Comments

  1. says

    I am back from the emergency room. I’m going to live! I also got drugs, vikes and anti-inflammatory steroids, and am now in a bit of a haze, so don’t expect much from me today. I took my pills and turned on the telly, and there’s Peter Lorre and Walter Pidgeon in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and I’ve already seen on exploding Van Allen Belt, one battle between scuba divers and a giant squid, and heard the immortal phrase, This is a submarine, not a nursery school!

    Now you’ll all excuse me while I sink into a velvety cool fog. It’s kind of like having slow sex with a giant Aplysia. And then there’s the foofooroonafoo….blah blah blooh.

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

    Well, he didn’t break his funny bone.

  3. Dick the Damned says

    Excuse my ignorance, but i didn’t know that PZ had gone to the ER until just now.

    Get well, PZ.

    And what are vikes?

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

    @Dick the Damned, #7:

    Vicodin pills.

    They are a low-to-mid powered narcotic combined with a dose of acetaminophen.

  5. carlie says

    Good rest to you, PZ! I’m glad you’re home and relaxing and hope the pain meds keep working for as long as they need to.

  6. says

    Take care, PZ
    Wishing you all the best

    bassmike
    *hugs*
    Don’t apologize for posting what’s going on. Everybody deserves a place where they can dump shit, especially when family related so the usual support network is probably strained already.

    Yay for Vaiyt
    Yay for opposablethumbsspawn

  7. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    And what are vikes?

    Short for the NFL team, Minnesota Vikings.

    In the context, including the page image, I’m going to go with Vicodin.

    Or that.

    ======

    Currently roasting one large onion and three sweet peppers. Am going to make a beef stew with roasted peppers (duh), roasted onion (duh), and peas. To be served over roasted baby potatoes (with an ‘E’).

  8. says

    Coverage of the Ugandan anti-gay law from Mother Jones:

    The “attempt to commit homosexuality” incurs a penalty of seven years as does “aiding and abetting” homosexuality. A person who “keeps a house, room, set of rooms, or place of any kind for purposes of homosexuality” also faces seven years’ imprisonment. Because the law also criminalizes the “promotion” of homosexuality, there are far-reaching implications beyond the increase in punishments for same-sex sexual conduct…Public health promotion and prevention efforts targeting “at risk” groups might have to be curtailed, and health educators and healthcare providers could also face criminal sanction under the same provision.

    During the signing ceremony at his official residence outside the capital, Kampala, Museveni blamed the rise of gay culture in Uganda on “arrogant and careless Western groups that are fond of coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality and lesbianism” and claimed that some were doing so for “mercenary reasons—to get money—in effect homosexual prostitutes.”

  9. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Giliell! {hugs}
    .

    I would love to have the skill to do that.

    Crip Dyke, so would I! I can just play a few chords on the guitar and I can sing a bit (if I’m in practice and really concentrating I can do a capella harmony stuff; mostly though I just make up easy little harmonies on the fly, you know the kind of thing. Basically I’m totally frustrated when it comes to making music).

    And to be honest, I regret that my parents let me drop it so easily (and I also regret that nobody ever suggested all those years ago that even if you’re a beginner you don’t have to play nothing but crap-for-beginners because there exists such a thing as good tunes arranged for beginners). And OH regrets giving up piano when it was more or less ignored plus being a very poor single parent family they couldn’t afford lessons. So, typically, we took a deliberate decision to treat it kind of like homework – both kids did 5 minutes a day when they were little, and gradually increased; now they can both read just fine; one has led a (pretty good!) youth orchestra just at the end of school and before uni, and still plays a bit though not much now, and the other wants to study music. We especially did it with sonspawn because his communication disorder is a massive handicap when it comes to reading and writing, so yay music was the one thing he could feel like a success at in school and the one thing he could do as well as everyone else. On the downside my OH loathes pop (or rather, most pop) and I hate with all my heart that this has put daughterspawn off. It’s lucky all round that sonspawn clicks with jazz.

  10. blf says

    Another person here who was unawares poopyhead has yet more problems  ;-)  — or maybe had one of the less-satisfying encounters with the mildly deranged penguin (or more likely, a pea). Was any cheese or horses involved?

    Happy to hear Pee Zed’s Ok !

  11. anbheal says

    Hello.

    Y’all have been fantastically helpful in the past, when I need a good simple counter-argument against an ID/God-botherer friend or co-worker who has some patented and rehearsed GOTCHA schtik….so I wondered if I might trouble you again.

    My daughter (Age 9) had two excellent questions this week: 1) why do men have nipples?; and 2) why are there only 2 sexes? I answered the first one with some confidence, men have nipples because women have nipples, the mutation probably wasn’t on a sex-chromosome, the benefits were obvious for women, and having it causes no selection-worthy problems for men, so it’s hung around. You needn’t school me on the new revisions toward the role of selection, I’m comfortable with this as a general construct for a curious 4th-grader.

    But okay, why 2 sexes. I know I have read about this a few times, and either the genetic math or the molecular biology or both may be a little recondite. Obviously we’d have more opportunities to mate if there were 20 sexes, and our cost of finding a mate would be far less, both because of easier searching and less violent competition. But I think there’s something about mitochondria or competition at some sex cell level that explains pretty well why higher-level organisms almost always have two sexes.

    Anyway, I wonder if there’s a nice simple rubric that could explain this to a smart kid who’s five years away from her first biology class — it can be Science Lite, or fudge a few arcane distinctions, but some straightforward explanatory package (rather than a technical disquisition) I could use to answer her charming question.

    Thanks!

  12. David Marjanović says

    …Not caught up. Have links to dump first.

    “In 2013, researchers identified over 18,000 new animal species around the world, bringing the total of known species to more than 1.6 million.” Here are some of the new ones.

    In the wild, the axolotl occurs only in Lake Xochimilco in Mexico – where it’s critically endangered, if not already extinct. Petition to do something about this.

    “[…] Ted Nugent called President Obama a subhuman mongrel and said women running for office were varmints, fat pigs, and dirty whores and—believe it or not—that was causing headaches for his friends, like Republican candidate for Texas Governor Greg Abbott.” So he issued a notpology: I do apologize—not necessarily to the President—but on behalf of much better men than myself. “Meanwhile, Greg Abbott and the Texas GOP haven’t bothered to comment on Nugent’s history with underage girls—something he’s admitted to and even wrote a song about” [link to a newspaper article behind a paywall]. US citizens and permanent resident aliens are asked to donate to the Democratic candidate for governor of Texas, Wendy Davis.

    They’re also asked to “[d]onate $13 or more to our efforts to reform student loans and we’ll send you our new ‘A Student Loan Should Not Be a Life Sentence’ magnet and a sticker for free.” Hilariously, the e-mail is titled “Student Loans Shouldn’t Be a Life Sentence Magnet” – I honestly wondered if that was a metaphorical magnet that attracts life sentences.

    Electronics contains stuff that is “often mined in brutal conditions of forced labour, debt bondage and even child slavery in the Congo.” Petition to “Nintendo to stop playing games and step up its efforts to help end modern slavery.”

  13. says

    Tea Part craziness in North Carolina, coupled with criminal activity while spouting “personal responsibility” slogans, and possible enhancement of the Crazy via osmosis from being too close to Rand Paul:

    On the stump, Greg Brannon, the tea party candidate in North Carolina’s competitive Senate race, preaches personal responsibility and rails against out-of-control government spending.

    So a recent jury verdict that held Brannon responsible for misleading two investors who gave him a quarter of a million dollars is quite a blow to the image Brannon has tried to craft of a crusader for better financial decisions in government.

    Brannon, a full-time OB-GYN, is best distinguished from the rest of the GOP primary candidates vying to replace Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan by his extreme beliefs: he has said public education “does nothing…other than dehumanize” students and that food stamps are “slavery.” Recent GOP primary polls have Brannon trailing the front runner, North Carolina house speaker Thom Tillis, by single digits. Endorsements from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and conservative leaders such as RedState editor Erick Erickson have given Brannon a significant fundraising boost. […]

    In court, Lampuri, a Raleigh plumber who gave Brannon $100,000, testified that Brannon “pretty much spoke about Neogence [fraudulent “investment” opportunity] every time my wife was in stirrups.” Brannon must now repay Piazza and Lampuri a total of $250,000 plus interest.

    Brannon has boasted about his personal connection with his patients before. In a fall 2013 fundraiser for Hand of Hope, his non-profit crisis pregnancy center, Brannon said, “When I see little girls that come here, boyfriends that do show up are my favorites. Then I can whoop on them with love. How many people have we got married over the last 20 years just by riding that boy’s rear end?”

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/02/jury-greg-brannon-tea-party-senate-candidate-misled-investors

    Yeah, like I’d really like to go to an OB-GYN who pressured me to back his fraudulent investment schemes every time he took a pap smear. Ew.

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

    Thanks for that recipe Giliell! It turned out delicious, although I skipped milk/cream because we all like our soup a bit “lighter”.

  15. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    For the sake of avoiding all the weird, random crap that triggers my migraines or allergic reactions I’ve been only eating whole foods lately so I can control every ingredient. And because I’m poor and starchy deliciousness happens to be one of the things that triggers my migraines, this amounts to lots of salads.

    This has led me to get creative with homemade dressings and I’ve recently begun making homemade mayonnaise. Today I started with a basic oil/vinegar/coddled egg recipe. However, I used balsamic vinegar and a third of my oil was extra virgin olive oil. Then I added sea salt, black pepper, crushed red peppers, garlic, dehydrated tomatoes, and fresh basil from my windowsill.

    Oh. My.

    I now have to think of some food good enough to be pampered with this mayo.

  16. Portia says

    My nosy assistant acknowledged my email saying I’ll be out of town two days next week. I didn’t say why. She asked “going anywhere fun??” How rude is it to just ignore that, because I don’t want to tell her?

    (I’m visiting my family. Nothing secret. I just don’t like her knowing anything about my personal life because she is interminably gossipy and nosy).

  17. Portia says

    MM:

    Your mayo sounds really yummy.

    I was going low(ish) carb for a bit, and I really enjoyed poaching a couple eggs in the microwave, dicing them, then tossing them in dressing with black beans, spinach, cheese and whatever other veggies were around. MMMmmmm.

  18. blf says

    Ranting a bit…

    Late last orbit Big DumbCo hired a consultant to do, well, I’m not exactly sure, I haven’t been able to get anyone — the consultant included — to give me a clear synopsis. Anyways, one of things the consultant has been doing is modifying the software I work on. He has solved a problem that had been mystifying us for around two years now.

    But this consultant appears incapable of explaining what he has implemented, what he is supposed to have implemented, or (to a lessor extent) what needs to be implemented. What this consultant can do is show me the differences between the code he thinks he started with (he’s never too sure) and what he thinks he has completed (he never seems very sure here either), making a few random and usually obvious remarks, and then fail to answer any of my questions. And has no concept of the difference between functionality and implementation. or, as an analogy, between x+y=4 and 1+3=4. Which he would “explain” as 1+y=4  << I changed this.

    Arrrrgggggghhhhh!!!!

    It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I (and others) explain things to him, he keeps on doing the same fecking sillystooopid things.

    And he tries to set the record for Leaping to Conclusions. I don’t think he’s reached femtosecond timing on that yet, but he’s fecking close.

    And seems to have no clew at how to test anything which doesn’t involve poking around with an oscilloscope.

    Arrrrgggggghhhhh!!!!

    End rant.

  19. David Marjanović says

    I answered the first one with some confidence, men have nipples because women have nipples, the mutation probably wasn’t on a sex-chromosome, the benefits were obvious for women, and having it causes no selection-worthy problems for men, so it’s hung around.

    Male mice don’t have nipples.

    Maybe the selection pressures on them are higher…? *shrug*

    But okay, why 2 sexes. I know I have read about this a few times, and either the genetic math or the molecular biology or both may be a little recondite. Obviously we’d have more opportunities to mate if there were 20 sexes

    …and there are some slime molds that do exactly that. Well, I’ve seen the numbers 13 and 23 in popular articles, and I don’t know if one was a typo for the other or they’re true for different species. (Can’t find any of this on Wikipedia.) Anyway, they fulfill your unspoken assumption that each sex can have offspring with each other sex.

    Let’s just say it’s a good question. :-] There’s a lot of research on it, though.

  20. myleslawrence says

    I was wondering what happened to the Craig/Carroll “debate” I’ve some transcripts and declarations that Craig “won” but no video. Ans supposedly Craig was dragging out his two lame old arguments The kalam cosmological argument and the fine tuning of the constants. Gimme a break I think I could debate those sorry old tales. Anyway there’s a blurb on News360 but that’s it. Looking for more info.

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

    @David M

    Male mice don’t have nipples.

    Maybe the selection pressures on them are higher…? *shrug*

    Or during chromosomal shifting of genes – remixing does happen on occasion – one or more crucial genes were added to/ removed from a sex-selection gene in mice/primates.

    @Portia:

    I think the politest way to decline to answer is to simply not reply to the e-mail.

    People who casually send short e-mails expect many of them to go unreturned.

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

    Portia,

    Could write book exposing God’s attrocities

    God beat him to it

    Heh

  23. Portia says

    CD:

    Good point. Course of action, adopted.

    Beatrice
    ^_^
    “I was trying to make a hypothetical point.

    Sorry Job.”

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

    I think the politest way to decline to answer is to simply not reply to the e-mail.

    People who casually send short e-mails expect many of them to go unreturned.

    Seconded.

    Maybe the question is like those stupid “How are you” tacked after “Hello”, where people don’t actually expect (or want) you to answer.

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

    Favorite (for now):

    God gave man the free will

    I gave them the instruction manual

  26. Portia says

    Ha, no, she definitely is actually curious. Or rather, based on past explicit nosiness, that’s my read on it.

    My favorite so far is “Found man starving in the desert. Tried to offer him food for forty days.”

  27. David Marjanović says

    Beatrice!

    They’re just busybodies and they would tease her. Or possibly stay quiet because her dating someone would surprise them into silence.

    Oh, I do understand that. If I started dating and the info leaked, my sister would immediately plan a wedding and shower me with detailed, mostly useless questions, my dad would find it funny (and is incapable of expressing that in ways that aren’t teasing, no matter how happy he is), my grandma would get various hopes up, my mom would get various hopes up and join the planning and shower me with “advice” on how to live with people, I’m not sure about my brother but would expect an embarrassment at some point… only the other sister would be cool, and there are at least two aunts to deal with that would probably congratulate me in slightly embarrassing ways. Nope, I definitely wouldn’t tell anyone for a long time; and then I’d spell out this whole paragraph to explain why I didn’t say anything sooner. And no, none of them is some kind of patriarchal asshole that would try to present me with a script and expect me to live it out; that’s not part of the problem.

    That said, your friend does need to understand it’s not nice to use you like this. Does she have more friends to spread the burden? Can she meet you with her boyfriend on occasion – surely they don’t want to be alone with each other all the time?

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

    Meh, don’t answer. If she mentions it latter (going by your description, I’m imagining something snotty), say you were too excited about your amazing trip to answer puny questions.
    Erm, just less snottily on your part :P

    That wasn’t useful, was it? I try. *grin*

  29. says

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/26/world/meast/when-dinosaurs-roamed-saudi-arabia/index.html?c=middleeast

    For palaeontologists, the Middle East has long proven a bit of a blind spot.

    Evidence of dinosaurs has proven scarce, and what little surfaces from time to time have been traditionally difficult to itemize. That changed recently when an international team of scientists uncovered the first evidence of dinosaurs in Saudi Arabia near the coast of the Red Sea.

    The findings were published last month in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

  30. Portia says

    Beatrice:

    No, it was helpful, because I hadn’t considered what to do if she mentioned it, ha. She’s liable to ask in person at some point this week. May not mention the email itself, but she’ll probably ask to my face what I’m doing this weekend. Various vague answers are possible, I’ve taken to speaking as few words as possible in response to her questions about my personal life. “How was your weekend?” “Good. Yours?” This has the added benefit of saving me an hour of my life every couple days because given the opportunity she sits down and regales me with every confrontation and conflict and leaky pipe in her life. Everyone in the office has fallen victim at some point. She seems to finally be getting the clue that I’d rather work.

    So, all that to say, I think I’ll “Family stuff.” or something equally vague. She can guess that I’m going out of state (and probably will), which is fine.

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

    Portia,

    So maybe “Family stuff. Oh hey, did you say your parents are from _____?” After 15 minutes (if you last that long) notice how very late it is and that you should really go back to work.

    Note: I don’t know if this kind of evasion actually works. I’m usually just weird back at people, so they stop asking.

    This also gives half of the explanation for the answer NO to David’s suggestion:

    Can she meet you with her boyfriend on occasion – surely they don’t want to be alone with each other all the time?

    a) they want to be alone all the time and b) see above – she knows that I’m weird with new people, I’d just sit there quietly and freak out the poor guy (not deliberately, I just wouldn’t know what to say to this unknown person).

  32. David Marjanović says

    It is snowing.

    Just who is this “it”?

    Linguists call it the “dummy subject”. The word order in English (and German and even French) is so strong that it demands there be a subject, so everyone pretends there’s one there. Plenty of other languages (the Romance ones other than French, the Slavic ones…) do without one and just say “snows”.

    Chinese also has very strict word order rules. It does things differently, though: in Mandarin, “it’s raining” is “down-rain change-of-state particle“, xiàyǔ le.

  33. David Marjanović says

    That changed recently when an international team of scientists uncovered the first evidence of dinosaurs in Saudi Arabia near the coast of the Red Sea.

    That was several years ago. The publication is new, though.

    a) they want to be alone all the time and b) see above – she knows that I’m weird with new people, I’d just sit there quietly and freak out the poor guy (not deliberately, I just wouldn’t know what to say to this unknown person).

    Makes sense. :-(

  34. opposablethumbs says

    “family stuff” is always good, because it leaves the field wide open for anything from returning somebody’s widgety-doo-dad you borrowed last year (takes 5 minutes, leaving the rest of the weekend open for riotous living, licentious dancing and knitting) to a major three-generational international gathering complete with inhuman sacrifice (e.g. boiled kenHam, deep-fried rethuglican etc.) and invocations to the Elder Gods (lasts all weekend, but may still involve knitting).

  35. David Marjanović says

    Argl.

    The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts routinely uses electroshock therapy to control students they deem to be acting out. Plain and simple: This is torture.

    As children speak out about their “treatments,” the results are absolutely heartbreaking. Students that were treated to numerous electric shocks suffered from acute stress and long-term physical distress, not to mention burns and scars.

    We cannot allow this to continue any longer. The JRC is being investigated by the Justice Department and it’s time to take action. Write to President Obama and demand that he outlaw electroshock therapy as a behavior control immediately!

    Petition here.

  36. ChasCPeterson says

    Or during chromosomal shifting of genes – remixing does happen on occasion – one or more crucial genes were added to/ removed from a sex-selection gene in mice/primates.

    ?
    wut

  37. Reginald Selkirk says

    Biomimetic dentistry.” has anyone heard of this? A quick search turns up mostly pro- sites. Is this something to be suspicious about?

  38. David Marjanović says

    Gah. 31 states in the US “allow rapists to sue for custody and visitation rights”. Petition to the chairman of the Criminal[-]Justice Committee, Ohio State Senator John Eklund, to reduce that number to 30.

  39. carlie says

    anbheal – I would recommend that you watch the PBS Evolution episode titled “Why Sex?” It’s currently on youtube in parts; this one is the most relevant to your question, starting at 5:48 in particular. It shows in animated form the move towards two sexes with differing roles in reproduction. It’s not a really satisfying answer, but once you had one sex becoming larger and nutrient-dense and the other becoming small and motile, those are trajectories that end up with a binary situation. (caveat: the video is WAY oversimplified, but for what you’re talking about I think it will be ok) The companion site is also helpful, and the book The Red Queen has a chapter that addresses exactly your question. (chapter 4: genetic mutiny and gender) (ignore the last half of the book)

  40. Portia says

    Beatrice:

    I like the diversion tactic.

    I am getting better at simply being short in my answers and communicating thereby that I don’t want to get into it further.

    I picture it going like this.
    “So going anywhere fun next weekend?”
    “Oh, just doing some family things.”
    “Ooooh, like a family reunion? Special occasion?”
    “Nope.”
    “…okay…” *wanders back to desk*

  41. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Portia:

    “So going anywhere fun next weekend?”
    “Oh, just doing some family things.”
    “Ooooh, like a family reunion? Special occasion?”
    “Nope.”
    “…okay…” *wanders back to desk*

    Your half of this hypothetical conversation is how I often behave with people I don’t want to engage. Unfortunately, what tends to happen is people learn quickly that I don’t want to talk about myself and they take it as an invitation to ramble on forever about themselves.

    And then because I stay quiet and don’t offer any judgment, they assume I must be a really good and sympathetic listener.

    This is how I’m continually baffled by people adoring me and thinking we’re close friends when they know literally next to nothing about me. Friendship is a two-way street, ya silly gooses.

  42. anuran says

    Glad to hear you’re alright, PZ. Rest. Get well.

    In other news, Virginia Republicans are the gift that keeps on giving soundbites to feminist politicians

    You can count on me to never get in the way of you “preventing an unintentional pregnancy.” I’m not actually sure what that means, because if it’s “unintentional” you must have been trying to prevent it. And, I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.

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

    @anuran:

    the quote in your 63 is rather stunning, even after all my experience with US republicans.

  44. says

    Yes, I saw that quote in #63 as well. How depressing. That’s state Sen. Steve Martin speaking, or rather posting. He has since changed “host”to “bearer” or something like that, child bearer? Anyway, it’s too effing disgusting to even spend time looking it up.

    Martin is the same guy that said Planned Parenthood kills more black babies than the KKK.

    His recent excuse for his wording in that in using the word “host” he was parodying the pro-choice people.

  45. says

    Argh. L’s sewing machine keeps breaking down, so we’re looking at getting a better one. The sewing center offers free financing (via GE Capital). Unfortunately, GE capital won’t give me credit right now (long story), and L’s ID is expired. So down we go to the DMV, but they won’t renew it without a fucking certified copy of his birth certificate. How fucking stupid is it that the agency that issues ID is a totally different one from the agency that issues any other fucking documents whatsoever?

  46. says

    The Obama administration response to Uganda’s new anti-gay law:

    Secretary of State John Kerry demanded Monday that Uganda ‘repeal’ its new anti-gay law and warned that the State Department has begun a ‘review’ of U.S. assistance to the impoverished East African nation.

    See comments #16 and #18 for more info.

  47. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    His recent excuse for his wording in that in using the word “host” he was parodying the pro-choice people.

    More likely, someone reminded him that hosts have rights as well as duties, and that they can kick unwelcome guests out.

  48. says

    Good news for American taxpayers:

    On Friday, Fannie Mae passed a milestone years in the making. The District-based mortgage giant announced that by next month it will have sent the Treasury more than it received from a taxpayer-funded bailout.

    Fannie reported that it will pay the government $7.2 billion in March. With that payment, the company will have sent $121 billion in dividends to the government — compared with the $116 billion it requested from the Treasury. […]

    Looks like that part of the infamous bailout did not fail, and that good came of it.

  49. says

    Dalillama @73: Catch 22. BTW, now you know what voters in red states may be facing when they try to get one of the newly-required Voter ID cards.

  50. says

    On another ‘bunch of fucking assholes’ note, why does the power company feel compelled to robocall me 4-5 times a day the moment I’m behind. I know I’m behind, I’ll pay when I’ve got the money, and no amount of ringing my phone is going to cause me to have the money faster.

  51. Crudely Wrott says

    Sorry to hear that you got hurt, PZ.

    I’m hoping for a quick recovery for you.

    *er . . . aren’t some cephalopods known to heal rapidly? even regenerating lost parts?*

  52. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    ….

    Senior Project 2nd Semester, 4 months in: “FUCK! This…argh! Why! Don’t! I! Ever! Delegate?!”

    < $Honor Society Alumni Association Presidency >, Two Months In: “Oh, right.”

  53. caesar says

    Lynna@75: I’m living in Texas and I personally don’t have an issue with voter id. Having to show approved identification in itself isn’t a big deal, though the hoops they make some people go through to get that id are troubling, and I don’t buy the whole premise behind voter id.

  54. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Having to show approved identification in itself isn’t a big deal, though the hoops they make some people go through to get that id are troubling, and I don’t buy the whole premise behind voter id.

