[Lounge #427]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. I don’t think that’s his real face.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. kevinalexander says

    I don’t think that’s his real face.

    It’s amazing what they can do with cosmetic surgery these days. It had me fooled for a minute.

  2. says

    Esteleth, I meant to mention in the previous thread that actors in the Hill Cumorah pageant who played Nephites used to be dressed like Roman soldiers. Whut?

  3. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Nephites used to be dressed like Roman soldiers


  4. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    *hugs* and sympathy, Beatrice. Paranoid Brain asks, is it remotely possible that you are being set up to fail?


    Dalillama, promising prospects or not, best of luck wrt the job interviews.

    *scritches* for WMDKitty.

    […] but still… it’s rather uncharitable to assume that someone who has, herself, been subject to rape and abuse is making a pro-rape argument.

    Perhaps they suspected you of being Stockhomized?
    Alternative explanations: They can’t read for shit.

  5. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    *exasperated sigh*
    Second of the alternative explanations: They, themselves, only bring up information that has been cherry-picked to support their position, they presume that you do the same; ergo, if you are bringing it up, it must be because you feel it supports your position?
    Convoluted, perhaps too much. Paranoid Brain seems to be on a roll, this morning.

  6. says

    … Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.

    That’s a straight-up quote from this Reuters article.

    FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, a conservative issue group financed by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, known for funding conservative causes, are planning separate media and grassroots campaigns aimed at adults in their 20s and 30s – the very people Obama needs to have sign up for healthcare coverage in new online insurance exchanges if his reforms are to succeed.

    “We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange,” said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters. The group is designing a symbolic “Obamacare card” that college students can burn during campus protests.

    I wish the Koch brothers would buy me some health care insurance.

  7. says

    This is from Norm Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative think tank, American Enterprise Institute:

    When a law is enacted, representatives who opposed it have some choices (which are not mutually exclusive). They can try to repeal it, which is perfectly acceptable — unless it becomes an effort at grandstanding so overdone that it detracts from other basic responsibilities of governing. They can try to amend it to make it work better — not just perfectly acceptable but desirable, if the goal is to improve a cumbersome law to work better for the betterment of the society and its people. They can strive to make sure that the law does the most for Americans it is intended to serve, including their own constituents, while doing the least damage to the society and the economy. Or they can step aside and leave the burden of implementation to those who supported the law and got it enacted in the first place.

    But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation — which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil — is simply unacceptable, even contemptible.

    Okey-doke. When American Enterprise drones think the rabid right wingers are “contemptible,” maybe Republican obstructionism has gone too far?

  8. rq says

    Yup, I’m with Tony – write them a letter. It’s pretty obvious what is going on. Also, climate change seems to be a well-established scientific fact, so you could also mention that you were presented with wrong and unscientific information (that is, climate change is a hoax). That one of their ‘qualified’ and ‘competent’ presenters is, actually, masquerading as such.


    In other news, there is no other news.

  9. says

    Talking people OUT of obtaining health insurance? I am sure they have an alternative in place…

    Texans, take heart. There may be hope for voting rights.


    Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday the first step the Justice Department will take to restore the voting rights gutted by a Supreme Court decision neutering a key prong of the Voting Rights Act. In remarks prepared for the National Urban League’s annual conference, Holder announced that the Justice Department “will ask a federal court in Texas to subject the State of Texas to a preclearance regime similar to the one required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act” —effectively restoring the safeguards against voter suppression in Texas that were stripped by the five Republican justices’ decision in Shelby County v. Holder.

  10. rq says

    I just got back from the city! Dinner is almost ready! Waaaaah! And you want links already?!
    Youth these days.
    No patience. :P

    (I’ll get to the links, don’t yoooou worry!!!)

  11. says

    I’m still debating (myself) about writing a letter to TWUA to complain about their ‘sub-contracted instructor’ and/or writing to Americans United For The Separation of Church and State (AU).
    Fucking subcontractors. A brilliant way of paying more money for worse output.

  12. says

    Tee hee…
    Ed posted about this, but you just know PZ will get a chuckle out of it.
    Courtesy of Ray Comfort’s Facebook page:

    Ray Comfort: I’m going out on a limb here, but I will do it for Richard Dawkins–the man who believes that he’s the cousin of the banana.

    I can’t help but see design in an orange. It is a healthy drink in a sturdy but easily removable wrapper. I see design in an apple. It’s just the right size for the human hand (a place for the thumb and forefinger), is a small meal in itself, and with this one you may eat the wrapper.

    The water melon is in an easily accessible container–a portable and preserved tasty drink that contains enough juicy liquid to be served for a whole family.

    The coconut isn’t so accessible to a city dweller, but those in the know can access its healthy long-lasting liquid in seconds. It’s true; I see design everywhere–even in the Professor Dawkin’s sweet healthy cousin in its perforated wrapper, and the reason I see design is because I know the Designer, and (as the Bible says) to know Him means to possess everlasting life.


  13. rq says

    Train catastrophe in Spain in photos (the news site trigger-warnings for gore). The crash on CCTV.

    It’s not quite pirates, but the tall ships have arrived in Riga, and I’m going to go see them. And clamber aboard (because they let you) and watch the sail parade on Sunday. This is almost a dream come true (if this happens) – the real dream is to sail out to sea on one of these. Perhaps one day…
    (And don’t mind the English on that site; I was official correcter for it, but they did not publish my corrections, which makes me wonder why I did them at all.)

    For this, I am glad: Go, Kate! And I agree with the final paragraph.

    I’ll have some cute animals later.

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

    hello, bluentx!


    You paranoid brain is on the right track, except that I’m not the one whose failure is the desired result, as something to harm me – this thing I’m doing is part of a bigger picture that’s supposed to fail. That doesn’t mean I won’t get into a shitstorm from four different directions in the process.

    Good news: Nothing happened today, because people wre “busy” with something else.
    Bad news: Same agony of waiting tomorrow.

    More bad news: I ain’t gonna see either Sarajevo or Bavarian castles this time. Not enough interested people, so all agencies canceled both trips.
    Only one badly planned trip is available.
    We’re going to sleep on it before deciding. (just for the beginning ~12 hours in a bus, possibly both of us having periods…. yeah, not a good idea)

  15. says

    Hey Pz I am curious you heard of Jason Lisle and his non sense right? What do you think about debating him? Or should he be just ignored with the rest of them?

  16. says

    Not sure, but emailing him might be a better way to get PZs attention.

    So in the utter BOREDOM of being stuck at home for two days with no way to go anywhere, I have decided to go through the various blogs on PZs blogroll. Sometimes that has entailed reading comments.
    I know, I know.
    Still, they can be amusing at times.
    Take this one, in response to an article at Pandagon:

    This isn’t a conspiracy. Nothing was staged. There is no secret plan to oppress black people. There are murders every day commited by people of every skin color against people of difference skin color. The fact that people are making a big deal about this case and none of the other hundreds to thousands that happen constantly is just a sick reminder how how screwed up the people are in this country. Trayvon is not a martyr. Trayvon is not a poster child for an inept justice system. Trayvon was a known drug-dealing, drug-using delinquent thief who was on his way home to make Lean. Don’t believe me? Look up the recipe. Find out what happened when you combine two of the ingredients he had just bought, Arizona watermelon fruit cocktail and Skittles, with cough syrup. Most importantly, try reading the facts for a change. It would be amazing to see people try to learn for themselves rather than regurgitating what they read from idiots on twitter who have no clue what they are talking about.

    Must be so nice to live a life where you are so free to judge a person guitly based on little evidence and feel good about yourself doing it. You people are so sad


  17. blf says

    I ain’t gonna see either Sarajevo or Bavarian castles this time. Not enough interested people, so all agencies canceled both trips.

    The mildly deranged penguin suspects that with a few carefully-positioned trampolines, springs, and pumpkins, the larger trebuchet can be used to land you inside the castle, scorpion pit, or moat of your choice.

  18. yazikus says


    More bad news: I ain’t gonna see either Sarajevo or Bavarian castles this time. Not enough interested people, so all agencies canceled both trips.
    Only one badly planned trip is available.

    Boo on that! Are there any other alternative types of trips or camping or anything you could do?

  19. blf says

    Burka Avenger: Pakistan’s cartoon superhero battling for girls’ education:

    The first animated TV series produced in Pakistan offers a positive role model to counter Taliban opposition to girls’ education

    Burka Avenger is a master of Takht Kabaddi, a martial art that uses books and pens to defeat her enemies.

    …[S]he literally just clonks [villains] around the head with books and pens.

    Burka Avenger is the first ever animated series to be produced in Pakistan. She’s the brainchild of local pop star Haroon, who wanted to create a positive role model to counter the Taliban’s ongoing opposition to girls’ education.

    … It’s also funny. In one episode, a villain’s plan to destroy London and Paris with a giant robot is scuppered by his inability to get a European visa.

  20. David Marjanović says

    *pouncehugs snark hat; finds self on cicely’s head*

    *long fluffy hug for Portia*

    *and another for Beatrice*

    “Jesus isn’t a dick, so keep him out of my vagina.”


    So now she’s reaping a shit storm from the right wing fanatics

    …who, naturally, insist that Jesus is a dick.

    Beautiful own goal. *sits in awe*

    …is it wrong that I find it intensely annoying when someone continually references privilege and social justice and moving beyond society’s messed up attitudes in their dating profile, and then the first thing I see in their Match Questions is that a potential partner being “even slightly overweight” would be a dealbreaker?

    Well, on the one hand, personal tastes are personal tastes; on the other hand, that comes across rather weird. Should add some explanation at least.

    Can YOU read this and not weep?

    Yes, because I’m so introverted I’ve never cried in front of a computer and only come close a few times. I just sit there and, like, freeze…

    Esteleth at 744: Thank you so much for posting the photo. That is hilarious. Dude Mr. Mormon looks like a stone[r] who went astray when trying to make a Halloween costume using his mother’s curtains and upholstery covering. Sheesh!

    Also, what Esteleth statistically significantly said. X-)

    Esteleth, best guess for the Mormon costume: someone’s idea of what a Hebrew-plus-Inca fashion statement would look like.

    + 1

    “Why are you getting upset, silly”

    …Look for another job. You’re surrounded by assholes.

    77 dead in Spanish train crash (article in Latvian). :(

    Now updated: “Vilciena katastrofā Spānijā gājuši bojā 78 cilvēki”.

    A- good to see you again
    B- I say write the letter. You are being proselytized to and that is unconstitutional.

    All seconded.

    Ed posted about this, but you just know PZ will get a chuckle out of it.

    Looooool! At least 2 of the 3 examples are domesticated and very different from the wild forms!

  21. says

    I just learned (via Gregory in Seattle in a comment over at Ed’s) about this vile hate group founded-in part-by Scott Lively and based in Latvia:

    Watchmen on the Walls is an international evangelical ministry based in Riga, Latvia. It describes itself as “the international Christian movement that unites Christian leaders, Christian and social organizations and aims to protect Christian morals and values in society.” [1] According to a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Intelligence report the group’s name derives from the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, in which the “watchmen” guard the reconstruction of Jerusalem. [2] “The cities they guard over today, say the contemporary Watchmen, are being destroyed by homosexuality.” [2]

    The group was founded by former California American Family Association director Scott Douglas Lively and New Generation Church preacher Alexey Ledyaev. [3] Lively is a co-author of The Pink Swastika, a controversial book that posits homosexuality found in the Nazi Party contributed to the extreme militarism of Nazi Germany. [4][5] Leaders of the Watchmen support conversion therapy, [6] a controversial practice discouraged by mainstream mental health organizations as detrimental to individuals and society, [7][8][9][note 1] that attempts to change sexual orientation and suppress lesbian, gay and bisexual behaviors. [6]

    Watchmen leaders have told audiences at ex-gay events “one of the most important things you can do is start an ex-gay movement here.” [6] A Watchmen member was a featured keynote speaker at Focus on the Family’s travelling ex-gay ministry Love Won Out in 2007. [6]

    Watchmen on the Walls is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which considers it “a virulently anti-gay group”. [4] Being listed on SPLC’s website “does not necessarily imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.” [10] Leaders of the Watchmen on the Walls movement insist “they do not hate gays — or anyone else.” [4]

    The SPLC states, “In Latvia, the Watchmen are popular among Christian fundamentalists and ethnic Russians, and are known for presiding over anti-gay rallies where gays and lesbians are pelted with bags of excrement.” [2] According to the SPLC the Watchmen have a following among Russian-speaking evangelicals in the Western U.S. among immigrants from the former Soviet Union and members are increasingly active in several cities “long known as gay-friendly enclaves”, including Sacramento, Seattle, and Portland

  22. chigau (meh) says

    I looked up that stuff about mixing skittles and fruit cocktail to produce a street drug.
    They mention, almost as a side comment, that another ingredient is “a simple cough syrup”.
    I have taken cough syrup containing dextromethorphan and, trust me, you don’t need no stinking skittles and sugar water to get completely wasted on the stuff.
    Being a paranoid racist must be a horrible way to go through life.
    There is danger lurking everywhere.

  23. David Marjanović says

    Trayvon was a known drug-dealing, drug-using delinquent thief who was on his way home to make Lean.

    …which must be punished by death.


    … It’s also funny. In one episode, a villain’s plan to destroy London and Paris with a giant robot is scuppered by his inability to get a European visa.

    That probably happens every few days.

  24. David Marjanović says

    Also obviously, Zimmerman can play judge, jury and executioner anytime he wants. Perhaps he even has a moral obligation to do that. *ragepuke*

  25. blf says

    That probably happens every few days.

    Yes, London, Paris, and a number of other cities are surrounded by vast armies of giant robots immobilized by their operator being stuck in some other country due to the lack of a visa. The problem is now so acute several drastic steps are being taken: Multi-story giant robot-parking structures, Importing black holes to clear a path through all the waiting robots, and Deploying politicians to shake hands and kiss or hug them, scaring the giant robots away. Or to squish the politicians.

  26. rq says

    Tony @28
    I didn’t know their influence reached that far… I think they’re the same group that recently tried to restart talks about abortion here (extending the waiting period, putting out a campaign about how babies feel pain and distress (it was all over the busstops), putting up an art installation in the middle of Old Town of babies – not fetuses, babies – showing how many ‘people’ are killed each year by abortion, of course emphasizing the whole ‘mummy didn’t want me’ aspect, etc.). Anyway. Yeah, they pelt gays and lesbians and their advocates with shit, but at least they only do it after meetings about holding the gay pride parade.
    Honestly, what with Riga being the European Culture Capital next year, and therefore by default the hosts of the European gay pride parade (they’ve successfully managed to marginalize the Latvian one each year, for ‘security reasons’), I’m anticipating something of a shitstorm (literally…) next year. It’s not going to be pretty politically over here.
    Nice to know people like that are out there, sadly, I am not surprised.

  27. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says



    Enjoying a staycation.

    We did go down to Gettysburg and I think I found where uncle was wounded (2d Maine). Still trying to find out which artillery unit uncle on other side was in (Maryland, CSA) so I’m not even sure what brigade he was attached to.

    Making grilled spare ribs and fresh pico de gallo for dinner.

  28. blf says

    A baby to eat?

    Barbecued hereditary dictator doesn’t actually taste all that good. It’s the blue blood. Poisons the meat and rots the brain.

  29. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    I am cooking baby back ribs as we speak.

    Er, not speak. As I write. Type? communicationizationing?

  30. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    *pouncehugs snark hat; finds self on cicely’s head*

    Obviously a case of mistaken identity! I do not even slightly resemble that comment! At all!!!

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


    Thanks for asking, we’ll see.
    A bit down on possibilities right now, but I’m hoping we’ll think of something. Friend has no one else to go anywhere with, so she depends on those 3 days I can spare (we’re lucky that there’s a holiday on a Monday).

  32. says

    Sadly, Scott Livelys influence reaches far. His support for anti-gay legislation in Uganda shows just how far.

    I still cannot understand how so many people can devote so much of their lives to bigotry and discrimination.

  33. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    I still cannot understand how so many people can devote so much of their lives to bigotry and discrimination.

    Because, for some people, the elementary or middle school paradigm still rules. Identifying the ‘other’, and then picking on them unmercifully, is a way to feel powerful and to maintain one’s standing in the in group.

  34. rq says

    I don’t get it either. *sigh*

    Anyway *hugs* and *scritches* for everyone who wants them, and I promise more links for Tony tomorrow. ;)
    As a good night, though, here’s a cute animal.

  35. blf says


    Homosexuality ought not be allowed to exist in our country. It should be banned and punished by law, as it used to be a century ago. In many countries it is still a capital offense, as it was in Old Testament Israel. Lesbians and gays ought not be permitted to marry, let alone pastor churches. I am so glad that God’s Word and every Bible-preaching Christian will be vindicated in eternity. … If I were a king, I’d ban homosexuality! I’d ban abortion! I’d ban gossip! I’d ban booze! I’d ban immodest dress! I’d eradicate television and the internet from existence!

    Ah, the smell of fresh frothing in the evening.

  36. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    If I were king, I’d ban bans on things. So there. >.>

  37. Owlmirror says

    I like identicon icons. I like the tetrads in radial symmetry; I like the different colors.

    It has come to my attention that different people, somehow, have different aesthetic preferences from myself. How this can be, I do not know. But there it is, a brute fact.

    Now, this variance in aesthetic preference has resulted in site administrators of wordpress and other sites that use gravatar to set up comments that do not use identicon icons. And, for some odd reason, I find most of what they do use to be fairly ugly. I do not like monsterid; I do not like retro. And it bothers me when the same blank, bland icon is used for all who have not set their gravatar to some image or other.

    So, I wondered if it might be possible to use a greasemonkey script to change all of the gravatar icons on a page to identicon.

    I went to userscripts, and found . . . a script to change identicon to monsterid. Gah! Someone with different aesthetic preferences from me!

    Fortunately, I was able to take the script, hack it a bit, and modify it to change all gravatar icons to identicon, as is right and proper.

    I present it below:

    // ==UserScript==
    // @name identiconify
    // @namespace freethoughtblogs.com
    // @description Change Gravatar to identicon
    // @include http://freethoughtblogs.com/*
    // @exclude http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/*
    // @include http://scienceblogs.com/*
    // @exclude http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/*
    // @grant none
    // ==/UserScript==
    Array.forEach(document.images,function(image){if (image.src.indexOf("gravatar")!=-1) image.src=image.src.replace(/(d|default)=[^&]*/,"d=identicon");});

    I reluctantly concede that if you are one of those strange people whose aesthetic preferences differs from mine (HOW CAN THIS BE?), you can, if you wish, do a search-and-replace on the script and change “identicon” to “wavatar“, “monsterid“, or “retro“, or even “mm” or “blank” or “404“. Why you would wish to do this, I do not pretend to understand. Technically, you can even put in a url to any image that you prefer.

    As you can see, I excluded Pharyngula from the sites this script should run on, since PZ quite rightly already uses identicon, and it seems wasteful to have the script simply re-do what’s already there, especially with the way threads tend to lengthen enormously over time. The multiple explicit includes aren’t really necessary, since you can add includes and excludes via Greasemonkey script management. For example, I added “http://skin-horse.com/*” as one of my user includes.

    And that’s really all that there is to it. Share and enjoy!

  38. says

    David Corn has another scoop. Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a “30 Front War”.

    The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, “Ginni” Thomas, a columnist for the Daily Caller, a tea party consultant and a lobbyist, plays a major role in Groundswell.

    Corn documents some of the errors that one would expect from such a group, including errors in grammar, logic, spelling, conspiracy virus mongering, etc.

    Corn notes that: “The Groundswell documents were provided to Mother Jones by a source who had access to its Google group page and who has asked not to be identified.” So, a whistle blower decided enough was enough.

    Groundswell has been writing a lot of the catch phrases that seem to pop up like seasonal weeds in conservative media, including the phrase “politics over public safety,” which is used in reference to the Obama-backed immigration reform efforts.

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

    But would you ban bans on banns?

    You can ban bandanas, just please don’t ban bananas. I like those.

    Ok, I think I definitely need to get offline and rest.

  40. Sili says

    You can ban bandanas, just please don’t ban bananas.

    David Copperfield did something like that once.

    Pity. I’d much rather have bandanas. (Bandanae?)

  41. PDX_Greg says

    This may be an oldie, but it was posted as a new post on Youtube and I for one just saw it for the first time.

    Not sure who is funnier here, O’Reilly or Colbert, but it was a rewarding 3 minute experience.

  42. says

    Really Paula Deen? Aunt Jemima outfits? You should just proudly state what a racist asshole you are.

    Paula Deen ordered African-American workers to “dress in an old-style Aunt Jemima outfit” and ring a dinner bell, according to a woman who is still employed at the disgraced cook’s Georgia restaurant.

    Following Deen’s dramatic fall from grace after her admission that she had used racial slurs, The New York Times‘ Kim Severson went to Savannah to check out the former food network host’s crumbling empire. Severson spoke to Dora Charles, a black cook who helped Deen open her Lady & Sons restaurant over 20 years ago.

