[Lounge #441]


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

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. says

    Hi there
    *pouncehug* on Portia

    Yay for thunk

    My deepest sympathies. Hope you can catch up some sleep. by now I find it totally justifiable in such cases to just put on a Winnie the Pooh DVD and retreat to my bedroom (although I should mention that it is next to the livig room).

    from the last thread:

    Jacqui Cheer, the chief constable of Cleveland [UK], and the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on children and youth, said society was becoming “quite intolerant” of young people in public spaces, and the public and police were too ready to label “what looks like growing up to me as antisocial behaviour”.

    I think I like Jacqui Cheer.

  2. rq says


    put on a Winnie the Pooh DVD and retreat to my bedroom

    Funny, that is exactly what I did…!
    I have to do some work now, but I have every intention of putting on the other Winnie the Pooh later.

  3. blf says

    put on a Winnie the Pooh DVD and retreat to my bedroom

    Well, Ok, having a bear use your DVD player(? collection?) as a toilet is perhaps scary, and more likely an accurate comment on yer tastes, how does hiding under the bed(? covers?) make anything smell better or make you less of a weirdo heathen?

  4. says

    On cheezits, what can one say? At least it’s not a Hitler reference? Right-wingers have jumped on a new bandwagon, comparing Obama’s policies to slavery.

    “Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China. When that money comes due – and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to beholden to the foreign master.” [Sarah Palin speaking in Iowa on Saturday]…

    … Fox News personality Ben Carson [delivered] a speech in which he argued health care reform is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

    The same week, George Will drew a parallel between the Affordable Care Act and the Fugitive Slave Act. In September, a New Hampshire Republican drew the same comparison.

    Fox’s Hugh Hewitt compared defunding the Affordable Care Act to repealing slavery on the air last month, and two weeks prior, Rush Limbaugh also equated “Obamacare” and slavery.

    WTF is this new species “news personality”?

    The Deficit of the USA is shrinking faster during the Obama administration than at any other time since WW11, and we were on track to pay the whole thing off before Bush and cronies cut taxes while simultaneously starting two new wars.

    The CBO (Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan office) says the Affordable Care Act will decrease the deficit over time.

    China holds about 8% of our national debt. China is not the owner of millions of US slaves.

    Why is this “slavery” comparison so infuriating even if one sets aside the facts that are being blithely ignored by the far-right?

  5. Portia, in absentia says

    Giliell –

    *pouncehug* How are you?

    Lynna –

    Absolutely disgusting…I will never understand how people think they can declare themselves or their statements “not racist”. It’s an acknowledgment that it sounds incredibly racist but trying to take the power out of that by naming it and denying it? I just don’t get the logic. It comes down to “Intent is magic, and I don’t intend to sound racist, so you can’t call me racist because magic.”

    rq –

    I protest against that giraffe riddles answer. I reposted it and took all answers because I’m a rebel.

  6. says

    From last thread – honestly, I was a lot less jazzed than a lot of people seem to be about Whedon’s speech. Frankly, it sounded like a big long tone argument to me: “You’d get a lot further with people if you only had a less scary name for your movement!” Whedon has, from his work and words (fiction and non-), only a vagueish sort of grasp of what feminism actually is, and I believe that grasp amounts to “As long as I say that any of my woman characters is strong, we’re Femderbirds Are Go!”

    Granted absolutely that I’d much rather have a very popular movie/TV-maker who at least wants to be feminist-ish – but not enough to do a lot of work on finding out what that is – than the ones who don’t, and that he has given us some badass women characters, it’d be maybe nice if he didn’t then spend energy telling us and the world that feminists would be a lot easier to be around if we’d be less angry, and that if we’d only take his sage advice on how to sugarcoat our words so that famous white guys would take them more easily, then we’d be living in Femtopia, no?

    He’s a long way from Hugo Schwyzer, but he ain’t living next door to Gloria Steinem yet either, is my NAAHO. Y(L/100km)MV.

  7. rq says

    Personally, if your parents are at your door at 3AM, the first thing you always, always, open is the wine. Even before the door. :)

  8. rq says

    Sad as it may seem, I was somewhat impressed by him because it’s a far better statement that I’ve heard from other people on the topic. It was a bit tone-argument-y, but at the same time, I found it an interesting view on having a specific word to use.
    Which probably just goes to show how little I know and how little I am involved.

  9. Portia, in absentia says

    CaitieCat – that’s how I felt about it. I think Joss gets way too much credit for far too little. He’s sort of decent, and people act like he’s the Feminist Savior. Meh. Colby Smulders still had to wear wedge shoes in the Avengers movie while all the dudes had very practical combat boot style shoes with their uniforms (yeah, I’m kinda picky, but if people are gonna tell me he’s Super Awesome, I’m gonna nitpick).

  10. Pteryxx says

    threadrupt random linkdump time!

    Cracked being awesome again, with citations: 7 Things no one tells you about being homeless

    Housing assistance exists, but it’s limited in scope and scale — and to give you a better idea of how the Department of Housing and Urban Development operates, rich neighborhoods are literally getting twice as many housing subsidy dollars as the poor ones, and 12 million Americans are spending more than half of their salary on housing.

    But what about food stamps? Well, the problem with EBT — the food stamps card — is that, with little exception, you can only buy stuff that needs to be prepared at home, and if you’re homeless, that means it’s kind of like one of those cruelly ironic wishes granted by a genie. And unless you’re in California, Arizona, Florida, or Michigan, you can’t use food stamps to buy food at restaurants.


    And here’s where I’ll lose a lot of readers (think about the last time you considered giving money to a beggar, only to have a friend say, “He’ll just use it to buy drugs!”), but I’ve found that there’s a misconception here. The assumption is that all of these people are homeless because they’re addicts — they blew their rent money on drugs, right? But that’s not always the case — what often comes first is having nothing else to do (an especially big problem for people staying in shelters), and the boredom literally drives them crazy. I finally understood, in a very immediate way, why people who’ve been living on the street for a long time tend to be addicts: Drugs not only get you high, but also give you a schedule and a routine.

    And once again we see how a short-term problem can turn into a cycle that threatens to suck the rest of your life into it.


    Shenanigans in Virginia’s AG race. First some 3000 absentee ballots went missing until election watchers on Twitter forced officials to notice: ABCnews link

    And now Cuccinelli’s AG office instituted new rules during the vote counting, demanding the casters of provisional ballots come report in person and today before their ballots will be counted: Slate link

    Both covered by Rachel Maddow last night: VA changes vote count rules while counting

  11. says

    Pteryxx @12

    Well, the problem with EBT — the food stamps card — is that, with little exception, you can only buy stuff that needs to be prepared at home, and if you’re homeless, that means it’s kind of like one of those cruelly ironic wishes granted by a genie.

    Recently, a Republican politician suggested that people on food stamps buy the ingredients to make a cake instead of buying ready-made cakes. Yeah, ingredients are cheaper. But what if you are homeless. What is you have a home but your electricity and/or gas have been shut off. You have no way to bake cakes. You have no way to refrigerate ingredients like eggs.

    People who are not poor, have never been poor, have no fucking clue.

  12. blf says

    Hadley Freeman at The Grauniad has a column on Joss Whedon’s (and others) comments, Why feminism doesn’t need a makeover:

    There is a growing clamour for feminism to be rebranded. Clearly, it’s a word that a lot of people just don’t understand

    … Last week, Whedon announced that he hates the word “feminist” because … it infers that to believe in equality is not a natural state. “You can’t be born an -ist!” insists Whedon, who apparently hates the word “feminist” so much he has never read any feminist theory debating exactly this point. Instead, he says, it’s not feminism that needs a term but the state of not being a feminist that should be seen as the anomaly, as with the term “racist”. …

    … Contrary to Whedon’s sweetly naive view of humanity, it is not mankind’s natural tendency to see everyone as equal, as the most skirting glance over history will prove. Rather, humans have a remarkable tendency to try to subjugate one another for their personal advancement and self-validation. Whether this is “natural” is a tricky issue, but then, arguments about what’s “natural” for humans have tended not to work out too well for women in the past, as they generally devolve into discussions about women being put on earth to spread their legs and bear children.

    In any event, feminism is already getting a makeover… Comedian and (occasional Guardian colleague) Bridget Christie currently has a show in London in which she describes how magazines love it when she writes about feminism — but they’d prefer she’d talk about Lena Dunham instead of Malala Yousafzai “because we want to use a photo of Lena Dunham”. You can even buy £250 necklaces proclaiming your feminism… Feminism is having a trendy moment, you see, so now it is being commercialised. This is the equivalent of plucking the eyebrows of a very pretty girl in a movie so she’s more acceptable to her stupid frat boy date. …

    I wish feminism were more complicated because it would explain why so many people misunderstand it. But it is actually amazingly simple: it is a belief in gender equality. …

    … Feminism doesn’t need a makeover, a rebranding, a softer sound or even a gold necklace: some people just need an education.

  13. Pteryxx says

    follow-up details about Virginia voting shenanigans at the Brad Blog:

    On the missing votes:

    “The more I look at the data, the totality of the evidence points towards the likelihood that there are [approximately] 3,000 untallied Fairfax Co. votes,” tweeted Dave Wasserman, political analyst at the Cook Political Report, tonight. He’s been going over the state’s reported numbers with a fine tooth comb — and a publicly crowd-sourced Google spreadsheet — since Election Night.

    “And if there are indeed [approximately] 3,000 missing Fairfax #VA08 absentee votes, that’d almost certainly be the miracle Herring (D) needs to pull ahead,” he continued. “What a complete reversal of fortune in #VAAG race in just the last few hours.”

    “The 2,500-3,000 missing votes happen to be from some of the most Democratic precincts in Fairfax County. Big margin for Herring,” tweeted Ben Tribbett tonight, who Wasserman lauded on Twitter. “No one knows Fairfax politics more intimately than” him, he said.

    “It appears to me there is solid evidence of missing votes,” Tribbet observed, before later adding that he spoke tonight to the Republican election board member Schoeneman “and explained the issue to him.” Tribbet added: “Glad to have a Republican on Elec-Board making sure every vote counts.”

    On voters needing to justify their provisional ballots:

    That practice, he explained, is “to allow voters to present us with evidence as to why they voted provisionals. It’s a courtesy to them.” He tweeted late Saturday that provisional voters “don’t ‘need’ to come in. They may if they want. They are given a sheet when they vote provisional explaining it.” Schoeneman went on to vow, “we will review every ballot on a case by case basis and decide each ballot, regardless of whether the voter appears.”

    There are more provisional ballots this year than in previous years, it seems, though the reasons for that are not yet crystal clear. Both changes to ID requirements this year, as well as a massive purge of some 40,000 voters from the rolls just weeks before the election — due, supposedly, to duplicate registrations elsewhere — are thought to be among the reasons for the larger than usual number of provisional ballots.

    Because of the SBE announcement, the Electoral Board in Fairfax County, the largest single voting jurisdiction in the state, issued a statement Saturday explaining provisional ballot review would continue at “Fairfax County Government Center, Room 315, until Tuesday,” with hours added on Sunday from 1 to 5pm; Monday 10am to 4pm and on Tuesday beginning at 1pm “or an hour after the Electoral Board returns from a meeting at the Courthouse – whichever is later.”

  14. says

    Pteryxx @12, I saw that Virginia Republicans were changing vote-counting rules in the middle of counting votes, and changing the rules after Republican-dominated districts had been counted, leaving Democratic-dominated districts to bear the negative results of the changed rules. Why is this not a huge national story? Why is it not illegal? And also, WTF? Faux News has many more viewers than Rachel Maddow so the WTF factor is not getting enough play in prime time.

    In more news of Republican shenanigans that are not being properly covered, Darrell Issa is cherry picking facts, leaking partial transcripts, and misleading everyone as he holds hearings about the healthcare.gov rollout. CBS should be in the mood to be more careful when it comes to vetting their sources considering their latest right-wing propaganda fest on Benghazi that blew up in their faces. But no, they and other media outlets bought the House Oversight Committee crap dump:

    Based on the “partial transcript” from Issa’s committee, Chao [Henry Chao, HealthCare.gov’s chief project manager at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] didn’t know about a Sept. 3 memo about website problems identified by another official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Confronted with the document, the partial transcript shows Chao saying, “I just want to say that I haven’t seen this before.”

    The CBS report sounds troubling, right? Probably, at least until one picks up the phone to ask Democrats on the committee whether the CBS report is accurate.… Issa’s staff “basically sandbagged this witness with a document he had never seen before and then failed to inform him that it has nothing to do with parts of the website that launched on October 1. In fact, it relates to a function of the website that is not currently active and won’t be until the spring of 2014. Rather than seeking out the truth, this press release tries to scare the public by capitalizing on confusion caused by the Chairman’s own staff.”

    Oh. So, when Republicans and CBS suggest the project manager in charge of building the federal health care website was apparently kept in the dark about serious failures in the website’s security, they’re leaving out pretty much every relevant detail that points in a more accurate direction….


  15. says

    Portia and rq: Exactly, I do give Whedon credit for wanting to do things in a good and mindful way, but I also have to dock him some points for the nightmare of non-consent that was Dollhouse, and the racism of (a show I love) Firefly*, and Black Widow’s chunky heels and pseudo-rapey interrogation scene, and a whole bunch of other stuff, if I’m going to give him credit for Zoe and Buffy and so on.

    I like a lot of his work, but I have a hard time overlooking the problematic stuff while I’m doing it.

    * Namely: where did all the Asian people go? I see a few in backgrounds, but almost none with speaking roles, despite the presence of enough spoken Chinese in the ‘verse that everyone knows a bit of pidgin Mandarin, despite hanzi/kanji all over, et c., et c.. Also, it’s more than a little squicky to recognize the parallels between the “hero” browncoats and the Lost Cause no-hopers in the US South. Mal even says explicitly, “I’m thinkin’ we’ll rise again!” in the context of a rebel v alliance bar brawl. Creepy.

  16. Portia, in absentia says

    Oh Sweet Jebus, Dollhouse….what a mess. “Women are programmable automatons. Which is bad. But in a sexy way.”

    And I have trouble with Buffy a lot of the time because it’s all “Buffy kicks ass! Cordelia shakes ass! I get to have a Strong Female Character while undermining it at every turn and no one will nooootice! *cackle*” Or something, ha. I was really annoyed with how often part of the Big Plan was “Cordelia will flirt with [security guard/minion/henchman] while Buffy Kicks Ass™.”

  17. Portia, in absentia says

    Oh, yeah, if Chinese is so wide spread, ….where are the Chinese people? I never thought of that.

    I never quite thought of the Rebels in that light…you’re right…very creepy. Ew. C’mon, Joss.

  18. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Not only are there no Chinese people (except for a few extras), there are at least 3 characters amongst the core cast that seem whitewashed: Inara, who is from Sinhon, the planet that is supposedly almost entirely Chinese in ethnicity, and the Tam siblings. Who are (may I repeat) surnamed Tam.

    So we have a woman from China-in-space who is white, and a pair of siblings who carry a Chinese family name who are white.


    Of course, there’s nothing preventing any of the other characters from being Asian.

  19. says

    To give Whedon a small amount of credit on that one, he says the original intent was that the Tams would be East Asian, but the network said no. I don’t have any knowledge of whether that’s truthsome or not.

    I know this makes me a bad geek, but I’ve actually never watched Buffy. I’ve tried watching a couple of episodes, but it really didn’t catch me. Likewise, since I didn’t watch Buffy, I also didn’t watch Angel, because duh. And the non-consent of Dollhouse was way, WAY over my squick line, so I never watched that either, after reading about the setup. Just…no.

    I do very much enjoy Firefly, while also recognizing it’s got some truly problematic things going on, and I’ve enjoyed JW’s take on the Marvel heroes so far, too (though I’ve not watched any of Agents of SHIELD yet either). But I can’t close my eyes to the ways in which his idea of feminism differs from mine.

  20. Pteryxx says

    more follow-up: that Cracked article on homelessness cites an NPR story that interviewed people who are or have been homeless, to get their take on the problems with shelters.


    SHAPIRO: We’re going to go to another caller now. This is Michael(ph). Hi Michael.

    MICHAEL: Hello, thanks for having me on.

    SHAPIRO: Sure, go ahead.

    MICHAEL: I was homeless for five years. And my perspective on shelters was that I was never going to give up my right to speak and to have my own perspectives on faith, and I wasn’t going to trade that to sit (technical difficulties) to what someone else had to say about how bad my life was.

    SHAPIRO: So you felt judged in a shelter, is that what you’re saying?

    MICHAEL: Oh and not just judged but told that there was only one way for me to be a better person, and that was through whatever their perspective on faith was.

    SHAPIRO: So a lot of religious messages?

    MICHAEL: Absolutely, and, you know, considering the fact that police all want to send you to the shelter, and the judges want it, your first guest, was actually told by a judge to go to a shelter, this is in fact an establishment of religion by the state, when we hand these services over to faith communities. What we’re doing is we’re (technical difficulties) people who are very often ill-adapted to defending themselves.

  21. says

    I’ll give Republicans kudos for one skill, naming bills. Take the “Keep Your Health Plan Act” for example. Sounds great, but it should be named “Let Insurance Companies Fuck You Over Act.” Or maybe it should be called “Yet Another Ill-conceived Plan to Kill Obamacare.”

    … it [the Keep Your Health Plan Act] would create an incentive for insurers to extend only plans for low risk beneficiaries who might be disinclined to enter the new system.

    The Republican House is gearing up for their latest version of Obamacare repeal, allowing people to keep their crappy health insurance that doesn’t provide actual health coverage.

    Daily Kos link.

    Salon link.

  22. Pteryxx says

    Lynna @24: except the Republicans probably don’t name their own bills any more than they write them, neh? They just go with what ALEC and the think tanks prepared in advance.


    more too many darn links:

    On abuse of immigrants: BB link to more

    G4S is a UK-based private security contractor that is wildly profitable and rapidly expanding. They’re also terrible. They totally blew security for the London Olympics (but not before illegally harassing photographers). They’ve been stripped of their contract to run a South African prison after total incompetence and torture. They’ve had new contracts with the UK government frozen while they’re being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for criminal overbilling (and despite this, the Home Office is quietly trying to expand their contract to abuse house migrants facing deportation).

    Now, they’re facing criminal charges for forging migrants’ documents. A high court judge found that three G4S employees representing the secretary of state forged documents used to deport an asylum seeker who claims he was tortured on his return.

    DailyKos: Health insurers caught faking health plan cancellations to scam customers into buying more expensive plans

    Following the report that Insurer Humana was fined $65,000 in Kentucky for sending out 6,500 misleading cancellation letters for low-premiums plans only to be automatic re-enrollment in high cost plans before these customers were given a chance to shop on the open exchange for a better and cheaper plan – we now have a new report that Anthem Blue Cross is being sued for tricking people into dropping their “grandfathered” plans.

    Think that’s bad, well this is even worse.

    (links to Thinkprogress story)

    “Blue Cross successfully enticed tens of thousands of its individual policyholders to switch out of their grandfathered health plans and forever lose their protected grandfathered status,” states the lawsuit. “Blue Cross concealed information about the consequences of switching plans and intentionally misled its policyholders to encourage the replacement of grandfathered policies.”

  23. says

    Pat Robertson has some good [/sarcasm] advice on how to talk to your gay offspring:

    During a Monday episode of “The 700 Club,” terrible bigot with an ever-loosening grip on reality Pat Robertson told a parent who asked him for advice on how to talk to her gay son that she should “be understanding,” which to Robertson means asking if her son is gay as a result of being molested.

    “Is there a biological thing going on or has he been influenced — has a coach molested him?” Robertson asked the viewer….

  24. says

    Pteryxx @26. Well, yeah. And now all the insurance companies want from Republicans is a bill that will render this kind of unethical, screw-the-customer business practice legal.

  25. says

    New right-wing conspiracy alert: President Obama is no longer just coming after your guns, he is also coming after your doughnuts.

    Sen. Rand Paul warned Americans that the federal government is targeting doughnuts, the latest example of the oppressive nanny state in America.

    “They’re coming after your doughnuts!” the Kentucky Republican said, referring to the Food and Drug Administration decision to ban trans fats…. Paul’s remarks came during a speech at The Charleston Meeting in South Carolina Monday night. …

    The FDA has banned unilaterally – some unelected bureaucrat has banned trans fats…. If we’re gonna have a nanny state, and everybody’s gotta eat the right thing and you can’t eat a doughnut, maybe we ought to just enforce it on the government workers first.

    Trans fats are not required to make doughnuts (or anything else), so don’t panic. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme, for example, eliminated trans fats long before the current controversy.

    Rand Paul still thinks that Obama conspired with the United Nations to “confiscate and destroy” civilian weapons, and that Obama caused the difficulties Paul is having with his toilet (too many trans fats?).
    Washington Examiner link. Trigger warning for doughnut photo that sparks a hankering for DOUGHNUTS.

  26. cicely says

    Portia, I’m sorry about your grandfather. *hugs*
    The thought of having 30 people for dinner makes me itch.
    The thought of having 30 family members for dinner makes me hide under the covers and threaten to set the cats on whoever’s idea that is.

    *hugs* for rq, and I wish I had some spare energy to send you.

    People who are not poor, have never been poor, have no fucking clue.

    And by and large, I don’t think they want a fucking clue.
    They just want to sound electable.

  27. Groundhog Bob says

    Can somone tell me how I can post a comment on Jerry Coyne’ WEIT blog? I suppose there a lot of people here that are active on that blog as well. Most of the blogs allow me to log in with my google account, but not WEIT. I fill in the form at the end of the thread than click post comment, but nothing happens. It does not say anything and the comment never shows up. Sorry that I bother you with this here, I would ask this question at WEIT, but obviously I can’t.

  28. Portia, in absentia says

    Thanks cicely. It was a bit overwhelming but turned out pretty well. My house belonged to my grandparents for a bout 30-40 years, ending about 10 years ago. It was very nostalgic for everyone who hadn’t been there for 10+ years. Pretty nice all around.

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

    it’s either a bit late, or verrrrrrry sneaky, but here is the


    for Portia.

  30. Portia, in absentia says

    CD – We’ll go with sneaky, or maybe it was just waiting patiently for me to recover from each of the preceding ones ^_^ *returnpounce*

  31. says

    Well, I am busy. No, I am B-U-S-Y. I think by the end of term I’ll simply cry myself to sleep at night. I just finished hanging up the laundry. It’s half past ten here. Fuck the dishes. I’ll have a hot chocolate.

    But did I recently mention that I have the bestest MIL ever? She comes here to take care of the kids on Tuesdays because I only come home long after their bedtime. Tonight she offered to take my freshly washed but not hung up laundry with her.

    Also, tomorrow is the big company aniversary party. It’s also our one and only night out alone as lovers as opposed to night out as a family this year. And I have a herpes.

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

    I’ve only now, and only partially, caught up to the Lounge. There may still be other things I’ve missed in my skimming. But I do know why people were expressing sympathies to Portia:

    Let me add mine. I’m sitting in my Grandfather’s chair right now, the one he sat in for so much time his last few years. I know what it’s like to miss them, and so I want to give you the biggest hunk of empathy I can.

  33. Portia, in absentia says

    Giliell –

    I hope you can make the most of your Grown Up Evening. :)

    And I have a herpes.

    …I think I lost something in translation. I didn’t know it was possible to have that in the singular.

    CD –

    Many thanks. Yesterday was a bit tough, being Veteran’s Day. I always called to wish him a happy one. He looooved to tell WWII stories. (Which I’m sure were embellished).

  34. says

    This sounds like a Moment of Mormon Madness avoided by an attorney who was on the ball enough to recognize how LDS church hierarchy protocols could negatively affect his case:

    A lawyer and a judge have stepped down from a high-profile Las Vegas hepatitis C case after an attorney raised concerns that they were both leaders in the Mormon Church.

    The case explores whether an HMO is liable to pay a $524 million award to patients who contracted hepatitis C in clinics run by Dr. Dipak Desai.

    The patients’ attorney, Gerald Gillock, requested that Clark County District Judge Douglas Smith be disqualified because the HMO’s lawyer holds a position of authority over him in church.

    The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1chE5IM) both Smith and HMO lawyer Mark Hutchinson stepped away, even though a church leader disputes that there’s a boss-subordinate relationship.

    The Nevada Supreme Court on Friday declined to intervene in the HMO’s appeal of Smith’s decision to step down.


  35. Nutmeg says

    Finished updating an old thesis chapter to include results of the 2013 field season! This involved re-doing all my analysis and adding a little bit more, so I am pretty pleased to be done. And writing is an anxiety-thing for me, so I feel extra-accomplished for having made some progress on convincing my brain that writing isn’t terrifying. Not a ton of progress, but enough to be encouraging.

    Next step will be updating the discussion, and then picking a journal and tailoring to it. But that’s a job for a bit later.

  36. says

    Concerning Firefly, take it away Simon Leys…

    “In the mid 16th century, Chinese officialdom consisted of some ten to fifteen thousand civil servants for a total population of about one hundred and fifty million. This tiny group of cadres was exclusively concentrated in the cities while most of the population was living in the villages…
    The great majority of Chinese could spend an entire lifetime without ever having come into contact with one single representative of Imperial authority”

    So take the vastness and variety of a place like China, and apply that onto the considerably vaster vastness of space and..problem solved? They’ve set Firefly in the backwards, isolated, white section of the Empire and even the richest, whitest of TV networks cannot provide a budget vast enough to portray the real might of the Alliance. A floating chandelier at an ahem.. “ball”…how quaint. The Tams wish they were really Chinese…

  37. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Review by Cutcha Risling Baldy of the new play “Crazy Horse and Custer”:

    I suppose the one thing I can’t get out of my head, that thing I woke up the next day repeating was the last line of the play. At the very end of the play Crazy Horse is left on stage alone and he pulls back a curtain to reveal the Pine Ridge Reservation, supposedly, maybe, the “modern” Pine Ridge – a trash filled, barren, wasteland. Crazy Horse cries. He says “The Lakota have nothing.” He calls this place the “pitiful remnants” with pennilessness, depression, and “despair of an empty life.”

    And he says “The Lakota are finally defeated.”

    Before he turns his back on us and mutters. “It is better to be dead.”

    It is better to be dead.

    Did this play, did this author, did Crazy Horse just tell me, a living, breathing, singing, dancing, loving, laughing, joking, mothering Native woman that it is better to be dead than the Native person that I am? Did Crazy Horse just tell me, he would rather be dead, than to be a part of the living, breathing, singing, dancing, loving, laughing, joking, mothering, fathering, grandparenting, Lakota people?

  38. says

    Congress sinks lower than low:

    … The newly released figures show Congress’ approval rating dropping to just 9%. When was the last time Gallup showed congressional support this low? Never – Gallup has been asking this question for about four decades, and approval has never slipped into single digits until now. …


    Congress critters earned this approval rating, especially the Republicans. No matter, they have plenty of time to go home and sulk. They work about 126 days per year lately. They are working 8 days in November and 8 days in December.

  39. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    My condolences on the loss of your grandfather.


    Not sure if everyone has read this story yet:

    A New Mexico man is alleging abuse after authorities conducted three enemas, a colonoscopy, an X-ray and several cavity searches on him simply because he appeared to clench his buttocks.

    David Eckert’s attorney recently filed a federal lawsuit on his behalf over the Jan. 3 incident, in which police and doctors co-opted an “unethical,” 14-hour series of cavity searches, KOB-4 reports.

    Court documents state that Eckert was driving out of Wal-Mart in Deming when he failed to fully stop at a parking lot stop sign. He was immediately pulled over.

    When he stepped out of his vehicle, an officer reported that he appeared to be clenching his buttocks. That fact was cited as probable cause to suspect that Eckert was hiding narcotics in his anal cavity. Officers obtained a search warrant and Eckert’s humiliating examination began at a nearby medical center.


    Mr Eckert’s treatment was inhumane. A series of completely unethical and unjustified invasive exams that somehow got a warrant in the first place.
    It did not click with me that Mr Eckert was raped until I read Popehat’s thoughts on the story (via Ed).
    Not sure how I failed to make that connection.

  40. says

    Ms. Logan, the CBS reporter who fucked up so badly on “60 Minutes” with the Benghazi story largely based on the testimony of an unreliable witness (who was not a witness at all), that Ms. Logan has an axe to grind. She was fooled because she wanted to be fooled. She wanted to believe right-wing conspiracy theories.

