Comments

  1. voss says

    Did I do something seriously wrong? I seem to be unable to access any Patheos blogs. I get the banner page, but I can’t get to the content.

  2. rq says

    [childhood atrocities]
    I must be the world’s worst mum, since I decided that Ninnis the Elephant needed a bath, and talked Youngest into putting him into the washing machine himself. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
    Now the world is ending, but he can’t walk away because his best friend is in there, and there’s still about 90 minutes left in the cycle.
    It seemed like a good idea…
    [/childhood atrocities]

  3. rq says

    opposablethumbs
    I rather liked the display, mostly for the different standards and types of beauty they represent (not that any of them are more ‘real’ than any of the others). But yes, quite a few of them show somewhat disturbing changes – it was interesting to remark how most of them went for blue eyes as beautiful, though the original colour isn’t even close.

  4. varady72 says

    “As far as biological cause and effect are concerned, music is useless. It shows no signs of design for attaining a goal such as long life, grandchildren, or accurate perception and prediction of the world. Music appears to be a pure pleasure technology, a cocktail of recreational drugs that we ingest through the ear to stimulate a mass of pleasure circuits at once. Compared with language, vision, social reasoning, and physical know-how, music could vanish from our species and the rest of our lifestyle would be virtually unchanged”

    ———————–

    The above is an excerpt from the book “How The Mind Works” by neuroscientist Steven Pinker.

    1. Do you think he’s right?

    Let me quickly say that I adore music, especially Monteverdi, Brahms and Debussy. But no matter how many times their compositions lift me to the heights of aesthetic experience I always quietly acknowledge to myself that it’s still….. only music. I understand that the pleasure is biologically pointless and that no higher purpose is being served by it.

    Also let’s be clear about something: Pinker makes no pretense to explain or even comment on the aesthetic, spiritual, or metaphysical qualities (or any qualities at all) of music. He is a scientist who studies brain function; he comments only on the measurable energy in the brain generated in response to measurable stimuli. The responses may occur in different locations in the brain, with differing intensities, but the cultural significance of the stimuli is irrelevant to Pinker’s interests and cannot be identified based on the measured response. For that matter, responses occurring in the same area of the brain, with similar intensities, may be equated even if the stimuli are of entirely different kinds or characters. So there is no point in asking Pinker for thoughts on the ability of a Beethoven quartet or a Schubert sonata or a Wagner opera to inspire higher thoughts or exalted emotions, since those are not measurable by his methods and really not of much interest in the context of his research.

    2. In light of Pinker’s remarks do you think musicians, conductors and critics sometimes take themselves too seriously?

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Varaday72 #6

    Do you think he’s right?

    A press release from Society for Neuroscience.
    Example paper from Journal of Neuroscience.

    In short, no.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    NB! Study: Financial Education Key For Domestic Violence Survivors http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/24/domestic-violence_n_5611887.html

    — —
    Space Station 76 Is Bringing 1970s Futurism Back http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/07/22/space_station_76_is_made_in_the_style_of_1970s_futurism.html

    — —
    Roko’s Basilisk sounds like an evil hypothetical AI in one of Charles Stross’ earlier books, you know, the potential rival of the Eschaton. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/07/roko_s_basilisk_the_most_terrifying_thought_experiment_of_all_time.html

    — —
    The strange relationship between global warming denial and… speaking English http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/23/the-strange-relationship-between-global-warming-denial-and-speaking-english Murdoch has much to answer for.

    — —
    Video: The diversity of habitable zones and the planets
    http://phys.org/news/2014-07-video-diversity-habitable-zones-planets.html

  7. says

    @rq
    Those photoshop jobs sure have a wide range. Some of them are pretty reasonable, some of them look like a makeup kit exploded, and some are hardly recognizable as the same woman.

  8. Roberto Teixeira says

    Prof. Myers, any developments on that story of the nutjob newspaper crowd accusing you of stealing their free papers?

  9. says

    Has there been an update on the site? Because my browser has suddenly started closing randomly and only when I’m visiting this site. Anyone else having trouble or is it just my 8 year old computer that’s acting up?

  10. Feats of Cats says

    So, I think you lot will understand my happiness in this better than anyone I know IRL.

    I posted this here before because I’m super proud of him: my boyfriend is doing a project where he’s making ten silly cat drawings every day. http://10dailycats.tumblr.com/

    Last week I noticed that the few times he’d included pronouns in the little captions some of them have, it was always a male pronoun. I pointed this out to him, and it was just as I thought, it hadn’t occurred to him that he was using “male” as the default gender. It was like a little light bulb went on over his head.

    Sadly, he then followed it up with “I’m not sure how to draw female cats, besides just giving them eyelashes or something, but that seems pretty lame.” I said, “NO. Just change the pronoun, they don’t need to and shouldn’t look different.”

    He totally took my advice and has included some female-pronouned cats in gender-neutral situations. :)

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

    Is it bad that I love Stutter when so much of the rest of MT’s work is horribly problematic and Stutter ain’t exactly free of that?

    I’m trying very hard not to have a sad at the song that used to give me a happy b/c I finally listened to some of their other songs…

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

    Okay,

    I just realized that what I really need is some upbeat songs I can play that are interesting but also relatively complete with the chords alone so I don’t have to spend a bunch of time learning the melody (remember I am only recently reacquainted with the guitar).

    Any suggestions?

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

    what I really need is some upbeat songs

    obviously what I really need is subject/verb/object agreement…

  14. blf says

    Pokes his head in for a second…

    No-body tries to bite if off, stick it in a washing machine, or make its verbs agree with any of the fecking noun.

    Decides this is a worrying sign and so scampers off to dinner…

    Also, no cheese.

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

    Inspired by Feats of Cats’ boyfriend’s tumbler:

    Muh Muh Muh Myyyyy FeDORa!

    Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

  16. rq says

    *cheese* for blf… It’s in the washing machine, but it doesn’t agree with anything, much less subjects or verbs.

  17. Rowan vet-tech says

    @6, Varady-

    Music is a force of social cohesion and can bring the ‘group’ together. It’s one reason we enjoy campfire songs so much. Music was and is also used to help coordinate work forces. Waulking songs are one such example.

    Beyond that, music is so important to *me* that I’d rather go blind than deaf. I have songs running through my head every moment I’m awake. Music helps tone down my ADHD so that I can concentrate for longer periods of time.

  18. says

    Some of the statistics Shiri Eisner is discussing in “Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution”, regarding victimization of bisexuals and various issues like suicides and mental illness are rather disturbing. I’ve got several highlights made in this section so I can look up her sources later. If she’s reporting on a fair reading of the source data, and the source data is itself credible, this is raising bi erasure from goddamned annoying to enraging.

  19. says

    This is both sad and maddening:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/24/minnesota-man-guns-down-teen-girl-after-she-asks-him-to-stop-riding-lawnmower-in-her-yard/
    A Minnesota man who admitted shooting a 17-year-old girl multiple times because she asked him to stop trespassing on his riding lawnmower has been charged with attempted first-degree murder.

    According to a criminal complaint obtained by The Associated Press, 40-year-old Chad Pickering shot the 17-year-old girl in the chest, right thigh and left ankle while she was standing on the deck of her Bemidji home on Monday night.

    “The victim herself was able to describe what had happened and talk to us and tell us that she’d simply been shot when she stepped out of her house to check on her dogs,” Sheriff Phil Hodapp explained to WCCO.

    The teen told investigators that she had asked Pickering not to ride his lawnmower through her yard. She also said that he often carried a pistol with him on the lawnmower.

  20. says

    Awwww, it couldn’t have happened to a more vile guy:

    Eric Stonestreet, the “Modern Family” better half — and now husband — to Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s character “Mitch,” says that he is shocked how many anti-gay conservatives want to get their picture taken with him. The 42-year old Emmy Award-winning actor told the Huffington Post yesterday that at a recent White House Correspondents Dinner — which has become a who’s who of Hollywood elites — Rick Santorum asked Stonestreet to pose for a photo with him.

    “Rick Santorum wanted a picture with me,” Stonestreet told Huff Post Live on Wednesday. “It was at a time when he was publicly saying, ‘Gay marriage, gay marriage [is wrong],’ and I’m like, ‘You know, I can’t do it.’ It was with him and his kids or something like that, and I said, ‘I’d be happy to take a picture with the kids, but I can’t just be in a picture with [Santorum.]'”

    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/modern_family_s_eric_stonestreet_rick_santorum_wanted_a_photo_with_me_i_said_no

  21. says

    ‘Hawkeye’ is one of Marvel’s critically acclaimed books. Fantastic storytelling by writer Matt Fraction, and gorgeous art by David Aja. It’s been on a short hiatus and no one has known why. Now we do:

    With awards, acclaim and high sales to its credit, Marvel Comics’ “Hawkeye” was the last series many readers wanted to see take an extended hiatus. But after months away from stores, the critical darling will make a quiet return at the end of this month.

    Today, a story on the NY Times’ Arts Beat blog revealed that “Hawkeye” #19 will finally ship on July 30, explaining that the cause of the long delay was the labor-intensive task of artist David Aja drawing the issue’s sign language-based story.

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=54310

  22. opposablethumbs says

    Feats of Cats, I love it – go you (and of course go cats) and your partner, one paw at a time.

    PS have you seen the irresistible ballet-loving-cat-opening-drawer thing that’s around tumblr?

  23. says

    http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2014/07/24/nickelodeon-moves-legend-of-korra-online/

    Nickelodeon has unexpectedly pulled the final five episodes of The Legend of Korra Season 3 from its broadcast schedule, deciding instead to stream them online.

    Bryan Konietzko, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, responded quickly Wednesday to fan outcry over the animated series’ seeming disappearance, posting the image below on his blog. The show’s official Tumblr page also clarified that following Friday’s television premiere of “The Terror Within,” episodes will appear weekly beginning Aug. 1 on Nick.com, the Nick app and other platform.

  24. cicely says

    rq:

    That ladybug – friend or food?

    Hood ornament.

    Feats of Cats:
    *thumbs up*
    :)

    varady72, it is my official opinion that in regards to his opinion of the importance of music, Steven Pinker is full of shit.
    Music is an important mood modifier/emotional intensifier.
    No tunes for him!
    -

  25. jste says

    Feats of Cats: Funny, just a week or two ago, I hit upon a similar idea as your boyfriend, except with penguins, and not even half as much dedication. I love his tumblr.

    Why did wordpress eat my last comment? Weird.

  26. says

    Can anyone in the UK confirm or deny these:
    10 strange laws in the UK:

    4. It’s Illegal For 2 Men To Have Sex If A 3rd’s In The House.

    The industrial revolution brought a lot with it in Britain: finance, technology, and for the first time, highly centralized and densely populated city centers around the industrial areas. The influx of workers caused an explosion of ‘dens of inequity’ – brothels and ‘Molly houses’ (kind of like gay sex clubs, with an emphasis in feminization and cross-dressing). The authorities, in an outraged attempt to curb all this lasciviousness, enacted a law that was never repealed so still technically stands: that no two men can have sex if there is a third in the property.
    3. Sexual Activity In A Public Lavatory

    While it’s no surprise that sex in a public convenience is illegal, what makes it interesting is that it’s the only location prohibited by name in the English legal code. Public lavatory sex was so prevalent in and around London in the 60s and 70s that the law was introduced to stamp it out, causing George Michael to flee the country and get arrested for it in America instead.
    2. Dogging Is Legal

    In an unusual show of sexual liberalism in England, the activity known as ‘dogging’ is perfectly legal, but only if no one complains about it. Dogging got its name from the act of meeting strangers for sex in public under the guise of taking your dog for a walk, and it seems to have been weirdly popular in the early noughties, attracting major soccer stars and the occasional weathergirl, who would all meet in the car park of a local, reasonably private beauty spot and get it on.
    1. It Is Illegal For Your Dog To Have Sex With The Queen’s Dog

    Continuing the dogwalking theme, if you’re wandering around Hyde Park outside Buckingham Palace and your pooch wants to smooch the queen’s corgis, you will go to prison. So enthusiastic are the royal family to protect the pureness of their breeds that the law protects them from unwanted mongrel attention. Down boy.

  27. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Would you like some hops with that beer?

    Weird; out here, it’s usually “hey, ya want some beer in your hops?”

  28. cicely says

    Some conservative/fundie group will throw Nugent a gig. I don’t think we need to even pretend to feel sorry for him.
    -

  29. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Rupt

    We already knew PETA was the worst but now:

    An animal rights group is offering to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroit residents on the condition they become vegan for one month.

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking Detroiters to mail the group a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and a pledge by Aug. 1.

    From facebook: (Guerilla Feminism, great page, go like it)

    Water bills paid in full in exchange for going vegan? Sounds suspiciously like food and medical care for disadvantaged PoC abroad in exchange for a conversion to Christianity. Classist, racist, imperialist. PETA sucks. -OM

    For context, Detroit shut off a loooootttt of water. Guess who is mainly bearing the brunt of the water bill crack down? You get three guesses and the first two don’t count.

  30. says

    Portia:
    That’s disgusting. For an organization that has “ethical” in their name, that’s really fucked up. I know PETA is horrible, but damn.

    ****

    Uh-oh, RWAs are all flustered again (I think they stay in a perpetual state of fluster, come to think of it):

    http://antiviral.gawker.com/homophobes-freak-out-over-gay-batman-rumor-1610334029/+laceydonohue

    On Monday, totally fake and not real “satire” news site National Report published an article claiming they had obtained a leaked script of the upcoming Superman Vs. Batman [sic]: Dawn Of Justice, one that portrayed the Dark Knight as “an out-and-proud homosexual.” Naturally, Internet bigots treated the report with their typical level of caution and skepticism, going completely bat-shit over the bat-rumors.

  31. rq says

    I meant ‘wow’ at the amount of training, endurance, strength, determination and preparation that goes into a performance like that, not at the fact that women can be ninjas, too. Because that part should be obvious.

  32. birgerjohansson says

    When the Elder Gods call: “Moving wasn’t a choice, Sweden called to me’ http://www.thelocal.se/20140725/moving-was-never-a-choice-sweden-called-to-me
    Bwahahahaha!
    — — —

    I heard that the ancient comic book character Archie had finally been killed off, but I did not expect this: ”Sabrina The Teenage Witch Marries Ctulhu”.
    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/07/23/the-rather-surprising-fate-of-sabrina-the-teenage-witch/
    — —

    Spider Pig? https://www.facebook.com/index.php#!/photo.php?v=765696766775312

  33. blf says

    Step in a puddle of water, get a electric shock, and jump in front of the on-coming traffic, Vibrating smartshoes put Google Maps at your feet:

    Smartshoes could be the next big thing in wearable technology, an Indian startup claims, revealing a pair of internet-connected shoes that connect to Google Maps and guide the wearer with small vibrations.

    The Lechal shoes — which means “take me along” in Hindi — were originally developed to help navigation for the visually impaired, but applications for fitness and the sighted were quickly realised.

    Taking directions from the smartphone, the left or right shoe buzzes when walkers need to turn at a junction or fork, but are also packed with sensors to record distance travelled and calories burned.

    At the moment, many of the comments are hilarious.

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

    @Tony!, #55:

    I have no idea who most of those characters are, but I love Kitty’s pride of place!

  35. says

    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/cover_model_comes_out_as_trans_on_entertainment_tonight

    Fashion Supermodel Andreja Pejic went public about her journey as a transgender woman yesterday, have a look.
    “To all trans youth out there, I would like to say respect yourself and be proud of who you are. All human beings deserve equal treatment no matter their gender identity or sexuality. To be perceived as what you say you are is a basic human right….” – Andreja Pejic

    What an awesome statement to make. I appreciate that she realizes that she has a public platform that can be used to the benefit of others.

  36. says

    Hey, rq, I’m back home after more than a week of traveling and I was wondering if you received the book I mailed to you.

    In other news, I can add to the discussion of Rupert Murdoch’s contributions to climate change denial along with the inability to properly write/speak English by noting that Republican politicians in the USA are bucking the Pentagon on climate change. Strangely stubborn, those Republicans. Strangely similar to Rupert Murdoch.

    At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing [on Tuesday], a Department of Defense representative laid out how climate change is exposing its infrastructure in coastal and Arctic regions to rising sea levels and extreme weather, and that it’s even impacting decisions like which types of weapons the Pentagon buys. This is only the latest in a series of recent warnings from the military, which raised the issue as far back as George W. Bush’s second term.

    In March, the Pentagon warned, in its Quadrennial Defense Review, that the effects of climate change “are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions — conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.” In other words, increased drought and water shortages are likely to trigger fighting over limited resources. […]

    Republicans have chosen a head-in-the-sand approach. They’re ignoring Pentagon reports, with one notable exception. They passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill that bars the Department of Defense from spending money to assess the effects of climate change on national security.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118830/pentagon-tell-republicans-climate-change-hurting-military

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/gop-lawmakers-balk-pentagons-climate-concerns

  37. says

    So I was researching some questions regarding gender identity. At least for the obvious(to me) search terms, there seems to be more information(or at least more easily found information) for teens questioning their gender than there is for people in their mid 30s. I’m sure there’s a substantial amount of crossover, still, something more targeted would be nice. It seems odd that there’d be this imbalance, though to be fair if an imbalance has to exist I would prefer it favor the kids- my generation might have fucked a lot of things up, we should at least try to make sure the kids have what they need to do a better job than we did.

    Anyone got tips on where I can go? Or more useful search terms?

  38. says

    CaitieCat:
    Ouch. The puns. They buuuuuuuuuuuuurn!

    ****
    Applied to 5 jobs this week. One of them (a restaurant/bar) I filled out today and the location is within a reasonable distance from my house.
    Got a callback to one place yesterday saying they want to interview me on Tuesday, which is nice. Except they don’t open until later next month. I kinda need money yesterday. Plus it’s far from home, and this town doesn’t have decent public transit, so cab fare would be steep. OTOH, it’s across the street from the airport and close to our big mall in town, so there’s a level of business that is different from my last job (this would be at a new-mexican-restaurant).
    My parents have been trying to get me to get out of restaurants, but that’s where my skill set is. I don’t know how to do much else. The fact that I’ve been a bartender for 15 years is helpful to places looking for a skilled employee.
    I hope I can get a job that pays decently, and I can work on going back to school to develop some kind of non-restaurant skill set (no clue what that would be though).

  39. says

    Tony! – How much of your restaurant work has been dealing directly with customers? A great many customer service skills port over almost exactly between fields as diverse as internet tech support and retail sales. So if your restaurant career has had you dealing with customers rather than a backend admin or preparation career track, you could lean on that to find a job elsewhere.

  40. says

    Duh. Didn’t catch the 15 years as a bartender. That should help in a great many fields, just being able to deal with people.

  41. says

    gworroll:

    How much of your restaurant work has been dealing directly with customers? A great many customer service skills port over almost exactly between fields as diverse as internet tech support and retail sales. So if your restaurant career has had you dealing with customers rather than a backend admin or preparation career track, you could lean on that to find a job elsewhere.

    All of my work experience is in restaurants. My first job (at 16) was in a restaurant and I’ve been in the biz ever since. I’ve never held a non restaurant job.
    I think I have a pretty decent ability to communicate with people, so I guess that’s something.

  42. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony!

    Be what you are. You are obviously a damn good bartender, and you are obviously a damn good writer/pop culture critic. Yeah, I know, another near non-paying gig. But hey, I’m willing to bet you could get some sort of payment for your cultural critiques. You are good. Would be really nice if you could make it pay. Just a suggestion from a fan.

  43. says

    morgan:

    You are good. Would be really nice if you could make it pay. Just a suggestion from a fan.

    Thank you.
    I wonder what type of courses I ought to look into if I wanted to a career where I got to write for a living (I’ve no intention of writing a book).

  44. rq says

    Lynna
    I think I managed to leave a note for you last Lounge, but yes, I got the book – the postperson crammed it down my mailbox, which was a bit of a gamble on their part (proper fit + weather), but it has survived with nary a corner folded – and I’m loving the photography and the text. I’ve read through all of it quickly, and have been going through it more slowly in pieces since. A big thanks to you!!!

  45. says

    Tony!
    While gworrol is correct that customer service skills are widely transferrable, most customer-facing positions have pretty limited scope for pay anyhow, so I don’t know that it’s any particular benefit to get out of the restaurant industry; like you, my first job at age 16 was in a restaurant, but since then I’ve worked a bunch of different types of customer service, and now I’m back at a restaurant again.

    I wonder what type of courses I ought to look into if I wanted to a career where I got to write for a living (I’ve no intention of writing a book).

    AFAICT, credentialed writing jobs are harder and harder to get (unless you’re into technical writing or grantwriting, in which case those are the types of courses to take). News agencies theoretically want journalism classes/degrees, but I think they’ve been increasingly going with stringers (freelancers who are paid per accepted article) over staff positions. Keeping up with the blogging is a very good plan for that type of thing, because it’ll give you a body of work you can point to and say “See, I can write”, which should count for something (although maybe the news services use different criteria than I think; there are some right hacks working for a lot of them, and in a just world you’d easily have one of their jobs, as you’re far better at it.) I’m not a professional myself, though, so take all that with a grain of salt.

    On that note, while the rents are painful and the job situation overall still kind of grim, there’s a huge fucking restaurant industry around these parts; if only moving across the country wasn’t such and expensive pain in the ass, eh?

  46. says

    Dalillama:

    On that note, while the rents are painful and the job situation overall still kind of grim, there’s a huge fucking restaurant industry around these parts; if only moving across the country wasn’t such and expensive pain in the ass, eh?

    Hell yeah.
    I’d love to live in close proximity to you or many of the other people around here.

  47. cicely says

    CaitieCat:

    canadian-festival-bans-native-american-style-headdresses

    *applause&confetti*

    birgerjohansson:

    Spider Pig?

    There is only one true Spider-Pig
    And from the end credits.

    Crip Dyke:

    […] but I love Kitty’s pride of place!

    :D
    Nicely done!

