# Episode CCLXXX: Islamic silliness

Since I got to listen to an Islamicist babble yesterday, you get served a summary today.

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

ahs – if you ever get around to doing that wiki-work, you wanna let me know @ cripdyke, domain: gmail?

No pressure, just interested in knowing.

2. Argh, portcullised

HI there

Sili
Shit.
Hugs are coming out of your USB port, if you want them. my sympathies.

Bill D.
Hmm, most traditional mousse au chocolat, panna cotta and Bavarian cream do totally without flour of any kind.
I’ve been making French Macarons lately, but they are tricky.
Oh, Tarta de Santiago is also great and only uses almonds, no flour.

3. Glen Davidson says

So…it’s sort of the Islamic counterpart of the DI’s Center for Science and Culture.

Just a bit less research, although equal in actual research supporting their own claims.

Glen Davidson

4. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

Bill D:
Good lord, now I want tiramisu. XD

5. Sili says

Thanks for the good wishes, but I really didn’t know this kid very well. He was absent a lot.

The general consensus seem to be that he had potential, but for some reason, but he didn’t put in much effort in class.

School has triggered all the crisis plans, so we’re supposed to cuddle the kids Monday morning, and then hope for the best.

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

sili – I’m really sorry about what happened…and I know how prone we can all be to magical thinking. Or maybe I’m overinterpreting? It seems like your comment on Friday didn’t have to be bad…unless you were regretting your tone?

Well, forget all the above. Just know you have my sympathy, if I am not well enough informed to give you my empathy…

7. shallit says

Magnificent octopus? Say what?

8. SteveV says

As some of you may know, Miss M had a fall last week resulting in a broken hip. (classic ‘neck of the femur’ break, but no displacement) This happened in the main street at about 8.00pm*. Within 20 minutes she was in the ambulance and on her way to the main hospital in the county – about 20 miles away. I followed by car. By the time I arrived at A&E she was already booked in for an x-ray and had been seen by an orthopaedic registrar. She was admitted to the Trauma Ward before midnight. The next day (Saturday morning) she was operated on and had 3 pins inserted to stabilise the break. As she insisted on having an epidural rather than general anaesthesia, she was able to consult with the surgeon during the op on the choice of pinning or a prosthesis.
She was able to move (with crutches) within 36 hours of the fall and is now back at home.
We now have the benefit of daily (and I mean 7 days a week) help for 1 or 2 hours per day for the next 6 weeks to help Miss M maintain her dignity.
All of this, including physiotherapy, pain meds and the loan of specialised appliances are provided by the NHS, free at the point of delivery.

I was dimly aware of the medical situation elsewhere, but reading here over the last 18 months or so has brought home to me the fact that this accident, in a different country, could have bankrupted us.
I have never been so grateful or aware of our privilege to live where and when we do as I am today.

*The fact that we had just left the pub is completely irrelevant and I’ll fight anyone who says different.

9. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says

@ Hamza Tzortzis

Poor Hamza, you so well intentioned, well behaved, well kempt … and wrong.

Everything about you screams (financial) success as a televangelist. The only millstone around your neck is allah. Just swap the word for yahwe. And muhamad for yeshua. So simple – you don’t need to make any other changes. Believe me, no-one will notice. You could get a job with god.tv and rake in the cash. You are not getting any younger.

10. SteveV, I’m glad Miss M is alright and has such good care. Yes, unfortunately, here in the U.S., such a thing could easily bankrupt someone.

I’m very fortunate to have excellent health insurance. When I was in the hospital this year, it turns out the wife of Mister’s co-worker was in the room across the hall from me, she’d had a heart attack. They came in to talk for a while before leaving the hospital. Like most Americans, what health coverage they had was inadequate and they are now facing monumental bills which they will be paying off for the rest of their life.

11. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

Steve:
It’s good to hear that Miss M is doing okay now and is back home. *hugs* to the both of you!

*sigh* I just don’t know how an American could hear a story like yours and still think that single-payer healthcare is a bad thing.

As she insisted on having an epidural rather than general anaesthesia, she was able to consult with the surgeon during the op on the choice of pinning or a prosthesis.

Arghflargblagl! It’s great that Miss M could make that choice, but holy crap. She is made of much tougher stuff than I am– I can even comprehend being awake for surgery like that!

12. says

Caine: thanks for helping look for that comment. I’m glad you at least remember seeing it, so I know it had to be around here somewhere.

+++++
Crip Dyke: email’s good. You can expect it one unexpected day.

13. says

I recently saw a comment on FTB, could have been here on Pharyngula. I want to find it again. (new TET, so I’ll ask again)

It was about cognitive decline from dementia in the elderly, and how sad it would be if life continued after death and confused ghosts wandered around not knowing who they used to be. And how Christians seem to think God preserves an optimal copy of the self which will be restored after death.

I’ve almost restated it, but I need the particular words of that comment.

14. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

SteveV:

Sorry to hear about the accident, great news on the prognosis (and financial end).

Wife and I are about 10 months away from finally being out from under the medical costs associated with mental health care for our son from fifteen years ago. And that was with insurance.

15. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says

@ Steve

Well wishes to Miss M.

A good point you made there wrt the NHS. If you are bankrupt and injured, you could be hobbled for years in making a full contribution to the economy. A double whammy. No-one benefits except those scaring you into paying for expensive individual medical insurance to pay for overpriced medical treatment. Some things only work properly on a universal scale.

16. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says

@ ahs

(again) Struldbrugs:

Part 3, Chapter 10

The Luggnaggians commended. A particular description of the Struldbrugs, with many conversations between the author and some eminent persons upon that subject.

17. Randide, ou l'Optimisme says

I CAN HAZ THRED BANKRUPTCY?

Steve, glad to hear that Miss M is doing near as well as can be expected, and a whole lot tougher than I’m capable of being. BEst wishes that recovery is smooth.

18. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

Thread bankrupt. Will try to catch up where I left off.

All this talk of bread is making me hungry, and it’s only been about an hour and a half since I had breakfast! Theophontes I’d offer to take the pizza stone off your hands, but since I have no way of picking it up, or the room for it in Mom’s kitchen, I’m afraid I’ll have to decline. Still, homemade pizza………..

Another round of conga rats for Estleth!

Sorry to hear about the kitty, Bill. It sounds like she was a real joy to live with. Heh, we buried a few pets in the back yard too when I was little. Never thought of it being illegal, though.

Oregon rules. At least what I’ve seen of it. I’d like to live there, but I’d have to live on the other side of Portland, I think. I love my in-laws, but don’t relish the idea of living almost at their doorstep.

Sili, even if you didn’t know the kid very well, it’s never easy to hear such bad news. I think what’s saddest is that he seemed to have had potential and now there’s no way of knowing for sure if he’d be one of those people who could set the world on fire for the better.

Hugs, booze, snacks and what-have-you to all as needed. I’ll even share some chocolate wine.
——————————————-

I will never understand WHY the hell people still think single-payer healthcare is a bad thing. Come on, do they really think people need to go bankrupt just paying medical bills? I’m beginning to think the US is being run by a bunch of sadists who secretly get their jollies watching people all but starve to death.

Y’know, the name of the research center makes it seem like a good thing. Like, “Hey, we’re all gonna see just what’s what in Islam and the Koran, and see what works and what doesn’t, what’s missing and what’s been misinterpreted. Woo-hoo!”

500 people, 20 survey questions each. That’s it, for 2.5 years? I could see taking that long for a larger sample size, unless maybe this was being done through snail-mail or something.

One may not feel any pain when their head’s been chopped off, Hazma, but since the brain doesn’t instantly shut down due to blood loss, you’re still conscious . . . and thus quite able to have a horrifying last few moments of life.

19. says

Thanks, theophontes. I’m still looking for the comment here, though.

20. I recently saw a comment on FTB, could have been here on Pharyngula. I want to find it again. (new TET, so I’ll ask again)

It was about cognitive decline from dementia in the elderly, and how sad it would be if life continued after death and confused ghosts wandered around not knowing who they used to be. And how Christians seem to think God preserves an optimal copy of the self which will be restored after death.

I’ve almost restated it, but I need the particular words of that comment.

Which raises a question. Say someone like Hitler survives into old age. As his facilities start to decline his personality changes and he softens, he makes a repentance on his death bed and accepts Christ.

Is God going to restore him back to the mental state of the brutal sociopath?

21. N. Nescio says

“Having looked at the paper, my considered opinion is that it is shit.”

Just spooked the cat laughing so hard. I wish more religious pseudoscience got dealt with in this manner.

22. says

Thanks, PZ, for posting the iERA takedown. That was quite informative.

On another subject, ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is at again, this time in Utah.

As most of us already know, ALEC is providing conservative legislators with ready-made bills to introduce in their respective states. Corporations pay big money to belong to ALEC, and what they get in return is personal access to legislators, and the opportunity to write legislation for the politicians to take home. ALEC denies this direct corporation-writing scheme by saying that corporations are forbidden from writing the actual bills. But that’s just window dressing. Corporations and conservative think tanks are dictating (or “advising on” or “providing expert input for” blah blah) the bills and feeding them to Tea Party and Republican legislators. The politicians get mini-vacations in nice resorts, plus an opportunity to network with people who will give them campaign money.

Corporations also fund some of the conservative think tank policy makers who attend ALECs conferences. It’s an incestuous set up.

ALEC members have been trying for some time to diminish unions and to kill collective bargaining. It’s no accident that so many similar anti-union bills showed up all over the USA in the past two years. These bills are similar because they all come from the same source. The bills vary just enough to tailor the text to the varying laws in each state where they are introduced.

With their focus now on Utah, ALEC members are going after unions there.

State lawmakers carrying anti-collective-bargaining legislation are simply “water boys” for corporations with an ultimate goal to privatize services ranging from garbage pickup to firefighters, Democrats charged at a meeting Saturday.

Jan Johnson, executive director of the Utah Alliance of Government Employees, told a crowd of about 130 gathered at the Red Lion Hotel that the American Legislative Exchange Council provides corporations with access to lawmakers by charging the companies fees upward of $750,000 “depending on what they want to buy.” In the case of state Sen. Howard Stephenson — an ALEC member — she said he has two pieces of legislation pending for the 2012 legislative session that would seek to undermine collective bargaining for public employees. “ALEC is an insidious little group,” Johnson said. Jim Judd, president of the Utah AFL-CIO, said attempts to destroy collective bargaining have been going on for a while, but said there was “a right-wing overreach” in places like Ohio in November. That was where Ohio Gov. John Kasich — one of the originating members of ALEC in 1982 while a member of Congress — pushed a law creating sweeping changes ranging from the prohibition of public employee strikes to revising procedures on unfair labor practices. The law was repealed by voters in November by a 61-39 percent margin…. Yes, that law in Ohio was repealed, but only after a truly massive effort by union employees, union lawyers, and the general public. And, having one of their laws repealed does not discourage ALEC. They expect the failures, and press on. They’ve been at this for decades, and to a large extent, they have succeeded. One of ALEC’s basic beliefs is that government is not the appropriate provider of many of the services it now provides. Hey, somebody in the private sector could be making money off providing those services. That was the thinking behind a lot of private prisons. ALEC members posited that prisons run by private companies would save the states money. No money was saved. Abuses and deaths within prisons went up. The money-saving claim is always uppermost when new legislation is proposed, but ALEC legislation has a terrible track record when it comes to saving money. Tax payers end up paying more. States pay private prison operators by the prisoner, so laws that put more people in prison get passed. Municipalities pay private fire-fighting firms, private educational institutions etc. — and they end up paying more. They pay more not just for the service, but they pay huge amounts for administrators at the top of these private companies — often 4 times (sometimes more) than was paid for public sector administrators. ALEC is holding its annual meeting for 2012 in Salt Lake City. They have a lot of friends there. Someone in the readers comment section made the point that the Chamber of Commerce is a union for businesses. Businesses band together to get what they want, but they want workers to have no strength in numbers. Story in Salt Lake Tribune: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/53041999-90/alec-bargaining-collective-democrats.html.csp ALEC politicians (you can see lists by state, by award-winners, by international partners, etc.) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Politicians Most of these members are no surprise: Jan Brewer of Arizona, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Frank Keating of Oklahoma, Newt Gingrich of Newt Gingrich Inc. etc. But you may not have realized that the guys who work on the Civil Justice Task Force in the Texas House of Representatives are all tied to ALEC. You may not have known that it’s hard to find anyone in the Utah House of Representatives or Senate without ties to ALEC. Health and Human Services, Energy Task Forces, Education, Tax and Fiscal Policy, Public Safety — all are run by ALECs sheeple. 23. says Just another thought to add to my comment #22: Congress critters have a defined benefit pension plan. 24. says A reader of the Salt Lake Tribune article about ALEC-written legislation added this thought: I think it is funny how when the economy is good and unemployment low people really don’t care about public employees. No one wants to be one because their wages are low and people simply dismiss public workers as unintelligent. When the economy is bad everyone is jealous of their job security and all of a sudden their pay is too high. One can always find a public sector employee whose pay seems too high, and whose job seems more like a permanent vacation. Then he/she retires with medical benefits still intact, and with enough retirement pay to live well. Focusing on these exceptions ignores the overall trend, which is that the 1% is thriving and has get-out-jail-free cards, while the 99% is losing ground. The 99% needs those unions. The 99% relies on government services provided by public-sector workers. The whining from Republicans about the high pay and the benefits given to union workers sounds remarkably the same as characterizing the poor as not having a good work ethic, and of ripping off the system. The big picture, the overall trends, show that it’s the 1% that’s ripping off everybody. And you can’t trust the 1% to save us money when they shift public-sector services to private companies. 25. says Hitler in Christian heaven is plausible. How about Judaism? A writer from the Chabad sect has something to say which might answer that question. (Chabad is a modern Jewish cult which is largely tolerated and sometimes treated as normal, like Mormonism within Christianity.) My reading of that suggests to me that Hitler would have to be forgiven by every Jew who was harmed by Hitler, according to God’s interpretation of harm — at least six million, if not all — before he could be forgiven. And this would require Hitler to seek forgiveness from them (presumably via emissary from Gehinnom? I don’t know.) The Chabad answer is not universally agreed, for sure. I’ve noticed Orthodox sources which say Pharaoh will be punished for all eternity. (They don’t specify which Pharaoh; I guess this is supposed to be apparent from reading scripture.) 26. says NPR dug into the workings of ALEC and produced at two-part report. Here’s a link to part 2: http://www.npr.org/2010/10/29/130891396/shaping-state-laws-with-little-scrutiny Here’s an excerpt from part two: Is it lobbying when private corporations pay money to sit in a room with state lawmakers to draft legislation that they then introduce back home? Bowman, a former lobbyist, says, “No, because we’re not advocating any positions. We don’t tell members to take these bills. We just expose best practices. All we’re really doing is developing policies that are in model bill form.” So, for example, last December Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce sat in a hotel conference room with representatives from the Corrections Corporation of America and several dozen others. The group voted on model legislation that was introduced into the Arizona legislature two months later, almost word for word. But first ALEC has to get legislators to the conferences. The organization encourages state lawmakers to bring their families. Corporations sponsor golf tournaments on the side and throw parties at night, according to interviews and records obtained by NPR. Bowman says that’s nothing special: “We have breakfasts and lunch. They’re at Marriotts and Hyatts. They’re normal chicken dinner. Maybe sometimes they get steaks. Yeah, we feed the people. We think that it’s OK to eat at a conference.” Videos and photos from one recent ALEC conference show banquets, open bar parties and baseball games — all hosted by corporations. Tax records show the group spent$138,000 to keep legislators’ children entertained for the week.

But the legislators don’t have to declare these as corporate gifts.

Consider this: If a corporation hosts a party or baseball game and legislators attend, most states require the lawmakers to say where they went and who paid. In this case though, legislators can just say they went to ALEC’s conference. They don’t have to declare which corporations sponsored these events….

27. says

Oh, yeah, I meant to add this bit about the legal status of ALEC and their “educational” conferences: the lobbyists (disguised as educators) who attend also don’t have to report their activities.

What we have here is a shadow government, operating in a way that requires no transparency, no reporting to the public, and none of that messing voting.

The prison company didn’t have to file a lobbying report or disclose any gifts to legislators. They don’t even have to tell anyone they were there. All they have to do is pay their ALEC dues and show up.

The quote is from the NPR investigative article.

No wonder ALEC members also favor defunding NPR.

28. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

Now that I am a member of the pot-set (no not you TLC),

Actually, if I can find a good smallish crockpot for cooking in campfire coals, it’s going right in my bushcraft backpack.

There are lots of things you can do with a crockpot and a campfire (provided you have some basic food items). It’s all about maximising possibilities with a minimum of equipment.

29. KG says

Best wishes to Miss M., sorry to hear about your cat, Bill, and conga rats to Esteleth!

30. Good evening
Urgh, I have a feeling like the White Rabbit: I’m late, I’m late, I’m late. Lots to do tonight, cutting the dresses for the kids, embroidering the hell out of my machine and making whisky fudge for a friend.

Steve V.
I’m glad Miss M is doing fine.
You have it even better than us Germans with somebody coming in for those 6 weeks. In Germany, you only get care when you’re considetred permanently disabled after 6 weeks.
Which meant a bit of trouble for my mother in law when she broke her ankle, because unfortunately she broke it the morning after her husband had had a heart attack and was in hospital himself.

The dangers of war
Today, 45.000 people in the German city of Koblenz had to leave their homes because of some old, undetonated bombs from WWII. So, think about all the wars that have happened since….

31. Weed Monkey says

changeable moniker, James May is absolutely adorable :D Can you do that thing with the eyebrow?

32. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

So it turns out Christopher Monckton is a liar. Is anyone surprised?

33. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

embroidering the hell out of my machine

Those must be impressive needles if you can embroider your machine. Though now I’m thinking how cool a plate of steel would be, fully embroidered. Sort of like the lacquered iron of the Samurai armour. But fuzzy.

Today, 45.000 people in the German city of Koblenz had to leave their homes because of some old, undetonated bombs from WWII. So, think about all the wars that have happened since….

Or earlier. When we lived in Maryland the second time, our first house was in Sharpsburg (where the Battle of Antietam took place). The chimney on our circa-1805 house (we have no idea when the earliest part was built — we just know it was repossessed for an unpaid $10 doctor’s bill in 1808) was leaning into the house. So we traded the floorboards from the attic (20″ to 30″ old-growth elm) to a restoration specialist in return for stabilizing the chimney (he replaced the old wood floor with some decent 12″ by 2″ boards). A couple of days into the project, he came down, white as a sheet, picked up the phone and dialed the Sheriff’s department and asked them to send some officers down to evacuate some houses. Then he called the historic ordnance disposal unit out of Aberdeen, MD, to come up and take care of an unexploded Parrot shell from 1862. They removed the shell and blew it up in the basement where the old school used to stand. There was one boy in my school, two years younger than me, who had a prosthetic foot. An American Civil War shell exploded when he was doing some spring plowing and a piece of the plow went through part of the tractor tyre, through a fender, and destroyed his ankle. During the runup to the the Paeschendale Campaign in the Great War, the English tunneled under the German lines at Messines and planted (if I remember correctly) twelve mines, each one consisting of 40 to 50 tons of high explosives. One failed to go off and, as far as I know, is still under Messines Ridge just south of Ypres in Belgium. I just sat here for a few moments wondering just how many unexploded shells, rockets, bombs and mines are still in Europe, England to the Crimea, North Africa to Finnland, Spain to St. Petersburg, slowly becoming less and less stable. Tests during the war showed that about 5% of aerial bombs, and up to 10% of artillery shells were ‘duds’ — still filled with the explosives but failed to go off because of defects. And that doesn’t even include the ones which failed because of improper fusing. Yikes. 34. Sili says So it turns out Christopher Monckton is a liar. Is anyone surprised? I am. Sascha Baron Cohen is not usually caught out that easily. 35. 'Tis Himself, OM says SteveV, I hope Miss M has a quick and uneventful recovery. 36. 'Tis Himself, OM says I will never understand WHY the hell people still think single-payer healthcare is a bad thing. Come on, do they really think people need to go bankrupt just paying medical bills? I’m beginning to think the US is being run by a bunch of sadists who secretly get their jollies watching people all but starve to death. Because it’s described by its detractors as socialist and people have been told for generations that “socialism are bad!” The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka the Health Insurance CEO Full Employment Act, is a baby-step towards single payer and it’ll probably last for a few years, until health insurance becomes too expensive for a large portion of the citizenry to buy. Then some other stop-gap, non-single payer bill will be passed. 37. Moggie says Lynna: ALEC politicians (you can see lists by state, by award-winners, by international partners, etc.) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Politicians I don’t think the list of UK partners tells the full story. One of their partners, Liam Fox, was recently forced to resign in disgrace from his position as defence secretary over his close ties to, and encouragement of, an extremely dodgy geezer, Adam Werritty. Fox, a fan of all things neocon, created a fake charity, Atlantic Bridge (executive director: Adam Werritty), to foster UK-US links (it was later wound up, after the Charity Commission pointed out that it appeared to be all about promoting party politics, rather than conducting any charitable activities). The US end of the charity received heavy funding from ALEC, while a number of senior tories have been involved in the UK end. Watch out for US companies landing lucrative contracts as a result of tory legislation, for example in the health sector. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/15/liam-fox-atlantic-bridge?intcmp=239 38. Ogvorbis: Though now I’m thinking how cool a plate of steel would be, fully embroidered. This artist embroiders all manner of metal, from car doors/hoods to frying pans. 39. Tethys says I find life to have the oddest coincidences at times. The SkeptiXX blog posts about Marian Call, who is awesome. She has a cd inspired by firefly and BG, and an amazing voice. In the Black As I was browsing on youtube, I came across the story of Zippy the Cat which involves cats, and cremation, and tea. I had to share. 40. says This is responding to Moggie’s post up-thread: ALEC politicians (you can see lists by state, by award-winners, by international partners, etc.) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Politicians I don’t think the list of UK partners tells the full story. One of their partners, Liam Fox, was recently forced to resign in disgrace from his position as defence secretary over his close ties to, and encouragement of, an extremely dodgy geezer, Adam Werritty. Fox, a fan of all things neocon, created a fake charity, Atlantic Bridge (executive director: Adam Werritty), to foster UK-US links (it was later wound up, after the Charity Commission pointed out that it appeared to be all about promoting party politics, rather than conducting any charitable activities). The US end of the charity received heavy funding from ALEC, while a number of senior tories have been involved in the UK end. Watch out for US companies landing lucrative contracts as a result of tory legislation, for example in the health sector. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/15/liam-fox-atlantic-bridge?intcmp=239 Ahh, very interesting. So the UK partners are ethically deficient. And they consort with other ethically deficient persons in order to defraud the public. And they have, like a murder of crows, a murder of lawyers setting up bogus companies and organizations. The UK and the USA have each other’s back after all. Heartwarming. This means that the ALEC list is a convenient way to ferret out all of the unethical business persons and political persons. See this list? Check them for tax evasion. Check them for dodgy charities. Check them for scams. Check them for lice. Well, okay, so they probably don’t have lice. 41. ImaginesABeach says SteveV It’s not just the fact that medical expenses can quickly drive a family into bankruptcy in the US, it’s also the truth that many people put off medical care or get less treatment than they need because of the fear of those expenses. We attended a fundraiser last weekend for a neighbor with metastatic colon cancer. I was told that he has stopped treatment to prevent his bills from getting any higher because he doesn’t want his family to lose their home. 42. changeable moniker says Regime change going on here at Changeable Towers! All hail our feline overlordlady. 43. Father Ogvorbis, OM says put off medical care Tell me about it. I put off dental care for about 20 years (we figured we could afford to take care of the kids teeth, or the parents teeth, but not both . . . .) and it is taking about$4,000 to put my mouth back together. Including the three false teeth I’ll be getting in the spring.

44. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

changeable moniker:
Cute! She looks like my mom’s cat, Lucifer.

45. Moggie says

Weed Monkey:

changeable moniker, James May is absolutely adorable

Nobody who can stand near Clarkson without punching his lights out can be truly “adorable”.

Also, Richard “The Hamster” Hammond is not a real hamster.

46. Does anyone know why the paper wrapper inside my tin of Altoids has printed on it “Wave this in case of surrender”?

47. says

An excerpt from Moggie’s link @37:

Liam Fox’s Atlantic Bridge linked top Tories and Tea Party activists.
Officially it was a charity; in fact, Fox’s thinktank was a meeting place for the movers and shakers of the right wing …

David Cameron’s press secretary, Gabby Bertin, admitted last week that she was paid £25,000 by the US drug giant Pfizer when working as the “sole employee” of the charity. Other senior Tories, notably Michael Ancram and Michael Howard, attended its receptions. Sir John Major gave a keynote speech at one of its US fundraisers. Its formidable connections to leading Tories were eclipsed only by its links to senior members of the US Republican party. The Republican senator for Arizona and Senate minority whip, Jon Kyl, and Jim DeMint, a Republican senator for South Carolina and a leading light in the Tea Party movement, were two powerful American members of its advisory council….

