Comments

  1. says

    I gave a talk here in SLC yesterday, and my first slide established my Utah bona fides by showing pictures of my kids frolicking in the parks and desert. That’s Connlann, who has excitedly discovered something in the rocks. Probably a scorpion.

    What? That’s how kids learn!

  2. kestrel says

    OK, this amazes me! PZ Myers in SLC? Wow! My dad used to teach at U of U. I used to do the same thing Conlann is doing except for me it was usually snakes.

  3. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, lucky kid. That’s very cool.

    I only just this minute noticed the double entendre in the daft pronouncement Ed posted about earlier (the bloke havering on about how “god is literally screaming, ‘I’m coming now!'” with those blood moon eclipses and such). A bit late, but it was a good laugh anyway.

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

    yubal, best of luck with the doctor’s appointment.

  5. varady72 says

    Question:

    Do you have sympathy for intellectually slow people?

    Let me clarify what I mean by ‘intellectually slow person’. Obviously I am not referring to the person who meets the criteria for an Intellectual Disability (also called mental retardation)…. I am talking about the person who has the ability to learn necessary academic skills, but at a rate and depth below average same age peers. In order to grasp new concepts, this person needs a lot more more time, a lot more more repetition, and often more resources from teachers to be successful. Typically, this person has great difficulty with ‘new and complex reasoning’ which makes new concepts difficult to learn.

    A slow learner has traditionally been identified as anyone with a Full Scale IQ one standard deviation below the mean but not as low as two standard deviations below the mean. The cognitive abilities of these learners are too high to be considered for an Intellectual Disability. However, the abilities are usually too low to be considered for a Learning Disability. Consider that a learning disability consists of discrepancies between average abilities and below average academics, coupled with a processing deficit. Schools often look for a discrepancy between a student’s ability and where they are performing. Slow learners tend to perform at their ability level which is below average. Unfortunately, these struggling learners often do not receive special education services.

    These individuals are prone to much anxiety and low self image which goes unnoticed by many in society. They often feel ‘stupid’ and begin hating school at an early age. Day-to-day academic life can be very draining and yet many somehow manage to make it through the system and through high school (in the United States)

    The psychologist and intelligence researcher Linda Gottfredson wrote a good piece titled Why g Matters: The Complexity of Everyday Life. An excerpt:

    “Life is replete with uncertainty, change, confusion, and misinformation, sometimes minor and at times massive. From birth to death, life continually requires us to master abstractions, solve problems, draw inferences, and make judgments on the basis of inadequate information. Such demands may be especially intense in school, but they hardly cease when one walks out the school door…”

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfreds…prints/1997whygmatters.pdf

    One question:

    1. Can you sympathize with a person who says that one of their major reasons for contemplating suicide often is that they just don’t feel competent to handle the mental demands of today’s increasingly complex social environment?

  6. says

    yubal
    *hugs* and best wishes. Mysterious ailments suck a lot. Hope it’s benign.

    Regarding multiple types of sodomy, from the last thread or the one before, the sort of people who get het up about the topic tend to consider both fellatio and anal penetration to be sodomy, and some expand the concept to include all forms of oral sex, and in extremis any sexual activity whatsoever that isn’t PIV.

  7. says

    Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green is a christian conservative. You’ve heard of him thanks to the pending Supreme Court case in which Green’s lawyers are arguing the corporation itself has spirituality and should have the “religious freedom” to deny contraception to employees.

    What you don’t know about Green is that he also created a course of study for Mustang, Oklahoma public schools. This is going to be bad.

    An Oklahoma school district has approved the use of a Bible curriculum designed by Steve Green, the controversial owner of Hobby Lobby. The Mustang public schools will begin offering the curriculum next academic year.

    As reported by Religion News Service, Green’s curriculum is designed to correspond with his planned Museum of the Bible, which is currently under construction in Washington, D.C. Jerry Pattengale, who heads the Green Scholars Initiative and is overseeing the curriculum’s development, said the ultimate goal is put the curriculum in “thousands” of schools.

    Little is known publicly about the details of the curriculum. However, in a 2013 speech he delivered to the National Bible Association, Green explained that it’s divided into three sections: the history of the Bible, the story of the Bible, and the impact of the Bible.

    Public schools can offer religious history etc. as long as the courses are secular. Historical perspectives are okay, christian proselytizing is not.

    Green claims that his lessons adhere to the law, but in an earlier speech he said, ““The history is to show the reliability of this book…. When you present the evidence, the evidence is overwhelming.”

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State link.

  8. says

    Conservative legislators in Louisiana want to make the King James version of the Bible the Louisiana state book.

    Louisiana legislators advanced a bill Thursday that would make the Holy Bible the official Louisiana state book, despite concerns the move could prompt litigation.

    “You cannot separate Christianity from the Bible,” said state Rep. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans, a lawyer and the son of a preacher. “If you adopt the Bible as the official state book, you also adopt Christianity as the state religion … We are going to open ourselves up to a lawsuit.”

    The House Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee voted 8-5 to recommend the legislation to the full House.

    State Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, countered that naming an official state book doesn’t equate to establishing a state religion, which is specifically prohibited in the U.S. Constitution.

    “The Holy Bible would be appropriate for the state of Louisiana,” he said, particularly given the state’s strong religious ties. […]

    The Advocate link.

  9. Portia says

    Thanks for the well-wishes. I don’t feel like I bombed the interview. I should find out by Wednesday who got the two open LT spots. I’m proud of myself just for going. Personal victory :)

    Good morning, chigau. Did you leave any rohz-ay?

    Louis:
    shirtless would be one way to go…I guess I was asked about how I would increase recruitment….

  10. says

    PZ made some comments recently about the fact that Salon seems to be trying to be HuffPo. Here’s more proof of that trend:

    http://www.salon.com/2014/04/19/science_doesnt_disprove_god_where_richard_dawkins_and_new_atheists_go_wrong/

    […] Evolutionary science cannot indicate to us the location of the point on the continuous evolutionary scale, which Dawkins believes is there, at which human consciousness arises. Evolutionary theory is unable to tell us how life began, how eukaryotic cells evolved, how intelligence came about, or how consciousness arose in living things.

    The question about consciousness is key to everything we are discussing. Modern cognitive science relies on the principles of evolution and posits that consciousness is something that can be produced artificially. Life-forms become more and more advanced through evolution, and eventually consciousness is the outcome. Thus, many cognitive science practitioners believe that machines can develop a consciousness as well, although this has never happened. Consciousness has never been produced in the lab, not even close. […]

  11. carlie says

    yubal, I missed whatever’s happening, but best of wishes for things to work out from me too.

    varady72, what exactly is it that you’re trying to get at? If it’s that we should be easy on people arguing badly, no, people who have cognitive difficulties with certain topics know it and usually don’t insert themselves into discussions where they know they’ll flounder. When we yell at people for being ignorant here, it’s for being a person who leaps in flailing wildly and arrogantly around while not having a good grasp of the concept they claim to be the expert on, not for being a person who just hasn’t learned something yet.

    If your concern is what kind of reception someone with suicidal ideation would get here, let’s just say it’s something that an awful lot of us are familiar with, some intimately. If you’re probing for possible support level, you would be among people who understand.

  12. says

    varady72
    *hugs* I absolutely can sympathize with that. Today’s world is incredibly mentally and emotionally taxing on many, many levels, and I don’t think that much of anyone really copes all that well with all of it, and the main variance is what bits trip you up/screw you over.

    1. Can you sympathize with a person who says that one of their major reasons for contemplating suicide often is that they just don’t feel competent to handle the mental demands of today’s increasingly complex social environment?

    I’ve been in mental places very like this one myself. A knack for ‘intellectual’ topics is of extremely limited help on that score; knowing parts of the reasons why things are the way they are doesn’t make them any less fucked up or easier to cope with.

  13. anteprepro says

    Varady, regarding Gottfredson: please see on the wikipedia page, her argument against “egalitarian fiction” and affirmative action. In addition, follow the link to the Pioneer Fund.

    If you are going to argue further in defense of her, please take the discussion to the Thunderdome.

  14. says

    Mormons already own a big chunk of Florida. Now they are buying more:

    http://tbo.com/news/politics/state-urged-to-sell-farmland-in-hillsborough-20140418/

    A Mormon Church-affiliated firm is in line to purchase 142 acres of vacant land in Hillsborough County from the state, with the money potentially helping Florida’s future efforts to preserve environmentally sensitive land.

    State staff has recommended Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet approve the $803,000 sale Tuesday of two noncontiguous parcels to Farmland Reserve Inc., a corporate entity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Deseret Ranches of Florida, the operational name for Farmland in Florida, intends to use the land to expand its existing agricultural operations that now include more than 312,000 acres in the Sunshine State.

    The pending Farmland Reserve purchase comes on the heels of AgReserves Inc., another Mormon Church affiliate, purchasing 382,834 acres of timberland in Northwest Florida. The land was purchased in November for $565 million from St. Joe Co., long one of Florida largest and most influential landowners.

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

    … I ask because I can’t even consider not sympathizing with that person.

  16. Nick Gotts says

    Those who don’t remember varady72 – I didn’t specifically, but the nym was vaguely familiar – a sample starts here.

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

    I think it is, Nick. Varady was here before NH and is now here again. No reason V72 wouldn’t have just posted the crappy “I love genocide” screed of NH under the V72 nym, given the “I hate life” nature of earlier comments.

    On a completely separate topic. The Globe and Mail has a new internet ad out, which my little #2 let play. It’s argument is

    For insight only the Globe and Mail can provide…

    Buy the G&M.

    Gives me the lulz.

  18. raven says

    From Lynna at msg #16. This is incredibly stupid. Whoever is slaughtering strawpeople en masse. My comments are in bold.

    Evolutionary science cannot indicate to us the location of the point on the continuous evolutionary scale, which Dawkins believes is there, at which human consciousness arises.
    Evolutionary theory can’t explain what that noise in my car engine is, or where the lost socks in the laundry go. That isn’t what it is for.

    Evolutionary theory is unable to tell us how life began, how eukaryotic cells evolved, how intelligence came about, or how consciousness arose in living things.
    This is more or less false. We know from evolution how eukaryotic cells evolved, endosymbiosis, and how intelligence came about, big brains in primates. Life beginning is abiogenesis and consciousness is neuroscience, not evolution.

    The question about consciousness is key to everything we are discussing. Modern cognitive science relies on the principles of evolution and posits that consciousness is something that can be produced artificially.
    False. Cognitive science relies on neurobiology. Evolution does not say that consciousness can be produced artificially. Whoever has no idea what evolution really is.

    Life-forms become more and more advanced through evolution, and eventually consciousness is the outcome.
    So what. This is an observable fact.

    Thus, many cognitive science practitioners believe that machines can develop a consciousness as well, although this has never happened. Consciousness has never been produced in the lab, not even close.
    True but irrelevant. We have yet to launch interstellar starships either or visit Mars in person. That we haven’t done something doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t do something in the future. In fact, we know that in the future we will do and discover new things.

    This is just a mashup of god of the gaps, pure ignorance of basic science, and sloppy nonreasoning.

  19. Rey Fox says

    Happy God Is Dead Day.

    Evolutionary science cannot indicate to us the location of the
    point on the continuous evolutionary scale, which Dawkins believes
    is there, at which human consciousness arises. Evolutionary theory
    is unable to tell us how life began, how eukaryotic cells evolved,
    how intelligence came about, or how consciousness arose in living
    things.

    Oy. So much wrong. How does one write that without one’s brain rebelling in protest?

    As for the Hobby Lobby guy, it’s enough to make you long for the business owners who are just concerned with making money and screwing over their workers, rather than adding their back-ass-wards social engineering on top of it.

    And as for Louisiana, state symbols are supposed to be things that are unique about your actual state. There’s nothing unique about being yet another locality damaged by that old moldy genocide book. So even if it wasn’t unconstitutional, it would still be stupid.

    Gods. I’m just trying to have a nice Saturday morning before I start a new job. Why does everyone have to keep being terrible? It’s not that hard to not be terrible.

  20. says

    Hi there
    I really have a knack for turning innocent shirts into jersey scraps. Fortunately I could still turn everything into a 3 for 2. Start out with 3 boring shirts, end up with 2 exciting ones.

    *nomnomnom*
    Our easter-feast was small meat pastries, salmon, pasta and aspargus in crème fraiche and for dessert it’s fresh strawberries.
    I also made Hefezopf. Only that my recipe was obviously not correct, becaue there was way too much milk in the dough. And since you can’t get it out again, I needed to add more flour, so now I have about twice as much as I wanted to make and it tried to push the oven door open from inside.

  21. carlie says

    Ah, I see. Varady72, if you want my hard, cold, unvarnished opinion, step away from the philosophy. Right now. Call me a barbarian or a philistine or an ignoramus if you want, but philosophy can only get you so far before it turns you into a puddled mass of uncertainty and despair. You are here, therefore you have meaning. You have someone, somewhere depending on you for something (even if it’s just your boss depending on you to show up for your shift, even if it’s just your caseworker depending on you to show up to be their client), therefore you have purpose. The beauty in life is what we make of it, and some people get shafted and have terrible lives, and other people have more than they deserve, and the best we can do is to look critically at our own corner of the world and try to make it a better place for ourselves and others to the best of our abilities. If that’s too much of a burden to cope with, there are professionals who can help.
    I have zero patience for arguments that advocate that since everyone dies anyway, nothing is worth anything. Or that if someone can’t achieve exactly what they dreamed up as their desired station in life, that they are a complete failure who isn’t worthy of continuing on. Bullshit. People matter because we are a species that has evolved with altruism as a main evolutionary advantage and our successful strategy is that the people who believe that other people matter are the ones who cooperated and shared and formed groups that were successful. I don’t see any need to dig deeper than that. If you’re a person, you matter.

  22. varady72 says

    Ok, Carlie. Thanks.

    But what about men like Kant, Wittgenstein and Heidegger who often make us feel like intellectual midgets?

  23. Nick Gotts says

    varady72@36,

    Speak for yourself – stop assuming that everyone else feels, or should feel, as you do. I focus on the abilities and interests I do have?

    If you’re depressed, miserable or feel inadequate, you may well get a lot of support here. If you try to bring everyone else down, which seems to be your thing, you’ll just piss people off.

  24. says

    Excuse the preachiness, because there is a point to make:

    Tuesday April 22 is Earth Day. If you really believe in Earth Day and protecting the environment, have one less kid.

    The “average” family has about 2 kids. At 25 years per generation, if you have two kids then by 2060 there will be six extra human beings on the face of the Earth, having one kid means three. Every single one of your progeny is a consumer of resources and food.

    No amount of “going green” that you do will make up for the extra resources consumed by one kid, never mind multiple generations. Even if you cut your consumption by half and your lone child uses half the average person and doesn’t have a kid, that still barely breaks even. Unless you are so “green” that you are putting more resources back into the Earth than you take out, there’s no way you’re going to reduce waste enough to offset the resources consumed by your extra kids. Conversely, if you have no kids, you could still be a wasteful person travelling twice a year and drive an SUV and still not consume as much resources as six extra people over the course of their lifetimes.

    Having fewer kids isn’t selfish. It’s arguably the most unselfish thing you can do.

  25. says

    varady72

    But what about men like Kant, Wittgenstein and Heidegger who often make us feel like intellectual midgets?

    They’re useless twits who don’t know shit about shit, and never wrote a word worth reading. They should be ignored with great vigor.

  26. Nick Gotts says

    At 25 years per generation, if you have two kids then by 2060 there will be six extra human beings on the face of the Earth left0ver1under@39

    Only if you and your kids reproduce by parthenogenesis!

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

    Please take the nihilism and philosophy discussion to Thunderdome.

    There are lots of indications that the tone of this discussion cannot be kept consistent with the tone expected in the Lounge. This is the one place on Pharyngula where people who wish to can escape the harsh arguing.

    Don’t ruin it, folks.

  28. alexanderz says

    yubal:
    Wish you the best and hope it’s just a false alarm.

    varady72 #10:
    You’ve asked two questions, and the answer to the second one is resounding a “Yes!”, I would very much sympathize with someone who is contemplating suicide because they don’t feel competent. In my experience all people who contemplated suicide felt themselves to be incompetent, even though technically their abilities could be very high or low. Obviously someone who is considered to be “sub-par” is more likely to be under such duress, but it’s a feeling that strikes anyone anywhere, “objective” abilities be damned.
    As for the first question, in practice, in daily life, I don’t show sympathy for intellectually slow people. Even if the people in question aren’t “slow”, even if it’s my fault I’m being misunderstood or whatnot. As years go by I get better at controlling myself and being more tolerant, but me and people like are definitely the problem.

  29. blf says

    what about men like Kant, Wittgenstein and Heidegger who often make us feel like intellectual midgets?

    Oh for feck’s sake… (a) Well, what about themyour interpretation of what they wrote; and (b) Who is this “us”, kemosabe ?

    The presupposition is strong in this troll.

  30. blf says

    Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths&hellip

    Cheese, MUSHROOMS!, moar cheese, and pea-repellent would be more useful…

  31. chigau (違う) says

    Why is this
    ;
    semi?
    and this
    :
    full?
    And what is up with this ‘colon’ shit, anyway?

  32. cicely says

    ‘rupt again. I have been the victim of a coordinated strike, by both my home and office computers. There has been wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    And cussing. So, so much cussing.

    *hugs with appropriate levels of pouncery and embellishment* where wanted/needed, substitutions of *non-intrusive gestures of sympathy/commiserations/etc.* where wanted/needed. Supplies of *high fives* and congratulations are also available.

    Forthcoming Grandspawn is diagnosed/predicted to possess male gentalia.
    -

  33. barnestormer says

    Hey, The Lounge!

    An exciting thing is happening in my family. My younger brother (and co-heathen, albeit in a much more new-agey, less god-indifferent way than I am) is doing a survey of all the religious beliefs in our immediate family (mostly Catholics). He’s got a pile of questions about belief, faith, morality, and a bunch of other things for us to answer. It’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for to talk about religion with my family!

    I’m trying to keep it simple and not go off on too many tangents, but I’m really excited (and it turns out I have a lot to say).

  34. David Marjanović says

    But what about men like Kant, Wittgenstein and Heidegger who often make us feel like intellectual midgets?

    They’re useless twits who don’t know shit about shit, and never wrote a word worth reading. They should be ignored with great vigor.

    See Thunderdome.

  35. yazikus says

    Greetings loungers! I am roughly four moths behind in lounge reading, so I hope all are well, and hugs to all who want them. Yay for US tax season being over! I may even have time to catch up on my reading here. However, tonight I have a practical question. I think a few of you know my background a little bit, but tonight I’m planning on going to the paschal service at my partner’s (and used to be mine, I have been once in the last two years, last pascha, to be precise.) Anywho, I’m kind of dreading it, what are the best ways to enjoy something like that as a cultural experience without having to fake shouting ‘christ is risen’ or something… I don’t want to have a terrible time, and I want to share my partner’s holiday with our son, and be respectful, but I just don’t know. For example, I’ll wear a skirt, as tradition holds, but should I wear white (also tradition), should I cover my hear (also tradition). The people there are a lovely community and have been so kind to me and my family, so I don’t want to be disrespectful. Any thoughts appreciated.

  36. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yazikus,
    Personally, the situation appears to require what is called by Sastra as “dinner table diplomacy”. My suggestion, worth only the electrons used to post it, is to wear the traditional white and cover your head, but don’t join in communal prayers/blessings. YMMV.

  37. yazikus says

    Thanks chigau & Nerd (and nice to see both of you!). I think it is going to be okay. I’ve set myself to the task of preparing the leg of lamb (my hands smell of rosemary which I am chopping now), and a feast is a feast. Have a great evening.

  38. Pierce R. Butler says

    Speaking of noteworthy new books: Brandon Haught‘s new Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom has just hit the shelves via University Press of Florida.

    Brandon (spokesperson, blogger, and sparkplug for Florida Citizens for Science), tracks Florida creationists from Wm Jennings Bryan on with scrupulous detail.

    This book has already outdated itself by provoking the historic reaction of John Stemberger, president of the Orlando-based Florida Family Policy Council, who on the spot created Asteroidogenetic Theory:

    Teachers also should balance evolution with other theories, like intelligent design or the idea that an asteroid brought life to earth, he said.

    [attempted evasion of 2-link rule – wx3. news-journalonline.com/article/20140418/NEWS/140419354/1040?p=all&tc=pgall&tc=ar]

    (I think I can get Florida™ discount coupons if I can just squeeze in one more mention of Florida…)

  39. mikeyb says

    Saw Michel Faber’s new sci fi film Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johannson as an alien. One of the strangest and most thought provoking thoroughly visceral films I’ve seen in a long time. Highly highly recommended if you get a chance to see it. About as good as other great sci fi films from last year like Upstream Color, Her and Gravity if you are a sci fi buff. If it is possible, it is even stranger than those films.

  40. says

    Fullfillment center is getting delayed, not sure of why. Not sure if this will delay my raise- the initial date of raise I was given was our original go-live date, and our HR person was out when we got the news of delay. So we’re not sure if I was in the system for a raise on the specific date, or raise when the fulfillment center went live. I’ve still got the job, just my new responsibilities will come a bit later.

    We were pretty much ready on our end, though my boss and I are looking at a couple things we can do to be extra ready. Training alternates, getting some extra supplies in- the delay is annoying but does have its advantages.

    Having many Christian relatives is making Facebook rather annoying right about now.

  41. Portia says

    Also, I stayed up about five minutes too late and now I’m fully awake again.

    I can relate to that.

    But not tonight. Tonight I am staying up to drink one more hard root beer. I think that non-alcoholic kind should be call root “beer” and this should just be called root beer. It’s delicious either way.

    I might be going through some shit.

    Did I mention I was “jokingly” warned not to use “fancy lawyer words” in my interview this morning? It was one of my good friends who said it, so I wasn’t offended…but it ended up being a worthwhile warning because they would have been displeased if I had had to define “analogous” for them, instead of just using ten words where one would have worked.

  42. says

    Good morning
    Dunno about christ, but the Hefezopf rose allright and is very delicious.
    The kids went hunting for easter-eggs and goodies outside.
    Did you know that public playgrounds are really deserted at 7:30 am?

    *pouncehugs all around*

  43. Portia says

    I was just awoken by a mouse running across my bed, then it was trying to carry out a piece of chocolate bigger than it is. i have no traps. Except for the little trashcan by my bed. I don’t think I’m brave enough to just catch the thing. So I guess I’m just awake now. It’s 3:49 am. Good morning!

    Happy Easter, Giliell!

    Thel ittle fucker just came back and moved the hunk closer to the door before running off again

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

    Portia… you have mice? That’s almost as bad centipedes. Almost.
    eeee

  45. Portia says

    Beatrice:
    So far, just the one. But yes. Uuuuuuuuuuuugheeeeeeeeeeehgahgeahghaklshgd;alkshdg

    And he’s a determined little asshole.

    I put the trashcan over the chocolate. Not positioned as a trap, just hoping he’ll go away

  46. blf says

    There’s been a light drizzle all morning, so most of the chocolate has washed away. I suspect the local seafood will soon develop a chocolaty flavour. That ruined the plan to get a lot of eggs, cream, butter, flour, and so on, and make a Really Big Chocolate Cake — although I don’t know what They were going to do about the embedded dog poo.

    Yesterday, several chefs tried making various smaller chocolaty things, but mostly without success. The chocolate was seawater-logged and tasted terrible. Sort of a anti-chocolate. Food of Teh Worse Nightmares. (No, not the one involving a revolving strip of bacon and an animated doorknob. The other one, with the pencil eraser and two strips of bacon.) So it’s probably a good thing the cake plan is ruined, it’d be inedible. Except in the UK, where they would deep-fry it in rancid oil and queue down the street for a second, third, …, serving.

