[Lounge #436]

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Mmm nice shiny new thread.

    I suppose I may as well brag that I won a water bottle in a raffle.

    Nice bottle, too.

  2. David Marjanović says

    Great! I love mine, it’s so practical. ^_^

    Extremely cute vole, too!

    From last subthread:

    someone says, “I was speaking Navajo. If you want to speak English, go back to England,” in response to a “this is America, speak English” exhortation


    And really baffling how somebody in Santa Fé – so he has heard Spanish before, I can’t imagine there’s a way to avoid it – could manage to confuse Spanish with Navajo. In what way do they sound similar? Soundfiles. (The transcriptions are in IPA, not in the actual spelling, and at least one contains an error.)

  3. says

    David: Santa Fe is a little north of here, but I can tell you that it’s considered a ‘trendy’ city and is suffering an influx of asshole. It’s also true that there’s a rather nasty stench o’ hating Natives around here, as well (sadly).

    The local rich neighborhood abuts a reservation and the tribes regularly have to bulldoze houses that are built (a la Western Expansion) on reservation land without tribal permission by people who want a new house in the rich neighborhood. They just go start building, assuming that the tribe won’t do anything about it.

  4. says

    @3, mouthyb: I want to say “SERIOUSLY, INTERROBANG”, but I have some acquaintances who are Canadian First and Inuit Nations people who would…let’s say, “discuss” their displeasure at me in loud and perfectly righteous (NOT self-righteous) ways, if I were to have not expected this. It’s almost like white people are racist or something.

    I think carlie‘s right that it’s OT there, and I don’t have the spoons for Thunderdome, so I hope it’s okay if I mention this here? I’m deliberately not quoting or naming people or threads, just talking about the feelings I’m having about the existence of the threads in such a state. If it’s not okay, I apologize, and would be grateful if someone could ask PZ to wipe out the below.

    Sigh. I feel almost nauseated by that assiduous bit of thumping the Bible Dictionary so as to insist that “HE’S NOT A RACIST BIGOT HE’S NOT HE’S NOT YOU TAKE THAT BACK OR I’M TELLING MOM ON YOU!!!” So tiresome.

    I dunno if AJ Milne reads over here at all, but I loved their response to the racist parody someone deployed against racists: showing how to do the trick right, by turning what was a comedic “punching down” into a comedic “punching up(wards)”. An excellent job of showing how to get it right.

  5. cicely says

    So far behind….

    There’s a new Stross short story in the Laundry series, Equoid, over at Tor.

    *hugs* for opposablethumbs and commiseration for your parenting woes.
    Unfortunately, I have no sagacity to offer on this.
    I have no sagacity
    To offer on this.

    Vampire hummingbirds. Thoughts?
    (Not talking about stirges. Those are Not The Droids I’m Looking For.)
    atm, I’m thinking that one sex looks like a completely normal hummingbird, but the other requires blood to enable reproduction. Something like mosquitoes, but with style.

    *pouncehug* and lots of sympathy for rq.
    If ChoirCreepyHarrasserTroll is displaying his personality for everyone in the choir to see, is it possible to get him banned by common consent? Vote him off the island?

    *pouncehug* for Maureen Brian, so seldom seen in these hyar parts.

    Ogvorbis, you absolutely do fit in! You are also one of the wounded-but-wonderful People of Pharyngula.
    (Hail, Squid!)
    Also, *hugs* and companionship.

  6. says

    Old, obscenely rich white guy compares people criticizing him to lynch mobs in the deep south.

    Robert Benmosche, the CEO of insurance giant and thriving example of everything wrong with finance capitalism AIG, sat down for a friendly interview with the Wall Street Journal and said something very stupid and terrible. AIG has long been in the business of doing stupid and terrible things, and not long ago some of those things led to the government throwing a lot of money at AIG to prevent that company from totally destroying the entire global economy. After the money gift from the government, AIG rewarded itself for its horribleness by giving a bunch of executives massive bonuses.

    Bonuses are supposed to reward exceptional performance, so a lot of people were pretty confused about these bonuses and upset that the bonuses were effectively funded by the government. People got mad, some protested, some said very critical things, and some people petitioned Congress to take away the bonuses.

    Here is what Benmosche said about that:

    The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that-sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong….

    Aggrieved white men of America, here’s a little tip from your old pal “historical consciousness”: People being mean to you is not remotely equivalent to genocidal violence. You are not at any risk of ever facing anything close to an actual lynching. It is not effectively legal for people to murder you. If someone did murder you, the state would attempt to arrest and punish them. If you wouldn’t claim to be the victim of a “genocide,” don’t claim to be the victim of a lynch mob.


  7. says

    A few racists (yes, a few more) and misogynists have been exposed thanks to their limited grasp of cell phone technology, and thanks to their profound lack of tolerance for anyone who is not a white male:

    Pennsylvania was in the news when gun-loving small town police chief Mark Kessler’s expletive-infused rants against “libtards” went viral – and cost him his job. Now, Coatesville Area School District superintendent Richard Como and Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato have gained national attention for their abrupt departures from their positions – and the slew of hateful and racist messages discovered on their district-issued cell phones. Board president Neil Campbell has called the texts “sickening and obviously unacceptable.”

    The incendiary messages, which all date from this past June, are a regular cavalcade of bigotry. And a source told the Philadelphia Inquirer Monday that “What has been made public represents a fraction of the messages between the men.” In one exchange, the two riff on how “All should have whatever first names they want… then last name is [n-word]!” Over the course of their messages, they also speculate in details on other people’s sex lives, discuss a “Jew red haired ESL” teacher, “that ape,” “cotton pickers” and a “skinny bitch,” among others. Intriguingly, there’s also a reference to a “MAJOR sneak” who “made at least 1500 – 2000 on kickback.” But to be honest, my favorite is the damming understatement that “This fucking phone! No idea how to work! …


  8. says

    More from the Salon article quoted in comment #9:

    According to records obtained by reporters Michael N. Price and Kristina Scala, Como’s 2010 salary was $192,897 – not a bad income for someone with a barely disguised loathing for the students and faculty he works with. But a comfortable salary can’t buy basic human decency. And for that matter, it definitely can’t provide a working understanding that if you’re going to be a hateful jackass, you should really consider whether you want a text record of that hateful jackassery – or least whether you want to be mouthing off on the equipment your employer issued you.

    There is so much that’s contemptible about the exchanges between Como and Donato – the simmering, near constant anger they display, the grotesque, dehumanizing way they view pretty much anybody who isn’t a white man (to their credit, though, I didn’t notice any gay slurs in the lot) and the jaw-dropping amount of arrogance and privilege it takes to speak that hatefully, that freely. But what stinks most is the betrayal it represents, the lie that their jobs were. The disgust they had for their own kids. “They were friendly to our faces,” Zhaqweyza Armstrong, a 16 year-old Coatesville High junior, told the Inquirer Monday, “and then they talked about us behind our backs.

  9. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    In arguing with the racist troll about FGM prevalence, I’ve been looking up statistics and other data. Which, logically, leads to me discovering that there are high-res colored close-up images of women’s genitals after they’ve been cut that can be found with a Google search.

    Someone, link to something adorable-looking. I need brain bleach!

  10. awakeinmo says

    This is my first post to FtB.
    Figured as a newbie, I’d start out here in the lounge.

    There are not many opportunities to meet up with other atheists where I’m living, so I’ve been following things online for awhile. And lately, I’ve felt a bit let down by some. The infighting, misogyny, bigotry…it’s sad that I’ve seen so many folks I looked up to prove themselves to be oh-so-human. PZ and folks around Freethought Blogs have been the exception. Not that I think PZ is un-human (though I have read some speculation that he’s part cephalopod), but there just seems to be a vibe here that encourages more thoughtful consideration of very emotional issues. I may not be very eloquent or always so thoughtful in my discourse, but I like the idea of a forum that challenges me to to get there.

    Anyway…there it is.

  11. Reginald Selkirk says

    4 yar old chastised terrorists
    During the Kenya mall episode:

    You’re a bad man, let us leave,” Elliott shouted at the gunman, according to his uncle Alex Coutts, who spoke to The Sun for an article published Tuesday.

    The militant from the al Qaeda-linked Somali terror group al-Shabab allegedly gave him a couple Mars bars and told his family: “Please forgive me, we are not monsters,” before letting them escape.

    That certainly sounds brave, but i like to think that I would have held out for Butterfinger.

  12. says

    More on rich white guys being clueless and feeling persecuted, this time from Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi.

    Excerpts below [emphasis mine]:

    … an online column for Forbes written by a self-proclaimed Ayn Rand devotee named Harry Binswanger … The piece had the entertainingly provocative title, “Give Back? Yes, It’s Time for the 99% to Give Back to the 1%” and contained a number of innovatively slavish proposals to aid the beleaguered and misunderstood rich, including a not-kidding-at-all plan to exempt anyone who makes over a million dollars from income taxes….

    Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett. Or if the moral praise showered on Mother Teresa went to someone like Lloyd Blankfein, who, in guiding Goldman Sachs toward billions in profits, has done infinitely more for mankind. (Since profit is the market value of the product minus the market value of factors used, profit represents the value created.)

    Instead, we live in a culture where Goldman Sachs is smeared as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity. . .”

    The thing is, for all its excesses, Mr. Catyanker’s piece does reflect an attitude you see pretty often among Rand devotees and Road To Serfdom acolytes. Five whole years have passed since the crash, and there are still huge pockets of these Fountainhead junkies who genuinely believe that the Blankfeins of the world are reviled because they’re bankers and they’re rich, and not because they’re the heads of unprosecutable organized crime syndicates who make their money through mass fraud, manipulation and the shameless burgling of public treasure. In this case you have a guy who writes for Forbes, a business publication,and apparently he isn’t acquainted even casually with any of the roughly 10,000 corruption cases involving Blankfein’s bank.

  13. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you cicely, the hugs are very welcome and reciprocated. As with all kids, really, its a rollercoaster – it’s just that with a disability or similar in the mix the ride takes sharper turns, the little triumphs seem (well are) huge and the difficulties seem even more insurmountable. He’s gone to a concert this evening purely and solely because he wants to try to hang out with some other kids he knows are going (plus a couple who are playing in it) – which is a triumph in itself, that he had the nerve to make the effort on his own – but he phoned during the interval and chatted for a moment, which strongly suggests that he had no-one else to talk to … which feels like a difficulty all right … ::sigh::

    Sorry to rabbit on and on about it. I’m very grateful for the chance to say these things, because there isn’t anywhere in meatspace for this. Partly because it’s his story, not mine, and here I can be pretty much anonymous (unless W from downstairs frequents the Lounge, that is, which is not impossible – if so, hi, W! :-) Did you hear about that business with the ladder at the weekend? It was like an episode of Minder or something, when we took the ladder back and accidentally left that bloke J locked in upstairs …)

  14. says

    awakeinmo @ 16, hi there. Welcome to Pharyngula, you’ll be just fine here. Thanks for adding your voice, it’s great to have new ones here. As for being in a no atheist zone, I feel ya. I’m in North Dakota (about an hour out from Bismarck), and there are about 7 of us, maybe. At least the ones who are out.

  15. cdds says

    #16 Awakeinmo.

    “there just seems to be a vibe here that encourages more thoughtful consideration of very emotional issues.”

    I hope this remains your experience. It has not been mine. But, I’m not giving up either yet…

  16. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Welcome to FtB in general and Pharyngula in specific. The Lounge is a great way to get to know others in the community and vice versa. Hope you find yourself welcome here!

  17. says

    Monitor Note:

    cdds @ 22, the lounge is not the place for such comments. You will not drag your complaints into the lounge. If you wish to gripe about how your views were consistently challenged in another thread, take it to Thunderdome. Consider this a warning, and please heed it. Thank you.

  18. cicely says

    …I guess I should be a little less cavalier with Excedrin. >.>

    Problem is, they put acetamenophen in everything. Allergy tabs, for instance.

    Ogvorbis, for what it’s worth, I read Azkyroth’s #673 as, you are fully entitled to receive our empathy, not as him thinking you’re rejecting it when it’s offered, or that you’re fishing for more than your share of empathy, or anything along those lines. That you shouldn’t feel unworthy of our empathy. And that the bitterness at empathy-not-received was his, not yours. And that these two misunderstandings promoted further misunderstandings.
    If I’ve phrased that intelligibly.
    And keeping in mind that I am quite capable of being wrong.
    And with *hugs* for both parties involved.

    Caught-up-ness is in sight!

  19. says

    CaitieCat: And would you believe the developer or private citizens who build on rez land are just flabbergasted that someone would touch their precious new house/work in progress? Why can’t they just build where ever they want?

    Oh, the humanity.

  20. says

    Good evening

    Yay: I’m going to teach two classes this term which my bank account will appreciate

    Booh: My parents are real assholes. My mum’s cousin, who lives in Berlin which is the other side of the country usually came for a visit to support my sister when my parents went on a holiday. This time, since they didn’t inform her of their plans she couldn’t come and my sister was left alone with the little help I could give. Now they’re back and my sister got a 5 weeks stay at a health centre approved, something she’s been waiting for for months.
    Well, my parents called the cousin so she can come and help then because clearly two adults are more in need of a third adult than 1 adult is.
    Looks very much like they didn’t inform the cousin of their holiday plans because then she wouldn’t be able to come again when they need her.

    Hope the new counsellor person is competent.

  21. says

    mouthyb: Indeed, the humanity. Were there something like this happening at Six Nations, I’d bring fucking marshmallows and roasting-sticks to watch some racist jackhole get their new house dozed, as I went (as an ally) to stand in support of their road-barricades when they’ve done that to get attention to an important issue.

    Garh. I’m looking forward to our local Take Back the Night march on Thursday night, though I’m thinking in ceding to my disability that I’ll just walk up to the big street they’re going along and cheering them going by, rather than trying to walk the course. I need to make a good sign.

  22. blf says

    awakeinmo, Welcome! Despite the sniny fangs, troll-resistant snark, and breath smelling of grog, this is not a hostile horde. Unless, of course, you are so deluded as to like peas, tolerate horses, or fail to exterminate celery on sight; or don’t like MUSHROOMS!, bacon, or grog. Or pullets, penguins, or poopyheads. Or think poopyhead is pronounced PZee — then there is no hope for you…

  23. cicely says

    Hi, awakeinmo; Welcome in!
    Am I correct in thinking that the “mo” in your ‘nym is for “Missouri”?

  24. says

    bicarbonate #319 in the Condell thread

    Hi everybody, I don’t get all the comments about “USian” and “urban”, don’t want to derail so could somebody explain to me in the lounge? If you so please, of course.

    In more detail than CJO offered there: From the early 20th century until the 1970s, there was a demographically significant movement of African Americans from the rural South to the Rust Belt and the industrial North, drawn largely by (relatively) well-paying factory jobs, along with a bit less Jim Crow (called the Great Migration). White people then began to leave the inner cities en masse (White Flight), aided by the GI bill, which offered white servicemen loans for new built houses in a new generation of suburbs (enabled in turn by the Interstate highway systems. ) Black servicemen got loans (if at all) to purchase existing housing, mostly in the inner cities, not even the first ring streetcar suburbs. In the late 60s, factories started moving first to suburbs where land was cheaper and taxes lower, then to Southern states, where wages were lower too, and then out of the country entirely. Black neighborhoods near where factories used to be saw staggering unemployment and a collapse of the tax base (aggravated by redlining), leading in turn to a collapse of the infrastructure, and by the late 80s, ‘Urban’ and ‘Inner City’ had become synonymous in many mouths with both ‘black’ and ‘crime-ridden and undesirable’, in turn reinforcing the cultural trope that these two things are intrinsically linked, and thus constitute a racist dogwhistle (not to mention some really nasty victim-blaming, but that’s pretty standard with these kinds of things)

  25. cdds says

    #24. Man, I seem to cause trouble everywhere I go. Challenges to my views: no problem. I quite like those. Challenges to my person for not towing the FtB line: harder to deal with. Bottom line: still not quite sure what to make of this community.

    So, when in doubt, send puppies. http://www.tanmonkey.com/fun/puppies.php

  26. says


    Challenges to my person for not towing the FtB line: harder to deal with.

    That didn’t happen. Now, you’ve been warned about these types of comments in the lounge. Would you like me to send an alert to PZ? If not, knock it off, and one more time, as you seem to be hard of comprehending, complaints, whines, grousing about your perceived treatment and so forth go to Thunderdome.

    The lounge is for informal, often personal chat. Thunderdome is open to more opinionated, robust conversation.

  27. Bicarbonate says

    Thank you Dalillama.

    I knew the “inner city” one but didn’t get that “urban” was black. I think urban-urbane or Urban Outfitters and Free People clothing. I did look up “urban fiction” and discovered stuff to read. I me-me-my, so much to learn cuz of being an ex-pat for some 30 years now.

    What about USian?

    Rutee (sp?) seems to use it matter of factly. Someone else saying that in relation to PoC is racially connotated. It’s certainly shorter than typing “American” and not bad as demonym, I think. Especially because “American” should properly describe anyone or anything from the continent. It’s like Spanish “Estadounidense” and the weird French “étatsunisien”.

  28. opposablethumbs says

    Hey Giliell, thanks – fingers crossed.

    Sorry to hear your parents have pulled what does indeed sound like a crummy move on your sister. Hope your sis has a really good five weeks, though (when you say health centre … is this a place for treatment because she’s unwell, or more of a health-improving sort of place? I’m curious, because five weeks sounds like a long time. Or, on the other hand, is this actually completely the other way around and she’s doing a five-week training course or something like that?)

    Welcome, awakeinmo – good to meet you, hope you enjoy it here!

  29. A. Noyd says

    Bicarbonate (#34)

    What about USian?

    I think the reasoning is generally what you said: “‘American’ should properly describe anyone or anything from the continent.”

  30. blf says

    Bicarbonate, Re: “USian”.
    I do not know the context in which you saw that term, but typically it is used by people who object to “American” being used only for people in the USA. There are, after all, two continents with “America” in the name, so like European refers to people in Europe, Asian to people in Asia, and so so, American should refer to people in the Americas (South and North). Hence various admittedly awkward-sounding terms are used to refer to people in the USA, such as “USian”, “USAian”, or what I am now using, “USAlienstanis” (since USAlienstan is, well, so alien to the most of the rest of the planet).

  31. says

    It’s treatment, in her case for a mix of depression, psychosomatic issues and related anorexia.
    Yes, that’s the person my parents left in 24/7 care of an 87yo who needs constant assistance…

    5 weeks is very long, you usually only get 3 and then you can beg for an extension.
    And now I’m off to bed

    Good night

  32. says

    CaitieCat: I only heard about it after the fact, unfortunately, or I’d have been there pouring the punch and laughing my ass off. It would be the only time in my life I’d cheer a bulldozer directly.

    “Yeah, back that shit up and hit it again!” * waves pennant *

  33. awakeinmo says

    Thanks to all for your warm welcome.

    cicely #30

    Am I correct in thinking that the “mo” in your ‘nym is for “Missouri”?

    Indeed. Suburban St. Louis. Which I guess is not a terrible place to be. If you must be in Missouri.

  34. cicely says

    awakeinmo, I find St. Louis to be frighteningly large and confusing.
    Springfield is much more my size.

  35. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    If you have not done so already, I am curious to know what you mean. In the Thunderdome, please.

  36. cicely says

    Possibly the worst marriage advice book ever.

    :( :( :(
    I’ve never watched the Real Housewives show, but if this is a fair sample, I have no interest in watching it. Ever.

  37. awakeinmo says


    Well, well! A fellow Missourian?
    (Performs secret Missouri handshake.)

    I’ve been to Springfield a few times in my college days. Pretty nice little city as I recall…Of course, my recollections are tinted with lots of alcohol and maybe some other substances.

    Glad to know ya.

  38. says

    I’ve been to Missouri a bunch of times, if that counts. I had a friend who lived in Independence (near Kansas City, which is mostly not in Kansas, for those who’ve never been there/looked at that area) for several years, and we went to visit her a couple of times a year. One of the several times I’ve been to see Stomp! was in KC while visiting my friend.

    Who was actually from upstate Louisiana, and had a high school history textbook which talked about the “War of Northern Aggression”, which she’d been handed in like 1978 or something.

    Anyway, welcome from the Frozen Wastes of Socialist Canuckistan!

  39. awakeinmo says

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fantasized about moving to Socialist Canuckistan. Mostly after some sort of election or bill passage here. I suspect there are lots of people here like myself, gazing longingly at the other side of the metaphorical fence at your metaphorically green green grass. Plus, I like the way you pronounce your “O”s.

  40. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …Is it not as widely known as you seem to think? I think so. And switch your spellchecker off, it confuses things even further.

    I don’t use a spellchecker. That was when my computer was in one of its moods where it thinks a 15 second delay between my typing and things appearing on the screen is funny. Apparently, you can relate.

  41. opposablethumbs says

    Shit, Giliell, now I understand better how very, very crummy it was of your parents to pull that move on your sister. Bloody hell. Maybe she’s the one who needs to be Not Available next time! Well I hope her stay in the health centre proves really helpful to her.

    Oh, and yay by the way – this evening’s adventure for SonSpawn turns out to have been a success as far as I can tell. Some hanging-out was accomplished after all! Phew! :-) (and now I get why he had no-one to talk to in the interval – the people he most wanted to see were playing in the concert so they weren’t around until afterwards. This whole thing counts as a major Yay)

  42. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Ogvorbis, for what it’s worth, I read Azkyroth’s #673 as, you are fully entitled to receive our empathy, not as him thinking you’re rejecting it when it’s offered, or that you’re fishing for more than your share of empathy, or anything along those lines. That you shouldn’t feel unworthy of our empathy. And that the bitterness at empathy-not-received was his, not yours. And that these two misunderstandings promoted further misunderstandings.
    If I’ve phrased that intelligibly.
    And keeping in mind that I am quite capable of being wrong.

    No, that was right.

    I wasn’t entirely sober when composing it. I still don’t see how the alternative reading follows, honestly.

  43. carlie says

    awakeinmo – I’m from the St. Louis area also, spouse is from Kansas City, and spouse’s family is from Springfield. We both went to colleges in other parts of the state. Missouri is my people. :)

  44. thunk (past congruences factoring future numbers) says


    Yeah, who the fuck puts up Nazi war flags anyway? Assholes to an extreme degree…

    I’m too afraid to say that I’m sticking with PeeZee because that’s how the poopyhead himself says it. If we’re going the other route, let’s have JK Rowling rhyme with “howling” for similar transatlantic resentment.

    (ahh murrica. Invented the light bulb, freedom, and the internet. well only two of these. At least it’s not as bad of a crapsack as Putinland.)

  45. cicely says

    *performing reciprocal Sekrit Missourah Handshake*
    Are you aware of the forthcomingness of Skepticon, here in Springfield?

    opposablethumbs, I’m glad that SonSpawn’s out-hanging was successfully accomplished.

    Azkyroth, it looks to me as if the misunderstanding hinges entirely on the uneasy co-existence of “throwing back” in reference to quickly gulping a drink, and “throwing back” in reference to an unwanted “catch”, such as a fish; and since the phrase came at the early part of your comment, the misunderstanding, once established, grew wings and crapped all over the rest of the exchange as it flew squeaking into the night. Or day. Or whenever.

    Lakota and Dakota grandmothers captured the Nazi flag hanging in Leith, ND and after taking this pic they burned it

    *vigorous applause*

  46. says

    I’m not normally a Lounger, so I’ll do my best to be nice about it, but to blf and bicarbonate, the whole “USAian” thing really rankles me. It is usually considered polite to call folks what they like to be called. Mexicans come from Mexico. Hondurans come from Honduras. Brazilians come from Brazil. Nobody (I hope) is confused by referring to citizens of the United States of America as Americans. I’m fairly certain it’s the only nationality with “America” in its name.

    I understand the issue with “Asians, African’s, and Europeans” but I can refer to German folks as European whilst still allowing for them to still be called Germans (or Deutschlanders if they prefer).

    I’d say that a better construction would be to use “North American”, “Central American”, or “South American” to refer to the regions involved, therefore not mangling my nationality in the process.

    I do like USAlienstan… because that’s at least funny ;)

  47. says


    I want to say somethin’ like ‘Canuckistan represent’, but then, man, y’know, you wake up, you read the Times

    Yes, we’ve still got that lot in up here. But the place has got its good points. It does. Mebbe you could move up here, help us vote those (mutters vituperation under breath to keep the Lounge properly Loungey) out, it could be better still.

    And thanks, Caitie/#5. And I’m in and out. Spread a little thin, of late, so a lot of out. But in right now, anyway… And punching down or up, it was more about putting it somewhere where I figured the bulk of the audience would get it best, I figured. And honestly, being from the frozen wastes to the north and all, and urban and in a neighbourhood where you do see the odd Darwin magnet on hatchbacks and trunks, I probably do have it a little better than some of the US folk, rural especially, so fessing up, even that’s a little down, from here, maybe. But as close to across as I could get and still somehow make the point at all vividly, I figure.

