1. says

    Am I the only one having problems seeing the total amount of donations received by Skepticon? I’ve gone to their website and the widget thingie doesn’t load for me.

  2. David Han says

    What? There’s an ad for Liberty University on this blog! How did that happen!

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What? There’s an ad for Liberty University on this blog! How did that happen!

    Google Ads looks at the content of the discussions, and tries to show appropriate ads for the content of those discussions. Discuss religion or creationism, and LU pops up, along with a host of other sites that the readers aren’t interested in.

  4. David Han says

    Ah. Thanks for clearing that up. I was afraid that the admins at FtB went Freeman Dyson.

  5. David Han says

    It’s not like any readers of this blog would be tempted to send a son or daughter, there, anyway.

  6. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    I hope you like Reese’s Pieces, Oggie. :-9

    Bleah. Never mind. I like both chocolate and peanut butter but, in every candy or cookie I have ever tasted, they don’t work for me. More for everyone else.

  7. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Leftover pizza tastes best at 2:00 am – streaky bacon, redcurrent and camembert pizza…

  8. says

    Here’s some happy-making news to go with the cookie party that is now in progress:

    Lukas Novy says he’s a member of the ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,’ a satirical faith which teaches that a creature composed of pasta and meatballs ‘created the world much as it exists today.’ … Novy, a resident of the Czech Republic, insisted that he be allowed to wear a pasta sieve on his head while being photographed for an official government ID. And he succeeded.

    Great photo of the Pastafarian at the Link.

  9. says

    Some Kentuckians walk up to the edge of the Stupid Swamp and dive in:


    A Religious Right group in Kentucky is calling on parents to demand the right to deliver “inspirational messages” during public school assemblies, and they’re providing some interesting “facts” to make their case.

    The Kentucky chapter of the American Family Association (AFA) just released a petition that declares, in no uncertain terms, that prayer in schools will take us back to Jesus and best of all, boost student test scores, lower the crime rate and even decrease the rate of HIV infection….

    Bunches of factoids followed this announcement by the AFA, including that “After prayer was removed from our schools, teen pregnancy went up 500%, STD’s went up 226%, violent crime went up 500% and SAT scores went down for 18 years in a row, opening the door for the AIDS epidemic and the drug culture.”

    And it’s all your fault. “Anti-God” forces brought about this dismal situation.

    Proving that far right-wing doofuses still haven’t learned to vet their sources:

    The AFA likely got its “facts” from David Barton, the Religious Right’s preeminent pseudo-historian, who also attributes pretty much every bad thing that has happened in America over the past 50 years to Engel v. Vitale, the landmark 1962 Supreme Court ruling that struck down mandatory, coercive forms of school-sponsored prayer.

  10. says

    Mormon Moments of Madness averted in Mali:

    Deseret News link.

    LDS member Yeah Samake brought in less than one percent of votes in Mali’s July 28 election.
    Yeah Samake, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one of the 28 Malian presidential candidates, brought in .56 percent of the votes in Mali’s July 28 election. …

    In a conference, Samake expressed his congratulations to Mali’s future president, as well as thanks to those who helped with his campaign. He has not released a statement on whether he plans to run for president again in the future….

    Meanwhile, pre-election predictions from mormons all over the world were that Samake would certainly win.

  11. says

    Cookies. Nom Nom!


    Glad you are enjoying the holidays.
    I was just thinking of you a little while ago (as in “have not seen her nym here recently”)

    Woo Hoo!

    I feel better today.

    Last night at work was a busy one. Pensacola Beach hosts an annual Bushwacker* Festival and it runs this weekend. Lots of people venture out for it.
    Fun story tinged with mild sadness:
    I overheard a group of people at my bar talking about the planets and some other sciency stuff. At one point one of the guys in the group asked if any of the others knew the distance from the Earth to the Sun. When no one answered I chimed in with ‘@93,000,000 mi. From there the me and the guy briefly chatted before we wondered who else might know the answer. In a fun involve-everyone-at-the-bar tbing I sometimes do, I posed the question to the guests as a group.
    Thats where the sad came in–out of 13 people, no one knew the answer. I thought that was a fairly basic science question that several people would know. I was wrong.
    (Everyone seemed to enjoy the short ‘class participation’). I chose not to follow up with ‘how long does it take light to reach Earth?’

    *Bushwackers are frozen alcoholic drinks typically made with Rum, Chocolate liquor, Coffee liquor and either vanilla ice cream or a mix containing vanilla powder and water. Often, the inside of the glass is decorated with chocolate syrup. They are quite tasty.

  12. says

    To be honest, I probably couldn’t tell you that distance in miles off the cuff; I know it’s 1 AU, and about 10 light-minutes, but I’d have to look up what either of those was in miles or kilometers.

  13. says

    So here’s the thing. I wrote an Xmas horror story for liberal atheists — not one character in the book believes in god. It’s a very cool tale, part sci-fi, part horror (and a smidge of humor, to boot). C’mon, guys. Give it a shot. It’s called “Xmas Carol”. It’s ebook only and available at most online book stores. Best 3 bucks you ever spent.

  14. Crudely Wrott says

    I’ll add my hearty conga-rats to Walton.


    Dear Walton, you’ve come a long way from the days when your questing and uncertainty caught my attention several years back. I remember thinking that if you could just overcome a couple of difficult barriers your potential would be unleashed. I’m absolutely delighted to see that my suspicion was correct.

  15. A. Noyd says

    Urrrrgh, my sister thinks Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is feminism-compatible and that I just object to it because I’m part of a different, older, and less hip wave of feminism than she is.

  16. carlie says

    At one point one of the guys in the group asked if any of the others knew the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

    I only know that because of the sun song. “The sun is far away… (about 93 million miles away, and that’s why it looks so small)”

    A. Noyd – You could direct her to this: Sex ed via Blurred Lines

  17. carlie says

    Wow, I just watched the video (have managed to avoid it until now). More than any feminist angles (which, no, there is no way that is feminism-compatible*), it’s boring. You could ask her what she even thinks the point of the video is, because without the naked women, it’s just a couple of guys standing around singing against a blank backdrop. Boobs are literally the only things attempting to be interesting in tat video.

    *hint: when it’s only the women who are naked and the men are all fully-clothed, that’s objectification, not sex-empowerment.

  18. jose says

    A question on use of English:
    What’s with everybody suddenly saying PoC and WoC? Did the word “black” suddently become racist? More, how come “of color” is fine but “colored” is racist? It’s all very confusing.

  19. Holms says

    1 AU = 150,000,000km
    The first time I even look into the lounge to see what the hell it even is, and its an astronomy test!

  20. A. Noyd says

    Well, she said she doesn’t like the video, but thinks the song itself is great. I’m not sure how it’s even possible not to see how rapey and paternalistic it is, and how it blatantly portrays women’s sexuality as something that revolves around male desire and male permission for what to feel and not feel. That women (or “good girls”—the only women with value) can’t even be trusted to know what we want and that we have to be shown by men. Which is, of course, the age-old message of patriarchy. The video just illustrates what the lyrics are getting at, but somehow she can separate those in her mind.

  21. carlie says

    A. Noyd – ah. That post at the link goes into some of the same points you made about the lyrics. You could try getting her to explain what she thinks the lyrics mean, then; if she has to go through line by line defending them, she might see the plot holes.

    jose – mostly because of the history of the way the word has been used in the US. “Black” is fine in many parts of the world, so I’ve gathered, but in the US in particular it has a more checkered history. A lot of people in the US don’t mind going by the term “black” and use it, but mass media has shied away from it, so you don’t see it often. “Colored” is more clear in terms of the usage making the problem – one of the iconic images you see of racism in US history is “No Coloreds” signs. (see here for examples) Another reason is the general trend away from using adjectives as nouns when it comes to people, or being used by itself to refer to a person: instead of “disabled”, it’s “person with a disability”, as another example. The rephrasing centers the description around the person themselves instead of the trait being highlighted.

  22. A. Noyd says

    jose (#28)

    What’s with everybody suddenly saying PoC and WoC? Did the word “black” suddently become racist? More, how come “of color” is fine but “colored” is racist? It’s all very confusing.

    Not all PoC are black. PoC is a catch-all term for people who aren’t white. It means the same as “non-white,” but avoids the implication that white is the default race, which is a problem with saying “non-white.”

    “Colored” is racist because of historical usage (like showing up on “no coloreds allowed” signs) and current associations with bigotry (racists fucking love the word). It’s overlooked only in certain, limited contexts (like the full name for the NAACP or this famous play).

    “Of color” is not racist because it was devised by people of color as a term many prefer to use for themselves. Of course, if a particular person objects to it, you don’t use it toward them.

  23. A. Noyd says

    I really wish my sister was the sort to respond well to (even mildly) confrontational conversations. She has this thing about arguing with me or having to justify/defend her beliefs. She about had a meltdown the time I tried to explain why alt-med doesn’t get to claim to work by special rules and why saying “it works for me” is not evidence of something’s efficacy. But I think I will send her that link you posted, so thanks for that.

  24. ednaz says

    Reading the lyrics to “Blurred Lines” made me feel sick.
    So I replaced it (in my head) with:

    She Loves You!
    Yeah Yeah Yeah!
    She Loves You
    Yeah Yeah Yeah
    And with a love like that
    You know you should be gla-ad

  25. Nutmeg says

    I’m having a tremendously exciting August long weekend. More accurately, a pleasantly boring one. Or at least I hope it will be.

    My friends and family are mostly out of town, so I’m in the lab processing samples for a couple hours this afternoon. Tonight is Indian takeout and movies – Mulan and The Lion King are on the list of possibilities. (I’m open to suggestions! Minimal explosions/fires, please, but otherwise I’m pretty flexible.) Tomorrow is more lab work and movies and defense preps. Monday will probably be a trip to a local marsh for birding, and then some cleaning.

    Next weekend I’m doing a short canoe trip, so I’m trying to be somewhat productive now.

  26. says

    “… I believe that the Democrat Party has become an anti-God party.”

    That’s right-wing fanatic E.W. Jackson, Virginia GOP’s right-wing candidate for lieutenant governor, spewing his usual flea brained nonsense.

    Maybe I should have posted this in the Texas thread, since the thrust of the Republican tactic in Texas are to paint every non-Republican as anti-God.

  27. rq says

    Heh, I only recently saw the actual video for Blurred Lines and didn’t think much of it. And I don’t find the song all that interesting, plus I really don’t like the lyrics. But maybe I’m just hating on Pharrell right now, I don’t think much of his collaboration with Daft Punk, either.

    Did someone say cookies?

    My cheesecake-with-too-much-butter-in-the-crust got wiped off the plate, no leftovers. At least I know I have a successful recipe. ;)

  28. Crudely Wrott says

    Maybe I should have posted this in the Texas thread, since the thrust of the Republican tactic in Texas are to paint every non-Republican as anti-God.

    Well, they have too, Lynna. It’s all they have left.

    [Preview wasn’t working yesterday, worked last night, isn’t now. Do I have to check all my browser settings?]

  29. Crudely Wrott says

    [even without Preview I should have noticed one too many “oos” in “have to”.]

  30. rq says

    Hi, Giliell! *waves*
    I wonder what you’ve been wearing on holiday if the mosquitos are being a literal pain in the ass…? ;)

  31. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    leaving tomorrow to go to the Butler fire in Hoopa, CA

  32. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    as a security manager!!!

    Sounds like a bump up. Congarats

  33. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    Sounds like a bump up. Congarats

    Not really. Last year, I went out to three fires. Two as SEC2, one as SECM (manager). There are far more SEC2s than SECMs, so it is easier to get the experience as a 2 than an M. More experience as a manager increases the chances of going in the future, so that is why I’m happy about the SECM assignment.

  34. chigau (残念ですね) says

    Please be careful out there and bring us some stories.

  35. Owlmirror says

    I know it’s 1 AU, and about 10 light-minutes

    It bothers me that no-one else picked up that that should be about 8 light-minutes.

    Per WikiP: 8 min 20 sec.

  36. says

    Tony, let me chime in with the “I couldn’t have said either”. And I hold Batchelors degrees in both Physics and Astronomy, as well as the PhD in the former. I might have been able to eke out the “roughly 10 light-minutes” from my brain. … It also takes me years to learn a new phone #.

    As such, I find questions of factlets (especially numerical values) of questionable use as a proxy for the abysmal science knowledge in this country. On the other hand I think it is awesome when ordinary people who don’t need to know such info for a living, such as yourself, do know it.

  37. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    More experience as a manager increases the chances of going in the future, so that is why I’m happy about the SECM assignment.

    Yeah, does sound like a bump up. *Looks at salaried exempt status without overtime* Maybe not….

  38. chigau (残念ですね) says

    I, for one, am glad that Tony doesn’t tend bar at any of my locals.
    Because I would never go home.

  39. says

    I clearly made several hasty assumptions with regard to my question to the bar patrons. Thanks all.

    (Must remember to be kind)

    ‘Women of Color’ and ‘People of Color’ can and do refer to multiple races.

    Person of color (plural: people of color; persons of color) is a term used primarily in the United States to describe any person who is not white. The term is meant to be inclusive among non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of racism. People of color was introduced as a preferable replacement to both non-white and minority, which are also inclusive, because it frames the subject positively; non-white defines people in terms of what they are not (white), and minority frequently carries a subordinate connotation.

    I found this in no time. If you wish to gain a fuller understanding of your questions, there is a wealth of information out there. As demonstrated by me, earlier, such questions should be as free of unjustified assumptions as humanly possible (one assumption you made is that PoC refers only to black people).

    For a personal take on the use of ‘people of color’ you could read this (an excerpt):

    With the news that, for the first time in U.S. history, the majority of American babies are not white, it should put to rest use of the term “minorities” as a reference to America’s black, Latino, Asian and Native American residents.

    Nearly 30 years ago, I learned to think of myself as a person of color, and that shift changed my view of myself and my relationship to the people around me.

    It is time for the entire nation, and our media in particular, to make the same move.

    As for ‘colored’:

    Today, as noun or adjective, colored is regarded as offensive, especially in the United States, when used to refer to black people or to any groups considered nonwhite. The term colored is not parallel with white, as black is, and col­ ored smacks of subordination. Black people tend to see the term colored people as a reference to those black people who “know their place.” Colored has also occurred in certain pejorative expressions, such as the dated expression colored peoples’ (folks’) time (abbreviated to C.P. time or C.P.T.), meaning “late” or “I’ll get there when I get there.” This is often an unflattering reference to the alleged difference between the internal clocks that govern black people, especially the rural or the poor, and those that govern white society.

  40. says

    Good point.

    That raises an interesting question though. What are the standards for determining basic science education?

    that was a very kind thing to say. Thank you.

    Glad you are having fun.

    Movie suggestions?
    Many here have spoken highly of Prometheus…


  41. chigau (残念ですね) says

    ‘person of color’
    ‘colored person’

    What is the difference?

    Hint: which word comes first?
    (English speakers)
    (other languages are different)

  42. says

    What are the standards for determining basic science education?
    Hmm. I tricky question to answer. Mostly I think it revolves around understanding concepts. But those are hard to teach (as opposed to reiterating facts and/or factlets) and hard to test for. I think every person should understand, just fundamentally, things on the level of “a year is the time for earth to orbit the sun” and “how the phases of the moon come about” because these are grasp-able concepts. The later especially because to understand it requires one to view things from different vantagepoints which is different than simply a propensity to recall. It also helps to put into proportion the immensities of scales involved; 93,000,000 miles to some isn’t all that different from 93,000.

    Maybe I’m just bitter because I have a memory like a sieve…

  43. cicely (Still hating it, but what can you do?) says

    The Walton is congratulated on his offer of pupation.
    Soon he will emerge as a beyooteeful butterflyimmigration lawyer, with glorious, colorful wings!
    :) :) :)

    *hugs* for dontpanic. Work-related stress—boo!

    It must be a coonspiracy!

    I figure that our back porch is listed in The Raccoon’s Guide to Buffets of Western Mizzoorah.

    Who wants a (freshly baked, still warm from the oven) cookie?


    Tony, I’m glad this is a better day for you.
    *hugs* anyway—if they’re surplus to requirements today, just save ’em for later.
    And I agree with chigau; even though I very nearly don’t drink at all, I’d have trouble leaving your bar.

    jose—The answer is, “History!” It’s worth pointing out that “colored” was the categorization of segregation and its institutionalised abuses, whereas there is a different history for “of color”. (This link isn’t the same one that Tony posted, afaics.)
    All this, plus the catch-all-ness that has been mentioned up-Thread.

    Ogvorbis: Be safe!

  44. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *Wedding Ring Update*
    After a day of cooling with cold packs and keeping the right hand above shoulder level, we were finally able, with some pain, to get the original wedding band over the knuckle of her right ring finger. Freedom!

    This is good, as tomorrow the Redhead is going to the Lincolnshire Marriott and won’t have to worry about a finger swelling needing to be cut off. A win-win all around.

  45. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and I left what would be cut deliberately ambiguous…

  46. chigau (残念ですね) says

    I hope the Redhead continues to improve.
    Can you put the ring on a chain so it can be a necklace?

  47. says

    Now I cannot recall the tv show where I first saw someone with a wedding ring on a chain worn around the neck….
    Glad you got the ring off.
    In years past, I wore jewelry, such as watches, necklaces, and rings. Wanting to be different, I would sometimes put a ring on my middle finger. Getting it off was often difficult, and that was with a non swollen finger.
    Gave the dogs a bath. Hope that aids in keeping the fleas at bay. Do not get paid until Friday, so flea medication has to wait til then. Must remember to buy those flea bomb doohickeys too.

  48. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Chigau, sorry if I sounded flippant. Since we have a replacement wedding band that fits, I don’t have a problem. But the Redhead often brags: “I still have my first house, first car, and first husband; not sure where the original wedding band fits in. Just that it is emotional thing for her, not necessarily logical….

  49. MissEla says

    Deck is now mostly cleaned (yay!). Corn is transplanted, the potatoes have more dirt, the cinderblocks are de-mossed, and the deck has been swept. Once I get more potting soil, I can re-pot the lavender (yeah, yeah, I know I’ve been talking about that for 2 years…) and transplant the basil. I also emptied the trash out of 2 buckets, which are now waiting to be mini rain barrels! :)

  50. carlie says

    After a day of cooling with cold packs and keeping the right hand above shoulder level, we were finally able, with some pain, to get the original wedding band over the knuckle of her right ring finger. Freedom!

    Thank goodness! My dad had to have his wedding ring cut off just a short time after getting married, after trying to sleep with it on one night. Just having heard the story and seeing the cut ring, I’ve always been a bit paranoid of such things.

    Random conversation starter: I just realized that I’ve never lived by myself, ever. The closest I’ve gotten was a 2 month stint over one summer in a room by myself, but it was in a dorm and had a communal bathroom and tv lounge and cafeteria so I don’t think that really counts. It occurred to me because the family is about to leave on a short trip without me, and although I love having the house to myself now and then, I also get irrationally nervous about it right as it’s about to happen. As if I’m not an adult who can stay by myself. Am I the only weird one?

  51. chigau (残念ですね) says

    How many batches of babbies do fucking squirrels have per year?
    I’ve already done this…

  52. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    [looks at the empty plate, sticks out lower lip]

    Damn time zones!

    I’m pretty sure I’ve told the stories about losing my wedding ring. One involved the police and the other involved sheep. Ms. Fishy was all, “No big deal. We’ll get another.” but I was quite upset. I know it’s bullshit irrational thinking, but I want to wear the one she put on my finger six years ago. If I couldn’t wear it on my finger anymore I’d definitely do the necklace thing.

    Apropos of nothing: I need to say how much I like the people here. You folk give me hope for humanity. You’re a kick to the head of my confirmation bias fueled despair at the compassion-less stupidity of humanity.

  53. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    In other news I have 6 meters of 150mm diameter poly-pipe strapped to my bike. The hardware guy was dubious but wouldn’t take my bet on whether I could manage it. Not the most difficult thing I’ve carried, but certainly the longest.

  54. says

    Now I get it.
    this is why Naming and Shaming needs to stop.


    Every time — literally every time — a woman reports harassment, whether it be online or from a company or at a convention or by a well-known activist –there is immediately a flood of comments from people claiming to be supportive and allied and on her side yet criticizing her intensely for talking about her experiences in the ‘wrong’ way and aggressively demanding that she disclose her experiences in ways that make them comfortable. This itself is harmful bullying behavior, and it must stop.

    The next time a victim speaks up, those advocating ‘Name&Shame’ should pause and consider–
    Who’s interests are being served by ‘Naming&Shaming’?

  55. says

    I can relate somewhat.
    As an adult, I have always had at least one roommate. I have never lived alone, nor would I want to.
    I have not gotten nervous when I have the house to myself though.
    Perhaps there is another reason you get nervous, rather than being an adult who cannot live on her own.

  56. bluentx says

    I’m pretty sure I’ve told the stories…

    IIRC, it was the part about sheep being involved that had some worried. ;)

  57. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    Horses are just a smokescreen, it’s actually sheep that are going to destroy everything.


    I lived for six years on my own. In a lot of ways I loved it, but it also seemed to contributed to my depression. Though it’s hard to tell if being more social helped reduce my depression or if the depression’s easing helped me become more social.

    These days having lived with Ms. Fishy for nine(?) years and The Small Fry for six I find that when they aren’t home I feel slightly displaced. I feel like I’m in a hotel rather than some place I have any kind of ownership of. I’m hoping that actually owning our home will mitigate that somewhat, we’ll see.

    I do think that everyone has a differing level of social need and there is no right way to feel about that.

  58. says

    Thanks for putting into words another aspect of my frustrations.
    I feel alone*.
    With the weight upon my shoulders, the addition of solitude is maddening. I look forward to going to work so I can be around people.


    *i feel grateful for all of you, please dont mistake me, but I am sure most people will understand a desire for meatspace companions. This weekend is extra annoying. I am off today and tomorrow and trapped at home.
    Did not mean to turn this into all about me again…

  59. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    It’s okay Tony. I rather think that a lot of us feel like we’re making it all about me, me, meeee when we talk about the shitty aspects of our lives. That feeling seems to go hand in hand with depression and anxiety. I try to keep in mind that no one is forced to engage with what we write here, or even read it.

    One of the confounding factors in the social aspects of my life with regards to my depression is the fact that I’m an introvert. I get really, really stressed if I don’t have enough alone time. But I still seem to have social needs, which if they’re not met makes me worse. It’s a tricky balancing act and I often get it wrong.

    We had guests twice in the last week or so and I found myself telling Ms. Fishy that I was going to go set up the new chook shed, by myself</i. in quite a pointed manner. I desperately needed to be away from people and unfortunately because she'd been alone cleaning the old house everyday for weeks she desperately needed some company. Balance is tricky enough when you've only one center, add another and there are bound to be wobbles and falls.

