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

    If it walks like a portcullis, and it quacks like a portcullis…it’s a duck!


  2. A. Noyd says

    Today I got done with my last final for the quarter and found out that I got a 100% on my history term paper (with bonus glowing comments from the TA). So damn happy about that.

  3. yazikus says

    Speaking of which. So I know I mentioned I had an anniversary this last weekend, commemorating a loss that coincided with a dear friend’s almost identical situation, except, no loss. I left a message for them today, letting them know that I don’t expect an emotional exchange, that the timing was not their fault, and that I love and support them endlessly. I can’t help but wonder what was up with the timing though. If I were looking at it through religious lenses, it would obviously be god trying to get my attention, with something so shocking as this. I know that is not it, but the timing was so odd! To the day, one year, I lost, they didn’t. I guess I have more details, but am cautious to post online. If anyone is interested in giving me some advice I would appreciate it, and could be reached by email. I could further explain there. I’m kind of struggling with this (*understatement). Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks horde.

  4. rowanvt says

    Long time no see, Lounge! Been super tired lately, but things are getting back to normal now that I’m not working 6 days a week anymore. I’ve missed you all!

    Parsnip and Rosemary got fixed today, though you wouldn’t know it based on how they act. And, just for the Horde, I took a video of Parsnip playing with the laser pointer.

  5. mythbri says


    So cute! Moar kittehs!


    My sympathies for your loss, for the coincidental timing and relationships that complicate it, and best wishes for you in this rough time.

  6. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Hey, rowanvt, good to see you back
    ♥ Parnsip and Rosemary

  7. yazikus says

    Many thanks for the kind hugs and thoughts. I’m working through it, and you are all an important piece of the puzzle, I’m off to bed, but again, thanks. Hugs and comforting thoughts are so appreciated.

  8. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I’m sorry that I haven’t given any actual help :/

  9. rowanvt says

    yazikus, more hugs free for the taking here. Plus there are kittens to snuggle should you so desire.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    Yaziku, hugs if you want them.

    That kitten had better watch out for those theropods

    Without Warning: Time Lapse of a Pink Aurora, With a Bonus

    Probation That Works !!!*$!

    A path to lower-risk painkillers

    Lifespan-extending drug given late in life reverses age-related heart disease in mice

  11. says

    My kitten Chloe is acting sick.
    I’m worried. Dunno what I’d do without her.

    I give up on this country, after spending two days reading “liberals” opining that the NSA spying is just fine and dandy and what everyone wants and that those of us who are upset about it are DERANGED.

    All of the bigger “liberal” blogs, as far as I can tell, are defending this crap.

  12. carlie says

    Yay, A Noyd!

    I’m so sorry, yazikus. I hate, hate feeling jealous of other people.
    It sucks when you feel bad about the situation and bad about how you feel about it at the same time.

    My goodness, go Parsnip!

    Giliell, how did it go?

    cicely, if you’re around – this is my public declaration that I will mail off your plants today, so that the threat of public shame upon failure will force it to happen. I put it off until after a lot of stuff was done at work last week, and then it’s been raining ever since, but it shall wait no longer.

  13. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Jafafa Hots,

    I’m sorry about Cloe being sick, *soft pets* for her and I hope it’s just a fluke and she’s fine.

  14. rq says

    *hugs* and I’m sorry I have no practical advice, except a reminder that your brain looks for such patterns in all events, and in this case, they happen to be huge emotional life events, which makes it even more difficult to discount as a mere ‘coincidence’.
    (By the same token, why did my grandma die on my sister’s birthday? Why did grandpa have his worst stroke on mine? Then again – Cousin died on nobody’s birthday, and Husband’s gramps was declared healthy at the hospital 5 minutes before the clot hit on an ordinary, non-anniversary day.)
    I’m terribly sorry for your loss, and I have nothing but *sympathies* for you. :( Shit, as they say, happens, and it sucks. (If I’m being too insensitive, don’t hesitate to tell me so here or via email – taarpinsh at hotmail dot com.)

    Jafafa Hots
    I hope Chloe recovers soon, and that it’s nothing more than a mild cat ‘cold’.

    *threecheers* for A. Noyd, good luck to Giliell, and thanks for the awesome kittens, rowanvt.

  15. carlie says

    Brownies for everyone?

    I just made these, and despite my large amount of skepticism, they are quite good. I halved the cayenne and it is barely tasteable except for a bit of an afterburn, and I can’t tell it’s ENTIRELY MADE OF CHICKPEAS at all.

  16. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    Good morning, all.

    TRIGGER WARNING — DREAMS and RAPE (sorry, but I have to tell this somewhere)

    My brain has been telling me for the last two nights that it is going to drop another shoe. I’m getting glimpses of another child, a toddler boy. My rapist is still part of this so I’m reasonably sure that if I did anything to this child (name not remembered yet (here we go again?)) it was under duress. It may take a while for me to convince myself of that when the shoe finally drops, but I can just keep reminding myself about S.

    As I lay in bed last night, I began adding it up. Three (at least) adults — my scout leader, his wife, the guy from Flagstaff. Myself and four other scouts. Plus S and possibly this toddler I cannot remember. At least seven of us were raped by this asshole, some by his friend, all aided and abetted and much of it photographed by his wife. How the fuck can one man get away with so much abuse? Why didn’t someone step in? Why didn’t any of us tell someone outside of scouts (I told another scout leader and got yelled at for trying to destroy his life and lying about the rapes (though I never got specific with what he did when I did tell) and was forced to apologize to him alone)? And how the hell can ~2 years fuck up so much of me?

    I’m scared. These details keep coming. A dream will give me a glimpse of something and then, like worrying a broken tooth, I have to keep picking at it until it finally opens. I don’t want to know these details but I can’t control myself to leave them alone. My brain walled them up for a good reason — they are almost unbearable.

    This quote, from Rose Kennedy, seems apropos:

    It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.

    But now I am compulsively picking at that scar tissue like I have no control over me (which (as I have written before) scares me in a completely different way).

  17. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I feel useless, but I’ve got nothing good besides being willing to listen and offer virtual *hugs*.

    There are no curses strong enough to appropriately describe what those three people that hurt you and other children are.

  18. Sili says

    I don’t think I can offer anything to help, Og, but I hope getting things out this way will help you in the end, somehow.

    I haven’t been around much, I know (I don’t remember S), so I have to ask. Do you have a therapist, or does that not work for you?

    I’m glad you’ve found a home here.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    If the kitten does not recover soon, please let her be checked out by a vet.
    — — — — — — —

    When examining the DNA from the Denisovian remains -bones from an archaic human species contemporary with H. Sapiens sapiens and H. Neanderthalis- Pääbo et al found ca. four per cent of the Denisovian DNA comes from another, more ancient human.

    17 per cent came from Neanderthals, so Denisovians interbred with two other human species.
    (do not ask me what methods they use to draw these conclusions)

  20. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    In selfish, wimpish news:
    cryotherapy… ouch

  21. rq says

    Denisovian link please? :)

    *hugs* if you want them.
    Wounds heal badly if there’s something left inside to fester. That may be why you’re picking at them now. :(

  22. yazikus says

    Thanks for all the thoughts. Shit happens I guess, timing be damned.
    I’m so sorry all of this is welling up for you. I don’t really have any advice, but wanted you to know that there are many people standing in solidarity with you. When wondering why people didn’t step in or say anything, I think it comes down to a fundamental disregard for fellow humans (including children). I don’t understand why people treat other people terribly, and trying to treat people well is why I am where I am politically. I think children are people, I think people have value. You have value. I’m sorry that you were subjected to what you were subjected to.

  23. says

    Big *hugs*. like others, I wish I could offer more.


    When wondering why people didn’t step in or say anything, I think it comes down to a fundamental disregard for fellow humans (including children).

    I suspect that for many, it has more to do with a fundamental unwillingness to believe that a)the world is a place where such things happen and b)They’re being done by someone they know and approve of. Denial allows them to continue to believe that the world’s basically a good place and that they aren’t capable of such ghastly misjudgments of character. This in no way excuses their inaction, of course.

  24. yazikus says


    Denial allows them to continue to believe that the world’s basically a good place and that they aren’t capable of such ghastly misjudgments of character.

    I think this too. So many times people just look the other way because they don’t want to believe something bad about someone.

  25. rq says

    Yeah, I think it’s also a fear of being the one to act – I read an article (from here?) about something like that. Sometimes, when something is going wrong in a crowd, nobody does anything… until a single person asks What’s wrong? and immediately everybody’s reacting.
    Being the first to point something out carries a certain responsibility, something the vast majority of people are afraid of. Because, you know, what if they’re wrong?
    As Dalillama said, it doesn’t excuse the inaction.

  26. cicely says

    An amusing comic, by way of Comics I Don’t Understand

    Anybody here have experience with gluten-free baking? It is regrettably becoming Relevant To My Interests.

    Kitties! Duckies!

    Today I got done with my last final for the quarter and found out that I got a 100% on my history term paper (with bonus glowing comments from the TA). So damn happy about that.

    Congrats and *confetti*

    *hug* for yazikus.
    Any god that would afflict your friend purely to get your attention, is a god not worthy of worship.
    Make ’em earn those burnt goats! Dance, deities, dance!

    *pouncehug* for rowanvt.
    And you brought us a Kitties vs. Laserpointer video!
    ♥ ♥ ♥

    Giliell, good luck with the class!

    Without Warning: Time Lapse of a Pink Aurora, With a Bonus


    *hugs* for Jafafa Hots and Chloe. Hope she Gets Well Soon.

    carlie: I’m right here! I await the plants with great anticipation and gratitude, and an empty flower bed.

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis. Better out than in.

    Why didn’t any of us tell someone outside of scouts


    (I told another scout leader and got yelled at for trying to destroy his life and lying about the rapes (though I never got specific with what he did when I did tell) and was forced to apologize to him alone)?

    Why would any other adult react any differently? Why set yourself up for additional humiliation (which the rapist probably totally got off on)? And why give Rapist Asshole a “reason” to punish you additionally?
    It makes all kind of sense, and not just from a kid’s perspective. Works on adults, too. World-wide. On a daily basis.

    But now I am compulsively picking at that scar tissue like I have no control over me (which (as I have written before) scares me in a completely different way).

    But you aren’t flying without a net. We’re here. And we care. And we value you.
    And don’t you forget it!

    17 per cent came from Neanderthals, so Denisovians interbred with two other human species.

    “Humans: Sticking It Anywhere Since The Dawn Of Time!”

    *hug* for Beatrice and her cryo-owwie.

  27. says


    Anybody here have experience with gluten-free baking? It is regrettably becoming Relevant To My Interests.

    L knows a fair bit about it, and I know some. Let me know if you have specific questions.

    Jafafa Hots
    Scritches and best wishes for Chloe

  28. rowanvt says

    Jafafa, I hope Chloe feels better soon. If she isn’t back to normal by tomorrow, please take her in to see a vet.

  29. rq says

    I have some minor experience, plus a friend with lots, so perhaps I can help out, too.

  30. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    Do you have a therapist, or does that not work for you?

    I have seen a therapist about my non-PTSD PTSD-like symptoms stemming from 9/11 service. As for this, I have never told anyone in meat space since I tried to tell that scout leader what was going on. Part of that is that I really didn’t start to remember what happened until about 2 or three years ago. But part of it is that I still look at what I did (I did it under threat, under coercion, but I still did it) and what I failed to do (I tried to tell, but even that was a failure) and I am scared to death to tell anyone what happened (this is different — I am still pseudonymous (though some of you know my name via my NPS email)). I know that a psychiatrist or psychologist or cousellor or therapist would not judge me any where as tough as I judge myself but it still scares me in ways that I don’t understand.

    I’m glad you’ve found a home here.

    I am, too. I’m not sure if the memories would have come out when they did if I weren’t participating here. I’ve written this before, but I typed out some of what had happened and then remembered. And then remembered more. And then more. Then again, I have no idea how I would have handled it if I hadn’t been able to write about my past, my failures, my triumphs, and talk through my troubles.

    Wounds heal badly if there’s something left inside to fester. That may be why you’re picking at them now. :(

    Well, considering it was festering under a wall of protection for 30 or 35 years, there’s still lots of drainage coming.

    I don’t understand why people treat other people terribly,

    Because he didn’t see us as humans, didn’t see us as people. He saw us as children, as girls. And, as he saw it, his duty was to show us that we did not want to be girls, that we wanted to grow up to be men.

    You have value.

    Yet there are times that I question this. Usually at 3:00am after awakening from a scoutmare.

    This in no way excuses their inaction, of course.

    I teach first aid, AED and CPR. And I tell people, right up front, that Pennsylvania does not require those who have been trained to give aid. It is their decision, and no one else’s decision, as to whether they give aid. And that decision, “Do I help this person,” may be one of the most difficult decisions they ever make. My training will make them more comfortable, more in control, if they do make the decision to help someone, but that decision is not easy and there is no way to know how you will decide until it happens. Convincing an individual to step in and help is very difficult, damn near impossible, for that first person unless they have been trained to respond. Bystanders are frightened people and I do not blame anyone for failing to take action.

  31. says

    yazikus @3:
    You needn’t offer up any information that you choose not to. There are ears and shoulders for all regardless of how much or how little you decide to tell about yourself
    If you’d like to chat, my email is tonyt at the yahoo thingee.

    (Still an invite to anyone who ever wants/needs to chat, vent, or squee. That goes for you too, lurkers.)

  32. cicely says

    Dalillama and rq, I guess my first question is…bread—how the hell does that work? The last I heard—admittedly a long time ago, and I didn’t half pay attention, because it was not Relevant To My Interests, and I had no reason to suspect that it would ever be—it can be done, but falls apart rather quickly, and doesn’t keep for spit. True? False?
    I am being tormented by full-sensory imaginary rolls.

  33. says

    Convincing an individual to step in and help is very difficult, damn near impossible, for that first person unless they have been trained to respond. Bystanders are frightened people and I do not blame anyone for failing to take action.

    I know all of this, but I haven’t taken it on at a gut level the way I have many things that are simply part of how people behave. I still cannot help but make moral judgments about it. Indeed, I have failed to take action in emergencies myself in the past, and although the situations were resolved despite that, I still damn myself for freezing up. This despite the fact that I have basically no training in handling such situations and the fact that those cases were immediate, pressing situations where there wasn’t time to think. I can’t conceive of being made aware of something like what was happening to you and not at least trying to do something about it unless I was in an utterly powerless situation myself; not and still be able to look at myself in the mirror.

    Bread tends to be a bit less fluffy, but it can still be made workable. If you can handle spelt (a relative of wheat with very little gluten) you can use spelt flour with minimal modification. Otherwise, gluten free bread flours usually have potato starch and similar in them to bind the dough together.

  34. Walton says

    I have a guest post up at The Feminist Hivemind about asylum-seekers and immigration detention in the UK. (It’s just as terrible in the US, which I hope to discuss in a future post.) Trying to make people aware of how horrifying the immigration enforcement system is, and hoping that some day the world will realize that immigration controls are bullshit.

  35. says

    I have a guest post up at The Feminist Hivemind about asylum-seekers and immigration detention in the UK.

    Good on you Walton! This on the day that Australian conservative politicians use “dead asylum seekers floating in our oceans” arguments to play down the fact that they attended a sponsored dinner where a menu described the red-haired female PM as someone with “small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box”.

  36. Yellow Thursday says

    I’ve had some success converting cookie recipes to use almond flour instead of wheat flour. Since my husband is diabetic, my modified recipes also use splenda instead of sugar. My favorite so far is the oatmeal raisin cookies. I can post the recipe if you (or anyone else) are interested.

  37. says

    In the previous chapter of the [Lounge] thread I mentioned Arizona congress critter Trent Franks and his ridiculous bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks — said ban to be nationwide and to include bans on abortion for rape and incest victims.

    Now there is more to report. What’s new is that Franks in on the “legitimate rape” train with other conservatives, saying that pregnancy from rape is rare.

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.),… argued against a Democratic amendment to make exceptions for rape and incest by suggesting that pregnancy from rape is rare.

    Video of this doofus saying this shit out loud and in public is available at the link.
    Washington Post link.

  38. cicely says

    *taking notes*
    Spelt flour. Got it.
    Yellow Thursday: The Husband is a diabetic, so this could work well! He loathes oatmeal cookies and raisins…but you wouldn’t happen to have a recipe for peanut butter cookies, would you?

    cheetahs are neat

    Indeed they are!

  39. says

    Hi there
    Lesson went reasonably well, got useful feedback (I noticed the major things (which were rather minor things) that didn’t go overly well myself, which I think is good), because you just can’t evaluate yourself on whether your voice carries to the back of the room or not.
    And I picked the more difficult class myself. My partner got the hard-working very alert 9th grade and she offered to switch because I’d already done some work on the vocab, but I declined. Because teaching a very motivated class of hard-working pupils is easy.

    Big pile’o hugs for Ogvorbis

    Already read it. Alos read about the visa reform which is just plain cruel, too, tearing apart families.

  40. rq says

    I’m afraid I’m a more ‘desserts’ kind of person, but from what I know, spelt works (although it has gluten, just not a lot, so if you need to be gluten-free it won’t do, but it’s certainly an improvement), almond flour is usually best (plus it tastes awesome), and potato starch is good to keep things together.
    The friend I mentioned has made all kinds of breads (incl. pizza dough) completely gluten-free, so I’m going to throw out a hook and see what she throws back at me, recipe-/advice-wise. Her son has pretty severe celiac disease (to the point where he couldn’t eat chicken for a while – they eat grain!), so her repertory of all-kinds-of-things is pretty wide.
    (She also does egg-free recipes, eggs also being on the verboten list. Just so you know.)

  41. says

    ::The queer Shoop sits quietly in the corner ready to be of assistance to cicely when she starts baking peanut butter cookies, hoping to sample one or two…(and also annoyed that it is near impossible to find oatmeal cookies sans raisins…::

  42. billingtondev says

    I can’t really imagine what dealing with all this must be like for you. But am very pleased you have a place like this where you feel safe.
    One thing that occurs to me is that this brain of yours that is telling you about these things now, is the same brain that, all those years ago, protected from something that was just too big to cope with then. Maybe there is some comfort to be found in that.
    The best I have to offer is to wish for you that you have all the things you need to cope with it now.

  43. carlie says

    <blockquoteAnybody here have experience with gluten-free baking? It is regrettably becoming Relevant To My Interests.

    Ouch, cicely, I’m sorry. :( Actually, the brownie recipe I linked to upthread was specifically a gluten free and dairy free recipe; apparently chickpeas can substitute for flour fairly often, and the author of that piece seems to have a series of “cooking with chickpeas” posts. And plants are in the mail! They’re supposed to arrive Friday.

    More on recipes: I picked up the 1976 Midwestern Junior League cookbook today (for free!), and also an early translation of The Art of Cuisine by Toulouse-Latrec. Both were in a freebie cookbook swap pile at a kitchenwares store that is closing so the owner can move to take care of her parents. One of the first recipes in the Junior League cookbook is the classic party snack of Velveeta/sausage melted onto rye bread squares. I cannot tell you how many times I saw (and ate) that at church functions in the early 80s, and I take a somewhat odd joy in seeing that the recipe there was submitted by the Junior League in the town over from where I grew up. Kitchily adorable. :)

  44. carlie says

    Fuckin’ blockquotes.

    Og, I’m glad you feel it’s safe here. We’re here any time you want or need.

    Yay Walton!

    Hugs for Dalillama and Jafafa Hots.

    I was in a good mood, but This article makes me want to spit. Same state, same “stand your ground” law, a black woman gets 20 years in prison for shooting at the wall in what her abusive estranged husband even testified was a warning shot at him because, as he testified, he was about to beat the shit out of her. In the meantime, a white man who shot a guy having an affair with his wife 3 times, admitting he did it on purpose and wanted the guy dead, got off without a conviction.

  45. Yellow Thursday says

    I’ve experimented with the peanut butter cookie recipe, but it still needs more work. They come out too dry and, erm, cakey, I suppose. Not chewy enough. Cookies made with almond flour don’t stick together as well. It’s not a big deal in the oatmeal cookies, because of the large amount of oatmeal in them. But I think I may need to try adding an additional egg to the peanut butter cookies.

    If you wish to try your own experiments, I have a recommendation that seems to work fairly well when replacing brown sugar with splenda. In order to get the same flavor, I use the same volume of splenda and add a tablespoon of molasses per cup of splenda.

  46. broboxley OT says

    Carlie #55 There are a lot of Florida’s down there, if Wald was in Jacksonville when he had his incident he may well have been found guilty. On the other hand being black in Jacksonville is considered a crime in itself

  47. yazikus says

    Her son has pretty severe celiac disease (to the point where he couldn’t eat chicken for a while – they eat grain!)

    Wow! I didn’t realize it was that sensitive. That would be really hard to deal with.

    I have a freezer full of weird grains I don’t know what to do with. Spelt, Emmer wheat, other strange heirloom wheat like berries, black nile barley, etc. Supposedly the heirloom grains like emmer wheat are better for you? or the farmers? make you look cool? Anywho, reasons I bought them aside, any ideas on what to do with them?

  48. cicely says

    rq, I’d certainly appreciate any/all recipes/advice I can get!
    We’re still trying to experimentally determine just how badly my GI tract hates something in wheat (we kinda assume its gluten), so maybe low-gluten will do.

    Tony, when the time comes to taste-test those cookies, I will certainly keep you in mind.

    Yellow Thursday, I am reluctant to outright experiment because we really can’t afford to toss my mistakes. Of which there would be many, because I am a notoriously untalented cook/baker. I can (usually) get a reliably-edible result from someone else’s R&D work…provided I understand all the terms/ingredients.
    Ducks have been stunned with the “cookies” resulting from my attempts at experimentally “fixing” a poorly-understood recipe. I don’t want that on my conscience.

  49. birgerjohansson says

    Denisovians & Neanderthals; The article in Science is behind a paywall. Curiously, I found so summary at even though it has been three weeks.

  50. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Cauliflower pizza dough… that sounds interesting. Will have to try it (bookmarked)

  51. carlie says

    I have a freezer full of weird grains I don’t know what to do with.

    Mmmmm, grains. Find a few recipes online for said grain, compare, and then cook with the most common variables to get it to the proper fluffy stage (instead of dry or gummy). Add butter and, if you like, roasted vegetables of your choice for a great side dish. Or, blend a few of them with similar cooking times together and cook with broth for a good soup. Or, put a blend through a coffee grinder and cook up into porridge with milk and chopped dried fruits or a dollop of jam. I am becoming a weird grain junkie. :)

  52. Yellow Thursday says

    In the interests of disclosure, hubby doesn’t have to have gluten-free foods. However, almond flour/meal is lower in carbs than wheat flour, so that’s why I have attempted to modify our favorite recipes with it.

    Cicely: The peanut butter cookies were edible. Good, even. But they weren’t what I would consider proper peanut butter cookies. So I intend to continue experimenting and modifying the recipe until I get that right balance of chewiness and sweet peanut flavor.

    Tethys: Thanks for the pizza crust link. I’m going to try that. I have made pseudo mashed potatoes with cauliflower before, but I didn’t remove the liquid like this suggests, so they came out runny.

  53. yazikus says

    I’ll try this and have better batter dammit!

    Thanks for the suggestions. I do want to use them, I’ve just been intimidated thus far. I’m not a recipe person, I usually just have an idea and go with it, so when it comes to a staple that I actually have no idea what to do with I get stumped. (I should totally learn how to use recipes though, I think I’m missing out!)

  54. opposablethumbs says

    ‘rupt and despondent, but have some hugs to deliver for yazikus (I’m so sorry – that must be so hard to deal with …) and Ogvorbis – like so many of us, I’m so glad you’re here talking to us – to Jafafa Hots and Chloe, and to Dalillama who is always awesome. Azkyroth, I’m sorry that other thread went the way it did.

