[Lounge #425]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Baby Penguin says it’s too hot.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


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

    @ PZ Myers : I humbly request that I be put under (auto-? ~) moderation here please.

    @ Chris Clarke : What can I do to show you are wrong about me and earn the privilege of commenting on your threads again?

    @ The Horde generally : FYI, I have not yet read this thread among many others especially and specifically the latest Thunderdome (& end of last one) but I shall do so although it may take me a while with other work committments to be fulfilled. I intend to catch up and perhaps respond in due time.

  2. Portia, in boots says

    This being the Lounge, I can’t respond as I wish to 501. Which means it is in the wrong place, imo. Anyway.

    Good point, Giliell. He sounds a little like a kid (he’s in his thirties). His tone sometimes makes me think that he actually shouldn’t be married anyway. Ah well, I’ll just be an ear.

    Sorry, I don’t get why “fuck lego friends” from looking at the photo. Looks like she built something neat though.

  3. Nutmeg says

    Audio recording software successfully ran all night. If I did anything weird, I did it very very quietly, because it’s not on there. At least I know now that the software will run for 8 hours without supervision.

    Now on to final edits!

  4. says

    Ahhh, I see you’ve been spared the horrors of Lego Friends
    The fact that she’s building something, using her imagination, adding dinosaurs, unicorns and different palysets in the mix is exactly why I say “fuck Lego Friends!”, because Lego Friends isn’t about that but about unimaginative, scripted gender-bullshit.

    As for your cousin: I’m pretty convinced that this is what we as a societyare getting for “boys will be boys”. They’re never ever taught real responsibility. Somebody fix that!

  5. Portia, in boots says

    So, the USA is a country where having an abortion at 25 weeks because of Potter Syndrome is illegal in several states but shooting a teenage boy because he’s black and annoying you is legal. You’re free to crash on my couch.

    Frickin’ disgusting. How comfy is your couch? : (

  6. Portia, in boots says

    Ooooh, I follow you now. Well, then what she built is extra cool :)

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Women are supposed to do the work in the relationship, and men can just skate through and fall in and out of it when they feel like it.

    Because boys will be boys, and women must be adult, mature, not too emotional about the whole thing.

  7. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Thanks for that link, I watched both videos.
    I’m a bit sad about never having LEGOs of my own. At least I played with it at the neighbor’s sometimes.

  8. Portia, in boots says

    I’m interested to see if the feds will open a civil rights case against Zimmerman. I feel like it’s pretty likely that the Martin family will sue their son’s murderer. Or at least I hope they do.

    One of the things I’m hating in the coverage is the Steubenville-esque lamenting over how his life will never be the same. Once, when a correspondent said something like that, the anchor said “Neither will the Martin family’s lives.”

  9. blf says

    women must be adult, mature, not too emotional about the whole thing.

    Or put on their jetpack, zoom about the place catching kitties for trebuchet-launched flying lessons, and snack on cheese. Then drink Margaritas all afternoon, before heading out in the evening to collect the day’s crop of sundried long pigs.

  10. carlie says

    Oy, I got bottom of first paged! That’s almost as bad as being portcullised. Repeat:

    This is a nice graphic reference, a scene from Wreck-It Ralph, that describes what a trigger is.

    And as noted below in comments, the reaction Felix (the guy) had was to never use that word around her again, and then (spoiler!) at their wedding, had armed guards everywhere so she felt safe.

  11. carlie says

    SteveoR – although the sentiment is interesting, moderation requires that PZ then put in a lot of effort checking every one of your posts to see what can get through and what shouldn’t. You’re in effect asking someone else to follow you around to make sure you don’t step in anything, rather than watching where you step yourself.

  12. Portia, in boots says

    Ah. Thank you. Ew :)

    My running app announced “You have run for 20 continuous minutes, so you can definitely call yourself a runner now!” Woot! And my regular running route is right by my house, and conveniently it’s exactly the route of the 5k I’m training for in September.

  13. says

    Hi all; generally thread ‘rupt .

    Conga rats to Esteleth and all others who deserve them. Hugs and sympathy to those that need them.

    Re: legos: spawn bought one set of “lego friends” because it had ‘interesting pieces’ but in generally they aren’t his thing because they don’t really square with the regular sets in some ineffable way. He’s a bit of a purist (e.g. megablocks are an abomination and must be segregated out).

    This week was a pretty exhausting set of meetings at work, but yesterday (hurrah!) was a fairly successful outing to the zoo with spouse and spawn. A combination of spawn’s schedule (internal clock seems to be running at about 26-27hr/”day” this summer), health (headaches and nausea at a minimum as well as allergens), and outlook (overall anxiety) just lined up so we could go out and “do” something … anything. Our attempt last week was probably squashed by the anxiety.

    Zoos aren’t my thing in general, but it was good to be out and see him doing something he seems to enjoy (outside of the house). His disposition was overall quite good; no whinging or real upsets. Only became a bit agitated when we went to an variant on a theme (Mongolian BBQ) than our usual restaurant; even that might have been partly induced by hunger. I get a little sad when thinking that something as mundane as all this constitutes a “good” day for him.

    Re: Ender’s Game. I read it years ago because some people were saying “OMG, BEST BOOK EVAR!”. I finished it, but … well, I thought it was creepy and walked away shaking my head at the over the top praise it seems to get. The protagonist wasn’t someone I could empathize with, even though it was clear that one was supposed to. I really don’t think I’ll see the movie; even without Card’s other issues the story isn’t one that appeals.

    Zimmerman: Words fail to express how awful this is, but I’m not surprised.

  14. carlie says

    Only became a bit agitated when we went to an variant on a theme (Mongolian BBQ) than our usual restaurant; even that might have been partly induced by hunger.

    I had a big blowup with Child 2 last week. Doesn’t matter what it was about, but we were out on an excursion that I had been planning on for a long time, it got immediately ruined by the spat to the point that it went from zero to “FINE WE’RE GOING HOME RIGHT NOW” about 4 minutes after we got there (a half-hour drive). He even slammed himself into the back seat so that he wouldn’t have to sit next to me. About 10 minutes of stony silence later, a tiny baby fawn bounded across the road, I marveled that I hadn’t ever seen one so small, he did too, and then a moment later I apologized, and then he said “I’m sorry too. I’m just in a bad mood because I’m really hungry.” And immediately I flashed right back to his younger days when we scheduled all of our outings around his eating times, and realized that just because he’s a teenager now doesn’t mean his moods are any less bound to his internal physiology, and it was stupid of me to plan a trip right before lunchtime. Sigh.

    I get a little sad when thinking that something as mundane as all this constitutes a “good” day for him.


  15. says

    Hehe, was this the weekend of trips with kids freaking out?
    We had one of them, too.
    We went to an animal park (and I brought you pictures. The cool piggy picture was taken by #1).
    #1 already almost got left at home (which would have meant alongside me. Actually the main reason why she got taken along was because I wanted to have an afternoon out, too). Then everything seemed fine. She borrowed my camera and was quite happy until we called her back one time. The park is a big open territory for many of the animals like the deer and the pigs and the llamas. The paths are for humans, if the animals want to join you there you’re lucky. And she wanted to goto the little piglets and after she wasn’t allowed she threw a tantrum and everything is bad and she hates the trip and us and everything.

    I usually planned trips around mealtimes already back when it was just Mr. and me. and I’d pack biscuits. Because he gets hungry without noticing it’s hunger but then becomes a pain in the ass. #1 has inherited that tendency….


    Because boys will be boys, and women must be adult, mature, not too emotional about the whole thing.

    Absolutely. “Girls become women, boys become big boys” People actually say that shit. And in the end women and men become unhappy.

  16. Portia, in boots says

    Hugs for various parenting challenges. All y’all’s kids are lucky to have you.

    Browsing pinterest, and I realized why it bugs me that people typically reference it derisively. (Not I’m even all that into it). It’s associated with women, and things that stereotypically interest women, so it’s ridiculed. I mean, yeah, sometimes it gets a bit silly and “domestic goddessy” but…yeah. Just another bit of acceptable misogyny I’ve noticed. Make it stop.

  17. says

    carlie, sorry to hear things went sour. Glad things got (somewhat) sorted. Mine has trouble recognizing that he’s hungry; if he’d let us know we’d feed him, as we’ve long recognized it as a trigger for outbursts but I’m pretty sure he isn’t aware that he is.

    Giliell, the thing is that there wasn’t any major freakout yesterday. Even the evening restaurant agitation was just that: over emphasize of his point, slightly raised voice… no storming out, no threats to kill himself.

    Of course, the first thing we did when we got to the zoo was … eat. Way(!!!!) overpriced BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches (tasty, but expensive) and “dipping dots”. Dipping dots (BB sized ice cream “dots”) are a favorite his, and had apparently gone bankrupt recently. So to find them there was a great start to the day. Enough so that he … shared. Insisted that I and his mother have some, rather than greedily snarfing them all down. I think we were also good about keeping him hydrated, something that failing to do makes me cranky and not the most level headed person, a trait that I suspect he inherited.