    Then you are missing the point of unnecessary voter ID. It is nothing but one way to make sure those who are poor, colored, and don’t have vehicles, and tend to vote Democratic, don’t make it to the polls due to lacking something they shouldn’t have to deal with in order to exercise their right to vote.

  55. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    caesar:

    Having to show approved identification in itself isn’t a big deal

    First, showing identification is not necessary. There have been cases of voter fraud. People voting in the wrong precinct; ex-cons voting when they are prohibited in that state, small shit like that. And the system that was in place worked. There is absolutely no evidence at all that voter identification laws will prevent cases like this.

    Second, voter identification laws are initiated by the same group — conservatives — every single time. They use fear to force the bills through. And they know that the people who are the least likely to have photo identification are poor, minorities, and low-income elderly. They know that those less likely to have up-to-date identification, those likely to move more often, are poor. They know that these voters are more likely to vote liberal, progressive, Democrat. These laws are deliberate attempts to suppress the votes of poor Americans, of minority Americans, of Democrats and progressives.

    You claim it is not a big deal. Your privilege is showing.

  56. caesar says

    I personally believe that the unstated premise behind some of the push for voter id is mainly to make it harder for people on welfare and other forms of public assistance to vote, under the premise that they’re supposedly lazy and willing to vote for continued benefits to enable them to continue living off of taxpayers. However, having to show an id to verify your identity is not itself objectionable, and I have no issue with it.

  57. says

    caesar

    I shouldn’t have to show photo ID to exercise my basic rights, and the notion that I should have to IS objectionable on its face. The added “rationale” just makes it that much worse.

  58. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    PZ

    Here’s hoping for a swift recovery. I’m in the last month of the six that they told me it would take to recover, and my elastic perception of time has never been stretched quite so far. I used to look up and blink, wondering where the last six months had gone, but now I’m convinced that the calender is lying to me. Is really only February? Really? Dammit. Patience is a virtue I’m told, but for a patient it’s a necessity.
    \
    Crudely

    Thanks for the parenting advice a thread (or two?) ago. Fortunately I came to the raisin’ ‘em up right game late in life. I’ve had the dubious benefit of seeing how it often works out for folks who poured their frustrations on the heads of their children. Oh yes indeedy, getting angry at someone who’s not yet capable of understanding that what they’ve done is wrong is a surefire exercise in drain-hole circling. Mind you, making sure the SF understands that certain behaviours are annoying is fine and necessary; I just make every effort to be calm when I do it.

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    However, having to show an id to verify your identity is not itself objectionable, and I have no issue with it.

    Which means you agree with the concept that it is OK to disenfranchise legitimate voters due to poverty, etc. Which means you are one privileged fuckwit without empathy toward those who don’t share your various privileges. Including the Redhead, being handicapped, which means getting to a Secretary of State office doesn’t happen without considerable help, time, and inconvenience, that isn’t need to make sure she can and does cast a ballot.

  60. caesar says

    WMDKitty — Survivor@83:

    I shouldn’t have to show photo ID to exercise my basic rights, and the notion that I should have to IS objectionable on its face.

    1. You don’t specifically have a right to vote. The 15th Amendment only deals with the states’ right to establish voting requirements, hence why we have the Voting Rights Act.
    2.Even if you had a specific right to vote, your rights aren’t absolute and there’s no reason why verifying your identity would be considered an undue hardship for the vast majority of people.

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You don’t specifically have a right to vote.

    Nope, there is a right to vote. Your analysis is faulty.

    Even if you had a specific right to vote, your rights aren’t absolute and there’s no reason why verifying your identity would be considered an undue hardship for the vast majority of people.

    Gee, and you just admitted why it isn’t necessary to require picture ID. IT is an undue hardship, compared to just a signature on a vote-by-mail application, and if one votes in every election, they should be updated continuously without a death certificate being filed, as they are where I live in Illinois. YOU DON’T HAVE ANY HARDSHIP. Others do, and you don’t care about them and their rights.

  62. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    caesar

    you really ARE a privileged fuckwit, aren’t you? Never mind that some people are disabled, elderly, poor, or are otherwise unable to obtain photo ID…

    Anybody not suspicious Caesar is a RWA troll?

  63. caesar says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls@85:

    Which means you agree with the concept that it is OK to disenfranchise legitimate voters due to poverty, etc. Including the Redhead, being handicapped, which means getting to a Secretary of State office doesn’t happen without considerable help, time, and inconvenience, that isn’t need to make sure she can and does cast a ballot.

    No, it means that showing an id is not objectionable. If there are issues that would make it harder for certain groups to get an id, then those groups should be given the opportunity to get an id well before the election. The underlying premise of the law doesn’t have anything to do with whether it’s a good idea or not.

    Which means you are one privileged fuckwit without empathy toward those who don’t share your various privilege

    I don’t know who this privileged fuckwit is, but I’m just an ordinary citizen who sees the requirement to show an id to vote as obvious, seeing as it’s something we already do in many other aspects of our lives. Plus the integrity of the voting process is something that must be upheld at all times.

  64. carlie says

    And then because I stay quiet and don’t offer any judgment, they assume I must be a really good and sympathetic listener.
    This is how I’m continually baffled by people adoring me and thinking we’re close friends when they know literally next to nothing about me. Friendship is a two-way street, ya silly gooses.

    I had what I thought was a good friend once. Then it slowly dawned on me that she never asked about me, but hey, I always volunteered information, so she didn’t have to. So I stopped providing information to see if she’d ask. She never did. Our conversations turned entirely into being just about her, all the time. For months. She never even offered the social lubricant “how are you, how’ve you been” nonquestions. I finally gave up on thinking it was a friendship at all, at least on my end. We eventually stopped talking. It was weird, seeing how self-centered people can be.

  65. says

    No, you flaming doucheweasel. Just no.

    Take your white male able-bodied privilege and shove it.

    Also, all the voter fraud that the Reich-Whinge complained about? The fraud they found? Was all committed by their fellow party members. “Voter ID” is a blatant attempt to disenfranchise poor, disabled, elderly, and otherwise disadvantaged voters.

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but I’m just an ordinary citizen who sees the requirement to show an id to vote as obvious,

    Nope, you are a doucheweasel trying to prevent legal entitled people from voting. Not everybody is able bodied, has sympathetic neighbors for rides, etc. All it means is that YOU aren’t inconvenienced, and being an unempathetic doucheweasel, think nobody else is. Why don’t you stop by an help the Redhead get ID. She can’t leave the house without aid. That is why you make no sense.

  67. says

    In Finland you can get an ID card free of charge for the purpose of voting. You’ll have to pay for the photos, though.

    There’s an ocean of difference in voting between US and Europe, so I won’t say anything more about that.

  68. anuran says

    And here’s another piece of news to warm your heart.

    Lobbyist Jack Burkman is giving his personal bodyservants (Congressional Republicans) draft legislation that would ban gay people from playing for the NFL.

    That’s right. These fearless Defenders of Freedumb want to interfere with the Divine Right of Business in order to do *shudder* Social Engineering.

  69. Dhorvath, OM says

    I finally gave up on thinking it was a friendship at all, at least on my end. We eventually stopped talking. It was weird, seeing how self-centered people can be.

    I did this with my boss regarding rides this year. Never once asked a question about why I wasn’t coming out to group rides, just lamented that he had no one to ride with anymore. The answer lies within.

  70. caesar says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls @87:

    Nope, there is a right to vote. Your analysis is faulty.

    No there isn’t. The purpose of the 15th Amendment was to prevent the South from denying blacks from voting on account of being black and regardless of whether they otherwise met the qualifications to vote.

    Gee, and you just admitted why it isn’t necessary to require picture ID.

    If all the kinks in the voter id laws were worked out, allowing everyone easy access to the required id, then it would no longer be an undue hardship, and there would be no reason why it couldn”t be required.

  71. anteprepro says

    I personally don’t have an issue with voter id. Having to show approved identification in itself isn’t a big deal, though the hoops they make some people go through to get that id are troubling, and I don’t buy the whole premise behind voter id.

    *facepalm*

    What the fuck are you on about then!?

    Plus the integrity of the voting process is something that must be upheld at all times.

    Yeah, because we don’t need integrity from campaigns or the people counting the votes. It is those dirty voters that are screwing things up!

  72. caesar says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls @89:

    Anybody not suspicious Caesar is a RWA troll?

    You totally got me. Only a RWA troll would be in favor of, or at least not opposed to showing id to vote. Can’t get anything past you.

  73. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The purpose of the 15th Amendment was to prevent the South from denying blacks from voting on account of being black and regardless of whether they otherwise met the qualifications to vote.

    Ever hear of SCOTUS. There is right to vote.

    If all the kinks in the voter id laws were worked out, allowing everyone easy access to the required id, then it would no longer be an undue hardship, and there would be no reason why it couldn”t be required

    Then it shouldn’t be implemented until those procedures for easily available and affordable ID are in place and shown to be working properly. Until then, show me where lack of picture ID has caused sufficient voter fraud to effect a recent election.

  74. anteprepro says

    caesar, just a word to the wise: Getting into an argument here is not a good idea. This is the one place in all of Pharyngula where that is NOT considered acceptable. Take it to the Thunderdome and you’ll be swell. Continue arguing here, and you might wind up banned. Not an order, only a suggestion.

  75. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Notice Caesar isn’t willing to help those who are needing help to get ID and vote. Hypocrite.

  76. caesar says

    WMDKitty — Survivor@92:

    Take your white male able-bodied privilege and shove it.

    I’m not a white male.

    Also, all the voter fraud that the Reich-Whinge complained about? The fraud they found? Was all committed by their fellow party members. “Voter ID” is a blatant attempt to disenfranchise poor, disabled, elderly, and otherwise disadvantaged voters.

    As I said in post 82, I agree that many people are pushing for voter id in an attempt to disenfranchise voters who would likely vote Democrat.

  77. anteprepro says

    As I said in post 82, I agree that many people are pushing for voter id in an attempt to disenfranchise voters who would likely vote Democrat.

    And you STILL support it because…..

  78. carlie says

    How would voter ID help prevent fraud at all?

    Voters still have to be registered. Voters have to sign in when they vote, and those names are checked against the registration rolls right then. The only way someone could fake a vote is to know a registered voter’s name and take their spot. If IDs are required, all someone who wants to fake a vote has to do is get a fake ID. You say IDs are easy to get, right? Fake IDs are even easier. Forcing IDs to be shown does not change the amount of voter fraud. And do you know how much voter fraud is out there in the US? 26 out of 197 million. Not 26 percent, 26. How is that worth disenfranchising thousands of actual real voters?

  79. caesar says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls@93:

    Nope, you are a doucheweasel trying to prevent legal entitled people from voting

    No, once again, I’m an ordinary taxpaying citizen who has no problem with requiring people to prove who they are in order to vote, as long as it’s made as easy as possible. Can’t say I’m surprised by the demagoguery though. It can’t be that I disagree with you. No, it’s got to be that I actually desire that some people be denied a vote. If you want to know who the fuckwit is, look in the mirror.

    Why don’t you stop by an help the Redhead get ID. She can’t leave the house without aid.

    Why don’t you?

  80. carlie says

    26 out of 197 million.

    Explain how that’s worth any legislative time and effort passing voter ID laws.
    Explain how that’s worth the extra 30-60 seconds per voter, multiplied by hundreds of voters per table, per precinct, per town, per state. Time spent by people in line, energy and effort spent by volunteers staffing the polling place.
    Explain how that’s worth the extra expense of getting an ID for every citizen in the country who doesn’t already have one.
    Explain how that’s worth the time they’ll all have to take off of work to get to the ID place during 9-5 M-F hours.

    26 out of 197 million.

  81. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why don’t you stop by an help the Redhead get ID. She can’t leave the house without aid.

    Why don’t you?

    Simple, I do at the moment, but there is no guarantee I will be here next year due to age/health. Unless you are willing to help those being disenfranchised due to your unevidenced problem needing picture ID, you ARE part of the problem.

  82. caesar says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls@101:

    Ever hear of SCOTUS. There is right to vote.

    Yeah I know those guys, but there still isn’t a right to vote.

    Then it shouldn’t be implemented until those procedures for easily available and affordable ID are in place and shown to be working properly.

    Yes exactly!

    Until then, show me where lack of picture ID has caused sufficient voter fraud to effect a recent election

    Again, I don’t buy into the alleged massive voter fraud that is supposedly infecting the voting process. All I’m saying is that showing id is not objectionable.

  83. carlie says

    Trying to get a voter ID card in Pennsylvania.

    Many of those ID-less voters are very old or in nursing homes, and have limited mobility and few ways to get to a driver’s license issuing center, said Nicole Berner, associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union. Many others, whether they are homeless, living with their parents or simply not named on a lease or utility account, do not have the required documents to prove their address, she added.

    “Most of these people are on the margins of society,” Berner said, “but they still clearly have the right to vote.”

    Eligible voters who don’t have an original copy of their birth certificate have to make two trips to the DMV, which for residents in rural northern Pennsylvania may be up to 30 miles away; once there, wait times average 59 minutes.

    Voters lacking an Social Security card have to truck over the Social Security office, where wait times vary from 15 minutes to an hour, and apply for a replacement card, which takes two to three days to receive in the mail, before making that first trip to the DMV.

    “It’s long lines and it’s multiple trips,” Berner said, adding that many people she has encountered “are just becoming demoralized and saying ‘I’m just not going to vote.'”

  84. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    dhorvath

    Quite a while ago you posted a lovely explanation of the processes involved in making metal frame tubes. Thanks for that. You also asked if you could comment on it because I’d already addressed the issue in a lame and ill-informed way. To any and all future questions of that nature I hereby give you a heartfelt: “Hell yes!”, dispensation good from now until the rapture. It’s been quite clear to me for some time that your depth of knowledge on things bicyclical exceeds mine, and I’m perfectly happy to be educated, amplified, and corrected where necessary.

    There was talk about saddles in that thread too. In a not to stunning coincidence I was awaiting delivery of an Allay saddle for my commuter bike. Now with a month or so riding under my bum I’ve found that it does in fact do what it claims. I took out the ‘airspan’ pillow and found that it didn’t do much of anything. It’s not the most comfy saddle I’ve ridden, but it’s the first one where I’ve yet to be able to make any part of my anatomy go numb. The reason for this is because it has a clear front edge, rather than any fancy ergonomic design. When I sit too far forward, as I’m wont to do, I know instantly.

  85. caesar says

    anteprepro@102:

    caesar, just a word to the wise: Getting into an argument here is not a good idea. This is the one place in all of Pharyngula where that is NOT considered acceptable. Take it to the Thunderdome and you’ll be swell. Continue arguing here, and you might wind up banned. Not an order, only a suggestion.

    Now that is funny. Last I checked, all I did was make a comment stating my opinion of voter id. It’s “you guys” that started arguing with “me”. It seems that anyone who comes out with a position on a subject that is not as liberal as everyone else is attacked, and met with accusations of being a troll, or being downright evil. As a result, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid starting an argument.

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

    Monitor note:
    Please remember that this is the Lounge:

    The Lounge is more strongly moderated; do not start fights, do not be rude when posting there, but nothing is otherwise off-topic.

    The voting rights question should be removed to the Thunderdome.

  87. caesar says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls@109:

    Notice Caesar isn’t willing to help those who are needing help to get ID and vote. Hypocrite.

    Again with the demagoguery. Just like Hitler. Oops, did I just Godwin the thread? And to to your point, I don’t need to personally help her. It’s unfortunate that she is handicapped, but I’m not causing her any issues by my support. There are plenty of groups around who will put in the work helping those with issues voting.

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

    Everyone, WMDKitty, should go to TD with this, not just Caesar. We’re all responsible for keeping the Lounge a friendly space.

  89. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Oh for fuck’s sake.

    As a result, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid starting an argument.

    It’s not the the argument, it’s the venue. Fuck off to the Thunderdome, and take Nerd, WMDKitty and anyone else who wishes to argue about this with you.

  90. chigau (違う) says

    carlie
    caesar isn’t arguing with themself
    and he didn’t start the name-calling
    and the links to the Thunderdome came when?

  91. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Aaaaand, I’m just repeating shit. [refresh is my friend, refresh is my friend….]

  92. chigau (違う) says

    Hi, FossilFishy.
    How ya doin?
    It’s going down to -28°C tonight.
    Think I should plug the truck in?

  93. chigau (違う) says

    carlie
    I’m sorry if I was harsh.
    I was catching up and ran across a pile of turds and started yelling.
    Want some rum?
    You, too, Fishy.

  94. anteprepro says

    It’s going down to -28°C tonight.

    Jesus Christ. Try to stay warm, somehow. And people around here complain when it’s just a few below freezing. Damn.

  95. carlie says

    chigau – no, you were right, I kept going when I shouldn’t have. I thought I could just toss down a few refs, but it was definitely being negative, fueling the fire and contributing to the whole tone.

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

    If y’all have the rum, I have chocolate and garlic.

  97. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I’m well enough chigau, and yourself?

    Nah, if your truck can’t handle a mere -28 it needs to go live in Australia. ;) My part of which is at +30c and climbing. Mind you, there’s thunderstorms lurking about so a cool change is on the way. Here’s hoping that all the things don’t catch fire in the transition.

    Why do pirates drink rum?

    Because it’s chock-full of vitamin ARRRRRR!*

    *Yes I am sober, and yes, I did think that was worth typing.

  98. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Chocolate, rum and garlic? All at once? This needs to be investigated…. >.>

  99. chigau (違う) says

    fire is not such a bad idea, just now
    .
    chocolate, garlic, rum
    good
    .
    the average of -28 and +30 is +1
    hmmmm
    more rum

  100. Portia says

    I’m staying with my seventeen year old cousin while her parents are out of town. Her dad runs a business out of the house that sometimes entails emergency after hours calls. Her instructions from her parents are to pass on the name of another company while they’re gone. She just told an unknown person that her parents are out of town and where and when they’ll be back.

    I worked up my nerve to ask her not to do that again, and she called me paranoid.

    I told her I wasn’t, and she wouldn’t think I was if I told her what my last month has been like. She rolled her eyes.

    Maybe I should tell her about the death threats and the client found murdered in her home.

    I really can’t decide if that would be the right call, to intentionally freak her out. She’s so naive, and I’m actually glad she has no reason yet to be cynical and frightened of the world.

  101. says

    I took out my skis from the basement a few months ago, but there never was enough snow to have good tracks. And now it’s all melting away. We had a couple of weeks of real winter with -20 to -30 °C and maybe 10 cm of snow, but now migrating birds are coming in at least a month early.

  102. chigau (違う) says

    Portia #136
    Tell your little cousin every gory detail.
    Make her want to sleep with the lights on.

  103. Dhorvath, OM says

    Fossil Fishy,
    I have one customer riding on an Allay, he uses the pump and air bladder, but finds it bleeds down quite fast. He is north of 115kg, but as I am in similar territory I would find that aggravating. Not that one saddle is evidence of a problem either, but given that I like my saddle, it’s insentive enough not to switch. I will keep in mind that the bladder can be dumped and your positive results regardless.

    I am fascinated by the engineering side of bikes. Hell, I like riding them and fixing them too, but I read a fair bit about materials tech. Glad it is of use to others too.

  104. Portia says

    I told her …almost all the gory details. Left out the autopsy results.

    Her mouth dropped open. Then she said she understands how I feel, in a way that is tinged with impatience. But she listened and let me hug her after I got done with my after school special-sounding speech. She’s a good egg.

  105. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    dhorvath

    I’m a little over 100kg myself. Because I never go out on the nose of my saddle, not on my commuter bike anyway, that bladder really isn’t doing anything for me. If he was my customer I’d suggest that he see how it goes with out the thing.

    IIRC the Allay design didn’t have them initially. I suspect that there’s a bit of market response going on where they’re trying to assuage a perception of how saddles should look to most folks. That, and mountain and tri riders might need some more support in that area.

    I will say good on ‘em for their nomenclature. All their saddles are titled unisex with ‘large’ and ‘small’ models to accommodate different sit-bone widths. They’re the only saddle maker that I’ve seen to do this.

  106. chigau (違う) says

    Dhorvath
    Nonono.
    No worries.
    I understand it’s a very specialized vocabulary.
    I have fun trying to figure out what the fuck y’all are talking about.

  107. Dhorvath, OM says

    chigau,
    Earlier today I was speaking with the warranty technician for one of the top three global bike brands, trying, fruitlessly, to make them understand which bolt I required for a repair. We both know the terms, it’s not like they ever questioned my words, nor I theirs, but I knew that they didn’t know which fastener I required, and they knew so as well. Sometimes jargon doesn’t suffice and a diagram would save much time.

  108. Dhorvath, OM says

    It’s an issue of Slot A differing between model years, or even construction materials. Sometimes Tab B doesn’t exist, but yes, fundamentally the same problem.

  109. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Ha, add into that the problem of two peoples separated by a common language and you have my situation. Not to mention the difficulties some Aussies have understanding my accent on the phone. I also have problems ordering on-line from suppliers because the I don’t know the Australian term for the thing. For instance: a puncture repair kit is often called an outfit.

    Oh FSM, the model year difficulties. Gah. I had a customer almost get severely injured over a model-year misunderstanding. I replaced the pivot bearings on his full-suspension rig and called the supplier to find out the torques for those pivots. I told them the model year but for whatever reason they didn’t listen or understand. The numbers they gave me were for the current model and I found out later that they were half that of the one I was working on. The customer took it for a ride and on a high-speed downhill corner he felt the back end shift slightly. He looked down to see what was wrong and crashed. He got off with scrapes and bruises but it was just luck he didn’t get hurt badly. Now I call the manufacture rather than the supplier for tech info, and count myself lucky that that lesson was learned without too much harm being done.

  110. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Just for chigau:

    I love it when I check the tension balance and dishing at the end of working on a wheel to find that I’ve managed to put those within tolerances just in the course of radial and lateral truing. The two minutes spent bringing it up to 95 to 120 kg/f and side loading it to release twists feels so much more satisfying when I haven’t had to fiddle about with a dishing tool and correcting uneven pairs of spokes. :)

  111. rq says

    I was gonna offer to help y’all clean up around here, but I see it’s been taken care of. Rough night.

    ARRRRRR

    I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be spelt “RRRRRR“, but my Pirate is a little fuzzy.

    Portia
    If the gory details don’t gross her out, tell her she has a great future in forensics!

  112. says

    Good morning!

    Fossil Fishy
    As for the language thingy: Pharyngula is fucking up my English.
    I speak and spell British.
    Usually.
    But I can’t help picking up ‘Meiricun spelling, words and expressions.
    I also think that sometimes people who are not native speakers are much more aware of the differences between different speaking communities than native speakers. I know some spectacularly funny fuck-ups from Spanish that wouldn’t have happened to me….

    carlie

    I had what I thought was a good friend once. Then it slowly dawned on me that she never asked about me, but hey, I always volunteered information, so she didn’t have to. So I stopped providing information to see if she’d ask. She never did. Our conversations turned entirely into being just about her, all the time.

    Oh, I know that person! My childhood BFF was one of those emotional vampire friends. I would be the person she called when she was distressed or in trouble.
    Helping her to get out of an abusive relationship? My job.
    Long phonecalls when she was in England with her partner (he worked there for two years and she became a housewife for that time)? Yes, no problem.
    But once she got back there were other, much cooler, more fun friends (nah, really, clubbing in a pop club was never my thing), and finally I noticed that I was always the person to call, unless she needed something. The whole relationship kind of faded out. I’m not sad, or betrayed, or anything, if we meet by chance we’re still this kind of old friends whose lives took different turns. But it wasn’t a healthy relationship when it was closer.

  113. says

    FossilFishy

    Ha, add into that the problem of two peoples separated by a common language and you have my situation. Not to mention the difficulties some Aussies have understanding my accent on the phone.

    Heh. I worked for a software company that had offices in China, and while their English was generally very good when written I had serious trouble understanding it over the phone. I used to say I wasn’t so fluent with spoken English, so we’d switch over to email and get it over with.

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

    Just placing a pile of unreserved love over here on this table for any and all.

    Free refills.

  115. birgerjohansson says

    Thank you Crip Dyke.

    I just read about senator Wossname from Someplace who referred to pregnant women as “hosts” for the fetus.
    If the Aliens get entrenched on Earth, he should be their candidate.

