[Lounge #400]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Hey, is that a naked little old man over there?

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. rq says

    Oooh, portcullised!!!
    What is that?
    Eck. Well, of course youngest child is perfectly fine to fall soundly asleep and be placed in his own bed, fever and all, after I’ve finished watching the movie and typing all comments one-handed (ok, fine, it was just the second half!). *sigh and mumbles about children and sickness and inconvenient times*
    Anyway, it’s rather late, so I’ll haul myself off to bed. Good night, and happy Groundhog Day!

  2. rq says

    (I’m going to go make the best of it while I can! ;) Thanks for watching the movie with me, Parrowing!)

  3. strange gods before me ॐ says

    National Review defends Nazism.

    Clicking through, I’m glad to see that this claim is false.

    (It is a cheap shot at Obama, though.)

  4. Beatrice says

    I’ll be off to bed too.

    People here come from all over the world, so someone is always hanging around here. Whenever you feel like talking, drop by.
    As you can see from all the goodnights, there’s a bunch of us from Europe. If you’ve gone to bed already, and read this in the morning, feel welcome to start a conversation.

  5. subbie says

    A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but they did refer to the platform position that “no Jew can be a member of the race” as “non-senseless.”

  6. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    NRO were defending the “sensible” Germans who were persuaded by Nazism. Because the nazi-commie-muslim pretender in chief called the Holocaust “senseless violence”.

    Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.” By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.

  7. says

    From previous thread:
    Anonymous Christian
    I used to have similar problems with lashing out and yelling as you’ve described; therapy did help me, but so did being ina situation where I wns’t being teased and harassed; so, not entirely helpful, but I do sympathize.
    Re: the acne, have you consulted a doctor about it? That kind of chronic, sever acne can sometimes be caused by and underlying issue, and will fade if that’s treated; I’m not a doctor, and I can’t offer any better advice than that, but I would recommend you see one if at all possible.
    On that note, acne itself is not an insurmountable barrier to romance, despite what your friends tell you, nor is being [perceived as] overweight. (I say perceived as because the standards by which people generally judge such things are completely arbitrary; if someone is sufficiently obese that it causes medical problems, that is legitimately describable as ‘overweight’ in a clinical sense, but that’s pretty much between someone and their doctor.) If you’re looking to feel more healthy (Which will not hurt your moods at all and may well lead to some increased confidence in yourself), look into a hobby that involved activity; cycling, walks in the park/around the quad, possibly enroll in a dance class through the PE department at your school. If you do the latter, you are also likely to be popular in the class, particularly if the dance form involves paired dancing; the population of such classes is usually skewed heavily towards women, and men who attend often get put into a ‘provisionally not an asshole’ category. In other words, it’s a good way to meet women in a non-threatening environment and start to develop relationships. (Note: It is vitally important to also not, in fact, be an asshole, but from what you’ve posted it doesn’t sound like that should be a large issue for you.)

    I’m not someone who is good at making conversations easily so I often feel like a third wheel and I have only very few friends (like 1 or 2) who I’ve ever really managed to get close to in my entire life,

    I do know what this is like, but unfortunately I have little advice to give other than to be open to the possibility that it will happen again. IME it does, although still pretty rarely. I don’t know what else to say on that one, but if you want hugs from an internet stranger, they’re here.

  8. strange gods before me ॐ says


    It’s Lounge #46.

    Or if the 400 is imagined to be since the beginning of the argument, this is more like 402 or 403. I forget exactly; ask Chas.

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lets, see, ground pork, bread, onions, garlic, tomatoes, eggs, and a trebuchetload of spices. Time to make some “ground hog” for groundhog day.

  10. carlie says

    DAMMIT PORTCULLIS!!! *shakes fist*


    My first thought is that you need to get the heck out of that geographic location and to a bigger college in a bigger city. I know that might not be feasible, but that sounds like a small, tight group of cliques that you’re describing; at larger colleges especially, people don’t really care about making fun of others the way they do in high school; there’s much more of a live and let live attitude, and more people around total means you’re more likely to find people who match you. If you can’t get out entirely, are there other colleges around where you can go looking for extracurricular activities, or take classes to transfer in now and then? I imagine you feel most comfortable in a church-type situation; there are often religious organizations at colleges that have students from several different churches, and you might find both people who are more warming and welcoming and maybe even a new church to go to that is better for you. Even if you can’t get away, you might be able to change the circles of people who are around you.

    I apologize for the crassness, but the whole time I was reading your comment I was thinking “fuck them, fuck them, who do they think they are, they don’t have the right to treat you that way, and boy are they in for a rude awakening when they hit the real world and find out that not everybody falls into ‘top dog’ and ‘pick on’ groups”. Seriously. There is nothing wrong with you. Everything you’ve described are things that the majority of perfectly average people go through, and all those people around you are small-minded jerks.

    It probably sounds like punting for us to tell you to go to professional therapy, but what that does is gives you a way to look at the world differently, it gives you someone who can help you put a longer perspective on things, help you plan for what you want to be in a few years and how to get there. Think of it as a hand grabbing yours and helping you up the first few steps of a ladder that is a bit wobbly and cracking on the first rungs, but is solid and good from there on up if you can get past the beginning. Yes, the school therapists are being paid to be there, but the way to look at it is that they’re working for you. Their entire job description is “help students”. And if one of them isn’t helpful, it’s ok to “fire” them and get another.

    Please, keep any of these numbers in your phone. Program it in now and give it a code name. If you feel shaky or like you have no one to talk to, call. These are people who are trained to help, who want to help, who want to talk to you.

    Helpline 1: 08457 909090 (UK local rate) or +44 1603 611311
    Helpline 2: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
    Helpline 3: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
    Helpline 4: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)

  11. strange gods before me ॐ says

    but they did refer to the platform position that “no Jew can be a member of the race” as “non-senseless.”

    It isn’t senseless. It’s evil, but it has substantive content and there was a deliberative reason for it. Senseless violence is more like when a bystander is accidentally shot.

    NRO were defending the “sensible” Germans who were persuaded by Nazism.

    I see no moral defense there. It’s just true that they weren’t stupid, weren’t acting randomly, and weren’t tricked. Nazism did win a lot of people over by persuasion.

    Comparatively, World War I was far more senseless.

    Because the nazi-commie-muslim pretender in chief called the Holocaust “senseless violence”.

    Of course, yeah, they wouldn’t have complained if Bush said it. But the White House’s statement is pretty shallow; it does lack any serious reference to why the Holocaust happened.

  12. Nightjar says

    Anon Christian,

    Hi! I just read your post and I’m afraid there’s not much else I can say or do to help you right now, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m listening. This is a good place to vent and to chat and I sincerely hope you will get something positive out of commenting here. As Beatrice said, there are people from all over the world checking here everyday so it’s pretty much guaranteed that someone will be here to listen and to be supportive whenever you need to talk.

    I’m in Europe too so I’ll be off to bed soon, but I’ll check here in the morning. I hope to hear more from you.

  13. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Of course, yeah, they wouldn’t have complained if Bush said it. But the White House’s statement is pretty shallow; it does lack any serious reference to why the Holocaust happened.

    Yes, the statement was a platitude. That is a given. There is no reason to expect a Christopher Browning style discussion of why ordinary people backed the Nazis and committed their murders. But the NRO and other group are so reactive, they see no reason in not defending a people who committed a grievous crime.

  14. Rey Fox says

    By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.

    They have a point here. I don’t think it’s the one they’re trying to make though.

    Hey everybody. Jeez, 400?

  15. ckitching says

    It isn’t senseless. It’s evil, but it has substantive content and there was a deliberative reason for it.

    That ignores the other sense the word senseless is often used: to say something is foolish, or stupid. In that context, the genocide of German Jews was a senseless tragedy, because it could not, and would not fix the problems in German society.

  16. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    anonymouschristian – Welcome to our Lounge. I don’t have any advice to offer that hasn’t been given by others above, but we are always willing to listen.

  17. says

    Hey folks. Back from the outdoors… we made it back safe! BossNurse got the damned Coach purse she wanted, not because it was a good idea but because they were 50-60% off. :) We visited the Official SpokesGuitar. We had an entertaining time at a jewelry store talking to a manic watch aficionado. We had sushi for lunch, and picked up some shrimp that I’m going to fry up in about 20 minutes. After dinner, we’re going to watch a movie or something, while my wife plans next weekend.

    There’s a club we’re thinking about joining that meets next weekend. We might have to leave the house again!

  18. bluentx says

    Lynna @721, previous thread:
    “Seal up your ports!”
    Now she sends out the alert ?
    Woke today to an ‘allergy attack’. Sniffles persisted even after the drugs. Now wondering if it isn’t more than originally thought.
    I have sooo much to do on my upcoming days off! I can’t get sick now! /whine

    Movie timers:
    Setting The Princess Bride & Groundhog Day aside for said days off. Couldn’t join you on first run as coffee was just kicking in at start time and I wasn’t yet functional. :) I’ll pretend my viewing time is like having HBO where they show the same movie over and over and over and… (Good excuse to take breaks from chores, too.)

    On (1) making Glenn Beck cry and (2) setting up the commune in Texas:
    What doesn’t make GB cry? and… ahem… ” BUT I WANNA GET OUT O’ HERE!

  19. chigau (違う) says

    When you include alot of non-gluten flours in your bread, it takes ALOT of kneading to make loaves.
    a lot of kneading
    I’m exhausted.

  20. says


    Well, aside from it being in the U.S., I still like Oregon. There’s a whole empty block not 2 miles from where I live, that’s been empty for better than a decade now and no sign of use. The neighbors are warehouses and a garage, and a few of them might be available too in a longer term fashion for when we expand. There’s significant potential in cob and rammed earth for initial development, it cant get to at least 3 stories and can be put together by semiskilled labor. Further, it’s easy to get rid of if it becomes imperative to put up something else instead. Assuming that room is left to garden, there should still be room for a few dozen people, and if we work with some aeroponic and hydropinic systems, we can do better than that (Assuming folks are willing to settle for apartments, with some larger spaces being communal to some extent). In the longer term, converted and expanded warehousing has significant potential, and if we can get a large enough plot of land, I’ve been playing around with some designs for a for real arcology (designed as an adjunct to a city, not independent, but it might serve for a small town on its own) for several years now.

  21. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I imagine you feel most comfortable in a church-type situation; there are often religious organizations at colleges that have students from several different churches, and you might find both people who are more warming and welcoming and maybe even a new church to go to that is better for you.

    On this note, if there’s a Unitarian Universalist center nearby you might want to try attending a service. I’ve been told they vary a bit, but the one I have experience with is essentially a general humanist society – not secular humanist, but focusing on the common values of humanism among secular humanists, Christian humanists, deistic humanists, “spiritual-but-not-religious” humanists (I suspect the latter type is a plurality if not a majority among attendees), and so forth, which retains many of the organizational, procedural, and aesthetic elements of “church” as it is generally experienced in Western society. (I actually attend my local one weekly, with my daughter). Supportiveness and openness are core values, as is the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

  22. chigau (違う) says

    We need the Commune to be migratory.
    Or two locations: one in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere.
    Continuous vegetable crops and continuous snow-sports.

  23. bluentx says

    Oregon sounds pretty good to me.
    If necessary we could build up. Up, as in tree houses. No,seriously.
    (Now, what was that guy’s name?) There was that bank robber who used much of his booty to finance his tree house project. There are pictures/video of it/them. It was amazingly elaborate and rather beautiful. He was in Oregon or Washington state so I know the trees there can take it . : )

  24. chigau (違う) says

    I spent the day (between bouts of bread-kneading) at cakewrecks.
    I think I’ve seen them all…

  25. bluentx says

    Thanks for pointing that out chigau . That post goes to the top of my catch up list. And yeah Maureen is pretty awesome*.

    Not a word I use lightly.

  26. says

    Today is Groundhog Day.
    This morning we found one dead at our door. True Fact™.

    I’m not sure how much more winter this means, but I don’t think it’s a good sign.

  27. says

    The weird thing is that this guy, like yours grandfather and yours son, are younger than you. No? Let’s do some calculus.

    The essence of biological systems is DNA. And Dna emergerd about, let’s suppose,1 billion year ago. Today it is 1 billion year old. When a hominid like this guy was born, 5 million years ago (?), DNA was 995,000,000 years old. This guy took his parcel of DNA and his DNA died 995.000.100 years old.Yours grandfather took his DNA when it was 999.999.930 years old. You did it at 999.999.960. Yours son, 999.999.990. Then, yours son is the oldest person of all. And you are younger than yours grandfather.

    It means that humans lies not only about religion, but, about their age also. because which matter is not human as the observer interpreting time, the real interpreter is the Universe. And to the Universe you are the oldest here. Yours age today is 13,7 billions years, because yours History began with the Big Bang.

    Solon, old man!

  28. says

    Hell, I did everything wrong. You are younger than yours son and more older than yours grandfather. Really it is difficult to re-organize these things that were so long wrong in our mind.

  29. chigau (違う) says

    We are very forgiving here in the Lounge.
    But really, you need to try harder to do English.
    or comment in your language of choice and we will attempt translations
    Jafafa Hots
    Maybe … weather … is… over?
    Can that be good?

  30. Strom und Drang says

    anonymouschristian, I hope you are still here reading with us.

    I can’t really adequately or eloquently express this, but I am so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. You deserve better. There is nothing that you are doing, nothing about you, nothing within you, that justifies the abuse you are receiving. Your bullies are assholes.

    You sound like a good person. You support marriage equality and women’s rights even though those around you scorn you for it, and you are brave and proactive, coming into an unfamiliar community to ask for help. Stick around, anonymouschristian, and know that we wish you all the best.

    If you are interested in another set of friendly online ears or a more advice-oriented blog, you might also check out CaptainAwkward.com. The commentariat there is excellent, and some of the regular commenters have been victims of extensive bullying.

  31. yubal says

    Today will be the 70th anniversary of the battle for Stalingrad. A symbol for the worst of the worst our species can inflict to itself.

    I would like to encourage everyone to hold still for one moment and contemplate about all the needless loss of life we endured and all the suffering our species had to cope with during our history.

    Please try to make this day (or any other day) special by giving one more smile and one more effort that would be necessary to make a fellow human being feel comfortable and appreciated.

    Thank you

  32. anonymouschristian says

    Hey. Yeah I’m still around. I live in England so I had to go to bed as well. I’ve tried appealing to the notion that I get out of that college and indeed even the area I live in, but our finances aren’t exactly that great and I just essentially get all the “It’ll get better” stuff despite the fact that I keep pleaing that it won’t. In terms of the other colleges around, there are Christian colleges, but the one thing both my parents and I agree on is that they seem a little too… fundamental for our tastes. With regards to the other secular colleges, from what I’ve read they apparently don’t score as well for exam results and quality of education as the college I’m at, and they too also appear to have rampant bullying problems, which means that even though in theory I’d be having a fresh start, the nature of the stuff I’ve mentioned means I’d very likely still become a target anyway.

    I think there is a Unitarian Church around somewhere in our area, so that is particularly helpful. Likewise on the numbers Carlie provided. And I know it’s pretty much irrational to buy into what the tyranny of the majority (at least in my local area) has to say you, but when you get subjected to it for years and years, I ended up getting into the position I am now where you think maybe they have a point.

    What really enrages me is my teachers. I do understand the “rehab of bullies” mindset, I really do, and I’d support it if there was any evidence my bullies were actually changing their ways. Considering how long it’s been going on, I really can’t understand why the teachers haven’t gone: “Okay, clearly this rehab BS isn’t working at all on these bullies, throw the fucking book at them”.

    But yeah with Churches, the fact that my closest Church both geographically and emotionally let me down when I needed their help badly really shook my faith in the whole going to Churches as a form of aid thing. Especially since a lot of times they seem to care more about my LGBT and women’s rights positions and my liking of science too than what’s actually happening to me.

    But yeah, this place seems to have comfirmed my friend’s diagnosis that I probably needed to go outside the box in terms of solving my depression, which I still have but after reading all the kind words has at least managed to insert some form of hope in my mind. I still feel suicidal, albeit less so after all the support I’ve gotten here. This has seriously helped a lot and frankly even having less of an inclination to do what I want to do is still a great leap. After seeing how you’ve rallied to help someone like me even though I don’t value myself at all, it baffles me how anyone can say atheists – especially of the secular humanists – are so “immoral”. Why does this accusation get tossed around so much? It’s ridiculous.

    Thank you for your kindness,

    Anon Christian

  33. John Morales says


    After seeing how you’ve rallied to help someone like me even though I don’t value myself at all, it baffles me how anyone can say atheists – especially of the secular humanists – are so “immoral”. Why does this accusation get tossed around so much? It’s ridiculous.

    It’s based on the idea that morality only comes from outside humanity, specifically, through Divine Revelation. Obviously, as atheists, we don’t believe in Revelation.

    (Most of us atheists figure that there is nobody but us apes here; if we don’t look after each other, who will?)

  34. bluentx says

    Good morning, rq:
    Hugs for the kidos and a few more for Mom. Hope #3 does not succumb, nor you.!

  35. pensnest says

    Anonymous Christian

    I’m assuming from your terminology that you’re at at sixth-form (equivalent) college, is that right? Being stuck with your contemporaries, who plainly have not matured very much, is not doing you any favours, so it might be helpful to you to spend more time with a wider age range of potential friends, perhaps?

    There may be an amateur theatre group locally – usually they are also keen to recruit younger people, and men of all ages are generally *very* welcome! Especially if you can sing, but actually, just being willing to show up usually goes down well. Or, as someone upthread mentioned, dance classes would probably be really good for you in lots of ways. Dancing is *fun* exercise, and actually makes you feel better; again, as a male, you’d be in demand; and… well, a lot of girls and women will find it remarkably appealing to have the opportunity to dance with a man who actually knows how to dance, and can lead. (I met my husband through ballroom dancing, so there’s an example of one.) Look for salsa classes, modern jive, ballroom and Latin classes, there are likely to be all kinds of options local to you, wherever you are in the UK, and most of them won’t be very expensive.

    An alternative approach would be to find people who need your help. There are so many volunteer organisations that need people, and being able to help others could really help your own sense of self-worth. Please, don’t ever forget that you *have* worth as a human being. Personally, I would say you have far more worth than people who mock your seizures or send you death threats for being a decent person (those are the ‘moral’ ones, really? really?), and I suspect most of the others here in the Lounge would agree.

    And let me encourage you to read more of the posts here at Pharyngula and elsewhere on FTB. You may find the comments a bit scary at first, but keep an open mind, because I’d say the commenters here are amazing and have a lot to teach, well, everyone.

  36. rq says

    Thanks. I’m hoping for the same. :/ I’d love to stay home all day and do nothing but watch bobsleigh, but we have to make a trip to the store otherwise there’s no dinner toniiight! I hate taking even slightly ill children out in public, because I hate it when other people do it. Here’s hoping it goes quickly!

    I’m glad you’ve decided to stick around a bit, even if only to get a different perspective. I see there are several good recommendations for changing your people environment (dance classes, theatre, volunteering); I can only second all of those, as well as the recommendation to read around FtB, and to listen to all the wonderful commenters here.
    Especially seconding this:

    Please, don’t ever forget that you *have* worth as a human being.

    Because this is the only life you have.

  37. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says



    I see that you’ve been given some very good advice so far. I really have nothing to add on that score other than my own experience.

    I was a social outcast in high school, I’m assuming that you are in the UK equivalent of late high school. I had bad eyes, bad teeth and bad skin. I was into computers and roleplaying games. I had no interest at all in sports or cars. You get the picture. I also suffered from depression to the point where I made a very half-hearted attempt to kill myself. Well, it seems half-hearted now, at the time that wasn’t so clear to me.

    Three things helped me.

