Time for a brief break

It’s been a high-stress week — not because of anything on the blog, I assure you, since that’s all been chaos over trivialities — but because all my recent travel has put me far behind on a lot of work, with missed deadlines and heaps of writing that had to be done right now. A significant chunk of all that has been polished off now, so I get to relax for a little bit. Now I just have to figure out how — I think I’ve forgotten.

I may blow up a few things in Warcraft, or I may go hide away and read a book. Movies are out — all that’s playing in Morris right now is Wall-E. At any rate, I think I’ll drop offline for a few hours and do something that doesn’t involve deep thought and tapping away at a keyboard (unless, of course, my editor demands fast rewrites, which could happen). I’ll be leaving you all to your own wiles for a wee bit — consider this thread an open invitation to talk about your pleasant pastimes that do not involve SIWOTI syndrome.


  1. Jay says

    Hmmm….pleasant pastimes.

    The past 4 days has been a whirlwind of comedy for me. I did improv on Thursday night and stand up Fri, Sat and Sun. I’m absolutely drained.

    Today will find me relaxing with my cat, an italian hero (the sandwich) and some Neko Case.

  2. Bill Dauphin says

    talk about your pleasant pastimes that do not involve SIWOTI syndrome

    I’ll start (though of course, even though there are 0 comments as I begin this, there will probably already be 11,973 by the time I hit “Post” [g]).

    Saturday I returned to a beloved hobby that I’d been away from for a couple years: Flying model rockets. One of my daughter’s friends was interested in joining me, so my return to this form of play will help keep me youthful in more ways than one.

    I’m gonna’ have to get in shape, though: I had forgotten how much energy standing around in an open field on a hot, humid, windless day could take out of you. I was pretty much wrecked for the rest of the weekend!

  3. Pierre says

    Another open thread? OK. Here’s a bit of trivia. I discovered that simply entering the two letters “PZ” in Google returns THIS blog has the first result! Quite an achievement, PZ.

  4. Draconiz says

    Why so serious??

    Try to get a chance to watch the Dark knight PZ, it’s the best movie of the whole year!!!

    Ha Ha Hi hi Hu Hu

  5. Richard Harris says

    PZ, buy yourself a bike, & get out of town. I’m a one-man-band engineering consultancy, so I can choose my own hours. I just went out for about an hour round the lanes, (I live in a rural area of S W England), mid-afternoon. There’s nothing that can match the endorphin rush in conjunction with taking in country scenery.

  6. Holbach says

    Hey, sit back and relax, watch a good movie, read a few good books, and have some cheese and CRACKERS!

  7. says

    Might I recommend robotics and RC? It makes for a cool hobby. I’m building a hydroplane that I’m going to later add some navigational software and small depth finder…

  8. The Backpacker says

    Nothing is nearly as relaxing as hiking 10 miles in to the wilderness and setting camp next to a waterfall or lakeshore. From there get a fire going cook up some grub, hopefully you did not forget your flask on the kitchen table, kick back and enjoy a world more simple then the one we wrap our self’s in everyday.

  9. Benjamin Franklin says


    Having just returned from a marvelous vacation sans computer, might I recommend reading Jesse Ventura’s “Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me”.

    While Ventura does go in a little too heavy on some conspiracy theories, his basic outlook on many things lead me to feel that if he were running for president, he would have my vote. He opposes teaching ID or creationism in schools, he is not a religious wingnut, he understands economics and politics, and is not beholden to special interest groups.

    What did you think of his administration in Minnesota?

  10. whitedevilbrewco says

    @15- I’m afraid I disagree. 10 miles is entirely too much walking. I’ll give you a mile though… ;)

  11. says

    If you want to blow things up, may I recommend the high intensity fragging of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?

    Oh wait, I just saw comment #10. Scratch that, see The Dark Knight. You WILL enjoy.

  12. says

    Personally, I’ve spend all day and many nights in front of a PC so my long time hobby (maybe turning a bit semi-professional) is photography. SO it’s relaxing to get up before sunrise, or way out in the wilderness or late at night and get out in the real world but still fuel my dork side with the editing / processing. That and I’m one hell of a cook.

    Warcraft PZ? Please tell me it’s not World of Warcraft?

  13. Kseniya says

    I likef Wall-E; it’s pretty funny, and kinda sweet. (The combination may be anathema to some readers, but it was well below Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium on the sweetness scale.)

    Bill Dauphin, wouldn’t you know it – I have model-rocketeers in my family, too. All of us, actually, though the only one who ever built one from scratch (including cutting the fins out of balsa wood) was my dad. I liked watching them go up, and chasing them as they came down. The problem with New England, as you likely well know, is a lack of really big, open, tree-less spaces. My brother lost more than a few favorites up in trees. (Parachute recovery is problematic in our area. IIRC, Streamer, tumble, and feather recovery methods seem to be the way to go.)

