If you’re wondering why a new instance, see here.

Frances Glessner Lee, “Parsonage Parlor” (detail) (1946-48) (Collection of the Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, courtesy Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore).

Frances Glessner Lee was a fascinating person, and one Marcus blogged about some time ago.

Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death is October 20 to January 28, 2018 at Renwick Gallery (1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC).  You can read all about it at Hyperallergic.

Open thread, don’t be an asshole.

Previous thread.


  1. rq says

    Thanks for the link to Glassner, a woman after my own heart!
    Her work is exquisitely gory and informative. I would love to see it in person, which I probably will never get to, but I am inspired to seek out more information about her and her work in general.

  2. says

    She was amazingly talented. Marcus gave away a book about her, see his post. I’d love to see the dioramas in person, too. I don’t think it’s possible to get the full impact otherwise.

  3. rq says

    I’m sad I missed the giveaway, but I think it has a well-deserving new owner. At least I know what to put on my christmas wish-list for whenever someone might ask for it.

  4. Desert Son, OM says


    It’s easy to be too aware, if you ask me.

    I hadn’t considered this, which alone gives me much to mull.

    A couple of people know this, but not long ago, I was very close to killing off Affinity and walking away . . . I had to be 1) chained to my computer, and 2) immersed in the worst of the worst news every day.
    It took a while for the penny to drop, but I finally realized it was breaking me in little pieces . . .

    I am so sorry, but also happy for you that you found where you needed to be, what you needed to do.

    I backed off, decided to post less every day, and focus on things I enjoy, art and music, with occasional forays into the bad shit. Predictably, my stats fell into the root cellar, but I’ve reached a point I don’t care about that anymore,

    It’s nice to come here. It feels like it has a crackling fireplace, robust glass at the windows against which raindrops softly rattle. Good books. Halls to roam, breathing-in the artwork. Conversation—or not—as preferred. A space to seethe, and a space to sleep. Little rat ears to scritch. An ocean sky, frosted at night.

    especially as PZ is rather laissez faire about paying us.

    I . . . really have been away a long time.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t care, I do, but I have limits, and they have to be recognized. I’m not alone in this, either . . . For some people, immersing themselves in activism is a good and welcome thing, but even there, most people limit themselves to one or two specific bits of activism. I’m not one of those people — the more immersed I become, the worse it is for me.

    I’m reminded of two other fields: social work (especially as relates to children and the horrors visited upon them), and oncology. Both have high burn-out rates. The emotional toll of daily hell and death sentences tends to lead to some dedicated work for several years, after which there’s a high rate of moving into another field, relocating geographically, taking time off.

    Someone once said something about abysses and reciprocal gazes.

    I’m extremely introverted, and my social capital is tiny and easily exhausted. Keeping Affinity going uses up most of it. The best I can say here is that this is a time where ‘pick your battle’ is sterling advice. Focus one one thing, and use your energy there, but not to the point of exhaustion. It’s times like these it’s more important than ever to absolutely devote time to those things which are capable of rejuvenating your exhausted self — in my case, art work; in Marcus’s case, learning. (Also learning for me, my love for it is unbounded, and Marcus also needs time out for artistic pursuits.)

    Thank you for this. I need to remember to give myself permission to do exactly what you said.

    Here is Heather McHugh with some reflections:

    I bid TNET goodnight, with wishes for peaceful sleep amid the gleaming hum of all those neurons, the power-plant of us, ever ready.

    Still learning,


  5. says

    The problem is there are a lot of seriously horrible things out there, and they’re connected -- usually by threads of genocide, racism, opportunity, and power. Before I started my blog here, I was aware of many of them, but it’s becoming a wound I have to pick at and it’s worse and worse. I have so many foul things in my “to do” list and I can’t do them justice -- so I take mental breaks. I feel self-indulgent when I do but I’d be being just as self-indulgent if I snap and go to the dark side.

    I have a free day and I’ll be in Baltimore. Maybe I can swing by and see the mini murders.

    By the way: the mini murders would make a great virtual reality game.