    First, I got professional help. I told my mother that’d I’d put a knife my wrist and pressed down ’till the skin broke. That tiny pain made me pause and in that moment I had a vision of her trying to scrub my blood out of the carpet. For all that I wanted the emotional pain to stop, I still didn’t want to visit even a tiny portion of that pain upon my mother. I was under a psychiatrist’s care within 24 hours of that admission.

    I don’t think he fixed me. But I do think that having someone completely outside my life to talk to, someone with experience and training in handling people in my state for whom this was in no way personal, really helped. You see, telling family or friends made me feel guilty. I liked the fact that he was paid to listen because then I wasn’t imposing. Being able to talk about it all in a safe space with no reciprocal obligations being incurred was a great relief.

    Second, I took up fencing. Weird huh? It makes a kind of sense in light of my interest in fantasy fiction and role playing. It’s a solitary sport which I really liked. It’s hard work and fun. For the first time in my life I was getting exercise and not hating it. It also opened up my social contacts to a group outside my school. One of the folks I met fencing invited me to meet his friends, all of whom also did role-playing games.

    Which brings us to the tertiary and terminal point: I found friends outside my school. Those folks I met through my fencing buddy became my social circle. Sure they played D&D and so on, but they were all a year or two older than me and were out of school. There might have been beer involved in those gaming sessions. They might have helped me sneak into gigs and nightclubs despite being underaged. They were completely unlike everyone in my school and to this day I owe them a great deal.

    Please understand, I was lucky. I might have fallen into a group of idiots and been dragged down in a direction that would have made me worse. I’m not offering this as panacea to your troubles. But I am offering it as encouragement.

    The advice you got to get outside your current social circle was really, really good.

    And here you are!

    Here you are, actually doing it. That is fan-fucking-tastic. It’s a big step, and now that you’re moving I suggest you use the inertia inherent in any object in motion to keep on going. If you can find some activity that you enjoy, get involved. And while you’re doing so keep firmly in mind that these new folks DO. NOT. KNOW. YOU. They have no history and no expectations of your behaviour. And that is an opportunity for self-change.

    At that first fencing class I felt like fraud. I felt like at any moment someone was going to say “Hey, you don’t belong here, nerd!” I felt like I was about to be policed in the way I always was at school. But those people DID. NOT. KNOW. ME. And that freedom to be whatever I wanted, whoever I wanted, was the first big step out of the dank, dark hopeless hole that I perceived my life to be.

    It’s been a long journey, and one that I can’t say has always been successful, nor can I say that I’ve found my way to perfect mental health and happiness. But looking back I am so far from where I was that I can say with absolute assurance that I will never, ever reach those depths again.

    In this one case, it really did get better.

    I hope that it will get better for you too.

  38. says

    Good morning

    Hi anonymouschristian
    I’m glad you’re still reading.

    But I have real difficulty connecting with any kind of counsellor, especially an on-campus one, because I can’t shake the feeling that the only reason they are there is because they are paid to be. And from the counsellors I’ve had, nothing’s convinced me against this belief.

    Here’s something I found very, very helpful in dealing with my own issues.
    The binary idea of body and mind is bullshit.
    Your mental health is part of your overall health the same way your stomach health is part of your overall health. This idea of body and mind is deeply ingrained into our culture, the whole idea of the soul as something that is outside of your physical body is part of that.
    And this idea hurts. It hurts you at this moment. I’m going to change your statement above slightly to show you what I mean:

    But I have real difficulty going to any kind of doctor for treating my broken leg, especially an on-campus one, because I can’t shake the feeling that the only reason they are there is because they are paid to be. And from the counsellors I’ve had, nothing’s convinced me against this belief.

    You are right. A counsellor is paid to help you. Your GP is paid to help you. A counsellor is not supposed to be your friend any more than the surgeon who operates on your broken leg. My counsellor is not my friend, he’s not supposed to be. He cares about my welfare, because he chose that profession because he wants to help people the same way my GP chose that profession. His goal is to get my mental health to a point where I can deal without him helping me, just like my GP’s goal is to get me over the terrible cold I have.
    Those very unhelpful comments from your friends and family are part of that body and mind thinking. Nobody would tell you “get over it” “don’t be such a whiner” “It will get better” if you break your leg. And that hinders people from seeking mental healthcare. You are not a failure for needing help, you are not weak for needing help.
    That doesn’t mean that every counsellor will be good for you (some counsellors are idiots, too), the nature of therapy means that “the chemistry” between the two of you has to work and a good counsellor will always understand if you say you want to see somebody else.
    Really best wishes

  39. bluentx says

    Not that your darlings would ever be like this but..shopping…with children…
    I linked to this video on FB the other day. Among all the sickening sweet “My children are the greatest, most perfect on earth ” posts it didn’t get even one “like”. I wonder why? : )

    When my son was about six–
    We were out shopping. It was an “I want this..I want that..” kind of day.
    Me: No, G not today. No, not that either. You have one just like that at home. No. No….”
    We get in line to check out.
    G: Can I have that? That? That?
    Me: No, G. Not today.
    Silence. Change of strategy.
    Puppy dog eyes.
    G: Mom..?
    Me: Yes, G?
    G: I love you…
    Me: I love you to G… but you’re still not getting a new toy or candy.
    G: *sigh*
    I could see the cashier was trying not to laugh. Bet she’s been through that before too.

    Shopping with one is hard enough…but two or three…and sick… I must have a medal of bravery around here somewhere…

  40. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    bluentx, that made me laugh. The Small Fry has tried that one too.

  41. Lofty says

    Fossil Fishy.
    School was hell. An outside hobby where no-one expected you to do anything other than do the hobby was my method of getting out of hell. Then I met my wife and 27 years later I’m still mostly mentally well and happy.

  42. rq says

    Ooouy, bluentx, I have seen that commercial, and it springs to mind as a deep-seated fear of the potentiality every now and then. :/ That being said, I do have a good laugh about it.
    The trip was mostly a success; the guy who parked right up against my car, not leaving me room to open the door to remove the child on that side (even though it was obvious we were unpacking), pissed me off even more. Because there were about 93248029384 other wide-open empty spaces, and 1 narrow one right beside me. *sigh* Yeah, it’s my problem for parking too close to the line on that side.

    You know, a lot of the time, you make a hell of a lot of sense. Like in #60. Thanks.

    You, sir, should be writing a book of Vignettes About Life.
    Thank you for sharing your experience, and I’m glad you had the luck to grow out of it the better way.

  43. rq says

    OH and I wanted to mention, re: children and their wiles.
    Eldest hasn’t yet gone the I love you route, but he has pulled the all-my-friend-have-it and the I’ll-clean-my-room-for-a-week (this last one is about the only thing that works, because it happens retroactively – he cleans his room for a week, picking up without whining about it, and then the toy is bought).
    Middle Child is working on the puppy-dog eyes, though. Big, blue, long lashes, *blingbling*. Prettyyyy pleeeeeassse?? I have grown a tough, hard shell of resistance to cuteness. But it’s difficult. ;)

  44. Beatrice says

    Yeah, Giliell makes so much sense she almost managed to convince me to find a counsellor. I could do with some help… Maybe someday.

  45. rq says

    O hai, Beatrice, I see we have boarded the same boat. :)
    (Personally, the Lounge does a fine job in the interim.)

  46. mildlymagnificent says


    Let me add my recommendation for http://captainawkward.com/. And not just the Captain’s posts, the commenting group is absolutely terrific most of the time.

    But one caution. You’ll need to search for relevant items – use the Category Cloud for starters – because they’re not currently accepting new enquiries. But I’m pretty certain I’ve seen a few comments/posts addressing some of your issues.

    Or just start reading from the current post backwards, skip the ones that are irrelevant to your situation. Another caution, the Captain will also do the same as the rest of us – see a professional counsellor. It’s usually the first item on her list of things to do when the problem is getting your head straight about something.

  47. teejaykay says

    Here’s something: I dreamt that PZ wanted to study my beard in order to better his via some arcane scientific process. He also expressed worry about how my eyebrows are greying.

    This all at a pillow party full of pharyngulites.

  48. rq says

    Were your eyebrows greying the wrong shade of grey, or in a wrong pattern (outwards as opposed to inwards)?

  49. teejaykay says

    Well, they are greying already in real life, so I suppose it’s just my subconscious telling me something. (They’re supplanting my dark ones after all, but I looked like Tolkien, yikes.)

  50. strange gods before me ॐ says


    That ignores the other sense the word senseless is often used: to say something is foolish, or stupid. In that context, the genocide of German Jews was a senseless tragedy, because it could not, and would not fix the problems in German society.

    This is a reasonable argument for how NRO’s reading of the White House’s statement was uncharitable and thereby misguided. Even so, NRO did not offer a moral defense of the Nazis.


    Your English is good enough. I can tell what I agree and disagree with.

    The essence of biological systems is DNA.

    Incorrect, because there was biology before DNA.

    Then, your son is the oldest person of all. And you are younger than your grandfather.

    That is an interesting way of thinking about it.

    It means that humans lie not only about religion, but, about their age also. because what matters is not the human as the observer interpreting time, the real interpreter is the Universe.

    The universe does not observe or interpret, so it does not have a perspective. The only interpretations which exist are in the brains of animals* because that is where perception and interpretation occurs. *I’m using the term animals loosely, to include analogous alien life.

    I am not my DNA. “I” is a word referring to a person, and personhood requires having sentience. DNA on its own does not have experiences, and I did not have any experiences until several months after recombination, so I am only as old as my first feeling.

    You might be able to say that some of the information, of which I am partly comprised, is older than my parents’ information. And this is an interesting perspective.


    I get a comradbob feel with #41 & #42.

    No way. I am as certain louis is not bob as I am certain you are Tony. And if your name’s not really Tony, well, that’s a fluke; I’m still certain louis is not bob. :)

    Anon Christian,

    Thanks for checking in again. I hope you stick around.

  51. carlie says

    This is so hilarious. It’s a James Dobson abstinence PSA from the early 90s, starring none other than Kirk Cameron and his wife. here. You have to watch it if for nothing else than Dobson saying, with a straight face, “One slippage and you’re nailed.”. (the commentary analysis in the post is great, too)

  52. Ogvorbis says

    From 399:

    Ok, now I feel bad for joking about that, Ogvorbis. Apologies. :/

    No need to apologize. I was lucky and had a 3d grade teacher who taught me some tricks when it comes to number dyslexia — I read the number backwards (right to left) and then forwards (left to right) and it almost always helps me get the number right. I also have tricks when it comes to the checkbook — every deposit is rounded down to the nearest ten, every payment is rounded up to the nearest ten — so if my number does not end in a zero, I have made a mistake. It works.

    And, compared to my major problems, screwing up numbers is really minor.

    This Thread:

    Oh, how cute. Gollum as a toddler.

    When you include alot of non-gluten flours in your bread, it takes ALOT of kneading to make loaves.
    a lot of kneading
    I’m exhausted.

    One word: big mixer with dough hook. Keep an eye open at local thrift shoppes. Or cohabit with a weightlifter.

    Today will be the 70th anniversary of the battle for Stalingrad.

    Well, it ended on February 2d. It started on August 23 when the first German units entered the city of Stalingrad.

  53. carlie says

    Anon – thanks for checking in. I’ve been thinking about you since yesterday. I can’t really improve on some of the suggestions that have been made, so I’ll just highlight a couple :

    pensnest’s suggestions at 57 are fantastic. It’s always easy to say “go find a volunteer group” or “go find something to do”, much harder to even know where to look. Those are great ideas on places to start. Your local newspaper/news outlet probably has a community calendar that has things listed, you could read through and see if anything sparks your interest.

    If you can find some activity that you enjoy, get involved. And while you’re doing so keep firmly in mind that these new folks DO. NOT. KNOW. YOU. They have no history and no expectations of your behaviour. And that is an opportunity for self-change.

    Oh my goodness, is that a true true statement. I did a huge re-invention when I went to college, and again when I went to grad school. You can do that with other groups in your community. The suggestion isn’t to make yourself up into being someone different, it’s to be you without having to deal with the baggage of your past. A bunch of us were sharing horribly embarrassing stories of our past a Lounge ago (if you keep going to “previous thread” you’ll find it, especially if you search for “passing out”, “fainting”, or “throwing up”) – meeting a new group of people means nobody knows you threw up on the teacher in 7th grade and therefore call you “barfy”.

    And depending on what you think you want, you can cast far afield. For peers and a good mix of ages, try a community theater group or hiking group or gaming group etc. If you kind of crave a bit of nurturing, find yourself a group of church ladies who quilt or knit. Most churches used to have them; they’re sadly becoming extinct, but there are probably still a few around. Head to their weekly group session, announce that you’d love to learn the skill if they’ll let you sit and watch and stay mostly out of their way, and honey, you will have as much doting on you as you can stand.

  54. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Must stop eating pizza at two am apparently.

    Damn. I just ate a fist full of wasabi peas* and it’s gone midnight. Ah well, bring on the weirdness! Why should my dream life be any different than my waking one. :)

    Speaking of weird: does anyone want to jam?

    I’ve been thinking that there’s a bunch of folk here who have musical leanings. (A slight tilt to the left and a propensity to circle widdershins if I’m not mistaken). We obviously can’t get together in a dingy basement with cheap beer and excessive volumes but there’s no reason that those who have the equipment to record things couldn’t swap files.

    I love the idea of someone recording a basic guitar track or recorder melody or drum pattern or triangle solo or pipe organ passacaglia** and passing it on to be added to. The joy of this sort of thing is that if you don’t manage to come up with something you like well enough to share, it’s no big deal. And unlike jamming in real time there’s no pressure to be spontaneous, no judgement of things that might just need a take two or two to get right, or even just right enough to share.

    Anyway, just a thought. I’m starting to feel the urge to music again, and in this here rural slice of Australian bushland there’s precious little opportunity to make good on that urge. And like most good urges the satisfying of it is more fun when done in groups.

    *Yes, peas. And I liked ’em!

    **Seriously, anything would be cool. Musical training and experience are really not necessary for something like this. Just a willingness to have a go.

  55. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Oh, I should have tagged that last post with a goodnight. So, goodnight. I’ll stop in tomorrow to see if my idiotic idea struck a chord anyone is interested.

  56. Beatrice says


    One suggestion I haven’t noticed among all the fabulous things people have thrown out there that you could try your hand at… taking a foreign language class. I don’t know whether there are any community or language schools in your vicinity, but if there are and if you are interested in languages, this could be a good idea.
    You meet new people there and you will very soon have to talk to them about all kinds of things, to practice and learn the language. You’ll all be feeling awkward because you’ll be using a new language, so the awkwardness you may feel in communicating with new people will be less noticeable, even to you. It’s a good practice for those of us who don’t really know how to talk to people. You pretty much have some set topics, and your whole focus is more on getting the right word out than engaging in a witty conversation.

  57. Ogvorbis says

    And that’s all three down for the count. *sigh*

    All three down for bed? Or all three down with an illness?

  58. jose says

    Random thought:
    Hunter-gatherers were and are largely egalitarian. Agriculture and stockbreeding created patriarchal organization. Therefore we won’t truly leave the patriarchy behind till we stop relying on those practices as the basis of civilization.

    Sunlight and wind are everywhere: it’s not hard to imagine energy autonomy if governments went for it, leaving both nuclear and fossil fuels behind; but I can’t imagine an anternative, sustainable way to produce food.

  59. Pteryxx says

    anonymouschristian: well I’m late but other folks were on duty to give advice and welcomes, so there y’ go. Hope you’ll continue to hang out here and say how you’re doing, because random critter on the internet does care. *offers optional anklehugs*

    rq: yikes, sorry you can’t keep them all in individual isolation suits. Good luck.

    random worthwhile reads, much happier than usual:


    Today the Baltimore Ravens will face off against the San Franscico 49ers, and while it’s the biggest football game off the year, it hasn’t been the only sports story to dominate this week’s news cycle.

    Earlier this week, 49er’s cornerback Chris Culliver said on a radio talk show that gay players wouldn’t be welcome on the San Francisco team.

    Balitmore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo then responded to Culliver’s comments, calling not only calling his anti-gay language unacceptable, but ironic from a player based in San Francisco.

    Being from the Bay Area myself, that’s something that we really try to preach — love and acceptance of everybody. So I really couldn’t even say anything negative to the young man. It’s one of those things that you have to live and you have to learn. In the words of Martin Luther King, you can’t fight hate with hate, you have to fight hate with love.

    Culliver later apologized for his comments and, according to his publicist, will work with the Trevor Project following the Super Bowl.

    Ayanbadejo is the player whose outspoken support for gay marriage led to a politician’s call to censor him, and then punter Kluwe’s famous sparkleponies rebuttal.

    More happy and funny reading:


    (hint: it’s not nothing)

    What a Chainsaw, a Sledgehammer, and a Machete Taught Me About Feminism

  60. Rob Grigjanis says

    Yubal @51

    The fire is flickering in the narrow stove
    Resin oozes from the log like a tear
    And the concertina in the bunker
    Sings to me of your smile and eyes.

    The bushes whispered to me about you
    In a snow-white field near Moscow
    I want you above all to hear
    How sad my living voice is.

    You are now very far away
    Expanses of snow lie between us
    It is so hard for me to come to you
    And here there are four steps to death.

    Sing concertina, in defiance of the snowstorm.
    Call out to that happiness which has lost its way.
    I’m warm in the cold bunker,
    Because of your inextinguishable love.
    (Stalingrad by Antony Beevor (c)1998.

  61. carlie says

    rq – when one goes, they all go. At least that way they’re all lying about, rather than having one that isn’t sick bouncing off the walls wanting attention.

  62. birgerjohansson says

    I thought I should mention some music/lyrics related to space…or simply music that instills the sense of serenity you get from gazing at a perfectly clear starry sky / blazing Northern Lights. (I don’t think you can smoke anything that can make you feel like that :)
    Tasmin Archer – Sleeping Satellite (Original Video) . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOqVQPq8zm8
    Ground Control to Major Tom . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFks9A9TCF0
    2001 A Space Odyssey -monolith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML1OZCHixR0
    Solaris by Andrej Tarkovskij – Levitation (full scene) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcglyhUre4w
    Don’t forget, were’ beautiful, like diamonds in the sky…
    — — — — — — — — — — — — —
    Picking a spot for the Evil Commune: Try a dramatic place, only accessible by a new-technology airship or cable car (in the latter case, I think you should go all the way and build a HQ along the lines of Schloss Adler)
    El Capitano? 900m sheer cliffs around…

  63. rq says

    By the way, birgerjohansson, you wouldn’t happen to know where on the internet I can get Tarkovsky’s Solaris with English subtitles? I keep finding promising ones, only to discover the subtitles are gibberish or in Russian (!!). If I knew Russian, I wouldn’t need the subtitles…

  64. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    Thanks for the thought. I’m only hoping it’s not contagious to adults. And that it passes quickly. By the time Husband gets home, they’ll probably be right as rain and I’ll be the one wandering about the house moaning like a ghost.

  65. Nutmeg says

    Hi, anonymouschristian! I don’t have any really new advice right now, although I’ll try to think of something. But I’m glad you’re here. And I second those who recommended Captain Awkward.

    I definitely took the start of university as an opportunity to reinvent myself, and I’m glad I did. I went from conservative Christian to liberal atheist, and then a few years later I came out as gay. It all worked out fine for me, and I hope it does for you too.


    So, umm, things may have gotten somewhat physical between me and L. last night. It was fun, I enjoyed every minute, I felt safe, we respected the boundaries we set beforehand, and I don’t regret it. But I am feeling a little “Oh my god! We did that!” today. I expected that, and I’m not too freaked out. But I’d still appreciate any advice or stories about dealing with feeling a little overwhelmed by a bunch of new physical stuff.

  66. Ogvorbis says


    Hugs and sympathy.

    Sick kids ain’t easy. But, as was noted, at least they are all sick at the same time. When I was in seventh grade, I got chicken pox. Oldest sister got them two weeks later. Middle sister got them two weeks after that. Six full weeks of chicken pox. Not fun for mom and dad.