    I second the bike suggestion. It’s time to feel the wind in your hair, PZ.

  14. Raynfala says

    Warcraft? Bah! Nothing says, “Fraggin’ good fun” quite like Team Fortress 2.

    Cry some more…

  15. Prazzie says

    DaveX, I agree, WALL·E was wonderful. I noticed it’s currently #23 on the IMDB top 250 list. What a touching little film.

  16. Donalbain says

    If WALL*E does not get at least a nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars, then there is something wrong with the universe. It about as close to a perfect film as I have seen in MONTHS.

  17. BluesBassist says

    When I read Dr. Myers’ above post, I confess to not knowing what “SIWOTI syndrome” meant. I’m new here, and not wanting to upset Dr. Myers (without good reason), I made sure to google it before I made this post. LOL, I found the definition in the online urban dictionary, and guess from whom the site provides an example of SIWOTI usage?

    SIWOTI example

  18. Laughin_Guy says

    “It’s been a high-stress week — not because of anything on the blog, I assure you..”

    Oh, right…sure. Nothing to see here folks, ignore those “crackers” sitting there on the table, I’ll get to those in good time, you betcha, I will.


  19. Lynne says

    Knitting. Seriously, give it a go. As far as enjoyable passtimes go, it can’t be beat. It also allows you to multishirk. Knit & watch a movie, or knit and read the paper. I wish I were knitting right now!

  20. says

    You might want to hurry and visit Dinosaur Adventure Land while it’s still opening. This mean old IRS goons are trying to seize it despite our ol’ friend Hovind’s best efforts … from his jail cell.

  21. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    talk about your pleasant pastimes that do not involve SIWOTI syndrome.




    Well, I have this whip, see, and when I tie down one of my submissives, I can use it for….

    *looks around*


    Um, I like pie?

  22. Michelle says

    Wall-E was great! So great I feel like mutilating myself for going “AWWW CUTE” so much.

  23. Brandon says

    Wow, do I ever need to use preview. Corrected version:

    You might want to hurry and visit Dinosaur Adventure Land while it’s still open. Those mean old IRS goons are trying to seize it despite our ol’ friend Hovind’s best efforts … from his jail cell.

  24. says

    I’m reading War and Peace — and actually finding it incredibly enjoyable. Not so good if you’ve only got a couple of hours to fill, however!

  25. GunOfSod says

    Ok votesies on what Race/Class of character PZ plays on WOW, personally I think an undead (for the water breathing ability) Priest (for the sheer irony) who hangs out with the giant octopi/octopuses in the great deep

  26. Fergy says

    I’ll play the contrarian and say I thought WALL-E was the weakest Pixar movie yet.

    There was little of the emotional connection the earlier movies created. With virtually no dialog, the movie lacked one of the most important aspects of every Pixar film–the terrific voice work by top actors (Jeff Garlin? Just shove a screwdriver in my ears, please…)

    Because of the lack of dialog, the relationship between WALL-E and Eve did not ring true. WALL-E was lonely, but loneliness is not the same thing as attraction. And there was no reason for Eve to return his affection, again because they never established any depth of relationship between them. The central relationship of the movie just wasn’t there.

    As far as the animation, while it was excellent, it didn’t really seem to push any new boundaries, the way Finding Nemo, Cars, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille did. And the two main characters, WALL-E and Eve, were not nearly as expressive physically. Their facial expressiveness (in particular, their eyes) were nowhere near the level of any previous Pixar characters. These aspects of the animation create the suspension of disbelief so that the audience can become attached to the animated characters. That never happened for me.

    And what the hell were those little clips with Fred Willard about, anyways? I mean, really, WTF? It completely destroyed the imaginary world the animators worked so hard to create.

    I think much of the hype around WALL-E is a combination of clever marketing (“They’re robots! In space! And did we mention the cool Mac/iPod references?”) and the expectation that each Pixar movie will be better than the last.

    For me, WALL-E was a big letdown.

  27. says

    My days seem to less full of intellectual exercise than they should. Sadly, software development in this field appears to be more about bloated-process than quality-product. That aside…

    There are several things that help me de-stress: Supreme Commander (RTS), playing the drums loudly, and petting the cats. Brewing beer is also near the top of the list.

  28. Sili says


    He has one. It even had a cameo in the Sizzle review.

    I’m baking some lovely white bread and I bought a tub of hummus yesterday, so that’s dinner sorted.

    My coccyx has finally healed (almost) so I can sit down comfortably for the first time in two weeks. Dummkatz enjoys it immensely since he can now sit on lap while I’m reading Pharyngula. Of course he can also chew on my £50 earphones, so I’m inclined to push him off. I need to get some insulation tape to fix the bit where he’s already bared the copper.