    And hey all. And sorry to hear the creepiness continues, rq. Seriously, I seem to recall hearing about that the last time I was in, so I figure that’s some creepiness with staying power. Not nice.

  48. says

    Nobody (I hope) is confused by referring to citizens of the United States of America as Americans. I’m fairly certain it’s the only nationality with “America” in its name.

    South Americans(for one) will disagree with you. They tend think of themselves and call themselves Americans. USAmericans don’t have an exclusive right to that name. And you’re literally the only USAmerican I’ve ever seen who’s complained about the term. Most other ones I know often use the terms when in an international context, too.

  49. says

    Lou Densch

    still allowing for them to still be called Germans (or Deutschlanders if they prefer).

    Or Allemans, Niemiecki, Duits, or Tysk, and that’s just from countries that surround germany. I personally tend to refer to people from the States as Yanks or Yankees, which usually guarantees I won’t be misunderstood (except by some people from the SouthEastern U.S, occasionally, but what the hell).

  50. says


    What about USian?

    That’s what I use,* and many other people here (Pharyngula) use it as well. I try to not use ‘American’ at all, because of South Americans, and North America, all that.
    * or ‘the States’.

  51. says


    I’m not normally a Lounger, so I’ll do my best to be nice about it, but to blf and bicarbonate, the whole “USAian” thing really rankles me. It is usually considered polite to call folks what they like to be called.

    I’m baffled as to why it rankles at all. The only ‘mericans I have run into who dislike USian have a jingoistic streak a mile wide, and have their personal identity all wrapped up with where they happen to live. USian is correct, it’s not nasty at all, so…?

    And sure, people should be called what they wish, however, aiming for accuracy when referring to a place and its inhabitants is a good thing.

  52. cicely says

    Lou Doench:

    I’m not normally a Lounger, so I’ll do my best to be nice about it, but to blf and bicarbonate, the whole “USAian” thing really rankles me.

    And do you understand that it likewise rankles some others living in the Americas to have us essentially appropriate “American” for our sole use? Why does your opinion outweigh their’s? Or mine? After all, I’m down with USAia/n.

    The demonym for citizens of the United States of America suffers a similar problem albeit non-politically, because “American” may ambiguously refer to both the nation, the USA, and the conjoined continent pair, North and South America. The word “American” in English may to most English speakers refer exclusively to a person, place or object from the USA, but the word “americano” in Spanish would usually refer to anyone from the entire Americas, including Latin Americans, and Latin Americans speaking English might also use the word “American” in the same way. Until the United States rose to world prominence in the 20th century, many Europeans would also use the word “American” in their own languages to refer to anyone from the entire Americas (more often to those of native American descent), and not just to people from the United States.

    from the Wikipedia entry on demonyms.

    It is usually considered polite to call folks what they like to be called.

    Except that…we don’t. A fast look at various Wikipedia entries suggests that Germans call themselves Deutsche; the Dutch, Nederlanders; the Japanese, Nihonjin (though there’s another word next to it with a question mark). Often we call people from different countries something recognizably derived from (our rendition of) the name of the country itself—but obviously we aren’t by any means scrupulous about it. And we are notorious for not using the names by which Native American peoples call themselves.
    We (USAians) do not possess the moral high ground on this subject. I recommend not Making Your Stand Here.

  53. chigau (違う) says

    cicely #65
    The little blue ? in Wikipedia articles links to advice on how to install a character set.
    It doesn’t imply a question about the terminology.

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


    As promised, in a conversation today I said something was “more certain than esteleth, if you’re measuring statistical significance”.

    Then I was wondering if the person could get it from googling, and sure enough, when you search esteleth statistically significant, you get FtB on the whole first page of results.

    So, they’ll prob e-mail me back and ask what the hell the reference was, but if they google, they can figure it out & I love that.

  55. chigau (違う) says

    Whateverthefuck happened with the latest upgrade.
    I get logged-off every time I use another app.
    I give up.
    Tomorrow I’ll seek a geek.
    (rum hugs for everyone)

  56. says

    Yay for son!
    Problem about my sister not being avaible is that my parents simply have gran kept hostage. I mean there are nursing homes out there. Sure they would kill her in no time, but hey, who cares, right?


    Anyone else getting onoxious pop up ads here?

    If you mean that twitter pop-up, it’s a twitter glitch

    Lou Doench

    I understand the issue with “Asians, African’s, and Europeans” but I can refer to German folks as European whilst still allowing for them to still be called Germans (or Deutschlanders if they prefer).

    A) No, sorry, that doesn’t follow. To say that Europeans elected a new parliament last Sunday is obviously false, because only the Germans did
    B) Deutschländer are a brand of sausages. I’m pretty sure nobody prefers to be called that.
    C) Have you ever bothered to talk to some of the other inhabitants of las Américas about this, especially the ones who were frequently invaded and exploited by the USA? Because they do have an opion on this. They don’t share yours.

  57. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you cicely :-D

    As a Brit who is not English, I have similar feelings about the use (very common among many non-Britlanders) of “English” and “England” to refer to all Brits and the whole of the little island (or, the whole of the little island plus offshore bits it’s still grimly hanging onto). Even though this is sort of the opposite way round from “American” being appropriated for the sole use of one particular subset of Americans it has the same sort of effect – eliding the very existence of less powerful/influential groups. Americans I’ve known in meatspace (most of whom are from the Conosur) object to it very strongly.

  58. says

    I should really post my comments instead of just previewing them…

    Yay for sonspawn!

    Lou Doench

    I understand the issue with “Asians, African’s, and Europeans” but I can refer to German folks as European whilst still allowing for them to still be called Germans (or Deutschlanders if they prefer).

    A) No, it doesn’t work that way. Sure, Germans are Europeans, but to say “Europeans” when you only refer to Germans is false. “Europeans elected a new parliament last Sunday.” Only they didn’t, just the Germans did, European elections are next summer.
    B) Deutschländer are sausages
    C) Please take the time to listen to the voices of other people in las Américas, especially those treated as the USA’s backyard. They don’t agree with you.

    If you refer to the Twitter thingy, it’s a Twitter problem, nothing FtB can do

  59. opposablethumbs says

    Gilliel, :-D

    Hope your sister is OK. Oh, and I forgot to say – conga rats for the teaching gig!

  60. says

    Fine guys and gals, I’ll admit my reaction is mostly an emotional one. The only place I ever see the “USAian” construction is online, and it’s often used in a mocking and contemptuous tone from a critic of US government or cultural policies, in the same way, if roles were somehow reversed, I would be called an “ugly American” for doing. That’s why it rankles me. Plus my dyslexia bugs me when I see words I’m not sure how to pronounce.

    It irks me for the same reason it bugs me to here folks call my town Cincinnat(ah). Or how for years the Musketeers used to play of (Ex)avier University. I’m not trying to make any grand moral stand here. It doesn’t infuriate me. It just bugs me a little. I think I’m on solid ground that my reaction isn’t grounded in jingoism, I’m one of the least patriotic persons you are likely to meet. But I’ve been an “American” all my 45 years (this December… goddamn I’m getting old) not a “USAian” and I think I have the right to be a little uncomfortable with someone slapping a different label on me for reasons completely beyond my control, no matter how good their reasoning is. And for the record, I logically agree with the majority of your arguments, as I stated my reaction is largely an emotional one. That doesn’t make it groundless though.

    Could we at least settle on “US American”. It doesn’t sound as mocking to me. That’s all.

  61. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says


    B) Deutschländer are sausages

    Tell me, do Deutsche men like their Deutschländer?

    (and is that sort of punning as common in German as it would be in English?)

  62. birgerjohansson says

    Information dump:

    New evidence suggests earliest trilobites were able to partially roll up their bodies http://phys.org/news/2013-09-evidence-earliest-trilobites-partially-bodies.html
    Did autocells lead to life? http://phys.org/news/2013-09-autocells-life.html
    Fusion, anyone? Not quite yet, but researchers show just how close we’ve come http://phys.org/news/2013-09-fusion-weve.html Not a tokamak, laser-induced fusion.
    How engineers revamped Spitzer to probe exoplanets http://phys.org/news/2013-09-revamped-spitzer-probe-exoplanets.html seriously cool engineering (in every sense of “cool”)

  63. carlie says

    In my grad school sedimentology class, we went on a field trip to an Ordovician site, and the one good fossil I came back with was a trilobite, entirely separated from the matrix, rolled into the cutest little ball you could imagine. It literally rolled out at me as I was digging into the outcrop. :)

  64. dianne says

    But I’ve been an “American” all my 45 years (this December… goddamn I’m getting old) not a “USAian” and I think I have the right to be a little uncomfortable with someone slapping a different label on me for reasons completely beyond my control, no matter how good their reasoning is.

    Indian/Native American. Chicano/Hispanic/Latino. Negro/Black/African-American.

    In short, welcome to the club.

    Ok, I’m being a little unfair because some of these changes occurred due to in group pressure, but not all of them did and it was the external group that made the acceptance happen or not.

  65. says

    I use “USan”, because it seems simple to pronounce (either “you-san” or “you-ess’n”).

    And the first time I can remember hearing about people not in the US complain about “American” being claimed by the US was a Mexican dude I corresponded with on FidoNet, in 1991. So it’s not exactly a new thing, even by online standards.

    The analogy with Germany doesn’t work unless the German fellow is insisting that we call him European, and that no other European can use the word to describe themselves unless they’re also German.

  66. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever been called a norteamericano, specifically and personally. But I can’t say it would bother me at all. It’s accurate, after all. Has a nice sound, too, seems to me. I figure in some contexts it may not be meant especially nicely. But it’s pretty much earned such not-niceness, seems to me.

    In contrast, I actually pretty much hate ‘Canuck’. I think it’s mostly just the sound of it. Has ‘hoser’ overtones, to me, too. And I would hereby like to remind the world I own absolutely no lumberjack shirts. (Though, okay, I do actually know how to use chainsaws, cross-cut saws, axes, and splitting mauls… And have participated in cutting firewood out of woodlots, anyway. Fessing up, here. But that’s pretty much mandatory, here. There’s a unit in grade eight.*)

    (/And re Canuck, no hostility is intended toward any Vancouver hockey teams or nothin’. Nor toward Vancouver itself. Finally spent a few days there this summer–previously, I’ve tended only to drive through enroute to Whistler–and generally quite liked the whole area. I think I’d love to live somewhere Pacific northwest and coastal, should the opportunity somehow arise. But I digress.)

    (*/No, not really. Re the mandatory unit thing. The helping cut firewood thing is true. Also, I guess I’ve helped build log homes.)

  67. says

    Mormon Moments of Madness, indoctrinating teenage girls category:

    Purpose and Objectives of the Young Women Organization

    The purpose of the Young Women organization is to help each young woman be worthy to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple. To accomplish this purpose, Young Women leaders guide each young woman in accomplishing the following objectives:

    1. Strengthen her faith in and testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
    2. Understand her identity as a daughter of God.
    3. Be worthy by obeying the commandments and living gospel standards.
    4. Receive, recognize, and rely on the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
    5. Prepare for her divine roles as a daughter, wife, mother, and leader.
    6. Understand and keep her baptismal covenants.

    The first paragraph requires translation: The purpose of YW is to scare young women into remaining virgins until they are married, after which they will agree to obey and submit to their husbands. They will also pop out as many babies as is physically possible. “Worthy” means virginal and obedient.

    Relying on the “promptings of the Holy Ghost” means internalizing patriarchal dogma so thoroughly that you hear voices in your head and feel heart-attack-level anxiety every time you do something normal, something human, something which the geriatric dunderheads have not approved.

    Other YW lessons make it clear that if a woman is a “leader,” she is a leader in her own home (of her children, of her male children until they are 12, but never of her husband), or in church-approved, male-supervised “callings.” It’s more like lessons in how to pretend to be leader, or in how to scam oneself.

  68. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Tony, in the last Lounge thread you’d asked me about my visit and if it was a bad one. Honestly it wasn’t! I loved seeing my family and it was a lot of fun. I’m just an extreme introvert and need days (sometimes weeks) to recover from that kind of intense space sharing. That coupled with some unpleasant experiences on the trip kind of exploded into OMG FUCK EVERYTHING RAARGH once I got home, but I really did enjoy myself. I’d consider it one of the nicest family visits I’ve ever had. My anxiety just comes out in odd ways sometimes.

    It’s surprising just how physically taxing beadmaking can be. It’s been ages since I last did it–probably not since I was a teenager–and I spent the morning today making a bunch for gifts. They aren’t quite as nice as they used to be, but I’m slowly remembering all these skills. Hopefully I’ll have enough that are gift-worthy by the time I’m done.

  69. says

    AJ Milne @84: I have several “lumberjack” shirts, and I know how to use and how to sharpen a two-man crosscut saw (a “misery whip”), with my brother’s help. My brother even constructed his own spider gauge for use in sharpening the misery whip.

    Does this qualify me for Canadian citizenship? Or merely for graduation from grade eight?

  70. says

    Jadehawk @58:

    Neo Nazis, obviously. There’s a bunch of them trying to create a colony in ND.

    We have Neo Nazis in Idaho too. They are trying to reestablish a colony in northern Idaho, one that has a disturbing mix of über mormons thrown in. Maybe we need more badass Native American grandmothers to take them on.

  71. says

    Thoughts on the Republican war on women, economic category:

    … Almost 30 years later, that’s still a good question. Women still make up three out of five adults living in poverty, as well as two thirds of minimum wage workers and two thirds of food stamp recipients. Women are twice as likely as men (23% vs. 12%) to rely on food stamps over the course of their lives. So that $40 billion cut to the SNAP program, more commonly known as food stamps, orchestrated by Rep. Eric Cantor? It’s as much a salvo in the GOP war on women as any new transvaginal probe law or the latest Republican assertion about “legitimate rape.” Likewise: Paul Ryan’s budget? Its cuts hit women hardest, of course. …


  72. thesandiseattle says

    cicely @ 7: Vampire hummingbirds? Well don’t know much about that but did always like the vampire pomerainians in BLADE.

  73. thesandiseattle says

    Finally started in on The Origin of Species – thank god French is one of my languages, Darwin makes several, untranslated, quotes in french in his intro.

  74. says


    Heck, it’s good for either*. ‘Long as you pass the written.

    The written:

    1) The plural of moose is:

    a) mooses
    b) meese
    c) extremely bad news for both you and your car

    2) What is a ‘J stroke’?

    a) the standard steering stroke, used in paddling a canoe
    b) a bookkeeping method used by local governments in Montréal and surrounding jurisdictions, to hide mob kickbacks
    c) just what kind of test is this? I find it hard to believe Canadians would know anything about that kind of thing

    3) The first prime minister of Canada was:

    a) Sir John A. McDonald
    b) rarely seen sober in public
    c) all of the above

    4) The Meech Lake Accord was:

    a) a package of proposed constitutional amendments from the mid 1980s infamous for its rejection, and the subsequent impact upon the Québec sovereignty movement
    b) a mecha/horror movie, in which a mid-sized Japanese sedan with excellent resale value rises from the waters of Meech Lake, turns into a giant robot, and terrorizes Eastern Canada

    5) Which of the following is correct spelling in standard Canadian English?

    a) ardor
    b) ardour
    c) honestly, I find it pretty hard to believe Canadians would need that word much, either.

    (*/Also available: a free medium coffee from Tim Horton’s.)

  75. blf says

    Indeed, one of the problems with, or objections to, USAian, etc., is such terms, in English, don’t exactly roll off the tongue. This is, I speculate, a major reason you are more likely to encounter the terms written rather than spoken.

    Also, in my opinion, USAlienstani, etc., are not restricted to just citizens of the USA, albeit I can see why some people write (and perhaps assume) that.

    (The mildly deranged penguin has been known to refer to the States as Weirdoland, which I guess makes the people Weridoofers ?)

  76. Jackie Papercuts says

    A somewhat estranged friend sent me a text that only read, “If I have to leave can I come to you for help? Only send Yes or No back.”

    I know what that means.

    I sent back, “Yes”.


  77. says

    The written:

    1) The plural of moose is:

    a) mooses
    b) meese
    c) extremely bad news for both you and your car

    I will say “c,” but the question confuses me, because one moose can also be bad for you and your car. However, I have personal experience with multiple moose, having once unwittingly walked between a cow moose and her calf.

    2) What is a ‘J stroke’?

    a) the standard steering stroke, used in paddling a canoe
    b) a bookkeeping method used by local governments in Montréal and surrounding jurisdictions, to hide mob kickbacks
    c) just what kind of test is this? I find it hard to believe Canadians would know anything about that kind of thing

    “a” is the correct answer, but I find “b” and “c” highly credible, especially if canoeists practice their J strokes during sex with their significant others while claiming to have invented it.

    3) The first prime minister of Canada was:

    a) Sir John A. McDonald
    b) rarely seen sober in public
    c) all of the above

    I’ll go with “c” on this one, as any dude with the handle “The Honorable Sir John A. Macdonald” is trying too hard and must be hiding something.

    4) The Meech Lake Accord was:

    a) a package of proposed constitutional amendments from the mid 1980s infamous for its rejection, and the subsequent impact upon the Québec sovereignty movement
    b) a mecha/horror movie, in which a mid-sized Japanese sedan with excellent resale value rises from the waters of Meech Lake, turns into a giant robot, and terrorizes Eastern Canada

    Well, “a” is the correct answer, proving that it doesn’t take much to stir the Québécois into a froth. “b” is a better description of the Accord du lac Meech.

    5) Which of the following is correct spelling in standard Canadian English?

    a) ardor
    b) ardour
    c) honestly, I find it pretty hard to believe Canadians would need that word much, either.

    “b” is the correct spelling for the UK and Canada. However, “ardour” if from the French, so I can only guess that it is banned in the UK, and banned everywhere in Canada except Quebec, whether spelled correctly or not.

    (*/Also available: a free medium coffee from Tim Horton’s.)
    Okay, I like this test. I like Canada. I could marry anyone there, male or female, and get healthcare.

  78. cicely says

    Lou Densch: You have the right to be bugged, irked, and rankled all you like…it just doesn’t mean everyone—or anyone—is obliged to agree with you. I suspect a bit of selection bias in your perception that USAia/n is intended in mockery; I have noticed no such co-relation, certainly not here.


    And the first time I can remember hearing about people not in the US complain about “American” being claimed by the US was a Mexican dude I corresponded with on FidoNet, in 1991. So it’s not exactly a new thing, even by online standards.

    The first time I remember hearing about it was back in…let’s see…junior high Spanish, so…1972, or thenabouts.
    This is not a new thing.
    It’s been offending the Differently American for quite a while.

    *pouncehugging* David really fast, in hopes that this time he won’t make good his escape.

  79. says

    I just got to listen to my ex lie in court for an hour, in defiance of the paper trail. It was great, by which I mean the judge wasn’t having any of it.

    And I just got child support (just a little bit). I don’t expect to see any of it, but it’s nice to have him required to contribute to the welfare of his son.

    (Nelson ha-ha)

  80. Jackie Papercuts says

    I’m glad it worked out, Mouthyb. I hope you do see every penny of that child support. In my state the person paying the support pays it directly to the state. If they miss a payment, the state isn’t very patient. Get too behind and they will make an arrest. Any hope of that being the case for you?

  81. roro80 says

    Anyone else having big problems with the site? I keep getting error messages saying that IE has to close, only when I come to this site. Any thoughts?

  82. says


    Congratulations! You have passed our stringent Canadian citizenship test! Please find enclosed our standard homesteader package, including: your deed to forty acres, a mule*, a plow, and a pamphlet entitled ‘Really, the Keystone Pipeline Won’t Be Carrying Any Oil At All, Just Fluffy Bunnies, We Totally Swear.’ Welcome to our lovely wannabe petro-state, land of pristine forests and lakes (offer exempt in the vicinities of Fort McMurray and Welland). Complementary diction classes are available for new citizens interested in the practising the subtle art of the aʊ̯ and ʌʊ̯ diphthongs. Welcome aboard!

    (*/Yes, you do have to add water. It’s the only way to get them into the envelopes.)

  83. says

    Does anyone know of any good articles or studies that have compared Obama’s policies to those around the world? Or even general American views? I ran into someone online that think that CNN and Obama are super left wing (I know, super shocking), and am trying to argue that this is really only something people in the US would say, that compared to most other developed countries the US skews right in many respects.

  84. birgerjohansson says

    Scandinavia and the World http://satwcomic.com/name-calling
    — — — — — —
    From the blog Aardvarchaeology: “Not Great Impulse Control, Not Great Planning.” Dumb criminals.
    “…Americans, take note. See how these things play out in an environment without many guns?”
    — — — — — — —
    Stand-up comic Al Pitcher: Swedes love it when you hold up the mirror http://www.thelocal.se/50440/20130926/
    ”…The great thing about taking the show to the smaller towns in Sverige is that the show becomes really the only thing that’s happening in that place…probably ever when it comes to some towns. And the audiences are superb.
    “I did a show in Färila, a tiny town in central Sweden, when all of a sudden with one minute to go, a woman stands up in the second row and says “carry on, I’ll be back” and runs out of the theatre. The audience gives me a kind of a “do what she says” look, creating chaos in my mind.
    “I had a bit of fun guessing where she’d gone and then she runs back in holding a falukorv above her head, like a triumphant meat Olympian. Apparently she had just remembered that she had to give me the locally made sausage and didn’t want to forget it.
    “The best part for me was when she told the rest of the audience that she had waved down the local taxi driver (they only have one) by wielding the giant korv at him.”

  85. carlie says

    I’m really sorry, Azkyroth. From what you’ve said before, I imagine this will come with more than its fair share of stress for you and your family.

  86. birgerjohansson says

    Heartland Institute idiocy: “Adversaries, zombies and NIPCC climate pseudoscience” http://phys.org/news/2013-09-adversaries-zombies-nipcc-climate-pseudoscience.html
    The warm start to Australian spring has been accompanied by a deluge of pseudoscience. Anti-vaccination campaigners and aliens made appearances, but the deluge was primarily climate pseudoscience in the Murdoch Press and talk radio.
    -And a closer look at the Murdoch misinformation machine: http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3854782.htm

  87. birgerjohansson says

    Space and Earth stuff:
    World won’t cool without geoengineering, warns report http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24261-world-wont-cool-without-geoengineering-warns-report.html
    NASA revives Starshade to let Earth-like worlds shine http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24247-nasa-revives-starshade-to-let-earthlike-worlds-shine.html -It would require some really accurate formation flying.
    Astrophile: Early Earth was a hot young smoker http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24264-astrophile-early-earth-was-a-hot-young-smoker.html
    First interactive map of galaxy’s habitable planets http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24269-first-interactive-map-of-galaxys-habitable-planets.html -I tried this but it did not work on my computer :(

  88. opposablethumbs says

    Jackie Papercuts, is that the person you mentioned earlier in #96? I hope they are OK. I’m glad they have you to turn to. And I hope that your household is OK too; it’s not easy helping someone in trouble, and you mentioned their being somewhat estranged so I guess things may be difficult?

  89. says

    AJ Milne @105:

    Congratulations! You have passed our stringent Canadian citizenship test!

    Oh, goody. I am packing today and will arrive with canoe paddle, crosscut saw, reconstituted mule, etc. soon. Mostly, I’m moving to Canada to collect my cup of coffee, as promised. Good plan, eh?

  90. says

    Something for the First Nations and other aboriginal Americans?: “Getting here from there: Mitochondrial genome clarifies North American migration models” http://phys.org/news/2013-09-mitochondrial-genome-north-american-migration.html

    Mormons are not going to like that. There’s no migration route from the Middle East, and therefore no Jews who sailed to America in something resembling a large sardine can.


  91. says

    My partner, who lives in the US and visits about one-third of the time, was really amazed when she found out what I meant about how prevalent Tim Horton’s is in south-western Ontario (it’s also prevalent elsewhere, but I can speak best to my own region). We counted something like 30 within about 10km (6 miles) of where I live, and that’s hardly exceptionally intensely populated.

    It’s become a sort of background to middle-class and working-class Canadian life in Ontario, and to their own extents in other provinces.

    I know personally 20 different Americans and/or couples in the local area. It helps that we’ve two universities in town, of course, but I know couples who just came here because they’d heard of and about it. It’s a good place, in a good country, in each case “for the most part”. We rarely get up to a handful of murders in any year, sometimes we’ve had none, in an urban conglom of 500 kilopeople with a lot of high-tech companies as the main employers.

  92. says

    A new look at bible-based discipline and at the abuse it fosters: “Bible-based” discipline has led to child abuse.

    The article even gets into the deceptive tactics some evangelical adoption services employ — all in order to put more children in jeopardy.
    Excerpt below:

    Tragedies like the death of Hana Williams prompt soul searching. For example, the case has prompted calls for adoption reform. …

    And yet beliefs matter. They can override compassion and common sense, as Hickmon’s experience so clearly shows. Encircled by like-minded believers, parents and children may get little exposure to outside parenting practices. This means that religious leaders have tremendous power …

  93. says

    Yep, North Carolina’s politicians are insisting on being stupid … again.

