[Lounge #406]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. You’re getting two platypuses, so I expect double niceness.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. broboxley OT says

    After recalling Improb J fun while driving across country did some prep work on the car. 2 new mudnsnows for the rear end, finished changing the other bank of plugs. Fluids renewed. So organizing floor jack, tools, chilton manual and a case of oil. Still a little room for lappers n clothes.

  2. drusillagorilla says

    Niceness you say?

    Well, in that case I can really only post my comment to the Thunderdome.

  3. cicely (No further comment.) says

    And I forgot to put salt in the dough for the pizza and foccacia. Damn. I could fuck up a one-horse parade.

    Well, duh! Your parade had a Horse infestation; nukes from orbit are the only answer.

    *high five* for WMDKitty.

  4. broboxley OT says

    since ical is riding horses and eating peas, does PZ post his public calendar anywhere else? Son wants to swing by morris on the way to Fargo to visit with his friends

  5. chigau (違う) says

    broboxley #5
    On the side panel, somewhere under PZ’s picture, is a link to something called ‘my calendar’.
    It has rarely provided me with useful information but you may get lucky.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Today is Friday, and the Redhead likes to have fish even though she isn’t religious (it makes me eat fish, which she thinks I objected to, but I always said “put it on the plate”, which she didn’t). We had leftover starch and veggies, and she had left-over squidmas candy and cookies for dessert. Now she’s talking chile for next weeks plan-over meals, but is also considering a chicken/artichoke cream soup. I vote for the chile…

  7. chigau (違う) says

    Most of our cooking is done in vats.
    I don’t think I know how to make chili or stew or soup “for two”.
    It’s why plastic tubs and freezers exist.

    How is the Redhead doing?

  8. marilove says

    Hello!! A week or so ago, I saw a comment from someone, a woman I believe, asking about lodging help for the American Atheist Convention. There was a link to leave a donation via paypal. I am terrible with names and apparently I didn’t save or bookmark the information. I have a room already, and have the room for an extra — does anyone remember who that was? Thanks! http://www.facebook.com/marilove or just shoot me an email at marilee dot cornelius at gmail :)

  9. broboxley OT says

    6 chigau :-) that link points to ical.me which has been tango uniform for a while now

  10. Larry says

    I don’t know how many people here watch the reality TV show Shark Tank on ABC. Different versions are shown worldwide under different names (e.g. Dragon’s Den in the UK and Canada). The show features entrepreneurs seeking money from millionaire venture capitalists.

    Anyway, on tonight’s show one of the entrepreneurs was trying to get the “sharks” to invest in her acupressure bracelets that she claimed help reduce nausea, particularly for pregnant women and cancer patients. Most of the sharks were very critical of her, and grilled her on what medical evidence there actually was for the bracelets. The entrepreneur couldn’t give anything more specific than vague claims of helping with nausea, and that those statements had been cleared by the FDA. Marc Cuban (owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks) went as far as to say he was disgusted by the people selling an unproven bracelet to cancer patients. Ultimately none of the venture capitalists invested in the company.

    For a entertainment show in prime-time, I thought it made a fairly positive statement about people being skeptical of acupressure’s pseudoscientific claims. If you’re interested, the product is sold here, though I think their site is currently crashed from the new exposure they just got from Shark Tank.

  11. says

    Platypi sounds more correct to the ear than platypuses. However, platypodes is the grammatically correct Greek past tense of platypus. But platypuses is more commonly used, although it sounds irregular. Platypus is also a commonly accepted plural of platypus.

  12. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t think I know how to make chili or stew or soup “for two”.

    Planovers is making chile for eight, serving two meals worth, and refrigerating/freezing the rest for future use. I’m still working full time, so I don’t have much time during the weekday evenings for cooking. Nuking planovers is a real boon.

    Not much improvement at this time.

  13. says

    Hi marilove (#9), as far as I recall Sally Strange was looking for help for travel and accommodation, and Stephanie Zvan over at Almost Diamonds had been collecting Paypal donations over at her blog Almost Diamonds. I’m pretty sure the amount required for the airfare has been reached, which leaves accommodation; so I sent you an e-mail with the details. (If anyone remembers anyone else who might be in need of accommodation, it might be worth sending those details as well.)

  14. Alverant says

    OK I have a question. I was over on the Hero Pen and Paper RPG boards when someone asked how Atheists would react in a world that had superpowers, magic, aliens, avatars of gods, etc. The context was, if there was anti-mutant groups would there also be hate groups of other kind of superbeings? For instance would church groups and/or Atheists be against any magic user or magical being?

    I didn’t have an answer for that. My guess is that Atheist would either say that gods were made by Man’s belief and therefore not “real” gods and/or none of the gods out there are worth worshiping. Does anyone else have a better answer?

  15. says

    I wish Mom had told me she’d be at a movie tonight. Would have saved me ten minutes of panicked texting and worrying about The Worst Possible Thing happening.

    Horses and Therapy

    Horseback riding can help develop balance and the “trunk” muscles in children with CP, so… useful. And kinda fun, if you can get past the “holy shit I’m waaaaaay off the ground” part.

  16. chigau (違う) says

    Alverant #17
    I don’t understand the question.
    Atheists do not believe in the ‘supernatural’.
    If the beings in question are demonstrating power in the real world, there is nothing supernatural about it.

  17. says

    Building on Chigau‘s comment, I think the atheists would point out that these “gods” are likely inter- or extra-dimensional beings who have nifty powers (or sufficiently advanced technology that looks like “nifty powers”). You know, the logical conclusion.

  18. marilove says

    I don’t know, I’d be pretty okay if a really cool alien existed and wanted to hang out and get a beer or something. Is that possible in your fantasy world, chigau? Because that’d be pretty chill.

  19. chigau (違う) says

    I’m not sure it’s my fantasy world but there had better be beer.
    or rum
    [still real]

  20. chigau (違う) says

    It is quite warm here tonight, +2°C.
    So sometimes the parties move outdoors.
    University students are sooooo cute.

  21. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I didn’t have an answer for that. My guess is that Atheist would either say that gods were made by Man’s belief and therefore not “real” gods and/or none of the gods out there are worth worshiping.

    Uh, the latter I can see, but…

    …really? Atheists overwhelmingly reject the existence of gods because of the lack of evidence for gods.

    Is it not obvious what that would imply in the event there actually was good evidence for them?

  22. says

    @ Azykroth

    Is it not obvious what that would imply in the event there actually was good evidence for them?

    I, for one, would immediately cease to be an atheist. What goddists don’t seem to realise, is that this is all that we have ever asked of them. We don’t need pleading or threats to believe in [dieu du jour], we only need evidence. So simple, yet they can never rise to the challenge.

    (Would PZ start a thread to cast such a challenge out there? I would happily stake my immortal soul to liven things up.)

  23. says

    I do not know if I would believe in gods per se. I would look around and see beings with incredible abilities, but does that make them gods? Superman is powerful beyond belief, but isn’t seen as a god (to the majority of characters in the fictional DC Universe). Spider-Man has super powers, but he is not a god either. So what are the defining characteristics of a god that must be met to be considered such?
    This is one of my problems with the question of “what would it take for you to believe?”.
    It would take more than a burning bush or walking on water, IMHO. Those are great abilities, but how does that demonstrate who the incredible individual is?

  24. says

    Good morning
    I love Platypuses

    My dad, who was raised catholic, likes fish 6 days out of 7, but NOT on Fridays.

    In such a world an Atheist would be an idiot. They would be the equivalent of this world climate change deniers and creationists. I play P&P RPGs in worlds with gods and damn those gods are there. They work miracle healings, they answer your prayers (at least sometimes) and so on. It would be stupid not to believe in them.

    Yay for WMDKitty

  25. says

    Of course, Misotheism is still a perfectly valid outlook: “Sure, there are gods. Assholes, the lot them. Never did anyone any good without they were kissing their asses all their lives, and obeying every half-baked whim, too. The hell with them; I don’t bother the gods, and I hope with all my heart they return the favor.” David Weber’s got a series about a member of a race that feels (with some justification) that the gods have just joined in with everyone else in fucking them over, and generally refuse to have anything to do with them. The first book involves the local war god trying to make one of them the equivalent of a D&D paladin, only to be told repeatedly and in no uncertain terms where he can shove it. (Oath of Swords, if anyone’s interested).

  26. says

    Assuming the existence of the Divine, it can’t be just one God responsible for all the details.

    It takes a whole fucking committee to fuck things up this badly. Look at the platypus — it’s got a duck-bill, webbed feet, and lays eggs… but it fucking lactates! Th’ fuck is that supposed to work?

  27. says

    @ Tony

    Goddists are making the claim that their “god”, YHWH, is a “real god”. I leave it to them to define the terms and scope of what they mean. (Interestingly, we have (IIRC), never had one here that can even define what their god is.)

    Personally, I would need the person making the claims to provide evidence for each. If one claims a flying horse with a woman’s face, then they must provide a flying horse with a women’s face. If an eternally burning bush, then provide an eternally burning bush. Admittedly, proving a being exists that is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent would be extremely difficult (even philosophically), but then it is their problem. They have made the claims.

  28. cubist says

    sezs alverant:

    OK I have a question. I was over on the Hero Pen and Paper RPG boards when someone asked how Atheists would react in a world that had superpowers, magic, aliens, avatars of gods, etc. The context was, if there was anti-mutant groups would there also be hate groups of other kind of superbeings? For instance would church groups and/or Atheists be against any magic user or magical being?

    I didn’t have an answer for that. My guess is that Atheist would either say that gods were made by Man’s belief and therefore not “real” gods and/or none of the gods out there are worth worshiping. Does anyone else have a better answer?

    In a universe where über-powerful entities are a stone-cold fact, complete with overwhelming evidence of their existence & interactions with humans & etc, anybody who doesn’t “believe in” said über-powerful entities would probably be deluded-to-insane, in much the same way someone who doesn’t “believe in” the mailman would probably be deluded-to-insane. To paraphrase a comment about Dr. Doom which I no longer recall the original source of: Even the most hyper-rational superscientist can be forgiven for believing in Thor after they’ve fired laser beams into the guy’s face for the seventeenth time.
    Of course, it’s one thing to say that über-powerful entities exist, but it’s something else again to say that Über-Powerful Entity X is a genuine, no-foolin’ deity. How do you know? How can you tell? God-concepts in the RealWorld have been strongly constrained to evolve in the direction of unfalsifiability, thanks to the RealWorld’s persistent failure to cough up any deity-supportive evidence; in a superhero universe, that constraint would be much weaker (but probably not nonexistent, given the likelihood of con artists who try to flim-flam marks into joining bogus ‘religions’ whose deities exist only in the con artists’ fevered imaginings). Much the same argument applies to the “supernatural”; in a superhero universe, well-stocked with sorcerors and ghosts and yada yada yada, people who are asked why they believe in the supernatural have no need for any of the special pleading & other fallacies which supernature-believers in the Real World must resort to—instead, they can just point to the time Zontar the Ineffable animated the Chrysler Building. There would of course be room for reasonable people to disagree, but at least the “supernatural” explanation would not be patently absurd on the face of it.
    I suspect that in a superhero universe, the term “atheist” would refer to people who do not worship any gods, rather than people who don’t believe in any gods.

  29. left0ver1under says

    If you thought priests and pastors in the US were thieves, they’re amateurs compared to a recently arrested christian pastor in Indonesia, Abraham Alex Tanuseputra.


    This news item can be viewed through google translate:


    He stole and helped criminals to launder 4.7 trillion Indonesian Rupiah.

    At current exchange rates, that’s US$485 million.

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

    Hello folks. We’re okay. We’ve had a couple of days of real rain and now all the fires are contained. It feels like I can breath again. To be truthful we were only in any immanent danger once when lightning started a fire 10k away, but the CFA and DSE hit it hard. The heli-crew did thirty-odd runs on it in a single day and that was that.

    The house has a new doo.*

    Added bonus pic from a different angle. Gives a better sense of scale.

    I’m sorry for disappearing. I’ve been struggling a bit just at the moment. It feels like having a possible, plausible reason for my fatigue has given me permission to surrender to it.

    I hope most sincerely that you all are are well and happy and provisioned with the very finest beverages and victuals. I hope too that everyone you love most in the world is as happy and healthy as this Small Fry**, with her five missing teeth “I’m five, and I’ve lost five teeth!” [helpless giggling] and her “busy bee boots” that “…make me a bit faster Dad. They really do!” And I hope that those people make you feel as good as I did as I watched my little alliterating proto-human sprint away from me, arms and legs just a little discombobulated in her flat out attempt to dismiss that skeptical look from Daddy’s face.

    *As always, a stupidly large file warning for those on limited band width.
    **Somewhere, an OH&S officer got the cold shivers when we took that pic.

  31. rq says

    I was worried, but now I shall no longer worry. Glad you’re ok, glad the cinders and soot are clearing away.
    Glad the house now looks like a shed with something resembling a roof. ;) And the Small Fry is an awesomely cute toothless bee. :) She should go head-to-head with my Eldest, who swears he is The Fastest Hooman Bean in The Universe (he’s even faster than mum! and dad! and Superman!). That would be an epic race.
    *hugs* for you, and I hope the fatigue lets up a little bit!

  32. opposablethumbs says

    FossilFishy, it’s wonderful to see you back safe and sound. Yay for ongoing house and ongoing (bee-faster!!!) Small Fry!

  33. rq says

    *fewf* Just finished a long reply to the anti-fluoride friend, because she found a video that says Hitler put fluoride in the water of concentration camps to keep people docile, and that’s why the government is doing it now. How does one *facepalm* and *headdesk* simultaneously?

  34. Johnny Au Gratin says

    I suspect there is a common phenomenon of human nature that I would describe as being your own harshest critic, even to the point of holding unrealistic self-expectations, while at the same time giving yourself a free ride on ideas and behaviors you would never expect anyone else to tolerate. I have seen things written on each half of this mix of self criticism and self justification, and a few things generally about holding contradictory views, but I am looking for something that addresses this particular aspect more specifically. Anyone have any good links?

  35. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    I had a rage moment today where I was actually ready to punch the guy* in the face, so you’re not the only one with such strong feelings around here. ;) I do not condone violence, but I had strong feelings.

    *’The guy’ being that asshole who comes to a project meeting after all the preliminary work has been done and accepted and practical matters are about to be settled and complains loudly and at length about the labelling on the diagrams.

  36. Pteryxx says

    Mostly threadrupt – FossilFishy, what Joe said ;> Not being on fire, definitely a good thing. Also congratz WMDKitty, now THAT was brave.



    and kinda creepily relevant to the topic of DnD gods manifesting as what their followers believe them to be (helpful, vengeful, whatever), I was wondering what y’all thought of this. Mano Singham just cited a research article about Mother Theresa refusing to relieve suffering, and it ends with this (Singham quoting the authors):

    The authors say that her legacy was not entirely bad, though, since even false and self-serving myths can generate some positive results.

    “If the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed by poverty, we can only rejoice. It is likely that she has inspired many humanitarian workers whose actions have truly relieved the suffering of the destitute and addressed the causes of poverty and isolation without being extolled by the media.”


    My first reaction was ‘fuck that’ but I’m failing the self-check. Thoughts?

  37. says


    The rage is always a little worse knowing you can’t actually punch the asshole in the face, isn’t it? … I can’t remember the last time I punched someone in the face, but the last time I put my hands on someone in anger I shoved a guy so hard that he went down and slid a few feet before coming to a stop. Republican Christian asshole in my face about some bullshit and he wouldn’t let it go and he wouldn’t allow me to exit the conversation and he followed me around and invaded my motherfucking personal space… luckily for both of us he didn’t jump back up with violent intent, because I’d have wound up in jail and he’d have been in the hospital.

    I condone purposeful, necessary violence. Knowing where the line should be is pretty tough though.

  38. says

    Pteryxx The problem with Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu’s particular brand of evil is that people don’t NEED much in the way of inspiration to help the needy, they generally would do it either way. So having a huge celebrity charity scam possibly inspired people to take money they would have donated to a real charity and gave it to the Catholic Church to unknowingly fund conversion efforts and child rape cover-ups.

  39. Beatrice says


    My reaction is “fuck that” too. Yeah, people can be inspired by something evil to do good. I can rejoice because they are doing good, but putting an emphasis on the possible source of their inspiration and rejoicing about that (especially as put by those authors “we can only rejoice” – no, actually, you can be happy about real humanitarians and horrified about Theresa) shifts it into doing a happy dance over corpses of people who have suffered terribly.

  40. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    Definitely increases the rage. But at least he got his ass handed to him (civilly, but just barely) by myself and another, who basically told him he could either participate and accept that most of the work has already been done not his way; re-do all the work already done himself using his own resources (incl. money) within the timeframe remaining for the project; or just fuck off. He didn’t quite fuck off, but he shut up pretty damn quick. Honestly, what made it worse was that it was a bunch of mothers and female students doing all the heavy preliminary work up to this point, and he just marched in at the last moment with his entire entitled ass, bringing up issues long since discussed and solved and complaining about the way things had been labelled. I mean, seriously… Because we don’t think of these things ourselves, seeing as no mother has any idea of how her children actually spend their time outside. And of course when the label says ‘field for children’s football’ is a definitive term which means erecting an entire football field with goal-posts and inviting teenagers to have drunken games and kick balls into apartment windows, as opposed to being a descriptive term of the small field on the side where children tend to play football – which would be clear, if he had any children playing in this particular yard at all (which I’m actually not sure of).
    Sorry for this petty and pointless little rant, had to get that off my mind.

  41. rq says

    That was in the news here a few days ago… The reaction of the local comentariat? “But they’re only talking about Mooooslim countries!” and “When was the last time someone was executed for atheism in [one of the 7 countries listed]?” and “All those Muslims should be burned in giant incinerators and used as a source of energy anyway! Exterminate them all!”
    Yeah, this country does not have any issues with racism. /heavysarcasm

  42. Pteryxx says

    Joe and Beatrice: another reaction I had to the quote was ‘that excuse wouldn’t fly for Sandusky’s charities’ when in fact a lot of defenders did say that very thing – that the victims should’ve shut up and not condemned him and those who covered for him for the sake of the charities they ran. But a charity should be just as able to get famous and well-respected without being spearheaded by abusers building edifices to hide their crimes, right?

    I wonder if this is why some charities refuse to accept help from atheist groups: because they think the atheists won’t be subservient to the charity and pose a risk as potential whistleblowers.

  43. Pteryxx says

    …and of course ‘but they do so much good’ doesn’t fly the other way, either – Republicans aren’t cutting Planned Parenthood any slack for the 98% of services they provide that are NOT abortions. So yeah.

  44. says

    Good afternoon, dear Horde!

    Marilove, I think that was SallyStrange.

    FossilFishy, it’s so good to hear from you and that you weren’t burned out. That’s the house? It looks kind of breezy. Those boots are too cute and would make any five-year-old run faster.

    Improbable Joe, Bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar, have you thought about making a short instruction manual on how to do what you’re doing? Create a PDF version and you can sell it online at, say, $9.95 a pop. Once it’s done, it can be a tiny, occasional revenue stream. Talk to me if you want assistance.

    rq, good for you shutting the Entitled Ass up quickly and in terms that might even get him to think next time before he opens his big yap.

    I have a question from the last thread: bluentx wrote

    My Southern Baptist mother wouldn’t let her kids play certain games. She read my cousin the riot act when he taught me how to play Monopoly because … !!eleventy-eleven!! IT HAS DICE! DICE ARE FOR GAMBLING!!!!

    bluentx, can you explain the reasoning here? I always thought that the prohibition was against betting money, but this makes it sound as though the prohibition was against letting an element of random chance into the game. However, in that case, all games that depend on shuffling cards should be prohibited, too. Is it, perchance, just a conviction from listening to sermons that Dice are Bad?

  45. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    I’m with Markita Lynda re: creating a manual. Especially if you’re successful in your amp refurbishment. ;)

    Markita Lynda
    If bluentx’ mother’s reasoning was anything like my dad’s, it’s about the random-chance element, which can lead to gambling. He didn’t approve of playing any card games, because cards were of the Devil (according to his mother, who also despised them, although, to be fair, he let us play various games as long as there was no money involved). It really had nothing to do with the money aspect, but the part that it could lead to actual gambling, because of the chance element. You know, like marijuana automatically leads to heavier drugs, because of the addiction element. Or something.
    But that was in our family, perhaps the reasoning in other families was a bit different.

  46. Pteryxx says

    Markita Lynda, re the dice thing (and bluentx may have had a different experience): as a child I was told that dice and cards were evil because using them was gambling and gambling was evil, QED. That came from teachers at my Christian school and from other parents. However, drawing UNO cards or using spinners were fine as far as they were concerned. When I asked an adult for a better explanation (a teacher I more or less trusted, IIRC) they said that *any* gaming depending on random chance was evil, because as Christians we should be trusting God to make everything turn out the way He intended. (At least that’s how I recall the explanation). That made everything else I suggested, such as flipping a coin or rolling a pencil, also evil because I was doing it thinking it would allow me to circumvent God’s will. IIRC, when I asked about the other games that I *was* allowed to play, I was told not to pass judgement on others or some such dodge. I think my parents simply said that some families were stricter about the gambling prohibitions than others; also that out in the real world, dice and cards are used for adult gambling games in casinos, and that’s a reason to keep good Christian children from getting familiar with them.