    And to Portia and Giliell and rq and Tony! And rowanvt and Parsnip and Rosemary! And carlie and cicely!
    I can’t keep up.

  55. says

    In the department of WTF:
    ” Last October, a then-17-year-old girl was flying on United from NYC to L.A. when she claims she spotted a nearby male passenger making love to himself under a blanket. She says she twice complained to flight attendants, but to no avail. Now she’s suing the nation’s largest airline over the alleged incident.

    According to the plaintiff, who filed the suit yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, flight attendants did nothing to stop the man and told the young woman there was nothing they could do because there were no other seats available. When the flight landed, the plaintiff says the man was allowed to leave with the rest of the passengers.

    Even though the airline didn’t call the cops, the passenger’s father did. Eventually, the male passenger pled guilty when confronted with his actions. For her troubles, the teen received an apology letter from United.

    Inappropriate. Lewd. Self absorbed. Creepy. I mean seriously what was he thinking?

    As an aside…”pleasuring himself”. Is this like not using the word ‘vagina’?

  56. yazikus says

    Add any if those grains to a salad for some different textures.

    Hi Tony, I’ve actually seen something that looks really good at a local restaurant, its got lettuce, feta, lemon, mystery grain and other stuff. I might have to try something like that!

    Hi Opposablethumbs, I’m feeling much better today. It comes and goes I guess? I certainly appreciate the willingness of everyone to listen and sympathize.

  57. rowanvt says

    I am in spring cleaning mode. I have tackled the closet under the stairs. I found therein a bag of letters and photographs of relatives taken from before I was born up through the first couple years after I was born. It’s fun seeing my daddy as a young man, and to have photos of my grandfather. I’m going to ask Grandma to help me label everything and put it into photo albums to preserve it.

  58. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says


    Do people really think I feel better via verbal abuse? :(

  59. says

    More anti-women news, courtesy of Republicans:

    The Wisconsin State Senate today passed a bill that requires women who want an abortion to first get a state-mandated, medically unnecessary ultrasound. The bill also requires doctors who work in abortion clinics to gain admitting privileges at a hospital — the same kind of provision that was designed to shutter the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.

    Journal Sentinel link.

    Maddow Blog link, complete with obnoxious video.

  60. says

    I’m going to ask Grandma to help me label everything and put it into photo albums to preserve it.

    Better have the photos professionally scanned for digital preservation as well. Then create a companion text document for the captions.

    Personal history can be fun.

  61. carlie says

    So I have a trabeculoplasty tomorrow. I logically know that it is just about the lowest-risk, easy routine thing there is possible to do to an eye, but I’m still irrationally nervous. :(

  62. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Grumblestorm making it presence felt. Neighbor borrowing my Wifi with my permission (she does the Redhead’s hair). Starting prep for the out-patient procedure Friday. I’ll be happy when I get to the other side. *looks at stairlifts installed for the Redhead…*

  63. carlie says

    Thanks, everybody. :)

    Nerd, I kind of missed what you have – was it something like gall bladder? Good luck. We’ll be like two of the three monkey tableaux this weekend – (hands over eyes) see no evil, (hands over guts) excrete no evil…

  64. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says


    I will see it eventually. Question is whether in theaters or not. I’m hearing mixed things which is making me nervous.

  65. says

    I have no idea if Ogvorbis will see this here, but I do not want to interrupt the discussion on the DJ Grothe post.

    I hold a bachelors degree in modern European military history. I work in public industrial history.

    I would really be curious to know what you are working on. I am a huge history buff, if it was not for science and computers I would probably study history. At the point I am at now, I am largely reading academic history books and papers when it comes to the topics that most interest me, or hell, topics that I just happen to want to learn more about because I am pretty tired of reading the same old things, over and over, in most popular history and I enjoy the discussion and disagreements that occur within academia. Anyway, public industrial history sounds like something I would like to know more about.

  66. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    I would really be curious to know what you are working on.

    I am a cultural interpreter for the National Park Service. I work at Steamtown NHS in Scranton, PA. My job is helping the public understand the technology, history, and people of steam railroading. I am not an academic historian, nor am I actively involved in new research. Rather, I present tours, programmes, prepare exhibits, write pamphlets and site bulletins for public consumption — all ages, all levels of interest, often at the same time.

  67. says

    That is really cool though. I also really, really love trains, so if I happen to being in the Scranton area sometime I will have to hit up Steamtown. I have a few small historyish related projects on the go myself. I live really close to one of the oldest cemeteries in Ottawa. It is a little cemetery on the estate of a settler family in the area. I am going to make a mobile app using the geographic positions of the graves to enable both map based, and augmented reality tours of the cemetery. I was able to get a number of reports and surveys of the cemetery from museum staff recently, so I have a lot of interesting information to play with. And I am trying to put together a photo project related to notorious murders in the area.

    Yes, I admit I can be a bit morbid.

  68. cicely says

    I’m betting that cauliflower pizza crust tastes like cauliflower. Yes/No?

    Sure wish I’d covered the tomatoes before it hailed.

    *hugs* and sympathy for lost Tomato-y Goodness.

    *pouncehug* for opposablethumbs.

    Here’s a lovely and simple recipe for spelt soft pretzels.


    *hugs* and well-wishing for carlie.

  69. broboxley OT says

    yay! my younger bruder will be visiting fargo for his work next week. Watching stanley cup hockey with a canuck sibling? priceless

  70. says

    Hockey is still on? When will it be over?
    I am one of those weird canucks that is trying to ignore this and cannot wait until my pubs are free of hockey fans.

  71. says

    They do exist, for realz. I really have no understanding of team loyalty. I used to curl pretty regularly, I enjoy golf, I like playing soccer occasionally, but I really do not understand the attachment people have for various sports teams at all. So I guess it is not hockey in general I dislike, just everything surrounding professional sports.

  72. broboxley OT says

    Travis, my team is the Habs, I started seriously watching hockey about 50 years ago. My bruder is not a hockey junkie, for him he is a cultural hockey fan. I dont watch games in pubs because there are drunks, socially watching hockey. A very large screen TV, chair close in front and silence unless in between action is required

  73. says

    I think TVs ruin pubs. When I walk into a new pub I can almost immediately determine how I will feel about it based on the number of TVs I can see from my seat. More TVs usually means crappier beer, and a much louder atmosphere. There is a monthly meetup at a nearby pub and thankfully there is maybe one TV in the front of the bar, and in the back area we use there are none, or if there is one hidden away I have never seen it turned on. And they have cask ale.

    When I lived in BC I was shocked that so many bars and pubs had not only TVs, but keno machines and separate TVs devoted to this. It was really hard to find a place I liked in the Vancouver area.

  74. rq says

    Good morning!

    Good luck with the medical procedure, carlie!

    Travis, may I ask where in Ottawa is this oldest cemetery? I feel like I should know (since I lived there for the first 18 or so), and I wonder if I’m remembering correctly.


    I like hockey in limited amounts. I hate it in June, much less late June. It’s a Winter Sport, dammit, not one for the summer months. The season should end in April at the very latest, with a season-start in late-October or so.
    Curling can go on all year, if it likes.

    The bats were out in full force last night. Remind me to show you all how light it is at 11PM, to the point where I can read a book outside with no artificial light. Anyway, eat those mosquitoes, dear bats, eat them all up!!

  75. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    You know something else?

    You know how we’re having the conversation about “appropriation?”

    How exactly does borrowing a term coined by a community I belong to, or at least did historically, and then declaring that I don’t get to decide how it can be used, not qualify?

  76. rq says

    As soon as I have some advice Tried Tested and True for you, I will pass it on!
    Good luck in the meantime.
    Also, be wary of oatmeal – it’s supposed to be gluten-free, but depending on growing conditions, it can also have low amounts of gluten (which I learned after offering to make an oat-based dessert for Friend’s son for a party we were hosting for the children). So, I suppose that will matter more once you know if you’re gluten-free or gluten-reduced.

  77. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Coined within living memory I might add, so it’s not like there’s generations of linguistic drift involved.

  78. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I like how chigau called it: Good luck with the eye poking!

  79. rq says

    Today’s haul – half-serious, half-not.
    A short lesson on how to talk to little girls – and why the introductory phrase “You’re so cute!!” should be avoided.
    Thinking of learning a second/third/nth language? Here’s a list to avoid, if you want something quick and easy (I’m surprised Polish is on there).
    New research using brain scans to determine type of therapy for depression – medication vs. therapy or combination, which will be responded to best.
    A wire-tapping PSA, although I don’t think the method should be used too much until everyone agrees to it.
    And I have this article about a supposedly hilarious car ad sitting in my tabs since yesterday. It’s supposed to be The Funniest Thing Evaarrrr, but all I’m getting is misogyny and fat-shaming and making light of abusive relationships. But it’s all voluntary. And it’s a joke. Right? (Who jokes about selling their wife while calling her The Chubber?)

  80. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Someone is seriously pulling that crap? *headdesk*

    No advice for you, unfortunately, just *headbonks* and my sympathy — wish I could do more.

    I don’t know. Perhaps I should be more precise: at minimum, while it doesn’t have the systemic oppression factor usually encountered in cases of “appropriation” labeled as such, it seems obnoxious in the rest of the same ways. >.>

  81. Dhorvath, OM says

    On cute. One of my later realizations was how resistant I was to being called cute as a residue of how I viewed the term in gendered fashion. I am now happy to be called cute, as I frequently fit the term, but this was not always the case.

  82. rowanvt says

    @ rq 111-

    Japanese is on that list? Bah! I found Japanese far easier to learn than spanish! Yes, the writing system will throw a lot of people off, but the actual spoken language is wonderfully easy to pick up.

    I got a new snake today. I got to see him crawl out of his egg. I’m basically raising him up for my ‘big name’ breeder friend, because he has a condition called stargazing, though the more accurate term is heritable vestibular syndrome. He can’t tell which way is up when he gets excited or picked up, and has a bit of a head wobble. These guys generally do quite well, though, able to live relatively normal little snakey lives. But, naturally, people don’t want to be making more of these snakes so the few gazers that hatch out are used to test other snakes to see if they carry the gene in het form. Because Nahadoth hatched out, my friend is retiring the parent snakes from breeding entirely, and all their babies will be sold as pet-only (which sucks for her, because they are high-end morphs). She also, sadly, used that male on a total of 5 females, so ALL those clutches are being sold as pet-only. However, she will now have a better idea if the other 4 females carry this gene as well.

    I’m going to take Naha to work with me tomorrow so that the exotics vet there can see stargazing in person for the first time.

  83. says

    rq, the cemetery I had in mind is the Billings Family graveyard, near Riverside Drive and Bank St. I am not sure if it is absolutely the oldest, there was another cemetery in Old Ottawa East at one point, but it was moved at some point in the past. The first burial was in 1820.

  84. rq says

    Wow, exciting about the snakes! Exciting and disappointing.
    I know next to nothing about snakes (except don’t pick them up by the tail) or their medical conditions; this was interesting. Stargazing, eh? How does one go about telling that a snake does not know which way is up?

    re: those languages
    I was surprised that there wasn’t anything like Gaelic or Welsh or some other Celtic language, but that may just be my confusion at seeing so many consonants strung together into words that makes me think it’s difficult.

  85. says


    Japanese is on that list? Bah! I found Japanese far easier to learn than spanish! Yes, the writing system will throw a lot of people off, but the actual spoken language is wonderfully easy to pick up.

    I am only now getting back into learning Japanese, but I took three courses in my undergraduate days. I thought it was pretty easy as well, compared to other languages I had learned up until then. It felt a bit like a programming language actually.

  86. says

    Fair enough. At the time I took the courses I was completing a computer science degree as well as a physics degree. I did a lot of programming, so I was pretty comfortable.

    Depending on your background, YMMV

  87. Tethys says

    I’m betting that cauliflower pizza crust tastes like cauliflower. Yes/No?

    Not really, the pizza sauce and toppings completely overpower the bland crust. It is riced, seasoned, and then you spread it out onto the pizza pan and bake it until it crisps a bit, before you add the pizza sauce and topping. It was delicious, but I like cauliflower. YMMV

  88. Dhorvath, OM says

    To be fair, I find English enough of a challenge. The notion of a second language is alarming.

  89. says

    I am actually fairly embarrassed about my knowledge of English. It is quite poor and my formal knowledge of the language is lacking. In school I had a terrible English teacher for a few years and he made grammar as confusing as possible. At some point I want to sit down and improve my knowledge of the language.

    Surprisingly I have worked as a part-time technical writer for a few years. Thank God for editors.

  90. says

    The only cauliflower based food product I have ever eaten was the cauliflower Kraft Dinner. I suppose it was okay, edible at least. But when I want to indulge my garbage food needs, I think I shall stick to the regular varieties.

  91. Dhorvath, OM says

    I can speak in dialogue, but it’s dependant on other cues. Written depend on scrutiny and feedback.

  92. rowanvt says


    I will take video footage of him some time, but for a quick description… He’ll flip and corkscrew and actually attempt to crawl upside down. After I showed him to my boyfriend he chilled mostly rightside up on my hand… but with his head and neck upside down.

  93. Dhorvath, OM says

    This was a while ago, but at the time cute was a term for others while I might be endearing, funny, or some such. It took me a while to see how I was comfortable applying but not accepting a term that had great utility. I am better now. (I am quite comfortable being associatted with young people or animals, and was at the time, it was cute that took a real perspective to fix.)

  94. Dhorvath, OM says

    If it didn’t all come out of a cardboard box, it wasn’t Kraft dinner.

  95. rq says

    Hmm, interesting.
    I’ve always found that people describe me as ‘cute’ when they’re trying to diminish what I’m trying to say – You’re so cute when you’re angry!, or That’s so cute! following the presentation of a gift that may be considered not as sophisticated as adult gifts should be, or You’re just being cute! when I get upset about [random thing].
    Like Tony, I’ve always had difficulty applying the term seriously to adults. But, if you’re comfortable being thought as cute and fluffy and cuddly, hey, that works for me! :)

    I make it a practice to read at least one mind daily. I hope you don’t feel too bad it was yours today (it makes a nice break from trying to read Husband’s – not that your mind is easier or anything, just different).


    Speaking of which, I think I’m entering into fuck-you territory with Husband again, over the same sort of trivial things like taking a night out and getting a break. Male poker season seems to be upon us.

  96. says

    It is getting late here so I am going to go to bed, but yeah, they introduced “Kraft Dinner Smart” and one of the varieties contains cauliflower in the pasta. According to their website 3/4 cup of the prepared Kraft Dinner Smart Vegetables has 1/2 a serving of cauliflower in it.

    I know, it is sort of horrifying, but it really was not that bad. Just expensive and slightly wrong.

  97. rq says

    If you get the chance, I’d love to see the video! It sounds weird and neat all at the same time.
    Do such snakes survive in the wild?

  98. rq says

    I thought the whole point of Kraft Dinner was to avoid vegetables at all costs? :/
    Good night!

  99. Dhorvath, OM says

    and that sounds much like my problem. When I used it, I thought I was saying that someone was endearing, but when I refuted it’s application to me I was denying that meaning, saying with my objection that cute was a diminishing term. This was a problem. So. Now I embrace being cute, because often I do things that I would have called cute in other people. With that in mind, I try to be careful about how I use the term, not wanting to reinforce the double standard that I had adopted and only cast off with some reflection. I am more than happy to avoid using it if you find it offensive, there are other terms that I can apply instead.

  100. says

    Good morning
    Went to buy a backpack for #1 yesterday. At least it is purple. Lots of “and here’s a pink one for girls, and than one is for girls, and here’s one for girls….”
    Funny enough, it’s got snow leopards on it. Fierce predators. But the background’s purple so that makes it a girl one.
    *head -> desk*

    Assorted hugs for all of you


    I was surprised that there wasn’t anything like Gaelic or Welsh or some other Celtic language, but that may just be my confusion at seeing so many consonants strung together into words that makes me think it’s difficult.

    *pssst* I’m going to tell you a secret: W and Y are vowels in Welsh, so once you simply substitute them for U and I it’s not that consonant heavy anymore. Irish Gaelic and Scotish Gaelic have some weid pronounciation rules but once you understand them it is at least consistent. They have some other weird rules about prepositions and stuff.
    Most about learning another language is practise (that’s why I suck at Latin). That’s also the reason why my students always fail at numbers. Because you don’t see the written words. If they go shopping they have something like “naranjas :2,50€/k” They repeat the word “naranja”, “orange”, but the number just enters without taking a Spanish detour.
    What I like about Spanish:
    -no cases
    -consistent pronounciation
    -consistent spelling
    What I don’t like about it:
    -the subjuctive mood
    -more past tenses than I could care about.

    And since food has entered the discussion (sorry about the gluten thingy, cicely):
    Can I throw the watermelon I just bought at the next arrogant privileged vegetarian* who tells me that vegetarian meals are actually so much cheaper and easier than the usual convenience stuff?
    Because I just spent about 25% more on food than I usually do buying lots of fruit and veg. Why did I buy it? Becuase I really need to lose some weight and it has way less calories than the usual stuff…

    *In case you’re just a vegetarian, this is not about you

  101. rq says

    It’s ok, I don’t find it offensive, I just have strange associations with it being applied to adults (read: me). I don’t mind it being used at all. It is a common word, and just happens to carry some slightly negative connotations for me, but nothing out of the ordinary. I… give you permission to use it? *grin*

    Yeah, I know Y and W are vowels, but it’s still a strange blanking experience when I first see the words (I have a distant cousin living in Wales and occasionally she sends photos of really long place-names, and … chaos ensues).
    At least their other grammar is consistent.
    I may not have learned enough German to know any better, but I actually liked it for its strict rules of sentence structure. Someone once told me Japanese was similar, in the sense that it was a very ordered and rule-bound language.
    I always thought Latvian was easy (privileeggge!) until I tried teaching it, even for everyday use, and I realized that there are not a lot of rules at all (noun declensions, verb conjugations – they have rules, but it all depends on word endings, and even words with the same endings often have different conjugations) – except for comma use, lots of rules for that one. And reading is easy, once you get the hang of it, except for that pesky wide/narrow e, there is nothing to indicate which is the proper one in any given case.

  102. says


    I may not have learned enough German to know any better, but I actually liked it for its strict rules of sentence structure.

    Uhm, no, I think that perception is wrong. Because the cases allow you a pretty liberal sentence structure, we have lots of inversion and I can easily put the object at the beginning of a sentence. But the basic sentences are easily structred, I think. Guess it’s probably like English: Not that difficult at a beginners level.
    I like the verb “werden” in German and the impersonal form “man”

  103. rq says

    Mmhm, yes, ‘beginners level’ would be about my level, and I’m not too surprised about the misperception. Oh well! :)
    The impersonal form ‘man’ in German always confused me, because the pronoun ‘man’ in Latvian means ‘to me’ and is often used as the reflexive subject (?) of a sentence – say, in sentences like saying ‘I like [thing]’, we say ‘man patīk [thing]’, which translates to (vaguely) ‘[thing] is pleasing to me’. Every time it appears at the beginning of a sentence in German, I was automatically thinking in Latvian terms, which often made no sense at all. (That’s a question of practice and exposure, though.)

    pretty liberal sentence structure

    Well, at least you always know where the verb is! And cases make for interesting Latvian sentences, too, which confuse the hell out of my American friend learning the language, because the endings of nouns, not their placement, always tell me exactly what’s going on – yet he doesn’t see the endings sometimes, he sees word placement, and gets confused…

  104. teejaykay says

    Sorry to barge in on the linguistic adventure, but since it’s sort of my field, I couldn’t resist.

    rq Latvian, eh? I knew a guy from Latvia who came over here to Finland and already spoke more than fluent Finnish. That shocked me, seeing as I’m still trying to learn Swedish, and I’ve been at it since I was thirteen… but then again that was intermittently. Having acquired (not learned) English as a second language when I was a kid, I think I’m just lazy. Or maybe not, because…

    …I’m a sucker for philology and etymology. So many words and phrases. I mean, I can read and understand Swedish and even Norwegian (oh, and Scots, too), I just can’t produce it, but the Germanic languages are at times so close to another, it’s boggling.

    As to German, er, I don’t care much for the strict rules of cases; same thing with Swedish cases — they’re about as confusing to learners as why you say “an hour” instead of “a hour” in English, or why you say “lieutenant” differently in Britain or the States, for that matter. That said… German sounds awesome, much better than Swedish in my opinion. (It doesn’t help that like in English, there are multiple Swedishes — ah, who am I kidding? There are multiple everythings of most languages.)

  105. says

    OMFG. This person is such an asshat.

    Telling wifi users to set up a password is totally the same *rolleyes* as telling rape victims they were “asking for it.”

    Excuse me?

    Leeching off someone else’s wifi is ethically shady and definitely rude, yes, but it’s about as “criminal” as invading my “bubble” in public. Irritating, but part of being out in public.

    If you don’t want your wifi leeched, don’t broadcast it to the public! Lock that shit up with a password, like the fucking manual fucking instructed you to when you installed it!

    This basic security measure is not, in any way, comparable to telling a rape victim she was “asking for it”. Also, a router is a machine, and rape victims tend to be people, with feelings and shit, who tend to be traumatized by the violation of their bodies.

  106. says

    Also, in the interest of full disclosure, yes, I have been the wifi leech. I never said I was proud of it, but this particular person decided my admission of being That Guy at one point means I’m an awful person who thinks rape victims were asking for it and told me that I “really only posted to start a fight” — that, right there, pissed me off. NO ONE gets to tell me what’s going through my head but ME. On top of which, SHE started out attacking ME, and is now pulling the whole, “well you said [words], so you’re the bad guy” schtick.

  107. rq says

    Heh. Personally, where I lived previous to previously, I had a wi-fi connection available on non-cloudy days, and I made use of it quite liberally. Ditto back in Toronto, I would sit on the stairs next to the adjoining wall and get their signal. So I understand the internet-leeching part.
    Also, you’re right with the comparison… It’s why that whole car-theft rape analogy is incorrect. You can’t put a password on your body, it kind of comes with you everywhere. Wi-fi internet was made to be wireless and available over a larger area – people know this, and it’s why they installed it, hence the warnings about passwords if they don’t want someone else to use them. One’s body, however, while wireless, is certainly not meant to be available over a larger area by default (that is, without consent). I know you see my point. *scritches* for you, that person’s being an asshole.

    You heathen. German sounds better than Swedish? Bah. In my book, the Sound of Swedish is far preferable (and the Swedish accent in English is awesome, it makes English sound delicate). And Finnish is obviously the prettiest-sounding language out there.
    Well… Besides all those other pretty-sounding languages. I love listening to Asian languages, even though I don’t understand them at all. It’s amazing the variety and combinations of sounds people have come up with in order to communicate with each other, Tower of Babel and all. It’s no wonder sometimes we misunderstand each other.
    But yes, Latvian.

  108. teejaykay says

    rq Heathen? Thank you for the compliment! ;) No, it’s just that Swedish as we learn it here is different than the generic Swedish — it’s Findish as far as I am concerned. Riksvenska, or what is generally spoken in Sweden, does sound mild and soothing, although the rapidity of how it is pronounced sometimes is comparable to that of the working class English of New York. With less f-words, though!

    I do prefer German over Swedish, because plenty of words from Proto-Germanic abound in so many countries, and I just love the way a German friend of mine pronounces English. It’s soft, just like a Swedish accent, I admit, but she just makes it sounds so wonderful! As for Finnish being the sexiest language alive, I beg to differ. I only find it fascinating, because it’s so strange and varied in a population of six or so million people in a country bigger than Britain. :D I love my Korean, Chinese and Japanese better (I even took a few courses in Japanese, but none of it stuck but “wagahai wa neko de aru”).