    If ignorance is bliss, then North Carolina has apparently decided that it’s happy not to know whether its planned fracking activity will poison its water supply. The state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources returned two federal grants intended to study the risk drilling poses to the state’s streams and wetlands.

    The Charlotte Observer reports:

    The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources had itself recommended last year that baseline water-quality data be collected where drilling might occur. The information would help document any problems linked to drilling.

    But under new leadership appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory, the department now says it doesn’t want the $222,595 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The department also returned a second grant of $359,710 for wetlands monitoring. …


  94. says


    It is a good plan. It’s really pretty okay coffee. Apparently a huge favourite of Larry Moran’s, too. I haven’t actually had any in quite a while, because despite their general incredible density around here (yes, Caitie/#124, that’s the deal around here, too), there doesn’t happen to be one anywhere I generally drive past in my pretty much nonexistent commute, and I’m also kinda fiercely loyal to Ottawa’s Bridgehead chain (most awesome lattes anywhere, I sez: very smoky and strong, but not at all bitter), so this is where my coffee money generally goes. But in the winter, when I’m on the road to Tremblant a lot, I do hit the odd Tim’s, to prop eyelids open.

  95. chigau (違う) says

    A long time ago, after noting the loooong lineups at Tim’s and no lineups at the other dozen coffee places, I formulated a Theory® that Tim’s puts heroin in their coffee.
    No one has Proved™ me wrong.

  96. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Azkyroth, I am sorry to hear that.

    I’m really sorry, Azkyroth.

    Eh…. I’m, honestly, kinda…not.

    From what you’ve said before, I imagine this will come with more than its fair share of stress for you and your family.

    That I’m a little worried about, but it’s not like she was contributing any money to speak of, and she hasn’t been around much as it is. I don’t know what this is likely to mean for her visitation demands. It presumably does mean I won’t have to roll my eyes through any more “I get legal services as a job benefit, you know…” veiled threats.

    Slightly hopeful news: she said she was afraid she was going to have to move in with her father or her sister, rather than immediately jumping to moving in with her latest boyfriend like the last time she was having serious financial problems. >.> Unfortunately, at least one of those houses is a godawful allergen trap and TLFC is a serious asthma risk and at the most vulnerable age, so I’m preparing to put my foot down on overnights unless some fairly stringent standards are met.

  97. says

    I love Ottawa. I went to Carleton for a year back in *mumblety*-*mumble*, and as a Russian student, was overjoyed (seriously! – this is before the Cold War ended, by several years) to discover that the Soviet Embassy had regular events for the students of Russian at either university. It was FABULOUS. An embassy reception, with a couple of short speeches, and some showings of restored copies of Eisenstein movies like Aleksandr Nevskij and such. Amazing caviar, which I don’t even like but what the hell, more vodka than you could have drunk in a year, with bread in the usual genteel Russian way, and people around with varying abilities in English, but who would happily speak whatever level of Russian you had with you.

    It did amazing things for my accent – the first few minutes I talk with someone, I usually get them asking what part of Moscow I’m from, because I have a strong Moskvichka accent, after my earliest teachers and profs. That’s always a nice feeling. :)

    Plus, we got to wave at the CSIS vans down the street – in the diplomatic red-curb zone, just sitting there all white and unmarked and tinted-windowed, casual-like – when they added to our files every time we went. Oh, Cold War, you were such stupid fun at times (and y’know, also horrible at most other times). I should ask them for my file sometime. I wonder if they kept adding to it when I became a queer activist? Be cool to find out. I do know there is one, because I’ve had security clearances before, and my neighbours and teachers told me when they’d been contacted.

    It really sucks that the Russian government has turned into such a crapfest lately, because I know a fair number of Russians who hate it as much as we outside do, but there’s fuck-all they can do about it. On an individual level, Russians are among the most hospitable people I’ve ever been among (like the Thais, honestly, and they’re my absolute tops for that, and I don’t mean hotels). They’re largely friendly, generous, are cool with people being depressed because it’s been so horribly common there for so long, just good folk to know.

    Doesn’t speak much to how they are as a nation, though, which is not a positive view, as I know several of the Loungers could speak to from family or personal history. Please don’t think I don’t recognize that; my russophilia – my xenophilia, really – is clear-eyed. I like people from away, but I don’t forget that they have their bad just as I do, as people like me do.

    Enough nostalgia. Time for horizontopia, my dream-like (lol!) state of lying down for a few hours before going out. I’m volunteering as house manager at my community theatre tonight, where Waiting for Godot is opening for a three-week run. :)

  98. Pteryxx says

    …and speaking of domestic violence.

    For background, Shellie Zimmerman has been getting a bit of the “why didn’t she press charges” line.


    Shellie Zimmerman said she did not press charges because she said police told her she and her husband would each go to jail but she would likely stay there after pleading guilty to perjury related to George Zimmerman’s murder case.

    Shellie Zimmerman is still serving a year of probation for making false statements to a judge about the couple’s finances during a bond hearing for her husband.

    Know who’s not on probation? Yeah. *headshake*

  99. Jackie Papercuts says


    Yes, that’s my new housemate. So far, she’s fine. She’s someplace safe.

    I really don’t know how this will go. We have alot to figure out once she’s here. She’s hoping to have her degree from Liberty University online soon, if that tells you anything about how little we have in common.

    Our attitude is: http://i.imgur.com/wYtzIH5.gif

  100. Pteryxx says


    doing some searching on “Wounded Knee Massacre” (rather than ‘Battle at’ Wounded Knee, as I was taught in school, of course), and even more rage-making news.

    Wounded Knee landowner renews bid to sell property

    James Czywczynski, 76, is again accepting private bids on a 40-acre parcel he owns in the vicinity of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre, after months of negotiations with the tribe, KOTA-TV reported this week.

    “It’s still open to (the tribe) if they want to acquire the property,” Czywczynski told the Rapid City Journal. “But it’s kind of like first come, first served now.”

    Czywczynski’s family has owned the property since 1968. Its assessed value is about $14,000. Czywczynski wants $4.9 million for the parcel at Wounded Knee and 40 acres at Porcupine Butte, saying the historical significance adds value.


    and unrelated… another friend of mine just lost their job, and as a result their food stamp benefit will be increased… by ONE dollar!

    *all the spits*

    The heck with the internet today.

  101. says

    About monitors and derails: PZ floated the idea of creating a new thread, that when a derail is in the works, so anyone who wants to write a short description for an OP may do so, and a monitor will forward it for consideration of a new thread with that description.

    Would that be a better approach, more acceptable than a request to move to Thunderdome?

  102. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Would that be a better approach, more acceptable than a request to move to Thunderdome?

    Much, since the climate in Thunderdome is pretty unpleasant for a lot of us and dealing with it seems like a pretty hefty price tag for wanting to discuss something off-topic.

    I also think relaxing the working definition of a “derail” slightly would be useful – there are levels of side conversation in a thread that don’t interfere with discussing the intended topic.

  103. says

    Azkyroth, thanks so much for replying. As for a working definition of derail, that one’s a bit tricky, but we aren’t talking about going a bit sideways, but something completely different which has the potential to dominate the thread and remove the focus on the OP altogether.

    Please, talk about working definitions! The more input we have from everyone, the better we can handle situations as they come up.

  104. says

    You know you want to know, you want to understand. And you have your suspicions. But all this back and forth about pension funds, unions for public workers, and failures of states to fund pension funds can be very confusing.

    You know something is wrong, and that it is likely someone is lying. Who is lying, who is looting, who is just a fucking sneaky fox in the hen house? Matt Taibbi knows.

    Excerpts below from “Looting the Pension Funds; All across America, Wall Street is grabbing money meant for public workers.” (It’s a five page article, so don’t expect to get all the info you need from these excerpts.) Emphasis mine:

    … The dynamic young Rhodes scholar [Gina Raimondo] was allowing her state [Rhode Island] to be used as a test case for the rest of the country, at the behest of powerful out-of-state financiers with dreams of pushing pension reform down the throats of taxpayers and public workers from coast to coast. One of her key supporters was billionaire former Enron executive John Arnold – a dickishly ubiquitous young right-wing kingmaker with clear designs on becoming the next generation’s Koch brothers, and who for years had been funding a nationwide campaign to slash benefits for public workers.

    Nor did anyone know that part of Raimondo’s strategy for saving money involved handing more than $1 billion – 14 percent of the state fund – to hedge funds, including a trio of well-known New York-based funds: Dan Loeb’s Third Point Capital was given $66 million, Ken Garschina’s Mason Capital got $64 million and $70 million went to Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. The funds now stood collectively to be paid tens of millions in fees every single year by the already overburdened taxpayers of her ostensibly flat-broke state.

    The state’s workers, in other words, were being forced to subsidize their own political disenfranchisement, coughing up at least $200 million to members of a group that had supported anti-labor laws. …

    This is the third act in an improbable triple-fucking of ordinary people that Wall Street is seeking to pull off … these public pension funds were some of the most frequently targeted suckers upon whom Wall Street dumped its fraud-riddled mortgage-backed securities in the pre-crash years.

    … This war isn’t just about money. Crucially, in ways invisible to most Americans, it’s also about blame. In state after state, politicians are following the Rhode Island playbook, using scare tactics and lavishly funded PR campaigns to cast teachers, firefighters and cops – not bankers – as the budget-devouring boogeymen responsible for the mounting fiscal problems of America’s states and cities. …

    There’s $2.6 trillion in state pension money under management in America, … who got us into this mess, and who’s now being paid to get us out of it.

    The siege of America’s public-fund money really began nearly 40 years ago, in 1974, when Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, … It didn’t cover public pensions…. Politicians quickly learned to take liberties. … at least 14 states have regularly failed to make their Annual Required Contributions. …

    … It’s the governmental equivalent of stealing from your kids’ college fund to buy lap dances. [In 2008] Tax revenues went in the crapper, and someone had to take the hit. But who? Cuts to corporate welfare and a rolled-up-newspaper whack of new taxes on the guilty finance sector seemed a good place to start, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead, it was then that the legend of pension unsustainability was born, with the help of a pair of unlikely allies.

    Most people think of Pew Charitable Trusts as a centrist, nonpartisan organization … In 2011, Pew began to align itself with a figure who was decidedly neither centrist nor nonpartisan: 39-year-old John Arnold, … a former Enron commodities trader …

    As Enron was imploding, Arnold played a footnote role, helping himself to an $8 million bonus while the company’s pension fund was vaporizing. … Public pension funds nationwide, reportedly, lost more than $1.5 billion thanks to their investments in Enron.

    … created the Arnold Foundation, an organization dedicated, among other things, to reforming the pension system, hiring a Republican lobbyist and former chief of staff to Dick Armey named Denis Calabrese, as well as Dan Liljenquist, a Utah state senator and future Tea Party challenger to Orrin Hatch. …

    In 2011, Arnold and Pew found each other. … Few knew that Pew had a relationship with a right-wing, anti-pension zealot like Arnold. …

    …Dean Baker at the Center for Economic Policy and Research … reported that, had public pension funds not been invested in the stock market and exposed to mortgage-backed securities, there would be no shortfall at all….
    Yet the public was being told that the problem was state workers’ benefits were simply too expensive. … bankers and politicians stole the money. …

    Most pension-reform proposals required that states must go after higher returns by seeking out “alternative investments,”… A hedge fund will refuse to take a state’s business unless it first provides legal guarantees that information about its investments won’t be disclosed to the public. …

    Hedge funds have good reason to want to keep their fees hidden: They’re insanely expensive. …There are even fees states pay for withdrawing from certain hedge funds. … The fees aren’t even the only costs of “alternative investments.” Many states have engaged middlemen called “placement agents” to hire hedge funds, and those placement agents – typically people with ties to state investment boards – are themselves paid enormous sums, often in the millions, just to “introduce” hedge funds to politicians holding the checkbook. …

    when you invest your pension money in hedge funds, you might be paying a hundred times the cost or more, you might be underperforming the market, you may be supporting political movements against you, …

    … the idea that these benefit packages are causing the fiscal crises in our states is almost entirely a fabrication crafted by the very people who actually caused the problem. …

    Wealth transfer from pension funds to Wall Street. Nice engineered, and very wrong.

  105. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Wealth transfer from pension funds to Wall Street. Nice engineered, and very wrong.


  106. cicely says

    Caine, I like that idea.
    I guess Off Topic is a bit hard to define, though, since some things do affect other things. Maybe require someone floating a diversion/divergence to explain, succinctly, why they feel that their Apparently Extraneous Subject Matter is relevant to the discussion in hand, and if they cannot—to a reasonable standard—then send it elsewhere.
    As Azkyroth says, sometimes the general ambiance of the [Thunderdome] is pretty uncomfortable. Sometimes, some people (and I’ll be the first to raise my hand to it) just don’t need the extra…stress? Not quite the word I want. Not-quite-triggering atmosphere? Inadvertant emotional acid-burn splash damage? Hard to define; will try later.
    Anyways, sometimes I would/will not follow a conversation there, however interesting it might be. Alternatives sound like a Good Plan.

  107. says

    Caine@138, allowing for moving a derail topic to a new thread sounds like an excellent plan to me. Some of the side topics that come up are interesting in themselves, and worth pursuing.

  108. says


    Caine, I like that idea.

    I’m glad to hear.

    I guess Off Topic is a bit hard to define, though, since some things do affect other things. Maybe require someone floating a diversion/divergence to explain, succinctly, why they feel that their Apparently Extraneous Subject Matter is relevant to the discussion in hand, and if they cannot—to a reasonable standard—then send it elsewhere.

    That’s a good idea, thank you. I’ll bring this up on the monitor’s group. While I’m at this, some of us are agitating for a thread in which monitor type stuff can be discussed by everyone, complaints, suggestions, all that sort of thing. Any thoughts on that?

    Anne D:

    Caine@138, allowing for moving a derail topic to a new thread sounds like an excellent plan to me. Some of the side topics that come up are interesting in themselves, and worth pursuing.

    I agree. Thank you very much for the feedback.

  109. Crudely Wrott says

    This meshes nicely with Lynna’s post @141. Quick excerpts from the article:

    Now, he’s taking his fight to theaters near you.

    “The reason we entitled this film ‘Inequality for All’ is that it is critically important that everybody, regardless of their economic position, understands this problem is getting worse,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

    “The purpose of this movie, honestly, is to say regardless of your political ideology or party, you have got to understand the problem,” Reich said. “This is not about blame. Stop blaming the poor or the rich or the government or big business or Wall Street. Understand the forces that are at work here. Understand this is very big.”

    “Inequality for All” director Jacob Kornbluth states on the documentary’s website that the film was designed to transform a conceptual issue into a story that average humans can understand.

    Link to the documentary’s website.

    Short version: Schmoozers and gladhanders get richer. Folks who produce products and perform services? Fuck ’em. Feed ’em beans.

    I don’t want to drag down people who earn lots of money by being productive, creating opportunities and breaking new ground for the general well being. They deserve to be well compensated. I do want to elevate the rank and file that punch the time clock, that show up on time and get the damned jobs done.

    It just busts my ass that people who seldom sweat, are never dirty and wore out from a day’s work and who are treated to first class deference for no other reason than that they have come to expect it think that minimum wage is plenty for the plebes that do the actual work that actually provides the vehicles for their mega wealth.

    That is simply wrong. That such inequity has always existed is no justification for its continued existence.

  110. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Caine, comment #145

    While I’m at this, some of us are agitating for a thread in which monitor type stuff can be discussed by everyone, complaints, suggestions, all that sort of thing. Any thoughts on that?

    This may be a good idea, but my only worry is that we may suffer from a surfeit of democracy. You know, too many cooks in the kitchen sort of thing? Letting the commenters have input is a good idea, just so long as it doesn’t become another war over small items. I don’t know how you regulate this, and I don’t know if yet another regulation would be welcome.

    Just my .02.

  111. Crudely Wrott says

    Bah! Missing excerpt that should lead the above:

    From the White House to the classroom, professor Robert Reich has advocated for greater income equality in the United States for more than three decades.

    Caine, I think your idea of a place for OT topics has great merit and deserves creative discussion. If I may, I’d like to suggest that we call it “The Patio”, and treat it as an extension of the Lounge much as eateries provide outside seating for their guests who would like to be, well, outside.

  112. Ingdigo Jump says

    I’m sorry to do this but a friend is in dire straights. Unemployment and stuff is crapping her over and a lost rent check has caused a disaster dominoes that is wiping her out. We set up a gofundme to help her keep her place and let her continue job hunting. If anyone can throw in even a little it’d be great.

  113. cicely says

    While I’m at this, some of us are agitating for a thread in which monitor type stuff can be discussed by everyone, complaints, suggestions, all that sort of thing. Any thoughts on that?

    I think that this is also a good idea; it allows for on-going feedback and tweaking to the system.

    That such inequity has always existed is no justification for its continued existence.

    Well said, Crudely!

  114. says


    This may be a good idea, but my only worry is that we may suffer from a surfeit of democracy. You know, too many cooks in the kitchen sort of thing? Letting the commenters have input is a good idea, just so long as it doesn’t become another war over small items.

    Well, the reason I have been agitating for it is because we need to communicate with the rest of the commentariat, not have these discussions in isolation, and I see a need for transparency. It’s all well and fine for the monitors to have their discussion group, and we do use it, however, if we come to a decision about how to handle things, the first time we do something, it comes as one helluva a surprise to the commentariat. I don’t think that’s fair, or right.

    Also, I don’t think we should be in a position where we seem to be above the commentariat. We aren’t. A lot of excellent ideas on how to handle threads come from the commentariat at large, and we’d be pretty damn stupid to ignore such a resource. Cicely had a great idea for handling derails, and none of us geniuses thought of it.

    As for a war over small items, I think that’s where PZ steps in and makes a decision. As it stands, a lot of people are distrusting and suspicious of the new system, don’t like the changes, and don’t trust the monitors. This doesn’t need to be the case, and I think having a place for discussions will be a good thing all around.

  115. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Caine, #153

    You are right. You obviously have thought this through much better than I did, but then, I’m not involved to the degree that you are. I totally agree. Setting up a system where decisions are not presented as “edicts from on high” but as the culmination of discussion and consensus is the best idea.

    You are a diplomat. Great skill. We appreciate.

  116. says

    Actually, it’s a good time maybe to raise another idea I’d had.

    What if FTB had a general announcement/connections/community of FTB blog? With posts drawing attention to posts by the FTBloggers, or maybe an Open Thread every now and then where people can self-promote, Plus, a set of FTB-wide resource materials, that could include explanations/answers for standard problem #387b(ii): “I am SO not a racist, here’s my dictionary to prove it”, or whatever, the kind of thing that I know is being updated at the wiki.

    We could invite atheist & secular organizations to send whoever’s maintaining it press releases about cons offline and on, and meetups and secular student group startups and whatever. Keep comments closed except for promotional/cross-linking threads, so there’s not a lot of need to moderate.

    Just basically an FTB administrivia blog, with the added advantage of a regularly-updated place to find out about atheist stuff? In time, maybe we could develop a professional networking community supported with a couple of blog posts a month or whatever, or similarly a feminist-friendly games club: a way to allow progressivist people to find people to play with either online or in livespace, without having to deal with the misogyny and rape culture and homophobia and transphobia and racism and and and and…

    Would that be useful, does anyone have any thoughts about it? I do, obviously, since I’m proposing it, but I wonder if anyone has some criticism that I’m missing.

    I think the off-topic thread, a Patio or whatever, sounds like an excellent choice. Twice I can think of in the last three days where I’d have taken a conversation there rather than T-Dome or here.

    So, yeah. Some thoughts about how to be more a community, and try to fill that community organizing role taken on by the Ladies’ Auxiliaries or Women’s Institutes or what have you, helping people to make the social and employment and recreational connections with like-minded folk.

    That’s what I’ve been thinking. And now, before it gets cold(er), dinner.

    G’nite all.

  117. says

    Ingdigo Jump, I tried to pay forward a few of the bucks people ehartesent me earlier this month (as it looks like rent for 66-at-g October is sorted, got a nice small burst of business), but the only two options it offered were pay by credit card (which i don’t have) or mail-dot pay from my bank (which I’m very reluctant to do, com given the US-based-ness and the NSA and it being my bank and, well, y’know).

    Is there a way to forward a small PayPal payment?

    If you want to e-mail me privately, use the bolded words in the para at the top of this comment, which will assemble into my e-mail addy. :)

  118. says

    Caitie Cat:

    Would that be useful, does anyone have any thoughts about it? I do, obviously, since I’m proposing it, but I wonder if anyone has some criticism that I’m missing.

    You’d have to float that idea to Ed Brayton, as FTB is his network.

    I think the off-topic thread, a Patio or whatever, sounds like an excellent choice. Twice I can think of in the last three days where I’d have taken a conversation there rather than T-Dome or here.

    We have the thread! http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/09/26/offtopic-monitors/ Please take any and all suggestions or other commentary there, that would be great. PZ hasn’t said anything about having a dedicated off-topic thread, so if that’s something people would like to have, it’s important to say so in the off topic/monitors thread.

  119. says

    Fair do’s – I’ll put the whole thing there, because I think it’s something that could be discussed as to whether people think there would be value in such a thing, before making a proposal to Ed about whether he wants it to happen. If that makes sense. :)

    Sorry if I’m incoherent at all, had many meds tonight, was out volunteering at the community theatre, where they’re doing a fairly long show (Waiting for Godot). It’s about at the limit of how far I can walk and back in an evening (about one mile/1.6 km), and I’m expectedly sore having done so, and am now approaching nearly-medicated-enough to sleep.

    Thanks, Caine. :)

  120. says

    Writing now from the comfort of the new custom daybed that we built. Nothing too fancy, its basically three plywood boxes arranged on a kick. So, accessible storage, a nice hard flat surface for the mattress, and custom height (being pregnant makes getting up from a low bed tricky, and I’m tall) The rats approve of it too, and are playing in the large pile of pillows.

    I put in my .02 on the off-topic thread, and am thinking about how to define, or at least put caution tape around, what constitutes a derail. I suppose it often boils down to ‘you know when you see it’, but some guiding principles should be clearly provided.

  121. says

    Hmm. I’m hoping to make a delicious dish of black chanterelle soup even better, if possible, but in the original recipe there’s processed cheese that I’d preferably not use. Do you, dear Hordelings, have ideas on how to replace a bit of Emmentaler-ish tasting gloop with something that’s actually cheese, but won’t become stringy when heated?

  122. says

    The original is here, I’ll translate:

    about 1 litre fresh black chanterelles
    1 onion
    3 tbsp butter or oil
    3 tbsp flour
    8 dl chicken or vegetable stock
    1 tbsp fresh or
    1 tsp dried dragoon
    2 tbsp fresh parsley
    ground black pepper
    100 g processed cheese
    2 dl crème fraîche
    (salt, if necessary)

    1. Clean and dice the mushrooms. Peel and dice the onion.
    2. Boil the mushrooms in their own juices until the liquid has evaporated.
    3. Add the fat and diced onions, simmer until translucent. Mix in flour and stock. Add herbs and spices. Let simmer on mild heat for about 10 minutes.
    4. Mix in processed cheese and crème fraîche. Heat and mix until the soup is smooth. Taste and season, if necessary.

    The magic happens with the herbs, and the recipe gives a minimum in my opinion. Dragoon is essential, parsley is just really, really nice.

    And of course you’d like to garnish your bowl with fresh herbs anyway.

  123. birgerjohansson says

    Richard’s poor almanac: Deleted birds http://www.gocomics.com/richards-poor-almanac/2013/09/26
    A hidden genetic code for better designer genes http://phys.org/news/2013-09-hidden-genetic-code-genes.html Me like.
    Carbon offsets could help lower emissions without harming the economy http://phys.org/news/2013-09-carbon-offsets-emissions-economy.html
    Taibbi: Wall Street Is Looting Money Meant For America’s Public Workers http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/27/taibbi-wall-street-is-loo_n_4001946.html?ref=topbar

  124. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    Azkyroth (this thread and last thread):

    I apologize profusely. I misunderstood the phrasing that you used (throw back a drink as opposed to throw _____ back in somebody’s face). I also misunderstood your second paragraph in which you referred to empathy. I am sorry. I did not mean to hurt you. Honest.

  125. Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals says

    Bottle of wine [X]
    E-cigarette [X]
    Chocolate [X]

    We’re good to go.

    Hi y’all from Finlandistan.

    Weed Monkey: how about Koskenlaskija, the ‘Voimakas’ version? Quite tasty, although maybe not Emmentalerish enough for your soup. Is black chantarelle suppilovahvero or something entirely different?

    The soup sounds delicious in any case.

  126. says

    Pasta maker, Barilla, makes a hash of everything:

    Barilla is a famous name in Italian pasta. And it seems they don’t have a taste for gays.

    If you check your local supermarket here in the states, or in Europe, you’re bound to see Barilla’s products with the familiar red label. They’re a big, worldwide brand.

    Well, the Chairman of the privately-owned company, Guido Barilla, got himself into some hot water yesterday when he told an Italian radio show that Barilla is a company that “likes the traditional family.” And therefore, you’re not going to see any gays in Barilla’s advertising. And if gays don’t like it, “they can always go eat someone else’s pasta.”