    Tony!, tentacles remaining at Maximum Crossedness.
    -

  48. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Hey, Tony: I think Cracked pays for content, and they could use some more people who understand the whole “not punching down” thing. Just a thought, don’t know how much it helps. *shrug*

  49. A. Noyd says

    @Tony
    Write the most patriarchy-compliant, aggressively heteronormative, sex- and abuse-filled, plot-less fanfiction series you can manage. Sit back and wait for offers from major publishing houses to reprint it as an “original” book series with the characters’ names changed.

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

    If I say one more word to Jenny6833a on that thread, someone hand me 852 valium and a couple liters of good single-malt scotch.

  51. The Mellow Monkey says

    You just about gave me a heart-attack when I opened that thread, CD. I’ve unfortunately run into that exact argument in the wild.

    Scotch (minus the valium) does sound lovely, though.

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

    Sorry about that, TMM.

    Truth be told I did hesitate for a moment before I wrote it, but thought, “Naw, TMM would never take me for serious…”

    Sigh. One more reason to hate real life: it completely ruins sarcasm.

  53. says

    Azkyroth:

    I think Cracked pays for content, and they could use some more people who understand the whole “not punching down” thing. Just a thought, don’t know how much it helps. *shrug*

    Nice idea. Perhaps one day when/if I become a better writer.
    Although I guess the bar isn’t set very high at Cracked.

    ****

    A. Noyd:

    Write the most patriarchy-compliant, aggressively heteronormative, sex- and abuse-filled, plot-less fanfiction series you can manage. Sit back and wait for offers from major publishing houses to reprint it as an “original” book series with the characters’ names changed.

    It would pain me to even try. Come to think of it, as a writing exercise, I ought to try it out. See if I can put myself in the shoes of someone else, even if they’re shitty shoes.

    ****
    Crip Dyke:

    If I say one more word to Jenny6833a on that thread, someone hand me 852 valium and a couple liters of good single-malt scotch.

    I’m curious to see if they will respond. Your last comment was pure gold. It said everything I’d thought, only much better.

    ****
    Mellow Monkey:

    You just about gave me a heart-attack when I opened that thread, CD. I’ve unfortunately run into that exact argument in the wild.

    I know how it made me feel upon first glance, so I can’t imagine what your first thoughts were. I was thinking “OMG what did I miss.” Then I stopped and engaged my brain and thought that a literal meaning didn’t make sense, which was when I paid attention to the words on the screen. Another D’oh moment.

    Once again, Crip Dyke, well done.

  54. The Mellow Monkey says

    Tony

    Then I stopped and engaged my brain and thought that a literal meaning didn’t make sense, which was when I paid attention to the words on the screen. Another D’oh moment.

    Yeah, exactly. No worries, CD. My logical brain realized exactly what you were going for. There was just that brief moment of instinctive panic.

  55. says

    Tony-

    Nice idea. Perhaps one day when/if I become a better writer.
    Although I guess the bar isn’t set very high at Cracked.

    At the very least, you’ll be better than Seanbaby. I believe his author blurbs claim that he invented being funny on the internet- Historical significance is the only reason I could possibly see for him having a job in anything even remotely related to comedy or writing.

  56. says

    Stumbled across this blog post today:

    Lesbians of the interwar years used their fingers a lot. To smoke cigarettes, you dirty bastard.
    http://sapphoshands.tumblr.com/post/87870117529/lesbians-of-the-interwar-years-used-their-fingers-a

    And I got to thinking about the sexual meaning of “used their fingers a lot”. Of course there are lesbians that use their fingers sexually. And heterosexual people. And bisexual people. And gay people.
    Then I got to thinking: would it be challenging to have sex (I’m assuming the sexual interaction involves at least 2 people) without using one’s fingers?

  57. says

    In the wake of thousands upon thousands of immigrants venturing to the United States, politicans and pundits have launched vicious attacks. They accused these refugees of bringing diseases to the US, of trying to invade the country, of trying to live off taxpayers for free.
    Such opinions are disgusting and do not accurately reflect the reality of the situation.
    That reality is that tens of thousands of people, a fuckton of children among those numbers, are traversing thousands of miles to escape severe poverty and crime in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Often these people have nothing more than the clothes on their back. When (and sometimes, tragically, IF) they reach the border, they are exhausted, hungry, and thirsty. What they need is food, water, shelter and some compassion.
    For many refugees, they are getting just that, in the small town of McAllen, TX:
    http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2014/07/24/3463127/texas-border-religion/

  58. says

    rq @69:

    I think I managed to leave a note for you last Lounge, but yes, I got the book – the postperson crammed it down my mailbox, which was a bit of a gamble on their part (proper fit + weather), but it has survived with nary a corner folded – and I’m loving the photography and the text. I’ve read through all of it quickly, and have been going through it more slowly in pieces since. A big thanks to you!!!

    Ah. Sorry I missed your previous note. I have been massively threadrupt. Glad the book arrived in good condition. It had a long journey. No one I’d rather have reading that book than you.

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

    I’ve not been keeping up, because, reasons. Reasons that sound petty and foolish even in my own head. Love to one and all.

    So here’s a thing. A beautiful thing. So ask yourselves, oh transphobic atheists of douchiness*: why can a “Conservative Southern Baptist Republican” get it, while you can’t.

    *No one in particular in mind.

  60. carlie says

    Tony,
    Thanks. I’m glad to know that it’s noticed when I’m gone. :) I’m on my bit of vacation time, which means family activities and NO I SHOULD NOT GO ON THE INTERNET, only we all sneak a little now and then at bedtime. ;)

  61. says

    *headbonks iJoe* HEYYYY! YOU’RE BACK~!

    Tony! — Adorable, but the poor kitten looks really freaked out, man. I’m sure xe wasn’t actually harmed by the cosplay, but still… a wee bit uncomfortable to look at when every instinct is screaming “comfort the baby”.

    …but I’m absolute rubbish at human body language. WTF?

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

    Thank you Tony. You are one of the people keeping this world from being a place that should be nuked from orbit…just to be sure.

    iJoe! Good to see you here. Talk to me about guitars, pretty please! I’m need of distraction in a self-absorbed, spiralling into the Gothic blackness of my own navel sorta way.

    Have you been playing much? I recently bought one of these. So. Much. Fun. I’ve even played out with it a few times. Admittedly only at the local pub’s open stage, but hey, it’s a start.

  63. says

    Tony, I get most of my “gotta talk about” stuff out on Twitter… especially since I get instant feedback and I have a much bigger audience there!

    FossilFishy, if you can get the feel of a looper, they’re an amazing tool! The best I have done is to record to PC and play over that, but it doesn’t have a live feel at all. I’m shopping for at least 2 new guitars too. I’d love your input if you’re feeling inclined. :)

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

    Carlie, FossilFishy, & iJoe:

    howdy! Always good to have more of y’all around these parts.

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

    I’d be happy to give an opinion Joe, but I have to say that my information is probably out of date. And I’m also a bit of an iconoclast when it comes to guitars. Hell, I recently routed out a space under the scratch plate of my guitar and installed a stomp box driver so I can make some basic percussion sounds.

    Disclaimers aside, what are you looking at?

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

    Cheers Crip Dyke. May I say that someday I hope to have a brain as beautiful as yours?

  67. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#97)

    minor gripe: why can’t you comment on Tumblr’s?

    You can a) reblog anything and add your own comments, which usually shows up in the notes (but not always, because the Tumblr software sucks pustulated donkey chode), b) comment on certain posts in a way that shows up in the notes (the blogger has to enable this, it doesn’t work for reblogs, and it only allows Twitter-length comments), c) in the Disqus widget of some blogs, which can only be seen by going directly to that blog post on that blog (but this is something only a few blogs have; Eschergirls is one).

    Since (a) is what Tumblr is designed around, you should take advantage of that. Too bad it’s badly designed around that. Reblogs often go missing from the note list, and you can’t sort reblogs with comments from empty reblogs and/or likes. That means your contribution won’t be seen by very many people other than your followers. People you’re reblogging do get a notification you’ve reblogged or liked their post, though. (Which is also bad design because I’ve heard every time your post goes viral, you get shittons of notifications.)

    Also, you should look into Tumblr savior, xkit and other extensions that make Tumblr more tolerable by disabling autoplay music, hiding sponsored ads, wrapping tags, letting you blacklist certain tags and things like that.

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

    @FossilFishy, #106:

    Of course you may say it, it’s the lounge. Also, you’re very sweet.

    @iJoe, #107:

    I have a Martin Backpacker. I love it …and I struggle with it b/c my typical grand concert (with 2″ @nut neck) has a completely different feel and is played, frankly, using different technique. Having only last summer picked up the guitar again (after almost 20 years) I don’t have the flexibility to go from a classical guitar to a backpacker with the kind of ease I might in a few years. It’s hard enough for me to play what I want on the guitar I use most often. When I get to the point where I can just sit down and play most of what I want without thinking too much, then I’ll pull out the backpacker and get familiar with its different feel. Until then, it just has to sit, most of the time.

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

    Can’t help you with the baritone. Though I will say that I’ve drooled over them a time or two. Currently my guitar is tuned down a whole tone across the board because I dig me some low frequencies. I’d tune it even lower but I’m already getting problems with the strings slapping off the fretboard. [I’m a true Bass when it comes to singing, but I’m sure that’s got nothing to do with it. :)]

    As to travel guitars I own a Martin Backpacker. Love it even though its got its flaws.

    Pros:
    -Light. I mean, holy hell, is it light.
    -Truly compact. I’ve put it in the overhead bins on all sorts of aircraft.
    -Sturdy. The neck and sides of the body are carved out of one piece of wood. This is the only guitar that my daughter’s grade school friends are allowed to touch without supervision.
    -Full sized fret board. It doesn’t have quite as many high frets but otherwise it’s full scale.
    -Really well made, but then it’s a Martin isn’t it?

    Cons:
    -Really uncomfortable to play without a strap. You can do it, but it’s a chore. Even with a strap the lack of body leaves you little place to rest your picking forearm. It took some getting used to.
    -It’s quiet. Jamming with anyone, even other acoustics and you’re going to struggle to be heard.

    Bug or feature?:
    -The tone. It’s got a very thin tone that’s unlike anything else. It doesn’t sound like a regular guitar at all. Personally, I love it. Much like vegetarian sausages and the like, it’s best to accept it for what it is rather than thinking about it as being an ersatz something else. I have noticed that it sounds better if you use a heavy pick and spank it pretty hard. This doesn’t make it sound any more like a regular acoustic though.
    -Looks like a spaceship.

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

    I should also mention that there weren’t a lot of other options that I could put my hands on when I was looking for a travel guitar. I can’t remember the brands I tried, but they all seemed like they were trying to be a regular guitar and failing. The Backpacker seemed like the only one that embraced the limitations of being a small instrument unapologetically, if you know what I mean.

    I should have also added to the cons:

    -Neck heavy. I found that the lack of body to rest my arm on coupled with a slick strap meant that I was always pulling the neck back up. I fixed it by getting a scratchy hemp strap. YMMV.

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

    Fair enough Joe. If everyone like the same thing there’d be only one guitar…and it probably would have a pointy headstock. ;) Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    What baritones have you tried? Are any of them standing out to you?

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

    I concur with FF on the benefits of the Backpacker.

    One thing that I’m not sure if FF was expressing or not when discussing the positioning of the neck (but seemed not to be) is that the lack of body room for resting an arm means that you have to use more pressure from your thumb to keep the neck in place when you’re fretting – especially those awkward or unfamiliar chords that you tend to fret with extra pressure. On my classical guitar the body weight combined with the anchoring provided by my right forearm means that I can put a lot of pressure on the fretboard without the neck swing behind the left side of my body.

    Not so with the Backpacker.

    That’s the one part of the difference that I really have gotten over, but just learning to hold the thing takes a bit of a struggle on its own, and even now I still have to use more thumb pressure than I’d like. Not near as much as I once did, of course, but still more than I’d like.

    One of the interesting things about tone, though, is that I really feel the tone is a lot like a Strat. Playing music written for electric guitar that sounds good on a Strat doesn’t always work on an acoustic – especially with nylon strings. With the backpacker? The tone (though not necessarily the volume) is well suited for that style of music. It means I don’t have to have an amp around the house to play quite a bit of rock music. (Though, yes, base-heavy music and music you’re used to hearing from a humbucking Les Paul isn’t really captured the same way.)

    I’m sorry you’ve never gotten the Backpacker to work for you, iJoe. Though really I haven’t either, it works as well as my skill allows. I don’t feel I’m limited by my instrument as much as by the combined demands of parenthood and law school preventing me from playing every day.

  73. says

    I wonder if FtB is acting up. I just got this comment in my mailbox. But I didn’t subscribe to the Minnesota thread. I thought maybe I clicked on the subscribe box, but usually I get a notification asking me to verify if I want to follow a particular thread and I never got one of those.
    Another odd thing I’ve never seen in any comments in my mailbox, a message appeared with all the comment information saying something to the effect of “This message may not have been sent by PZ Myers”. Yet PZ isn’t the one who left the comment. There is much boggling going on in my mind currently.

  74. says

    Crip Dyke, all I can say is “wow”

    That’s one of the most in-depth reviews I’ve seen, and the comparison to Strat-tone is meaningful to me because I’ve learned to love Strat tones since the last time I had a Backpacker in my hands. My current #1 guitar is a swamp ash Strat with custom shop pickups. I’ll have to give that guitar a serious look

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

    One thing that I’m not sure if FF was expressing or not when discussing the positioning of the neck (but seemed not to be) is that the lack of body room for resting an arm means that you have to use more pressure from your thumb to keep the neck in place when you’re fretting

    You’re right, I wasn’t addressing that. I was addressing the neck dipping down towards the floor. I haven’t had the problem you’ve been having. Is your Backpacker steel or nylon stringed?

    One of the interesting things about tone, though, is that I really feel the tone is a lot like a Strat.

    Now that’s interesting. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I can certainly see were you’re coming from. As a long-term Strat lover it wouldn’t surprise me that that is one of the things that drew me to the Backpacker.

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

    Is your Backpacker steel or nylon stringed?

    Steel. Makes for the dramatic and useful contrast with the big, nylon classical I normally play. If only I could get used to squishing my fingers that close together.

    Seriously.

    Play a Bmaj7 or Bmaj7/F# on the classical guitar? No problem. On the backpacker? I’m always muting the damn A#…and sometimes the high F# as well.

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

    I studied Classical guitar performance in uni, and oh yes, the transition to the skinnier neck of steel stringed guitars was a pain. Literally. Those damn skinny high strings showed how inadequate my callouses were.

    One of things that helped me was a fretting exercise designed to teach correct string pressure.

    You fret a note, and as you’re picking the string you slowly release the pressure until it begins to buzz. Then you increase the pressure until it stops buzzing. Any more pressure than that instant when the note begins to sound correctly is wasted energy.

    If you do this exercise with each finger on a difficult chord you might find that one or more of your fingers are pressing much too hard. This can cause your hand to tense in a way that it interferes with the placement of the other fingers. YMMV, but it was a big help to me.

    Bmaj7/F#? Pah. Now that I have a looper I need never again finger such a monstrosity all in one go. :p

    In truth though, I got round a lot of those sort of problems years ago by buying a Hipshot Trilogy bridge for my electric. It allows you to set three different tunings for each string and it’s accurate enough that you can switch tunings mid-song.

    When I find myself struggling to reach I often can re-tune to make it easier. I really have to thank my college Classical guitar instructor. He used to use a guitar holder that attaches to the body of his Classical rather than the usual foot prop. When purists would whine at him he’d say: “I’m going to use anything that makes this easier baring something that actually plays the guitar for me.” I kinda took that attitude to heart.

  78. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#113)

    My blog is on wordpress. Would that interfere with reblogging from tumblrs?

    Pretty sure you’re limited to reblogging within Tumblr. There are tools for sharing/displaying certain amounts of content between platforms, but they seem mostly oriented toward republishing your own content in multiple places, not replying to other people.

    I mostly use my Tumblr account for following blogs and replying to other people on Tumblr. If I was going to do real blogging, I’d use a different platform with a decent commenting system that I could moderate. There’s no reason not to use Tumblr separate from your blog.

  79. says

    It’s probably worth noting that you can set up Disqus comments on Tumblr. I have a largely abandoned Tumblr set up with that, was using it to post programming stuff and keep it separate from my personal Tumblr. Comments just seemed like they’d work better for that sort of blog.

    I’ve since switched to WordPress for blogging, between the categories and tags it works better for blogging about multiple subjects without having to maintain separate blogs. And I don’t have to deal with a second service entirely to allow traditional commenting.

    I’m debating resurrecting my main personal tumblr, the whole gender questioning that came to a head in the last couple of days(the currents have been going on for a couple decades, but they only came together in something I could start to identify in the last few days) really should have an outlet and I’m not hugely comfortable putting it on my main blog, at least not yet.

  80. rq says

    Discussing the adjective “crazy”, as applied to women in relationships. Nice.

    Kinda random combined fandom of a few awesome things. Like Harrison Ford and James Earl Jones.

    +++

    Hi, carlie, FossilFishy, Improbable Joe, Crip Dyke and anyone else I haven’t seen in a while! *hugs* if wanted, *general good wishes* and *minion umbrellas* if not.
    *learns more about guitars*

  81. says

    Flip Benham’s group Operation Save America disrupted the services of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans on Sunday while the congregation was honoring a member who had died. The organization framed their action as simply an effort to “present the truth of the Gospel in this synagogue of Satan” as part of their efforts “to defeat the culture of death.”

    Okay, so the congregation is enjoying a moment of silence and these dunderheads waltz in and make a huge nuisance of themselves.
    Right Wing Watch link.

  82. says

    In the I-don’t-understand-Separation-of-Church-and-State category, we have Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa grandstanding about praying, fasting and repenting. He signed an official proclamation and all.

    Now, Therefore, I, Terry E Branstad, as Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby invite all Iowans who choose to join in the thoughtful prayer and humble repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14 in favor of our state and nation to come together on July 14, 2014.

    Not legally binding, this proclamation, but inappropriate for the Governor of all of the citizens of Iowa, emphasis on “all.” “All Iowans” includes atheists and non-christians of all sorts.

    As usual, the American Taliban is fostering division, not unity.

  83. says

    Gun lobbyist, Larry Pratt, recently told a congresswoman that being shot is a “healthy fear” that will prompt her and other members of Congress to “behave.” Now Pratt is responding to criticism by doubling down.

    Then, this week, Pratt doubled down, issuing an open letter to Maloney, a New York Democrat, claiming that she does not understand the Constitution and telling her once again that she “should do her job in constant trepidation” that she will be shot: “Should you attempt to disarm Americans the way the British crown tried 240 years ago, the same sovereign people who constituted this government using the cartridge box someday may need to reconstitute it, as clearly anticipated by the Declaration of Independence.”

    Right Wing Watch link.

  84. says

    Representative Darrell Issa has fallen flat on his face many times. He continues to come up with phony scandals involving President Obama. He uses taxpayer money to prosecute these imaginary scandals, and when he is brought up short by the facts, he claims he did nothing wrong. Furthermore, he claims he was right all along, and he claims that the scandal he was investigating is still ongoing. This flea-brain should be investigated.

    Here’s his latest face-plant:

    Rep. Darrell Issa suffered a crushing defeat in his crusade to bring down President Obama when investigators concluded that top Obama aide David Simas did not violate the law by using taxpayer dollars for political activities.

    Bloomberg reported, “A special investigator’s office says it has found no evidence that David Simas, a top political aide to the president, violated a law that prohibits federal workers from engaging in partisan political activities. The White House Office of Political Outreach and Strategy “appears to be operating in a manner that is consistent with the Hatch Act,” said Carolyn Lerner, a lawyer at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, whose job is to enforce that law and protect whistle-blowers.” […]

    The investigator’s findings are a death blow to Darrell Issa’s claim that two members of the president’s cabinet violated the Hatch Act by using taxpayer dollars for partisan political activities. Yesterday, Rep. Issa wrote a letter to the White House that claimed, “With the 2014 campaign season underway, there are already reports that raise questions as to whether, on Mr. Simas’s watch, the White House is using taxpayer dollars for political activities. […]

    Politicus USA link.

  85. says

    OMG, Republican official from Florida betrays remarkable lack of knowledge and a lack of situational awareness.

    In an extraordinary — and extraordinarily awkward — failure of basic situational awareness, a U.S. congressman apparently mistook American government officials for Indian government officials during a congressional hearing.

    As first reported by Foreign Policy magazine, freshman Rep. Curt Clawson (R-FL) spoke to State Department official Nisha Biswal and Commerce Department official Arun Kumar as if they were Indian government officials at a House Foreign Affairs hearing on Thursday.

    “I’m familiar with your country. I love your country. And I understand the complications of so many languages and so many cultures and so many histories all rolled up in one,” Clawson said. He added: “Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I’m willing and enthusiastic about doing so.” […]

    Clawson took office on June 25, replacing Rep. Trey Radel (R), who resigned after getting arrested for cocaine possession last fall. […]

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/curt-clawson-us-officials-indian-officials

    Foreign Policy link.

  86. says

    Arrrgghhh! Dinesh D’Souza as part of a mandatory high school curriculum in Florida!? Aiyiyi.

    Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza may be getting an influx of new viewers of his documentary film ‘America’ after a Republican state senator from Florida said he plans on introducing a bill to make the movie mandatory in public schools.

    Republican Alan Hays, inspired after seeing the movie in theaters, said he now plans on introducing a one-page bill in November which would require all 1,700 Florida high schools and middle schools to show the movie to their students, unless their parents choose to opt them out. The documentary film is a conservative-spin on American history focusing on elevating the “essential goodness of America” while discrediting criticisms about American’s checkered history with civil rights and social justice. It’s not completely inconceivable for the bill to pass the Republican-controlled Florida legislature and be signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

    “I saw the movie and walked out of the theater and said, ‘Wow, our students need to see this.’ And it’s my plan to show it to my colleagues in the legislature, too, before they’re asked to vote on the bill,” Hays said. […]

    Yeah, let’s explain to Florida high school students that liberals hate America.