    So I suspect that most adults were going by sermons that say Dice are Bad, Cards are Bad, Rock music is Bad and similar, but the underlying prohibition is supposed to be against random chance.

  47. says

    Markita Lynda & rq,

    There are already people giving all this stuff away for free, up to and including step-by-step amplifier building instructions and schematics, and very long videos on YouTube. That’s the only reason I have the guts to do any of this myself. I will probably document and blog the whole thing though.:)

  48. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    That shouldn’t stop you! Somebody out there is bound to be gullible enough to buy it, especially if you title it something like Definite Joe’s Best Guitar Amp Refurbishing Guide or something equally marketable. ;)

  49. says

    … speaking of amp project, tomorrow I’m doing the majority of the work. Covering the cabinet in vinyl, attaching the handle, reattaching the speakers, I have half of the corners I need and the rest come Monday. The only thing that will be left after Monday is to get the faceplate and knobs for the control panel.

  50. Pteryxx says

    Oh, Monopoly has (fake) money in it too, and any game involving money is gambling. So I was allowed to play with some neighbor kids as long as we used buttons or M&Ms ‘to keep score’ but not if they wanted to use pennies.

  51. Pteryxx says

    Another memory just came floating back – when a bunch of us kids first tried playing DnD (not yet knowing that chance was evil, dragons, imaginary creatures, wizards, magic, etc etc etc) some of us were uncomfortable because the kit came with a six-sided die. So we left that one out, used all the other dice and rolled a d12 divided by 2 instead. <_<

  52. Dabu says

    No spurs on the hindlegs, I hope.

    Another memory just came floating back – when a bunch of us kids first tried playing DnD (not yet knowing that chance was evil, dragons, imaginary creatures, wizards, magic, etc etc etc) some of us were uncomfortable because the kit came with a six-sided die. So we left that one out, used all the other dice and rolled a d12 divided by 2 instead.

    It seems odd that one of the great sources of joy amongst D&D players, rolling an 18, can be turned into dread because of what the dice faces say. Religion poisons everything, even character creation.

    Still, it gives the perennially under-utilised d12s some love.

  53. eclipsse, very happy kitten says

    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy – I love that series! – The cross-over to modern day warfare novella was fun, too.

    @Pteryxx – we weren’t allowed to play monopoly – caused too many family ructions!

  54. eclipsse, very happy kitten says

    Dabu – we had a guy in our group who was obsessed by barbarians, so the d12s did get used.

    So did 3d6s. A lot. Barbarians in our games had poor survival stats.

  55. Dabu says

    I’ve experienced the same thing. A guy who always played barbarians was the one rolling up a new character most frequently. The class tends to attract a certain mindset.

  56. says

    Hi everyone! I’m behind again, ah well. :)

    re: the random chance/dice/gambling conversation:
    We had a lot of strange rules in my fundie house, but random chance wasn’t pitted against the will of god – the adults seemed to think that god controlled chance, and having something decided by the flip of a coin, etc., was allowing god to tell you what he thought. There’s actually some basis for it in the bible as drawing lots and straws and things in the old testament especially is talked about a lot. Learning about what “random” means mathematically from a math professor in a college statistics class was a bit eye opening for me.

    As for games weirdness, RPGs like D&D supposedly would give you demons (rather like watching horror movies, listening to xyz music, or playing with Ouija boards and Magic 8 Balls and Tarot cards), and my mother thought video games were bad for your psyche because “they teach you a kill or be killed mentality”. This was in the 80s so we are talking about early Mario/Nintendo games.

  57. says

    This is pretty intriguing to me. I grew up atheist, didn’t realize that my parents weren’t atheists too for a good little while because they’re both non-practicing Catholics. So all the talk about board games and stuff… weird and interesting. Especially since pretty much fundamentalist Christians were the only people who took D&D more seriously than the actual players.

  58. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    My dad didn’t allow D&D because it promoted violence. Go figure. :P
    Either way, he wasn’t too fundamentalist, but he’s a pretty hardcore Catholic (just got a reminder that it’s Lent, should be keeping that in mind!). Seems to be getting worse as he gets older and sicker, instead of better because he’s a scientist.
    And come to think of it, I can’t remember ever seeing him play cards of any kind. Or using dice, but that might be because the only board game he accepted was chess.

  59. Ogvorbis: We Are LEGUME! says

    And I forgot to put salt in the dough for the pizza and foccacia. Damn. I could fuck up a one-horse parade.

    Well, duh! Your parade had a Horse infestation; nukes from orbit are the only answer.

    Nah. The horses don’t really matter. I’ll stick with incompetence.

  60. eclipsse, very happy kitten says

    Most of the people who played RPGs (that I know, anyway) did so because it was a cheap night with friends, often involved cheap food and cheaper fizzy caffeinated drinks and there was nothing on TV.

    And it was fun.

    I used to run games because it was the quickest (and most entertaining) way of testing ideas for fiction I was writing.

    Occasionally the University CU would come and tell us we were going to be roasted, or dammed (spelling intentional). Sometimes entertainingly.

    Ahhh… #bright college days…#

  61. Pteryxx says

    Re games/chance:

    We had a lot of strange rules in my fundie house, but random chance wasn’t pitted against the will of god – the adults seemed to think that god controlled chance, and having something decided by the flip of a coin, etc., was allowing god to tell you what he thought. There’s actually some basis for it in the bible as drawing lots and straws and things in the old testament especially is talked about a lot.

    How it was explained to me (and I might have asked about drawing lots in the Bible) was that random chance IS controlled by god, but that’s why using dice to play a game was evil – you’re using a tool to interrogate God about how he thinks your family game of Monopoly should go, which is disrespectful or arrogant or some such, like wearing makeup or jewelry. Your petty dice-rolling can’t affect the will of God. (Again if memory serves, I followed up with something about weather forecasts and tornadoes, which probably got me more punishment.)

  62. Dabu says

    To think of the number of times I’ve written a line of code to generate a random result. Oops…

  63. Ogvorbis: We Are LEGUME! says


    Repeat after me: “Say goodnight, Gracie.”


    So it is snaining?

  64. chigau (違う) says

    Possibly srowing.
    Anyway, my sidewalks will soon be skating rinks.

  65. says


    To think of the number of times I’ve written a line of code to generate a random result. Oops…

    Hmm. It’s literally what I do for a living: write simulations that do nothing but “roll numbers” for probabilistic purposes. The term of art is “Monte Carlo method” in fact. I don’t have anywhere similar background for those who grew up with prohibitions against gambling, so its a very odd concept to me. Gambling was bad, because, well, the odds are against you. Weird.

  66. opposablethumbs says

    I’m a bit late, but … go rq for not letting the arsehole disrupt all the work that you had already done.

    One in the morning. here. yup, a bit late … better say good night Horde.

    Good night, Horde.

  67. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Allo Audley!! :D :D

    Horde, I was deeply irresponsible today.

    I just got home from the Mart O’ Foodstuffs and Potables.

    I bought:

    -6 bagels
    -1 package frozen broccoli florets
    -1 frozen pizza
    -1 bottle teriyaki sauce
    -1 jar sweet gherkins
    -16 bottles of beer.

    I may have a problem.

  68. chigau (違う) says

    Yay immune babby.
    Things are same-old.
    Mostly good.

    On my way home last night, I bought:
    -a 700g block of cheddar
    -6 frozen meat pies
    -cat food
    -a bottle of wine
    No problems here.

  69. carlie says

    Children nostalgia story:

    We have an evaporative humidifier that just isn’t cutting it right now with how sick everyone is, so I went out and bought a couple of ultrasonic humidifiers for the bedrooms. Got one all set up in Child 2’s room, got it fired up, and he said “oh, I remember having one like this before”. I know he’s never had an ultrasonic one before, so I asked him what exactly he remembered. He said “It had mist like that and that same noise but it had a tube I could breathe through”, and I realized he was talking about nebulizer treatments. He’d had them daily all through being a baby and toddler and then a few times while sick later, but he hasn’t used it in probably 4-5 years. It was just strange and touching that he’d remember something like that; I didn’t realize he did.

    It also hit me again today how different family structures impact the way you experience family so much. I have early teen kids; other friends of mine of the same age have toddlers, and when my parents were my age, I was graduating from college and getting married. It’s weird, man.

  70. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Am I the only one who finds homogeneous soup kind of a letdown?

  71. bluentx says

    @ #42 & onward:
    Yea! FossilFishy is intact!

    @ #46 rq said:

    Hitler put fluoride in the water of concentration camps to keep people docile, and that’s why the government is doing it now.

    Oooo…an Aqua Godwin! Must save that (1) for posterity, (2) for “a funny story I heard” and can tell at the next water training class I attend and (3) as an addition to my conspiracy theory file.

    @ #49 rq said:

    I do not condone violence

    Now, was that the 4 lb., 8 lb. or 12 lb. sledgehammer you were requesting earlier or should I just send all three for specific jobs? :)
    [Late with the * hugs* but hoping it’s getting better via (in part) this vent-alator called The Lounge.]

  72. triskelethecat says

    @texasaggie: AWWWWWWW!!!! So very KYOOOOTTTT! I miss my kitteh sometimes (had to put him to sleep last August), but know that in this tiny place, I couldn’t deal with one.

    @Audley: Glad to hear all Darkhearts are doing well. Sad to hear Darkbaby is still cranky.

    I got the motorcycle back from my friend’s garage today, got out for a few nice rides. Looking at the forecast, Winter Storm Saturn may require a return to his garage. At least I may get a few days worth of rides out of it.

  73. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    OK. Now it’s snowing.
    and raining.

    Sounds like Chiwaukee weather this week. Hovering around the freezing point of water, and couldn’t make up its mind what form it wanted to be before/after it hit the ground.

  74. bluentx says

    Markita Lynda @ #61:
    Explain the reasoning? I’ve been trying to understand the reasoning for decades! Trying to brainstorm with my siblings doesn’t even help- even the religious ones shrug and go, “Ya got me.”

    Like Pteryxx said @ #814 (previous thread):

    Nothing involving dice or ‘bad’ playing cards (the standard ones with hearts, spades etc). I was told that’s why permissible games were ones like Life (which used a spinner instead of evil dice)

    Dice = Bad
    Spinner = Okay
    Suit cards = Bad
    Other card s= Okay

    I don’t recall hearing anything about the ‘Random Chance Wheel of Rationalization’ ploy but my folks weren’t much into Sophistamacated Theology. Mom probably just heard it from a preacher (or from her Mom) and ran with it.

    There was a lot of unparsable contridictions in Mom’s Logic (TM).

    She also though that most Rock ‘n’ Roll was “awful” if not “indecent” yet she herself liked “hard-drinkin’, cheatin’-heart” country & western -while at the same time being a tea-totaling ‘Good Christian’ who probably didn’t have sex after it was known I was conceived * (I’m the youngest child.).

    No wonder reason and logic on many subjects was slow in coming for me, huh?

    *NOT hyperbole . She once told my sister (within my hearing) that “A woman shouldn’t have anything to do with a man unless she wants children”.

  75. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I assume part of the objections to the suit cards comes from their (at least alleged) historical descent from Tarot cards. The dice…um, you got me.

  76. bluentx says

    @texasaggie: AWWWWWWW!!!! So very KYOOOOTTTT!

    Seconded and… how do you spell (kittie) squeeeee!

    Also: Owl and the Pussycat vid @ #69= SO COOL!

  77. chigau (違う) says

    Wikipedia sez they used to rub opium on the baby’s gums.
    Maybe the parents rubbed some on their own.

  78. triskelethecat says

    @chigau: yeah, paragoric was my friend (evil smile). I used to rub it on my kids’ gums. But then, working as a nurse I had an “in” with lots of doctors who would give me prescriptions for all kinds of “off label” stuff.

    @Audley: teething is the pits. And the worst of it is, they only get a few years break till they lose the baby teeth and the new ones come in. Hugs and kisses to you both (and a nice shot of booze of your choice).

    Haven’t looked outside lately. A friend who lives about 40 miles north west of me said it’s flurrying there. I just hope we don’t get much. (sulks..)

    I haz gots PMS (in my case, that’s Parked Motorcycle Syndrome). Going for a glass of brandy.

  79. bluentx says

    I assume part of the objections to the suit cards comes from their (at least alleged) historical descent from Tarot cards

    In my moms case I’m not even sure she knew of Tarot cards. It seemed to have more to do with poker/general gambling aversion.

    Pteryxx @ 67 mentioned ‘fake’ money and gambling. Mom didn’t seem to care about ‘fake money’. We played ‘store’ with fake money but maybe that’s completely different than fake money in board games???

    I’m confused!

  80. broboxley OT says

    dice prohibition goes back to the crucifixion, where longinus rolled the bones (shaped bone or ivory dice back in the day) to see who got to keep Jesus ‘s jockstrap after he coughed out.

  81. broboxley OT says

    Longinus? Was he related to Bigus Dickus?

    no, he was a centurian while Biggus Dickus was a fwend of Pilate in Rome

  82. bluentx says

    Audley @ #93:
    My brain hurts from reading that email (even with the corrections, but thanks).
    Squinting- in an effort to make it clearer didn’t work, my eyes began spinning like a pin wheel… I may have to go take some Dramamine! ;)

  83. bluentx says

    Probably better to not invite trouble, Audley. Personally I think it’s a plot to deliberately drive us insane.

    Surely,so many people (seemingly the majority of religious emailers) can not REALLY be that bad at grammar and that incomprehensible with punctuation.*

    It’s a conspiracy I tells ya!

    * Yeah. I know I probably borked the grammar and punctuation myself. That, of course, does not count.

  84. says

    Oh, my left shoulder hurts so much… fucking mahogany!

    My wife has been catching up on Game of Thrones this weekend, she has the first two seasons on Blu-ray and has monopolized the TV for the last 12 hours or so. In the meanwhile, I’ve been locked in my office watching stuff on YouTube and Netflix. I found a live recording of a 30th anniversary concert of Pink Floyd: The Wall… so of course I strap on a guitar, grab a pick, and get settled in. For absolutely no good reason, I grabbed the Schecter Hellraiser… not really, I had just tuned it and put a new strap with a gel shoulder pad on it, and figured this would be a good time to try out the pad.

    Oh. My. FSM. The weight of this fucking thing. It has been a couple of hours, and my shoulder is still a little sore. I’ve been mostly sticking to my Les Paul over the last couple of months, and it has some weight-relief holes drilled in the body so that it doesn’t kill somebody. The new Strat I have is heavier than the Les Paul, but bearable. The Hellraiser just weighs a goddamned ton. NIGHTMARE!

  85. broboxley OT says

    ok route set, leave georgia on thursday, spend night in St louis. Next stop visit folks in Minneapolis overnight saturday, visit Morris MN so son can visit a few highschool buds for an hour or so then fargo Sunday.
    reminder to self case of mountain dew and several lbs of jerky, salami and cheese for a locker.

  86. broboxley OT says

    126# Improb that is why I am taking a case of oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, did a complete fluid changeout. Taking a floor jack, buttload of tools and a chilton’s manual. Short of burning out the clutches in the transmission or tossing a piston thru the block I shall be good. If I am within 50 miles of a junkyard I can replace the tranny. The motor would be too expensive so I would end up doing what you did. Lesson learned from everything you went thru

  87. says

    oh and audley, congratulations on your first creationist spam. Anyway, I assure you, “they” talk about the Cambrian in my textbooks a lot. My last geology and taphonomy exams was largely about it; and about trilobites. Your creationist is silly.

  88. says

    Positive life update-

    Took my secondary to her very first play party and both her, me, and my primary had a great time.

    Impending Unemployment by Discrimination Update-

    My big boss, the one who is trying to fire me for being trans* has just sent me the cutest little email at the end of her workday on Friday. Basically, since I started being hyper-aware of rules and regulations so I won’t give them anything to burn me on and have been minute perfect on clock procedures, she decided to send me an email essentially demanding I start sucking at my job of teaching and engaging the kids.

    So basically its a Catch 22. Either I comply and start sucking at my job, in which case they bring me up on discipline for my “shocking drop in quality”, or I don’t and they burn me on “one more failure to follow procedures and requests made”.

    And it’s also the betrayal that reveals how personal it is. The very qualities I was asked to refrain are things my big boss has directly praised (verbally, so sadly no written record) and encouraged and promoted internally in the company as a sign her department was doing wonderful things when she was securing her new position with its shiny new paycheck. And they’re things I care deeply about. Personalizing teaching experiences with the kids, connecting with them, finding ways to engage them, rather than just teaching at them with little care of whether or not they become invested in the subject.

    And she definitely knows that. That asking me to teach dead and lifeless is going to be something I’m going to agonize over and probably fail to adequately do to specifications.

    And it sickens me to no end that she has so thoroughly lost the plot that she is actively screwing over the students, and encouraging a culture where that is okay, for the sole purpose of fucking over one single problematic tranny (I know, but it’s their viewpoint of me and I need to be honest about that, though I apologize for those who are triggered by my usage here) teacher in a skirt.

    And fuck, I really need to figure out what I’m doing in the short term as in whether or not I should call my boss out directly and personally on her transphobic student-harming bullshit in a polite conversation that informs her that I’m not in fact a dribbling moron and I know what’s happening to me and that it’s really not cool for her to harm the students we’re supposed to serve in order to “get” me.


    Yay for creationist spam.


    Good luck on your road trip.

    Improbable Joe-

    Fucking mahogany, man.

  89. bluentx says

    Wait a sec…
    *digs around locker*
    “Would you like hugs, chocolate or a sledgehammer (they seem to be popular these days). How about an assortment?”

    Yeah, don’t ya just love that’ “You are so good at this -except when my agenda doesn’t want you to be!” style of supervision?

  90. says

    @ Audley

    Conga Rats on your first creationist – even if xe’s just a tiddler (It wasn’t called “The Cambrian Explosion” for nothing.).

    @ Broboxley / iJoe

    Your roadtrip adventures remind me of a student in Stellenbosch, back in my dad’s ‘varsity days. This person wanted to go on holiday, but his car was broken down. Instead of wasting money on repairing the jalopy, he took the engine out and had some friends tow him to the edge of town. There he had random strangers tow him to the next town where his “friend, the mechanic” lived. And so he got towed all around the country.

  91. rq says

    Perhaps I should have specified: I do not condone violence against people or animals. I condone violence towards plants (Eat your veggies!!!), and also towards inanimate objects that have been disposed of by their owners, and are thus abandoned and owner-less. And I’ll take all three sledgehammers, thanks.

    *hugs* if you want? I can only mutter That bites in very angry tones to myself, followed by a string of curses, but I wish there was something more to say.

    The Lounge does have all the space, else how would we all fit? Also, belated *hugs* on making personal progress!


    Ah, Winter!

  92. rq says

    That… looks impressive. For when the hands-on approach just doesn’t cut it.

  93. bluentx says

    Ah, Winter!

    “That’s all I have to say about that!” /Forrest Gump voice

    Well, FtB seems to have been down for a while [502 Error Bad Gateway*
    – whatever that means], now it’s back and… I have to go to bed.

    Good night/morning all!

    * Maybe it was the sledgehammers in the USB weighing things down.

  94. rq says

    Next time, pass them along one at a time. (It was down for me, too, for a while!)
    Good night!

  95. says

    @ bluentx

    502 Error Bad Gateway

    {a small tardigrade, driving an unfeasibly large montabert, sorts out the debris blocking the interwebz. Free flow of info through teh gateway procedes again to wild applause}

  96. opposablethumbs says

    I had a nice (well, only very mildly nasty) message to protohunter I tried to post on Audley’s blog, but wordpress eated it :(((( (never mind your trilobites, where are the Precambrian rabbits, eh? And eyes? Pshaw, eyes are dime a dozen, evolved loads of times. Guess what feature I am thinking of that is only known to have evolved once. No, I’m not telling, you have to learn about evolution to find it (clue – not in humans!) :-D. But the comment was much betterer and longerer than that. Curse you, wordpress my incompetence).

    Hi Audley!

  97. opposablethumbs says

    We can haz wild urban bees! They have moved into the home thoughtfully provided for them by the wild urban woodpecker.

    Right by the stairs up to the front door.

    Should we have any concerns about this? Will close-neighbour bees reduce our chances of getting through the year un-stung? Or will they help keep the frequent-flyer wasps away from squatting in the attic again like they did a few years ago? (If they help keep the wasps away, the bees are more than bloody welcome)

  98. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Are they in a tree or a hole in a structure? If they are in a structure you may want to have them removed, they can wreak havoc but building a huge hive throughout the walls.