    So, Barilla executives have apologized three times, and each time they dig the hole a little deeper.

    “With reference to statements made yesterday, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they have hurt the sensibilities of some people. In the interview I simply wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family.”

    … For clarity, I wish to point out that I have the deepest respect for all persons, without distinction of any kind.

    I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and for the freedom of expression of everyone.

    I also said and I repeat that I respect marriages between people of the same sex.

    Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone.

    And here’s one response to the Barilla hash:

    “A single and childless heterosexual man can’t cook Barilla pasta by himself because Barilla pasta is genetically modified to only cook al dente in the presence of a heterosexual woman (but only if they are good women — bad women have to eat pasta from the discount store).”

  127. says

    Crudely @147:

    I don’t want to drag down people who earn lots of money by being productive, creating opportunities and breaking new ground for the general well being.


    But that’s not how it works. There are no CEOs who are, on average, worth 354 times as much as I am. (These are 2012 stats, the gap between CEOs and workers is even greater now. Some sources from 2012 put the gap at 380:1.) http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You

    From 1978 to 2012, CEO compensation measured with options realized increased about 875 percent, a rise more than double stock market growth and substantially greater than the painfully slow 5.4 percent growth in a typical worker’s compensation over the same period.

    Quote above is from http://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-2012-extraordinarily-high/

    One example, Jamie Dimon, criminal at large. Link.

    … Dimon’s own bank required nearly $100 billion in taxpayer help to fill its own gaping capital hole during the crisis, and that Dimon was paying himself $20 million a year while taxpayers and the Fed were forking over untold billions to keep his company afloat …

  128. says

    More from Matt Taibbi on the looting of pension funds:

    Much shorter Taibbi presentation as a video-taped interview:

    “Essentially it is a wealth transfer from teachers, cops and firemen to billionaire hedge funders,” Taibbi says. “Pension funds are one of the last great, unguarded piles of money in this country and there are going to be all sort of operators that are trying to get their hands on that money.”

  129. says


    dragoon = tarragon?

    Oops, that’s it exactly.

    Minnie the Finn

    Is black chantarelle suppilovahvero or something entirely different?

    Musta torvisieni. They are very good at hiding in the undergrowth, but I know a place where there are some every year. There often are suppilovahveros (winter mushroom, yellowfoot, funnel chanterelle) at the same area, too.

    Both mushrooms dry very well, I still have a few paper bags of them from last year when I collected a record amount at the aforementioned spot and dried them out (cleaned and split, on trays) by my parent’s woodchip burning heater.

  130. blf says

    Do you … have ideas on how to replace a bit of Emmentaler-ish tasting gloop with something that’s actually cheese, but won’t become stringy when heated?

    The mildly deranged penguin has lots of ideas. Fortunately she only tries to implement the dangerous ones. Success is usually measured by the density of craters, or for the larger projects, sudden absence of several neighboring Universes.

    She suggests solving the problem by eliminating all the other ingredients, replacing the gloop with lots of fine cheese, and eating it. Leaving the fromagerie first is optional.


    Harold McGee in On Food & Cooking suggests several things (paraphrasing):

      ● Don’t use a cheese prone to becoming stringy.

      ● Grate it finely and distribute it through the dish evenly.

      ● Heat the dish as little as possible after the cheese has been added. However, do not let it cool down too much before serving, as that is when cheese becomes stringy.

      ● Once the cheese has been added, stir as little as possible (to avoid cheese clumps which can lead to stringiness).

      ● Include something starchy (e.g., flour) in the dish.

      ● Include some wine (or lemon juice).

    That last one — wine — is the key to the classic Alpine ultimate melted cheese dish, Cheese Fondue.

  131. blf says

    Dragoon is essential,

    Dragoons usually come with horses. Who are not “essential”. Who are not only the opposite of “essential”, but are so opposite of “essential” the operative word is evil.

  132. Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals says

    Weed Monkey: oh, indeed. I sorta assumed that suppis is also a chantarelle. Yet to find their hiding place in Hartola (and now is the perfect time for them), but my freezer’s already jam packed with yellow chantarelles, bordeaux ceps and hedgehod ‘shrooms. So, no complaints.

    Cicely: you may not believe this, but only today I ran into a neighbor with his new puppy who was mad keen on greeting me. As I bent down to scritch her ears, I said to her: “Well hello, hounce pug!*” And I thought of you =)

    So, *pouncehug* right back at ya!

    * Finnish language is teh bestest language ever for Spoonerisms. Which does indeed affect my perception of language all the time.

  133. dianne says

    Ok, so this one comes under the category of first world problems, extremely first world, but…I just came back from a “training session” in how to use a new user interface. A non-interactive training session. About a remarkably intuitive system. I haven’t been this near to crying from sheer boredom since I was 12 and had to listen to the teacher explain multiplication for the fourth year running.

    Sanity preserved each time thanks to the covert book method: then under my desk, now on my phone. Phones are great because if you frown and touch the screen occasionally, it looks a bit like you’re taking notes.

  134. Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals says

    Oh! Chigau! Hi =)

    (sorry, I’m a bit slow today. Well, even slower than usual.)

  135. Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals says

    Dianne: bah, that’s not a first world problem. Try this one: I have a bottle of ice cold peppermint schnapps, and I wanted a shot for my digestif, and I can’t open the cork. Too tight for me. Oh, the calamity!

    Seriously though. Having been classed as a kinesthetic learner (not that any of that NLP shite actually works, but it does happen to describe me well), I feel your pain. Glad you had your book(s).

  136. blf says

    I’m a bit slow today. Well, even slower than usual.

    There’s a dial, sometimes a slider, on the control panel labeled Arrow of Time, with a + scale from one end to a 0 point (typically in the middle), and then a - scale to the other end. The graduations on the scales can vary enormously depending on what model you have.

    Turn the dial (move the slider) away from the 0 point up the + scale. This will speed things up. Do not, however, move the dial / slider all the way to the end — sometimes labeled +11 — that is for experts.

  137. cicely says

    Dragoons usually come with horses. Who are not “essential”. Who are not only the opposite of “essential”, but are so opposite of “essential” the operative word is evil.

    Per Pratchett, Horses are what you get when you go out the other side of “essential”, and clear into “to-be-actively-disincluded-at-all-costs” territory.


  138. Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals says

    Oh, so that’s what that slider is for.

    Never fear, I wouldn’t dreamofmovingitpasteightormaybenine…

  139. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, anti-gay category.

    Oh, my! High dudgeon in Rexburg, Idaho, home of Brigham Young University Idaho, and the whitest, most conservative, most mormon city in the USA.

    I expect the front page of the Standard Journal to be the news of the day, not a social expose on a gay couple’s engagement. The Sept. 14, “Gay and Engaged” front page feature was appalling.

    It is not news. Nor is it newsworthy for the front page of our Rexburg, Idaho newspaper. On the very day that Rexburg was crowded with parents from all across the country, here to help their students begin a new semester at BYU-Idaho, what should the front page of our local newspaper contain but an article so inappropriate and out of touch with the high standards of this great city — still celebrating its Centennial. It’s an embarrassment and reeks with ill judgment and poor taste!

    You’ve hit an all-time low. Since when is a homosexual relationship front page news in Rexburg, Idaho? I wonder how many advertisers, with their hard-earned money will continue to use the Rexburg Standard Journal.
    After 41 years as a subscriber and advocate of the Standard Journal, I’m requesting a cancellation of my subscription.



    Feeling sorry for Gwen J. Lee’s offended “high standards” of homophobia? No, I didn’t think so. And, luckily, some other people, including gay mormons are also not joining Gwen on the fainting couch, though they do share some my-brain-is-fucked-up traits.

    My name is Jacob Braun. I am a proud gay Mormon — as proud to be Mormon as I am to be gay — a Pocatello native, and a former student of BYU-Idaho, now living in New York.

    I have a deep appreciation for the recent cover story “Gay and Engaged.” Shane and Dylan may be oddities in their current surroundings, but I actually find their story to be much larger than Rexburg. …

    Dylan and Shane bring a vital reminder from their traditionally-minded environment to the larger gay community. They show us how, even if we’re finally at liberty to be ourselves and play the field, in most cases, our greatest fulfillment will ultimately come from a long-term relationship and starting a family. …

    A relationship stands a much better chance of succeeding the moment you both decide, “we’re in it to win it.” And — if it’s right — for heaven’s sake, don’t wait!


    Here is the article and photo which raised Gwen Lee’s ire.

  140. says

    Other news outlets are covering the anti-gay bigotry of Rexburg, Idaho (see my comment @184).

    Rexburg, Idaho was named the reddest city in America by Slate.com a few years ago and gave Mitt Romney 93 percent of its vote in the last presidential election. Though it’s given up it’s “most conservative” title, it seems some residents are doing everything they can to once again wear the crown atop their heads, even if that means letting their raging bigots shine through publicly online.

    The city’s newspaper, the Rexburg Standard Journal,is unafraid to admit that it’s lost at least a few subscribers after running a story of the engagement of a local gay couple on its front page in a recent edition. The story, about the struggles of life in the notoriously conservative city faced by its few brave openly gay residents, ruffled quite a few homophobic feathers, including that of reader Gwen J. Lee, who was so appalled by the existence of gay people in her town that she has refusesd to read local publications.

    Her hate-fueled letter to the editor has since gone viral….


  141. says

    Crudely, more coverage of the documentary you highlighted in your post @147:

    “Inequality for All” is a 90-minute high-speed tour of our broken economy and how it got that way, alongside the indefatigable Robert Reich, economist, author, labor secretary, university professor, rabble rouser and pundit who has been trying to warn us about what was going on for the last 30 years. It’s as if Reich grabs your hand and yanks you out of your seat to visit laid-off workers, Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street activists and union organizers; his Republican buddy, former Sen. Alan Simpson; the economists Emanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, whose research showed us the spike in the wealth of the top 1 percent; and lots and lots of television studios, where we watch Reich age debating conservative hosts and pundits and preaching his message that investing in American workers helps everyone, even the rich….


  142. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Classical Cipher, if you would, please contact me at janphar. It is a yahoo address.

  143. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    Oh, I forgot: Make sure the Möbius Time Wrap, sometimes labeled Groundhog, is not engaged.

    Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions. Shit. Now you tell me. Would have been nice if you had included that in the original instructions.

  144. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    Never mind, blf. I got it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it. it.


    . . . . . . . . . . .


    Got it.

  145. David Marjanović says


    Not caught up.

    PZ! If you find any time, please blog about this “jaw-dropping” Silurian gnathostome! Entelognathus messes majorly with gnathostome phylogeny, making all (not just some) acanthodians turn up as stem-chondrichthyans and strongly suggesting that the skull roofs and shoulder girdles/torso armor of osteichthyans and “placoderms” are homologous! I spent most of yesterday reading the supplementary information which, among other things, contains a table that shows the proposed homologies.

    fMRI study of sociopaths.

    Proof-of-concept computer built from carbon nanotubes instead of silicon. The future will be built from soot, maybe.

    How some frogs manage to attach themselves to a vertical wet rock under a waterfall.

    The Chinese language… family.

  146. David Marjanović says

    The local rich neighborhood abuts a reservation and the tribes regularly have to bulldoze houses that are built (a la Western Expansion) on reservation land without tribal permission by people who want a new house in the rich neighborhood. They just go start building, assuming that the tribe won’t do anything about it.


  147. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I need advice.

    So, my neighbor. He has said that there are no LGBT people where he’s from (Cameroon, which criminalizes it and also is where an activist was beaten to death earlier this month), that divorce should never be allowed, even in cases of severe abuse and that women who don’t want babies are “unnatural.”

    Well, last week he asked me to give him a lift to the store. I agreed. He then found my request for gas money hilarious and started making jokes about women drivers. When I called him on the latter, he said that he was just repeating what others have said.

    Real charmer, really.

    So he just emailed me and asked for help: his laptop charger has died.

    So, what should I do:

    (1) Ignore the email and blow him off,
    (2) Send him a lengthy email detailing his faults,
    (3) Help him out,
    (4) Other?

  148. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    My 2 cents: The guy sounds quite typical of men in Sub-Saharan Africa. They really have always been told these things. When I tried to organize an AIDS Awareness seminar as a Peace Corps volunteer, I was told there was a law against saying there was AIDS in the country and I could be deported for doing so. I had friends who absolutely believed there was such a thing as a lesbian, and they really honestly claimed there were no homosexuals in the country–that that was a Western “disease”.
    They men tended to be flagrantly sexist–ironically since many of the professional women were quite assertive of their rights. Having said this, most of them were nice guys. I am sure he meant no offense. He is just repeating what he’s heard all his life.

    Chances are that he is probably quite religious as well.

    The question is really whether you like the guy despite his occasional cluelessness. Are you willing to try to educate him (gently) so he doesn’t drive you so crazy. If so, some kindness could go a long way. It is really a question of what YOU want. If you resent his imposition, you wouldn’t be much of a cultural ambassador in any case.

    I spent some time in Cameroon–a very interesting place. The teachers hadn’t been paid in 3 years when I was there. The government is corrupt as hell. Still it is beautiful, and the people were mostly friendly–although it’s one of 3 places (Cameroon, Kenya and Canada) where I’ve ever been threatened just for being a USian.

    What you want is what matters.

  149. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Dianne: bah, that’s not a first world problem. Try this one

    “I asked for a FULL shot of Creme de Menthe flavoring in this. TWICE!”


    Accepted. :)

  150. says

    Esteleth, I once tried to educate, (over an extended period of time), a USA-born male with parents from a third-world culture. This guy was burdened with seemingly inform misogynistic traits almost as bad as those you describe. Of course, he did not think of his traits as a burden, but as more less his birthright. He thought I was the stupid one.

    My education program did not go well. Said male never learned much, except to perhaps be sneakier when asking me for computer help (for free) or other help. He remained pushy and incorrigibly misogynistic, he just got better at hiding it … barely. He exuded false charm.

    I would drop the User immediately. Some young teenage guys from other cultures seem able to learn, but grown men not so much. You will end up being used over and over until you put a stop to it.

  151. says

    A victory for civil rights in New Jersey:

    A state judge today ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, saying gay couples would be denied federal benefits if the state kept allowing only civil unions.

    Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson granted an emergency request by six gay couples, ordering state officials to begin officiating same-sex marriages on Oct. 21.

    The New Jersey legislature had approved same-sex marriage law earlier, but Governor Christie wouldn’t sign it. It’s great that some gay couples took the issue to the courts and won.


  152. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Esteleth comment #193

    This strikes me as a “pick your battles” situation. Does you life have enough hassles without adding a clueless neighbor who assumes using you is okay? If so, either ignore him or demand money up front every time he wants a favor. If it were me, I’d simply ignore him. If he demands an explanation make it brief and to the point and leave. I get an icky feeling about this situation.

  153. Orange Utan says


    So he just emailed me and asked for help: his laptop charger has died.

    What’s he expecting you to do? If it’s died there’s not a lot anyone can do except get a replacement.

  154. A. Noyd says

    Esteleth (#193)
    “Let me repeat what others have said: No. If you ever want a different answer, teach yourself to do better than just repeating the terrible, hurtful things other people say. I can’t feel comfortable about being around you and helping you until you do.”

  155. chigau (違う) says

    On another topic:
    To my garden:
    tomatoes, you have given me fruit, I will cover you.
    brussel sprouts, you’re on your own.

  156. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What’s he expecting you to do? If it’s died there’s not a lot anyone can do except get a replacement.

    Send him an e-mail with a link to where the charger, even a “universal” charger, can be bought. Tell him point blank buy one….

  157. carlie says

    The iGo is a nice universal charger. It can be bought at a Radio Shack, or any other major retailer, or he can go to the library and order one online.

    I have a happy story – I’ve mentioned Child 2 and his difficulty getting friends, and how he had the one who moved away and then back. There hasn’t really been any contact over the summer, and I thought that the other kid had decided not to be friends with mine (he came to that conclusion also). But the two ended up seeing each other in the hall at school last week, and it turned out the other kid had just been out of town all summer, and wants to come over tomorrow to play. *happy dance*

  158. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But the two ended up seeing each other in the hall at school last week, and it turned out the other kid had just been out of town all summer, and wants to come over tomorrow to play. *happy dance*

    *hippo tries Snoopy happy dance in Tutu and steel toed troll stomping boots, falls on face to the laughs of the Pullet Patrol™*

  159. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, the nice next door neighbor who has been doing the Redhead’s hair has listened too much to Oprah. She thinks the only thing between the Redhead getting better or not is attitude. Never mind the permanent brain damage from the hemorrhagic stroke, when she cites ischemic stroke victims and their recovery….

  160. carlie says

    Also, we found out that apparently Child 1 is an X-Man mutant font of stem cells. At his dentist’s appointment, he got a full head x-ray done, and there’s a supernumary tooth in the gum that needs to be removed ASAP. However, there has been no sign of it on any x-rays in his life until this point. The dentist was SO EXCITED. He said that it’s fairly rare, that usually the tooth-building cells are destroyed when the adult teeth emerge, but very occasionally, not. Although it would be cool if he had a shark-like ability to regrow teeth, we do not want to pay for the orthodontic correction such a thing would induce.

  161. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Hi all.
    I hope everyone is doing ok.

    I am bummed. I feel somewhat invisible.
    Like I have done something wrong and people are avoiding me. I try to remind myself that it could be all in my head, but that little nagging doubt will not go away. I hope I have not angered or pissed off or even annoyed anyone. If I have I am sorry.

  162. says

    You know, there’s nothing more…. wonderful…. that talking to a male friend and mentioning child support, to have him say he’d rather leave the country than pay child support to any woman he knocked up.

    He can’t figure out why I’m angry. I went ahead and hand calculated the odds of getting child support in this state (10:1 against), showed him how many cases are in arrears by more than five years here, calculated the rate of families here on child support out of the total of male and female headed households, talked about how much was in arrears and how little was collected.

    No dice. It’s still horrible, horrible torture for a man to have to pay child support.

    * fumes *

  163. cicely says

    Then horribly, horribly tortured mannequin needs to pay some attention to contraception. Or keep it to himself.

  164. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony, my man!

    A full on fluffy full body tackle, coming at you!!! I’ve missed you. I thought, what with the promotion to the new location and such that you didn’t have as much time to devote to the Horde. I keep looking for your posts. I miss reports on “Talks with Tony.” Don’t feel abandoned my friend. We love you.

  165. cicely says

    Or maybe “manikin” is better? Hmmm….
    My late, ex brother-in-law decided that he would rather be unemployed and live in his parents’ house, than pay child support.
    There was general, if somewhat guilty, rejoicing when finally he died.
    You just can’t keep on provoking your pancreas and liver that way.
    They’ll get you.

  166. says

    Tony, I always look forward to and read your posts. So, yes, I see you, and I like what I’ve seen/read of you. Hugs are available if you’d like them.

  167. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    So, I had a chat with Neighbor. I explained to him that I was offended by the “joke” and found his views gross. He (surprisingly) took it remarkably well, after an initial wave of confusion. He then commented that he’d been thinking about my previously negative reaction to his assertion of the absence of gay people in Cameroon, and had done some research. He offered a remarkably cogent assessment that there are, but they’re underground and the corrupt government there is using LGBT people as a tool for directing the ire of the (traditionalist, conservative) populace at something that is not the government. He then said that he recognizes that the situation is different in the US.

    He is quite religious (Catholic) and then began talking about his views of the Pope’s recent comments. He said that the church is corrupt and said that for all the truth of the gospel, people are losing faith in the institution, and that the Pope wishes to reverse this trend, because he recognizes that the church cannot survive otherwise.

    While there’s plenty I disagree with there (I hardly think that there’s much truth to be found in the gospel), I’m finding myself thinking that there’s more brains and less naïveté in there than I thought.

  168. Crudely Wrott says

    Hiyo! Tony!

    ICU2 =)

    I have been missing you lately but then I’ve been tending to business in meatspace. Time well spent, too. Getting more strength and flexibility back and getting needful things done. Pain won’t go but fuck it. I’ll work through it. Have to.

    Of late making moar sawdust:
    Working on the loft apartment for Elder Grandson;
    Making my workshop/living area more efficient and useful.
    Gaining some photo post processing fu for promised picture web presence.

    I’ll be around off and on this weekend. Hope you’re about, too.

    Now, to bed. Gotta sleep on all the stuff over at the OT thread. I sense good things afoot there . . .

  169. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says


    I feel that way sometimes. I drop some really good comments, no reaction.

    Of course, later on, I drop a stupid joke and spawn a three-day conversation. You never know with this grope.


    I have a tour in less than an hour. Included on that tour are 20 cub scouts and 20 boy scouts and four adults. Crossing my fingers.

  170. opposablethumbs says

    it turned out the other kid had just been out of town all summer, and wants to come over tomorrow to play. *happy dance*

    Carlie I am so, SO happy for that! I know just how much that kind of thing means to my Spawn#2 over here, and that’s really wonderful! Big pile o’ hugs here, please help yourself and take some for Child2 if he’d like any :-D

    Tony, I see you and I miss Talks with Tony too – hope you’re doing OK!

    ugh, Nerd, your neighbour sounds like a well-meaning pain in the arse. Is this bullshit upsetting the Redhead? She and you have more than enough to cope with already without someone piling on this kind of crap (I don’t think I’ve said so explicitly but I think you’re coping with an incredibly difficult situation. My hat off to you about that).

    My vagina just closed up shop and moved south for the winter.

    Smart move, mouthyb. Oh yes.

    Take care, Giliell. Sorry things are hard in meatspace. Hope to see you back soon, though?

  171. says

    This segment on The Rachel Maddow Show begins with other breaking news, but at about 1:36 she gets into a story about the lack of empathy in Republican politicians. As usual, Maddow provides historical background in order to explain/define our current situation.

    The empathy deficit is evident when right wing politicians voted against disaster recovery funds from the federal government post Hurricane Sandy, but were more than happy to vote for funds to help Colorado recover from recent floods. Ditto for denying food assistance to poor people, while, (in the same bill), voting for federal farm subsidies that go to rich Republicans, (ala Michelle Bachmann and many others).

    Acute hypocrisy, and acute empathy deficits. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/#53128898

  172. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Stay safe. Be well. As with beatrice, your seat will always be waiting for you, as will the open arms of friendship.

  173. says

    More distressing news on the education front, this time from Kansas:

    A Kansas-based group that “promotes the religious rights of parents, children, and taxpayers” is challenging the state’s science standards because they include the teaching of evolution, which the group claims is a religion and therefore should be excluded from science class.

    As the AP reports, Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) claims that public schools “promote a ‘non-theistic religious worldview’ by allowing only ‘materialistic’ or ‘atheistic’ explanations to scientific questions.” The group argues that by teaching evolution “the state would be ‘indoctrinating’ impressionable students in violation of the First Amendment.”

    COPE’s challenge [PDF] states that the teaching of evolution “amounts to an excessive government entanglement with religion” and violates the rights of Christian parents.


  174. Tethys says

    completely threadrupt, but I have some links to share.

    I see DavidM has already posted about the new fossil fish with a bony beaked jaw that looks a lot like a turtle.
    Its quite the amzing and significant discovery.

    My other link is a collection of historic photos that illustrate the “worth a thousand words” adage exceptionally well.
    *caution, contains the original uber-creeeepy Ronald McDonald clown*


  175. says


    God is talking directly to Bill O’Reilly. God told Bill to write a book about Jesus.

    … it’s all about history … All of the ideas come to me in the middle of the night and one night, I just woke up and I went, ‘Killing Jesus,” …. And I believe because I’m a Catholic that comes from the Holy Spirit. My inspiration comes from that…so I wrote “Killing Jesus” because I think I was directed to write that.

    Publisher Henry Holt and Co. gave O’Reilly and his co-author a $10 million advance.

  176. says

    China’s “Airpocalypse” — a more detailed look.

    Video at the link.

    …The scene could be a panel from a graphic novel. For hours, not a single bird stirred around the hundreds of empty skyscrapers that hang lifeless over farms; they will house the newly urbanized from China’s rural areas. Every bit of the shadowy landscape in China’s northeast has been pressed into the service of an all-pervasive industry: power generation. China continues to be the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, according to the World Resources Institute. It’s clear to me how: where one coal power plant stops, another begins. A thick brown air blows and for a moment the trees look like nature’s very own protestors, shaking their fists at the sky …

    … This year’s tipping-point event for the public debate, dubbed by expats as “airpocalypse,” covered 2.7 million square kilometers of the country with a pall of smog and impacted more than 600 million people. We pass through Zhengzhou, ranked among the four worst cities in China for air pollution; the city consistently registers levels well over China’s official scale for what’s called PM2.5—dangerous tiny particles from coal-burning and industry. In the first half of this year, China’s levels of these particles were three-times worse than levels advised by the World Health Organization. It’s this kind of air pollution that contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, researchers say. My Beijing friends will call me a wimp, but I’ve developed a persistent cough these last few days. It’s hard to breathe. …

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

    Giliell? Going away?

    I’m so sorry.