    The film is “lacking factual substance” but don’t let that stop you.
    Think Progress link.

  87. says

    A mayor in Michigan decided to ban an atheist booth at the city hall atrium, comparing atheists to the KKK and to Nazis (of course).

    The city of Warren, Michigan, and its Republican mayor Jim Fouts are facing a federal lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups after Fouts rejected a local man’s request to set up an atheist station in the city hall atrium, and equated the atheist cause to the Nazi party and the Ku Klux Klan.

    Since 2009, Fouts has permitted “prayer stations” run by a local church group that distributes religious pamphlets, discusses religious beliefs with passersby, and prays with visitors to the city hall. When Freedom From Religion member Douglas Marshall submitted an application to city officials in April to set up a similar, yet secular, station for two days each week, it took Fouts less than two weeks to reject his proposal.

    When interviewed by the Associated Press, Fouts defended his decision, saying:

    The city has certain values that I don’t believe are in general agreement with having an atheist station, nor in general agreement with having a Nazi station or Ku Klux Klan station. I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here. […]

    He said that while the prayer station helps citizens “seek solace or guidance,” Marshall’s station won’t “contribute to community values or helping an individual out.” [..]

    Think Progress link.

  88. dmgregory says

    Hi Horde!

    I’ve got an interesting problem that may be within your areas of interest & expertise, and I’d be grateful for any input you’d be willing to share.

    (My apologies if I’m breaking any etiquette – I haven’t participated in Lounge threads before so I’m not sure if questions out of the blue are out of line)

    My local museum is running a game jam. This is an event where a bunch of video game developers try to make small games in a short time constraint. There are no prizes/incentives so far as I know, it’s just for the joy of creating together.

    The theme this year is evolution – a topic I’m very excited about – but also one where I realize I may run into trouble:

    When designing game mechanics, it’s generally good practice that the player is able to identify the options available to them, make choices to achieve an intended result, and understand how the consequences that follow related back to their choice. There are exceptions, but deviating from this player agency focus often makes the game feel random, on rails, or generally frustrating.

    But evolution doesn’t have an “agent,” so if I apply player agency naively – like letting a player direct the change in a species over time like in Spore or the Pandemic flash games – it reinforces misconceptions that evolution acts teleologically, as though organisms are “trying to evolve” to particular states.

    But if I showcase change over time which is not under player control, the game risks appearing non-interactive, or confusingly random.

    I think there’s a happy medium somewhere – like a game where the player takes on the role of a public health agency, responding to new strains of a pathogen that adapt as countermeasures are introduced into their environment. Or a researcher trying to puzzle-out the evolutionary relationships between species (or even individual genes) based on molecular evidence.

    I’m curious if you have any ideas for other ways I could engage players with evolution, while avoiding or even helping to dispel common misunderstandings. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

  89. says

    Dmg, what if the agency was over environment? You can’t make your apes leave the trees, but you can make a savannah that might be more inviting for those with better bipedal leanings than the brachiators? It’s still guided, but the guidance is indirect, rather than hands-on. Sort of like playing a theremin?

  90. opposablethumbs says

    Hi dmgregory, your question sounds like an excellent one to me and I hope you get good suggestions. I can’t think of a better idea than CaitieCat‘s myself – especially as it allows people to “see” how species adapt to different environments, and also to experience issues of Unintended Consequences (maybe there could be a version where players are also allowed to introduce new species? Cane toads in Australia, anyone …?) and see the kind of ecological ramifications you need to think carefully about and which may be far from obvious.
    Good wishes for the project!

  91. A. Noyd says

    dmgregory (#139)

    if I apply player agency naively – like letting a player direct the change in a species over time like in Spore or the Pandemic flash games – it reinforces misconceptions that evolution acts teleologically

    You could always highlight evolution’s lack of agency by comparing it to the agency in artificial selection/genetic engineering/etc. Make a game where a scientist is trying to keep extinction at bay for a population in a changed/changing environment, but who has to contend with very limited resources for active tinkering. Evolution shapes whatever they don’t, but they can’t just watch that passively. They have to keep track of changes in phenotype and genotype and try to anticipate how or whether those changes will be meaningful so they can intervene more effectively. If they aren’t allowed omniscient monitoring of the entire population at once, this will be even harder.

    At the end you can ask how successful the player was in their preservation of the population if the population has changed drastically.

  92. The Mellow Monkey says

    dmgregory, there’s a little display at the museum where my partner works that’s sort of along the lines of what CaitieCat suggests. It’s a picture of a population of crabs and then the kids can slide different environmental pressures over the image so that the crabs that wouldn’t survive that situation are blocked out. It’s simple, but effective. The crabs need to already have certain traits in order to survive the introduced pressures, so the kids don’t get the idea that they’re “trying to evolve” in any particular direction.

    With a game, you’d be able to take it a step further. What happens with that next generation after the population shifts in response to that pressure? What happens when a novel mutation is introduced? The players could make decisions about the environment, but they couldn’t directly control the population. Perhaps, like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, they could only choose from a changing, limited set of options each time and sometimes previous choices that led to the population finding a particular niche will lead to extinction when that niche disappears.

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

    Dmgregory:
    I agree with CC. Rather than play with the species themselves, play with the environment. Make the weather controllable. Enable asteroid impacts. Have an “infectious disease” toggle.


    I’m in my psych rotation in nursing school now. I’m working in the pediatrics-psych unit.

    I’ve heard of it often enough, but never actually seen it face-to-face. Ugliness abounds.

    If you, as a parent, hit the “being gay is sinful” line hard enough that your LGBT child lands in a psych ward for suicidal ideation, you are doing parenting wrong. You are doing being-a-person wrong. You are wrong.

    Seriously.

    WRONG!

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

    Drilling at 10:30pm. seriously?!
    A very polite PSA about neighbours’ relations and house rules can be expected to appear tomorrow.

  95. Louis says

    Oh I didn’t know you weren’t reading Ophelia’s blog. I’ve missed something, clearly.

    Louis

  96. says

    Esteleth:

    If you, as a parent, hit the “being gay is sinful” line hard enough that your LGBT child lands in a psych ward for suicidal ideation, you are doing parenting wrong. You are doing being-a-person wrong. You are wrong.

    Seriously.

    WRONG!

    Fuck. That’s horrible. The parents are failing at being parents. You should love and support your child. Instilling in them that there’s something wrong, or evil, or sinful just…fuck. That’s abhorrent.

  97. Louis says

    Tony,

    Ah. More feet of clay? Well that could have gone better! (Louis plumbs for understatement of the year again).

    Louis

  98. says

    Louis:
    Yeah.
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she’s a horrible person. I think she’s got blinders on, and is insensitive to trans issues. Her doubling down and refusal to acknowledge that she was wrong, and that CaitieCat had a valid point, is what I find troubling. That’s why I’ve chosen not to follow her.

  99. blf says

    Alcohol abuse in pregnancy could become a crime, legal papers claim: “Advice groups bid to combat ruling they believe could undermine pregnant women’s freedom to make decisions for themselves”.

    Ok, so if the parents (plural) harm the fetus by predictable and entirely preventable actions or inactions, causing problems for the person after birth and probably for their entire lives, not to mention society’s duty of care (and rather mundane things like extra costs), that’s all Ok because not trying to discourage the cause interferes with one parent’s (the mother’s) “freedom to make decisions for themselves while pregnant” ?

    Criminalization, however, is not the answer, and seems very unlikely to even be part of the answer.

  100. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Ok, so if the parents (plural) harm the fetus by predictable and entirely preventable actions or inactions, causing problems for the person after birth and probably for their entire lives, not to mention society’s duty of care (and rather mundane things like extra costs), that’s all Ok because not trying to discourage the cause interferes with one parent’s (the mother’s) “freedom to make decisions for themselves while pregnant” ?

    I’m pretty sure at least one person here has asserted that physically defending oneself against an assault represents an unacceptable violation of the assailant’s freedom of choice, so IDFK.

  101. says

    Tim Gunn isn’t certain that transwomen should be on Project: Runway:

    ‘I’m conflicted,’ Gunn told Huffington Post prior to Pejic’s announcement. ‘On one hand, I don’t want to say that because you were a man and now you’re a woman, you can’t be in a women’s fashion show. But I feel it’s a dicey issue.

    ‘The fact of the matter is, when you are transgender – if you go, say, male to female – you’re not having your pelvis broken and having it expanded surgically. You still have the anatomical bone structure of a man.’

    For Gunn, it’s all about women and men having different shapes anatomically.

    http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/project-runways-tim-gunn-admits-feeling-conflicted-about-trans-models-being-runway250714#sthash.pByfIfBH.dpuf

    It doesn’t matter. Transwomen are women. Your show is about women’s fashion. It’s a no-brainer.

  102. says

    Star Wars fans, San Diego Comic Con has some news for you:
    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=54386

    From January through March, Marvel will launch a trio of new Star Wars series which (like their original title in the 1970s) will take place during the original trilogy of films. The word came out today at the Cup O’ Joe panel.
    The first book will be simple titled “Star Wars” as written by Jason Aaron and drawn by John Cassaday. The book will take place after the destruction of the first Death Star as Luke, Han and Leia face off against a resurgent Darth Vader.

    Following in February is “Star Wars: Darth Vader” by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca with covers by Adi Granov. This series takes the pitch of the first one and flips it – focusing on Vader as he struggles to regain control over the Empire’s troops after his defeat at the end of the first film.

    Finally, Marsh sees the arrival of “Star Wars: Princess Leia” by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson. Also taking place after the battle of Yavin, the miniseries will focus on the princess without a world as her home planet of Alderaan was destroyed at the start of the first film.

    ****

    Fans of King Kong may have something to look forward to (yippee):

    http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2014/07/26/sdcc-legendary-sends-king-kong-to-skull-island-confirms-edwards-for-godzilla-2/
    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Legendary also delighted the Hall H crowed with footage of an ancient island that ended with the reveal of a roaring King Kong. That was followed by a tweet that announced, “Prepare to explore the mysterious and dangerous Skull Island. In theaters November 4, 2016.”

    It makes sense that the story of Kong didn’t begin with the movie (whichever version we’re talking about).

  103. dmgregory says

    Thank you all for the suggestions! The Mellow Monkey’s crab example in particular gives a good model for how selection and resulting effect on the population can be made legible to the player.

    If I pursue CaitieCat’s suggestion to show selection through control of the environment, the next challenge will be how to engage player intention – eg. I can change the environment to select for bigger creatures or redder creatures, but what’s driving me forward as a player to want to do these things?

    I expect in the weekend-long jam I won’t be able to build a simulation open-ended enough to be very rewarding for pure undirected exploration, so a goal to lead players along (and keep them in a narrow slice of possibility space that I can focus on making sufficiently rich) will help a lot.

    Maybe the player needs to evolve a population with a target phenotype. Or they need to get the population from one area to another, but a series of barriers/hazards are severe enough to be impassable to the original group, and the player needs to introduce the stimulus gradually enough to select for ability to overcome it.

    The weekend scope will probably end up forcing a lot of design decisions, come to think of it. Maybe I should make it about single-cell organisms – simpler art & animation needs than complicated multicellular creatures. ;)

  104. cicely says

    Tony!, I’d say you are at least as good as some of the already-writers at Cracked. Might be worth a shot.
    You can always nudge that bar higher….

    FossilFishy!
    *pouncehug*

    carlie, of course it’s noticed when you’re gone!
    *hugs&chocolate*

    iJoe!
    *also pouncehug*
    Welcome back!
    *darting over to check out your blog for Anything New*
    Cannot comment.
    :(

    123
    -

  105. The Mellow Monkey says

    Tony!

    Tim Gunn isn’t certain that transwomen should be on Project: Runway

    Argh. That’s just…no. No, no, no.

    On a slight tangent, I really hate how shows like Bones reinforce the thought process on display there. No, you cannot take a quick glance at human remains and then easily and quickly file every single skeleton into two non-overlapping groups. I should probably stop hate-watching it, but I get so much fun out of yelling at the TV.

    Sounds awesome dmgregory! I hope you’ll keep us updated on how it goes.

  106. says

    Tony!

    I’ve made all those faces while either sneezing or trying desperately NOT to sneeze. Sneeze-faces are just hilarious, regardless of species! (Unless you get snotted on, that always sucks.)

  107. jefrir says

    Re Tim Gunn

    ‘The fact of the matter is, when you are transgender – if you go, say, male to female – you’re not having your pelvis broken and having it expanded surgically. You still have the anatomical bone structure of a man.’

    Because obviously all women have exactly the same bone structure. There is no variation at all in the pelvis shape of the women in these images, for example.

  108. Parrowing says

    *pops over from the Minecraft thread*

    *waves* Hi Tony!

    Hi everyone, how are ya’?

  109. rq says

    Oh Emmm Geeeee!!! Potatoes and Dragons – two of my very favourite things in one animated location. How did I now know about this before? *my personal Latvian heaven*
    (Now to watch a few episodes to see if it’s a problematic show or not… If yes, I will be very disappoint!)

  110. opposablethumbs says

    Hey, Parrowing, it’s good to see you!!! It’s been a while – how are you? Hope you’re well and that things are going OK?

  111. says

    Like other fields, I think the trans woman and fashion show issue could be sorted out by simply setting the requirements based on the actual job requirements, without reference to birth assigned gender or sex. Trans women suitable for the job will get it, trans women not suitable for the job won’t get it. It’s not that hard. Nondiscrimination doesn’t mean you hire people who are not qualified for the job you need them to do. It just means you look at the qualifications of the actual person who submitted the application, not stereotypes of the class of person they happen to be. The people who rant about that are idiots.

  112. says

    Tony! I want one of those cat burger buns for Patches – she loves crawling under the comforter and into other small cushy spaces. That clip of Vampire Kermit makes me feel very elderly – I saw that when it was new. Still awesome though.

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

    rq,

    Yeah, that one didn’t get any less creepy with time.

  114. says

    A sponge that generates steam — kind of awesome. Hope it actually works as well as MIT says it does.

    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveiled a new material this week that provides a highly efficient way to convert sunlight into steam and holds major potential for improving technologies like desalination of water and solar thermal power — all with a four-inch graphite ‘sponge.’

    The setup developed by MIT consists of a layer of graphite flakes and carbon foam beneath that. It’s porous, which enables the disc to float on water, and the dark color of the graphite attracts maximum energy from the sun.

    The end result is a system that converts 85 percent of incoming solar energy into steam — far more efficient than previous methods. “Basically, if you heat up the whole volume of the water, you don’t raise the temperature very much,” Gang Chen, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, told ThinkProgress. “However, if you only heat up a small amount of water, then the temperature rise could be high.” […]

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/27/3464222/new-solar-sponge-steam/

  115. says

    Anti-science cultural trends take a very nasty turn in Sierra Leone:

    A woman who tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus is now on the loose in a Sierra Leone city with a population of around 1 million people. The woman had been quarantined in a hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, when she was “forcibly” removed by her family, according to Reuters.

    Officials are appealing to the residents of Freetown to locate this woman. Since February, the Ebola virus has been responsible for the death of 660 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The virus has a 90 percent death rate, according to the World Health Organization, however, this particular outbreak seems to have a 60 percent mortality rate.

    Radio announcements pleaded with the public to find this woman.

    “Saudatu Koroma of 25 Old Railway Line, Brima Lane, Wellington. She is a positive case and her being out there is a risk to all. We need the public to help us locate her,” the announcement said. Reuters explains:

    “Koroma, 32, a resident of the densely populated Wellington neighborhood, had been admitted to an isolation ward while blood samples were tested for the virus, Health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis said. The results came back on Thursday.

    “‘The family of the patient stormed the hospital and forcefully removed her and took her away,’ Tunis said. “We are searching for her.”

    “Fighting one of the world’s deadliest diseases is straining the region’s weak health systems, while a lack of information and suspicion of medical staff has led many to shun treatment.” […]

    Business Insider link.

    Salon link.

  116. says

    Polygamy update from Utah, Moments of Mormon Madness that include fundamentalist law enforcement officers:

    Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has filed a one-paragraph letter concurring with his counterpart in Arizona — the marshals in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., have to go.

    Reyes’ letter was filed with a federal lawsuit in Phoenix aimed at ending discrimination in the two towns. It’s long been alleged the marshals are just arms of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    For years, Utah has shown an aversion to booting the entire police force in the two towns, mostly for fear of violating due process rights. Instead, Utah’s police regulators have decertified marshals one at a time as evidence has accumulated. […]

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogspolygblog/58227715-185/marshals-reyes-utah-font.html.csp

    Excerpts from readers’ comments below the article:

    No different than law enforcement in UT being an arm of The Men In Black at Temple Square. Many a time they have looked the other way to protect them, even obstruct or slow investigations to keep embarrassing things from seeing the light of day, such as in the Mark Hoffman case. Federal investigators were frustrated with UT law enforcement.
    ————
    Get these corrupt cops out and bring in some unbiased law enforcement officers and you may see women and children coming forward with reports of abuse. Maybe, just maybe, justice will prevail. I hope so.
    ————-
    Just more bigoted religious discrimination against the FLDS. No surprise.
    ———–
    Seriously? You are supporting a police force controlled by a pedophile and rapist, a police force that has setup cameras around town to spy on its citizens?
    ———
    […] time to clean things up, so that law enforcement in that area doesn’t demonstrate religious discrimination against those who aren’t FLDS. […]

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogspolygblog/58227715-191/marshals-reyes-utah-font.html.csp

  117. says

    Only in Utah — Moments of Mormon Madness in a parade:

    […] A float created by the Midvale Utah Stake was the clear crowd favorite. It included a T. rex holding a handcart in its tiny, stunted arms. The dinosaur could open its mouth, turn its head and roar. The side of the float said, “pushing like a T-Rex,” a play off the parade’s slogan, “pioneers pushing toward the future.” […]

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58216140-78/park-lake-liberty-salt.html.csp
    Scroll down for video of the T. Rex.

    That whole handcart thing celebrates past Moments of Mormon Madness, in which Brigham Young failed to provision and organize properly a cross-country trek during which many mormons needlessly lost their lives, and many more lost limbs to frostbite. Prophet Young was notoriously stingy when it came to provisions, including food and even proper materials for the wheels of the carts.

    So, naturally, present-day mormons celebrate the debacle as if it were an historical monument to their specialness and to God’s particular interest in promoting mormonism. The dinosaur/handcart float is somehow appropriate.

  118. David Marjanović says

    Oh, speaking of dinosaurs.

    Kulindadromeus.

    Guaranteed to upset creationists and other pseudoscientists.

  119. says

    Love David M’s link to “confused cats against feminism” in comment #179, especially the cat that claims to be against feminism and then self-corrects to be against vacuums. :-)

    From David M’s link to the latest spew of faux economics from the Heritage Foundation — this is part of debunking of the faux stats:

    […] No. 1: Moore’s data isn’t from “the last five years”. When challenged by The Star he admitted it was from December 2007 to December 2012. Which is a deliberate deception. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data that Moore was relying on is updated Every. Single. Month. So there is no reason to use 18-month-old data. If Moore honestly wanted to look at the “the last five years” he could have presented the numbers from mid-2009 to mid-2014.

    No. 2: even within his cherry-picked dates, Moore lied about the numbers. Texas did not gain 1 million jobs in that 2007-2012 period. The correct figure was a gain of 497,400 jobs.

    No. 3: Florida did not add hundreds of thousands of jobs in that span. It lost 461,500 jobs.

    No. 4: New York, which has one of the highest income tax rates, did not lose jobs during that time. It gained 75,900 jobs.

    Abouhalkah noted a 5th oddity as well:

    California since December 2012 — when Moore stopped measuring employment growth — has added 541,000 jobs, which is more than Texas’ 523,400. So, high taxes are good? […]

    Yeah, Heritage Foundation, that is bad. We should publish the stats for how many times your hired experts guns got everything wrong.

  120. rq says

    Love the confused cats, David! *giggle* I liked Bossy Submissive Cat, and the Cat of All Oppression. Can’t wait for more.
    In other news. There’s a lot of things I love about summer, but this heat sure isn’t one of them.

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

    @David M:

    I’d read about Kulindadromeus elsewhere, but I’m always curious about a DDFM take on things like this.

    Do you blog somewhere else?

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

    rq,

    sorry for driving all the heat in your direction. It’s quite nice here for this time of year. A bit too much rain, but I’ll take it over oppressive heat.

  123. says

    I’m hiding out from the heat today. I did some work outside early in the morning and had trouble keeping the sweat from running in my eyes. For the rest of the day it’s going to be air-conditioning and iced tea.

  124. rq says

    Tony
    I love sweet potatoes, too. If done right and in moderate amounts, since their sweetness does get overbearing rather quickly. But blended into creamy carrot soup? Sliced thin and fried in butter with lots of salt, pepper and paprika (the spice) and a dash of cayenne? Better than reg’lar fries. [/personal opinion]
    Supposedly I’m unusual here in that (a) I like yellow potatoes over white ones and (b) I don’t like what are known as ‘floury’ potatoes here – the kind that turn to mush and crumble when boiled and stabbed with a fork. I like potatoes that hold together, but apparently ‘floury’ = better here. I get looks in the market, when the lady (-ies) try to sell me their awesome white, floury potatoes and I’m all “Thanks, I’ll take the yellow fleshy ones”.

    Beatrice
    As long as it’s not days-long rain, I much prefer it to 30+ temperatures. Ugh. 25 Celsius is about where I top out, with a minimum of humidity.
    Technically, it’s all season-appropriate, but it’s been a week and they’re promising another week of even more intense heat, so I’m starting to worry about our garden and the general state of agriculture in the country. Plus, our house potato is turning up yellowish leaves. :(

    Lynna
    Lucky you, we have no air conditioning. Was the first day this summer with no temperature differential between floors.
    (Iced tea sounds awesome, though.)