    — — —
    New Jersey man escapes 5 year sentence after dash cam footage clears him, indicts cops
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/22/new-jersey-man-escapes-5-year-sentence-after-dash-cam-footage-clears-him-indicts-cops/

    — — — — —
    Space research pays for itself, but inspires fewer people http://phys.org/news/2014-02-space-people.html

    — — — — —
    New insights into the origin of birds http://phys.org/news/2014-02-insights-birds.html

  116. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Yes, the careful balanced neutrality between the fires and the fire brigades has been restored. >.>

  117. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    rq

    Your link at 151 made me pea on the floor.* Thanks for that.

    Giliell

    I’m in the lovely situation of being raised in Canada. We use British spellings for some things and not others. For instance, I grew up spelling it tire, but here in Australia it’s spelled tyre. I sometime find myself hesitating over those words when I’m writing for people who know I’m Canadian. I feel like people will think that these newfound Britishisms are some kind of affectation rather than a desire to fit in, and in certain cases, to be understood clearly.

    Weed Monkey

    It used to be that phones made it really hard because of they cut off the high frequency sounds. Vowels are in a great part distinguished by differing high frequency overtones so when those are limited it makes it really hard to understand what’s being said. I wonder if that’s still true in this digital age? It seems so from experience, but then my hearing ain’t what it used to be, and a cursory googling was inconclusive.

    *Yes, I eat peas, and yes, a loud laugh/snort will shoot them a goodly distance, much to the amusement of a certain petite monkey of the cheeky variety.

  118. carlie says

    Oh, “emotional vampire” friend. I like that terminology. Very apt.
    I have a revenge fantasy wherein she calls me up out of the blue and says she misses me and can we be friends again, and I say “I don’t know, we were never friends in the first place.”

    Portia – good on you. You’re a good role model. :)

    On bikes – I haven’t ridden a bike in decades. I kind of miss it. We got Child 1 a really nice bike a few years ago when we thought he’d actually locomote himself around to his friends, but that never really happened. Only problem for me is that it’s just a couple of inches too tall for me, even with the saddle at the lowest setting. I can’t quite put my feet on the ground flat when I’m straddling it, and that makes me feel too tipsy. (plus it’s a guy-frame so has that dumb cross bar up top).

  119. rq says

    I’m in the lovely situation of being raised in Canada.

    Same. I use this privilege as a way to exercise my right to spell things almost any damn way that suits me at the moment. I alternate between various kinds of English spellings, mostly because I can never remember which one is the ‘right’ one. Nefarious, that is one of my middle names.

    emotional vampire

    Is this a European term? Because it’s very common here, too (esp. in women’s magazines, ha!). But I don’t think I ever heard it in Canada.

  120. rq says

    In happy news, I’m pretty sure all the roses have survived. Two are under question marks (incl. the amazing carlie rose!!! :( ), but a couple more days of warm and sun should settle the matter, and then I can chop-chop all those loose ends off!

  121. says

    rq
    No idea. I read it in a women’s magazine, once too and I just kept it because it fitted the situation perfectly.
    Yay for the roses.

    carlie
    Nah, I don’t. If she called and wanted to go for a coffee I would totally do it, talk about old times, update each other on our lives…
    We really drifted apart simultaneously with our larger circle of friends when Mr and I had kids. I’m really sorry for Mr. because that was mostly his circle of friends (my former BFF is married to one of his former BFFs). My 30th birthday was an awkward affair with that circle of friends sitting in the kitchen and my other circle of friends in the living room. But that former cirlce’s friendships were mostly built around going out, partying, etc. Which was great fun with them! But once we moved away from that we moved out of that group.

  122. rq says

    How does one say “cornerstone” in French? Need the more metaphorical meaning rather than a direct translate.

  123. says

    I just want to say that modern medicine is wonderful. I had a full night of deep sleep without pain last night. And this morning, the anti-inflammatories actually worked! I can put on my left shoe and even lace it up a bit! I still have to take it easy and give ancient biology a chance to heal, but I live again!

    Also, I have to teach again. Going very easy on the vikes today and tomorrow, going to get off them entirely after that (although I’ll also have them with me if there’s a flare-up again this weekend.)

  124. opposablethumbs says

    rq, what do you think about “pilier”? (as in être un pilier de, elle est vraiement un pilier du groupe).

    Hopefully there’ll be a French speaker dropping by before too long!

    Good luck with Monty Python college, Giliell! My fingers are xd.

  125. opposablethumbs says

    Very glad to hear it, PZ! Hope you actually manage the taking it easy part.

    Modern medicine is bloody brilliant. Every time I go to the dentist I’m deeply grateful for modern anaesthesia! Raising my sacred British Cup of Tea to all the women and men who made and make it possible.

  126. says

    So, I’m back
    They noted everything, made copies of everything and will contact me via mail.
    Yes, I had to drive 35 miles for that…
    But I had a nice fuzzy warm moment on the way back. There’s a “new” radio station around here. It’s called Classic Rock Radio, it’s a spin-off of one of the comercial radio stations here and it’s mostly a one-woman-show who doesn’t try to be forcefully funny (I can’t stand the wannabe comedians on normal radio stations). And she rocks. She just mentioned that The Böhse Onkelz (a right wing rock band) are staging a concert some time this year, and that they lashed out at the Ärzte and the Toten Hosen, who are more left-leaning, saying they are no real rock bands, never competition for them and generally for “Warmduscher” (people who shower with warm water).
    And then she said: “Well, I’m a Warmduscher then. And now I play Die Ärzte. And later I will play Die Toten Hosen. And I will never play the Onkelz.”
    I like that station even more now.
    +++

    Yay for PZ and modern medicine.

  127. carlie says

    PZ – glad to hear the recuperation is going well. Be sure to take it easy!

    rq – I’ll send good vibes to your roses. :)

  128. ledasmom says

    PZ, glad you’re feeling better.
    Husband is driving younger son to school because, as we found out after calling the bus company when the bus was approximately twenty minutes late (this is not outside the bounds of when they have been known to show up), the bus driver declined to drive up our street due to end-of-street double-parking making that difficult. Well, okay. People do double-park on our street. But why, we asked, did they not call? It’s a very short distance to the end of our street. We could have walked younger son over. Oh, no, their phone lines were far too busy to make outgoing calls to the parents of the two kids (both in the program for kids on the autism/Aspergers spectrum) on our street who ride that bus.
    It is literally forty feet from the front of our house to where they said they couldn’t get through.
    We are going to make it very clear to the school why our son was late this morning.
    They have done this before during snow (oh, the bus couldn’t make it up your hill. Oh, your older son’s bus made it up just fine two hours before? And your husband made it up just fine an hour later? Oh, well, in between the two the streets were especially bad -). Oddly, it has never happened that older son’s bus didn’t make it and younger’s did.
    At this point I have become ever so slightly irritated about the situation. It does not seem to me that they are making a reasonable effort.

  129. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    carlie @ 91

    She never even offered the social lubricant “how are you, how’ve you been” nonquestions.

    ::wince:: Oh, that sounds familiar. I have a long-time acquaintance who does that (she called me her BFF for a long time, but I figured out years ago she’s not truly my friend). She doesn’t even bother with “hello” most of the time. She just immediately dives into talking about some random thing as if I just exist as her sounding board. Sometimes she’ll tell me all about TV shows she watches, including her favorite snippets of dialogue, after I’ve told her repeatedly that I don’t watch them and have no idea what she’s talking about.

    Once when I told her that about a series (some vampire show I’d never seen that was a spin-off from some other vampire show I’d never seen), she insisted I would like it. Because I love evil so much and all of the characters are morally repugnant. Uh…yeah. That sure sounds like me…?

    The fact that this same acquaintance once declared she was in love with me made it all even weirder. How? You don’t seem to be aware I’m a person with my own interests, tastes, and feelings.

    Glad you were able to sleep, PZ. Hopefully the healing process is smooth sailing.

  130. rq says

    Giliell

    Toten Hosen

    Would that be the “Dead Pants” or the “Pants of Death”? :D Either way, awesome band name!
    (And awesome radio host, she sounds worth listening-to!)

  131. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    PZed:

    Great news.

    Of course, if you had broken your ankle, it would have healed faster.

    Some years ago, I sprained my ankle at a fire. Eight months passed before I could walk with no pain. That same spring, Boy broke his leg. He was in a walking cast for two months.

  132. rq says

    carlie
    I’ll make sure to pass on your good wishes when I go outside to speak to them this afternoon. :) (I do, you know, speak to them. *blush*)

  133. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    So, one of the few applications I have on my smart phone is a slot machine game. Last night, I noticed that one of the games had triple the chances for bonuses. So Wife and I started taking turns playing. And have gone from 840 ‘coins’ up to almost 6 million ‘coins’ in about twelve hours (much of that taken up with sleep). And we still have 66 hours or triple bonus left.

    If only it weren’t make believe.

  134. says

    rq
    Wait, you don’t know the Toten Hosen?
    They’ve been in business for since forever (I remember that they were already old when I saw them life at 15 yo)
    “tote Hose” (yes, dead pants) in German means that a place is boring and there aren’t many people, like an English beach resort in winter.

  135. says

    Republicans in the US Senate will do just about anything to slow down or stop bills that would adequately address sexual harassment in the military.

    Senate Republicans are objecting to a set of votes on addressing the issue of sexual assault in the military without a vote on imposing stiffer sanctions against Iran.

    Democrats know full well that a vote now to increase sanctions against Iran would blow up international diplomatic efforts (which are shakily progressing fairly well at the moment), so there’s no way they would let a bill pass that included more sanctions. If Republicans succeed in this ploy to tie the two issues together, then meaningful reform of the way the military handles sexual assault is dead in the water.

    http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/gop-wants-iran-sanctions-vote-in-military-sexual-assault-debate/

  136. ledasmom says

    How do you make a ship out of finger-and-toe nails? Do you somehow melt them down and cast them in the shape of a ship, or use them as reinforcement for some sort of concretish substance, or just glue them together? How many dead men do you need to make a ship out of their nails? And what are the sails made of?

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

    @ledasmom:

    Like horse hooves, human nails can be boiled to create glue. small amounts of boiling create temporarily soft nail tissue.

    fibers immersed in a glue bath is, essentially, plastic or fiberglass.

    If you could use a tool that peels up a thin thread of nail, get a whole bunch of that thread, boil other nail tissue to make glue while you’re doing it, and then par-boil the nail-threads, you could cast hull and deck pieces in essentially the same way that they cast fiberglass boats today.

    Yes, I spent way too much time researching that when DMing a game in which I wanted a Norse BigBoss to have such a ship.

  138. rq says

    Par-boiling nail-threads.
    That sounds appetizing.

    And the car needs to go to the repair shop. Again. Third time in six months. Naht good.

  139. A. Noyd says

    PZ (#168)

    I just want to say that modern medicine is wonderful. I had a full night of deep sleep without pain last night.

    Nice that Vicodin works for you. It doesn’t work to block pain for me. It just half knocks me out so I’m still conscious enough to be in agony but unable to get up and do anything about it.

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

    Blind Florida Man Gets Guns Back After Shooting Friend to Death

    John Wayne Rogers had stood accused of premeditated first degree murder for shooting a “drinking buddy” in March 2012 “after a long drinking session,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. The killing was done “once in the chest with a .308 Remington assault rifle from a distance of 18 inches or less.”

    But amid differing eyewitness accounts at his trial last month, a judge dismissed the jury and awarded Rogers immunity under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

    That led to Thursday’s hearing, in which Judge John Galluzo reluctantly admitted he’d have to give Rogers his rifle and a Glock 10 mm handgun. “I have to return property that was taken under the circumstance,” the judge said. “I have researched and haven’t found case law to say otherwise.”

    Rogers—who has done probation for firing 15 rounds at a cousin and was jailed for pushing and punching a woman in a domestic disturbance three years ago—will have to buy new ammunition, however, since the state considered his cache “too old and dangerous.”

  141. says

    Beatrice:
    Yeah, that article made me facepalm more than once.
    Even the fact that he’d consumed a good amount of alcohol wasn’t enough of a clue that Rogers’ judgement was impaired.

    ****

    This article from Daily Kos argues that the Religous Right is in the throes of death. I didn’t have a problem with the article except this:

    The religious right has lost the national battle over whether or not LGBT Americans deserve full equality, so much so that efforts to take their rights away elicit scorn and ridicule. And this loss is on the front lines of the fundamentalist war which has been waged in this country for decades. The battle over gay marriage, and equality for all, is over. And evolving public opinions on other hot-button issues, such as abortion and creationism, show that the religious right’s national political hold is over.

    (emphasis mine)
    I think the Religious Right still has a stranglehold on the issue of abortion, as evidenced by the massive amount of anti-abortion legislation proposed across the country. Moreoever, many of these bills didn’t just get proposed, they got passed and became law. Roe vs. Wade is still technically in effect, but the Religious Right have found ways around that ruling, and women’s access to abortion has been significantly curtailed. That’s not an “end to the religious right’s national political hold”.

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

    @rq, 167:

    I just noticed your desire for a french metaphorical translation of cornerstone.

    I would probably use

    clef de voûte

    but my command of idiom is really weak. I’m not in practice at all in productive French, and the last time I was really reading a lot of french was 18 months ago when I finished the last of the Harry Potter series. Occasionally I’ll go on a French news binge, but that’s not even that common.

    So, y’know, I can vouch that it’s used metaphorically and that it might work for your purposes, but I can’t at all say it’s the best translation.

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

    @Chigau, #134:

    fire is not such a bad idea, just now
    .
    chocolate, garlic, rum
    good
    .
    the average of -28 and +30 is +1
    hmmmm
    more rum

    rum, rum, rum, chocolate covered fire-roasted garlic, and rum?

  144. says

    Did someone say rum?

    RumChata is a cream liqueur that has become very popular since its release in 2009. It is made from a blend of five-time distilled Caribbean rums with Wisconsin dairy cream and flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, and other ‘secret flavors.’

    The inspiration for RumChata is horchata, a very popular drink in Mexico and Spain that actually dates back to the time of ancient Egyptians. In Egypt and Spain the chufa nut was ground with water, cinnamon, and sugar to make a drink that has the look of milk. When the recipe came to Mexico rice was used in place of the nut. Traditionally, horchata does not contain dairy products, though RumChata liqueur does.

    RumChata contains homogenized cream and does not need to be refrigerated. An open bottle can be stored at room temperature for about 6 months.

    I ordered a bottle for work last week, and to my surprise, it has a quite the nice taste.

    RumChata is also pretty weak (at @ 27 proof, compared to various vodkas or rums that weigh in around 70-90 proof), so those with low alcohol tolerance might enjoy this.

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

    *filling in my official work CV*

    I think I’m going to cry myself to sleep. Why did they even employ me? This is going to sit on the official page for everyone to see.

    I don’ thave qualifications for anything. I don’t know anything. What a joke.
    What is that sound? Oh yeah, that’s the other shoe dropping. No wonder they ask you to fill this, ’cause there’s not prettifying you can do in your own CV format. It’s just bare facts. And I suck.

    (Please, don’t tell me you think I’m smart or anything like that. I know you mean well, but I don’t want to hear that, I just wanted to tell this to someone)

  146. Portia says

    Beatrice:

    *hugs* if you want em. That’s a crappy feeling to have.

    (as a sidenote that may or may not be helpful, I think it’s really cool/healthy/whatever to be able to say “I don’t need the kind of support most people would reflexively give to this kind of emotional expression, I just need X” …good for you, and more *hugs* for good measure)

  147. says

    rq:
    That doesn’t sound tasty :(
    Unlike bacon, garlic doesn’t make *everything* better.

    ****

    A theologian says that the current pope isn’t different than his predecessors (something many of us have been saying):

    I do think there’s a bit of projection going on here. The recent Rolling Stone cover story seem to me to be a vast literary Rorschach blot in which the author projected onto Pope Francis everything that he wanted to see in the Catholic Church, some of which may be arguably true in terms of changes of style and method of proclaiming the truth of the gospel. But the idea that Pope Francis is somehow 180 degrees different from his two papal predecessors is really quite silly. The Catholic Church doesn’t work that way.

    The article ends with this stunning bit of nonsense:

    This pope is reminding the world that it needs a pastor, whether it knows it or not, and that’s a good thing.

    http://www.npr.org/2014/02/22/281113187/meet-the-new-pope-mostly-the-same-as-the-old-popes

    The world most certainly does NOT need any pastor.

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

    Portia,

    Nah, I just wouldn’t believe you anyway and I don’t want you to feel obligated to lie to me (just go with it, don’t deny because…. blah, loop back to the beginning). *teary grin*

  149. Portia says

    Beatrice:

    Still, I’m giving you credit for the emotional courage to ask for what you need. I’ll drop the subject though and just give you more hugs. I hurt when you hurt, friend.

  150. David Marjanović says

    Petition to “kill the bill“: the Anti-Homosexuality Act of Uganda punishes sex, marriage, and touching with sexual intent by prison for life if you’re gay, and any help with 5 to 7 years in prison.

    “Tania is a 37-year-old Elephant suffering a life of solitary confinement at the Tîrgu Mureş Zoo in Romania, transferred from an Italian Zoo in September. Although the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria requires female Elephants to be housed in groups, Tania is alone. She has a foot infection that is slowly killing her. Please help her find a better home.” [I had to add the diacritics.] Petition here.

    Smoking cannabis increases the risk of an infarct by 5 times (pdf) for an hour; two people have died from this.

    Reuters: Yanukovych, the former minister of the interior S- or Zakharchenko (German source doesn’t tell) and the former attorney-general Pshonka are to be sent to the Hague for being responsible for the deaths of over 100 people.

    People visiting Yanukovych’s residence and taking photos. See also this entire gallery of 11 (not 12!) photos from the residence: the man had a pretty good, but extremely expensive taste. There’s a helicopter landing space (picture 2), gold in the spacious bathroom (4), and a ship-shaped restaurant on the pond (5–8) with a patterned marble floor, columns, a very beautiful wooden table, a piano and more. The legend to picture 9 emphasizes that nothing has been looted or destroyed, people just come and watch. Pictures 10 and 11 show a bit of the zoo: ugly but spacious.

  151. David Marjanović says

    Updates from previous petitions: Nintendo of America Inc. sent every signatory an e-mail saying it and its deliverers do not use ores mined in war zones; and the refugee from Ethiopia who was accused of prostitution and adultery in Sudan – punishable by death – is free: ” Her trial has concluded and on Sunday she was finally released from prison! While found guilty of indecency she was fined 900USD and released. She will not be able to pursue a rape case thanks to double jeopardy laws. She also has to deal with new anti-immigration charges that complicate her current situation. However, she is out. So let’s celebrate that. Updates will arrive as [t]hey occur.”

    The link leads to other petitions.

  152. David Marjanović says

    beatrice
    *hugs, puppies and chocolates*

    Seconded. *adds emergency kittens and calming manatees*

  153. says

    Tony

    Unlike bacon, garlic doesn’t make *everything* better.

    That’s where you’re wrong. Even garlic ice cream is a thing, and it’s delicious. :)

  154. says

    Weed Monkey:
    I can’t be wrong. It’s not March yet, and I’ve already been wrong once in February. Since I’m only wrong once a month, I can’t be wrong about garlic.
    Please don’t ask me the color of the sky in my world :)

  155. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Here’s some dachshund pictures too.

    On the down-low, of course? ^.^

  156. Sili says

    Hello all. Long time, no see.

    Do any of you have experience with speech-to-text software? Any recommendations? It would need to work for non-English as well.

    Cheers.

  157. says

    Smoking cannabis increases the risk of an infarct by 5 times (pdf) for an hour; two people have died from this.

    Okay, I can see that being true for people already at risk for cardiac events, but not in otherwise healthy people. Otherwise, we’d be seeing a metric shit-ton of cannabis-induced cardiac events.

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

    Hey, Sili!

    I was thinking about you recently – reading old dust-ups and appreciating your contributions.

    Hope you’re well.

    I have no experience with non-English speech-to-text, and my experience with English speech-to-text is with a product I last updated 5 years ago, last used about 3 years ago. (The hand pain has gotten significantly better with treatment. 10 years ago speech-to-text was fairly important 1 day out of 3-5).

    So I’m not much use for that. But I am good for sending you delighted thoughts at your presence here. Pretend for a moment that quantum fluctuations mean that can somehow make your life better.

    Moment’s over.

  159. cicely says

    So, so ‘rupt.
    *hugs, or other appropriate-and-non-intrusive gestures of sympathy/support/condolences/happy-to-see-you-ness* where wanted/needed. Ditto for cheers/congrats/*high fives*.

    And then, first rattle outta the box, I find that PZ’s been injured/ill/possessed by Horses/seriously-inconvenienced??? I tell ya what—you miss meetings for just a few days….
     
    In any case, get mended/well/dispossessed/convenienced soon, PZ.

    Farewell, Egon.
    *sigh*

    Best-wishes for Giliell in sorting the accreditation stuff out.
    -

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

    Egon died?

    Damn that Gozer and her thirst for revenge!

  161. cicely says

    Modern Medicine is beyond awesome.

    *hugs&chocolate&boozes&kittehs&moarhugs* For Beatrice.

    Alas, there is no Egon.
    There is only Zuul.
    -

  162. carlie says

    Sili! *delighted hugs*

    I’ve tried Dragon Naturally Speaking (home edition, v. 11). It… didn’t work well. But I gave up fairly early. It did great with the specialty words I forced into its dictionary (like “megagametophyte”), but it turned the rest of what I said into gibberish. That may have been due to an inadequate microphone situation, though – I didn’t stick with it long enough to try to work the kinks out.

  163. Nutmeg says

    *hugs* for Beatrice. I hope you are feeling a bit better soon.

    ***

    Urgh, living with parents because there are no good jobs in my field right now. I walk in the door after a long day at my two part-time jobs and also being a part-time student. I’m tired and hungry, and I have an exam to study for. But my mom is spitting mad because the internet stopped working, and she’s spreading her anger everywhere, and she’s too computer-illiterate to fix it herself, and my dad can barely use the internet even when it is working, so now this is my job.

    Obviously, since I’m here, I got the internet working again. But I could really do without my mom’s short fuse and tendency to make everyone miserable when she has a problem.

    Just venting. Living at home is the best option right now, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. But the generation gap is really getting to me these days.

  164. says

    I can’t even count all the people who’s heads will explode upon reading this article from the HuffPo:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roy-speckhardt/disbelief-doesnt-cure-dis_b_4848096.html

    While humanism is a progressive philosophy that seeks to expand thinking and help those in need, individual humanists can still be subject to prejudices that are constantly being reinforced by the dominant culture. Unfortunately, a number of humanists suffer from a blind spot when it comes to their own personal prejudices, as many fail to understand that just because they identify with a non-discriminatory philosophy of life, their baser prejudices don’t just suddenly disappear.

    This is especially clear when we take a hard look at a few of the icons of nontheism who are part of our historic roots. Charles Darwin, respected for his positive contributions to science, and celebrated earlier this month for Darwin Day, showed just how imperfect human minds can be, even if accomplished in a number of areas. Darwin, who pioneered the field of evolutionary biology, stated in his book The Descent of Man that “the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.” The fact that people of Darwin’s time and place carried similar false assumptions of racial superiority doesn’t excuse this poorly applied thinking. Darwin was joined in his unresolved prejudice by another famed atheist, Bertrand Russell, who stated in his book Marriage and Morals that “it seems on the whole fair to regard Negroes as on the average inferior to white men.”

    As Norm Allen details in his multipart series “Dissin’ Blacks in the Name of Science,” the attempts to use science to prove white superiority are many — fortunately, the nature of science to constantly challenge assumptions is a remedy against much of these kinds of failings. The willingness of science, and humanism, to change its views when proven wrong distinguishes it from theism and dogma-based religions. That evolutionary aspect has provided fertile ground for the progress we’ve seen since Darwin’s day.

    We’re in no utopia yet however, and racism isn’t the only holdover of prejudice in the nontheist world, as shown by atheist/skeptic Michael Shermer when he discussed why women aren’t participating as much in the skeptical movement. As you can see in this video, he says, “It’s who wants to stand up and talk about it, go on shows about it, go to conferences and speak about it, who’s intellectually active about it; you know, it’s more of a guy thing.” And atheist activist Wafa Sultan essentially proposed a problematic response to Islam, suggesting we deal with the Muslim world in a manner similar to how the U.S. dealt with Japanese extremism in World War II. These examples show that people may discard their theism and embrace scientific thinking, but that doesn’t make one superior, nor does it eradicate societal prejudices.