  18. rq says

    Dammit, I wish I could have you all over for a garden party, with accomodations for anyone who wishes. The weather is no longer too hot, the roses are still exploding (updated photos with Lounge names eventually coming up), annnd… the rest of life is just life, I suppose. I could complain, but I think I just want to forget about it for now.
    *hugs* for everyone

    Beatrice – I’m glad your boss seems to be on your side!
    Tony – yup, you need a column and like a helpline where you can dispense advice/intercede on behalf of those in need. Can I make you a saint?

    cicely – I forget what I wanted to say to you. But it was something about horses. I think.

    Pissed off about that verdict, too. More than I can possibly express.

    And while I liked Ender’s Game when I read it (uuhhhh, grade 8?), I never really liked any of the characters, and most of all I hated (even then!) how the main girl character has an emotional nervous breakdown during the key events in the final scenes of the book. Most subsequent attempts to read OSC have failed rather miserably. (Why does this book and this author keep coming up in conversation? Is it just because of the movie?)

  19. Nutmeg says

    GoreTex seems to be only theoretically waterproof. At least in my experience. Good for short periods of light rain, miserable in anything more than that. And it takes forever to dry out.


    I just emailed my thesis to my committee. I’m sitting here waiting for it to sink in. (I’m not really done yet, the defense is in late August. But I get to have a life again now.) I don’t know what to do with myself.

  20. says

    I really, really, really need to stay out of all the Trayvon Martin threads because I really, really, really can’t take all that anymore.
    And I’m also sorry that Ophelia prefers not to put up trigger warnings for shock value.
    I will make a butterfly necklace

  21. rq says

    Oh and congratulations to Nutmeg for the thesis! I’m way late, but I mean it sincerely. :)


    re: Trayvon Martin
    I don’t want to read any Trayvon Martin threads or comment threads, especially since I just read a note by a lawyerly friend of mine who considers that justice was served (You don’t go to jail just for being a racist asshole!) – that the prosecution’s case was weak, and that there was enough evidence for self-defense. *blrgh* I don’t even want to try to counter that, I do not have the energy.

  22. says

    I humbly ask that if you have the time, to peruse the ‘I am unsurprised’ thread. I respect that you (as well as others) do not want to discuss it, so following this comment unless otherwise requested, I will not comment on the case.

    My initial outrage and anger have been tempered (not eliminated) with a better understanding of the charges-as legally defined in the state of Florida-against Zimmerman and what would have been necessary to convict him. I have made comments in that thread that elaborate more on what I mean.

  23. says

    For some reason ‘cockles’ always make me chuckle.

    rq’s comment above made me realize something I had not put into words yet (thank you for that as wel):

    Prior to my involvement in this community, I would have sought another gay male ATHEIST, thinking the shared values would be fairly substantial. Now, not so much. As I came to find out, there are atheists who do not share my values (the antifeminist and MRA contingent). I realize that many people do not explore the ramifications of non belief on the world (or upon their own beliefs). As such, _just_ being an atheist is not the guarantee of shared values I once thought it would be. Heck, there are many religious people with better values than those assclowns and I would rather differ on that (obviously up to a point…I am not likely to connect with a fundamentalist) than differ on issues of fundamental human rights.

  24. rq says

    *sparkles* (just because)
    See, that also sort of answers that question you once asked me via email… It’s about the shared values, not the shared titles.
    Also, I’ll take a look at that thread, tomorrow. :) I don’t mind if you want to vent about it here (unless others mind, of course). But things being what they are, Thunderdome might be a better place (just saying!). Also-also, that friend on FB I mentioned is actually a criminal lawyer himself, and he (in comments about his status) gave a pretty decent rundown of why the verdict is correct legally. He didn’t much go into the moral bits, though. But still. Eh.


    This is a story so full of win, I wonder if it has been posted here previously. About diffusing (de-fusing?) the creepy guy narrative. Honestly, a much better way to end my day.
    Good night!

  25. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin wants me to point out (that is, she won’t stop sitting on my head and whacking me with a lump of cheese until I post this) the she does not eat the collected sundried long pigs. She sells them. Some to the aliens, apparently, where they are nursed back to health and probed in various kinky manners before being returned as “useless” (funny how that last bit never gets into the “I was abducted by a little green men in a flying saucer” stories). Apparently there are so many such stories that the aliens (who, incidentally, are not little, green, grey, or men) are convinced the NSA is watching them. Hence, the market for sundried long pigs.

    And it’s perhaps better than being snagged off the beach by a kraken and bitten in half, albeit — to the mildly deranged penguin’s disappointment — not as LOUD. There are far fewer screams when she collects them.

  26. says

    ::bathes in sparkles::

    I think a lot of the outrage is a combination of

    Knowing that Zimmerman killed Trayvon
    Being aware of the racial bias we all have and that Zimmerman displayed
    Being aware of the injustice African Americans continue to face

    However, all of that is wrapped up in ignorance of the law. Specifically Florida law. The not guilty verdict was based on ‘did the prosecution prove its argument beyond reasonable doubt’. No they did not. Many people (myself included until last night) are ignorant of the soecific legal definition of the charges against Zimmerman. That ignorance, combined with the 3 part combo above has resulted in tremendous outrage.
    I do not think the not guilty verdict is a miscarriage of justice. The jury did its job as they were supposed to.
    The prosecution failed to overcome reasonable doubt.

    However, the situation as a whole is a horrible indictment on so much of our society.
    From a legal standpoint, the ball was HORRIBLY dropped from the moment police arrived on the murder scene. The evidence was not collected. Hell charges were not even immediately filed.

    The horrible gun culture is on display here. From Zimmerman’s role as a gun toting vigilante to the wider culture’s acceptance of guns as any kind of a solution we see the toxicity of gun culture on display.

    The racism is clear here. This country needs to have a long, open, talk about race. Since it really has not happened yet (Dr Martin Luther King Jr paved the way and opened the door to conversation, but following his death, the door was practically shut), I think Stage 1 can and should involve 101 level discussion where the basics are established and facts are presented with a specific eye on establishing, clearly ‘what the problem is’. This is necessarily going to involve horrible lies, misrepresentations and distortions, but is necessary groundwork. Once we can reach a wider cultural understanding and acceptance of the problem then we can move on to fixing things*.

    *I mean no slight to those who have already done tremendous work in fighting racism. Here, I am speaking of our culture as a whole. There are pockets of progress, but I feel their advancement is impaired by the rest of the country refusing to have this discussion.

  27. blf says

    GoreTex seems to be only theoretically waterproof. At least in my experience. Good for short periods of light rain, miserable in anything more than that. And it takes forever to dry out.

    Although I have no recollection of GORE-TEX® being sold as “waterproof” (only as “water-resistant”), it seems my memory is wrong as it described as “waterproof” at the company’s site. In any case, I concur with all that is said above, and add that the other selling point, that it is “breathable”, is correct but limited. You still get fecking hot from trapped body heat.

    And it certainly can and does lose it’s “waterproofness” due to (at least) repeated washings. All of my GORE-TEX® kit has always had BIG warnings about that limitation. However, the Pfffft! of All Knowledge claims it’s not the GORE-TEX® itself which is damaged by washing (and wear), but the outer layer.

    I myself have no problems with these limitations. But to someone who is expecting absolutes, e.g. “waterproof” means you always stay dry, et al., or who forgets the instructions, they could be in for a surprise.

  28. says


    @ Chris Clarke : What can I do to show you are wrong about me and earn the privilege of commenting on your threads again?

    That is an interesting question.

    I have come to the conclusion, based on reading your posts here and seeing your behavior in back channels, that you’re in the habit of saying racist things and in complete denial about it, as well as incredibly self centered and needy, not to mention boring and annoying, and I have also concluded that I am in no way alone in this sentiment. And again, these are conclusions I’ve reached based only on reading what you’ve written here and in email.

    So I reflect your question back to you, and suggest you think about your answer for some time before responding reflexively. In fact, I don’t really care about your answer: I do think it would be a good question for you to ponder on your own.

    What can you do to persuade me I’m wrong about you?

  29. says

    I think the question betrays him. Some time spent thinking on it and reflecting on the responses he has gotten for years could be beneficial. Given the conclusions you and others have reached, I am not certain convincing anyone they are wrong in their opinion (on this) is possible. It would take some reflection and self awareness to see that though.

    There is a MUCH better question you could ask StevoR, and the very act of asking it would show growth on your part. For your sake, I hope you ask it one day.
    (Yes I know what it should be and no I am not telling).

  30. cicely says

    From CIDU

    So, the USA is a country where having an abortion at 25 weeks because of Potter Syndrome is illegal in several states but shooting a teenage boy because he’s black and annoying you is legal. You’re free to crash on my couch.