  60. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Show off. /feelings of inadequacy

    So, how much poly-pipe have you carried on your bike? /pathetic attempt to be impressive

  61. Crudely Wrott says

    Living alone is something I’ve done near continuously since about 1984. Since I’ve always had friends nearby and neighbors even closer I never felt alone or left out. Perhaps due to being allowed, ever encouraged, by my father to entertain myself as a boy. As young as ten I was welcomed to saddle up my [four legged hay burning streak of lightning*] and ride south up into the forest or go north into the bad lands. There was so much to explore, so many secret places to squeeze into, so many songs to belt out loud and so very much sky to be under. The hay burner was good, solid and reliable company and seemed to enjoy going along with me as much as I did.

    I see now that I grew comfortable with myself, with my solitude, before I was old enough to be uneasy alone or feel that I was missing something by not “running with the pack”.

    Living alone has the advantage of not feeling compelled to do things if they can wait. Being able to go to bed and get back out of it guided by fatigue and preference only. Though I am one hell of a good housekeeper, an unswept floor is simply one that will soon be swept, dishes in the sink are just dishes that will be washed tomorrow and I can arrange the furniture any way I want to.

    Additionally, like Mr.Waits has sung, “I don’t have to ask permission – If I want to go out fishin – And I never have to ask for the keys”. Thank you, Tom.

    A further benefit, one that I frequently took advantage of was to start some kind of project in the house and take my time completing it even if it meant a room turned into a workshop or tools laying about in the kitchen.

    I don’t live alone these days and that’s fine too, since there are two man-cubs to help manage and enjoy. I could go back to being a sole occupant but, you know, I’ve grown very fond of the company I’m keeping and I’d miss them terribly if they were not part of each day.

    If I should want solitude it is easy enough to find. In all honesty, though, I think I’d just as soon not live alone any more. See, there is one disadvantage of solitude. When I discover something really interesting, really neat or unexpected I have an overwhelming urge to get excited and share it (heh! force it upon) someone else. Who better than my grandsons? Without them I’d have to hold it all in and I’d probably burst.

    *Whose name was, and remains, Lightning and who will be fondly remembered until I can remember no longer.
    Extra credit to anyone who knows what word I managed not to say in this post.
    Well, I need to make a quick beer run. Enough of this horsing around. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiippppppp——>he gone!

  62. Rey Fox says

    Now I cannot recall the tv show where I first saw someone with a wedding ring on a chain worn around the neck….

    This article (Trigger Warning: Ben Roethlisberger) shows a pro baseball player that does that, as well as a pro basketball player who ties his in his shoelaces when playing.

  63. chigau (残念ですね) says

    Sorry FossilFishy.
    I was showing off.
    I haven’t ridden a bike in …. jeez… almost 30 years.
    so dunno

  64. chigau (残念ですね) says

    if I get that fucking “guru meditation” thing one more time tonight I’m going to varnish something …

  65. says

    I have lived alone, and I don’t like it at all. I actually prefer to live with 2+ other people. Unfortunately, L is apparently completely unable to live with anyone but me for more than about a year, and I’ve lost several friendships trying. This state of affairs depresses me somewhat.

  66. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Hmmm, forgot the smiley on that post chigau. Here you go: :)

    The most extreme example of competing social needs I know of is with my friend Michael.

    He’s far enough on the Aspergers/autism scale that he receives government benefits because of it. He’s built himself a little home out in the bush. Just a caravan that he’s rigged up to a micro-hydro station so he has all the modern conveniences. (And a homemade air-conditioner, and a automated bushfire suppression He’s also built himself a three wheeled electric vehicle from the ground up. This guy is the most carbon neutral person I’ve ever met.

    He’s done all this to isolate himself from people because he has a great deal of trouble relating to them. He did it deliberately to make his life better. And it does, mostly. You see, his social needs are unaffected by Aspergers and I would class him as more extrovert than introvert. This push and pull of his desire to limit his contact with baffling humans and the loneliness that can only be overcome with that contact is very difficult for him to manage.

    What happens is he gets lonely and frustrated and then comes into town to hang out at my shop for a few hours. He has neighbours who are far closer than the 30 odd K he has to drive to get here, but the other people out in the bush tend to be the types who believe that perpetual motion machines are possible and that the government is poisoning the water to make people complacent. I suspect that I’m the only even remotely critical thinker he has any regular contact with.

    Anyway, it’s great for me because he’s a really interesting guy and funny as all hell once he relaxes.

  67. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Oh, I should also mention that Michael has agreed to make a remote controlled chook-shed door closer for me. I love the idea of having this obviously homemade box with wires hanging out* and a big red button laying were guests can see it.

    “Oh that’s were that is! Yeah, don’t touch that….”

    *His stuff would never be so sloppy as that, I’ll have to set-dress it myself.

  68. chigau (残念ですね) says

    FossilFishy #87
    you better get your shed cleaned out ’cause I still intend to live there
    unless Michael has a shed

  69. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Uhm, about the shed…er, at the end I was literally just standing in the door and pitching stuff as far back as I could. Barring some kind of miracle it’ll be some time before there’s any room in there. However, there is space under the Happy Valley bridge. You’d have to share it with the Water Rats, bu they’re pretty quiet and keep to themselves. It was my fallback plan should the move go fully pear-shaped.

  70. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks Tony and WMDkitty. I think so too. He really does struggle with human interaction and I can’t say it’s always smooth sailing between us, but I really value his friendship and I usually learn something valuable when we hit some kind of social impasse. They way he sees human interaction is completely different to my own and he’s thought about it far more than I have.

  71. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I’m searching for pics of his vehicle. The thing is so damn cool. You’d never look at it and think that it was something purchased, but it’s also obvious that it’s really well made. He calls it Thrusty, because it’s obviously not any kind of stereotypical sexual status symbol, and because the thing accelerates like a rocket.

  72. says

    …after trying to sleep with it [wedding ring] on one night

    Do people generally take them off regularly? I wore mine 24/7 for a number of years, until my finger started swelling and I worried that I’d have to cut something. Once it came off it never really went back on. I forgot why Wife stopped wearing hers; I think it interfered with lab equipment and she worried it would get lost at work. So neither of use have worn our rings in, oh, at least 7-8 years ago, maybe more (of … coming up on 25 years next month).

  73. cicely (Still hating it, but what can you do?) says

    Nerd, I’m glad that the Ring was successfully removed!
    I’m afraid that if I tried to put my wedding ring back on, it wouldn’t go over the knuckle—or if it did, it’d have to be cut off. We’ve talked about having it re-sized, but I suspect that it would cost money….

    FossilFishy, I am firmly of the opinion that there is no finer community than this one, anywhere on the planet.

    Horses are just a smokescreen, it’s actually sheep that are going to destroy everything.

    Beware, you’re falling for Their diversionary tactics! The sheep are nothing but easily-expendible orcs, to the Horses.
    Don’t fall for Their frame-shifting!

    Tony, if I could hug you in meatspace, I would.
    I’ll just have to settle for *hugging* you, instead.

    *hugs* for Dalillama.

  74. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Beware, you’re falling for Their diversionary tactics! The sheep are nothing but easily-expendible orcs, to the Horses.
    Don’t fall for Their frame-shifting!

    I’m afraid I must disagree. Have you ever worked with sheep? They are the most gloriously dumb animals I’ve ever dealt with. So dumb that it must be an act, a subterfuge of epic scale. No creature that dumb could survive, even in captivity. The sheep are the masterminds I’m sure of it.

  75. cicely (Still hating it, but what can you do?) says

    A sheep ate part of my sweater, once. Or possibly it was a goat. It was long ago.

  76. says

    We serve multiple Vodka’s. As a California style Mexican restaurant, we sell more Tequila, by far.

    Speaking of that boycott, thanks for one of your prior links rq. I admit I made the hasty assumption that Stoli was made in Russia (though it is, for the purposes of international distribution , Latvia has that pleasure). After reading your link, I remember watching CNN at wirk, where they reported about the boycott, but they failed to double check where Stoli was made at. They are propogating false information which could hurt Stoli sales while doing nothing to strike against Russia.

    Just spent the last few hours reading up on school bullying in the US. My aim was to find info on how effective fighting back is, but I’m left slightly empty handed. All the evidence based sites I visited advised against fighting back, with a few mentioning that the power imbalance could grow or that the victim might get injured. I am disappointed that I could not find detailed refutations of the Fight Back argument. Moreover, given how often Fight Back is invoked–many times people just assume it works–I expected more details.
    OTOH, I learned a lot about Bullying, and successful programs to curb the problem, such as the
    <a href= "

  77. bluentx says

    So Eddy and Patsy are saved from having to find another brand of vodka? Fabulous!

    Jokes aside, what a disgusting law. Ironic that the John Birch membership would probably agree with this commie law.

  78. bluentx says

    As a California style Mexican restaurant, we sell more Tequila, by far.

    Well, there’s always Tito’s Vodka. Made in Austin, Tejas.

  79. says

    True. Not a bad Vodka. To be honest though, we should just be a Margarita bar since thats the bulk of alcohol sales (with Sangria trailing behind).

    –will we see oversight and regulations on supplements one day? Hope so.
    –keep yer paws off US! If it is ‘out there’ it belongs to no one (for that matter the same holds for here on Earth). Whats next, taping off portions of the Sun in the name of US military interests?

  80. rq says

    Your place is popular this month.
    Start leaving garbage and/or kibble on the neighbuor’s porch, should take care of the issue. ;) (I’m kidding!!)

    Can’t really engage right now, but ♥ and *hugs*!!!
    (Heading out.)

  81. bluentx says

    Should we start a pool on how much Scientology Central Command will spend trying to block this? :


    Big business in action! Go Capitalism! :

    …illegally stored by the Koch Brothers along the Detroit River.

  82. bluentx says

    (Heading out.)

    Let’s see…

    ‘Heading out’ …
    It’s Sunday…
    You were in church last Sunday!!! That’s why it was so dead around here!

  83. birgerjohansson says

    I just finished “John Dies At The End” by David Wong.
    Lovecraft meets “South Park”. There is apparently a film version in the works
    -All hail Korrock, eater of souls!

    — — — — — — — —
    If you have seen the horror film spoof “Black Sheep” (by splatter film director whose name I forgot) you will know sheep are deadly. They come in huge swarms, like pirhanas.
    — — — — —
    1 AU is approx. eight light minutes.

    But before the photons reach the surface of the Sun, they spend more than four million years in a mathematical “random walk” moving from the core of the sun to the convective zone. No bullshit.
    Yes. It takes shorter time for light to travel here from the Andromeda galaxy than from the core of the sun. In fact, it is mostly the radiation pressure from all those photons that prevent the sun from collapsing (I think).

  84. birgerjohansson says

    BTW the Pratchett /Baxter collaboration “The Long Earth” is not bad, it just suffers from compariosons with other books by both authors.
    But the zeppelin is cool, the AI is even cooler*. Jumping between different versions of the Earth is coolest of all.

    However, since there would be tiny changes in rotational speed, due to water moving between polar ice caps and the oceans in the different climates, the jumps between dimensions would result in substantial east-west drift.

    *The Tibetan motorcycle repairman made his first appearence in “Good Omens by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

    — — — — — —
    Urban gothic: the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison is quite good.
    I mention it because so much urban gothic is crap.
    But Harrison made a HUGE mistake in the first book when describing a particular
    small mammal as a rodent.
    — — —
    And in one Wallander book the author conflated the early service time of Avro Lancaster with the time of the Battle of Britain. (rolls up newspaper) Bad author! Bad!

  85. blf says

    That’s why it was so dead around here!

    Indeed. At Teh Couches of Clewless Cricket, Teh Conspicuous Comedy, and Teh Considerable Crazy ((Teh CC)²): Just watching the natural order of the universe being restored, with Ingerland again in the hunt for another hilarious way to loose at cricket. They still haven’t quite restored their form, just missing yet another chance to be worse than peas by managing to avoid a followon.

    However, the sentient-but-stoopid cidre is still very quiet, perhaps worried that the weather will “save” Ingerland. Or maybe it’s hiding from the sheep. Whilst stoopid, the cidre is not that stoopid: Sheep’s saber-teeth, huge claws, and thagomizer-equipped tail do make them a nuisance, rather like door-to-door christofanatics. Main difference is the sheep (the furry animals, not the mindless robots) aren’t as stupid. Both, however, are good roasted.

  86. birgerjohansson says


    I just bought a DVD with “John Dies At The End” and stated “PZ Myers, assistant professor[address at Morris]” as recipient. If he foolishly plays the DVD the consequences will be like in that Japanese horror film.

    — — — —
    Eddy and Patsy are my role models. And Homer Simpson.

  87. ImaginesABeach says

    chigau –

    I can’t believe nobody answered this question:

    How many batches of babbies do fucking squirrels have per year?

    A whole lot more than non-fucking squirrels.

  88. rq says

    What church?
    Garden party at Friend’s house, with beer. :) Last weekend, too! (It is, after all, summer, and some weekends I don’t even have to be at work.)

  89. jose says

    Thanks for the responses. But I wasn’t talking about the definition of the term or its creation back in the stone age. I was asking about its sudden adoption, ie gain in popularity as the current “okay” thing to say. Just a couple of years ago when Pariah was released the actresses were talking about how it was a good piece of black drama and we don’t see enough good black culture on the mainstream and black this black that. It was completely normal. Then, overnight, bam, everything is WOC and black is “not okay”.

    Mexicanos, gitanos, mediterráneos, anyone in the comments who’s neither white or black: have you ever been addressed as a POC?

  90. Walton says

    I have written an angry blog post. Over here, the Home Office has launched an immigration crackdown, in which immigration officers have been stopping and questioning people outside railway stations. Their behaviour has been abusive and intimidating, and it has been overwhelmingly racially targeted at people of colour.

    I am increasingly ashamed of my country, and of its horrifyingly racist and abusive immigration enforcement system.

  91. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    I’ve been making pies. I took the kids apple picking and they got a little carried away. I’ve given away apples. The kids have eaten them with friends on the front lawn and thrown the cores at each other. I baked pies. My eldest baked pies. We gave pie away. We still have a laundry basket of apples. I see a vat of applesauce in our future. So, virtual pies for all my friends!

    In other news, my eldest scrap has decided to go back to school after years of homeschooling. We’re all so excited! Baby’s goin ta high school! Adventure!

  92. Nutmeg says

    Well, after telling you guys that I didn’t think I would have any more night terrors until closer to my defense, I had a small one last night.

    I don’t remember anything prior to waking up confused in a sitting position. But my audio recording documents me saying, “Woah” a bunch of times really quickly, and then “Aaah!”, like I’m trying to get the dream-intruder to back off and it doesn’t work. And then I breathe really heavily for a few seconds, and then I start frantically flicking switches on my bedside table. Not sure what I was trying to accomplish, but it’s not the first time I’ve done stuff during a night terror that doesn’t make sense even in context. I woke up about 30 seconds after the switch-flicking, and I had sweated through my t-shirt.

    It’s a bit atypical, but calling it a minor night terror seems to be the best explanation. I was definitely scared while I was talking.

    I’m actually pretty psyched about this, because it’s the first time I’ve made a good-quality recording of a night terror, and it gives me more data to work with. A few more episodes, and I might be able to identify some patterns in when and why these things happen.

  93. blf says

    We still have a laundry basket of apples. I see a vat of applesauce in our future.


  94. rq says

    Yes! Cider!
    And it’s apple season here too, people with too many apples are leaving them in baskets at the ends of driveways and in parks. Free pickings!
    Pie season, in other words…

  95. carlie says

    Although I just recently found out how good apple cider doughnuts can be when a) made properly and b) chilled and c) paired with a glass of cider.

  96. rq says

    The early apples are ready – they start about now, and go until November or so. Don’t worry, we’re heading for 30+ degrees next week, I’m pretty sure that means it’s still summer!!

  97. says

    I know I’ve said this before, but I see no real reason for a citizenship/immigration/asylum petition process more complicated that “Sign here on the dotted line, stand here while we get a photo, here’s your new ID card”

    Best of luck to the Eldest

    *hugs* Night terrors suck, I am assured.

    Apple cider caramels are also lovely. (so is hot cider with caramel in).

    There’s a response in the ‘Dome

  98. says

    Apropos of nothing, I’ve gotten through the bureaucracy and waiting lists of the mental health services and I’ve got an appointment Tuesday, the beginning of a serious course of treatment for my social anxiety and associated problems.

    I’m a tiny bit nervous, but mostly I’m just relieved that there’s help to be had. Maybe I can get to a point where I no longer resent other people for existing. That might be nice.

    Hope the rest of you are coping with whatever crap you’ve got going.

  99. Tethys says

    Sawfly larvae are not nice. The darn things are infesting my raspberries and ornamental elderberry, and attempt to defoliate my roses every year. The leaf-cutter bees are allowed rose leaves, but the sawfly larvae are squished on sight.

    On a garden/ bee survey related noted. I have had sighting of two different species of bumblebees in the past two weeks, though only single specimins. This is better than zero bumblebees, but it is still distressingly far below my normal population by mid-summer.
    The leaf cutter bee population is doing well, and there is another type of all black bee that I haven’t gotten a good enough look at to identify. I also have a stable population of metallic green bees, so at least my various veg and fruits are getting pollinated. I am experimenting with various permanent nest sites for the bumbles, in hopes that the population will rebound.

  100. Tethys says

    Maybe I can get to a point where I no longer resent other people for existing

    You aren’t alone in experiencing this. Hooray for you in seeking help! I hope it works out well.

  101. says

    The Girl Scouts organization does NOT crumble like a cookie under an onslaught of attacks from rabid right-wingers (small amount of mormon history included).

    … Indiana state Rep. Bob Morris, promptly accused the organization of promoting “a homosexual lifestyle” and functioning as a “tactical arm” of Planned Parenthood.

    … He was particularly outraged by a Colorado troop who had recently accepted a 7-year-old transgender kid: “Boys who decide to claim a ‘transgender’ or cross-dressing life-style are permitted to become a member of a Girl Scout troop, performing crafts with the girls and participate in overnight and camping activities — just like any real girl.”…

    “The honorary president of the Girl Scouts is Michelle Obama,” he reasoned, “and the Obamas are radically pro-abortion.” (The honorary president of the Girl Scouts is indeed the first lady of the United States, and has been since Edith Wilson held the title in 1917.) …

    Morris wasn’t the only one to publicly accuse the Girl Scouts of pushing a covert liberal agenda. That April, Wasilla, Alaska, congressman Wes Keller, vice chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, questioned a bill celebrating the centennial because “of information that’s floating around the Internet” regarding the Girl Scouts’ “relationship with Planned Parenthood.” The following month, the Girl Scouts faced an “official inquiry” by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who critiqued their association with Doctors Without Borders, the Sierra Club and Oxfam (all of whom offer family planning services). The Girl Scouts, to their credit, didn’t blink. …

    Being fundamentally secular, the Girl Scouts can partner with anyone they like. In this way, they could not be more unlike the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts were founded as a Christian organization (their first partnership was with the Mormon church in 1913) and they’ve never shaken the conservative horse blinders that go along with that. …

    [discussion of revamped leadership program devised by Girl Scouts head honchos} … The second prong is correlated but more general: an attempt to get more girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known as the STEM fields. …

    Salon link.

  102. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, Dalillama. I’m not actually too bothered by experiencing the night terrors. I remember little to nothing of each one, so at most it’s a brief moment of fright and confusion in my memory. I’m more bothered by the fact that I do things during them. I would strongly prefer to stay safely in my bed at all times when not fully conscious.

    It could be a lot worse. The stories I’ve heard about sleep paralysis are terrible. I’m glad I’ve never had more than the most minor episode of that.

  103. says

    This counts as a Moment of Mormon Madness, Glenn Beck category.

    Glenn Beck hasn’t always been a fashion commenter, but after seeing a Levi’s commercial, he voiced his opinion. The ad in question featured denim-clad young adults protesting while a narrator read Bukowski lines. This was too much for Beck, who branded the ad “glorified revolution.” While his boycott was purely personal, it was one of the strangest in the recent history of pants. Then Beck started his own denim line. Coincidence, or counterrevoultion?

    Related links:
    YouTube link for the Levi’s commercial.
    NY Daily News coverage of Beck’s rant. link to his sales pitch for his denim line. First he labels the competition as evil, then he sets himself up to make moola from religious nutters who buy Beck bullshit.

  104. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness, genealogical category:

    … Descendants of Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith, the parents of the LDS Church founder, gathered for their biennial family reunion at Salt Lake City’s This Is the Place Heritage Park this week for picnics, activities, conferences and catching up. On Saturday, at least 700 snuggled up close, kids in front, under the towering monument commemorating the Mormons’ 1847 arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. … Association officials believe there are 40,000 to 50,000 living descendants, and the association actively seeks them out. …

    Salt Lake Tribune link.

  105. Tethys says

    Thank you everyone. I am thrilled to be Granny. Sonspawn is sending me photos to squeee over, but I haven’t gotten to speak to him yet. DIL required an emergency c-section, but mother and baby are both doing well

    Sadly, they are half a continent and half an ocean away from me. I am spending today weaving in all the ends of the various things I crocheted so that I can ship it tomorrow. It was a challenge to make crochet items that are appropriate for Hawaii.

    I settled on a four-color spiral blanket, matching baby sailor hat, two pairs of matching booties, and a adorable white tuxedo bib complete with bow tie for baby.

    I recommend Smoothfoxes patterns. The blanket pattern (and many others) are available on her website. Some day I will make one of those stained glass blankets for myself. So gorgeous, and so many possibilities for different color effects.

  106. rq says

    Congratulations! *confetti&sparkles*
    And all-black bees? Do tell! That sounds very wickedly bad-ass!
    And what do sawfly larvae look like? I don’t want anything eating my roses.

  107. carlie says

    Yes, I was tweeting all through it. :)

    I was really hoping for an Indian Doctor. Or anything other than the usual.

  108. carlie says

    Woohoo! There’s a new series starring David Tennant and Arthur Darvill, and the pilot is already up on youtube (hasn’t played on BBCA in the US yet) here

  109. HappyNat says

    Earlier today I had a conversation with my 4 year old son who was being a total shit all day. I told his behavior towards his sister and dog were mean and asked why. He responded that I was being mean, apparently for pointing out his behavior was unacceptable. When I told him saying he was being mean is not the same as being mean he collapsed to the ground in a fit. I was struck by the similarity between his reaction and the reaction of people who claim being called racist/sexist is just as bad (or worse) than saying the original racist/sexist thing. I’m not saying these people have the same capacity of a 4 year old boy, because about 20 minutes later my son apologized. If only they could learn from their mistakes.