  125. says

    Lynna:
    Smart move. I thought of going outside to play with the dogs, but it is hooooooooot. Typical summertime Florida weather. I’ll wait til the evening, around 6 or 7 (and hopefully by then the mosquitoes won’t be out).

    ****
    rq:
    The crumbly, floury potatoes sound like Russetts. I don’t know my potatoes that well, so I could be wrong. I like new, golden, or russets. In fact, I’ve not found a tater that I don’t like (aside from the already mentioned kind). Do you like mashed potatoes with skin on or off? Personally I can go either way, and like them perfectly fine. With the skin on, there’s an added texture that is quite nice.

  126. rq says

    Tony
    I wouldn’t know Russetts, there are so many local varieties (named Laura and Sandra and other women’s names…), but I’m sure a lot of the characteristics overlap. I only remember a few of the more popular Canadian varieties, like Yukon Gold, too.
    New potatoes are awesome, pretty much any kind. Especially when they’re little. I like just washing them, skin and all, and frying them up in butter on a pan (eating potatoes, for me, involved a lot of butter…).
    I like mashed potatoes usually without the skin, except when they’re new potatoes. Peeling them is just too lazy, plus the skins actually improve the texture of the mash (as you say). Best mashed potatoes also have garlic – either fresh or boiled (tossed into the pot together with the ‘taters). And lots of butter, obviously. And milk and/or cream (sour is acceptable).

  127. says

    oh, rq, I feel for you having no air conditioning and all. I have friends who eschew air conditioning as one of their save-the-environment tactics. I understand that. I compromise and have AC only in one room. That works fairly well for me. Also, I live in a near desert with cool nights.

    I make ice tea using a combo of baby chrysanthemum buds (from a Japanese tea shop in Seattle), Tetley’s black tea, and organic green tea. It all has to be brewed and then cooled, but it is mondo tasty. I have fresh mint from my herb garden to top it off. And I have ice because I am a poor person with a refrigerator.

    […] Robert, I’m just going to give our viewers a quick run-through of what items poor families in America have. Ninety-nine percent of them have a refrigerator. Eighty-one percent have a microwave. Seventy-eight percent have air conditioning. Sixty-three percent have cable TV. Fifty-four percent have cell phones. Forty-eight percent have a coffee maker — I’m not surprised, they’re only about 10 bucks. Thirty-eight percent have a computer. Thirty-two percent have more than two TVs. Twenty-five percent have a dishwasher. […]

    So said Stuart Varney when he was guest host on a Fox News show.

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

    rq and Tony,

    I love red potatoes and also don’t like floury ones.

    Hm, I should try making mashed potatoes with skin on. It sounds good, but we never made them that way so it never really crossed my mind to try.

  129. says

    Beatrice:
    They are quite delicious. I often use red potatoes. I wash them and boil them whole, then mash them up with whatever seasoning strike my fancy.
    Come to think of it, I don’t usually peel my potatoes when I cook at home. Maybe I’m too lazy, I dunno.

    ****

    Just thought about a few people. I hope Desert Son, Ogvorbis, bluentx, Gorogh, Crudely Wrott, mildlymagnificent, and inaji are all doing well.

  130. says

    Desert Son, Ogvorbis, bluentx, Gorogh, Crudely Wrott, mildlymagnificent, and inaji are all doing well.

    Second.

    Re: potatoes,
    the floury kind in most supermarkets are indeed russets; generally there you’ll find russets, reds, and sometimes yukon gold. Anything else is mostly going to be an heirloom variety, at least in the U.S., and you’ll have to troll the farmer’s markets and natural food stores and the like for them. Sweet potatoes are an entirely different tuber, belonging to the same family as morning glories. Some varieties of sweet potato are often sold as yams in the U.S., but in fact yams are yet a third species, not notably related to either of the others.

  131. rq says

    Desert Son, Ogvorbis, bluentx, Gorogh, Crudely Wrott, mildlymagnificent, and inaji are all doing well.

    Thirding.

    Lynna
    A refrigerator and air conditioning? *whistles* So fancy! :P
    I’ve never made tea from chrysanthemum buds. It sounds interesting, especially in that combination.
    Unfortunately my mint is doing rather poorly this season. :( But I have a source, so I can always replant more.

    Tony
    What else do you add to your mashed potatoes (besides potatoes and seasoning)?
    I love how red potatoes are yellow on the inside, they’re like the parrots of the potato world.

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

    I keep chrysanthemum buds around for people who say that they take sugar in their tea. I make them tea brewed with chrysanthemum, hand it over, and they never ask if I put sugar in. Sweetens it up in the most delicious way.

    Although when I’m making iced, I tend to use sun brewing.

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

    :( :( :(

    Habanero and jalapeño peppers are delicious. I like them much.

    Unfortunately, I have open sores in my mouth.

    The pain!

  134. rq says

    Also, there are blue potatoes. I believe the Latvian variety arose from scientists harnessing genes from blueberries, but I could be wrong on that. Pretty cool!

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

    you tuber aficionados have a bizarre obsession.

  136. says

    Dalillama:

    Sweet potatoes are an entirely different tuber, belonging to the same family as morning glories. Some varieties of sweet potato are often sold as yams in the U.S., but in fact yams are yet a third species, not notably related to either of the others.

    Huh. I did not know that.
    The more you know…

    ****

    rq:

    What else do you add to your mashed potatoes (besides potatoes and seasoning)?

    Oh gosh, I really don’t have any set recipe. I usually use multiple dried spices in my cabinet. The last time I made mashed potatoes, I added garlic, salt, pepper, ranch dressing and butter. In times past, I’ve used garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, cream and rosemary.
    I really love the versatility of mashed potatoes. It’s like you can add whatever you want to them and they’ll taste good. Importantly though, the flavors you add can often be quite easily discerned when you consume them.
    By the by, I’m baking potatoes right now, thanks to you. I just diced up for Yukon golds, and gave them some oil and all purpose seasoning and threw them in the oven. This talk made me crave some :)

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

    RQ, sun brewing is the fine art of taking a bunch of water, adding tea leaves, and leaving it outside in the sun to steep. The sunlight when it hits the brewing tea triggers breakdown of various things, which leads to a distinctive flavor.

  138. rq says

    Tony
    Sounds yummy!
    What’s also awesome about mashed potatoes is that you can hide other vegetables in there, too – broccoli and carrots and parsnips and cauliflower and garlic and onions, and even sweet potatoes (in moderate amounts, as always). I use it as a trick to get a variety of vegetables into the kids, then later I can say “But you ate it and you loved it!”
    I hope your oven-baked Yukon golds are scrumptious. It’s a pretty fool-proof method of potato-prep, though.

    Crip Dyke
    Bizarre obsession? Nah. Just a low-level fanaticism.

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

    @rq
    They’re a bit obsessed with hygiene, it seems to me, but this is what I mean.

    Me personally, I’ve never had a problem with mold/bacteria growing in fresh sun tea.

    On the other hand, they only say use a “clear” container. I ****always**** use glass, no exceptions.

    Also, for some reason they keep saying “tea bags”. I wonder why they say that? Wouldn’t you just put the tea in? Where do they get these bags anyway?

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

    Incidentally, this breakdown is why you really shouldn’t oversteep the tea. Too long and it skunks.

  141. rq says

    Esteleth
    Owie on the mouth sores!! Hope they heal fast.
    re: sun brewing
    I’ve never heard of it done that way. I’ll have to try it, seeing as how we’re experiencing an excess of sun. Can’t be that hard.

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

    D’ohpe! Esteleth beat me to it.

  143. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    So the Boston Tea Party was just following instructions for sun brewing? All those bags of tea…

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

    The other day I went to the farmer’s market and I bought some haddock. It was super-fresh.

    I also got lemons, some dill, a zucchini, and a yellow summer squash.

    I took them home, pan-seared the fish and served it with a lemon-dill butter. I sautéed the zucchini and squash with a bit of Vidalia onion in olive oil.

    It was excellent, and paired with the Riesling very well.


    In other news, I like to cook and I think I’m not bad at it. People should come over for dinner! ^_^

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

    @rq:

    Can’t be that hard.

    Excuse me? I worked for **years** on my technique. As I remember it, even when I was two years old I had not yet successfully made sun tea.

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

    But yes, I am prone to aphthous stomatitis. As are most my blood kin.

    The fuckers are harmless, and apparently do not lead to any long-term problems, but they hurt.

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

    Esteleth, I would love to.

    As I remember you’re in the NE US? (I don’t remember how public that is, so I’m being vague, but I have a more specific idea in mind).

    I still haven’t made it to the UN, but I’m certain I’ll be there before this law-school thing is over, given my particular special interests. I’m hoping for a 3-6 month externship. Maybe I’ll be close enough to you then to pop over on a weekend.

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

    Also, dill.
    /things you can add to mashed potatoes

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

    I am in fact in Upstate NY. If you do make it to the UN, that’s in NYC? A bit long for a day trip, but you’re a half-day (and quite pretty, as the train spends the entire ride in a river valley with some dramatic views along the way) train trip from me.


    Random thought of the day: “zucchini” is an inherently funny word.


    Random thought #2, predicated after listening to an album of Sacred Harp music (love the sound, meh on the lyrics): references to the Jordan River have to be the most opaque metaphor for death in the entirety of the Christian canon of metaphors.

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

    @Tony!

    I’ll cook dinner for you, Tony!, but you have to mix & serve the drinks. Leave the hard jobs to the experts, after all. Speaking of which, you do juggle 5ths of Bombay Sapphire in an unbuttoned tuxedo shirt, right?

    Right???

  151. rq says

    Crip Dyke

    I worked for **years** on my technique.

    *hangs head in shame*
    I stand corrected.

    Esteleth
    *raises hand*
    Pencilling in ‘Dinner at Esteleth’s’ for next NA trip.

    Beatrice
    See, that’s what actually makes me a bad Latvian: I don’t like dill. But I can deal with it, on fish and in potatoes and with pickles.
    (The big joke a few years ago was that the Great Crisis of Finance was actually caused by a shortage of dill, as apparently that is the only thing to reduce a Latvian to tears and despair.)

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

    Tony!
    It is in fact very simple.

    Step 1: melt “enough” butter.
    Step 2: add a few sprigs of dill – for 2 fillets, I use enough dill to cover the palm of my hand in a light coat.
    Step 3: squeeze a lemon.

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

    @Esteleth:

    Yep, NYC.

    And fair warning: it is too much for a day trip. Having me over for dinner would likely mean lending me a couch as well, if that’s not too much to ask. UN jobs pay okay, but the stipends for lawyers-in-training still ain’t enough when you have a family and you’re trying to make two households fly…

    Re: crossing the Jordan.

    Opaque? Maybe. I don’t know. It never seemed that way to me. There’s no inherent connection between crossing a river and dying or bodily injury or suddenly have a completely different life that seems heavenly compared to the one you just left….

    …unless, of course, you’re talking about crossing the Missouri in 1852. As I understand it, that’s where the metaphor got it’s boost. But then “The Semiotics of Riparian Fluid Dynamics in Industrial Revolution Chistendom” wasn’t exactly my thesis topic. So take my pronouncement with a drop of brine.

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

    I’m must be a Latvian on the inside. At least in the stomach area.

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

    You might want to add a touch of black pepper as well, Tony, but go easy on it. If you’re using a delicate whitefish, it’s very easy to overpower the flavor.

  156. says

    rq:
    Another thing I like to do is make mashed potatoes, and then put them in a shallow baking dish, topped with bread crumbs, melted butter, and bacon bits. Toss that in the oven just long enough to brown the bread crumbs, then pull it out and add cheese, and some scallions. Soooo delish.

  157. rq says

    Tony
    You can make shepherd’s pie (or a variant) if you have ground meat, put it under the mashed potatoes and then do everything else. Voila!
    Ånd that’s my favourite way to eat leftover mashed potatoes, by the way. Usually with cheese on top, too.

    Esteleth
    There was always the River Styx… Christian substitution?

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

    @Will Robinson:

    Danger! Danger!

    When Esteleth says:

    add a few sprigs of dill – for 2 fillets, I use enough dill to cover the palm of my hand in a light coat.

    She is discussing ***fresh*** dill.

    Equal quantities of dried dill should never be substituted for fresh. Your mouth will pucker and your esophagus will knot.

    Unless, of course, all you have are whirling gears under a transparent dome. In which case, you are a superior life form.

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

    Perfectly doable, CD. :D

    And for lunch, we can go to the local tea house and have high tea. They have complementary big hats.

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

    My favorite way to eat leftover mashed potatoes: add an egg and a bit of flour. Fry in a non-stick pan on a couple of drops of butter.

  161. rq says

    Equal quantities of dried dill should never be substituted for fresh.

    Like that one time I did the same thing but with peppermint. I like peppermint, but that was a bit much. Some meat with your reconstituted herbs, please? If you can find it.

  162. rq says

    Beatrice
    Ooooh, that sounds lovely. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time.

    Esteleth
    High tea with complementary big hats?? I want to go, too!!!

  163. says

    Crip Dyke:

    I’ll cook dinner for you, Tony!, but you have to mix & serve the drinks. Leave the hard jobs to the experts, after all. Speaking of which, you do juggle 5ths of Bombay Sapphire in an unbuttoned tuxedo shirt, right?

    Right???

    Juggling bottles? Not so much.
    Possible TMI story here:
    Years ago, when I lived in North Alabama, I worked at a TGI Fridays as a bartender. They required all bartenders to participate in a flair competition-flipping bottle, tossing shaker tins filled with drinks behind you or between your legs, making drinks and tossing them to other bartenders to catch on the back of their hands, that kind of thing.
    I’m not a competitive person at all, so I didn’t really want to participate, but it was mandatory. Now, I’m not a flair person at all. My skill set is more along the lines of sociability, knowledge, speed, and multitasking. So I had to practice flair. I did so with an empty liquor bottle which I added a small amount of water to to give it the weight similar to what we’d be using in the competition. I spent something like 6 weeks practicing in my room at night trying to flip bottles. One night, I decided to practice after work. In the nude. Now, the bottle I was using had a metallic pour spout, so you can imagine the mild twinge of pain I received when I flipped the bottle and failed to catch it, resulting in the metal tip scraping my penis. It didn’t bleed or anything, but being scratched in that region isn’t pleasant for many people, including myself. From them on, I made sure to practice clothed.
    BTW, I don’t own a tuxedo shirt, but I think they are *tres* cool, and want one someday.

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

    Yes, hats!

    Also, if you have any Spawns, they might enjoy the complementary chest of princess dresses.

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

    @Tony!

    Now, the bottle I was using had a metallic pour spout, so you can imagine the mild twinge of pain I received when I flipped the bottle and failed to catch it, resulting in the metal tip scraping my penis. It didn’t bleed or anything, but being scratched in that region isn’t pleasant for many people, including myself. From them on, I made sure to practice clothed.

    Thank you for understanding. Penis scratches are a perfect example of exactly why I leave hard jobs to the experts.

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

    *hands Tony a complementary big hat and a tall glass of sun-brewed tea*

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

    Hats + Princess Dresses + Tea?

    I know a few people in my life that would enjoy that. In fact I … um, have a friend, yes, a friend that would quite enjoy that. Super-ornate Victorian and Edwardian hats are just the awesomest thing ever to wear while sipping tea.

    Um, says my friend, I mean.

    My friend? Um, you wouldn’t know her. She lives in Canada.

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

    @Tony!

    I would never!

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

    The tea house is in the city of my residence, RQ.

    Come visit me sometime and we shall go there.

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

    Damnit, I’ve got the opening of a Queen Latifah (yes, Dana Owens, but this was recorded under Queen Latifah) song going through my head and I’m not remembering what it is.

    Bananas, maybe?

    The one that starts out with the “Great Googly Moogly!” sample.

    Is that or isn’t that the one that goes on:

    Who ya gonna call
    when it’s time to brawl?
    I’m not standin’ round waitin’
    for my Queendom to fall…

    That’s “Bananas”, right? Or am I totes confused?

    I really think that’s right, but I can’t remember how it transfers out of the silly sample/noise beginning into the actual song. All I remember is the nonsense verbal sample against some background noises and then the first chorus.

    hrmph.

  171. opposablethumbs says

    Fourthing. I’m really hoping Ogvorbis is OK, as he was being targeted by the harassing fuckwits when he left. If anyone happens to have a way of getting a message to those people … I hope they know they are appreciated, and missed when they are not around.

    Also potatoes are the best, really. Though mind you I do love rice, and pasta too … but potatoes, yes.

    One of my favourite things: potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, courgettes, onions; wash or peel as appropriate, cut into big chunks, add whole cloves of garlic, sprinkle with salt, pepper and as much olive oil as you see fit (in a roasting tin) and just stick in a hot oven and roast the lot for about 45 mins to 1 hour or so. Eat. It’s lovely if you have some meat, but if you don’t/can’t have meat it’s still great. I love roast onions and potatoes; at a pinch you could just have those two. It’s the way the onions caramelise that does it …. miam.

    Esteleth I am very sorry about the mouth sores. Sounds horrible, and I hope you get rid of them soon.

    Confession time: I sometimes get carlie and cicely’s names crossed over in my brain. Because Son-of-cicely was suffering with mouth sores in the last thread and I want to ask after him except that my brain is saying are you really sure it was cicely’s Son and not carlie’s eldest? (as opposed to younger Son2, with whom my SonSpawn has some things in common so he kind of stick in my mind) I think so, but if I have switched you I apologise very much.

  172. says

    opposablethumbs:
    It was cicely’s Spawn you’re thinking of.
    Also, I had to look up what a ‘courgette’ was.
    Oh, and caramelized onions are quite tasty. I quite like rice too. And pasta.

    Speaking of pasta, I cooked some ground turkey a few days ago and mixed that with some pasta. I didn’t have any sauce, so I used a little ranch dressing (not a lot; just enough to add a spot of moist flavor). OMG, it was so good. I found a new favorite.

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

    @Tony!, #2^8:

    Have you ever made onion butter? I have friends who don’t like tomato sauce b/c it’s too acidic. Sometimes I can convince them that I can remove the acid by skinning a carrot or 3 (depending on amount of sauce and size of carrot), tossing them in the pot and then removing them after the sauce has been simmered (I eat them, [and doubleplus yum they are!] but if you are doing this for yourself, you could conceivably compost them). When I haven’t been able to convince them, I make onion butter and use that as the basis for a sauce.

    You can even mix it with garlic, fresh basil and nuts (with no cheese) to make an amazing sweet pesto (onion butter is very sweet). Don’t even add olive oil, the texture of the onion butter already takes care of that (plus you probably added a bit of olive oil to the onions while cooking them, which, while less than you would normally put in pesto, still does the job).

    Mmmm: vegan, delicious, acid-free pizza sauce. Or whatever-sauce. Mmmmm.

  174. says

    Crip Dyke:
    I’m flat broke right now, and I’ve pretty much cooked up the last of my food in the fridge, but I do have some red onions and butter. Plus a little of the ground turkey left. And I have pasta.
    I’ve never heard of onion butter, but it sounds tasty.

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

    Onion butter simply requires the removal of the paper and root, then a long, slow simmer. Adding the right amount of water isn’t that crucial. If you add the perfect amount of water, you’ll boil off the right amount just as the onions have finally fallen completely to much. You had too little? Add a bit. You added too much? Well, the onions have already fallen apart, keeping them hot a little longer for some excess water to boil off is no big deal.

    I always add garlic to mine, but not everyone does. Many people add different little tweaks – tamari or shoyu to add a little salt, sometimes certain spices (onion butter with nutmeg and just a pinch of clove powder can be just the thing in Oct/Nov) get thrown in. But really if you have onions and water and available heat energy, you’ve got yourself the makings of onion butter.

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

    It’s been so long since I’ve done math, it took me a second to understand what you did there.

    Could have been a real disaster if you’d had comment #343.

  177. opposablethumbs says

    Ah, you crazy zucchini-eating people you! Proper English speakers name their vegetables in French, not Italian! ;-)

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

    There’s no butter in it at all.

    Obviously when the author of that post describes onion butter as

    a heavenly, oniony-but-sweet spread

    she’s dramatically underselling it. These are not onions that have yet to be cut off from god. This paste is what Artemis puts on top of her food when the ambrosia just doesn’t have that kick any more.

    Not only that, but onion butter exists.

  179. says

    Nerd:
    Thanks for the recipe links.
    I was worried that this was going to be more time consuming than I wanted, but the third link has a variation on onion butter (this one contains actual butter) that sees a much shorter prep time.

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

    Nerd’s third recipe, by the way, is “onion butter” in the sense of “garlic butter” – meaning butter with something nummy added to change the flavor of what is functionally still butter.

    Not in the sense of apple butter or onion butter where some other food is cooked down and rendered into paste that is as spreadable as butter.

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

    You don’t actually have to spend much time on it.

    The crock pot (if you have one) is a decent way to go as it cooks under the boiling point and makes it very hard to burn. If you have a “warmer” element on your cooktop, you can also use your warmer and a regular pan to get a similar effect.

    I’ve even used a gas stovetop to make onion butter, though this is the hardest way to do it.

    While it takes a long time for the onion to break down and the water to boil off, you’re not actually doing much at all during this time unless you’re cooking on a gas stove. There you really do have to stir fairly regularly.

    BTW: I’m not opposed to “onion butter” in the sense of “garlic butter”, but butter has a lot to be desired as a food. Onion butter crosses the line from condiment => food. I’m sure the land o’ lakes thing would be nummy, but it wouldn’t be “food” to me, merely a condiment.

    Oh! Also – This is ***REEEEELLY IMPORTANT***

    Local grocers dispose of old, unsaleable produce all the time. While some of these things you wouldn’t want because it’s hard to salvage the good bits from the bad bits, when I was homeless and poor, the grocery store that I’d frequented when I had money happily gave me old onions by the peck. I’d use a friend’s kitchen and split the results.

    Even if you dumpster dive your onions you can make great onion butter because of the easy-peasy way you can ditch any outer layers that have gone off and toss all the good onion in the pot.