    Honey bees aren’t usually that aggressive until you are directly threatening their hive. Usually. That depends on the race and if they’ve been africanized.

  99. opposablethumbs says

    In a huge tree (elegantly remodelled for their comfort by the woodpecker).

    No idea what kind of bees they are.

  100. opposablethumbs says

    Is tigger_the_wing about at all? If anyone sees her, could you say I was asking (in the last thread) if she’d like me to contact this person I know very slightly, who has Ehlers-Danlos and communicates about it, and ask for permission to pass on a link to her LJ in case tigger would be interested in contacting her? (ps if you’re about today, please say if it’s not ok to contract your name, and I won’t do it again)

    That sounded kind of convoluted, but hopefully makes some kind of sense.

  101. opposablethumbs says

    It’s a beautiful sunny cold day. Just having some sunshine outside the window seems to have made me capable of posting today, even though I haven’t finished work yet. Yay sunshine!

    SonSpawn played a pub gig last night (yeah, he’s still too young to legally even go into a pub but he doesn’t drink (at least not if we’re around. I know he might have a beer or two if we weren’t. Not that we’ve ever forbidden either of them to drink) so it doesn’t matter). The place was packed, and it was fun. It’s a varying-in-size band, there were ten altogether last night. I think he feels pretty happy about being invited to play with the grown-ups … :-)

  102. says

    @ Rev

    The Creation Museum has a Facebook page.

    Thanks for the linky. I thought I’d been blocked by Ken, but my comments seem to be getting through there without any trouble.

  103. broboxley OT says

    Cerberus big boss needs to have a chat, having a friendly witness would be useful. Ask what has changed and where the pressure is coming from. Won’t really help but you may get some insight as to why/who has changed.

  104. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says


    That really stinks. This is something you’ve probably looked into, and apologies if it’s already been discussed, but is your workplace unionised? If so, are you a member, and do you think the union’d be of any help?

    I got pretty pissed off with the workplace I retired from last year, in my last couple of years there, but I must admit it had its good points. About a year before I left, the staff were called in in groups, told that from Monday, Daniel would be Dawn*, given a chance to raise any questions (there were none from my group), and told (politely) that anyone who had any problems with this had better keep it to themselves while at work and treat Dawn as they would any other staff member, or they’d be on a disciplinary charge.

    But there were no children involved, and of course that makes all the difference; can’t have children’s gender essentialism undermined.

    *Not the actual names, but the change was similar.

  105. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    In a huge tree (elegantly remodelled for their comfort by the woodpecker).

    Ahh cool.

  106. broboxley OT says

    kewl PZ is in Morris this week, maybe I can say hey when I go thru so list of things to do in morris
    drop kid off by the school
    go to willy’s for soft buns, plastic cheeze and cold cuts
    hit the liquor store where they sell Jameson’s at the cheapest price in america, 19.95 a fith
    see if I can catch PZ in between his busy schedule for a coffee or something

  107. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Threadrupt, but:

    Cerberus: I’d say forward that email to your boss’s boss, and whoever else s/he was sucking up to to get that position.

  108. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    Have fun? I guess?

    I knew gay marriage could be blamed for something!
    As for the story: Oy, yes, it’s the onions.

  109. broboxley OT says

    #160 gives Imp Joe evil eye, just be glad you get to see the fancy dancers this early in the season

  110. A. Noyd says

    Jenny Trout/Jennifer Armintrout, whose blog I read for her extremely thorough and humorous chapter-by-chapter critiques of 50 Shades of Grey, just happened to post a personal story today that involves a traumatizing encounter with a dude in an elevator. And more about harassment in general and how it impacts her and other women. Lots of her regulars are already sharing their support in the comments section, but if anyone wants to join in, there’s the link above.

  111. rq says

    [unpleasant surprise, short self-centred ranty-rant]
    Beatrice, wherever you are, I know how you feel. Today’s conversation:
    – Why are you so down?
    – Oh, somebody spilled my beer.
    – [giggles about being down about spilt beer]
    *interlude, at the end of which I happen to see a tipped over glass on the coffee table*
    – Wait, you mean somebody actually spilt your beer?
    – Yes.
    – And you didn’t bother to clean it up?
    – It’s only a couple of drops.
    – It’s not a couple of drops. Did you even look?
    – …
    – [under-breath swearing while cleaning up this shit]
    Seriously? Clean up your own fucking messes, because stale beer on furniture stinks to high heaven. And waiting around until somebody else does it is just… AAARRRRGGGHGHHH. Not the kind of attitude I was expecting from Husband. At all. Something’s either wrong, or going on, and I’m getting confused, because lately it seems as if he’s been turning into an Entitled Ass, and he never used to leave that impression. At all. I’m getting confused,and I’m not sure how to get clarity on this seeing as how he gets touchy about criticism or commentary of any kind. Shitshitshit.
    [/unpleasant surprise, short self-centred ranty-rant]

  112. eclipsse, very happy kitten says

    @Cerberus – I am so, so sorry that you are being pushed into a Catch-22. And how dare anyone who is serious about education say that you should stop engaging with your students! Education is hard enough to get across as a positive experience – and often enough, if you lose that connection you lose them for good! AAAARGH! (sorry about that – I want to swear – a lot – but am so angry I actually can’t find the words) How effing stupid is your boss!!!!!

    I wish there was something – anything – we could do to help.

    In my (admittedly very limited) experience, which was in a UK university, the attitude was basically the same as Nick Gotts’. above – a quiet faculty meeting announcement pre-op, and ensuring that everyone knew her new name when she came back – and she was a lecturer and personal tutor.

  113. says

    largely ‘rupt, my phone died and I’ve not been at a computer much, but from recent stuff:
    *hugs* or other preferred expression of support. That is all kinds of bullshit.

    I don’t have any advice, really, but I can offer *hugs*, and send some of the cinnamon buns L made this morning through the USBs.

  114. opposablethumbs says

    Cerberus, I hate that you are being treated this way, it’s beyond shitty and I also hate that they are prepared to hurt your students in order to achieve what they want.
    rq, I don’t know what to say. Any chance of your getting a child-free day or half-day together at any point, just the two of you together, and talk about it?
    Sounds like you need and deserve a little break for yourself, too. I remember you said he got six days skiing. I don’t suppose he’d understand if you told him you’ve got six days coming to you too!

  115. says

    Good evening
    Can you believe there was sun this weekend?
    We haven’t seen much o the fucker lately. Darkest winter on record (second darkest happened 9 months before Mr. was born…).

    This is pretty intriguing to me. I grew up atheist, didn’t realize that my parents weren’t atheists too for a good little while because they’re both non-practicing Catholics. So all the talk about board games and stuff… weird and interesting. Especially since pretty much fundamentalist Christians were the only people who took D&D more seriously than the actual players.

    Yeah, I guess my grandpa would not have been approved of. (OK. atheist, socialist commie German guy would probably not have been approved of anyway…)
    So, to annoy all fundies, here’s the rules to grandpa’s game of dice.
    You need 3 D6
    -You always roll all 3 D6
    -1 counts 100, 5 counts 50, 3X1 counts 1000
    -Points of subsequnet rolls are added on top of each other.
    -You can always stop and say “write that down”. In that case your turn is over and your points are safe.
    -Except at the beginning you need at least 300 points to have them written down.
    -If you roll and don’t have either a 5 or a 1, you are “kaputt”, your turn is over an you lose all points you had in that turn.
    -The person who first reaches 10.000 wins.

    But I’m rather glad I only started to play RPGs once I was an adult. Because although my mum doesn’t believe in Satan, she very much believes in Satanism. She also doesn’t believe in “trusing your children”.

    Safe trip, broboxley

    Shit, I wished I could do something for you.
    *safe hugs*

    I had “But don’t you want to eat something first” this morning. And Mr. was totally upset and hurt when I didn’t react gracefully but told him that no, I’m not his daughter and I want to finish repairing the fucking wardrobe first.

  116. says

    I see your ‘rupt, and raise you a threadrupt *squared*
    Dropping in to check on all.
    So sorry about your asshole boss.
    Hope you are able to resolve the stress at home with minimal problems
    For all dealing with stress, the Lounge kitchen is now serving a near-bottomless bowl of chili (both veggie and meaty)-a comfort food for me-available in mild, hot, and fiery passion. Help yourselves.
    Oh, and is that a new nym I see for Janine?

  117. says

    Oh, well that makes sense, in a kind of don’t bother the busy god-person for petty stuff kind of way. We were the opposite, praying about everything, and believing god had an intense interest in everything including what you chose for dinner and what route you took home from work and, no doubt, who won Monopoly. Although in practice, I think sometimes we just played it and didn’t think about it much.

    I think that’s like blasphemy here or something but it warmed my heart. :) I want one! (a mamma cat to hug me when I have a nightmare, not a heart)

    On music, my parents went for lyrics more than style, perhaps because “Christian” music tends to be…not so great in the “style” (or quality) department. I remember the great “Christian rock” wars of the late 80s and early 90s, where some people thought rock was inherently evil and others thought the importance was in the lyrics and whether it honored god and whether the artists were good role models. I remember a school friend of mine memorably telling me that synopated rhythms got stuck inside your brain because they couldn’t pass through like normal rhythms and bounced around and turned your brain to mush – we were elementary school children at the time so I pictured physical mush like your brain would just kind of deconstruct. And I remember my dad listening to my younger sister’s Petra cassette tape with her and telling her it wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t talking about god enough in every line of every song (which if you have ever paid attention to their lyrics is really ridiculously silly).

    I grew up thinking the purpose of music was as a vessel to transport a message, usually about god. My mother would every once in a while be reminded by a life situation of a song she knew from her growing up years and bust out a line from a secular song – but only a line or two, maybe a chorus, and these were fragments of a different way of looking at the world, where songs were just…songs, not really about anything, with no purpose really for existing except someone liked them. I found very confusing artifacts. The three I remember as being most common lines she came out with are “And did he ever return/No he never returned/And his fate is still unlearned/He will wander forever/’Neath the streets of Boston/He’s the man who never returned” and “My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble/Hey-la, my boyfriend’s back” and “Jumbalaya and crawfish pie and a file gumbo/’Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio” (which I thought she was saying machadamia).

    Unfortunately, I don’t even know what that means; if my mother would, it would only be because she was an adult convert to christianity.

    Recently my mother read an article about how if you walk around outside in the grass you exchange special good electrons with the ground and you get “grounded” and it’s healthy for you…so she tried it, and was convinced she felt better. If you can picture combining that with ‘god revealed to me how to make this prom dress for my best friends daughter which I don’t have pattern for and am figuring out how to do as I go along” you have a picture of who she is.

  118. rq says

    I’ll take the cinnamon buns, thanks a lot. *hugs* back.

    You remember correctly, and it’s in the works… I won’t be getting six days, because that’s asking a bit much, and I have to wait until the summer because, according to the schedule, that’s when Youngest will be off the boob (and hence not attached to me physically any longer in any way). And it’s been thrown out there, as in ‘I want a weekend somewhere alone’, so it’ll happen. I hope. I also can’t do six days because, while his work pays for his awesome alpine skiing trip, nobody but us will be paying for my break, and six days… is a lot.
    As for getting an afternoon to ourselves, we’re working on it. It’s been in the works for a while, and keeps getting postponed (various things, holiday seasons, house-buying) but technically, it’s something that needs to be done, and sooner, rather than later.
    I wish I had some advice for your bee situation, but bees are better than wasps… As far as I know, though, they’re not predatory, so they won’t keep away the wasps, but they might act as a deterrent just because each needs its own space and stuff!

    I’ll have a medium meaty chili, please. The blizzard hasn’t let up much, and that sounds delicious!

    Obviously, when the Wife is working, it’s totally interruptible work (undress the kids! this one wants to pee! could I have a coffee! while I’m cutting raw meat / cleaning the toilet / translating crap…). When Husband is doing the work, it’s of Top Priority, and Shall Not Be Disturbed, not even to change the baby (to be fair, if I ask twice, he’ll do it, although lately I’ve been getting the feeling that he’s avoiding anything to do with the children, but that’s all part of the something’s-going-on feeling growing in general of late).

  119. Beatrice says


    I hope you figure out what’s going on with your husband and that the two of you will manage to talk about things that bother you in his behavior without him getting defensive and angry.

  120. nightshadequeen says


    To people I work with:

    “Having class on Easter Sunday is discriminatory to Christians.”

    No, it’s not. Giving Christians their holiday off without giving every other religion their holiday off is discriminatory.

    This year’s new year’s resolution: I refuse to be pressured into doing anything I don’t want to do. Fuck “Someone has to do it” – if you seriously believe that, do it your fucking self.


  121. cicely (No further comment.) says

    cicely, do not open this linky.

    theophones, I didn’t.
    (I presume that peas or Horses, or peas and Horses, are involved.)(Or worse, that bizarre, unholy cross—the Horse-pea. (Which lurks in your pot pie, waiting to drag you under to a gravy-y grave (which is like a watery grave, only thicker, and probably hardens your arteries as you drown).))

    Immensely relieved to hear from you!

    Barbarians in our games tended to come to a sticky end no later than when the magic-users’ first Fireball spells came on-line.


    Am I the only one who finds homogeneous soup kind of a letdown?

    Soup in general is a profound letdown. Unless it is chunky enough to count as a stew, it doesn’t qualify as a meal. It may, however, be a drink…or a sauce.

    She once told my sister (within my hearing) that “A woman shouldn’t have anything to do with a man unless she wants children”.


    broboxley: Safe journeying, come The Day. It sounds as if you are well prepared for anything short of the Equine Apocalypse.

    Cerberus: Sympathy and moral support.

  122. says

    Hey folks… back from the pueblo. This was a special “closed to the public” dance for several clans within the tribe, along with gift-giving and general low-key merriment. The men and boys danced, the women passed out gifts to the dancers, and the young girls chased rabbits. At other dances, the roles are reversed. The weather threatened to turn ugly, but held off long enough for the dancing to finish.


    Our hosts got a dead, gutted jackrabbit as part of the festivities, which they skinned and chopped up and cooked into a soup for a sick relative. We sat and ate a crapload of food, most of it good and some of it a bit scary. :)

  123. cicely (No further comment.) says

    *hugs* for rq. Unfortunately, I have no useful advice.

  124. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Broboxley, if you travel via the Chiwakee area freeways, keep up with traffic, no matter how fast it is going. You are less likely to be pulled over than keeping to the posted speed limit *suggestion*.

  125. broboxley OT says

    Imp Joe #181 yeah, the extended family is awesome. I really wish I could afford to go back to the village. Last time my friend Luke asked “when are you coming home to stay?” good feeling but I have to earn a living somehow.

  126. says

    I have something personal that I posted to livejournal I’d like friendly eyes to take a look at. Any volunteers?

  127. broboxley OT says

    #183 Nerd of Redhead, thanks but I will be travelling to St Louis, then 27 north thru Iowa, jump on 35N turn left on I94 in minneapolis jump off the track for a few hours at Morris then on to Fargo. I have radar devices and a car that I wont push past 85 mph any more. In the years I have been driving keeping at pack speed is usually sensible advice unless I AM IN F@#$%ing OHIO!!!! grrr speed limit is 65, everyone drives in the left lane at 65.2 mph every 3 miles there is a solitary car driving 65.1 mph in the right lane. Hate driving in Ohio

  128. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Finally, a chance to sit down some. Got the chili simmered, the cornbread baked, the laundry done, folded, and the beds remade. The Redhead wants to finish a Hallmark Movie Channel movie over at the hour. Ahhhh….

  129. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead wants to catch the opening of the next Hallmark movie…*tops off tankard of grog*

  130. mildlymagnificent says

    I know it’s not much help, but both you and your husband have accumulated pretty reasonable scores over the last couple of years on the conventional stress scale. Pregnancy, birth, new house, new mortgage are all significant.

    Of course, the scale is meant to be as a predictor/explanation of of why some people are prone to illness rather than the feeling of stress or relationship issues but it’s worth bearing in the back of the mind – for what, I don’t really know.

  131. broboxley OT says

    okay “history channel” what a fekkin joke vikings the series, the fekkin vikings were raiding france before the russ

  132. says

    @ Rev

    yeah I made one comment, and blocked.

    I just quoted their own babble!

    (Ok, I commented a little on some of that shit. But only because I worry that there are xtians who take the babble as an excuse for committing child abuse. They said they enjoy Proverbs. That is just too fucking creepy.)

  133. says

    (runs through lounge)

    The Fiery Foods Festival was this weekend and I present the lounge with peach and chipotle salsa, and bacon ketchup (good enough to eat by itself with a spoon).

    (runs out)

  134. rq says

    It actually helps a bit to look at it that way, thanks.
    How is mr.magnificent?

  135. says

    Didn’t we have a little discussion here about whether there was an Atheist Party in the US not so long ago? Well, I just noted that Aron Ra has a post up about them. FYI.

  136. mildlymagnificent says

    mrmagnificent has a magnificent pneumonia infection at the moment. They had to convene one of those hospital committees to decide that – yes, this is one of those infections that justifies using the super duper restricted, kills anything and everything, antibiotics to deal with it. The day he went madly delirious with associated chills and shaking was not one of his better days. His short term memory is almost non-existent – but it’s really hard to tell how badly he’s affected between the infections, the lingering effects of 6 days sedation to run the induced coma, his usual gross confusion when waking from sleep and the sleep deprivation since then because of the infections – on top of the 10 or so minutes of oxygen deprivation to his poor brain – which looks fine and dandy on the CT scans.

    I’m just leaving to go in shortly. Yesterday he slept, lots. Real, honest-to-goodness sleep with occasional snoring bonus. A vast improvement on the constant drowsiness and dozing for 5 minutes at a time, so the antibiotic cocktail seems to be improving things. The next thing will be getting him to eat. He’s still on the naso-gastric feed as well as oxygen supplementation – the irritation in his nose is driving him to distraction. And not just him, we or the nurses have to constantly intervene when he grabs at the tubes as he wakes, though he’s getting better at just grabbing his nose rather than trying to pull out the tubes the way he did when he was really out of it.

    The infection means that he can’t have the surgery to implant a defibrillator for at least another fortnight the way they’re talking recently. So he can’t leave the hospital even for an hour’s excursion regardless of how well he feels unless he has someone constantly with him willing and able to do CPR at the drop of a hat. (I never want to do that again, I’m not even sure that I could. And being in a car or some other difficult place would be impossible.) So he and daughter both are pretty upset that he won’t be at her engagement party on Saturday. There’ll be about 20 or 30 nurses there, but there’s getting to and from, in and out, even getting dressed would be a problem. Having been in bed for 14 days means that he can’t stand, let alone walk, without a couple of strong and healthy people to support him.

  137. says

    Good morning
    This “my side of the road, your side of the road” concept was invented before 1970, right?
    In that case the dude should just hand in his drivers license instead of honking his horn and making rude gestures because I exist…

    Oh damn for the pneumonia. Hope the antibiotics kill, kill, kill the infection quickly and he can have the defibrilator soon
    *safe hugs*

  138. Parrowing, Time For A Saucy Change says

    Deborah, if you would like another set of eyes, I’m happy to volunteer.



    Sorry to hear about the infection. I hope all goes well with the antibiotics! *hugs*


    Congrats on getting two nights in a row of good sleep, WMDKitty!

  139. rq says

    I hope the antibiotics kick that pneumonia ass, hard and fast!! And, when it happens, I hope the defibrillator operation goes smoothly.
    I hope things improve quickly and without complications.
    Also, I hope there’s a way to bring some of the engagement party to mr magnificent in hospital, to share some of the fun (Skype?), because that must be difficult for him (and you), to sit that out. :(
    *hugs* if wanted, lots of them, and *flowerbouquets&getwellcards* for mrmagnificent!!

  140. bluentx says

    Ditto on all previous commiserations! Personally, I’ve only delt with ‘walking pneumonia’ (which was horrible enough!) sympathy, empathy and any other appropriate adjective to Mr. Mag for full-blown misery!
    *hugs for you both*

  141. mildlymagnificent says

    Just back from the hospital. No more intravenous drugs or fluids, no more oxygen supplementation. Yay! Only the naso-gastric feed and the ECG monitor are attached to equipment and limiting his movement now. He was not only lucid but speaking clearly when I arrived – and – was able to walk, with assistance, from bed to loo. All very wonderful … but they’ve lost his glasses. Daughter will follow up in the morning.

    Of course, once he got tired all bets were off. Started mumbling and it was pretty clear that what he was trying to say had little to do with anything in this world. At least his “special” nurse for tonight isn’t wearing the standard dark blue pants with lighter shade for shirt – he gets scared of those nurses, esp the men, because he thinks they’re cops when he’s agitated/ half awake/ not really with us.

  142. mildlymagnificent says

    Yeah. I saw that earlier today. One of the very long list of flawed heroes.

    We expect everyone to have some flaws. The real disappointment comes when the discovery relates to something we’d expect, or at least hope, that particular person to do better with.

