1. says

    Also aprospos of nothing, I bought #1 a pretty cool book by chance.
    It was on sale for 3 bucks, a book about the sea and animals that live in and by the water and since she liked our visit to the Aquarium I thought “well, why not?”.
    And it’s really fun. The pictures are printes on a foil that is before a dark background and it looks like a ship’s bulleyes. And then there’s a torch with a white “lightbeam” you can stick between the foil and the background and then the pictures become visible. And there are only very short texts to go with the pictures, just right for her now.
    And I must say that I’m pretty proud of her reading. It’s like now that she’s officially “allowed” to read she’s really starting through, reading long and complicated words, as German has all these nice long compounds.
    I always praise how much she practises and tries and enforce that she can do it so well because she does it so often

  2. chigau (違う) says

    That was a loooong day.
    Annual bazaar at the community league.
    I ♥ volunteers.

  3. Pteryxx says

    International drug patent farming:

    To ensure “free” access to domestic markets, corporations can litigate patent claims through opaque supranational investor-state tribunals. Since patent protections are designed to protect drug monopolies, public health advocates say the legal arenas that review patent disputes are inevitably rigged to serve industry at civil society’s expense.

    While these quasi-courts have often operated outside of public purview—even when their arbitrations relate to public welfare issues like environmental protection—they can change public policy through legal settlements that interfere with domestic court rulings or regulations. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, for example, recently announced plans to use NAFTA’s extra-judicial dispute-settlement system against the Canadian government, in order to seek taxpayer compensation following the government’s invalidation of patents on the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication Strattera, along with another lost patent for the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa. For those two patent cases, the company now seeks a total of $500 million in payback, claiming that Canada’s legal basis for reviewing patents violated NAFTA treaty obligations by using overly stringent requirements for proof of the medicine’s efficacy. In other words, the company is wielding trade rules to punish a government for regulating its drug sector too tightly.

    Some trade agreements have also established special “data exclusivity” legal restrictions that preempt generic competition. As a report from Public Citizen explains, this mechanism enables incumbent drug makers to bar other producers’ access to crucial research data needed to obtain authorization to market a medicine. Without that regulatory data, a big-name manufacturer can simply stonewall or delay the entry of a generic competitor.

  4. kieran says

    I’ve come across an ID/creationist squirting links in a facebook group, one of the links is by Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig. First time I’ve come across any of his stuff. What is the story with WE lonnig and I’m guessing his law of recurrent variation is refuted by something simple. Any links to rebuttals or something in plant breeding to cleanse the mind would be appreciated.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    Have some rum.
    It’s doing wonders for my aching feet.
    And change your clocks!

  6. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Really? I mean REALLY!? I’ve been absent from, well, just about everywhere because my whole life is bound up in my right knee. And I do mean bound. The surgery to repair my ruptured patella tendon was successful but the recovery is going very slowly. Almost two months on from the surgery and it’s still somewhat swollen. I know that folks here are most forthcoming with the sympathy, and the hugs, and the confections of choice, but I’m such an emotional broken record right now that it’s just better to stay silent.

    But then I woke up this morning, dizzy to the point of being unable to stand up till it passed. And I’m a bit nauseous, and I’m fucking constipated again. (Fuck you opiates, seriously. A couple of big doses of morphine two months ago and I’m still paying for it.)

    So may I ask a favour? Please link to some beauty, I have a powerful need just about now. Music for a preference, but really anything that’s moved you would be lovely. Cheers.

  7. noodle says

    Hey fellow loungers,

    I’ve been lurking for a while and finally decided to contribute. This seemed to be the best place to start.

    FossilFishy, I’m not sure what moves you, but when I get laid up with sickness or injury I think about hiking in the mountains. It’s hard to beat the Wind River Range in WY. Google ‘photographer’s point’ or ‘Titcomb Basin’ if you want to get inspired. Hope you get well soon.

    Anyway, hello everyone.

  8. chigau (違う) says

    Hi noodle, welcome.

    It’s snowing here in your old stomping grounds.
    The first real snow and it’s all poofy and non-threatening.
    I am inside, warm, cat on lap, rum in hand.
    Have some nostalgia.

  9. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Dear Horde,

    Time for some good news. I’ve not revealed much about myself here other than I’m old and female and snarky and live in California. My horror story has some entertainment value, but mostly it bores me to death which is a good thing, I think. Anyway, my hubby and I have been beat up by the economy. We bought a nice townhouse in Marina del Rey in 2009 when we thought the real estate crash had reached its lowest. Wrong. But we’ve hung on through massive other crap.

    So we decided it is time to get the hell out of Dodge, so to speak. We decided to move up into the San Bernardino Mountains to a small resort town called Crestline. We have good friends there and for what we paid for this place we could have purchased a mansion up there. Friday of last week we got this place officially listed, there was an open house on Sunday, another on Tuesday, and many requested showings in between. We assumed that it would take a month or two to sell this place….. well, no. We immediately got 11 offers, one of which we officially accepted today. I’m flabbergasted. We actually made money on this deal. It is the FIRST time I’ve ever gotten so lucky.

    The whole shebang will be completed by Dec. 3. In the meantime we will be renting something up on the mountain and scouting for a good place to buy… with no mortgage! I don’t know how we did this but I’m not complaining.

    It will be Winter Solstice in the mountains.

    It is about frickin’ time we had some good luck.

  10. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks folks!

    I’m not worried in the least about other folks tastes as compared to my own. The subjective is subjective and when someone holds up an example of beauty that doesn’t match my own I really enjoy trying to see it through their eyes.

    As a pointy haired Punk who was studying classic music during the daylight hours I never had any time for country music. Then one day a friend of mine was playing DJ in his home. He put on a duet between Dwight Yoakam and George Jones. Yoakam sang first and he was alright, for country music that is. After Jones’ first verse my friend turned to me and said “Do you hear that? That’s the voice of man.” Prescriptive gender roles aside, what he meant was that it was an adult singing. The type of country he was into, that he found beautiful was all about adults rather than the adolescent concerns of most pot and rock. I still don’t love country but I can appreciate at least that particular form of it now, and that was a beautiful thing to learn.

    Welcome in noodle. Thanks for the suggestion.

  11. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says


    I sympathize. I’ve had my Patellar Tendon rebuilt once (and relocated once). Along with my LCL, MCL, multiple a-scopes, and one henway.

    Anyway, here is a photo, taken in 1964, of hoodoos at Yellowstone National Park. And if you go here there are thousands of historic photos from Yellowstone. Hugs to you.

  12. noodle says

    Out of curiosity, is it possible to attach photos to messages? Or, can we only link to content already on the web?

  13. A. Noyd says

    Only links, but it’s easy enough these days to find free image hosting. I use, myself.

  14. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    “Thirty billion years. Are you fucking kidding me?!” Hell yes! Thanks for that. Have got any other Celtic suggestions? I’ve avoided that genre because my last name is about as Irish as you could get.


    Merci Beaucoup.


    Ozzies never believe me when I say I miss the snow. Thank you for that lovely memory.


    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been through this too. The hobbling sucks. Thanks for the site, I love historical photos, you might just have filled my afternoon with unproductive entertainment.


    Hooray for becoming a property baron! ;)

  15. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says


    Yeah, the knee is why I left the Army.

    Enjoy the photos. I use them frequently for posters at work when I need a beautiful NPS photo.

  16. Pteryxx says

    Dunno if food floats your boat, but I just got sent this neat recipe site indexed (via keyword) for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and with all the ingredients broken down by price; plus lots and lots of photos.

    …and if you’re into this sort of thing. <_< tour of Minecraft quick shots set to Pachelbel's Canon in D done entirely with in-game sounds.

    youtube link

  17. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Ah yes Chet Atkins. That tune is Chet playing the phone book and making it worth listening to. His tone, tempo and style are such that there’s nowhere to hide. Rhythmic perfection FTW.

  18. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    That tune is Chet playing the phone book and making it worth listening to

    No question. His guitar work is absofuckinglutely amazing.

  19. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks Petryxx.

    Ms. Fishy and I are vegetarian (The Small Fry is ravenously omnivorous) that site looks really useful.

    I used to play in a band that did P’s canon as an encore. We’d repeat it over and over, faster and faster until it became a down-picked punk thing. Worked really well and went over a treat. Mind you the preceding 30-120 minutes of originals weren’t anything anyone would necessarily enjoy, let alone dance to so a tune so familiar must have come as something of a relief. :)

  20. carlie says

    FossilFishy – here’s an orchestra flash mob. Yes, it was done as a promo for a city anniversary. Yes, they redubbed it so the music sounded better. But it’s still fantastic, because those faces full of joy aren’t faked.

  21. Pteryxx says

    Where the Hell is Matt? wiki

    The [2004-Ptx] video was passed around by e-mail and eventually became viral, with his server getting 20,000 or more hits a day as it was discovered, generally country by country due to language barriers, before the launch of major video upload sites.

    Harding created a second version of the video in 2006, with additional dancing scenes from subsequent travels, called “Dancing 2006”. At the request of Stride, a gum brand, he accepted sponsorship[3] of this video, since he usually travels on a limited budget.

    Harding released his third dancing video on June 20, 2008. The video is the product of 14 months of traveling in 42 countries. The background music/song of this video is known as “Praan” composed by Garry Schyman and sung by Palbasha Siddique, with lyrics adapted from the poem “Stream of Life,” a part of the Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore.[4]

  22. A. Noyd says

    Yeah, so I was looking at the text of the octopus print and thinking that a lot of it seemed like sound effects. The transcription on the Wikipedia page confirms it. Also, that’s a terrible translation they found. The woman is actually a good bit more explicit about how hard she’s coming.

  23. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Carlie #36. Ode to fucking joy indeed!

    I’m typing with tears in my eyes, that was fantastic. I love how the orchestra, and even more so the choir, blends with the audience. Take away the instruments and you cannot tell one from the other. It speaks to how we are all in this together, and how joy shared is joy increased. Love, love, love this.

    And to follow it up the 2008 Where’s Matt. The same message, the same love. I’ve seen that many times Petryxx and it still moves me every single time.

    Thanks folks. You rock in a way that has everything to do the with the vastness of things geological.

  24. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    noodle – Welcome to the Lounge!

    morgan – Congratulations! I hope the sale, your subsequent purchase of a suitable place, and your move all go smoothly (or at least with the fewest hiccups as possible). Good luck!

    FossilFishy – *gentle, virtual pouncehug followed by kitten photos* (It was the best I could do on short notice. :D)

  25. cicely says

    FossilFishy, *hugs* and deep, even knee deep, sympathy.
    Here’s a luna moth…and here’s a nicely-posed octopus…and this is a very pretty columbine flower…and for dessert, the Eagle nebula.

    Gentle *scritches* for WMDKitty.

    Hi, noodle; welcome in!

    morgan, I’m glad that such good fortune fell into your lap. Enjoy!

  26. says

    FossilFishy: Je m’appelle Lou, by Luc Boland. During an interview he said (in very good English) that he does not like his school because his teacher only sees his disability, not his ability. His parents are amazing, encouraging his music through all his challenges.

    morgan: yay for things turning your way!

    Tomorrow my mom arrives to pamper me! I’m lucky to be able to take time off from work, but I admit being a little jealous of my Dutch counterparts that get *paid* maternity and kraamzorg (post natal in-home care). But I get my mom!

  27. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    (Last thread)

    Pteryxx @727:
    MSNBC’s site is another that I cannot view on my phone, similar to ThinkProgress, and sometimes Alternet. I usually get booted offline

    Crip Dyke @733:
    Re: your criticism of ‘intersectionality’–if you ever find yourself discussing the concept, count me in as a reader.

    Inquiring minds are curious _which _ noodle are you? Ramen? Angel hair?

  28. Rob Grigjanis says

    Dalillama @28:

    I can’t think of the names of any Breton bands atm

    I’ve been an Alan Stivell fan for yonks. This is a lovely bilingual (French/Breton) song; Brocéliande.

    I prefer his version of Sally Free and Easy to Pentangle’s, but it doesn’t seem to be on youtube.

  29. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Courtesy of Yemisi, I learned about the history of blackface.

    Utterly dehumanizing and appalling.

    . (Blackface minstrelsy first became nationally popular in the late 1820s when white male performers portrayed African-American characters using burnt cork to blacken their skin. Wearing tattered clothes, the performances mocked black behavior, playing racial stereotypes for laughs. Although Jim Crow was probably born in the folklore of the enslaved in the Georgia Sea Islands, one of the most famous minstrel performers, a white man named Thomas “Daddy” Rice brought the character to the stage for the first time. Rice said that on a trip through the South he met a runaway slave, who performed a signature song and dance called jump Jim Crow. Rice’s performances, with skin blackened and drawn on distended blood red lips surrounded by white paint, were said to be just Rice’s attempt to depict the realities of black life.


    Blackface was used to push products from cigarettes to pancakes while minstrel songs were turned into sheet music, sold and sung around the world. Classic American songs such as “Jimmy Crack Corn,” “Camptown Races” and “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah” all began as minstrel songs. Children’s rhymes and games also are drawn from our minstrel past. “Eeny Meeny, Miny, Moe,” initially commanded that the listener to “catch a ni**er by his toe.” “Do Your Ears Hang Low” was originally the 1829 song entitled “Zip Coon.” The story of the children’s book Ten Little Monkeys was first published as Ten Little Ni**er Boys where each boy was killed as the story progressed.

    Thank you for the reminder about DST. I remembered earlier today, but had forgotten.

  30. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    morgan @17:

    I do believe a round of champagne is in order. Congratulations!

    Oh, and if you think you are snarky, wait til rq gets her hands on the Snark Hat…

    :::Catches the nearest horse and beats a hasty escape::

  31. blf says

    That’s not a mouse with a teddy bear. That’s a forty foot high killer rat snacking on a fully-grown bear.

  32. opposablethumbs says

    It’s a bright, cold morning here – good morning, Horde!

    Hang in there, thunk, and go you for small steps. Anti-inflammatory wishes to FossilFishy; it’s a scunner that recovery is taking so long, but fantastic that the repair work is good so that you have full mobility to look forward to. Wishing comfort and good sleeps and pampering to Dutchgirl! Better to have it all going on at a cool time of year and not mid-summer … (you are in the northern hemisphere, aren’t you?). Wow that’s some very, very good news, morgan! Hope the move goes smoothly. Yay for antibiotics, Giliell! (and for stabbing bacteria with a pencil :-) ). Greetings to noodle!

    And a question – Dalillama, are you a Schmott Guy as in Girl Genius?

    I can’t remember where I first saw it now, or who told me about it – it could well have been someone in the Horde, in which case I apologise for not remembering – but these two tracks by Matt Fishel brought a smile to my face: and

    they won’t embed, will they … tell me they won’t embed …..

  33. says

    opposablethumbs: technically in the northern hemisphere, but I live on Oahu, so summer all year round. Just entering the rainier season.

  34. blf says

    Some more Tri Yann:

      ● Korydwen et Le Rouge de Kenholl

      ● Tri Martolod (with Alan Stivell, Dan Ar Braz, Gilles Servat, and Armens).

    Armens is another Breton folk-rock group, albeit one I’m not familar with (and only found just now via the above link). A random-chosenly example track is Bretagnes à Bercy.

    And for comparision, first Dan Ar Braz (with Alan Stivell and Elaine Morgan) doing Bretagnes à Bercy. And then, but by no means least, Gilles Servat.

    I just realised that most of the Tri Yann tracks I’ve listed have been on the louder / faster side (Korydwen et Le Rouge de Kenholl is an exception). That reflects me and my current procrastinating, not Tri Yann or the other artistes…

  35. noodle says

    Good morning all,

    Yeah, I like falling back — makes it even easier to jump out of bed early.

    Thanks to all for the welcoming.

    @Tony #52. I’m thinking bowtie.

    And to all with sore knees or inflamed sinuses — just think: you are one day closer to feeling better!

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

    I feel nauseated.
    I don’t do change well, have I mentioned that? New people, new place, new ways to imagine everything could go wrong. When I say “go wrong”, I mean that I would do something wrong.

    Everything will be fine (probably), I know. I’m panicking anyway, and coming up with all the ways it could end up being less than fine. Much less than fine.
    Oh dog, I wish I had no imagination.

  37. opposablethumbs says

    You are very very highly likely indeed to be great, Beatrice. Intelligent, observant, perceptive, articulate and capable – you’ll be great.

    Don’t forget to breathe ;-)

  38. blf says

    I wish I had no imagination.

    That’s an imaginative solution to the problem.

    According to the mildly deranged penguin, it’s hard to remove imagination. She suggests expanding it instead so as to squeeze out the panic. (Don’t, however, let any drops of panic stay on the floor too long, as it causes nasty stains.) She suggests imagining the new “people” are actually Daleks, in which case you know they are out to get you. Come armed with a sonic screwdriver, several bazookas, and a backup army. These precautions are also useful in case there are any peas.

    Once you are accustomed to the new “people” actually being Daleks, any other possibility is trivial in comparison.

  39. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, knowing no boundaries category.

    It looks like the security forces in a Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) colony on the Arizona/Utah border spent most of their time spying on their own members.

    In one series of photos, for example, a girl sits on a bicycle — an activity that reportedly was banned sometime in the past year or two. In another series, boys and girls play basketball together, also reportedly a forbidden pastime.

    Other images seem to fixate on particular locations, cars or people. A large number of the images, for example, are shot through a kitchen window with the curtains open. Another series seems to track an SUV as it drives through Short Creek — the name given to Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah — and nearby Hurricane. And several batches focus on known former FLDS members, even following them to a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in St. George. …

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

    *takes a deep breath*

    Ah, I knew I was forgetting something.

  41. says

    blf, Rob Grijganis
    Thank you, Stivell and Tri Yann were some of the artists I was trying to think of.

    That is where the nym comes from, yes.

    *hugs* I hate change too.

  42. blf says

    Dalillama, Maybe you recall: Who was the Breton folk-rock group that did (in English) Matty Groves (based on the famous Fairport Convention version, as I now recall) ?
    I think it was Tri Yann (who have done a few other songs in English), but haven’t been able to find the track at all… 

  43. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    When I started typing on my computer yesterday, it felt wrong. I spent all day Thursday on that keyboard wondering why it felt wrong.

    Today, Friday, I realized this is a new keyboard.

    When did that happen?

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

    @morgan – on selling the house…

    I’m very happy for you.

    @tony, 52

    there has only been one time when writing about intersectionality came up explicitly in a way that made sense for me to address. That was during the burchill thread.

    retroactively, i notice that you weren’t involved in the thread. My bone thing is into my fingers today, so I won’t do much typing, but you can read that thread (i have a series of stereotypically CD-length comments to get across why I so vociferously objected to the idea that intersectionality can be reduced to the observation that

    most people having a bad time in this society are getting it in the neck for several things at once, and the way we write about oppression needs to address that.

    It doesn’t answer (and barely begins to discuss) the “failed theory” questions implied in lounge439 – comment 733, but there’s enough in there to get a handle on why confluence and intersectionality are different…and if you search for “failed” (or just read the whole thing) you’ll find a single instance where you get a hint of that line of thought too.

    typing is hurtin so i’ll sign off, but yeah.

    also, i know you well enough from here that i would be willing to e-mail you more that i’ve written, but because i’m still woeking on publishing a book that would include some of this, I would have to have you swear on your queerness not to distribute it any further (i don’t have drm’d versions to give you, nor does that work with printing & rescanning).

  45. blf says

    Ogvorbis, Clearly yer new keyboard is a side-effect of ACA. Or a FEMA / NSA / UN plot. Possibly the Illuminati. Or ninjas from the Trilateral Commission.

  46. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    blf @82:

    Clearly yer new keyboard is a side-effect of ACA. Or a FEMA / NSA / UN plot. Possibly the Illuminati. Or ninjas from the Trilateral Commission

    I figure EPA had something to do with it.

    I have a tendency to eat crunchy foods while being creative . . . .

  47. Nutmeg says

    I really feel like hugging you all today. Not for any particular reason, just for a lot of little reasons.

    So, *hugs*.

  48. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says



    After reading the latest dump on the most recent Thunderfoot post, I am shaking with rage and trying really hard not to cry as I have a major meeting in a half hour and I can feel the panic attack coming on and I am out of spoons.

    Hugs back.

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

    @Nutmeg, thanks for spreading hugs around.


    You are more than lovable. You are loved.

    This is me, loving you. Always.

  50. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Beatrice – *hugs* And good luck!

    Nutmeg – *pouncehug*

    Crip Dyke:

    You are more than lovable. You are loved.


  51. rq says

    You have shown nothing but an amazing capacity to deal with the blows life deals you, so I’m pretty sure a new job will be well within your abilities. I believe in you. ♥ Good luck!

    Congrats on the house sale! I hope luck keeps going your way.


    Moi? Snark hat? *innocent eyes*

  52. rq says

    *hugs* for everyone! Esp. Ogvorbis: this

    You are more than lovable. You are loved.

    is definitely the truth. ♥

    Also, Crip Dyke, you’re pretty amazing, too. I love your posts all over FtB, I always learn something from you.

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

    I can’t remember who it was that started talking about how you reread some books when you need to de-stress yourself, but thank you! It actually never occurred to me to try this, even though I have some “travel books” for when I know I’ll have no library access but will need a reliable book to pass the time.

    Starting a new book right now is useless, and watching more episodes of Haven is just going to leave me with aching eyes (I’ve watched the whole third season this weekend) so now I’m going to tuck myself in bed with Good Omens (one of my travel books) until I’m calm enough to sleep.

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

    That’s really sweet of you, rq. Thank you, Hekuni Cat.

    Wait. I think I feel an “I love you all” moment coming… Yeah, there it is. You people are amazing, love and *hugs* for all.

  55. rq says

    *dancing within an “I love you all” moment*

    (That means, fellow Loungers, I’m spreading the love around to all of you.)

  56. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Nutmeg – many hugs back, to you and the Horde and especially to Ogvorbis right now. Wishing you all the spoons.

    Good Omens is a good choice, Beatrice. Sleep well.

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

    Yeah, the lounge helps get me through.

    It’s hard to understand if you aren’t a lawyer or maybe a paralegal (I don’t know what paralegal education is like) but there’s law that crosses borders throughout Britiain’s former colonies, and yet it’s all a bit different.

    Portia, when I was freaking out last year very calmly failed to answer the questions that I had, citing that what was common I seemed to have down and what wasn’t was going to be pretty different in Canada – and completely unknown to Portia. And yet, I felt better. She was there pretty consistently over 3 weeks, and it was awesome.

    And? She was right. I didn’t flunk out.

    And Portia is only one example. There are lots of good folk here.


  58. gillyc says

    Some good news: Hamza Kashgari, who was jailed in Saudi Arabia 20 months ago, has been freed, according to Al Jazeera
    (Preview button isn’t working for me so apologies in advance if the link is borked.)

  59. Nutmeg says


    now I’m going to tuck myself in bed with Good Omens (one of my travel books) until I’m calm enough to sleep.

    I approve. Good Omens is my go-to travel book for camping. (Camping books must be paperbacks, because they generally get dunked in a river at least once. And they must not involve scary things that will keep me awake at night. Especially bears. Learned that one the hard way – thanks, A Walk in the Woods.)

  60. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Thanks, all. I just sat through a 90-minute meeting with a panic attack going for almost the whole fucking thing.

  61. says

    A few bent and wobbly hugs to refresh the pile, from the crooked old lady in the corner.

    The black dog’s* been hanging around my door more often lately. Feeling the lack of daylight. I’m cursed to be by far the most comfortable in a climate pretty close to what I’m living in now (near Toronto), coolish somewhat snowy winters, warm-to-hot but not outlandish summers. Cursed because I’m also seriously affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, and up above the 45th north, it’s a very noticeable swing between summer light and winter light.

    I think the book-re-reading thing came from someone’s question last thread about how to turn off the viscous spiral of thought. I’m glad the discussion helped, Beatrice. Though I’ve no doubt you’re going to be awesome at your job. :)

    * The “black dog” is the metaphor Winston Churchill famously used (though the origin appears older, in folk tales) to describe the experience of depression, an image I (a big-time dog person) find very descriptive of how my depression feels.

  62. carlie says

    Is it Portia’s birthday? Happy birthday, Portia!

    gillyc – what kind do you have? I’m pretty sure I have SAD, but there seem to be so many options on light types, few with really strong clinical trials behind them. I’m a little excited – they replaced the fluorescent lights at work with high-energy-efficient ones that are a lot brighter and seem like much more broad spectrum than usual ones, so I’m actually using the overhead lights in my office now hoping that will help a little bit.

    Hugs to everyone. :)

    Does anybody have experience with glaucoma drops? I found out last week that I’m hurtling headlong towards them, and that the fancy schmancy laser drainage surgery I had did bupkus, and the side effects of all of the classes of drops seem… not good. The dr is giving another three months because there’s no nerve damage yet, but I can see them looming in my future and it’s pretty scary. Any tips or advice (or info on whether those side effects are really that bad) would be appreciated.

  63. cicely says

    Beatrice, I’m sure that you’ll be more than fine.
    You will be frickin’ amazing.
    I’m sure of it!
    Good Omens is a good choice. It’s one of my favorites. Gaiman + Pratchett….what’s not to like??

    *hugs* and sympathy, Crip Dyke. Sorry about de agony of de hands.


    A door slammed on me today. I blame the peas.

    Maimings are usually the purview of the Horses. Peas are in charge of Poisonings.
    They tag team the Defamations of Character portfolio.

    *hugvolley* to Nutmeg. Just ’cause.

