[Lounge #415]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. We read a paper about dunnarts today. Consensus: adorable.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. says

    You all know what it is like to get so excited or emotional that you get full body goosebumps or the hairs on your neck stand up?
    I got both those sensations AND started crying…tears of joy…

    Oggie: I wish I could convey to you how happy I am for you. As with others, I see this as a big victory for you.
    Hugs buddy!

  2. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, having done my analysis, I need literature values for the half-level thickness and linear absorption coefficient for lead with regards to Cs-137’s characteristic gamma rays, to compare my numbers with. Preferably with stated uncertainties. Unfortunately, Google just gives me pages and pages of the handouts for other universities’ versions of this lab. Help?

  3. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Portia! And thank you so much, ednaz! (it’s ridiculous that in my next breath after being glad I immediately start to worry. Bad brain, no biscuit).

    Beatrice, your weird certainly seems mighty fine to me. Just for that, imma attach another hug, right here: /paperclip\{hug}

    Oh, carlie, damn for doctors being in such a hurry they don’t have time to explain things :-( And for sore eyes. When is this scheduled to happen? And may I send you this \\bag// full of {{hugs}}?

    Scritches for Parsnip, rowanvt. Sorry he’s got these digestive issues, but glad he has such skilled and experienced care. Damn, I hope you’re able to pull him through this. Sounds very difficult, at such a young age, but there’s no way anyone could give him a better chance than you are doing!

    Glad Gracie is on the mend and allowed to hit the Great Outdoors again.

    Wow, Ogvorbis! That’s absolutely fantastic! A significant victory. (definitely deserves a cigar, and I don’t even smoke :-) )

    I didn’t wish Dalillama a happy birthday! ::leaps back to keyboard:: HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dalillama!!!!!!!

    Centipedes …tell you what, ednaz, if you deal with Portia’s centipede plus any that turn up around here, I’ll happily deal with the spiders. I am the designated spider-remover in this household.

    Hey Giliell. I crisped my eyebrows and eyelashes and my whole fringe quite thoroughly … when my late* grandmother asked me to light the unfamiliar-to-her gas oven in my childhood home but omitted to mention, as I opened the oven door with a lighted match in my hand, that it was completely full of gas thanks to her earlier efforts … Good times.
    *Not late due to the exciting oven affair. Her lateness came later.

  4. says

    Yay for Ogvorbis
    It is the small victories that count.

    Happy birthday Dalillama

    Hehe, the women on my mother’s side have a habit of killing themselves when they are actually rather old already by doing some stupid things. I guess my grandma lucked out by surviving her trip and fall.

  5. ednaz says


    And thank you so much, ednaz! (it’s ridiculous that in my next breath after being glad I immediately start to worry. Bad brain, no biscuit).

    This is not Bad Brain. This means you are a great parent and I bow to you for that.
    *serious thumbsup*


    Centipedes …tell you what, ednaz, if you deal with Portia’s centipede plus any that turn up around here, I’ll happily deal with the spiders. I am the designated spider-remover in this household.

    You Got A Deal!!!!!!! : D

  6. ednaz says

    My Great Aunt was in her 80’s when she broke her ribs. What was she doing? She was standing on an end table (yes, she was a teeny tiny thing) washing her windows.

  7. bluentx says

    And another belated Happy Birthday goes to…
    *rips open envelope*

    Dalillama !

    If I haven’t said it before I’m sayin’ it now:
    Thanks, Lynna for the link supply (Mormon Madness or not)! I especially appreciate the Beck Is A (false) Alarmist deconstruction at the moment, but always look forward to seeing what you have for us.

    A big Kermit “Yaaaay!!!” for Ogvorbis’ (not so little) victory!

  8. bluentx says

    Ooooo… a contest!
    Daring Elders and Their Accidents…
    My Aunt Marg, one day (when in her ’80’s) decided she needed to mow the yard. Apparently, she had an older model mower- one that didn’t have an automatic shut-off (to prevent just such a result).
    Now let’s see… can’t remember precisely… was it two or three fingers she lost?

  9. bluentx says

    This could be good!

    Why is it always the east side of town [East Houston, East Austin, East L.A.] that gets the shitty end of the…douchnozzle?

    Not all Filipinos (did I spell that right) are ‘hailing’ this (why would they?):

  10. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    Another meteorite explodes. This time over Argentina.

    Has the MDP been kicked out of Argentina yet?

  11. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says


    I tried twice to link to the Youtube video of the meteor exploding and both got non-posted. Is PZed protecting the Mildly Deranged Penguin?

  12. bluentx says

    And before I toddle off to bed:

    Things I almost forgot:

    Cicely: Glad I could supply some verbal ammo in The War On Apologetics!

    I’m going send these links to a friend (who considers himself conservative) with the heading: Hell No I Haven’t Given Up My Bush-bashing! :
    (1) http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/50-reasons-you-despised-george-w-bushs-presidency-reminder-day-his-presidential?paging=off
    (2) http://www.salon.com/2013/04/27/bush_is_not_back_and_he_is_still_terrible/

  13. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    This weekend sucks. I don’t know whether this is allergy, common cold (it doesn’t feel like one, since I don’t feel like my sinuses are going to burst any moment) or angina (strep throat). I would expect elevated temperature or a runny nose, but I have neither.
    But I haven’t been sleeping well for the last two nights, waking up because my throat hurt too much, and having trouble breathing during the day.

    Or maybe it’s allergy and angina. That would be fun.

    Yes, I’m a whinger when I’m sick.

  14. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says


    Just a note, as I know English isn’t your first language: “angina” refers specifically to the chest pain caused by insufficient blood getting to the heart – but not insufficient enough to have caused a heart attack. From your parenthesized “strep throat”, I gather that’s not what you meant!

  15. mildlymagnificent says

    OK. confetti and sparklers for all the good things I missed (but quietly so as not to disturb Parsnip too much – hope he gets to be one of the successes).

    More good news. The magnificent mr has been coming “home” (to daughter’s place) for a day each of the last few weekends. Provided tomorrow’s family meeting with the assessment and treating team (all 10 of them) goes as we expect, we should be able to have him for A. Whole. Weekend. from next week onwards, one night with daughter, one night here. Though each time we discover more things that need attention or more things that could help with rehab. (Tonight we had Chinese on the way back to the centre, mr couldn’t use chopsticks of course but we realised that practising with chopsticks would help with a couple of fine motor tasks.) He’s also signing up with a website for continuing brain plasticity training and checking.

    I am so very, very tired. He agreed that I could skip visiting this week after tomorrow’s meeting. I’m getting to the stage where I sometimes wonder whether I’m a danger to myself or others when I’m driving the dreary trek to and from. And we all know if you ask that question you already know the answer. So I’m going to have 3 straight days where I can have a middle of the day break. Maybe get fit to cope with him on the weekend. (He’s still inclined to occasional bad-tempered outbursts with an uncomfortable touch of aggression. I don’t cope very well with that when I’m already worn out and in pain.)

    By and large it’s all good. Much better than we might have expected just a few short weeks ago.

  16. rowanvt says

    Parsnip has made it through the night, but still no poo and he hasn’t taken more than an ml or two from his bottle.

  17. carlie says

    Hooray, mildlymagnificent! Get lots and lots of sleep.

    Thanks, opposeablethumbs. It’s going to be some Thursday in June. I have to call on Monday to set the date for sure, and hopefully find out something over the phone or at least ask for what info will be included in the confirmation letter.

  18. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Nick Gotts,

    Nope, it’s not anything as serious.
    In fact, we had a discussion about the word only a couple of days ago, so I should have avoided using it and just gone with strep throat.