  143. sharon says

    Holy cow! My baby blog (3 weeks old) just cracked wide open with Pharyngula views. Maybe there is a God after all. Maybe it’s PZ.

  144. bluentx says

    sgbm @ #213:
    Is it just my wonky laptop or does you link not go where you intended?

  145. rq says

    Yay for some good news! I hope he manages to get a lot of rest and sleep. *HUGS’8

  146. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Didn’t we have a little discussion here about whether there was an Atheist Party in the US not so long ago? Well, I just noted that Aron Ra has a post up about them. FYI.

    FYI, there is no atheist political party.

    You gotta have candidates; a 527 just isn’t a party.

    Swift Boat Veterans for Truth wasn’t a political party, and neither is this atheist Facebook group.

  147. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Is it just my wonky laptop or does you link not go where you intended?

    I dunno, the link is supposed to go to Lounge #367.

  148. ChasCPeterson says

    Good eye, sg. That’s double objectification!
    Wait, no, there’s two of ’em: quadruple objectification!!

  149. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Good eye memory.

    Anyway, no Thunderdome topic in the Lounge.

  150. opposablethumbs says

    Careful hugs for mrmagnificent – hope the progress continues, the turbo-strength antibiotics do their thing and he has a defibrillator soon! I’m so glad he has a little mobility back, that must help relieve the frustration a bit. getwellwishes and balloons, and hoping you get some rest too!

    I am (often) so angry with people – in medicine, in agri-business and in ignorance – who fucking wasted so much in terms of the world’s antibiotic effectiveness by DEMANDING THEM WHEN THEY WEREN’T WARRANTED, routinely feeding them to animals, prescribing them when patients demanded them when they weren’t warranted and NOT EVEN BLOODY FINISHING THE COURSE when they were prescribed.

    Evolution in action.

  151. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Good eye memory.

    What I mean is: it’s text I have a memory for. I didn’t know if it was the same image. I remembered the phrase “don’t squeeze the platypuses” and that’s how I googled it up.

  152. bluentx says

    Thanks for the link! Making notes to check out later—(It’s my Fri./Sat./ Miller Time(!) (Jim Beam actually). Not at my intellectual best(now) but intrigued.) I was born in Thibodaux, involuntarily moved to Texas …Will read you blog more closely later…: )

  153. sharon says

    Thibodaux! Mais yah, Sha! Come on by and chew the fat. Laissez les bons temps rouler.

  154. bluentx says

    Coooo! (How do you spell dat?)
    As I was telling others here in The Lounge not long ago– I’ve forgotten most of the Louisiana French I learned as a child (damn!) but –I understood dat ( @#225)! :)

  155. bluentx says

    I knew an –rq/sharon combo would be dynamite! (sp?) Just don’t leave me (too) far behind -I really DO want to learn the language . After all this time, do I have a chance in hell -(so to speak)?

  156. rq says

    Actually, I speak quebecois French (none of your Louisiana French-historically-from-Acadia and all… and I also don’t know how to do the French accent doo-dads n stuff, since my keyboard is set for English and Latvian), but I’m presuming most Frenches around the world are decipherable (except for Provencal*, which, when exposed to it in late high school, seemed like a whole other language of its own, instead of a recognized French dialect).
    And if you knew the language as a child, getting back into it should be easy-peasy… Oh wait, it requires time. :P Heh. Who knew that?

    The skill comment was about the drawing… :) I just assumed you know French as a matter of course. Google Translate, you have fooled me again! (Once they get around to perfecting Latvian, I’ll be out of a job…)

  157. sharon says

    I’ve had many opportunities throughout my life to learn to speak fluent French. I studied French for five years. I even had a French boyfriend in college. But I was too shy to try to communicate in the language and let my skills go to rust. Sigh. Plus the French French are such snobs about the language and refuse to speak in French with anyone who doesn’t get the accent, syntax, and grammar right.

    I grew up hearing and understanding Cajun French. I heard it every day. I started 1st grade with several Cajun French students who could barely speak English. Dennis Quaid got the accent soooo wrong in The Big Easy. Cajuns don’t say chèr or chère. They say sha. Sha bee bee is a favorite expression. It was grating to hear Quaid’s phoney accent.

    BTW, use the little Character Map utility that comes with Windows for codes to accented letters. For instance, é uses the code 0233. All you do is hold down the Alt key and type in this code.

  158. says

    @ sharon

    I just skimmed some of your blog and it looking good.

    A suggestion: Under “Leave a Reply”, right down at the bottom of the page, you will see

    Logged in as sharon

    Right click and change your profile so that it links to your blog (“Contact Info”, then fill in the details at “Website” ….

  159. says

    Plus the French French are such snobs about the language and refuse to speak in French with anyone who doesn’t get the accent, syntax, and grammar right.


    Whereas West African French is clearly enunciated and the speakers are pleased to help you learn.

    At least for a (learner) sample size of n=1.

  160. David Marjanović says

    *pops in*
    *squees at the platypuzzesses*
    *pops out*


    Plus the French French are such snobs about the language and refuse to speak in French with anyone who doesn’t get the accent, syntax, and grammar right.

    That’s a bit exaggerated, but not much; if you sound like you have the slightest amount of trouble, they’ll speak English at you. English in the French sound system. Good luck deciphering that.

    West African French is clearly enunciated

    …but the accent is different enough from Paris that it takes some getting used to.

    Oh, and, I already have I links to dump. Here comes telepathy – mechanically, by cable, or anyway by innertube.

    Phthalate and bisphenol A are not good for you. So what should you eat, in this thoroughly contaminated world, to minimize your intake? Leave here all hope, you who follow this link.

  161. sharon says

    I found the same thing to be true in Mexico, Telephontes. They seemed thrilled to have anyone even attempt the most atrocious Spanish. I looooove Mexico and Mexicans. They treat people traveling with small children with such tenderness…completely the opposite from the way you’re treated when you travel in the US. When I took my shell-shocked-from-divorce kids to Puerto Vallarta, the shuttle driver said, “The mama and the babies in front.” My children had been scorned at all points in the US between home and Puerto Vallarta.

  162. rq says

    sharon, theophontes, just so you know:

    Plus the French French are such snobs about the language and refuse to speak in French with anyone who doesn’t get the accent, syntax, and grammar right.

    It’s not French French, it’s real French. /snark
    (Or so I was told, after being complimented on my French and being asked where I learned, and the look on the face when I said Ottawa…)
    Then again, from personal experience, quebecois French speakers are also extremely snobbish, to the point where they won’t speak to you (especially in English!) if you don’t know French (they’re quite forgiving if you make the attempt, though). /anecdotal

  163. rq says

    PS I use Opera and the keyboard is set for Latvian, so how can I do French accents? I tried what you suggested, sharon, and I got this: 0«»». :) Suggestions? I don’t know my html tags too well, but those seem to work, at least for this: ♥

  164. David Marjanović says

    Funny story. I get email from creationists, too!

    Ha. Scientists can’t explain the Cambrian period? What we can’t explain is the Triassic period!!!!!

    (What a bullshitter. Claims the Cambrian is ignored in the textbooks and almost manages to believe it. *facepalm*)

    Am I the only one who finds homogeneous soup kind of a letdown?

    Homogeneous soups usually need this: 1, 2. It’s a staple food that I import in large quantities.

    new table for PZ’s living room?

    My shinbones hurt when I just look at it… :-)

    Seriously? Clean up your own fucking messes, because stale beer on furniture stinks to high heaven. And waiting around until somebody else does it is just… AAARRRRGGGHGHHH. Not the kind of attitude I was expecting from Husband.

    My dad once found that his dad hadn’t eaten all day long. Why? Because he was alone that day and didn’t know how to cook. Anything at all.

  165. says

    Republican leaders, are they dunces or deceivers?

    If [President Obama] had a plan, why wouldn’t Senate Democrats go ahead and pass it?” — John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House

    Now, I suppose it’s possible that the Speaker of the House doesn’t know what a Senate filibuster is, but Boehner has been in Congress for two decades, and I find it implausible that he could be this ignorant. The facts are not in dispute: Democrats unveiled a compromise measure that required concessions from both sides; the plan enjoyed majority support in the Senate; and Republicans filibustered the proposal. That’s not opinion; that’s just what happened.

    “If he had a plan, why wouldn’t Senate Democrats go ahead and pass it?” One of two things are true: either the House Speaker has forgotten how a bill becomes a law in 2013 or he’s using deliberately deceptive rhetoric in the hopes that Americans won’t know the difference….

    My personal take on this is that Republicans, having found themselves in a very difficult situation, got together and decided on a tactic that is 1/2 blaming Obama for some of their own mistakes and 1/2 outright lying. They are depending on repetition to solidify the lies as truth.

    The excerpt quoted above is from Steve Benen, writing for the The Maddow Blog.

  166. says

    Congress Critters being incredibly ill-formed: examples are in the millions, but here’s a new one:

    Would it matter, one reporter asked the veteran legislator, if the president were to put chained-CPI — a policy that reconfigures the way the government measures inflation and thus slows the growth of Social Security benefits — on the table?

    “Absolutely,” the legislator said. “That’s serious.”

    Another reporter jumped in. “But it is on the table! They tell us three times a day that they want to do chained-CPI.”

    “Who wants to do it?” said the legislator.

    “The president,” replied the reporter.

    “I’d love to see it,” laughed the legislator.

    Quoted from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/01/what-we-have-here-is-a-failure-to-communicate/

  167. David Marjanović says

    quebecois French speakers are also extremely snobbish, to the point where they won’t speak to you (especially in English!) if you don’t know French

    Well, most of them can’t speak anything but French.

    Not one, but two colleagues speak very good English now, but only started learning it when they got into an English-speaking university (IIRC McGill for both) around the age of 20.

    how can I do French accents?

    Browsers are irrelevant.</Borg>

    1) The character map. Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Programs > Character Map. Have fun.
    2) In the system settings you can install additional keyboard layouts.
    3) &eacute; = é. I bet è is &egrave>.

    1) The character map. If you have a flag (for language and keyboard layout settings) next to the menu bar, click on it. I don’t know where it’s hidden if it’s not already there, though.
    2) Unlike Windows, Mac OS and other Unices have decent keyboard drivers. Play with it: try Alt and Alt+Shift with every key on your keyboard and see what happens!

    Linux: probably like Mac.

    For French, I mostly cheat. All three accents are on the German keyboard for early-20th-century cultural reasons. All that’s missing, and that’s just in Windows, are ç, œ, ï and ë!

  168. sharon says

    Html Codes for Foreign Languages

    Find a list of codes in the link above. The html code for é is è. So you would type in the code with the leading ampersand (&) and the trailing semicolon (;)

    Let’s see if that works: è

    Yep, works for me. But in the preview, it looks like the code for line breaks doesn’t work though. So the preview looks funny. You’ll figure it out.

    Meanwhile I’m trying to figure out how to change my profile to my blog per Theophontes and feeling really stupid because nothing I’ve tried so far is working. Sigh.

  169. David Marjanović says

    I bet è is &egrave>.

    Bullshit. I meant &egrave;, obviously. …Might as well test it: è

  170. sharon says

    Whattaya know, line break code works. I wish I had this functionality in my comment section.

  171. vaiyt says

    So, it hapens that today I decided to take a look at Newgrounds again. The front page greets me with an animation titled “Girl Gamer”. Eyecatch image, woman in a pink dress, lying on a couch, making a “moaning complaint” expression. Mouseover text: “When girls need their gender to be known, they aren’t a true gamer”.


  172. vaiyt says

    For French, I mostly cheat. All three accents are on the German keyboard for early-20th-century cultural reasons. All that’s missing, and that’s just in Windows, are ç, œ, ï and ë!

    I have all besides œ in mine. I even have a specialized Ç key.

  173. David Marjanović says

    I have all besides œ in mine. I even have a specialized Ç key.

    Where are you from again?

  174. says

    Uh-Oh, this doesn’t sound good. Seems that NFL recruiters and coaches may have been screening for TeH Gay:

    Wade Davis, the former Tennessee Titan who came out of the closet last year, wasn’t surprised by an NFL recruit saying he’d been asked if he were straight.

    After a football game in college, a pro scout asked Davis’s coach, “Is Wade a ladies’ man?”

    “There’s a certain cachet in being someone who seemed to be able to get girls,” Davis told Salon. “My coach said, ‘No, Wade isn’t a ladies’ man.’ I immediately wondered if he’d seen through the mask I’d put up.”

    More likely, Davis said, the question, prohibited by law, wasn’t based on any knowledge of the player’s inner life: it was posed to all players, he said, in one way or another…

    “They ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?,’” said University of Colorado tight end Nick Kasa in a recent interview with ESPN Radio. “Those kinds of things. It was kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether.”…

    Salon link.

  175. rq says

    Thanks for all the HTML on accents suggestions. Looks like I’ll be practicing later tonight. ;) (Be warned, random French accents may find themselves into my English words!)

    re: the québecois and their English
    It’s one of their cultural quirks (Distinct society!!!) that I find rather annoying. Then again, I find the inability of most of mainly-English-speaking Canada to learn French (of any kind, at a basic level) also rather annoying. The country is federally bilingual, for heavens’ sake.
    Also, most québecois that I have known (growing up, university, etc.) could also speak good English. In their defense, they lived near the Ontario border. I have no doubt that things are different in the rest of that giant of a province.

  176. cicely (No further comment.) says

    Hmmm…as Mondays go, this one isn’t too bad.
    So far.

    Ha. Scientists can’t explain the Cambrian period? What we can’t explain is the Triassic period!!!!!

    “Of course evolution is real, just not during the “Triassic period.””

  177. Beatrice says

    Thanks for Milton Friedman, Americans! Thanks so much. It seems libertarianism is the new fad among young economists here. It makes me sick.

  178. David Marjanović says

    So far.

    *hugs* *happiness tea* *chocolate* *more hugs*

    It seems libertarianism is the new fad among young economists here.

    *blink* What, nowadays? Not 40 or at least 10 years ago?


  179. Beatrice says


    You can maybe strike “new” out of that sentence, since I’m not sure whether this appeared occasionally in the past, but I’ve been seeing young economists of libertarian persuasion getting more and more exposure in the papers/tv lately.

    Considering some serious cases of not quite legal privatization /theft after the war, lowering the influence of the government on the economy was not a very popular idea for a while. Quite the opposite, even with all the usual grumbling against the government.

  180. says

    From a Rolling Stone article about rape in the military:

    weakness is synonymous with femininity, and masculinity with strength, is instilled in troops from the get-go. Female recruits learn their place when, upon entry, they’re classified by peers as being one of three categories: a bitch, a ho or a dyke. Harassment is embedded in the running cadences: “Don’t let your dingle-dangle dangle in the sand/The best place for it’s in a mama-san’s hand.” Pornography is everywhere. Servicewomen’s bodies are openly ­evaluated, and their imagined sex lives – speculation about who’s a “barracks whore” – are hot topics. In the Air Force, which has a tradition of fighter pilot songs, airmen circulate a songbook filled with ditties like “The S&M Man,” a parody of “The Candy Man”: “Who can take two ice picks, stick ’em in her ears/Ride her like a Harley while you fuck her in the rear.” Against that permissive backdrop, it seems a natural outgrowth of the culture when men turn aggressive, as when a superior of former Marine Lance Cpl. Regina Vasquez told her, “I’ll sign your paperwork if you give me head.”…


  181. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Thanks for Milton Friedman, Americans!

    Nuh-uh! Not our fault! Austrians started it.

  182. cicely (No further comment.) says

    David, I will gladly take the hugs and consumables, against the moment when Normal Service Is Restored, and this Monday begins to suck. It is as inevitable as Death in Texas.
    And, of course, *hugsback*

    Mine was going along OK until the cats knocked over my XBox, which destroyed the game disc that was in it… $60 and I bought it just last week. FUCK. Totally not fucking fair!

    Ouch! Sorry. The XBox itself is okay?

  183. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    It becomes obvious who’s the head of your household. ;)

  184. cicely (No further comment.) says

    <tones of exasperation and annoyance>
    My Bitsy-cat has lately been refused access to the main bathroom, forever, for trashing the shelves in her never-ending Quest for the Hair Thingies, dumping my meds into the sink (purely on speculation, on her part, as the Hair Thingies have never lived in the little basket on the countertop, and there was no reason at all for her to think that this time was any different), plus she knocked over the corn starch at the same time (with results that I’m sure are easily imagined). Oh, yes; and also knocked over the stack of books next to the Seat of Power—all in less than 5 minutes.
    </tones of exasperation and annoyance>

  185. says

    rq: I know who ISN’T in charge, that’s for fucking sure. I actually have beer and bacon, so life can continue on some level. And I’m going to go ahead and be irritated with my wife while I’m at it. She signed us up for dinner company next weekend without asking me first. Considering that I’m the one who will have to do all the cleaning, and all the cooking, the least she could do is let me be the first to know she’s thinking about inviting people over. This “oh by the way” stuff is fucking bullshit.

    cicely: the “fun” part of having four cats is that they are all of them capable of 100% cat damage, PLUS a cascading effect where there’s a damage multiplier when two or more of them start causing damage at the same time.

  186. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    Sounds like a Monday. I hope it’s not a lot of company, at least… Not that it helps much when unexpectedly surprised by such news, and cleaning is cleaning, whether it’s one person or ten. Can I help somehow?

  187. says

    Good evening

    Yay for progress
    *safe hugs*

    *waves at sharon
    Nice blog!

    That’s a bit exaggerated, but not much; if you sound like you have the slightest amount of trouble, they’ll speak English at you. English in the French sound system. Good luck deciphering that.

    This, so much. My French isn’t that bad. Ok, ok, I have the nasty habit of throwing in some Spanish verbs once in a while, but seriously, I can communicate. For fucks sake, I managed to buy goat cheese from an 80+ year old toothless farmer in the Provence and we had a chat. (Cheese was delicious). But no, those people will throw English at me that is so bad that they then assume that I don’t speak English either.
    I really like France. And as far as it makes sense, I like the French. But they are really snobs when it comes to language. All other places I’ve been to, people actually appreciate if you even remember “hello”, “please” and “thank you” in their language and people will praise you for your skills, even though they end there. But not the French. You either do it perfectly or you needn’t bother at all…

  188. cicely (No further comment.) says

    rq, yeah, Bitsy is soooo smart that she’s not allowed access to her very favoritest heater vent.
    Cats do okay on tactics, but on over-all strategy, maybe not so much, hmmm?

  189. says

    My experience with speaking French in France was actually quite different; everyone complimented me on my French, and most people were happy to speak that language to me. The exceptions were those who said they wanted to improve their English.

  190. says

    rq, nothing to be done… and I understand you have your own frustrations at home. Being able to vent at each other helps, doesn’t it?

    And thanks Dalillama, sympathy helps too.

    It is especially annoying in that just yesterday we had to go to something that I had no say in. Of course, in the case of yesterday my wife had no choice either… if you are extended the honor of being invited onto the reservation for a private dance among the clans, you don’t say “no” lightly. But the dinner this weekend was my wife’s idea, she could have asked me what day would work for me.

  191. rq says

    To be fair, the French might be different on home turf, and I’ve only met tourists here (one set did the whole Real French thing, and another set was just happy to find someone who understood them and who they understood, so it varies somewhat).
    Also, I know there are two kinds of frustrating Latvians (frustrating for Latvian-learners), too – the ones who think your language sucks, so it’s better to use bad English, and the ones who get excited at the prospect of practicing their English with a real foreigner. A friend of mine regularly runs into this issue, although he’d much rather practice his Latvian.

    Improbable Joe, definitely helps. I hope your Monday improves; it’s already Tuesday on my end, so I’ll just send over some Tuesday for you and say good night!

    I think they don’t think in the long-term (Food! Now! Space-heater! Now! *cuddlecuddlecuddle* Ok, I’m done.).
    Horses don’t, either, but that’s a whole other matter.


    Good night, all!

  192. cubist says

    Cerberus, it sounds to me like you would be well-advised to lawyer up. Now. I don’t know what legal protections exist for you in your jurisdiction, nor do I know what laws in said jurisdiction establish relevant limits on what a principal can get away with, but a good lawyer will know.
    It truly sucks that you’ve been forced into a situation where, no matter what you do, your students will suffer. Do what’s best for you, and if your principal ever tries to guilt-trip you about how your what’s-best-for-you actions are harming your students, just keep in mind that in the absence of your principal’s ‘lovely’ machinations, you wouldn’t have needed to do any what’s-best-for-you actions in the first place.

  193. Ichthyic says

    Mine was going along OK until the cats knocked over my XBox, which destroyed the game disc that was in it… $60 and I bought it just last week. FUCK. Totally not fucking fair!

    obviously, being cats, they figured that you playing games meant you weren’t paying attention to THEM.

    completely fair in their eyes, I’m sure.


  194. carlie says

    ‘rupt. Been trying to hang in there and comment here and there, but I’m lost and I admit it.
    This last week has put me through the wringer with work politics and such, and it won’t be over for awhile yet. Blech.