  6. says

    The lighting in that top picture is delicious. It reminds me of a photo by Greg Crewdson. Now I want to do a series of fine art crime scene photos….

  7. rq says

    Hope you get a chance to see the show! I am also jealous.
    As for fine art crime scene photography, well, I think that’s a wide-open niche, if you ever find a way to take it up!

  8. says

    Gloom. We are all doomed.
    The thing is, that battling trolls and assholes is exhausting for us, but they get a kick out of threatening, ridiculing and demeaning people. So they have an inherent advantage that I do not know how to equate. A few years ago I still argued with people on the internet, but I have given up because most people just cannot be reasoned with.
    Take Steve Shives or Anita Sarkeesian. Their videos have maybe a few thousand views per video at the most. Yet there is a whole industry of videomakers who make fun of them, that have tens, sometimes hunderds of thousands of views. That means that excessively more people watch lies about them, than people who watch what they actually really say.

  9. says


    Before I started my blog here, I was aware of many of them, but it’s becoming a wound I have to pick at and it’s worse and worse. I have so many foul things in my “to do” list and I can’t do them justice — so I take mental breaks. I feel self-indulgent when I do but I’d be being just as self-indulgent if I snap and go to the dark side.

    Yep, same thing happened to me. I’m not feeling so self-indulgent anymore, because it’s not indulgence, it’s survival, and if I’m good at anything, it’s that.

  10. says


    The thing is, that battling trolls and assholes is exhausting for us, but they get a kick out of threatening, ridiculing and demeaning people.

    When I consider the self-proclaimed shitlords, I think of A Clockwork Orange. Specifically, how it ended, with Alex maturing. Yeah, I know a certain percentage of them have reached or gone beyond the regular ‘age’ of maturity, but most of them are still quite young, and happily stupid. I also think it’s a much smaller percentage of people than they’d like us to think, just like the actual percentage of self-proclaimed shite supremacists in uStates is quite small, in comparison the whole population.

    As always, I don’t think the big problem rests with them; it rests with all those who simply cannot be arsed to take a side, those who just shove their hands in their pockets and shrug. I don’t think there’s a need to constantly engage with the shitlords, when it comes to them, I think ignoring them is best, because that’s what they can’t stand. The whole point of what they do is to get attention. What does matter, I think, is how we all act, interact, and react within the sphere of our lives. Do we challenge what we hear from the people around us in meatspace? I do, and so do most of those I know. Those actions make a difference. Insisting that people think and learn, that makes a difference. Sure, it’s a slow ripple, but it does matter.

    I’m not here to give joy to morons on the net who are busy playacting at being a big, bad, villain. I ignore them the same way I’d ignore a child having a tantrum in order to gain attention.

  11. says

    Rober, Desert Son
    I know the US is not the place. He’d probably already be dead if we lived in the US, not the least due to lack of healthcare. I think our system does a relatively good job until the point when people become totally beyond control, theirs respectively. We also still completely fuck up when it comes to psychological harm. The rationale why they cannot commit him for a longer time so far has been that “he hasn’t hurt anybody”. This completely ignores that people are harmed when somebody walks into a bank screaming that this is a robbery. They cannot know that this is just a poor mad soul who doesn’t know any better. Her terrorises his dad, constantly phones police and emergency services, but that’s not something that is considered “harm”.

  12. Desert Son, OM says

    Charly at #9,

    We are all doomed.

    I know this feeling intimately.

    I have a lot to say about it, but maybe the thing to say at this moment is simply: I hear you, I stand with you.

    Affinity—and TNET—seem(s) to me a good place to set down some thoughts and then take some time before picking them up again. Maybe enjoy a stroll through the art gallery or watch the birds. Perhaps I’m just reminding myself.

    Gestures of care to you.

    Still learning,


  13. rq says

    I want to hug all of you. And then have some drinks, or tea, wallow a bit, solve all the world’s problems, escape from Life for a short while. Thank you for being here. You all help me, too.