    What I don’t get is why it was shaped like a bison. The formerly-chocolate bartender suggests perhaps one of the Red Cabbage Brigade had a speech impediment, and was trying to order a bivalve, or possibly a bikini. A chocolate bikini-wearing clam on wheels? Yeah, that does seem probable.

  47. blf says

    just hoping he’ll go away

    He’ll either (a) Climb back up on yer bed and make a complaint — quivering nose to whiskered nose — about you starving his family; or (a) Return with a stick of dynamite to remove the offending wastebasket.

  48. Nakkustoppeli says

    Giliell,

    I wikied and saw that Hefezopf looks a lot like pullapitko. What spices do you use for it? Here cardamom is the customary one for pulla, both those long and braided ones (pitko) and for round buns like voipulla.

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

    Climb back up on yer bed

    I’ll add another *whimper*.

  50. Portia says

    All the lights in the house are on. The sun will come up in a little bit. Maybe I’ll be able to sleep then.

  51. opposablethumbs says

    And what is up with this ‘colon’ shit, anyway?

    Oh, chigau, really! :-)

    Hi barnestormer! Hope it goes well – and is actually fun! If the family tendencies are of an xtian flavour, this should be a particularly fun time of year to have the discussion too :-D

    Hi yazikus! Anthropology ftw, and if you fancy it you could always write us a report afterwards? Mmm lamb with rosemary … chocolate eggs … eh, looks like we’ll be on omelette and chips tonight, no chocolate :-\ Never mind – last night’s late-night jam session was a good one!

    carlie, I really liked what you said about all that Kanting nonsense (ha, if thieves speak thieves’ cant, then pseudointellectuals speak philosophers’ kant :-) ). I want to live round the corner from you! (Also, Granny Weatherwax would approve).

    cicely, yay healthy happy spawn and grandspawn – all the good wishes for each generation!

    Good morning, Giliell! Morning does not exist yet, I am in fact still asleep and typing in my dreams (last night was very late by my current standards). But I’m glad you enjoyed/are enjoying this fictitious “morning” of which you speak ;-)

    David M, now, you are exactly one of those people of whom carlie speaks – i.e. a hell of a lot smarter than I am, for one, but a great illustration of how smart people don’t need to make others feel stupid; on the contrary you make me feel smarter (like PZ, isn’t this what all great teachers do?). If only all intelligent and erudite people were like you, everyone would love learning!

    Sorry about the mouse on the bed, Portia. We have a rather fetching photograph somewhere of the one that sat eating crumbs on my desk … (this is an old building, which shares all sorts of cavity walls and suchlike with neighbours; the mouse population moves slowly around, meaning that every household gets inhabited at least every couple of years or so, and we’ve never managed to have a coordinated eradication attempt across all the households. Humans fail, mice win!). And I hope you got the firefighting lieutenant gig, which is definitely analogous to your getting an even bigger and better superhero cape (your actual crimefighting superpowers are independent of the cape, of course).

    Good morning Horde, I wish you all a really good day with much better weather than here.

  52. Portia says

    opposablethumbs:
    Yup, ooooold house. The mice keep returning :(
    Thanks for the commiseration, and the well wishes. :) You make me smile with cape-talk :) I really doubt I’ll get selected for the position, but the idea is out there now.

  53. Portia says

    Beatrice
    I’m guessing you were asking generally, but I haven’t spoken to her lately. : /

  54. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    But what about men like Kant

    …who constructed an ethical system which begs the question (according to the plain English meaning of that phrase), and per his insistence dictates that A) masturbation and B) lying to save someone’s life are wrong.

    What about him?

  55. Portia says

    The sun is rising. That was my arbitrary goalpost for allowing myself to go back to sleep.

    I guess I need to clean under my bed today. : /

  56. opposablethumbs says

    Genghis Khan and Imannuel Kant ::ducks and runs:: What? It’s a really silly day …

  57. opposablethumbs says

    Good luck, Portia. The space under the bed here is officially called “the attic” (srsly. We boxed it in and lined it and everything)

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

    Some time ago (ok, it was last weekens), FossilFishy said this about my bike problem:

    If it’s a quick release there will be a lever at the axle, usually on the left side, that needs to be pulled open. Once it’s open, again, push down to seat the wheel. When you’re doing pushing the lever back in make sure that the lever is vertical and just in front of the fork when closed.

    There are two general types of quick releases, one’s with straightish blades, usually made out of steel and ones with more curved blades, usually made out of aluminium and almost always featuring a cut out triangle in the side.

    For a steel lever, tighten the nut on the opposite side from the lever until the lever is sticking in straight line out from the axel when you’re pushing as hard as you can with just your little finger. Quick releases need to compress the axle by 0.6mm in order to be safe. The manufactures know this and they all make some way to tell how much to tighten the nut in order to get that compression.

    For the vast majority of steel quick releases the point where you’re now compressing the axle, rather than just taking up slack, needs to be when the lever blade is aligned straight out from the axle. By using your little finger as hard as you can you can find that point without being able to over tighten it. I’m sorry if I’m over explaining, but this is an important thing that is much misunderstood.

    It’s quick release, I opened it.
    “push down to seat the wheel”
    Huh?
    It doesn’t feel like there’s anywhere to push. It’s obvious that the wheel isn’t sitting well, but it’s not going anywhere either when I push down. It looks like it is seated as it means to be. Except that it’s wrong. :/

    Gah, I can’t even follow simple instructions.

  59. alexanderz says

    Portia, that reminds me of my great uncle. He had a cabin, a chipmunk infestation, a shotgun and a drinking habit. Fun times ensued. Though I don’t think he managed to hit a single animal, but he scared them off.

  60. Portia says

    I treated it like a cat. I clapped loudly every time it returned for the chocolate to scoot or heave it closer to the door.

    Slept for fifteen minutes then the fire tones went off – the universe just wants me to rise early – unlike Jesus, the lazy bum.

  61. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    You’re alright Beatrice, if the wheel didn’t seem to seat itself that will be because it’s already properly seated. This is a good thing. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that.

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

    Neighbor solved the problem. I was just pushing the wheel too weakly. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate being such a weakling?
    I hate being such a weakling.

  63. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    If the cable checks out and the wheel has no wobbles in the rim there’s likely a fairly easy adjustment to pull the brake back to center. Depending on what kind of brake it is.

  64. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Oops, cross post. I’m sorry you’re not doing so well Beatrice. I hope I haven’t caused any distress with my poor instructions. This sort of thing is so much easier when I can point at things and say helpful phrases like “Turn that doohicky clockwise.”

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

    FossilFishy,
    Nah, the instructions were good, and stress isn’t due to you or the bike. I’m just in a rotten mood today.

    Going out to scrape my knees a bit more or alternatively, to start riding the damn bike a bit better. I have to take the unreasonable anger out on something. Might as well learn a skill on the way :)

  66. carlie says

    Portia – on the mouse, I just watched this yesterday – was it something like that? :)

    I might be going through some shit.

    I’m sorry. :( Lots of hugs.

    Did I mention I was “jokingly” warned not to use “fancy lawyer words” in my interview this morning? It was one of my good friends who said it, so I wasn’t offended…but it ended up being a worthwhile warning because they would have been displeased if I had had to define “analogous” for them, instead of just using ten words where one would have worked.

    Code switching is a very valuable skill. Speaking of which, NPR started a blog/podcast called Code Switch and it’s been pretty consistently great.

  67. Portia says

    carlie:

    Thanks for making me laugh – it wasn’t quite like that :) Somehow the mice in my house manage to be adorable while absolutely repulsing me

    *hugs* back – thanks

    I never thought of it as codeswitching. That’s definitely the word for it though. I’ve heard pieces from Code Switch when NPR excerpts the podcast – I should listen to it regularly. Thanks carlie.

  68. blf says

    Somehow the mice in my house manage to … repuls[e] me

    Ah, that means yer dealing with alien mice. Earth mice haven’t mastered long pig repulsing fields yet, although they have got the trick of cheese & chocolate autolocators (usually it’s the other way around, extraterrestrial miceologists are baffled by this reversal of mouseological chronology).

    Try saying “42” at it. The response should indicate whether you’re dealing with an opportunistic invasion or the planet’s owners.

  69. says

    Nakkustoppeli
    I only used vanilla, though lemon peel is popular, too.
    And raisins. I used raisins.
    Sweet yeast dough “breads” are quite common and popular in Germany throughout the year, though there’s a special shape for celebrations as St. Martin’s Day, or St. Nick’s day.

    re: Caitie
    I received a mail from her like 2 weeks ago (which I’ve meant to answer ever since). She’s fine, but due to monetary problems she was cut off from the interwebs

    +++
    That Salon thread is a bit like watching Funny Home Videos: You shouldn’t watch, and you shouldn’t laugh, because the things depicted must hurt, but still you do.

  70. opposablethumbs says

    I had forgotten/did not know how much is available as free books for kindle or PC, even from amazon.

  71. Nick Gotts says

    his [Kant’s] insistence dictates that A) masturbation and B) lying to save someone’s life are wrong. – Azkyroth@87

    Masturbation to save someone’s life must be just the most immoral thing ever…

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

    Not a single fall today. I think I might even be fit to face the street and not just an empty playground next time.

  73. Chris says

    PZ: How do you do it? How can you and others (sam harris, michael mann, dawkins, coyne etc etc etc) be bombarded by relentless and utter idiocy and still fight it and not just snap, or simply go off the grid and live your remaining years in relative peace? What do you all have that I don’t? I’m well educated and honest and a voracious reader (non-fiction) with sound morals and integrity, but I can’t take it anymore…and I’m not a public figure. It’s all shit. Insight?

  74. carlie says

    I put pictures on twitter of all of the sex I saw outside today.

    *runs away without explaining*

  75. says

    Portia
    You have obviously failed to maintain a sufficient quantity of symbiotic predators in your home. I recommend a ferret (you may be able to rent one of these from the man who puts them down his pants, if you have such a performer locally), cat, or if absolutely necessary a small dog. Certain medium-sized reptiles might do the job as well, but they’re not as friendly and can’t cope with cold temperatures as well. More seriously, vermin infestations suck, and you have my sympathies.

  76. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    Kinda ‘rupt, or at least, have forgotten anything I intended to reply to; I may also have been too lazy to log in at various points, though I neither confirm nor deny this.
    Since it’s late and I should go to bed, though, I’m just going to dump a pile of *hugs* and *soft things* and cute little animals here.

    Actually, I might add a bit of a moan, too. I was arguing and slightly fighting with Youngest Sibling this morning before church. My dad, whilst trying to stop it, told us, “If you just let Jesus into your life, you’d notice a change in it and your behaviour.” Which, ugh. (This isn’t the first time I’ve been told this, but it still rankles). Also because I have actually been trying to act like (and/or be) a better person recentlyish, and it has nothing to do with Jesus, and a whole lot more to do with people/things like Captain Awkward, clarifying my own thoughts on humanist ideals, social justice ideas, etc.
    Also Middle Sibling is getting baptised next weekend. On the one hand, I’m glad MS is doing something they want to. On the other hand, I slightly fundamentally disagree with the entire thing.

  77. cicely says

    Happy Zombie Jesus Day, everybody!
     
    (Though I still maintain that the J-man is better described as a vampire, or a liche of some sort.)

    There’s such a thing as alcoholic root beer?
     
    *hugs* for Portia, and support during this time of Going Through Some Shit.
     
    I don’t know from mousies, but the *ticky-ticky-tick* of little hamster toenails as an escapee ran along the baseboards used to wake me up out of a dead sleep, every time.
    And the reason I know that it was every time, is that said hamster lived through many such night-time excursions to die of natural causes, despite the keen interest of two Junior Carnivores.
    -

  78. Portia says

    Dalillama:
    You actually read my mind. It’s one of the only times I want to have a cat in my house

    Sarahface:
    Urg – I know that dilemma “I love you, so I’m supportive, but…not really” : p

    cicely:
    Thanks for the hugs. I give you some back, as many as desired.

    There is such a thing, and mine is actually the first brand mentioned in Nerd’s article, Sprecher. Hooray regional commonalities ^_^ I usually buy Sprecher’s NA root beer, and didn’t know until yesterday that they made an alcoholic version.

    I just used a chemical paint stripper for the first time. Somewhat successful. there’s still a lot of paint on that headboard…

  79. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Of course, for alcoholic root beer, one can always add a dollop, or several dollops, of any vodka to any commercial root beer.

  80. Portia says

    On Tuesday at the fire station, we all had a really productive and helpful talk about how to handle experiencing and responding to trauma. The officer who sort of led it just sent out an article to the FD members. It began so well. Ugh.

  81. cicely says

    Huh. Alcoholic root beer.
    *shaking head in amazement*
    What will they think of next?
    -

  82. carlie says

    Oh god, I can’t stop laughing. What a great thing for Easter: Jesus Christ Superstar as Muppets. Some of the voices are better than others (Piggy is probably the weakest), but you’d think the conceit would get old after a song or two but it doesn’t because just as you start to get bored, another character comes in and it’s amazing. Kermit in the Garden of Gethsemane is pretty moving.

  83. says

    Thank you chigau.
    I just found out from one of his closest friends that his autopsy comes back tomorrow. I’m not sure of the details (and I don’t want to push to find out), but apparently he was found dead in his truck, which had run off the road.

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

    Ugh, Tony!. I’m so sorry.

    If there’s more that I can do for you, LMK. You’ve got my e-mail, right?

    Seedy.

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

    @chigau, #50:

    Why is this
    ;
    semi?
    and this
    :
    full?

    And what is up with this ‘colon’ shit, anyway?

    I see what you did there.

  86. Nutmeg says

    Making my packing list for lesbian camp.

    Grey skinny jeans, black skinny jeans, blue skinny jeans
    Red plaid shirt, blue plaid shirt, black plaid shirt
    Tall boots, short boots, hiking boots

    I hardly need to state that it’s lesbian camp, do I?

  87. bluentx says

    #1:
    *hugs* for Tony

    #2: Survived the family scene at Easter dinner. [Held hands around the table, kept my mouth shut when I wanted to say. “Seriously !? Five (other) adults here and they ALL buy into the Zombie Jesus story !!!??? “]

    #3: Was sorry to hear about this bit of news: http://www.thewrap.com/rubin-hurricane-carter-dead-at-76
    [Not the best source but just trying to convey the basic news.]

    #4: Is it wrong of me to think, “Please, please, please find some prosecutable dirt on this asshole…. FINALLY!!!” :http://news.yahoo.com/probe-could-complicate-rick-perrys-prospects-142749844–election.html

  88. opposablethumbs says

    Tony, I’m so sorry. That must have come as a shock. Hope you’re OK.
    .
    Hugs to all who are currently having to survivefamily obsessions with lich-Jesus this long weekend. (Is it my imagination, or is the UK generally making more of a fuss about this nonsense than we used to, nationally?)

  89. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Oh Tony!, that is sad news. Hope you are doing ok.

    Portia, your mouse tale reminded me of a story I was told while at college: a friend was sharing a house with some other students – it was his first night. The others had played upon the age of the house and it’s ‘spookiness’ to put him in a rather nervous mood.
    Late in the night, after lights out, he kept hearing something scrit scrit scritting across the floorboards in his room. It sounded too big for a mouse, maybe a rat? No, not a rat, bigger. Did anyone have a dog in the house? Nope…
    The noise got louder and was coming along the floor straight for his bed.
    Closer.
    He picked up the courage, braced himself, and flicked on the bedside light…
    …and there was nothing there. But the sound kept coming closer…
    After a terrifying night of no sleep with the lights on, his housemates told him the house had a double floor and possums routinely got into the space.

  90. blf says

    I’m now listening to Kermit Zombie Superspooky (see carlie‘s comment above, and (a) Giggling; (b) Looking forward to the fundie freakout (keep in mind some fundies already hate the Muppets for “reasons” I now don’t recall); and (c) Cringed a little bit at the line about associating with a pig of her kind (almost certainly reading too much into it, but it reminded me of the anti-Muslim and anti-semitic tactic of forcing pig products on them).

  91. blf says

    Here’s the missing “)”, please insert where appropriate.
    Or where inappropriate (but only with consent!), whatever takes yer fancy.

  92. blf says

    I just had a severe giggling fit when Harold sang “…change my water into wine” and I immediately thought of Palcohol…

  93. rq says

    chigau
    I think I know how blf gets those stories, now:
    1) The Muppets redoing JCSS, and
    2) Palcohol.
    Perhaps some experimentation is due.

  94. blf says

    rq, Are you suggesting the mildly deranged penguin doesn’t like cheese!!?!!1!1

    Next you’ll be denying Latvians have a potato fetish and, in particular, don’t make butter (for the bread) out of potatoes.

  95. chigau (違う) says

    re: Palcohol
    I can think of sooo many reasons that this is a baaad idea.
    I want some.

  96. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    All the *hugs* that Tony! wants; that sucks :(

    Yay, Portia!

    bluentx I feel you on the religious family front.

  97. rq says

    Also, see #136. So I’m not denying that, either.

    Yay bluentx for survival! We have survived, too.

    +++

    ‘Kay, I have a couple of car questions, if anyone knows how to answer them:
    1) I (let’s pretend) am driving my manual shift automobile at about, oh, say, 100 kph, and I shift to third gear to brake (thus braking with the engine and not my brakes). Can this cause damage to or wear out the engine?
    2) Does braking with the engine conserve fuel, and is this action in fact beneficial to the engine?
    (Husband had some counterintuitive (to me) ideas about this today. I would like to check my information.)

  98. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Oooh, that’s an excellent question rq! I was taught to do that (mumble) years ago when I took driving lessons. I have no idea if it’s a good idea. Hell, you could take all I know about cars, put it in a shot glass, and still have room for a decent snort.

  99. rq says

    This is interesting, because back when I learned driving (not all that ages ago), I was taught that this was not a good idea for your ordinary standard person car. It works a treat on 18-wheelers something something large engines many gears, but it can increase the wear on a regular runabout.
    Husband insisted that it’s actually a really good idea to do this, because someone told him so (though he never said who – if it’s someone at the car repair shop, I’m more inclined to believe this view). But that sudden sharp increase in rpm following the shift is painful to my musical ear.
    So I’m just wondering if this is true.

  100. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    And one final bit of nonsense before bed:

    We’ve been having a problem with our septic system. The pumps that move the waste water from the worm farm to the sand filter, and from the sand filter to the dispersion field have alarms on them. If they fail a rather obnoxious loud buzzing occurs. Lately the alarm for the worm farm pump has been going off because the electrical plug that powers the pump has been falling out of the socket.

    After a couple of weeks of this we’ve finally figured out why.

    Our chickens have been climbing up on the power cord where it stretches horizontally above the ground next to the raised tomato bed. From there they jump and flap to peck at the tomatoes. Apparently that extra 10cm height they get from the cord, until it falls out of course, is actually useful. Who knew?

  101. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Fair enough rq. I could see it going either way.

    As to the musical nature of it, try tapping the accelerator before you release the clutch on the down shift. It’ll match the engine revs more closely to the transmission revs so it won’t scream so much, and if you ease up on the accelerator slowly after the shift the pitch will drop more smoothly.

  102. blf says

    FossilFishy, Install a trebuchet. Try shooting the tomatoes at the chickens, I suspect that will be easier that the other way around, but perhaps the best approach is two trebuchets, and shoot each simultaneity for a mid-air chicken-tomato tryst.

  103. rq says

    FossilFishy
    Them chickens are just too smart! (Or your cord just isn’t long enough…)
    Alas, Husband’s musical ear isn’t bothered by the sudden transition. Ah well. :)

  104. opposablethumbs says

    Smart chickens … eeeevil smart chickens … don’t give them access to any more technology, FossilFishy.

  105. cicely says

    Portia: Indeed!

    *hugs* for Tony!. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    rq, though some chickens may be evil, they are not even in the same Evil League (of Evil) as Horses.
    cue
    -

  106. says

    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet
    Makes me think of this song
    rq#145
    1)Yes, yes it can. Don’t do that (The exception being apparently on the downslope of very steep hills, where it’s possible to lose one’s brakes entirely if one relies exclusively on them). Basically, it saves wear on the brake system at the expense of the clutch and gearbox, which are more expensive to fix.
    2)No, not really. You save fuel by being in the right gear for your speed, but you can do just as well by manipulating the brake and clutch simultaneously; that’s why you have pedals on opposite sides.

  107. Crudely Wrott says

    Ahh, Tony! You are not bearing your sorrow alone. For every hello there is a good bye. Sucks but there it is.

    rq, yes. Downshifting is economical and saves wear on your brakes. FossilFishy wisely mentioned that it is a good idea to learn to match engine revs to transmission speed while doing so. Your ear will inform you. Experiment and attention and that sort of thing.

    Actually, if you are truly one with your car you can play music with it. It is a subtle art that gives reward beyond expectation. =)

    Oh, thanx for the little potato picture. I have someone, surviving daughter actually, aka Juan Peanut (don’t ask; the origins are lost in the mists of time and faulty memory) who will soon be delighted and touched when she finds a printed copy that I will put where only she can find it. Will be a small happy.
    _________________
    To all: There have been some wonderful and heartening things happening here in Wrott World. I’d like to tell you all about it but I need to digest and collate and prioritize and wave hands and mumble to myself for a while first. Perspective is a touchy thing and first impressions are like eyewitness testimony. That is, only approximate.

    Lacking details should not impede your doing a small happy dance or raising a glass in my family’s general direction. Just be sure that your alcohol is properly hydrated.

    Love,
    Crudely

  108. chigau (違う) says

    Hi, Crudely Wrott.
    I’m going to do some gardening, so I’ll dance later.
    hugs

  109. cicely says

    *happy-dancing and raising glass* in the general direction of the Wrott Family.
    Also, *hugs* and *smiles*
    -

  110. rq says

    Hi, Crudely – it’s not so much downshifting, it’s going from 6th to 3rd at 100 kph.
    I can downshift rather well, without brakes, by simply not accelerating, and adjusting rpms accordingly (as you mention). What I mean is the sudden transition at an inappropriately high speed for the lower gear.
    And you’re welcome for the potato picture, I hope it meets with the delight you expect (it sure delighted me!). :)

  111. says

    Here is yet another stupid Republican trick: don’t pay the people you don’t like, Eric Holder for example.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/house-gop-bill-eric-holder-salary

    A House Republican has introduced a bill designed to stop Attorney General Eric Holder from being paid his government salary.

    […] It would require the federal government to withhold the pay of any federal official who is found in contempt of Congress by the House or the Senate until that status is rescinded.

    As it stands now, the Post noted, only one currently serving federal official is considered in contempt of Congress: Holder. The House voted in June 2012 to find Holder in contempt for refusing to comply with the House investigation into the Fast and Furious scandal.

    In his statement introducing the bill, Farenthold made clear that he was targeting Holder’s paycheck. […]

    The only problem, well not the only problem but definitely the biggest problem, is that Darrel Issa’s witch hunt in the Fast Furious issue was ridiculous. Holder was held in contempt by a bunch of contemptuous dunderheads.

    Republicans are still not done with this moldy bit of unintentionally comic legislative theater, but here’s a Rachel Maddow segment from June 2012 that explains the problem. Raw Story link. Excerpt below:

    […]

    “Operation Fast and Furious” was a plan begun under the Bush administration that intentionally allowed unauthorized guns to be sold with the intention of following those guns and seeing if they would lead to Mexican drug cartels.