    I’ve been bad about keeping up with the Lounge, late, (though I was never great). And I’ve been largely absent this week – sinus cold that I then gave to the kids & partner + law school – so I’m threadrupt & don’t know what’s going on. I hope that I haven’t contributed and I will look forward to your eventual (and triumphant-over-meatspace) return.

    Best to you. I’ll leave you with just a few words before you go:

    Depp! Fischtran! Uberbleibsel! Zwick!

  178. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Sorry to hear things are not going well. I hope things smooth out soon. Be well. We will keep your seat open for you so come back any ole’ time.

  179. cicely says

    *hugs* and moral support for Giliell.
    Take care of yourself.

    *hugs* for Orgovorbis, and a wish that everything will have gone well.

  180. A. Noyd says

    The weather in Seattle is a bit extreme today. I just got drenched walking two blocks with an umbrella. The only dry parts of me are my boobs and half my face. It was raining so hard for part of my walk that it was hard to see the other side of the street. Those of you in parts east might want to brace yourselves. (Unless god is just mad about today’s AIDS walk and will expend his wrath locally.)

  181. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tonight’s dinner: Slow roasted pork loin on the grill with a savory-sage rub and celery root gratin with chives, bacon, cream, garlic, nutmeg, and Gruyere cheese and a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Yum.

  182. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Disappointing day for the Redhead. One of her friends, who retired to Arizona, has been back in the area, and a long day/dinner was planned. The friend had polio as a child, and has suffered the effects of that through the years, including a couple of joint replacements due to a non-normal walking gait. The friend woke up not feeling so well this morning, and I think she has been overdoing it all trip and it caught up with her. The lunch-time meeting was postponed, and eventually became long phone call this evening. Sigh, the Redhead loves visitors.

  183. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    That meal sounds absolutely delicious! While I am not normally a white wine drinker, paired with that meal, I imagine I would enjoy it. I hope it turned out as you like.

    Sorry to hear that. Perhaps they can reschedule for a later date…?

  184. thunk (past congruences factoring future numbers) says

    eh… hi

    yeah, no matter how much I go to one place or another, can’t really shake depression. sigh. Contentment so often seems like a myth. I just wish winter would come sooner–it’s my favourite season. I want to poke around, due stuff, pursue idle trains of curiosity… but I’m just not feeling it–the one thing that’d make me happy, and the last time I did such a thing was a fortnight ago.

    I need someone to talk to, not-junk food to eat, and somebody that can, and will, actually solve my problems (especially those relating to being trans, which is very likely having something to do with all this depression).

    eet hurts.

  185. thunk (sigh) says


    *puts some roast chicken and potatoes in the USB*

    I once scarfed down an entire such chicken at the age of 3. and then the picky eating arose and it’s been enforced near-vegetarianism ever since–damn texture issues.

    others: transness advice would still be appreciated (even though I’ve probably asked something many many times) because I know I need to do something, I just don’t know where to begin with this or where to go from there (or other such daunting stuff). Especially web resources–I will covet those.

  186. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I wish I could speed up time and bring winter to you asap.

  187. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Thunk: avoid California. We don’t really have a winter. I’m afraid I don’t have any other bright ideas. :(

  188. says

    thunk: do you have some community resources to find someone to talk to? If I’m reading your comment right, it sounds like your depression is really affecting your daily life and its time for help? I don’t have any solid advice for you, wishing that I did, but if you feel the time has come for someone to help you, don’t ignore that impulse.

    On a related note, my best friend loves winter hates summer. She lives in Finland. She came to visit me once and it was unusually hot. We’d been waling around in the city, and she was miserable. We went into a cafe for a drink and a cool down. Afterwards we were walked back to the train station. When she grumbled about something or other, my husband chimes in with: “well, on the bright side, its cloudy!” And that struck us as hilariously funny. Its now become a catchphrase with many applications.

  189. Nutmeg says

    *steaming mug of hot chocolate* for thunk.

    *hugs and best wishes* for Tony, Giliell, and Ogvorbis.

    (way upthread) *confetti and sparklers* for carlie’s Spawn #2!


    As of this morning, I have now gone 4 weeks without waking up shouting and flailing at imaginary intruders. (#achievementsaftergradschool) That length of time isn’t definitive proof that the night terrors are gone – I’ve gone longer before – but it’s a big improvement. My research and past experience suggests that the night terrors will come back the next time I get seriously stressed out, but hopefully that won’t be for a while.

  190. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says


    I hope things went well.

    The tour went okay. Fifty-one participants (a few too many for the space but I dealt with it). Kept my weakness inside, no panic.

    Then I set up a show in the theater for another ranger and ran into all sorts of compatibility issues with the VMI cords.

    Then I was able to panic after that.

    Went to the Bloomsburg Fair last night with Wife, Boy, Girl and FSiL. The goats were cute. The food was good (deep fried bacon-wrapped Snickers bar, for instance). On the way home, my knee began to hurt. This morning, it is severely swollen and I don’t remember doing anything to it. But today is Friday so I’ll have a couple of days to recover before a huge elder hostel group on Monday.

    thunk @ 249:

    yeah, no matter how much I go to one place or another, can’t really shake depression. sigh.

    I feel for you. I really do.

    Depression sucks. Specifically, it sucks the joy of life right out of you. And me.

    I keep feeling like I have finally crossed over and put my history into perspective so I can go on with my life. And then I let my weakness win and go right back into depression.

    I know where you are coming from is different but I do, sort of, understand.

    Be safe and take care of you.

  191. OptimalCynic says

    Well, this is fascinating. A reddit user has compiled a hierarchical clustering of subreddits by how many participants they have in common.

    Here’s the diagram: http://i.imgur.com/XeFdoev.jpg

    Here’s the discussion thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/1ndby9/hierarchical_clustering_of_subreddits_based_on/

    Some very interesting crossovers there. For instance, TumblrInAction is closest to fatpeoplestories, Libertarian is closest to conspiracy, teenagers and amiugly… there’s a mine of conclusions to draw about internet people and the dominant culture.

  192. says

    Organized tantrums in which all of the House Republicans wail and wave their arms, and, by the way, take a step further toward government shut down.

    From MSNBC news:

    House Republicans not only gathered on a weekend to take a vote that moves the government even closer to a shutdown, they did it in the dead of night.

    The Republican-controlled House voted around midnight on Saturday to keep the government open for a few more months in exchange for punting the rollout of Obamacare for a year — the kind of shot at the health care law conservatives had wanted for weeks, even if it’s sure to be rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

    From The Maddow Blog:

    … By all appearances, House Republicans are now actively seeking a government shutdown, specifically aiming for their goal rather than making any effort to avoid it. Indeed, the unhinged House majority appears to have gone out of its way to craft a spending bill designed to fail.

    The bill approved after midnight would deny health care benefits to millions of American families for a year, add to the deficit by repealing a medical-device tax industry lobbyists urged Republicans to scrap, and in a fascinating twist, make it harder for Americans to get birth control. As the New York Times report noted, “The delay included a provision favored by social conservatives that would allow employers and health care providers to opt out of mandatory contraception coverag

    Yes, in the midst of a budget crisis, the House GOP decided it was time to go after birth control again. Wow.

    Senate leaders and the White House patiently tried to explain to radicalized House Republicans that voting for this would all but guarantee a government shutdown — so House Republicans voted for it en masse. …

    New York Times chart.

  193. Pteryxx says

    Yes, in the midst of a budget crisis, the House GOP decided it was time to go after birth control again. Wow.

    Following up on Lynna @259. Standard operating procedure for Republicans now – sneaking votes in the dead of night, and sneaking forced-birth language into anything.

    House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) didn’t know Republicans had added the provision into the bill, even as the House was already debating the rule for bringing it up.

    “They did?” Becerra asked, during a Saturday night interview with The Huffington Post. “What part of their social agenda will they not stick into a budget bill?”


  194. says

    This one hurts — well, Bryan Fischer hurts someone every time he opens his right-wing infested mouth.

    While American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer is confident that Americans would never elect Hillary Clinton as president because she is simply “too old” and “too saggy,” he now says that if Clinton should win, then she might be the “first lesbian president.”


  195. says

    A mormon guy, a military man with experience counseling rape victims, speaks out about rape culture, mormonism, and patriarchy in general.

    Consider the following fictional fact pattern. It’s created as a composite from what I’ve seen in my professional work but adapted to Mormonism. I choose Mormonism because I am a Mormon and want to help improve my own culture, the culture my children, especially my daughter, will inherit.

    Imagine a BYUI coed. I’ll call her Jane. She is cute, very cute; dresses sexy; is in great shape; and is known as a flirt. In the past, she’s had to refrain from taking the sacrament because of minor “sexual sins.” Lately, she’s been seeing a new guy. …

    Jane went to Joe’s apartment wearing a skirt that ended between her thighs and knees. They started making out; Joe’s roommates saw them going at it pretty hard on the couch. Jane stayed until 2:00 am. Once Joe’s roommates went to bed, Joe started undressing Jane. At first she said “no.” But after a few moments, she froze, didn’t say a word, and laid there motionless while Joe had sex with her. The next morning, Jane texted Joe about what happened. They met for breakfast. Joe told Jane he was sorry she felt guilty about what happened. Joe bragged to his roommates about making out with Jane. One month later, Jane reported to the campus police she was raped.

    The police asked Jane if she said “no” the entire time. They asked her if she fought back. They asked her if she was in a relationship with him when it happened. They asked her about previous sexual experiences. They asked her if she contacted him soon afterwards. They asked her why she waited so long to report the “alleged” rape. The case was never prosecuted.

    Jane’s bishop asked her if she’d made out with him before. He asked her why she didn’t scream for the roommates to come out. He asked her why she didn’t fight with all she had to protect her virtue. He asked her why she went to his house at 12:30 am in a miniskirt if she didn’t plan on fooling around with him. He asked her if she understood that she led Joe on and aroused his passions. He asked her if she orgasmed or lubricated. Then he disfellowshipped her.

    Later, Jane’s roommates started telling people she wasn’t raped, but had sex with Joe and felt so guilty she made up the rape. This narrative moved across campus like wildfire — it made everyone feel better. Jane was publicly shamed and she blamed herself for what happened; Joe was a victim.

    In the United States, and especially Mormonism, there is a patriarchy. In our patriarchy, the men are in charge. Men are bishops, stake presidents, and general authorities. Even the “head” of the Church, Jesus, is a man. With that authority comes privilege. This privilege affects how the police investigate, how the bishop or other religious leaders counsel, and the narrative regarding sexual assaults that’s carried in the culture. …


  196. says

    Update on the pasta wars (in reference to my comment @169 regarding Barilla’s anti-gay stance):

    … Bertolli has wasted no time to capitalize on the anti-gay missteps of competitor Barilla’s chairman, Guido Barilla. In a blast to its social networks, Bertolli Germany released a graphic relaying its gay-friendly corporate and consumer culture that depicts a pair of same-pasta noodles and the carb-loaded friends who love them. “Love and pasta for all,” reads the caption for the photo shared on Facebook.

    “We just wanted to spread the news that Bertolli welcomes everyone, especially those with an empty stomach,” said a spokesperson who works at the social media agency hired by Bertolli.

    Graphic including same-pasta couple can be viewed at the link.

  197. Pteryxx says

    Be safe and take care of you.

    all the this ^^^ for thunk, Giliell, Oggie, Tony, mouthyb… basically that should just be embroidered on many of the hugs in the floor pile, along with a brightly hand-painted sign saying Yes You Have A Right To Take These Hugs So Take Some Already And Be At Ease.

    thunk: for transgender resources, I recently came across the Trevor Project crisis and support hotline for LGBTQ youth (basically ages 13 to 24). They’re open to talk with at any time; they also maintain lists of local resources (searchable for transgender-specific resources) and a social community so queer youth don’t have to endure isolation.


    NEED HELP? WE ARE HERE FOR YOU 24/7: 1-866-488-7386

    Also, Campus Pride lists social and support groups at colleges across the US. Several of them are ramping up for welcome events in the next couple of weeks.


    thunk, I hope you’re able to find a place where you can just be accepted by other people long enough for the constant strain to ebb.

  198. says

    Ogvorbis: Goats are adorable, especially the minigoats (those are popular here). I’m sorry about the knee; I tend to get mysterious injuries when I’m nervous/stressed/freaking out, not that you’re experiencing that. I tend to either be so tense I rip muscles or to otherwise accidentally injure myself because my attention is on the stressor and my body acts out the stress. If that’s a potential cause, I totally know what that’s like.

    pteryxx: Thank you for embroidered hugs.


    Moment of total frustration/ain’t nobody got the spoons for this: It will probably surprise no one after the little bits of my family history I’ve shared, but it is difficult for me to demonstrate math and science abilities because my father chose to interpret any skills in that direction in me (because I was female) as competition, and beat me for it. In my current life, this means that I panic when I have male teachers who are forbidding, insulting or otherwise shitty about my skills. Even with meds, I panic.

    Unfortunately, my university seems to have hired 1/3 or so those professors, and they seem to have gravitated to any class with math, stats or methods in them. I’m in that class right now, in fact (and so far, every semester I’ve been here)–the man spends a significant portion of the class being insulting or shitty to his students about their IQs, their knowledge, condescending about their abilities or any other criteria he can. And I always do poorly in those classes on the exams….. just the exams, but those tend to make up much of my grade. My bloody homework average tends to be in the 90s.

    I’m looking at one of his homework assignments now. It’s incomprehensible (it’s unclear what years he wants us to analyze, what on the GSS he wants as variables, what he wants us to do with that information, etc) and I know better than to ask questions. The *only* clear thing on his assignment is the word length for the statistical analysis. He refused to explain the assignment in class.

    Just once, I’d like to get a math, stats or methods course without an angry, embittered misogynist/man who is suspiciously insulting to the women in the class at the wheel. It’s not too much to ask, damn it. (I have complained, before. I got in trouble for complaining.)

  199. says

    White supremacists in Montana, some of them, are cleaning up their facade, cleaning up the face they present to the public. But they are still spouting the same old bigotry, racism, and even eugenics. One good example of this clean-and-normal facade is Richard Spencer of Whitefish, Montana.


    … “We are undergoing a sad process of degeneration,” he [Spencer] said, coming back to minority births in the U.S. “We will need to reverse it using the state and the government. You incentivize people with higher intelligence, you incentivize people who are healthy to have children. And it sounds terrible and nasty, but there would be a great use of contraception.”

    He didn’t mean the government should encourage people to use birth control pills and condoms. He was advocating for some type of government-forced sterilization.

    “They could still enjoy sex. You are not ruining their life,” Spencer said.

    Until this moment, I was alarmed by the number of times I had found myself nodding along with him. Spencer waxed indignant at the conquest of big box stores. And his obsession with clean living sounded like the house rules of a college co-op. … But the way he called for a white ethno-state and forced sterilization chilled me. I had never heard anyone speak so calmly about something so abhorrent.

  200. says

    Mark Twain dissects God:

    Our Bible reveals to us the character of our God with minute and remorseless exactness. The portrait is substantially that of a man—if one can imagine a man charged and overcharged with evil impulses far beyond the human limit; a personage whom no one, perhaps, would desire to associate with, now that Nero and Caligula are dead. in the old Testament His acts expose His vindictive, unjust, ungenerous, pitiless and vengeful nature constantly. He is always punishing—punishing trifling misdeeds with thousand-fold severity; punishing innocent children for the misdeeds of their parents; punishing unoffending populations for the misdeeds of their rulers; even descending to wreak bloody vengeance upon harmless calves and lambs and sheep and bullocks, as punishment for inconsequential trespasses committed by their proprietors. it is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light and leading, by contrast. …

    … The watery intellect that invented the memorable threat [don’t eat the apple] could be depended on to supplement it with other banalities and low grade notions of justice and fairness, and that is what happened. It was decreed that all of Adam’s descendants, to the latest day, should be punished for the baby’s trespass against a law of his nursery fulminated against him before he was out of his diapers. For thousands and thousands of years, his posterity, individual by individual, has been unceasingly hunted and harried with afflictions in punishment of the juvenile misdemeanor which is grandiloquently called Adam’s Sin. And during all that vast lapse of time, there has been no lack of rabbins and popes and bishops and priests and parsons and lay slaves eager to applaud this infamy, maintain the unassailable justice and righteousness of it, and praise its Author in terms of flattery so gross and extravagant that none but a God could listen to it and not hide His face in disgust and embarrassment. …

    We brazenly call our God the source of mercy, while we are aware, all the time, that there is not an authentic instance in history of His ever having exercised that virtue. We call Him the source of morals, while we know by His history and by His daily conduct, as perceived with our own senses, that He is totally destitute of anything resembling morals. …


    Love the vocabulary, including “watery intellect,” and “lay slaves.”

  201. Pteryxx says

    I’m looking at one of his homework assignments now. It’s incomprehensible (it’s unclear what years he wants us to analyze, what on the GSS he wants as variables, what he wants us to do with that information, etc) and I know better than to ask questions. The *only* clear thing on his assignment is the word length for the statistical analysis. He refused to explain the assignment in class.

    mouthyb: one way I remember surviving one of those jerks was by us students organizing our own networking/study sessions to cover what the professor wouldn’t bother to explain. Any possibility of contacting other students, especially other women, for study or even just thinly veiled moral support?

    Exam wise… obviously he’s *trying* to ramp up the stress and the stereotype threat as if the class were some sort of math-based frat hazing. You know plenty of stress-handling techniques already. All I can think to suggest might be practicing the experience of test-taking… desensitizing to the room by doing homework or study sessions there, with a similar time restriction. (I ended up doing that *and* carrying a math-specific worry stone. Whatever works…)

    Re this stat assignment specifically… no idea just how much of a jerk this particular professor is. He might be trying to find out if students are talking to each other about the homework (for good or ill) by whether they decide on the same approach. If it were me, being loudmouthed and from a research background, I’d take the dataset and *assign* myself a reasonable-looking set of constraints to produce the analysis, and then write up a bit of explanation about why I chose those years, approaches, whatever. Maybe even compare a few if there’s a trend-reversal or something in there.

    If it helps, I’ll tell you you’re smart and You Seriously Know Your Shit. You probably could TEACH the assignment he gave y’all and do a better job of it. Imagine that prof in the math equivalent of his underwear (making a silly mistake on his taxes or some such?) and when you’re ready, go kick some ass.

  202. says

    pteryxx: Yeah, I’m thinking it’s networking time. I have a tendency to keep to myself which is obviously not going to work here.

    I’m interviewing at Accessibility Services this next week so I can take the test at their facilities. The anxiety I have under those kinds of conditions has been pretty resistant to anxiety measures (at least I no longer get tunnel vision and nearly faint, just have trouble remembering things I know because I’m too busy managing the anticipation of catastrophic failure/shaking hands/need to puke.)

    I just wish I wouldn’t keep getting professors who have done everything from (merely) ramping up stereotype threat to staring down the front of my shirt and touching me for these sorts of classes.

  203. says

    Well, to be more precise, I’m managing the fear that I will be beaten and/or kicked out, humiliated or sexually harassed in order to ‘prove’ that I am not adequate. As silly as it is to anticipate that sort of consequence, those events are within my experience as a result of demonstrating competence in these fields.

    Thank you, pteryxx, for the vote of confidence. I really appreciate it.

  204. cicely says


    As of this morning, I have now gone 4 weeks without waking up shouting and flailing at imaginary intruders.

    Good news, indeed! Maybe they noticed that you were really looking.

    *hugs* and sympathy for mouthyb, and an *encouragement package* to take with you to your math tests.

  205. Nutmeg says

    mouthyb: *hugs* for your current school struggles. And yay for your absence of night terrors, too! If I may ask, any particularly good/bad stories of things done while having a night terror? How did you get rid of them? I doubt that mine are gone-gone, but so far I’m having luck with the combination of a) not being a grad student anymore, b) major efforts at stress reduction, and c) an obscene amount of moderately strenuous exercise.

  206. says

    Nutmeg: Honestly, part of it was cultivating friends and partners who made my life better. For me, dealing with serious life stressors (much more serious than the ones I have–for instance, in my first grad school experience, I was homeless off an on for awhile) and/or dealing with trauma greatly increases my likelihood of those dreams. My thrashing/waking up screaming is preceded by a dream about the past or current events.

    Where I am now, as stressful as it is, I’m not having to deal with daily survival issues nearly as much, which means I don’t spend as much time at night vividly reliving awful things. Occasionally, I’m revisited, but as long as I’m not dealing with abuse directly, or trying to figure out where to sleep at night, or testifying in a sexual harassment case, or my ex hasn’t done something awful, I am much less likely to have night terrors. All my night terrors have a face, you know?

    The exercise helps, of course, but believe it or not even as stressed as I am now, it’s got nothing on survival stresses I’ve had to live with before.

  207. Nutmeg says

    Yikes, mouthyb! I’m sorry that things were so bad for a while, and I’m glad your situation has improved, even if there are still big stressors.

    Your dreams sound awful. I’m lucky to have the more typical version of night terrors, where I remember little or nothing of what I dreamed and what I did. At most, I get a single snapshot from the dream, and I remember what I was doing right as I woke up.

    So far, all the night terrors that I can remember seem to be appropriate for my physical location (e.g., when I’m camping, it’s bears; when I’m at home, it’s a threatening figure at the end of my bed or opening my door). My one truly nasty past experience occurred in a car, so I’m hoping that if I don’t have any long naps in cars, I won’t have to go there again.

  208. says

    Nutmeg: I don’t know why, but I’ve always had super vivid dreams.

    I hope you don’t get any more, or at least that their frequency considerably decreases. It’s odd the way the brain “makes sense of” our surroundings, isn’t it? Sometimes when I wake up I think “tha fuck was that, brain?”

    Sometimes, I’d like to pull it out and fuss at it.

  209. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    they’ll hear you

    Who? The horses? Or the Tardigrade Usurper?

  210. Nutmeg says

    Anyone else here watch The Mentalist? The season opener was…maybe not the best choice of bedtime viewing. *shivers*

  211. birgerjohansson says

    Benny Andersson wrote the song “Consolation” for Hep Stars, ca. 1966.
    I am so bloody old I actually recall this!
    Hep Stars Consolation (Alt Take) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUgx0FQ_JrE

    — — — — — — — — —
    I just finished reading “Close to the Bone” set in Aberdeen.
    The protagonist detective sensibly adopt a kitten named “Ctulhu”.
    There is also some human-centric action in the periphery (murder, torture, drugs, serial killer) but of little interest to felines.

    The Aberdeen chamber of commerce is not going to like the book. It makes the place seem more dangerous than Midsomer county.

  212. says

    Senator Ted Cruz does not know how to set up a chessboard. Neither does Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Both are arrogant asses, so it’s fun to take them down a peg:

    As a Harvard Law student, Ted Cruz declined to study with classmates who received their undergraduate degrees at schools other than Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, so it’s funny that he can’t pass the basic elitist test of setting up a chess board correctly. On Friday night, he tweeted a photo of the match he was playing with fellow Republican senator Mike Lee, apparently without realizing that the king and the queen had been placed on the wrong starting squares, as Business Insider’s Joseph Weisenthal first pointed out. (Remember, everyone: The queen takes her color.)


  213. says

    Restrictive new voting laws in North Carolina were bad news indeed. Here’s some good news: the U.S. Justice Department is suing NC to put a halt to their new voting laws.

    … Attorney General Eric Holder, who has said he will fight state voting laws that he sees as discriminatory, will announce the lawsuit at noon Monday, along with the three U.S. attorneys from the state.

    Critics said the law will disenfranchise African-American and elderly voters, while the Republican-led General Assembly in Raleigh said the law will protect the state’s voters from potential fraud.

    In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act, which required a handful of mostly Southern states to get approval from the Justice Department before making changes to their voting laws. The entire state of North Carolina wasn’t covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, though several counties were covered by the landmark law and had been subjected to additional federal scrutiny. ….


  214. says

    Since the government might shut down after midnight tonight, I appreciated the fact that The Maddow Blog looked at the history of Republicans threatening to shut down government:

    In April 2011, congressional Republicans threatened a government shutdown. In July 2011, congressional Republicans created the first debt-ceiling crisis in American history. In September 2011, congressional Republicans threatened a government shutdown. In April 2012, congressional Republicans threatened a government shutdown. In December 2012, congressional Republicans pushed the nation towards the so-called “fiscal cliff.” In January 2013, congressional Republicans briefly flirted with the possibility of another debt-ceiling crisis. In March 2013, congressional Republicans threatened a government shutdown. And right now, in September 2013, the odds of a government shutdown are quite good once again.

    I realize Republicans consider the Affordable Care Act an example of such profound outrage that they have no choice but to threaten Americans on purpose. I can’t begin to fathom why they hate a moderate law based on Republican principles with such wild-eyed contempt, but it’s currently the world we live in.

    My suggestion to them, however, is that they introduce legislation that would deliver their preferred goals. If it passes, they’ll get what they want. If it fails, they can try winning more elections. Either way, watching Republican officials — ostensibly elected to advance our interests — threaten national harm every few months has quite tiresome.

  215. says

    Why are Republicans proposing a one year delay in implementing the part of Obamacare that is scheduled to go into effect tomorrow?