    Giliell, I think you’re gonna need a bigger couch. And possibly a lot more of ’em.

    And an extra *hug* on the side.

    rq – Consider that I have snappily retorted something to whatever Horse-related comment you intended to make. Hell-spawned, soul-destroying, yada yada. You know the drill.

    Stormcloud with lightning.

    Blatantly-unnatural-looking Natural Phenomenon, of a sort to provoke derision when done in CGI for a movie.

  31. kouras says

    …Still behind (threadrupt?). Is it okay to grumble and/or solicit advice here?

    *deposits hugs for Tethys, Dalillama & anyone else who could use them*

  32. gillyc says

    The Humanist Association of Ottowa and CFI -Ottowa are raising money to sponsor a blogger’s application to seek asylum in Canada (not much info on who or where the blogger is, only that they are in danger from their government – they’ve been asked not to give out any identifying details).

  33. cicely says

    Is it okay to grumble and/or solicit advice here?

    If it isn’t then I think most of us are in multiple violation of Teh Roolz.

  34. kouras says

    If it isn’t then I think most of us are in multiple violation of Teh Roolz.


    P was recently diagnosed with Aspergers. The Parent who agreed to be an informant for the diagnosis, after being asked, spoke at length about how the P could not be anything other than NT, because that was what The Parent thought should be the conclusion.

    After diagnosis, when first informed, The Parent asserted that “everyone’s a little bit autistic, P is just choosing not to conform to social norms”. At another time, P tried to talk about their concerns, and The Parent redirected the conversation by insisting that P’s siblings, none of whom have a similar diagnosis, must also be autistic and in more urgent need of assistance than P. When last seen, The Parent was grabbing onto P’s hands to prevent them from stimming. This stopped when negative attention was directed to the behaviour, but there is apparently some history of The Parent trying to force P suppress it.

    There’s a lot of fail going on there, at best, and I’d like to do something, but I have no idea what would actually be helpful.

  35. says

    I do not have any advice sadly.
    I do think it could be pointed out to The Parent that no one is obligated to follow social norms (of the type being discussed), so even aside from rejecting the diagnosis, The Parent is making a hugely implied assumption. Then of course, if desired, pointing them somewhere to correct the ‘everyone is a little autistic’ comment could be of benefit.

  36. Portia, in boots says

    So, my grandpa’s wife died. My father lives five hours from them, I live 30 minutes away. He said he was going to call me last week when he found out but he forgot. I could have gone to the funeral. I wasn’t really close to her, but I still feel like I’ve lost something. I’m so frustrated with my dad, it’s so typical. Apparently my grandpa is also in a nursing home, and now has 30 days to get out of the house, per his wife’s will. I’m a little shocked and a lot guilty I haven’t visited my grandpa more.

    I only found out she died because my aunt on the other side of the family saw it in the paper.

  37. cicely says

    *hugs* for Portia.
    Unless your father has an established history of honestly forgetting things of that magnitude, I’d be skeptical of his claim.
    But then, I am an old, hardened cynic.

  38. Portia, in boots says

    No, he’s pretty damned spacey.

    He told me when his grandfather died but not when he was dying (and I could have seen him before he passed). Dad is just…infuriatingly forgetful.

    thanks for the hugs.

  39. carlie says

    I’m so sorry, Portia. My spouse found out about a family death after the funeral had happened many years ago, and it still bothers him now, so I’ve seen how hard that is. (hugs)

  40. cicely says

    I have a friend who found out that he’d had a baby son, when he was condoled by a friend for his death.

  41. Portia, in boots says

    carlie and Dalillama, thank you.

    Holy crap. I can’t imagine that.

  42. carlie says

    kouras – hoooooly fuck. Well, you could try telling the parent that denial of the diagnosis doesn’t help them or the child at all. Trying to force the child to stop the behaviors by themselves is doomed to failure. The best way to get the child to conform to their ideal of “normal” is to give them exactly the kind of assistance and support that is standard operating procedure in autism therapy. For example, tantrum meltdowns will not stop if you yell at the child to get a hold of himself. Some of them will, however, stop if you figure out what is triggering the meltdown and structure the day to keep that trigger from going off in the first place (see hunger examples above in this thread). Parent gets what they want: a tantrum-free child, and child gets a smoother ride through the day, everyone is happy.
    And at the end of the day, what most autism therapy is isn’t anything weird, it’s just the standard things most people learn by osmosis spelled out for them, and more emphasis placed on being aware of yourself and your body and your needs and your observations, and everybody can benefit from that, not just people with autism, so it isn’t like a diagnosis and therapy will hurt the child in any way. It’s basically a neutral to win situation even if the diagnosis is wrong and the child is entirely neurotypical. Because, if the child is neurotypical and hates the therapy, they’ll suddenly stop doing the behaviors the parent thinks are voluntary to get the therapy to stop. If the child is autistic, then the therapy will help them learn to navigate the world to the point, possibly, of not needing the therapy any more.

    Yes, I know this is an entirely cynical way to view the whole thing, I’m just trying to think of a way to convince a parent in denial to at least let the kid get the help they need. The next step would be to start working on the parent to stop thinking of the diagnosis as someone saying their kid is broken or whatever shit is going through their head right now.

  43. says

    The not guilty verdict has me worried about something else.

    Womens Rights.
    Civil Rights.
    LGBT rights.

    We are seeing progress in LGBT rights. Slow to be sure, but forward mometum largely. However, in the case of civil rights and womens rights, we are seeing a regression.
    A-why is that?

    B-will the same fate befall LGBT rights?

    C-what can be done to assist in moving the culture forward, rather than backward?

  44. brianpansky says

    hi, i was wondering if someone might be able to help me find a comment i remember seeing months ago!

    someone posted questions they have for people to define a god. no wishy washy god definitions allowed, sorta thing.

    [thought i had it bookmarked, but can’t seem to find it!]

  45. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Took the Fuzzy One to the state fair. Watched her go on scary rides. Joined her for a few tamer ones.

    They played Sweet Home Alabama on one of the stages. It seemed REALLY out of place with the Trayvon Martin thing.

    They had Victory at Sea on tap. :3 For the usual “FUCK YOU” Cal Expo Event beer price…..which is actually competitive with the bar price for actual good beer.

    I need to make a comprehensive chart of all the rides at the fair, how many degrees of freedom they have, and at least a guess at their governing equations. :3

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

    @Portia – good night!

    @ Tony – boots applied to asses – regularly.

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

    @tony, 559

    Degrees of freedom is, IIUC, a physics/engineering term referencing in how many directions a system is available to move. Something that goes back and forth has 1 degree of freedom. Something that goes only forward also has one degree of freedom. Something that goes right & left has one degree of freedom. Something that only goes to the right has 1 degree of freedom. But something that goes forward and right has 2 degrees. Up/down is the other axis.

    I’m not sure how rotation is handled, but I suspect it’s handled the way a roller coaster is handled – as a circular track with one degree of freedom. Az can tell me how much I’ve screwed up.

  48. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Tony: I think the “technical legal” arguments all overlook the fact that, as I understand it, the fact that Martin was shot in the back is not in dispute. Even granted that shooting first is legal if one reasonably believes one is in danger, going on about the technicalities ignores that fact that the only vaguely plausible situation, given that no one even claims there was a third party present who Zimmerman was attempting to protect (implying that, if Martin’s back was to Zimmerman when he was shot, he was almost certainly attempting to move away from him and certainly not menacing him), in which the belief that it is necessary to shoot someone in the back is if they’re running towards a Big Red Button of some sort. Now, if Florida leaves ready-to-blow nuclear devices just lying around in the street, and Trayvon was going for the detonator on one, then Zimmerman was justified in shooting him under the letter of the law, but no evidence of this has been introduced. The words “reasonable” and “belief” have a meaning when used together.

  49. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Crip Dyke: “degrees of freedom” technically refers to how many coordinates are needed to (together with their rates of change with respect to time) describe the motion of a system, motion that can be defined in terms of either linear movement (translation) or rotation. So, that intuitive description is mostly right, but neglects rotation. A thing that goes forwards and backwards has one, a thing that goes forward and backwards and can turn around an axis has two, an object moving completely freely in three dimensions has six (linear motion, and rotation, with respect to three axes). A roller coaster generally has one, insofar as its position CAN be described with six different coordinates, but the values for each of those coordinates are determined by what length of the track it’s traveled over, rather than changing independently.

    The Rockin’ Tugboat ride has two (angular position with respect to two axes) and each car of the Bob Run ride has four (angular position with respect to two axes, but the forces on the car are partly in terms of the angular positions of the car before and behind it since they’re coupled by big rubber links).

  50. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    This is a nice graphic reference, a scene from Wreck-It Ralph, that describes what a trigger is.