    “She said, ‘Stick with me, one day if I get rich, you’ll get rich,’” Charles explained. “It just passed me by. You know, I’m not going to run behind her and say, ‘You promised me, you promised me. Where my half? Where my part?’ You know? It wasn’t all about that. Actually, all I was looking for was a good salary.”

  43. says

    And now, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) wants to take that dignity away from Mr. Arthur. The day after a judge issued a temporary restraining order requiring Ohio to list Arthur’s husband as his “surviving spouse” on his death certificate, DeWine announced that he would appeal this decision and try to strip a dying man of his dignity.


    Yeah, I guess it was too much to hope for a happy ending for this couple. While there is a bright spot at the end of the article, I am dismayed that DeWine is such a douchecake.


    Let’s follow the Brits’ lead:

    These two get my vote:

    Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress, in 1969. She served out seven terms

    there, representing New York’s 12th district —the area of Brooklyn known as Bedford-Stuyvesant. In keeping with her district, Chisholm was a vocal advocate for America’s inner cities, and for child care. A staunch feminist, Chisholm hired a staff of young women, half of whom were black, to fill major positions in her office on Capitol Hill. She was also the first black woman to run for president. There is an amazing portrait of Chisholm hanging in the US Capitol.

    Sandra Day O’Connor O’Connor made history as the first female justice on the Supreme Court, where she worked to represent the views of women among her eight male colleagues. Though she was known to be fairly conservative, her landmark decision in Casey v. Planned Parenthood upheld abortion rights, protected under Roe v. Wade, for generations of women. As a woman, O’Connor struggled to find a job as a lawyer. But by the time she retired from the bench, she’d paved a career path for generations of women.

    There is no reason the various men on US notes have to stay there and highlighting the accomplishments of women in this country is loooooooong overdue.

  44. carlie says

    Family here.
    Exhausted but happy.
    Learned to play Munchkin.

    Portia – yes, Bay moved in with Regina when Angelo was out of town just to get some space and to get to know her better (it happened after her dad got mad that she was dating Ty, so take those excuses for what they’re worth). She’s been there ever since, which I think is about 3 weeks or so in tv time.


  45. carlie says

    blf – I’m sure you’re an expert by now, but when I had to give my eyedrop-averse child medication, what we’d do is he’d lie down on the bed with his eyes closed, I’d flood the inside corner of his eyes with medicine, and then he’d open his eyes and blink and rub it in. Kind of worked, and avoided the “eye open while something big si coming right at it” problem.

  46. Portia, in boots says


    Ah yes, she needed space from appropriate parental oversight and guidance. (I mean I know that a lot of the time in the show the dad goes overboard but they make Bay make pretty awful decisions…not that there’s not some sexism there *stupid teenage girl trope alert* but anyway…) thanks for the update :)

    many many *hugs* for Beatrice and the many layers of suckage going on right now

    I am having a good visit with family. Got some homophobic crap from my ol’ dad and some libertrudian shit from my brother today but otherwise it’s been lovely. I even golfed nine holes in a row, and walked the whole way.

    I have watched several episodes of Doctor Who. And I am reading about it from a feminist perspective. And I kind of hate it.

    It is S’s birthday. I was great at birthdays. I am not bummed. I am not bummed. I am not going to be bummed explaining to every family member at the camping trip this weekend that we are no longer together. Though I suppose the family gossip machine has probably done its work by now. Ugh.

    I’m actually more apprehensive about dealing with Asshole Cousin and her Wayward Child. Ok, wayward is not the right word…more like Apprentice in Manipulation and Snottiness.

    And now to pack the car.

  47. Portia, in boots says

    Um…shithead? Shittiness?

    (Whenever I read that word, I pronounce the ‘”th” in my head and then am confused…)


    I think we found the Snark Hat, folks!

  48. says

    Thinking out loud here…
    Is Islam so closely tied to the identity of Muslims that criticism of it is inevitably Islamaphobia?
    I look at Christianity, and while Christian beliefs are held strongly by their adherents, it seems that they are not bound as tightly as Islam is to Muslims. One can criticize Christianity without being accused of racism or bigotry against Christians (though certainly many Christians will become angered and offended, so the intertwining of belief system with adherents’ identity is there, just not as strongly as with Muslims. Or am I wrong about that too?)

    How, I wonder, did Islam become so inexorably tied to the Muslim identity as to be near-inseparable?
    Can they be disentangled?
    Should they be disentangled?

    Perhaps not a terribly vital question, but a curiosity nonetheless–why are adherents of Islam not named after the religion itself?
    They are not referred to as Islamists (for the most part. I do believe I have seen them referred to as such in a few places.)

  49. says

    One can criticize Christianity without being accused of racism or bigotry against Christians (though certainly many Christians will become angered and offended, so the intertwining of belief system with adherents’ identity is there, just not as strongly as with Muslims. Or am I wrong about that too?)

    Yes. Many Christians whine incessantly about anti christian bigotry whenever their beliefs are questioned; many muslims do not.

    Perhaps not a terribly vital question, but a curiosity nonetheless–why are adherents of Islam not named after the religion itself?

    They are. In Arabic, Islam means “Submission to god” and Muslim means “One who submits to god”

  50. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Perhaps not a terribly vital question, but a curiosity nonetheless–why are adherents of Islam not named after the religion itself?

    They are. In Arabic, Islam means “Submission to god” and Muslim means “One who submits to god”

    Or, “because Arabic grammars differently.”

  51. rq says

    Because ‘Islam’ means ‘submission’ (or approximate’, and ‘Muslim’ means ‘one who submits’ (or approximate). So they are named after the religion itself.
    And I know (of) many Christians who believe that any attack on the religion is an attack on them personally. It all depends how attached they are to their religion – muslim or christian or anything else – and how deeply they identify themselves with the religion. The more they see themselves as True Adherents, the more likely they are to perceive any criticism as being personal.

    Hey, the snark hat looks good on you! And *hugs*, I’m glad your trip is going well even with all the bullshit getting mixed in every now and then.

  52. rq says

    Here’s a *hugs*, Tony and I’m about to leave a whole bunch of all kinds of links. ;)

  53. rq says

    I think this is a pretty decent reading list for anyone, for anytime. I’ve only read a few of those books, to mixed reviews, but I like that it appears to be reasonably diverse – then again, I could be wrong about that. I also like how it’s presented as a reading list for youth, not girls or boys, and then proceeds to make all kinds of suggestions for everyone.

  54. Sili says

    Perhaps not a terribly vital question, but a curiosity nonetheless–why are adherents of Islam not named after the religion itself?

    It’s only fairly lately that we’ve stopped using “Muhammedeens” or similar words. Though googling now to find a proper English spelling (without luck), I see that it’s still in widespread use among the xenophobic fascistoids.

  55. rq says

    We’re sorry; after welcoming five new members of different sizes today, we will no longer be accepting applications for the Lonely Gray Socks Club. Please choose a different colour.

  56. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    After two TV science documentaries in a row, wife and I think it is time to share our new drinking game: take a drink every time the word ‘vast’ is mentioned.
    Beware of Brian Cox docos… You could get very drunk very fast…

  57. says

    Good morning!

    I had a great date last night. We went out to a delightful vegetarian restaurant, from which I have leftovers, then we went shopping!

    Random stuff shopping at Home Depot, grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s (which is far cheaper than I thought it was!), and more random stuff shopping at Target.

    It was fun.

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

    KevinKat, yay! I’m glad you had a great time.

    I bought a yellow nail polish today, so that was a minor yay! for me today. /silly

  59. carlie says

    Family gone. Now sad and lonely. Child 2 is especially sad, because family visits are his only chance to hang out with other people. Sigh.

    Portia – good luck on the family trip!

    KevinKat – so glad you had a good time!

    Spouse had a job interview today, which is great, but thinks his phone fell out of his pocket there, so has to go back and be that guy who lost his phone. :( Hoping that doesn’t hurt his chances much.

  60. carlie says

    …And he just called and said it was exactly as he feared – instead of the phone being turned in to the hotel front desk (where the interviews were being held), somebody turned it in to the store hiring manager, so he had to go up to the main boss of the whole thing and tell him he left his phone there. Jeez.

  61. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, tell him to make it look like he did it accidentally-on-purpose in order to have another chance to talk to them …? Getting a bit of extra contact in? ::iz hopeful::

    I realise it’s already done but maybe he can still imply this somehow in any later communication?

    Anyway, good luck! (and I hear you re child2. Things here have changed a bit now, but that was absolutely the case a while back for us)

  62. Pteryxx says



    More for the research trove. Via Racialicious, an interview covering research on how white people believe the justice system is fair and colorblind while black people are skeptical of it – and the black people’s view is closer to true.


    Links to multiple studies, for instance:

    Q: If we were to try to make “separate realities” into “one reality,” how would we do it? Are there ways that black-white differences in perceptions of the criminal justice system could be mitigated?

    A: The only way to end separate racial realities is either to educate whites about the experiences of blacks or, even better, to reduce blacks’ negative experiences with unfair treatment in the justice system. One obstacle to educating whites is segregation within neighborhoods and social networks. Our recent study with Jeffery Mondak found that while whites’ (mostly white) acquaintances added to their generally positive experiences with the justice system, blacks’ (mostly black) acquaintances reinforced their generally negative experiences with the justice system.

    Can we create “one reality” by dramatically reducing blacks’ experiences with unfair treatment in the justice system? To do so, whites would have to be convinced that the justice system is discriminatory and we know that whites are extremely resistant to such arguments. In another study, we set up survey experiments where we randomly presented white and black respondents with different arguments against the death penalty and three-strikes laws to see what effect the arguments had on their opinions of such policies.

    The major finding of the experiments is still shocking. When whites were presented with an argument against the death penalty or three strikes that emphasized the racial bias of the policy, they became more (not less) supportive of capital punishment and three strikes laws. The political lesson of the experiment is clear: confronting racial injustice head-on would be risky for elected officials because most whites do not believe that the justice system is racially biased.

    That last study: PDF link

  63. says

    Ok, I just woke up. Still in a bit of a haze. I roll over and check my phone. I see a message from my mother.
    “Were you abused as a child? Did something happen that we did not know about?”

    The ever loving fuck?
    What the fuck?

    Of all the things I thought my mom would text me about at 10 am, that was never on the list.
    I have no idea where this came from or what prompted the question.
    I thought we were past that.

    My response was “No I was not abused and where did that come from?”

  64. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    So I was poking around the Pfft! page on Morris, MN, and way down at the bottom there’s a list of notable people.

    It includes this gem.

    I wonder if Comradde PhysioProffe knows?

  65. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says


    Every time I have heard an adult ask another adult if they were abused as a child, the question hinges on, “What did someone do to you when you were a child to make you bitter/an atheist/gay/lesbian/depressed?” This is purely anecdotal and I hope that your mother is not going there. Either way, hugs?

  66. says

    I read that whole thing yesterday. Quite illuminating. Also posted to FB, where yet another white male friend insisted that this case had nothing to do with race and why can’t we move past that. After a few responses, I found that article and posted it.

  67. says

    Mormon survivor of the train crash in Spain:

    “From a religious standpoint, I’d like to say that God has something in store for me and that there’s a reason I’m still here,” Stephen Ward said in a phone interview with The Associated Press from La Coruna, Spain. “I count myself very lucky and very blessed to have been able to survive so many things.”

    Ward said he suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck but has been discharged from the hospital. He expects to stay in Spain to complete his two-year mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which he started six weeks ago.

    Excerpted from article here.

  68. opposablethumbs says

    Tony, that’s a bit of a facer all right. Hope that a) your mum is not going there and b) she hasn’t got reason to feel bad about not dealing well/helping you deal with any bullying issues there might have been at school etc.
    (irrelevant anecote) I remember once going to a feminist show with my mum when I was a young teenager, and I think she must have wondered from the pattern and enthusiasm of my applause whether I was maybe cheering extra-especially for one of the lesbian characters so she sort of casually (not really casually at all, but with totally good intentions) gave me to understand that whatever my sexuality might be that was cool … I remember feeling embarrassed (teenager! parent! talking about sex!) but thinking it was cool of her to say so. But mainly embarrassed … parents are embarrassing. I should know, I embarrass my teenagers enough. I tell them it’s my job (it isn’t really, but that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). /irrelevant anecdote

  69. says

    Republican leaders have started to repeat (again) to anyone who will listen that their number one priority is job creation. If so, please scrap the sequester. What are you waiting for, John Boehner?

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Thursday estimated that keeping the spending cuts from sequestration in place through fiscal 2014 would cost up to 1.6 million jobs.

    Canceling the cuts, on the other hand, would yield between 300,000 to 1.6 million new jobs, with the most likely outcome being the addition of 900,000, the CBO said.

    The Hill link.
    Link to CBO report.

  70. says


    I think it is the job of parents to embarrass their kids. Seems to happen everywhere.


    It sounds like it’s perhaps a possibility. I keep getting the “it’s Washington DC that changed you” thing, as if somehow I couldn’t make up my own mind about my life and beliefs. No, someone had to come and make me the way I am now.

    Of course, when those ideas and beliefs were things she liked then of course I came to them on my own.

  71. says

    Or the converse:
    “God had no more plans for that family that he killed. They were unlucky and lacked the blessing from God that others got. ”

    Really wish people would think about these things more.

    Turns out that my mothers question was in response to a profanity laced criticism of the Catholic Church’s ongoing problems in Australia that I posted on FB. I guess she thought that my liberal use of ‘fucking fuckers’ was anything more than a sweeping condemnation of that corrupt organization.

  72. chigau (meh) says

    “Those people who died were placed into this situation, by God, in order to further my mission.”

  73. says

    Chigau: yep…he says disgusted at the thought

    So I am chatting with my mom about her text and it has turned to the topic of religion is being discussed. This is my last response to her, which I am afraid she may take offense to:

    ” We will have to have a long conversation about this soon. The bible is a compilation of many different books put together after jesus died and takes much of its mythology from previous myths. The stock people place in the bible is due to a host of logical fallacies, errors in critical thinking and a tremendous amount of indoctrination at a young, impressionable age. Likewise, the teachings of jesus that many follow are not consistent. He is not always portrayed as a humble, loving family man. A full reading of the bible cover to cover will reveal that. Additionally, the bible was not composed in english and has been written and rewritten over the centuries, primarily at the hands of church officials with reason to doctor the book. It is full of contradictions, massive falsehoods, and is not a book to hold up as a moral example of anything. I am glad you and dad are good people, but your belief that jesus is somehow a good person does not bear out if you read the whole bible. The people writing about him-noncontemporaneously-had no direct knowledge of him and made up much of what was written within. Hence the contradictions.”

  74. says

    She has not responded, so I left her with this parting thought:

    ” I apologize for being so direct and if I have hurt your feelings, I am sorry.
    I love you and dad, but I am saddened that such intelligent people who taught me how to think critically have the wool pulled over their eyes just as much of humanity has for thousands upon thousands of years…and for all that humans have fervently believed in god after god after god…still there is no proof for any of them.”

  75. blf says

    Optician rang this afternoon. Apparently my new eyeballcoverings are ready (about a week ahead of schedule), so perhaps by tromeoqew eveningfg myu tyuping will be bester. The eyedrop torture, howevefr, cotntinues…

  76. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    KevinKat: It makes me happy to hear about your happiness.

    Beatrice: I bought some blue-green nail polish, with glittery bits in it.

    *hugs* for carlie, with some extra for you to share with Child 2.


    Giliell: I’m glad to hear that you aten’t ded.

  77. blf says

    Does acupuncture work? (poll): “An estimated £25m is spent by [UK’s] NHS on the treatment, despite a fierce debate as to its efficacy. Do you believe the treatment has a beneficial effect?”

    Currently: 45% Yes, 55% No, numbers opinionating unknown.

    (I assume that £25m is the current annual spend.)

  78. rq says

    *hugs* re: mother texts

    I intend to embarass the hell out of my kids once they reach teenagerhood. As you, I believe it is my duty, purpose and privilege in life to be a burden embarrassment to them (as the saying goes: Avenge yourself! Live long enough to be a burden to your children!). ;)

  79. says

    Tony @97

    “God had no more plans for that family that he killed. They were unlucky and lacked the blessing from God that others got. ”

    Exactly. WTF kind of arrogance and cluelessness does it take to ignore the death and suffering of others on the assumption that they were not favored by God.

    Effing religious natters, effing mormon missionaries with their “priesthood” status given to clueless boys.

  80. says

    chigau @98

    “Those people who died were placed into this situation, by God, in order to further my mission.”

    I think that more accurately reflects the mormon view in this case. They take bog standard Christian “thank God I survived” shit and add another layer of obnoxiousness.

  81. says

    In some *good* news:

    The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act would provide funding incentives to states that have laws allowing mothers of children conceived through rape to “seek court-ordered termination of the parental rights of her rapist.” These states would receive federal grant funding for programs authorized under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

    Currently, 31 states have no custodial rights protections for mothers of children conceived in rape. Of the 19 states that do have some protections, only six reach the standard advocated by the proposed bill. At the press conference, Prewitt explained that victims in this situation can often face a dynamic where their rapist threatens to pursue custodial rights over the child unless they drop their criminal charges.

    Prewitt was speaking from personal experience. She made headlines last year when she wrote an open letter to Todd Akin —who became infamous during the 2012 election cycle for claiming that women cannot be impregnated from a “legitimate rape” —about becoming pregnant after being raped. As she pursued charges against her rapist months later,he suddenly filed for custody rights over her daughter, sending her into a long and expensive court battle.

    Cue the cries of MRAs everywhere. Like I give a shit about them.

  82. says

    This article in Salon breaks down the opinions of the eight Republican senators who sit on the Environment and Public Works Committee regarding man-made or mankind-influenced climate change.

    It’s extremely depressing. Excerpts below:

    Sen. David Vitter, R-La., the ranking member on the committee, once described talk of climate change as “ridiculous pseudo-science garbage that’s so common on the left on this issue,”

    … Inhofe is one of the Senate’s most ardent climate change deniers, and famously said that global warming is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” In Copenhagen, he described where that hoax came from. “It started in the United Nations,” he said, but “the ones who really grab a hold of this in the United States are the Hollywood elite.”

    Barrasso introduced sweeping legislation that would have stopped the EPA from regulating carbon emissions without authorization form Congress, reversed the EPA’s findings that carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses are harmful to the environment, and prevented the federal government from employing a number of federal laws that are intended to deal with global warming.

  83. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Thursday estimated that keeping the spending cuts from sequestration in place through fiscal 2014 would cost up to 1.6 million jobs.

    Lynna, you are confusing creating jobs with creating a job. The GOP’s only goal for 2016 is to put a Republican in the White House. Sabotaging the economy just may work for them — the entire election cycle, they will be screaming about how bad the economy is and claiming it is because a Democrat held the White House. Which, in a roundabout way, is correct. If a Republican had been in the White House, the GOP would not be so hell bent on destroying jobs.

  84. Pteryxx says

    More good stuff on conventions and accessibility from Skepchick. For instance, hearing people tend to assume that accommodating deaf attendees means providing ASL interpreters. They’re good to have, for many reasons (detailed in the article) BUT d/Deaf or HoH (Hard of Hearing) attendees don’t necessarily know or prefer ASL. In the interview, SB Morgaine suggests CART:

    SB: It stands for Computer Aided Real-Time Transcription. It’s like a court reporter basically. In fact that is exactly what it is. And so it’s someone with a little transcriber machine, transcribing everything that goes on in the room. What’s great about it, why I’m a huge proponent of CART, is because it gives access to people who are hard of hearing and don’t want to admit it, to people who process visually much better than they do auditorially. It allows for people to request a transcription of what was said, and so in a meeting, if you have a cognitive processing delay, you’re a little bit slower to process auditory information in a room, to be able to have the ability to read back at what was said and at often this is non-disability. It can also solve misunderstandings sometimes because you have a transcription of what was said. And it’s a little spendy, honestly, because you have a person there, but it’s a way for people with different disabilities to have access, and it’s just a good thing all the way around.

    SB also mentions, again, that churches and religious organizations do much better at ensuring accessibility than secular organizations.

    More about CART:

    CART FAQ by professional realtime captioner StenoKnight

    CART in a classroom setting (with references)

  85. howard says

    The major finding of the experiments is still shocking. When whites were presented with an argument against the death penalty or three strikes that emphasized the racial bias of the policy, they became more (not less) supportive of capital punishment and three strikes laws.





    (“Question: why do atheists swear using god’s name?” “Well, you see, when we hear something utterly unbelievable…”)

    What the fuck is wrong with all these white people?!

    Actually, I have a list. It’s not a comprehensive list–it’s mostly the things I have discovered to have been wrong with me.

    But godDAMN.

  86. Pteryxx says

    I know, right? For what it’s worth that WaPo article says attitudes are changing among younger adults.

    I’m trying to think of a way to institute anonymized jury selection, similar to anonymized resumes in hiring. Jury reform’s already a huge issue when potential jurors get dismissed for insufficient ignorance or reading the wrong blogs. But in the short term, the most useful tack may be increased voter registration in exactly the demographics being disenfranchised – because most states select jurors from their voter registration rolls, which already skew towards older, whiter, wealthier populations… with driver’s licenses, yet.