Hmmm. Jim DeMint and Jon Kyl. These two dunderheads are also strongly connected the C Street Family, and to its questionable dealings with kill-the-gays African leaders, with making arms deals that benefit psychopathic dictators, with stripping environmental protections from all sorts of projects, and with a degree of megalomania that has them comparing themselves to leaders named in the Bible. (Google “Jim DeMint + C Street” — blood pressure warning).

Why the hell are all of these “free market” politicians like Lady Thatcher so unable to grasp the concepts of ethical behavior, of transparency, and of social responsibility?

They never learn either. Their friends, like Liam Fox, get caught over and over. They get caught lying, taking money under false pretenses, conspiring to defraud entire governments, bribing people and being bribed, starting wars for profit …. it goes on an on. Yet they continue to stand by one another, to form “social clubs” or “religious prayer groups” that have nefarious aims. They must all be very good at back paddling by now. But they are, demonstrably, not good at learning from their mistakes.

One of things Liam Fox rails against is “innate pacifism” — in other words, dude wants to go to war. He believes regulations damage wealth creation. He has given speeches with the title, “How Much Health Care Can We Afford?” By that, he means to say that he has plenty of money to pay for health care, and he thinks the peasants should not receive health care unless they can pay for it in a free market. He wishes, in other words, to shoot himself in the foot by damaging beyond repair the very humans whose presence allows him to make money. In the short term, however, he and the other Liam Foxes of the world will make even more money.

Another excerpt from the article in The Guardian:

But in 2007 the Atlantic Bridge’s relationship with big business entered a new realm, one that threatens to pose uncomfortable questions for Cameron and his party. The organisation signed a special partnership with the American Legislative Council (Alec), whose motto is “Limited government, free markets, federalism”….

Alec [ALEC] is one of the most powerful lobbying organisations in the US. Funded by the likes of Exxon Mobil, tobacco giant Philip Morris and the National Rifle Association…
Alec boasts: “Each year, close to 1,000 bills, based at least in part on Alec model legislation, are introduced in the states. Of these, an average of 20% become law.” One of its biggest supporters is the Koch Foundation, whose founders, the oil barons Charles G Koch and David H Koch, have funnelled about $55m to climate-denial front groups… Further administrative firepower came with the appointment of an impressive group of well-connected lawyers and lobbyists whose clients operate at the heart of the military-industrial complex. Scott Syfert, a lawyer with Moore & Van Allen, which has represented military, chemical and energy interests, became executive chairman of its executive council. …Michael Hintze, an Australian billionaire hedge fund manager who has donated more than £1m to the Tories and whose firm, CQS, has invested in firms with defence contracts. John Falk, a US lobbyist whose company, Firecreek, represents the Kestral Group, one of Pakistan’s largest defence firms, joined its board of directors…. 48. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says Caine: Heh, that’s kind of cute. I once opened an iced tea bottle and found “If you’re going through hell, keep going”* on the inside of the cap. *Winston Churchill 49. Caine: Does anyone know why the paper wrapper inside my tin of Altoids has printed on it “Wave this in case of surrender”? I’ve always imagined somebody in the company, no doubt in a packaging design team meeting, noticed that the wrapper looked vaguely like a white flag, and decided to make a little joke. But that’s pure speculation on my part; what’ve you heard? 50. Audley: Heh, that’s kind of cute. I’m generally oblivious to ad campaigns, so I didn’t know if I had missed something or not. Oh well, guess I have a white flag now. :D 51. Bill: what’ve you heard? Nothing, that’s why I asked. I am the last person to know what goes on when it comes to advertising. 52. says Here’s part one of an exposé from The Nation about ALEC and the Koch brothers. http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/koch-connection Excerpt: Hundreds of ALEC’s model bills and resolutions bear traces of Koch DNA: … Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding…. the Kochs have used ALEC as a way to invest in radical ideas and fertilize them with tons of cash. The Kochs’ mistrust of public education can be traced to their father, Fred, who ranted and raved that the National Education Association was a communist group and public-school books were filled with “communist propaganda,” paranoia that extended to all unions, President Eisenhower and the “pro-communist” Supreme Court. Such redbaiting might be ancient history if fifty years later David were not calling President Obama a “hard-core socialist” who is “scary.”… On just about every issue taken on by Koch’s CSE, ALEC has provided legislative tools to carry them through to state legislatures, from privatizing “federal and state services and assets,” as CSE put it, to blocking common-sense caps on unlimited credit card interest rates. ALEC and the Kochs often pursue parallel tracks. Just as ALEC “educates” legislators, Koch funding has helped “tutor” hundreds of judges with all-expenses-paid junkets at fancy resorts… 53. says Just wanted to share something I know you all will appreciate. I performed Tim Minchin’s Storm for my school’s Open Mic Night on Thursday, and a whole bunch of people told me they loved it. That felt good. The highlight though was later that night when I was talking to a friend on Facebook. He suffers from Bulimia and Depression, he had to take a year off from school two years ago to get counselling. I’ve never asked about his religious views, though I strongly suspected he wasn’t very religious. Well so anyways he says to me via facebook chat “It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. It made me proud to be an atheist” cue warm fuzzy feeling. 54. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says Caine: I have no idea if it’s part of an advertising campaign, but (based on old Altoids ads), my guess is no. I could be wrong, though– I haven’t seen one of their print ads since I stopped reading Rolling Stone a couple of years back. 55. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says ‘Allo, all. It’s 4:30 on a sunday, the sun is setting, and I’m shaking off my hangover. I am all doctored up, and I threw a party that managed to put away a keg of Rare Vos. Audley, you missed a great shindig. Maybe we can meet up again sometime. I have a case of Smuttynose in my fridge that needs drinking… Re: socialism In my experience, the people who rant about how socialism is bad take two tacks: (1) ZOMG INDIVIDUALISM! and (2) the government can’t possibly be better/more efficient than the private sector. When I ask them what they would do if they saw the government actually do something efficiently and well, they hem and haw (“But they can’t!“) but finally admit that they’d have to adjust their opinion on the relative merits of public vs. private sectors. That, I think is the real fear of the Kochs et al: if people start trusting the government do do something better than the private sector, then they’ll start demanding that things be done well. And that hurts profit margins. 56. Audley: my guess is no. Ah, just humour then. That’s cool. Shak, well done! Conga rats to you. 57. Father Ogvorbis, OM says OK, before I come to the conclusion that I’m the only weird person: What do you see in that picture? I see a couple, one in slacks/naked/shorts, the other in skirt/kilt/dress dancing, the one on the lef . . . . Oh. Wow. Neat graphic. 58. says Giliell, what kind of machine do you do your embroidery on? My wife loves to do computerized embroidery and I service sewing machines, so I’m curious. 59. chigau (違う) says What do you see in that picture? First, torso. Then, dancing couple. 60. julian says What do you see in that picture? -Giliell Boobs and a couple dancing but I saw the dancing first. 61. says Here’s some coverage on the GOP war on voting rights, orchestrated by the Koch brothers and by ALEC. The story was printed in Rolling Stone in late August, early September of this year. The author is Ari Berman. As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots…. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process…. To hear Republicans tell it, they are waging a virtuous campaign to crack down on rampant voter fraud …In 2006, the Justice Department fired two U.S. attorneys who refused to pursue trumped-up cases of voter fraud in New Mexico and Washington, and Karl Rove called illegal voting “an enormous and growing problem.”… Even at the time, there was no evidence to back up such outlandish claims. A major probe by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 failed to prosecute a single person for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter, which the anti-fraud laws are supposedly designed to stop. Out of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. A much-hyped investigation in Wisconsin, meanwhile, led to the prosecution of only .0007 percent of the local electorate for alleged voter fraud. “Our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere,” joked Stephen Colbert…. 62. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says What do you see in that picture? A pair of dancing stick people. Is there more? 63. Giliell: What do you see in that picture? Breasts and abdomen / really badly drawn people dancing. 64. Esteleth: Is there more? Think nipples. 65. says #57: Why do those two people have nipples for heads? 66. Julian: I saw the dancing first. Heh. I saw the breasts/belly first. I do a lot of nudes. 67. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says Caine: Think nipples. Uh. *turns head* Well, okay then. I need another beer. *fetches leftover Smuttynose from kitchen, cracks open an IPA* Help yourselves, all. The bottle opener is on the table. 68. alysonmiers says Are we allowed to pimp our own shit in here? Is that okay? I’m the author of a secular/skeptical/unapologetically god-free novel that you all might like. The trailer can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In0R-1gBXog Also, midway through it takes a not-subtle dig at the anti-vaxx movement. 69. says I love how conservatives love to portray someone like George Soros as a monster for donating to progressive causes yet have no issues with The Koch brothers stopping poor people from voting and hosting retreats for judges. 70. says My local/regional interest in legislators trying to get around the difficulty of living in a democracy by using back door techniques to prop up the conservative theocracy in Utah and Idaho has led me to the conclusion that ALEC is actually an attack on democracy nationwide. With their contacts and “partnerships” in the UK, in Pakistan, etc., maybe we should say it’s a world wide attack on democracy. Gaming American Democracy: A Perfect Storm in Which Republicans Disenfranchise Voters While Giving Corporations Unchecked Powers — [this is an article by John Dean, published in October, 2011] The American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC—like countless other such 501(c)(3) and (4) non-profit conservative charitable organizations—has an intentionally dull-sounding name, for conservatives prefer to operate behind closed doors, secretly, without attracting attention. … Video of John Nichols summarizing ALEC in less than three minutes: http://alecexposed.org/wiki/John_Nichols_Discusses_ALEC 71. alysonmiers: Very nice. Is this going to be paper, by chance? I don’t have an e-reader. 72. Oh, nevermind. I’m gonna have to get a nook one of these days. 73. OK, I’m not the only one. I only saw the dancing couple after I read the captation *blush* And I think that my double-shot glass is too much for the fudge… myeck waters I have a Brother Innovis 1200, my preciousssssss. Bought it 2 years ago (after saving on it for 3) and I didn’t regret it a single day. I need to have it serviced soon, I’m only afraid you’re a bit far off ;) 74. says I love how conservatives love to portray someone like George Soros as a monster for donating to progressive causes yet have no issues with The Koch brothers stopping poor people from voting and hosting retreats for judges. Soros is more transparent. However, I think we should be concerned about all big money shaping politics. Let us at least see where the money is coming from, where it is going, and how it affects legislation. The Koch brothers and ALEC are operating an alternative method of writing and of passing legislation. They have simply dispensed with most of the democratic process. What parts of the democratic process that have survived their onslaught are under siege. They don’t just want corporations to be people, they want corporations to be the only people. Individuals are not people, they are targets. The veil ALEC has erected between “lobbying” and “education” is laughable. It is plainly full of holes — in fact, it’s all holes and is therefore invisible. ALEC is using money and vacation goodies to buy legislation. Some legislators don’t want to write that pesky legislation anyway, so they’re happy to have someone else do it for them. And if someone actually pays the legislators via campaign donations and via vacation goodies for the whole family, actually pays legislators not to do their work, all the better. 75. Sili says What do you see in that picture? A bottle full of dolphins. 76. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says Yeah, dancing couple first, torso second. ———————————– Does there have to be bits of cartilage and bone in sausage? No, really, is that necessary? I can understand not wanting to waste, but bone fragments, in sausage? ———————————– In my experience, the people who rant about how socialism is bad take two tacks: (1) ZOMG INDIVIDUALISM! and (2) the government can’t possibly be better/more efficient than the private sector. When I ask them what they would do if they saw the government actually do something efficiently and well, they hem and haw (“But they can’t!“) but finally admit that they’d have to adjust their opinion on the relative merits of public vs. private sectors. That, I think is the real fear of the Kochs et al: if people start trusting the government do do something better than the private sector, then they’ll start demanding that things be done well. And that hurts profit margins. Um, what’s so bad about individualism? Maybe it’s just that I haven’t truly seen what it’s like when taken the extreme, but I find this puzzling. Then again, I guess for the purposes of Koch et al., drones are just the ticket, preferably drones that don’t demand that things be done efficiently and well. 77. says All about ALEC: http://alecexposed.org/wiki/What_is_ALEC%3F Oh, and that claim to “non-partisan” grants and education for legislators and judges? ALEC currently has one Democrat in a leadership position, and that’s out of 104 leadership positions. It’s a little like the mormons loudly proclaiming that they are not all conservatives because …. because, Senator Harry Reid. Yeah. right. 78. says I have a Brother Innovis 1200, my preciousssssss. Nice! Bought it 2 years ago (after saving on it for 3) and I didn’t regret it a single day. Yep, my wife just had to look longingly until she received an inheritance. Still, they are amazing things. 79. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says Nyah, blockquote fail….trying again: In my experience, the people who rant about how socialism is bad take two tacks: (1) ZOMG INDIVIDUALISM! and (2) the government can’t possibly be better/more efficient than the private sector. When I ask them what they would do if they saw the government actually do something efficiently and well, they hem and haw (“But they can’t!“) but finally admit that they’d have to adjust their opinion on the relative merits of public vs. private sectors. That, I think is the real fear of the Kochs et al: if people start trusting the government do do something better than the private sector, then they’ll start demanding that things be done well. And that hurts profit margins. Um, what’s so bad about individualism? Maybe it’s just that I haven’t truly seen what it’s like when taken the extreme, but I find this puzzling. Then again, I guess for the purposes of Koch et al., drones are just the ticket, preferably drones that don’t demand that things be done efficiently and well. 80. Moggie says Lynna @48: Oh, Kestral would be the outfit Blackwater/Xe contracted with to get a foothold in Pakistan, which was pretty controversial there, but no doubt very lucrative for the mercs. 81. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says Insomniac, There’s nothing bad about individualism. What I was referring to is the idea that socialism is bad because it makes people lazy and dependent. The answer to all our problems is rugged individualism, taking care of yourself, and never, ever asking for help. This is bullshit. Individualism and taking care of yourself a great. But denying our connections to others is foolish. 82. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says Ah, thanks for clearing that up, Esteleth. Although now I’m thinking, such a view doesn’t say much for those who hold it. Aren’t some of the people who whine about socialism also the same ones who like to complain that “neighbors just ain’t neighborly like they used to, they don’t help each other”? Maybe their definition of neighborly means something other than what I’m thinking of. 83. PTI: Aren’t some of the people who whine about socialism also the same ones who like to complain that “neighbors just ain’t neighborly like they used to, they don’t help each other”? Most of the people who yell “socialism bad!” are of the I got mine, fuck you mindset. 84. alysonmiers says Thank you Caine @74 & 75, yes, it is available in print, and if you use the coupon BUYMYBOOK305, you get 25% off. All formats found from here. (Note: Looks fine in any browser except IE. This is a cause of consternation for me as the site owner.) The picture looks like a couple of dancing people first, though at a second glance it looks like a naked woman’s torso. 85. changeable moniker says @Giliell (got the spelling right this time!), I saw Homer Simpson, sans mouth. After the dancing people, obviously. 86. Alyson: yes, it is available in print Yay! Thank you, I look forward to reading it. :) 87. SteveV says What do you see in that picture? Dancing couple 2 Radio telescopes Why are you looking at me like that? 88. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says Not only do they have a I’ve got mine, fuck you mindset, they also tend to go on about the “deserving” poor. That is, they’re willing to pity and help you if you agree to follow their rules by being white (or appropriately submissive to whites), straight and heteronormative, Christian (of the right variety, of course), and have the “correct” political and social views. Socialism is bad because it attacks the ability of TPTB to demand submission of the poor to authority and implicitly says that (for example) the white family headed by a father that are devoutly Baptist and vote solidly Republican are as deserving of help and social support as the black single mother. 89. changeable moniker says 90. Father Ogvorbis, OM says And the people with the “fuck you, I’ve got mine” attitude refuse to see that much of what allowed the wealth in the first place is the infrastructure investments made possible through public money, the spending power of the middle class made possible through unions, and the educated workers made possible through public education and government loans and grants for students. All things that the right has been trying, quite successfully, to destroy for the last 30 years. 91. Father Ogvorbis, OM says Oh, and Wife just made a Nancat scarf for Girl’s boyfriend. 92. rational jen says From Changeable Moniker’s link: A Republican campaign consultant who has done research on behalf of Charles and David Koch said of the Tea Party, “The Koch brothers gave the money that founded it. It’s like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud—and they’re our candidates!” I am not rational jen – I logged in under my own Yahoo account. 93. chigau (違う) says Who are you, then? 94. I am not rational jen – I logged in under my own Yahoo account. Which means you are…? 95. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says I ♥ Cracked so much “We’re pretty sure that viperfish are the reason we developed legs and got the hell out of the ocean.” Previous Thread: The jellyfish in the etsy link looks to have been made with clear silicone. I’d taken it for acrylic; not sure why. Unexamined assumptions. :( Moggie, thanks. It looks as if it might be a bit too stretchy for My Sinister Purposes; but that’s okay, because the future is bound to be just full of Sinister Purposes. Or Porpoises. Whichever. In any case, bookmark added. Tethys, trying glop on the outside of the mold first is a brilliant idea. Simple and elegant. It’s likely to be several months before I can even try this out, but this is definitely a tip I’ll keep in mind. :) Sili: sorry. I can see why you don’t want to get specific. Current Thread: SteveV, I’m glad that Miss M is doing so well…and that you aren’t being taken to the cleaners over it. I’ve noticed Orthodox sources which say Pharaoh will be punished for all eternity. But that was a frame-up! God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart”, presumably because if he’d just told Moses & Co., “Sure, you can go! Have a nice trip!”, there would have been none of that dramatic tension so necessary to a proper persecution (and inclusion of the story in the Sacred Book). The God-killed Egyptian first-borns were just necessary collateral damage, as were the damages secondary to all those plagues. Bottom line: no Major Motion Picture. No Cast of Thousands. No DVD sales. All hail Cthulhu Toad….*eyes spinning in stereotypic “hypnotised” fashion* Giliell, I saw two stylised dancers, one in a dress. Then I blinked, and saw a slight pot-belly and a set of boobs. 96. says I wonder if I should get myself a “beheading: you don’t feel pain” Tshirt. 97. Cicely: All hail Cthulhu Toad….*eyes spinning in stereotypic “hypnotised” fashion* Amazing, isn’t it? When I clicked and it came up full size, the detail in it is almost fractal. That would make an incredible back tattoo, but I imagine it would be a nightmare for the tat artist. :D 98. says Most of the people who yell “socialism bad!” are of the I got mine, fuck you mindset. Yes. For example, Congress critters have defined benefit pension plan. This is precisely one of the benefits Republican legislators wish to strip from all public sector workers. Except themselves. 99. changeable moniker says rational jen is missing my point. To understand the Kochs, you need to understand their upbringing, and in particular, their father: Fred attended M.I.T., where he earned a degree in chemical engineering. In 1927, he invented a more efficient process for converting oil into gasoline, but, according to family lore, America’s major oil companies regarded him as a threat and shut him out of the industry. Unable to succeed at home, Koch found work in the Soviet Union. In the nineteen-thirties, his company trained Bolshevik engineers and helped Stalin’s regime set up fifteen modern oil refineries. Over time, however, Stalin brutally purged several of Koch’s Soviet colleagues. Koch was deeply affected by the experience, and regretted his collaboration. […] “As the Soviets became a stronger military power, Fred felt a certain amount of guilt at having helped build them up. I think it bothered him a lot.” In 1958, Fred Koch became one of the original members of the John Birch Society, the arch-conservative group known, in part, for a highly skeptical view of governance and for spreading fears of a Communist takeover. Thence, paranoid style: http://www.harpers.org/archive/1964/11/0014706 100. says Abstract: Atheists have long been distrusted, in part because they do not believe that a watchful, judging god monitors their behavior. However, secular institutions such as police, judges, and courts are also potent sources of social monitoring and prosocial behavior in large parts of the world. Reminders of such secular authority therefore could reduce believers’ distrust of atheists. As hypothesized, both watching a video about police effectiveness (Experiment 1) and subtly primed secular authority concepts (Experiments 2-3) reduced believers’ distrust of atheists. In addition, we tested three distinct alternative explanations. Secular authority primes did not reduce general prejudice against outgroups (Experiment 1), specific functionally-relevant prejudice reactions such as viewing gays with disgust (Experiment 2), or general distrust of outgroups (Experiment 3). These studies contribute to theory regarding both the psychological bases of different prejudices and the psychological functions served by gods and governments. http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~will/Gervais%20Norenzayan-%20Gods%20&%20Governments-PsychScience.pdf 101. Cannabinaceae says I’m leaning towards getting a Kindle. Also, I’m leaning towards getting an Android phone on a pay-as-you-go sort of basis. My default location for using these devices is Baltimore or Gaithersburg MD, though my desired, if of unknown likelihood, prospects for the immediate future are Cambridge England, Boston MA, or La Jolla, CA. I have no practical experience using either device, although every year or so I carry a cell phone while on vacation, but only the cheapest, stupidest, pay-as-you-go kind. I invite anybody with experience with these realms to either dissuade, encourage, or otherwise educate me. My motivations: 1. I want to put my library of 2,500 (and growing) PDFs all in one place for easy reading, and, inevitably, starting the transition to ebooks. 2. I want to have a working cell phone number on my job application materials. 3. I want the phone do to those few things I use my iPod Touch for, so I can abandon my Touch rather than carry two devices of that form factor. 4. I want to be able to communicate with my future employer-overlords by these jeejah methods that such young people use. 5. I don’t want a “plan” or “service” for my cell phone. Other than that, life is pretty fine. Puppy Tobe* is now 15 weeks and 6 pounds, *Toby Brownie Sunflower Noodle Poodle, although we casually spell it with an e. For whatever reason, we registered her, so we get letters in the mail from the Kennel Association, along the lines of “we’re writing you about Toby Brownie Sunflower Noodle Poodle. Did you know that Toby Brownie Sunflower Noodle Poodle should get her vitamins? Toby Brownie Sunflower Noodle Poodle is eligible for vitamin insurance at a reduced rate of only blah blah blah. We hope that Toby Brownie Sunflower Noodle Poodle is doing well. IIRC, the name fit exactly in to the maximum that the application materials would allow. You’d think they’d at least shorten it to “Ms. Poodle”. 102. @ Cannabinaceae: Woo! Android phones and Kindles! I know those things! Well, if you want an Android phone and a pay-as-you-go plan, I suggest going with Virgin Mobile (which has Androids and pay as you go). You could also go with Metro PCS (which I think has pay-as-you go, but also has really cheap unlimited plans; also has Androids). If you’re looking for a Kindle, you have two options at this point: the basic Kindle (at$79) and the new Kindle Fire (at $199, which is more like a tablet than an e-reader). I have the basic Kindle and it’s pretty great. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! 103. Cannabinaceae, I have a pay as you go phone, I don’t like talking on the phone and basically have a cell for emergencies. As for an e-reader, I get the attraction and the convenience, but I’ve *loved* books all my life. I like having them, I like the way they feel, I like carrying them, etc. I’m terribly possessive about my books, and having a digital version of a book…well, it doesn’t feel like something I’d actually own. I’ll probably get one someday, but right now, I’m happier with bookses. Lovely bookses. With all your pdfs, it seems like it would be a good idea for you. 104. Cannabinaceae says Hey, StarStuff and Caine, thanks for the quick replies! Yes, the pdfs nail my desire for an ebook reader. I invariably find myself at my coffeeshop with printouts, wanting to refer to some paper I hadn’t brought with me. At home I just do quickly find what I need on my computer, although I don’t really like reading extended text there. The Metro PCS hadn’t yet turned up in my vague ogling, I will look into that, thanks. I hope to cling to my mass market paperback habit until they are finally killed off. I read my science fiction* then donate the books to charities on the off chance that somebody who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford them gets exposed to at least my particular taste. But once I get the reader, it may be all over. At any rate, I’m such a late adopter that if I do it now, the mass market paperback has only a couple years left anyway. I used to count on my own precious book collection, with which I am intimately familiar. My Rubber Bible is old – 58th edition – yet my spine seems to know exactly where to open it when looking up reference data. The same with other books: I may have gone half a decade, say, since opening a particular book, but when I want certain information, I can often just grab the right book and get to it without formally “looking it up”. But nowadays I almost never use reference books. I’m thinking of boxing them all up as an experiment. Let them trickle back into the office when I just can’t get something off the internet. It does make me somewhat uneasy. *and the occasional overt fantasy, but only the likes of Miéville, Gaiman, De Lint, etc. 105. alysonmiers says Cannabinaceae, a Kindle would probably be a very handy device for you, though have you also looked into the Nook? I’m fairly sure both can read PDFs, though on the Kindle there may be more screen space to let the PDF spread out. You can also set the screen rotation to landscape so you can let the width of the PDF take up the height of the screen. Another handy way to use a Kindle is to convert files such as Word docs, HTML pages, etc. through Amazon, and last I checked, B&N didn’t have an equivalent service for the Nook. You might not need it for that, but I find it very useful for writing and revising. (I swear I don’t work for Amazon. I encourage you to look up other e-readers and compare features, really I do.) Also, congratulations on Puppy Tobe! I’m so jealous. @Caine, thank you! 106. says I’m very happy with my iPad as a reader – larger screen, apps for every ereader plus PDFs and internet and all that. But I’m currently very UNhappy with Apple, so I’m not so sure about recommending it now. 107. Lynna: For example, Congress critters have defined benefit pension plan. This is precisely one of the benefits Republican legislators wish to strip from all public sector workers. Except themselves. True, and it’s one of the things I’m most furious with Republican legislators (and a handful of conservaDem fellow travelers) about. But not all “Congress critters” are so heartless, nor so blind to their own privilege. My own representative, for instance, pledged not to accept his federal health care benefits until/unless Congress passed health care reform… and he in fact refused those benefits from the time of his election in 2006 until the Affordable Care Act passed into law. (Mind you, he was a lawyer before his election, and his wife is a nurse, so I don’t think his family was missing any doctor’s visits, but still, he was not unaware of the inequity.) That same congressman spoke today at a regional Democratic organization’s holiday party that I attended, and one of the things he talked about was the risk that people’s (justifiable) disgust with the Congress (and in particular, the Republican-led House) would make them cynical and complacent, leaving open a path to power for those whose only goal is power. A broken Congress is a reason to fix Congress, not to give up… and part of that is supporting the good ones even more vigorously. (Can you tell I’m “fired up; ready to go!”?) *** ahs: Would a fair one-sentence summary of the abstract @104 be… People crave rules and authority; the more confident they are of secular authority, the less they feel they need gods. …or is it more complicated than that? 108. says Bill: I think it’s the contention of the Atran & Norenzayan crew that demonstrating fear of the local deity is a signifier that one can be trusted. Since atheists don’t do that, who is to keep us in line? Reminding people that there exists a powerful secular force, capable of keeping atheists in line, makes it seem that it’s safe again to trust us. 109. says So this the more confident they are of secular authority, the less they feel they need gods. is not what that particular study is about. (I don’t think flexing Leviathan’s muscles is enough to make atheists; we’ve had plenty of force in the USA for a long time. Where we differ more obviously from irreligious Europe is our lack of economic welfare.) This study is just finding a way to make theists trust atheists more than they do. It doesn’t present a very easy option for the anti-authoritarian atheist, although I suppose anybody can find some pleasant Rawlsian notions about the rule of law, a few of which can be mouthed without vomiting. 110. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says @ Part-Time Insomniac 18 I have no way of picking it up Ah, that part was part of my devilishly cunning plan to get a horde of pharyngulites to hop on their private leer-jets and head to Honkers. (You would have got waylaid in a pub and had beers forced upon you.) @ ahs 19 I’m still looking for the comment here, though. Cannot help you there. If some other examples of the general theme pop into my rusty cranium, I’ll post here. @ Lynna ALEC Sounds like a social disaster waiting to happen. @ TLC 28 pot-set (you where talking earlier about the stuff you smoke) It’s all about maximising possibilities with a minimum of equipment. You would love an old boere trick while out in the bush. Find an outcrop of granite and build a fire around it. Douse rapidly so as to crack it. These will include onion peel type shards that are bowl shaped and can be used as a bush-wok to do all your cooking with. @ Giliell The dangers of war I heard about that too. It seems almost crazy, given the amount of time that has passed. Weapons tend come back to harm the societies that produced or used them, sometimes decades later. I have written on a (partial) solution to the problem of this effect (especially relevant in Syria soon?). Linky: Avtomat Kalashnikova – Einde van een tijdperk, begin van een erfenis. … in Dutch though … :( /blogwhoring /blatant @ changeable moniker 43 Awwwwww… kitteH! @ Cannabinaceae 105 I love my kindle and would buy it again just for the amazing free books I have downloaded. You should check carefully wrt the PDF’s though, as I understood the tech was not quite 100%. I have often converted internet screeds from text to kindle format through their free conversion service. Needs a little tweaking to pre-format, but easy to use and very useful. (I have the 3g keyboard type and make lots of notes and underlinings) @ ahs 112 demonstrating fear of the local deity is a signifier that one can be trusted Contrast with William S. Burroughs: If you’re doing business with a religious son-of-a-bitch, get it in writing. His word isn’t worth shit. Not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal. 111. Tethys says cicely I found this creepy crawlers sea life mold on Ebay currently priced at$9.99