  29. Longtime Lurker says

    THE game franchise for PZ is definitely the “Halo” series. C’mon PZ, what could be better than killing hundreds of religious fanatics to prevent them from actualizing their eschatological fantasy? Smashing grunts by the score in melee, sticking plasma grenades to Elites… hours of mayhem and anti-theism!

  30. Jeff Schmidt says

    Careful PZ, Vox Day plays WoW too as I recall, he’s liable to demand you /duel him and then complain on his blog that you’re a coward when you blow him off.

  31. says

    Video games, man. There’s nothing like blowing the crap out of some poor pixels when the world gets you down. Damnnit… now you’ve got me looking forward to all the games coming up… Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Chronicles, Kingdom Hearts III (you know it’s coming), etc. Man, I know where my salary will be going…

  32. says

    I’ve enjoyed playing Portal. Steam account holders on pharyngula might want to consider finding a good server for Team Fortress 2.

    When I’m not changing my daughter’s diaper, I’m reading pharyngula in one window while looking for attention-holding alternatives to her frequent requests for the Gummi Bear song on youtube (for months it was Hippo Song! then Betty Boop! surfing for toons on youtube without screening them first for 2.75 year olds is slightly risky, however).

  33. Deepsix says

    PZ, is that “Warcraft III” or “World of Warcraft (WoW)”? If it’s WoW, please provide name of server, character name and faction. Might encourage me to reactivate my account.

  34. Kelly says

    Wow, I really disagree with Fergy. I thought WALL-E was the best Pixar movie yet, which is saying a lot because I’ve really loved their other movies (with the possible exception of Ratatouille, which I didn’t love as much). WALL-E and Eve really rang true to me — sure, he loves her mostly because he’s lonely, but how uncommon is that in human society? And his tender affections give Eve reason enough to fall for him. But tell me this: Why is it that you always see the run-down, rusty robot men making it with those hot, iPod-like robogirls, and never the other way around? I call sexism!

  35. bonefish says

    I live a boring life.

    This is demonstrated by my devoting an entire blog to the concept of “purity balls,” which really trip my trigger.

    Now I’m off to the store to find some nice Guiness. Or maybe Newkie…. hmmmm.

  36. Katrina says

    Pleasant pastimes? In the summer? When the kids are home all day?

    Been doing a lot of reading poolside. I’m working my way through Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Miles Vorkosigan” series, again. I’m also finishing up Only a Theory by Ken Miller.

    Other than that, we’ve been traveling to different parts of southern Italy on the weekends. It’s been far too hot for any major travel, though.

  37. Bill Dauphin says


    …wouldn’t you know it – I have model-rocketeers in my family, too.

    I really am starting to believe that you and I were separated at birth… except, of course, for the fact that we’ve already established I’m old enough to be your father… and your actual father seems to be far cooler than mine was.

    I liked watching them go up, and chasing them as they came down. The problem with New England, as you likely well know, is a lack of really big, open, tree-less spaces.

    The solution to this problem, of course, is to fly with your local rocket club (I dunno exactly where you live, but perhaps this would be the one), which will have long since put its collective mind to finding a usable patch of ground/sky for your personal aerospace needs. Not only that, but when you fly with a club you get to watch everyone else’s rockets go up (and chase them as they come down, if you please) as well as your own. Doing any hobby in a club setting is a great “fun multiplier,” IMHO.

    PS: If you’re ever interested in meeting up at a launch somewhere, either in MA or CT, feel free to contact me at firstname-dot-lastname-at-comcast-dot-net.

  38. Martin says

    A BIG plug for the Best Church of God. I attended my first “service” yesterday. It is in Chicago and was put together by some Second City (the comedy troupe) people. If you are in town, the services are Sunday mornings at 10:30 am in the Second City building on Wells. They are trying to ban yeast – god condemns yeast over 40 times in the bible. Homosexuals have only seven references. Check out their web site:

    A video of their protest against yeast in front of a grocery store:

    A protest against a church (their own) which mocks god:

    What they say about their church:
    Historians will say the Best Church of God was founded in early 2008. The truth is, the BCOG started some 6,000 years ago when the Almighty created the earth (see the book of Genesis for accurate, irrefutable details). And while we are not the first to worship, fear, and consume the Lord, we are the first to do it correctly.

    We are a unique denomination of Christ-followers who believe in the absolute, literal, and unerring word of the Bible as set forth in the original English. The Lord has chosen the Best Church of God as His only official assembly of worship. Being the true Crusaders for Christ, we will stop at nothing to prove to the unbelievers that true faith requires no proof, convert the sinners to the morality only Christianity can provide, and smite those who stand in the way our blessed mission. In the war of religions, God is only on one side: ours. He told us so.