    But yes, it IS amazing, the variety in languages! And no wonder we misunderstand each other many a time. I’m not a big fan of sociolinguistics (even though I study it, maybe that’s why), but it does serve a purpose.

    To give an example of exactly how strange that can be, I’ll not tell you how there are Finnish dialects that are odd (there are a few), but I will say this. I know immigrants from Iran and Afghanistan who speak Finnish near or around better than I do, and yet they have given me more language history lessons than I ever got in a classroom — the differences and history behind Pashto, Dari, Persian… That was something that really reinforced my passion for knowledge of language history, bad as I am at using languages. One even tried to teach me some Russian. Tried. (I taught them English and acted as an interpreter more than a few times when exchange students were at their bar.)

    Oh, and I seem to recall Finnish and Latvian share a couple of words, possibly. I know Hungarian does, and I know researchers are still trying to figure out why. Latvian? Not a short stretch from back in the day when people migrated northward while glaciers receded.

  109. rq says

    Well, my history lesson of the Latvian language went thus:
    Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two (surviving) Baltic languages, which are the most closely related to ancient Sanskrit, and thus the most closely related to Urdu and Farsi (heh, there are a few shared words for some concepts, like ‘witch’ and ‘dream’ but…), and thus Lithuanian and Latvian could be considered the oldest surviving examples of the language closest to the original Indo-European one. :) The Letto-Centric Worldview. Sounds preposterous? Probably because it is.
    I know that Latvian and Lithuanian are the last two surviving (as in, spoken) Baltic languages, but that’s only because Old Prussian was taken over by German and Belorussian was taken over by Russian in the 19th (?) century. Latvian is slowly being overtaken by English (loanwords, I hates them! and yes I know much of the language already is loanwords). Finnish and Estonian are on the Finnish branch of the tree, with Swedish etc. on the Germanic branch. The Finnish branch is closer to the Baltic branch, but significant differences abound. Also, there’s the question of whether Finnish/Latvian shared words are due to the similarities of Finnish/Latvian, or due to Latvian acquiring certain words (like sea and fishing words) from Liv (sometimes called Livonian), the language of the Finno-Ugric peoples living in the territory of Latvia before the Latvians came. Their language is far more similar to Estonian and Finnish than Latvian ever could be, unfortunately only about 200 speakers remain.
    So. Then. There’s also the strange similarity of some Latvian words and terms with Celtic words (things like children, water words, etc.), and the suffix -gallian, as added by the Romans, to the various tribes living in the territory, sometimes leading one to believe that there may be a relation to the celtic peoples. (Because the Romans were amazingly perfect anthropologists and were correct in all their observations, yes.)
    (Then again, I knew a guy who believed that the ancient Scythians were actually celtic gaels from Scotland… he had reasons, and he spoke well, but his scholastic credentials may be questioned – he played the Irish harp in the subway station that I took to university in Toronto. Rather well, in fact.)
    Language is a mystery; what I love, too, which is more along my line, is the genetic analysis of descent of various tribes/people/nationalities, in combination with languages and their relation to each other, which show fantastically amazing and awesome migration patterns.
    Hungarian, by the way, is not similar to Latvian at all. That I know of. But who knows?

  110. says

    Can I cry a bit?
    Just here, can’t do it at home because #1’s sitting next to me.
    So the principal isn’t keen on letting her start school. Because she’s small and skinny and because she often reacts slowly to tasks.
    But what should I expect of a principal who asks “Why don’t you want her to be a child for another year?”
    Childhood doesn’t fucking end with primary school.
    And yes, my child is different (how do parents of non-neurotypical children deal with that? Or is it easier if you can give them a diagnosis instead of “she’s always been like that”?). So what, you’re professionals. You’re supposed to be able to deal with different children.
    Oh, but I’m apparently “training” her. Because one way she’s different is that she writes her name in script. That looks trained. Yeah, she asked me one day to write her name in script instead of caps and she copied it. That’s how I “trained” her. Oh, and she invents spelling games. But yeah, not only the head goes to school, the rest does so, too. Sure. How’s the rest of a kid supposed to develop when it just got marked “failed”?
    And I totally know what will happen if she doesn’t go to school this summer. She will be even more bored, and even more reluctant to do tasks. And then those idiots think that they made the right decision.
    And yeah, consistency. I told the principal that I’m desperatly trying to keep her occupied with non-school things and the principal goes “no-no, she mustn’t learn the scholl stuff yet!” Later, when I said that I know that she WILL learn those things before she starts school she’s all like “Yeah, but I could read before I started school, too”
    I’m just totally exhausted. I have a last chance come Tuesday. And yes, they’re judging my child. I just hope that the doctor can deal a bit better with her than the principal who obviously thinks it’s ok to wrap her arms around a strange child and wonders then why said child might not take to her. And NOW I’m actually training her do do tasks qickly when told.

  111. rq says

    I don’t understand (but there’s the same thing here): why do they not let children learn the school stuff before school? Eldest’s friend’s mum said the same thing… her child was learning to print (PRINT!!) and was doing so extremely well – he has amazing penmanship for his age, so neat and orderly – and she realized he was learning too quickly and getting ahead of his classmates… and started actively discouraging him from practicing his writing. ?????
    Showing a child something they want to know isn’t “training” them, and heck, why shouldn’t you be training her, you’re the mother! Is training a negative term for trying to get your child into school earlier?
    I suppose you only have the one school as an option, which sucks.
    I’m really, really sorry you had such a crappy reception at the school. It pisses me off. *hugs&tissues*

  112. rowanvt says

    rq @134-

    No… these guys would most definitely get eaten in the wild. ‘Fortunately’, the gene appeared first in captivity, not a wild-caught individual.

    @ Giliell-

    WTF? I was reading at a 3rd grade level when I was 5. There is NOTHING wrong with being ahead in an area. That principal is an idiot.

  113. says

    Well, if they get ahead of their classmates too much they’ll get bored. So I totally understand why they’re not too keen on kids learning that stuff before school. But the traing has, especially in German, more the connotation of “training her up”, like teaching a parrot to say “hello cupcake”. Like I’m an over-zealous tiger-mum. When I mentioned a game she had invented “Which animal starts with Clara” (one says a letter and the others have to name an animal that starts with that letter) the principal asked like ten times “she invented that? Sounds like she’s been trained, you didn’t teach her that?”
    I just know that if they don’t accept her this year I’ll have to find a way to get her into a different school becuse they sure have their opinion.

  114. teejaykay says


    I had no idea Latvian and Lithuanian were that closely related to ancient Sanskrit or even Urdu and Farsi, but then again, there is this one theory that Finnish is actually related to Japanese. Preposterous, maybe, but hey, I will not pretend to know if that theory is true, but I trust your knowledge of the Baltic languages; they are a mixture of many things — as you pointed out earlier with the Tower of Bable reference!

    When it comes to Prussian, I find it a little interesting that once the Germans went over to Prussia, they started calling them Prussians. This obviously does happen, but Prussian as a language is… well, gone. And the Belorussians… well, how far is that from “Prussian”? I don’t know the etymology of the word “Belorussia”, but I know who the Rus were, and that’s a sour and painful spot for most Russians. Vikings and Russia? I call that awesome.

    Now, loanwords… I know Finnish has a lot of them, and we even have a funded system (by the government) to come up with words that sound Finnish instead of foreign. Personally, I find it preposterous, as languages change anyway — some Finns (even one of my Swedish teachers) didn’t know the phrase “ottaa vaarin” (“take the granpa” literally translated) came from “ta vara” (“take care” in Swedish” came from Swedish. It basically means “to bear in mind” or “be careful”. And THAT is from centuries past. I don’t mind loanwords any more than I mind cognates.

    Now, yes, Estonian and Finnish are close, but so are Mordva and Komi and such — and I hope to goodness they’ll survive. Again, you are telling me stuff I don’t know about Latvian. I appreciate it, and won’t pretend otherwise. Finno-Ugric languages are a bother, though not as hard as trying to understand how in the world did the Basque language survive this long. If you’re interested, though, and I wish could remember the exact term, some scholars have been noting that there is a trend to how certain rivers on the European continent have been named, suggesting some sort of similarity between languages before the Common Era or around those times.

    …as for that guy re: Scythians… oooookaaaaay. I can understand the Roman influence of Latvian. They did get pretty far up north, or so it seems.

    And yeah, I would say Hungarian doesn’t share much with Latvian; it’s just that Latvian shares some words Finnish does. It doesn’t mean that they’re related, it just means that there has been the similar kind of exchange of words as it happened in the seventh/eighth century CE Britain between Anglo-Saxons and (for the lack of a better term) Vikings.

    Languages and their origins are a great, great, fascinating rollercoaster.


    I find the school’s attitude a little bewildering. My parents taught me to read before I got into school and taught me some other subjects with a neutral, matter-of-fact way. I’m sorry for you, but angry at the school — the sooner someone starts learning things and asking questions like “why can birds fly?” or “where do butterflies come from?”, the sooner — I believe — you should encourage that. A questioning, curious mind is never to be trampled on. Neither is trampling on skill because someone is better than others — I’ll admit I sucked at plenty of things (look, don’t ask me about mathematics…), but why keep back a gifted person just because they’re better? I know I didn’t. No skin off my back. Heck, I helped some of the people struggling with a subject if I could, and they did the same to me. Call it socialism or whatever, I call it altruism.

    …I really don’t get that school’s attitude.

  115. carlie says

    Are there any advanced programs you could possibly get her into? I know it’s not as common these days, but when I was a kid it was fairly common to move kids up from the first year into the next one if they had the aptitude for it. (disclosure: I was moved up from kindergarten to 1st grade after a month, mainly because my teacher was tired of me finishing things fast and then talking to my neighbors during the rest of “work time”)

    And what the hell with him saying “trained” instead of “taught” ?!

    (how do parents of non-neurotypical children deal with that? Or is it easier if you can give them a diagnosis instead of “she’s always been like that”?)

    Honestly, yes, it’s easier with a diagnosis. The worst thing for a kid to be is a “difficult child”, because then you get all the side eye glances insinuating you’re a bad parent. But once there’s a diagnosis, you can just say “Oh, they have x”, and you get “Oooooh, I see”.

  116. teejaykay says


    Correction re: Belorussia. “Belaya” means white in Russian, and hereabouts we call that country “Valkovenäjä” = “White Russia”

  117. rq says

    Yah, they’re called Baltkrievi (‘white Russians’) here too, but not because of ‘white’ but because of ‘Baltic’, which is a reference to their language before Russian (the story is similar to the Prussian one – they were their own tribe, but got taken over by the Rus at some point, including language loss). Nobody really knows anymore what it sounded like, but they retain the name. There is a theory that the root of ‘baltic’ and the colour white (which is ‘balts’ in Latvian) are the same, but again… theory.
    The Basque language intrigues me – where did it come from, and yes, mostly, how did it survive? It’s surrounded by the Romance languages, and yet it manages to remain distinct.
    Also, interesting: I’ve looked up several Indo-European language trees so far, and none of them have Finnish or Estonian on them (due to the Japanese hypothesis?), and Basque, too. Which I find weird, because I remember them being there before.
    The whole loan-word thiing is a ‘thing’ here, too – people hate anglicized words, so yes, an official committee organizes contests to see who can come up with nice Latvian words for modern things. Some of them work, some of them don’t… The people who actually use these words decide in the end, and it’s always tough to guess which way they’ll go. But I think a lot of the borrowed words show how far people would travel or trade back in the day. We (well, I know I am) are used to thinking of them as fairly localized people, except for anomalous mass migration every now and then (you know, impending glacier, flooding, etc.). But I know the Latvian Cours were nearly as well-travelled as the Vikings, in some respects – at least, they raided in Denmark and Sweden and some say even Iceland (prayers to protect against the marauding Courlanders attest to this). Now that history is legend. Latvians and Lithuanians had their own kings and form of rule and hierarchy and some say the only working matriarchy in history (ruined by the patriarchal Christians, of course), but what do we know? All we have are bits and pieces of cloth and metal, and hey, any society could have been the ‘only working matriarchy in history’. The point, though, is that a lot of these societies were far more developed than we know. I don’t mean in that airplanes-and-mechanics way, but they travelled further, they knew more about each other, they interacted more often, they traded more things, they lived together better than we sometimes think. Of course, there was a lot of raiding and war and fighting and death and disagreement, but I don’t think they were the ignorant savages stuck in their mud/straw huts that the christian historical texts sometimes make them out to be. Or that modern historians teach hereabouts – Latvians before the crusade were an ignorant lot, and christianity brought us enlighenment! That whole spiel.
    Sorry, I’m ranting off-topic again here. I’m signing off for a bit, but I’ll be back later this evening.

    Again, I’m sorry you got that attitude from the school. I hope there are some kind of advanced classes or something that they decide to offer her, or even place her ahead. I went from grade 2 to grade 4 with no ill effects (that I would admit to ;) ).
    Also, teachers should be prepared for children of several levels and have extra activities ready for those who get too bored. I had a (admittedly, grade 7) teacher who was excellent with this. I and another boy would finish all assignments twice as fast as everyone else, but she never ever let us sit idle – she had a completely separate and second workbook ready for us, and gave us assignments to do in it while the others finished. It was great, though sometimes annoying, because until then, I’d been a real fan of reading in class while everyone else worked.
    *hugs* again, and I think I found a deep-red rose for you, but it needs a few more days to hatch. I mean, open. :)

  118. teejaykay says


    You’re not off-topic to me at least!

    But oh my. I’d never heard of Latvian Cours before, nor that bit about the Rus, nor Baltkrievi (I suppose the “Kievan Rus” may enter the equation a little), and far more interesting is that the Cours maybe made it up to Iceland! I can understand them raiding Sweden and Denmark, seeing as the Baltic Sea was a hotbed for a bunch of nuttery, piracy and even plain stupidity (13th century Swedish crusades into Finland, which were a confusing mess).

    Anyhow, I’ll get back to this later in the evening myself too, probably. I’m having a case of the “oh damn it, why does it have to be so bright at ten in the evening?!” syndrome.

  119. birgerjohansson says

    Broboxley @ 91: Homer Simpson had use of this bodily function when he got paralysed and unable to communicate in a normal way…

  120. broboxley OT says

    #159 birgerjohansson don’t watch that show, was it one fart for yes and two for no? I do remember that Howard Stern had someone who could fart the star spangled banner

  121. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I hope you can find some other school nearby, hopefully with a better attitude on the part of the principal.

  122. opposablethumbs says

    Tentacles crossed for your trabeculoplasty, carlie. And tentacles crossed for Nerd at the outpatients too.

    Thank you for the hugs, Dalillama ::snags ’em:: Ooh! ::snags pouncehug from cicely too:: :-)

    Giliell, that’s so bloody frustrating. They should be delighted and ready for kids who are so ready to learn! The kindest thing I can think is that maybe they’ve had a lot of tiger parents lately and it’s made them wary, but that’s still no reason to completely jump to conclusions like that (that “training” thing is such bullshit. Two minutes with your daughter, and a competent educator should be able to tell that she’s not parroting any “training” but is using what she’s learned. Argh, I’m angry for you!)

  123. Pteryxx says

    threadrupt and in hug-debt. *takes a few hugs from the pile*

    Action alert for the dozen or so of us in Texas: the Republicans are attempting to pass an omnibus anti-abortion bill in special session, with the bestest TRAP provisions fresh from Mississippi.

    If passed in its entirety, SB 5 would:

    ban all abortions after 20 weeks, with the exception of those “necessary to avert the death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman” or if a fetal anomaly “will result in the death of the infant not later than minutes to hours after birth regardless of the provision of lifesaving medical treatment.”
    require all abortion-providing doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the procedure is performed.
    effectively ban telemedical abortions, requiring doctors to provide the abortion pill (a mifepristol/mifepristone combination) in person and according to outdated 13-year-old Food and Drug Administration regulations that are not only unnecessary, but thought to be potentially harmful in current practice, according to the American College of Gynecologists and the Texas Medical Association.
    require all abortion providers to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, which would reduce the number of sites at which a Texan can obtain an abortion to a total of five, located solely in major metropolitan areas.


    And in making this cowardly and despicable play with SB 5, Perry and his Republican colleagues have waited to strike until Democrats had been divested of their best weapon: the Texas Senate’s two-thirds rule, which requires the approval of two-thirds of state senators before a bill can make it to the floor. But that rule doesn’t stand in special session. Now that Republicans can steamroll any opposition, they’ve no need to “compromise” with Democrats, or pretend to play nice.

    Staying threadrupt; I’ve got calls to make today and then a long drive, thanks to these… hatemongers.

  124. yazikus says

    Good Morning!
    @Giliell I’m so sorry your school is not coming up with great ways to keep your little one learning, including what she brings with her. I have a similar game mine came up with “Animal Guessing Game”. You start by saying mammal or such, then quadruped, then carnivore etc. and try to guess the animal. Super fun. Totally kid created.
    My name starts with a letter that supposedly wasn’t introduced to Finland until the 1952 olympics when a certain fruit was brought in for the first time. I for one think Finnish is a marvelous language, I love that once your learn to pronounce the alphabet you can read any word, any word properly. And non-gendered pronouns are cool.

  125. says

    That principal is a twit. Here’s hoping there’s another school for her.

    The Basque language intrigues me – where did it come from, and yes, mostly, how did it survive? It’s surrounded by the Romance languages, and yet it manages to remain distinct.

    As for where it came from, as I understand it the current leading theory is that the Basque language family was spoken in Southern France and the Iberian peninsula (possibly all of Western Europe) before the Celts arrived (And then the Germanic peoples, Romans, Goths, Umayyads, Castilians, etc, ). As for how, the short answer appears to be “The Pyrenees.” The surviving (culturally) Basque live up in the mountains that form the French border with Spain (Or the border between Franconia and Al-Andalus, depending on the era). Navarre/Pamplon on one side and Gascony on the other were both part of a larger Basque polity (gascon comes from the same root as Basque, in Latin; neither name is actually Basque), which fragmented politically and was absorbed by Castille and France respectively. The Basque in those areas never really fully assimilated, though, with the Gascons remaining largely self-governing until the late 18th century, while Navarre recently won limited self-governing status again from Spain. It helps that unlike many mountain cultures living on trade routes, they don’t seem to have gone in much for banditry/vigorous toll collecting or raids on their lowland neighbors, but did go in for the traditional civil wars and clan vendettas, so it was never worth the effort it would have taken the big empires to fully assimilate them.

  126. carlie says

    I am now post-procedure! It was quite unpleasant, but not awful. Eye has not exploded or anything. I’m still a bit numb from all the drops, but some achiness is starting to set in. Vision is blurry, but already quite improved from an hour ago right after it was done (“What letters can you see?” “Um…” “What about now?” “The big E!”)

  127. yazikus says

    Carlie, I’m glad your procedure went well! I have the weird eye thing, where whenever I see eyes up close (like pictures of), or think too much about eyes, or read about eyes, my own start watering profusely (looks like I’m crying). And I can say with a smile that now my eyes are moistened in solidarity with you.

    Re: Basque, I had a roommate whose mother was a first generation Basque immigrant, and she taught me a few words, and a recipe for delicious fried bread. My cousin just married a woman of Basque descent also, and she is really involved in her local Basque scene with traditional dance troupes, etc. Their wedding was fun, there was traditional Basque sword dancing in the church.

  128. Rob Grigjanis says

    rq @148:

    Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two (surviving) Baltic languages, which are the most closely related to ancient Sanskrit

    Yeah, especially Lithuanian. In a particularly historically ‘active’ area like the Baltic, it’s amazing that the language hasn’t changed much in 2,000 years.

    Interesting list of Latvian-Sanskrit cognates here, although I’m not sure of the scholarly rigour.

  129. cicely says

    Sure, My Name Is Khan

    *pouncehug* for Dhorvath.

    Not everyone finds programming languages easy.

    So very true! I have swung twice—Fortran and Basic—and missed twice.

    The whole point of Kraft dinner is to be cheesy.

    Funny enough, it’s got snow leopards on it. Fierce predators. But the background’s purple so that makes it a girl one.

    Adorable fierce predators. And on purple? I’d be up for that any day of the week.
    And here’s an *assorted hug* for you.

    *hugs* for Giliell.
    Children aren’t, and shouldn’t be considered, cookie-cutter products.
    Perhaps they are more interested in avoiding the necessity of providing an accelerated program, by decelerating the kids?

    Pteryx, here’s a *hug* for you.

    *hug* for carlie. Hurray for post-procedureness!

  130. says

    Yay for carlie

    Thanks everybody
    I need to concentrate on Tuesday. But here’s the theory they had in kindergarten: The classes are full. In years when they need a few more kids to get another class so they can have small classes they happily take children born after the cut-off date. In years their classes are full enough, suddenly they need to look veeeeeery carefully.
    If they don’t take her she’ll have to wait another year. But I’m pretty sure that I’ll try to get her into another school then (not that easy since primary school is usually fixed by where you live)

  131. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, I kind of missed what you have – was it something like gall bladder?

    Nope, one kidney isn’t draining properly. They’re putting in a ureteral stent via a catheter.

  132. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    re: Sure, My Name Is Khan
    Still haven’t seen the movie, but when I do, it’s going to be so much fun after reading all the funnies (this fic and that i09 FAQ) about it.

  133. rq says

    Yay for carlie!

    Giliell, I hope the other school works out for you. I just hope it won’t be too much extra hassle. :(

    Rob Grigjanis
    Oh thanks for that link, I’d seen bits and pieces before, but never the whole list. I do have questions about the scholarly rigor, besides you can’t tell much from a few similar words especially among languages which are in the same family group anyway. A lot of languages could be said to share these words with Sanskrit (the numbers, especially, come to mind).
    I’d be more interested in grammatical structure and rules and how those relate, apparently in that sense Lithuanian is a lot closer than Latvian.

    Thanks for the Basque information, geographical separation would explain a lot about its preservation. (I also found out, when I was researching the Basque language because it was interesting, that [my real first name] is an actual word in Basque… but I couldn’t quite ferret out the meaning. Then I met a Basque, and he said it’s a past participle of the verb ‘to be’ – in other words, I’m a has-been (in Basque)! :D)

  134. rq says

    Agreed. That script made me giggle, so I had to let Husband read it, too. He giggled, too.

  135. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I have a sudden need to watch Moulin Rouge
    Can I pretend it’s for my French test?

  136. rq says

    Yes!!! But when was the last time you watched it?
    You may be shocked by the rapy-ness of the main character’s inability to accept Satine’s ‘No!’ at the beginning. You know, all that We should be loooooveeeerrrsss… bit that never ends. ;)
    (I was.)

  137. yazikus says

    rq & beatrice
    I watched Moulin Rouge in the theater when it came out. I was super excited to go, as Strictly Ballroom (same director) is one of my favorite movies. I remember there was a standing ovation at the end, which was double unexpected as I was in Finland, and people in general don’t do that. I watched it again recently, and felt the same way with the rapy-ness.

  138. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I last watched it… dunno, some years ago on tv. It’s going to be ruined isn’t it? Oh well.
    I watched an acclaimed french children’s movie a month ago and got really bothered that a kid getting slapped by his father at home after he bragged how his dad totally has to listen to him was played as a joke. :/
    Everything is ruined when you start really thinking about it.

  139. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I watched it for the first time in a cinema too. It was a really good experience because that was the last time I went to that cinema before it was rebuilt (modernized *spits*)… It used to be beautiful, but neglect did it in, and they got rid of the fancy balcony and all the decorations.
    Ok, that’s more about the cinema than the movie :) , but I liked the movie a lot that time (2001, so I was 14 or 15)

  140. says

    No other school, at least not for this year. Once turned down nobody will take her. Official seal of disapproval. For next year it would still be difficult. Red tape all around for getting her into a different public school, private ones = catlick/Waldorf
    Shit, shit, shit and shit.
    Do they ever wonder what they’re doing to a kid who has been prepared a whole year long for starting school in summer?
    I’m just out of my wits…

  141. says

    The Supreme Court just took an important step to clarify the issues around patenting human genes:

    Isolated human genes may not be patented, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday. The case concerned patents held by Myriad Genetics, a Utah company, on genes that correlate with increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

    The patents were challenged by scientists and doctors who said their research and ability to help patients had been frustrated…. The decision hewed closely to the position of the Obama administration, which had argued that isolated DNA could not be patented, but that complementary DNA, or cDNA, which is an artificial construct, could. The patentability of cDNA could limit some of the impact on industry from the decision.