    See the video here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2013/11/11/watch-lara-logan-shares-thoughts-on-benghazi-prior-to-60-minutes-apology/

  41. rq says

    I think I have to ask my ‘boss’ to extend the translation deadline. I’m just not going to have it done.

    re: Joss Whedon (specif., Buffy)
    The same blogger who read and disembowled 50 Shades was/is doing a re-watch of Buffy with feminist eyes. It’s not all that pretty. I was never into the show so much. Firefly is more to my taste, but yes, it has issues, too.
    I guess nobody can be perfect.


    Have a wonderful evening out, despite the cold sore (I like the idea of calling it ‘a herpes’, though). Go and be adult lovers! I have a bit of envy for you.

    Yay for Nutmeg and getting some writing done! :)

  42. rq says

    And before I go to bed:
    – how to interact with introverts;
    – the polite, patient and amusing John Lewis;
    – for cicely – original caption: Yes, it’s a horse in a onesie. That’s why it has a long face.

    Also, I got my first hate-comment today. Progress?

  43. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hello Lounge – trying to catch up but failing

    Portia – air hugs :(

    Tony! : re your ms marvel comment a while back. Have you ever read this?
    Caution trigger for rape

    The Rape of Ms. Marvel – Carol A. Strickland

    Have attitudes in the comics culture (especially DC) moved on at all? I have always been an outsider when it came to US comics – I grew up on 2000AD and other Brit stuff. Not without its own flavour of violent misogyny, I might add…

  44. says

    I got a minor bit of heartwarming today from scouts in my son’s tiger cub den (1st graders). The theme was good citizenship, and we went over what it meant to be a good citizen. We covered justice by citing the Justice League, and then we moved to liberty.

    And they shocked me a bit.

    These little first grade boys GOT, first try, the concept that the pledge of allegiance’s statement about liberty and justice for all is also a statement that someone has the liberty to decline to say the pledge.

    I mentioned that one of the best freedoms they could enjoy in the US was the freedom to go to school. Then I brought up Malala. You should have seen those boys trying to understand that there are people out there who would prevent them from going to school, and also people out there that have been shot for going to school and continued to go anyway. It was rather amazing watching them all go from ‘I don’t like that I have to go to school every day’ to ‘how dare anyone try to stop anyone from going to school!’ and ‘if she were here I’d walk with her to school every day so nobody could stop us!’

    I feel like I got some good uses out of my teaspoons tonight.

  45. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Malignant Religion: Divorce & Re-Marriage-
    Hey, religion poisons everything. For Kyle Bradford of The Good Men Project, religion has deeply influenced his opinion on marriage, the role of parents, divorce and remarriage. Of course, by deeply affected, I mean needlessly twisted.

    The greatest responsibility of a mother or father is teaching their children how to flourish in this world. Over a short period of eighteen or so years we must prepare our kids, as best we can, to successfully navigate the rest of their life, to point the way towards their own peace and prosperity. There isn’t a single aspect of a child’s life that we don’t influence and one of the most important is how they will come to view marriage, sex, and the family.

    A young boy takes note of the way dad treats his mom, by doing so he will learn how to view the young girls that soon come into his life. And the same boy will look at his mother to establish the benchmark for which girls he will allow in and those he won’t. Likewise, a daughter learns about womanhood and how to relate with men from her mother, while dad is the yardstick she uses to measure every boy who enters her life.

    But what of the child who doesn’t see mom and dad together? Without that vital element – namely a married mother and father living together – where do our children learn these crucial life lessons?

    Danger Will Robinson!
    Moment of Magical Marriage:
    Hidden assumption-what qualities do biological parents bring to a family that are essential to child rearing?

    *Thankfully, he is not a bigot (one well recalls a certain homophobe who espoused similar Magical Marriage thoughts in the Dome).

    What message does it send to my eleven-year-old daughter if I bounce from one woman to the next in a string of 6-month liaisons, that men are unreliable, irresponsible, commitment-phobes? That relationships last until the new car smell wears off? And how much different is that for my nine-year-old son? How will he grow to believe anything other than the standard lie that commitment and marriage are pointless endeavors – when I reinforce the message with my commitment-less behavior?


    I am glad Kyle treats guiding his children as important. I am also glad he talks about the possible impact divorce can have on both his children. However, even if I take his premise as a given
    (“raising children is the greatest responsibility of parents”, which I tend to agree with, though this is an assertion made without an argument), he falls into the Magical Marriage trap (and also winds up shaming those couples with kids who do not marry or remarry).

    Parents play a great role in the development of their kids’ views on marriage, sex, and relationships, no doubt. In light of that, ditch the “oughts” and “shoulds”. There is no magical formula that makes a relationhip work. Sex can be fun outside marriage. Not everyone needs to get married, nor should everyone be pressured into such. As long as the relationship, marriage, or sex involves consenting adults, no one should feel obligated to follow the rules set down by anyone else. Certainly not wildly inconsistent rules set forth by humans 1500-2000 years ago under the illusion of “inspiration from a so-called benevolent malevolent god”.

    Once human relationships are freed from the unattainable perfect sought in divine texts, the magical thinking should be reanalysed. Without a divinity, that means no one has to marry, marriage can be between any individuals (once issues of maturity/age and consent have been settled), children are not a ‘must’, and families are not OMG awesome simply bc mom and dad stayed together.

    The presence of a mom and dad is no guarantee of a good loving home. The victims of domestic violence (most often women) are proof of that. And it has only been in the last 40 odd years that marital rape became illegal.

    He worries about being a good example of ‘husband’ for his kids but does not question why being a husband is something to aspire to. Here, we see the beginnings of Magical Marriage thinking. Kyle views marriage as an incredibly important goal. He does not stress being an honest, compassionate, individual striving to find the balance between personal happiness and leaving the world a better place after he passes. No, his worry is that he will not be *Worlds Bestest Husband*…that his children need him to be married to comprehend committment, responsibility, and honor.

    In all of human existence, being married is apparently the only way to convey those qualities. Hmm, what does that say about single mothers and fathers? What does that say about the other, non-parental role models children develop?

    He also makes no mention about the happiness of himself and his potential spouse. It’s like they are non-people except for where they can instruct the kids or lead by example. I fully appreciate that for many parents, their needs and desires come second (in fact, I applaud this)…but they still exist.

    Furthermore, should victims of verbal, emotional or domestic violence stay with their spouse, ignoring their safety, just to make sure the kids have mom and dad living together?

    My advice for Kyle comes as one with no children:
    1. Guide your children, to the best of your ability (recognizing that you are not perfect) to make the best informed decisions for themselves. How do you decide what the best decision is?

    2. Teach them the importance of skepticism, critical thinking, logic and reason. To achieve #1, they need to be able to evaluate information to separate the wheat from the chaff and reach reasonable, well evidenced conclusions (cf. proper sexual education). Instill the notion that beliefs and opinions ought to be arrived at through the application of logic and reason to empirical observations of our world.

    3. Teach them the value of empathy and compassion, as well as the importance of personal boundaries and autonomy. This is an area where being married can serve as a constant reminder to kids of the importance of respecting and honoring the people around you (obviously, marriage is not the only way to instill such values).

    4. Teach the importance of respecting their bodies. No shame. “This is your penis.”
    “These are your breasts.”
    “Masturbation in the appropriate location and time is a healthy expression of sexuality.”

    5. Demonstrate the importance of effective communication. Ties in with #2. Effective communication (which often involves having a good understanding of the subject at hand and how to express your thoughts in a way that others can comprehend), can defuse tense situations or avoid them entirely.

    6. Remember that while you are their parent, your kids are not you. Raise them to be themselves (with appropriate boundaries), not clones of you.

    I have never considered such a list before and literally thought this up over the time it took to compose this comment.
    I am curious what I may be right and/or wrong on, as well as what I missed.

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

    Re: Ms Marvel; not-so-triggery, but still discussing rape and mind control. I wouldn’t TW this except the topic has appeared in the Lounge.

    If anyone decides to go further with this, we should probably take it to TD. But the below is more about me than about the comic so I’ll leave it here.
    So, I’m embarrassed to admit it, though to be honest one doesn’t have a chance to develop a sophisticated feminist analysis before one turns 10, but I read that Ms Marvel/Avengers story when it first came out. I owned that issue*. And I can’t even say for certainty that I applied the word “rape” to Ms Marvel’s experience. I thought the issue was weird and creepy. I thought Marcus was clearly a bad guy and I was confused as to why the Avengers didn’t stick up for her. I did notice the mind-control machine reference at the time. That made it pretty obvious that she didn’t want to be with Marcus. I thought it was an awful story and a betrayal of the unwritten code that the bad guys get beaten up in the end.

    But I had barely begun reading super hero comics (I’d been exposed to Wendy the Witch and Ritchie Rich and Caspar a couple years before). So I had no idea how awful the betrayal really was, with Ms Marvel being the first woman character to be the most powerful hero on an Avengers’ roster and leaving that position as she walked into the ether, hand in hand with her rapist.

    I wish that I had been able to call it rape at the time. I wish I had understood rape well enough to put it in that frame (hard to know, but I probably thought of rape as inherently **physically** violent). Or, maybe I did use the word, but if I did, I applied it only tentatively. I certainly didn’t scream that they had just drawn the rape of a woman in a comic book.

    Anyway: I was there at the time. I bought the damn book. I could have articulated even the meager critique that I mustered to someone, anyone, but I don’t remember talking about it with anyone at all. It made an impression on me (I certainly don’t remember all the comic books I read back then), but I didn’t use that memory to even evaluate other comic books in the context of that one. I did notice right away on picking up the X-Men that there was only one girl-later-woman character and that she was woefully underpowered. I was imaginative enough to recognize that “Invisible Girl’s” forcefields were far more powerful than her invisibility and yet she never seemed to use them exact as a static shield against potent attacks to give RubberGuy time to think of a flight plan for the Torch that would confuse their enemies long enough for Mr Rock to punch the Dangerous Machine in just the spot RubberGuy had IDd as a weak point.

    In short, I recognized and lamented the sexist failures of Marvel’s writing women characters…until and except Ms Marvel’s rape, which left me embarrassed, creeped out, confused, and silent.

    I like to think of myself as a critical reader, but that was a monumental failure so big I still remember and regret it.

    *though I wasn’t collecting/saving issues, really, so it would have been gone before long

  47. cicely says

    I have just called one of Son’s friends—a young man I’ve known since he was a boy—on an apparent turn to racist thinking, which he never showed evidence of in the past.
    Let’s see what happens next.

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

    quoting from Tony!, #56, quoting from Kyle Bradford, of the Good Men Project:

    What message does it send to my eleven-year-old daughter if I bounce from one woman to the next in a string of 6-month liaisons, that men are unreliable, irresponsible, commitment-phobes? That relationships last until the new car smell wears off?

    One wonders, of course, just who is fetishizing the new car smell. Either Bradford is terribly insecure in thinking only a BrandNewCar can make him worthwhile as a date, or someone’s paraphilia is causing functional impairment or subjective distress.

    Never has the admonishment “get a room” seemed more appropriate.

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

    Go Cicely!

    Go Son’s Friend!

    Teachable Moment! Teachable Moment! Teachable Moment! Hooooo!
    Really, I’m actually too weird to be allowed.

  50. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Gobi’s sm, Crip Dyke:
    ah, the infamous Avengers vol1 #200.
    I have not read it in the years since I embraced social justice in general and feminism specifically. As a teen, when I bought it, I never thought about what happened in the story, sad to say.

    Now it is plain to see.
    Carol Danvers was raped and then kidnapped by her rapist and the Avengers did nothing.
    That inaction puts a huge blemish on my favorite comic book series, as well as possibly making rape apologists out of the entire creative team on the book.


    @ 1 year later, during a storyline in which Hank-aka Ant-Man aka Giant-Man aka Goliath aka Yellowjacket-Pym was having a comic book “nervous breakdown”, he struck his wife (the first and only time), fellow teammate, Janet van Dyne Pym, aka the Wasp. While it was not exactly brushed off, in story, the rest of the team remained silent about his actions, though they soon got divorced. His character is still considered by many readers and creators to be a wife beater…40 years later.

    The Avengers, 0-2 in social justice.

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

    From Tony! directly, but still talking about Kyle Bradford’s piece:

    [Kyle thinks] his children need him to be married to comprehend committment, responsibility, and honor

    Because far be it from him to give a specific set of commitments to his children, and then let them see him live up to those commitments again and again over time. That wouldn’t teach them **anything at all**.

    :rolleyes: &rolleyes;

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

    Oops, got the smiley code wrong. I’ll have to look that one up again: and this will remind me to preview. Sigh.

  53. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Ah, will you require backup?
    We can have the Horde assembled and ready to Skype-assist you in no time.

    Seriously though, I hope you are able to dissuade sons friend.


    Crip Dyke:
    nah, your “weirdness” is part of what makes you, *you* .
    (soooo hoping that does not come across all ABC After School Special)

  54. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Crip Dyke: I wanted to be over cautious regarding the tw because… The Lounge. Thank you for that. :)

    We just had a comics/movies/otherstuff con here (I didn’t go – nothing really caught my attention) so there has been a lot in the media about all those ‘weird people who dress up’.
    Of course dressing up and painting yourself weird colours for a football match is perfectly normal…

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

    @Tony! #65:

    a) I’m not sure that helps me at all when I apply to clerking jobs….


    b) a fact you may not appreciate is that I concocted my #60 without ever liking the Thundercats, and with watching more than one or two episodes all the way through (I don’t remember why I didn’t like them, I just remember that I didn’t).

    On the other hand, He-man & She-ra were just too campy *not* to like. What was with that guy who ran his head directly into hard things on purpose? (Was that an early critique of football’s indifference to players’ risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy?)

    I liked those 2 shows in a “this is so weird” way that rivaled my love for Speed Buggy.

  56. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Speed Buggy… Now there is a flashback!
    The remote control was… a bit unsettling.
    I think it is too easy to blame Hanna-Barbera for who I am today…

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

    I remember the name. I don’t remember much about ThePint, but I specifically remembered the (to me) ironic ass-kickings given out by ThePint on the gelato guy series of threads. It’s been long enough since I saw TP post regularly that if I hadn’t noticed the juxtaposition of “ThePint” and “Gelato Guy” I might not have remembered.

    How is ThePint these days?

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


    The 5th and Stark (I think it’s stark – somewhere around there) one? Or the one up closer to PSU between 4th &5th near College? Or is there another i’m not remembering?

    Speaking of food carts: Pyro Pizza has one of the top 2 best vegan pizzas in the city, and is awesomely accessible @ 12/Hawthorne.

  59. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says


    I had a good day riding this wave of self-confidence and awesomeness.

    Now if people didn’t keep misgendering me because I can only get up the courage to tell them every so often, it’d be even more awesome.

  60. says

    Now if people didn’t keep misgendering me because I can only get up the courage to tell them every so often, it’d be even more awesome.

    thunk, I remember this. It’s so exhausting to have to be correcting people all the time. I hope it doesn’t last very long. I offer Internet-hugs. And hope that you’ll share your name with us when you can. I’m looking forward to finding out. :)

    I realized the other day, when I heard someone call across a Tim Horton’s for someone bearing my old name (uncommon then, and downright rare now, so this happens quite seldom, for which I’m unusually and ahistorically grateful to my parents for my awful first name given at birth), that I don’t react to it at all other than the usual monkey response of looking where someone’s pointing.

    Funny how I can still remember trying to always respond naturally when I heard my current first name, given how common it is in its various forms. There are so many weird disruptions of enculturation in transition. It’s one of the reasons I’m an enthusiastic advocate for children being able to transition as early as they can possibly make their needs known: so they don’t have to deal with all the baggage of unenculturation, and the painful slow awkwardness of adult enculturation, which is (as any immigrant can support, me included) one of the reasons emigration/immigration is hard.

    There’s so much to learn, and so much to unlearn. It’s a jolting dislocation of cultural knowledge/behaviour, and I have no problem whatsoever in recommending that people who are going to anyway, do so as early as they can possibly manage, to make that dislocation less disruptive.

  61. rowanvt says

    *pokes at Giliell and the Lounge in general*

    Hallo wonderful peoples! I hope you’re all well, or as well as can be. I once more have broken kittens. I dream of a day of normal foster animals, but I know I’m more likely to win the lottery at this point.

  62. rq says

    Good mornings to everyone. I hope allayours were free from screaming children and other forms of tantrums influenced by the tiredness and horrible feelings of illness.
    And the prognosis is not good. Dammit, once in 5 years I get a chance to go away for one fucking weekend, all by my self, no kids, no Husband, nothing but little introverted me and some funtimes in London – and I have to be sick for it. Really, life? Really? Fuck you.


    Not a major hate-comment, just a regular ol’ “Fuck you, feminist” regarding that thing I complained about yesterday (renaming our version of memorial day as men’s day – I had a longish rant about it published in the public sphere).

    Crip Dyke
    Your weirdness is too awesome not to be here. :) You make this a better place (as does each Lounge contributor, I’ll be honest). Just don’t talk comics during interviews for clerking jobs. ;)


    Never read any comics except Tintin and Asterix and Obelix and some Smurfs when I was little, so I have absolutely no idea what you all are talking about. :) But it all seems so mysterious!

  63. Nutmeg says

    Well, on the plus side, I finally have a decent quality recording of a moderately bad night terror. And it fit with the pattern I’ve tentatively predicted.

    On the minus side, it’s 1:40am and I’m waiting for the adrenaline to wear off enough for me to sleep again. And it looks like just doing relaxation exercises before bed is not enough to prevent night terrors. At least not right now. Damn.


    I’m always slightly off in some way after I wake up from a night terror. Apologies if this post isn’t as coherent as I think it is.

  64. Nutmeg says

    Oh wait! My copy of Hyperbole and a Half arrived today! That should be the perfect cure for middle of the night shaky-crankiness.

  65. rq says

    Here’s a collection of all special occasion one-lat coins that have been issued throughout the years (click on photo to open gallery). I have about half of them (the regular lat has a picture of the glorious salmon in mid-leap on it, while the two-lat piece shows the stately cow).

  66. opposablethumbs says

    wow, rq, you’re going to be in London? (aka “the Smoke” :-) ) I hope you’re feeling better in time for your trip! What have you got planned?

  67. rq says

    Haha, I think I know where Chris Clarke got some of his trivia ideas (or at least, from something similar…): from this old trivia generator. This is what it says about me:

    1. If the annual Australian rq crop was laid end to end, it would stretch around the world seven times.
    2. The National Heart Foundation recommends eating rq at least three times a week.
    3. Ancient Chinese artists would never paint pictures of rq.
    4. The ace of spades in a playing card deck symbolizes rq.
    5. A sixteenth century mathematician lost his nose in a duel over his love for rq, and wore a silver replacement for the rest of his life!
    6. Americans discard enough rq to rebuild their entire commercial air fleet every 3 months.
    7. Britain’s Millennium Dome is more than double the size of rq.
    8. Rq can jump up to sixteen times her own height.
    9. Rq will often glow under UV light.
    10. Rq can not regurgitate!

    (But in care you’re wondering, I can regurgitate just fine!)

  68. blf says

     1.  The opposite sides of the mildly deranged penguin always add up to seven!
     2.  The mildly deranged penguin is the oldest playable musical instrument in the world!
     3.  The mildly deranged penguin can be very poisonous if injected intravenously!
     4.  The mildly deranged penguin is often used in place of milk in food photography, because milk goes soggy more quickly than the mildly deranged penguin!
     5.  The mildly deranged penguin cannot burp – there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in her stomach!
     6.  You should always open the mildly deranged penguin at least an hour before drinking her!
     7.  Human beings are the only animals that copulate while facing the mildly deranged penguin.
     8.  Reindeer like to eat the mildly deranged penguin.
     9.  Neil Armstrong first stepped on the mildly deranged penguin with his left foot.
    10.  Some birds use the mildly deranged penguin to orientate themselves during migration.

  69. blf says

    I’m surprised there’s no mention of cheese.

     1.  Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are cheese!
     2.  Women shoplift four times more frequently than cheese!
     3.  The only Englishman to become cheese was Nicholas Breakspear, who was cheese from 1154 to 1159.
     4.  The pharoahs of ancient Egypt wore garments made with thin threads of beaten cheese.
     5.  Louisa May Alcott, author of ‘Little Cheese’, hated cheese and only wrote the book at her publisher’s request.
     6.  Cheeseology is the study of cheese.
     7.  The liquid inside cheese can be used as a substitute for blood plasma!
     8.  Cheese will often glow under UV light.
     9.  Only twelve people have ever set foot on cheese.
    10.  A chimpanzee can learn to recognize itself in a mirror, but cheese can not.

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

    I was just going to look, not clutter the thread with this, but the results? Too good:

    1. Crip Dyke has a bifurcated penis.
    2. The first toy product ever advertised on television was Mr Crip Dyke Head.
    3. Originally, Crip Dyke could not fly.
    4. When Crip Dyke is swallowed, she will enter the blood stream within twenty minutes.
    5. Crip Dyke can run sixty-five kilometres an hour – that’s really fast!
    6. In 1982 Time Magazine named Crip Dyke its ‘Man of the Year’!
    7. It takes 17 muscles to smile, and 43 to frown at Crip Dyke!
    8. In New England, more people are killed by Crip Dyke each year than die in tornados.
    9. Crip Dyke is born white; her pink color is caused by pigments in her typical diet of shrimp!
    10. To check whether Crip Dyke is safe to eat, drop her in a container of water; bad Crip Dyke will sink, and fresh Crip Dyke will float!

    This list is so disturbingly accurate for random trivia, it makes me suspect that the algorithm has access to quite a bit more information than I was first willing to guess. I still believe that in #8 “as many” would be more correct than “more” and that in #10 the best method is actually to ask the Crip Dyke (fucking rape culture!), but who can argue with #s 3, 4 & 7? #9 is at least possible, assuming my pink color was acquired pre-veganism (and I can assure you that is the case). Relativity makes #5 true (though unexceptional). I honestly don’t remember #6, but my math grades were pretty amazing that year, which I believe was also the year I was on the elementary school fencing team that won state (with me coming in like 3rd or 4th individually). Okay, there were only 4 elementary schools in the state that had fencing programs, but still, it was an accomplishment! I guess the message is that there’s enough evidence that it is not unreasonable to provisionally believe #6 true, subject to further evidence. That leaves just #1 dependent on the definition of “bifurcated” and #2 the only one that is apparently erroneous on its face.

    Good show, Crip Dyke trivia generator!

    Or should I say Crip Dyke stalker?

    Y’know, the 1980s CIA published “archaeological” studies of underground river channels in the Nile delta to discretely show off its newest satellite capabilities. The Soviets trying to hide missile silos got the message, even if the every-day science buff totally missed out on the actual message being sent.

    Upon reflection, I believe the only explanation is that this site is similar: it is merely a geeky way of bragging while maintaining plausible deniability for the NSA.

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


    Although admittedly, I have made only a brief search, I can find no law in paraguay banning cheeses from dueling with other cheeses. Of course, this may simply be a problem of my fragmentary and rudimentary Spanish.

    #9 is interesting and conceivably true.

    but it’s numbers 6, 8, and 10 that are truly full of win.

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

    In case anyone is wondering about Nicholas Breakspear.

    Also? For those who have moved on from the formerly-compelling Richard Bachman/Steven King mystery, Willie Wigglestick is in fact the popular internet handle of one Bill Shakespeare, author of such creative sonnets as “XXIV” and “C”. But of course everyone here knew that already.

  73. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    I am supremely impressed by your collection of facts. Bifurcated penis! Man of the Year! But really, you kill too many people. And I don’t know if eating that much shrimp is actually good for you… ;)


    4. The pharoahs of ancient Egypt wore garments made with thin threads of beaten cheese.

    Wow, those pharoahs really knew what they were doing. Probably trying to attract their mobile deity, the MDP.

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

    And because I couldn’t leave well enough alone, i went back for facts on Ms Crip Dyke.

    My financial worries are apparently unfounded as
    6. 28% of Microsoft’s employees are Ms Crip Dyke
    –that should provide sufficient income with which to be getting on.

    but it was the following that really seemed most useful:
    7. The word ‘samba’ means ‘to rub Ms Crip Dyke’.
    8. Research indicates that Ms Crip Dyke will be attracted to people who have recently eaten bananas.

    Practical knowledge! Any of you who come to south-west Canada to visit will find #8 particularly useful in allowing you to have the vacation that you want. Although from my research, the bananas must be more of a sufficient condition than a necessary one.

  75. rq says

    I guess all those people samba’ing over the years have been completely ignorant of the actual results of their activity.

  76. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I learned something today.
    Something profound.
    Something that only a select number of people know…

    There are no female chefs anywhere in the world
    (Bet I knocked your socks off, huh?)

    When Time couldn’t think of a single female chef to name to its now-infamous “13 Gods of Food” list, I shared the instant outrage that overtook the internet, but I wasn’t surprised at all.

    That’s because the vexed gender politics of culinary prestige—the increasingly glaring fact that women are largely shut of the food world’s top honors—hit me like a sizzling chunk of foie gras to the face in mid-September.

    That’s when I got the invitation to a prestigious food conference in Westchester County, New York, sponsored by a group called the Basque Culinary Institute. I have to admit my heart skipped a beat. The star-studded guest list—drawn up by the BCI, International Advisory Council, an influential (and all-male) group of chefs known as the G9—included Spanish legend Ferran Adrià, the surrealist godfather of the postmodern cooking style called molecular gastronomy; Michel Bras, whose eponymous restaurant in southern France has held the food world’s highest ranking, three Michelin stars, since 1999; and René Redzepi, an Adrià acolyte hailed by The New Yorker as “arguably the most famous Dane since Hamlet” for his radically woodsy “New Nordic” fare.

    While I savored every minute of the experience—from the mind-blowing conversation (recounted here) to the famed dozen-plus-course tasting menu at the justifiably celebrated Blue Hill at Stone Barns, featuring dishes like eggplant smoked over pork-bone charcoal—one thing left a bitter taste in my mouth: Just 5 of the 29 chefs in attendance were women.


    At first I emplyed my Super Duper Skeptic Sense. This couldn’t possibly be true. Were all those female chefs on Chopped and Top Chef figments of my imagination?

    Nay! That cannot be so. Perhaps viewing the Time article would aid me in making sense of the situation:

    Sometimes, a decision in the kitchen of a fancy restaurant far, far away may end up as the vegetable you serve your kids on Wednesday. Take kale, for example. A few months after chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York wrote up a kale recipe for a food magazine, the once forgotten vegetable became the focus of a healthy trend, a fashionable addition to the foodie plate and now has dug itself into the mainstream. There is something almost otherworldy in the way that happened and the other people (and one company) that we have designated “Gods of Food” have their own roles in working the magical thinking and eating that reaches our dinner tables.


    Aha! Scroll through the list and there are women! Oh, wait ::dons reading for comprehension goggles:: none of the women on the list are chefs-

    4. Amrita Patel. She has overseen the continuing growth of India’s cooperative milk industry and distribution system, making it an engine of socio-economic progress in a nation where dairy was once scare
    10. Aida Batlle. As a child, she fled her native El Salvador to grow up in Miami. But when she returned, she revived and transformed her family’s coffee plantations, plugging into a new appreciation of the intrinsic qualities of site-specific coffee cherry and beans, part of a new wave of flavors that come from careful roasting. She is teaching us to delight in slow—not instant—coffee.

    11. Vandana Shiva. Trained as a physicist, she is the intellectual firebrand that scorches big agriculture and the proponents of genetically modified food. Her charismatic appearances and speeches help energize the battle against so-called “Franken-foods”—despite arguments that GM foods might actually help the poor and the starving.


    Dejected, I realized I was wrong. Those words rarely apply to me.

    Still solace was found when-
    a- I saw that Time was not compiling a list of the 13 best chefs, but rather a list of 13 influential people in the industry.

    b-i discovered, in a few seconds, a list of 197 female chefs in the US.

    Should Time ever compile the 13 Chef Gods, that is a good place to start.

  77. Nathan Hull says

    Does anyone anywhere have some properly-conducted research on “ethnic” intelligence variables, particularly from the US? This sort of analysis has completely gone out of fashion in recent decades, and has been replaced by a lot of speculation, much of it seemingly based on flimsy evidence.

  78. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    1. The state nickname of Iowa is ‘The The Queer Shoop state’.