  19. A. Noyd says

    Well, the atheist student group at my school has officially decided that it’s more important to be welcoming to girlwriteswhat fans than to people who bluntly object to the posting of that horrible woman’s videos on the group’s Facebook. Mustn’t be “mean” to other group members, see. Fuck, but I hate civility fetishes.

  20. says

    Yay for MrMagnificent’s progress!

    Anklehugs to A. Noyd
    How about them not being mean to you?

    Fingers crossed and thumbs held for Parsnip

    So, I cleaned the balcony today. About 2 months later than usually and I swear every fall that this time I won’t let it get so messed up over winter.
    And I really wish for the people under us to hit a streak of luck and move out. At what point doesn their right to smoke in their flat end and my right to actually have fresh air on my balcony and not something that smells like a bar at 9am on a Monday morning start?

  21. says


    Thanks, Lynna for the link supply (Mormon Madness or not)! I especially appreciate the Beck Is A (false) Alarmist deconstruction at the moment, but always look forward to seeing what you have for us.

    You are quite welcome. Thanks to Portia and others who noted the condescension and “white knighting” in some of the replies to the comments concerning Glenn Beck’s ability to green-dragon almost any issue.

    The main area of confusion seems to be in and around the “no-fly” list and the “terrorist watch list,” along with associated codes used on those lists, with some people mistaking an automatic listing on the “no-fly” list as being equivalent to having been coded as “armed and dangerous” or otherwise bumped up in importance from “Saudi national” to criminal.

    A secondary area of confusion arose when an unrelated Saudi national was flagged as having an expired visa.

    Beck said on his radio program that an “event file” created for Alharbi listed him as an “armed and dangerous” person. A portion of the event file The Blaze released to the public shows Alharbi matched a “no fly” code and had not undergone a sufficient vetting prior to his admission into the United States.

    If you are not used to working with no-fly designations, especially those given temporarily to individuals that law enforcement wants to question, all kinds of misinterpretations can occur. The codes, the list(s), and how and when the codes and lists are used are confusing. Janet Napalitano may be able to keep them straight in her mind, but they are a problem for journalists.

    U.S. officials said documents, including mentions of Section 212 and Alharbi, while they may seem to indicate the Saudi is a dangerous individual, are just a bureaucratic creation in response to an individual being placed on the “no fly” list. … U.S. officials said presenting initial internal reports as evidence is “false and misleading.”

    Another Saudi national from Boston … is set to be deported, not for ties to terrorism, but because his visa expired.

    After the FBI determined Alharbi not to have any ties to the Boston bombing, it just took several days to update records. … if anyone was searching for Alharbi’s name prior to the Boston bombing their search would yield no results

    …In the immediate aftermath of the Boston tragedy, many media outlets reported that law enforcement officials were interrogating an injured Saudi man who had been seen running from the site of the bombs. Authorities that evening searched his residence in suburban Revere.

    Officials later reported that this Saudi was a student and an innocent spectator who had been injured by the blasts and was trying to escape along with many other people on the Marathon route..

    Link to Peter Grier’s article.

    Anyway, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here. There’s plenty of evidence that the Saudi national questioned at the hospital has been cleared of wrong-doing, and is not being deported. I don’t think we can concoct a conspiracy to hoodwink the American public from those facts.

  22. says

    Matt Taibbi, writing for Rolling Stone, has exposed the latest in financial skullduggery for the ripoff it is:

    The obscene greed-and-arrogance stories emanating from Wall Street are piling up so fast, it’s getting hard to keep up. This one is from last week, but I missed it – it’s about the foreclosure/robo-signing settlement that was concluded earlier this year.

    The upshot of this story is that in advance of that notorious settlement, the government ordered banks to hire “independent” consultants to examine their loan files to see just exactly how corrupt they were.

    Now it comes out that not only were these consultants not so independent, not only did they very likely skew the numbers seriously in favor of the banks, and not only were these few consultants paid over $2 billion (over 20 percent of the entire settlement amount) while the average homeowner only received $300 in the deal – in addition to all of that, it appears that federal regulators will not turn over the evidence of impropriety they discovered during these reviews to homeowners who may want to sue the banks….

    Le Sigh.

  23. A. Noyd says

    Giliell (#520)

    Anklehugs to A. Noyd
    How about them not being mean to you?

    Thanks. I would rather they were outright mean than this smug “well, at least we’re not antagonistic meanyheads like you” bullshit. It’s sad and frustrating how the hyperfocus on tone prevents people from understanding more complex forms of interpersonal unpleasantness and antagonism or seeing it in themselves.

  24. rq says

    Hello all.
    Another day of yard work, another day closer to The Perfect Backyard. Hah! As if I’m going to weed all of that regularly. Pffffft.
    Some mild raking and pulling out of the larger chunks, that’s about it… Oh, and more pruning. My right hand was in cramps from yesterday, but still, I cannot resist cutting off the dead bits.

    My best wishes to Parsnip, and *hugs* for you should you wish, I hope the poo comes out and the food goes in and the stress will end!

    *lemon/honey lozenges* for Beatrice, *hugs* *scritches* and etc. for everyone else, along with Best Wishes for others having health issues of all kinds!

  25. says

    A few choice excerpts from Matt Taibbi’s article, referenced in comment #522:

    …..Chase allegedly warned the consultants off their problem loans and incentivized the consultants to examine the less-fucked-up loans. Employees of another of Chase’s auditors, Promontory, were reportedly given gift cards of up to $500 for “completing a certain number of files quickly.”…

    The whole thing was a joke. Government orders banks to hire auditors to investigate robosigning, then banks induce said auditors to robosign the investigation! Because that’s exactly what that would mean, if there were financial incentives to finish masses of files quickly. It’s horrible, obviously, but on another level, it’s so ingeniously corrupt, one almost has to tip a cap to whoever thought of it.

    …it was not even the obscenely overpaid, lapdog consultants who made the final decisions about which homeowners fell into which boxes in terms of settlement compensation. Incredibly, it appears that the banks themselves were allowed to do that sorting process!…

    …Senator Warren: So that leaves us with the banks that broke the law, were then the banks that decided how many people lost their homes because of their lawbreaking. And, as a result, how many people would collect money in each of these categories. Is that right,Mr. Alt? …

    Leave it to Senator Elizabeth Warren to get to the essence of the problem. I wish we had more senators like her.

    Taibbi is good at understatement and sarcasm:

    …that means the gap in the stats was relatively small – Chase’s loans were either 97.2 percent fucked (as HUD found), or 0.6 percent (as Chase/OCC found). Somewhere in between there.

  26. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I’m numb and in shock.

    My ex stopped by last night and my parents just told me about it. Nothing happened – he dropped off his contact information and speed off on his bike while screaming ‘You can’t keep me from my child.’. But he mentioned her birthday coming up in about a month so he’ll be back.

    I don’t want to move. I really don’t want to. Little One loves her friends, her teacher and her school year is over like the day before her birthday. She’s only had one good year (well, a better year at least) and she’s not even 6. It would also leave Roomie screwed and my parents unable to visit if we move.

    I’ve talked to legal people and I can’t get a restraining order because he hasn’t made threats yet and only stopped by twice. I can’t take away his rights because his name isn’t on the birth certificate but he can take me to court and get a DNA test done. If that happens, my chances of keeping him away are nil since the abuse was 5 years ago and not against Little One.

    Not to mention the fact the house is a mess and I’m not working so I’m worried about what the courts/cops will have to say about that regarding my ability to care for her.

    It’s so not fair. =(

    I don’t want to but unless he gets struck by lightening or does something to get arrested, I’m going to have to move.


  27. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I’m so sorry your ex has reappeared to mess with your life. *hugs*

  28. says

    Bleh, more of the same. Salon posted an article titled Don’t stop believin’: Do atheists need a church?

