Comments

  1. David Marjanović says

    What Merkel really thinks about Germany trouncing Portugal 4 : 0 yesterday.

    China is apparently planning to bulldoze 700 mountains to let cities expand. If you thought mountaintop removal in Pennsylvania is bad… Petition to “China Government & Environmentalists” to stop that. I hope it’ll have literally any effect; the fascinating subtropical forest that once covered the southern half of China is nowadays restricted to steep mountains.

    Thank Starbucks for financing the education of those of their employees who attend Arizona State University!

    Despite its horrible impact on the Indonesian/Malaysian rainforest, palm oil doesn’t need to be labeled in Australia (“vegetable oil” is enough). Petition to change that! Embarrassing, though, that the petition lists “canola” and “rapeseed” separately.

    Apparently, the USDA Wildlife Service thinks its service to wildlife is supposed to be to put it out of its misery. Petition to Congress to investigate what the USDA Wildlife Service has been doing. Note that the US Fish and Wildlife Service is a different agency.

    In Finland we don’t have minimum wage laws at all, we have strong unions instead.

    Huh, so it’s not just Germany. ~:-|

    I couldn’t cash a money order at my bank

    Wait, what?

  2. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The terrible reputation of pit bulls is largely based on the fact that they’ve been popular in the dog-fighting and “I want a big mean dog to scare/hurt people” crowds. They’re reportedly quite intelligent and have historically been therapy and police dogs.

    And also on the fact that the media has a well-known tendency to refer to any dog with (and sometimes even without) a remotely squarish head that attacks a human as a “pit bull” regardless of actual breed.

  3. carlie says

    Tony – I’m not sure. Some are very a/v based – one is audio illusions, one is watching people yawn and see how long you last. I just found out about them an hour or so ago. :)

  4. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    505
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I feel like I’m losing brain cells in the Feminist Frequency thread…

    Ditto. It hurts reading those comments.

    And I’m so sorry about your job. I loved reading your stories. You’re an amazing person and great at what you do.

  5. Pteryxx says

    Hey all, just passing through but seeing y’all chatter gives me fuzzies.

    Miscellaneous offerings to the hive:

    Timberland boots have a lifetime replacement warranty, which Timberland will no longer honor for prisoners in correctional facilities. Timberland also has exclusive contracts making it the only provider of work boots. Consumerist:

    As human rights issues for prisoners go, thwarted warranty exchanges aren’t the most urgent problems, but they’re part of what we do here at Consumerist. It’s pretty frustrating for reader AnnaMarie and her brother, who is in prison and left without a pair of work boots because of a gap between Timberland’s warranty policies and the Virginia Department of Corrections.

    […]

    “Yes, that’s right,” she wrote to Consumerist. “They will mail these boots to you as a private consumer, but if you are an inmate, they will only mail the boots to someone other than the original consumer. The customer service representative that I spoke with told me that the inmate could either have a family member bring the boots back to the prisoner in the prison, or the inmate would just have to wait until they were released to get their boots back.”

    This policy is completely useless to inmates and their families. Prison regulations prohibit them from receiving anything more substantial than sheets of paper through the mail, which rules out boxes of boots. Even if AnnaMarie didn’t live on the other side of the country, in-person visitors aren’t allowed to bring gifts. Keeping boots at a relative’s house is unhelpful when you have a few years or decades left, or are serving a life sentence. Besides, people who aren’t in prison can buy and wear any darn kind of footwear they want.

    Game of Thrones and the female gaze, from Salon:

    I’m far from the first person to say we need more manparts on “Game of Thrones.” But this isn’t just about penises vs. breasts—seeing Tywin on the john in the finale had certain charms, but not the kind I mean. It’s about situation and camera angle. It’s about who has the right to be turned on. It’s about whose genitals are worth catering to.

    […]

    Women are sexual scavengers: we cobble arousal out of things not intended to stimulate us because we’re not considered worth stimulating. (Cue the old saw about women not being visually aroused—give us a chance, would you?) That means there’s plenty of good looks on “Game of Thrones” that we can construct some kind of erotic pleasure around. I can’t speak for what most women like, but I enjoyed it whenever Drogo was on (he was Other, so the camera felt more comfortable shooting him shirtless and objectifying him), when Daario 1.0 was looking at everything like he wanted to lick it, and when Oberyn was onscreen. But these aren’t quite the same thing—all three of these men are lovely lookers, and by that I mean they are men whose gaze seems extremely erotic. That’s great, but if you’re a woman, that means the feeling of arousal has to go through a mirror: rather than directly enjoy a man’s body, you’re supposed to look at a looker who you can imagine looking at you. It is, shall we say, less visual.

    And it’s work! Work the camera is refusing to do for us!

    In animal biology, however, penises tend to get all the attention while vaginas go unstudied and un-theorized-about. Here’s Getting to know whale vaginas at SciAm.

    I turned to my friend and colleague, Dr. Sarah Mesnick, who works with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, for answers. She works on reproduction in marine mammals. If anyone can talk animal vagina science, it’s her. So I asked her point blank: How do you study a whale vagina? And then I crafted the following step-by-step guide. For those of you interested in the nitty-gritty of animal sex research, it’s a roadmap for getting intimate with some of the largest, most convoluted vaginas on the planet. You’re welcome.

    And the next time some Menz Rightser whines about women not showing up in dangerous construction work, show them this. What it’s like to be a woman in construction at ThinkProgress:

    She also wasn’t getting the training she had come for. “Nobody explained things to me, nobody cared whether I was learning or not,” she said. The boys, on the other hand, were invited to meetings and given in-depth explanations of how things were done.

    Valoy represents many women in her industry. The Department of Labor found that 88 percent of women in construction said they had experienced sexual harassment at work, compared to 25 percent of women in the workforce generally. And, according to NWLC, they “are more likely to be concentrated in office positions…and least likely to be found in more labor intensive positions,” but those office positions pay less.

  6. Pteryxx says

    and I ran across a sex news blog called Slantist. Sex science, sex commentary, sex information. A sampling:

    The Tinder of sex work

    Germany legalized sex work in 2002 and now, 12 years later, a technology start-up is looking to reduce some of the difficulties associated with straßenstrich, or street-based sex work. Austrian developer Pia Poppenreiter was out on the town in Berlin on a cool autumn night when she saw a sex worker on a street corner and had the sort of “a-ha!” moment any founder will talk your ear off about.

    “It’s crazy that there’s an app for everything, but not for that,” she thought, referring to street-walking. “Why do they have to stand there in the winter all day?”

    A protein called Juno and what it means for contraception

    In 2005, a protein was discovered on the surface of sperm thought to enable binding to the egg. Researchers named the protein Izumo1, after the Izumo-taisha in Japan, a shrine dedicated to Okuninushi, the Shinto deity of marriage. The search was on to discover a counterpart protein on eggs. What they didn’t realize is that the answer was already before them: a protein known as folate receptor 4, or Folr4, had already been discovered, but its function had been misunderstood by researchers.

    Researchers Enrica Bianchi, Brendan Doe, David Goulding and Gavin Wright had their suspicions. They took a closer look by genetically modifying female mice to prevent the production of Folr4 and allowing them to copulate. No pregnancies resulted. The sperm couldn’t locate the egg without the presence of the protein — the mice were effectively sterile. In their paper, researchers ask to rename the Folr4 to reflect its true purpose: the new name is Juno, after the Roman goddess closely associated with marriage.

    The myth of tapeworm during anal, busted

    …I’ll just not quote that one. But it’s a great article, honest!

  7. says

    I know of insurance companies that won’t work with trailer parks where pit bulls are present.

    Upthread it was mentioned that pits are popular in fighting because they don’t go completely crazy, unlike other breeds. I’m not sure if anyones mentioned it already, but I recall reading that the dogfighting traditions from when they were first bred called for owners to be able to stop the fight immediately- they never would have existed in the first place if they weren’t essentially even tempered dogs. If they weren’t, and breeders couldn’t bring it back on track, the breed would have ended there and they’d start from scratch to build a breed to their liking. Don’t remember exactly where I read that, though.

  8. says

    Pteryxx:
    Oh I can’t wait to check out that sex news blog!

    ****

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/06/17/3449522/alaska-pregnancy-tests-bars/

    If you live in Alaska, there’s something new coming to a bar near you: free pregnancy tests in the restrooms.
    Why? Because Alaska has the highest rate of fetal alcohol syndrome in the country, and state officials are trying to figure out how to address it. The tests are part of a new two-year initiative led by the University of Alaska, which is spending $400,000 to urge bar patrons to avoid drinking alcohol while they’re expecting.

    Huh…

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

    Azkyroth:

    And also on the fact that the media has a well-known tendency to refer to any dog with (and sometimes even without) a remotely squarish head that attacks a human as a “pit bull” regardless of actual breed.

    Trufax. Not helping is the fact that “pit bull” is not a breed qua breed, but the collective term for any dog that contains any Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, or bull terrier in its ancestry (no matter how mutt). Basically, yes, any square-headed dog, especially one that’s violent, is likely to be called a pit bull.

  10. says

    Ugh.
    From my ThinkProgress link above:

    But Kelly isn’t receptive to all ideas about how to lower the number of women drinking while pregnant. Earlier this year, the lawmaker made headlines by suggesting that it’s not appropriate to use state funds to put birth control in bars, even though that could help prevent pregnancies in the first place. “Birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly,” Kelly said. “That’s — I’m not going to tell them what to do, or help them do it, that’s their business. But if we have a pregnancy test, because someone just doesn’t know. That’s probably a way we can help them.”