    I went looking for an image that went with “‘rupt” (as an abbreviation for threadrupt), and found this. Cute coat of arms, and the wiki entry says (in translation) :

    Rupt-sur-Moselle is a French commune , located in the department of Vosges and the region Lorraine . Often, it is simply called ” Rupt . “

    The Commune! It was meant to be.

  195. carlie says

    Decent potato soup:
    Onions, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, veg. broth, milk, salt and pepper. Tasted good. If not vegetarian, may add bacon. But even spoken as a carnivore, the bacon was kind of superfluous.

  196. Brian says

    So … is there any update to the issue with the RSS feed not working smoothly? (I poked around the recent lounge threads without finding any news, but maybe I just didn’t know what to search for.)

  197. says

    Got my amp corners today… it is going to make my job so very much easier. *grins*

    I know a lot of you are “craft-oriented” folks. My amp restoration is a giant craft project. I stretched one sort of fabric across the speaker frame and stapled it in place. The speakers then go inside the cabinet, so it is like a piece of art stretched across a wooden frame and then attached from the back to a fancy picture frame. The vinyl goes around the cabinet, and I have to cut the corners so that the fabric lays flat around the corners. Luckily, I am also using metal cabinet corners, so the exposed amount of fabric is minimized. That’s good, because I used a third of my material just practicing getting the fabric to wrap around the wood in a non-shitty kind of way.

  198. Brian says

    Oh, and please understand that I’m not complaining per se, just wondering if anyone has made any public statements about what changed and/or if it’s likely to be addressed soon. My question is meant in the nicest way possible.

  199. chigau (違う) says

    I made buttermilk biscuits.
    (JoC recipe)
    but I had no buttermilk so I used yoghurt
    and no butter so I used bacon fat.
    I need to do a vegan version.
    what can substitute for the buttermilk?
    (shortening, I have)

  200. chigau (違う) says

    As easy as that.
    I’ve made ‘buttermilk’ from regular cow milk exactly like that.
    Now I need to try it with non-gluten flour.

  201. cicely (No further comment.) says

    I think they don’t think in the long-term (Food! Now! Space-heater! Now! *cuddlecuddlecuddle* Ok, I’m done.).
    Horses don’t, either, but that’s a whole other matter.

    Ha! That’s what They want you to think! The Equine Conspiracy is a looooooong-running plot to bring about humanity’s extinction.
    Where cats are chaotic neutral, Horses are chaotic Eeeeeeevil. With tendencies toward Evil.

    hopefully your exasperation doesn’t lead you to replacing the cat with an animal of an equine nature…

    Never happen. See above.

  202. QueQuoi, traded in her jackboots for jillstilettos says


    Gluten-free shouldn’t be a problem if you are trying for layered-rolled biscuits, rather than drop biscuits. Although with the buttermilk, I’m guessing you’re going with drop biscuits. Still shouldn’t be a problem though as you never want too much protein/gluten in your flour for any kind of biscuit or scone.

    I was a baker/pastry chef for a long time, and I’ve recently gotten interested in trying vegan/gluten free/sugar free versions of things to be able to better accommodate loved ones.

    I am very interested in hearing your results!

  203. QueQuoi, traded in her jackboots for jillstilettos says

    I get that feeling every day I lurk here with all the brilliant regulars.
    (you being one of them) :)

  204. says

    Tony parrowing
    That would be great. I was a little sleepy/upset last night so didn’t think to include a method of getting hold of said material – maybe email me? djbell.firebird on gmail.

    RE: language
    I love languages and want to learn more and be fluent and stuff. I took Spanish in high school and still remember some, and French in college and remember some of that, and learned the Hebrew alphabet and some very tiny basics when I flirted with conversion to Judaism before leaving religion altogether. I suppose I should just pick one…

    Still it’s fun when someone starts going on about knowing a little Spanish like it’s a big deal to ask them if they speak a language in four or five different languages, usually ending with Hebrew, which sounds kind of threatening. :)

  205. chigau (違う) says

    The yoghurt/bacon fat biscuits were rolled and turned out a bit less ‘flaky’ than expected.
    Still yummy.
    (I had to work it more than I wanted, to get all the flour incorporated.)
    (humidity is about 0% today)

  206. says

    re: buttermilk
    When I was a kid my mom used to make buttermilk with a little vinegar, when needed for cooking, as usually you don’t need much and won’t use the rest of it for anything else. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work with non dairy milk. :) Might be a bit odd if you were someone who liked drinking buttermilk, like my dad did at times, but then, that’s not the issue.

    Speaking of food and non-animal non-triggering food but yummy foods, I have been experimenting with some vegetarian recipes because roommate is currently eating vegetarian and I’m the one who cooks more meals around here. I’m not opposed to eating such food, just don’t know how to do it, so I’ve been having fun with some of the meals and really enjoyed the meal tonight – portabella mushrooms sliced and sauteed for just a couple minutes in a skillet in white wine, garlic, and parsley and then tossed with some alfredo sauce and put over pasta. I steamed some broccoli for a vegetable. It was really yummy and I’ve been pleasantly surprised how much lighter my tummy feels with these meals I’ve been making (ok, so maybe it wasn’t the healthiest thing ever but, eh).

    There will be always things we can’t grasp. Some people have more of them than others, and some people refuse to realize they aren’t experts in everything. Surely there’s some victory in the humility of knowing when we aren’t the best at something and defer to those who are?

    Eh, I meant to have a comma between Tony and Parrowing. Sorry if that was confusing!

  207. QueQuoi, traded in her jackboots for jillstilettos says

    My comment to you was meant with all sincerity, and you are very welcome.

    Maybe we can get chigau to send us some biscuits through USB?

    :pops over to kitchen to start making marmalade:

  208. chigau (違う) says

    biscuits on the way

    I’m going to have a bath.
    no white wine or scented candles
    I’ll substitute rum and … air freshener

  209. says

    Oooh, biscuits! Nom Nom Nom.
    What type of marmalade?
    Am I correct in thinking marmalade is different than jam in that the former has bits and pieces of the fruit while the latter does not? To my memory, I have only had jam before.

  210. vaiyt says

    Where are you from again?

    Well, I usually keep this small bit of anonymity for myself, but if you really want to know, I’m Brazilian.

  211. says

    In the interest of honoring everyone’s preference for anonymity, I try to avoid inquiries similar to that which you have just answered vaiyt. I think any personal revelations should be at the discretion of each individual, without undue prompting from others. Here in The Lounge, I admit this can be forgotten as many of us do have a friendly camaraderie here. Still, it may be something to keep in mind.

  212. chigau (違う) says

    On another tentacle, “I’m Brazilian.” doesn’t reveal anything beyond geographical location.
    (good to know when to expect them to be awake)
    (unless they aren’t living in Brazil now)
    (it probably gives some insight into their ‘cultural’ view of race, sex, ethnicity, etc.)

  213. says

    Just finished watching Resident Evil: Damnation.

    My only complaint is… Las Plagas. Really. I know it ties in with the games (RE 4 and 5), and it was kinda fun, and was beautifully rendered, and the voice acting was dead on, and the monsters were convincingly monster-y and it was all tense and creepy and whoa, shit, Lickers and Tyrants and EXPLOSIONS!

    …but there weren’t any zombies!

  214. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I did get an e-mail from Patricia today.

    She says hi to the Horde and that she misses everyone though she does still read the blog.

    The only thing I will say is that she is having familial problems. (No, not from her former church.)

    I am encouraging her to comment when she can.

  215. chigau (違う) says

    please copy/paste this to Patricia
    come back soon
    love, chigau

  216. says


    The weird thing is that when I’m talking about the guitar stuff, it is about 5% technical and 95% cosmetic. After all, I’m just making my amplifier look like my dream car. I’m never ever going to own a 1971 Jaguar XKE in British racing green with the tan leather top and interior… but I can make my amp look a little bit like that. And people say “I don’t understand technical electronical stuffs” while I’m screaming “NEW! GREEN!! WITH SHINY CHROME BITS!!! SOUNDS LIKE RECORDS YOU’VE LISTENED TO!!!!”

  217. says


    I can’t figure out how Resident Evil has gone so so so so so wrong. The live-action movies are based on the single most idiotic premise in studio-produced movie history** (and I’ve seen a LOT of bad B movies from big studios), the games are increasingly based on ridiculous combat scenarios and invincible characters, and the CG animation movies are stuck trying to make a place in between the live-action movies and the nonsensical games and just suck suck SUCK like a chest wound.

  218. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    (Dr. Horrible) Bad Horse? (/Dr. Horrible)

    In other news: Hi everybody! Lurking a bit tonight. Otherwise completely threadrupt. Have a day off tomorrow, so a bit inebriated tonight and much tired from long hours at work over the last couple months. Just wanted to pop in and wish all and sundry well. Commiserations and congratulations to them what needs ’em, as appropriate. Man, I’ve been missing the lounge.

    I’m off to bed “to sleep, perchance to dream” of visions of cephalopods dancing in my head, or something.
    I guess.
    Have I mentioned I’m a bit inebriated?


  219. chigau (違う) says


    Good point chigau.

    Which point? ;)
    I have rethought this:
    “(it probably gives some insight into their ‘cultural’ view of race, sex, ethnicity, etc.)”
    it may give some insight intomy notions of Brazilian notions of etc.
    but that may be getting too [meta]

  220. says


    The games went sour for me when they forced the “aim with your thumb-stick while dodging” schtick. I’ll admit it, my aiming skills suck, especially under pressure. (And 5+ Plagas-infected villagers crowding you on a narrow pathway is “under pressure.”)

    They really should have kept the auto-aiming, because it made the game just that much more accessible.

    And they definitely should have stuck with the viruses… virii… mutant-germ-thingies. It’s far more believable than “neural parasite turns your head into tentacles”.

  221. says


    The worst is that from Resident 5 on, the answer to the “too much action” was “new game +” where you could play through the easy level 6-7 times and collect enough weapons with unlimited ammo to crush the game on any setting. It adds grinding to an action game that was supposed to be A SCARY GAME!

  222. says

    Feeling dumb for me = discussions of multilingualism. I only speak one (“natural”) language (and 5-6 computer languages, but those never count) and even now I freeze up when reading aloud and stumble on an English(1) word (as spawn got older, nighttime books got harder than “go, dog, go”). And I know I have a learning disability, I mean look at the letters “b”, “p”, “d” and “q” — they’re a circle with a stem on it, is it really important which way the stem points?

    I took German in 7,8,9th grades; squeaked by on my ability to write it, certainly not on speaking capabilities. Upon reaching university it turned out the requirements had changed and that wasn’t sufficient: Having forgotten it all in the mean time, I could take 3rd semester German cold (7,8grade=1st, 9th grade=2nd); take 1st & 2nd without credit and then 3rd; or take two semesters of a different language. I chose Russian. Because reasons — no, because I understood that the pronunciation was regular, unlike the “romance languages”. Every once in a while I come across a native speaker; I’m told my pronunciation is pretty good. … for the one sentence I can still remember. … the meaning of which, in English, is “I don’t understand what you are saying”. Figure that’s an important thing to be able to say.

    I have a coworker who seems to learn a new language, for fun, every year or so…

    (1) I would extend this quote to include “and random words”: “English doesn’t borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.” ― James Nicoll

    Oh, also for me feeling dumb is being around those who can play a musical instrument, carry a tune, or even keep a beat. Annoyingly, same coworker sings in a group and plays a few different instruments. We hates it! Hates it! FOREVER!

  223. says

    Hi everybody! All the Get Well wishes to Mr Magnificent.

    I have had nice experiences with helpful French people in Paris. As soon as they realised I was a) trying to speak French and b) neither English nor American, everything went very smoothly. So my tip: pretend to be Australian.

    Marmalade – really, it’s just a citrus jam and the name distinction is a historical accident. Both jam and marmalade have bits of fruit in them, and the technique to make them is near identical, though you do usually need more water for the marmalade.

  224. Beatrice says

    Marmalade (marmelada), jam (džem) – I can never remember the difference. And we even have a third – pekmez.

  225. says


    I’m one of those people who is most comfortable doing solo gaming, and I tend to avoid MMOs (and even there, I’m the one crazy player going solo). So the “where” of my gaming? Home.

    I bought the Skyrim DLC. All of it. “Dragonborn”, “Dawnguard”, and “Hearthfire”. Holy fuck, I can buy land, build a house, and adopt two kids! (Why a Khajiit would adopt orphaned Nords, I have no clue… but it’s better than being stuck at Honorhall Orphanage.)

  226. says

    Good morning


    also that’s English. In German and Portuguese, it means a smooth thick jam, I think. No bits.

    German Marmelade is with bits. The smooth stuff is Gelee
    My dialect word is Sießschmier (sweet spread)

    re languages
    #1 came up with the ultimate reason why German is superior to English:
    “I don’t understand English”

  227. says

    No problem
    German is a horrible language to learn.*/whisper* I taught it sometimes as a foreign language and I always pitied my students. Only thing that’s kind of easy is pronounciation, but while there might be rules, there’s sure lots of them and for some things there don’t seem to be any, like which suffix you use to form a noun.
    So it’s Heiterkeit and Kindheit and every native speaker knows which to use when, but nobody can tell you why.

  228. mildlymagnificent says

    OK. I need recommendations for a reader for the invalid. He can’t handle books very well at all – one hand seems much weaker than the other – and he’ll be put back again when he has the surgery.

    Not too small. Easy to follow instructions (this is a person with serious short term memory issues, we’ll need to do a how-to guide in large print on a single sheet). Size of fonts easy to manipulate. Buttons/screen easy to use – even at his best the magnificentmr has trouble with his phone screen. Anything else I should think about? Price is an issue, don’t want to spend too much, otoh it should be worth insuring.

  229. says

    I can pronounce German reasonably ok. My comprehension isn’t too bad, and I could order bier und wurst and catch a bus. But spelling and grammar are beyond me, and I couldn’t have a conversation. Unless I wanted to say “Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her” or “Den alles fleisch es ist wie gras”, which seems very unlikely :)

  230. says

    mildlymagnificent, that’s tricky. I bought myself an ipad a while ago because the kindle screen is just too annoyingly small for me. The trouble is the learning curve – if he’s used to an iphone that won’t be too bad – and the choice of apps. You can get Kindle for ipad, and I use that, and the apple ibooks, and a genral pdf & doc viewer called GoodReader – and each has different controls. Some files also are very resistant to resizing – pdfs are worst for that.

  231. Louis says

    I am going to relent soon and buy myself an iPad. This officially makes me Scum and an Apple Tragic Fanboy Saddo.

    I will try to live with this whilst I play Angry Birds in BIG. Which is, of course, the point of having one of the devices. Oh wait….erm…I mean it’s for work. Serious, serious work. Yeah. That’s it. Work. Don’t look at me like that.


  232. Parrowing, Time For A Saucy Change says

    Email sent, Deborah.


    That was a really cool video, rq, thanks for linking to it. That’s awful that it’s being closed to regular use; it seems like it’s been helpful in doing some supremely important research.


    I’m feeling a bit ridiculous at the moment. I’m currently taking the last of the possible Swedish courses that Swedish high schoolers can take before moving on to university. The class seems to be required for almost no one, so I’m taking it as a matter of pride and because it’s mostly free and I have nothing else to do, plus I’ll take all the practice with Swedish that I can get. My husband (a native speaker who is a linguistics major) wasn’t even required to take the class, so when I’m finished I’ll be able to say I’ve studied more Swedish than he has.

    The class is designed for high schoolers which is frustrating the hell out of me as I am not a high school student. I really don’t like being micromanaged when writing a paper. We have a not very large paper due in June, and we’re being asked to turn in an outline now. I despise outlines and know that they are not particularly useful to me, especially when I am assigned to do them. I’m procrastinating with this so hard because I really resent having to do this and then I feel silly that it’s an outline and my pride that are holding me back. Argh, stupid brain blocks. Is it okay to include a note at the end of the outline that says: Do not expect me to actually follow this outline should something happen while further researching/writing that makes me want to change my thesis?

  233. rq says

    I think the beauty of an outline is that it is an outline, a general idea, which can be changed as you go along. I know, back in high school, very few of my outlines were actual outlines of the actual final product, although this and that of the brainstorming made it. If you make the outline as general as possible (with notes, such as ‘this paragraph may be placed elsewhere’ or ‘I may look into this point under this topic instead’, because outlines aren’t cut into stone), that might help…
    And honestly? You may not be a high school student, but you’re taking a high school course, and it’s the last one ever. ;) No one will micro-manage your projects and papers again – thinking of it as the last one ever might help you get through it (alternatively, ‘It’s only an outline!’ might help, too).
    Good luck with the work!

    Regarding the polar lab, yeah, that’s the current conservative Canadian government at work… They cut a huge amount of funding for women’s groups and science, as well as a whole lot of other progressive parts of the national budget, to have more money to buy uselessly expensive planes and giant prisons, because they deny the existence of science and its utility. Frustrating, because a lot of this stuff seems non-essential, but in a global-warming world, little labs like this one could be chock-ful of useful data down the road. *sigh* No forward thinking, is what. Conservatives. Bah.

  234. says

    Damn, had I know how much stupid work it is to get Tweets into a format I can work with I would have chosen a different topic…

    Maybe you can talk to them directly that you might want to change stuff along the way. Teachers can’t help the requirements either. In my college students of a certain course need to hand in a printed page for a quiz that no longer exists. They don’t have to do shit, they just have to print that page and hand it in so the lecturer can sign it…

  235. birgerjohansson says

    Feline terror.
    Yesterday Cicero could not tolerate that I actually shut the bathroom door, so he stood outside the whole time howling like in mortal agony, just for being shut out.
    Afterward, I hurried to top up his food bowl, since I assumed he was wailing because of hunger.
    Then I noticed he had puked in the living room. When I had cleaned up that mess, I found a new puke mess where he had regurgitated the food I had given him minutes ago.
    He is not sick, he is just being a cat.
    — — — — — — — — — —

    Crysis: The only good book spin-off of a game is the novel “Crysis; Legion”.
    It actually has an explanation for Fermi´s paradox. the author is BTW a Canadian writer (Peter Watts) who got beaten up by US border guards for no particular reason, and then convicted of being the aggressor and banned from entering USA. Since he has an otherwise clean record I am very very skeptic of the guards´version.
    — — — — — — — — — — —

    When Milton Friedman got his not-Nobel prize in Stockholm, a guy in the audience loudly protested. He got done for disturbing the peace or whatever, but I am glad he did protest.
    — — — — — — — — — — —
    The pearl lab gave me an idea. Let’s strand the climate change denialists on the arctic ice, with enough provisions to let them reach civilisation provided the ice extends all the way to the shore the way it *usually* has done during the season.
    If there is no warming, they will make it to safety without problems…
    We could actually recruit volunteers, by offering a huge cash prize. And give prominent politicians first dibs at the challenge.

  236. Parrowing, Time For A Saucy Change says

    Thanks rq and Giliell. Sometimes just talking about procrastinating helps me stop. I’ve written the outline, now I just have to go back over it.

    What’s strange is that right after I posted my last comment, I got an email from the site that hosts the class that the course now has a substitute teacher. When I click the link that was included in the message to learn more about the teacher, it doesn’t take me anywhere. Also, I’m not quite sure what it means that I have a sub, considering the course is online, does not have class meetings, and doesn’t have any assignments due for several weeks.

  237. rq says

    I’m all for that idea, about climate-change deniers. With the addition of a hungry polar bear or two to speed them on their way.
    Also, Peter Watts has been showing up all over the place for me lately. I think he’s trying to send me a message: ReadMe!ReadMe!ReadMe! (My brother actually mentioned the Behemoth trilogy by him in relation to the metal-resonance-in-icy-winds video I have posted above, interestingly enough… Sounds like a good place to start.)

    Maybe it just means that someone else will be answering questions for a while? Since somebody has to talk to students, even electronically?

  238. Parrowing, Time For A Saucy Change says


    Yeah, I think so. Not sure how I’d get in touch with that person though, since the link didn’t work and the email the site sent is a ‘no reply’ message. Oh well.

  239. says

    I have a question for the USAmericans:
    Is there a racist cliché about Chinese men being very violent or the all Chinese people being part of the criminal organisation?
    I’m frequently stumbling about this analizing the Tweets…
    Also, which idiot would think it acceptable to order Chinese food in a fake Chinese accent?
    No, you don’t have to answer that.

  240. Pteryxx says

    re Lynna’s 263, the Rolling Stone article about rape and rape culture in the military:


    Note that delaying treatment and evidence collection for the victims specifically allows the perpetrators to pre-emptively poison the victim’s reputation:

    And she was anxious over the delay, knowing there was a short window to preserve any evidence. The nurse echoed her concern: “The faster we can get the specimens, the faster it can be tested,” she told Blumer. “Where are they?” When Blumer finally limped out of the hospital, it was with medications to prevent pregnancy and STDs that would leave her shaky and nauseated, and clutching a flier given to her by a base victim advocate. ZERO TOLERANCE FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT, it read. SEXUAL ASSAULT IS A CRIME.