    “Whatever you think of that style of law enforcement program, whatever you may think of the George W. Bush administration for beginning it or the Obama administration for continuing it,” said Rachel, “To this militia blogger guy [Michael Vanderboegh, a blogger and writer of Timothy McVeigh-inspired anti-federal government fiction], to the ‘Break their windows, break them NOW’ guy, this got re-imagined as a conspiracy to eliminate the Second Amendment.”

    And of course, whenever right wingers think their gun ownership rights may be threatened, they tend to go full-tilt-boogie batshit cuckoo crazy, which is exactly what has happened.

    “If it doesn’t sound like it makes sense,” warned Maddow, “It’s because it doesn’t make sense.” […]

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Issa is currently heading the investigative committee that is trying to seize records from the Justice Department, and led the movement to hold AG Holder in contempt.

  112. says

    Anti-gay actions from officials of the Boy Scouts of America:

    In a startling and discriminatory move, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) revoked the charter of Seattle Troop 98 and Pack 98 for its refusal to remove gay Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath. The BSA revoked the charter of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church’s (RBUMC), a Seattle church whose two Scouting units serve a neighborhood with few other positive opportunities for local youth.

    Scouts for Equality link.

  113. says

    Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is 94 years old. In my opinion, he is still way more intelligent than Justice John Roberts.

    Retired Justice John Paul Stevens is taking aim at the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision to eliminate the limit on a person’s aggregate expenditures to political candidates and committees in an election cycle.

    “The voter is less important than the man who provides money to the candidate. […] It’s really wrong.” […]

    “Sam Alito replacing Justice O’Connor was a very significant change,” he told the magazine in an article for its forthcoming issue. “He is much more conservative. And, as for John Roberts, he is much more in the direction of protecting the rights of very rich people to donate money to campaigns than [former Chief Justice] Bill Rehnquist ever was.” […]

    Talking Points Memo link.

    NY Times link. The NY Times story is most comprehensive.

  114. says

    Oh, look, there’s more than one Cliven Bundy type in the morridor. Whole bunches of mormon legislators met in Utah, along with Tea Partiers and Libertarians from other states, to talk about taking over federal lands within their states. They would like for all of the western states to do the same. It’s hard to imagine a worse environmental disaster than having a bunch of Cleon-Skousen-loving, ultra conservative mormons, libertarians, and ultra-conservative evangelicals running our national forests, Bureau of Land Management areas etc. in the western states.

    It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

    More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds. […]

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57836973-90/utah-federal-lands-states.html.csp

    Representatives from the following states were at meeting: Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington.

    Some of the conspiracy theories are:
    – The Feds want Bundy’s ranch for a solar plant (not true)
    – The “green sector” makes tons of money off federal lands, but other private business make none (not true)
    – Liberals have made deals with the Chinese to use our federal lands (not true)
    – The Federal Government debt is so high that they cannot care for federal lands (not true)
    – Local people like Cliven Bundy take good care of the federal lands they use (not true)

  115. says

    From the comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article (link in #167):

    Today the battle cry will be between the Federalists and Liberty/Freedomists, just as in 1861. Back then it was easy to know who to shoot thanks to yankees wearing bright red and living in the northeast. Today, we still have those in the NE plus all those that have moved in amongst us throughout the south and west.

    This time, the fighting will be much bloodier and I pray to God that He helps us avoid this nightmare and run the evil New Bolshevik socialists out of the country in a peaceful way…
    ——————–
    Notice the influx of paid leftist shill trolls here… [The left is paying people to troll the Salt Lake Tribune site? Not likely.]

    These acorn-fed trolls are clearly second-raters. [Acorn has not existed for two year. It’s a stock conservative conspiracy theory that Acorn is running leftist agenda.]
    ———–
    A whole bunch of know-nothings are saying here that Utah state government is SO competent and able to manage the federal lands in this state when those of us who live here and see how things actually work might know better. [Hey, a voice of reason.]
    ————
    We all thought that saving the national parks was a good idea. […] if it is federal it is ultimately evil. […]

    You take the federal employee abuse within the Defense Department, and see how that has been exteded to little agencies like the BLM, you can get a clear picture why the federal government needs to be shut down.

    http://www.sltrib.com/pages/comments?cid=57836973

  116. blf says

    Back then [c.1861] it was easy to know who to shoot thanks to yankees wearing bright red and living in the northeast.

    What the feck is that about? [Y]ankees wearing bright red — huh? I can’t think of anything “yankee” (baseball tream or otherwise) from the NE (of USAlienstan, I assume) known for wearing bright red at around that time.

  117. says

    What the feck is that about? [Y]ankees wearing bright red — huh? I can’t think of anything “yankee” (baseball tream or otherwise) from the NE (of USAlienstan, I assume) known for wearing bright red at around that time.

    Revisionist history, a specialty of the ultra conservative right wing.
    Pulling “facts” out of your ass, another specialty of rightwing conspiracy theorists.

    Anything to pump up the desire to shoot people.

  118. ajb47 says

    Tony Sorry for the loss of your friend.

    blf Isn’t a chicken-tomato tryst just parmigiana? Or a Cobb salad?

    Got most of my vegetables and herbs in today. I say most because my daughter is doing a science fair experiment comparing dirt and hydroponics and I can’t move the bean plants until the experiment is over. (I think we screwed up the hydroponics ones a bit — one grew nicely, the other not at all, but the dirt ones were much better — I had the feeling they were supposed to be closer. I don’t think we kept the water touching the bottom of the peat pellet for the hydro ones.) And we may be getting more herbs.

    So, heirloom beefsteak, golden jubilee, yellow pear, and roma tomatoes. Serrano, jalapeno, habanero, and cayenne peppers. Red onions. A cucumber (that I hope does better this year than the one I had last year). A zucchini. Some spinach (first time). Radishes. And the herbs are basil (sweet), thyme (German), basil (Thai) and rosemary (ordinary?). The herbs go in containers, not the planting beds. Maybe I’ll take a picture and put it on my flickr to share.

  119. says

    More comments from readers of the Salt Lake Tribune article (see #167 and #168):

    These lands should never have come under Federal control. Furthermore, Harry Reid is inciting violence with his words. If there is bloodshed, it will be on his hands. He should have been standing with his constituents, not a Federal Agency.
    —————
    IF people are created in the image of god and rights come from God, are not people sovereign? What is the role of the state? What is needed is decentralization of state powers.
    ———–
    Extreme leftwing loons should be executed.
    ———–
    These folks could care less about liberty and state’s rights. They want to scorch the place for quick profits, then leave behind their mess for the rest of us to clean up. And then they preach personal responsibility, a trope implanted into the consciousness of the parasite. [Likely true, in my opinion.]
    ———–
    the Constitution has a clause limiting federal ownership of land within states to small parcels necessary for defense.
    ———–
    err, no they don’t. Do a bit of research before you make a fool of yourself on the internet.
    ———-
    You need to read the Obama prophecies folks, several prophets have been warned about what is coming and it is very frightening!
    revelation12 dot ca
    ————
    The greenies are being used by the NWO Marxist Banker Regime. Federally seized land was gifted to China… It’s not about Turtles or Solar Farms… Obama signed over mineral, gas & oil rights to China. They refuse to execute their plans until the US population is disarmed. In the interim, fake US firms are being used as a ruse….

    Wow. Massive amounts of Crazy. Massive amounts of misinformation.

  120. Crudely Wrott says

    rq:

    What I mean is the sudden transition at an inappropriately high speed for the lower gear.

    Stressing any tool or machine hastens failure. Again, your ear should tell you. Just like it does when you run a knife or a shovel into a rock.

    Play your ride like you would a Stradivarius, if you had a Stradivarius. Most all vehicles made within the last couple of decades have handling abilities beyond the capacities of average drivers. Did I mention that I love to drive? No? Well, I do and V-Ger has the most comfy seat that I sit in these days. Unfortunately at this particular moment, surviving daughter and son in law are out in about in it and I’m left with this crummy five-wheeled chair manufactured for a prole who doesn’t have the clout to complain effectively.

    I’m thinking seriously of turning that comfy seat’s twin, the passenger seat, into the seat that I sit in while I do this, sit here and read and on occasion, type. Perhaps my mood would improve if I did!

    Still and all, do drive carefully and purposefully. Not fast but quick. See the difference?

  121. Crudely Wrott says

    This kind of thing really trips my trigger. I seem to have been waiting so long . . .

    Life Goal Number umpty ump: to live to see the day that a human foot leaves a trace on Mars. Then I will be able to confidently assume that humanity will be OK without me. Go to, now.. ;^>

  122. ajb47 says

    rq

    Ask, and you shall receive.

    I used to claim that I planted “salsa” before, when my first garden was just the romas and a couple hot peppers and cilantro. I have had problems with cilantro in the past (I tend to get it to go straight to coriander), so I don’t plant that any longer. So now we grow both salsa and bruschetta.

  123. Crudely Wrott says

    Surviving Daughter just did something so cool. Slammed me with three books from out of the blue. They are, in order of introduction:
    Into Deepest Space by Fred and Geoffery Hoyle, 1974.
    A Pocketful of Prose, vintage short fiction, Ed. David Madden, 2006.
    The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925, fortieth edition.
    Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen, 2006,

    Half of them I have been wanting to read. The other half I didn’t know existed. My desire to read each one is equitable.

    That dear girl, she’s a chip off my own shoulder. I love her so. Unannounced surprises full of she is. And throw the horse, over the fence, some hay. =)
    Hoping all Hordelings have someone similar in their lives.

  124. Crudely Wrott says

    Only in passing, like this insanely small bug attempting to bisect my screen, this: Double You (Ooops! the little fellow flew off punctuating his departure with a flawless Immelmann. (Thinks he’s flying with the Blue Angels or something.) double you double you or, if you will, six yous, (pergaps “six yous” will replace the uberedundant “wubble you wubble you wubble you and further streamline speech)

    Here on the peneplain of a mid-Atlantic state, one of two who vie for license plate braggadocio concerning heavier-than-air flying machines, their are several radio stations on the air. One of them, http://transition.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/fmq?call=WRQM , is graced with these call letters: WRQM.

    I can’t speak for everyone but I think that a radio station with rq in its callsign is a good idea.

    . . . I had something whimsical to type now but the larger of the two mancubs just popped in to annouce the dinner schedule and I forgot.

    Memory. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t.

    Here I sit . . .
    __________________

    For no easily described reason at all I am reminded of an obituary. Byron’s for Viscount Castlereagh. A wiki link is here.

  125. Hypatia's Girl says

    Hi, I’ve commented a few times here millions of years ago, because I am internet shy and you all are somewhat uniformly awesome. And it’s because you’re awesome that I’m wandering by, getting over my internet-shy. I live in GA and we’re way behind the marriage equality party, which is sad because I like the idea of being for realsies married and not needing an accountant for my taxes. We finally have some people trying to do something instead of having multiple press conferences about exploratory committees to consider maybe trying to phrase the right way to ask for basic rights and consideration, but they haven’t had much of a signal boost, which means they don’t have the money to tell people that they need money. So I’m posting a link and smiling broadly like I’m not being obscenely rude. But seriously, I gave them $100, and they called me personally and it broke my damn heart.

    I just want someone to help make me married married.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/louddmouthradio-com-mayday-georgia-marriage-equality-campaign#home

  126. chigau (違う) says

    Hypatia’s Girl
    I remember you.
    I don’t have money but I have solidarity.
    Best of luck.

  127. chigau (違う) says

    Crudely
    We cleaned up a large part of the garden.
    I dedicated the clean-up-fire to you and yours.
    It was glorious.

  128. Portia says

    Hypatia’s Girl
    Welcome
    :)

    rq:
    thank you for the tiny potato :)

    Being dumped sucks. Second Easter that has seen the end of a serious relationship of mine. *something something renewal rejuvenation hope bullshit bullshit*

  129. Hypatia's Girl says

    Thanks chigau, I appreciate that. (Although you may be thinking of Hypatia’s Daughter who did astronomy? Not … Le sigh … Philosophy)

  130. chigau (違う) says

    Portia
    Congatu(fucking)lations.
    I’ve managed three 1024s with no way to join them.
    Seriously, well done!

  131. Portia says

    Whoa – three of them seems like its own accomplishment.

    That’s maddening.

    And thankfuckingyou :)

  132. ajb47 says

    Portia

    re 2048: Congrats. Repeats are surprisingly forthcoming once you get it once. Also, it seems far less addictive.

    re Endings: That sucks, big time. If you lived close, I’d smoke you a brisket (which I have now done once and it was delicious) or a pork shoulder, or a duck. Yeah, I like to feed people. I’d even smoke you some veggies if that’s your preference (My smoker is new, is it obvious?).

  133. Crudely Wrott says

    Chigau asserts:

    It was glorious.

    I bet it was. I can picture it, brilliant against a sullen sky. Intense in its glory, basking luxuriously in a brighter light, indulging shamelessly a lack of regard, if only for this shining moment, for anything else at all.

    And your little garden. ;^>

    Moments like this are best seized forthwith, without preamble or confusing trails of reason. Dealt with. DWRT. Dealt With Right There.

    May you munch thereof many times.

  134. Portia says

    ajb47
    That’s funny, I couldn’t play another round because I was worried I’d fail at 512 again and ruin the fun. :)

    Thanks for the commiseration – I’d love a smoked….anything :D

    I’m telling myself all the grownup things that I logically know (it’ll be ok, it’s not an indicator of my inherent worth, I’ll be fine, I can find someone else if I want, blah blah) but really all I want to do is drink for a while.

  135. ajb47 says

    Portia

    Well, now I feel silly that I edited out my mention that I always make sure to offer several options for refreshments.

    And from where I sit, having only your comments to go by, it ain’t you. Unless, of course, you are anti-hockey, anti-futbol (soccer in the States), or anti-puppy. Then you are on your own — I can’t help you there. There’s only so much a person can take.

  136. Portia says

    anti-hockey

    I’m laughing because not three weeks ago we had a big hairy fight about him choosing to play multiple hockey games instead of spending some infrequent quality time with me.

  137. Portia says

    But, I appreciate the sentiment. :)

    Some of it was me. It couldn’t have not been. But I did all I could do. That’s all you can do.

  138. says

    Portia
    All the *hugs* and sympathies. If there’s anything else I can do, you have my email.

    Hypatia’s Girl
    Welcome in/back, I’m terrible with names so I don’t know if I’ve seen you before. I’m in a similar boat to you on the marriage front, but I’m also entirely skint this month.

    Calculus is kicking my ass entirely. I’ve barely managed to get the homeworks done while spending half my days at the tutoring centers the school offers and I still don’t understand above half of it. I’ve got an exam tomorrow morning that I’m wildly unprepared for, and I haven’t even been able to finish the homework. This is not helped by the fact that the book is a piece of shit, and some of the problems e.g. refer to processes that are not, in fact, covered in the damn chapter, or any previous ones, which leaves me wondering where the hell I’m supposed to have learned it, since we sure haven’t covered it in class yet either. Unless we did, but called it something else, which is always possible.

  139. ajb47 says

    Portia

    Some of it was me. It couldn’t have not been. But I did all I could do. That’s all you can do.

    Yes, this is the generally accepted way to face it. But how are we supposed to commiserate with you without totally tearing him a new orifice? Isn’t that our job? You don’t want us tearing you a new orifice, right? Somebody needs a new orifice out of this. 2nd law of thermodynamics and all.

    In a more serious mode, I’m sorry you have to go through this. I don’t offer hugs much for various face to face reasons, but I’d cook something for you, and offer you a variety of drinks, in a heartbeat. That’s how I roll.

  140. ajb47 says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Which calculus? Alright, at this point (both in your studies and in my removal from my own studies), I can’t really help much. I ran into problems with, in my college days, was Calc 2 – Integrals. They just blew me away. I held on very well in the first half of the course, but just couldn’t wrap my head around the area between two curves.

  141. Portia says

    ajb47:
    Food and drink are as welcome as hugs :)
    It’d probably be easier if I was angrier – feel free to harrumph where I can’t. I’m sure I’ll be in that place sometime soon. But let’s keep it to dirty looks :) I’m feeling Very Mature about my whole outlook though, so the superiority complex i have going on (“I’m handling this very well, I’m therefore the better person here”) is all I have at this point haha. It’s all very meta.

    Dalillama:
    Thanks, friend. *hugs*
    I’m really sorry the test prep is so discouraging. : / That’s a really crappy feeling.

  142. ajb47 says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I had my calculus in 1992-93, though I had some pre-calculus in 1984 in my last high school math class. (Holy crap. 30 years? What the heck have I been doing with my time?) And I just checked where I keep my old textbooks and I seem to have gotten rid of my Calculus text. Dangit. I was hoping to help and now I feel like a dope.

    Is there any Google response that might explain things in a different way than your prof that makes sense to you?

  143. says

    Rob Grigjanis
    I appreciate the offer, but I’m not even sure how to formulate my questions (or format them, for that matter). One part of my current problem is that I don’t know how to find a limit as x->infinity. At all, for anything; I don’t understand where to start or what process to use.

  144. rq says

    ajb47
    Thanks for the pictures!!
    How do you keep your rosemary alive?

    Portia
    *major hugs* Go you on the 2048! I stopped playing because I got Husband hooked on the game, and then it loses its appeal because it becomes a competition. He gets 2048 regularly now, and I just don’t play anymore.
    I think for the first day or week or so, it’s okay to enjoy smoked goodies and drink lots. :) Sort of let the sad settle in and go out and then move along.
    I still think he’s an ass, though. And an asshole who couldn’t be bothered to try. And you may not be perfect, but he’s far less closer to the limit of perfect than you are.
    *hugs*

    Dalillama
    Good luck with the calculus! *hugs*

  145. Rob Grigjanis says

    Maybe a clearer way to do your example would be to divide numerator and denominator by x, giving

    1/(1 +9/x)

    9/x -> 0 as x ->∞, again leaving 1.

  146. says

    Calculus is kicking my ass entirely. I’ve barely managed to get the homeworks done while spending half my days at the tutoring centers the school offers and I still don’t understand above half of it. I’ve got an exam tomorrow morning that I’m wildly unprepared for, and I haven’t even been able to finish the homework. This is not helped by the fact that the book is a piece of shit, and some of the problems e.g. refer to processes that are not, in fact, covered in the damn chapter, or any previous ones, which leaves me wondering where the hell I’m supposed to have learned it, since we sure haven’t covered it in class yet either. Unless we did, but called it something else, which is always possible.

    Dalillama,

    What you clearly need is crowdsourcing. If you describe a few of the problems you’re having trouble with here (not the concepts – they’ll become clear through the problems), I’m sure people could help – probably not with the immediate exam, but with the longer term. (I hate bad textbooks.) Don’t feel overwhelmed or give up on it – it’s just a temporary roadblock.

    (*As a preliminary… Is there anything in which you’re interested – sports, dance, business, nature, art,… – to which calculus might apply?)

  147. says

    SC
    It’s allegedly significant in some way to programming, that being the reason it’s on my required course list, but no-one has yet been able to explain how or why. There’s also statistics, many applications of which involve integrals, but my current course of study isn’t leading farther down a statistics track. I’ve about burned through my energy for the day for now, I’ve been wrestling with this since I finished running errands about 11 hours ago with a short break for Linear Algebra class (My exam in that one’s Wednesday; then my birthday’s Thursday, so I guess my first present will be that I’m 1/3 done with my maths exams), so I’m going to try to get some sleep now. Good night all, thanks for the help and good wishes.

  148. says

    Just as an example, say, the limit of f(x)=x/x+9 as x approaches infinity. The answer is apparently 1, but I have no idea why that’s the case, nor how to arrive there.

    OK. Apparently I’m too late (understandably). I’m also not entirely sober and have been away from calculus for a long while. But it seems to me that it helps to think about it visually and by substituting actual numbers in. So, on a graph, you’d go from 0 to 1/10 (x=1) to 26/35 (x=26) to 48/57 (x=48) and so on. As x increases, you get closer to 1. I think plotting it out might help to visualize what’s going on. Am I being dense here?

  149. ajb47 says

    rq

    I water it. In a more serious angle, I have never had trouble with rosemary. In the past, basil has drifted off with too much direct sun with not enough water. But generally, adequate watering with infrequent fertilizer has done well for our herbs. Until a month ago, I thought our rosemary was going to survive from last year. But it didn’t.

    And Portia, what rq said:

    I still think he’s an ass, though. And an asshole who couldn’t be bothered to try. And you may not be perfect, but he’s far less closer to the limit of perfect than you are.

    See? New orifices discussion is almost required. With ice cream (cinnamon bourbon).

  150. ajb47 says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy @219

    You aren’t taking too many credits in one semester, are you? It doesn’t seem that way, but I just thought I’d check.

    Yes, I had to take two semesters of Calc, one Linear Algebra, two of “Mathematical Concepts in Computing” — which ended up being partly about why math works, covering set theory, inductive proofs, permutations and combinations, and basic statistics.

    I can’t remember ever using any of it explicitly, but that does not mean I never used any of it implicitly. I got a B.S. in CIS, which probably assumed a path into math and science rather than the possible B.A., which went into the business side. At least as my University had it set up in ’92-’95.

    I don’t know if this will help, but as x-> infinity in your problem, the problem becomes that as x get bigger and bigger, the “+9″ means less and less. So the fraction in the problem approaches one as x approaches infinity. Yes, I have no math to back it up. I was just hoping that this way of thinking about it would spark a thought.

  151. says

    I don’t know if this will help, but as x-> infinity in your problem, the problem becomes that as x get bigger and bigger, the “+9″ means less and less.

    Exactly. 9 is 9. x can be 3 or a trillion trillion. The bigger it gets, the closer the fraction gets to 1.

  152. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    L’hopital’s rule. You might look at the khan academy videos. If you have a ratio where the limit if you substitute infinity or zero in becomes meaningless (depending on the lim) then the limit of the ratio of the derivatives of those functions is the same limit as the original limit. So here x/x+9 goes to 1/1=1

  153. says

    Good morning
    Well, I did not get a place in the class this morning. But I got one in the same one tomorrow morning.
    And I managed to get to the library before it opened.
    Drat, I really can’t just listen to something. I have no use for audiobooks. They’re at a level of paying attention I just can’t manage. If I only listen, I drift off. If I do something else (like writing in the Lounge), I don’t pay enough attention to what is said. Right now I ned to listen to a lecture on a soundfile. I have no troubles following lectures where I can look at somebody, but just listening to them? Horror!

    Tony
    *hugs*

  154. opposablethumbs says

    Portia, my honest opinion, fw little iw, is that anyone who at any point got on well enough with you and was compatible enough with you to actually be in a relationship with you and then backed away is to be pitied – pitied because they have missed out on something wonderful, and because they are either incapable for some reason of maintaining a relationship with someone who is exceptionally smart, competent, fun and all-round buena gente, or they are a damn fool.
    I’m very sorry you are in this spot at this moment, it’s a horrible spot to be in – but I do honestly and srsly think you are awesome. His loss, very much his loss, even if it doesn’t feel like that right now. Hugs if you would care for any.

  155. birgerjohansson says

    We should *encourage* the mormons to buy property in Florida, especially *seafront* property. Also, buy seafront property in Louisian and Texas and Holland. And Bangladesh.