    When birth control is used to prevent pregnancies, that *is* being responsible.

  11. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Tony @ 514

    Why do I get the feeling she originally wanted to say “That’s slutty” or “That’s a slut’s prerogative”…

  12. Portia says

    Reminder that I’m accepting donations (need $46) for JAL’s cup fund:)

    PayPal bravo no spaces nym google email service

    I have made a “flee to the basement” bag tonight before bed, as it’s supposed to get bad again. Le sigh. This time there’s chocolate in the emergency kit. It’s an rq approved emergency preparedness kit :D
    And a couple books. Held off on the wine. For now.

  13. A. Noyd says

    Esteleth (#499)

    The little yippy dogs tend to be vicious, because many were bred to kill vermin. They also tend to suffer from not being disciplined and trained properly (because they’re “so cute!!”).

    I used to work at a veterinary oncology clinic where one of the dogs getting chemo was a Shih Tzu. At first, I thought the owners heavily sedated him before bringing him in, but it turns out they had actually bothered to train him.

    (#513)

    Not helping is the fact that “pit bull” is not a breed qua breed, but the collective term for any dog that contains any Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, or bull terrier in its ancestry (no matter how mutt).

    Very true! I still have a standard in mind when I think “(American) pit bull.” It tends to be on the slim side of athletic with a boxy head, wide-set eyes and a giant, dorky smile. Like this or this or this or this. And if any behavioral trait were associated with pit bulls, I’d say it’s a tendency to exhibit aloofness toward non-“pack” more often than most dogs (“pack” being the humans and other pets they live with). That’s just my idea of pit bulls, though.

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

    First day of vacation.
    I woke up at 6am.
    Because.

    Grrr…

  15. says

    A. Noyd:
    Thanks again for that link to erotic gay art. I haven’t really seen anything like this before. Leaving aside the erotic nature of the images, the artist is *really good*. Well proportioned figures. Much attention to detail. Distinctive bodies faces and bodies. Understanding of anatomy. And yes, I’ve gone through all the archives.
    Extremely Not Suitable For Work images for those curious about what I’m talking about. 1 of my favorite NSFW images.

  16. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#521)

    Thanks again for that link to erotic gay art. I haven’t really seen anything like this before. Leaving aside the erotic nature of the images, the artist is *really good*.

    Yeah, the blogger and the guest artists he spotlights to are all really good. I like having that blog to link in threads where people obviously don’t know what sexualized male characters look like because 1) the art is good, 2) its primary purpose is to be arousing to people attracted to men, and 3) it still features the hyper-masculinity that clueless people misidentify as the sexualization of male characters. Those are three really important things that are missing from, for instance, a lot of the posts on The Hawkeye Initiative. While I like THI a lot (minus the transphobic/homophobic submissions), there are too many clueless types who dismiss parody.

  17. Nick Gotts says

    Whatever happened to “default = support whichever team is playing against England” ? ;-) – opposablethumbs@470

    Well son, wife and I are all a bit confused about whether we’re English or Scottish after 16 years up here, although we’re all still instantly identifiable as Sassenachs when we open our mouths. (I now say “aye” and “outwith”, but I don’t think the vowels have shifted!) But oddly enough, the trope you mention doesn’t seem to be around much this time – possibly because we’ve got the referendum coming up: a real chance for Scots to decide what they want their relationship to England to be. Incidentally, all the main unionist parties other than UKIP have now promised further powers for the Scottish Parliament if there’s a No vote (they’ve really got the wind up as the polls have tightened), so the campaign has achieved that much – and before it was settled that the vote would be a straight yes/no on idependence, polls suggested that so-called “devo max” was the most popular choice.

  18. dianne says

    Re dogs and biting risk: I thought the risk with pit bulls (however they’re defined) is not that they bite often so much as that they bite severely, i.e. that they’re bred for strong jaws and tenacity. Not unique to the breed, of course. I’ve also heard that another problem with pit bulls is that they don’t give many clear signals that they’re feeling stressed before they bite. So, from the point of view of someone who doesn’t understand them, they were absolutely fine one minute and completely insane biting the next. Anyone know enough about them to confirm or deny any of this?

    Also, I miss my dogs. They’re not very bright little yip dogs who aren’t terribly trustworthy with strangers yet (they’re rescue dogs and we don’t actually know what happened to them before we got them–they may or may not have reason to be nervous), but I miss them anyway. The downside of travelling.

  19. opposablethumbs says

    possibly because we’ve got the referendum coming up

    Interesting – certainly sounds plausible!
    Son doesn’t have a local accent? Or does he have either/both, depending on who he is talking with (this is what used to happen with me, as my parents were from 400 miles / about 12,000 miles further south respectively. My Spawn always laugh that they can tell if I’m talking with anyone Scottish on the phone, as my accent tends to change within the first few moments)
    Outwith is one of my favourite words, and one that I get to use less often than I would like. I sneak it in to work-related things and snarl at spell-checkers that red-line it until they have been taught the error of their ways.
    I can certainly see the appeal of devo-max. That’s probably what I’d go for if it were on the ballot – and if I had the vote.
    .
    DaughterSpawn is apparently in the air somewhere over America (at least they’ve reached America and have finished flying over the ocean). At least 3 hours still to go before they land as scheduled … long-haul flights are long. Still feeling irrationally excessively panicked (which I never did about this before, which reminds me how irrational it is), probably until well after they land … :-((((

  20. opposablethumbs says

    Also, thank you Tony! for linking to StrongFemaleProtagonist, it’s excellent! Have immediately told DaughterSpawn about it. And my apologies for not remembering whether or not Tony! said someone else sent him the link …

  21. says

    The little yippy dogs tend to be vicious, because many were bred to kill vermin. They also tend to suffer from not being disciplined and trained properly (because they’re “so cute!!”)

    This, so much.
    Just because I don’t feel threatened by a dog I could kick to the end of the street doesn’t mean I appreciate being aggressively barked at.

    A catch dog and herd dog will attack when provoked.

    That’s a bit problematic, though. It implies that the person being attacked did something wrong to provoke the dog.
    First, I don’t think the general public doesn’t have an obligation to learn what could reasonably provoke a dog apart from the rule to stay away and leave it alone.
    Secondly, they’re dogs. Creatures that think they just saved their family from the trash collectors because they left after it barked a lot. It’s hard to tell what they feel “provoked” by. Some states in Germany require a behavioural test for certain breeds. One test is to walk past somebody who pushes a stroller. When close to the dog the “baby” will start to cry. A frightening amount of dogs feel provoked by this.

    But as I said before, the largest single factor in whether a dog is likely to bite is whether it’s an unneutred male or not. I think it would be beneficial for everybody if people who are not certified breeders* were required to have their male dogs neutered.

    +++
    The Sarkeesian thread feels like a déja vu: been there, done that, a million times

    *and if you ask me, breeding mutts should be encouraged

  22. opposablethumbs says

    Seems that DaughterSpawn has arrived in America safe and sound and I can stop having irrational plane-crash terrors (at least until the flight back).
    Sorry to have wittered on a bit about that, and thank you for some very kind words when I needed them.

  23. Portia says

    opposablethumbs:
    Glad to hear it :) Glad we could help

    Tony!
    Thankfully the tornados let me sleep through the night.
    By being elsewhere.

  24. dianne says

    Seems that DaughterSpawn has arrived in America safe and sound and I can stop having irrational plane-crash terrors (at least until the flight back).

    Yay for DaughterSpawn! I hope she has a splendid time in America and a boring trip back. (My mother and I have started wishing each other a “boring trip” when we fly because one rarely wants a flight to be exciting.)

  25. carlie says

    HOLY SHIT EVERYBODY: ThinkProgress is reporting that the US Patent Office just rescinded the trademark on the Washington football team: source

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and thus cannot be trademarked under federal law that prohibits the protection of offensive or disparaging language.
    The U.S. PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board issued a ruling in the case, brought against the team by plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse, Wednesday morning.

  26. carlie says

    I know that doesn’t mean they have to stop using it, but that does mean they have to stand by and watch every counterfeiter in existence sell stuff with their name on it at cut-rate prices and take away a good portion of their revenue.

  27. David Wilford says

    Re: dogs and biting, it’s not so much the breed as the temperment of the dog, which varies more within breeds than breeds themselves vary. Statistically speaking, neutering is related to assertive/aggressive behavior (it’s one of the reasons why some think police dogs should be mail and non-neutered) but even that is less important than the reactivity of the dog. We have three dogs, all the same breed, and the one that’s the most bitey is a female, and unsurprisingly she’s the most reactive of the three. If I could give any advice about getting a dog, it would be to test how it reacts to various actions, sounds, etc. and see how it handles them. That, and if possible to meet the parents of the dog and observe how they behave.

  28. says

    Yay for opposablethumbsspawn
    Tell her to eat some delicious local specialities for me *I miss tamales*

    +++
    Can I rant a bit about stupid arrogant future school teachers?
    Today in college one of them actually used the phrase “parents* who don’t care about their childrens education because they work”**
    *And we all know which variety of parents is supposed to care, right?
    **In an actual presentation
    When called out she went “oh, but some of them don’t care and that leads to an over-generalisation” as if that was a fucking excuse for the shit she just said
    I told her that it’s her job to stop making over-generalisations or she’ll unfairly judge people based on her own biases.