  67. ChasCPeterson says

    Hunter-gatherers were and are largely egalitarian. Agriculture and stockbreeding created patriarchal organization.

    Any evidence for either premise?

  68. rq says

    Heh. We did one leg of the chickenpox circuit (two, actually) a couple of years ago. Eldest got it first, and we were excited (because chickenpox!!), and he had it easy – few pimples, etc., etc., what with being vaccinated and all… Then Middle (then-Younger) Child got them, and oh boy, we weren’t all that excited about the chickenpox anymore. When they’re everywhere, all the time (ok, fine, all the time for 2 weeks + another 2 for recovery…), and the doctor quarantines you, they stop being exciting. :)
    So, yes, children being sick by tag-team is pretty nuts. Best part was, they both got over the chickenpox – then, a week after Middle Child was declared healthy, Eldest got scarlatina… That’s another 3 weeks of downtime.

    I’m not sure how to deal with the overwhelming feelings, but it all sounds pretty positively exciting! :) Does discussing with L in any sort of way help/feel like a possibility? And not in that oh-my-too-much kind of way (since that’s not the vibe I’m getting from you), but just like – oh-wow-intense!?

  69. says

    I can relate to much of your tale. Before I do though:
    You deserve to be treated fairly.
    You deserve to not be bullied.
    You deserve to be judged by the content of your character.

    I see that things look bleak for you now. I wish I had words of wisdom to say that could help. I wish I could effect some positive change in your life, but that too is a bit beyond my reach.
    All that I can offer are words.
    Words of compassion.
    I care.
    Words of hope.
    It CAN get better.
    Words of understanding.
    You are not your acne. Your value, your worth as a human being is not determined by your appearance. Yes others may harshly judge you. Fuck them. You are so much more than a bad skin condition.

    I know from acne. I still suffer from it. Growing up, it was one of the biggest barriers to my accepting my worth. It was also one of the biggest barriers to thinking of myself as attractive or even a decent, average looking guy. I used to think consuming sweets was the reason for my acne.
    Cutting them out did not help.
    I used to look in the mirror and despair because I could play a game of connect the dots with all the pimples on my face. There were so many times, as a teenager and adult, that I would not even want to look in the mirror.
    I tried various products. None of them worked to my satisfaction. There were times I would see no flareups for a few days and scarring would be evident. I hated the scars, but they were better than the whiteheads.
    I got so deep in self loathing that I started stripping at a gay bar to find external confirmation of my beauty (in my mid 20s). For years, people told me I was attractive. Men and women. Those compliments just didn’t seem to match what I saw in the mirror. Yet I continued down the path of seeking external validation for my appearance.
    Stripping didn’t help.
    Nor did compiling a list of all the peoe I could think of who said they thought I was good looking (no lie, I did this).
    Added to all this, as a gay man trying to come to terms with my sexuality and entering the dating world…hoo boy it was overwhelming.
    I have never had a relationship for more than 3 months. When I was younger (and even today to a much smaller degree) I would look around at happy couples holding hands, kissing, making plans for their lives together…and I would get this feeling in my gut. It was a pain that I cannot describe, but it wasn’t an actual physical pain. It was akin to feeling goosebumps erupt across your body. Or a sharp chill down your spine. That always accompanied my longing, intensely to be loved.
    I am crying as I write this.
    One thing that helped me was to try and understand that the perception of my appearance that others have is not going to match mine. People, for whatever reason, are attracted to the things they are attracted to. For years I struggled with trying to reconcile my view of my appearance with the opinions of others. It took me time to overcome that. To this day, I still occassionally scoff when someone says I am hot. Because there is that scared little kid inside me. Scared that my appearance is what I am going to be judged on. Scared that because I don’t match society’s expectation of beauty that I am somehow of less value than others. Scared that I am going to be alone for the rest of my life…because I am ugly.
    Yes, I still feel that way sometimes. It is hard to escape that social training.
    Two things have helped though.
    I embraced my attempts at tweaking my appearance in a different way. I did not make much headway trying to fix my face, so I worked on my body. I ate better. I drank more water. I started working out (this was in my mid 20s). This helped me tremendously (with the caveat that I knew I was trying to fit into another category of beauty society valued…big strong men…oooh gender essentialism). As I put on muscle I started looking at my overall appearance, rather than just my face. The change in perspective helped to overcome my insecurities to a great degree.
    Refining my belief structure. Taking philosophy in college led to my atheism. Exploring my atheism led to my views on social justice. Learning about queer issues, following politics, embracing equality for women, understanding global warming, paying attention to immigration issues, being made aware of the discrimination faced by trans* people and more…the more these issues came to my attention, the more I read.
    The more I learned.
    The more I raged.
    The more I cried.
    The more I vowed to show support for marginalized people.
    All of that has resulted in a ME who has found value in the type of person that I am. I like myself. I consider myself a good person.
    I am not my acne.

    Neither are you.

  70. says

    *Hugs* Tony
    What these other folks have been saying, it’s good stuff. You’re worth just as much as a person as the people giving you shit, probably more since they’ve decided to spend their time being shitheads and you haven’t.
    I don’t really have any advice, but yay for things going well.

  71. rq says

    *massive hugs*
    I am reminded of my sister’s struggle with the same issue.
    Also, you have definitely found your calling as a bartender – if what they say about bartending being another facet of psychiatry. ;)

  72. opposablethumbs says

    anonymouschristian, I haven’t much to add to all the excellent suggestions and concern expressed by others upthread – except to say that I hope you find you can try some of these ideas, and I really hope they work for you. That there really are things worth doing that you can do to make a difference, and that you are worth it. And to say that I’m glad you came here; these are some of the most decent, good people I’ve ever come across anywhere.

  73. Ogvorbis says


    Hugs, chocolate, bacon, whisky, grog, a foot massage.

    Well said.


    I spent so damn many years, so damn many decades, feeling like I was hopelessly damaged, that there was something so wrong with me that everyone could see it, even though I had no idea what it was. I just knew that something bad had happened but I didn’t know what it was.

    I considered suicide. I attempted suicide (and was treated for depression (which helped (but I never figured out why I felt like I deserved to be at the bottom of the world))). Suicide is an answer. It is almost certainly not the answer for where you are now. Nor was it an answer for where I was then.

    About a year-and-a-half ago, while commenting here, on Pharyngula, I wrote that I had been raped and memories began flooding back. Sometimes coming so hard and fast that I was reduced to curling up in a ball on the floor and crying (luckily, my job allows downtime and there are places to hide). Insomnia, vomiting, the whole works. And I knew that I was a victim but it was still my fault.

    Why did I think it was still my fault? Because the man who raped me also manipulated and coerced me into raping a little girl (I was 9 or 10, she was much much younger). I knew that I had made the choice to abuse her and felt utterly and totally worthless. I knew that I had done the unforgivable thing. And finally, after probably six months of people here telling me that it was not my fault, it was not my choice, it was the rapist’s fault, I realized they were right. It is still part of me, part of who I am, and that will never pass.

    Which has very little to do with your situation except: your skin condition is not your fault. It is a medical condition that is a part of you. Regardless of your looks, you have value. Regardless of your skin, you are a thinking, feeling human being. Regardless of what other people say, and do, to you, you are a valuable individual.

    Something else that was pointed out many times to me, whenever I started to feel overwhelmed by guilt, that I was a bad person, that I was evil for what I had done as a child, is that the mere fact that I can feel guilt and pain shows that I am human and, not only that, a better person than the one who abused me. The fact that you can see that what the bullies are doing is wrong shows that you are not only human but a better person than those who are bullying you.

    Seek out a counselor at your school. Set up an appointment. During the first appointment, you could (and this is all your choice (I am not telling you to do anything (merely suggesting))) discuss with the therapist your concerns about therapists — that he, or she, is doing this for money. You will get an answer and that answer may tell you whether or not this is a therapist you can relate to in a meaningful and, hopefully, productive way.

    This blog has a reputation for the ruthlessness of the commentariat. And I will not deny that we can be ruthless. On the other hand, you will seldom find a more caring group of wonderfully experienced people anywhere.

  74. Pteryxx says

    ducking in for a random call to alertness, pardon the interruption.

    Via Ed, the organized anti-abortion groups in Wichita Kansas are attempting to block Tiller’s old clinic from being re-opened. They’re collecting signatures to present to the Wichita City Council at their meeting this Tuesday, Feb 5, starting at 9 am. I sent a note to the Trust Women group opening the clinic to ask if we can write letters of support or organize an online petition as counter. If anyone’s in Kansas or nearby, please consider sending a letter or email or showing up at the meeting if you can.

    Public comment is allowed on most New Business scheduled agenda items at the time each item is scheduled on the agenda. If you want to make a public comment at a City Council meeting, download the Public Agenda Request Instructions & Application Form.

    Public Agenda form (PDF link) with directions to the meetings. Speakers have to be approved the week beforehand.

    Wichita City Council page

    Ed’s OP: http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2013/02/03/the-hecklers-veto-in-kansas

    More background: http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/29/2655359/late-term-abortions-wont-be-offered.html

  75. Nutmeg says


    Does discussing with L in any sort of way help/feel like a possibility?

    We talked about the possibility of me feeling overwhelmed beforehand and again just a few minutes ago, when she stopped in on her way back to the city where she works. She’s very understanding and easy to talk to, so there are no serious worries. L. said that she felt the same way the first time she did stuff with a girl, and she had to process her feelings for about a week before she was good to go again. She’ll be away for two weeks, so I have lots of time to get my mind sorted out. And I know she wouldn’t pressure me if I needed more time.

    I’m going to have coffee with another friend sometime this week and talk about things, and I think that will help. It does help to know that lots of people feel/have felt a little overwhelmed.

  76. Ogvorbis says

    You should be OgvorbIQ.

    Or ‘Ogvorbick’?

    Little did I know my response would act as therapy for me as well.

    Weird how it works that way. It kinda works that way for me, too.

  77. says

    Tony & Ogvorbis

    beatrice and rq
    You know, that isn’t something I grew up knowing. It’s something I learned, and I learned it mostly here.
    I was raised in a world where mental healthcare was for “crazy people” (but alcohol was for responsible adults). I’m often wondering how life would have been if at my age my mum had been able to get mental healthcare. And I’m wondering what it would have been if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to stumble upon Pharyngula and the Horde.
    Because me getting therapy instead of drunk isn’t some super-duper-extra-special achievement of mine. It’s the result of people working hard against the stigma of mental illness and needing mental healthcare.
    If my posts help them I’m just paying forward.
    Sorry about sick kids :(
    But your pictures don’t make it near the cutest thing I saw today. My BFF posted a picture of her holding her grandson (the baby born this week. Yeah, her daughter, the newly minted mum is my friend, but she’s my BFF).
    She really looks at him like “I love you I love you I love you I’m gonna cry Can I eat you up”

  78. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    So, I’ve been wondering about something. I’m not super protective about my identity online. I’m findable if someone really wants to, which sometimes worries me, but I don’t think I can really change that now. However, I do prefer to have whatever control possible when it comes to my personal information being given out.

    There is an older thread on Pharyngula that contains personal information of mine that I did not authorize being posted. The poster did not do this maliciously, had no idea that the info xe was posting was mine, and it would be a little bit of a stretch to think that someone trying to identify me would realize this was my info. That said, it makes me uncomfortable. I didn’t say anything until now because I wanted the thread to fade into the background so as to make it less obvious where the information is. Am I justified in feeling uncomfortable? Is this worthy of asking a monitor to contact PZ about editing away the info? Or should I just let it go?

  79. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Thanks carlie and iJoe. Animal Planet isn’t streaming it and all the other streams I’ve found, including the one iJoe sent, are deceptive. It’s not actually the Puppy Bowl, it’s the “locker room” (backstage). Cute, but too much intermittent barking. Oh well, I’ll have to go looking for it tomorrow.

  80. Beatrice says


    Even if it’s a stretch, it’s making you uncomfortable. There is no harm in asking a monitor to contact PZ about removing the comment or just your information.

  81. says

    Also, it looks like I’ll be starting my amplifier restoration project sooner than I would have liked to, and before I have the money to do it up the way I want to. One of the vacuum tubes has gone bad, which requires pulling most of the electrical guts out to repair. I guess I might as well do the cleaning and recovering and all that while I’ve got the thing taken apart. Dammit…

    In the plus column, I was looking to buy a second amp but now I’m not going to need one. I found some sites that have schematics and such that will allow me to modify the amp I have to sound more like the amp I want. I’m also going to replace the red power indicator with a green one to more closely match the British racing green vinyl covering I’m using, because green is my signature color… [/Shelby]

  82. rq says

    Definitely better safe than sorry. Even if it can’t be easily connected to you, the internet being what it is, it’s always a possibility, and if it’s making you uncomfortable, contact someone.

  83. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Thanks Beatrice, iJoe, and rq. Soo…. how do I contact a monitor? Is there something like the bat signal for this?

  84. Beatrice says

    Well, I think writing this here was the bat signal. When a monitor sees your comments, they’ll probably check if you still want them to send an email to PZ and that will be it.

  85. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Thanks Beatrice and Tony (Now I’m feeling self-conscious that my last three comments begin in the same way. Grrr, silly brain.) Yeah, I figured posting was the signal, just wanted to make sure. The monitors are listed in the Dungeon and I’m sure one of them will be around some time soon.


    Sorry to hear about your kids, rq. I hope it wasn’t because we were sneaky with the ports. *hugs*

  86. Beatrice says

    Well, I think writing this made two of my comments start in the same way now too. :)

    I do overuse well and so as sentence openers.

  87. inthelemonlight says

    Sorry about the sick kids. Hope everyone gets well soon!

    Yeah, I totally felt that way after my first time doing certain things. It had been just lovely, and I still woke up in the middle of the night almost ready to burst into tears for no apparent reason. I figure that the excitement, the nervousness, and the sheer hormones are pretty likely to mess with you a bit. The good news is that if you don’t have any regrets, then everything will probably just turn into good memories! Make a bit of extra time to relax and regain balance in order to compensate for the surge of emotion…and keep practising. * winks *

    Seriously, you sound awesome. You come across as articulate, thoughtful, open-minded, and fair. These are all such fantastic things for any person to be, and they’re very desirable attributes in a partner. I know a guy who has pretty acute chronic acne, but I almost never notice that – not when he’s always so busy being perceptive and funny and deeply intelligent. I’d actually be very receptive to the idea of dating him if I didn’t happen to be taken at the moment.

    I agree with other commenters that it sounds very much as if you’re the right person in the wrong environment. No one should have to be subjected to toxic social behaviour along the lines of what you’ve described! I went through a few similar things back in the day, and the good news is that it all came to an end when I moved on. Elementary and middle school for me were full of people who disapproved of my personality and interests. (A 10-year-old girl who loved math? Not. Even. Remotely. Cool. A 14-year-old girl who didn’t want to wear makeup? Even. Worse.) But all this meant was that I had to look a little harder than most people did in order to find some like-minded people to spend time with. Musical groups were a good start. A summer camp for kids interested in math, science, and engineering was absolutely amazing, albeit much too short. And university was absolutely glorious: it brought me to a whole campus full of lively, intellectually-minded, friendly, hard-working people. By the end of my first year, I noticed that I was feeling very socially satisfied (and never picked on!) for the first time in my life.

    So, yeah, I agree with the advice that you could use a healthy social environment or two. This is a great start, especially since the Internet removes a lot of the conversational pressure. Are there nifty other forums dedicated to non-religious interests that you have? (Answer: yes, and Google probably knows about them.) It also might be worth looking for local groups of people who share an interest. Libraries often have book clubs or writing groups or arts-and-crafts circles. Is there anything happening through Meetup.com (or an equivalent) in your area? Last I checked, some cities had Meetup-driven ‘introvert groups’ that involve a mix of people who are shy or reclusive or not very good with the social norms gathering in a safe and non-judgmental group.

    Above all, hang in there and keep at it!

    (Counsellors and therapists and psychiatrists can be wonderful, but you have to find the right ones for you. Sometimes this necessitates a bit of trial-and-error, which can be frustrating. But I encourage you to keep looking if you’d like to find a professional you feel comfortable talking with.)

    After seeing how you’ve rallied to help someone like me even though I don’t value myself at all, it baffles me how anyone can say atheists – especially of the secular humanists – are so “immoral”. Why does this accusation get tossed around so much? It’s ridiculous.

    I could be wrong here, but I get the feeling that a lot of people in religious institutions look at the formerly-religious and jump to the conclusion that they left their beliefs behind because they couldn’t be bothered to try to be moral (and/or couldn’t be bothered to actually understand the Holy Text in Question in the ways that would please these religious leaders). It saddens me to see religious individuals assuming that the non-religious are amoral (or have arbitrary/useless standards for morality) when that’s so far from the truth so often. But I also get why morality without religion can be a tough concept to reach and explore when you’re in a position where the one has always been securely embedded within the other.

    Hi! New here. Recruited by an offline friend, whose username I’ll most likely learn at some point. My own religious/spiritual views have decided to be irritatingly elusive for the foreseeable future, but I tend to get along well with intellectually-minded atheists since I’m a huge fan of critical thinking and science and rationality and all those good things. Yay! (I’m also a Ph.D. student in linguistics and I absolutely love what I do, so I’m standing by to weigh in on language-related issues. You’ve been warned.)

  88. chigau (違う) says

    If you leave a link to the comment that concerns you, I’ll send PZ an email.

  89. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Thanks chigau, but I don’t want to link to the comment on the Lounge. If you are or another monitor is willing to send me an email, then I can send the link that way. My email is my nym (minus the backwards & upside down nym) at yahoo dot com.


    Hi, inthelemonlight! Linguistics, huh? I might have some questions for you at some point. Not necessarily linguisticky questions, but questions about the process of becoming a Ph.D. student in linguistics. Not for me, though. For a friend…

  90. Nutmeg says


    Yeah, I totally felt that way after my first time doing certain things. It had been just lovely, and I still woke up in the middle of the night almost ready to burst into tears for no apparent reason. I figure that the excitement, the nervousness, and the sheer hormones are pretty likely to mess with you a bit.

    Thanks! I hadn’t even thought that the hormones might have an effect later on. (Anyone who knows about mammalian biology want to weigh in on that?) And I just realized that I seem to have PMS right now, which probably isn’t helping with the whole crazy feelings thing. For some reason, the primary feeling is most similar to what I would call burnout, which intrigues me. BTW, hi, inthelemonlight! You seem awesome and I really like your name.

  91. carlie says

    Parrowing – I’d suggest sending PZ an email directly, so you don’t have to get another person involved in knowing wht the comment is. If he doesn’t respond to it due to not seeing it in the flood of emails he gets, then maybe try a moderator.

    Hello, inthelemonlight, welcome!

  92. chigau (違う) says

    carlie’s suggestion is even better.
    Click on PZ’s name under his photo.
    Be specific in your subject line
    eg request for removal of personal information

  93. carlie says

    Also, sometimes his response is to simply do said action, so check for the comment’s having been removed, rather than looking for a reply email.


    Bah. Threadrupt. So threadrupt.

    What have I missed in the past few days?

  95. rq says

    You have incoming snail-mail. But I emailed you about that, so…. :)

    Welcome! I am an armchair linguist specializing in Latvian. ;) That is all. Oh, and I have the sick kids, so don’t try to exchange anything with me via USB. (Thanks for the get-wells. Things should be looking up tomorrow.)


    I think Facebook just screwed up my internet experience. Boo.

  96. thunk, hull overheating says

    I have a feeling I’m going to watch both bowls at once.

    Also, I got a whole lot of college spam. Two mailers from U of Minnesota (one from Morris).

    PZ is out to get me! Aaah!

  97. rq says

    Right. This is getting ridiculous. I refuse to co-operate with the computer if it won’t co-operate with me. I’m going to bed; it can think as long as it likes.


    Moving next weekend. NEXT WEEKEND. I think I’m a bit nervous. Scared, actually. But in a good way. I think.
    Good night!