  156. birgerjohansson says

    What happens when you routinely give antibiotics to livestock:
    “Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes” http://phys.org/news/2014-04-cow-manure-harbors-diverse-antibiotic.html
    .
    “Best of Last Week’s Phys org” http://phys.org/news/2014-04-weekconfirmed-earth-sized-planet-twin-paradox.html

    Stereotype alert: Finns and their sharp objects!
    “Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe” http://phys.org/news/2014-04-finnish-inventor-rethinks-axe.html

  157. blf says

    It’s been too many yonks since I learned calculus — and I recall also be flummoxed by limits — but one approach for at least one class of problems, as hinted in some previous replies, is to rewrite until the answer is “obvious”. For instance what is SOMETHING(x) as x→∞ ?

      SOMETHING(x) = BLAH(x) + BLAHBLAH(x)

    Keep rewriting it until you get a form something like:

      SOMETHING(x) = STUFF + MORESTUFF + BARGLE(x)

    where none of the …STUFFs involves x, and BARGLE(x) has as few x terms as possible (ideally none(!), albeit in practice, one is the least possible). For instance, a very nice BARGLE(x) is 1/x. Now think about what happens as x gets bigger and bigger. Draw a graph if that helps you.

    In this case, 1/seriouslyHUGEnumber is basically zero, and hence that BARGLE(x) “disappears” as x→∞. Now solve STUFF + MORESTUFF, which should be “trivial” since there is now no x, and there’s the solution.

    Of course, you might have more than one BARGLE(x) term, and they might do “contradictory” things (like one decreasing without limit and the other increasing without limit), but the critical idea is to simplify, simplify, simplify. And to take this advice with a few grains of salt because it has been so long I since I was doing this stuff that I could be presenting bad advice (apologies if so!).

  158. rq says

    But birgerjohansson, we’ve been using axes of the same design since the Stone Age (or at least something very ancient)! Why would you want to change the design NOW, since it obviously works juuuuuust fiiiine??????

  159. blf says

    We should *encourage* the mormons to buy property in Florida, especially *seafront* property. Also, buy seafront property in Louisian and Texas and Holland. And Bangladesh.

    No, not Holland: The Dutch know WTF they are doing; are willing to plan ahead, adapt, and invest; and whilst seriously inconvenienced by AGW, may just be able to deal with sealevel rising. Assuming they can -pull it off, then the presumably desired effects won’t happen, and the Dutch will be stuck with a bunch of moron cultists. (Besides, there’s some seriously good cheese there!)

    And also not Bangladesh: They have enough problems as it is, and invading barbarian conquistadors is about the last thing, I should think, they need. (Apologies if they sounds a bit colonialist or patronizing.)

    Elsewhere on the list, fine, Ok, as long as there is no federal (at least) insurance: No reason to “refund” idiots from the common kitty in this circumstance. (And apologies if that sounds a bit liberturdian!)

  160. blf says

    [Calculus is] allegedly significant in some way to programming, that being the reason it’s on my required course list, but no-one has yet been able to explain how or why.

    Yes & No. For some sorts of programming, calculus, or perhaps more accurately, finite methods (which includes, in this context, limits and similar) is critical. Physics models (probably), for instance.

    It’s also potentially useful in understanding the problems with “floating point”, and just how hard it is to write reliable floating point code.

    It’s useful (in an oblique way) in general: As problem-solving and logical deduction. That is, debugging. And (re-)stating the problem(s) in a solvable form. (This also applies to other sorts of maths.)

    I cannot, offhand, think of much (well, none, in fact), direct use or applicability in systems programming (as one example), albeit statistics is of some use here. Broadly, I do systems programming, and in my experience, I’ve used number theory and statistics far more than anything I’d call “calculus” — but that’s only one area / type of programming and certainly doesn’t apply to some other areas / types…

  161. carlie says

    Hi, Hypatia’s Girl! Good to see you again.

    Portia, sounds like it’s time for some heavy immersion into some Captain Awkward. Preferably while eating chocolate fudge ice cream.

  162. Portia says

    carlie:
    Good idea :) I’ve literally been asking myself the last couple days “What could Captain Awkward say?” ..I might have to get ice cream soon.

    I just remembered I have four assistants and it’s assistants’ week. I don’t really have four assistants. I have four people who have other priorities and work on my files in their spare time. Soooooon I will have one assistant. At any rate, I’m gonna stop for cupcakes or something on the way to work.

    opposablethumbs and Giliell:
    That means a lot to me, thanks for the support – I’m lucky to have such good friends.

    Giliell: On some level, yeah – my jerkbrain is in overdrive. My best wasn’t good enough, so ergo I’m just…not good enough. Sigh. It will pass.

    ajb47:
    rq has the dubious honor of having listened long and patiently to lots of whining, she’s uniquely positioned to hand out stink eyes :) (No one’s anything needs tearing! You’re making me wince!) Cinnamon bourbon ice sounds great though..mmmm…

    rq:
    Sigh – you’re right. Thanks for the perfecter compliment :)

    Nutmeg:
    *hugs*Thanks

    Dalillama:
    Best of luck!

  163. says

    Hoping to get some visibility on this! (PZ, do your thing!)

    After the “investigative journalism” that Mail on Sunday used to “prove” that Trussel Trust (a big UK food bank) didn’t care to check deeply into people claiming to need food vouchers, people have turned that on its head. Instead of calling for UK food banks to close because some jerkass “journalists” accused the needy of gaming the system, people have started donating en masse to the Trust.

    As of this moment – donations to Trussel Trust have gone over £57,000 (a bit less than $100,000.)

  164. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Should you think that the “Why are there still monkeys” question is mostly dead or very rare…

    Just go follow @takethatdarwin on twitter.

  165. birgerjohansson says

    “Why are there still monkeys”

    -If multicellular life evolved from single-celled life, why are there still single-celled things? Bacteria proves Darwin was wrong!!!
    .
    rq, trust Finns to want to improve a tool that is associated with the stereotypical Finn, living in a log cabin in the woods….
    They have high-tech companies but for a lot of them, the self-image is still “Crocodile Dundee is a wimp!*”

    *”…and we can out-drink God!”

  166. birgerjohansson says

    “they don’t have the money to tell people that they need money”

    -Has Georgia got any seafront we can sell to mormons? Win-win.

  167. birgerjohansson says

    Must-see cartoon: Fox News on Obamacare and climate change http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/04/21/fox-news-on-obamacare-and-climate-change-2/
    .
    Arizona company set to release ‘powdered alcohol’ following FDA approval http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/04/21/arizona-company-set-to-release-powdered-alcohol-following-fda-approval/
    The way I interpret it, the alcohol molecules must be tied to other molecules that break away and vaporize when exposed to water.
    .
    Privilege trumps protection: “Saudi Prince Reportedly Killed About 2,000 Endangered Birds In Pakistan” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/21/saudi-prince-hunts-birds-endangered-species-_n_5187319.html

  168. birgerjohansson says

    Solar cell freakout:
    .
    Material scientist exploring ways to improve efficiency of solar cells http://phys.org/news/2014-04-material-scientist-exploring-ways-efficiency.html

    Cheaper solar cells: “Researchers achieve higher solar-cell efficiency with zinc-oxide coating” http://phys.org/news/2014-04-higher-solar-cell-efficiency-zinc-oxide-coating.html

    Like a hall of mirrors, nanostructures trap photons inside ultrathin solar cells (w/ Video) http://phys.org/news/2014-04-hall-mirrors-nanostructures-photons-ultrathin.html

  169. Crudely Wrott says

    Stuff like this makes me take courage. Also polishes my being born in such a worthy state where “state” equals both geographic and personal disposition. To a high luster, I deliberately flatter myself.
    _______________
    Last night I slept on my right side. That is, those parts of me belonging to the rightmost half of my bilateral symmetry were bottom most, performing a supporting role. I’ve done so ten thousand times or more with salubrious results. That is, waking to refreshing renewal and feeling well rested. Why, then, do I wake up lately feeling as though I’d been assaulted by sledge hammer wielding ne’r do wells while I slept the sleep of the innocent?

    It’s the “innocent” part, innit? Damn. Thought I’d atoned. Now I’ve got to review a lifetime of guilt assignment and transgression. Don’t you just hate that?

  170. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Right now I ned to listen to a lecture on a soundfile. I have no troubles following lectures where I can look at somebody, but just listening to them? Horror!

    Bribe one of the kids to stand in the front of the living room and pantomime along?

  171. Crudely Wrott says

    A short bit from the equally tall and equally bald senator from Wyoming. Click on comments and identify the one that most accurately represents your own take. =)

    Waves at Lynna across the Tetons. Hi!
    *by the way, your website featuring you and your brother is full of awesome — thanks for a touch of home in my exile*

  172. says

    birgerhohanssen:

    Arizona company set to release ‘powdered alcohol’ following FDA approval

    Neat! Last week I had a conversation with a few guests at work about how cool it would be if ‘powdered alcohol’ was a thing. And here it is!

  173. says

    Crudely Wrott @250

    Waves at Lynna across the Tetons. Hi!
    *by the way, your website featuring you and your brother is full of awesome — thanks for a touch of home in my exile*

    Waves back at Crudely Wrott.

    I am going to have to bite the bullet and update that website. I have a new book coming out in May, so that will probably kick my ass into gear.

  174. cicely says

    eArguing with Niece&Friends over Christianity (by whatever definition) and homosexuality.
    *depressed sigh*

    Hi, Hypatia’s Girl! Welcome In from semi-lurkdom!
    :)

    *hugs&chocolate* for Portia.
    You can only do what you can do. Tell jerkbrain to takeahike; it is not possessed of All The Facts.

    Dalillama, my sympathies for you having Teh Calculus. Get well soon!
    -

  175. says

    I was not aware that the third leading cause of maternal mortality in the world is unsafe abortion:

    At the Kamazu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, Dr. Grace Chiudzu, the head of the maternity ward, ticks off the most common issues her patients face: “One is bleeding, second is infections, third is abortion complications.”

    Malawi, a country where 60 percent of the population lives in poverty and 1 in 36 women dies while pregnant or during childbirth, has been something of a development darling. This is largely thanks to President Joyce Banda, who puts health high on the national agenda. Malawi’s donors, including the United States, the Gates Foundation and many others, have thrown support behind Banda’s Safe Motherhood Initiative, an intrepid plan to save the lives of the many Malawian women who die or are seriously injured while pregnant or giving birth. Donors highlight their work to fix some of the problems that Chiudzu mentions: using drugs to stop hemorrhaging, training birth attendants to help counteract complications, delivering antibiotics to treat sepsis and other infections.

    But there’s one word you don’t hear very often from their mouths: “abortion.”

    At the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, unsafe, illegal abortion was highlighted as a leading cause of maternal death and a driver of gender inequality. Two decades later, maternal mortality is down, but the proportion of maternal death and injury caused by unsafe abortion has not changed.

    “Since the Cairo conference, we think conservatively that at least 1 million women have died from unsafe abortion,” Liz Maguire, the president and CEO of the reproductive health advocacy group Ipas, told me. “More than 100 million have been injured. All of these deaths and injuries are entirely preventable.”

    Chiudzu’s description of the complications landing her patients in the hospital dovetails neatly with international statistics: Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide. The World Health Organization identifies safe abortion care as one of seven necessary interventions to ensure quality reproductive, maternal and child health care. Ending death and injury from unsafe abortion is also one of the easiest goals to achieve — early-term abortion is a simple procedure and, when done by a trained provider, remarkably safe. The rate of death from unsafe abortion could conceivably get very close to zero.

  176. says

    Thanks to Dalillama, Portia, chigau, rq, Giliell, Crudely Wrott, opposablethumbs, ajb47, alexanderz, cicely, FossilFishy, sarahface, gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet, bluentx, and Crip Dyke* for the hugs and support. It is appreciated.

     

    *CD, I don’t have your email. Mine is freethinker7519 at the gmail thingee.

  177. says

    South Carolina is why we can’t have nice things.

    Think Progress link.

    If you want to run for office someday, you better not believe that everyone is entitled to legal counsel before the government locks them away. Or, at least, that’s the message sent by a new Republican Governors Association ad targeting Vincent Sheheen, a former prosecutor who now represents civil and criminal clients in private practice. Sheheen is a Democratic candidate for governor against incumbent Nikki Haley (R-SC).

    The RGA’s ad attacks Sheheen for “defend[ing] violent criminals” and ends with the tagline, “Vincent Sheheen protects criminals, not South Carolina.”

    Okay, that’s hyperbole about South Carolina ruining everything, they have a lot of help when it comes to ruining everything.

    In this case, they had help from Fox News. I think the rightwing dunderheads have confused Vincent Sheheen with his clients. The rightwing pundits are also outraged that Sheheen got paid to defend various criminals. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    Sheheen was not the only victim of this ploy. President Obama’s nominee for Assistant Attorney General, Debo Adegbile, was rejected for the same reason. Fox News called Adegbile a “cop killer coddler.” That ended that. Adegbile was a very nice thing our country should have had. He is an accomplished man who overcame poverty to become a formidable Supreme Court litigator.

  178. says

    Tony, thanks for the link @255:

    Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide.

    Astounding. And awful. And absolutely preventable.

  179. says

    blf
    I think he has gone again.
    Much like Jesus who didn’t hang around for long after the resurrection either.

    Azkyroth
    Good idea, but I was i the college library

    Portia

    My best wasn’t good enough, so ergo I’m just…not good enough. Sigh. It will pass.

    Hey, the best builders in the world can’t construct a house with only sand at their hands
    *hugs*

    +++
    I haz envy
    My sister took #1 fossil hunting (and they returned with some very nice ferns)

  180. says

    Mormon Moments of Madness, violating confidentiality category.

    Bishop wants me to see a counselor for depression and said he’d pay for it out of fast offerings.

    When I set up the appt. with the counselor’s office, the office manager told me the counselor could speak with the bishop about our sessions because the bishop was paying for it.

    Not the first time I’ve heard of this practice. LDS counselors routinely violate the confidentiality of patients and report back to the patient’s mormon bishop.

    http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1247966

  181. rq says

    *hugs* for cicely

    I found a neat fossil over the weekend. It’s tiny, and I’m pretty sure it’s not as fancy as it looks to be, but it’s still fancy. :) Makes me think of the minotaur.

  182. says

    I learned something today!

    Many people use Hispanic and Latino as interchangeable words. They’re not. While there is a huge overlap between the two, they don’t mean the same thing and cannot be used as if they do. This is an easy mistake to make, and I do it myself every once in a while (often from laziness), but it’s important to note the differences.

    Hispanic refers to language.
    Latino refers to geography.

    Basically, you are Hispanic if you and/or your ancestry come from a country where they speak Spanish. You are Latino if you and/or your ancestry come from a Latin American country.

    But wait… isn’t that the same thing?
    No, dear friend, it’s not.

    http://hispanichouston.com/2013/08/07/hispanic-vs-latino-whats-the-difference/

  183. says

    Here’s an update on the libertarian, mormon, off-the-rails rancher in Nevada that nearly sparked a gun battle with federal land administrators. Seems Cliven Bundy was lying his ass off. Surprise, surprise.

    http://www.8newsnow.com/story/25301551/bundys-ancestral-rights-come-under-scrutiny

    […]

    Both sides are fighting over history, with federal courts denying Bundy’s claims of “ancestral rights” on the Virgin River valley. […]

    His cattle, until recently, roamed freely on land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. Before the roundup that sparked protests, confrontations and gunmen taking a bridge, Bundy explained his “ancestral rights” to the I-Team.

    “I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements,” Bundy said.

    Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy’s parents moved from Bundyville, Arizona and bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt.

    Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it. Court records show Bundy family cattle didn’t start grazing on that land until 1954. […]

    “They are literally treating western United States citizens, ranchers, rural folks like this- are the modern day Indians. We’re being driven off of our lands. We’re being forced into reservations known as cities,” Justin Giles, an Oathkeeper from Alaska, said.

    The local Paiute Indians were forced into reservations by federal troops in 1875. Two years prior, the tribe was promised the same land Cliven Bundy now grows his melons ,and until recently, grazed his cattle. […]

    So, yeah. There is some difference between 1877 and 1954. Also, Bundy never had rights, other than leases he or his family paid for, to federal lands. Never. And, no, he has earned rights to federal lands.

  184. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, Tongan gang category. There was a story a few years back about Tongan gang members curb stomping gay men in Salt Lake City. The gang members were also mormons.

    In this latest story of Tongan gang violence, their membership in the LDS church has again come under scrutiny. 4Utah link.

    […] “We knew where a lot of these LDS gang members were, where a lot of the Tongan Crips were because on Sunday they’d be in church,” said Ron Stallworth, Utah Dept. of Public Safety, retired.

    Stallworth said when the gang branched out from Los Angeles to Utah, it brought with it a culture of violence, and but also a culture of faith. The gang, made up of primarily of Tongan males (according to federal court documents), came from families who had been converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. […]

    “I was patting one of them down, and as I was patting him down he had a mini Book of Mormon in his hip pocket, and when I questioned him why he had that, he was studying for his LDS mission,” Stallworth said. […]

    The Gangland documentary goes into more depth of how members of TCG reconciled their faith with their gang. To see the documentary, click on this link – Documentary Gangland Tongan Crip Gang

  185. says

    Jesus have moved on from toast as a way to prove He is the Savior. He is now appearing on pancakes.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/glenn-beck-not-one-doubt-miracle-jesus-pancake

    Glenn Beck likes it:

    Last week, the owners of a cafe in California cooked up a pancake that, they believed, looked a lot like Jesus and Glenn Beck spent an entire segment of his radio broadcast today defending the possibility that said pancake really could be a message from God.

    Saying that while doesn’t really believe in these sorts of messages, he is also “not willing to reject things that people interpret as a good sign of hope” because people often receive “divinely inspired” signs from God that other people mock as ridiculous. […]

  186. says

    The US is a nation of write-ins:

    We are becoming a nation of write-ins. So found a report released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau. When filling out census forms in 2010 (the year of the last national population tally), more people than ever before did not choose one of the race options provided; they chose “some other race.”

    The report, part of a years-long project to re-examine the census’ racial and ethnic categories, underscores the extent to which demographic changes in the U.S. have outpaced our methods of documenting them.

    The bureau’s concerns about the unrepresentative nature of its census categories appear to be well-founded. Approximately one-third of the 47.4 million respondents who self-identified as ethnically Hispanic also self-identified as “some other race.” A full 96.8 percent of all people claiming to be “some other race” were Hispanic.

    The Pew Research Center’s summary of the report noted, “The ‘some other race’ option … was never intended to be a category selected by so many respondents. The category was added to the 1980 census form to capture the small numbers of people who did not select one of the official race categories. But since then, it has grown to become the third-largest race category in the census.”

    I confess to having filled out “some other race” in the past. I think that’s largely because I was ignorant of both my ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’. To be honest, I’m still not entirely certain.
    Do I belong to an ethnic group? If so, which group?

    An ethnicity, or ethnic group, is a social group of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience.[1][2] Membership of an ethnic group tends to be associated with shared cultural heritage, ancestry, history, homeland, language (dialect), or ideology, and with symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, physical appearance, etc

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_groups

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

    I confess to having filled out “some other race” in the past. I think that’s largely because I was ignorant of both my ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’. To be honest, I’m still not entirely certain.
    Do I belong to an ethnic group? If so, which group?

    There are obviously people legitimately in this situation. But I think a huge number of the “some other race” folk are white people who have decided, conveniently, that they are post-race. They might write in “Norwegian-British” or they might write in “Bostonian” or they might write in “American”, but the **reason** that they feel that’s legitimate is because “white” is an identity connected to racism, connected to white supremacy. Since whites are no longer supreme, calling oneself “white” is to cling to the past racial system that no longer exists.

    It’s an attitude that can be rationalized, but results in real harm, given the continuing existence of racism.

  188. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    For me it was always motivated more by an absence of any tangible sense of “identify with each other” as mentioned above.

  189. says

    Crip Dyke:

    There are obviously people legitimately in this situation. But I think a huge number of the “some other race” folk are white people who have decided, conveniently, that they are post-race.

    I don’t think that is the case with regard to the results of the US Census Bureau report (@ my #268)

    “A full 96.8 percent of all people claiming to be “some other race” were Hispanic.”

  190. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I know that being usually perceived as “white” (though somewhat ambiguously – generally not by airport security, for instance) has probably affected my perspective in subtler ways, but I’ve been very conscious, for most of my life, of a profound lack of a sense of common culture or identity, often in distressing and alienating ways. :/

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

    @Tony!:

    Which, of course, doesn’t mean that you and I aren’t racialized. I just feel very frustrated because the institutionalization of racial categories is necessary in the sense that to do good science, we need an operational definition of the things we’re studying. For racial disparities, we need to operationally define race. And studying and understanding racial disparity is necessary to learn how to fix those racial disparities that are unjust and when to ignore racial disparities that are not implicated in injustice (if Jewishness is tied to “semitic” race, and if my fellow Jews eat less pork than other races, I couldn’t care less about “correcting” this “racial disparity”).

    I get the feeling from too many white people that they don’t want the studies done. Some of these go on to frustrate the studies themselves by making it difficult to compare racialized groups. This frustration of the search for knowledge (whatever the ultimate motivation) when the knowledge is not only good to have because, Hey! Knowledge!, but also because it’s necessary to create a more just society, strikes me as selfish and cowardly. I felt the impulse to record something other than white on standardized forms. I did some thinking, realized that I simply didn’t like being identified with white supremacy, and realized that there were much better ways of rebuffing white supremacy than refusing to acknowledge that on a day-to-day basis I’m racialized as white.

    I’m not criticizing you or Az, of course. I’m not criticizing anyone in particular with this rant. But I’ve known people who do refuse to ID as white for what, in my view, are reasons both selfish and based on reasoning from invalid premises.

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

    Just now reading Tony!’s #272:

    Clearly my anecdata was a bad predictor of the breadth of this phenomenon. I guess I’m just frustrated with a small number of people then.

    That’s good to know.

    Thanks.

  193. says

    Crip Dyke:
    To muddle things up a bit more ( :) )…
    The Census results are from a study on how Hispanic-Americans report their race. So your comments @269 could very well be true. It’s just that we can’t determine that from this Census report :)

  194. says

    A doctor in Egypt is set to stand trial on Thursday in relation to the female genital mutilation (FGM) of a child who died of complications. It is the first attempt to prosecute over a procedure banned in Egypt since 2008.

    Thirteen-year-old Soheir al-Batea, from the small northern village of Diyarb Buqtaris, succumbed to an allergic reaction to penicillin on June 6, 2013, allegedly after being cut by Dr. Raslan Fadl, according to forensic reports seen by Equality Now, an international rights NGO that has pushed for the prosecution.

    The teenager’s death has formed what is being seen as a test case on the issue in a country where four in five young women reportedly undergo the procedure, despite the ban.

    Some Egyptian women and feminists say they hope the prosecution of Raslan Fadl will start a precedent to enforce laws against the practice. But others say the share of girls who undergo the procedure behind closed doors at home — often in less sanitary conditions — may grow. At present, UNICEF estimates that around 70 percent of procedures are carried out surreptitiously at a medical clinic, according to UNICEF.

    The trial comes despite there being no mention of FGM in the forensic report. According to Equality Now, Batea’s father’s original statement to the police on his daughter’s death confirmed that she had gone to the doctor for the procedure. But he later changed his testimony to match Fadl’s, which said she had been treated for genital warts, according to Suad Abu Dayyeh of the international NGO

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/4/22/egypt-to-try-firstdoctoronfemalegenitalcutting.html

  195. A. Noyd says

    Lynna (#265)

    “They are literally treating western United States citizens, ranchers, rural folks like this- are the modern day Indians. We’re being driven off of our lands. We’re being forced into reservations known as cities,” Justin Giles, an Oathkeeper from Alaska, said.