  29. dianne says

    David Wilford: Normally I barely notice mistakes like male-mail, but in this context I’m sure there’s a joke to be made about letter carriers and dogs, I just don’t quite know what it is.

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

    Pointless drive-by comment #6.472:

    Who knew the routers were such fun!? Sawdust everywhere, and I didn’t even lose a finger.

    Oh, and I’ve been reading Strong Female Protagonist since it started. It rocks so hard that I have to weigh down my monitor before clicking through to it. I’ve also been enjoying Gunnerkrigg Court. It’s worth going through from the beginning if for no other reason than to watch the art grow better and better. It’s very refreshing in it’s gender balance and treatment of homosexuality, all in a context of pre-teens and adolescents.

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

    I wasn’t going to scroll, I wasn’t I swear. I have to get a good night’s sleep. But holy crap carlie #539! That’s huge. Here’s hoping they can make it stick, and that it finally drives some change.

  32. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    FossilFishy:

    Who knew the routers were such fun!? Sawdust everywhere, and I didn’t even lose a finger.

    Hmm. All I did was plug my router into the computer, set up the passwords, unplug it, and viola, wireless in the whole house. No sawdust at all.

  33. Nick Gotts says

    Son doesn’t have a local accent? – opposablethumbs@531

    No, not that I detect anyway. Aberdeen is very cosmopolitan, and both his schools had a lot of English (and non-British) pupils, mostly there because of the oil industry. So there was no pressure on him to adapt.

  34. rq says

    Really mixed feelings about this trip.

    +++

    Yay for the good flight, opposablethumbs! I’m glad she made it, and hopefully she will have a fantastic time!

  35. opposablethumbs says

    Routers are fun, also possibly habit-forming. We don’t have one, but I remember getting a bit carried away with a borrowed one once …
    The other routers are such a pain in the arse when they play up :-(

    Thank you Giliell, Portia, dianne, rq! (yes, a boring flight please!). She isn’t going far enough north for tamales to be really common, and her gran (who is from the north originally) is possibly too old now to want to cook anything, but it’s certainly on the cards that she’ll get a chance to try some. I suspect she may be overwhelmed with too much food, so may not dare risk asking for anything specific in case somebody immediately presents her with huge amounts of same (they haven’t seen her since she was a baby-going-on-toddler, so there may be a lot of catching up to do. She apparently has milanesas on her plate for lunch right now, cooked by one of her aunts, and her uncle prides himself on being a good parrillero, so … :-D )

  36. Pteryxx says

    Was going to drop the Washington R****** news here, but carlie and Singham ninja’d me. More from WaPo:

    Robert Raskopf, a lawyer who has been representing the team since the first case was filed in 1992, was not concerned about the ruling.

    “We’ve seen this story before,” he said. “And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.

    “We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal. This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board.”

    Raskopf said the team’s trademark registrations would remain effective during the appeal.

    and NPR:

    The trademarks in question date back to the 1960s and ’70s. The Washington, D.C., team lost a similar trademark case in the late 1990s, only to have its registration reinstated by a U.S. district court in 2003. It is almost certain the team will appeal the agency’s latest decision.

    Fine. They can have as much chance as a clinic fighting a TRAP law. *fetches popcorn salted with rage-tears of racist sports fans*

  37. says

    HeroesCon releases their harassment policy:

    Signed by founder Shelton Drum, the policy extends beyond the exhibition floor to after-hours events at host hotels, and spells out that, “HeroesCon is dedicated to providing a fun, safe and harassment-free convention experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion.”

    “If you are being harassed, witness someone else being harassed or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the HeroesCon staff or a volunteer,” it states. “We are happy to contact our security or local law enforcement, provide escort, a safe place or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention.” Anyone deemed to be violating the anti-harassment rules “may be sanctioned or expelled from HeroesCon without a refund at the discretion of the convention organizers.”

  38. says

    Dianne #530

    . Anyone know enough about them to confirm or deny any of this?

    As I noted in my #490

    Some individual dogs (notably those which have been badly abused) will bite with no or minimal warning, but that’s in no way genetic, nor is it limited to pitbulls, or any other breed.

    and in my #494

    I was actually going to mention the ‘locking jaws’ thing as well. Pitbulls, along with basically every Molosser and Terrier breed, have got quite a bit of bite force and a tendency to grab and shake whatever they’ve bitten, but there’s nothing unique about their jaw arrangement that makes it lock up. They’re just reluctant to let go.

    Giliell

    Just because I don’t feel threatened by a dog I could kick to the end of the street doesn’t mean I appreciate being aggressively barked at.

    This too. It’s entirely down to the owner training the damn things, and if you’re going to keep a dog, it’s your goddamned responsibility to know how to train and control the damn thing. I am firmly of the opinion that anytime someone is injured by a dog, the owner should face identical legal penalties as if they’d done the same amount of damage to someone with a knife. I’m fed right the fuck up with these assholes who have (espcially big) dogs and don’t have the first fucking clue what they’re doing.

    stay away and leave it alone.

    That’s an excellent rule for people who don’t know dogs to follow, yes. That said, warning signs of a dog about to bite are usually fairly obvious; growling, snarling, baring of teeth, that type of thing.

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

    It should be ok to throw books at people who talk loudly in the bookstore, right?

    I swear I would only throw Fifty Shades of Grey… maybe the Bible if I was really angry.

  40. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    Drive-by Commentary!

    So my Dad’s will was finally read (he had a 3 month waiting period built in that we wished to honor) and he had some really touching words for me and the biomom. He also left me instructions that were just priceless:

    “Go out and celebrate life. Enjoy what you can. Live your dreams.”

    I miss my Dad.

  41. David Marjanović says

    Evidence that a few thousand Democrats caused Cantor’s downfall – it couldn’t have happened if he had been popular among Republicans in the first place, but that wasn’t enough –: 1, 2.

    With suspect under arrest, GOP finally decides to praise Obama on Benghazi. Ha ha, just kidding.

    US Health Care System Ranked As The Worst In The Developed World” – interesting, detailed comparison.

    “About the only nice thing that comes to mind about the GOP’s new campaign is this: At least they were smart enough not to pick a Reince Priebus as their mascot. Other than that, it’s pure fail.”

    In German: Germany has a disturbing tradition of very quickly passing very unpopular laws during World Cups, when the parliament is almost empty and the voters are otherwise occupied.

    Son doesn’t have a local accent? – opposablethumbs@531

    No, not that I detect anyway.

    I never picked up the one of Vienna; that’s because I recognized it as different and decided against imitating it… and we only moved there when I was 11.

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

    Xaivius,

    I’m sorry for your loss.
    Your father’s message to you is lovely.

    Tony,

    I’d go with 50 Shades. It’s just the right size for throwing.
    Bible is too big, as was the edition of Twilight they have there.

  43. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    Tony @ 557

    It is good advice, just still a bit startling coming from a man who told me repeatedly to concentrate on my future and ignore the present. I know he dictated the will in the hospital when noone but the attorney was around, but I didn’t think he’d changed his mind that much.

  44. carlie says

    She apparently has milanesas on her plate for lunch right now, cooked by one of her aunts, and her uncle prides himself on being a good parrillero, so … :-D )

    Wherever she is, I would like to be also right now. :)

    Glad the arrival went well.

  45. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you carlie! The only downside is that it’s the middle of winter there :-\ (though at least their idea of winter temperatures is my idea of chilly-but-not-freezing-cold autumn or spring. They’ve got 6 degrees centigrade today, to our midsummer 22 :-) )
    .
    My condolences, Xaivius – and I’d agree with Tony! and Beatrice, it sounds like good and loving advice.

  46. A. Noyd says

    Beatrice (#554)

    It should be ok to throw books at people who talk loudly in the bookstore, right?

    And to throw full bottles of tea at people who talk at top volume on the bus or train in the morning.

  47. says

    The Cheneys posted a video to YouTube about The Alliance for a Strong America, a 501(c)(4) grass-roots organization, on Tuesday. The video’s description hits “the dangerous policies of the Obama Administration” and promises to keep “policies necessary to protect the nation” in the spotlight.

    Dick Cheney – torture master, liar about Iraq, unethical businessman
    Liz Cheney – Failure in the following ventures: Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group in the Bush administration; Keep America Safe (since scrubbed from the Internet); a U.S. Senate campaign in Wyoming

    This does not bode well for the new venture, The Alliance for a Strong America.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/18/liz-and-dick-cheney_n_5507068.html

  48. The Mellow Monkey says

    Tentacles exhibit!

    That is what I’m going to tomorrow! So very, very excited. It’s been years since I’ve been back to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. That I get to go during the tentacles exhibition is just the cherry on top.

  49. says

    The mormon church is getting out of the adoption business, or so they say. The move looks to me like a way to obscure the fact that they will continue to match babies born to unwed mothers to married, hetero mormon couples. We’ll see. At least it is an acknowledgement that their adoption service did not always operate ethically.

    […] the social services arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would end its decades-long service of matching adoptive parents with children. […]

    Subsidized by the LDS Church, faithful Mormon couples who are adopting pay from $4,000 to $10,000, based on their income, according to the agency’s website. […]

    LDS Social Services were known for pressuring unwed mothers, for sneaking adoptions past “unworthy” fathers, and for operating with untrained personnel.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58079119-78/adoption-lds-services-family.html.csp

    According to the agency’s website, only LDS couples who are sealed in a Mormon temple, have temple recommends and are infertile qualify to adopt through Family Services. Expectant mothers of any background, however, are served.