    Jackie, I’ll be glad to trade you some tomatoes for some apples. Our garden is turning out tomatoes at an amazing rate. Neighbors and family are well stocked and they keep coming. Never canned them before but may have to so nothing goes to waste.

  110. peterooke says

    @crl – cn’t sy ‘m prtclrly hppy bt th thght f ll f th yng Dctr Wh fns cmng crss tht knd f lngg n thr rsrch. Mst nplsnt.

    prsnlly wld hv prfrrd wmn fr th frst tm.

  111. Tethys says


    And all-black bees? Do tell! That sounds very wickedly bad-ass!

    I’m pretty certain they are carpenter bees. They are fast, and rather shy. I kept trying to get a close look, but they were careful to stay on the opposite side of the plants. However, the only all black varieties are either Southern Carpenter Bee – Xylocopa micans or California Carpenter Bee – Xylocopa californica

    It looks more like micans, but I live in Minnesota, which is supposedly far outside its native range.
    It is possible however that some traveled north with spawn from Miami and overwintered in the relatively warm storage shed.

    And what do sawfly larvae look like? I don’t want anything eating my roses.

    There is a sawfly larvae at the top of this iteration of the lounge. Rose sawflies are green, and they eat foliage. I usually find them on the lower surface of the lowest leaves in early June. There is only one generation per year, so daily inspection and hand-picking for a week or so provides good control.


    thanks for the pattern links

    You’re welcome. The tuxedo bib pattern is here if you’re interested. I changed it so that it has a strap and shoulder button closure rather than ties, but it is an adorable, quick, easy project.

  112. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, looks like PeteRooke has found out about the amnesty. Everybody be sure to say “hi”.

  113. says

    If you just can’t wait, check here.
    It’s a tad disappointing we have another white straight (afaik) male doctor. Let’s hope at least he gets to keep the accent.

  114. says

    carlie @155:

    Mastercut of the new Doctor saying “fuck” 85 times in one movie.

    Excerpt: “Where do you think you are? In some fucking Regency costume drama?”

  115. yazikus says

    Hi HappyNat,

    Earlier today I had a conversation with my 4 year old son who was being a total shit all day.

    Were you hanging out at my house today?? I had a good sit down with mine, and I told him about the type of human I hoped he was becoming, and why certain behaviors (he was being selfish, demanding, bossy and lying about stuff) didn’t fit in with that. It was actually a really good talk.

    I just tried to explain to him the concept of a ‘personal bubble’ (he was climbing on me) and we have covered bodily autonomy tons, but I was getting annoyed with him violating my personal space (aka sticking his feet in my face). He thought it was the most humorous thing ever. “Mama, bubbles pop. Also, we aren’t allowed to have bubbles inside. And bubbles are also circles. How can you breathe in a bubble? Silly Mama!”. So, yes, more work to do!

    Most of the time he is lovely, but every now and then he’ll try out a new behavior to see if he can get away with it. I don’t have many people I can talk to about it, as we are raising him without spanking or physical discipline, and everyone would just say he needs a spanking or something. Ahrg.

  116. peterooke says

    Thnk y NrdfRdhd. drctd rthr nchrtbl cmmnt twrds yrslf vr n th Pnkr thrd nd fr tht ‘m srry.

  117. Walton says

    Oooh, I also took some pictures of bumblebees yesterday. I saw a whole crowd of fat fuzzy bumblebees feeding on a nearby lavender plant. They are the adorablest.

  118. thesandiseattle says

    Things I sometimes think about:
    we should switch to a decimal clock. redefine the second as 7942433849.28 vibrations of the caesium 133 atom, that would give us 100,000 seconds in a day. an ‘hour’ could be 10,000 seconds and a ‘minute’ 100 decimal seconds = about 86.4 traditional seconds. Not much of a change. Of course the work day would change, people like to work a solid block of time and 333 minutes is an odd off number.
    Sometimes I think about these things.

  119. carlie says

    Oh man, that first episode of Broadchurch made me cry for the entire hour. That is not easy viewing.

  120. rq says

    I hate it when people (esp. those with no kids of their own) bring out the ‘He just needs a good spanking!’ card. Husband’s siblings do it sometimes, mostly his older brother, who doesn’t even babysit for us (practically ever). It just seems so out of line.
    And yeah, we do a lot of talking and discussing about bossiness, entitlement, personal space, picking on younger siblings, sharing/selfishness, etc. … It’s a long hard slog, but most days I feel like we’re doing ok.
    I’m sure you (and HappyNat!) are doing pretty ok, too! *solidarity*

  121. carlie says

    Oh gross. Fox is redoing Broadchurch, because god forbid we watch something that has other than American actors in it: source

  122. Rey Fox says

    because god forbid we watch something that has other than American actors in it

    But all the good American actors ARE British.

  123. Tethys says

    everyone would just say he needs a spanking or something. Ahrg

    Arrgh, indeed. Too many people confuse parental discipline with corporal punishment. Ignoring and time-outs for bad behavior are far more effective methods.

    Hitting your child just teaches them that its ok to hit. :(

    Back when I had three under the age of five, I found that directing all their energy into a good rousing bout of outdoor exercise was crucial to my mental health. A few rainy days trapped indoors would have me feeling more like a referee than a loving parent.


    Congratulations on your pupillage Walton. You deserve it after all your hard work.

  124. says

    You came in asking assumption heavy questions that were incredibly easy to research on your own. In the spirit of The Lounge, I chose to spend time hunting down some sources for you to read. From there you should have been able to search on your own for any further questions you had.
    Instead, you show back up repeating yourself, displaying the same assertions in your questions, and expect to be spoonfed more answers.
    AND I am skeptical that you read any of the links I provided.

    If you need further answers, follow the links provided or do your own work.

    Additionally, I think it best if you do not pursue this any further in the Lounge. The implications of your specific questions are unsettling to me and the response I would like to give is not appropriate here.

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

    the thought of all of the young Doctor Who fans coming across that kind of language

    I showed kid #1 (11, big DW fan) this to give him an idea of Capaldi’s form. He loved it, but didn’t learn a single new word.

    My favourite line, at 2:10-ish: “Christ, Malcolm, how do you appear out of nowhere in a building made entirely out of glass?” “I’m a shapeshifter.”

  126. says

    :::the Queer Shoop darts ahead of the dastardly penguin to get behind rq in the ‘cider, please’ line::

    Ha! Take that formerly deranged penguin :)

    I had never heard of recording yourself while sleeping. I take it this was recommended as a way to gain some understanding of your night terrors?
    I hope you are able to get some answers sooner tham later and even find some way to eliminate the night terrors completely.

  127. Crudely Wrott says

    Welcome to grandparenthoodage, Tethys. I sure hope you don’t have to wait very long before being able to have some snuggle time with that little boy.

    Grandparenthoodage. The pleasure of having the company of wee ones with a vastly reduced responsibility quotient*. Plus you are automatically “someone special” in their wee eyes.

    Good fortune to all your family.

    *or better, a refreshingly different responsibility quotient. ;^>

  128. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One facet of changing times is that it appears less people are doing their own sewing. So shops carrying cloth and clothing attachments have been disappearing.

    I bring this up, as the Redhead has a splint she uses with her left (weak) forearm/hand at night, to prevent the hand from curling up into a fist; it maintains a open and neutral position. One strap that held the bottom of the fingers in place was made out of foam rubber with a lining held in place with paste-on (commercial dots, etc) velcro barbs, and the material had seriously degraded over the year. For the last month, I had been using a velcro strapping band to hold it on at night. The foam finally decided to die, separating from the lining. My choices were the local Walmart (faint possibility), or a 45 minute trip to the nearest fabric shop. Walmart came through with a 5 cm (2 inch) 0.9 m long sew-on velcro felt strap (both barbs and felt, not interested in the barbs), so I can cut off a piece of the felt and use it to hold the bottom of the fingers in place. And, if needed, a softer cloth can be sewn on to reduce irritation.

  129. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    Square Root of Minus Garfield


    I’m looking forward to seeing what the movie makes of John Dies at the End.

    The next Pratchett book will apparently be Raising Steam. Due out in October of this year!

    *hugs* for The Walton. I am increasingly ashamed of my country, too.

    We have 2 apple trees in the back yard. Too bad the apples suck….

    *hugs* for Nutmeg. I’m not sure wherein night terrors differ from nightmares (apart from the obvious Equine connection), but hopefully getting Actual Data will help you figure out what’s up with that shit.

    Happy Grandparentalness, Tethys!

    Good luck wishes for LykeX on the up-coming treatment.

    The Girl Scouts organization does NOT crumble like a cookie under an onslaught of attacks from rabid right-wingers


    And all-black bees? Do tell! That sounds very wickedly bad-ass!

    Do you feel a vignettettette coming on, rq?
    I might….

  130. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Walton – *pouncehug* Congratulations!

    Dalilliama, dontpanic, Nutmeg – *hugs*

    Tony – *hugs and chocolate*

    Alexandra – *pouncehug* I’m sorry I missed the Cookie Party.

    Nerd – I’m glad you were able to get the Redhead’s ring off.

    Jackie – Good luck to your eldest scrap!

    LykeX – Good luck. And *hugs*

    Tethys – Congratulations! *confetti*

  131. says

    carlie @127,
    Holy “How to please a shoop in one sentence” Batman!
    Apple Cider Donuts??!!
    May I have some assistance with this rock I have been under my whole life?
    I have never heard of such must-be-delicious treats.

    Must have someday (goes to the top of the Belly Bucket List)

  132. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd – I’m glad you were able to get the Redhead’s ring off.

    Lesson learned. Today, the Redhead had a friend take her to the Lincolnshire Marriott for a musical. The ring was on her little finger right hand for purely emotional reasons. Not tight on that finger.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We’ve talked about having it re-sized, but I suspect that it would cost money….

    What you should do is to go to a local gem and mineral show. There is sometimes a person there who does jewelry repair. It is much cheaper than going though a jewelry shop. The Redhead had two rings enlarged by such a person here in the Chiwaukee area, and it was a little over a hundred dollars per ring. Contact me at Radish1182 at big ISP provider (comcast) dot that which gets fish (net) for somebody in the Chiwaukee area.

  134. says

    I may have mentioned this before, but honey flavored whiskey + apple cider is heavenly. AFAIK, Seagrams Honey, Evan Williams Honey, and Jack Daniels honey are the best known honey whiskeys. From what I have seen , people who *like* whiskey (the bourbon variety, not scotch) usually do not like honey whiskey. those who do not like whiskey, me me me, tend to like it.

    Triple sized congratulations to you and your family.
    On a scale of 1 to 10, where are you sitting?

    Here’s hoping you can get the treatment you need so that you can be as social as you desire.

    Lynna @143:
    Given the tendecy of the LDS to ignore its polygamous roots, one has to wonder how they explain to the children that they have 40-50k living relatives.

    Speaking of those numbers, wow! How many wives did Joseph Smith have?

  135. Menyambal --- the penuchle of evolution says

    Pratchett has a new book coming out?!?!? Yay! For various reasons, I am just now reading _Snuff_ for the first time. I actually got it as an audiobook before getting my hands on a paper book. (I’m delaying reading for time when there isn’t so mach pain and crap in my life—the distraction is good, but I don’t need bad associations built up.)

    In the distractions line, I’ve a Playstation 2 set up, and am working my way through the first serious video game I have ever owned. I’ve played a few, and got all the way through one, on other people’s consoles, but this one is all mine, and is set up in my room to play whenever I want, and that’s a first. (It wasn’t my ideal choice of game, by the way, just the least-worst of what was in the crate.)

    Tony, apple cider is also good for deglazing pans after cooking pork. I’ve also used it in spaghetti sauce, when I needed a little liquid.

    Speaking of cooking, I just microwaved some new potatoes. That worked better than I thought. It wasn’t as good as some other ways to cook them, but it was easy and fast. I washed them, put them in a bowl, stirred/moved them around a few times, and melted butter in the bowl during the last minutes. A sprinkle of salt, and a lot of blowing to cool them down quick.

  136. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    What you should do is to go to a local gem and mineral show. There is sometimes a person there who does jewelry repair. It is much cheaper than going though a jewelry shop. The Redhead had two rings enlarged by such a person here in the Chiwaukee area, and it was a little over a hundred dollars per ring. Contact me at Radish1182 at big ISP provider (comcast) dot that which gets fish (net) for somebody in the Chiwaukee area.

    A good plan, and not one that had occured to me…except that it involves having a hundred dollars to spend on it. Not happening any time soon, sad to say. I don’t suspect myself of genius at planning and executing bank robberies.
    Chiwaukee is beside the point, though I know that there are occasionally gem and mineral shows, here, I think at least once a year, and if it ever becomes relevant, I know where to find out.
    Thanks for the suggestion, though.

  137. thunk: Ex ludo, scientia says

    hihi all!

    Yes, russia is fucked up. I’m almost boycotting my own culture because of it. :/

    I’m at some sort of international competition (I should say which, but that might be too personally identifying. ah well. it’s probably out there already), and the only team to have a player appear in solely their national flag was Latvia. not us merkins. just Latvia.

  138. thunk: Ex ludo, scientia says

    sandiseattle: I thought that too. then I realise you could just use the modified julian day for your decimal timekeeping needs.

    walton: ouch. I keep suggesting unrestricted migration, but everyone I’ve told this to keeps saying “our countries won’t fit all these people and have jobs for them” without actually thinking about it, even when they would never say that for limited migration.

  139. says

    I was unaware there was something wrong with the word “fuck”. Given that kids are going to hear it in school, perhaps discussing the word with children is better than trying to shield them from the inevitable.


    Yazikus, HappyNat:
    I think it is great that you both not only do not tolerate such behavior in your kids, not only do you not resort to spankings, but you also offer explanations so they gain better understanding

    Crudely Wrott:
    (Please read the following as if a 5 year old just caught a sibling doing something wrong)

    Oooooo, I’m telling on you.
    ‘Grandparenthoodage’ is not a real word.
    Wheres the number for the Internet Department of ImagiFactual Word Construction?

  140. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    I think what the black bees want is statting up.
    If they have a minor soul-sucking power, what would the honey be like? Hmmm….

  141. says

    :::does the Shoop wave at thunk:::
    Hey there.
    There is no reason to reveal anything about yourself unless you choose to. Some of us reveal much personal information. Some speak only on certain topics. Some, such as yourself, prefer not to reveal personal information. None of those approaches is objectively right or wrong. The only rule of thumb here is “it is your choice what you do or do not reveal about yourself.”

  142. Nutmeg says


    I had never heard of recording yourself while sleeping. I take it this was recommended as a way to gain some understanding of your night terrors?
    I hope you are able to get some answers sooner tham later and even find some way to eliminate the night terrors completely.

    Thanks. The recording is my lower-tech version of a sleep lab. I don’t really want to pursue this further with a doctor at this point, for a variety of reasons, so I’m taking the do-it-yourself approach. (There are lots of treatment options if the do-it-yourself approach fails. I just don’t like most of them.) I am hopeful that I will be able to spot some patterns in when and why night terrors occur and then be able to reduce the frequency. Plus, I like throwing science at my problems. It’s a coping mechanism.


    *hugs* for Nutmeg. I’m not sure wherein night terrors differ from nightmares (apart from the obvious Equine connection), but hopefully getting Actual Data will help you figure out what’s up with that shit.

    Thanks, cicely. I think Actual Data will help, and it certainly can’t hurt. As for the difference…*climbs on pedestal of newly-acquired knowledge*

    Ahem. Key points:

    -Nightmares occur in REM sleep, often closer to the morning. Night terrors occur in non-REM sleep, generally earlier in the night.
    -Nightmares generally involve a sequence of events that is fairly clearly remembered. Night terrors involve complete or partial memory loss for the episode. Remembering a single image from the dream and what you were doing right as you woke up is pretty typical. And sometimes you don’t remember anything, or even that the night terror happened.
    -Night terrors generally involve some kind of motion – sitting up, flailing, getting out of bed and running around. Nightmares don’t, because movement is mostly inhibited in REM sleep.
    -So night terrors are often less unpleasant to experience than nightmares (at least for me), but night terrors involve a greater danger of physical injury. And bystanders tend to react badly (my ex was not a fan).

  143. says

    I was initially confused by honey whiskey, thinking “but distilled mead is a rum, not a whiskey,” but then I realized you must mean whiskey with honey in. I’m not fond of bourbon style whiskeys myself, although they’re alright in mixed drinks. I really like a good Scotch, and I don’t ruin it with mixers, but I usually mix Canadian or Bourbon whiskeys if I have to drink them; Irish whiskey I’ll drink mixed or straight. I can totally see a drink based on honey, whiskey, and hot cider, but I’d prefer to mix my own; I suspect that Jim Beam puts in too much honey for my taste.

  144. opposablethumbs says

    Fly-by congratulations to Tethys – happy grandparenthoodageness!

    And good luck in tracking any night terrors pattern and hopefully short-circuiting it, Nutmeg.

    I am impressed by the patient parents – and totally agree about not wanting any so-called “advice” from idiots who think the best way to instill discipline into a child is to hit them. How the fuck does anyone justify adults hitting kids? It’s stupid, destructive, counterproductive, unjust, unjustifiable and disgusting, and teaches nothing but disrespect, might makes right and the biggest bully wins.

    Raising young children is exhausting and bloody difficult sometimes, and the last thing you need is smug idiots saying you ought to be using corporal punishment ffs.

    Fond greetings to everyone (except goddists and trolls …)

  145. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    ‘ I can totally see a drink based on honey, whiskey, and hot cider,’

    I can totally smell that! Mmmmmm…

  146. says


    I think what the black bees want is statting up.

    What system?

    If they have a minor soul-sucking power, what would the honey be like? Hmmm….

    Eating it gives you visions drawn from the memories of those harvested by bees?

  147. Crudely Wrott says

    ‘Grandparenthoodage’ is not a real word.

    (Tony, listen as I answer a precocious 5 year old.) =)

    [shooches down to get to eye level] “Why, don’t you know that all words got started by someone, somewhere, sometime just making them up for want of a better one? Sure. Even you can make up your own words. Why, it’s possible that some of them could catch on if they stick in people’s ears just right. That’s right. You can try it too! Now, off with you and see what kind of words you can make up. Kbai! Yup, love you too.” [blows kiss and watches bouncing noggin’ vanish around corner]

    Thanx, LykeX, for having my back on that one. Coolness.

  148. chigau (残念ですね) says

    oh and
    one of my high-school chums was a grandparent at the age of 32 and a greatgrand at 50

  149. Crudely Wrott says

    Lessee, whiskey, honey, cider or some flavorful additive. Perhaps warmed up? Hot toddy?

  150. HappyNat says


    I understand feeling alone in the non-spanking realm. I have some acquaintances who say things like, “if only parents were allowed to discipline* their children like the good old days”. One way I get “revenge” on them is when I tell them about what kids of questions I ask my kids, “Why do you think that happens?” “How do you think that made them feel?” “How do you think Santa delivers all those presents?”, and it’s clear by the look on their face they have never thought about talking to their kids like that. I don’t want to teach my kids what to think, I want to teach them how to think.

    People always say parenting is hard, and it is, but you know growing up is really hard too. There is a lot going on in their brains (a lot more than in mine) and they are trying to make sense of this crazy world and control their emotions. I don’t see how violence is going to help them make any more sense of things.

    *”discipline” of course means hit

  151. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    *pouncehug* for thunk.

    Thank you, Nutmeg.
    Knowledge Is Good.

    Dalillama: AD&D is my system—specifically, the combo of 1st and 2nd editions, plus Unearthed Arcana, plus House Rules (mostly to do with magic use) that our group has cludged together over the years.

    Eating it gives you visions drawn from the memories of those harvested by bees?

    I like it! An entire campaign could be built around the necessity to recover certain lost information (perhaps someone really did “take it to his grave”, and that’s a Bad Thing). Which hive of bees? Which honey cell is the Right One? And was the specific information you’re looking for actually deposited therein? What if Other Interested Parties think that the grave is juusst the right place for that information? What would they do to prevent its rediscovery?
    Now I’m just getting myself all excited. And anticipatory.

  152. thunk: Ex ludo, scientia says

    And just to add proof to my statement that CIS countries are horrible, I just had the combined Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan teas yell at me the the gays are destroying America and that the (horrible racist slur)s are destroying White America. No, I have no idea why that’s a bad thing either.

    It was mixed with slightly more serious objections about how Detroit is going bankrupt! Wall Street is going bankrupt! and how the “freedom” in this country is a joke and having our history consist entirely of massacring Indians. Most of these things are Big Problems in our society, but neither Putin, Nazarbayev, or Lukashenko are defenders of democracy either.

  153. says

    Crudely Wrott

    Lessee, whiskey, honey, cider or some flavorful additive. Perhaps warmed up? Hot toddy

    Heat cider until you can dissolve honey in it (optionally with cinnamon sticks and cloves in as well), then add whiskey and drink.


    AD&D is my system—specifically, the combo of 1st and 2nd editions, plus Unearthed Arcana, plus House Rules (mostly to do with magic use) that our group has cludged together over the years.

    I’m also one of those cranky grognards who won’t let go of real AD&D, although for many game types I use GURPS these days.

  154. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Cider for all my friends!
    Thanks for the idea.

    Sorry about the awful night terrors, but congrats on the recording.

    Yay for the grand-baby!

    Lyle X, Hang in there. Here’s hoping for better days ahead.

    Go Girl Scouts!

    Not one thing wrong with the word “Fuck”. It is versatile, has a soft beginning and hard end to the sound of it that is very satisfying when one requires a good swear word.

    I love “John Dies at the End”.

    New Doctor will have to wait. We’re going to watch Serial Mom when the kiddies tuck in. I need ideas for a John Water’s themed party. I want to go as Divine, but I think I’m creepier as Serial Mom. So many choices….

    Thanks for the well wishes for Eldest Scrap. We get the ball rolling tomorrow. Apparently this school separates the kids into “houses”. We’re really overdoing the Hufflepuff jokes at this point.

  155. yazikus says

    Thanks for all of the solidarity and thoughts! Parenting (and growing up!) is definitely an amazing and arduous journey.

    We just got home and and I sat down on the couch, and he came over and stood in front of me, “May I come inside your personal bubble, Mama?”
    Me- “Sure, what are you going to do?”
    He wickidly grins “Push you over and snarf you up because I’m a carnivore!”.

    So, eh, you win some and you lose some? At least he asked.

  156. says

    Here’s hoping for better days ahead.

    Honestly, I’m pretty sick and tired of hope. I’ve been living off hope for years and it wears you down. I’m ready for some honest to god results.

    But the sentiment is appreciated :)

  157. Crudely Wrott says

    Dalillama, thanks for jogging my memory re: toddies. Cinnamon and clove were the words that brought it all back.

    I used to make and enjoy them but haven’t in a long time. Betcha’ I make some later this year when it cools down.