Caine

I’ll probably get one someday, but right now, I’m happier with bookses. Lovely bookses

I like my nook, but it will never replace my lovely bookses. Especially my field guides and reference books with illustrations. The nook is nice for portability, but my book never shuts itself off or needs charging.

112. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

Theophontes: I think I’ve seen that effect in nature before in the place where we hunted the deer. There had been a forest fire there before.

I’ll have to try that one sometime.

113. Caine:

As for an e-reader, I get the attraction and the convenience, but I’ve *loved* books all my life. I like having them, I like the way they feel, I like carrying them, etc. I’m terribly possessive about my books, and having a digital version of a book…well, it doesn’t feel like something I’d actually own.

I know what you mean: I’ve mentioned about eleventy times around here that most of my new book purchases are audiobooks, mostly in the form of downloads from audible.com. That makes sense for the way I use content… but I do really miss having an actual book to add to my bookshelves.

Here’s my dream product: For a single price, I’d like to be able to purchase a hardcopy book that also included e-book and audiobook downloads… and I’d like the audio and e-book formats to be integrated so that I could switch back and forth on one device (iPad or iPod touch, in my dreams): For instance, I’m reading my e-book at home, and then it becomes time to drive somewhere, so I bookmark my place, carry my device out to the car, and start the audiobook (automatically) at the same place I left off reading the e-book (and then vice versa when I get home).

I know, I know… but I can dream, can’t I?

114. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says

@ TLC

I’ll have to try that one sometime.

Yes, you will also find them after a fresh forest fire. Although the granite is formed under extreme pressures and temperatures, I would still be carefull of sudden heating and cooling. If you have fine granite, you can also heat it in a microwave oven.

Look also to korean stone woks: Linky.

I imagine that if you carefully dressed apiece of stone from such a bushfire, you could create something exquisite.

115. ahs (@112 & 113):

Ah, thanks for the clarification. (By which I don’t mean that your original post was unclear; only that you’ve made things clearer to me.)

116. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

Theophontes: The pieces I see after a bushfire are much thinner and more irregular than those stone woks. I’m pretty sure those are made by pecking and grinding.

The granite I’m thinking of, that I saw in the forest-fire burned area, was unfortunately much more crumbly than that stuff.

117. says

Glad to help, Bill. If anybody’s interested but doesn’t have time to read,

the experimental primes they used were

1: a video of the Vancouver police chief’s 2010 year-end report

2: ten scrambled sentence tasks, five of which contained one of these words: civic, contract, jury, court, police

3: same as 2

118. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

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

While people are comparing Kindles & Nooks, etc. Thought I’d make sure another option was considered:

Introducing the new Bio-Optical Organized Knowledge device, trade named B.O.O.K.

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology; no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use, even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere — even sitting in an armchair by the fire — yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.

Here’s how it works.

BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKs with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain.
A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.

BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.

BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though like other devices, it can become damaged if coffee or soda is spilled on it, and it becomes unusable if dropped too many times on a hard surface. The browse feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and to move forward or backward as you wish.

Many come with an index feature which pinpoints the exact location of selected information for instant retrieval.

A Manually Accessed Retrieval Knickknack (MARK) allows users to open BOOK to the exact place they left off in a previous session – even if BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOKmarks can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in a BOOK.

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave.

BOOK’s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking to invest. In some areas, entire buildings are constructed to house BOOKs for public access. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

BOOK TECHNOLOGY REBUTTAL

RE: The new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade-name “BOOK.”

You should be warned that, re: the message quoted above, this BOOK technology has serious shortcomings in user outcomes which, while not apparent from an immediate usability analysis, seriously impair its market desirability. Research shows that prolonged and repeated exposure to this BOOK technology causes users to become contemplative, reflective, and, in severe cases, it can induce bouts of concentration and focused thinking, with common side effects that include swelling of the imaginative and/or analytical portions of the brain. Such swelling can impede market-critical emoto-cognitive functions like the impulse-purchase quadrant of the cerebellum.

In one overlooked period of history, the installed user base of this BOOK technology spread with almost epidemic speed. This period, known in BOOKish techno-jargon as the Renaissance, saw that after the introduction of BOOK there were unpredictable outbursts of individual and collective creativity. But, as the record clearly shows, this BOOK technology has no useful market outcome, in that during the entire period of the Renaissance, historians can find no evidence of a single IPO.

120. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says

@ TLC

The pieces I see after a bushfire are much thinner and more irregular than those stone woks.

It can take a while to find large enough shards. It is probably best to go in just after a recent bush fire and look for large plates. You will have to dress in situ to be able to transport easily. And yes, they are thinner than the image shown above. Rememner that the granite surface before the fire might have been very weak to begin with due to decomposition.

Exfoliation in fire is an important cause for the decomposition of granite. You will best be visiting areas with fairly regular fires (if you cannot make your own). Huge swaths of Africa are underlain by granite which decomposes to form lateritic clay. This is a real bane, as it is difficult to drain and tends to collapse (especially pit latrines…eeuw …cringe).

Linky: More granite cooking – on tile.

121. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says

@ Crip Dyke

kekekekeke …. I haz a happy! XDDDDDDDDDDD

122. chigau (違う) says

theophontes

You would love an old boere trick while out in the bush. Find an outcrop of granite and build a fire around it. Douse rapidly so as to crack it. These will include onion peel type shards that are bowl shaped and can be used as a bush-wok to do all your cooking with.

*boggle*
I don’t suppose you could point to a youtube?
or even an article?

123. picool says

Ok Horde, I am not sure how I feel about my behavior in this situation:
My mother invited me to a meeting of her social club. This club is not officially goddist but does require a “statement of a personal belief in God”. I was invited because another person approximately my age would be there, and apparently I need new friends (i.e. not the current crop of disreputable karate students and musicians).

This other young person had that certain wide-eyed earnestness I have come to associate with unchallenged Mormonism, and she asked me which church I attended. Instead of my usual social answer (My family goes to [Catholic parish]), I said, “I don’t. I’m an atheist.” And the conversation was pretty much over.

The reason I’m ambivalent about my answer is that I only said it because I disliked her almost on sight and expected her to react the way she did. So I think I’m feeling guilty about being uncharitable. No one else heard me, so I’m not worried that I “embarrassed” my mom. I feel like I used my atheism the wrong way :/ It’s been bothering me since Friday. I would appreciate any feedback.
Thanks,
Picool

124. Rey Fox says

Just checking on briefly from Des Moines. Going to have a poster up at this professional conference. When did I suddenly become a professional? I mean, I’m still taking my laptop downstairs at 11:30 PM because I don’t want to pay for wifi in my room. But there you are.

125. @ picool

I don’t think you should feel guilty about it. I mean, you are an atheist and if it freaks her out so much, is that really the kind of person you want to be friends with?

126. says

Obviously I can google and there are plenty of examples,

but does anybody have a personal recommendation of a metal Ave Maria?

127. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says

@ chigau

*boggle*
I don’t suppose you could point to a youtube?
or even an article?

The Korean form of cooking like this is very easy to find. I have looked to see if I can find the Afrikaner version ( I presume the “*boggle*” is because the Korean version is so incredibly similar) of this way of cooking. No success. The granite has sadly been replaced by the “skottel”, which is very much like a wok, but made of steel. I will have to get in contact with my spies to tell you more.

128. chigau (違う) says

theophontes
It was the *build a fire, peel a wok* that had me boggling.
Like TLC, I want to go and try it.
I’d hafta get out the geologic maps of my locale but that is easily done.

129. says

picool, given that honesty is not necessarily objectionable, what do you feel might have constituted using your atheism the right way?

130. picool says

Starstuff @ 129
If the sequence of events had been: meet person->she asks about religion->I come to dislike her, I wouldn’t have a problem. Instead it was: meet person->I dislike her->she asks about religion->deliberate asshole move. Just looking at her I was waiting for her to give me a reason to end the conversation, and the excuse happened to be religion. I have no problem announcing my atheism, but in this instance I used it to end a conversation instead of starting one, and I think that’s most what I regret.

131. Good morning

picool
Don’t feel bad. You did nothing you need to be ashamed of. Even if you found that person nice, and wouldn’t have minded closer contact, what good is a friend you need to lie to?

+++Warning, cute kids story+++

This moring, when snuggeling in bed, the kids decided we were cats. They were mummy cat and daddy cat and I was their little kitten. And I said “wonderful, since you’re mummy and daddy and I’m the little kitten, you two can make me coffee!”
Says daddy cat (2yo): “Cats don’t make coffee.”

132. says

This happens a lot. I guess if you’re not happy with how you handled it this time, you could prepare an alternate response: “I’m an atheist and I find [some volunteer work] meaningful for my life.”

That is, the only possible utility of guilt is to cause you to plan a better tactic for the future. Just think about what you’d like to be able to say the next time this comes up, practice the conversation so you’ll be ready, and then forgive yourself; for at that point you’ll have done what you can do.

133. John Morales says

picool:

Ok Horde, I am not sure how I feel about my behavior in this situation:
My mother invited me to a meeting of her social club. This club is not officially goddist but does require a “statement of a personal belief in God”. I was invited because another person approximately my age would be there, and apparently I need new friends (i.e. not the current crop of disreputable karate students and musicians).
[later]

Seems to me you’ve already decided how to feel about it, and you’re looking for absolution.

(I absolve you)

134. says

Oh, I just watched the video, that was nicely done by DPR.

135. janine says

136. Therrin says

Cannabinaceae,

Also, I’m leaning towards getting an Android phone on a pay-as-you-go sort of basis.

I was talking about this a few months ago here, and ended up buying the Motorola Triumph with Virgin providing. Virgin uses the Sprint network. From what I learned at the time (and some prior experience), the Verizon network is the current best for coverage and speed. Verizon also charges around $90/month for basics with 2-year contract, whereas Virgin is$35/month for unlimited data and 300 minutes.

My main purpose in getting the Triumph over a non-smartish-phone was being able to read (websites etc) and hear (podcasts) content when stuck with nothing to do (in waiting rooms). It’s been good for that. I’ve done very little customizing and don’t have a strong urge to void its warranty yet.

Also, Swype is cool.

137. dexitroboper says

138. amblebury says

Picool. If you’d said, “I don’t, I’m an atheist, and additionally, I knew from the instant I clapped eyes on you I would quickly come to loathe and despise every fiber of your being.” Then you’d have something to feel bad about. A simple statement of the truth just saved both of you from wasting time.

Esteleth – many congratulations!

I see buildings burning. Always do.

139. says

It’s odd, how sometimes you can see someone and take an instant dislike them. And not because they’re wearing slogan clothes or anything so obvious.

140. picool
Well, in most of the western world it’s considered extremly impolite to ask somebody their religion. So she was very rude to begin with. Those superstitionists got you so far that many people consider it to be their duty not to upset them after they were absolutely impolite.
Also, you disliked this person because she was radiating “religious bigot”. It was still her choice to accept you and your atheism. I wouldn’t see it as an asshole move to give her the information you knew would piss her off the most.

141. John Morales says

birger, aww — you got my hopes up.

(Kinky university — now that would be cool!

(and very Nipponese))

142. julian says

Japan’s Kinki University: Japan, Russia see chance to clone mammoth

Heh

Heard about that on Attack of the Show like 3 years ago. It still sounds like a pipe dream to me but I would love to see it work out. My only concern is the health and well being of the impregnated elephant and the overall health of any produced off spring. I know nothing about embryology or biology in general but this sounds like a pregnancy that may cause a great many complications for the mother. And I have to wonder if that much pain on an animal would make whatever knowledge we gain worthwhile.

143. julian says

And I have to wonder if that much pain on an animal would make whatever knowledge we gain worthwhile. -Me

Ok…um what I meant to say was ‘And I have to wonder if whatever knowledge we gain would make the pain endured by the mother worthwhile.”

I am not that sadistic. Yet, anyway

144. John Morales says

julian, that’s not sadistic, it’s merely amoral.

145. says

====
More unfortunate logos (warning: site is a timesink of the Cracked variety).
====
Conga rats ululations, dr. Esteleth!
====
KG, where in the Netherlands are you (going)?
====
Re: Possibly the Most Beautiful Ad for Marriage Equality We’ve Seen. Very much so. Brought a tear to my eye. (Why don’t we have an acronym for that? BATTME!)
Also, it’s the reverse of The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up, sort of. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where they got their inspiration from.
====
Bill, Sili: my sympathies. Can’t think of anything else to say.
====
O irony of ironies! I’ve told you about the Zwarte Pieten before, right? Well, this is what I get for buying a discounted game at the last second.
Guess what the game pieces look like? Exactly.

146. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

Cripdyke @123:
♥ it!

I’ve been tempted by the Fire*, but I love the BOOK technology so much that I don’t think I can switch. BOOK definitely offers the superior reading experience.

*No, not Mr Fire, although he is fun to hang out with.

147. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

Yes, you will also find them after a fresh forest fire. Although the granite is formed under extreme pressures and temperatures, I would still be carefull of sudden heating and cooling.

Granite will spall, crack, break, etc. under heat. When up in . . . .

[WARNING: FIRE STORY FIRE STORY FIRE STORY FIRE STORY]

When at a fire up in the Orleans area of Northern California, I ended up spiked out for a week on the other side of the fire (with all my clothing (except for what I was wearing) in the laundry back at the main fire camp) for a week (with all my clothing (except for what I was wearing) in the laundry back at the main fire camp) because the road up the Salmon River kept getting closed by BFRs (Big Rocks). When a wildland fire burns on a steep slope, the heating tends to expand the rocks and can destabilize a whole slope. Some of these rocks were the size of small trucks. The heat spalling can be anything from really small flakes, through bowl-shaped sherds up to really scary BFRs.

At another fire in Idaho, I almost got knocked into a different Salmon River when a BFR hit my truck just in front of my front wheel. I was escorting POVs through the active fire area so I just asked the civilian in the next vehicle back for a ride to the checkpoint. We closed the road for a day after that incident.

[END FIRE STORY END FIRE STORY END FIRE STORY END FIRE STORY]

Happy Saturday, folks.

148. says

Père Ogvorbis, does Tpyos have any brothers or have any brothers or sisters for copy ‘n’ paste mistakes?

149. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

SQB:

I have no idea how extensive the Typosic Pantheon is. Copypasta, Grammatico, Punctuatio, DasKapital, and Substituta come to mind. But I’m not sure about that.

150. Cannabinaceae says

BillD: My dream product is a service that takes your physical library, converts it to audio/e books, but stacks your books efficiently in a preservative environment offsite (or onsite, if you want to buy some expensive vault thing). You would only retrieve books to “have out” as wanted, without being burdened by them (we have so many it is a burden). But you’d always have access to the contents of the stored ones.

Therrin: Cool. I perceive, and can control, a sudden urge to buy a phone that supports Swype, because it supports Swype.

To quote Jim Flanagan, F.o.B., “everything burns, but paper doesn’t crash”.

And now, to pursue the coffeeshop lifestyle with corner-stapled double-sided P.A.P.E.R. And an Analog. W.U. bought me a subscription for my birthday. I love it.

151. says

saw a Japanese detective thriller that involved a transgender murder suspect (who took over the identity of the deceased who turned out to be the dizygotic twin sister).*)
Quite depressing, thank goodness they changed the law in 2008, though there are still a lot of steep hurdles to legally changing your gender (and to be sure, the death turned out to be suicide, not murder, and the movie probably introduced the problems transgender people face in Japanese society to larger audience):

– more than 20 years old
– unmarried/divorced
– no kids younger than 20 years old
– completed gender reassignment surgery

The Aibou series is actually quite interesting. It often is just your murder of the week story, but sometimes takes up social issues and political issues.

There is this well-known transgender politician in the Japanese Diet, she was first elected legally as a man, though she refused to enter a gender on the candidate registration form. Then in 2004 I think it became possible to change your gender under limited circumstances, which she did (the murder suspect in the thriller apparently did not fall under the law).

*) but they still use cis-gender actors, it seems, the same thing happened in a German detective thriller recently as well.

152. Rey Fox says

How is giving an honest answer about one’s religious status an “asshole move” in any way, shape, or form? Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing we’re fighting against?

153. Astrophysicists (or just astronomers), assemble!

I’m rethinking the moons in my novel. In my original idea, there was a big white moon with a smaller red moon orbiting it, but the gravity and weirdness didn’t quite fit for me, so instead I’ve decided to change it.

Big moon is still a bit larger than the Earth’s moon (if the planet were a basketball, the white moon would be about the size of a softball instead of the size of a tennis ball) and just about the same distance away. So it’d look pretty large in the night sky. The smaller moon orbits between the big moon and the planet, and is just big enough that it will block the larger moon when the larger moon crosses behind the smaller moon. It also orbits at a very slow speed – so that it stays visible in one area (from horizon-to-horizon) over about a 4 month period.

So, the question for astrophysicists is thus:

Would that be possible?

More expanded – would it be possible for a moon to orbit very slowly around a planet? What would the effects on the tides be? How big would the small moon have to be to block the larger moon if it’s just about equidistant between the planet and the other moon? Should I just stop caring about real world effects and say “a wizard did it?”

154. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

To quote Jim Flanagan, F.o.B., “everything burns, but paper doesn’t crash”.

WEll, paper airplanes crash, don’t they?

155. says

Katherine, wouldn’t it, at some point, become a double planet system? I have no idea how another moon would behave in such a system, but it orbiting the smaller of those two planets in a regular orbit doesn’t sound very likely. Especially if it’s about equidistant, I see no way for the smaller moon not to orbit the bigger planet instead. Of course, IANAAP.
Is it relevant to your story, or is it just there to look cool?

156. @SQB:

No no, the smaller moon IS orbiting the planet. It’s just very slow.

The exact details aren’t very important, I could chalk it up to “a wizard did it” if questions came up about it, but I’d rather be able to answer to the “Star Trek Nerds” who overanalyze everything, cause in the back of my mind I have a lot of those nagging questions too.

The smaller moon is called “The Destroyer” and it’s there as a kind of “better get the harvest started” sort of thing. (Although in other areas of the planet it’s not – cause instead of showing up in the summer, on the other side of the planet it’d show up in winter.)

Think of it like this:

) o O

With the ) being the planet, the o being the small moon and the O being the big moon. (My spaces will probably be concatenated…)

o orbits ) and shows up for the four months of summer.
O also orbits ) and is fast enough to orbit similar to our own moon.

157. rational jen says

Who are you, then?

I have previously posted as Unpronounceable Yahoomess.

I did not mean to misrepresent Changeable Moniker’s point. I just thought that excerpt showed an interesting understanding of biology and Republican candidates.

158. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

I now know why Nerd uses Dr Bunsen Honeydew as his image on his profile page; because the Muppets are commies!

Dang, I wasn’t aware of that.

*thinks about how to Photoshop in a hammer and sickle without Photoshop*

159. janine says

*thinks about how to Photoshop in a hammer and sickle without Photoshop*

Because it has been said, it must be done.

160. janine says

I am now seeing Dr. Bunsen Honeydew as a Gorbachev stand-in. Just needs the birth mark.

161. says

If it’s equidistant between the planet and the moon, shouldn’t it be a little over half the size (diameter) of the moon it needs to block?

In general, $r_b = r_a + {d_{a,b} \over d_{a,c}} \times (r_c - r_a)$, with $a$ being the POV, $b$ being the smaller moon, $c$ the bigger moon, $r_a$ the radius (or any other size, for that matter) of the area you want eclipsed, $r_b$ the radius of the smaller moon, and $d_{a,c}$ the distance between $a$ and $c$ and so on.

This reduces to $r_b \approx r_c \times {d_{a,b} \over d_{a,c}}$ for sufficiently small $r_a$. Also, for $r_a = r_c$, this yields $r_b = r_c$, which makes sense.
Of course, this simplifies matters by not taking into account that a moon is a round globe instead of a flat disc. Hm…
Dammit, I know how to adjust for that, but I don’t want to do it know. Damn you, woman, have you not heard of nerdsniping?

And now someone will come along and point out where I went wrong.

162. says

Fucking parents, how do they work

They produce more kids, in general.

163. says

And all hail to Tpyos for that extra k in #170.

164. says

Also, the PFt! confirms my sneaking suspicion that the speed of a moon is tied to its distance from the planet and its weight mass, so unless you do some funny stuff with the mass of both moons and possibly the planet itself, it’s not gonna fly. At least not at that speed.

165. chigau (違う) says

“bigger” doesn’t need to mean “more massive”. The moon could be made of something “light”.

166. @SQB:

Ehehe. I guess that’s about right. It doesn’t need to be perfect. So… going back to our ball examples…

The planet is the size of a basketball. The small moon is the size of a table tennis ball about 12 feet away from the basketball. The big moon is the size of a baseball (10% bigger than the Earth’s moon) about 24 feet away from the basketball.

I’m still curious about rotations and tides… effect of the moons’ gravities on the planet would make some seriously weird tidal effects – maybe? Would the bigger moon’s gravity overpower the smaller moon’s or would it be a combined effect?

167. @chigau:

Well obviously the smaller moon would have to be covered in iron oxide (reddish appearance) while the larger moon would have to be covered by… something white… which the only thing that I can think of at the moment being calcium based but I don’t think the moon would have had any large number of beings on it enough to cover its entire surface with the remnants of bones…

168. janine says

Just because…

Makes you feel kind of insignificant, doesn’t it?