  39. Bill Dauphin says


    I should’ve noted (@55)… for this purpose, firstname=”william” not “bill.”

  40. freelunch says

    Re: SIWOTI

    The first time I saw it was on XKCD with Duty Calls. The mouseover says: “What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they’ll keep being wrong!”

    Strangely, many of them continue being wrong even after they have been corrected.

  41. me says

    They are trying to ban yeast – god condemns yeast over 40 times in the bible.

    Is this why jesus’s bread is unleavened?

    (I can hear PZ saying “Don’t start that shit again.”)

  42. says

    Last night I headed out to my favourite pub for a few beers (among other things). Since there were few customers other than regulars, we commandeered the TV, hooked up one of those five-classic-arcade-games-in-one hand-held thingies, and had ourselves a Galaga/Xevious/Pole Position/Ms. Pac-Man quartathalon (none of us understand Mappy, so it remained a demonstration sport this time around.)

    For something entirely different, I found the website Trouts and Seasons of The Mountain Village a few years ago, and the papercraft trout you can make from the downloadable pdf plans are absolutely amazing. (Note the photos next to the plans when you follow the “Paper Trout: Paper Craft of Japanese Trout and the World Trout” link; the models really come out looking like that.)

    For those who might like to try making these, I recommend using cover stock or something similarly heavier than bond paper but still light enough to go through your colour printer. Other than that, all you need are some scissors, glue, an X-Acto or box-cutter type craft knife and cutting board, and you’re good to go. (Bonus: if you mess up a part or accidentally cut through a fin, simply print another sheet from the pdf and you’ve got backup parts.)

  43. says

    “I think I’ll drop offline for a few hours and do something that doesn’t involve deep thought and tapping away at a keyboard…”

    Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll ;-)

    Always worked for me…

  44. says

    Ok… Warcraft got my attention. I assume Warcraft the RTS since otherwise you’d just say WoW. However, if you’re of the WoW persuasion, I would dearly love to know the server you play on. Please just email The Countess if you’re not willing to share with the class.

    On the other hand, after playing WoW since beta to a year ago, I went back to my real love, Dark Age of Camelot. If you are a WoW player, I would really love to show you around DAoC.

    The Count

  45. says

    Bicycle. Where I live I can go North-ish into the mountains (ugh!), or East-West along the Med’s coast. (South would require a wetsuit.) The, ah, problem, with cycling along the Med coast is the French ladies have a rather relaxed attitude to swim/beachwear, and so it’s a challenge to keep my eyes on the road… But the insane standard of French driving intrudes a bit too frequently (albeit, unlike say the UK or parts of the USA, drivers aren’t hostile per se to cyclists; they are just batshite crazy and put everybody at equal opportunity risk). Lunch with a nice wine helps the recovery… but not the ride home!

  46. Patricia says

    What kid of pie do you like Naked Bunny? Today I’m making Bing cherry pie. Pretty soon the peaches will be in. Then pears and apples, and oh man, come fall, the white pumpkins! I used to make huckleberry pie, but not so much any more, pity for the bears is my excuse. *grin*

  47. Natalie says

    PZ: Wall-E is really good! You should see it! It has a really great environmentalist message and lots of cool references to 2001:A Space Oddysey.

  48. aiabx says

    Get a telescope and have a look at the moon and Jupiter, both of which will be worth looking at tonight.
    I won’t tell Phil.

  49. maureen says

    PZ, I second knitting. Takes an entirely different bit of the brain but not too much of it – moderate aesthetic pleasure but not enough to start the synapses whizzing or bring on the urge to write about it – basic kit is simple and cheap – no shortage of people to show you how, if you don’t already know somewhere in the back of your head.

    I spent 20 years of deep stress – demanding job + trade union rep + political activity. I’d be dead already if I’d not been able to come home mid-evening, pick up the knitting and feel the heart rate slow and steady with the rhythm of it as I turned out any number of useful sweaters and huge afghans. You can also talk to people while you do it.

    I – quite a bit older than you – can still impress a new doctor with my blood pressure measurement – have had one jump out of his seat with delight when he did it!

    Go on, give it a go!

  50. Jesse, Dallas says

    Wait a minute, there is a movie theater in Morris??

    When I went to school there from ’98-’00 I remember having to drive 45 minutes to find one.

    Well, kudos to Morris.

  51. says

    We’ve had a theater in Morris since the 1940s — a classic old single-screen theater. It’s right downtown on 6th.