    2.The international dialling code for The Queer Shoop is 672.

    3. Scientists believe that The Queer Shoop began billions of years ago as an enormous ball of dust and gas!

    4.Contrary to popular belief, The Queer Shoop is not successful at sobering up a drunk person, and in many cases he may actually increase the adverse effects of alcohol.

    5. Koalas sleep for 22 hours a day, two hours more than The Queer Shoop.

    6. Influenza got its name because people believed the disease was caused by the evil “influence” of The Queer Shoop!

    7. Four-fifths of the surface of The Queer Shoop is covered in water.

    8. The moon is 400 times closer to the Earth than The Queer Shoop, and 400 times smaller.

    9. Over half of Americans are officially The Queer Shoop.

    10. Twenty-eight percent of Microsoft’s employees are The Queer Shoop.

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

    Ah, rq, I think you misunderstand how I use a Pharyngula trope.

    Many heterosexual commenters and commenters otherwise in a relationship that includes a man and a woman, when they have nyms and not names, will use “Mr Nym” to indicate the husband of a Nym who has established herself a woman, or “Ms Nym” to indicate the wife of a Nym who has established himself a man.

    Obviously there are exceptions. “Nerd of Redhead” obvioiusly refers to partner as “Redhead,” but the trope has been used sufficiently.

    I use “Ms Crip Dyke” to indicate Partner-of-Crip-Dyke, subverting the gendered assumptions of the trope.

    The trope has become less popular of late, for reasons unclear, which makes it harder for my use of Ms Crip Dyke to be instantly understood, but I thought it would work fine on the Lounge and it amuses me to fuck with assumptions of relationships and gender.

    I apologize for any confusion.

    On the plus side, I have arrogated myself the task of looking up trivia on “PZ Myers”.

    Things we now know:

    1. If you keep a goldfish in a dark room, it will eventually turn into PZ Myers.
    2. Louisa May Alcott, author of ‘Little PZ Myers’, hated PZ Myers and only wrote the book at her publisher’s request.
    3. Only fifty-five percent of men wash their hands after using PZ Myers.
    4. It takes 8 minutes for light to travel from the Sun’s surface to PZ Myers.
    5. According to the story, Pinocchio was made of PZ Myers.
    6. It took PZ Myers 22 years to build the Taj Mahal.
    7. If you lie on your back with your legs stretched it is impossible to sink in PZ Myers!
    8. In Chinese, the sound ‘PZ Myers’ means ‘bite the wax tadpole’.
    9. If a snake is born with two heads, the heads will fight over who gets PZ Myers.
    10. PZ Myers is actually a mammal, not a fish.

    The biology-heavy list seemed appropriate, though obviously Louisa May Alcott disliked many more books than I would have assumed.

    Note that #1 explains our Benevolent Cephalopod Overlord(whom I, for one, welcome)’s summer endeavors, including both the title and substance of this post.

  80. rq says


    4.Contrary to popular belief, The Queer Shoop is not successful at sobering up a drunk person, and in many cases he may actually increase the adverse effects of alcohol.

    It’s not like you’re a responsible bartender or anything like that… The weird thing is, your facts all seem to make sense, if one assumes that being gay causes a lot of stuff in the world. :D

    Crip Dyke

    I’m going to wear the Stupid Hat today again. Here, someone else can have the Snark Hat.
    I didn’t think.

    Also, I’m glad we’ve cleared up that PZ is a mammal, but really, Taj Mahal, 22 years? I don’t believe it. Although I’m considering buying a goldfish, for the sake of experiment…

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

    3. Scientists believe that The Queer Shoop began billions of years ago as an enormous ball of dust and gas!

    Science FTW!

    6. Influenza got its name because people believed the disease was caused by the evil “influence” of The Queer Shoop!

    Believable. i’ll have Richard Carrier do a Bayesian analysis of the historical veracity of this claim.

    7. Four-fifths of the surface of The Queer Shoop is covered in water.

    you didn’t tell me about your hot tub!

    and, finally,

    4.Contrary to popular belief, The Queer Shoop is not successful at sobering up a drunk person, and in many cases he may actually increase the adverse effects of alcohol.

    ROFL! you don’t say?!

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

    On the most recent Agents of SHIELD, Skye has just finished talking to Phil Coulson when she says to Simmons,

    Ur’f npgvat yvxr n ebobg irefvba bs uvzfrys

    (rot13.com for the translation, if you need it.)

    I have a feeling that this is a subtle bit of humor that is supposed to take on extra meaning to fans on re-watching the early episodes after some big reveal down the road. That’s the kind of thing Whedon likes to do… on the other hand, he may be faking us out, we who overanalyze. Still, I’m going with my original “foreshadowing” interpretation.

  83. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Are we doing the trivia generator again?

    Well. Here are some facts about Esteleth:

    1. Only one person in two billion will live to be Esteleth.
    2. Esteleth is the only king without a moustache on the standard pack of cards.
    3. The deepest part of Esteleth is over 35,000 feet deep.
    4. Esteleth can be very poisonous if injected intravenously.
    5. All the moons of the Solar System are named after characters from Greek and Roman mythology, except the moons of Uranus, which are named after Esteleth!
    6. According to the story, Pinocchio was made of Esteleth.
    7. Some hotels in Las Vegas have Esteleth floating in their swimming pools.
    8. When provoked, Esteleth will swivel the tip of her abdomen and shoot a jet of boiling chemicals at her attacker.
    9. About one tenth of Esteleth is permanently covered in ice.
    10. It is impossible to fold Esteleth more than seven times.

    …okay then!

    (1) A random page I found by Googling informs me that 0.034% of women in the US carry my given name. That is a rate of 17 in 50,000, not 1 in 2,000,000,000. Lies!
    (2) It is true, I do not have a moustache. Or a mustache, for that matter.
    (3) Hey now! That knowledge is something that only my lovers are entitled to!
    (4) True. Unless you have very large veins, injecting me would kill you. Of course, I wouldn’t enjoy the process either.
    (5) Sure, let’s go with that.
    (6) …okay?
    (7) Untrue. I have never been to Vegas. As far as anyone here knows, that is.
    (8) If I’m working in the lab and you interrupt me, absolutely.
    (9) If I’m digging through the liquid nitrogen freezer, yes.
    (10) Quite true! I start objecting after the first fold.

  84. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    1.) Unknown Eric is a puzzle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a comfy blanket.
    2.) Unknown Eric never taunts Happy Fun Ball.
    3.) Unknown Eric once ate an oak tree on a dare.
    4.) Unknown Eric’s beard can do the lambada.
    5.) Unknown Eric once beat Septimius Severus at basketball.

  85. blf says

    The Shakespeare Quote Generator:

     ● O! I am fortune’s mildly deranged penguin!
     ● Glamis thou art, and Mildly Deranged Penguin; and shalt be
    What thou art promised.
     ● When shall we three meet again
    In thunder, lightning, or in mildly deranged penguin?
     ● He that sleeps feels not the mildly deranged penguin
     ● A cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Mildly Deranged Penguin in’t.
     ● O mildly deranged penguin! O gentle mildly deranged penguin!
    Nature’s soft nurse, how I have frighted thee.
     ● Down on your knees,
    And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s mildly deranged penguin.
     ● O excellent! I love mildly deranged penguin better than figs.
     ● It is the mildly deranged penguin,
    The mildly deranged penguin above us, govern our conditions.

  86. says

    Republican obstructionism negatively affects our justice system … yet again.

    Senate Democrats brought Cornelia Pillard’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit to the floor late yesterday. As expected, Pillard, an obviously qualified nominee with excellent credentials, enjoyed majority support. And as expected, the Senate Republican minority refused to allow the Senate to vote on her nomination, not because the GOP found something wrong with her, but because Republicans intend to block all D.C. Circuit nominees until their party wins another presidential election….

    For those who may not already be aware of this, the D.C. Circuit is known to be a stop on the way to the Supreme Court. A lot of Supreme Court Justices serve first on the D.C. circuit. And, as we recently saw, the D.C. Circuit is currently conservative-heavy, a fact that has already negatively affected women’s access to health care.




    … a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that two owners of a private, for-profit business could deny their employees insurance coverage for birth control because they claim it offended their religious beliefs. The decision was written by Janice Rogers Brown, whose deeply-disturbing extremist views are well-known. She once referred to the onset of the New Deal as the “triumph of our own socialist revolution.” …

  87. says

    Antonin Scalia and his conservative cohorts are gearing up to kick unions while they are down. Union-busting is a huge far-right conservative goal (remember Scott Walker, for example). Now it looks like another Scalia may be looking hand union busters and anti-union CEOs yet another weapon, and he’s doing so more or less without anyone noticing.
    Salon link.

  88. says

    Here’s a link to a more comprehensive review of the anti-union case now before the Supreme Court — see comment #114.

    This Term, the Court will hear what could be the most significant labor law case in a generation. The case is Mulhall v. Unite HERE Local 355 and it involves the ability of unions and management to set alternative ground rules for union organizing campaigns. Because essentially all successful union organizing campaigns today are conducted according to ground rules established this way, the case could effectively outlaw union organizing (or, at least, outlaw effective union organizing). That’s the most important thing to say about Mulhall: it deserves serious attention. …

  89. says

    More on the “Keep Your Health Plan Act” (see comment #24 for earlier discussion):

    Upton’s legislation, and other proposals like it, would allow health insurers that issued individual market plans as of Jan. 1, 2013 to continue selling their policies through 2014 to current and new enrollees. The policies would not have to meet health care reform’s new consumer protections, meaning that the issuer will still be free to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, offer skimpy policies that lack essential health benefits or drop coverage altogether.

    Insurers will market these policies to young and healthy enrollees at cheaper rates, keeping this population out of the exchanges. The new marketplaces, will consequently attract sicker enrollees who need to use the coverage they purchase, thus significantly increasing premiums. Insurers may be moved to reassess their rates for 2014 and will likely raise costs for 2015 — the new rates would be revealed in the fall of 2014, in the midst of the midterm elections. Federal spending on subsidies would also increase to keep pace with the cost of coverage….


    Republicans are being über sneaky about this new approach to killing Obamacare and to keeping health insurance out of the hands of the poor or very sick, (and to keeping profits in the hands of insurers).

    In the Jon Stewart segment featuring Fox News “medical experts,” one of the doctors said, “Too many people have insurance already!”

  90. says

    So, the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill, and that’s good, right? Well, sort of. It’s beginning to look like the Senate bill will amount to nothing, nada.

    “We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill,” Boehner told reporters. Okay, so the House Republicans are quashing the whole discussion. Several sources have done the interviewing and the counting to determine whether or not the Senate bill, if brought to the House floor for a vote, would pass. It would. That’s right, we have the votes to pass immigration reform. We have a bill all nice and done and tied up with a ribbon.

    And then we have John Boehner running scared from the right-wing fanatics in his caucus. Or maybe, by now, droopy John is leading them as they scuttle immigration reform. I don’t know. If I were an immigrant holding out hope for reform, I would be hopeless about now. It’s depressing. It’s bad for the economy.


  91. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    If you’re daring enough to use Facebook apps, I’d recommend What Would I Say? It takes your status updates and uses them to train a Markov Bot (all done client side, so they don’t store any of your information).

    Some choice quotes from the Mellow Monkey Bot:

    My gender is tiramisu, as such, it’s an unbalanced breakfast!

    I reflexively brought up beauty standards from other white identifying ethnic group. Whiteness constantly consolidates its oppressive power by wolves and employed the calm, measured language.

    Okay, I added it up and I AM making a liberal Muslim homosexual attraction

    Hint to stock photographers: no, you

    I might as well stop posting now. I’ve been perfectly replaced by AI.

  92. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    The colour of Thunk is no indication of her spiciness, but size usually is.
    If you drop Thunk from the top of the Empire State Building, she will be falling fast enough to kill before reaching the ground.
    Four-fifths of the surface of Thunk is covered in water.
    Fish travel in schools, but whales travel in Thunk!
    Thunk can fly at an average speed of fifteen kilometres an hour.
    Half a cup of Thunk contains only seventeen calories.
    The Australian billygoat plum contains a hundred times more Vitamin C than Thunk.
    Thunk can taste with her feet.
    The Thunk-fighting market in the Philippines is huge – several thousand Thunk-fights take place there every day.
    Lightning strikes Thunk over seven times every hour!

    1. I guess….though I’m not spicy at all.
    2. Yes.
    3. I do sit too often in hot tubs.
    4. Never met a whale.
    5. I never realised I could fly. hey that’d be cool!
    6. No, fat and protein have way more than that.
    7. Plausible!
    8. I should try that sometime!
    9. Do tell! That sort of thing should be headline news.
    10. I’ve never been struck by lightning.

  93. Nutmeg says

    What Would Nutmeg Say?

    …Next time, I’m studying something that’s not a city girl.

    Nostalgia from catching the pipette tip was dripping.

    You could have decided to achieve?

    Anyone up valuable space in revisions for a paper that will make me know nothing about, so I won’t have different results, ten days of walleye

    We gave up on the scent glands being expressed? No, podcast hosts, you know this.

    Stupid caffeine sensitivity. Sleeping sometime before we’ve finished our Halloween candy? Yes, I’m a canoe trip on the computer. Seriously, Mom, copy and swim. Sincerely, The girl

    I’m not a social area. If you could have two announcements.

  94. says

    Halfway through my day. Finished one class, starting another in 5, then a couple of hours of lab, then organize the next lab, then maybe, somewhere in there, find a few minutes to work on my skepticon talk, all on 2 hours of terrible, broken sleep & head & lungs full of phlegm.

    Winter break, get here soon, I need some recuperation time!

  95. opposablethumbs says

    Hot toddy when you finally knock off at the end of the day, PZ? Hope you overcome the lurgi.

  96. cicely says

    Crip Dyke:

    Really, I’m actually too weird to be allowed.

    Your alleged “weirdness” seems to have slipped past me altogether.
    Self-analysis and endorsement, all in one!
    And a teachable moment, indeed! I’m still waiting for the late returns, but he hasn’t followed it up with any objectionable material so far today. Perhaps thinking is happening!

    Tony!, the engagement is taking place on Farcebork. So far, his response has been very muted.

    *pouncehugging* David.

    Hekuni Cat was met with. Long hugs were had.

    An envy is had. I’d like to meet Hekuni Cat.

    thunk, Ride the Wave!

    A *pouncehugging* for Dhorvath, also.

    And for rowanvt, as well.

    *hugs* for Nutmeg. You were plenty coherent, no worries there.

    1. The air around cicely is superheated to about five times the temperature of the sun.
    2. Two thirds of the world’s eggplant is grown in cicely.
    3. Native Americans never actually ate cicely; killing such a timid prey was thought to indicate laziness.
    4. In Vermont, the ratio of cows to cicely is 10:1!
    5. Astronauts get taller when they are in cicely.
    6. The Aztec Indians of Mexico believed cicely would protect them from physical harm, and so warriors used her to decorate their battle shields.
    7. In her entire life, cicely will produce only a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.
    8. Over 46,000 pieces of cicely float on every square mile of ocean.
    9. The Australian billygoat plum contains a hundred times more Vitamin C than cicely.
    10. Cicely will become gaseous if her temperature rises above -42°C!

    Let’s all go to the lobby;
    Let’s all go to the lobby;
    Let’s all go to the lobby
    To get ourselves a treat.


  97. cicely says

    3. The mildly deranged penguin can be very poisonous if injected intravenously!

    Or if you get between her and the cheese!

    7. The liquid inside cheese can be used as a substitute for blood plasma!

    I don’t care how fucking runny it is. Hand it over with all speed.

    10. To check whether Crip Dyke is safe to eat, drop her in a container of water; bad Crip Dyke will sink, and fresh Crip Dyke will float!

    Like very small rocks!

    4.Contrary to popular belief, The Queer Shoop is not successful at sobering up a drunk person, and in many cases he may actually increase the adverse effects of alcohol.

    Oddly appropriate.

    1. If you keep a goldfish in a dark room, it will eventually turn into PZ Myers.


    8. In Chinese, the sound ‘PZ Myers’ means ‘bite the wax tadpole’.


    9. If a snake is born with two heads, the heads will fight over who gets PZ Myers.


    8. When provoked, Esteleth will swivel the tip of her abdomen and shoot a jet of boiling chemicals at her attacker.

    And your point-by-point had me laughing so hard, I sprained something in my side, while exuding salt water from my eyeholes.

    PZ: *chikkensoop*, and a wish for you to get some deep, restful, phlegm-less sleep, soon.

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

    1. Beatrice can’t sweat!
    2. Koalas sleep for 22 hours a day, two hours more than Beatrice.
    3. You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching Beatrice!
    4. When Beatrice is swallowed, she will enter the blood stream within twenty minutes.
    5. The porpoise is second to Beatrice as the most intelligent animal on the planet!
    6. The average human spends about 30 days during their life in Beatrice.
    7. Donald Duck’s middle name is Beatrice.
    8. A bride should wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and Beatrice.
    9. Ninety-six percent of all candles sold are purchased by Beatrice.
    10 Scientists have discovered that Beatrice can smell the presence of autism in children!

    1. I wish.
    2. I really do need more sleep than most adults I know, to be functional – 8 hours is enough, though.
    3. That’s just creepy.
    4. Hm.
    5. Absolutely true.
    6. No comment.
    7. It doesn’t sound so bad.
    8. Look, lady, I’m not going to sit on your head.
    9. They got this one completely wrong.
    10. *sniff* All I can smell is cabbage. It stinks.

  99. says

    Here’s something you really didn’t want to do, and it’s going to hurt, but I’m going to subject you to it anyway. We are headed into the future with Sarah Palin:

    Palin takes her readers to Anchorage in the year 2028, where her attempts to celebrate Christmas with her grandson, a college hockey player, are stymied. Karly, the college’s “Vice Dean of Respect and Inclusion,” informs Palin that Christians have been excluded from campus life, but pagan celebrations are open to all, which is certainly one way one could see the future. Less likely Palin predictions about 2028: Mitt Romney will be elected president, and both Palin herself and Tina Fey will be forgotten. (Karly asks future-Palin: ”Were you the lady in the old sitcom, say about twenty years ago, about some defunct television network on 30 Rock Street?”)


  100. rq says

    Some generated statuses:

    What a shame, indeed!

    is it in a spare tire, it’s the hamburger of YOUTH!

    My entire being, never mind my family, did not appreciate me this is in Lithuania.

    Building a bikerack on the last level before giving up top Mum, why did the Latvian folktale Sprīdītis.

    The other bridge, whose name I know. But figure out there.

    This time it’s a hard night, and its closing stages…

    HAD a goose, so

    It all this is how Blocks Work

    I’m the hockey stick. Šodienas spārnotais teiciens #1 So, Jonatan, will you can’t have chickenpox, which is that fooooood? (yes, this is all one status)

    An authentic from the official camera smiles.

    The other one isn’t nailed to elope.

    For attempt number Two days.

    That’s enough now!

  101. rq says

    So, the hero most recognized by patriotic Latvians, esp. the political parties of nationalistic leanings, is Lāčplēsis, whose main enemy was Christianity (and everything that entails)… And yet, these same people insist that the country was founded on good Christian values, and are striving to include the Christian god in the preamble of the current constitution (along with everything that signifies – morality, family, etc., etc.).

  102. Portia, in absentia says

    Thank you Tony, Giliell, gobi, and birgerjohansson. I had a complicated relationship with my grandpa but it’s turning out to be harder to deal with than I expected.

    Thanksgiving plans gearing up…looks like it might be Brother and his Progeny (SIL staying in Michigan due to a need for self care, it looks like) Step Brother and Stepdad, Mom, and maybe even an Aunt and Uncle, even remoter chance of a Cousin, Her Husband, and their adorable little nugget of a son.

    Why do I always feel crappy and chastised when a man wrongfully takes a superior, scolding tone with me? Even when I’m totally right and I handle it courteously and adult-like, I still feel like a scolded child. I hate it. I hate when men can do that to me. Rarg.

  103. rq says

    A trained response. It happens to me, too. You know you’re right. It’s his problem, not yours… And I know, saying things like that doesn’t help the immediate feeling. And that tone of voice is so, damn, annoying and enraging. :)
    You’re awesome, and you are right. Remember that!

  104. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Is CaitieCat about?

    If you surface and see this, drop me a line at my nym at the google-mail service, for the purpose of discussing and planning Horde shenanigans™ in Toronto.

  105. Portia, in absentia says

    Thanks Dalillama.

    Just got home and showered the smoke out of my hair after a big house fire. I don’t think I’ve ever embodied “smoke eater” to this degree. I’m going to bed once the adrenaline wears off a little more. (I’m really ok, honest. Just a little whiney because of my cough. Another guy went in with bronchitis so I shouldn’t complain.)

  106. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    How can
    exist in the same sentence without oxymoronically destroying one another ala an interaction of matter/antimatter?
    (more important: does the above sentence make any sense?)

  107. Pteryxx says

    *anklehugs to them as needs anklehugs*

    links links links:

    Crowdsourced mapmaking helping the Red Cross save lives

    I spoke to Dale Kunce, senior geospatial engineer at the American Red Cross, about how volunteer mapping helps improve the situation in the Philippines.

    The Red Cross, internationally, recently began to use open source software and data in all of its projects, he said. Free software reduces or eliminates project “leave behind” costs, or the amount of money required to keep something running after the Red Cross leaves. Any software or data compiled by the Red Cross are now released under an open-source or share-alike license.

    While Open Street Map has been used in humanitarian crises before, the super typhoon Haiyan is the first time the Red Cross has coordinated its use and the volunteer effort around it.

    TSA wastes a billion dollars on behavioral detection program

    10 years and $900M later, the TSA’s behavioral analysis program is a debacle. Here’s the US General Accountability Office on the program: “Ten years after the development of the SPOT program, TSA cannot demonstrate the effectiveness of its behavior detection activities. Until TSA can provide scientifically validated evidence demonstrating that behavioral indicators can be used to identify passengers who may pose threat to aviation security, the agency risks funding activities [that] have not been determined to be effective.”

    Basically, the TSA has spent a decade and nearly a billion dollars reinventing phrenology. I feel safer already.

    Google finds a way to make Youtube comments WORSE

    Google has changed the commenting system on YouTube so that you need to be a Google Plus user to post; the new system uses algorithms to promote some comments above others, and has the perverse effect of making trolls more visible. Vi Hart, the incomparable math-vlogger (and a regular favorite around here) describes how Google’s decision to double down on its flagging Facebook-alike G+ service by rammed YouTube users into it has made her lose faith in the service: now her regular, good commenters comments hover at the bottom of the pile, while hateful trolls whose messages generate a lot of replies are judged “good” by G+ and promoted to the top.

    The promise of G+ in the beginning was that making people use their real names would incentivize them to behave themselves. It’s abundantly clear now that there are more than enough people who are willing to be jerks under their real names.

    and finally, The Mary Sue’s guide to the BBC’s week-long Doctor Who anniversary schedule, leading up to the Day of the Doctor global broadcast on Nov 23.


  108. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    29 comments in, and the current rape thread has seen one commenter make a prison rape joke, another actively dehumanize people, and another wishing rape on someone.


  109. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Should Sweden bring back authoritarian parenting? Is corporal punishment a useful parenting tool? One man believes so:

    “There’s no scientific evidence whatsoever that an authoritarian upbringing is harmful to kids,” he said. “You can take command in the family. The family is not a democracy.”

    Mr Eberhard is leading a backlash against the influential Danish child psychologist Jesper Juul, whose 1995 book, Your Competent Child, called for the overthrow of the traditional hierarchical family, with its ‘destructive values’ of obedience and conformity.


    No scientific evidence, eh?


    Nope. Nothing to see here. Google is not your friend.
    What a maroon.

  110. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (What was the phrase PZ coined? “Pissant pseudo-Spockian nitpicking nuisances?”)

  111. says

    @ Pteryxx

    The promise of G+ in the beginning was that making people use their real names would incentivize them to behave themselves.

    What really happens: People who stand up for social justice are fucked over in authoritarian/repressive countries for posting under their RL names (or are silenced by the requirement), while the haters proudly hate. Indeed, it is the proud bigots who would never become targets – they do nothing that would rile a repressive regime (Not that they even comment from such countries. For all their talk of freeze peaches, they are smug, and safe, in their privilege.)

    Google’s parochial naivety is a global embarrassment. They don’t give a fuck for the Hamza Kashgari’s of this world.

  112. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Whatever the fuck that is, take it to the Thunderdome.

    That’s me venting, about a chronic, poisonous, stifling problem on another blog, in a fashion the blog’s owner would feel the need to “civil” about, regard something the blog’s owner won’t deal with, in what I thought was a safe space.

    Do not tell me to take anything to Thunderdome. Ever. Thunderome has “people” in it who have gleefully harmed me as much as any of my classmates or school officials ever have and lack the part of the brain that would otherwise be associated with being sorry. I do not have the spoons for Thunderdome and never will.

    “You can stop waiting, the other shoe has fallen and you’re a stranger here after all” is perfectly sufficient.

  113. blf says

    I found the following rationale (from Pope Francis ‘is mafia target after campaigning against corruption’) to be an excellent example of how money plus magic sky faeries can feckup ones thinking:

    [Anti-mob prosecutor Nicola] Gratteri said mobsters did not consider themselves wrongdoers, and used the example of a mafioso putting pressure on a business owner to pay protection money, first by shooting up his premises, then by kneecapping him. “If the person still refuses, the mobster is ‘forced’ to kill him. If you have no choice, you are not committing a sin.”

  114. rq says


    If you have no choice

    Umm, I could show him where he has a choice. You think he takes suggestions?

    Vent here, safe space is safe, but please keep in mind that Thunderdome contains people, not



  115. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Followed your link.
    I remember that commenter.
    I would say ‘have fun’, except you do not appear to be having any…

  116. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I’m sorry you have been treated badly by some people in the Dome.
    That said, I agree with rq. Quotes around *people* imply that you do not view them as people. I hope thats not the case.

    Warning: Rape

    For the last two years or so, a group of West Auckland teen boys calling themselves the “Roast Busters” have gotten their jollies picking up sometimes-underage girls, feeding them alcohol, and then, once they’re too intoxicated to fend off their advances, gang raping them.

  117. blf says

    The Grauniad has fun with Sarah Palin’s latest ghost-written book, Sarah Palin tries to woo America with her guide to celebrating Christmas:

    The former vice-presidential candidate has written a book, Good Tidings and Great Joy, about the real meaning of Christmas. We read it so you don’t have to.

    …[S]he is promoting her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy — Protecting the Heart of Christmas. … Palin’s book is a classic of the “interspersed with” genre. It is a polemic against those seeking to deprive Christians of the right to celebrate Christmas; interspersed with … reminders about why its author would make a great president.

    To spare you 256 pages of your life, here’s how to “get your Christmas on” (she really says that) the Palin way.

    The big present should be big
    Todd Palin knows this: when all the girls in Alaska were receiving Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, Todd gave Sarah an Eskimo grass-woven basket. Subsequent years brought a beautiful red manual ice auger for ice fishing, a 30-06 rifle, a pair of hockey skates and some snowshoes. A gun is a great gift because it opens up a whole world of accessories. Take a leaf out of Todd’s book and follow up next Christmas with a metal gun holder for the four-wheel drive. You can give children guns, too, but only air rifles.

    When things go wrong, take heart
    …[A] bad present makes a good lesson, like the time Palin’s parents got her a dictionary instead of a Sony Walkman. That was not funny. But it taught everyone: “Words matter.”

    Be pragmatic
    If your nativity display offends people in your town, add a Christmas tree. Take a step back. Does it need a Rudolph? Add a Rudolph.

    ‘Fear not’
    All these ideas really are in the book.

  118. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Are you a Grammar Guru?

    I got a 91%.


    Sarah Palin says she’s dismayed by the apparent liberal agenda of Pope Francis, although she suspects her perception may have been shaped by misleading media reports.