    Sanderson Jones is tall and thin, with sweeping hair and a long, blond beard. He looks not unlike popular renderings of Jesus Christ — except that, on this particular Sunday, Jones wore a patterned tie and pink skinny jeans. As he stood before his beaming congregation, the band struck up a tune: “Wild World,” by Cat Stevens. Jones danced along for a while, gangly beneath the yellow lights. When the song ended, he welcomed us to the Sunday Assembly’s ‘Easter for Atheists’ service.

    The Sunday Assembly is London’s hottest (though not its first) Atheist church. Founded early this year, the Assembly markets itself as a “godless congregation,” which meets monthly “to solace worries, provoke kindness and inject a bit more whizziness into the everyday.” It is, at its most basic, a secular temple, where nonbelievers can enjoy some of the institutional benefits of a traditional church (or mosque, or synagogue) — a sense of community, a thoughtful lecture, a regular and scheduled period of respite — without the thorny incursion of God Almighty. Beyond that, the Assembly peddles wonder: a secular brand of awe with which to view our godless universe.

    While it sounds like people got together for a social occasion and had a great time, I am struggling to see this a “church” or as an “atheist service.”

  29. says

    Shit, I’m sorry. *hugs,* and I wish I could help tangibly.


    Good to hear about the Mr. recovering, and your impending break.

    Scritches for the parsnip, and best wishes for you both.

    A. Noyd
    So how do they square posting her videos with a desire for civility, exactly?
    Hugs and a hot toddy via USB

  30. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says


    Three of those four ‘danger signs’ — Only I have the Truth, the Charismatic Leader, and the End Justifies the Means — are part and parcel to what radical conservatism, and social, economic and cultural fundamentalism, have become here in the US.


    Safe hugs. I hope you can find a safe way?

  31. says

    Three of those four ‘danger signs’ — Only I have the Truth, the Charismatic Leader, and the End Justifies the Means — are part and parcel to what radical conservatism, and social, economic and cultural fundamentalism, have become here in the US.

    Yes, I noticed that too. Quite true.

  32. Pteryxx says

    JAL, I hear you.

    I went back and reviewed your notes from November when he last darkened your path. Are you still in touch with your supportive advocate who was willing to help you get into a shelter? Sounds like it’s time to refresh the plans you had then, and be ready in case he does try something between now and Little One’s birthday / end of school. Make a quick warning to the school again, all of that.

    I can still drive over there in about 24 hours if you have to get away. Shall I email my contact info again? (keeping it off of here, obviously.)

  33. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Threadrupt but I’m thinking about you.

    *pile of hugs and chocolate* Take as needed.

  34. says

    Safe Hugs
    This is the first time he showed up since November?
    It sounds like he’s not really interested in the little one but very much interested in having power over you again. Showing up sporadically, trying obviously to make you contact him.
    I’m glad to hear that there people like Pteryxx close-ish to you who are willing and able to help you out. Let us know if we can do more.

  35. David Marjanović says

    *pile of fluffy chocolate-covered hugs; JAL gets firsties*

    Haven’t caught up otherwise. Will whine at length about that fact. Anyway:

    Subducted crust is recycled. The top layer, water-containing sediments, melts pretty soon and causes andesitic volcanism as seen in the Andes. The rest sinks down and… well… some of it comes back up after at least 2.45 billion years. Lava from some island in the middle of the Pacific (a hot spot) has a sulfur isotope ratio that can only have been caused by UV-induced chemical reactions in air, and that stopped as soon as there was enough oxygen (2.45 Ga ago) for the ozone layer to form. The sulfur compounds with that strange isotope ratio then distributed themselves in the ocean, and hydrothermal activity brought them into the crust. – This fits recent findings that flood basalts (no such eruptions are currently ongoing; they happen once every 10 to 20 million years at most) come from unaltered primordial mantle material: it looks like the mantle is not well mixed.

    Eleven maaaaad scientists made a whole biochemical pathway from scratch – from enzymes from lots of very different species – and put it in Escherichia coli. That pathway makes diesel and kerosene, depending on what fatty acids you feed the bacteria. Not yet commercially viable, but… :-9

    MRI of people with sociopathy.

    At some later point, not necessarily today, I’ll post a few petitions and a whole flood of requests to fund the 2014 election for the US Congress, because some campaigns (against Bachmann and McConnell for instance) have already begun one and a half years in advance.

  36. says

    Yes, Amazon, I clearly want to tell the world on Facebook that I just bought a new vibrator, especially grandma, uncle Henry, and all the people from college.*

    *I’m actually neither on Facebook nor do I have an uncle Henry.

    WMD Kitty
    I you have generally problems keeping track of your meds (don’t look at the person who is glad that her one medication comes in Mo-Fr blisters just like the pill…), there are those handy dispensers where you can sort them by time of day for the whole week in advance.

  37. rowanvt says

    JAL, I can provide fierce kitties and baby snakes as a deterent. Otherwise, hugs if desired.

    Parsnip is starting to eat a bit more of his watered down formula. Still no poo though. Probably because he’s being a poopyhead. If he gets better, he will be getting a foster sister the same age whose name will be Rosemary.

  38. ednaz says

    I am sorry for what you are being put through.
    *hugs* wish I could do something : (

  39. ednaz says

    So glad to hear your good news! Hooray for mr doing so well!

    Lynna OM
    Thanks for the link to Tig Notaro. I saved it so I can check it out later. : )

    Hugs for you and gentle scritches for Parsnip. Thanks for the updates.
    *sending a ‘Please get better soon, Parsnip.’ card through the USB*

    Yay! for being outside. (I know you’re working hard.) Look forward to pictures of roses. : )

    A. Noyd
    *Aggravated for you*

  40. cicely (Searching for gloves in all the wrong places) says

    *hugs* for mildlymagnificent. Take care of yourself, mkay?
    Glad that mistermagnificent is doing well.

    *tentacles crossed* for little Parsnip.

    *big hugs* for JAL. Wish I could do something to help.

    I think my headache and I are going to do drugs and clock out for a short nap.
    Here’s a *large pile of hugs & chocolate-covered manatees* for anyone who needs ’em.

  41. says

    Yeah. I have a medi-set, I was supposed to fill it yesterday, and I didn’t. Then I was all blargh autopilot this morning, and oops! Anyway, the med mix-up happened around 8:00 AM, it’s now nearly eight hours later, and aside from being abnormally calm and anxiety-free, nothing unusual has happened.

    Mom, however, has been a little… yeah. Checking up on me a lot. I get it. I do. It’s her job. But I figure if anything bad or weird was going to happen due to this, it would have happened by now.

  42. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    Just made dinner. An experiment. And it was excellent.

    Cut up two chicken breasts into 2 to 3cm chunks and marinate in 1/4 cup olive oil, four minced cloves of garlic, a little lime juice and some parsley.

    Make a bechamel sauce with 1/8 cup olive oil, enough flour to make a roux, and then add enough warm milk to make a moderately thin sauce. Add 1 teaspoon of powdered chipotle pepper, 1 teaspoon of chile powder, 1/4 cup of cheddar or jack cheese, and some parsley or cilantro. Keep warm.

    Stir fry the chicken with 1/4 cup of mild chile pepper (I used roasted poblano) and one chopped onion.

    Boil water and make some short pasta.

    When the chicken is tender and browned, turn the heat down and add 1/2 cup frozen corn, 1/2 cup frozen peas, and 1/2 cup cooked and drained black beans.

    When the pasta is done, add the seasoned bechamel to the chicken and serve over hot pasta with some grated cheddar cheese.

    There. That should start some sparks.