  14. says

    Oh yes, please.
    I simply cannot despair. Maybe I’m like Caine in that respect: I’m a survivor, it’s what I do. I know Stephanie Zvan once blogged about how having to live through abuse gave her strength when she had to deal with the atheist dudebro harassers, and I think there’s some truth to it. Not in the sense of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” but in the sense of “if you learned to survive you learned some useful skills.

    I also need all my strength to not kill my early puberty kid who thinks it’s child abuse when I ask her to put her own fucking custard cup into the bin.

  15. rq says

    Well you certainly have some nerve, forcing your children to pick up after themselves. I swear mine die every time I tell them to pick their clothes up off the floor. And by “die” I mean loudly and with drawn-out drama. I’m surprised they’re still alive; I must be killing them wrong.

  16. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says


    I know Stephanie Zvan once blogged about how having to live through abuse gave her strength when she had to deal with the atheist dudebro harassers, and I think there’s some truth to it.

    I know that I have been on the receiving end of only a fraction of the abuse that others (like Stephanie Zvan) have received but, for me, it has drained my strength. Sometimes I really wonder why I bother trying to fight — politically, socially, morally. The shitlords enjoy this, they thrive on it. I feel like I suffer whenever I speak up.

    Also, Gilliel and rq, it doesn’t actually get better. It gets different, but not actually better.


    I went to a marriage celebration on Saturday night. Girl’s fiance’s sister got married last spring so that her spouse would have health insurance on her plan. They are both gamers — fantasy games are their hobby and much or their social life. Every table had games on them — from Othello and Connect Four to some really strange games I never even heard of. (Sorry — …of which I have never heard (I just heard some English teachers cringe)).

    Wife and I were trying to figure out a gift. Wife had a brilliant idea.

    Stashed on one of my bookshelves, I had the original paper books from the white box as well as three of the earliest expansion books from the original Dungeons and Dragons. One missing a cover. From back in the days before D20, D10, D8 and D4. Back when all we had was paper, pencils, little pot metal figures (that we had to paint), and six-sided die. Yeah. That long ago. And I had used them to run dungeons until AD&D took over and things went all wahoonie shaped.

    So Wife suggested those books as a gift.

    Wow. The reactions from the almost-newlyweds and their friends was mind-blowing. Once they realized what they were, all other conversation stopped. One young man said that he had written about these early books (not sure where) in a history of fantasy gaming (no idea if it was published on paper or on line) and had only ever seen them in photos. They were taking pictures and putting them on Facebook as if they were a new-born babe. They plan to photograph every page, put the originals in a controlled-environment to preserve them, and use the copies to run some olde-schoole D&D campaigns.

    I had considered, in the past, donating them for our local library sale. I’m glad I didn’t. Nice to know that the kids these days do have an appreciation for ancient history. Y’know, the 1970s.


    All: stay safe.

  17. says


    Also, Gilliel and rq, it doesn’t actually get better. It gets different, but not actually better.

    I think it’s important to not go overboard on projecting here. Each of us, our situations are different in many respects, while the same in many, too. For Giliell to say “I can’t despair” is not the same as saying “hey, it gets better.”

    My alternative to despair was cutting back, and making brutal decisions about what was realistically within my capability to do, long term. So, for me, yes, things did get better, because they were damn fucking bad there for a while. It was crucial for me to pay acknowledgement to my brokenness, to find a better balance for myself.

    As Giliell noted, that was me in survivor mode; I’m still there, I’m always there, although it doesn’t always take precedence these days. Being a survivor can help; it can certainly make a difference. It’s not up to me to say what quality of difference when it comes to other people.

  18. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says

    I think it’s important to not go overboard on projecting here.

    Sorry. I meant that as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the stages of bringing a newborn up to adulthood. My bad. I was unclear.

  19. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says

    Again, sorry for being unclear. I reread what I wrote and really should have had a stronger break between the paragraph on the shitlords and the attempt at parenting humour.