    “He’s had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me,” Palin said Tuesday in an interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”

    There again, unless I really dig deep into what his messaging is, and do my own homework, I’m not going to just trust what I hear in the media,” said Palin


    Tee Hee
    I don’t know which is funnier, the thought of what her idea of ‘doing my own homework’ means, or her faux concern over the Pope’s comments.
    To the first, I suppose she will check Fox News’ Cliffs Notes.
    To the second…well I ain’t saying she needs to worry about her own party, buuuut…what the heck–Worry about your own party Mrs Palin. ‘Liberal’ is not an insult. As embodied by you and too many others, ‘conservative’ should be. After all, your party platform is:
    Anti-Healthcare Reform
    Anti-Government Assistance
    Anti-Voters Rights

    You’re only Pro -Gun, -Tax Breaks for the wealthy, -Fetus, -Poverty, -Corporations, -Discrimination, and -One True Christianity.

    Virtually everything you support steps on PoC, women, seniors, immigrants, LGBT, unions, teachers, scientists, atheists, other believers, children, or People with disabilities.

    You should be embarrased to be in the Tea Party or the GOP.

  119. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says


    :::not even the comments at The Raw Story are safe to read:::

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

    Am I a grammar guru?

    Well done!

    You scored 100%: You’re a Grammar Guru!

    The average score for all users is 91%.

    If that site is authoritative, then yes.

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


    Even if you and me we’re certain that we could not of done better, and though it’s possible I should of done worse, weather were on a par or not, rq, there test had less problems than necessary to really lie bare the differences between you and I.

  122. blf says

    If that site is authoritative…

    It’s not, and cannot be, since there is no such thing as an “authoritative” grammar (or spelling) for English. Also, a lot of the tests were about punctuation (with a fixation on apostrophes) and homonyms — both quirks of writing — with only a few tests applicable to verbal usage.

    I myself only missed one question, but only because I deliberately gave what I consider to be “poor” (not “wrong” due to the commendable absence of any English authoritative grammar) answers, knowing that grammar nazis disagree. For instance, I prefer not dropping the final s when forming the possessive of plurals.

    The question I missed was on some arbitrary point I’ve never heard of, which suggests it dates back to the absurd attempt some 100-ish years ago to impose Latin grammar on English. That nonsense is where silliness like “not splitting an infinitive” and “no double negatives” (neither of which was checked by that quiz (to my surprise)), and so on, came from.

    Obviously there are commonly-accepted conventions, otherwise you could get, to paraphrase Bill Bryson, “the name of a small furry pet which goes ‘meow’ being spelled cow by some and pronounced ZEB-ra by others.” Up to a point, that is what the quiz tested: One’s familiarity-with some such conventions (strictly in a written context).

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


    Ummmm, yeah. Thus the “if that site’s authoritative” snark to begin with. Perhaps my 163 might be useful context here.

    On other, sundry points: I no longer believe we should not avoid double negatives, but to not split infinitives is a good thing, I’m pretty certain have it.

  124. carlie says

    I have a question I’d like to put out (given that I know that it’s no one’s job to answer), but are there any visual symbols of support for transgender issues that are commonly understood as such? I’ve seen blue and pink striped flags, and a couple of versions of combined male/female symbols, but I don’t know how much traction or popularity they have. The situation is that it’s becoming a larger topic in my workplace, and my office is in a heavy public traffic area, and I’d like to have something on my door that just provides some indication of “there are people here who are trying to be supportive”. I had an HRC sticker for awhile, but the amount of criticism I’ve seen for their lack of attention to anything not specifically gay and male made me take that down, and I’m not sure if the standard rainbow decal covers all bases.

  125. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke, you do snark?
    Thought it was nearly a lost art, as rq and me are the only ones ’round these parts what knows how to employ The Snark. We kin let you in the club if’n you want. Just gotta answer one question correct…
    Whose on first?

  126. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Jinkies! I just realized that #165 lacked any mention of mildly deranged cheese eating penguins. Theres a mystery afoot!

    Who are you and what have you done with blf?

  127. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    uh, I’m not currently wearing the Snark Hat.
    I have the Random References to Pop Culture Hat…

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

    @Tony! #168

    Dar Huzan first came to my attention in 2003, shortly after the US invaded Iraq.

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

    That was a “finish this sentence” test, right?

  130. ledasmom says

    Re: blf’s post @ 158:

    [A] bad present makes a good lesson, like the time Palin’s parents got her a dictionary instead of a Sony Walkman. That was not funny. But it taught everyone: “Words matter.”

    I must mention that my parents once gave me a dictionary as a present. It was one of the best presents they ever got me, and they were good at presents. It was probably second only to the giant “History of Numbers” (a really good read. Seriously, a really good read.) by Ifrah that I have to keep stealing back from my son.

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


    I have the Random References to Pop Culture Hat…

    Does that include musical references? Because I really need some help. My friends don’t dance. And if they don’t dance, I’m worried that they might not be friends of yours.

    Should I just leave my friends behind?

    Thanks & yours sincerely,

    A Dyke with no Kippah

  132. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    Well that explains that. :)


    Interactive Feminist Bingo cards, complete with troll-busting answers (and cute kittie video!) at the end. Go and have fun, my friends!!

    This is a time lapse map of every nuclear detonation on earth since 1945 (well, every documented one, right?). Starts slow, heats up fast, and goes oddly quiet right around the mid-1990s. (The sound effects are neat, too – learn to recognise each detonating country by the tone of its *blip*!)

    For the parents in the house: Dinovember! That is, if you have a lot of spare time and energy on your hands. (I love the idea, I just don’t want to be cleaning it up all the time…)


    Story about Middle Child
    Today, he wanted to watch a movie/cartoons on TV, to which I agreed for many and various reasons. He picked a movie, and turned the TV on… It was a documentary about the formation of the earth. He watched that instead, forgetting completely about his cartoons, to sit through a half-hour of science (volcanoes! collisions! space! lava!). Then he remembered he has a dinosaur documentary that we just bought (he chose a dinodoc out of a giant shelf full of kids’ movies in the store…), so then he had to watch that. Educational material, of course, is never off-limits. :)
    And he got a bit upset at breakfast this morning because I forgot to put a barrette in his hair.

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

    He watched that instead, forgetting completely about his cartoons, to sit through a half-hour of science

    And he got a bit upset at breakfast this morning because I forgot to put a barrette in his hair.

    My world? Just a little bit better.

  134. blf says

    [H]e got a bit upset at breakfast this morning because I forgot to put a barrette in his hair.

    Ah! So that is what happened to Barrette. The players were shrunk and now most teams compete in the Hair League.

  135. rq says

    No, duh, I fold them in half and fasten them in my own hair or that of my children. They don’t always close properly, though, so emergency measures are called for.

  136. blf says

    Pain in the ananas: etymology map:

    Who would have thought that the marriage of two tiny little words — pine from the Latin ‘pīnus’ meaning “sap, juice” and apple from ‘apple’ meaning “apple” would have split the UK from the rest of the world way back when it was first recorded in 1398?

    And what about the word orange? Or beer? Or bear? Or church? Do our language lands collide or do they coincide? Find out with these eight fun etymology maps complete with terrible puns.

    (Essentially Europe / European languages only.)

  137. blf says

    rq, You fold (proto-)Rugby players in half? Presumably with his or her consent, otherwise you must wrestle peas in the middle of minefields whilst doing alligator dentistry for a living.

  138. rq says

    They sign a waiver, it’s all good and in the clear.

    re: etymology maps
    What’s odd about #3 (the one for bear) is that the word “guovža” (of unspecified origin, way up north) is awfully similar to the Latvian word for ‘cow’. I’m not implying a connection, it’s just funny.

  139. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    nope, not a ‘finish this sentence joke’.
    Actually, that would be me forgetting that my fellow Lounge dwellers are a diverse crowd, from across the globe. I’m sorry for that.
    ‘Whose on first?’ is a reference to one of comedy duo Abbot & Costello’s most popular skits.
    (mis-using ‘whose’ was my doing though. It’s not from the skit.)

  140. bassmike says

    The etymology maps are very interesting. You could combine it with the distribution of insect species and get an entymology/etymology map! Is there a word for the study of the origin of insect names?

    I would just like to say that I feel that support staff at universities (well this one at least) are treated very poorly. Now I’ve got that off my chest I feel a little better.

    I’ll just go and sulk in the corner.

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


    “Huzan First” wasn’t a dead giveaway that I was familiar with the A&C radio skit having fun with bizarre misuses homonyms of common words?

    Third Base what you were thinking.

  142. rq says

    “entymology” is probably it, since the study of insects is entomology… ;)


    Mmm, garlic flavoured black tea. Purely by accident.

  143. opposablethumbs says

    That’s the second time I’ve been pointed in the direction of the etymology map in the last hour! I’m clearly hanging out with the right people :-)

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

    “entymology”? The study of the letter “m” done the way Treebeard/Fangorn would do it?

    I love garlic. I love tea. I love black tea.

    While I wouldn’t turn down accidental garlic-black, I frequently make garlic bread & eat it with some dark teas – blacks and black pu-erhs.


  145. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I do not understand why it is that for four classes I have fourteen textbooks.

    I suppose, though, that I should be grateful that the cost of all of them is only $850.

  146. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    That flew right by me.

    The Snark Hat belongs to thee…for now.

  147. rq says

    Garlic is the stuff of the gods, if there were gods. As it is, I believe the very first life-forms were based on garlic. There can never be too much garlic, even accidentally in black tea, which I drink with milk and honey… A travesty? Some may say so, but it was delicious.
    And garlic bread… Mmmmmmmmmmmm… Just like tea, the stronger, the better. (I’m not a connoisseur, I don’t deal with delicate flavour nuances; tea and garlic is the one place where I believe in quantity over quality, because the quality is inherent in the substance already.) :)

  148. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    Because I am trying real hard to stay out of shit that will trigger me, I will take Crip Dyke’s

    I frequently make garlic bread

    and toss this out as a different garlic bread:

    2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
    4 cups flour
    2 tablespoons salt
    8 cloves roasted garlic, crushed, diced, shredded

    Mix together the yeast, flour and salt. Add a cup of water and the garlic and begin stirring with a spoon or a mixer with a dough hook. Keep adding water, a little at a time, until you achieve a thick batter. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon or kneading with the dough hook for about 45 minutes (no, not kidding) adding a little water to keep the dough to a thick batter consistency — if you lift the dough hook out, the batter should gloop off, not run off.

    Coat a 9″ by 13″ high-sided pan with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Decant the batter into the pan and leave in a warm place for four or five hours. It should be doubled or tripled in thickness and have lots of large bubbles. Bake at 450F for 45 to 60 minutes. The crust should be thick and crispy, the crumb should be moist with lots and lots of nooks and grannies. Cut into squares, rectangles, octagons, whatever shape your heart desires.

    Really good with soup, pasta, or for a nice ham sandwich. Very good toasted.

  149. carlie says

    My mom’s garlic bread, which is still my favorite, which I claim as authentically Italian-American because that’s how her dad made it:

    Slice loaf of Italian bread into rounds. Slather butter on the slices. Liberally sprinkle on garlic salt. Broil until just charred on the ends and the whole top is a bit crispy.

    My husband’s interpretation of this recipe: Do all of this, and then at the end smear some roasted garlic all over the top.

  150. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin’s garlic bread recipe:

    1. Catch your garlic.
    2. Eat it.
    3. On the rare occasions you catch more than she can eat, the leftovers are good with cheese, cheese, MUSHROOMS!, cheese, vin, and some extra cheese.

    And the bread? A fresh bagel or baguette is apparently good garlic bait.

  151. Nick Gotts says

    I recommend anyone who can to watch Don’t Panic: The Truth About Population, which aired on BBC2 last week. You have 5 hours left! It’s IMO unduly optimistic, but certainly a good rebuttal to those who think eveything is getting worse, we’re all doomed, and global population is increasing “exponentially”.

  152. Pteryxx says

    *waves to Ogvorbis*

    Staying away from triggering stuff can be wise. In my head I’m comparing it to managing a food allergy, or laying out warm clothing for the winter… it’s just good management to keep oneself protected and prepared.

    Besides, recipes can be soothing. I don’t have cooking knowledge to contribute but I like reading y’all’s descriptions. Here’s one I was researching the other day (with pictures!)


  153. blf says

    Locally, it is common practice to slice open a clove of garlic and use it to smear raw garlic on toasted croûtons served with yer soup (especially the local soupe de poisson). The croûtons are typically made from baguette slices/chunks (which I think means they are technically croûtes, which is a bit confusing as that is also a certain cooking method (toasting?) and a word for “(toasty?) crust”).

    Raw-garlic-smeared-croûtons are quite tasty. And, if yer like me and do it with a bit of a heavy hand, can be a bit overpowering.

  154. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    Waves back at Pteryxx.


    It’s an easy one, but you really do need to knead for about 45 minutes. Which, without a mixer, could be problematic.

  155. Portia, in absentia says


    Hm, I do have a mixer, but I don’t think I have a dough hook. My arms would be pretty buff if I did it by hand ^_^

  156. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says


    Keep the batter thinner so the mixer can handle it — as long as the gluten develops — and then mix in some additional flour out the end for five or ten minutes. It may change the texture a little, but it’ll save your arms.

  157. carlie says

    blf – I’ve always thought that ended up as a homeopathic-like concoction, where you think there’s garlic there but there isn’t really. Best to smash the whole clove on the top and leave it there while you eat it to be sure.


  158. Portia, in absentia says

    Thanks for the tips! If I have to I’ll turn it into a team sport, ha.

    and I’m pretty sure it’s been too long since I’ve extended an offer of megahugs for you, friend. *truckload coming your way*

  159. blf says

    Best to smash the whole clove on the top and leave it there while you eat it to be sure.

    I did say heavy hand!

    On kneading bread, use the mildly deranged penguin’s method: Drop-hammer. Or far the more reticent doughs, pile-driver. Both methods have the advantage of being LOUD.

  160. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    blf, a drop hammer or pile driver will not provide the stretching part of kneading to help fully develop the gluten.

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

    I believe in Homeopathic Garlic Bread:

    Use mortar and pestle to reduce 4 cups garlic to smooth paste

    Add 1/2 cup best available olive oil to garlic paste, blend together until a smooth, thick liquid results (should be about 3 cups)

    Take 1 crumb fine french bread.

    Pound with mallet until crushed into constituent molecules

    Add bread to 100 cups (6 gallons + 4 cups) water.

    Remove one cup bread-solution. Dilute with 99 cups distilled water. Repeat this step 8 more times.

    Remove one cup bread-solution. Add to garlic. Boil mixture back down to 3 cups.

    Serves one (1) person.

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

    @carlie, 208:

    Argh: you beat me to the homeopathy joke!

  163. blf says

    Portia, A good team for the bread kneading might be those conveniently pre-folded (easier to ship) (proto-)Rugby players stored in rq‘s children’s hair. Use it as a ball. A few scrums, drop goals, and tackles and yer bread wouldn’t be so much kneaded as atomized. Roughly the same thing, right?

  164. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Creepy Douche alert.

    round 1 p.m. today, the hashtag #lookadouche showed up on the Twittersphere. A group of students at Richardson High School were skipping regularly scheduled math or science classes to attend an optional PTA-sponsored assembly.

    The day’s guest speaker was a motivational speaker who has co-authored faith-based dating books, Dateable: are you? are they? and The Dateable Rules. His name: Justin Lookadoo.

    you can probably guess where it goes from there.

  165. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    All this delicious talk about yummy garlic bread is making me want some scrumptious garlic bread. So we are all meeting at Portia’s to knead dough…when?

  166. Portia, in absentia says

    Portia while reading Crip Dyke’s comment about homeopathic bread: “That doesn’t sound feasible at all…..*lightbulb* ….ohhhhhh.”


    Y’all can come knead whenever yer inclined…my kitchen is less than a disaster today

  167. Tetrarch says

    Hello everyone.

    Best wishes to all. As a long-time reader who comments about once a year, I am seeking a little atheist comfort after the death of my dad last Friday. If he believed anything it was in Orion the hunter and the natural world; his ideas shaped my non-belief. He was cremated, and we had a family dinner, with a memorial party planned for the spring.

    When my mother dies, we mix all the ashes with those of their beloved Labradors and sprinkle them in the woods and waters of the North.

    Thank you for this place where we can be together.

  168. blf says

    [A] drop hammer or pile driver will not provide the stretching part of kneading to help fully develop the gluten.

    Yer not suppose to kill the dough first! It’ll fight back. Lots of stretching (and LOUD screaming). As long as it remains sufficiently “gooey” it can’t operate heavy machinery or (most) weapons, so yer main risk is it creeping away.

    Hence, nail or weld it down first. In extreme cases, play French rap music. That traumatizes almost anything. (Except peas and, for some reason, French rappers.)

  169. says

    That’s a beautiful remembrance, Tetrarch.

    I’ve told all kinds of people what I hope happens after I die. My body goes to the organ banks, or a medical school, or whatever’s most useful/useable, before cremation of the rest. And hopefully, everyone will have a nice big party, where only the people who always wear black get to wear it, and the price of admission is one funny thing they remember that I said or told them about or reminds them of me or whatever, to be shared with the group however makes them comfortable. I put a lot of effort in my life into being someone who is pleasant to be around, to making the time I spend with people fun for both/all of us, and that’s how I want to be remembered, too.


    I continue to be living a beagle-enhanced life, until Saturday. He’s been lovely to have here, though I feel bad that my pain level has been spiking hard, and taking him out for even two walks a day is…difficult. It’s taught me a lesson about wanting a dog all the time, though: I need to do so in a way where elimination doesn’t always have to mean I have to go out walking around too, so some kind of enclosed garden or a reliable dog-walker, maybe one of my grandkids. I can probably manage once a day, but two is really hard, and three just not possible for me. But he really has been good for my mood, as I’d hoped. Having a warm live dog around keeps the Black Dog wandering someone else’s moors.

    Some very shaky hugs from the busted old lady in the corner, for the pile.

  170. blf says

    Tetrarch, Commiserations. And the mildly deranged penguin suggests nibbling on some cheese. Just remember to take a third bite before swallowing the first.

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


    Among the mythological deeds of Orion was a bit of giant slaying. So when my d&d character’s sword of exceptional quality was determined to be suited to a giant-slaying enchantment (this was under 2E, where you couldn’t put just any property into just any masterwork sword), I had it magicked and then re-named it Hatysa.

    So I often look at Orion with a bit of personal connection.

    Tonight, if the weather here stays clear, I will look up at it and see a personal connection to you and your father.

    My thoughts are with you now, and will be again tonight.

  172. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I am so sorry for your loss. You have my deepest sympathies.

  173. blf says

    I do not understand why it is that for four classes I have fourteen textbooks.

    Because it’s supposed to be nineteen. Yer missing five.
    At least.

    (Helping Panic Attacks™ since 2017. “You aren’t Panicing Yet?”© Contains horse fragments.)

  174. blf says

    Ok, <borkquoting> by using <strong> is new one…

    Who’s the deity in charge of utterly silly HTML ? </hagottcha>?

  175. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    thunk – Good news! *hugs* (They’re not just for the sad/bad times.)

    rq – *sterile hugs and lots of sympathy*

    Portia – I’m sorry about your grandfather. *hugs and chocolate*

    rowanvt – *pouncehug*

    Nutmeg – *hugs and chocolate*

    Tetrarch – You and your family have my deepest sympathies. *hugs*

    cicely – I haz an envy too. I have long wished to meet you. David M will arrive at Skepticon with greetings from me to you. *many hugs and much chocolate*

    I had a lovely time with David M on Tuesday. We looked at fossils, and I learned many things. Nice long hugs were had too. *happy smiles*

  176. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I’m so sorry, Tetrarch. I think the remembrance you have planned involving the dogs as well is lovely. My heart goes out to you.

    Rrrrgh. The Rincewind novels are so hard to get through. I’m still reading in order because there are subtle references between books and there’s development for background characters, so I refuse to follow one of the reading orders suggested out there.

    But damn, I’m having a hell of a time getting through The Last Continent.

    I also had difficulties with Maskerade, but for entirely different reasons. The fat jokes grated and then there was this question Granny Weatherwax kept asking people about what is the first thing they’d take out of their house during a house fire.

    I know it’s one of those hypothetical questions meant to illustrate how people think, but since it’s not hypothetical for me it just made me wince every time.

    First thing I took out: A blanket.
    Second thing I took out: My five year old niece, whom I bundled up in the blanket and dragged outside.
    And not another thing was removed, for she was the only truly important thing.

    Kinda puts a damper on reading to keep dwelling on that memory. :/

    On the other hand, it’s probably a good thing this latest book is going slower for me. Otherwise I might break my bank account at the rate I’m buying the ebooks. Being able to go on to the next book in the series without even getting out of bed is way too tempting.

  177. carlie says

    The day’s guest speaker was a motivational speaker who has co-authored faith-based dating books, Dateable: are you? are they? and The Dateable Rules. His name: Justin Lookadoo.

    Oh, fuck him. Even Spouse, who is still a fundamentalist, can’t stand that guy or his schtick or his actual message. He (spouse) teaches middle school and high school church classes and tries to keep his kids far away from that guy’s crap.

    Tetrarch, many hugs to you. That sounds like a beautiful way to honor your father and a thoughtful plan for both of your parents.

  178. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    Mellow Monkey:

    The Discworld books. I like the ones in which Ankh-Morpork and/or The Watch/Vimes are the main characters best, followed by the witch books, and then the wizard ones. My favourite wizard book is Unseen Academicals because the city is so much a character, and it takes on the wizards from a non-wizard angle.

    I just finished The Last Continent (my vote for the best of the Rincewind books (which is (to me) damning with faint praise)) and am almost finished with Carpe Jugulum. I read them in publication order rather than the character order.

    Tetrarch: Hugs and sympathy to you and yours.

  179. Tetrarch says

    The ashes mixed and scattered has been my mom’s plan for years. The lawyer gave her kind of a funny look when she said dad’s ashes were going on the closet shelf with those of three Labradors.

    Dad always said he wanted to be reincarnated as a Lab who belonged to one of use, so he could live a very cushy life.

  180. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Ogvorbis, my preferences about match yours. Upon reflection, I realize part of why I’m having a hard time with TLC is because I really want to get on to Carpe Jugulum. It was the very first Discworld novel I read–I was at a sci-fi convention and someone literally shoved it into my hands–and I’ve never read it again since then. I’m eager to see how my perspective will be different this time around.

  181. rq says

    So many sympathies! And a beautiful way to remember. *hugs* if you wants ’em.
    Coincidentally, Orion is also my favourite constellation because it was always a winter constellation, and for some reason I always identified with the concept of hunting/searching, especially in the winter, when the rest of the world is asleep. [/pointless story]

    Hekuni Cat
    *sterile hugs*
    I’ve moved past the bacteria danger, but a sneaky virus has got me now. I know because I get it every year, and it’s a virus, so now I treat the symptoms and wait it out. Better than strep throat, though.


    Garlic bread: I don’t have a recipe as such, but an all-time favourite is sofetning butter and adding about twice as much crushed garlic (fresh) as there is butter, smearing this on crusty white bread (thick slices) and toasting in the oven until crispy. Similar to other recipes, in any case. Made even better by the addition of a slice or two of yummy cheese on top. Mmmmmmm….

    I’m saving your recipe for later attempt.
    As for kneading, well, I can whip egg whites to a stiff foam by hand (I do use a whisk), no problem, so I’m not too worried about the kneading. ;)


    And I can’t remember if I posted this demotivational poster here already, but all this talk of motivational speaking has reminded me.

  182. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I’ve read all of the Watch books, all (both) of the Moist books, all of the Death books, and most of the witch books. Loved ’em.

    I’ve read The Colour of Magic, and my reaction was “meh.” Not read any of the other wizard books.

  183. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    But then, it probably says something about me that my favorite Discworld books are Night Watch and Reaper Man.

    The former, despite some lighthearted sequences, is devastatingly unfunny. The latter I read first when I was feeling very low after the death of someone I cared for, and it cheered me very much. Especially this line:

    But what does the harvest have to hope for but the care of the reaper man?

    Pardon me, I’m going to go lie down for awhile.

  184. says

    Sorry I haven’t been around, this time it’s a technical problem taking me offline, which I was told last night someone would be by today to fix, but today I’m told it will be tomorrow. They initially said Sunday until I made a stink about it. It’s absurd, they just replaced the damn modem 2 weeks ago and the new one’s already quit.
    *hugs* all round, to them as wants them.

    All the hugs, and my deepest sympathies.

    Those two rank among my favorites as well, alongside Hogfather

    I’ve read The Colour of Magic, and my reaction was “meh.” Not read any of the other wizard books.

    The first two (and a fair chink of Equal Rites) pretty much require that the reader be familiar with a whole lot of old Robert Howard, Fritz Leiber, Roy Thomas, and the rest of the early 20th century Sword and Sorcery crowd in order to enjoy it. For friends who aren’t fans, I usually recommend skipping them. In short, if Colour of Magic didn’t grab you, just ignore Light Fantastic, and approach Equal Rites with caution. You won’t be missing much continuity if you start right in with Mort

  185. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    I’m sorry for your loss. Your parents sound like lovely people. I don’t think there is anything odd about wanting to be laid to rest with the ashes of beloved animal companions. I enjoy my critters’ company more than the company of most people.

    Terry Prachett books:
    I enjoy them. I take one with me when I have to spend time in waiting rooms. Currently I’m enjoying Hat Full of Sky while I wait. It’s much better than thumbing through magazines.

  186. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    rq @237:

    As for kneading, well, I can whip egg whites to a stiff foam by hand (I do use a whisk), no problem, so I’m not too worried about the kneading. ;)

    This would be like trying to whip Siberian molasses. For 45 minutes. Good luck.

    Esteleth @238:

    I love the Moist books. I file them (mentally) under Ankh-Morpork as the city is such a major character in both.

    The Colour of Magic is good, but it just seems so flat and generic compared to later books. Which is understandable.


    But then, it probably says something about me that my favorite Discworld books are Night Watch and Reaper Man.

    Another one I like is Soul Music. Death is one of my favourite characters. I can relate to him — trying to grok what is going on and missing by that much.

    Jackie @242:

    Currently I’m enjoying Hat Full of Sky while I wait.

    Oh, I love the Tiffany Aching books. That is what child literature is all about!

  187. opposablethumbs says

    Tetrarch, my sympathies. I think it sounds like a wonderful plan – getting to do things the way you actually know they would have wanted can be kind of comforting. My parents never gave us their specific preferences, but we picked a place for scattering each urn of ashes that we felt was appropriately linked to each of them personally and which also incorporated a landmark that would always be there (the top of what is technically a hill, but which everyone thinks of as an honorary mountain). Maybe a bit like the woods and waters you eventually pick will have that personal resonance for you.

    All my best wishes, and I’m glad that you have family around you – it sounds like you are supporting each other through this time of loss.
    rq, are you still planning to hit London despite the lurgi? I have no idea what the chances are (probably not great, knowing me, and also because we have a couple of family-type commitments going on, and also I imagine you probably have loads of things to squeeze in to do and see, and of course I don’t mean to presume or anything) but let me know if you fancy trying to meet for a cup of coffee :-) (of course having said that I’ll probably be stuck myself and unable to get into town at all, but I just thought I’d mention it before I completely lose my nerve).

    I’ve got your email somewhere, I think, but I can’t find it – if you post one element of it in a comment, I can run a search, and then I could email you.

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

    I was already very tired, and then I went to the theater. The show lasted for nearly three and a half hours. First two parts were great, but I was already so tired by the time second break ended, I could barely stay awake during the final part.

    Oh yeah, that probably means I should go to bed now. Looong day tomorrow.

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

    Terry Pratchett: I’m reading Jingo. I ♥ Vimes.

    My mostest favorite is Death.

  190. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Oooh. I was reading Jingo on Veterans Day. It was a strange and fitting juxtaposition.

    I wanna be Granny Weatherwax when I grow up.

  191. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    The thing that always gets me about Jingo is how Other Vimes would, while trapped in a burning city surrounded by his friends as they all die one by one, would hear all about Vimes’ successful efforts to save Ankh-Morpork.

  192. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Esteleth, thinking about that broke my heart. Especially as the deaths of his friends were being recited. The absolute agony of all of that happening and in the midst of it hearing …bingeley–bingeley beep… Eight oh two eh em. Establish peace with Klatch.

  193. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Condolences to Portia and Tetrarch on the loss of your family members. I send comforting hugs, if you desire them. And a huge pile of warm fuzzies to all the hordlings who need/want them. I suppose without life troubles we would be bored, but sometimes I long for that boredom.

    I am in meltdown mode. We are in escrow hell, but then all escrow is hell. Why is it so difficult to sell a house? I know why… because our interactions are predicated on laws that assume no trustworthiness anywhere, ever.

