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


    Ugh. I’ll have to hurry up and learn to drive, since my future bosses weren’t terribly happy about me not driving (but it’s ok for now).
    I’m really scared of killing someone with a car.

    Good luck with your job search!
    was it you who revealed the secret of Honey Boo Boo’s mother’s wedding dress? Because that camo dress is brilliant. Yeah, ok, weird. Really weird. But kinda good weird.

    And they are possibly the only reality show group who looks genuinely happy.

  2. says

    I have what is potentially a very weird question, stemming from a discussion with someone else who has some of my weird brain meat configuration.

    What, exactly, is love? My tendency is to look at a persistent pattern of actions more than emotions (mine are…. never quite what they’re supposed to be and I find them often unreliable, especially since I don’t tend to notice them until they are very strong), but my friend argued that to look at actions and decisions means that what he and I experience is never actually love the way other people mean it, especially since we both explicitly make calculations based on what the relationship is worth to us when asked to be understanding of other’s behaviors. Personally, I think he’s being a stickler for purity with that remark, but it’s possible neither of us love if that’s the definition.

    I say I love people, by which I mean I persistently choose to aid them and to alter my behavior in order to benefit them and meet their needs.

    If love is not a pattern of actions and decisions, I don’t know what love is.

  3. says

    Yes, without a spoiler alert I revealed Mama of Honey Boo Boo’s camo wedding dress. I will forever be troubled by my lack of sensitivity. Did you like the camo theme expanded to the entire wedding party?

    In other news, the Koch brothers, having failed to put the kibosh on the Affordable Care Act through congressional stupidity, have turned to implementing their strategy through state legislature stupidity.

    … the Koch brothers’ company sent a letter to Congress, making clear that Koch Industries is not on board with the idea of tying the Affordable Care Act to the government shutdown. It was, at the time, evidence of a Republican operation losing friends in a hurry.

    It was not, however, proof of the Charles and David Koch losing their appetite for undermining “Obamacare.” On the contrary, there’s ample evidence that the Kochs are financing the very organizations waging a crusade against the health care law and demanding Republican policymakers keep up the fight.

    What’s more, let’s also not forget that Koch brothers’ attention is not limited to Congress. Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported over the weekend from Richmond, Virginia:

    The federal government is again open for business, and Republicans in Washington are licking their wounds from the failed Tea Party attempt to derail President Obama’s health care overhaul. But here in Virginia’s capital, conservative activists are pursuing a hardball campaign as they chart an alternative path to undoing “Obamacare” – through the states. …

    The fight is not limited to Virginia – Stolberg’s report added that the Kochs have also invested in similar campaigns in Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania …

    What’s more, Virginia Tea Party groups are organizing around a hearing today of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission. One of the Republican witnesses? Devon Herrick of the National Center for Policy Analysis, which is financed by – you guessed it – the Koch brothers.

  4. A. Noyd says

    Most of the grocery stores around Puget Sound (in Washington state) are going on strike at 7 tonight. What pisses me off is how the stores are balking over a wage increase of something like 15 cents per hour when the workers should be within their rights to ask for an increase of a few bucks per hour. Also, there are the usual shenanigans of trying to force workers to get their own insurance rather than doing the ethical thing of supplying it. At least there’s a handy resource for finding alternative stores.

  5. says

    Every fact-based media outlet needs to stop pretending that über conservatives are dealing with the facts.

    Salon link.

    … Fallacy No. 1 is the false balance fallacy—also known as false compromise, argument to moderation (“argumentum ad temperantiam” in Latin), and the golden mean fallacy, among others. It is a major feature of our so-called serious politicians and media figures, who routinely position themselves in between “extremists on both sides.” It’s often the case that two people in an argument each miss something valid in each other’s point of view. So there’s a valid rule-of-thumb here in trying to see both sides. But it becomes a fallacy when this starting point becomes the end, particularly when balance or moderation becomes so important that it’s rigidly, even fanatically adhered to, and the clear preponderance of evidence is given no more weight than someone’s uninformed opinion. As Cenk Uygur put it, “If CNN did sports reporting, every game would be a tie.” …

    The false balance fallacy lay at the heart of the media’s deep reluctance to blame conservative Republicans for the recent government shutdown. As I recently wrote for Al Jazeera English, the media had to ignore nine bodies of evidence that clearly showed it was Republicans, not Democrats, who caused the shutdown. Thus, instead of reporting as much context and as many perspectives as possible, the media’s embrace of false balance severely constricts the range of facts and viewpoints it explores—the exact opposite of what it’s supposedly trying to achieve. …

    … the New York Times ran a story, “A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning”, which traced the shutdown plan back to a meeting early in President Obama’s second term, led by former Attorney General Edwin R. Meese. In any rational world, this would finally put an end to stories blaming Democrats as well as Republicans for the shutdown…

    Since last spring, when the Senate passed its version of the budget—the GOP has refused to go to conference committee on the budget, thereby creating the shutdown crisis in the first place, since a conference committee is how Congress reconciles differences between House and Senate budget bills….

    The record of drastic Democratic budget concessions embodied in the “clean CR”. The idea that Democrats are forcing the shutdown by refusing to negotiate presumes that passing a 6-week continuing resolution on the budget would give Democrats everything they want, and give Republicans nothing. This presumption is utterly false. Democrats have already agreed to accept a budget level in the CR far below the $1.203tn in discretionary spending that Obama originally asked for, and very close to the $967bn in the Ryan House Budget that Republicans wanted …

  6. says

    It’s weird that I always see a banner ad from the Mormons at the top of Pharyngula. Is this really where they’re likely to find converts? And do they really want to give you their money? I have the same question about the constant wingnut ads on Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow. Are Rachel’s viewers really going to call the 1-800 number to defund Obamacare and contribute to the wingnut revolution? And do they really want to give MSNBC their ad dollars?

    I don’t really get it.

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


    I say I love people, by which I mean I persistently choose to aid them and to alter my behavior in order to benefit them and meet their needs.

    If love is not a pattern of actions and decisions, I don’t know what love is.

    For myself, I would add missing the other person (either when you don’t see each other for a while, or miss in the sense they come to my mind often when I experience something, as in “I want to share this with X” ).

    And I think that’s that.

    I have some trouble knowing what love is too. I don’t really recognize it as an emotion on it’s own, but a collection of emotions, thoughts and decisions that all come together into a pattern, as you say.

  8. blf says

    everybody who’s seen my kids … has seen them for longer than I have

    Sending them backwards in time is not recommended. The quoted side-effect is minor, and can be beneficial. Teaching “open heart surgery” to the pre-conquest Aztecs less so. And opening that valve in Atlantis much less so.

  9. rq says

    I know the feeling. Sleep is probably the best option. :)

    mouthyb and Beatrice
    I’ll admit, I do a lot of calculating in my love equations, too.
    I abandoned the whole rosy view that love just is and You’ll know it when you find it!, because that route was constant heartache and just plain infatuation without the commitment. Love is what happens when you (well, I) make a conscious decision to stick with someone because I like them and they’re important to me, no matter what kinds of bumps we might have to face, until either we die, or a situation is reached where my views diverge far enough that I no longer see our togetherness as compatible with my happiness/health/well-being. Or something.
    So I would say that love is a combination of actions and choices, rather than Pure Feeling, because a feeling without supporting action is really nothing at all… It is entirely possible to have the supporting action without the feeling (of wanting the togetherness, of the liking, etc.), in which case I would classify a relationship as a (short-term) mutually beneficial friendship. Love is a choice that gets me through some otherwise poopy situations and feelings, where I have significant investments of my own.
    How do I recognize love? Basically what both of you said – the willingness to be around, to help, to support, and missing someone when they’re not around – wanting to share. *shrug*
    That’s a very crappy explanation, I suppose. Shorter version: I don’t buy into the idea that love will happen on its own; love requires work, and recognizing that it will require work, and still sticking around for it.

  10. carlie says

    “Love isn’t how you feel. It’s what you do. I’ve never had a feeling in my life.”

    – Proginoskes, A Wind in the Door, Madeline L’Engle

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


    It is entirely possible to have the supporting action without the feeling (of wanting the togetherness, of the liking, etc.), in which case I would classify a relationship as a (short-term) mutually beneficial friendship.

    Just to check, we are talking about all kinds of love here, right? Because my experience of romantic love is nil, so all I’ve got is family-love and friendship-love.

  12. carlie says

    If I can find the book when I get home I’ll relay the whole conversation from whence that quote came, but it’s very much the same as what you described, mouthyb. It affected me very deeply when I was young because I had the opposite opinion (love was a feeling, not something you do), but as I’ve aged I’ve seen the wisdom and truth to that view.

  13. rq says

    Yup, when I was young and impressionable, I was all about the feeling. Now that view seems impractical.

    I would say that applies to family-love and friend-love, too. I mean, not all friendships are love-friendships, or short-term friendships. My best friend is someone to whom I made a conscious commitment, and while we may not agree on a lot of things, she knows I’m here for her, and vice versa. Family – while there’s a weird idea that you should love your family, I think many people’s experience here is testament to the fact that family is just a set of people thrust upon you quite randomly, and that they’re not always the best people. To stay close to family, there’s still an element of choice, of knowing you like a person enough to stick with them. … Does that answer your question?

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


    Yes, it does. Thanks.

    I’m off to bed now. Been a long day and another like that starting way too soon.

  15. says

    rq: That’s my opinion of relationships. I find them to be incredible, mind-breaking work from top to bottom (partially because I am so very skeptical of that initial attraction.) I’ve watched too much of what other people call love in mingled horror and fear (and trust me, what most people call love is horrific if you think about it) to be comfortable with basing it all on feels.

    I fucking hate people who argue that family is about love and you should stick together no matter what. For some of us, family is about terror.

    carlie: I love that book.

  16. says

    Feminism, misinterpreted again by the frigging Daily Mail:

    Nigella Lawson makes no bones about her feminism. In a Sunday newspaper interview this week, the famed English author and cook stated she’s “baffled” anyone would even ask her about it, and that it’s “self-evident” she is. But maybe the reason journalists feel the need to keeping asking has something to do with how her statements tend to be spun out in the British media. Were the headlines this week that a successful one-woman brand is proud to call herself a feminist? Nope, they were that she’s “blaming the feminist revolution” for deteriorating culinary skills.

    Here’s what the reliably terrible Daily Mail called an “unexpected outburst” in which she “blames feminism.” In her interview, Lawson said, “Feeling comfortable in the kitchen is essential for everyone, male or female. At the time it seemed so many people were fearful of cooking, and that meant home was never more than a stop-off from work. Women of my generation were keen – rightly – not to be tied to the stove, but the ramifications of this were that they felt a sense of dread in the kitchen. How can this be good for anyone? I also feel that to denigrate any activity because it has traditionally been associated with the female sphere is in itself anti-feminist.” Wow, what a traitor to the cause. …

  17. carlie says

    Dangit, I can find Swiftly Tilting Planet and A Wrinkle in Time, but not Wind in the Door.
    But I did find this:

    “I have never said this to a woman before. I love you.”
    “Love?” she asked. She wanted to be sure he meant what she hardly dared hope he might mean. “What does ‘love’ mean?”
    “What does… Jondalar! You pompous fool!” He stood up. “You, the great Jondalar, the one every woman wants. You believed it yourself. So careful to withhold the one word you thought they all wanted to hear. And proud that you’ve never said it to a woman. You finally fall in love – and you coudn’t even admit it to yourself. Doni had to tell you in a dream! Jondalar is finally going to say it, going to admit he loves a woman. You almost expected her to faint with surprise, and she doesn’t even know the meaning of the word!”
    Ayla watched him with consternation, pacing back and forth, ranting to himself about love. She had to learn that word. “Jondalar, what does ‘love’ mean?” She was serious, and she sounded a trifle annoyed.

    You’re welcome. :D

  18. bassmike says

    I’m signing in very briefly before I go to bed. To all those who have been kind enough to show an interest about me daughter’s illness, which seemed to be on the way out. I’m afraid to say things have taken a turn for the worse and she’s in hospital. My wife is spending the night with her, so I feel a bit useless being at home. We took daughter to the GPs who told us to go to the hospital. She has some sort of chest infection and is struggling with her breathing which is horrible to watch. Hopefully with all the medical professionals around her she can recover soon. I want my happy playful daughter back! :-(

    I’m off to bed. Thank you all for being there.

  19. Crudely Wrott says

    Bassmike, my wishes for you and your child that the days ahead will be full of getting better and feeling so full or yourselves. Healthy life to you both and to those who love you.

  20. Crudely Wrott says

    To those of you who responded to my loss and sent your heartfelt condolences, here comes a *megagrouphug* for all of you. Thank you from the very bottom to the very top of me.

    I’m not sure why but I cannot deny how valuable your kind sentiments are to me.

    The main feature of life right now is mostly gaping at this great hole torn through me. I’m not very articulate right now nor do I have much more to say than “Thank You”, thank you all for the kindnesses and sympathies of your own that you have given over to me for the sake of my pain.

    I’ll be thanking several of you personally soon but I just want to assure the entire Horde that your sweetness and good will is making a large difference.

    I’ll be better in a while.

  21. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Completely threadrupt but you have to start somewhere…

    Anyone else noticed that the Despicable Me Minions are speaking French (‘ish)?

    Driving: Me too. Cars are boxes on wheels, fitted with levers and pulleys that enable the occupant to maneuver themselves into danger. Manoeuvring them is an overcomplicated, arcane skill I am being forced to acquire.

    I have always liked this line from Massive Attack’s song Teardrop:
    ‘Love, love, is a verb, love is a doing word.’

    A Wrinkle in Time is one of the few fantasy/SF works with a Christian subtext that I can enjoy. I read the first three of the series when I was at school but I have never read ‘Many Waters’ or ‘An Acceptable Time’ though.

    Almost anything sounds trite after Crudely Wrott’s eloquent writing, so I will just echo those sentiments. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your daughter – rest.

  22. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Crudely Wrott
    So sad to read. You are in our thoughts. Please keep yourself well.

  23. Portia says

    cicely – returnpouncehug

    Hekuni Cat – extrapounceyhug


    gobi! Hi!

    bassmike – we’re not acquainted, iirc, but hello, happy thoughts coming your way, and best wishes.

  24. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hello Portia!
    Trying to type, on my phone, on a moving bus…
    Three challenges for me.

  25. Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy says

    For me love is both a feeling (or cluster of feelings) and a set of actions.

    mouthy, I don’t think feeling love is inconsistent with calculating whether a relationship is worth it to you: it’s just that, if I’m making those calculations, how I feel about the person is going to be one of the variables. If I love someone, maintaining the relationship is worth more to me than if I don’t, even if both people are equally generous, or equally impatient, or equally good (or bad) at communicating with me.

  26. carlie says

    Crudely, all my love to you. All of it.

    bassmike – I know what it’s like to watch a child in the hospital, not being quite sure how they will come through it. It’s been eleven years since the last time my child had to stay in the hospital, and I still tear up at just the thought of an oxygen tent. It’s a special wrenching kind of helplessness. My best thoughts to you now too.

  27. says

    Vicki: I hope not, though I’ve noticed that if it is a part of other people’s experiences to perform calculations, they don’t talk about it. I assumed that it probably wasn’t done, but it’s nice to know that it is a thing.

  28. jste says

    Crudely Wrott, bassmike
    Words never express the sentiment I want them to anyway, so I’ll just say the both of you and your families are in my thoughts.

  29. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Really nonexistent Egyptian deities?
    This extended game of ‘kick the Shoop around’ has long since reached its expiration date. Being fired in ’11 from a great job for a fucked up reason was bad. Then you decided that my financial stress was not enough, so by your graces, I was granted a job that took 3-4 months before business picked up. When it finally looked like finances were improved, you decided that I would look great in the Scapegoat Hat so I was fired from that job. This time it took almost two months of struggling to find a job, and when I did, that was at a resort–in the freakin winter. Yeah, its a job, but $300 a week was not enough. Then, I get the job on the beach this year and things see a slight upturn until you and the Fates decided I had it too easy and that wrecking my car would be totes awesome. Yeah, but no.
    Not content with me, you decided to punish my feline and canine companions with Teh Flea.

    and now you want to toss something extra to the dogs. Is it ringworm? Heartworm? No clue. Not sure how I can take them to a vet. Not sure I can afford a vet visit. Not sure when I would have the time. Yet I have to bc my financial guilt wasn’t bad enough. Now I get to also feel like a shitty incompetant fool who cannot even care for the innocent creatures he cares deeply for.

    I needed to get that out.
    I work long shifts, so I have not really seen the dogs much until this past week. Krystals ribs are showing too much and she wants to eat constantly (where she previously would go without eating until she got love and attention).
    Fuck me.
    Wheres that ‘Failure At Everything’ stamp?

    Alternatively, do we have a troll, creationist, rape apologist, MRA or someone deserving of smackdown?

  30. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I am so sorry your daughter’s health has gotten worse. Best wishes to you and your family. I hope she gets the best care and recovers quickly.


  31. says

    Fucking grain beetles. I thought I had killed them all weeks ago, but under all the kitchen cabinets there was a secret handful of breadcrumbs where they’ve been happily nesting.

    I wish my vacuum cleaner had a flame thrower attachment.

  32. rq says

    Best wishes and a jar of holding thumbs for your daughter!!

    Dontcha know, it’s all that good luck at actually having a job that needs to be balanced out by them fleas and Mystery Illness, see, otherwise the universe gets all clogged up with your good luck and whoa, then the world stop turning, so suck it up for the good of the rest of us!
    More seriously, I hope all animal illnesses pass quickly and with little to know expense on your part.
    And here, have a *hugs* from me to go with chigau’s.

    What bothers me about that quote is this part:

    You almost expected her to faint with surprise

    which seems to be a common feature of many people who misunderstand the purpose of declaring love. They do it to shock, to declare a kind of ownership, to talk about love, but most often, they end up forgetting to do love. In my experience, those who are best at talking about it or quickest at admitting to it, actually have no intention of acting like it. They use the word ‘love’ like a distraction, because it’s what the partner is supposed to want to hear (especially if a girl/woman). They seem to drop love like a huge block of … love, I guess, when it’s actually an accumulation of bigger and smaller things that add up to one big whole, over the course of time. It can start with some huge, sudden feeling, but feelings rarely last, so it needs that back-up to hold it, and that support is so rarely there.
    This has been an account of my conclusions and experiences about love; other people’s thoughts my vary considerably.

  33. opposablethumbs says

    bassmike, I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope your daughter is getting the very best of care and that she is fully recovered soon! I hope they’re looking after your wife too; it’s a relatively little thing compared with the situation for the child themself, of course, but when SonSpawn had an emergency operation as a baby the minute he was out of my hands and off to theatre I suddenly found I had a blinding headache and threw up, presumably thanks to it being a bit stressful. I did think they might be obliged to refuse to give me as much as an aspirin for red tape reasons since I wasn’t a patient, but they did. It’s hard for you being stuck at home unable to do anything, but depending on the way things work at this hospital and on how the two of you do things, aspirin for your wife and/or fresh fruit and/or something fresh to wear might be good when you go in? /unsolicited-and-probably-irrelevant-ramblings-from-an-internet-stranger

    Many hugs, if you’d like any. Hope your daughter is better really really soon.

    , thinking of you. All my hugs to you. They’re a renewable, so there are always more.

    Tony, aaaargh. Hope you manage to deal with the dogs’ health problems and that it doesn’t cost too much :-((

  34. says

    Oh dear, I’ve got a royal headache.
    I’ll clean up the kitchen mess and then take a nap

    *hugs again*
    Love shines through every word of your writing.

    I’m sorry to hear. It’s so hard on parents when they can’t help and the little ones are suffering.
    Dog knows that one of the most horrible moments as a parent was when I had to hold #1 and keep her still while they put a needle in her arm for IV fluids and she was begging me to let her go and make them stop.
    Best wishes for your little one and your wife and you, too

  35. ImaginesABeach says

    Tony – I’m sending you a friend request on FB so I can message you. Last name on FB is Beach.

  36. says

    Oh bloody crap. I totally forgot to deal with the electricity bill last month. I seem to have piled the bill on top of bullshit mail, like ads. Welfare would have paid it last month when it was due, but now it’s too late.

    Not that it’s an enormous amount of money, less than €80. But that’s like a sixth of what I have for a month.

  37. rq says

    I’m jsut going to have to drink less beer.

    Sometimes that’s enough punishment to remember everything on time the next month.


    Wellp, I’m officially employed and self-employed now. Time to write some bills and pay off some debts. In other words, I’m going to be rich for, like, a day.

  38. says

    I have a thought experiment I’d like to see if some the more anarchy minded people here might want to help with.

    Do some causes/organizations necessarily have to be hierarchical due to their innate demands or nature? For example can there be a non hierarchical yet effective military?

  39. ImaginesABeach says

    Giliell – I’m not a touchy/feely kind of person. A FB massage might be really helpful.

  40. ImaginesABeach says

    Ingdigo –

    If the mission of the organization requires that decisions be made and actions be taken quickly, would a non-hierarchical organization be able to respond quickly? Would it depend a lot on the personalities of the membership?

  41. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    I don’t usually post here in the personal threads, but I needed another place to vent. Saturday while I was at work and then my son’s band competition my house was robbed. I came home between his first performance and the announcement of the finalists to chsnge from my work clothes, feed the horse, let the dogs out. The sliding glass door was open and everything electronic was gone… the only things I have of any value. The ex carries homeowners since he pays a mortgage but I really doubt it will cover much since I don’t have records of my things.

    Thankfully is is just things, my children weren’t in the house, and sll the animals stayed inside. I just kind of wish I believed in the whole karma thing. My kids’ game systems, dvd player and tv all gon

  42. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    (can’t type on this bloody phone) the computers that were really this bipolar and anxiety ridden person had as contact with people… my daughter with Down syndrome not having her simple pleasure of Netflix (she’s s Buffy addict). Feeling violated and angry and who has a name for half of it. Fuckers.

  43. ledasmom says

    bassmike, Tony, Weed Monkey, Spamamander, sorry that life sucks right now.
    Tony, I’m sure you know this, but if you’re clear with your vet about what you can and cannot afford right now, many of them are good about narrowing down the testing to what’s necessary right now. Hoping Krystal’s issue is something relatively easy to deal with.

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

    *pissed off*

    Did you know that, when there is some discord in the family, women sometimes get breast cancer because it’s the kind of disease that brings people closer?
    Oh yeah.

    Hint: hearing that kind of bullshit is what caused the *pissed off* state.
    And I couldn’t even comment because it was a boss person who was sharing this wisdom, and much much more about alternative healing and some center that’s going to open soon

  45. says

    *ongoing hugs*
    Best wishes for you and your family
    Sorry to hear about the dogs. I know that it’s more debt, but there’s an outfit called CareCredit who have a credit card explicitly for paying vet bills.
    Ugh, I’m sorry.

    For example can there be a non hierarchical yet effective military?

    The experience of the Republican faction in the Spanish Civil War appears to indicate that if there can, it’s quite difficult. For background, they did try to run their military apparatus on a democratic basis, and they got viciously stomped by the extremely hierarchical Falangist forces.

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

    Ingdigo, ImaginesABeach,

    Would it depend a lot on the personalities of the membership?

    I think it would, and that Ingdigo’s organization would almost certainly fail without screening the membership very carefully. I’m imagining a couple of very authoritarian types dragging the organization down (while pushing themselves or someone else up).
    Whether organizations need hierarchical structure… not sure.

  47. ImaginesABeach says

    I’m a member of a facebook group where all members are administrators. It’s small scale, and we don’t actually need to accomplish anything, but so far it’s working as a non-hierarchical group.

  48. rq says

    I think it really depends on the size of the organization. If the group is of a size where it’s possible for everyone to be on top of everything, where everyone is capable of dealing with external parties equally well, where everyone can know what’s happening and who’s doing what, then a hierarchy isn’t necessary. Especially if everyone’s on the same page about the goals of the group, purpose, etc. I think as soon as (a) the group gets large enough and/or (b) a division of labour occurs, some sort of separation of duties and perhaps even prestige will occur, which may lead to a hierarchy (which may be different gradations of ‘steepness’ and/or enforcement).

  49. opposablethumbs says

    Spamander, that’s really shitty. I’m very sorry – please have some hugs if you’d like any.

  50. cicely says

    bassmike, I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. Please add my best wishes to the pile.

    Tony, *hugs*.


    spamamander, I’m sorry you got burgled. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the police will find your stuff, and return it.

    Did you know that, when there is some discord in the family, women sometimes get breast cancer because it’s the kind of disease that brings people closer?

    Oh, yes indeed breast cancer as a Lifestyle Choice.

  51. ImaginesABeach says

    Hi cicely!

    How’ve you been? Those horse staying away from you (despite Tony’s attempt to sully your life with horses?)

  52. Pteryxx says

    via BB: Experian sold consumer data to identity thieves’ service

    Experian, the massive data-broker with far-reaching influence over your ability to get a mortgage, credit-card, or job, sold extensive consumer records to an identity thieves’ service called Superget specialized in supplying identity thieves with “fullz” — full records of their victims, useful for impersonating them and for knowing where their assets are. Experian sold the data through a third part called “Court Ventures” — which they later acquired — and the sales continued for about a year. Experian bills itself as a service for people worried about identity theft. It’s not clear whether Experian will face any penalty for the wrongdoing.