    So it HAS been decided that “trigger” only counts if the response is a panic attack per se? :/

  51. says


    As far as I’m aware, it HASN’T been decided, and no it is NOT limited only to triggering a panic attack. It is used legitimately to refer to triggering allergies, flashbacks, dissociative episodes — all three of which I’ve had the displeasure to experience — and it shouldn’t be limited to just one specific “thing”.

    Who the hell is saying it’s “decided”?

  52. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    From the Wreck-It-Ralph link:

    Yeah, see, THIS is a trigger. Something that prompts a horrible flashback that makes someone go into a literal panic attack. It is NOT something that makes you slightly uncomfortable, so can we all just stop tossing that word around like it’s nothing.

    I (cynically?) assume “makes you slightly uncomfortable” includes the sort of vivid, wrenching emotion-reenactment I experience, because that’s the sort of language at least some people use when talking about any of the kinds of pain I experience, or have.

  53. says

    I discovered the most delightful dessert today.
    Lemon flavored Sorbet.
    I have never had it.
    Combined with warm lemon pound cake and OMFFSM it was so good.


    Thanks to Avicenna, I stumbled across the most blatant racist site I have ever seen.
    TW if you go there. God what a den of disgusting humans.
    (I left out the http: so there is no hyperlink. No need to have someone accidentally click that site.)


  54. says

    I maintain that nobody else gets to define your triggers for you, and they sure as fuck don’t get to dismiss triggering words/images/things as “mak[ing] you slightly uncomfortable,” regardless of your outward demeanor.

    Also, not all reactions to a trigger are violent in nature.

  55. kouras says

    Carlie, Tony, thank you both for your comments. I know from experience that trying to get by without help is like a game of Mau in terms of the frequency of frustration, with much more serious consequences when it goes wrong. The disconnection here is a problem.

  56. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    This is a great “open-letter” response to The Daily Mail.

    dear daily mail,
    it’s so sad what you tabloids are doing
    your focus on debasing women’s appearances ruins our species of humans
    but a rag is a rag and far be it from me to go censoring anyone OH NO
    it appears that my entire body is currently trying to escape this kimono….

    And it continues getting better. I less than Amanda Palmer.

  57. says

    Yesterday (Saturday) was the local showing of Closure, followed by a little something Dad calls “Meatfest”. BIIIIIG party. My baby sister, Angela, had her birthmum and her birth-sister up from Chattanooga. My birthmum and one of my brothers (and his wife) came up, too. And it’s weird when everyone at the party is someone who’s known me from childhood (or teenager-dom) — including former physical therapists who now work with my mum. A little awkward popping a beer in front of them.

    There was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much food. Still is. Leftovers are filling both my parents’ fridge and mine. (My stuff is relegated to the corner of the top shelf, and the one in-door compartment I claimed for my condiments.)

    I’m completely wiped out, man. I’m not only out of spoons, I owe spoons!

    On that note, I’m going to crash, and hope I’m somewhat functional in the morning afternoon.

    G’night, Horde.

  58. carlie says

    kouras – I do get it. I know full well what having that wall of disbelief smack you in the face feels like. It’s just that… well, whatever sadness and guilt and confusion and not being educated and all that the parent feels has to give way to the child getting what they need first, and the parent mopping up all of their own problems separately from that. It doesn’t help the child at all to make them wait around until the parent can finally come to terms with it. And it might help if they can see it as a new door opening to a world that is actually interesting and helpful. Oh, just doing this will help him be able to do that more easily? Awesome! He gets an education plan individualized for him at school now? Christ almighty, do you know how much people usually have to pay for that kind of tailored experience at private school/homeschool? That’s fantastic! Ohmygod, look at all this cool shit that’s out there to buy! And it’s not like the things you learn about aren’t transferable to other arenas. You know who does better when they get verbal cues about transitions a few minutes ahead of time so they can prepare for it? EVERYBODY. You wouldn’t believe all of the tips I’ve learned about parenting a child on the autism spectrum that have helped made my classes and meetings run better.

    Hopefully the parents will be able to quickly move past the initial stages. You’re a good person for trying to help them do that.

  59. says


    An earlier scene with Calhoun also kind of describes the “trigger” a little bit without the panic attack / violent reaction as she triggers on a memory, and the only result is her kind of giving a look like she’s about to vomit.

  60. birgerjohansson says

    hugs if you want them.
    — — — — — — — — — — —
    Since the Soviets rudely refused to invade ,the Swedish defence is selling out a lot of real estate, including storage facilities and formerly top-secret underground bunkers blasted into bedrock.
    A must-have for any budding Bond criminal.
    (Swedish text) http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/staten-saljer-forsvaret/

  61. rq says

    What’s the price tag on these super-secret evil-villain hideaways?

  62. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    What’s the price tag on these super-secret evil-villain hideaways?

    Oh, rq, you don’t have to. I’d be happy enough with some virtual chocolate. ;)

  63. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I almost missed your sad news, Portia. Here are some hugs from me too:
    *dumps a pile of hugs*

  64. Portia, in boots says

    Thanks, Beatrice.

    I hate that the rest of the family (what few of them I’m in touch with) probably thinks I just don’t care enough to go to the funeral, which I totally would have done. Arg. My dad wouldn’t even get why I’m upset. Oh well. Just need to chalk it up and move on. Jeez. I’m gonna OD on coffee this morning.

  65. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    You sure you need that much blood running through your coffee?
    /oooold joke

    Wow, four cups. I’m down to one these days. but it’s 1 dcl of Turkish coffee unblemished by milk or any atrocity like that.

  66. Portia, in boots says

    :) Yeah, I like the ratio to favor coffee as often as possible


    After the fifteenth time a client whines at me about problems I cannot fix, I am less diplomatic about telling them that. Gah.

  67. rq says

    I had a mental image of you pouring a whole can of ground coffee into your mouth and twitching through your client meetings. :/ *giggle* ?

    What kind of chocolate do you prefer and when can I have my hideaway prepared for my arrival?
    (And do you think, if I asked Alan Rickman politely via email, would he fly to Europe and read us a phonebook? I’ve been having this weird desire to actually ask him – you know, just in case he says ‘Yes’ (although I don’t know what I would do in that case) – as one of those off-the-wall things you’re supposed to do before you croak. I just don’t know if it’s impolite or transgresses some weird obscure social etiquette…)

  68. Portia, in boots says

    Heh. Clients make me twitchy enough on their own. (See above :) )

  69. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Oh, you’re hoping this could be one of those cases of You would never believe what [insert name of famous person] agreed to do for their fans!?
    I wish.

    I think we had a misunderstanding, I thought you were getting me a villain hideaway and I was pretending to be gracious and say that you don’t have to (but yeah, buy me one).

    Joke failed.
    Oh well, my favorite chocolates are dark chocolate filled with a sour cherry and some alcohol (cherry brandy? -not sure)

  70. Portia, in boots says

    I swear, sometimes when someone calls me and says another lawyer referred them and then tells me their problem, it reeks of practical joke.

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

    @Portia, 590:

    Just…laughing. No helpful comment, just laughing.

  72. Portia, in boots says

    Thanks, CD, you made me laugh about it too.

    Guy with a thick Southern accent cusses me out because I don’t think he has a cause of action against his cell phone carrier.

    I mean, really, is this real life?

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

    Let me guess:

    He was on an important call, and it dropped when he was going through a tunnel. he’s convinced he would totally have made that sale/scored that collector’s edition comic/gotten that shot at the minor leagues if the call hadn’t dropped.

    So now he wants lost profits, compounded for how the sale would have sparked his growth/more money than his net worth to buy the comic/5 million a year to replace lost future earnings when he made it into the majors.

    Am I anywhere close?

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

    Okay, who here has heard this.

    I admit that the use of the b word lessens my enjoyment, but every geeky, nerdy horde member should hear this thing at least once.

  75. ChasCPeterson says

    the fact that Martin was shot in the back is not in dispute.

    This is simply false. The fact that’s not in dispute is that he was shot in the chest. This fact is easily checked with a few keystrokes.
    What fascinates me about the post-verdict discussion of this case is how poorly most discussants distinguish among fact, supposition, projection, rumor, and bullshit.

  76. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I hate that the rest of the family (what few of them I’m in touch with) probably thinks I just don’t care enough to go to the funeral, which I totally would have done.

    Could you talk to one or two of them and let them know that your father is really bad about remembering to tell you these things and ask if they could be sure to, just in case?

  77. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    This is simply false. The fact that’s not in dispute is that he was shot in the chest. This fact is easily checked with a few keystrokes.
    What fascinates me about the post-verdict discussion of this case is how poorly most discussants distinguish among fact, supposition, projection, rumor, and bullshit.

    That’s odd, because those few keystrokes are getting me exactly one link that claims that, and doesn’t seem particularly trustworthy.

  78. cicely says

    I mean, really, is this real life?

