1. cicely says

    Hi, dõki; Welcome In!

    Sometimes I remember some ignorant thing I said many years ago, and the mere thought of it makes me feel so bad that I have to take a moment to breathe.

    Me, too.
    You’d think some of ’em would be loooong past their Expiration Date—but, no; just as headbangingly embarrassing as if they were still hanging in the air before a no-doubt-appalled audience.


    I am not a Servent of the Beasts (Horse). I am merely a fervent admirer and ardent supporter.

    Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.
    I’m sure that you would not willingly, or knowingly harm your friends…but Their insidiousness knows no bounds.
    Have you been experiencing episodes of “lost time” lately?
    They have been known to frame up innocent extraterrestrials, to cover up Their sinister machinations.


    Do you ever say something stupid then punish yourself for …well, so far, for hours. : /

    Oh, yes…and post FB comments, too.
    Blarg, indeed.

  2. opposablethumbs says

    Hi Adamvs Maximvs, sorry I don’t have the relevant nollidge myself for your question at #489 but I hope someone drops by soon with some suggestions for you.

    Hi dõki ! Good to meet you – you’ve been writing some great comments!

    ::waves:: to Horde.

    I was about to write that while the first of SonSpawn’s Two Big Auditions (the one he did yesterday) almost certainly didn’t go well enough, the second one (today) seems to have gone a bit better … when an email arrived offering him a place! Paper confirmation and details to follow, apparently. They didn’t even wait for him to get the bus all the way home! (well, practically. Actually we’d been back about twenty minutes …). We’re all feeling so flabbergasted we don’t know what to think. My head just exploded.

    This is amazing and brilliant, now he can wait for the other two decisions in peace, knowing that the worst that can happen is something pretty damn good. Phew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (Now all he has to do is sign in blood for the government student loan, of course …)

    Right. I’m off! – I’m heading out to attend the anti-segregation demo that Maryam and Ophelia have been telling us about; if I leave now I should get there in time for most of it – read you later!

  3. rq says

    That is fantastic news!!! *confetti&allthefireworks*
    I’m so happy for the success of SonSpawn. Go thumbs*!
    Have fun at the rally! And I hope it is productive. Or at least, stops the segregation in UK universities.

    *A casual reference for the entire family of opposablethumbs.

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


    Incognito: Secret Lives of the Brain was one that a friend really, really liked.

    Pinker’s “How the mind works” is great.

    Sacks’ “The man who mistook his wife for a hat” is more neuroscience-y, but popular for a reason.

    “The man who tasted shapes” is by a former student of Sacks and is a truly captivating journey through synesthesia’s relationship to brain structures and processes.

    “This Will Make You Smarter” had things that i loved and things that made me say, “Meh”, but it’s more than worth a read (not much about the brain here, and not as general as you might want, but psychological and scientific

    “You are not so smart”/ “Mistakes were made, but not by me”: this is a pair of separate books, different authors, but tackling similar subject matter. Each is good. Neither is exactly new, so you might be able to get the pair for a reasonable price as a themed set (actually, with “This will make you smarter” you’ll get how we trip ourselves up and how we might make ourselves better all in one set)

    “Women, Fire, & Dangerous Things” by Lakoff is freaking awesome, though more textbook-y than some.

    That’s all I got right now.

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

    @opposable thumbs:

    CongaRats dance for SonSpawn!

  6. A. Noyd says

    I am officially done with college!!

    (Unless I go mad in the next few years and return for grad school.)

  7. cicely says

    opposablethumbs, *confetti&chocolate&fireworks* for SonSpawn’s success.
    (I’d offer *champage* as well, but don’t know if SonSpawn is old enough to drink it.)

    rq, I apologize.Do you Require Vengeance?

    Congrats, A. Noyd!

  8. rq says

    No, I think I’ll just watch the link and skip on the actual vengeance.

    A. Noyd
    Congratulations!! Now to the Real World. (Because everyone knows that any kind of school is not the real world.)

  9. rq says

    Dammit, we probably should have invested in a new heating system. Too bad we didn’t (and still don’t) have the cash. :(

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

    Congrats to OpposablethumbsSpawn and A. Noyd!

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

    A Noyd:

    Go ye forth. May ADiploma make its face shine upon you and make employers be gracious unto you.