  43. mildlymagnificent says

    While it sounds like people got together for a social occasion and had a great time, I am struggling to see this a “church” or as an “atheist service.”

    I heard an interview on radio with one of the people who started this one. He has no interest in any resemblance to church services or “functions”, but apparently the woman partner in the exercise _was_ looking for some kind of substitute for that sort of thing. I do think their motto, for want of a better word, works pretty well.

    Live better, help often, wonder more.

    The events are structured around these themes. One aspect that struck me while listening (and driiiving, again) was their emphasis on community singing, a great exercise for a DJ or music programmer finding appropriate music. Apparently a great favourite is “Lean on me” which sounds pretty OK, especially for the help often sentiment, but my heart sank when I thought about the possibilities for “Bridge over troubled water”. I can’t remember how I felt about it before, but it was utterly destroyed for me when a couple of friends made their marriage service – by reading alternate verses to each other.

    Though you can’t really criticise something which attracts people to come out and listen to a scientist or other presenter talk about astronomy or technology as part of the wonder more segment of each event. Reminded me a bit of those Mechanics Institutes or Workers Educational Associations which flourished in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

  44. says

    I cannot seem to connect online from my laptop. I keep getting an “authentication required” screen, any time I try to visit any site. It is asking me for a username and password for Netopis-3000. I have never seen this message before and I have been online at work before.

  45. says

    It sounds like your workplace has started securing their wifi. Try “guest” and “password” for the username/password. If that doesn’t work, try the name of the business for both fields. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to ask someone or try to find where it’s written down.

  46. A. Noyd says

    Here’s some surplus kitty snuggles for people going through crappy stuff.

    Also, I’m taking my first history test in like 20 years tomorrow, and I always sucked at history. Can we say “stress”?

  47. rq says

    Good morning!
    *hugs* and *scritches* and a *ray of sunshine* for everyone, for the magnificents and for all the kitties in the room, and for anyone who’s feeling down and wants a pick-me-up.

    Morning link round-up to follow.
    Death in Shakespeare’s tragedies: and Portia eats hot coals!
    For Tony: alcohol flavours not to stock in the bar.
    More respect for women needed (this one made me tear up a bit, not only on the inside).
    Australians: Is there anybody who likes Gillard? :(
    And some fun with Obama Daniel Day Lewis.
    To finish off, can anyone else find PZ in this image?

  48. chigau (違う) says

    I need to sleep…
    Spring is sprung hugs for everyone (especially those where it’s actually Fall)
    [Parsnip: take a dump, already!]

  49. rq says

    Thank you for reminding me; I have some new pictures of the yard from last week I forgot to put up! But I’ll do it today. (The good news is, it looks like all the rose bushes have survived my pruning after all. ;) )

  50. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, ednaz! That “good parent” is a very very kind thing to say, though I don’t agree with your conclusion. I don’t mean to say I’m a seriously (or even drama-llama-ish-ly) dreadful one or anything like that, but the heavily-overquoted Larkin was mostly right – there’s probably always some way in which one fucks up child-wrangling despite the best intentions … it’s all muddling through and maybe getting a bit right and a lot wrong and just trying to fail better.

    As for the centipede-spider exchange, you’re on :-)
    Shit, JAL, I’m so sorry! That’s so fucked up … ugh. I hope it’s possible for there to be a way of keeping him away :-(((.
    Glad to read your good news, mildlymagnificent, but sorry you’re so exhausted. Don’t forget to look after yourself too …
    Hope you get some rest now/very very soon!
    Keeping all my fingers xd for Parsnip (come on, Parsnip!!!!)
    Unbelievably cool that it is possible to study some lava on an island in the middle of the ocean and know it was last on the surface of the planet 2 3/4 billion years ago!
    Good luck with the history test, A.Noyd.
    And with the gardening, rq – sounds like you, unlike me, actually know what you are doing. We can’t even grow weeds.

  51. rq says

    *ahem* I’ll admit. The previous owners were avid avid gardeners and have giant garden plots all set up and growing all sorts of … things. All we have to do is weed and prune, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to let about half the garden area grow in a nice lawn eventually. The roses can stay and some of the other bulbous plants, but really, if I had to plant all that, I wouldn’t.
    What you say about parenting is true. I’m pretty sure I’m doing a lot of things wrong. A few things right, but some days I just don’t know at all. It’s one of the worst wait-and-see projects I’ve ever had, since results take so long to come in.

    Belated *hugs* for JAL, I can only wish you the very very best and hope all is well!!!
    (*spits* in general direction of asshole-ex)

  52. says

    Why is Pharyngula showing up at random widths? The default seems strangely wide; the text doesn’t resize based upon window size for no apparent reason, and some threads the whole page is rendering as super-wide.

  53. blf says

    Advanced parenting techniques (part N of many), Girl, 14, forced to become pregnant with donor sperm bought by mother:

    Judge describes ‘wicked and selfish’ motive of using daughter to provide parent with a fourth child

    A mother forced her 14-year-old adopted daughter to inseminate herself with donor sperm to provide a baby for her after she was prevented from adopting any more children, it can be revealed.

    The daughter, a virgin, is believed to have miscarried at 14, but went on to have a baby at 16 after regularly inseminating herself with sperm bought over the internet by her “domineering” mother because she was too scared to refuse.

    The adoptive mother, who cannot be identified for fear of identifying her daughter and grandchild, is now serving a five-year prison sentence after admitting child cruelty.

    The truth was only discovered at the birth. Midwives were alarmed at the “pushy and insensitive” mother, who tried to prevent her daughter breastfeeding the newborn, saying “we don’t want any of that attachment thing”. Noticing the daughter’s reluctance to hand the baby to her mother, they called in child protection workers when the mother attempted to remove the baby from the ward.

    The mother, described as “highly articulate”, and who “loves the children and they undoubtedly love her”, had isolated the family. The children were schooled at home, and the adoptive father of the eldest two was deliberately excluded, did not know where they lived and had not seen them for 10 years. Neighbours and social services were kept at bay.

    Her mother had purchased ovulation-testing equipment to work out when her daughter was most likely to conceive. Because the mother wanted a girl, she forced her daughter to use painful acidic douches containing vinegar or lemon and lime juice, and eat a special diet, in the belief it could affect gender.

  54. bluentx says

    Come on Parsnip! You can do it! Go!Cat!Go! [Apologies to Dr. Seuss]

    Haven’t gotten to the links @ #557 rq but I will…

    Why is Pharyngula showing up at random widths?

    A test of loyalty from The Overlord(s)? Strange things have been happening at FtB for weeks now (on my end) whether at work or on my wonky personal laptop. Glad to know (from multiple mentions) that it’s not just me. A person could get parinoid around here.

    Oh! FFS, Crissa! That story is just horrifying! [Not a criticism of you sharing it but horrifying that people like that [Mommie Dearest] actually exist!]

  55. bluentx says

    And to think– George W. was only unintentionally funny! [See rq‘s Daniel Day Louis link @ #557]

  56. rq says

    Who needs spelling, anyway? :)

    I have checked email, and will respond later this evening (but you can say a pre-emptive Thanks You on my behalf, but mostly a giant You’re Welcome)! Thanks for the heads-up.


    Well, either I really am cursed, or doing yardwork all day in rather chilly spring rain has given me a (hopefully) mild headcold (fever and full sinuses). As much as I like the supernatural explanation, I think I’m going to have to go with natural consequences, since Husband has the same symptoms but wasn’t doused with zombie-water.
    The kids, thanks, are perfectly healthy.
    I see this working out exceptionally well for all involved.

  57. birgerjohansson says

    A couple of goats or sheep will generally solve any problems with abundant weed.