    [goes off looking for recollection renovation service]

  158. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    August kinda snuck up, this year.
    I am debating the ethicality of broadly hinting to Son that I would like to receive a string of green LED fairy lights, for my birthday.
    I usually ignore my birthday.
    But this year, I think they would look really cool under the transparent-black-with-opaque-black-spiderwebs fabric in which I intend to sheathe The Cane.

  159. Portia, in boots says

    I’m ridiculously ‘rupt but not dead or anything. Popping in to say hello and I miss y’all. I’m not sure I have any hope of catching up but I have a truckload of hugs for both those in need and those in want and those in neither.

  160. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    *throwing thornless roses at the stage whereon Tony is accepting his Tealy Award*
    Mind you, I don’t think there’s a chance in nonexistent Hell that txpiper will intake your point, but it was a noble effort.


  161. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    No, really for Halloween. I re-upholster The Cane for season changes and holidays. Right now, it’s dressed for Summer…but Halloween is looming just around the corner, when you take into consideration the Allow-Up-To-Six-Weeks-For-Shippingness of the fairy lights.
    I also have a large rubber spider to use as a “hood ornament”.

  162. says

    Oops. Yeah, thats what I meant.


    For the spectacle of Channeling Your Inner 5 Year Old, the judges give you 9.2, 9.5, and 9.875.

    By the way, I may have been unclear…some liquor companies have taken to adding honey to whiskey to create, well, honey flavored whiskey. That is what I was referring to. Add 1.5 oz Jack Daniels Honey to 3 or 4 oz Apple cider. Heat from delicious winter drink or serve on the rocks.

    Crap! I just remembered a Tale to tell which slipped my mind. After the long ine I left in the Dome, I may wait til tomorrow to relate it.
    Thanks to yazikus for inadvertently reminding me (personal bubble).

  163. says

    Yeah, I thought of that.
    Writing it out, I realized I had not put my thoughts on paper before. It gave me the chance to consolidate the ramblings in my head. Another added benefit–if I am off the mark, or make any assumption, or a pesky fallacy rears its head, it may be noted by someone.

  164. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    @carlie – I can’t say I’m particularly happy about the thought of all of the young Doctor Who fans coming across that kind of language in their research. Most unpleasant.

    You think kids don’t come cross that language every fucking day on the playground?

  165. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    How did it get to be August?
    Was I asleep?

    I have been wondering that myself.


    I am debating the ethicality of broadly hinting to Son that I would like to receive a string of green LED fairy lights, for my birthday.

    Go for it! You’ll enjoy them very much.

    Portia – *pouncehug* And I thank you for the one I took from you. Things have been hard the past few weeks, a trend unfortunately likely to continue for at least the next couple as well.

  166. Crudely Wrott says

    For the spectacle of Channeling Your Inner 5 Year Old, the judges give you 9.2, 9.5, and 9.875.

    For the face-stretching grin that puts on my face, Tony, I award you a solid 9.9. You do have a habit of doing that, you know. The gifting of grins is a rare and priceless talent. I only wish I could suddenly appear on the corner bar stool to thank you in person.

    Big wave to Portia. Glad you’re here.

  167. HappyNat says

    If I’m going to be “snarfed” by a carnivore I’d rather be asked first. I should know my daughter has wanted to be a paleontologist since she was 2.5, so I’ve be snarfed a multitude of times.

  168. Crudely Wrott says

    For those of you who may have forgotten your routine irony meters –>

    [I still can’t figure out why I can’t get preview to work. Maybe NoScript is to blame? (fiddles and diddles) Yup! Seems I need to allow Wut? and Why? I Wonder. Don’t think I’ve changed those settings lately. Ok, Whatever. Welcome back, Preview. Now I can Submit with confidence again!]

  169. chigau (残念ですね) says

    My really old kitty likes the heating-pad.
    She arranges herself most carefully: head off, hips on.

  170. Crudely Wrott says

    HA! Stepped in what? O Tpyos, I’ll never escape the thrall.

    . . . routine irony meter maintenance . . .


  171. rq says

    Good morning!
    Why, oh why, does puking for half the night leave me feeling so weak and powerless? *rrrgrhghhh*


    Hi, Hekuni Cat!
    I want to apologise to you – for some reason, every time you pop in, I mean to say something to you (hi, or *hugs*) and then I don’t, and then I feel bad because I feel like I’ve missed you and you’ve left the room, and you’re always so thoughtful… So I apologize for being thoughtless, and I offer *hugs* (just be careful, I think they’re disease-ridden today, I’m really sorry about that).

    I like where you’re going with the black bees here. I thought about Vampire Bees, but that might be a bit too obvious; then I thought about bees that, instead of sucking, transmit [nanobots, viral DNA, poisons, etc.] into… other bees, people? Yeah, this needs some more thought.

    re: grandparentageness (I’m sure I spelled that wrong!)
    My mum insists that the best thing about being a grandparent is that you get to visit, rile the kids up and spoil them rotten (of course, within parentally allowable limits!!!), let them jump on the couch and dance on the windowsill, and then… go home and have Parents deal with the fallout. ;)
    I’m sure there’s room for responsibility somewhere in there.

  172. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says


    I have spent 98 hours so far since the Thursday before last working on moving the company I work for. (Small business; under-clients-sending-their-fucking-paymentsed -> understaffed; I arranged a friend hiring on as an as-needed employee and my boss…mostly drives the forklift and the flatbed truck). I have lost at least seven pounds in that timeframe and I have been GUZZLING soda. (It’s fucking hot here.) I was hoping to finish everything that wasn’t dealing with the trash and recycling pallets and the scrap metal bins tonight and leave those for tomorrow, but that didn’t happen. I think it can still be finished tomorrow.





  173. says

    Fuck. Fuck off. Fuck you. I’m fucked. I don’t give a fuck. Go fuck yourself. For Fucks Sake. What the Fuck? Fuckin’-A. Motherfucker. Fuck Me. Let’s fuck.

    One word.
    Sometimes it sits there, by itself with no company.
    Other times, prefix or suffix.
    It can also serve as adjective or verb.
    Depending on the context the word can take on different meanings.

    One thing is clear: the word is offensive to many. Why though?
    What makes the use of fuck or its spinoffs unnacceptable in certain social settings?

    I suspect the word is offensive in large part because of religion. To many people, sex is this intimate, special affair between a man and woman for the purpose of making warriors for god . It is those miraculous babies, gifts from god, that makes human sexual interaction” special”.
    This special act is of such an intimate nature that it belongs behind closed doors. Additionally, the disgust at human beings and their dirty, sinful bodies and their nasty sex are a necessary evil for the greater good, but to discuss such matters in public, using explicit terms is an affront to god. ‘Fuck’, no matter its usage still reminds one of that dirty, sinful sex that we are not supposed to discuss.

    Tied to that, but somewhat separate is the notion of humans (some of them at least) as gods “Chosen People”, which is an exalted status, one that strokes our egos and makes us feel self important. This world, these bodies are temporary repositories for our immortal, special souls. Sex, though necessary for producing gods warriors is of “this world”, while we are above it. We are masters of all. We are nothing like the other creatures upon this planet, with their disgusting sex. Though this world was made for us, our existence here is filled with sin, pain and suffering which we brought upon ourselves. These shells we wear are of this world. How we use these shells is a constant reminder of how we angered god. Sex is of this world where we, ultimately, are not. Our bodies, the sex we have…all of it shameful and unworthy of our status. No talk of sex…no discussion of body parts…no sexual education. The only place for any of that is in private. Sex and everything related becomes taboo.

    Of great note is the treatment of women with regard to sex. Their special status is Incubators for gods soldiers. But they are dirty, disgusting creatures that remind men of sex. Their presencevoutside the home is a reminder of the our sins and are sources of shame more than men. They must remain at home so as to avoid tempting men and reminding of nasty sex.

    Urine and feces are also taboo, as ‘unclean’ products these meatshells produce.

    Or I could be way off base.

    Whether I am or not, I fail to see justification for continuing to treat words like ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ as these special terms that “polite people do not use”

    Hmmm, as I think about it, the discredited “profanity is a sign of small vocabularies or bad upbringing ” makes me wonder if there is a classicist mentality at play.


    It is not enough to simply state that certain words are off limits. One needs to demonstrate with evidence based arguments that the use of profanity is harmful in some way.
    We live in a time where scientific discoveries have helped improve the human condition. Human sexuality is an important component of our existence, but the shackles of the so-called ‘profane’ or ‘taboo’ need to be cast off so we can benefit from our accumulated knowledge.

    Hmm, I may be onto something after all

    profanity noun /prəˈfæn.ɪ.ti/ /-ə.t̬i/ FORMAL


    › [C or U] (an example of) showing no respect for a god or a religion, especially through language

    › [C] an offensive or obscene word or phrase: It was the song’s opening line, a series of profanities, that caused the record to be banned on the radio station.

    Without the religious objection to profanity, swearing or cursing…what is left?

    I find it oddly humorous that certain expressions using ‘fuck’ do so, but without defining ‘fuck’ in sexual terms.
    “What the fuck?”
    “Shut the fuck up!”
    “Get the fuck out”

    Use the word without sexual connotations. The phrases as a whole define themselves, if you understand the context under use and have some awareness of how the phrase is used.

    Other phrases retain their connection to sex in direct manner.
    “Gor fuck yourself.”
    I find the first somewhat troubling since it has a sexual component. Telling someone to ‘fuck yourself’ has no meaning without fuck=sex. Using the phrase “Get the fuck out” utilizes the word as emphasis. Removing the word still leaves the intent. In the prior example, however, ‘fuck’ has to mean something bc the sentence cannot stand without it. What message is being conveyed when you tell someone to ‘go fuck yourself’? Perhaps the most obvious one–go masturbate, but thets hardly expressing disgust, strong anger or extreme disapproval.
    The unsavory interpretation is one that asks the target to go perform some sort of unpleasant sexual activity. My first thought was that the target was being asked to perform anal sex on themselves. Does ‘go fuck yourself’ trade on the same contempt for gay sex that ‘butthurt’ does?

  174. rq says

    Heh, probably.
    Also, I read the first few sentences of your post and thought you were pissed off. :D Turns out, no, you were just preparing for the profanity olympics!
    Someone posted an article a while ago either here or on my FB about profanity and how it changes over time (i.e., what is considered profane), how it is affected by religion/social context/etc.. I’ll see if I have the energy to google for it at length, it was about a book about profanity that came out recently. It may have been about this book or this book.

  175. says

    Ouch. Stay hydrated, there, we don’t want to lose you.

    Whether I am or not, I fail to see justification for continuing to treat words like ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ as these special terms that “polite people do not use”

    There’s also a class element to it. Fuck, shit, piss, etc, are all Anglo-Saxon words (I think it was George Carlin who did a routine about this). The ‘polite’ terms are mostly borrowed from Latin (language of the Church and the educated), Greek (language of philosophy and the educated), and French (language of the Norman aristocracy).

  176. opposablethumbs says

    Get well, rq! Sorry about the bad night. Soothing foot-soak to Azkyroth.

    The only fucking swearword in there that I’ve wondered about is motherfucker. And those are good questions Tony raises wrt go fuck yourself – and also, perhaps, to fuck you? Not that I think we would necessarily be well-served by dropping them. Wrt motherfucker, I’ve encountered the locution (which can be semi-“joking” or serious, afaik) tu madre es (or “sera”) una santa pero vos sos un hijo de puta – in an attempt to focus the insult on the addressee rather than their mother. I don’t think it helps much …

  177. opposablethumbs says

    Tony, I just went and read your long post about empathy and basic human decency over in the dome and I’d like to say – well, you know, being a Brit and all – that I really rather like you. Rather a lot, in fact.

  178. rq says

    You have an email.
    I’ll be doing some embarrassed cowering over in that corner there.

  179. bluentx says

    So sorry you’re feelin’ puny this morning, rq.

    *sympathetic sad doggie eyes*

  180. carlie says

    Hang in there, Azkyroth.

    This is a good reference for argument usage, from Love Joy Feminism: Actual abstinence success rates. I hadn’t actually thought of it that way before – she blows apart the “abstinence is 100% effective” trope by realizing you have to compare typical use rates, and even with perfect use rates it doesn’t win.

  181. rq says

    Minty foot cream for Azkyroth, and someone to administer the massage (should you be so inclined)! And stay hydrated, yes!

    I thought yoga was supposed to be relaxing…?

  182. says

    Hi, I haven’t visited here since it was The Endless Thread…but this morning I came across something that pleased me and I wanted to share it with those who appreciate science and fantasy, so I thought of sharing it here.
    In a recent article in the New York Times about Maurice Sendak’s art, there was mention of his first illustrated work, “Atomics for the Millions,” which he created at the age of 18. The story is here, along with a few illustrations:
    NYT item:
    If you search “atomics for the millions” in google images, you will see many more images from the book – they are delightful.

  183. Portia, in boots says

    I never feel quite relaxed after yoga, ha.

    Azkyroth – whew, hope you get some rest soon.

    I think I just fixed what was a major issue with my student loan payments. I hope the crisis is averted. Deep breaths. No more panic attacks.

    I’ve been headhunted and offered a job by a local firm. There are lots of factors to consider, and I’m considering taking the job. Big changes ahead for Portia. I’ll have to learn how to have a boss. And maybe even health insurance (for those worried about my migraines, huzzah!).

    I needed a pouncehug! And chocolate! Hooray! :D

    In my Lounge absence one of the adventures I had was finding a charming old book store in a charming little town among the bluffs in northern Iowa. Old books and used books and beautiful shelves and a knowledgeable proprietor, it was like a dream. I thought of you book-loving Lounge lizards. :)

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

    New Doctor but Moffat proves himself to be a huge asshole

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

    “I’d like it if the queen was played by a man.

    Moffat addressing the idea of a female Doctor.

    Goddamn it he’s an asshole

  186. Portia, in boots says


    I’ve watched only a couple episodes of Doctor Who but I totally agree about Moffat. Not least because of this awesome blog I found trying find out why he was so hated:

    (Newsflash for Moffat, the next three people in line for the throne are dudes. Not that that’s remotely the point. Jesus).

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

    Between this and the comiccon thing it seems like Moffat is trying to kill enthusiasm about Doctor Who. With me it’s working. I’m as yet undecided if I will bother with the next Doctor. Either way it’s slipped down my priority list.

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

    It’s not crying that they didn’t pick a minority, it’s that the idea is still treated like it’s asking them to eat bag of dog shit

  189. tbtabby says

    Atop the Fourth Wall’s review of Marville #5 is out…and hoo boy. The comic is the worst misrepresentation of the theory of evolution since Movin’ On Up. From getting every fact about early human history wrong, to claiming our evolutionary ancestors are otters, to claiming war was nothing but a game dreamed up to impress women, and then has the gall to insult anthropologists, calling them ‘people who never got jobs.” Any anthropologists reading this blog, if you would like to pay a visit to Bill Jemas and re-educate his body, I understand.

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


    I literally skipped this week because Marville is so fucking painful.

  191. says

    Nice link, Portia. Especially, everybody go read this. It’s awesome.

    I was looking around and found this:

    “You want people to be shocked when the name comes out,” Moffat is quoted as saying by the LA Times.

    “You want people to go, ‘No, that would never work!’ They did that with Matt, when they announced Matt. It was, ‘He’s far too young, and he doesn’t look right. He’s got silly hair.’

    “You want people to go, ‘Oh, what have they done?’ And they always get wrenched out of their comfort zone, and then they find the Doctor again. And there’s such a range of what the Doctor can be.”

    What annoys me about that is the idea of treating the casting of a middle-aged white guy as if it’s some provocative statement. I don’t know enough about Capaldi to judge if he’ll be a good Doctor, but I very much doubt he’ll be outside anybody’s “comfort zone”.

  192. Portia, in boots says


    Wow, that’s some quality obtuseness right there. Not to mention the fact that clearly he doesn’t want to go out of anybody’s comfort zone, least of all his own…because obviously the way to actually accomplish shock and awe and newness would be to…idk…cast someone besides a middle-aged skinny pale dude?

  193. Portia, in boots says

    Oooh, that Comic-Con panel article gave me goosebumps. And my Pandora station cued in a swelling orchestral number at just the right moment. It was an experience :)

  194. Portia, in boots says

    Reading up and got to Tethys’ grand news! Hooray and confetti and hooraaay! :D

  195. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m pretty sure oolon will block this feminist.

    Why? It’s not like agency-denying anti-sex-work obsessives haven’t always had a place in the movement, unfortunately.

  196. pensnest says

    Congratulations Tethys!

    To A. Noyd and others who watched the Robin Thicke video… this *glorious* parody is well worth four minutes of your time.

    Re the new Doctor: Capaldi played the civil servant in Torchwood: Children of Earth, and was *brilliant*, so I’m sure he’ll be a very capable doctor. But… eh. I’d have liked to see the new Doctor inspect himself in the mirror and say, rather thoughtfully, “Now that’s new.” Instead I’m left forlornly hoping it’s all smoke and mirrors, and the *real* new Doctor is someone quite different. Doubt it, though.

  197. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    Hekuni Cat!

    *gentle hugs* for rq.
    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a puky day.
    *handing over Barf Bucket*

    I like where you’re going with the black bees here. I thought about Vampire Bees, but that might be a bit too obvious; then I thought about bees that, instead of sucking, transmit [nanobots, viral DNA, poisons, etc.] into… other bees, people? Yeah, this needs some more thought.

    I once had bees and mosquitoes vectoring a tailored lycanthropy virus….
    There was a Mad ScientistMage behind it all.
    See, first you infect them, and then (through the Miracle of Modern ScienceMagic) you control them with levelled-up Animal Summoning and Animal Control spells when they’re shifted. Seas of blood, mountains of skulls (or, at least, picked-clean bones), etc….and no one looking at the real Cause of it All. Joyfulness and Frivolity!!!
    :) :) :)
    I’ll avoid looking into the Cowering Corner until I’ve had the chance to read the email, probably tonight. You are probably cowering causelessly.

    *cautious, non-sweaty hugs* and commiserations for Azkyroth. Watch out for those sodas! They’re treacherous in their apparent hydratingness.

    carlie, thanks for the link to the abstenance-as-“contraception” article. I’m going to send it to a few people I know who think that Abstenance Is The Only Moral Birth Control.

    KevinKat, *hugs* and sympathy.

    Hi, Quodlibet. I remember you from Then.

    Portia, hurrah for Crisis Aversion! Hurrah for being Headhunted! Hurrah for *pouncehugs* and chocolate!
    :) :) :)

  198. Portia, in boots says

    Ohemgee, that parody video is priceless. I hadn’t watched the original before, and it’s impressive to successfully parody something that’s already so utterly preposterous.

  199. rq says

    I saw this parody before I saw the original, and I just love the parody – apparently they re-wrote the lyrics, too.

  200. says

    Thinking about the new Doctor and all that, I had a thought, which I’ll state for the record:
    Forest Whitaker.

  201. blf says

    ::the Queer Shoop darts ahead of the dastardly penguin to get behind rq in the ‘cider, please’ line::

    Ha! Take that formerly deranged penguin

    Yeah, being behind the pucking rq is certainly better than in front…

    The mildly deranged penguin is amused. She doesn’t queue. No point when the normal method of entry and exit is to go through the wall, creating your very own personally-shaped space. Besides, no cheese is involved. And she makes cidre. A famous recent batch tunnels, is sentient-but-stoopid, and very probably despondent that Ingerland failed to loose in an amusing way and so are stuck with the urn of toxic pea ash.

    Whatever is queuing that fooled Teh Stoop is probably a disguised sheep. Not much else, not even celery, is so silly as to try and pretend to be the currently-amused penguin.

  202. says

    Hi all, thanks for the greetings – that was nice. :-)
    I hang out, and comment more, over at Dispatches, but I read Pharygula every day. Always something to interest, or outrage, or amuse, or wonder over.

  203. Pteryxx says

    as long as the Twitter, Block Bot, and abuse button discussions are still going on, for consideration: LinkedIn pulls a company’s ads because of complaints about photos that turned out to be of their female employees.

    via BB,

    I contacted you to you to notify that we had to reject the ads on the TopTal business ads account as many LinkedIn members complained about the women images you were using.

    As a result, please edit the ads we will reject using different images, related to the product advertised and submit your ads again; we will be more than happy to approve them.


    My first response was, this can’t be true. Are they seriously siding with people who complained to LinkedIn that our female software engineers are offensive?

    As of Aug 3, after about three weeks of suspension (and a brief switch to male-only engineer photos), LinkedIn did reinstate Toptal’s advertising account. The comments are, alas, as expected, right down the ol’ too-pretty-sexy-can’t-be-a-real-tech thoroughfare.


    and HuffPo, the only source I’ve found so far that actually spoke to the engineer pictured.

  204. says

    Fucking Hell!!!! I just tried to call the unemployment department again, it being Monday, to see if I can get any extensions or the like. Today, my expected wait time on hold for an agent is 180 minutes. And, of course, there’s no feature that allows you to request a callback when someone is available, although that’s rapidly becoming standard.

  205. says

    Tony @181:

    Lynna @143:
    Given the tendecy of the LDS to ignore its polygamous roots, one has to wonder how they explain to the children that they have 40-50k living relatives.

    Speaking of those numbers, wow! How many wives did Joseph Smith have?

    Joseph Smith married 34 women and girls. Scroll down to see a list here. The list also shows the ages of the women and girls at the time of marriage, as well as listing the names of the husbands of those who were already married.

    The reunion story referenced in comment #143 begins with Joe Smith’s parents. There are no good explanations, but being gullible, not prone to vet sources and enamored of ignorance, most mormons accept discredited explanations like these:
    – We don’t know why god approved polygamy for a time.
    – There were not enough men to go around and Joseph was being kind.
    – Joe Smith did not have sex with anyone but his first wife.

    Joseph Smith was a pedophile, “marrying” some girls as young as 14. See Check the story of Helen Mar Kimball for one of the worst instances of taking advantage of a young girl. This link also debunks most of the mormon excuses offered for Joseph Smith’s perfidy — and it does so using only official mormon sources.

    Here’s an additional source to debunk the myth that Joe Smith did not have sex with all of his wives:

  206. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    *pouncehug (location negotiable)* for Pteryxx. Do you prefer to receive them at ankle level, as well as pass ’em ’round that way? At any rate, select whatever location you are most comfortable with, and Release the Hugs.

    Fucking Hell!!!! I just tried to call the unemployment department again, it being Monday, to see if I can get any extensions or the like. Today, my expected wait time on hold for an agent is 180 minutes. And, of course, there’s no feature that allows you to request a callback when someone is available, although that’s rapidly becoming standard.

    What is, “Complete Bullshit”, Alex?

  207. blf says

    [M]y expected wait time on hold for an agent is 180 minutes.