    *massive hugs* for Ogvorbis.
    Do I even want to know what Thunderf00l’s latest is?
    No. At least, not right now.
    *refraining from going to YouTube*
    I’m sure we’ll all know, soon enough.

    Happy Portia-birthday!

  64. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Happy Portia birthday! Portia, I’d love to know how the new job is working out and how you are doing, in general.

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Crazy weekend here at Casa la Pelirroja. Yesterday, the next door decided she needed a sanity day, and came over during all the afternoon to avoid the family. The Redhead didn’t get washed or dressed as a result.
    Today, we got her cleaned up and dressed, and she decided she didn’t want the rice version of baked pork chops as previously planned, but rather the scalloped potato version (it’s in the oven). Cauliflower is in the microwave for the veggie (added diced to the rice version).
    I finally waded through 4 months of back accounts. We are still solvent, and since she isn’t spending the budgeted household monies, we are gaining ground on savings and paying off some of the medical expenses earlier than expected. Despite the purchases at the local Gem and Mineral show.
    The Apple TV is at the local post office, waiting to be delivered at work tomorrow (hopefully). I want to be able to stream videos to her compared to burning a DVD. Tuesday is a vacation day as I have a dentist appt to have a couple of crowns installed, and the Redhead has a doctors appt to check her blood pressure (consistently running below 130/80). Don’t expect to get much done this week.

  66. Daniel Martin says

    Hey killfile fans!

    My old killfile greasemonkey script now lives as a firefox addon and as a chrome extension.

    I’m still calling this preliminary because I haven’t had the extension properly reviewed by the relevant Mozilla and Google people, so searching for “killfile” in the relevant galleries isn’t likely to produce anything. Still, there you have it, and it can be installed for those that want it.

    The Google Chrome version will sync your list of people whose comments you don’t want to see with your Google account, if you have Chrome Sync enabled. I guess I plan to eventually work on using Firefox Sync for the firefox version, but the documentation for that makes it appear to be a significantly harder thing to do.

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

    Happy Birthday, Portia, calmer of my law-school-finals fears!

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

    Happy birthday, Portia!

    Daniel Martin,
    Thank you for the killfile, it’s often been a great help.

  69. says

    gillyc, I had a full-spec light until about two months ago, when I noticed the bulb had become loose in the socket, and discovered the base had come apart, prongs to one side, bulb and base to the other. So that’s that. I only had it because a friend gave me hers, they’re way above my pay grade.

    Honestly, I’m thinking seriously about seeing whether I might be eligible for a service dog when I get my disability claim settled, because I think it would totally help me keep the Black Dog well away to have another pooch waiting.

  70. says

    Happy birthday, Portia!

    Oh dear, that sounds like an exhausting but productive weekend.
    Please feel free to whack me over the head if that’s none of my business, but is there ever a time you get to do something for yourself, or by yourself?
    It sounds to me like you’re the best and most dedicated partner the Redhead could ask for, but it also sounds like there isn’t much time for Nerd left.

    Those with troubles come autumn: What really helps me, apart from trying to get a bit of daylight, is taking Vit D supplement.

    And the fun of gender.
    Some time ago I bought #1 a long-sleeved shirt. I most definetly bought it in the boys section, but it was on sale so I thought “let’s give it a try, if she doesn’t like it I can pass it along to my friend’s son.” It’s brown with red seams, BUT it has a foto-print of bear cubs on it. That makes it CUTE. So it is one of her most favourite shirts….
    These are the moments that make you somewhat happy and somewhat despair.

  71. rq says

    Happy birthday and many more happy to come to Portia!

    Nerd, the Redhead is lucky to have you as a partner. I hope you do get a chance for some personal space. ♥

    That sounds like a shirt that would be perfect for children… :)
    Fun with gender: I bought Middle Child some pink-and-purple gloves. :) In addition to that, he’s still refusing to let me (or Husband – or anyone) cut his asymmetrical hair. He wants to grow it long, ‘like a girl’. So far, when people ask us about his hair / colour preferences / occasional toy selections (big fan of TMNT and HotWheels and LEGO, but on a recent outing with Husband’s sister he chose a Barbie-themed toy), we just say that he likes it that way – and no one has dared question us more about it. Yet.


    Sorry but I have to disagree. Marriage isn’t the Ultimate Sacrifice for someone else – it is something you also do for yourself. And if it’s not making you happy, then it isn’t for you!!

  72. opposablethumbs says

    Happy birthday Portia! Happy first-day-at-new-work, Beatrice!
    Thank you, Daniel Martin.

  73. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    I read the your comments in the Burchill thread.

    I do not think my level of understanding WRT intersectionality and confluence is developed enough to fully grasp what you said there. Maybe it was the use of metaphors that threw me (although sometimes, the metaphor worked, which I found odd. One moment I was reading along, then confuzzlement happened, followed by moderate comprehension).

  74. blf says

    I have a tendency to eat crunchy foods while being creative . . . .

    Crumbly. Crumbly. Not “crunchy”. It’s crumbly cheese, not crunchy cheese.

    (Unless you mean British Industrial Cheddar, which isn’t so crunchy insomuch as invulnerable. Drop a lump of that on yer keyboard, and the keyboard would need replacing. So would the desk.)

  75. birgerjohansson says

    Halloween horror. Cats. And malls
    I am beginning to bounce back after the somewhat exhausting project of helping my 86-year old mom move to another care facility, with 24-hour care.

    Also, a creep who accosts female students here in Umeå has been arrested.
    Not so good: a monsoon-type rain system is intent of making my monday miserable.

    Bloody Norwegian show-offs:
    Norway study promises Alzheimer’s cure
    Norway world’s most prosperous country
    — — — —
    Mummified body might have been part of ‘cult’ -A religious Norman Bates?

  76. rq says

    See, that’s too many billionaires!! You can’t have so many people in the upper ruling elite. There’s no exclusivity if you’re a member of a big club. Duh! That’s what makes Sweden so damn socialist – too many rich people. Not enough left as peasants and commoners. There’s no exclusivity if you’re a member of a big club.

  77. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Facebook, homophobic?It is quite possible.

    Last week, talk show host Richard Metzger posted a story to Facebook about a “kiss in” held at an English pub that had ejected two men for kissing. Facebook quickly removed the story—apparently because of the above picture.

    Oddly enough, the picture came from a Facebook event being used to promote the kiss-in. But according to Metzger, that event has been removed too.

    Nah, couldn’t be. 4/28/11 was so long ago, surely Facebook has realized that two men kissing is no more suggestive than a man and a woman kissing, right? Surely they have amended their policy…right?

    Did Facebook temporarily suspend a gay porn star for posting a picture of him and his husband kissing?

    Jesse Jackman certainly thinks so. The Boston-based adult film actor took to Twitter on Tuesday, claiming Facebook suspended his account because of a fairly innocuous kissing photo between himself and husband Dirk Caber.
    In a series of tweets throughout the day on Tuesday, Jackman created a timeline of events. According to his feed, trouble started after he posted a photo of himself and Caber on Oct. 8. That photo was followed by a smattering of homophobic death threats from Facebook users, Jackman said.

    Of course not. The above article mentions *another* non nude, non sexually suggestive photo of two fully dressed gay men kissing and yup…it got pulled.

    In all three cases, Facebook apologized to those involved and…thats it. No changes made to policies.

  78. rq says

    But, Tony, gay kissing! Everyone knows that seeing images of objectified women and rape threats will never, ever, ever, ever hurt anyone, but True Expressions of Love (and Nurturing, and here breastfeeding photos come to mind) will damage them forever, because they are not identical to Disney movies. Facebook isn’t homophobic, it’s protecting society from True Expressions of Love. Which are too mind-blowing for the average Facebook user to endure. The power released in a Facebook-posted photo of two men kissing (clothed or unclothed) is enough to cause a meltdown in multple electricity grids, simultaneously. That stuff is dangerous.
    Plus, Facebook’s employees have marched in the San Francisco pride parade. No way they’re homophobic, at all, ever.

    :P [/snark]

  79. rq says

    … I know. Which is kind of part of my point, except I was just going for the relationship/sexism angle…

  80. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    blf @120:

    Crumbly. Crumbly. Not “crunchy”. It’s crumbly cheese, not crunchy cheese.

    No, the crackers were crunchy. On one occasion, quite memorable one (as I was telling Sir Paul just the other day), was me, sitting at me desk, with some stone ground wheat crackers and some very earthy French brie (warmed to the proper temperature (something that Sir Paul never quite groks)) while I completely messed up the formulae on a fifty-column, 400-line spreadsheet. Did wonders for the keyboard.


    Had one wonderfully weird dream last night. I was sitting out back of a house in Australia, drinking beer, and watching giant wombats bounding gaily through the out back (picture Bugs Bunny, on all fours, bouncing along, bending only his wrist/ankle and all manus and pes leaving the ground at the same time). That was the good dream.



    Had a shitty night. Woke up three times in a panic. And I remembered all three dreams that put me into that state. All my abuser. Nothing new, just more memories shaking loose.

    Am I really this stupid? I see some asshat blaming victims (sorry, offering suggestions about how not to get raped how could anyone object to that its just common sense!) and I, just like Caine, just like Daz, and Nerd, and everyone else, jump in to explain, yet again, that it is absolute wombat dreck. And I do this knowing I will get angry, knowing that it may (not always (it would be so much easier if my brain was consistent)) trigger me into a panic attack, or more of those memories I have tried to bury coming to light, or excursions down the wonderful path of guilt, yet there I am, wading in to add my less than two cents. So a panic attack yesterday, bad dreams and waking up on the edge of a scream, feeling wrung out, and still that fucking voice in the back of my head telling me that I didn’t do enough to prevent being raped so it really is my fault is having a wonderful time hammering away at what little sense of self-worth I still have because, well hell, that’s what depression does, right? So I know that this shit may get to me but I’m still in there. And then the asshat comes off with the (to me) minimizing and othering remark that Caine and I were “just children” and FUCK! that hurt out of nowhere and I can’t fully articulate just why but it did. And I know that there should be a paragraph break somewhere in this but I’ll be damned if I know where to stick it. Anyway, my mini-mental dilemma is, do I just drop off the web completely, use the web only for getting directions (which I can now do on my phone so that one doesn’t even really count) and paying bills, or do I accept that I really like being able to participate in the community here at Pharyngula and my stupidity when it comes to certain types of threads is just a natural part of being part of the community and accept the triggers and nightmares because if I am here, commenting, I know that any thread with MRAs and rape apologists is both somewhere that I can be useful and somewhere that will hurt at the same time. Then again, participating in threads like the (almost) current Thunderf00t thread, and “Here’s the situation” and ‘Meet the predators” has helped me figure out what I did wrong, what was done to me, and why I have these occasional bouts of melancholy (well, rage-filled melancholy (though the web gives me a way to express my rage without taking it out on loved ones so that sort of is a positive)). So I think I want to stay because I love this place, I love you people, I love PZed, but I just need to stop being quite as stupid as I am.

    (And I proffer my sincere apologies to Ms. Trudy Schindel, my high school English teacher who taught composition, term papers, and prose, for the above abomination)

  81. blf says

    Best in beard: facial hair goes chin-to-chin in Germany (video):

    Bearded participants from 20 countries compete in the 2013 world beard championships near Stuttgart in southern Germany on Saturday. Around 200 competitors compare facial hair across four main categories with 18 sub-categories, including moustaches, chin beards, whiskers and ‘trendy’ beards — meaning the hair has been shaped by a razor or clippers, without hair dryers, hair spray or beard polish

    Beard polish?
    Degreasers, beer removers, and bird ejectors all make sense, but polish?

    (And speaking of ejecting birds and nests from beards, does anyone have a suggestion on disentangling the mildly deranged penguin from mine? The only thing that seems to work is to threaten to dribble some peas on the beard. Just threaten to, actuality differs.)

  82. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says


    The MDP can be removed through the use of two items. First, a plate of Peccorino Roman, some shaved Tuscan herbed smoked ham, some figs and melon, place on the table. Second, melt some British Industrial Cheddar and drizzle it into your beard. The MDP will be out of your beard so fast we will have to put up with another spate of videos like the ones from Russia after the last MDP ‘incident’.

  83. blf says

    …the crackers were crunchy.

    If you must delay your eating of the cheese by bothering with a cracker, then use the mildly deranged penguin’s technique. Her method avoids the crumbs-in-keyboard problem, and also achieves the correct cheese-to-cracker ratio. Actually, there are two methods, both of which work:

     (1) Disintegrate the cracker into its constituent atoms. Sandwich each cracker-atom between two wheels of cheese, and enjoy.

     (2) Throw the crackers away (coffee grounds and banana peels optional). Enjoy the cheese.

    The main problem with the first method is it takes almost as long as slicing-up the cheese and eating only a slice or two per cracker. In contrast, the second method is more optimal — you don’t need to bother with the crackers at all — but if you do bother with the crackers, you can throw away the crackers whilst eating the cheese. Albeit doing so will occupy your arms, hands, prehensile tails, whatever, thus slowing-down the flow of cheese to eat.

  84. blf says

    You can’t melt British Industrial Cheddar, so that won’t work.

    Tempting the mildly deranged penguin with cheeses, salamis, MUSHROOMS!, cheeses, olives, fresh fish and whales, more cheeses, vins and beers and cheeses, and so on, has the basic problem that it’s less effort (for her) to “convince” me to amble over to the platters (usually placed on reinforced tables) whilst she clings to the beard. Counter-threats involving peas are sometimes involved. Or, if I happen to be close to one of her trebuchets, a quick flight may result.

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


    I remember holding a Lesbian Avenger kiss-in at a mall, 17 years ago. Good times. We reveled in security busting our chops b/c one of us (not me) had the foresight to go in a while before the kiss-in (the previous weekend? not sure) with a camera and take photos of straight people kissing. There weren’t that many, but she saw/captured maybe 6 or 8 in just a couple hours. And obviously she wasn’t everywhere, etc.

    With facebook it’s even easier…just find all the straight-folk-kissing photos waiting right there on the site.

    This is the kind of thing that makes me contemptuous of a large company. Have the courage of your convictions and put “no homo” in the terms and conditions or don’t censor content from queers that you wouldn’t censor from straights. And if you genuinely have a rogue employee who is violating your policies, fire them and apologize and distance yourself and let everyone in the company know that someone was fired for this idiocy pour encourager les autres.

    If you really can’t figure out if you hate queers or not? You run a multi-billion dollar corporation. Queers are a lot of your customers. Decide if you want that last billion dollars more than you want to be a jerk to queers and then stick to that decision. Anything else is bad management.


    And in other news…


    People think only oppressions intersect, not privileges.

    Someone uses “intersectional feminisms” to mean feminisms that are anti-racist or anti-ableist or anti-heterosexist as a central part of the analysis.

    “White is a race too: mainstream feminism is intersection, it just intersects with majority power.”

    Concept of intersectionality does not change. Implying “oppression” and not “privilege” becomes entrenched in the concept intersectional.


    Intersection is a bad metaphor: an intersection, mathematically, is 0-dimensional. You don’t even notice it before you’re passed it. In daily life in urbanized, English-speaking-majority countries, “intersection” refers to roads designed to care motor vehicle traffic.

    We wait at the light a bit – is “intersectional” meant to imply delay?
    We move on without other consequence – is “intersectional” meant to imply no long term effect?
    We have a heightened risk of crashing – is “intersectional” meant to imply catastrophe or no effect save the additional worry about catastrophe?

    We can simply use it as a term of art – it means what it means, like lawyers saying “probable cause” – no matter what else it might mean to other speakers of the same language. But people are constantly encountering this term for the first time, or encountering it without making a study of sociology or oppression. What do we do about those people who will inevitably bring their quotidian understanding of intersections to the table?

    “The moment of arraignment before a judge is a moment of intersecting oppressions.”

    1. Develop the concept of “intersectional lives”.
    2. Concede that the intersection is a bad metaphor and try to come up with a better one…but this would tend to abandon lot of productive work, which people are loathe to do.

    1. This effort fails, not least because of the first problem (white does not intersect with anything) but also because you’re still employing the metaphor of intersection: calling attention to the problem without solving it is just like “if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics”. It may help to somewhat arrest Dunning and Krueger’s mischief making collaboration with Murphy in your wheelhouse, but preventing (some) damage is different than fixing the existing problem.

    2. Intersectionality goes on like a juggernaut unless/ until people understand the real limitations of it AND believe that a new model directly before them that they have evaluated has sufficient advantages that the effort to switch is worth it.


    I might do more later to put problems of intersectionality and solutions thereto into the above simlified framework, but i want to catch up on some other things and law school work beckons.

    The next thing to tackle is that the effects of an intersection are substantially the same in intersectional theory. This is not how social power operates in real life, however. We tend to think of intersections as additive (Black + Dislabled), but in a situation where the problem is refusal to let a Black man into a group because black men are threatening, the helplessness = non-threatening BS attached to disability can create a subtractive intersection (Black – disabled). On the other hand, you might have (Black * Dislabled) where poverty is concerned, or where threat is being perceived and the disability is psychosis. If you know anything about medical care on the Rez, you might see (dislabled ^ Indian) as being the best fit curve for a lot of people and situations. Look at justice for the execs of Lehman Brothers and how blame gets shared or deflected, you’ll see that the (white + wealthy) term that works a lot of the time, becomes inadequate: with the US DoJ you might need (wealthy ^ white) to understand the lack of accountability.

    Gads, I said I wasn’t going to write more. I have to stop. If you (or anyone else) has a specific question, I’m open to writing about it. If you want this to keep going, I can write again about it tonight or tomorrow.

  86. gillyc says

    CaitieCat – sorry, I wasn’t ignoring you, I’m in the UK and had to go to bed (and then work).

    I’ve got one of these: (I was lucky, I caught it when they had a really good offer on) but I’ve also had good experiences with the cheaper old fashioned ones. (I got the fancy small one because I wanted something I could use at work without it being too obvious, not because the others are no good.)

    Sometimes you can find one cheap on ebay,

  87. says

    Yet more evidence that one should not trust herbal supplements:

    The New York Times reports on DNA tests carried out by Canadian researchers on 44 types of popular supplements marketed by 12 different brands. They found that many of the herbs identified on the pills’ labels were diluted with unlisted ingredients. A full third contained no trace of the advertised herb, which had been replaced entirely by cheap fillers. In some cases, the replacements are even tied to adverse health effects:

    Among their findings were bottles of echinacea supplements, used by millions of Americans to prevent and treat colds, that contained ground up bitter weed, Parthenium hysterophorus, an invasive plant found in India and Australia that has been linked to rashes, nausea and flatulence.

    Two bottles labeled as St. John’s wort, which studies have shown may treat mild depression, contained none of the medicinal herb. Instead, the pills in one bottle were made of nothing but rice, and another bottle contained only Alexandrian senna, an Egyptian yellow shrub that is a powerful laxative. Gingko biloba supplements, promoted as memory enhancers, were mixed with fillers and black walnut, a potentially deadly hazard for people with nut allergies. …

  88. says

    No worries at all, gillyc. I’m actually a holdover on the ‘Tubez from the FidoNet days, when “e-mail” moved about twice as fast as “snail mail”*, so I tend to have a different attitude to “how fast did you reply??!?!” than a lot of folks. :)

    Sadly, purchasing is quite simply out at the moment, as I’m in the rather annoying spot of being on a very limited welfare payment for my support just now. So I’m just going to have to try and get outside as much as I can this winter. :)

    * I had a digital penpal in Uruguay, it would take about five or six days for my mail to get there, and another five or six for hers to get back to me. FidoNet worked like a manual Internet: you logged into your local BBS, and when you sent your mail, it would be sent to the next BBS in the path between you and your correspondent, and so on all the way there, each time (ideally) by only making a local call. Not easy for the NSA to snoop on, either. ;D

  89. says

    I hate this repulsive pisshole of a country so much sometimes, I really do. I was trying to apply for the energy assistance program run by the state, because we’re looking down the barrel of a nasty electric bill with a shutoff notice attached, only to learn that the state program doesn’t actually exist. They’ve contracted it out to a mess of private charities, including such lovely groups as the Salvation Army (with whom I refuse to have any dealings whatsoever, scum-sucking bigots that they are). Mind, I didn’t find this out from the website, which directed me to the wrong government official. He forwarded my inquiry to the right government official, who sent me the list of private charities. Of the ones I’ve contacted, one has run through their funding already, and the other one’s phone line is out of service.

  90. blf says

    Not easy for the NSA to snoop on, either.

    Phone taps (especially on your own or your penpal’s line) would be “easy”. What such taps would not be — which is probably your point — is efficient for mass surveillance.

    On the other hand, if all you are after is call-patterns (part of the so-called “metadata”), monitoring the telephony switches could be very efficient, albeit tracking a particular FidoNet (or similar (e.g., UUCP)) stored-and-forwarded message is a different thing altogether.

    (I am also very used to multi-day e-mail transfer times, and hence still get annoyed at the both the expectation of near-“instant” e-mails and the times when they actually are not almost-instantaneous…)

  91. says

    Indeed, blf, I meant mass surveillance in the au courant-relevant sense. :)

    FidoNet was cool. I miss those days, in some ways, when the Net(s) was/were a tiny little societal fragment, no part of modern consciousness yet. But then I remember the sheer simple awesomeness of living in the future, and I’m good with the trade.

  92. blf says

     nasty electric bill with a shutoff notice attached

    Some places (including here in France, I think) have a law that you cannot disconnect “essential” services (water, gas / electricity / heating, …) during the winter. (In France, this also applies to evictions — you cannot evict during the winter.)

    Probably not any help…

  93. says

    Dalilama, my sympathies, and a poverty-grokking *fistbump of solidarity* from me too.

    Also, the usual addition of a few bent and wobbly hugs to the pile from the busted bod in the corner.

  94. says

    Looks like John Boehner cannot stand the idea that the LGBT community might get fair treatment when it comes to employment.

    In the Senate, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) this morning secured its 60th vote, all but guaranteeing its success against a likely Republican filibuster later today. But if all goes according to plan, what can we expect to see in the GOP-led House?

    Not much.

    Speaker John Boehner is not in favor of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which seems to be heading toward passage in the Senate.

    “The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an email Monday ….

    Yeah, that idiotic claim of “frivolous litigation” is all they’ve got left. That’s a slender reed on which to build a case for doing nothing about guaranteeing equal rights in the job market. That argument also reminds me of the arguments made against equal pay for women.

    … As for Boehner’s position, let’s also not forget that the Republican leader is effectively being presented with a choice: oppose discrimination in the workplace or prevent possible lawsuits that may or not exist at some point in the future. For now, Boehner is prioritizing the latter.

    Of course, this naturally leads to the obvious follow-up question: does the Republican House Speaker also oppose prohibitions against job discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability, or genetic information? Does Boehner believe such protections lead to “frivolous litigation and cost American jobs”? …

  95. says

    Grf. Left out the bit I meant: I know the anxiety of which you speak, Dalilama, because I’m trying to figure out how Wednesday is going to be soon enough for me to make a “keep-the-Internet-working” payment. :(

  96. cicely says

    *more massive hugs* for Ogvorbis. I would (very selfishly (because I am, you know!)) prefer you not to leave Teh Webs (at least, not those parts that are Pharyngula)…but you gotta do what’s best for you. Maybe you could just (selfishness speaking, again) hang out in the [Lounge] when you know you’ve been hit hard, or are feeling otherwise fragile?

    Dalillama, your case neatly sums up what’s wrong with this pervasive notion that charities (mostly religiously-operated, natch!) is/are all the social safety net we could ever need. It’s patchy, works poorly (if at all), and if you don’t display the correct set of biases…you’re hosed.

  97. says

    opposablethumbs, there’s nothing wrong with having only sympathy to offer, and I’d bet that those of us in the cattlecar of the economic train just now recognize that we’re hardly rare, and hopefully be slow to judge someone else for riding in the cattlecar just ahead, for instance. :)

    My opinion only, of course, and Y(L/100km)MV.

  98. says

    We’ve discussed Ted Cruz’s father before. I am just adding more detail to the story, including Rafael Cruz’s ridiculous statements about evolution:

    Rafael Cruz, the father of Ted Cruz and the Texas Senator’s number one surrogate, is a favorite among Tea Party and Religious Right activists with his birther, Christian Nationalist and End Times-focused speeches.

    Back in June, he spoke to a Texas men’s prayer breakfast where he denounced the theory of evolution as a lie that, along with gay rights, will bring about communism. “There is nothing scientific about evolution,” Cruz said. “Evolution is one of the strongest tools of Marxism because if they can convince you that you came from a monkey, it’s much easier to convince you that God does not exist.”

  99. says

    Those of you who are not christian and who are not homeschooling your children have basically flushed god’s blessings for your children down the toilet. You doubt me? Here’s proof from David Barton, pseudo-historian and all-round Tea Party favorite:

    While appearing on “Believer’s Voice of Victory,” David Barton and host Kenneth Copeland discussed the importance of all Christians homeschooling their children so they are not corrupted by the secular public education system.

    As Barton explained, God does not approve of any sort of secular education and so how can Christians “expect to put your kids in something God has never blessed” and receive God’s blessing.

    “There is no model whereby God blesses those in secular education,” Barton asserted, adding that some Christian students might still received God’s blessing if they are in the public school system but only if the refuse to acquiesce to the “Babylonian education.” ….

  100. says

    Walmart finds yet another way to screw its workers: Mother Jones link.

    Last week, amidst a deluge of criticism about Walmart’s poverty-level wages, the retail giant announced promotions for 25,000 of its roughly 1.3 million US employees. But although Walmart has raised pay for some of its employees, it is simultaneously fighting to convince the Supreme Court to allow it to more easily avoid paying disability benefits.

