMax.” Mr. MinMax’s stats were allocated appropriately for his name.

  465. 465
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    That game also featured an orichulcum codpiece that was a Bag of Holding on the inside. The player was nude except for the codpiece (and a piece of string to hold it in place). He kept his gear stashed inside.

    I insisted he roll Dexterity every time he went to draw his broadsword.

  466. 466
    ChasCPeterson

    reflogging:
    Attention friends and fans of Chris Clarke and/or North American desert ecosystems:
    https://www.beaconreader.com/projects/defending-the-desert

  467. 467
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Esteleth, that is by far my favorite grappling story ever.

  468. 468
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Earning my nerd cred today. Got a box of baklava on the way to the Redhead’s BFF such that it will arrive before her birthday, and looking at how to block various WiFi devices on the guest account.

    I’ve let the neighbor that does the Redhead’s hair piggy-back on my WiFi, but evidently her family is abusing the privilege, much to her dismay. I suspect her sons and son’s friends are doing on-line game playing, doubling my normal heavy, but inside the limit, usage. So far no penalties, as the cap is temporarily suspended, but I don’t want to get caught out if the cap is reinstated.

  469. 469
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    So, what is the preferred method of serving potatoes here? I’m personally in favour of latkes, as large quantities of fat seem to improve the taste of everything they come into contact with.

  470. 470
    rq

    Boo yah. Latvian domination of skeleton continues.

  471. 471
    rq

    dongiovanni
    Tough question. Oven-roasted in skins is an old favourite, plus its easy (eat with a spoon right out of the skin and a healthy serving of butter). Also, small new potatoes fried in butter on a pan with lots of garlic – yum yum. Best in summer is sticking them in the coals of a grill/hot fire, also serve with butter.
    But those aren’t really recipes, that’s just doing stuff to potatoes. :) Come to think of it, I don’t actually have a recipe for potatoes.
    Oh, samosas! I once made delicious samosas. Accidentally.

  472. 472
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Boo yah. Latvian domination of skeleton continues.

    Its a hard job without muscles, but somebody has to it.;)

  473. 473
    rq

    Nerd
    When all you eat is potatoes…

  474. 474
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    Wait, accidentally? I want to know more now.

  475. 475
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @rq

    Every problem seems like a french fry.

    Oh, wait: did that make me sound weird?

  476. 476
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    BTW:

    I guess I should say that I did get the potato/famine joke, rq. I know you throw those in here just for me.

    I just couldn’t help my brain doing weird things.

  477. 477
    yazikus

    Tough question. Oven-roasted in skins is an old favourite, plus its easy (eat with a spoon right out of the skin and a healthy serving of butter). Also, small new potatoes fried in butter on a pan with lots of garlic – yum yum. Best in summer is sticking them in the coals of a grill/hot fire, also serve with butter.

    This sounds delicious, rq!
    -
    I’m going to be watching the SuperBowl for the first time next week. The friends who are hosting are having a theme for the food (everyone brings something), SuperBowl snacks, except with really good ingredients. Any ideas from anyone? Favorite football (hand-egg variety) watching treats? It seems everyone is my small town (and by everyone I mean a ton of fucking people) and gearing up in team apparel, hanging banners from windows, flying flags from cars, it’s infectious almost.

  478. 478
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    When all you eat is potatoes…

    *Was going to make a bad joke about potato starch, but decided: bad nerd, shut up*

  479. 479
    rq

    Nerd
    No, no, go ahead, now you’ve intrigued me!!

    Crip Dyke
    That one was for you, actually. :) Though the french fries need a good gravy and cheese curds to stop being such an issue.

    dongiovanni
    Colleague at Summer Job (years ago, in Canada) told me how to make samosas, but I didn’t write it down and by the time I got home, I’d forgotten it. So I muddled around the spice&herb cabinet for a while, until I remembered the one key ingredient she’d told me was essential (which I have, unfortunately, since forgotten), but the rest of it was a go-for-broke melange of random stuff that seemed thematic enough to fit in. And they ended up delicious, even though they were wrapped in rice paper and not the more appropriate pastry. I have been unable to recreate this recipe since (it did have peas in it, though…).

    yazikus
    Sorry I can’t help out much, I’ve never made any handegg snacks because I’ve never watched handegg. But perhaps pigs’ ears would be the way to go, if pigskin is your thing.
    Then there’s garlic-and-bacon stuffed champignons… Mmmmmm… I’m glad I had a delicious salmon for supper, else this talk of food before bed would be troublesome.