  87. Yellow Thursday says

    I just stole the snark hat to post on the fish drudgery thread. I’ll put it back here on the table.

  88. rq says

    Yellow Thursday
    Best just put it back on cicely’s head. ;)


    Well. Bruce Willis has aged rather well.

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


    Does that mean you’ve seen Red 2? (I saw a movie poster today, so that’s the first thing that came to mind when you mentioned him – and I loved the first movie)

  90. chigau (meh) says

    Weeding the garden for the first time in about a month is not fun.
    But I can have a beerwhen I finish.

  91. yazikus says

    I’m limping around because I stubbed my second to last toe last night (broke the skin and had a bloody mess). Not fun.

    However, tomorrow is a day off and that I look forward to! I have a friend visiting from a far away city (well, she is coming over for croquet and bbq). So that is neat!

    It is also rather hot. 103 F at the moment.I think that means the river for this afternoon.

  92. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Checked on one of the Redhead’s knitting shows that didn’t put season/episide information somewhere. I was able to capture all of a recent season via open digital TV to digital file. Deleted all the repeated episodes. Nerd at work…

  93. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, the Redhead had a 18 lb ham with the next door neighbor, and it appears the NDN freezer is dying. Fortunately the ham was still a brick, and there was a ham sized space in our old freezer….The freezer hasn’t been upgraded since circa 1981, since the CFHC replacements required above 50 ℉ basement/garage temperatures, and we were below that both here and Dah YooPee..

  94. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    And now shall commence the Rolling of the Good Times!
    (The Husband and I are off work all next week. Wheeeee!)

    Best just put it back on cicely’s head. ;)

    It was never on my head! Somehow, David mistook Tony for me, that’s all!

    So looking forward to seeing RED 2.

    Dailillama: All I have to offer are *hugs* and commiserations. I wish I could.

  95. bluentx says

    Catching up (sorta) with the thread…

    Busy time of the year for the (Northern Hemi) water biz so have not been able to keep up with…. anything. [Note to self: must NOT talk self out of plan to stay awake past dawn… best time to avoid heat stroke mow the yard.]

    Thanks for all the *pouncehugs* and other greetings*! (Right back at you!)

    And I am working on a draft of a letter of complaint about the ‘preaching teacher’. Wasn’t sure if it was truly complaint worthy or just a sign of my Inner Crank In Overdrive but I’m still cranky about it so I think I will make my annoyance known. [Still (and have been for several years) puzzled why some people so loathe (fear?) the word: Environmentalist?]

    * I know, “A day late and (several) dollars short” but hey…” Better late than bankrupt…” Or something….

    Good luck with the carjacking but be careful… A charge of Grand Theft Auto wouldn’t look good on the resume.

    Loved the ‘Revenge video’.
    Haven’t checked out the ‘Yelling at your kids’ link yet. All it took for me (no yelling required) was pointing out to my son that he only calls when he needs money. He hasn’t spoken to me since (*sigh*). He won’t even acknowledge my comments on his FB page (*eyeroll*).

    Howard @ 121:

    What the fuck is wrong with all these white people?!

    Seconded. Can I resign from the club before I start using one on these !!*#@??#!! idjits?

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

    Poll to possibly pharyngulate here :


    Do you think gay marriage should be legalised?

    Yes = 18,886 No = 33,191

    Via ninemsn. Looking at those numbers it looks like the homophobic side has already been rigging it as most Aussie polls are usually heavily in favour of equal marriage.

  97. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Holy shit it takes a long time to boil a gallon of milk. O.o

  98. barnestormer says

    # 76: I squeed a literal squee when I followed that link and saw the Fun Home cover. That book is gorgeous and perfect and I’m pretty happy to see it on a freshman reading list.

    Hi, everyone. I’m a lurker. Can I talk here? I spent a lot of time listening to the FTBcon videos and now I’m feeling an illusion of friendship. Hi. *shrinks reflexively into collar like a cartoon turtle*

    #6, Rachel Maddow is excellent, but that clip was too grim. I wanted there to be some good news at the end, but there was none. Except I guess, “Rachel Maddow exists and is on TV” is good news.

  99. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    Tony, I did not try to steal your thunder! It’s not my fault that David can’t tell us apart!
    (I can tell us apart. Every time.)

  100. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    Hi, barnestormer; welcome in! You can absolutely talk here (subject, of course, to Teh Roolz).
    I agree that it is good that Rachel Maddow exists, and is on TV.

  101. says

    A-hugs and welcome in
    B-you can absolutely comment here. Many of us have been chatting for years, but every new voice has their own interesting tales they may want to tell. Near as I can tell-here-your stories are listened to. Here we give 2,3, even 4 shits.

  102. Crudely Wrott says

    Threadrupt I am and remain
    As I am gifted to be often fated.
    So far behind that each one of these lines
    Are equally, sadly, quite dated.
    That don’t rhyme but I don’t have the time
    And this keyboard will hardly backspace.
    Each time that I make
    An improper rhyme
    It takes longer to solve than first make it.
    Shucks, folks, I’ll just have to . . .

    Poor rhymes offered up as poor excuse for being tardy.

    May I just send my affections and look about for yours?

  103. Crudely Wrott says

    Barnestormer, I give it to you on good faith that the answer is “Yes”. As in yes. OK? That is if my experience here is any indicator.

    To put it into NASA-like or Human-like or Reasonable-like terms, yes.

  104. Crudely Wrott says

    Hi, Tony. Nice to hear you.

    I promise that my verse will not rhyme
    Or lull you into
    Unnecessary divisions of time
    In which you seek

    Unless it could pass a Bradbury test.

  105. Crudely Wrott says

    Hello! WMDKitty!
    I’m surviving too. It’s not easy but it sure is a hoot, innit it?

  106. barnestormer says

    Tony! This happens to me all the time!

    Thanks, Tony! and cicely; I’ve been struggling with the temptation to hijack comment threads on my favorite blogs for a while now. What I should really do is just start a blog and run my mouth over there, but I haven’t been able to write much that’s solid. The past few weeks in the US have been super stressful and rage-provoking and fear-provoking, with so much shit hitting so many high-speed fans all over the place. I want to talk about it, but I don’t know where to begin.

    And I guess I’ll leave it there, because it’s late and I should be in bed. But thanks!

  107. rq says

    Welcome in! Tights are to the left (they’re for everyone, btw) and what’s your opinion on Horses? ;)
    Hijack away, and don’t worry – before long, someone will be hijacking it away from you again.

    Beatrice (and cicely)
    Nope, not Red 2, Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard.
    I’m a bit nervous about Red 2 because the first one was so good, and if first movies sometimes break stereotypes a bit or introduce something brand new and awesome, sequels tend to shove everyone right back into their places.
    DH5 started well and excitingly, but soon after the middle it lost its own thread, and had it been longer, it would have been boring. And that whole father-son-redemption story-line was a bit too cliche/flat, but they resolved the issue early on so the two of them could go around ‘killing scumbags’ with gusto at the end. Still, felt like they were stretching it already at 1h35m, but generally speaking it was a fun movie. Like I said, Bruce Willis has aged well.

    I had a dream I biked (in two hours, no less!) to Slovakia to visit you and you lived in this weird tiny apartment with all kinds of levels (the corridor hallways were weird, too) next door to another Pharyngula commenter whose name I couldn’t remember in the dream, and then I realized I had to get home. So you tried to give me directions (a right, a left, two rights and then straight) but the streets were too weird for that, and you were on the phone talking to someone and just gesturing to me as if I should know). I wanted to call home and ask but my phone died and then my bike broke (and I was getting stressed because Husband didn’t think I’d be gone so long) so we went for a walk along this forested/beachside promenade that had a craft store at the other end, where I met three other girls who needed a ride back to Latvia, so we bribed a guy with three litres of kefir and one beer to take us back.
    The scenery throughout was strange and beautiful. And dreams always make me type in long nonsensical sentences.
    No dinosaurs, though. Which surprised me only when I woke up.

    Good morning, all.

  108. Crudely Wrott says

    Barnestormer said:

    What I should really do is just start a blog and run my mouth over there . . .

    Ahh, shoot. Just go ahead and run your mouth here. You’ll be in good company plus receive quality critique sans all the screaming and dancing about you might be accustomed to on those “other” sites. Your satisfaction will be roughly proportionate to your honesty. Small degrees of fudging are allowed but subject to deep criticism. Wild assertions are welcomed with the same degree of inspection. That’s part of the fun and part of the learning curve.

    The best part is that you can feel safe and you can feel as if your words are not only heard but are echoed (and (mostly) reasonably argued here. That kind of solidarity, that specie of unity, is a most powerful thing. It keeps me coming back.

  109. Crudely Wrott says

    I welcome hearing from you, rq. Mostly being welcomed by you. Thank you for the kind warmth.

    K. Old joke. The one about the constipated jitterbug? Yeah. It couldn’t jit.

    Lately I’ve been finding it harder to jit. It used to be so easy but these days it’s sometimes hard to jit out of my own way. Maybe because I’m just jitting old. Perhaps I’m not and perhaps no one else is either or perhaps we are at some accelerated rate and just don’t know it. In any event, I think I’ll just jit along.

  110. blf says

    [I]t takes a long time to boil a gallon of milk.

    Remove it from the cow / goat / alligator first.

  111. bluentx says

    *waves to Crudely Wrott *

    …lurker. Can I talk here?

    No better place.

    Sooo much to psychoanalyze in that dream paragraph, rq . This may take a while…. [Cue the Jeopardy theme-]

  112. rq says

    I was going to write it off as Just one of those things, but now I’m on tenterhooks! What’s the verdict, doc???


    Louis C. K. tells the truth and the audience laughs like it’s funny.

    To continue with the revenge-type theme: Westboro Baptist gets some from satanists. Ha!

    It’s missing a few other kinds of scientists, but I may have found paradise on earth.

    I think I’m going to grow some cress on top of our router, and eat its luscious leaves in salads all winter (need a solar lamp, though, it’s rather dark in that corner).

    Infographic: Inside a neutron star. (The link it links from.)

  113. rq says

    And because previous comment was full to capacity:
    Riga relives the past, due to The Tall Ship Races. Unfortunately, due to excessive demand, they will not be allowing visitors to clamber aboard today, which makes me sad… But we’re going to go take a look.
    Too bad both elder children are out in the country (the ships leave tomorrow – the children return on Monday :( ).

  114. bluentx says

    What’s the verdict, doc???

    Upon reading through that again…we’re going to need many more sessions before a diagnosis will be possible. :)

  115. Portia, in boots says

    ‘rupt but hello. Miss y’all.

    Having a busy fun time.

    Next it’s camping in Wisconsin today.

    I’m tired.

    My mom makes the coffee way too strong. I don’t know why that annoys me so much. Maybe I just need to get coffee around that I don’t like so much and I won’t mind that she puts a mountain of it in there. Maybe I need to relax. Maybe I need more coffee.

  116. Portia, in boots says

    Sort of catching up:


    Good luck with the carjacking but be careful… A charge of Grand Theft Auto wouldn’t look good on the resume.

    Ha. We never found the second keys, even when he drove my mom’s car and there is a set that exists somewhere. We settled on moving the car to a different parking lot. That just means we still can do the joke sometime though…

    CRUDELY WROTT *pouncehug* …depending on the state of your back…maybe a gentle hug is in order. Hope you’re well, and good to see you. I found myself wondering about you a couple weeks ago.

    barnestormer: welcome in, gab away. We all do, that’s for sure.

    Did I guess the right S word? I’ll let you keep the Snark Hat if you spell out your snark for me. I’m slow this morning.

    rq: I wish I had time to click all your awesome links. But keep enriching the Lounge, my friend. You find the best stuff.

  117. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    Good morning.

    Happy Monday (today is Monday, tomorrow is Friday — I like this week).

    This week, a national Jehovah’s Witness organization is having a national leadership conference (these are the same ones I saw last your Sunday at a local Chinese buffet(. They are staying at the hotel that both Boy and Wife work at. Both Wife and Boy have stated that they are the rudest group they have ever dealt with. More rudest than politicians, NASCAR fans, Indy Car fans, even worse than Rudist Clams. They are not only rude (sitting at an unbused table and then asking, loudly, why there are dirty dishes on their table and why they don’t have coffee yet; grabbing one set of tongs for the buffet and using it to serve themselves through the entire breakfast buffet; no tipping; lots of JW tracts in lieu of tips), but they are cheap assholes. And not only are they rude to the workers, they are very rude to each other.

    Thinking back over all my jobs, self-identified Christians and self-identified conservatives tend to be, through my experience, the rudest and cheapest customers I have ever dealt with.

  118. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    And last night, I was sitting on the front porch enjoying a Garo Double Habano and two fingers of Dewar’s white label. And two young men walked up to the house and asked if I had a few moments.

    “Depends,” I said.

    “On what?” the older one answered.

    “On what you want.”

    “Oh, we don’t want anything. Just a few moments of your time.”

    I smiled and said, “Well, a few moments of my time is something. What do you want?”

    And the younger of the two launched into a well-rehearsed speech about natural gas prices doubling in the next year and he is selling a programme to insulate me from those costs.

    Rather than get into a discussion involving the mechanism for doubling gas prices, I hooked my thumb at the storm door and, interrupting him, asked, “What does that sign say?”

    He paused for a moment. “Er, it says, ‘No Peddlers.'”

    I glared at him and said, “And?”

    “And what?”

    “What do you suppose that means?”

    He puzzled over it for a few minutes. “No bicycles?” he ventured.

    I took a long drag on my cigar, let the smooth and creamy smoke envelope my head, and said, “No. A peddler is someone who is selling something. And the sign says no. Get it?”

    “Oh, but I’m not selling anything. I’m trying to protect you . . .”

    “Not interested. When a sign says ‘No Peddlers’ it means just that. Have a nice evening.”

    And they left.

    Is there something wrong with me that I find conversations like that enjoyable?

  119. opposablethumbs says

    Crudely Wrott, it’s great to see you again! How have you been? Hope you’re OK!!!
    Hi Barnestormer, welcome in. Some of us (like me) are practically lurkers most of the time (I can’t keep up …) and still always feel welcome here :-) (mind how you go in re peas, horses, penguins and cheese, though. Passions can run high. Oh, and PS how do you feel about the voice acting skills of Alan Rickman?)

  120. chigau (meh) says

    Not at all.
    Sometimes it’s more satisfying to be polite while telling annoyances to fuck off.

  121. says

    Nope. Nothing wrong with you. I enjoy reading your tales (my favorite is the one where you told off that libertarian (?) woman after explaining what tax dollars are used for).


    Oops…slight confusion there. I should have been clearer. I just meant it would be nifty if you substituted an ‘S’ word (in place of manipulative) of your choice so you’d get ASS as an acronym. No guessing game :)


    I wanted to add that while many people find great value in starting a blog, it may take time to find an audience, whereas the Lounge has a built in audience who love to listen.
    (Btw, not trying to talk you out of starting a blog. It just sounded like you had some stuff you would like to chat about and well, we are here if you want. And of course you can always do both)

  122. barnestormer says

    I just found out I can’t shop at Goodwill anymore (they hire disabled workers for less than minimum wage and use time studies to justify their low wages? Seriously, Goodwill?) I’ve told them what I think of their bullshit. Now I have to find another thrift store, but pickings around here are slim. There’s the Salvation Army, which was already off the table since before I was born, and Mission Thrift, which supports a particularly loathsome, harassing-phone-call-making Crisis Pregnancy Center (in a college town with no abortion services at all). And these guys are still rocking a “ministry to help invididuals struggling with Same Sex Attraction (SSA)” post-Exodus in the Year of Our Lord 2013 and are even “in the process of becoming certified addicitons counselors for the state of Alabama,” because hahahahaha I don’t even know.

    And that’s just about it for my town. There’s one more option I can look into — also a church ministry, but with programs I can live with. I’m going to find out if they take donations and look a little more closely at what they do.

    Guess I’m just going to be listing stuff on our lethargic Freecycle page or on Craigslist from now on. I don’t know what to do with all my books, though. The used bookstore in town is shutting its doors today and the volunteer-run library down the road had to stop accepting donations because people were just giving them stacks of whatever mildewy garbage they had lying around the house.

    And partly I’m just mad at myself for not knowing that this was going on.

  123. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says


    I’ve had very good luck selling some of my books on Amazon. Setting up a seller account is easy. And, even if the book sells for one cent, they still give you $3.99 to cover shipping — and I have yet to spend that much sending a book USPS media mail.

  124. barnestormer says

    opposablethumbs, Alan Rickman is ok, but I’ve never found him sexy the way people do. He was good as Snape, but his whole oily-droopy-drowsy thing was super distracting when he was in Sense and Sensibility as The Nice Awkward Guy You’re Supposed to End Up With. Probably a good actor, but I haven’t seen him in enough things to really form an opinion, and my opinion is overwhelmed a little by what feels like the Rickman Schtick. If that makes sense. But mostly I don’t have enough information to go on.

  125. chigau (meh) says

    Alan Rickman was the best thing about the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
    (yeah, I know, that was a looong time ago)

  126. Chilly -warming myself in the flames says

    barnestormer -Try Truly Madly Deeply. Though I’m as much or more of a sucker for Juliet Stevenson.

    That really sucks about all the thrift stores in town. The tiny place where I used to live had Salvation Army as the only game in town so when we moved they ended up with all the stuff we couldn’t sell online. I loathe them but I figured it was the lesser of two evils for them to have it than for it to end up in a landfill.

  127. blf says

    O vsm drr yjr dvtrrm”

    That is the result of touch-typing on a UK-style qwerty keyboard with yer fingers consistently off to the right by one: “I can see the screen!”

    My eyeballcoverings seem to want to work — albeit I’m not yet accustomed to the progressive lenses — but the French Eye Drop Torture continues…

  128. morgan says

    I haz a big sad. JJ Cale was part of the soundtrack of my youth. He will be missed.

  129. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    but the French Eye Drop Torture continues…

    Sorry about the eyedrops. Those things are an anathema unto Nuggan.

    On the bright side, since it is a French Eye Drop Torture, at least you get to wear the French Maid’s outfit, right?

    Or is that the MDP wearing the French Maid’s outfit?

  130. says


    I’m a bit nervous about Red 2 because the first one was so good, and if first movies sometimes break stereotypes a bit or introduce something brand new and awesome, sequels tend to shove everyone right back into their places.

    I admit I’ve not seen the first one, but if it follows the plot of the graphic novel, as I understand it does, I cannot conceive that a sequel would be anything other than unmitigated garbage. The plot really doesn’t allow for it, and the contortions needed to get one will destroy any quality there might have been in the script to start with, which probably wasn’t much.

    During my brief stint as a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman my boss specifically instructed us to ignore those types of signs since we weren’t soliciting (No Soliciting is the preferred local form of those signs) . This is one of a number of reasons why my stint in that job was so brief.

    Hello and welcome!

    I just found out I can’t shop at Goodwill anymore (they hire disabled workers for less than minimum wage and use time studies to justify their low wages? Seriously, Goodwill?) I’ve told them what I think of their bullshit.

    Around here there’s a fair number of secular thrift shops, but many places aren’t so lucky.

    Guess I’m just going to be listing stuff on our lethargic Freecycle page or on Craigslist from now on.

    I’m not sure how well it would go over where you are, but I’ve had great luck both getting and getting rid of things with boxes left by the sidewalk labeled “Free”

    I don’t know what to do with all my books, though.

    A custom that’s been springing up locally involves building small roofed shelves/cupboards with a sign saying something like “Neighborhood library” or “Take a book/Leave a book” or the like.

    I got myself a nasty sunburn yesterday when an errand wound up taking much longer than anticipated. On the upside, my sister and her husband will be coming by for dinner at my aunt’s , which should be enjoyable, and people have showed up to volunteer for the tool library, saving me some work, although I’d love it if they’d sign up beforehand so I can freaking plan.

  131. blf says

    I don’t know — Do French Maids normally run around with wearing a Viking helmet (one of the fake ones with the BIG sword-catching horns) and a clip-on bow-tie, carrying a bathtub that has been bent into a Möbius strip whilst dancing a Haka?

  132. Pteryxx says

    On supposed colorblindness in the fresh-organic-produce vs cheap-fast-food framing of food access and poverty:


    When I stood in line at my own grocery store, I saw the cover of The Atlantic, proffering the long-standing idea that “junk food” could, in some way, “end obesity.” I had high expectations for an article that apparently had all the answers that the food industry giants – and all their resources, scientists, strategists, and marketers – did not, and was left disappointed. Not only did the article run short on legitimate framing of the anti-processed food argument and long on unnecessary, endless attacks of its supporters; the article, easily over 10,000 words, spent a mere pair of paragraphs discussing people who aren’t, as Freedman named them, Pollanites.

    But why is that? It’s because the East New York farms – the Center either owns or facilitates, in some way, over 60 plots of land in the area, alone – are a rarity, right?

    Or are they?