    Oh no. Our conservative-leaning, business-friendly, corporations-are-people Supreme Court is going to hear a case that will allow Walmart to avoid paying disability benefits to its workers. I’m not ready to bet on the outcome, but I have a bad feeling about this.

    … a ruling in favor of Walmart, Wessler says, would have broader implications. It will become much easier for companies to deny benefits to employees by simply dragging out the benefits approval process until the statute of limitations is over or nearly expired. By the time their benefits are denied, Wessler says, the injured person will either no longer be able to sue, or they’ll have so little time to sue that a lawyer might feel too pressed to take the case.

    It is already common for companies to game the disability benefits approval process, Wessler says. Employers can draw out the process by asking for medical records that are not pertinent to determining the legitimacy of an employee’s claim, or by compelling an employee to go see a doctor affiliated with the company’s insurance provider (and thus inherently biased against determining that the employee is disabled). …

  101. says

    BTW, David Barton, the focus of my comment #149, will most likely be running for the Senate. He wants to be a Senator from Texas, and he has loads of backing. Excerpt below:

    … Barton, who believes America should be governed by Biblical law, also helped write the 2008 Republican Party platform. And he has advised numerous political candidates, including former Arkansas governor and presidential contender Mike Huckabee, who has said that all Americans should be “forced at gunpoint” to “listen to every David Barton message.” …


  102. says

    Here’s a Moment of Mormon Rationality (nice for a change). Salt Lake Tribune link.

    Two Mormon Republicans are poised to help Senate Democrats pass a bill prohibiting workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender people.

    Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Dean Heller of Nevada are two of the five Republicans supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA. Their backing, along with that of all 55 Democrats, is enough to end debate in a vote slated as early as Monday evening and ensure that the Senate passes the protection this week. …

    Of course, this still does not eliminate the roadblock that will be put up by John Boehner and the Republicans in the House of Representatives, where they are likely to refuse to even vote on the Senate version of ENDA. (see comment #143)

  103. says

    Let me know if you set up a route for assistance to Dalillama.

    I have very little, but if we pile up a lot of “very little” we might get enough.

  104. says

    I certainly wouldn’t turn such assistance down, I just hate to keep asking.

    Thank you for the offer as well. I’m only about $63 short atm, so it wouldn’t take too much of very little to cover it. :/

    I do have a paypal, at blaine delancey at the gmail (no spaces).

  105. says

    I do have a paypal, at blaine delancey at the gmail (no spaces).

    Okay. I used PayPal to send the aforementioned “very little.” I sent to blaine [no spaces here] delancey [at symbol]

    Best of luck with sorting the financial stuff out. At least you will have a short term reprieve from Pharyngulite contributions.

  106. says

    Here are some more quotes from would-be Texas Senator and pseudo-historian, David Barton:

    [speaking about abortion] Once “you open the door to killing,” Barton added, “it’s got a lot of different manifestations” because the nation immediately falls under the judgment of God as He removes his protection and “whap, here comes storms like we’ve never seen before and here comes floods and here comes climate stuff that we can’t explain; all of the hot times and all the cold times and not enough rain and too much rain and we’re flooding over here and we’ve got droughts over here … And today we’re saying ‘oh no, it’s global warming.” No, we opened a door that lost God’s protection over our environment and that’s our choice.”

    Note that Barton has niftily explained away global warming by connecting it to our failure to put an end to abortion. [sounds of head-desking worldwide]

  107. rq says

    Unfortunately, I still have to use the old snail method, so if you still have the same information, I’ll try to get out to a bank by the end of the week (usual waiting times apply).
    And don’t worry about asking, if you require the assistance. Considering I’ve just got myself professionally settled, I feel more than good helping out friends in need. :) (A touch selfish, maybe, but the goal is good.)

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

    I loved the photo comparison #16.

    That little one’s face is screaming traumatized for life.
    But yeah, it’s funny.
    My favorite is the first one. I’m imagining the photographer going “Look at mommy/daddy” and the baby just face planting into the bed.

  109. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    When these fundamentalist types talk about the country being governed by Biblical Law, what the heck os Biblical Law?

  110. ImaginesABeach says

    Mostly, Biblical Law is whatever that person wants it to be. You know, start with Leviticus, keep the stuff about sex, ignore the stuff about mixing fibers and slavery and diets and marrying your brother’s widow.

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

    @Tony!, 165:


    There are also the 613 commandments, of course. Maybe fundamentalist Xians would like to keep Kosher or burn in hell?

  112. blf says

    The thigh-gap obsession is not new but it’s the most extreme body fixation yet:

    I read a piece … about young women’s latest obsession: having a gap between their thighs. Surely this must be the harbinger of the apocalypse.

    … To intimate the apocalypse you’re going to have to do better than citing an obsession with one’s legs. …[T]he only true harbingers of an apocalypse are “human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together — mass hysteria!” So until you show me any feline and canine cohabitation, I’m going to maintain you’re still OK to make holiday bookings for next year without any risk of losing your deposit due to brimstone flooding.

    However … the thigh gap obsession is not good. In fact, this column is officially dubbing it A Bad Thing. To type “thigh gap” into Instagram is to gaze down a dark hole of scary sadness. The sense of horror Edvard Munch captured in The Scream is the terror he felt upon seeing Instagram names such thigh_gap_please and Twitter accounts such as @CarasThighGap. No, it is not a widespread trend and, no, not every single female between the ages of 14 and 29 is obsessed with ensuring that their thighs don’t touch any more than every single female thinks it is totally normal to wear … every day (or ever). What it is, though, is an example of yet another form of body hatred that has been successfully marketed to vulnerable girls and women…

    Just when you think there hasn’t been an inch of the female body that has failed to be deemed in some way wanting, along comes another body obsession… From one perspective, one could see this as proof of the inexhaustible ingenuity of the human species. From another, one might want to crawl under a rock.

    There is a reason this journalist, Hadley Freeman, is rapidly becoming one of my favourites at The Grauniad, despite her primary(?) role of being a “fashion” columnist. She’s also written some scathing pieces on MRAs (for instance), and as a result, has had death threats.

  113. blf says

    Biblical Law is whatever that person wants it to be…[e.g.,] ignore the stuff about… slavery

    Eh? The impression I have is most(?) fundies / “babbling lawlewd”-types is they are vehemently (albeit partially-disguised) bigots, and do not seriously object to the enslavement of people “obviously” different from them (e.g., different skin colour, “different” religion, uppity females and children, et al.).

  114. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Hello, children,

    I am beyond ‘rupt. Way, way beyond. I miss you and wanted to say hai.

  115. blf says

    I just seriously managed to confuse myself. (Nothing new there!) I was hanging up some damp clothes to dry in the semi-dark (let’s ignore why in the mostly-dark, other than to confirm no peas were involved), and could not decipher one particular item of clothing. Everytime I located the sleeves, I could not find the collar; everytime I located the collar, I could not find the sleeves.

    Eventually I determined it has a (recently-purchased) pair of lightweight linen trousers, the “collar” was the waistband, and surprisingly-long “sleeves” the legs…

  116. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Hi, Josh. Good to see you. Hear from you. Read from you. Yeah. Hi, Josh, good to read from you!

  117. says

    So, um. TW: Suicide.

    I was hoping the Horde might have some insight on a problem I just kinda realised I had.

    I’m due to graduate from ITT in march with a degree in “Computer-aided Drafting and Design”. And, frankly, I’m terrified.

    I chose this track because I made my living for four years installing office furniture so I thought I could get back into that environment on the design side.

    Here’s the thing: I’ve been unemployed for the last three years as a result of attempted suicide. I basically disappeared for a week, tried multiple ways to off myself, and wound up on my parent’s doorstep. It was the end result of a few things, including having been raped, skating by with a suspended license but my tags were coming due, a debt I couldn’t pay, commuting from Manassas, VA, to Hanover, MD, and working a brutal overtime schedule. After my suicide attempts, I basically went to my boss hat in hand and was “allowed” to come back to work — but as part time, benefits removed. And no guarantee of hours.

    Without benefits I couldn’t really afford my medications, and wound up in another depressive episode a few months later, in which I basically stopped calling in asking for work. They didn’t bother to call to see if anything was wrong.

    So now I’m looking at graduating in March. And I’m looking at getting back in a field I left on some…not very good terms. I realized I’m going to be applying to the very companies that I used to work with. It’s not a large community, and I have no idea who remembers me, and who will know what happened. And either way I have a three year gap in employment I have no way to explain.

    And I’m, frankly, batshit terrified. I have no clue what to do.

  118. cicely says

    *a several-months’-or-even-years’ (’cause Time is a difficult concept) backlog of pouncehugs, with interest*

    Nathaniel Frein, you have my sympathy and best wishes…but I don’t know how to advise you.
    I’m sorry.

  119. blf says

    Nathaniel, Ok, you are among friendly people here, as I am sure you realize. So let’s put your quite understandable terror to the side.

    I have next-to-no knowledge of “Computer-aided Drafting and Design”, albeit I can do mechanical drafting so the underlying concepts are not totally alien to me. As such, I suspect your skills — evidenced by your forthcoming degree (CONGRATULATIONS!) — are marketable and in-demand. The problem, as I see it, is not your employment history per se, but obtaining the interest of responsible, fun, employers, willing to take on a newly-graduated, eager, and understandably-concerned, recruit.

    As such, I must wonder if you are unnecessarily limiting yerself to “office furniture design”. I concur with you that is an interesting area (having been massively frustrated by amazingly stoooopid office furniture design during the course of my own career). However, it seems to me, that is not the only area in which your degree-proven interests and skills could be applied ?

    So my suggestion is two-fold: (1) Don’t unreasonably limit the areas of design / drafting / CAD you search; and (2) Don’t worry about the gaps in your pre-degree employment history. DO NOT LIE, but unless asked directly, simply say something like “I was learning to balance being a diligent student with extra-curricular employment, and unsurprisingly made some mistakes. That was a valuable learning exercise, and obviously the circumstances of working full-time for you are different.”

    (I don’t know yer financial circumstances. If you can arrange / afford it, take a year-ish “off” after graduation and do some traveling (or work for a charity / NPO…). Visit some place(s) you’ve always wanted to see. Meet different people. See / do amazing things. Learn( about) something “unusual” (and then mention it in yer résumé). Relax!)

  120. says

    Thanks for the support and advice. For clarity, going to school was a choice I made after my breakdown and losing my employment.

    Unfortunately, right now I’m sponging off my parents. The sooner I can draw a steady paycheck and look getting a place for my wife and I, the better.

    I don’t feel that I *have* to get into interior design, just that I enjoyed installing furniture and I’m somewhat familiar with the environment. In terms of raw facility with design tools, I would probably be just as good in other design jobs.

  121. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Crip Dyke – *hugs and chocolate*

    Portia – Happy Birthday! Also, pouncehug*

    Ogvorbis – *lots of hugs and much love*

    Dalillama – That’s horrible. hugs*

    Josh – *many pouncehugs* I’ve missed you!

    Nathaniel Frein – I’m afraid I don’t have any suggestions, but you have my virtual support. *hugs and chocolate*

  122. blf says

    Nathaniel, I throughly understand not wanting to “step outside” yer comfort zone. Most people are probably like that (I certain am!).

    In my opinion, expanding yer comfort zone is a good move, be it deliberately or accidentally (or even “forced” to by circumstances). It seems you have already done this at least once, deliberately (which is GOOD!), by choosing to work towards a degree rather than continue on trying to do the “same olde shite” (if I may put it that way).

    It is entirely possible that industry is one you don’t want to leave. That is Ok. As such, it is a case of convincing a potential employer you have enhanced yer skill-set (and the degree will help here!) and decided you like the opportunities and dealing-with the problems in that industry. (You don’t like dealing-with all problems — nobody does! — but some people (including myself, albeit in other areas / another industry), do like problem-solving.)

    Basically, don’t over-focus on past difficulties. Again, DO NOT LIE, but also don’t be “consumed” by yer quite understandable concerns. In addition, focus on things that are positive and fun: You like drafting / design, You like the furniture(-like) world, You learn from mistakes (others, as well as yer own), You observe, You listen, You ask intelligent questions, &tc.

    (And please excuse me if I “sign off” now-ish for a day or three, I have some urgent concerns of my own, and must deal with them now-ish. Apologies for the abrupt departure!)

  123. carlie says

    Nthaniel – lots of possibilities on explaining it, as has been mentioned. You were young and not quite sure what you wanted to do, you took some time off to decide and then went to school, you had family issues, etc. No, don’t lie, but there are multiple explanations, yes? There were a lot of factors involved in your life and what happened, and there’s no need to discuss them all equally or to think you have to focus on one to the detriment of others. It’s a pretty strong statement to say “I was younger, and I was working some things out, and after searching I realized I was in the right place all along so I’ve trained to be the best I can be in it” or something like that.

    If your school has career services, they may be able to help, too. You don’t have to tell them why you had the time period of difficulty, but they know ways of explaining those kinds of gaps without revealing too much. They should also be able to steer you to other areas within your field you might not have thought of, or to help you find more companies to apply to, or to help figure out which of your teachers to ask for recommendations from since you won’t have recent work references.

    You’ll be great. People who have come through as much as you have deserve all of the kudos (and all of the hugs).

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

    Nathaniel, I won’t give advice on how to handle your situation, but you can have a ton each of sympathy and empathy.

    Be good to yourself. It’s a difficult transition, and you don’t know what will happen, but when things go wrong, there will still be more options to try.

  125. says

    Thanks everyone for the kind words, and thanks especially blf and carlie for the advice.

    I managed to work up the nerve to have a heart-to-heart with my career services representative. Feeling a bit calmer about things now.

  126. A. Noyd says

    Both my cats love the laser pointer to death, but it’s interesting how they use different strategies for trying to catch it. One relies heavily on predictive modeling based on past pointer behavior. The other relies almost entirely on direct observation.

  127. rq says

    I never want to meet a giant wombat. *shudder*

    Good luck with everything, you deserve the best of chances, and I hope the job search goes well and successfully, with a minimum of stress for you!


    Best Friend has found another article (Fox News, no less!!!) about how bad and terrible GMOs are… One day I’m just going to tell her to do her own research.
    But I’m just wondering, though – if GMO is such a big money-maker for corporations and whatnot, why is there so much scare-mongering about it by major news agencies? Is that just for kicks, or is it a planned conspiracy, to increase people’s fears and then…? Wouldn’t the media do better if they support GMO in any way possible, thus making money for all…? Eh. Badly phrased question. This might be better: If GMO and Big Media are both Establishment, why do they seem to be against each other?
    (The article is this one, by the way. Shock and bombshells all over the place. :P)

    Oh, and via the rebel-girl tumblr linked by opposablethumbs above: so much awesome in this woman.

  128. Anders Kehlet says

    Hey there.
    I’ve only posted a few times, but I read regularly and know that the commenters here are sensible and that there are quite a few very knowledgable individuals.
    I’d like some assistance in understanding a certain issue.

    [TW: evopsych]
    Youtube: The Gender Equality Paradox

    It’s a norwegian show where the host explores gender inequality/disparity. The show as a whole left me with the impression that it would be unreasonable to claim that there’s no biological basis for differences in interests between men and women (e.g. gender disparity in STEM). I’m not willing to change my view of genders on the basis of this one show, but it would be nice to have answers to some of the challenges brought up (i.e. toddlers showing toy preferences that accord with traditional views on masculine/feminine behaviour).

    Any information or references would be appreciated.
    Thanks. :)

  129. opposablethumbs says

    Anders Kehlet, hopefully there will be much, much more knowledgeable people along shortly – but fwiw, my starting point would be:

    a) it is very well established that people start treating babies that they perceive as m or f very differently from birth – in fact, even from before birth in terms of how they talk “to” them, think of them, prepare for them. We don’t necessarily do this consciously in all cases; some differences in how we talk to babies and infants, how we handle them, how much we let them do for themselves before intervening etc. may be deliberate and some not, but even when people are quite convinced they’re treating kids the same in fact they aren’t. Things like eye contact, tone of voice, physical interactions … everything, basically. We don’t even know we’re doing it. (v. experiments introducing people to the same baby, dressed in “girl” colours and then in “boy” colours etc.).

    Obviously, conscious and unconscious encouragement to behave in one way rather than another leads to a tendency towards gendered “preferences” as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    b) by the time people are old enough to start showing preferences at school, which will lead on eventually to things like STEM/not-STEM as students get older, there is plenty of overt chilly-climate stuff going on – over and above the unconscious biases. Girls in mixed groups getting sidelined in maths and science classes, not having as many role models (or any) and not seeing themselves and their experiences reflected in schoolwork – hell, girls getting told to do “suitable” subjects, or told not to do maths/DT/science – happens all the time (more overt in some countries than in others, perhaps).

    So, while there may be physiological differences, it is in practice completely impossible to separate these from cultural ones.

    And of course it is also true that even if there were differences, the two bell-shaped curves would overlap (for m-STEM aptitude and f-STEM aptitude – even if separate curves had any validity whatsoever, which is emphatically not a given). So the only sensible thing to do would be to strive actively to offer equal access to opportunity (actively combating the chilly climate, for example). Which would be the only moral thing to do anyway.

  130. rq says

    Anders Kehlet
    First of all, hello.
    Second, I would recommend you google ‘chilly climate in science’ or ‘chilly climate in engineering’, and also check out the Pharyngula wiki on the same topic for answers in the lack of equality in jobs (this is the first article that shows up, and it’s a good read to start with). The best visual interpretation of people’s perceptions of skill is from this xkcd, and that kind of attitude contributes a lot to whether a person chooses one career path over another. A lot.

    Not sure where to start with toddlers and toy preferences, but for how early childhood influences can affect later career choices, try this and this. And that’s just a small start. There was an experiment about parents rating their children crawling on an inclined plane, which showed that parents were already assessing their daughters’ abilities at the age of months, letting boys crawl up and down a steeper incline than girls, because it would be too risky. Couldn’t find the source just now, though.
    That’s all I have off the top of my head. Good luck in the rest of your research.

    (I watched some of the film and I’m pretty sure the host set out to prove some kind of a genetic difference, because the people he speaks to in the beginning (Carolina and that guy who laughed about his American ‘study’) actually explain everything for him already… Why he has to go on and ‘give the Americans a chance’ – sounds like he had a specific agenda to prove. I also did not like his attempted conversations with his daughters – what exactly were they supposed to prove???)

    Also, opposablethumbs said a lot of other things I wanted to, and a lot better. :) Especially the last little bit about equal access to opportunity. That should be available for anyone and everyone, even if there were measurable genetic differences. Because not even genetics are 100% applicable to an entire half of the population.

  131. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says


    These were no Diprotodons. They were normal wombats, just wombats of unusual size. And they bounced through the underbrush much the same way that pronghorns do, and rhinoceroses do not.


    Another shitty night for dreams. May not be around much today. Sorry.

  132. rq says

    Speaking of evo-psych, I stopped my subscription to a popular science magazine here because they were starting to publish that claptrap as truth. It makes me sad because it used to be a decent magazine, and one of my few friends here is the editor-in-chief, but they’re beneath the Danish editor’s umbrella, so she doesn’t have exclusive control over what goes in the magazine. Beginning of the year, the Danish editor was replaced by a guy who has inflicted a distinct manly-man’s-man flavour to the entire magazine, and this month was just the last straw: 10 scientifically proven differences between men and women!! Well, I wrote her a long letter about each difference and the cultural influences that actually contribute to these things. She said she mostly agrees with me, but it was either that or another weird article about animal penises or murder. So we both had a sad moment about the decline of popular science journals. *sigh*

  133. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    And I really have to retreat. Yet another rape apologist thread and I just don’t have it in me. I’m sorry.

  134. rq says

    *hugs* for you, and remember – you are loved here and are welcome anytime, for any reason. ♥

  135. carlie says

    Ogvorbis – don’t worry, stay here. We have pillow forts and cookies and booze.

    Opposeablethumbs and rq just said everything I was going to, so there’s that. Try it yourself, though, Anders. Go to a playground and watch how the tiny girls get treated v. the tiny boys, what their parents say to them, how quickly intervention happens, everything. Watch those reality baby shows on tv and record what people say about their forthcoming girl v. boy, watch what kind of compliments they get on their new baby. The cramming of a child into an expected cultural role based on gender is there from the beginning.

  136. says

    HI folks

    *big hugs*

    *hugs*, too.
    I made a not unrelated experience with college. I basically disappeared for 6 years and couldn’t even think about going back because they would all know that I’d disappeared before. The actual experience was rather nice. The truth is, many people care much less than we think they do.You tell them something, they are satisfied.

    There are some very interesting passages is “Delusions of Gender” about experiments with children where they basically added gender markers to toys and suddenly the ponies were cool for the boys and the guns for the girls.
    Honestly, nowadays I’m already happy when some craft sets come in a “boy” variety so the poor lads can at least enjoy some craft.
    I’d really like to see all these “boys/men don’t do X” types to go and tell my friend’s husband who used to dance in a tutu, crafts the most amazing lanterns from scratch and buys his son Hello Kitty undies.
    Because he’s also a motorbike riding cop who’d knock in their teeth* and then arrest them for being terminally stupid.
    *not really

  137. rq says

    Your friend’s husband sounds awesome.
    And you remind me, I must read “Delusions of Gender” sometime very soon.


    [cute intervention]
    (Ok, ok, not so much cute as a bit weird…)
    Cats wearing tights – there’s a weird jarring feeling that happens in the brain when I look at the pictures. :D

    And a pair of heterozygoats for the biology folk and especially Ogvorbis.

    [/cute intervention]

    Having trouble explaining feminism? Use this simple and convenient flowchart to make your point.

    Riga on the left bank in sunset. Because it’s pretty (not my photo).

    And Jimmy Nelson’s photography project – tour the last tribes of the earth, for some astonishing photography.

  138. dianne says

    Hi, thread. **Pouncehugging everyone who doesn’t mind being pouncehugged!**

    Nathaniel: How long were you officially unemployed as opposed to working part time or in school? If it’s less than 10 months, you don’t have to say anything at all about it. Let people assume that you wanted a little vacation time before starting school or whatever. Also, people are apt to worry less about gaps in employment associated with education. Emphasize that you wanted to improve your skills. I agree with the advice about not lying but would add that you aren’t required to tell employers things that are none of their business, including your marital status, plans for a family, and medical history. In fact, it is not legal for them to ask. If someone asks about emotional issues in a job interview, leave in a huff and report them.

    Question to the thread in general: I think that I may be developing a phobia of, well, business language. I’m starting to get creeped out at business meetings and words like “quality” and “culture”. Is there a word for businessspeak phobia? Does anyone else have it or am I being ridiculously irrational here?

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


    Take care of yourself. Whenever you’re ready to come back, I’ll be here, loving you.

  140. birgerjohansson says

    “Riga on the left bank in sunset.”
    In the new version of Nosferatu (ca. 1978) Dracula orders Renfield to take the ship with the plague-carrying rats to Riga. To this harbour?

    The treasure trove of data left by the Kepler telescope has been trawled and the results analysed. The results are coming in now:

    Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

    Milky Way Teeming With Billions Of Earth-Size Planets

    Kepler results usher in a new era of astronomy

  141. birgerjohansson says

    Mummified body might have been part of ‘cult’ -A religious Norman Bates?

    Heroic Broken Sewage Pipe Floods Congress With Human Waste,34237/

    Model virus structure shows why there’s no cure for common cold

    Gimball: A crash-happy flying robot (w/ Video)

  142. bassmike says

    As I’ve been posting here on and off for a few weeks, maybe I should disclose a few details about myself:

    I work in a minor capacity for a UK university.

    I’ve been following Pharyngula for years and the lounge on and off since its inception.I find it odd to be taking part in something that I have been only viewing for so long. It is a really supportive community, which is why I had the nerve to start posting.

    As you’ll have gathered I have an 18 month old daughter. She was born 7 weeks premature and has had a few medical issues but is otherwise fine. After this last hospital stint she’s back to normal, but her parents are still recovering!

    Outside work I play in a local windband and take part in a number of other musical activities. One day I’ll get a band together again and do some original music.

    Anyway, enough of me:

    Ogvorbis You may well be unaware of me, but you have my respect and support for all that you have had to put up with and have been courageous enough to share.

    Caine Ditto. I don’t know whether you find time to look at the lounge, but I need to say that I really appreciate your tireless efforts on this blog. Especially in the rape and MRA posts. I have learnt a great deal from you.

    Giliell, rq, opposablethumbs and others your posts and humour and helped me out in recent weeks. Thank you!

    As an aside, my daughter has now got a baby doll of her own. Not my first choice of toy I admit, but she has loads of other stuff too. As it happens she appears to want to eat the doll. So an atheist in the making I believe! As parents we do try and get gender neutral toys. But I have no doubt that we have some of the bias people have outlined above. Let’s hope we can keep it to a minimum. I do despair when we go round toy shops at the hideous ‘pink’ isle where all the girl oriented stuff is displayed. Shudder!

    Sorry for the long post.

  143. rq says

    Probably not, since the actual Riga harbour and port is on the other side of the river.

  144. says

    Serial plagiarist Rand Paul has been caught again. After he was caught and lambasted by Rachel Maddow and PZ, his worker bees tried to make it hard to find the text of any other speeches Paul had given. That effort to quell the plagiarism scandal failed because reporters dug up several other instances of Paul having stolen the work of others.

    Sections of an op-ed Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul wrote on mandatory minimums in The Washington Times in September appear nearly identical to an article by Dan Stewart of The Week that ran a week earlier. The discovery comes amid reports from BuzzFeed that Paul plagiarized in his book and in several speeches.