  12. says

    Great news about SonSpawn. Conga rats!


    A. Noyd:
    Done with college?
    I imagine a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
    Celebratory drinks all around in your honor!

  13. rq says

    I’m assuming that’s good news…?
    Also, you should be getting mail sometime very soon. :/ If not already.

  14. says

    Meh. I’m going back for a second degree in CS, as I’ve got a decent foundation but no credentials. I’m honestly mostly hoping that the department will be able to put me on to some job opportunities/paid internships or the like. I did receive the mail a few days ago, and thank you again.

  15. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you so much, Giliell, rq, Dalillama, Crip Dyke, Nutmeg, cicely, Beatrice and Tony!!!!!!!! It’s such a huge relief – he only applied to three places out of the seven or so there are in the UK, because they had to be reasonably local to us (as there would be some pretty big concerns about his non-neurotypically coping with completely independent living yet – I mean, he’s getting there, hopefully, but living far away might be a bit more than he could really manage at this stage). And they had to offer a proper jazz course, not just a little snippet of a jazz elective tacked on to a fundamentally classical course. He plays other genres and loves them, but it all kind of revolves around jazz). And today was the third and last audition, and phew.

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! for the thumbs and the champagne and all the conga rats, I appreciate them so very much. The rats have been allowed a sip of the champagne too, and are all dancing away like anything.

    And conga rats to A. Noyd! For completing your course and surviving it all!

    And all my very best wishes to Dalillama for the studies starting in January – I hope they work for you exactly as you are hoping, and bring links to paid internships and to jobs.

    I went to the anti-segregation demo outside the UUK offices, and took SonSpawn plus his dad with me. It was a bit of a disappointing turnout (maybe 150 people?) but some good speakers making the points that needed to be made. The speaker from Southall Black Sisters and Maryam Namazie herself were particularly excellent, but far from the only ones (like a fool I didn’t make some kind of note of all the names, and I am so rubbish at names. Hopefully there will be a proper account on Maryam’s blog). Very glad we all went, especially SonSpawn before he becomes a student himself.

    If I may, please find attached a pantechnicon full of hugs addressed to the Pharyngular Horders.

  16. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Congratulations to the SonSpawn!

    I got an email from the nursing school. Apparently, I won a scholarship! It covers $15,000. I also need to write a thank you letter to the donor who funds the scholarship fund.

    Today, I explained to an undergraduate what “statistically significant” means. And why if some program or another spits out a p value that is less than 0.05, but his error bars (standard error) overlap, then there’s an error in the math.

  17. rq says

    Yay Esteleth!! Scholarships are awesome (I’ve never gotten one myself, but I hear they’re great). :)


    Oh yes, please, let’s have some freezing rain on top of all that snow!!
    Tomorrow is going to be hell on the roads. *sigh* And the train will be running at inconvenient times and I’ll have to drive to work. First-world problems? Yes.
    But the furnace has been, once again, fixed, and the house will not burn down tonight. We hope.

  18. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Esteleth, and wow that’s fantastic news about the scholarship! Congratulations, and well-deserved champagneconfettisparklers!

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

    I went to the anti-segregation demo outside the UUK offices, and took SonSpawn plus his dad with me.

    I am soooooo jealous.

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

    Congrats to Dalillama and Esteleth!

    And just in case I missed anyone’s good news, *chocolate cake* for everyone

    (sadly, I don’t actually have any chocolate cake, so I’ll just enjoy this virtual one with all of you)

  21. cicely says

    Best of luck with the additional education, Dalillama, and may it prove multiply fruitful for your future.
    And perhaps a bit of financial aid will (to steal a better writer’s phrase) “enable(d) [you] to have have a wolf-flap fitted so that the beast [can] come in and out without disturbing people”, before the advanced degree allows you to banish the beast from your door forever.

    Congrats on the scholarship, Esteleth!
    I must say, after the runs of Bad News we get sometimes, it’s nice to have so many instances of Good News, all in the same day!
    :) :) :)

    rq, last night we got freezing fog on top of our snow, which made for serious black ice problems, and making it *counting on fingers* the four-and-a-halfth day the office has been close on accounta weather. Awesome from the viewpoint of late sleeping (one of my personal favorites!), but I dread to see what the heating bill will be—especially since when we’re at work, The Husband turns the thermostat a good several degrees colder than is comfortable.
    At least it doesn’t affect our paychecks.