    Suck it, Utah company.

    NY Times link.

  142. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Shit, I thought you could try applying to another school this year, since it wasn’t a doctor who gave the “seal of disapproval”, but just a principal of one school.
    I’m sorry :(

    Does she already know?

  143. says

    The attempts by Myriad Genetics to patent a human gene (see comment #185) has a Moment-of-Mormon-Madness component:


    … Much of their work relied on a database of an extensive pedigree of Mormon families that Skolnick [Marc Skolnick at the University of Utah’s Centre for Genetic Epidemiology] had begun developing in the 1970s…. This database contained information on 200,000 Mormon family groups and most of the 1.6 million descendants of the initial 10,000 Utah settlers…. When Skolnick linked the database to the Utah Cancer registry, the database contained 40,000 cross-linked entries that spurred much of Myriad’s future research.

    In 1991, Skolnick’s group formed Myriad as a spin-off from the Centre for Genetic Epidemiology …. Myriad secured funding from Eli Lilly and Co., a US-based pharmaceutical company. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) contributed $5 million to the University of Utah research team…[snipped some financial details] Myriad did not at that time hold any patents … Myriad convinced Eli Lilly to invest based on Skolnick’s privileged access to and knowledge of the Mormon database. … Although control of the Mormon database always remained with the University of Utah, Skolnick was best positioned to use it, giving Myriad the inside track in the race to sequence BRCA1.

    Most of the management team, many of the members of the Board of Directors, a most of the hung-ho supporters of Myriad Genetics are mormons.

    Here are a few of them:
    Peter Meldrum, President and CEO
    James Evans, Chief Financial Officer
    Richard Marsh, Executive VP, General counsel and Secretary
    Roger R. Williams, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah College of Medicine
    Dr. Willford E. Smith, Dr. Wilford E. Smith of BYU’s Sociology Department

    More on the connections between the LDS Church and genetics research in Utah:

  144. rq says

    So sorry to hear that! :( How can one random principal ruin everything? It could be a personal issue, and they would just accept their word! *hates on German school system*
    Is there anything else that can be done? (Probably a stupid question.)

    Yup, first time I watched it, I was all Aawwww…. over the romance, but watching it recently was a cringe. Actually, most romance movies now make me cringe (keep trying until she says yes!), the only ones that didn’t (recently) were The Proposal (Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds) and Music & Lyrics (Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant). Most of the others are way too reliant on the ‘differences’ between men and women to cause conflict and disagreement.
    A word of warning. Expendables 2 is on TV right now. The first one was bad, but this one is terrible There’s a woman in the ‘main’ cast (Lucy Liu, I think) and she’s getting blamed for everything even though it’s not her fault. The young dude who got himself caught got a ‘It’s not your fault’ line from Sly (ugh), but she is apparently the Reason he got Killed in the first place, so worthy of disdain. Not finishing it. :( (R.E.D., on the other hand, was a riot, in a good way. I think the second one won’t measure up.)

  145. rq says

    In that case, good luck, extra thumbs for you!!! Grovelling sucks, but sometimes… :(

  146. says

    Marco Rubio wants immigration reform to apply to everyone … except gays.

    “If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I’m done,” Rubio said Thursday during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Show. “I’m off it, and I’ve said that repeatedly.”

    Yahoo news link.

  147. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I loved Red. DIdn’t know about a second part.

  148. says

    This should be worth a few jokes on late-night talk shows, Sarah Palin is rejoining the Faux News team. Her first appearance will be on June 17th.

    The power of FOX News is unparalleled. The role of FOX News in the important debates in our world is indispensible. I am pleased and proud to be rejoining Roger Ailes and the great people at FOX. — Sarah Palin

  149. says

    Oh, holy buckets of slime! We have yet another “Everything is Rigged” story from Matt Taibbi. I must say, I am losing all faith in the world’s biggest banks. (Yeah, I never had any faith in those institutions run by proven asshats, but really, does the picture have to get shadier and shadier? And why do we never put the main golden asshats in jail?)

    Given the LIBOR story, the Interest Rate Swap manipulation story, the Euro gas price manipulation story, the U.S. energy price manipulation story, and (by now) countless others of the “Everything is Rigged” variety, this screams out for immediate notice. Via Bloomberg:

    Traders at some of the world’s biggest banks manipulated benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments, according to five dealers with knowledge of the practice . . .

    Employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set, said the current and former traders, who requested anonymity because the practice is controversial. Dealers colluded with counterparts to boost chances of moving the rates, said two of the people, who worked in the industry for a total of more than 20 years.

    This time the rates allegedly being rigged are in the foreign-exchange or “FX” markets, meaning that if this story is true, it would almost certainly trump LIBOR for scale/horribleness….

  150. says

    Just in case you think that the story I highlighted in comment #196 is really not as bad as the LIBOR scandal, or in case you are bored by foreign exchange rates, consider this:

    The $4.7-trillion-a-day currency market, the biggest in the financial system, is one of the least regulated. The inherent conflict banks face between executing client orders and profiting from their own trades is exacerbated because most currency trading takes place away from exchanges….

    Yeah, that’s $4.7 trillion per day.

  151. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Serious question: should I bother commenting anymore or should I just stfu and bounce? I’m getting impression later would be prefered now

  152. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Serious question: should I bother commenting anymore or should I just stfu and bounce? I’m getting impression later would be prefered now

    [Robert Clotworthy Voice]Don’t let it get to you. This happened to me once happens to me somewhat regularly.[/Robert Clotworthy Voice]

    I hope you stick around.

  153. carlie says

    Nerd – ah, we both have different kinds of drainage problems. Good luck with that – I hope it’s not a huge recuperation time.

    Giliell – I suddenly understand the “trained” comments – he thinks you’re trying to sneak your child in early?
    Can you remind him of, if he thinks she’s already overprepared, what will happen next year if she comes in then with an entire extra year of learning at home, with you teaching her? (mwoo-ah-ha-ha) Is there any mechanism for her skipping to the next grade ahead that would resolve his crowded class dilemma and his worry that she’d be bored?

    Ing – I guess I’m missing a fight on another thread, but for pretty much all fights here I don’t think either party has any more right to claim the place than the other does, and most of the time the sentiment is “please avoid this particular subject” rather than “please avoid this whole place”. I would miss you if you left.

  154. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says


    Hugs. I hope you stay around. I’d miss you. Which is actually pretty selfish on my part. I hope you stay, but do what you feel most comfortable with.

  155. says

    I’m not certain why you feel that way, but I appreciate your contributions.

    I thought cell phones cause cancer was refuted years ago.
    So why then do we have:
    Cellphones pose health risks beyond cancer?

    BJ: What are the typical flaws you’ve found in examining industry-touted studies, many of which are also industry-funded?

    DD: Well, first of all, you have to separate epidemiologic studies from experimental studies. Epidemiologic studies tend to be studying people for a short period of time who have not used phones a lot. So of course they don’t find anything.

    So, for example, 700,000 people started to use cellphones in 1993 to 1995 in Denmark. And you throw out from your study 250,000 of them because they were business users and your study can’t be sure whether the business users might have shared their phone with somebody. So you throw them all out. Then you basically leave in your study all the people who use phones very little back in 1993, when phones and the use of phones cost more than $1000 a year. And you look at all of those people who use phones and you compare them to people who started to use phones later on and you don’t see any difference in their brain cancer rate. And you conclude their phones are safe? That’s an example of a study that’s been widely cited as showing that cellphones are safe.

    The average studies of cellphones and brain cancer have studied people who have used cellphones for five years or less. Sometimes eight years. Every study that has actually examined people who have used phones for 10 years or more, and is well designed, finds a 50 percent to an 800 percent increased risk. So that is why the Israelis, the Finnish, the French governments have all issued warnings.

    But in fact focusing on cancer has been a brilliant part of the strategy for industry. Because it’s not [just] about cancer that we have to be concerned. Cancer is one of the issues. But a much more important issue than cancer is reproductive damage, on the nervous system, on the brain and on sleep. Many of the negative studies that have studied people are only looking at cancer and not looking at these other things.

    Studies done by the Cleveland Clinic and other organizations around the world have found clear evidence of human sperm damage, taking sperm from one man and putting it into two different test tubes and exposing one test tube to cellphone radiation and the other not. And guess what? The cellphone exposed test tube—those sperm died three times faster with three times more damage to their mitochondrial DNA.

    With respect to experimental studies, it’s much easier to get negative results because all you have to do is study the wrong cell type. Younger cells are more vulnerable than older cells. So if you study adult cells—and really, effects are mostly in neural stem cells, very young baby cells—then you’re not going to see an effect. Because older cells, more mature cells, are more resistant to damage. The younger a cell, the faster it grows, the more vulnerable it is to damage.

  156. broboxley OT says

    Cellphones pose health risks beyond cancer? yes, they cause more harm than alcohol

  157. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    I didn’t spot any reference to the video below via a quick scan; forgive me if I simply didn’t choose a good search term.

    This is how everyone, not just the military, ought to approach harassment –
    Lt.Gen.David Morrison, ADF

  158. says

    6 in 10 American gun owners are white males? As the Hispanic population in this country continues to grow, I wonder if gun ownership will begin to decline.
    Or maybe the NRA will market differently.


    Yes, NC, making permits unnecessary for purchasing a firearm is a *great* idea. FFS, how many more Newtowns do we need in this country before these people wake up?

    When is the first train off this planet?

    We know from the most recent incident involving you and Mrs. Wright (the principal) while you were still physically at Holy Trinity School, that the temporary restraining order in effect were not a deterrent to him. Although we understand he is current incarcerated, we have no way of knowing how long or short a time he will actually serve and we understand from court files that he may be released as early as next fall. In the interest of the safety of the students, faculty and parents at Holy Trinity School, we simply cannot allow you to return to work there, or, unfortunately, at any other school in the Diocese.

    Yeah, the abusive douchebag is in prison, but the victim-Carie Charlesworth-was fired for the crime of being a victim of domestic violence??!!.


    An inmate who says he is serving time at a “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado for bank robbery and weapons charges recently wrote an open letter to the National Rifle Association (NRA) to thank them for fighting background checks and preserving his ability to illegally buy firearms through the gun show loophole.

    Now the NRA has inmates thanking them for their tireless efforts to ensure all Americans are armed with lethal weapons…<sigh<

  159. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    We have yet another “Everything is Rigged” story from Matt Taibbi.[…] This time the rates allegedly being rigged are in the foreign-exchange or “FX” markets, meaning that if this story is true, it would almost certainly trump LIBOR for scale/horribleness….

    As a PSA, may I say that if you’re getting your analysis of the financial markets from Matt Taibbi, you are being badly misinformed. Details available at A+ or, on request, in the Thunderdome.

  160. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Smiley goes here. Dammit, we need post-edit functionality …

  161. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Cellphones pose health risks beyond cancer? yes, they cause more harm than alcohol

    Yes, I’m pretty sure that ingesting three or more cell phones per day is likely to cause adverse health effects.

    6 in 10 American gun owners are white males? As the Hispanic population in this country continues to grow, I wonder if gun ownership will begin to decline.
    Or maybe the NRA will market differently.

    …who do you think the NRA’s target audience is expecting to use their guns on?

  162. broboxley OT says

    #209 Tony, yes :-) driving
    #208 Cm Taibbi is interesting from the corner case perspective however note that if you got all of your info from him that is like getting all of your middle east updates from wnd or noam chomsky

  163. broboxley OT says

    #211 cognitive disconnect

    As the Hispanic population in this country continues to grow, I wonder if gun ownership will begin to decline.

    the hispanic population appears to enjoy their guns tremendously if you believe how many they are buying here to be shipped south of the border.

  164. cicely says

    I also loved RED. Helen Mirrin in particular was so completely awesome.

    Ing: I would prefer that you stay.
    *wistful look*

  165. says

    #211 was Azkyroth, but your quote was from my #207. I do not see the disconnect you speak of in light of 6% of gun owners being Hispanic (from my link @207).

    Also, this:

    The increase of Hispanics as a share of the American population is also probably having an effect, as they are far less likely to own guns. In the survey results since 2000, about 14 percent of Hispanics reported having a gun in their house.

    Also, I was referring to gun ownership in the US among that demographic not gun sales across the border.

  166. rq says

    Good morning!
    Yup, I think Helen Mirren was my favourite character. She was made into a typically feminine character, but she was so capable and smart. She is the only one who gets herself shot at the end, though. A Woman’s Usual Fate.

    You’re an awesome commenter and I hope you stick around!


    This is, *ahem* the #2 app of all time. The comments are the best.

  167. rq says

    Now I know why I loved Cheerios as a child. Cute ad gets huge racist backlash – why? They’re not both the same colour!! Oh noez!!! And here’s the parody dedicated to haters. “Disable the youtube comments!”

    Hey, cynics, turns out you’re also apathetic! Ok, not necessarily, but the article has a point. (Although it brings up the next point: how much gentle correction, and at which point is cynicism warranted?)

    I recently saw a cartoon on the same theme happening in Canada: where are all the kids/mentally ill/poor going to hang out? Yeah, that’s right. More prisons is exactly what we need.

    It’s a nice ad and mostly true, but it doesn’t mention the slow-moving legal system, general intolerance of the populace, and massive influence of Russian money to pull political strings.

  168. says

    Good mornings
    Cue bad night and massive headache this morning.
    Thank science for prescription painkillers*
    Talked to one of her teachers in kindergarten this morning again and she was “huh? She’s going to get damn bored and we wouldn’t know what to do with her anymore.”

    *Intresting. I just found out that this particular one has a status varying between banned and over the counter across the world.

    She ;)
    Principal is a woman.
    I wouldn’t want her to skip a grade, she’s definetly not ready for that. She’ll need the first grade to get used to school, definetly. And she is small and skinny and would be about 2 years younger than everybody else. And they’re damn sure not letting her skip a grade anyway. The only idea I have is to get her certified as “gifted”.
    I don’t know. Possible that she is somewhere on the ADS or autistic spectrum. She is not like the other children and she never was. She has some social “issues” (is it an issue if the child is happy that way?), she tends to ignore instructions if she’s bored. Probably she’s just different which seems to be synonymous with “retarded”, I guess.
    I have an appointment with my therapist today. Until yesterday I wanted to tell him that I’m really doing fine. Now I’m desperate.

    For all that matters, you’re one of the voices here I value the most because you’re not afraid to speak up even when you’re arguing with “popular voices”


    Yes, I’m pretty sure that ingesting three or more cell phones per day is likely to cause adverse health effects.

    I suppose the comment was about cellphone use in traffic. Which is as fucking dangerous as 0.8 0/00 and I can’t for the life of me not understand why it’s not sanctioned the same way.
    I’d like to confiscate the car of people who drop their kids off at kindergarten, then start their car, take out their mobile and start talking while driving in front of the fucking kindergarten.
    As Mr, says, they’re lacking the mental abilities to drive a car.

  169. carlie says

    She ;)
    Principal is a woman.

    And my kids both had a female principal through all of grade school, and one of my best friends is a female grade school principal. I’ll be over here sitting in time-out in the unconscious sexism corner.

  170. Nick Gotts says

    like getting all of your middle east updates from wnd or noam chomsky – broboxley

    I by no means agree with Chomsky on everything, but the gormlessness of comparing him with WND is truly staggering.

  171. didgen says

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to improve the contrast on a macbook pro? I’m illiterate still on this computer and need to try and make the screens on my grandsons games easier to see. I have brightness to the max, I can’t see any adjustment for the contrast though. Thanking everyone in advance, once again I have two sick kids at the same time. Some computer distraction would be fabulous, I could think quiet thoughts for a little bit.

  172. billingtondev says

    I don’t quite believe what I’m about to type…

    My Daughter was going to meet up with one of her Best Friends – an hours flight away – and stay a couple of days with BF at BF’s parents house.
    On the day that my daughter was due to leave she
    – left her house keys at work
    – dropped her cell phone in the toilet
    – lost her credit card on the way to the airport
    Best Friend had a nine hour flight with her two year old to her parents house. A few minutes into the flight, two year old started vomiting and having diarrhea. Which continued for the 9 hour flight.
    BF is also having serious relationship problems – so am I worried about how D will cope with neediness of BF while she is feeling so blue herself.
    At BF’s parents house, BF’s mother is involved in a major legal battle with her employers, has been staying in her bedroom for the past few days and is in bad shape.
    BF’s mother has argument with BF’s father – takes the car keys, leaves the house saying that she doesn’t know whether she really wants to continue living. Household waits for two hours, hear nothing and get no reply on BF’s mothers cell phone. Police and mental health professionals are called – they take the situation seriously. BF’s mother is tracked by her cell phone location. She is sitting in her car at the beach. She is ok. She comes home and is safe.
    BF’s two year old is still sick.
    BF has long conversations into the night with D about her relationship problems, and then BF’s daughter wakes before dawn with more vomiting/diarrhea. No-one is getting enough sleep.
    Did I mention that one of the reasons for the everyone getting together is that its BF’s mothers birthday?
    Everyone pulls themselves together for pre-planned b’day celebration meal.
    Daughter is worried that she has no emotional response to any of this. “I am an emotional vacuum” she says.
    Daughter eats dairy – and has a bad reaction.

    D flies home. I pick her up from airport – and hear the whole saga. She is exhausted, overwhelmed and feeling physically unwell. Both she and I are having trouble processing all of this.
    Then she tells me she is going to make an appointment with her Dr on Monday because she is worried about her bad reaction to eating dairy.

    And all I can think about is how relieved I am that she is going to see her Dr.

    I’m not even sure any of this actually makes any sense… I don’t really know how make sense of it…

  173. billingtondev says

    Sorry – now it feels like that last post was just too much information – shit, I don’t think I can delete. Sorry.

  174. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Well, given that she was around child with gastro like symptoms, the dairy might be a coincidence. Unless it was different kind of bad reaction.

  175. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    No wonder you can’t make sense of those couple of days, because that was some huge amount of bad luck and unfortunate circumstances for all involved.
    I’m sorry.
    Well, you’re probably right to feel relieved that she’s going to see a doctor for her reaction to diary, because hat means she is taking care of herself. Despite depression, she can still recognize she needs to see a doctor and drag herself there. Thumbs up for that

  176. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    @115 #rowanvt
    Nahadoth eh? I think I know what you’ve been reading.

  177. billingtondev says

    Yes – Thumbs up for that. And he is a good doctor – so hopefully he will pick up on the depression as well.

    She has bad reaction to dairy since she was ill – so it could be one or the other. But either way – I’m just glad she’s going to the doctor.

  178. says

    *hugs*. no worries, sometimes you need to vent.

    As Mr, says, they’re lacking the mental abilities to drive a car.
    This is one of the reasons I push so hard for bike and public transit infrastructure. Most drivers, IMO, shouldn’t be on the road, as they’re hazards to the public. However, before we can start severely tightening requirements and begin removing licenses for infractions, there needs to be another way that people can get around.

  179. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says


    Damn. Hugs and support.

    Deep breath.


    Been having some of my wonderful ‘another shoe is about to drop’ nightmares. Opening up some memories (well, right now it looks like one memory) about yet another person I abused. Don’t remember his name. I do remember (now, anyway) that he was a toddler (3 or 4 years old?) and each one of us was photographed doing something different to him. Three of us. We were 9 and 10 years old, he was 3 or 4. And I’m headed right back down that fucknig ‘I enjoyed hurting someone else’ road. I know that I was coerced but I still enjoyed doing things to a toddler.

    There are certain things in this world that are considered beyond the pale, unforgivable. Sexually abusing a child, a toddler, is one of the absolute biggest ones. I know what I did to this kid, and to S (and this is the biggest single reason I am terrified to actualyl tell anyone in person what I did), and this is the kind of thing that makes homicide justifiable in a court of law. I know that my choice was to either let the rapist hurt me or hurt that little kid (and yes, not remembering his name is scaring me but I hope that, as with S, I will remember his name at some future date (after I have punished myself enough?). Yes, I know that I was a child with few options but damnit! I chose to hurt him instead. Which is to me absolutely unforgievable. What I did to S, what I did to this child.

    I appreciate y’all’s tolerance of my ramblings but I have no other place I feel safe enough to actually write down what I did.

  180. didgen says

    wow, now I feel less overwhelmed, all I am dealing with are two boys third day post-op, one six year old, one four.
    Good luck to everyone in that situation, especially your daughter and the two year old.

  181. says

    *bighugs* Remember: Magician’s choice. You were not in control of your actions at that time, in a very real way. The entirety of the blame rests on the adults who compelled you into that situation.

  182. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Ogvorbis, you didn’t choose to hurt that boy. You were used as a weapon. Using you as a weapon was another evil thing the person hurting that boy did.

  183. yazikus says

    That was not your fault. It was the adults. They did that. They made you do that. It was not your fault. I know some people who come from very, very large families that had sort of generational abuse issues, where similar things happened. They were taught that certain things were okay, that they were normal, when they were not. They didn’t continue those behaviors as they grew, because they realized they were not right, nor normal. You were coerced into that situation, and should have no guilt now. You are not doing that now.You are (by all accounts of what I’ve read) a wonderful husband and father, and a great asset to those around you. This is who you are. You are a good person. And I would love to see the person who did this to you behind bars. Can I ask, are they?

  184. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says


    Magician’s Choice. yeah. I know. But I still chose to cause massive pain to a toddler to avoid what was, by that time, minor pain for me.


    But I remember enyoing being a weapon. Whic h is wrong. And evil.

    I need a few days to digest these new memories and I’ll be back on an evil keel again. I will continue to trigger warning my shit. I just feel so low right now. And I feel like I deserve to feel the way I do.

    Tour coming up. Get my mind off of this piddly nonsense. Sorry.

  185. yazikus says

    Tour coming up.

    I don’t think I’ve said, but I so want to go on one of your tours! I love trains, I love history, and I love tours. Maybe someday if I’m in your neck of the woods I’ll get to be in one. A year or so ago I got to tour a dam, which was awesome! So amazing.

  186. cicely says

    From Animals Talking In All Caps

    billingtondev: *big hugs*
    That’s…a lot of stress, disguised as a visit.

    Ogvorbis: large, dedicated *hug-dump*, with a side of Moral Support.
    And no, you do NOT deserve to feel that way.

  187. rq says

    You did not choose. Not a real choice, so you could not choose.
    *hugs* and it is not your fault.

    What a terrible weekend for your daughter! I’m glad she has decided to see her doctor, and I hope she is able to be open with him and maybe get references for depression and everything else. *hugs*

  188. says

    I’m adding another post to our Republicans-gone-wild list of outrageous offenses against, well, the people (“people” who are not white male Republicans, that is).

    Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas has been making quite a name for himself. Backed by Koch brother’s money, and swelling with Tea Party pride, Brownback, who used to call himself “God’s Senator,” is now apparently God’s Governor:

    Last December, he made an official proclamation declaring a “Day of Restoration” on which Kansans should “collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God,” and staged a massive prayer rally in a public park…

    The point is that, like many Republican governors who rule over Republican state senates and houses, Brownback has used Koch money to purge moderate Republicans from the fold. He can now do whatever the hell he wants to do. If a court ruling temporarily slows him down, he starts looking for a way to get rid of those judges (via a bill that allows him to appoint all judges). Brownback and his minions have hijacked Kansas, as journalist Mark Binelli describes in a report for Rolling Stone.