    No, this is just fantasy.
    And something about a landslide. Don’t let it bring you down. No no no no no.

  79. Portia, in boots says

    No escape from realityyyyyyyyy.

    Good idea, Azkyroth. I may work up the gumption to address it head on.

  80. Portia, in boots says


    Sadly, you’re not close.
    And the guy might have something to complain about.
    But nothing to yell at me about!

  81. says

    Still waiting for Chas to explain why it is so important to correct people about two non essential facts regarding Zimmermans phone call with the police dispatcher. It is apparently important to correct people that it was not the police and he was only advised, but WHY this is important is a mystery.

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


    Okay then, I’m sad. And very sorry about the yelling.

    Still, it’s nice to experience that old-time southern charm & hospitality, innit?

  83. Portia, in boots says

    Thanks CD. It was a great start to my week. He didn’t remember who referred him to me. I’d like to know who to give an evil eye to.

  84. says

    Hey, folks. Sorry to barge in unannounced and such, but I wanted to ask:

    (Name part of my email: tony)

    Any Clevelanders want to get together for a FTBCon watch party? Me and a couple of other Clevelanders are interested, and wanted to know if others might be as well.

    (At part of email: @)

    I asked around on FB, but thought I’d ask the larger Pharyngula crowd, just to get the word out.

    (Domain part of email: paperdove.org)

    Anyway, gotta get back to work. I’ll stop in a little more often (yes, that’s a direct threat). I’ve been missing the lounge.

    Also, thanks from me too, carlie. The little ball of pent-up rage that passes for my heart is a little bit less ragey.

  85. Portia, in boots says

    Gah, S keeps referring clients to me. I don’t mind the business and I don’t mind sending the odd “Thanks” text but I feel weird.

  86. rq says

    Is there any way to politely tell him to cut it down (if not completely out)?
    (I guess there’s no point in asking him why he’s doing it…)

    And yeah, I have that secret hope in my heart that….
    Hey, I was supposed to get you a secret hideaway? Ooooooh. My favourite chocolate is non-existent: a 40% dark chocolate with bubbles inside, and almonds and cranberries. Because that would be dee-lish-usssss.
    Still, I don’t think you have enough Evil for a hideaway… Then again, you do work for the government. *ponders* Hmm. Now, if it was cicely asking for a hideaway. Different thing altogether.

  87. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    *mutters to herself*
    I’ll show her, I’ll show all of them. Muahahaha!

    But right now, good night! I have to get my evil sleep.

  88. rq says

    That’s right, all Evil Geniuses make sure to get at least 8 hours’ sleep per night! :) Good night!

  89. cicely says

    I give neither aid nor comfort to the Equine Enemy. I mean, if we’re talking about qualifications as an Evil Supervillain….
    (I’m more of a Chaotic Neutral Villain*.)
    *The “Super” part does not—as yet—apply, pending the successful development and construction of the Hoverchair10,000™, with All The Optional Extras. Shark Flinger. Freeze Ray. Disintegrator Field. Wormhole technology. And suchlike. Not, however, bucket seats. Not a fan. Those things never fit properly.

  90. says

    Michelle Bachmann wants to spank President Obama. Maddow Blog link.

    Ms. Bachmann also thinks that Obama waved a magic wand and gave undocumented aliens under 30 years old the right to vote. She claims he did this in 2012 and is poised to do it again during the next presidential election. Excerpt from a transcription of the video:

    … I think the president, even by executive order, can again wave his magic wand before 2014 and he’d say now all of the new, legal Americans are going to have voting rights.’

    “Why do I say that? He did it in 2012. Do you remember? Anyone who was here as a Latina under age 30, he said, ‘You get to vote.’ …

    “… He has a perpetual magic wand and nobody’s given him a spanking yet and taken it out of his hand. That’s what Congress needs to do — give the president a major wake-up call. And the way we spank the president is we do it through the checkbook. We’re the ones who say, ‘No, you can’t have the money.’ …”

    Yes, Bachmann is on the House Intelligence Committee.

    Right Wing Watch link.

  91. blf says

    I discovered the most delightful dessert today.
    Lemon flavored Sorbet.
    I have never had it.

    You owe me a new lower jaw. My fell open, fell off, bounced around on the floor a few times, and is now hiding someplace where I can’t find it.

    Never had lemon sorbet? How is this possible!? (Ok, ok, a first-world puzzle, but still…) Next you’ll be saying the mildly deranged penguin doesn’t like cheese, peas are humanity’s best friends, beef really does taste of horse. and gravity not only proves evilution is not only wrong, but that women aren’t infested with cooties. And 2+3 is a elephant spider.

  92. Portia, in boots says

    Telling him to stop would be a bit of cutting of my nose to spite my face : p I need the business.

    Yesterday, my cousin was feeding her 1 year old fresh picked peas as we all sat at the edge of the pool. Baby C dropped a pea in the pool, and I dove down to get it. She pead in the pool.

    I was amused, no one else thought I was funny.

  93. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    I will be at my mother’s house and without internet access for a while, so I’ll be totally threadrupt until I get back. Take care, everyone. Leaves a *large pile of hugs and chocolate* in her wake.

  94. Portia, in boots says

    *scoops up and reciprocates hugs from Hekuni Cat*
    Have a lovely time

  95. carlie says

    I need to show up here more often, right? Right? I mean, right?


    So, I have lived in this house for 10 years now. No air conditioning, weirdo awful aluminum single-pane slider windows from the 1960s that couldn’t accommodate a window unit. Summers unbearable, as house isn’t built properly for cross-ventilation EITHER, because the builders suck.

    Finally this spring replaced the upstairs windows with new awesome vinyl ones. HOORAY.

    Bought a window unit yesterday. Waited too long because we’ve hit a heat wave right at the moment, got one of the last ones. Smallest one you can get around here, should be fine based on measurements.

    Opened the box.

    Opened the window.

    Took out the 3-inch tall rubber stops that are in the way of the window opening fully.

    Pushed up the window. The window stopped anyway.

    Finally realized that what was stopping the window wasn’t actually the rubber stops, it’s the window spring mechanism mounted halfway up the track.

    Therefore, although the opening is the right size, the window opens 2 full inches less than even the smallest one I can find online requires for minimum clearance.



  96. says


    Finally realized that what was stopping the window wasn’t actually the rubber stops, it’s the window spring mechanism mounted halfway up the track.

    Damn you, technology! Damn you and your capricious ways!

    Also, here’s a hug. And some chocolate.

    No, I’m not regifting from Hekuni Cat! Phhhp. Like I’d do that.

  97. blf says

    T rex tooth found embedded in prey, restoring dinosaur’s reputation:

    Tooth lodged in plant-eating dinosaur’s spine proves that T rex wasn’t just a scavenger but also hunted live prey

    Threats to the fearsome reputation of Tyrannosaurs rex appeared to have been seen off on Monday by fresh evidence unearthed in the US.

    The dinosaur’s feeding habits have long been debated by academics, with some claiming that T rex was less a ferocious hunter and more a lumbering slowcoach that scavenged the carcasses of beasts that had died at the claws of others.

    The latest evidence comes from palaeontologists who found remnants of a prehistoric skirmish in a slab of rock at the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota. The clash, which occurred around 66m years ago, involved a T rex and a large, plant-eating hadrosaur, and ended with the tooth of the former lodged firmly in the spine of the latter.

    Scans of the tooth and two surrounding tail vertebrae showed clear signs of bone healing around the wound, taken as proof that the hadrosaur was alive at the time of the attack and survived for several months or even years afterwards.

    “This is unambiguous evidence that T rex was an active predator,” the authors write in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Such evidence is rare in the fossil record for good reason — prey rarely escapes.”

    Paul Barrett, a dinosaur researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, expressed exasperation that the debate was still ongoing. “The whole T rex scavenger or predator debate is pretty intractable and not particularly enlightening. Work on living carnivores, like big cats and wolves, clearly show they use both strategies depending on what’s available to them. They’ll generally make do with a meal from either source if it satisfies their dietary needs. Any other extinct carnivore, including T rex, is likely to have been the same,” he said.

    I particularly liked the first reply to the first comments:

    It’s unambiguous evidence that a T rex bit another dinosaur, not that it preyed regularly upon it. Maybe the T rex was acting abnormally due to starvation or disease. Maybe the animals fought for some reason. I’ve been bitten by domestic dogs and cats and neither of them prey upon my species.

    That may be because neither dogs nor cats are 15 feet tall with nasty, big, pointy teeth.

  98. blf says

    Femen-inspired postage stamp angers French right:

    Designers say youthful depiction of Marianne for new stamp was partially inspired by Femen founder Inna Shevchenko

    It was supposed to be a straightforward new postage stamp to mark François Hollande’s presidency: a more youthful depiction of Marianne, the feminine symbol of the French Republic, reflecting the Socialist president’s promise to help the younger generation.