    Paul also delivered testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 16, 2013, that included the copied sections.

    Quote above is from BuzzFeed.

    Rand Paul’s take on all this is that “haters” are applying academic paper footnote rules to his speeches etc. Paul tries to redefine plagiarism. Paul continues to wear his ass for a hat.

  145. Anders Kehlet says

    Thanks for the answers. :)

    198. opposablethumbs

    And of course it is also true that even if there were differences, the two bell-shaped curves would overlap (for m-STEM aptitude and f-STEM aptitude – even if separate curves had any validity whatsoever, which is emphatically not a given). So the only sensible thing to do would be to strive actively to offer equal access to opportunity (actively combating the chilly climate, for example). Which would be the only moral thing to do anyway.

    Oh yes. So much this. Even if there were significant differences we should strive to make STEM welcoming to any interested person, regardless of gender. Doing otherwise is immoral, as you say, and harmful to society as a whole.
    On the show they mention that there’s something like 10% women in STEM. I would be utterly astonished if that difference could be demonstrated to have a biological basis.

    199. rq

    Second, I would recommend you google ‘chilly climate in science’ or ‘chilly climate in engineering’, and also check out the Pharyngula wiki on the same topic for answers in the lack of equality in jobs (this is the first article that shows up, and it’s a good read to start with). The best visual interpretation of people’s perceptions of skill is from this xkcd, and that kind of attitude contributes a lot to whether a person chooses one career path over another. A lot.

    I don’t recall encountering that term before, but I’ve read enough Pharyngula to have an idea of what it’s about.
    Only just noticed earlier today (while looking for the lounge) that Pharyngula has a wiki. Will definitely check that out.
    Thanks for reminding me of that xkcd. They are very often insightful in a lovely minimalistic way.

    I will check out your links. Thanks. :)

    Now that you mention it, the host did seem a little… biased.

    Which magazine were you referring to, if you don’t mind me asking? You’ve piqued my curiosity, since I’m a Dane.

    204. carlie

    Opposeablethumbs and rq just said everything I was going to, so there’s that. Try it yourself, though, Anders. Go to a playground and watch how the tiny girls get treated v. the tiny boys, what their parents say to them, how quickly intervention happens, everything.

    Not a bad idea as such, but I think it might come off as somewhat creepy if I just sat at a playground and smiled at the children. :P

    206. Giliell: Will check out Delusions of Gender. Thanks. :)

    212. bassmike:
    Congratulations on your daughter. :)
    Secondly, watch this: Lego & Gender – Anita Sarkeesian
    It’s really quite horrifying.

  146. says

    Chris Hayes hosted a segment for “All In” that nicely summarizes the false impressions of Obamacare that are being foisted on the public by lazy journalists and pundits. There’s plenty of real stuff to complain about, but the focus has been placed on stories that just don’t check out. Minimal fact-checking debunks these stories, which now number in the hundreds. First video in the lineup.

    Direct link:

    Hayes was overly polite when he called the other media reports “incomplete.” They are not just incomplete, they are wrong.

    Here is Hayes’ guide to judging Obamacare coverage:
    This last link leads to the segment that is the most amusing, and the most succinct.

  147. says

    I have to say, as a linguist and xenophile, I totally adore that we’ve got people from so many countries here. Danes and Austrians and Germans and Swedes and Aussies and USans and Canadians and people in France and Latvia and it’d be cool if we had some people from Africa and Asia and South America cause the world is awesome and I love hearing from people who live where I don’t. :D

    Also, rq, I loved that photo of Riga. I wish they’d allow right-click/save, because I often use those kinds of cityscapes for painting inspiration, the colours and heights and shapes of buildings, and things like that. :(

  148. Nutmeg says

    Hi, Anders and bassmike! Good to meet/learn more about you!


    Can I Horde-source a friend’s problem?

    One of my grad school friends is, like me, struggling with some anxiety issues. Hers also come with a bonus side serving of depression-y stuff, for extra fun! Unfortunately, because she’s not a student anymore, she doesn’t have access to all of the university resources that I do. I’m going to try to talk her into finding some outside help, but I’m not sure that I’ll be successful.

    I was thinking that, as a backup plan, it would be good to have some books on dealing with anxiety and depression to recommend to her. I know there are things like workbooks based on cognitive behavioural therapy. Can anyone recommend some good evidence-based books that they’ve had experience with? It would be much appreciated.

  149. rq says

    Anders Kehlet
    Umm, a version of Science Illustrated would be the direct translation… I don’t know if it goes under the same name in Denmark, but it’s a Bonnier Publications International affiliate or watchamacallit… Don’t know if that means anything to you. :)

    Yes, that site disappoints me for exactly the reason you mention – can’t click-and-save. Which is why I have that picture open in permatab right now, so I can glance at it whenever I like. Oh, and this isn’t Old Riga – this is the left bank, which is a slightly newer Riga but it used to be the posh across-the-river Riga. This would be the classic Old Riga panorama that also appears in old etchings of the city (recgonisable by number and shape of church towers – here in painting format).

  150. says

    Those are beautiful, rq, thanks! :)

    I quite like residential scenes, city-residential, I mean, with apartment blocks and such. I have a huge folderful of photos from Piterburg because of a community on LJ. I like the ways the canals and buildings and bridges reflect off one another (light reflections off the water lighting the shady sides of buildings, for instance). :)

  151. rq says

    Ha, my sons all have an ever-expanding collection of HotWheels (and non-HotWheels) cars. But they also have favourite stuffed bears that get very caring and nurturing treatment on a regular basis, and their favourite toy out in the country at great-grandma’s is a toy kitchen… :) You sound like you have a handle on things, though, so I’m sure your daughter will turn out great, no matter what!
    One thing I’ve found is works for us is not to deny whatever’s popular or what they like at that moment (or otherwise trying to say that it’s bad or inappropriate to like [thing]), but to keep offering alternatives even if they get rejected more often than not. Like with food. It’s bound to catch on eventually. :)

  152. rq says

    Then you might love this… Just google ‘Vecrīgas ielas’ in the Image function. Because Old Riga is full of narrow streets and awesome architecture. Also, looking up ‘Art Nouveau’ or ‘Jugendstil’ in Riga should bring up some great results (it is Jugendstil capital of the north, they say…). :) Not much in the way of apartment-scapes because the ones that exist are extremely monolithic in appearance with very little variety in terms of height and/or colour. Oh, there’s the ‘Moscow suburb’ (Maskavas forštate) which is one of the more decrepit and poor areas, but the variety in architectural styles and levels of buildings is beautiful.
    Anyway, I know you didn’t ask for a photo dump, so feel free not to look. :)

  153. rq says

    Then I won’t hesitate to post even more city-porn as I come across it, with your name on it. ;)

  154. Anders Kehlet says

    219. rq

    Umm, a version of Science Illustrated would be the direct translation… I don’t know if it goes under the same name in Denmark, but it’s a Bonnier Publications International affiliate or watchamacallit… Don’t know if that means anything to you. :)

    Ah.. “Illustreret videnskab”, of course.
    Was afraid of that. As far as I can tell it’s the most prominent popular science magazine in Denmark.
    It’s really not helpful to have them perpetuating bad science and sexist bs. I’ll be on the look-out for questionable front pages.

  155. Pteryxx says

    *leaving hugs in the pile for Ogvorbis* You deserve to take care of yourself. Besides, we’ve got your back.

  156. carlie says

    Nutmeg – I did well with schema-based therapy. The general public book my therapist had me get was “Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior and Feel Great Again” by Jeffrey Young. What did me more good, though, was the information at his website (including some powerpoint presentations that he does to psychologists), because it was more in-depth and explanatory. Unfortunately chrome is telling me his site has some malware at the moment. There are a couple of practitioner-level books out there by him, though.

  157. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    Caitiecat: I have vague memories of growing up in Piter. Too young mostly. But I do know that my rapid transit fascination began there. can’t help it now.

    13 years of suburban living after that is existentially unsatisfying. How does anyone stand it?

  158. cicely says

    Anders: First off, Hi! and welcome in, if you haven’t been before, or welcome back, if you have.
    In connection with the xkcd cartoon that rq cited, it’s worth thinking about that, not only is there this tendancy to extend one girl’s failure to be good at math to girls in general, but there’s also a tendancy, if an individual boy does poorly at math, to “make him buckle down and study harder” on it, instead of writing it off and just saying, “Oh, well; we can’t expect you to do math well!”, and excusing him from applying nose to grindstone.
    And of course, the same thing happens where individually, girls are encouraged to just keep at it until they get good (or at least, acceptable) at cooking and sewing (’cause “practice makes perfect!”), where individually, boys (generally) are not.
    IOW: it’s a positive feedback loop.

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis. Don’t be sorry! You don’t expect your muscles to perform 24/7 without taking strain and/or damage; you shouldn’t expect it of your mind, or emotions, either. Rest. Take care of yourself.
    Maybe apply a little ‘liniment’.

  159. opposablethumbs says

    Many many hugs if acceptable to Ogvorbis. Please take it as easy as you can, look after yourself as much as you can. With respect, admiration and affection from a long-distant transatlantic online-acquaintance-sort-of-person.

    Hi bassmike – good to see you, and glad to hear that things are looking a bit less fraught wrt your daughter. Very happy to have been in any way remotely involved in the community contribution to the raising of even half a fraction of a soupçon of a smile :-) (did I already ask you what instrument you play? I probably did. please forgive me if I asked before, I have a real swiss cheese memory)

  160. says

    thunk: It’s my abiding sadness that the job I’d lined up for when I finished my undergrad – a columnist/editorial slot at an English-language newspaper starting up in Kazan’ – fell apart in the wake of the Putin mini-coup thingy in ’92. I was in the process of doing my visas and such when the tanks came out, and the paper had to cancel the position because they weren’t sure the instability would allow them to get the funding support to make the paper viable. :(

    Instead, I’ve never yet been to Russia, though I’m happy to often be complimented on my культурний акцент when I encounter Russophones. :)

  161. rq says

    Anders (Can I call you first-name only?)
    I’m pretty sure that quiz is exactly the article I hated in this month’s edition… Has pain threshold, orienteering, parallel parking, shopping, unfaithfulness in partners, sexual liberty… something else too that I forget. Oh yes, empathy. The only two that were false were pain threshold (based on a stupid study of poking people between fingers – very culturally biased in the sense of which gender is expected to express pain in a given society) and shopping (based on a study in India – very culturally biased, because I’m sure time and money spent shopping can vary quite a bit from culture to culture, not to mention economic class…). The worst one (study-wise) was how women take less risks than men… because some scientist observed that women would arrive at a given bus stop earlier than men. *facepalm*
    Anyway, it used to be a decent magazine here, full of all kinds of delicious things of varying value, but the past few months it has gone very quicly and very strongly downhill. Couple months ago they extrapolated a study about grasshoppers onto humans (something to do with ability to find a suitable mate, yeah, I know!). Cover design (here) has also gone downhill, just somehow less attractive. Worst part is, I can’t say what is worse, just that something is worse (well, besides article range and quality past few editions) – like they’ve left an all-encompassing audience behind and are aiming straight for the MRA dudebros. Sad.

  162. cicely says

    rq, that’s a pretty pic.
    Obviously, the Horses are all invisible.
    Duplicitous critters that They are.


    The Onion shoots…it scores!
    “This cracked sewage pipe deserves the Medal of Honor.” At press time, nobody was trying to fix the pipe.”

    bassmike, I’m glad that your daughter is “back to normal”>

    Question: How well does society’s treatment of race serve as a stand in for the current issues being grappled with re gender issues? I’m thinking of trying to slowly lead a couple of my friends through it, and don’t want my analogies crashing on me, allowing them to just dismiss them as “not the same thing at all!!!!“.
    (While, of course, recognising that analogies aren’t perfect.)

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

    @Caitie Cat:

    What kind of accent? Sorry, that one was beyond me.

  164. says

    Apologies, CD: культурний is “cultured”. All-purpose polite-register way of saying “nice” or “decent”, somewhat old-fashioned but I believe still used.

  165. rq says

    They use the variant ‘kulturāls’ (cultural) here. :) Means the same thing, sounds like: fine, upstanding, educated, but not necessarily posh.

  166. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Splashed bleach on myself. And of course it got on my sweater.

    Fortunately the blotch isn’t too big. Still.

    I like this sweater.

  167. A. Noyd says

    cicely (#236)

    Question: How well does society’s treatment of race serve as a stand in for the current issues being grappled with re gender issues?

    If you want some in-depth answers to that, try reading a bit of Gradient Lair. Trudy spends a lot of time going over things relevant to that topic (and probably has a few posts that answer it directly). You might start here and use the tags on that post to find others.

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

    @Caitie Cat:

    No apology necessary, it’s my ignorance.

    I still get


    confused with


    which appears to have been my problem here. I should have gotten it. Sigh. More things to study before I know everything.

  169. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Oh, Crip Dyke!

    The Bag™ is proceeding nicely! I’ve got the front panel done, and the strap is about half done. I need to get the back panel done and then stitch it together. It would have proceeded faster, but tendonitis flared in my hand, which knocked me out of commission for awhile. Worst case scenario is that you’ll have it by Christmas. I hope to have it done before then.

  170. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Whups, forgot the pic. Here‘s the pattern of the front panel. I think it came out looking rather well.

  171. cicely says

    Esteleth, I feel your pain.
    In the wake of the MRSA-cre, The Husband was doing all of the laundry…with bleach. He had a touching confidence that adding the bleach in through the designated compartment in the washer would automatically result in perfect dilution of the bleach into the water…a confidence not borne out by subsequent results.
    And that is how my black jeans and all of my Cthulhu tee shirts came to have bleach blotches, small or large, obtrusive or concealed.

    Thanks, A. Noyd! I shall read the provided links, then bookmark them for a “refresher course” just before the meet-up.

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



    I am very much looking forward to it!


    Okay, I almost quit after the first one, stomach churning, vision swimming. I made a conscious choice to look at #2. Partner had relatives who barely escaped holocaust. It is virtually certain that they had friends and family who died. Tab closed.

    If posts allowed editing, I would suggest a trigger warning. That first photo just pops up right in front of you exactly the way a cute, fluffy bunny doesn’t.

    @A. Noyd:
    New blog!

    I totally have time for that before I start drafting a new statute for my Drafting & Interpretation class. Really!

  173. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    So sorry, that’s my mistake… :/ You’re absolutely right. I didn’t even think of that in this context. :( I’ll do better in future.

    *** Public Service Announcement: Link #3 @ my 247 is Trigger Warning’ed!!! ***
    (Sorry it comes after the fact!!!)

  174. says

    A follow up to my post @214: I forgot to mention that Rand Paul said he wanted to challenge all the haters of his plagiarism to a duel. Then he noted that duels are illegal in Kentucky, so I guess PZ will not have an opportunity to shoot Rand Paul.

    Rachel Maddow, noting that she had been challenged to a duel with Rand Paul, devoted a segment to the immaturity of calling your critics “haters” while failing to address the actual subject under discussion. Huff Po link, with Maddow video clip.

    More bizarre crap re the plagiarism scandal, as reported in the New York Times.

  175. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The show as a whole left me with the impression that it would be unreasonable to claim that there’s no biological basis for differences in interests between men and women (e.g. gender disparity in STEM).

    It isn’t unreasonable at all. It would be unreasonable to assert that such a difference was impossible or should be rejected a priori, which of course is the position evo-phrenology types constantly strawman critical thinkers as taking, a fact which is very telling: see, Creationists with their presuppositionalism. (Some of the more savvy ones will try to frame “nature” as the null hypothesis. It isn’t). However, claims about the supposed inherent differences between male and female humans have so many biases and prejudices bearing on them that heightened scrutiny is entirely reasonable even as an a priori consideration. More importantly, the field has such an extensive track record of shoddy methodology, “everyone knows”ing, misrepresentation of actual data, overreaching conclusions, desperately, graspingly motivated reasoning, and abject denialism that at this point one ought to regard claims about supposed inherent gender differences – especially ones that conform to prejudices, like that males have more STEM aptitude or affinity – the same way one regards a claim to be a desperate member of the Nigerian royal family trying to get money out of the country, for basically the same reasons.

  176. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (Although, I’ve never heard of a scammer replying that “Isn’t it at least possible that Nigeria exists? You’re dogmatically denying there’s any such thing as money!”)

  177. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Doing a little better. Engaged in some therapeutic cooking — Italian peasant batter bread with roasted garlic and rosemary, fresh steamed green beans, and filleted chicken breaded and fried. Not health food, but I feel more relaxed. Some people eat when they are stressed, I cook when stressed.

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

    just got a bread maker.

    any advice on use/recipes?

    It’s a black & decker, most recipes in their book are on the scale of about 3 to 15/4 cups flour.

  179. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hey Oggie,

    Glad you are doing better. I get my butt royally kicked in the dream department and sometimes it gets violent. Yuck.

    On a positive note, I’m also a stress-cooker. I’ve started cooking elegant things at 10:00pm. Makes for fabulous breakfasts. Call up all your friends at 6:00am and tell ’em it is a “come as you are party.” Bring your appetite.

    Whatever gets us through the night.

  180. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What could have been a terrible day was gotten through without a lot of fuss. We both got to sleep in a little, and I was still able to get the Redhead fed, bathed and dressed before my dentist appointment. The dentist was taking off a temporary crown, and installing a permanent one. He said let’s see if I can get this off without numbing the area, and it popped right off. In and out in fifteen minutes since I didn’t need pain killers leaving me a drooling mess for a couple of hours.
    Got the Redhead off to her doctor’s appointment, and realized half way there I hadn’t transferred the handicap placard from the other car. Pull in to the parking lot, and two adjacent spaces right in front of the door were available. Get her out closer than the handicapped spot (at the end of the row). Minor adjustments needed to her BP meds, and we are out again in half an hour. And nobody was parked in the adjacent spot where the Redhead needed to get back into the car so at no point was a placard needed.
    That left time to get some shopping done, and get the Apple TV to get melded into the local WiFi network. It did require a downgrading of the WiFi password, it should still be good enough except for the pros. Now I can put video out to a TV accessed via a remote control rather than a DVD disc, which will free up some of my time, and allow her access every day, even when bundled up for warmth (if she gets too bundled up she can’t move enough to change DVDs). For Squidmas the Redhead gets an unwanted upgrade to HDTV (doesn’t need to be 1080p, 760p will do), which will save money due to a more energy efficient TV, and a lesser rate from Comcast. I just have to make sure the proper inputs are available on the TV.

  181. David Marjanović says

    *pops in*

    O hai! Hekuni Cat! The vertebrate paleontology collection of the Smithsonian is closed for a year, so I’ll get to spend all my time in DC with Pharyngulites! Please find my address in Google Scholar and drop me an e-mail; it’s not likely that I’ll show up in the [Lounge] often enough till then.

    *pops out*

  182. cicely says

    Crip Dyke, you don’t want my advice on Fun with Bread Machines!
    All of my attempts in that area have been unequivocal failures.
    Yeast hates me.
    I think the Horses have “leaned on” it. Vague comments about flammability, etc.

    Nerd, I’m glad your day didn’t suck as per expectations.

    *pouncehugging* David, hopefully before he can Make Good His Escape.

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


    Crip Dyke, I think I am trying to outdo you in comment length… :)

    I ♥ you – for this and for the Tony Tale in the rape culture thread.

  184. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    As with some others, I can only offer support and an ear to listen. Both are available on a permanent basis.

    Good to see you. I hope all is well with you.

    A Noyd:
    Thanks for reminding me I need new batteries for my laser toys. The cats and dogs love them.


    Hello there.
    How goes things?


    First Josh, now dianne….hmmm…who is next?


    Like Tv Tropes, the Pharyngula wiki is a time sink.

    Glad to hear your little one is back to normal.

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


    Yeast hates me.

    I personally know several women who would love to have that curse. In addition to regular benefits, it would also make possible much more versatile use of sugary spreadables.

  186. rq says

    Something cute: Ah, the smell of first snow!

    Something atheist: Ah, the wonderful smell of baby!

    Something more than worthwhile, for anyone in the area of the exhibit: Walking with our Sisters. A Commemorative Art Installation for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Canada and the USA.

    Something castle: Arundel Castle, just because I like medieval castles and this one is, apparently, the inspiration (actually, one of many inspirations) for Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast.

  187. birgerjohansson says

    Terry Pratchett has also co-written “The Long Earth” with (I think) Stephen Baxter.
    Alternative Earth stories are common, but this ve rsion is made insteresting by the wide variety of Earths with diferent history, 2east” and “west” of the datum ve rsion (ours). No humans in the others verssions, but “trolls” that may be different descendants from the human /chimp/bonobo line.
    A clever plot device is the “joker” worlds that are significantly different/dangerous because of events that cannot be pred icted, because they are so rare. A mutation making a bovine disease very deadly for humans. Earth missing altogether because of a hit from a big diverted Kuiper belt object

    Lynna, “failing to address the actual subject under discussion”
    This also describes Brit PM Cameron when being asked about the eavesdropping of chancellor Angela Merkel in the house of commons.
    Instead of answering the question he went on a long rant about eavesdropping saving us from terrorists. One way to logically reconcile the “answer” with the question would be if he seriously thinks Angela Merkel is a terrorist who will start blowing things up the moment surveillance is relaxed.

  188. birgerjohansson says

    Now I understand: Merkel is from the former East Germany, so she is a long-term sleeper agent…

  189. says

    Hi folks
    Damn I’m busy
    What got into me when I made this year’s plan?

    Hugses all around.

    Cute kids story (for those wh know a little German. Sadly intranslatable)

    #1 (who’s currently driving me up the walls by deciphering each and every word. I love her, I#m proud of her): “Eichhörnchen schreibt man mit EI, nicht wahr, Mama?” (Eichhörnchen =squirrel)
    Ich: Ja klar, super gehört!
    Little one: “Ja wenn man’s mit A schreiben würde wäre es ja auch ein Arschhörnchen” (Arsch = ass)

  190. says

    Giliell, I ran your story through Google translate – even probably a bit garbled, it made me smile.

    *adds to hugses pile for everybody*

  191. bassmike says

    opposablethumbs 232:

    did I already ask you what instrument you play? I probably did. please forgive me if I asked before, I have a real swiss cheese memory.

    I don’t beleive you did ask me what I played. I play double bass and bass guitar. Started as a bass guitarist as a child and acquired the double bass through the orcherstra and learnt how to play it. Playing double bass in a windband sometimes confuses people….me mainly! I also assist with the percussion section when there’s no bass part.

  192. rq says

    Thanks for that!


    Playing double bass in a windband sometimes confuses people….me mainly!

    Reminds me of an orchestra joke (kind of randomly, but hey…).
    So two double-bassists spend years alongside each other in an orchestra, playing a wide variety of music, until the time comes for one of them to retire. Soon enough, though, his old orchestra (along with bass-partner) are putting on a concert, so he goes to enjoy the music. After the show, he goes backstage to speak to his former bass-playing partner, and says to her, “Hey, you know that piece where we have that awesome bass-line, where we used to rock out all the time like there’s no tomorrow? Turns out, the violins have this crazy solo on top of that…”
    (Our choir conductor likes throwing this one out when teaching a lesson about listening to all the other parts, not just your own…)

  193. bassmike says


    Reminds me of an orchestra joke (kind of randomly, but hey…).
    So two double-bassists spend years alongside each other in an orchestra, playing a wide variety of music, until the time comes for one of them to retire. Soon enough, though, his old orchestra (along with bass-partner) are putting on a concert, so he goes to enjoy the music. After the show, he goes backstage to speak to his former bass-playing partner, and says to her, “Hey, you know that piece where we have that awesome bass-line, where we used to rock out all the time like there’s no tomorrow? Turns out, the violins have this crazy solo on top of that…”

    … my case I would just blame the tubas!

  194. rq says

    What did a tuba ever do to you??
    Personally, I think it’s fine to blame the violins, especially the firsts. They always have weird silly solos. (Bitter former second-violinist right here.) :)

  195. opposablethumbs says

    Playing double bass in a windband

    ahh, very cool. (Seeing “windband” I had wondered if it was maybe bass clarinet.)

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

    a double-bass clarinet: You have to rest it on the ground using a spike that prevents sound-dampening.

    Unless you are playing the electric version

  197. bassmike says


    What did a tuba ever do to you??

    *looks around furtively*……………….errr nothing. In fact our orchestra has three tubas vs me so there’s generally a volume disparity. However, I have an electric double bass for Jazz concerts etc. No-one is drowning me out when I use that!

    Personally, I think it’s fine to blame the violins, especially the firsts. They always have weird silly solos. (Bitter former second-violinist right here.) :)

    I understand your bitterness! Our solos are shared between clarinet, flute, oboe and trumpet. As far as I’m concerned they can keep them. Solos make me nervous!

    Crip Dyke:

    a double-bass clarinet: You have to rest it on the ground using a spike that prevents sound-dampening.

    We have a couple of bass clarinets, one of which doubles on contra-bass clarinet. It looks like something a plumber on acid would come up with. Makes a hell of a sound though.

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

    Ever notice how when your child hears something different from what you thought you said, your child is always right?

    Yeah, that.