  22. opposablethumbs says

    I wish you and indeed all the Pharyngulites could have been there too, Crip Dyke! It’s really a pity there were relatively few people. But there is a plan to get a demo going for International Women’s Day next March; I’m aiming to go and hopefully that one (and any others in between) will have a much bigger turnout.

  23. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    So very ‘rupt and no time to fix it. Hugs and Huzzas! as needed.

    Thank you Tony. Sometimes I believe what you said about me in that thread, sometimes not so much. One of the perils of trying to be aware of one’s effect in the world is knowing when you fuck it up, and unfortunately forgiving myself is a skill I’m still sadly lacking in. /enough, and more than enough, about me.

  24. jste says


    Today, I explained to an undergraduate what “statistically significant” means. And why if some program or another spits out a p value that is less than 0.05, but his error bars (standard error) overlap, then there’s an error in the math.

    One of the more disappointing things about my CS degree (for me, at least) was that it didn’t have any statistics in it at all. Or any other sort of math beyond basic not-even-101 accounting, which most of my cohort still barely passed. I’m having a hard time finding the motivation to study on my own time, now that I’ve graduated.

    Also, congrats on that scholarship!

  25. says

    Sarah Palin speaks. Word salad, nonsense, and religious freedom ensues

    She told the audience of students that the U.S. Constitution was written by and for moral and religious people, and that nonreligious people probably were incapable of appreciating its principles.

    “If you lose that foundation, John Adams was implicitly warning us, then we will not follow our constitution, there will be no reason to follow our constitution because it is a moral and religious people who understand that there is something greater than self, we are to live selflessly, and we are to be held accountable by our creator, so that is what our constitution is based on, so those revisionists, those in the lamestream media, especially, who would want to ignore what our founders actually thought, felt and wrote about in our charters of liberty – well, that’s why I call them the lamestream media,” Palin said.


    A disgraced former Navy chaplain warned members of a group dedicated to monitoring fringe conservatives that he had would be willing to shoot their readers and then “pray for your soul” if necessary.
    Earlier this year, Dr. “Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt accused Right Wing Watch encouraging “the assassination of pro-life Christian leaders” because of anonymous comments posted on YouTube.

    He’s not just a disgraceful former Navy chaplain, he’s a disgraceful human being.


    This just makes me cry. And wish that so many more people possessed a fraction of the empathy shown by the people in the Lounge:

    However, De La Keur told WSB that the store’s staff went from unresponsive to dismissive during the course of her ordeal.

    “There was nothing I could do. Nobody came to clean the restrooms. Nobody came to check the restrooms. I was just left there,” she said, adding that she felt like she was a source of amusement for them.

    “I was like some kind of sports event for them,” she told WSB. “It was something for them to do on their lunch break: ‘Let’s go look at the girl stuck to the toilet seat.’ It was really embarassing.”


    From the ever growing list of WTF moments:

  26. thunk: she'd rather be on a train says

    It is Cold.

    At my place, the low temperature reached -25 C. It will probably do so again Wednesday.

    And we are getting snowstorms of various sizes regularly (every 3 days). The first 8-cm one was Sunday, the next one will be tomorrow, also 8 cm, and nasty, and Saturday’s should be bigger. The GFS shows three more after that.

  27. Adamvs Maximvs says

    Thanks for the suggestions Crip Dyke. ‘You are not so smart’ and ‘Women, Fire and Dangerous Things’ look like they should do the job.

    Much appreciated!

  28. says

    My sympathies. I hope you’re able to keep warm as necessary.


    Mammals Make Mima Mounds?


    Eat your heart out

    A team of Austrian researchers have made a discovery that would put those genealogy websites to shame: they have located several living descendants of a 5,300-year-old human mummy.

    The prehistoric individual, known as Ötzi the Iceman, was originally found frozen in the Alps back in 1991, according to Steve Nolan of the Daily Mail. The so-called ice mummy suffered from the oldest case of Lyme disease recorded to date, and was also lactose intolerant and predisposed to cardiovascular disease.

    Totally cool!

  29. says

    New research being presented by sociologists from the University of Virginia suggests the decline of stable, well-paying jobs is having a significant impact on Americans’ attitudes toward marriage and starting a family.