    Instead, the portrait has sparked a spat on the political right after one of its designers said it was partially inspired by Inna Shevchenko, a leading member of the feminist activist group Femen.

    Christine Boutin, a former minister under Nicolas Sarkozy and founder of the Christian Democrat party, tweeted her disgust and her party called for a boycott of “this outrageous stamp”, saying it was an attack “on the dignity of women and the sovereignty of France” and should immediately be withdrawn.

    Shevchenko tweeted: “Femen is on French stamp. Now all homophobes, extremists, fascists will have to lick my ass when they want to send a letter.”

    I am definitely going to try and get some of these stamps.

  99. carlie says

    Thanks, Portia and nigelTheBold. I’ll take regifted chocolate. :)

    I just thought of one other option – there is one window that is is a different shape and large enough, but it’s in the little office room. We’d have to take back the unit we have and buy the next larger one up (for another $60 or so), have the thing jutting right out front and center of our house, and hope that enough cool air leaves that room and circulates to the other rooms to make it worth it. I suggested it to Spouse and he was Not Keen On That Idea, but we’ll see what happens after tonight’s “probably won’t drop below 80 in the bedroom” evening.

    I know, first world problems. It’s just so annoying because one of the big reasons to replace the windows was precisely to be able to put in air conditioners. *sigh*

  100. carlie says

    I know they’re more expensive, and a bit less convenient (they take up floor space), but have you looked at a portable floor unit?

    We have – always avoided it before because even the window vent it requires wasn’t possible with the old windows. Could do it with the new ones; I guess I should check it out. I worry about the energy usage of a portable also; our electrical box barely gives us enough juice as it is (don’t run a space heater and a hair dryer on the same circuit or it will blow!) and most of the portables aren’t energy star rated.

  101. yazikus says

    Maybe the animals fought for some reason.

    Yeah, I bet the other dinosaur totally stole T-Rex’s water melon! Of course T-Rex would have to defend his melon patch as well…. Maybe that was it!

  102. yazikus says

    Of course T-Rex would have to defend his melon patch as well

    Let me amend to say that perhaps the T-Rex would have to defend her water melon patch. Gotta love the unconscious sexism!

  103. Ogvorbis says



    Does anyone know anything that will make me less desirable to fleas? We are fighting another infestation and Wife and I can stand in the same place and, after one minute, she has one flea and I have 40 fleas. Suggestions?

  104. cicely says


    I need to show up here more often, right? Right? I mean, right?


    She pead in the pool.
    I was amused, no one else thought I was funny.

    Well, were you the one now stuck with the decontamination of the pool and the safe disposal of its contents? Many states will not allow the storage of drums of hazardous liquid waste within their borders. Plus, there’s the danger of toxic spills while it’s being transported. Not fun.
    Or so I’ve heard.

    *huge Care package of hugs&chocolate&booze&kittehs&other necessities* for Hekuni Cat.

    *hugs* and sympathy for carlie. I feel your pain.
    *wiping brow & gulping soda*

    Ogvorbis: If I had a good answer to that question, I’d be rich.
    I do know that bug-bombing the shit out of the carpet won’t necessarily save you. This one time, we had a living room carpet that was alive with fleas, so we set a prudent number of bombs and left for the day. When we came back, and I stepped inside, my white ankle socks were liberally peppered with fleas. Didn’t seem to phase ’em at all.
    I’ve heard/read that sowing your carpet with diatomaceous earth for a while, then vacuuming it all up, will work, but I haven’t tested it. If it does work, and if it works by getting into their nasty little carapaces, you might try a limited test with corn starch; it worked on the ants we were plagued with right up until we corn starched the cats’ feeding area. And they sorta go into convulsions when you sprinkle ’em.

  105. says

    I’ve had some luck with the diatomaceous earth thing in the past. Also, eating large amounts of garlic is supposed to help sometimes in keeping them off of you personally.

  106. carlie says

    you might try a limited test with corn starch; it worked on the ants we were plagued with

    Hm, tell me more. We’re having the worst tiny ant infestation we’ve ever seen, and in multiple rooms, bug killer isn’t lasting more than an hour, and even the classic boric acid and powdered sugar paste hasn’t cut their numbers any.

  107. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Carlie: I’ve found Windex or 409 effective on the ants themselves, though not on discouraging them from coming back. Vinegar might even work.

  108. Portia, in boots says

    Apparently when I block the thoroughfare between my bedroom and the outside world, the centipedes move next door to my office (same building). They are now living high on the walls in that room rather than my bedroom. I am relieved and interested at the change.

    Got together with an old friend tonight, he recently moved to my little teeny town from Chicago suburbs. He’s been here two days. We talked for five hours. It was interesting and engaging conversation. Unlike after most social interactions, I feel almost as invigorated as I do drained. It was great. Cool beans.

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


    hot pepper powder (cayenne, for instance) can cause ants to turn away. Spread across access points, it will deter the ones inside from leaving and outside from entering. However if you have too many inside, they’ll eat a new way out and then use that access point.

  110. rq says

    Corn starch on ants? I’ll have to try that. Does it work on outdoor ants too? Last week all the queens hatched… right out of the giant crack in the wall along the outside. They swarmed. They swarmed right beneath the bat nests, so I’m hoping the bats eventually got most of them.

    Fleas: the best thing for fleas that solved the problem for us was getting those flea/tick-drops for the cat. Since fleas prefer the higher temperature of cats and dogs, they should congregate to the animal, and die off within a couple of weeks (worked for us). Since you just lost the cat, Ogvorbis, I’m not too surprised you now have a flea problem… And yes, lots of garlic might cause them to avoid you, but if there are so many of them, and they’re hungry, they’ll mostly just not care and bite anyway.

  111. says

    Ugh. Partner is being incredibly stupid re: Zimmerman. He bought into the racist bullshit about Trayvon being a “thug” and claims that the kid had gang tattoos and a history of violence. Totally ignored that Zimmerman STALKED AND KILLED THE KID for no reason other than his own prejudice and paranoia.

    Fucking hell.

  112. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    Rachel Jeantel said something very cogent (contrary to everything B37 said) and it’s something that I hear in Zimmerman’s voice and words as well. Everything Zimmerman said in the 911 call sounded to her as if Zimmerman was going to “get one.” It sounded like CYA, black guy looks suspicious, trump up the characteristics of his behavior, or even make them up.

    As for him being a thug what purpose does that serve or what is the claim which is being supported? It’s that Zimmerman was justified in killing Martin in self-defense, because 17 year old kids who act hard on twitter and talk about drugs, like nearly half the people his age do, yet has no arrests. But forget all that shit – how could Zimmerman have KNOWN anything to substantiate his initial suspicion of the kid? “Looked suspicious.” is being rationalized after the fact to lend support to something which was not evidence presented to Zimmerman at the time he saw Martin.

    And it’s everyones right, whether they present as a thug or a prude, to defend themselves when they’re being chased down by someone, and then to defend themselves when confronted. Zimmerman was completely over the top in his pursuit, so thug or not, this is why I believe Trayvon’s altercation with him, regardless of who initiated the physical contact, was justified.

    I don’t really know 100% what happened that night though, but right or wrong about the situation, the gloating attitude and the accusations of race-card-playing or race-baiting are driving me up a wall with anger. As Joel McHale says “Think about what you’re applauding, folks.”

  113. says

    Hi there

    A lot of the discussion around the Zimmerman case sounds a lot like the wrong response to schoolyard bullying, only that you add guns and a dead kid.

    Sorry for inconsiderate father


    For outdoor ants my grandpa used to fry them with the Bunsen burner.
    The birds were always quite grateful.

  114. Pteryxx says

    Still threadrupt, still focusing just on abortion news.

    Cross-posting from Ophelia’s, because bad data in the service of bigotry need debunking. Erick Erickson wrote a post claiming illegal abortion isn’t really dangerous and reports of the bad old days are “more legend than reality”, citing an anti-abortion group’s report that cherry-picks its data.


    To Erickson, a conservative commentator and outspoken reproductive rights opponent (who also happens to think that working women are “against nature“), dangerous, self-administered abortions are simply hilarious.

    Hilarious — and largely a fiction cooked up by reproductive rights advocates, Erickson is quick to add. In a Monday post addressing the negative response to his tweet, Erickson referenced a report from the antiabortion group Michigan Right to Life stating that in 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade guaranteed women a constitutional right to abortion, “only” 39 women had died as a result of illegally obtained and self-administered abortions, leading Erickson to call the dangers of illegal abortion “more legend than reality.”

    While the number of reported deaths in 1972 may be accurate (although 39 dead women is still 39 dead women, and thousands more died trying to end unwanted pregnancies in previous decades), there is quite a lot of data that Erickson chose to leave out about 1972. Like how more than 100,000 women were forced to seek out an illegal or self-induced abortion that same year, as a 2003 report from the Guttmacher Institute notes:

    Even in the early 1970s, when abortion was legal in some states, a legal abortion was simply out of reach for many. Minority women suffered the most: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 1972 alone, 130,000 women obtained illegal or self-induced procedures, 39 of whom died.