    Sounds similar to the English-speaking France Telecomm helpline. Kudos to French Telecomm for having it in the first place — and the few times I’ve managed to get through, the people on the other end have been both helpful and competent (not as true for the easier-to-contact French helpline) — but it’s almost impossible to get through. If the estimated wait time is longer than 20(?) minutes, it hangs up on you. Even if you managed to get into the queue with an original less-than-that-amount-of-time estimated wait (i.e., things are taking longer than estimated). Which is quite aggravating if you’ve been waiting for 19-ish minutes already. And, of course, it’s only open during “business hours” on weekdays. (I don’t recall now if there is the typical French 2-ish hour lunch break or not.)

    I am unawares of any e-mail / web equivalent.

    Fortunately, the telephone market in France is somewhat deregulated, and there are alternatives. One of these days (perhaps the next time something goes BLAURPSPLUTF!) I’ll switch  Unfortunately, I think the so-called “last kilometre” is still under the control of France Telecomm, and I’ve no idea how responsive (or not) “they” are if my contract is with someone else (albeit, in theory, it is that “someone else” who has to deal with France Telecomm).

  208. thesandiseattle says

    Here’s another thought I had:

    Why isn’t there a FTB comment area? I comment on several blogs here, we need a FTB Lounge. Well its an idee anyway.

  209. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Crossposted from Thunderdome, because I apparently don’t know how to internet:

    Grousing that has nothing at all to do with anything:

    Sites my workplace’s blocker blocks:
    (1) Questionable Content (the webcomic)
    (2) Manboobz (the blog)
    (3) Reddit (reddit)

    Sits my workplace’s blocker does not block:
    (1) Oglaf (the “webcomic”)
    (2) Stormfront (racist)

    I am ye baffled.

  210. Parrowing says

    Hi, everyone! I come bearing gifts:

    a green and yellow stuffed dragon for Tony

    assorted chocolates for Portia (You don’t mind if I snag the one on the bottom right, right? *reaches for the chocolate slowly*) (Also, congratulations on the job offer!!!!)

    a lacy parasol for rq (Feel better soon! I don’t know how the parasol will help, but I hope it distracts you for a bit?)

    And a bunch of snazzy sunglasses for cicely (Are you allowed to speak about the Shadowcamels? I mean, with impunity?)

    And this is only what I could carry to the Lounge this time around. If you didn’t get your gift today, let me know and I’ll bring it next time :).


    Hekuni Cat:

    This teaches me not to slack with reading the Lounge while I’m away. If I had been keeping up I could have gone with you to the museum :(. I hope you had a fun time.



    Thanks for introducing me to Welcome to Night Vale! I’m working my way through the episodes now :D.


    blf wrote:

    [C]umin flavored cheese exists.

    It’s wonderful.

    Yep. I’m trying to keep some hidden from the mildly deranged penguin right now: Sealed in a vacuum flask, surrounded by a slush of peas and diesel fuel in a concrete-lined drum, buried under a field of horses, in a nuclear fallout shelter stuffed full of celery. On Mars. Several hundred years ago. With a slightly modified value of π, and an armed troop of Atlantean T. rex calvary.

    And you left the MDP a map to your cheese here?! By now the cheese will be looooong gone.


    Belated congratulations to Walton and Tethys!

  211. says

    Some pro-life asshole left a postcard of fetus parts, the pictures of the local docs and their address on my door. My 5 year old son just ran up and saw it.The organization is listed as “”

    I left them a note on my door and just donated to Planned Parenthood. Fuck those people. Fuck them all.

  212. Portia, in boots says


    omnomnomnomnom. Thank you! And thank you for the congrats. (And thanks for the hooorays, cicely!) :)

    Holy shit what assholes.

  213. says

    Not sure that really counts as vindictive (at least in the sense of “not justifiable”). Once you give out people’s pictures and addresses, you’ve crossed a line. It might be legally distinct from making death threats, but only by a technicality.
    The point is clearly to incite violence against people and to intimidate them into compliance. That deserves a police report. Good on you.

  214. says

    LykeX: That is my feeling exactly, in addition to the fact that my 5 year old raced me to the door and got to see the thing first. He didn’t say anything yet, but he’s one of those people who holds onto that sort of thing and will talk when he is ready.

    Dalillama: Without the name and addresses, it still had fetus parts posted at eye level with my son when he ran to the door. In the mail box, it would have been one thing, but there was no way for him to avoid seeing it as he approached the door.

    And one of my local activist groups also got a donation (take that, asshole pro-lifers.) Waiting on the cop to show up to take the complaint.

  215. says

    And the officer said that it was a difference of opinion, not a criminal issue. He’s right, but the city told me I had to talk to the police.

    Well, I tried. And several pro-choice orgs got money from me as a result, so I’m calling this a net win.

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


    Um isn’t it harassment, both for those whose addresses are being publicized and to those who don’t want the spam?

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

    What we’re saying is he’s prolife

  218. cicely (Gradually, the resignation creeps in.) says

    Snazzy sunglasses, indeed! :)
    As for the Shadowcamels, it takes the form of a collaborative vignettettette co-authored by rq, and I will not inflictunleash itthem on anyone without her agreement. And then I would need an email addy, ’cause I iz technodumb, and don’t know of any other way to share it (I don’t suspect that Our Squidly Overlord would be much amused if I just barfed it up here in the [Louge].)

    Yes, indeed! Fuck those people.

    What we’re saying is he’s prolife

    So it seems—and/or intending to run for office and wanting to Not Alienate The Pro-Life Voters.

  219. says

    Well, he did say that shock tactics were characteristic of liberals (who he said don’t care who they hurt), and that he has strong opinions on the subject, so I’m guessing yes he is pro-life.

  220. says

    Spondee @229:
    I had not heard of the movie. Not only does it sound intriguing, it might be the type of science fiction that many around here desire: one that employs science facts.

    Present at Comic-Con to discuss this film were director Sebastian Cordero, composer Bear McCreary, producer Ben Browning and actress Karolina Wydra, alongside scientists Steve Vance and Kevin Hand from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Hall H presentation was moderated by astronomer Dr. Phil Plait.

    The plot centers on a group of six astronauts sent to Europa by a privately funded space-exploration company to confirm that a hidden ocean beneath the moon’s icy surface could contain single-celled life. The trip takes nearly two years, and during that time, a near-catastrophic technical failure leads to the loss of communication with Earth. The story is later pieced together using video footage recovered from the ship.

    Plait remarked to the panelists how impressed he was with the film’s science, beginning with the central premise.

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

    Well, he did say that shock tactics were characteristic of liberals (who he said don’t care who they hurt), and that he has strong opinions on the subject, so I’m guessing yes he is pro-life.

    Fucking pig is unqualified for his job

  222. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says


    My stats homework tonight features a word problem.

    About gun violence.

    In a medium-sized city in Upstate New York.

    (aka the city where I live).

    My conclusion is that the hypothesis (people are buying guns younger in recent years than in previous years) is supported, to α = 0.01 (p = 0.001, Chi-squared test).


  223. jose says

    the standard oolon is using, regardless of level, is pretty much “would it last more than 1 minute in the A+ board?” Nothing written by Meghan Murphy or Rachel Moran would. That’s another one making it to level 3 soon, I reckon.

    Which reminds me: I have to commend Ophelia Benson and PZ for being tolerant. Thank you. It isn’t the standard lefty response to the type of ideas I usually agree with. By the way.

  224. Portia, in boots says

    Yeah, I was trying to think of what exactly could be legally done even if the officer wasn’t a chud…harassment usually requires more incidents, so if you could get your neighbors on board (and I don’t know the likelihood of that) and get a different cop (again, likelihood…)…or just keep donating to spite them and being the opposite of their horrible crap in the world. I’m really sorry your son had to see that. : / so irresponsible of them. Ugh.

  225. says

    Nice to see you.
    Thanks for the dragon.
    Looks young enough to train.


    Today I saw a video (linky & excerpt below) of three teenagers aboard a FL school bus viciously beat another teen.
    In the aftermath, people wondered why the bus driver did not do more to intervene.

    Is the driver responsible for the beating?

    Is the driver responsible for ending conflicts on his bus?
    Legally? No.
    Morally? An argument could be made either way. I lean towards thinking he should have, but then I remember that I have no idea why he made the decisions he did.

    As I think on this, I read the article. Then I tune to CNN. I realize that the focus on the driver’s inaction takes up the bulk of the article.
    Missing is any discussion of the underlying issues contributing to the incident.
    Missing is condemnation of the attack.
    And, fairly important, missing is a discussion about how to deal with bullies.

    Toxic Masculinity.
    Parenting Skills.
    The Bystander Effect.
    Violence As the Means To An End.

    Any of the above would be welcome in the article. They played a role in this attack. But no, no discussion on factors contributing to, affected by, or resulting from Bullying.

    In fact, as I think about it, I do not like this article.

    Ideally, I would prefer a news story take a progressive stand on the events. Especially when it comes to issues of social justice.
    If not that, present all the relevant information that is legally permissable (no naming the teens).
    What I do NOT want to see, especially relating to serious social problems like bullying is an article that presents the incident, but fails to place it within the context of the wider problem.
    Nor do I want to see an article that sidesteps all morally responsible parties.
    The teens themselves and our wider culture that supports violence in conjunction with discussing why many people remain silent witnesses would be acceptable.

    Instead, we get an article that arouses our anger and directs it in the place it will be of least


    Disturbing video has surfaced of an attack on a school bus in Pinellas County, Florida. In the video, three 15-year-old teenagers are seen brutally beating a 13-year-old. After the fight, the victim left the bus with black eyes, bruises, and a broken arm.

    Since the video has been publicized, many have called into question whether the bus driver, 64-year-old John Moody, did enough to stop the fight. Moody can be heard frantically calling dispatchers during the fight, even saying “they’re going to beat this boy to death,” but he never physically intervenes in an attempt to stop the beating.

    “You gotta get somebody here quick, quick, quick, quick. They’re about to beat this boy to death over here,” he told dispatchers. “Please get somebody here quick. There’s still doing it. There’s nothing I can do.”

    According to Pinellas County guidelines, Moody did nothing wrong. County rules state that bus drivers can intervene in a fight if they feel safe, but they are not required too. Most counties in Florida have rules specifically forbidding bus drivers from trying to stop fights.

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

    Wait? The guy actually called for help and they’re still busting him? He’s 64 FFS

  227. Portia, in boots says

    So, I posted an article about subtle misogyny, and a law school friend commented that “you can find misogyny anywhere.” among his response. I told him it was dismissive and inaccurate (after telling him I found misogyny in that). His response was hope-renewing, especially in light of the three other dewds who were piling on me about the post.

    As usual [Portia], I agree with you–it was both dismissive and inaccurate..regretted hitting post 1.5 secs after I did.

  228. chigau (残念ですね) says

    “you can find misogyny everywhere” for similar reasons that when you are in the woods,
    you can find bear-shit everywhere

  229. says

    Thank you.

    Those words…that phrase…when spoken with honesty are often sufficient to convey gratitude.

    Other times though?
    Other times, they are staggeringy insufficient.

    I received a text from a friend in the last few minutes asking if I was out having drinks. When I mentioned not having a car for who knows how long and being broke from taking a cab to work, his response was one that makes me wish for an upgrade to that expression of gratitude.

    My friend has an oil company.
    That he owns.
    That he has money is an understatement.
    How much, I neither know nor care.
    He does not parade it around or brag about it.
    I have not seen him treat others with less respect because they struggle where he does no.

    The current stress I am under?
    Not having a vehicle?

    He offered me a loan for the full amount under my terms with the only demand that I repay all of it, on a monthly basis.

    Having just typed that out, the tears are welling up.
    I just…wow…
    Thank you is inadequate, but thank him I did and repay him I shall.

  230. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    phew. I’m back from travelling. and overt bigotry in russian politics apparently.

  231. Rey Fox says

    Instead, we get an article that arouses our anger and directs it in the place it will be of least

    Journalism in a nutshell.

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

    @Rey Fox

    What’s that Malcolm X quote again? :-p

    But yeah this doesn’t even count as a bystander effect because the guy was actively trying to do everything to get help. Wish I could send the driver a card or something cause it has to suck doing everything sort of shielding with your body and getting accused of not doing anything.

  233. Crudely Wrott says

    That’s great news, Tony. I’m happy for you.

    Just goes to show that good things do happen. Maybe not according to one’s own schedule or druthers but they do, in fact, happen. Why, I myself recently enjoyed an unexpected boon bestowed by folks right here. On a blog. Geez. Go figure, eh?

  234. redwood says

    My brother recommended a Wall Street Journal article to me about South Korean teachers and schools. Here is a comment and its responses that I found um, interesting:

    2 days ago

    No. The U.S. does not need to mimic a disgustingly lop-sided program like the Korean, or Asian education system. I have many, many friends from the U.S. who at the age of 19 have volunteered as missionaries in Korea for two years, and unequivocally, each of them has told me the education system there is overbearing and unproductive. They spend so many hours in school, their productivity per hour is way less than it is in the average good U.S. school, and, in addition, they are no farther along in math an science than the average good student in the U.S. The only result from their excessive–sometimes 13 hour a day–education is a lack of sense of purpose and/or joy in life. They are all miserable, nobody over there is happy. Boy, that sounds great, sign me up! More to life than just school and work, and they have not figured that out, and they are paying immensely on the sociological side of things for that, and in their family/personal lives. In addition, my aunt does a lot of hiring in the corporate offices for a very big, well-known hotel chain and says they do not hire a lot of Asians educated in Asia because, as mentioned by someone else, they cannot think outside the box or give practical application to problems in a real-world situation. They are just unilaterally programmed drones.

    2 days ago
    John Bangston Replied:

    Hmm Give me some more drones that don’t want to think outside the box. Usually they are just doing something incorrectly.

    2 days ago
    Stan Arvkarian Replied:

    I would love for most American kids to “spend too many hours in school” instead of playing Xbox all day, watching TV eating McDonald’s, or committing crimes somewhere.

    Also, I call bs on your assertion that Korean students are not better than US students in math and science.

    2 days ago
    William Ledsham Wrote:

    First, work on getting the biological fathers staying with the biological mothers. After that, we can talk. You can put a paint job on a rust-bucket, but it is still a rust bucket. The lack of fathers is a rust-bucket in our society.
    27 Recommendations

    2 days ago
    JEFFREY ASHER Replied:

    “First, work on getting the biological fathers staying with the biological mothers. After that, we can talk.”

    Let’s try that again:
    First, work on getting mothers to cease opportunist divorces, and feminists from conceiving children alone, which lead to fatherless families, which lead to dysfunctional children, regardless of ability.
    Encourage poor teenage girls away from welfare child dependency. The best contraceptive is, “No!”
    Then, encourage mothers to allocate less time to their careers and more of their life definition to raising children. Yes, fathers also, even if he is the primary or only income earner.
    Then, encourage families to spend less on conspicuous consumption and allocate income to private schools, with success records.
    Then, maybe a more promising future for most American children?
    11 Recommendations

    2 days ago
    Ted Thomas Replied:

    All good ideas, but worthless without a spiritual foundation. The Lord of love & justice, Jesus the Christ, created all the good things you list; He gives them as gifts to rich & poor, young & old to the extent that they trust & obey Him. Many in our society reject Him outright, or ignore His laws & principles. Thus, we have the curse of egomaniac feminists, promiscuous teenage girls, teenage males who may never know a real man, or be one, and institutional murder … also known as abortion. God is not mocked; we are all reaping what our Darwinian ancestors have sown.

    Nevertheless, there is always hope, and even those who reject the truth can benefit from living by true principles. Love, marriage and family are all made real & powerful by the one true God, through salvation & new life offered in His Son. You have the right idea, Mr. Asher; now build on the right foundation.
    3 Recommendations

    2 days ago
    Donald Greco Replied:

    Yup. No matter the system, lack of morality and the subsequent value erosion will kill anything that would work for other, value-oriented cultures. Never fails. I’ m sure I’d be considered outdated and judgmental in the popular culture. Fine with me. Let the fools sink to the bottom.
    3 Recommendations

    2 days ago
    John Bangston Replied:

    Spirituality has nothing to do with it. Our entitlement system subsidizes out of wedlock families among the working class.
    1 Recommendation

    2 days ago
    ken rodgers Replied:

    Mr. Asher, the number of feminists having children without husbands is so small population wise as to be negligible. There are FAR more young black women having babies out of wedlock without having even a high school degree, thus basically having no way to support them. I’m afraid in this case I have to say that blacks are their OWN worst enemy. THEY forge their own chains of bondage and slavery.
    2 Recommendations

    There you go, the WSJ readers show off their privilege and prejudices for all to see. How does one even make a start in denting the denseness?

  235. rq says

    Hooray for you, Tony! (And I hope the doors are ok, too.)

    Welcome back, thunk.

    Thanks for the parasol, Parrowing! Considering the extreme heat and sunshine expected this week, it’ll do just fine. ;)


    Well, I feel human again today (although not quite with such gusto). Thanks for the well-wishes from everyone!
    And I think part of the issue is the oppressive heat, I just don’t handle it well, physically. :(

  236. says

    Interesting is right.
    You may not make dent there, or maybe you will. No way of knowing without the attempt. Also, who know how many silent readers there are who might be more receptive to your arguments.
    Or you could just add up all the unevidenced assertions made in the comments and donate a dollar amountin that number to a progressive organization. Once you do let the morons know what you did.

  237. blf says

    I’m trying to keep some [cheese] hidden from the mildly deranged penguin right now: Sealed in a vacuum flask, surrounded by a slush of peas and diesel fuel in a concrete-lined drum, buried under a field of horses, in a nuclear fallout shelter stuffed full of celery. On Mars. Several hundred years ago. With a slightly modified value of π, and an armed troop of Atlantean T. rex calvary.

    And you left the MDP a map to your cheese here?! By now the cheese will be looooong gone.

    What makes you think (a) That map is accurate; and/or (b) That cheese isn’t a decoy?

    Though there is a problem. If — if — the main cache of cheese is really hidden on Mars, then I’ll have to do something before “Comet” Siding Spring arrives (which, as everyone knows, is really the ancient Mayans returning — what last year’s Great Mayan Calendar Collapse was signaling — and they re-occupy Mars before re-claiming Earth). I believe the mildly deranged penguin is busy tuning the motors on the Orbiting Cheese Vault to make sure if can be driven away if the Mayans are unreasonable. So don’t be surprised if you see it occansionally go backwards, doing loop-the-loops, or screeching to a stop with a loud FZURPOURGH! and the recovery (tow) truck coming out to haul The Moon back to the garage for repairs.

  238. rq says

    But I thought the Moon was the Big Cheese Cache – or was that just green cheese?

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

    Substituting for a secretary, so I can post only on the phone. hello!
    I hope I don’t screw up anything important.
    Beene to Budapest for the long weekendd

  240. Menyambal --- the penuchle of evolution says

    Tony, regarding that school-bus driver: I went through training to be a substitute teacher about six months ago. It was made quite clear that I was not to EVER physically interfere in a fight between students. I was never to ever lay hands on a student in any way, shape or form. I dunno if bus drivers get the same, but it would make sense that they’d be told the same as a substitute. I asked, of course, for the logic, and don’t recall it all, but it made sense.

    The full-time teachers might have different rules, maybe, but I know for a fact that there are training sessions on how to physically restrain a child, and only a few teachers take the training and are certified to act. The principal and the counselor and maybe the gym teacher, I think. The person I could ask is asleep now, but I’m pretty sure the rest of the teachers must, legally, keep their hands off.

    I pity that poor bus-driver man. Every busybody makes rash assumptions, then feels it is their right to let everybody else know how they feel.

  241. rq says

    You won’t, just be nice. :P
    And I hope your weekend was nice, interesting and at least a little bit relaxing!!

  242. rq says

    It actually makes a lot of sense not to have an uninvolved adult get physically involved in such conflict. I hope some people reporting that story think of that.
    And yes, the poor bus driver – he’s calling for help, and it sounds as if he’s being quite anxious about it, too. I wish he didn’t have to go through this analysis of his actions. :(
    Tony, I really liked your opinion on it.

  243. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    ugh. me. can’t sleep. too busy panicking with jet lag on top about how I’m not doing anything new or productive for 3 or so years and my senior year is about to start and time goes so fast and I don’t have anyone to talk to and oh no oh no baah…

  244. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    I really really need to find a new special interest. I need change in my life, but it’s seems as if mild depressiony things are preventing me from doing so.

    I always think I do so, but it never peters out. my worst fear is moping through life one year at a time like this.

  245. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    I just can’t shake the feeling that everything is *wrong*. the paper airplanes. the coin pile. the access to tea. constantly reading languagelog. foldit. Going back to classes in 11 days.

    probably temporary… but I’m definitely not getting any sleep tonight.

  246. rq says

    Warning: Story about children to follow.

    me: – Don’t step on that snail!
    Eldest: – Why not?
    – Would you like it if a giant came along and just randomly stepped on you?
    – There’s no such thing as giants.
    – But what if there were?
    – But there aren’t.
    – … Don’t step on that snail.
    – Why?
    – Because it wants to live.
    – How do you know?
    – … Just don’t step on that snail! It’s not nice.
    – Oh. Ok.


  247. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    nah it’s fine. come daybreak, I could get a crate of sushi. and then reminisce about how coming back means I will see my friends again, and actually be able to girlmode without fear of reprisal.

  248. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    thanks anyway rq. (still can’t get past the guy wearing nothing but a latvian flag around his waist)

  249. rq says

    Hey, he’s a Patriot!
    (American-Latvian would be my guess – Latvian-Latvians tend not to ‘desecrate’ the flag in that matter, there’s a state law against it… Right down to fining people for throwing out unsold/unhanded-out paper Latvian flags (the cheap kind on little sticks that people wave at parades) in the garbage. Which begs the question, what the fuck else are you supposed to do with them??)
    Well, have a good night, and *jealous* about the sushi. ;)

  250. rq says

    Music has its way with me. I’d almost forgotten about this.
    I remembered this while reading the deconstruction of Narnia posted earlier. Mostly because there’s a piece using the biblical giant verses on the album and the deconstruction mentiones it (the verse, not the music).

  251. says


    I finished the actual writing for my book. It’s about 60,000 words right now. I have to do some continuity edits (I moved a chunk of narrative from its position at the end of the story to the middle) and then I’m passing it around to my girlfriend and sister and father to read for substantive edits.

  252. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    No, rq. definitely Latvia Latvian. The other kind would likely be on my team.

    kevinkat: Nice! You did a thing!

  253. rq says

    Very interesting, then. ;) Apparently even my ‘typing is wrong.

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!! *confetti&fireworks*

  254. Portia, in boots says

    KevinKat; Yippee! Can’t wait to read it!