  165. says

    This story is from 2012, but has an update from this year. It’s both a heartwarming and heartwrenching story. I recommend tissues:

    When his state appointed case worker gave up on him, she asked his NICU nurse, April DeBoer, to take preemie baby Jacob home and comfort him while he died. Instead April took him home and along with her partner, Jayne Rowse, saved him.

    Today, the couple argued in a Michigan courtroom that it was in Jacob’s best interest for both of his moms to be able to adopt him. The state of Michigan argued that Jacob would be better off without April, the woman who saved his life, as his legal mother.
    {…}

    Jacob at birth

    Jacob was born with the odds stacked against him. One pound, nine ounces. A pharmacy of street drugs in his system. Abandoned by his drug-addicted mother. After four months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the foster care system gave up on him too. His case worker asked one of the NICU nurses who was licensed for foster care, if she would take Jacob home, so she could comfort him while he died.

    Luckily for Jacob, who really needed some luck, that nurse, April Deboer, and her partner Jayne Rowse, were actually superheroes disguised as suburban Michigan lesbian nurses. They cared for Jacob around the clock, working opposite nights, so one of them was always with him. Jacob responded, and beat the odds. He survived.

    You’ve heard of soccer moms? Well, for two years Jayne and April have been “therapy moms,” two, three, four times a week, taking Jacob to doctors’ appointments at Children’s Hospital, and his sessions in the “Early On” program for speech, physical and occupational therapy. Whatever it took. There was no sacrifice too great. Sleep was overrated.

    {…}

    Under Michigan law, only heterosexual married couples, or single people are eligible to adopt. The committed couple who loved this little boy back to life were faced with a Sophie’s Choice sized dilemma; which one of them will adopt this time? I said this time, because this was not the first instance Jayne and April faced that decision. Remember, I told you they are superheroes, and as you might expect with superheroes, Jacob was not the first baby Jayne and April have rescued.

    April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse have opened their hearts and homes to three young children and shown them love and devotion and goddamit, it’s not fair that they can’t be recognized as the family they are!
    I know life isn’t fair. But damn, this is a good thing. There are so many unwanted children out there, and they’re kept from being in happy, loving homes bc gays are icky.

    Like I said, bring the tissues. I think I need another box.

  166. Nutmeg says

    You know, I kind of hate everyone this week. It’s been one of those months.

    So I’m building a Misanthropy Pillow Fort. No one else is allowed in, but you may build nearby-but-not-too-close forts of your own. We can swap cookies and beverages through an ingeniously-devised pulley system, so that no human interaction is required.

  167. says

    Trying to convince myself to do some homework; it’s a tedious tech writing assignment about the virtues of palmtops over laptops, a thing of which I’m unconvinced anyway. Nevertheless, must get it done.

  168. Dhorvath, OM says

    I call the Misanthropy Pillow Fort the internet. Pulleys for treat sharing would be an improvement over USB.

  169. Pteryxx says

    *waves to peeps*

    (any word from JAL?)

    Further updates to state religious discrimination bills that I missed before:

    Indiana just had a religious discrimination bill withdrawn: Source

    The committee narrowly approved the provision on Monday, slipping it into an unrelated bill and quickly stirring controversy on social media.

    Within a few hours, House Speaker Brian Bosma announced the measure would be sent back to Ways and Means for further discussion. By this morning, the panel quickly decided to remove it.

    and here’s word on the Georgia bill under consideration: Source

    The law would override nondiscrimination laws that are currently in place, such as Atlanta’s municipal statute outlawing discrimination against LGBT people in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of their orientation or gender expression.

    Georgia’s law — like Arizona’s — does not mention same-sex couples specifically, leaving open the possibility of discrimination against unwed mothers, divorced people or any other person a religious individual might object to. The Arizona state House and Senate both passed that state’s anti-LGBT law and the bill is currently waiting to be ratified by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R).

    The law was sponsored in Georgia by a coalition of Republican state House members and two Democrats, who have since had their names removed from the bill. Rep. Mack Jackson (D) of District 28 was one of the bill’s sponsors.

  170. says

    Pteryxx:
    I believe JAL turned up in one of PZ’s recent posts. I can’t remember which one at the moment.

     
    ****

    I’m looking for advice.
    Well not for me, but for a coworker of my roommate, E. E told me tonight that one of his female coworkers (I’ll call her B) was sexually harassed by another coworker (cornered in the walk in cooler at their restaurant and groped her). From what he said, she told another coworker, who believed her and offered to go with her to their General Manager. Although they did this, there doesn’t appear to be any repercussions for the harasser (he still has his job). Moreover, the guy whom B confided in was told by the GM that by supporting B he was in the wrong, and from what E told me, the guys job was even threatened.
    I’m not sure how much my roomie knows B, or if she informed him of the situation, so there’s not much he can do. I told him that the only thing I could think of is the possibility of going over their GM’s head. I stressed that such a decision would need to be made by B. I also told him that it was good that the coworker B confided in believed and supported her.

  171. says

    It’s Water(on another)World!

    Water has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system with a new technique that could help researchers to learn how many planets with water, like Earth, exist throughout the universe. The team of scientists that made the discovery detected the water in the atmosphere of a planet as massive as Jupiter that is orbiting the nearby star tau Boötis.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140225101737.htm

    By the way, I’ve long thought it was both cool and humbling that Jupiter is so huge that its famed Great Red Spot is 2-3 times larger than our world. Stuff like that puts our little blue dot into some perspective.

  172. Dhorvath, OM says

    I love that Jupiter and Saturn are so close in volume but so different in density. Also, water is cool, especially extra-solar water.

  173. Pteryxx says

    d’aww, thanks Tony <3 and thanks for the JAL sighting.

    I don't have much to suggest, beyond noting that being cornered and groped is probably sexual assault, as well as harassment; and that if E knows, it’s likely other people know as well and the situation could get explosive fast, especially if other victims of this groper start speaking up. I’d suggest that B and coworker start documenting the situation fast, including what they were told by this GM. Does the company have any sort of policy, perhaps buried in a disused file cabinet somewhere? And thanks for your supporting E and indirectly, the coworker who believed B. That’s no small gesture.

    Latest from Arizona’s religious discrimination bill, which awaits Gov. Brewer’s signature: Source

    Three Republican senators who voted for Senate Bill 1062 say they made a bad decision in a rushed process and are now asking Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the right to refuse service bill.

    “We feel it was a solution in search of a problem,” Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, said in an impromptu news conference outside the state Senate. He was joined by Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott.

    The two, along with Senate Majority Whip Adam Driggs, R-Phoenix, sent Brewer a letter Monday morning asking for a veto.

    “While our sincere intent in voting for this bill was to create a shield for all citizens’ religious liberties, the bill has instead been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance,” the three wrote. “These allegations are causing our state immeasurable harm.”

    Pierce and Worsley said the bill was moved along very quickly, not giving them enough time to convince fellow lawmakers to vote against it. Besides, Pierce said, they didn’t want to “tear apart” the GOP caucus, which was sharply divided last year over Brewer’s push for Medicaid expansion.

    But the reaction from constituents to the business community reinforced their discomfort with their “yes” votes, they said, leading to the call for a veto.

    Well, maybe y’all Legiscritters shouldn’t be ramming through every damn Think Tank Weekly Special without public notice or comment if you’re going to be embarrassed by your own votes. It only took Indiana *one day* to backdoor, have daylighted, and withdraw their own bill.

  174. says

    Oh!
    A good thing:

    It’s widely accepted that young people tend to be less religious than their elders. While recent surveys have revealed that one-in-five adults in America claim no religious affiliation, the number reaches around one-in-three for Millennials under 34.

    Now, a new study has uncovered the reason why some of those Americans have dropped out of the fold.

    In a survey released Wednesday, nearly one-third of Millennials who left the faith they grow up with told Public Religion Research Institute that it was “negative teachings” or “negative treatment” related to gays and lesbians that played an significant role in them leaving organized religion.

    I wish the Religious RIght and the other bigots in the US would stop their ceaseless assault on equality. Their actions are discriminatory and oppressive, and many people are suffering as a result.
    However, as it seems they’re going to continue, I’m pleased that one of the repercussions is a departure of people from the faiths they grew up in.

  175. Pteryxx says

    …Oh ffs, I missed this earlier. Arizona’s religious discrimination bill isn’t just that – it also contains a corporate personhood provision. Salon citing the Arizona Legislature fact sheet:

    From the Arizona State Legislature’s fact sheet on the bill, explaining a key provision:

    “[This law would]…expand the definition of person to include any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, estate, trust, foundation, or other legal entity.”

    That means that the right to refuse service to potential clients on religious grounds wouldn’t be newly granted to ostensibly secular businesses on non-profits, but rather that such entities are “protected” under the old First Amendment because they – like individuals – are “people”.

  176. says

    Only a small fraction of Army women say they’d like to move into one of the newly opening combat jobs, but those few who do say they want a job that takes them right into the heart of battle, according to preliminary results from a survey of the service’s nearly 170,000 women.

    That survey and others across the Army, publicly disclosed for the first time to The Associated Press, also revealed that soldiers of both genders are nervous about women entering combat jobs but say they are determined to do it fairly. Men are worried about losing their jobs to women; women are worried they will be seen as getting jobs because of their gender and not their qualifications. Both are emphatic that the Army must not lower standards to accommodate women.

    Less than 8 percent of Army women who responded to the survey said they wanted a combat job. Of those, an overwhelming number said they’d like to be a Night Stalker — a member of the elite special operations helicopter crews who perhaps are best known for flying the Navy SEALS into Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011.

    […]

    More than 30 percent of the survey respondents pointed to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

    “I went back to the analysts and I said, ‘is there a glitch in this?'” said Brinkley.

    But adding women will help the unit fill some spots. The 160th commander has said he is struggling, for example, to get mechanics, but even though there are many in the Army, he can’t bring them on because they are women, Brinkley said.

    The 160th is a specialized unit used to fly forces fast, low and deep behind enemy lines under cover of darkness. Seventeen women already work in the unit in administrative, intelligence and logistics posts. And there have long been women aviators and aircrew in the conventional Army, just not on the special operations teams.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-exclusive-few-army-women-want-combat-jobs

    It doesn’t matter if only ~13,600 out of ~170,000 women want to serve in combat roles. What matters is that they have the *choice*.

  177. A. Noyd says

    Sili (#216)

    Do any of you have experience with speech-to-text software?

    I don’t have much experience myself, but a few years ago I ushered at a professional conference for Japanese translators and one of the talks was about using speech-to-text programs. The presenter said that programs tend to be rather particular about dialect and accent, some more so than others. The ones that can deal with certain non-standard native accents usually cost more and still have trouble with foreign accents. Even though the presenter was fluent in Japanese, he said his preferred program (one of the Dragon ones, I think) couldn’t understand his Japanese very well.

    Also, if you’re not aware, the last few versions of both Windows and MacOS should include built-in STT features. They’re supposedly not great, but can give you an idea of how STT works and what you might want to look for in a more fancy program.

  178. says

    For those who live in the US:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2014/02/25/map_every_state_s_favorite_band.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

    The Echo Nest’s Paul Lamere has correlated listening data among music service users who put their zip code address in their profiles with the relative number of streams of a given artist. The result: a map showing each which artist enjoys the most outsized support in each state.

    I have no idea who Rick Ross is (my state’s favorite musician).

  179. rq says

    I know Weed Monkey got there before me, but…

    Unlike bacon, garlic doesn’t make *everything* better.

    YES IT DOES!!!

    Sili
    You could try emailing Dana Hunter (dhunter author at the yahoo part), since she had to explore a few speech-to-text options a while back. She may have some recommendations. I believe she went with Dragon in the end, though, but don’t take my word for it.

    Beatrice
    *hugs* and *more hugs*
    I think I’m the only one in my lab who still has only a bachelor’s. Usually I wonder why they let me keep working. I’ll be in that corner over there.

    +++

    Jupiter and Saturn are both awesome – trouble is, I want to see what’s inside them, without getting crushed to a pulp myself!

    Take that, Kiss Cam!

    Why do you always give me butterflies?

  180. rq says

    For Crip Dyke – this is not a joke:
    As part of the Riga 2014 events, as culture capital of Europe for this year… Riga is holding a potato-growing competition for children!! It’s called “My Friend in a Pot, or the Potato’s Diary”. Classes, families and groups may apply to reserve their own pot and compete for the biggest harvest. (The website is simply called Potato.)

  181. rq says

    Tony
    It’s pretty bleak and cloudy right now. Umm, Berkut (the special ops unit) has been ordered to disband in Ukraine. Uhhh… It’s spring? Garlic is still super-popular (n = 1).
    What else did you want to know?

  182. says

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/25/church-officials-blame-minnesota-mom-for-not-protecting-sons-from-priest-who-abused-them/

    A Minnesota mother says Catholic Church officials are blaming her for not protecting her two sons from the priest who abused them.

    The Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, the former pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in St. Paul, pleaded guilty in 2012 to abusing the boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography.

    Wehmeyer is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

    The family has sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which claimed in a Feb. 7 court filing that the mother – who worked at the church — knew that one of her sons was spending time with the priest.

    “She was aware of the time [he] spent with Mr. Wehmeyer, and she knew that such interaction was contrary to established Archdiocese policy,” the filing said.

    Knowing that is contrary to policy is not the same as knowing that the pastor is sexually abusing her children. That’s such a bullshit thing to say.

    Archbishop John Nienstedt has not met with the woman or her family, but he discussed their case in December with a group of priests.

    MPR News obtained an audio recording of the meeting and reported that the archbishop never mentioned the victims but instead lamented that his vicar general, Rev. Peter Laird, had resigned after Wehmeyer’s sexual behavior was publicized.

    “I think the person who’s been hurt the worst in this is Father Laird,” Nienstedt said on the recording

    WHAT THE FUCK?
    No you smegmarmalade covered douchemaggott, the people who have been hurt are the children who were sexually assaulted. Once again, sexual assault is treated as if its no big deal.

    Hulk Smash Vatican!

  183. says

    Good morning

    Plan for today:
    Have breakfast
    Do laundry
    Make carnival costumes.
    This year, #1 wants to be a puma. Which is cool. Seems like we’re over glitter-princess-fairy. And no tantrums because mum says no to “Indian”*. Only that there are, of course, no puma costumes.
    There are also no beige shirts, so I tried to dye a white one. There is also no beige dye, only brown one. So I treid with very little brow dye, but the shirt still came out a nice dark warm chocolate brown. So I tried a second one with even less and it came out a dark army green. yuck.
    So now I will embroider a beige puma onto the brown shirt and hope that it’s OK. And of course I need to make a tail and ears…

    *It’s fucking unfair to them. They are too young to understand why this is wrong, and they live in a society that doesn’t see this as wrong. So why can’t they have the Indian costume everybody else has?

    nutmeg

    *hugs*
    I remember that when I still lived at home I was there to fix all of my dad’s computer problems. He would simply yell for me to come, expect me to drop whatever I was doing and move over. Because I was expected to know all that stuff. Even if what I usually did was to click the “help” menu, something he was totally capable of himself. If his problem couldn’t be solved because the software didn’t allow for what he wanted to do it was somehow my fault. I could have told him befor he wasted so much time on this…

    Tony
    Joint or successive adoption for gays is a big topic over here at the moment, too. Because now gays can either adopt as single parents, they can foster children together* or, if the child is the biological child of one of them the partner can adopt that child. The Constitutional Court has already deemed that discriminatory and against the interests of the child. Because everybody who is remotely interested in the actual welfare of the actual child can see that all they’re doing is to deprive the child of the legal and financial security of a second parent. They are not preventing “teh gaiz” from adopting. The kids are living in these families. But in case of a divorce, or of death of the one adoptive parent they lose the automatic safety and support.

    *Because if it’s a kid straight people don’t want it’s ok to give them to the gays

  184. rq says

    I thought spring didn’t hit ’til mid March.

    Same here, especially at this latitude, but I think the MDP’s been around messing with the weather control or something. I started in on garden work yesterday. Garden work. This is unholy and sacrilegious, is what it is!

    Giliell
    You’re still way ahead of us, though I really don’t understand that whole “interests of the child” thing – because familial stability is a bad thing if it’s Teh Gaze? Should a tragedy happen, the one remaining parent will turn into a winged monster suddenly incapable of parenting (in which case I’m pretty sure this can happen to cis- hetero- couples, too)? (Tony, is that what stress does to you?)
    Before this country even discusses any idea vaguely related to letting gay couples (or singles) adopt children, a whole shitstorm of crap has to happen.

  185. says

    Tony
    #1 is getting old and wise enough to understand these matters, but she was also not the one fancying an “Indian” costume, it was the little one who at 4 is having a hard time understanding the concept of “genocide”. And no, it will not look anything like that. I always insist on costumes being wearable

  186. carlie says

    Giliell – is it the beads or feathers that the little one is fancying? I bet you could make a glittered beaded masterpiece that would make her happy that doesn’t look at all like an Indian costume. Hats off to you – my version of costuming my children was glue and felt and safety pins. :D

  187. rq says

    Ah, and with the end of winter, we enter the Season of Smoke, an intermediate season found only in Latvia, that lies between the final melt of snow and the first true beginning of spring, and is characterized by controlled, yet illegal, brushfires throughout the country, to rid the fields of last year’s grass more efficiently than mowing. The occasional forest-fire should not be considered to be of consequence.
    Runs parallel to the Tree-Sap Season, when birches and maples are divested of their natural bodily fluids, which are then consumed in large amounts (occasionally fermented) in the false hope that this vitamin-rich beverage will protect from disease, the evil eye, and bad politicians.

  188. opposablethumbs says

    My mum made a dragon costume for DaughterSpawn when she was tiny-ish – loved it so much I’m pretty sure we’ve still got it around somewhere. Thick dark-green leggings, dark-green long-sleeved t-shirt with dark-green row of “spines” sewn on down the back and stuffed with something to make them stand up, stuffed tail (with the continuation of the same row of spines) that could be attached round the waist with velcro and … a head. The head was a thing of beauty :-) – it was a cap (dark green, of course) onto which she added the biggest stuffed-toy “glass” eyes she could get, and a mouth on the visor with (of course) a lolling red tongue and big white teeth, and the row of spines started at the back and went down a neck flap. To the kids it was just a costume; I think the person who loved it most was probably me.
    I miss my mum something chronic sometimes :-\ It’s a pity for us that she’s dead; if she were alive sometimes I think the kids could do with a break from their bloody parents (i.e. us) to spend some time with her. She could have taught them so much about science and art and music (she was a scientist by profession, but knew a lot about art and music just out of interest). We would rub each other up the wrong way a lot on occasion, and she wasn’t perfect of course but a lot better than me and I miss her, especially when things spark off a memory like this ::sigh:: :-((((((

  189. opposablethumbs says

    ::catching up slightly::

    Beatrice, I get it that you don’t want any sugary comfort words no matter how well-meant – but as Portia says, good for saying what you do want – and the fact is, they did pick you. And assuming that they are not totally incompetent themselves, that strongly implies that you have the qualities that make you a good person to pick. And (going on the kind of mind and attitude you show in your commenting here) you are gaining in competence and knowledge and experience all the time.
    I’d like to send over some hugs, if that’s ok. I know from self-doubt and/or poor opinion of self, believe me – only difference is that I’m actually right about me (evidence, I gots the evidence). :-S

  190. birgerjohansson says

    PZ possessed by horses? I would like to see that.

    — — — —
    Eleven small Indian political-parties band together as third front as elections approach
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/25/eleven-small-indian-political-parties-band-together-as-third-front-as-elections-approach/
    Good that the corrupt establishment paties are challenged.

    — — — —
    Former North Korean prison camp official: “I saw guard dogs tear children apart”
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/25/former-north-korean-prison-camp-official-i-saw-guard-dogs-tear-children-apart/

  191. rq says

    birgerjohansson
    This fragment of paragraph, from the post you link to, just clarified and explained a whole slew of things for me:

    Passages from the Qur’an and Hadith are taken out of context and reinterpreted with considerable creative license, elements which encourage, or appear to encourage, critical thought are cherry picked, while the bulk of oppressive content is ignored and explained away with intentionally vague and irrational language.

    See, recently I listened to this video on the compatibility of feminism and islam, which, if you don’t think about it, actually has some really awesome, completely feminist interpretations of the Qur’an. Some nice things were said in that speech, but it doesn’t address the problem that her interpretation is a minority view, and not the way the Qur’an is usually interpreted. Sadly, the mainstream interpretations leave much to be desired regarding feminism.
    (Also, I was bothered by her assumption that feminists (women?) have been waiting for invitations to participate, instead of just ‘leaning in’ themselves, as she so kindly puts it… Because being consciously and unconsciously forced out of your career/niche of choice is waiting for an invitation, yes, and all those women fighting to make a place for themselves in male-dominated spaces are – you guessed it! – just waiting for an invitation to participate. *sigh* I wish people would understand the reasons for feminism better, before speaking about them with such assumed authority.)

  192. rq says

    Oh, and if you watch the video I linked, skip the intro. He refers to women as ‘females’ several times without even blinking.

  193. rq says

    Also,

    Science is not a luxury for old white males. It is a vital necessity for disadvantaged communities which provides concrete remedies for immediate, real-world problems.

    This are the closing sentences to a very well-pointed paragraph, regarding the importance of science especially for those living in a “scarcity of resources” (as the author notes). I can only agree.
    (Sorry for sporadic posting, I’ve been having thoughts while reading. :) )

  194. says

    carlie
    Na, she wanted to go for the full monty. Generic Indian costume (because we all know that they all looked alike) with braided wig and headdress.
    We solved the problem for the moment. I put my foot down, got shouted at, but in the end she remembered that there’s a complete fucking drawer full of costumes, so she can go as a knight, a viking, a bat, a witch, a tiger…
    One day she will ot have to look back at carnival 2014 and die in shame
    Carnival in Germany is one big celebration of racism (and sexism, of course): blackface, redface, yellowface, sexy eskimo lady….

  195. Portia says

    opposablethumbs:

    So many hugs for missing your mom. She sounds like a really neat person. I would have loved that costume!

    I sent JAL an email to say hi.
    Still waiting to hear back about Cait since my last check in.

    I have a sore throat. Sigh.

  196. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tony @254:

    “I think the person who’s been hurt the worst in this is Father Laird,” Nienstedt said on the recording

    Yeah. The survivors will just bury the memories. Or forget what happened. And it’ll never resurface, right? Listen up, assholes, there is a good reason that childhood is referred to as the formative years. Your childhood experiences are not the sum total of who you are, but they really do influence how you interact with the world.

    As for Father Laird, he’s the one who thought that his position gave him permission to use children as sexual things. He’s the one who thought he had the right to rape children. He was doing what he thought was right, or, at least, acceptable, as long as he didn’t get caught. The only reason he is the ‘victim’? He got caught.

    ——

    Happy Monday.

    For a given value of happy.

  197. says

    Happy Monday.

    For a given value of happy.

    Or MOnday…

    opposablethumbs
    I feel like this about my grandparents. And I’m sorry that my parents will never be able to take on that role *sniff*

    Portia
    Not good
    I haven’t gotten an answer from Caitie either :(

  198. dianne says

    Giliell, thank you. FWIW, I’ve always found the German interest in all things American Indian less obnoxious than the new age-y US obsession with same. You (collective you for which there is no word in English, not you personally) didn’t do the genocide and aren’t profiting from it. Unlike, say, the average US-American.

  199. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Portia and Giliell, that’s very kind of you. Giliell I sympathise so damn much with that – thinking about how hard things have been with your mother, and all those passive-aggressive stunts … ugh. I had plenty of run-ins with my mum for various reasons, but I often think how lucky we were.

  200. says

    Prior to the 2012 elections, Republicans in Ohio tried to limit voting booth access by reducing weekend and evening voting, which was disproportionally used by African American voters. Those efforts were blocked, but unwilling to let go of a bad idea that will reduce voting by likely Democratic Party supporters, Ohio Republicans are back at it.

    Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Tuesday he is cutting early voting on Sundays and weekday evenings, dealing another blow to the voting rights effort in the nation’s most pivotal swing state.

    Husted’s change would spell doom for a voting method that’s popular among African-Americans in Ohio and elsewhere. Many churches and community groups lead “Souls to the Polls” drives after church on the Sunday before the election.