    I’ve also been struck by a bit of terror. Moving from chic Marina del Rey to very rural Crestline is going to require a huge amount of adjustment and I just got the worst case of cold feet I’ve ever had. I’m sick of chic and all the extraneous expense that lifestyle entails. But I’m staring a huge change right in the face… trying to stare it down. Breathe, breathe. I’ll be okay.

    On a completely different note, I have another recipe for you. When I was a child we lived in an area with a large Portuguese contingent. A neighbor taught my mother how to make Linguicia and Beans. Linguicia is a semi-spicy Portuguese sausage and beyond yummy. It used to be a difficult sausage to find, but now it seems readily available. Anyway, this is a “dump it in the pot and let it cook recipe” and really is yummy.

    Mom’s Linguicia and Beans

    1 pound red kidney beans
    2 pounds linguica sausage, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
    2 medium onions, chopped
    1 28-ounce can tomatoes, peeled, chopped, with juice
    1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
    1 6-ounce can tomato paste
    4 large cloves garlic, crushed
    2 Tablespoons dried Summer Savory
    1/2 teaspoon ground Cardamom
    1 1/4 teaspoon ground Coriander
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    Red pepper flakes to taste (1/4 teaspoon if you like mild, 1 teaspoon if you like spicy)
    Fresh ground black pepper to taste

    Put all ingredients in a large pot. Add 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to lowest possible. Cover. Cook at a very low simmer for 6 hours. Stir frequently. Kidney beans like to burn to the bottom of the pot. Add more water as necessary but consistency should remain thick. At 4 hours, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

    Can be served over cooked rice, if you like. Goes well with serious garlic bread and a green salad.


  194. carlie says

    I have been following Linda Holmes for years, since her early recapping days, and this post by her at the NPR Monkey See blog is pretty awesome.

    How I learned to stop explaining how old things make me feel

    When you experience dissonance of any kind — in this case between what it feels like to be 30 years away from the culture of your teenager-hood and what you thought it would feel like — you can always shift either one to fit the other. For me, continuing to say “This makes me feel so old” is to pretend to still be 15, to pretend to still believe that only a broken-down person could love a movie that was 25 years old as anything other than a piece of quaint nostalgia. Thus, I must be broken-down, but really, ha ha, I’m not, because I still see time the way I did as a teenager, right?

    Unless you want to get really unnecessarily real — “contemplating your mortality” real — this kind of thing is often just a dumb dance in which we pretend not to have learned what, in fact, we have learned. It is literally to pretend to be young and dumb. It is to swear allegiance to a belief in the necessity and value of eternal youth that’s disproved by the everyday experience of … you know, living in the world.

  195. Desert Son, OM says

    Gently tendered condolences to Portia and Tetrarch for your recent losses.


    Esteleth at #192:

    Argghh, textbook costs! They’re like the automobiles of the academic world: expensive, plummet in value as soon as you drive . . . er, walk them out of the bookstore. Have you had any word from the financial aid office about next year, or from friends who might be able to help? If so, I hope this week has brought some measure of reassuring news.


    cicely, from the previous thread:

    Wishes for a good report from your automotive repair personnel regarding car troubles.


    morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor at #252:

    Good luck with moving and its attendant stresses.


    Apologies for all that I have missed. Busy three days approaching for me as I attempt to finalize the edits on my dissertation proposal document this weekend. In the meantime, good rest to all in the Lounge, with tea, and time, and small tranquilities.

    Still learning,


  196. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Desert Son,
    Oh! Yes, I realize I never posted an update to my money woes. A solution has been found. I have secured a loan. Between that, my savings, and the benefits (food stamps and Medicaid is the most of it) I’ll be going on, I’ll be able to get through school, barring any catastrophes.

  197. Dhorvath, OM says

    Thanks for that link. I don’t find resonance there, but it does call into mind some of my thoughts and reactions to being who I am now and knowing something about who I was then, (however long separates now and then.) I don’t feel like my fifteen year old self, I scarce recognize the things I did and can’t really frame my perspective well enough to imagine doing the same things: that person is long gone. This doesn’t make me feel old, if anything it makes me feel new. I experience media I have some memories of in new light, sometimes to it’s great benefit, others in less flattering manner and do this because I am not who I was. I often hear people speak about being age ‘x’ with ‘y’ years experience; I am age now with as many memories as I can call up: sometimes relevant, other times bewildering, but I am unpracticed at being age now.

  198. Portia, in absentia says

    morgan –

    I had the reverse cold feet before moving to Chicago awhile back. *hugs* I hope you discover all the little joys of rural life as lovely surprises :)

    Thanks for the condolences, all. *hugs*

    I would like to not be sick anymore. That would be great. Urg. I have seen my cousins and their adorable behbehs this week and avoided all contact. Funny enough, it made the toddler among the bunch very interested in my attention, which is not the norm. ….if only I had been intending to use reverse psychology so I could have enjoyed her wanting me to play with her.

  199. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I have secured funding. The interest rate is bigger than I’d like, but at least it’s only one digit before the decimal, which is better than some people I know can say.

    At the moment I’m trying to figure out if I need to buy scrubs, or if the school issues them.

  200. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says


    So a lot of my friends are at skepticon.

    …and I’m all left out. cuz ageism. and parentals assuming that since they Don’t Like These Things, I won’t like them, and “protection” from vague phobias.


  201. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    rq – I’m sorry about your yearly virus. I hope you feel better soon.

    morgan – Good luck with adjusting to your new surroundings. *luckhugs*

    Desert Son – Good luck with finalizing your edits to your dissertation proposal. *luckhugs*

    Esteleth – Hooray on securing a loan.

    Portia – Feel better soon. *sterile hugs*

    thunk – I’m not at Skepticon either. Sigh. Have some *consoling chocolate*.

  202. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Ever have one of those moments where the most random memory bubbles up to the surface? I was waiting for this page to open, and for some reason, my mind flashed back to the awesome conversation we had here-inspired by Improbable Joe-about gendered activities and foods. I thought for sure ‘taking a shit’ wasn’t gendered. Caine proved me wrong though. Ah, fun memories.

    Found out another person I work with is an atheist. That brings our presence (obviously only those I know of) to myself and ::counts fingers:: 6 others. My initial joy was tempered by the ongoing Deep Rifts though. At one point, being around so many other non believers would have had me super excited. But now I wonder what their views are on feminism, queer rights, racism, et al. In the back of my head, I found myself ready to pray (not really) that none of my employees are Pitters. I would rather befriend a theist who advocates equality than an atheist who does not.


    Woo Hoo! So happy that finances turned around for you.


    Have you had several consecutive good days? I hope so. And I hope you get many more.


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

    re: Vimes
    Oops, luckily, I realized I hadn’t gotten to the part yet before I read the full paragraph. :)

  204. A. Noyd says

    So I saw this dog food ad over on another site. The copy reads, “Try it for yourself.” How many people signed off on that without realizing the implications? It’s not like dogs are going to be reading the ad.

  205. chigau (違う) says

    Tiffany Aching
    My current favourite Discworld arc.
    Anyone who thinks those books are for children knows some much tougher kids than the ones I know.

  206. birgerjohansson says

    Wednesday evening, I watched the documentary “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” about the final genocide hat ended the civil war. It included horrible photos and video footage taken by the perpetrators themselves (since this is the lounge, I will not go into triggers about rape, child abuse and general sadism).

    I was quite unable to sleep. (Fortunately, I still have vacation days left and an understanding boss, so I took Thursday off to try to regain equilibrium).

    Let’s hope an asteroid arrives real soon and puts an end to H. Sapiens Horribilis.

  207. rq says

    I’ll email you, but I’m going regardless – it’s my first real chance in five years to actually go somewhere, and my cousin bought me a ticket to [whispers] Entangled Bank [/whispers], plus the plane’s all booked and paid for, so I’m going.
    And it would be lovely to try to catch some coffee (the beginning of my email is taarpinsh). We’d probably have to plan for Sunday, and it would be nice to at least make the attempt!

  208. rq says

    Yay!!! for Esteleth and funding, that is excellent news.

    A. Noyd – maybe that dog food is especially delicious and nutritious, even for people…? You know, if you as the owner like it, your dog will love it!!!

    Portia, I feel you on the illness and not wanting to be sick anymore. :P But at least for me, everytime I complain about my symptoms to one (or more) of you Loungers, they recede… Should I be getting superstitious?
    (No, I’m not well, but I think I’ve swept past the worst things, including a potential sinus affliction (which is what usually happens during my yearly virus) which would be hell for flying…)

    Good luck with the move!
    I hope all goes smoothly despite the cold feet, and I hope no Moving Gremlins abscond with your warmest socks!


    I have only ever read one Terry Pratchett book, and that was recently, and that was Snuff. It was alright, but I may have to try other ones in order to understand why he’s viewed as being so amazing.

  209. chigau (違う) says

    If you need a Discworld starter, go here.
    The Wee Free Men
    A Hat Full of Sky
    I Shall Wear Midnight

    These are classified as “Young Adult” but that is a mistake.

  210. opposablethumbs says

    Aha! I found your email just now, before checking Pharyngula – answer already sent :-)

    I will undoubtedly have cold feet, because I’m not, you know, one of those erudite and intelligent pharyngulites who know what is going on in the world, and will be afraid of boring you …

  211. rq says

    I have no idea what’s going on in the world, besides the links I read here. :) I haven’t been out in five years! Take comfort in that. ;) Bring warm socks. ;) Unless, of course, you’d really rather not meet up, I’ll understand that, too!

  212. opposablethumbs says

    Snuff is OK, but not one of the best, I think. I prefer Night Watch, or the Tiffany Aching books or The Truth or Going Postal … there are quite a few that might make a better intro to Pterry.

  213. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, I would like to! I’m just a) shy in rl and b) may get stuck with Obligations to Spawn. Should be a bit clearer on that later today, I hope.

  214. chigau (違う) says

    *unsolicited advice*
    If this involves not much more than sitting at the same table with rq while drinking coffee,
    just do it.
    Talk about the weather or knitting or …

  215. rq says

    Or the inability to knit. :)

    Okee. But just sitting and drinking coffee works for me, too. :) No talking required! Besides, if my cousin is around, she’ll probably do a bunch of talking for both of us.
    But. Hopefully Obligations to Spawn will allow you some free time. For selfish reasons. :)

    re: Terry Pratchett
    Thanks for all the suggestions!

  216. Portia, in absentia says

    opposablethumbs and rq:
    I really hope you do get the chance to meet up – I’ll be terribly jealous. I think I’d be a bit sad if the two of you missed out on the chance to meet each other because having coffee with either (both) of you is something I would love to do. :) Alas…I’m on the wrong continent.

    Hope all are well regardless, and lots of hugs to go around.

  217. Desert Son, OM says

    Esteleth at #255 and #259:

    Excellent news! Hearty cheers of support!


    Hekuni Cat at #261:

    Thanks for the encouragement.


    rq at @279:

    Fantastic link, thank you. I saw Bowie in concert about 10 years ago and he and Gail Ann Dorsey did “Under Pressure.” Marvelous.

    Off to writing group.

    Still learning,


  218. birgerjohansson says

    Sweden’s Ice Hotel told to get fire alarms http://www.thelocal.se/20131114/swedens-ice-hotel-in-jukkasjarvi-kiruna-told-to-get-fire-alarms

    — — — — — — —
    Mission to Mars moon could be a sample-return twofer, study says http://phys.org/news/2013-11-mission-mars-moon-sample-return-twofer.html#inlRlv

    How astronauts can explore the Martian moon Phobos http://phys.org/news/2013-11-astronauts-explore-martian-moon-phobos.html

    Researcher helping solve moon’s water puzzles http://phys.org/news/2013-11-moon-puzzles.html

  219. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I was almost in a car accident today. Some asshole, pulling out of a car wash, cut me off. I slammed my brakes, and I’m not joking when I say that I probably came within a food of hitting him. I honked. His response was to flip me off and zoom off so fast that he actually fishtailed (his wet tires probably didn’t help there).

    I know that if I hadn’t been able to brake in time, I would have been ruled at-fault because that’s how the law works. Sure, he may have been cited for improper lane usage, but that’s about it.


  220. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    A foot, rather. Not sure what distance a “food” is.

  221. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I’ve begun to realize how deeply fucked the US is. Oh, I knew to some degree, but it seems every day there is so much going on politically and economically that keeps us at the status quo, with a little progress and a little backsliding. The same can be said of social progress, though that seems to be gaining more forward momentum.
    Bring back the Sherman Anti-Trust Act

    When corporations have all of the power, you and I have no say in the American democracy.

    Ecosystems that are broad and diverse are resilient while those that are narrow and unbalanced are fragile, and it’s the same with economies.

    It’s time to bring diversity back to America’s economic web of life, and we can do that by bringing back the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, so competition can return to the American marketplace.

  222. carlie says

    thunk – I’m not there either. And I can claim Springfield as legit. Family Stomping Grounds, so it feels like I ought to be able to be there if I want to be, but yet I can’t. We all just have to mutter about it online together. :)

    Dhorvath – I like it because “so old” is such a moving target, and I need to remind myself of that sometimes.

    Esteleth – I hate arrogant sucky drivers. They are the worst.

    Desert Son – good luck with the writing!!! I know how stressful that is.

    My first Discworld book was Mort. Loved it. DEATH stories are my favorite, followed by Vimes stories, followed by Witches stories. Rincewind is… to be tolerated, I guess.

  223. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Re: Snuff:

    What got me the first time I read it was how much Pratchett was making a Point™ with the goblins. And while it is definitely a point that needs to be made (racism is bad, yo), it seemed rather, well, un-Pratchetty in its delivery – not the subtlety-cum-frying-pan-upside-the-head of, say, Monstrous Regiment and Jingo. And Vimes, for all that he was very Vimes-y, seemed a bit flat and unaffected to me.

    I was thinking – isn’t Snuff the first book that he wrote start-to-finish after his diagnosis? Is it, in a certain way, the musings of a man who is staring into the abyss?

    I’m reminded, in a way, of an anecdote I heard where he, apparently, gets letters from people (including children) who are dying who thank him for the Death books and say that they hope that when they meet Death, he’s as nice as Pratchett depicts. When asked what he does in response to these letters, Pratchett replied something along the lines of, “I spend a bit of time staring at the wall.” Because, well, what else could he do?

  224. says

    I know this makes me a bad geek, right up there with my enjoying Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and loathing The Matrix (I’m Geek Reform, rather than Geek Orthodox), but I’ve never been able to get into Pratchett. I’ve read two – The Colour of Magic and Monstrous Regiment – and thought they were okay, but neither has driven me to have any real interest in reading more. I dunno why, it might be his reliance on endless puns – thankfully, he proves that Piers Anthony is not right, and you don’t need to add child porn to your pun-books to be successful – which I’m rarely enamoured of, but his humour just doesn’t tickle me, for some reason.

    That said, I think his loss to Alzheimer’s will be a very sad day for sff, and I’ll mourn that so many of my friends will have lost their favourite humourist. I think he’s done tonnes of good for the genre, and I have no qualms at all in recommending his books to people based on the sheer number of folk who enjoy them, because I know he’s at least aiming to be on our side in progressiveness, and he has a lot of good women characters.

    But yeah. Weird as it is, I’ve just never been able to really get into his writing.

  225. Dhorvath, OM says

    I too have made no progress with Pratchett. The closest I have come is with Good Omens, which I largely enjoyed, but given the extra author thing doesn’t quite count.

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

    So, I’m studying under one of the most influential and important jurists in western Canada. Great human being, too. His co-teacher has a background in both litigation and legislative drafting. We just had to write model laws for a client as part of coursework.

    I obsessed. I finished yesterday. I don’t know if it’s any good, but I don’t think it’s *bad*. I may have used the “definitions” section for more of the substantive work of the legislation than is really proper – in fact, I’d be kinda surprised if I didn’t get feedback on that, even if it’s not wrong, per se.

    But here’s the thing: there’s actually a remote chance that some version of what I just wrote will end up ruling someone else’s business behavior. None of the draft bill write-ups are the kinds of things that are crucial to an economy or anything like that. But 2nd and 3rd year law school students are writing first drafts of your laws: scary!

    I am also freaked out once again at the clash between my emotional revulsion at controlling or coercing others and my participation in the system of law.

    On the plus side? Major assignment over. Woohoo.

  227. Pteryxx says

    More on legislature coming out of the right-wing think-tank network. Salon framed this latest research report as about the big names:

    Ted Cruz and Koch brothers embroiled in shadowy Tea Party scheme

    but here’s what the network’s actually doing:

    Specifically, the report by the Center for Media and Democracy focuses on the State Policy Network, a little-known network. “What we uncovered through our investigation is that SPN along with its affiliates amount to $83 million just flooding into the states to push and promote this agenda …,” CMD director Lisa Graves told reporters on a Wednesday call. “And that money is on the rise.” The paper was released Wednesday along with a set of state-level reports on SPN affiliates, authored by affiliates of the progressive network ProgressNow.

    The CMD report accuses SPN affiliates of mounting “coordinated efforts to push their agenda, often using the same cookie-cutter research and reports, all while claiming to be independent and creating state-focused solutions …” It charges that, “Although SPN think tanks are registered as educational nonprofits, several appear to orchestrate extensive lobbying and political operations to peddle their legislative agenda to state legislators, despite the IRS’ regulations on nonprofit political and lobbying activities.”

    Here’s what multi-state policy consolidation looks like, from the full report PDF:

    A review of SPN think tanks’ publications shows that these grants likely funded a coordinated effort by SPN and member think tanks to advocate against the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the national debate on healthcare reform. While most SPN think tanks claim to be independent research centers focused on state issues, many released the same repor t in August and September 2009. The report, titled “The Prognosis for National Health Insurance,” was written by Arduin, Laffer, & Moore Econometrics, a conservative economic consulting firm. (Of the firm’s principals, both Arthur Laffer – who is known for inventing the discredited “Laffer” curve and is an advocate of extreme supply-side economic theory – and Stephen Moore – who founded the right-wing political operation Club for Growth that endorses and raises money for political candidates and who now sits on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board – were economic advisors to President Ronald Reagan and are ALEC “scholars” like Vedder.)lvi

    The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), an SPN affiliate, reportedly co-authored the report.

    The report advocated against federal healthcare reform legislation that would become the
    Affordable Care Act, arguing against the government being involved in healthcare reform and for
    “free market solutions.” While each report was slightly tailored to each state, all shared identical language. Many think tanks received $10,000 from Donors Capital Fund for this 2009 healthcare
    project, although several received more. TPPF, for example, received $300,000 for the “2009 state
    health care policy reform project,” while also receiving an additional $50,000 to “promote the Laffer
    healthcare study in major media outlets.”lvii

    The following are the so-called “Prognosis” reports found online. (Other SPN affiliates may have
    also released the report, but have since removed it from their websites). All were released in August or September 2009 in the midst of the national debate on healthcare reform, except for the
    Montana report, which was released in 2011:

    Think Tank
    Healthcare Report
    Funding From Donors
    for 2009 Healthcare

    TX – Texas Public Policy Foundation – The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Texas Perspective (August 2009) – $350,000

    CO – Independence Institute – The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Colorado Perspective (August 2009) – $100,000

    MO – Show-Me Institute – The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Missouri Perspective (August 2009) – $10,000

    NE – Platte Institute – The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Nebraska Perspective (August 2009) – $10,000

    PA – Commonwealth Foundation – The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Pennsylvania
    Perspective (August 2009) – $10,000

    FL – James Madison Institute – The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Florida Perspective (September 2009) – $10,000

    LA – Pelican Institute – The Risks and Promises From National Health Care Reform: A Louisiana Perspective (September 2009) – $10,000

    MN – Freedom Foundation – The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Minnesota Perspective (September 2009) – $10,000

    VA – Virginia Institute for Public Policy – The Prognosis for National Health Insurance: A Virginia Perspective (September 2009) – N/A (but Donors did give VAIPP $30,000 in 2009 for general operations)

    MT – Montana Policy Institute – A Montana Perspective on Healthcare and Health Insurance Reform (February 2011) – $10,000

    PRWatch overview

    PDF link to report

    And following up on Tony’s #286, the list of donors funding the shadow network reads like a who’s who of the over-consolidated megacorps:


    So basically, the Republican party is being run as a shadow government with elected officials fronting for the billionaire-megacorp network. The megacorps aren’t just consolidating the market, news, and banking – they’ve consolidated government itself.

    What’s the big deal with one Rand Paul plagiarizing his speeches again? Their entire policies are plagiarized. That’s how this batch of right-wing politicians has been trained to do their jobs – by regurgitating material fed to them en masse by outside groups.

  228. says

    So according to the State of California, if the caretaker of minor children is NOT on welfare, the father of the children can get his child support reduced to zero.

    Which would be why this morning, a family member of mine is applying for welfare.

    Thank you, MRAs, for doing your best to ensure the government picks up your tab.

  229. opposablethumbs says

    Oyez oyez, email sent to rq!

    Looking optimistic-ish for Sunday late morning; now all I need to do is find out where you will be :-) :-) :-) :-)

    Yay for Kevin, hope the move-in step goes really well!

    I agree about Snuff, it does feel different from the earlier books. For example, the theme of racism is one that comes up many times in his books – and it’s often treated in roughly similar ways, while coming up fresh and vibrant every time. But Snuff is the only time it seems a little … dare I say it … done-before (well, maybe to a lesser extent Unseen Academicals). The other times have more life to them.

    I love Feet of Clay. How can I not love a ceramic, and therefore thunderbolt-proof atheist outmaneuvering the priests – in a universe with a whole pantheon of stroppy, squabbling goddesses and gods? :-)

  230. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    People who say that the Discworld books are funny are (IMO) missing the point. Pratchett uses humor, but humor isn’t the point.

    For example: Night Watch, which has some lighthearted moments and some biting sarcasm (I laughed out loud at Reg-the-Communist) but is devastating in how unfunny it is. I mean, take just the scene where they knock over the prison – Young!Sam falls to pieces over something he sees there and Old!Sam is seen “helping” prisoners with his knife. Or take the entirety of Old!Sam’s arc – all he wants is to go home to Sybil and the baby.

    And I’m supposed to categorize that as funny?

    Is Small Gods funny? Jingo? Thud!? I don’t think so.

  231. opposablethumbs says

    Small Gods is horrifying. And rightly so.

    Good point about humour in Pratchett; there is a lot of humour in the books, he uses it all the time, but he often uses it to write about dreadful things. They’re certainly not lighthearted comedies all the way through.

  232. dianne says

    The thing that always gets me about Jingo is how Other Vimes would, while trapped in a burning city surrounded by his friends as they all die one by one, would hear all about Vimes’ successful efforts to save Ankh-Morpork.

    Don’t let it get to you. Other Vimes threw the planner away, probably as a projectile at an enemy soldier, long before it got to that point.

  233. dianne says

    Re Reg the Communist: My personal head cannon is as follows: Reg wasn’t a “real revolutionary”. Because what “real revolutionaries” want is to take over. Not to change society, but simply to become the ones in charge. Reg was the person that “real revolutionaries” fear and need the most: an agitator. But he couldn’t win a fight where there was as much money and power at stake as the fight for a revolution. The revolutionaries will take over that one every time and, even if they win, they’ll simply become the status quo. OTOH, as a zombie and a zombie rights activist, Reg was perfect. And entirely capable of winning. So being a zombie gave him exactly what he wanted out of unlife: a just cause and the ability to fight for it.

  234. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Finally something sensible occurs following the murder of a PoC!
    Renisha McBride’s murderer charged in her shooting death. Invoking Stand Your Ground did not prevent him from being charged.

    Michigan officials announced Friday that Theodore Wafer has been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and a related gun charge in the shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who is believed to have been looking for help following a car accident when she was shot and killed.

    “We obviously do not feel that the evidence in this case reveals that the defendant acted in lawful self-defense,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

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

    So many good quotes from the last 60 minutes, all from little #2.

    Let’s start at the library:

    “Only one more book?!?!?!?!?!?! Then it has to be a really science book. I mean a really, really big book of …SCIENCE!” (at this point, a reminder about volume while in the library was necessary)

    races in the door at home. “Where’s my science book?”

    Reading on the floor next to Ms. Crip Dyke, “What’s that dinosaur name? It’s a little too big for me to sound out.”*

    After Ms Crip Dyke asks what the dino iin the picture is doing, she says, “It’s hunting prey, because it’s a diurnal predator. That’s what diurnal predator means, you hunt during the day. That’s why it has meat on it’s teeth, too.”

    The last sentence becomes important when our cat walks by: “You know what my favorite dinosaur is? Kittysaurus!**” She pounces on the cat, getting bitten by the cat who has learned to be wary of Little2’s overexcited play. “And she’s a meeater!”

    Ms Crip Dyke: “You mean a meat eater?”

    “No, she bit me, she’s a MEeater, not a CARNIVORE. Geez, mom, don’t you know kitty bites me? But she’s a cat, so she’s a meat eater, too. Did you know I’m made of meat?”

    And my favorite:
    “I’m a scientist!”

    Ms Crip Dyke: “Well, you’re reading a book about science. The person who wrote it maybe was a scientist.”

    “No, I’m a scientist, because when I turn the page I ask, what will come next? And then I turn the page for real and find out. That’s called observation.” ***

    Seriously, I’m crying with joy just now.

    * (She’s just started sounding out words in the last two weeks. Today she wanted to know how to spell poo and was super excited when Ms Crip Dyke told her that she knew how to spell boo, so… “P o o! And moo is M O O!” but this is recent stuff. I just like that she feels the need to justify asking us to read a word to her. She is so into trying it herself).

    **actually used kitty’s name, which I would like to relate as it made the nickname even cuter, but I have a long standing agreement with Ms Crip Dyke not to use family names, and I’m just keeping the feline’s name out b/c of a) an abundance of caution, and b) it’s a reasonable interpretation of “family” to include the pets, and I like to keep my promises

    ***I tell the kinds all the time when they announce things in their environment, appropos of nothing, the way kids do: “Good empirical observation!” Looks like she hasn’t quite mastered “empirical” yet, but she will

  236. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Her at Casa la Pelirroja, Friday night Fish is on the table, but some stupid Lifetime movie must be watched until “repeat”. And she wonders why I say “we will walk when you are ready”…. Simple, why should I expend effort if you won’t?

  237. says

    Threadrupt and just dropping in quick to do a follow up…

    Decided I’m going to run a D&D game on the net (3rd or pathfinder whichever people more want, shouldn’t matter too much my games tend to slide towards RP stuff) with dimension hopping and planeswalking as the central conceit. The characters will be exiled or lost from their home realm and banding together to explore the multiverse(s) and try to find a way home (or other goals).

    Plan is to get a team of 4-6 and run it on a weekend every other week. Anyone interested please let me know

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

    @Ingdigo Jump

    I’m interested if and only if you are willing to play my character as an NPC 2x or so each semester, at the end.

    It would depend on how long the game lasts, as well. With kids I can’t get away with a 12 hour session or anything.

  239. rq says

    I’M IN LONDON! The city of Neverwhere.
    Five years I haven’t been outside of my little circle of influence, and it’s fucking great to be somewhere else, even if only a little while.

    Your email will be replied to shortly!

  240. rq says

    Hotmail is being an ass because I’m trying to sign in from a different location. Please send last email to my google mail address, using my first name as the information before the at symbol. Alternatively, you have some additional contact information which you may use! (Which I will try to do tomorrow to you…) If that makes any sense.

  241. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    rq: Awesome! Neverwhere, the book of tube puns. I read that for class.

    also this “friends” thing is awesome. I actually have some variety of skirt to wear now.

    (friendship: it may not be magic, but it’s certainly wonderful.

  242. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I just finished The Last Continent, which I ended up enjoying far more than I had expected. And now I’m all teary eyed about the smell after it rains.

  243. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    I really adore your stories about little #2. She sounds excited
    about science. Also ‘MEeater’ is teh kyooot!


    Hopefully you and opposablethumbs will at least meet for coffee. Excited for you both I am.


    What is ‘planeswalking’?

  244. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    rq, Crip Dyke:
    After reading some of the tweets sent to JPMorgan, I suspect we are not the only ones with a Snark Hat:

    Is it the ability to throw anyone out of their home that drives you, or just the satisfaction that you know you COULD do it?
    Do you have a secret jail in your offices so your executives get at least one chance to see the inside of one?


    my favorites…

  245. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    No True Atheist?