  480. 480
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    No, no, go ahead, now you’ve intrigued me!!

    Something about starched shirts and potatoes. Being a carbohydrate chemist, I know about amylopectin and amylose, the main nutrients in potatoes. Nothing funny.

  481. 481
    rq

    Ah well, funny joke, chemistry lesson, big difference, right? :)
    Don’t want to starch your shirts? Just wear a potato.
    And that was terrible. I’m leaving now. Good night!

  482. 482
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    CD
    I was actually reminded of a joke I heard in the 80s about an American general and a Soviet general bragging about how well supplied their troops were. When the American mentioned that U.S. soldiers get 4000 calories a day in their rations, the Soviet laughed and said “Ridiculous; no one can eat that many potatoes in a single day”.
    re#435
    That sort of thing can be dealt with in RPG, as long as everyone involved is aware, prepared, and ok with it beforehand. This was the case in a game in which I was involved (theoretically am but it’s on indefinite hold b/c the GMs life). I don’t know all the details as I wasn’t there (my character got bounced out of the chase and couldn’t rejoin, and had too many other urgent responsibilities, along with all of hers, it being the closest thing to a colleague in the area), but the player and the GM worked out the boundaries beforehand.
    Esteleth

    ‘Course, I should have been prepared when he made his character and decided that his character’s name was “BadAss the MinMax.”

    Any relation to MinMax the Invincible?

  483. 483
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Portia:

    About a month ago I was hit by a semi that ran a red light and totaled my car. I guess I should come up with a new suffix soon :)

    For some reason when I saw semi-bait, I was thinking of ‘semi’ as in partially rather than semi truck.

  484. 484
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Giliell:
    A thermal spa you say?
    Never heard of that.
    Time to try some Google-fu.

  485. 485
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Tony, this is the Caracalla-Therme, the baths I was talking about earlier at Baden-Baden, which are of a similar type (only in this case, the thermal spa is only part of the overall complex; I’m not sure which spa Giliell’s dealing with).

    Luxury, dude, absolute LUXURY.

  486. 486
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Good morning Lounge People!
    Aaah, the good old days… Seems like only yesterday I last said good morning.
    Australia Day today.
    A day when some people wrap themselves in flags and fly flags from thier cars.
    Take pride in thier ‘go back to where you came from’ bumper stickers.
    Enjoy BBQs and getting drunk, oblivious to anything other than beer and sausages.
    Dream of rewriting our school curriculum to remove mention of those annoying indigenes and include more of gods righteous western culture.
    A military jet will do a fly pass today…
    Oh, and there will be a rally to remember the 40,000+ years of culture that came before the first ‘Australia day’

  487. 487
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    So thermal spa’s are just a place to soak in warm or hot water?

    A thermal bath is a warm body of water. It is often referred to as a spa, which is traditionally used to mean a place where the water is believed to have special health-giving properties, though note that many spas offer cold water or mineral water treatments.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_bath

    I noticed while searching that there is some woo attached to thermal spas:

    Let mineral-rich waters at Austria’s unique thermal spas gently soothe away the strains of aching joints, back and skin problems, and even more serious conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis.

    [...]

    “Two-thirds water and one-third land; this is an awkward distribution, and I believe there is a good reason why we are endowed with more water” mused Sebastian Kneipp about our planet.
    150 years ago his knowledge about the healing powers of water made him a wellness guru. Kneipp is well known especially for his water treading, which stimulates the cardio-vascular system
    http://www.austria.info/us/rejuvanation/thermal-spas-1130913.html

    ??What’s so awkward about the water/land distribution??

  488. 488
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    CaitieCat:
    I see. I could use some luxury right now. A nice soothing hot tub would be divine!

  489. 489
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    A thermal spa you say?
    Never heard of that.

    You can transform it into a mechanical spa…but only part of it. :)

  490. 490
    cicely

    rq:

    … He was chafing?

    Indeed. Resulting in serious irritation.
    I would go so far as to say he was rash.
    -
    Giliell, we have quite a lot of adult content in our games, too…but the cake was definitely taken by Son, with his “I telekinetically jerk him off”—which didn’t mean quite what you might think.
    :D
    -
    *hugs for carlie, and a sharp visualization of you ripping that doctor’s throat out with your teeth.
    Sorry, folks. I am just an irredeemably violent person.
     