    Main article:

    While the private investigator ruse may have gotten the fraudsters past Experian and/or CourtVentures’ screening process, according to Martin there were other signs that should have alerted Experian to potential fraud associated with the account. For example, Martin said the Secret Service told him that the alleged proprietor of had paid Experian for his monthly data access charges using wire transfers sent from Singapore.

    “The issue in my mind was the fact that this went on for almost a year after Experian did their due diligence and purchased” Court Ventures, Martin said. “Why didn’t they question cash wires coming in every month? Experian portrays themselves as the databreach experts, and they sell identity theft protection services. How this could go on without them detecting it I don’t know. Our agreement with them was that our information was to be used for fraud prevention and ID verification, and was only to be sold to licensed and credentialed U.S. businesses, not to someone overseas.”

  53. rq says

    Wow, that sucks, I’m glad the members of your household seem to be (physically) alright, but I’m sorry that happened to you. :(

  54. cicely says

    Something seasonal….

    ImaginesABeach, my life remains blissfully unsullied by either Horses or peas. Coulda done without This Year’s Special Offer—(apparent) gluten intolerance—but what can ya do?

  55. ImaginesABeach says

    cicely – your body is not very nice to you. Perhaps it is due to pea-deprivation?

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

    Well, cicely, they don’t choose to get breast cancer, but their bodies react with that illness to the environment, as a way to “help” with the family relations.
    *nods sagely*

  57. cicely says

    ImaginesABeach—I’d say…not.
    ‘Cause I don’t imagine that violent nausea would help.

  58. blf says

    your body is not very nice to you. Perhaps it is due to pea-deprivation?

    The mildly deranged penguin reads that, starts coughing and choking, eventually spits out an half-gluped wheel of now not-entirely-identifiable cheese, and then points out the obvious: Not pea-deprivation, pea-deprivation is good. Much more likely is cheese and MUSHROOMS! deprivation.

    Remember, eight fromageries a day is the MDPR (minimum daily penguin recommendation).

  59. says

    The number of hospitals in the USA controlled by the directives of Catholic bishops is increasing. This often means restrictions on abortion, even in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Mother Jones published a good article summarizing the situation, and providing details to back up their assertions.

    … Between 2001 and 2011, the number of American hospitals affiliated with the Catholic Church grew 16 percent, even as the number of public hospitals and secular nonprofit hospitals dropped 31 percent and 12 percent, respectively, according to MergerWatch, which tracks religious health care mergers.

    In 2012, Catholic hospitals and health care systems were involved in 24 mergers or acquisitions, according to Irving Levin Associates, a market research firm. Ten of the 25 largest nonprofit hospital systems in the country are Catholic, and Catholic hospitals care for 1 in 6 American patients. In at least eight states, 30 percent or more of patient admissions are at Catholic facilities.

    Ten of the 25 largest nonprofit hospital systems in the country are Catholic, and Catholic hospitals care for 1 in 6 patients.

    Catholic hospitals are required to follow health care directives handed down by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops—a group of celibate older men who have become increasingly conservative over the past few decades. (Recall the bishops’ ongoing showdown with the White House over Obamacare’s requirement that health insurance plans cover contraception.) The issues go far beyond abortion. The bishops’ directives restrict how doctors in Catholic hospitals may treat everything from miscarriages to terminal illness. How this treatment differs from that of secular hospitals is not always disclosed to patients. …

  60. says

    Another excerpt from the Mother Jones article referenced in comment #75:

    … In 2010, Peter Sartain, a prominent bishop recently enlisted by the church to crack down on nuns deemed too liberal, was appointed to the Seattle diocese. Not long afterward, he told the Catholic hospital … to stop performing lab work for Planned Parenthood that the hospital had handled for at least a decade, including tests unrelated to abortion, such as cholesterol screenings. …

    “The Catholic bishops are seizing an opportunity to control the health care we all pay for, and they’re being wildly successful,” says Monica Harrington, the co-chair of Washington Women for Choice. …

  61. rq says

    That is so horrible. Who the hell thinks that way?? [/rhetorical, since obviously someone does] I can’t imagine saying that to someone with breast cancer – see, you’re so ill because there must be a way to bring the family together… What about those families where such illness splits them apart even further?? *rage* So that’s the purpose of breast cancer. Maybe this person has a brilliant theory on chronic leukemia in men? Please, I want to learn to nod as sagely as you do!

  62. says

    Another excerpt from the article referenced in comment #75:

    In the end, hospital mergers have allowed the bishops to accomplish in practice what they haven’t been able to achieve through the political process: making abortion and contraception harder to access. In Wisconsin, for example, where nearly 30 percent of hospitals are Catholic, the Legislature passed a law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Because Catholic hospitals haven’t granted those privileges on religious grounds, many of the state’s abortion providers will not be able to meet the new requirements. …

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


    I couldn’t listen to her any more, so I left the office.
    But you can learn about these important things from some Indian lady for 1000 euros (a week’s lectures).

  64. cicely says

    Yes, blf—I definitely suffer from cheese and MUSHROOMS! deprivation. Just a little something to bid my new-and-unwillingly-found BREAD!!!! deprivation a hearty Welcome In.

  65. says

    Good news from Texas:

    I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassinations. Pragmatism and principal have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake: I have not left the Republican Party. It left me. I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status. I will not be a member of a Party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that would provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.

    That’s San Antonio Judge, Carlo Key, saying exactly what a lot of moderate Republicans must be thinking, but are too afraid to say out loud.

  66. says

    Bad news from Texas:

    Texas’s voter ID law took effect Monday, as voting in the first Texas election since five Republican justices killed a key prong of the Voting Rights Act also began this week. By conservative estimates, this voter suppression law will prevent 2 to 3 percent of registered voters from casting a ballot, with left-leaning constituencies such as women, students, low-income voters and people of color all feeling a disproportionate share of this blow.

    Voter ID’s defenders often point to the fact that states that have enacted these voter suppression laws typically offer free IDs to voters who can jump through certain bureaucratic hoops necessary to obtain one as evidence that the laws will not actually have a significant negative impact on voters, but the data in Texas suggests that these free IDs will do little to mitigate the impact of the law. Despite an estimated 1.4 million voters in Texas who lack a photo ID, Texas has issued only 41 free ID cards since last week. …

    Think Progress link.

  67. says

    A meme that Republicans have been repeating to every media outlet that will give them a microphone is that Obamacare will undermine full-time employment and create a nation of part-time workers. Not so, oh meme-manufacturers. Not so.

    First of all, over a longer time frame, part-time work has actually been falling as a share of employment in recent years…. If the health law were driving employers to cut employees’ hours, the most vulnerable workers would likely be those working just above the 30-hour cutoff. That means the data would show a decline in those working 30 to 34 hours and an increase in those working less than 30 hours.

    That isn’t what’s happening. The share of part-timers who say they usually work between 30 and 34 hours at their main job has been roughly flat over the past three years, at about 28%. (September data aren’t yet available.) If anything, it’s actually risen in the past year, though the change has been minor. The share working just under 30 hours has indeed risen somewhat, but the share working under 25 hours has fallen – suggesting that employers are giving part-timers more hours, rather than cutting full-timers’ hours back.

    Put another way: If the Labor Department used the same definition of “part-time” as the health law, its data would show no increase in part-time work over the past year.

    Wall Street Journal link.

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

    Yeah, a shame.
    Ugh. I consider that woman a murderer. I don’t know her neglect killed anyone, but the possibility that it hasn’t is pretty low since she’s been preaching and practicing bullshit healing for years.

  69. blf says

    Not really a rant, but it’s been one of those days…

    I took yesterday off for a series of important appointments. In the early evening it became clear another appointment, this afternoon, was highly desirable. I had previously warning pointy-hair at Big Dummbie Co. I might need to take some time off at very short notice. So last evening I re-sent him that warning plus telling him I’d be taking this afternoon off, and it was only arranged that very evening.

    The bus I usually take to work only runs on school days. This week in this part of France school is out. I didn’t realize that, and so was wondering where the usual bus was. Plan B: Take an alternative, later, bus, followed by a c.40 min uphill walk. So I arrive at work later than intended on a day when I’ll be leaving early.

    Pointy-hair was confused by this.

    The bus I was going to take at mid-day is that same school-days-only bus, so Plan B-in-reverse but with lunch after the Long March before catching the bus… A strong wind was blowing in from the Mediterranean now, which made the quick (outdoors seaside) lunch “interesting”…

    Whilst then waiting for the bus, some kids decide to grab my hat. At first it looks like they stole it, but they do drop it a ways off in the distance. I retrieve it just in time to catch the bus.

    Couldn’t then find one of the papers I wanted to take to the appointment. Grrrr…

    Met at the appointed time, but it turns out it was all for naught. (So the missing paper didn’t matter in the slightest.)

    Decide to have a coffee whilst waiting for (a different) bus. Waiter was rather slow, so had to drink up in a hurry, and then tripped and fell when rushing towards the bus stop. Small scrape on my shin and finger, but otherwise Ok — except I missed the bloody bus…

    So after yet another unexpected walklimp, the dog in the shop with specialist beers decides it doesn’t like me and starts growling. (No barking, fortunately.) And I can’t get to the beers for a frustratingly long time due to other customers occupying that (narrow) part of the shop (“beer alley”)…

    Fortunately, no problems (or new penguin-shaped holes-in-the-walls) at the fromagerie or pub or bus back home.

  70. rq says

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she has contributed to someone’s demise, even in an indirect fashion, by discouraging them from getting the actual medical help they need, and psychological support. Or, wait, that sounds pretty direct, doesn’t it? Even if one person ever listens to her advice and takes for true, that’s one too many.

  71. Pteryxx says

    via BB again, watch a PBS documentary on the rise of antibiotic resistance, then join a live chat tomorrow:

    Whether or not you get a chance to watch the documentary tonight, we hope you’ll join us here tomorrow for a live chat session with the producers and a doctor who specializes in treating patients with antibiotic-resistant infections. That starts at noon Eastern/11:00 central, and will be moderated by either me or Rob. We’ve got some questions we’re looking forward to addressing with the panel, and we hope you’ll bring in some great questions, too. The first half of the chat will focus on the documentary. The second half will be aimed more at a practical understanding of what you can actually do to protect yourself, your family, and your community.

  72. thunk, decus et tutamen says


    rq: I did vote for Riga, if only because it’s the closest thing to Russia (which is a total dump.)

    I’m having one of these existential crises–and also being rather, but not completely giddy about the first snowfall today, which indicates I’m probably making the right major choice.

  73. blf says

    Prettiest European City title up for grabs…

    Huh. That list of ten “candidates” made me realize I’ve visited five of them (English alphabetical order):

    London. (Actually lived in London for some years.) WTF is it doing as a possible “prettiest city”? Bloody filthy festering rubbish heap controlled by peas (or at least pea-brains) is too kind.
    Paris. Another WTF?
    Prague, or more accurately, Praha.
    Venice, or more accurately, Venezia.

    I’ve only seen the touristy areas of Budapest and Praha.

  74. David Marjanović says

    Spain saves research council from imminent bankruptcy. Or nearly so.

    “This past weekend, Sen. Dick Durbin, the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, appeared on Fox News Sunday and told host Chris Wallace that he would support cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of a grand bargain with Republicans.” Tell him not to.

    Daily Kos argues that Generation Opportunity betrays conservative principles by trying to get people to opt out of Obamacare and pay the fine instead. Quotes, and links to, this wonderful blog post which says: “Repealing, defunding and sabotaging Obamacare isn’t an ideological statement by Republicans now so much as a survival mechanism. They’ve placed all their chips on red and spun the wheel, and woe betide them if the roulette ball falls on black.” After all, if they had called Medicare “Johnsoncare” when they still fought it (in the post, there’s a ten-minute video of Reagan explaining why it must lead to a socialist dictatorship!), they’d have been politically dead for 50 years now, and LBJ’s “face might adorn Mount Rushmore” because people would remember him for Johnsoncare more than for Vietnam.

    Feeling cheerful about the US now? Here’s some bad news from the Dominican Republic: Hundreds of thousands of immigrants and descendants of immigrants from Haiti, all the way back to a birth date of 1929, have had their citizenship revoked. Now they don’t have any at all. Most or all of them have darker skin than the Dominican average. Contains links to two petitions.

  75. David Marjanović says


    I tried to close a <q> tag with an </a> tag!

    I can’t let that stand, I have to fix it:


    Daily Kos argues that Generation Opportunity betrays conservative principles by trying to get people to opt out of Obamacare and pay the fine instead. Quotes, and links to, this wonderful blog post which says: “Repealing, defunding and sabotaging Obamacare isn’t an ideological statement by Republicans now so much as a survival mechanism. They’ve placed all their chips on red and spun the wheel, and woe betide them if the roulette ball falls on black.” After all, if they had called Medicare “Johnsoncare” when they still fought it (in the post, there’s a ten-minute video of Reagan explaining why it must lead to a socialist dictatorship!), they’d have been politically dead for 50 years now, and LBJ’s “face might adorn Mount Rushmore” because people would remember him for Johnsoncare more than for Vietnam.


    That’s better. :-)


    Obama strikes at the heart of Reaganism“. Contains an awesome photo and a quote I didn’t know.

    CNN poll has even MORE bad news for GOP: 75% say GOP should be voted out!

  76. rq says

    Come to Riga! :)

    First snow?? [/jealous] (I get giddy about first snow every year. You’d think I’d learn there’s no point, since it stays well into March and is beyond annoying by that time, but hey… Every year begins anew, right?)
    Anyway, here’s a *[gesture of support]*, feel free to substitute in whatever makes you comfortable. I’m otherwise no good in an existential crisis. :/

  77. David Marjanović says

    Federal Judge Allows Approximately 38,000 Names To Be Purged From Virginia Voting Rolls. Many of them have turned out to belong to eligible voters.


    There’s a “reality” show on the private German TV channel RTL that is called… well, I’d say “farmer seeks wife”, but, to paraphrase Milhous from the Simpsons, “*grin* it means *wiggling eyebrows* male farmer!” And yet, among this time’s candidates, there’s for the first time a woman who looks for a wife and has already found a promising candidate. Text in German, photo easily comprehensible. :-) Bonus points for the first to find the spelling mistake in the headline.

    Perhaps the best part is that the male farmer who’s looking for a husband isn’t even specifically mentioned, just listed between two that are looking for a wife. He and his chosen one have the same first name.

  78. David Marjanović says

    Also, how to react when your children pass math.

    Needs to work on his evil laugh, though.

  79. says

    My middle-aged neighbor just told me that she flunked the GED exam. Twice. Once after an online course, and once after a GED prep course at a local college.

    I advised her to get a private tutor for the math portion, which is the section giving her the most trouble.

    She also told me about the benefits of going on a spiritual retreat.

    Her world is so different from mine.

  80. rq says


    There’s a “reality” show on the private German TV channel RTL that is called… well, I’d say “farmer seeks wife”, but, to paraphrase Milhous from the Simpsons, “*grin* it means *wiggling eyebrows* male farmer!”

    Funny part? There’s an identical show on its second season here in Latvia with Latvian farmers… and the first woman farmer this season, too. :) I’m not sure what her prospects are, since I haven’t been following, but the coincidence is uncanny. ;)

  81. blf says

    my new-and-unwillingly-found BREAD!!!! deprivation…

    Sorry, I missed that. What happened? The bagels revolted? You found peas in your flour? You accidentally bought a Moose Turd Pie?

  82. says


    If the mission of the organization requires that decisions be made and actions be taken quickly, would a non-hierarchical organization be able to respond quickly?

    My answer to Ing earlier was off the cuff, but referred exclusively to military organizations. Military organizations have a more-or less unique set of demands/requirements regarding decision making (some of which are simply tradition and habit, but the nature of warfare likely makes some of them essential). In organizations with other goals, though, it is quite possible to invest individuals with executive/decision making power but not authority. Typically those decisions are reviewed after the fact by either the organization as a whole or the relevant subcommittee, depending on the size of the organization.

    Would it depend a lot on the personalities of the membership?

    Personalities are a factor, but not that much more of one than in other types of organization. The thing is that consensus decision making is a skill, and the more participants who possess that skill, the smoother things will operate. Like other skills, it can be learned, of course, but it does have to be learned, ideally by everyone involved. Spreading those types of skills more widely is an essential component of any type of cultural change. (and dovetails nicely with lessons about consent).

    I think it really depends on the size of the organization. If the group is of a size where it’s possible for everyone to be on top of everything, where everyone is capable of dealing with external parties equally well, where everyone can know what’s happening and who’s doing what, then a hierarchy isn’t necessary. Especially if everyone’s on the same page about the goals of the group, purpose, etc. I think as soon as (a) the group gets large enough and/or (b) a division of labour occurs, some sort of separation of duties and perhaps even prestige will occur, which may lead to a hierarchy (which may be different gradations of ‘steepness’ and/or enforcement).

    Separation of duties is certainly necessary in a large organization, but while that can lead to a hierarchy, it doesn’t intrinsically have to. It definitely takes some care in the basic setup and structure, as well as plenty of maintenance, but what system doesn’t?

    Pteryxx 68
    There’s no reason companies like Experian should be allowed to continue to exist.

  83. says

    The grain beetles are everywhere. Today I burned a bread cutting board I once thought was clean, but the little buggers had managed to hide, feed and breed under the… the pieces of wood that comprise the cutting surface. Tines?

  84. says

    Ann Coulter on a Reddit Ask Me Anything:

    …. Bad things happen when Democrats win huge majorities, see, e.g. Obamacare. It’s striking, to me at least, that every baby seal Obama has produced to show a grateful beneficiary of Obamacare has been a woman.

    … How about get rid of all gun restrictions and watch the crime rate fall in Chicago? …

    Neither I or my party has any interest in legislating “women’s health issues.” We just want to save the lives of unborn children, which is such a repellant procedure that it is given a euphemism by people who want to kill unborn children as “women’s health issues.”

  85. says

    Lynna at 102, I tutored a woman in her 30’s who was trying to pass the CBEST, the California teacher’s test. She kept failing the math portion, which goes up to basic algebra and minimal geometry. She has a Master’s Degree in English, and was completely innumerate when we started. Her issues with math went way back to second or third grade. I was amazed. I worked with her for 6 months, and she passed. I hope that some of what I taught her actually stuck with her. I cannot imagine life without math, and I’m a theater major.

    Has anyone else read Orange is the New Black? I’m reading it for a book club, and am not watching the show. I’m a third of the way in and finding it shallow and uninspiring.

  86. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    Question to all:

    Are college rankings actually important (for undergrad)? And what else is important to look for in a university?

    Because my parents are all yelling to me “Why don’t you apply to prestigious school X, become a high-paying office worker, and have grandchildren to prevent Idiocracy from happening”… as if a)I actually want to become a businessman(no business or man for me please kthx) and b) my happiness and life satisfaction while there is not important compared to prestige.


  87. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I received a request to sign a petition on to request that Coca Cola issue a formal statement condemning Russia’s anti-gay policies. The letter is addressed to the CEO of Coke. I intended to write maybe a paragraph or two… I think that I shall never be concise:

    As a gay man living in the United States I have the privilege of living in a country where homosexuality is not criminalized. While I see room for significant progress toward equality, I am able to engage in daily activities, work or socialize without the fear of facing jailtime, becoming a victim of brutality or killed for being gay.

    Such is not the case for LGBT people living in Russia.

    Although it is the 21st century and humanity has conquered many diseases, extended the quality of life for countless people, split the atom, ventured to the moon and more, socially we have so much more to do. In addition to the difficulties of everday life, countless people find their lives negatively impacted by racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, xenophobia, religious bigotry and homophobia. This last one is both a personal and a global problem.

    Ostensibly, LGBT persons are equal to everyone else. In practice though, they are victims in many parts of our world.
    1- They face people who would deny them the right of marriage.
    All because they-we-do not engage in socially approved relationships.
    All adults should have the freedom to enter any relationship with another adult so long as it is consensual. There is no rational basis for denying the right of two (or more) consenting adults to engage in a relationship of their choosing. The gender or sex of the individuals is irrelevant.

    Opponents of marriage equality use the same naturalistic arguments, appeals to authority and emotional appeals as opponents of interracial marriage once did.
    They are just as unpersuasive in their efforts to undermine the happiness of LGBT people.

    As with interracial relationships, no government should be dictating the type of relationship consenting adults may enter into.

    (If the relationship is not consensual, or a minor is involved, it is the duty of a government to intervene. Neither applies to the overwhelming majority of same sex relationships)

    2- LGBT youth face bullying at school from instructors and peers. Bullying has long term consequences. For some teens, bullying is too much to bear and they take their own lives.

    All because the sex of the person we find ourselves attracted to.

    3- many LGBT people face discrimination at work as well as harassment and bullying. As a result, these people often suffer from emotional and financial distress.

    For no reason other than the sex of the person(s) they are in a relationship with.

    4- Some countries take a radical position on homosexuality. Rather than recognize that human sexuality is multi faceted and no expression [of that sexuality] is better or worse than the others, some repressive, authoritarian countries choose to criminalize–under penalty of death–the expression of love between partners of the same sex.

    For anyone fighting for equality…
    Anyone who believes that such oppression is antithetical to a progressive philosophy…
    For people who feel helpless as their friends are denied the right to adopt…
    For the families of murdered teens like Matthew Shepard…
    …the oppression of LGBT individuals is inhumane and unconscionable.

    I do not live in Russia, but the suffering of LGBT people concerns me. It concerns me because there is no justification for such horrific treatment. The continued bigotry against LGBT individuals is in direct opposition of universal human rights.
    I am also concerned because I would never want such experiences to happen to me. I want to live in a world where no one is subjected to such violations of their rights. The thought of anyone being made to suffer in the ways described above is horrific.

    I can speak out.
    I can write letters.
    I can condemn bigotry.
    I can support organizations dedicated to equality.

    I cannot, however, take on an entire country.
    At least, not alone.

    So I implore you, As an Olympic sponsor, please:

    – Speak out against the Russian anti-gay “propaganda” law and call for its repeal before the Olympics.

    – Donate funds to Russian human rights defenders.

    – Ask the Olympic Committee to change the rules so future Olympics can only happen in countries that fully respect equality.

    Coke is a brand name recognized the world over. The amount of financial support that could be provided is staggering. So too is the potential social power of a world renowned company to speak out…to speak up…to fight for the marginalized and to refuse to accept a status quo that says “some people are equal”.

    Thank you for your time.

  88. says

    thunk @109

    Rankings are not *that* important to my mind, but they can give you some general ideas about a school. I think that the main advantage of a prestige school is networking, but I would not have benefitted from that since I hate networking and selling myself. I adored my very small liberal arts uni in Hilo, Hawaii for undergrad, and was very disappointed by the large San Diego State univ of my grad program. There are lists out there that do rankings a bit differently. Try for further info.

  89. carlie says

    thunk – take what I say as not expert in job-getting, because I am not an employer (I’m a college professor), but what I saw in college and what I’ve seen in teaching is that the most important factor for college success is a good “fit” with the university that you’re at. Yes, prestigious places give you more opportunities for going to neat seminars. They might get you more prestigious professors (but you can’t count on that because the higher star quality, the less they teach and the more likely you are to get grad students or adjuncts). Larger places give more opportunities for social groups. Higher diversity in classes and electives make for a more well-rounded experience. If you’re talking serious Ivy League, you might get better connections that could help you land a job (that’s where we get into the area I don’t know about). But by far, the thing I see sink students over and over and over again is whether they fit with where they’re at. When I was in college, a girl across the hall lasted two weeks, crying every night, then moved back home. I’ve seen students crash and burn over and over and over, from homesickness or not making friends or being scared of the class size or scared of the town or hating their major or hating whatever. I’ve seen students flunk out, I’ve seen them switch colleges four or five times and take an extra two years to finish, I’ve seen them fall apart in depression and anxiety disorders. Successful students are comfortable students. If you hate where you are, you won’t do well regardless of how great the place is objectively because it will eat you alive. I’ve seen it happen many times.

    I don’t know about your family (and am not fishing for info), but it seems from things you’ve written that your family is comfortable financially. That means you might be able to do the single best thing possible, which is to visit colleges. They don’t have to be far away, just find ones around your area that you can check out for size; take a few days over a break to make a round trip and visit several. Small private, medium public or private, large public, whatever, just a range of a few types. It doesn’t take long to get a decent idea of what kind of place works for you. That will help you narrow down in an informed way – you can talk with your parents then about wanting to focus your prospective-college efforts to schools of x size, or with an average class size of x, or public v. private, or with a heavy Greek presence, or places with an honor school with separate housing, whatever sounded good to you and felt right on your visits. Honestly, I think that’s more important even than major; if you’re in a place that has few majors and you end up wanting to change majors and have to switch schools, but were doing well there and have a good GPA and college life habits built up, you’ll be in a lot better place than a student who could switch to a different major at the same school but has two semesters’ worth of Ds and Fs on their transcript from not being able to handle life there and might not even get accepted into the other program.