  199. says

    The Daily Kos published a nice analysis of the far-right-wing myth that crushing the poor will save us money in the short term and in the long term. The article is illustrated with several cartoons that are also well done.
    Excerpt below:

    … The irony is not to be missed here. We have leaders who are advocating that cutting SNAP is in the name of saving the future deficit for future generations. This is seductive until you realize the long term financial consequences of a hungry populace are far more devastating to our national capabilities and exponentially more expensive. Hungry infants don’t develop in the right way, leading to chronic and expensive health issues. Hungry kids don’t learn well. Uneducated kids grow usually up to be unproductive adults. Hungry people simply don’t perform well in life. Hungry people have a higher chance for obesity. The bottom line and inconvenient truth is that hunger harms our national security, our industrial competitiveness, and our children’s future. The fact is that our long term economic, national security and global competitiveness is directly tied to our ability to effectively ensure our people are fed. …

    … SNAP provides an economic benefit return of $1.70 in economic development to every dollar allocated. …

    Backup for the $1.70 statistic:
    Link is to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  200. says

    Most of the same financial institutions that brought you the financial meltdown are revving up to bring on another calamity, this time through rental properties instead of though homes owned by individuals.

    … these new securities, backed by rental payments, also have real-world implications for millions of renters, who could end up turning in their monthly checks to Wall Street-based absentee slumlords.

    Over the past couple years, private equity firms and hedge funds have bought up over 200,000 single-family homes, mostly discounted foreclosed properties in communities wrecked by the housing crash, such as Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Riverside, California. They have spent billions to scoop up these vacant homes at fire-sale prices, renovate them, and rent them out, promising investors double-digit annual returns on the rental revenue. Private equity firms like Blackstone, which owns more than 40,000 single-family homes, think they can build an entirely new asset class out of this scheme, controlling the rental market for single-family homes. The irony is rich: Wall Street created the conditions for millions of foreclosures, then they sweep in to buy up the homes and rent them out, often to the same people they kicked onto the street. …

    Blackstone teamed with Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase to put together the first-ever rental revenue bond, named “Invitation Homes 2013-SFR1.” Basically, Blackstone took out mortgages with the banks on 3,207 of its rental properties, in exchange for $479 million in cash, and they will forward rental payments to the bondholders to pay back the loan.

    That’s just one example of the new setup for ripping off we the people. Rating agencies have given a triple-A rating to the bonds sold in connection with massive holdings of rental properties. Remember what happened before when rating agencies gave triple-A ratings to the sour layer cakes of questionable home mortgage loans that financial institutions were selling as good investments? Yeah.

    Another problem: quality of rental properties and of management of rental properties is likely to go down. More slumlords, bigger slumlords, slumlords too big to fail, slumlords who buy the legislation they want.

    Wall Street firms apply plenty of pressure to fix up homes cheaply and quickly, to get them in shape for rental and kick-start the monthly payments. So there’s no reason for anyone in the process to care about quality.

    Strong tenant laws are supposed to counteract this slumlord misbehavior. But what if investment firms corner the market on rental homes and use political influence to subvert those laws? That’s already happening in places like Huber Heights, Ohio, where Magnetar Capital now owns nearly 10% of the homes. They have appealed to the city to cut their property taxes, a windfall that would save Magnetar $1.39 million.

    The potential for abuse is high, because there’s so much money on the line. As institutional investors increase their purchases in cities, theymuscle out traditional homebuyers for the scarce properties available. And the added market share allows them to be even more brazen. Residents of the largest apartment complex in Manhattan, Stuyvesant Town, are facing large mid-lease rent increases after ownership reverted to CWCapital Asset Management. You can easily see a trend here, as Wall Street firms use their wealth and power to mute opposition from city councils and demand more from renters. …

    Risky investments are sliced, diced and pureed … then they are sold as “safe.” Quality of service and guarantees of safe returns on investment are thrown out the window.

    Salon link to an articles by David Dayen.

  201. says

    Walton should enjoy this (well “enjoy” may not be the right word). Lord Monckton not only wants legislators in the USA to impeach President Obama, he wants Obama thrown into prison.

    Right Wing Watch link.

    … On any objective test, Mr. Obama should not merely be impeached: he should be imprisoned. But no one will do anything to bring him to book. Corruption by inaction is the most corrosive corruption of all….

    Methinks Monckton does not know the meaning of the words “objective test.”

  202. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, sex category.

    Mormon bishops often interfere in the sex lives of their sheeple, including the sex lives of married mormons. This story is particularly sad:,1073149

    My wife had previously said that she was uncertain what she thought about masturbation. So she asked her bishop about it, and he told her it was a sin. She is therefore unwilling to touch herself at all, …

  203. says

    Giliell, I laughed hard. Arschhoernchen. LOL!


    Cool to find another bassist around, bassmike, glad to meet you. I’ve been playing since I was 16, and have accumulated three instruments: a nice Peavey that I’ve put flat-wound strings on, the Ibanez I saved up for when I was 16, and a 3/4 size double with pickups.

    I just wish I had people locally to play with. *sigh* Sadly, ska fans are a little rarer than I could wish.

    I also played as the euphonium soloist when I was in high school, in a band that regularly came in second in the citywide contests (our rivals from Markham, at the time the richest per-capita district in Canada, came first, in what we noted at the time sounded like the plot for a bad teen movie). I loved playing euph, loved the sound, loved the register it played in (usually cello parts, in orchestral music), loved the solos I’d get. I really miss playing it. If I were well-off, I’d probably buy one and look to join a community orchestra.

    Also also, glad to hear your wee one’s come home and safe. :)


    Happy news for me this morning, I’ve got a thesis coming in this weekend that will allow me to keep my Internet on. Huzzah for theses!

    It also occurred to me, if y’all want to be able to help me get more financially secure? If you know anyone who needs a good editor/proofer for their academic work, I’m relatively cheap (CAD32/hr*), fast (I estimate at 3000 words/hour when I’m quoting, and usually beat my quote), and comfortable with even the most advanced maths or science papers. I also try to make my editing also a language lesson; for comments and changes that aren’t immediately obvious, I leave notes explaining the decisions, and offering alternatives. I can work to US or UK (or CA) styles of English, and can work to style guides if I’m told which one we’re using. I’m fully comfortable with working remotely with people, too.

    If you have someone who’d be interested, contact me at, and I’ll pass along my professional e-mail addy, or contact them from there. I am very, very careful about not hooking that addy to my online life, so I can’t put it here; also it has my first/last names in it. And since I’m still uniquely named on the Internet (no one else has my combination of first/last), I need to be very cagey about associating it with my online life. Many of my clients are foreign students, and from very conservative cultures, so keeping the fact that I’m a radical queer feminist activist trans* woman with strong communist leanings is not…business-friendly. :)


    Some bent and wobbly (but warm and caring!) hugs onto the pile from the old broken lady in the corner.

  204. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says


    From a quick glance, I’m seeing:
    (1) Reputable journal.
    (2) Institution with a good reputation.
    (3) Small cohort size.

    Thus, it is unlikely to be utter nonsense, but a grain of salt may be warranted.

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

    From Lynna, on SNAP funding:

    The fact is that our long term economic, national security and global competitiveness is directly tied to our ability to effectively ensure our people are fed. …

    Well, sure, but getting Leonardo’s Workshop and Michelangelo’s Chapel are important, too: when you get Explosives, LW let’s you transform the terrain dramatically faster and more cheaply by upgrading to engineers, and without MC you’re constantly behind 80 shields in every city, even before you calculate what you lose as smaller and smaller cities (without the resources to efficiently build cathedrals) bump up against happiness constraints that keep getting lower as your civilization expands.

    I thought this was just common sense.

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

    @Lynna, 289:

    Sadly, there is a case to be made that objective analysis would lead to impeachment if there were objective criteria to employ. However, I don’t think Monckton is referring to killing citizens in a manner that violates the 5th.


  207. cicely says

    Funny Stuff:
    From Bizarro Comics.
    And over at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.


    Our solos are shared between clarinet, flute, oboe and trumpet. As far as I’m concerned they can keep them. Solos make me nervous!

    I can play 3 of those instruments—-one well, one acceptably, one theoretically—and solos make me nervous as hell. Even on the one I play well.
    Bass clarinets are seriously trippy to play; I liked it a lot. Pity they’re so danged expensive.
    Contra-bass clarinets are also fun, but don’t get much in the way of interesting parts, are hideously danged expensive, and for me will always carry a faint, ‘psychic’ whiff of onion-and-mayo sandwich.

    Ingdigo Jump:

    I have critique of TV Tropes, but will refrain unless you’re interested in it

    Yes, please?

  208. rq says

    Dangit, cicely, don’t post such tempting material (cats & catnip) while I’m at work. All entertainment and video sites have been blocked off, those curmudgeons in control…


    I hear the sounds of impending doom – Husband calls me at work to ask me where the thermometer has been hidden, as Middle Child is complaining of tummy aches all evening and has a very hot forehead. Is our disease-free run to be ended? (On the plus side, it’s been nearly three months in kindergarten with nary a contagion for either of the boyz, so I guess the luck has to end sometime… I just have a nasty anti-passion for stomach viruses, I’m much better with the flu.)

  209. says

    Republicans are never done when it comes to restricting abortion and other health services for women. The latest wrinkle is that Senator Lindsey Graham is taking up the banner to ban abortions after 20 weeks:

    After months of waiting and speculation about who would take the lead, Sen. Lindsey Graham — not Sen. Marco Rubio — will be the chief sponsor of a bill designed to ban abortions nationwide after 20 weeks, or the point at which some scientific evidence says fetuses may feel pain.</b?

    The move follows a growing push in conservative states to ban elective abortions earlier in pregnancies.

    But a federal ban is raising constitutional questions in conservative circles, and some legal scholars have questioned where Congress would draw its powers to supersede the states and impose a national ban at a point several weeks earlier than the Supreme Court has ruled would be constitutional.

    Pro-life advocates said they are confident of their legal standing and for now are just happy to get debate started in the Senate. They said they also are thrilled that Mr. Graham is their champion.

    “Sen. Lindsey Graham was champing at the bit to do it sooner rather than later,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, a major force behind the legislation. “There’s a point when you just have to go ahead. The timing is really now.”…

    Washington fucking Times link, leads to an article that also makes the statement that “The science behind fetal pain is complex and evolving and far from settled,…”

  210. rq says

    Also, stupid work-related question of the day: “Are the fingerprints biological in origin?”
    (Yes, this country could use improvements in basic science education.)

  211. says

    Crip Dyke @296:

    Sadly, there is a case to be made that objective analysis would lead to impeachment if there were objective criteria to employ. However, I don’t think Monckton is referring to killing citizens in a manner that violates the 5th.

    Quite right. Monckton is not concerned with the killing of civilians via drone strikes. That may be the only part of the Obama presidency he likes. Monckton is a birther, an extreme birther.

    … not one of the numerous agencies of state, as well as federal government, whose duty was and is to investigate the Mickey-Mouse “birth certificate” has bothered even to respond to the thousands of requests for investigation put forward by U.S. citizens. …

    Monckton calls the birth certificate issue “Hawaiigate.”

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

    @Lynna, 302

    Oh, no, I knew that Monckton wasn’t addressing killings. I had no illusions that Monckton’s complaints were reasonable. I was just shaking my head that impeachment for fictions gets more press than impeachment for what are, arguably, plain, facial, and extreme constitutional violations. If they are those things, then the president cannot have been authorized to order such killings. If he doesn’t have authorization, then the killing is by definition illegal and his involvement amounts to criminal conspiracy to murder…certainly a “high crime”.

    It’s just horrifically sad that Monckton’s evidence-free complaints are given so much relative weight.

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

    Wait, huh? How did i think you were disagreeing?

    Oy, I’m distracted here. Pay no attention.

  214. says

    Grhhhh. A fucking TERF has shown up on a post on Ophelia Benson’s blog. :(

    Ruins my whole day, knowing one of those eliminationist creeps is hanging around this place I love.


  215. says

    More coverage of new tyrannosaur species found in Utah:

    … The name Lythronax, or “king of gore,” is a reference to the dinosaur’s large teeth and carnivorous appetite. The second part, argestes, refers to the poet Homer’s southwest wind and the fossil’s location in the American Southwest.

    Lythronax is one of more than a dozen dinosaur species uncovered over the last 14 years at Grand Staircase, a 1.9 million-acre tract of high desert terrain in south-central Utah. It was the last major area in the lower 48 states to be formally mapped by cartographers and is now the country’s largest national monument….

    Toothy goodness photos accompany the article in the Salt Lake Tribune.

  216. says

    SpongeBob has switched sides, according to Republicans and Tea Partiers.

    After years of vilifying him as a flamboyantly gay, liberal propagandist, conservatives are now claiming SpongeBob SquarePants as their hardworking, anti-food-stamp hero.

    On Monday, Nov. 11—almost two weeks after the nation’s food-stamps program was slashed by $5 billion—Nickelodeon is set to air “SpongeBob, You’re Fired!” in the US. (The episode aired in Greece in July.) After the beloved sea sponge loses his job at the Krusty Krab in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob slips into a slovenly depression. His friend Patrick, a starfish, tries to teach him the benefits of “glorious unemployment”—as in free time and free food. “Unemployment may be fun for you, but I need to get a job,” the determined and eager SpongeBob tells Patrick.

    And with this, conservatives found themselves a new star. “‘SpongeBob’ Critiques Welfare State, Embraces Self-Sufficiency,” the Breitbart headline reads. “Lest he sit around idly, mooching off the social services of Bikini Bottom,…

    But conservatives’ newfound love for the food-stamp-refusing SpongeBob conveniently glosses over the his green, liberal, and notoriously gay past. Fox News has previously attacked SpongeBob for brainwashing children on the issue of global warming. Christian-right groups have targeted the giddy sponge over his alleged gay proselytizing. Ukraine’s National Expert Commission for the Protection of Public Morals announced a special session in 2012 to review a report by a right-wing religious organization that refers to the cartoon’s “promotion of homosexuality.” Furthermore, the series has enthusiastically supported workers’ rights, has been harshly critical of corporate takeover, and is generally pro-environment. …

    Scroll down to see a clip from the SpongeBob episode that won the hearts of right-wing politician.
    Mother Jones link.

  217. says

    Guest post by Anonymous, about their child’s gender preference. From the last two days sometime, I can find the link if you’d like.

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

    I remember the post, not the commenter.

    I’ll find it.

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

    @CaitieCat, #309

    Looks like nothing for me to say until Angie shows back up again.

    You have my sympathy & empathy for the present, though.

  220. says

    @312, Crip Dyke: thanks. It always hits me harder because I was a volunteer at a sexual assault suppot centre back when I transitioned (1992), and after two years of service as a volunteer on the front line (taking calls from sexual assault victims and providing either resources or support or just an ear), someone outed me, and the TERFs took advantage to get me sacked. I resigned before they did, and I never sued because I believed the place had too important a mandate to force them into wasting resources on fighting a suit they couldn’t afford to pay off. But the pain of the TERFs’ actions has never gone, nor has the sadness at losing a volunteer position I really liked, and at which I was repeatedly told I was quite good…until they found out what they thought was in my pants. :(

    So it’s not quite triggering, perhaps, but still gutting to be reminded of it all by the same eliminationist rhetoric that was used against me back then: essentially, that trans* women were stealth rapists who were only claiming to be trans so that we could get in close enough to be trusted enough to rape them. No, it doesn’t make any sense, but that’s basically their argument. That latter not for you, CD, as I’m quite sure you know this well, but rather the other Horders who may not have known how awful these people are.

  221. rq says

    That’s horrible that they would do that!!! Your ability and your work should speak to your capabilities in a particular employment, and I’m really sorry you had to experience that. :(
    People’s uneducated opinions are so disgusting sometimes.

    If you like *hugs*, I have some for you. If not, *70% chocolate!!!* is up for grabs.

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

    @Caitie Cat:

    I was also kicked out of a rape victims’ advocacy program. 1994. Sucky.

  223. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Lynna @306:
    which of Joseph Smiths ancestors rode upon this new tyrannosaurus?


    Ingdigo Jump:
    critique of tv tropes you say…
    intrigued by this am I

  224. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Giliell! I’m glad I caught you.

    I’m sorry to say, but your Twitter account is spamming.

    But yes, you can go to bed.

    *tucks Giliell in*
    *reads a story*
    *checks for monsters under the bead*

  225. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    CaitieCat, CripDyke:

    Bawww, I feel ya *hugs*. Though I really feel as if I can’t relate yet–still look male enough so that I have oodles of male privilege, even though it leads to constant misgendering.

  226. Nick Gotts says

    One way to logically reconcile the “answer” with the question would be if he seriously thinks Angela Merkel is a terrorist who will start blowing things up the moment surveillance is relaxed. – birgirjohansson@269

    Well, she’s had a good go at destroying the Eurozone economy.

  227. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Nick Gotts @323:

    Well, she’s had a good go at destroying the Eurozone economy.

    True, but she is doing it in the American style — piss on the poor economics — so that’s not terrorism, that’s good new conservative values.

  228. Nick Gotts says

    True – I must get out of this old-fashioned socialistic habit of thinking that killing people slowly by deliberately destroying their livelihoods, undermining their health services and depriving them of hope is somehow wrong!

  229. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Nick @425:

    Definitely. You need to embrace the idea that if we give everything to the one percent, we will all bootstrap ourselves up to become one percenters (except those who are too lazy). Just look at the Koch brothers. They started with billions and now have hundreds of billions. Bootstrapping at work!

  230. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Nathaniel @326:

    Is it wrong that when someone tries to tell me Obama is a socialist, my response is “I wish”?

    If that’s wrong, I’m in trouble…

  231. says

    Lynna @306:
    which of Joseph Smiths ancestors rode upon this new tyrannosaurus?

    The Book of Mormon has believers riding horses when there were no horses in what is now the USA.

    This is not a problem for mormon apologists, as they have explained that Joe Smith probably meant really large pigs, as in tapirs.

    “Perhaps deer or tapirs pulled wheelless chariots. We know, for instance, that the American Indian travois (a kind of sled) was pulled, not only by horses, but also by dogs. Maybe King Lamoni used a deer or tapir-drawn travois.”

  232. says

    Graceless in defeat. Cuccinelli did not call McAuliffe when McAuliffe won the governorship of Virginia.

    Also, his campaign said he had no intentions to do so.

  233. says

    We are all done with the Rand Paul plagiarism controversy right? He did it. Multiple times. He got caught.

    Well, you may be done, but Rand Paul is not. He needs more time on the fainting couch. He needs more time to cry and rage against the injustice of it all.

    In an interview with National Review Online on Capitol Hill, Paul was furious, especially with the press coverage of the allegations. “It annoys the hell out of me,” Paul said. “I feel like if I could just go to detention after school for a couple days, then everything would be okay. But do I have to be in detention for the rest of my career?” …

    … Paul presented others’ work as his own, on a wide variety of occasions, and in several types of media (speeches, op-eds, and books). He’s “annoyed,” not with himself for his persistent wrongdoing, but with those who pointed out his mistakes. Since he didn’t “intend” to plagiarize, Paul considers recent criticism unfounded. …

  234. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I was just about to post that story.
    Fucking pisses me off. That poor woman was in an accident , looking for help and she was shot in the head??!! Come to think of it, isn’t that execution style?

    I really feel for her family.

  235. yazikus says

    @Esteleth & Nathaniel

    If that’s wrong, I’m in trouble…

    The first time Obama was elected my mom called me, she was all in a dither talking about how the he was totally the antichrist, etc. She then stopped, and asked me if I had any part in his getting elected. I replied truthfully, “Don’t worry mom, I voted for the socialists, not Obama”. I am sure she then went to her fainting couch to clutch her pearls.

    My favorite line from the voter pamphlet this last election was from Rocky Anderson. He said in his blurb “My first act will be to dismantle the imperial presidency”.

  236. yazikus says

    Hi Loungers! I’ve been super busy and am not at all caught up on the thread. Thanks to everyone who gave advice encouraging me to go back to school, that is why I’ve been so busy! So- good busy.

    I made pumpkin enchiladas this weekend and thought of Ogvorbis. I roasted up two pumpkins, jalapenos, onions and pureed them, then sautéed and seasoned them. I stuffed the handmade corn tortillas (bought from the taqueria across the street) with cheese, pasilla peppers, chicken and rainbow chard, I smothered them in the pumpkin sauce and topped with cheese. It was totally delicious.

    I hope everyone is doing well, and I’ll try to get caught up this weekend (after I write two essays of course).

  237. says

    @Ceciely and Tony

    After much thought and discussion with people I’ve boiled my criticism of TV trope down to two categories. Ideological/Philosophical criticism and accessibility criticism.

    One major problem of TV is that it is reductionist in nature. It is at its core a taxonomy project. The problem is that art is inherently holistic rather than reductionist. While certain ideas and such do definitely repeat and permutate in a culture it is very hard and possibly unwise to try to tease apart a work to quanta. In art the sum is greater than its parts. This outlook seems to promote a view of some users that fiction can (or even should) be assembled from top down from tropes in a Frankenstein like approach. I feel that this method is unlikely to generate quality art. Furthermore, I don’t believe such a reductionist approach really helps appreciation or understanding of works. It is too simplistic and feels like it’s trying to talk about food by focusing only on ingredients; you’re supposed to enjoy the whole picture not the individual pieces. This reductionist, appeal to objectivity also contributes to what I see as a very ‘normative’ framework/pov. Feminist or African American or Queer critique is not a point of view. It’s a “trope” a deviant from the normal, objective white het blah blah blah standard media lens.

    The other problem is accessibility. A benefit I could see of TV tropes is in generating folk lit crit; introducing literary criticism ideas using examples and terminology that is accessible to a layman. I’ve long felt a lot of literary and philosophical ideas are actually understood by the ‘uneducated’ they just lack the formal vocabulary to discuss it. However, TV tropes falls flat in this area. TV Tropes tries too much to be clever or witty, especially in its trope names. A lot of the names are not intuitive or easily remembered. They have low utility for discussing a work. Some of them do work very well, but others are inside references, jargon or play on words that IMO lower the likely hood of the terms retention. Is using the term “The Danza” or “Engaging Chevrons” Actually useful? Do they make communication of ideas easier? Or, as I assert, are they useless because quite often you’re reduced to having to explain what the term means. For reference the Danza=Where a character name matches their actors, and engaging chevrons means ‘a time filling segment. Why on earth is the terminology superior to just saying the definition? It feels like a “well why didn’t you just SAY THAT” situation. The best ones are the ones that either imply the definition from the name, or have a explanation that is memorable enough to work a mnemonic (like woman in fridge). TV tropes tries to be cute or witty way more than it tries to be useful.

  238. says

    So that cold I caught?

    Decided to set up shop in my chest.

    I’ve given my body a fair chance to clear it. (A week is usually more than enough.)

    Time for medical attention, so we can at least keep this whatever-it-is from turning into something worse.

  239. cicely says

    TV tropes tries to be cute or witty way more than it tries to be useful.

    I guess it’s a question of purpose.
    Since I see TV Tropes as entertainment, rather than education, I’ve no objection to useless cuteness and wit…provided they keep me amused.
    (Why, yes, I am that shallow. Why do you ask?)

    *scritches* for WMDKitty. Evict that cold! Evict it hard!

  240. says

    Tony @334

    I was just about to post that story.
    Fucking pisses me off. That poor woman was in an accident , looking for help and she was shot in the head??!!

    The woman’s crime was being black in a white neighborhood.

  241. says

    Justice Antonin Scalia would really like to confirm the constitutionality of legislative prayer. He’s been joking about “devil worshippers” and making other snippy comments during the Supreme Court hearings.

    “What is the equivalent of prayer for someone who is not religious?” Scalia said. “There are many people who do not believe in God. … If you had an atheist [town] board, you would not have any prayer. I guarantee you.”

    Scalia is a true believing Catholic.
    Talking Points Memo link.

  242. says

    Mormon Moments of Madness, stalking category.

    One LDS Ward made a Google map that violates the privacy of inactive mormons.

    Comment from ex-mormon, “CA Girl”:

    Everyone in a leadership position had a photocopy of a sketched map of every, single house and apartment in the ward boundaries. The members were one color, the inactives were another color and the non-LDS were left uncolored. The church tracked everyone. If a non-LDS person moved out of an apartment, the church found out and watched to see who would move in.

  243. A. Noyd says

    rq (#301)

    Also, stupid work-related question of the day: “Are the fingerprints biological in origin?”

    Maybe the asker had just watched that episode of CSI:NY where a criminal gets past a biometric lock by making replicas of someone else’s fingerprints using strawberry Jell-o and hand-copied stencils of the prints.

  244. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says


    Right! This is fun, isn’t it? Apparently my ex husband is stalking me around the internet again and found my comment last night on Schroedinger’s rapist on the anti-rape undies post.

    Hello! No, this isn’t my blog, this is Dr. P. Z. Myers’ blog. I comment here from time to time because the issues raised interest me.
    No, this has nothing to do with you, this has nothing to do with the family court and it doesn’t show I’m some kind of crazy person, so sending my comments to your lawyers or the child psychologist isn’t going to do what you seem to think it will.
    In fact, showing him that you’re the kind of petty person to follow your ex partner round and snoop on her – going so far as to try to use what she says in totally unrelated comments on unrelated blogs run by someone else (that have nothing to do with you, again) is really… really not a good look. For you.

    Stop it. Move on. Live your own damn life and stop trying to dig up dirt that doesn’t exist for a vendetta you don’t have a reason to pursue. I’ve never done it. I don’t have spies, I don’t read anything you write or care about what you say any more, because I know there’s nothing I can do to change your shitty behaviour.

    Deal with that. You can’t change me, I’m not crazy. I’ve never made you out to be a bad person, I’ve simply let your own behaviour speak for itself. If you can’t see that, then I pity you.

    Goodbye, again.

  245. chigau (違う) says

    My Problem™ with TVTropes is that it is an incoherent mess.
    I don’t think I’ve ever gone more than 6 or 7 links before I hit “fuck this noise”.

  246. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Giliell – I don’t think he’s even a member. This sort of content isn’t something he’d care about, he’d only come to gather up what I’ve said in an attempt to use it against me somehow.