    *hugs* for thunk and Beatrice

    Beatrice: Hooray for the weekend away!

    Dalillama: Slightly belated commiserations on stupid bureaucracy :(

    rq: Glad you’re feeling a bit better, and championing the snails ;)

    I went for a run this morning and for the second time now my calves have started killing really quickly. Any ideas, Loungers? (Besides stopping every few feet to stretch them).

  255. carlie says

    Tony, that’s wonderful! I’m glad being such a good person is paying back. :)

    Also Yay to KevinKat!!!

    Thunk, I feel for you. I’m glad you have here as an outlet to talk about it.

  256. Portia, in boots says

    Oh, and HOORAY for the Shoop and his impending new wheels! What a huge relief, oh my goodness.

  257. la tricoteuse says

    Um. Hello! Very intermittent (but often briefly overactive, with long silences in between) poster, but pretty much constant reader. I can’t remember if I’ve dipped even the smallest toe in the lounge before, but I’m feeling sort of fragile, so everything else is stressing me out too much. Home from work thanks to what may or may not be panic attacks and migraines, one or both possibly partially caused by some kind of funky inner ear nonsense. Apparently.

    So I appear to be in need of distractions, but most of my usual preferred sort appear to be too much for me in my current silly state. And trouble sleeping is leading to anxiety about being able to sleep is leading to more trouble sleeping. Whee!

    Yay to the people with good stuff happening, boo to the ones with bad, and some sort of vague friendly hi type gesture for everyone in between?

  258. carlie says

    Hi, la tricoteuse! I know your name from other comments. :)

    I like to distract myself with the internet. The avclub is good to go read funny recaps of things, as is television without pity. And then there’s,, and for odd interactions, for decorations, for weird objects…

  259. Portia, in boots says

    Hiya la tricoteuse, sorry bout the migraines and panic attacks…been there, hate that.

  260. la tricoteuse says

    Hi Carlie and Portia.

    Portia, thanks for the commiseration. Sucks, eh?

    Carlie, thanks for all the suggestions. I’m trying to discourage myself from googling symptoms because that way madness lies. So alternatives to occupy me are good. Shall explore.

  261. rq says

    Hello, la tricoteuse! Recognize you from around, too – I’m the opposite of you, though, since I’m here pretty much all the time, and rarely anywhere else.
    Do you need some cute? I’m sure I can find some, if it will help… If not, just hang out and enjoy the atmophere here! (Tony fixes a mean drink, if you need one of those!)
    If you want hugs, I’ve got some of those, too.


    Things Eldest plans on inventing:
    – a speed faster than light;
    – a ship to travel to Mars (and all the other million million planets);
    – an expandable motorcycle that will seat ten, plus two sidecars – for all his friends, and his parents (yup, we get the sidecars, due to our ‘advanced age’ and difficulty in actually riding a ‘bike).

  262. rq says

    Oh, and I’ve had this Schrodinger’s Cat reveal sitting in a tab for a couple of days. I’m a bit confused, though – isn’t the whole point of observing to collapse the wave function, and that you can’t actually observe the quantum superposition because the whole point of it is to remain unknown…? Or something? (And, how is observing a charge passed through the system the equivalent of observing it in superposition?)

  263. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    Extra Monday ration this week.
    :( :( :(

    So, I posted an article about subtle misogyny, and a law school friend commented that “you can find misogyny anywhere.”

    “You’re soaking in it!”

    Tony, your friend is awesome.
    I’m very happy for you.

    […] and/or (b) That cheese isn’t a decoy?

    Now the cheese is a lie????

    If only all the squirrels would go get jobs waterskiing!

    *hugs* for thunk.

    I finished the actual writing for my book.

    *high-fiving KevinKat*
    Way to go!

    Hi, la tricoteuse! Welcome in!
    *offers choice of beverage*
    I’m sorry you’re stressing. The [Lounge] is generally a nice place to hang out—or I wouldn’t be impossible to pry out of it even with a big, big stick.
    If you find yourself in need of more distraction, I generally find TV Tropes to be a good, reliable source of distraction. You can kill a whole afternoon at it, easy.
    Mind you, there are those who think that linking to TV Tropes violates the Geneva Conventions….

  264. Portia, in boots says

    i don’t have groceries but i do have half a leftover veggie burrito. Let the nomming begin.

  265. says

    Glad to hear that mouthyb at least tried to file a police report. Since the unprofessional policeman failed to recognize harassment, maybe one should go to his superior to complain?

    Or perhaps get the local newspaper to print a scan of the offensive postcard along with an article detailing the harassment? Interview workers/Doctors at the clinics that were targeted?

    Send the postcard and story to Rachel Maddow?

  266. la tricoteuse says

    Erk! Keeping up is haaard.

    rq: Thanks! I like drinks (sadly mostly only virtual ones at the moment, as I seem to have gone off real booze with all this whatever-the-heck-is-going-on-with-me.) and hugs. And cute! I always like cute. Oh and a place on one of your eldest’s future Mars voyages would be fun, once my ears have gone back to normal and flying is allowed. ;)

    cicely: Hi and thanks! Oh god, tv tropes. You’re trying to kill me. :D

    I spent a lot of yesterday going through xkcd archives, and I’m considering rereading Questionable Content from the start for like the fifth time.

    These be desperate times.

  267. says

    @la tricoteuse
    You are, I hope, familiar with other essential webcomics, like Gunnerkrigg Court and Girl Genius? Khaos Komix and Misfile (might seem a bit weird at first, but stick with it, it pays off) are interesting for their angles on gender and sexuality and then there’s Rice Boy.

    I can also recommend Phoenix Requiem, both for art (gorgeous!) and story and I came across this collection of Elf Quest if you’re into that. And if you’re familiar with SMBC, then Zach and James have both worked on Snowflakes, which is pretty awesome.

    This has been your friendly webcomic recommendation service. We trust that you will not run out of procrastination-fodder anytime soon.

  268. says

    Bloody hell. The auto-moderation for links screwed me again, so I’m reposting, with the links as text at the bottom:

    @la tricoteuse
    You are, I hope, familiar with other essential webcomics, like Gunnerkrigg Court and Girl Genius? Khaos Komix and Misfile (which might seem a bit weird at first, but stick with it, it pays off) are interesting for their angles on gender and sexuality and then there’s Rice Boy.

    I can also recommend Phoenix Requiem, both for art (gorgeous!) and story and I came across this collection of Elf Quest, if you’re into that. And if you’re familiar with SMBC, then Zach and James have both worked on Snowflakes, which is pretty awesome.

    This has been your friendly webcomic recommendation service. We trust that you will not run out of procrastination-fodder anytime soon.

  269. la tricoteuse says


    Holy crap. Thanks! I must confess to not actually being familiar with Gunnerkrigg Court, and I’ve heard of Girl Genius but not actually read any of it yet. *shameface* But I will! Thank you thank you!

    I’m never going to need to actively seek out procrastinatory materials again. At least not ’til after I’ve (maybe) finished my degree.

  270. blf says

    […] and/or (b) That cheese isn’t a decoy?

    Now the cheese is a lie????

    The perils of commenting early in the morning before having consumed several kilolitres of coffee… I meant “That the ‘cheese’ the map allegedly leads to isn’t a decoy, with the main cache being somewhere else.”

    Decoy cheese has to be — at least when trying to fool the mildly deranged penguin — the genuine edible stuff. She is a very sensitive cheese detectoring huntress. So, for instance, British Industrial Cheddar won’t fool her (she’ll know the real stuff is someplace else), nor will showers filled with spiders or other distractions.


    I thought the Moon was the Big Cheese Cache — or was that just green cheese?

    It is Orbiting Cheese Vault № zillions — the serial number doesn’t seem to be constant (I suspect she is rotating which Orbital Cheese Vault is in-service as the supplies need refreshing, …) — and whilst there probably is various sorts of what might be called “green” cheese onboard, that story is mostly a decoy to keep people from trying to penetrate the hull. Also, it’s a bit bouncy so various impactors don’t make quite as big (deep) craters as they otherwise might.

    Every now and then splattered horses are found on the surface. Or mashed-flat pods of peas in some of the larger craters.

    The hull itself is actually quite tough. It can even resist high-speed British Industrial Cheddar. It’s known to have stopped a TMA.

  271. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    LykeX, there is a limit on the number of links allowed in a comment without tripping the Moderator Alarm, though I don’t recall how many that is. 5? 6? Certainly fewer than 9.

  272. blf says

    [I] do have half a leftover veggie burrito. Let the nomming begin.

    (Mutters to himself, “Probably the half with the peas in it.”)

    Thanks, but I just finished off a curry-coconut-lamb Risotto. I had though there would be leftovers, but, um, well, er, it was good


  273. la tricoteuse says

    Curry…coconut…lamb…risotto? That sounds beautiful.
    I haven’t had much of an appetite lately but my stomach just made noise at the thought. Nom.
    I’ve made Japanese style fusion risotto but never South Asian. Hm.

  274. blf says

    I experimented a week or three ago with Indian tandoori-ish (various meats) Risottos but couldn’t quite get it right.

    Last week I did an olive-chili-and-tomato-stuffed roast chicken. It was a big chicken, so there were some leftovers (which vanished quite quickly!).

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

    The zoo in Budapest is amazing. Which is probably of special interest for Giliell if she ever visit there and has a couple of hours to spare (three is a minimum, I wish I could have been all day).

    Some photos: Budapest zoo

  276. la tricoteuse says

    blf that sounds delicious, too. I miss cooking. I’ve had so little energy lately, the most I’ve managed is some pho the other day. Nice, and all, but hardly a production number.

  277. Portia, in boots says


    Risotto is one of my favorite things in the world, and that sounds amazing.

    Good news: two new clients today!

    Well, they haven’t paid yet so I suppose it’s not sure, but we’ll see what happens.

  278. blf says

    I’ve had so little energy lately…

    Two easy fixes:

      ● Withhold some cheese from the mildly deranged penguin. You’ll quickly learn to run away screaming, discover the pleasures of being rugby-tackled by a certain penguin, and then have flying lessons with a free trebuchet launch and lots more screaming. With practice (easy enough to arrange, just try to eat some cheese…) you’ll soon be running, tackled, and flying with sufficient energy the power company will want to hire you as a co-generator.

      ● Engage in Teh French Eye Drop Torture. Similar to the above, albeit no penguin or cheeses are involved. Lots of screaming, running around, et al.

    Of the two, I prefer the cheese-penguin solution. The only real problem is a possibility of landing in a swamp of peas (usually surrounded by a moat filled with horses).

  279. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    And then the Horses stuff you with peas. Kinda similar to Teh French Eye Drop Torture, only chunky, and scored for every orifice you have.
    Also, and you’d think that it went without saying, but I can’t stress this enough—more Evil.
    ‘Cause Horses.

  280. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    Beatrice, nice pics! But what’s hanging in the darken hall?

  281. la tricoteuse says

    As I have it on good authority that I am also a semi-aquatic flappy fish-bird hybrid, I cannot, in good conscience, make trouble for another of my kind.

    Teh French Eyedrop Torture it is!

    …that said, I do feel like the ponies in the New Forest are due for some retaliation after they terrorised me with carrot-related zeal (ungrateful jerks). Can I stuff the horses with peas, and will they like it?

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

    Upon reconmondation I have started reading a Ian Banks “The Culture” book. May blog responses when done

  283. blf says

    It’ll take a lot of peas to stuff a whale! And the whale certainly won’t like it. How fast and far can you swim?

    Whale song travels a lonnnnnng way… probably much faster than you can swim… and whales look after each other… so Others. Will. Be. Waiting… for you to arrive.

  284. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    la tricoteuse, ponies are a borderline case; partly a gateway entrapment program to lead the young into the fatal embrace of full-blown Horsism, yet themselves much lesser in Evil (thereby only meriting a lower-case ‘p’ (in much the same way that peas are lower-case ‘p’d (and the punny writes itself!))). OTOH, in any proposed stuffing of Horses with peas, 1) whether They like it or not is beside the point, but 1a) They probably would, because 1b) They are Evil, and so are peas; however 1c) such action does not result in a net reduction in Evil, because the peas are simply assimilated into the Greater Evil that is Horse, and it isn’t possible to over-charge the Horses ’til They explode and be rid of Them that way.

    Beatrice, I figured “something big”, but was going with “some sort of dinosaur”.

  285. rq says

    I love the butterfly pictures. Also, the zoo looks amazing. Definitely worth a family trip some mysterious time in the future.
    The elephants look sad, and the giraffe enclosure looks just like the one here in Riga (or almost, at least… I guess they make them all tall like that!).


    *** ATTENTION!! *** Anyone have a list of insects that feel pain (if any do at all)? It’s important for an FB conversation.

    This little piece of cute is dedicated to la tricoteuse! (I will also reserve you a seat to Mars. ;) )

    Send a message to the stars. My suggestion: Help me get the fuck off this planet!

    Apparently, I’m not the only one not so impressed with Discovery Channel and its programming lately. *sigh* Science education, how does it work again??

    And this story had me teared up a little bit. I don’t understand how people can be so hateful!!

  286. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    The designations for 1d) and 1e) seem to have gone astray.
    Sometimes, even Preview can’t help.

  287. rq says

    Stop hating on the Equines!
    They lurve me, and they huug me, and they make sure all is Right with My World!
    You just don’t understand what it’s like to be in the Loving Psychic Embrace of Horse. *siiiiigh* My heart goes a-pitter-patter just at the very thought!

  288. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    The History Channel also owes its viewers an apology. Aliens building the pyramids and assorted other twaddle, presented completely uncritically. Pfui!

    rq, I know that you’re a lost cause.
    It grieves me.
    Thinking of “Loving Psychic Embraces”, have you ever read a Heinlein book called The Puppet Masters?

  289. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    Preview is working just fine—it just can’t overcome the influence of Second Monday.
    Did you know that Mondays were invented by the Horses?

  290. blf says

    After a terrible fall from a pony, a mysterious Latvian looses his memory and is taken to a hospital. Years later, he regains his memory, and “R.Q.”, as he wishes to be known, is released.

    Some time later, he enters politics. After winning office following the unexpected death of his opponent, he begins to propose some very strange laws: Such as Peas for all and a Tax on those without Horses.

    Meanwhile, dark stories swirl about in what is left of the liberal press. His opponent didn’t just “fall” out of that open hatch in the aeroplane, He had a chain of strange visitors during his years in the hospital, He eats Peas, He thinks Horses luurve him.

    An intrepid reporter starts to uncover an astonishing tale… Horseknappings, Hooligan Peas, and A Plot… Can the reporter find out the full story being It Is Too Late?

    Coming soon to a theatre near you… The Equine Candidate.

  291. blf says

    It’s hot over here, and going to be even hotter.

    Import the Ozland cricket team. They manged to perform a rain dance to flood the Old Trafford cricket ground, thereby not winning, and hence avoiding any change of being given back the urn of toxic pea ash. It was a desperate thing. Ingerland was well on its way to loosing in a possibly humorous manner, so they had to do something…

  292. blf says

    Anyone have a list of insects that feel pain (if any do at all)?

    Via Generalissimo Google™:

      ● Do insects feel pain? (Neurophilosophy blog at Teh SciBorg).

      ● Pain in animals: Invertebrates (The Pfffft! of All Knowledge).

    Seems the question is unresolved. Whilst “Most insects do not possess nociceptors, one known exception being the fruit fly”, “the fruit fly larva’s response to noxious stimuli may be more like a reflex: the sensory neurons that detect the stimulus transmit signals to the motor neurons which control the muscles, in the absence of any involvement by the brain. … [b]ut even if the brain is involved, it is unlikely that fruit flies feel pain as we do, because human pain has emotional aspects which are processed in the association areas of the cerebral cortex.”

  293. Portia, in boots says

    You know what I love? When one dude can’t wait for me to get an answer from a second dude (which would be the appropriate chain of communication) and instead decides I can’t be relied upon to know what I’m talking about and goes straight to second dude. God these dudes and their superiority complexes…I could scream.

    This is in the municipal government context, which in other news I have been starkly vindicated after the point I made was ignored regarding the installation of a new structure in the village square. The whole town is now talking about the mayor’s embarrassing blunder…which could have been avoided had he spent one second of his tenure so far listening when a woman spoke. BOOM. Misogyny, in this case, is expensive.

    *wicked laugh*

  294. Crudely Wrott says

    Back from delivering dear ones as well as grocery shopping. The pantry, it be full. (prolly not for long given the two man cubs who eat eat eat which is what they should do.)

    I am engaged on a covert mission to lure them to fresh fruits and crunchy veggies. I brought home seedless black grapes, red grapefruit and two (count ’em, two) kinds of pears. Plus cauliflower and broccoli heads and baby carrots to dip in chilled ranch dressing. Also some packs of frozen veggies that steam in the package. Some of those are surprisingly good, almost garden fresh to my old organic gardening taste buds.

    rq, thank you thank you for sticking up for horses! I was beginning to think I was all alone against the unreasoning and scardy-pants horse (and pony (ponies!!)) haters*. Next time you’re in town we’ll saddle up for a little trail ride. I know a place where the earth falls away and you can see forever. There’s lush grass for the horses and a splashing creek of icy water that tastes of clouds and the winds that blow way high up.

    Would you join me in a short, sharp taunt of the maladapts who were never greeted at sun up by a soft nicker and a nose nudge? Ready? 1, 2, 3 Peas on Them!!!

    Thanks, I feel much better. It’s good to have saddle pal. Makes the miles pass so much easier plus the conversations as well as silences are therapeutic out there in the high country

    *OK. No thing is all good or all evil. We here know that to be true. In light of which I freely admit (no equines holding me hostage) that ponies are, in fact, more evil than horses. Just a wee bit. ‘Cause they know they’re little and need to stand up for themselves against tall humans.

  295. Portia, in boots says


    you’re making me wish I hadn’t already finished off the green pepper :)

  296. Portia, in boots says

    I’d also like to note for the record that I am pro-horse…I do love me a good trail ride. My sister and I had two horses when we were kids, well, they were borrowed horses from the summer camp. The camp boarded them out to families during the winter. We lived in a vineyard and we’d race the horses down the rows like they were racing lanes. The one that was on the horse that was part-Arabian always won somehow…

    I’d love to take that ride with you where you can see for miles. If you can let a horse out that just wants to gallop its brains out, it’s the most liberating feelings in the world…

  297. Crudely Wrott says

    As to insects feeling pain, I am not sure about the pain but some of them are able to feel things that are not painful. Like the little moths that are attracted to my desk lamp most every night. At first they fly headlong into the lamp, the computer, the shelves and my head. I fear they’d knock themselves silly. Maybe they do ’cause when they do finally alight I slowly reach out and softly, so very softly, stroke their antennae and wings. If I am cautious and tres gentle they don’t fly away! Some will actually visibly relax and tremble just the least bit. It makes feel a bit Dr. Doolittleish.

    Back in a food vein, may I ask some advice from the resident kitchen commandos?

    I picked up a nice butternut squash and thought, for unknown reasons (perhaps a pony nudged me), that it would be delicious to cut it up and stir-fry it in some olive oil and a bit of grated ginger root. I never did that before but I bought a small piece of ginger root on the spot.

    Am I trending in a flavorful direction here? Any suggestions are welcome. I want it to be a hit when it hits the table.

  298. Crudely Wrott says

    Oh, Portia! You too? Oh, happy happy twirl around. Now we are three! Having set an example our numbers can only swell until we take control.

    If you can let a horse out that just wants to gallop its brains out, it’s the most liberating feelings in the world…

    If they only knew. If they only knew they’d be born anew.

    [remembers brilliant summers racing through the badlands, the terrain a red and gray blur, eyes watering, my breathing synching with my sturdy mount as we ate up the miles]

    PS — conga rats for your on-the-job talents and unacknowledged abilities. From such grows authority in the fullness of time. =)

  299. Crudely Wrott says

    The only bad horses are the ones owned by bad people.

    Treat them well, with mucho kindness and quiet (QUIET!!) authority and they are gentle and eager to please.

    Any animal that is abused will distrust all people, even gentle ones ’cause how’s the critter to know the differnce?

    It takes time and effort to gain their trust. Repeat. Time. Effort. You cannot force it, you have to draw it out. You set the example and the horse (pony, dog, cat, cow, you name it) will emulate you. Quiet authority is more powerful than the whip, the club, the boot or the angry voice. I know. I have been shown.

    I’ll always be thankful that my father taught me how to “gentle break” a colt to saddle and bit and rider or pack saddle. With patience and a steady hand that horse can be ridden and if it ever offers to buck it will be just a crow hop or two. More like play than meanness. I miss doing that but time and location change and so do the paths of our lives.

  300. morgan says

    Hi Crudely, I’m so glad you are back. About your butternut squash, or any hard shelled winter squash, here is a tip. Before you attempt to cut it up, poke several holes in it making sure they reach into the center. Then put it in the microwave for about two to three minutes to soften it up. Then cut, peel, pare and cook as desired. Any combo of spices works, with maybe a touch of brown sugar, saute in olive oil and butter and viola! Your grated fresh ginger with a bit of cinnamon would be yummy. Enjoy!

  301. Crudely Wrott says

    Hello, Morgan, and thanks for the suggestion. You made me remember the piercing protocol. Butternuts are mighty dense and that helps to soften it up some before a quick splash in the pan. Brown sugar, check. It’s on hand and the crew here likes the hint o’ sweetness.

    Appreciate the guidance. Peas and ponies to you!

  302. morgan says

    And Peas and ponies to you, too! LOL
    Actually, I’m only fond of peas if they are raw or barely steamed. Mum would serve those canned horrors when I was a kid and I would surreptitiously feed them one by one to the dog under the table. Ponies I don’t know about, but I’ve had some pretty good friends who were horses.

  303. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    I am denied baby elephant cuteness.
    *pouncehugging* David, sadly.

    BOOM. Misogyny, in this case, is expensive.


    With extra chocolate sauce.

    Would you join me in a short, sharp taunt of the maladapts who were never greeted at sun up by a soft nicker and a nose nudge?

    Aha! Crudely, I see where you went wrong!
    Any day in which I see sun up, and an emergency is not occuring, is a Bad Day.
    Mind you, if it’s sun up, an emergency is occuring, and I am on deck, it is also a Bad Day.
    This nightwalker *indicating self with both thumbs* does not sparkle in the sun!

    If you can let a horse out that just wants to gallop its brains out, it’s the most liberating feelings in the world…

    Yeah, but It wants to gallop your brains out. Don’t risk it! We can’t spare any of you or your brains!

    If they only knew. If they only knew they’d be born anew.

    But as What? Possession is not rebirth!

    The only bad horses are the ones owned by bad people.

    My father was not a Bad Person—but that Horse was Evil.