    The study, presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York City, also found major differences between individuals with and without a college education when it comes to making major life decisions.

    “Working-class people with insecure work and few resources, little stability, and no ability to plan for a foreseeable future become concerned with their own survival and often become unable to imagine being able to provide materially and emotionally for others,” said study author Sarah Corse, an associate professor of sociology in UVA.

    And sadly, so far out of my field of vision that contemplating it is pointless. Gotta get that first date, second date, etc before thoughts of marriage enter the picture. The article paints a grim picture of romantic relationships for people who do not belong to a specific class in society.

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


    The story about that “pranked” woman made it into our news too. Poor woman. What happened to her wasn’t a prank, it was cruelty. But then again, pranks usually are just cruelty half-heartedly disguised with “I’m just joking” bullshit.

  31. rq says

    The Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck (see: Tony’s last link at 539) is actually one of the places I dream of one day applying to for grad school. It’s too bad they can’t stop all the amazing research until I get there.

    All I can say is you are a fantastic person. A really fantastic person. And if you ever feel like talking more about yourself, feel free.
    I read that comment and I was really struck by the phrase “It’s ok to have a home”. I know I have a lot of guilt (that floats up from time to time) about having more or better than other people. It’s really difficult to accept sometimes, even though by not accepting I’m being ungrateful. And then it’s just a circle of bad feelings. But see, it’s ok to have [thing]. It really is. [/ramble]

  32. rq says

    Isn’t that the officially genealogy website/program of Mormons?
    I think that’s the one my dad’s been using for the family genealogy project, because it has all kinds of features that other genealogy programs don’t.

  33. bassmike says

    Why am I never around when there’s a crop of good news posts?

    Congrats to: opposablethumbs, A. Noyd, Esteleth and Dalillama . Sorry it’s late!

    *grumble grumble* timezones *grumble* work *grumble*

  34. carlie says

    Shameless charity plug, skip if so inclined:

    I’ve been supporting a charity called Modest Needs since it was founded in 2005, by a college professor who noticed that most expenses that tank people are smaller ones that aren’t covered by other charities – your car breaks down, you can’t fix it, so you lose your job due to loss of transportation, etc. He started a charity for that with his own money (he “tithed” to it), and it’s been growing ever since. They’re in a big awareness/donor contribution campaign that they do every year, but this time they’ve finally got some data showing their effectiveness, and if they get another 1000 monthly donors, there’s a donor willing to put up a large sum to help fund their operations for next year. So if you’re looking for a place to donate a couple of bucks a month (literally; they operate based on small donor amounts for the most part), you could do a lot worse. And if you ever need a “small” expense (less than $1k) covered, try them out.

  35. carlie says

    Oops, founded in 2002. I don’t do time well.

    Also, sorry for the barge-in threadruptness. Congrats and then some to opposeablethumbs, A. Noyd, and esteleth on the good news, and anyone else I missed. Writing a final I have to give in 3 hours now, so other conversation will have to be later…

  36. says

    Hi folks
    Yay for Esteleth and A. Noyd, best wishes for Dalillama.
    Duh, I already spent three hours correcting letters of motivation. I should have studied to become a PE teacher. No grading.
    And I don’t think my mental health is stable enough yet for reading any more comments in the vegetarian thread

  37. bassmike says

    Hi chigau (違う) No tricks, but there may be some hugs lying around if you need them. I’ve relatively new, pleased to make your acquaintance. Do you play a musical instrument? We seem to be predominantly bass players in here at the moment, so excuse the noise!

  38. rq says

    Why are white dress shirts for children with no lettering/pictures on them so hard to come by? And when found, so damn expensive???

  39. chigau (違う) says

    Hi, bassmike.
    I’m kinda old here and I don’t play any musical instrument.
    Unless you count rhythmically poking the cat to make her meow.

    Why are you putting a white shirt on a child?
    Wouldn’t something patterned in splotches the colours of tomato sauce and grape juice be more practical?

  40. says


    Isn’t that the officially genealogy website/program of Mormons?
    I think that’s the one my dad’s been using for the family genealogy project, because it has all kinds of features that other genealogy programs don’t.

    If it is, then it’s not actually very accurate. Apparently the church is prone to tweaking them.