    As for WoW — I’m on Proudmoore, and those first two guesses are dismayingly close. I’m getting too predictable. My primary is an undead warlock, affliction spec; alt is an orc fury warrior. Don’t rush over, though. I’m a lousy player, just getting on intermittently for short exercises in solo destruction. I know there’s a whole ‘nother level of team play, but I just haven’t been able to get into it regularly enough.

    I can’t play twitch games like Halo any more…too old. My kids would slaughter me routinely. I only play WoW because it is really, really easy and you can take your time zapping stuff.

  52. Deepsix says

    PZ, is your character named “pzmyersownzu”? :)

    I have chars on several servers, but not there. I’d transfer over if I knew your char name.

  53. keely says

    PZ, you should do something with the family. There have been too many comment regarding video games and movies. Though I love movies (to a point that would take to long for me to detail here), get out and reconnect with nature, as it were. I second (or third, or fourth, or tenth) the biking suggestiong, I but I also add that this event would be best undertaken with family members, preferably all.
    One might also try rock climbing, however I’ve just done a google map search, and it seems the only rock climbing that shows up in your area is at the Lake Geneva Christian Center: New Heights Climbing Wall…so maybe not that.
    Or kayaking. I love kayaking. You can head on up to Starbuck to Minnewaska Kayaks, where they do in fact have rentals…I would definitely suggest that.

    Good luck.

  54. Pocket Nerd says

    Holy Hell, PZ plays WoW? My girlfriend will squee with delight when I tell her– she’s a big WoW junkie. (I play with her occasionally, but I lean more toward City of Heroes and EVE Online…)

  55. says

    Sad to say, the family is away — Skatje is off canoeing, The Trophy Wife is at work, I’m home alone. I did just get back from a nice walk, though.

    I don’t think I’ll give away my WoW character names here — that’s my escape! I suppose if you wrote to me I might reveal them privately.

  56. CJO says

    Wall-E is really good! You should see it! It has a really great environmentalist message and lots of cool references to 2001:A Space Oddysey.

    I enjoyed the film. But, frankly, I thought the references to 2001 were overdone, and heavy-handed. Subtlety is the name of the homage game. It was like: “get it? get it? HAL! 2001! We’re clever! do you get it now?” There are lots of other more subtle references, to Star Wars, other Pixar movies, and more.

    Interestingly, the voice credit for Otto was for “MacInTalk.” First ever acting credit for a piece of software?

  57. ddr says

    I’m more of a City of Heroes guy myself. I played WoW for a bit. But I just really enjoy the super hero game better. It seems I can never pass up a purse snatcher. I really enjoy fighting crime and suppressing evil.

  58. says

    Brownian (#64) – thank you for the link to the paper trout! They are great & my husband loves trout fishing, so I will make a couple even though they aren’t kiwi trout :-) I had a phase of making these models some years back, when I got my hands on a lovely series of life-size 3D paper birds, but had not seen anything like them again until now.

  59. negentropyeater says

    Just came back from a nice walk too, in the streets of Barcelona. My partner is away, so I was being walked by my dog. He’s a 1 year old male golden retriever, and I don’t seem to be very efficient at controlling his urge to pull and stop at every single interesting smell. And there’s an awful lot of these smells in these streets, so I really do get the impression that it’s the dog walking me. But that’s fine, why not, why should it be more pleasurable to feel like walking a dog than being walked by one ?
    Somehow, actually, it is more pleasurable to lead and feel like one is walking the dog, as the master.
    So I’m going to have to do something about this and I was thinking of going with the dog to one of those obedience courses, but I’m not sure it’s the best option.
    Anybody ever taken such an obedience course with his dog ?

  60. Rey Fox says

    “I second the bike suggestion. It’s time to feel the wind in your hair, PZ.”

    No wind in hair. Helmet.

  61. Hessenroots says

    Anybody ever taken such an obedience course with his dog ?

    I don’t have a dog of my own but I have been to a few obedience classes with a close friend. They used the dog owner as the ‘pack leader’ mentality and it worked wonders.

    I’m not sure how it works breed to breed but her chocolate lab got into it very quickly. She has a much more enjoyable time walking with her lab now that he’s not trying to eat cars and leap over fences constantly :P

    Casual WoW’er myself. Undead priest (shadow/discipline) on Altar of Storms. My alt is an undead lock as well (affliction/demonology).

  62. Patricia says

    Hey Maureen, I tat. :)

    Has anyone read Hector Avalos’s new book ‘The End of Biblical Studies’? Some of the reviews I’ve read say it’s quite scholarly. At $32.00 I don’t want to buy something way over my head.

  63. maureen says


    If only you were closer! Have once again bought the thread and shuttle and the “how to do it for idiots” book leans on the keyboard right now. Every other time, though, it’s defeated me!