    Experimental ccoking: “Experiment” makes me think of Mythbusters. Or is it too soon to joke about explosions? Flamethrowers, maybe. And squid.

    I have put my tax stuff in order, it will feel good to send it off.

  58. bluentx says

    A couple of goats or sheep will generally solve any problems with abundant weed.

    But if you want anything not eaten your energy/money will have to be expended in goat/sheep-proof fencing… (practically impossible)- in my experience.

  59. rq says

    Yeah, the goats and sheep really take care of weeds… And everything else that grows. Nuh-uh, thanks, I have big plans for my future as a rose aficionado. I’d rather the ruminants didn’t get to them first (but we have considered a sheep for lawn-maintenance purposes – cuts and fertilizes, with added benefit of wool!).

    And Husband got cursed… by proxy? I suppose that works, if marriage makes us into one whole (as opposed to two halves). Hah. Too bad I couldn’t pass off labour pains to him by proxy. Or that horrible sinus infection I had that one time.

  60. bluentx says

    Too bad I couldn’t pass off labour pains to him by proxy.

    Weeeelll…you could wish/curse Husband to pass a few kidney stones. I’ve had both and told my Ex, “You got a taste of what labor is like (he’s had k -stones).”

  61. bluentx says

    A thousand years of changes in Europe.

    Cool! –as were the groceries.
    Can I have an autograph rq? I’m a fan of your ability to find: Diversity of Links!

  62. blf says

    Experimental ccoking: “Experiment” makes me think of Mythbusters.

    I was thinking of the recent Adventures With FOOF. Or the mildly deranged penguin’s tendency to confuse a flamethrower for an oven.

  63. bluentx says

    Before the catastrophe, West paramedic Bryce Reed and others would always say they were from “West comma Texas” to avoid confusion with the western part of Texas.

    “Now, you don’t have to do that anymore, and that sucks,” said Reed

    Yeah, it does suck and it is true…

    Highlights! :

    Texas is sooo proud to be his home…
    Wait— whaaat? :


  64. blf says

    Qatar returns statues to Greece amid nudity dispute:

    Culture clash erupts after Greek minister visits Doha show and spots ancient treasures covered in strategically placed cloth

    The dispute, though authorities are not calling it that, broke when Greece’s culture minister, Costas Tzavaras, arrived in Doha last month to discover the “anatomically challenging” treasures cloaked in cloth for fear of offending female spectators.

    Mystery … shrouds the affair. [Ha ha! –blf] The show, which had previously been hosted in Berlin, features more than 700 artworks from around Greece, including numerous nude statues. It remains unclear why Qatari authorities had taken such umbrage over the antiquities in question, although officials in Athens described the young athletes — both from Eleusis — as being especially beautiful.

  65. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Morning everyone.

    I’m totally ‘rupt, I was migraine central from late Saturday night to early this morning. But I am on the mend.* (Footnote for the non-squeamish among us). Now to recuperate. I’m a little cranky because yesterday was the prettiest day of the year so far, and I was totally bedridden. But today should be nearly as beautiful, with just a small chance of rain later. Hope everyone’s weekend was great. Now to catch up.

    *I hate throwing up through my nose, don’t you?

  66. says

    I have tried several of the flavored vodkas on that list and find them yummy. Bubble gum vodka mixed with a dash of Sprite and cranberry juice is tasty. Whipped, marshmallow, or cake tastes good with gingerale.

  67. rq says

    Leave it to you, to find a use for the most distasteful of items (like Peas). :) I don’t like bubble-gum flavour as a rule, but if you say it works!

    *anti-migraine medication* and some warm tea to recover.
    You’re really having them often. Migraines shouldn’t be this close together, you know… :/ I know you say medical coverage is crap and all that, but you’re having a lot of migraines. If they’re really migraine-migraines (not that I’m disputing the terrible-ness of your feelings, but they may be migraines induced by… something else?).
    Or else something around you (in the air? food? water? *gasp*) is being a major migraine trigger. Which also sucks.
    I’m going to repeat myself and say, Have someone take a look at you/your head. (But yes, I know, insurance and pre-existing conditions. It’s more just to let you know I’m worrying about it.)

    It’s easy to find these things… I go through my Facebook feed. :) I have about 2 or 3 useful friends (most are all about Jesus and instagrammed food and We had this awesome party, thanks everyyyooonne!!). Sometimes interesting things pop up unexpectedly in Latvian news sources, but my main fishing hole is Facebook.
    I suppose it says something about the diversity of my network. *shrug*
    Although, there are some things I’d love to link to but I can’t find them on google (that is, I can’t seem to pull together the right collection of keywords to find them) or they’re in Latvian.
    Oh, but I can give you an autograph. ;) It’ll be expensive later, so guard it well. Here’s an extra, for eBay, when the timecomes! *furious incomprehensible scribbles*

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

    Also threadrupt.


    Last night when we were getting ready for make up story, little #2 (almost 5 yo, she’ll tell you) was talking animatedly about our day at the aquarium. We had gone (just the 2 of us – she had forbidden Ms Crip Dyke to go, which is a bit of a milestone in itself, seeing as I’m the step and usually when it just *has* to be one parent, it’s always Ms and not me) for the day and seen the Belugas interacting with trainers twice & the dolphins w/ trainers once. She was all abuzz. She was talking about how they were amazing animals and could do this and that – all very accurate and some of it impressively detailed or abstruse.

    Then she said the most amazing thing: Dolphins, she would have us know, can walk on land. When they have enemies on the land they swim away under water, but when they have enemies that stay in the water, they just walk away onto land.

    I swear I gave her no prompting at all – haven’t even talked to her about the super-hero RPG I used to run where the main character was my friend’s “Orca”. This was straight out of the mouths of babes.

    I consider it clear evidence of were-dolphins – far better than Colton Burpo’s evidence, and that got the kid on the Today show.

    So, there. Consider your assertion proved.

  69. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    Land-walking dolphins? :O They better watch out for Eldest’s (5 and a half, thank you very much) Giant Snake who is Ordinary by day but turns Giant at night and s/he lives in a pit but s/he likes taking walks on rooftops, where s/he jumps from roof to roof (coiled like a spring, that’s right) and catches tigers, who are always afraid but aren’t fast enough.
    He knows all this is true because he read it on the info-plate for snakes at the zoo, but the writing changed so no one else can see the Magic Message anymore.
    (Seemed tangentially related!)


    This says middle-class problems, but I’ve always thought of myself as middle, and these seem way out of my league…
    And because I needed more travel destinations. (At least many of them seem to be in Japan and China… That’s close together, right?)

  70. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    rq, you’re right. I do appreciate the concern. Before long, with business increasing this way, I might feel like I have the resources to go to Urgent Care and get a prescription. We’ll see. The migraines have been happening every weekend for the last few months, it seems like, with few exceptions. This one may well have been triggered by the overdose of sugar at Cousin’s one-year-old’s birthday party yesterday. Sugar has been known to be my enemy before.

    The worst part (after the incessant vomiting and the searing pain) was having to hide from the lovely sunshine outside. I so wanted to get out and enjoy it. Ah well.

    Thanks for worrying, friend. Hopefully I can get a real solution soon.

    That’s really cute story, and yay for Littler #2 picking you! that’s so sweet.

  71. blf says

    Weredolphins? Now what have I missed…?

    Anyways, the mildly deranged penguin just pointed they’re no match for oysters, the Nac Mac Feegle of the Seas.

    Oysters? Nac Mac Feegle of the Seas?

    You’ve heard of blue oyster soup, right? That’s proof! They’re small, nasty (don’t ever get one in your trousers), and it’s blue.

  72. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    rq At least they’re not saying “White People Problems” or “First World Problems” because those two make me uncomfortable and annoyed.