    While they have every right to form congregations and get together with like-minded people and to share hugs and plan good deeds, they don’t have the right to co-opt atheism for their cause. I’m sure the Sunday Assemblies have the potential to benefit many people and will fill a void for anyone who likes the idea of being part of a community. But if faithlessness ends up becoming a quasi-religion with its very own church, where are the true atheists – the ones who don’t feel the need to join a congregation or to sing and hold hands to show the world we’re good and worthy – supposed to call home?</blockquote


    While I disagree with the author (the atheists in these mega churches are still atheists), I think blurring the line between atheism and theism may produce more problems that it solves.

  246. A. Noyd says

    I will forever be picturing this when I see an automatic soap dispenser from now on. (Yes, I’m mentally twelve. Why?)

  247. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    Your #2’s quotes are fantastic! And good luck with the reading, once they start sounding out, there’s no stopping them. It’ll be even more books. But I’m sure you’ll cope!


    Right, I’m going out to see the city. Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone!

  248. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I will forever be picturing this when I see an automatic soap dispenser from now on. (Yes, I’m mentally twelve. Why?)

    That was quick..

  249. opposablethumbs says

    Hey rq, welcome to The Smoke!

    I’ve just sent you an email to your alternative email address (including a copy of my earlier message, as it sounds like you may not have been able to receive it). Great to be able to use the Lounge as back-up means of communication! Fingers crossed for meeting up tomorrow … and I hope you have a great day today (hey, the sun is even out!)

  250. opposablethumbs says

    Crip Dyke, #2 sounds like she is clearly taking in and hugely enjoying the basic message about a scientific approach to the world :-)))))
    Now there is a child who is enjoying the best kind of parenting! What better parenting could any child ever have, than to know that they are loved and listened to, and to have their efforts and achievements recognised and appreciated, and to be encouraged to observe and explore and understand reality? You and Ms Crip Dyke make a wonderful household :-)

  251. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Are you OK

    Last night I was very tired due to getting about half my normal sleep the night before. Got a good nights sleep last night.

  252. blf says

    [W]hy feminism doesn’t need rebranding (emboldening mine):

    … I … have been invited to attend a debate about rebranding feminism. “Rebranding” — like all forms of marketing — is the ultimate in dickering about at the edges. It’s so much easier than actually creating something whose worth people will come to recognise and start buying — or buying into it, in the case of intangible sociopolitical movements — as a natural result of its proven efficacy.

    Feminism doesn’t need rebranding. It just needs to overcome the people-pleasing instincts of its majority members and focus on a few core issues, and then beat the shit out of everything and everyone in its way until those issues are satisfactorily resolved. And, yes, ideally those core issues would be decided by a global referendum of women, so that the agenda isn’t set primarily by those (generally white, middle class) who are already fortunate enough to have the time and energy to spare for organising social change. But until that becomes a practical possibility, everyone just needs to keep at the forefront of their minds the fact that “check your privilege” and “intersectionality” are revolting words but beautiful concepts, and proceed accordingly.

    We keep our eyes on the prize of securing an equal share of power and choices for women — the true freedom, for example, of whether or not to have children, derived from free access to contraception, abortion, economic independence from men, sufficient parental leave, flexible, affordable childcare options and so on — not on defining what they should do with that freedom once they have it. …

    No more burdening of any one woman … with the task of representing anything other than herself, any more than we burden [various hypothetical examples of individual men being used to represent something more than himself].

    Once you’ve got a good, successful product that does what it says on the tin (“Feminism: helping women not have their personal or professional lives or reproductive rights borked…”), people will seek it out.

    A lot of the text I removed to create the above excerpt are UK-centric examples plus an introduction which didn’t seem (to me) to be very relevant.

    I had to look, up what intersectionality was. From Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge:

    [T]he study of intersections between different disenfranchised groups or groups of minorities; specifically, the study of the interactions of multiple systems of oppression or discrimination.

    The Geek Feminism Wiki possibly explains it a bit better, as:

    [A] concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.

    (The mildly deranged penguin is a bit put out that “cheese denial” and “pea eating” aren’t listed as example oppressions.)

  253. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    It has been a few months (years?) since I have TMI’d all over the thread, so here goes:

    Why the fuck do different underwear manufacturers change the design, layout, placement of the covering for the opening? I have underwear that requires me to slide my hand in on the right and other underwear that requires me to slide in on the left. While dancing from foot to foot. While trying not to . . . well, you get the idea.

  254. says

    Hurray for Crip Dyke’s small children who are empirically observant.

    Here are some religious nut jobs that are not. This dangerous take on mental health, (PTSD in particular), is brought to you by pseudo-historian David Barton and Kenneth Copeland, a televangelist with a scarily huge audience:

    “You listen to me,” Copeland said, addressing the camera, “you get rid of that right now. You don’t take drugs to get rid of it, it doesn’t take psychology; that promise right there will get rid of it.”

    Barton wholeheartedly agreed, pointing out that many members of the “faith hall of fame” in the Bible “were warriors who took so many people out in battle,” but did so in a just war in the name of God, proving that “when you do it God’s way, not only are you guiltless for having done that, you’re esteemed.”


    So, soldiers should never suffer from PTSD because they are engaged in a righteous war begat by George Bush (or whomever), and because they are “esteemed and venerated” by God.

  255. says

    Glimmers of hope:

    Josh Rosenau, with the National Center for Science Education, wrote this week that very different results emerge when slight changes are made to the questions that Gallup asks, and the actual number of “young-earth creationists” in the U.S. is probably much lower than Gallup claims.

    Rosenau points out that the Gallup poll specifically asks about human origins, and does so in a religious context. But if Americans are asked if they believe whether plants and animals have evolved over millions of years (regardless of the reason why), a substantially higher number say yes — 60 percent did in a 2009 Pew poll, for example.

    Removing religious context and human origins, people are much less likely to say that we’re living on a young earth. In another 2009 survey, only 18 percent agreed with the statement that “the earth is less than 10,000 years old,” for example. …

    So the Gallup poll has been saying we the USA people believe in Creationism, or that about half of us do, for years. But Gallup may be at least a little bit wrong about that.


  256. says

    For background information, see Ptyerxx’s comments #26 and #295:

    … the right-wing non-profit organization ALEC is considering supporting a bill that would significantly encroach upon the principle of direct elections of U.S. senators that was established by the 17th Amendment.

    Called the “Equal State’s Enfranchisement Act,” the bill would allow a plurality of members of a state legislature to nominate a candidate to appear on the ballot. The candidate would be listed along with those of the two major parties, chosen via convention or primary processes. The 17th Amendment, passed in 1913, changed the rules for electing senators to allow for direct elections rather than having state legislatures choose.

    “It’s an attempt to blunt the effects of the 17th Amendment by reinserting the state legislature and their views back into the process of electing U.S. senators,” UC-Davis School of Law Professor Vikram Amar said to the Huffington Post. ”By itself, it’s not a full-fledged repeal or circumvention of the 17th Amendment,” he continued. “But it’s kind of an encroachment of the vision of the 17th Amendment.” …

    Salon link.

  257. says

    Right-wing christians know what caused Typhoon Haiyan: abortion. No surprise, our friends pseudo-historian David Barton and televangelist Kenneth Copeland can explain this theory:

    … This might come as news to the grieving survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines: the cause of the powerful storm was abortion. Not necessarily their abortions, but just the fact that anyone has abortions, especially legally, even though abortion is illegal in the Philippines. God is very, very pissed about that, and that’s why he sent a typhoon that killed all those Filipinos on its way to Vietnam. He’s vindictive like that. That is why he is causing all these very destructive and scary storms.

    What is not causing any of this climatological havoc is global warming—not that it even exists. Burning fossil fuels is something God actually wants us to do more of. So goes the theory of Christian denialist, oops, we mean “historian” David Barton. The blanket explanation for all this “climate stuff that we can’t explain,” he said this week in a conversation with televangelist Kenneth Copeland, as well as murder and pedophilia, is legalized abortion. America voted for politicians who support abortion rights, and in doing so “opened the door to the curse.”…


  258. says

    “A lot of sports has lost its way and I’m gonna tell you, part of the reason is because we’ve got women giving us directions. For some of you, this is going to come across as very misogynistic. I don’t care, because I’m very right. I’m willing to share my sandbox, as long as you remember you’re in my box. I didn’t slip into your box….”

    — KNBR sports radio host Damon Bruce.

  259. carlie says

    I’ve never understood that whole “opening in the underwear” thing, myself. Wouldn’t it be easier just to pull them down in the front?

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


    Yeah, I don’t really get that either.

  261. blf says

    What the feck is it with wingnuts wanting to repeal the 17th Amendment; i.e., wanting to do away with the direct election of USAlienstani Senators?

    I don’t recall ever reading a coherent explanation. Selection-by-legislature didn’t work — that’s why the amendment was ratified in the first place — so why the wingutters’s apparent desire to restore a known failed system?

    Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge doesn’t say much about it, with most the summary of controversies being on the side-issue of the appointment of temporary replacement Senators.

  262. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    carlie @334:

    I’ve never understood that whole “opening in the underwear” thing, myself. Wouldn’t it be easier just to pull them down in the front?

    Well, for me, the escape hatch is quite helpful. I tuck my undershirt into my underpants so that when I tuck my shirt into my trousers, the shirt is less likely to pull out. If I pull the undershorts down in the front, I have untucked part of my layering system and it makes it more likely that my outer shirt (in this case, my uniform shirt) will come untucked.

    Beatrice @335:

    Clothes manufacturers are evil.

    Aye, that they are. For instance, I have, since my last comment, remembered that this particular pair of undershorts does not even have the escape hatch. So looking for it was futile. Or feudal. Flutal?

    Size standards? Pssh. A size 10 is a 6 is a 12.

    I know what you mean. As soon as a child goes past 4T, boys and girls sizes diverge rapidly. And USA shoe sizes have absolutely nothing to do any actual measurement of the foot.

  263. blf says

    I’ve never understood that whole “opening in the underwear” thing, myself. Wouldn’t it be easier just to pull them down in the front?

    When standing in front of a urinal, to “pull them down” would require unbuckling the belt and undoing the snap / button, as well as unzipping. It does work (most of the underwear I buy doesn’t have front openings (possibly a side-effect of better / less-annoying seam placement)), but is slower, awkward (especially in cramped / crowded situations), and potentially embarrassing.

  264. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness being passed on to the next generation: A Boy Scout Leader speaks up about mormon-sponsored troops:

    I’m a scout leader in my ward and one of the boys in my troop is getting his tenderfoot. At our weekly activity I was telling him he needed to have a board of review. So I had one of the other boys who recently had a rank advancement to tell him about it.

    Boy #2 explains “They make you say the scout law and oath, and then Brother XXX will ask you what the most important point of the scout law is. The answer is “Obedience” if you don’t say obedience then he will correct you and let you know that the most important thing a scout can be is obedient.”

    I tried to reason with the boys and talk about how all the attributes are important, with zero success. They were so set on having the “right” answer, they refused to see that being trustworthy or helpful or kind are just as/more important than blind obedience.
    I really hate TSCC.

    TSCC = The So-Called Church, ex-mormon speak for the tendency of mormons to think that the one true church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is soooooo obviously king-o-the-heap that they only have to say “the Church” and everyone will know what they mean.


  265. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    blf @337:

    I don’t recall ever reading a coherent explanation. Selection-by-legislature didn’t work — that’s why the amendment was ratified in the first place — so why the wingutters’s apparent desire to restore a known failed system?

    Because of Gerrymandering, the state houses and state senates are far more conservative, in virtually every state in the USA, than the state itself is. If the Democrats have a stronghold (say, the Lackawnna and Wyoming Valleys of Pennsylvania), that geographic area is sliced up and a piece placed in the each of the three surrounding districts which are overwhelmingly Republican. Thus, rather than electing two Republicans and one Democrat, the area now elects three Republicans.

    Gerrymandering does not work at the state level. Since the district of a senator is the entire state, it doesn’t matter how a partisan redistricting committee does their work, it won’t change the makeup of the entire state. By giving the state house and senate a say in who gets to run, the GOP will reduce the number of Democrats and increase the number of Republicans in the US Senate.

  266. Dhorvath, OM says

    People use those holes? I am like as not to make a mess if navigating a labyrinth is part of taking a pee.

  267. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says


    Sorry, Lynna, your warning wasn’t there when I went over.

    The comment by Jacob is scary. And oh-so-fucking familiar. not the details, but the overall impact.


    In twelve minutes I give a programme to thirty scouts — Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Webelos and Boy Scouts.

    Calming thoughts are not working.

    Not your fault, Lynna. If I had seen the warning I wouldn’t have gone.



  268. says

    An interesting discussion of how and why Christianity seems more and more to equal selfish and/or money-grubbing:

    Anyone who has worked in the restaurant business will be happy to tell you that waiters always fight each other to avoid working Sunday lunch shift. Not because they want to sleep in, but because it’s a widespread belief that the post-church crowd is loud, demanding and unwilling to tip appropriately. In the food service industry, “Christian” is synonymous with “selfish.”

    Unfair stereotype? Probably. Big groups, regardless of affiliation, tend to tip poorly. More to the point, waiters probably remember the bad Christian tippers more because the hypocrisy is so stunning. The image of a man piously preening about what a good Christian he is in church only to turn around and refuse the basic act of decency that is paying someone what you owe them perfectly symbolizes a lurking suspicion in American culture that the harder someone thumps the Bible, the more selfish and downright sadistic a person he is. And that perception—that showy piety generally goes hand in hand with very un-Christ-like behavior—is not an urban myth at all. On the contrary, it’s the daily reality of American culture and politics….


    This whole idea of “christ-like” behavior is based on a myth, but the hypocrisy of self-defined christians is quite striking.

  269. says

    Oh, Ogvorbis @344, I am so sorry. Damn.

    You will be a good man, no hypocrite, no “obedient” robot in front of those Boy Scouts. Do your best, no one can ask for more.

    Love and hugs from me.

  270. blf says

    Ogvorbis@342, Ah! Ok, that makes sense.
    Certainly much more sense than all the wiffle-waffle about “state’s representation” and “(re-)empowering state legislatures” and so on which is all I can recall ever reading about the reason why. My own guess is it was some sort of an authoritarian attempt to ensure only the “correct” people were in the Senate, but the details eluded me, making my own guess as wiffly-waffly as what I can recall reading.

  271. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    Lynna, not your fault. I went over there of my volition (and left a message of support for Jacob). Not your fault, no reason to apologize.

  272. says

    JP Morgan thought they’d try out this Twitter thing, after all they helped to underwrite the IPO and having brought the company public, they decided to give it a whirl. The Twitter-verse sent them questions they may not have been expecting:

    Do you have an org chart that’s perfectly analogous to the criminal underworld – capo, made man – or do you just wing it?

    When you robosigned credit card docs, did you think you were going to have to shutter the litigation group?

    Would you rather negotiate with 1 horse-sized Eric Holder, or 100 duck-sized Eric Holders?

    why did u think this would be a good idea

    Does it feel better paying the biggest bank fines in history so far, or did the satisfaction of the crimes outweigh the fines?

    Why aren’t you in jail for sending a literal ton of gold bullion to Iran in violation of sanctions?

    More here: http://www.salon.com/2013/11/14/jpmorgan_humiliates_itself_in_front_of_all_of_twitter/

  273. blf says

    People use those holes? I am like as not to make a mess if navigating a labyrinth is part of taking a pee.

    Ah yes, Good Point, as was (for the labyrinth-navigating camp) Ogvorbis‘s about tucked-in shirts. The labyrinth problem can be solved by the style which has a buttoned-up front.

    (The mildly deranged penguin suggests a feather (not penguin’s!) hanging from a belt should be more than sufficient. (Actually, what she really suggested before scampering away at wrap-speed would be quite painful with a nasty rash.))

  274. blf says

    More snow oppression! It likes taking a nice comfortable nap on the ground in-between wind-assisted gliding. Except a bunch of apes who took off their own furs and wear the skins of other, obviously more intelligent animals, come along and disturb the snoozing snow with whacking great shovels and all sorts of fans and things. And complain about doing it.

    Leave the innocent snow alone!
       — Freezing Fighters for the Fallen

  275. says

    @354 blf I know you’re kidding with that? But really, really don’t do that.

    I’m a person who uses a cane to get around, and I don’t have a car. By definition, that makes me someone who needs clear sidewalks wherever and whenever possible, because the bus does not stop in the foyer of my apartment building. It’s really no joke to me, living in southern Ontario, which, yes, gets a wisp of snow or two per year – 240cm is our record, set a few years ago, and honestly is part of what makes winter so bad for depression: it’s hard for me to get out anywhere.

    So please deploy your snark, if you would, in jabbing at the more-privileged, and a little less at the less-? :)

  276. yazikus says

    And USA shoe sizes have absolutely nothing to do any actual measurement of the foot.

    Ah yes, but they have everything to do with barleycorns. And thirds. And counting backwards from twelve. Makes complete sense.

  277. blf says

    CaitieCat@355, As you correctly observed, I was joking / snarking. It is true I didn’t consider yer particular example when writing that — the example which did come to mind (as I now recall) was bicyclists and wheelchair-users — but as the mildly deranged penguin observes, they can just fit a flame thrower. And in the case of bicyclists, that (along with the rocket launcher) would also be useful against inconsiderate / dangerous car (and van, …) drivers.

    Maybe you can fit a small flame thrower?


  278. says

    Alas, a flamethrower would only add to my difficulties. Besides being heavy and thus bad for my back, all my readings of the Pacific War and Stalingrad lead me to believe this would not strongly enhance my abilities to remain safe while upright and walking around wearing one.

    Also, they are very hard to accessorize.

  279. blf says

    I just realized this upcoming Thursday will be the third Thursday in November, and therefore, Beaujolais Nouveau Day. *hic*

  280. Desert Son, OM says

    From Lynna’s post at #333:

    “A lot of sports has lost its way and I’m gonna tell you, part of the reason is because we’ve got women giving us directions.”

    Huh. That’s weird. Many great aspects of sport I have enjoyed over the years were those in which women were directly involved, including giving directions.

    • My high school fencing instructor was a woman, former alternate for the U.S. Olympic Women’s Team 1960. If it wasn’t for her giving me directions, I never would have learned to fence, nor learned to love the sport.

    • I have had two swimming teachers who were women. I’m still a terrible swimmer, but not because of the instructors, who were patient, supportive, helpful, clear, and encouraging.

    • In 1984 I watched on television Joan Benoit win the first ever Olympic Women’s Marathon in Los Angeles, California. Spectacular race, spectacular win. If I could run even a tenth of how well she does . . . .

    • In 1999 I attended a Women’s World Cup match in Chicago, Illinois, to see the United States vs. Nigeria, and watched one of the greatest football (soccer) teams take the field and play a fast, exciting, energetic, intelligent, powerful match: Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly, Briana Scurry, Tiffeny Milbrett, Michelle Akers, Carla Overbeck, Tiffany Roberts, Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow, Joy Fawcett, Kate Sobrero. Great event, great time, and Soldier Field was sold out.

    • The current U.S. Women’s National Team is also an outstanding group of experts, including Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly (just to name a few) who have forgotten more about football (soccer) than Damon Bruce will probably ever know.

    • The women who work at the local running store where I shop have been consistently helpful to me when it comes to buying running shoes and learning more about running technique and training. If it wasn’t for getting directions from them, my feet would be sad face.

    • [sarcasm] Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, the Williams sisters, Billie Jean King, Aranxta Sánchez Vicario, Martina Navratilova, Gabriella Sabatini, Chris Evert . . . they’ve sure ruined tennis, haven’t they? [/sarcasm]

    • Cheryl Miller once scored 105 points in a single basketball game, becoming one of only 57 people to have ever scored 100 or more points in a recorded basketball game, and then she went on to earn a gold medal in 1984 Olympic Women’s Basketball. I have a sneaking suspicion she could provide a great deal of really excellent direction.

    For some of you, this is going to come across as very misogynistic.

    Coming across as very misogynistic for pretty much everyone, actually, Damon, even if the misogynists don’t want to acknowledge it.

    I’m willing to share my sandbox, as long as you remember you’re in my box.

    Ah, got it. Didn’t realize that human sport was his box. Does raise the question: Whose box was human sport before Damon Bruce existed? Was it held in escrow until such time as Damon Bruce, “The Chosen One,” could climb the slopes of Mt. Olympus and draw forth the hockey stick from the stone, thereby claiming the Crown of All Sport? Bruce must be a very important person, which explains why I’ve never heard of him until I read Lynna’s post.

    It’s too bad for Bruce. He’s going to miss out on many great sporting experiences, lessons, insight, and fun by wanting roughly half of the world’s population to stay out of “his sandbox.” Clearly the best thing he could do to escape that which he laments would be to quit working in sport-related fields. Get out while you can, Damon (and make room for women interested in the field).

    Ok, back to writing. My thanks to carlie at #289 for the encouragement. My proposal meeting is currently scheduled for 2 December, and I’m turning in the document to my committee on Monday. Anxietyanxietyanxiety . . . .

    Hope things are well for those of you in the Lounge today.

    Still learning,


  281. blf says

    Accessorizing flame throwers: Hum… Maybe a dragon? In fact, with the right species of dragon, it’ll self-propel the flame thrower, taking care of any weight issues. Feeding it shouldn’t be a problem (they are omnivores albeit with a preference for knights). However, some have a fascination with shiny objects (especially golden or jewel-encrusted) and thus attract probably unwanted attention (although that does usefully include the aforesaid food rations in sniny armour).

    Ask at yer local pet shop for advice.

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

    @desert son:

    Just a note to say I’m enjoying having you back.

  283. opposablethumbs says

    Yes, that was a nice rant at 360.

    Maybe this hitherto unknown Damon Bruce person should stick to playing strictly inside his own [cricket] box. If he knows what that is. And stop bothering anyone else.

    Anti-triggering wishes to Ogvorbis. Hope you’re OK.

  284. carlie says

    I understand what you all are saying, but it amuses me to no end to think that men invented an extra flap in underpants just so that they wouldn’t have to go through the horrors of unbuckling belts and untucking shirts (and also that they structure their bathrooms so that they have to go in front of each other in the first place). This, of course, comes from the vantage point of someone who has had to a) do all of the unbuckling/untucking/etc. every time I go to the bathroom anyway, b) has often had to deal with pantyhose as well, and c) in one particularly memorable instance, managed out of desperation to use a cramped stall in an airport bathroom while toting on a carry-on suitcase and with an infant in a sling strapped across my front.

  285. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    I’m doing, erm, okay?


    I threw up before the tour. The tour went very well. I got back from the tour and disappeared with a cigar for an hour and rode through a panic attack. I still feel flushed, I still feel on edge. Tonight will not be good. I plan on drinking lots of Kraken.

    This has been building, though. Since being, basically, dismissed on a previous rape thread (the magic underwear one?) I have been on edge. Feeling like a failure. Feeling broken.

    Nothing new has shown up, Just details. More details. I keep remembering conversations. His fucking justifications, his reasons, his rationalizations for raping me and others. And it scares me because when I am down, when my failures are up close to the surface, when I have to fight to convince myself that I am really human, it all sounds so believable. I know it was lies. I know that. But . . . .

    I followed Lynna’s link (not your fault, Lynna, there is no need to apologize — it was my choice!) and read Jacob’s comment and the Cub Scout promise, which includes “obey the law of the pack” hit hard in a place I had forgotten about. It didn’t bring any knew memories in terms of what happened but it opened up a whole passel of unremembered conversations. Conversations that told me it was my fault. Conversations that told me I wanted this. Conversations that told me that I was getting what I deserve. Conversations that told me that my obedience would be rewarded (still waiting for a reward (unless hell is a reward?)).

    How many more of us are out there, silent in our own hell? I think of the boys of my youth, a year or two older, a few a little younger, but all, now, men in their late forties. How many of us remember? How many of us carry this oppressive weight, this guilt, this pain? That was, maybe, six or seven of us. How many thousands more are out there who knew they would never be believed, who knew that obedience was important, who knew that only girls got raped, who knew that we deserved it, who knew that we were failures for letting this happen, who knew that it was our fault, who knew that he was showing us what we could do, and, some of us, did do, when we got older?

    Am I okay? I guess so. I’ll have a couple of bad nights and go on with life. I’m lucky that I can. I wonder how many of us couldn’t go on? I can cry. I can vent and dump here. I can hide who I am. I can fake it. That is my solution. My heart and sympathy go out to all survivors. Your history is different, of course. But, deep down, how different are we?

    Be safe with yourselves. I love you.

  286. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hi everyone. Completely threadrupt here. Our real estate hell continues apace. The prospective buyers are requesting $12,000 in repairs which is a horridly inflated sum. I’ll spare you the details. Suffice to say I’m in a rage but am forced to be circumspect.

    On yet another completely different note, let’s talk about feet and shoes. I have the most gawd awful feet imaginable. They are so short and wide they are nearly square. In addition to weird genetics causing what I call duck feet, I was a dancer for many years in my youth and that activity can trash feet. My pointe shoes were the most ridiculous thing you’d ever want to see.

    Shoes have always been a huge problem, of course. In U.S. sizes I wear a 7 1/2 WWW. I know. Hard to imagine. Also hard to find. If I could afford it I’d have my shoes custom made. Now I order all my shoes online and still end up returning nearly everything. And I have a question. What to European folks with strange size feet do? I never see choices for width in European size lists.

    And style! Let’s talk about the complete lack of style available for people with weird feet. Stupidly, in my youth, I’d cram my poor tootsies into ill fitting high heels. That is probably why I now have such a bad back. Oh well, it matches my mangled feet.

    And pain! It is amazing the degree of pain to which a dedicated shoe fashionista can acclimate. If there are fellow travelers out there with good shoe sources, please let me know. My gratitude will be immense. Oh, and all foot jokes are welcome. My tootsies are amenable to mockery.

  287. says

    Try hottershoes.com, morgan. Their regular width is equivalent to W in USA, and their wide seems to be equivalent to WW or WWW. The big plus is extra nice leather that conforms to one’s foot.

    They handle returns well. You can usually find a 30% off coupon for hotter shoes.

  288. rq says


    Desert Son
    I really enjoy reading your comments! I’m sorry I’m not always good at replying to your replies to some of my comments, but usually I’m nodding in agreement or saying thanks to myself. Will do better in the future!


    London so far:
    1) I have lost my voice completely.
    2) Richard Dawkins is an even bigger asshole than \I had expected (and I am not ashamed to say it).
    3) The above two things are not related or linked in any way.
    4) I like it here.

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

    I’m jealous of your london trip, rq.

    I’ll get there one day though…

  290. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I will be 38 a momth from now.
    (no, not excited in the slightest. I can feel the melancholy beginning to wash over me.)

  291. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    I will stow away in your luggage when you do go…

  292. rq says

    Crip Dyke and Tony
    I hope you get a chance soon. For me it’s all about being in a completely different location, back to something more familiar to me (from a nostalgic sort of point of view – I mean, street signs are in English again!!), just seeing so much of the diversity that is in this city – architecturally (Brother is an architect, so he mentions this and that about this building and that), culturally… It’s dirty, yes, and the traffic sucks (thank goodness I’m not driving), but it’s so alive…!! I really hold thumbs for both of you to make it here one day.

    Also, I get to meet opposablethumbs tomorrow. Yay! In the Science Museum! Double-yay! :)

  293. Desert Son, OM says

    Crip Dyke at #362:

    Thank you. I am enjoying being back after a long lurk, and it is always great to read your comments. I am pleased to interact with the commentariat once more. It was great to read about your child’s delightful experiences and observations from the other day. Heartening and cheerful and inspiring!


    opposablethumbs at #363:

    Thank you for the encouragement.


    Ogvorbis at #365:

    A message of support for you in this turmoil. If such is your wish may you find some small moments of peace in the next few days. It is good to read your words among the FtB orbits.


    rq at #369:

    Thank you, and I hope I have not made you (or, indeed, anyone) feel some sort of obligation to constantly return communication. I have sometimes given myself anxiety that I am Not! Keeping! Up! With! Every! Comment! In Every! Thread! and must remind myself that it would be impossible to do so. The conversations at Pharyngula seem to me like currents or tides with ebbs and flows, but the powerful water of substance and sentiment is always there.