    I spent the summer (what I can remember of the summer (during June and July, my dosage was 20mg of oxycodone every four hours, plus flexerol (a muscle relaxant), plus some anti-depressant that also blocks nerve pain (which I stopped taking after two weeks because they were not kidding when they warned of the possible side effect of suicidal ideation!))) engaging in a great deal of self care. Of course, a lot of that was: get out of bed, go to the bathroom, go downstairs, get a drink, go back to bed exhausted, repeat as needed. Read a lot (I still love Pratchett) — read some African history (Pakenham and Nutting), a lot of military history (especially naval history), a lot of palaeontology books, some WWI history, some science fiction, a lot of Pratchett, etc. I had no energy at all for keeping track of Trump and Team Tang and all of their illegalities. Which was refreshing. Not having cable TV helped a great deal as I could not watch CNN and MSNBC. Wife was very helpful, pushing me to do more physically while understanding my limits and the limits under which my brain was operating.

    Higs to you, Caine.

  20. Kreator says

    So… 12th of october. Over 500 years ago, a bunch of people from Europe arrived to the Caribbean. But when Europe sent its people, it wasn’t sending their best. It was sending people that had lots of problems, and they brought those problems with them. They brought disease. They brought crime. They were rapists. And none, I assume, were good people. In Argentina we now know this day as “Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural,” Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity, to remind us not to be like those bad hombres. So from here, I’d like to wish a good day for the culturally diverse people who visit this blog!

  21. says


    Also, Gilliel and rq, it doesn’t actually get better. It gets different, but not actually better.

    Oh I know. I will say that so far each stage of parenting has held its own problems, but also delights. There hasn’t been a phase yet that I also didn’t enjoy. That includes puking babies and terrible twos.
    Yet, still, #1 is testing my limits. I have no clue why she is behaving like an arsehole with no reason whatsoever, especially towards us. You say something normal or nice like “good morning” and you get back something snappy or just plain insults. I think part of it is her not being exactly neurotypical, which also means she can switch gears at a speed that I simply can’t. She can have the biggest fight, most horrible drama, crying, screaming, yelling, pushing all the buttons she knows (You hate me, you don’t want me to be your child, you love my sister more than me,…) and 2 minutes later she is happy and calm and expects us to act as if nothing happened. But I simply can’t do that. It’s not physically possible because there’s still so many hormones raging through my bloodstream that I am upset.

  22. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says

    Fuck. I sneezed and my leg went numb. Time to head out and I don’t know if I can walk. I WANT MY LIFE (sad as it is) BACK!

  23. blf says

    Now this looks like an interesting movie! In part because of the unique way in which it was made, but also after watching some of the trailers, it just seems good. 65,000 portraits of the artist: how Van Gogh’s life became the world’s first fully painted film:

    With every frame hand-crafted by a team of artists, Loving Vincent is a fitting tribute to its complex subject. Its makers explain how they recreated his bewitching brushwork

    [… A] new film by artist, writer and director Dorota Kobiela and co-director Hugh Welchman […] literally paints the imagined story of Van Gogh’s last days. It’s an extraordinary concept. “Everything was a painting on canvas,” says Welchman. “No tracing, no nothing. The opening shot, where we come down from Starry Night, took six hours per frame to paint. So you’re talking about two weeks to do a second. It might have taken 20 weeks to paint that 10-second shot — you’re looking at half a year of someone’s life.”

    The very idea of painting an entire feature film, frame-by-oily-frame, makes the palms sweat. But the result is bewitching: part exhibition, part whodunnit […]. The process, according to cinematographer Tristan Oliver, may well be unique; the entire script was shot in live action in 14 days, on partial sets and in front of green screens at 3 Mills Studios in London. This footage was then handed over to a team of over 50 painters in Gdansk [Poland], who meticulously turned each frame into an individual painting. In the end, the team produced more than 65,000 frames in oil paints, on more than 850 canvases.