    Hooray for good news and progress and rest time for you. *hugs*

  73. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I’m sorry about the migraines. *sterilized hugs* (it looks like mine was the beginning of a cold and not allergy)

  74. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Thanks, Beatrice. I hope your cold is but a flash in the pan, gone as quickly as it is realized. *tea*?

  75. rq says

    [thought] Does flashing a cold on a pan look anything at all similar to throwing sawdust/flour into a bonfire? [/thought]

  76. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. If I cook when I’m ill, I always take care to wash my hands all the time, even if I just thought about sneezing. Literally! There’s no cold in the pan.

  77. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    re. middle class problems
    Conspiracy theory:
    That’s not middle class. That’s what They want you to believe is middle class.

    Damn. Call me a conspiracy kook, but that actually makes sense to me.

  78. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    *And when I say the birthday party was yesterday, I of course mean Saturday. My brain apparently forgot yesterday was a day because I totally lost it from my life. : |

  79. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    Now that I’ve read through all the “middle class problems” tweets, I conclude an asshole made the compilation.
    1. those are middle class problems because he says so. I’m convinced!!
    2. some make it obvious that the person has money, but some could have been written by people who aren’t well off, but sometimes buy starbucks coffee (shock and horror)
    3. twitter is sirius biznes, so it’s completely outrageous to expect that someone would joke about tweeting despite a horrific injury such as a paper cut or starbucks being out of their favorite latte
    4. I guess whinging about my cold means I have “middle class problems” compared to Portia’s migraines or Caine’s pancreas or PZ’s heart

    … Um, I don’t know why I got angry at this stupid buzzfeed “Another 500 things about this shit or other”

  80. says

    Now that she’s retired, Sandra Day O’Connor is saying what she really thinks:

    “Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision,” she said. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”

    So, yeah, the SC should not have been involved in the decision that gave the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000.

  81. opposablethumbs says

    Portia, I’m really sorry – that is one shitty way to lose a day. I’m guessing you’ve probably tried anything I can think of, so just Tea and Hugs here :-(
    I like the sound of your step-little-one, Crip Dyke!

  82. blf says

    I do not care how much it snows.
    I have put the shovels away.

    If you don’t move (shovel) the snow out of the way, then there will be no room for any more snow. This hurts the snow’s feelings — you’re not welcoming it anymore — and it will go away.

    And cry.

    Expect rain. Lots and lots of rain.
    (Which, according to the mildly deranged penguin, will hopefully freeze, creating glaciers and other fun things…)

  83. chigau (違う) says

    If the MDP wants glaciers, she should fly back to the North Pole.
    (while there’s still time)

  84. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    My daughter has decided that tooth fairies are like social insects, with a “tooth-fairy-godmother” queen who gives birth to hundreds of tooth fairies every year.

    Also, mermaids have sex like humans, but keep their genitals tucked inside their bodies for streamlining. O.o

  85. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Last month, as he prepared to shutter his shelter, he said that when he’d left his marriage two decades earlier, he was frustrated not merely by the lack of services for men, but the default narrative of male-as-abuser. “When I went into the community looking for some support services, I couldn’t find any,” he said. “There were a lot for women, and the only programs for men were for anger management. As a victim, I was re-victimized by having these services telling me that I wasn’t a victim, but I was a perpetrator … I basically tried to commit suicide,” he said, “because I couldn’t do anything.”


    You can tell the MRAs aren’t serious because they waste all their time trolling feminists instead of trying to do something about the above.

  86. rq says

    I like that idea about tooth fairies. It kind of makes sense.

    Yeah, it’s pointless to get pissed off about it. I’m sure it was meant as a light-hearted giggle by some entitled idiot who was probably attempting to laugh at himself.

  87. rq says

    Did you spell the email right? I do not seem to have it… :/ Not in junk, either!
    taarpinsh (at) hotmail (dot) com

  88. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I know. Um…. it’s the cold meds? (which I took about 10 hours ago)
    ….. it’s the lack of cold meds

  89. The Mellow Monkey says

    Also, mermaids have sex like humans, but keep their genitals tucked inside their bodies for streamlining.

    This reminds me of a romance novel I read once about a mermaid and an angel. The descriptions of the mermaid’s vagina only being accessible from behind would have made me throw the big into a wall if it hadn’t been on my Nook.

    It’s generally a bad idea to put your angelic penis through a spine.

  90. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    Yesterday was not a fun day.

    Took WIfe to the hospital with an infection on her leg (proximal posterior femur, inflamed area extending 12cm medial-lateral and 6cm proximal-distal). No idea what it is but she was given dilaudid and a huge dose of antibiotics and is now on sulfa meds.

    Our favourite Mexican restaurant burned yesterday and will be closed for a month or more.

    I got rear-ended on the drive home from work. About a 20kmh impact with, amazingly, no damage to either car (got hit by a Honda Accord). I tensed before impact and my back is a little tweaky right now.

    Oreo and Dust had a barf-a-palooza in the kitchen last night.

    I had to throw away some nice beef stew (had only been in the fridge for 4 days!) because of some weird dark green fur.

    And it is cold and rainy.

  91. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Oh, man, Og. That is so rough. I hope your wife is ok. I hope your back relaxes soon. *hugs*

    (Sorry if I’m missing anything upthread directed at me, I’m slowly but surely catching up. Lots of work today (hooray))

  92. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I hope your wife recovers quickly.
    For a moment there I thought throwing away beef stew and Oreo and Dust having a barf-a-apalooza were connected (as in barf in stew)
    Take care of yourself, rest. Both because of worrying and because of your back.

  93. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says


    I took a muscle relaxer last night and I can take another one tonight to keep things from tightening up. Weird — slam-bam impact and no damage to either car. They must have hit just right.

    Wife is buried in goats and sleeping soundly. Hopefully the drugs will nip this thing quickly.

  94. cicely says

    Girl, 14, forced to become pregnant with donor sperm bought by mother:

    :( :( :(

    *I hate throwing up through my nose, don’t you?

    So much!
    *careful hugs*

    @Crip Dyke:
    It’s good to have independent corroboration for the existence of were-dolphins.
    Something about repeatability and Science.

    re. middle class problems
    Conspiracy theory:
    That’s not middle class. That’s what They want you to believe is middle class.
    Damn. Call me a conspiracy kook, but that actually makes sense to me.

    Quite possibly true, though. After all, according to Mitt Romney, “middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.”

    There’s no cold in the pan.

    Especially when you use a flamethrower.

    Or napalm!

    Vaginocracy? (And with claws!) Groovy!

    I thought it was teeth.
    Although…”red of tooth and claw”?

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis. That’s a lot of suckage to pack into a single day. Next time, try to spread it out more.

  95. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis. That’s a lot of suckage to pack into a single day. Next time, try to spread it out more.

    On the bright side, that’s two days in a row with no triggers and no nightmares (though I did have an odd dream last night involving a Balrog, some of Chris’ bunnies, a bottle of Peach Schnapps, and some curried donuts (not the company, Curry Donuts, I mean actual curried donuts)).

  96. says

    Ogvorbis, I had a dream about a baby name Peach Fuzz. I think there were bunnies, (somewhat malformed, but recognizable), and Peach Snapps. I think we may have been in the same dream.

  97. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says


    Yes, goats. Mr. Flannel Butz, Pete Ziege, Feta, Jahlbock, Briar, Ophelia and Vincent van Goat.

  98. says

    Congress has a patriarchal attitude toward D.C. This often takes the form of condescension toward the cities mostly African American residents.