    Not really anything I can do about it, short of getting some kind of court order in place and count the times he pulls this sort of bullcrap.

  247. rq says

    You let that feel the full power of modern medicine, and make sure it regrets it.

    Feel better soon, and *hugs*!!!

    A. Noyd

    Maybe the asker had just watched that episode of CSI:NY where a criminal gets past a biometric lock by making replicas of someone else’s fingerprints using strawberry Jell-o and hand-copied stencils of the prints.

    Yes!!! Maybe! Because when the petty criminals go around stealing (from) cars, this is exactly the kind of misleading backup plan they must use! How did I not think of that? And they probably have those Mission:Impossible facemasks, too, which means those hairs they sent in (with no hair root, but hey, modern biotech works Magic, right?) are probably as non-biological in origin as well…
    I think my favourite question ever translated into something like “How big is the biological footprint?” with “Does the DNA have a biological origin?” running a close second. The ubiquitous “If [person1] did not leave this biological trace, is the biological trace identical to [person1]?” *sigh*

    I have also taken a strong disliking of your stalker ex. :/

    Let us know if we can help

    Seconded. Good luck!!

    re: TVtropes
    I’ve never been able to read through many of them to the end unless I force myself, so I just don’t find them engaging.


    Sometimes, this is what my life feels like.

    The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra playing Richard Strauss – with violins, tubas and double-basses enough for everyone.

    Another look at the toys for boys industry (this may have been posted here earlier), with a patriarchy-hurts-men,-too angle, rather than focussing on girls and pink.

    And there’s just a whole lot of irony in this. Well, if I’m using the correct definition of irony, that is… ;)

  248. birgerjohansson says

    WMDKitty, RQ,
    “Model virus structure shows why there’s no cure for common cold”

    Ha ha ha! “An artificial blood substitute from Transylvania”

    Imam: Only Gay Men Play Musical Instruments
    (from Ed Brayton’s blog)
    Assorted comments : “Imam don’t like it? Rock the Casbah, rock the Casbah…”, “Seems like someone tried to form a garage band to pick up the ladies but was unsuccessful at both”. “I guess those thousands of women Gene Simmons claims to have slept with over the years were just one long line of beards to cover his homosexuality.”

  249. bassmike says


    Cool to find another bassist around, bassmike, glad to meet you. I’ve been playing since I was 16, and have accumulated three instruments: a nice Peavey that I’ve put flat-wound strings on, the Ibanez I saved up for when I was 16, and a 3/4 size double with pickups.

    *fist bump* (performs the bass player’s salute – if there is such a thing)

    The bass guitar I play is a very old Shergold Marathon. It’s a British make that is no longer manufactured. I bought it in a second-hand shop when I was teenage (a long time ago!). I’ve been contemplating a new one for years, but I can never find one that I like half as much as the Shergold. Some of you may be able to work out my musical preference by the maker of the guitar. I have a 3/4 size acoustic bass and an electric one. I have loads of other musical instruments, but they have had to be sidelined since the birth of my daughter.


    I can play 3 of those instruments—-one well, one acceptably, one theoretically—and solos make me nervous as hell. Even on the one I play well.

    Bass clarinets are seriously trippy to play; I liked it a lot. Pity they’re so danged expensive.
    Contra-bass clarinets are also fun, but don’t get much in the way of interesting parts, are hideously danged expensive, and for me will always carry a faint, ‘psychic’ whiff of onion-and-mayo sandwich.

    Solos are strange things. I used to play flute a lot and the nerves I got before exams were dreadful. Even now, the few solo bits I get on bass are bad enough!

    It takes a special personality to play the bass clarinet. All the players I’ve know have/are a breed apart. Maybe you’re exception. I’ve never got close enough to a contra to get a whiff! So I can’t comment on that.

    My recent experience with my daughter’s pneumonia is that if it’s a cold related infection it’s viral and therefore not suceptible to antibiotics as rq pointed out. However, it is possible for a bacterial infection to subsequently take hold and that is treatable. I hope it gets better soon.

  250. opposablethumbs says

    SonSpawn plays clarinet and bass clarinet and saxes – happy enough in the orchestra etc., but jazz is what he liveseatssleepsbreathes 24/7 (not swing, so much, though he’ll play swing if it’s asked for :-) ). Plus a bit of keyboards and voice.

    I’m getting a ringside seat to observe what it’s like being an all-music-all-the-time person :-D … ah but the sad thing is that the bass clarinet is a loaner and has to go back to its owner soon :-(((( and there’s no way we could ever even dream of buying one.

    Going to apply to specialist charities this winter, to see if there’s any chance of another loaner or fundraising

    Sounds like your daughter is fully recovered now, bassmike? Good to hear :-)

  251. carlie says

    More basses in this corner: Child 1 played upright bass in orchestra for 6 years, and just now quit because there was another class he wanted to take more and needed the time block. He plays electric bass a little bit on the side, but is working on a borrowed bass so doesn’t have it all the time. He has a super cheapo acoustic guitar (as in $2 at a yard sale), but hasn’t fiddled with it too much.

    Sophia, I’m sorry you have that kind of crap. Your comment was really well-reasoned and sensible, so I’m not sure what he thinks he could get out of it.

  252. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    carlie – thankyou.

    I think he read the first half of the first sentence and thought it made me look like a frothy-mouthed paranoid hysteric that sees rape everywhere.
    That or he thinks any sort of feminist topic is crazy by definition, I don’t know.

    I thought it was perfectly reasonable. Talking about probability and realistic expectations, not “HALP, HALP! EVERY MAN IS A RAPIST!”
    It’d take a pretty dim skim of it to get that impression. Eesh.

  253. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Oh, and I’m teaching myself to play bass too :)
    Picked up a few chili peppers bass lines to jam on. I played violin for ages so picking up another stringed instrument wasn’t too much of a stretch. It’s relaxing, but I hardly ever get time to play what with the little guy to look after.

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

    I just recently picked up guitar again, after years not playing. I will pick up bass again soon, but not until I have money and until I get better right-hand technique. The drum kit will have to wait longer than that. But I’ll get there.

    In the meantime, I’m playing BOTH kinds of music with a friend at school: Punk AND Hardcore.

  255. opposablethumbs says

    Sophia that’s so cool (the bass, I mean). All my best wishes for the ongoing dealings with Ex.

  256. bassmike says


    I’m getting a ringside seat to observe what it’s like being an all-music-all-the-time person :-D … ah but the sad thing is that the bass clarinet is a loaner and has to go back to its owner soon :-(((( and there’s no way we could ever even dream of buying one.

    Going to apply to specialist charities this winter, to see if there’s any chance of another loaner or fundraising

    Sounds like your daughter is fully recovered now, bassmike? Good to hear :-)

    Good luck with finding a charity. I think being able to play music is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do. It’s helped me in so many ways.

    My daughter had recovered, thanks. However, she appears to have acquired a cold now. Of course the symptoms are not too dissimilar from the pneumonia, so we’re watching closely.

    carlie more bass players – whooo hooo!

    Sophia ditto. Flea is one hell of a bass player to try and emulate. Good luck. Children do have a habit of getting in the way of practising. That’s why getting a band together is on hold. Also, sorry to hear about your ex stalking. Wish I could help in some way.

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

    @bassmike #368:

    My daughter had recovered,

    The best news. Polish up all the things, it’s a good day.

    @Sophia, #several different ones

    I’m glad that you can see the reasonableness of your comments upon rereading them, even under the stress of knowing you’ll be taken out of context by stalker-ex*.

    I hate that you have to reread your comments under threat from stalker-ex.

    *stalker-ex: I know that this is an inappropriate image, so consider yourself warned, Sophia, I’m not actually taking your situation lightly…

    …but I keep getting this image of a guy in a black mask following you around in a yellow car, jumping out and interfering in your life at random moments and just wanting someone to believe he’s the good guy of the story.

  258. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Crip Dyke – heh! It’s almost the way it is really, as far as I can gather. It’d make a great backstory for a supervillain; Normal person does normal things, inspiring so much random outrage and backlash from a person/group that they start just doing horrible stuff because HELL, they’re going to give ’em shit for it anyway, might as well make it properly bad!

    It is incredibly grating having to sift through my words and actions all the time to find what may have set him off, though it’s becoming very clear that it doesn’t matter what I do or say, whatever I say will be read as whatever he wants me to have said (or at least the most uncharitable reading possible) and whatever I do (or didn’t, apparently) will be twisted into something horrible. So many assumptions, so much rage, so little actual comprehension. :|

  259. says

    Damn you social justice warriors! Now I can’t watch Arrested Development anymore cause it makes me uncomfortable with the subtly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist jokes. Used to rationalize it with “we’re not supposed to like these people” and just… can’t do it anymore.

  260. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Kevin – I’m finding that with a lot of shows now. Even finding bits of kids’ shows quite offputting now, though thankfully most seem to be pretty good on the one channel I let my little guy watch sometimes. Some still seem to suffer a lot from “male is default, female is a deviation” syndrome, but for the most part they’re not too awful. Lots of empathy focus. yay!

    Those red pandas offered upthread would be a rather nice way of expressing displeasure with someone, wouldn’t they? Though I’d be far too tempted to just bathe in the cuteness myself!

  261. says

    @rq / Sophia:

    Yea, if only I could have remained an ignorant conservative Christian, I’d be happier!

    Also dumber.

    And an asshole.


    That’s why with every red panda smothering I give a pair of blackening glasses – so you can’t see the squee.

  262. rq says

    Wow I’m sorry, Kevin, my comment @372 came off sounding a lot more asshole-ish than it was supposed to. It was meant as light-hearted agreement, but it came off sounding incredibly dismissive.
    I’ve been communicating badly lately. Sorry about that. :(

  263. rq says

    Yup, sometimes being educated sucks (esp. when looking for innocent, lighthearted, somewhat nostalgic entertainment that was just so awesome when you were a kid/teenager/last year!!).
    But in the long run I prefer knowing things to what I was before. :)

  264. rq says

    [Axe story]
    Yesterday on the way home from work and rushing for the last train, I passed a herd of Young Men, crossing the street outside in downtown traffic about 5 metres away from me… And the whiff of Axe (or similar) that I got still made my nose try to self-close in dismay.
    [/Axe story]

  265. says


    It’s okay. I understood the sarcastic nature of it. You just needed a winky face or a smiley.

    Yea I’m much happier having the knowledge I have now. I’m still not incredibly smart, but I’m learning so much more.

    Now I just need to shut up about things I haven’t really got all the knowledge about…

  266. says

    Look up! We’ve got satellite trash coming down soon. I’m surprised that no one knows where it is likely to hit.

    A European satellite that mapped Earth’s gravitational field in exquisite detail will be pulled down by gravity to its fiery destruction sometime in the next few days.

    Where and when it will crash no one knows. It could be almost anywhere on the globe. About 25 to 45 fragments of the one-ton spacecraft are expected to survive all the way to the surface, with the largest perhaps weighing 200 pounds.

    It is the latest in a parade of spacecraft falling from the sky in what are worryingly called “uncontrolled entries.” About 100 tons of debris will fall from the sky this year alone. ….

  267. says

    Okay, so which online news source doesn’t care if the writers of its opinion columns plagiarize the heck out of Wikipedia? That would be Breitbart News.

    … Breitbart News reported last month that it has gone through a period of exponential growth. The conservative media outlet has surpassed websites such as Politico, the Daily Beast, and The Washington Times, according to web traffic analytics firm Alexa.

    Doug Stafford, a political aide to the Senator, told Breitbart that “Paul [Rand Paul, serial plagiarizer] is pleased to partner with Breitbart News and looks forward to the new, wider audience for his columns.” …

    Oh, and it is very bad news indeed that Breitbart, Michelle Bachmann’s favorite source for pseudo-news and a source Mitt Romney used, is growing by leaps and bounds. Sheesh.

    The quote above comes from Breitbart News, (to which I will not link), so maybe it is partially false?

  268. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Giliell, I was about to post links to spammy tweets, but I saw that you tweeted yourself about them.

    Boo for hackers!

  269. opposablethumbs says

    fwiw I read it as agreement-with-a-wry-smile, rq. Like you and Kevin (and probably most of us) I keep getting pulled up short by shows and fiction I want to “just” enjoy but where I can’t stop balking at the sexism, classism, homophobia …


  270. says

    Mormon Moment of Madness, mapping and stalking category. This is a follow up to my comment #343.


    Did you know you can now see a listing of your ward instantly on LDS Maps, as well as the ward boundaries? LDS Maps has a variety of uses. Here are a few that come to mind:

    Emergency preparedness planning
    Home and visiting teaching
    Membership cleanup (those members outside your ward boundaries are easy to see!)
    Bishopric and other leadership visits
    Missionary work (our ward mission split the ward up into districts)
    Realignment of ward boundaries in the stake
    The application is pretty straightforward. From, go to Tools > Maps, and click the Sign In button in the upper-right corner. You can also go directly to (Note that you need an LDS Account to sign in.)

    Now click the View Your Ward button in the left sidebar. In the map area, you will see a map of all the members of your ward (you may need to zoom in a bit). The sidebar will show a detailed list of member names. …<

    If you click on an individual name on the ward list, a window will appear on the map with the household details. …

    And here is one ex-mormon’s complaint to Google for the intrusive map (see link in comment 343):

    … The LDS church … is using Google Maps under license and agreements, and is using disparaging, racist and sexist terms offensive to most members of the general community in association with a Google product.

    Stalking is also now illegal in California, Google is based in California. One reference appears to be of a contact that is being contacted multiple times in spite of requests not to be contacted.

    The use of Google is not a right, there are conditions, it appears the LDS church may be violating the terms of their agreement….

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


    I just wanted to say that I appreciate your renaissance interests. Obviously we all specialize, and your moments of mormon madness show your, but satellites, SNAP, and Kings of Gore? You bring a diversity of riches across my screen, and I thank you for that.

  272. says

    I just wanted to say that I appreciate your renaissance interests. Obviously we all specialize, and your moments of mormon madness show your, but satellites, SNAP, and Kings of Gore? You bring a diversity of riches across my screen, and I thank you for that.

    Thanks for the kudos, Crip Dyke. I think a lot of Pharyngulites have broad interests, it’s one of the things I like about the commenters, and PZ for that matter.

  273. says

    Glenn Beck recently ventured further into Crazy Land than is usual, even for him.

    Beck played with dolls for ten minutes before explaining that Mitch McConnell is the Good Witch of the North, while the NSA is the Wicked Witch of the West, and Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and John Boehner are the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, respectively …

    video and more details here:

  274. says

    Watch for this conspiracy theory to grow: the latest eruption of WTF-inducing idiocy from the far-right is that President Obama is planning to stage (or, indeed, has already staged) hate crimes.

    Apparently, the “Obama-worshipping journalists” are helping to cover these “false flag” hate crimes in order to make Republicans look bad. (Don’t spend too much time trying to make sense of that, it hurts and may cause permanent brain damage.)

    A sidebar to this conspiracy theory is that the Department of Justice sent money and personnel to Florida to help anti-Zimmerman activists besmirch Zimmerman’s name, and to unfairly demonize stand-your-ground laws.

    Yeah, la la land. Hopeless.

  275. A. Noyd says

    rq (#353)

    I think my favourite question ever translated into something like “How big is the biological footprint?” with “Does the DNA have a biological origin?” running a close second. The ubiquitous “If [person1] did not leave this biological trace, is the biological trace identical to [person1]?”

    You must be good not just at knowing real science but also knowing what weird ideas people have about science in order to interpret questions like that, huh? I’m always taken off guard by sincere questions that show an unexpected level of ignorance. Just yesterday, a woman at the bus stop where I was waiting saw a bus driver manually switching the poles of a trolley bus from one set of electric wires to another and wondered aloud if anyone knew what those poles were for. I was struggling to figure out what she was really asking because I couldn’t believe she had no idea of the poles’ basic function. But that’s really the level of information she wanted. No shame on her or anything; it’s not like I don’t have gaps in my knowledge of how basic stuff works. But it’s just hard to pick out meaning in a question if the other person’s level of knowledge is far below what you expect of people.


    Kevin (#371)

    Damn you social justice warriors! Now I can’t watch Arrested Development anymore cause it makes me uncomfortable with the subtly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist jokes.

    Yeahhhh…. I tried watching the first few episodes of Scrubs and just couldn’t keep up with it because of that. It wasn’t really subtle, though.

  276. says

    Ah, an anniversary replete with telling details, including Nazis marching to maintain all-white football teams about 50 years ago:

    Currently, Washington, DC’s pro football team, the [Redacted], has the distinction of being the only team in the NFL whose name is a racial slur. A little more than 50 years ago, it had another unfortunate distinction: It was the last remaining all-white team in the league. …

    The call for integration was met with opposition, most notably from the team’s owner, George Preston Marshall, a laundromat magnate turned NFL bigwig who had held firm for years. As legendary Washington Post columnist Shirley Povich wrote:

    For the 24 years when he was identified as the leading racist in the NFL, he simply stared down the criticism of his refusal to sign a black player. It was the only subject on which the voluble Marshall never expressed a public opinion, never resorted to a quip. But he bristled when this columnist reminded him in print that “the Redskins colors are burgundy, gold and Caucasian.”

    …”Why Negroes particularly?” he asked. “Why not make us hire a player from another race? In fact, why not a woman? Of course, we have had players who played like girls, but never an actual girl player.” The controversy drew out assorted bigots, including neo-Nazis (above), who protested on Marshall’s behalf to “Keep [the] Redskins White.”

    Udall had one advantage over Marshall: The team’s new home field, DC Stadium (later renamed RFK Memorial), was federal property. With Kennedy’s approval, Udall gave Marshall a choice: He could let black players on his team, or take his all-white squad to someone else’s gridiron. …

    Mother Jones link.

  277. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #285 which discusses Republican-proposed cuts to the SNAP program.

    Hypocrisy details:

    Republicans say they want to reduce the number of people enrolled in SNAP by putting some of those people back to work. The House Republican’s version of the Farm Bill ends job placement services and worker training programs.

    Republicans want to make poor people accountable, but not rich people —

    The bill would force food stamp recipients to submit to “asset tests” to prove that they do not have more than $2,000 in savings and do not own a car worth more than $5,000. While the Senate farm bill would reduce crop insurance subsidies based on the income of a farmer, the House bill would not, nor would it require any similar type of asset test. Both House and Senate versions of the farm bill contain new restrictions on who can actually qualify as a farmer and thus receive a payment. For instance, someone who lives in Manhattan and doesn’t physically farm couldn’t get a payout. But rural Republicans in the House want to remove this provision from the final bill.

    The House legislation would also require people applying for food stamps to take a drug test. Farmers who want subsidies, however, would not have to pee in a cup.

    House Republicans do want to reduce the deficit, and their Farm Bill would do that by about $53 billion. However, $40 billion of that comes from gutting SNAP. The most generous farm subsidies in history will still go out, intact (not reduced) — mostly to the largest and wealthiest farming operations.

    House Republicans quote the Bible to justify a portion of the bill that incentivizes states to kick poor people out of SNAP. States would get to keep half the money they would have allotted to food aid for every person they kick out of SNAP.
    Mother Jones link.

  278. says

    Mormon Moment of Madness, land acquisition category.

    The mormon church already owns startlingly large tracts of land in Florida. Now they are going to add to their holdings by buying up a huge swath of Panhandle property.

    The Mormon church, one of the largest private landowners in Florida, will buy most of the real estate of an even larger landowner, the St. Joe Co., for more than a half-billion dollars.

    The mega-deal was announced jointly this morning by a representative of the church, which owns the nearly 300,000-acre Deseret Ranches in Central Florida, and by the real-estate developer, which operates in the Panhandle.

    When the deal is finalized, the Utah-based church will own nearly 2 percent of the land in Florida. …

    According to the announcement, a church entity, AgReserves Inc., will buy 382,834 acres – the majority of St. Joe’s timberlands – in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties for $565 million….

    Orlando Sentinel link.

  279. says

    Well, it’s time for a new category of Mormon Moments of Madness: bashing “liberal” mormons.

    Liberal people had been to Europe and let you knew it. They had Continental tastes, exposure to the latest fashions, and eagerly embraced whatever was new and exciting. They were the daring crowd, the ones who were unafraid to live life on the edge. Bohemians, free thinkers, beatniks, hippies—all prided themselves on being open to take risks and throw off convention. . .Invariably liberal Mormons do not read their scriptures every day. They do not attend the temple, they do not show up to help someone move, and they do not Home Teach or Visit Teach with regularity. They view those who do as quaint minions who never question authority and who follow the rules like mindless sheep. The one thing they do subscribe to with gusto, however, is free agency. In fact, free agency is their justification for the Designer Gospel they have refurbished to suit their individual tastes. . .Former Young Women President, Elaine Cannon, once said, “When the Prophet speaks, the debate is over.” This is because the prophet is speaking for God and telling us what He would have us hear. He is not just the president of a corporation, giving us his personal views.

    On the upside, at least there are “liberal mormons.”

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

    I support the principles behind the war on drugs and not enriching drug users with public funds.

    Therefore, whenever corporations own farms, sufficient numbers of owners / stockholders must be drug tested such that 75% of ownership is/ stock are certified owned by someone who passed a pee-test. Where one of those stockholders is itself a corporation, only 51% of ownership must be certified drug free by pee test. For purposes of these “grandparent” corporations, Merely having 6 of the 10 ten executives pee clean can be substituted for testing ownership. If this substitute is not made, great-grandparent corporations will be subject to the same drug-free ownership verification as grandparent corporations.

    Easy peasy. Now those drug users can’t get free government money. Large corporations will simply have large purchasers of stock tested routinely by an independent monitoring company such that no rich person has to be tested more than once a month simply by virtue of owning shares in multiple corporations.

    I’ll look forward to draft language from legislative counsel late next week.

  281. says

    Fox News has always been an arm of the Republican party, though Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes maintained a thin carapace of pretense that Fox News was an independent and “fair and balanced” news source.

    Now they have abandoned the pretense. They have shed the carapace and are in all out cahoots with Republicans who are planning to run for political office.

    Politico link.
    Sen. Rand Paul, who’s made no secret of exploring a 2016 presidential run, recently met privately with News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and Fox News head Roger Ailes, POLITICO has learned.

    The meetings – Paul sat down with each man separately – came as Kentucky Republican and tea party favorite has been working to smooth concerns among Republicans and influencers about whether he shares his famous libertarian father’s views on issues like national security.

    Maddow Blog link.
    In June, for example, we learned that Republican members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight “talked privately” to Fox News hosts, hoping to lobby the media figures so the network wouldn’t undermine the legislative prospects.

    It’s formalizing a role that used to be more implied: Republicans who want something arrange meetings, not with RNC leaders, the Speaker’s office, or major donors, but rather with Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch.

    Additional info:

  282. says

    Sometimes Big Money and Big Business do not win.

    Residents of large and small communities across the northern Front Range area of Colorado voted Tuesday to halt fracking in their backyards.
    These defeats for the oil and gas industry came after a campaign in which the industry outspent supporters of the measures by a 30–1 margin.

    Two cities, Boulder and Fort Collins, passed 5-year moratoriums while another, Lafayette, adopted an outright ban on fracking. As of early today, the vote on a third moratorium in Broomfield was too close to call. The votes in these four communities follow similar efforts last year in Longmont, which passed a ban on fracking as well as tough new regulations on drilling.

    Big oil outspent environmentalists 30-1 in the Colorado campaign.

  283. says

    Moments of Mormen Madness, sex at BYU category.

    So, we’ve all heard about marinating or floating or whatever else term the students have come up with right? Where it’s not sex if there’s no motion, so if a boy just sticks it in and “marinates” they’re still virgins?

    Yeah, now as long as the boy and girl aren’t creating the motion, they’re still virgins. So kids are finding people to jump on the beds to create friction but still be pure.

    As a fairy recent BYU grad, experienced floater, and couple-times jumper, I can confirm this is a true phenomenon.,1074746

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

    Just watched the latest Agents of SHIELD.

    The first few episodes were fine, but not super. Normally this isn’t enough for me: I don’t watch a lot of vid. Even 43 min a week is a major commitment for me and a 1/5th to 1/2 of my vid time for the week, depending on the week. But I stuck with it, mostly out of faith in Joss Whedon, and the latest episode really worked for me. It pushed the characters forward. I’ve liked Phil Coulson in the comic and loved Clark Gregg’s portrayal in the Marvel Movies, and seeing the last 5 to 6 minutes of this weeks episode created so much anticipation for his character’s arc, not to mention the Fitz-Simmons relationship. Will Fitz feel better or worse after being called a “hero” by Simmons?

    yeah, this one was good. This sets up a lot. Now I’m into this.

  285. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    My biggest issue with Agents of SHIELD is the way that an ostensibly-international but definitely US-dominated (or at least strongly US-flavored) organization constantly runs around stomping on other countries and meddling. And that this is presented as an unambiguously good thing.

    I mean, would a tiny amount of nuance about how maybe country X might have a decent reason to be upset? Or maybe a bit more “we really are an international organization” on SHIELD’s part?

  286. says

    Esteleth @ 403: My biggest issue with Agents of SHIELD is the way that an ostensibly-international but definitely US-dominated (or at least strongly US-flavored) organization constantly runs around stomping on other countries and meddling. And that this is presented as an unambiguously good thing.

    It really is outrageous, I agree totally.

    Everyone knows that that’s the NSA’s job.


    Like the NSA’s spooks’n’mooks would let creepy suspicious furriners participate in the US’ manifest destiny God-mandated monthly quota of stomping and meddling! It is to LOL.