    “It’s all painted with Royal Talens paint brand called Van Gogh,” says Welchman. “It was sort of an accident, but that ended up being the best. We were ordering quite a lot of paint; around 3,000 litres.” No paint, however, could cope with the need to prevent the pictures drying out, so the team came to a surprising, somewhat fragrant solution: clove oil. “Clove oil was the big secret of our production,” says Kobeila. “We ended up mixing it with the paint. And it meant that the studio didn’t smell of disgusting turpentine but of beautiful cloves.”

    The film’s plot focuses on a simple errand; the delivery of one of Van Gogh’s last letters to his brother Theo, after the painter’s death. What follows is an intriguing journey undertaken by the postman’s son Armand Roulin (played by [Douglas] Booth) — part memorial and part investigation into the mysterious circumstances of Van Gogh’s death in the small country town of Auvers in July 1890. Many of the characters who pop up along the way are well-known from Van Gogh’s paintings — Dr Paul Gachet and his daughter Margeurite, postman Joseph Roulin, the innkeeper Adeline Ravoux, the Girl in White and La Mousmé.

    “Whenever a new character is introduced into the film, they are found in the position in which Van Gogh painted their portrait,” says Oliver […]

    There’s another trailer at the link.
    The BBC also did a story on this film.

  24. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One of joys of being a senior citizen is getting spam/phishing phone calls. Just got one, a robocall made obviously with a voice synthesizer, claiming the IRS had an arrest warrant out for me. I hung up without saying anything. Did a reverse check on the caller id. Fraudulent/spam number. Unfortunately, some confused/scared senior citizen could fall for the obvious ruse.

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

    I didn’t feel inspired to write about it on my blog, but I was so amused I had to share this story about Moorish funerary textiles in Viking graves.

    The research itself is interesting enough, and carried out by researchers at Uppsala University who may know a bit more about Viking culture than your average internet troll, but it really is the widespread freakout by racists in the US and the UK that makes the story gold.

    I’ll be making my tea with racists’ tears today. Mmmm, delicious, delicious racists’ tears.

  26. says

    @Giliell, my thougsht exactly. And I have as well gotten a little chuckle out of this when I read about it on rawstory yesterday evening.

  27. says

    Sigh. My father is angry with me and my mother, because we did not stick the middle figner to my uncle. He has never forgiven him the chikanery he had to endure from him when they were children and when they were young, and he will never forgive him that he fought with the whole family to get a huge villa he subsequently has let go to ruin and filled with garbage. He keeps pointing out that if we let the old man rot, we would not have the stress and work we do have with him now. And he does not undrestand that we simply do not have the mentality to do that.

    I have never met my grandfather, but if I did, I would kick him in the ass for the damage he has done to his children. And what I see is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Fucking catholics with their twisted notions of morals.

  28. Ice Swimmer says

    In this articlethere are some photos of the autumn migration of barnacle geese from Iitti, which is close to Elimäki, from 2015, from a tourism website.

    The geese are migrating from the shores of the Arctic Ocean and according to the article, hunting in Russia and the fact that barnacle geese are protected in Finland has caused them to choose a more westerly route than before in the last 10 or so years. White-tailed eagles (a.k.a. ern, erne or Eurasian sea egle) have started to take advantage of the situation, however. This has often forced the geese spread out to a wider area.

  29. says

    You and your mum aren’t taking care of your uncle because he’s a good person, but because you are.

    Yay, I have a kitchen door! And a curtain. If only you could ever do something in this house that you just do and that doesn’t require about 10 additional steps…
    But I’m still very happy with our house, especially when I hear what happened to other people who bought and renovated or even worse, built a house.

    My students are the best. We have to give something called “time-span grades” which reflect how well the students work in class. I quite like them, because especially for the weak students they are life-savers. You always have your material ready, you do your homework, you volunteer to read something out and don’t annoy the fuck out of me and you can kind of make that bad class test vanish.
    I told my final year graders to tell me what they think they deserve and why. The answers are the best. “I try to watch TV in English”…

  30. says


    Fucking catholics with their twisted notions of morals.

    There was a lot of that in my fucked up family, all my sympathies.

  31. says

    Thanks for the support, it is much appreciated.