    From the comments below the Salt Lake Tribune article:

    Proclamation on the Family [mormon dogma] says, that a child has the right to be raised in a family with a mother and father.
    ———–
    The LDS Church has been ignoring the rights of the natural father and it has caught up with them. Also “LDS Family Services has not accepted public money for its adoption work.” BECAUSE “only LDS couples who are sealed in a Mormon temple, have temple recommends and are infertile qualify to adopt through Family Services.” Now if they served ALL LDS members and IF they made certain that the natural father was ok with the adoption then they could probably continue this community service. But with the Church it’s our way or the highway!!
    ———–
    Giving up the baby theft business? Wow! I rarely chastise, but this dirty secret is coming up on 100 years old. Guilting young women into relinquishing their parental rights in the name of faith is, well sinister, for the lack of a better description.
    —————
    They would have a very hard time justifying turning down a worthy LDS gay or lesbian. There’s no question this is at least a part of their equation. The Catholics did the same thing.
    —————–
    So, this decision doesn’t have anything to do with all the lawsuits flying alleging LDS Sociall Services deliberately used Utah’s la adoption laws and anti-birth father attitudes to illegally place thousands of babies without the permission of birth fathers, does it? No? Okay okay, got it.

  50. says

    I can’t believe I just read this.

    http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2014/06/07/peru-approves-genocide-for-uncontacted-tribes/

    Peru has approved the highly controversial expansion of the Camisea gas project onto the land of uncontacted Amazon tribes – despite international outrage, the resignation of three ministers, and condemnation by the United Nations and international human rights organizations.

    Peru’s Ministry of Culture, tasked with protecting the country’s indigenous population, has approved plans by oil and gas giants Pluspetrol (Argentina), Hunt Oil (US) and Repsol (Spain) to detonate thousands of explosive charges, drill exploratory wells and allow hundreds of workers to flood into the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, located just 100km from Machu Picchu.

    The expansion could decimate the uncontacted tribes living in the reserve, as any contact between gas workers and the Indians is likely to result in the spread of diseases or epidemics to which the Indians lack immunity.

    Pluspetrol itself recognizes the devastating impact the expansion could have. In its ‘Anthropological Contingency Plan’ the company states that any diseases transmitted by workers could cause ‘prolonged periods of illness, massive deaths, and, in the best cases, long periods of recovery.’

    I was scrolling through friends’ updates on Facebook and I decided to skip past stories that I knew would infuriate me bc I can’t read those right now. But this…I couldn’t skip. This is an outrage. It’s unconscionable. This is one of those things that I accept is real, but have such a difficult time comprehending. We’re talking about genocide. GENOCIDE. That a government, today, would approve of such a vile action just…I…don’t have words.

    And the companies involved. If any blood is lost, it is on their hands as well.

  51. rq says

    I know I’m never going to be good enough for some people.
    Is there any way to make it not matter?

  52. says

    A. Noyd:

    And to throw full bottles of tea at people who talk at top volume on the bus or train in the morning.

    It takes me around 45-60 minutes to fully “wake up” in the morning. At my last job, I frequently had to work at 10 am (that’s early for me) and I had to come through the back door and walk through the kitchen to get to the bar. Every single time (no exaggeration) the kitchen staff would have their music playing–loudly. I don’t begrudge them music. I’d want music too. But as loud as they played it was just jarring to me. I said something in passing one time about not being a morning person and loud music being off-putting, but I never asked anyone to turn it down or made a complaint. I figured I’m just one person, and walking through the kitchen took 15-20 seconds, so I could bear with it. But dammit, I hated it.

  53. opposablethumbs says

    rq, anyone who thinks that about you is an idiot.

    Is this by any remote chance a … paternal thing, might I ask? Or maybe another close relative? (I think you’re great, btw)

  54. blf says

    rq, anyone who thinks that about you is an idiot.

    Or a potatoe. Possibly a pea. Maybe with added horse…

  55. blf says

    It takes me around 45-60 minutes to fully “wake up” in the morning.

    Speedy!
    I don’t “wake up” until all the Suns set. Which is mostly avoided by staying in bed.

    Of course, when they all do set, it’s dark. Time to go to bed!

  56. says

    rq:

    I know I’m never going to be good enough for some people.
    Is there any way to make it not matter?

    Sadly, I don’t think there is. I wish there were a switch that we could activate in our brains that would allow us to not care about things. I don’t know the specifics of what troubles you at the moment, but I think you’re great wonderful, just the way you are. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but you’re one of the Lounge regulars I would dearly love to encounter in meatspace. I think you rock.

  57. blf says

    On the Redskins thing, I read an article earlier today(?) in, I think, the INYT (formerly the IHT) saying there had been a previous ruling to a similar effect, but it had been overturned on appeal since the people who brought the earlier compliant had “waited too long after her their 18th birthday”. The team, which has already announced it will appeal, has apparently also said it expects that earlier overturning to be confirmed; i.e., the fools will still be able to profit from their overt racism.

    (Apologies for the lack of references…)

  58. David Marjanović says

    Yes. It’s time. 50.83%
    No. Keep it. 49.17%

    Total number of votes not given, but shared on Facebook 50.824 times and tweeted 7,507 times.

  59. Nick Gotts says

    Interesting times in the tenement containing the new flat. First a break-in at the fast food shop on the ground floor – nothing subtle, just smashing the door in during the night, even though it’s on a main road and 100 metres from the police station. I heard nothing, and don’t know if they got away with anything. Then a few days later, a commotion right outside the door of the flat. I peek out to see what’s happening – two policemen holding a guy on the floor, who’s yelling and struggling, handcuffed behind his back. One asks me – politely, I must admit – to go back in, I can come out in a couple of minutes. A few minutes later my wife peeks out, they say they’ll come back and tell us what’s going on. Looking out of the window, we see a police van parked outside, which then drives off. An hour or so later, one of the police does come back, explains that a woman in another flat, on her way out, saw a guy shooting up on the stairs. She flagged down a police van, they found the guy still at it, arrested him. According to the police guy, he claimed to be HIV+. Police guy said they’d taken him to hospital, charged him with causing a breach of the peace – of course I don’t have any way to confirm any of that. He must have got in when someone left the main door open, or buzzed him in.

    I’m somewhat conflicted about this – the drug laws are both daft and unjust, and probably the guy was harmless – but still, I don’t want people with no right to be there in the building, or used needles left lying around, especially as the woman on the top floor has a young child. There are a lot of pretty desperate-looking people around on this street – some desperate-sad, some looking as though they’d knife their granny for the price of a drink or a hit. Can’t help wishing my son and his friends had preferred the other place we were considering – or that I’d insisted on it.

  60. David Marjanović says

    Peru has approved the highly controversial expansion of the Camisea gas project onto the land of uncontacted Amazon tribes –

    This is comicbook villainy.

  61. rq says

    opposablethumbs
    Yes, it’s a paternal thing. Rationally, I know there’s no sense in trying and I’m always going to do something that’s not right. So consciously I know it’s not worth it, but… *blargh*

    jrfdeux
    That bunny was great. :) Thanks!

    Tony
    You’re pretty awesome, too. I’m still sad Florida isn’t a part of Canada (or even so far from where I am). It would be great to meet you.

  62. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I know I’m never going to be good enough for some people.
    Is there any way to make it not matter?

    Let me know if you find one. :/

  63. says

    rq
    Unfortunately, the only way I know of is to cut those assholes out of your life. Which can be difficult if they’re family.

    Tony!
    I’m with DM. Signed the petition, for whatever good it’ll do.

  64. opposablethumbs says

    I thought it might be, from things you’ve mentioned before … and from personal experience, coincidentally, of also having had a father for whom almost nobody was ever “good enough”.

    In a way it’s impossible to shut it out altogether, because, well, parent … but on the other hand, bollocks to that! He’s wrong. And that’s his loss and his problem. I hope I’m not being too rude. I don’t want to be rude; it just makes me angry to think of. I know we only met briefly, and of course a large part of what I think is based on what you write – whatever, I think we all have ample evidence upon which to base a conclusion that you are very Good People indeed. So there.

  65. blf says

    No sawdust at all.

    Oops! You’ve sent the NSA not only the entire contents of yer hard disc, but also realtime monitoring of the ‘Net…

    (Thinks about this a moment. Decides now is a good time to leave, turning off and unplugging the entire home network…)

  66. says

    More bad news from Iraq:

    Refinery workers, eyewitnesses and an Iraqi Army officer reported the seizure of Iraq’s biggest oil refinery by Sunni extremists on Wednesday after army helicopter gunships failed to repel their attack.

    But other Iraqi officials, including the commander of the garrison defending the refinery in Baiji, asserted that fighting was still going on inside the huge grounds of the facility, which had been shut down by the violence. […]

    NY Times link.

  67. Nick Gotts says

    if you’re going to keep a dog, it’s your goddamned responsibility to know how to train and control the damn thing – Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    An annoying thing about Edinburgh (where I’ve just moved) is the number of people going about with their dogs off the lead. I don’t know if this is illegal, but it certainly ought to be. Even a well-trained dog is liable to run into the road if (say) attacked by another dog.

  68. says

    I know I’m never going to be good enough for some people.
    Is there any way to make it not matter?

    I wish.

    My favorite tactic is to avoid such people as much as possible, and to combine this with doing things I like doing (preferably with people who like me, but it works almost as well to just balance the “not good enough” bad vibes with activities that make one feel good).