  98. mildlymagnificent says

    Kids sick? Chickenpox – fan.fucking.tas.tic Not.

    When ours managed to get it the usual way, one down, then almost back to school, then the next one goes down, then almost back to school ….. by this time it’s late November and we discover mrmagnificent had never had it as a child. Sicker than any dog I’ve ever seen. He didn’t have a rash. He had layers upon layers of blisters, everywhere. All over his scalp, in his ears, mouth, you name it. I remember more of it than he does because he was delirious some of the time. He does remember trying to solve some maths problem or other by the novel process of reciting Blake’s “Tyger, tyger, burning bright” – that was a conversation better forgotten.

    But the kids surpassed themselves a few years later. Slapped cheeks virus (parvovirus B19 for technical fussbudgets). I still remember the ominous words coming from my mouth when the doctor diagnosed the younger one’s rash. “Slapped cheeks? I’d say the other one looks more as though she’s got slapped cheeks.” Weeks later, I’m arranging distance education for #1 – and they are one of the most outstanding organisations I’ve ever dealt with. She was off school for 5 months, the other for “only” three months. Apparently it comes in the usual mild form – some lucky families get the ‘my feet hurt when I stand up and I want to go to the toilet’ version. So that’s the one we had to have.

  99. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Hello Lounge,

    Mildly threadrupt. Wall o’ Text to follow.

    Hope the kiddies recover quickly

    Frozen yogurt varieties:
    -Blueberry tart
    -Watermelon sherbert
    -Tahitian vanilla
    -Double chocolate
    -Caramel pretzel

    Sugary goodness! My friend said I looked much better (less sicky) when I left than when I showed up, so I’m thinking there were definitely therapeutic qualities!

    And thanks for the (long-ago) well-wishes, my bread turned out deliciously. My aunt declared that it should be my new “specialty” because she wants it at every family gathering from now on : )

    rq and Beatrice and Parrowing
    I enjoyed vicariously watching my favorite movie : )

    Tony and Ogvorbis
    So glad you are both here. Lots of *hugs*


    Glad you came here for all the advice of wonderful people wiser than I. I’m genuinely sorry your circumstances are so awful right now. But remember those last two words, they are key. Your present is not your future. It can get better.


    So, S and I broke up last night. I have no idea what is going to happen from here on out, but there was a lot of crying and a lot of nose-blowing on both sides. He has recently started seeing a therapist and an MD and got a prescription for Xanax.(Approximately a year after I first recognized the need and encouraged him to take advantage of his excellent health plan…you can lead a horse to water). He told me, “I’m sick, and I need to get better.” I’m mostly sad and will miss him. We parted on friendly terms, though, which is comforting. I do want him to get better and I do want to help, not hinder, his fight through the depression and anxiety. I asked what he thinks he needs, and he said he needs me and my help, then had a “What am I doing ending this relationship?” moment. I talked him out of backing out of his decision, which was wrenching. I know he needs to worry about himself right now and I need to worry about myself. Not that I won’t worry about him pretty much constantly. I got him to stay over last night so that I wouldn’t worry about him driving home in a sobbing, depressive state.

    When I asked what he thinks this will look like going forward (we have a lot of other types of involvements), he said he wants to help me out with whatever he can, and be there when I need him. I reciprocated the sentiment. I feel like what we ended up describing as our “new” relationship is close friendship. I wonder what will happen, but I know we will both be ok. I will be okay. I will be a little lonely, and I will miss the parts of our relationship that will probably end, but.

    I will be okay.

    Thanks for being a place I can get this out. I ♥ you all.

    …and now I’m crying again.

  100. says


    I know a guy who has pretty acute chronic acne, but I almost never notice that – not when he’s always so busy being perceptive and funny and deeply intelligent.

    This is something else that is odd about the frustration I have with my acne. When I’ve looked in the mirror, it’s almost all I can see and I have to struggle to look past the scars. Yet, I’ve looked at guys who have acne, and while I’ve been aware of the condition, I can see past it. I have been attracted to several men with varying degrees of acne. I don’t know why I cannot do that for myself.

  101. says


    You know who I think of? Edward James Olmos. That man has some really craggy facial stuffs going on. You know who else? Laurence Fishburne. And no one gives a damn, because when someone’s giving us something real, what they look like doesn’t matter.

    Man, people love you. People you talk to online love you, it sounds like people who meet you in person for a few minutes love you and even give you plates of food. And the folks who have seen pictures of you say you’re not bad looking. So what if you have some scars. All of us do, and only a few of them are on the outside. We here, me included, love you anyways… so maybe you should cut yourself a little slack too?

  102. says

    Also, welcome to The Lounge! Be ready to accept support and encouragement at a moments notice. If you have a bad day, be aware that HUGS will often be offered. Times of great joy are often accompanied by offers of USBooze. In general, this community is wonderfully supportive and a great place to get advice on a wide variety of topics.


    I met a cute guy (22 to my 37; I can’t pretend that I don’t notice the age difference. I need to work at not focusing on this as much) at the bar last night. It was my first time to get out and have a drink or two since I started this rollercoaster restaurant opening. It was fun. I managed to amuse him by channeling Oz (BtVS):
    me: In a few minutes I’m going to ask you on a date and I hope you say yes.
    him: So this is just prep to get me ready for the question?
    me: Yep, I wanted to get you ready to think about your answer before I actually ask you.
    We shared a chuckle.
    I have been texting him while watching the Super Bowl commercials, and just learned that he and I share similar views on gun control. That’s a check in the good column.


    Sorry you and S broke up. Glad it was on amicable terms.

  103. says

    On a completely unrelated note, I recall years ago the surprised expression a coworker had to my revelation that I don’t watch or care about football. His response, so dry and delivered so perfectly: “Football has tight ends and wide receivers. Gay men should love it.”

  104. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Thanks, Nutmeg, I made one of these by way of comfort food .

    Tony, thanks for the thought, I may drink my sorrows away a little tomorrow.

    Ogvorbis: *hugs* gratefully accepted.

    I asked him what we should tell people, because that prospect just sounds sucky to me. He said “I think it’d be easier to just delete my facebook…” and we both laughed. So true.

  105. says

    Hello and welcome
    Good to hear about the new buy in your life there. RE:Acne, L has chronic acne prblems as well, and has shimilar worries about their effect on his attractiveness, but, well, I certainly find him attractive :). And yeah, you’re a very lovable guy.

  106. says

    Hey Portia, we love you too, you know? *hugs*

    Breakups suck, and we’ve almost all of us been there… but as far as they go, in the long term the amicable types are the less-terrible ones. It is going to be bad and it is going to hurt, but a lot of the pain is going to be bittersweet and then sweeter as time goes on. Sounds bad, but in my experience the really bad breakups are bitter and more bitter over time. And the bittersweet ones leave you in a better place for the next one, which is nothing to sneeze at. :)

    You’re going to hurt, but you’re going to be OK. And we’re going to be here for you if/when you need it, and cheering for you when the next great thing happens.

  107. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    rq: Horses are contagious…like Ebola. If your offspring have contracted Them, they probably caught it from you.
    Be ashamed.

    Portia: May your fears that you have contracted the plague be found to be seriously mistaken.

    Shrimp tempura!

    And I have to wonder just how many times our housecat has been killed or maimed by a vacuum cleaner. It terrifies him. Big time.

    I think it’s one of those Species Vendetta things. Goodness knows, our vacuum cleaner has eaten our cats over and over again. The carnage never ends!

    Potentially a good idea, but how’s Texas for natural resources (besides oil, haha)? Arable land, etc.

    Texas is a dreadful place. If it isn’t on fire, then the Gulf is trying to enGulf it.
    And it’s ugly, too.
    And its mother dresses it funny.

    A cautious Welcome In for anonymouschristian.
    The problem, imo, with Christian therapy/help-groups is that from their viewpoint, God is the Ultimate Fix for any and all problems…and if God doesn’t fix it, the only options are that you must for some reason deserve your misery—not true, btw—and/or there is nothing more that can be done; it is literally Hopeless. The alternative, that God cannot help is by definition impossible, and so long as you hold with an omnipotent Deity who can’t/won’t help, you are screwed—there’s no where at all to turn.

  108. dontpanic says

    Hugs dropped on the table for all that need them.

    Acne. Yeah, I’m 50+ and look like a stereotypical teenager. [Empathy]

    I haven’t seen any reference here at PZ’s place so I want to bring everyone’s attention to something going on over at Scalzi’s Whatever blog. Want give Vox Day a good poke while contributing to some worthy causes? Scalzi has had it up to here with the Narcissistic Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit (NRSHD), so he’s pledged $ for every time he’s mentioned on NRSHD’s blog. Others are pledging too; if things go as expected $40k+ will go to RAINN, Emily’s list, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP and other similar organizations at the end of the year.

  109. Ogvorbis says

    By the way, last night, at the Japanese place, Wife had chicken tempura (excellent). I had surf clam sushi (good, very chewy), squid sashimi, yellowtail sushi, salmon sushi, and a really dark red fish sushi (don’t remember what it was but it was almost like raw beef). The food was incredible. The presentation was artistic. And the tea was weird.

  110. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Aw, Joe, I’m joining Tony in the “wiping away a tear” club. Thanks so much for the support,. My first big Relationship™ ended in bittersweet fashion, then after a couple years of friendship, I fell back in love with him. I scheduled a lunch to work up the nerve to tell him. Turns out he was also working up his nerve to tell me love-themed news. His was that he was seriously dating one of my good friends. So, I will trust you that most bittersweet breakups age into mostly sweet. I really hope that’s the case with us. Thankfully there hasn’t ever really been another person involved, since we’re both pretty monogamous. It’s just us and our emotional malfunctions!


    I like your “priming the pump” method of asking him out, that’s very cute : ) Hope that blossoms into exactly what you’d like it to. (And hey, S and I may have broken up, but it wasn’t the age difference that did it! (Why yes, I can make everything about myself why do you ask? (I’m going for Ogvorbis level parentheticals, here. (Though he sets a high parenthetical bar))))


    Thanks a lot, now I’ll need to get some sushi. Sooooon. Glad your meal was so delectable.

  111. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Tony: Her Majesty needs as many back up dancers as possible! These are just the few that were deemed worthy out of the hundreds of applicants : )

    Thanks for alerting the HTS was on, it’s the only part of this spectacle that interested me at all.

  112. Portia, who will be okay. says

    this performance is serious athleticism. forget the damn football players.

  113. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Yeah, that’s why for the first year in ages I’ve just foregone the whole thing instead of watching for the commercials.

  114. carlie says

    You could distract yourself by watching the racism in the commercials instead. :(

    Hugs to Portia. Sounds like you’re handling it really well, though.

    Seconding or thirding the view that interesting faces are interesting. The more character in someone’s face, the more expressive they look to me, and the more drawn in I get.

  115. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Tony: Her Majesty needs as many back up dancers as possible! These are just the few that were deemed worthy out of the hundreds of applicants : )

    I don’t know Beyonce’s persona or attitude, but if so, it sounds like they misunderstood calls to “back that ass up!”

  116. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Hugs to Portia. Sounds like you’re handling it really well, though.

    Thanks for saying so. I feel oddly…mature. Or something. But I think it helps that I don’t feel personally rejected. Makes maturity a lot easier. And *hugs* back.

  117. Portia, who will be okay. says

    My phone rebooted on its own five consecutive times, and so i took the battery out to try to fix it. And it isn’t fixed. It’s constantly booting up. Super weird.

  118. Portia, who will be okay. says


    That’s what S just advised. Sigh. Thanks for the tip. (And the hugs, I missed them earlier).

  119. thunk, hull overheating says

    I;m sorry Portia. Hugsies.
    As your nym says, you’ll be fine.

    Also, I’m bad at noticing Super Bowl Racism. White privilege here.
    There’s a half-power outage. I think the players are wusses, can’t play in the dim.
    Get the metal halide lamps going!

    Carlie: Who looks at faces? :p

  120. says

    I’m with you in not seeing the Racism in the commercials. I don’t doubt that it’s there, but I think my attention was centered on Sexism, resulting in being blind to the Racism. I would probably need it pointed out to me.

  121. thunk, hull overheating says

    The Prudential commercial did a lot of data-fudging to make a misleading point. First, you don’t put space below dots on a histogram. Second, asking the oldest person someone knows is definitely not an average retirement age thing. Third, their sample’s probably not random. Fourth, lower-class people have managed to gain one year in life expectancy from the 60s. Eugh.

  122. dontpanic says

    Sorry, didn’t see that PZ had devoted an article to the Scalzi response to VD. Nevermind. Teach me not to refresh the main page.

  123. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    iJoe: Glad to hear that the out-of-doors didn’t eat you.
    btw—I keep checking at your blog, but nothing seems to be happening, implying that it is still a Very Long Day Indeed.
    *hint hint*

    On this note, if there’s a Unitarian Universalist center nearby you might want to try attending a service.

    This is a good idea, I think. At the very least, they are unlikely to be dogmatically hidebound, and only offering solutions that are compatible with hidebound dogmatism.

    Have we considered the possibility of an ocean-going Commune?

    rq: Did I not warn you about giving aid and comfort to the Enemy? You’ve exposed your young to Horses…and now you have two feverish children on your hands, with option on a third. (Child, that is. Not hand.) Why, oh why, must the innocent suffer on your account?
    Either that, or they may have broken out with a case of peas. Check them for signs of photosynthesis.
    (Also, *hugs&commiserations&encouragements*)

    FossilFishy: I does not haz improvisation skillz.
    If I ain’t got a score, I ain’t got nuthin’.
    :( :(

  124. chigau (違う) says

    Have we considered the possibility of an ocean-going Commune?

    I was thinking Amazonian tree-tops.

  125. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    rq – I hope everyone feels better soon. And good luck with your move.

    Tony, Ogvorbis, and Portia – *hugs*

    inthelemonlight – Welcome to our Lounge!

  126. carlie says

    Tony – one of the early commercials had a white guy from Minnesota talking in a fake Jamaican accent the whole commercial telling everyone to calm down and be happy, mon.

  127. says

    Hey cicely, I’ll have a new blog entry up tomorrow just for you. There will be pictures and possibly an embedded YouTube video of something neat and cool at absolutely not directly involving me. :)

  128. says

    Oh, I see.
    I have to admit, while I feel uneasy with cases like that, and I don’t deny that they could be racist, I don’t know if I fully understand *why* they are racist. I’m not about to get out there and deny the racism in such a commercial though. If PZ had a blog post on it for instance, I’d likely lurk and read, because there are many people out there who can articulate the problems in such a way that I could understand.

  129. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    *manyhugs* for Tony. You are indeed a good person!

    I ♥ Tony and Ogvorbis. :)


    Hi, inthelemonlight; Welcome In!

    Moving next weekend. NEXT WEEKEND. I think I’m a bit nervous. Scared, actually.

    Yay! I, on the other hand (not the Third Hand) will be watching The Husband and Son move an upright piano next weekend. And I’m not nervous or scared at all.

    Portia: *hugs&chocolate&kittens&moarhugs*
    I’m glad that you parted friends, though.

    ocean going Commune?

    Like Waterworld?

    Haven’t seen it. I was just thinking of the mobility.

    iJoe: :)

  130. Portia, who will be okay. says

    thanks cicely. I am scooping up all the lovely hugs and feeling a little less lonely :)

  131. inthelemonlight says

    Ah, there’s my aforementioned offline friend. * hugs back! *

    By all means! I’m more than happy to answer questions. (Also, that’s my favourite way of spelling ‘linguisticky’!)

    Thanks! (I wouldn’t mind an elaboration from the biologists as well, actually.) PMS sucks, especially when it shows up at inconvenient times.

    Cool! I don’t know much about Latvian, so I’d love to hear about any nifty features it has. Or how you discovered it, or pretty much anything about it anytime. * laughs * Good luck with the move!

    I showed up a little too late to catch any of the backstory, but I’m so sorry to hear about this. Even if something is the right decision, it doesn’t mean it isn’t going to hurt, eh? Kudos for realising that you two need to look after yourselves before all else!

    At least some of it is probably just what social psychologists call the ‘spotlight effect’: we expect everyone else to notice things about ourselves to the same extent that we do. But they don’t! So yeah, your acne probably isn’t nearly as big a deal to anyone else. Try to let yourself off the hook for feeling the inconsistency, though: it’s quite possibly just another quirk of brain and/or society.

    Also, I just saw your second post. I’ve been warned! (And congrats on the fun date.)

    Thanks so much for the warm welcome. I’ve heard so many things about how great this community is, and I’m feeling very privileged to have been invited into it! It’s taken me a while to fall into the habit of following the activity, but I hope to be around fairly regularly. Ooh, chocolate!

  132. Portia, who will be okay. says

    There wasn’t much backstory to miss, I don’t think. I haven’t talked about it much here because I’ve probably been avoiding processing it, : ) I appreciate the commiseration. The right choice is so often the toughest one, that’s for sure.

    I’d also like to say I think you’ll fit in just fine here.

    At least some of it is probably just what social psychologists call the ‘spotlight effect’: we expect everyone else to notice things about ourselves to the same extent that we do. But they don’t! ,

    It’s so nice to have a name for this phenomenon! Thanks!

    *scurries off to the Library, nearly smothers self in awesome hugs* …now where’d you put the Sangria, you scamp?

  133. says


    It’s taken me a while to fall into the habit of following the activity, but I hope to be around fairly regularly. Ooh, chocolate!

    Not really related to anything you said, but this reminds me: does anyone else get easily distracted over certain things? I realized long ago, that when I’m driving, if I see a dog, chances are that no matter what I was thinking, or saying, I’m going to go “ooooh doggie”.

  134. Portia, who will be okay. says


    I do. M trains of thought are really easily derailed. I often lose the train mid-sentence and have to go “Uh, I mean, er” Especially when I am supposed to be doing something productive.

  135. says

    So I’m thinking I want the Lounge to be a room in the Clue mansion.

    Who is going to play whom?
    Mrs. Peacock


    Mr. Green

    Professor Plum

    Miss Scarlet


    Colonel Mustard (I picture Improbable Joe for this role, for some reason)

    The Cop

    The Singing Telegram Girl (I want this role. This was one of my favorite parts of the movie. Though I’d rather not get shot.)

    The Motorist

    The Cook

    Sign up now.

  136. says


    Not really related to anything you said, but this reminds me: does anyone else get easily distracted over certain things? I realized long ago, that when I’m driving, if I see a dog, chances are that no matter what I was thinking, or saying, I’m going to go “ooooh doggie”.

    *raises paw* Guilty. So, so guilty. Shiny things, kitties, string… and if it’s shiny string, gods help me…

  137. says

    BTW, I always thought a movie like Clue or really any other scary movie with a human bad guy would have been short-circuited by a guy like me. :)

    After all, this is the stuff on my nightstand a few months ago. I’d be terrible at Clue, I’d either be the killer and kill my way to an escape. or assume that someone else was the killer and STILL kill my way to an escape. :)

  138. says

    The former heavyweight champion, 71, is gripped by Parkinson’s and Rahman Ali fears he is in terminal decline.
    But the 69-year-old said the disease is NOT the most devastating factor in Ali’s heartbreaking demise.
    He blames Lonnie, his wife of 26 years, for tearing the family apart and said Ali would be “mad as hell” if he knew what was going on.


  139. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Shiny string? I once saw an interesting kite up over town, and decided to try to find the person flying it. I walked upwind of it, and could not spot the string, which puzzled me something fierce. Then I saw a shiny line in the air and realized that the string was clear monofilament, instead of white string like I was used to using and seeing. Tracking down the shiny string was very hard, as there wasn’t much to see except a glimmer from certain angles. Then I had to find a way in to where the flyer was, which I did. Then I had to deal with the fact that all this was happening in Indonesia, and I didn’t speak the language.

    We smiled and pointed some, and I wandered off. I looked back a few times, just to see the shiny string in the sky.