    In the meantime, safe travels!


    Ok, have made almost all the edits and additions for my proposal document that I can today, and my brain has figuratively melted, so I think I am done for the evening. Time for a glass of something warm and ethanol-ish and a little quiet decompression.

    Still learning,


  294. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    rq- I’m waiting with breathless anticipation…what did Dawkins do?

  295. Pteryxx says

    *offers more anklehugs to Ogvorbis* I hope to someday be as loving a person as you are.

    (latest rapey thread) …I WOULD have to glance at the blog NOW wouldn’t I. *sigh*

  296. rq says

    He had a horrible presentation.
    The rest of the event was brilliant – Bill Bailey had a bit of a bad joke at the expense of feminists, but it was just a quick stab and the rest of his presentation was engaging and interesting – he laid down the main theme of the event, which was Alfred Russell Wallace (a co-discoverer of the theory of evolution). Richard Fortey talked in a very low-key but also engaging manner about fossils and molecular biology (somewhat tangentially), and made me and Cousin and Cousin’s Friend wish he was our grandfather who could tell us fossil stories by the fireside on cold evenings with blankets and hot tea. Then Richard Wiseman did a fantastic presentation about magic and the paranormal and psychology and why we like to believe in such things sometimes.
    Then Richard Dawkins ruined it all by putting on a very bad presentation (as a bad presenter), having a non-sensical and difficult to follow (I would say, non-existent) argument of some weird sort, jumping all over the place… And also contradicting himself quite heavily in the first five minutes of his lecture, and also putting down women’s studies as a purposeless and unnecessary way of trying to understand the world (condensed version). He was boring, he was wrong, and it was horrible listening to him. We elected to leave and not stay for the discussion. Because we were afraid he would try to dominate, or that most questions would go to him due to his Big Name Status (this we guessed at from the tenor of the other questions and their askers during the other presentations). Anyway, he even threw out a comment about how looking at these things (a list of topics usually covered by women’s studies) from a woman’s perspective wouldn’t really give you much to talk about or learn (yes, he did) because there’s not much to learn; then he said that women’s studies, by covering so many different subjects, is not something that can be studied in depth, but can only be looked at superficially. Then the rest of his lecture was about how he wants to start a course about evolution… that looks at the role of evolution in an even longer list of different subjects (because when discussing evolution, nothing is superficial!!!!!!). Altogether it left a bad impression because the presentation felt unprepared and badly put together – considering one of the slides was a photo of a book that was given to him yesterday, we concluded that he hadn’t prepared an actual lecture and had merely thrown something together the previous evening. Ruined the whole emotional high we had coming out of Wiseman’s lecture. Should not have had him go last.

  297. Tetrarch says

    Hi again,

    Here is a little joke from my dad you all might like.

    My mom and I misread a recipe for ‘zinfandel sauce’ as ‘infidel sauce.’ After laughing about that, I said, “Hey Dad, what do you serve with infidel sauce?”

    From behind his newspaper and apparently not paying any attention: “Christians.”

    Dad was sharp :-)

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

    he said that women’s studies, by covering so many different subjects, is not something that can be studied in depth, but can only be looked at superficially.

    Yeah…y’know, this is what always bothered me about Leonardo da Vinci. If only he had zeroed in on the study of the mechanical properties of the Yew, think how much more valuable he would have been to the world.

    Obviously looking at things in the context of other things is the very definition of superficial and valueless exploration.

    i look forward to the day on which liberal arts education dies. Thank you, Richard, for showing me the light.

  299. yazikus says

    Good Evening (well my evening),
    I had a very amusing moment with my mother on the phone today. She was feeling super chatty, and I was in an obliging mood. Suddenly, sort of breathlessly she asked, “Well did you see it? Wait, you don’t have tv, you couldn’t have seen it” and I reply, “What did I miss?” and she goes, “Billy Grahams Birthday! did you catch it? If not, I’ll mail you a dvd of it right now!” so I reply a bit confused, “Is there any particular reason you think I might want to watch Billy Grahams birthday? Did it have a circ de soleil thing going on or something?”. She was kind of offended. But I am still confused, what on earth would make her think I needed a dvd of Billy Grahams birthday??? It was bizarre.

    rq, what a dreadful end to what sounded like an excellent and educational day! I hope the rest of your trip fares better.

  300. carlie says

    We love you too, Og. Hang in there and write whatever you need to.

    Crudely – if you’re reading along right now, know I’m thinking of you a lot. Lots of love to you.

    Morgan – my mom’s family has very similar feet to what you describe (I have a modified version of same). Earlier this year Mom went to a New Balance store and had them evaluate her feet to find exactly which of their lines were the best fit for her. She ended up paying quite a bit (I think about 100-120), and honestly they’re just plain white sneakers that are on the ugly side, but she says that they’re literally the first pair of shoes she’s ever owned that didn’t hurt to wear. I’ve had occasional luck with various brands, but it seems each time I think I find one, it turns out it was only that one model and it’s now discontinued. The only thing I’ve had reliable fit with is Tevas (because there’s basically no shoe there and what’s there is adjustable), so I basically wear those all summer and then suffer through winter in various sneakers and the occasional dress shoe that I wear when I absolutely have to. This year I decided to hell with looking entirely professional, and went with black suede sneakers that I now wear with black dress pants instead of pumps. The only time I ever tried to buy shoes online, I had to send them back twice for different sizes and then gave up and just returned them altogether. These are my dream shoes, but I can’t imagine paying so much for shoes and not knowing if they’d fit well or not.

  301. carlie says

    Found it – This is the shoe my mom got. Yeah. Fashionable it ain’t. We also have a narrower than normal heel to combine with the wide forefoot, so there aren’t a lot of choices. Oh, and our big toes stick up in front and kind of poke at the top of the shoe. And then the other toes are kind of twisted and curled under. So yes. I feel you on the weird feetness. :D

  302. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    Good night.

    I just finished a bottle of Cinder Bock beer. Quite good. Almost 10% alcohol. Feeling mildly buzzed. So off to bed.

    Perchance not to dream. A little scared.

  303. says

    Good luck, Og. *hugs* offered.


    I’m now once more beagle-bereft, as the wee fella’s gone back home with his mama. Really nice having him here, definitely made me clear that my disability has reached the point where I can’t have a dog who has to be walked twice a day or more, unless I can reliably have someone else to walk it or have an enclosed garden or something. I’m poking around lightly into the kinds of place that might allow that, but I’m in no hurry to move, because I’m dead picky about the kind and location of place I need. I’m hoping that once I’ve got ODSP*, I’ll be able to feel stable enough to safely start looking frealz, and see if there’s somewhere that suits.

    I’m gonna miss the wee fella, even if I don’t miss the twice-a-day walk schedule (three on the first few days, when i was more ambitious than sore yet). Talking to my partner** about the possibility of some other warm and furry thing before we can look into endoggenating. The talk seems to be centring on a lagomorphic response to the need for warm and fuzzy, as the Mouse has had such creatures before, and adores them; as long as whatever it is doesn’t need a lot of walking, nor have a strong urine smell (i.e., no cats or rodents, thanks, my grimly oversensitive nose can’t take it), I’m good.


    Bent and wobbly hugs on the pile as always, from the broken old lady in the corner looking at rescue orgs…

    * ODSP: Ontario Disability Support Program, the local name for “being on disability”. I actually think I’ve got a decent chance of getting it first time (about 30%, generally), assuming my MRI shows the damage in my hips that I’m reasonably sure is there, or at least shows how badly my back’s degenerated. If not, the second-time stat rises to 70% (not all rejected appeal, of course), so I’m reasonably confident. My doctor was kinda blown away when she read my self-report statement, that she’d had no idea I’d altered my life so much to accommodate my disability. I guess I’m not good at making that point on my own.

    ** I’m poly; when I speak of “my partner”, I generally mean the woman I’m handfasted to, who lives in Maryland in the US, and whom I see about one-third of the time (she has two other primary partners, who now fortunately all live together, which should cut some travel time for my partner). I have other partners, but all are much more casual/intermittent, more on a sort of “When we’re in the same geographic region” basis. Where I am the CaitieCat, my partner is the MyshkaMouse (not her actual name; “myshka” is a Russian diminutive for “mouse”, or near enough).

  304. says

    Been watching a really cool anime today, Puranetesu (Planetes), about a group of people who work in low earth orbit clearing out space debris. Very cool show, all the space scenes are utterly silent, no matter how catastrophic what’s happening is, and there’s attention paid to low- and zero-g life, and cosmic radiation exposure, and orbital mechanics, and SQUEE they do all kinds of things to get the science working right, or at least very plausibly wrong. Definitely worth watching, if you’ve any interest in space.

    They pay regular homage to the greats of rocketry/space, Tsiolkovsky, Goddard, von Braun, and so on. It starts off in a way that makes you think it’s going to be just another slightly kooky anime, but they bring in some really interesting personal growth in the characters, and keep it mixed with some good comedy. Anyway, that’s my Anime Tip o’ the Time Period. Night, all. :)

  305. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    that sounds awful. I remember reading about the Four Horsemen when I first learned about the Atheist movement and thought highly of them. My opinion of Hitchens went down fast, followed by Harris and then Dawkins. The 4 Horsemen lost quite a bit of lustre. I have not heard of any issues with Dennett, thankfully.

  306. rq says

    *more hugs* for the pile.

    Crip Dyke°
    Aren’t you just glad there’s an experienced, wise, genteel white Man to be around to tell you these things? I’m tellin’ ya, without them, we’d be so lost in the world!!

    It just came as a huge shocking downer. The young woman (who happened to be a person of colour) beside us walked out in the middle. Coincidentally, a few minutes after he threw out some rather thoughtless and careless comments about racism. Which were within the vicinity of comments about eugenics (where he stressed the difference between positive eugenics and negative eugenics.
    And really, RD has been the low point of the trip – everything else (well, besides the fact that I have lost my voice completely!!) has been fantastic, even the weather (bright crisp and sunny yesterday – Brother was like whoa, what’s that? haha). Cousin was supremely happy because Richard Wiseman tweeted her back (she sent compliments on the presentation).

    Flying back to Real Life this evening.

    Your dad – definitely sharp! :D

  307. Walton says

    No time to catch up with the thread, sadly – I’ve started my pupillage and have been working long hours the last few weeks, with consequent sleep deprivation. Tired Walton. At least I finally got to sleep in this morning.

    Also, the experience of immigration lawyering has made me even more horrified by the sheer callousness of the Home Office and the brutality of the immigration enforcement system. (For obvious reasons of confidentiality I can’t talk about specific cases here.)

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

    I did laundry, washed the windows, finished some work-related stuff and now I’m making myself a pizza. It’s not even noon yet.
    I feel so productive. It’s weird. :)

    I’m also bouncing off the walls. That cup of coffee wasn’t that big.

    Hello, Walton!
    It’s wonderful how much you’re investing yourself in helping immigrants. You rock! (does anyone say that any more besides me?)

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

    I’m always glad when you stop by, Walton.

    I’m sorry about the Dawkins thing.

    …he threw out some rather thoughtless and careless comments about racism[, w]hich were within the vicinity of comments about eugenics (where he stressed the difference between positive eugenics and negative eugenics.

    Speaking as a secular Jew, someone who has (step-)kids, someone who has lived through the years that included genocides in Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Rwanda, and Sudan, among others, someone who has read the writing of Bethenia Owens-Adair, someone who has read the decision in Buck v Bell & Skinner v Oklahoma, someone who has seen the value in statistics, demographically and otherwise, someone who has consulted for the organization founded by Margaret Sanger, someone who has had a dog, someone who has eaten a dinner, like, ever, as someone who once climbed a tree, and even as someone who has lost a hair follicle while brushing, I am so, so, so glad that this man is here to make the distinction between positive eugenics, where you uplift a people by keeping out bad influences, and negative eugenics, where you prevent the downfall of a people by keeping out bad influences.

    I’m sure I must feel exactly like the bacterial colony in the hospital – much happier being lysoled out of existence by a smiling employee than anti-bioticed out of existence later by a frowning one.

    Richard: you have a way of finding the most helpful way of phrasing things. Even to muslimas! What we would do without your particular perspective?

    No, seriously, what would we do without his perspective?

  310. blf says

    ncing off the walls. That cup of coffee wasn’t that big.

    Yes, but what about the convey of supertankers beforehand? You drained the lot.

    What’s impressive here is you did it “small” cup by “small” cup. At wrap-speed.

    (Without, as the mildly deranged penguin points out, being threatened by any peas.)

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

    wow, blf, I’m clearly not on my came this morning.

    Yes, but what about the convey of supertankers beforehand?

    I went through coven, covey, and even bevy before I hit on convoy.

    I feel like I’m following along after you, missing and missing. Makes me want to say:
    “Tpyos is strong with this one.”

  312. blf says

    I’m making myself a pizza.

    Most people and penguins use dough, tomatoes, cheese, assorted other ingredients, cheese, and of course, cheese. Rarely do they use themselves.

  313. blf says

    Tpyos is strong with this one.

    eYs i, Hazve q pribobemwi thg ettingz wrsdospelled and orerd korrec. t

    (No, I am not dyslexic or anything, just a bit sloppy, and sometimes tired and/or whatever. At the moment I am procrastinating, i.e., probably not paying as much attention to the ypting as I should bee.)

  314. says

    Looking something simple that will provide immediate and measurable improvements in grade school and high school classrooms? Here it is: feed the kids.

    … Students perform better when they are not distracted by hunger, and programs that provide free breakfast are more effective when the meal is incorporated into the school day rather than being offered before school in the cafeteria, which stigmatizes participants as poor in the eyes of their peers. As of February, free school breakfast programs were only reaching half of the students who are eligible for them.

    Breakfast in the Classroom helps to close that gap, improving the efficacy of the programs. It “prevents students from missing breakfast when they don’t arrive at school early” and from having to “choose between socializing with friends and eating breakfast,” FRAC notes. In districts with high proportions of low-income students, Breakfast in the Classroom programs can be extended to the entire student body for no charge. Public schools in Dallas extended free lunch and breakfast programs to all students regardless of income in October, and the Boston public school system made the same choice in September.

    Three out of four teachers routinely see kids showing up to class hungry, according to a survey from the summer. The link between childhood hunger and future health and behavioral problems, as well as worse educational, economic, and social outcomes, is well established in academic research. If even 70 percent of eligible students were enrolled in free school meal programs, rather than the roughly 50 percent enrolled now, the research suggests a full 800,000 more kids would graduate high school and 3.2 million would perform significantly better on tests.

  315. says

    Keeping up with episodes in the Ted Cruz Stupidity-and-Ignorance Show is difficult. Whew! And the dude is surrounded by an astonishing cast of bit players. Astonishing because each of the bit players alone accounts for a lot damage due to head-desking. (See comments #328 and 332.)

    … Cruz is scheduled to speak at David Barton’s “ProFamily Legislators Conference” along with effusive conspiracy thoerist Glenn Beck, master voter suppressor and now Family Research Council bigwig Ken Blackwell, FRC vice president and radical anti-Islam activist General Jerry Boykin, and anti-gay, anti-Islam activist Rabbi Daniel Lapin. But perhaps the most questions for Cruz should come around accepting an invitation from Barton, who routinely pushes junk science and history and who just this week found himself in hot water among conservatives for telling veterans that it’s unbiblical to have PTSD.

    Cruz is also set to join Rep. Louie Gohmert at “David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend,” along with Horowitz’s fellow anti-Islam activists Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Erick Stakelbeck and Daniel Pipes; right-wing pundits Ann Coulter and Ben Shapiro; “voter fraud” truther Catherine Engelbrecht ; erstwhile Christian Coalition leader and Jack Abramoff pal Ralph Reed; prankster/martyr James O’Keefe; and rising right-wing star Dr. Ben Carson. …

    Right Wing Watch link.

    Ted Cruz says that he will continue to try to tear down the Affordable Care Act, … oh, and BTW, our government. How did this clown get himself elected?

    Other speakers at the right-wing brain-fucked fest “gleefully picked up a story from New York’s local CBS station that alleged that members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt were dipping puppies in gasoline and lighting them on fire in order to make puppy bombs. …” CBS, please get your act together! You are a laughing stock, and you are pouring gasoline on already eruptive conspiracy theories, racism, bigotry and … you name it. (See comments #17, 25 and 46 for previous discussions of CBS failing journalism school. And scroll down to see video here for the Saturday Night Live sketch that ends with a jab at CBS’s Lara Logan.)

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


    I’m crying right now.

    We have research. Even if you’re a penny pincher that cares nothing about other people, but only about spending, we can calculate the costs of imprisoning people, of adult support mechanisms that would be less necessary with good support of children. We can likely never get a good estimate of the opportunity costs of letting the genius of 3.2 million people be constrained by hunger in a country of excess food. But why, why, why can we not get “economic conservatives” on board with spending the money now to save – and make – money later, even without the central issues of justice towards children.

    It’s this kind of thing that makes me want to vomit when the people who oppose these programs call themselves “pro-life”.

    I’m glad Dallas is changing. May this spread – and quickly – wherever there is both food and hunger.

    In the meantime, I’ll be over in the corner, mourning the lost growth of 3.2 million minds and bodies, of 3.2 million children.

  317. Pteryxx says

    leaving this here w/ sympathies for CaitieCat, via commenters at Manboobz:

    …my disability has reached the point where I can’t have a dog who has to be walked twice a day or more…


  318. says

    All in the family: Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, has claimed, again, that atheism and/or secular humanism causes sexual abuse.

    Raw Story link.

    … Of course, without God there is no value to life. That leads to immorality, that leads to sexual abuse, and there is no hope. …

    Oh, yeah, and a lack of school prayer leads to teen pregnancy. Video at the link.

  319. says

    You remember Ben Stein. I see reporters have decided to categorize Stein as a “commentator.”

    Commentator Ben Stein said on Thursday that President Barack Obama’s “deeply naïve” premise that Iran would suddenly end its nuclear activities in exchange for an easing of sanctions that have crippled its economy for five years would make the “annihilation” of Jews possible. …


    Hmmm, President Obama is setting up the Jews for annihilation? Maybe George Bush can forestall this annihilation by helping the Messianic Jews to convert all the Jews to christianity?

  320. carlie says

    To piggyback on Lynna’s topic, a completely free way to increase children’s performances in school is to start the day later. Also see here, and also here.

    The only reason I keep seeing for why school districts don’t do this is that it pushes afterschool athletic activities too late into the evening.

  321. says

    @405 Pteryxx: Thanks, that’s adorable. I have several wee friends like this: I have a mostly-black Scottie dog that I was given as a small child, imaginatively named “Blackie”, who’s a bit sensitive in his old age (he’s somewhere over 300 in dog years), so he doesn’t sleep in my bed anymore. I’ve got a very small bear (not much bigger than my fist) who’s been all over the world with me, and who sleeps in my boob-cave, and is called “Bubba”. And lastly, I have a gorgeous very soft panther – my favourite wild animal – who’s probably similar in size to Cerberus there, called “Temeraire”. Temmy spends time in the bed when I’m otherwise alone in it (i.e., partner-challenged), or when I’m very anxious or scared. Bubba joins her too.

    Bubba, by the way, is named after a Canadian park ranger. Sort of. He had a strong, STRONG Alberta accent (I thought he was laying it on, personally), which is vaguely like a US western accent, but more Canadian, and amongst ourselves we decided he was “Ranger Bubba”. And Bubba being recently-arrived (I’ve had him for 18 years) at that point, and in need of a name, and a small bear having later visited our campsite while the rangers waited for the tranqs to take effect, only to be taken gently away by Ranger Bubba and his team, we decided he would be Bubba.

    Bubba Ganouj, that is. :D

  322. says

    Well, Pteryxx @405, that was nice! And I learned a few things. There are more ways to make a dick look bigger than the cliché soap bubbles in the bath (though that works too). If naked, cover your dick with two hands arranged vertically. If necessary, use a car tire. Large plush toys also work.

    Naked men look better wet than do cats.

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

    Well. It says something when I can’t concentrate on a handsome naked tattooed man because there’s the cutest cat on the photo beside his.
    I dunno.




  324. says

    Tony@371 38? Only 38? Pshaw! We should be going out soon to celebrate my 10th
    annual (11th if you’re a fortran programmer who starts indices with 1 instead of 0) 42nd birthday as of last Tuesday. I try not to sweat it.

    Should, because I’m hoping for a break in the weather. We’re under a tornado watch and one of the line of storms you see on the weather map in the Chicago area is strung out SW to NE and moving in the same direction, lies right on top of us. We had pea size hail a few minutes ago.

    Re: underware … I’m a pull-down guy. But then I don’t wear undershirts and half the time I don’t even wear a shirt that has to be tucked in.

    Re: shoes … Luckily it appears that the 15 (soon to be 16) year old’s feet stopped growing at US size 14 (was tracking his age for a while). This seems to be the upper range of what can be found in brick-and-mortor stores. As he has various quirks, I can’t imagine trying to buy him shoes online … we, my wife and I, suck at that “return” thing even for stores w/ a physical presence; packing up and mailing stuff off?

    Wife has odd feet as well. Does a lot of standing (CC professor). And was having serious issues recently. A $600 set of doctor perscribed shoe inserts have made a huge difference. Alas, well, $600, which means, for now, one and only one set … which have to be moved from work shoe to dog-walking shoe to day-to-day shoe. It’s a pain, but less so than no insert at all.

    I won’t comment on the attractiveness of any of the shoes linked to; personally, I think all shoes are “ugly”. Just some slightly less so than others. Hmmm. That reminds me, it’s probably time for my annual shoe buy: a pair of Columbia (or similar) “day hikers”. I’ll wear essentially nothing else (sans occasionally boots when the snow is high) for a year at which point they’ll be broken in the heel (from sliding on … I’m not so great at the tying shoe thing) and all the tread worn off. Luckily work essentially never calls for “dress shoes”. Hmmm, the fact that I haven’t yet worn a hole in the sole, about 1-2 months overdue, probably implies something about that index ticking over to 11.

    Weather seems to have started a more easterly movement and we’re between bands so I think we’ll be off soon.

  325. says

    My favorite “shoes” are a pair of hiking boots with glove leather lining and outer leather tough enough to stand up to off-trail hiking and to cactus spines when desert hiking.

    In general, women’s dress shoes do not measure up to my hiking boots.

  326. Portia, in absentia says


    The different parts of my brain were fighting and getting all confused with the reactions to the nekkid and the kyoot.


    I freaked out a little bit about 27, ha. I wish I could take you out for your birthday to celebrate in style :)


    I haven’t seen hail but this storm sure is weird for November. It was about 70°F this morning and then the storm blew in quite the cold front.

    I’m drinking coffee and organizing my house and planning meals for the week. It’s a nice day.

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


    Hey, I’m 27 too! [irrational feeling of delight about being the same age]
    I think I didn’t freak out for my birthday this year, for a change.

  328. Portia, in absentia says


    age-sharing high five! :D I was born on the 3rd, and 27 is 3^3, so I called this year my platinum birthday just for kicks.

    Birthdays mainly freak me out because no one in my life ever lives up to my expectations for celebrations…I’m not sure what that says about me, my life, or my friends/family. Which is where the freaking out comes in. I’m always a little down more for those reasons than for existential angstyness. *sad trombone*


  329. says

    I ignore my birthday, but my excellent progeny, (grown woman on the east coast, grown son on the west coast) do not ignore it. So that’s nice.

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

    Heh, I’m usually full of existential angst for mine. Counting failures, stuff like that. Although, I’m never quite satisfied with the cake either.
    So I made one myself this year :)

  331. Portia, in absentia says

    See, I don’t need a special day to be filled with existential angst, ha, it just sort of never leaves me.

    …I didn’t have a cake this year! Maybe I should make one, darn it. What kind did you make?

    I made brunch for some cousins and had them over on my birthday this year. womp womp.

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

    Chocolate, rum and either blueberries or cherries. and then lots of chocolate over the whole thing.

  333. says

    Well, the main difference between my birthday and other family members’ birthday is that I get to choose the cake I make.
    But I admit that I’m positively craving for a bit of birthday attention. But I’m also easily satisfied: send me a text-message and I’m happy. I’ll be 35 come January and I still haven’t graduated (but to be fair my course is basically 2 masters). But by now I’ve decided to believe all the “kids” in college who think it’s cool and great that I came back to finish that stuff.

    Also, the kitties win 9 times out of 10

  334. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    rq – I’m sorry (but not surprised) that Dawkins’ talk was so disappointing. I’m very happy to hear that you are enjoying the rest of your trip. I hope your voice comes back soon. *hugs*

    Nerd – *hugs and chocolate*

    Walton – *pouncehug*

    Portia – *pouncehug

  335. rq says

    Hello, y’all!
    Not that you would notice, but I am back in Latvia. *sigh* Just last week I remembered that tomorrow is the national independence day holiday here, so I could have stayed another day and seen more museums. But it was too late to change the tickets.

    I am also formally announcing that opposablethumbs is as wonderful in person as she is here online (though currently without internet for whatever strange reason, but she’ll be back soon!). We had a lovely chat, a very Lounge-like chat actually – all over the place but very interesting, and I’m a bit quite sad we had so little time. And it only makes me want to meet others/all of you even more (yes, you too, Beatrice, even without Alan Rickman to pass our time!).

    But to backtrack a little bit to the kitties and menfolk, the only one that really had me worried was the naked man standing in front of the fan… I am also amazed that for every man-photo, there actually is a cat photo.
    To add to the pile, here’s some naked men and a good cause. ;)

  336. says

    Justin Lookadoo is a Christian motivational speaker and “dating expert” who believes that “dateable girls know how to shut up,” and that “dateable guys … know they are stronger, more dangerous, and more adventurous [than girls] and that’s okay.” …

    Rev. BigDumbChimp flagged this Lookadoo idiot in comment #215 and carlie followed up in #233.

    The idea that Texas school officials would invite Justin Lookadoo to give dating advice to high schoolers is just unbelievable.

    Lookadoo also spouted typical MRA crap about females who dress “like a piece of meat,” with the conclusion that, “you are no longer a person to get to know but an object to use.” Sounds like a wannabe-rapist to me.

    Salon link.

  337. says

    From the student’s Twitter comments following Justin Lookadoo’s presentation:

    What are we mad about?! I love being called a vindictive, evil, creature! Someone boss me around because I have ovaries!

  338. says


    What is ‘planeswalking’?

    Reality hopping. Moving from one universe to the next. PCs will be people stranded by misadventure or abduction from their home realm and searching for a way home while having adventures in various settings and worlds

  339. says

    Extremely ‘rupt, due to technical problems keeping me off the web all week.
    In case my previous post was too garbled (it was from my phone), I am interested in the game in question. I would tend to lean towards Pathfinder rules, primarily because I have access to them.

  340. cicely (Tired and shagged out after a prolonged squawk.) says

    Minorly ‘rupted by circumstance. (Stoooopid at-work computer kept closing down and rebooting, for no damned reason at all, losing my wittlessy comments in the process…es. Eventually I was forced to give it up.)
    Well, then there was Skepticon, Friday night and Saturday day….
    …at which I met and meatspacedly-hugged the elusive David Marjanović!
    Unfortunately, I met no other Pharyngulites.

    chigau, grokking is not. I thought Azkyroth was merely engaging in a pretty routine Venting-In-Response-To-An-Irritation???

    Are you a Grammar Guru?

    Apparently so. At least, according to that test. 100%!

    Does that include musical references? Because I really need some help. My friends don’t dance. And if they don’t dance, I’m worried that they might not be friends of yours.
    Should I just leave my friends behind?

    And can it be done in Safety?

    rq, huzzah! for Middle Child’s taste in entertainment!
    :) :) :)

    And I can’t remember if I posted this demotivational poster here already, but all this talk of motivational speaking has reminded me.

    …I read as “motivational spanking”.

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis, with a hope for harmless dreams.

    Hello, Tetrarch. I’m sorry for your loss.
    *chocolate*? *tea*? *garlic*?

    *hugback* for Hekuni Cat.

    *looking at extent of Thread Remaining*
    I am never gonna get caught up.

  341. says


    non attack combat maneuvers are made slightly easier it seems. The expanded classes and the tweak builds for existing ones seem to be an improvement as well.

  342. cicely (Tired and shagged out after a prolonged squawk.) says

    I have decided that textured carpeting is Evil. Probably made entirely out of peas. Definitely invented by Horses.