    Here are just a few of Brownbacks, uh, “accomplishments”:
    gutted spending on social services and education
    set up public school “innovation zones” in which state laws and curriculum guidelines are ignored
    privatized the state’s Medicaid system
    hobbled or destroyed unions
    reclassified civil service jobs to eliminate union protection
    abolished all funding for the arts
    signed every anti-abortion bill that crossed his desk
    enacted the biggest tax cuts in Kansas history (Koch brothers now pay less taxes, yeah!)
    mucho anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood, anti-woman legislation

    New bills required abortion providers to show patients detailed images of fetal development and explain the supposed “link” (deemed bogus by the National Cancer Institute) between abortion and breast cancer; got rid of an exemption allowing late-term abortions if the woman’s mental health was at risk; and even officially declared that life began at conception.

    A few other cultural oddities brought to Kansas by the fringe fanatics backing Brownback:
    bills to allow public schools and universities to arm teachers
    a bill announcing that federal gun laws do not apply to guns made and sold in Kansas
    eliminating all existing gun-free zones
    a 25-year-old ban on quarantining people with AIDS was rescinded
    a bill to require that cities putting fluoride in their water inform customers that fluoride lowers I.Q.
    “jokes” about using sharpshooters in helicopters to shoot immigrants

    Brownback is looking very much like he would like to run for President in 2016, giving Republicans a truly conservative candidate, unlike that wishy washy faux-conservative Mitt Romney.

  189. says

    Up-thread, @165, some Republican nonsense fostered by Rick Perry was noted. Here is some more. Pity Texas.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) this week signed a strange bill into law this week. Apparently hoping to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, the governor put his signature on a bill that says “a school district may educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Happy Hanukkah,’ and ‘happy holidays.”

    Maddow Blog link.

  190. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    And no, you do NOT deserve to feel that way.

    I chose to increase the pain and suffering of another person, a much younger person, someone with even less agency. So, right now, I real feel that I do deserve to be depresed.

    You did not choose. Not a real choice, so you could not choose.

    I know that either choice was bad. but I chose the option to abuse another human being.]

    Sorry. Not being real rational about this right now.

  191. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    None of it was your fault. They used you as a weapon, and I believe they also might have counted on making you feel guilty that way so that you wouldn’t tell. This second part is just me guessing, but it makes sense that they would use that kind of manipulation. Either way, you were a child, they were adults with power and authority over you – you had no actual choices.

    *gentle hugs*

  192. carlie says

    Oh, wow. Straight from the twitter feed of Jamie Killstein, Patton Oswalt walks back all the crap he’s ever said complaining about rape culture. Now THAT is the way to explore how you’ve changed your mind about something. It’s very long, and you can scroll straight down to the rape culture part (the sections are labeled), but it references the first and second parts a few times.

    Why, after all of my years of striving to write original material (and, at times, becoming annoyingly self-righteous about it) and struggling find new viewpoints or untried approaches to any subject, did I suddenly balk and protest when an articulate, intelligent and, at times, angry contingent of people were asking my to apply the same principles to the subject of rape? Any edgy or taboo subject can become just as hackneyed as an acceptable or non-controversial one if the exact same approach is made every time. But I wasn’t willing to hear that.

  193. billingtondev says

    Piddly Stuff? No. I don’t think so.
    I think I can understand why feeling like you made this choice is so awful. But it seems to me that feeling bad – and being to blame/held responsible are not the same thing. An awful thing was done and you feel bad – that kinda makes sense. BUT you were not to blame. No child is EVER to blame in a situation like that. Ever. I think the fact that you feel bad says a lot about the adult you are now – who was also the child that never had a real choice and that never deserved any of this.

    Dalillama, didgen, cicely, rq – I think I just needed to do a brain dump to help process things a bit – so thanks for the space to do that and for listening. The fact that daughter returned home more-or-less intact and is making some good decisions for herself is the good news.

  194. chigau (aaarrgh) says

    I have never been this ‘rupt :(
    *hugs* and rum for all while I play catch-up

  195. says

    Conservative Republican media mogul Roger Ailes gives another opportunity to add to our Republicans-gone-wild list.

    “Zombie Lies” link from the Maddow Blog.

    Roger Ailes, president of Fox News, won a Bradley Prize this year, along with the $250,000 award that comes with it, which apparently is bestowed upon conservatives who are good at being conservative. Ailes delivered a curious acceptance speech in accepting the honor…

    … there was one gem in particular that seemed vaguely important. “The federal government is about to hire 16,000 more IRS agents to enforce health care. Forty-seven new tax increases! No wonder they need guns!” Ailes told the event’s attendees, adding, “[W]e don’t need more people with guns enforcing our health care! …'”

    As Jon Chait explained, none of this is rooted in reality.

    1. The weird idea that the IRS was going to hire 16,000 agents to enforce health care was circulated by Republicans three years ago, and <a href=""debunked by fact-checkers as a “wildly inaccurate claim.” The agency was authorized to hire some new staff, nowhere near 16,000, most of them not agents, and not for “enforcing” health care but helping process tax credits for businesses to insure their employees.

    2. “Forty seven new tax increases” is a distortion of a McClatchy report about the IRS carrying out 47 provisions, including things that are the opposite of a tax increase (i.e. “Provide refundable tax credits for companies with fewer than 25 workers that do provide health care coverage; Provide help for lower-income taxpayers who purchase health insurance from a newly created state-run exchange.”)….

    … The Fox News chief was given a lucrative award for his work in conservative media, which includes repeating politically-motivated falsehoods. In accepting the award, Ailes repeats even more politically-motivated falsehoods. …

    Why do zombie lies maintain their grip on so many people? I suspect this anecdote has something to do with it.

    Yes, the IRS does maintain a small enforcement contingent, an armed contingent, 2725 special agents, 3% of the IRS employees. They have to deal with drug lords, smuggling rings pretending to be legit companies, etc.

    The healthcare law says on page 131 “In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.” So, sorry, no IRS agents with guns will be enforcing healthcare laws. Sounds like a great script for a conservative propaganda movie.

  196. says

    As far as birthdays go, this one was somewhere between “mellow” and “meh”. But, eh… can’t really complain, we’re doing the actual celebration on Sunday, lumped in with Father’s day.


    Once again, instead of my birthday being MY DAY, it’s getting shuffled off and combined with other things, because “convenience”.

    Every. Fucking. Year.

    It’s either “combined” with my older sister’s birthday, or with Father’s day — sometimes, if we’re lucky, we celebrate all three on the same day. Yes, it grinds my goddamn gears!

    And now I feel guilty/bad for wanting one. goddamn. DAY. that’s all about me.

  197. says

    I read your post about everything that happened on my way home and my jaw dropped. That was a bad luck clusterfuck. The one good thing is your daughter going to the daughter. Hopefully there can be some positive change in her depression.
    You are not responsible for the choices you were manipulated into making as a child. I believe the guilt you feel is the result of you being a good person, but you neither need to, nor should feel guilty. You had no control over the situation. If you had not followed directions, things might have turned out worse.
    Sorrry to hear that you cannot have one day to yourself. Happy birthday, and I hope you get to do something of your choosing.

  198. cicely says

    Happy birthday, WMDKitty.
    *scritches&cake&ice cream&booze&fireworks&romping kittehs*—And all of them are just for you!

  199. yazikus says

    Happy birthday, WMDKitty! It’s super hard having to share the one day a year when you are supposed to be able to celebrate you.

    I washed one of my thumb USB flash drives.

    In the sink? Dishwasher? Laundromat? I’ve seen some grimy flash drives in my time, and they could probably use a wash. Which is your preferred method? ( =) )

  200. says

    So I was reading one of Crommunists recent posts and it dawned on me–I am well aware of many of the events in the Deep Rifts, but I’m not certain where it all began. Was it with “guys dont do that”, or was there something prior? My first major experiences at FtB with the sexism in the community came when Thunderf00t joined.

  201. rq says

    When my first Tolkien fanfic is complete, I will be sure to post it here so that you can critique my details and point out everything I described wrong (such as a ‘joyful smile’ on the face of the human Man).

  202. cicely says

    The Deep Rifts began with the accommodationists.

    And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came and they bought Mercedes Benzes. And Prince Charles started wearing all of Lady Di’s clothes.

    One of my Olde College Friends pointed me to that site. We were FB-chatting on the near-certainty that, somewhere in the depths of The Intarweebs, there lurks at least one site dedicated to Tolkien/Potterverse slash-fic.
    ‘Cause we’re cultured like that.

  203. rq says

    And Happy Birthday, if it’s not too late!!! *scritches&scritches&catnip&scritches&catnipcupcakewithcandle*

  204. says

    Thanks — I should be used to the whole “lump all the parties into one party” thing by now. I kinda get it, it’s easier to just have one party to clean up after, and all, but the subtext is painful when you throw in huuuuge abandonment issues and massive anxiety issues and the ever-present lying asshole, depression, trying to convince me that they don’t really care.


    My head? Not so healthy…

  205. says

    Good morning
    I’m feeling somewhat better after lots of ranting and crying and a talk with my therapist.
    We’ll need to get her examined.
    As I said, I know she’s different, I have been suspecting that she might be either gifted/on the autism spectrum / on the ADS spectrum for a while, but I wanted her to be able to live outside of a box and as long as she was allowed to she was happy.
    But the world isn’t that far yet, at the moment she’s being put into a box and it has the big potential to make her unhappy. And I won’t change the world fast enough. So, if the exam on Tuesday isn’t good well need to do it quickly, if not then over the next months.

    Happy Birthday WMD Kitty

    Big hugs, Ogvorbis

  206. opposablethumbs says

    Happy Birthday, WMD Kitty!
    Pantechnicon full of hugs for Ogvorbis. The adults doing this to you and to the other children were beyond despicable. Just never stop remembering that he failed to make you like him – you have become an adult nothing like them, despite all their efforts. A good spouse and parent and a much-valued person around here.
    Giliell, fwiw (which is little enough) I remember having very strong and very mixed feelings about getting Spawn#2 assessed way back when (completely different situation, of course, except for the being different part!) and finding the whole thing very hard to deal with. With hindsight, many years later, I would say having professional assessments was very useful in all kinds of ways and only wish we’d done it even sooner, if anything. Made it possible/easier to get what he needed/was entitled to, including in his case accessing various kinds of special provision, and made it somewhat easier to tell people what they needed to be told without having to go through a massive long description and explanation every damn time to get there. (just a medium-long description and explanation, but that was still better than the alternative!).

    I should think what you have to organise and demand and deal with is very stressful and exhausting and I sympathise! I hope it goes well and you don’t have to jump through too many hoops, and that it does prove useful for what really matters – getting her what she needs.
    cicely, I laughed. I never liked Tolkien much and really disliked the overblown Tolkien-worshiping trend, and I thought this how-to guide is juuust about right! :-)

  207. billingtondev says

    Happy Birthday!! (Hope its not too late…)
    And that’s just for you – NOT the ever-present lying asshole;)

    Yeah – it was kinda unbelievable. There was actually a couple of other things too (like a skype conversation with ex-boyfriend saying he’d figured out he actually did love her but knows its too late – sigh) – but enough is enough. I guess clusterfucks are just how things go sometimes.
    Looks like she has contracted the gastro thing that friends daughter had. Which is a wee bit scary as this is how things began when she got sick last year. But the chance of the vasculitis recurring is very very slim. So the Dr’s visit will be good on several levels. Progress. Moving forward – all fingers crossed… thanks for your thoughts!

  208. carlie says

    Giliell – try not to think of it as a box, more like… keyword tags, maybe. You know how on blogs you can find specific types of posts by keyword tags, and looking at the tags makes it easier to know what the post is about and easier to find it later? Testing is more like finding the right keyword tags to make it easier to understand what the person does and why, and easier to find resources geared towards those tags to make their life more manageable. I’m thinking specifically of that one the other day that PZ did that was tagged “humor”, and a bunch of people got snotty in the comments telling him that it was a fake because they didn’t look at the tag and therefore interpreted everything he said in the post incorrectly. Sometimes dealing with an undiagnosed child is like that – total misinterpretation of what’s bothering them, what’s confusing them, etc., but with the right tag attached it suddenly becomes clear and then you can figure it out and find out how to help them.

    That said, it’s a hell of a wringer of an emotional experience for the parents. It may well be that there’s nothing diagnosable about her and she’s just on a different developmental timetable than the average, but if it turns out differently, there are a lot of us here who have gone through that you can lean on and vent to.

  209. says

    Some good news, not from religious institutions, but from the courts that sometimes battle them.

    A Catholic school teacher who was fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination was awarded more than $170,000 Monday after winning her anti-discrimination lawsuit against an Ohio archdiocese.

    A federal jury found that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati discriminated against Christa Dias by firing her in October 2010.

    Dias, who taught computer classes, declined to comment immediately after the verdict but said later in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that she was “very happy and relieved.”…
    Nice photo of the mother and child at the link.

  210. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness: Glenn Beck used the Book of Mormon in his proclamation that “we are at the end.” He means the end of the world, or the “Last Days” as mormons put it.

    Saying that the Book of Mormon is “really a calendar,” Beck said that recent episodes of cannibalism in Syria and Russia are just the sort of thing that the Book of Mormon predicts will take place as we near the Last Days … adding that he told his staff a long time ago that if they ever heard him mention the Book of Mormon on the air, they would know “we are at the end”

    Video of the Beck prophecy at the link:

  211. says

    Turn off your irony meters to protect them from overload. Pat Robertson’s latest broadcast includes the statement that disaster prophecies are “nutty” and “from the pit of hell.”

    Could be aimed at Glenn Beck? A list of Robertson’s own disaster prophecies (all of which proved false) is too long to present here.

    Today, Robertson received a question from a 700 Club viewer who wondered about people in her church who “speak in tongues and prophesy to people in the congregation about accidents in their future or some great sorrow in their lives” as a result of the “great judgment” of God.

    Robertson answered that such works come “from the pit of Hell” and claimed that these people are trying to “dominate other people and so they do it, like, ‘I’ve got a word of God from you.’” He later added that “predictive prophecy about disaster is almost always something from the psychic world, it’s not something from God” and called the prophets “nutty.”

    Video at the link.

  212. says

    “Gay lobby” inside the Vatican is outed by the Pope:

    For years, perhaps even centuries, it has been an open secret in Rome: That some prelates in the Vatican hierarchy are gay. But the whispers were amplified this week when Pope Francis himself, in a private audience, appears to have acknowledged what he called a “gay lobby” operating inside the Vatican, vying for power and influence….

    “In the Curia, there are also holy people, really, there are holy people. But there also is a stream of corruption, there is that as well, it is true,” he said in Spanish, according to a loose summary of the meeting posted on a Chilean Web site, Reflection and Liberation, and later translated into English by the blog Rorate Caeli.

    “The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there … We need to see what we can do,” Francis continued…

    NY Times link.

  213. broboxley OT says

    if “they” banned this video why is there a link to it in almost every intarweb page I land on? Just wonderin’

  214. says

    Good evening
    So, after talking to a friend (psychologist with a gifted child herself) and her kindergarten teachers I feel a bit better.
    Step one: Get that examination done on Tuesday. Kindergarten supports us and will talk to the principal again.
    Step two: make an appointment with a psychologist to get her tested.


    It may well be that there’s nothing diagnosable about her and she’s just on a different developmental timetable than the average,

    That would be a very different one, especially given that she’s very much advanced in cognitive things but definetly not ordinary when it comes to social interactions.

  215. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    In case anyone was wondering, email migrations suck donkey balls.

    At least I can do it from home and at least I have beer.

  216. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I’m glad you have support in this. I hope #1 gets to go to school this year.

  217. says

    How many more times are we going to have this conversation?
    Morality is not religiously derived.

    Despite being an atheist, Ms. Doughty was told that any conscientious objection must be based on religious grounds, not simply moral objections. So as someone who was not religious, and didn’t believe in a god, she had no basis for objecting. Her statement has been denied and she has been informed that to move forward in the process she must submit a letter from the elders of her church to prove her conscientious objections are religiously based.

  218. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    What kind of an idiot one has to be to accidentally put the wrong year of when I started working. I have December 2013 insttead of 2012in my CV
    I just realized this, after I went to bed, so I checked.

    No wonder I don’t get called anywhere, I wouldn’t want a moron like that working for me either. :


  219. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Fuck,. .I can’t do a single fucking thing right.

  220. yazikus says

    Beatrice- we all make typos! I hope you won’t be too hard on yourself, and you certainly aren’t an idiot. I put my salt away in my fridge yesterday. It happens.

  221. says

    What kind of an idiot one has to be to accidentally put the wrong year of when I started working. I have December 2013 instead of 2012in my CV

    I did substantially the same thing in my resume applying for a job as a preafrooder a while back.

  222. birgerjohansson says

    Wen Spencer’s next book will be available this week (at least in Britain)

    — — — — — —
    “Brownback is looking very much like he would like to run for President in 2016, giving Republicans a truly conservative candidate, unlike that wishy washy faux-conservative Mitt Romney.”

    YES!!!! Of course, it will be hell for people living in Kansas, but in the long run it will help the wingnuts self-destruct.

    BTW have you read the stuff elsewhere on Freethoughtblogs about House Republicans passing an anti-Mike Weinstein (founder of MRFF) amendment? This is one of the greatest honors a skeptic could get, even if the Republicans did not intend it that way.

  223. cicely says

    carlie: You have email. Or should have, anyways.

    Giliell: I’m glad to hear that the kindergarten supports you. Surely their input should be considered more relevant than that of people who don’t even know your child.

    *hug* for Beatrice. Tpyos happens to everyone. Doesn’t make you (or anyone) a moron—and we all know you aren’t!

  224. says

    I stooped to listening to Justin Vacula’s absurdly titled “brave hero” radio tonight. David Silverman came on ferociously: he gave Vacula an out, told him he had the potential to be a great activist, but that he had to distance himself from “the shit” — that is, the slymers. He was pretty explicit and strong about it, too.

    Oh, they are in a fine furious rage now. I heard so many shrieks of virtual outrage, it was like a symphony.

  225. Pteryxx says

    leaving this here as it’s way OT from the vaginas-are-icky thread – the follow-up to the piece on benevolent sexism I just posted has some MASSIVE GOOD SHITE.

    Research supports the fact that positive stereotypes can be harmful across all types of prejudice. Positive stereotypes about performance ability might make people more likely to “choke under pressure,” there are psychological threats involved in being a “model minority,” and seemingly positive stereotypes about one group can have negative consequences for another. “Positive” stereotypes about Caucasian and African-American groups involving academics and athletic ability can each impact the other group negatively; when a test is framed as an intellectual diagnostic task, Black participants underperform, but when the same test is framed as a test of athletic ability, White participants underperform. Finally, as a commenter pointed out, African-American athletes might be more likely to be praised as “physically gifted,” whereas White athletes might be more likely to be praised as “hard workers,” due to different racialized perceptions of “natural ability.” This might not seem like a huge deal, until you consider research showing that praising the effort someone puts in is tremendously more beneficial and intrinsically motivating than praising someone for being innately good at something.

    As a thought experiment, I invite you to try identifying any identity that you might be sensitive about or derive a lot of your personal identity from – it can be a racial, gender, or religious identity, or it can be something not typically addressed in a lot of this literature, like a medical or mental health diagnosis, a hobby, a school affiliation, a state that you are from, etc. Try identifying one potential “benevolent” stereotype associated with that identity, and one potential negative one. Then try imagining what some of these examples I have brought up today and yesterday might look like if they referred to that identity. You might still feel the same way, but I am willing to bet that you might reconsider some of the comments that initially seem innocuous once you realize what they sound like if applied to you.

    For myself, I tend to try substituting in “Jewish.” For situations like what happened with Elise, I imagine how I would feel if someone commented, “You’re a Jew and you’re not a banker or running Hollywood?! So cool!”

    It doesn’t feel great.

    Plenty of research references too.

    Quoting from:

    which is a follow-up to:

  226. yazikus says


    Oh, they are in a fine furious rage now. I heard so many shrieks of virtual outrage, it was like a symphony.

    Was this included in the podcast, or do I need to go elsewhere to find it? I was considering listening, and that just might make it worthwhile. Venturing into the pit, however, I’m not so sure I’d be inclined.

  227. says

    I’m so ‘rupt I should stop immediately and try again next week!

    Hugs to all that need/want/can handle them, and extra for those who have been keeping me in their thoughts over the last few months.

    Things are kind of stable enough here where it might be possible for me to have social interactions without completely losing my shit all the time… I’m not 100% sure, but I’m willing to give it a try if folks are willing to not try to destroy me if you think I’ve made a misstep.

  228. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Thank you for the support when I was down and depressed even if I couldn’t go into details.


    What I’ve heard about Man of Steel isn’t causing me to rush to theaters. I’ve accepted that pretty much no one writes comics or cape genre movies that are my taste and preference. I’m starting to agree with Allan Moore that the cape genre is artistically dead right now.

  229. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    (wanted to reply yesterday, but was not in the mood)

    I put my salt away in my fridge yesterday. It happens.

    Well, of course, that totally measures up to screwing up several job applications.

    Thanks for making me laugh. Needed that.

    (from today)

    Hey, Joe

  230. rq says

    Try sending an email to apply, with the text ‘see CV in the attachments’… and then you don’t attach your CV. Followed up by the good old ‘oh, here is the actual CV’ email. :P I also wondered why no one was hiring me.
    Thank goodness the lab here was desperate (not sarcasm).
    *hugs* for you.

    Improbable Joe
    *hugs* and Hey! :)


    Well, that went much better than expected.
    *hugs* for everyone.

  231. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I did that too, once. What can I say, I’m multitalented. :)

  232. opposablethumbs says

    Beatrice, I sympathise. I’ve managed to mis-spell my correspondent’s name when it was right there in front of me in the email I was replying to … and I saw what I had done in the very instant my finger was just clicking on “send” but I was too late to get my finger to stop completing the click. I’m pretty sure that made a great impression on the person I was hoping to get work from. I know it’s no consolation to you, but just to say I’m sorry it happened to you :-(
    I don’t suppose you have anyone you could get to proofread for you, do you? Almost anyone’s eye will skip over stuff your brain has told it not to expect to see, as it were (to mangle a phrase). Sorry, you probably already considered that and maybe there isn’t a suitable person around :-(
    Have a hug?
    Hi iJoe!!!!! Long time no read – hope you and BossNurse are OK!

  233. erik333 says

    So, a friend on facebook shared an article in a Swedish online newspaper referencing this oecd report about immigrant “profitability”. Is there someone for whom its obvious why excluding pensions would make the figures worse for the US, than when including them? Did they simply fuck up? I’m at a loss in how to explain such a thing.

  234. mildlymagnificent says

    Proofreading. Best advice I ever heard. Not just proofreading a letter, but checking any writing for obvious typos, omissions, repeats.

    Start reading your last sentence. Then the second last and so on, back to the beginning. The main thing this does is to break down your usual reading speed and disrupt the rhythm of your eye movements so you don’t skip doubles or omissions that you normally do with your own writing (and others for that matter). It’s not entirely foolproof, but you do pick up things you often miss.

  235. says

    Start reading your last sentence. Then the second last and so on, back to the beginning. The main thing this does is to break down your usual reading speed and disrupt the rhythm of your eye movements so you don’t skip doubles or omissions that you normally do with your own writing (and others for that matter). It’s not entirely foolproof, but you do pick up things you often miss.

    Even more effective:
    Take a file-card and cut out a strip in the bottom right corner. Place on text so you only see the last word, start reading backwards. Probably no good for fucking up numbers.

    *hugs* to beatrice

  236. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    FWIW. Excellent talk here :

    Benny Wenda is the face of self-determination and human rights in West Papua. This is the story of him and his people as told by his lawyer and friend, Jennifer Robinson.