    Communities like the one in East New York are not oblivious to what’s happening to their loved ones, members of their community and society at large. They’re making their own solutions. Alas, because their choices to live healthier lives and eat better food are not as much of a ratings-grabber or link bait as, say, focusing on the extreme ends of the spectrum, their stories are never told. It’s not always about obsessively clinging to curly fries or curly kale: perpetuating such a myopic view of the nutrition conversation in America results in meaningful resources like East New York never receiving the support or attention they deserve. When the grassroots efforts of hard working people have to be downplayed or outright ignored for you to make your point… it’s time to change your point.

    I don’t know anything about community farming, but a lot of folks here do – is anyone involved in urban community farming projects? This is another area (besides abortion clinics and diverse neighborhoods) where local zoning laws can make or break a vital project.

    I checked out this author’s blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss, and found this:

    Study: Fat prejudice plays a role in graduate school admissions

    “When we looked at that we could see a clear relation between their weight and offers of admission for those applicants who had had an in-person interview,” Burmeister said. “The success rate for people who had had no interview or a phone interview was pretty much equal, but when in-person interviews were involved, there was quite a bit of difference, even when applicants started out on equal footing with their grades, test scores and letters of recommendation.”

    The results also suggested the weight bias was stronger for female applicants.

    Burmeister said the research team was not surprised. “We know that these kinds of biases are pretty common and even somewhat acceptable compared to other biases, and there’s not much legally forbidding it.”

  133. barnestormer says

    Chilly — it is better for someone else to get them than for them to end up in a landfill. I’m not so much worried about dropping my stuff in a landfill, just annoyed that I don’t have an easy alternative to what I was doing.

    And kind of meta-pissed that I spend so much mental energy trying to be ethical while e.g. the North Carolina state legislators are going, “fuck it, let’s just make it so no one can vote and throw ourselves a party on our neighbor’s bodies.” Or whatever it is those guys say to each other; I don’t know their lives.

    Dalillama, those are good ideas. I wonder if I could get some kind of book exchange going. I have loads of good books because I’m too lazy to go to the library and until recently the local used bookstore was so cheap — but I don’t have room in my apartment to keep them all.

  134. barnestormer says

    Pteryxx, I don’t know about the rest of the country, but good things are happening in Detroit. Lots of community farms and gardens, and the zoning laws were just recently revised to allow for more in the future. Traditional food access has been a serious problem in the city for decades, but community activism around this issue is really strong.

    I can’t comment too much on fat prejudice because I’ll just get angry. So much failure in so many directions :(

  135. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    Do French Maids normally run around with wearing a Viking helmet (one of the fake ones with the BIG sword-catching horns) and a clip-on bow-tie, carrying a bathtub that has been bent into a Möbius strip whilst dancing a Haka?


    Substitute Russian fur trooper hat for the Wiking hat. Substitute a studded collar for the bow tie. Substite a camel for the bathtub (the Möbius is right on). And it is a Cancan, not a Haka. Other than that, yeah.

    Tonight, for dinner, BLTs on marbled rye (toasted). With fresh sugar peas from the garden.

  136. rq says

    But Alan Rickman’s voice – what do you think of his voice? I don’t think anyone here is rooting for him looks-wise (at least, not as Snape – and then there was that tea-time in slow-motion last Lounge). But there’s a group of us eventually going to convince him to read the phonebook for us. ;)
    And Horses? What think you of Horses?
    Good luck with the books. If I was on the continent, I’d ask for a list and see if I can take them off your hands.

    Yay! for hopeful good-times with family! *hugs* if you need them.

    No, Tony, I just got back from work; I have no links ready for you, but I left a bunch this morning.

  137. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I found something problematic on someone’s online dating profile and drafted this response:

    Okay, I gotta say:

    “I’m a woman of substance, and often get overlooked for the blonder, skinnier, larger breasted sluts that look like hookers. ”

    As much as I share your frustration with narrow societal beauty standards, and as fucked up as those standards are, this isn’t a whole lot better. Being “conventionally attractive” doesn’t make someone a bad person, being sexually active doesn’t make someone a bad person, and being conventionally attractive doesn’t imply that someone is especially sexually active. Women with different genetics aren’t having them AT you. Women who cope with fucked up societal expectations in a different way aren’t, usually, doing it AT you (and for the ones who are – the people actively involved in gender-policing and fat-shaming – the real problem is their behavior, not their bodies).

    Is this actually worth sending, though? :/

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


    I don’t think anyone here is rooting for him looks-wise

    If I were 30 years older… :)

  139. opposablethumbs says

    I’m probably late to mention this, but

    A petition calling on Twitter to add a “report abuse” button has received thousands of signatures.

    It follows a deluge of abuse and rape threats received by Caroline Criado-Perez, who successfully campaigned for women to be included on UK banknotes.

    MP Stella Creasy told the BBC she was “furious” Twitter had yet to do anything about Ms Criado-Perez’s abuse.

    …. (more article here) …

    Ms Criado-Perez, who had appeared in the media to campaign for women to feature on banknotes, said the abusive tweets began the day it was announced that author Jane Austen would appear on the newly designed £10 note.

    She reported them to the police after receiving “about 50 abusive tweets an hour for about 12 hours” and said she had “stumbled into a nest of men who co-ordinate attacks on women”.

  140. says

    I’m not currently actively involved with them because they operate across town from me, but here locally there’s a group called the Urban Farm Collective, which uses yards and green areas allotted by property owners (homes and businesses), who receive a share of the harvest in exchange. After that, the harvest is divvied up according to the amount of time spent working in the gardens. There’s also a bunch of more standard community gardens run by the city, where people pay a small fee for a plot and garden for themselves. A group I know of did a survey a few years back and found over 150 city-owned sites that are potential community gardens, but the budget to do the needed soil testing and administer them isn’t there currently. We also have a CSA farm in town that grows all its food in people’s yards. That’s just scratching the surface as well; I know that there are several immigrant communities that have set up their own community gardens/urban farms as well, but once again I don’t get to those parts of town much.


    Young adult heroines – why do they always look the same?

    Because the author of the article was looking at movie versions, and Hollywood is racist as all fuckery? Because Hollywood heroines all look the same, regardless of the character’s alleged age? It’s a major problem in general, not just relating to female YA characters. I’m not actually familiar with the source material for most of the examples, but I’m pretty sure that the Katniss in the book version of the Hunger Gamesis not white, for instance. The problem exists in cover art too; This and this being examples. The character portrayed on both covers is described as having ‘nut-brown’ coloration, while the illustrations are of people who are whiter than I am.

  141. blf says

    Ok, got it. Camels wearing Russian fur hats (where? he idly wonders, on their heads or humps?) dancing the cancan in a Möbius strip shaped conga line.

    Nope, sorry, they quit for the night. Tomorrow, as I understand it, some Polar Bears will be limbo dancing on a stunt biplane whilst playing Walk Like an Egyptian on tubas and a grand piano.

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

    Ugh…I’ve donated so much to Goodwill. I’m sad to hear they abuse their disabled employees

  143. rq says

    Ok fine, I was being presumptuous because my main attraction to Alan Rickman is voice. ;) But I have to say, his tea-time was… impressive.

    I think I have to agree with you there – but that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? The whole transition from book to movie, where often the author’s best intentions are left by the way-side in order to conform to what readers (and thus viewers) want to see on-screen – nice white young women kicking some ass, and never mind the fact that the original story paints them some other colour… Katniss isn’t white in the books, no… but I can’t vouch for all the characters there, since I haven’t read all the books. But the bit about love triangles being an obligatory plot point? Yeah, that one. Because a young heroine has to choose a partner, rather than be kick-ass on her own – that bothers me a bit.

    What do you have to lose in sending? *shrug* I don’t know if this is someone who interests you, and if the message will make them not want to respond to you. I don’t know if it will change their mind about anything. In other words, I’m no help.


    [confession] I suppose I should just go right ahead and call myself a smoker, since that’s what I am. Again. Just goes to show, in some aspects of life, I am a failure. [/confession]

  144. thesandiseattle says

    Just got done reading Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God. Gonna say I’m ambivelant on it. It was thought “provoking” (i wish there was a milder word.) Anyone intersted in the debate between believers and atheists should think about reading this book as a part of their research.

  145. thesandiseattle says

    Okay second foray:

    I am making some predictions.
    Five Predictions for the next five yrs
    (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.)

    First: Obamacare will roll out and be generally accepted by the masses but will see several major changes in the first 2 or 3 yrs, most as a result of the Health Industry lobby.

    Second: We will suffer thru at least one major economic crisis. (yeah I know that one is a pretty safe bet.)

    3.1 there will be a major breakthru in computer tech
    3.2 we will see a semi-major paradigm shift in how compters are used in our daily lives
    (these two are so closely related I had to count them as “one”.)

    Fourth: at least two more states will have legalized MJ and a dozen or more will be considering it.

    Five: Streaming video, set top boxes, and entertainment/televison thru game consoles and the like will become a major competitor with cable and satellite service.

    SO…. what do you all think? Lets see your Five for Five ideas.

  146. says

    CNN had a segment today about this murder. It is similar in ways to Zimmermans killing of Trayvon Martin:

    “I’ve never been so scared in my life,” Dunn tells police in the video. He insists he wasn’t looking for a fight when he pulled next to the teen’s SUV. Dunn says he was on his way to a Jacksonville hotel after his son’s wedding in Orange Park.


    “Their music starts and I roll down my window, and I thought I was polite, and asked them nicely, hey would you guys mind turning that down?”

    Dunn says the teens did at first, but through a closed window, he could tell one of them was upset. That’s when he says things started to heat up.

    “I thought they were singing, but [then they said] you’re going to die [expletive removed]. Then it started getting a little louder. That’s when I popped my window down and was like, ‘You’re talking about me?’ And they was like you’re dead. You’re dead [expletive removed]!”

    Dunn says he thought one of the teens had a shotgun.

    “It was either a barrel or a stick but, sir, they’re like we’re going to kill you and then they said, ‘you’re dead [expletive removed].’ What I should have done was put the car in reverse, but that shotgun come up or whatever it was – fight or flight – and I don’t think there was time for flight at that moment because I was going to get shot.”

    Dunn says he grabbed his gun from his glove box and shot at the SUV four times. As the teens drove away, he says he fired four more times. Then, he and his girlfriend drove to their hotel and ordered pizza. The next day, they drove to his home in south Florida.



    I thought at first that this was breaking news, only to find it happened last year. CNNs reporting

  147. John Morales says


    Just got done reading Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God. Gonna say I’m ambivelant on it. It was thought “provoking” (i wish there was a milder word.)

    I think you mean “thought” provoking.

    Anyone intersted in the debate between believers and atheists should think about reading this book as a part of their research.

    I rather doubt that; anyone interested in the weak and hopeless rationalisations theists make already has more than enough examples to need yet one more.

    SO…. what do you all think? Lets see your Five for Five ideas.

    I think you should take it to Thunderdome, where I can properly express my opinion to you.

  148. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    Crudely Wrott!
    Often sought,
    Seldom found
    Hanging ’round
    Teh [Lounge].
    Comment moar,
    Like before—
    Never dense…
    Burma Shave.

    It’s missing a few other kinds of scientists, but I may have found paradise on earth.

    “Nuclear Pasta”. Sounds like a good band name.

    Thinking back over all my jobs, self-identified Christians and self-identified conservatives tend to be, through my experience, the rudest and cheapest customers I have ever dealt with.

    Your anecdata and mine are in agreement. And anecdata that I’ve gathered from other sources agree with us both.
    The worst I had to deal with was a bunch of Assembly of Godders who for a while would infest the restaurant I worked at, every Wednesday after church. The restaurant had this ill-advised shag carpeting in part of it, and they would always allow their badly-behaved offspring to mash burrito stuffing into it—while they (the adults) made the most hideous awful messes. They never tipped at all, and were always…well, never mind. Water over the bridge.

    Is there something wrong with me that I find conversations like that enjoyable?

    Nope. Sounded like a good time to me.

  149. bluentx says

    Thinking back over all my jobs, self-identified Christians and self-identified conservatives tend to be, through my experience, the rudest and cheapest customers I have ever dealt with.

    One of sister #3’s first jobs was in the Collection Department of Tandy Corp. (Radio Shack, etc). Her consensus– the people it’s hardest to get money from were 1) rich people and 2) clergy.
    My takeaway? 1) Rich people stay rich by finding ways around paying their bills. Can the rich legitimately stay rich by honest means? 2) The Prosperity Gospel only works if you fight tooth and nail to hang on to that mammon!

    …Burma Shave

    And don’t forget to See Rock City!

    And in the Sock It To ‘Em (and Don’t Whimp Out This Time U.S. Gov.) department:

    Seriously ?!:

  150. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    I like the smell of coffee…but not the taste.
    (I know, up til now, you all thought I was normal. Now you know I am weird)

    Wherein, then, Tony, lies your weirdness? I see it not.
    I drink coffee—as a medicinal, for the purpose of not inadvertently sleepfaceplanting onto my keyboard, at work.
    I doctor it up, some. Hazelnut syrup is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

    barnestormer, hereabouts the Council for the Blind runs a couple of thrift stores; I think there may be one run by/for the local veterans, as well. You might see if there’s anything of that sort in your neck of the woods.
    Also: You have not yet stated your opinions on the subjects of peas, Horses, and cheese. Enquiring Minds Need To Know!

    Alan Rickman was the best thing about the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
    (yeah, I know, that was a looong time ago)

    Ohhhh, yes! Yes, indeed! And the best thing about that Die Hard thing, too, back in the day.
    Also, Dogma.

    I don’t know — Do French Maids normally run around with wearing a Viking helmet (one of the fake ones with the BIG sword-catching horns) and a clip-on bow-tie, carrying a bathtub that has been bent into a Möbius strip whilst dancing a Haka?

    Pics!!! Still better yet, video!!!
    This is Why There Is YouTube.

    Is this actually worth sending, though? :/

    IMO, yes.

  151. chigau (meh) says

    Wait, I have some:
    1. Pharyngula readership will increase after the book comes out.
    2. Pharyngula readership will decrease after the book comes out.
    3. Pharyngula readership will remain the same after the book comes out.
    4. ….
    5. Profit!!1!

  152. Crudely Wrott says

    And don’t forget to See Rock City!

    . . . only 3.45 LY to Wall Drug . . .

    Thanks to all for welcoming sentiment. Tony, WMDKitty, rq, Bluentx, Portia, (pouncehugs always welcomed and frequently rebounded!), opposablethumbs (I’m doing well considering the shape I’m in) and everyone else. I have a feeling similar to coming home after a long road trip. I reacted similarly, sleeping in this morning until a most satisfyingly late hour. (pssst! is was before eleven a. m. )
    Cicely! Thank you for the lovely rhyme. I have it squirreled away so that I can read it again someday. First time I’ve ever been in a Burma Shave ad! (I remember them when they were along the roadside, ol’ Pap driving up that long two lane road to wonder and summers of challenge and learning.) So very nice of you.

    I am the nanny grampa now. The stay at home old timer. In fact I just finished cleaning up the supper mess I prepared for Son In Law and Grandpups One and Two and I. They worked up an apatite setting floor joists for the second story addition to the garage/shed. I threw together some leftover diced tomato and onion with some thin sliced ham and pastrami in a skillet, bit of bacon fat, balsamic vinegar and sea salt to make it pay attention, then some eggs whipped with milk and lemon pepper added at the last and brought to a moist scramble. Little tater salad on the side, some toasted rye bread with butter. Mmmm, mmm.
    Got the best compliment a cook can get . . . no leftovers!
    Guess who just got done washing up and wiping down?
    I really love my job.

  153. Crudely Wrott says


    I doctor it up, some. Hazelnut syrup is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

    Yup. Hazelnut. Even better with some chocolate.

    Just a while ago, faced with some extra flavorings and creamers and taking advantage of all that and a rapid response coffee maker, I started putting more than just ground coffee in the filter. Favorite is hazelnut creamer, chocolate creamer and ground cinnamon on top of the coffee.

    Presto! You pour a cup of creamed and flavored coffee right out of the pot. I like to add a spoonful of brown sugar and sneak away to a comfy spot. The day seems to slide in a bit more smooooothly that way.

  154. Crudely Wrott says

    Me too, chigau. It is a welcomed comfort after a long spell of less than comfortable.

    I just hope it lasts. I’m gittin’ tired of packing up and moving and unpacking. Takes all the continuity out of things.

  155. Crudely Wrott says

    Perhaps that line should read,”Takes all the continuity out of certainty”. ;->

  156. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    “Town to town, up and down the dial….”
    Comfortableness and continuity are good; I hope you get to keep ’em.

  157. chigau (meh) says

    My favourite moving story is someone I knew at University (late 1970s) who put all his worldly possessions into his non-functioning Volkswagen and called a tow-truck.

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

    ugh I’m all depressed now and am weirded out about things I either don’t have people I can talk to it about or feel stupid about talking about it. Don’t know why posting. just vent

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


    Rolling friction is less energy intensive than sliding friction or lifting a case?

  160. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    Rolling it along is certainly much less problem for the knees than carrying it.

  161. Crudely Wrott says

    The Pope’s trip to Brazil looks to be off to setting records for a certain section of haberdashers if the photo at the top of this article is any thing to go on: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/27/19718910-pope-gives-advice-on-stemming-exodus-from-church?lite

    From the piece:

    On the penultimate day of his trip to Brazil, Francis delivered a long address to the country’s bishops in which he suggested elements of what could become a blueprint for stopping what he called an “exodus.”

    [Traditionally, the “exodus” was prolonged and unavoidable. It was also the will of El. I mean, who ya gonna call?]

    “I would like all of us to ask ourselves today: are we still a Church capable of warming hearts?” he said in a speech remarkable for its frankness about the hemorrhaging of the Church in many countries.

    [I have to tell you, Frank, in all honesty, you and your people have always warmed my heart. Underneath that silly hat many good things have occurred, bearing the seal of the church. The testimony of many is sufficient to convince me should my own perception fail. But please! Don’t send the kids out in the street to tell me to come to Jesus! Please don’t . . PLEAZE DOOON’T!!

    If the streets are swarmed with pint sized proselytizers it’ll be like a flashback for me. Mid seventies, county fairs, church suppers, special mens’ retreats, motivational sermons from seemingly homeless preachers with impeccable clothes and hair and all such as these. I was right in the middle of it for a few hideous months.

    The memory of what went on then in the name of “The Lord” is not so much what puts me off. What really puts the sour in my puss is remembering how willing I was.

    Then I grew up and got better. Thank you. Bye.]

  162. Crudely Wrott says

    Just this moment, or several moments ago as I was writing that last post, a most exquisitely colored moth landed on my hand! It is currently looking for a suitable place to rest among the wreckage of my desk.
    Ahh! It stops on a plastic cup I use to . . . hold bugs I catch . . . and it is, let me see . . . YES! allowing me to make the least little contact with wings, antennae. Just too cool.

    Imagine all the shades of jade arrayed within less than a square inch. Cast in flecks of gold. Light brightly. Behold!

    I really need a photo blog.

    OOoops! Shegone. Darn; didn’t get a picture.

    Jever notice how beautiful the little stuff is? And how MUCH of it there is? Whata world . . .

  163. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “I would like all of us to ask ourselves today: are we still a Church capable of warming hearts?”

    No, the burnings have for the most part been outlawed.

  164. bluentx says

    …like a flashback for me. Mid seventies, county fairs, church suppers, special mens’ retreats, motivational sermons from seemingly homeless preachers with impeccable clothes and hair and all such as these.

    Yep, definitely de janerio deja vu-y. Were we separated at birth, Crudely Wrott ?
    Tho, I was rather stubborn about actually buying what they was sellin’…. My BIL tried (circa 1979) to ‘recruit’ me into his and my sisters church (a church that some consider a cult). Even then I held my own with him on dueling scriptures (contradictions, nonsense, bad advice, etc.). He finally gave up… and within 48 hours told me I ‘had to go”. I had been living with my sister and BIL since fresh out of high school and living for the first time in the big bad city (LA area). Ah,the Christian Love!

  165. John Morales says


    So that’s the idea behind putting wheels on suitcases?

    Class II lever yields mechanical advantage.

  166. Crudely Wrott says

    So many questions, righteously posed, remain from those days, bluentx. Many. Some days I amuse myself by seeing how many I can juggle at once.

    I can actually juggle the book of Genesis, why I cut slack to obvious silly tales and how the New Testament makes the Old all better without changing it but add just a single verse of Revelation and all falls with an embarrassing clatter. You don’t even want me to start in about the people I believed when they testified to me.

    Would you be taken aback if I told you than my conversion experience involved sinking through the floor boards to meet with rats and roaches? True story. Yet there stands I, I! too dumb to get the hint.

    You know, if you get a bunch of recovered [sic] believers together some very strange and informative stories surface.

  167. Crudely Wrott says

    John: “Class II lever yields mechanical advantage.”

    That’s the way (that’s how) we roll.

  168. bluentx says

    Would you be taken aback if I told you than my conversion experience involved sinking through the floor boards to meet with rats and roaches? True story.

    Wow! What were they putting in the sacramental wine? Or was it grape juice like in my tea-totaling Baptist experience?