    *hugs* and *calming music* for morgan.

    Desert Son, so far the reports concerning Vehicular Distress remain less-than-encouraging. At this point, the cost is past $1000; we’ve sold something, and scuttled our cash supply, and (so far) our employer is willing to float us the rest, and allow us to have it taken out of my paycheck on a weekly basis. But The Husband is worried that the dire words “head gasket” may come up in the conversation, and if so, the ball game is over, and we are comprehensively screwed.
    *thinking of playful kittens with grim determination*

    Esteleth, I’m so glad that you were able to get a loan!
    *hugs* and relief at your narrow escape from Carwash Asshole.

    Let’s hope an asteroid arrives real soon and puts an end to H. Sapiens Horribilis.

    birgerjohansson, I cannot agree. Son is pretty awesome, and not at all Horribilis, and I don’t want to see him sky-nuked because of the likes of Stalin, Pol Pot, Cheney….

    So Girlfriend is moving in. Her kitty and my kitties seem to be adjusting to each others’ presence. My apartment is filled with boxes and lots of new stuff.

    :) :) :)

    Crip Dyke, #2 is awesome. Go, Young Scientist!

    *hug* for Nerd.

    Why the fuck do different underwear manufacturers change the design, layout, placement of the covering for the opening? I have underwear that requires me to slide my hand in on the right and other underwear that requires me to slide in on the left. While dancing from foot to foot. While trying not to . . . well, you get the idea.

    While trying not to…do the Hokey Pokey as you turn yourself around?
    ‘Cause that, as everyone knows, is what it’s all about.

    Additional *megahugs* for Ogvorbis.


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

    @Ingdigo Jump, 433:

    One of the best adventure hooks I ever had:

    Playing 2E, a psionicist, who used dimension walk fairly extensively as his long-range transport from adventure land to home base and back to adventure land.

    On one trip after going home (psionics was rare, and so had to travel 700 miles back to master to train), character was returning to the place where he was adventuring. Dimension Walking, as usual. I fall out of my DW short of my destination, but not because I failed a roll or anything. I tried to reinitiate DW, couldn’t. Hear a scream in a tower that I hadn’t noticed right away. Head towards the tower. Villainous miscreant mistreating beautiful (but villainous) woman. Have a feeling that I’m supposed to help – not sure where it comes from or what I’m supposed to do. Then she screams at me when she sees me and orders me to rescue her from Mr Big Axe. Strangely, my character who is (by design) constantly skirting the border between TrueNeutral and NE, feels very motivated to rescue her even without obvious reward in the offing.

    ….later it turns out that she had used a magical item on her person (not sure what it was anymore – something innocuous so it wouldn’t automatically be taken by enemies) that summoned extra-planar help 1x/year, and **I** was the extra-planar help!

    She had been kidnapped by a ruthless mercenary at the behest of a faithful servant of the king b/c she and her father were involved in a plot to sabotage the engagement of the prince in such a way that the only remaining politically viable match would be for the prince to marry her. Dad gets a grand-kid monarch, daughter gets to be queen. Also, this arises b/c the only child of the king is a bit of a simpleton. So King won’t step down before he dies…but that means when prince takes over, won’t have king to guide him.

    It was also wonderfully subversive of the save-the-damsel trope, since I didn’t want to save her but was under geas to do so and had to convince her not to give me too many commands so that I would have the flexibility to accomplish her most important goal – getting her back to her dad’s keep safely – in the way I deemed best, since she didn’t know my capabilities. Also, I didn’t know right away that she was evil (as she didn’t know my alignment) and so I was quite surprised to see her back-stabbing a goblin that was creeping up on me whilst I was busily engaged with an Ogre and 3 other goblins. (Good perception roll I had that time). Like I said, totally subversive – she saved me at least twice, but only because she knew she couldn’t make it home without me, and neither of us were terribly forthcoming with our abilities to the other.

    I think she turned out to be a 3rd level thief. I was dual-class: 4th level fighter, 5th or 6th level psionicist. I could heal, but it took a *lot* of power. So we’re sneaking through this dangerous wood. I took a potion of vitality to stay awake until I could get her home. Spiders, mountain pass, find our way into a tomb trying to hide from an ambush in the mountain pass… and the whole time, my standard plan would be to use psychoportation powers to get away whenever the odds weren’t in my favor. I was a crafty thing – only taking on fights where I was confident I had a good shot at winning and always ready to go ectoplasmic & leave rather than surrendering if things went badly. But I had to guard *her*. I had to follow her orders, and she’d made it clear her safety was the priority.

    Heck of a challenge for that character, and a heck of a role playing challenge for me.

  344. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I agree with cicely.
    In addition to all the awesome people she knows, there is all of you-the PZ sockpuppets-who rock (I use the word too), and your loved ones, and my loved ones. And more. Can we send for a Meteor of Enlightenment instead?

  345. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    A lot of sports has lost its way and I’m gonna tell you, part of the reason is because we’ve got women giving us directions. For some of you, this is going to come across as very misogynistic. I don’t care, because I’m very right. I’m willing to share my sandbox, as long as you remember you’re in my box.

    He should be more attentive to keeping the cats out of his sandbox >.>

  346. rq says

    Link dump:

    Social justice
    Speaking out against Zoe’s law from a perspective of someone who has lost an unborn baby. ** Warning: discussion of fetal personhood and consent **

    The Arts
    Guillermo del Toro’s sketchbooks, full of art and notes and art and wow.

    Wondering what to watch but don’t want to go mainstream commercial? Well. I have the thing for you: 25 Best Undistributed Films of 2013. At least one of those should be watchable (and, surprisingly*, quite a few of those are not North American / former-British-Empire in origin!!).
    *Some snark may apply.

    This one just barely makes it into my personal Arts category: dogs shaking their drooly faces in HD and slo-mo. Ridiculous expressions, to say the least. And I shudder at the flying saliva – as much as I love dogs, I love their drooling a lot less.

    Think the earth is “too ordinary”? Here are 10 alien locations, right here on our world. Unusual, eerie, surreal, otherwordly – all these words could apply, if it weren’t for the fact that this is merely an incredible expression of the wonderful diversity that is nature.

    Meet Ming, the world’s oldest (known) animal mollusc.

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

    More experiments with the breadmaker.

    Turns out that how much wheat gluten is used is pretty crucial to **not** having an exceptionally sticky mass cling to the sides of the teflon mixing pan. Who knew?

    Also: when it beeps, take the dough out right away – don’t delay for 30 minutes finishing playing a Zombies song with your partner’s brother-in-law while the yeast causes the fresh dough to over-rise, collapse, and then not rise sufficiently again when you take it out and form loaves on your baking pan.

    Still, if it collapses into a flatter shape, as long as you’ve got the basic recipe down and rub the top of the loaf with olive oil, you’ll get quite a nice ciabatta-type thing, if a little denser than normal.

    Final advice? If you take it out a few minutes early, before it gets the crispy-crunchy crust? Then when you slice it and put it under the broiler to make garlic bread, the crust finishes off nicely instead of being overcooked.

    All-in-all a good bit of learning, with edible-if-imperfect bread as a side benefit.

    When I get this thing down to an art, I’m totally going to envy exactly no one. Fresh bread FTW!

  348. birgerjohansson says

    Cats in sandboxes are OK, as long as the sand is the kind that forms convenient lumps when peed in. Easy to clean.
    I have no experience of women in sandboxes.

    “women giving us directions”
    -Your sandbox is over there. Now stay there and don’t disturb the grownups.

  349. says

    Yesterday I was taking pictures in the botanical garden. This morning: off the the hospital the birth the sprog. See you all on the flip side.

  350. says

    Following up on comments 431 and 432. Lookadoo is just one of many christian abstinence lecturers who regularly speak at high schools and colleges throughout the USA.

    I went to public high school in Montana, where at least once a year we were shuffled into the gymnasium for lectures from abstinence-only educational speakers on how to make “good choices.” Young, sprightly twentysomethings, who often resembled Ken and Barbie, would dance around the auditorium playing Christian rock and trying to convince us that having sex wasn’t cool. In between all the jokes and music, I learned that condoms cause cancer and that sex is a bad deal for women. Turns out, I wasn’t alone. Across the the United States, public schools—even ones that teach comprehensive sex education—invite religious abstinence speakers to come in to talk to students about sex, and sometimes spread information that is factually inaccurate in the process. …

    Jason Evert: “Girls…only lift the veil over your body to the spouse who is worthy.” …

    Pam Stenzel: “If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you.” …. She also asserts that the HPV vaccine “only works on virgins,” and that chlamydia—even when treated—is likely to make women infertile, with a 25 percent chance of infertility the first time it’s contracted and a 50 percent chance the second time. Her HPV claim is 100 percent false, and her chlamydia statement is mostly false. (Of women with chlamydia who go untreated, about 10 percent will develop pelvic inflammatory disease, which in some cases may cause infertility.)…

    Joi Wasill: “According to your health textbook, and all of the medical textbooks, and science textbooks, and biology texts, conception is when life begins.” …

    Shelly Donahue: “Girls are more feelings-oriented, and boys are more facts-oriented.”… Donahue tells students that if a guy gets sperm anywhere near a girl’s vagina, it will turn into a “little Hoover vacuum” and she will become pregnant. … She continues to conduct sex-ed training programs for teachers on public Title V funds and is holding one this month in Greeley, Colorado. [All of theses off-the-wall and fact-deficient speakers get paid one way or another.]


  351. dianne says

    @ Indigo What is ‘planeswalking’?

    I read this at first as “What is ‘planesplaning’?” The image that came to my mind was…odd. Someone who has experienced multiple realities condescendingly explaining life in a reality that they don’t know to someone who lives in that reality, perhaps?

  352. dianne says

    @332: Isn’t abortion illegal in the Philippines? If god is mad about abortion, wouldn’t hitting the Netherlands with a hurricane make more sense than a typhoon on the Philippines where the laws agree with him? Just asking.

  353. says

    Republican Senators are gearing up to filibuster yet another one of President Obama’s nominees.

    The Senate will convene this afternoon for yet another Republican filibuster of an extremely well-qualified nominee from President Obama. This time it will be Robert Wilkins, a judge on the District Court for the District of Columbia, nominated by the president to fill a vacancy on the nation’s second most important court, the D.C. Circuit. Wilkins will be the third D.C. Circuit nominee filibustered in a month’s time, and the second prominent African American filibustered in that time frame. Republicans also blocked Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC), the president’s nominee for the federal housing agency.

    Wilkins sailed through his confirmation hearing in the Judiciary Committee, the only controversy coming from the crazy uncle of the committee, Chuck Grassley, who tried to nail Wilkins down on something using the writings of one of his fellow nominees to the court. …

    Daily Kos link.

  354. Portia, in absentia says

    Dutchgirl! Be well and best wishes! :D :D :D

    dianne – sssssh don’t make too much sense, gawd’ll get mad.

  355. says

    Matt Taibbi, writing for Rolling Stone, has an amusing take on JP Morgan Chase’s Twitter fiasco:

    … Chase execs probably thought they were going to be inundated with questions, like, “What steps can I take to try to become as totally awesome as all of you?” This one can infer from the self-satisfied language of their announcing Tweet, which read:

    What career advice would you ask a leading exec at a global firm? Tweet a Q using #AskJPM. On 11/14 a $JPM leader takes over @JPMorgan

    Only on Wall Street would a bank that’s about to pay out the biggest settlement in the history of settlements unironically engage the public, expecting ordinary people to sincerely ask one of their top-decision makers for career advice. The notion that this was their idea of reaching out to the public in a moment of public relations crisis – we’ll take questions now on how you can become just as successful as us! – was doomed to be hilarious, and it turned out to be that and more.

    Chase trotted out Vice Chairman Jimmy Lee to be pushed into the social media buzz-saw. Lee was an excellent choice for this role. As one of the world’s leading Leveraged Buyout (LBO) pioneers, Lee is a human bridge symbolically connecting two different and equally loathsome eras in Wall Street iniquity – the Gordon Gekko/LBO Eighties and Nineties, and the price-rigging, bubble-making, steal-everything-not-nailed-down era covering the Wall Street of today. From the public’s perspective, Lee basically represents the banker who foreclosed on your house and the guy who liquidated your factory in a deal financed by junk bonds, all in one ….

  356. says

    Tweets in response to JP Morgan’s foray into the ask-me-anything Twitterverse:

    “Downtown Josh Brown” at @ReformedBroker: I have Mortgage Fraud, Market Manipulation, Credit Card Abuse, Libor Rigging and Predatory Lending AM I DIVERSIFIED?

    YouTube video of professional actor reading the tweets.

  357. says

    Climate deniers dominate the Republican Party in Colorado — or at least they dominate the group that is running for office and/or for reelection. Maddow Blog link.

    Republicans respond to a question about climate change:

    BROPHY: No I don’t think it’s true nor a problem. You know, I run a carbon sequestration factory in eastern Colorado, where we come from we call that a corn farm. So I like CO2 in the air, my corn plants do a good job of putting it into the ground. […]

    KOPP: I’ll tell you what, going after a problem like trying to mitigate CO2 can cost millions and millions of dollars, and even if you do have some success, it’s immediately eaten up by the likes of China. We’re killing people who are just trying to put food on their table. We shouldn’t be doing that. […]

    GESSLER: I think there’s been a lot of hysteria surrounding, uh, CO2. And I think, when you look at, rationally, over the last decade or so, there’s not been a, uh, there’s actually been a reduction here in the United States. In part, because we’ve become more efficient than that. And I think the fact of the matter is, when we push out industry, when we hurt our economy, other countries pick up the slack, and pollute more than we ever did. So I don’t think that the response we’ve seen from this government has been right once. […]

    TANCREDO: I saw a great debate a while back between an environmentalist and someone who wasn’t, I suppose, who wouldn’t categorize that way. She, the environmentalist, was claiming that the earth had gotten warmer as a result of man’s action, and the other person said, indeed, that’s not the case, in the last few years, it’s actually gotten colder. And so, what’s happening, which one is it, and she says, well I don’t know but it’s something though. Right? It’s something. Something is changing, yeah, it always is changing. That is the nature of our environment. Our, our, it is so, it’s such hubris the idea that we as human beings actually control that process. Um, yes, there is climate change, there always has been, there always will be. And the idea of spending billions of dollars going after CO2, frankly, is silly.

    Right. SILLY. Silly, silly, silly. Is this a sitcom?

  358. cicely (Tired and shagged out after a prolonged squawk.) says

    Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
    Also, shit and damn.
    And HORSES.
    With peas.
    That is all.

  359. says

    Alaska’s Republican Governor, Sean Parnell, has joined other Republican governors in rejecting the Medicaid expansion that is part of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

    Expansion would have benefited 40,000 or more Alaskans, many of them low-income adults without children who currently have no health insurance. It also would have helped hospitals and doctors by reducing the amount of uncompensated care they have to write off and would have brought billions of federal dollars into the Alaska economy. …


  360. says

    An anti-feminine message, and an odd obsession with Jesus’ “bulging biceps” from right-wing religious doofuses:

    A few months ago, Family Research Council Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin spoke at a Men’s Prayer Breakfast at William Jessup University where he discussed the “4 P’s of Biblical Manhood.”

    During his speech, Boykin told the male audience that Jesus was not the weak, effeminate, “feminized” figure taught in church today but was really a ripped, tough, strong “man’s man” who smelled bad!

    As Boykin explained, Jesus was a carpenter and stone mason for most of his life, which required him to be constantly lifting heavy pieces of wood and stone. All this lifting, in turn, meant that Jesus had calluses on his hands and “big, bulging biceps, big ole veins popping out of his arms, thin waist, [and] strong shoulders.”

    “He was a man,” Boykin said. “He was a man’s man, but we feminized him in the church … He was a tough guy and that’s the Jesus that I want to be like. That’s the side that I want to be like. But we’ve feminized Jesus in the church and the men can’t identify with him anymore; not the kind of men that I want to hang out with, they can’t identify with this effeminate Jesus that we’ve tried to portray. He was a tough guy. He was a man’s man” … [video at the link, in which soft old white guy gets his kicks talking about Jesus' "thin waist."]


  361. dianne says

    Just to point out, Obamacare is the Republican alternative. It was what the Repubs suggested as an alternative to “Hillarycare”. It is the most timid step in the direction of universal coverage that could possibly be taken and the one least likely to result in a reduction of health care costs.

  362. says

    BTW, regarding my post at 466, I have nothing against soft old white guys … with admirable brains. All for them. It’s these guys that worship a he-man Jesus while exemplifying the opposite that ping my hypocrisy radar.

  363. Portia, in absentia says

    I got a vaguely threatening note from an unhappy opposing party…about answering to “God’s law” when “we leave this earth.” Creeeeepy. Or maybe I’m just easily creeped out, ha.

  364. says

    dianne @467 is right about Obamacare being the Republican alternative to universal healthcare. The Heritage Foundation, Mitt Romney and other Republicans devised the scheme to save us all from the horrors of socialized medicine that actually works.

  365. says

    Well, this is just ugly. Conservative columnists are calling our military service members who report sexual harassment “fragile flowers.”

    Feminism is trying to yank the U.S. military in two directions at once. While claiming that women have no problem meeting the rigorous standards of the SEALs or infantry, advocates of opening these branches to women argue that female members of the military must be protected from the male sexual predators that, we are assured, are widely represented in the military. However, they can’t have it both ways. Are women “hear me roar” Amazons, or are they fragile flowers who must be protected from “sexual harassment,” encouraged to level the charge at the drop of the hat?…


  366. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Jebus. Someone sent me a link to a damned Google ad, and now I’m blubbing at my desk.

  367. rq says

    Good luck and best wishes, may everyone have a healthy and happy outcome!!!! *holding thumbs*

    Were the “magic words” spoken? The ones mentioned previously…?

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


    Yay! If you twitter/facebook from the delivery room, remember to post here too! ;)

    Best wishes!



    / I’m tired and I had one of those caffeine-shoot-into-the-vein kind of coffees so don’t mind me being all over the place

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

    Oh, is that this morning’s cooold coffee I’ve been absentmindedly sipping? Well. That crash is going to hurt.

  370. rq says

    Does cold coffee have less caffeine? Or does it just taste worse and thus bring the high down several levels?

  371. cicely (Tired and shagged out after a prolonged squawk.) says

    CaitieCat: Be warned! Bunnies’ urine can be quite pungent.


    CBS, please get your act together! You are a laughing stock, and you are pouring gasoline on already eruptive conspiracy theories, racism, bigotry and … you name it.

    (My emphasis.)
    But what if that is the whole point?
    </despairing cynicism>

    The different parts of my brain were fighting and getting all confused with the reactions to the nekkid and the kyoot.

    Kyoot, nekkid menz and kittehs!

    I often don’t even notice that my birthday is sneaking up on me. The Husband’s, and Son’s, on the other hand, I see coming a mile away!

    Handing a *package of *hugs* and encouragement to Dutchgirl.

    *opening arms wide* to receive the cargo of Portia’s hug truck, with gratitude.

    rq, the Words of Ill Omen that were spoken were, “cracked head”. I am not automotively-savvy enough to know just how that compares on the Epic Disasters scale, but judging from The Husband’s reaction, it Is Not Good. I will know more (about what I don’t know) after work.
    Meanwhile, it’s Seriously Upset Stomach time, with looming danger of Salt Water Leakage.
    *reaching for Tums™

    All *hugs* gratefully accepted.
    No *hug* too big, no *hug* too small.

  372. dianne says

    Another point re Obamacare though: There’s no use not supporting it because we’re not getting anything better. If it fails we go back to the old system of health care for the wealthy only. And higher death rates from curable diseases because of it. We can’t even dream of the NHS or multiple insurance but everyone covered systems seen in Europe and other industrialized countries yet.

  373. rq says

    *one-size fits all hugs* for cicely – they’ll even stretch to extra-extra-extra-extra-large, for those times when nothing else will do!!!


    I have friends everywhere doing science (back in high school, sang in a church music group with the girl whose hand (and company) did the drawing). It’s always sort of odd and disconnected to see these people I once associated with moving out and about in the world, doing all kinds of things.

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


    Oh no, the cold coffee isn’t going to crash me, but it’s going to add to the caffeine levels so the crash later will hurt more. For me, kinda like hangover only with more headache and less nausea.

  375. says

    dianne @478:

    Another point re Obamacare though: There’s no use not supporting it because we’re not getting anything better. If it fails we go back to the old system of health care for the wealthy only. And higher death rates from curable diseases because of it. We can’t even dream of the NHS or multiple insurance but everyone covered systems seen in Europe and other industrialized countries yet.

    I’m repeating this because it is quite fucking true.

    We are already fighting all manner of obstructionism to affordable healthcare from flea-brained Tea Partiers and Republicans. The sneaky doofuses may be operating with very little brain, but they are indeed sneaky … and determined. It’s a little like playing whack-a-stupid-mole.

  376. Nutmeg says

    *hugs&chocolate&puppies&rainbows* for cicely


    Let’s play the game of “Are there any decent atheist characters on TV these days?”. The last time I remember having this discussion, I think most of the people we came up with were jerks or deeply damaged in some way.

    I’m getting annoyed with shows that seem to think there are no atheists in foxholes. Seriously, writers! Sending your presumably-atheist character to a church when things get tough is a dumb idea.

  377. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs and happy wishes to Dutchgirl!!!!!

    I seem to be back on line after being cut off (together with half the street, thank you so much British Telecom) so while it lasts (repairs are ongoing!) I will quickly say –
    – I miss the Lounge when I can’t visit;
    rq is so nice! You should so meet her, you’ll love it! I’m afraid I rambled on in a rather chaotic sort of way when we met, and she kindly had a ramble with me :-) and there were historical medical exhibits at the Science Museum starting with some from pre-history and going all the way through wonderful developments right up to sort-of-yesterday, and I enjoyed meeting her very much indeed (also the other members of the party!). And also, too, chocolate!

    Post quick before it goes – fingers crossed, I might actually stay on or if not get back on soon. BT engineers are promised (ha!) for tomorrow …

  378. carlie says

    cicely – the damned horses went and et your cylinder head!

    esteleth – damn. Stupid google. Tears.

    Dutchgirl – best wishes!!!!!

  379. says

    I hate Mondays. Did I mention that I hate Mondays? I hate Mondays. And Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But on Mondays, I hate Mondays the most.
    The only bearable class got cancelled, then there’s the technically OK lecture I have to do again this term because I couldn’t take the exam last year. And then the class with the guy who’s obviously unhappy with the fact that he can’t rank people on an ordinal scale anymore starting at the top with straight white college educated guys. And then there’s the lecture that’s just too late.
    I also hate people who don’t answer emails.

    Yay for Dutchgirl and Dutchbaby
    Ehm, no pun intended. We only eat babies once they’re baptized, right?

    Glad you had a nice trip.
    Boooh on RD.
    Also, since it came up as a side issue over at Dana’s place:
    The only book series I know where there are “working mothers” as just something that is are Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books. One feature I like about the books is that while they’re for “young readers” (my favourite books all seem to be), the heros and heroines from the earlier series show up again and again and they still have lives. No happily ever after.

  380. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, alcoholic beverages category, make the New York Times … again.

    … in keeping with the tenets of the Mormon Church, few people in Hyde Park [a small town near the Idaho/Utah border] drank at all.

    But this month, after a long and bitter battle, residents voted nearly two to one to allow alcohol sales, making Hyde Park one of the last bastions to loosen its rules on drinking in this button-down state, where liquor laws have grown less restrictive in recent years. …
    Alcohol has had a quirky, complicated history in Utah, as lawmakers have had to consider the powerful influence of the Mormon Church, which frowns upon drinking.

    From the end of Prohibition until the late 1960s, bar patrons had to bring their own bottles, or store them in tavern lockers. Those laws eventually gave way to a system that required people to pay for a club membership to order drinks.

    … In 2009, state lawmakers joined with Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to eliminate the membership requirement, allowing bars to serve any patron of legal age.

    Still, vestiges of Utah’s rigidity remain. Restaurants can now serve wine, beer and liquor, but most drinks must be prepared behind a partition that has come to be known as the “Zion Curtain.”

    The question of whether to allow beer sales in Hyde Park unmasked painful divisions. Neighbors argued over what it meant to be Mormon. Some emphasized the economic benefits of alcohol sales. Others stayed quiet, afraid they would be ostracized for weighing in. …

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

    I think Tuesdays are the worst.
    You’ve slogged through that horrible Monday, it’s finally over and then you realize you’ve got the whole rest of the workweek to look forward to. *manic grin*

  382. says

    Tamora Pierce has a very high Awesomeness Quotient. She comments at Shakesville occasionally, and has a really solid grasp on the whole “being a feminist” thing. So, buying her books is supporting feminists doing feminist things, and they’re good into the bargain.

    I had a dream last night that I’d met someone at a party who turned out to be the head of a major publishing house in Russia, specializing in science fiction, and we had friends in common who are (EN-RU) translators, and who recommended me for a several-book contract translating top Russian sf into English for publication.

    That’s one of my favouritest dreams EVAR. And I don’t get many even good ones, so I like this excellent one that much the more.

    *hugs* to you all, my memory says especially cicely, Dutchgirl, and Giliell particularly.

    Also, in the birthday/age chat, mine is September 8 (exactly six months opposite IWD!), and it’s not the day focused on someone else’s vulva, if you follow me. Amongst my friends, we call it “Muffing Day”, and we’ve had some awesome parties. ;)

  383. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Not only that, CaitieCat, but she’s absolutely adorbs in person. :D :D

  384. Daniel Martin says

    A reminder/announcement: killfile (works on freethoughtblogs) exists now as a chrome extension and as a firefox addon.

    For firefox: firefox link

    For chrome: chrome link

    The firefox addon will give you some warnings since it hasn’t been reviewed by the folks at addons.mozilla.org, where the wait time for a preliminary review currently seems to be about three weeks.

    It’s open source, and full source (well, minus my signing key) is on github.

  385. cicely (apprehensive, yet depressed) says


    the damned horses went and et your cylinder head!

    Or possibly pissed on it.
    We’re still waiting for the Final Reckoning.
    The waiting is making me feel quite ill. Amputate if you’re gonna, dammit! Quit draggin’ it out!
    :( :( :(

    *hugs* for Giliell. I agree, Mondays are made of concentrated Horse piss; this Monday, doubly so.

  386. carlie says

    cicely – the next time you see that car, you just kick it. Kick it HARD.

    (I put a new transmission in my car 3 months before it died its final death, so I have a bit of a vendetta against cars that break down)

  387. blf says

    Cars are daleks in disguise. The peas and horses are misleading distractions.

    Horses, peas, celery, and cars are, of course, problems all on their own. It’s when you combine them that they threaten the daily cheese crop.

  388. Portia, in absentia says

    *extrahug* for cicely : (

    *happythoughts* for Dutchgirl, wherever she may be right now :)

  389. cicely (apprehensive, yet depressed) says

    carlie, if I kick it, I will only break my foot while painfully jarring my knee…and probably falling over, as well.
    I’d probably break a hip, or an arm, or something.
    The thing that really burns my butter is that it waited to pull this crap until after the inspection…the tires…the fuel pump…the fan…and last, but not least, the alternator. All in something like a 6 week period (maybe only 4; Time is a Difficult Concept, and I’ve Slept Since Then). So now, with nothing left to spend, and in debt for repairs-to-date, we may not even come out of it with a drivable car…worth about $300 to Pick-n-Pull.
    Fucked, without even the courtesy of lube (’cause, yeah, in theory the shit-box is due for an oil change).
    :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

    blf, at this point, I am willing to believe that cars are daleks, only not as cute and fluffy, and with a less agreeable disposition.

  390. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Cicely, I hear you on car repairs. The gold probe wouldn’t start. The repair shop finally tracked it down to the computer not communicating properly with the fuel injectors. Whee, a new computer for a ’97 probe. Not cheap.

    I have a delicate situation going on. I set up a secure WiFi network to allow the Redhead to stream video from my computer. The next door neighbor, who also braids the Redhead’s hair, has an occasional need to use a secure WiFi when she works from home. I allowed her on the network. But it appears her kids have the password and are using my WiFi for their purposes. In fact, at times there have been 9 connections, and I have only three on my network. I’ll be changing the password shortly, but want to give the neighbor advance notice.

    If they really need need an internet connection, they can use my guest account, which only gives them internet access. The rest of my network is protected.