    … if Republicans can keep millions of Americans from receiving benefits for another year, the party can try to win the Senate in the 2014 midterms, at which point they can try a new to eliminate the health care benefits altogether.

  216. says

    If you have been wondering, as I have, why Republicans keep call Obamacare a “bill” instead of a law, which it is (let alone calling it “Obamacare” instead of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”), there is an answer. They want the public to think it is a “bill.”

    … If you listened to the House floor debate on Saturday night or watched the Sunday shows, you know the GOP desperately hopes to characterize the current crisis as a “both sides” problem so it won’t receive the bulk of the blame. To hear Republicans tell it, they demand that “Obamacare” be gutted, while Democrats demand that “Obamacare” be implemented. “See?” conservatives say, “both sides are making demands.”

    The problem, of course, is that this is almost unimaginably dumb. What Democrats are arguing is that the law is already the law; it’s met constitutional muster according to the U.S. Supreme Court; and it’s up to the president to faithfully execute current laws. If Republicans want to change the law, they can introduce legislation and give it their best shot.

    Both sides, in other words, aren’t making comparable “demands” — one side expects existing law to be implemented, the other expects to use extortion to undermine the law they claim to dislike.

  217. says

    Kevin @297

    I also think they’re trying to do it so they can just keep delaying it year after year. If they manage to prevent a shutdown by delaying the ACA, then they’ll just do it the next year, and the next, and so forth.

    Right. There will be no end to the hostage-taking version of governing from the right.

    And these bozos are all over the news again this morning claiming that the President’s unwillingness to compromise will be the cause of the government shut down. The Republicans have scammed the Rush Limbaugh audience, and I think they are quite happy with themselves for doing so.

    Another part of the dynamic is that Republicans participated in creating a Tea Party-ish monster and now they are have to feed it constantly lest it devour the hands that created it.

  218. says

    Salon posted an article that addressed the role the media played in accepting the false equivalency between the President’s position on the Affordable Healthcare Act and the Republican position:

    … Beltway reporters who see their professed neutrality as a higher ground bear an enormous amount of responsibility for encouraging this perversion of democratic governance. With a few notable exceptions, the media have framed what Jonathan Chait called “a kind of quasi-impeachment” in typical he said-she said fashion, obscuring the fact that the basic norms that govern Congress have been thrown out the window by a small cabal of tea party-endorsed legislators from overwhelmingly Republican districts. The media treat unprecedented legislative extortion as typical partisan negotiations, and in doing so they normalize it….


  219. says

    I am bugged by the more accurate reporting around the government shut down fight. Most of the journalists continue to leave the out the Republican effort to strip support for birth control and other reproductive services out of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Here’s Ezra Klein, for example:

    In return for a one-year suspension of the debt ceiling, House Republicans are demanding a yearlong delay of Obamacare, adoption of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s tax-reform plan, construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, more offshore oil drilling, more drilling on federally protected lands, looser regulations around ash coal, a suspension of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation ofcarbon emissions, more power over the regulatory process in general, reform of the federal employee retirement program, changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, more power over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s budget, repeal of the Social Services block grant, expanded means-testing for Medicare benefits, repeal of the public health trust fund and more.

    Yeah, it’s that “and more” that’s bugging me. Put the stripping of reproductive rights up there with the other Republican priorities. Let the public know.

  220. says

    Kevin @301:

    Good thing is the majority of Americans are seeing through the bullshit.

    I wish. I hope. But, perhaps because of where I live, I’m not feeling that.

    In my area I feel like one of very few persons whose bullshit detector is in working order. Instead, we have rabid anti-Obamacare nonsense … plus threats to vote any “traitors” or “socialists” out of office.

  221. katybe says

    Sorry for making my first entrance into the lounge so completely off-topic, and not having time to read and join in the actual conversation but I’m not planning on being on this PC for much longer today, and I’m hoping I might prompt some Hoarde/PZ eviscerating of this – http://uk.news.yahoo.com/human-beings-came-from-another-planet–not-earth–new-book-claims-134335110.html#1QwEI80 – which has just appeared in the headline news when I went to check my e-mail.

    Good luck to all the Americans on here being affected by the shutdown and hello, by the way!

  222. cicely says

    *hugs* for Kevin. I’m sorry the computer eated your work.
    I’m also sorry that our current Congress is being abused by assholes. I can only hope that a majority of voters will remember alla this shit, when it comes time to vote for or against renewing their current representatives in their positions…but I suspect that, Come That Day, I will be cruelly disappointed.

    Hi, katybe; welcome in!

  223. awakeinmo says

    Among the Discovery Channel TV shows recently added to Netflix*:
    Extreme Drug Smuggling
    Explosions Gone Wrong
    Moose Tractor Pull
    The World’s Fattest Man
    When Fish Attack

    When did The Discovery Channel become the Barnum & Bailey Network?
    *One of these titles I made up. Can you guess which one?

  224. cicely says

    awakeinmo, I’m gonna go with ‘The World’s Fattest Man’, because it’s unlikely to offer much scope for a long-running series.

  225. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Don’t they have those shows about people who weigh 500 lb + and are seeking bariatric surgery? The Half-Ton Teen and such?

  226. says

    Wow, you guys are totally selling me on the idea of getting my cable hooked up again!

    Or, y’know, NOT. Yikes. When did the people from high school who all loved social drama become in charge of every network?

    And Netflix is picking this crap up? Oy. I mean, I don’t blame them, they go where the money is, but oy. Thankfully, Canadian Netflix has a quite-different lineup. Usually, I think that’s a bad thing, but this might make me rethink that. If having the US lineup means we have eighteen new categories slicing off tiny gradations of “reality TV aka people yelling at each other about stupid things”, I’ll say thanks anyway. :/

  227. says

    If I were to start watching reality shows, I’d like them to be one subjects I’m interested in.

    Wrangling the World’s Crankiest Professors
    Your Life with Ramen
    The Great Funding Roulette
    Are you an Alcoholic, yet?
    Guess my Personality Disorder
    Guess how many Cats I Own, by Discipline
    It was Due When?
    What Did I Forget to Wear?
    How Many Elevator Speeches Can You Make at a Single Conference?

  228. burgundy says

    I’d like to poke my head in to share a random happy thing – I went to the bat cruise this past Saturday, and I was really worried about going, because I am terrible in large groups of people that I don’t know. (The friend who was going to go with me had to cancel at the last minute, and I only knew one other person, and he’s pretty well known in this community and I knew he’d be busy.) I almost didn’t go, because the weather was so bad and I was afraid I’d be awkward and anxious and hate the whole thing. But I went, and the weather cleared up, and the bats were great, and I spent almost the whole time talking to some very friendly people. I had a blast. Three cheers for warm and welcoming atheists.

    I also discovered that “So, do any of you comment at Pharyngula?” is a really good conversation starter.

  229. says

    All right! I’m cheering not because this is good news, but because someone is covering it. Women, prepare for an extension of the war on your reproductive rights. And then prepare to vote these doofuses out of office.

    In the middle of the night Saturday, House Republicans slid a rule into a bill to fund the government that would allow employers to deny their employees insurance coverage of contraception on moral grounds.

    The so-called “conscience clause,” is the same proposal Republicans have trotted out again and again during the health care law debate, making various religious and individual-liberty arguments. It’s almost certain not to become law, but the symbolic attempt alone is a reminder of where the party still is on reproductive health.

    MSNBC news link.

    empowering employers to block workers’ access to birth control is painfully absurd, even by the standards of far-right culture warriors. On the politics, I’d love to meet the strategic GOP genius who thought, “We’re in the middle of a budget crisis and creating a government shutdown for which we’ll be blamed. This is the perfect time to remind Americans we’re also against contraception access.”

    Maddow Blog link.

  230. burgundy says

    Re: reality shows – I pretty much only like competitive reality shows, because I like watching talented people doing creative things. But only the ones with a minimum of interpersonal drama (which is one reason I stopped watching Project Runway.)

    Despite that, I have watched several episodes of The Millionaire Matchmaker, out of a combination of anthropological interest and sheer horror.

  231. says

    We’ve discussed the militarization of municipal police forces in USA cities before. Here’s further proof: Texas municipalities are getting tanks. Yes, tanks.

    … Texas police are receiving military-grade tanks from the Department of Defense’s surplus supplies.

    The Dallas Observer reported that the Dallas Couty sheriff’s office obtained a 19-ton, diesel-operated military tank with bullet-proof doors and tires, designed by Navistar Defense. Just in case Texas cops need defense from ballistic arms fire, mine blasts, IEDs and the like. A number of domestic police forces own BearCat tanks; 16,000-pound armored leviathans. …

    If Texas cops have a tank, I think they’ll look for opportunities to field that bad boy. It’s their biggest toy, how can they resist?


  232. burgundy says

    mouthyb: Worse. However bad you think it is, it is so. much. worse. There are a couple of positive things I can say about it – she demands that her male clients work to make themselves attractive, not just the female ones (although it’s still a very limited definition of attractiveness.) And she’s very up-front to people who have assholey expectations. For example, she has very little patience for men who insist on only dating women who are significantly younger. But overall, the episodes I’ve watched have resulted in a combination of amazement, disgust, anger, and horrified fascination that can only be expressed by the emoticon D:

  233. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Argh. Spent several hours playing phone-tag with various offices. Patiently explained to someone that no, I cannot come pick up a hard copy, as it is 700 miles away. Get told that no, they cannot mail it to me (“HIPAA. Sorry.”) – even though I know they’re bullshitting. Persuade them to fax it to my work.

    And, of course, the one bit of my records that I needed is incomplete. Because of course the fuck it is.

    So now I get to have a bunch of titers done to establish immunity to various gross nasty diseases that nurses can’t be susceptible to or infected with.

  234. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says


    Nineteen tons (military pedantry — the only thing in the US arsenal that weighs 19 tons is the M-1126 Striker, an eight-wheeled armoured car armed with either 2 Ms .50 calibre machine guns, or one M2 and a 40mm grenade launcher)? What the fuck does a police force need something like that for?

    Wait, I think I just figured it out. The NRAGOP gang is so big on letting (white) USAnians have any fire arm they want that now the police need a vehicle that can withstand the impact of a 14.5mm round. Because a Soviet-era heavy machine gun is just what every drug dealing Mexican Islamic liberal terrorist Dallas suburban homeowner needs to protect his women castle from all those brown people. What’s next? Do we start a campaign to allow free ownership of rocket propelled anti-tank grenades (RPGs)?

    (This is written with full knowledge that, as of now, ownership of a machine gun requires a federal license (then again, I know a man (he is heavily into military collectibles) who has four licensed machine guns (and they have been used in a couple of independent films))

  235. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    Esteleth @ 320:

    Dontcha just love it when someone (or some group) use absurdly restrictive readings of the rules to play a nice game of screw you?

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

    My mum has been watching TLC a lot recently, so I’ve taken a peek occasionally. And…. I like Honey Boo Boo and her family. I know they are considered a mockery, but they are a goofy, loving family. SImply being on a reality show puts them somewhat into negative points on my scale, but they seem so nice other than that.
    Toddles and tiaras makes me want to puke, but that little girl is the only one actually having fun there, with no pressure from her mum, just doing it for the giggles.

  237. says

    Ogvorbis @321:

    (This is written with full knowledge that, as of now, ownership of a machine gun requires a federal license (then again, I know a man (he is heavily into military collectibles) who has four licensed machine guns (and they have been used in a couple of independent films))

    One of my brothers lives in Alaska, not far from Sarah Palin’s stomping grounds. He jokes that he can see Palin’s house from his driveway. In his experience Palin Land (Wasilla) is home to many, many machine gun toting “Wasilla Cowboys.” It’s a thing. They go out in groups and mow down trees with their machine guns.

    The solution of providing police forces with tanks in order combat machine-gun toting assholes just seems guaranteed to escalate oneupmanship, to escalate the distribution of military weapons to the general public. A better solution would be to NOT sell machine guns to the general public.

  238. says

    Beatrice @323: Honey Boo Boo’s mother obviously loves her. She gives her children lots of opportunities to be themselves, to make mistakes without fear of losing her love.

    Yes, the whole family looks fairly bizarre at times, (Mama in a camouflage wedding gown), but they seem to have fun and to be generally nonjudgmental. Accepting of gays, for example.

    Still, I can only watch a few minutes of that show at a time. In general, reality TV depresses me most of the time. I can’t figure out why the producers and editors of Honey Boo Boo didn’t get tired of fart jokes a long time ago, ditto for people picking their noses, etc. The matchmaking shows are the worst. They seem to revel in revealing the most venal, narcissistic traits of humankind.

  239. says

    Ogvorbis @327:

    And number 49? I don’t get paid.

    Correct. But I don’t know what your problem is. Congress Critters will get paid during the government shut down, even though Congress Critters normally only work 3 days a week for a couple of weeks and then take a much-deserved vacation. All the important people will still get paid. /sarcasm

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

    Aw, come on, I didn’t know about the camouflage wedding gown. Spoilers! ;)

    Caine, ♥

  241. says

    1) Effing Republicans and effing shutdown.
    2) I applied and got an interview with the Federal Gov’t, and probably thanks to 1, I haven’t heard back *anything* since then.
    3) Waiting to hear if I got the job or not is really really messing with my anxiety issues.
    4) My current job’s insurance decided that paying for a therapist isn’t part of my plan. Because. No reason given.
    5) I can’t afford my therapist at $55 bucks an hour. Thanks, “insurance”.


    Those of you who already work for the Feds, I can’t even imagine how stressed you must be right now.

  242. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says


    But I don’t know what your problem is.

    Was this meant as sarcasm? Or did I miss something?

  243. says

    Ogvorbis @337:

    Was this meant as sarcasm? Or did I miss something?

    It was meant as sarcasm, and you missed something. I labeled it with a “/sarcasm” note at the end. See 329.

    So nice of you to be slightly dottier than me today. I’ve been having trouble spelling words like “escalate,” so I needed to see someone else messing up. I feel better now. [smiling face, and no disrespect meant]

  244. burgundy says

    On dottiness: Saturday night I was retrieving the Mountain Dew bottle I brought to the cruise, and I spent several minutes looking for the bottle cap, until the somewhat bemused woman talking to me pointed out that the bottle was in fact closed.

  245. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oggie, the Pullet Patrol™ due to the impending “sequester”, rounded up a few of their free range green eggs (extra valuable), you can sell and obtain a few dozen white eggs in exchange. Happy omelets.

  246. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says


    Those of you who already work for the Feds, I can’t even imagine how stressed you must be right now.

    I’m not all that stressed. Part of me hopes the GOP does close down the government, causes chaos, and gets slammed by reality.

    Back in the ’90s, we ended up getting paid for the GOP’s idiocy and I give it a good chance that’ll happen again.

    Under the heading of visitors getting screwed, we can’t sell tickets for our October excursions until October 1 because of fiscal weirdness. We have been telling everyone to call October 1 or later for tickets. And they just might get a recording saying that we are closed because we don’t have a budget. Unfortunately, we can’t tell them it is because the GOP is holding their breath until they get a flying unicorn in a latex jock strap.


    I missed your tag. Sorry. I am nothing. I am navel lint.*


    Oggie, the Pullet Patrol™ due to the impending “sequester”, rounded up a few of their free range green eggs (extra valuable), you can sell and obtain a few dozen white eggs in exchange. Happy omelets.

    No green eggs? But I have ham!

    *From True Lies. I tried to find it on YouTube. There are a disturbing number of videos about navel lint. And there are a shitload of offers from Amazon for navel lint. I am disturbed.

  247. chigau (違う) says

    I am doing my homework and reading Pharyngula.
    My tools include a pencil, a fine-point felt marker, white-out, one of those rubber-tipped touch-screen thingys and rum.
    It’s getting funnier by the minute.

  248. A. Noyd says

    It’s time for: Adventures in Enthocentrism!

    So I’m reading this fantasy novel in Japanese. In it, some of the characters are described as wearing robes with 筒袖 (tsutsusode). While I’d never heard of tsutsusode before this novel, I read it as a compound noun made up of the words tsutsu, meaning “tube,” and sode, meaning “sleeve.” Since a “tube sleeve” is easy enough to imagine, I didn’t look it up.

    A few chapters later, the tsutsusode were mentioned as somehow making these robes distinct from other types of dress. So I thought maybe tsutsusode meant something more specific than its parts would make it seem. (Some of you will have already figured out my mistake.)

    I looked up tsutsusode in my electronic dictionary. There wasn’t a J>E entry, so I read the Japanese one. It said たもとのない細い袖 (tamoto no nai hosoi sode), which means “a narrow sleeve without a tamoto.” I didn’t know what a tamoto was, so I tried looking that up. The J>E dictionary translated tamoto as “sleeve,” which would make a tsutsusode “a narrow sleeve without a sleeve.”

    Since that made no damn sense, I looked up tamoto in the Japanese dictionary. The first definition there was 和服のそでの、袋状の部分 (wafuku no sode no, fukuro-jō no bubun), which means “the bag-like part of the sleeve of a Japanese-style garment.”

    Well. Yeah. It’s so obvious now. A “tube sleeve” would be distinct if a standard sleeve is, in the culture of that language, not tubular.

    (In my defense, in modern Japanese, the sleeves of Western-style clothing are also referred to as sode without any added morphemes. But I still should have figured it out sooner.)

  249. chigau (違う) says

    A. Noyd
    Welcome in (even though you are my 先輩)
    I figured out long ago that most of 日本語 seems designed to fuck with the 外国人.

  250. thunk (sigh) says

    ugh yeah.

    I despair for the human race, what with education and space exploration funding hit extremely hard, it’s almost as if regressive forces desire to see us backwards. oh wait, that’s the definition.

    ugh…why is there no easy way out of this trap? unless I become supreme dictator or something

    (also insert college essay woes, and people pressuring me to talk about Inspiration Porn instead of some lived experience that *I* can feel proud about.)

  251. jste says

    A. Noyd, chigau – You are both reminding me that I haven’t had a chance to practice or improve my japanese skill for a few years, and my vocabulary has been reduced to ‘Hi my name is!’ and ‘good morning how are you?’ and various bits of slang that quite possibly are never used outside of anime.

  252. Crudely Wrott says

    I, for one, would welcome our thunkish supreme porn writing dictator!

    *er, can I be royal proof reader?*

  253. Crudely Wrott says

    Query for speakers of Japanese:

    Is this an apocryphal anecdote?

    I once heard (or read, possibly in Reader’s Digest (ate ’em up when I was a kid) that an American businessman went to Japan to address a group of Japanese businessmen. This would be circa 1960, roughly. As any American businessman would do, he began his remarks in a jocular fashion. Among other triteisms he said, “I’m tickled to death to be here with you”.
    The interpreter paused, somewhat flustered, and, with a slight hitch in his voice, spoke briefly to the audience. There were blank looks and sideways glances among the Japanese businessmen but the American went on and finished his address to polite, if not vigorous, applause.
    It was only later that the American learned that there is no Japanese word for “tickle”. What the interpreter had managed to convey to the audience was, “This man scratches himself until he dies to be among you”.

    As a kid I thought this was absolutely hilarious and I’ve repeated it many times in the years since. The thing is, my knowledge of Japanese is limited mostly to the dialog not overdubbed in Japanese monster movies (mostly “hai!”) so I’ve always wondered if the story is true. Now, I’ll finally discover the truth, I hope!

  254. chigau (違う) says

    I could be thunk’s pen carrier.

    That is how good I do Japanese.

  255. Crudely Wrott says

    Chigau or A. Noyd, is there a word for “tickle” in Japanese? Or a phrase? I’ve been wondering for years. I’d think that something as universal as tickling would have a word in any language. That a language should lack same would strike me as very strange.

  256. jste says

    Urk. I find myself struggling a little to read even hiragana. Have I forgotten more than I thought?
    Crudely Wrott – Kusuguru. (My work machine does not have tools for typing in Japanese. The boss might frown at me if I did that.)

    Since every story has a grain of truth, I would guess the truth of your story would be just a breach of etiquette, or the metaphor not surviving cultural and language barriers. (One thing my teachers were quite intent on ensuring we would never forget – Protocol and the correct level of politeness are almost more important than the blood in your veins when dealing with Japanese people of higher station than you. Which, as a uni student, means just about everyone.)

  257. Crudely Wrott says

    Thank you, jste!


    Reminds me phonetically of “cootchie coo”. How ’bout that?

    Now I can go on retelling the little anecdote. Apocryphal or not, it does have some standing, and, for all my retelling, legs too.

    Thanks again. =)

  258. Pteryxx says

    On the eighty Republicans forcing the government shutdown:

    New Yorker: Where the GOP’s Suicide Caucus Lives

    Image link to map

    These eighty members represent just eighteen per cent of the House and just a third of the two hundred and thirty-three House Republicans. They were elected with fourteen and a half million of the hundred and eighteen million votes cast in House elections last November, or twelve per cent of the total. In all, they represent fifty-eight million constituents. That may sound like a lot, but it’s just eighteen per cent of the population.

    Most of the members of the suicide caucus have districts very similar to Meadows’s. While the most salient demographic fact about America is that it is becoming more diverse, Republican districts actually became less diverse in 2012. According to figures compiled by The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman, a leading expert on House demographics who provided me with most of the raw data I’ve used here, the average House Republican district became two percentage points more white in 2012.

    The members of the suicide caucus live in a different America from the one that most political commentators describe when talking about how the country is transforming. The average suicide-caucus district is seventy-five per cent white, while the average House district is sixty-three per cent white. Latinos make up an average of nine per cent of suicide-district residents, while the over-all average is seventeen per cent. The districts also have slightly lower levels of education (twenty-five per cent of the population in suicide districts have college degrees, while that number is twenty-nine per cent for the average district).

    The members themselves represent this lack of diversity. Seventy-six of the members who signed the Meadows letter are male. Seventy-nine of them are white.

    I’d be very interested to know where those eighty get their funding and how closely tied they are to extreme right-wing versions of Christianity.

  259. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    cicely @274:
    Thanks for that link. Such an insightful read. Don’t know if you read the comments (though I have not read them all, none of them were horrible YouTube style comments), but this one, by one of the writers of the Thor movie showed that the blogger hit upon characterization that was deliberate:

    Hey, I just stumbled across this post and wanted to commend you. I’m one of the writers of the Thor movie , and making Loki a complex character with real motivations and a tragic case of externalized self-loathing was a huge priority for all of us involved in the film. And it’s really nice to see someone picking up on those currents.

  260. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    katybe @304:
    Welcome to the Lounge!
    Complimentary USB cookie?

    Burgundy @314:
    That sounds awesome!
    Hope you had some enjoyable conversations.

  261. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Aww, what super awesome timing!
    Just prior to reading Burgundy’s comment @314, I had a quick ‘I miss Beatrice moment’.
    Lo and behold—Beatrice pops in.
    (Does a little Shoop dance).
    I know I have been a little scarce, so I may have missed out, but has anyone heard from Portia lately? I imagine her new job may be keeping her busy.

  262. A. Noyd says

    Crudely Wrott (#353)

    Now I can go on retelling the little anecdote. Apocryphal or not, it does have some standing, and, for all my retelling, legs too.

    Well, about that.

    First off, as jste noted, Japanese does have a word for “tickle.” I don’t know exactly how long it’s been around, but at least long enough that the kanji used to write it is obsolete, which would suggest a pre-1950s origin. (And the root (which it shares with the adjective kusuguttai) looks to have originated before the Meiji period.) It would also be pretty hard to mix up with the Japanese for “scratch”: hikkaku. Furthermore, it is extremely unnatural to turn a passive English verb into an active Japanese one in that context.

    Now, translating an idiom literally, I could believe. Translating it with the wrong verb in an unnaturally wrong tense just doesn’t ring true. And there’s one last problem: In Japanese kusuguru can be used metaphorically to mean things like “flatter” or “elicit a (pleasant) feeling,” which are similar enough to the meaning of “tickle” in the English idiom that a literal translation likely could have gotten the intended meaning across.

  263. A. Noyd says

    Also, just for fun: a picture I found titled (in Japanese) “tickled to death by a troop of monkeys.”

    You wouldn’t use this way of saying “tickled to death” to translate “tickled to death to be here,” though. Not unless you were intentionally trying to evoke homicide.

  264. birgerjohansson says

    while I feel sorry for all the Americans getting hurt by the shutdown, maybe this is like the Bush administration; you must let the the crooks do their worst to turn the country into a smoking crater so people see them for what they are.
    And the funny part is that they will be utterly surprised when people hold them accountable for their actions. “It all started when they fought back!”

    — — — — — — — — — — — —
    “Texas police are receiving military-grade tanks from the Department of Defense’s surplus supplies”

    Let me know when they want a 70-ton Königstiger. Or a “Ferdinand”. You cannot be too cautious when preparing to defend yourself against non-aryans.