    Onions aren’t the most nutritious food ever, but damn if it isn’t good and a whole lot more nutritious than a lot of what we eat nowadays. (When I was young, we had to eat uphill, in the snow. Both ways!) Plus you can often get onions relatively cheap. Onion butter dramatically changes how they taste and feel and means you never have to throw away (entire) onions that have gone off. So you get more than one food for the price of one, insurance against failing to eat fresh produce quickly, and something that really tastes like nothing else you’ll find in the store. It’s a super-win, from my perspective.

  182. says

    Tony!
    You are definitely good enough to write for Cracked, and better than a considerable portion of their current content providers. I might venture to suggest a series of bartending anecdotes. Enough people have done time in customer service that that sort of thing has a wide audience.

  183. cicely says

    Something that came up on the local Freethinker’s FB: The 21 Dumbest Things Christians Have Ever Said

    Vampire Kermit.

    Awesome.
    :D

    Parrowing!
    *pouncehug*

    David!
    *chocolatey pouncehug*

    Tony!:

    Just thought about a few people. I hope Desert Son, Ogvorbis, bluentx, Gorogh, Crudely Wrott, mildlymagnificent, and inaji are all doing well.

    Fifthing.
     
    (Later)
    I love carmelized onions. I think they go especially well with brown beans and chunks of bacon.
    Mmmmmm…..bacon……
    And maybe just a touch of maple-iness.

    *hugs* and commiserations for Esteleth, on the mouth sores.
    Anything under the broad category “Pepper” is a Painful Hot Object, at any time.
    I don’t even want to think about it with mouth sores!
     
    Son is just getting over a heavy infestation of mouth sores, with added strep.
    It’s a combination I did when I was a couple of years younger than he is right now.
    Anecdotally, it hasn’t improved over the years.
     
    I would very much like to come over to your house for dinner!
    In spite of the squashes.
    ‘Cause squashes aintn’t food.
    Especially zucchini, which is only good for planting on a Triple Word Score.
    ;)

    opposablethumbs, I take no umbrage if you confuse me for carlie—who is certainly getting the worse of that trade!
    :D
    Thank you for inquiring after Son; he assures us that he is now at about 90%.
    -

  184. The Mellow Monkey says

    I’m sorry to hear about your mouth sores, Esteleth. I hope things get better quickly.

    Re: floury potatoes. Blech. They’re okay if you’re planning on deep frying them, but they’re at the absolute bottom of my potato preferences.

    Crip Dyke

    Onions aren’t the most nutritious food ever, but damn if it isn’t good and a whole lot more nutritious than a lot of what we eat nowadays.

    And it works quite nicely for adding flavor to cheap/nutritious food that might taste like paste otherwise. Onion butter with rice and black beans are a great comfort food to me at times when I’ve been unable to afford much else. (A time that looks like it’s returning once again here. Sigh.)

    Black beans are a better protein source than a lot of other beans, too, which is great since they’re my favorite. I know this because at my most desperate I spent some time with various lists of nutrients and calories trying to figure out the cheapest combination of foods to fulfill my basic nutritional needs. It led to a lot of cabbage and potato soup.

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

    Black beans are a better protein source than a lot of other beans, too, which is great since they’re my favorite.

    So. Much. This.

    I loved them most before I ever realized that they were such good food, though I can’t say that there may not have an effect with feeling good after a meal of good nutrition, and then associating feeling good with the beans.

    Still and all, there was certainly a very conscious “I like the black ones” long before I learned anything at all about specific measurements.

  186. says

    http://www.dailydot.com/technology/wi-fi-art-exhibit-digital-ethereal/

    Luis Hernan, a PhD candidate at England’s Newcastle University, took particular interest in this idea and set out to visualize Wi-Fi signals based on their strength. The result is Spirit Photographs, a beautiful intersection of technology and photography.
    This one facet of a larger project Hernan is working on, Digital Ethereal, in which Hernan visualizes hertzian spaces. A hertzian space describes how electronic devices interact within a space and with people based on observing electromagnetic signals.

    “In order to take advantage of hertzian space, I advocate for a creative practice aimed at creating new objects, indexed to hertzian space, but which also captures the cultural and social complexity imbued in the use of such technologies,” Hernan explained on his website.

    “The fact that we are becoming increasingly reliant on something we can’t see intrigues me,” Hernan told BBC. “I wanted to find a way to show the wireless which is around us and also how it changes.”

  187. carlie says

    Tony – there is an entire article by John Cheese about how to write for Cracked, and one thing he strongly recommends ins joining the forums – there is a forum specifically for people who want to write for it (and get paid). I don’t remember exactly where, but a little searching ought to turn it up.

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

    @Tony!, #13^2 + 10^2 +3^2:

    It has been a long time for you with the math thing, hasn’t it?
    </gentle teasing, hopefully well-received>

  189. says

    The creator of one of the most iconic gay-themed TV shows of all time has plans for a steamy new series featuring plenty of same-sex encounters.

    Russell T. Davies, who penned the original British installment of “Queer as Folk,” has announced plans for “Tofu,” an eight-part series about modern sex culture, according to The Independent.

    On Red Productions’ website, director Benjamin Cook describes “Tofu” as a “light-hearted documentary series” about “good sex, bad sex, real-life sex. Smut, basically.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/russell-t-davies-tofu-_n_5606697.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
    I remember being glued to my tv to watch Queer As Folk (the US version) during the first few seasons. I hope they avoid creating anyone as unlikeable as Brian Kenny. He was an utter shit for the first few seasons. Few redeeming characteristics and routinely acting like an asshole to people who were ostensibly his friends.

  190. says

    More relevant info:

    We’re looking for a cast of vibrant, charismatic people of all sexual persuasions, genders and ages — so long as you’re over 18 — who are comfortable with, and confident in, talking about sex.
    Men, women, every gender, all the pronouns, straight, gay, bi, curious, maybe you’re sex-obsessed, or take-it-or-leave-it, or maybe you’ve — whisper the words — never had sex and aren’t afraid to say so. We want your stories, confessions, and opinions.
    Cook and Davies are asking users to submit videos that are 90 seconds or less in length in which participants “tell us [their] best sex-related anecdote — whether it be good, bad, or even lacking in sex completely.”

    You can read more about making submissions here.

    According to Davies, “Tofu” will differ from his two other forthcoming dramas, “Cucumber” and “Banana” in that it will explore “real-life” issues as opposed to fantasy scenarios. Still, as The Guardian pointed out, there’s a connection between the three series.

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

    @Tony!
    Ooops. I thought that I’d block quoted your “seconded”. You got that I was talking about your use of “seconded”, right?

    I hope they avoid creating anyone as unlikeable as Brian Kenny. He was an utter shit for the first few seasons. Few redeeming characteristics and routinely acting like an asshole to people who were ostensibly his friends.

    Ah, jenny from L Word then?

    I never saw Queer as Folk. That was in my long (and continuing) phase of not owning a TV and during the long (but now dead) phase of no-such-thing-as-internet-streaming-which-is-totally-different-from-watching-TV,-right?

    Some of my friends encouraged me, after streaming became feasible, to go back and watch some iconic shows. I even watched quite a bit of L Word. But I resent every single seen with Jenny in it. Gross.

    So I guess if there’s a character named Penny, Benny, Denny, Rennie or Lenny we should just cringe in advance, eh?

    Oh, hell, did I actually just type “eh”? These Canadians, they’re invading my thoughts!

    Get out of my mind!

  192. jste says

    Family favourite for potatoes is to slice them thin, layer them in a baking tray with onion, bacon, and a bit of garlic granules between each layer, and cover the top with cheese and cream. Bake til the taters are soft.

    Potato and Leek soup is also a personal favourite of mine.

    I keep on meaning to cook with beans more, but first I need to convince the other half that it’s better than frying up a tin of baked beans with some added onions and curry powder….

    Tony! If you do indeed pursue paid work with Cracked, I wish you all the best!

  193. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    In spite of the squashes.
    ‘Cause squashes aintn’t food.
    Especially zucchini, which is only good for planting on a Triple Word Score.

    Let me guess: you’ve only had them boiled or baked and buttered?

    (Besides, even if you genuinely don’t find zucchini palatable, I’m sure I can think of one or two uses.. :P)

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

    I’m sure I can think of one or two uses

    *Ron Burgundy voice*

    Well, that escalated quickly

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

    (Besides, even if you genuinely don’t find zucchini palatable, I’m sure I can think of one or two uses.. :P)

    My, my. Is it hot in here, or is that just Azky?

  196. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (Yeah, that came out a bit more forward than I’d intended. x.x)

  197. says

    Well, in honor of the last few comments: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/560372/20140725/surgeons-find-out-5-inch-long-sex.htm#.U9W0uvldWeM

    A Scottish woman lived with a five-inch sex toy inside her vagina for a decade without having the slightest realisation, physicians claimed. This case, reported in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, stated it is the first time a sex toy has been left inside a woman for 10 years.

    This 38-year-old lady wanted to see a doctor at hospital as she was suffering from huge weight loss, shaking and lethargy.

    She also went through mild incontinence for ‘a few weeks.’

    When detailed examinations were performed, astonished doctors found a strange foreign body protruding into her bladder right from the vagina.

  198. cicely says

    Azkyroth, I exempt pumpkins from the General Anathema On All Squash-Kind.
    Pumpkins are awesome either as pies, or quick-bread products.
     
    I’ve had squashes boiled and/or baked and/or buttered. I’ve had ‘em batter-dipped (zucchini). I’ve had ‘em baked with butter and cinnamon (acorn squash)(and under threat of No Christmas Presents Until They Were Eaten).
    They were all Made of FAIL.
     
    As for other uses, some of them are decorative; and some of them are decently-balanced for throwing.
    Plus, you can always gut them and set them on fire.

    A Scottish woman lived with a five-inch sex toy inside her vagina for a decade without having the slightest realisation, physicians claimed.

    O.o
     
    How the hell….?
    Non-consensual-by-reason-of-unconsciousness deployment?
    -

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

    Okay, should we assume the patient didn’t actually purchase the dildo? Because, really, don’t you go through your sex toys every time you move to see if there are some you don’t need any more? Wouldn’t you think, “whatever happened to that red one?”

    but more than anything, if you’re a purchaser of dildoes (which autocorrect appears to believe is a two-terminal electrical device/circuit that has high conductance when current flows in one direction, but high resistance when flowing in the opposite direction: autocorrect has a very sad and lonely life) aren’t you also someone who might masturbate once in a while? You wouldn’t feel that?

    I’m just wigged. I’m honestly worried that this person had experienced some form of rape or at the very least had a traumatic/sudden transition to a long period without sexual activity of any kind (including masturbation). Partner died? Seriously, how do you go from using sex toys to never placing your fingers inside yourself?

    I have trouble conceiving it.

  200. The Mellow Monkey says

    Crip Dyke

    Seriously, how do you go from using sex toys to never placing your fingers inside yourself?

    Yeah, I do wonder about some sort of trauma. Especially since those muscles would relax at various points during ordinary life–certainly while on the toilet–and it would be expected that a non-porous cylindrical object could work itself out if it wasn’t stuck. (Bearing down is one of the ways to help dislodge a stubborn menstrual cup.)

    So that coupled with the description of it protruding into her bladder makes me wonder if it was, perhaps, traumatically inserted in a way so it couldn’t come out easily? Maybe with a side order of vaginismus so that she truly couldn’t place her fingers in there again.

  201. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m not sure an honorific that’s 5/6 the male honorofic and likely to be misheard as it is “neutral.

  202. says

    Azkyroth:
    I see your point, and it’s quite valid. There’s bound to be opposition to any proposed honorific. Mixter or Mx as it’s abbreviated has seen some use:

    “Mx is a title preferred by some of the trans community as an alternative to Mr, Mrs or Miss. The title was not created by Brighton and Hove City Council but has been in use elsewhere for several years.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-22465531

  203. says

    http://mic.com/articles/94978/a-woman-live-tweeted-ibm-executives-discussing-why-they-don-t-hire-women?utm_source=policymicTBLR&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social

    The news: Toronto-based editor Lyndsay Kirkham has started a firestorm this week after overhearing what was apparently an incredibly sexist conversation between IBM executives at lunch — and live-tweeting it.

    Unaware that they were transmitting sexist nonsense to cyberspace, the IBM executives openly discussed “why they don’t hire women.” If you take Kirkham’s account at its word, it actually gets way worse.

  204. says

    Ok, this ad paints men in a horrible light:
    http://mic.com/articles/86327/this-offensive-snickers-ad-accidentally-shows-exactly-how-sexism-hurts-men

    Snickers decided to do a commercial in Australia with the theme of “What happens when you’re hungry? You’re not you.” The commercial sees a bunch of male construction workers who are apparently so hungry that they stop being what they normally are-sexist pigs-and start acting like, well, feminists. They start talking to women on the street about how awful objectification is, how they want to end misogyny, and more. At the end of the commercial, we learn that they’re hungry and that’s why they weren’t their normal selves.

    The message: Eat a Snickers. Curb your hunger. Be a sexist pig.

    What the everloving FUCK?!

  205. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Oh. My. Fictitious. God.

    IS THERE ANY FUCKING GOOD REASON, ANY AT ALL, WHY THERE IS ANY PLACE ON THE INTERNET ANYWHERE WHERE YOU CAN TYPE A MESSAGE AND HIT SUBMIT AND HAVE IT POSTED BUT NOT TYPE <a href=”LINK”>text</a> AND GET THIS?!

  206. says

    Just left the Mars company a very critical email about that fucking commercial. Given how my last email to a company turned out (Eden Organic), I can’t wait to see if and how they’ll respond to me.

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

    Okay, watched the ad.

    The ad changes drastically depending on whether they eat a snickers before they shout at women or after.

    They never eat the snickers. Therefore you can’t tell if they’re saying, “World peace, brought to you by Snickers,” or “Eat a Snickers & give yourself the strength to bash those chicks on the head and drag them back to your cave.”

    Some, then, might call it Schrodinger’s sexism and throw up their hands, as you’ll never get the company to admit now that they really wanted to encourage woman-bashing.

    But, frankly, I see it as an opportunity to talk about the entitlement of sexism. While one woman is pleased as punch to hear an actual denunciation of misogyny, all the women before her – every one – gets a comment on her appearance and reacts ambivalently. I instantly found myself in their emotional place, walking down the street and placed, all unsuspecting, in the middle of Allen Funt recording 10 hours of yelling at strangers hoping to get 28 seconds of good reaction shots. What would I feel if someone yelled, “Those glasses make you look intelligent!” at me? I’d be insulted as fuck. When someone puts extra effort into communicating with you, there is a social norm that you should make an extra effort to reply, or at least acknowledge the communication. When someone runs up to you to return your forgotten keys, you feel more pressure to communicate more gratitude than if they lazily walk up to you, even if the running didn’t really matter to how quickly they caught up as you were waiting at a don’t walk.

    Shouting across the street at you is clearly an extra effort. You have to get loud. You often, as they did in the video, have to actually use your body substantially to make sure your target understands the communication is intended for them. Worst, you make your communication public to a vastly larger number of hearers. Social courtesy demands that we respond publicly so that a number of possible bad effects or misunderstandings become less likely. Part of that is simply protecting the reputation of the communicator from the potential negative opinion of others. We reply, then, in part to make sure that others know we weren’t hurt, because if others thought we were hurt, they might negatively judge the shouter.

    But if you’re walking down the street unprepared for the communication and someone feels entitled to judge you based on your appearance, and loudly, with many people overhearing, your clear discomfort with that dynamic (woman after woman showed discomfort at the shouting) doesn’t negate the pleasure one might feel at being complimented. Unsure if you want the shouter punished for this communication, you communicate back noncommittally, just enough so that others don’t take offense on your behalf. You can probably sort these feelings out in a few seconds, but you don’t have a few seconds. you’re walking on. The social pressure is now. A reassuring statement made too late also is less effective at protecting the reputation of a shouter undeserving of opprobrium … innocent until proven guilty, right?

    And so these passersby are co-opted into your performance art, with those who call out the entitlement to judge women based on appearance excluded from view and those who are made most distressingly uncertain of themselves rendered sales props, both for the candy and for the ideology that encourages men to feel entitled to judge a female book by her cover.

    They will inevitably deny that they intended to encourage woman-bashing.

    Let them.

    Let them defend the commercial by apologizing for failing to communicate that these men had just had Snickers’ bars. Then we will know that these executives’ truest selves feel utterly comfortable in a world where strange men shout at women, expecting women to respond by protecting their reputations whether they feel comfortable doing so or not, all in the service of making it possible to publicly judge women by their appearances.

    Then, when they have set their own table, we will serve them a critique that really satisfies.

  208. A. Noyd says

    @Azkyroth (#307)
    I don’t follow. That may be the sleeping pills or it may be that I just used up all my parsing powers on an incredibly confusing passage¹ describing a kaiten sushi restaurant in the Japanese sci-fi novel I’m reading.

    ………
    ¹ Confusing in no small part because the second word of the restaurant name was a foreign word written in hiragana when they’re normally in katakana. (Though that bit would have been less confusing had I read the next sentence that explained it was an allusion to the ship name in 20K Leagues Under the Sea.) I still don’t know if the word that came before is even a real word. It is, oddly, part of the name of a real kaiten sushi restaurant chain with locations in the same prefecture the story takes place. So is that bit a homage? I doubt I’ll ever know.

  209. says

    Crip Dyke:

    They never eat the snickers. Therefore you can’t tell if they’re saying, “World peace, brought to you by Snickers,” or “Eat a Snickers & give yourself the strength to bash those chicks on the head and drag them back to your cave.”

    No, we don’t see them eat a Snickers, but that’s part of the point the ad is trying to make. The ad is showing what these men are like when they’re hungry, i.e. when they need something that satisfies them, aka Snickers. Look at what the ad says at the beginning:

    “What happens when builders aren’t themselves?” “We thought we’d find out.”
    This is a commercial by a company trying to sell a product. The tagline of the product is ‘Snickers satisfies’. They want their viewers to think about their product when they’re hungry. They want the viewer to think “I’m off my game, but a Snickers will set me right.”
    Check out this 30 second ad for the 2010 Super Bowl. The same message is there “You’re not you without a Snickers.” Once Betty White eats the Snickers, she’s herself again.

    The ad doesn’t work if they’ve already eaten the Snickers. The company doesn’t want people to consume their product and become not themselves, because that’s not satisfying. The ad “works” by saying “When you’re hungry, you’re not yourself, bc you’re not satisfied, so here, have a Snickers.”

  210. rq says

    Happy WWI Anniversary, everyone! 100 years ago today, began the War to End All Wars.
    How are we doing on that, by the way?

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

    The ad doesn’t work if they’ve already eaten the Snickers. The company doesn’t want people to consume their product and become not themselves, because that’s not satisfying.

    No no no, you’re right given the initial text, about which I had forgotten. I was wrong on the possibility of ambiguity.

    Still, with a different opening tag, they could have made a very different statement:

    “When you’re hungry, you’re not yourself. We thought we’d go to some people know what’s its like to work up a hunger and give them a Snickers.”

    Because I forgot about the opening text, I thought it was ambivalent whether they were saying, “A better world, courtesy of Snickers” or “Bash her on the head, courtesy of Snickers.”

    I was wrong about the presence of ambiguity, but that’s the thought process I was following, if you’re wondering how in the world I came up with my thoughts.

  212. opposablethumbs says

    he is now at about 90%.

    Glad to hear he’s on the mend, cicely (and thank you for not minding that I have swiss cheese fail brain for names. I have borderline-socially-debilitating trouble with this in rl …)
    .
    I’ve only seen the construction-worker version of the Marathon bar (ha! Snickers indeed. See what my stupid brain does? Remembers a completely irrelevant name I couldn’t give a toss about while forgetting the name of a neighbour who’s lived one flat away for several years already) advert once and it’s … heartbreakingly sad, to me. Not to mention cruel, ugly, insulting. Like it’s saying to women “we could treat you with human dignity, we could do that little tiny thing to actually try and make your day better – we do know how – we just choose not to. We choose to belittle and demean you and actively seek to make your day just that bit worse, instead. That’s more fun for us”

    But I had always assumed that all the people involved were actors. Are you saying they yelled at and insulted and interrupted actual unsuspecting passers-by, while filming them with hidden cameras? And then (presumably) obtained permission for the ones they wanted to use? Please tell me I got that wrong!

    I wonder what they did with the unwanted footage, except maybe laugh at it.

  213. Rowan vet-tech says

    I have a 10-hour shift in 5 hours. I am up thanks to my dog scratching herself raw because of allergy-induced bacterial infections all across her skin so we have a month long course of antibiotics and need to make an appt at a dermatologist. She’s lived in the cone-of-shame for the last 5 months. She’s on a hypoallergenic diet (hydrolyzed protein), but it’s just not helping. She’s miserable. I’m miserable. She’s responding more to “bread dog” than her actual name (yeast infection as well as bacteria). The only meds that might help with the allergies cost about $300/month which sucks all sorts of sucky things. I also still need to feed and clean my two, unrelated bottle-baby kittens before I can sleep and I can feel myself becoming strange with exhaustion and that’s why I’m here rambling rather than doing what I need to do in order to go to bed.

    blargh.

  214. rq says

    I love it when an outdoor music festival chooses things like Asterolepis ornata as a theme, and presents geology and evolution to the public as a part of festival events.
    Granted, the whole point of the festival is to educate people about nature, but they don’t even hide it behind spiffy marketing and such. Last year’s theme was the geological formation oss (in Latvian – not sure on the English term, but it’s steep, elongated hills of various sediments created by glaciers, often overgrown with various conifers *google-fus* I think it’s an esker), so they had activities and presentations out in the open-air on their formation, how to recognize them, plus all kinds of other wildlife-related stuff.
    This year it’ll be Asterolepis and the Devonian. Too bad I think we’re busy that weekend. :(

  215. jefrir says

    Man, fuck illnesses that actively make themselves harder to treat.
    I finally got round to going and seeing a doctor about my anxiety issues, and I now have a diagnosis and a referral to a therapy service. But this could have happened so much sooner if one of the things I have anxieties about wasn’t phoning up and making appointments. Like, say, appointments to talk about the fucking anxiety.