    If only you could ever do something in this house that you just do and that doesn’t require about 10 additional steps…

    I warned you :). As an experienced house owner I can tell you that such a thing doth not exist in any house, not in this world. I found out that on a house there is never anything finished, there is always something more to do and if by some miracle thing A is finished, then thing B pops up as a necessary follow up. And sometimes thing C pops up unrelated.
    This year I had a new pavement made. After it was finished I found out that next year I wil have to make a pergola for shade because it blinds when the summer sun shines on it. I also had my plans for this winter and my cherry tree has thrown a wrench in them becase it developed a rot and I have to fell it before it cracks and kills someone. Etc. ad infinitum. What is not helping that my body frame is quite weak, so I simply am not capable of doing the same amount of manual labor that others in my place would be.
    It is fulfilling and frustrating at the same time. I see progress, but I also see the huge amount of things that are not done, and never will be. Being a house owner is a sysipheian task.

  32. Ice Swimmer says

    This article features a video on the massive gaggle of barnacle geese in Elimäki, that I linked to yesterday. The video is from Sunday 16th October and the article states that the number of geese may have increased from Saturday.

    In the map “pesintäpaikka” = nesting site, “välilasku” = stopover and “talvehtiminen” = wintering.


    Here are some game camera videos of wildlife in the border zone between Finland and Russia. There are bears, moose, badgers, boar and raccoon dogs.

  33. chigau (違う) says

    We have municipal elections today.
    I am mostly … meh.
    But I will do my civic duty.

  34. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says

    OUr park is preparing for Hallowe’en. We’er having a kids event. Should be fun. Right now, there is an inflatable pumpkin sitting next to the air duct that routes sound to my desk. And it has “Monster Mash” on continuous loop. AAAAAAAIIIIIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. says

    I hate my job.
    Not my actual job, just my supervisors and everything that has to do with the fucking “training” I’m supposed to be getting. It’s like trying to watch inzto a crystal ball to see what they want.

    BTW, my dear native speakers, would you raise your eyebrows if someone said “in the year seventeen hundred nineteen”?

    Something good: We had a lesson about sexual violence harassment. and our instructor made it very, very clear that there’s no such thing as an innocent gesture and that how you mean it is fucking irrelevant when it comes to how the other one understands it and that the onus is always on us to keep the students safe and comfortable.
    Well, not all old white dudes who are also priests are shit.
    Even if he keeps nicking my unicorn mug.

  36. says

    sez Giliell @48: “BTW, my dear native speakers, would you raise your eyebrows if someone said ‘in the year seventeen hundred nineteen’?”
    I would, because that’s a rather archaic way of saying it. It’s valid, mind you, but… kind of like saying “Aye” instead of “Yes”. Maybe there’s a particular social context in which “in the year seventeen hundred nineteen” would be the preferred/standard way of expressing the year, just as “Aye” is standard in certain military contexts?

  37. chigau (違う) says


    BTW, my dear native speakers, would you raise your eyebrows if someone said “in the year seventeen hundred nineteen”?

    …Maybe one eyebrow.
    as cubist says, it’s a bit archaic
    or maybe poetical.
    I think it unlikely to be misunderstood.

  38. says

    Well, I was reading out a pirate story.

    I just got two evaluations of the same thing and one says I do too much X and the other says I don’t do it enough.
    You really feel like this is an objective and valid evaluation of your work.

  39. blf says

    The Difficult Birds Research Group† and Possum Keeper-Outters! Sounds like a joke, but it isn’t, Who is more clever, a teeny-tiny glider or a fancy bird scientist? (cartoon): “How can we keep the evil yet adorable sugar glider from eating all the swift parrots? Here’s where Operation PKO and you come in!”

      † They do not seem to have a project on the mildly deranged you-know-who. Fortunately, she approves of frustrating evil hungry sugar gliders — who are an introduced invasive species in Tasamina, where they like to munch on the critically endangered swift parrots — so she isn’t too annoyed at the omission.