  140. bluentx says

    Should have said Hello! before but because I have no particular new advice I said nothing. (I”m taking notes from the others myself.) All I can say is keep reading. If I get any great insights along the way I’ll pass them on: )

    Hello! to inthelemonlight as well.

    cicely @ #178:

    “[Texas]… is ugly.”

    Not all of it. The Hill Country around Austin and further south is nice. There is a portion of Palo Duro Canyon State Park in west Texas I’ve been wanting to see. It’s said (and I’ve seen pictures) that the autumn leaf changes rival New England. A few other spots have their appeal.
    Egad, cicely! Now you’ve got me defending Texas?! I knew you were a bad influence! Next I’ll be bad mouthing peas, cilantro and horses!

    *hugs* to Portia,Tony, and Ogvorbis. Did I miss anybody?


    “I don’t watch sports but….”

    Suuurrre, buddy. That’s what my brother-in-law used to say.:” I don’t watch much sports. I only watch the playoffs.” What he didn’t say was he watched the playoffs of EVERY sport available on TV at that time. Football, basketball, baseball, Tiddly Winks… (okay, maybe not that last one) So many ‘playoffs’ it lasted year round and still meant “Hands off the TV!” every weekend.

  141. says

    Random list of Pet Peeves:
    142- People that say “I love you” to their acquaintances or the bartender that’s waiting on them. You don’t know this person that well, and you certainly do not have that kind of relationship established. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to gay men say “I love you” to someone. Tossing around that phrase so much, to the point that it is meaningless, is fucking annoying to me.

    598- People who leave their shopping carts everywhere but the designated spots. I *hate* finding a parking spot and seeing a shopping cart in the way. I find it so annoying that carts are left in random parking spots…often less than 10 feet from the designated spot for collecting carts!

    1033- Having to repeat myself in a conversation when I’ve made every attempt to speak clearly and articulate my thoughts to my audience. Example: Listing the salad dressings we offer to a table of 8, and only 7 of them are paying attention and the 8th needs you to repeat everything.

  142. says

    Actually, I don’t watch sports. It is an ongoing pet peeve of mine (should have included that above), but I am *sick* of people assuming that because I am a male bartender, that I watch sports.
    No, I don’t fucking know who is playing.
    No, I don’t fucking know what the score of the game is.
    No, I don’t know what game is coming on and when. Nor, for that matter, do I care.
    Yes, I have a penis.
    No, I don’t care about sports.

    I have watched some tennis before, as well as Ultimate Fighter. At least the latter has the benefit of some hot men. Though the mixture of violence and blood tends to dull the excitement for me a bit.

  143. bluentx says

    I was just teasing. And so at The Commune there will be at least two of us not discussing you-know-what. Yea! I could care less whose playing what or when. And yeah, too much body crushing and after effects.

  144. says

    So I just had a barback tell a “joke” about how if Chris Brown did a greatest hits video, Rihanna would be on it. He said he told the joke for my benefit. My response “There is too much violence against women in our culture for me to find that amusing”. He didn’t haven’t a substantial response.

  145. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Ah fucking dammit! The Small Fry started school last week. She’s had all of four days in ‘real’ school and already I have something to be angry about. Turns out they’re doing Brain Gym. Blargh. I asked her how much time they spent on it and she said just a couple of minutes, but who knows? She’s not the most reliable of witnesses.

    I’m going have to talk to the principle. I hold no hope that I’ll change anything, but dropping a stack of refuting papers on his desk couldn’t hurt. At the very least it’ll set the tone of our relationship, and put him on notice that at least one parent is paying attention and committed to reason and evidence.

  146. says

    FossilFishy (from your link):

    Brain Gym is a set of movement activities such as “crawling, drawing, tracing symbols in the air, yawning, and drinking water” (Hyatt 2007) that, according to the Brain Gym website, are said to help children, adults, and seniors to:

    Danger Will Robinson.
    Danger! Danger!

  147. bluentx says

    I find it so annoying that carts are left in random parking spots…often less than 10 feet from the designated spot for collecting carts!

    In order not to dwell on “those lazy idgits” I try to imagine it was left there by some little old lady or man needing it as ‘walker’ and not being able to get back from the ‘cart corral’ easily without it. (Too Pollyanna of me?)
    Now, when I see for myself someone doing it ‘because I can’ that’s when I want to …. I don’t know what but I want to do something to call attention to their rudeness.

  148. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Oh I KNOW Tony. My plan is to point out what nonsense it is and suggest that they could better spend the time and money, on…..just about anything else. On the up side I don’t think it will do any harm really.

    iJoe I look at that pic and my first thought is “Ohhhh, Dava Control Pick, I love those.” followed by “0.7mm Tortex?” Nice, if a bit floppy for my tastes and finally: “What that hell is that one on bottom, dammit I can’t see…”

  149. bluentx says

    Go get ’em Fishy! If nothing else it will show the admin that you are paying attention to what’s going on at the school.


    He said he told the joke for my benefit.


  150. ednaz says

    Hey Tony, I like your response to the “joke” at the bar. *thumbsup*

    Also, about being easily distracted –

    My favorite Far Side cartoon shows the Vikings storming a castle and one looks down in the moat and says “Oooohhh goldfish.”

    Me As A Viking!! : )

  151. ednaz says

    Hello Anon Christian,
    Others have offered excellent advice so I will just say ‘Welcome to The Lounge.’
    I’m glad you stopped back to chat again. The people here are brilliant and caring.
    *hugs* if you like : )

  152. says

    Good morning

    Big hugs to Portia


    598- People who leave their shopping carts everywhere but the designated spots. I *hate* finding a parking spot and seeing a shopping cart in the way. I find it so annoying that carts are left in random parking spots…often less than 10 feet from the designated spot for collecting carts!

    Over here you have to insert a coin, usually a 1 Euro coin or such to release the trolley. You get it back when you return it. Problem solved.

    Fossil Fishy
    Well, maybe it’s just a way to let the first graders relax a little and to break down class into smaller units. It can also work to get them into “work mode”. I know it sound counterintuitive, but if a certain set of activities always preceeds “working” then it becomes easier to focus.
    Really, first graders aren’t cut out to work 45 minutes.

  153. Beatrice says

    I’m sorry about the breakup, but it’s great that you are staying friends.

  154. rq says

    Good morning!
    I can say, with some confidence, that the effect of Horsepeas seems to be wearing off, and their Vital Poisoning Essence seems to be leaking out the children’s noses in long greenish-yellow strings. Hopefully their bodies will reject all of it by evening and we can get on with our lives.

    Soooo manyyyyy *hugs* and a slice of chocolate fudge cake with extra icing. :( Breaking up sucks, but yes – doing it the amicable way is, by far, the best way in the long run. You’re not losing the person, you’re just losing the relationship (or an aspect of it, which would make more sense). I know you’re going to be ok, but know that I am (we are) always ready to listen.

    Improbable Joe
    You are like a one-man support group.

    You, sir, are fantastic.
    I have not seen the Clue movie, but since you have endorsed it, I might give it a shot. And then I’ll decide. But I’m so used to being on the other side of the law, you will never know it was me! At least, not from the DNA evidence. ;)

    You are brave, and I support your endeavour. I can only hope that, if such a moment arrives for one of my Children, I’ll be able to express the same amount of courage and confidence to at least express to the school management why Teaching Woo is Wrong.
    re: jamming. Theoretically, I would love it. Practically speaking, I have two problems with it: (a) I suck (I’m with cicely here… write me a score, and I will play it!) and I’m out of practice (easily remedied); and (b) I have no recording equipment. That being said, I’m open to the opportunity to try/learn. (The lack of equipment does pose an issue.) AND even if I can’t participate, I encourage such a international Pharyngula jamming group to form, so that I can listen and enjoy some creative and innovative musical experience.

    Latvian? I was born knowing it (it’s my first language). ;) My dad has had a huge interest in discovering its link/common origin with other, better-known languages (including Sanskrit, Gaelic, etc.), so I’ve soaked up a few things like that, plus random linguistics courses (up to Third Year) in university.

    I think that makes you a bad Viking… ;)


    sports fans
    Have no idea about football, American, English or otherwise.
    I enjoy watching cricket live (yes, I do).
    I love watching skeleton (because Martins Dukurs – did I mention I spoke to him on the phone day before yesterday, totally randomly?), and most other sledding sports. Also equestrian events (see how subtly I tacked that on there?)
    I like watching a bit of hockey from time to time, but I don’t cry if I miss a game or seven (not too much, at any rate!).

  155. yubal says

    Today would have been the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks.

    Why don’t you simply take the bus today and sit wherever you want to?

    Yeah, that’s right. Wherever you want to.

  156. bluentx says

    Good morning, rq.

    I’ve got nothing else at the moment. Except….Yea! It’s my Friday*! Only a couple more hours before freedom for three days!
    Well, relative freedom. There is the housework, laundry,yard work, need to work on seedlings for spring planting,clean out the barn, cook and freeze some meals for next week, take the mower to the shop, tidy up the garage…but other than that…..

    * No, I am not working off of Ogvorbis’ calendar.

  157. opposablethumbs says

    Oh dog but I’m failing utterly to keep up. The last thing I was about to say before getting interrupted was to ask carlie if Child1 was still doing better (Um, yay otoliths?). (That’s how un-kept-up I am).

    More hugs for Portia. I’m sorry you’re hurting (but glad at least it’s amicable).

    Also hugs for Tony – and a hopeful yay for your new date! Yays and gastro-entomological butterflies, Nutmeg, and I hope your ongoing dating goes on well!

  158. ednaz says

    WMD Kitty, I am glad you’re feeling better.

    bluentx and Tony, Can the Hoodlum and I sit with you and not discuss you know what?

    Portia, I am so sorry your heart is hurting. Devil’s Food Cake with white frosting coming thru your USB.

    rq, Hee! : D Also, glad your little ones are feeling better.

    I liked your racy poem from the other day.

    inthelemonlight, Hello, and welcome! May I offer you a beverage?

  159. bluentx says

    Come on in but this may take some work. Soundproofing the room against those rowdy you-know-what fans could take some time. All that loud armchair quarterbacking/coaching gets noisy.

  160. ednaz says

    hat – check
    safety glasses – check
    mask – check
    holster – check
    nailgun – check
    workboots – check

    I’m ready, blue! : )

  161. rq says

    That’s the way to work. Get all the equipment ready, so that you can start anytime… as long as it’s later. ;)
    I can help with the sound-proofing as long as it’s child-proof soundproofing. Sometimes I just have to get away for a bit of quiet time.
    And yes, I consider children-wrangling a sport. ;)
    Good night!

  162. bluentx says

    As far as moving next weekend-here’s my contribution. A song I discovered in 198?. Every move since then it’s been a tradition to play it. Couldn’t find the original by Loudon Wainright III but this is a faithful cover: http://youtu.be/scGRtb8qk6I

  163. rq says

    That’s an awesome moving song, thanks for that! :D
    Maybe cicely has a suggestion for a piano-moving song (since we have Ye Olde Uprightte to pack up and bring along, too). Something besides the sound of axes in firewood.

  164. rq says

    Hee hee. :) We’re counting on our strong buddies to handle that bit. And since we’re not bringing the washer or dryer or fridge along, I figure the piano should be a breeze.

  165. rq says

    Tony re: Clue
    Are you speaking of the 1985 film? Because I seem to recall a more recent film of the same name (based on the boardgame, too). But I don’t remember what it was called. (Or else I’m making shit up, or dreaming… who knows?)

  166. pensnest says

    Tony the Super-Duper Queer Shoop, #182

    How many damn back up dancers does Beyonce *need*???

    Only three, provided one of them is Justin Timberlake.

  167. bluentx says

    Butting in:

    Are you speaking of the 1985 film?

    All I see (IMDb.com) is the 1985 movie* and possibly one “in development” labeled- genre:’comedy, crime mystery’. No dates for release, cast info or anything else right now.

    *BTW, loved Dr. Frank-N-Furter Tim Curry as the butler.

  168. rq says

    Yeah, I could only find the 1985 film, but I was pretty sure I read an article a few months ago about a new movie being made, and casting some famous actress as Miss Scarlett… I could be very wrong, though. I often remember reading things that don’t exist at all. *shrug* Guess I’ll just have to watch the old one! ;)

  169. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Good luck Giliell!

    And your point is taken. That might be the way they’re using this Brain Gym stuff. But here’s the rub: they have to pay for that curriculum, and from the evidence it offers nothing much that a simple calming ritual wouldn’t do. Hell, in the Small Fry’s kinder when things were getting rambunctious and the teachers needed everyones attention they called out :”Hands on heads.” loudly. When everyone had their hands on noggins, they called softer “Hands on shoulders.” and finally quietly and calmly “Hands in laps.” Worked a treat the few times I saw it in action. No pseudo scientific bullshit, and no cost.

    rq, possibly cicely and anyone else who might be interested, just maybe, kinda….

    I can write music, but I was hoping to not make this all about me. Or more accurately, to make it about more than me. In my perfect world I’d love to be a part of a project where I wrote a chord progression. Then someone else wrote a melody for it. A third person took that melody and wrote a completely different set of chords for it and so on until a completely different piece of music emerges at the end. A musical game of telephone if you will. Looking at it now, that plan seems a mite ambitious. Oh well, at least I erred on the side of optimism.* :)

    Anyway, if writing something is what it takes to do something creative with folks here I don’t mind giving it a go. Don’t worry about how good, or not, you are. For one thing, there’s a reason I fix bicycles for a living rather than making music. For another, I can guarantee that my composition skills are less well honed than the performance skills of anyone who can play a major scale on their instrument.

    I’m pretty sure I’m only up for creating something simple that’s only a couple of minutes long at best. For a thirdly thing, there’s nothing at stake here except some fun and as mild a challenge as needed to get it to happen. Hell, if the only thing that comes of it is some folks pick up their instruments again, myself included, that’s good enough and then some.

    As for recording, well, if I end up writing something what about playing the thing in a Google Hangout as a tentative end goal? That way all that’s needed is a web cam and microphone. I’m not sure though, does the magical Google tech allow for multiple sounds to be heard at once? The way the video feed jumps to the current speaker suggests that it doesn’t.

    And let’s be clear here: this doesn’t have to be great, this doesn’t even have to be good. It just has to be fun for those involved. Remember that the recording artists that we hear are the tiny tip of the giant unheard mass of people who make music. No one should judge themselves by that commercial standard unless they are planning to make a living at it. To that end I suggest that Regression to the Mean would be a good name for this project should it ever come to fruition.


    Anyone else even remotely tempted and in need of convincing?

    I’m willing to mail Tim Tams anywhere in the world should the need for bribery arise…..

    And with that, goodnight. 11:30pm here or so and I really, really need a good night’s sleep for a change.

  170. carlie says

    2 min. 40 sec. :) […] First time I’ve seen it.

    *sigh* Fuck all y’all! I love Set (I even have the card game), but it takes me forever. Today was 5 min 56 sec, and that’s just because I was trying so hard.

  171. rq says

    I was definitely not thinking of an older movie. ;) BUT. That second link looks promising, as in – more of what I remember. Thanks for that!

    Tim Tams??? You make this more and more tempting all the time.
    That being said, your idea about writing bits and pieces in a long chain of telephones (as it were) sounds awesome – problem being I don’t write music (but mostly because I never learned). I’m kind of like Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice when he’s all like ‘Well I have never mastered the skill of conversing with strangers’ and then Elizabeth Bennett tells him he should just make a point of practicing more. But I’m perfectly willing to work out some background-ish stuff for songs I already know (long pulls of the violin bow, etc.), or playing stuff written (and maybe, if I feel confident, I might feel free to improvise/alter bits).
    I’m quite game to try this out as a musical exercise, just have to figure out how to do the final concert (by the way, will we be uninviting people?), and get over the nervousness about not knowing crap about a process like this… ;)
    Oh, I can write bad Latvian lyrics to a tune, if need be. And then sing them rather badly. Is that a skill that might be useful?
    In the meantime, good night!

  172. says


    Well, that exa could have gone better. The prof definetly wanted too many dates. I hate dates. The one I remembered was the only one she didn’t ask. And I totally messed up the last question by mixing up two terms. I can only hope I get some half points for giving the right explenations for the wrong term…

    Fossil Fishy
    Yeah, it’s annoying as fuck, but given my experiences with GPs and woo, I’m not surprised that teachers fall for it, too. I mean, they might even get results because having rituals works…

  173. strange gods before me ॐ says

    *shakes fist happily*


    Beatrice don’t you dare say that’s the first time you’ve played.

  174. Beatrice says


    It’s not. I was playing it somewhat obsessively the first time someone here linked to it, and lately only sporadically.

  175. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Oh good. I was getting ready to yell “Everybody shun Beatrice!” :)

    I’m glad that won’t be necessary.

  176. rq says

    SGBM, I was all ready for that, too.
    Beatrice, you have bought yourself some time. But that is all. ;)

  177. rq says

    Ok, I have to go do stuff, so I should stop playing… Maybe one more round? Yes. Just one more.

  178. opposablethumbs says

    Rats, I wanted to wish you luck Giliell but I see I’m too late – sorry it might not have gone as well as you hoped, and I hope it went better than you think.
    Love the collaborative music idea, FossilFishy. Sadly I can’t read or write (and WHAT is the proper word for that, dammit? If we have words for illiterate and innumerate we damn well ought to have a word for not being able to read or write music) any faster than about one note a minute (and most of them wrong). I can learn by ear and usually make up harmonies to tunes that aren’t too musically challenging (as in, folk, pop or rock no problem; easy jazz no problem; even-slightly-challenging jazz – urk, you need to get a real musician now. Kurt Weill – yes please, if there’s a lot of time to practice. Classical – stick me in the chorus; I’ll be the woman singing the tenors’ part). It’s my Spawn who are the musicians, alas, not me. Damn, I wish my Spawn were Pharyngulite Horders, they could so do this. ::sigh::

  179. dianne says

    (Too bad there’s no inheritance connected to the knowledge that one is suddenly related to an ancient king…)

    Well, he’s probably got as good a claim to being the rightful king as the current royal family has. Arguably more since the current line is descended from an usurper. In a just world, that should mean absolutely nothing, but given that there is a monarchy still in Britain, perhaps he should make a claim…

  180. mildlymagnificent says

    For those who’ve successfully moved pianos and precious antiques, this is the traditional song to relax and gloat about the fact you didn’t make a mess of of great-granny’s precious whatever-it-might-be and other people do.

  181. Portia, who will be okay. says

    rq, Beatrice, ednaz, and Giliell, thanks. I appreciate you all being here. I really like the Lounge. I feel like it can’t be said enough.


    I can sort of read music, for both guitar and piano. I have a guitar. It is woefully neglected. I might be willing to try to play again. :)


    Nobody needs to shun me, that’s for sure. I take forever with puzzles, including Set. :)

  182. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Oh, and rq
    Archaeology is coooool. That’s a fascinating article, thanks for sharing. I have a lot of Shakespeare nerd friends that have probably already seen it but whom I will send it to anyway :)

  183. rq says

    Maybe if I write to him and suggest it, I’ll get a cut of the proceeds (with acknowledgements and a Letter of Recognition for you)…? ;)


    Then I found this article on epigenetics (or at least a study about epigenetics), and the level of toxins absorbed having an effect in further generations (as diseases and disorders of various kinds). I dunno, at least they mention my usual peeve with these studies – they load the test organism with many times the level of toxins it would be exposed to in a regular lifetime, and then claim all kinds of conclusions from this kind of overdose.
    I don’t doubt that plastics and many chemicals do have an effect on the body, and maybe even these effects can have a further effect in following generations (especially if the doses start adding up?), but sometimes I feel the results and consequent scare-articles are slightly exaggerated…

  184. rq says

  185. dianne says

    Maybe if I write to him and suggest it, I’ll get a cut of the proceeds (with acknowledgements and a Letter of Recognition for you)…? ;)

    Yeah, I’m sure the Windsors will have no problems giving up their claim when a better one comes along. And genetic based decisions on who should rule have worked so well in the past.