    Speaking of which, another option is to pick somewhere that seems good to you with the plan to transfer somewhere else from the very beginning. Everyone knows people who start at a community college and then transfer to get college for cheaper, but there are other reasons to transfer, too. If college seems scary, go somewhere close and small for the first year to get your footing, then transfer to Big Prestige Place. Your first school doesn’t have to be your only school.

  90. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    College ranking is of varying importance. If you want to major in [degree] and make your career in the associated field, it of course makes sense to go to a school that has a strong program. Strong in the sub-speciality (if any) of your choice is better. There’s also the value of networking – if a lot of people who have the career you want went to a certain school, then going there makes a certain amount of sense, because alumni and alumnae are likely to have a network there that you can tap into in order to get yourself in the door. If this says “Old Boys Club” to you, congratulations, that is exactly what that is.

    That means that when searching for colleges, it helps to do the following:

    (1) Make a list of your non-negotiables in a college. Do you want to be an engineer? Every college you apply to must offer an engineering major. Is it important to you that the college be LGBT friendly? Be sure to research schools and find queer-friendly campuses (and administrations). Have you won a scholarship? Make sure every college on your list accepts said scholarship (or make the scholarship optional).

    (2) Make a list of things that would be nice, but you can do without. Prefer an urban setting but you’d be fine in a moderately-sized town? Note that. You’d like to do Greek, but it’s not a big deal? Note that.

    (3) Make a list of absolutely-nots. Have an abiding loathing for Bible-thumping and conservative politics? Note that, so that you don’t accidentally apply to Bob Jones University. Your worst enemy is going to Michigan? Look into Ohio.

    Google can help you find schools that fit your criteria. Then: if you can, VISIT. Get a feel for the place. Walk around. Talk to people – students, administrators, professors.

    Finally, I don’t know your situation, but keep the price tag in mind. If the school costs $50,000 a year, can you afford that? What’s more, if you go there on loans and land a job in your field, can you afford to get out of debt in a reasonable amount of time?

  91. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Actually, thats ALLOUT.ORG, not

    I could use a bit of help if anyone has the chance.
    I cant send the darn form bc my phone will not let me enter a country. I just need my name, email address, the country and my zip code
    The two hours it took to type that on my phone will be worth it with ‘send’…

  92. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    What were the supposed benefits of your neighbors spiritual retreat?

  93. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    Weed Monkey: Try dropping things you don’t want to burn into the freezer for 24 hours.

    Bag of beans & grains spend the night there before being put on the shelf, too — it help to keep the bug out of the house in the first place.

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Question for the commentariat/lurkers. Do you have any experience, good or bad, of using an Apple TV device for transferring video from the computer to the TV?

    Winter is approaching, and as the Redhead gets more bundled, she gets less mobile, including not able to change DVD in the player. A menu driven WiFi device with a simple remote sounds just like what she needs….

  95. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    I’ve visited two schools out of the 10 I’m applying to, culled from a list of forty that were noted as being strong in physics and meteorology (the fields I’m looking into). The problem is that whenever I try to visit more, dad starts whining about “why are you applying to this podunk place that isn’t ranked highly and has high sticker price” despite the fact I don’t know what sort of aid I will get there and the fact that I’m just fscking visiting.


  96. says

    Markita Lynda, I keep all the grains in the freezer at the moment. Just to be sure, even peas and coffee and every dry thing that comes in a cardboard box that has folds in it, in which the little fuckers can hide. Originally I found them in rice, and they had made a nest in the folds of a tin jar where I kept rice. Dozens fell out when I tapped the side of the jar.

    My sister had a pretty priceless expression on her face (“what the hell” and “I don’t want to ask”) when she visited for a cuppa, and I picked coffee, coffee filters and tea out of the freezer.

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

    Prettiest European city:
    Voted for Florence, and I’ve only visited 4 cities from the list. Nope, Dubrovnik isn’t one of them. It was always too expensive for my family, and now that it has become even more posh, I’m reluctant to spend five days there and spend the same money I could turn into a ten days long holiday in Florence.

  98. chigau (違う) says

    We in the frozen north miss out on alot of interesting household vermin.
    yay? -40°F

  99. blf says

    We in the frozen north miss out on alot of interesting household vermin.

    Yeah, Polar Bearsyeti are boring

  100. chigau (違う) says

    Weed Monkey
    (62rdndth or whatever)
    I’m at 53°N and we have minus temps overnight.
    I still haven’t dug the potatoes.

  101. rq says


    Separation of duties is certainly necessary in a large organization, but while that can lead to a hierarchy, it doesn’t intrinsically have to.

    You’re right, of course. My initial answer was also pretty instinctive and off-the-cuff. I thought about it a bit more, and while certain states of emergency might work best with a hierarchy (things involving the use of the/a military, where speed and organization are important), if this hierarchy is sort of self-assembling and then self-dissolving once the emergency is over, then I don’t see why everything else can’t be non-hierarchical. Decisions might make a long time, or there could be a large series of elected committees with representation that rotates extremely regularly and with very strict rules.
    Actually, back in the late 80s, there was a pretty non-hierarchical command structure floating around Latvia, in case of the emergency that did happen. It was basically an anonymous manifesto written by, from what I know, a rather large group of people, that was also a very specific plan of action that everyone (who needed to be) was familiar with. And essentially, when the call came out, with no particular leadership or organization, people from all over the country brought their heavy machinery to the capital and set up barricades (I think certain buildings were assigned to certain regions, with other locations covered on an overflow basis). Everyone had a role and everything worked, but there was no leadership (that emerged later, when certain people decided to take advantage of the situation – I think partially because there was no set plan for what would happen after the emergency). This is kind of what it looked like.
    So, while I think a well-organized hierarchy might still work better in a changing situation requiring very fast responses, the hierarchy is probably a less intrinsic thing than I initially thought in any other well-organized but level organization.

  102. rq says

    The earth is as good place as any to store potatoes over winter…
    Might be difficult getting to them later.
    I’ve heard *coughcough* that digging through frozen earth and layers of snow is no fun at all.

    When it’s yeti all the damn time, then yes, it gets boring.

  103. says

    Is there an award for being terminally stupid?
    If yes I’m going to claim it with Mr. as a runner-up.
    Now, I’m having a pretty miserable week. Apart from the fact that my timetable is packed anyway, I also have to prepare a shitload of things because yesterday was the little one’s birthday, which means cupcakes and stuff gallore. And I’m pretty sick. A nasty cold, apparently some kind of belly bug and if that wasn’t enough I have my period as well, but since it’s only week 2 of the term I cannot take a day off.*
    Along comes Wednesday. On Wednesdays I have an internship at a school. That is challenging, because that school starts at 7:50 and I cannot drop off #1 earlier than 7:30 when her school opens the doors. But usually that is doable, because the other school is in the next village, I’m already 1/3 of the way there when I drop off #1, but now there are roadworks and that road is closed. This doesn’t only mean that I need to take a detour that makes the way twice as long, it also means that everybody else needs to take that detour, too and there’s a massive traffic jam.
    So now today I had the luxury of being able to leave a bit earlier because Mr. was here for the little one’s birthday**, but it was no use. The road was totally packed. I sent the teacher a message that I would be late but that I was on my way while I sat in the car almost crying. But I made sure to remind Mr. that he had to take #1 to the back door at school for the daycare, because the main door is of course closed during the autumn break…

    *Miss 2 classes and you’re out. And I never know when I need to take time off urgently because the kids are sick.

    **Remember I’m a part-time single mum with Mr. usually coming home on Friday and leaving again on Sunday

    Weed Monkey
    My sympathies. I hate those fuckers, too.
    If you have an Ikea close and can somehow afford them, I really recommend these boxes. I know it’s a starting investment, but they really pay off by the second time you don’t have to throw everything away. I had grain beetles several times, because they come already with the cardboard boxes and paper bags you buy the stuff in, but so far they were not able to escape those boxes, which means that I only had to throw away that particular item.

  104. says

    The nearest Ikea is an hour and a half train ride away so it’s not really an option, but I think I’ve seen similar boxes at the local Minimani. (yes, the name is a bad pun.)

    Freezing boxes also have tight lids, but they’re usually quite small.

  105. Frankie says

    Everyone brace themselves please

    oh boy, this video on the cutting board is brutal. I almost feel sorry for freethoughtblogs!

  106. carlie says

    thunk – ok, that helps – that means your best bet is looking for “best value” college lists, rather than straight academic rankings. The best value lists combine academic/satisfaction ratings with sticker price so that more of the cheap ones make the top ranks.

  107. lpetrich says

    Here’s a major source of problems with US politics, I think:

    Duverger’s law – Wikipedia First Past the Post produces a two-party system, while proportional representation produces a multiparty system. Top-two runoff elections produce an in-between state. That happens because votes for additional parties in FPTP systems are usually wasted, and because one does not need many votes to get represented in a PR system.

    US national, state, and local elections mostly use First Past the Post, with primaries making them a halfway runoff system. The US has been faithful to Duverger’s law for nearly all the time since political parties emerged in the mid 1790’s. First it was Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans, then in the 1820’s, the Federalists faded and the Democratic-Republicans split in two. One half became the Democratic Party, which has existed ever since, and the other half first the National Republicans, then the Whigs. When the Whigs collapsed in the mid 19th cy., the Republicans emerged, and the Republican Party has also existed ever since.

    The Republican Party was originally strongest in the north, much like the present-day Democratic Party. But over the past half-century, it has changed from the party of Abraham Lincoln to the party of Jefferson Davis.

    What can be done?

    PR can be implemented state-by-state in the House without amending the US Constitution. One need not have pure party-list PR. One can have mixed-member PR, like in Germany and New Zealand. Here’s how it would work. Each multi-rep state has electoral districts, but for only some fraction of its reps. The state’s remaining reps are elected in party-list fashion, to make the overall delegation proportional.

    A nice thing about PR is that it makes it easier to have multiple parties. How would the two major US parties split? How might they recombine as coalitions? I think that that could be good for isolating neo-Confederates, for instance.

  108. opposablethumbs says

    Argh, Giliell, what a perfectly shitty combination of conditions. Did it at least come as any relief when you realised – and when it actually sank in – that it was half-term and no school? After the frustration and traffic-stress had time to wear off, at least?

    I’m sorry you had the day(s) from hell, and I hope you feel better soon. And that little one’s birthday went OK!

  109. says

    I felt more like “I’m such an idiot”. I hope the teacher didn’t keep her mobile close to her bed or she’ll hate me for all times.
    Birthday yesterday was just the four of us plus cupcakes in kindergarten. Her friends will be coming on Saturday.

    If your book gets a dead-tree-edition it will be one of the few books I’m willing to buy as one

  110. birgerjohansson says

    Please never follow this example:
    ” India digs for treasure on tip from Hindu holy man”
    Technically, if you dig deep enough into the crust you will eventually find some ore deposits…ten miles down or so.

    …or this example:
    “Outrage erupts over buddhist temple fresco restored by Chinese officials with cartoon-like paintings”

  111. awakeinmo says

    I watched the Frontline on drug-resistant bacteria last night. It prompted a desire to hide under the bed, but then I imagined getting scratched by the bedframe and contracting a gram-negative superbug.

    Learning is fun.

  112. Pteryxx says

    crossposting here b/c I buried this at the end of the Slate Yoffe thread:

    The ongoing conversation yields some excellent, information-packed recent posts.

    From hoydenabouttown:

    as campaigns in Canada and Scotland have shown in recent years, there are information campaigns that actually do make a difference in lowering the rate of sexual assault on people who are drunk, and they do it by using messages targeting potential rapists rather than potential victims. Emphasising how sexually exploiting alchoholic incapacitation is a despicable act is the method, instead of shrugging at the status quo of it being some achievement that is OK for perpetrators to brag about: actively working against the Bystander/Facilitator effect that enables rapists to get away with “plausible deniability” about non-consensual sex when alcohol is involved.

    and Thomas at Yes Means Yes has the best title: Cockblocking Rapists Is A Moral Obligation; or, How To Stop Rape Right Now

    Offer Options

    If you think someone is acting like a rapist, sizing up a target — encouraging intoxication, testing boundaries — then one of their best tools they have is to limit the target’s options. The rapist wants to get the target isolated. But when “hey, let’s go be alone somewhere” isn’t working, it may be because the target already has a bad feeling. If the target needs something — a ride home, a place to sleep, that sort of thing — then they may be willing to overlook misgivings if the rapist is the one offering it. A rapist will always want to be the target’s only ride home, only place to stay, etc.

    It’s pretty easy to keep that from happening. If the drunkest person in the room has been left by their ride, and the person who has been pushing them to drink more is offering to take them home, they may not want to go, but they may not have a better option. Providing that option may be what gets your friend away from the potential rapist.

  113. says

    Tony @117:

    What were the supposed benefits of your neighbors spiritual retreat?

    The usual: make you feel really good about being ignorant, make you healthier (she still smokes cigarettes, so I guess that part didn’t take), assure you that you will be rich on earth and rich in heaven — strike all the previous — the real benefit was to the organizers, who took her money.

    Neighbor is not rich on earth either.

  114. says

    Check out the first video in The Rachel Maddow Show lineup from last night. She’s talking about the ways in which Republicans fail miserably when they choose “experts” to advise them. 18 minutes well-spent.

    During the Romney/Obama fight for the presidency I kept thinking that Romney’s main problem was that he did not know how to vet his sources.

    Here’s some text from Steve Benen on the same subject:
    Benen’s article relies, to some degree, on you having seen Rachel’s segment.

  115. David Marjanović says

    the ways in which Republicans fail miserably when they choose “experts” to advise them

    Let me guess: Only those of our tribe can have the truth! Everyone else is deluded by ideologies and/or Satan!

    . “What? Rationalism coming out of Texas? They got flying swine too?”

    In the land where judges are not just elected, but are put up as candidates by a fucking party so they can run under “I will not be impartial!”, a judge in Texas has had enough of his homophobic fellow Republicans and joins the Democratic Party.

    New poll: Republican Party clobbered itself during the shutdown“. “Essentially, Republicans had less room to drop than Democrats because they started out even lower. Yet despite already starting out in an even worse position than Democrats position [sic], they tanked even harder. And that’s really good news for future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” One of the tags is “Klan of Birchers”. :-D

    Bill Clinton, the best Republican president you ever had… and other cruel jokes of history.

  116. David Marjanović says


    Texas Textbook Publishers Say No To Creationism. “What? Rationalism coming out of Texas? They got flying swine too?”

    In the land where judges are not just elected, but are put up as candidates by a fucking party so they can run under “I will not be impartial!”, a judge in Texas has had enough of his homophobic fellow Republicans and joins the Democratic Party.

    New poll: Republican Party clobbered itself during the shutdown“. “Essentially, Republicans had less room to drop than Democrats because they started out even lower. Yet despite already starting out in an even worse position than Democrats position [sic], they tanked even harder. And that’s really good news for future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” One of the tags is “Klan of Birchers”. :-D

    Bill Clinton, the best Republican president you ever had… and other cruel jokes of history.

  117. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    A quick sneak in to thank people for the virtual hugs and the like. Kind of needed it. I’ve had a hell of a few months (ex taking custody of the kids for the time, trying to find a place to live on a Hellmart income, having to put one of my dogs down, another elderly dog in decline after a bout of Vestibular Syndrome, trying to re-home my horse, the list goes on…) This was kind of the santorum icing on the shit cake. I sold my hay pickup for much less than I paid for it to get a computer, winter hay, and hopefully a decent TV/ dvd player for the kids, and then I can put whatever insurance money comes towards bills and a deposit on a place. I do kind of feel proud of myself though- even with my major depression kicking my ass big time I haven’t completely shut down. Sure, my house is a mess and there’s some things not getting done, but I’m able to go to work and be there for my kids. Pretty big accomplishments for me.

  118. says

    David M. @150:

    Let me guess: Only those of our tribe can have the truth! Everyone else is deluded by ideologies and/or Satan!

    Well, yes, sort of. But also it is a plus if the “expert” fulfills the macho fantasy. In this case:
    – arsenal, check
    – bare chested photo with gun, check
    – fucking 17 year old girls, check and check again (fucked ten 17-year-old girls and brags about it incessantly)
    – fleeing from criminal indictments, check
    – hides his money in off-shore accounts, check
    – made millions selling a defective product, check

  119. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness, Orson Scott Card category.

    Mormon goofball and former almost-good author, Orson Scott Card, has outdone himself with his new book.

    “Speaker for the Dead” sets Ender up as a white male savior, and implies a female character deserves abuse…

    Salon link.

  120. says

    Trouble with new Texas Voter I.D. laws? No, not really, since some Republicans in Texas prefer that women not vote. It’s all okay.

    A Texas district judge who has been voting for the past five decades was almost barred from the polls Tuesday, thanks to the state’s newly implemented, stricter voter ID law. The law kicked in on Tuesday as early voting in Texas’ November 5 election began.

    As she told local channel Kiii News, 117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts was flagged for possible voter fraud because her driver’s license lists her maiden name as her middle name, while her voter registration form has her real middle name. This was the first time she has ever had a problem voting in 49 years. “What I have used for voter registration and for identification for the last 52 years was not sufficient yesterday when I went to vote,” she said.

  121. David Marjanović says

    Well, yes, sort of. But also it is a plus if the “expert” fulfills the macho fantasy. In this case:

    Clearly he’s the very best of our tribe.

    A quick sneak in to thank people for the virtual hugs and the like. Kind of needed it.

    *pouncehug* ^_^

  122. says

    Good news: we the people are going to save even more money than we thought.

    The Affordable Care Act’s Lower-Than-Projected Premiums Will Save $190 Billion ….

    The Affordable Care Act is already working: Intense price competition among health plans in the marketplaces for individuals has lowered premiums below projected levels. As a result of these lower premiums, the federal government will save about $190 billion over the next 10 years, according to our estimates. These savings will boost the health law’s amount of deficit reduction by 174 percent and represent about 40 percent of the health care savings proposed by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform—commonly known as the Simpson-Bowles commission—in 2010.

    Moreover, we estimate that lower premiums will lower the number of uninsured even further, by an additional 700,000 people, even as the number of individuals who receive tax credits will decline because insurance is more affordable.

    In short, the Affordable Care Act is working even better than expected, producing more coverage for much less money.

    American Progress (org) link.

  123. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    What, exactly, is love?

    Honestly? I don’t know either. I agree that it’s a pattern of actions, but I think it’s also a decision to stay, and try. Over and over again, especially when things get hard (not abuse hard, just life hard).

    Whether it’s parental love or romantic love, for me that’s what it boils down to – deciding to stay, deal with the problem and try to do as well as I can.

    Added to that, on the emotional component of love, I dont’ think there’s one feeling that makes you go “oh, this feeling = love”. In romantic love, for example with my husband, when I feel safe and listened to and respected, I get a feeling of “I want to keep staying with this person”.

    Sometimes this makes me worry, but we’ve been married for 8 years now and it’s still working, so.

    Don’t know if that makes any sense, but I thought I’d at least try.

    I fucking hate people who argue that family is about love and you should stick together no matter what. For some of us, family is about terror.

    I absolutely 100% agree. And the “family love uber alles” argument is such a convenient and socially supported one for abusers to use to trap you into all kinds of things you don’t want, like ongoing contact with an abuser who’s a family member and so on. Toxic all the way down.

    Bassmike I’m sorry about your daughter! Hope she gets well soon.

    Crudely Wrott ALL the comfort food and hugs where appropriate to you.

    spamamander, internet amphibian I’m so sorry, the robbery and everything else you’ve been dealing with sucks heaps.

    Kevin, that’s awesome, congratulations!

  124. Pteryxx says

    A follow-up on the camera crew harassing cosplayers at NYCC: they used press credentials from SiriusXM radio, despite filming for a douchey youtube channel called Man Banter. On closer examination the credentials appeared to be forged – at least the crew wasn’t there in any sort of affiliation with SiriusXM. Now, however, it’s apparent that Man Banter lead Mike Babchik really is a SiriusXM employee – a producer and personality for Mad Dog Sports Radio – and was misusing his cred.

    In addition to Tweets from Mad Dog Sports Radio’s account, we also found Soundcloud segments featuring Babchik on air as recently as late September. There’s pretty clear evidence that Babchik is, in fact, a SiriusXM employee. He’s just trying to cover his tracks.

    And that’s how we got to where we are now: calling for SiriusXM to fire Babchik for his unethical, disgusting behavior. While we’ve received some fantastic support from the Comic Con community–the overwhelming majority of whom want to keep their convention safe and accessible to everyone–SiriusXM have been less than cooperative. We’ve also been getting pushback from, ostensibly, Babchik himself. Our original Facebook post was reported as harassment (yes, the irony is not lost on us) and we were banned from Facebook for a day.

    When we returned, we tried to post to SiriusXM’s page asking them why they’re not doing anything about Mike Babchik. The 18MR members who did so had their comments deleted, even though SiriusXM answers almost every other inquiry they receive via Facebook.

    We still want SiriusXM to fire Babchik, because his behavior is absolutely beyond the pale. Misrepresenting yourself to gain access to Comic Con, harassing attendees, and then trying to backtrack is completely unacceptable. SiriusXM needs to know about his antics and take appropriate action. Help us tell Sirius this is unacceptable.


  125. opposablethumbs says

    spamander, I think that dealing with all this on top of everything else you have on your plate right now is bloody impressive. That you are hanging in there, and working and being there for your kids and coping with all the practical hassle of insurance etc. Please take as many hugs from the pile as you would like, and have an extra wow to go with them.

    Between us, SonSpawn and I screwed up on the dates for a probably-great concert to which he had a specially discounted super-cheap student ticket which I had paid for by phone; I thought it was today and in fact it was yesterday – so he had missed it. And today the box office line was first busy (I left a message) and then closed for the day. Despair all round – so gutted. But!!!! They returned my call! And when I explained, they said he could go to tonight’s performance (the last one) instead! Thankyouthankyouthankyou, nice box office person. Phew.

  126. cicely says

    Lion kittehs!

    Something about a Tabletop RPG-related Kickstarter. Quoting the bit that makes it look as if this might be of interest (supposing it takes off):
    “The reason I’m backing this Kickstarter is because it’s actively advertising itself as gender-neutral and LGBT-friendly.”

    my new-and-unwillingly-found BREAD!!!! deprivation…

    Sorry, I missed that. What happened? The bagels revolted? You found peas in your flour? You accidentally bought a Moose Turd Pie?

    My digestive system, in general, revolted. I found flour in my flour. There was Gluten (now capitalized to give it equals status with Horses, in terms of gratuitous Evil) lurking in it.
    I understand that the metaphorical “Moose Turd Pie” was (almost certainly) accidentally “purchased” with the rest of my gene-set; it certainly didn’t appear in the Product Description—but then, neither did the gallbladder-of-substandard-manufacture. Or the knees, ditto.
    It is a situation that is Made of Suck and FAIL.

    Peas should be stored in the burn barrel. Briefly.

    *hugs* and commiserations for Giliell.

    *confetti* for Kevin. With a completely gratuitous hug* added, just ’cause.

  127. cicely says


    I do kind of feel proud of myself though- even with my major depression kicking my ass big time I haven’t completely shut down.

    And rightfully so!
    (The feeling proud part, not the ass kicking part.)

  128. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Tony – *pouncehug with chocolate*

    If I may, does the MQG in your nym stand for anything

    As thunk said, it stands for Motley Queer Groupie. Caine gave me the title a while back.

    Dalillama – *hugs* and good luck!

    David M:

    Close to DC? Because I’ll be there before and (likely) after Skepticon. :-)

    Yes. I live in Sterling, which is a DC suburb. I would love it if we could meet up. =^_^=

    bassmike – I hope all goes well for your daughter. *gentle hugs* for you both.

    Weed Monkey – I’m sorry about the trouble the grain beetles are causing you but

    I wish my vacuum cleaner had a flame thrower attachment.

    made me laugh and my day a bit brighter.

    spamamander – I’m sorry about your losses. *hugs and virtual support*

    ImaginesABeach – *pouncehug*


    women sometimes get breast cancer because it’s the kind of disease that brings people closer?

    That is vile. Worse still, it is probably repeated to people for whom the words are not merely academic.

    Giliell – *sterile internet hugs*

    Kevin – Congratulations! *more confetti*

  129. blf says

    Today’s dog-bites-person news, Sexual harassment in the workplace is endemic:

    Workplace harassment is rife — and it is affecting men as well as women, according to a shocking new report by the Everyday Sexism Project. It’s time to stop blaming the victims and start taking the issue seriously

    “Was asked to join in threesome with boss and his deputy” — “Told to sit on my boss’s lap if I wanted my Christmas bonus” — “Heard partners assessing female candidates according to their attractiveness” — “Told to get an abortion or resign as two pregnant workers was unfair”

    Workplace harassment is one of the most common issues reported to the Everyday Sexism Project — in fact, we have collected nearly 10,000 entries on this topic alone.