    There’s little doubt that cuts to early voting target blacks disproportionately. In 2008, black voters were 56% of all weekend voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s largest, even though they made up just 28% of the county’s population.

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/ohio-early-voting-cuts

    The faux reason Republicans give for these proposed changes is that they want to prevent voter fraud. As Steve Benen of the Maddow Blog wrote:

    But going after early voting is something else entirely because it has nothing to do with the fear of fraud. If an Ohioan can legally cast a ballot, it shouldn’t matter whether he or she votes on Election Day Tuesday or the Sunday before. The only reason to close the early-voting window is to discourage participation – it’s the kind of move an official makes if he or she wants fewer voters.

    Also, as has been pointed out endlessly, there is no voter fraud to speak of.

  201. says

    Abortion-banning news from Alabama:

    A committee in the Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday approved four bills designed to restrict abortion, including one that would ban all abortions after a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat.

    “When we hear the sound, we know there is life, and that’s why it’s important for us not to kill a live, beating heart,” said Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, who sponsored the fetal-heartbeat bill.

    McClurkin’s bill would require a doctor to check for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion, and would make it a felony to perform an abortion after a heartbeat is detected. That could, in effect, ban all abortions after 6 or 7 weeks of gestation. […]

    Piedmont Journal link.

  202. dianne says

    McClurkin’s bill would require a doctor to check for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion, and would make it a felony to perform an abortion after a heartbeat is detected.

    So he’s going with the Ireland technique of flat out murdering women who have a doomed pregnancy in order to “save” a fetus that isn’t going to survive anyway. Good to know.

  203. Portia says

    My last information from a third party was that cait is without internet. So te lack of an email from her, by itself, does not concern me overmuch. I’m hoping this third party will email me soon.

  204. carlie says

    What does the “heartbeat” business even mean? I assume he doesn’t understand that cardiac cells beat even in isolation, so all you need is a single cell to have a beat. Doesn’t require a full heart. So you can’t kill any cells that are beating? Sorry, petri dishes. You’re sticking around awhile.

  205. says

    chigau @284:

    What if they could detect fetal atheism?

    That made me laugh. Good question. They would have to abort all of the fetuses that had not yet been brainwashed.

    Also, let’s refine the detection mechanism, ’cause here in god’s favorite country, the US of A, we want to know if the fetus is Muslim, Hindu, Satanist, or a follower of PZ.

    Discussion begins in comment #280, after which dianne notes one consequence, and carlie injects actual science into the mix.

  206. says

    Walmart, worse than you thought:Cultlike, corrupt and Christian conservative: Inside the campus group creating Wal-Mart managers

    For decades, the campus group Students in Free Enterprise has drawn major funding and leadership from Wal-Mart, and channeled scores of students into the retail giant’s management ranks. Renamed Enactus in 2012, the group calls itself “the world’s best-known and most successful program helping university students to create community empowerment projects …” But California State University, Chico, accounting professor and former SIFE insider Curtis DeBerg told Salon that the well-heeled group served as “really a marketing branch to support business leaders who supported SIFE,” and that his decade as one of SIFE’s Sam Walton fellows was marked by fraud, turf war and falsehood. “There’s something entirely inconsistent about servant leadership as Wal-Mart practices it,” said DeBerg, the founder of the now-rival spinoff Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship. DeBerg’s memoir, “How High Is Up?: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of a Sam M. Walton SIFE Fellow,” will be released next month. […]

  207. says

    More from the article about Walmart, link in #287:

    Bethany Moreton, in her book “To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise,” described SIFE’s message to schoolchildren as “profits are beneficial; government is wasteful; unions are illegitimate; corporations are natural persons; free markets abhor environmental regulation but not cartels; monopsony contracts, or military-supported access to foreign raw materials.” […]

    My first big shock was how conservative and how Christian this organization was, even as it was appealing to secular universities …

  208. birgerjohansson says

    rq
    “He refers to women as ‘females’ several times without even blinking”

    I suppose we should be grateful he is not referring to pregnant mothers as “hosts”…

    Myself, I only use English in writing and so the words do not have the same emotional charge as for a native English speaker. “Female” to me sounds a bit clinical, but not necessarily negative. -Also, reading about weird stuff (Cruz, Akin, a zillion salafist muslims) my ability to spot *subtle* slurs is probably diminished.

  209. says

    Dear Chile,

    Beware. Libertarians from the USA are building a Randian utopia to which they hope to retreat when the USA is flushed down the toilet.

    […] Welcome to Galt’s Gulch Chile, a libertarian refuge from the coming economic, social, and political collapse of the United States. The would-be free-market utopia, named after the mountain redoubt of the protagonist of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, is taking advance payments (Bitcoins gladly accepted) for parcels on its 11,000 acres. […]

    Maybe the Libertarians should leave early, avoid the rush and all.

  210. dianne says

    I suppose we should be grateful he is not referring to pregnant mothers as “hosts”…

    Actually, IIRC, some legislator or another did just that. Can’t remember who or where.

  211. says

    Some history of Moments of Mormon Madness, history that is current news since mormons in the U.K. have brought fraud charges against the current mormon prophet, Thomas S. Monson. Among other things, the fraud charges are related to tithing being a requirement (that’s an over simplification, link provides the details in the form of a downloadable PDF).

    Temple-recommend interviews were not formalized until the 1880s. In the 1856-57 Mormon Reformation when ‘home teachers’ were asked to visit the Saints and recommitt them to live the gospel, they would also ask a series of questions (much like the Catholic Cathecism) about worthiness or behavior. This was the beginning of such a practice. Some of the early questions [temple worthiness interview questions] were:

    -Have you murdered anyone in cold-blood?
    -Have you knowingly branded another person/s cattle or livestock?
    -Have you plowed or harvested grain from a field that was not your own?
    -Do you, and your family, wash or bathe as regularly as you are able?

    Tithing was made a requirement in the 1880s.

    The Word of Wisdom was made a strong recommendation around the 1890s, and in the 1930 as a requirement.

    Sometime after polygamy was stopped, the question about affiliating with groups that are against the Church’s teachings was added and the question about the living Prophet.

    The 1970s brought the question about being honest in our dealings with our fellow man (there was some serious fraud scams happening in Utah at the time).

    The ’80s brought sexual abuse questions and also the caring for dependent children question. The requirements have been changed as well, i.e. the wording of what is expected and how strictly.

    http://mormonmatters.org/2009/02/16/temple-recommend-questions-by-guest-aaron-reeves/

  212. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Uhhh… It’s spring

    Whoa! You’re really far in the future. I thought spring didn’t hit til mid March.

    At least you have a Spring, and not a Half-Assed-Fall-Spring-Thing in place of Winter. It’s gonna be Summer here in a week or two. >.>

  213. says

    Dianne
    Nah, we’re just doing the run off the mill orientalist appropriation racism.
    I admit to having liked Karl May immensely as a kid. Though at least from what I’ve heard he actually portrayed the Indian cultures he wrote about with remarkable accuracy.
    *sigh*
    It’s a complicated field for white ass me where I’m often insecure. When is something still an apppreciation of culture and when is it appropriation (with the damn carnival at least I’m sure)? When is buying artisan products a valuable support of those communities and when is it western exploitation and taking taking taking? As usual, there is no neutral…
    Yeah, white girl whining about how hard it is for us damn privileged folks, I know.

    Portia
    Good to know. No internet explains a lot

  214. says

    Speaking of folks we haven’t seen in a while, has anyone heard of thunk lately?

    Lynna #287
    “Free Enterprise” is one of those buzzwords; any organization whose name includes it can be assumed to be a right wing propaganda mill without further inquiry, and nothing of value will be lost.

  215. rq says

    Lynna @292
    Well, I heard BitCoin experienced a huge market crash today – their largest exchange went down (Mt.Gox or some such, I left my sources at home). I wonder how that will influence Galt’s Gulch in Chile? heh heh…

  216. David Marjanović says

    Nutmeg, does the pulley system carry fluffy hugs? Because, see, I have this heap of them here and would like to distribute them.

    *throws some at Pteryxx and cicely and opposablethumbs*

    My mum made an Ornithosuchus costume for me when I was less than half my current size. (When I figured out that O. wasn’t considered a dinosaur or for that matter bipedal anymore – stupid outdated books –, I quietly decided it was an Allosaurus.) It was all green, had a long tail (stuffed with old underwear) with bamboo sticks in it, three-fingered gloves, and a complete head – I made a (very schematic) toothed skull from cardboard to support the cloth so the snout could be longer than, um, mine. I wore it several years in a row. It’s still on top of the cupboard in Vienna.

    Short article in German citing AFP: A bus driver in Dayton, OH, was attacked with guns and knives by 3 teenagers (possibly as their initiation into a gang). The two shots at his chest got stuck in the New Testament in his pocket. He lives.

    Besides, Pierce said, they didn’t want to “tear apart” the GOP caucus, which was sharply divided last year over Brewer’s push for Medicaid expansion.

    Honor Before Reason. :-|

    the Tree-Sap Season, when birches and maples are divested of their natural bodily fluids, which are then consumed in large amounts (occasionally fermented) in the false hope that this vitamin-rich beverage will protect from disease, the evil eye, and bad politicians.

    You know what? That sounds awesome.

    Eleven small Indian political-parties band together as third front as elections approach
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/25/eleven-small-indian-political-parties-band-together-as-third-front-as-elections-approach/
    Good that the corrupt establishment paties are challenged.

    Well, yes, but the article ends in:

    The Trinamool Congress, a regional outfit not part of the new alliance, dismissed the front as a “communist day dream”.

    “The Third Front is a hobby horse of the communists, who want to use the power of regional parties to manipulate their way to influence without responsibility and to promote obsolete agendas,” leader Derek O’Brien tweeted.

    This thing – an alliance of everything vaguely leftist – fits communist ideology so well it has a name, “people’s front”. I expect that the communists will try to put themselves at the top both in terms of the organization and in terms of the perception in the media. In Vienna they grab a red flag and walk at the front of every demonstration. The late-19th/early-20th idea behind this is that this way they’ll be seen as the only ones who do anything and who must therefore be supported.

    What they can’t grasp is that nowadays this is counterproductive: they discredit the whole thing by association.

    I hope that’s not going to happen in India.

    …Anyway, one click away is the following:

    “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will fly to St. Paul, Minnesota, on Wednesday to propose a four-year, $302 billion plan to create jobs by fixing the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, rail and transportation infrastructure.”

    “Obama will propose ending some tax breaks to provide a one-time $150 billion infusion of cash into transportation funding, the White House said.

    ‘This vision will show how we can invest in the things we need to grow and create jobs by closing unfair tax loopholes, lowering tax rates, and making the system more fair,’ the White House said in a statement previewing his speech, set for 3:05 p.m. EST (20[:]05 GMT).”

    “The gas tax, which raises about $35 billion a year, has not been raised in two decades, and the trust fund has fallen short of needs. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the fund could run out of money as soon as August.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO labor federation have proposed increasing the fuel tax, but Republicans in Congress are averse to tax hikes.”

    “The White House said this round of grants will give priority to ‘projects that make it easier for Americans to get to jobs, school, and other opportunities, promote neighborhood revitalization and business expansion, and reconnect neighborhoods that are unnaturally divided by physical barriers such as highways and railroads.'”

    (Remember half a year ago, when I wanted to visit a museum collection in Norman, OK, and found it’s literally impossible without a car?)

    A comic on asexuality – dispelling myths and raising awareness.

    “A IS FOR ALLY! ALLY PRIDE” :-D :-D

    One click away: “4 Ladies Get The ‘Cover Model’ Makeover Of Their Dreams … And Then Hate The Results

  217. David Marjanović says

    Scroll down for video. It’s Jon Stewart nailing the Faux News take on the situation in Ukraine.

    *clicks*
    *reads subtitle*

    “Fox News criticizes President Obama for not intervening in the European country, like Reagan would have done by now”

    lolwut

    Massively awesome videos.

    Though at least from what I’ve heard he actually portrayed the Indian cultures he wrote about with remarkable accuracy.

    Lolwut? He made an honest attempt with the languages; but the cultures? Like Apaches in New Mexico living in Dakota teepees?

  218. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness, Utah legislation and misogyny categories.

    Utah state Rep. Jim Nielson (R) says that he is sponsoring a bill to force divorcing couples to take classes because he says that men are often “surprised” when women want to end the marriage.

    The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Nielson had filed a bill that would require couples to take part of mandatory divorces classes even sooner than the law required when Utah became the first state with the mandate in 1994. Nielson would like to see couples take at least half of the $55 two-hour classes at the beginning of divorce process. […]

    “The friends that I have that have gone through a divorce, most of the people that I know personally that have gone through that personally are men,” Nielson explained to host Matt Allen. “And my sense, at least from the men that I interact with, is that they’ve usually been surprised by the divorce request, by the filing.”

    The lawmaker pointed out that most men were in “the position of the respondent, and the ones that I know generally have also been greatly distressed by it, wished that there had been an opportunity to reconcile and to find a way to reconcile.”

    “So if I’m correct that more of the filers are women than men — and that’s based on just anecdotal information — then I think what this course does, which basically mandates that before you file, the filer… has to take this course,” he continued. “That individual — often a woman — will be aware of alternatives, will be aware of the impact, will be aware of the consequences and know what the process will be to his or her family.” […]

    Raw Story link.
    I think we can deduce from this folderol that Representative Jim Nielson does not talk to women. Also, “barriers to divorce” is a real mormon thing in Utah. The patriarchy wants it.

  219. rq says

    Just got a bad feeling about all that money (still) being owed me. Fuck.
    In unrelated news, my job is really good at (a) making me feel really useful and (b) making me feel completely out of the loop. It’s doing a weird thing with my emotions. I think I want to quit, but I like/love most parts of my job.
    *wanders off to do the rote cutting-of-evidence that will be frustrating as all hell because some people don’t know how to pack evidence properly – I’m lookin’ at you, inspector*

  220. says

    The governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal (Republican), thinks it is a good idea to make it easier for hospitals to refuse to treat uninsured patients who show up in the emergency room.

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) has a problem: rural hospitals keep closing, overwhelmed by financial troubles they can’t solve on their own. The obvious solution — accepting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act — is the one thing Deal refuses to even consider.

    There is no great mystery here as to why the rural hospitals can’t keep their doors open. These facilities have routinely covered low-income Georgians who don’t have insurance, leading to facilities that can’t pay their bills. Medicaid expansion would “help rural hospitals by turning many of their uninsured patients into paying patients,” but the governor and GOP state policymakers won’t budge. […]

    To solve this problem, Governor Deal thinks we should amend the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1986 so that emergency rooms are no longer required to provide care to patients who can’t pay.

    Deal also put out a statement that “unnecessary visits to the emergency room” were the problem. Well, people without healthcare insurance do use the emergency room more often, but turning them away doesn’t sound like a good option. Also, who is Deal to say these visits are mostly “unnecessary”?

    How about increasing access to preventative care, Governor Deal?

    I guess we could just build large holding pens next to hospitals. We could shove all the poor people in there until they die. That would save the hospitals some money.

    As an aside, remember how many Republicans said we don’t need Obamacare because everyone can already get health care by showing up at an emergency room?

    DeMint [Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)] said uninsured Americans “will get better health care just going to the emergency room.”

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

    @Giliell:

    Under 10s don’t know much (and care less) about the ethnic origins of foods. They like what they like; they want what they want. I’ve had some meals as a parent I would never have expected. Spring rolls and spaghetti would be one of the more normal combinations.

  222. dianne says

    Giliell: The advice I’ve been given on figuring out what is and is not appropriation and/or exploitation is to follow the money. Who gets the profits from the artisan products you buy? Does a significant chunk go to someone other than the artisan and their support people? It’s not a perfect metric by any means, but I find it a useful starting point.

    Re the kids, do they have an interest in American Indians in general? Would they be interested in learning about them, for example? Their having some basic information about the different tribes might help them realize that “Indians” are no more a single group than “Europeans” are. Also, it’s interesting. You could wait to introduce the later history (and genocide) until they’re older.

  223. dianne says

    @Giliell: Who said you couldn’t serve spring rolls with spaghetti?

    It’s known as “fusion cuisine” and if it works well you can start a restaurant specializing in spring rolls with spaghetti.

  224. says

    Mormons, Catholics and evangelical Christians have been ignoring their well-documented enmity toward each other. Baptists, for example, used to be the prime source of anti-mormon rants, complete with made-up “facts” and distortions. That really makes me wonder about Baptists since there are plenty of real problems to attack in mormonism and in mormon culture. Why bother inventing some more?

    Anyway, now the love is flowing from Crazy Land to Whackadoodle Land and back again:

    Four months ago, Albert Mohler spoke at BYU and said Mormons and evangelicals “may go to jail together” defending religious liberty.

    The president of the flagship Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Mohler returned to the flagship Mormon university on Tuesday to deliver a nationally televised speech and said, “We may go to jail sooner even than we thought” in what he called “the age of the advanced meltdown” of traditional values.
    Mohler spoke energetically at a much-anticipated campus forum assembly that drew 2,731 students, faculty and staff to the Marriott Center. He expressed alarm at the speed of developments since his first visit to BYU in October.

    Mohler specifically mentioned separate federal court rulings striking down Utah laws against same-sex marriage and polygamy, as well as a summons issued by a magistrate in a secular court in London seeking the appearance of President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. […]

    Deseret News link, (mormon source).

    […]”Most importantly, we are now called to defend religious liberty for each other, so that when they come for you, we are there, and so that when they come for us, you are there.[…]

    Mohler again mentioned friendships he has developed with LDS apostles. In his two BYU speeches he now has mentioned Elder L. Tom Perry, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder D. Todd Christofferson. […]

    “This society is dismantling the very structures that have allowed for the enjoyment and preservation of human liberty and respect for life. We are engaged in a head-long effort to replace the convictions that gave birth to democracy and ordered liberty with a new set of convictions that will lead to the emergence of a very different culture, society and civilization.” […]

    He argued that unless human dignity is rooted in a belief that mankind is created in God’s image, it cannot survive as a concept.

    Similarly, he said, “The affirmation of human rights is claimed to be the great moral achievement of the modern age. But this affirmation was based in the belief that those rights belong to every human being by virtue of divine creation. How can those rights survive when the foundation is destroyed?”

    “There is no secular ground,” he added, “that can support and defend human rights.”

    Smarminess, intolerance, word salad … and a mormon/baptist alliance.

  225. cicely says

    Anyone happen to know, just off the top of their head, how deeply corn (maize) roots?

    *catching pulley-delivered fluffy hugs and sending a cargo of (slightly-sticky) blackberry jam covered hugs* to David.
    :)
    -

  226. chigau (違う) says

    cicely #311
    In my somewhat clayey garden, not very.
    They tend to fall over in a strong wind.

  227. Nutmeg says

    *also wallows in David’s pile of fluffy hugs*

    *distributes brown sugar brownies and lemon shortbread bars through the pulley system*

    ***

    People are still shitheads today. They can’t all have just decided to be shitheads right now. It must be at least somewhat my perception, coloured by winter blues and too much work and not enough fun. But boy, do I want to rip a strip off a few inconsiderate jerks!

    I won’t, of course, because I don’t trust my perception right now and it would probably do more harm than good and also I don’t actually do confrontation. I’ll just keep trying to find non-shitheads to hang out with. Like you guys.

  228. rq says

    cicely
    Don’t really know, but it’s a grass, they don’t tend to root particularly deep. Then again, it’s corn… Not quite as nefarious as peas, but it might have a few tricks up its sleeve(s).

  229. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I accompanied my mother to the store today. She was driving the van and I was in the passenger seat. There were no seats in the back of the van to make room for a big load of firewood. As we came to an intersection just before the store, she stopped and we both heard a squealing sound.

    “Do you hear that?” she asked. “Maybe I need the brakes worked on.”

    I was doubtful, since we were already at a full stop. “It sounds like metal on metal and it’s still going…”

    BAM.

    A delivery truck full of truck parts slammed into us from behind. We were pushed twenty feet out into the intersection. Our heads flew forward and then back with enough force to knock our glasses off into our laps and our hats off into the back of the van. The firewood was, thankfully, tied into place well enough that it didn’t budge. I doubt I’d be writing this otherwise. The airbags didn’t go off, though they should have.

    I’m aching quite a bit right now and trying to decide how much is from just being tense and freaked out and what’s actual injury. In theory any medical care should get paid for by the delivery company’s insurance, but…I’m worried.

  230. rq says

    Nutmeg
    Nope, I’m pretty sure pretty much everyone has turned into a shithead at the moment.
    Would you like some old useless china to go with that sledgehammer?

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

    Oh, Mellow Monkey, I’m so sorry.

    If you need general advice, I’m sure that there’s a lawyer (more likely) or med insurance person (less likely) on here from whatever country you’re in.

    But if you’re in the US I can say that yes, when you’re rear-ended the rebuttable presumption is that the person who rear-ended you is at fault. Insurance companies factor this in when deciding when and how quickly to settle. Often you can get medical bills sent directly to an insurance carrier if they have acknowledged their insured’s fault, and in rare cases they can be held for resolution of dispute (but usually in this case you have to pay and then it’s up to you to win your damages back).

    In the meantime, hugs, love, and chocolate

  232. rq says

    The Mellow Monkey!!!
    I’m glad you’re safe!!! Seconding Crip Dyke on the rear-ending. And holy shit, I’m just so glad you’re okay, that’s scary.
    I hope you and your mother aren’t seriously injured, and that everything that needs to heal, does so quickly.
    *hugs* and *chocolate*

    *goes off mumbling about near-miss-car-accidents lately*

  233. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Thanks everyone. I am in the US, CD, so it’s good to have that confirmation.

    The man who hit us kept apologizing, saying his brakes locked up. I don’t know if this could have gone any differently, but he clearly had warning for some time before he hit us, based on the fact that we were able to have a conversation about the noise. Not fun at all for anyone involved.

  234. dianne says

    Mellow Monkey, that sounds awful! Hope you’re ok! If you haven’t already done so, make sure you get a thorough medical exam today. You may have injuries you haven’t noticed due to adrenalin. And you will almost certainly hurt worse tomorrow. Get some of the good stuff for pain!

  235. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    But if you’re in the US I can say that yes, when you’re rear-ended the rebuttable presumption is that the person who rear-ended you is at fault.

    First I’ve heard of it being rebuttable actually. O.o

  236. carlie says

    Absolute presumption in the US is that the rear-ender is at fault, unless there are any individual state variants. You are supposed to drive slowly and far enough behind the person in front of you so as not to run into them. I had an incident on ice once in which the person took a left turn from a side street into the road directly in front of me, and I managed to slow down enough to not T-bone them in the passenger door (where the carseat with the baby was), but not enough to not hit them at all, and instead ran into their back end after they finished the turn and totaled my car. The police officer and insurance agents said that if I had hit them in the side, it would have been arguably their fault because they turned too close to oncoming traffic in bad conditions, but since I hit them full-on rear-end, it was my fault by default. I incredulously asked if that meant that I made it my fault by trying not to hit them, and the officer said yep, that was basically the jist of it.

  237. Portia says

    MM, I’m so glad you weren’t injured worse. I’m so sorry that happened. *gentle hugs* I second dianne’s suggestion to go get checked out if you can.

    Most healthcare providers won’t send you to collections if there is another payor (ins co) involved.

    Y’know what, if you want to, email me. bravo[nym] at the gaggle mail.

    Absolute presumption

    vs

    rebuttable presumption

    I’m pretty sure it’s rebuttable, though it is often functionally absolute. If that makes sense.

  238. Crudely Wrott says

    OUCH! Mellow Monkey!

    I hope that you and your mother are OK. Wreaks like yours can cause whiplash injuries to necks. Please be OK, OK?

    *big thumbs up for securing your load of firewood. Loading and securing loads is (just one of) my middle names.* =)

    Cicely, depending on the strain of corn and soil type, you can expect roots to grow to depths of 4 to 8 inches and to spread laterally somewhat more. In hard soil with lots of clay, somewhat less. The sweet corn that we grew as a family long ago, planted two inches deep in raised rows, developed root balls about 6 inches deep and 8 to 10 inches wide.

    If you are going to plant corn, it’s a good idea to till the soil at least 10 inches deep and add some good compost or loam while doing so. For soil with lots of clay, some clean sand can be added to help allow water to penetrate to the root system.

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

    @Azkyroth & Portia:

    It is rebuttable in the US, but I’ve only heard of it actually being rebutted successfully when someone in front was *trying* to cause an accident [it has happened in insurance fraud rings, apparently]. So, yes, Portia is correct that it’s close to absolute in practice.