    Wow. I wouldn’t be sad if an actual modern day Indian smacked this guy upside the head with a 2×4.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Tony (#272)

    I don’t think that is the case with regard to the results of the US Census Bureau report (@ my #268)

    “A full 96.8 percent of all people claiming to be “some other race” were Hispanic.”

    Yeah, it looks like the way the 2010 census form¹ was set up primed Hispanics to use that category by first making their Hispanic origin really salient in question 8 and then failing to offer racial categories that reflect the reality of race in most Hispanic (actually, Latino) countries and communities. If you’ll forgive a HuffPo link, here’s a very brief article on the matter.

    ……….
    ¹ Top right page here.

  196. Portia says

    WHEW.

    I am gonna smell like patchouli for three hours after spending an hour with that last client. OMG.

  197. Crudely Wrott says

    When confronted with a blank labeled “race” I normally pencil in “human”. No back draft yet though it’s actually been quite some time since I’ve been faced with such a demand. The situation is most satisfactory.
    ________
    Overdue conga rats to Portia-of-the-court.
    Overdue sympathies to Portia-in-real-life.

  198. says

    ajb47 #222

    You aren’t taking too many credits in one semester, are you?

    No, only 12. It’s just there’s 2 midterm exams per maths course, plus finals. I didn’t bomb today’s as badly as I was afraid I would, but I didn’t do well. I’d have done better if I’d been allowed notes to keep track of the various theorems.
    Tony! #268

    I confess to having filled out “some other race” in the past. I think that’s largely because I was ignorant of both my ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’. To be honest, I’m still not entirely certain.
    Do I belong to an ethnic group? If so, which group?

    Good questions; according to various social science profs I’ve had, everyone’s got an ethnicity because ethnicity describes the culture you grew up in, and everyone grew up as part of some culture or another. The thing is, how finely do you subdivide ‘culture’? How do you determine where one culture ends and another one begins? The answers to these questions in turn depend on what it is exactly that you’re trying to measure. So, the answer is yes, you do belong to an ethnic group, and which one it is depends on the asker and on your personal feeling of belonging to such a group. Personally, as close as I can come to defining an ethnicity is ‘hippie,’ or possibly ‘geek’, but for U.S. government statistical purposes I’m white non-hispanic.
    Azkyroth 270

    For me it was always motivated more by an absence of any tangible sense of “identify with each other” as mentioned above.

    That’s pretty much my take; I haven’t got any more in common, in terms of shared cultural experiences, ideology, religion, etc. with most americans (white or not) than I do with any other group of English speakers randomly selected from around the globe.

    CD

    Which, of course, doesn’t mean that you and I aren’t racialized.

    This is another big part of where it’s confusing, I think, because racialization is largely something that’s imposed from without in a different way than ethnicity is. For instance, an ex of mine has a pale brown skin tone and dark curly hair. She identifies ethnically as german-american, that’s her cultural heritage etc., but that doesn’t stop people mentally assigning her to the racial categories of ‘black’ or ‘arab’, and behaving based on that.

  199. says

    Innate sex differences between men and women explain some of the gender gap?

    1. Men, on average, prioritize status, while women weigh status and family equally.

    2. Women, on average, are more interested in people; men are more interested in things and abstract rule systems.

    3. Men are by far the more reckless sex.

    4. Men, on average, have a superior ability to do three-dimensional mental transformations.

    5. Men, on average, are superior at mathematical reasoning.

    6. Men have more variability than women across traits, which means that men are over-represented in the upper and lower tails of ability distributions.

    Even though this debate occurred about a decade ago, Pinker’s points hold up quite well. For an explanation of these differences –especially 1,2,3, and 6–that’s rooted in natural selection, I’d recommend the latest edition of Anne Campbell’s “A Mind of Her Own”. Anne Campbell is both a feminist and an evolutionary psychologist—there are numerous feminists who study the evolution of sex differences—and I mention Campbell’s book because the evolutionary explanation is beyond the scope of this blog post.

  200. says

    So, if anyone is interested or has any care: Ben Radford is having delusions of grandeur again.

    Professional straw man assembler and troll PZ Myers has lost so much credibility in recent years. The sinking continues with Myers openly advocating for censorship/destruction of student newspapers while calling students “assholes.”

    From his facebook page which links to the Fox News piece about the Morris incident. Good to see true skeptics as protectors of freezepeach.

  201. says

    Whenever PZ needs blog hits, he does another hatchet job on me. I’m guessing he’s working on another one this very minute…

    *Sigh*

    In my defense, I’m only FB friends with him because he once had loose association with a student group I was a part of.

  202. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The thing is, how finely do you subdivide ‘culture’? How do you determine where one culture ends and another one begins?

    And if you’re subdividing it in a way that lumps together kids who got their parents to buy them too-big Tommy Hilfiger jeans and then walked around claiming to be “in a gang,” with kids who were raised to value education and compassion and be conscientious, because they have similar albedos, you are NOT PAYING ATTENTION. >.>

  203. says

    To all the cat lovers out there: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/shared-table-where-people-can-work-and-cats-can-wander

    Wait a minute. Is that a cat inside a table? Created by Ruan Hao for Hangzhou and Hong Kong-based architecture firm LYCS, CATable is a functional wood table that’s designed for both people and cats! Like we’ve seen many times before, there’s been a growing trend of transforming livable spaces for the comfort of your cat. While German design company Goldtatze took that to an extreme with this indoor playground and, while, interior designer Jillian Northrup and her husband architect Jeffrey McGrew made it their mission to create this amazing transportation tube, this table is something that’s a bit more attainable.

  204. A. Noyd says

    @mikeg (#285)
    Is it really that hard for them to say they hate PZ’s guts but at the same time acknowledge the right wing fuckbags are making shit up? Or, y’know, choose not to comment on it at all?

  205. says

    Oooh, this is even cooler:

    Cats are already internet sensations who even have their own cafés and now, thanks to architecture firm Because We Can, our feline friends can have their very own Cat Transit System. The studio, led by interior designer Jillian Northrup and her husband architect Jeffrey McGrew, has designed a transportation tube fit to line the interior walls of their office, stretching around the room, past desks, and over an armoire. The aesthetically complementing tube even features its own tiny windows for traveling cats to take a break and look around.

  206. says

    Ha Ha Ha!
    http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/clif-dickens-honest-slogans

    Some of my favorites here
    here

    and here.

    Advertising agencies work hard to brand a product and develop a specific slogan to convey the idea behind that brand. However, once the product is out in the world, there’s no telling what will happen. And that’s where Honest Slogans comes in. Created, written, and managed by graphic designer Clif Dickens, the website features hilariously reinterpreted concepts that translate slogans into what people really think.

  207. says

    Radford’s comments:

    Whenever PZ needs blog hits, he does another hatchet job on me. I’m guessing he’s working on another one this very minute…

    […]

    He’s an embarrassment to UMM and all other organizations he’s involved in

    […]

    [redacted] your point is well taken. However PZ Myers’s opinion about anything, including whether Republican students are assholes, is worthless. He has taken so many bizarre, contradictory, and self-evidently false positions that his assessment of assholery is without merit. His inability to recognize the asshole in the mirror is especially noteworthy.

    […]

    [redacted] the problem is that he does not limit his opinions and statements to his field of study. In fact he routinely makes statements far beyond his expertise (ranging from biology to atheism to feminism), while claiming it is within his expertise. Since he is unable or unwilling to restrict himself to subjects within his genuine area of expertise, the onus should not be on students or others to decide what he really knows.

    (bolding mine)
    Really Ben? Give me a link. PZ talks about a variety of topics, but I don’t recall him claiming any expertise in any field other than biology.

  208. chigau (違う) says

    OK.
    This is my favourite:
    His inability to recognize the asshole in the mirror is especially noteworthy.

  209. says

    More cool stuff:

    As butterflies and moths flutter past, it’s difficult to see all of the beautiful details of each tiny insect. Biochemist and photographer Linden Gledhill has worked hard to bring those microscopic details to plain view through his incredible macro photography

    Using magnification from 7 to 17 times life size, Gledhill captures complex, repetitive patterns and vibrant colors of the tiny scales that span the surface of each delicate wing. He takes multiple images and stacks them together to produce a single, perfectly crisp composition. Light shining from below or from above changes the appearance of the wings and produces these unpredictably colorful, abstract photographs.

    Gledhill says, “I’m completely enchanted by the physical world around me and obsessed by its natural beauty. My career in science has magnified this feeling of awe. For me, photography is a way to capture this physical beauty and to pass this feeling on to others.”

    http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/linden-gledhill-macro-butterfly-wings

  210. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#297)

    He’s an embarrassment to UMM and all other organizations he’s involved in

    Suuuuuure, that’s why the chancellor of UMM Morris would never ever publicly disavow support for The NorthStar or any of the fuckers putting it out. Oh wait, she totally did.

  211. says

    Erupting volcanoes are a spectacular experience that very few people actually witness in person. The dangerous environments and amazing natural phenomenon is most preferably viewed from great distances. However, photographer Olivier Grunewald finds the up-close exploration of volcanoes to be an exciting adventure.

    In particular, he ventured out to document Kawah Ijen, a volcano near East Java, Indonesia, that constantly leaks sulfurous gases. The gases sneak through the cracks of the volcano at temperatures of more than 1,000°F and, upon mixing with air, ignite and send flames bursting more than 16 feet into the sky.

    Some of the burning gas condenses into liquid sulfur and creates a mysterious, blue glowing liquid that streams down the sides of the volcano in a spectacle of light. Grunewald created a series of stunning photographs that capture this mesmerizing process.
    http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/olivier-grunewald-kawah-ijen

    These shots are stunning.

  212. says

    Approximately one-third of the 47.4 million respondents who self-identified as ethnically Hispanic also self-identified as “some other race.” A full 96.8 percent of all people claiming to be “some other race” were Hispanic.

    Which makes fucking sense.
    Those people already had a racial/ethnic identity before they came to the USA. It’s not like you find a “Hispanic” in Mexcio or Peru. They are not all some homogenous group all over 1.5 continents. It would be interesting to see how this correlates with length of stay: Do first generation immigrants, aware of their “original” category choose “some other race” more often than later generations who have taken the “Hispanic” identity for themselves?

    Tony @ 284
    Wait, isn’t that a list of things not really settled or with a very low value on Cohen’s d?

  213. says

    To go back to the post Tony linked to:

    If one supposes, as I think is reasonable, that if one is talking about physicists at a top twenty-five research university, one is not talking about people who are two standard deviations above the mean. And perhaps it’s not even talking about somebody who is three standard deviations above the mean. But it’s talking about people who are three and a half, four standard deviations above the mean in the one in 5,000, one in 10,000 class.”

    It’s really nice when people discredit themselves quite early in their argument.

    To put those words into numbers
    The mean IQ = 100
    1 standard deviation = 15
    2 above the mean = 130
    4 above the mean = 160
    Now, here’s the thing: Even if you accept IQ as a useful category and ignore its low predictive value, this doesn’t make sense. There are no tests that can get you any reliable results around/above 130. For IQ tests to give you a reliable meassure, they need to be calibrated with a large group of people. You simply don’t have that amount of people for that group. Any claim of an IQ above 130 is bullshit because you cannot know.
    So, to argue that there are almost exclusively male top physicists because in the extremes of the IQ range men are overepresented talking about “4 sd’s above the mean” relies on two very shoddy premises. Not to mention that the whole argument relies on “I think it’s reasonable”. Very top-tier science that is.

  214. Nick Gotts says

    Crip Dyke@274,

    I felt the impulse to record something other than white on standardized forms. I did some thinking, realized that I simply didn’t like being identified with white supremacy, and realized that there were much better ways of rebuffing white supremacy than refusing to acknowledge that on a day-to-day basis I’m racialized as white.

    I couldn’t agree more. Just because “race” is a social category (loosely linked to some biological markers) rather than a biological one, doesn’t make it any less real.

    I’m not criticizing you or Az, of course. I’m not criticizing anyone in particular with this rant. But I’ve known people who do refuse to ID as white for what, in my view, are reasons both selfish and based on reasoning from invalid premises.

    The survey analysts probably wouldn’t go far wrong in assigning all those who refuse to answer, or answer “human” or whatever, to the most privileged racial category among the population being surveyed.

  215. azhael says

    @264 Tony

    Many people use Hispanic and Latino as interchangeable words. They’re not. While there is a huge overlap between the two, they don’t mean the same thing and cannot be used as if they do. This is an easy mistake to make, and I do it myself every once in a while (often from laziness), but it’s important to note the differences.

    Hispanic refers to language.
    Latino refers to geography.

    Basically, you are Hispanic if you and/or your ancestry come from a country where they speak Spanish. You are Latino if you and/or your ancestry come from a Latin American country.

    But wait… isn’t that the same thing?
    No, dear friend, it’s not.

    The definitions used in the US are weird…and quite distorted if you ask me…
    There are definitions of “latino” that definitely include spanish people (and italians, romanians, french and portuguese). It is about language, not geography.
    I´m also used to seen “hispanic” used to include the portuguese since it comes from Hispania which included the entire peninsula. It´s not about language, it is about geography…
    By the “technical” definitions i´m used to i am both hispanic and latino. However, the way the terms are usually used coloquically over here, i´m neither, because both are used interchangeably as synonimous with central/southamerican. That leaves me being just spanish..or european…

  216. azhael says

    But I’ve known people who do refuse to ID as white for what, in my view, are reasons both selfish and based on reasoning from invalid premises.

    I am very comfortable identifying as white, it´s one of the many useful ways to identify myself…i do however refuse to consider white a “race”.

  217. rq says

    Chris Hadfield speaks about risk and fear and space. There’s footage of a shuttle launch during the talk – that stuff always makes me cry.
    One day I hope to see a real live launch somewhere in the world.

  218. birgerjohansson says

    Before Batgirl, weirder than Wonder Woman; lost superheroines in the pre-code era. http://saladinahmed.tumblr.com/post/82626247806/before-batgirl-weirder-than-wonder-woman-lost

    Islam: “Media must end its love affair with religious censors” http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/04/media-must-end-its-love-affair-with-religious-censors/
    “All three, and countless more religious rightists, have sold themselves as commentators, ‘community leaders’ and de facto spokesmen for Muslims (‘men’ is applicable here), grabbing the spotlight neither through skilled writing nor through views polls say are actually widespread.”

  219. azhael says

    @314 Nick

    Because i see no reason to. The way i see it the term is of a taxonomical nature and it is being missused when applied to human populations. We have a clinal distribution and the majority of all variation is found inside populations, not between them. On top of that, genetically we are remarkably homogenous.
    I prefer to use the concept of ethnicity, which while suffering from many of the same problems of trying to apply a discrete category to a continuum, makes reference to identifiable cultural characteristics and at least doesn´t invent biological boundaries where there are none.

  220. rq says

    Please skip if so inclined, I just feel like some poetry:

    The Leap

    And, having spent half a lifetime and yet another half a night with poetry
    at this moment at the party, I brought her a drink with a slice of lemon,
    and she got up and stuck out her
    tongue.

    “No,” she said:
    “I want to go up on the roof with you!”
    Behind us the clinking glasses and voices faded out
    as far below us
    in green gold and red lights New York
    shimmered, mute,
    like a reflection in deep waters.

    “Shall we swim?” she asked in her womanly way
    and then without waiting for my answer
    and without even taking off her clothes
    (which I would’ve preferred)
    she leapt over the railings.

    As I rushed over all I saw was the entire city
    pulsing in waves of blue, green, red and gold circles below.
    And then (I would’ve never believed myself capable of doing something so utterly idiotic), I shed my jacket, loosened my tie (as it dawned on me that it was my last tie to earth) and had already placed one leg up on the railing – to jump (though I fully realized that down below there really weren’t deep swirling waters, but, rather, asphalt streets – and still knowing that, in spite of it all, there was nothing to do – but jump)

    when from behind me
    a pair of hands covered my eyes shut.

    In disbelief I turned around
    but, yes, it was her!
    And when, in a burst of indignation I wanted to curse at her for playing such a heartless trick on me
    she pressed up against me, clinging to me and whispered, with every kiss,
    how grateful she was to me for saving her life.

    Only then did I notice
    we were both
    absolutely drenched,
    and coated with silt and seaweed.

    Gunars Salins (trans. Lalita Salins)

  221. Nick Gotts says

    azhael@37,

    That’s just a terminological quibble, and entirely irrelevant once it is acknowledged that racial categories are (as I said @311), social categories loosely linked to some biological markers. “Race” has a reasonably clear meaning in the human context – races are generally distinguishable by visible physical characteristics – which is more restricted than ethnicity (whether I’m English, Scottish or British is a matter of ethnicity, but not of race), and “race” is in fact no longer much used in biology, where “subspecies” has replaced it.

  222. azhael says

    @319 Nick

    races are generally distinguishable by visible physical characteristics

    And this is where i disagree. It works well when you look at extremes or idealized averages, but in reality there are no clear diagnostic characteristics. And that without even looking into hybrids of various degrees from so called “different races”.

    I agree that the way we usually use the system is fine, because while it is imperfect, it is generally accurate enough to be useful (much the same way as binary gender systems). My problem is that by using the term race it is implied that this classification fits some biological reality, which it doesn´t…
    Other concepts like ethnicity, communities, populations, etc, are far more realistic systems to classify human diversity. As i say i´m even fine with using white, black, whatever, so long as it is understood that it is an extremely loose aproximation that doesn´t actually describe a biological reality (something which is compromised by using the term race).

    As for the biological concept of race being replaced with subspecies, yes, it is very common, although some people maintain race as a taxonomical rank below subspecies, and this makes the problem very clear, because modern human populations definitely do not fit the subspecies definitions….at all.

  223. pHred says

    Sigh. I am so tired of the snow and cold weather. Our hyacinths have made a valiant effort but the temperature keeps dropping to near freezing. It makes me feel so gloomy.

  224. rq says

    pHred
    I feel ya. My hyacinths are blooming mostly still inside the ground right now (the ones that survived, that is). Hope yours make it!

  225. says

    I love the CATable.

    I wrote this response to a comment by hillaryrettig sometime last week. I have an inconsistent internet connection here and my comment didn’t go through. When I went to try again I couldn’t find the comment or the thread (I thought it was here or TDome), which was odd. Anyway,

    hillaryrettig:

    Im currently reading Pinker’s Better Angels of our Nature, in which he hypothesizes (compellingly) that humans are getting much less violent over time. Fantastic, fun, optimistic book!

    Here are a few critical takes:

    “Reality Denial: Steven Pinker’s Apologetics for Western-Imperial Violence,” by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson (not free of prejudices, but well worth reading)

    “Why Steven Pinker, Like Jared Diamond, Is Wrong,” by Stephen Corry

    “Pinker, Animals, and Hitler,” by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (I haven’t yet read the book, but it sounds rather like Pinker’s whole premise is a libel against nonhuman animals: human violence is ultimately rooted in our animalistic impulses – Corry quotes Pinker as describing medieval people/culture as “animalistic” – which have recently been and continue to be “civilized” by primarily white males in Western Europe and the US; I believe Masson talks about Pinker in more depth in his new book, but I haven’t read that yet, either)

  226. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Hi.

    Did something new yesterday.

    [RECIPE WARNING]

    Take a pre-packaged corned beef, rinse it, throw away the seasonings, and dump it in a crock pot with
    5 cloves garlic, halved
    2 Tablespoons cilantro (optional)
    1 12-oz can enchilada sauce
    1 12-ounce beer
    add enough water to cover the meat.

    Turn the crock pot up to high. Cook until the meat is almost falling apart.

    Arrange on a large plate:

    1/2 onion, finely sliced
    1 cup white cabbage, finely sliced
    2 tomatoes, finely sliced
    1 avocado, skinned, seeded and finely sliced

    in a bowl, combine:
    1 cup sweet and smokey barbecue sauce
    2 Tablespoons chile powder
    1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
    2 Tablespoons cilantro (optional)

    warm 8 medium four tortillas

    Remover the meat from the pot. Rinse it. Use your fingers (or a couple of forks) and shred the meat into long pieces, each about 1/4 inch across (give or take) and as long as it happens to be.

    To build each taco, smear some of the barbecue sauce on the tortilla, add some meat, some onions, some avocado, some tomato and some cabbage. Add a little feta cheese. Enjoy with a beer.

  227. chigau (違う) says

    Oggie
    I am very happy to see you.
    (the preceeding was a massive understatement, I’m actually overjoyed)

  228. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Ogvorbis! Glad to see you! And that recipe sounds delicious. Other than beer cheese soup on special occasions, I rarely cook with beer these days.

  229. David Marjanović says

    Before Batgirl, weirder than Wonder Woman; lost superheroines in the pre-code era. http://saladinahmed.tumblr.com/post/82626247806/before-batgirl-weirder-than-wonder-woman-lost

    Intriguing.

    some people maintain race as a taxonomical rank below subspecies

    The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature explicitly does not recognize any rank below subspecies.

    “Why Steven Pinker, Like Jared Diamond, Is Wrong,” by Stephen Corry

    Wow. Not having read Pinker’s book, I had no idea he took his claim that far and based it on such bad data.

  230. birgerjohansson says

    (Infodump below:)

    Noam Chomsky helps explain the ‘Fox Effect’ in upcoming film ‘Brainwashing of my Dad’ http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/04/22/noam-chomsky-helps-explain-the-fox-effect-in-upcoming-film-brainwashing-of-my-dad/
    .
    The French economist gives the American left a sturdy framework for its economic ideas. http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/04/thomas_piketty_capital_how_america_s_liberals_fell_for_a_french_economist.html

  231. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I’d just like to chime in to support what Tony and Giliell are saying about Larry Summers and his apologists. Summers is just flat wrong. His whole analysis is a misuse of both the concept of IQ and of statistics. Giliell is precisely correct–the extrapolation of Normal behavior in the tails of the IQ curve is not warranted. One could even question whether the very concept of a single metric to measure intelligence is valid.

    Summers and his apologists are telling a just-so story to justify the facts they see. What is more, they are ignoring some other very important facts. For instance, the percentage of women PhD physicists is far higher in places like Russia, Italy and Portugal (20-30%) than in the US(~11%). Why? One reason is that these positions are more prestigious and better paid in the US than in Russia, Italy and Portugal.

    As to the factors listed:

    1. Men, on average, prioritize status, while women weigh status and family equally.

    WTF? Sounds to me like we’d lose out on a lot of men here–at least we should

    2. Women, on average, are more interested in people; men are more interested in things and abstract rule systems.

    Just-so reasoning strikes again.

    3. Men are by far the more reckless sex.

    This is just stupid and utterly irrelevant. Ferchrissake, do you want reckless people playing around with high-powered lasers. Fuck, just fuck!

    4. Men, on average, have a superior ability to do three-dimensional mental transformations.

    Cough, Cough…Emmy Noether…Cough…Rosalind Franklin

    5. Men, on average, are superior at mathematical reasoning.

    Cough, Cough…Emmy Noether…

    6. Men have more variability than women across traits, which means that men are over-represented in the upper and lower tails of ability distributions.

    Uh, dude, how do you even know the tails of the distribution are symmetric. All Summers is saying is GODDIDIT.

  232. pHred says

    rq Thanks. I am crossing my fingers. We lost the crocuses after only a couple of days and most of the daffodils got wiped out too.

    Now I am depressed because I am getting the research presentation posters from my capstone environmental class and they are terrible. I feel like I have accomplished nothing with this group this year. They have been given all the pieces, access to the equipment, access to other data – they have worked all semester on these things (theoretically at least) – and they all look like something that got tossed together last night in less than an hour – bad grammar, typos, mostly blank and all. These are the posters that they are going to stand next to at our school conference in front of the entire rest of the institution. I am just despairing.