  64. syntyche says

    My primary is an undead warlock, affliction spec; alt is an orc fury warrior.

    damn I was going to guess feral druid. Not sure why.
    I’m a holy priest on dunemaul myself. I figure if there’s no god, I may as well get to play god for a few hours a week.. err.. day…

    Has anyone read Hector Avalos’s new book ‘The End of Biblical Studies’?

    Buy it. It’s excellent. It is scholarly, but also quite accessible to the intelligent lay person.

  65. Sobex says

    If you like action games but feel you don’t have the “twitch” skills, try Team Fortress 2. It is like Quake, except there are 9 classes, of which you can choose some with less twitchy requirements like the Medic or the Engineer (who makes lovely turrets and teleporters). Medics tend to be in short supply. Stop by the “myTF2” labeled servers.

  66. Max Verret says

    Latest word from the Catholic League. It seems that Philip Pullman has declared defeat. The Golden Compass will be the only part of his trilogy to be filmed. It seems that it was a financial failure.

  67. Patricia says

    Oh boy Maureen, do I know what you mean! I tried to learn to tat for years, HA. Finally I met an old lady that knew how. When she showed me that it is all just ONE knot, and how to do that knot, I had the most D’oh! moment of my life. The secret is that it is all done with the hand holding the thread, not with the shuttle.

    Syntyche – Thanks for the recommend! I’ve read that he just slaughters the biblical elite. Which I love! Hope it’s full of wine-curdling blasphemy. I look forward to reading it. :)

  68. OctoberMermaid says

    Mostly all I do to take my mind off things anymore is play Metal Gear Online. I don’t think it’ll ever be as big of a hit as Warcraft or Halo or Call of Duty, but I enjoy it a lot. It’s like hide and seek with guns.

  69. puzzled says

    ….wait, I’m puzzled: after creating this entire firestorm, writing no less than 7 posts on it, begging people to please write to your boss and tell him what a good guy you are and finally, reiterating that you were now not only going to desecrate the eucharist host but a Koran, as well, you are indicating that these are “trivial” issues that you are tired of?

    that’s nonsensical to me, but hopefully it puts an end to your self-induced drama and gets this blog back onto, um, “science”. . .

  70. LisaJ says

    I agree with the others who have recommended The Dark Knight! This movie was fan-frigging-tastic! I will be seeing it again soon. It just really brings that movie franchise to a whole new level.

    I’ll make another recommendation for a relaxing activity. Guitar Hero. It’s a good time, trust me.

  71. Patricia says

    Puzzled – wrong thread! They need you over on the thread trying for 1000 posts. PZ already said not to start the cracker bullshit here. We’re giving it a rest. Cluck off!

  72. Kseniya says

    Screw the Catholic League and the ass it rode in on. I predict that “His Dark Materials” will be filmed in its entirety, a la LoTR, within about twenty years.

  73. Murky says

    World of Warcraft is just crack for geeks. A few cheap thrills to get you hooked, then you’re doomed.

  74. Patricia says

    Egad, I don’t even know what World of Warcraft is. The last video game I played was Frog Bog, and my husband did all sorts of obscene things to my frog, with his frog. He had one I think called Burger Chef (?) and did obscene things to my egg with his hot dog. That has put me off playing video games with icky men!

  75. Nerdette says

    #100 – Count yourself lucky, WoW sucks you in and never lets go :). It started off for me as something my hubby and I could do together over our long-distance relationship, now we are leading 25-man (used to be 40) raids five nights a week.

    Keep WoW to the solo/PuG level, you’ll be the happier for it.

    And yes, WALL*E and Hellboy were both outstanding – see them both soon!

  76. Cliff Hendroval says

    Forget WoW – if you want to play fantasy-style MMORPGs, try The Lord Of The Rings Online. Not as complex as EverQuest, but a lot fewer potty-mouthed 13-year-olds than WoW.

  77. Patricia says

    WOW will forever be unknown to me. *sigh*
    Gardening is a fantastic de-stresser! And add some chicken raising (NOT in the garden) and you have high comedy every day. Chickens are the only animal I’ve ever met that are funnier than Bulldogs. And you get eggs! :)

  78. says

    WoW, PZ plays WoW. I’m going to invade your server when the new expansion comes out. How does this sound, Death Knight Undead, name: GodWarrior Guild: Dark Sided.

    I will roam the country side, spreading my disease and tainting the populace, yelling gargoyles, psychics, everything is dark-sided! My special powers will included, the ability to not be bribed by network television, the ability to make my children cry, and the ability to take the money a week later when I realize that god still hasn’t cured my obesity.

    But anyway seriously, I think I might make a char. on your server PZ. I don’t play seriously and I hate groups.