    On the side, stomach/intestinal problems with sometimes violent cramping is what lead me to experimentally conclude that I have a problem, now, with gluten. Might not be the case in Child 1′s case, but just thought I’d mention it.
    -
    Dhorvath:

    Well it does press on my nether regions…

    As long as it is fully consensual on both sides….
    -

    “Leaving regular people on the hook for politicians’ anti-choice agenda is particularly unconscionable at a time when funding for education, prenatal healthcare, and other social services have been drastically cut in recent years. […]“

    I believe that the supporters of this agenda would consider this a feature, rather than a bug.
    -
    My favorite potatoes are baked and fluffy, with butter, sour cream, lotsa cheese (shredded, not sauce!), chives, and a wholelotta bacon pieces.
     
    More than that.
     
    Keep piling it on, until either you receive an Out Of Bacon Error, or your arm drops off.
     
    Unfortunately, I can’t do that any more.
    :(
    -
    And gobi’s morning strikes again!
    :D
    -

  491. 491
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    Those baked potatoes sound very agreeable indeed. Bacon…

    In other news, I has brioche ready to go into the oven, and it occurs to me at this point that gluten intolerance must be deeply depressing.

  492. 492
    cicely

    Very deeply depressing.
    I had to walk past a rack of freshly-baked Italian bread the day before yesterday. The smell….
     
    My eyes leaked just a little.
    -

  493. 493
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    If I might gently suggest, dongiovanni, perhaps a gluten intolerance is more likely to be “saddening” or “frustrating” than depressing, no? And I mean it in that sense, a gentle suggestion, along the lines of the ableist nature of calling people “crazy” and so on. In no way a requirement, or even a mandate, merely raising the question of whether it isn’t a bit trivializing of what being depressed is, to suggest that it might be the result of being sad over not being able to enjoy bread products?

    No snark tag, cause I’m honestly not snarking, either. :)

    And on point, yes, I think it would be very frustrating to be gluten-intolerant. It would kill a serious portion of my current diet (in the “what I eat” sense, not the “I’m trying to lose weight in that pointless and counterproductive way we tend to call ‘dieting’” sense). I know that my own variable lactose intolerance can be very unpleasant for me. Sometimes cheese is a nightmare; sometimes, it’s a delight. Unfortunately, I don’t get to know before I eat it. :(

  494. 494
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    Ouch.

    That must have been painful. Are there any baked goods that prove agreeable, or do you have to compensate with bacon and such to make good the shortfall?

  495. 495
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Today is the fifth day in a row that I’ve had a migraine. I just want to curl up in the dark and sob. I’d been feeling good for a little while earlier, but that was just a cruel taunt to make the return of the migraine all the worse. My productivity this week has been in the toilet, seeing as how basic functioning like “eating food” seems to take up what little energy and willpower I have.

    And the turd icing on the shit cake is a friend of mine lecturing me about how I need to go to the doctor and the pills he has for the migraines he gets once every few months work like magic. Gee. I never thought of that. Surely my experience could in no way whatsoever be different from yours.

    Urgh. ;_;

  496. 496
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    Apologies. I did not intend to trivialise depression.

  497. 497
    chigau (違う)

    cicely
    We can share the baked potato.
    You can have the potato and all that stuff.
    I’ll have the bacon.
    OK?

  498. 498
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Nor do I think you meant to, DG – sorry, I should have said. I totally get that this isn’t standard usage that I’m suggesting, and that in no way do I mean to say that you meant to do anything wrong at all. I should have been more clear, I’m sorry. Thanks for hearing me, though.

  499. 499
    cicely

    It may have been trivial—in contrast to the more serious, long-playing, circling-the-drain type of depression—but I definitely felt a wave of depression.
     
    Good bread is one of my Very Favoritest Things Evar.
    -
    *gentle hugs* for Mellow Monkey.
    -
    chigau, you may have most of the bacon.
    -

  500. 500
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    *hugs* Thanks, cicely.

    This explains a bit:

    Migraines are triggered by a variety of causes that differ from person to person, but Broner says that more than 50 percent of them are triggered by weather changes. Mauskop breaks weather triggers into four categories: high humidity, high temperatures, strong winds, and—the most popular—drops in barometric pressure that occur ahead of rain or snow storms. New research has narrowed down the triggers even more, with one study by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine finding that being within 25 miles of a lightning strike can increase a migraine sufferer’s likelihood of attack by 28 percent.

    New reasons to hate this winter.

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