    Courage is Contagious: Jennifer Robinson at TEDxSydney

    From the Sydney TEDx lectures on the West Papuan freedom issue.

  237. carlie says

    Beatrice – well, if it’s the type of person who would overlook everything you’ve done and ditch your application for the sake of one typo, that’s the kind of person it would be hell to work for anyway.

  238. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Asking someone else to proofread is a good idea, I just never wanted to bother anyone.

  239. says

    This rarely happens: christians being good at pointing out a major flaw in mormon culture while simultaneously not getting bent out of shape. Christians illuminate Moments of Mormon Madness … at least this time, just this once.

    An enterprising ex-mormon wrote to many christian leaders to ask them for their thoughts on the practice of having mormon bishops inquire about the masturbation habits or sexual purity of children as young as 12 years old, (said inquiry is done in a room with a closed door — only the bishop and child present).

    The ex-mormon received bucket loads of responses, many of them thoughtful. A few excerpts are posted below. For the entire cache of responses, plus the wording of the initial inquiry, see,925430

    ..Another denominational difference concerns your bishop’s stated justification for the inquiry: that sexual purity is a requirement for membership. The implication is that a finding of impurity could result in removal/suspension from membership in the LDS Church. In [our church], any such inquiry – an inquiry undertaken because the rules may have been violated – is called a disciplinary case. A disciplinary inquiry may not be undertaken without cause (we disallow a so-called “fishing expedition”) and the person being inquired into has the right to ecclesiastical counsel and the right against self-incrimination.

    Finally, while this is tangential to the core of your situation, in our tradition masturbation is not a sin. The story of Onan, the only Scriptural basis for making such a declaration, is the story of a man who refuses to impregnate his dead brother’s widow in accordance with Levirate law, effectively stealing his brother’s inheritance for his own children and depriving his brother’s widow of care. That was his sin, and according to sin, God slew him for it. Not because he “spilled his seed” – but why he spilled it.

    So in short, no, I would never interview a child about personal sexual practices and it is conceivable that to do so might well be considered pastoral misconduct in my denomination.

    Thank you for sharing and enlightening me of your church’s/bishop’s practice. I find such behavior unacceptable for a person in a “position of trust” such as this.

    First, no…absolutely NOT…does our [church’s] beliefs or practices follow anything like this ‘interview’ with children of ANY age. Nor would I personally do so.

    “Other than the options you have stated below to resolve this situation, you might consider INSISTING (both with your family and the bishop) that if this type of ‘interview’ continues with your children, then YOU MUST BE PRESENT when it occurs, or you will report him/them to the authorities as well. I applaud your desire to “respect the beliefs” of your wife and children; this practice, however, seems to be OUTSIDE the true beliefs of the Mormon church. If in doubt, go back to the Book of Mormon and find out where such interviews are sanctioned or required…possibly use that as leverage for your situation….

    No grown man needs to know the details of a young boy’s or girl’s sexual sin. For that matter, even an adult’s details may be more than he needs to know. It is possible to minister to the spiritual needs of an individual without that.

    There is a bit of pot/kettle in the replies from christian pastors, (calling the mormon church a “den of iniquity” being one), but overall the response of slightly more normal persons to a cult-like and possibly illegal activity within the LDS church is unanimous condemnation, (followed by unintentionally hilarious invitations to join a different church).

  240. says

    Mormon Moment of Madness, as discussed in The New York Times.

    So, this mormon guy, Jeremy Johnson is a business man and a hero to mormons far and wide. The trouble is, he more or less followed the LDS church’s lead in appearing to be generous by giving away other people’s money and goods. Fleece the people, then use the ill-gotten gains to make yourself look like a hero.

    … what Mr. Johnson had to give — and it was quite a bit — may have come from consumers who got taken. The Federal Trade Commission says Mr. Johnson was “the mastermind” behind one of the largest and most intricate online marketing frauds ever perpetrated in the United States….

    … The Johnsons are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and their faith emphasizes service. Yet Jeremy’s drive to give to others always seemed singular, his brother said.“He doesn’t care what it looks like to other people,” Andy Johnson said. “He just tries to do the right thing.”

    Mr. Johnson credits the two years he spent as a Mormon missionary in Independence, Mo., with giving him a hands-on education in marketing; being a missionary allowed him to meet and talk to all kinds of people, says his cousin Nathan Ruben….

    … “The scam, operated by 10 individuals through 61 companies,” an F.T.C. memorandum to the Nevada court says, “has tricked consumers into providing their credit and debit card information and has repeatedly billed these consumers for Internet-based memberships they never agreed to join.” At its height, “the scheme was ensnaring 15,000 consumers per day,” the document says….

  241. yazikus says


    Well, of course, that totally measures up to screwing up several job applications.

    It totally doesn’t, sorry I phrased it in such a minimizing way. Not how I meant to come across. My apologies.

  242. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I’m sorry for getting snarky with you, I’m not very nice when I’m in a bad mood.

  243. yazikus says

    No worries, it was a pretty poor comparison for me to make. I hope today is going better for you.

  244. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    Being self-centered as I am, I read an extra too in your sentence (as in Yup, I get my asshole side from my dad too. ) and wondered how did you guess that about me so perfectly… Hm, yeah, sorry.
    So… let’s try again: *hugs*, what’s going on? Share and/or rant or whatever helps.

  245. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    going to sleep now.
    I’ll make sure to answer tomorrow, if you decide to comment more on this, rq

  246. rq says

    Heh, thanks, although even if you added the ‘too’, you know how misery loves company and all that. I’ll have to rant tomorrow, it’s been one of those day, but I had to put that down here.
    *hugs* back!

  247. birgerjohansson says

    “I’m starting to agree with Allan Moore that the cape genre is artistically dead right now.”

    Altough I like some of the”Authority” books and the stand-alone “Midnighter” stories for their sheer revenge fantasies. They rarely bother with blue-collar crooks and go straight for the kingpins, corporate overlords, politicians and torture enablers. And the baddies will be dealt with as decisively as those who run afoul of “Special Circumstances” in Iain Banks’ “Culture” novels.

  248. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness, Boy Scout category.

    Two weeks ago, Boy Scout leaders Peter Brownstein, Neil Whitaker and a handful of Scouts marched in the Utah Pride Parade, celebrating the organization’s historic May vote to allow gay youths.

    This week, officials with the Great Salt Lake Council called the two men in, pointed out a photo published by The Salt Lake Tribune showing Whitaker at the parade and told them both to sign an apology for “violation of (Boys Scouts of America) policies and disobedience.”

    Leaders cited BSA policy that prohibits using Scouting to promote a political agenda.

    Whitaker and others said they were not advancing a “political” agenda but celebrating a “cultural” event, not unlike the Days of ’47 Parade that honors Utah pioneers annually on July 24 and often includes Boy Scouts in uniform.

    “We weren’t rallying for a politician or political event,” Whitaker said. “To me, it was being supportive of my fellow human beings.”

    The men refused to sign the apology letter, which warned them a similar future offense could lead to the revocation of their Scouting membership….

    So, yeah, the LDS church mumbled consent and support for allowing gays into scouting troops they sponsor (almost every troop in Utah and Idaho), and then, behind the scenes they proceeded to do everything they could to discourage gays when it came to participating in scouting. Par for course. This is how they usually operate.

    But this time they got caught. The Great Salt Lake Council is mormon through and through.

    And as far as using Boy Scouts for political campaigns, the Great Salt Lake Council was all too ready to trot them out for Romney and for Ryan. See:

    … Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill … :
    “Our initial take is that it is not a partisan event and does not constitute a political agency,” Gill said. “County agencies have participated in multiple events to promote a service and do community outreach.”

  249. says

    From the comments below the article referenced in my post @329:

    The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was chartered by the Congress of the United States. It operates as a private organization but serves America’s youth. My Eagle certificate was “signed” by the President of the United States—every President, starting with Herbert Hoover, has served as honorary president of the BSA.

    Inequality is bad for American youth and bad for American society.

    The BSA deserves every word of criticism for their old policy that matches the text-book definition of bigotry and the new policy that fails to eliminate said bigotry completely. Private organizations get no free pass for bigoted behavior just because they are private organizations….

    [“David from Sandy, UT]

  250. cicely says

    Father’s Day….
    I know it sounds callous at best, but I would trade my mother for my father any day of the year….
    :( :( :(

  251. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Not that I see PZ as a golfer or any risk he may become one…

    but if he did, I know of the perfect pair of Golf Pants.

  252. Owlmirror says

  253. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I got through my medical procedure Friday, uneventful recovery except for heart palpitations and leg cramps on Saturday afternoon and evening. Remember the symptoms of hypokalemia (low potassium) this morning, and with some fruit juices high in potassium, the palpitations are gone and the leg cramps are dissipating. The ureter was fine, so the urologist is eying the prostate with a gleam of surgery in his eye, but delaying it to see if drugs will work first.

  254. broboxley OT says

    A book’s contents could change drastically. For example, by 1979, the erotic sci-fi thriller, “Affordable Brothel of the 9th Moon of Jupiter,” bore little resemblance to its first edition, which was originally titled the “New Testament,” a story about a Galilean carpenter who opens a budget furniture store in Sweden

  255. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Also, fuck Father’s Day. Fuck it right off.

    I’m inclined to agree, albeit for more prosaic reasons (the habitual turning it into a celebration of patriarchal gender typing or straight-up toxic masculinity, and the fact that schools and kids activities invariably have kids make mothers’ day cards – my borderline-deadbeat ex got four, I do believe – but can’t ever seem to be bothered to do anything for fathers’ day).

  256. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, 334 are you taking selenium? helps

    I’ve worked with selenium and seen MSDS’s for those compounds. Not going near it unless diluted by veggies sold commercially.

    With certain drugs like diuretics (which I take) too much sodium will deplete the blood potassium since the kidneys excrete a certain sodium/potassium ratio. Usually a varied diet will keep the sodium and potassium levels where they should be for my low dose of diuretic. I have no idea what anesthesia was used during my procedure. I did take naproxin afterwards for pain, and it contains sodium.

  257. says

    cicely @331


    I’ve just had a… interesting Father’s Day. It started with weeks of worrying about calling home today for Father’s Day since my dad disowned me last month, just to end with me leaving a terse voice mail on his cell phone and home phone.

    Then I went and did a Pirate Festival with my partner which was pretty fun.

    And then spent the evening comforting a close friend who was just raped by a homeless person in front of a grocery store in broad daylight today and was in shell shock. I think we got her on an even keel (Cards Against Humanity seems to comfort all wounds) and she promised to reach out to us if she needs help (which I hope she does since she’s already been pretty close to suicide a couple of times before this latest horror.

    Which earlier this week I was having a conversation with my secondary about our various rape experiences at the end of an awesome day. A day that earlier included a friend of hers from work talking about how excited she was to have a successful second date with a girl, because the first date with the girl had ended with both of them being roofied (luckily nothing else) and her best friend being really triggered during the day because he had been recently raped and his rapist was at an event we went to.

    But of course, there’s no such thing as a rape culture. And besides rape is totally uncommon and shit.


  258. birgerjohansson says

    Dallilama, seconded.

    Dammit! I have referred to denisovans and neanderthals as Denisovans and Neanderthals which is apparently a faux pas.

    And our warm summer day just got a thunderstorm.

  259. says

    So Happy Father’s Day one day late to the fathers on Pharyngula. I was pretty much just spending the day doing nothing so I missed the time to do it.

    I wished Happy Father’s Day to my complete tool of a father – who I still love despite his toolery.

    On another note:

    I greatly recommend people on Pharyngula download the KeePass program. It’s a Password-Generation locker software that can help you keep some of the more important passwords safe and secure and next-to-impossible to crack. You don’t need to use it for everything (if someone gets your WordPress password, the worst they can do is pretend to be you on Pharyngula,) but I highly recommend its use for banking and financial Web sites, e-mails associated with those Web sites, and any Web site where you do shopping (Amazon, for example.)

    It’s a little intimidating at first, but it’s incredibly useful.

  260. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Hi everyone! :)

    I’m going to be rude and do a bit of begging.

    Me and six friends are doing the Three Peaks Challenge this Saturday in support of Cancer Research UK. For those who may not know what the Three peaks Challenge is, it involves climbing the three highest mountains on mainland Britain in 24 hours. That’s Ben Nevis in Scotland (1,344m above sea level), Scafell pike in England (978m above sea level) and Mount Snowdon in Wales (1,085m above sea level). We start our ascent of Ben Nevis at 09:00 AM on Saturday the 22nd of June and, assuming all goes to plan, will be finishing our descent of Snowdon by 09:00 AM on Sunday the 23rd.

    We have a Just Giving page set up, and 100% of all donations will go to Cancer Research UK; the trip itself is financed out of our own pocket.

    So if any of you lovely people have a bit of spare cash lying around and fancy bitchslapping cancer, any donations would be much appreciated :)

  261. cicely says

    Clown funeral

    I got through my medical procedure Friday, uneventful recovery except for heart palpitations and leg cramps on Saturday afternoon and evening.


    *noisy pouncehug* for Hekuni Cat.

    *massive hugs* back, with plenty for you to share as needed.

  262. rq says

    *hugs* for Cerberus and I hope the best for you.


    Sooo… [long bit about me]
    Saturday was an interesting day. I’d been having all kinds of feelings of negative anticipation about it, considering it was supposed to be this whole thing with Husband’s friends and mine and all that stuff.
    But it all went far better than expected, mostly because at the end of the night, I had a long conversation with Husband’s oldest (?) friend, with whom I’ve had one of those uncomfortable relationships where you have to go to the same events and speak to each other, but you never feel quite good about it; where you invite [other person] even though you don’t like them because [partner] wants them present.
    Anyway. We talked. And I discovered two main things:
    1) he’s always been afraid of me because I’m prickly and intelligent (he’s never felt himself to be intelligent in any way, even though he is and I’ve never denied it);
    2) all my occasional chatter about hand-shaking and being ignored and cultural norms that seem derogatory to me has rubbed off on Husband (in a good way). He totally backed up my explanations to Friend about how, when Husband’s male friends don’t greet me like they greet Husband, I feel ignored and diminished, which makes me prickly and unwilling to engage in any kind of conversation because I’m suspicious of the motives. He’d obviously even thought about it, and discussed it with his colleagues (women and men) and come to some interesting conclusions of his own (correct ones, heh heh).

    Also, Friend had an amazing (to my mind, for the culture here) statement (referring back to that whole idea that a Man needs a Woman to Save him): “You can’t expect to find a good woman and for her to change you. You have to change yourself first, and then that good woman will come along.”
    And several times he actually said the words “I never thought about it that way”, but with that sort of ‘a-ha’ feel to it, which was good, because it meant all my explanations were getting through.
    Some of our mutual discomfort was misunderstanding, and while I couldn’t convince him to start shaking hands with all his women acquaintances, he did say he would make the effort with me, so it might yet rub off, and so, eventually, an inadvertent handshake at a time, women in Latvia might expect men to greet them as equals. In another few generations, that is.
    It’s nice to have it cleared up, because it makes a lot of Husband friend related events easier to deal with emotionally, even the ones where I may not be present.
    But it was a very interesting evening.
    [/long bit about me]

  263. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    *waves at rq*

    Good job changing Latvian society! :)

    I’m gonna go fall into bed now. Not dealing well with the heat wave.

  264. carlie says

    Glad you made it through, Nerd!

    Sounds awesome, rq! Glad you talked it out. :)

    Question: so i went ahead and bought some nutritional yeast. Besides putting it on popcorn, what the heck do I do with it?

    Rant: Today was water park day for child 2 at school. Conversation on the way home: “Did you end up assigned to a good group?” “Well, I was mostly by myself all day.” “What happened?” “I got separated from my group, and then I tried to join up with other groups, but I kept getting left behind, so after three times I said ‘I quit!’ and just went by myself the rest of the time even though I felt like I should be with people.” “Did you get left behind on accident or on purpose?” “I don’t know, it just happened. But I had a good day anyway.”
    Godfuckingdamnit. I can’t decide if I’m glad he’s oblivious enough to not feel the entirety of the slight, or if that makes me even more scared for him in general, and how on earth do I teach him better what negative social signals are without making all of his interactions more sad for him? Fuck.

  265. carlie says

    …and then he can just slay me, too.
    “Tomorrow is the last full day of school!”
    “Yep, I see it says ‘surprise’ day for the cafeteria. What do you think they’ll serve?”
    “I don’t know… fermented spider eyes?”

  266. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Well… I’m officially an engineering student.

    Ooh, what kind? :)

    Err, congratulations and all. *cough*

  267. broboxley OT says

    curious rq, before you spoke about meeting and greeting with a handshake, how did men greet women prior?

  268. opposablethumbs says

    iJoe, that is seriously great. I really hope the course(s?) turn out to be as you want and hope them to be.
    rq, here’s to you – you’re making them think! Which is really awesome, if you’re surrounded by those kinds of cultural assumptions. (Is the normal thing for a bloke’s male friends to just ignore his female partner/spouse? And are a woman’s female friends supposed to ignore her male partner/spouse? That’s … huh)
    fuck, carlie, I know that one (or very very similar ones) :-((( It just about cuts my heart out when things like that happen with SonSpawn. And I have the same dilemma about talking to him about negative social signals. I feel like I’m telling him not to interact … damn, can I just offer you/ask you to share an extra-strength hug right now, would that be OK?

  269. carlie says

    opposeablethumbs – I would love that, thanks. :) (how would one make a toughing-it-out smile emoticon?)

  270. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Carlie: [:-| maybe? (Helmet/something?)

    Joe: Ah okay. Congratulations, yes.

  271. yazikus says


    Question: so i went ahead and bought some nutritional yeast. Besides putting it on popcorn, what the heck do I do with it?

    Sprinkle it on anything savory. I’m sort of a one dish cook, I make things like “sauteed veggies on rice”, “red sauce pasta”, “savory vege and potato scramble” or yesterday’s “pork sausage and napa cabbage frittata” and I would put it on any of those. Probably not on desert though =)

  272. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Where does one find nutritional yeast? I’m curious now.

  273. opposablethumbs says

    ::shares extra-strength Very Very Big {{{hug}}} with carlie, with added hugs (if acceptable) for our respective child2/SonSpawn::

    ::wipes eyes and dons helmet:: [:-\

    Good night, Horde. Hope those of you for whom it is night-time sleep well.

  274. yazikus says

    I’ve gotten it at grocery stores, ranging from ones that cater to hippies, to ones that are trying super yuppie, vitamin cottage type places, co-ops, etc. I think it depends on where you live as well.

  275. mythbri says

    ‘Rupt to share a story that will probably be more amusing to me in a year or two, after I get the mud out of my clothes:

    On Saturday, I was visiting some family of mine in Salt Lake City because a lot of them happened to be in that area all at the same time, and that’s a rare thing. There are extended family members to whom I’m very close, and I always enjoy seeing them. My cousin (who feels like a sister to me) recently got engaged, so I went with her and her family to dinner.

    After dinner, my cousin’s older brothers (fraternal twins) really, REALLY wanted to set off fireworks in the salt flats. It was getting late, but we went anyway. We drove probably 30 minutes out of town to get to the flats, and the spot my cousins want to use to launch their fireworks required all nine of us to climb through a gate. At this point I had doubts about the legality of our situation, fireworks aside.

    At that point it turned out that we were waiting for some friends of my cousins, who were bringing a truck full of firewood so that we could also build a bonfire. And one of my twin cousins insisted he had to remove the gate by pulling it off its hinges so that the truck could drive the firewood to the spot, because carrying the wood ourselves would be the worst thing ever.

    Long story cut a little shorter, when those friends of his finally showed up, their truck got stuck in the mud of the salt flats, which are still in the process of baking out the moisture from last winter and subsequent rains. We worked for probably 2.5 hours to try to dig it out. By that point I was covered in mud and seriously grouchy because it was the first time I’d worn the new shirt my boyfriend got me as a gift.

    Before our last mighty attempt to push the truck out, my cousins (all Mormons) suggested that we say a prayer. So they did. I watched and kept quiet, particularly about my thoughts that the truck was fucking stuck, and no amount of prayer was going to get it unstuck. Unless by “prayer” you mean “tow truck on solid ground with a strong winch.”

    So the prayer was said, addressed to “Heavenly Father” which is Mormon-speak for God. We tried to free the truck one last time. We were unsuccessful. And then one of my cousins said, “Now, we can’t blame Heavenly Father just because it didn’t work.”

    Major eyeroll.

  276. mythbri says

    (It probably didn’t work because I was there, being a godless monster and all.)

  277. mythbri says

    (Also, note the overall Mormon-ness of the story. They can’t even blame alcohol.)

  278. yazikus says

    (Also, note the overall Mormon-ness of the story. They can’t even blame alcohol.)

    I’m sorry you had such a shitty time, but thank you for telling us that story. I love mormon stories. My in-laws are lds (there are many of them) and I’ve encountered similar situations. Recently (this isn’t a similar situation, just an anecdote) I got called to jury duty and so did my MIL. I was chatting with her (about dinosaurs, mais oui) and another fellow, and she started going on about mormon ideas as far as earth age, and then she goes “May I recite a poem I heard as a little girl? It just captures my feelings so well! If I could high to kolob, in the twinkling of an eye. ” Etc, etc. I was quite enjoying the conversation, but the other fellows jaw just dropped. It was hilarious.

  279. cicely says

    rq, hurrah for what sounds like a very productive conversation with Husband’s Friend.
    “One Inadvertent Handshake At A Time”. Shirtable!

    I’m officially an engineering student.

    Congrats, iJoe!
    *celebratory beer*

    *big hugs* and moral support for carlie and Spawn. That sucks, hard.

    “Now, we can’t blame Heavenly Father just because it didn’t work.”

    Major eyeroll.

    Yeah; HF is only on-deck for the praises, not the blameses.

    (Also, note the overall Mormon-ness of the story. They can’t even blame alcohol.)

    Why blame Alcohol, when Stupidity, Foolishness and Thoughtlessness were clearly to blame? Team effort FTL!

    *chicken soup* for iJoe. Sorry you’re ill. I’d try giving you an enthusiasm transplant, but I’m low on stock, just now.

  280. says

    That’s definitely the kind of story that gets funnier with distance, in time or space.

    Hope you feel better soon. I’d offer my help with the math brush-up, but the only one I could really help with is trig; I never learned Calculus at all.

    So what is it with creditors, that they don’t understand the words “I haven’t got any money, so there’s no point in continuing to hound me about it.”? I got a letter from a collection agency saying they were taking me to court for nonpayment two months ago. I called and told them I hadn’t got any money, and wasn’t going to anytime soon, what with being unemployed and all. They said that they were dropping the court case. What do I get in the mail today? Another fucking summons. Tomorrow, I’ll have to call them again to shout at somebody.

  281. yazikus says

    I’m sorry they are putting you through this.

    I hate creditors. Not the people who call, personally, but the idea that you should hound and intimidate people until you drive them further into poverty to get some pittance. I’ve dealt with many a garnishment in my day (working in accounting), and it is absolutely deplorable how they choose to go about collecting a debt. The additional costs for the payee, once garnished, are horrendous. I mean, they couldn’t pay the fucking bill in the first place, how are they supposed to pay it in addition to court fees and interest????
    Medical bills piss me off the most, I think. I’ve been in a situation where dealing with a medical bill after a traumatic medical event was super triggering for me. There should be compassion, and understanding when it comes to bills you cannot pay, and there is none in the way it is done. It seriously needs to change.

  282. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I never learned Calculus at all.

    I took Calculus my senior year of high school. Passed by the tiniest margin. If it hadn’t been for my friend giving me a ridiculous amount of help, I wouldn’t have escaped alive. Of course, it might have helped if I didn’t spend most of the year making my TI-81 do silly things.