  216. Rowan vet-tech says

    Jefrir… totally understand. I still haven’t called to get depression dealt with because ‘it probably won’t even help anyway and it’s simply that I’m a colossal screw up’… which I know isn’t true but still. -_-

    Kudos to getting that phone call made.

  217. jefrir says

    Oh yes, there’s also the whole “what if I’m totally wasting their time and there’s nothing wrong with me?”. Which, yeah, if I’m having this much trouble making a phone call, there is in fact something wrong.
    But yay, first steps taken! I can totally deal with this like a grown-up!

  218. opposablethumbs says

    rq that sounds really rather awesome! :-)
    .
    Rowan I’m sorry about the allergy problem – sounds horrible. I wish you could get the meds she needs (huh, I always thought vet staff would get stuff for less or something. Shows how little I know :-( ). Hope that you do not read this (I mean, not until about a day later at least) because you are asleep and getting rested before your shift! ::sending you hugs and well-wishes::

    And I hope you do manage to get some help with the depression. Fw little iw, you most definitely do not sound like a screw-up to me.

  219. carlie says

    This is amazing: A teenager has created a sensor alarm to warn parents if they’re about to leave their child in the car in a car seat. She was inspired by all of the awful hot car infant deaths that take place during the summer. It’s a sensor pad that can tell if there is a child in the seat, and if the key fob gets more than 40 feet from the car, an alarm sounds on the key fob, the car itself, and a phone app.

  220. carlie says

    Kevin – it would if automakers would be the ones installing them in their systems; they could handle it. Apparently there was a move to require car manufacturers to include something like that a few years ago, and of course the car lobby blocked it. It’s no more liability than any of the other monitoring systems they do include: if the tire pressure monitoring system malfunctions and you have a blowout, or if the engine overheat monitor malfunctions and the car breaks down, etc.

  221. says

    http://gizmodo.com/someone-finally-built-the-ultimate-urban-bike-1606641378

    The Merge is one entrant into this bike-building competition, and it was built through a collaboration between two Brooklyn-based studios—Horse, a frame builder, and Pensa, a product and industrial design firm. The resulting bike incorporates everything you need for riding in the city: Forged out of steel and designed with utility in mind, it’s built with an open-ended tube system that stores a rear bike rack and fender, a front female USB for phone charging, and front and rear blinking LED lights powered by the dynamo generator built into the front wheel.

  222. birgerjohansson says

    Speaking of female ninjas, the graphic novel Apocalypse Al was not too bad, but the illustrator had the annoying habit of showing A LOT of skin.

    By comparison “Batwoman; Hydrology” was much better.
    — — — —

    YES! -A parcel of colder air has moved in over northern Scandinavia, making the temperature drop from 32 C to 26-27 C.
    I am going homne to celebrate with my cat.

    BTW fall is coming. The night sky has turned so dark(ish) that I can spot two of the brightest stars, if I look straight at them.

  223. says

    rq @197:

    Lynna
    A refrigerator and air conditioning? *whistles* So fancy! :P
    I’ve never made tea from chrysanthemum buds. It sounds interesting, especially in that combination.

    Yes, very fancy. It’s obvious that the poor are not suffering enough.

    Just to be clear, I only have a refrigerator in one room. I’ve always wanted one in every room. I also only have one TV.

    Crip Dyke is right, chrysanthemum buds can sweeten without that sugary taste. I would caution that one should go easy on the amount. They can overwhelm if used to excess.

  224. says

    I use tea brewed from baby chrysanthemum buds at about a 1 to 12 ratio for a big pitcher of iced tea. The 12 is made up of a combo of black and green teas. So that’ll give you an idea of how much to use. One cup of chrysanthemum bud tea to 12 cups of whatever tea.

  225. says

    Jefrir, i have exactly the same problem. I’ve found that having a supportive friend alongside helps me a tonne. I can either get her to get past the IVR menu, or the receptionist or whatever, and once the call is started, it’s easier to deal with the rest of the crap. It’s like I have a really high frictive coefficient, and having some help to overcome inertia is a big help. In any case, yay you for getting it done!

    Rowan…just hugs offered. Hope you got some sleep.

  226. says

    Making fun of Darrell Issa’s witch hunts is fun:

    Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) is prepared to toss the likes of former IRS official Lois Lerner, U.S. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder and White House political adviser David Simas into water to see if they’ll sink or swim. An above-ground pool (naturally, it would be unrealistic to have an in-ground one) would be placed inside the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing room.

    “We are picking winners and losers, when it is clearly obvious that witches can only be found by dunking them in water. If they float they’re a witch. If they don’t, installing a pool will allow us to retrieve the non-witch before he or she drowns,” Cardenas said in an actual press release. “Like the Chairman, I am interested in effective government oversight and reform. This pool will allow that to take place, wasting far fewer taxpayer dollars in the process.” […]

    See post #134 for more info.
    Washington Post link.

    From Steve Benen, writing for The Maddow Blog:

    […] “Senator Joseph R. McCarthy Memorial Truth Pond.” A plaque near the pool would read, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

    When not being used on suspected witches, the pool, the California Democrat added, could be used by members and their staff recreationally.

  227. cicely says

    *big hugs* for Rowan. I’m sorry about your dog, and hope that maybe, one day, you can get some sleep.
    Exhaustion suxx.

    jefrir, you have my whole-hearted sympathies on the recursive-anxiety thing.
    *chocolate*?
    -

  228. rq says

    jefrir
    YAY for you on the first steps! Well done, good person!

    Rowan
    *hugs* Hope things improve and that you manage some rest/sleep.

  229. says

    Blaming President Obama is a Republican fundraising industry. Yeah, some things are definitely Obama’s fault, but some of the blame-to-raise-rabid-right-funds is ridiculous.

    Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) blamed President Barack Obama for a reported increase in uninsured Mississipians. The problem is, Bryant didn’t acknowledge that he’s been a staunch opponent of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare and refused to encourage enrolling in private coverage through Healthcare.gov. […]

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/phil-bryant-uninsured-mississippi-blame-obama-expand-medicaid

    Fighting between militias in Libya is also Obama’s fault, according to crass pandering to the extreme right in the USA:

    […] military jets provided air cover during a predawn evacuation of the embassy’s staff, which appeared to go without incident. The report added U.S. officials described the evacuation as a temporary measure after fighting drew too close to the embassy.

    Any chance congressional Republicans were glad the Obama administration took the precautionary step? No, GOP lawmakers were too busy blaming the president for the Libyan militias’ violence.

    The violence in Libya that caused U.S. embassy personnel to flee the country on Saturday is partly due to President Obama’s inability to bring calm to the region, key Republican members of Congress said on Saturday.

    According to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the “deteriorating security posture” that is playing out across the region “is what happens when the United States is not engaged and lacks a clear foreign policy that includes strong U.S. leadership.”

    Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, echoed the sentiment that the Obama administration is to blame for not doing enough to bring security to Libya.

    […]

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/gop-blames-obama-libyan-violence

  230. says

    Stephen Smith, the ESPN panelist who got into trouble by suggesting that women should not “provoke” domestic violence, has apologized.

    The apology took the form of the tried and true “I didn’t mean what I said,” and he basically apologized for not clearly saying whatever he did mean. This was in relation to the two-day suspension of Ray Rice, which PZ posted about earlier.

    Then there’s this to consider:

    It’s worth noting that Friday’s show was not the first time Smith had suggested women should not provoke domestic violence. He made a similar comment back in 2012 while discussing former NFL player Chad Johnson’s arrest for allegedly head-butting his wife.

    “There are plenty of instances where provocation comes into consideration, instigation comes into consideration, and I will be on the record right here on national television and say that I am sick and tired of men constantly being vilified and accused of things and we stop there,” he said at the time, as quoted by Deadspin. “I’m saying, ‘Can we go a step further?’ Since we want to dig all deeper into Chad Johnson, can we dig in deep to her?”[…]

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/espn-stephen-a-smith-apology-domestic-violence

  231. Parrowing says

    Hi rq, opposablethumbs, and cicely!

    I’m melting over here too. Good thing we bought a fan a month ago. Aside from that, this is the summer of waiting. There are quite a few big life changes ahead, all of which are up in the air at least to some extent and there’s nothing I can do about that right now. Not the most fun position to be in, but I’ll manage. I’ve been biding my time planning a new story idea, which for now has me very excited.

  232. OptimalCynic says

    Good news, Kerbal Space Program just got even better. This is the answer from the game producer on female Kerbals:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/2byga4/im_the_producer_of_kerbal_space_program_ama_about/cja6kbt?context=3

    “We are actively working on Girlbals (studio petname, not actual name). They will take some time, it’s a decent bit of work and we have to get them right. We may be just a small indie studio but we feel that gaming in general should no longer treat women as an afterthought. Even if it’s extra work.”

  233. says

    Bad news, courtesy of the courts in Oklahoma.

    New York Times link.

    Same-sex marriage has had a spectacular year in the courts, with an unbroken run of more than 25 victories. The decisions have become routine, almost monotonous.

    But there was a note of discord this month in a ruling from a federal appeals court, one that may foreshadow a problem for gay rights advocates at the Supreme Court.

    The result in the new decision was the usual one: the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, struck down Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban.

    But a 27-page concurrence from Judge Jerome A. Holmes rejected the rationale most likely to appeal to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, whose vote will be crucial when the question of whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage returns to the court.

    Judge Holmes said animus toward gay people had played no role in the ban before his court, a constitutional amendment adopted in 2004 by Oklahoma’s voters. He added that most judges in the recent run of same-sex marriage decisions took the same view, with only four finding that the bans before them were the product of animus.

    The point matters because proof of animus has figured prominently in the Supreme Court’s gay rights decisions and may be the easiest route to victory there. […]

    Riiiight. There’s no animus toward gays in Oklahoma. None. /sarcasm

  234. says

    Unintended consequences of the Hobby Lobby ruling:

    In a statement, the Satanic Temple said that it will use the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to exempt its believers from state-mandated informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material.
    Informed consent or “right to know” laws state that women seeking elective abortions be provided with information about alternatives to the procedure, often couched in language that attempts to personify the fetus. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states currently have informed consent laws, and of those, 33 require that the woman be told the gestational age of the fetus.

    In some states, that information consists of pro-life propaganda that links abortion to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancers, or discusses “post-abortion syndrome,” a mental condition not recognized by any major medical or psychiatric organization.

    Because the Satanic Temple bases its belief “regarding personal health…on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others,” it claims that state-mandated information with no basis in scientific fact violates its “religious” beliefs. […]

    Daily Kos link.

  235. says

    Gun violence:

    A man suspected of opening fire in a Philadelphia-area hospital and shooting dead a case worker before exchanging gunshots with a doctor has been charged with murder, prosecutors said on Sunday.
    – – –

    Plotts walked into the office of psychiatrist Lee Silverman, inside the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center in Darby, for a scheduled appointment on Thursday and pulled a .32-caliber revolver from his waistband.

    After arguing about signs banning guns at the facility, he fired two shots, killing social worker Theresa Hunt at point-blank range and grazing Silverman’s head, authorities said.

    Police told WPVI that they believe Plotts went to his appointment intending to kill his psychiatrist, Dr. Lee Silverman. They said Plotts was angry because the hospital posted a sign declaring the building a “gun-free zone.”
    Plotts was inside Silverman’s office for a scheduled appointment Thursday when he suddenly pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot his caseworker, Theresa Hunt, in the head at point-blank range, police said. Hunt was killed instantly.

    Silverman dove to the floor, pulled a semi-automatic pistol out his pocket and had a furious close range gun battle with Plotts, who police said fired at least 10 rounds. The doctor, who was using a chair for protection, aimed his gun at Plotts and fired until it was empty, Whelan said Friday.

    The doctor, who was grazed in the head and wounded in the thumb while covering his face, was able to get out of the office, unaware that he had struck Plotts three times.

    Plotts has a long criminal history involving firearms. Philadelphia police stopped Plotts in 1990 for carrying an unlicensed firearm. He later served time for federal bank robbery and after his release from prison, violated parole when he was caught with a gun, prosecutors said.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/28/suspect-in-pennsylvania-hospital-shooting-charged-with-murder/

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/alleged-pennsylvania-hospital-gunman-richard-plotts-arraigned-bed/story?id=24732660

  236. says

    Big huge bad news result of global warming:

    Vast methane plumes have been discovered boiling up from the seafloor of the Arctic ocean on the continental slope of the Laptev Sea by a dream team of international scientists. Over the last decade a warming tongue of Atlantic ocean water has been flowing along the Siberian Arctic ocean’s continental slope destabilizing methane ice, hypothesize the team of Swedish, Russian and American scientists. The research team will take a series of measurements across the Siberian seas to attempt to understand and quantify the methane release and predict the effect of this powerful greenhouse gas on global and Arctic warming. Because the Siberian Arctic contains vast stores of methane ices and organic carbon that may be perturbed by the warming waters and Arctic climate, Arctic ocean and Siberian sea methane release could accelerate and intensify Arctic and global warming. […]

    Daily Kos link.

    Örjan Gustafsson’s blog post.

  237. says

    jefrir, Rowan:
    Much sympathy and ::hugs::

    ****

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/28/instead-of-asking-did-she-say-no-we-should-start-asking-did-she-want-to-have-sex/

    Part of the problem with putting the onus on victims to make the rape “official” through refusing and fighting back is the next thing that happens is we get into a quibbling match over whether or not they fought back enough to “earn” the right to have their rape considered a rape. It encourages this mentality where badgering someone until they stop saying no or simply ignoring them so that you can honestly say later you had no idea that they were refusing is somehow in-bounds. It becomes the victim’s fault for not refusing in exactly the right way, even though most rapists aren’t actually going to take any no for an answer, no matter how you phrase it.

    What if, instead of saying, “Did she say no?” to this young man, the question was, “Did she want to have sex with you?” The answer to that seems screamingly obvious. Far from making things more complicated, framing the question this way would have made things much simpler.

    Sure, there will always be men who will whine that it’s so hard to get laid if you have to bother knowing if your partner wants to have sex, too. But so what? If I ran around saying that it’s so hard to get invited to dinner without just walking into people’s houses uninvited, that wouldn’t change the fact that I’m criminally trespassing. If I insisted the only way I get to visit people is by barging into their houses, you’d tell me that it’s my responsibility to learn how to make friends so I get invited. Men who want to have sex should be held to the same minimum standard.

    ****

    That online Sarah Palin channel? A lot of people had fun mocking the idea. They came up with their own versions of shows for her channel.

    Some of my favorites:
    Saved by the Bell Curve
    Meet the Press…Never
    Death Panels, She Wrote
    My Three Guns

  238. opposablethumbs says

    jefrir I just realised that I missed out on wishing you the best with taking that step – and I’m sorry I missed it; it’s not easy to do at all, and I really do hope you get the support you need. Making the appt totally deserves a *\o/* yay *\o/*

  239. says

    Here’s a mormon polygamy update that is amusing. Some past Moments of Mormon Madness on the part of Warren Jeffs are now being used to make money from an unusual bed-and-breakfast arrangement.

    Warren Jeffs’ refuge has become America’s Most Wanted Suites — a reference to Jeffs’ time on the FBI’s list of 10 most wanted fugitives. New owner Willie Jessop is a former Jeffs protector and confidant who later sued his Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and won, purchasing the home with a $3.6 million credit bid during an April 2013 auction.

    “The initial intent of [the compound] was to be something exclusive, and the bed and breakfast concept made it something inclusive,” Jessop said.

    The 14 rooms for rent each have their own bathroom and closet, with breakfast included — served on site or down the street at Merry Wives Cafe. Hildale and adjoining Colorado City, Ariz., are home to members of the polygamous church.

    Prices were not posted on the Most Wanted Suites website as of Friday, but Jessop said he already has reservations and the compound’s first event occurred earlier this month — a reunion for classes of the school run by the FLDS. The organizer reported the reunion went well, despite the local marshals arresting him. […]

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58215703-78/amp-hildale-dockstader-jeffs.html.csp

  240. says

    Esteleth
    My family are prone to those sores too; all my sympathies.

    jefrir
    *hugs* L has similar issues, although lately there’s been no money for that anyway.

    Rowan
    Hope the dog feels better soon, and you can get some sleep.
    I know that feeling with the depression, too.

    Hi Parrowing!

    So, this is happening. Inmate labor being sent to fight wildfires in California. There is so much wrong with this I can’t even begin.

  241. says

    Here are some excerpts from the readers’ comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article (link in #349):

    This place is a barrel of laughs. The article made it sound like Uncle Warren had never lived in this compound. Not true. Warren lived here with several wives. Warren and Willie used this place to bring young men and beat the hell out of them in order to get them to leave the young girls alone that had been promised to older men. Many a young man was beaten severely within these walls. Kinda funny that Willie the Thug is now using it for another kind of “prophet”…..(profit)
    —————-
    They have been protected by theocracy,obviously, since 1847. This was Utah prior to statehood when the federal government forced the Mormon leadership to abide by the laws of the land before it could attain statehood.
    Texas got the ball rolling by not closing its eyes to the abuse. Utah still allows it to flourish throughout the state.

  242. says

    I haven’t gone to the beach in years anyway, but this is a good reason to keep away:
    http://gawker.com/florida-warns-beachgoers-of-flesh-eating-bacteria-in-th-1612206008

    Health officials in Florida today issued new warnings about high levels of a flesh-eating bacterium in the ocean and other recreational waters in the state. The state says that bacterium, Vibrio vulnificus, causes ulceration and rapid skin decay and is fatal in about 50 percent of people who get it in their bloodstreams.

    Vibrio “has hospitalized 32 people, and killed ten in Florida, although through a period of years, not all at once,” according to the state; however, another report today, focusing on one infected lagoon in South Florida, says there were “41 reported cases of infections from the deadly bacteria last year in Florida, which killed 11 people, including a 59-year old man infected while crabbing in the Halifax River near Ormond Beach.”

  243. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hi Horde,

    Thoroughly ‘rupt.

    I need your opinion on whether or not I was being an asshole. Our tiny mountain town has an old funky restaurant festooned with antlers and copious quantities of “mountain detritus.” On one wall is nailed a ratty, rotting bear skin with head, sans claws. It was quite obviously a very small juvenile when it died. (note: I actively support wildlife conservation.)

    We ate dinner there a few nights ago and I asked the bartender if there was a story behind the bear skin. She said nope, it was just dead and had been there forever. I politely explained why I found it offensive (other than being ugly) and she pointed out the owner of the establishment saying, “take it to the top.”

    The owner is, like me, a woman of a certain age, and had obviously been drinking in quantity. Longish story shorter, I very politely asked if she supported the killing of juvenile wildlife. I explained that first, it is illegal, and second, it is unethical, and third, that by keeping the bear skin on her wall she was tacitly approving the activity.

    Welllllll, that lady got indignant. She asked if I eat meat, I said that was irrelevant. There were two folks sitting out of her line of sight behind her giving me a big thumbs up. I kept the conversation very short and was at all times very respectful. She was not, but she was very flustered. I suggested she give it some thought and said “the action you walk past is the action you support.” (Thank you, Horde.) And then we left.

    So, am I a meddling asshole? It isn’t my restaurant and I have no rights insofar as the decor. Should I have just shut up and let it go? I will go back in a week or so and see if the bear skin is still on the wall. If it is I will politely inform the owner that I will no longer frequent her establishment. Nothing else.

    Asshole? Or not.

  244. says

    morgan:
    Asshole?
    You most certainly were not.
    You were a patron at the establishment. You have every right to bring to the attention of the owner any issue you deem significant. You’d have been justified if it were the food, the service, the music or anything else, so why not this bear skin? It was part of your experience at this restaurant and I see no reason for you to not comment on it.
    And when you did so, you did it respectfully, and showed a strong moral, ethical core derived from your values.
    For what it’s worth, I’m incredibly proud of you for doing that.

  245. rq says

    morgan
    Asshole? Nope, not at all. It’s a valid concern, and if they just blow you off, then they’re being assholes.
    Well done, by the way. You’re far braver than I am.

  246. says

    In my internet travels, I’ve stumbled upon many an enjoyable blog. Enjoyable because I’ve found bloggers who exist at the intersection of feminism, social justice, and comic books. I am actively interested in reading and learning about all three. One such blog is DC Women Kicking Ass. Back in 2011, they ran a poll to determine the most memorable moment for women in DC history. I *really* like the 5th nominee-Kate Kane (who would later go on to become Batwoman) deciding that her personal integrity and values were worth more than being in West Point (the story was written when DADT was still on the books). She resigns from West Point rather than hide her sexuality:

    Way back – waaaay back – when I knew I was going to be writing Kate, and I knew we’d be telling her origin story, I knew I would write this scene. This was, in many ways, the first scene I wrote for Kate Kane, one I kept rewriting and rewriting in my mind until the time came to put it down on the page. I’d done a lot of research into West Point, and the Cadet’s Code of Honor had stuck with me, stuck with me all the more in the face of DADT. In my mind’s eye, even before ever seeing the Bat Symbol of encountering Batman, this was where Batwoman was born – in Kate’s need to serve something greater and to, at the same time, remain true to herself. She’s given the out; hell, Reyes wants her to take the out, but she refuses. The choice between attaining what has been – to that point – her life’s work, or betraying herself, is an impossible position. This is the moment, in my opinion, that defines her as a hero; it’s what makes her a person worthy of wearing the Bat Symbol.

    I’d read the issue, but it resonates a lot more with me now (especially as my interest in womens’ rights has grown).

    I also agree with the moment deemed most memorable: Wonder Woman snapping the neck of Maxwell Lord.