  240. says

    Hooray! Good news from Texas:

    A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally deprives some citizens of due process and equal protection under the law by stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently from opposite-sex couples.

    U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves to ban gay marriage.

    Trail Blazers link.

  241. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The police officer and insurance agents said that if I had hit them in the side, it would have been arguably their fault because they turned too close to oncoming traffic in bad conditions, but since I hit them full-on rear-end, it was my fault by default. I incredulously asked if that meant that I made it my fault by trying not to hit them, and the officer said yep, that was basically the jist of it.

    That’s pure fucking evil.

  242. says

    Before break out the celebratory grog for Texas, please note this new ruling does not mean that same-sex couples can start getting married in Texas:

    Garcia concluded that the state ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional, but existing Texas law will remain in place as the appeals process gets underway.

    At issue is an amendment to the Texas Constitution, approved by state voters in 2005, which passed in a 76%-to-24% landslide.

    Public attitudes have evolved quite a bit since 2005, but the one-sided results nevertheless suggest today’s court ruling will not be a popular one.

    And as a political matter, it’s safe to say this will be a major issue in Texas elections this year – state Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republicans’ gubernatorial candidate, will be responsible for appealing today’s decision and defending the anti-gay amendment.

  243. carlie says

    Oh,corn – no, it doesn’t make an extensive root system on its own; that’s why it has prop roots. All of the energy goes into up and out and fruit-making.

  244. David Marjanović says

    Mellow Monkey! Is it even possible to ache from emotions alone? It may all be harmless, but pay attention to how this develops. *very careful hugs*

    Post by Mano Singham: Gibberish papers discovered and withdrawn. Not so much papers, though, as conference abstracts… from fake conferences.

    *catching pulley-delivered fluffy hugs and sending a cargo of (slightly-sticky) blackberry jam covered hugs* to David.
    :)

    ^_^ Jam isn’t food, but I know people who think it is, and who also appreciate hugs. *forwards* :-)

    *also wallows in David’s pile of fluffy hugs*

    Yay!

    *distributes brown sugar brownies and lemon shortbread bars through the pulley system*

    Yay!

  245. says

    Protect and serve? I think these California police offers misunderstood:

    […] Investigators said police ordered hundreds of vehicles in King City to be towed and owners never got their cars back because they could not afford to pay impound fees or could not speak English. Police officers kept the cars for free, or sold them to make money, Flippo said. […]

    They served themselves. Sounds like a Sons of Anarchy plot. The police focused their criminal scheme on poor Hispanic residents.

    http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/salinas/king-city-police-chief-miller-and-exchief-baldiviez-arrested/24662946“>KSBW news link.

  246. David Marjanović says

    At issue is an amendment to the Texas Constitution, approved by state voters in 2005, which passed in a 76%-to-24% landslide.

    If an amendment needs to get 67 %, I wouldn’t say 76 is a landslide.

    Or does it only need to get 50 %, like in stupid California?

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

    Mellow Monkey,

    I hope you and your mother are reasonably well now, and that you were both able to (afford to?) see a doctor. Keep us updated, and take care!

  248. opposablethumbs says

    My mum made an Ornithosuchus costume for me

    :-D :-D :-D I love that, David Marjanović. That is almost too wonderful.

    Also fluffy hugs are a Very Good Thing, and I’m very glad to have some.

    Passing some on (very very carefully) to Mellow Monkey – damn, I hope you’re both OK! That sounds pretty frightening as well as bloody dangerous – so glad you had your load well secured, and also that you didn’t get shoved into the path of something massive which could so easily have happened! Hope you can get some good medical / legal expertise, and that you get everything covered without hassle.
    .
    DaughterSpawn arrived today – home for a visit, yay!!! She’s 2/3 of the way through her neuroscience lab work experience year as a baby undergraduate and can now run parts of experiments (designed by a post-doc), slice up brains, mount the slices, photograph the slices and count lesions like nobody’s business (among many other Fun Things To Do involving brains). She is thinking that her dream area to work in (if she graduates well enough) would be something to do with science communication … eh, I’ll cross my fingers.
    It’s so lovely to have her back!

  249. says

    Add one more thing to the long “I’m Rand Paul and I’m Stupid” list:

    “Dr. Murthy has disqualified himself from being Surgeon General because of his intent to use that position to launch an attack on Americans’ right to own a firearm under the guise of a public health and safety campaign.”

    In a nutshell, the Kentucky Republican [Rand Paul] seems to think Murthy should be rejected because he (a) supports President Obama; (b) is a physician concerned about gun violence; and (c) backs the Affordable Care Act.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/paul-targets-surgeon-general-nominee

  250. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    David M.:

    Is it even possible to ache from emotions alone?

    Pain unrelated to an injury is frequently reported by people suffering from PTSD. I know I tend to ache all over after being triggered. I usually assume that it’s the result of intense muscle tension rather than being solely the result of emotions without any physical component. This is what I meant by being tense (physically) and freaked out.

    While looking for a better explanation rather than physical tension alone, I found this on Scientific American:

    But how do emotions trigger physical sensations? Scientists do not know, but recently pain researchers uncovered a possible pathway from mind to body. According to a 2009 study from the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland, activity in a brain region that regulates emotional reactions called the anterior cingulate cortex helps to explain how an emotional insult can trigger a biological cascade. During a particularly stressful experience, the anterior cingulate cortex may respond by increasing the activity of the vagus nerve—the nerve that starts in the brain stem and connects to the neck, chest and abdomen. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, it can cause pain and nausea.

    Didn’t see a link to the original study there, though.

  251. Nutmeg says

    David M.:

    Is it even possible to ache from emotions alone?

    I know this isn’t really the context, but: yes. It’s not uncommon for me to have an adrenaline rush so strong that my arms and legs hurt, I assume from a rapid increase in blood flow. I think this has only happened to me after near-misses while driving, which is a situation where I’m more sensitive than the average person, so I don’t know if it’s entirely normal. Have other people experienced this?

    opposablethumbs: Your DaughterSpawn sounds like she is made of awesome. Enjoy the visit!

  252. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Yes, it is widely believed but nearly impossible to prove that emotions can trigger physical pain. Fibromyalgia, that nasty garbage diagnosis which is flung about when the medics can fine nothing else objectively wrong, may largely be an emotional reaction. It is well known that any suddenly disturbing event such as an auto accident or a death of a loved one can trigger the onset of the syndrome. And once triggered, the brain seems to have a very, very difficult time turning it off.

    A lot of study is currently being done on pain. It will be nice to eventually get some answers. So many people live in chronic pain.

  253. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    To Mellow Monkey and mom, take good care of yourselves. There can be delayed reactions to accidents.

  254. says

    Well, the spaghetti and spring rolls were unusual, but we all filled our bellies (my friends were here for RPGing, I swear my dice hate me)

    MM
    *soft gentle hugs*
    I’m glad nothing worse happened to you and wish you a speedy recover

    dianne
    I’ve been giving them some information, and we watched videos on youtube, mainly old photographs set to music, so they can see the diversity. I should get them some good books for easter, I guess.

    David

    Is it even possible to ache from emotions alone?

    I’ve learned to trust my stomach, it’s much smarter than my brain. I don’t know if you’d call it “from emotions alone”, but my emotional state is very much connected to my digestive system, so anxiety and depression can completely fuck it up.

  255. Portia says

    “Other attorney at your firm told me {X thing that is absolutely inarguably preposterously false}”
    “Well, that’s not the case. The law says {Y}.”
    “Well, then why would that lawyer have told me {X}?”
    “Um…maybe there was a miscommunication?”
    “No, I told them all about my situation, and I know they understood me.”

    …well thanks for clearly up why you didn’t hear what they were saying.

  256. says

    And he start off with this: http://freethoughtblogs.com/marginoferr/2014/02/26/is-islam-a-more-radical-religion-part-2/#comments

    (incidentally, I’m posting this here, rather than on his blog bc I still can’t make comments at other blogs)

    He attempts to show that Islam is unique in ways that make it worse than other religions, but I think he comes up short.
    He asserts that

    1) Islam was born into a warlike primitive culture

    Christianity wasn’t? Judaism wasn’t? And even if they weren’t “born into” warlike ways, they sure adopted them. I’m not sure why being born into such a culture makes a religion inherently worse than one that developed into a warlike culture.
    I also think it could be argued that many of the cultures existing at the time Islam was created were also primitive.
    The attempt to paint Islam as unique in this area falls flat.

    2) Islam is a social religion.

    […]
    I understand that this can be found in other religions too. Catholicism, in particular, has a strict social hierarchy because of the existence of Vatican. However, the fact remains that one cannot doubt the fact that Islam is “society first” and Christianity is “salvation first”.

    This gives Muslims far better excuses to butt in other people’s business, and also to get more riled up when they don’t get their way. The followers of all religions (and most ideologies) try to suppress what they don’t like in the society, but as I’ve said before, it’s not an either/or question. Few religions and ideologies have such a strong mental and ideological backbone to justify the erasure of the individual, maybe except fascism and Stalinism.

    I thought one of the few aspects of religion that is positive is the communal aspect (which of course is not exclusive to religions). You’ll find social communities in many other religions.
    Also, it doesn’t matter what the quality of excuses are, people of other religions butt into others’ business too. Looking at you christianity or LDS. FFS, christians are supposed to give themselves (and their needs, wants and desires) over to Christ for salvation. How is that not “erasing the individual”?

    3) Theocracy is inevitable.

    As long as religious beliefs are allowed to influence governments, this will be a danger. It’s not unique to Islam. If we didn’t have the wafer thin shield of the Establishment Clause in place, the US would likely be a theocracy.

    But no other religion (that I know of) has these deep roots into the governmental system, such infatuation with the political and economical process. And nowhere this is more evident than in Koran. Islam is not merely a religion; it is also a political party.

    In the United States, so too is Christianity (in all but name only). The opposition to marriage equality and the denial of basic healthcare for women are but two examples of how influential christianity is on our government.

    I understand that Kaveh lives in Iran. He lives in an explicitly theocratic government. But I don’t think he’s taken an unbiased approach to the question at hand: Is the religion of Islam a more radical religion?

  257. says

    Official Press Release

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, The Walt Disney Company, Marvel and Netflix Inc. today announced that Marvel’s landmark live-action television series, which will bring Marvel’s “flawed heroes of Hell’s Kitchen” characters to Netflix, the world’s leading Internet TV network, will principally film in New York State. Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking series is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action television storytelling and represents the largest film or television production project commitment in New York State history.

    Daredevil will be the first series from Marvel and Netflix to film in New York City

    Filming is set to begin in the Summer 2014 and will create at least three thousand jobs in New York State including up to 400 full time jobs. The project will include nearly 60 one-hour episodes focused on the 4 Defenders characters: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51126

    Clearly tax cuts for some rich guy resulted in this.

  258. says

    Well, this is a sneaky, unethical way to give money to ALEC [American Legislative Exchange Council], the organization infamous for bringing corporations into the bill-writing process so that legislation promoting charter schools, climate change denial, union-busting, voter restriction, anti-regulation etc can be written without Republicans having to strain their brains to do so..

    Last year, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R) wrote an ethics reform law he claimed would completely ban lobbyist gifts to state legislators. But a 2013 fundraising letter he authored took advantage of a loophole by asking for businesses and lobbyists to contribute to a “scholarship fund” to pay expenses for legislators to attend the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) pro-corporate conferences.

    […] ALEC then spends the money providing travel expenses (“scholarships“) to legislators. […] His fundraising solicitation, sent out on ALEC letterhead, asked that they contribute to the group’s Georgia Legislative Expense Reimbursement Fund […]

    “When most people think about non-profit tax deductions, they think about giving to churches and charities. They never imagine corporations and lobbyists giving money to our elected officials for direct tax breaks,” he said. “If Speaker Ralston and his House members want to better understand the impact policies have on businesses, he should talk directly to Georgia business owners instead of going to ALEC conferences that are paid for by lobbyists.” […]

    Over his career, Ralston has been among the state’s top recipients of lobbyist gifts, including a $17,000-plus European trip. He also received thousands of dollars in “scholarships” to attend ALEC events — though because the pro-corporate organization is not registered to lobby in Georgia, these are not considered lobbyist gifts.[…] the Georgia legislature one of the most tied to ALEC.[…]

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/15/alec_makes_public_hundreds_of_model_bills/

  259. says

    Louie Gohmert likes the anti-gay bill that is currently waiting Arizona governor, Jan Brewers’s yea or nay.

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) says he is a fan of the Arizona bill that would pave the way for legal anti-gay discrimination by businesses. […]Gohmert said that the law would merely uphold constitutional principles.

    “These are religious beliefs and how have we gotten so far afield from the Constitution that we say, well if you’re not willing to embrace the liberal beliefs that we have then your religious beliefs are not protected,” Gohmert said. “It doesn’t say that in the Frist Amendment, it avoids the establishment of a religion. Well some are establishing the religion of secularism and everybody else’s religion has just got to basically go to blazes.”

    Right Wing Watch link.

  260. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tucker Carlson: Making businesses serve gay customers is “fascism”

    Hmm…Making businesses that sell to the public sell to the public is “fascism”? Does not compute.

  261. says

    No promotion:(

    And the person who got it wasn’t the one with the job I could go for, so no plan B at the moment. I do have a few quibbles with the choice, but those might get fixed simply with that person getting different hours.

    On the upside, this was very clearly “I think this other candidate was better”, not “You suck”. I seem to be an early frontrunner for a new position that is opening up in a couple months- new as in the position itself is new, not that the person in it is leaving. It exists at other locations, finally rolling out to us- should I get the job, I’ll be the first person to hold it ever at my location. And I’m already being looked at as a potential candidate.

    So at least I have a plan C still in play. And I’ve got a better idea of what my manager is looking for in leads- which will help me guide self improvement efforts, as well as help me guide how I present myself the next time around. And hey, anyone can handle a job that’s been around forever with well established best practices. Getting a new section in your department off the ground? That could really be something.

    Not the best case, not the intermediate case I was hoping for, but this promotion attempt cleared a worst case by a decent margin.

    Also, here at the trailer park, the main pipe feeding the laundry room burst. 12x12x8(approx) basement, which oh is our storm shelter(this is Missouri), is currently full of water. Half the park had their water turned off so my dad can get in there(once the water is pumped out) and fix the leak.

    We’re not sure yet exactly which pipe burst- if it’s a main line that happens to route through there, or if it’s the branch heading above ground to the washing machines.

  262. carlie says

    The top most popular story in my local newspaper’s website right now is of the “sexual misconduct reported with cows” variety. *headdesk*

    I’m sorry, gworroll – that stinks, but it sounds like you’re taking it really well and learning from it to boot.
    Which corner of Missouri are you in, if you don’t mind saying? I’ve lived in the middle on both sides, near the top on one side, have family near the bottom on the other, and a few friends through the center.

  263. says

    I live in Dallas County, Missouri, a few miles south of Buffalo- I work in Springfield. One of the big reasons I want a promotion or even transfer to an equal ranked position is I need reliable hours to move out of my parents trailer park and into Springfield.

    I’ve looked a bit for a second job, but being flex at my current job means my hours can be unstable. Start at 5 or 6AM which isn’t a big problem with a second job, but I can leave anywhere from 11AM to 2PM, anywhere from 0 to 6 days in a week, I don’t have my schedule until the Friday before and if truck schedules change midweek, my schedule changes. And on rare occasions I’ll end up with something like 12PM to 5PM.

    There are good business reasons for having people on this sort of a schedule- otherwise, we’d have people on with nothing to do, and other days not have nearly enough people on. The workload for retail support can be legitimately unpredictable sometimes. But the unstable schedule makes it harder to find a second job that would work well for me. But I don’t have the guaranteed hours I need to move out, so I’d need that second job(or a new one entirely, but I really like working here) to get that in my current position.

    I’d try to transfer over to a sales position, but those don’t have much turnover here.

    Most of the taking it well is really just forcing rationality to override emotion. I take a lot of things very hard, way harder than I really should- but with that weakness on the emotional side, I just lean more on my rational side and get through it. It would have been nice if I could have developed that skill years ago, my life would be in a much better place now. But slow progress is better than no progress.

  264. says

    Also, added some people on LinkedIn, saw “oh hey I know everyone with that job at that location”, clicked, saw the picture and figured she hadn’t updated her profile in a while. Not having a paid account, the search I did here didn’t show me really anything other than current position, industry, and picture. “That sorta looks like J, but she’s far too white”- J is half Japanese, and looks it. While I could have easily seen J passing for southern European, especially with sunglasses on, I didn’t expect whiter than my Danish brother in law.

    This troubles me a little. Seeing a white person and dismissing that it could have been a friend of mine who is half German. In my defense, I wasn’t entirely basing this on assumptions of what a half German/half Japanese person looks like, I was basing this on what the particular German/Japanese person actually does look like. Still, I really think I maybe should have been more open to how much of a difference bright sunlight can make to someones appearance.

  265. says

    Also, added some people on LinkedIn, saw “oh hey I know everyone with that job at that location”, clicked, saw the picture and figured she hadn’t updated her profile in a while. Not having a paid account, the search I did here didn’t show me really anything other than current position, industry, and picture. “That sorta looks like J, but she’s far too white”- J is half Japanese, and looks it. While I could have easily seen J passing for southern European, especially with sunglasses on, I didn’t expect whiter than my Danish brother in law.

    And then I search for J’s profile, and what do I find? The one I just found, though this search actually gives me all the information to identify it as her.

    This troubles me a little. Seeing a white person and dismissing that it could have been a friend of mine who is half German. In my defense, I wasn’t entirely basing this on assumptions of what a half German/half Japanese person would look like, I was basing this on what the particular German/Japanese person actually does look like. Still, I really think I maybe should have been more open to how much of a difference bright sunlight can make to someones appearance.

  266. says

    Sorry for the double post. Browser stalled and I didn’t think it posted so I went again and inserted what would have been a followup correction. Deletion of 364 would be fine if needed to keep things neat and tidy.

  267. cicely says

    Very helpful on the corn question, Crudely, thanks!
    :)
    I’m thinking of trying the Three Sisters approach.

    opposablethumbs, hurrah for DaughterSpawn’s visit!
    We could use more good science communicators. Goodness knows, the current crop of alleged journalists are (by and large) no help.
    -

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

    @Tony!, #354:

    Luke Fucking Cage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  269. hjhornbeck says

    Oooo, my first time in the Lounge! The cushions are pretty nice here, too.

    Anyway, I’m mostly popping by to share something you might find amusing. Steersman and I have been fencing over on Ally Fogg’s post on gender for the last five days. After leading him on for a few dozen posts, I finally dropped the hammer on him.

    It was a helluva lot of work, but I’m rather pleased with the fisk.

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

    Welcome to the lounge, HJ. Settle in.

    The pulleys will be by soon with hot beverages and chocolate.

  271. rq says

    My grandma died.
    She was 92.
    There’s no way I’ll be making it to the funeral.
    That makes me sad.
    I was supposed to see her again this summer.
    This is not fair.

  272. rq says

    In other news, welcome, hjhornbeck.
    Tony mixes a mean drink, and he can make pretty much en-ee-thing you want.
    There may or may not be cookies, and don’t mind the pillow forts, they’re a bit like mushrooms and tend to come and go randomly. I think there’s a stash of old junk and a sledgehammer lying around somewhere, should the need arise. Enjoy!

  273. says

    Good morning
    I think #1 intentionally puked in order to avoid breakfast*.
    Fortunately the adequate treatment for kids with a belly bug sucks enough for a healthy child that she’ll hopefully never do it again.
    She’s already displeased with her food options and mightily bored.
    And I took a proud Viking to kindergarten.

    *Any breakfast that is not purely chocolate is OK. But for the last two weeks I’ve been getting her sandwiches back with barely a corner missing, but I’m also getting evindence that she gets sweets from her classmates.

    rq
    *big hugs*
    I’m sorry to hear

    gworroll
    That sucks. Holding my thumbs for the next promotion.

    hjhornbeck
    Hi HJ! Welcome to the Lounge

  274. Dhorvath, OM says

    rq,
    hugs, that is never easy.
    ___

    Giliell,
    I am starting to fight the ‘sickness’ avoidance child. No manner of fun.

  275. hjhornbeck says

    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop! @376:

    Reading through that, I was wondering why you chose to engage Steersman for any extended period of time.
    Then I got to the end.

    Well played!

    Thanks! I was deploying a tactic I invented on-the-fly when arguing with Gemmer: the longer your opponent keeps talking, the more likely they are to make a slip-up or contradictory statement. Those goofs are scattered away through an entire thread, though, so most people will miss them. This leads to an obvious solution: encourage your opponent to continue talking, then once you think you’ve built up enough contradictions to convince the typical reader, consolidate them into a massive index comment. As a bonus, I can point back there if Steersman and I ever go toe-to-toe again, allowing me to dramatically cut the number of posts I need to return to the same state.

    What I really love about the tactic is that it’s a no-lose situation, even if you know exactly what I’m doing. Either you keep talking, and eventually shoot yourself in the foot, or you keep things short and punctual, in which case I don’t waste much time responding to you. Wiggling out of that is tough!

    Crafting that lecture has been an immense benefit to me, as I’m racking up quite a bit of counter-trolling experience. It’s like I’d planned it that way. ;)

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

    @hjhornbeck

    What I really love about the tactic is that it’s a no-lose situation, even if you know exactly what I’m doing. Either you keep talking, and eventually shoot yourself in the foot, or you keep things short and punctual, in which case I don’t waste much time responding to you. Wiggling out of that is tough!

    Unless you actually have facts and sources on your side.

    Not that Steersman did. Just saying.

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

    Oh, and HJHornbeck:

    I find it interesting that the length of time needed to find good, useful examples of those contradictory statements takes varying times for varying rhetorical adversaries.

    Peek into the magnificent denunciation thread for an example, but then if you want to discuss it with me, please go to ThunderDome as we shouldn’t really bring into the lounge anything that disparages an individual or otherwise seems likely to start fights.

  278. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you so much, Nutmeg! Thank you cicely!
    .
    rq, I’m so sorry. That’s hard :-((( I guess this was pretty unexpected, if you were planning to see her this summer? I’m really sorry that doesn’t get to happen. Can I send a box of hugs over for you?
    .
    Argh, Giliell, sympathies re the whole struggle of getting #1 to eat. At least (whispers so that #1 won’t hear) she hasn’t thought of dumping her sandwich in the bin at school so you don’t see the evidence. Hopefully it’ll be a phase that doesn’t last too long? (do you think it’s because she wants to eat a particular something she’s seen other kids have but that you don’t do, or is it a control thing like she feels some other aspect of her life is out of her control and she wants to be controlling about this bit? …. Or she just really loves sweets (damn things) … or something else entirely?)
    .
    Sorry you didn’t get this job, Gworroll. I’m impressed by how you’re handling it, though! Hope you get this next chance coming up.

  279. hjhornbeck says

    Crip Dyke @374: Oooo, it’s like an OK GO music video!

    rq @378: I have modest tastes, I hope Tony’s got a good stash of tea lying about. And sorry to hear that, too; here’s a hug.

    Giliell @380: Thanks! Hopefully I’ll drop in every once in a while, but I tend to be a spare commenter at the best of times. :P

    Speaking of which, it is quite past my bedtime. It’s been a pleasure meeting everyone!

  280. says

    I threw in a brief comment in that thread with Steersman, always a mistake since he’s such a tedious git. I was actually criticizing a comment on the Hornbeck side, that the clitoris and penis are homologous. They aren’t; partially homologous maybe, but the penis incorporates embryonic tissues that aren’t part of the clitoris. Steersman immediately went running to a dictorionary to claim that partial homology isn’t a real thing.

    Say what? I explained the idea with the clear example of the incorporation of the urethra into the penis, but not the clitoris, and Steersman has to find a strange dictionary based argument to argue that the phenomenon doesn’t exist? And then he mumbles on long-windedly in comment after comment, pointlessly and ignorantly critical.

    The slymers have their little religion of anti-FtBism, and it makes them stupid and boring. But then, they were probably idiots to begin with.