    Hi Ogvorbis

  233. says

    Ogvorbis! With a recipe!
    One of the best combinations to see anywhere on the internet.

    +++
    So, reading those on Pinker articles, many things have become clear to me.
    Like the fact that women are natural resources to be conquered by humans.
    And that people killed by “us” don’t count as dead, apparently.

    +++
    David!
    We’re going to Berlin in autumn. Be prepared some time in October.

  234. says

    A. Noyd @278:

    Lynna (#265)

    “They are literally treating western United States citizens, ranchers, rural folks like this- are the modern day Indians. We’re being driven off of our lands. We’re being forced into reservations known as cities,” Justin Giles, an Oathkeeper from Alaska, said.

    Wow. I wouldn’t be sad if an actual modern day Indian smacked this guy upside the head with a 2×4.

    By Justin Giles logic, Clive Bundy should give his ranch back to the Paiute Tribe.

    On a side note, I laughed when I read the bit about smacking the guy upside the head with a 2×4. That’s exactly the phrase my mother used to use when describing what needed to be done to willfully ignorant people.

  235. rq says

    But a_ray_in_dilbert_space @335, #2 explains exactly why I love people so much, by which I mean that I don’t love people at all, in fact why it’s one of the reasons I chose to work primarily with dead people, and why I don’t mind the evening/night shift… Heh. Wait, does forensics count as a caring/nurturing job?
    And as for #3, well, heh. At least I grew out of it.

    pHred
    If you think your group is bad, just wait until you see the others…
    More seriously, good luck straightening out the worst of it, and may the presentations go well!

    +++

    So in case anyone’s interested I’m officially in Canada (eastern/southern) from June 8 to July 13, plus an 11 hour layover in Amsterdam on the return flight. Just putting that out there in case of geographical coincidence with anyone who would like to attempt a meet-up.

  236. says

    I finally planted my herb garden, including cilantro. I will soon be ready to take better advantage of recipes Ogvorbis posts.

    Thanks, Tony, for the link to butterfly photos @300. It was cool to see all those wing structures up close like that.

    Rachel Maddow interviewed Elizabeth Warren last night. Great segment. Link.

  237. says

    Legislators in Georgia (and the Governor) have passed a “Guns, Guns Everywhere!” bill.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/arms-georgia-governor-sign-controversial-gun-bill-wednesday-n86941

    [The bill] allows licensed owners to carry firearms into more public places than at any time in the past century, including churches, bars and government buildings that don’t have security checkpoints.

    The law also authorizes school districts to appoint staffers to carry firearms. It allows churches to “opt-in” if they want to allow weapons. Bars could already “opt-in” to allow weapons, but under the new law they must opt out if they want to bar weapons. Permit-holders who accidentally bring a gun to an airport security checkpoint will now be allowed to pick up their weapon and leave with no criminal penalty. […]

    Coverage on The Maddow Blog, by Steve Benen.

    […] the new state law, which takes effect in July, also expands on Georgia’s “stand your ground” policy by “protecting convicted felons who kill using illegal guns.”

    Frank Rotondo, the executive director of Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, told The Guardian, “One of the biggest concerns is it expands stand-your-ground. The way it’s written, a felon who is not permitted to have a weapon could use a weapon in defense of his or her home and not be charged for having the weapon.” […]

  238. says

    Here is some good news about the Medicaid expansion that is part of the Affordable Care Act:

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4131

    CBO has sharply lowered its estimates of the costs to states of adopting the Medicaid expansion.

    * CBO now estimates that the federal government will, on average, pick up more than 95 percent of the total cost of the Medicaid expansion and other health reform-related costs in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) over the next ten years (2015-2024).

    * States will spend only 1.6 percent more on Medicaid and CHIP due to health reform than they would have spent without health reform (see Figure 1). That’s about one-third less than CBO projected in February. And the 1.6 percent figure is before counting the state savings that the Medicaid expansion will produce in state expenditures for services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment provided to the uninsured.

    Nevertheless, Republicans are still fighting Medicaid expansion tooth and nail.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/gop-bills-medicaid-expansion-democratic-governors

    Republicans are taking no chances when it comes to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. They’re closing every possible door. Under bills passed in Georgia and Kansas recently, even if a Democratic candidate were to pull off an upset and take the governor’s seat, they would not be able to expand the program without the consent of the state legislature – which will almost certainly remain Republican.

    In other words, GOP lawmakers have taken steps to guarantee that many of their poorest residents will remain uninsured under the health care reform law, no matter what happens in the gubernatorial election.

  239. raven says

    @ Lynna 338

    Turns out Cliven Bundy lied about everything.

    Bundy’s ‘Ancestral Rights’ Story A Load Of Crap

    KLAS in Las Vegas debunks some of the facts surrounding Cliven Bundy’s ‘ancestral rights’ malarkey. Court records show cattle started grazing on that land in 1954.

    Cliven Bundy a fraud? Who would have ever guessed that in a million years.

    His cattle, until recently, roamed freely on land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. Before the roundup that sparked protests, confrontations and gunmen taking a bridge, Bundy explained his “ancestral rights” to the I-Team.

    “I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements,” Bundy said.

    Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy’s parents moved from Bundyville, Arizona and bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt.

    Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it. Court records show Bundy family cattle didn’t start grazing on that land until 1954.

    The Bureau of Land Management was created 1946, the same year Cliven was born.
    http:// crooksandliars. com/2014/04/bundys-ancestral-rights-story-load-crap

    He was claiming some ancestral right to 500,000 acres of BLM land.

    Turns out his family never ranched there. He’s from Arizona.

    His family bought the ranch in 1948. They didn’t start grazing cattle on federal land until 1954.

    It doesn’t take much to be a rightwing hero. Being a common criminal will do it.

  240. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    O Holy Maude. I just saw a troop of missionaries approaching my door. My dogs were barking their lovely heads off, sounding ferocious (they aren’t, they just make a lot of noise) so I opened the door a crack, shouted out “the dogs bite” and closed the door. Said proselytizers turned tail and ran. Hooray.

    Everyone on this street is a mormon. Why don’t these fools know this already?

  241. says

    Everyone on this street is a mormon. Why don’t these fools know this already?

    Actually, they probably do know. Mormons make Ward maps that show every household that is mormon, so the non-mormon ones really stand out.

    Also, mormons recently increased the army of young missionaries by lowering the eligibility ages for both males and females. These hordes of missionaries really don’t have enough to do. It’s a sad situation. Some of them are sent out to do home visits or home teaching of other mormons. If they are any less than fully active mormon households in your neighborhood they will probably also be harassed.

  242. opposablethumbs says

    Good job you have dogs looking out for you, morgan?! :-)
    Our dog chased off some proselytisers a little while back (they’re a rarity around here). (We think they were probably JWs).
    Good dogs!

  243. says

    raven @344, yeah, Bundy lied. I saw that at least some media outlets are exposing his lie. Good thing.

    Cliven Bundy is not just deluded and weirdly misinformed about laws and land management, he also an out-an-out lier. One more rightwing doofus who gets it all wrong, on every level, including his own family history.

    There’s more evidence of him not being a good steward of the land as well (over grazing, etc.)

    One of Bundy’s staunchest backers is a former county sheriff who is also a mormon.

  244. says

    Also, mormons recently increased the army of young missionaries by lowering the eligibility ages for both males and females

    The only time I saw Mormon missionaries in our street they didn’t come to our house. Probably because the people in the big 78 flats building aren’t very promising in terms of money, so they only talked to the inhabitants of the more affluent semi-detached houses…

    +++
    Astrokid in one thread, a pro-lifer in another.
    If I needed any more arguments for writing my report, here I have them.

  245. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Today would be so much easier if I had lots of alcohol. I shouldn’t be drunk when my niece gets here, though.

    SIGH. Being a rational adult is so hard.

  246. johnlee says

    I had a dream last night about my brother who died last year. It’s painful to think that I will never, ever see him again, but at the same time I’m kind of thankful it ended.

    He was a hopeless alcoholic who made life really awful for just about everyone around him. If I say I miss him, what I really mean is I miss the guy I used to know 40 years ago when we were kids. He was so scathingly funny, and he had a real talent as an artist and a musician, but he drank his life away bit by bit. I’ve tried hard to be creative like him all my life, but I’ve never managed to do it so easily as he did. It just came out as if he didn’t need to try.

    I went to my other brother’s house this Easter, to pick up a memento, one of his paintings, so full of life and fun. I think it was an old one from when he lived in France, and could still hold himself together. It’s just a painting of an old house, but so alive, just like he was when he was younger. I just wanted something to remind me of him, but I don’t know where to put it. The poor guy had to put up with this drunk in his house for months because he had nowhere else to go. My wife wouldn’t have him in the house with our young children, so he just came and went between my parents and my brother. Unless he had a girlfriend, of course.

    He went from one girl to another, always following the same pattern. I guess he was really romantic, and he would start by charming the pants off some girl who would fall head over heels in love with him, feed her all kinds of bullshit lies, then blow it all by getting shit-faced drunk. By the end he was a real mess. He would go for days without eating, just drinking wine and vodka, then collapsing. He was always having accidents, and my poor mum and dad would be contacted by the police to say he was in hospital. They’re in their 80s, and didn’t need this. A few days later he would be sober, so they would let him out and it would start all over again. The last time I saw him he had bruises all over him from falling over.

    He was either up or down, no inbetween. Bipolar, I think you would call it, and they filled him with all kinds of drugs which just seemed to make him worse.

    He once told me he thought his life was fated to be like that, and I think that was one of his big problems, believing in destiny. He believed in all kinds of crap – astrology and numbers – you name it. I was worried that he would just disappear and become one of those people living in the streets, and that we would never know what happened to him. It was like he couldn’t stay in an ordinary place with ordinary people, he was always going somewhere.

    Anyway, last June I got a call from my dad to say he had been found dead by his new girlfriend. Just lying there on the floor. She was in a terrible state when I met her for the first time at his funeral, and I didn’t know what to say to her.

    Sorry to bother you all with this, but I needed to say it.

  247. carlie says

    rq – I am somewhat but kind of not really near the area you may or may not be – if you want we can do the emails to better triangulate and see if we’ll be in visiting distance. :)

  248. carlie says

    pHred – I feel you. You can lead them to knowledge, but you can’t make them think. Or prepare.

    johnlee – I’m really sorry about your brother. It really hurts when there’s just nothing that can be done to help someone.

    Ever have one of those “anything I say or do makes someone mad” days? I’ve been having one of those weeks. It’s really tiring.

  249. rq says

    carlie

    “anything I say or do makes someone mad”

    Oh yeah, right here, although it’s been getting a bit better past couple of days (might be I’m starting to pull back up a bit too).
    And for sure, I’d love to at least attempt a triangulation in an effort to wrangle a meeting! You have my email? I think I have yours saved up somewhere at home… But yes, very enthusiastically!

    johnlee
    Wow, I’m so sorry about your brother. If you accept internet *hugs* from strangers, I have some on offer.
    And I hope you find the perfect place to hang that painting – I don’t suppose there’s a chance at seeing it, is there?

  250. opposablethumbs says

    johnlee, I’m so sorry. I probably don’t even fully, really grasp how heartbreaking that must be, but I’m very sorry – for all of you. As carlie says, it’s so hard when somebody needs help and yet there isn’t anything you can do that would actually help them.

  251. Nutmeg says

    Just on the off chance – anyone here use samtools? My bioinformatics contact is MIA and I am way out of my depth. Just need to extract some sequences to submit to GenBank, but simple commands keep crashing and I completely lack the ability to troubleshoot this, because I have zero computer science background.

  252. says

    johnlee
    I’m really sorry about your brother. Alcohol is a shitty killer. I’m right now watching my mother killing herself drinking step by step and the only thing I can do is to get myself to safety.

    carlie
    Yes, I’ve had one of them with #1, which I blame entirely on her not eating anything during the day.
    *sigh* It’s exhausting. Usually, they sit down for lunch at the daycare and she eats her fair share. But during the holidays they often go on all day trips and I pack her breakfast and lunch. Only that she nibbled the carrots, took two bites from her sandwich and bought an ice cream. All day long. While walking some miles. And when her blood-sugar goes down, her mood does, too.
    After dinner she was the best kid around, asking why we don’t fall off the planet when we’re on the downside.

  253. cicely says

    pHred—As the old saying goes, “You can lead a student to grammar, spelling, and composition, but you cannot make ‘em knock together an acceptable excuse for a presentation.”
    *chocolate*?

    johnlee, will you accept a *hug, or other, non-intrusive gesture of comfort and support* from a complete stranger? If so, it’s yours.
    I’m sorry about your brother.
    -

  254. ajb47 says

    carlie @357

    Ever have one of those “anything I say or do makes someone mad” days? I’ve been having one of those weeks. It’s really tiring.

    C’mon, carlie! Why’d you have to go and say something like that? I am so ticked off now! Sheesh. :p

    (Was that too obvious a reply?)

    Giliell @361

    <blockquote And when her blood-sugar goes down, her mood does, too.
    After dinner she was the best kid around, asking why we don’t fall off the planet when we’re on the downside.

    My kids get that way, too. Son especially. He takes three bites of food (after loudly arguing that he’s not hungry) and suddenly he’s all cheery.

  255. ajb47 says

    Dangit. I had quoted too much and when I cut out what was unnecessary, I seem to have taken the greater than sign with it.

    Dangit.

  256. says

    The New York Police Department may be showing early signs of reforming its practices, but it still hasn’t come to terms with its image. In a PR gaffe that was seemingly predictable to everyone but the NYPD, the Department put out a call on Twitter for constituents to send positive photos about the Department’s work under the hashtag #myNYPD.

    Tweeters documented a litany of alleged encounters that ended withdetached retinas, a young black boy with a scarred face, and countless instances of beatings caught on camera:

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/04/23/3429744/heres-the-history-of-nypd-abuse-that-turned-its-pr-campaign-into-a-twitter-assault/

  257. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    johnlee, you have my sympathy. Alcoholism is a constant companion in my family and we have experienced its horrors. I wish you well, and hugs, and understanding.

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

    @johnlee:

    Thanks for trusting us with something so personal.

    I am very sorry for your loss, even if it happened 40 years ago.

  259. says

    Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy made a statement on live TV that he believes he lives in the “sovereign state of Nevada.” He went on to say that he doesn’t recognize the United States government as even existing.

    His own states laws and history contradict him … amply:

    […] Article 1, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution:

    “‘All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it. But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existence, and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.’ […]

    Two decades after Nevada’s founders proclaimed unswerving obedience to federal authority, Cliven Bundy’s family first settled the land where he and his supporters now make their heavily-armed stand against federal power. It’s doubtful even the Nevada Constitution will change their minds—if legal and constitutional arguments could persuade the militia movement, there might not be a militia movement.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/the-irony-of-cliven-bundys-unconstitutional-stand/360587/

    Cliven Bundy and his supporters are all over the “Constitution” but are apparently reading different constitutions, none of which resemble the actual U.S. Constitution, nor the Nevada constitution.

  260. rq says

    Giliell
    Middle Child is the same way – I can tell by how he walks in the door if he has eaten lunch or not. If he hasn’t eaten, he is unable to apply logic and is all Emotion; once he eats, he is once again his beautiful affectionate *blingbling* self.

  261. azhael says

    *spoiler alert*
    This may seem frivolous to some but since it says “you may discuss anything”..fuck it…i was just watching Orange Is The New Black and i´m quite happy about a scene in episode 12. In some of the episodes there are some commentaries of a liberal nature that are rather nice to see. There is also a subplot that involves a religious nutbag and the main character. In the 12 episode this leads to a scene where the main character even does a nice little atheistic speech (where even evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Christopher Hitchens are mentioned). In addition to that, it is not kind in how it presents the christian fundies, which is well deserved.
    It reminded me of the progress that has been made in the last decade to put atheism in the public eye and how much not just the american culture, but the world is changing as more and more people join the unbelieving camp.
    The examples of atheistic views being displayed in the media keep growing and judging by this particular example, they are getting substantially better. Anyone else seen it? What did you think of it?

  262. ajb47 says

    johnlee

    I fifth or sixth the condolences and sympathies everyone else is giving. They word it better than I would, though.

  263. says

    Rob Grigjanis @175

    Lynna @173: Paul Krugman writes about Piketty’s book here, and talks to Bill Moyers about it here.

    Thank you for those links. Piketty seems to be seriously getting on the nerves of right-wingers. They can’t stand the fact that he is reasonable, not a radical, and that he’s right.

    So, they have to tear him down. One of dunderheads PZ flagged as ruining the NY Times op-ed pages, Ross Douthat, has decided to brand Piketty as a Marxist. James Pethokoukis chimed in with the same charge on the National Review site.

    The rightwing hysteria is built around the idea tate free-market capitalism would not result in unfairness, would not result in undue income inequality. Piketty’s book shows that those very results are supported by the data. He shows a hundred different ways. The rightwing solution to this problem is not to read the book, but to demean Piketty anyway.

  264. rq says

    the flowers are out
    and i am starting to bloom
    in all the wrong parts

    Good night, all.
    And since it is already the 24th, a pre-emptive HBd to Dalillama, with a large stack of *hugs&cake&chocolate ballons* on top.

  265. says

    A blistering new report reveals the Benghazi terror attacks could have been prevented. The Citizen’s Committee on Benghazi claims the U.S. allowed $500 million in weapons to flow to Al Qaeda terrorists who opposed the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gadaffi, and their rise to power lead to the embassy attack two years ago that left four Americans dead. The commission concluding the attack was actually a failed kidnapping plot. The report says that Ambassador Chris Stevens was supposed to be captured and traded for the Blind Sheik, the mastermind of the 1993 world trade center bombing.

    That quote comes from co-host Ainsley Earhardt of Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/23/14. Media Matters link.

    Okay … Only trouble, dear friends at Fox & Friends, is that the report was written by birthers, anti-muslim activists, and Benghazi conspiracy theorist. In addition to having authors of dubious character and little integrity, the organization for which they wrote the report has a terrible reputation: “Accuracy in Media (AIM) Has A History Of Promoting Conspiracy Theories. The Citizens’ Committee on Benghazi is organized and supported by Roger Aronoff’s fringe conservative group Accuracy in Media (AIM). AIM is responsible for promoting many conspiracy theories over the years, and is also well-known for extreme anti-gay views and hate speech.”

    So, yeah, we are not done with Benghazi yet. And if this report fails to make enough rightwing waves, other Fox News hosts are following up with reports that call Hillary Clinton old and that suggest Hillary cannot be fixed up enough to make her presentable in 2016. “I don’t know how far back they can pull her face,” [said] Erick Erickson. Erickson is a Fox News contributor.

  266. says

    And … another favorite rightwing hobby horse bites the dust. Actually, Darrell Issa’s IRS “scandal” bit the dust a long time ago. But it is now biting the dust anew. New records show definitively that the IRS targeted more progressive groups than Tea Party groups. Issa just failed to release that information when he was trying to go after the Obama administration for supposedly directing the IRS to target Tea Party groups. Oops.

    […] The documents instructed the agents to forward any “organization involved with political, lobbying, or advocacy” applying for 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status be forwarded to “group 7822″ for additional review. Groups under both categories are limited in the amount of of lobbying and political activity each can undertake.

    See the nice chart at this link: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2014/04/23/3429722/irs-records-tea-party/
    Hey, the blue “Progressive” lines are bigger.

  267. raven says

    Thank you for those links. Piketty seems to be seriously getting on the nerves of right-wingers. They can’t stand the fact that he is reasonable, not a radical, and that he’s right.

    Yea!!! Glad to hear that.

    Piketty’s book, Capital is being described as the economics book for the next decade.

    Which is sort of like saying The Quantum Chemistry book for the next decade.

    I haven’t read it yet. It’s 700 pages. But am getting it soon. From what I can tell, his analysis is sound. His solutions aren’t so great though.

  268. carlie says

    azhael – I was conflicted about that scene. I agreed with everything she said, but the character of Piper annoys me so much that it just made me, well, annoyed. There was so much about it that was deserved, but the way she was so haughty about it, the way she is haughty about everything, left a bad taste in my mouth. I know you’re supposed to feel that way about that character, but gaaaa.

    (and have you seen the new official trailer for season 2? I CAN’T WAIT)

  269. raven says

    But am getting it (Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st century) soon.

    In your dreams Raven. LOL.

    My library has it on order. I thought to be clever putting a HOLD on it before it even came in. Which I did. I’m 30th in line.

    This has never happened before. Usually the line is like 1 or 2 HOLDS for a really popular book.

    The columnists might be right. This may well be the economics book for the next decade. And I’m going to come up with a plan B.

  270. raven says

    For those who are wondering what all the excitement is about. (For some values of excitement):

    1. Economic inequality has been increasing in the USA for over one half century. A lot.

    2. This isn’t a party issue either. It’s happened under both GOP and Democrats.

    3. And it is a serious problem. It’s known that highly inequal societies become politically unstable. We are becoming politically unstable. It doesn’t end well, either a vicious oligarchic totalitarian state or a revolution.

    Thomas Piketty shows that it is inevitable in a capitalistic society. The rate of return of capital exceeds the rate of economic growth. So slowly, money flows from the bottom up to the holders of capital, the 1%. Which is what is happening now and 50 years ago.

    Although it isn’t quite inevitable. Many societies manage to avoid it one way or another but they have actively address the issue.

  271. ajb47 says

    Re Piketty’s Capital:

    You folks have talked it up so well, I just bought it for my Nook. Since it was out of stock at both Amazon and B&N online. I doubt I’ll understand a lot of it, however.

  272. pHred says

    Thanks for the condolences over the student research projects.

    I spent the evening next door to a pack of Daisies (the youngest level of Girl Scouts) listening to them paint bottle caps green to make little turtles, and hearing my daughter announce things like “now I have paint on my elbow!” and “I got paint on my smock and my shirt! Again!” while they chattered. I was so cute! I am feeling a bit better now.

    OTOH – tomorrow I have to go in and explain to them all the things that were wrong with their posters, sigh. It is going to be unpleasant.

  273. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    I do love the study of economics, even if it’s “dismal.” I read a pretty remarkable blog called Worthwhile Canadian Initiative that’s written by five Canadian economics profs. I’m looking forward to a review of Piketty’s book there, although I’m going to buy the book anyway. I might buy a second copy for a friend of mine who is DRW (Decidedly Right Wing), just so we can get into some more heated arguments that end in beer and moose-tipping.

  274. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Oof. Long day. There was some mix up when my niece’s appointment was made, so that the ultrasound technician was not capable of doing an ultrasound of the quality capable of diagnosing the syndrome all of their offspring have a 50% chance of inheriting. A “fun” ultrasound was offered in apology for the time wasted, so there was confirmation that the fetus has female genitals, but nothing helpful healthwise at all.

    I’m not sure who all here remembers or not, but last year my niece had a stillbirth due to this syndrome affecting the fetus and she had to be hospitalized. It was sad for them to lose a wanted pregnancy, but also terrifying because we could have lost her. She can make whatever choices she wants to regarding her body and having more kids, but I just don’t want anything to happen to her.

    I think I’m going to go soak in the tub and eat ice cream. Probably not at the same time, though.

  275. carlie says

    I think I’m going to go soak in the tub and eat ice cream. Probably not at the same time, though.

    I see no reason not to do them at the same time.