  304. says

    Re: anything in the squash family

    -bits you do not like? To the dogs!
    ” To help dogs lose weight, Lisa P. Weeth, DVM, Diplomate ACVN, a veterinary nutritionist with Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, N.J., has a list of recommendations. In addition to baby carrots and green beans, it includes plain, unsalted rice cakes; unsalted no-butter popcorn; vanilla or strawberry yogurt without artificial sweeteners; and even vanilla-flavored animal crackers.

    “I have some dogs that love those and some pet owners who love to give them,” Weeth says.

    Other generally safe foods include squash, peas, sweet potatoes, and ice cubes made with diluted chicken or beef broth. One note of warning: Dogs can crack their teeth on ice cubes.

  305. Crudely Wrott says

    That’s a big ten-four on the peas, Morgan. Ya cook ’em, ya ruin ’em. Now, ponies, on the gripping hand, are best ridden, then given apple slices and whole carrots with the tops. They are also fond of peas in the pods. Like I yam.

  306. morgan says

    Ha! Crudely, are you a yam or a sweet potato? And what is the difference? This is a twenty point question.

  307. Crudely Wrott says


    This nightwalker *indicating self with both thumbs* does not sparkle in the sun!

    Perhaps a slow, quiet ride down by the river in the moonlight, then?

    My father was not a Bad Person—but that Horse was Evil.

    I’d say that (relative) goodness and badness are traits found in most all mammals. Mammals have brains more advanced than other orders of critter and can act on intent, remember faces and past events and, I swear, even plot. So can some birds. Crows are notorious for such gotcha-last mischief. Your point is well taken, though. I’ve known some horses that were just bad news. Variation across a spectrum are to be expected with increasing brain size and development of higher functions.

    Yeah, but It wants to gallop your brains out. Don’t risk it! We can’t spare any of you or your brains!

    Wanna know what’s scary? Being hung in the off side stirrup, dangling from the side of a runaway. Head bouncing off the ground and that hind hoof coming down beside your ear with every stride. Thrice did it happen to me. Each time I survived fairly unscathed. For the life of me though, I can’t remember just how I survived. Maybe because, despite being scared into a new pair of shorts, I didn’t panic. Boy howdy, there’s a fine line, eh?

    All I can say is, “Thanks ol’ Pappy, for what you taught me. It saved my bacon many times. For that reason alone am I here to tell my stories. I love you, old man. I haven’t forgotten.”

  308. Crudely Wrott says

    Why, Morgan, you don’t recall Popeye the Sailor? Quoth he: “I yam what I yam and that’s all whats I yam!”

    And don’t forget to eat your spinach. Like peas, it’s best cooked only briefly, if at all. ;^>

  309. morgan says

    Agreed on the spinach, but what of the proper definition of the tuber in question? There is much confusion in meatspace (vegspace?) of which is what? Twenty points hang in the balance.

  310. Crudely Wrott says

    New flash. Barney Frank comes out. Again.

    Ed Brayton writes:

    It says a lot that he felt safer coming out as gay and had to wait until he was out of office to admit to being an atheist. Atheists do not, of course, have it anywhere near as bad as gay people in terms of discrimination, but politically it is safer, at least in the Democratic party, to be out as gay than out as an atheist. And so the struggle continues.

  311. Crudely Wrott says

    The best I can do is petition the great Wiki what sez:

    Yam (vegetable), common name for members of Dioscorea
    Sweet potato, specifically its orange-fleshed cultivars, often marketed as yams in North America and as kumara in New Zealand
    Yam, a salad in Thai cuisine
    A name for oca used in New Zealand and Polynesia
    Jícama, Mexican tuberous root also known as yam or Mexican turnip

    In essence, there may not be much to separate yams from sweet potatoes outside of culture and custom. A more in-depth search may yield more for you but there’s a start.

    As for me, I’m just an old russet.

  312. morgan says

    Glad to meetcha old russet. I’m a plump little red potato myself.
    Happy noshing.

  313. Crudely Wrott says

    Wiki also sez:

    Yam (god), a Levantine deity not to be confused with Yama, a Hindu God
    Yam (route), a Mongolian supply point system
    YAM (Yet Another Mailer), a MIME-compliant e-mail client written for AmigaOS based computers
    Yellowstone Art Museum

    Wow. All that from just three letters. Probably a lot more but we’re out of veggie connotations so I’ll just leave it there.

  314. says

    On spinach–raw only.
    Fully cooked is more profane than FUCK.
    Even wilted is questionable.

    So the thought occured to me to get a new car rather than get the current repaired. At 10 miles on the odometer, I drove the Mazda 3 off the lot in March 2005. It was paid for in March of 2012. Last I checked, there was @96K miles on it. Not sure it is worth putting at least $6K into. Not being the most auto buying savvy, I figured to ask you all for advice. Also, in terms of quality and longevity, are foreign made cars still the better choice of vehicle over domestic?

  315. Crudely Wrott says

    Heh. A small funny for the Loungelings.

    I bought $190 worth of groceries, brought it home and stored it all away. Then made thick ham and cheese sandwiches and (canned) chicken noodle soup for the man cubs (my grandsons) and what was my supper? Left over tuna casserole and chicken thighs.

    Well, if it just sat there in the fridge, ignored, it’d end up being tossed. Hey, I’m just trying to stretch the food dollar . . . at least there are three full bellies around this place.

    Too, there is no dog here (sniff) to scarf up leftovers so that duty falls to . . . me? Hey! What?
    (like I said, small funny)

  316. Portia, in boots says

    The only violent horse I had was one abused by a previous owner…she was most leery of men. She was really spirited and jumpy. But I still loved her.

    The saying “If you fall off the horse…” came from somewhere you know!

  317. morgan says

    Hey Tony, I have strong opinions on cars… good cars that is. Way back xx years ago I was in the position to buy a new car. Everyone said, no no no, don’t buy a new car it loses x% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. Well….. agreed. But, when you drive it off the lot you are buying no one else’s problems and you have a warranty. Pretty good. Also, if you plan on keeping said car for years and years, as I always do, then new is the only way to go.

    So I did a metric ton of research on all the mid sized cars on the market. Long story short, the one car I couldn’t buy used even if I wanted to was a Subaru Forester. People keep them forever because they run forever. I kept the car for 12 years, maintained it properly, never had a problem with it at all, and only sold it because I needed something a bit bigger that would accommodate my dog crates. I sold it for 3/4 of what I’d paid for it and got a Honda Element which has been running extremely well for some time.

    I hate using cars as status symbols. Stupid. They are tools that should work when you need them to. I have recommended the Subaru to many friends, several have purchased them and no one has ever had big problems. They run. The Honda Elements are up in the same category. They run, and run, and run.

    If you want something that doesn’t use fossil fuels, I’m no help. I want the alternative machines to get a few more years of development under their belts before I buy one. I want it to run for 20 years, minimum, and I don’t want it to be obsolete before I am.

    Good luck in your search.

  318. Crudely Wrott says

    Tony, check with Consumer Reports. My family has found them reliable for three generations.

    If you have a local auto mechanic who has serviced your Mazda and who you trust, and if you can talk the seller into agreeing to it, take your prospective purchase by for the mechanic to have a look at it.

    I don’t have personal experience with CarFax (sp?) but that is an ostensibly reliable source for the history of a used vehicle.

    Cast your eyeball down the sides of the car and other expanses of sheet metal. Ripples or humps can indicate repairs of body damage.

    Test drive it. The car should track straight when you (momentarily!) release the wheel on a straight and level road. If it wants to yaw left or right that’s an indication of front end problems. There should be little or no play or looseness in the steering wheel.

    Listen (!) to the motor at idle and while driving. It should sound smooth and even in its rhythms. Roughness at idle or at a steady throttle setting can indicate problems.

    Don’t buy a car with worn tires. In fact, check the tires. Same brand and same size is good. They should all show equal wear, assuming they were bought as a set. Uneven wear on a single tire as well as between different tires are caused by alignment problems, bad shocks and other costly problems.

    Look under the hood! It’s amazing how many customers don’t. Now, a used vehicle won’t have a perfectly clean engine but a thin coating of oil and dust is not a worry. Look for fresh (wet) oil and wires that have burned or broken insulation. Those are bad.Pull out the dipstick and look at the oil level and the clarity of the oil; dirty or dark brown/black oil is bad. Also pull the dipstick that goes to the transmission after driving a few miles to bring the tranny up operating temp. The fluid should be clear and red. Also check the fluid in the radiator overflow reservoir. You want clear yellow green without any oil floating on top.

    Check to see if you can talk with the previous owner if buying from a dealer. Also look in the glove box for any service records/receipts that might be there. Also look to see if the original owner’s manual is there. If the previous owner cared for the car then it will probably be there, a sign that the owner took maintenance seriously.

    Don’t let a seller tell you how great the car is. Take it out and drive it yourself and make up your own mind.

    Look at the interior. Specifically, wear on the pedals. That can tell you a lot about how the car was driven. New carpet or upholstery in a car more than a handful of years in age can indicate previous water damage.

    If you have a friend who is car savvy, take them with you.

    Bicker. The asking price is probably high.

    Once you have bought your ride, go to a local auto parts store and buy the Haynes Repair Manual for you make, model and year. Costs about ten bucks. Even if you never spin a wrench on your ride you will learn all kinds of great stuff and will be able to talk intelligently with your mechanic should anything need attention. It’s also a shield against being bull shitted by a less than honest mechanic. If you find a good mechanic and feel secure dealing with them, keep dealing with them. They love repeat customers and that’s incentive to be honest and thorough in their work.

    Hope this helps. Can’t wait to hear all about it after you’ve brought it home!

  319. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    I learnt about Horses at the School of Hard Kicks. Mind you, the fell Beast behaved in an exemplary fashion where my dad and my sister were concerned—it just disliked me.
    I had, previous to that time, no fixed opinions on the Alignment of Horses, and rather fancied the mental image of my self (and my knees!) galloping through fields of clover, etc., etc. Now…now I know better.
    Eeeeeevil. And of the Chaotic persuasion, as well.
    *carefully looking around for eavesdroppers*
    (Entirely off the record, while I am no fan of horses (though they can be very photogenic), the Evile-ness of Horse-kind is a bit. Just as a sort of Station Identification, and officially, This Statement Never Happened.) ;)

  320. morgan says

    Crudely, that is fabulous car advice for Tony. You should teach a class in How To Buy A Car. This is a needed thing.

  321. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    (The virulent hatred of peas, on the other hand, is the Real Deal.)

  322. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    In this time of intermittent and regional flooding, the warnings about water damage are particularly timely. I understand that unscrupulous dealers will truck flood-damaged vehicles to other states, where they hope the thought won’t occur to the prospective buyer.

  323. Owlmirror says

    Bicker. The asking price is probably high.

    Pretty sure you meant “dicker”, there….

    (Thunderdome is for bickering)

  324. Crudely Wrott says

    You should teach a class in How To Buy A Car.

    Thanks for the nice compliment. =)

    Morgan, if I were buying a horse I’d check its teeth, its back and withers, I’d look closely at its legs and pick up all four feet for hoof inspection. To me, buying a car is not very different. In both cases reliable transportation is what is actually being purchased. And if someone asked me advice on buying a horse I’d give them that advice and quite a bit more, too. Probably ask to go with just to put my eye to the test.

    What good is my knowledge and experience if I don’t share it?

    Besides, it’s no fun to see someone buy a car or a horse and get stuck with something of little or no value or, worse, buying a money pit.

  325. Crudely Wrott says


    Pretty sure you meant “dicker”, there….

    [Looks around, notices couches, comfy chairs, wet bar and open air patio, hears amicable conversations and laughter. Recognizes Lounge.]

    Ayup. I sure did. 0_o

  326. says

    And what is the difference? This is a twenty point question

    In North America, the difference is marketing. Everywhere else, yams are a completely separate plant from an entirely different family, despite certain visual similarities. They’re grown mostly in the tropics.

  327. Crudely Wrott says

    Happy Anniversary, chigau!

    May you, and thereby we, have many returns of the day.

  328. rq says

    I revel in the knowledge that there is a small circle of Horse-lovers infiltrating the Lounge. Finally, I can stand against cicely‘s powers and… Well, I haven’t thought this through yet.

    Either way, thanks, Crudely (and Portia!), for having my back. ;)
    To be honest, I’ve been mostly the love-them-from-afar kind of Horse-lover, since we couldn’t afford riding lessons (except that one summer, which was Awesome and Wonderful). The last time I got on a Horse, I fell off (more like jump-slid off because I lost a stirrup and panicked – ah, lack of experience, you suck!), but I’m perfectly willing to get back on again, at a lower speed. But I accept your offer, if I’m ever on the continent near you, that trail ride will happen (with Portia, too…?). ;) Not likely in the imminent future, but it’s nice to have a dream.

    Thanks for the two insect links, blf. It was late and my bedtime, so it’s always nice to have someone do my research for me. )

    David, also, thanks for the elephant-cute!!!!! I could hear it going Eeeeeeee!!!! in excitement and joy through the whole video. Reminds me of the Kids when they’re doing much the same thing. Heh. Animals is animals.

    Awesome car-buying advice, will keep in mind.

    I don’t like peas (too much, only raw from the vine and eaten in the garden) and I don’t much like squash. I’ve tried preparing it (and pumpkin) several ways, but, nope. Not even pumpkin pie (and pumpkin cheesecake was a resounding failure, too).
    As for yams, I always thought that I was eating yams, but then I read about them and real yams. So, I’ve been eating sweet potatoes all along, and haven’t even seen a real yam (which are supposedly lighter/more yellowy in colour, as opposed to the bright orange of sweet potatoes).

  329. blf says

    I know a place where the earth falls away and you can see forever.

    It’s called “The edge of the Earth”.

    Hint: Whilst it looks like a good place to dispose of peas, horses, and celery — just toss ’em over the edge and be rid of them — don’t! They irritate and annoy all the turtles on the way down…

  330. rq says

    More disappointment about Discovery’s Shark Week, with tweets at the end. (Personally, I’d watch a mockumentary called Charles Darwin: Ninja Assassin. Definitely.)

    I think the only way to resolve the issue of dolphins or elephants: who has the longest memory? is to bring together a dolphin baby and an elephant baby and reunite them years later. (Also, I’m wary of the gendered conclusions in the study – how long until evilsike appropriates it for humans, too?)

    An article about online trolls in comments that skims the top of the issue, and, instead of calling for better behaviour and more accountability online, insists that face-to-face interaction is still the Better Way, to avoid conflict. Someone‘s not keeping up with the times.

  331. Crudely Wrott says

    Dadburnit, blf, you caught me unaware with that crack about the turtles! Lucky for you I just managed to salvage my keyboard what with all the beer foaming up between the keys!

    Pay no mind the the neigh sayers, rq. They doubtless don’t even know the right side of a horse from the side one mounts and dismounts from. They are just . . . foolish colts. And more scarder than you of large snorting beast. Foowie, on ’em.
    Come on, let’s ride!

    [err, I think I need to ride off to the land of nod. Got to deliver elder man cub to his Sylvan class in, lessee, five hours and forty minutes. I gotta get my shuteye.]

    Good night or good morning as the case may be. Love, Crudely. ;^>

  332. Menyambal --- writing as Lee Moe Joost says

    The comic guy, Randall Munroe, has done something wonderful.He posted a new update/edition of one of his comics every hour, making a stop-motion animation movie for people with patience. Fans made viewers for the panels, and a 44-minute YouTube video. Apparently the science is good enough for clues.

    Phil Plait was my intro to it Even though I am a fan of the comic, I’d missed the event.

    If you aren’t familiar with , it’s the same guy answering weird science questions.

  333. rq says

    Good night, Crudely! Tomorrow we can stand up to more of cicely’s silencing. Heh heh. (Or should that be ‘Hay hay’?)

  334. opposablethumbs says

    Time was brilliant, Menyambal! I followed it for about the last two months of its run, though I never joined the forum (there were some really nice things on the forum, as well as some silly gender assumptions about the comic from some people). But Time itself was lovely.
    I wish I’d thought to mention it here but it just never occurred to me – I suppose I just tend to assume that anything I’ve stumbled across will be old news to people on Pharyngula (especially considering that so many people here enjoy and reference xkcd from time to time).
    Imminent visit from one of my brothers and SILs, so I’ll see youse all later …

    PS Horses – yes! Peas – rarely! Spinach – raw! (unless it’s in a heretical lasagna or dauphinois). Oh, and celery – is an abomination!!! And also, whisky – always! Whiskey – NEVER. ::plants flag::

  335. rq says

    Have fun with the relations!
    (I’m with you on the spinach – raw, except in lasagna (mmmm) or, actually, quiche and fish pie.)

    I believe Time was posted here a couple of times when it started out, and I’ll admit to having followed it for some time, but it faded out and I also didn’t think of re-posting a link because… because.

    It’s way to hot outside.
    On the plus side, the laundry is dry after half-an-hour on the balcony. Yeah!
    On the minus side, that means I get to fold and sort. Not so yeah. :P

  336. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    Yeah. I’ve been causally following time since roughly its inception. I looked at the first frame and went “ah, just a landscape. guess I’ll stare at it.” Then I heard it changed.

    started out deep and interesting. though the ending was rushed post location revelation.

    catapult therein:

  337. David Marjanović says

    Link dump!

    A stunning clay model of a Deinonychus skeleton. Better than all museum mounts I know of, and apparently better than all Tom Holtz knows of. The sculptor admits that the gastralia are missing and that not everything can be reconstructed with full confidence; some of the material used (no complete skeleton of Deinonychus is known!) may not belong to the same species. I also wonder if the shoulder girdles should be closer together and why the legs are splayed.

    Democrats introduce Supreme Court Ethics Act to helpfully suggest the Supreme Court have some. The higher you go in the court system, the fewer regulations apply to judges – it’s madness.

    What it says on girls’ T-shirts, and why it matters.

    Teenager made bad but obvious joke, is now in jail for making “terroristic threats”, and faces half a megabuck for bail and up to 8 years in prison because America is scared out of its wits. Petition.

  338. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I’m fascinated by a prism’s spray of colours. Not only is it beautiful, it’s a bit mysterious. I find myself looking at the colours and trying to point to just where that yellow light becomes green. Sure *here’s* clearly green, and *there’s* clearly yellow but what point exactly marks the transition?

    In 1999 I was in rehearsals for The Illumination of Marshall McLuhan, a rock opera that was to be the biggest musical project I’d ever be involved with. I ended up getting paid around 28 cents per hour, but that’s another story.

    In 1999 I was also preparing for the possibility that the Y2K bug was actually a thing. I didn’t do anything drastic. I pulled some cash from my bank account, just in case. I stocked up on canned goods and bottled water. I bought a propane space heater and a bunch of bottles to run it. It was those gas bottles that would cause me to cringe in embarrassment every time I saw them over the next few years.

    In 1999 I was also preparing to end my relationship of six years. I didn’t really know that at the time, but in retrospect the beginning of the end was there in my attitudes and behaviour.

    The turn of calendar, if not the actual millenium, on that New Years Eve marked a real divide in my life. The year 2000 was the peak of my musical endeavours, as seen by the scale of the performances I’d be involved with and the numbers of audience members reached.

    It marked the beginning of my active, outspoken skepticism as I dealt with the embarrassment of being taken in by the alarmists in my society.

    It marked the last time I’d not just ignore my own needs, but actively deny them in favour of another’s. That shedding of the martyr’s cloak I’d worn for so long was truly life changing.

    But here’s the thing, none of those events, despite the fixed in time limits of Y2K and the run of the opera, despite the moment when I said “I can’t do this anymore.”, none of those things had a clear before and after.

    On the last night of the show we had to tear down as soon as the audience left.
    There was another production scheduled to load in the next morning. The director had convinced a local steel company to build a geodesic half-dome on the stage. At 3am a fatigue drunk Fishy watched the angle grinder blow sparks off the 30 foot ceiling in an attempt to get the thing small enough to fit through the doors. That beautiful, shining act of destruction felt so final that I thought to myself: “Well, that’s that then.” But I was wrong.

    We spent the next few weeks recording the production versions of the songs. And we spent the next few months waiting for the singers to record their parts. Something that never happened. We waited for the next couple of years for the two camera shoot to get edited down to something watchable. That never never happened either. The whole thing just sort of trickled away.

    Y2K was such an obvious bust it should have ended at 12:01am UTC. I have to admit that the anarchist, “fuck shit up” teenaged punk rocker that was only recently in my past was a bit disappointed. But the legacy of that non-event was profound for me. It marked the first time I’d felt massive disappointment in myself for buying into fear without doing any research to find out if my emotions were justified. I probably would have come to skepticism eventually, but that event was the catalyst of an ongoing transformation in my way of thinking about, well, everything. Because of that Y2K still looms large in my thinking.

    Even my relationship didn’t end completely when I finally voiced my unwillingness to carry on. There were things to be returned or to be formally gifted. She wanted me to talk to a counsellor with her. Not to fix our relationship, just so she could make sense of it all. I agreed. She’d been a victim of the false memory syndrome bullshit so prevalent in the nineties and I was more than willing to do this one last thing to help her move on.

    Even events that are unequivocally anchored in time are not necessarily true dichotomies with a clear before and after, not when you’re talking about the human experience of those events. We’re as messy and imprecise in this as we are in anything we do. If only we had an experiential methodology to rival the scientific one to help us make sense of it all.

    I see the bullshit misogyny in the atheist/skeptic movement, how could I not? I see the horrendous pushback that those who have the bravery to tell their stories in public receive, and it makes me wonder: have we crossed the line yet? The temporal border between cultures is so damn broad and fuzzy that only from the lofty heights of the far future do we have a hope of putting even the vaguest of dates on these things.

    So daily I squint at the yellow light which tints everything and ask myself: Is it just a bit greener? And I remind myself to keep fighting no matter what, so that on my deathbed I will look up to see the faces of those I love lit by an emerald glow so verdant that its greenness brooks no denial. And I remind myself to cherish all the fine, fierce folk of the hoard who fight this fight so much effectively than I.

    I can’t say it enough: thank you for the example you set.

    Thank you for the knowledge I’ve gained.

    Thank you most of all for the hope; it keeps me going when all I can see is a jaundiced world that’s denying it needs a cure.

  339. David Marjanović says

    thunk: Мы вас похороним!

    Такой агентуры нет.

  340. David Marjanović says

    David, also, thanks for the elephant-cute!!!!! I could hear it going Eeeeeeee!!!! in excitement and joy through the whole video. Reminds me of the Kids when they’re doing much the same thing. Heh. Animals is animals.

    ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    *sad pouncehug for cicely*
    Where’s the problem? Is the site blocked (which would be stupid, because it’s an e-mail provider), or do you need to update your Flash player, or is your connection too slow?

  341. Portia, in boots says

    opposable thumbs:

    Have a lovely visit :)


    Tony: Good luck carhunting.