  79. Charlie Foxtrot says

    PZ – go for miniature wargaming, covers everything a nerd needs:
    The OC of collecting the bits for an army…
    The peaceful time-investment of painting your army as you want it (further OC for historical accuracy freaks)…
    Either social games against friend/s, quiet solo games, or rambunctious competitions…
    Plenty of opportunities to argue online about rules interpretations, historical precedents and the merits of one rule-system over another.
    (*sigh* just itching to get back to painting my Desert Rats now…but I’m stuck at work..)

  80. Wowbagger says

    Try Scrabulous on Facebook if you don’t already play. It’s addictive and lots of fun – though what the official people consider words is a bit nonsensical sometimes.

    You could go and see some community theatre.

  81. amphiox says

    I loved WALL-E. The amount of personality they put into two robots with almost no dialogue or facial expression was incredible.

    (Spoiler Alert)
    There was a scene though, with a glaring scientific error that I found disappointing. During the beautiful space sequence, Wall-E and Eve accidentally expose the plant to hard vacuum, and nothing happens to it!

    That’s either of slip-up on the part of the writers, or they’re trying to show us that it’s one tough plant!

    Still, a one-second misstep in 90 minutes of pure genius is hardly anything to complain about.

  82. lettucequeen says

    People probably won’t read this because I’m late to the party (as always) but I was thinking it’d be awesome if the high-profile atheists like PZ, Dawkins, et al. did their own rendition of the Discovery Channel’s “Boom de ah dah” song. Who’s with me?

    p.s. Hi, I’m not really new but I’m delurking so hello everyone! *waves*

  83. Epikt says


    I liked watching them go up, and chasing them as they came down

    “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
    That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun.

    (Apologies to Tom Lehrer.)

  84. Patricia says

    I love the boom de yah da song.
    Makes me so happy I could just put down my well chilled sangria, bacon sandwich, and twirl…. :)

  85. Bill Dauphin says

    “In Cherman,
    Oder Englisch,
    I know how to count down…

    “Und I’m learning Chinese!”
    Says Wernher von Braun.

    (Me, too)

    If we hadn’t been strictly enjoined from bringing up the frackin’ cracker, I’d be tempted to add:

    …try playin’ it safer:
    Drink the wine and chew the wafer!
    Two, four, six, eight,
    Time to transubstantiate!


  86. yoshi says

    Why do some people insist that a movie must have dialog? I grew up on Warner Brothers cartoons many of which didn’t have dialog (most notably road runner versus coyote).

    The beauty of wall*e is the expression of emotion without dialog. Which. Is. Much. Harder. To. Do. And Pixar pulled it off beautifully.

    Want dialog? god see a die hard movie….

  87. Patricia says

    The Grouch & I buzzed off to see Hell Boy II…paahfft! What a waste of time.
    If Dark Knight is better, huzzah, I’ll go on Sunday. :)

  88. Jeremy says

    My most recent escape method is Bug Light Lime and “My Heroes Ability” on Facebook. Normally I’m a Jack and Pepsi guy, but Bud Light Lime has won me over temporarily.

    I’m also looking forward to Fallout 3, I loved Fallout 2 to death.

    I also still play Empire Earth and C&C: Tiberian Sun. My displeasure with recent 3D-intensive gaming has made me realize I’m getting old. Though I do enjoy FPS’s.

  89. Jeremy says

    I was pretty disappointed with Hellboy 2. It was fun to look at, but something was missing. Pacing? Plot? I’m not really sure.

    The Dark Knight was awesome though…easily “movie of the year” up to this point. Iron Man is a close second though!

  90. Kate says

    I had a very pleasant Sunday, for a change… No errands to run, no calls to return, nothing needing preparation for the next day at work… Just 24 hours of uninterrupted time to simply be myself and do the things that give me the greatest pleasure:

    Some time spent on Galaxy Zoo, a sunny hour in the back yard, watching the birds and the other wildlife in our 200 year old oak tree, a nap under my open bedroom window bathed in summer breezes, a good book (I’m re-reading James Clavell’s Tai Pan for my “junk-food” book)… Ahhhh… What a wonderful way to spend a day…

  91. Yoshi says

    Hmm. Who foresees a huge influx of goddless liberal hordies on the Proudmoore server? ;)

  92. Kseniya says

    I tend to agree with the comments defending the low-density dialogue aspect of Wall*E and of the Wall*E / Eva relationship.

  93. Kseniya says

    (Oops, posted too soon.)

    *** spoiler warning ***

    Also, the film evoked some classic S/F stories I’ve read. At various points during the film, I found myself thinking of Clifford Simak’s City, and of George Turner’s “I Still Call Australia Home”, though of course the movie turns out to be far less bleak than either. (I seriously considered, at one point, the possibility that the people were actually gone, and that Wall*E, like Jenkins, was humanity’s last ambassador to the stars.) And, of course there were the 2001:ASO references. I particularly liked the use of “The Blue Danube” waltz during the first scene on the bridge.