  276. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, just got a phone call from my sister. Today is my birthday, tomorrow hers. Hadn’t heard from her for years. She’s talking facebook. Any suggestions and/or warnings?
    I seem to remember starting an account once, but stopped for some reason (like I had to set up a page).

  277. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think I’m going to go soak in the tub and eat ice cream. Probably not at the same time, though.

    Gr*g, lots of Gr*g (still working on my history of Gr*g, but not ready to publish).

  278. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I think I’m going to go soak in the tub and eat ice cream. Probably not at the same time, though.

    I see no reason not to do them at the same time.

    Convection.

  279. Dean Calahan says

    Heh. Hello everyone. I just noticed there was a G+ login thingie here. I mostly lurk. I used to post sometimes a while back, pseudonymously. Mostly inane blather and talk about food and other consumables. This blog and Charlie Stross’s, and my trickle of a stream on G+ are essentially my only social notworking. To the extent that lurking and self-important fern pix etc. constitute “social”.

  280. carlie says

    Convection.

    Depends on how fast you eat the ice cream. :) And whether you keep it outside the tub when not actively eating it.

    Child 2 did his first full shave tonight. He had a big issue with blades re: dexterity and trepidation, so we had to get him an electric razor. Seemed to do the trick. All the facial fuzz is now gone.

  281. says

    carlie
    I didn’t do my first full shave until I was in my mid-20s, as prior to that I hadn’t any facial hair. At all. Gillette did send me a razor on my 18th birthday, though (How they knew it was my birthday I’ve never figured out).

  282. Desert Son, OM says

    Been away for a bit with Much Stuff, behind on much in life, including Pharyngula and its wonderful visitors, but just dashing in quickly to say a quick few notes.

    Tony! at #122:

    Heartfelt condolences on the loss of your friend and in your grief, with support and buoying embraces if desired. *stands quietly with*

    ••••

    Crudely Wrott at #160:

    Cheers and joy! Hoping this finds you delightfully astonished at good things unfolding for the Wrotts!

    ••••

    Hypatia’s Girl at #184:

    Whether posting, lurking, rejoining, reacquainting, or reminiscing, welcome! Also, supportive wishes for you that initiatives and efforts in Georgia soon lead to the married marriage you desire! *stands with*

    Portia at #188:

    Condolences on the ending of a relationship, with support and hugs of empathy and hope if so desired. From your post at #199:

    But I did all I could do. That’s all you can do.

    Indeed. *stands quietly with*

    ••••

    Dalillama at #200 and subsequent:

    I wish I could help with your calculus woes, but the most advanced math I ever did was trigonometry and some statistics (the latter with much computer assistance) and I was never strong in it. Study and exam challenges aside, I hope this finds you well, and that your Weird West game is turning out to be even more awesome than the 25-pounds-in-a-5-pound-bag I originally estimated when you first mentioned some details some some time back.

    Since it may not be until Thursday when (if) you read this, a hearty happiest of happy birthday to you! It sounds like math struggles are weighing heavily, so I can only hope that a simple recognition of temporal addition on Thursday is accompanied by some good feeling, encouragement, well-wishes, well-loved food or drink, and cheers for many more beautifully experienced milestones in years to come.

    ••••

    johnlee at #355:

    Thank you for sharing that story and reflections. Condolences and support to you during this time of grief.

    ••••

    The Mellow Monkey at #386:

    Good wishes of encouragement and support for you, your family, and niece during this time.

    Nerd at #388:

    Happiest of happy birthdays to you, and also to your sister. Sadly, I cannot advise in re: Facebook as it is largely an unknown to me. Regardless, happy birthday, and I hope this finds you and The Redhead sharing loveliness.

    ••••

    Many cheerful greetings to rq, carlie, cicely, chigau, Crip Dyke, Ogvorbis, Lynna, Giliell, and all those that I have missed in this all-too-brief-and-insufficient catalog.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  283. says

    Hello all!
    Time to play a bit of catch up.
    First though…I thought this was very cool:

    http://www.outsideonline.com/news-from-the-field/New-App-is-Soundtrack-to-the-Earth.html

    Conceived by Purdue University professor and landscape ecologist Bryan Pijanowski, the Soundscape Recorder app lets you listen to the sounds of the earth. App users can record snippets of sound on their phones from anywhere in the world and share it with the Global Soundscape audience.

    “I’ve been on a campaign to record as many ecosystems as possible,” Pijanowski told Wired. “But there’s only so many places in the world I can be. I thought about how I could get more recordings into a database, and it occurred to me: We have a couple billion people on this planet with smartphones!”

    Once you record a sound using the recorder app, it is then uploaded to the Global Soundscapes database and website, where you can explore and listen to sounds using an interactive map. After recording, the user must answer a few questions about the sounds they heard and how they feel about them.

    You can’t browse the global sounds from the app, unfortunately. You have to visit the website.

  284. says

    Desert Son
    The game is going humorously. So far, the party has kidnapped someone to feed them to river zombies in an effort at vigilante justice (he was responsible for the death of one of them), shooting several of the zombies before realizing that there were really quite a lot of them. So they put up a sign that said “No Swimming, extreme hazard from the Walking Dead” and called it a night. The following day they left New Orleans bound for Nuevo Laredo. On the way they set fire to probably a few hundred square miles of scrubland in an effort to get rid of the evil prairie dogs (they failed, and will have to deal with them again when/if they go back east. They don’t know this yet; they think the problem is solved.) After a panicked flight caused by not having let their NPC allies know they were going to do this and giving them a chance to pack up camp before,/i> the prairie fire.
    When they arrived in Nuevo Laredo, they learned that people were behaving strangely after dark, including the mayor, doctor, and sheriff. So they proceeded to approach the sheriff, annoy him, shoot him in the leg, tie him up, blindfold and gag him, and then shove him into a rain barrel, where they left him overnight. They then went to the wrong doctor’s place to try to interrogate him (They went to the Chinese doctor, not the American one). While there, the one who was waiting outside saw someone (the mayor’s wife, although they didn’t know that at the time) draped in the same magical darkness as the sheriff, drugging one of the drovers who’d come with them, for some presumably nefarious purpose. So they knocked her down and tied her up, then took her inside while they tried an exorcism. It eventually worked, with the downside that it led to the mayor’s wife coming to tied up in an unknown place surrounded by strangers. When we last left our ‘heroes’, the one who shot the sheriff managed to get himself deputized (because he wasn’t actually seen the previous night), while one of the others has just kicked the sheriff in the leg and fled from kidnapping charges. Their employer will hit town, with the caravan they were meant to be scouting for, in about an hour, game time. He will be unamused. (The caravan also has a bloodthirsty were-jaguar in the attached circus, which they will undoubtedly find out to their dismay at some point, and the fiddler who was providing the entertainment is a perfectly ordinary, garden variety serial killer, with nothing supernatural about him whatsoever; I expect that will throw them for a loop.)

  285. says

    Hypatia’s Girl:
    Welcome (back) to the Lounge! Can I offer you a virtual alcoholic beverage?

    ****

    I wonder how thunk and doki (I think that was his nym) are doing…

    ****

    opposablethumbs @228:

    Portia, my honest opinion, fw little iw […]

    Personally, I value the opinions of pretty much all of you (that includes you my friend).

    ****
    from Lynna’s #341:

    [The bill] allows licensed owners to carry firearms into more public places than at any time in the past century, including churches, bars and government buildings that don’t have security checkpoints

    Hopefully if people choose to bring guns into churches, bars, and government buildings they’re responsible gun owners, rather than the much-more-ubiquitous irresponsible gun owners.
    Hmm, now that brings up the question of how responsible it is to even *bring* a gun to a church, bar, or government building….

  286. says

    I know we have Tpyos, but is there a god whom we give offerings of oops-I-failed-to-close-my-tags? (looks up at Dalillama :)

    ****

    johnlee @355:
    I’m so sorry for your loss. My condolences.
    No apologies necessary for sharing your story with us. We are an understanding and sympathetic bunch. Anytime you feel the need/desire to share your thoughts with someone, this space is always available.

    ****

    azhael @371:
    I don’t watch the show, but from what you say, it seems to reflect some of the positive changes in our culture (granted, those changes occur at a glacial pace, but that’s still progress)

    ****

    Dalillama:

    Gillette did send me a razor on my 18th birthday, though (How they knew it was my birthday I’ve never figured out).

    Once you accept Jebus Christ as your lord and savior, and welcome him into your home, your heart, and your mind, you’ll find that Yahweh has all the answers to life’s mysteries (including, but not limited to, how did Gillette know your birthday). Goddidit is always the answer.

  287. rq says

    I think I’m going to go soak in the tub and eat ice cream.

    I first read that as: I’m going to go soak in a tub of ice cream and I thought to myself, Why not?

    Hello, Desert Son!! Nice to see you again! I hope you are well and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.

    Nerd
    Facebook wants all your information, which it eats for breakfast lunch and all snacks in between (it has your soul for supper). You can set some privacy settings that allow certain people to see what you post or even see you at all, so there’s that, but it takes some tinkering.
    Husband is a Facebook newbie, and had accidentally set all his posts to be visible only to the group of friends associated with his work, and he kept wondering I didn’t see any of his posts. Just have to watch out for little things like that.
    I’m not comfortable with how much information FB tries to get out of me regularly, and my profile is still considered incomplete by Them (but hey, it’s got my name and my picture and ‘be nice’ in the religion category, so I’m good!), plus they throw advertising and clickbait around like mad. Good luck with the reconnection!

    Go Portia!! See? You’re amazing! I haven’t even gotten 2048. :) Go you!

  288. rq says

    Portia
    Just so you know, that was general Go Portia information. :) My top score is 4 right now.

  289. says

    rq:

    Facebook wants all your information, which it eats for breakfast lunch and all snacks in between (it has your soul for supper).

    That’s not a problem for anyone with more than one pair of shoes.
    (bolding mine)

  290. opposablethumbs says

    All the birthday wishes to Dalillama and belatedly to Nerd. I hope you have (had) cake and presents and the presence of loved ones.

  291. says

    rq
    Read that link
    It’s seriously heartbreaking (do not read when you need a cheerful message), but one of the best things I’ve ever read on the subject.

    +++
    Wow, the more I read about Pinker the more of an asshole he becomes…

  292. azhael says

    @379 Carlie

    I agree that the main character can be really annoying, but then again as you say, that´s what the character is designed to do. Personally i didn´t find that particular scene of hers to be haughty, i liked that it was the more or less explossive conclusion to having to endure the dangerously insane fundie…that she tried to comply and fake interest so as not to anger the monster but eventually she got fed up and outright stated just how fucking ridiculous the religious ideas are and that even if she wanted to she simply couldn´t believe something that preposterous and silly.
    I didn´t agree 100% with every word xD (there is a platitude about the desirability of the comfort provided by religion) but i think it might have been the single best atheistic moment i´ve seen in a non-animation tv-series. Usually it all seems to be going well and you start to think you are actually going to see atheism represented accurately until someone says something that fucks it all up (as so often happens in Family Guy, South Park…)…but this time all i have are minor quibbles :P
    The series is by no means perfect, but as well as being enjoyable, it has plenty i really like, not just the atheistic subplot but also possitive exposure to LGBT characters, ridiculization of patriarchal/mysoginistic arseholes…oh, and of course, Natasha Lyonne.

  293. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hi Giliell!
    Not trying to compound the question, but what is the cause of the reading problem? Are we talking cognitive issues etc? Also: are we talking screen or print?
    Arial, for instance, was created so that a certain large software company didn’t have to pay royalties to a certain type company – it is a bastardisation of Helvetia and Grotesque (if I remember properly).
    Verdana and Georgia, on the other hand, were created to address readability on screen (ironically commissioned by the same software company – atoning for thier typeface sins maybe…)

  294. says

    gobi’s Sockpuppet
    Ehm, the question is more: “If you’re preparing a worksheet for students, what fonts should you use so that people with reading issues don’t have a hard time”
    I remember that I read that things without serifs are good, like Arial (and Comic Sans, but I can never use that and take myself serious)

  295. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hi again Giliell
    The serif or not argument was for screen use as computer monitors didn’t (until recently) have the resolution to render them properly – they became blocky and made the typeface harder to read.
    The general guideline was to use serifs fonts for print and san-serif for screen.
    Verdana was designed for screen with this in mind – it also has a large ‘x height’ (think of the height of a lower case x) so that the ‘counters’ ( think of the hole in an ‘o’ ) don’t close up at small sizes.
    Georgia was designed as a screen readable serif font.
    I can’t really give much advice on the print side of things – there are specific easy reader fonts and even fonts designed for those with dyslexia ( though I don’t know how successful they are)

    If you want an easy solution for both print and screen with a typeface you probably already have, I would go for Verdana over Arial. Try Georgia if it is more for print than screen.

    Comic sans is an easy read typeface … but…. yeah… what you said. :)

    Hope this helps!

  296. opposablethumbs says

    Hi Giliell,

    I haven’t got it to hand or anything, but I think I remember the UK Dyslexia Society having some info on this kind of issue. Worth a quick look online maybe, or see what you think of this:
    http://opendyslexic.org/
    (it’s a free font, they just ask for attribution).

    No idea if this is useful for other types of reading difficulties, though.
    ::waves from Blighty::

  297. bassmike says

    Still catching up after the long weekend.

    Commiserations to Tony ,Hypatia’s Girl (and welcome), Johnlee and Portia . Sorry I’m a little late.

    Great news Crudely . I’m glad to hear that things a going well.

    Happy Birthday to those who qualify. It was my daughter’s birthday yesterday too – she was two. We went to the zoo (ooh rhyming!). She enjoyed herself. However, she has developed a huge dislike for furry animals at close quarters. She’s fine when they’re at a distance. But when they are close and especially when they run past, she freaks out. This was confirmed when we visited friends with cats! We’re trying to think of ways to help her, but if anyone has any suggestions I’d be grateful to hear them

  298. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Yesterday, my mother became homeless again. Her friends that she was staying with were going into her room and stealing/breaking her stuff. So she got a lock. (she is paying rent and all that.) Well, while she was out during the day, they broke down the door. There was a giant fight about it and they told her to get the fuck out immediately. She found a storage space and moved her stuff into it. She’s coming over today to visit and leave the pets until she finds a place. She has the money now, we were suppose to move into a place together after the school year ends to get away from my Ex. Obviously, plans have changed.

    She called in the early afternoon yesterday and was talking about getting a place with her Husbad, she’s seperated from. I told her if she did that we wouldn’t be moving with her. I can’t do that to Little One. No matter how far we moved it wouldn’t be safe. Instead of just being careful about my Fuckface Ex, it’d just be a countdown til her Fuckface Husband loses it again. He’s gone off his meds and on drugs so many times now. I can’t put my daughter in a situation that can easily make us homeless abuse victims tomorrow.

    Well, she started crying and said she had to go. It was later that she called and told me about being homeless again. I feel awful about getting loud with her. It’s just so hard because she’s in denial about him.

    It was almost midnight when she called again and apologized for missing my b-day. She thought it was today because Little One’s b-day is the 24th. She gets mixed up easily because of her medical issues.

    I wish she’d forgotten like everyone else. I hate my b-day. Not because “OMG I’m a woman getting older!” crap society expects, but because it’s just another year wasted in this struggle. I hate it. Reflecting back on everything, the least depressing fact of my life is that I’ve been able to stay in an apartment for 3 years instead of shelters. But it’s been subsidized by the Horde and Roomie. It’s not like I’ve been doing anything. I can barely fucking walk places.

    yaaaaaay. another fucking year….

    *sigh*

  299. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Thank you all.

    Wow, reading back on that I made it all about myself. That sounds really bad, but I’m just venting. It’s not like I’m making Roomie or Mom listen to my fuck my b-day rants. It’s only the topic when Mom brings it up and she brings it up because she’s excited about it. She wants to do cupcakes or something when she comes over and do a project with Little One.

    Sorry everyone.

  300. chigau (違う) says

    JAL
    You know you are always welcome to vent here.
    Especially if it can help ease tensions in meat-space.

  301. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Hi JAL
    I’m new here (at least in terms of unlurking) but I wanted you to know that I understand your frustration and pain. My situation is not the same as yours, but the pain is very similar.
    For whatever it is worth, you have my support and love, from one human being to another.

  302. opposablethumbs says

    JAL, I’m so sorry. I wish you hugs and chocolate, and if venting here gives you even the least scrap of relief then I’m glad that you should do so.

  303. blf says

    Dean Calahan, Welcome! The grog is someover wheres there (pointing in the general direction of his left, roof, and some of floor inbetween), and peas should be safely disposed of in some other Universe.

    I used to post sometimes a while back…, [m]ostly inane blather and talk about food and other consumables.

    Eh? Is there something else to piss, I mean paste, I mean phish, er, write about? Weird…

    (Slides gently off the floor whilst reaching to his right for the firkin of grog near the middle foot…)

  304. says

    Urgh. My stomach is either disagreeing violently with something I ate, or my ulcer’s flaring up, or maybe I’ve got some kind of flu again, which means I’m missing class, because I’m in no fit state to ride a bike. For extra fun, it turns out that there was homework due today that I didn’t do yet because it’s usually not due until Tuesday. So now I get to fall even further behind in calc; going to look up the khan academy videos someone recommended later on here, but I’m still missing class, having late homework, and losing more score; this is not going to do any goddamn thing at all for my GPA, glad it’s pretty high as of now.

  305. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    This was on the radio this morning while I drove in to work:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/is-fetal-tissue-from-b-c-used-to-power-oregon-homes-1.2620375

    In brief: Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has a contract to ship all of our biowaste (which includes some human tissue such as amputated parts) to a waste-to-electricity facility in Oregon. Some of the biowaste also includes fetal tissue from miscarriages and abortions. The two commissioners who oversee the facility are Christian pro-lifers, and have put the brakes on.

  306. blf says

    Child 2 did his first full shave tonight.

    Beardless heathen! Next you be telling us he does something even stranger like, oh, wearing clothes or something. Or wondering across the lawn…

  307. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    I tried shaving with a straight razor once. I think I was 18. I was lucky I made it to 19.

  308. blf says

    Dalillama, Yer not suppose to eat the Calculus textbook, no matter how tempting it seems to chop it up into tiny bits, then sauté them in butter with garlic, MUSHROOMS!, and a dash of port.

    You should instead stick it in a noodle- or bacon-slicer and then make Tempura.

  309. opposablethumbs says

    Ugh, Dalillama – sorry you’re crook, mate. Hope you feel better soon, and manage to catch up.

  310. says

    The Koch brothers fund Americans for Prosperity. This conservative political advocacy group is spending about $35 million on TV ads the purport to show that Obamacare negatively affects most Americans.

    The claims in the ads are false. Here’s a good summary of the lies, along with ample fact-checking.

    Democrats have about $40 million to spend on mid-term elections. The National Republican Congressional Committee has about $31 million. This means the Kock brothers’ AFP is as big a player as the two political parties.

    The worst factor in all this is that the AFP ads are not just presenting another viewpoint, not just arguing their case. They are deceptive in the extreme. One example. They are presenting an alternate reality to conservative.

    How to create offensive and deceptive ads: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-line-even-the-kochs-afp-cant-cross

  311. azhael says

    @430 David

    Caeciliaaaan cotillioooons! xDD
    Thank you SO MUCH for that link….i´d kiss you in the forehead if i could and you consented to.
    I´m going to add this one to my list of zoological songs, next to the Amphioxus song :)
    One of my C.pyrrhogaster was staring at the video from his aquarium. I think he aproves of this worthy song for his legless lyssamphibian brethren.

    Two hundred species…i wish there were a billiooooon….*happy whistling*

  312. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Dear Horde,
    I could use some help. I was having a conversation with a good friend on the legalization of same-sex marriage. She is a forceful sort, which I am not, and my cognitive/analytic skills are not what I’d like them to be. She agreed that full legalization of same sex unions is good and proper, but also claimed that all polygamous unions should also be legal. I am instinctively against this because historically such unions have been religiously mandated and that they have reinforced the patriarchy.

    What next? Do you think that polygamous marriages will eventually become legal? Should they, or should they not, and why?

    Thanks for your help.

  313. rq says

    wondering across the lawn

    *wonders about this*

    The world needed more caecilians, and the world provided. Hooray!

    Ugh, I’m so terrible lately. Welcome in / Welcome back to the more recent (re)additions to the Lounge. Honestly, I’ll have to do something about this ladybrain of mine.

  314. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I could use some help. I was having a conversation with a good friend on the legalization of same-sex marriage. She is a forceful sort, which I am not, and my cognitive/analytic skills are not what I’d like them to be. She agreed that full legalization of same sex unions is good and proper, but also claimed that all polygamous unions should also be legal. I am instinctively against this because historically such unions have been religiously mandated and that they have reinforced the patriarchy.

    What next? Do you think that polygamous marriages will eventually become legal? Should they, or should they not, and why?

    I don’t have a strong opinion on whether polygamous marriages will become legal, but they certainly present a LOT of objective problems (next of kin decisions, just for one) that gender-neutral, two-person marriages don’t, so it’s really not sensible to equate them. Adam Lee has a longer article about it here, confusingly titled with reference to Polyamory rather than Polygamy.

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

    morgan,

    I am instinctively against this because historically such unions have been religiously mandated and that they have reinforced the patriarchy.

    As has plain old heterosexual marriage, so I don’t see that as a good enough reason against legalizing polygamous marriages.

    But I also wouldn’t mind turning marriage into a contract between a number of people that makes it possible for them to have some legal rights and obligations in relation to the other(s). Be it a marriage between a poly threesome, two best friends or someone and their second cousin, once removed.

  316. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Morgan @440:

    Up here in British Columbia, Canada, we’ve had our own problems with polygamous sects. (Google “Bountiful, B.C.” for some background.) Having said that, my thinking is that polygamy or polyandry or polywhatever are probably just fine for what they are. It’s the existing framework of patriarchy that permits the horrifying abuses within.

    From my limited understanding of what’s been going on in Bountiful, young women, some as young as 14, are married to much older men who essentially have a harem of wives. Boys who are coming of age in Bountiful are sent into exile from the community, because the few older men who run the town don’t want competition for the young brides-to-be.

    So my answer would be that poly-whatever would be fine outside of the framework of patriarchy. How we go about ensuring that is probably worth considering.

  317. says

    Morgan
    I can’t see any ethical case for not allowing more than two people to enter into a marriage arrangement subject to all the usual caveats re: consenting adults ( the problematic instances to which you refer being, of course cases where age/consent are disregarded). As Beatrice notes, though, examples of exactly this type of problem in monogamous heterosexual marriages in places where toxic patriarchy is insufficiently restrained by law.
    From a legal perspective, plural marriages are considerably more complex than same-sex marriages between two people. The latter can use the existing legal framework wholesale, removing only references to the sex or gender of the parties involved (which ought to be done anyway, so there’s that). Azkyroth alludes to some of the complications that would arise with more than two people, although I personally suspect that corporate law, particularly the types governing partnerships and co-ops, could be adapted to cover most of it, and the rest would simply have to be specified in individual marriage contracts. I’m in favor, personally.

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

    Of course there would be complications.
    Person gets hit by a car, ends up on machines. One husband/wife wants to pull the plug, the other doesn’t. What to do? (I have no idea)

    But take the same situation where only two of those people are married. Husband/wife can do whatever they want, legally, other partner doesn’t even have a chance if they can’t agree. Admittedly, it might be better if they can’t turn this into a bloodbath of court battles as the above mentioned couple could, but it sure isn’t simple either way.