  69. rq says

    opposablethumbs
    No, not rude.
    But I’m pretty sure, if/when we travel to Canada again, we won’t be staying here. More sure because the Parents are planning on selling this house within the year (anyone interested in a rather nice, self-built home with an unkempt yard in a decent part of town, only $700 000 as a minimum?). So any future trips will be hampered by the effect of not having a default place to stay, but will be improved by not being defaulted to living with parents.

    Azkyroth
    If you discover a method first, you let me know.

  70. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Dalilama, a question. A friend of mine is considering selling her baked goods and confections, either locally (to her) or online. Would you or L have any suggestions for her?

  71. says

    Texas dumbfuckery regarding gay parents and children:

    Over the weekend, Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs celebrated their first Fathers’ Day as parents with their month-old twin boys, Lucas and Ethan. The celebration was marred, though, as a family court judge recently denied them the legal protections needed for their family.

    In many ways, Jason and Joe have the makings of a picture-perfect family. A couple of six years based in Dallas, the two married last year in Washington DC. Since then, they took further steps to make their dream family a reality by connecting with CharLynn, the woman who would become their surrogate. This was her fourth surrogacy, but her first time working with a gay couple, and the three were thrilled to join together.

    Jason and Joe each biologically fathered one of the twins, and the boys—who are half-brothers—share an egg donor. The fathers and their boys make up a loving family. However, the state of Texas refuses to acknowledge them as such.[…]

    http://www.glaad.org/blog/video-texas-dads-denied-parental-rights-their-own-twin-sons

  72. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#572)

    I had to come through the back door and walk through the kitchen to get to the bar. Every single time (no exaggeration) the kitchen staff would have their music playing–loudly.

    Ew, no thanks. Blaring music is way too jarring for waking-up time.

  73. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tell me again why we can’t have effective gun control laws?

    [snark]Because true gun safety isn’t a consideration, but intimidating and lynching the folks of color is.[/snark]

  74. says

    Azkyroth
    Keep in mind that it can take some time to build a clientèle, and that orders can be sporadic. It’s also worth looking into local regulations on food suppliers, especially for sales to neighbors/local areas where you might attract the attention of inspectors; usually a food handler’s permit is the absolute minimum required (These aren’t hard to get, around here you can do the whole thing online for a $5 fee).

  75. carlie says

    I know I’m never going to be good enough for some people.
    Is there any way to make it not matter?

    Remember that their opinion isn’t any more “correct” than anyone else’s. Who are they, King/Queen Judgy McJudgerson, head Judge of Judgeville? Nope. Even if you love them more than anyone, that doesn’t mean they’re any good at judging your worth. Look at them and say “Person, I love you, but you are shit at formulating correct opinions regarding the worth of other people.” But maybe just say it in your head. Unless, you know, they really deserve for it to be said out loud.

  76. says

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/18/ny-man-on-trial-after-stepdaughter-accuses-him-of-rape-in-college-application-essay/

    A jury on Wednesday deliberated the fate of a New York man on trial for rape after his stepdaughter wrote in her college application essay about being sexually abused by him as a child.

    Albert Tarrats, 62, of Brooklyn faces a 25-year prison sentence if he is convicted by the jury in State Supreme Court in the borough, court officials said.

    […]

    The New York Daily News reported that Hammer argued in court that the teenager’s mother, who was divorced from Tarrats, used the rape allegation as revenge against her ex-husband.

    Hammer also said in court that the teen had used the rape claims to impress the college admissions committee, the Daily News reported.

    (bolding mine)
    WTF?!

  77. says

    Taxidermy sculptures by Dr. Seuss

    Geisel embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930’s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Geisel’s father was superintendent. His “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy” was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler.” And “Goo Goo Eyed Tasmanian Wolghast.” Shortly after Geisel created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Ted Geisel “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.”

    Only 3 images at the link, but they sure are cool.

  78. says

    Hey, looks like I can post again…

    dogs

    That’s an excellent rule for people who don’t know dogs to follow, yes. That said, warning signs of a dog about to bite are usually fairly obvious; growling, snarling, baring of teeth, that type of thing.

    I expect people who DO know dogs to know that rule. Because while those signs are typical, they are not universal. The rule I follow and that I taught the kids is that you ask the owner.

    An annoying thing about Edinburgh (where I’ve just moved) is the number of people going about with their dogs off the lead. I don’t know if this is illegal, but it certainly ought to be. Even a well-trained dog is liable to run into the road if (say) attacked by another dog.

    This, too.
    In German “Der tut nix, der will nur spielen!”* is by now almost an idiom.
    I used to walk our neighbours’ dog: A big, unneutered male boxer. He didn’t do well with other males. Often, when I walked him there would be other people with their dogs off the lead. And I would call out and ask them to call back their dogs. Quite often they would tell me “oh, my dog is harmless, it does fine with other dogs!” Yeah, but mine doesn’t, and when your dog approaches I cannot magic it out of reach. Don’t blame me if your doggie becomes breakfast.

    rq
    Just remember that you’ll be back on the other side of the Atlantic soon. It’s a long way to get used to it.

    opposablethumbs
    Well, that limits the countries where your daughter is to two :)

    ++++
    OMG OMG OMG
    I think we’Re going to buy a house.
    Not that we already have our eyes on one, but just as a general plan.
    Because with interests being so low and the stock market being so high we’d be stupid not to.
    But OMG OMG OMG.
    Does that make me an adult?
    *It’s harmless, it only wants to play

  79. opposablethumbs says

    The rule I follow and that I taught the kids is that you ask the owner.

    Yes, this! If only more people would do this!!!! Asking the owner ain’t rocket surgery, as they say :-)
    For “doggy”-inclined people it’s usually easy to “ask” the dog but unless you’re confident of understanding what it “says”, then asking the owner is the bottom line really.

    She’s in the one on the right as you look at a map that places north at the top ;-D

    Often, when I walked him there would be other people with their dogs off the lead. And I would call out and ask them to call back their dogs. Quite often they would tell me “oh, my dog is harmless, it does fine with other dogs!” Yeah, but mine doesn’t, and when your dog approaches I cannot magic it out of reach. Don’t blame me if your doggie becomes breakfast.

    Also this. We lost patience in the end and our dog now wears a muzzle when off-lead in public places; at least that way she can run around and play without the risk of some well-meaning person petting her (which occasionally scares the living shit out of her, and a dog is unpredictable when scared half to death. We have no idea why – possibly something that happened before she was taken to the rescue centre we got her from, but there’s no knowing for sure).

  80. opposablethumbs says

    I almost forgot to say – good luck with the house-buying plans, Giliell!!!!

  81. birgerjohansson says

    Quantum biology: Algae evolved to switch quantum coherence on and off http://phys.org/news/2014-06-quantum-biology-algae-evolved-coherence.html
    Beat that, PZ! Now, let’s come up with “quantum embryology”.

    Nanoshell shields foreign enzymes [used to starve cancer cells] from immune system http://phys.org/news/2014-06-nanoshell-shields-foreign-enzymes-starve.html

    Superconducting secrets solved after 30 years http://phys.org/news/2014-06-superconducting-secrets-years.html

  82. rq says

    Giliell
    GO FOR THE HOUSE!
    Finances permitting, of course, but I’m going to find some extra Canadian thumbs to hold, just for you, because that would be Awesome!

    +++

    Thanks, all, for the support. Soon I will be abandoning my family (temporarily) and hanging out with the choir (that is, herding a bunch of independent-minded adults around Canada!), which will be a whole new set of worries, but at least there’s no guilt-tripping involved there.

  83. says

    rq
    Yeah, finances are OK. It just freaks me out a little ’cause they’re clearly not really my finances ’cause I’m not even done with college yet.
    But yeah, this flat is getting small. 82 squaremetres for 4…

    Also: Adults behave exactly like children, only you can’t just give them a time-out ;)

    opposablethumbs
    Thanks! We’re still at the stage where we decided to do it and what we need. I would like to remain kind of close to where we live atm, but I actually don’t have a clue if any houses that would fit our needs are available here.

  84. says

    Guess what? I’m still in Hartford. I got up at 4am to get to the airport to catch my 6:30 flight, and it was cancelled — something about major storms all across the midwest. I’ve been rebooked to fly out this evening, except I’ve also been told those same storms are headed towards Connecticut, so there’s no promise that this next flight won’t be cancelled.

    The Hartford airport is nice but small, and weirdly, has no accessible electrical outlets anywhere. So I could be going dark shortly. I have to conserve some charge so I can keep in touch with my wife and keep her up to date on what’s happening.

    Yay.

  85. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Things are a bit unsettled here in the Midwest. The storm that cancelled your first flight went north of us heading across Michigan by Doppler radar around 6 am CT. Now there’s a storm wsw of Chicago over the Mississippi that popped up, and no idea of any direction yet.

  86. blf says

    The Hartford airport […,] weirdly, has no accessible electrical outlets anywhere.

    You will soon discover there is also no running water, no toilets, no actual people (just some androids and something else that keeps scurrying away as you approach it…), the doors are locked, the windows unbreakable and, as the Suns rise, you’re looking at an utterly alien landscape. There is also, for some weird reason, an old blue British police box in one of the back rooms…

  87. says

    Hooray! Someone has the guts to dump George Will, and for good reason. Major Newspaper Dumps George Will, Apologizes For ‘Offensive’ Rape Column

    Early this month, Washington Post columnist George Will wrote a column claiming that being a rape victim is now a “coveted status” that college women seek out. Will argued that complaints of rape and sexual assualt on college campus were overblown. He also suggested that women claiming to be raped were “delusional.”