    So it is no surprise today that a new study by law firm Slater & Gordon has revealed that one in six women have had colleagues look down their blouse, almost half have experienced comments about their breasts in the workplace and one in eight have left jobs because workplace harassment has made them feel so uncomfortable. The study suggests that sexual harassment in the workplace is rife among both men and women, with almost 40% of men also reporting experiences. But 60% of those surveyed say they have kept a possible harassment incident to themselves, making this an invisible, yet enormously common problem. …

    [W]hen victims do find the courage to come forward, they frequently report being dismissed, as the problem is belittled and normalised: “A male boss said he’d ‘love to bend me over’ and more, I reported it to female supervisor who said I was being ‘sensitive.'”

    When workplace harassment hits the headlines, people often react by asking why victims don’t simply stand up for themselves — why didn’t they make a fuss, or firmly put their harasser in his or her place? This attitude completely fails to take into account the power dynamics of many workplace harassment scenarios; the vulnerability of many victims and the fear of losing one’s job, particularly at a time when employment is scarce and public attitudes towards victims are unsympathetic. Even if some people are able to stand up for themselves in such a scenario, the point is that nobody should have to — these are serious offences …

    It’s time to start taking workplace harassment seriously, listening to victims, and, above all, placing blame firmly where it belongs: with the perpetrator.

  130. says

    Oh, yeah, Republicans are fielding more reasonable candidates for upcoming elections. Not.

    Chris McDaniel is taking the “GOP Civil War” to a new level. Two months ago, the tea party-backed Mississippi Senate candidate addressed a neo-Confederate conference and costume ball hosted by a group that promotes the work of present-day secessionists and contends the wrong side won the “war of southern independence.” Other speakers at the event included a historian who believes Lincoln was a Marxist and Ryan Walters, a PhD candidate who worked on McDaniel’s first political campaign and wrote recently that the “controversy” over President Barack Obama’s birth certificate “hasn’t really been solved.” …

    Republicans and tea party insurgents and are backing right-wing challenges to incumbent Republicans whom they deem insufficiently conservative. Cochran, who is finishing out his 35th year in the Senate and has not said if he will seek re-election, earned the ire of tea partiers by voting to re-open the federal government and avert defaulting on the debt. McDaniel, whose campaign bus features an image of Article I of the Constitution, has promised to make Cochran’s debt ceiling vote a centerpiece of his campaign. …

    Nice photo of Chris McDaniel in front of a giant Confederate flag at the link.
    Mother Jones link.

  131. says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy @159:

    That one’s not new; it came out in the 80s.

    I’m not sure what you are referring to. How can a study of Obamacare’s economic impact come from the 1980s? The link leads to an article written on October 23, 2013

    I assume you are referring to my comment #158.

  132. says

    Yay for decent box office person

    For everything you’re dealing with right now, you’re kicking ass!

    Sorry for the gluten intolerance.
    I find lactose intolerance bad enough, but at least lactase can be bought in neat little pills…

  133. cicely says

    Giliell: I’m…getting used to it. Every now and then, something “new” on the Forbidden! List strikes me. Last night, it was the realization that no, I can’t order a grilled cheese sandwich; and, pending the discovery of a bread recipe that The Husband and I can make work—so far, the ones we’ve tried are not economically feasible on a routine basis, won’t rise, and are not durable—I can’t make one at home, either.
    Last week, it was cinnamon rolls.
    :( :( :( :(
    Sorry, all; these are minor annoyances, on the grand scheme of things, and worse things happen at sea without bread or chocolate or cheese…but damn, I love bread….

  134. Tethys says

    Reading Lynna’s link at #83 about growing up poor affecting brain development

    The study tested adult subjects’ emotional responses to negative images. The half of the study group who grew up poor were “less able than other participants to minimize their emotional reactions to negative images,” according to Bloomberg. That reduced emotional processing ability carries serious consequences,


    It doesn’t detail exactly what the negative images might be, but I fail to see how not minimizing emotional reactions is tantamount to reduced emotional processing ability. It sounds very much like the MRA’s schtick where they say something truly horrible, and then try to justify it by claiming that any offense is entirely due to you being irrational and emotional.

    It’s called empathy research dudes, but thanks for demonizing the poor.
    How dare we be emotional about others suffering!

  135. Bicarbonate says

    My second daughter had three epileptic seizures on Friday. This is new. She was hospitalized Friday night but they released her on Saturday morning under heavy anti-seizure medication. Today she called me sobbing, then catatonic, then sobbing. The love of her life just dumped her. Was on the phone with her for hours. I read and sang to her and meanwhile texted my other daughter who called a doctor friend in Boston who was able to go and help. While on the phone with me, she was able to get out of bed and open the door for the doctor. Now she and the doctor friend are deciding what to do. In 15 minutes I have to call back.

  136. Pteryxx says

    O_o oy, Bicarbonate, hang in there. I’m sorry, I don’t know your situation – can she come to stay with you, or can someone go to her and take her in for even a few days so she isn’t alone?

    Why is this damn country so big…

  137. opposablethumbs says

    Bloody hell, Bicarbonate. I’m very sorry for your daughter. So glad that you and your other daughter between you were able to get her some help.

    All my wishes for her to be ok and get through this. May I offer you some hugs?

  138. Bicarbonate says

    Thank you for the hugs, really need them. Trying to get through on the phone right now.

  139. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    I love bread….

    I totally understand; I love bread too. Are you required to eat gluten free? (I’m sorry; I missed the part where you said why you can’t eat bread.) That’s my world these days.

    Bicarbonate – *hugs* for you and your second daughter. I’m so sorry. I hope things improve for her soon, and I’m very happy to hear that you and your other daughter can help and support her.

  140. Bicarbonate says

    What kind of asshole, I don’t know. My mother says she’s seen lots of men do that sort of thing, that they run away when a woman is sick.

  141. says

    So many of you are having troubles, I’m just going to leave this big pile of hugs right here, and add that you’re in my thoughts.

  142. ChasCPeterson says

    Nice photo of Chris McDaniel in front of a giant Confederate flag at the link.

    ‘shopped. Sez so right in the caption.

    I too am experiencing some nontrivial life-problems, but nothing like a suddenly ill and abandoned daughter. Hang in there, everybody.

  143. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I expect my work Dell laptop to have a conniption tomorrow. It’s spending the night a laptop carry bag with “MacWorld” on it.

  144. says

    Ah, yes, just what we need, advice on foreign policy from the über right wing. Especially from the über right wing that has the mostest money EVAH:

    The biggest donor to Republican Party political groups said Tuesday that the United States should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran to spur the country to end its own nuclear program.

    That would be Sheldon Adelson, most addlepated billionaire.


  145. David Marjanović says

    Oh! Carlie! I’ll likely spend the 1st week of December in the northern 2/3 of NY and meet ALL THE PHARYNGULITES! You might not know yet, because you’re not on Facebook anymore… :-)

  146. carlie says

    YAY POSSIBLY! :) I go out of town at, I think, Saturday the 7th (conference), so hopefully you mean the actual first week first week? I’m in town that whole first week; it’s the week before finals, but I should be able to do something at some time. My email is carliesinternet at yahoo if we want to do details.

  147. cicely says

    Bicarbonate, I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s troubles.
    *hugs or other, non-intrusive-and-refusable gestures of comfort and support*

    Hekuni Cat, it’s not that I’m required to eat gluten free/low gluten (we’re still trying to find the limit)—it’s that I’m pain averse, and it had really gotten to be quite painful. The diagnosis is informal (I ran experiments with my usual daily inputs)(’cause we really can’t afford to do an extra round with doctors, just now), and found that the only thing/s I was habitually eating, the lack of which co-related with a lack of pain…was the bread. And other wheat products, generally. And I hate rye. And the oat flour failed spectacularly.
    Oddly, I have successfully eaten, digested, and eliminated a large plate of spaghetti, but not a similarly-sized plate of a macaroni dish.
    Anyways, if it isn’t gluten, it’s something that rides with it, and we can use the glutenosity of things for sorting.
    Fifty-five gloriously bread-filled years…and now, this.

  148. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The study tested adult subjects’ emotional responses to negative images. The half of the study group who grew up poor were “less able than other participants to minimize their emotional reactions to negative images,” according to Bloomberg. That reduced emotional processing ability carries serious consequences,


    It doesn’t detail exactly what the negative images might be, but I fail to see how not minimizing emotional reactions is tantamount to reduced emotional processing ability. It sounds very much like the MRA’s schtick where they say something truly horrible, and then try to justify it by claiming that any offense is entirely due to you being irrational and emotional.

    It’s called empathy research dudes, but thanks for demonizing the poor.
    How dare we be emotional about others suffering!

    This reminds me of the study that stated that people with ASDs “fail to integrate certain kinds of information into their decision-making,” in reference to the discovery that people on the spectrum are less vulnerable to certain kinds of manipulative bullshit (IE, characterizing the same objective decision as “avoiding a loss” vs “achieving a gain”).

  149. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    cicely – When you are in a position where you can afford it, you might want to be tested for Celiac Disease. All it takes is a blood test.

    I’m gluten intolerant, but I don’t actually have Celiac. In my case, I was already in considerable pain from my fibromyalgia. My doctor suggested I try gluten free because there can be some overlapping similar symptoms. While the pain didn’t change much (if any), I got my back my ability to think clearly and easily. On the tenth day into the diet, I suddenly felt as if I had woke up for the first time in years. (A thought that came shortly there after was, “This [life, getting things done, etc.] is so easy when you can think clearly.” :D It was and continues to be a wonderful thing, at least most days.

    In short, I wish you much luck finding foods (breads) that will work for you and are affordable. If you know of something you can get in your area, please let me know. I might be able to get it from Wegmans (our grocery store), which was a very extensive gluten-free product line that contains many good foods.

  150. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    David M:

    Also, an e-mail asking for donations tells me that “Virginia state Rep. David Ramadan says he wants to stop any and all new laws to end gun violence and, even worse, says he wants to ‘eliminate all the existing rules’.”

    I’ve seen similar emails. He’s our state representative. I didn’t vote for him originally, and I will be voting to get rid of him next month.

    Chas – *hugs*

  151. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I had an HVAC exam today. I was thinking I should study or something. I went with “or something.” Pretty sure I nailed it.

    And then found out that the idiots at the tech shop disapproved 2/3 of the projects I wanted my groupmates to work on during shop after-hours for spurious reasons (in the first place: I referenced dimensions to an edge that’s rigidly attached to the part where a cut is supposed to be made, rather than to an outer edge that isn’t, but conflicts with The Way Things Are Always Done, and in the second case based on spuriously assuming that the bristles on the brush wouldn’t stand up to being milled to length, even though they’re fucking 1/8in polypropylene), and the ball end mill broke 1/3 of the way through the third, and the after-hours supervisor wouldn’t even let them pre-drill the pieces for the replacement ball end mill because “the drawings spec a rounded bit.”

    People need to stop underestimating me. It’s a bad habit.

    Also, could I pretty fucking please have some good news not balanced by bad news?

    At least the sexytimes are good.

    Sexytimeses. Sexponentiation :D

    (Also the beer. >.>)

  152. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t grok what you’re going on about but clearly you need some rum.
    Hold out your glass.

  153. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …oh, wait, I’m not 101% perfect and occasionally make mistakes, therefore I don’t deserve to have a sex life. Or a job. Or something.

  154. rq says

    Boo for the projects, Yay! for the sexytimes, and if you mix enough rum with cheap white wine, you won’t even know what you’re drinking! ;) *hugs* if you so desire some.

    *hugs* for you, too.

    You are kicking ass. Go you!

    *three cheers* for wonderful box office person, and being able to go to the concert anyway!! I hope it really was amazing!

  155. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Chas @187:
    I hope the crap you are facing diminishes or disappears quickly.

    Hey, good sexytimes is indeed something to be happy for. Hopefully you will see some more good stuff and less bad shit come your way.


    My OT comment in the Religious Right thread got some wheels turning in my head. The last bit about masturbation videos (imagine a XXX Flash Mob showing up at a nightclub simulating or performing masturbation; [META: this is meant to be deliberately silly and/or gratuitous]).
    is what really set my brain on ‘hmmmm’ cycle.

    YouTube has a number of official policies about the content they will allow. No hate speech, no incitement of others to commit violence, no how to’s on weapons making, no mater ial of a gratuitous sexual nature. Like other venues, these policies let people know what is and is not acceptable behavior. I imagine the policies on sexually explicit material are there to protect minors.
    As I sat there imagining a YouTube video called ‘The Masturbation”, I began to think about their videos. Are there any YouTube vids that promote ideas or philosophies of a harmful nature? Or do any of the vloggers hold reprehensible views made apparent in any of their vlogs? If so (and assuming YT is aware of the issue) what makes material such as this (from The Amazing Thrist.:
    (From the link):

    One controversial video is “Bullies,” where he expressed the view that “being a bully doesn’t make you a monster, and being bullied doesn’t make you a victim,” and called suicidal bullying victims “weak.” . This led to a very mixed reaction amongst his audience; he responded to the intense criticism with a follow-up video, “Macho Trolling.

    acceptable, but a Masturbation Flash Mob vid is Totes teh Bad?
    I am not seriously advocating for YouTube to change its policy on material of a sexual nature, so much as reevaluate their community standards. When a Nude Flash Mob Masturbation video would be shot down, while a popular blogger uses his platform to express his very wrongheaded , eviews

  156. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Blasted touchscreen on my phone is screwed up. The above is a quote from The Amazing Atheist.

  157. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    And the end got chopped off too. Sheesh.

    “…while a popular Vlogger uses his platform to express his wrongheaded, ignorant, socially irresponsible opinions , someone needs to reevaluate their community standards.

  158. opposablethumbs says

    Good (early-ish in these parts) morning, Horde. I have another delivery of hugs here, with extra-fluffy ones for those going through hard times. Extra helpings for Bicarbonate, spamander and Chas. And for cicely! Woe bread, I love bread too :-(

    I have been less able to think clearly of late, and I used to be quite good at it at one time … I wonder if I need to investigate diet? I wonder if I actually will … :-(((

    Azkyroth, I could swap your share of the rum for another beverage if you like? Such as extra beer? Plus another boo for the jobsworths in the tech shop.

    Thank you rq :-) Apparently the concert was “indescribable” (I should mention it was the same group (“The Impossible Gentlemen”) who had just given the music students on the super-cheap-special-limited-numbers-student-ticket offer a masterclass the week before, so it was even more unmissable). Most of the students had indeed gone to the performance he missed, but there were a couple of them at last night’s so he had someone to sit with. And it was all good. :-D

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

    As the person who’s leaving this place in about a week, it totally makes sense that I’m the only one caring that an important change is done soon and without errors (it’s too late for it to be on time, since it should have been done 20 days ago).
    Yeah. That…, makes sense.

  160. rq says

    Here’s a smile for all of you.

    And sometimes, I feel a lot like this.

    Also, what is up with Europe not believing that Roma people can have blonde children? They found one blonde girl living with a Roma couple not her birth parents (who are currently under suspicion for kidnapping). Ok, fine, investigate. BUT. What happened next? Police, after receiving tips from the public, removed another two blonde children from their Roma families in Ireland – as it happens, without any basis whatsoever – only to return them after DNA tests proved their relationship… Because you have to look the part. Or something. *sigh* Advanced civilization, you do not make me happy right now.

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

    I don’t think they don’t really understand that Rome people can have blonde children, it’s more that they have found a convenient excuse for demonizing them some more.

    I don’t know how to help Roma people, especially the children. Especially when I recognize the same couple of people I often meet in my neighborhood, but every couple of years bringing another, younger, child to beg with. It makes me so angry. Part of the anger is definitely aimed at the parents. Or aunts/uncles or whatever relation they are to the kids (I’m not entirely sure all those kids are theirs, since I sometimes recognize the same kids accompanying a totally different set of adults).

  162. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Your #213 had me thinking we might have to move your bar seat and name plate into storage. Then I realized you were not talking about leaving *here*

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


    Ups, sorry for the confusion. but now I’m wondering what are you all late with doing? ;)

  164. rq says

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s just something easy to demonize right now – I believe a woman was extradited from France about a week ago or something…? Just seems like there’s a sudden, increased campaign against them. Even more so than usual, that is, considering they’ve never been popular except as figures of mystery and deceit in stories and films. :(
    In June we went to celebrate Midsummer up ‘north’ with some relatives who live in a village that is about 20% Roma. So, these are people who have lived there for generations, educate their children, speak their own language, participate in community events and affairs, and aren’t begging… But they look different. My mum had to point them out in the crowd and whisper loudly to me about how they’re so well integrated here. And it’s just that attitude that doesn’t let them live in peace…
    On the plus side, a town the other end of the country recently disbanded its segregated schooling – yup, they had segregated schooling for Roma children. Apparently the historical basis was for Roma adults to acquire their high school education, but since many of them had jobs and such, they started evening classes specifically for Roma people. Then over the years it carried down to younger generations. But this year, they decided to stop the practice, and to put all the children of similar age / grade level into the same school. Apparently, to no ill effect.

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


    It was a teenager and her family, it made the news because students protested. Other than that, I’m pretty sure Roma people are being extradited from France all the time. Sarkozy started it, but this new gov apparently just kept going with it.

  166. rq says

    Oh I realize that, but because a big deal was made out of that one case (really? it took students to raise some kind of awareness?? hello, adults?), I think more attention is being paid to other situations, that’s all… (All. Ha.)


    Anyway, I love it when I realize Youngest has learned to take his own shoes off. And does so proudly, walking around in his socks. Outside in the frickin rain in October. *sigh* Up next: weather awareness.

  167. Nick Gotts says

    PR can be implemented state-by-state in the House without amending the US Constitution. – lpetrich

    The problem is, the current duopoly have every incentive to resist such a reform, as do the oligarchy, since it might permit the emergence of a party not subordinate to the oligarchs. Conclusion: the USA needs a revolution.

    Congrats to Kevin, commiserations to all needing them.

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

    Even worse. After the protests, Hollande offered her to stay. Only her. So that she could go to school.
    A real choice, eh?

  169. rq says

    Yuh, fantastic. Here’s to those wonderful, equalising French policies, providing opportunities for all, regardless of faith, race, orientation, gender, nail length and vocal range.

  170. birgerjohansson says

    Herne the Hunter? “Pastor dons antlers for Swedish elk hunt sermon”
    Moose hunting is the most powerful religion in Sweden.
    — — — — — — —
    Chemists show life on Earth was not a fluke
    — — — — — — —
    Beatles fever hits small Swedish town
    Their first foreign gig (apart from playing covers in Hamburg) exactly 50 years ago.

  171. says

    Rachel Maddow opened her show last night with, “Let’s say I married John Boehner….” Ouch! It was a good intro though to a segment that covered voter restriction laws. (see first video in the lineup)

    Rachel covered the new Texas voter ID laws that disproportionately affect women, hispanics (and I’ll add poor people). She covered the recent Supreme Court decision that gutted our nationwide voting rights laws, and the new laws in North Carolina were examined.

    1.4 million people in Texas may have trouble voting and/or having their votes counted when Wendy Davis runs for Governor next year. This shit has to be cleaned up.

  172. says

    Anybody else watching the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on the Obamacare website snafus? While discussing, Republican congress critters have shown that they do not know what “source code” is, and that their new conspiracy-of-the-day is that personal health information submitted to the site is broadcast to the world.

    Fecking idiots.’t-know-or-didn’t-disclose

  173. says

    OMG, mormon politicians from Utah breaking the double binds of Republican Party and mormon church to diss each other? Unheard of. Especially from Utah mormon Republicans.

    … It’s time now, Hatch said, for Lee and other tea party Republicans to be “rehabilitated” for refusing to pass a budget bill needed to keep the government operating unless money for the act better known as Obamacare was removed.

    In the usual squishy mormon-speak way, Senator Orrin Hatch went on to make sort of nice. But you have to read between the line here. The very fact that he refused to endorse Lee and then criticized Lee is monumental in Utah politics.

    “I think Sen. Lee has plenty of time to reach out to fellow Utahns and to show he’s worthy of being re-elected,” Hatch said. “The best thing to do is do the job, really work hard, (and) stay away from extremes unless you’re absolutely sure you’re right.”

  174. says

    Yeah, this is head-desking worthy. Some conservatives think Virginia legislators have not gone far enough in their efforts to restrict voting rights.

    Attorney J. Christian Adams sent a notice to Chesterfield County’s general registrar warning that the county is required to purge its voter rolls of dead voters, ineligible voters and those who have moved out of the state. If the county does not follow suit within 90 days, the group, called True the Vote, will go to court to force it to comply with the law, the notice said.

  175. cicely says

    Hekuni Cat: Yeah, I’m wondering/worried about the possibility of celiac disease. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment upcoming next month, and I plan to ask him about it; if it’s a test they can run in-house, it’d be free. If not, of course, I would not be free, but we can consider burning that bridge when we get there.

    Rum doesn’t taste like medicine if you add enough pineapple and coconut.
    Put the rum in the coconut, shake it all up
    Put pineapple with the coconut, shake it all together
    Put more rum with the coconut, make you feel better


    I have been less able to think clearly of late, and I used to be quite good at it at one time … I wonder if I need to investigate diet? I wonder if I actually will … :-(((

    I suspect it of being some sort of specially-derived, weaponized pea, engineered by the Horses.
    This year’s ragweed season seemed (to my feebly-flailing Impaired Rational Capacity) to be unusually Bad and Stupid. If there’s one good thing about falling temperatures, it’s that it puts the damned ragweed temporarily out of business. Seriously, it’s like someone flipped a switch and (to use a regrettably-topical comparison) my brain’s alternator stopped screwing around.
    It’s so embarrassing when zombies pass you on the street without so much as a glance….


    Police, after receiving tips from the public, removed another two blonde children from their Roma families in Ireland – as it happens, without any basis whatsoever – only to return them after DNA tests proved their relationship… Because you have to look the part. Or something. *sigh* Advanced civilization, you do not make me happy right now.

    But at least nowadays there are DNA tests. In earlier times, I doubt the kids would have been returned. After all, Roma are notoriouslystereotypically thieves and liars; of course they stole those children, and lied about it! That’s what they do! Common Knowledge is never wrong!!!

  176. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    To make RUM not taste bad:

    Make punch!
    There are a variety of recipes to be found online, but the first page of results gives me YUCK! recipes. I do not like my punch to be tart (so no lime juice). I also do not like my drinks to be overly strong. I want the kick from liquor, but I want to enjoy the ingredients too. My version of Rum Punch (12 oz glass filled with ice):
    1.25 oz Light Rum
    .75 oz Dark or Spiced Rum*
    After that, it is just a question of personal preference wrt juices. I have not tried yet, but I suspect pomegranate/blueberry juice would be tasty in the punch
    I do not like pineapple or cranberry, so I use small amounts of both. OTOH, I love pulp free OJ. Grenadine can be used to sweeten if needed. I also have come to like sparkling juices, so I would add 1-2 oz sparkling water as well.

    *Dark Rum- Myers
    Spiced Rum- Captain Morgan, Shellback, or Sailor Jerry
    I say either Dark or Spiced bc it will produce two different flavored drinks. Dark Rum blends well with the other ingredients, while Spiced Rum stands out, but in a good way. Either way, experiment and find what you like.

  177. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says


    To make rum not taste bad:

    Open bottle of Kraken black spiced rum.

    Pour four fingers in a tumbler.


  178. blf says

    Open bottle of Kraken black spiced rum.
    Pour four fingers in a tumbler.

    Kraken rum? Shouldn’t that then be four tentacles…?

  179. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    I have no tentacles.

    Well [pulls open front of pants]

    No. Never mind.

    I have no tentacles. Only fingers.

    The Kraken tastes really good with a Gurkha Widowmaker Gordo.

  180. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Guns make schools safer, right?

    Three children were hurt Wednesday after a student pulled the trigger of a police officer’s AR-15 rifle during an anti-drug demonstration at a California elementary school.

    An 11-year-old told KCAL-TV that police officers were playing four square with students about 11:40 a.m. Wednesday and handing out stickers when one student wandered over to a police motorcycle that had a gun latched to it.

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


    And a 13-year-old in California got murdered by cops for carrying a toy rifle.

  182. Pteryxx says

    crossposting again from last week’s Slate thread.


    and from Soraya Chemaly in Salon, a massively researched summary of rape and entitlement.

    Third, people arrive at college with ideas and experiences. According to a study [PDF link] released earlier this month, one in ten people between the ages of 14-21 have already committed an act of sexual violence. Boys are more likely to have been perpetrators, although the older girls get, the more likely they are to become perpetrators too. However, 80% of victims in the study were girls — 18% were boys and 5% were transgender youth. Three quarters of those admitting to using coercion or physical pressure targeted someone they knew or were in a relationship with. 15% said they used alcohol to do it.

    Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the study however was that these children felt no sense of responsibility for their actions. What does this have to do with entitlement? The likelihood of perpetrating sexual violence was not equal across all groups. The teenagers with the highest propensity to sexually assault a peer were white kids from higher-income families.

    Fourth, we cannot talk about sexual assault and broader violence in schools without discussing athletics, both before and during college. While male student athletes make up 3.3% of the U.S. college population, they are responsible for 19% percent of sexual assaults and 37% of domestic violence cases [PDF link] on college campuses. In the wake of the Steubenville rape case, but before so many others, like the more recent case in Maryville, The Nation’s Dave Zirin called for a serious questioning of “the connective tissue between jock culture and rape culture.” The core characteristics of high-status boys’ sports – violence, dominance, power, specialness and impunity – are married seamlessly to the marginalization and sexual objectification of girls and women as trophies and playthings. It is possible to cultivate a healthy sense of fraternity without the denigration and victimization of girls and LGBT youth, but that’s not what’s happening.