    After three days of medical leave, ­Blumer headed back to work. On her way to morning muster she was stopped by a sailor she barely knew, who told her, “I overheard some people talking. They said you made up a rape to get out of a DUI?” Within her intel office – surrounded by people with whom she regularly socialized at happy hours and trivia nights at local bars – Blumer had already become a social leper. Behind her back, colleagues whispered she’d taken part in a drunken orgy and was crying rape to redeem herself.


    And not just at Fort Gordon but throughout the close-knit intel community, whose phones were lighting up across the country. “Literally, the day she went back to work, we heard about it here,” says former Petty Officer 3rd Class Jennifer Kinnaird-­Estrada, a linguist stationed at Blumer’s previous command in San Antonio. “They were like, ‘She’s such a ho here, was she like that there?’ Even the linguists in Maryland were calling us” – although Blumer had never been stationed there. “We were defending her here, but in Georgia they were all pointing fingers at her.”

    That’s probably an unusually clear-cut example, but still… that means the boys-club network is spreading bitchez-lie myths as a strategy to destroy a specific victim’s credibility even beyond the baseline level of disbelief. And it’s tied directly to delaying or simply refusing to take evidence. So, making rape kits and trained personnel the standard of care is far more important than I’d thought.

    Also, direct connection between sexual harassment and rape: (bolds mine)

    The constant harassment presents risks beyond mere degradation. There’s a strong link between harassment and assault; one study found that troops are four times as likely to be raped if their supervisors tolerated harassment, and another found more than half of female military sexual-assault victims report that their assailant also harassed or stalked them. “Harassment paved the way to my assault,” says former Marine Lt. Ariana Klay, who before her 2010 rape was called, among other insults, the omnipresent slur for women Marines (WM): Walking Mattress. Nonetheless, although stringent penalties exist for sexual harassment, few victims press charges, and many of those who try are dissuaded. When Klay tried to report harassment, her commander told her, “Deal with it.”

    Harassment claims have to be taken seriously.

    Quotes taken from here:


    I went looking for the source of the harassment-rape link and found this article going even more in depth, summarizing points presented in The Invisible War:


    Approximately 33 per cent of servicewomen and men don’t report their assault because the person to report to is a friend of the rapist; 25 per cent don’t report because the person to report to is the rapist. Incidents of rape triple in units where assault is tolerated, say analysts.

    According to Russell Strand, chief of the US army’s Family Advocacy Law Enforcement Training Division, the average sex offender has about 300 victims and the vast majority of sex offenders will never be caught.


    A US navy study found that 15 per cent of incoming recruits attempted or committed rape before entering the military. That’s twice the percentage of the equivalent civilian population. The Invisible War has received extensive media coverage, but most pieces fail to highlight Benedict’s crucial point. If a soldier rapes a fellow soldier, he will most likely get a slap on the wrist and will continue raping. The US government has power to stop this, but chooses not to.

    US army retired Major General Dennis Laich says he would see a soldier get four or five years for selling a minor amount of drugs. Then he would see a soldier get two weeks extra duty for rape.

    and somehow I missed this gem:

    Last year, Burke filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 18 men and women seeking to bring former Secretaries of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates to justice. The lawsuit alleges that they oversaw a system that has deprived rape survivors of their constitutional rights. In December 2011, the court dismissed the survivors’ lawsuit, ruling that rape is an occupational hazard of military service.

    As far as I can tell the stats connecting harassment tolerance and rape incidence come from The Invisible War and arise from analysis of pre-incident harassment in two reports: the SAPRO 2012 annual report on sexual assault, and the DMDC 2011 Gender Relations survey, both cited and linked here:

    PDF link to SWAN fact sheet

    I wasn’t able to track down a direct source before running out of spoons to deal with this. Anyway, there it is.

  241. says

    @ Alethea

    Das Leben ist zu kurz, um schlechten Wein zu trinken!

    That is all you will need.

    @ Giliell

    Is there a racist cliché about Chinese men being very violent…?

    In my experience, living eight years in China, I could not think of anything further from the truth. It is almost eerie (for a South African, at least) to live in a place with such low levels of violence. Even just verbal agression is quite rare and short-lived.

    all Chinese people being part of the criminal organisation?

    This would also be ridiculous. We do, however, have triads here. And one does occassionally hear of crimes (even murders) but the rates are very low. Even the criminals don’t want to rock the boat.

  242. says

    @ rq

    My folks’ neighbour is a supplier of St Joseph’s Wart (Hypericum perforatum). It goes into all manner of these types of remedies – though, noticeably, not into Bach’s. They have to prepare the stuff for export. It can penetrate the skin, so that after a little while they don’t give a fuck about the orders anymore, or the deadlines, and are quite happy to just sit and chill. (Obviously they have since learned to use protective gear.)

  243. badgersdaughter says

    (stands with hat in hand)

    Begging your indulgence, good people, for a sad tale of a small black kitty who would not eat her dinner when Mommy was away overseas visiting Daddy for a week, and is now very sick with fatty liver disease. The nice lady taking care of her in Mommy’s absence thought little Ink would eat “when she got hungry” and didn’t know anything was wrong. Spare a moment’s thought for a sweet, good kitty who always scratches the scratching post and not the furniture and who sits on sleeping people and purrs, please.

  244. Beatrice says

    Oh, badgersdaughter, I’m sorry about Ink. Best wishes for the sweet kitty.

  245. rq says

    I remember drinking tea of that stuff (undiluted, thank you) as a stomach remedy… It has other effects and can penetrate the skin? Did not know that… But I’m not finding the calming info here, rather the opposite (i.e., it is often used as an anti-depressant, rather than for the chilling effect).
    Perhaps you meant Ocimum basilicum, which is actually St Joseph’s Wort, not St John’s? (Interestingly enough, the main search engine results for the Joseph’s version lead straight to St John’s Wort… Saint-This, Saint-That, Saint-J… Too many to keep in order, to my mind!)

  246. rq says

    Best wishes for the kitty! *scritches* for Ink, and *flowers* for you!

  247. says

    Best wishes for kitty badgersdaughter

    Yeah, I was kind of puzzled when I found those tweets that indicated that annoying a Chinese person might be dangerous. Around here the stereotype is more the other way ’round, like they’re naturally docile and subservient.
    File it under evidence that people are stupid and racist…

  248. says

    Gentle hugs to kittens.

    @ rq

    No, definitely Hypericum perforatum (St John’s… sorry). No depression, no concerns, just happy. What is likely, is that they far exceded the recommended dose.

    @ Giliell

    naturally docile and subservient

    In reality: naturally peacable and friendly. As, I suspect, is the natural condition for any healthy human. More likely the opposite (implied) notion, “naturally agressive and dominant”, is the unnatural condition. (Whatever some in the West, or southern tip of Africa, might otherwise have become accustomed to.)

  249. opposablethumbs says

    You have all my sympathy, badgersdaughter. I hope Ink is all right – I know nothing about cat health so I don’t know how serious this is but it sounds frightening – I hope it’s not too bad????

    Having coincidentally recently done kitty-feeding duty myself for a small (shy) black kitty called Inky while the neighbours were away for a few days, I imagine Ink to be even cuter. Crossed tentacles for hir speedy recovery.
    Steve Reich is an amazingly talkative, kind of funny, very passionate composer. I found out this afternoon that I like him and his work a lot more than I thought I did. And SonSpawn got to meet him (for about a nanosecond) and share a stage with him for part of an hour-long matinee!
    He was one of the young musicians playing “Re-Reich”, a Reich-inspired composition (group project) in the first concert of a Reich mini-festival. Waaaaaay cool. And despite the budget cuts, still an opportunity available to a small and rather dedicated bunch of school-age musicians for free and so accessible even if one is broke. Thanks to the London Sinfonietta, who run the project. It was the best thing they’ve ever done – really not kid stuff at all but serious composition and playing. Working with some great professionals, and all for free – it’s fantastic. He’s SO lucky!!11!!!!11!!!!!1

  250. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Threadrupt, but..

    Is “Kacy Ray” a known ‘pitter? I know I’ve seen him (?) pulling this schtick before – I believe on Dispatches…

  251. D-Dave says

    Greetings hoard!

    Completely OT to the previous, but wanted to put forward a poll being run by the CBC up here in Canada. Manitoba is trying to put forward an amendment to the Public Schools Act that includes some anti-bullying clauses. Specifically, there’s a clause that states:

    41(1.8) A respect from human diversity policy must accommodate pupils who want to establish and lead activities and organizations that
    (a) promote
       (i) gender equity,
       (ii) antiracism,
       (iii) the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people who are disabled by barriers, or
       (iv) the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities; and
    (b) use the name “gay-straight alliance” or any other name that is consistent with the promotion of a positive school environment that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils.

    Source: http://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/40-2/b018e.php

    This looks to me like a Good Thing and a step in the right direction. Predictably, though, the highly conservative corners of the province are crying about the infringement on their religious freedom – because as always, a ‘gay-straight alliance’ group as an buffer for students against religious bullying is taking away freedom to express religion and all that standard claptrap.

    CBC has the predictable poll up asking “Do you think the provincial government’s new anti-bullying bill unfairly infringes on religious freedom?” Unfortunately, it’s currently got 53% ‘Yes’ responses. Anybody willing/able to help?

    Poll can be found at the end of this article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2013/02/25/mb-anti-bullying-infringing-religious-freedoms-winnipeg.html


  252. Catrambi says


    Not sure if Kacy Ray is a regular in the pit, but I’ve seen him there. After he spent several comment threads of hundreds of comments each avoiding to present an argument for whatever his position was (can’t remember), I went to the pit to see if those discussions had been mentioned there. Kacy Ray was right there, bragging about his – victory?

    He seemed right at home.

  253. says

    you guys, I’m so screwed.

    I was genuinely thinking counseling and anti-depressants were at least making things better, and then last Thursday something snapped and the depression-pain returned, coupled with the worst sort of dread/anxiety/antsiness ever. Pretty sure last time I was in this much pain was back when I was actually suicidal (I’m not now, it just feels that kind of unbearably painful). I hve an appointment at the campus clinic, but they can’t immediately fix this either.

    No flaming clue how I’m supposed to get through the rest of the semester, when the thought of going to class right now makes me want to throw up and/or cry. And of course it’s too late to drop out of all the classes and try again later, without ruining my grades.

    I hate this so fucking much. I was so close.

  254. throwaway, promised freezed peach, all we got was the pit says

    The “tribal mentality” meme sure is getting a play for it’s coin with regard to feminism. The fact that they charged feminists of groupthinking tribalists is pretty clear indication where their allegiance lies, not that they are indeed pitizens.

  255. rq says

    That’s interesting, and must have been quite the overdose. Guess what I’ll be doing in late summer, when the things go into bloom around here… For Science!

    That sounds like an extremely fun event for a musically-inclined student of music! *thumbsup* for SonSpawn, and you!

    All I can offer is *hugs* if wanted? :( I hope for the best for you!!

  256. vaiyt says

    In Portuguese, marmelada means specifically quince paste (from marmelo, quince).

    Marmelada (from quince), bananada (from banana) and goiabada (from guava) are the “classic” fruit paste types in Brazil. I’m partial to guava paste myself, goes great with some cream. Hmmmm.

  257. morgan says


    I am an old lady and lifelong veteran of crushing depression. I’ve taken nearly every drug and endured eons of therapy. I tell you this just to establish my credentials.

    First, what works for one person may not work at all for someone else. We really still know damn little about this disease.

    I hesitate to give advice to anyone about anything but in this instance I can offer one thing. Go get some exercise. Not a little bit, but a lot. Make yourself breathe hard and sweat. Make your muscles sore. Get physically exhausted, if you can. Then take a nice warm bath and go to sleep.

    For me, this was often the only thing that could break through the boiling mud in my brain.

    Good luck. Here is a huge pile of hugs. Let me know how you are doing. I care.

  258. says

    So I have the best response to the argument from non-sequitur:

    The giant panda (Ailuripoda melanoleuca) is actually a bear of family Ursidae, while the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a panda of family Ailuridae (superfamily Musteloidea.)

    If people want to play non-sequitur with me, I’ll teach them about why giant pandas are indeed, not pandas.

  259. opposablethumbs says

    Thanks, rq! :-)
    Shit, Jadehawk. And damn, I got nothing but hugs too. I don’t suppose your counsellor or – do you have something like a personal tutor? I mean, a member of staff who is supposed to be your first point of contact for general issues of any kind (don’t know what the proper title might be; here they get called “personal tutor” among other things) – could your counsellor or any member of staff like that advise you or intercede/try to get your course tutors to help/cut you some slack?

    I wish I could help :-(((. I hope you are OK.

  260. carlie says

    Jadehawk – I’m so sorry. I’d also suggest asking your counselor or the counseling center to contact your instructors. All they need to know is that you are having a medical issue that will affect your class attendance, no details. That should be enough for them to be willing to give you an incomplete if it comes to that, so it would be one stress off.

  261. badgersdaughter says

    Jadehawk, I was feeling like this yesterday while recovering from a nasty stomach bug (I’m in therapy too and was traveling where I could not reach my therapist). I had to request assistance to get through the airport. I’m still dealing with that and with my sick kitty; it’s surprising how much little things affect you when they happen together. The first thing I did was to drink a bottle of water because I wanted to remove any effects of dehydration, and then I just went to sleep while telling myself not to think or feel for the time being. I repeated to myself over and over, “Don’t think, don’t feel; take time to heal.” I was feeling too ill to exercise, but that’s probably a better idea. In any case, what I did got me over the frightening worst of the anxiety and depression and back to a place where I could function.

  262. rq says

    (I always thought it was marmelade.)


    Reminds me of a humourous anecdotal story [unabbreviated version] about a little green frog hopping along happily through the field from one pond to another. Along the way, near a tree, xe hears a songbird a-singing, so xe stops to listen, and while xir spirits are even more lifted by the song, at the same time xe gets a little sad, because xe realizes that Birdy is singing far more beautifully than xe ever will.
    Still, ever the optimist, Froggy clears xir throat and calls up: “Hello, Birdy, how beautifully you sing!”
    Birdy flutters down to a lower branch, preens a few feathers, before modestly saying, “Thank you.”
    “Do you think you could teach me?” Froggy asks hopefully.
    Birdy looks xir up and down, cocks xir little head to one side, and says, a little doubtfully, “Of course.”
    Froggy hops up and down a few times in delight. “Hooray! Teach me! Teach me!”
    “Well, it’s easy, really,” says Birdy, “Every morning, before breakfast, repeat five times [the Parisian French way]: Confiture, confiture!
    “That’s it?” asks Froggy, shocked.
    “That’s it.”
    “But that’s easy!”
    “Yes,” answers Birdy, “Now go and practice. I have an ode to finish.”
    Froggy thanks Birdy profusely and hops along towards the next pond, repeating Confiture silently to xirself.

    A few days later, another bright sunny day, and Froggy is despondently hopping along, slowly and reluctantly advancing towards the same tree where Birdy was previously tra-la-la-ing away. This time, in silence, xe stops at the bottom of the tree, and sits, hunched over, waiting.
    Finally, Birdy floats down to a lower branch, and says, curiously, “Hello, Froggy. Are you well?”
    “No,” Froggy replies shortly.
    “What’s wrong?” asks Birdy.
    “Nothing,” says Froggy.
    Birdy thinks for a moment. “Have you been practicing?”
    “Yes,” snaps Froggy.
    “Well, that’s good, right? Making progress?”
    “Really? Are you sure you’re practicing?”
    Again, Birdy ponders for a moment, head to one side. “Why don’t you show me how you practice?”
    Froggy resists, but in the end, takes a deep breath and says [to be said as widely as possible]: “Marmalaaade, marmalaaade.

  263. vaiyt says

    The giant panda (Ailuripoda melanoleuca) is actually a bear of family Ursidae, while the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a panda of family Ailuridae (superfamily Musteloidea.)

    If people want to play non-sequitur with me, I’ll teach them about why giant pandas are indeed, not pandas.

    However! The giant panda, in most of the world, IS the “default” representative of what a “panda” means. So, for most cultures, red pandas have actually been reversely deemed pandas by association with giant pandas instead of the other way around.

  264. rq says

    Reminds me of the time my parents thought someone was getting horribly killed out under the hedge in the front yard. Didn’t take them long to discover two porcupines, going at it quite lustily…

  265. rq says

    It didn’t take them long to resume, so I doubt they felt particularly put upon. ;) (And they were probably extra-loud afterwards, too.)

  266. says

    Good evening
    Microwave, cook faster!

    May I offer a German olive branch: The beasts are called Pandabären.
    Actually, I find it always amazing how English native speakers may accept that they’re apes, but fight tooth and claw if you insist that they’re monkeys, too. German just knows apes and human-apes…

    Well, yeah, I’m looking at stereotypes here. The research is how much prestige different accents have and I’m trying to see if I can replicate research done on college students using twitter. The menacing Chinese tweets surprised me…

  267. Ogvorbis: Still broken says




    “There are things so horrible that even the dark is afraid of them. Most people don’t know this and this is just as well because the world could not really operate if everyone stayed in bed with the blankets over their head, which is what would happen if people knew what horrors lay a shadow’s width away.”

    ― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

    On th eplus side, I did get out of bed and go to work.

    Hugs to all of you.

  268. says

    Florida Governor Rick Scott made an effort to humiliate and punish welfare applicants in Florida by forcing them to take a drug test. This effort was based on the Republican myth that welfare recipients are, by and large, addicts or abusers of drugs in one way or another. They are part of the 47% who refuse to take responsibility for their lives, so we damn well should not be giving them welfare benefits, according to Republican philosophy.

    Scott’s efforts were not just a failure, they were a black comedy of failure and waste. About 2% of the welfare applicants tested positive. The state of Florida had to reimburse 98% of the applicants for drug tests, (yes, Florida Republicans thought it was a good idea to make welfare applicants pay for drug testing, assuming that the state could reimburse the few innocents and keep all the nasty addicts off the welfare rolls.)

    Florida also had to pay to administer the tests and the whole thing ended up being Big Costly Inefficient Government. Oh, yeah, and Florida got into a wee bit of trouble with the courts.

    Did Republicans learn anything from the Florida fiasco? No. Now Representative Stephen Fincher (R-Tennessee) has introduced a bill that would make drug testing national. That is, for example, people applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families would be forced to take a drug test. And to make this legal (legal only in the twisted minds of Republicans), applicants would have to sign “a waiver of constitutional rights.”

    WTF? As journalist Steve Benen notes:

    Oil companies, for example, receive very generous corporate welfare. Do Republicans want the CEOs of ExxonMobil and Shell to pee in a cup before getting $4 billion a year? Defense contractors make hefty sums in contracts with the Pentagon. Should they be included in the drug-testing program, too, so as to ensure those receiving public funds are clean?

    Rich people don’t take drugs. What is Steve talking about? But the government is obviously enabling all those filthy, irresponsible poor people in their drug-taking immorality.

    Yeah, I’m willing to stand in line for the privilege of waiving my constitutional rights. Maybe this is really an employment program for lawyers.

  269. says

    News from the Alternate Universe:

    A new short-term budget bill introduced on Monday by House Republicans includes a bizarre provision banning federal funding to anti-poverty group ACORN, despite the fact that the group has already been stripped of federal funding — and has been defunct for nearly three years.

    Doesn’t matter. Acorn is alive and well in the frenzied minds of right-wing bloggers, the only kind House Republicans read. So, yeah, lets cut the fantasy funding for this fantasy organization and then let’s go watch the Twilight series as a documentary.

  270. says

    Threadrupt, so forgive if this comes off as self-absorbed (I mean, I am rather self-absorbed at the mo’ but I don’t want to crash into someone’s tragedy).

    Warning: blatant self-promotion ahead…

    I’ve just posted the intro to my most recent short story up at my (sadly very neglected*) blog. If you want to shortcut and just download the whole thing (PDF & epub versions), you can just go here: http://www.ipublishpress.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=46. I’m sharing it under a CC licence and asking readers to contribute to some pro-gun control lobbies in the US.

    Please let me know what you think in my blog comments or as a review on the publisher’s site. Ta.

    Now I’m gonna go and read some FtB posts before dinner.

    *Every time I consider making blogging a regular habit, I think of Jen & Ophelia and I get all cowardly.

  271. badgersdaughter says

    Thanks so much, everyone. The vet said she is not as bad as we feared, we probably caught the fatty liver problem early enough. She is still in serious trouble and will need a lot of syringe feeding over the next several weeks if she’s going to have a chance. But she was actually sitting up and eating treats by herself in the office (she wouldn’t eat her treats at home) so she’s at least not completely food averse. I’m glad I will not be expected to travel for work for about a month.

    I really appreciate the expressions of support from all you people who really understand.