    Seconding the applause for your car buying advice.

  342. rq says

    See, things like that *points to 450* should go on your blog, for easy access, because sometimes, you’ve written something this stunningly beautiful and revealing, and I want to re-read it, but digging and shoving my way back through [Lounge] iterations is beyond my patience or abilities. [/selfish]
    I love your thought process. My sister recently made me think about whether maybe I was being too cynical/negative/non-forthcoming about the future of the world and the shape of our culture. Maybe the light is a bit greener, if I squint… Maybe. I still need convincing, but I think I’m a bit more likely to give it the benefit of the doubt (in a good way).


    Also, the last sentence of comment 203 on the Karen Stollznow thread is how I feel, too.

  343. Portia, in boots says

    More schadenfreude: Robin Thicke’s voice totally cracked when he sang his rape anthem on Colbert.

  344. chigau (残念ですね) says

    rq #454
    You could bookmark FossilFishy’s comments.
    Then your only problem will be remembering (six months from now) what you meant by the bookmark name.
    eg. cutecat, cutecat2, another cute cat, cute kitteh, cutecat july, etc.

  345. rq says

    Your solution lacks finesse. ;)
    There’s the additional problem of sorting through all the other bookmarks, which (from experience) can be a challenge in its very own category.

  346. Owlmirror says

    There was a point where I thought about posting something like:

    “Current Wikipedia pages I am browsing:

    Mediterranean Sea
    Mediterranean Basin
    Messinian Salinity Crisis
    Zanclean Flood

    (Guess which webcomic I’ve been reading)”

    But I figured that would be too gnomic.

    I am pretty sure that when Randall Munroe started 1190/Time, he did not know that he would end up with reading up on Mediterranean geology and geography. It meandered along at a prodigiously slow rate for a very long time.

  347. birgerjohansson says

    Deinonychus rules!
    And Deinosuchus rules even more.
    (snap! chomp, chomp, chomp)

    if Discovery channel was uncertain about the pyramids, they should have asked Bender.

    Curiously, I have found BIG horse breeds are generally calm and friendly.
    Small ponies, however, are a bit like those pugnacious small dogs.

  348. Portia, in boots says


    Nothing, really. But I was amused :)
    He’s also not so good without the autotune.

  349. Tethys says

    Have you every seen a pugrilla, or an orcquin, or a bumblelion?
    fun animal photoshops.

    Well, now you have!

    yam vs. sweet potato

    It doesn’t matter if you can’t tell them apart, because both of them taste exactly the same. Squash flavored mush, bleech! The only thing worse is bell peppers, which taint everything they touch with horrible bitterness.

    CMMV- the C stands for cicely ;)

  350. Tethys says

    Oops, forgot to comment of photo #18 of my link.

    The octoshroom! I’m pretty sure its psychotropic.

  351. Crudely Wrott says

    link to the source –>

    From the I’m Really Getting Tired Of This Shit desk:

    Obama defended recent decisions to shutter U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa and to issue a global travel alert. Americans, he said, should still take vacation in a “prudent way” by reviewing State Department guidance on the Web.

    The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident, unfortunately,” Obama said. ”The general rule is just show some common sense and some caution.”

    My quick parsing of this statement is that POTUS thinks it is unfortunate that there is a greater risk of dying in and auto wreck than being made dead in a terrorist attack.

    [picks jaw up off the floor and attempts to realign the hinges]

    Did he just say that he is disappointed that the odds of being blown up is not greater than it really is? Somebody help me! Please point out where I have failed to parse the real meaning of these words!

    Earlier Tuesday aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the president’s appearance on the Tonight Show was meant to “communicate with Americans where they are.” In contrast to the usual back-and-forth between the administration and more traditional press, Carney acknowledged that “viewers of late-night shows are not necessarily the readers of newspapers or wire services, or necessarily viewers of cable or broadcast news shows.”

    I know where I am, you damned fool!! Where in the stinking wilderness of leadership apologetics are you??

    I’ll cut a stingy amount of slack with respect to the idea that people who watch Leno don’t all inform themselves of media’s explanations of shenanigans and mendacity in high places but Jumpin’ Jiminy Cricket, man! Why the hell don’t you go get a job that takes full advantage of your talents. I suggest either internet sales of Pecker Pills or stable boy.

    Sorry folks, but this shit just won’t quit and I’m getting so tired of being told what to worry about and what to just leave to more “capable” hands. GRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    There’s more in the cited article. Read it and weep.

    [and this day started out so nicely . . .]

    From the Patience, Crudely, The Day Will Get Better While You Take A Nice Nap desk:
    Don’t worry folks, I’ll get better. [yawns and glances at waiting bed]

  352. says

    Your link works perfectly.

    Thank you for the helpful advice.
    In years past, my father recommended several Hondas, Toyotas, and Mazdas as his first pics, based on his research.

    Crudely Wrott:
    Your comment was very informative and helpful. I agree with morgan, you should write a book:
    ‘A Skeptic Buys A Car’

  353. kieran says

    Ray comfort has made his video free on youtube. All you need to know about the gullibility of his followers is that he claims 37000 thousand copies were sold knowing it would be released on youtube for free.

  354. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    Here’s another one to make you worry about them wild animals. I get the feeling that, once humans are gone, it’ll be a free-for-all for all the technology left behind.

    Well…the crows are team players, but kinda small, whereas the raccoons have thumbs. If the other apes can’t make a go of it (insufficient numbers plus they don’t have the same Ubiquitous Throughout Shadow factor), and if the non-aquatic parts of the planet are still livable, I look for a crow/raccoon play-off

    They doubtless don’t even know the right side of a horse from the side one mounts and dismounts from.

    Both sides sport viciously-damaging hooves, and a willingness to use them; and They are also fully bite-capable on either side.
    No Sale.

    Raw spinach. Or cooked onto a pizza. With white sauce rather than red.

    FossilFishy, your #450 was up to your usual high standards for eloquence.
    I remember Y2K—all the panic that Every Computer In The World Would Crash as the clock struck midnight. It was obvious, at least to The Husband and I, as employees of a small software company, that at least some systems had to be already dealing with post-Y2K-time—funeral homes (forward planning for your deathday!) and any kind of lender (banks among them). And it’s not like we were guilty of hoarding this knowledge to ourselves; we were pretty outspoken about it. So we were able to laugh loudly the Day After, when a local book dealer had this huge table covered with books about The Coming Y2K Apocalypse And You—marked at 75% off—while still feeling sorry for those who’d been taken in by it, and now had to try to find a buyer for, for instance, 6 55-gallon drums of dried beans, or had to persuade Sears to take back all the generators and stuff bought on the assumption that the bill would never come due.

    Where’s the problem? Is the site blocked (which would be stupid, because it’s an e-mail provider), or do you need to update your Flash player, or is your connection too slow?

    It refused to play. It’d act as if it was going to start, showing me a teaser-pic of a baby elephant in a kiddie pool, then go black and refuse to budge when I clicked the “play” button. Flash has recently been updated, and I’ve been having no problems with anything else playing—including, most nuisancefullly, auto-play ads—just this one thing.
    It gave me an elephant-sized sad.

    if Discovery channel was uncertain about the pyramids, they should have asked Bender.

    I’m sure that the Discovery Channel is very certain of the only thing about pyramids that’s of any consequence—namely, that there’s money to be made, there, and they wants it, oh yes, preciousssss.

    Tigerhawk. Octoshroom. Bumblelion.
    *making notes*

  355. says

    Crudely Wrott:
    As written, your parsing of Obamas statement is reasonable. I would like to think he finds the high level of auto accidents to be unfotunate. Hopefully he phrased that poorly and really meant to express
    “It is unfortunate that any Americans have died in terrorist attacks. However, the odds of dying in a car accident are significantly greater”.

    Given the access to info he has, the POTUS would know that:

    In 2010 (the latest report), 15 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks; nine died in 2009; 33 in 2008; 17 in 2007; 28 in 2006; and 56 in 2005. The vast majority of private U.S. citizens killed in terrorist attacks died in the war zone countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. So the sad tally of Americans killed by terrorists around the world since 2005 comes to a total of 158, yielding an annual rate 16 Americans killed by terrorists outside of the borders of the United States.

    Taking these figures into account, a rough calculation suggests that in the last five years, your chances of being killed by a terrorist are about one in 20 million. This compares annual risk of dying in a car accident of 1 in 19,000; drowning in a bathtub at 1 in 800,000; dying in a building fire at 1 in 99,000; or being struck by lightning at 1 in 5,500,000. In other words, in the last five years you were four times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist.

    Will be crossposting the linked info to the Dome. Methinks *someone* with an unjustified fear of terrorist attacks could–but likely will not–benefit from this info.

  356. blf says

    It was obvious, at least to The Husband and I, as employees of a small software company, that at least some systems had to be already dealing with post-Y2K-time — funeral homes (forward planning for your deathday!) and any kind of lender (banks among them).

    Indeed. I was fond of making the same point: For instance, insurance companies plan / model for decades ahead, banks and utilities for years ahead, and so on… — not to mention normal corporate forward-planning. That doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be an issue with the day-to-day systems, but at least some systems would have been debugged years, if not decades, beforehand.

    The company I was working for at the time, who made computer (servers and workstations) and software, did work over a period of years beforehand to find and fix every Y2K-related issue, not only in internal systems, but also in the products. From browsing the bugs database, I know there were issues found and fixed (I was not directly involved in any of this). They also set up a special 24×7 incident team over the Y2K period to be on call in case any customers reported issues.

    Total number of calls they got: Nil. Zero. The incident team was stood down about a week after New Years.

    There was one hilarious panicky customer a few weeks beforehand. This customer had done a test by setting the date on a testing server ahead and then checking for any dates which were “wrong”. The customer found some files which had “clearly wrong” modification dates.

    The engineers quickly pointed-out the supposedly “mis-dated” files were supposed to dated the way they were, and the customer had neglected to establish a baseline; i.e., log all file modification dates before the test, and then compare them afterwards to find changes.

  357. says

    He should also know that traffic fatalities are far easier to reduce than terrorist-related fatalities (although given that most of the attacks classed as terrorism happened overseas in war zones, ending the wars might help a lot (I don’t see how deaths caused by one side in a war zone count as terrorism if the people counting aren’t calling the deaths caused by the other side terrorism). Notably, reductions in speed limits can reduce traffic fatalities by ~20% or more (Source). Given that around 40,000 Americans a year die in traffic accidents, a reduction of 8000 deaths a year could be accomplished by that relatively simple measure, saving 500 times more American lives than eliminating deaths from terrorism altogether.

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

    Will be crossposting the linked info to the Dome. Methinks *someone* with an unjustified fear of terrorist attacks could–but likely will not–benefit from this info.

    Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony Tony….Tony.

    Do you think this is the first time *someone* has been corrected on info? I think it’s clear we’re way beyond “unjustified fear” and into actual legitimate hate. And I’m pretty sure you can’t reason someone out of the irrational view that a people need to be exterminated because they carry a metaphysical taint

  359. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Tony: I have a used Prius and I’m extremely happy with it (except for the rare occasion when the “traction control” tries to kill me). You may have trouble finding one with under 100,000 miles on it for sale used, though that’s kind of an endorsement if you can.

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


    I have personally come to reject the idea that a reasoned rational explanation and rebuttal will eventually erode away irrationality and convince people. I think that’s some sort of liberal debate fallacy.

    In my experience the only thing that will crack such things for most people is a personal emotional experience, and even then many will compartmentalize (ala one of the gooduns”

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

    I too use a prius. Great car. Only problem is the need to take it to a dealer for maintenance since mechanics think the fuckers are the nuclear cars from Fallout and refuse to work on them.

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


    There’s a reason when I was talking with *somepeople* my response was to draw analogies to past *somebodies* they where acting like and try to put up a clean mirror in front of their faces.

  363. says

    We have outed “Pregnancy Crisis Centers” on the [Lounge] before. These bogus centers lure pregnant women in with a false front of medical expertise, (which they do not have), and then proceed to pressure women seeking an abortion to take another path, preferably a religious path.

    Now there is a video of Pregnancy Crisis Center personnel spouting non-scientific stuff, and making crazy claims about the souls of babies.

    Crisis pregnancy centers lie to women, and now there is more audio to prove it.

    A counseling session covertly recorded by a reproductive rights advocate from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia reveals, once again, the kind of dubious information (and baldfaced lies) staff members at these anti-choice centers are passing off as legitimate medical advice.

    Excerpts from the exchange (which you can listen to in full here):

    – Condoms are “naturally porous” and do not protect against STDs
    – Women who have taken the birth-control pill for four years prior to their first pregnancy have a 46% increased risk of breast cancer
    – Having an abortion will damage all of your future relationships
    – If you have an abortion, you will see that child’s soul again in the future: “At the end of the world you’re gonna know that was my child that I choose to kill” …

  364. Pteryxx says

    Thirding the Prius recommendation. The one I use is almost ten years old with nearly 200K miles on it. I’m able to volunteer for long driving trips because its gas costs are less than half those of any other volunteer… right now, in Texas high summer, it gets about 43 mpg around town with the AC full on, and 52 mpg on the freeway a few weeks ago. (I can reach 55 mpg with the AC off, driving 60-65 mph and some drafting behind semis.) Prius owners trade mechanic recommendations on their forums (hacking your Prius is a thing, fyi) so in densely populated areas it shouldn’t be hard to locate some.

    Couple of notes that I got from said mechanics and forums: while the high-voltage threat’s mostly a myth, it’s true that a Prius cannot be towed with wheels on the ground, only by flatbed. The rolling wheels act as generators and can overcharge the batteries and lead to fires. For similar reasons, the hybrid batteries of a Prius won’t last as long if it’s subject to a lot of hills – not the climbing so much as the descent, which can briefly overcharge the batteries too. (I’ve pegged the battery monitor going down a few miles’ worth of steep grade.) A Prius that’s been used in flat country (such as Texas, or Florida…) should have a better battery lifespan than one from Colorado or San Francisco.

  365. says

    I’m afraid I don’t get Prius. I like it as a piece of futuristic machinery, but it costs several metric fucktons of money, and the mileage isn’t really different from cars people already drive in countries where fuel is expensive.

    52 mpg = 4.5 l/100 km, that’s nice but also the same my parent’s 20 year old POS Carina E diesel station wagon gets on a freeway

  366. cicely (*sigh*. Just cicely.) says

    Parrowing, you asked about the Shadowcamels vignettettette. I’ve cleared it with rq, and if you are still interested, and willing to entrust me with your email, I’ll happily send it to you. It’s short—only one printed page’s-worth. Just let me know.

  367. anteprepro says

    I have a used Prius and I’m extremely happy with it (except for the rare occasion when the “traction control” tries to kill me).

    Oh yes, that little frustration. If I ever get into an accident again, the odds are greatly in favor of “traction control” being the culprit. You know, right underneath “fiddling with radio”, “sun in my eyes”, and “having a brainfart”.

    (In fairness, as annoying as the traction control is in the summer, I would hate to know what it would be like in a Prius without it during the winter!)

    For similar reasons, the hybrid batteries of a Prius won’t last as long if it’s subject to a lot of hills – not the climbing so much as the descent, which can briefly overcharge the batteries too.

    I did not know that. Sadly, I’m not sure that I can actually find a route that would take advantage of that information! Oh well, at least it serves as a good warning!

    I like it as a piece of futuristic machinery, but it costs several metric fucktons of money,

    Newer ones do. Older ones aren’t much more expensive than other equally old cars, I don’t think.

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

    ‘morning, rq.

    Do you have any of those lucky thumbs of yours to spare? I need to be competent today working as substitute secretary* for Important Person who will also be the person deciding whether I stay in my actual position later this year. (being a sub this week, but boss is only there today)

    *yeah, they are using us** to substitute in all kinds of positions we are completely unqualified for and which are completely unrelated to what we are actually there to do

  369. rq says

    I have a thumb to hold for you!
    And some Jabba cute! And remember, every Evil Boss has a weakness, somewhere.


    There’s an xkcd for everything: how I feel most days.

    Remember those 19 Arizona Hotshots? The city (state?) is refusing to pay out benefits to the families of most of them. :( For minor quibbles.

    Boycott the Olympics? No, move them to Vancouver! It would really piss of this women’s group, although they’re a crappy women’s group if that’s how they roll.

    For fun: I love these kinds of historical views of cities. Plus ca change…

  370. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says





    …why do all good barleywines taste like caramel?

    So, I had a decent first date with someone who, ironically enough, works for the TSA, last night. No, I didn’t get patted down ;/ But, afterward, I stopped in at Capitol Beer and Tap Room and had a Bois, and realized there were six other beers on tap I wanted and I couldn’t have ANY of them and still drive home. So I got my friend Thor (yes you read that right) to drive me to and from, tonight. Um, I had a flight containing barleywines, and a barleywine, and another Bois and DAMN IT ROOM YOU HOLD STILL YOU BASTARD!

    Getting shitfaced responsibly: ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED :D

    I wonder if I should rub it in my ex wife’s face. Sober people, what dp you…bloody GELL! thinL?

  371. says


    It may sound like a great idea to rub it in your ex’s face, but, uhm… no. Sober up, get some sleep, and forget about your ex — she WILL use it against you.

  372. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (In fairness, as annoying as the traction control is in the summer, I would hate to know what it would be like in a Prius without it during the winter!)

    [California]What is a “win-ter?”[/California]

  373. rq says

    Cheers on the date and the de-lish-uss beer, but yeah… hold off on telling the ex. Any idea that sounds good under the influence of lots-of-beer is usually not such a great idea in real life.
    And keep drinking responsibly. ;)

  374. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Okay. So, while I have plausible deniability on impulse control, can someone please explain to me the mentality that leads otherwise reasonable, progressive people to answer: “No [I couldn’t date someone who has children from a previous relationship].”

    Is it just some combination of sexist assumptions about how any dad who isn’t 4EVR with his “babymomma” MUST be a deadbeat and sexist assumptions about how any dad who isn’t 4EVR with his “babymomma” MUST be looking for a coparent? Or is there more to it?

    Because, the number of otherwise reasonable, progressive people who answer thus is TOO DAMN HIGH but would be easier to take if there was at least sort of a rationale for it.

  375. says

    Tony’s Tale # (maybe I should keep count of these):
    ‘Of Megalodons & Mermaids’
    “People actually believed that??”

    That was my reaction when I overheard a coworker (JD) mention that a friend of his just found out this Discovery Channel nonsense about a megalodon carcass was a hoax (I still have not read up on it, but I already know…what the hell, hold on…BRB

    …if you are curious, I did just go look up this silliness…

    seriously? They presented that shit as fact with a ‘blink and you’ll miss it disclaimer’? Oh how much lower can they go?). The restaurant was slow, so as JD and I chatted, other employees began listening. I explained that far too many people believe what they are told without verifying if it is actually true.
    I told everyone that trust in authority figures is helpful as a child, but as you get older, it is not automatically a good thing. That far, far too many people believe things without fact checking, in large part bc they trust those in authority. I told them that skepticism is good and that just bc someone is a political official, teacher, boss or religious leader, they should not be automatically believed.
    The crux of the talk (it was less a conversation and more me speaking) was the nature of claims–yeah, I just made a comment about claims here recently–and that not all claims should be believed. As examples, I told JD that if he talked about eating a ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast, there is no significant reason to disbelieve him bc people eat. I told them that such a claim is ordinary and mundane. I countered that with an example of me jumping out of a plane and flying for miles. I told them that was an extraordinary claim. Why? As far as we know, humans cannot fly. That is not how the universe works. Such a claim would need to be seriously investigated before anyone should believe it.
    The talk did not last long, but dammit I could have said more…especially since another employee jumped in to talk about the ghost in the cooler. Though it was in jest, I sooo wanted to ask if all other possibilities were ruled out prior to the ghostly one. Alas, they had to break away and do some work.

    Oh yeah, I forgot the other tale…so this post is a two-fer.

    Last week, Thursday, IIRC, I had gotten off work around 5 pm and had lunch. I struck up a conversation with A, a 17 year old girl who also works there as a hostess. She mentioned turning 18 soon and wanting a tattoo. I asked her if she had any clue how it feels and she said no. I have three tattoos, each one having differing levels of OUCH. I described the process as akin to taking a needle and poking it into your skin repeatedly until you create the desired image. I think she started comprehending the degree of possible pain when I mentioned how much more work is involved in filling in tattoos, rather than outlines.
    The real meat of the convo came when she mentioned that she told her mother she wanted one and “we will see” was the response.
    I had a momentary kneejerk WTF moment as I thought about an adult needing permission from their parent for anything. Then I realized what the reason likely was. She said she still lives at home and will probably wait til she goes off to get a tattoo. Since her parents are paying her college tuition, she did not want to cause any ripples at home…which is what I thought.

    From there I asked her if I could give her some advice, to which she was agreeable.

    I told her that perhaps some day when she is more comfortable discussing this with her mother, she could talk about bodily autonomy. She was not familiar with the term. I asked if she were ever told growing up to not let strangers touch her, to which she said yes. We discussed the fact that no one has the right to to touch anyone, whether it is a hug, a kiss, or anything else. That led to me talking about bodily autonomy, which she had not heard of. After explaining that to her, I told her that since it is her body, it is her decision as to what she can do with it. Including getting a tattoo. I told her that one day maybe she could talk to her mother and explain that as her reason for getting one.
    I *did* stress that I fully understand why this is not something she wants to push. I mentioned at least twice that I understand her situation and that even if I did not, it is her choice if or when to have a chat with her mother.

    Our conversation drifted a few times. One time we discussed the judgements people make of others based on trivialities. I told her that it is possible her mother holds negative views on tattoos, and the people that have them. She said she thinks so. I told her that I have heard people with negative opinions of those with tattoos, as if have ink means you are a bad person. I told her there are plenty of wonderful people who have tattoos and some vile ones that have none…that the absence or presence of a tat has no bearing on the quality of someones character.

    We likely could have chatted more, but my cab arrived.
    Interspersed through through the convo, I made sure to pipe down. I do not know how preachy I come across, and that is a concern, so in most of these conversations, I sit across from the other person and make frequent, but not constant eye contact as well as varying the tone of my voice somewhat.

  376. thunk: Мы вас похороним! says

    Azkyroth: Don’t you have mountains? that get rather large amounts of snow in the winter?

    here in the plains, I have to drive two hours to get to a piddling little ski area

  377. says

    [California]What is a “win-ter?”[/California]

    [Finland]What is “traction con-troll?”[/Finland]
    Here cars are taxed so heavily everyone and their cousin drive old clunkers. Not that I’d know first hand, I’ve never owned a vehicle with more than two wheels.

  378. rq says

    Weed Monkey
    “traction con-troll”: a troll out to con people who is mightily difficult to get rid of