  265. birgerjohansson says

    Biology stuff:
    Better protein creation may be secret of longevity for the world’s longest-living rodent http://phys.org/news/2013-09-protein-creation-secret-longevity-world.html
    Study finds chemical behind cancer resistance in naked mole rats http://phys.org/news/2013-06-chemical-cancer-resistance-naked-mole.html#nRlv
    Centipede venom could lead to new class of pain drug http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-09-centipede-venom-class-pain-drug.html
    Engineers invent programming language to build synthetic DNA http://phys.org/news/2013-09-language-synthetic-dna.html

  266. carlie says

    So is it that the Republicans hate poor people so much that they’ll shut down the country rather than give them healthcare, or that they hate the country so much that they’ll shut it down over anything, even giving poor people healthcare?

  267. Nick Gotts says

    In his experience Palin Land (Wasilla) is home to many, many machine gun toting “Wasilla Cowboys.” It’s a thing. They go out in groups and mow down trees with their machine guns. – Lynna, OM@326

    But only trees that look at them funny.

  268. rq says

    Portia’s doing well but extremely busy.

    Sorry, y’all, I’m going to dump my current collection of financial troubles here.
    Skip if you like.

    [fishing for sympathy]
    So. Just as a re-cap, I do translating work on the side and recently tried to become self-employed in that respect but either I got the wrong rep or asked the wrong questions, because the local version of the IRS said I can’t really become self-employed if I only take jobs from a single company (they have to employ me, I don’t know how that works, because if I’m self-employed I can work for anyone I want, and maybe down the road I’ll take jobs from other people, too… either way, assholes. Not really, but I have to swear at someone.). So now I have to think of an alternative way to get at a whole lot of money, which probably, in essence, involves some kind of money laundering because I’m not being allowed to do it legally (yes, yes, I’ll try again the legal way, soon…).
    Also, we had to get the chimney replaced (inside of it) because most of it was burned through from inexpert installation (we bought the house that way) and basically we’ve been lucky the house hasn’t burnt down. But it’s been fixed now, and we’re back to warm-and-cosy in this shifty autumn (but the colours are coming out nice!).
    So. The chimney cost twice as much as we expected, and I don’t know anymore how we’ll make it to the end of the month (well, the 10th, really, ’cause that’s pay-day – or the 8th, since I get my governmental child support payments then (it’s the regular child payment until they turn 18, I get a whole $16 dollars per child per month!!! YEAH! Hey at least it’s something)). *sigh*
    Plus car repairs were huuuuuge this month (transmission replacement, plus something else or other that ended up also being about twice as much as we hoped). In the end, I’ll only be about $100 short (because I’m responsible for groceries most of the time, and Husband’s all out of cash already), which means I can probably pull it through, but it still sucks.
    The translating company used to pay out $400 (equivalent of) each month because that was still ok tax-wise, but since I racked up a huge amount of savings and am not self-employed, they don’t (can’t, legally) do that anymore, and while we’ve been doing rather well and getting by, it’s putting a real dent into what we do and how much we can do. And this month has just been… full of expenses. :(
    And it just keeps getting better, because as it turns out, this thing that connects the car’s steering mechanism to the wheels n shit has been cracked since we took it to this other service company in winter (they’re bankrupt now), and basically we’ve been driving with a broken car – that is, we could have lost steering ANYTIME. Husband found out just now because he took the car in to get the steering wheel realigned because it’s been a bit off since Friday when it got serviced. AND THE IDIOTS WERE ALL ‘SORRY WE FORGOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT THAT PART!!!’ I’m just… angry and freaked out right now, considering we do a lot of highway driving, with the kids. And that’s more $$ and more time and just more shit that I don’t want right now and oh look all my spoons are gone.
    At least Husband’s brother has a car we can borrow while ours gets fixed AGAIN.
    And it sounds like we’re terrible people at balancing finances and fiscal responsibility. :(

    Sorry to complain, I’m not asking for help since it’ll probably all be alright, I just have to get it out, even though I don’t hang out here much anymore. Yeah, that’s what I do, I barge in whenever I feel like it. [/taurus].
    Anyway, I’m just going to mope around the rest of the day, or bake an apple pie, because mortgage and some other small debts and car repairs and chimney and food and stuff and it’s just… Winning the lottery (even in a small amount) right about now would be nice.
    Anyone have some cute to spare?

    [/fishing for sympathy]

  269. carlie says

    I’ll give you all the sympathy you’d like, rq. That really does suck, in all the ways. It seems like everything always crashes down at the same time.

  270. rq says

    Thanks, carlie.
    We were all focussed on just the chimney being huge expenses this month.
    How are you doing?

  271. rq says

    But this made me feel better:
    “Whenever I feel down, I remember that things can always be worse, because, as Mārtiņš Rītiņš* says, “Nothing… NOTHING is worse than overcooked fish!”.”
    (So I try not to overcook fish.)

    *local celebrity chef

  272. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    So today is normally my day off. But because the government is shutting down, I have to go into work. For unpaid overtime. Call that job satisfaction? ‘Cause I don’t. I’ll just sit down over there and rust.

    One of our GOP congress critters, Pat Toomey (GOPTeapartyAsshole) thinks it is ridiculous that the Senate refused the House’s offer to negotiate the ACA. How is extortion an offer to negotiate?

  273. says

    Wow, a lot of you are having widespread crappiness. :(

    rq, money stress=monster suckage.

    Stupid language tricks: when I was still in university, and studying Russian, the department had a little do at the end of each school year, at which the classes would put on a little entertainment. The first-years would write a primer-level play, and then have some fun acting it out and making silly mistakes. The second-years would write a somewhat better play, and show off that they were better than the first-years.

    The third-years would usually do something terribly serious from Chekhov, or the like.

    The fourth-years, in this case including me, were given a choice: either a ten-page essay on something dull, or our choice of Russian plays to put on a scene or something. Most of my class chose the essay, but I already had enough on my plate, so my friend Fiona and I decided to do a scene from a vaudeville written by Mayakovsky. Fiona was all of five-foot-nothing, so for fun, we had her play the guy (she borrowed a suit), while I (at 5’11” at the time – I’ve lost an inch or so since then) played the woman he was on a date with.

    The scene ran fine for a little while, and then Fiona forgot her line. She couldn’t think of it, looked at me eyes-wide, and we’re both thinking, “Oh, crap, there goes the A grade.”

    I didn’t know what it was either, so I just shook my head slightly, and mouthed “I have no clue”.

    What was bizarre was she heaved a sigh of relief, and started with her next line.

    “Вот это равно ключается!” (basically, ‘that’s easy for you to conclude!’).

    Anyway, we finish the scene, raucous applause, we leave the stage, and she says, “OMG, I thought you’d forgotten the line too and we were totally screwed!”

    I said, “But I did forget. That’s what I said, ‘I’ve no clue!'”

    We realized that, purely by chance, the mouthed version of ‘I’ve no clue’ happens to have pretty much the same sequence of vowels and consonants to be found in ‘равно клю’ (ravno klju).

    Pure luck.

    We got the A. :D

  274. Crudely Wrott says

    Good morning, rq. I hope it’s nice and sunny and bracingly cool where you are. That describes morning here in North Carolina today. I went out in sweats and slippers with steaming cup of coffee to see younger man cub onto the school bus. Reminded me of mornings past when I was the one climbing onto the bus.

    Now, per your request, something really wonderful, even marvelous. Children are all so full of amazing whether “prodigious” or not. Each one is a promise of something better. =)

    *hugs and steaming coffee with chocolate and vanilla innit*

  275. Crudely Wrott says

    Oh. If you follow the link in my #371, do listen to the seven minute show. Really, it’s a great morning listen.
    A. Noyd, thanks for the further insight into “tickle” and Japanese culture as well.

    Back in Wyoming one of the sweetest people in my little town was Masako, widow of an American WWII GI. She was an endearing mix of American and Japanese culture. She spoke a slightly fractured version of English with the most wonderfully lilting accent.

    During the winter a popular diversion was a three month long pool tournament, eight ball. When I first joined up I attended a meeting to form teams of two mixed pairs. I’ll never forget Masako approaching me and asking softly, “You wan ah be my pah-dah-nah?”

    I said yes and that year our team took first place! Our pah-dah-nahship lasted for five years and we always placed well.

  276. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Morning, all.

    My first task upon getting up this morning was to determine if I still get a paycheck.

    Seems I do.

    One less thing to worry about, I guess.


    Spending my time shaking my head, saying, “WTF?” and feeling profoundly sympathetic towards everyone that this stupid game of chicken is hurting.

    And all I can say is this: remember this in November of next year when you vote! But then, I suppose anyone reading here will.

  277. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Saw someone observe that the Tea Party, fundamentally, does not believe that the government should exist and acts accordingly.


  278. rq says

    Thanks for that link, Crudely Wrott!
    And yes indeed, bracingly cold would be the way to put it! With intermittent sunshine and hail. :)

    Language is funny, and so are coincidences. :) I’m glad you got the A!

  279. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Ogvorbis, Kevin:
    This whole situation is beyond shitty. My sympathies to you.

    My rage to the GOP.

    Damn, when it rains, it pours. Hopefully your finances will turn around soon.

  280. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Tony Tale A: Politics :

    “The country has gotten worse under Obama.”
    “I have never voted. One vote doesn’t count anyway.”
    “Romney won the popular vote.”
    All of the above was said by JL, a woman in her mid-20’s that is one of my servers. I walked into the middle of a conversation between her and DP discussing the last presidential election. DP asked me to verify that Obama won, which I did, but JL swore she was correct. That led her to making the first quoted statement, to which I nearly tripped over my jaw. It was clear JL did not like Obama as President, but instead of mounting a defense of him, I opted to discuss how much worse a Romney win would havd been. At this point, four other employees were gathered around us. I informed JL that a Romney win would have been disastrous for the country.

    I explained his opposition to contraception and reproductive rights for women…that to deny women the right to control their bodies at all times, that would relegate women to second class status…that no one has the right to dictate what another person can or cannot do with their person…that the choice to have an aboetion or not should bd up to each woman. Of the six of us in the area, four were women, and aside from JL, they all expressed their support for access to abortion.

    I also spoke about his opposition to marriage equality…that even if I never get married, I should still have that right, as should all citizens…that to deny one group a right that is granted to another treats the former as unequal…yet I pay my taxes and am an American citizen, so I am entitled to the same rights as all other Americans.

    I also told JL that I harbor no illusions about Obama…that there is much to criticize him for and that he got the ‘lesser of two evils’ vote. That led to a discussion about the importance of voting…that the electoral votes determine the winner and that the winner of the popular vote usually is the electoral winner…I tried to drive home that not votiing for Obama meant giving your vote to Romney.
    I really hope JL rethinks her desire to not vote.

    …but wait…there’s more…

  281. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Tony Tale B: Religion (with a wee touch of spirituality):

    (Same day as A, several hours later…)

    BB: are you an agnostic?
    Me: (silent, but shaking my head)
    BB: atheist?
    Me: (brief hesistation followed by nodding)

    Rewind 10 minutes, as BB explains why he was late. His relief at his other job failed to show up on time. Apparently the young woman who was to relieve BB does not like him and vice versa. She said something rude to him last week, so he decided to get back at her. Calling her on her day off, he offers to work for her one day this week, which she said would allow her to spend time with her family. BB then then decides to be an ass and retract the offer.
    His entire point for calling her was to make her an offer, then withdraw it.
    When asked my opinion I told him I thought was she did was shitty, and what he did was too. Attempting to justify it, he said she deserved it and that he believes in karma, and that his treatment of her was simply karma biting her back (which came across as an attempt to justify his douchiness. I told him that if he truly thinks he is a better person than she is, he should have taken the high road.

    His support for karma made me headdesk.

    When he inquired, I responded by asking how anyone could know, let alone prove that one specific good or bad action directly causes some random, unaffiliated good or bad thing…moreover, if we treat karma as some balancing of the scales, then what did someone do in a past life that was so horrible to result in that person reincarnating as a child dying from a disease. Also, why is it that one bad action negates any good someone does throughout their lives? I ended by talking about how some…’thing’ would need to keep a tally of everthing anyone has ever done to determine what reward or punishment they will receive. I ended by explaining the Just World theory and the tendency of many to try and make sense out of the world.

    That led to the questions he asked at the start of this comment. When I responded to his query about being agnostic I flat out said that agnosticism is not a reasonable position to hold on the existence of certain entities…that I have never heard anyone claim to be agnostic on dragons, elves, fairies or Sherlock Holmes…that the existence of god, karma, or spirits lacks any evidence to support a belief in them.

    I told him I am an atheist and I feel that religion is holding humanity back and believing in gods is utter nonsense.
    BB informed me that he believes in spirits and energy, though he could define neither.
    I nearly tripped on the jaw again when BB mentioned that the US is ostensibly a secular country and he spoke of ‘the separation of church and state’. He is around 22/23, and I am not used to people in their 20’s being politically or historically informed.

    We ended by talking about his coworkers actions vs his. I said the high road would have been the better choice for him and that his actions were every bit as crappy as hers. I told him I value attempts to reduce harm & sufferin, rather than seeking joy in the emotional suffering of others.

    End of Part 2…one more to come later.

  282. opposablethumbs says

    A cultural question (mainly) for native Spanish speakers: would you say that the socio-political connotations of using the word gay rather than homosexual are similar a) in Spain or b) in other Spanish-speaking countries/communities to the connotations in English? (as in, preferred by gay people themselves vs faux-clinical dog-whistle)? It’s my understanding that the connotations are similar, but I’d like to ask others who would know more than I do. Many thanks for any input.

  283. opposablethumbs says

    Hey, there are Tony Tales! Thank you Tony. I would gladly read Tony Tales and Ogvorbis Fire (and other) Tales any time.

    Also hugs to rq and damn the financial red tape, argh. Greetings and respects to the August Company of Horders.

  284. says

    I made mint juleps for the first time this year because my grocery coop gave me some mint. They were ridiculously delicious–considering how much bourbon was in them, it was amazing that they tasted so much like a non-liquor drink.

    I recommend them highly if you can make them. They’re a beautiful antidote to summer heat.

  285. Crudely Wrott says

    I still not sure that I’ll live to see it done but I’d sure like to.

    It is known as one of the most intricate and ornate works of architecture on Earth and, for the first time, it is possible to see what it will look like when it’s completed – a full 144 years after construction began in 1882.

    But that’s still 13 years away. Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, the iconic emblem of Barcelona, Spain, and one of Europe’s most popular tourist attractions, won’t be finished until 2026.

    Linked article contains a video featuring helicopter footage with 3D animation.

    I think that the whole thing is soaringly wonderful though others may disagree.

    Though one of the world’s most well-known architectural masterpieces, La Sagrada Familia has not been universally loved through its long construction. George Orwell wrote in his memoir of the Spanish Civil War that the basilica was “one of the most hideous buildings in the world.”

    Perhaps this sonic version conveys some of my sense about this grand and thankfully different cathedral.
    Tony, I would have done just as you did wrt Tony Tales A & B. I’ve found that most people are positively affected when spoken to bluntly and truthfully. You stood up against what you saw as wrong, addressed the wrong doer and, most importantly, gave cogent and persuasive reasons for doing so.

    I’ve had the same opportunity on several occasions. The ones that I remember are the ones where my criticism and appeal to reason made a positive difference. As a bonus, there are at least three people who consider me a true friend because of my challenging them. Prior to that they either didn’t really notice me or were ill disposed toward me. One is named Saul, the other two are both named . . . Tony. For real. How ’bout that?

    *Check your USB for an over sized “Attaboy” just about . . . now.*

  286. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    That was interesting material. I was unaware karma had so many flavors.

  287. cicely says

    First off, my sympathies for any/everyone being screwed over by the GOP Suicide-Squad.
    I don’t think that they should be paid, if you’re not.

    No, I didn’t read the comments. I do good to read the comments here!
    I enjoyed reading that piece because it more-or-less confirmed what I had been thinking wrt Loki’s motivations; though what it flashed me to, first, was something I read FSM-knows-how-long-ago, about a Jewish woman who collaborated vigorously with the Nazis.
    (That doesn’t count as Godwinning the thread, does it? I mean, it is a reasonable comparison, this time….)

    *delivering sympathy package* to rq, with a side-order of *pouncehugs*.
    Also, in response to your request for cute: Red pandas playing in snow.

  288. rq says

    I miss your stories.

    *heartbreak* That was Ultimate Cute!! *hugsback*

    Hi, Beatrice!

  289. rq says

    I love the red pandas. I would also have accepted something equine in nature, sans pois. *hugsback*

    Intricate, stunning, ingenuous and amazing does not have to be beautiful. I think just the sheer magnitude of the project and the final product is incredible, and definitely a laudable, human achievement to rank with the best of them.

  290. carlie says

    Thanks for the question, rq. :) We had the hot water heater go out last week, so we’re in unexpected expenses territory too, although not nearly as badly! I’ve been riding a big depresssive wave* the last couple of weeks and trying hard not to fall in headfirst, so I’ve been carefully limiting my exposure to pretty much everything and tightening down more, because it doesn’t seem to be letting up yet. So I’ll apologize to all for not being around to help with stuff as much as I would like to.

    *nothing diagnosed, just… bad.

  291. Pteryxx says

    Replying to JAL @39 in the Thanks, Republicans thread. I still have your email n’ address – can I send you some small amount of help this month?

  292. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    PZ & the Horde:

    Organized Atheism is now a franchise.

    Yesterday, The Sunday Assembly—the London-based “Atheist Church” that has, since its January launch, been stealing headlines the world over—announced a new “global missionary tour.” In October and November, affiliated Sunday Assemblies will open in 22 cities: in England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, the United States and Australia. “I think this is the moment,” Assembly founder Sanderson Jones told me in an email last week,“when the Sunday Assembly goes from being an interesting phenomenon to becoming a truly global movement.” Structured godlessness is ready for export.

    The Assembly has come a long way in eight months: from scrappy East London community venture (motto: “Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More;” method: “part atheist church, part foot-stomping good time”) to the kind of organization that sends out embargoed press releases about global expansion projects. “The 3,000 percent growth rate might make this non-religious Assembly the fastest growing church in the world,” organizers boast.

    There’s more to come: In October, the Sunday Assembly (SA) will launch a crowdfunded indiegogo campaign, with the ambitious goal of raising £500,000 (or, about $793,000). This will be followed by a second wave of openings. “ The effort reads as part quixotic hipster start-up, part Southern megachurch.

    Like any attempt at organized non-belief, the Sunday Assemblies will attract their fair share of derision from critics. But the franchise model might dismay some followers too. For a corporate empire needs an executive board; a brand needs brand managers; a federation needs a strict set of guiding tenets—and consequences for those who stray from the fold. And isn’t that all wholly opposed to Freethought?

    Oh FFS, where to start?
    Why, lets start with the title of the article written by Katie Engelhart. I do not like the title. Too many believers already think atheism is a religion. ** I worry that the growth of this atheist non-church will lead to “see, you’re just like us, you worship and have faith and assemble and sing. You get rid of religion your church has to go.” Or “see, you’re just as bad as you say believers are. Look at your homophobia, sexism and racism. Glass houses!”. I think one of the effects will be to shut down conversations about religious belief. I also suspect more atheists who are public will be lumped with the churchy ones and expected to field answers or respond to criticisms. With only so much time in the day, refuting any such nonsense is a waste of time. *

    My biggest gripe with the article is that Ms Engelhart made no mention of the differences between the atheist church and real houses of worship. I get that perhaps she wanted to let people draw their own conclusions, but unless you present all the relevant info, how can the reasonably informed conclusion be reached? Nothing was said about who or what-if anyone/thing–will be worshipped. No mention of specific holy books. No talk about rituals. She does not even provide a definition of religion to compare atheism against. It’s almost like she wanted to lead readers to her conclusion: “don’t hate [on religion], accommodate!”.

    In a way, her entire article comes off as religion is not all that bad, which minimizes all the ways in which religion really IS that bad.

    I understand there are many reasons that people attend church. The sense of community, singing, inspirational speeches, and more. But all that can be achieved without appropriating religious terms or downplaying the harms of religious belief.

    *It is possible that this atheist church could open up discussions about the atheism & theism, which could be productive…maybe.

  293. David Marjanović says

    Also replying to JAL. I don’t think I have your email address; I’m willing and otherwise able to help.

    His support for karma made me headdesk.

    It’s not support for karma. He believes he is karma. The fitting TV Trope is A God Am I.

  294. cicely says

    *hugs* for carlie.
    I think of “riding a big depressive wave” as “surfing the catastrophe curve”, because this bit from Wikipedia tickled me (in a non-humorous kinda way)(with slight revisions):
    “Small changes in certain parameters of a nonlinear system can cause equilibria equilibrium to appear or disappear, or to change from attracting to repelling and vice versa, leading to large and sudden changes of the behaviour of the system.”
    (Note that I am too igernant to know how applicable the Thing Itself may be; wouldn’t be the first twentieth hundredth time my sense of humor has latched onto something irrelevant to the situation at hand.)

  295. opposablethumbs says

    Extra big pile of hugs for carlie – an assortment of fluffy, ankle, pounce and squish, plus a batch of plain hugs. Hope there’s something in there you would care to have a few of. I’m really sorry about that wave, and I hope it leaves you alone soon.

  296. David Marjanović says

    I’ve been riding a big depresssive wave

    *calming manatees*
    *happiness tea*

    I hope we can meet on my trip! BTW, yesterday I eliminated Norman, OK, from consideration because the museum there just isn’t accessible without a car. One hotel is across the street from a bus station (the bus line makes a loop, so it’s only on one side) – but the street is Interstate 35, and there’s no way to cross it on foot.

  297. David Marjanović says

    cicely! *bouncing pouncehugs* *salamanders instead of caecilians, because salamanders are on Tet Zoo right now*

  298. cicely says

    *vastness of pouncehugs that you have successfully dodged, these last few weeks*

    Interstate 35 is not to be trifled with.

  299. Crudely Wrott says


    Technically not a cathedral apparently, as there is no bishop whose cathedra (seat, metaphorically) is centered there.


    Further looking informs me that La Sagrada Familia translates to The Church of the Holy Family.
    Helluva structure, nonetheless.

    Thanks for that detail; it made me look a little more and learn a little more.

  300. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Sorry that you’re in the midst of a wave. I hope it settles down for you soon.

  301. carlie says

    Thanks everyone. I will roll in all the hugs. It’s not anything serious like what people with actual depression go through, I just get really… moody… for awhile at a time now and then. And I love that definition adaptation – it’s usually little things that set me off when I feel this way, so I try to minimize the chances of having anything at all happen because it’s the stupidest stuff that makes it worse. And “surfing” is how I’ve been characterizing it lately, with how stable I feel being the difference between whether I”m on a surfboard or in a canoe. ;)

    David – definitely! I will be in NYC at one point, which I don’t know if it will overlap when you are there, but that might be an option.

  302. Forelle says

    Very threadrupt, as always lately. I’m hovering around a few posts. In this thread I find some things I dare not comment much on (good wishes for Carlie and JAL though). opposablethumbs at 385, however, asks something that I can mull over in public.

    would you say that the socio-political connotations of using the word gay rather than homosexual are similar a) in Spain or b) in other Spanish-speaking countries/communities to the connotations in English? (as in, preferred by gay people themselves vs faux-clinical dog-whistle)?

    I’m a Spaniard, so I’ll limit my answer to Spain. I wouldn’t say so exactly; I’ve sometimes wondered about this myself. Homosexual has a more, er, remote, scientific sound, maybe even more neutral depending on the context, but in no way is it connected to a previous “definition” that puts the word into a psychiatric category, as I understand that it happens in English. (Maybe the reason is simply that our language is Latin-derived and we have less respect for certain Latin words than English speakers might have.) Gay has become ubiquitous in only a few years; the quickness of the process is reflected in the fact that we (the general population, I mean) haven’t yet agreed on a plural form. It is more popular, I’d say; it also has less of a sting than some other words which could not be totally reclaimed. We might have less ambiguity when referring to women; I’d say that everybody assumes gay to refer to men.

    I’m tempted to write that gay is the choice for political struggle, but I’m not sure; the preferred term everywhere in Spain is homosexual marriage, not gay marriage (although that particular struggle is over, yay!).

    I hope this is some sort of answer, but please go on if needed and I’ll do my best.

  303. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Interesting. Was marriage equality used much?

    I prefer that phrase bc it encompasses every consenting adult regardless of sexuality or gender, where ‘gay marriage’ looks more like a special type of marriage for gay men (in my experience ‘gay’ is used in reference to men most of the time). It treats anyone else along the queer continuum as if they are invisible. My support for marriage equality stems from wanting everyone to have that right.

  304. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I am drinking tea while the deep conditioner does its stuff in my hair. Gotta let it sit for a bit.

    Finally, I have found a tea party that is useful for something positive.

  305. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Well, I was stressed about food stamps but instead, I have to stress about other things. Primarily my mother’s abusive paranoid schizo husband just got out of the hospital and is being awful again. They had a court date today to see if they will take him inpatient for 9 mo. to a year. However, they missed the date because of the case manager coming late and then calling them in as a no show, like it’s their fault. So now they have to re-schedule the date. Meanwhile, my mother lives with her abuser until the courts and hospitals can get their shit together.

    Fucking joy.