    Bluefall is writing about the moment in Wonder Woman #219 by Greg Rucka and Rags Morales when Wonder Woman kills Max Lord after he tells her it is the only way to stop his murderous mind control. Her thoughts follow.
    Let’s just get this out of the way first: part of the reason this moment is so memorable is, quite simply, that the powers that be won’t let us forget it. If you were reading DC titles in 2005, you saw this scene. A lot. It was repeated half a dozen times each across three dozen titles, from varying perspectives and to varying purpose but always to the same ultimate effect of burning it permanently into the fanbase’s brains. Even half a decade later we’re still seeing lifts and copies and references occasionally. The creative types at DC wanted it to be a big moment, and they made it one.

    That said, even without the corporate push, the neck-snap was a pretty unforgettable moment, because it says something pretty powerful about Diana. This will be a bit roundabout, but bear with me.

    See, superhero comics have a long legacy of promoting diversity and acceptance through metaphor. The DCU in particular has robots who sacrifice their lives for the sake of loved ones and vampires who reject the hunt and help heroes to hunt their peers; its very flagship character is an alien living among humans as a friend and equal. There’s a fundamental and very compelling message in the fact that anyone, no matter what they look like or where they come from — whether angel or demon, monster or machine, mutant or god — can be shown to be every bit as valid a person, every bit as capable and deserving of choice, of life, of love, of heroism, as any “normal” human. And for a long time, the Wonder Woman franchise has been a particularly deliberate adherent to that message. Diana herself is, after all, an ambassador, whose whole mission in life is to foster peace and understanding between disparate cultures. Her origins as a propaganda piece for gender equality have grown into the portrayal of a passionate crusader for the equality of all, no matter their phylum, planet, or plane of origin.

    And Maxwell Lord was the ultimate test of that philosophy. Post-Crisis Diana, after all, was never really a superhero. She’s an envoy and a warrior, and her diplomat’s idealism has always been tempered by a soldier’s practicality. When a monster threatens innocent lives and refuses her attempts at negotiation, she will slay that monster, if need be. As she did the very first opponent she ever faced in Man’s World, as she did during the war with the khunds, as she has done to gods and demons and robots and dragons since. And as she did to Medusa mere months before her confrontation with Max, while the whole DCU and most of her readership cheered her on. These were sentient beings, all, capable of choice and redemption, worthy of life and respect; but in the moment when they fought Diana, they were too dangerous, too monstrous, for her to risk anything but swift and absolute resolution. Just as, in this moment, was Maxwell Lord. By his actions, by his statements, and by the power he possessed, he was identical to every other foe she’d ever slain, except in the single attribute of his race.

    So when Diana snapped his neck, she proved herself completely, proved that she absolutely and truly does believe all creatures are equal, whether they look like her or not. She will slay a monster to save a person, and she defines both by their actions alone, instead of some arbitrary prejudice like whether they happen to be monkey-shaped carbon-based bipeds. She will do so without shame, doubt or hesitation, regardless of the impact on her image or the judgmental condemnation of her friends, because it’s the right thing to do, it’s the only thing she could do and remain honest to who she’s always been; because the lives saved by her action are more important than any cost to herself.

    It’s true that since then, her in-universe friends, along with half the stable of DC writers, have tried to use this moment as a bludgeon against her, as a sign of how corrupt their universe had gotten and how badly she had lost her path and how much she needed to change. But that will never alter the fact that, as dark and bitter a choice as it was for her in-universe, it was still an absolute triumph for her character, a demonstration of respect, egalitarianism and honor that marks her a hero even among heroes, and as memorable a moment as she’s ever had.

    It is notable that Greg Rucka was the writer for both stories.

  247. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Thank you Tony and rq. I am such an insecure old biddy that doing something like this is Waaaayyyyyy outside my usual demeanor. But I sincerely want to learn how to stand up publicly for what I believe. I see this as a prelude to speaking with the theists. Practice. I’ve been attending the University of Pharyngula for several years now. About time I start putting it into practice.

  248. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony,

    I’m still working on the dodo. I think I’m being OC, but that is okay. Art is a better place to apply OC impulses than many others. I’m trying to decide if I will put a background in the pic.

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

    @Tony!, #347:

    “Welcome back, quitter.”

  250. opposablethumbs says

    morgan, I take my hat off to you (ok, it’s metaphorical because it’s summer here in the northern hemisphere so I’m not actually wearing one, I only have one in winter :-) ) for politely mentioning something that you – having legitimate reason to be on the premises and dealing with the business at the time – found unacceptable. Seems perfectly OK to me that if you happen to go there again some time (only if you want to – no rule says you have to go back) and they still have it up (which I would guess that they will) you could tell them if this display makes you feel you don’t want to be a customer there any more. And I look forward to seeing any updated photos you should happen to feel like sharing of the Extremely Awesome dodo.

  251. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Thank you ‘thumbs. I also suspect the baby bear skin will still be up.

    I inquired of the Extremely Awesome Dodo if she would acquiesce to another photo but she shyly demurred. Seems she still feels a bit undressed.

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

    See, morgan ?!, I’m actually okay in an intellectual sense with what you did. I almost didn’t comment because I don’t want you in your insecurity to take this as anything less than support. I support you and your choice to talk about this with the owner.

    But me? I’m loud. I’m outspoken. I’m crotchety. But something like that on the wall, sitting there without a story? I’d feel very uncomfortable, but no more uncomfortable than with the antlers. I’d feel that there’s so much on the walls that the owner has to be pretty comfortable with it. I’d keep my discomfort to myself and simply not go back…if I ate there at all.

    I guess this is an extension of the boundary-drawing thread from a few days ago. I like it that you draw your boundaries. I’m glad you speak up. If I was a restaurant owner and that happened occasionally, I’d smile and nod. But if I was a restaurant owner and that kind of shit happened a lot? I’d be thinking, “Take the hint. Eat somewhere else if you don’t like it.”

    Of course, I wouldn’t be putting up a bear pelt, but I might put up pictures of queer friends smooching. That’s not illegal, and a great many people feel it’s perfectly moral. But it’s well known that there are a good number of people that actually believe in immortal souls and the power of that awesome, awesome gay sex to “turn a gal off trouser love and turn her onto skirt.” Infinite harm! Infinite danger! And some of those people would call me over to have a chat. And I’d smile and nod and politely say, “These are my moral judgements to make, not yours. I disagree with you,” but inside I’d be hurt and upset.

    I can’t stop myself from empathizing with those folk who have dramatically different views from me. There’s no off switch. I can’t hate them. I have this ingrained habit of flipping the script, trying to see the other side.

    So I don’t do that stuff for myself, almost ever.

    For some reason it’s different if I’m doing it for someone else. In unfamiliar spaces with unfamiliar people, it’s easier for me to speak up about racism than about trans* oppression. I suppose you could characterize it as doing it for the bear, but animal rights still feels like an “advocating for myself” issue in a way that anti-racism work doesn’t.

    So I wouldn’t make your choice, but I’m not trying to say that it’s not a positive choice. I’m just exploring why we – including you – feel bad about making such statements in public.

  253. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    CD, big thank you. I depend on you having perspectives that I do not. When I grow up I want an analytic brain like yours.

    Lots of stuff for thought here, and I’m commencing thinking.

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

    When I grow up I want analytic brains like yours.

    They’re for sale if you want them …

    …Would you look at that? Ever since the Core i5 Ivy Bridge with 3 MB on-chip L3 cache came out, they just aren’t in demand.

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

    I’d do without until I got to Alderaan, duh.

  256. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Well, I wound up leaving that meetup group. I don’t think I’ll miss it much. A few of the people, maybe, but there’s far too much of what’s wrong with The Atheist Movement as a whole dripping off it.

  257. A. Noyd says

    For fuck’s sake, why is the grammar of “wh” questions in English so fucking complicated and inconsistent?

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

    To which questions are you referring? What needs to be clarified? Why is the topic important to you right now? Of whom do you expect an answer? When do you need an answer by?

  259. A. Noyd says

    Aaaaaaah!

    *flips a table and burns down the Lounge*

    Oh, and it’s important because I was just trying to write a simple worksheet for tomorrow involving a few question words. Not even all of them, just four. And even if I succeeded at the simple part (ha ha, yeah right), it’s going to need a lot of priming, because even though we went over those words today, a third of the class was gone for Eid.

  260. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *watches as the Pullet Patrol, who was washing the blanket forts, replaces them intact….*

  261. A. Noyd says

    It’s amusing how quickly Confused Cats Against Feminism went viral. I wonder if Futrelle imagined it would get over 6000 followers and media mentions in multiple languages in 4 days.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Tony (#375)

    The place was in need of a makeover, and an expansion.

    Let’s expand in the direction of installing underboob dehumidifiers. Sounds like I’m not the only one who could use those right now. (TMI?)

  262. says

    A. Noyd:

    Let’s expand in the direction of installing underboob dehumidifiers.

    I’m game. The Lounge is meant to comforting to all who enter.

    Ooooh, can we build secret passageways, like in Scooby Doo? Or heck, let’s rebuild not just a Lounge, but DA DA DAAAAAAAAAAA the entire CLUE mansion! PZ’s got money right?

  263. cicely says

    morgan ?!!
    *pouncehug*
    Not an asshole.
    I would probably—if I’d had the nerve to bring it up; a variable on any given day—have asked to hear the story of How BooBoo Terrorized The Village, that he’d had to be killed at such a tragically-young age. Presumably by a posse of Concerned Citizens.
    There…might very well have been some sarcasm involved.

    Try not to bleed on the couch. I just had it steam-cleaned.

    I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.
    -

  264. cicely says

    It was supposed to!
    But why would that prompt you to link me to a quiz question about Lost?
    -

  265. says

    cicely:
    This is spooky.
    When I click on the link it takes me to an image of the Cheese Man in the last episode of Season 4 of Buffy, when she’s fighting the first Slayer in the dreamscape.
    Somehow the link takes you elsewhere.

    Maybe when A. Noyd set fire to the Lounge it knocked out the flux capacitor or something…
    Isn’t Nerd the tech guy? We’ll get him on it (if he’ll ever finish that hover chair).

  266. cicely says

    Here’s where it consistently sends me. Since your link had “quiz” in it, I was expecting a Buffy-related quiz—but the Quiz Question is still from Lost.
     
    This reminds me of times I’ve tried to link to cartoons in the past—with proper attribution, and if necessary, a second link to the main site of the cartoonist—where the dated strip address doesn’t match where you go when you click it. I’ve tended to assume an error of some sort on the part of the site, since generally the next day it goes where it claims it’ll go.
    -

  267. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Isn’t Nerd the tech guy? We’ll get him on it (if he’ll ever finish that hover chair).

    The anti-gravity finagle and the zero-point energy source keep shorting out, making cheese, and then the unit gets demolished by a MDP.

  268. carlie says

    Or heck, let’s rebuild not just a Lounge, but DA DA DAAAAAAAAAAA the entire CLUE mansion!

    Ok, but who has the flames down the sides of their face?

  269. jste says

    That’s it. No more MDP. We’re getting a new mascot.

    Alternatively, one could copy Tony!’s original link, paste it into a new tab. That seems to work. I’d guess that fanpop use some very silly magic to prevent people linking directly to images.

  270. says

    jste:
    Sure that works too.
    We’re still getting a new mascot. We’re getting an upgraded Lounge, may as well do away with the Massively Destructive Penguin.
    Putting out flyers and applications now.

    BTW, there is no magic. Tis merely advanced science that Nerd hasn’t worked out yet.

  271. jste says

    Oh, I make websites work for a living. And fix them when people touch them. Or look at them funny. You wouldn’t BELIEVE the amount of magic and precariously balanced piles of sticks and voodoo fetishes that keeps the internet running.

    As for a new mascott, may I suggest the ladybug?

  272. rq says

    Oh my, what the hell happened in here??? I go to bed, leaving Tony to… supervise, and someone burns the whole place down? … I’ll get the broom. We’re going to have to figure out some new colour schemes and find some nice, used mismatched furtniture.
    (And for the record, I’ve always thought of the Lounge as a collection of inter-connected rooms of various moods and atmospheres.)

  273. rq says

    Isn’t the bartender usually supervising the clientele? Sort of?
    *sweeps*
    My sledgehammer!!

  274. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    *whimpers softly*

    Oh, and, it’s “AZZY” for short. >.>

  275. rq says

    I like it when I can correct translations, and replace all their ‘[thing]men’ with gender-neutral person-nouns. Like ‘athletes’ instead of ‘sportsmen’ and ‘firefighters’ instead of ‘firemen’. It’s a tiny little thing, but it makes me feel better.

  276. opposablethumbs says

    I like it when I can correct translations, and replace all their ‘[thing]men’ with gender-neutral person-nouns. Like ‘athletes’ instead of ‘sportsmen’ and ‘firefighters’ instead of ‘firemen’. It’s a tiny little thing, but it makes me feel better.

    Yes! I once tried to get a whole maths course for children fixed (we were making it Brit-compatible) so that the people in the examples were not so bloody stereotyped – I even sent them links to some academic studies on stereotype threat in learning maths – and offered to do the extra work for free, even, but they said it would be too much bother to make sure that the names etc. matched across all the books in the series plus the teacher’s answer book :-(
    Sometimes, if the text is completely irredeemable, I try to translate so that the flawed assumptions actually stand out more instead of just passing unnoticed; make-strange rather than normal.

  277. birgerjohansson says

    Roger Goodell To NFL Players: ‘Murdering Your Wife Will Result In Automatic 4-Game Suspension’ http://www.theonion.com/articles/roger-goodell-to-nfl-players-murdering-your-wife-w,36542/

    .
    New Anti-Abortion Legislation Requires Doctors To Scale 18-Foot Wall Surrounding Clinic http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-antiabortion-legislation-requires-doctors-to-s,36514/

    .
    All of Britain sleeping in fridge http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/health/britain-sleeping-in-fridge-2014072588907

    .
    “Loony Lefties Ban England Flag Made With Blood Of Dead Argies” http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/sport/sport-headlines/loony-lefties-ban-england-flag-made-with-blood-of-dead-argies-201006112805 “Left-wing council chiefs in south London said the image could be offensive to people who were not supporting England, or who simply did not like the idea of a huge public mural made from human blood”
    (snip) “….Hayes and his colleague Stephen Malley have already paid tribute to the England team by completely covering the windscreen of their Transit van with a large England flag. Malley said: “It’s great driving down the High Street and hearing everyone beep their horns in support.”

  278. bassmike says

    ……what’s that burning smell?

    *sigh* I leave the lounge over the weekend and come back to a charred mess. Oh well at least the pillow forts are still intact. I’ll get my broom and start sweeping up the mess.

    So that’s where rq’s sledgehammer went!

  279. rq says

    bassmike
    Thanks for the help, maybe some of the furniture is still salvageable. If not, I’m making a new pile of smashable stuff out back. ;)
    How are you?

  280. bassmike says

    I’m fine rq if a little tired as my daughter had a restless night. I hope you’re okay and settling back into things.

    As long as the lounge music room annex is still fit for purpose I’m happy. There’s something therapeutic about smashing the charred furniture with a sledgehammer! I hope you don’t mind me borrowing yours…..sledgehammer that is, not the furniture.

  281. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Good morrow everyone. Bah. Still trying to stop back here regularly… watching those two feminist movies PZ linked yesterday was a nice start, I’ll comment more on that later (kind of in a rush right now). P.s. to “Omega” – “- what a pisshole“.

    In other news today, Turkey’s vice PM thinks women should not laugh in public anymore since it corrupts the moral fabric…

  282. says

    OMFUU, I can’t read any more of that shit. Liss McEwan is one of the best, most loving, caring persons I’ve ever met. PZ, please keep the banhammer nearby, these people are exactly like the Slymers, as relentless, as evil, and as anti-everything. Just…holy fuck.

  283. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    birgerjohansson, that is pretty impressive, as far as I can tell. Listened in to the original version – the Ukulele certainly makes it less “disembowelment” and more “frantic” – wouldn’t like the band though, the lyrics seem to suck. There’s more serious stuff out there I guess (e.g. Bolt Thrower comes to mind, even if you could construe them as war-glorifying…).

  284. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    OMFG, trying to comment here because my comment in the Shakesville thread isn’t going through at all.

  285. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I’ve never had this problem, should I just wait before trying to submit it to that thread again, or what? It’s odd, every time I refresh Pharyngula it loads but keeps acting like it’s hung up on loading something.

    GRR. I actually went through that site with quotes and shit, come on let me post….

  286. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Well, nevermind. Quoted someone that tripped the filter. Clearly not awake enough because it took so long for me to figure that out. >.<

  287. rq says

    So when I was in Canada, I bought a package of Glossette’s Raisins (because they’re awesome) with the (half-hearted) intent of gifting it to my colleagues. I also bought a bunch of other edible Canadian candy, and brought it to work tonight.
    I looked at the stash, and I realized that nobody else really needs those GRs, and I opened the pack. And oh ye gods, I have missed them more than I knew – they are so deliciously awesome.

    +++

    *waves* at JAL – it’s so nice to see you here!

  288. says

    To continue the discussion about refrigerators, air conditioners, and how it is clear the poor are not suffering enough, Republicans take this seriously. They have devised a way for us to suffer more.

    […] On the one hand, we have a new break [new tax break, courtesy of Republicans] for the upper-middle class, including households making up to $150,000 a year, which will be indexed to inflation. Any chance we can also index policies like the minimum wage to inflation? Of course not; that’s socialism.

    On other hand, current law on the Child Tax Credit also has a provision that makes more low-income Americans eligible to receive the tax break, but it expires in 2017. What does the new bill from House Republicans do about this? Nothing.

    In other words, the GOP structured the legislation in a fairly specific way: making things better for wealthier earners, while making things tougher for the working poor.

    Vinik, citing CBPP data, added, “If the House legislation became law, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that a couple making $160,000 a year would receive a new tax cut of $2,200. On the other hand, the expiring provisions of the CTC would cause a single mother with two kids making $14,500 to lose her full CTC, worth $1,725.”

    Kevin Drum’s summary rings true: “So we have a deficit-busting tax cut. It’s a cut only for the upper middle class. It’s indexed for inflation, even though we’re not allowed to index things like the minimum wage. And the poor are still scheduled for a tax increase in 2017 because this bill does nothing to stop it. It’s a real quad-fecta.”

    Let me add the “deficit-busting” fact: The price tag of this new bill is $115 billion over ten years.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/cutting-taxes-the-wealthy-again

  289. says

    Rachel Maddow discusses the pressures that have been put on one of the last health clinics in Kansas to provide abortions.

    There’s a Kansas law that requires the websites of such health clinics to refer visitors to pro-life sites. There’s more at the link. Amazing, depressing, incredible. Clinics have since closed from added pressures and from a total lack of political support.
    Maddow Show link.

  290. says

    Maddow Show link.

    John Boehner has resurrected many of the debunked “facts” that Mitt Romney trotted out during the 2012 presidential campaign. Blatant lies are being recycled by Boehner to smear Obama. Maddow’s conclusion is that the Republicans are desperate to attract white voters. One of the smears involves Obama gutting the work requirements for welfare. Not true. Obama is not presently gutting welfare laws.

    Jeep production is not being moved from the USA to China. The Toledo plant recently added 1,000 new employees on the line that builds Jeep models (added employees in March 2014).

  291. cicely says

    The knee brace has arrived. Early reports on its effectiveness are encouraging.
    I may want to get one for the other knee.

    Anne:

    Shouldn’t our mascot have tentacles?

    I could do that for you right now. Flippers off, tentacles on, simple…metal….tube…..
    *ahem*
     
    Sorry.
    *hanging head*

    JAL!
    *hug with acceptable amount of pounce/pounce with acceptable amount of hug*
    -

  292. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    *waves* at JAL – it’s so nice to see you here!

    *waves back*

    I know I haven’t been posting here much but honestly, I just kind like commenting occasionally on topic threads. I love ya but I use this place as an escape from my daily life usually so Lounging doesn’t really work for that. Just fyi, in case I haven’t explained it before. I’m not trying to snub ya’ll here or nothing.

    *hugs for everyone*

  293. says

    Maddow Show link.

    Rachel Maddow shows us the work schedule for Congress, or rather the non-working schedule. No work days, none at all, are scheduled in August. The one thing they are trying to get done is a lawsuit against President Obama. Even this may be tough for them, as they are only working 10 days in September, two (yes, 2) days in October, then nothing until after the election in November.

    Some other people, like Department of Transportation personnel, are getting things done. Obama has done some things on his own. None of this, nothing good, is coming out of Congress. Having done nothing, Congress will basically quit working for the year at the end of July, at the end of this month.

    You can probably tell from the repetition that I am somewhat pissed off.

  294. Nick Gotts says

    PZ’s visit to Edinburgh

    As many will be aware, PZ is speaking at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the event being organised by Edinburgh Skeptics and Skeptics in the Pub, 7pm, 14 August. I recall that at least a couple of regulars were hoping to be in Edinburgh for the event, but AFAIK I’m the only one currently staying in Edinburgh. There’s an opportunity for a Pharyngula meal/drink/other event: PZ is currently free on the afternoon and evening of 13th, morning and afternoon of 14th. Could anyone interested please either post their availability and preferences here, or email me (kg17291729 at gmail dot com – not my main email) as soon as possible?

  295. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Without context, I’m confuzzled.

    Well, for future reference. People have been saying “Azky” for a while and I haven’t corrected them, but I am now.

  296. rq says

    Not feeling the non-existent snub. :) It’s just nice to see you here, and elsewhere around.

    cicely
    Can I help you out of that… metal…. tube? Maybe…? Though it does reflect your glowing red eyes quite lovelily.

  297. rq says

    Lynna
    How does Congress work if it doesn’t… work? I’m so confused. What do they do???

    Azkyroth
    I will keep that in mind, though I don’t tend to shorten ‘nyms. But thanks for the heads up.

    Nick
    Doesn’t look like I’ll be making Edinburgh, though I’m one of the ones expressing an initial interest. Hope the Pharyngula meet-up goes well, and yes, one day I will go. I hope to, at any rate.

  298. cicely says

    rq:

    Can I help you out of that… metal…. tube? Maybe…? Though it does reflect your glowing red eyes quite lovelily.