    “When my kids were young — teenagers — they wanted budget autonomy, too. You allow them to go their own way. When they get out of line, according to the Constitution, the Congress has the right to step in.” [quote from Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican]

    The patriarchal attitude also shows up in bills Congress can’t pass anywhere else, bills to restrict the rights of women.

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is bringing back a bill to ban most abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy. […]

    It will be opposed by supporters of abortion rights and the D.C. “home rule” movement, which believes Congress should not set policy in the District.

    In a statement last week, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) vowed to defeat the Franks bill on behalf of District women. “We will combat the insatiable Republican obsession with interfering with the rights of women in our city, as we have successfully done before,” she said.

    The Hill link.

  99. rowanvt says

    *super duper hugs offered* for you and your wife, Ogvorbis. I’d also happily steal your rainy and cold. That part sounds like a good day to *me*. Too hot here now.

    Parsnip is still alive. He’s started eating a more normal amount, but no poo yet. :/ A part of me wants to hold him snugly, with his butt facing away from me, and then start spinning in circles.

  100. opposablethumbs says

    Buried in goats??? I notice chigau also seems to be wondering about this.

    Hope your wife is ok, Ogvorbis. Sounds nasty; hope the drugs zap the infection quickly.

    Assorted hugs to all who would care for one, especially if you happen to be a recent recoverer from migraine. Or a really bad day.

  101. says

    Maddow Blog link. Another sports star has come out as gay.

    The NBA’s Jason Carter wrote a lengthy piece for Sports Illustrated, doing what no professional male athlete in team sports has ever done.

    I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.

    I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand….

  102. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    A part of me wants to hold him snugly, with his butt facing away from me, and then start spinning in circles.

    in the bathroom, I hope

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

    @Og –
    Condolences. Hope the back gets better.

    @Opposable thumbs –
    Thanks. She is quite the love-a-matic. Kind of like a virus, actually. Input the raw materials and she not only produces love on her own, she co-opts the organisms around her to make even more love.

    That’s totally a complement, y’know.

    @Portia –
    Thanks. It’s not the first time she’s picked me (I get picked pretty much every night for stories, mainly b/c I don’t know when to shut up so they get longer stories from me), but it’s the first time she’s picked me *and* forbidden mom from even being present *and* it was for something lasting hours on end. So it seemed different.


    It’s good to have independent corroboration for the existence of were-dolphins.

    Something about repeatability and Science.

    That’s what I’m saying. I’m ready to take on William Lane Craig on the existence of were-dolphins any time he thinks his Sophisticated Theology can handle the challenge.

  104. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Thanks, opposablethumbs. *snuggles up in a big hug pile*

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

    Oops, forgot Giant Snake [scroll, scroll, Ah! rq!]

    Giant snake sounds sneaky, and the magic message – that’s total awesomesauce.

  106. Pteryxx says

    hang on let it all out, Parsnip! (rowanvt: as long as there’s room to swing a cat, neh?)

    via Cracked, a series of good things. Fair warning, a couple of them involve swarms of women in bikinis, but in my opinion #1 totally deserves it.

    A couple of references backing up the best ones:

    Millionaire uses fortune to help kids in a struggling town

    In 1993, self-made millionaire Harris Rosen adopted the neighborhood of Tangelo Park, Florida
    Its 3000 residents suffered from high crime and highschool grad rate of 25%
    He provided ALL families with free daycare and ALL graduating highschoolers with full ride scholarships into Florida state colleges
    Today the crime rate is halved and the grad rate is 100%

    Cancer patient receives a 3D printed face

    By creating scans of what was left of his skull and using computers to recreate what his face would look like, they were able to use a new type of printer that builds up layer upon layer of nylon plastic to produce the exact components they would need.

    It has transformed the father-of-two’s life, allowing him to drink his first glass of water and taste food for the first time since he underwent surgery to remove the tumour. Until now he has had to feed and drink through a tube directly into his stomach.

  107. Parrowing says

    Here’s another hug for your pile, Portia. Hope they all keep future migraines at bay :(


    Crip Dyke:

    I mentioned earlier that I hoped I’d be able to send you an email. I don’t want to bother you but I thought you might not have seen my earlier post as you were threadrupt. If you like, shoot me a quick line. My email is my nym at yahoo dot com. If you’re too busy or just don’t want to, don’t worry about it :).


    Pretty much the same as what I wrote to Crip Dyke. I also don’t want to bother you, so if you don’t wanna, don’t worry about it :).


    Krasnaya Koshka, you should have mail :) If you don’t, I did something wrong :-/


    C’mon, Parsnip, you can poop. I know you can! You are beyond impressive, rowanvt.

  108. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    Maybe we could invoke a cheerleading squad for Parsnip?

    All together now:

    Push it out!
    Shove it out!
    Waaaay out!

    Push it out!
    Shove it out!
    Waaaay out!

    C’mon, everybody!

    Push it out!
    Shove it out!
    Waaaay out!

    Push it out!
    Shove it out!
    Waaaay out!


    Those of you who have been to American hand-egg games at the college or high school level will understand. Those who haven’t, I am a little bit jealous.

  109. Parrowing says

    I almost wrote a cheer of my own and now I’m glad I waited. “Push it out! Shove it out! Waaaay out! Go Parsnip!”

  110. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    Maybe you could explain what “hand-egg games” are, because I’m having all kinds of ideas about them.

  111. rq says

    Geez, I go to have dinner, and it’s like everyone woke up!

    That is one sucky day. Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Wife, muscle relaxants for your back, and hopefully the barf-a-palooza and green fur don’t make a comeback!

    Crip Dyke
    Giant Snake is the Sneakest Snake in Snakedom, as I got to hear again today. :)

    I don’t suppose they make kitten-sized enemas?

  112. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    ooooooooh, “hand-egg”
    I get it.

    I’m a bit slow

  113. says

    Speedy recovery to all those under the weather.

    Thanks for the links. The food for a week is a bit scary…
    Here are 27 obsolete words (with cudddly owls!)
    I’ve always needed resistentialism – the seemingly malevolent behaviour displayed by inanimate objects. I also like fuzzle and quockerwodger.

  114. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    I vote that ‘beef-witted’ be admitted forthwith to the Pharyngula vocabulary as an acceptable way to call someone beef-witted!

  115. says

    Hopelessly behind as usual – and trying to catch up (reading April 23 right now) but had to post to say Ogvorbis #553 on older thread – WOW! Thank you so much for that wonderful essay on the Grand Canyon. I enjoyed it thoroughly and am passing it on to my daughter. We visited the Canton this past February and like Lynna, I really enjoyed the peace and stillness of the late winter there. We visited the museums in the area and iit makes me so happy to think that we looked at rock samples that were possibly excavated by you! I was telling my daughter about you, actually – that you had grown up in national parks, etc – so funny how even as just a reader here (and very occasional poster) I feel sort of like this is a community of great people in my neighborhood! Anyway, Ogvorbis, I wonder if the larger rock samples that they now have lining the rim path (south side) illustrating the canyon time line might be from the samples you lugged up out of hte canyon? Whether they are or not, though, I am thrilled to have your story and also your essay on the canyon to add to my memories about that amazing place!

    rowanvt Parsnip is adorable! Oh oh OH!!!

    I’ll just drop off a big armful of assorted hugs, tasty snacks and fortifying hot beverages for everyone and get back to catching up!

  116. opposablethumbs says

    ::joins in the Parsnip demo, marches, bangs drum, waves banner, swings football rattle, drives other demonstrators mad with vuvuzela::

    Good luck, rowanvt. Hoping to read good news soon.

  117. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    Anyway, Ogvorbis, I wonder if the larger rock samples that they now have lining the rim path (south side) illustrating the canyon time line might be from the samples you lugged up out of hte canyon?