    According to the Guttmacher report, 39 deaths in 1972 was the tail end of many years’ decline as states began to make legal abortion accessible with a doctor’s or hospital committee’s approval. In 1965 there were over 200 reported deaths.


    Also from the Guttmacher report, many patients obtained safe abortions by traveling:

    In the late 1960s, an alternative to obtaining committee approval emerged for women seeking a legal abortion, but once again, only for those with considerable financial resources. In 1967, England liberalized its abortion law to permit any woman to have an abortion with the written consent of two physicians. More than 600 American women made the trip to the United Kingdom during the last three months of 1969 alone; by 1970, package deals (including round-trip airfare, passports, vaccination, transportation to and from the airport and lodging and meals for four days, in addition to the procedure itself) were advertised in the popular media.
    Beginning in 1970, four states—Alaska, Hawaii, New York and Washington—also repealed their antiabortion statutes, and generally allowed licensed physicians to perform abortions on request before fetal viability. Alaska, Hawaii and Washington required a woman seeking an abortion to be a resident of the state for at least 30 days prior to the procedure; New York did not include a residency requirement, which put it on the map as an option for the affluent.
    The year before the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, just over 100,000 women left their own state to obtain a legal abortion in New York City. According to an analysis by The Alan Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 50,000 women traveled more than 500 miles to obtain a legal abortion in New York City; nearly 7,000 women traveled more than 1,000 miles, and some 250 traveled more than 2,000 miles, from places as far as Arizona, Idaho and Nevada.

  115. says

    Hey, only 200 deaths in 1965, and most crucially, they were all women. Those don’t count.

    Imagine if hacks had murdered 200 white men in 1965. We’d have to do something about that.

  116. rq says

    200 Women deaths? Yeah, women die all the time (childbirth is hard, ya know). And that’s like… not even 1 Man death. *pfft* [/snark]

  117. Owlmirror says

    I see that WikiP has some solutions for fleas, some of which have been echoed here.

    I recall an interesting thing about dealing with fleas. I don’t see it on the WikiP page, so I don’t know if it really works.

    Fleas sense heat. So one enterprising individual took a large pot of water, and boiled it. Then he either set the pot down on the carpet where the fleas were hanging out, or poured it into a bucket, or something similar. And the fleas jumped into the still-hot water, and were cooked.

    A thought that occurs to me, after seeing that fleas can sense carbon dixoxide, is to pour a little seltzer/soda water into the boiled water, which might make it even more attractive.

    Assuming this works at all, and you have a widepread infestation in a carpet, you might also use large cups (or bowls?) filled with boiling hot water scattered around on the carpet, to get multiple populations.

    Although, really, if you have a large carpet, WikiP says vacuuming frequently (and disposing of the bag immediately) helps.

  118. Jacob Schmidt says

    KS about a slime mold field guide. She even has educational exhibits planned.

    Has any of the lovely horde read Temple Grandin’s book on autism, The Autistic Brain? I saw it at the local bookstore the other day. It looked like it takes a practical view of autism, and proposes that we use the strengths that autism can confer to make up for the weaknesses. It looked good, but I’m iffy buying a $30 book.

  119. rq says

    Actually, you don’t even need boiling hot water (which is dangerous), but we made flea-traps from low-sided white (this is important) bowls of water around the living room (in locations hard to reach for children, in our case). I read (no reference) that fleas appear to be more attracted to the colour white, and they drown easily. We’d put the bowls out in the evening, and collect them in the morning, full of little corpses.
    And the heat thing only works to a limit – an old country method of getting rid of fleas from a coat is to hang it up on the chimney (the inside part that’s right above the hearth and is hot-hot-hot). They run from that amount of heat.
    Mostly, they just prefer the slightly-higher body heat of small animals like dogs and cats to the slightly-lower temperature of humans. This is why it’s good to have a pet around; clears the fleas away from humans (works, too – which is why I like the drops on the animal, because the fleas congregate to the animal, eat poisoned blood, and die/are unable to breed).
    On the bright side, they need the non-human blood to breed, so even if they’re around and biting humans, technically, all the fleas should be dead within 4 – 6 weeks (since they need about 2 weeks to hatch and mature, then I think they were able to survive about 4 weeks, and if they don’t breed, you won’t be getting any new hatchlings once the newest hatchlings are dead).

  120. Portia, in boots says

    As a kid, I had a dog that had seizures when I gave her a flea treatment. I still don’t know why.

  121. Portia, in boots says

    Oh, no, out of thyme? I run out of thyme quite a bit, there’s never enough thyme :)

    I can’t think of an actually clever thyme pun. I tried ^_^

  122. cicely says

    At bizarrocomics.

    carlie, our ants don’t like to walk through the corn starch; so (since the cat feeding station was one of their main targets) we got burner covers, turned them upside down, dusted in some cornstarch such that there was even coverage, then set the cat dishes (food and water, both) into them. Poof, no more ants!
    In the bathroom the problem was a little different; there were gaps in the tiles that they were getting in through. We dusted the cornstarch around their entrances (a bit messy, but at least not toxic!), and though their first response was to find another gap, eventually they ran out of gaps, and didn’t come in any more.
    A friend of mine tried this on my recommendation, and it worked for her as well. And the cornstarch is relatively cheap.

    Portia: Hurrah for old friends!

    Corn starch on ants? I’ll have to try that. Does it work on outdoor ants too?

    Don’t know. Moisture might cause it to de-powder-fy and turn it into just another surface for them to walk on?

    I don’t really know 100% what happened that night though, but right or wrong about the situation, the gloating attitude and the accusations of race-card-playing or race-baiting are driving me up a wall with anger.

    Yes. And nausea.

    It had to happen eventually: I have run out of thyme.

    Natural result of the passage of thyme, I’m afraid.

  123. yazikus says

    That last photo is amazing! Also, the sandwich one made me snort. Poor T-Rex.

  124. says

    So, next chapter in trying to get a decent backpack.
    This would be easier if I had 3 hours to go downtown and just try them on.
    First attempt failed due to a detail I hadn’t even thought about: The shoulder straps are not fitted directly to the back but there’s a kind of intermediate part which gives me a horrible pain in the neck. No worry the kids are wearing them dangling over their ass.
    Which is a shame because it was really nice with a decent sized water bottle in an extra compartment on the outside.
    I’m accident prone. there’s no way I’m going to carry a water bottle and the laptop in the same compartment….

  125. cicely says

    rq: That first ‘this’ just gives me an empty white screen; but the last one is, as yazikus said, amazing.

  126. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says


    This morning I woke up, rolled over, and observed that the clock read 8:57.

    (I work 9-5).

    Went to work. Stopped at the coffee cart. Like they frequently do, they had a trivia question posted (a correct answer gets you a piece of candy). Today’s was “a box without hinges, key or lid, yet inside a golden treasure is hid.” I said, “Are you going to do all of the riddles from The Hobbit? The barista laughed and told me to take two pieces of candy (after I correctly said that the answer is “an egg”). She then directed me to the second question (“who is the voice of Smaug in the new Hobbit movie?”) and I answered that one as well and we fangirled over Benedict Cumerbatch for a few minutes.

    Did some data analysis.





    The Big Mucking Experiment is yielding interesting – and probably publishable – data! ^_^

    If you had seen me a minute ago, you would have observed that I was (1) dripping wet and (2) carrying a hammer and chisel.

    I just LOVE de-icing freezer gaskets, how ’bout you?

  127. David Marjanović says

    Yay for publishable units, least or not least! :-)

    If you had seen me a minute ago, you would have observed that I was (1) dripping wet and (2) carrying a hammer and chisel.

    I just LOVE de-icing freezer gaskets, how ’bout you?

    My parents have their freezer chest on the balcony. Once every winter, when the weather is frozen solid, it’s emptied and thawed by putting large dishes full of hot water inside. :-)

  128. David Marjanović says

    *scrolls up*
    *delivers hugs and excess spoons*


    “Dear Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, Texas Highway Patrol Assistant Director Luiz Gonzalez and all members of the Texas state legislature:

    It is unconscionable that Texas citizens who merely seek to watch their legislature in action would be forced to surrender their tampons, maxipads or diabetic medicine to state troopers.

    We demand a complete and open investigation as to who authorized this move, who is accountable for such conduct—and that all such parties be appropriately disciplined.”

  129. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Oh, I wasn’t defrosting the freezer, just knocking the accumulated ice off so that the door would seal properly.

  130. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    If you had seen me a minute ago, you would have observed that I was (1) dripping wet and (2) carrying a hammer and chisel.

    I just LOVE de-icing freezer gaskets, how ’bout you?