    Roomie just got a new job with his friend and is moving out. He has to save himself and he was always planning to get his own place anyways. It’s just instead of waiting til he saves up some and I’m stable, he has to get out now. Because asshole husband makes mom cry, which makes me relive my abuse and cry and it’s just not a healthy situation for anyone. I don’t blame him for leaving and totally understand.

    I just have to figure out what to do now. : (

    I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry.

  306. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Thanks everyone. It’s just so hard because there’s only two people I can talk to about it and if I do, it just makes them upset and everything gets worse.

    It took over a month just to get him in the hospital for 3 days to get him back on meds. This is WITH several calls to police because he was terrorizing my mother. They put him on meds, including those for his mental health then release him without any drugs or prescriptions. So he immediately started psych meds, then immediately stopped. Yeah, any doctor can tell you how fucked up that is.

    So really, it just got worse. And he can’t get meds til tomorrow at his appointment with the doctor. Like, why was there a 5 day wait for that? Can they even get his fucked up ass to the appointment? Apparently, he’s also been doing drugs (meth) and he’s made my mother too, so she can’t call the cops for that. And he can’t arrest him because his abuse is all mental, emotional, financial and physological. There’s no bruises, no “proof”.

    Grrr. Little One hasn’t been around him for…. oh, lord I can’t count the months, which also limits her time with Grandma. They only get time when she takes her to school or go to the store together. Grandma has tried to come over our house, but fuckface husband calls her every 5 mins and knocks on our door when I told him NOT too.

    Everything just fucking sucks so, so much. Today was the worst day in awhile. It just keeps coming and coming and coming.

    Roomie was all like “you were supposed to get a job so I could leave” but it’s not like people really are hiring or want me (fat, ugly, bad teeth and I’m supposed to work in customer service, but my skills don’t really stand out). I’m stressed, I’m paralyzed from it all and depressed. I can’t do it. I have to take Little One back and forth to school. I can’t leave her alone. There’s not enough money for daycare. There’s

  307. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Holy crap. A friend of the family came over here tonight on crutches. He was out fishing on the rez and some guy tried to rob him at gunpoint and shot him through the leg. Who the fuck tries to rob someone while they’re fishing? What did the guy expect to get? Minnows? Leeches?

    Sigh. He’s so lucky to be alive and hobbling around right now.

  308. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gasp, cooking another pound of bacon for the Redhead (a neighbor is supplying fresh home grown tomatoes, so BLT is on the lunch menu), and smelled it getting brown. Dashed of to rescue it. Actually, looks very nice and crispy, which is how she likes it.

    I’m working on preheating the oven, then using the broil element to maintain temperature (350-375) while the bacon cooks on the small broiler pan. Heating from above, the bacon grease drips into the bottom of the broiler pan and is used for other things. Sauerbraten is being demanded for Oktoberfest, and her recipe requires bacon grease. Good thing my cholesterol levels are low.

  309. cicely says

    *hugs* for JAL. I wish I could help, or had a useful suggestion, or something.
    :( :( :(

    mouthyb, it was probably an entirely opportunistic robbery attempt; he went to the location in question, there happened to be someone there, hey, why not take his stuff?
    And what is the point of even having a gun, if you aren’t gonna shoot someone with it? I mean, as long as he’s there any ways?
    :( :( :(

  310. says

    *plunks down Welsh rarebit sandwiches and homemade red pepper and tomato soup in Lounge* Sometimes I wish I could win the lottery specifically for the purpose of abusing that power to make people’s lives easier.

    I’m so sorry, JAL. So very, very sorry. I can haz hugs for you. Also a cute thing. And a happycry thing.

  311. cicely says

    So very sorry for the confusion; those last two were supposed to be for Mellow Monkey, whose friend was shot.

  312. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    you have nothing to be sorry for.
    I’m so sorry this shit is happening.

    Mellow Monkey:
    Damn. Robbed while fishing!!?? Thats 5 different kinds of fucked up.
    Glad to hear your friend is ok.

  313. Pteryxx says

    via BoingBoing, a six-part series analyzing the problems with tipping, full of links to research and summarized in Slate.

    From BB:

    Jay Porter owned a San Diego restaurant called The Linkery where tipping was not allowed; instead, a flat 18 percent service-charge is added to each bill, and that charge is divided among the servers, bus-people, and kitchen-staff. In a six-part series, Porter sets out the case for his experiment and reports on the result, covering the bad gender dynamics, motivation and microeconomics, and a comparison with a tip-friendly restaurant he also owns. It’s a compelling tale about economic fairness versus locked-in dysfunctional conventions.

    Why abolishing tipping makes service better

    Despite—or maybe because of—all the documented damage caused by tip culture, plenty of people are deeply, emotionally invested in keeping tipping propped up. When we abolished tipping at the Linkery, we met a few of these people. We would periodically hear guests express anger about not being able to choose the amount of their tip. Their refrain was, It’s not about money … I always tip more than 20 percent. These people were angry even though they had spent less than they otherwise would have, because they had been robbed of their perceived power over their server.

    We also had guests—including, most memorably, a local food writer—who’d ask us, If you have a fixed charge, how are we supposed to punish our server for mistakes? In the case of the food writer, she opted to publish an article dressing down her server, using his real name, in the local alt-weekly. I’d suggest talking to or emailing a manager if you have service problems with any business.

  314. thunk (sigh) says

    ow… that is horrible, JAL & TMM.

    and I think on my problems and think a) everyone has it worse than me, and b) no way of solving it short of taking over the world…or almost-as-difficult major opinion shifts.

  315. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    and I think on my problems and think a) everyone has it worse than me, and b) no way of solving it short of taking over the world…or almost-as-difficult major opinion shifts.

    Oh, hi.

    Except in my case there’s also the cognitive dissonance of thinking, but not feeling, it so much, and the preemptive defensiveness. Because there’s never not been someone to whom my thoughts and feelings weren’t Not Okay. >.>

  316. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Oh hell, me too Thunk and Azkyroth. I mean, I do have actual cause for complaint at the moment. The emotional blows from my mother’s death and severing my patela tendon a week or so ago have left me reeling. Ms. Fishy and the Small Fry drove 40k or so to visit some friends today and I sit here in the shop not thinking really, really hard about how the only two things that matter to me in the world are in an aging car traveling at highway speeds. Mustn’t cry in front of the customers after all. Everything seems fragile now.

    And yet when I read of JAL’s and other’s troubles I berate myself for being weak. This is the downside of compassion I think, it pushes one, or me at least, into a calculus of hurt. And unfortunately the volume of our own pain will always transform to be smaller than those we care about, whether or not it actually is.

    It sucks. It all sucks.

    Hugs and fluffy mammals to everyone who wants ’em.

  317. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Thank you for that link!
    I was just discussing this subject with guests early last week.

    One predictable response was “if they are not going to work for their money, won’t the quality of service decline?”

    My response was that while some employees might do that, they would not last long. To my mind, if the US restaurant industry switched to flat pay rates for all employees, it would be made abundantly clear by managers and owners that high quality service must be the goal at all times. Those who cannot hack it as with other jobs will not last long.

  318. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Please do not berate yourself. You lost your mother–you are every bit as deserving of sympathy and compassion as JAL, thunk and carlie are. Remember, as with Oppression Olympics, traumatic life events, financial instability and stress, and depression are not going to be ranked. You are all going through experiences that are difficult at the moment, and just as each of you shows compassion to others, even in the midst of your situations, so too will the rest of us.
    So please accept this Hug from around the world (if you are so inclined).

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

    Oh, I see life is currently full of suck for a whole bunch of people.
    I’m sorry. *hugs*

  320. opposablethumbs says

    What do you do when one of your friends has a blow-up falling-out with several other friends? All of whom I know a bit, not hugely well but somewhat; all of whom I am otherwise on good terms with. I was not there when it happened, but I rather think that what sparked this off was essentially indirect fat-shaming on the part of the several (they were talking about someone else altogether, saying something like “there’s no real reason for X to expect congratulations for having lost weight, after all all you have to do is eat less” (facepalm and near-fatal eyeroll)) in the presence of friend#1. My feeling, from what I know of these people, is that (as so often … pshaw) this came from ignorance. Not that absence of malice actually helps, obviously. Friend#1 was upset/offended. Complications ensued, and relations were severed. I … don’t want to sever relations with any of the parties (and I wasn’t there so I don’t know what other hurtful things – if any – might have been said or done in either direction) but it seems like any group activities in future cannot any longer include both friend#1 and other-lot-of-friends, so the situation has currently effectively come to have a strong undercurrent of gotta-pick-sides. I’m afraid no good is going to come of this … :-(((

    Forelle, thank you very much for that. It’s very helpful to know that referring to someone (in this case, Lorca) as “homosexual” rather than “gay” is not necessarily the problematic term that it could be in English.

    JAL, shit, I’m so sorry. Fuck but I wish I could do more than send distant internet wishes and hugs … and to FossilFishy too, and thunk and Azkyroth and carlie … all my hugs. Dammit.

    These people were angry even though they had spent less than they otherwise would have, because they had been robbed of their perceived power over their server.

    Of course. Now I get it. That is so profoundly fucked-up … we humans have a shitty streak a mile wide, sometimes (not denying our capacity for empathy and decency. All the more kudos to those who elect to be decent).

  321. strange gods before me ॐ says

    There is at least one hug here with your name on it. Please distribute the surplus as needed.

    Wiki thing: Nightjar bureaucrat? Respond here.

  322. carlie says

    FossilFishy at 433

    And yet when I read of JAL’s and other’s troubles I berate myself for being weak. This is the downside of compassion I think, it pushes one, or me at least, into a calculus of hurt. And unfortunately the volume of our own pain will always transform to be smaller than those we care about

    This is so exactly how I feel. And then I get mad at myself for being so self-centered, and that makes me feel worse about myself for being that kind of person who feels bad about things that are objectively not all that bad compared to other people, which makes me feel even worse about being self-centered enough to wallow in how I feel bad, which makes me feel even worse… etc. It’s a rotten spiral, what it is.

  323. opposablethumbs says

    Also glad to see you, sgbm. I’ll take one, and swap you another if you like.

  324. says

    Tony – and anyone else thinking the same – this is something I can speak to a little, cause pain and me, we’re old, old buddies.

    Objectively, my life has been shit in a lot of ways. Abuse, assault, my dad being killed in front of me, criminality, transition and the family exile, chronic (pain/disability/depression/poverty): shit. (It also, btw, has had some awesome things). So it’s not uncommon for me to encounter friends who feel like whatever they’re coping with isn’t worth bringing to my attention, because they feel like it’ll seem trivial to me, and that I’ll be judging them for being “weak”.

    Now I can’t speak for others who’ve lived in the pig-wallow, but for me I can say this doesn’t happen. Not ever. When my friends are hurting, they’re hurting. I’ve no more interest in judging them then than I do any other time, and probably less. Pain isn’t relative. What hurts you, hurts. You shouldn’t ever have to apologize for saying “this hurts,” not to people who care about you.

    It happens with pain, too: no one can say they’re sore around me, without the obligatory “well, y’know, not as sore as you, of course.” But even my own pain is relative. A headache, that you’d shrug off because you have them all the time, will flatten me, make me into a whingeing, crying baby. Toothache is the same. I can’t cope with either, at all. Because I haven’t spent years learning how to callus those nerves to keep them from frying me, like I have with my back and my depression and all the rest, those kinds of pain just knock me down, despite being considerably less painful than my back usually is.

    Point being, there’s no real “objective” scale of pain, and there’s no real value to trying to build a relative one, and even within one person, different types of pain can bring different levels of reaction. So how can it be wrong that entirely different beings could have different levels of reaction to a given level of pain?

    What hurts you, hurts you. Let yourself be alright with that. It’s human to hurt, and you don’t have to apologize for your humanity, any of you, ever.

    So for me, at least, I can say: please tell me when you’re hurting, emotionally or physically or whatever. I promise I never begin to think that someone isn’t entitled to be cared for in their pain, whatever the outside observer might think about the relative size of our pain. No judgement will happen. I also try not to offer advice unless it’s asked for, but it’s a growing skill, shall we say. :)

    You get to say, “I’m hurting,” and expect those who care for you to respond to that hurt sort of ab initio, as though it were the first time they’d ever encountered someone hurting.

    So, old crippled lady throws some bent and wobbly hugs on the pile as needed, and settles in to listen to her friends. Who matter in themselves.

    So there.

  325. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    *hugs* and *support* for JAL. Would you like the HordeFund banner to be raised?

    Heya, SGBM, nice seeing you around again.

    Today I get to crunch all the numbers and see where I can come up with $50,000. Eep.

  326. Pteryxx says

    just leaving these here: hashtags #ShutdownTheShutdown and #WomenPowerPeace

    Lots of these RTs:

    I stand with 100 Women State Legislators calling on Congress to #ShutdownTheShutdown @misswrite @WomenLegisLobby #WomenPowerPeace

    @MissWrite is Rep. Diane Russell of Maine.

    Rep. Diane Russell ‏@MissWrite 1 Oct

    Long lines to get into US Senate offices. #ShutdownTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/FK4KQ8vJj3

  327. Forelle says

    Tony! at 413:

    Was marriage equality used much?

    It seems it was a long time ago, heh, and my memories are a bit vague. The problem in those days was the word marriage, matrimonio. People who opposed matrimonio homosexual were invoking etymology, “common sense,” Latin, Sanskrit, wrath of gods, whatever, so that the contract would have a different name — and by extension, a different legal status; many of them pretended though that their concern was purely linguistic. I think that the Real Academia Española (an academy in the 18th century sense, focused on language, still working, usually conservative) opposed the name too, just as they were against gender violence and in favor of domestic violence or some such (they lost that fight too; president Zapatero listened more to feminist groups when enacting laws). I also read good etymologists and linguists, whichever their position, state that the “linguistic purity” position was nonsensical, as it undoubtedly was.

    So equality was certainly invoked, and marriage was discussed, but they had to be agreed upon following parallel routes somehow. I don’t really remember that term, marriage equality. I’d suggest that your very natural usage of it stems from same-sex marriage becoming more widespread all over the world; what to many people seemed contrived, almost oxymoronic, logically impossible in Spanish only eight years ago has been incorporated to our language with the easiness that others predicted. The same should have happened in English.

    And, of course, the adjective has become optional nowadays; marriages are marriages whichever the gender of the spouses, in common usage and, in all probability, before the law.

    Sorry if this was too long or convoluted.

    opposablethumbs at 441:

    referring to someone (in this case, Lorca) as “homosexual” rather than “gay” is not necessarily the problematic term that it could be in English.

    Right. It’s perfectly dignified; depending on the context, gay could even be anachronistic, since we all perceive it as a very recent word in Spanish. As in English, though, I’d be careful to use it as an adjective, not a noun — but I can’t really tell whether that nuance would be understood by everybody or has been made explicit by LGBTQ people.

    (You’ve made me find an interview with Miguel de Molina. I can’t watch that, dammit, I don’t have time.)

    Since I’m so sorry to read about woes and troubles in this thread, let me please also agree with you in this:

    Fuck but I wish I could do more than send distant internet wishes and hugs…

    On the other hand, it’s so good to read you again, strange gods.

  328. says

    Ogvorbis @341:

    I missed your tag. Sorry. I am nothing. I am navel lint.*

    I am so going to adopt that quote as my own.

    I frequently have occasion to say, “I’m nobody. Are you nobody too?” But “I am navel lint” is funny. Love it.

  329. cicely says

    *hugs* for FossilFishy.

    What CaitieCat said.
    It’s not a competition, with only the Official Sorriest Bastard In The World™ entitled to feel hard-done-by. Pain is an Equal Opportunity deployer.

    Retro-wishing the very best of luck to mouthyb on that CS test.

  330. Rey Fox says

    Somebody’s inviting me to a “color run” on Saturday. How do I tell her that it looks really stupid without offending?

  331. burgundy says

    I like this quote from Mark Twain: “Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.”

    I wish all the best to the people here who are struggling, for whatever reason, and I hope you can be as kind to yourselves as you so clearly are to others and allow yourselves to put down the burden of feeling like you have to judge or justify your pain.

  332. blf says

    Although it is perhaps not too funny for the people directly affected, I am giggling hysterically over the thugs kamikaze death dive in a leaky obsolete blimp aiming at a fleet that isn’t there to attack themselves. Goodbye gop, you are toast, with no more credibility than Lyndon LaRouche…

  333. David Marjanović says

    *restocks the hug truck*

    The best photo of the week is this. It shows Berlusco”li”ni’s reaction to having lost his power game: he tried to blow up the Italian government, and failed.

    And now I’ll ruin your day: 5 Seemingly Harmless Groups That Wield Terrifying Power, 5 Ridiculous Martial Arts Myths You Won’t Believe Are Real.

    Perhaps I can restore your day by mentioning that testosterone can promote prosocial behavior in the absence of competition, or by linking to this open-access paper on remarkably angiosperm-like pollen from the Middle Fucking Triassic, a full hundred million years older than all undoubted angiosperm remains.

    Also – hi, sgbm! :-)

  334. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Whee! Opened up what I that was another medical bill, and the insurance finally hacked up some money to the hospital, and it was a refund check. *Does a little happy Snoopy dance*

  335. says




    Please please let Nintendo and GameFreak sue them. *crosses fingers*

    Hugs as needed *big fluffly pile*


    I got the job!!!!!!!! Of course it’s with the federal gov’t which is in….shutdown right now…./is confused
    But I got it! I should get my start date/offer letter either Friday or Monday, shutdown depending.

    Husband applied to and got interview with same place, different position, we’re still waiting to hear about his. I feel like prospects are good though, because he’s more qualified than me.

  336. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001

    *hugs* and *support* for JAL. Would you like the HordeFund banner to be raised?

    Yes, please. Our landlord accepts our rent in two check because of Roomie’s paychecks. He just paid the last of Sept.’s rent a week a go. The first rent payment for Oct.’s rent is due by the 12th. Roomie’s working with a friend now and is going to be crashing at his place until he can afford his own.

    My mother called this morning to see about re-scheduling the court date they missed yesterday for her husband. Apparently, they didn’t cancel it and their case worker, who came here to pick them up and then called them in as no show even though they were walking out to her car, went to the court and argued my mother’s husband shouldn’t be monitored or institutionalized. So, now, he’s free as a fucking bird with NO meds, with no help and my mother as his captive victim. Thanks so much system for helping the violent paranoid schizophrenic and protecting his victim…NOT!


    (Yes, I know most people like him aren’t violent but he has a violence rap sheet starting from his pre-teen years. That’s why he was in a mental institution for 11 years.)

  337. says

    The tin foil hat brigade that brought about the government shut down has a while set of dubious beliefs.

    If you want to maintain some degree of confidence in rank-and-file Republican voters, you may not to read further:

    * 62% of Republicans believe the Obama administration is secretly trying to take everyone’s guns away;

    * 44% of Republicans believe President Obama is secretly trying to figure out a way to stay in office beyond January 2017;

    * 42% of Republicans fear Sharia Law making its way into America’s courts

    * 21% of Republicans believe that the U.S. government engages in so-called “false flag” operations, where the government plans and executes terrorist or mass shooting events;

    * 27% of Republicans think a group of world bankers are slowly eliminating paper currency to force most banking online — only to cut the power grid so regular citizens can’t access money and are forced into worldwide slavery.


  338. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    I got the job!!!!!!!!

    Conga Rats. Free celebratory grog and/or swill for you and the husband.

  339. says

    David M: “http://issuu.com/iplates/docs/issuu_ammon_sm?e=5878980/3232047



    Well, you did expect a mormon comic book to create original artwork, right? Especially not for the sheep, sheeple, … whatever.

  340. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Perhaps I can restore your day by mentioning that testosterone can promote prosocial behavior in the absence of competition

    Isn’t there some evidence that higher testosterone promotes status-seeking behavior, broadly?

  341. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    27% of Republicans think a group of world bankers are slowly eliminating paper currency to force most banking online — only to cut the power grid so regular citizens can’t access money and are forced into worldwide slavery.

    …isn’t that, like, half their legislative agenda?

  342. cicely says

    Two college campuses here in Springfield are on lockdown on Homeland Security’s info that there is a threat.

    *provides musical accompaniment for Nerd’s Snoopy dance*

    Congrats on the job, Rawnaeris, and best of luck on Husband’s chances.

  343. Pteryxx says

    JAL @467, noted – I’ll get some snail-mail going. And thanks Esteleth for stepping up.

  344. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Attention! The Horde Fund is being activated for the sake of JAL.

    People who want to contribute can do so by PayPal’ing it to me via my linked email address of esteleth at gmail. People who don’t have PP and want a different method can email me at the same address.

  345. Rey Fox says

    Congrats on job. Makes me wonder though what the prevailing trends/notions are on hiring husband-wife tandems.

  346. says

    @ Ray Fox, The hiring manager I talked to seemed to approve of it. She explicitly said she’d hired or had been involved in the hiring of pairs like us before, and that it had worked to their benefit.

    As for as general prevalence, I have no idea. This is the first time we’ve tried it.

  347. says

    I don’t know how well I did, but I didn’t panic too badly during. (*phew*) Was only really surprised by one question on the midterm, but I think I solved it correctly. Or maybe mostly correctly. Maybe.

    Finished intake interviews for disability services today. They seem nice, and the way they have testing set up should actually allow me to be able to calm myself more easily. I really hope that means I’ll be able to perform more ably on the exams.

  348. says


    Azkyroth 473

    …isn’t that, like, half their legislative agenda?

    Yes, but the other half is projection.

    *hugs* some more, I know a lot of us are having troubles right now.

  349. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    Well, just filed for unemployment compensation for the first time in my life. Thank you so much, GOPholes.

  350. Doug Hudson says

    My condolences to everyone suffering due to the GOP douchebags. Gah.

    On a lighter note, there is a new Hyperbole and a Half!


    Wheeeee!!! (If you haven’t read it before, make sure to check out God of Cake, it’s probably the funniest. The depression ones are also excellent, though not particularly funny.)

  351. jste says


    “there’s no real reason for X to expect congratulations for having lost weight, after all all you have to do is eat less”

    Ha. Haha. Ha. Over the past 8 months I’ve lost 10kg. “All you have to do is eat less.” Sure, “all” I had to do was stop drinking soft drink, and start ordering salads for lunch. Oh, and get off my ass and do some exercise. But the willpower involved to make those changes stick for more than a day is massive. If any of my friends spouted garbage like that, I’d gladly tell them to fuck off and get a clue. Sorry, can’t really give you any actual helpful advice.

    Not that absence of malice actually helps, obviously.

    But it might hopefully make it more likely that your friend can be pointed in the right direction with some careful prodding, even if it’s too late to make this incident disappear.


    To the people suffering because of GOP political insanity, I’ll be heartily wishing and hoping for things to turn around for you all soon, however unlikely that may be (If I weren’t dealing with crippling debt, I’d gladly contribute to the funds being set up, but alas…). Your positions truly suck right now, and no decent human being should wish this sort of pain and uncertainty on another.

  352. ImaginesABeach says

    JAL – I’m so sorry to hear this. I wish I could help more than I can. My resources are limited right now.

  353. cicely says


    Well, just filed for unemployment compensation for the first time in my life. Thank you so much, GOPholes.

    Is this…in connection with the shut-down? Or is it worse?
    In either case, *hugs*

  354. ImaginesABeach says

    Ogvorbis – just keep in mind, it’s all for the greater good. What’s a little financial devastation when it prevents people from having access to health insurance?

  355. Orange Utan says


    People who want to contribute can do so by PayPal’ing it to me via my linked email address of esteleth at gmail.

    A few ducats send.

  356. Nutmeg says

    *steaming hot chocolate* and *hot apple cider* for those who need them.


    I’ve had some setback-y stuff this week, nothing serious, but I needed to vent some frustration so I had a long angry workout this morning. I really need to learn to not do that. My mind is clearer at the end but my body hates me the next day.

  357. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    rq – *pouncehug*

    Quietly leaves a *large pile of hugs of pounce and ankle and safe and all other variations thereof* – please take as you need them.

    Hoping to start reading regularly again by the end of next week.

  358. opposablethumbs says

    It’s perfectly dignified; depending on the context, gay could even be anachronistic, since we all perceive it as a very recent word in Spanish. As in English, though, I’d be careful to use it as an adjective, not a noun — but I can’t really tell whether that nuance would be understood by everybody or has been made explicit by LGBTQ people.

    Thank you, Forelle, that is exactly what I wanted to know.

    Anti-gop hugs to the gop-affected, and ordinary hugs to everyone else.

    If any of my friends spouted garbage like that, I’d gladly tell them to fuck off and get a clue.

    I kind of wish I’d actually been there at the time, jste. I hope I would have said something, though I don’t know whether in reality I would have had the presence of mind right on the spot to speak up effectively. I run to being relatively lean myself, so they couldn’t quite so easily do that stupid, stupid “automatic dismissal” thing we all know and hate. I know that these idiots are blindly ignoring the fact that metabolism and physiology are against them and their trivial “common sense” (not to mention psychology). As it was, friend#1 was on her own with this crap, so I’m not surprised she got royally pissed off :-((( And yet these are people who are generally good on other issues – why do people never examine their (our) own damn blind spots?