  183. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Conversation in office:

    Coworker #1: You do realize that tempura and tempera are not the same thing, right?

    Coworker #2: So which is the one for the chicken?

  184. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Have ya’ll heard of LEAP?
    Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    Between August 12 and September 12, 2012, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of law enforcement officials who, after seeing firsthand the harms of the war on drugs, now advocate for its end, accompanied Javier Sicilia’s Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity from the Mexican border, through 27 U.S. cities, to Washington D.C.

    Representing the 70,000 murdered and tens of thousands disappeared in Mexico since 2006, LEAP and 110 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and other survivors, all victims of the war on drugs, undertook this mission to create a dialogue with the American public, with whom they shared their stories of suffering and pain throughout their journey

    LEAP’s mission was to supplement the victims’ testimony with law enforcement voices bearing personal witness to the harms and wasteful futility of the War on Drugs here in the United States.

    LEAP journalists Dean Becker and Sam Sabzehzar joined with filmmakers from Mexico and around the world to document the emotional testimonies of the victims and police throughout the 27-city tour, shooting more than 500 hours of unedited video.

    This moving story of law enforcement coming together with drug war survivors reveals a truth about the value of ending the violence generated by drug prohibition.

    To get a glimpse of the footage we have and a better idea of the project, check out our promo video here.

    Why We Need You

    We have the film. We have the story. You have the funds to help us edit, translate, score and finish a documentary that will draw attention to the grief caused by the war on drugs around the world.

    The war on drugs is the most critical policy issue of our time, but many companies, institutions and individuals do not feel compelled or safe supporting it.

    The purpose of this campaign is to finalize a film whose focus is the evolving self-concept of a population who have been disproportionately impacted by particular policies.

    The film captures a unique cross-cultural moment in which representatives of more privileged populations work in atypical concert with those who have suffered from those policies.

    It is an attempt to highlight cultural imperatives and modes of expression that emerge during this cross-national drive. Once this project is complete, we will take the film around the country and screen it to get our message out there and make the case for people to rethink this devastating and ineffective policy.

  185. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Interesting. Got a notification of a computer update through the Went and installed the Java update. Saw where the new OSX.X is FREE. Checked that out watching a streaming video of the announcement of new Apple releases, and there it is. True..
    Hurry up broadband….

  186. C S says

    Hi all,

    I am a graduate student surveying science blog readers for their views and experiences concerning online discussions and debates. This is a short 5-question survey, and I am using the results to inform a related project I am working on which aims to help make these sorts of discussions more engaging and enlightening.

    Thank you

  187. Pteryxx says

    Nebraska scientists refuse to conduct state-approved climate change-denying study

    The problem, according to members of the governor-appointed Climate Assessment and Response Committee, is that the bill behind the study specifically calls for the researchers to look at “cyclical” climate change. In so doing, it completely leaves out human contributions to global warming.

    At a discussion yesterday, the Omaha World-Herald Bureau reports, Barbara Mayes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, pointed out that “cyclical” isn’t even a scientific term.

    And it’s not just a misuse of language: State Sen. Beau McCoy, who added the word to the bill, is a known climate denier. “I don’t subscribe to global warming,” McCoy said during an earlier debate about the legislation. ”I think there are normal, cyclical changes.”

    At the meeting, a number of scientists stood up to declare that they refused to take part in the study:

  188. says

    Putting some bent and wobbly hugs on the pile, cause it sure sounds like there’s a good few of us as need some.

    I spoke to my client – a postdoc academic, for whom I ghostwrite papers for publication* – today, and they said that the first paper “we” had written together, which bears only their name, had been very much approved of by their supervisor, and better yet, by the editorial committee of a special issue of a minor journal showcasing the “Best Articles in $FIELD for 2014” for this niche specialty.

    So, having only my undergrad degree in Linguistics and Modern Languages (never finished my MA in Russian Lit, I dropped out to transition instead, and had no courage left to try academia after doing so), I have been able to do work in (non-STEM) $FIELD – from research to writing to incorporation of review texts/comments – of sufficient quality that is it accepted as a) being by a PhD in $FIELD, and b) worthy of being recommended for a minor honour no less.

    Rather a good day for me, I’d call that. :)

    We also received two calls for papers, for which I’ll be brainstorming ideas for research questions to discuss on Monday for our next “collaboration”, and we’re aiming to have two more papers ready for those deadlines.

    I get well-paid per paper, and the academic gets papers they can understand and teach and explain, but being possessed of very limited English writing skills, could probably not write, and certainly not this quickly. This is important, because they are applying for positions teaching (with less focus on research), but the standards of the universities they’re applying to in the countries they’re applying specify a certain rate of publication to be considered for hire.

    Do y’all think less of me for this? Is it okay to be happy that I got recognized, even if I’m the only one who knows that I’m the Dread Pirate Roberts Caitie?

    * I know, I know, but it’s not my reputation on the line, and I really am poor enough to be okay with ethical gray areas in this circumstance (from my pov, not the academic’s; from their pov it is clear that their choosing to ask me to write is unethical). I rationalise that this is their bad act, and not mine, and so I get to both eat and sleep at night, a win-win from my perspective.

  189. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I don’t think less of you, Caitie. Though I have a great many ideals that conflict with the tropes involved, I write romance novels and porn erotica for a living. Gotta get food on the table and keep the lights on, yo.

    I wish you could get the recognition you deserve, though. I, for one, am happy for the Dread Pirate Caitie.

  190. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    aaah. why is housing beginning to get so scary.

    I have to live with 20-odd men the same age as me. most of the know how not to be dipshits, but the toxic masculinity occasionally slips out. oh, and everyone misgenders me (even the ones I repeatedly yell at not to do so).

    Why can’t I live with my friends anyway… because some dipshit decided the best way to make “zomg teen pregnancy” go away was to segregate people by assigned sex.

  191. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    C.S. @251:

    Takes survey.
    I think those with more skill and experience with debates online (I can think of several people at Pharyngula) would be better suited to answer those questions than I, but I hope it helps in some way.

  192. rq says

    Any idea why my OpenOffice Word version keeps crashing every time I try to save things in .doc format? It’s getting annoying and inhibiting my ability to do work. (I’ve tried restarting the program; I’ve tried restarting the computer; and I’ve tried saving in .odt format, then converting to .doc, and it freezes on the .doc conversion; I’ve tried just opening a .doc file and making one change and pressing Save, and it still freezes up… The Excel-equivalent works fine. Help?)

  193. blf says

    Knight v snail: “Knights are often pictured fighting snails in medieval manuscripts — but their significance has been lost in the slime of time. British Library experts have been tracking down the mighty molluscs and pondering their significance”

    This is easy! Cheese-gulping penguins are fast, so the monks didn’t get mor than a few glimpses. And penguins wouldn’t exactly be known to monks of the time. So complain about the cheese raids and what you’d like to do to the raider, by drawing a better known and easier to watch pest: A snail.

    The mildly deranged penguin says the cheeses of the tmie were very lively and quite regional. The main trick was to raid ahead of the Vikings, since burnt cheese looses a bit of flavor (but does make it easier to catch the cheese). But just ahead of the Vikings, since barbecued monk, served with cheese and beer from the (ex-)monastery, was rather tasty…

  194. rq says

    Actually, snails = dragons, and the current image of a dragon as fire-breather is simply a marketing trick on behalf of snails to make themselves look more amazing and awesome.

  195. Pteryxx says

    Warning for all states in 2014, watch out for “pension reform” even from Democrats.

    Siedle’s report is worth reading in its entirety to understand what your state legislators actually mean when they start throwing around the Orwellian phrase “pension reform” — and thanks to the second piece of news this week, we know that state legislators everywhere will almost certainly be throwing that seemingly innocuous phrase around. That news came from the St. Louis Beacon, which reports that none other than the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] has decided to make cutting pension benefits one of its top goals in the 2014 state legislative sessions. They will be pushing to replicate Raimondo’s much-hyped “reforms” in legislatures throughout the country.

  196. rq says

    That moment when you’re trying to be as polite as possible while
    insulting criticising a client’s document / format / password protection with a superior, and they come out and call it just plain stupid themselves…

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


    Of course there’s objectification of women.
    Imagine if they had to be forward-thinking in more than one direction at the same time! *brainsplode*

    (not able to watch video now)

  198. Pteryxx says

    Imagine if they had to be forward-thinking in more than one direction at the same time! *brainsplode*

    …typical, isn’t it? The biased status-quo always seems to come with a zero-sum assumption, that if ONE thing gets done right, it has to be re-balanced somehow by being even crappier on some other axis.


    Lies they teach in Texas

    Charter schools receive public funding but operate privately. While promoting creationist science is deemed unconstitutional in public schools, ResponsiveEd charter schools appear able to challenge mainstream science in the classroom.

    ResponsiveEd says it has 60 schools in Texas, with an extended charter to open 20 more by 2014. It also has facilities in Arkansas, and plans to open in Indiana. Amazingly, it isn’t the only charter school curriculum based on Accelerated Christian Education’s format.

    Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC) was founded by former ACE vice president Ronald E. Johnson. Where ACE is an “individualized, accelerated” curriculum based on the “five laws of learning,” PAC is an “accelerated individualized” curriculum based on the “six principles of learning.” Like ACE and ResponsiveEd, it questions the theory of evolution and presents the “catastrophist theory” of Noah’s Ark as a credible rival explanation. Like ResponsiveEd, PAC teaches that the theory of evolution influenced Hitler to create the Third Reich.


    In another chapter, the PAC science materials use examples in history where science has been wrong – geocentrism, phlogiston, an obsolete theory that attempted to explain burning processes, and ancient Egyptian superstitions (such as using fly excreta to treat tumors) – to undermine the authority of science in general:

    Many other historical blunders of science could be mentioned. What we need to keep in mind is that scientists are human beings. The assumption that they are completely objective, error-free, impartial, “cold machines” dressed in white coats is, of course, absurd. Like everyone else, scientists are influenced by prejudice and preconceived ideas. You should also remember that just because most people believe a particular thing does not necessarily make it true.

    This passage has a striking resemblance to John Hudson Tiner’s “When Science Fails,” an Accelerated Christian Education literature book that uses just such examples to undermine science and cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

  199. rq says

    Too much forward in various directions causes too much pressure on the inside of the skull. That’s what I thought.

  200. rq says

    re: the lies in Texas and When Science Fails
    A little while ago, one of my friends’ husband on Facebook sent me a link to a video that was supposed to show me how science could get things wrong. He’d noticed I was posting science-y things all the time. It was a When Science Fails video – and it was confusing at first, because yes, those were all examples of science being wrong… But that’s the whole point of science, isn’t it, to get things right eventually and to allow for mistakes and their correction. Anyway, I was surprised because (a) I had a hard time seeing how people would take it seriously (although obviously people do) and (b) he’d never previously showed symptoms of such backwards thinking – so I still don’t know if he meant it as a joke, or as a serious point. [/pointless anecdote]

  201. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Just had a ‘discussion’ with right wing office asshat.

    He said that, because of Obamacare, 25,000 doctors are retiring this year because they don’t want to work for a government rationing board.

    I did some quick googling. Turns out, 25,000 is about the number of doctors who retire every year.

    RWOA said that was impossible as we would run out of doctors.

    I told him that about 25,000 new doctors hit the medical field every year.

    He said that was impossible because no one wants to become a doctor now that Obamacare limits them to $10.00 an hour.

    This bullshit went on for about 10 minutes.

    I held my temper.

    What an idiot.

    Rush, Beck and Fox are his heroes.

    Oh, he is a federal employee and thinks Cruz is the greatest thing ever.

  202. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    My sympathies. In aerospace at the International Wouldwide House of Rocket Exploration (IWHORE), we have a rich multitude of RWOAs. They are united in their hatred of all things Obama. I actually had one who expressed regret that women had been given the vote. Now that’s reactionary.

    And they love Ted Cruz–even though Teddy cost the RWOAs who are contractors over 2 weeks pay (I got paid to weed my garden and clean out my garage. Thanks, Uncle Sam!). They are totally unable to make the connection between their dimwitted idol and their loss of income.

    My wife works in environmental restoration. Her company took a big hit during the shutdown–and yet she is plagued with RWOAs aplenty even in what should be a very progressive field.

    They are everywhere. They are delusional. They are incapable of learning. And the bastards vote. DAMMIT.

  203. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    …I just had to explain to someone that a still pan of water carefully maintained at 37 Celsius is, in fact, a place where microbes might like to hang out.


  204. says

    Following up on comment by Pteryxx @252: Yeah, this tendency of Republican-dominated state legislators to pass bad science or anti-science bills has got to stop.

    They are actually passing bills that require that only pseudo-science “research” or papers be published when it comes to climate change. Nebraska is not the only one.

    Virginia: Last year scientists were forbidden to use the phrase “sea level rise” because that is a “left-wing term.” “Recurrent flooding” was used instead.

    North Carolina:

    A state-appointed science panel warned officials that sea levels will rise 39 inches over the next century and said North Carolina needs to prepare. Republicans balked and demanded that the scientific evidence be rejected, relying instead on a historical model to set expectations. North Carolina would prepare for only 8 inches of sea level increase, since that’s what happened over the previous century.

    Maddow blog link.

    Regarding the bullshit from Nebraska:

    Barbara Mayes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, tried to explain yesterday that in climate science, “cyclical” isn’t even a real term.

  205. says

    Mormon Halloween Fall Festival:

    Instead of a Fishing for Candy booth, they had an “Arm Wrestle the Missionaries and Strengthen Your Testimony” booth. The haunted house was forbidden. You could still wear costumes but nothing scary and no costume contest. All the games had to have a spiritual message.

    Then-and-now memories courtesy of ex-mormon “CA girl.”

    More Moments of Mormon Halloween Madness, as suggested by ex-mormon “mrtranquility”:

    I suggested he could go as Nephi and recreate the beheading of Laban. That way you could still get some blood and gore in while promoting a positive role model.

  206. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness from Martinsburg, West Virginia.

    Trigger warning for sexual abuse of children.

    12 children were abused, some as young as 3. The problem was made much worse by mormon leaders who did not report the abuse to the police, and who continued to put the perp in contact with children:

    … The suit accuses church leaders of holding out Jensen [perp] as a church member who could provide leadership and counsel to young church members, even though the church was allegedly repeatedly put on notice or had knowledge about allegations that Jensen had sexually abused children of church families. The suit also accuses church officials of recommending Jensen as a babysitter for church families, despite allegedly being made aware of sexual abuse allegations as early as 2007. …

    The suit names the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the church; Don Fishel, who was the bishop of the Hedgesville Ward for the Martinsburg stake of the church between 2007 and 2013 and a former member of the Stake High Council for Martinsburg; Steven Grow, stake president in Martinsburg; Jensen, who was a member and elder of the Hedgesville Ward of the church; Jensen’s father, a high priest and member of the Stake High Council for Martinsburg between 2007 and 2010; and Jensen’s mother, a member of the Hedgesville Ward and Relief Society president for the church in Martinsburg between 2006 and 2009.

    Journal News link. October 25, 2013.

  207. says

    Follow up to my comment @277, in reference to mormon leaders failing to report child abusers to the police:

    The suit also alleges that the church has continued its cover up, sending emissaries from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Martinsburg to instruct witnesses not to talk with attorneys representing the children suing the church.

    In addition, the suit alleges that the church, through its leaders, has tried to intimidate the families of the children suing the church and has allegedly directed fellow church members to try to convince them to abandon their claims “lest they run afoul of church teachings regarding forgiveness,” a copy of the suit reads.

  208. says

    Follow up to my post #276, regarding the mormon ability to ruin Halloween for everyone. This quote comes from ex-mormon “judyblue”:

    … mormons believe in Satan. They think he’s very real, and they see him everywhere. So they’re terrified to “invite him in” by letting little kids dress up like zombies and ghosts. It’s pathetic, really. They will tell their children not to be afraid because the monsters in the closet aren’t real, but SATAN IS REAL DON’T CARVE A FACE IN A PUMPKIN OR HE’LL GET YOU.

  209. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says


    Part of me actually feels a little better when you bring cases like the one from Martinsburg to our attention.

    I told one person in meatspace. One. I told him, another scout leader, that my rapist (Mormon stake holder, possibly higher) had been doing things to other kids and was told that I was lying, how dare I accuse a man of good standing, etc, and was sent off to apologize to my rapist in person (and to punish me, he raped me again). Even had I been believed, would it have gone anywhere? If the Mormons, today, are putting this much energy into protecting child abusers, how much worse was it in the mid to late 1970s? Even though I was never a part of the church, I’m reasonably sure that I, and any others in the group, would also have been squelched. Makes me feel a little less guilty for not doing the right thing.

  210. says

    Following up on bad news from Texas, which is abundant up-thread:

    [Hitler] has written that the Aryan (German) race would be the leader in all human progress. To accomplish that goal, all “lower races” should either be enslaved or eliminated. Apparently the theory of evolution and its “survival of the fittest” philosophy had taken root in Hitler’s warped mind.

    That, my friends, is an exact quote from a textbook used in a Houston charter school.

  211. says

    Juvenile detention centers and “boot camps” in the USA are worse than we thought.

    For the past 25 years, James F. Slattery, YSI’s [Youth Services International] owner and former owner other for-profit companies, has focused on the bottom line, while generating a huge record of neglect. From creating “welfare hotels” in the ’80s to halfway houses for federal prisoners in the ’90s, Slattery’s living spaces are known for their poor conditions and low-paid workers. Slattery eventually began contracting with the government to run juvenile detention centers. After a few name changes and a merge, YSI now makes hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts. [Yes, that’s right, your tax dollars at work.] In the past 20 years, more than 40,000 youth have gone through YSI’s facilities, which are wrought with unsanitary environments, physical abuse and sexual assault.

    Kirkham [Chris Kirkham , author of book “Prisoners of Profit”] begins his report with a story about an 18-year-old who attended a boot camp run by Slattery’s previous company, and died after being refused medical care for his pneumonia, which guards accused him of making up. Throughout the report, cruel conditions surface in just about every aspect of YSI’s operations. From slapping youth to fracturing their bones, YSI guards have a violent history with young inmates. Sexual assault is also rampant, with one YSI detention center in Georgia — out of more than 300 institutions surveyed — having the highest rate of youth alleging sexual assaults in the country. Detained youth also reported small food portions of undercooked food, including raw chicken and fly-ridden dishes. Meanwhile, the low-wage, poorly-trained, and high-turnover staff also contributes to these conditions, as they are unable to properly care for and work with these young inmates.

    More details at this Salon link.

  212. says

    If comment #282 didn’t supply enough meaningless references to Hitler to set you up for the day, here’s another:

    On his television program last night, Glenn Beck interviewed a special needs student who has been ruthlessly bullied by fellow students at her Plano, Texas high school.

    Beck followed up that segment with an interview with Rabbi Daniel Lapin, where he asked Lapin what was happening to us as a nation that this sort of thing was becoming more and more common place. Lapin responded by declaring that America is “no longer one nation under God” and was being taken over by a secular socialist values system, the very sort that led to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. …

    This evil agenda, Lapin said, is stripping people of their empathy by replacing God with the “twisted and diseased pathology” of secular fundamentalism and liberalism, causing them to do things that they would never do if they knew that God was watching over their shoulder.

  213. says

    Ogvorbis @281:

    Even though I was never a part of the church, I’m reasonably sure that I, and any others in the group, would also have been squelched. Makes me feel a little less guilty for not doing the right thing.

    That’s right. The adults around you, the adults responsible for the situation, including assholy mormon bishops, and other leaders not fail to protect children, they actively squelch investigations. They take upon themselves to listen to the promptings of the Holy shitfaced Ghost when choosing leaders, when setting standards, and when investigating problems. The supervise the path of repentance for abusers.

    From ex-mormon “Anon For This One”:

    I was a male victim of a male abuser from church. When I finally mustered the strength to disclose this at age 12 / 13 the bishop (and family friend) counseled him [the abuser] through the repentence process and sent him on his merry way.

    Jump forward to early 2000’s and I am exiting the church – and this becomes a sore spot for me. When I google this guy I find he was on his second conviction out west and doing jail time.

    He was released in ’08 and I was a little saddened to think he hadn’t changed.

    Today I read this….it prompted me to check up on him and I find he was convicted on a FED DOJ child protection sting just this past month. He will be doing 15 yrs without parole. That should pretty much seal his fate.

  214. cicely says

    Pteryxx, thanks for that article you linked at 244. I’ve sent links to it to a number of people who I think would benefit from reading it.

    CaitieCatDread Pirate Caitie, that does sound like a good day for you!
    *high five*

  215. says

    We may have met our Hitler quota, but I think we need one more post to meet our Satan quota.

    Kengor: Satan Duped Gay People Into Supporting Marxist Marriage Equality

    See more at:

    Paul Kengor is a Grove City College professor and the author of Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century. The dude also claims to be an historian. Oh, and for good measure, President Obama has also been duped by Satan.

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

    Do I have a limited amount of “good mood” for every day or what? It can stretch the whole day if I keep it at “blah, just going trough the day and waiting for same shit all over again tomorrow”, but I was in a really good mood this afternoon. I would almost hesitantly use the word happy. So of course, I just crumpled now. I just suddenly felt so overwhelmingly sad and desperate, and now I’m crying and my head hurts.

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


    Yeah, that must the one. I think I’ll just go to bed really early (it’s only 21h here) and try to make tomorrow happen sooner (hoping that the reboot in the morning goes without error).

    *hugs back*

  218. says

    @254, 264, 286 (TheMellowMonkey, Cicely, Beatrice): Thank you. I was actually a bit worried, cause ethics do matter, but at least the good news is that I’m not passing off poor-quality work and getting away with it, just letting someone else be recognized for my good-quality work. I hadn’t thought of that before I posed the question to y’all, so thanks for letting me put it out there, as I think it helped me clarify my feelings. And honestly, I’m still not sure if I’m not rationalising pretty heavily, but I do really enjoy getting paid to do academic work, even if it’s not my field and my name isn’t on it.

    And, y’know, food & shelter. Also important. Addicted to those, honestly.

    Plus, non-functional without meds. Definitely finding a positive effect from the increase (to an officially off-label dosage) of my antidepressants two weeks ago, and the addition of a slow-release ADD med is having what I’m perceiving, at least, to be a synergistic effect with it. I’d read this suggestion from a number of people with similar histories/symptomology, and convinced my doctor to be willing to try.

    Big privilege there, to have had access to the education that allows me to talk with my doctor while perceived as an intellectual equal, for sure. If I say I’ve researched it, she knows I mean “I downloaded the articles and took time to read them properly”, not “I saw this on Hypochondropedia and”. I give her my citations, she reads them, and if she agrees, she faxes the scrip over to my pharmacy, assuming blood tests and such are up to date.

    Anyway, mood improvement: notable.

    Lingering loving presence of friends who’ve helped to clean the apartment a bunch and then dispersed: very notable.

    Awareness of hugs on pile: warmly notable.

    And now, to see if the ADD meds are working, here’s me back to formulating research questions for TheAcademysteriousOne. Three more hours in a working day for me yet. I usually work 2/1.5/1/0.5, with breaks of various lengths in between for increased horizontality, in a day. This is a large part of why I’m more or less unemployable on the open market: few companies want people with that work profile, especially from a part-timer. But when I’m the one signing off my own timesheets, well…work becomes possible.

  219. Nutmeg says

    I did a thing today! It turns out that my university runs small-group workshops for people with anxiety problems. So I signed up for one that started today, and I went to it. It runs for six weeks, and I think it will probably be helpful.

    Also, the room was full of people just like me. Everyone was fidgeting and doing things with their hands and hunching their shoulders and rubbing the backs of their necks. I’m not entirely certain why that was so nice to see, but it was.

  220. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I have heartburn.

    Owie. :( :(

    Doctor said to chew a bunch of antacids and see if the problem goes away. If not, I come back.

  221. chigau (違う) says

    Happy DarkBirthday to Darkling!
    (dammit. I left myself a note … somewhere, so I could be the first to say it)

  222. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Darkling is a year old.

    Hmm…*checks list* The birthday person gets a stuffed plush hypoallergentic Pullet Patrol™ toy, and the parents get a free grog/swill….

  223. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    (And I’ve proved that I can care for a complete dependent little human for a year and barely screw anything up!)

    Except you already gave her a smartphone.

  224. rq says

    So I come home from work, read this (via Lynna):

    North Carolina would prepare for only 8 inches of sea level increase, since that’s what happened over the previous century.

    … and I actually laughed out loud.
    And speaking of Satan, he works as one of our security guards. Seriously. The guy has always had a devilish look about him (complete with pointy grin but, alas, no brimstone to be scented), but since he’s started growing his beard out, yeah – Satan.

    Also, CaitieCat, I kept forgetting throughout the day to express my support for you, too. Now it sounds like I’m jumping on the bandwagon because everybody’s doing it, but… hey. Obviously, you’re doing awesome work and getting paid for it, and not really responsible for it, too. Best of everything!