  186. dianne says

    Who wants to start another civil war in England?

    Well, their previous ones have been…messy. So probably not a good idea.

  187. rq says

    You don’t think the Windsors are a fair-minded lot…? Or at least, tired of all this royalty crap? ;)

  188. dianne says

    Interesting point, rq. It seems that Charles, at least, has decided that he’d rather do other things than be king (like, say, get married to someone he actually likes this time.) OTOH, I simply can’t imagine any of them getting real jobs.

  189. rq says

    Wait.. What Harry’s doing, does that count as a real job? Or is that figurehead work? (I really don’t know.) The younger generation might get a real job, but I think you’re right about the older one – rest on the laurels of past generations and all that…

  190. dianne says

    Harry’s doing something? The last I heard about him he was embarrassing the country at parties. Has he…actually managed to grow up?

  191. Matt Penfold says

    Harry’s doing something? The last I heard about him he was embarrassing the country at parties. Has he…actually managed to grow up?

    He recently spent several months in Afghanistan flying Apache helicopters. When he came back he got into trouble for comparing it to playing video games.

    Not sure if it counts as doing a real job.

  192. Beatrice says


    I read something about him bragging about shooting Talibans. Does that count as “growing up”?

  193. thunk, hull overheating says

    3 min, 14 sec. I play this game occasionally, but I just can’t see the things quickly enough, goddammit.

  194. rq says

    What they said. I think he’s been back a couple of times, and in the last interview he complained about being in the eye of the press…
    All I meant to say is that it seems he has a job. Whether he’s grown up is a whole other matter.

  195. strange gods before me ॐ says

    (Sidebar of page 2 of first link from SGBM above.)

    Now I’m wondering – did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart actually take an IQ test while alive? Did he do it post-mortem? Or did they extrapolate it somehow? Which leaves me wondering… how?

    It’s ridiculous. The person writing that sidebar, who I assume/hope is not the same as the author of the article, probably grabbed it off the internet haphazardly; there are a number of sites reporting his IQ at 165. But it’s got to be made up. The best estimate anyone could have done would be by testing someone who seems as smart as Mozart. Yeah.

    For the readers who haven’t yet clicked through,

    that is of course not why I linked to that article! D:

  196. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Dear Pharyngulite,

    Do you still hate how the FtB sidebar was moved to the left side?

    I bring you the “sidebar on right” script: http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Greasemonkey

    Many have probably gotten used to it on the right by now, but I know this bothered a lot of people, so if someone could cross-post this message to PET, that might be helpful to others.

  197. dontpanic says


    Listing the salad dressings we offer to a table of 8, and only 7 of them are paying attention and the 8th needs you to repeat everything.

    Can I counter whinge about restaurants that make it impossible to find the list on the menu (which I’d prefer to read before the server approached to take my order) and servers who rattle off the list so fast that it slurs together like a single word. Fine, you’ve said it my dear server, now can you say it again slowly enough that my non-neurotypical brain can process it?

  198. Beatrice says

    And all is right with the world again.

    I did get used to everything being on the left, but this is much better. Thank you, sgbm!

  199. rq says

    I know that’s not why you linked the article. It just caught my eye, and bothered me a bit.
    I read through the entire article, though. Very thought-provoking (in all kinds of ways). Thank you!

  200. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    bluentx: I would, if pressed, reluctantly concede that there are parts of Oklahoma that suck in a less-than-complete way, and that are not entirely without aesthetic appeal.

    I would like to join Team Not-At-All-Interested-In-Sports, if I may. The only ones I find tolerable are figure skating and gymnastics, and those only fitfully.

    In order not to dwell on “those lazy idgits” I try to imagine it was left there by some little old lady or man needing it as ‘walker’ and not being able to get back from the ‘cart corral’ easily without it. (Too Pollyanna of me?)

    Call it self-interest, but I appreciate a cart being handy to the handicapped parking spots, for precisely that reason. However, it should not be just abandoned in a parking spot, but parked out of the way of traffic.

    Also equestrian events (see how subtly I tacked that on there?)

    A Horse up-side the head is not a subtlety, it is a blatantcy.

    No suggestions for a Piano Moving Song—this will be the first time.

  201. Ogvorbis says

    Been kinda quiet today. Trying to process some of my dreams last night.


    I keep finding (well, my dreams keep finding) mental puzzle pieces which I did not know were missing. Though I remember much of what happened, there are still many little details that show the holes. Last night, I dreamt about the first time that he abused me.

    He, his wife, and three of us scouts (the other two were, like me, chosen ones) were in a car going out to one of the stock tanks to birdwatch. On the drive there, I needed to pee. He kept saying that it was just a few more minutes and then I could go stand against a bush. I couldn’t hold it.

    He was furious. She was furious. Both of them, and the other two scouts, kept telling me that only girls wet their pants so I must be a girl. She took my pants and underwear to rinse them in the stock tank and he spread out a blanket and showed me why I didn’t want to be a girl. Anal and oral rape. And my friends watched and did things with each other. I remember lying on my belly, trying not to scream in pain, watching a blue jay scavenge in the dirt and pine needles less than 10 feet away.

    Part of that was the dream. Part was the memories released by the dream.

    And as I experienced the dream (complete with body memories (?)), I kept wondering why no one showed up to take me by the hand.

    Sorry for dumping this here. This was not nearly as bad (in terms of how I reacted to the dream (not the dream itself (if that makes sense?))) as the dreams of a month or two ago but I still felt/feel a little shook up.

    That asshole and his wife planned exactly how to shame me into not telling, how to shame me into cooperating, how to shame me into thinking that I was being hurt by a man because I had done something only girls did.


  202. Beatrice says


    careful *hugs*

    I’m glad that latest breakthrough made dealing with your dreams a bit less torturous.

  203. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness in Arizona: under the guise of “Constitution Week,” mormons in Gilbert, Arizona host an annual event that is a surreal mixture of Cleon Skousen, anti-Obama, pro-gun, and warped Boy Scout dogma.

    Report from an ex-mormon:

    … Really depressing. No Seperation of LDS church and right wing extremism.

    Booths, Stage, seating and flags are set up by the Gilbert Stake. All chairs tables etc. have “Gilbert Stake” stenciled onto them. Members come in hordes ala Easter Pagent to set it up. In the newspaper the Stake President/Town Mayor bragged that he had over 200 volunteers. (I remember what calls for volunteers in church looked like.)

    The nominal purpose is to teach people about the Constitution. Primarily through an NCCS seminar titled “The making of America”, Boy scout clinics, a family lesson and a Constitution Fair set up on the lawn of Town Hall. (2011 also had a quasi religious stage production called “The Miracle of America”.)

    The Constitution Fair’s main draw is a performance by a prominent mormon act: David Archuleta in 2011 and Alex Boye in 2012. There are giant inflatables of patriotic monuments with anti-tax / pro gun slogans printed on them. Cleon Skousen and Glenn Beck books are conveniently for sale and you can have your picture taken with a Mitt Romney cardboard cut out. (Everybody loves Mitt.)

    Booths and displays are “sponsored” by Jeff Flake for U.S. Senate, Andy Biggs for Arizona Senate, the greater Phoenix Tea Party etc. There was a booth making fun of Obama.

    Here’s some coverage of the September 2012 event:

  204. Portia, who will be okay. says


    *lotsahugs* Are the realizations about their planning the assaults new? If so, I’m glad that has come out in your memory, because I hope it adds to the pile of reasons your lizard brain will accept for you not being guilty of anything at all.


    That’s why I don’t sleep around wild animals ;)

  205. Ogvorbis says

    I’m glad that latest breakthrough made dealing with your dreams a bit less torturous.

    I actually went back and read through the thread in which that internal wall of guilt came tumbling down and am blown away. As I realized that every choice he gave me, and the others, was not a real choice (‘I can hurt you, or you can hurt her’ is not a real choice), I remembered the personal details of who she was as a person. And I have no clue why not remembering her name was such a huge stumbling block and why remembering her name has put the whole thing into a new perspective in which I am not the villain. It was still scary (though not terrifying). It was still painful (but more in terms of body memory than psychic (?) pain). But I could actually see just how I was tricked/forced/guilted into being a semi-willing participant.

    Thanks for the hugs, rq, Beatrice and Hekuni Cat.

  206. Ogvorbis says

    Are the realizations about their planning the assaults new?

    Yes. The two of them had to have planned this. Hell, she (his wife) even gave me an extra can of Pepsi (odd, I remember it was Pepsi) before we got in the car and the other two said no thanks. Like I said, little (and not so little (this one was definitely not so little)) details keep showing up but now they are exculpatory rather than accusatory for me.

  207. says


    Welcome back.

    Count me too as totally uninterested in sports. I can appreciate the artistry of figure skating, and the athleticism of some martial arts (although I only watch exhibition matches mostly; I’m not fond of watching people hurt each other as a rule); then again, I’ve practiced martial arts in the past, so there it’s more of an appreciation for people who are better than I am at a field I enjoy.


    Have we considered the possibility of an ocean-going Commune?

    I wouldn’t be able to come; L has a terror of the ocean and living thereon. Otherwise there’s always Marshall Savages Aquarius plan; some of the longer term stuff is kind of wonky, but s far as I can tell the initial stages are perfectly viable.

  208. rq says

    But it would probably be best to have an ocean-side Commune. Or at least a large body of water. Is it just the ocean that freaks him out, or large bodies of water in general?

  209. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    FossilFishy: I can compose…kinda…on a computer…with a sheet full of scales and chords in front of me…and slowly. If sent a melody line (in score form), I can try to do harmonies for it. Beyond that, you lose me.
    I’ve long regretted not taking some musical composition classes way back in my college days. For reasons possibly having to do with calicification of the intellect, I just cannot seem to “get it” on my own.
    It makes me sad.
    In any case, I have no webcam, so the fact that I know nothing of this “googlehanger” of which you speak, is a moot point.
    A mute point, even.
    And wtf is a “timtam”? Percussion of some sort?

    Which reminds me—I may soon have someone to play recorder with, tentacles crossed and Flying Spaghetti Monster willing! A friend/acquaintance who has recently retired mentioned wanting to take it up. And I am willing to throw myself on that grenade, for the Common Good.

    (Too bad there’s no inheritance connected to the knowledge that one is suddenly related to an ancient king…)
    Well, he’s probably got as good a claim to being the rightful king as the current royal family has. Arguably more since the current line is descended from an usurper. In a just world, that should mean absolutely nothing, but given that there is a monarchy still in Britain, perhaps he should make a claim…

    Indeed. I have never reconciled myself to the Tudor accession to the throne.
    Apart from that, it only would count in the event of an unbroken string of legitimate linkages—but maybe the Richard the Third Society would comp him a membership?

    Archaeology is coooool.


    I’m wiping everything off my phone in order to fix it. *sniffle*

    *offers chocolate*

    Ogvorbis: *hugs* and support. Definitely a set-up from the git-go.

    rq: He should play/drive that thing in parades!

  210. Ogvorbis says

    Ogvorbis: *hugs* and support. Definitely a set-up from the git-go.

    Thanks for the support (you too, Dalillama).

    I suspect (I have no way to be sure (but I think I know how I would have felt)) that if I had had that dream before I realized that my choices were not really choices I would never have seen that as a set up.

  211. strange gods before me ॐ says


    I dunno, at least they mention my usual peeve with these studies – they load the test organism with many times the level of toxins it would be exposed to in a regular lifetime, and then claim all kinds of conclusions from this kind of overdose.

    Here are the studies.

    Transgenerational Actions of Environmental Compounds on Reproductive Disease and Identification of Epigenetic Biomarkers of Ancestral Exposures,

    and Hydrocarbons (jet fuel JP-8) induce epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of obesity, reproductive disease and sperm epimutations (PDF, and alternate download).

    Can you quote “all kinds of conclusions” in them?

  212. rq says

    Modern Mesopotamia? :D

    But from now on, this is how I think of you. (Unless you’re offended.)

    I don’t know, I like my winter. Real winter. With snow. Beaches have their good sides, but it’s not the sand, or the too-much sun.
    Although, considering global warming, a nice, crispy, crusty, snowy, icy winter (where the snow says grrk grrk when you walk across a field) will probably be a faint memory of the eldest generation by the time the Commune is set up.
    Is Italy nice all-year-round?

  213. Rey Fox says

    10 percent; potentially gifted; average for college graduates

    This doesn’t sound right to me.

  214. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    iJoe: This attacking of your face in the night…is it new? Like, since the move?

  215. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    rq: Harrrumph! I have never wanted a pony. Not for even a second. Ponies are the gateway to Horses. And Hell. Which is full of the Infernal Beasts.
    And pigs are for baconizing.

  216. Beatrice says


    You can get snow in Italy. Depending on where you are, you can even get lots of snow. There are ski resorts in Italy!

    I guess we could take over the whole boot and migrate as we get sick of bloody hot/hot/warm/cold climate.

  217. Ogvorbis says

    You can get snow in Italy. Depending on where you are, you can even get lots of snow. There are ski resorts in Italy!

    Watch The Pink Panther (the original one with Peter Sellers). Much of the plot (and great comedy (plus the obligatory 1960s musical number)) occurs in Cortina, Italy. At a huge ski resort.

  218. opposablethumbs says

    Fuck, Ogvorbis. What evil, evil people.

    I’m only glad that you are better armed now, it seems. It sounds like you’re increasingly able to cope with the memories gradually becoming more complete, now that you know “inside” as well as intellectually that you were in no way to blame.

    Extra added hugs.

  219. ednaz says

    Hello All!

    Threadrupt but wanted to leave these here.

    Hi cicely! I saved the video of the piano on skis. Looks like fun. : ) (Thanks for the link.)

    IJoe, Why do you have attack cats??


    It is so nice to be back in the Lounge. I was going through withdrawls.

    So were we. : )

  220. Beatrice says

    Does anyone know where I could find some reliable information about low blood pressure? Internet usually tells you “OMG YOU HAVE BRAIN TUMOR YOU ARE GOING TO DIE” when you google headache, but low blood pressure seems to be completely fine, even when combined with a pulse over 88 or 90 (while resting).

  221. Beatrice says

    Never mind. I should do a blood test and then see my doctor anyway. Might as well ask about bp/pulse.

  222. dianne says

    Ogvorbis: Hugs and congratulations on working through your trauma!

    Beatrice: Low blood pressure is usually only a problem if you’re having symptoms, i.e. dizziness, fainting, etc. The most common cause in an otherwise healthy person is dehydration. But as long as you’re going to the doctor, might as well get it looked at properly.

  223. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    Caine: Apparently I’m not allowed to enjoy the cuteness. No pics, just little x’s.

  224. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Well, Ogvorbis, I’m really glad that the pieces of your rememberings are fitting together and working together in order to bring you some measure of peace.

  225. birgerjohansson says

    Here is a criterion collection film version (from US Amazon) :

    Solaris (The Criterion Collection) (1972) http://www.amazon.com/Solaris-Criterion-Collection-Natalya-Bondarchuk/dp/B004NWPY20/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1360014964&sr=1-1&keywords=solaris+criterion

    A quote from customer review:
    “One bonus of the film being so long with big spaces between dialogue, it gives you the opportunity to switch to the informative commentary track, to hear some interesting insight into the film. While most other movies you MUST watch it with the commentary off to be able to take it all in correctly, you can actually get away with switching back and forth without missing too much of the actual film.”

  226. rq says

    But birgerjohansson, is it in colour, or black-and-white? In a sense it doesn’t matter, but the version that captivated me years ago was the black-and-white version (which I have now, with Russian subtitles…), and I’m itching to re-discover it.
    I suppose running after an old impression of a movie is useless at best.
    Thanks for the link, though. :) Very, very much.

  227. inthelemonlight says

    Heh. I don’t mind complete-dolt-ness as long as it’s curious and open-minded complete-dolt-ness!

    Tony et al.
    I recently learned that what we in North America know as Clue is called ‘Cluedo’ in Europe. This kind of blew my mind. (Wikipedia says that it’s a portmanteau of ‘clue’ and ludo, Latin for ‘I play’.)

    There are a few items that don’t fit. How do you kill someone with an iPhone, a wallet, or a watch?”

    Can’t say about the wallet or the watch, but I’m pretty sure there’s an app for that.

    bluentx, cicely, etc.
    Also a sports unfan. Well, I’m another of those who will watch skating or gymnastics (or very occasionally diving) just for the physical elegance of the routines, but beyond that and I’m not interested.

    That’s so awful! I’m sorry. I hope things keep leading you towards some peace-of-mind.

    Right. Addicted. That didn’t take very long. * laughs * I’d heard of the SET card-game in childhood but never played it. Now I wonder why, since I looooove geometrical/spacial-visualisation-y things, as well as patterns of all sorts. Thanks!

    Did someone say ‘piano moving’?

  228. says

    re: Sports
    I should clarify. I have nothing against sports. I don’t get that visceral thrill out of seeing people play sports…on tv. I think I could enjoy going to a stadium and watching a game of baseball or to a rink to watch a hockey game. I even have enjoyed *playing* sports. Baseball, raquetball, tennis…these are sports I could play. Heck, I even would like to visit a racetrack and watch a NASCAR event, just to see what it is like.
    Football is the only sport I not only have no interest in, but actively dislike and would not want to play. I find it much too violent a sport (Hockey isn’t far behind it, nor is Soccer, depending on where the game is played; I’ve heard in several European countries, Soccer can be vicious).

    Thanks for the well wishes from everyone. I got to work a short shift yesterday and today I came in to do ordering. I’m about to leave now. Tomorrow, I will come in for a short shift just to receive the liquor and beer orders. Wednesday I will be off. Now that we’re open, I won’t have to be working quite as much. I think I will be settling into a 40-50 hour work week. Perhaps less.

    cicely @356:
    I wondered the same thing. Perhaps Joe’s cats are acting out because of the move to a new location.

  229. says

    Reading about your nightmares filled me with rage. I was driving to work reading about it, and got so mad that someone could manipulate and abuse children in such a way. I was livid. I’m not typically violent, but I could tell the way I was feeling, I wanted to hit something. I am so sorry you had to go through such horrible abuse.

  230. says


    Caine: Apparently I’m not allowed to enjoy the cuteness. No pics, just little x’s.

    Hmmm. They are up, I double checked and Hekuni Cat commented, so I’m not sure what the trouble might be.

  231. says

    I’m not sure what’s going on with me waking up with scratches on my face. It isn’t from my wife, because the two times it has happened have been after she’s gone work and I’ve stayed in bed. It might actually be from the dog trying to wake me up to take her outside. If it is the cats, I think it is from them running over my head chasing each other.

    It is hard to compare cats how they are to cats how they were. This house has more space, but the cats were split up with two mostly upstairs and two mostly downstairs, and the Formerly Office Cat was kept isolated from the rest. They are interacting with Formerly Office Cat who now sleeps in a little bed next to the TV, so the dynamic is a little different.

    Ogvorbis, slow and steady progress? *thumbs up!*

    Hey Tony! I don’t so much like watching sports either. I used to be fairly athletic when I was younger, and I enjoyed playing sports, but just being a spectator doesn’t thrill me much.

  232. says

    If you can read German, here is a book that is still fresh 47 years on.

    whyever would I read anything by Stanisław Lem in German? :-p

    anyway. I finally calculated how much of the student loans I’ve been hoarding since going back to college I actually spent (this includes medical bills, Rhinebeck, and the Costa Rica field course). It came to about $7000


    Remind me not to spend money ever again.

  233. says

    Okay… does anyone here know of any healthy* ways to cope with self-loathing, anger, and fear? Especially the fear, ‘cuz it’s fueling the other two?

    *”Healthy” meaning they don’t involve repression, denial, self-injury, heavy drinking, eating ALL the foodz, or heavy drugging**.