    You know, if you get a bunch of recovered [sic] believers together some very strange and informative stories surface.

    Yep! That’s why I enjoy the ‘Why I’m An Atheist’ essays and such. So many experiences, so many paths to… reality!

  169. Menyambal --- the penuchle of evolution says

    I was just carrying the blind dachshund down the back stairs to his midnight widdle, and I can tell you for sure that it is cooler out there than it was one night in midwinter.

    (That’s after allowing for wearing my summer-weight bathrobe.)

    (Have I been carrying that dog downstairs that long?)


    One of my moving stories: I was getting ready to pack all I owned into my Chevy Nova, and realized I had used it to move more times than I had used it to carry people. I tore out the back seat and put it in a dumpster. Never regretted it, either.

  170. Crudely Wrott says

    Actually, bluentx, it was one of the most, err, psychedelic moments of my life. Being no stranger to other paths to psychedelic moments, I was really quite taken by the atmosphere under the floor. The rats had very good manners while the roaches mainly made trouble only among themselves and that was little trouble, very little.

    I was left to wonder why there wasn’t such good behavior above the floorboards and I felt, for the fleetingest slice of a moment that I would understand (and thereby make a lifetime investment in the sinners’ prayer). Alas, the moment fled as all such moments are apt to flee.

    I emerged, above the floor only to find my friends and main compatriots in life weeping and praising dog.

    I was just wondering what kind of pest control the homeowner used.


  171. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    What do you have to lose in sending? *shrug* I don’t know if this is someone who interests you, and if the message will make them not want to respond to you. I don’t know if it will change their mind about anything. In other words, I’m no help.

    It isn’t someone I’m interested in; we have a good “match rating” but many of the rest of her answers reveal a lot of internalized kyriarchy and some entitlement and boundary issues. Also some of that sort of coy-combative (coymbative?) demeanor that’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.

    (Is this a thing anyone else has noticed? This weird combination of smug judgmentalness wrapped in non-committal or disarming sentence bookends and body-language – shrugs, “it seems to me”s, etc. Like, for instance, the bit I quoted being followed by “To each their own.” Maddening.)

  172. rq says

    Like ChoirCreep justifying himself with ‘but we’re all different, heh heh!’
    Maddening, indeed.

  173. Crudely Wrott says

    I go sleep now.

    *nice to be back in the fold. I will sleep origamically in honor of remembrence. Hope I don’t wake up with unwanted creases running catty corner to the ones I’ve been using all along.*


  174. bluentx says

    Is this a thing anyone else has noticed? This weird combination of smug judgmentalness wrapped in non-committal or disarming sentence bookends and body-language

    You mean like the Southern ‘Bless Your Heart’ (with a smile) which really means ‘Fuck You, Burn In Hell’ ?

  175. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Like ChoirCreep justifying himself with ‘but we’re all different, heh heh!’
    Maddening, indeed.

    That’s a bit of a relief, actually. I was thinking about this and realized that there’s a particular set of mannerisms and speech patterns I associate with this that I viscerally detest, which are…um, kind of gendered, actually. x.x That was disconcerting. But now that I think about it, there’s a basically equivalent sort of behavior in the “Good Old Boy schtick” in the US, too, which also makes my skin crawl.

  176. bluentx says

    G’night, Crudely Wrott . Don’t let the rats and roaches bite!
    *hangs head*

  177. bluentx says

    ChoirCreep ?

    I missed something in my treadrupt absence didn’t I?
    Hate it when that happens…

  178. says

    My suitcase has started rolling only in one direction. I’ve inspected the wheels but can’t find an obvious cause. Slightly inconvenient.

  179. Crudely Wrott says

    Don’t worry for me, bluentx. They don’t bite at all, they just nibble, nibble, nibble until there is nothing left of me but awakening.

    G’ mornin!

    Now, really, I tip over into my cozy place till another day . . .

  180. rq says

    ChoirCreep: guy who comes to your garden party via blanket choir invitation, ignores all rules and regulations concerning group activities because they’re given by women, then proceeds to photograph the empty upstairs adult bedrooms and everyone else’s children, only to shrug it off with ‘sorry it upset you, let’s just be friends!’

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


    I don’t know whether your message will accomplish anything, but I think you should send it.

  182. blf says

    So that’s the idea behind putting wheels on suitcases?

    No, it’s because there is a shortage of Sapient Pearwood, except on the Counterweight Continent, and there’s very little travel / trade with them.

    The attempt to use Swamp Dragons as a sort of flying trolley didn’t last long. Rather like the Swamp Dragons. Mostly, people didn’t like having to admit the dirty underwear plastered to someone else’s face after a flying trolley exploded was theirs.

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

    Any new developments on the ChoirCreep front?

  184. blf says

    Have I been carrying that dog downstairs that long? [since mid-winter]

    If this an infinitely descending staircase (presumably turtle-by-turtle) or one of those M.C. Escher neverending finite jobs?

  185. blf says

    My suitcase has started rolling only in one direction.

    It’s called “Gravity”.

  186. rq says

    Besides mutual ignorance? No, not really… Then again, social choir events looming, so we’ll see.

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

    I hope he continuous leaving you alone.

    It’s hot here. Too hot.

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

    And boring. Too boring.
    Hot and boring means I’ll soon be desperate enough to address the person that shall not be named (but shall be looked at with narrowed eyes) in Thunderdome.

  189. says

    So I had a fascinating talk with a coworker about all manner of social and personal issues.
    I would go into more detail, but since rq has been stingy lately with her links, making us wait (the noive!) I shall do the same.
    Off to bed flies the queer shoop.
    Then to work.
    Then I shall regale youse peeps with my story.

  190. opposablethumbs says

    Queer Shoop stories are some of my favourites. Looking forward to it.

  191. rq says

    You’re Evil and vengeful for no reason. I left a stack of links yesterday, thinking to appease you… Now it looks like no amount of mayonnaise and peas will be enough for you. And here I was ready to offer you a pony! *sigh*

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

    If you find me a church nearby with AC, I’ll be tempted.

  193. rq says

    The world is my church.
    Speaking of church, conversations in the Thunderdome often remind me of this. Just because. And it makes me laugh. Especially the imgur version.

  194. blf says

    Is everyone in church?

    Nah, just chowing-down. A large vat of pasta sauce overturned on the Earth (think Sherwin-Williams Paints logo) due to the FSM enjoying a bit too much of the erupting beer. It’s the cooking od all the pasta noodles which is causing the heat. Fortunately, there is still plenty of beer flowing from the volcanoes, so it is possible to cool down. And have another accident. Repeat ad infinitum, or until everyone explodes, whichever comes first.

    (The mildly deranged penguin is worried about the availability of cheese to go with the noodles and sauce, and thinks she may have to unload some from the Orbiting Cheese Vault.)

  195. Walton says

    Today I learned that blue tits (a family of whom have nested in our garden this year) should more properly be called ultraviolet tits: apparently a blue tit’s plumage, though it may look blue to our inadequate human eyes, is a stunning shade of ultraviolet to other blue tits. Researchers at the University of Bristol found that female blue tits selected for males with the brightest ultraviolet crests. [No innuendo of any kind intended.] The study is mentioned in Sean Carroll’s The Making of the Fittest, which is a great book.

    (I’ve been trying to improve my knowledge of evolutionary biology, lately. Just a part of my quest to KNOW ALL THE THINGS. The more I learn, the more I’m conscious of the vastness of my ignorance about many fields of knowledge.)

  196. barnestormer says

    (Is this a thing anyone else has noticed? This weird combination of smug judgmentalness wrapped in non-committal or disarming sentence bookends and body-language

    It’s my mom’s main mode of communication. She is continually using “but that’s just the way I see it,” to mean “How can you be so wrong?”

    Dalillama, I don’t have a lot of money left over, but I could possibly buy something from you. do you have a paypal account?

    Horses: are ok; I have no quarrel with them.

    Peas: are delicious if cooked correctly and completely horrible if cooked badly. When I was growing up, I thought I hated peas, but only because the only peas I’d ever had were the shrivelled frozen vegetable bag kind, sometimes imperfectly thawed by the microwave.

    Cheese: is the reason I probably won’t ever go vegan. Here is a poem about cheese by Albert Goldbarth.

    I would support an Alan Rickman Phone Book Project, but more because I like people’s names than because I would thrill to the sound of Alan Rickman’s voice.

  197. says

    My ‘nym links to my partner’s shop, where he sells clothing, costumes, and confections, among other thigs.I do l, hve a paypal of my own whe, but donations are gladly accepted as lw

  198. rq says

    (a) I assumed you were drunk (sorry);
    (b) I read the last phrase as ‘donations are gladly accepted as law’.


    Unexpectedly social evenings.
    No, did not go to see tall ships parade; pulled out of our driveway, and news radio announced a traffic jam already forming on the way to the place we’d expected to watch. Pulled back in and didn’t go; 6PM heard news channel reporting on major traffic jam on vehicles leaving said place (event ended about 2PM)… Overall, glad we didn’t go.

  199. thesandiseattle says

    John Morales @ 207: any remove to Thunderdome is unnecessary. You gave your opinion above, that will do. If you actually read the book I may consider to discuss it further.

    chigau @ 212: not quite what I meant, but thanks for participating :)

  200. says

    No, last night I was drunk. Earlier I was using my phone, and the interface sucks intensely.

    I meant to write:
    My ‘nym links to my partner’s shop, where he sells clothing, costumes, and confections, among other things. I do have a paypal of my own, where donations are also gladly accepted at Bl@inedel@ncey at the googles. (replace @ with a’s, spambot prevention)

  201. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Strange day here at Casa La Pelirroja. The Redhead was trying to “sleep in” with her left foot up to reduce edema on her weak side. Typical Sunday morning. She noticed her right ring finger, on which she had placed the original wedding ring after the replacement was procured, beginning to feel tight. I tried to get the ring off, but knuckle wouldn’t allow the ring to pass. Meanwhile, the trauma from trying to remove the ring was cutting off circulation. A couple of phone calls later, and she has been having her hand held up by her cowl to a curtain rod with bungee cords, and a cold pack applied periodically, which has dropped her swelling to a large degree. I think the crisis is past, as the finger looks near normal, but it will a day or so before the ring can be removed without cutting.

  202. barnestormer says

    Dalilama, I wish I had the nerve and dispostion to rock a rainbow-flag-having “These Colors Don’t Run” jacket. I don’t, unfortunately. But I’m glad someone made one. And I’ll look over the catalog and see what I can buy.

  203. David Marjanović says

    *happiness about KevinKat*
    *happy thoughts for Beatrice*
    *kind warmth for Crudely Wrott*
    *pouncehug for Walton*

    The proposed Internet filter for the UK would by default censor everything you can imagine, it seems.

    Petition to ban neonicotinoids in the US. John Conyers is one of the sponsors of the bill.

    A green alga that eats! How is it possible that I overlooked that!

    New Geokittehs Post – Plus Cute So Powerful It Could Result in Mutually Assured Cat-astrophe. Especially because it’s right here on FtB. Once PZ finds out, the Apocatlypse will be nigh.

    See, David? Mistaken identity!



    How, I wonder, did Islam become so inexorably tied to the Muslim identity as to be near-inseparable?

    It’s the other way around: people who live in secular environments have had their identities disentangled from religion (to varying extents); most secular places have a Christian majority.

    Perhaps not a terribly vital question, but a curiosity nonetheless–why are adherents of Islam not named after the religion itself?

    The root is S-L-M; the vowels between the consonants belong to grammar, not to the word root, just like the pre- and suffixes do. Salām means “peace”…

    Compare: someone who participates in a jihād is a mujahid.

    Even loanwords can be used this way if they happen to have three consonants. The plural of film is aflām!

    White girl to be tried as black adult – warning, it’s from The Onion.

    Nobody …deserves to be treated like a black man.”

    So true.

    It’s only fairly lately that we’ve stopped using “Muhammedeens” or similar words. Though googling now to find a proper English spelling (without luck)


    Family gone. Now sad and lonely. Child 2 is especially sad, because family visits are his only chance to hang out with other people. Sigh.

    *restocks hug truck*

    (“Question: why do atheists swear using god’s name?” “Well, you see, when we hear something utterly unbelievable…”)

    I like that.

    most states select jurors from their voter registration rolls


    Oh. I forgot. America, where the government doesn’t know where you live.

    I had a dream […]

    *hug* ^_^

    We really need to meet in meatspace sometime. :-)

    And dreams always make me type in long nonsensical sentences.

    That’s normal. :-) I had an extremely long and convoluted dream 2 nights ago.

    No dinosaurs, though. Which surprised me only when I woke up.

    I know that feeling, too. You can’t think of everything in something as chaotic as a dream! :-)

    Both Wife and Boy have stated that they are the rudest group they have ever dealt with. More rudest than politicians, NASCAR fans, Indy Car fans, even worse than Rudist Clams.

    “But you must admit, rudism was an interesting ideology.”
    – on the Dinosaur Mailing List once, I think

    I took a long drag on my cigar, let the smooth and creamy smoke envelope my head, and said, “No. A peddler is someone who is selling something. And the sign says no. Get it?”

    Wonderful. =8-)

    Is this actually worth sending, though? :/


    Oh, and I forgot this one: for inspiration. Lots of it.

    Oh, wow.

    I like the smell of coffee…but not the taste.

    Me three.

    ugh I’m all depressed now and am weirded out about things I either don’t have people I can talk to it about or feel stupid about talking about it. Don’t know why posting. just vent

    …I’ll go to bed now, but feel free to find my e-mail address in Google Scholar. *hug offer*

  204. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says


    A green alga that eats! How is it possible that I overlooked that!

    Cool beans!
    *brief pause*
    *surprise extra pouncehug*

  205. carlie says

    It’s hot here. Too hot.

    It’s too darned hot

    Good luck on the ring, Nerd. Best wishes to get it off.

    David! *hugs*

    Walton! *hugs*

    Still decompressing from the week – it was good, but still a lot of adrenaline and work. And back to real work, which is its own thing.

  206. Crudely Wrott says

    Hellos to David M. and Walton! My good fortune to see you both here. Always engaging posts from you. Stay well.

  207. Crudely Wrott says

    Hot here in NC. Pushing or exceeding 90F all month. And damp. It’s now about twenty till midnight and while it has cooled to 76 the rh is 98%. The stars are out though, so I’ll only complain a little.

  208. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    My ‘nym links to my partner’s shop, where he sells clothing, costumes, and confections, among other things.

    I boughted a coupla things (a book and a painting, for my father’s birthday and for my daughter respectively ^.^). Feel free to ship them together and pocket any extra of the shipping charge.

    I want to buy tasties, too, but I can’t afford to ship the ones I want. Would I be able to stop in and stock up the next time I’m near Portland? :)

  209. says

    (bc I know rq has been pacing a hole in the floor, anticipating my story–now STORIES–I have not forgotten. Got so side tracked and took a short nap after work, which turned into sleeping the last five hours)…

  210. says

    Aaaaand now my kitty and I are in standoff…she wants some loving but does not want to jump off the couch and waltz over five feet to me…I want to pet her, but am comfy in my chair…five feet away…who will break first??!!

  211. bluentx says

    Tony [:] You’re Evil and vengeful for no reason.

    I know rq has been pacing a hole in the floor, anticipating my story

    Waiting for the cage match. Let me know before it starts. I wanna make popcorn!

  212. bluentx says

    A preemptive apology to any non-USians we may attack. I didn’t know! [I know– not a very good excuse but it’s all I got.] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/pentagon-war-classified_n_3659353.html?utm_hp_ref=world&ir=World

    Fucking Monsanto:

    So it’s not just my imagination! Even though I make ‘good money’ (considering) it’s getting harder and harder to keep my head nose above water with only one income.
    From the article:

    Sometimes termed “the invisible poor” by demographers, lower-income whites are generally dispersed in suburbs as well as small rural towns, where more than 60 percent of the poor are white.


    The risks of poverty also have been increasing in recent decades, particularly among people ages 35-55, coinciding with widening income inequality. … For those ages 45-55, the risk of poverty jumped from 11.8 percent to 17.7 percent.

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

    Waiting for the cage match. Let me know before it starts. I wanna make popcorn!

    Cage match will just have to wait until I get home from work and can enjoy it properly.

  214. says

    It might be rather boring.
    Pelting rq with peas just isn’t as fun as Pelting Portia with Peas :)
    Besides, I think rq has access to horses, and I hear they kick like a Mississippi mule…

    Story #1
    When I got off work yesterday, I had the pleasure of having of conversation with a very nice coworker (J). She and I had one of those friendly workplace friendships, but had never talked about much beyond work. Recently she had offered to give me a ride home if we ever worked the same shift, which was a very kind offer on her part.
    Anyway, while I was eating lunch, she joined me at my table and we somehow we started talking about children. OH, yeah, it was because we had a table in the restaurant next to us with a wailing child, and it was rather annoying. She commented about not wanting kids, and when she asked me, I told her that I’ve wanted kids for over a decade. That led to conversations about dating and the difficulties finding someone who we have chemistry with. Which then led to what *kind* of chemistry. I was actually able to verbally express what I was looking for in someone, which was not anything I’d discussed in meatspace before. Things such as connecting on social issues and the implications therein. I mentioned that I needed someone whom I can talk with, in depth, about issues of importance to me and the other person. Too often, I’ve met guys who don’t have a social awareness or don’t care about the world (in the way I’ve come to). Or I’ve met guys who don’t seem able to carry on a conversation, let alone an informed conversation.

    She asked me if I’ve ever been in love, to which I said no, but I’d like to one day, which led to me talking about meeting someone and building a relationship and adopting children. I made a conscious effort at this point to shut my trap and inquire about her.

    She told me about her love life, and the loves *of* her life. She went through several stories, her first love in high school, whom she couldn’t find that special connection with, but still cared for. Followed by her second boyfriend who she had chemistry with to an extent, but not enough. Her third boyfriend turned out to be the type of guy that she and I could both, unfortunately enough, relate to. Someone who she found attractive, but who couldn’t carry on a conversation and didn’t appear to share the same values.

    It was at this point, when she pointed out that she wants someone communicative, intellectual and compassionate and someone who liked to fuck that I really stood up and took notice. Don’t get me wrong, I was paying attention before, it really perked my ears (probably because I’m not accustomed to people having a frank discussion about enjoying sex, let alone putting it as bluntly as she did, which I found refreshing), enough that the wailing child in the background was no longer noticeable. When I inquired where she was from, she mentioned up North (D.C. I think).

    That led to a conversation about how shocked she was about living in the South vs up North. The first thing shocking she mentioned was the attitude toward race down here (Florida), which was so backward to her. We talked about race relations, and the article that Pteryxx linked to upthread about how racism is perceived by African Americans vs whites.

    Which led to a discussion about religion and its role in racism, as well as the opposition found in much of the South to progress or equality. She noted that the problem also exists in the North, but it seemed more pronounced in the South. I casually mentioned that I was an atheist, which elicited a “Pfft, doesn’t matter to me” from her, which made me smile.

    I think we wound up chatting an hour and half, with both of us finding it quite enjoyable. We both agreed that it was great to have a conversation with someone about important issues, which is rare for both of us.

    Story #2
    Today, on my way back from work, I was chatting with the cab driver and somehow we got on the discussion of the difficulties he was having dating someone recently because of a drug problem she had. That led to him making some comments about how he thinks the Pharmaceutical industry is Teh Big Ebil, and even though they have some decent people working for them (yeah, he was thinking of it in monolithic terms), overall they have some desire to get people addicted.

    Having lived in the South for much of my life and being around so many people with some assbackwards attitudes, I have learned to think cautiously before I speak about certain subjects around people I don’t know well.

    My response to him was that, for me, I don’t work in that industry, nor do I know the thoughts of anyone with any power in the Big Pharma, so I can’t speak to their motivations. I told him that while I can see his POV, that without more information, I found that I coulnd’t come to any firm conclusion on Big Pharma being good or bad, and that until I did, I would withold judgment. I made a slight concession in that I understood that greed is common in humans and that it is entirely possible that the PTB in Big Pharma are money grubbers who care for nothing but the bottom line.

    You could see the look of near enlightenment on his face. It was awesome. He actually thought about what I said and even mentioned that it was a reasonable position to take.

    That was my bright spot of the day.

    He later went on to mention that he was exploring dating sites and wasn’t getting any hits, possibly because he listed his religious status as agnostic.
    Yeah, so that opened up a nifty conversation about atheism (I told him) and dating and being in the South. I was able to discuss a lot of issues with him, with a conscious effort to point out issues I had with religion and my position as an anti-theist, and *why* I found religion such a problem. I tried to subtly point out that I arrived at my position based on evidence, and why that was important.

    This made today pretty cool.

    Baby steps.

  215. rq says

    Good mornings!


    We really need to meet in meatspace sometime. :-)

    Yes. :)
    Also, green algae. Nice find.