  94. Geral says

    I’ve read this blog for years and I had no idea you played WOW. I have a main on Kargath (A) named Argall, and one on Altar of Storms (H) named Hemandi.. if you have toons on either of those servers, look me up!

  95. Fergy says

    Want dialog? god see a die hard movie….

    Could you be any more condescending, yoshi? I said I thought WALL-E suffered from the lack of voice talent because I consider it an integral part of the Pixar magic. The movie didn’t work for me. The Eve character wasn’t very interesting, and the story never established any real connection between her and WALL-E, with or without dialog.

    Want insipid cartoon characters? Go watch Barney the Purple Dinosaur….

  96. Thinker says

    At least for those of us who are atheist, a very enjoyable hobby is to not collect stamps…

  97. Sophia says

    Hey, PZ. Let’s do an instance together. So what class is your main character? Hunter Troll for me.

  98. DLC says

    Hm… Well, I may as well come out with it.
    I play a hunter on Sen’jin. what can I say, I like shooting things.
    (sits back and watches as Proudmoore becomes Pharyngulated)

  99. Donalbain says

    OK. People. Stop being wrong on the internet!

    WALL*E is near to perfect. That is a fact. It is not my opinion, it is a fact.

    The lack of dialogue worked pretty much perfectly. WALL*E was already primed to fall in love by his continual watching of Hello Dolly. Given that was his only source of information about how “people” interact, it is understandable that he would quickly fall in love when he had another person to interact with. EVE on the other hand had no such priming and so she did not fall in love with WALL*E. She treated him as a curiosity, as a friend at best. However, once she realised just how kind he had been to her when she was in hibernation mode, she saw what a great person he was and so she began to fall in love with him. Again, a completely believable dynamic. The fact that the whole relationship occured without dialogue makes it even more wonderful as it was purely the actions of WALL*E that she fell in love with, rather than the far cheaper commodity of words.

    The nearest there was to a problem with the film was when the ship tilted and the people all fell to one side. That jerked me out of the film for a second or two, but then Cliff Clavin and his new girlfriend held hands and saved the babies. That was just so sweet that it pulled me back into the moment.

    So, to conclude. You are all wrong, unless you agree with me.

  100. GunOfSod says

    “My primary is an undead warlock, affliction spec; ”

    Hmm must be something about the personality types. I play an undead warlock (affliction) as well Lookup “Torquemarda” sometime and say hi (I know the correct sp wasn’t available). I promise not to start any cracker inquisitions.

  101. craig says

    WoW didn’t suck me in and never let me go.
    I played for a month.

    Yeah, I did find it really fun to go mountain climbing and find long long ways to make it over the mountains into areas I was about 17 levels too weak to supposedly have been allowed into.

    And I got a real kick out of taking the world’s longest dive into the ocean off of an outhanging tree, something I wonder if anyone else managed to find out how to do.

    But I quit after a month. It became just endless running of errands.

  102. MAJeff, OM says

    I’ll be leaving you all to your own wiles for a wee bit — consider this thread an open invitation to talk about your pleasant pastimes that do not involve SIWOTI syndrome.


    My first tomato is starting to turn red!!!!! Finally!

    Living in one of the tiniest apartments ever, it’s a bit difficult to garden, but I have two grape tomato plants and a window box of basil growing. Had some fresh basil pesto last week (along with lasagna made with grilled portobello slices as noodles). I’ve just been waiting and waiting and waiting for the tomatoes to turn. Once they do, grape tomato-basil salad for lunch almost every day!

  103. Hap says

    #98: It’s possible that the trilogy might not be made, at least for awhile. The only data I could find for Golden Compass gave a gross of $53M (after 19 d – it could be $70-80M? now) against a cost of $150-250M. That’s a lot of money to lose to be thinking about making two sequels. The movie isn’t particularly star-laden (other than Kidman), and so a lot of the cost is probably in CGI and effects, which probably can’t be decreased much in any sequels (I don’t know when going from high-tech to not-so-high-tech has been successful). Hollywood is about nothing if not money, and I don’t think they are willing to take that much of a loss, even if the film were to support a position they wish to support. They could buy an awful lot of politicians with $100 M, for example.

    (MV) Of course, if your religion’s validity is dependent on the success or failure of a major motion picture, perhaps you need to start writing an obituary for your religion and find another hobby.

  104. JoJo says

    Today the Astronomy Picture of the Day is one of Matt Harding’s “Where in the Hell is Matt?” videos.

    For those unfamiliar with Harding, he goes all over the world and dances. That’s it. Sometimes he’s alone, sometimes he’s with other people, but he dances.