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


    I haven’t watched the show, but I’m guessing the only point of SHIELD being an international organization is the scenery. If it’s a worse show than I’m getting an impression, then possibly also because of “exotic” one-episode characters.
    Am I getting warm?

  288. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    I need help from anyone familiar with Google Scholar. I need to get David M’s email so that I can meet up with him in DC. I’m sure I’m overlooking something (probably) completely obvious.* On a page with his citations, I see a reference to “Verified email at [redacted]”, but my attempts to use [redacted] in combination with his name have failed. :(

    *Like that door you managed to somehow overlook while searching in a dungeon. :D

  289. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I did a search of my own, Hekuni Cat, but was no more successful than you were. Stand by, I may have it lying around somewhere…

  290. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Hekuni Cat, I have found an email of his. Not sure if it is his preferable one or not.

    Hmm. I suppose if you email me (my nym at the googles) I can share with you what I have? I’m not sure if he wants it publicly posted or not…

  291. Pteryxx says

    Lynna re #398: I haven’t found any sources to confirm that Renisha was shot in the BACK of the head. (Though I wouldn’t be surprised at that, nor that the news sources would all just happen to leave that detail out…)

  292. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Just had a power outage here at work. For ten seconds. Until the uninterrupted power auxiliary generators came up to speed. I just lost two hours of work in a programme that does not autosave.


  293. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Ugh, that sucks!

    *Tea* and *cookies* for Oggie.

  294. says

    In “lucky news of the day” for YHN*, my rent is late being paid again this month, continuing my streak to six months I’ve been late, for periods ranging from two to nineteen days.

    That’s not the lucky bit.

    The rent is late being paid because the welfare office hadn’t done the deposit to my account for the November money, and did nothing about telling me why until I called to ask.

    Also not the lucky bit.

    My Internet is secured for the next month again, and I’ve gotten them to switch me to an unlimited download bandwidth per month, for no more money. My ISP (also my phone company) does these unannounced, unadvertised deals sometimes. A small lucky bit here: in a local call centre, the floor boss of the section that deals with people in the three-city area I live in happens to be a dear friend of mine. He tipped me off about the unlimited UL/DL, definitely a lucky bit, but…

    …still not the one I mean.

    The one I’m jazzed about I would honestly have called unethical or quite possibly outright theft, if I were not doing a performance art thing with my life where I’m trying to be Jean Valjean, only with slightly less singing and angsting. I had med pickup today, picking up all my pain meds, and my anti-depressants, and so on.

    Ordinarily, this stuff would go on my drug plan card that comes with my welfare cheque (or is mailed when I do direct deposit), but one of my pain meds, naturally the most expensive one, is not covered by the plan. Since we won’t get the drug plan card until tomorrow when they cut my cheque, we went expecting to have to pony up CAD 180-** or so to cover my two pain meds.

    Now, this is where the lucky bit happens: when we went to pick it up, for some reason I’m not at all clear on, the clerk at the chemist’s counter just handed the pills over, noting the “money owing: $0.00” legend on the tags.

    My partner and I didn’t even glance at one another, though I could definitely sense her sudden stiffness beside me.

    The unethical bit is that I took that CAD 180-‘ worth of meds, and said “Thank you,” and left the store to go home. Once in the car, my partner and I just looked at one another, and then laughed at the unexpected boon. They might come back and ask me to pay for it later, but later can be dealt with…later.

    So very lucky for the CaitieCat, not so lucky for the poor Falkirk (Scotland) native who was the clerk at the counter.

    I’d like to offer my apologies to her for my borderline theft, but I’ve long since decided that keeping myself sheltered and fed and medicated can sometimes mean taking the job that comes to me, whether it’s completely honest or not, so despite my conscience telling me that this was A Naughty Thing, I can’t bring myself to do anything about it, if they don’t.

    Some bent and wobbly hugs from the Very Naughty Busted-Bod Lady in the corner. These are Genuine® CaitieCat-brand Bent’n’Wobblies, powered by our recently-patented revolutionary SecretGuilt technology. Try your own Bent’n’Wobbly today – we guarantee satisfaction, or we promise to abscond with your money to the Cayman Islands.

    * Your Humble Narrator.

    ** CAnadian Dollars. Current exchange is CAD 1.00 ~= EUR 0.71, or CAD 1.00 ~= 0.96.

  295. rq says

    *fluffy hugs* for Giliell
    February’s just around the corner, it’ll all be over before you know it.

    A. Noyd
    Those are actually the actual questions Real Police Inspectors ask on their DNA Analysis request forms. And while, in my deepest heart of hearts I answer with a regular “You’re an idiot” and “NO”, we have the stock official answers, which ignore the idiocy and just give an actual analysis result interpretation.
    It’s hard to educate people who think they know how things work.

  296. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Hooray for lucky days, Caitie!

    I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a pickle. Well, not really, but it feels like a pickle.

    So, with the rollout of Obamacare, I went to the website of the New York exchange and put in my information. I’ll be a full-time student next year, and the school does offer a plan, but I wanted to see what my options are.

    My options are that I will qualify for Medicaid.

    So one part of my brain, which I’m struggling to identify as either the proud part of my brain, the stupid part, or the “hurr Protestant work ethic hurr” part of my brain, is all indignant about this and insisting that I instead pay $2000 out-of-pocket to get on the school’s plan. Because Medicaid is for poor people, and I ain’t poor. Except that next year I damn well will be, by any halfway logical definition. And, well, I don’t have $2000 to spare. Shit, I’m taking out loans to pay rent.


    Back to CaitieCat: may I ask whereabouts in Canada you are? I’m nearish the border, and if you aren’t somewhere like Vancouver or Outer Saskatchewan (that is a place, right? my sister insists it is) maybe a meetup could happen? You seem like a neat person and I love meeting neat people.

  297. says

    Esteleth @417: I’m about an hour and a half north-northwest of Niagara Falls, give or take, though my travelling down to NF is a bit problematic, as atm I don’t have a car, nor could I afford a bus or train.. My last car needed a whole bunch of work (a 14-year-old Mazda Protege) that I just couldn’t afford, and about a year ago I decided to just donate it to the Canadian Kidney Foundation.

    When my partner’s visiting from Bawl’demower, she drives, so I’ve got a vehicle about 1/3 of the time.

    That said, if you’re near that segment of the border, it’s really only 1.5 hours from border to my place. And I have a spare bedroom (well, my office has a futon in it that, topped with a good air mattress, is quite comfortable), and adore visitors. :)

    If you want to contact me through my fullmetalfeminist addy, I’d be happy to pass along more detail. I really love meeting people from Away. :D

  298. says

    Pteryxx @412, you were right to go looking for confirmation. Turns out the family of the young black woman that was shot was disseminating the story that she was shot in the back of the head. The local police refuted that story:

    Dearborn Heights police say a homeowner told investigators his shotgun accidentally discharged, hitting Renisha McBride in the face as she stood on his porch.

    “This man’s claiming – believed the girl was breaking into the home. And he’s also saying the gun discharged accidentally,” Lt. James Serwatowski, chief detective, said today.

    Serwatowski also said the 19-year-old McBride was not shot in the back of the head, as her family has stated. The family said she had gone to the house seeking help after being involved in a car accident several blocks away.

    “This girl was not shot in the back of the head while leaving the porch,” Serwatowski said “I don’t know where the family is getting this. She was shot in the front of the face, near the mouth.”…

    So, now we’ve gone from stand-your-ground to “accident.” If the home owner did not intend to shoot the girl, he should not have pointed a loaded gun at her.

  299. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    CaitieCat, if I were to go to Canada, I’d cross at Niagara, as that’s the closest crossover point. I’m ~1.5 hours from Niagara. So from my place to yours is about 3 hours. A bit of a hike, but not unreasonable.

    However, there is in plans a mini-Horde meetup the tail end of November/first bit of December in Toronto. Have you heard of these plans? If not, would you like to be made aware of them?

  300. says

    I was finally able to get through to unemployment, and told that my benefits will resume next week, but end permanently at the end of next month. This utterly terrifies me, since my employment prospects have not improved any.

  301. Pteryxx says

    Thanks Lynna.

    — TW for grisly details —

    …while the specifics hardly matter as far as the injustice is concerned, except to forestall misinformation campaigns… given the facts of shotgun to the face at close range, the family could easily have made an honest misinterpretation from viewing Renisha’s body.

    The funeral’s tomorrow morning. I hope they’re heard.

  302. says

    @421 Dalillama, I offer you hugs of the usual bent and wobbly kind, that is a most reasonable thing to be terrified of. I hope things look up for you soon.

    @420 Esteleth, I would be very interested in a Horde meetup in Toronto. I know TO very well, it’s where I finished my childhood time after emigrating from the UK – of the first twenty years of my life, ten were in or north of London, followed by ten more in TO. I even have a few somewheres to stay so I can get the bus or train next morning, if there isn’t anyone driving back down the 401 towards Windsor.

    In short: Yes, I’m interested. :)

    One of the coolest things to do around here is that the town of Stratford is only a half-hour drive or so from my city, and has a Shakespeare Festival every year that is quite outstanding (season runs from April or so through mid-Octoberish).

  303. rq says

    I wish I had an awesome job to offer you. :(


    Y’all are making me wish I still lived in Toronto. (And, incidentally, played bass, but I guess bad violin and choir-singing will have to suffice in that respect.)

  304. says

    Oh, this is bad news. The Taliban guy responsible for the attack on Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who has become a renowned education activist, has been chosen to represent the Taliban in peace talks. Sheesh.

    The Taliban leader has a whole host of other problems besides Malala:

    The Taliban’s governing council chose Mullah Fazlullah, the head of a militant faction in the northwestern Swat Valley, after six days of deliberations, Taliban officials told reporters. Mr. Fazlullah is best known for ordering public beatings, executions and beheadings, and delivering thunderous radio broadcasts — in which he denounced polio vaccinations, among other topics — that earned him the nickname “Mullah Radio” in some circles. …

    He set up a pirate radio station that broadcast jihadist propaganda across the valley, at one point urging women not to sleep with their husbands if they refused to join his jihad. Soon afterward, armed fighters displaced the civil government, instituting a authoritarian and often cruel rule that mandated public floggings, executions and the closure of girls’ schools.

    New York Times link.

  305. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #393 in which the cuts to SNAP nutritional programs for the poor were discussed. The House Republican versions of the Farm bill gutted SNAP, but kept subsidies for the wealthy intact. More welfare for the rich. This follow up provides details missing earlier as to how much welfare for the rich we’re talking about, and which rich people are cashing in.

    The farm subsidies that are part of the federal farm bill paid at least $11.3 million to 50 separate billionaires or billionaire-owned businesses since 1995, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

    The list of one-percenters getting these public benefits includes Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Chik-Fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, investment maven Charles Schwab, former Chase Bank head David Rockefeller, Sr., and current Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. It also includes Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, whose DeVos Foundation is a massive donor to conservative causes and nonprofits like the Heritage Foundation, which frequently decries government programs for the poor as over-generous.

    EWG emphasized that the total figure is likely an understatement because it does not include crop insurance subsidies. Instead, the $11.3 million came from price support programs that are designed to protect farmers from year-to-year volatility in crop prices. The separate crop insurance subsidy program, whose recipients cannot be identified by law, “has become the primary government support for farm business income.” The billionaires EWG identified received their their subsidies for crops that make up over 80 percent of all crop insurance payments, leading the group to conclude that these same people almost certainly received even more taxpayer money from the more secretive program. Insurance subsidies cost taxpayers about $59 billion over the past decade, much of which ended up in Wall Street coffers. …

  306. carlie says

    Esteleth – could you convince the proud part of your brain that it’s a training exercise? A good portion of the patients you’ll see will be on Medicaid, and having one of their caregivers know what it’s like and how to navigate its coverage will be invaluable.

  307. says

    Oh, yeah, I meant to include this bit in comment #426, it’s the debunking of the Republican myth that the SNAP program is rife with fraud:

    While food assistance programs issued exactly zero major overpayments in 2012, according to an audit, the federal farm subsidy programs made 239 separate high-dollar overpayments totaling $17 million in inappropriate spending. There is less fraud in the food stamps program than in the major farm programs, but that hasn’t stopped congressional conservatives from insisting that the programs for the poor are rife with fraud — even when they themselves receive millions in farm subsidies.

    Here’s a convenient list, with photos, of congress critters who have received millions in farm subsidies.

  308. says

    If you would like some help in converting Jews to Christianity in order to bring about the second coming of Jesus Christ, just ask George W. Bush. He will help you.

    Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization’s goal: to “restore” Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ. …

    Mother Jones link.

  309. says

    I guess we don’t have to actually convert Jews to Christianity. We just have to convert them to Messianic Jewish beliefs, which include Jesus Christ as the Messiah. It’s all a bit confusing.

    Should we light the menorah, or not? Star of David, or not? What about the Torah?

    And what about Glenn fucking Beck, who is a darling of the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute and a mormon few chrissakes?

  310. carlie says

    I so hate the sudden onslaught of darkness that the time change causes. It should be broken up into moving 10 minutes every week, or something.

    Every day this week:

    Get home from work.
    Internal monologue:
    “It’s time for bed, right?”
    “NO! You just got home! There’s dinner and cleanup and homework!”
    “But it’s dark. And it’s cold. That means bedtime.”
    “No, seriously, it’s not that late yet.”
    “But I’m tired now. And it looks like time for bed.”
    “It’s six o’clock. You cannot go to bed yet.”

  311. says

    Carlie @431, total empathy here. My body and mind are totally screwed up the the time change. I may even sleep through the Rachel Maddow Show.

    And how am I supposed to get my Charlie Hunnam fix when its been dark for hours and hours before Sons of Anarchy comes on? Yes, I’m too lazy to record it. I guess my addiction is not that serious after all.

    I could just go camping and blithely sleep during ALL of the dark hours. That might be nice.

  312. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tuesday after the I got the Redhead back from the doctor, I went to the grocery store for some breakfast/lunch items (the grocery with the better Deli). While in the check-out line, a young woman approached me offering to use her Link card (Illinois uses them for various forms of assistance) to buy some groceries if I would give her cash for the amount so she could purchase gas for her car. That set off this skeptics bullshit detector at Red Alert. Link cards can be used to buy gas. I said no. Turns out she had been approaching everybody near the check-out lanes. The cashier called the manger when all of us in line confirmed it happened and I pointed out the woman. The cashier said that some people run that “scam”(the Link cards are not transferable) to generated cash to buy drugs, as Link cards aren’t accepted by drug dealers. She ran off when the store manger approached.

    Then the contemporary aged woman in front of me started complaining about “Obama care” and “death panels”. She didn’t like it when bit when I challenged here preconceptions, like the existence of death panels, and claimed Faux News lies and doesn’t have any evidence for her claims. She said there was evidence. I said where? She was panicking at that point. Called me a leftist (which I corrected to progressive), and tolf her health care cost would drop 15% if private company profits were removed caused even more panic. She left as fast as she could.

    Turns out the cashiers husband sells insurance, and it sounded like people were waiting to join the collective group health insurance rather than buying individual policies. Obama care not working? *SNICKER*.

  313. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Interesting pizza for dinner (with a home-made salad) tonight. Apparently green peppers meant jalapeno peppers to the cook. Needless to say, no complaints from the Redhead…

  314. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    Hello. Horde question:

    Does anybody now how much transition-related expenses (excluding SRS) tend to amount to? Just out of financial planning’s sake (or else toward the big money sink that is higher education in the US).

  315. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says


    When I was in college, I often got a large pizza with sweet Italian sausage and jalapeno peppers. I would eat a few slices and take the rest home. The leftovers were an excellent cold (and quick) breakfast as I ran from my graveyard shift job up to the ski area so I could get in a few hours of skiing before my classes started in the early afternoon. I think I slept on weekends.

  316. Pteryxx says

    thunk: I wish I knew enough to give you a good well-rounded answer. I assume you mean not just the hormone treatments, but things like clothing, makeup, breastforms and such?

    If you’re willing to ask Zinnia, in comments or by email, she talks in great detail about everything. Dunno if she’s addressed costs.

    ETA: Holy moley, of course she did. Zinnia ROCKS.

    Adding up transition costs

    Some people have asked about the costs associated with transitioning, so I figured I would add up the transition-related expenses over the past year. Being uninsured and in the United States (central Florida), this is all out of pocket.

    $160 – therapist appointment and referral letter
    $510 – all doctor appointments and blood tests
    $440 – total cost of medications to date
    $490 – name change, incl. fingerprinting and background check
    $30 – updated ID
    $500 – clothes and accessories (estimated)
    $60 – personal items

    Total: $2190

    I would have paid twice that just for the boobs.

    Someone in comments mentioned debearding as an additional expense. YHMV I suppose.

    All the sympathies and anklehugs, thunk. Hope this helps.

  317. Pteryxx says

    From the Escapist, “MovieBob” Chipman writes a detailed recap of a lecture given by Anita Sarkeesian.

    The Most Dangerous Woman in Videogames

    At one point, she offers up a direct challenge to the famous counter-argument that “sex sells.” “Sex doesn’t sell, objectification is what sells, is her contention, supported by the rather obvious evidence that even vaguely honest depictions of relationships and human sexuality are rarely at the heart of these controversial characters and their games. “Sex in stories,” she’s quick to point out, “is not the problem.” It’s objectification, and the dehumanization that can’t help but follow – even in the classics of our shared nostalgia.


    But the still that brings the room into stunned silence comes as a preview for an episode yet to air focusing on the medium’s frequent exotification of women of color. Seeing them all together – a lineup of black and tan women in animal skins, bone necklaces or headdresses with no discernible root in any authentic “tribal” or “primitive” tradition – it sort-of says it all even before she points out the most obvious issues like animal-skins reinforcing the “animalistic” conception of nonwhite peoples, or climate and materials becoming excuses for plunging necklines and bare midriffs.

  318. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    I’ve heard of that figure, I just wanted a second opinion.

    But the reason I’m asking is that I now at least have this much money to squirrel away.

  319. Pteryxx says

    and in horrible news:

    There is little doubt that the rash of anti-choice measures that flooded the legislative dockets in state capitols in 2013 was a coordinated effort by anti-choice groups and major right-wing donors lurking anonymously behind the facades of the non-profit “social welfare” organizations unleashed to tear up the political landscape, thanks to the high court’s decision in Citizens United.

    Organizations supposedly founded with fiscal-responsibility agendas funnel money to anti-abortion groups or other right-wing shadow orgs; and almost all this outside spending is right-wing. Meanwhile the Koch brothers publicly distance themselves from anti-abortion or anti-LBGT causes while their funding groups pour it on for those same causes.

    In 2011, CPPR gave $1.5 million to the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC); that more than filled the $500,000 hole Mother Jones’ Stephanie Mencimer reported the organization dug for itself after spending $2 million in the 2010 elections—with a cool $1 million left over for the committee’s anti-choice lobbying in state legislatures, and millions more to come from Freedom Partners, another Koch-linked group. CWALAC was deeply involved in pushing the passage of the Texas anti-choice law.

    CPPR also dispensed smaller sums to other anti-choice groups, including $250,000 in 2009 to Independent Women’s Voice, which opposes the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act, and $25,000 to Nebraska Right to Life, which the following year helped pass the first state-level 20-week abortion ban, based on a model bill crafted by the National Right to Life Committee.

    So where does CPPR get its money? Like other 501(c)(4) non-profits, it doesn’t have to disclose its donors. But tax filings from Freedom Partners, a 501(c)(6) organization, show, according to an investigation by Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, that since November 2011 CPPR took in some $115 million from Freedom Partners, which Politico editors dubbed “the Koch brothers’ secret bank.”

    — TW at the Jezebel links for gang rape, callous apologia and jokes, privileged douchebros, police revictimization and basically all the things —

    New Zealand teen rape club

    Police told New Zealand gang rape victim she was asking for it

    What’s happening – investigation and excuses

    In case you were spared learning about the group’s existence until now, the Roast Busters are a handful of teens who think gang rape is awesome. Among the group’s members are the son of a recognizable Hollywood actor and the son of a cop (police initially denied this, but it turns out that this was also a lie). The group was active on social media, posting videos of themselves calling out their victims and speaking disparagingly of the girls’ lack of sexual morality (just to clarify, they didn’t post videos of the actual rapes themselves). Police have been aware of the group’s existence for years and left their active and horrifying Facebook page alone because they say they needed it for “tactical reasons.” Thanks to some tireless reporting by the New Zealand media, the group is finally in the line of public ire, but police have been saying they can’t do anything because none of the victims has been “brave enough” (actual quote!) to come forward.


    According to 3 News, not one, but two of the group’s victims filed formal complaints with the police. Both of them were 13 at the time of the attack, and both of them filed reports in 2011.

  320. says

    Long time lurker here, and I could really do with some help.

    I was wondering if anybody could point me at some resources about the rate of false rape complaints? I need to point a few misguided but well meaning friends at them. I say misguided but well meaning because they have only recently been confronted with the fact that rape culture is a thing and they still have some of the social default settings ingrained (like, false rape complaints are really common, we have to be careful). Having had their eyes opened they are looking for stuff to read about it so they can learn more, and I figured the Hoard would know what stuff is best.

    I would go hunting for them, but I have my final law exam ever tomorrow, and I am rather stressed about it.

    Thank you in advance to any one who can assist. :)

  321. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    Thanks everyone!

    *sigh* why not universal healthcare, then I could have spiffed up my coin collection at the same time.

  322. Pteryxx says

    Rebecca Gates: here you go; these are often harsh so trigger warnings / content warnings apply.

    Tomorrow afternoon, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs will hold a public hearing on “Rape in the United States: The Chronic Failure to Report and Investigate Rape Cases.” Senator Arlen Specter, chairman of the subcommittee, scheduled the hearing at the request of the Women’s Law Project, which has been working on this issue since the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in October 1999 that the Philadelphia Police Department was labeling rape cases as non-violent offenses and dismissing reports as “groundless” after little or no investigation. The WLP spearheaded an advocacy effort that resulted in a reinvestigation of police files, finding 681 cases which should have been classified and investigated as rapes and 1700 other cases which should have been investigated as other sex crimes.

    Recently, the WLP has been contacted by reporters in several other major American cities, including New York, Baltimore, New Orleans, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Cleveland, about police departments using similar tactics to sweep reports of rape under the rug. The stories from around the U.S. are heartbreaking:

    The prevalence of rape myths among the police forces coding reports as false should also be cause for concern when looking at their uncorrected numbers. When the women they consider untrustworthy match the profiles for those most at risk of rape (mentally ill, developmentally disabled, intoxicated, previously victimized–although the papers don’t mention it, racial and sexual minority status fall here too), or those exhibiting rape trauma (scattered, faulty memory, embarrassed, ashamed), they are making decisions that push these cases out of the system on a prejudicial basis, not a factual one.

    Until last week, Norfolk, Virginia police classified sexual assault claims to be “unfounded” — or not valid — by default. According to the Virginian-Pilot, a 22-year-old woman’s case prompted Norfolk police chief Mike Goldsmith to update the policy so that officers must now assume rape victims are telling the truth.

    The woman reported the attack immediately to police, only to be told, “If we find out that you’re lying, this will be a felony charge.” Before giving her a medical examination, officers subjected the woman to interrogations during which they said things like, “You’re telling us a different story than you told … the other detectives,” and “This only happened hours ago. Why can’t you remember?”

    The detective looked at me. His whole demeanor changed; he tried to seem kind, avuncular. “Tell me you made the whole thing up. This whole thing will disappear. Nothing will happen to you. You can leave, if you just tell me you made it up. Tell me you made it up and you’re sorry for lying, and I’ll let you leave.” I tried to hold out–but I didn’t last long. Honestly, at that point, all I wanted in the entire world was just to get out of that room. There are very few things I wouldn’t have done, if I could only leave. So I looked at him and lied. I said, “I made the whole thing up. I’m sorry.”

  323. Desert Son, OM says

    Hello, Pharyngula and lounge,

    Been a while for me. Just wanted to offer greetings after a year and a half in lurkdom.

    Can’t stay long just now, have an early day of paper grading tomorrow so need sleep, but just a fond hello, with cheers of support and good wishes and *pouncehugs* as appropriate and where welcome. Also hearty thanks for the continued education, effort, impact, presence, and community.

    I remain, Still learning,


  324. Pteryxx says

    Oh, and this one’s a powerful cite, thanks to hjhornbeck a few months ago.

    One dominant and destructive characteristic underpinning police participation in rape investigations arises from exaggerated beliefs in the prevalence of false rape allegations. Concern has been expressed internationally regarding the high proportions of sexual assault complaints that are believed to be false. An early study conducted in the United States of America, for instance, revealed that the police officers who participated in the research believed approximately three out of every five rape complaints to be either false or mistaken (Feldman-Summers and Palmer, 1980). Likewise, in Chambers and Millar’s (1983) Scottish study, many detectives estimated false complaints to be very common, with one saying he believed only 1:20 were ‘real rapes’ (Chambers and Millar, 1983: 85 footnote). […]

    Detectives in other United Kingdom research, however, believe the proportion of false complaints to be closer to one-half (e.g. Lees, 1997:184), with Ian Blair noting: ‘there is considerable evidence that investigators seem prepared to give serious consideration to the proposition that between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of all allegations of rape are false’ (Blair, 1985: 53–4). One cynical detective even maintained: ‘After six years on the force, I don’t believe any of them’ (quoted in Burgess, 1999: 9).

    Jordan, Jan. “Beyond belief? Police, rape and women’s credibility.” Criminal Justice 4.1 (2004): 29-59.

  325. Pteryxx says

    Heya Desert Son, welcome back, or through as the case may be. I re-read some of the elevator threads a while back and missed you.