    If you did post that before, I didn’t read it.
    Now to develop a camouflage cape based on this cephalopod technology…

    Your last link is the sad truth, I think. Something about inflation, no doubt – and why most of us will not be billionaires (except maybe in Zimbabwe). Just ordinary living eats up more of the regular income than it (rightfully) should.
    Oh, and Latvia is getting the euro in January 2014. Everyone’s already promising that prices will not go up, and if they do, it will be only on some products and not excessively. You know what that means: pre-emptive But you can’t predict the market! justification for an even greater increase in poverty in the country. (Because any kind of change in currency or pricing is an excuse to raise prices beyond all rationality, and then to bring them down slightly afterwards to appease people; buckwheat, despite being as popular and easily accessible as always, still has not recovered prices from the Buckwheat Crisis of 3 years ago or so… Funny story, that. Ha.)

    I sure hope you’re typing out that awesome story, and not playing with your kitty-cat.

  216. says



    “According to a special report from the Baton Rouge Advocate, the Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office is conducting stings to find men willing to have consensual gay sex and arresting them for crimes against nature. No money is discussed in these exchanges; the men are being targeted and humiliated under the state’s sodomy law, which has been unconstitutional since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling.”

  217. rq says

    And your link pisses me off, too. Like – kaljndflkaerjhfalkejnkdcjfnd – what???

  218. bluentx says

    …why most of us will not be billionaires

    Billionaire? I’d settle for not having to work (away from home) until I drop dead on the job. The U.S. healthcare system being what it is, I (like everyone I know personally) has to factor in the massive increase in medical insurance costs if you retire and your employer is no longer contributing to the cost. (And that’s if you’re lucky to have an employer who contributes at all!)
    My old school, Republican-voting, parents never understood why married couples had to both work. I wonder if they would still be as clueless today?

  219. rq says

    Probably. My dad still doesn’t understand why I need to keep up my job. He believes it unnecessary and that I do it as a hobby.

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

    I would be completely fine with being only a millionaire.

  221. opposablethumbs says

    You meet interesting people and have these great conversations with them, and all because you make it so, Tony. Being an interesting person yourself and a great communicator and being interested in others and taking them/conversation with them seriously, meaning what you say when you talk to them, makes all these interesting and rewarding interactions happen and makes all these other people’s lives just that little bit better/more interesting/better informed. Ditto for us, when you recount your interactions the way you do. I’m not getting that to come out quite as I’d like, so let me just say Queer Shoop Stories FTW.

  222. says

    Hey there nigelTheBold.

    Almost forgot…
    I just got back from the bar, and in the midst of folding the clothes I’d dumped on my bed (rather than my typical approach of ‘toss them back in the basket’), for some reason, my thoughts turned to the religious sentiment ‘love thy neighbor’. It really caught me that I had no effing clue what that actually meant.

    Initially I tried to frame it around myself, i.e. if I love my neighbor, what does that mean? Making no headway, I reframed it in contrast to the examples of people in my life that I do love–such as my family. From that perspective, I really failed to see how I could _love_ my neighbor. I do not know them. We have had no interaction, so there is no relationship there. So as a commandment (I was trying to get into a religious mindframe here), I found that ‘love thy neighbor’ likely does not entail actual love. After all, how can I or why should I be expected to love people I do not even know?

    So what does it mean?

    Then I thought of the rest the commandment “…as thyself”, but was still stumped. By and large, I love myself, but sometimes that feeling is mixed in with anger or disappointment. Am I to feel the same way toward my neighbors? Nah. The commandment seems to me to be an unambiguously positive one.

    Then I thought that “love” might have simply been the wrong word. I wound up deciding that “love thy neighbor” means something like “treat the people around you with respect and dignity, and acknowlege their basic human rights, as you would wish were done to you”…or The Golden Rule.
    (I probably just spent more time thinking about that than many people ever will)

  223. rq says

    I think that’s how it’s most often interpreted – at least, as I’ve heard it interpreted for ordinary people. Since the Authorities (that is, the priest at my church way back) admitted that it’s impossible to love everyone, but basically it means treat them as you would treat yourself/would like to be treated.
    And what do you mean, ‘tonight’? It’s not even lunch time yet!

  224. says

    So we have the Ogvorbis calendar (Wednesdays are Fridays in his world, IIRC)
    Now we have the rq clock. Where ‘tonight’ means ‘almost lunch’…
    Sakes alive, what we gonna do with you two…?
    (Just realized I have neither heard nor used the phrase ‘Sakes alive’ in…uh…it was still the last decade of the 20th Century…scratch that. I *think*it is part of a commercial for Mazdas that I heard earlier)

    Land(s) sakes (alive)! and Sakes alive! Rur. My goodness! (A mild oath.) Lands sakes! I sure am glad to get home! Sakes alive! Can’t you even set the table without making a fuss?


  225. bluentx says

    rq :
    I had seen a short article about that Fox ‘interview’ but hadn’t seen the video. Thanks!
    She really doesn’t understand what the word academic means does she? Does she honestly think that Democrats should not write about Republicans? Then… uh… why do YOU (Lauren Green) talk about things you don’t agree with? GET OFF THE AIR!
    Wow! So full of fail but entertaining to watch her be schooled–though I doubt she was paying attention to him or will think about what he said for even a minute.

  226. opposablethumbs says

    What does “sakes alive” actually mean? Is it a euphemism for saints alive, maybe, or a corruption of some other word …?

    Sounds very Tom Sawyer’s aunt to me. Is that about right for geography/period/social class?

  227. bluentx says

    rq :
    I had seen a short article about that Fox ‘interview’ but hadn’t seen the video. Thanks!
    She really doesn’t understand what the word academic means does she? Does she honestly think that Democrats should not write about Republicans? Then… uh… why do YOU (Lauren Green) talk about things you don’t agree with? GET OFF THE AIR!
    Wow! So full of fail but entertaining to watch her be schooled–though I doubt she was paying attention to him or will think about what he said for even a minute.

    Thelma and Louise! Tee-Hee!

    And thank you for the wind down music. It is almost time for bed.

  228. carlie says

    rq – there was a hashtag on twitter: #foxnewslitcrit , that was pretty funny. Samples: “Ms Goodall, as a human, how are you qualified to write about chimpanzees?” “Mr. Adams, you are not, in fact, a rabbit, are you?” “As a human, Mr. Tolkien, why would you want to write about hobbits? It just doesn’t make sense!” etc.

  229. birgerjohansson says

    Climate science: Vast costs of Arctic change: 60 trillion just for the damage of the methane emissions of Eastern Siberia http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v499/n7459/full/499401a.html
    Pilot projects bury carbon dioxide in basalt http://www.nature.com/news/pilot-projects-bury-carbon-dioxide-in-basalt-1.13459

    Quantum boost for artificial intelligence http://www.nature.com/news/quantum-boost-for-artificial-intelligence-1.13453
    (excerpt)” …Such quantum AI techniques could dramatically speed up tasks such as image recognition for comparing photos on the web or for enabling cars to drive themselves”

    I recall someone in New Scientist suggesting that if everyone had access to CCTV
    and ultrafast face recognition software, we would get a return to the dynamics of small villages, where everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Bad for small thieves but I bet politicians and Haliburton CEOs would get an exemption.

  230. says

    What is it with grammar and the word “that”?

    I got edits back on a report I’m sending out soon, and the editor basically took out every instance of the word “that” in the document. For example:

    “We assess that potato salad is amazing.” to “We assess potato salad is amazing.”

    I know it’s a filler word, but it’s a useful filler word sometimes, consarnit!

  231. blf says

    “We assess that potato salad is amazing.” to “We assess potato salad is amazing.”

    Whilst I do not know the context, my first call is both the editor and the author need writing lessons. A simple “Potato salad is amazing” gets the point across clearly and with a minimum of fuss.

  232. blf says

    So we have the Ogvorbis calendar (Wednesdays are Fridays in his world…).

    So are Fridays. And Monday has been abolished. Also, if there is a holiday anytime in the preceding or subsequent six months, the entire week is a holiday.

    The beer volcanoes and stripper factories work just fine on “automatic”, so there is no shortage of circuses. Lions & xians are available for further entertainment.

  233. howard says

    On loving others as yourself, it’s interesting to note that Jesus was actually pretty damn subversive on this point.

    In the Luke version of the story, he says ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ and immediately a rules lawyer goes ‘but who’s my neighbor?’

    Jesus tells the story about a guy who gets mugged and is lying in the street, and the religious authorities come walking by, and cross to the other side of the street. Then a bad dude comes by–one of the guys who worships the wrong god. And he helps the mugged dude.

    Then Jesus asks, now, who was the mugged man’s neighbor?

    If you’re following the plot, the original question was, who am I supposed to love? The questioner assumes that by answering ‘the guy who worships the wrong god’ that means he only has to love that guy.

    Jesus responds ‘then go be like that guy.’

    From somebody as obsessed with hellfire as this Jesus dude was, this message is downright progressive. Go out and help the guys who’ve been mugged. Be a good neighbor to people who need it. Don’t help members of your own clan, or your own religion.

    Oddly, reading that Bible verse and trying to apply it was a part of my deconversion process. Because you can’t actually apply that kind of thought and stay in a small-minded and clannish religion like Christianity.

  234. carlie says

    I would have trouble with that first sentence because I see it as needing two “that”s, as in “We assess that that potato salad is amazing. The first one refers to what you are doing “we assess that”, and the second refers to which potato salad “THAT potato salad, not the other one”. And I hate having two of the same word in a row, so I’d probably rephrase it as “We assess that the potato salad is amazing”, if that fits. The phrasing of “We assess that potato salad is amazing” sounds completely incorrect to me.

  235. carlie says

    Or perhaps: “After lengthy deliberation, we have assessed that the quality of the potato salad in question, compared to all other potato salads we have had the fortune of consuming, is, in fact, amazing.”

  236. says

    Glenn Beck is a mormon. He provides us with today’s Moment of Mormon Madness. In this case, an unholy marriage of mormonism, conservative politics, and Nazi paraphernalia.

    … (Salt Lake Tribune link.

    …The adjoining room contained objects from Glenn Beck’s personal collection. This included a hooded KKK cape and a swastika banner which had been used at Nuremberg. Underneath was an illuminated vitrine containing a copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler, a stack of love letters by Hermann Göring, and a satin handkerchief browned with Hitler’s blood. Nearby was an early edition of Anne Frank’s Diary.

    …Known to be a fringe demagogue, Beck has often drawn parallels between Nazi history and contemporary American politics, acts which have brought him much criticism — and parody. The exhibition at the Grand America, however, represented a departure from Beck’s usual rhetoric…. [worship aspect]

    The proximity of the bloody handkerchief with Anne Frank’s diary was deeply offensive, and insensitive to Salt Lake City’s Jewish community. Among them are Holocaust survivors and their descendants, including myself, who found this profoundly distasteful….

    Excerpts from the comments below the article:

    Yet fascism is a left-leaning philosophy and Beck is a conservative. He may seem unhinged to you, but when you see many parallels to what the Nazi’s believed in and the democratic party – like socialized healthcare, gay rights, worshiping the state, getting rid of christianity, anti-semitism, believing some in society are not human (namely abortion or eugenics). One has to get people’s attention.

    Fucking bizarrro-world.

  237. says


    Blasphemy! All potato salad is amazing, except for that potato salad which inexplicably adds bacon!


    The actual sentence doesn’t involve potato salad, but requires the “assess” part of it to differentiate my own judgment against the assessment or statements of other parties. It’s shorthand for:

    “We assess (due to, but not necessarily influenced by, the reporting in this report) that potato salad is amazing.”

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

    Oh, there went the tree behind the building. It was interesting to hear it grumbling before it snapped.

  239. says

    Mormons are famous, (some would say “infamous”), for their contributions to the field of genealogy. Less well known is the fact that they do this poorly. You cannot trust their databases.

    Ex-mormons are discussing this discrepancy between reputation and reality. Excerpts below:

    I completely agree that Mormons have NO IDEA how to do genealogy properly. I’m constantly horrified by the mistakes I find, such as children being born before their parents reached reproductive age or after the mother’s death, marriage dates before the birth date or after the death date, etc.

    A lot of these problems come from assumptions and from not examining the records carefully (when they bother to consult original sources at all), They assume that the two oldest people in a household on a census record, for example, are the bio parents of all the younger people in that household — even when the record states otherwise.

    Many people enter also hearsay and family stories as fact without bothering to check records.

    Most of the time, they just assume all data entered by others is correct and based on evidence, so they download like monkeys on crack and continue to perpetuate errors.

    Everybody hated me when I debunked the family history that has been passed down in my family since forever. No, the X line with the GA is not descended from British royalty, however they were involved in the Yazoo land fraud. Don’t shoot the messenger. Oh yeah, and the Roman Catholic line of coal miners that owned the saloon? Actually, they’re the ones who worked in Castle Hohenzollern.

    This Mormon ancestor married his 16 year old stepdaughter, and that Mormon ancestor also had mother-daughter threesome marriages. This ancestor met the missionaries in hospital after he shot himself in the foot when he was in the Danish military. This ancestor had an affair with the babysitter who was a Mormon, so they ran off to Utah with two of the kids.

    After my grandmother passed, she was baptized as a man. When I went to the temple to correct the information they practically interrogated me…”Are you sure she’s female?” “Yes, she gave birth to my mother.”

  240. says

    Fox News embarrasses itself … again.


    Reza Aslan, a religious scholar with a Ph.D. in the sociology of religions from the University of California and author of the new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, went on FoxNews.com’s online show Spirited Debate to promote his book only to be prodded about why a Muslim would write a historical book about Jesus.

  241. blf says

    All potato salad is amazing, except for that potato salad which inexplicably adds bacon!

    Blasphemy! Potato salad with peas is horrid. Well, Ok, it is amazing, but not at all in the sense being assumed here…

    Double Blasphemy! Bacon improves everything. So much so you can and often should discard all the other bits and just keep the bacon.
    (The mildly deranged penguin points that discarding the cheese and MUSHROOMS! would be Infinite Blasphemy!)

  242. blf says

    [T]here went the tree behind the building. It was interesting to hear it grumbling before it snapped.

    Insane vegetation can be dangerous. For instance, consider peas…

  243. blf says

    Who would add peas to potato salad?

    Peas. Horses. Vegetarians.

    I can’t eat bacon for being vegetarian.

    Oh. Ah. Er, right, let’s just <strike> that “Vegetarians” up there then now, shall we? Dihydrogen monoxide under the bridge. And anyways it’s all the mildly deranged penguin’s fault! I knows it, I knows it! I seen her watching me type that. See, see, she did it!

  244. blf says

    New potatoes, pancetta or bacon, spring onions, peas, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.

    It just occurred to me that, thanks to a visit to the local organics shop earlier today, I have all of the important ingredients (or perfectly sensible substitutes): Baby red potatoes, spicy sausage, shallots, MUSHROOMS!, several different mustards, several different olive oils, and several different vinegars. Also some garlic (but it’s a bit old…). And perhaps a few tomatoes?

    Hum… I’ve already started tonight’s dinner (Thai-ish style chicken and MUSHROOMS! soup / stew), but — Tomorrow?

  245. rq says

    A shame I’m not having potato salad tonight; Husband’s brother brought us new fresh baby potatoes from the country estate*. Numnumnums.
    Also, chatting with the security people is interesting. Not Tony-interesting (no progressive conversation), but interesting nonetheless.

    * The word ‘estate’ in this sentence meaning ‘farm’ or ‘homestead’. But ‘estate’ sounds posh.

  246. rq says

    What’s with the train accidents lately?? It’s making me nervous, since Younger-Middle Brother is currently transversing Europe (currently in Portugal) via all kinds of transportation but mainly trains. I know train accidents aren’t usually all that common, but still.

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


    What’s with the train accidents lately??

    Trains didn’t use to go that fast (over here, they still don’t). It’s bound to make some idiot test the limits.

  248. rq says

    I know they’ve happened since whenever rail became the way to travel, but it was Spain, now Switzerland (although without fatalities, as far as I know so far)… In between, that bus accident in Italy. Transportation is dangerous! Let’s all stay home!

  249. blf says

    What’s with the train accidents lately?

    Yer brother.  </snark>

    Beatrice is correct-ish with “speed”. My understanding is the immediate cause of the Spanish accident was excessive speed for that section of track, albeit why the driver was going so fast is not-known. One intriguing point is that accident happened shortly after the train passed from an automated European train control system to the local manual Spanish system. In the automated system, a overspeed train is braked without driver intervention; in the manual system, a warning bell sounds in the driver’s cabin and the driver is then supposed to brake. I understand that the warning bell can be heard in some recordings (from the Black Box?). The puzzler is why the automatic system apparently didn’t brake the train.

    In the French case, the immediate cause was a broken(? loose?) metal part of the track. However, here the intriguing point is that French local services are supposedly starved of money due, mostly, allegedly, to the TGV’s costs (construction and maintenance, if not also operation?). There certainly is an obvious difference in quality (especially age) between the local service where I am, and the TGV, and for that matter, the Intercities. On the other hand, the local track, whilst not TGV-grade, does host TGVs (and Intercities), and seems well-maintained.

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


    Everything is dangerous. You can trip over the carpet and hit your head on the edge of a table while falling, hard enough to cause serious damage.

    You just have to go and do your thing, and try not to cause any harm, since that’s the only thing you can influence to some point.

  251. says

    <rant topic=”us medical system”> Why, why, why can’t we just have single payer? Medical bills from procedure in May: Hospital (sans actual doctors portion) bills insurance company three separate collections of items (one a complete, as far as I can tell, duplicate of another). Insurance rejects duplicate, pays it’s portion of the other two. After “discount” (because I have insurance, bah! a broken concept in and of itself), insurance company pays 90% and says I owe 10%. Hospital bill to me only covers one (of the duplicates, who knows what they’ve done with the other collection) and claims insurance only paid $200, leaving me on the hook for $2600. WTF As much as there are horror stories about insurance companies trying to screw over insurees, mine certainly has a better historical record of getting it right, whereas I’ve had more problems with health providers … aaaack!

    And as I typed that last sentence I get a call from the hospital billing that they seems to have worked it out with the insurance company (sort of, maybe, kind-of) … All three collections are the same thing, with ‘corrections’ (but not marked as such anywhere) and the numbers are broken down differently by hospital vs. insurance company. I’m tentatively on the hook for $250 rather than $2600. Well, that’s a relief.

    I hate to travel for work. Besides the actual hassle of traveling there’s the whole reimbursement procedure. I do my paperwork, someone mucks it up some (to conform to some sort of “rules” about partial days they pay for meals, other (dis)allowed items, etc). Then I sign form and it goes in. And then I pay the bills that are on cards I have to pay. And a month and half later I get a check of a different amount from what I signed because yet another person has re-interpreted those “rules” differently (usually against my favor). So I’ve floated the organization a loan, paid some fees on it (interest or … because I screwed up and forgot to transfer some $ around, overdraft fees this time) and still don’t get what I thought I was supposed to get…. [grump]

    And yet, I recognize that I’m privileged enough that I don’t have to (seriously) worry about paying this month’s rent, or getting medical/dental procedures done… [sigh] So don’t bother wasting any supply limited hugs or sympathy on me, I’m just venting.

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


    THere’s always enough hugs in supply.


  253. yazikus says

    I had the following conversation yesterday:
    Me: “Wow, my toe is healing really fast from that horrific stubbing!”
    Partner: (looks at my toe)”Wow, you are right, that is amazing! You must have really great circulation in your feet!”
    (Partner looks thoughtful for a moment)
    “Aha! That is why your feet are so sweaty!”
    Me: “Thanks, honey”

    On the bright side, it really did heal fast and I’m no longer in intense pain whenever I move it.

  254. says


    This weekend, deputies from Escambia County, Florida shot an unarmed man who went to grab cigarettes from the car parked in the driveway of his mother’s home. A neighbor called police at 2 a.m. because he suspected 60-year-old Roy Middleton was stealing the car. Things quickly escalated when two deputies arrived and ordered Middleton to “get your hands where I can see them,” the Pensacola News Journal reports:

  255. Menyambal --- the penuchle of evolution says

    Technostalgia score! The metal slide rule that I picked up at a garage sale was in its original carton and holster, with guarantee card, even. The rule is in perfect condition, it only needed some cleaning. The carton is beat up, but all there.

    I bought it for a dollar, on a day when I had a dollar to spare. I got looking at it today, on a day when dollars are very sparse, and found that the carton also contained a plastic slide rule, also in excellent condition. Yay!

  256. carlie says

    Tony, I can’t even imagine. I want to give you all the hugs. And a suit of armor. :(

  257. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    Tony: Great stories!


    Me, too.
    Thanks for the warning! Thanks to you, I did not go to rq‘s link.

    *hi/pouncehugging* nigelTheBold.

    All potato salad is amazing, except for that potato salad which inexplicably adds bacon!

    I cannot agree with this statement.
    Celery has no place in potato salad, and neither do carrots, or raw onions, or little chunks of cheese, or raisins (though I’ve only run into that once).

    Why, why, why can’t we just have single payer?

    Because the USAian medical/insurance system is run for Profit (just as Gawd intended), on behalf of shareholders and such, rather than with any particular intention of coddlingbenefiting the patients.</moderate snarkinesstongue-in-cheekiness>
    Next question?

    yazikus: Hurray! for lack-of-intense-pain!