169. @my 176:

Unless I’m ignorant about geology and don’t realize that calcium minerals can form without a large life presence…

170. says

If the smaller moon is halfway the planet and the bigger moon, I’m not sure if it wouldn’t just be pulled apart by tidal forces, but as I said, IANAAP.

171. says

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the guy who had a book ghostwritten for him, America’s Toughest Sherriff that he admittedly never read, the guy who still fields a five-man “posse” to investigate President Obama’s birth that Sheriff has now been caught doing something else stupid.

He failed to investigate sex crimes against the children of non-white persons in Maricopa County, Arizona.

El Mirage, Ariz. • The 13-year-old girl opened the door of her home in this city on the edge of Phoenix to encounter a man who said that his car had broken down and he needed to use the phone. Once inside, the man pummeled the teen from behind, knocking her unconscious and sexually assaulting her.

Seven months before, in an apartment two miles away, another 13-year-old girl was fondled in the middle of the night by her mother’s live-in boyfriend. She woke up in her room at least twice a week to find him standing over her, claiming to be looking for her mother’s cellphone.

Both cases were among more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office during a three-year period ending in 2007 — including dozens of alleged child molestations — that were inadequately investigated and sometimes not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.

In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio’s office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 — in which the sheriff’s office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.

Many of the victims were children of undocumented immigrants, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files.

The botched sex-crimes investigations have served as an embarrassment to an office whose sheriff is the self-described “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and a national hero to conservatives on the immigration issue….

Despite this overwhelming statistical evidence of incompetence, the Sheriff’s conservative constituents are still backing him up. Here’s one example of many comments from supporters:

Unlike other law-enforcement personnel whose names we have heard, Sheriff Arpaio actually honors his oath to uphold the Constitution. Accordingly, he HAS done something noteworthy: among other things, he has put his foot down in regard to the illegal-alien invasion of Arizona and this country, and he is investigating Obama, based on credible criminal evidence. It’s not Arpaio’s fault that the illegal-alien invasion of Arizona has been of such a massive scale as to probably overwhelm the Sheriff’s office. It is part of the reason Arpaio has taken such a stand against illegal immigration. Therefore the implication that Sheriff Arpaio IGNORES crime of any sort is a despicable LIE. And by the way, you can blame your precious, America-hating special interest groups who have frivolously sued Arizona and Maricopa County, for the millions of defense dollars spent. But the bottom line is that it really is no surprise that a law-enforcement man of integrity, who actually honors his oath to uphold the Constitution, would be so hated by the Sinistra (left) of this country.

172. says

Katherine, the lower the orbit the faster the orbit. You might be able to have the smaller body figure-8 around both bodies.

3 body problems are non-trivial;-)

173. says

Here are some more statistics racked up by Sheriff Joe Arpaio:

40 million lost in lawsuits brought against the County by people treated unjustly under Joe Arpaio’s watch 20,000 outstanding felony warrants 174. Home briefly, despite it being a workday… cannabinaceae: My dream product is a service that takes your physical library, converts it to audio/e books, Ooooh… if you could “rip” books to electronic files the way you can audio CDs…. </drool> *** SQB: Also, the PFt! confirms my sneaking suspicion that the speed of a moon is tied to its distance from the planet and its weight mass It’s been more than a decade since my orbital mechanics classes, but IIRC, the orbital speed depends on the size of the orbit and the mass of the primary, but not on the mass of the orbiting object (it falls out of the calculations). This is why geosynchronous orbits are the same for all satellites, regardless of their size/mass. This may be based on the assumption that M[primary]>>m[secondary], but I believe it holds for any planet-moon system that merits that name rather than double-planet. 175. chigau (違う) says Isn’t lead (Pb) white(ish) under some circumstances? Can the smaller moon be artificial? Or does that add another six volumes to the trilogy? 176. @The Sailor: Hum… well how about this. The smaller moon’s orbit is eccentric somehow so that it only shows up during summer nights because the people on the continent are at too low of a latitude to see it during most of the year (basically where Australia would be.) Quicker orbital speed, but it’s still slow enough to blot out the bigger moon. @Bill Dauphin: Right, I noticed that too. @Chigau: A moon made entirely of lead, eh? That’d be sufficiently massive. And I’d rather not fall into the “a wizard did it” trope cause that feels like a cop out. I’m already verging on “AWDI” with the fact that the magic in the planet is really an energy source in long lines of magical energy (yes, ley lines) that spider-web off from a central point near the center of the continents. 177. janine says Surprising, ain’t it? Damned typo monster is now eating words. 178. @janine: Snackrifices must be made to Tpyos. 179. chigau (違う) says Janine “ain’t” already contains an “it”. I think. 180. Ohhoho! I found the simulator again, yay. I’m gonna play around when I get home to make an accurate three-body (technically four cause of the sun but I’ll not worry about that) orbital system. Mwehehe! 181. Rey Fox says Ha! Syggyx is almost out of here. How is that utter fuckhead still getting another chance? 182. janine says How is that utter fuckhead still getting another chance? Because our beloved poopy headed dictator is a benevolent tyrant. 183. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says Tethys, (*Jedi mind-trick*) that is not the mold I’m looking for(*/Jedi mind-trick*) but I appreciate the thought. :) Crip Dyke, if you need user testimonials, I’m a BOOK user of long standing, and a completely satisfied customer. The BOOK medium also offers another distinct advantage: once manufactured, the information in your BOOK is immune to both retro-bowdlerisation and/or deletion, and spamming by malicious hackers. :) Sheriff Arpaio does indeed sound like something you wouldn’t want to step in. 184. Rey Fox says The only use I could see for keeping ssyvgsygskx around was as a convenient reference point, since he’s wrong on absolutely everything (except he seems to have lucked into the “no gods” thing). But after that last comment, he should be consigned to the outer darkness post haste. He’s either a bigot, a troll, or most likely both. 185. janine says Rey Fox, syggyn is just an other example that just because one does not accept the concept of god, it odes not follow that the person will be a clear thinker or a particularly ethical person. That argument is best left to the godbotherers who maintain that only their sect leads that. 186. Illuminata, Mother Superior of the Holy Order of Maltist Nuns says Esteleth – congrats on getting doctored up!! I am all doctored up, and I threw a party that managed to put away a keg of Rare Vos. Ahhh, the sly fox. Rare Vos was my introduction to craft beer. Love that stuff still. 187. Sili says I can has book!! 188. Sili says I am now seeing Dr. Bunsen Honeydew as a Gorbachev stand-in. Just needs the birth mark. Didn’t you watch Naked Gun? It’s painted on. 189. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says “just because one does not accept the concept of god, it does not follow that the person will be a clear thinker or a particularly ethical person” Janine, you called? =) Cheers everyone. Been busy with work (quelle surprise) and installing a new kitchen floor. It’s finished now. It’s dark hazelnut and it’s gorgeous. Pics may appear somewhere online if I ever find my camera underneath all the junk we had to move to get the floor done. Yesterday, I went to see my Dad, and we had a pleasant discussion about politics, without either of us raising our voices even once. Either he’s getting old and mellow, or I am. Also, spawn #1 turned 17 and told me he wants to enroll next summer at the Open University computational linguistics courses. Me one proud mama. Even if that means he won’t get a summer job and bring in big bucks for his poor ol’ mum. 190. Dave B. says @Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort, Would it work to have three moons? One speedy close one that can cause eclipses, one bigger one in the middle distance, one farther out still that moves at a stately pace and heralds the seasons? Like others have said, in this kind of a system it’s the distance that determines the speed of orbit: the closer in, the faster it moves – just like the planets around the sun or Jupiter’s many moons… But have fun with the simulator, there might be some interesting alternate solutions! :) (And I’m one of those people who will complain loudly if the author gets the moon ‘all wrong!’ – though so far that’s only happened with books that have the moon rising at sunset every night, REGARDLESS OF THE PHASE OF THE MOON. Er, ‘scuse me, need to sit down over here now so the blood pressure doesn’t skyrocket…) ;) 191. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says I keep seeing that stupid WoW commercial featuring Chuckie Norris. Luckily it’s one of those ads that has the option of skipping it after a few seconds, so all I get is the setup to their corny Chuck Norris meme. Chuck Norris jokes haven’t been funny for years now. 192. @Dave B: Eheh, I’m the same sort of person, that’s why it’s so frustrating to me to write. Heck, I had to have my sister hit me with a breakfast sausage to see whether it would hurt (it does… I don’t know if she held back, she can be mean sometimes.) I’m almost the kind of geek to go to conventions with the typical “in episode 43 engineer Cutliss opened up a manifold string on the warp core, but in episode 24 you’d clearly indicated that manifold strings wouldn’t work on warp core breaches – so which is it?” but then I remember that every time you question logic in anime, video games, and TV – God kills a catgirl. The best solution I’m thinking is an odd stable orbit. Or perhaps even a regular orbit but out-of-line with the other moon except for the summer months (so it’s still visible, but only eclipses the white moon during the summer.) Again, short of “a wizard did it” I really can’t explain the way the moons would work properly… @TLC: I’m severely upset with Blizzard now that they’ve invited two homophobic people to work on WoW stuff with them. We got Chuck Norris (who I know is playing up the meme, but still) and then the Cannibal Corpse thing at Blizzcon. It’s like, geeze Mike, who’re you trying to please? 193. Richard Austin says Katherine Lorraine, So, let me see if this is correct. You have two moons. The big one’s pretty typical. The smaller one is in slightly faster than geosynchronous orbit, so that it is visible in the sky, day and night, for 4 months (or so) over any specific spot on the surface. I think you could get it to work, though the smaller one is going to be much closer to the planet than the further one and thus much smaller than you had estimated if it’s to appear as the same size in the sky. 194. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says Chuck Norris jokes haven’t been funny for years now. Yes….for exactly the same number of years as there has been Chuck Norris jokes. 195. @Richard Austin: That’s about right. I’m gonna throw some ideas at that simulator I posted later, maybe see what I can do with the system. Now I’m also pondering an actual double-planet scenario, but then we’ve got all sorts of other problems with that. 196. chigau (違う) says I always thought that Chuck Norris was a joke. 197. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says Pretty much, yeah. 198. Additionally I could just reverse the system so we have a double-planetoid in constant dance with the “important” hemisphere and the moon actually being a big moon that is slow enough to show up for four months in the year all menacing and “rawr I’m a big moon and I’m gonna eat your little happy moon” and everyone’s all “oh no better store our crops” and then the moon goes away for another eight months. So dancing moon would be the white “Protector” and the big scary moon would be the red “Destroyer.” 199. I have just been (unoffically) fired. I’m informed my last day is 1/14. Considering I’m unionized and yet to be officially written up or have anyone go through the disciplinary process I’m not sure how this works. PI’s advice for me? ‘Go to vocational school and learn real skills. What can you do? Play with piglets, plant beans? Do you even have any other skills?” Fuck my life. This is why I’m done with the sciences. I can’t stand the sight of this place anymore. I just wanted to go in and help research and learn and instead have had my PI stonewall my grad application, refused to teach me any of the technical sides of the job, belittle me daily, insult my personal life, call me an idiot, berate my education, insult my personality and make inferences to my genetic fitness. I hate this whole culture of ‘learned’ people feeling they have a blank check to pissing on anyone who is a degree short of them. 200. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says Ing: that sounds like a major suck. Hugs, if you go for that sort of thing. If not, then stand tall, comrade! And don’t give up. Learning – or ‘learning’, as you so promptly put it – in itself does not make anyone wise, or even smart. At least, that’s my excuse. 201. chigau (違う) says Ing jeez Can your union do anything? 202. @Chigau Good question. I’ve filled out forms for harassment complaints and sent them off an e-mail to ask what else I should do now. 203. carlie says Ing – well, fuck. Definitely keep following up on the union stuff. It might not get you to keep your job, but might at least get you a month or so of severance. Virtual comfort doesn’t help much, but a few hugs and a few pretend beers are yours if you want ’em. 204. AndrewD says ahs, I think the quote you were looking for up thread, may be @63 in the Grr..ecklund thread. Check it out 205. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says chigau: I sorta assumed that Ing is USian, therefore, the unions can do sweet fuck all. But now I realize that I do not know. Ing, you from the States or somewhere else? 206. Brownian says Ing, that is seriously shitty. Hugs. 207. My union is supposed to be fairly strong and seems proactive which is a plus. And by my contract there doesn’t seem to be a way to easily get rid of me like my PI wants. There is a well established process which they seem to not want to go through instead favoring trying to bully me into leaving on my own. The boss also tried to discourage me from going to the union because they said it wouldn’t do me any good because I lack credibility and they are awesome….so of course the first thing I did after that was to go to the union. 208. says Ing, figure how to make them pay. Literally. You don’t want to work in a place with such a toxic atmosphere anyway, so don’t try to keep the job. But don’t let the Powers That Be know that you don’t want the job, let them think you’re fighting to keep your job because they don’t have grounds to fire you. The idea is to make them come up with an offer of mucho money to get you to go quietly. Money, and an agreement that states they must provide you with a good recommendation for another job — that’s probably the best you’re going to get out of this. I assume the union will provide you with a lawyer? You have to have legal representation to battle the Overlords. 209. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says Ing, definitely make sure your PI jusmps through the union contract hoops of documentation and proper procedure. My guess, this will eventually come to attention of the legal department where you work. Since this could likely result in a wrongful termination suit, the legal department will step in (and step on) the PI to make sure any suit doesn’t happen. 210. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says *hugs/boozes/chocolates/bacons/BOOKS* for Ing. Sounds like The Suck is strong with your PI. Definitely pursue whatever union-related remedies are available. At the very least, it should establish the PI as being a bad actor; and sticking hir with a union Seal of Disapproval might at least serve as a useful Warning to Others. Hi, Algernon! *waves* 211. Dave B. says @Ing: Whoa. That’s awful. I’m with Lynna on this one, though – don’t let them know they’re getting to you that bad and fight back in the languages they understand. It sounds borderline criminal what they’re trying to do. @Katherine Lorraine: Yeah, something weirdly elliptical might work, and could have the added benefit of being slightly unstable, if its orbit occasionally brought it close enough to the bigger body that its gravity would have enough of an effect to slowly change it – which could be used as a plot point in the sequel perhaps? ;) OH! And while I’m thinking of it, I should recommend to you the book “Far-Seer” by Robert J. Sawyer. It’s a parallel of Galileo’s life set on a tidally locked moon in orbit around a gas giant planet. An excellent book where planetary physics is central to the story :D 212. Algernon says Fuck my life. This is why I’m done with the sciences. I can’t stand the sight of this place anymore. I just wanted to go in and help research and learn and instead have had my PI stonewall my grad application, refused to teach me any of the technical sides of the job, belittle me daily, insult my personal life, call me an idiot, berate my education, insult my personality and make inferences to my genetic fitness. I hate this whole culture of ‘learned’ people feeling they have a blank check to pissing on anyone who is a degree short of them. This is why I work in the business/IT world now. More money, less bullshit. Yay! But seriously, I hope your union can help you (wow… unions!) or something works out for you. It sucks that this is happening to you. Hugs if you want ’em. 213. Sili says Holy fuck, Ing. Good luck nailing the bastard. I hope your union hasn’t been completely declawed. 214. SteveV says Good luck Ing. Oh – keep a diary – write up every last shitty bit of interaction, with names, times and dates. 215. says That’s seriously shitty, Ing. Hopefully the union can give you some options and leverage. 216. Richard Austin says Katherine Lorraine, Geosynchronous orbit is regardless of mass; for something about the size of Earth, it’s a radius of about 42,000 km from the center of the planet and travelling at about 11,000 km/h. Of course, if your larger moon is about the same distance as ours, this means the smaller one is about 1/10th the size of the larger one for it to eclipse perfectly. I’m also not sure what that would do to tides on the planet, but you could make it something less dense so it has less of an effect. 217. says I have some news regarding the main rapist instigator and stalker in my cousin’s case. (It’s actually encouraging for once.) He had started stalking her again, so they worked through the process of getting a restraining order in place. Turns out the hearing went very, very well. Not only was my cousin able to attend (first time she’s been able to brave facing the attacker) but she has been doing well enough with therapy that she was actually able to testify against him at the hearing, which means that we may be able to get more traction in prosecuting the crimes. But more importantly, the rapist was really stupid in court, getting stuff in record that will hopefully 1. pressure authorities to press charges 2. establish evidence that he admits his guilt. My aunt thinks he was rattled by her appearance at the courthouse, but here is what I’m encouraged by: When aksed to state his name for the record, scum said: “Firstname lastname, the rapist.” Judge was understandably surprised by that answer, and asked him if he was agreeing that the court should put this order in place to protect my cousin. He not only agreed with the judge but said that it should probably be put in place for a longer duration. He made no specific threat of why that was necessary, but all the same, that is tantamount to announcing he intends to continue being a danger to her safety. Now, he’s still a minor (although he’s years older than she is), but I fail to understand how anyone is so stupid as to say things on record in court that will obviously come up at trial if one takes place. I can’t help but be grateful that his idiot bravado is helping keep her safe, though. 218. Good evening Yay, I never need to freeze again at a medieval fair. In other words, I finished my Phoenix-Cloak Ing Fuck that shit that’s bad. Make the pay. They’ll probably try to get rid of you no matter what, so find out how badly they want to get rid of you. *hugs if you care for them* cicely That’s is great news. But given your account, I can’t help thinking that this boy was probably crying out “help me I’m a danger to others, do something.” 219. Brother Jed and Brother Micah were on campus today. Fun times. 220. says @Giliell, I’m guessing you meant me not cicley. You know, I wish I could think that he legitimately wants to become a better person, but I don’t think so just based on his interaction with my aunt outside of court. Plus the way that he made a pattern of orchestrating gang rape attacks against my cousin for weeks (even after being removed from the school) really doesn’t make it seem like he’s looking for any kind of aid or absolution here. She has switched to home schooling again after she was stabbed with a pencil some months ago at another school by someone who told her it was a message from rapist. From what we understand of his background, he was removed from his parents’ custody when they brought him into the gang his father belonged to. He has been a part of gang culture arguably his entire life, and has a great deal of violence in his background. It was actually very hard to get the restraining order because foster care system was actively preventing them from doing so. According to the way that state laws work here, apparently, you have to have a physical address to file and the foster system prevented the victim’s family from getting a legitimate address to file the paperwork. It took months to get a workaround. Before the hearing, my aunt ended up standing near him (thankfully the social worker involved for my cousin was able to keep her someplace isolated to prevent a triggering encounter like this at the courthouse) and his court-appointed attorneys and guardian ad-litem. He was openly confrontation toward her and belligerently asked if she “had everything worked out” with regard to future charges. She kept her cool remarkably (she’s actually great at keeping calm in fucked up situations and has a social work background), and told him that they did, adding that “rape’s not cool, bud.” 221. says AndrewD, I think the quote you were looking for up thread, may be @63 in the Grr..ecklund thread. Yes! That’s the one! Thank you, Andrew. 222. Ragutis says 223. says Ing, all the suggestions everyone else has made, and grog, swill, chocolate of your choice coming right up thru the USB port of your choice.. ******************** Katherine, I just had a thought; retrograde rotation of the planet so the moon is ‘stuck’ in the sky for 4 months as it transits the outer moon. The inner moon has to be fairly close (e.g. your thumb can block out the moon;-) and/or a hollow sphere because it can’t have much mass as the orbits start looking like a bad spirograph. (As I’m sure you discovered as you plugged in various values into that orbit generator. Like I did. ;-) An eccentric orbit might work, as an orbit at angles to the system’s rotational plane. +++++++++++++++++++++ In related news; I’m reading a BOOK by Paul Malmount called “The Astounding, The Amazing, and the Unknown”. 1st time I’ve read anything by him. It’s historical/science/detective fiction. The lead characters are Assimov, Henlein, L. Ron Hubbard & L. Sprague De Camp. I like it so far. 224. Ing, that’s terrible. Keep after the union and do whatever you can to fight back. 225. Rev. BigDumbChimp says 226. We went into town today and well, we came home with another rat. It may be a long time before two girls are available and we could not resist, as this little boy (8 weeks old) looks very much like Chas, all the way to the white streak on the nose. He’s an odd-eyed rat, one eye black, one eye ruby, so his name is Rubin. Chas & Esme happily accepted him and Esme started bullying him immediately (and happily). 227. says @Rev BDC, I think that tonight calls for a nice classic cocktail. I’ll make a Manhattan or something when I get home. 228. says @Caine, Rubin is meltingly adorable. I love shot of him and Chas; he look so tiny still! I’m glad he’s been accepted so easily. Hooray for new pets. 229. says Rev, I did not know it was Repeal Day, but I was already celebrating it. Great minds drink alike. 230. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says Caine: OMG OMG OMG! Rubin is too freaking cute! 231. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says Rubin is adorable, Caine! 232. Slignot, thanks! Rubin is teeny tiny, like Esme was when we brought her home. Audley, :D :D :D He is absolutely adorable and handling things much better than Esme did! Thank you. :) 233. says Caine, ‘A, they’re adorable’ The photos are excellent, but I keep thinking it should be a caption contest. 234. slingnot Argh, sorry, of course I meant you. My sincere apologies. It’s been a long day and I promise going to bed now. That whole situation sounds totally fucked up. For your cousin the most and I really hope that she’ll recover even more and will make her way in life, nit unscared, but stronger for it. But, I hope you forgive me if I say that I feel sorry for him, too. A whole life in which he’ll probably do nothing but causing hurt nd pain to other people, because those whose job it was to protect him failed, all of them. Sounds like he’s plaing brave cool criminal. Yes, foster systems can be “wonderful”. Until a few years ago a family could avoid having the kids taken away by moving from county to county. Just when county A had enough solid evidence to go to court, the family would move to county B, which was barred from using the data obtained by A. And A couldn’t go to court anymore because it was non of their business now. And then you get dead or seriously maladjusted kids… Caine He’s beautiful. Now I want a rat. And can’t have one. *sigh* 235. says *** ‘close the damn tag, Sailor, close the tag!’ *** I’m sorry, did I say that out loud? 236. Thanks, TLC! He’s off somewhere with Esme right now. :) Oh, he has absolutely monster ears, too. I love those ears. 237. The Sailor, thanks. The photos are excellent, but I keep thinking it should be a caption contest. No. The last time someone wanted to do that with one of my rat shots, they took the photo without permission. Of course, casual captions here are okay. ;) Giliell: He’s beautiful. Now I want a rat. And can’t have one. *sigh* Aaaw. Thank you. 238. says Whoever posted the pic of the Magdeburg. What a beautiful reproduction! I’ve kept that tab open for days just because it makes me happy to look at it. Ogvorbis; it seems like the 2nd bell has a tube running down to the 1st set of traction wheels. Would that be sand? It seems like this locomotive is a yard engine, (going by the straight stack and the coupling/decoupling appurtenances on the front.) What does the 1st bell do? It seems like it’s just one piston, would it be aligned with both drive wheels at the same spot? I know it’s just a model, but it’s a one off model AFAICT, and it’s fucking beautiful. ++++++++++++++++++ To all, and to ahs: I have an apology to make. My inclusion of ‘GFY’ responding to a comment by ahs was a gratuitous insult and I never should have said it. It’s bothered me all weekend. ahs, my bad, I’m sorry. I stand by everything else I wrote. (I know that was confusing to most here, but sometimes it is about me, and me trying to do the right thing.) 239. Richard Austin says So, last Thursday my boss (a female statistician) and I had a meeting with someone who she and her boss are thinking of bringing into our project. I picked him up at the hotel and drove us to the restaurant, and there the three of us (she, he, and I) had dinner and a conversation for a little over 3 hours. During this, I noticed a trend: whenever she asked him a question, he would look at her while addressing her. However, as soon as he wandered off of the exact answer into general conversation, he was addressing me. I picked up on this about a third of the way through dinner and got very uncomfortable. I even started looking down at the table or out at other things – not at him – while he was talking in an effort to see if he’d then shift to her, but he never did. We were to have various meetings with him all day Friday, and she and I didn’t get a chance to talk, but I hoped she hadn’t noticed it. I also wasn’t sure if maybe I was being overly sensitive to it and it was just “feeling” like he wasn’t paying her any attention. I did try to emphasize that he was mostly there to meet her and not me in subtle ways, but maybe that got lost. I received an email from her (my boss) this morning asking for my opinion on him (she’s gathering everyone’s perspectives), so I wrote up how I felt – and included the awkwardness I felt at dinner. I almost immediately got a phone call from her, saying effectively “I’m so glad you wrote that; I thought maybe I was being overly sensitive or something and was going to ignore it completely.” We decided to discuss it with some of the other women who were in the room on Friday and see how they felt (I wasn’t there for most of the meetings and couldn’t observe his behavior). We both chalked it up to being potentially because he’s worked in very male-dominated industries (IT in the financial sector), but it’s still a spot of concern for working with him in the future (especially as healthcare is very female-dominated in general). Anyway, I almost wish I’d said something at the table, but I wasn’t sure. Now that I am, I have no problem addressing it directly in future meetings with him. I mostly just less-than-thrilled that my boss felt both marginalized and embarassment at feeling marginalized. 240. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says picol @ 127: And just what makes the karate students and musician friends so disreputable? I think there are plenty of so-called Christians who are far worse. Now, as to the predicament: Well. . . yeah, I got nothing really. It was likely better to be honest about your atheism, because hell, things just seem to get worse if you lie first and the truth comes out later. Who wants that? Who knows, maybe you just gave the girl something to think about. You might be the first atheist she’s ever met, and boom! Total honesty right out of the gate? “Really? Wow, wasn’t expecting this…hmm.” AS to not liking her on sight, I can’t recall that ever happening to me. But I wouldn’t want you wasting your time on someone if your first instinct is to loathe them (what if you’re right?). I hope your mom understands that spending time with someone you hate is a waste of precious minutes which could be better used for something more enjoyable. ————————————— Ing, big hugs. Your PI is a pill, no doubt about it. If you must leave, however, I’d make sure to secure a recommendation for other jobs – it’s not like they have any reason not to do so, correct? Money, eh, up to you, but recommendation, definitely. ————————————– The US Post Service? Bankrupt, or at least trying to avoid it by making cuts everywhere? “Not good,” was my first thought upon hearing the news. “How many people haven’t done anything except deliver mail for a job? What will they do when their positions are gone?” Word is, via a friend of a friend of Mom’s, that the branch he works at is installing some machine or other. This means the need for actual flesh-and-blood workers will be gone. And just what are these people who lose their jobs to a machine supposed to do? Now there’s talk of privatizing the postal service. I’m afraid I have my doubts about this as a solution to the problem. Although, much like the world outside right now, my mind is a bit too foggy to think on this more. 241. says Caine, oh I just meant it for local purposes. Like caption for # 3 would be. “She likes me, she’s going to eat me first!” ;-) 242. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says Met with the advisor today. The committee is demanding edits to the thesis, but they’re all minor. Should have them all done within the week. At that point, everything will get signed and delivered to the university and I will be OFFICIALLY GRADUATED. Woohoo! Caine, you ratties are so cute. If I wasn’t horridly allergic to everything furry, I’d give them all a big hug. Ing, I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with that shit. As others have said, document, document, document. The PI doesn’t have cause to fire you. Talk to your union and fight that asshole. 243. ChasCPeterson says Now there’s talk of privatizing the postal service. W.A.S.T.E. 244. madarab says Katherine Lorraine, depending on the rotation of the main body, you can make the satellite move with respect to the ground just about any way that you want. The biggest issue is that the satellite be outside the Roche limit. For Earth that limit is about 9,000km, well within geosynchronous orbit. The tides such a satellite would raise would move very slowly and be dependent on the mass of the satellite and its distance. 245. says we await silent Tristan’s … googling … Tristero’s empire 246. says Richard Austin, I would not have mentioned it at the meal. That’s a social gathering and it’s not your/my place to castigate someone. I would have mentioned it to my boss in a personal setting, as opposed to email. It doesn’t matter what field he’s been in, his education is deficient, IMHO. 247. Richard, I know a lot of men who do that, it always makes me uncomfortable. The Post Office: word came down some time ago that a whole lot of them are being closed here. Out town post office is being axed. 248. says Esteleth, of course they demanded changes, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing their jobs, (heh, heh, heh;-) 249. Esteleth: Caine, you ratties are so cute. If I wasn’t horridly allergic to everything furry, I’d give them all a big hug. Thanks. :) Rats come in a hairless variety, ya know. There were two gorgeous hairless ratties (girls) at the shop today when we got Rubin. 250. Richard Austin says The Sailor, Well, my boss is out of the office today (she’s working from home), so I couldn’t have discussed it in person. We also do a lot of communication via email and text (chat’s common here), and she explicitly requested feedback via email. She’s not putting it in writing anywhere, not at this point, but if there’s consensus on his behavior with the others, it may get put down somewhere as one of the reasons for rejection. Regarding addressing it directly – that’s a question. I could do it in a method that would be “calling it out without calling it out” easily enough – I’m good at that kind of linguistic trick – but the question of how directly one should address discrimination is valid. I agree that a first meeting, especially when I’m not sure, is not appropriate, but if it becomes a pattern, I have no problem calling him out on it, especially if it’s a factor in denying him a position (and it very well may be). 251. says They closed my downtown USPS, but opened one on the edge of town. And stopped sorting mail locally. Also, too, the new one doesn’t leave the lobby open so you can’t access the stamp machine and mailboxes after hours. Really USPS, really? Grover Norquist must be laughing, because they ‘privatized’ the PO, made it a business with a business plan sure to fail, and they’re going to drown it in a bathtub. Some Gov’t services will run at a deficit. Like cops, firemen, health care, postal delivery, but it saves the economy more money in the long run. 252. says Giliell, I got a little busy and I’m only just getting back to TET. But, I hope you forgive me if I say that I feel sorry for him, too. A whole life in which he’ll probably do nothing but causing hurt nd pain to other people, because those whose job it was to protect him failed, all of them. I know what you mean. The system has utterly failed him because not only did it fail to protect him from those who should have had his best interests at heart, but it failed to remove him from aspects of his old life that will in all likelihood keep him from ever being a contributing happy human being. But it also failed to account for his background making him a risk to others and take respectful but appropriate action. If we had social programs to help resocialize children of violent criminals through work with animals or anything fun and engaging that connected with therapy and the foster care system we may end up with a happier less violent population than we have. Of course that would require us to actually invest in social infrastructure and programs instead of just being “tough on crime” and making people pay as little taxes as possible. And with our tax attitudes combined with a very young overall population (Mormon demographics at work), there is never enough money for basic services let alone something that would be seen as coddling young (*cough*brown*cough*) hoodlums. Our coverage of children’s services is always incredibly low by U.S. nationwide averages. I always feel vaguely frustrated when I vote because I have to pick between candidates that hate minorities, women and publicly built infrastructure the least. It was only this year that my local city council elections put in their first minority official, and I live in one of the most diverse cities in the greater Salt Lake area. The local representation has always looked suspiciously like the LDS church leadership, if you follow. Sounds like he’s plaing brave cool criminal. THIS. I couldn’t quite articulate it, but that is precisely my impression. He’s probably incredibly freaked out about impending charges and trying to cover by trying to create a cool/contemptuous badass persona. 253. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says Is it just me, or were the children’s shows I grew up with as a wee whelp just so much better than the ones on offer today? Deconstructing children’s programs with my ex is fun and all, it’s just that there’s only so much of it a grownup can stand. When I was a kid we had Mr Dressup (btw was anyone else terrified of that talking owl picture?) and The Friendly Giant. Now we have Barney and ‘The Wiggles’. Dora the explorer just annoys the piss out of me. And what’s up with Foursquare? Is that not the most irritating children’s program going or what? The ones with songs and poems are tolerable, I guess, but usually it’s just four grown adults going “CHECK OUT THIS ANNOYING NOISE I CAN MAKE! DERP DERP DERP DERP! NOW YOU TRY!” OTOH, is it unethical for me to find amusement in how much my ex can’t stand the stupidity of ‘In The Night Garden’? 254. Rev. BigDumbChimp says grass, get the hell off it. 255. says ahs, you just like to argue, I usually refuse to engage. I was wrong. You win. ++++++++++++++++++++++++ Richard, I wish you and your lab(?) good luck with the candidate selection. ++++++++++++++++++++++++ In other news: Alan Sues has shuffled off this mortal coil. 256. Father Ogvorbis, OM says it seems like the 2nd bell has a tube running down to the 1st set of traction wheels. Would that be sand? The ‘bumps’ on top of the boiler, those are the domes. One would be the steam dome, in which the throttle is located which allows steam into the dry pipe and thence to the valves and cylinders. There is often one or two other domes, called sand domes. These may be bell shaped or truncated rectangles (in latitudinal profile) in shape. They hold dry sand for traction. The sand travels down a tube which ends directly above the rail either in front of or behind (for reverse movements) one or more drive wheels. Interestingly, the first recorded railroad to use sanders was one of the early railroads in New Jersey. They hired seven and eight year old boys to sit on the pilot beam of the locomotive with a bucket of sand. When the boys heard the sudden rapid chugging that signifies slippage, they were expected to dribble sand on the track in front of the locomotive (since the locomotive had no pilot wheels, the sand (or some of it, anyway) would still be on the rail when the dive wheel arrived. The Camden & Amboy Railroad quickly discovered that, though cheap, little boys were extremely unreliable as they tended to get sleepy or bored. The C&A replaced them with mechanical sanders. The C&A also had the first ‘cow-catchers’. Not the barred pilot familiar to most, these were low-slung flatcars, riding on two axles, with about twenty very stout barbed spears. the pilots are not meant to knock the cow off the track but to prevent the large animals, or rocks or tree trunks, from getting under the locomotive and possibly derailing it. It seems like this locomotive is a yard engine, (going by the straight stack and the coupling/decoupling appurtenances on the front.) No. This is an early passenger or freight locomotive. It is very similar to ones used on Belgian railroads, some of which had very large drive wheels. The tall straight stack was to, first of all, get the smoke up high enough so the engineer could see the track ahead (later locomotives, with larger boilers, couldn’t have the tall stack as things like bridges and tunnel portals would knock the stacks off) and, as the stack got hotter, it would aid in the draft (later locomotives with shorter stacks depended more on the Venturi effect of the exhausted steam to draw the smoke through the tubes and out the stack). The ‘coupling/decoupling appurtenances’ are early versions of a fairly standard European design. The hook in the middle of the pilot beam (there would have been one on the back of the tender wherein the fuel and water for the locomotive was carried) anchored a chain which allowed the engine to pull a line of cars. The buffers on the ends of the pilot beam allowed the engine to push cars (try pushing something with a chain — won’t work). What does the 1st bell do? The first bell (which is a dome) is the steam dome. This gets the throttle opening far enough above the surface of the boiling water in the boiler to prevent liquid water entering the power system. It seems like it’s just one piston, would it be aligned with both drive wheels at the same spot? THere are two pistons, one on each side. This locomotive is equipped with inside-link valve gear — all of the extra rods, as well as the valves themselves, are located in the steam chest between the cylinders. Later locomotives, even those with valve timing takeoffs located inside the locomotive frame, had the valves located on the outside of the steam chest, above the main drive cylinders. This allowed easier maintenance. The engine has two single-stroke pistons — both strokes, forward and back, are powered. The wheels are quartered, 90 degrees out of phase. This way, even if one piston is in full forward or full back — a dead spot for power — the other piston is in midstroke, ideally positioned for either forward or reverse power. Yeah, it is pretty. But these things were industrial machines. Leaving it in natural metal and making it all shiny. to me, makes it look unnatural. Give it the proper paint job (in Saxony, I think that would have been red or light green depending on the year) and then weather it so it looks like it has been doing the job for which it was designed and I might think it beautiful. It is a model of a working machine and should look like one (to me). The US Post Service? Bankrupt, or at least trying to avoid it by making cuts everywhere? “Not good,” was my first thought upon hearing the news. “How many people haven’t done anything except deliver mail for a job? What will they do when their positions are gone?” And the right wing idiots are already talking about how important it is to privatize it because private industry would be so much more efficient (and non-union (though they don’t say that)). They don’t say that we’d be paying between8.00 and $12.00 to send a letter, of course. They want to return the US to the pre-railroad days when mail service was only for the wealthy. Thpppt. Now there’s talk of privatizing the postal service. I’m afraid I have my doubts about this as a solution to the problem. Although, much like the world outside right now, my mind is a bit too foggy to think on this more Should have read more before ranting. Sorry. I have no doubts at all that this would be an absolute failure of a solution. 257. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says Hi all! I am completely Thread-bankrupt, yet I come with a request. Terrible, I know. But my 7-year-old told me today that she feels like we’re the only family in the world that doesn’t believe in God. My 12-year-old knows there’s a world of atheists out there but it seems I’ve neglected to make sure his little sister realizes that. She was telling me that sometimes at school she pretends she believes in God so people will “be friends” with her. If it’s not too precious, I wonder if anyone has a moment to post a quick “Hi” to Bella and tell her you don’t believe in God? I think it would do wonders. Thanks in advance :) Hoping everyone is well, commencing winter merrymaking, and that I can catch up with the Thread later this evening! 258. changeable moniker says Oh, TLC. Do you not love the Ninky Nonk? Or the Pinky Ponk*? I think they’re all brilliantly bonkers. And why does Makka Pakka keep soaping those rocks? Actually, that one I understand. [Aside: IIRC, educational psychologists in the 90s worked out that meaningless baby-talk, and repetition thereof, is actually better at developing language skills in very small kids than soliloquies from grownups. Hence, Teletubbies and Night Garden.] Dora, however, is just a very shouty bossyboots (pun intended). “Stand up! Stand up!!” Erm, no. *Also, the Pinky Ponk has cooler music. Case closed. 259. Father Ogvorbis, OM says Hi, Bella. I am an atheist. As is my wife and both of my children. I do not believe that god, any god, exists. 260. says kristinc, it got very complicated very quickly. This is what I got: Hi Bella, there are billions of people who don’t believe in God. There are thousands of us just on this tiny blog. I understand it is easier to just go along with your friends, I do that too, but in my heart, I know better. The most important thing to me is to be true to myself. 261. Hi Bella! I’m an atheist and so is my husband. We live in North Dakota where there aren’t a lot of atheists, so I understand how you feel. There are more atheists than you can imagine though, so don’t feel alone. 262. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says grass, get the hell off it. This is winter in Dah Midwest. Any resemblance between the gray scruff in my yard and grass is purely coincidental. 263. says Thanks for the train reply, Ogvorbis, I appreciate learning more about a subject I am fond of. 264. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says Hi Bella, the Redhead and I have been atheists since before we were married, 35+ years ago. We still hide under “dinner table diplomacy” and, in her case, peer pressure. 265. Dhorvath, OM says Hah, I am knee deep in grass season. 266. Dhorvath, OM says Hi Bella, I am not a believer in any deity, nor have I been since I had the notion that belief existed. Growing up in the culture I did I even had the luxury of always being in the open about it. You have friends here if that isn’t the case for you. 267. Father Ogvorbis, OM says Sailor: I find it useful to actually type out some of the explanations. It helps make it more clear in my mind. So no problem. Good that at least one person appreciates what I ahve learned. And a preposition is something you don’t end a sentence with! 268. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says Ogvorbis, I’m beginning to think that failure is the only thing these people are good at. They see it as winning, I’m sure, when they get to act like the lords and ladies and the res of us must be the serfs. 269. says Grass has 2 meanings to me. The lawn stuff is currently being covered by freezing rain after surviving a minor snowfall. The other is just fine after being harvested before the snow or freezing rain. 270. Father Ogvorbis, OM says I’m beginning to think that failure is the only thing these people are good at. First, read the second part of #285. Thpppt! Second, I view modern conservatism as a rather extreme but logical outgrowth of the stock investment mentality. Screw the future, ignore the past, make a quick buck now. 271. says Ogvorbis, I see what you did at #285, and that is something of which I will not put. 272. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says Bella: I think God reminds me too much of a saturday morning cartoon villain to be real. Also, I think real friends should care more about who you are as a person, than whether you believe in this ‘God’ or not. And there are people like that. 273. says ahs, you just like to argue, I usually refuse to engage. I was wrong. You win. You’re being dishonest now, Sailor. Stop distorting what happened in order to feed your ego. You said something I disagreed with. I responded civilly: It should matter. It matters to straight folks to be seen with their dates or partners, and have their relationships, flings and one night stands recognized and praised. Public recognition of queerness should matter not only now for the sake of normalizing, but also in the future for the sake of normalcy, like straight people’s displays are normal. You responded incivilly, by repeating your intution without demonstrating any consideration for what I’d said. You could have explained why you disagreed with what I said. You could have let it go. Instead you responded dismissively, like you just knew better than I did. That is what I took issue with. You don’t get to claim the moral high ground here. You acted like an asshole to me when I had treated you with civility. Please quit lying about it. 274. Father Ogvorbis, OM says Ogvorbis, I see what you did at #285, and that is something of which I will not put. My mom was an English major the first year she was in college. She used to correct us constantly. And our friends. We still do the same to our kids and their friends. I still feell quite guilty when a preposition is what I finish a sentence with. 275. says It is nothing but unkindness to refuse to acknowledge that you were initially dismissive to me, Sailor. Given such unkindness, you ought not to congratulate yourself for apologizing over such a triviality as cussing at me. It is a genuine unkindness to reduce my feelings to only “wanting to argue.” You can’t see me as a human being. It’s no wonder you can’t treat me like one. 276. Hello Bella! Not only am I an atheist, but I’m in a club full of atheists. And today when I was on campus, I met a bunch of new people who are also atheists. 277. says It’s kind of amazing, how you’ve imagined it. To think that I really care about being told to go fuck myself. I don’t. It’s just not a big deal. I had forgotten that part entirely. What I didn’t forget is that you refused to even think about why I disgreed at the point when we were still disagreeing civilly. What I won’t forget now, Sailor, is how you have to reduce me to a one-dimensional caricature of a human in order to justify your treatment of me. I accept your apology for telling me to go fuck myself. Don’t worry about that. You didn’t hurt my feelings with that part. 278. says Hi Bella, I live in Australia, and I often see kangaroos when I am riding my motorcycle to work. I am also an atheist, but hardly anybody here cares. It’s really true about the kangaroos, but don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that you’d see them in big cities. It’s like deer in America. 279. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says Ahs and Sailor: I get wherein the disagreement lies. Sailor meant ‘shouldn’t matter’ as in ‘people shouldn’t act all shocked about it’, but Ahs figures it SHOULD matter as in gay relationships should get as much recognition as straight relationships. As a (relatively) privileged straight guy myself, ‘Shouldn’t matter’ would have been my first thought too. Where Sailor appears to go wrong is in failing to check his privilege, and listen to what an actual gay person thinks about this issue. Sailor, I like you, but in this case, you really need to listen to what Ahs is saying. 280. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says Giliell, to me it doesn’t sound like a boy “crying out for help”, but a young man who is confident (maybe a bit smugly) that his legal-minor status will see him get away with it clean, or with at best a slap on the wrist; and possibly meaning to play up his disadvantageous upbringing for sympathy, as well. Or I could be needlessly cynical. Hi, Bella! Another atheist, here. Here’s something you might want to keep in mind, not just for now, since most kids don’t give much thought to whether the things their parents taught them to believe are true or not, but for as you get older as well: not all of the other people around you really believe in a god, either. Some of them will also be pretending, maybe so “others will like them”; or maybe because they think (rightly or not) that it would upset their parents, and make them mad—and sometimes, they’d be right. You just have to do the best you can…but remember, there are a lot of us! 281. says Rev, I wish I’d known that last night. The date matches with sinterklaas, so perhaps the bloke might have permitted me a chocolate martini. (Does gin even go with chocolate? Sounds bad, so the T10 and Hendricks stash should be at no risk.) Vodka, I guess, with creme de cacao and a hagelslag topping. 282. Rev. BigDumbChimp says This song is constantly stuck in my head from a Heiniken commercial so I had to track it down and… win 283. Rev. BigDumbChimp says heineken that is 284. carlie says Hi Bella, I don’t believe in God, but it took me a long time to realize it was a made-up story. Not until I was over 30 years old! My 13 year old son does believe in God, but my 12 year old son doesn’t I think; he’s not quite sure yet. I think he knows there isn’t any evidence, but it makes him feel a little nicer to think that there might be. I’m trying to let them each figure out on their own what they want to believe, but I’m being sure that they know they don’t have to believe anything they hear about God just because an adult says so, and that they know that there isn’t any real evidence for the stories in the Bible. 