    Life is complicated. And it sucks.
    (wow, I think I got up on the pessimist side of the bed this morning (my bed it next to the wall, so I always get up on the same side of the bed, so…. it ain’t funny if I have to explain it, I guess))

  319. blf says

    Having now returned from a rather nice — BUUUURRRRRRPP!!1! — dinner, I was reminded that a Very Good way to prepare Calculus textbooks is to mash them, boil in broth (chicken, buffalo, or if you can get it, alligator), mix with chives, cheese, cream, and salsa, and serve. Remove any strings. The glue makes a nice sauce, and the staples add a tangy, extra sharp, zest, perfectly complementing the salsa.

    A Californian Zinfindal works quite well, as do various stouts and Trappist Ales. Serve with Garlic Nan bread.

  320. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Dear Horde,

    I knew you would come through. Thanks everyone who has responded. You’ve helped me tremendously in clarifying my own thinking on poly unions. Especial thanks to Azkyroth for the link to Adam Lee’s article.

    My brain is the equivalent of old cold oatmeal today. My various physical maladies often render the brain worse than useless.

    I agree that on moral grounds there is no reason to prohibit plural marriages, but on legal grounds it would be a nightmare without a great deal of further legislation. And currently our benighted country seems not at all able to legislate much fairly or sensibly.

    I believe the prospect of legal plural marriage will at some point become politically volatile. It will be interesting to see who weighs in on either side of the argument.

    Big thanks.

  321. says

    Dean Calahan @392:
    Welcome. Feel free to comment or not comment as you see fit. In the past, some lurkers have expressed a desire not to intrude upon conversations in The Lounge, opting instead to simply read and not comment. Of course that’s completely fine, but I’d like to point out that we do have multiple lines of conversation going on at any given time, and that anyone is free to jump right in. It’s not an intrusion in the slightest, as this space is open to all, and I hope-and think-we Lounge denizens are doing a good job of making new commenters feel welcome.

    ****

    Potentially cool new site (with a name that PZ might find appealing):
    http://laughingsquid.com/

    Some highlights from that site-
    BULBING:

    “BULBING is a 2D LED lamp from Studio Cheha with 3D wife-frame images carved onto 5mm-thick acrylic glass in such a way as to create the optical illusion of depth.”

    A 3D medical cast prototype called ‘Osteoid’

    Osteoid is a 3D-printed medical cast prototype by designer Deniz Karasahin that uses ventilation holes to provide access for use of a low-intensity pulsed ultrasound system in order help heal fractured bones up to 38% faster. The design won Karasahin a Golden A’ Design Award in the 3D Printed Forms and Products category.

    I don’t like guns, but these high speed photos of bullets cutting through drops of water are coooooool.

    My favorite! Illustrated silhouettes of superheroes representing their past and present.

  322. says

    The queer shoop haz a sad :(
    This lovely screen print of Buffy the Vampire Slayer by artist Craig Drake IS SOLD OUT.

    On a related note, for anyone who clicks on the link, I’m having trouble figuring out if Drake’s image of Buffy is sexualized. I know that images of women in our culture are-on the whole-sexually objectifying, but I think I’m more accustomed to the overt examples. How does this image rate? Is it helpful to substitute a man in place of a woman in images to assist in figuring out how sexualized they are?

  323. ajb47 says

    Tony @451 re Buffy print

    I can understand why you might haz a sad. And, as a hetero male, I do think this might be less overt than most examples, but she does seem to be wearing a Little Black Dress to go hunting vampires. And there is something about the way her hips are set. Still, I second your questions. Always willing to learn to look at things I’m missing.

  324. ajb47 says

    Also, I should have clicked on that link to the superheroes earlier. Those are fantastic! (See what I did there?)

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

    I would say yes, sexualized.

    Look at the protrusion of her butt. It’s way disproportional to that of the actual actor playing Buffy (why does her name slip my mind right now? I can remember Alyson Hannigan…).

    You’re right that this sexualization is relatively mild compared to what we see in most images of women celebrities, but I think it’s clearly there.

    Compare it with the image of Vasquez on the same page, though, and you see that the artist isn’t incapable of doing non-sexualized images.

    A more complicated discussion is about Buffy, Vasquez, queer phobia, misogyny, straight men’s fear of powerful women, and how these two characters are portrayed.

    Buffy, in fiction land, kicks butt using superpowers and stays sexy. Vasquez, in a movie that gets its power to terrify by being frighteningly possible, is a more realistic character who uses skill and technological weaponry to kick ass, but is entirely desexualized. She’s not hit on by men. She’s not hit on by Sigourney Weaver. She’s not hit on by Bishop. She doesn’t hit on anyone. The director doesn’t have her take any gratuitously sexy poses.

    Is it acceptable that physically powerful warriors, when portrayed realistically, cannot be both women and sexy…they can be realistically powerful men warriors and be sexy. They can be unrealistically powerful women warriors and be sexy. But powerful warriors who are women cannot be both realistic and sexy – as if our culture simply isn’t ready to believe that such women even theoretically *could* exist, several hundred years in our future.

    And yet. don’t we need women characters that are powerful – in any sense – and non-sexualized? Does this pattern make sexualization of Vasquez in any way desirable on the part of those interested in social justice?

    I don’t think so. I think Vasquez merely calls attention to how relentless this phenom is in media, but that we don’t need a bad-ass Vasquez mobbed in a bar by devoted admirers of whom V picks a select, scantily-clad few to take back to a hotel room during leave. I think, in fact, that we need a lot more non-sexualized powerful women to make such a Vasquez even possible.

    And yet, the very fact that straight men seem terrified of a sexual Vasquez makes me wonder if there would be a positive purpose served by such a character in a mega-hit movie.

    **If** I believed that such a Vasquez would start a necessary discussion about straight men’s fear of such a character and our culture’s general sense that such a character isn’t “believable” or “realistic”, then I think it might actually be worth having one more sexualized role played by a woman.

    It bothers me that I don’t have faith our culture is even ready for the discussion.

  326. says

    ajb47
    Actually, I’m fairly certain that’s meant to be a tank top and close fitting jeans. I say this because I distinctly recall the character wearing exactly that on many occasions in the show. I’d swear I’ve seen her in that pose or one much like it on a poster for the show as well although I can’t find it now (of course that means more levels of objectification, not less). That, of course, says nothing about the degree of sexual objectification, which there’s definitely some. The Leia picture is definitely higher on the scale of sexual objectification, I’d say. The Ghost and Vasquez ones are much better, though. (Those are all from promo posters too)
    CD

    But powerful warriors who are women cannot be both realistic and sexy – as if our culture simply isn’t ready to believe that such women even theoretically *could* exist, several hundred years in our future.

    This is one thing I really appreciated about Zoe from Firefly; she is all about kicking ass, taking names, and generally being an all around badass, but she gets to have a romantic life too.

  327. ajb47 says

    Crip Dyke

    I like your comment, a lot, but I wonder at your statement that the Vasquez print isn’t sexualized. Shoulders back, back arched? Am I looking too closely? Am I just not understanding the body position needed to hold that big honking gun in the correct way?

    Again, still trying to learn. I have a daughter and a son I’d like to raise to be better than I am/was.

  328. says

    ajb47
    I can’t speak for CD, I would be inclined that way myself. That’s a big fucking gun, and speaking as someone who’s not that large, you kind of have to stand that way to balance big shit like that (Jenette Goldstein, who plays Vazquez, is 5’2″, and that gun is 4′ plus*, for scaling purposes).

    * the IMFD says it was modified from a German M42, which has a listed length of 4 feet.

  329. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ooooh, I’m apparently the gatekeeper! I wonder what special powers I get…

    *a member of the Pullet Patrol™ spins the special powers wheel*

    Let’s see, a six month supply of bacon sammiches, ditto for grog or swill to down the sammiches, and a free trip to the train/locomotive museum Ogvorbis works at. If you walk there….*wtf?*

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

    Yeah, I’m on it, Tony!.

  331. says

    For those who may be able to assist on the calculus front, I find myself stymied once again. It appears that for f(x)=3x^2-7, f'(x)=3. This was somehow obtained (apparently), with the equation lim x->a f(x)-f(a)/x-a. I remain unable to work out where I’m supposed to get the extra variable from or what I’m supposed to do with it.

  332. ajb47 says

    Dalillama

    What textbook is your class using? Author and edition. And I forget, it’s Calc One, correct? Some of this latest problem seems to leak into integrals, which is where I get left behind.

  333. says

    I don’t know a thing about calculus, but I’m happy there are people who do, and are willing to help you out Dalillama. Go Horde!

    ****
    http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2014/04/company-defends-fangirls-t-shirt-claims-double-standards/

    Most businesses caught up in a social-media firestorm over a product might’ve issued an apology or hunkered down and quietly waited for the controversy to pass, but not Tankhead Custom Tees.

    The Murrieta, California-based company was thrust into the spotlight this week after a photo taken at WonderCon Anaheim of one of its T-shirt designs — “I Like Fangirls How I Like My Coffee […] I Hate Coffee” — was posted on Twitter, drawing intense criticism from fans and creators alike. Allison Baker, MonkeyBrain Comics co-founder and a CBR columnist, pointed to the image as an example of “what chauvinism looks like,” while writer Greg Rucka unleashed his fury on both the person selling the shirt and those who support its sentiment: “What in the name of everlovingfuck is the matter with you?”

    In a Facebook post responding to “some bad word on our fan girl shirt,” Tankhead insists “a certain few bloggers” who have accused the company of sexism “completely ignored our other variant shirt on display or didn’t even bother to ask our take on it.” The statement is accompanied by a photo of a similar T-shirt that replaces “Fangirls” with “Fanboys.”

    Here is the link to the Tankhead FB page. Their response:

    So, we’ve apparently received some bad word on our fan girl shirt, with accusations of sexism being thrown at us from a certain few bloggers…

    …who have completely ignored our other variant shirt on display or didn’t even bother to ask our take on it.

    Apparently it’s only sexism if it is insulting to one gender. Woo double standards.

    Anyways, the fangirl/fanboy shirts can best be explained like this: fangirls/boys =/= fans. Fans are people who like and genuinely respect a fandom, and it’s creators. Fangirls/boys are like those who have an unhealthy obsession who make us all collectively cringe in pain at what they do to the things we love.

    No one should ever defend these kinds of people. Seriously, they make the rest of us look bad.

    oh and fyi: the ones who bought the shirt design, the fangirl one in particular, half were girls who bought it.

    Some of the comments are good (unlike YouTube comments).

    Here is Greg Rucka’s response.

    So, I saw that bullshit piece of shit “joke” t-shirt that managed to insult not only women, not only those of us who call coffee the Black Bean of Life, not only men (via the fact that it was created by an individual with a penis who thinks said piteous appendage allows him the right to tar the rest of us with the same brush), not only fandom, not only, dammit, people with an ounce of decency and who understand that a sense of humor is viable only when it enlightens, entertains, and instructs, rather than demeans and diminishes, and yes, I’ve been thinking about this pretty much all day, why do you ask?

    And that sets me on a burn, anyway, but I’m running hot because, you see, I am the father of a daughter, and she is my light, and she shines, and I want for her every-fucking-thing she desires, and I want those things for her earned, not given; I want for her the reward of effort. I want for her inclusion. I want for her validation. I want for her a world that recognizes her worth as a human being

    I suddenly have the urge to go buy more of Rucka’s books.

  334. says

    More of Greg Rucka’s righteous response:

    And some asshole thinks selling a shirt that, essentially, says, GURLS STAY OUT is funny. He’s talking to my wife. He’s talking to my daughter. He’s talking to my friends. He’s talking to my fans. He’s talking to some of the best writers in the industry, some of the most gifted artists, some of the most talented creators in the arts.

    GURLS STAY OUT. Heh heh heh.

    Fucking mouthbreather.

    Fake geek girl? This is still a thing? Rape threats because a woman has the temerity to point out flaws in a grievously flawed cover? Bullshit arguments about inclusiveness being overdone, overrated, that we don’t need it?

    So, yeah, this is directed at the guys, and you know who you are. Odds are you’re the ones who’d never read this in the first place, but that’s not going to stop me. You, yes, you. Come here. Listen.

    What in the name of everlovingfuck is the matter with you? Are you simply stupid? Are you just ignorant? Are you broken? Newsflash: you are owed NOTHING. Not a thing. Not a goddamn thing. This fandom, that fandom, guess what? It doesn’t belong to you.

    You don’t own it. You partake in it. It’s called community.

    You want something to be your thing, make a club, build a tree-fort, and do us a favor. Don’t come down.

    Next time you think of opening your damn mouth to talk about “the women” or “their agenda” or fake geek anything, if nothing else, know this: I am listening, and I am taking names, because you are, in part, talking about my daughter.

    You are talking about my friends.

    You are talking about my colleagues.

    You are talking about those people I am fortunate enough to count as fans of my work.

    And you do not get to talk about them that way.

    Especially my daughter.

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

    Rucka and I have been linked in the past, quite closely, though I don’t mean to imply we were friends. Just deeply involved in some of the same things, and interacting thereby. I wish I could say more, but what I can say is that it was a joy.

    Portland, I miss you.

    PS: Buy Whiteout, the first of his books. He didn’t have the money to do a full color book, so he thought about how to make an asset out of black-and-white printing. It was amazing. Apparently he had a genuine interest in some of the topics that came out, and in the setting, but it was money constraints that led him to choose these particular things to put it all together in one package…and the constraint fired his creativity. It’s an awesome book (though the sequel wasn’t as good, IMHO).

    Really. It’s like the constraints of the sonnet form that brought out Shakespeare’s genius: sometimes your limits are your best friends.

  336. Rob Grigjanis says

    Dalillama

    Ah, if it’s 3x -7 that makes sense.

    The derivative f′(x) can be defined by the limit as a –> x of

    (f(a) – f(x))/(a – x)

    ‘a’ is just a dummy variable. For this problem;

    f(a) – f(x) = 3a – 7 – 3x +7 = 3(a – x)

    So the (a – x) cancels out, and f′(x) = 3

    ——————————————————————————-

    If f(x) were 3x² – 7, you’d have

    f(a) – f(x) = 3a² – 7 – 3x² +7 = 3(a – x)(a + x)

    where we made use of (a² – x²) = (a – x)(a + x)
    So

    (f(a) – f(x))/(a-x) = 3(a + x)

    The limit as a–>x is just 6x.

  337. says

    Bryan Singer has been accused of sexual assault:

    Singer was sued Wednesday in Hawaii by Michael Egan III, who alleges that in 1999, when he was 17, the filmmaker gave him alcohol and drugs, including cocaine, Xanax and Rohypnol, and forcibly sodomized him at estates in Los Angeles and Kailua, Hawaii.

    Appearing Thursday at a press conference with his attorney Jeff Herman, Egan said his mother first reported the abuse to the Los Angeles Police Department when he was 17, but “It basically fell on deaf ears and I basically buried it deep within me.” According to Variety, the 31-year-old plaintiff said he came forward now after he quit drinking two years ago and, more recently, entered a program for trauma therapy.

    Although some, including Singer’s attorney, have questioned the timing of the lawsuit, given the fast-approaching premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s important to point out that in April 2012 Hawaii amended its statute of limitations for child sexual abuse civil cases, opening a two-year window to file complaints involving incidents that occurred many years earlier. That opportunity ends April 24.

    The filmmaker’s attorney, Marty Singer, called the accusations against his client “completely without merit” and “completely fabricated,” saying, “We look forward to our bringing a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr. Egan and his attorney after we prevail.”

  338. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    [Strolls into the Lounge]

    O.O

    CALCULUS!!!!

    [Runs away screaming]

  339. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Dalilama: I think the basic problem you’re having is that the way calculus, differentiation in particular, is taught in MATH ### classes is orthogonal to the way humans and other non-mathematicians think, and in particular to the way everyone who actually uses calculus to do work that isn’t academic mathematics understands it. The way it’s taught involves deltas and epsilons and makes no gopherdammed* sense whatsoever. The way I actually learned to do it was the conjunction of two things: an intuitive explanation of what a derivative actually is, and memorizing rules for how to apply them. I wrote this out for you, and I hope it isn’t talking down to you. There’s actually a straightforward solution to this particular problem at the end, but the rest might be helpful for context.

    First, the expression you have would be better written as “lim[x->a] (f(x)-f(a))/(x-a)”. Think of f(x) and f(a) as Y values on an X-Y graph of an equation. A derivative is the amount at which Y changes in response to a change in X. For example, for the equation “Y=3″, Y is “3” everywhere on the line; it doesn’t change, no matter what the value of x is, so the derivative of Y with respect to X (written as “dy/dx” in the future) is 0. For a linear equation, like Y=3x+7, every increase of 1 in X causes Y to increase by 3, so the derivative of Y with respect to X is 3, everywhere on the graph.

    You’ll probably notice that in this case the derivative of the expression 3x=7 is the same as the “slope” of the graph. In fact, you can take any two points on the graph, and measure the change in Y, and the change in X, between them, and have the slope. However, you can’t really take the “slope” of a curved graph, like your example of 3x^2 – 7, in the same way. In fact, “derivatives” in most cases, including I believe the original ones, are an extension of the concept of “slope” to graphs that aren’t straight. You can’t find the slope of the graph of an actual curve because it’s not the same at every point in the graph, the way it is with a straight line graph like “Y=3″ or “Y=3x+7″; the change in Y between 1 and 2 for “Y=3x^2 – 7″ is 9 (from -4 to 5), but from 2 to 3 it’s 15 (from 5 to 20). In fact, the slope is different at every x point than at every other x point (at least on one side of the vertex).

    This should suggest that while we can’t take the slope as “a number” like with the linear example, or as 0 like with the other examples, maybe we can find an expression for the rate of change of Y with respect to X at any given point, that depends on the value of x at that point. One thing we could do is break the x axis up into segments and take the slope of a line drawn between the Y values of the endpoints of each segment and report it separately, this wouldn’t be perfect, but it’d be closer than taking the slope of a line between two distant points on the graph. In fact, the smaller the segments are, the better our approximation will be. But we can’t make that approximation perfect, because a perfect approximation would require segments of zero width, which makes us divide by 0.

    Now let’s look at the expression they gave you. Ignore the “limit” part for a moment; the expression “(f(x) – f(a))/(x-a)” may seem opaque at first, but it’s formulated almost like an average. “f(x)” means “the output of the function f for a given input, x” and is equivalent to “Y” in the “Y=3x^2 – 7″ form. To put it another way, “x” in “f(x)” means “the x coordinate of the point along the x axis you’re looking at right now” and thus “f(a)” is not another variable, but rather “a different point along the x axis than the one you’re looking at right now.” Thus, f(x) – f(a)/(x-a) is just the slope of a straight line connecting the x point you’re looking at right now, and Some Other X Point. It’s an approximation to the slope of the graph at that point, but it’s probably a bad approximation, unless we make the distance between “x [of the moment]” and “a” very small. That’s where the “limit” comes in: as we pick “x” values of the moment that are closer and closer to “a”, the slope of the line between the Y values at x and a gets closer and closer to the true slope of the graph. Of course, if x = a, we get division by zero again. This is why the “limit” process is important: it allows us to have “x-a” become smaller and smaller, until it becomes infinitesimal – smaller than literally any other number you can compare it to, but not actually 0, thus giving us essentially the benefits of a zero-width segment without the “undefined” costs. This is something I’m used to seeing expressed as “lim[h->0] (f[x+h]-f[x])/(h), where h is equivalent to x-a in the form you were given; this is usually given as the formal definition of a “derivative” where deltas and epsilons aren’t involved.

    Now, how we apply it here: for this problem, f(THING) = 3(THING)^2 – 7. The expression lim[x->a] (f(x) – f(a))/(x-a) is best interpreted as the derivative of f with respect to the variable x at point x=a, which I’ll write as “f'(a)” for the next few lines.

    So, f(x) = 3x^2 – 7, f(a) = 3a^2 – 7, and (f(x)-f(a))/(x-a) = ((3x^2 – 7) – (3a^2 – 7))/(x-a).

    Of course, since we have a “-7″ in each of those inner parentheses, we can cancel them both, leaving us with f'(a) = (3x^2 – 3a^2)/(x-a). (As a side note, f'(x) is one of several ways of writing “the derivative of f with respect to x”).

    We can then factor the 3 out, giving us f'(a) = 3(x^2-a^2)/(x-a).

    Now, from precalc we should remember that a^2 – b^2 can be factored as (a – b)(a + b), which means that (x^2 – a^2) divided by (x-a) = (x + a). So f'(a) = 3(x+a).

    Now the limit part: as “x” gets closer and closer to “a”, 3(x+a) gets closer and closer to 3(a + a), or 6a. In other words, the derivative of f with respect to variable x at point x=a is 6*a, and since a is merely an arbitrary value of x (point on the x axis), this means it’s true everywhere. In the general case, f'(x) = 6x.

    …however, after about four or five weeks from now, you will probably have memorized the rule that the derivative of a polynomial term: that is, a term in an expression which has the form of ax^b, where a and b are constants (not necessarily integers) and x is a variable, is equal to (b*a)x^(b-1) – you multiply the constant coefficient of x by the exponent of x and knock the exponent down one. Hopefully that’s a little encouraging.

    *the gophers think they’re beavers. THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD D:

    …unless that metaphor somehow has racist implications. >.>

  340. Rob Grigjanis says

    Azkyroth @481:

    The way it’s taught involves deltas and epsilons and makes no gopherdammed* sense whatsoever.

    Makes a hell of a lot more sense when a blackboard is handy, i.e. with pictures.

  341. says

    Azkyroth #481
    Thank you for that, it makes sense to me, but it still leaves me wondering what the entire fuck is up with my calculus textbook, and where they got the answer ‘3’ from. Because this is not the first time this has happened, I’ve tried to work things out, gotten a totally different answer from what the book says, and when I check it with someone else, they agree with me, not the book.

  342. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (Actually: “3” would be the answer if it were “3x – 7″ instead of “3x^2 – 7.” It probably was in a previous edition, and they were lazy with updating it).

  343. rq says

    Azkyroth
    You just made me realize that I had really good math teachers all along the way. Because you explain it just like they did (mostly she, actually, in high school).
    Which means I understand this part of calc again!

    Good luck, Dalillama!

    And yeah, I’ll agree that all those epsilons and deltas didn’t make much sense on the blackboard – unless the prof (in uni now) was drawing graphs of slices of sphere, it was all a bit murky until explained differently.

  344. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    You just made me realize that I had really good math teachers all along the way. Because you explain it just like they did (mostly she, actually, in high school).

    O.o

    …how the hell did that happen? *shifty*

  345. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So apparently eating yeast before you drink (beer) will make you less drunk. Any comments?

    Sounds like a frustrated woman with a squeamish boyfriend pulling a fast one?

  346. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Also, I’m having a really hard time envisioning a mechanism by which yeast would A) survive in your stomach and B) reduce the metabolizable alcohol in what you drank.

  347. rq says

    chigau
    Ah, but it’s a teaspoon per drink. I’m sure the teaspoons cancel each other out eventually. *shrug* Hey, Guy On Internet says it works for him in an unsubstantiated anecdote – sounds like science to me!
    *remembers eating too much yeasty dough in childhood*
    I’ll be over there for a while.

  348. chigau (違う) says

    rq
    Then there is the whole thing about:
    Why am I drinking alcohol if not for the buzz?

    yeasty dough
    damn…
    I still do that…

  349. says

    rq @490

    That really wasn’t funny. Breastfeeding is nothing more than reducing yourself to a mobile milk machine — degrading, undignified, and disgusting.

    As a parent, one should know their baby’s schedule, plan ahead, and bring a bottle.