    Will’s column is syndicated in newspapers across the country by the Washington Post, which bills him as “the most influential writer in America.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has published Will’s column for a number of years, has had enough. In a message today to readers, the paper announced they were dropping Will from their paper and apologized for running his column on sexual assault:

    The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.

    Will will be replaced in the Post-Dispatch by another Washington Post columnist, Michael Gerson.

  88. says

    Trigger warning for rape.

    The students who attend Bob Jones University, one of the most conservative Christian colleges in the country, say that they’re often traumatized after seeking counseling from school administrators on the issue of sexual assault. According to an Al Jazeera investigation, Bob Jones staff members have responded to allegations of rape by telling rape victims they should repent for their sins.

    Katie Landry, who was raped by a coworker several times during the summer before she started attending Bob Jones, didn’t tell anyone about her assault for several years. She was deeply ashamed and failed most of her classes her first year of school. When she eventually sought counseling, the dean of students told her that “we have to find the sin in your life that caused your rape.” […]

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/06/19/3450750/rape-victims-bob-jones/

  89. says

    Cliven Bundy-ish conservative politicians and unethical businessmen in western states have been trying for a long time to wrest federal lands away from the government and give them to the individual states. This would be a disaster for national parks, national forests, wilderness areas and BLM lands.

    Not only are rightwing groups getting more serious about this effort, they are now using some taxpayer money to fund their efforts (as well as locking themselves into a more intimate relationship with ALEC.

    According to a ThinkProgress analysis, the American Lands Council (ALC) — an organization created to help states to claim ownership of federal lands — has collected contributions of taxpayer money from government officials in 18 counties in Utah, 10 counties in Nevada, four counties in Washington, three counties in Arizona, two counties in Oregon, two counties in New Mexico, and one county in Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming. In total, county-level elected officials have already paid the ALC more than $200,000 in taxpayer money. A list of these counties and their “membership levels” can be seen on the ALC website.

    Since its inception in 2012, the ALC has been working with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative front group backed by the oil and gas industry and billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, to pass state-level legislation demanding that the federal government turn over federally owned national forests and public lands to Western states. So far, Utah is the only state to have signed a law calling for the seizure of federal lands, but Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana have passed bills to study the idea and further action is expected in statehouses during 2015 legislative sessions. […]

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/18/3450397/politicians-taxpayer-money-seize-public-lands/

  90. says

    I find it bizarre that an airport would not have accessible electrical outlets. How behind the times are they? What do their soda machines look like?

    ****

    Hey look-a graphic novel I have no desire to read:
    http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2014/06/18/first-graphic-novel-apologist-dr-ravi-zacharias/

    This weekend, apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias will debut his first graphic novel, The Lamb and the Fuhrer, at the International Christian Retail Show held at the Georgia World Congress Center. Based on his popular Great Conversations series, this graphic novel is the first in an expected series that covers imaginative conversations between Jesus Christ and historical world thought leaders.

    Jesus meets Hitler as christian apologetics. Ugh.

  91. says

    Whoa! More rightwing dumbfuckery from Arizona, this time from the State Superintendent of Schools.

    A Republican official in Arizona on Wednesday confirmed something that’s long been suspected.

    State schools superintendent John Huppenthal has been a prolific and often incendiary anonymous commenter on local political blogs.

    Under various pseudonyms, including Falcon9, Thucky and Thucydides, Huppenthal has authored hundreds of comments at the progressive Blog for Arizona since at least 2011.

    He engaged in self-promotion, writing in February that he’s “sure” Huppenthal, who’s up for re-election this year, “will be our next superintendent.”

    He once decried Barack Obama for “rewarding the lazy pigs with food stamps (44 million people), air-conditioning, free health care, flat-screen TV’s (typical of ‘poor’ families).” and even went birther, claiming that the president wrote in his memoir that “he was born in Kenya!!!”

    In one comment, he compared Margaret Sanger to Adolf Hitler, writing that the Planned Parenthood founder “fed 16 million African-Americans into the abortion mills. He also argued that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “disastrous economic policies drug down the whole world and directly led to the rise of a no-name hack named Adolph Hitler who was going nowhere until Germany’s economy went into the tank.” […]

    Talking Points Memo link.

  92. says

    Followup to comment #626: Huppenthal, the Arizona State Superintendent of Schools, also thinks “jesters” is the correct spelling for “gestures.”

  93. says

    Just what we need, another “museum” that claims Noah brought baby dinosaurs aboard the ark.

    There is now a pseudo-science creation museum in Boise, Idaho. The Northwest Science Museum, opened its doors to the public on Saturday, reports the Idaho Statesman.

    The museum’s goal: Portray a biblical understanding of creation, and dispute the widely accepted theory of evolution. According to the Idaho Statesman, it has exhibits “about life on Earth as created by God in six days, about 6,000 years ago.”

    “We want to show a lot of science that’s being censored and not presented to the public,” the museum’s executive director, Doug Bennett, told the Idaho Statesman. “Show both a biblical perspective and a naturalistic perspective on items, on fossils, on ancient technology, on that sort of thing.”

    Thus far it is just a “Vision Center,” located next to a local gaming shop. Eventually they hope to build a full-fledged museum. According to Bennett the museum is not affiliated with a religious organization, and was founded by “just a group of us that have kind of the same idea of promoting true science.”[…]

    “Skeptics say ‘well how could Noah bring dinosaurs on the ark if they’re that big?’ And I agree,” a curator tells two kids. […]

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/06/18/3240797/new-boise-creationist-museum-seeks.html

  94. rq says

    Dammit, Latvia is this close to being declared an officially christian country, though it wasn’t founded as such. Awesome.
    Not.

  95. says

    Giving apartments to homeless people who’ve been on the streets for years before they’ve received treatment for drug or alcohol problems or mental illness may not sound like a wise idea. But that’s what’s being done in cities across America in an approach that targets those who’ve been homeless the longest and are believed to be at greatest risk of dying.

    They’re people who once might have been viewed as unreachable. But cities and counties affiliated with a movement known as the 100,000 Homes Campaign announced this past week that they had gotten more than 100,000 of these people off the streets and into permanent housing. We first told you about this initiative earlier this year. Local governments and non-profit groups do most of the work. The money comes mostly from existing federal programs and private donations, and there’s evidence that this approach saves taxpayers’ money.
    […]

    “Yes, we are paying more as taxpayers to walk past that person on the street and do nothing than we would be paying to just give them an apartment.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/housing-homeless-can-save-money/

  96. David Wilford says

    Reagan on the outside, Nixon on the inside.

    John Doe prosecutors allege Scott Walker at center of ‘criminal scheme’

    Madison — Prosecutors allege that Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican senators fend off recall elections during 2011 and ’12, according to documents unsealed Thursday.

    In the documents, prosecutors lay out what they call a “criminal scheme” to bypass state election laws by Walker, his campaign and two top deputies — R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.

    The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors’ filings.

    The documents include an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson is also chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group active in the recall elections.

    “Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like 9 congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities),” Walker wrote to Rove on May 4, 2011.

    A federal judge unsealed the court documents Thursday as part of a lawsuit attempting to halt the secret investigation into the so-called John Doe probe into the recall elections.

  97. says

    PZ:

    Guess what? I’m still in Hartford. I got up at 4am to get to the airport to catch my 6:30 flight, and it was cancelled — something about major storms all across the midwest.

    Oy, sorry to hear, PZ. I hope you get out soon. Here in my patch of ND, it has been cloudy and raining nonstop for much too long, but no sign of a major storm today. Had one last night, though.

  98. says

    Just got notified that my outgoing flight to Chicago is delayed sufficiently that I’ll miss my connecting flight to Minneapolis.

    What is going on, Midwest? I leave for just a day and the whole region has to have a tantrum?

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ, right now a line of thunderstorms running N-S in Iowa from Missouri into Minnesota touching the Mississippi at he north and south junctures. Flood warnings in effect for our area.

  100. David Marjanović says

    It’s raining links!

    Up-to-then responsible gun owner shot himself in the. I’m not telling – follow the link!

    “Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is a career politician who came up through city councils and the legislature – a man who never spent a day teaching class. Nationally, Huppenthal is probably best known as an advocate for privatizing education [link], and he was part of the Republican team that carried out the Ethnic Studies ban [link] two years ago in the Tucson Unified School District, a dick move that eliminated Latino and Native American voices from the curriculum – in a district that is majority Hispanic.” And now Huppenthal has confessed to being an ordinary fuckwitted commenter on the Internet – on the bad end of the spectrum we get here so often!

    Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has a plan to create jobs. A short plan.

    Not wanting to scare away tourists, Missouri town bans open carry” – however: “Lake Ozark’s open-carry ban might be short-lived [link]. While there’s a law in Missouri that’s been around for 30 years allowing cities and towns to regulate themselves when it comes to open carry, this year the state Senate passed a measure that would both make cities unable to ban the open carry of firearms to those with concealed carry permits, and would reverse any current local laws denying open carry to permit-holders.

    Governor Jay Nixon hasn’t said yet whether he will sign the bill.”

    Cesar Chavez removed from the ballot in Arizona” – I actually wonder if he had the accent put in his name.

    And now for some weirdness: “Glenn Beck Admits “Liberals, You Were Right” On Iraq – Updated w/Pat Robertson TOO“!!!