    *[gesture of support]*


    If DarkBaby (DarkToddler by now?) is one year old, then I have been with you (the Lounge) for exactly one year, too. I came here out of desperation (or something similar), and I found a place where, even if I am not listened to or responded to, I can express things I cannot express in Real Life. For that, I am grateful. In the past year, I think I have found a new confidence in myself and a better outlook on life (if not on the world in general :P). I think I have regained some emotional stability and learned a whole stack of lessons that will last me a lifetime. Thank you, Horde. There aren’t enough or the right kinds of words for me to say everything I would like to, but I hope you all understand.
    So happy birthday to Darkling, and courage in the life ahead – patience for her parents, and most of all, love to last more than a lifetime.
    Rum and/or [drink of choice] for everyone!

  225. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rum and/or [drink of choice] for everyone!

    You get a free bacon or veggie sammich, plus a free grog/swill.

    Later, the Pullet Patrol Players™ will put on their version of The Vagina Monologues. Called The Egg and I.

  226. chigau (違う) says


    Later, the Pullet Patrol Players™ will put on their version of The Vagina Monologues. Called The Egg and I.

    Fine, then.
    Rather than try to sleep dreamless, I’ll just keep drinking.

  227. carlie says

    Hooray, Alexandra! Happy happy darkling birthday day!

    And happy rq Pharynguday!

    I’m at a conference! And I got to go on a boat ship! A cargo ship! Well, “go” meaning “take a tour on while it’s docked”. But it was really cool. And steam-powered. And 1960s vintage, so all the controls were all non-ironically steampunky. Back to real life soon, but it’s a nice break.

  228. says


    Except you already gave her a smartphone.

    Kids these days! *shakes cane!*

    (It was my mom who gave her the Sesame Street smartphone, after there were several “near misses” with my phone, including spit up in the headphone jack hole.)

    Happy anniversary, rq! Darkling isn’t walking (yet)*, so I think I can get away with calling her a baby for a little while longer.

    *She is talking up a storm, though. I’ve lost count of the individual words that she says, but she’s moved on to simple statements (“bye bye, Daddy”), anyway. :D

  229. chigau (違う) says

    We have a 20something, male, houseguest.
    I will never get the smell of Axe™ out of my house.

  230. cicely says

    Nutmeg: Yay for anxiety workshops!

    Also, the room was full of people just like me. Everyone was fidgeting and doing things with their hands and hunching their shoulders and rubbing the backs of their necks. I’m not entirely certain why that was so nice to see, but it was.

    Possibly like hereabouts—there are people who know what you’re talking about, and are more likely to understand.

    Happy birthday to the Darkling.

    rq, Happy PharynguLoungeDay!

  231. says

    Happy birthday to the DarkCub! (One year? Already?)

    Also, AXE — “Because MACE was already trademarked.” It’ll out-stink a skunk, and make patchouli-marinated hippies downright appealing.

  232. cicely says

    chigau, you have my deepest sympathies.
    I remember a short, yet miserable time when Son wore Axe™. I have to assume that the olfactory senses of teenaged male humans are in a desperate state of flux, and register false positives all over the board—yet the Error messages, somehow, are not registered properly.
    You’d think that dramatic gagging and retching noises would be self-explanatory, but apparently…not.

  233. chigau (違う) says

    re Axe
    I am thinking of moving the catbox into the bathroom.

    I like patch-oil…
    maybe we could do a duelling stink

  234. ChasCPeterson says

    It’ll out-stink a skunk, and make patchouli-marinated hippies downright appealing.

    Hey! Some of my best friends, favorite ex-girlfriends, and ex-sisters-in-law are or were patchouli-marinated hippies!

  235. chigau (違う) says

    It wasn’t just the girls who used patchouli…
    The Cops couldn’t tell the difference between the smells dontcha know?
    (golly, I was stoopid when I was an adolescent)

  236. says


    Oh, I know. Patchouli covers a multitude of sins, if you know what I mean. I also just plain like the smell.

    I was a stoopid teenager once, too. I got remarkably unstoopified once I was introduced to Mary Jane. I started actually slowing down and learning shit like “how to navigate basic and not-so-basic social interactions without completely freaking out” and “how to get along with people” and important concepts, like “sharing”.

  237. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    Oh god axe…

    my roommate sophomore year was apparently a big user thereof. thankfully he left quickly.

    It’s even worse when you have to live with those Teenage Male Humans EVERY DAY.

  238. chigau (違う) says

    I’m neurotypical. Weed makes me stupid.
    I just love how the real world works.
    Is there an actual Level Playing Field™?

  239. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Wow, lots to respond to, and a cranky ass touchscreen phone that alternates between worshipping Tpyos and whoever ‘god of buttons that do not work consistently’ is. Much fun.

    I hate days like that (I guess no one really likes them). I have been on cloud nine for most of a day and one little thing could send me plummeting. Sometimes, I am not even sure what sent me spiralling downward.
    In any case, much sympathies my friend.


    I see what you mean about the gray ethics of the situation, but given that you both agreed to the collaboration (is that accurate?), it is a different gray area that I know little about.
    In the end though, I find myself glossing over it, bc I am happy for how well this works out for you.


    Quick spontaneous question time:
    If, at this present time, you could be somewhere, anywhere you want, where would you be?
    Me: relaxing in a hot tub. Nowhere terribly interesting, but I love how relaxing they are.

    I haz news of Teh Good:
    $165 later, and my home, the immediate outdoors, the dogs and cats have been treated for fleas. I came home tonight for the first time in nearly a year to two cats and two dogs with, so far as I can see, NO FLEAS.
    I also gave the dogs heartworm medicine.
    It is the first of the weekly treatments, but seeing the animals not scratching really made me happy for them.

    I do not grok the dislike of Axe.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do not wear the stuff and never have, but I do not quite get what is distasteful about the product.

  240. cicely says

    Tony, I’m glad you’ve got the flea problem under control.

    I do not grok the dislike of Axe.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do not wear the stuff and never have, but I do not quite get what is distasteful about the product.

    It’s the smell—and there totally is such a thing.
    To me, it registers somewhat in the same range as stale, aged sweat, with an extra ‘sharp’ tang added to it.

  241. chigau (違う) says

    If, at this present time, you could be somewhere, anywhere you want, where would you be?

    Fiji. 1980. Having a G&T at the Miramar.

  242. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I do not grok the dislike of Axe.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do not wear the stuff and never have, but I do not quite get what is distasteful about the product.

    It’s the smell—and there totally is such a thing.

    Well, that and the advertising.

  243. says

    Good morning
    Yay nutmeg

    Happy first birthday, DarkToddler

    Happy Pharyguday, rq

    So, now for round 4 of one week full of kiddie birthday. Today, the friends will visit. The question is how many, because apparently the feedback was given to the kid, which is not the most reliable source of information.
    Me: Did E. say anything today?
    Little one: Yes.
    Me: What did she say?
    Little one: I don’t know, she was talking to D. and they were speaking Russian.

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


    Testing the voice recognition please ignore all typos

    You spelled the name of the great Tpyo wrong :)

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

    Happy birthday to DarkToddler!
    Happy hordelingbirthday, rq!


    Happy birthday to Giliell’s little one!

  246. says

    At the last Copenhagen Skeptics in the Pub, our speaker Eske Willerslev talked a bit about some so-to-be published research about the early ancestors of Native Americans. It was fascinating stuff, and the news about it has been made public now: Ancient DNA Links Native Americans With Europe

    He also talked about some other, related, research which is also on the way to get published. Also interesting stuff.

  247. rq says

    Happy Birthday to Little One, Giliell! I hope enough people turn up to be fun but not too much to handle. :) Have fun! Or at least, may the kids have fun… The parents rarely do, on such occasions.


    I used to like the smell of Axe. Now I associate it with people who don’t have particularly good intentions towards me. (Good luck with the smell, chigau! Open windows! Lots of drafts! Fresh air! It’ll leave eventually… You could dig the potatoes in the meantime. ;) )
    When I smell patchouli, I think of my godmother. And that is a very good association.

  248. OptimalCynic says

    We don’t have Axe in Australia but I think Lynx is much the same stuff. I don’t mind the smell of the roll-ons but the sprays are evil. Maybe it’s over-application?

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

    It’s going to be my last week at this workplace. Well, last 4 days, since Friday is a holiday.
    I was planning to bake something, no idea what yet. Best would be cookies which I can make on Tuesday since they’ll be better after a couple of days anyway, and then something more cakey on Wednesday or Thursday early early morning if I’m feeling especially masochistic.

    It looks like some people will actually miss me, unless they are just trying hard to be polite about me leaving.
    I maintain that my mentor/office colleague will cry bitter tears once my replacement settles in – the replacement is very determined to dislike my/her job. I have to admit her whinging about all she’ll have to do annoyed me. Yeah, well, I had some troubles in the beginning too. Math uni hardly equipped me for bureaucratic nightmares of inefficiency, or working as support for badly articulated IT questions, without getting very uncivil with people:
    “Your stupid application erased the bar code from my document!!!!! [insert yelling]”
    me: *gets their teamviewer id out of the person, checks the document* “Have you copy pasted text from another word into this one?”
    [insert yelling] “Yes”
    me: *undos a couple of steps in word and voila bar code there, since person copy pasted over the entire document*

    …or doing more paperwork and taking notes at long boring meetings, but she can really stop whinging about it any time now. Especially in front of her future office colleague/mentor/boss! Seriously.

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


    Brownies would be great!
    I have a double french class on Wednesday evening so I’ll be home at 23h and I really need something I won’t screw up when tired and that can be whipped up in an hour, or something that can keep.

    The other thing I think would be good, but takes patience I probably don’t have:
    They’re so cute!

  251. opposablethumbs says

    Yay for the DarkInfant birthday day!!!! And for rq’s Pharynguday!!! Also happy #1’s party day to Giliell, and happy leaving week four-days to Beatrice.

    I always used to think that references to the smell of adolescent male humans were really not-so-veiled digs at their supposed lack of personal hygiene (I never noticed this when I was an adolescent myself); now I know that there is a genuine increase in aromatic exudation. Lynx and other such abominations just compound the problem, of course, but SonSpawn was once given some (by my standards) insanely expensive shower gel by friends of ours for his birthday (Bavx by l’Occitane) and it’s gorgeous. I have decided that when my ship comes in (tricky one, since I don’t actually have a ship) I will use this all the time for myself. I’ve almost always preferred scents designed for men, and I certainly wouldn’t mind having this smell about my person :-)

  252. says

    Thanks everyone!

    Poor little thing had a fever yesterday, but this morning she had perked right up and was playing with her new toys and eating pancakes and yelling for her Daddy and a kitty. ;)

  253. birgerjohansson says

    This is fun:
    “Wingnuts Declare Blasio a Communist Muslim Terrorist”

    BTW, did you know that New York is the absolutely worst place in the world? Personally I would have voted for North Korea, eastern Kongo, Afghanistan or Somalia, but what do I know?

    Other fun stuff from Dispatches from the Culture Wars (Ed Brayton’s blog) include hate mail to Mike Weinstein that declares him the most evil man in the world.
    I take offense at this ignorant claim! All in the know recognise me, Ed Brayton and maybe P Z as being the evilest and baddest of the bad. Even Satan must address us as “Sir”.

  254. says

    Okay, I thought we had blamed enough stuff on Satan up-thread, but no. Rick Santorum wants you to know that Satan was the guy who put the kibosh on Rick’s run for president. And, more importantly, Satan has been happily fucking around with us via the movie industry for some time. Santorum is going to challenge Satan by producing Santorum-rich movies.

    “This is a tough business, this is something that we’re stepping out,” Santorum said, “and the Devil for a long, long time has had this, these screens, for his playground and he isn’t going to give it up easily.”

    Daily Kos link.

    Satan has a lot on his plate these days thanks to his mandate to make Republicans looks bad. I mean, he has them using the “n” word on the Jon Stewart show, calling blacks “lazy,” and rewriting Texas science books. It’s already hot in hell, but Satan is putting in some extra sweat equity. I’m kinda looking forward to the movie battle with Santorum, which should prompt Satan to produce lots of “for mature audiences only” material.

  255. says

    “Coach” Dave Daubenmire is back with another rant, this time against bullying; not against the act of bullying, mind you, which he says is just a fact a life and actually serves the purpose of making its victims tougher.

    No, what Daubenmire is upset about it efforts to prevent bullying from taking place is rooted in efforts “to get people not to criticize or make fun of or poke fun at homosexuals.” And when Christians can no longer say “something that their conscience tells them to say,” Daubenmire fumes, “then we see that majority begin to bully the minority” so now “we’re beginning to see Christians, and Christian idea, and Christian values become the most bullied things in all of this nation.”

    That’s right folks, not allowing (nay, encouraging) christians to bully gays is … well, it’s bullying christians! And christians are the good guys, so we shouldn’t bully them. /sarcasm

    Right Wing Watch link. Horrible video of Daubenmire is available for viewing at the link.

  256. says

    Uh …. how many layers of Crazy do you harbor in your derailed brain, Bradlee Dean?

    Bradlee Dean, who has entertained the notion that President Obama is secretly gay, thinks that the president is practicing “discrimination towards heterosexuals” and “advocates Shariah law.”

    “[L]ook at who President Barrack Hussein Obama and this current administration have appointed to key positions in government–over 225 homosexuals,” Dean writes in a WorldNetDaily column published yesterday. “Talk about discrimination towards heterosexuals.”

    Dean, who once praised radical Muslims who want to execute gay people, calling them “more moral than even American Christians”, chides “radical homosexual communities” for not questioning “the Muslims’ call for the execution of the homosexuals.”

    In fact, he thinks that Rep. Keith Ellison is lying about his support for LGBT equality as part of taqiyya, or the concealment of religious beliefs due to the threat of violence, in order to undermine Christianity and elevate political Islam. Of course, Dean even manages to link Ellison to 9/11….

    Right Wing Watch link.

  257. says

    Right-wing conspiracies from the past week:

    Satan Behind Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Herman Cain

    Grover Norquist Is Palling Around With Terrorists

    Obama Will Nuke Charleston

    Military, NFL Facing Feminization

    Fainting Lady An Obama Plant

    You still won’t understand, but you can read the right-wing explanations for the above conspiracy theories here: Link.

  258. says

    Satan split himself in two in order to get all his work done. He is now The Koch Brothers. (Hey, I can start conspiracy theories too.)

    … the California attorney general and the state’s top election watchdog named the “Koch brothers network” of donors and dark-money nonprofits as the true source of $15 million in secret donations made last year to influence two bitterly fought ballot propositions in California.

    The two propositions were Proposition 30, designed to raise taxes on California’s wealthiest residents, and Proposition 32, which was designed to hinder the ability of labor unions to raise money for political purposes. The Kochs and their posse wanted to defeat taxes on rich folk, and they wanted to pass restrictions on labor unions.]

    As part of the deal, two Arizona-based nonprofits, the Koch-linked Center to Protect Patients Rights and Americans for Responsible Leadership, admitted violating state election law. The settlement mandates that the two nonprofits pay a $1 million fine to California’s general fund, and the committees who received the secret donations at the heart of the case must also cut a check to the state for the amount of those donations, which totaled $15.08 million. …

    Mother Jones link.

  259. blf says

    Fortunately, I have absolutely no idea what this “AXE™” apparently-shite is, or (as far as I know) smells or tastes or feels or whatevers like, although searching for that trademark does provide some clews.

    My general impression is it is gunk intended to he smeared on teenage boys as a pea attractor. Which sounds like a plot out of Dr Who

    (Apologies if this contains Tpyos offers, et al., I keep getting a non-informative “Preview Error” and so am Submitting without any success at proofreading the rendered version…)

  260. says

    Moment of Generic Christian Madness, anti-gay category: If your waiter is gay, don’t tip. Especially if you are a christian afflicted with assholiness.

    “Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. (Homosexual slur) do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours,” the customer wrote. “We hope you will see the tip your (homosexual slur) choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’s love, but none shall be spared for (homosexual slur). May GOD have mercy on you.”

    KCTV5 link.

  261. Tethys says

    AXE products are horrid in the quantities applied by most teenage boys. A little dab is ok, anything more than that becomes a fetid, gag inducing, cloud of noxious gases.

    Sharing a link to a great music cover by Playing for Change.

    Gimme Shelter

  262. David Marjanović says

    Reconstruction of ancient Greek music! In early-medieval pronunciation, though.

    Their punishment? Police had them mow their station lawn, then let them go free!” Petition to punish six rapists in Kenya.

    When I smoked, I hated the hell out of Axe and I still do. It’s vile, even to those of us with a decreased sense of smell.

    I’m not surprised. :-) I tried to reach for explanations!

    teenaged boys are yeasty

    Yeast? Where would yeast be on their bodies?

    (Also, there’s a wide range of individual variation in sweat production, and in those of various components of sweat.)

  263. David Marjanović says

    That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you

    But they can contribute to his wage?

    Apparently the opportunity to preach at him is worth it!

    My general impression is it is gunk intended to he smeared on teenage boys as a pea attractor.

    Makes sense.

  264. blf says

    teenaged boys are yeasty

    A datapoint suggest yer wrong Wrong WRONG! (and perhaps an agent for the evil peas): Even back then I couldn’t make/bake bread.

    (Admittedly, yeast hadn’t evolved yet…)

  265. says

    Yeast? Where would yeast be on their bodies?

    Way too literal, David M.

    That fermenting smell is penis-centered, with some lesser effect via armpits and/or feet.

  266. says

    The interesting thing about Axe to me is that the only people who consistently seem to like how it smells are young men.

    Which would suggest to me that it would make a wonderful attractor for young gay men to use, but it seems to be largely young het men who use it. Maybe if they’d called it “SWORD” instead…

  267. says

    Well, one kid’s mum called to tell us she can’t come, the other two somehow didn’t show up. We still had a nice afternoon at the Zoo and very little disappointment. And the little one gave ME one of the goodie bags. Now I have a colourful pencil with a shark-shaped eraser :)

    The smells on teenagers: Don’t mention them. Having a clas full of 10th graders last summer nearly made me reevaluate my career choice: The boys clearly didn’t do that showering and deodorant thingy while the girls would spray their armpits in every break…

  268. blf says

    the girls would spray their armpits in every break

    I originally read that as spayed, which didn’t make too much sense.
    Second attempt produced slayed, which fit with the previous mention of swords and axes, but otherwise also seemed a bit two odd.
    Third attempt produced strayed, as which points I decided the kir, vin, cognac, and beer was beginninging to has an effeck.

  269. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    The boys clearly didn’t do that showering and deodorant thingy while the girls would spray their armpits in every break…


    Yes. it doesn’t help that deodorant smells way overpowering and horrid to me. But armpits=especially ick. Damn androgens and all that.

    *off to shower some more, not that it would help*

  270. blf says

    it doesn’t help that deodorant smells way overpowering and horrid to me.

    Why is the stuff called deodorant, anyways? Fumigant is more appropriate.

    (Unfortunately, even after being concentrated, it doesn’t work against peas.)

  271. David Marjanović says

    Dublin Pharyngulites! You have less than an hour to tell me if you exist and would like me to visit in mid-December! At least one of the flights home from the US stops in Dublin.

  272. David Marjanović says

    The interesting thing about Axe to me is that the only people who consistently seem to like how it smells are young men.

    There are a few young women who actually like it.

  273. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    No, I do not smoke.
    Much better things to put in the mouth.

  274. David Marjanović says

    Chicago Pharyngulites! (Nepenthe?) I’ll be in Chicago from the evening of November 13th to the early afternoon of the 14th!

  275. cicely says

    I do not grok the dislike of Axe.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do not wear the stuff and never have, but I do not quite get what is distasteful about the product.

    It’s the smell—and there totally is such a thing.

    Well, that and the advertising.

    I will happily agree that the advertising also stinks.

    Giliell, I’m sorry that your guests didn’t show, but glad that a good time was had anyway.

  276. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Chicago Pharyngulites! (Nepenthe?) I’ll be in Chicago from the evening of November 13th to the early afternoon of the 14th!

    Chicago? Hmm….
    *Checks the Metra schedules, and then the Redhead’s bladder schedule*
    Close, but no meeting, as I would spend those three hours on the train.

  277. chigau (違う) says

    carlie #376
    The dogs in those clips are often looking to the Yuman to fix the situation.
    Why are the Yumans failing?

  278. dongiovanni (Because I had to try this function sometime) says

    rq , you’re doing a good job of temporarily leaving us, aren’t you? Then again, I post patchily at best, so my observations are somewhat less than valid.


    In regards to the deodorant, the advertising always seems to be awfully sexist…


    Much better things to put in your mouth? You mean crepes? Or gingerbreads?

  279. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Lynna @345:
    (Only tangentially related to your post)
    What is the deal with some believers who believe that demons and Satan exist, and have immense power…yet somehow these entities can be thwarted by a human or two?
    Like the stuff Santorum says about Satan. If the big scary fallen angel is all that powerful, what in Loki’s name is one human going to do against him? Squirt some holy water, chant or pray BAM job is done?

  280. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Lynna @352:
    This part is noteworthy, IMO:

    The anti-gay message has galvanized support for the server on social media with a campaign underway to flood the restaurant on Friday. Dr. Marvin Baker and his partner had lunch at the restaurant on Thursday and asked to be seated in the server’s section.

    “I was angry. I said this is not Christian as I know it,” Baker said.

    Coincidentally enough, the hostess who led them to their seats was the server’s proud mother.

    “I said, ‘We are here to meet your celebrity. The one who was mistreated.’ She said, ‘That’s my son. Would you like a table or booth?’ I said, ‘Wherever he’s serving,'” Baker explained.

    Baker served as a pastor for many years and currently leads a Bible study group for LGBT members. He said the couple’s behavior was ungodly

    I will overlook the No True Xtian bit, bc public criticism about the couple came from another Christian. Too often moderate belivers sit back and say nothing. I am glad Mr Baker did not.

  281. dongiovanni (Because I had to try this function sometime) says

    Sorry, my warped sense of humour is at fault. Still, I hold that gingerbreads are one of the best things that could go into a person’s mouth, although there are certain other foodstuffs that come close. As for the other thing…

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

    Oh, Daylight saving time ended. I almost forgot, and was wondering why my computer clock was showing 8 when I could swear I’d gotten up at half past.


  283. says

    I hate that daylight saving time stick passionately. Because my kids can’t read the time yet anyway.

    Those you spray are evil, but there’s a broad range of sticks and roll-ons nowadays that either have a very light smell or are even perfume-free.

  284. carlie says

    You threw me, Beatrice – I hadn’t paid the slightest bit of thought to daylight savings ending at any point. We have it next weekend in the US, though; they moved it several years ago to the week after Halloween because there was finally enough momentum behind the idea that since it’s rather arbitrary anyway, it’s beyond stupid to make it dark earlier right before that night when we send children out on the streets begging for candy for the evening. This way there’s still some chance they have some daylight whilst panhandling.

  285. blf says

    [T]hey moved [Summer Time (USAlienstani: Daylight Saving Time)] several years ago to the week after Halloween because … it’s beyond stupid to make it dark earlier right before that night when we send children out on the streets…

    Also makes it easier for the monsters to see the yummy self-propelled protein snacks.

  286. blf says

    What is the deal with some believers who believe that demons and Satan exist, and have immense power…yet somehow these entities can be thwarted by a human or two?

    Said humans have Nastie Skie Faerie Begonie™ magic juice in a squirt gun.

    Available at your nearest Tithes-4-Me!™®© shop.

    Doesn’t have a long shelf life, so you will need to keep replenishing, even if you never squirt anything.

    The preferred payment option is cash and young children. Tax-free.

  287. says

    Tony @383, I was pleased to see that you pointed out the good behavior of moderate christians in this instance. It helps to shame the idiots who behaved so badly.

    As you said, we have to ignore the “no true christian” bullshit.

  288. David Marjanović says

    Uh, what might become of the residence, “something like an inherited sin the bishop left to us”, are a home for refugees*, a place for homeless people, or a soup kitchen. I wonder about the 15,000-€ bathtub.

    * Precedent: an earlier bishop of the same place voluntarily left the previous official residence to a family from Eritrea (5 people) and moved to the seminary.

  289. rq says

    I think your intermittent posting has coincided with my non-Lounge reprieves, although I’ll be around for another couple of weeks because I’m translating and hence free to use the internet in ways that also help relax my brain during intense translating sessions. :)
    (I was doing well for a while there, though…)

  290. says

    Matt Taibbi’s brilliant journalism has once again pulled back the curtain behind which bankers, the Wall Street Journal, and all too many Wall Streeters are operating — (while they are simultaneously crying crocodile tears in front of the curtain in order to influence public opinion and to influence prosecutors).

    This piece by Taibbi is difficult to excerpt. I can give you a sampling, but the carefully delineated details that back up the best bits are what you really need. Read the whole piece.

    This story of banking fraud and incestuous bedfellows and “oh poor me” fuckers wanting off scot free leaves me sputtering and writing run-on sentences of questionable syntax. Rant! Starfart!