285. Rey Fox says Hi, Bella. I am 31 years old, in graduate school (yes, some people go to school when they’re that old!), and I am an atheist. It’s okay to not believe in anything that people can’t show to you. 286. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says @ Kitty Have you also considered a dust cloud? It would then also be able to change its shape or become partly transparent. Modelling it may be a problem (but alternatively no-one can prove you wrong). I suspect things like that tend to get hoovered up by nearby planets, but you will only need it for a few hundred years. It could “scratch” at the sky with shooting stars when it appears. I am really intrigued how your story is going to turn out. @ chigau No luck yet wrt the rockwok. You will definitely recognise the naturally occuring ones when you see them. Be careful when heating, I don’t want to be the cause of blowing you up. @ Caine Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww……!!! (I want a rodent.) @ Dr Esteleth, Ph.D. Just testing out your new title. Looks good. @ Sailor Whoever posted the pic of the Magdeburg. {raises paw} Mea culpa. Beautiful model trains but difficult to photograph because of the way they are displayed (bright lights and reflections). I should go and take some more pix soon. @ TLC Well put. 287. Father Ogvorbis, OM says Beautiful model trains but difficult to photograph The real thing, especially steam locomotives, can be dificult, too. If you expose for the black locomotive, everything else is washed out. If you expose for the background, the engine is a featureless black blob. I confess to using two, three, even four photos to get one useable image for an exhibit. Good job on that photo. 288. chigau (違う) says Hello Bella I live in Canada and I am atheist. So is my husband. I’ve been an atheist for more than 40 years and I’m just fine. You will be fine, too. 289. Hey, Bella… I guess it might be after your bedtime as I write this, but maybe you’ll read it tomorrow. Anyway, like Carlie, it took me a long time to figure things out (you’re ahead of the game, thanks, I’m sure, to your parents): For years I tried really hard to talk to God, and I was really slow to figure out there wasn’t anyone listening. But it’s OK: Life is wonderful (most of the time, except when it sometimes isn’t for a little while) without any need for God, and I think you’ve learned tonight how many really great people don’t need to believe in God (or any god) in order to be happy. PS: I bet some of your school friends don’t really believe, either, but they’re afraid to say so. You really, really aren’t alone. 290. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says Thank you everyone! Bella says “Thank you, I thought I was alone in the world with my parents”. I appreciate so much that this is a place where people will take a couple minutes to “speak” to a child (that they don’t even know personally!) as if s/he is a real person who matters. 291. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says people will take a couple minutes to “speak” to a child (that they don’t even know personally!) as if s/he is a real person who matters. They are real people who matter. I’m glad we could help. 292. A couple of thoughts on the Postal Service (aside from the general point that the right wing’s broad attack on all public sector workers is way beyond reprehensible): 1. A national postal service is an essential element of sovereignty, and shouldn’t have to “pay for itself” any more than the military or the Justice Department or the State Department does. As with public schools, the essential thing about the Postal Service is that it is accountable to, and bears authority derived from, the fucking public. For certain document and package delivery tasks, this is a vital element that no for-profit private courier can duplicate, by the very definition of private. IMNSHO, the Postal Service ought to be fully funded by public funds, and fair rates should be maintained without regard to any attempt to show an operating profit, or even break even. This is an essential service provided by the government to its citizens; it is not, and should not have to be, a fucking business. It’s perfectly reasonable to talk about operational changes to improve efficiency and reduce cost, just as it is with any government agency… but talk of bankruptcy and privatization is quite literally un-American. 2. All the talk about e-mail and commercial couriers making the mail obsolete ignores the truly vital nature of bulk mail service. “What!?!?,” I hear you saying. “Junk mail is supposed to be vital now??” Well, yes, it is: Just trying running a campaign for municipal office, state rep, state senate — really any office whose constituency is smaller than a whole congressional district — without direct mail. Online social networking and blogs help some, but it’s really impossible for a small campaign — especially a poorly funded small campaign — to get its word out to voters without direct mail. Broadcast TV and radio are useless for targeting small populations; cable TV is only marginally better; and newspaper ads are largely understood to be a waste of money, even in places that still have decent newspapers. And all those forms of paid media are significantly more expensive than direct mail. And because bulk mail is (so far, at least) relatively cheap, it is a small-d democratic form of communication: Its loss would disproportionately damage progressive candidates and grass-roots progressive advocacy, compared to the relatively better funded right wing, which can afford to waste money on inefficient (but powerful) paid media. Trust me on this: I’ve experienced a municipal campaign in which our Republican opponents spent more on newspaper ads on Election Day alone than our entire budget for the whole campaign… and that’s ads in an evening paper that didn’t even hit the streets until about 4 hours before the polls closed! I think the loss of bulk mail would be a crippling blow to progressive activism at the local level, and thus a true threat to our democracy; if the cost of keeping it is that my tax dollars also subsidize a bunch of useless commercial mailings… well, I can easily live with that. 293. Theophontes: @ Caine Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww……!!! (I want a rodent.) :D They are completely worth it. For realz. 294. Althea: chocolate martini. (Does gin even go with chocolate? Sadly, the world is full of philistines who will call any old drink a martini as long as it’s served in a “martini” glass (more properly called a cocktail glass)… even if it’s never been in the same county as gin, or even gin’s poor country cousin, vodka. <sigh> 295. chigau (違う) says Bill Dauphin re martini Amen! 296. says Well, yes, Bill, quite so. That’s why I’m not sure that my personal bartender would allow the usage. But perhaps if the gin were not threatened, he might not care. And if I had a chocolate alcomohol drink, then I might not care. We do live a good life. I have a personal bartender and brewer; he has a personal cook. 297. Alethea: I have a personal bartender and brewer; he has a personal cook. There’s very little drinking of the hard type in Chez Caine, but I do have a personal brewer and we both have a personal cook. Life is indeed good. 298. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says This whole darn thread is just as sickeningly precious as kidthulu. I’ve been having a really, really crappy 28 hours or so & I can’t tell y’all what it meant to read this thread, especially but not only the notes to Bella. If you’re still listening, Bella, my life is very complicated with how I deal with god. Some of my family is Jewish and some is Christian. Most of them believe in God, but they don’t agree on what it means or what they should do if God was really there. I was taken to some Christian churches when I was young, but I didn’t really know what I was. I kept thinking, “What am I supposed to be?” instead of being the same me that enjoys asking questions during other conversations when the conversation turns to God. I’ve been Jewish for a long time, and so many people I love are Jewish. I also like my rabbi, and there are a lot of really great things that Jewish people do for each other. Most of it happens around food, which makes it even better. So, even though I have asked my questions and think that God is a kind of magic and I don’t believe in magic, I still go to Jewish services and get togethers sometimes. None of them are people who wouldn’t care about me anymore if I told them I don’t believe in God. But they do like Judaism, and if I didn’t go to the gatherings, I wouldn’t see my friends nearly as much. Sometimes I wonder, Am I just pretending to believe in God so people will like me? I’ve figured out, though, that I can like people who believe in God, and go to their houses and be nice to them and respect how much Judaism has been important to them and other people in my family and other people I love for a really, really long time. And, I can do that without saying something i don’t believe and without losing these close, close friends. I still get to be me and I still get to have my friends. It’s not easy. A lot of what isn’t easy is just figuring things out inside yourself – What do you think is okay to say or do when you’re visiting with someone who believes in God? But when you figure it out for you, if you are honest to the people around you, the good ones will like you whether you believe in their God or not. They really, really will. So you’re not along being someone who doesn’t believe in God. You’re not even in a family that are all by yourselves together. All the people that are really good friends? You might make mistakes looking for them, and sometimes that might hurt, but the really , truly good friends will be there for you, God or No God. It’s the being there for you that makes them good friends. Take care Bella. I’ll think about you in the next couple of days and hope you feel less alone and feel more like you can have your friends and still be yourself. You sound like someone who is going to do a lot of good things in the world, Bella, so I’m very happy to have “met” you over the computer. Good night! or Good morning if you’ve already been to sleep! Crip Dyke. 299. Josh, Official SpokesGay says 1. Bankrupt. 2. Does anyone have a recommendation for a browser that even approximates the old Firefox (as in the 3 series)? I’m so goddamned sick of bloated browsers, or interfaces that force me to use tabs and won’t let me have a menu drop-down for things such as bookmarks. Any help appreciated. 300. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says @ Josh Try Seamonkey… Link 301. says for Rorschach: Neil Gaiman singing with Amanda Palmer Thanks Carlie, love it ! The 2 are doing a soiree together here on New Years Eve, and I’m very tempted to go. In other news, stomach ulcer. Was it the stress or the Jameson I wonder. 302. Orange Utan says @Josh Does anyone have a recommendation for a browser that even approximates the old Firefox (as in the 3 series)? How about Firefox 3.6? 303. Orange Utan says I am of course assuming you’re complaining about the bloat in later versions in their race to Firefox !!!elebentyone!!!11111™ 304. Josh, Official SpokesGay says Le Dauphin It might amuse you to know I was scrolling rapidly up the thread and just happened to land on a random sentence and instantly knew it had to be you, even though I had no context and no username. Your style gives you away. :) 305. Josh, Official SpokesGay says Theo– thanks for the tip. Orange Utan – I don’t know when the bloat started, but it’s awful. I loathe not being able to have a menu bar with actual titles such as “file” “edit” and “bookmarks”. Do not make me mouse around and click twice as many times to do basic things. Arrgh. Why do they do this? Rorschach – Shit, I’m sorry! What’s the treatment for a stomach ulcer? Hopefully it doesn’t include life-long alcohol abstinence? 306. Josh, completely remove the version of Firefox you have now and install an older version. (I keep a folder of downloads, so I have old versions of browsers handy.) 307. Crudely Wrott says Hello Bella! I think it’s wonderful that you are thinking seriously about the things that people believe in. There are so many different things and some of them seem to be so strange. I know that they can be confusing. Sometimes it can be hard for a kid to even think about them. That happened to me when I was a kid. It took me a long time to decide about some things. Sometimes I made up my mind to believe in something only to change my mind later. Believing in God was one of those things. First I didn’t believe, then later I did, then later I didn’t! Wow. It was confusing sometimes! Here is the important part. All the time that you are wondering, even all the time you feel confused, you are learning things about yourself. That might not be obvious to you now but as you grow older the things you have learned will help you to know what to believe and what to not believe. You will get more comfortable with yourself and you will start to know why you decide to believe in something. Also, you will learn about how other people form their beliefs, too. There are lots of people who don’t believe in God. You might not notice them because they look just like everybody else. I think that you will get a surprise every now and then when you find one of them. So don’t worry, Bella, atheists are all around and each one has their own story to tell. I hope you meet one in person real soon. I wish that person could be me but I don’t live where you do but at least you know that I live somewhere! I will think of you and those thoughts will be happy ones. I hope that we can hear more from you as time goes by. Your friend, Crudely :) PS Give your Mom a hug for telling us about you! 308. Genn Fury of the Desolate Furies says Dear Bella I know it can be difficult, feeling like you’re the only one who stands out. Sometimes it can downright make you feel like a freak, especially when it’s about something so commonly accepted and unquestionable as religion. When I was 12, I was one of those obnoxious little snots who wouldn’t be your friend if you didn’t believe what I believed. I was wrong. More than that, I was dumb and I missed out on great friendships with great people which would have made my life better. They were no poorer for not having me for a friend, but I sure was for not having them! I was lucky in that I eventually found out how wrong and hurtful I was – as I hope most of the kids around you will. I still wonder how many kids I hurt through my self-righteous arrogance. I’ve been an atheist for most of my life (including when I was so obnoxious and self-righteous about religion!), even though I didn’t know it. I realized it about 5 years ago and to this day, my husband and one of my friends are the only people I told. It’s scary being different, and it’s hard being the odd one out, but you are so lucky to have your parents and family on your side! I don’t know what else to say other than that what you believe or don’t believe should make no more difference to anything than the colour of your hair or eyes, but I know it still does and that it still hurts, and although I work hard (in secret, behind the scenes) to help make that so one day, we’re not there yet. Until that day, I wish you strength, courage and integrity, qualities which, from what I’ve heard, you’ve already got in spades. 309. says Josh, before going all out for reinstalls, try Alt-V, and see if it brings your menu bar back. That’s(windows) Alt-V for View > Toolbars > Menu Bar Do any versions of firefox NOT have the standard menu bar? It’s possible to hide it, but I’m not aware of any that don’t have it at all. 310. says BTW, I think it’s also command-V on mac (the curly one) but would have to check when I get home. Windows alt-F also gets the file menu, alt-B the bookmarks etc. 311. Genn Fury of the Desolate Furies says @ Dr Esteleth, Ph.D. (thanks theophontes!) So many congratulations! slignot That sounds horrific. I’m glad that the court thing went well but I’m so sorry that it was necessary in the first place. I swear, this world, sometimes… Caine, Fleur du Mal Your ratties are gorgeous. I just LOVE Esme’s colouring, did I tell you that already? Those warm fawny/foxy tones are absolutely to die for! (Although I’ll be honest and admit, that first pick of Rubin kindof freaked me out. Just a wee bit. RED EYED RAT! Eeeek!) Privatizing the postal service? WTF, does no one in power read Terry Pratchett? Going Postal addressed this beautifully, although in this book it’s the “clacks” that’s privatized. Same principle applies, though. 312. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says Thanks again all! I’ll make sure Bella gets any and all replies. I think she feels a little famous now with people saying hi to her from exotic locales like Australia and North Dakota. We don’t even live in that religious or conservative an area — about 2 hours out from Seattle — I think it’s just that some of the people most visible to her (her grandparents and her best friend outside of school/best friend’s family) are religious. Her big brother took a lot of guff for his godlessness in elementary school too, but he’s started middle school now at a school where he fits in great and the faculty take tolerance and non-harassment very seriously. I especially appreciate the replies that pointed out how some of her friends may not actually believe, even if they say they do, because it’s a point I raised once a while back and she blew me off. I think it has more weight coming from People Who Are Not Mom ™. 313. Genn Fury of the Desolate Furies says On to some personal tl;dr. I suggest you skip. If you don’t, trigger warnings abound. My cousin, who’s 17, hung herself this weekend. Saturday night. She just got in her closet and did it. Her parents found her and her dad (my mom’s brother) was able to revive her after about 20 minutes of CPR, but today is day 3 in ICU and she’s still critical, and she’s still unconscious with sporadic cardiac arrests and a heart rate of 185+ bpm but very low bp. It’s not looking too good. This cousin is like a sister to me. I was 13 when she was born and I practically helped raise her. Her father and me grew up like brother and sister, since I lived with my grandparents when I was young and he’s only a few years older than I am. The running joke in our family is that he was my grandparents’ late lamb (?)(child born a very long time after their siblings, can’t think of the English term right now) and I was their late-late lamb, or whatever the English is, with my brother as their first actual grandchild. I’m afraid that my cousin’s attempted suicide, and maybe even her mental illness (like me, she’s bipolar) is my fault. I hope I’m wrong, but… Much as I love my uncle, the brutal truth is that he molested me when I was a child. I never told anyone. I hoped that he “got over it” when he got married. I can’t say for sure, since I was already out of my grandparents’ house by then and I tried not to think about it. Maybe it was just a phase, he was a stupid teenager and college student, stupid young men are stupid, right? But what if he didn’t? What if, by being a gigantic coward and shutting up about this for all these years, I allowed him to do this to his daughter too? As you can tell I’m pretty upset and I just needed to share this with someone. I’ve never even told my husband about this, so I can’t talk to him now. 314. chigau (違う) says Genn Fury It’s not your fault. 315. says Oh crap, Genn that’s terrible. And also, not your fault. If it’s “just” mental illness, then it’s bloody rotten bad luck and nobody’s fault at all; if it was triggered by abuse then it’s the abuser’s fault. Big internet hugs if you want them. It would be good if you had someone to support you in real life – can you really not tell your husband now? If not, then a close friend, or a counsellor? 316. John Morales says Josh OSG, Do not make me mouse around and click twice as many times to do basic things. Arrgh. Why do they do this? They don’t make you; I use my keyboard much more than my mouse. (Thus, I can run full-screen) 317. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says I’m involved in an absolutely hilarious argument with a creationist jackhole on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8pK04RrsMw&lc=xucBY-qh1wA9wQIoL-VdTt7quaMUga7Jg66lL9yCWqI&feature=inbox Gems from his end, for those who don’t want to click the link, include but are not limited to: “Wrong again, I’m no creationist, it’s just that my common sense tells me we did NOT﻿ evolve from apes – we couldn’t have, and a very very obvious (to me) point is that if we did, how come there are apes now, surely they would also have evolved to humans. Duh!!” “Evolution is a wrong﻿ theory you idiot, fuck an ape and no baby will be born, are you just totally retarded? For the LAST time – we DID NOT evolve from apes, we didn’t evolve at all, we appeared from nowhere. Now fuck off + stop wasting my time. I’ve shown u the light – u stay in the dark. Check up on chromosomes.” ” Neither, I’m an intelligent human compared to yourself, and have some clue what is going on. If you believe this embarassingly bas documentary,﻿ maybe you should just watch tele tubbies.” This guy is hilarious. 318. Genn Fury of the Desolate Furies Shit, I’m sorry about your cousin. I hope she recovers and can be helped. But whatever you think, this is not your fault. If he molested her, it is his fault, not yours, you are the victim, not the perpetrator. You must have a lot to deal with, carrying this baggage for all these years, please, don’t add this to your conscience, too. I’m sure you’re not a coward. You dealt with this the way you did. It is his responsibility not to molest children, not his victim’s. Hugs are coming your way if you want them. As for your husband: I know how hard that can be. I recently had a problem I just couldn’t tell mine, so I wrote him a letter and it really, really helped. Maybe that could help you, too? 319. Hi Bella I’m Giliell from Germany. I don’t believe in god either, and neither do my mum and dad. And when I was your age, that sucked. All my friends and their families believed in god, or were at least members of a church and there seemed to be so many good things about this. They had those church-services where people sang nice songs, they had good stories, they had nativity plays and I felt terribly left out. I really, really wanted to believe in god, because I felt left out and lonely. But, well, as much as I wanted, I somehow couldn’t believe in god. Those nice stories, they were not very different from other stories that everybody called fairy-tales (I’m sure you’ve noticed that already: People have adventures, they deal with evil kings and monsters just like in every other story-book). And people sang and staged plays elsewhere, too, and those were not given a special meaning, but they were just as nice. And most importantly, my friends still loved me, and played with me, and shared with me. It was just that one aspect of their lives that we didn’t share and it’s been like this ever since. Now I’m what you probably consider “an old woman” age 32 and have 2 children of my own, and still my two best friends are in church. And my parents in law are in church, and I have a little godson whose parents are in church, and we just love each other for who we really are, and not because we share a belief in god. Greetings Giliell 320. John Morales says Well, for what it’s worth: Bella, I’m an atheist from Australia, and I reckon God is basically Santa Claus for adults (who really should have grown up by then). 321. consciousness razor says I reckon God is basically Santa Claus for adults (who really should have grown up by then). Adults are grown up, so either God should have grown up before becoming Santa Claus, or Santa Claus should have grown up before becoming God. It follows that since Santa Claus is supposed to be a jolly old man, God had become Santa Claus prematurely, with which you disapprove. I don’t think you have sufficient Christmas spirit, John. The Five Ways of Proving Santa Claus 322. says Hi Bella, I’m SQB (pronounced ‘Scooby’, like Scooby Doo), I’m from the Netherlands and I don’t believe in God, or any other of the bazillion other gods people have made up in their lives. Come to think of it, the kids in your school don’t believe in those gods either. You just believe in one god less than they do. So while it might suck to feel like you don’t belong to their super-duper-special god club, you could feel happy that you belong to another club, with members all over the world. Some of them have said ‘hi’ to you in here. Greetings, SQB. PS: Isn’t it time to set up a Pharyngula kids club? 323. says Esteleth, of course they demanded changes, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing their jobs, (heh, heh, heh;-) An acquaintance of mine is a house painter. He once told me that he usually forgets a spot on purpose for the inspector to find. Once the inspector has found something, xe will have done hir job and stop looking. 324. says Genn Fury, it’s not your fault. If he did it to her, then it was his doing, not yours. Also, what Giliell says. 325. John Morales says 326. says I found the simulator again, yay. Try the following settings: position velocity body mass x y x y 1 200 0 0 0 -1 2 10 142 0 0 140 3 0.001 -84 16 7 153 4 0.001 -84 0 0 -133and tell me if you want to live on either body 3 or 4. No collisions yet at t=621, but holy shit! (<code> is supposed to preserve spacing, but preview is not giving me much hope). 327. says Fuck no, it doesn’t. 328. John Morales says consciousness razor, I don’t think you have sufficient Christmas spirit, John. Well, I reckon the Grinch was an activist wimp who folded too easily after being sucked-in. (Me, I’m no activist, but I don’t get sucked-in, either) 329. BTW Happy Sinterklaas, SQB. Hope he arrives safely this year. Totally unimportant: There’s a current fashion in women’s trousers: pretty tight in shades of beige, which makes the bearer look like her mind wasn’t on the job when she got dressed. Don’t those people own mirrors? 330. Ariaflame says @SQB I think <code> puts it into mono-spaced font, but doesn’t preserve extra spaces. Lemme check.  1 100 2 1 3 10  You need &nbsp; for the extra spacings. 331. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says Ing, others have said it way better and smarter than I would re documenting everything and seeing if you can legally lean on them for compensation, with union help, which is the important stuff – but shit, what a bunch of douches. I wish you strength, and I hope you are able to get to the point where you can make them wish they’d never treated you so shittily. . Katherine Lorraine, your solar system site is addictive. And wow, try this: Body 1 – mass 200, position and velocity all 0 0 0 0; body 2 – mass 10, 160 – 0 – 0 – 0 -120; body 3 – mass 2, – 140 – 0 – 0 – 53. If I’ve copied that right, set it to fast and let it run for ages – it does some lovely freaky things :-) Right now I’m on timer = over 1500; the moon is gone (for the third and last time) and the sun and planet are slowly wobbling their way right off the screen. 1700, sun gone … 2100, everything gone. I’m going to run it again … 332. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says Oh damn, it seems to make a difference if you set it to fast instead of accurate. Moon just crashes instead of doing all the lovely weird stuff. I haz a disappoint. 333. John Morales says SQB, the implementation is shoddy; try non-breaking spaces: position velocity body mass x y x y 1 200 0 0 0 -1 2 10 142 0 0 140 3 0.001 -84 16 7 153 4 0.001 -84 0 0 -133 334. John Phillips, FCD says Josh, if you want a fast lightweight QtWebKit based browser which has the usual ‘classic’ layout, complete with Menu and Bookmarks bar, try Arora; http://code.google.com/p/arora For Windows it’s a 10MB download but is cross platform so there are other versions if you are using something else like Linux or OS X. It has all the good features of the latest browsers, e.g. Privacy mode, as well as others if you dig under the surface, but can just be ignored and don’t get in the way if not needed. The only thing missing, though I haven’t really looked, is a killfile feature. Otherwise, go back to an earlier version of FF, e.g. I still use FF 3.6 Portable when I occasionally need FF for some of its addons/extensions. Though nowadays, most of my Freethoughtblogs browsing is done using either Maxthon or Opera Mobile on a Xoom. @Caine, when you can’t get a real book and really need a copy only available in ebook format, Amazon has a free kindle app that will work on any major platform. Also Calibre (it’s free) can be used as both an ebook reader and an ebook library as well as being a very good ebook format convertor which can handle every ebook format I’m aware of. 335. Ariaflame says I’ve got latest version of Firefox and my menu bar is right there. Is it because I’m still on XP? Or is Althea’s suggestion about the Ctrl-V the right one? 336. John Phillips, FCD says P.S. If you already have an Amazon account get their kindle app and there is a whole stack of free books available on Amazon just waiting to be downloaded. Yesterday I downloaded a dozen or so Robert Ingersoll and Paine works, Origins is also there for free along with a lot of classics. Admittedly, at home, I usually prefer a real book, but being able to take all of my library with me wherever I go has really grown on me over the last couple of years, especially when I have to spend time in hospital. 337. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says Hi Bella, if you’re still reading again today! I’m from the UK where there are loads of people who don’t believe in any gods and mostly it’s no big deal. My parents never did, and nor did my grandparents – and that’s going back a bit. I have two kids who don’t believe in any gods either; maybe one or two of their friends do, but most of them don’t and they all seem to get on fine. My kids are a bit older than you now, but when my daughter was about your age there were some kids in her school who were pretty mean to her about not believing in the particular god their families believed in. A couple of them were just looking for an excuse to be mean, and one of them probably would have been nice except his parents made such a huge deal out of believing in what they thought was the right god that they convinced him to say some hurtful things. Anyway, we talked about it at home and we worked out that they were the ones with a problem if it made them say such mean things. My daughter didn’t like it, but she knew they were the ones who were wrong to behave the way they did – and she went and hung out with nicer friends who all liked each other and didn’t make such a fuss about whether someone believed in a god or not. I hope no-one is mean to you at school, and if someone ever is, tell your family and just remember – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you! If they are good people and worth knowing, they would never be mean about something like this. There are huge numbers of families like yours all over the world – one of them is right here, waving hi from England. 338. birgerjohansson says Katherine It could be made to work, if by “orbiting slowly” you mean it is in a near 24-hour orbit, seemingly standing still in the sky (while the background stars of course continue to apparently rotate every 24 hours). This would be the result of tidal coupling. If there is a slight mismatch, it might indeed drift to be visible in another hemisphere in a matter of months, otherwise only half the planet would be able to see the moon. On earth, the moon’s distance to the Earth’s centre would have to be ca 44 000 km (ca 36 000 km from the surface). The moon would be ca 380 km across to have the same angular diameter of another (Luna-sized) moon furher out, I am assuming the bigger moon would be the size of Luna. There is a problem with the history of the system, since the bigger moon would have started off much closer to the planet leaving no room (initially) for a second moon. The closer moon might be debris from an asteroid that was tidally disrupted during a close passage long after the system formed, creating an accretion disc between the big moon and the planet and eventually evolving into a small moon. To lose enough momentum, I envision a double asteroid passing near the planet, one of the asteroids escaping into space while the other is caught in an elliptic orbit that eventually get a perigeum within the Roche limit, getting torn apart. The outer debris would eventually scatter and hit the outer moon while the inner debris would create a moon with a near-circular orbit [I am assuming you want the inner moon to have a nice near-circular orbit]. The dramaitc tidal disruption is something I make up to explain how matter could escape outwards, robbing enough momentum to allow a near-circular orbit for the remains. Another circularising factor might be tidal friction; that would make things simpler, without the need for orbital break-up. But the orbital perturbations caused by the outer moon would almost surely move the smaller moon’s perigeum inside the breakup Roche limit before tidal friction had time to work. 339. says Thank you, Giliell. We already celebrated it on Saturday. It’s a bit more flexible than Christmas. He usually arrives midway through November, so there’s more than enough time to celebrate it, either on the evening of the 5th, if you’re a traditionalist, or somewhere during the weekend closest to the 5th, if you’re practical. Oldest son wanted his name changed to ‘Lego’. I wonder why. 340. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says Genn Fury, I really don’t have the words to say how sorry I am – both for what you have gone through, and for your cousin. All I can do is agree with those who have said that none of this is your fault. It’s the abuser who has caused harm, not you. I hope it is possible to talk about this to someone in RL – is there any chance you might be able to talk to someone (someone competent to listen in the right way, maybe a counsellor) outside the family first, before perhaps writing or speaking to your SO at a later time? 341. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says 你好 Bella I am an atheist that lives in China. Did you know that China is an atheist country? It is a really big country with about 1 300 000 000 people living here. That is a really big number. And everyone just gets on with their lives without wasting time in church or putting their imaginary friend in front of their real friends. My name means “god-killer” so imagine what the religious people in your town would think if they had to meet me! ArrrrrrrRRR…! (But since gods do not exist I am actually as gentle as a …. churchmouse… hehehe.) Here is a picture of a tardigrade for just in case you wanted to imagine what I look like. ;) (picture:TARDIS) 342. says Hopefully it doesn’t include life-long alcohol abstinence? My GP says no. Then again, he would say that, since I’m him. 343. John Morales says rorschach, :) (I love it: “Physician, heal thyself”, literally!) 344. John Morales says So, I made an egregious error at Kylie’s blog Token Skeptic, but it’s led me to recommending an old story that I enjoyed in my youth. TLC may like it, too: The Wendigo (by Algernon Blackwood, 1910) 345. SQB Well, come time you can introduce Lego to Playmobil :) We had a traditional Nikolausabend yesterday, only with way too much stuff, of course, which started when our neighbour gave them a big basket of sweets. But wealthy kids (for kid standards) can be very generous, so they shared with all of us immediately. [warning: unadultered bragging to follow] Wel, I wanted to wait until I had some daylight to take pics, but I can’t wait until March. So here it is, my Phoenix Cloak. The fastening is handmade celtic knotwork, and the whole thing is a half-circle, lined with 2 fleece-blankets 346. Rev. BigDumbChimp says 347. says It looks as if the head of the phoenix is on the hood of the cloak, is that correct? But your bragging is not without reason — it is quite beautiful. Hmm… A squid cloak… 348. Father Ogvorbis, OM says Re. the Postal Service I’ve started to look at right wing politics with a very jaundiced eye. And I have noticed that any proposal from the radical right does one (or more) of three things: it increases the wealth of the wealthy, it tosses a bone to the religious right, and/or it takes a swipe at unions and, especially, the rank-and-file union membership. The intentional destruction of postal service financing is, I think, primarily the third. Expect, very soon, the GOP candidates to start whining about the pay and benefit packages of the evil union members who are ‘bankrupting’ the post office. Though, as Bill D. points out, the elimination of bulk mailing would also make true grass-roots progressivism far more expensive and difficult, so transferring more wealth to the rich is also part of it. 349. says Dear Bella, another atheist here. I’ve grown up in a bicultural environment, and couldn’t understand how people in one country would follow one religion and people in another would follow something completely different. But still, I’ve also felt the need to masquerade as a Lutheran for professional reasons, which I regret, so I can understand you. But there’s a lot of us in many places. theophontes, as much as I wish China was a godless country, but the Shenism-Taoism-Buddhism folk religion is still going strong, with approx. 30% of the country following it, acc to the Pfft… That’d make it more believers than the population of the entire USA… Though it is quite ritualistic, like in Taiwan and Japan too, and it can be argued that these types of religions are much less harmful than your average Middle Eastern monotheistic religion. But there still can be pernicious effects, like Shintoist beliefs discouraging people from becoming organ donors in Japan. 350. Muse says Genn Fury I’m really sorry to hear that. And I’m going to weigh in with some of the others here. This is not your fault. If you feel the need to talk, but don’t want to talk to your husband, and can’t talk to someone locally, you can talk to some of the folks on RAINN’s Online Hotline Bella, don’t know if your mom is still reading these to you, but hi. I don’t believe in gods either. I grew up not believing in them. I was friends with some people who did, and they liked me even though I didn’t agree with them on this one thing. People disagree on a lot of things and still like other people. 351. Illuminata, Mother Superior of the Holy Order of Maltist Nuns says Genn Fury: We are already forced to carry the weight of their actions toward us, carrying the weight of his actions towards others as well is to let him off the hook. He was the adult. He knows what he did is criminal and evil. He chose to do it anyway. It is not your fault. For your own good, don’t carry the weight of his guilt too. Be there for your cousin. If it comes out that this is what happened to her as well, consider sharing your experiences. (This was something that helped me a great deal when I was dealing with the aftermath of assault: someone else who had been through it, who had gotten through it, and was willing to talk to me about it. Suddenly, I wasn’t all alone.) 352. Psych-Oh says Hi Bella – I have a 7-year-old “Isabella” who doesn’t believe in God either. Sometimes it is hard for her at school, too. I wish you two could meet. 353. says I wish you two could meet. As I said, Pharyngula Kids Club. ‘Lego’ and ‘Playmobil’ should meet as well. 354. says Pro Publica’s in-depth study of Presidential pardons highlights white privilege. Not only does it highlight the fact that white convicted felons are four times more likely to be pardoned, it reveals that black and other minority races are recommended for pardons less often. Rachel Maddow’s show produced a nice segment with an overview of the problem, and with an interview of one of the journalists that did the work on the Pro Publica exposé. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#45562179 Dafna Linzer notes that the little group of people responsible for recommending felons for pardons uses subjective criteria as well as objective criteria. One problem with this is that black criminals will be described as having “illegitimate” children, while white criminals will be described as having “children from a previous relationship.” Black criminals who have declared bankruptcy will be described as “financially unstable,” while white criminals who have declared bankruptcy several times will not have their financial situation highlighted. This is a discussion of white privilege that even Rush Limbaugh is going to have difficulty explaining. Strike that. I’m sure Rush will find a way to turn night into day. Here’s the Pro Publica link: http://www.propublica.org/article/pardon-applicants-benefit-from-friends-in-high-places The piece on the Pro Publica site focuses on the money and on the friends-in-high-places aspects of the scandal. Felons and their supporters make donations to members of Congress, basically buying their pardons. Excerpt: Since 2000, a total of 196 members of Congress — 126 Republicans and 70 Democrats — have written to the pardons office on behalf of more than 200 donors and constituents, according to copies of their letters obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Many of the letters urged the White House and the Justice Department to take special note of felons whom lawmakers described as close friends. A statistical analysis of nearly 500 pardon applicants during the Bush administration suggests that advocacy makes a difference. Applicants with a member of Congress in their corner were three times as likely to win a pardon as those without such backing. Interviews and documents show a lawmaker’s support can speed up a stalled application, counter negative information and ratchet up pressure for an approval. 355. says The Phoenix cloak is awesome! ++++++++++++++ I fail to see how agreeing with someone should start an argument. I 1st wrote “it shouldn’t matter.” and when that was misconstrued, I clarified “it shouldn’t matter, but it does.” Once you agree with someone, and they continue to argue, it’s time to walk away and not engage them. ++++++++++++++ BTW, this just arrived in my inbox: Subject: Manuscript OVS11276R1 accepted 356. says Here’s a link to the section of the Pro Publica reporting on racial discrimination in granting Presidential pardons that focuses on white privilege: http://www.propublica.org/article/shades-of-mercy-presidential-forgiveness-heavily-favors-whites Excerpt: No two pardon cases match up perfectly, but records reveal repeated instances in which white applicants won pardons with transgressions on their records similar to those of blacks and other minorities who were denied. Here’s one of several revealing graphs — this one published in the Washington Post: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/national/pardons/ 357. Genn: I am so sorry about your cousin. Don’t let guilt tear you apart, it won’t help your cousin and it won’t help you. I never told anyone about the family member who raped me repeatedly for years. Most of the time, kids don’t. We gain a different perspective as adults, but don’t get trapped by that, because you weren’t an adult when it happened. xxx 358. Dhorvath, OM says Ah shit Genn, that sounds wretched for the both of you. Regardless of the specifics that may be behind this, you are not to blame. That doesn’t stop this from opening old wounds while provoking new ones, this is a hard time and doubtless will see you in many states as it progresses. Don’t hesitate to lean on us a bit if you need to vent or otherwise talk about what is happening. You are not alone. 359. theophontes, Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane Wielding Tardigrade says Teh Phoenix cloak is all beautiful and all…. But can it save you from Teh Apocalypse ™ ? NSFW Linky: Mystic Mayan Power Cloak 360. Dave B. says Genn Fury of the Desolate Furies Hi Genn, I can’t even imagine the turmoil you must be in right now, but for what it’s worth I’d like to add my voice text to the outpouring of support. I don’t believe in internet hugs, so can’t offer you any of those – but will agree that this is not your fault. How could it be? Sure, if you had a time machine you’d want to go back and change something – we all have those moments. Points in our lives where we think if only I’d been a little braver/stronger/faster/kinder/more observant/somehow different. But hindsight is always 50/50, right? Maybe speaking out way back could’ve rippled forward in time to change what happened, maybe not. But outside fiction we don’t have any time machines that let us try our past again, so the only thing we’ve got is what little influence we have on this ‘now’ thing, and we can use it to try and make the future better than it would otherwise be. However that happens to play out, I hope your cousin can still make a full recovery and hope you can find the strength and support to make it through as best as you can yourself. Best of luck -D 361. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says Bella says “thank you for all the advice, people”! (“Put a whole bunch of those [exclamation points]” she tells me, so: !!!!!!) 362. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says Genn, how terrible. I’m so sorry. Chiming in with those who have already said that none of this is your fault. You and your cousin are in my thoughts today. 363. Rev. BigDumbChimp says 364. Turning in harassment paper work and collecting paper work for challenging other stuff today. 365. chigau (違う) says Ing I hope things work out for you. 366. Father Ogvorbis, OM says Ing: Seconding chigau. 367. Interesting article on why John Carter movie has the name it does Teal Deer version: Princess of Mars wouldn’t get males in the seat and John Carter of Mars wouldn’t get females in the seat (what) therefore we compramised to a title that isn’t interesting to anyone! One does wonder why it wasn’t John Carter and a Princess of Mars 368. says Sailor, your timeline is misleading: I fail to see how agreeing with someone should start an argument. It would be odd if that’s what happened. That’s definitely not what happened. Please start telling the truth. I 1st wrote “it shouldn’t matter.” At #532. I responded at #524. No fight. and when that was misconstrued, I clarified “it shouldn’t matter, but it does.” At #541. BTW, there was no misconstrual on my part. I understood what you meant because I’ve heard it a million times. I respond to your actual words because the words themselves are wrong. If you want clarity, I’m offering you easy clarity, gratis. So I replied at #553. No fight. Then you responded dismissively at #558, repeating your intuition like my explanation means nothing. Now we’re fighting. Once you agree with someone, and they continue to argue, it’s time to walk away and not engage them. You’ve never indicated any agreement with what I said at #553. You indicated exactly the opposite at #558, in a very dismissive manner. +++++ Quit telling yourself your side of the story and try to see mine. How many times now have I made clear that I object to your dismissiveness? You would have to deliberately overlook this thread’s #291 and #293. You cannot seriously and honestly pretend that you don’t understand what the problem is. This is continually hurtful, your decision to treat me like a one-dimensional caricature so that you can claim your moral high ground. 369. says #389: that makes no sense. When the boys learn that “Princess of Mars” is naked in just about every scene, except perhaps for the occasional diaphanous loin cloth, they’ll be packing the seats. Wait…don’t tell me they’re making the movie and putting every one in clothes… 370. says theophontes: best thing about that Mayan cloak? The person selling it, at the end, claims to be an actual psychic, no joke this time. 371. says Hi, Bella, I am an atheist that lives in Idaho, smack dab in the middle of a solidly mormon community. Still, there are other atheists even here. There’s a club in Pocatello, associated with the University, that consists of atheist and agnostic students. They belong to the Secular Student Alliance. There are both atheists and mormons in my writing workshop. We get along just fine. But this does not prevent me from fighting against the mormon church’s anti-gay political and social activities. I also fight against the mormon community’s influence when it comes to restricting the roles of women. Most of my friends respect me for this, even if they disagree with me. I have two children that are also non-believers. One lives in Manhattan and one lives in Seattle. Both of them are happy, productive, loving people. My daughter is a bell-ringer at a church. She enjoys the social aspects, the artistic/musical outlet, and the physical exercise. She has nothing to do with the beliefs of the church goers and she does not attend church services. People make their own choices as to how they will fit into the community in which they live. They should be allowed to make those choices, and should not be pressured to conform to any particular path. Children especially are often rewarded for conforming to pressure to belong to a religious community. There’s a tribal aspect, a sort of in-group and out-group dynamic to believing in God. That tribalism narrows one’s choices when it comes to growing up with a well-working brain, and when it comes to realizing one’s potential as an adult. If you find yourself succumbing to in-group irrationalities, or worse yet, if you find yourself exerting emotional-blackmail style pressure on other people, just stop and think about what you’re doing. There’s plenty of time to work through these issues, plenty of time to get better at interacting with other human beings. Sometimes you just need to put everything on pause, and think for awhile. You may find that believers in God feel free to lie or to bend the truth to get their way. It’s easier to forgive them for this tactic if you realize that they are actually afraid of losing their faith. They think they cannot function without faith, so losing it is very scary to them. The pressure they put on you may be less personal that it feels to you. It may be a defense mechanism spurred on by fear. Take pity on them, and ignore the personal-seeming aspects of their attacks. 372. says I would pay good money to see “John Carter, Princess of Mars”. 373. Matt Penfold says My daughter is a bell-ringer at a church. She enjoys the social aspects, the artistic/musical outlet, and the physical exercise. She has nothing to do with the beliefs of the church goers and she does not attend church services. People make their own choices as to how they will fit into the community in which they live. They should be allowed to make those choices, and should not be pressured to conform to any particular path. Here in the UK bell ringers used to have a reputation for being a godless bunch of drinkers and fornicators. 374. chigau (違う) says I would pay good money to see “John Carter, Princess of Mars”. Oh my goodness!!! Me, too!!! 375. chigau (違う) says ahs ॐ The person selling it, at the end, claims to be an actual psychic… Yeah, but did you see the “chakra” ॐ pendant at her store? Only$70.

376. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says

kristinc, what TLC said.

Genn Fury, I don’t know you (at least, not by that ‘nym), so 1) welcome in, and I wish it were under better circumstances, and 2) *hugs*, if you’ll accept ’em from a total stranger. I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin. If her father did molest her, you didn’t cause it. Don’t blame the victim, in this case yourself. Bipolarity (also not your fault) could have been sufficient in creating a suicidal frame of mind.

377. says

Here in the UK bell ringers used to have a reputation for being a godless bunch of drinkers and fornicators.

Yep, that’s what I’ve heard too.

Bell-ringers also form a social network that defies national boundaries. When my daughter visited the UK, she was invited to join some local bell ringers. She got up at dawn one morning, too a bus to the church, and rang the treble bell. It was one of the highlights of her vacation, hobnobbing with her fellow non-conformists.

378. Dhorvath, OM says

Ing, Pin them to the wall. I am sorry that it has come to this, and I hope you can come out of this with some sense of success and a renewed vigour.

379. Cannabinaceae says

Here in the UK bell ringers used to have a reputation for being a godless bunch of drinkers and fornicators.

W.U. and I have this fantasy of a) ever retiring and b) on the off chance that a) ever happens, retiring to York, to become bell ringers at the Minster.

When we were vacationing in England once, W.U.’s parents were also vacationing there (we had Britrail passes and went all over the place on various whims; they were on a bus tour). We sort of intersected when we were at a B&B in York and they were off in some budget concrete monstrosity that was part of their package, in Nether Poppleton or some such place. W.U. wanted to go out and visit them, I did not. It was decided I would stay in York, where I instantly found a pub in the Shambles and had three Old Speckled Hens right quick, then staggered around enjoying the medieval ambiance. The Minster started ringing changes – or so I thought; actually it was a practice session. As the day darkened I thought to stagger back to the B&B, neither my mind nor the bells quite operating congruently. It being a medieval maze, I kept drunkenly debouching into the same plaza no matter how I navigated the town. Thinking to myself “the bells! THE BELLS!” I may have spoken that out loud.

Eventually I lucked out or got my bearings and got back to the B&B and thought to have some more alcohol. 18 year Macallan seemed appropriate, so I sat in the bar there at the B&B, where a Scottish couple we had run into there earlier were also hanging out. I was rather surprised to get what I considered to be a double measure of libation from the young server, who was evidently new to the job; the couple, also evidently drinking similarly, dissuaded me from bringing it up. I was well into my second (or is that fourth?) one when W.U. finally got back from Wherever. She ordered something or other but evidently the owner, having passed through the bar to chat us up for a while, had noticed and corrected the situation, as her single was not a double.

380. So, using the simulator I linked to yesterday (yes it’s very addictive) I managed to make two systems for my planet. The first was the two moons circling the planet, and the second was a single moon circling a double-planet system.

I have to admit… I’m kind of sold on the double-planet idea. The small planet would be much, much smaller in mass and diameter than the big planet, but I think in an artistic way it would be very impressive. Think of the vista of a group of adventurers on a hill top looking out over the horizon and seeing the curve of the moon there, looming and huge in the night sky.

The outer moon could very easily have a long enough orbit to show up for the four months of summer (I had the system almost perfect – for about a quarter of the time, the big planet was able to see the moon, but it kept changing – I’m sure I could tweak it to be perfect.)

So only two questions now remain:

What would the effects on the tides be?

What would happen since the barycenter of the system is outside the planet?

381. says

chigau, that’s quite a profit margin. I liked this part:

*actual positions of the stones may vary.

If the stones are supposed to represent chakras, isn’t it pretty darn important that they at least be in a particular order?

382. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says

Giliell, did you embroider that bird? ‘Cause if so, dayamn!

Rev.@366: I lol’d.

Hmm… A squid cloak…

*looking vaguely “absent”*
Squid cloak…hmmmm….
*abruptly resuming focus*
No…no….. Only one Sinister Porpoise at a time…. Still….
*mentally drifting away*

383. onion girl, OM; imaginary lesbian says

DC LOCALS:

mfheadcase (aka mikefoxtrothow) is in DC for the next few weeks and would like to meet up with the local Horde. So, here’s the plan:

Saturday, December 10th
, 12:00 p.m.: Meet in front of the Smithsonian Castle at noon; museum(s) of choice or other sight-seeing TBD.

Saturday, December 17th: Dinner in DC at a restaurant TBD. If you’re unable to make the Smithsonian trip, you can join us for dinner; please RSVP so I can get an idea of the head count.

Wednesday, December 21st, 6:30 p.m.: bastionofsass already posted this, but just a reminder: Solstice gathering at Matthew’s 1600 in B-more.

Please let me know which events you’ll be able to attend so I can organize the logistics. :) I’ll try to check back here to see any responses, but you’re more likely to reach me by email; I am still buried at work and likely to stay that way for at least the next month or so.

(p.s. if you know anyone looking for a part-time social work/counseling/human service job in my area of Maryland, near D.C., let me know!)

384. chigau (違う) says

I just realised that the reason nothing happens when I click certain links, is that I don’t actually have javascript installed.
huh.

385. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

I have to admit… I’m kind of sold on the double-planet idea. The small planet would be much, much smaller in mass and diameter than the big planet, but I think in an artistic way it would be very impressive. Think of the vista of a group of adventurers on a hill top looking out over the horizon and seeing the curve of the moon there, looming and huge in the night sky.

ooooh, I had a dream about this as a little kid. The moon was so close to earth that it blocked out half the sky and you could see all the little features on it.

It looked awesomely surreal.

386. @TLC:

I just am imagining the awesome illustrations that could be done with the work as it is. And my original plan for the Protector was that it was very large in the sky anyway… so it’d work.

Just… gravity – how does it work?!

387. Dhorvath, OM says

Fairy dust?

388. @Dhorvath:

Well specifically, what would the gravity behave like in a double planet system?

389. Dhorvath, OM says

Sorry, I have been following the conversation but have nothing constructive to add. Orbital mechanics is a bugaboo, so I figure fairy dust is reasonable: it works for Peter Hamilton in any event.

390. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says

Just… gravity – how does it work?!

The humor, being light and frothy, bubbles away, leaving the heavier, more sober grave elements behind. Eventually all the humor escapes, and the body is one with the grave.

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

Okay, I want to add one more idea to katherine’s scenario: Orbiting a Lagrange point.

A Lagrange point is, simply, an area in space with the gravitational pull of two bodies more or less cancel each other out (technically, it is exactly a point where things are exactly canceled out, but in common nomenclature it is used to refer to a small region where gravity is quite minimal). It is always between the two bodies and closer to the smaller body (smaller in terms of mass).

Lagrange obits have quite unique appearance and effect.

It could happen this way: Planet-moon system or double planet system (these btw are identical except that, by definition, it is a double-planet if the barycenter is not within the radius of either body) experiences one or a few very significant impacts. Perhaps this even happened within recorded history. Impacts on the “moon” through up debris, some of which reaches escape velocity. This would normally prohibit a Lagrange orbit, but if there’s enough material at the right distance, it will form an unstable ring at about the Lagrange distance, then the physics of the Lagrange point will gather some of the material in, forming a body that “wobbles” back and forth, up and down, never straying far from the Lagrange point. Movement could be very slow. The body could either be relatively big, in which case it would always be blocking some portion of the “moon” from the “planet” or it could be relatively small, in which case it would be dancing around the rim of the “moon” as seen from the planet. A body large and dense enough to completely eclipse the “moon” from the “planet” wouldn’t be possible, BUT… you could easily have the body engage in a partial eclipse for exactly 4 months a year with the other 8 months the body is present, but not occulting any portion of the “moon”.

How would this be better? Imagine what it would be like from the planet. It’s not needed that the entire major moon be eclipsed. Like our moon, it would be “marked” by its past. If the body occulted a major, visible “moon mark,” and if that occultation regularly occurred before winter or the “bad season” then the moon mark would be associated with good times & its eclipse or occultation would be associated with bad times.

It’s also possible that the body be fairly dark – very low albedo – so that it isn’t noticed **as a body** for the 8 months, but it would still be noticed by the observant for blocking out stars that are very close to “moon” but not actually covered by “moon”. When it is backlit by moon during occultation, it would be more obvious as a dark, dark body.

The body itself would be a non-dense amalgam of debris, but to the extent that it has mass & stays always on the same side of “planet” that “moon” is on, it would tend to increase tides.

Of course, this would not be noticeable since the effect wouldn’t measurably change at any point during the year.

BARYCENTER info:

Having the Barycenter outside the “planet” has no effect save to rename the “moon” the “secondary planet”. However, if you have a moon big enough to orbit around a point in space and not a planetary body, then you have the potential for large tides.

HOWEVER – and remember this, it’s VERY important.

Tides are not caused by the strength of gravitational pull!!!!!!

Let me say it again: the Sun pulls more strongly on the Earth yet causes weaker tides than Luna!!!

What causes tides is the difference in gravitation between the pull on the near side of “planet” from what is felt on the far side of “planet”.

Gravitation = gM1M2/d^2.

In this case, we have 2 “d”s – one is the distance from moon/sun to near side of planet, one is distance from moon/sun to far side of planet.

So….

If the planetary radius is a measurable fraction of the orbital radius of sun/planet or moon/planet, then you will get a tide. On earth, the 12.7 thousand kilometer diameter is NOT a significant fraction of 150,000 thousand kilometer earth-sun distance, but it is a significant fraction of the 385 thousand kilometer earth-moon distance. Thus you get moon-tides but not (much) sun-tide.

Thus, the distance at which you place the moon will affect the overall strength of the tides even more strongly than the mass of the moon, but having a large mass does have an effect, so with a double planet, you might want to place the moon slightly farther out. .

As was mentioned before, the orbital period depends on the mass of the primary body but NOT the secondary body. Primary mass and distance to barycenter are all that’s needed to predict orbital period.

392. chigau (違う) says

One of my flash drives is now very clean.
It still works.

393. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

sigh

In one aspect, who cares. Really

But in the more important aspect, people will believe this made up shit about made up shit going against other peoples interpretations of made up shit and it will have an impact on non made up people.

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

Katherine: ;gravity is more strongly affected by distance than mass – (the distance is squared, the mass, not).

Thus on the surface of the planet near the moon, although there would be slightly less net gravitation (this is, after all, what causes the tides), it would be ***not at all noticeable or measurable*** to the people on either the planet or the “moon”.

Think of it this way, the tides are evidence that the center of the earth has “fallen” several feet farther “toward” the moon during the 6 hours that the far-side tides are “rising”.

Imagine if gravity was so low that it took you 6 hours to fall 5 feet. That’s the effect you’re talking about. No one would notice compared to the surface gravity that causes you to fall 16 feet in the first SECOND – one 21,600th the time of the tide’s flow.

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

Chigau @415 –

Which data scrubber did you use? Kenmore? Bosch?

396. chigau (違う) says

Crip Dyke

397. Good evening
1) I’m hungry
2) I don’t have enough junk-food at home
3) Pasta con butter can be delicious
4) Fuck, that’s supposed to be with. My brain’s stilled wired on Spanish

cicely
It’s felted, not embroidered. With felting you put unspun wool on top and then stab it with a felting needle. Each feather means about 200-400 stabs.

An Octopus shouldn’t be too difficult either, you need a some design to copy….

+++++++++

kids and logic
Last night was “Nikolausabend”. In some places you put out your boots, in some families there comes somebody dressed up as Nikolaus, in our family, the gifts are left outside the apartment door and somebody throws a handful of nuts against the door making noise.
So today the little one (2yo) told her grandma that the squirrels have brought her gifts and left some of their nuts.

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

So… I have been playing with something & decided to move forward. I enjoy contributing to Pharyngula, but it is clear that for some this is an important part of community and for some, however much or little they may write, simply a website.

Anyway, I thought to treat this more like a community, in an intentional way. So I’m “divorced” from my wife, but we still haven’t quite signed the papers on the financial settlement for her interest in the house. Nonetheless, we’ve been separated for over a year now (18-19 months, actually). Like many women, I tend to prioritize my relationships, though I’ve done a lot more analysis of why/how that happens and I’m not wrapped up in worry about being in a relationship per se. Nonetheless, this divorce from someone that I thought would be in my life literally until I died – as close to forever as makes no nevermind – shook my own ability to see myself as valuable and attractive (which, admittedly, wasn’t necessarily difficult to do but doesn’t suck less for that).

Queer women in Portland have a good number of outlets for those interested in dating or just hooking up relative to many places (thank goodness), but in the time since I first tested the waters last december, relationships/dates have been not noticeably present. Then a couple weeks ago I started writing a woman just as a pen pal. She’s outside the US, so there was no possibility of a romantic relationship, but I was on OK Cupid and got linked to her profile & noticed a number of points of personality that made me think – “Hey, just like me!” This, needless to say, is not necessarily indicative of good dating material, even if you live in the same country. It’s often a lot better if you simply don’t’ have conflict and are otherwise more “complementary” than “same”. More to talk about, for instance.

But writing took about 8 or 9 days to go from exchanging something every three days to writing every day. Less than 2 weeks later, there’s no denying that I’m attracted to her and that she’s attracted to me.

Nor is there any denying that she doesn’t merely fit the profile of someone I’d enjoy dating, she really fits the profile of someone with whom I could enjoy a long term relationship.

Holy crap, as the kids all say.

I really, really wanted some adult touch and closeness. I enjoy kissing and snuggling even more than sex, though, hey, sex, amirite? So I’ve been looking for someone to date, to bring certain things to my life that are absent, to, when I’m honest, make me less lonely as I’m now living with just my dog for the first time in years except 19 months when I lived literally 1 block from work and spent most of my waking life there…and was dating someone anyway.

Now, instead of finding someone to have fun with and fill a short term need, I’ve met someone who, while I can’t know and don’t pretend to assume I do know will be attractive to me in person or a good long term fit for me over years, is nonetheless someone I have to at least consider for her qualities as a person whom I might like to keep around for a good long time.

And yet…
We haven’t physically met.
I’ve got law school starting next fall, she’s a single parent who can’t (and wouldn’t) pack up & leave her home easily or soon.

The good side?
Well, long term relationships take time to develop. I didn’t ask my wife to marry me for 4 years and it took another year for her to ask me back (though that had to do with her scraping up money for a ring as well as figuring out her timing & feelings). 4 years from now I’ll be graduating or nearly graduating from law school, so the time frame isn’t necessarily a worry. And the distance makes it easier to prioritize our own needs in the here/now.

But why the fuck am I even talking about this? I am not saying I think she’s “the one”. Besides the fact that I don’t believe that anyone meets all our needs and thus “the one” is problematic, even if we just mean “one of the many, but in this sea of people rare, persons with whom I could form a fulfilling relationship of mutual support and joy over a period lasting decades” I can’t possibly predict what I’ll feel on seeing her in person, and I’m highly unlikely (though not entirely unwilling) to have any sort of major partnership with someone with whom I don’t have a romantic/sexual relationship. That’s a pretty major doozy of a first step to watch out for.