    …I don’t enjoy it QUITE that much… :P

  131. says

    As a kid, I had a dog that had seizures when I gave her a flea treatment. I still don’t know why.

    Many pets have a horribly bad reaction to common flea treatments. You’re lucky that the dog survived.

  132. rq says

    Yay!! for Esteleth‘s results! That’s awesome!

    The first ‘this’ is of a t-rex trying to reach the toilet paper…

  133. Yellow Thursday says

    “Cannot run out thyme. There is infinite thyme. You are finite. Zathras is finite. This… is wrong tool!”

    (If anyone gets this reference, I owe you some spoo.)

  134. blf says

    de-icing freezer gaskets

    This is, of course, backwards, as the mildly deranged penguin points out. Yer not supposed to remove the ice. That’s about as stupid as watering a T rex with thyme.

  135. cicely says

    Hurray for Significant & (Probably) Publishable Data!

    Yellow Thursday: Easy peasy. Bablyon 5.

  136. rq says

    Yellow Thursday
    I believe I have run out of thyme. What happens to Zathras now?
    (And… spoo? No, I didn’t get the reference, but I googled it, but I still don’t get the context.)


    The saddest spread – so nostalgic!

  137. Yellow Thursday says

    rq: “Zathras is not of this thyme. You leave, Zathras dies. You take, Zathras dies. Either way, it is bad for Zathras.”

    cicely: *uploads spoo – fresh or aged, take your pick*

  138. Yellow Thursday says

    cicely: Sorry, I’m fresh out of fleem. Would you accept some flarn as a subsitute?

  139. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Yer not supposed to remove the ice. That’s about as stupid as watering a T rex with thyme.

    Got a better suggestion for how to make the door seal than chipping the accumulated ice off?

  140. blf says

    Got a better suggestion for how to make the door seal than chipping the accumulated ice off?

    Encase it in a glacier. Tens of metres of ice in each dimension will firmly keep the door in whatever position you desire, the contents cold, and the penguins happy. Win-win-win.

  141. cicely says

    Yellow Thursday: Tell you what…just hold onto that spoo for me until you get a new shipment of fleem. Spoo just really ain’t the same without fleem.

  142. blf says

    Incorrect amounts of thyme really messes up the fleem, which stops the spoo. Some slood usually fixes the problem, as long as there isn’t too much blit.

  143. blf says

    we’ve yet to discover slood.

    Looks out the door. Notices the lack of octarine, progress, and civilization.
    Ah, sorry, keep banging those rocks, guys!

  144. thunk: Ex ludo, scientia says


    blf: I’d like to tell you that I do not appreciate restoring the Laurentide ice sheet. 900 m of ice would fail to provide a suitable ground for electrical equipment, there’ll be no more beaches, or even ski resorts, for the local topography would be once again flattened.

  145. rq says

    Because there’s not enough thyme…?


    Eldest’s evolution story:
    – Everyone used to be friends, here [gestures to a middle point with both hands], but then, over millions and millions of years, they discovered and started building this staircase [slowly moving hands apart, one higher, one lower] and started climbing it, but these ones [lower hand waves] got angry because nobody was carrying them up the stairs, and they didn’t want to climb, and so they got left behind, and that’s why not everyone is friends anymore.
    (… And it all went downhill into a crazy action story from there, complete with flaming spears that, when slammed into the earth, set all the trees on fire, which was countered by the good guys, who had spears of ice, that froze everything, and then there was a giant arms race too complicated for me to describe here, but, contrary to the bad guys constantly inventing more ingenious machinery and having millions and millions of more people (current favourite number: millions and millions), Eldest assures me that the good guys won in the end. …)

  146. Yellow Thursday says

    cicely and blf: As long as we have some slurm to drink with it, I’m good.

  147. rq says

    He wasn’t quite clear on their methods, because the bad guys seemed to have all the innovation on their side, but he was confident. Works for me, too!

  148. blf says

    As long as we have some slurm to drink with it, I’m good.

    There also lots of shmoos.

  149. blf says

    He wasn’t quite clear on their methods…

    As pointed out above, 900 m ice sheets tend to flatten just about anything.

  150. carlie says

    Yay Esteleth for the results!

    I feel you on the freezer. One time I opened the office freezer at work, and it wouldn’t. close. Not at all. Turns out nobody had opened it in a month or so, and the ice had grown over the seal to the point that after I had opened the door (it did take some effort, which should have been my clue), it was impossible to close back. I had to chip off a hell of a lot of ice just to get it to close.

    You guys, I’m so happy. After all of my air conditioner angst, we now have it installed in the bedroom where nature intended. Spouse had a contractor friend come over, and it turns out that what I thought was part of the window operating system was really a set of knobs that adjusts the side walls in case the opening isn’t quite plumb. He said there was really no point in it being there in a window as small as ours, and it wasn’t structurally necessary, but what he did was take them out, raised the window over the spot, then reinstalled them a couple of inches higher, and bingo, opening was big enough. Of course, it’s now blocking the pane on the way down so it won’t close all the way, but he said he’d come back in the fall when we’re ready to take it out and put them back in their original position. Wow. So happy. (Plus, my parents are coming to visit next week, and last time they came they went home early because it was so hot, so we really wanted to do this before they got here.) It’s settling now, and hopefully will work ok when we turn it on. :)

  151. rq says

    Yay!! for carlie winning the fight against windows! :)
    (And hooray for coolness.)

  152. cicely says

    Yellow Thursday: I don’t drink Slurm. I’ve seen where it comes from.

    carlie: I rejoice in your installation of The Air Conditioner.
    Also, the mint plants are leafy and green and not dead at all.
    Not even a little.

  153. carlie says

    Also, the mint plants are leafy and green and not dead at all.
    Not even a little.

    Yay!! I told you, nothing can kill them. :)

  154. Portia, in boots says

    Hooray Esteleth!

    Hooray carlie!!!


    Hooray for listservs that go out to hundreds of attorneys, some of whom are nice enough to say “Just give me a call, I’ll tell you all about that” and then spend ten minutes giving you a crash course in whatever you wondered about. Hooray!

  155. says

    Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by (1) finding and bankrolling new candidates pledged to shrinking and dismembering it; (2) intimidating or bribing many current senators and representatives to block all proposed legislation, prevent the appointment of presidential nominees, eliminate funds to implement and enforce laws, and threaten to default on the nation’s debt; (3) taking over state governments in order to redistrict, gerrymander, require voter IDs, purge voter rolls, and otherwise suppress the votes of the majority in federal elections; (4) running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change is a hoax, and (5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth.

    Would you call this treason?

    If not, what would you call it?

    And what would you do about it?

          Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley….


  156. Sili says

    The new and ‘improved’ Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe has just reminded me that glucosamine doesn’t have any effect on joint troubles in humans.

    Should I be upset that my vet recommends speciality food with glucosamine among other stuff for my cat with hip and shoulder dysplasia and arthritis?

  157. Ogvorbis says

    Would you call this treason?

    Here in ‘Mercuh, we’d call them the True Patriots.


    Just had dinner.

    Roast tomato salsa (2 roasted tomatoes, skinned and chopped after roasting; 4 cloves garlic, cursed and diced; two jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined and diced; some onion, diced; some cilantro, some salt, and some lime juice) and peach pico de gallo (two peaches, skinned and diced; one jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and diced, a little onion, diced, some lime juice, some salt and some oregano), blue corn tortilla chips and some soft sided Italian bread (toasted). Quite good. And, with our heat wave, low impact.

  158. yazikus says

    Quite good. And, with our heat wave, low impact.

    Ogvorbis, that sounds delicious! I want to say that I really enjoy your food comments.

    I ended up making couscous salad last night for dinner (couscous, fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomato, english cucumber, baslamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & lots of fresh cracked pepper) and am looking forward to cool leftovers and no need to cook tonight!
    Thought we might have a thunderstorm later today. Not sure yet. 84 degrees and windy.

  159. Portia, in boots says

    I am making a portabello mushroom stuffed with sweet potatoes and smothered in extra sharp white cheddar. In the toaster oven to reduce the heat :)

  160. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    After work, I decided to go to That End of The City and buy cat food and stuff for a work party that is on Thursday. Going 6 miles took me – because I started this trip at 5:15 pm – forty minutes.

    Got home (didn’t die! didn’t have an accident! successfully bought eggs!) to discover that Morgan is apparently somewhat fuzzy on the distinction between “litterbox” and “bed.”


  161. Ogvorbis says


    Congratulations on not dying. Or having an accident.

    One question:

    Do you sleep on a ‘normal’ (well, normal for humans in whatever culture you were raised) bed? or a box filled with sand or ground clay?

  162. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Or a coffin filled with dirt from your native land, for that matter. It’d explain the confusion.

  163. Ogvorbis says

    Does the dirt have to be from the right country, or from your actual homestead?