  283. yazikus says

    I should add, I’ve got a bright red piece of paper on my fridge, with Final Notice on it, for a medical bill that I can pay (I have an (a?) HSA), but that I can’t bring myself to deal with. It will probably go to collections, where I won’t be able to afford it, because they don’t accept HSA. I suck I guess.

  284. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Yeah, unexpected medical bills messed me up for a long time. I’m just now, over 6 years later, starting to crawl out from under the wreckage.

  285. cicely says

    I took calculus…and I passed calculus…but I can’t honestly say I learned calculus.
    Trig, I can do.

    *hugs* for Dalillama.
    Years ago, we were filing/had filed (sequencing is shady; I’ve slept since then) for bankruptcy, and certain creditors kept calling and trying to scare money out of us that we didn’t have…until I used the word, “harrassment” (and pronounced it correctly).
    And they were never heard from again.

  286. yazikus says

    Was it pronounced like hair-assment? This is a word I’ve actually struggled with, I want to say hair-Assment, but I think that is the incorrect way.

  287. says

    Medical bills piss me off the most, I think.

    Well, yes. The fact that they exist at all is a fucking travesty, really.

    I should add, I’ve got a bright red piece of paper on my fridge, with Final Notice on it, for a medical bill that I can pay (I have an (a?) HSA), but that I can’t bring myself to deal with.

    I totally know this feeling.

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

    Question: so i went ahead and bought some nutritional yeast. Besides putting it on popcorn, what the heck do I do with it?

    ‘rupt, but I love yeast. I eat it on spaghetti with meat sauce as well as popcorn. If you think of it as a cheesy powder, creativity is fun :) (It’s nutritional?)

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

    Oh, and carlie, I meant to thank you for letting me know that Call the Midwife will be unavailable soon. Mom and I really enjoyed catching Season 2 this weekend. We giggled particularly hard at the first “ticketty boo” in Season 2 Ep 1 after watching the youtube parody video you posted. Too good.


    This week and the ones following it will be absolutely preposterously busy. If anyone needs to reach me particularly, feel free to email at bravoportia at thuh jee mayle thingy. Be well, everyone.

  290. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (It’s nutritional?)

    I assume they mean “for eating” instead of baking or brewing, say.

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

    I’ve always heard it called “brewer’s yeast” by my family. I have also seen it packaged in stores at ridiculous prices touting that it’s got this vitamin or that. But I wondered if carlie had any more info. I guess I’m google-lazy tonight :) Maybe we’re talking about different kinds of yeast though, who knows.

  292. yazikus says

    Mine at 379 was for Cicely, correctly pronouncing a word I’ve found difficult. My bad.

  293. rq says

    I’m sorry about the water day for child 2, but I like the humour (fermented spider’s eyes, was it?). :)

    Congratulations to Improbable Joe. It’ll be difficult but it’ll be good in the end, and I wish you luck.
    (I did Calculus in uni, and I actually learned it and understood it (to a point), and I taught it to others who didn’t bother coming to class, but in the end, I’ve forgotten it. It was Stats that I barely passed, but at least I did it. Proudest moment of my life, that 60% – also lowest official mark of my life, but still. I did it.)

    You asked:

    before you spoke about meeting and greeting with a handshake, how did men greet women prior?

    Short answer? They didn’t, besides, a cursory wave/nod, but no direct conversation and no handshake. Every man in the room gets a handshake, no matter how well you know him. Once you know a woman well enough (although how you get to that point without actual greetings, I don’t know), you can go for the half-hug and cheek-kiss. But I like an intermediacy of sorts, which… isn’t on offer here.
    The view from the other side is that ‘you just don’t greet women like that’. (‘Why?’ – ‘You just don’t.’ – to which I say, fuck these kinds of cultural norms.)


    And are a woman’s female friends supposed to ignore her male partner/spouse?

    Well, apparently they can if they want to (say the guys), but I’ve never actually seen them do it. Women are supposed to take the initiative – it’s a form of men not imposing themselves on women, by the definition here, but it’s also a really easy way for them to ignore women completely, so the intended effect is not the one that is felt. I think it’s a cultural difference brought on by the years from 1940 – 1990, as many such sexist cultural things seem to be, because in the Latvian society I grew up in, in Canada, that brought with it its dated language (I learned the grammar rules of the 1940s… apparently they change!) and dated ideas – I never once felt ungreeted or ignored there, from adult men right down to boys younger than myself, handshakes for all were the norm, and I felt safe enough initiating encounters, sometimes. I’ve tried initiating a hand-greeting here, and I’ve been pretty soundly ignored (even though it’s my prerogative… but I guess I catch them by surprise? or something?).

    Definitely a story that will age well. I understand your current frustration, but it’ll definitely sound and remember better when you’re older. It reminds me of many an attempted similar frolic, just without the fireworks. My parents were always pretty explicit about playing with fireworks. Gel fuel, on the other hand…

    A productive conversation, in deed. It made me feel proud of Husband (who had obviously done a lot of thinking and self-analysis of past actions), and it made me feel better about Friend. And it made me feel like a success, because I felt listented to and heard. (There were attempts at the ‘if I asked my girlfriend…’ but I stopped that right short with agreeing that yes, she’d say the same thing you’re saying… because she is also a product of your culture, not mine (my former one?). Which he could accept, and stopped trying to use that argument and started thinking.
    “One Inadvertent Handshake at a Time”

    I’m sorry, maybe the yelling will help you vent, but I hope they leave you alone! *hugs*

    I always thought it was har-assment, not hairassment. I’ve heard it as hair-assment. I’m not sure which is correct. Regional?

    Hi, Portia! :)

  294. opposablethumbs says

    British pronunciation (at least, the one I’m used to; I think that either there are regional variations or we’re getting USAnian back-influence these days) is har-assment. Just looked at the origins, out of curiosity, and well I never it comes from Old French (of Germanic origin) harer – to set a dog on. Sounds appropriately descriptive of the attitude of those who pull this shit.

  295. says

    Hi there
    Speedy recovery for Nerd

    Yay for Joe and good luck with maths.

    yay for good conversations, rq

    As for me, I’m mostly trying to keep my head above the water right now.
    On top of everything there is a very infectuous disease at kindergarten and since the kids were a bit sick at the weekend I had to take them to the doc and they have to stay home until tomorrow because by then it should be clear whether they caught that stupid Hand-Foot-Mouth disease or whether it’s just a coincidence. Which also means that I had to postpone the official examination for #1, the one the principal wants to hear and I’m just exhausted. I got a lot of things done yesterday but I hadn’t thought I would have to do them on Sunday.
    Now I need to use all the little connections that I have to get her examined by a child-psychologist ASAP because doing so via the official school psychology department will take months.
    Yeah, fuck.

  296. rq says

    Ah, hell, Giliell, as if you need a contagious infectious disease on top of everything else! :( *hugs* And I hope things start working out for the better soon… like in the next 5 minutes. That would be awesome, yeah!

  297. says

    Thanks. I handed the call to the principal over to Mr. That woman ain’t no good for my mental health, which is shoddy enough. Seriously, I feel like crying every five minutes or so.
    Fun fact: as of this morning, kids don’t have fuck contagious disease. But I’m going to pretend that the two days at home prevented them from catching it.

  298. rq says

    Alrighty, then it’s that whole Google+ fiasco. (Wouldn’t let me at my photos until I signed up.)
    Thanks for the notice.

  299. rq says

    Those two days probably helped. And that’s good news.
    *box of tissues*

    And I think this is the rose I will call Giliell, although there’s another one that looks an even deeper colour still in budding phase (as in, completely closed, but it looks near-black from the outside).

  300. says

    Oh thank you, rq
    I really like it. Especially since it looks a lot like one of my grandpa’s old roses that has died last winter.
    Oh, and if you want to know more about the woes of the probable sickness:
    Postponing the examination means postponing it to the day she has her farewell trip wilth kindergarten. I’ll try to pick her up in the middle of that so she can at least enjoy half of it…

  301. rq says

    My sympathies… I don’t know how the boys manage it, but they’re almost always ill on Special Event days – either at home or in kindergarten. We missed Mother’s Day and Easter due to chickenpox one year, etc. :( *morehugs*

  302. cicely says

    A bizarrocomic.

    Was it pronounced like hair-assment?


    *hugs* and encouragement for Giliell.

    rq, my situation is the same as John Morales’. Your link in 399 worked, though.

    Ok, this’ll be the same roses ‘cept on Flickr… I think?

    No better joy there, except that it’s the lack of a Yahoo account.

  303. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I gave a google account, but it wants me to upgrade to g+ to see the photos.
    I have a yahoo account, but the photos are private.

    It ain’t your day, rq.

    (that single rose that will be named after Giliell was visible, though, and it’s beautiful)

  304. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I’ve used ImageShack for this kind of thing, without any complaints.

    Me too. Also Tinypic.

  305. yazikus says

    I had a funny moment in the grocery store yesterday. I’ve been wanting to make some sort of casserole thing (not sure why), so off to the store I went to purchase ingredients. One of the things I was going to need was some cream-of-whatever soup. Well, turns out I haven’t purchased canned soup in my little dude’s memory/lifetime. I had to take like ten minutes to explain to him what canned soup was. People were walking by giving me weird looks, I found it super amusing. I guess I should eat more soup?

  306. David Marjanović says

    *huge pile of fluffy hugs for people to burrow in*

    New way of protesting in Taksim square: just stand there and gaze upon an Atatürk portait. Video that doesn’t show the portrait here.

    Petition to Chief Justice John Roberts: “Apply the Code of Conduct for United States judges to the Supreme Court” instead of allowing quite bizarre cases of corruption, some of which are explained at the link.

    Clown funeral

    Full of win.

  307. David Marjanović says

    Want to go to Australia? Not afraid to accidentally get killed?

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013 7:19:38 AM
    The Center for North American Herpetology
    Lawrence, Kansas

    We have funding from the Australian Research Council to support 2-3 exceptional PhD students who will work on a collaborative project investigating amphibian disease in northern Australia.

    The scholarship deadline for international applicants is 31 August 2013, and for domestic (Australian) applicants is 31 October 2013.

    Please send a CV, one page cover letter detailing your experience and interests, contact details for 3 references, and unofficial transcripts to with “PhD position” in the subject line. We will narrow down the pool of interested students and work with 2-3 individuals on their scholarship applications. TO BE CONSIDERED, APPLICATION MATERIALS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5 JULY 2013.

    For general questions or enquiries, please contact; additional information can be found at

  308. David Marjanović says

    *headdesk* Didn’t see the e-mail address in there. I, uh, apologize for all the additional spam this Mr Pike is going to get. *facepalm*

  309. David Marjanović says

    …And while clicking “submit”, I saw the other one. I’m not legally sane today. *curls up* *purrs* *falls asleep*

  310. cicely says

    *pouncehug* for David, followed by a round of *sculpted dark chocolate manatees* with tea.

  311. rq says

    Mmkay. This link should more or less work. I hope. :/ Otherwise, I’m giving up for the day (but I will also look into ImageShack and etc., thank you for the suggestions).

    More soup from a can. :) Heh! Which reminds me, I’ve never fed my youngsters soup from a can.

  312. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, apparently its defenders are now claiming that the NSA spying program foiled a plot to blow up Wall Street.

    First rule of holes, guys….

  313. says

    Out of spoons you say?
    I’m using up the forks, too…
    Just got first major “DON’T DO THAT!!!” mail from sister. Actually I was kind of expecting her and our mum to object to the idea that #1 might be on the spectrum and that it should be tested.
    Because, you know, people will put her into a box.
    Because I haven’t thought about that already.
    I told her that people are putting her in a box. No matter how much we wish this not to happen. Even if I can get her into school now without her being tested, this won’t change. She won’t “grow out of it”, but she might get help to deal with it. At the moment the best we can do is to make sure the box gets the correct label.
    Oh, wait, there’s the second one…
    And since she’s a good person she actually acknowledges that there’s something to my points. I love her.
    And now all I have to do is to prepare tomorrow’s class.
    I mean it’s only 22:40 after all…

  314. David Marjanović says

    I’m using up the forks, too…

    O hai! I maded you a spoon, and I did not eated it.

  315. David Marjanović says

    cicely! *pounce* *hug* *squeeze* ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    I’m not creative enough to keep up with your uses of chocolate :-]

    Oh and this one should be nationalized.

    I agree.

    A sexy bunny for everyone.

    …Bizarre. And cute. Great use of the ears…

    First rule of holes, guys….

    :-D :-D :-D

  316. carlie says

    She won’t “grow out of it”, but she might get help to deal with it. At the moment the best we can do is to make sure the box gets the correct label.

    Exactly. Just keep repeating that to them as much as you need to. Not doing anything isn’t going to help, and might make it worse if there is something to be done about. It’s…so hard to describe. I wish I could give you all the hugs and take care of all the feels. :( Email me if you ever want me to share all about being a parent going through such stuff.

  317. opposablethumbs says

    @ Giliell – what carlie said. I’d like to echo just what carlie said. You have it exactly right; being as fully-informed as possible can help #1 get not just support but hopefully the right kind of support, while being uninformed is no help at all. And early is good!
    Sounds to me like you have a better, more sensible attitude than I did at a comparable stage of proceedings (I was, albeit very briefly, in denial; it didn’t last long at all – just getting to grips with the shock, really – but it had a considerable impact. And of course I do realise the situations are not the same, and that also of course I don’t have the pleasure of knowing #1; just the dynamics of dealing with family and with bureaucracy … ).

    Well it’s midnight for you now, so I hope you’re getting some rest.I hope you have more forks and even enough spoons tomorrow ::sends spoons::

  318. cicely says

    rq, that link to your roses worked for me.
    Pretty! I will look at them lightly, so they don’t catch me at it, and die.
    (Unsympathetic Magic. If only I knew how to turn it off….)

    She won’t “grow out of it”, but she might get help to deal with it.

    Which is incredibly important. It doesn’t go away if you refuse to acknowledge it. Better to ride it as best you can, than to be trampled underfoot by it.
    *lotsa hugs*
    And also what carlie said.

  319. says

    Earache due to inflammation from allergies. Swishy-clicks are fluid buildup. No sign of infection (whew!), but middle-ear is not draining. Pressure. Pain. Swishy-click noises every few seconds.

    Next up: convincing myself that a nasal spray is a good idea. After the last thing that went up my nose? Ever have an NG tube inserted? It’s full on nose-rape*. It felt like they were shoving a gods-forsaken garden hose up my nose and down into my stomach. The removal was somewhat less unpleasant, though it left a lingering taste in the back of my throat reminiscent of certain unfortunate flavours produced by “Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.”

    Well… after that, I’m none too thrilled with the idea of “here, put this up your nose!” The fact that I’m starting to seriously consider what I could do with a screwdriver… yeah. I’ll try the nasal spray. I don’t like it, but if it will help, fine, I’ll give it a try. Anything to get this plugged-ear hell over with, and keep it from turning into an infection. Anything.

    *Totally NOT hyperbole, I felt so. violated.

  320. carlie says

    Story of the morning:

    Child 2 has a metal chip/paper sheaf clamp on his finger (the long squeezy kind).

    “There’s a clamp on your finger. Doesn’t that hurt?”
    “No, it doesn’t clamp very hard.”
    “Oh. … Don’t put that on your lip, though, it will leave a bruise.”
    *guilty glance*
    “You’ve already tried putting that on your lip, haven’t you?”
    “You have! You already put that on your lip before I came in. Don’t do that. It will leave a bruise.”
    “Why don’t you tell me these things BEFORE?” *dramatic swoon*

    The funny thing is that I’m not at all sure that he’s joking. :D

  321. rq says

    I used to put them on my ears (if I’m thinking of the same thing as you). And we’d have clothes-pin competitions – yup, kind of like this, but we had a ways to go to record-breaking amounts (mum just didn’t own that many).

    Then again, I once stapled my finger just to see what would happen (nope, finger wasn’t flattened or stapled through, pulled that sucker out, bled for about 2 seconds; overall result – boring, but I wouldn’t try it again).

  322. carlie says

    rq – youch! (Maybe that’s where Bjork got this idea )

    He’s always had a thing for pressure (which, we later learned, is part of sensory processing issues). When he was little and got upset or scared, he liked to lie in bed – and I mean IN bed. He’d sandwich himself between the box spring and mattress, and then sometimes ask people to lie on the bed on top for more. We couldn’t afford any weighted products, but we got a bodysox on temporary checkout from our local UCP once and he loved it.

  323. says

    @ Pharyngufoodies

    I have been beavering away for the last few days to create a water oven (“sous vide”). It is still a few weeks away from having a proper production model, but the prototype is more than adequate to the task. Tonight I tried a steak (cheap “stew” cut) and was totally blown away by the quality of the result. This was a steak of top notch restaurant quality at a tiny fraction of the price of a steakhouse.

    Pix: Prototype

  324. carlie says

    theophontes – wow! That looks like some serious fabrication going on there. And here I was coming on to write about my personal revelation re: pickling greens before putting them on sandwiches.*

    *I’m trying to eat more kale, but it is just too… stiff… for eating purely raw. So this morning I decided to treat it like cole slaw, and threw it in a container with vinegar and sugar. Got it out at lunchtime to put it on the sandwich, and it was tasty and soft enough for easy eating.

  325. says

    Hoo boy! It’s a WAR ON MEN says a Wall Street Journal writer:

    The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto argued Tuesday that the discussion about sexual assault in the military has become “a war on men.”

    Taranto brought up the case of Capt. Matthew Herrera, an Air Force officer accused of sexual assault by a fellow servicewoman, in a column as an example of Congress’ “effort to criminalize male sexuality.” Capt. Herrera was ultimately not convicted of sexual assault by his commander, Lt. Gen. Susan Helms–but as a consequence, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) put a “permanent hold” on Helms’ nomination to serve as vice commander of the Air Force Space Command, a career setback Taranto laments.

    Capt. Herrera had testified before Helms that his accuser “flirted” with him, and a lieutenant who was present at the time of the alleged assault agreed. Therefore, Taranto reasons, Herrera’s accuser was equally at fault.

    “It’s fair to say that Capt. Herrera seems to have a tendency toward sexual recklessness,” Taranto wrote. “Perhaps that makes him unsuitable to serve as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. But his accusers acted recklessly too. The presumption that reckless men are criminals while reckless women are victims makes a mockery of any notion that the sexes are equal.”

    James Taranto, new winner of the clueless award?

    TPM link.

    Wall Street Journal link.

  326. says

    @ carlie


    I love the stuff, but as far as I know it doesn’t grow in the tropics. At least I never see it here. I imagine though that it would cook perfectly in such a water oven. ( Not really “sous vide” – I don’t have the money for a vacuum sealer just yet. I rely on water pressure to drive out the air.) If you want to try making one, I can post the details. The whole thing has cost me less than $100 so far.

    Essentially you just need a programmable PID controller, a solid state relay, some wiring and switches, plugs, plug points, … and a heating element.(Though you could even have the system drive an existing rice cooker or slow-cooker.)

  327. Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu says

    * Hugs & Chocolate * To all

    Tony, I’m gonna fire you an email.

  328. says

    @ cicely

    Yes. Pretty much like a baine marie, but having a micro-computer control the temperature. That allows the food to cook at very precise temperatures for very long periods of time. For example, meat will cook at about 52 degrees C to a state of rare. Even if you cook it for hours longer, the chemical reactions therein won’t go beyond this state of cooking. At around 55 degrees C, the meat will cook to a state of medium rare, but not go beyond. What happens if you cook at these temperatures is that the food becomes pasturised and the collagen breaks down, also the fat renders. This means perfectly cooked, tender steaks (even from cheap cuts). To finish off, one simply browns the outer layers at high temperature in a pan.

    This method isn’t just for carnivores. It’ll do peas as well as it does horse-meat.

  329. opposablethumbs says

    Very impressed, theophontes! Sadly this:

    Essentially you just need a programmable PID controller, a solid state relay, some wiring and switches, plugs, plug points, … and a heating element.

    is several orders of magnitude beyond both my ken and my competence, but I love both the idea and the application.
    Happy (h)eating!

  330. Parrowing says

    I’m afraid of linking to YouTube because I don’t want to accidentally embed a video, but ZOMG y’all.

    There is a YouTube series out there investigating paranormal activity at my high school. If you want to see this absolutely ridiculous mess in all its glory, search YouTube for Haunted Convent.

    As said it’s completely ridiculous but really funny for me to watch them appear to take seriously the rumors we would spread as high school students, rumors which have been handed down for decades nonetheless, but still. They are correct when they say there have been fairly recent reports of sightings, as every once in a while someone had a new and spooky story to tell about when they had been at the school after regular hours. My art teacher really believed she had seen The Gray Nun. Let’s not mention that the school is actually attached to a convent which, in fact, does house nuns who sometimes walk about the school while wearing, *gasp* gray.

    And: hello everyone!

  331. says

    On the Glenn Beck wing of the Republican Party (partial credit as a Moment of Mormon Madness since Beck is mormon):

    Maddow Blog link.

    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), a leading anti-immigrant activist who urged Mitt Romney to embrace a “self-deportation” policy, appeared on Glenn Beck’s show yesterday and compared immigration-reform advocates to the KKK. … Kobach specifically said of proponents of immigration reform, “They’re just not wearing white cloaks, but this is exactly KKK type of intimidation.”

    Now, my first instinct was to suggest these casual KKK comparisons are getting a little out of control on the far-right. But taking a step back, it occurred to me this was at least as interesting as the forum in which Koback made the comment.

    Consider another example. Last week, Glenn Beck “convened a meeting with top Republicans” in Washington, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who warned the host that repressive tactics against political dissent in the United States may soon resemble Castro’s Cuba, and that Beck himself may someday find himself imprisoned.

    Again, the idea is plainly ridiculous, but I’m as interested in what Cruz said as I am in whom he said it to.

    Why did Glenn Beck “convene a meeting with top Republicans” in Washington? Why are state and federal lawmakers pushing Beck’s conspiracy theories? Why are GOP officials treating Beck’s show as a legitimate outlet?

    Or put another way, why is there a Glenn Beck wing of the Republican Party in 2013?

  332. says

    Republican war on women, an update:

    “You know, maybe part of the problem is we need to go back into the schools at a very early age, maybe at the grade school level, and have a class for the young girls and have a class for the young boys and say, ‘You know, this is what’s important. This is what a father does that is maybe a little different, maybe a little bit better than the talents that a mom has in a certain area. And the same thing for the young girls, that, you know, this is what a mom does, and this is what is important from the standpoint of that union which we call marriage.'”

    — Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), speaking on the U.S. Senate floor in support of the Defense of Marriage Act

  333. rq says

    Parrowiiinnnng!!! Too tired for *pouncehug*, but you can have a *crawliehug* instead!

    When you come out with a pre-production model that needs someone for to experiment with it, I’m first in line. That, or an easy-to-assemble version of instructions. This sounds like the perfect solution to my no-steak situation (due to crappy cuts of beef available – Latvians may know their pork, but they definitely suck at steak). Your result is making me drool; I haven’t had a Good Steak in years (but not too many).


    Work may end up being more of a hassle than I thought, but dammit I don’t want to be unemployed.

  334. says

    Alan Chambers of Exodus International apologized for hurting gays via ex-gay conversion therapy.

    Exodus International, one of the largest and most notorious “ex-gay” Christian ministries, issued a statement on Wednesday apologizing to members of the LGBT community for “years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the Church as a whole.”

    Exodus president Alan Chambers went on to apologize for the organization’s long history of forcing gays and lesbians to undergo discredited “ex-gay conversion” therapies, explaining that, because of this history, “I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is hated”:

    I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced. I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.

    I am sorry I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite — or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know…..

    Still lots of church and Christ and whatnot in the rest of his apology, but at least he apologized.

  335. says

    Salon link.

    Another story of bankers fucking over everyone but bankers.