And yet… It’s clear we’re “dating” to the extent that is possible over the internet/phone. It’s only been clear since last night, but seriously: it’s clear now. She’s going to fly to Portland her first reasonable opportunity, which should be in 5 to 8 weeks. I’m happy, I’m excited. Though on the one hand I don’t know this woman, there is so much we share in terms of assumptions about the world, relationships, people, language, that we’ve been able to communicate much more to each other in the last few weeks than I would have been able to share with pretty much any other human being. I know her as well as I know some co-workers that share my frickin’ office.

That’s something, right?

Oy. I have heard about people meeting over the internet and, though the evidence is clear it works for some people, never, never thought it would happen to me. I thought you’d have to be an exceptional personality type, maybe someone who is less evidenced based and more faith based. That ruled me out. And yet, while I don’t have as much evidence as one could ask for, I do have significant evidence. And we do have a very real connection, even if we can’t tell with any certainty what shape that connection will take after meeting in “real life”. In fact, I’m acutely aware now that internet communication **is** real life. It’s only one aspect of it and it has its limitations, but it is real life.

And I feel real joy at this relationship, whatever it is.

And so part of me wants to shout it out, the impulse one feels with any crush. But part of me is much more skeptical of *this* crush because we haven’t met in person.

I’m going to enjoy this rush of neurotransmitters. The feelings of a crush are real no matter how you come by your crush. But I am very interested: has anyone else met someone over the internet that has become a best friend, a lover, a spouse, someone very close in some capacity? What did that feel like?

I suppose I am looking to you as a community for an opportunity to both share joy and reflect on some powerful feelings that could use some analysis.

Anyone want to join in? You can just express happiness for me, or you can talk about similar experiences, or you can even (I give you permission) give me advice. Whatever strikes your fancy.

Take care, all.

CD

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

#419 –
I somehow suspected that’s exactly what you meant, Chigau.

Well, I’m glad your drive still works! Be careful not to send it through the dryer as well – I don’t think you want “vaporware”.

400. Dhorvath, OM says

Crip Dyke,
I have four good friends, two different couples, who met online and in geographic remoteness and navigated something somewhat similar to the situation you describe. The one couple is coming up on ten years together and the other just passed seven so I feel it reasonable to say that this can work. None of the four people would have thought before hand that meeting over the internet was a likely way for them to find connection, yet all of them have been happy to have done so.

Yes, you haven’t had a meeting in the flesh, but you have built a relationship nonetheless and that is something that many people can’t even manage with those they live in close proximity to. Celebrate that! Enjoy the rush, be in the relationship that you have and look forward to building on that when it is a fit for your life later.

For all that, I am pleased for you.

401. says

Katherine, this has no bearing on your topic, but it’s a kinda cool apparently stable system:
Body 1 Mass – 200
Body 2 Mass – 50 || X position – 160 || X velocity – 120
Body 3 Mass – 0.001 || X position – 80 || X velocity – 100
All the way to ‘accurate’

All other values are zero.

402. says

Late, but I wanted to tell Genn Fury that I support you. It IS NOT your fault; no survivor can be expected to bear the ethical burden for preventing others from being victimized.

For now, I hope your cousin pulls through (I very much understand the protective feelings and close relationship you have, having some very similar parallels in my own family) and can begin to recover. I hope you are able to be there for her and help her heal.

If you can’t talk to your husband since you’ve not come out to him as a survivor of abuse, maybe you can consider seeing a therapist and talking to them? Seeing someone objective may help you sort through your emotions here and get to a more stable place.

Most of all, hang in there!

403. Crip Dyke
I met my best friend online.
Even though we only live 30km apart, we’d never have met without the web because our lives are just too different. She’s a lot older than me (her daughter is only 4 years younger than me) and while I’m still hoping to graduate from college one day, she worked as a shop assistant in a toy store. The only thing we shared was a love for The Lord of the Rings and an internet connection. So we decided to meet one day in a mall, on neutral grounds, and then I visited her at home.
Strangly, I always forgot something there so I needed to come back. Then we always planned projects to make (we crafted some really cool stuff) and finally we just decided to meet every Monday. My life would be a hell lot poorer without her in it. She’s family.
And she spoiled my parents’ last hopes that I’d become “normal” once I become older and have a family myself :)

As for your situation: Have fun, take care. Lots of my marriage happens via the phone. Although we see each other every weekend, there were times when there were several thousand kilometres between us. It can work out.
I think you’ll know more once you met in person.

404. Crip Dyke, I think you could do with a bit more “let’s enjoy this” and bit less of “I better process and analyze this to death”.

Yes, I’ve met people over the net who have become an important part of my life. It’s good.

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

@ Caine, who said:

Crip Dyke, I think you could do with a bit more “let’s enjoy this” and bit less of “I better process and analyze this to death”.

Lulz – story of my frickin’ life.

Sometimes I think overanalyzing is my single greatest talent ;-)

Really, I went way overboard with the lesbian stereotype here….

(And by that I mean, in my brain over the past decades, not merely some individual post…)

406. says

@Crip Dyke, I don’t feel equipped to offer dating advice because my experience has been so non-typical, so I think I’ll stick to well wishes. Enjoy it!

407. John Morales says

Crip Dyke,

I enjoy contributing to Pharyngula, but it is clear that for some this is an important part of community and for some, however much or little they may write, simply a website.

Can’t it be both?

Regarding your new relationship, it seems to me you’re in the infatuation stage &mash; intense, that is.

(Unlike Caine, I don’t think an awareness of this is a bad thing)

Anyway, I wish you good luck!

408. John:

(Unlike Caine, I don’t think an awareness of this is a bad thing)

Awareness isn’t the same as over-processing and over-analyzing, John.

Crip Dyke knew what I meant, it’s a bad habit of some of us in the GLBT community that we do, indeed, live up to a certain stereotype. ;)

409. says

Crip Dyke, it sounds like a good start. (I didn’t really have anything to add, just my support for it working out.)
++++++++++++++++++++
I saw a guy today pushing a shopping cart and scavenging dumpsters and looked closer and realized he was someone from my social circle 10 years ago. I was never friends with him, he was friends of friends, and I don’t stay in touch with any of them, but daaaamn!

410. Pteryxx says

@Crip Dyke: in my experience, someone’s the same person in real life as they are online. They’re far more different when at work, or with their family, than they are when with a trusted friend, whether online or not. My partner and I became friends online over four years before we ever met, and meeting just felt like another safe place. Well, one with a weird interface, learning each others’ body language and such.

…Heck, I didn’t know over-analyzing was a lesbian thing. I thought it just went with being a nerd? But that might explain why they elected me an Honorary Lesbian a while back…hm.

411. John Morales says

Ah, OK, Caine.

(Incorporated into my knowledge base)

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

My partner and I became friends online over four years before we ever met, and meeting just felt like another safe place. Well, one with a weird interface,

Lol’d.

Pteryxx for the win!

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

@John – 430:

Can’t [pharyngula] be both [a website and a community[?

Yes…and no. To the extent that I said “just a website” meaning “and not a community” then, by definition, no. But of course Pharyngula is both.

one of the reasons that I’ve posted far more outside of TET than in is because I come here (or at least so far I’ve come here) mainly for news and discussions of matters I think are important. I started posting more because I saw an opportunity for social change than because I cared about whether any particular person might read what I said – marked as a response to things or not.

But things like Dr Esteleth’s hooding and how it’s received here on TET shows that many of us engage in social banter and exchange that creates friendly in-group solidarity (aka community). I’ve primarily posted on TET when someone shared something hard or good, just to be a decent person, but I was only *on* TET to begin with because something here was referenced elsewhere so it was related to my gathering of information in order to participate in those other parts of Pharyngula that function more for dissemination of viewpoints and elaboration of argumentation than for social connection.

In short, I was either picking up new infomation that was relevant to why I was here but not to the thread I started on (thus off topic’ed to TET) or learning how to be a good community member so as to be more effective and constructive elsewhere.

Along the way different people have done positively thoughtful & kind things (Caine and, I’m not sure, but I think SallyStrange one night were instantly on top of a comment that I posted about personal experiences with violence. I posted b/c it was relevant to a larger point, which I don’t remember but undoubtedly had something to do with sexism and atheist/skeptic communities – not that we ever talk about that – but they also realized that I *might* also need a bit of individual support because the experience was extremely dehumanizing. I didn’t need it, but the extended hand was not forgotten). That’s led me to think of people more and more as online friendships and less and less and merely typing monkeys behind a set of posts.

In short, I was gateway drugged into liking some of you. Thus when I had good news, but about which I feel …complicated things… and, being an academic during finals week had a full day with nothing to do while my normal friends are working and not around for a phone call or cup of tea, I decided to post something that truly had nothing to do with the overt mission of Pharyngula (I’m aware that creating community *is* a mission of Pharyngula, but not its overt one), but instead was really only relevant to the site to the extent that I have relationships with you all.

Also, it seemed appropriate since I don’t generally do “internet communities” (for a couple years I was a regular on a hobby board, that’s my only other experience and it is non-overlapping, indeed temporally remote, from this one) and I find myself bewildered that I can have such strong feelings for someone I only know online…yet here y’all are and, though my feelings aren’t nearly as strong, some of you are people toward whom I feel genuinely friendly. So… it seemed an appropriate thing to do, but also a very different use to which I’d put Pharyngula so far.

Consider this an extended paean to this place and its bizarrely welcoming intellectual hostility.

almost by definition, like others here I find it a good fit for me, but it is -or at least can be-an odd space.

414. John Morales says

Wow.

What can I say, Crip Dyke, other than you belong. :)

(Well, either that or “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy”)

415. John:

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy

I think this ^ works. Now, where did I put my eyepatch? And who took my rum?

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

Who took your rum, Caine? That was the villainy. The scum is over in this corner sharing some Scotch with me.

417. Dhorvath, OM says

Here, I got a bit carried away.

418. Crip Dyke:

That was the villainy.

Damn Villainy. Every single time. :wanders off muttering over booze:

419. says

Sorry about the Caine rum, that was **hiccup** me.

420. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

The Sailor:
Oooo, can I have some of Caine’s rum, too*? I feel the a scoundrel should have a place in this hive of scum and villainy.

*If not, I’ll just take it. MWAH HA HA HA!

421. Dhorvath, OM says

Bar fight! Don’t spill the rum.

422. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

Crip Dyke, I’ve never had a romantic relationship that started online but some of my very closest friends are from the interwebz; a few of them are fairly local to me and we see each other in the flesh regularly but some of them are in other states. For over 5 years now we’ve been members of a tiny forum created just for the purposes of staying in touch and chatting with each other and we’ve become very intimate supporting each other through marriages and divorces, births and miscarriages, new jobs and mental health hospitalizations. I scoff in the face of anyone who tries to tell me that meaningful relationships are difficult or impossible to start online.

423. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

Why is the run always gone?

424. Josh OSG:

I started to ask you what was wrong with Firefox, then I checked About Mozilla Firefox… and realized I’m still using 3.6.latest (on MacOS X 10.4.latest). One of these days I’ll get ’round to installing that memory upgrade and then going from Tiger to Leopard to Snow Leopard to Lion all in one fell cascade, and then maybe I’ll have some clue what the cool kids are talking about!

Also…

Your style gives you away. :)

Heh. No sockpuppetry for me, eh? ;^)

***
Genn Fury:

You don’t need me to say one more time what you’ve already heard from all the good folks here, but even so… it isn’t your fault!! Please take good care of yourself.

***
Crip Dyke:

I wouldn’t want to lose my marriage to get it, but I confess I envy you that hot flush of new infatuation. Enjoy it… and enjoy it a little more on behalf of us boring oldsters on the sidelines!

425. Audley:

Oooo, can I have some of Caine’s rum, too*?

Oh, right, just share what’s mine. *Goes off cussin’ a red streak*

426. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

Caine:

Oh, right, just share what’s mine.

Or take.

*Yoink!*

427. Cannabinaceae says

Crip Dyke, the majority of my close friends are people I met in the mid 1980’s, online. It is a totally valid, beyond valid – stupdendous, for me – way to get to know and like people.

To be sure, these are not my only friends, but they are my longest lasting, and closest, friends. We have multi-node video chats nearly every month. Although I moved away, I still visit them, and some of them visit me, across a continent.

I haven’t met any Pharynguloids in person, but I can tell that many of them would fit right in with The Baloneys. It’s my own fault that I haven’t, since there are several in the DC area. I hope to remedy this in the future.

428. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

Crip Dyke, I am rubbish at relationship advice – but I wish you all the best with this, and definitely enjoy the crush-buzz-endorphins (if that’s the right word) because that’s such a great feeling.

429. janine says

Crip Dyke, nosing in just a little late but allow me to toss an opinion. Just because the new person and you are in different countries and have different life paths does not mean that you cannot be important to each other. Set out the ground rules that there is always the possibility that both of you are free to develop physical relationships and hope that the online relationship is strong enough to survive when it happens.

While it is good to have physical intimacy, it is also good to be able to turn to someone who you relate to.

In other words, get what you can out of this and hope that both can find something worthwhile.

Good luck.

430. Eeeeeeeee, Esme just bruxed and boggled for the first time! ♥

432. says

Sorry folks, that was cane rum, my bad, Caine. I haz more and it’s available at the Space Bar and provided to the Emporium (I’m awaiting approval from Patricia or Nerd.)

433. Pteryxx says

…Did y’all Threadizens see Scott Walker’s pay-to-protest rules yet? Assassin Actual just posted. Also, news:

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week, under the new policy groups of four or more people must request permits at least 72 hours in advance, for events at the state Capitol or other state buildings.

In addition, organizers would have to pay for the extra Capitol police officers, at a rate of \$50 per hour per officer — plus costs for police officers brought in from outside agencies, according to the costs billed to the state. The police payment would have to be tendered in advance, as a requirement for getting a permit. Afterwards, organizers would then be charged for any clean-up costs.

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

okay, so I see the Sailor confessed to Villainy.

I wonder if Villainy was wearing a white collar & black dress at the time? (….oh, the jokes just flow too easy from there, I better quit before I get myself in trouble)

And Esme? I remember me some Esme. Where?Where?

Hrmph. I have to be patient until she wanders over the horizon? Patient? Me? For Freud’s Sake!

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

Okay, I looked up bruxed. Clearly were talking about the pet rodents, but wasn’t there an Esme who lived here for a while?

436. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy

Isn’t that the sign someone put on the OM’s orgy initiation room?

Sailor, if we don’t have your brand of swill, just ask. Then we’ll tell you the cost. You might lose interest at that point.

437. pest toast

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

The Sailor –
thanks
cute little rodents, she said, ironically meaning it metaphorically.

439. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

Uh, Boardwalk Empire season finale.

Damn

440. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

Rev:
Next week! This past one was the penultimate episode!

And can I say, “Eeeeeew!”? ‘Cos whoa, Jimmy and his mom were creepy enough without that, um, baggage.

441. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

… Unless you’ve got a time machine.

442. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

Whoa, WTF

Dear brothers and sisters. Now is the time to open your eyes!

In a stunning move that has civil libertarians stuttering with disbelief, the U.S. Senate has just passed a bill that effectively ends the Bill of Rights in America.

The National Defense Authorization Act is being called the most traitorous act ever witnessed in the Senate, and the language of the bill is cleverly designed to make you think it doesn’t apply to Americans, but toward the end of the bill, it essentially says it can apply to Americans “if we want it to.

Bill Summary & Status, 112th Congress (2011 — 2012) | S.1867 | Latest Title: National Defense Authorization Act for.

This bill, passed late last night in a 93-7 vote, declares the entire USA to be a “battleground” upon which U.S. military forces can operate with impunity, overriding Posse Comitatus and granting the military the unchecked power to arrest, detain, interrogate and even assassinate U.S. citizens with impunity.

Even WIRED magazine was outraged at this bill, reporting:

Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial

…the detention mandate to use indefinite military detention in terrorism cases isn’t limited to foreigners. It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”

The passage of this law is nothing less than an outright declaration of WAR against the American People by the military-connected power elite. If this is signed into law, it will shred the remaining tenants of the Bill of Rights and unleash upon America a total military dictatorship, complete with secret arrests, secret prisons, unlawful interrogations, indefinite detainment without ever being charged with a crime, the torture of Americans and even the “legitimate assassination” of U.S. citizens right here on American soil!

If you have not yet woken up to the reality of the police state we’ve been warning you about, I hope you realize we are fast running out of time. Once this becomes law, you have no rights whatsoever in America. — no due process, no First Amendment speech rights, no right to remain silent, nothing.

The US senate does not want us to speak. I suspect even now orders are being shouted into telephones and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?
Cruelty and injustice…intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told…if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic, you turned to the now President in command Barack Obama. He promised you order. He promised you peace. And all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

More than four hundred years ago, a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness. Justice, and freedom are more than words – they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek…then I ask you to stand beside one another, one year from November 5th, 2011, outside the gates of every court house of every city DEMANDING our rights!!

Together we stand against the injustice of our own Government.

National Defense Authorization Act

Here’s the best thing that can be said about the new detention powers the Senate has tucked into next year’s defense bill: They don’t force the military to detain American citizens indefinitely without a trial. They just let the military do that. And even though the leaders of the military and the spy community have said they want no such power, the Senate is poised to pass its bill as early as tonight.

There are still changes swirling around the Senate, but this looks like the basic shape of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Someone the government says is “a member of, or part of, al-Qaida or an associated force” can be held in military custody “without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Those hostilities are currently scheduled to end the Wednesday after never. The move would shut down criminal trials for terror suspects.

But far more dramatically, the detention mandate to use indefinite military detention in terrorism cases isn’t limited to foreigners. It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”

443. http://pss.sagepub.com/content/1/5/319.short (Extra lazy tonight, so I’ll post the PDF if anyone expresses interest.)

Abstract: The question of when people rely on stereotypic preconceptions in judging others was investigated in two studies. As a person’s motivation or ability to process information systematically is diminished, the person may rely to an increasing extent on stereotypes, when available, as a way of simplifying the task of generating a response. It was hypothesized that circadian variations in arousal levels would be related to social perceivers’ propensity to stereotype others by virtue of their effects on motivation and processing capacity. In support of this hypothesis, subjects exhibited stereotypic biases in their judgments to a much greater extent when the judgments were rendered at a nonoptimal time of day (i.e., in the morning for “night people” and in the evening for “morning people”). In Study One, this pattern was found in probability judgments concerning personal characteristics; in Study Two, the pattern was obtained in perceptions of guilt in allegations of student misbehavior. Results generalized over a range of different types of social stereotypes and suggest that biological processes should be considered in attempts to conceptualize the determinants of stereotyping.

444. says

CD, I agree, they’re Caine’s. Along with Chas (& Rubin).

445. John Morales says

Nerd,

Isn’t that the sign someone put on the OM’s orgy initiation room?

Yeah, before it got stolen. Before that, didn’t it used to read something about an “Ozymandias”?

Right now, it reads “Abandon hope all ye who enter here”.

(I think)

<checks>

Damn! OK, who stole that one?!

446. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

Rev:
Next week! This past one was the penultimate episode!

And can I say, “Eeeeeew!”? ‘Cos whoa, Jimmy and his mom were creepy enough without that, um, baggage.

Damn! I was off a week. Sweet.

and yeah

ewww.

447. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

Rev:
I just hope that Richard Harrow goes apeshit on a whole lot of people next week.

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

Remember, remember, the graphic novel’s prescience and the movie’s ability to succeed commercially while directly telling its audience: You stupid fucking idiots, are you paying attention at all? You’re creating this fictional world that you can only come to regret and instead of putting a stop to it right now, you’re sitting in an air-conditioned movie theater. Ignorant douchegabbers!

I still don’t know how that movie made money when it was so explicit about its point that, as masses of people, humans have been incredibly stupid… not at all least in how they react to cries of, “Be afraid!” from politicians.

449. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

Rev:
I just hope that Richard Harrow goes apeshit on a whole lot of people next week.

I’m kind of hoping Manny will. He’s my favorite villain in a long time.

Maybe Manny vs. Richard.

450. Apropos of nothing much, I can finally say I’ve eaten at the restaurant of a chef I’ve seen on TV: Bun Lai, contestant on tonight’s Chopped episode, is the chef of Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, where my daughter took me (not much more than a year after promising to) for a birthday dinner. Great food; I hope he wins.

Racing back to the DVR now….

451. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

452. cicely, unheeded prophetess of the Equine Apocalypse says

Crip Dyke…think of the Web as a mutual friend who introduced you. The introduction may only lead you to friendship, or it may lead to something more, or it may not lead anywhere…but wouldn’t you hate to be 85 one day and thinking, “If only…..”?

In any case, I wish you well in it.

…Heck, I didn’t know over-analyzing was a lesbian thing. I thought it just went with being a nerd?

Me, too. :)

In short, I was gateway drugged into liking some of you.

:D :D :D
(We’re insidious that way.)

(Well, either that or “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy”)

In our own, bizarrely welcoming and intellectually hostile way. (Brilliant phrase, Crip Dyke!)

*watching rum scrum*
See, now this is exactly why the rum is always gone.

453. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

Rev,
Manny v. Richard makes a whole hell of a lot of sense, especially considering that Angela was kind to Richard. I can see him taking revenge.

454. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

Jon Stewart declaring war on Christmas.

455. Pteryxx says

scooped by RevBDC. But it was GLORIOUS (and done in multiple Presidential imitations!)

456. Hekuni Cat says

Eeeeeeeee, Esme just bruxed and boggled for the first time! ♥

That’s wonderful, Caine! She’s definitely home.

457. A recent provision in the 2012 edition [S 1867] would create an alarmingly unconstitutional precedent.[2] The act for 2012, which passed with 93 ‘yay’ votes to 7 ‘nay’ in the U.S. Senate,

Why the fuck do we even have democrats? Did they give into this one to try to stave off a “Rape the Children Bill?” What the fuck?

458. Apparently bipartisan means the Democrats hold us down while the Republicans punch. 93 fucking senators are unfit to serve

459. says

Rev: Urrrgghh. USA=doomed. Please don’t take the rest of civilisation with you. Let me remind you that illegally immigrating to Australia is best done by plane, not boat.

460. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

I just fired off an email to Obama about the NDAA. Whether it will be read or not, I don’t know. All the same, Canada, Australia, various countries in Europe, is there space in your borders for a lass with no college degree and several years’ experience as a teacher’s aide?

461. John:

Damn! OK, who stole that one?!

:looks down: It was perfect for my studio!

Hekuni Cat:

That’s wonderful, Caine! She’s definitely home.

:D She’s getting there. She’s still a complete skitterbiscuit.

462. chigau (違う) says

A fine thing.
I’m out teaching kids to line-up and shut-up and y’all drink all the rum.
The the USA sinks even deeper.
huh.

463. says

Part-Time Insomniac, child care workers and teachers are in high demand in Australia. But some sort of certification, if not an actual degree, is extremely helpful. If you’re young and have a desirable occupation – pretty well anything medical, or trades, teaching, engineering, IT etc – then it’s not very difficult. (Of course the pay for childcare workers sucks, but hey, pretty good government healthcare and 4 weeks vacation minimum!)

464. says

Speaking of stupid, bronze age, Islamic bullshit…

Victorian man sentenced to 500 lashes by Saudis

I wish I could do something about this… I feel sick inside reading that story, and I know that it’s not the worst of it, but I just feel like there is no hope for this world sometimes and I just want to crawl up into a hole and cry…

But, I won’t. Just wish I could do something…

:(

465. John Morales says

Caine,

It was perfect for my studio!

Oh — well, that’s alright, then! :)

Maybe you can make the next one, arty-farty: Castle Anthrax.

466. Darn, I missed the party for a bad night of sleep

467. Gen Fury of the Desolate Furies says

Cicely
I know it’s stupid, and you probably wouldn’t know me in any case, but I’m not a *raw* noobie at least. Long-time lurker, some-time (SELDOM!) poster here.

I use to post as Deviant One, until I gave my blog up. Recently I posted as Gen the Radfem of Dhoom, which I knew was just inappropriate given what I was struggling with. Also, the registration wouldn’t accept only “Gen”, it needed 4 letters so I threw in an “n”. Guess I should have made it clear or at least removed the stupid extra “n” in my display name!

I did now… now I”m just wondering, how can I get me one of them nifty pictoors y’all have?

@ Everyone
Thanks so much for the support and encouragement. I just really needed to get it out. It’s as if, by never having told anyone, the thought/fear was trapped in my mind, echoing and shouting and echoing some more with each echo becoming louder and louder until I couldn’t hear myself think.

Now at least it’s out and I don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Does that sound strange? It’s still true. The dread and horror no longer echoes in my mind, overriding everything else (including mah feminist teachins and common sense!).

My therapist is on holiday (hey, ’tis the season, right?) but I’ll definitely be bookmarking the Rainn online support, thanks so much for that.

As for things at the hospital, things are pretty much the same. Lung collapsed a while ago, and now she’s spiking a fever, but overall still the same.

468. John Morales says

Gen, they’re gravatars.