  40. blf says

    British birds evolve bigger beaks to use garden feeders:

    The reason some birds in Britain have evolved bigger beaks over the past 40 years may be down to the country’s enthusiasm for feeding them in their gardens, researchers have said.

    The report published on Thursday in the US journal Science compared beak length among great tits in Britain and the Netherlands, where bird feeders are less common.

    “Between the 1970s and the present day, beak length has got longer among the British birds. That’s a really short time period in which to see this sort of difference emerging,” said study co-author Jon Slate, professor in the department of animal and plant sciences at the University of Sheffield.

    “We now know that this increase in beak length, and the difference in beak length between birds in Britain and mainland Europe, is down to genes that have evolved by natural selection.”


    Researchers discovered that birds with genetic variants for longer beaks were more frequent visitors to feeders than birds without the genetic variation.


    “In the UK, we spend around twice as much on birdseed and bird feeders than mainland Europe — and, we’ve been doing this for some time,” said co-author Lewis Spurgin of the school of biological sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA). “Although we can’t say definitively that bird feeders are responsible, it seems reasonable to suggest that the longer beaks amongst British great tits may have evolved as a response to this supplementary feeding.”


    I put it down to different factories making the rat-propelled puppets. Also, continental rats don’t have to deal with British food, meaning they don’t have to stay as far away from the alleged food as possible, allowing shorter puppet’s beaks.

  41. blf says

    If you have around €250,000, then you can have your very own cave troll lair / batcave, Balearic cave home (photos): “This two-bedroom natural cave in Menorca is full of quirky artwork that might just rock your world”.

    I admit I had to look up just where Menorca (also known as Minorca) is — it’s one of the Balearic Islands islands, somewhat southeast of Barcelona in the Mediterranean Sea — not a million miles away from me.

  42. Ice Swimmer says

    blf @ 55

    Wow. not sure if I wanted to sleep there, but looks interesting.

    The neighbouring island Mallorca (Majorca) is a huge tourist destination, so getting there from the South of France (or most other parts of Europe) is probably quite easy.

  43. blf says

    Ice Swimmer@56, Yes, my understanding is the whole of the Balearic Islands is a well-known (well-known, that is, to perhaps everyone but myself!) tourist spot. I haven’t looked, but concur that getting there from here is probably straightforward.

  44. says

    Hey, guess who is currently typing from the children’s ward after her kid managed to break her wrist!
    But yay for socialised medicine. She was x-rayed and had surgery already and the worst financial woes might be my stay for tonight and a parking ticket.

  45. says

    We’re back home. Everything went as well as can be expected, but I’m just too damn tired and wayyyyyyyyyyyyy beyond schedule.
    Also, #1 “dealt” with the situation by being a complete arsehole, which doesn’t make things any easier.

  46. rq says

    I guess TNET isn’t showing up in comments anymore.
    Giliell *hugs* and hooray for being at home, and hooray for socialised medicine, and hooray for kids feeling well enough to be assholes about everything.


    Sometimes, I feel my greatest accomplishment is getting two of every sock out of the washing machine. Such a magical feeling -- especially when I realize I didn’t put two of every sock into the washing machine…

    I need to get the winter tires on the car, preferably by first removing the summer tires. We’re to expect snow this week in parts of the country, though nobody know which parts -- the frost was supposed to only be way up near the border with Estonia, but it’s certainly frosty outside this morning and we’re nowhere close to that border to qualify for that particular forecast. So yay snow?

  47. says

    I know the comments stopped showing; I’ll have a new thread up on Nov. 1st. I won’t be around on Monday, maybe Tuesday, too. I’ll try to have the regular stuff up. My pain levels have been at the scream level for months, and after today, I’m out of meds until fucking Tuesday. I hate the drug laws here. I don’t have pain clinic until Nov. 5th, so I’m not going to be in any sort of human mood for the next couple of days, at least.

  48. chigau (違う) says

    Sometimes I am amazed at how angry I am.
    For such a long time.
    About so many things.
    I have this thread bookmarked.
    I try to check in every day or so.

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