    Bank of America’s mortgage servicing unit systematically lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications, and paid their staff bonuses for deliberately pushing people into foreclosure: Yes, these allegations were suspected by any homeowner who ever had to deal with the bank to try to get a loan modification – but now they come from six former employees and one contractor, whose sworn statements were added last week to a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Massachusetts….

  336. says

    HI there
    I love you all, did I mention that lately?


    Sounds to me like you have a better, more sensible attitude than I did at a comparable stage of proceedings

    well, I have you (plural)
    Seriously, without the conversations here over the last years my reaction would have been different.
    Probably denial, probably refusing to “let anybody put a stamp on my child”.
    All of you sharing your stories and talking about your kids, it has an effect.
    It had one on me.

    Now I need to get names and numbers ASAP. My therapist promised to help me so I can sneak in via the backdoor.
    And, well, I don’t know. I know that at the moment I’m probably over-interpreting and analyzing. But I watched her as we were at the playground this afternoon. She knew almost all the kids there because they are or were in her kindergarten (really cool thing about living here). She didn’t have any interaction with any of the other kids beyond what they initiated. She usually doesn’t acknowledge their presence. They greet her and say hello and then I have to nudge her to answer.

    Looks good.
    Although I don’t eat steak.
    I sometimes do slow cooking in the oven, at a constant 80°C

    Thanks for making me laugh

    But not all is bad.
    I had to teach another hour today, this time not only under the watchful eyes of the teacher we’re assigned to but also under the watchful eyes of the lecturer who does the college-class and who also is one of the two (three) people who are solely responsible for the advanced teacher training and it went reasonably well. Sure there were things I could do better, but I’m there to learn.
    That’s also another thing that has changed: I can take feedback as helpful communication meant to improve my skills and not as a rejection of everything about me.
    And it was also quite good.

  337. yazikus says

    So I was poking around some of the new blogs, and I can’t believe the way the comments were filled up with slymepit nonsense so quickly. I was particularly appalled with Pitchguest & Wtfwhatever at The Indelible Stamp. I’m going to try to think of something relevant just to even out the comments.

  338. carlie says

    Back to questions about yeast – I went looking for it because I read about people eating it a few times here, actually. Nutritional and brewer’s yeast can be the same thing, but nutritional usually has B12 vitamin added, while brewer’s yeast has chromium, although “debittered” brewer’s yeast doesn’t have chromium or as many viamins (from what the internet tells me). I’m just trying to eat healthier in general, and it sounded like an interesting thing to play with. :)

    Giliell – it’s good that the other kids are friendly to her. :) Like I said, feel free to email any time. It’s carliesinternet at yahoo.

  339. says

    Your story about the truck induced a double eyeroll from me.
    I wonder why-if they thought prayer was effective-they didnt pray to god *first*…

    carlie @354-
    I take it Child 2 was on a supervised trip to the water park? If so, how the heck did he keep getting left behind?
    Congrats on getting back in to school.

  340. says

    One thing that boggles my mind about the Piiters is why they even come here. They know they are banned from some blogs, while others show them no love. Overall, while there is no FtB statement of condemnation of the Pit, given how many bloggers here embrace feminism, the Pitters know just being on the network will not be a welcoming experience.
    Moreover, I doubt they want to heal the rifts and I sure as shit do not want to.
    I mean, FFS I do not venture to the Pit because I cannot stand those shitstained pissants, so why do they come here?
    Probably something to do with peaches.

  341. carlie says

    Tony – it was the entire grade, so a lot of kids; they are originally assigned in groups of 3-4, and are “supposed” to stay in the groups, but there really isn’t any monitoring of it. There are fairly frequent check-ins with the adults, and if a kid misses a check-in, that’s what triggers a search by the adults (and revocation of the rest of the day’s privileges if they’re found ok but not paying attention, so they all make sure to check in).

  342. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Still lots of church and Christ and whatnot in the rest of his apology, but at least he apologized.

    It is literally the least he could do. People have died. His apology means somewhere between jack and shit as far as I’m concerned. He has a long way to go before I see him as anything close to reformed or redeemed.

    I mean, FFS I do not venture to the Pit because I cannot stand those shitstained pissants, so why do they come here?

    Counting coupe

  343. cicely says

    And earning their merit badges—you know, like the fundies who come here to Witness Unto The Heathen.

  344. yazikus says

    It just so bothered me, their picking on new FTB’ers. I don’t understand why they can’t, as you say not venture in. Bullying at its worst. And peaches of course.

    This is a bit off topic, but I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s In Other Worlds; SF and the Human Imagination right now. She is describing her thoughts when writing The Handmaid’s Tail in 1984.

    And further: If you were attempting a totalitarian takeover of the United States, how would you do it? What form would such a government assume, and what flag would it fly? How much social instability would it take before people would renounce their hard-won civil liberties in a tradeoff for”safety”? And, since most totalitarianisms we know about have attempted to control reproduction in one way or another – limiting births, demanding births, specifying who can marry whom and who owns the kids- how would that motif play out for women?

    She goes further talking about 9/11, the change in laws she has seen, and how she used to think a Gilead sort of state couldn’t happen, but her mind is changed. With the US house passing their ridiculous 20 wk abortion ban today, I thought this was relevant.

  345. Ragutis says

    Anyone else just cry get something in their eye watching Colbert’s tribute to his Mom?

  346. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I have the vague feeling someone on here had offered to get back to me with some information on their experience with LoveTribe, but I don’t remember who. I’m bad at this. :(

  347. says

    @ opposablethumbs

    I left out the temperature probe (as used by discerning aliens of every galaxy) from the list.

    Actually, if I cobble together some instructions, I should direct them at you. Current setup is really simple and perfectly adequate for home use. It is more a need to support my extravagant and dissipate lifestyle that leads me to try and create a professional quality device.

    @ rq

    crappy cuts of beef

    These would be ideal as this technique is especially good at addressing the problems with crappy cuts.

    @ Gilliel

    Also good for veggies, though if you have the knack of slow roasting in the oven, I cannot say that this method will necessarily be more convenient. Unless you need to prepare the veggies before hand. Vacuum sealed fresh cooked veggies can always come in handy.

  348. ednaz says

    Ragutis @ 465
    Thank You for mentioning the Colbert clip. (I hadn’t seen it.) I just watched it. And I did cry.

    So sweet. ♥

  349. ednaz says

    And a question for anyone:

    Why do we have to hold back the tears? Why can’t we let them freely fall?

    When my Son was young, I got a call from the school nurse. She said she thought he had appendicitis. I told her I would be right there.

    When I picked him up, his face looked green, poor thing. We went straight to the emergency room. The doctor saw him and confirmed the diagnosis.

    We went (across the street) to the hospital to check him in. While we were waiting, I could see he was just miserable. All through this I put on my brave face. The tears started to come when the hospital staff wouldn’t let me sign the paperwork. (I am not his biological mother.)

    My Husband arrived just then. (He has perfect timing.) Holding my Husband’s hand, watching them wheel my Son into surgery, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. Later, my Son told me, when I cried, ‘that’s when he knew I really loved him’.

  350. rq says

    You’re making me weepy, too.
    And I don’t understand either, besides the fact that I look pretty unpleasant when I cry.
    Also, I think it makes other people uncomfortable, but that’s part of cultural conditioning, I suppose. Was it in the Middle Ages that men (knights?) were also encouraged to shed manly tears of mercy and kindness or some such (chivalry at its best, haha!)? I know it’s not unheard-of in older novels for men to be described as weeping (for friends who have died, etc.).
    But yes. I usually feel better after crying, it’s a real stress-reliever for me. My kids have seen me cry, and they’ve never really questioned it (negatively or positively).

  351. opposablethumbs says

    Here’s to an extravagant and dissipate lifestyle, theophontes :-D Shall watch developments in culinary technology with admiration!
    If the experiences some of us here have had with our children are even the least bit indirectly helpful, Giliell, I for one would be glad that some smidgen of good might have come of them. I do remember that once I had got my head round the idea, it was something of a relief to be doing something positive about it – in fact if anybody (children or other parents etc) did any pigeon-holing (and they did) it was really on the basis of behaviour, not diagnosis; having something “official”, something on paper, just meant he could access at least a little bit of specialist expertise and some extra support tailored to his needs. Of course I know that in almost all respects it was completely different from you (severe language delay and disorder, in our case) but getting to grips with a horrendously cumbersome bureaucracy, while frustrating as hell, did eventually bring us into contact with some wonderful and helpful individuals.
    Almost everything was free, but it was very hard fighting our way through the red tape; I’m guessing the situation in Germany might be comparable?

    Coincidentally, as SonSpawn’s problem was mainly focused on language, we stumbled on/were introduced to music therapy (as well as speech therapy). Music therapy being all about the underlying (and crucially, in our case, non-verbal) dynamic of communication. Turned out to be extremely valuable! And enjoyable; he loved the sessions. Look up Nordoff-Robbins if you think there might be any relevance (of course it might not necessarily be relevant for #1. Also I have no idea how consistent they are from one centre to another or from one country to another; I can only say that the therapists we encountered in the UK were conscientious and good).

  352. ednaz says

    Hi rq
    It’s good that your kids know it’s o.k. to cry. : )

    I have hope because AFAIK ‘Boys don’t cry.’ is my dad’s generation and mine (to some extent) but not my grandson’s. Of course I can’t speak for everyone everywhere, but it does seem to be getting better.

    In two movies I have seen recently, the male characters actually showed feelings. My word! (glad the couch is near by) In one movie the male actors actually let a few tears fall. Hooray!! Yes, we are human. We have feelings. Showing them is not weakness. It’s just part of what we do.

    In the other movie, the male characters were trying to convey that they cared for one another (in addition to the usual ball-breaking and other assorted MANLY STUFF). The actors pulled it off. The characters were uncomfortable, but the mutual feeling was conveyed.

    It is very good.

    I cry easily. I also laugh easily (and often loudly) so it all evens out. : )

    I appreciate your response. I don’t have a lot of social interaction.

    ALSO… I have been enjoying your garden pictures very much. Thank You!

  353. ednaz says

    opposable thumbs

    I am so glad you found helpful people. (Of course it can’t be easy to get to that point. Oh no, you must climb the mountain of ice with no cleats. BAH!)

    Also helping others with your knowledge and experience makes you AWESOME. So carry on. And consider me impressed. (That does not happen easily.)

  354. ednaz says

    Parrowing @ 446
    Thanks for the heads up about your old high school. I watched some of the videos. Spooky fun. : )
    Yes, imagine…odd noises in a 150 year old building and hand held devices cutting out.

    Whart could it be??

  355. rq says

    How does music therapy work? Is it work with a therapist or can you do some of it on your own? I have a friend whose daughter (almost 3) has speech delay (neurological issue), and she’s starting the circuit of specialists and stuff, but she’s a very musical person herself – so, how formal does the music therapy have to be, and is there a plan they follow? (I’m asking because therapies and specialists here are quite costly (or not available), and cost may turn out to be a factor later on.)

  356. carlie says

    Oh god. I had a huge missive written about our experience with child and diagnoses, and was typing the last sentence, and apparently managed to hit ctrl+A followed by the next letter, and lost it all. :( Dammit dammit dammit. And I don’t have the time or mental strength for a rewrite. I’ll try again later if it comes up again.

  357. ednaz says

    I am sending you some spoons. If I read right, you have caught a (very) small break. Good Luck! and I look forward to your updates. *gentle hug*

  358. rq says

    Which movies, if I may ask?
    And re: garden – if there are any two particular roses you like, let me know, and they shall become ednaz and Zoe. Back when, you didn’t specify a colour, but maybe there’s one out there that looks especially good to you.

    I’m slowly watching the episodes too, and they’re hilarious! Also, that place was your school?? That is Awesome!

  359. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, you can’t get it back by doing ctrl+z (maybe a few times)?

    want to respond to other comments, have to nip out for a quick errand but BAKSON!

  360. Parrowing says

    Thanks for the pouncehug and crawliehug, cicely and rq! I needed them.

    Glad you’re finding the videos enjoyable, ednaz and rq. I’ve only been able to skip through them looking for things I recognize. I can’t watch the whole thing because my desire to scream at the computer becomes too strong. And yup, that’s my high school. We used to sneak into the basement of the convent because there was a vending machine that sold sodas 10 cents cheaper than the sodas in the cafeteria. That area was supposed to be very haunted and it was definitely against the rules for students to go there but we wanted cheap soda, damnit.

    I did catch something very exciting though: As senior art portfolio students, we were allowed to claim a space on the wall outside the art room and paint whatever we wanted. I assumed that by now they would have painted over mine, but I’m pretty sure I see it at 3:24 in the “Orbs in the Bathroom” episode. It’s far away so I’m not positive, but the middle painting in the second column of paintings on the lefthand wall looks like mine (the colors match anyway) and that’s about where I painted! Yay!

  361. ednaz says

    I am sorry your post was lost. Argh! Frustrating! Especially when it’s heartfelt. I just made oatmeal cookies. Can I send you one?

    Oatmeal cookies sans raisins coming through your USB. : )

    Any other takers?

  362. ednaz says


    Sherlock Holmes 2009 Robert Downey Jr. Jude Law
    Yes. Holmes and Watson have a moment of feelings. : )
    Also the Women in the movie are strong, smart and very much an important part of the story. Yay!

    Star Trek – Into Darkness 2013
    Kirk and Spock each shed a tear when facing Kirk’s impending death. Khan also shed a tear when telling how he thought his crew had been murdered. Oh Yeah! Bring on the feels!

    The Women in Star Trek are intelligent and capable and just as much responsible for ‘saving the day’ as the Men. Another Yay!

    What I like about the Women in both movies is that their strength doesn’t take anything away from the Male characters.

    Imagine that? Whoulda thunk it???
    : D : D : D : D

  363. birgerjohansson says

    Study finds chemical behind cancer resistance in naked mole rats

    Research duo develop new green way to synthesize vanillin from sawdust

    Less is more: Novel cellulose structure requires fewer enzymes to process biomass to fuel
    HIV-derived antibacterial shows promise against drug-resistant bacteria
    Drug shows surprising efficacy as treatment for chronic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma

  364. birgerjohansson says

    Rethinking the universe: Groundbreaking theory proposed in 1997 suggests a ‘multiverse’
    Anthropic principle applied to the Higgs boson mass

    Voices may not trigger brain’s reward centers in children with autism, research shows

    Artificial sweetener a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease

    Blocking overactive receptor in Alzheimer’s recovers memory loss and more

    New medication treats drug-resistant prostate cancer in the laboratory

  365. rq says

    I’ll have some! Sound delicious.

    I managed not to scream – I went for laughing instead. I’m going to go look for your painting.
    The best part is, everything they point out can be attributed to natural causes. Several times they mention high winds outside, and in a building that old, drafts are everywhere, and they can cause all kinds of sounds. Then the ‘orb’ in the bathroom is dust in the air – if you’re taking flash photos in the dark like that, you’re bound to catch some – I mean, I have several photos from over the years that look like this and this, because I didn’t turn the flash off in rain or snow. And the voices in the last part are definitely the people in the parking lot. In a previous episode, they pick up an airplane from far away without any problems at all, and if wind direction is right, then the sound from the parking lot would actually carry to them – the mic they’re using seems to be powerful enough for other things, so I’m pretty certain it’s all from the parking lot. The water dripping in the old showers – well, the pipes are still connected, even if there’s no water flow in them, and things like condensation, echoes through pipes, etc. can explain it (by causing dripping on-location or carrying the sound through the system.
    So many times, I wanted the pencil or whatever to just move, but I thought to myself – if I was a ghost, and people came barging into my place of unrest like that, I’d be pretty Fuck you! about it. As if I’d have to prove anything to them, yeah right. I’d watch them and shut up for a while and point and laugh silently.
    Also, he keeps saying ‘No one goes there’ or ‘This place is always empty’, but he has no way of knowing that 100% all the time. And if I wanted to read a newspaper quietly in an attic? Damn sure I’d carry a chair up to do so. Sometimes I don’t understand their logic.
    But it was a fun series, thanks for pointing to it! :)

  366. birgerjohansson says

    Too little sleep may trigger the ‘munchies’ by raising levels of an appetite-controlling molecule

    Fast-acting virus targets melanoma in mice

    Racial profiling at US airports? Here’s an app for that

    Prosopagnosia: Why Can’t Anyone Recognize Superman?

    We’re Teaching Kids History, But We’re Leaving This Entire Bit Out?

  367. ednaz says

    Parrowing and rq and anyone else who would like to be flabbergasted –

    If you ever need to yell at something (for whatever reason) check out Bigfoot Hunters. The word sasquatch may be in the title, I’m not sure. Anyway, what happens is the ‘Team’ travels to the place where a Bigfoot has been sighted. There’s a cg reenactment of the sighting. Then the Team goes out in the woods at night with night vision, a camera crew, lots of lights, microphones and recording equipment.

    Then they sit in the (ahem) dark and say to each other ‘Did you hear that??’

    You will lose your Vulcan mind!

    Sometimes the Team splits up and they (make the Bigfoot) call to each other. (They yell.) It’s a riot.

    I am really entertained by this show. The Team is in no danger. Nothing bad will ever happen. Any animal would never come near them because of all the lights. They can do this show forever! (Well, as long as they have an audience.)

  368. rq says

    I’ve seen the Sherlock Holmes, and while I didn’t particularly like it (or the sequel), there’s definitely something to be said for its portrayal of women. I also missed the crying part. :)
    Haven’t seen Into Darkness yet, though. I have mixed feelings about it – that one, and Man of Steel, too, after reading spoiler-ish articles about both.
    (To be honest, movie formats lately have been pissing me off – especially the action ones requiring a dramatic final fight between the Lone Good Guy and the Lone Bad Guy who have previously evaded death purely by accident. The Hobbit added that whole orc side-story for that express purpose (I’m pretty sure), which is that movie’s biggest fail. I wanted to like it a lot, but it ruined the charm and humour of the original story. The book was for children, the movie is not, and that in and of itself is a Fail in my book. The second part, though, has some intriguing characters that may yet salvage some of my respect for the series.)

    Speaking of movies, but completely off-topic, why is Quentin Tarantino considered such a genius? I mean, besides filling his movies with supposedly non-gratuitous violence (that is, there’s always a reason to kill everyone), why is he considered so deep and avant-garde? I just don’t get it…
    Kind of like all those people who say Game of Thrones are such amazing and forward-thinking books, breaking all these barriers for women-characters, etc., showing a violent era in all its glorious violence, the way nobody else has done it. The books are alright, a bit tedious, but I don’t find the women-characters all that role-model-worthy (with minor exceptions). To my mind, writing them into such a world where their main value is as mothers, wives and lovers (as I said, with a few exceptions) just heaps more onto the pigeon-holed-women character-models we already have. If you want liberated women characters, dammit, put them in a liberated world. As an author, you have the choice to continue with this medieval fantasy where women are where women have always been, or you write them into a world that is actually better for them, not one where they have to fight for every little bit they get (if anything at all).
    Sorry. But I really don’t get what it is with Quentin Tarantino, really, I don’t. I have a hard time watching any of his movies. Any. [/rant]

  369. rq says

    Oo! Oooh! Once caught something simialr on TV with Husband but with UFO hunters. Worst show everrrr, all of their UFOs were so obviously explicable things, but they got so excited. The episode we saw, they boated across this lake, in the dark, that’s supposedly off-limits (I think near the Kennedy Centre – shuttle take-off pad? eh?), and that has alligators in one part… and of course ran straight into the congregation of alligators. Then they got upset that the police came and told them to leave, wow, they’re so hiding UFOs there because they got into an off-limits area. Ha! :) We were both talking at the screen very loudly, mostly using words like Idiots! and Hahaha, as if! and the like.

  370. rq says

    PS ednaz
    And thanks for the cookies, delicious! They left crumbs all over the keyboard, but it’s worth it.

  371. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, ednaz.

    climb the mountain of ice with no cleats.

    oddly enough that is exactly what it felt (and sometimes feels) like. (There is a wonderful (ha!) system in the UK whereby the body responsible for having assessments carried out (the local education authority) is also the body responsible for paying to have a child’s needs met. Can we say built-in conflict of interest? Yes we bloody well can …)

    ::snags oatmeal biscuit om nom nom:: ::sneaks in an extra pouncehug for parrowing :-)::
    music therapy, rq. Well I’m not sure if I could describe it as clearly as I’d like, but for SonSpawn I think it was mainly about offering a space to explore the dynamics of communication (like turn-taking, something a lot of kids with communication issues of many kinds have problems with) – like, person A expresses a feeling/mood/idea etc. and B pays attention to what A expressed, and then B responds to it. Can be one-to-one or in small groups (say 3 or 4 to one or two therapists, depending on what kind of disorder someone has – physical, neurological, emotional etc.). For him it was important that words were not needed, because initially he didn’t do words at all and he desperately wanted to communicate so it was very valuable to have a space to try doing so without the frustration of this foreign language that was words to him. (he still gets tired after a long day interacting with people. Think how tiring it is to function in a foreign language …)

    The therapists were all specifically qualified and experienced (or supervised by a centre instructor). I think it’s possible that someone could read up on it and do some useful exercises, though – perhaps after watching a therapist run some sessions, or discussing it with them. Where we were, parents didn’t go in to the group (partly because parents often inadvertently put pressure on kids to respond in certain ways. One doesn’t mean to, but of course you want them to do it “right” – and the whole point is that this is a safe space where they don’t have to have a “right” answer). So I don’t know in exact detail, but conveying feelings (or just whatever the hell you wanted to convey) and paying attention to what is being expressed by others was a big part of all this.

    Incidentally, wrt speech delay, one thing I do remember from speech therapy was that we quite markedly changed the way we spoke at home for many years. Instead of saying, for example, “do you want some orange juice” (requiring only yes or no) you ask “do you want apple juice or orange juice?”. And WAIT. And it’s very important to keep the elements of your utterance limited to only a few; and not to fill in the gaps with extra chat. They have to process what you’ve said, make a choice, and put that choice into words; processing and retrieving can take longer than for other kids, so you have to restrain yourself from “helping”; it’s important not to put words in their mouths (very different from what we often do with neurotypical kids, for whom we’re essentially modelling suitable utterances all the time). We basically got into the habit of putting everything into the form of a choice between two things whenever possible!

    I don’t know if any of the above is relevant, but it might well be worth it for your friends to try and read up on music therapy and/or speech therapy techniques to see if they help. There might be info via the Nordoff-Robbins site (I don’t know; it’s been quite a few years for us now) but I’m sure there could be speech therapy exercises available on line … anyway, let me know if you think I can say anything helpful!

  372. opposablethumbs says

    PS I forgot to mention – Nordoff-Robbins in the UK is a charity with a sliding scale of fees; the poorer you are the less you pay. Don’t know if they operate in the same way in other countries.

  373. carlie says

    I did not know about control z. I barely knew that control a was probably what caused it. *hangs head*

    I’ll take a cookie, though. And write more later. :)

  374. ednaz says

    Don’t know if I missed you, rq
    I can certainly see your point about those movies. (No crying in Sherlock Holmes – just feels.) : )

    I don’t think Quentin Tarantino is a genius. I think he’s disturbed.

    DJANGO Unchained could be a good movie. I would change the ending – the outcome would remain the same – but the ridiculousness of the ‘big shoot-out’ would be deleted. (It was like Gallagher, you know, the comedian with the sledge hammer and the watermelons.)

    Game of Thrones. Wow. Rapey medieval times. Yeah – no.

    If you want liberated women characters, dammit, put them in a liberated world. As an author, you have the choice to continue with this medieval fantasy where women are where women have always been, or you write them into a world that is actually better for them, not one where they have to fight for every little bit they get (if anything at all).

    THIS. So much.

    Hee hee! So glad you enjoyed UFO Hunters! : D