    … even this $13 billion settlement, which is actually a $9 billion settlement (see below), came very close to never happening. But now it is happening, and the business press is going nuts about how unfair it all is.

    In fact, this deal is actually quite a gift to Chase. It sounds like a lot of money, but there are myriad deceptions behind the sensational headline.

    … the settlement … may wipe out between $100 billion and $200 billion in potential liability – meaning that the bank might just have settled “for ten cents or so on the dollar.” The Federal Housing Finance Agency alone was suing Chase and its affiliates for $33 billion. The trustee in the ongoing Bernie Madoff Ponzi scandal was suing Chase for upwards of $19 billion….

    Moreover, the settlement is only $9 billion in cash, with $4 billion earmarked for “mortgage relief.” … and banks seem to have many canny ways of getting out of the spirit of these requirements. … most of the ordered “relief” eventually came in the form of short sales, with banks letting people sell their underwater houses and move out without paying for the loss in home value. That’s better than nothing, but it’s something very different than a bank working to help families stay in their homes.

    There’s also the matter of the remaining $9 billion in fines being tax deductible (meaning we’re subsidizing the settlement), … the key to this whole thing is that the punishment is just money, and not a crippling amount, and not from any individual’s pocket, either. In fact, the deal that has just been completed between Chase and the state represents the end, or near the end, of a long process by which people who committed essentially the same crimes as Bernie Madoff will walk away without paying any individual penalty. …

    At Bear, one deal manager jokingly nicknamed one pool of mortgages, SACO-2006-08, the “SACK OF SHIT” deal. …Bear’s securitization company, EMC, obtained a pool of mortgages from a sketchy mortgage originator called AHM, and found out that as much as 60 percent of the batch was delinquent.

    Yet they continued to buy these mortgages and throw them into the great hamburger-machine, turning them into securities that would in turn be bought by everyone from pension funds to Fannie and Freddie. And then they pushed sales even harder, relying upon the influx of new buyers of these securities to keep the value of the old securities stable. ….

    $13 billion sounds like a lot of money. But Bernie Madoff is doing 150 years, and nobody in this cast of characters will personally pay a dollar in fines. Nobody will do one day in jail. …

    Chase got to buy Bear Stearns with $29 billion in Fed guarantees, with the state setting up a special bailout facility, Maiden Lane, to unwind all of the phony-baloney loans created through Bear’s Ponzi-mortgage-mechanism described above. So Chase got to acquire one of the world’s biggest investment banks for pennies on the dollar, and then got the Fed to buy up all the toxic parts of the bank’s portfolio, essentially making the public the involuntary customer of Bear’s criminal inventory.

    Later on, Chase took $25 billion in TARP money, bought Washington Mutual and its $33 billion in assets for the fire-sale price of $1.9 billion, and then repeated the Bear scenario, getting another Maiden Lane facility to take on the deadliest parts of Washington Mutual’s portfolio ….

    Please stop feeling sorry for Chase, for Jamie Dimon, or for any of the other criminals that ripped are ripping us off.

  291. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The parade of Ghosties and Ghoulies is over, and the Redhead is warming up with cup of coffee and a warm piece of coffee cake. Off year. Only 305 pieces of candy handed out in two hours. *noshes left over Snickers™ bar*

  292. David Marjanović says

    *restocks hug truck yet again, because it got all empty*


    Donald Thompson, CEO of McDonald’s:

    Cancel your order for the new Bombardier 605 corporate jet until all of your full-time workers earn enough to live without public assistance.

    The luxury jet costs 35 megabucks, comparable to that bishop’s residence in Limburg, while McDonald’s tells employees to collect welfare so they don’t starve while on the job – tells, in other words, the taxpayers to pay the wages of their employees.


    Funny part? There’s an identical show on its second season here in Latvia with Latvian farmers… and the first woman farmer this season, too. :) I’m not sure what her prospects are, since I haven’t been following, but the coincidence is uncanny. ;)

    Not at all likely to be a coincidence. Probably the show, if not the TV channels, belongs to the same people.

    This is kind of what it looked like.

    “Soldier – Are you a human being or a machine of death?”

    Also interesting to see Gorbachov spelled Гарбачов instead of the correct Горбачёв on a sign (same pronunciation or nearly so).

    Hekuni Cat:

    Yes. I live in Sterling, which is a DC suburb. I would love it if we could meet up. =^_^=

    Great! I’ll only be there on the 10th to 12th of November, though (arriving by plane on the 9th and leaving on the 13th), and I hope to spend much of the 11th and possibly 12th in the collection of the Smithsonian.


    YAY POSSIBLY! :) I go out of town at, I think, Saturday the 7th (conference), so hopefully you mean the actual first week first week?



    I get well-paid per paper, and the academic gets papers they can understand and teach and explain, but being possessed of very limited English writing skills, could probably not write, and certainly not this quickly. This is important, because they are applying for positions teaching (with less focus on research), but the standards of the universities they’re applying to in the countries they’re applying specify a certain rate of publication to be considered for hire.

    Do y’all think less of me for this?

    No. If the academic actually reads and understands the papers, they’re learning from this. From what you write, it looks like you just improve their English before they start writing – that’s definitely OK, and I hope their English emproves from reading your manuscripts.

    One of the latest manuscripts I reviewed was scientifically nigh-impeccable, but the English was so bad that I put a long list of corrections into the review and asked what several passages are supposed to mean because I couldn’t figure it out on my own.


    Warning for all states in 2014, watch out for “pension reform” even from Democrats.

    Watch out for people whose job title seems to be “pension expert” showing up on the TV news every day. I’m Austrian, I speak from experience.


    Way too literal, David M.

    That fermenting smell is penis-centered, with some lesser effect via armpits and/or feet.

    I’ve spent enough time in molecular-biology labs to recognize just how distinctive the smell of a yeast culture is. :-)


    David Marjanovic: Oh awesome, but I’ll be in class then (sadly).

    :-( Well, perhaps the evening of the 13th is still feasible?

  293. opposablethumbs says

    The parade of Ghosties and Ghoulies is over

    ?????? But it’s not the 31st yet … don’t we even have halloween the same day on both sides of the pond??? (or is it just that it’s a nearby weekend? but then wouldn’t it be moved to a saturday for greater convenience … ::iz confused::)

  294. cicely says

    *pre-emptive hug-dump*, free to all.

    I think the Damned Ragweed rallied slightly, this weekend. Night-time temps weren’t as low.
    Still—better than it was.

    dongiovanni, I agree with you about the gingerbreads.
    My *sigh* was from the realization that the gingerbreads are almost-certainly on the Prohibitively Gluteniferous list.
    *additional sigh*

    *hugs* to replenish David’s dwindling stocks.

  295. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    :-( Well, perhaps the evening of the 13th is still feasible?

    Transportation options not has. (well okay maybe I do).

  296. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    ut it’s not the 31st yet … don’t we even have halloween the same day on both sides of the pond??? (or is it just that it’s a nearby weekend? but then wouldn’t it be moved to a saturday for greater convenience … ::iz confused::)

    Here in the Chiwaukee area, the local governments set aside hours for Trick and Treating. That way, it can run during the daylight for greater safety, and, with a set time, those handing out treats have an end time to allow for supper, etc, along with those watching the G&G set. Usually the last Sunday in October, from 2-4 pm, unless Saturday is the 31st.

  297. dongiovanni (Because I had to try this function sometime) says

    Ah… this is unfortunate. Intolerance strikes again? Are you allowed barley flour? Because that makes really good pastry and shortbread, and one could probably add enough spices to do an ersatz sort of gingerbread.

  298. carlie says

    Ugh, Nerd. I’ve lived places before with staggered hours, but at least it was always still on Halloween, just in shifts (youngest kids from 5-6, next oldest from 6-7, etc.) Talk about squeezing all the fun out of the holiday. It’s supposed to be dark when you go!

  299. says

    HI there
    We’ll be celebrating Halloween at my BFF’s house and I’ll make kitty litter cake :)

    And booooo-hoooo, I just said goodbye to sister cause she’s leaving for the health centre tomorrow and I already miss her :(
    It also means that there’ll be at least three weekly visits to gran where I’m alone with my parents. Not looking forward to that.

    But on a nice note, #1 isn’t satisfied with finally learning to read and write, she’s already developping her very own curly font. At the moment she focuses on writing words starting with “sp”, which is a difficult combination in German as it is pronounced sh-p.

  300. says

    So I feel sick and also ill.

    Sick cause I had a lucid dream which sounds stupid – I was fighting off raccoons. But in the midst of that dream I grabbed my girlfriend sleeping next to me and hit her. It wasn’t anything I did purposefully, I dream lucidly every so often, but this was the first time my dreams actually impacted someone, and I feel sick because of it.

    And I feel ill because my stomach is all twisty and gross.

  301. Nutmeg says

    *hugs* for Kevin

    Stupid sleeping brains. Mine’s a jerk too. I hope this was a one-off thing for you and won’t happen again.

  302. rq says

    I hope you feel better (in all respects) very soon! :( In the meantime, have some *hugs*.


    In other news, I feel brave: I just exterminated no fewer than 4 separate healthy and thriving colonies in the fridge.
    rq: Liberating refrigerators since… Preferably Never.

  303. blf says

    I suggest removing yer brain before going to bed, putting it in a safe place (like eyeglasses are taken off and put on a table or in a case). That way, no matter what the brain gets up to at night, you can have a nice rest. Just remember that you removed it, and where you put it, the next morning.

    However, a important Safety Tip: Do not put the brain in a mobile vat or similar contraption. It might learn how to drive the thing, which will invariably lead to surprises and other awkwardnesses, not only in the morning, but also as an unpleasant reason for suddenly waking-up in the middle of the night.

    (The mildly deranged penguin suggests nailing it to the floor (and watching where you step)…)

  304. rq says

    Poor baby, poor mum, poor other students and poor professor… Hopefully it is a very well-behaved baby. Sad to think that the mother may not have had a choice in bringing the baby – bring baby or miss lecture. I’ve missed several work seminars for the same reason: no adequate childcare options. :(

  305. blf says

    The baby is lunch.

    (I hope the reason is because the person had no choice, rather then thinking it’s a good idea. Of course, not having a choice is also not good.)

  306. says

    Hell and damnation. Conservatives are looking for more ways to indoctrinate their children. In Glenn Beck’s mormon culture, it is common for parents to refuse to pay college tuition for their children if said rebellious children refuse to go to BYU.

    Free Think University (fucking orwellian sin against the English language, that name) and some other conservative dunderheads have teamed up to offer online courses in conservatism (that paragon of idiocy, Ted Cruz, is one of the lecturers). Prospective college students have to successfully complete the courses in conservative revisionist history, etc. in order to receive college tuition funds deposited by their cranky parents.

    … Jim Van Eerden has come up with a resource that he says will give conservative parents a chance to counteract any liberal indoctrination of their children before it happens. His plan would let parents deposit tuition money into a “scholarship” that would go to a child’s college only after the student had passed one or more short online courses offering a “more balanced” take on various issues.

    It’s quite a system. FreeThinkU offers about 30 online “courses” that include comprehensive quizzes at the end of the instruction. Conservative parents are apparently supposed to tell their kids they’ll help pick up the tab for their college costs, but the students can only unlock the funds by completing the FreeThinkU lesson plans.

    The classes cover topics you’d probably expect – global warming isn’t real; evolutionary biology isn’t real; the Second Amendment is inviolate; etc. – and draw upon materials prepared by the Heritage Foundation, an Exxon-Mobil financed think-tank called the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and of course the Leadership Institute.

    FreeThinkU makes money by charging parents and/or grandparents a membership fee, though the program hopes to expand – conservatives can, in time, contribute money to university-based scholarship funds, which students could become eligible for by completing FreeThinkU courses. …

    With Glenn Beck’s website on board, college students with far-right parents should probably start preparing themselves for the inevitable….

    Bribery enables anti-education.

  307. says

    Paying for the “scientific” results you want? Mother Jones was recently given access to internal emails related to the American Council on Science and Health. The emails raise some red flags.

    According to the ACSH documents, from July 1, 2012, to December 20, 2012, 58 percent of donations to the council came from corporations and large private foundations. ACSH’s donors and the potential backers the group has been targeting comprise a who’s-who of energy, agriculture, cosmetics, food, soda, chemical, pharmaceutical, and tobacco corporations. ACSH donors in the second half of 2012 included Chevron ($18,500), Coca-Cola ($50,000), the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation ($15,000), … Monsanto, British American Tobacco, DowAgro, ExxonMobil Foundation, Phillip Morris International, Reynolds American, the Koch family-controlled Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Dow-linked Gerstacker Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, and the Searle Freedom Trust….

    The American Council on Science and Health claims to be an independent research and advocacy organization devoted to debunking “junk science.” It may well be that, but it’s hard to tell. The ACSH entered the debates on the positive side for fracking.

  308. says

    There is, apparently, nothing you can say that is so offensive that conservative media outlets will not hire you anyway:

    Jason Richwine, who parted ways with the Heritage Foundation over his research arguing Hispanics are intellectually inferior to whites, has quietly begun writing semi-regularly for the flagship conservative publication National Review. …

  309. says

    Yet another sign that conservatives are not going to cooperate with President Obama when it comes to immigration reform:

    Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly is sick and tired of people invoking the Statue of Liberty to advocate for fixing our immigration laws.

    In a radio commentary today Schlafly – who previously argued that the Bible’s mandate for “compassion” doesn’t apply to immigrants – commemorates the anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty by declaring that the statue “has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration.” Instead, she argued, “people who had nothing to do with this great gift from the French were allowed to paste a plague on the base of the statue with a quotation that has misrepresented the statue as an invitation to open immigration.” …

  310. says

    Are you looking forward to spending the holidays with family members and friends? Beware the conservative ones. They are gearing up to berate you.
    Right Wing Watch link.

    … Carol Bauer emailed Campaign for Working Families members a “prayer alert” asking them to use the holiday season as an opportunity to tell young people why Barack Obama is such a terrible president, as “today’s twenty-somethings may now be awakening to political realities.”

    “The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays will be an opportunity to give those young adults in our lives a listening ear, empathy, the chance to vent about what they thought would come of the broad brush promises of a president who is forever in campaign mode and perhaps some advice and encouragement in just the right tone,” she writes. “It is my prayer that these days will be a wake-up call to the next generation about what is and is not possible in the real world of governing.”…

  311. says

    Obamacare causes suicide … or maybe Obamacare is going to cause an epidemic of suicides soon. The reasons are obvious, if you are a conservative nut job.

    Obamacare will cause suicides because it takes away your privacy, leaving you no choice but to shoot yourself with the last pistol the government has not yet taken from you. (I know, bear with me here. I never claimed this conservative theory made sense.)

    Divorceés will be beaten to death by their ex-husbands because Obamacare refused to allow the women to have guns.

    Gay men will turn to gambling, roulette specifically, and will then be suicidal.

  312. says

    people who had nothing to do with this great gift from the French were allowed to paste a plague on the base of the statue with a quotation that has misrepresented the statue as an invitation to open immigration.

    Hail Tpyos, Giver of Unintended Humour!

    David M. and Tony, thank you for your thoughts on the Dread Pirate Caitie thing. Which I have to admit is a good nym, and I do love the ‘Bride (Ultimate Torture Device to 50!), but I have a hard time enjoying pirates because I’ve read too many books about who pirates actually were to find them a fun idea (cf.”costume ideas”: SS officer, slaveowner, pimp – usually with added racism, for that special zing, executioner, serial killer…). Sigh. Knowledge does make some things less fun.

    Now, back to today’s work. “Use of $NEW_BUZZWORD_CONCEPT in the $COUNTRY_ADJ context: An overview”, by “Someone the Academysterian, PhD”.


  313. cicely says

    dongiovanni, barley is a tentative “no”; it’s on the same gluten-containing list as wheat…but I don’t know how much gluten it has, in comparison. There is some evidence (gathered in a rather slap-dash series of “experiments” I’ve run through my guts) that I can deal with just a little peril gluten—say, where I have reason to believe that a lower-gluten wheat flour has been used (I can deal with at least some spaghetti and macaroni)—but I’ve run no such “experiments” with barley, and have no enthusiasm, at the moment, for engaging in Risky Business more.

    *eyeing storm pics warily*
    The hatches, rq—batten them down thoroughly.
    *crossing all tentacles on your behalf*

    Peter Pan and his shadow.

    Neat costume/s concept.

    *hugs* for Kevin.
    Dreams are not “real”.
    I’ve had dreams in which I was…a televangelist.

  314. blf says

    Obamacare will cause suicides because it takes away your privacy, leaving you no choice but to shoot yourself with the last pistol the government has not yet taken from you.

    How unkind or inappropriate is it to wish that the wingnuts who believe this actually do it?

  315. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Kevin: “And I feel ill because my stomach is all twisty and gross.”

    Yup! That raccoon fur will do it to your stomach every time.

    Feel better. When I first started taking antidepressants, I one time fell asleep in the passenger seat as my wife was driving. I jerked awake and hit her in the jaw, nearly resulting in both out fiery deaths. I always make sure to tangle my arm in the safety belt now.

  316. blf says

    I’ve had dreams in which I was…a televangelist.

    You need urgent help… Of course, if it was a pea or a horse, then you’d be beyond help, that’s a nuking-from-orbit delusion.

  317. cicely says

    Happily, the televangelist dream is very infrequent. I’m counting on the (much more frequent!) Giant Flaming Super-speed Tornado Swarm dreams to eventually ride right over top of ’em.

  318. Pteryxx says

    Food stamp cuts (which were supposed to be ‘fixed’ by now, natch) hit Friday, November 1. It’s going to be a rough month.

    ‘Riots always begin typically the same way’: food stamp shutdown looms Friday

    “If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, told Salon Monday. Purvis said that the looming cut would mean about 76 million meals “that will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families” in NYC alone – a figure that outstrips the total number of meals distributed each year by the Food Bank for New York City, the largest food bank in the country. “There will be an immediate impact,” she said.

    “The fact that they’re going to lose what’s basically an entire week’s worth food” each month, said Purvis, “it’s pretty daunting.” She told Salon that while policymakers “are attempting to punish people for being poor,” and “people are comforted by believing that they know that a person has to have done something wrong in order to be poor,” in reality, “I can tell you that more and more folks have more than one job and are still needing help.” (As I reported last week, audio recorded by a McDonald’s worker-activist showed a counselor on an employee hotline encouraging her to sign up for food stamps because it “takes a lot of the pressure off how much money you spend on groceries.”) Purvis added that cutting food stamps was “not even good business sense,” because each dollar of food stamps infuses over $1.70 of spending into the economy.

    “We were all told that these cuts for November 1 would not happen,” said Purvis. When “they decided they were going to take from some of the increases to food stamps” to fund First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, she told Salon, “We were told, you know, by the president…these cuts will not happen, we won’t get rid of the program. Well guess what? November 1 is around the corner, and no one has restored that money.”

  319. pHred says

    I have had to bring my kids to class sometimes. Awkward since I was the one teaching them, but there were not many choices when my kids got sick. Some days my husband couldn’t take the day off and I didn’t think I should cancel the classes so I went baby or child in tow. Fortunately they are both pretty well behaved kids and I am quite proud of them. Not the best solution but I think it is better then what some people do – cancel lots of their classes for all sorts of reasons. YMMV

    Some of my past students still ask me how my kids are doing and recognize them when we are out at the zoo or museums.

  320. rq says

    Wow, hats off to you!
    I’ve had to take my kids to work, and I have to say, my productivity approaches zero in those cases… Except when they were <1 year old, since I could put them to sleep and then work. But then, I don’t have to teach anything… That sounds an awful lot more difficult with children.

  321. says

    Breaking news from the AP twitter feed — Good news!

    BREAKING: Federal judge declares Texas abortion restrictions unconstitutional, blocks enforcement.

  322. says

    Oh, yeah, here’s an excellent reason to be anti-science. NOT.

    Tea party hero Rand Paul warned scientific advancements could lead to eugenics during a Monday visit at Liberty University, looking to boost the political fortunes of fellow Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.

    During a visit to the Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Paul looked to energize conservative supporters by warning that people who are short, overweight or less intelligent could be eliminated through abortion. With one week remaining, Cuccinelli is hoping the joint appearance with the U.S. senator from Kentucky will encourage the far-right flank of his party to abandon third-party libertarian spoiler Robert Sarvis. ….

    Washington Post link.

  323. says

    More news related to the coverup of sexual abuse of children by mormon leaders:

    Kosnoff Fasy, together with attorney Robert Fitzsimmons from Wheeling, West Virginia and attorney Carl Kravitz from the Washington, D.C. law firm of Zuckerman Spaeder, filed a civil lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter-day Saints on behalf of a dozen sexually abused minor children, alleging that church officials failed to protect them from a known sexual predator they allowed to serve as a babysitter for church families….

    This class action lawsuit has been expanded to include more victims. In the past, the LDS church has settled such cases out of court in order to avoid revealing church finances. This case may make it all the way into a court, with the concomitant public scrutiny that would bring.

  324. rq says

    Hatches are being battened, but we’ll only be getting the trailing edge of the storm currently raging through Germany and Denmark, moving on towards Sweden and Finland overnight (which means most damage – if any – will be occurring while we sleep). Still, (prognosticated) windspeeds up to 35m/s (uh, 126km/h if I done my math right?) – not a laughing matter! I hear Denmark got 53 (~ 190)… Now that’s impressive for a non-tropical storm.

  325. opposablethumbs says

    Hope everyone in the path of our little local breeze is unscathed. We found our steps blocked by a couple of fallen branches this morning, but they were small enough for SonSpawn and me to clear out of the way by hand between us. A lot of the garden fence came down, and there were some major bits of tree blocking the road. So we were lucky, and almost completely unaffected – unlike the people who have had really bad property damage to deal with, and, far worse, the poor families who have lost someone.

    Best good-luck wishes to everyone who is now getting/is about to get the next instalment of inclement weather.

  326. rq says

    Glad you’re safe! Saw some photos of felled trees. *shudder*
    [sekritwhisper] Actually we’re kind of hoping that one of the larger trees manages to fall only on the car, because then insurance would cover the cost of a new one, and for immediate use we still have Husband’s Brother’s car on loan, and that one’s safely out of danger. [/sekritwhisper]

    And I hope everyone else in the path of the storm stays safe!!

  327. Parrowing says

    We had a lot of wind about an hour ago but it seems to have calmed down… and it’s picked back up again, so nevermind.

    Things never get canceled around here due to inclement weather, but my husband’s class, which was supposed to be tomorrow morning, was postponed. I hope we don’t lose power overnight :-/.

    Hope you’re safe rq and everyone else ’round these parts.

  328. carlie says

    Good luck, everyone! Louis said on twitter a few hours ago that some of his roof tiles came down on his car in the storms.

    I can tell it’s getting to be winter, because I’m fantasizing about moisturizers all day long. It’s so, so dry all of a sudden. I think I’m going to have to douse myself with olive oil tonight.

    In amazing news, we did our first wood stove fire of the year yesterday, let it go out at about 9:30pm, and it was still warm from it at 8am. Last winter, before the new windows, the heat would be gone by 1am or so.

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

    It’s warm and cloudless here: maybe 15 degreesC where I am. It’s the most beautiful October most around me can remember in British Columbia…though I admit that up near Haida Gwai they’ve had a bit more precip, it’s still been unusually warm & bright there as well.

  330. opposablethumbs says

    Sounds like those are good windows, carlie!

    Good luck with strategically placing the car, rq – and I hope no damage of any kind is done except where actually convenient :-)

    I don’t think we lost any tiles, but come to think of it I suppose I should probably take a closer look – tomorrow (a bit dark out there now!).

  331. says

    *hugs* Hope you feel better soon.

    Best wishes and best of luck to those in the path of heavy weather. We’ve been having a disturbingly warm and sunny October over here, it hasn’t rained but 2-3 days, and that not heavily. Normally I’d expect to see that many days in October without rain.

  332. thunk, decus et tutamen says


    I hear Denmark got 53 (~ 190)… Now that’s impressive for a non-tropical storm.

    Yeah. wow. that would be the equivalent of category 3 hurricane for tropical folks.

    Best wishes to all with suboptimal weathers.

  333. Pteryxx says


    Redefining full-term pregnancy as 39 weeks

    The change matters because, as the March of Dimes has been arguing and actively educating the public on, elective deliveries performed before 39 weeks without a medical reason consistently result in greater risks of health problems for the baby. These risks include problems with breathing as well as developmental issues. […]

    The new definitions are good news not only for babies, but also for mothers. Not only is carrying to full term less likely to pose the health problems associated with prematurity in the baby, but the possibility of more spontaneously initiated labors would mean fewer labors via induction or surgery. Both of these interventions are accompanied by health risks to the mother, including more painful contractions, risk of infection, uterine rupture, and the possibility of cascading interventions in which ultimately induction will not work and the major surgery that is cesarean section will become necessary.

    Random unconditional grants to the world’s poorest work surprisingly well

    The 25-year-old carpenter knew nothing of this until he came home one day to find that strangers had given his wife a mobile phone linked to a bank account. Next came a $1,000 windfall, which they were free to spend on whatever they liked.