  281. Nick Gotts says

    Islam was born into a warlike primitive culture – Tony quoting Kaveh Mousavia

    I haven’t visited Kaveh Mousavia’s blog yet, but interestingly, Tom Holland’s In The Shadow of the Sword argues that Islam’s supposed origin in remote Mecca was a retcon, aimed at rebutting charges that it was just a syncretism of Judaism, Christianity and other monotheisms. Holland claims the internal evidence of the Quran (e.g. frequent mentions of specific crops that wouldn’t grow in the environs of Mecca, topographical references) and Muhammed’s traditional profession (merchant) indicates that it probably originated in what is now Syria, the multicultural and highly urbanised crossroads of near-eastern culture at the time. This is a minority view, of course, but the origins of Islam seem to be at least as disputable as those of Christianity.

  282. Crudely Wrott says

    Heartfelt *hugs* of the gentlest kind to rq.

    Treasure your memories and do pass on the wisdom and wit that I’m sure your grandmother passed on to you. That way she will surely live on.

  283. carlie says

    Hugs to rq. That’s so hard.

    Hugs to everyone else also – I’m not keeping up well, but I’m sure there are things going on.

    gworroll, I think that’s the prettiest part of the state. Well, maybe not at this time of year, but most of the time.

  284. rq says

    Thank you, all. Your gestures are much appreciated.

    opposablethumbs
    Yes, it was all very unexpected – she was supposed to live forever, even though at the end of last year she finally decided to go into a care home for the elderly. She moved in in January. Yesterday, she was getting ready to see some friends, and her heart suddenly failed. She was the last (and eldest) of five sisters, and one of the most accepting people I have ever known.

  285. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Mellow Monkey @315:

    Yikes. That’s scary.

    Did you get a police report?

    David:

    Is it even possible to ache from emotions alone?

    Yes.

    Lynna (quoting Carlson):

    Making businesses serve gay customers is “fascism”

    Hm. It used to be, “Making businesses serve black customers is “communism”.” I guess that’s progress?

    —-

    Hugs to rq.

    —-

    TRIGGER WARNING!

    Sorry I was so quiet yesterday. I have no idea why Tony’s comment at 254 triggered me. They caught this rapist. And it triggered a nice one-hour panic attack while I was supposed to be redoing a brochure. Last night I had some bad nightmares, all of them from when I made the mistake of trying to tell someone and was told my lies would hurt him and then had to go apologize to my rapist for telling someone what he did and he punished me by doing it again.

    Still not in a real safe place and I have no idea why. Usually, triggers are kinda obvious. Not this time. Not sure how I let this one trigger me.

  286. Portia says

    rq:
    I’m so sorry. I love you, and I just can’t imagine how much that sucks. *bighugs* and *cinnamontea*

    Oggie:
    If triggers were voluntary, no one would ever be triggered. It’s not your fault. Not the trigger, not the reason for having triggers. *safehugs* I’m glad you’re around, at any rate. Hope you feel better soon.

  287. bassmike says

    *Hugs* to rq, Ogvorbis, MM and gworroll and anyone else I’ve missed.

    hjhornbeck a belated welcome to the lounge from me. There’s always Tony’s great cocktails, grog, cookies and soft pillows. I think there’s still a bass guitar somewhere, but I got some disapproving looks the last time I played it.

    Thanks everyone for your sympathy and support. It really does help. Not much to report from home, except that it will be my father’s 80th birthday tomorrow, and it looks like he’ll make it.

    I’m off to see if I can find some spoons from somewhere. I haven’t many left at the moment.

  288. bassmike says

    Chigau shouldn’t that be:

    ‘Hello Miss’
    ‘What do you mean miss?’
    ‘I’m sorry I have a cold’

    ?

  289. rq says

    bassmike
    Hello! I’ve got a collection of spoons, so I don’t mind handing some off via USB. *extra hugs* in case they don’t make it through.

    chigau
    get well soon
    Oh, and *rum*.

    +++

    If you ever argue with a christian, have a balloon fight with a toddler afterwards. The mental stimulation is incomparable.
    And by that I mean, of course, that the toddler will be by far the better company.

  290. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs to rq. It’s not fair.

    Hugs and safe-space wishes to Ogvorbis, I’m sorry you were triggered.

    (We really need (or I could certainly do with) a better way of distinguishing between I’m sorry meaning I regret that such a thing has happened and I’m sorry meaning I apologise for something I did.)

    Hope #1 feels better soon, Giliell!

    And all the hugs and spoons to bassmike. My best wishes for as painless as possible a day tomorrow, and for it to be a chance for people to give each other support and to celebrate (please forgive me if this is inappropriate; it feels positive to me but I don’t presume to know if it feels that way to you) your father’s life.

  291. rq says

    Giliell
    I hope she is well soon! :/ Stomach viruses are terrible. I hope you get a break soon, too!
    *hugs*
    We’re on tummy-virus stand-by since Eldest came home with the fantastic story of class-mate puking all over the classroom on Monday. Right before they had to go down for their medical measurements. I was all hopeful (“Maybe she was just really nervous! It happens…” *reminiscing fondly of that first Kiwanis piano recital…*), but then he came forth with the confident pronouncement that no, it was a virus, she had a fever and the teacher had called her dad to take her home early.
    I’m relatively sure the incubation period is ending, and so far – no symptoms in anyone. *holding thumbs for me*

  292. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    rq: Thanks.

    Portia @395:

    If triggers were voluntary, no one would ever be triggered.

    I apologize if my writing implied that triggers were voluntary. They are not. I’m just a little annoyed at myself that I let this trigger me without any concept of why it triggered me.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Thanks.

    Gilieall @397:

    Oh dear, the poor kid didn’t fake it.

    Hope everyone gets better fast.

    There are few things worse than discovering that the kid was not faking illness/injury. Hugs to you.

    bassmike @400:

    When I was in high school, the sure sign that someone was a dweeb was if they quoted Monty Python in ordinary conversation. The sure sign that some was an extreme dweeb was recognizing said quote.

    opposablethumbs @404:

    I’m sorry you were triggered.

    Thanks. I wish I knew why that triggered me. Still no idea.

    (We really need (or I could certainly do with) a better way of distinguishing between I’m sorry meaning I regret that such a thing has happened and I’m sorry meaning I apologise for something I did.)

    Either way, I’ll most likely still be apologizing (sorry, meant as a joke).

  293. David Marjanović says

    Thanks for all the explanations.

    *backs up link truck*

    How typical: The only thing the Republican “Save American Workers Act” would save American workers from is their health coverage.
    Corker now pretending his threats over VW union vote weren’t really threats
    Florida’s Tea Party Government Forcing Firefighters to Fight Wildfires Alone” – like, one at a time, like increasingly powerful bad guys sent against the hero by the Big Bad.
    Cartoon: “Life’s little victories – the 1 % edition”
    Pat Robertson defends the Defense of Marriage Act and… the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. o_O
    Silhouette Man wonders WTF is wrong with Americans“. Be sure to read the update under the cartoon.

    rq! *hug* My grandma in Serbia died just weeks before I could have visited her, 5 1/2 years ago.

    I’m posting this here, rather than on his blog bc I still can’t make comments at other blogs

    *blink* What? How does that work???

    …I’ve noticed, though, that your name links to your facebook.com e-mail address. Something is wrong with your login information. Click on your name right under “Leave a Reply” and take a look if you’ve put something in the wrong field!

    Celebratory gif

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    “I’ll protect you, fair maiden.”
    “Sorry, neither.”
    – Sulu and Uhura, after he enters the bridge with a sword

    So full of win.

    Watch out for the comfy chair…

    Not… the… comfy chair… *faints*

    indicates that it probably originated in what is now Syria, the multicultural and highly urbanised crossroads of near-eastern culture at the time.

    Hmmm. I have no idea of the crops, but southwestern Arabia was fairly multicultural, contained cities, and had been trading in incense & myrrh & stuff for centuries.

    Hm. It used to be, “Making businesses serve black customers is “communism”.” I guess that’s progress?

    I think so.
    *hug*

    I wish more men would dance like this.

    Top comment: “I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m like 69% more gay after watching that.” :-D

  294. David Marjanović says

    Obamacare, Obama and Democrats going up in the polls.

    ebooks: Man, Are We Being Had

    Shorter NYC Mayor and Schools Chancellor: Teachers Are Babysitters” – oh, so it’s not just Austria anymore.
    Last paragraph there: “In New York City teachers are required to have not only a bachelor’s degree, but to obtain their master’s degree within five years of their appointment. It is time that they are treated as the educated professionals they are and not glorified child care providers.” In Austria there used to be no such thing as a bachelor’s degree; and I strongly doubt they were given a full five years to get their master’s degree – yet parents and politicians widely regard school as kid storage, something for which the teachers are neither paid nor really qualified.

    Stop the most extreme gun bill in America

    Georgia lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow guns in churches, bars, in the classroom, and even into the world’s busiest airport: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

    As you’re reading this, Georgia members of Americans for Responsible Solutions are sending emails and calls into the offices of elected officials across the state trying to stop this bill.

    Add your voice to theirs and sign our national petition calling on Georgia’s Governor Deal and Lt. Governor Cagle to stop the ‘Guns Everywhere’ legislation that would allow people to bring weapons into the world’s busiest airport.”

    “State regulators at the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) are considering a plan to extend the successful NY-Sun Initiative solar program through 2023. This exciting clean energy commitment would result in ten times more affordable solar up and down the state.” Petition to keep up the good work.

    “Landmines are used as toys by toddlers. With a stroke of a pen, President Obama could destroy a massive 10 million of these child killers and help get other countries to follow suit — but he’ll only act if he thinks it’s urgent.

    President Obama is about to decide whether to join the 161 countries, including every other member of Nato, who have vowed never to use landmines. With a single executive order he can reverse Bush’s warmongering decision to keep these vicious bombs the U.S. hasn’t used for over 20 years. Obama knows it makes sense — he’s already prohibited the use of the worst of these weapons.

    70% of those killed and injured by mines are civilians — a third of all victims are children. But lots of decisions cross Obama’s desk. Let’s make sure he prioritises banning the bomb kids love to play with — sign and share now.”

  295. says

    Thank you all

    *hugs* to bassmike
    crystalized ginger for chigau
    *hugs* for Ogvorbis

    Collecting my fierce Viking from daycare made me aware again how unisex children actually are. They are a human-shaped canvas onto which gender is painted. The little one can be the cuuuuuuuuutest princess and the fiercest warrior Viking and simply depending on her attire people will deem her to be “male” or “female” while she’s always the same person underneath….

  296. Nick Gotts says

    I have no idea of the crops, but southwestern Arabia was fairly multicultural, contained cities, and had been trading in incense & myrrh & stuff for centuries. – David Marjanović

    Mecca isn’t in south-west Arabia. According to Holland, there’s no evidence of it being a trading centre in pre-Islamic times.

  297. Dhorvath, OM says

    Ogvorbis,
    Can’t I be a little bit dweeb? Pop culture quotes have often made up half of my conversation, whether the Flying Circus was involved or not.

  298. David Marjanović says

    I’m just a little annoyed at myself that I let this trigger me without any concept of why it triggered me.

    What do you mean by “let”? It really isn’t voluntary. I know your rapist tried to interpret the whole world in terms of strength and weakness; he was wrong.

    *pink fluffy hugs with bows*

    It’s a fact of nature that certain things trigger you; you just haven’t completely found out what does. That’s normal, it’s how it works; other traumatized people get surprise triggers, too.

    …Was it where the archbishop put his sympathy?

  299. David Marjanović says

    Mecca isn’t in south-west Arabia.

    I’d say it is, if we divide “south” and “north” in the center… the trade routes definitely passed through this region.

    But I wouldn’t be surprised if Mecca has been exaggerated much like Bethlehem and the probably fictional Nazareth have been in Christianity.

  300. bassmike says

    opposablethumbs :

    My best wishes for as painless as possible a day tomorrow, and for it to be a chance for people to give each other support and to celebrate (please forgive me if this is inappropriate; it feels positive to me but I don’t presume to know if it feels that way to you) your father’s life.

    No, it’s not inappropriate and thank you for the thought.

  301. says

    Some response to Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to veto the discrimination bill:

    Rush Limbaugh told his audience that Brewer was being “bullied by the homosexual lobby.”

    Rich Lowry of Politico complained about the “hysteria” from civil-rights advocates, which led to a veto Lowry sees as “foolish.”

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

    *gentle hugs* to rq, Ogvorbis, and die Spawn (am I doing German properly???)

    Today’s lecture was on projectile vomiting. Awesome!!!

    So, I am sitting down to type my 20-page paper (on cardiomegaly) while eating a burrito.

    The post about Islam bugged me, for all the reasons others have cited, but because of something else: he goes on about how Judaism’s origins included the captivity/slavery/away-from-home stuff. Which, of course, is true, and Judaism is heavily influenced by those things. But – just as an understanding of Islam as practiced requires a discussion of the Sunni/Shi’a split and the rise of Wahhabism, an understanding of Judaism as practiced means that you have to take into account the parts the OT and the commentaries that did not come about in the captivity periods. Like, explain the entirety of Judges, Chronicles, and Kings – when the kingdom of Israel was ascendant. Granted, it fell again, but that time period is relevant. Likewise, if you want to understand what’s going on today you have to acknowledge things like the Holocaust, the establishment of the state of Israel, and the intifadahs.

    So, while what was going on in 7th-century Arabia is relevant, it isn’t all that is relevant. It’s analogous to reading the book of Acts in the NT and then saying, “Ok, I understand Christianity.”

  303. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    David Marjanović @412:

    Thanks.

    I know that being triggered is not weakness. But my gut tells me otherwise (gut, in this case, being shorthand for the ambulance-chasing used-car-salesman infesting the darker reaches of my so-called brain).

    And, usually, when something triggers me, there are memories associated with that trigger, so it is pretty easy to understand why I triggered. This asshole got caught, mine didn’t. This asshole has a defender saying that the rapist is the one who is hurt. My

    Nevermind. I know where the trigger came from. I was told that, if I accused the rapist of being a rapist, it would hurt his marriage, his career, his position in the church.

    Makes sense now.

    Thanks for letting me talk this one through.

    Esteleth and Dalillama:

    Thanks.

  304. cicely says

    Hi, hjhornbeck; Welcome In!

    *hugs* and sympathies, rq; sorry to hear about your grandma.

    *hugs* and commiserations for Giliell, and may non-faking Offspring recover soon.

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis.

    *hugs* for bassmike.

    *hugs&chikkensoop* for chigau.
    -

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

    Amusement:

    Yesterday a classmate snarked that I was a “walking stereotype” because I came to class wearing skinny jeans, stompy boots, a white t-shirt and wide rainbow suspenders.

    I just realized that I am today a different stereotype, as I’m wearing jeans that were stylish 5 years ago (and fit me 20 pounds/5 years ago), and a tank top. I’ve got suspenders on, but they’re off my shoulders and hanging from my belt. And I’m drinking beer.

    Stereotypes are fun!

  306. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …why would you want suspenders hanging where they’d catch on things? O.o

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

    Because I’m sitting and typing, and they rub on my shoulders.

  308. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tony:

    Don’t worry about it. Some things I know will trigger me. Others, I don’t. It took me a full day to realize just why your comment triggered me. If I don’t know what all my triggers are (you would think that I would know most of them by now), how should any one else? There are certain things that are pretty much universal triggers — an asshat claiming that the rapist is the real victim, while being incredibly insensitive and dishonest, is not something that would normally trigger a reaction.

  309. blf says

    An unmistakable sign people are starting to notice the mildly deranged penguin is absent: The local bar, just around the corner from the relocated lair, has not only redecorated but is now offering a Belgian Abbey bier, Maredsous (licensed to a commercial brewer) served with cheese (made at the Abbey, I think). That’s like sending up the bat signal but not actually expecting an oversized non-flying rodent costumed creep to show up…

  310. hjhornbeck says

    Crip Dyke @385:

    Peek into the magnificent denunciation thread for an example, but then if you want to discuss it with me, please go to ThunderDome as we shouldn’t really bring into the lounge anything that disparages an individual or otherwise seems likely to start fights.

    Oh yeah, my intention in popping over here wasn’t to gloat, it was to share a rhetorical tactic.

    As weird as it may sound, I don’t have a lot of animosity against the ‘pit. Part of that comes from a “nobody deserves hate” personality, part comes from being a bit player on the periphery, but part of that comes from something I’d realized a while ago. Philosophers value being able to argue the other side, as it ensures you’re not argunig against a straw position; rhetoricians value understanding the other side, as it reveals their weak spots; skeptics value listening to the other side, as truth can come from any quarter; humanists value empathizing with the other side, as dehumanizing people leads to horrible behavior.

    If you shut out someone by hating them, you waive all those benefits.

    Myers @388:

    I was actually criticizing a comment on the Hornbeck side, that the clitoris and penis are homologous. They aren’t; partially homologous maybe, but the penis incorporates embryonic tissues that aren’t part of the clitoris.

    I noted that. I’m still struggling a bit on how to incorporate that knowledge (working outside your area of expertise is a BIG handicap), but some research time should either lead to a better phrasing or an indication I should drop that line.

    The slymers have their little religion of anti-FtBism, and it makes them stupid and boring. But then, they were probably idiots to begin with.

    Whenever I deal with them, I remind myself that they don’t think they’re idiots. They think they’re honest skeptics, who see a large chunk of skepticism falling for radical, unproven ideas, and have devoted their spare time to tearing it down via satire. In their own minds, they are the reasonable ones and we’re the idiots.

    This leads to an angle of attack: if their self-perception is true, then their ideas should be unassailable even if you temporarily adopt their core premises as your own. If their self-perception is false, then pointing contradictions between their beliefs and reality ratchets up their level of cognitive dissonance, leading them to either turn into self-refuting conspiracy nuts (Cavanaugh’s assertion that you somehow supported me was HILARIOUS) or drop out and go silent. Throw enough grit in their wheels, and they’ll grind themselves into extinction.

    Whether that effect counters the trickle of fresh faces wandering into the ‘pit, or whether you have the time/energy/interest/location to pursue that strategy, is another matter entirely. Engagement has its own problems (“That looks better on your resume…” and all that).

    Still, I live in a secular bubble and really don’t deal with a lot of the religious in my life. Talking with members of the ‘pit is an easy way to expose myself to the religious mindset and come to understand it better, while at the same time helping to improve the community.

    Whoops, wandered off on a bit of a rant there. :P

    Thanks for the welcome, bassmike and cicely! Howdy there, David! And now, I return to the grind…

  311. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    hjhornbeck:

    As weird as it may sound, I don’t have a lot of animosity against the ‘pit. Part of that comes from a “nobody deserves hate” personality, part comes from being a bit player on the periphery, but part of that comes from something I’d realized a while ago. Philosophers value being able to argue the other side, as it ensures you’re not argunig against a straw position; rhetoricians value understanding the other side, as it reveals their weak spots; skeptics value listening to the other side, as truth can come from any quarter; humanists value empathizing with the other side, as dehumanizing people leads to horrible behavior.

    We should empathize with a self-selected group of people who think that it is perfectly acceptable to use a rape survivor’s experience as a weapon with which to smear FreeThoughtBlogs? Who have actively celebrated driving bloggers off line?

    Okay, then.

  312. David Marjanović says

    Moar links! Gotta catch ‘em all!!!

    Sign the petition to anti-gay zealots: Admit it’s over and give up” – the latest state where a judge struck down marriage inequality is Texas.

    In German: 30 men with automatic guns have occupied the parliament and administration buildings of the Crimea. (The buildings were empty because of a holiday.) Allegedly they call themselves self-defenders of the Russian-speaking population. Photo of Crimean Tatars waving flags on Wednesday, with one Russian flag in the picture.

    Mockery of the paleo diet.

    Here’s a Cat That Takes Broccoli Very, Very Seriously

    Weird Triassic bottom-lurkers may have had extremely weird eyes because it’s so hard to make sense of their humongous pentagonal eye sockets. I’m working on whether they’re amphibians… they had internal gills, BTW.

    We conclude that Acanthostega retained a primitively aquatic lifestyle and did not possess cranial adaptations for terrestrial feeding.”

    Not caught them all. brb

    *gentle hugs* to rq, Ogvorbis, and die Spawn (am I doing German properly???)

    Hard to say. A literal translation of “spawn” would be Laich, which is singular and masculine. “To” is zu and goes with the dative, so dem Laich, but what you’d actually use here is “for”, and für goes with the accusative, den Laich… of course nobody uses Laich to mean “children”, because that would be too awesome.

    Today’s lecture was on projectile vomiting. Awesome!!!

    So, I am sitting down to type my 20-page paper (on cardiomegaly) while eating a burrito.

    :-) Why are you so awesome?

    gut, in this case, being shorthand for the ambulance-chasing used-car-salesman infesting the darker reaches of my so-called brain

    :-D :-D :-D

    *hugs* ^_^

  313. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    As weird as it may sound, I don’t have a lot of animosity against the ‘pit. Part of that comes from a “nobody deserves hate” personality, part comes from being a bit player on the periphery, but part of that comes from something I’d realized a while ago. Philosophers value being able to argue the other side, as it ensures you’re not argunig against a straw position; rhetoricians value understanding the other side, as it reveals their weak spots; skeptics value listening to the other side, as truth can come from any quarter; humanists value empathizing with the other side, as dehumanizing people leads to horrible behavior.

    If you shut out someone by hating them, you waive all those benefits.

    I hope you understand this is an extremely privileged position to take.

  314. says

    HJ:
    I haven’t interacted with you much, but I’ve read quite a bit of your comments across FtB. I agree with you on a great many things. This:

    As weird as it may sound, I don’t have a lot of animosity against the ‘pit. Part of that comes from a “nobody deserves hate” personality, part comes from being a bit player on the periphery, but part of that comes from something I’d realized a while ago. Philosophers value being able to argue the other side, as it ensures you’re not argunig against a straw position; rhetoricians value understanding the other side, as it reveals their weak spots; skeptics value listening to the other side, as truth can come from any quarter; humanists value empathizing with the other side, as dehumanizing people leads to horrible behavior.

    If you shut out someone by hating them, you waive all those benefits.

    Is not one of those cases.
    I’ve no desire to dehumanize anyone, and that includes the people who hang out at the ‘Pit. But I do shut them out and I’m glad some bloggers here do as well. IIn my interactions with various Pitters, I’ve found them to hold horrible views. Many people have tried reasoning with them. Facts and evidence have been brought up…over and over again, to no avail. After a certain point, it becomes nearly futile. Obviously that’s up to each individual. I applaud your efforts, and hope that you have some success, though I have my doubts.
    Also, I agree with Ogvorbis and Azkyroth.

  315. Portia says

    I no longer know how to deal with the bullshit from my assistant. She seriously just yelled at me because yesterday I wrote down the wrong court date. Which is what she has been doing to me for months. She blamed me for the verbal warning she was given on Friday by the big boss. I mean, the boss is aware of her performance issues because of me, (and all the other attorneys) so OBVIOUSLY I am the one “endangering her livelihood.” I am so livid I feel like flailing. I don’t know how to deal with someone this…far deep into their persecution complex that they have the nerve to tell me “Sorry isn’t good enough.” I don’t think I even said “Sorry.” I think I said “Ok” so she would get out of my office.

    It’s all so petty. So why is it so frustrating?!

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

    Portia,

    You’re too nice, so she expects you to intervene on her behalf? Although, I don’t see how yelling at you would help with that, unless she thinks it will make you feel guilty.

  317. Portia says

    Beatrice:

    her line of thought appears to be:
    1. Portia writes down the wrong date.
    2. Assistant calendars the wrong date.
    3. Portia tells boss that the wrong date is on the calendar for the HUNDREDTH FUCKING TIME.
    4. Boss fires Assistant because of the straw that broke the camel’s back.
    5. Portia put the straw on the camel’s back herself by writing down the wrong date.

    At what point should I mention I have long suspected I have undiagnosed dyslexia?

  318. Portia says

    Oh, and I think the true purpose of yelling at me is that Boss has this heart-to-heart with her on Friday, and she still feels shitty about it and has found a way to toss blame back on me for a moment and alleviate her shitty feelings. By spreading them around.

  319. Portia says

    Big mug of tea. It’s helping.

    Only six more months before the arbitrary one year mark, when Big Boss said he’d consider hiring someone new to be my assistant (current assistant is also assigned to another attorney).