  272. says

    More Big Costly Inefficient Government courtesy of Republicans:

    Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) on Monday called for the creation of a new federal grant program that would spend half a billion dollars to educate teenagers about why they should not have sex before marriage.

    Link to full story in “The Hill.”

  273. says

    Impending Unemployment Update-

    Had a conversation with my big boss today about the latest email I got that basically asked me to start sucking at my job more. Since I had nothing really to lose I informed her that I understand that the institution is trying to fire me for being transgendered, that I would follow the directions given to me, that I’m not about to rock the boat, but that I’d appreciate it if the students weren’t targeted in this way.

    She spent most of the meeting blowing smoke up my ass, arguing that the rules are being enforced fairly (they are not), denials of transgender bias or that the requests are in any way odd (uh huh), and that all the requests to suck are just about “professionalism”.

    Overall, the response was pretty suspicious. If all the things happening were as innocent as she claimed then it doesn’t explain the massive shift in my relative treatment, the inconsistent enforcement, etc… Her tone was also odd if she really wasn’t expecting my comment. She was exceedingly professional and did not sound at all hurt or taken by surprise when I first stated it even though she has reacted like that in the past when legitimately new information has been brought to her. Nor was she open and passionate like she has been in the past when talking about general issues of oppression in the world.

    Additionally, she was always trying to move me to the defensive and away from having to acknowledge that the rules have been applied inconsistently and more importantly, that the rules being “enforced” in the latest email were directly against verbal permission by her and which the email was the first counter to that verbal permission for anybody. When I tried to note how the rules weren’t being applied equally, she pressed me to name names, even though its been verbally approved before and those people weren’t doing anything wrong.

    I talked about how a specific aspect of my teaching (which I had received verbal permission in the past, and in fact has been a source of great praise in the past and was a key reason my lab back when I could be the golden boy was used as a showcase for the department with our new CEO) was often undertaken as a deliberate connection point with the children (which is something she already knows, because she has praised that exact quality in the past for that exact reason). She countered by claiming that it’s now considered unprofessional because I need to look “professional” instead of being “an entertainment figure” and that I don’t need to be focusing on edutainment (our department’s sole purpose is edutainment, making Content Standards fun and hands-on to engage our often Title 1 visiting school groups). She tried to claim that a class I had just finished teaching in which my engagement was down in the toilet with because I was busy watching my p’s and q’s (my class was occurring right outside her office and I’m trying to delay the inevitable) was engaged enough.

    Overall, it just seemed not quite right. But there will be a meeting set up with the evil HR director again (yay) to “discuss this further” blah blah my right to be heard blah blah (when I was informed of my rights, blah blah, I actually did end up saying that what I want is just to be employed).

    I dunno, it’s conceivably possible that she’s an innocent pawn in a much larger storm. She did let slip that some of these particular complaints have been coming from people in outside departments complaining to hire levels than her and that she’s been fielding awkward conversations with some other managers about my gender identity. But at the end of the day she is still partially complicit and is at least unconsciously failing to protect select staff members from that conservative corporate culture.

    I have no illusions that this conversation is going to change the firing trajectory or that this is all going to end up being the wacky sitcom misunderstanding my big boss wants to paint it as, but I felt it was important to basically state my piece that they can discriminate against me because of my gender identity and that is one level of terrible, but there is no reason to punish the visiting children over it.

    It is my hope this will at least shift the made-up bullshit more in the direction of petty complaints about appearance and blah-de-blah rather than directing me to suck more and more. Or it may just lead them to increase it because they know it’s a weak point that I care about.

    And I also showed the email to another trans* friend of mine who was also fired from a teaching job in pretty much the exact same circumstances. She noted that what I’ve been describing is yup, eerily familiar and on whether the email was sort of the final proof of discrimination it seemed to be went “I don’t want to say it’s aliens… but it’s aliens”, i.e. yeah, definitely.

    But remember everybody, a robust safety net, strong enforcement of legal protections for suspect classes, and strong unionization are socialist unamerican treasons and we’re better off as a country for not having them.

  274. says

    Argh, and since my brain didn’t work well when I wrote the last comment

    Big hugs. Is there a possibility to get the semester cancelled for medical reasons? I mean, there must be some protocols in place.

    Personally I’m very partial to guayabas as such. Sadle a scarce occurence in this part of the world..


  275. says

    I stood on a mountaintop and looked out over the sea. A thousand feet below me, eagles soared on thermals. Wind blew through my hair and I felt dizzy. I fell to my knees and cried. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this “white-light” experience was the moment I realized there was no God — I had been struck atheist….

    I’m thinking that John Gordon must have missed the waterfall in triplicate that convinced Francis Collins that conversion to evangelical Christianity was not a stupid idea after all.


  276. says

    Oh, holy crap. A Republican daddy has gotten his shorts in such a bunch over the imagined promiscuity of his teenaged daughter, that he wants to pass more, yes MORE, anti-woman, anti-sex, anti-divorce bills.

    … Rep. Tedd Gassman, a Republican member of the subcommittee, said he’s “concerned about the negative impact divorce has on children,” according to Radio Iowa.

    The issue isn’t just political for Gassman — it’s personal: His daughter and son-in-law recently divorced, putting his “granddaughter at risk,” he says.

    “There’s a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now. Guess what? What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous?” Gassman said. “What are the possibilities of all these other things surrounding her life that a 16-year-old girl, with hormones raging, can get herself into?”

    In an effort to prevent teenage girls from becoming mega-trollops, the proposed legislation would force parents with kids under the age of 18 to prove a spouse was guilty of adultery, has served prison time for a felony conviction, or has physically or sexually assaulted someone in the family if they want to get a divorce….

    <a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/03/05/abortion_and_the_playground_set_no_fault_divorce_and_teenage_harlots_this_week_in_crazy_legislation/"Details on Daddy legislation and other crazy legislation.

  277. cicely (No further comment.) says

    I’m gonna put a big pot of *hugs* on the back burner, to keep ’em warm for when Patricia can drop in. So that’s what y’all will be smelling.

    (Dr. Horrible) Bad Horse? (/Dr. Horrible)

    Indeed! “The thoroughbred of sin” is, of course, one of Them.

    *pouncehug* for Louis.

    US army retired Major General Dennis Laich says he would see a soldier get four or five years for selling a minor amount of drugs. Then he would see a soldier get two weeks extra duty for rape.


    Best wishes for Ink-cat.

    *waves back at StarStuff*

    *hugs&chocolate&booze&bacon&kittehs* for Jadehawk.

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis.

  278. carlie says

    Oggie – here, have a poofy snuggly down-filled comforter with a big hug wrapped around it. And I’ve had it hanging up near the wood stove, so it’s nice and warm.

    Cerberus, I wish I knew what to say. It makes me rage how you’re being treated. Why can’t people just be decent?

  279. John Morales says

    So, Lynna, those Republicans propose that teens have to get married in order to fuck, and then they’re basically stuck with that marriage.

    (What a recipe for social health!)

  280. says

    Hugs to Jadehawk and Ogvorbis. I second the “get moving” suggestion if you can at all. If not, get some sunshine. Sit in a sunny spot, and drink hot tea and eat fine chocolate, and burn a scented candle or put on perfume, and wear silk or velvet – deliberately supply yourself with sensory pleasures.

    And also, remember that depression can wax and wane. When I got to the point of having a shitty blankets-over-the-head everybody-hates-me-including-me day only once or twice a month, that was great. A bad day or two is not the end of all progress, you are not doomed, it will pass. And just possibly, are you pre-menstrual? Mine had a hormonal cyclic component that became noticeable only when I was better enough to not be bad *all* the time.

    Badgersdaughter – get well wishes and virtual fishes to little Ink. Glad she’s improving.
    Thanks, Theophontes, that sentence sounds MUCH more useful.
    And thanks, Vaiyt for the correction. I had thought that those pastes were more generally known as marmelades (with an ‘e’), not just the quince. I wonder if they used to be in the 1600s, because I think my impression came from a historical cookbook.

  281. says

    deliberately supply yourself with sensory pleasures

    *whine* wanna hear the worst part (well, other than the possibly failing school thing)? orgasms make it worse. why the fuck is good sex with good orgasms making it worse?!
    right now, the only thing that “helps” is booze, candy, and very cold air.

    A bad day or two

    it’s been a week; longer, if I include the preludes which felt like “a bad day or two” caused by exams, but then it got WORSE

    are you pre-menstrual

    I don’t menstruate. I have a Mirena IUD which stops it, so my last period was 6-7 years ago

    I appreciate the hugs and chocolate and the suggestions… but I feel entirely at wits’ end with this depression. I don’t even know why it’s randomly so bad now. Previously the near-suicidal periods had triggers, but now I seem to have simply run out of… whatever the fuck keeps people not-desperately-depressed all the time :-/

  282. says

    Aww, Jadehawk, I wish I could offer more than sympathy. And hugs. And USB booze of your choice. Speaking of which, do you have a favorite drink?
    Much, much, much sympathy about Ink. I lost my favorite cat to liver failure several years ago. Even as her body was falling apart, she remained such a loving companion. I hope Ink comes out of this hale n hearty.
    I echo those statements of rage from others. I was reading your comment while driving and got so angry that those above you are more concerned with your gender identity than the quality of work you do.
    I also found myself admiring you. This may sound strange, given the stress and possible termination you face, but the fact that you are also concerned for the students (while being stressed about being jobless) says something awesome about you.
    It seems like so long ago when Republicans were trying to get the government out of our personal lives. Now some of them want Big G to regulate our marriages?
    Shocked is I.
    Shocked I tell you.
    Did I see a drive by from the stuuf that stars are made of? Hello StarStuff. Oh, and I love your gravatar.

  283. cicely (No further comment.) says

    So, Lynna, those Republicans propose that teens have to get married in order to fuck, and then they’re basically stuck with that marriage.

    (What a recipe for social health!)

    Paradise by the Dashboard Light

    “So now I’m praying for the end of time
    To hurry up and arrive
    ‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
    I don’t think that I can really survive
    I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow
    But God only knows what I can do right now
    I’m praying for the end of time
    It’s all that I can do
    Praying for the end of time,
    So I can end my time with you!!”

    ‘Cause what “God only knows what [he] can do right now”—in the way of domestic abuses of various kinds—is so much better for the kiddies, who I guess are meant to be scared off from Teh Secks by a lifetime of simmering in their parents’ resentment and regret.

    Jadehawk, might you have a “time of year” component (whether seasonal or, um, commemorative) to the unexplained depression?

    This may sound strange, given the stress and possible termination you face, but the fact that you are also concerned for the students (while being stressed about being jobless) says something awesome about you.

    Cerberus, Tony has once again hit it outta the ballpark.

  284. cicely (No further comment.) says

    iJoe: The amp looks good, to my limitedly experienced eye. And Formerly Office Cat doesn’t look even slightly evil. It’s the lack of hooves, y’see!

  285. carlie says

    Jadehawk – just in case you end up troubleshooting possibilities with your counselor, Mirena generally doesn’t stop hormonal cycles and ovulation even if you don’t have periods. I definitely still get PMS, although it’s much less than without it. And I’ve noticed that near the end of the 5 year lifespan, the symptoms get more intense to the point that it reminds me to check the calendar and call to start the appointment for replacement. I doubt that your current downswing is the result of just PMS because you would have been having it all along if you did, but if you’re near the end of a 5 year round it might be ramping up.

  286. says

    Jadehawk, might you have a “time of year” component (whether seasonal or, um, commemorative) to the unexplained depression?

    if I’m having such a violent reaction to turning 1 year older, I’m going to be very pissed at myself.

    troubleshooting possibilities with your counselor

    I’ve been having an extremely hard time getting appointments with her this semester; won’t see her again until after springbreak. if I have to feel like this for another 2 weeks, I will become suicidal.

  287. mythbri says

    Threadrupt for sharing some awesome:

    This is Ash Beckham on using the word “gay” as a perjorative, and about the difference between tolerance and acceptance. I haven’t heard of her before, but I want to see more of her speaking. I apologize if this automatically embeds – I haven’t figured out how to keep video links from doing that.


  288. says

    Speaking of which, do you have a favorite drink?

    I kind of don’t. I don’t seem to have favorite foods at all, only foods I temporarily like more than others.

    ATM, I’m drowning my sorrows in Guinness, but only because that’s what the boyfriend bought for me the other day; most of the time I’ve been hankering for margaritas, recently.

  289. cicely (No further comment.) says

    if I’m having such a violent reaction to turning 1 year older, I’m going to be very pissed at myself.

    I was thinking more in the “x-year anniversary of trauma/loss/(unpleasant) note-worthy happening” category.

  290. says

    I was thinking more in the “x-year anniversary of trauma/loss/(unpleasant) note-worthy happening” category.

    I know, but there really just isn’t anything. Apparently my life is entirely free of memorable/traumatizing events, at least of those that I’d remember when they happened.

  291. says

    Because it was so awesome and concise in expressing what I couldn’t quite tease out, I want to repeat this verbatim:

    This may sound strange, given the stress and possible termination you face, but the fact that you are also concerned for the students (while being stressed about being jobless) says something awesome about you.

    No hugs for anyone from me. Flu. Honestly, you don’t want it. You might all want to disinfect your USB port upon reading this, actually. But arms-length sympathies to those that need them (cats included).

    Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) – Ugh, I didn’t vote for him, but he had a lot of name recognition in the district. Yeah, like there isn’t some better way to spend $500M than a program already shown not to work.

    Amp looks better than any hardware project I could ever do, but tell me that the droop in the back on top is some artifact of not being quite finished or something. Its freaking out my need for straight lines where I expect straight lines… either that or the watering of my eyes due to the flu is really playing havoc with my perception. Nah, it’s too persistent.

  292. says


    Amp looks better than any hardware project I could ever do, but tell me that the droop in the back on top is some artifact of not being quite finished or something. Its freaking out my need for straight lines where I expect straight lines… either that or the watering of my eyes due to the flu is really playing havoc with my perception. Nah, it’s too persistent.


    The droopy back part is a not quite finished part, there’s a cut-out back there for the control panel that I don’t have yet, and that’s a complicated enough part to do that I’m going to save it until tomorrow when I’m fresh and rested, rather than risk doing it half-assed at the end of a long day just to get it done. The vinyl needs to be heated and stretched and glued down in sections to get it to go around the curved sections.

    cicely, Lily might not look evil, but I have a few dozen scars that say difference. Also, she broke my computer keyboard.

  293. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    FossilFishy, David Marjanović, cicely, and Louis – *pouncehug*

    Audley – *hugs* for you and DarkBaby.

    Cerberus – I’m so sorry this is happening to you. *hugs and chocolate*

    mildlymagnificent – *hugs for you and mrmagnificent. (I’d offer chocolate too, but that will keep until mrmagnificent can enjoy it.)

    Janine – Please pass along *hugs* to Patricia for me.

    badgersdaughter – I hope Ink feels better soon. (I always listen to tales about little black kitties.)

    Jadehawk – *hugs and lots of chocolate* I wish I could do more.

    Ogvorbis – *many hugs*

  294. says

    Oh, no! May Bast watch over Ink-kitteh and bring her through this.
    St. John’s Wort… huh. If it has that kind of effect, I just might want to try it. Especially if it works out to be cheaper than my usual “herbal supplement”.
    Pit status unknown, but Kacy Ray would fit right in…
    *your choice of comforting gestures*
    Katherine Lorraine
    Probably the same reason my peanut butter says “WARNING: CONTAINS PEANUTS”. It’s a CYA move, because there really is one person who is just stupid enough (or, more likely, inattentive enough) to consume the product (or feed it to their kid), have an allergic reaction, and sue the company for not having a warning label on a product that clearly fucking states, right in the name, that it has peanuts in it.
    Totally. Unfair.
    And waaaay not cool, the way they’re jerking you around.
    On Eye Exams, Picking New Frames, And Other Things
    So I lost my glasses on Christmas Eve. Been muddling through without, not the most fun, but livable.
    Today I had an eye exam. I’m nearsighted on the right. Farsighted on the left. And my left eye has a tendency to kinda… do what it wants. I don’t have full voluntary control over my eye movements. The exam itself went okay, as far as eye exams go. No drops (thankfully), but he did the shine a bright light into your eye, tell you not to blink, and spend the next age and a half trying to get a look at the inside of my eyes. That wasn’t fun.
    Picked out frames. Not sure I understand this trend of, like, “skinny” glasses. I need enough room for the bifocal prescription, and enough vertical coverage that I don’t have to squint to see through the lenses. Finally found a pair that meets my needs, both visually and aesthetically.
    And now I wait. 7-10 days, they said.
    I’m assuming that’s “business days” rather than “calendar days”.
    Tomorrow evening, I’m going to my first DV survivors group. I’m scared. I’d say “scared shitless”, but… it’s had the opposite effect. Is there a word for that?

  295. says

    Tony @415

    You made me cry in a good way. Thank you.

    WMDKitty @430

    Scared constipated?

    Overall, with groups, you start scared, but it’s never really as scary as you think. Usually the first meeting or two, you’re just listening to the other stories and getting a feel for the dynamic. It can be a lot of things, both good and bad, but it’s usually not as scary as it feels the first time you head out.

  296. says


    One thing my partner brought up which I’ve been mulling over is the analogy with my on-the-job discrimination and rape survival. Basically she was arguing that they both have similar losses of agency, desires to minimize or pretend away the details so as not to have to acknowledge the worst, the tendency to self-blame, etc…

    I’m still mulling over all that (as well as fairly regular rape flashback stuff I’ve just been having for the last bit since I started processing exactly what happened to me without minimization, because why ever process through one traumatic event at a time?), but one piece struck me when thinking about today’s odd interaction with my boss.

    It definitely had a similar feeling to what my partner described about her rapist when he talked with her after her rape (the conversation wherein he convinced her to minimize what happened to her, blame herself, and aid him in covering the incident up so he wouldn’t get in trouble).

    I’m thinking a lot of the oddity of the conversation as well as the tiny optimistic part of me that really wants to believe that it’s the odd confluence of events my big boss is claiming it is and I think similar things were happening.

    There’s the minimization, the argument that I’m seeing things that aren’t there, that things were fair (or consensual) when they weren’t, the urging to view the screwjob as a “personal benefit to my teaching style”, the desire to just follow with the story-making and become complicit in pretending it away, because hey, wouldn’t it be nice if it really was all in my head, etc…

    I don’t want to say they are equivalent, but it is interesting the similarity of behavior of people who know they are complicit in a bad thing when their bad thing is noticed by the person they have harmed.

  297. ck says

    WMDKitty wrote:

    Not sure I understand this trend of, like, “skinny” glasses.

    I didn’t understand it when I first got glasses either, but my glasses have become progressively shorter as I get new ones. I’m not at the point where I need progressive lenses, and the shorter lenses simply force me to move my head to look at things. The best optical quality is obtained by looking directly through the centre of the lens, and given my sensitivity to chromatic abberation (i.e. splitting headaches), this actually works out for the best for me.

    Last place I went to actually polished up the edges of the lenses nicely without paying extra for it (or me even inquiring about it). Given the nice service at this place and the expensive, yet lousy service I got whenever I went to LensCrafters, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to LensCrafters.

  298. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    St. John’s Wort… huh. If it has that kind of effect, I just might want to try it. Especially if it works out to be cheaper than my usual “herbal supplement”.

    Worth noting: St. John’s Wort fucks with hormonal birth control. This was “our” working theory regarding the “unplanned” pregnancy before I learned that my ex-wife, then-girlfriend, confessed to her then-best-friend that she simply stopped taking her pills without telling me. (She still isn’t aware I know, and denies it vigorously when I hint about “suspicions”).

    Also, she apparently just weaseled one of her professors into letting her reschedule an exam because she “wasn’t able to come to class that day because her daughter was home sick with a 24 hr bug.” Her daughter that she doesn’t have custody of and who stays with my parents during the week, and who wasn’t sick or out of school..

    I know we have a few teachers here: anyone want to weigh in on how likely I am to be listened to, and something done, if I can present evidence that she lied about this?

  299. says


    Worth noting: St. John’s Wort fucks with hormonal birth control.

    Oh. Scratch that, then.

    This was “our” working theory regarding the “unplanned” pregnancy before I learned that my ex-wife, then-girlfriend, confessed to her then-best-friend that she simply stopped taking her pills without telling me. (She still isn’t aware I know, and denies it vigorously when I hint about “suspicions”).

    All I can say is to document, document, document, and bring it to your lawyer. Taking it directly to her instructor could easily be seen as weird/stalker-y behaviour, which she could then use against you in court.

    And it really is… ugh… just fucking despicable to “oops” a guy like that! I hate it when some women do that, it’s so… so… ugh, NOT COOL! (Seriously, I don’t have expletives foul enough to express my disgust and anger at that.)