    And *hugs* for Tony. Fuck Florida and its apparent “Shoot now, and don’t bother asking questions later” policy. And be careful. You are not Superfluous To Requirements.

  258. vaiyt says

    Celery has no place in potato salad, and neither do carrots, or raw onions, or little chunks of cheese, or raisins (though I’ve only run into that once).

    The only thing I can’t tolerate in potato salad at all is apple. Maybe it’s because, besides the texture, the apple chunks are indistinguishable from the potato in the salads people make around here, and it pisses me off. Celery, carrots and onions are welcome (but that may be because I like those, so whatevs).

  259. says

    Beatrice, Dalillama, thanks. Just a bit frustrated … And then tonight I probably fed Spawn and myself undercooked chicken. Soda can whole chicken on the grill; thermometer said it was done, but upon cutting it up, it was very tough and looking back on it, yeah, I can see that it probably wasn’t cooked sufficiently. Spouse praised portion I set aside for her as very good … but that got the microwave treatment as she ate later.

    Tony read about that shooting earlier today. Word fail how messed up that is.

  260. chigau (meh) says

    Take care of yourself.

    Nice find.
    Do you still remember how to use a slide-rule?

  261. Menyambal --- the penuchle of evolution says

    Tony, please sleep well.

    Chigau, no, I really don’t remember much about slide-ruling. They were fading out when I was learning math, so I only had a few classes. But I do know they are very handy for certain things, such as constant ratios—I used to calculate bicycle gear ratios on one before computer spreadsheets were possible. (I used to use a circular slide rule while taking flying lessons.) I suppose I can re-learn basic math, and maybe get a grip on logarithms again. I’ll see what I can learn, and I’ll find a few uses.

    There’s a thunderstorm rolling in. The dogs are starting to whine.

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

    Tony, *hugs*.

    Since when does potato salad consist of anything but potatoes, a drop or two of vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and onions (plus, depending on the kind of potatoes you’re using, a bit of warm water to help with the dryness)?

  263. rq says

    Yup, you get all the *hugs* for the next hour or two… And stay safe!

    That is an awesome find. Now to play with the slide rules!

    Glad the toe is better – must have been a hard stub! Sounds like something closer to a sprain or a break. (Circulation… bah!)

    *hugs* because there are always some left, even when someone has all of them. :)

    Be careful that doesn’t become ‘You can shoot any woman who doesn’t sleep with you because you thought she maybe could have been was an escort’. :( *hugs* for you too!


    Yesterday, what with the new drying rack and all, I put out all the laundry on the balcony because it was hot and sunny, and left it over night just to be sure. Yup, that rain and storms they promised sure rolled in overnight. :( [/iliketowhine]

  264. rq says

    Potato salad has to have eggs and pickles in it. Perhaps some onion/green onion. Bacon is optional, but dill is obligatory. What is this vinegar you speak of? I know not this substance. Potato salad dressing is: Mayonnaise + sour cream + mustard!

  265. rq says

    Pope Francis won’t judge you for it, but being gay is still a sin. Progress of a kind, I suppose… just not the right kind. I’m waiting for one of the Pope’s to disband the catholic church, actually – by direct orders from above.

    Men are hardwired to cheat? New research says otherwise. Heh. Can’t find a link to the actual paper and don’t have time to search at the moment. But interesting.

    The daughters inherit, after all.
    (As an aside about grammar, this sentence:

    Brar’s wife, mother and oldest daughter — the presumed heir — were cut off without a penny.

    had me confused for a little while…)

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


    Pope Francis won’t judge you for it, but being gay is still a sin.

    I’m reading this as “I won’t judge you, child, but God will [muahaha!]

  267. says

    Thanks for the well wishes all.
    In the ten years E & I have lived here, I have been the victim of a crime once. Though to be honest, I do not count it as such.
    Earlier this year-springish-I had a random day off and hung inside the house all day. At some point I decided to go buy some dinner (I think it was @8). I open my car (parked in the driveway all day…a driveway that is 5 feet from the front door) to find a mess. My glove compartment had been rifled through, all storage was emptied and it was a mess. Curiously they didnt take anything of great value (my cd’s were probably the most expensive items in there), but I noticed they took one thing I liked: my backpack. I kept work supplies in there as well as my laptop when I would to the bar. I also kept small hygenie products for the days I was running late and needed to do stuff at work (shaving cream, razors, cologne, toothbrush, toothpaste, body lotion…stuff like that). All of the items in my backpack were (save one thing) emptied onto the passenger seat and they took the backpack. Thats was the third big annoyance. Stealing my backpack, though a gift from a friend, was still something I enjoyed having. They also took my cologne which was in one of the many hidden pockets of my backpack (this was the second annoyance)

    They also emptied the contents of my Crown Royal bag, which was from Crown Royal Maple (smells like syrup) and was brown unlike the other Crown liquors (standard comes in a purple bag, Crown Black comes in a black bag, and Crown Reserve comes in a red bag, made of some suade like material, rather than cloth like the others). Many male bartenders keep their bar supplies in a crown bag. I kept a pen, notepad, nametag, corkscrew, and bottle opener. All that was dumped so they could take the brown Crown bag.
    The first annoyance?

    The idiots dumped all my toothpicks onto the drivers seat! Years ago, I started keeping a small box of wooden toothpicks where the ashtray normally goes (was tired of eating popcorn at the movies, and having to fiddle with a straw, or pick at the kernels caught in my mouth, which often does not work. With toothpicks in the car, I did not have to wait til I got home to pick out kernels) they actually opened up the barely used pack looking for…what? There was no room for drugs or money. It felt like a middle finger (“hey we stole from you, enjoy cleaning up”). Those damn toothpicks wound up all over the place.

    After I finally cleaned up, I took a cursory look under the hood and in the truck. From the look of things, they didnt do any damage.

    I didnt file a police report since nothing of great monetary value was stolen (ih, and my car was unlocked, so they did not break anything getting in).

    That minor theft was all I experienced.

    The funny thing is, barely 2 miles from our subdivision is one of the more active crime areas in Pensacola (according to a police friend). For all that that area has those problems, the criminal activity is almost always confined to that area.
    I do recall one night, before M died, he came home after work (@11 pm) looking like death warmed over. On the second to last turn before pulling up to our house, a bullet hit his drivers side rear window, shattering it. He was ok, but very shaken. He did file a police report and it turned out rhat some kids were playing with guns that night bc some of their neighbors complained.

    So two incidents in ten years, one of which is quite minor. I do not really have any other choice, but I can live with that.

  268. opposablethumbs says

    Celery has no place in anything.


    Greetings from Blighty. It’s back to normal here today – raining ….. :-(
    Pope Francis is getting a lot of mileage for being superficially somewhat less obnoxious than some of his more obnoxious predecessors. Oh wow. Women in the church still can’t be considered for, you know, actual positions of actual power of course – but we’ll say nice-sounding things like “oh of course Jesus’ mother was more important than bishops” (so, she was a smurfette? yay). And we’ll be all sorrowful and nice about gay people, they aren’t evil they’re just sick. As long as they don’t ever, ever have sex, enjoy love, have actual relationships – much less get married, of course!
    Meet the new pope, same as the old pope. Feh.

  269. rq says

    Hey, he’s trying to revitalize the church, seeing as how it’s so great and all, and it’s these previous downer popes that have made people lose their faith n all. C’mon, he’s saying all the nice things!!! And he smiles so nice. [/snark]

    I’m glad you’ve had so few incidents. You’re lucky! I hope your luck continues, but I’m sorry you lost all kinds of cool and interesting and rare stuff. :(
    And yeah, the toothpicks are probably just a last act of vindictive vandalism.

  270. rq says

    Actually, I don’t see him as having much of an evil laugh… More like a subtle giggle behind the hand. *tee hee*

  271. bluentx says

    Things I heard about on the way home:



    The nurse was frantic. She’d just seen two elderly people having sex in a room at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, New York. She asked Daniel A. Reingold, then the home’s executive vice president, what she should do.

    Said Reingold, now president and chief executive officer of the home: “We honor what remains in a person, not what’s gone.”

    Good answer!




    In April, after spending a year dismissing the massive advertiser losses as a couple of french fries that weren’t hurting anyone at all, Limbaugh acknowledged that he was having a problem. But instead of accepting any responsibility, he lashed out and blamed his woes on a conspiracy perpetuated “liberal feminists” in the media buying industry.

    Go liberal feminists! (Even if these liberal fems are only in Limburgers’ imagination.)

    In the days following the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, Limbaugh vividly illustrated his volatility when he gleefully announced that he can now say “‘nigga’ with an A'” because “it’s not racist.”

    Way to stay classy Rush!

  272. bluentx says

    And speaking of “not being intellectually — having any intellectual integrity”. More on ‘THE Most Embarassing Interview Ever’ :

    …when I’ve interviewed Muslims, I mean, it’s like, I know where I stand, and I still have to interview him in a way that respects his faith…

    ‘Respects his faith’…riiiiight… Now, what about respecting his academic scholarship? His intellectual integrity?

  273. rq says

    Wow, you heard a lot on the way home.
    Some good news in the mix there. Go liberal feminists, indeed, esp. with results like those!
    I think it was the movie In Her Shoes that made me realize that old people are still people. This article merely confirms that, and it’s refreshing to see support for them (and hopefully in more locations). Especially since they seem to be doing a lot to make sure relationships are consensual, that they make both partners happy, and that they put partner happiness above familial desires. I just wonder what their policy is on same-sex couples?

  274. rq says

    How was her interview a way of respecting his faith? What about respecting his credentials and the fact that he knows a lot about historical Jesus? What about respecting the fact that she couldn’t even discuss his book properly? How does that respect his faith?
    I think it’s actually pretty disrespectful, if she pushes aside all his intellectual work and shoves the whole religion thing in his face. Massively disrespectful to his faith – as in, You hold this faith so you cannot possibly be smart enough to know about [subject]. Well, now we all know where she stands with respect to Muslims and their faith.

  275. bluentx says

    I watched the video (@ Media Matters) after reading the partial transcript and after posting here.
    Hearing what she said (in February) as opposed to what she said (and did) in July….Wow!

    Went back to clarify something and found yet another ditty…


    Unfortunately, what do ya wanna bet this ‘controversy’ doesn’t improve her journalism but only increases her ratings?

  276. bluentx says

    Wow, you heard a lot on the way home.

    That comes from having a long commute and listening to a combination of AP Radio News and BBC World Service… :)

  277. says

    It’s the RQ & Blue Show, weekday mornings from 5-9 only on the net’s #1 spot for news, weather, and social justice commentary (with a healthy dose of personal anecdotes and all the Snark you could ever want), W-PZM.

    (Just woke up and you two were the only ones active for the last few hours here. Reminded me of a radio show.)

  278. rq says

    Yes… It’s called the ‘How long is your commute?’ show, in honour of lots-of-links everywhere. ;)
    Good morning to you.

  279. says


    I just got in.
    Guess what type of AM radio station the driver is listening to?
    Hint Words: glory, praise, worship, halleluah, greatness, love, spirit…

    Oh my FSM does anyone have industrial strength ear plugs?

    (First-worst cab “ride” goes to the accumulated cabbies I rode with in Chicago years ago. Recklesd driving, excessive speeding, creation of their own lanes where none existed, stopping so close to vehicles in front of us that you can read the warnings on rear view mirrors)

  280. chigau (meh) says

    I like to sing along with religious music on the radio.
    Not necessarily the same song.

  281. rq says

    My sincere condolences.
    I suppose they don’t take requests, do they?
    I like chigau’s suggestion. As long as you do it loudly and off-key.

  282. chigau (meh) says

    What is this “key” of which you type?
    Loudly is good.
    and I really know only two religious songs:
    Jesus Loves Me and (parts of) Amazing Grace.

  283. rq says

    No, it’s just the wrong taste in music. (I do appreciate a good religious music myself, but only if it comes to me indirectly via the hand of Bach or Handel or similar long-dead names.)

    The one that’s usually supposed to be ‘on’, but is generally ‘off’. That key. It’s often ‘off’ in those people who love to sing loudly and with gusto and the wrong lyrics.

  284. rq says

    Hrmph. Apparently my laments concerning the end of thyme last week were all unfounded. I found the spare package today (of course, after I had any actual need for it… so I added some anyway).

  285. says

    More trouble in the charter school realm:

    Last year in Indiana, a charter school called Christel House had a small problem. Students’ poor algebra test scores had dragged down the school’s overall letter grade in the state system to a “C,” which in turn put state funding in jeopardy.

    At the same time, Republican politicians saw a related problem. Christel House is owned and operated by Christel DeHaan, a major Republican donor with great influence in Indiana’s GOP circles.

    And that’s when things got interesting. The Associated Press reported yesterday that Tony Bennett — Indiana’s former schools chief who has since become Florida’s education commissioner — “frantically overhauled” its school grading system last fall in order to ensure the Republican donor’s charter school got an “A,” even though it earned a “C.”…

    That’s right. Politics are stirred into the charter school systems in most states, and the result is that students receive below par education, but everyone checks the “hey, it’s A-okay” box anyway.

    Quote above is from Steve Benen’s article on The Maddow Blog.

    More details here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/tony-bennett-indiana_n_3672196.html

    Bennett is a co-founder of Bush’s Chiefs for Change, a group consisting mostly of Republican state school superintendents pushing school vouchers, teacher merit pay and many other policies enacted by Bennett in Indiana.

  286. yazikus says

    Good Morning! Thanks Rq & Carlie. The toe continues to heal nicely.

    NPR makes me so mad sometimes. This morning they were talking about abortion in america, and whether public sentiment is sliding towards making it illegal. They cited Texas as proof that this was so. I think Texas was an example of the opposite. 80% of Texans did not support that bill. Nor did NPR interview any pro-choice activists. Bah.

  287. yazikus says

    The one time I had my car rifled through (also left unlocked), I did report it. I was young (18 or so) and the officer took me aside and sternly told me “Young lady, you know it is a crime to make a false report, don’t you?”. I was scared, intimidated, and dropped the report.

  288. says

    Republicans are rolling out a “Refuse to Enroll” campaign meant to destroy the Affordable Health Care Act. Parts of the campaign are funded by the Koch brothers.

    Twila Brase, for example, is putting the “Refuse to Enroll” campaign on her radio show, which is “broadcast on more than 350 stations nationwide, including the American Family Radio Network with stations throughout Ohio.” And she’ll have lots of company, including support from her Koch brothers allies.

    The conservative group Americans for Prosperity, which has a chapter in Ohio, has launched another campaign attacking Obamacare with television and online ads that began airing in Ohio last week.

    Joan McCarter summarized this nicely: conservatives “have to convince people that either paying through the nose for insurance or going without, all to make a political point, makes sense. Because ‘Freedom’ means never being able to go to the doctor. Seriously. They are spending millions of dollars to try to con people out of getting affordable health insurance.”


  289. blf says

    Celery has no place in anything.


    Or, replacement thug brains (several thousand percent increase in intelligence, and perhaps an occasional atom of empathy). Problem here is what to do with the toxic “brains” that are being replaced.

  290. says

    Tony, that car break in sounds annoyingly familiar. A couple of years ago someone tossed my wife’s car in a similar fashion; albeit it started out pretty messy so the rummaging wasn’t immediately apparent. They stole all the change from the ashtray, but we never identified anything else in particular as missing. The cops came and took a report (of sorts); I remember him admonishing us for leaving the car unlocked at which time I pointed to the neighbor’s car two houses over which had it’s side window broken so the thief could enter the car…

    yazikus? WTF was the policeman thinking?

  291. says

    blf @ 401, Thanks for the link. I needed to add to my store of knowledge about the human race.

    From the comments:

    What kind of toaster?

    The irresistible kind.

  292. yazikus says

    yazikus? WTF was the policeman thinking?

    Maybe he was lazy? Didn’t want to file a report? Maybe he got off on scaring teenage girls? It sucked.

    re: Potato Salad
    I’m making some tonight. I’m in the “if you are going to add eggs, you might as well add bacon” camp myself, and I’ll include dill, walla walla sweet onions, whole grain mustard, not-expired mayonaise (I’m still alive by the way!), pickle juice/kalamata olive juice….. and… garlic. Yum.

    Tuesday night is my CSA pickup, so I always have to cook all of last weeks veggies that I haven’t used yet. I might also make a pesto pasta salad with sweet corn & balsamic… Suggestions welcome.

  293. carlie says

    Finally saw the Aardman Pirates! movie today (free movie day at the theater!) That was the one with Hugh Grant and Martin Freeman as pirates, and David Tennant as Charles Darwin. It was cute enough already, but then one of the background songs was this and I just about lost it.

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

    These aren’t tears of sadness because you’re leaving me I’ve just been cutting onions, I’m making a lasagna… for one

  295. rq says

    That was such an adorable movie, and an awesome soundtrack. Glad you finally had a chance to see it!

  296. blf says

    And I pronounce the potato salad a success: Baby red potatoes, shallots, MUSHROOMS!, duck sausage, fromage blanc de chèvre, a metric feckton of real Dijon mustard (hey, this is France), olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, a metric feckton of the missing thyme, paprika, and some red wine. Most ingredients organic.

  297. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Okay, I haz a question.

    Tomorrow, there is the weekly “no bosses allowed” staff meeting. It is an excuse for us peons to trade notes without the PIs being present.

    I am on “snack duty.”

    Should I:
    (1) order pizza?
    (2) go to the store and buy a few packages of cookies/chips?
    (3) make cupcakes?


  298. yazikus says

    Should I:
    (1) order pizza?
    (2) go to the store and buy a few packages of cookies/chips?
    (3) make cupcakes?

    I know that in my office pastries always go over well. Also, assorted sandwiches. Depending on your budget… are you thinking full meal or just light snack?

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


    Are you in the mood to make cupcakes? Do you care for your colleagues enough to make cupcakes for them? If either answer is no, choose 1 or 2.
    What is the pattern for snack duty? Maybe change it a bit for variety, so if people usually buy snacks, you order pizza or the reverse.

    No idea, I’m just babbling.

  300. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    The meeting is at 3:30 pm. Previous meetings have featured all of the things I mentioned before. There is also a little coterie at work who are creatively baking all the time.

    Some people get very … creative … when they bake! Two weeks ago featured monkey bread cupcakes with marshmallow frosting.

  301. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Unrelated: I had a post go up at the Hivemind the other day.

    I’ve chatted with various women in science at various points, and most of them report that they’ve been subjected to this as well.

    I have a hypothesis as to why this occurs (and I discuss it), but I’d be interested in what others think.

    Re: foods:
    I think I shall make my cinnamon-swirl sweet nut bread. It is:
    (1) easy
    (2) yummy.

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

    monkey bread cupcakes

    *google search*
    I need to make this.

  303. blf says

    Three suggestions:

     ✗  No peas.
     ✗  No horses.
     ✓  Therefore, cheese!

    (This simple answer brought to you by the mildly deranged penguin singing I Shot the Sheriff to the tune of Time Wrap whilst trying to catch a particularly annoying moth with a tea strainer and some old bicycle brake cable.)

  304. bluentx says

    It’s the RQ & Blue Show….W-PZM.

    We’ve hit the big time, rq ! Our own show!
    But I went and left my co-host hanging by going off to bed without signing off. (Bad Blue, Bad Blue)

    How long is my commute? My house to where I leave my personal vehicle and pick up the city truck = 33 miles. From City Hall to the plant (out in the boonies) = 20 miles. So round trip each work day (night) = 106 miles to/from the actual job site. Lots o’ radio time!

  305. says

    Bugnuts right-wingers gather in Northern Idaho: http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_322c8855-9ea1-5ae1-a06e-1e69f3104eab.html

    Washington state representative Matt Shea is also a member of Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a nationwide network of attorneys dedicated to preserving religious freedom.

    … Dale Pearce, a former Idaho legislator, spoke on behalf of the John Birch Society. … Pearce quoted Ayn Rand at the beginning of his talk:
    “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion; when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you; when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice; you may know that your society is doomed,” he read.

    This counts as a Moment of Mormon Madness since Dale Pearce is a BYU graduate and a stalwart, true-believing LDS conservative.

  306. bluentx says

    Thanks for all the great links. Will have to read them more carefully once I get to work. Barring any fires to put out watery mishaps to attend to on arrival I should have more time to catch up.

    As for that ‘Refuse To Enroll’ campaign…bizarre!
    The sad part is many who don’t actually get a paycheck from the astro-turf puppetmasters will buy into this nonsense and go right along with the ‘Healthcare Is Bad’ program– hurting themselves, their families, friends….

  307. carlie says

    One thing we commonly make for get-togethers that goes over well, assuming they’re just expecting snacks and not real food: tortilla roll-ups. The filling is a mixture of cream cheese, sour cream, chopped olives, chopped green peppers, salsa, and hot sauce, all mashed/mixed together. (proportions in whatever way it tastes good to you, spreadable but not too thin). Prep is almost nil if you buy the green peppers and olives as pre-chopped in the tiny cans. Smear all over a tortilla, wrap it up, repeat until you run out of tortillas or filling, chill overnight. The next morning, slice them all into 1-inch thick pieces, and have fun eating all the weird ends yourself to save only the good-looking ones for the serving plate.