  326. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    PZ regulary posts about sexism or misogyny related stories. This one is a little different, I think.

    From Cal Ripkin, Jr., to MLK to Robert Downey, Jr., finding men named after their fathers is easy. Children named after men in the family — with so-called patronyms — are common around the world. But what about matronymns –names for a mother or grandmother? New research shows that matronymns are rare and that family naming trends follow a regional pattern in the United States: People in states with a relatively high emphasis on honor are more likely to use patronyms, especially in the face of a terrorist threat.
    “Studying naming trends can be a subtle means of peering into a society’s beliefs and values without ever having to ask people to report directly about their beliefs and values,” says Ryan Brown of the University of Oklahoma. Brown is not an expert in baby names but rather studies cultural values and trends. He became interested in the connection between names and cultural values when his collaborator, Mauricio Carvallo, was reserching names for his new baby girl. They started to wonder whether values associated with honor and reputation affected whether people named their children after men or women in the family.

    As soon as I read your comment I knew you would have an answer fairly soon. Sure enough, Pteryxx swoops in. I hope those links are helpful and your friends’ education grows. The more people aware of Rape Culture the better.

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

    Let me add my welcomes to Desert Son and to Rebecca Gates.

    You lived through 1L. You’ll live through this.

  328. says

    Hi folks
    Hugs and cuddles all around.

    Wanna hear a story that would make you believe in karma if you were inclined to believe such nonsense?
    Remember that asshole Jon Hopkiss and his This vs That vs Women TV show?
    Funny thing, I have to summarize an article as an exercise for class and guess who makes his appearance in it*? Right…
    I’m wondering what the teacher would say if she knew about that ass, because she’s one of the few people I’ve ever heard say the sentence “I’m a feminist”
    *It’s a silly article about an experiment where they tried the best methods to board a plane, so nothingthat would indicate his misogyny.

    I forgot to thank you for the link to that budget bytes site.
    I’m especially pleased by their vegetarian recipes as I’m constantly trying to reduce our meat intake* and there’s nice stuff on that site.
    *disclaimer: I’m not trying to go vegetarian

    Talk about cooking, here’s a nice little something I make sometimes
    Refrigerated dough for breakfast rolls or buns. Which means that this is probably not even a thing where you are. Sorry about that.
    Heavy sour cream or creme fraiche
    bacon cut in dice
    cheese and mushrooms optional
    Just roll out the dough a little, spread sour cream on top, add everything else and bake. Great for making with kids or as a party food.


  329. carlie says


    Sorry. Ahem.

    Desert Son – I mentioned in the other thread too, I’m really glad to see you and I really enjoy reading what you write.

  330. Desert Son, OM says

    Many greetings and thanks to Pteryxx, chigau, Crip Dyke, and carlie! It is nice to see you all again.

    carlie, indeed, I did see your comment in the other thread and thank you very much for your kind words and encouragement. I apologize that I did not respond there. Since I am out of practice commenting, and since I am often long of speech, I worried that responding in the other thread might constitute a derail, hence my desire to return to the lounge and offer thanks and cheerful halloos here. As such, I would also like to thank SallyStrange for her supportive comment in the other thread, and also send Sally greetings here.

    Also, *pouncehugs* and cheers to Caine, if welcome and she is about!

    If I missed anyone in greeting that is my error, and owes to my limitations, not intentional disregard. It is good and heartening to interact with the commentariat again!

    Anecdote from my morning commute: Back in August, I moved to a new apartment. My new residence is next to a golf course (and a highway, but that’s not important right now). At the golf course entrance is a business that rents, sells, and services golf carts (location! location! location!). Their advertising marquee this morning read: “Hunters! We have cammo carts!”

    Some context: I live in Texas. That is not to say contemporary American-Style(tm) hunting culture isn’t extant elsewhere, but it certainly has a big presence in this geographic vicinity.

    What struck me as humorous about this was the advertising angle. Why not just advertise: “We have camouflage carts!” and let customers decide whether that is an aesthetic they would like to try as they traverse the fairways and greens, regardless of whether they are hunters? Why the assumption that hunters would lament the profound lack of camouflage paint schemes on golf equipment which this business happens to remedy? I also got a giggle imagining someone finishing up their putt, turning to venture to the next tee, and not being able to find their golf cart.

    Somewhat tangential anecdote: Last week on a crepuscular run I passed a deer lounging on a neighborhood front lawn. I have seen many deer in my life, but this was the closest I have ever been to one, passing within about 10 meters. Deer remained watchful but calm, ears twitching, a very young set of antlers budding on its head, content to let me jog by. A quiet moment in the neighborhood free of automobile traffic. I have had a number of similar encounters on my runs here in central Texas, including Coragyps atratus (which was huge and looming and wonderful), Procyon lotor, Canis latrans, and the classic (for this region) Dasypus novemcinctus. It was fun.

    I hope this finds you all well, and astonished with delight at something beautiful today.

    Still learning,


  331. dianne says

    Which means that this is probably not even a thing where you are. Sorry about that.

    It’s not. Nor is creme fraiche. Or good Broetchen. We survive, but only with difficulty.

  332. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Can someone please set an alarm clock for March 2014? Tis almost winter hibernation time :)
    (Cold weather…bah humbug)

  333. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    Oh wow.

    Super Typhoon Haiyan has made landfall. According to PAGASA, Haiyan came ashore at 4:40 am local time (20:40 UTC) November 7, 2013 near Guiuan, on the Philippine island of Samar. Fourty minutes before landfall, Guiuan reported sustained 10-minute average winds of 96 mph, with a pressure of 977 mb. Contact has since been lost with the city. Three hours before landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) assessed Haiyan’s sustained winds at 195 mph, gusting to 235 mph, making it the 4th strongest tropical cyclone in world history. Satellite loops show that Haiyan weakened only slightly, if at all, in the two hours after JTWC’s advisory, so the super typhoon likely made landfall with winds near 195 mph. The next JTWC intensity estimate, for 00Z UTC November 8, about three hours after landfall, put the top winds at 185 mph. Averaging together these estimates gives a strength of 190 mph an hour after landfall. Thus, Haiyan had winds of 190 – 195 mph at landfall, making it the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history. The previous record was held by the Atlantic’s Hurricane Camille of 1969, which made landfall in Mississippi with 190 mph winds.

    from Jeff Masters’ blog:

    Best wishes to those affected in the Philippines.

  334. carlie says

    Desert Son – I saw a deer fairly close today (but maybe 40 feet away), pooping in my yard. It was not at all inspirational. :D

    (actually I was quite happy to see it, because there are a lot of windfall apples out there that need to be removed, but still. There are woods right nearby it could have gone in to be polite about it. )

    Laughing at the cammo carts – are they for hunters to drive through the woods to their blinds, or just to look cool on the golf course?

  335. carlie says

    This is really neat – I don’t know who all saw the viral video a couple of weeks ago of the baby smiling and tearing up while its mom was singing, but a psychologist breaks down what the baby was doing here in this post. It’s mirror neurons!

    What we may be witnessing is a remarkable demonstration of emotional contagion, the tendency for humans to absorb and reflect the intense emotions of those around them.

  336. says

    Wendy Davis is Pro-Life

    “I am pro-life,” she told a University of Texas at Brownsville crowd on Tuesday. “I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”

  337. says

    thunk: I wish I could help, but being a) in another country and b) in one with health care for everyone and c) way older, my transition wouldn’t have much predictive value for you. It’s not as simple as exchange rate and 1992 dollars, either; the costs of various things have changed in non-linear ways, especially when aggregated. Plus, much of the cost for me was in finding specialized services, which were much rarer then (like electrolysis do-ers who would deal with a trans* person) and thus much more likely to be charging unusually high fees; again, this is a cost that is largely no longer relevant in most western dems. There’s also the question of “how much do I need to do to reach a presentation I’m comfortable with”, which used to be a life-or-death survival skill, and thus much, much more expensive.

    I’ll say this: yours will probably be relatively cheaper, and I’m dead glad that’s so.

    Also, I will strongly recommend that if your health care doesn’t cover surgery, you consider surgeons outside the US. Even with flights and hotels, my trip to Thailand cost me considerably less than a US surgeon would have cost, for all kinds of reasons. And they do a LOT of surgeries, so they’re pretty experienced and capable, too.

    Anything I can do, please do feel free to ask; you can reach me through the link in my name here, if you want to ask something privately.


    Desert Son, nice to meet you, I’ve only been here a year or so, so you don’t know me. :)

  338. says

    CBS finally pulled their erroneous Benghazi coverage, and they had Lara Logan apologize on air.

    Does no one know how to vet their sources these days? I could have told them to take a second, and a third look at “Morgan Jones” who used a pseudonym even though he appeared on camera as himself, and he is writing a book for a right-wing publisher of whacko books.

    For days, CBS stood by the story, to the delight of Benghazi conspiracy theorists everywhere. This included Lindsey Graham, who used the CBS “60 Minutes” documentary as proof that the Obama Presidency was engaged in a coverup and therefore, he, Lindsey Graham, would make sure no Obama appointees were confirmed until the Benghazi coverup details were all made public.

    I guess Lindsey Graham will have to find a new excuse now for filibustering every Obama appointee.

    Packs of lying liars with no ethics whatsoever. Lara Logan is probably just gullible … and she does not know how to vet her sources.

    Davies [aka Morgan Jones] never told Logan about the incident report. He never told the co-author of his memoir about the incident report. When the content of the report was revealed, he invented an entirely implausible story about lying to his supervisor in the report because he respected him so highly and didn’t want him to know that he’d disobeyed orders not to approach the compound. And yet, in a story that should have set off all sorts of alarms in the first place, this still didn’t set off any alarms for Logan. She continued to defend Davies and her reporting until news emerged yesterday that the incident report matched what Davies had told the FBI in a debriefing shortly after the attack.

    … In her report, Logan also failed to mention that Davies’ book about Benghazi is being published by a sister corporation of CBS, one that specializes in right-wing nonfiction. “We killed ourselves not to allow politics into this report,” Logan told the New York Times, but somehow that little tidbit about Davies’ publisher was inadvertently left out of her 60 Minutes segment. …

  339. Desert Son, OM says

    carlie at #463:

    It was not at all inspiration. :D

    *wistful stare into the middle distance, harp strains, wavy blur screen wipe*

    Ah, those beautiful, transcendent, awe-inspiring moments when pristine animals emerge from the wild, stepping through shafts of brilliant sunlight, bespeckled in fresh dew, majestic and vibrant and ready to . . .

    . . . defecate on the lawn.

    Mid-run I definitely did not consider other possible impacts of that deer. :)

    As for cammo carts, my assumption is that it’s specifically for the golf course. Maybe hunters need to remind themselves that they are hunters while they are golfing? Maybe it’s intended as declaration to other golfers that this particular golfer is also a hunter? That was what struck me about the advertising. Why not present it as an option without assigning it as default to a particular group? It’s not like it’s an item that is almost only ever going to be useful just to hunters.

    Another example: “We have Georgia O’Keefe-style paint scheme carts!” It doesn’t have to say, “Painters! We have Georgia O’Keefe-style paint scheme carts!” Plenty of non-painters, and plenty of people who may not even be aware of O’keefe’s art may still find the paint scheme aesthetically pleasing without it having to be called out as painter-specific, or painter exclusive.

    I am thinking way, way, way too much about golf carts and advertising this morning. Lack of sleep. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

    Still learning,


  340. says

    This is a follow up to my post #368. Not only was Dylan Davies [aka Morgan Jones] throwing up all kinds of other red flags that CBS should have checked out before they featured him a Benghazi exposé, but the dude had also been serving as a source for Fox News. A source for the Benghazi conspiracy theories that Fox News was broadcasting! sheesh. Fox News only dumped Davies after he asked them for money.

    Now that misleading CBS report is being used to back up every conspiracy claim out there, and is being used by the publisher of whacko books to sell crap:

    Two days after the CBS report aired, Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon and Schuster that “specializes in conservative non-fiction,” published the supposed witness’ book, The Embassy House: The Explosive Eyewitness Account of the Libyan Embassy Siege by the Soldier Who Was There. According to the Post, the book “largely comports with the 60 Minutes account.”

  341. Desert Son, OM says

    CaitieCat at #467:

    Nice to meet you, too! Thank you for the greeting!

    Still learning,


  342. says

    More follow up on the parlous reporting and book publishing associated with the attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi:

    That’s right, the right-wing book publishers didn’t fact-check anything either.

    Faux News spent 47 minutes covering, and crowing over, the misleading CBS report. No, Faux News will probably not retract their reporting in the same way that CBS plans to do on Sunday’s “60 Minutes” show.

    Much of Fox’s coverage was self-congratulatory, claiming the CBS report had corroborated their network’s coverage of Benghazi. Bret Baier, host of Fox’s flagship news show Special Report, told viewers that “[l]ast night, one of journalism’s heavy hitters reaffirmed what we knew and had reported on.” Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy praised CBS for “finally catching up” to conservative media on the story and proclaimed, “60 Minutes doesn’t cover phony scandals.” The network also predictably used the 60 Minutes story to revive its smear campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Benghazi.

    Of course, Fox wasn’t the only conservative outlet to run with the 60 Minutes segment. It was picked up by, among others, The 700 Club,, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, and many other conservative blogs.

    Following the CBS report, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on Fox News and announced that he planned to hold up all presidential nominations until Benghazi witnesses are made available for questioning by Congress. Graham also used an appearance on CNN to proclaim that the CBS report proved the administration’s account of the Benghazi attacks “doesn’t have an ounce of truth in it.”

    Yeah, this idiotic anti-news is not going away. Your crazy Uncle has seen it on CBS and on Faux News, and it that weren’t enough, he heard on the radio from Glenn Beck, and he read it on They can’t all be wrong. Can they?

  343. stevem says

    re Dalillama, Schmott Guy@ #466:

    That Wendy Davis hit the nail on the head. I’ve always been bothered by the anti-choicers calling themselves “pro-life”. Wendy finally expressed exactly what is wrong with their use of the term. They are only pro-potential-life; actually anti-actual-life. Wendy’s words fully express everything I (tacitly) think about “life”, etc. How is the fetus more important than the woman carrying it; why does she not have rights, yet the fetus has them all?
    I say, “to he## with ‘voter-fraud’, I’m off to Texas to vote for her for governor (of that misguided State)”. I WISH there was some way I could just *poof* her into office. I wish, I wish; but even if possible, would it be worthwhile, or is she just too “elitist” (intelligent) to make any difference in such a State? ;-(

  344. says

    While we are dealing with yet another young, unarmed black person being shot (see comment #419) some people are still trying to make excuses for Trayvon Martin’s death. He came from a broken family so somehow that set him up to be shot. (WTF!?) Or, there’s this myth: stand your ground laws benefit African Americans more than white people.

    … In fact, a Tampa Bay Times analysis of Stand Your Ground cases in Florida found substantial racial disparities in the application of the law, including that “people who killed a black person walked free 73 percent of the time, while those who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time.” A national study found a similar disparity.

    Pratt [Gun Owners of American executive director Larry Pratt] concluded that Fulton had it all wrong and “probably what killed her son was the broken family that he was forced to deal with. That’s often an indicator that a young man is going to have trouble, of either race, of any race.”…

  345. chigau (違う) says

    noun informal
    an incompetent or stupid person; an idiot.
    a person’s buttocks.

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

    For all my fear of the new job, I love it. People are great, I like the atmosphere, I’m being treated as an equal with worthwhile opinions and advice, and not like an ignorant child, and I have work to do. I have this deep dark secret: I like working. Days and days of nearly nothing to do were killing me at the previous place (government, khm). Too much time to think led to bad thoughts.
    I feel productive, I can see my work helping to drive projects forward.

    Oh, and it was first week, but I already worked overtime nearly every day. That won’t be payed. And I don’t even mind.

  347. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    So, I scroll through my twitter feed and find a string of tweets (beginning here) from Jeph Jacques, the artist of Questionable Content.

    They begin thusly:

    As a straight white middle class male, here are my thoughts on feminism:

    it’s good

    He continues to say this:

    I hate to MANSPLAIN, but feminism is important and a dialogue in which we should all take part

    And takes a potshot at MRAs:

    wait what do you mean Men’s Rights people aren’t arguing than our society is inherently biased towards men

    I thought it meant “men have all the rights and we should try to extend them to everybody else”

    And finishes it all off with a cogent reminder and an exhortation I can get behind:

    I know I’m gonna get a lot of FLACK for this, but….women are people too

    real talk if you think men are treated more unfairly than women please go live inside an extinct volcano and leave the rest of us alone

    we’ll even let you have your shitty subreddits or whatever, just leave

    I am pleased.

    And it distresses me that I am pleased by something that should be quite ordinary.

  348. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Esteleth @ 478:

    Yeah, Jeph seems to, at the very least, really be trying to get it. It’s why his is the only webcomic I still bother reading these days.

  349. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I agree, UnknownEric.

    Ages ago, there was a storyline where a female character (I think it was Faye) passed out drunk on Marten’s couch. The next morning, he assured her that he had not taken sexual advantage of her – in fact, he went on to say that he considered such behavior reprehensible.

    It cheered me that Jeph not only didn’t have a drunken hookup, he made a point to address the fact that Marten considered the idea gross. IIRC, that short conversation was the entirety of the comic (unless Pintsize popped in to say something absurd), which is space that a different cartoonist may have spent advancing the overall plot arc, rather than addressing head-on a rape culture trope.

    Also, not long ago, when he introduced Claire (a trans character), Jeph answered a question on his tumblr from someone complaining that it was unrealistic that everyone was totes cool about Claire being trans. Jeph’s response was something along the lines of, “if it is unrealistic to you that a group of friends would be accepting of someone’s trans status, you need new friends,” and that Marten et al were decent enough folk to not run with transphobes.

    But then, he’s friend-of-a-friend to me, and the intermediary is someone I consider Good People™, so maybe that’s something. *shrug*

  350. rq says

    Yay Beatrice! That’s awesome that you have awesome work to do where you can be awesome!

    Hello, Desert Son.

  351. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Desert Son – *returnpouncehug* I’m so happy you’re back to commenting, even if it is only briefly.

    Rebecca – Welcome to the Lounge!

    rq – *pouncehug*

    I wish I had something exciting to say or post, but I don’t, so I’ll just leave this *pile of hugs and chocolate* for anyone who needs them.

    Back to plotting and scheming for my D&D campaign tomorrow.

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

    Back to plotting and scheming for my D&D campaign tomorrow.

    Hmph. I wish I had a D&D game I got to play more than 1x/year.

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

    Okay, I didn’t see it when it came out, but I just watched it this afternoon & am wondering:

    What do people think about Man of Steel? rot13 replies are fine, if you like.

    One of the things that I liked is that for a given mass, the only way to hit harder is to move faster, and this is the first Superman movie that seems to get that you can’t swing your fist at human speeds and send someone flying 3/4s of a mile just because when moving slowly you are able to lift a train.

    Another is that the plot actually made sense as threatening to Supes. Each movie gets to create its own parameters, its own superman. So although i wondered a bit about when he might go FtL and stuff, there was never a moment when I thought that had he just employed a previously demonstrated power at a previously demonstrated level, something portrayed as a terrible threat would instantly be defused. Supes is so powerful, that’s hard to do. But they managed it. It really was the best of the movies to me. But I’m interested in what others might say.

  354. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Crip Dyke:

    I wish I had a D&D game I got to play more than 1x/year.

    You would be welcome to join ours. Unfortunately, you’re in Canada and we’re in Virginia. :(

  355. opposablethumbs says

    Beatrice, you and your new job are such wonderful news. I’m so glad for you! After all you’ve had to put up with for such a long time – it’s just so great that this has worked out well. Yay!!!!! (and hopefully this indirectly helps with all the family stuff too)

    Pile o’ hugs for the denizens of the Lounge, I’ll just leave them over here.

  356. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Weird day here at casa la pelirroja. We had the repairman for the stairlifts in, and he needed to replace the batteries in the unit to the back door. They were under warrantee, but his labor wasn’t. His presence screwed up our normal commode/work schedule, so that I came home at 3:00 for a late lunch for the Redhead, a commode break, and her afternoon pills. Since I would arrive back at work near [past] quitting time for Friday, I brought home the safety training to fill in the time missed. Ugh, I forgot how the modules don’t work well on the iMac. But good enough to pass hearing protection and stormwater protection modules. Typically, no modules are scheduled for December, so I am done for the year. *does a few happy dance steps*

    Now to worry about dinner. Where did the red beans and rice disappear too?????

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

    @hekuni cat:

    If I had a good place to do so, I’d almost suggest playing via Skype and letting someone else roll my dice in your presence (well, maybe I could roll damage, it would feel weird not to roll any dice, but I understand the need to have saves and hits determined in a DM’s presence).

    Sadly I don’t think I could make that work at my end. At least not regularly. But it does make one suddenly aware of the powers of Skype. Maybe I should talk to my good friend/DM about doing something like that between my trips to the states??? We mostly play as an excuse to get together for a weekend and share good food, sleepless nights, and some Scots whiskey. But it is fun, and I miss the game…

  358. says

    Re: DnD

    My friends and I have been roleplaying on a virtual tabletop using a website called Roll 20. Between that and skype we’ve been able to work around the fact that most of us aren’t in the same time zone.

  359. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    PZ did a post on the Man of Steel movie back in June. Reviews were mixed.

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


    Thanks. Yep, I agree with all those criticisms, and have a few of my own – which, to be fair, are probably already in teh comments – but I have such low expectations for superman movies that I was surprised that the plot was internally consistent.

    Take superman1 w/ Reeves. He can fly faster than light & go back in time, but if so, why not fly straight up out of the atmosphere, FtL out front of the missiles, then zap with the heat vision or punch down through the atmosphere & right back up to go get the other.

    When Luthor is about to open the box, weld it the fuck shut with heat vision, and on, and on, and on.

    Supes is usually almost by definition not subject to the threats the writers attempt to impose, and yet they attempt to impose them. Given my ridiculously low expectations, they were exceeded by MoS. I wouldn’t pay to see it, and I waited to watch it until I was having a depressed day in bed, so it’s not like those 2 hours were going to be otherwise productive, so it’s not saying a ton, but I can honestly say that i don’t regret watching it.

  361. A. Noyd says

    Crip Dyke (#493)

    Take superman1 w/ Reeves. He can fly faster than light & go back in time, but if so, why not…

    This is such a huge problem with superhero and fantasy and sci-fi stuff in general. People don’t use their powers/magic/technology in logical, intelligent ways. The writers don’t do enough to adapt the story to the capabilities of the character, which ends up demolishing plausibility within the story’s world. I’m happier to suspend disbelief for idiotic, unnecessary mangling of science than I am for characters being stupid.

    I recall this was a major issue for me when I was watching Green Lantern, but I can’t remember any of the particulars. Only that the character’s powers are based a lot on imagination and he kind of… lacked a sense of creativity.

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

    Yep, A. Noyd.

    Internal consistency is much more important to me than scientific accuracy in an a-scientific world.

    That’s why Trek 4 was the worst of the worst for me. The entire problem the movie seeks to address is that the earth is destroyed before the crew can get there and save it. Why can’t they get there to save it? They can’t go faster-than-light inside a solar system.

    their solution? Go faster than light as close to the sun as possible to get a slingshot back in time, then land on earth, do some things, and go faster-than-light IN ATMOSPHERE when done.

    you’re going to the future, right? If you dawdle for a few minutes, you just travel fewer minutes through time. There is literally no risk is going impulse speeds, but, hey, let’s do it anyway.

    If you can’t go FtL in solar system when the entire world is at stake, why go FtL in atmosphere when nothing is at stake?

    That’s what makes a movie (or a book) worse than useless to me.

  363. carlie says

    Masterchef Junior spoilers ahead, as in who won:

    The editing made the two finalists seem really evenly matched, and then the boy won, and I can’t help but wonder how much of that is inherent sexism (especially in the chef world) or if his dishes really were better, and it sucks that the world is such that I even have to wonder that. Sexism ruins EVERYTHING. *pout*

  364. says

    ok abridged version

    a) blah blah blah sorry for being a whiney pest

    b) I need some advice on finding a therapist/psychiatrist

    I haven’t been at 100% for a while now and sort of am thinking about seeing someone about that. Problem is that a lot of the issues are various niches or non mainstream stuff so that I’m worried about finding a fit. I’m also worried about the stress of having to unload and open up to someone only to either be ‘betrayed’ or have to start all over again with a bad match. There’s like 5 separate things I want to talk about and I worry getting a good match is going to be tough. Any advice will be appreciated.

    Part of it is just how I have some stuff I want to talk to people about and get advice but I feel rather isolated from any of the usual communities that’d help. Don’t know if that makes sense.

    c) Part of the above is something I’ve been avoiding mentioning or talking to people about because I don’t think it’s as big a deal as it is with other people and don’t want to make a fuss or whatever but I’ve been told that since it is bothering me I probably should find some ‘safe place’ where I can at least mention it so, I had a sexual assault issue early this year. don’t want to make a deal out of it just want to I dunno say that aloud more.

    d) re: D&D

    A Canadian friend and I want to do a D&D campaign online and would be ecstatic if any of you wanted to join. I don’t know what setting/story I want to do yet but I have several ideas and will do whatever people seem most interested in.

    Sorry for whiplash for C and D. My first post that was eaten was better written I assure you.

  365. says

    Sympathies on the ‘finding a therapist’ front. I could do with finding one myself, and L needs one, although he’s got all the same kinds of problems in that direction you mentioned. Best luck, and best wishes.

    RE: D&D:
    I might well be interested in that. What edition?