  300. says

    Good morning

    Big hugs.
    You sound a lot like me before the big Giliell breakdown of 2011.
    Inability to get anything done except sex? Check
    Total anxiety to the point where you avoid thinking about college (I hid everything that even had the name of the college on it)? Check
    Knowledge that you’re about to really, really fuck something up? Check
    No apparent reason like trauma? Check
    Not having a reason making things worse? Check
    But you have a big advantage over me back then and that is that you know you’re in a bd place you need help to get out of.
    Does your counsellor know how bad it is? Sounds like they’re horribly undrerstaffed, but they might have some emergency resources.
    And I think I already asked you about your thyroid…

  301. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs to Ogvorbis and Cerberus and moar hugs to Jadehawk. Glad Ink is improving, badgersdaughter!
    Your concern for your students, your whole attitude and what you’ve described earlier strongly suggests you’re probably one of the best teachers they’ve got. What a bunch of unmitigated douchebags. And putting pressure on you like that … ugh. It’s part of the advanced bullying arsenal – harm you, and push to make you feel somehow complicit in/to blame for what they are doing to you (which of course helps to cover their tracks too). Wish I had more than hugs to send.

  302. says

    It’s more of a… literal… “scaring the shit out of me” thing.

    I’m thinking a lot of the oddity of the conversation as well as the tiny optimistic part of me that really wants to believe that it’s the odd confluence of events my big boss is claiming it is and I think similar things were happening.

    There’s the minimization, the argument that I’m seeing things that aren’t there, that things were fair (or consensual) when they weren’t, the urging to view the screwjob as a “personal benefit to my teaching style”, the desire to just follow with the story-making and become complicit in pretending it away, because hey, wouldn’t it be nice if it really was all in my head, etc…

    Head games. It’s head games. Make you think you’re “imagining” things, make you crazy, drive you out, deny any responsibility. Fuckin’ head games.

  303. mildlymagnificent says

    Interesting stuff. A woman in ambo gear turned up in mr’s room today with a letter in a very “official” looking envelope. Turns out she’s half-time ambulance medic, half-time post-grad researcher. Mr was more or less automatically enrolled in this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3207909/.

    The other info she gave was a bit sobering. The survival rate for unconscious people resuscitated after a ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest like he suffered is 40%. For the other kinds it’s a paltry 10%. We don’t yet know whether he got the ordinary or the chilled saline infusion – and we won’t know for several months yet. They’ll review after 600 enrolled subjects, mainly to see if there’s the kind of clear and obvious benefit that would make continued randomised selection unethical.

  304. rq says

    *roundofhugs* for Ogvorbis, Cerberus, Jadehawk… Also WMDKitty (as *scritches* instead, of course, and I hope the glasses are ready sooner rather than later) for being brave, and mildlymagnificent for the prognosis (all available thumbs are allocated to mrmagnificent!!), and for opposablethumbs for the cute (eeeeeee!).
    Feel free to replace any or all *hugs* with *beverageofchoice* or, the going special, *anthills**.

    *(a rather tasty concoction of crushed biscuits, condensed milk, and butter, with chocolate for decoration)

    Improbable Joe
    The amp looks fantastic. The colour is spot-on, if you’re going for the Jaguar look (in my opinion). Good luck with the rest of it!
    Also, Former Office Cat looks a lot like the cat I grew up with in Canada, who died an active hunter at the ripe old cat age of 19 a few years ago. In other words, awesome cat. ;)

  305. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Anyone in Charleston or South Carolina or where ever that will be going to see Richard Dawkins speak this Saturday? I’m supposed to be going to dinner with some friends but might get away from that.

  306. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you rq! (It’s not my own cute, but I thought it was worth a look by anyone feeling down and/or desirous of increasing their cute intake :-) )

  307. says

    Uhm. You’re dealing with a lot of information here

    Hey, I’ve written the first half page of my term paper. With the right formatting it will more likely be an entire page. Give me a cookie!

  308. rq says

    You can have an anthill, as pictured in my previous-previous comment. And here, some *confetti!*, too.

  309. Beatrice says

    I want to buy a bike. I don’t know how to ride a bike. I don’t have anyone to go with me and tell me I’m not buying absolute shit (since I plan to get something cheap. I don’t need the mother of all bikes, just something to get me to work every day, in the city, on (mostly) decent pavement).

    /end whine

  310. Ogvorbis: Still broken says


    Not sure where you are, but both Huffy and Schwinn sell what are sometimes called cruiser bikes (fast, light armour, medium guns (sorry, that would be a ship)) or beach bikes — one speed, coaster brakes, wide tyres, big flat comfortable seats, full fenders. They are relatively heavy but are wonderful for use in flatter urban and suburban areas. Plus, they are fairly inexpensive. And many of them are done with a 1950s retro paint and styling that is fun.

  311. Ogvorbis: Still broken says



    These bikes, or ones similar to them, are available at bike shoppes and department stores alike.

  312. glodson says

    One day soon, I shall sleep.

    Wow. I just got caught up on the “That had to hurt” thread. Some people really make an effort at being stupid fuckwits.

  313. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin has just sent a report from Siberia. By carrier-pigeon…

    She reports she’s found conclusive proof the recent asteroid explosion was indeed either a holy hand grenade or a very irritated wheel of Lancre Blue. Who threw the grenade, or bothered the cheese, is not clear.

    She’s apparently now off to North Korea to confirm her hypothesis the recent “nuclear explosion” was either the sentient-but-stoopid cider complaining about the English cricket team failing to loose recent matches in a suitable entertaining fashion, or else another irritated Lancre Blue.

    The Lancre Blue vault in Orbiting Cheese Store (alias The Moon) is intact, with all wheels accounted for, provided that the missing ones were simply eaten by the ones which broke free (from being nailed down) when Ebb and Flow crashed…

    I’m not sure if she plans to look into what happened to the French Rugby team or not. Trying to eat, or play a game against (or with), some Lancre Blue would easily explain their recent form: Still heavily battered, scarred, and sacred by the experience.

  314. Ogvorbis: Still broken says


    Immediately after the ‘meteor event’ in Russia, the MDP was ‘asked’ quite ‘politely’ to leave the country. And now the MDP claims that it was either a hand grenade or Horace? Something does not smell right (and no, I do not mean the Lancre Blue!).

  315. says


    Hope your kitty feels better soon!

    Beatrice, I don’t know much about bikes these days but I used to ride a lot. The most important thing is probably going to be proper fit. If you are too tall or too short for the bike you buy, it can wind up causing you injuries over the long term, even if you’re just riding to and from work.

    And to echo/amplify what Ogvorbis is saying, it is pretty hard to even find an “absolute shit” bike these days, manufacturing has gotten to the point where the cheap ones are cheap because they’re heavy as shit, not because they’re flimsy. Big hunks of steel, rather than slender and light space-age materials.

    rqThanks for the kind words about my amp AND my cat.

  316. Ogvorbis: Still broken says


    One other thing I would recommend:

    If you do get a multi-gear bicycle, do not get one of the abominable three-speeds with the gears hidden inside the rear hub — those strip very easily and, when they do strip, you are stuck in high gear.

  317. Beatrice says

    Thanks, Ogvorbis and Joe.
    Hmm, I would like something light since I would have to lug it into the lift every time. I’ll look at the prices and see how low I can go and still get something I can lift, turn and stuff into the lift without dislocating anything.

  318. Beatrice says

    *after some googling*
    Cruisers don’t look like something I’d call cheap.
    I have no problem buying a used bike, the only problem is that it probably means it’s stolen :/

  319. Beatrice says

    I didn’t know you could do that (the trade thing, not leaving it for repairs and then not picking it up)! I’ll ask.

  320. says

    Mormon doofus and anti-gay activist Orson Scott Card is bad for the comic book business.

    Yes, he is also an author, but his proposal to dabble in Superman comics upset so many people that the project has run into troubled waters, with the illustrator abandoning ship. Sometimes it is not good business to be willfully ignorant and intolerant publicly, like Card did in his association with NOM (National Organization for Marriage), for example.

    Media attention surrounding anti-gay activist Orson Scott Card’s involvement with a “Superman” digital reboot has sent the project’s illustrator packing.

    Artist Chris Sprouse has abandoned the digital series, saying the media firestorm over Card had become a distraction, according to a statement released Tuesday….


  321. says

    Here are a couple of quotes from Card, to go with the post @467:

    In a 2012 editorial for the Mormon Times, Card argued that “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.” In a 1990 opinion piece for Sunstone magazine, Card wrote that laws criminalizing homosexuality should stay on the books “to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”

  322. mythbri says

    @Lynna, OM

    I can’t really articulate my feelings about OSC other than to state that the words “asshat” and “smegmarmalade” figure prominently.

  323. rq says

    I’m having a hard time reconciling OSC’s opinions with the enthusiasm with which I read Ender’s Game, back in the day. :( I don’t like supporting bad* authors, even in a moral-“this-is-a-good-book” kind of way.

    *Those with poor opinions.

    Tony, I’d take you over OSC any day at all, no matter how many brilliant books he writes. Ever.

  324. David Marjanović says

    Qapla’! Submitted the corrected page proofs for the 66-page review paper for good ( = 3rd round of corrections)! Caught embarrassing things in the 2nd round (like referring to Figure 1 but meaning Figure 4)! Come March 29th, only one chapter of my doctoral thesis will still be unpublished !!

    *very careful hugs for Jadehawk*

    I’ll go catch up.

  325. glodson says

    The “Ender’s Game” author is a current board member of the rightwing National Organization for Marriage and has a long personal history of anti-gay remarks. In a 2012 editorial for the Mormon Times, Card argued that “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”

    So…. does that mean that Card rejects bigamy? Or is he fighting for bigamy as well?

  326. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Hey, everyone! I’m good just feeling like shit lately. Lots of aching, migranes and stomach issues. I have a doctors appointment next week because it hasn’t gone away yet, which is freaking me out. Not to mention making me miserable.

    We were going to go and have all the pets fixed this morning because we were called last night with an opening at a free service place. Then the people who agreed to take us in their car (because pets on the city bus…) had something come up. =(

    *hugs* *chocolate* and *booze* for people to take as they want/need


    I’m having a hard time reconciling OSC’s opinions with the enthusiasm with which I read Ender’s Game, back in the day. :( I don’t like supporting bad* authors, even in a moral-”this-is-a-good-book” kind of way.

    *Those with poor opinions.

    I imagine I’d feel the exact same way, which is why I’m SO glad I didn’t read Ender’s Game when I was younger. Now that I’ve found out about him a couple years ago, I’m never reading it.

    This is also why I became so worried about Brandon Sanderson. I loved his books and then found out he’s Mormon. I went searching to see if he was a douche but thankfully I haven’t found anything. I’d feel so sad if he is or is exposed as one.

    Tony, I’d take you over OSC any day at all, no matter how many brilliant books he writes. Ever.


  327. says

    Jadehawk @371

    you guys, I’m so screwed.

    I was genuinely thinking counseling and anti-depressants were at least making things better, and then last Thursday something snapped and the depression-pain returned, coupled with the worst sort of dread/anxiety/antsiness ever. Pretty sure last time I was in this much pain was back when I was actually suicidal (I’m not now, it just feels that kind of unbearably painful). I hve an appointment at the campus clinic, but they can’t immediately fix this either.

    No flaming clue how I’m supposed to get through the rest of the semester, when the thought of going to class right now makes me want to throw up and/or cry. And of course it’s too late to drop out of all the classes and try again later, without ruining my grades.

    I hate this so fucking much. I was so close.

    I was so sorry to hear this. It seems you are not the only Pharyngulite who was so fucking close to climbing out of the hole, only to slip back in. I am encouraged (if that’s the right word in this situation) to hear that you are not suicidal.

    If it helps to vent here, join the chorus. We all need that from time to time, even those of us who may not suffer from depression as serious as yours.

    I wish I were there to give you a hug.

    Hugs to all who are hurting, and may walks in benevolent springtime temperatures come sooner rather than later.

  328. Ogvorbis says

    Great news, Herr Doktor!


    A few minutes ago, I was sitting at my desk fighting with a transparent layer, trying to get the scale correct to line up a logo with another logo on a different layer (I think I am up to thirty raster and vector layers in this particular poster (I really wish I had been able to take some computer graphics and graphic design courses!). And my mind started wandering.


    I was thinking about how good it felt to have finally found most of the pieces for my personal jigsaw puzzle. And this fucking little voice in the back of my head said to me, “What gives me the right to feel good? I’me broken. Hopelessly broken,” and started up with racing thoughts about my uselessness, my failure to be human, what I did to S, bringing other kids into scouting and even setting up at least one for abuse, condemning other kids to the same abuse because I was too scared to say anything, etc. And I could actually feel my mood change, my breathing speed up, my head start to ache, all the different injuries I’ve had over the years begin to ache, and, worst of all, the body memories of excruciating pain and unbearable pressure. And I thought to myself that if this is what is going to keep happening, why should I even try? Why should I even stay alive? And that scared the shit out of me. Suicidal thoughts are Not Good.

    I squelched those thoughts real quick and reminded myself that all of these were magician’s choices. No matter which I chose, he won. No matter what I did, he won. But did he win? I am not what he envisioned a man to be. I am not who he is. He fucking failed to make me into him. I think that is the thing I need to remember when I do get depressed and start to chew my history over for the hundredth time — HE FUCKING FAILED! He was trying to teach me to be another him. He was trying to teach me to treat others like things. He was trying to teach me that women and children are not fully human. He was trying to teach me that my pleasure was paramount and any who stood in the way of my pleasure are the enemy. He was trying to teach me that a marriage is for the pleasure of the man alone. He was trying to teach me that taking advantage of others was the right thing to do. And he failed. Again and again and again, he failed.

    Thoughts of suicide, even fleeting ones, scare me. I attempted suicide about 15 years ago (that I did fail at (luckily)) and have a good feel for that level of depression. I should be able to spot that in me before I get too far down. I do wonder, though, how worried should I be about that one time fleeting thought of taking the Black Pill? Or should I be worried if it keeps coming up?

    I cannot express how much all of you mean to me. Even the assholes who were so blind to their privileges that it sparked scary memories mean a lot to me as they, through their callous disregard of humanity, triggered, what, healing? Catharsis? Memories? Reality?

  329. says

    JAL, rq:
    Ooooh. Thank you both for the kind words ::wipes away a teardrop::
    You were not, are not, and never will be at fault. We will keeping reminding you that you were victimized.
    Also, I do understand that suicidal thoughts may creep into your head sometimes. If we are honest with ourselves, we should own those feelings, but not follow through. I am glad you pulled yourself out of that. We only have this life. To squander it or end it prematurely would be such a waste. It would be a tragedy for your loved ones and family, friends and co-workers. Yeah, sometimes life sucks…beyond the telling of it. However, life is also full of wonder, awe, mystery, love, joy, surprises, and many, many wonderful people. It would be a shame to miss out on all the positive because the negatives are seemingly overwhelming (please do not take this to mean I am dismissing what you are going through, it is not my intention)

  330. Portia, Plentiful Pleasant Pea Purveyor says

    Hello Lounge!
    Hugs-as-desired and assorted comfort foods to
    Ogvorbis, WMDKitty, Jadehawk, JAL and all who’d like them.

    Joe: Neat amp! I’m impressed with your adventurous spirit :)

    Badgersdaughter, I’m not sure we’ve “met” but I wish your kitty all the recovery in the world.


    I went to the weekend judging competition thingy, and had a great time. Saw lots of people who knew me from way back when whose names I didn’t remember. But they were all happy to see me, even the ones who didn’t like me…it was fun.


    On Monday my (male) cousin told me he and his girlfriend had decided to get married, and that he felt the need to ask her father for his blessing. I snarked “Well, then she should ask your mother.” He told her I said so, and she did it.* And everyone is congratulating me for having such a good idea, and his mother was tickled pink and I am tickled pink. Mostly because my feminist snark doesn’t get such a great reception! I think it has made my week.

    *To New Fiancee’s credit, she also raised the topic of marriage to begin with. His “traditional” ideals are a bit dashed, which was why he wanted to go to Dad in the first place. To bad for him his fiancee is not in that vein :)


    *passes out chocolate covered pretzels*

  331. Beatrice says

    Ogvorbis, *hugs*

    That’s a brilliant way of feminist snark being taken seriously.

    I’m being all angsty and emo or whatever kids call themselves these days and listening to Evanescence. I’m barely keeping myself from howling out the high notes, but that wouldn’t be emo, I guess.

  332. rq says

    Oooh, hello, Portia! *anthill!*

    You have a way with words, you do.
    I meant what I said about you. *anthill!*

  333. Portia, Plentiful Pleasant Pea Purveyor says


    And would some hugs helps the angstyness? Rough day?

    Hi! Is *om nom* the right response to “anthill”? I clicked on the photo earlier and it looks like a food sculpture but I wasn’t sure. :)

  334. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    Oh well, I wanted to spend some time on the floor anyway.

    Oops. I’d better scale back my enthusiasm. :D

  335. rq says

    Howl away; I hear it relieves stress (well, it does for me, anyway… *blush*).

    And yes, Portia, great story about the New Fiancee and asking permission from his mum. *snicker* (I wonder what he would have done, had his mum said No?)

  336. rq says

    *omnomnomnomNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM!!!* would be the appropriate reply. I think I listed the ingredients before, but it’s amazingly easy to make, and it’s amazingly filling (butter+condensed milke? thankyou…). (Which means, it’s better shared…)
    And it’s not much of a sculpture, usually… It’s supposed to look like an anthill, after all! ;)

  337. says

    Ogvorbis @479

    *all the hugs*

    On suicidal ideation, when I’ve been in that hole and I’ve needed something to center myself, I’ve gotten a lot from this web page and I’ve actually got it bookmarked in my top bar because it has helped me out of a hole or two.

    One of the parts that really resonated with me was its point that suicide is often based in wanting to find relief, but that relief is a feeling and you need to be alive to have feelings. I know you already know that, but it’s something that’s helped snap me back up when I’ve been all the way down in the hole and not sure where up is anymore.

    My overall advice is to find something like that for yourself. Something that can reliably kick you back out of the hole when you’re down there and always remember that no matter what, we will be here to listen and support without judgment.

  338. says

    Despite your _questionable_ choice in post nyms, I am glad you enjoyed your weekend. As you see, my undefeated streak continues.
    Loved the wedding story. Hate…hate…hate the notion that a man must ask the father of his girlfriend if he can marry her. She is the only person that question should be directed at. Additionally, it feels too much like “will you pass ownership of your daughter to me?”. Ick.

  339. glodson says

    That was a nice story Portia.

    I got the tacit approval of my wife’s mother when she hit me with a plush snake dog toy.

    Or maybe that was a sign of disapproval. It can be hard to tell sometimes.

  340. Portia, Feminist Snarker Extraordinaire says

    Yes, let’s share. : ) I have a craving for sweetness but I usually don’t eat much of it.

    rq: Hm, I think it was more “We’ve decided to get married, we’d love to have you on board.” But if she said no…I don’t know :)

    It’s easy to be undefeated when you have never actually engaged in the competition!
    Your reaction to the “ask her dad” convention is the same as mine. Come to think of it, I think Cousin said something like “I mean, not that he can really say no.” And I snapped “You mean because his daughter is not his property?” Ick indeed.

    Hm, well hopefully it’s gotten clearer since then :)

    Thanks for being the best possible audience for my feminist-victory stories, everybody. I love it here. :)

  341. Portia, Feminist Snarker Extraordinaire says

    Speaking of sweetness, I’m going to say “damn this cold” and have sugar anyway. I think I’ll make cupcakes after I fetch eggs from Cousin’s little sister. (She’s sixteen, and she keeps her egg proceeds in a tin until she has enough for chicken feed. (It’s pretty adorable)).

    My problem with baking is that I don’t have a lot of people in meatspace to share the goodies with.

  342. glodson says

    It has, Portia. ;)

    She’s an interesting woman. Her and her brother had given me a different perspective as they are Puerto Rican. Both served in the military, and both moved to the States for the same reason.

    It is sad that because they speak with a slight accent, have dark skin and dark hair, they get treated as suspects.

    Still, she’s a smart woman. And if she didn’t like me before, she really loves me now since I take good care of her granddaughter.

    At least, she will like me until she learns that my daughter says Goddamners because me. I keep trying to correct the little girl, but she just won’t leave off the -ers.

  343. says

    I believe I have whiplash from that nym change…
    Thanks for that link. It resonated enough to bring tears to my eyes. I have had suicidal thoughts twice in my life. The first time occurred in the wake of coming out to my parents. The second was late last year, when the weight of my finances seemed like too much to bear. Neither time did I give serious consideration to suicide (no idea of when or how to do the act), but I did think about it. On the whole, I am glad to be alive (though I still occassionally get those feelings of ‘taking up space on this planet that someone else could put to better use’)

  344. Portia, Feminist Snarker Extraordinaire says

    Well, it’s great that you have a good relationship with the inlaws.
    That last bit of your comment made me laugh aloud.

    If I could make mailable cupcakes for you, I would.

    Honest to FSM, I changed it before I saw your comment on it! :D