    Possible, but I doubt it. The samples we took up are in the Yavapai Point museum (my Mom painted the maps in there back in ’77) and started out as 10-pound rocks and got smaller. The new Visitor Center and all the landscaping is from the 1990s and 2000s, long after my impact there.

    Glad you enjoyed the reprint of an old blog post.

  118. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    ::joins in the Parsnip demo, marches, bangs drum, waves banner, swings football rattle, drives other demonstrators mad with vuvuzela::

    Just wait until the 140-piece marching band shows up. That’ll scare the poop right out of little Parsnip.

  119. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Obvorbis – I’m sorry your yesterday was so difficult, and I hope your wife heals quickly. *hugs and chocolate*

    Portia – Frequent migraines are dreadful. (I sometimes get into a recurring cycle that can last a month–with no idea what triggered them. But I can honestly and thankfully say I have never had nose-related occurrences with them.) *hugs*

    rowanvt – Poor Parsnip. I hope he poops soon. *gentle hugs for both of you*

  120. says

    *hugs* to you and your wife, and I hope you both recover quickly.


    Also, mermaids have sex like humans, but keep their genitals tucked inside their bodies for streamlining

    Well, they make much more sense if you presume that they have the lower halves of dolphins, rather than fish, which the illustrations support; they’ve got horizontal flukes like cetaceans, not vertical like fish. Therefore, they presumably have similar genital arrangements, which do indeed involve retractable genitals (Also semi-prehensile phalluses, which gives some amusing images of merfolk home life).

    That make me think of How To Be A ‘Reverse-Racist’: An Actual Step by Step List For Oppressing White People

  121. says

    When Mitt Romney lost the election he was completely taken by surprise. He and his fellow Republicans have a habit of ignoring polls they don’t like. And they have not learned their lesson.

    During 2012, Public Policy Polling (PPP) had the best track record of any pollster in the country. PPP is now showing that Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is in even worse shape than Mitch McConnell (37% approval rating for McConnell, previously a record low for Senators).

    McConnell’s campaign manager responded to his candidate’s poor showing by saying, “On the first day of Republican Campaign Manager School, they teach us to ignore PPP polls. You see, PPP is a partisan Democrat polling firm, and they make their living giving the Democrat Party numbers they want to see.”

    Senator Flake has an approval rating of 32%. So, of course he blames the pollsters.

    Responding to a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling that showed his popularity in the gutter, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Monday questioned the accuracy of the pollster. […]

    “If we believed PPP polls,” Flake told The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis, “I wouldn’t be here at all.”

    Pure bullshit on Flake’s part, since PPP polls accurately predicted his win.

    This counts as Moment of Mormon Madness since Flake is a mormon. The dismissal of polls is a moment of Republican madness, but layering on the extra icing of bullshit is a signature MMM move.

  122. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Love the misandrist tips and the reverse racism guide. :D

  123. says

    Possible, but I doubt it. The samples we took up are in the Yavapai Point museum (my Mom painted the maps in there back in ’77) and started out as 10-pound rocks and got smaller. The new Visitor Center and all the landscaping is from the 1990s and 2000s, long after my impact there.

    Cool, we were there (I looked it up so I’m sure. LOL).

    rowanvt, I’ll add my voice to the encouragement for Parsnip to please get moving

    Hugs (if wanted – also comforting foods and beverages) to everyone recovering from colds, infections and headaches. Ugh, T’is the season, isn’t it?

  124. rq says

    Now you can be hateful to everyone! Equally! [/snark]
    (Note: In the misandrist link, this line:

    Drinking increases your risk of being attacked by a misandrist. They target drunk men because their inhibitions are lowered.

    made me wonder whose inhibitions were lowered – the misandrists’ or the drunk men’s? I know what was meant, but on my first reading, I thought it was the misandrists whose inhibitions were lowered. Had an extra laugh about that.)

  125. says

    Good evening
    I is going to be a bad girl and go to bed instead of working half an hour on my presentation. Everything I would write now would be so shitty I’d need twice the time to correct it anyway.

    Hugs for Portia

    Big hugs for Mrs. Ogvorbis Hope the antibiotics kick in fast.


    This says middle-class problems, but I’ve always thought of myself as middle, and these seem way out of my league…

    Well, i can totally emphasize with #6…

  126. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    rq: from your 557, I love the Shakespeare link. I was brutally murdered as Young MacDuff in MacBeth, about 6 years ago :D

    And “Exeunt, pursued by bear” was one of our favorite jokes in the Shakespeare troupe. Maybe I should audition for a show, they’re still doing productions…

  127. says

    Let’s talk about education:

    …much of our public conversation about education is focused on the wrong culprits: we blame failing schools and the behavior of the poor for trends that are really the result of deepening income inequality and the behavior of the rich.

    Excerpt is from No Rich Child Left Behind by Sean Reardon, writing for the New York Times.

  128. says

    Another quote from Sean Reardon’s article, referenced in comment #665:

    What is news is that in the United States over the last few decades these differences in educational success between high- and lower-income students have grown substantially.

    One way to see this is to look at the scores of rich and poor students on standardized math and reading tests over the last 50 years. When I did this using information from a dozen large national studies conducted between 1960 and 2010, I found that the rich-poor gap in test scores is about 40 percent larger now than it was 30 years ago.

  129. says

    Here’s some news that may interest the tech-savvy, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had an Instagram account, a Twitter account and a VK Russian social networking profile. Shortly before the bombings in Boston, he deleted the Instagram account, but CNN techies have managed to find snippets from the deleted account.

    … The digital traces that remain show that Tsarnaev added a “like” on several photos referring to Chechnya that were posted by other Instagram users. One shows Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, a onetime government official who later masterminded terrorist attacks against Russia. Basayev was killed in 2006.
    Another pro-Chechnya image that Tsarnaev “liked” carries a string of hashtags including #FreeChechenia #Jihad #Jannah #ALLAH #Jesus and #God. An academic Chechnya expert whom CNN consulted said the images illustrated a familiarity with Chechen politics and iconography. …

  130. says

    Congress critters were quick to seek a solution to delayed flights, but are willing let unemployed people rot:

    … On Monday, New Hampshire residents receiving new emergency unemployment benefits—designed to assist people who have been without work for more than 26 weeks—will see their checks shrink by about 17 percent due to sequestration cuts….

    Also laying down the sequestration hammer on the long-term unemployed on Monday: Utah, which will cut its benefits by 12.8 percent. The move is expected to impact roughly 4,000 citizens, according to the Deseret News. Alabama’s 12.8-percent cuts (affecting about 16,500 people) and Rhode Island’s 12.2-percent cut (affecting about 8,000 people) both go into effect this week as well….


  131. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Belated *hugs* and *wellwishes* for JAL. I hope you can get away from the ex with minimal disruption to your little one. : (

  132. says

    niftyatheist @670,

    #665 Lynna,
    This is disturbing if unsurprising. ugh

    Right. We wish we could be more surprised. The rich get not just richer, but start out with an educational head start that continues for them throughout their educational careers. And then, inevitably, they see themselves as superior for other reasons, reasons that allow them to view the poor and the middle class with disdain.

    They are also continuing their efforts to defund public education, followed by claiming that public education is failing our children; and therefore we need private and charter schools that are raking in money for rich folks to take over.

  133. birgerjohansson says

    Cannot a vet give Parsnip an enema???

    — — — — — — — — — — — —
    I realise it may seem boorish to criticize American politics and never Swedish politics here, but the truth is Swedish political controversies are so Meh! no one would be interested. When I watched the episode of Family Guy where mr. Herbert confronts his old nemesis, the SS lt. Slechtnact it hit me the fight-to-the-death is a perfect metaphor for the drama of Swedish politics.