    Yes, please.
    Let the record show that the Level of Difficulty for inserting a metal tube into a penguin is…prohibitively high.
    And also, that metal tubes are…uncomfortable…when inserted.
    Misinserted.
    -

  299. says

    rq (in reference to comment #431):

    Lynna
    How does Congress work if it doesn’t… work? I’m so confused. What do they do???

    The following description applies to Republicans for the most part: They draw healthy salaries. They take bribes from lobbyists. They attend ALEC conferences (all expenses paid) so that they can meet with lobbyists who write all of their “model legislation” for them. They have now voted about 70 times to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act. They have also voted several times to stop funding ACORN, an organization that has not existed for more than two years.

    One of their main activities at the moment is to agree to sue (or according to Tea Partiers, to impeach) President Obama. They don’t have a leg to stand on, but they are spending a lot of time on this. If they successfully sue the President, they can block him from taking any executive actions. The proposed lawsuit includes the old Romney claim that Obama waived the work requirements in welfare laws, a claim that has been so thoroughly debunked that it has become embarrassing. It was debunked in part by unearthing letters from Republican Governors asking for more leeway in satisfying work requirements, including a letter from then-governor Romney. The agreements between these Republican governors and the feds specified that governors may have leeway IF they moved more people, not less, into the work force and off of welfare.

    Other activities fall mostly into the category of stopping everyone else from doing anything useful. This is true of immigration reform, the current humanitarian crisis on our southern border (no emergency funding to deal with all those children), global warming, gun reform, approving personnel to fill ambassador posts that are currently empty, infrastructure building bills, etc. They accomplish this blocking of most activity in two ways: 1) simply ignore all policy-related bills that have been proposed, sometimes refusing to bring them to the floor for a vote; 2) by passing bills that forbid President Obama to do something, for example, including language within other bills that forbids Obama from taking administrative action on border and immigration problems.

    Occasionally, congress does act, as in finding yet another way to provide a tax cut to the wealthy.

    Occasionally they talk about nullifying all federal laws in Republican controlled states, but they can’t quite get that done — they just spend time talking about it. Ditto for abolishing the minimum wage, privatizing Social Security, etc. They have made some headway in their efforts to ban abortion. With no outright ban possible, they have just passed more and more restrictive laws that make it hard for clinics to operate.

    Republicans do not want Obama to achieve anything. Their main goal is to keep a black president from having a positive legacy. They do not care who they hurt in the interim. Their message: Dear Mr. President, you must do NOTHING just like we Congress Critters do nothing.

    They are also making things up for white voters to be aggrieved about, the hope being this will affect the midterm elections and put even more Republicans in Congress and in the Senate.

  300. opposablethumbs says

    Nick, I will be thinking of the occasion with great huge heaping amounts of envy.

  301. says

    Hello folks, long time no lounge! I’m here, to be blunt, to ask for money.

    It’s for a friend of mine. She’s one of the best friends I’ve made since moving to upstate NY. I’m just trying to raise $55 at this point (total: $100) to help her make it from her last unemployment check to her first paycheck. She’s a brilliant woman, we had instant rapport when we first met, talking about sex (she’s queer and kinky), politics (she’s an outspoken communist), race (she’s black and we met while organizing a “justice for Trayvon Martin rally), and education (she has a Master’s in sociology, I forget the specific discipline and we enjoy comparing my experience with my BS in env. sci. to hers).

    You can use my paypal (sallylichtenstein 303 at yahoo) or hers (i am earth child at hotmail, all one word there), whichever you feel more comfy with.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

    Hugs & kisses!

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

    cicely #429:

    I don’t now why (perhaps the italics) but:

    I may want to get one for the other knee.

    Reminded me of my dad’s creatively reckless and boudary-pushing cheers from high school (remember he was going to high school in the LA suburbs in the 1960s):

    Rah Rah Kree
    Kick him in the knee!
    Rah Rah Rass,
    Kick him in the other knee!

    Note that “Kree” is pronounced “Ree” to just as “Knee” is pronounced “Nee”. (No, “ni” all you impudent knights and french-speakers, you).

    @Azkyroth, #433:

    I don’t remember getting it from anyone else. I’ve just been using it. So if there are others, I either started them using it or perpetuated it. Pologies. Most respectful abbreviation noted and logged.

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

    @Sally:

    Ugh, I need to reset up paypal. I can’t do that stuff at a moment’s notice, and then by the time it becomes a priority, I kind of forget. I need to change that so I can send funds for things like this.

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

    Oh, and

    Hi, Sally!!!!!!

    I forgot to pass on my endearing, childlike enthusiasm at your presence. Having now corrected that oversight, we now return you to the wordy drone of my typical presence.

  305. rq says

    Let the record show that the Level of Difficulty for inserting a metal tube into a penguin removing cicely from a metal tube is…prohibitively high.

    But at least it’s done, now. *brushes off hands* Cookie, anyone?

    SallyStrange
    Is there any other way to make a (rather small, at the moment) contribution? No credit card = no PayPal in my loverly country, but I’d love to help out.

  306. rq says

    Lynna @438
    I guess that whole thing about ‘serving the people’ doesn’t really apply in practice, does it? I just don’t understand how they can think they’re a full, functioning government by acting like that. I honestly don’t know how to put my thoughts into words on this, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly coherent or polite to say about them. I’m sorry you (and all other USAnians) have to put up with such stupidly arrogant, greedy and thoughtless people.

  307. cicely says

    SallyStrange!
    *pouncehugstorm*
    I wish I could help your friend.
    :(

    CripDyke:

    […] we now return you to the wordy drone of my typical presence.

    Not unduly wordy—since some subjects require wordiness—and never a drone!

    Now, I just need to find a way to uninstall alla the metal shavings….
    -

  308. says

    One more way in which the money game is rigged to favor the rich:

    As more and more American companies have used international mergers to move their profits out of U.S. tax jurisdiction, the Wall Street firms that encourage and facilitate the deals have raked in close to a billion dollars in fees. The top 10 firms to work on the so-called “inversion” deals have brought in $819.8 million from the deals in just the past three years, according to a New York Times analysis.

    The top of the list of corporate offshoring advisers is full of familiar names. Goldman Sachs leads the way with an estimated $203 million in fees, followed by JP Morgan ($185 million), Morgan Stanley ($98 million), and Citigroup ($72 milion). Those figures represent just the past three years of deals and are based on both public disclosures and analyst estimates of the fees paid in various corporate deals.

    The deals in question — called “inversions” because they involve an American company buying a foreign-held firm based in a low-tax country and then flipping the merged company’s address to the tax haven nation without necessarily relocating in any practical sense — have boomed in the years since the recession. […]

  309. cicely says

    rq—they are serving the people.
    Y’know—like a tennis ball.
    *thwack!*
     
    It’s also important to realize that the Republican Party is not racist, nor is it misogynistic.
    They have no problem at all with women and minorities, provided they know, and keep to, their rightful places.
    -

  310. rq says

    cicely
    Under the floorboards seems like a suitable location (in their eyes). *sigh* Why must the world be such a fuck-up so much of the time?
    (Or serving as one would a coq-au-vin at a fancy-pants party for the old boys’ club?)

  311. says

    rq:

    Lynna @438
    I guess that whole thing about ‘serving the people’ doesn’t really apply in practice, does it? I just don’t understand how they can think they’re a full, functioning government by acting like that. I honestly don’t know how to put my thoughts into words on this, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly coherent or polite to say about them. I’m sorry you (and all other USAnians) have to put up with such stupidly arrogant, greedy and thoughtless people.

    Yes, that’s a reasonable conclusion and reaction. The problem is that the arrogant, greedy and thoughtless people have entire industries propping them up, and this includes the highly influential Fox News, as well as online sources like The Drudge Report, Breitbart, etc., and the radio/TV/Internet presence of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, etc. Many Republican voters restrict their watching and listening to these outlets. They live in a parallel, warped universe. We can’t reach them.

    The government is limping along, not functioning in many ways. And it is getting worse. In some cases, Obama, a smart man, has managed to go around the dunderheads. In some cases, governors and voters of individual states have gone around the dunderheads (raising minimum wages, for example), but that tactic is only minimally effective. We really do need a functioning federal government.

    Republicans promise that all would go well and smoothly if they controlled all branches of the federal government. Shudder.

  312. rq says

    Lynna @451
    I guess it’s the financial-supprot aspect that really freaks me out, since it means they’re appropriating a heckuvalotta funds to (a) further their own plots and desires, motivated by whatever religious or bigotous reasoning they prefer to use; and (b) keep those funds away from programs and issues that actually need them – like science, safety-netting for those in need, health care, etc. What a waste – of people and potential skills (theoretically), and other resources. What. A. Waste.

  313. rq says

    Crap. I seem to have reached the bottom of Colleague’s seemingly endless supply of paper clips. Time to find a new source. *peers around the office*

  314. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    ….am I the only one who’s mystified by the assertion that it’s unreasonable or even super-difficult to reject and dissociate yourself from someone you enjoy at a personal level but who says and believes horrible things? O.o

  315. says

    Hi all.
    I had an interview at a soon-to-be-open Mexican restaurant (yeah, I know:) earlier today. I met with one of the owners and we talked for about half an hour. I think it went really well, and he said that he liked a lot of what I had to say, notably my 15 years as a bartender and my experience as a bar manager (specifically asking if I’d done inventory before). He said they’ll finish interviews this week, and start callbacks at the beginning of next week. I’m hopeful.
    Also, the cab ride is roughly $20, and I *think* there’s a bus route between my house and the store (which is by the airport). I hope to reduce the cost of getting to and from work.

    Speaking of cab rides, my regular day driver ran my debit card and it declined. When I handed him a $20, he asked if I had food and groceries. I said I didn’t, and he told me to keep it. Even after asking him to take half, he refused. I really appreciated that and thanked him for it. That was such a nice thing to do, and nothing I expected at all. Especially since he’s told me that the last month or two has been difficult.

  316. says

    Homophobia in Quebec:

    A family in the Quebec city of Longueuil have received a threatening note demanding that they stop displaying a rainbow pride flag on their property, warning that they will ‘suffer the consequences’ if it is not taken down.

    ‘For your sake please remove the homosexual flag immediately, as soon as you receive this letter,’ the note left at the family’s house reads.

  317. rq says

    Tony
    *hugs*
    I know they don’t do much, but it’s the best I can do from here.
    I’m keeping all thumbs held for you, for a call-back next week. I really hope this job comes through for you.
    Also, I find it awesome that you have a regular day driver, who seems to be an awesome and compassionate person all on his own. I do worry about you (in that vague, ‘I hope he’s okay’ kind of way, especially knowing you’re jobless) but knowing there are people in your meatspace more-or-less looking out for you is reassuring.

    Azkyroth (who knows, maybe one day I’ll cut that down to Azzy)
    I’m rather torn on that issue, because I can see both sides of it. And, personally, it can be really really difficult to dissociate oneself from a person who, while expressing vile views about certain groups of people, has also been a huge support and emotional ballast in times of extreme stress and unhappiness. Not saying RD is that to PZ, but… I guess saying ‘It’s complicated’ would be copping out of the question? *sigh*
    Can I offer you *hugs* instead?

  318. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Azkyroth (who knows, maybe one day I’ll cut that down to Azzy)
    I’m rather torn on that issue, because I can see both sides of it. And, personally, it can be really really difficult to dissociate oneself from a person who, while expressing vile views about certain groups of people, has also been a huge support and emotional ballast in times of extreme stress and unhappiness.

    Yeah. It’s just, I’ve done that twice now that I can remember offhand (once with a close…ish…friend who I had amazing friendship chemistry with but spouted off one Reich Wing talking point too many – the last straw being her describing child gun accident deaths as “Darwinism in action”, a year and a half ago or so) and recently in bulk with the local atheist group, and I don’t…find it…that…anything like that. >.>

  319. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The point isn’t that people with different feelings are wrong, but I find PZ’s assertions kind of jarring.

  320. says

    Oh, good lord. New EPA regulations are going into effect. These regulations cut down on emissions from coal-fired plants, which is a good thing. People in Alabama don’t think so:

    AL.com reports on a press conference delivered by officials from the Alabama Public Service Commission and the Republican National Committee yesterday at which they argued against new EPA coal plant regulations by claiming that “coal was created in Alabama by God, and the federal government should not enact policy that runs counter to God’s plan.”

    “Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?” asked commissioner-elect Chip Beeker.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/alabama-officials-coal-regulations-violate-gods-will

  321. rq says

    Azkyroth
    Turns out, PZ’s only human, too. Tentacles and all. ;)
    I’m still going to think on this, though. Because typing out what I did has… sort of… sorted a few things in my head. (Seeing the words is different from thinking them.) Nothing bad or terrible, just… worth thinking about. :)
    With that, I bid good night.

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

    “coal was buried under mountaintops in Alabama by God, and neither business nor the state government should not enact policy that runs counter to God’s plan.”

  323. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    coal was buried under mountaintops in Alabama by God, and neither business nor the state government should not enact policy that runs counter to God’s plan.”

    Bring in some of said coal into a courtroom, put it around a dead bush, light it on fire (with proper safety precautions), and ask god to tell the court his plan, and silence says it isn’t his plan…..

  324. says

    Paul Krugman takes a look at the effects of politics, ideology, and “sadomonetarism” on our economic policies. It’s a short article, and is best read in its entirety, but I’ll post a few excerpts anyway.

    One unhappy lesson we’ve learned in recent years is that economics is a far more political subject than we liked to imagine. […]

    […] “aggressive monetary policy can make a recession shorter and milder.” Surely, then, we’d have a bipartisan consensus in favor of even more aggressive monetary policy to fight the far worse slump of 2007 to 2009. Right?

    Well, no. I’ve written a number of times about the phenomenon of “sadomonetarism,” the constant demand that the Federal Reserve and other central banks stop trying to boost employment and raise interest rates instead, regardless of circumstances. I’ve suggested that the persistence of this phenomenon has a lot to do with ideology, which, in turn, has a lot to do with class interests. […]

    Quite simply, easy-money policies, while they may help the economy as a whole, are directly detrimental to people who get a lot of their income from bonds and other interest-paying assets — and this mainly means the very wealthy, in particular the top 0.01 percent. […]

    You might have thought that the continuing failure of the predicted inflation to materialize would cause at least a few second thoughts, but you’d be wrong. […]

    It turns out, however, that using monetary policy to fight depression, while in the interest of the vast majority of Americans, isn’t in the interest of a small, wealthy minority. And, as a result, monetary policy is as bound up in class and ideological conflict as tax policy. […]

  325. jefrir says

    Thanks for the supportive messages, folks, and my sympathies to Rowan and others dealing with similar issues. Dalilamna, I hope L can get some help soon; one thing I’m aware that I’m very lucky in is that at least I live in the UK, where such things are free.

    I’m feeling pretty damn happy right now. My boyfriend got me a LARP sword for my birthday, which is something I’ve been wanting for a while but could see no way to justify the expense of. And he gave it to me by throwing it to me and then immediately attacking me, leading to a brief swordfight in the middle of the cafe. Best birthday present ever.

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

    he gave it to me by throwing it to me and then immediately attacking me,

    ROFLarpingMAO

  327. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Lynna, thanks for your repeated introduction of concerning news, I read all of it with interest, although I rarely feel like being able to add more than “how terrible” or “a pox on their houses” (which I then find superfluous and don’t say it). I watch TRMS regularly and saw that segment you mentioned. It is aggravating – it’s not just the news cycle cynicism involved where politicians don’t concern themselves with the truth anymore but only with what sticks. It is the growing and growing feeling that no matter the amount of stupid and revealing things some people say, there will be enough people out there (ignorantly or while somehow stomaching the cognitive dissonance) who vote for them anyway.

    cicely, I briefly tried to decipher what you were referring to with

    Let the record show that the Level of Difficulty for inserting a metal tube into a penguin is…prohibitively high.
    And also, that metal tubes are…uncomfortable…when inserted.

    … but I decided that in this case, I’d rather stay ignorant. About which end are we… ah nevermind.

    *waves to Tony* Good to see you – as usual, good luck with the application business. If I had a restaurant, I’m pretty certain I’d hire you granted your valuable online activities. Alas, I have not. Also, what’s “yeah I know” about a Mexican place? That they probably use Avocados and are therefore awesome?

  328. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    jefrir, that’s awesome. I only have a sacrificial dagger for LARP – it’s partially a money thing, but then I just love to play cultists, plus I do not meet my self-imposed physical fitness requirements to play a fighter character. One day however I want to train for marathon and then play an Orc scout or something, which is when I will try to get hold of a sword, too.

    Have fun with it!

  329. says

    Gorogh:
    Nice to see you as well.
    The job I got fired from back in May was a California Mexican style restaurant (hence the ‘yeah, I know’-another mexican restaurant)

  330. says

    jefrir:
    That sounds like an amazing birthday present and a great birthday.
    Your BF was paying attention to something that you clearly wanted.
    I find I like those presents more than gift cards. They’re much more personal.

  331. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony, hope things go well with the place you interviewed for. Don’t be afraid to run up the Horde signal if you need something to tide you over until your first paycheck clears….

  332. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh and here’s some *chocolate* too.

    Hummm….I seem to have made an extra keg of grog. I added the stabilizer. *drops off keg and tankards*

  333. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Tony, got it. Also what Nerd of Redhead said, although I think I’ll only be able to contribute to anything come September… there’s some travelling ahead and I don’t want to get stuck on my wife’s first visit to the US. (haven’t seen each other for 6 months except on Skype…)

  334. says

    Nerd:
    Thanks.
    I’m really hesitant to raise the Horde signal since I just did it back in May. My parents have been providing what they can, when they can, and I’m grateful for it, but they’re not an endless font of money.
    If I’m going to be honest, my biggest concern right now are groceries (although I do have a utility bill that’s due soon too, and that’s $135). I’m down to very little. I’d planned on living on rice and beans for the next several days, so that the $35 I have right now can be spent on dog and cat food (since they’re both getting low). At most I could use about $50-$75 so I can put some food in my refrigerator. If anyone is able to help, I’d be most appreciative.

  335. jefrir says

    Gorogh

    Have fun with it!

    Oh, I will! I’ve not actually done any of the roleplaying side yet; there’s a group of LARPers, including my boyfriend, who meet up on Sunday mornings for fighting practice, and I’ve been going along and hitting people with swords for a few months now, but actually going to an event and playing a character has so far been too scary and too expensive. I’ve been borrowing other people’s weapons so far (there are usually a decent number of spares) and it’s very exciting to now have my own. The scariness issue is lessening as I find out more about the events, and if I can sort out a full-time job I’ll probably go along. I don’t know what sort of character I’ll play, but I’m inclined towards straightforward combat.

  336. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    grog

    Oh no. No no no no. No. No…

    *hides*

    Grog was responsible for the physically worst night of my life, without a second of sleep and full of stomach cramps and an early morning gastroenterologist’s visit. I know, Monkey Island and all, but no. Not for me.

  337. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    At most I could use about $50-$75 so I can put some food in my refrigerator. If anyone is able to help, I’d be most appreciative.

    Sends up the Portia (Smokey the Advocate) alert signal.

  338. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Tony – just in case, how could that money reach you, I wonder?

    And jefrir, I see… hmmm… let us know if your character concept gets any more concrete, I certainly would like to hear about it! In your situation, any ol’ mercenary char might be a good choice since they have a clear motive (which is money), so there’s a good entry point around which to build the character.

    It certainly is a matter of taste with the LARP combat though, imho… yelling numbers at each other sort of kills my immersion, so I like to have as little as possible of that anyway. Then again, there are different LARP systems out there, I’m only aware of a fraction, and even that rather cursory. You’ll surely have a great time!

  339. says

    Gorogh:
    Usually a member of the Horde offers to facilitate the gathering of monies-usually through PayPal-and then sends that off to the individual in question. Last time Portia did it. Esteleth has also done it.

  340. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Ah – thanks for the heads up, Tony. There I was thinking that Portia might just sue the hell out of a random republicans to provide resources for the Horde…

  341. cicely says

    *whimper*

    *hugs* for Tony!; tentacles remain wrapped and locked.
    Your regular cabby sounds like a kind-hearted and compassionate person.
    We need more of those.

    I’ve been putting off looking at the Dawkins thread….
     
     
     
    *sigh*
    Off to look at the Dawkins thread….
    -

  342. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There I was thinking that Portia might just sue the hell out of a random republicans to provide resources for the Horde…

    Civil suits takes time and money to prep. Having a PayPal account is far, far quicker, and more certain, with an ethical person doing the transfers. Although your idea has a certain irony to it….

  343. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    cicely:
    PZ has deleted the worst of the sexist assclams in that thread.

    Yeah. They were pretty steamed about it. :P

  344. says

    So.

    I mentioned upthread a bit that I’ve been questioning gender identity recently(more like I can put words to questions I’ve had for a while). I’ve dove in to reading about trans stuff, peoples stories, experiences with dysphoria, and so on. I’m identifying with too much to brush this off. If I had a close friend nearby I could discuss this with, I’d probably do that, but the only person I could really open up to enough lives in Canada.

    Anyone have tips on finding a psychiatrist or therapist to help with this? Springfield, MO area if anyone might have a specific reference. Bonus points if they take Coventry, so I don’t go totally broke, but I’ll try to figure out a way to afford it if that doesn’t work out.

    This is just hitting me way too fast and I need something to help me sort this out. It’s not doubts showing up out of nowhere, but doubts I’ve had finally coming together and letting me see the pattern.

  345. cicely says

    gworroll, I don’t have any suggestions myself…but I know someone who might. Have I your permission to inquire? No names, no specifics.
    -

  346. says

    Cicely- Under those terms, yes, you have permission. And thank you.

    The worst thing is I probably have a pretty quick route to finding someone(like appointment in a couple of days at most quick), but at least at the moment this is so much easier to talk about with relative strangers. And even that much is hard.

  347. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony, do you have a PayPal account using that e-mail?

  348. cicely says

    gworroll, my email sender alleges that an email has, in fact, been successfully sent.
     
    We shall see.
    -