    Dammit, Latvia is this close to being declared an officially christian country, though it wasn’t founded as such. Awesome.
    Not.

    Jesus is King of Poland. And Mary is Queen.

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think PZ is doomed. A second line of t-storms behind the first mentioned in #637 running from Minneapolis to Omaha.

  102. says

    Here’s a Moment of Mormon Multi-level Marketing Madness:

    A Kaysville businessman has been charged with running an alleged Ponzi scheme that took more than $72 million from about 700 people. […]

    U.S. bankruptcy officials suspected Randall — the owner of Horizon Mortgage & Investment, Horizon Financial & Insurance Group and Horizon Auto Funding — ran a Ponzi scheme in which monies from new investors were used to pay earlier investors to make it appear the businesses were profitable. Some of his investors lost their entire retirement funds, according to the charges.

    Randall and his agents sold “Horizon Notes,” which purportedly provided annual returns of 9 to 17 percent, according to the charges. Investors were told that their funds would be used to finance car loans and real estate, the charges add. […]

    Most of the investors were sold on the high interest rate because Randall had a good reputation in the insurance industry and was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints, according to the charges.

    “Many put their entire retirement or life savings into Randall’s entities. Some took out equity from their homes to invest. Other monies were obtained from paid-out life insurance policies upon the death of loved ones,” the charges read. “[…]

    Randall filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2010. The securities division opened a formal investigation into Randall about six months later. […]

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58084384-78/randall-investors-charges-horizon.html.csp

  103. David Marjanović says

    Moar links. DUMP ALL THE LINKS

    Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) is being his usual fuckwitted asshole-self again. “White House to Republican senators floating shutdown threat: Don’t even think about it“!

    “Remember those 3 million long-term unemployed that aren’t getting benefits anymore because Congress decided that they needed to get off their lazy duffs and ‘git a job’?” Well. “The good news is that the long-term unemployed are not tracked [link], and ‘are having no effect on the labor market’.”

    Very short article in German: Anders “NATO” Fogh Rasmussen sez Russia is massing troops at Ukrainian border.

    Flying pigs spotted, have their 4 fingers per hand greatly elongated to span an enormous wing membrane, retain vestigial hooves at the ends. In other news, “Turkey Endorses Independent Kurdistan, Partition of Iraq“.

    Trigger warning: rape apology.
    A state representative of Maine, Republican of course, has said that if abortion is legal, so should rape be. Because that’s only logical. Or something.

    The Republican Rape Advisory Chart! Not one chart, but eight lists (“volumes”) of batshit bugfuck fruitloop Dunning/Kruger statements about rape by Republican politicians. From a… sociological point of view, it’s interesting to see that the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down passes for textbook biology among Republicans: comments to that effect date not just from 2012, but also from 1995, 1998, 2008 and 2013 (three times). If you can, look for them and read them – most of them are very explicit about how the biology is supposed to work.

  104. opposablethumbs says

    Sorry about the storm god tantrums, PZ, it sounds like a right pain in the arse. Don’t suppose there’s any chance you can actually get some rest, is there, as long as it’s out of your hands anyway?

    Hope you can get to where you want to be soon.

  105. says

    For Fuck’s Fucking sake, it’s bad enough that I have to take out godamned loans to pay for school, but the fact that apparently there’s no fucking tech support for the website (The only way I can access said loans) is beyond the fucking pale. I swear, there is nothing in this worthless shithole of a country that even pretends to fucking work the way it’s supposed to. I’ve been on the phone for more than an hour, been hung up on three times, and I still can’t even fucking log into the fucking website.

  106. says

    Almost on my last plane of the day — might make it to Minneapolis tonight, unless we run into a Sharknado or someone has snakes in their luggage. And then I’m going to stop. Not even going to try to get to Morris. Holing up in a hotel to sleep.

  107. says

    I may be speaking too soon, though. This plane is listed as “on schedule”, but departure is supposed to be in 15 minutes, yet no one is boarding.

  108. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you go over Madison to Minneapolis, you might miss most of the storm. Sigh, I’m in the middle of the red band.

  109. says

    Nerd:
    Seconding Inaji.
    Do you have any sort of storm cellar?

    ****
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/06/19/3450755/american-apparel-ceo-fired/

    American Apparel has fired CEO and founder Dov Charney, citing “an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct” by Charney, who has been repeatedly accused of sexually harassing employees in the past.
    One source told the Los Angeles Times that Charney’s misconduct wasn’t criminal but involved his personal behavior with women, and the company’s new co-chairman said it hadn’t acted sooner because “a board can’t make decisions on the basis of rumors and stories in newspapers.”
    Charney had been accused of sexual harassment by seven different employees in the past, including allegations of harassment by phone and sexual assault in person. Some of the lawsuits that sprung out of those claims had reportedly been settled without payment or otherwise found to be without merit. At one point the company had backed Charney aggressively in response to harassment allegations, telling the Los Angeles Times that four of Charney’s accusers were attempting to “shake down” the company and CEO in 2011.

    Glad to see they reversed course on that.

  110. says

    Christ. There’s a reason they’re not boarding my “on time” flight: there’s no plane there. It hasn’t arrived yet. But they keep pretending it will magically pull up to the gate, all of its passengers efficiently debark, and the hundreds of people here, who all seem to be hauling giant wheelie bags, will swiftly march on…all in the space of ten minutes.

    I am really tired of the airline’s habit of lying to their customers, right up until the momen the lie is too obvious to ignore anymore.

  111. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The storm in the Midwest caused mass chaos at the Atlanta airport today. My flight from ATL to Charleston was delayed hours. Never seen that airport that busy. I could have just driven home from Birmingham today as long as it took to fly.

  112. Anathema says

    Hey, Nerd? There’s someone over on Slacktivist arguing in favor of banning religion under your name. At first I thought that it might actually be you (yeah, I’m an idiot, sorry about that), but having thought about it some more, I decided that that’s unlikely, since I know from your comments here that you are far more intelligent than the comments left under your name over at Slacktivist would indicate.

    Anyway, I thought that you ought to know that there’s a troll who’s impersonating you in this comment thread.

  113. says

    There’s some rule about intervals between lightning strikes before you’re allowed to take off, so we’re now sitting on a runway in Chicago. Sooooo tiiiiiired.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There’s some rule about intervals between lightning strikes before you’re allowed to take off, so we’re now sitting on a runway in Chicago. Sooooo tiiiiiired.

    So close, but so far…The rain from the first front just arrived here in Chiwaukee. No real lightning or thunder yet. Oop, I stand corrected by the grumbles.

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There should be about an hour between storm lines, so PZ should be able to get airborne. And the northern edge of the second line appears to be dissipating. He might be able to go around the worst of it.

  116. says

    Still sitting on the runway. Only one was open, so we’re in a loooong line of planes.

    Now they just closed our runway and told the pilot to power down his engines for a while. Fuck.

  117. says

    I am really tired of the airline’s habit of lying to their customers, right up until the momen the lie is too obvious to ignore anymore.

    Welcome to Corporate America. Lying and cheating is the status quo.

    Inaji, Nerd, others in the storm area, be safe and best wishes.

  118. yazikus says

    Anathema, I just followed your link and, holy cow! Having someone steal your ‘nym? That seems horribly rude and obsessive. I love that the only person asserting that it is our Nerd links to a SlymePit post. Also he refers to PZ as Nerd’s god. So there is that. And the obsessive, “See my comments (link here) at Pharyngula where I am a regular?” every few posts. I hope the mods ban the troll.

  119. yazikus says

    From that thread, a comment from ‘Nerd of Redhead, OM’ (disqus history private, odd considering the commenter keeps linking back to comments here):

    Here’s me, telling people to provide proof with citations in a comment section on FTB.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/ph

    Not suspicious at all.

  120. yazikus says

    PZ

    Thinking about getting out and walking home.

    Any chance you could take a train? I’ve always found them to be delightful.

  121. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So far, this storm has been a dud. The Doppler says we should being getting about 1.5 inches/hour (or day?), but I can’t hear any significant rainfall.

    I can’t comprehend why PZ is still grounded by the Doppler radars.

  122. MG Myers says

    We’ve got fireworks in Morris, MN. Lightning is flashing about every ten seconds, but we don’t have any rain right now.

  123. rq says

    Some relatively good news on the environmental front from Australia. Also: aboriginal (? correct?) land rights. The phrase that stood out to me? This one:

    “I think that is very, very stupid idea for us to sell our land to get better education and scholarships,” Sambo said.

    “As an Australian we should be already entitled to that.”

  124. Anathema says

    @ Yazikus, #663:

    The Nerd impersonator will probably get banned. But I’m not sure how much good that will do. The regulars over at Slacktivist suspect that this is actually an old troll who has been banned several times before but keeps on finding ways to get around the ban.

  125. says

    Crip Dyke:
    If you’re around, I think you might appreciate a blogger I just stumbled upon-Jay Justice. I found her while I was doing an image search for Monica Rambeau. Here’s an excerpt from her ‘About Me':

    I make my own costumes. All of my home made costumes are hand sewn and hand crafted. A few of my oldest costumes were store bought, I’m sure you can tell which. There are very few characters that I am a fan of who are licensed as costumes, and then the licensed version tends to be nothing like how they appear in the canon. (Batgirl skirt anyone?? dafuq man) They were altered by me to be more form fitting and accurate, which is the key to making a costume look right. Store bought costumes tend to be ‘one size fits most’ and well who fits into this nebulous ‘most’ category? Lol.