    **Yeah, I know, but I don’t consider cannabis a “drug” so much as I consider it an “herbal supplement”; it will never replace the ‘scrips I’m on, but works wonderfully in addition to the pills.

  234. Portia, who will be okay. says

    hahaha SGBM, yes, it was that bad. I actually kept going away from it and coming back during work. Truconfession: I actually couldn’t finish it. *hangs head in shame*

    On the bright side, I dragged myself to the village council meeting tonight and ended up appointed to a commission. :D Woot!

  235. carlie says

    hahaha SGBM, yes, it was that bad. I actually kept going away from it and coming back during work. Truconfession: I actually couldn’t finish it. *hangs head in shame*

    A woman after my own heart! *hugs*

  236. chigau (違う) says

    *hugs* as needed

    I started a two-month contract with the gummint today.
    I hafta work office-hours.
    I may not live.

  237. Portia, who will be okay. says

    *hugs* back, Carlie, glad to have company in the “that’s why they’re called ‘puzzles'” club. :D

  238. Portia, who will be okay. says


    I prescribe lotsa caffeinated beverage of your choice and as much Lounging as possible. We have Sangria and we’ll share.

  239. thunk, hull overheating says

    uh hi.

    Chigau: *adds calmness things*.

    Portia: Great job, you deserve a commissionarial sash or something.

    Caine: Rat pictures work for me.

    IJoe: Sorry about the scratches.

  240. Portia, who will be okay. says

    *bows* It shall say “Grand Executrix of Planning and Zoning and Additional Minutiae” :D

  241. says

    which pitter was it again that claimed that only well-educated intellectuals could do social justice?

    kinda had to think of that when I finally got around to reading the introduction to my Social Theory reader (written, of course, by a well-educated intellectual Social Theorist), and found the following lines:

    One must never assume that those without a public voice are inarticulate. The arrogance of intellectuals lies in the assumption that they alone know and speak the truth. […] The oppressed people of any social world always have a voice and thus something to say. For very good and sensible reasons, those in the privileged position in any society seldom hear what the oppressed say

    guess the well-educated intellectuals the pitter wanted us to defer to would prefer if we listened to those who aren’t privileged. And since we’re all supposed to defer to what the intellectuals say, the pitter now has no excuse to not listen to the oppressed :-p

  242. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Jadehawk, that’s masterful. You are fully entitled to a “Lawyered!”

    It’s also really interesting. Thanks for the food for thought.

  243. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Wait…did I just reinforce the stupid idea that intellectuals are needed to approve an idea in order for in to be valid with that comment?

    I feel like I just went down the rabbit hole.

  244. says

    I feel like I just went down the rabbit hole.

    pretty much. in this case though, we can simply treat it as “hoist with their own petard” and move on

  245. says


    which pitter was it again that claimed that only well-educated intellectuals could do social justice?

    It was Jeremy Stangroom and Russell Blackford, but mostly Stangroom. Blackford on Twitter over the weekend saying that “less privileged” people don’t have the education and depth of reading, and Stangroom apparently has a habit of asserting that his education makes him more suited to discuss the problems of marginalized people than the people themselves. But that’s a pretty standard position among upper-class college-educated white men, that they are more qualified than women and non-white people in every category, not just in their field of study.

  246. says

    Stangroom apparently has a habit of asserting that his education makes him more suited to discuss the problems of marginalized people than the people themselves. But that’s a pretty standard position among upper-class college-educated white men, that they are more qualified than women and non-white people in every category, not just in their field of study.

    well, then he must Respect The Autoritah of the ancient, uber-educated upper-class white dude I just quoted, and “STFU and listen” :-p

  247. says

    What the fuck happened to him?

    whatever it was, it apparently also made him write a book titled “Identity Crisis: Against Multiculturalism”.

  248. Beatrice says

    Good morning!


    Ing commented on One way to deal with a troll the day before yesterday.

  249. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Finally made fried rice I’m happy with.

    Oh god I have way too much food in my fridge. O.O

  250. says


    blah. Have you ever had that thing when your nose is so blocked that when you wake up in the morning the inside of your mouth is so dry it’s cracked?

    Well, if I recall Blackford’s Twitter tirade is was mostly along the lines of “opressed people aren’t perfect and might hold horrible views in area A, therefore we never ever need to listen to anything they say about area B.”
    It was a nice racist series of tweets along the line of “there was this student from Pakistan who was an anti-semite, should I have shut up and listened?”

    About 10 years ago a friend’s parents decided to open a restaurant. For the first weeks the whole family worked like mad, his parents worked 16 hours a day 7 days a week. I remember when we met there to play trading cards one afternoon so our friend could join us between the lunch business and the afternoon/evening business, his mum just there with her head on the table and slept.

  251. rq says

    Good morning.
    Apparently baby fevers like to spike unexpectedly around 2.30PM and cause massive sleeplessness in entire families.
    And I’ve realized that it’s not so much the being alone with children as the sitting at home. If everyone was well, we’d get out and about a bit, and that would be tiring but fun. As it happens, I’m just tired. I suck at playing with children if there’s no LEGO involved, is all…

    Glad to hear things are settling down, I hope business is excellent!

  252. says

    Aaaaaaand I have a date later today. Same guy I met Saturday. An inquisitive fellow he is. He is letting me plan the date, which he said will give him insight into me. I find that line of thought a refreshing change of pace. I have catured the interest of someone who wants to dig down and learn about me based on my actions and choices. Talking to him the last few days has revealed a depth of character on his part that I appreciate. Here’s hoping all goes well.

  253. rq says

    The rectangular one? Yeah. :) Youngest isn’t yet fully captivated by those electromagnetic emissions yet, though (getting there!). But it’s among my many, many plans for today to turn it on anyway, and hope that Youngest sleeps for more than a half hour at a stretch (being fevery, plus the upstairs neighbours doing something very, very loud and vibratory with their renovations, certainly isn’t working in my favour).

    *does a little HUGE happy dance for Tony* I’ll be nervous on your behalf, but I hope it goes well! I’ll be butterflying on the inside until you come back with a review. Make it a good one! ;)
    (Just make sure that, in all this learning about you, he doesn’t forget to tell you about himself.)

  254. John Morales says

    May the outcome exceed your expectations even if it doesn’t live up to your hopes, Tony!

  255. says

    Yep, that one.
    I’m still amazed about how many fukken times they can watch a DVD. I grew up in an age before ordinary people had video recorders, so…
    But on the other hand I listened to some tapes and records forwards and backwards.

    So, what’s your plan for giving him the essence of Tony?

  256. Beatrice says


    So, what’s your plan for giving him the essence of Tony?

    Erm… Giliell, you might want to rephrase sentences like that, so that those of us with minds of a thirteen-year-old don’t start giggling at work.


  257. Beatrice says

    Good luck with the date, Tony. Have fun!

    Hoping your kids get better soon, or at least sleep off most of the illness.

  258. rq says

    I think we have one movie that I’m ok with them watching over and over and over and over and over again, but they rarely choose that one. They watched Winnie the Pooh about 9837492837498 times. And Cars 2 (but this is not a children’s movie, by any stretch of the imagination, besides being about animated cars). Middle Child is obsessed with Finding Nemo (I preferred dinosaurs). Husband has more issues with this than me. I just don’t watch or switch it to a background noise, but he’s one of those people who stop when they see something moving on a screen, so he keeps complaining about how he’d love to watch something new and the kids won’t be innovative (or something).
    It’s nice introducing them to all kinds of new movies, though, but it’s a bit of a fight, sometimes. Especially when they want to watch an old favourite. Recently we decided to make a list, old-movie, new-movie, old-movie, etc. So far it seems to be working, it saves a lot of arguing about who gets to pick the next one. It takes us about 3 days to watch an entire movie anyway (15 – 20 minutes before nap, 15 – 20 minutes before bed), so currently we’re covered for the next few weeks.

    Essence of Tony. *snicker*

  259. richardh says

    I recently learned that what we in North America know as Clue is called ‘Cluedo’ in Europe. This kind of blew my mind. (Wikipedia says that it’s a portmanteau of ‘clue’ and ludo, Latin for ‘I play’.)

    Not ludo, Ludo, which is the British name for a really boring board game. Apparently (some of) you folks call it Parcheesi.

    I’ve heard in several European countries, Soccer can be vicious

    But take a look at how much protective clothing the players wear: shinpads and not much more. OTOH, top players are highly trained in histrionic collapse and appeal to the referee at any hint of a foul, which could look to the uninitiated like the outcome of violence. A better metric might be the concussion-and-fracture count, which I am unable to provide.
    Or maybe you were thinking of Rugby, proverbially a game for hooligans played by gentlemen, whereas soccer is the opposite?

  260. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Hi Hordely Loungers! I’ve been little more than a lurker for the last few weeks, what with this and that in meatspace and a laptop screen that was dying, but I got a nice new MacBook Pro last week in a sale and I’ve (almost) caught up, although I must have missed quite a lot in my scanning (plus, I caught up with the Thunderdome first, because it moves slower. Sorry!)

    I’ll try to catch up on momentous news, but meantime hugs to all who want/need them, good luck to those who need it.


    Australian rules football, anyone?

    Known as “Australian lack-of-rules football” in our house from a comment I made decades ago the first time I saw a match on TV.

  261. rq says

    Hello, Tigger!!!! *hugs* and good to see you!
    And yes, lack-of-rules sounds more appropriate. ;)


    Kids are watching Star Wars (again). Darth Vader shall henceforth be known by his new name, Duck Vader, as explained to me by Eldest (“Yes, but I call him Duck Vader!”).
    Also, I thoughtfully experimented with some gender issues – C-3PO and R2-D2 are always referred to as ‘he’. But they’re robots, with no clear innate sex or gender at all. Does the dynamic of their relationship change if iether one of them (or both) become ‘she’?

  262. says

    *gentle airhugs*
    Glad to see you again.

    Now, I admit that I wouldn’t let mine watch Star Wars. They’re made for adults, not kids. We have a bunch of “stock movies” like several Winnie Poohs, Shrek, Shaun the Sheep, the Little Mole, Pippi Longstockings (although the N-word makes me cringe), Alice in Wonderland and such.

    rq, beatrice, WMDKitty
    Go wash your brains. With soap!

  263. Tigger_the_Wing says

    *Hugs back* =^_^=

    Oh, having seen them in the cinema with a friend – having taken our (much) younger sisters as an excuse – I thought the original Star Wars films were children’s films (from about age 8). I have no idea about the later three, though.

    I seem to remember my toys (farm/zoo animals, plushies) were evenly divided between male and female (in my head) unless they were obviously one or the other (bulls/cows for example).

    Yet the vast majority of toys, robots etc. in films seem to be assigned maleness as if that, rather than femaleness, were the default state of being.

    I doubt more than 3% of characters in the films I grew up with were female, including the bystanders. :(

  264. rq says

    And the big brush, too?

    The old Star Wars. The good ones. ;) (The new ones – way too much politics and adult relationship issues.)
    I remember watching them (the old ones) for the first time when I was 4 or 5. The story-lines were simple enough, and there’s less gratuitous violence than in such new ‘kids’ movies as Cars 2 (which is an adult action movie in disguise). If it was up to Husband, they’d be watching Rambo and Terminator (apparently all movies that he grew up with (although I have my doubts he was 5 when he watched them…)?).
    They love How to Tame Your Dragon, though, and Puss in Boots was the biggest hit of all. After that movie, Eldest decided that, when he grows up, he’s going to be Puss in Boots. Thankfully, we managed to watch Ice Age 4 before someone took them to the cinema to see it. That one’s going on the NO list, where Cars 2 should be, too.

  265. mildlymagnificent says

    Aussie Rules is sacred.

    Fast, athletic, graceful at its best, unencumbered by any of those pesky offside rules that slow down other football codes and no longer a blood sport since the introduction of the “blood rule”.

    One of my daughters is an apostate who barely knows the names of teams (despite working for a couple of years in the super duper executive boxes at the stadium). The other is a screaming, jump from the couch, partisan enthusiast. One of the things my ‘best mum in the world’ reputation rests on is that a friend at work had season tickets and couldn’t go – and he gave me two tickets for my kids. They were in heaven. One grew out of it, the other didn’t.

  266. rq says

    Robots = technology, so they can’t be women, unless you need a robot that needs rescuing. A shame, really, since they’re the perfect blank slate for non-gendered characters. That whole robots-as-male idea struck me recently when watching some other robot movie (with Robin Williams – Centennial Man, I think?). And I wondered, why must the robot be male? Then I thought back to the movie I. Robot, and I’m pretty sure all the robots in that one are male (or present so). Astroboy, too – Wall-E had female robots, but that’s because (a) they needed to fall in robot-love, and (b) they needed robots to do manicures, pedicures and facials.
    As for toys, they’ve taken to just having ‘babies’ of no particular gender. But their cars are divided according to the game, so sometimes they’re one, and the next time around they’re the other. And sometimes the strongest tractor is Mother. ;)

  267. birgerjohansson says

    What have you got against Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal?
    Oh….my bad.
    — — — — — — — —
    Just finished reading Dean Koontz “Odd Interlude”.
    Koontz is very, very uneven, but the Odd novels are (usually) fun.
    Charles Stross will be releasing sequels to wossname, the merchant princes novels set 15 years after the last book.

  268. rq says

    I have very mixed feelings about Dean Koontz. As you say, he’s uneven. I forget the last book I read by him, I think it was one about putting mind-control chemicals in the water of a small rural town, but it more or less turned me off him (almost) forever.

  269. says

    re: Star Wars
    No, you’re not convincing me (btw, the original rating in Germany was 12 years and upwards). Sure, the original one were less violent than the new ones, but still. Up to 7 years they have difficulties telling the difference between what’s real and what’s TV (or what’s program and what is comercial, for that matter), so there’s a bunch of stuff they’re not getting to see soon (including Harry Potter and Coraline)

  270. rq says

    Not trying to convince you, just saying it works for me. And it doesn’t for you. That’s fine, then. :) (But I do recommend skipping Cars 2 in that case. Cars was just fine, and I was hoping part 2 would be more child-friendly, and more focussed on things like travelling to different countries and stuff. Very disappointing.)

  271. Ogvorbis says

    No nightmares last night. But I spent about four hours lying in bed playing connect-the-dots with my memories.


    I remembered that his drink of choice for getting us kids drunk was gin (remember, folks, this was a LDS Stake Holder).

    I remember him using some of the older kids (and me (when I was older)) to help ‘convince’ young and scared kids (including me) to join in his fun.

    I remember he used girl, woman, and child interchangeably.

    I remember him reading from the Book of Mormon and the bible to show us that women/girls/children are not even remotely equal to men.

    I remember him making some of us wear diapers during his abuse.

    So many little fragments, so much shit, so much scaryness (this is a small sample), has started to coalesce into a remembered whole. I think, for the first time in my life, I can understand why I reacted the way that I did — the fear, the peer pressure, the pleasure, the pain, all the different pieces — and I really do know, not just at an intellectual level, but at a gut/reptilian brain level, who is responsible for what I did.


    Well, Ogvorbis, I’m really glad that the pieces of your rememberings are fitting together and working together in order to bring you some measure of peace.

    Don’t know about peace, but knowing what happened, no matter how bad it is, is better than feeling crappy but not knowing why. I feel like a more whole person than I was even four years ago.



    Reading about your nightmares filled me with rage.

    Damn. Sorry I set you off. I’ll try to be less graphic, less specific. Sorry ’bout that.

    Ogvorbis, slow and steady progress?

    I am cautiously optimistic.

    Okay… does anyone here know of any healthy* ways to cope with self-loathing, anger, and fear?

    I found that figuring out they why helps the what (your mileage may vary, of course).

    Soccer generally isn’t violent, soccer fans on the other hand… They can get nasty.

    Interpol has already made some arrests in match-fixing schemes — as many as 600 games may be doubt over about 3 years. Yikes.

  272. opposablethumbs says

    Tentacles crossed for what sounds like it could be a great date, Tony. From your description earlier, you seem to be on the same wavelength about some important things. And when he organises the next one, you get to find out more about him too, :-) a win-win.
    So where will you go, do you think?

    Giliell, thank you for saying that with a straight face. You showed up all of us thirteen-year-olds ;-)

    rq, so sorry for the sick kids situation. Hope it eases up soon and you can catch up on sleep!
    I remember when my kids were at the watch/sing/listen to it fifteen billion times stage. If you’re lucky enough to find some, you kind of have to get hold of some songs and books and videos you can stand to re-visit … a LOT (we had songs by Maria Elena Walsh (brilliant), the entire Walking With Dinosaurs and Blue Planet series, kids films like Mulan and Pinocchio (all dubbed, in one case with voice-over actors who were even mostly from the right country ;-) (we wanted to bring them up in the language of the deracinated parent as much as possible)). I swear I had them all memorised at one point, though they have receded into the depths a bit now. But hooray forever for Wallis and Gromit, and for Chicken Run! Though come to think of it, we still haven’t had a family viewing of The Great Escape yet … must do that.

  273. george3 says

    Greetings all.
    I seem to remember some time past there was a conversation about names?
    Some European states having laws about what you could/not call your child?
    This sure is strange:
    She can now use her own name!
    Also I am so going to use ‘netfang’ for ’email address’.

    Recenty watched “The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec”
    (Luc Besson. 2010)
    To paraphrase The Guardian:
    ‘Besson, director of Nikita, creates another cool and clever heroine ………..
    Louise Bourgoin is all radiant insouciance as Adele, the early 20th-century adventuress grappling with a recently hatched pterodactyl, reanimated Egyptian mummies, the police, and a sick sister, in a lovingly evoked Belle Epoque Paris.’
    A lot of action and some very good jokes.
    Fun allover IMHO.

  274. Ogvorbis says


    Good luck/break a leg/have fun (or however my hope for a successful date for you should be phrased_.


    I remember once, when the kids were both sick, coming home from work — Wife met me at the door, took the car keys, and said, “I’ll be back. Have dinner ready for us in two hours. The kids are yours.” This was during a diarrhea bout from hell with one kid still in diapers. You have my sympathy.

  275. mildlymagnificent says

    You go Giliell.

    Mrmagnificent and I got a lot of grief when our kids were little. They weren’t allowed to watch anything when they were very small unless we were with them. And they were restricted to programs like Playschool and several children’s cartoons, Astroboy was their dream – they thought they would fly too when they grew up. Filns were things like Sound of Music and Drop Dead Fred – a really handy movie because one of them had an imaginary friend for a while, only a cartoon character (although they’d never actually seen the cartoons, only the image).

    Most importantly as they grew older, we didn’t watch ordinary evening TV news until the younger one was 10 years old. We encouraged their imagination and we didn’t want them to have the vivid impact of visual nastiness to feed into that. They listened to news on the radio and they were, by and large, much more aware of the grown up world than many of their friends. The killer, though, was that those ghastly, shallow, tedious Australian programs like Neighbours and Home and Away were absolutely forbidden. We were depriving them of a normal childhood.

  276. rq says

    Thanks, Ogvorbis. I’m thinking of going that route once Husband is back from the Alps tomorrow. Like, the moment he lands in the airport. Or something.


    [Not directed at anyone, long thoughtful/-less ramble and possible sorting of feelings.]
    Suddenly I’m feeling very defensive and guilty about showing Star Wars to my kids. I’m wondering why that is, when clearly I know nothing has been directed at me, and clearly I know I have my own standards for what they see and view, and that is perfectly fine. So why do I feel like a crappy parent right now? Because I was very little when I saw the movies and enjoyed them a lot, because they were three of 5 adult-ish movies I was allowed to watch as a very small child (the other two being E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind – that one is freaky when you’re little), and in a world of no TV at all (like mildlymagnificent mentions), it was an island of fun and something different that didn’t curb the imagination (because small doses) but actually developed a love of science fiction as a whole. And no, I don’t feel deprived that I wasn’t allowed to watch anything ‘mainstream’ or anything remotely like the hours and hours of Saturday-morning cartoons that all my friends enjoyed so much. I’m grateful to that part of things, in a big, big way. So why are a few unrelated comments making me feel like shit about this?
    I think I’m just not in a very good place right now (what with all of stuff), and feeling sleep-deprived. Added to the fact that it’s been a fight keeping the level of kids’ movies down to the level of Star Wars, and that’s apparently not enough. For… well, I’m not sure, actually. But I’m getting a panicky feeling of needing to justify my actions, and it’s not sitting well, because I really don’t think I should. Anyway. [/ramble]

  277. mildlymagnificent says

    rq, don’t worry about it.