    The idea sounds as extraordinary as throwing money out of helicopters. But this programme, and others like it, are part of a shift in thinking about how best to use aid to help the poorest. For decades, it was thought that the poor needed almost everything done for them and that experts knew best what this was. Few people would trust anyone to spend $1,000 responsibly. Instead, governments, charities and development banks built schools and hospitals, roads and ports, irrigation pipes and electric cables. And they set up big bureaucracies to run it all.

    Bank of America verdict opens the field for civil cases

    To convince a jury that Bank of America (BAC.N) engaged in fraud, lawyers in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office turned to FIRREA, a once-dormant civil fraud statute that essentially allows the government to build a criminal case against financial institutions, but without having to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The Justice Department has tried to use the law in an array of bank cases, especially those tied to the housing bubble and subsequent collapse, after similar criminal investigations did not produce charges.

    But Wednesday’s verdict, which faulted the bank for making bad home loans and passing them to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, was the first test of FIRREA that went all the way through trial. The use of the law could transform the Justice Department’s relationship with Wall Street.

    “It allows and permits the government to go after all kinds of malfeasance that some people thought that maybe you couldn’t go after before,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office brought the case against Bank of America, said in an interview on Thursday.

  334. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    David M:

    Great! I’ll only be there on the 10th to 12th of November, though (arriving by plane on the 9th and leaving on the 13th), and I hope to spend much of the 11th and possibly 12th in the collection of the Smithsonian.

    If possible, I would love to spend time with you at the Smithsonian. We could meet up there or at some other preferred location on any of those days. My schedule is flexible. Let me know what would work best for you. =^_^=

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

    We’ve had am almost uncomfortably warm October. Today’s expected temperature is about 24°C and it’s been like that for weeks, after a spell of really cold days in the beginning of the month.

  336. chigau (違う) says

    I am finding it difficult to read Allie’s book without laughing and crying at the same time.
    Fortunately, there is a cat on my lap.

  337. A. Noyd says

    Well, this is just nifty:

    “Alone Time” is a striking and nuanced photo series by Montreal-based artist JJ Levine that seeks to explore issues of gender identity and queer space. Utilizing one model to portray two characters in each photo, the subject of each image in the series embodies both a male and female character within a single frame.

    (Apologies if someone posted that already. I’ve been studying for a midterm and so skimmed the thread for the past few days.)

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

    @A Noyd:

    Good to see you round.

    I haven’t seen that, but I can’t say that I tend to loathe this kind of thing while still thinking it has a lot of value for some people. Certainly the skill with which Levine created these shots is impressive. I can respect that a ton.

    But even as other people feel their minds being blown, I just can’t escape the predictable, conservative nature of it. “See, there’s masculine over here and feminine over here, but they both are the same person, as if the masculine and feminine both exist in the same person and you can choose what to express!”

    Yeah, okay. but genders other than man and woman exist. Why not one model and 3 figures or one model and two figures, both feminine but portraying different feminine stereotypes – matronly and sexually neutral vs librarian-hot? Ugh. I just can’t get into it.

    This isn’t to say I’m reacting negatively to your comment or your decision to post it here. As I said, it can be mind blowing for some people. It’s a very personal reaction for me, and I know that others’ opinions will vary. I just don’t like the emphasis on duality, even when stressing “you could be either!” it doesn’t feel like a positive message to me.

  339. carlie says

    chigau – mine isn’t supposed to arrive for another week! :( Didn’t it just get released today? You have some wicked fast shipping.

  340. says

  341. says

    Hi there

    From Pteryxx link:

    Nevertheless, these early births—via induction or cesarean section—have risen to as many as 15 percent of births annually in the United States. The rate of early delivery is so high because the risks are not widely understood, because births are scheduled for reasons of health-care provider convenience, and because estimated due dates are often miscalculated, resulting in the mistaken belief that a baby is to term when it really is not yet.

    Cool, new ways to shame, blame and bully women and demonize heathcare providers.
    Claiming that health care providers just induce and carry out c-sections for convenience? check!
    Demonizing Pitocin? Check!
    Stating the increased risk of morbidity for early term but not mentioning the increased mortality for late term? Check!
    Acting as if being pregnant for longer is actually beneficial for women? Check!
    Really, woman, you need to hold it a bit longer or you’re harming the BABYYYY!

    You’ll forgive me if I’m not enthusiastic about this.

    Hope that all Hordlings in the way of the storm are OK

  342. rq says

    While our entire west coast (more or less) is still with no electricity, other damage is limited to fallen trees and branches. No casualties heard of yet. So, in the spirit of good news, I enjoyed this.

  343. Pteryxx says

    Giliell #459: *blink* Did RHR screw up on this? (and by extension, did I?) I’d thought induced labor WAS problematic, but on closer reading you’re right – while the RHR article and cited March of Dimes article make a big point of it, the ACOG guidelines they’re talking about don’t make any mention of risks to the women at all, not even as an answered concern; and all the ACOG cited research I can find discusses neonatal outcomes ONLY. (Of course half the research is paywalled.)

    I’m glad to move this to Thunderdome if you’re willing to get into the topic more.

  344. says

    Republicans in the House of Representatives have given up on working. They have only 19 days of work scheduled between now and the end of the year … and get this, they think that’s too many so they are considering scheduling some more time off.

    In the meantime, several of these lazy congress critters say they do not have time to consider the Senate’s immigration reform bill. (First video that comes up.)

    … The 112th Congress was the least productive since the clerk’s office started keeping track seven decades ago, and this current 113th Congress is on track to do even less. Presumably, the Republican majority could at least try to take up meaningful bills in the hopes of passing something, but at this point, they’re not even inclined to bother. Rather, they’re thinking about showing up to work even less.

    What about the House Republican policy agenda? It apparently doesn’t exist. What about the desire to have some legislative accomplishments? It’s been overwhelmed by political lethargy. This crop of lawmakers is giving new meaning to the phrase “do-nothing Congress,” and instead of scurrying to prove themselves capable of governing, they’re content to just accept the label and go home.

    As pathetic as this may be, the larger point isn’t just to point and laugh at the House’s ineptitude. Rather, one of the key takeaways of this is that House Republicans keep saying they’d love to tackle immigration reform – if only they had more time.

    Exhausted by failure.

  345. says

    Hey, Wall Street Journal, wha dafuq?

    … The WSJ now has an online feature called “The Experts,” in which the paper features commentary from specialists and authorities in their given fields. Yesterday, as Jon Chait discovered, this meant giving ’70s-era actress Suzanne Somers a forum to attack the Affordable Care Act as a “socialist Ponzi scheme.”

    The piece is a bizarre, 543-word screed, filled with strange errors of fact and judgment, culminating in Somers’s attempt to draw a historical parallel: “It’s the dark underbelly of the Affordable Care Act reminiscent of what Lenin and Churchill both said. Lenin: ‘Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state.’ Churchill: ‘Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens.’”

    As the paper’s editors later conceded, the quotes Somers relied on aren’t real….

    Rupert Murdoch is dissolving the news. The now unrecognizable Murdoch Slime that passes for news is taking over the world.

  346. says

    This is nice, four female Supreme Court Justices are being recognized with an art display.
    US News link.

    The women of the Supreme Court – all four that have served – are the stars of a new piece of artwork on loan to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

    On Monday, the Smithsonian museum unveiled the painting, created by portraitist Nelson Shanks in 2012. It stands at a whopping 9 feet 6 inches high and shows retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sitting on a blue couch, with newer Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan standing behind them. While all four women are wearing their robes, each is sporting slightly different neckwear….

  347. says

    Sounds like the female justices had a good time posing for the portrait (see comment 465):

    The Legal Times reported that all four justices sat for the portrait for more than four hours last year, in a setting that artist Shanks called “semi-controlled chaos.” The justices were “talking and joking” throughout. The painting’s setting doesn’t actually exist, with the artist instead combining the scenery from one of the court’s conference rooms that overlooks a courtyard, with that of the Natalie Cornell Rehnquist Dining Room, a dining room in the Supreme Court building named after the wife of late Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

  348. says

    If you can’t get the entire USA to properly address climate change, I guess you’ll have to do so piecemeal. From the better-than-nothing category:

    Saying that the West Coast must lead the way in battling climate change, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington, along with the premier of British Columbia, signed an agreement Monday committing the Canadian province and the three states to coordinate global-warming policies. …

  349. says

    Just following orders from my constituents. That’s right, as a far-right-wing Republican, I have no ethical core. It’s not allowed.

    A Nevada assemblyman came under fire Monday after a YouTube video surfaced in which he told a Republican gathering he would vote to allow slavery if that is what his constituents wanted him to do.

    “If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose … they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah,” Assemblyman Jim Wheeler told members of the Storey County Republican Party at a meeting in August.

  350. Nutmeg says

    *dumps bucket of hugs onto thread*
    *also snacks and beverages*


    Does anyone else find the idea of relaxing kind of terrifying? Especially the deliberate, take-deep-breaths kind of relaxing? The thought of letting my guard down like that, on purpose, makes my brain go all, “Nope nope nope! We’re not doing that. Run away now!”, and I’m not entirely sure why.

    What’s up with that?

  351. says

    Young, white, and racist. A bunch of white supremacists are meeting in Washington D.C.

    In the basement of Washington’s Ronald Reagan building this Saturday, 100 or so preppy white folks gathered to talk about their disgust with modernity and their embattled race. …

    … the men — and handful of women — bought books about the IQ differences between races and listened for nearly nine hours, as speakers from the U.S., Switzerland and France carried on about their shared European heritage, the impending financial collapse and the absurdity of believing all men are born free and created equal.

    “God did not give people inalienable rights any more than he made them all equal and it is just the silliest kind of thing,” said Sam Dickson, an attorney who has spent decades supporting ultra-right-wing causes from Holocaust denial to Confederate revisionism. “That kind of thinking to the brain is like cotton candy to the stomach as compared to roast beef.”

    The conference, titled “After the Fall: The Future of Identity,” was an opportunity to vent about a world that “has begun to crack and splinter under the pressure of mass immigration, multiculturalism and the natural expression of religious and ethnic identities by non-Europeans,” an online announcement explained. The conference comes as much of the white separatist movement is coalescing in opposition to Congress’ push for comprehensive immigration reform.

    The host was the National Policy Institute, a quasi-think tank “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of European people in the United States, and around the world.” In sessions, speakers carried on about “The God That Failed,” “The Children of Oedipus,” the “Question of Identity.”…

  352. carlie says

    Nutmeg –

    Does anyone else find the idea of relaxing kind of terrifying? Especially the deliberate, take-deep-breaths kind of relaxing? The thought of letting my guard down like that, on purpose, makes my brain go all, “Nope nope nope! We’re not doing that. Run away now!”, and I’m not entirely sure why.

    What’s up with that?

    I don’t know, but it literally took me months of therapy to be able to relax. Like, one week my homework was to sit for two minutes straight, then up to 5, etc. And it was so hard. However, now I see relaxation as my nature-given right and can fall limp at any opportunity. ;)

  353. cicely says

    no actual football takes place in this awesome clip.
    OSU Marching Band Hollywood Tribute

    More football games should be like this!

    My Hyperbole and a Half ebook just arrived.

    I has an envy.

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


    I can’t relax like that. The moment I start, all the thoughts I kept away start rushing into the space I’m emptying, and the result is my brain being in a larger turmoil than it started with.

  355. says

    I’ll say one thing for USan carryball: it makes a fine videogame.

    *pauses to add some bent and wobbly hugs to the pile, for all comers as wanted*

    I recently picked up a small wodge of PS3 games, a nice and efficient use of my very limited entertainment budget, as each can provide many hours of play time. They were all sport games, and the cool bit is, all old sport games: Madden (NFL) 2008, NCAA Football 2009, MLB 2009, and NHL 08. They were on sale at the used game store for CAD3- each, about half my monthly me-time budget, but have given me many hours already of fun.

    The hockey one has a feature that allows you to create your own player (sadly, gender is not a variable here), so I made me a goalie, and have been working my way up the system. Same in the baseball game, and the NCAA game, which is a weird one, because you have to do all this recruiting-dance stuff, very foreign to my knowledge of sport. And the NFL one is a little cognitively dissonant for me, because of its focus on the enormous size of the player, and the hyper-masculine sex differentiation is…oddly disturbing.

    The Madden 08 (NFL) game is my favourite, though I find the game more or less unwatchable IRL. Playing it, or coaching it, is a lot more interesting: how do I solve the puzzle the defence is presenting me? What will my opponent do in trying to solve the puzzle I am presenting? How can I tweak my puzzle to make it harder against all approaches?

    I enjoy the psychological aspect of trying to establish a running game (thus bringing the defence close to the line, and enabling a more big-gain passing style), of how and when to blitz, what are the differences between zone and man defence, all kinds of interesting details that are opaque when watching the game IRL. It’s very much a game where teamwork is central to success, because the broader the spectrum of possibility one can score with, the harder it is to stop. And teamwork is my favourite thing about games of any sort: tabletop, RP, video, sport, puzzles, mysteries, whatever.

    The stop-and-start nature of it makes it well-suited to the pause-and-think play style, which is very much mine when it can be (per the game allowing it). “Real” football (FIFA/world-style) is all about the flow; in fact, game officials are explicitly urged to consider the flow of the game when deciding on game incidents, and are given a tool (“playing the advantage”; ignoring a foul when it doesn’t benefit the team that committed it, punishing it retroactively with a card after the play goes dead) to ensure they can maintain that flow even if there are fouls. I used to be a referee, so I’m kind of in that stream of thought: the game is an artistic whole, created by the movements and decisions of twenty-five or more people. So finding a place to pause-and-think is much more difficult outside of play stoppages.

    One rambly work-avoiding Lounge post. I hope your AROTE* will go/is going/has gone/will be going to have gone well. :)

  356. rq says

    Warning: Asteroid! Now financed by the UN.

    While I have not received a grant but only received all kinds of backpay (is that what it’s called?), this is approximately how I feel – perhaps a few of you will understand. :)

    Yes, Lonely Planet’s Top 4 place to visit next year. If you come, I’ll guarantee a place to stay for anyone who doesn’t mind children. Come, before all the EU financing runs out and everything falls back into ruin.

  357. says

    Mrgh. Forgot my footnote.

    *AROTE: Arbitrary rotation of the Earth, a term of greeting which allows for the fact that we are spread out around the world’s time zones. Derived eventually from (I may say with a bit of pride) my own habit of greeting people at New Year’s Eve as “Happy Arbitrarily-Determined Beginning of Solar Orbit Eve!”, which has for some completely inexplicable reason not gone viral and become the way that everyone calls it. Experts – okay, only me – are baffled.

    Many (not all) people pronounce it as “ah-‘ro-tay” (or, for you Euro folk: pronounce as it’s spelled, thanks, stress on the penultimate syllable).

  358. A. Noyd says

    Crip Dyke (#452)

    But even as other people feel their minds being blown, I just can’t escape the predictable, conservative nature of it. “See, there’s masculine over here and feminine over here, but they both are the same person, as if the masculine and feminine both exist in the same person and you can choose what to express!”

    I see your point, but that’s not what the artist was getting at. It seems they chose to go with the “conservative” approach specifically to “challenge the assumption that gender is binary and sexuality is fixed.” To me, it’s not showing that a person can be one or the other in a binary, but that the binary itself is an artificial product of culturally coded gender performance. Because the photos portray some very typical ideas of masculine and feminine, it asks people who would accept those portrayals as non-arbitrary in separate models to question the relationship of bodies and gender.

  359. blf says

    Why young women are going off the pill and on to contraception voodoo:

    Many twentysomethings are resentful of their birth control options, and so are choosing to use nothing at all

    I have a twentysomething friend in the US who, for purposes of preserving our friendship, I’ll call Mary. As Mary is a human being, she likes to have sex. One thing Mary does not like, however, is contraception. Being on the pill made her “crazy”; getting an IUD felt, she says evocatively, “like having a hair caught in my throat” and condoms “just don’t feel good. We all know that.” So for the past dozen years (“at least”) Mary has been using an alternative method: she hasn’t been using any contraception at all.

    Instead, she has worked out a formula that she calls “amazing” and I call “voodoo”. It involves a combination of relying on various smartphone apps with names like Period Tracker and relying on the guy she is sleeping with (she is not in a long-term relationship) to “behave” — in other words, pull out in the nick of time. That she has not become pregnant since switching to her voodoo system proves, she says, that it works, “although there have been a few plan B (morning-after pill) moments”. Mary is not crazy. She is not even stupid. In fact, she is increasingly typical of her generation

    According to a report from the Guttmacher Institute, more than half of the unintended pregnancies in the US occur among the 10.7% of women who use no contraceptive method at all (and no, downloading Period Tracker does not count as a contraceptive method). …

    When researchers from the Guttmacher Institute asked the women who accidentally became pregnant why they eschewed contraception, answers ranged from the self-deluding (“a perceived invulnerability to pregnancy”) to the predictable (“lack of thought or preparation”, dislike of contraceptive methods) to the absolutely infuriating (“male partner’s objections and fear that pregnancy prevention is an indication of infidelity”).

    Another factor I have noticed is that some young women resent having to shoulder the responsibility of contraception. …

    Margaret Sanger, before she founded Planned Parenthood in America, wrote in 1920 that a woman who relies on a man for birth control is “exploited, driven and enslaved to his desires”. …

    Talking of men, though, leads to a crucial point which these studies barely touch on: an accidental pregnancy requires the involvement of more than one person who is almost certainly flying contraception-free. … To say that women should be strong and insist that their partner wear a condom if they themselves are not protected against pregnancy is sometimes easier to say in theory and harder in practice, especially if the young woman is inexperienced and feels that she should impress the guy.

    When discussing US and UK contraceptive issues, those in the UK will always have it somewhat easier, thanks to relatively easy access to free contraception and advice. (Despite what some Republican politicians might suggest, Planned Parenthood clinics are hardly ubiquitous in the US.) But what young people in both countries still need, it seems, is uncompromising education telling them that just because they’ve never been pregnant before doesn’t mean they can’t get pregnant; just because they’re not a gay man in the 1970s doesn’t mean they can’t get an STI; and to teach young women to be more assertive with their partners. Because it really can happen to you.

    While researching this story, I emailed Mary and asked after … her younger sister and fellow period-tracker devotee. Her baby’s due this spring.

  360. rq says

    I hate the voodoo. It is strong here, too – and regularly endorsed by “gynecologists” (I refuse to describe them as qualified) in popular media articles.

    condoms “just don’t feel good. We all know that.”

    Yes, yes – we all know that. Personally, I think someone is just grossed out by all kinds of bodily fluids in small rubber packages. Because bodily fluids get so much grosser once they’re inside a container.

  361. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, carlie and Beatrice. It helps to know that I’m not the only one who’s weird about this.

    It’s funny. When I need to relax, I’m totally okay with exercising or getting out into nature. I look forward to days when I can swim laps because it makes my brain behave for a few hours afterwards. And I guess my outdoor activities are usually combined with exercise, but I don’t have too much trouble sitting and watching birds fly over a river or whatever. But ask me to sit still and breathe and concentrate on relaxing? Nope. I’ll be over here with my shoulders up around my ears and my fists clenched into little balls, thanks.

  362. carlie says

    that she has not become pregnant since switching to her voodoo system proves, she says, that it works,

    More likely, she’s at least somewhat infertile.

  363. carlie says

    rq – for “over a dozen years”, though? Given that the working definition of infertility is not getting pregnant after two years of regular unprotected sex, I think the likelihood that it’s just luck is probably quite low.

  364. says

    Good evening!


    condoms “just don’t feel good. We all know that.”

    “We” don’t know that at all. Personally, I don’t feel a fucking difference (pun somewhat intended), except that the whole mess afterwards is not my problem.


    More likely, she’s at least somewhat infertile.

    I’ve known some peope who quite arrogantly turned up their noses at stupid people’s contraception failures. They’d been having sex for 5, 10, 15, 20 years and never ever did they have an unintended pregnancy! Until the day they noticed that they were also really bad at having an intended pregnancy…

    While we’Re at it, I might have shocked two friends today. One of them is pregnant. Not intended, but also I would say not (unless medical problems arise) life-shattering. I said that I was through with having them. No more babies for me. I like them, I find them cute, but they’re even cuter if you can hand them back to their parents once they start to cry or smell.
    And she said “yeah, but what can you do if it just happens like with me?” and I said “I’d have an abortion, I have no problems with that.” I went on a bit how it would really suck for all of us, very much including any new baby if I had another one. Seriously, having one would not be a loving choice.

  365. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says


    Seriously, having one would not be a loving choice.

    I hear you there. I really don’t get the rhetoric about how birthing (and possibly adoption) is the “loving” choice.


    “Sorry, baby, but mummy can’t afford to feed/clothe you.”
    “Sorry, baby, but mummy’s angry that having you made her incapable of holding down her job, so now she’s stuck in a shitty job that barely pays enough to cover the rent for this shithole, and she can’t help but resent you for this.”
    “Sorry, baby, but mummy couldn’t afford to have you, so she surrendered you to a system that placed you with an abusive family.”
    “Sorry, baby, but mummy was forced to have you by daddy, and now she just hopes that you can’t hear her crying.”

  366. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    From the contraception voodoo quote up at 482:

    As Mary is a human being, she likes to have sex.

    Well. That’s some…gratuitous dehumanization of everybody who doesn’t.

  367. says

    This may have been posted before, but if so, I missed it. Beware LinkedIn’s new service.

    LinkedIn released a new product today called Intro. They call it “doing the impossible”, but some might call it “hijacking email”. Why do we say this? Consider the following:

    Intro reconfigures your iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad) so that all of your emails go through LinkedIn’s servers. You read that right. Once you install the Intro app, all of your emails, both sent and received, are transmitted via LinkedIn’s servers. LinkedIn is forcing all your IMAP and SMTP data through their own servers and then analyzing and scraping your emails for data pertaining to…whatever they feel like….

    Salon link.

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

    First batch of sweet stuff for my last workday done. I made those cutesy little apple pie cookies. Mine don’t look as cute as in the photos, but they’re great and should keep until the day after tomorrow.

    Chocolate cake with (sour) cherries (whichever I find first in the freezer) is scheduled to be made tomorrow between work and french. That at least, I know I can finish quickly.

  369. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    I was catching up on various threads when I came upon this one and was impressed. Then I realized how often I have appreciated stuff you have written (like your comment over in the Dome in response to watermark2). Just wanted to tell you that you rock.

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


    Thank you. You really don’t know how much I needed that just now. I actually came to the lounge to ask if anyone had any puppies and rainbows to share, and there you were with #498. It was really sweet, patently thoughtful, and quite, quite timely.

    @A. Noyd:

    Oh, I know that that isn’t the point. And I know the artist is my ally. I almost didn’t say anything because I didn’t want you to feel in any way like I was raining on your parade.

    It’s just how I feel about these things. It goes hand in hand with my refusal to do trans* 101, fucking ever. There are tons of people who would feel honored to be asked. I get grumpy and ask them to read wikipedia and come back when they are done going, “Wow, that’s so weird!” and are ready for serious discussion about their own genders (not mine) and their own complicity in an unjust system. (Yeah, sure, everyone praised you for not getting legally married until your queer friends could marry in your jurisdiction. Yeah, sure that’s noble. In fact, you’re clearly making some serious sacrifices for justice, and I don’t begrudge you the applause of those others at all. I want to praise you in the same way. So I have this question about your future activism: when will you take a principled stand against using gender-segregated bathrooms until all trans* people have safe public bathrooms? I fucking thought so.) The thing is, some people won’t go to wikipedia but will listen respectfully to a live human voice. And while the quality of trans* 101 trainings varies vastly because trans* oppression makes us assume a lack of expertise, that a personal perspective on being trans* is the only perspective on being trans – not least because there’s just not that much to teach besides “stereotypes are bunk” and “please don’t kill us”, even the simplistic trainings that stray little from dualities [and frequently, in the process, marginalize a subset of the very people we are looking to help] are very useful to a great many people because so many of us are undereducated about gender.

    So while I think far too many trans* 101 trainings are underambitious and rely [in a messed up way] on the nearest trans* person rather than the best educator on trans* lives and issues, I don’t oppose trans* 101 trainings.

    My reaction isn’t a reason not to ask someone to do trans* 101 trainings. Nor is it a reason for the artist not to produce what they produced. But I still feel grumpy, cantankerous, and shortchanged when the duality is invoked as part of the activism. It’s just me.

    Finally, let me again stress that the technical skill of the artist is amazing. Obviously it was necessary to take two photos and blend them. However the photographer did it (one presumes Photoshop or the like), that artist did it very well. I really do respect the artist’s intent and skill.

  371. blf says

    As Mary is a human being, she likes to have sex.

    That’s some…gratuitous dehumanization of everybody who doesn’t.

    I noticed that when I was excerpting the article. Based on my readings of other articles by that Grauniad staffer (who happens to be one of several who received death threats due to her outspokenness on MRAs), I don’t think she meant such an interpretation, and suspect it simply didn’t occur to her. It didn’t occur to me, for instance, when I first read the article, only when I was closely re-reading it to decide which bits to quote. You could e-mail her, or The Grauniad’s “Reader’s Editor” (ombudsman), to point out the problem.