    I have over 30 costumes at this point and will probably finish out the year with 40 or more. Help! It’s an addiction. I find a thing I like. The thing has characters in it that I identify with. I want to be that character. And so it begins. I have been costuming since late 2010 so it will be 4 years come this New York Comic Con.

    The more costumes I make the less concerned with ‘accuracy’ I get. I like having unique costumes that don’t look like anyone else’s anyway.Does it look good? Can you still tell what character it’s supposed to be? Does it fit well? GREAT. You have a costume. Go out & have fun in it. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If other people are trying to sweat it for you, tell them to get up off your *** unless they’re going to buy you dinner first.

    True ‘accuracy’ in costuming is more to do with the actual style of the costume, not the person in it. When someone criticizes me for my race and claims that they are only saying that my costume is inaccurate because a black person is wearing it, that is racism. Anyone who is determined to maintain a canon which has 90% white characters is determined to uphold a facet of white supremacy. If you’re not open to diversity by any means necessary, then you are anti equality. This is my belief in a nutshell and if you disagree just unfollow me now. I will not argue about this and I don’t care to hear your opposing view.

    Fandom is a tiny subset of the real world, of the rest of our lives. It can seem huge and all encompassing when we spend so much time discussing our favorite things, but I can never forget what it is like to be persecuted and physically assaulted for being black. Fandom is the place we go to escape such things. But of course, there are racist people in fandom also, and they bring their prejudices with them. Even the well meaning people who would never consider themselves to be racist, are capable of and do say things that are harmful.

    I personally will never be silent when someone says or does something that is racist or prejudiced or trans-phobic or homophobic. I am not trans but I cannot sit idly by when marginalized people are being mistreated. I try never to speak over someone else and ask for advice from those who are a part of that group, or simply bring something that may be problematic to their attention so that they can handle it if they choose to do so. I am not a spokesperson for any group either. Just one woman who is tired of being treated like a second class citizen.

    I am permanently disabled. I have had this disability for 13 years. I sometimes use mobility aids to get around. You may see me with a cane or a wheelchair. This doesn’t mean my situation has worsened or improved. It is what it is. Soon I may be in my wheelchair on a more permanent basis. It is very likely. I have accepted this. There is no cure at this time. I prefer not to disclose the nature of my disease publicly. I do not want any medical advice, experimental drugs, herb cachets, prayers, blessings or anything of that nature. Unless you are Jennifer Hale. Jennifer Hale can pretty much say anything to me that she likes.

    Awesome cosplay images here.

  126. Menyambal says

    PZ, I hope your plane gets rolling soon.

    I used to carry a folding Chinese fan in my bag for those hot runways with the engines off. Saved my life, it felt like.

  127. says

    I am extremely threadrupt. And it seems I am coming in here just at the end of this Lounge’s currentness. But I have had absolutely nothing to say (or maybe it would be more accurate to say that the main thing I had to say would require a wall of text I wasn’t particularly eager to type out – re: OCPD brother-in-law). The month of May was a wash for me. A few weeks of family staying in our house and I really did nothing. I read most of the first page and still had nothing to contribute.

    June came, and kids got to the end of the school year. Now World Cup. Really dislike FIFA, I think Brazil had other things to spend money on (though who doesn’t? And I should check on whether the tourism brings in enough to counter what the government spends on stadiums and infrastructure), but I really like the game itself.

    Taking a small peek back, I see that Giliell is contemplating a house (congrats) and our tentacled overlord would have done better driving back from Hartford.

    HelloFlo has a rather funny advertisement for their mail-order menstrual product service. I’m a middle-aged dad, and now I kinda want to have a First Moon party.

  128. says

    Crossing fingers that I’ll be able to collect unemployment benefits (everything is submitted, so now it’s the waiting game). If not, paying for rent is going to be rather difficult (I *think* my parents may be able to help with that). Managed to sell a few comics on eBay, but nowhere near enough. Looks like I need to put my whole 12K+ collection up.

  129. says

    Tony!
    Hopefully the UI comes through. It’s been my experience that it’s actually pretty hard for employers to deny it, but that’s Oregon, and unfortunately it’s administered state by state*, so I have no idea what things are like in FL.

    *Of all the stupid fucking things, seriously. I have never understood this obsession America has with filtering Federal business through yet another layer of bullshit. I know Canada does it too, with healthcare, for instance, and that’s always struck me as incredibly stupid too.

  130. chigau (違う) says

    The weather here is very benign.
    I’m going to bed with the hope that everyone is safe.

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

    I know I look scarier than Jason and more fragile than a glass figure, going at the hedge with those big electrical scissors, but could everyone and their dog please stop commenting about men’s work?
    Thank you so much.

    To mneighbour who said thatt women here (in Slovenia) don’t work yup, I’m sure your laundry walks itself through water and into the sun to drY.
    (Presumably, he was talking about physicL kind of garden work I was doing amd not.wotk in general, but still – it’s telling.)

  132. says

    Good morning

    Hope our squidly overlord found some place to get some rest and all the hordlings in the way of the storms are safe.
    Just an aside, one of the best 20 bucks I ever spent were on an external battery to charge the tablet and the mobile.

    +++
    beatrice
    Oh, I had the opposite yesterday: I went to visit my gran in the nursing home and we went to the little café there. At one point when we had been there for a while I walked past another table in order to get outside so i could check on the kids, the man who sat there said “Fräulein, could you bring me another cup of coffee?” Because since serving men coffee is women’s work any woman will do.

    +++
    Tony
    Fingers are crossed

    +++
    So, we did a first tentative internet search. The good news: There are suitable houses in this area for sale at a price that lies within our range. More good news: We found out that we’Re pretty clueless about many things. Why’s that good news? Because there’s no better recipe for disaster than not having a clue and not realizing said fact.
    Maybe there’s a book “buying a house for dummies”. Because how do I compare a house that’s been built in ’55 and renovated twice in the ’90s and the 2000’s to one that’s been built in ’71 but still has the original wallpaper? Would it be better to spend more money on one that’s been recently renovated so we could move in immediately or would it be better to buy a cheaper one and have it renovated to our likes?
    This is going to cost me a lot of sleep…

  133. opposablethumbs says

    Would it be better to spend more money on one that’s been recently renovated so we could move in immediately or would it be better to buy a cheaper one and have it renovated to our likes?

    I am 99.9% ignorant when it comes to house-buying, but this one at least has to be partly dependent on your personality and inclinations rather than any general rule – how much customising of your home do you want to do/actually enjoy doing? When we moved into this flat, many years ago (and pre-Spawn) we were fairly keen (if inexperienced) about changing things, and did a big wave of stuff (wallpaper, plaster, me hanging out of the window waaay up high above the ground to put in a new wall vent, paint of every type, new floor-planks, building own bed, building own big table, adapting things to fit, inventing shelving systems etc. etc. etc. in every square millimetre of the flat. We got the place sort of mostly-done. After that we ran out of energy and did nothing more for years; now I don’t know if we could get it together to straighten a picture frame. So, kind of a personal thing, perhaps! :-)

    I’d say, though, that if you have any inclination and ability to fix-up, then getting more space for your money and fixing it up is a good idea – you get to decide how you want things, and you end up with more space. But if you know it’s going to make you miserable to live in a semi-building-site for possibly a long time (because realistically, how much time and energy can you spare to do it?) then it could be better to just walk in. And of course it depends on what if any financial flexibility you have. I do remember it felt good to have done those bits and pieces ourselves, though, even though we’d never do it again!

    Paying other people to do it depends on what those people turn out to be like. Even the best and most reliable can get thrown out of their schedule by having to wait for someone else to turn up to do their bit!

    Oh, and the most fun (for certain values of fun) was some years later: having no bathroom for weeks one summer – with young Spawn. Thank dog for the neighbours.

    Good luck either way!

  134. opposablethumbs says

    … and caught up just enough to wonder if PZ is still stuck in a plane on a runway somewhere. Argh. Hope you are safely on your way or ideally have arrived by now, PZ!

  135. carlie says

    Because how do I compare a house that’s been built in ’55 and renovated twice in the ’90s and the 2000′s to one that’s been built in ’71 but still has the original wallpaper?

    More important than renovations and age is what was going on in construction at the time the house was built, I’ve learned to my own sorrow. For example, in my part of my country, the 1960s were a time of huge population growth, but before the first huge national oil crisis. Therefore, houses were built quickly and crappily, without any care in the world given to things like having any fucking insulation. A house built here in the 1920s-1940s is actually more likely to be structurally sound and with a lower heating/cooling bill than one built in the 1960s. What renovations can do, however, is help with electrical issues, which is another huge thing to look at. Not just the number of outlets per room, but the amount of current the entire house can draw based on its main fusebox setup. Older houses didn’t anticipate needing huge numbers of things plugged in all the time. Our housing inspector rated our house as “adequte, but just barely” for electricity, which turns out to mean that if a space heater is on in our kid’s room and I turn on the hair dryer in my room the circuit blows. The guts of the house are more important than what it looks like.

  136. carlie says

    This is pretty great. It’s a t-shirt that says “Rules for dating my daughter. 1. I don’t make the rules. 2. You don’t make the rules. 3. She makes the rules. 4. Her body, her rules.” Then at the bottom it says “feminist father”.

  137. opposablethumbs says

    I like that! I’d like it even more if it were “my child” … and “you make the rules wrt your body, xe makes the rules wrt xirs. Xir body, xir rules”
    Or, you know, something like that :-)