    Thanks for the validation Beatrice. :)

  320. cicely says

    God’s Facebook page is awesome!
    :) :) :)

    *hugs* for Portia.
    Self-delusion is a helluva drug.
    -

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

    *yawn*
    I want to argue with the libertarian, but I’m too sleepy. Mmmmm, sleep
    Good night

  322. rq says

    Portia
    *hugs*
    And seconding Beatrice, #440 sounds about right.
    Remember: she’s been messing with your dates, and she’s been insufferable and unapologetic about it since forever. If she can’t do her fucking job right, then she can’t do it right – and it’s not your fault. You’ve told your bosses your issues with her, so hopefully they understand her, and the fact that they’ve been made aware of it through you in no way changes the fact that her own mistakes are her own damn fault. And if the Bosses choose to speak to her about these issues, then it’s not your fault, either.
    I don’t think you should mention the dyslexia, not to her. I don’t see that ending up particularly well in the long run, considering her current track record.
    And anyway, why are you supposed to be apologising to her??? It’s your court dates, and it’s your livelihood on the line, too. And if she’s your assistant, she should have a far better approach for letting you know there’s a mistake on your calendar than yelling at you. You shouldn’t be doing the apologising.
    Sorry if none of that makes sense. Some people… *sigh*

  323. Portia says

    rq:

    It makes a lot of sense, and it is what I needed. Thank you.
    I should have said a dozen things that I couldn’t put together.
    Maybe with her personality it’s better for her to just have the last word and get over it. (She just came into my office for other reasons, and does seem to be over it (the other reasons being to discuss this client with me who might get passed to me who is difficult and she wants to “protect” me from his meanness and that he will chew me up and spit me out…)).
    I don’t know how to go forward with her. I could figure out what I need to communicate to her, and ask her to come back for a talk, but I just…don’t feel like I can have an honest discussion with her, and all I want to do is say “NO you’re wrong!!!” and I doubt that’d help. I don’t have a script for this.

  324. Portia says

    she’s been insufferable and unapologetic about it since forever.

    On this note, Mentor Boss (who she initially complained to, and who told her to talk to me about it) laughed really hard when I said “I should have told her ‘It got done didn’t it?'”

    Which is what she told me once when she sent me somewhere on the wrong day by putting it on my calendar wrong.

  325. rq says

    Portia
    I’m usually all for being nice and polite (my religion on FB is, after all, ‘be nice’) but there’s a certain time and place for a little bit of rudeness. You may have reached it.
    Because you know what? It sounds like she’s outright bullying you. Not in that occasionally-impolite or bad-day kind of rudeness, but outright bullying. Subtly and slowly. I don’t like that. :/ Especially the so-angry and then suddenly cool-professional shift.
    I think, from now on, you should just reply to everything in a very firm and calm voice, “Thank you for letting me know.” In a very dismissive and acidic fashion (is that even a thing?). And then face your desk and keep working. But dammit she seems like she’d get vindictive about it. :(
    Yeah, don’t take my advice. I’m just ranting on your behalf. Sorry.
    *ahem*
    I think my not-nice is showing.

  326. blf says

    For the first time evar I clieked on an advertisement here at FtB, entirely because it was the complete opposite of the usual run of obvious scam artists and oblivious slimy corporations: Nutty Bible Quotes — Crowdfunding the book at Indiegogo (YouTube link). I have no idea if it’s for real, is sensible, yadda yadda yadda, and am not in any way affiliated with this project, but thought I’d bring it to people’s attention since it is of obvious potential interest (which probably means everyone but me already knows about it…).

  327. blf says

    I tend to concur with rq@450, Portia‘s “assistant” is trying to establish herself as the Alpha-arsehole, and so is taking advantage of Portia’s perceived / imagined nature, thus engaging in intimidation or bullying. Which may turn into vindicative actions if this “assistant” thinks it’s not working or Portia “needs a lesson / punishment”.

    What I don’t have is any advice to offer. I myself just tend to ignore such behaviour since it is mostly bluster and theatrics, plus I know a certain penguin…
    Humor, patient but focused questioning, and a few pints in the pub — especially served with cheese — all help (me). So does a rational amount of self-confidence.

  328. Portia says

    blf:

    Ignoring it is my impulse, too, since appeals to reason don’t seem to work.
    I hadn’t thought of her before as a bully. But boy howdy she is sure manipulative, so it does fit. Gaslighting, too, what with blowing up at me for something she does every other day.
    I like the idea of focused questioning, but don’t think I have the temperament…or the patience, ha.

    But I am so grateful for the gift you just gave me. I think from now on I’ll always use quotations mark when I refer to her. e.g. My “assistant” likes coffee. My “assistant” can handle that. My “assistant” is “great” at her job.

    }:)

  329. Portia says

    I should add that from what I understand her previous boss (before the two of us she directly works for now) just ignored any bad behavior, and that’s part of the reason she’s so startled that I do not.

    She has repeatedly complained to the Big Boss that I am “anal.” He literally gave me a fistbump over the last time she said that because he is the most detail-obsessed nitpicky one of us all.

    If that’s her biggest complaint, she can just keep on keepin’ on with the haterade.

  330. Portia says

    rq: I love when you get mad on my behalf. Never stop ^_^ I like having a fierce friend.

    I’ve been cool to her, though not as cool as she deserves, since her “lecture.” No surprise lattes for her anytime soon! Harumph!

    …yeah, that’s about as mean I get in this area. : p

  331. David Marjanović says

    Cartoon on what the discrimination law in Arizona would have been like.

    Whenever Obama has spoken about such cost-shifting, he speaks about asking “wealthy seniors to pay more.” Apparently, $47,000 a year makes you rich.

    However, when talking about taxes, Obama and the Democratic Party always define ‘middle-class’ up to $250,000. The ‘fiscal cliff’ deal, however, defined ‘middle-class’ all the way up to $450,000.

    The best way to create more rich people is to define down the threshold for being rich. Politicians will never do that for taxes, but they all-too-often seem fine (if not excited) about doing that when it comes to cutting benefits. How very strange.”

    Maryland police chief falls for fake marijuana story

    Oh, Alabama.

  332. blf says

    facebook …[p]erfect for this situation.

    ShakespeareBrowning would first need to invent new mathematical axioms before it would even be possible to count the ways farceborkNSA is unuseful…

  333. blf says

    I hab a code.

    Nah, nothing that serious. It’s probably just Ebola.

    Or Cooties.

       (Thinks about it…)

    Actually, that is serious. Nothing to fool around with, Cooties. I mean, you might even be female…!

    Better hope it’s just Ebola.  ;-)

  334. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Portia: My suggestion would be, next time she’s being obnoxious, just calmly/robotically say “a little more ‘istant’ please” without looking at her, and don’t engage if she starts shitheading afterward.

  335. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hi Loungers,

    We are still unpacking (gawd do I ever have a lot of shit) and I discovered a huge box of comfy hugs I’ve been saving for special occasions. They work best when they are distributed freely so I’ll just leave ‘em here on the table. Help yerself.

    rq
    I’m so sorry about your grandmother’s death.

    This may sound a tad strange, but I harbor some envy for people who feel grief at the passing of loved ones. Most of the people in my immediate family are dead, but I never experienced any grief, only relief. My family members did not love, neither themselves nor anyone else. It was a cruel way to raise children. I have tried very hard to teach myself love.

    And another note about emotions and sick children. I was a very sensitive child and reacted badly to any amount of hurt, physical or emotional. I often got physically sick from it. I was accused again and again of faking it. It was waaaaayyyyyy too real. I’m not implying that anyone here is inflicting emotional abuse on your younguns, just that odd things can and do hurt in odd ways.

    Portia
    Here is my 2 cents on the “assistant.” I’m an advocate of the “Rocks are Hard, Water is Wet, and Things Fall Down” school of interaction. In other words, the direct approach. I’d gently remind her that she works for you, not the other way around. And maybe a parental reminder on the perils of slimy office politics. I know, easy to say, sometimes hard to do. Good luck.

  336. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    We FINALLY got some rain! Not nearly enough, but some. And I hear we are getting a bunch more this weekend. We really need it out here in the parched west.

  337. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Nerd, from your links:

    High dosages fed to rats reduced sperm production and increased cell proliferation in their testicles, which could cause infertility or other problems.

    … *checks CostCo, or better yet, Thomasnet*

    From the Wiki article, I drew the tentative conclusion that it was basically a good product but had been hamstrung by sugar-and-aspartame industry protectionism. I wanted a second opinion, needless to say >.>

  338. Pteryxx says

    Religious discrimination update – as Arizona goes, so too does Mississippi. (h/t to Pierce R. Butler in Singham’s comments.)

    Mississippi strips discrimination provisions from religious freedom bill

    The action came on Senate Bill 2681, a measure approved 48-0 on Jan. 31 and sent on to the House. The bill was more popularly known for an amendment that requires inserting “In God We Trust” into the state seal, but a closer examination of it led legal experts to conclude that it would allow private businesses and government entities to discriminate based on religious grounds.

    […]

    Sen. David Blount, a Jackson Democrat, said on Facebook Tuesday morning that he was unaware that SB2681 included language that could be interpreted as discriminatory.

    He would not comment further in an interview Wednesday. He declined to say what level of review he gave the bill ahead of voting for it.

    “I was not aware (nor was any other senator or interest group or citizen that I have talked to aware) of this intention or possible result when we voted on the bill on Jan. 31,” he said.

    “I am opposed to discrimination of any kind, including discrimination based on sexual orientation. Obviously, I should have (all of us should have) been aware of this. I have already talked with House members about removing language relating to legalized discrimination in SB2681.”

    Good thing random private citizens are around to help legislators do their diligence. *rolleyes*

  339. Pteryxx says

    Whoa hang on there – the Mississippi bill might still be discriminatory, just with a minor tweak thrown in.

    Deep South Progressive: (bolds mine)

    The bill, obtained by Deep South Progressive, still says that state action cannot “compel any action contrary to a person’s exercise of religion” and continues to define “exercise of religion” to mean “the ability to act or the refusal to act in a manner that is substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious belief.”

    Those key parts of the bill, which LGBT activists feared would legitimize discrimination by businesses that claim “sincerely held religious belief” as the motivating factor, remain unchanged. That’s contrary to previous reports that said the bill had been amended to only include the section that would add “In God We Trust” to the Mississippi state seal.

    So basically it’s still a Motorcycle Bill situation. I have no way to confirm the amended text – Mississippi’s legislature site (here)has not updated it.

  340. Pteryxx says

    And the latest in Discrimination Billstorm from Thinkprogress: (bolds mine)

    In addition to the veto in Arizona, bills were defeated this week in Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia and last week in Kansas, Maine, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Idaho. Missouri is currently the only state where such a bill is still on the table.

    Potential bills in Utah and Hawaii have not been presented yet, as far as I know, and Mississippi’s may still be intact.

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

    @Portia:

    You may not be up for this, or you may.

    Do you think you could, either on your own or with the big boss (it would be two very different meetings, but either type could be beneficial), have a conversation with her that asks,

    Do you want to work for me?

    And then later, if “yes”, explains,

    because X behavior makes me not want to have you work for me. If you would rather go part time and only work for one lawyer, that’s fine. If you want to work for me and you choose to change your behavior, that’s great. I’ll totally support you in your choice to work as my assistant or to not work as my assistant. If you do want to work as my assistant, however, that means that I need Y from you going forward. Do you think you would still want to work for me if you knew that that meant not performing X and instead performing Y? Again, I’ll support you either way.

    I would do it without the big boss, and promise to keep that particular conversation confidential. I would also note that X and Y can be lists rather than single behaviors. Finally, “work as my assistant” is a very carefully chosen phrase. I think it makes clear without being a jerk about it that you’re expecting an assistant-to-lawyer relationship, not one of friendly equals, etc.

    Personally I don’t want that type of relationship with someone, but I’m willing to have that relationship to someone in order to get my work done if the friendly-equals approach doesn’t work, as it clearly hasn’t with this assistant.

    @morgan

    Yay for rain!

    @Pteryxx

    I love you for going to the website of the Mississippi legislature and trying to access the bill’s updated language. That’s the kind of original sourcing that is beyond useful, yet so many people are unaware of how easy it can be to check up on their legislature’s work and/or too intimated to do it (“I’m not a lawyer!” or whatever holds them back).

    You are a punk rock god and don’t let anyone tell you different.

  342. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Aviation. That makes four cocktails I actually like. >.>

    (A good dozen, if you count the ones I’ve created.)

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

    chigau,

    Catching up with threads, drinking coffee and preparing to go to work.
    Also, my feet hurt.

    Rum?

  344. says

    morgan:
    Yay for rain!

    ****

    Chas:
    thanks for that link. Made me chuckle.

    ****

    I could use some advice in my dealings with an employee. We have an employee at work-J-who had a meeting with one of our owners last week. J started working at the restaurant when we opened back in September and for a while he was quite a good employee. At some point in the last few months, he has become an habitual complainer. The majority of the complaints that he’s voiced center around his perception that there’s a bias against him. At our restaurant, we seat according to head count, attempting as best as possible to ensure all servers/bartenders have equal numbers of guests. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but the numbers are usually within +/- 5. For the most part, the staff has no issue with this system (there are occasions when an issue comes up, such as Valentine’s Day, but that was a rare exception and even then, it was one server). J, however, feels his head count is almost always less than everyone else and he feels it’s bc favoritism towards others and bias against him. No matter who our host is, he has issues with the numbers. No other server consistently has the same complaint. Now I don’t take this to automatically mean he’s wrong or lying. I’ve tried to explain to him possible reasons why…reasons that don’t amount to him being treated unfairly. He refuses to listen. I’ve spoken to our hosts to make them aware of the issue, but he still has complaints. As I couldn’t resolve the situation, I directed him to M, one of our owners.

    She sat down with him and addressed his issues. It turns out that the head count is not the only problem he has. He said he’s tired of being harassed at work, and that people often say offensive things to him. M told him this was the first she was aware of any of that (the same was true for me). He wasn’t able to give any examples or inform her of who was harassing him and the only thing people said to-or rather, around-him was goddammit. M said he repeatedly said “I’m a Christian” in their conversation, and that was offensive to him. He had no other examples to give despite asserting that he was frequently offended and harassed.

    In the course of their talk, he mentioned that he thinks T (a server who also hosts occasionally) is also biased against him.
    T is a gay man.
    J referred to T as “that little thing.

    When M told me of this, well, let’s just say livid was a good description of my mood.

    This restaurant is owned by an openly lesbian couple. We employ a few openly gay men as well. The climate is not tolerant here. It is accepting. If there are people who have issues with homosexuals, they haven’t voiced such problems. Hell, J has asked me before how two gay men decide who’s going to fuck whom. So when M told me what he said, I was taken aback. He’s displayed no outward homophobia towards either T or myself. He’s taken me home from work once and has agreed to fix up a fence in my yard that’s deteriorating. I knew he was a christian, but I assumed (perhaps falsely) that he was at least tolerant of gay men. Now I question that.

    I’ve wondered if there was some other way to interpret what he said, and cannot.
    M told me she didn’t address what he said (which I thought was odd), but I have no tolerance for homophobia. I want to address this with him in the best manner possible, also taking into account that I’m the manager, which makes me his direct supervisor. So I thought to ask for opinions on how to handle the situation.

    Thoughts?

  345. chigau (違う) says

    Beatrice
    Always rum.
    I am considering surgery for my feet.

    Tony!
    I don’t think that J is a good person.
    Don’t turn your back.

  346. says

    chigau:
    This situation has certainly changed my opinion of J, and not for the better.

    ****

    Another question–Does anyone have a link to information on who makes up the NONworking poor in the US? I’ve found 2011 (or maybe it was 2012) figures that put the total number of people living under the poverty line at ~46 million, with ~10.4 million of those being working poor. I suspect many of the non-working poor are children or the elderly, but I’d like some solid data.
    And yeah, this relates to the current libertarian influx over in that thread.

  347. says

    Personal Update:

    I had my annual the other week. We bumped up one of my meds, and it’s… actually working. I’m feeling something close to what I assume “normal” feels like. And I have an appetite. And I’m not obsessing over every. little. thing. that I do wrong.

    The only downside is, I discovered that buspirone does NOT mix with alcohol. I know I shouldn’t, but I plan on experimenting — only a tiny bit! — to find out exactly where my tolerance is now. I like Guinness way too much to give it up.

  348. Nutmeg says

    Well, there goes my almost-5-week stretch with no night terrors.

    I’m not at all surprised, given the month I’ve had. And, actually, having another data point is useful. I might be starting to get an idea of which factors are most important in triggering night terrors for me.

    (I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here before, but I’ve been tracking a bunch of potentially-relevant variables since the new year. Once I have enough data, I’m going to try to learn how to do multivariate stats and then build some kind of a model that will allow me to predict whether or not I’ll have a night terror on any given night. My ideas about how this will work are pretty vague, so it will be a good learning experience.)

    It’s a good thing I have my first appointment at the sleep disorders clinic next week. I’m not expecting much out of it – I think it’s most likely that they’ll say, “Oh, wait, you’re here for something other than suspected sleep apnea? Well, you need to see this other person then. It’ll be another 6 months.” But at least I feel like I’m doing something about this.

    ***

    *hugs* to all. Tomorrow will be proper catch-up time, I hope.

  349. Crudely Wrott says

    You might call to J’s attention, Tony!* that there are grains of truth in all cliches and old saws as there are in legends and myths.

    The one that springs to my mind is “It takes all kinds” which, unfortunately, is usually accompanied by an eye roll.

    The grain of truth behind this saying, I suspect, is that it has long been known that there are, in fact, all kinds. That everywhere one goes one is bound to meet, or at least be exposed to, people of all types across a range of types that can, and sometimes does, exceed the range that one is accustomed to and comfortable with. Comes with the territory.

    J should be reminded that when one works in the public place, serving the public and dependent upon the public for wages and tips, that encounters with people outside one’s comfort zone is guaranteed. As well, the hallmark of a successful employee is the ability to treat all customers with equal dispatch and deference. This also comes with the territory.

    Upsetting speech, poor manners, unexpected demands and offensive attitudes are part and parcel when engaged in such employment. A well adjusted server knows to treat each table and each customer with equal parts courtesy and detachment. Doing so means one must be like a duck and let certain things roll off their back even while taking every opportunity to ensure that each diner has an enjoyable experience.

    That’s not always easy, I know. Those who can remain outwardly concerned and willing to serve while being inwardly aloof (if necessary) will find that their shifts will pass smoothly and their remunerations are satisfying.

    Also, J needs to get off his high horse and do his damn job which is, of course, serving customers.

    This advice does not address those occasion where a customer is abusive or unreasonable. Those situations have other solutions. However, crude or unwelcome patterns of speech that are not directed pointedly at the server are none of the server’s business. Then is when emulating a duck is called for.

    Failing all of that, J should be advised that there are openings in the growing fields of order fulfillment and inventory replenishment. I’m know that you could suggest other areas that have a limited amount of interaction with other people. Perhaps he would be more comfortable in one of them?
    ______
    *I really love typing your name, Tony! — it has that extra bit of pizazz that mirrors you perfectly. =)

  350. Crudely Wrott says

    addendum to my 488:
    The above suggestions apply to dealing with co-workers as well as customers. In either case if one waits long enough each will leave.
    _____
    Nutmeg, very best of luck with your statistical modeling approach; while it may or may not provide instruction I’d bet that it will highlight patterns that will be instructive. I wish you well as one who has been through times of not being able to go to sleep and times of not being able to wake up. Terrors have never been more than transient; in fact, I keep wishing for another hypnogogic episode. The next time it happens, I haz a plan! bwwaaahaahaa!
    _____
    Gentle *hugs* and reassuring murmurs to WMDKitty. Raises a Guinness in support . . . well I would if I had one. Will a can of IceHouse suffice? (shucks, folks, I’m on a budget . . .)

  351. says

    Good morning
    Please forgive my shoddy writing and lack of formatting over the next week. My computer is being repaired and I have a keyboard the size of a paperback for the tablet where there is only mild correlation between the characters on the keys and the result they produce

  352. rq says

    morgan
    Hooray for your rain!!

    Question: What does it mean to feel grief? How is that different from feeling sad?

    Tony
    I don’t have much advice, just a whole lot of support and *hugs* for you, since I’m confident you will come up with the right things to say. You always seem to manage! :)

    Nutmeg
    I suppose, boo for night terror but yay for new datapoint? Good luck in your appointment and your analysis!

    WMDKitty
    Yay for new med dosage, but do be careful with the mixing-with-alcohol. *scritches*

    chigau
    Didn’t you just have surgery on your feet? Or was that ‘foot’?

  353. Crudely Wrott says

    Rq:

    Question: What does it mean to feel grief? How is that different from feeling sad?

    The difference to me is that feeling sad manifests as a lesser quality of regret than does grief.

    The two are similar in that both contain regret and empathy as well as some form of review, like memory and self reflection.

    Sadness sometimes has no immediately identifiable cause; sometimes a sad just happens. Brain and body chemistry play a part, particularly body chemistry dependent as it is on nutrition and levels of fatigue versus vigor. The physical state has well known influence on brain chemistry. When the body is full of vim and vigor the brain, OK, mind, is usually in an excited, positive state and emotions trend towards the bright and lively types.

    Grief, on the other hand, more often than not has an immediate cause that is clearly defined and fully and ruthlessly overide the current physical state in terms of how that affects mental state.

    For example, a sad thought occurring while engaged in vigorous physical and mental exercise can be easily dismissed or dealt with by a moments reflection and a dismissive sigh. On the other hand, grief is what happens when an unexpected traumatic event overrides any current positive physical or mental state and brings the entire person to a halt and emotion becomes the driving factor.

    I am not a professional engaged in physiology or psychology but I am someone who is no stranger to joy and exuberance at one end of the spectrum and bouts of sadness and onslaughts of grief at the other.

    Perhaps sadness is a kind of reflection on things that went awry and had not needed to? While grief is what happens when raw reality tears out a great and precious part of one’s ground state, one’s familiar assumptions of normalcy?

    I was sad when I heard that someone was out of work and having family problems; I was grieving when someone died. I was sad when I had to postpone a visit to a friend who was an athlete; I was grieving when my friend lost a leg.

    Sadness is a stubbed toe and limping for a couple of days; grief is a cancer with a prognosis of three to six months.

    Sadness is a child who had an argument with a playmate; grief is when a child kills a playmate.

    A matter of degree yet so much more.

    What is the difference between mutual affection and shared lust? What is the difference between dreams treasured and held for a future day and dreams denied but not forgotten?

    I guess the answer is that one cannot say what the difference is with clinical certainty but one can almost always tell the difference when one experienced both first hand.

  354. opposablethumbs says

    Tony! I just read your awesome #163 on the magnificent denunciation thread. Chapeau, mate, that was a star post!

    Nutmeg, argh for the night terrors messing you about again. I’m really sorry. Hope the long gap is indicative of their being on the decline and hopefully on the way out altogether – and that the sleep clinic is actually helpful meantime. I’m really impressed by the way you’re dealing with it, horrible though it must be.

  355. opposablethumbs says

    And I hope you manage to talk to the employee who Has Complaints. Is there any practicable way of running a precise head-count for a short time so as to prove to this confirmation-bias-embracing person that they are not, in fact, always getting fewer customers than everyone else? Because it sounds awfully like they have a severe case of confirmation bias … when they have a lot of customers they’re too busy to count, so they only count on the occasions when they happen to have fewer.

    And they don’t get everyone around them giving their xtianity loads and loads of awed respect All The Time, so naturally they feel persecuted.

  356. birgerjohansson says

    Measuring the Chtonians: “Researchers investigate size, depth, and origin of the living subsurface biosphere” http://phys.org/news/2014-02-size-depth-subsurface-biosphere.html

    — — — — —
    Sofia Jannok Burning Snow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1IXb4SXFd4
    From the inaugration of the 2014 culture year, with Umeå (and Riga) as the “culture capito”l of Europe

    aand
    Guitars; The Museum, Umeå: take a look inside with Guitarist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueHRzyW4G3k
    (annoying on-line ad at beginning)

  357. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Maine legislator: Freedom to rape:

    “If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” Lockman said. “At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”
    Read more at http://wonkette.com/542837/gay-hating-rape-loving-maine-legislator-regrets-he-was-caught-saying-all-those-terrible-things#xzdhWO9yDqTV3IAU.99

  358. birgerjohansson says

    Bloody hell.
    A relative just called and told me my remaining aunt passed away from pneumonia.
    She was 90+, so it was not all that strange, but SH&%¤T it happened suddenly . Now my mom has only one sibling left, from a group of eight.

    I am logging of now, to rest and recuperate.