    If you make it hot enough, people won’t eat a lot of them and they stretch further. ;)

  308. carlie says

    Sorry – “green peppers” should be “green chiles”. I knew that didn’t sound right.

  309. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Was going to make sweet nut bread, until I remembered that pesky detail called “kneading.”

    Cupcakes it is!

    My kitchen smells like chocolate, I have some cream cheese softening while the cupcakes bake, and my hands are bright red. :D

  310. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    (the first person who can correctly identify what kind of cupcakes I’m making wins a toaster!)

  311. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    mare’s milk cheese



    Last I checked, Philadelphia cream cheese is cow’s milk based…

  312. says


    To be honest, I know diddly about cupcakes and usually don’t even eat them, but I have a brown belt in Google-fu. :)

    And thank you, what a nice toaster!

  313. Crudely Wrott says

    I’m distressed by the unwarranted attacks against celery. No place for it? Really!!

    Celery, the fresh, refrigerated and crisp kind, rinsed in icy spring water lies most invitingly beneath a filling of cream cheese. Lightly sprinkled with lemony flavored sea salt. Mmmm-mmm-good. Summer time good. Extra satisfying when it’s from one’s own garden.

    Next, I go for the bowl of baby snow peas, unsnapped and iced down. “Heavens, they’re tasty. And expeditious.”

    Not only flavorful and nutritious (oh, fill celery with peanut butter for a completely different sensation!) but leftovers clean up in a thrice. I feed them to the old mare the neighbor keeps. No fuss, no muss and besides, she likes me.

  314. Crudely Wrott says


    Thanks for the links regarding Fox’s Lauren Green. I followed your link @377 and read the transcript of the short clip there after I had listened.

    Like, I mean, I was just, you know, making sure my ear heard, I mean, like right, noamsayin?

    If I were an editor hiring journalists one of the basic (basic!) requirements for consideration would be the ability to speak offhandedly in full sentences, each one complete, with a minimum of slang and fill-in-phrases and without stopping and starting in the middle of them! Would that startle someone like Ms. Green and send them running off to, I dunno, WND?

  315. says

    Celery stalks also make a Bloody Mary a part of a complete breakfast. Along with Sugar-Blasted Purpleberry Puffs, juice, toast, ham, eggs, bacon, milk, cheese, liver waffles and a big horse vitamin.

  316. bluentx says

    @ #417:

    Bugnuts right-wingers gather in Northern Idaho:

    Are they meeting in cow pastures adjacent to the White Supremacists trying to take over that state?
    Oh, wait… probably a BIG overlap of membership, huh?

    ….finishes reading article….

    Yep, lots of overlap….

  317. John Morales says

    Equable equine equanimity equips equipoise.

    (Sorry, I’ll stop horsing around now)

  318. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Thing I just said, stripped of context: “[L]abia are quite sturdy.”


  319. onychophora says

    Please pass the grog if there’s any about. I am currently reviewing h.s. bio textbooks for my state, and there are a number of disco-tute people also on this panel. Their arguments never change. I feel like that one twilight zone episode where the train keeps pulling into the same station over and over and over and over.

  320. carlie says

    Oh my, this may be the best tampon commercial ever. It’s for a delivery service, but it’s amazeballs.

  321. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    I like celery. With cream cheese or peanut butter. Or cream cheese with bacon bits in it.

    *hugs* and sympathy for Tony. 30 minutes of gospel music…aiyeeeee!

    I like to sing along with religious music on the radio.
    Not necessarily the same song.

    Problem is, to do it thoroughly, you’d have to keep up to date with Contemporary Christian music, and that’s way too big a sacrifice.
    I believe that the iPod (and other personal music-storing devices) was made for situations like this.

    Do try not to get your penis stuck in a toaster

    Which you would think would go without saying…but apparently, not.

    EstelethHypatia, I think the problem is that Curie is the only woman scientist most people (most of whom, after all, are not in the sciences) can think of in the Women/Science intersection, so she has to be the default. It’s that pesky education problem, again.

    to the tune of Time Wrap

    Not familiar with that song, blf. Linky?

    Unfortunately, feeding peas to Horses is not an effective means of pest control.
    1) It makes more sense to not plant the peas in the first, than to round them up for disposal.
    2) Horses being the epitome of Evil, you can’t poison them by adding more Evil; you only top up their Evilness tanks.

  322. carlie says

    The service is kind of cute, too – when I was in middle school, the school nurse passed out packages that were kind of like that, that were freebies from Kotex. I know that some brands have little free handouts at college dorms, but I don’t know if girls get any kind of package in school (I’m sure some parents would freak the hell out). If I had girls I’d totally get them a box at least to start out with.

  323. says

    Ooooh, are we discussing food I *LIKE* ? Red Velvet??!!
    Please ignore the drooling Shoop.

    A short time ago, one of the servers at work brought in Red Velvet COOKIES. I cannot express how delightful they were. I had never heard of them, but the first bite had me hooked. I even told him I would pay him to bake me a batch one day.

  324. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Crudely Wrott – *pouncehug*

    Tony – *hugs and chocolate*

    cicely – *pouncehug*

    Since I’m basically threadrupt, I’ll leave this *pile of hugs and chocolate* for anyone who needs them.

  325. says

    Announcer: Aaaaaaaand we are back, ladies and gentlemen, live in The Lounge, where the interesting conversation about Shoop approved food took just made an abrupt 180. When last we saw le Queer Shoop, he was drooling over much loved food. It appears that “celery talk” has been too much for the poor dear. He has passed out on the bean bag. Stay tuned for further developments.”

  326. says

    The Shoop perked up when the word “bacon” was uttered, though he moved not.
    The Shoop looked upon the Weed Monkey with what can only be described as the most extreme “Huh?” Face, upon hearing ‘sugar blasted purpleberry puffs’, though he moved not.

    The words ‘liver waffle’ appear to have moved the Shoop. He is up, quickly. Where could he be heading? It…appears to be…the library. He has pulled out a book. A Bible? Now he turns on the radio and plays gospel music?

    This is a sad, sad day .

    We have a broken the Shoop.

  327. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    Please ignore the drooling Shoop.

    Never ignore the Shoop, drooling or otherwise.

    Hekuni Cat!

    A gift for the Shoop: bacon truffles, presented with a recipe (which I have not tried, btw) for same.

  328. Crudely Wrott says

    Halloooo, Hekuni Cat!

    I suppose I was partly responsible for the celery diversion. But I was only defending what I was raised to see as a noble and upstanding comestible. Seems to have been a bit much for Tony. Sorry ’bout that. Here’s something to help you get back on your feet and put the cut back in your strut: Red Velvet Jelly Beans! Try one. (I like the blue ones best.)

  329. says

    Celery with peanut butter sounds really weird, but like something I should try.

    I only learned a few years ago there was no butter in peanut butter. The stuff simply wasn’t something I grew up with.

  330. says

    onychophora @434, sorry I don’t have the keys to the grog tank, but please have this beer and/or Bloody Mary in the meanwhile. The latter has only homeopathic amounts of tomato juice in it.

  331. Crudely Wrott says

    Weed Monkey, our family used to shop at a little dairy/butcher shop that had a large, mostly cast iron machine that was simply a peanut grinder.
    It was conveniently arranged so person could use a wooden scoop to dig down into the deep box of shelled peanuts, top off the handy glass hopper atop the bright red painted scroll work and with the mirror behind it, select the correct size container and put it under the nozzel, turn the “Amount” knob to the weight wanted and mash the big button labeled, “Grind”.
    It always amazed me how quiet and smooth the machine was. It’s motor and what must have been a formidable array of gnashers (possible of some intricate, spiral design?) made a deep, capable whirr that communicated an almost casual strength that was most assuring to hear.
    The peanuts in the hopper would vibrate and wiggle, slowly descend and from nozzle below would come a smooth, glistening dollop of the real stuff. And the smell of it used to just lift me up on my tip toes! The machine turned itself off automatically and you pushed a lever to strike the dollop off and let the last of it twist down and land in a neat curlicue in the container. The fresh grind has a loose consistency so you could watch the curlicue sink down into the dollop and then the whole thing self level.
    Snap on the lid and there you are. Oh, yes, if you need a nice roast or, say a pork loin, just holler at Frank in the back. He’ll have it cut, wrapped and weighed in about the time it takes to grind a couple of pounds.
    Courtesy of Kennedy’s Butter and Egg, Dover, New Hampshire, fifty years ago.

    So, no. There is no butter in peanut butter. Legend had it that they tried “peanut oil” and “peanut grease” but those never caught on. I think it was some clever boy’s mother who suggested butter. After all, you put it on the bread the same way.

  332. Crudely Wrott says

    Oh, dear. Is that a dangling apostrophe? Damned things are thick this year. Always are when July’s humid.

    . . . Its motor . . .

  333. says

    Crudely Wrott, that’s a beautiful story. Thank you. :)

    I checked my jar and it said ‘Maapähkinälevite’, or Peanut spread. I think it’s against regulation in Finland to call anything ‘butter’ if there isn’t actually butter in it.

  334. chigau (meh) says

    Crudely Wrott
    That peanut butter story …
    I never knew such a thing existed.
    It makes me regret that I imprinted on Kraft.

  335. rq says

    Celery, with or without any kind of spread, is a product of the devil that doesn’t exist. Especially that whole ants-on-a-log thing.
    Monkey-bread cupcakes, however – or Red Velvet, for that matter – sound appropriate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all year round. With cream-cheese icing, of course.

  336. says

    Just send the celery my way, it’s good snacking with peanut butter. In return, I shall send the Evil Green Spheres of Death* your way.

    *AKA “Brussels Sprouts”

  337. chigau (meh) says

    I can make a cream-of-celery soup that would make you all beg for more.

  338. cicely (Context-stripped and hating it.) says

    I like celery in soup, but don’t recall eating a cream-of-celery soup that struck me as good for anything but making casseroles.
    Of course, it has all been store-bought soup. In cans.

  339. Crudely Wrott says

    You know, if you don’t bend them too much, stalks of celery work nicely as a launcher for peas. Hard, dry peas. Like we used to shoot through straws. (until the bastards narrowed them down — grrrr)

    Sure. Grasp the narrow end of the stalk, groove up. Hold the pea in place with one finger and, atlatl-like, bring around over hand is a smooth arc releasing the pea just as the stalk is vertical. Follow through with vigor and grace.

    That just might work. Maybe I’ll get the grandpups to do some research for me . . .

  340. barnestormer says

    Dalillama, I bought some chocolates. I hope it helps. They look delicious.

    In re: the new pope — my semi-traditionalist Catholic family really wants me to go read all about him and be blown away by his compassionate liberalism or something. I don’t want to because I hate remembering that a Pope exists in the actual world I live in, and actually paying attention to the words of any member of the upper church hierarchy feels like putting my head in a cloud of bees.

    I looked at those articles, though – -well, skimmed them, anyway. It’s nice that he’s trying to mop up after some of Ratzi’s more reactionary douchesplatters, I guess. But I just can’t get excited about some full-grown dude being 15% more civil than his horrible predecessor, no matter how much of his own luggage he carries.

    Does anyone know if the new pope has addressed the child rape / rapist priest shuffling issue in a meaningful way? If I find out that he has, I’ll brave the bee cloud and learn more. If not, I don’t want to bother.

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

    I haven’t seen soup in cans here, but we have soup in bags. Powdery stuff with or without some kind of tiny pasta, for adding about 60dcl to a liter of water. Some are not bad, but usually too salty.

    When you talk about cream soup, do you necessarily mean soup from creamed veggies with cream, or it can just be creamed vegetables? Because I make it without cream or milk, it’s much lighter and mum and I like it more that way.

  342. rq says

    We have soup in jars… And soup in cans may have appeared recently, I’m not sure. I usually chuck a bunch of stuff in a pot, sometimes I toast it in butter, then I add water and herbs/spices to finish. This method does not always lead to success, but I’m slowly getting better.
    And I add the cream and/or milk to the soup, because I like it better that way.

  343. chigau (meh) says

    For me, cream-of-whatever soup means:
    make a basic thin white sauce and mix it with chopped veggies of choice.

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

    Interesting. My cream soup:
    Fry finely chopped onions and a potato or two on olive oil. Add cut whatever and a glass of water if whatever aren’t courgettes. After it’s cooked, blend while adding water. Back to the pan, add spices.

    If whatever are beans, I make zaprška which means heating butter or oil and steering in some flour. Then adding already cooked and blended beans thinned with water.

    In both cases, there’s a lot of vigorous stirring so that veggies and water don’t stay separated.


    I think basic white sauce is bešamel (beshamel?) (the thing you put on lasagna).

  345. bluentx says

    Sorry, shockna, can’t help. I have the book but haven’t read it yet. My ‘library’ [read: shelves I gotta put up] is under construction and Sagan and other sciencey books are in boxes…somewhere…

    Projects, projects, projects.

  346. rq says

    Unfortunately, it’s still on my list, too, not actually read. I might hurry up and read it, though, seeing as I finally resurrected my ereader and there’s a lot that wants reading.

    beschamel? :/ (We write it in Latvian the same way you do, for what it’s worth…)
    Also, my lasagne beshamel sauce is very thick, as it consists of mascarpone/ricotta, eggs, and two hard cheeses (along with requisite spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic). Not really soup-worthy (although I suppose if I removed the eggs, it would do quite nicely for a thick cream soup).
    I like your recipe, and for some reason, it sounds like a good way to use beans – I’m not a fan of beans (except for string beans), but I want to start eating more of them (and I want to show the kids that beans really are alright!). So come autumn, I’ll have to remember this easy-peasybeany method from you.


    Speaking of kids, Eldest turns six today. What do you get a child who tells you to pick the present yourself?
    me: But tell me what you would like, it will make deciding easier!
    Eldest: If my friends can choose birthday presents for me without asking, why can’t you?
    me: … Ok, I’ll give it a try.
    (It’s a good question.)

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

    Mum’s beschamel:
    Oil+flour, add milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
    Although… I feel like I’m missing something in the above, but I can’t remember what. Maybe an egg. Not sure, meat lasagna is her thing, veggie lasagna mine.

    For veggie lasagna, I don’t use beschamel, or at least don’t call the mix that way since it is very thick and has no milk (very similar to yours, actually, sans eggs).

  348. opposablethumbs says

    Basic white sauce: start with flour and butter (i.e. make a roux, being careful not to let the butter burn), season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg, add milk little by little while stirring like a maniac until desired consistency is reached. Goes straight onto lasagne or cannelloni, or becomes cheese sauce for steamed-broccoli/cauliflower with cheese, upon addition of whatever cheeses are in the fridge (cheddar, comté, a bit of blue cheese …) plus a dollop of dijon mustard. If too thick, can be thinned with a little beer or dry cider (not sweet, if you want to be able to consume the result). Or blend in raw tomatoes! Yum. Makes it seem lighter. Gives a pretty good cheese sauce for veg or almost anything; or mix in huge enormous quantities of spinach to make vegetarian pizza :-)

    I am emphatically not the cook here, with a fixed handful of odd and illogical exceptions – many nice things get made in the kitchen, but the only things 100% down to me are handling any raw meat (something about the texture, I suppose. I’ll be working or something, get called to go and trim the fat off the meat, then go back to whatever I was doing) and making cheese sauce, pizza dough, and (very) basic cake. Makes no sense whatsoever.

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


    100% down to me are handling any raw meat

    I’m the designated cleaner for calamari.

  350. bluentx says

    Things I heard about on the way home:

    Though this article/video is from 2010 I just heard of the place:

    But…but… I thought Fox didn’t believe in climate change, global warming or heat records being broken:

    Gee, I wonder whose gonna win this time? [And why am I hearing The Who in my head?]:

  351. opposablethumbs says

    (x-posting a comment I just made over at Butterflies and Wheels about last night’s Newsnight – with oolon live and in person – and they showed a clip of RW … I can’t remember the last time I was so impressed by the Beeb.)

    Watched the whole thing last night – it was excellent! Wish there had been more of oolon’s interview, it was a bit condensed, but it was great to see it – and good to see Rebecca Watson’s “guys – don’t do that” referenced in this context. And I loved it when Creasy so elegantly and comprehensively skewered the odious Young – twice in quick succession on one point alone. She was absolutely outstanding (and single-handedly restored a substantial proportion of my faith in the Labour Party (well, willingness to vote for them happily rather than with teeth gritted, that is)). I wish she were PM, she’d be blinding.

    (Of course it resulted in a heated discussion at home for the rest of the evening … about whose hands the power of troll-control could end up in, depending on how exactly it was implemented.)
    Stella Creasy was amazingly good. Taken as a whole, it almost made me feel a little bit hopeful.

  352. opposablethumbs says

    Ooh, Ophelia’s got what looks like a tasty troll in her Numbers thread right now – a bizarre woman-despiser by the handle of Jonny Vincent.
    He despises women because they fall for all that wear-makeup-and-catch-a-man crap. Where are all the independent strong-minded women who would appreciate his bold, iconclastic clear-sightedness? Why can’t he find a woman as bold and clear-sighted as he is?!?!? …. Oh, I wonder why all right.

  353. bluentx says

    Ooh, Ophelia’s got what looks like a tasty troll in her Numbers thread right now..

    Why, oh, why does all the good stuff happen just when I have to go to bed, Mom?
    [Yeah, still peeking. But…no… really… going to bed now. Wait… no… have to water the potted plants… So much to do, so little time.]

  354. rq says

    At this rate, you’ll be stuck commenting everyone else’s commute with me again.

    I think I’ve seen that name here and there previously. Never as a pleasant memory.

  355. John Morales says

    opposablethumbs, I make that specimen to be a loon, not a troll.

    (But a chew-toy nonetheless)

  356. opposablethumbs says

    Ah, I have a pretty poor memory for names – thanks rq! You’re probably right, John, he does seem to be on a different page altogether – a sort of wingnut-troll combo, perhaps (and probably a desert topping and a floor wax as well). Why are you going to bed, bluentx? Don’t you know it’s the middle of the day? ;-)

  357. carlie says

    Classic bechamel sauce is flour/butter/milk. Add veg. puree or stock, or meat stock, and it’s veloute sauce. Add cheese to either and it’s mornay sauce.

    I’ve never seen white sauces used on lasagna, though. The white gunk I’ve encountered in lasagna is just ricotta (or tofu, if you’re being healthy) mixed with an egg and spices and beat all to heck. But then again, I don’t like lasagna very well, so I’m not much of an expert.

  358. birgerjohansson says

    Doubling McDonald’s Salaries Would Cause Your Big Mac To Cost Just 68¢ More: Study http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/mcdonalds-salaries_n_3672006.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
    — — — — — —
    You can drive a bike to Slovakia in two hours if you take a shortcut through L-space.
    Bring a bunch of bananas for the Librarian.
    — — — — — — —
    I watched a pretty cool concert by Take That on TV, giant statue/robot thingy, big enough to hold singers in one hand.

  359. John Morales says

    The butter (or other emulsifier) is important when making Bechamel — else you might end up with glue!

  360. rq says

    Today’s musical find. It left me feeling happy and dancy.

    Bananas? There won’t be enough L-space for them on my L-space bike.

  361. rq says

    I think I have learned more about beschamel sauce in today’s comments than I have in all my years of googling about it. (Ok, ok, I don’t google about it every day of all the years… but still!)

  362. chigau (meh) says

    basic basic white sauce
    45 ml fat*
    45 ml flour*
    240 ml cream*
    over low heat, melt fat
    add flour gradually, stirring constantly until flour is cooked (this is the roux)
    add cream gradually, stirring constantly until completely mixed

    *fat can be almost anything: bacon, butter, canola oil …
    flour can be almost anything: wheat, almond, rice … but not too fine a texture
    cream makes it creamy but almost any liquid will do

    It’s important that the flour is cooked otherwise it tastes bad.
    Equal portions of fat and flour is the main thing, you can put as much or little liquid as you like, after you achieve roux.
    This can be turned into cheese sauce by adding cheese (grated, gradually, stirring)
    or curry sauce by adding (you guess)

  363. rq says

    How do you know the flour is cooked? (Does it brown? Or have a particular toasty scent?)

    Thank you so much for that link!!! More than I can say!

  364. carlie says

    How do you know the flour is cooked? (Does it brown? Or have a particular toasty scent?)

    I believe this is the method, at least according to the way I did it:

    1. Try to make a roux, it tastes like flour, realize you didn’t cook it long enough.

    2. Try again, cook until brownish, it tastes/smells burnt, realize that was too long.

    3. Try again, cool until a little less brownish, still tastes off, too far cooked.

    4. Try again, it works!

    5. Try again later, but it’s been too long and you forgot what that magic color was, go back to 1 and start over.

  365. chigau (meh) says

    carlie’s #496 is the time-honoured method of assessing cookedness.

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

    Aha! Zaprška is roux. Vocabulary expanded. Again. I think I’ve learned that word a couple of times already.