    Move into your house, get yourself settled. Then you can think about how you want to live once you’re organised to serve real meals from a new kitchen. Get kids to sleep and everything else in new rooms. Get on top of new cleaning and laundry routines. It’ll be fun, but it will distract from a lot of the usual stuff.

    Everything will be at sixes and sevens for a while. I’m glad we never tried anything like that when ours were that young. I’d probably let some things slide for a while when everything’s all up in the air like that, truth be told.

  278. george3 says

    Something ate my comment. I think I have ants in my laptop.
    Stroppy ants like the ones in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons.
    Thought you all might be interested in this:


    She can now use her own name!
    And I love ‘netfang’ for ’email address’.
    Old conversation here about names allowed in certain European states…..
    All the best to you all, if that makes sence,

  279. george3 says

    Third time lucky.
    Something is eating my comments.
    Ants in my laptop probably. Stroppy little brutes, like the ones in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons.
    She can now use her own name!
    I seem to recall an old conversation about names in EU states, what you can/can’t use.
    And I love ‘netfang’ for ’email address’.
    If this gets eaten too, I’m going to bed early in a grump.
    All the best to you all.

  280. birgerjohansson says

    NB!-Could the humble sea urchin hold the key to carbon capture? http://phys.org/news/2013-02-humble-sea-urchin-key-carbon.html
    Turning toxic by-product into biofuel booster: Engineered enzyme increases output of alkanes http://phys.org/news/2013-02-toxic-by-product-biofuel-booster-enzyme.html
    Research group suggests Chicxulub crater may have been caused by binary asteroids http://phys.org/news/2013-02-group-chicxulub-crater-binary-asteroids.html
    Researchers suppress cell division in prostate tumour tissue through enzyme inhibition http://phys.org/news/2013-02-suppress-cell-division-prostate-tumour.html
    When fairness prevails: Research shows how uncertainty affects behavior http://phys.org/news/2013-01-fairness-prevails-uncertainty-affects-behavior.html

  281. says

    Yay for Tony’s date… you should wear your snazzy hat for good luck! :)

    rq: I was three years old when the first Star Wars movie came out. Saw it in the theater, although I was too young to remember it. Saw Empire and Jedi as well, I guess that would have put me at 8-9 for Jedi but my 6-7 year old brother was there too. Plus instead of cartoons(or more likely in addition to) I remember spending hours with my mom watching old 1950s giant atomic monster movies and all the Godzilla stuff and weird kung-fu flicks with my dad sleeping in a chair in the corner.

    The only thing I remember giving me nightmares or warping my brain when I was a kid was those commercials with the old Native American guy crying about pollution. I had nightmares where he was looking right at ME! and wanted to make ME! pay for all the world’s pollution!

    So I don’t think you have to justify yourself. You know your kids, you know what they can handle.

  282. says

    Wow, that went all pear-shaped…

    Speaking of things going wrong, we’re out of cat food! Somebody(wasn’t me!) put the empty bag of cat food away next to the mostly full bag of dog food. So when I went to fill the dispenser? No cat food in the bag. You should have seen the cats following me around this morning like I was their messiah! Luckily for all of us, I never throw anything away, so I still have a few packets of wet cat food that I bought for the drive from Virginia. They don’t go bad for another year, so I can feed the kids until my wife gets home with some cat food.

  283. says

    You misunderstand. I wasn’t triggered. I got angry because you were hurt. I care about you and to learn about how you were abused fills me with anger. That tends to be one of the ways my empathy for others works. No apologies on your part are necessary.

  284. rq says

    Like I said yesterday, Improbable Joe, you’re like a one-man support group. Thanks. I hope your cats appreciate you as much as they should!
    Freaky about the pollution dream. One of the things that freaked me out the most as a child was catching about 5 seconds of Predator (which my parents were watching while we were supposed to be in bed, at grandma’s) – the one scene where xe picks up the dead scorpion, and it’s all in infrared and stuff. Had dreams about rainbow coloured scorpions and large clawed hands for a few months afterwards.
    Technically, I know I shouldn’t need to justify anything, regarding the kids, because they’re my kids and what you said. But today I’m just predisposed to take everything personally, even things not directed at me. Even when I know I shouldn’t. Just one of those days. But thanks for those words, and the reassurance (and no, they don’t have nightmares, and Eldest even mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he is no longer afraid of Harry Potter (he saw the first movie at his great-grandma’s around Christmas), which was kind of nice).
    Anyway. Crappy feelings. Because all I want is a few hours straight of sleep. Heh. Dreams, we all have them!

    3 minutes 5 seconds.
    While talking on the phone, juggling 7 torches, completing a Japanese tea ceremony, and chewing gum.
    ^ (only one of those is true)

  285. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, what’s your plan for giving him the essence of Tony?

    I suggest solvent extraction. You know…something low-pressure. :P

  286. says

    Hey rq, I’m just trying to help.

    As for the cats… I have heard that cats are aloof? Not mine. They LOOOOOOOVE me. They follow me around talking to me, and take turns snuggling up to me at night. And all I wanted was a dog…

  287. strange gods before me ॐ says

    3:05 > 2:40. I’m going to take this as consolation that today’s puzzle was harder.

    My new provisionally named “Youtube video de-embedder” script is available at http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Greasemonkey , more self-explanatory name suggestions are welcome.

    It turns videos into links. You can try it out on #302. By the way, to prevent automagic embedding, add non-whitespace text to the end of your comment. A full stop should do it.

  288. Nutmeg says

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis, and tentacles crossed for Tony’s big date! We’ll be waiting for details of how it went! ;)


    I’m starting to experiment with more vegetarian meals, since my girlfriend is mostly vegetarian. (Not for ethical reasons, she just doesn’t like meat. Yes, ha ha, very funny.) Most of my “show-off” meals involve a fair bit of meat, so I’m hoping to learn to cook some delicious veggie things.

    My conclusions so far: Avocados are really, really filling. Holy shit. The texture throws me off a little, though.

  289. rq says

    Improbable Joe, you do a fine job.

    Either it was more difficult, or I was more distracted and tired. :) Whichever consoles you more.

  290. Beatrice says


    I would consider zucchini and cheese (ricotta and cheddar*, I also put parmiggiano (inclusive) or mozzarella on top ) lasagne a “show-off” meal.

    *at least it should be cheddar, I usually use gauda because this cheese forsaken country doesn’t make or buy cheddar

  291. Nutmeg says

    Ooh, good idea, Beatrice! My folks are away for a couple of weeks, so I have the kitchen to myself and plenty of opportunities to experiment. Maybe I’ll try a veggie lasagna sometime this weekend.

  292. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    Tony: The very best of luck with your date! This guy sounds interested and interesting, at least.

    The Husband and I stumbled into Australian Rules Football, oh, I guess it must have been 20 years ago, while idly flipping channels to see what was on TV. We were astonished to see one man essentially run up another man’s back, push off into the air, and catch the ball…all of which was apparently legal.
    *shaking head*
    We wasted many a happy hour attempting to deduce, just from watching, what the rules, if any, actually were were, and decided that any such must be strictly ornamental…so it could claim to be an “organised sport”.


    rq, beatrice, WMDKitty
    Go wash your brains. With soap!

    Or cilantro.

    NB!-Could the humble sea urchin hold the key to carbon capture? http://phys.org/news/2013-02-humble-sea-urchin-key-carbon.html

    “What our discovery offers is a real opportunity for industries such as power stations and chemical processing plants to capture all their waste CO2 before it ever reaches the atmosphere and store it as a safe, stable and useful product.”
    If it’s also a salable product, one which generates more profit than cost to use, it may have a shot.

  293. David Marjanović says

    It’s link-dump time again!

    Polyandry is more common than we thought (with interesting comments)
    Why remakes are one of our greatest achievements as a civilization (quite the exaggeration, but still interesting)
    In unspecified place in Papua New Guinea, naturalistic fallacy makes YOU! Or at least it goes the other way around. Fascinating, but horrifying, and some of the comments are right on.
    The evolution of kissing – I didn’t know French kissing had been documented in bonobos; that makes it all the more mysterious to me. “Esquimax” in the Darwin quote is a typo for esquimaux; guess how that’s pronounced.
    Why and how the Norse gave up Greenland: they did end up eating mostly seal meat, and they seem to have moved off in a rather orderly fashion rather than starved or fled in panic.

    Now on to comment 439! *meep meep*

  294. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    The UK House of Commons is debating the extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples in England and Wales, here. It’s a free vote – no party discipline – and effectively certain to pass this stage. One of the very few progressive things the current government has done – although about half the Conservative MPs won’t vote for it.

  295. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says


    The problem with that as a method of sequestering significant quantities of CO2 is that you need something like CaO or MgO (calcium of magnesium oxide) to combine with it. But the only source of these, AFAIK, is rocks where these oxides are already combined with CO2 as carbonates.

  296. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Ah – they are going through the HoC lobbies (i.e., voting) on the Gar Marriage Bill.

  297. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Gay Marriage, even. But I’m sure Gars will be pleased to be included ;-)

  298. David Marjanović says

    Remind me not to spend money ever again.

    I don’t understand. How much did you hoard? Less than that?

    blah. Have you ever had that thing when your nose is so blocked that when you wake up in the morning the inside of your mouth is so dry it’s cracked?

    Not quite that bad, but I keep a water bottle next to my bed these days. My nose always overreacts to dry ( = winter) air.

    And when the nose is blocked, things like exhaling can increase the pressure in the throat to the point of triggering the swallowing reflex. Waking up with a digestive tract full of air isn’t fun.

    And sometimes, the air escapes on the other end, driving everything before it…

    OTOH, top players are highly trained in histrionic collapse and appeal to the referee at any hint of a foul, which could look to the uninitiated like the outcome of violence.

    While that is true, they’re also highly trained in actually committing fouls whenever they think no referee is looking.

    Could the humble sea urchin hold the key to carbon capture? http://phys.org/news/2013-02-humble-sea-urchin-key-carbon.html

    Awesome – but where can you take that much calcium or magnesium or whatever from without having an impact on something else?

    Turning toxic by-product into biofuel booster: Engineered enzyme increases output of alkanes http://phys.org/news/2013-02-toxic-by-product-biofuel-booster-enzyme.html

    Fucking awesome.

    Research group suggests Chicxulub crater may have been caused by binary asteroids http://phys.org/news/2013-02-group-chicxulub-crater-binary-asteroids.html

    Ah, so a very low impact angle isn’t the only option. Cool.

    From there, giving an impression of the kinetic energies involved:

    “The crater left behind has a diameter of approximately 180 km, which means, the researchers say, that twin asteroids could have been as far apart as 80 km and still produced a single crater.”

  299. David Marjanović says

    The problem with that as a method of sequestering significant quantities of CO2 is that you need something like CaO or MgO (calcium of magnesium oxide) to combine with it.

    Silicates also work, indeed that’s what the geological CO2 cycle uses. But still, where do you get that much of them from…

  300. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Vote on the main motion for the Marriage (Same Sex couples) Bill: 400 Aye, 175 No – a thumping majority. There will now be at least one procedural vote, but I’d assume these will go the way of those wanting the bill to become law.

  301. says

    So, went to see mum today.
    Her values are getting better and she seems more hopeful again now that something happens.
    While I was there dad came to visit, too. I haven’t seen the two of them so affectionate with each other in years.
    OTOH mum gets back in shape, which also means getting back in “you can’t possibly manage without me” shape. We’re taking dad and sister to the Chinese restaurant on Saturday to celebrate dad’s birthday.
    Mum: “But who takes care of gran?”
    Me “M.* does”
    Mum: “Nonono, I don’t agree. I’ll ask them to release me on Saturday morning!”
    Dad: “Nope, you stay here, you’re ill!”

    *M. is mum’s cousin’s “stepmum”. For family relations: Mum’s cousin lives in the same street. I usually talk about her as my aunt, because it’s easier. Now, my aunt’s parents split up when she was still a child and her dad married again sometimes in the 1980’s, so, “stepmum” is a bit of a stretch. And my aunt’s dad died some years ago. But families are weird things, so M. is part of the inner circle.

    Well, that requires waking up…
    When I sleep (especially in my own bed), I sleep. My brain recognizes “sounds made by children and stray bats” but nothing else.

    Nick G.
    Yay for England and Wales

  302. says

    Once in winter some years ago I woke Mr. because I’d heard a noise, like somebody was on the balcony, which is pretty impossible because this is the 13th floor. We turned on the light, couldn’t see anything/body, noises disappeared, we went back to bed. Some days later we noticed a small bat in the living room curtains…

    Now I’m waiting for my conversation partner to show up.

  303. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says


    Polyandry is more common than we thought

    Blasphemy!!! In the Garden of Eden, as everyone knows, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and Walter and Steve!

  304. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Tony: Huzzah for promising romantic prospect! Like the others, I expect a full report: ) (Unless it includes essence, then you can edit for politeness;)

    rq: *hugs* Sorry that you are feeling so worn down. I don’t have kids, but I can imagine how all the pressure to be a Perfect Mom™ can make everything seem like it’s an indictment of your parenting. I think you’re a great mom. :) Hugs and chocolate as needed.


    I received the minutes from the last meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission, to which I was appointed yesterday. All through them, what does it say? PZ this, PZ that :D Makes me smile. He got his own Commission!

  305. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Glad you and your sister and dad are getting to do something to celebrate his birthday. And that your dad enforced good boundaries for your mom, it sounds like. Hope you have fun : )

  306. rq says

    Yes, happy for the positive news about your mum, as well as the rest of the family!
    re: bats That’s actually really cute… Since having bats fly in our house growing up from time to time, I’ve always thought they were cute. Even when fluttering about as a bundle of ultrasonic nerves, tangled in the curtains.
    But I hope your 13th floor is more secure there than here – the way they build balconies (I should say, built) it’s quite easy to climb up to the thirteenth floor hereabouts…

    Sometimes, I think the world would be a better place if it had been Adam and Walter and Steve…

    Thanks for that. May I suggest you hold the congratulations until at least Eldest turns 18 or so? (That’s another 12.5 years, FYI.) ;)

    What Portia said: if there’s too much essence, I’d rather not hear about it. A simple summary of the date and your thoughts on the potential lurrrrve interest will do. ;)
    What are your plans? (I will forego the obligatory mention of ‘giving of essence’ this time…)

  307. Beatrice says

    Irish prime minister gave sort of an quasi-apology for Magdalene laundries, but it must look like a beautiful compassionate apology compared to the bullshit “sisters” whose orders operated the laundries responded:



    [Good Shepherd Sisters]
    We acted in good faith providing a refuge and we sincerely regret that women could have experienced hurt and hardship during their time with us. It saddens us deeply to hear that time spent with us, often as part of a wider difficult experience, has had such a traumatic impact on the lives of these women.

    We have noted in the report that “the lack of information given to some women, as to why they were sent and the length of time they would remain” was hugely upsetting for these women.

    [Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge]
    For the past 160 years in Ireland our intention has been to offer refuge to women in need. The laundries which were attached to refuges were hard and demanding places to work. Many women used our refuges as a place of last resort. There are also many who found themselves in a refuge through no choice of their own.
    Regardless of why a woman was in a refuge or how she came to be there, we endeavoured to provide care. It is with deep regret that we acknowledge that there are women who did not experience our refuge as a place of protection and care. Further, it is with sorrow and sadness that we recognise that for many of those who spoke to the inquiry that their time in a refuge is associated with anxiety, distress, loneliness, isolation, pain and confusion and much more.

    That’s a fucking dictionary definition of notpology.
    No acknowledgment of the abuse, of questionable deaths, of sisters’ own role in those women being put in there or returned after they escaped… just some vague “sorriness” that some women didn’t realize they were being taken care of. So sorry that those stupid women associated their “protection and care” with bad things instead of realizing how much the sisters cared.


  308. strange gods before me ॐ says

    What Portia said: if there’s too much essence, I’d rather not hear about it.

    Would you make this comment to a straight person?

  309. rq says

    Yes, I would.
    Because if there is an exchange of essence, I’d rather not hear about it. From anyone.


    ARGH. Fuck it ALL.

    I need to stain a crapton of cells using a library of antibodies. So I dive into the literature and catalogs and talk with people, and get a list of catalog numbers that are good. I then cross-reference them to find a technique they have in common.

    Paraffin immunohistochemistry.

    Of fucking course.

    Also, I have a cut on the inside of my left nostril. And it fucking hurts.

  311. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Well that’s nice for you that you’re an all-around prude, but it’s still offensive that you said it. Gay men are way disproportionally reminded of how fucking gross and disgusting our sex is and how nobody wants to hear a hint of it.

    rq, you don’t have to read what you don’t want to read. How about you filter your own inputs and shut up next time instead of telling anyone how graphic they should be.

  312. Beatrice says

    Well, I probably am too weird about sex, but wouldn’t sharing details of sexual encounters here without even a little TMI warning beforehand be a bit… impolite, I’m not sure about the right word?

  313. David Marjanović says

    *bunch of hugs*
    *bunch of congratulations*

    I’ve seen something about weathering olivine as a possible sequestration route – is this related?

    Yes, but that was without the nickel!

    “Olivine/peridot occurs in both mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks and as a primary mineral in certain metamorphic rocks.” That includes basalt.

    Adam and Eve and Walter and Steve

    So much win!

  314. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Well, I probably am too weird about sex, but wouldn’t sharing details of sexual encounters here without even a little TMI warning beforehand be a bit… impolite, I’m not sure about the right word?

    “The reason the phrase ‘TMI’ exists in popular culture” would be a good way of putting it.

  315. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Hey, if people want to be told ahead of time that they’re going to be reading graphic descriptions of sex, fine. That isn’t silencing.

  316. rq says


    I’m sorry, I was coming back to say that, in retrospect, while I would say that to anyone, I can see how it came off sounding way over the line.
    I apologize.
    And yes, I was going to mention that I can always skip the comments I don’t want to read, because, probably, in this place, is about the only place some people can divulge all kinds of details, which they ordinarily wouldn’t. So… Yes, it was over and out of line.
    I will henceforth attempt to remove my foot from my mouth before being too hasty in saying things that are said from a point of privilege.

  317. David Marjanović says

    Paraffin immunohistochemistry.

    Sounds like… a lot of work?

    (I’ve never encountered the method, and the immunohistochemistry article of the Pffft! of All Knowledge only contains the string paraff once, in “deparaffinization”, which is one of the “additional steps” that “the sample may require”.)

  318. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Actually, now that I think about it, if someone watching people having sex is involved, and the parties involved have to be consenting, then how is an explicit description of sexual acts not also something that there ought to be consent for?


    Paraffin immunohisochemistry is also immunohistochemistry.

    That is, completely unsuited to cells grown in vitro.

  320. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    Somebody want to explain this shit to Azkyroth instead of me so I don’t get thrown out of the Lounge?

  321. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Gay men are way disproportionally reminded of how fucking gross and disgusting our sex is and how nobody wants to hear a hint of it.

    Aside from this, where the issue is disproportionality.

  322. rq says

    The point is not so much the description or an explicit discussion, but the fact that I said something that, from another perspective, could be seen as casting the sexuality of gay men in a very negative way.
    That is not cool, even if I didn’t see what was wrong with saying that so flippantly (which I do see now).
    Obviously, there was a lot more to those words that I didn’t think of. Will do better.