  41. rq says

    The necessities of christmas concerts at the daycare/kindergarten (mostly secular, partially pagan, all children) are their own kind of horror. And the teacher said white shirts are mandatory. It’s only for an hour or so… What could possibly go wrong?

    The programming, too? I know he was using the program from there because it had all kinds of familial relationships and possibilities to enter extended families. I dunno, though. That was a few years ago, he may have found something better in the meantime.

  42. Parrowing says

    Is it weird that a small change in my physical appearance or behavior can make me rethink and re-examine how I had been feeling about myself?

    I have been wanting to dye my hair blue for a while. I did it two days ago and I have been happier with myself for it. Maybe that’s really strange, but I haven’t felt this happy about my appearance in a while. I also can say that as of today (which is my birthday), I have been a vegetarian for one month. I have not read through the comments on PZ’s post yet, so I really hope this is not a contentious thing to say. I am speaking only about what I feel is a decision that was important for me to make for myself for a variety of reasons, one of them being my health. I am not used to making decisions which positively impact my health, and it feels nice that this day coincided with my birthday.

    I continue to be a bit ‘rupt, which I plan to fix in the next few days. I hope everyone is well!

  43. rq says

    Yay, Parrowing!!
    Happy birthday. Here is some cake and some Latvian gingerbread cookies, fresh from the oven. Also, a balloon to match your hair (you get to pick a colour, because every colour looks good with blue). And a *pile of hugs*, and – oh yes – here are *TheFireworks*!!!
    And a big hooray for positive life-decisions – trivial, non-trivial, whatever! I’m glad you’re feeling so good about yourself.
    What shade of blue?

  44. chigau (違う) says

    I have long thought that there would be money to be made in a line of disposable formalwear for children.
    Dress ’em up real nice for the beginning of concert/wedding/party, tear-and-toss at the end.
    Come to think of it, that would work for adult formalwear, too.

  45. A. Noyd says

    Thanks for the grats, all. And grats to the others with recent accomplishments whom I missed in my study-frenzy ‘ruptness.

  46. carlie says

    Parrowing – happy birthday!!!!!

    I asked PZ in the veg thread – it would be great to have some veg. main dish recipes shared that are reliable and intro level for normally meat-eaters to dive in with. I find veg. cookbooks to be somewhat daunting, whereas “here’s a dish we eat all the time” is more accessible.

    rq – we have had to buy white dress shirts every year. Concert time was the only time they are worn.

  47. says

    I’m afraid I don’t know the specifics of the problems.\

    In the 70s, disposable paper clothing for kids (and adults in some circumstances) was totally going to be the wave of the future, only it wasn’t. Probably the nadir of the paper clothes movement was an incident involving a public demonstration of a paper swimsuit, specially treated to be water resistant. (spoiler: it wasn’t).

  48. chigau (違う) says

    Parrowing #560
    Happy Birthday!
    We can talk about vegetarian eating here, as long as we’re nice.
    If you feel more belligerent, that thread is the place to go.

  49. chigau (違う) says

    I remember the 60s paper clothing.
    They were meant for “fashion”.
    I’m thinking more like disposable surgical scrubs but something that you can buy in quantities of fewer than 500.

  50. chigau (違う) says

    I wonder why disposable clothing for children never caught on.
    Disposable diapers sure did.

  51. says

    Anti-gay Republicans continue to be anti-gay, and they find new ways to be offensive, especially when they think they are speaking only to like-minded doofuses:

    One of Michigan’s representatives to the Republican National Committee, already under fire for controversial comments about homosexuals, said last week gays and lesbians want free health care to pay for AIDS treatment.

    In a speech at the Berrien County Republican Party’s annual holiday reception, former state Rep. Dave Agema said he had seen gay co-workers at American Airlines claim someone with AIDS was their spouse so that person could receive medical benefits.

    “Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they’re dying (when they’re) between 30 and 44 years old,” Agema said, according to the Herald-Palladium newspaper of Benton Harbor, Mich. “To me, it’s a moral issue. It’s a Biblical issue. Traditional marriage is where it should be and it’s in our platform. Those in our party who oppose traditional marriage are wrong.”

    Washington Post link.

    Representative Agema made the anti-gay comments “during a speech in which he urged Republicans to reach out to both independents and tea partiers.”

  52. Dhorvath, OM says

    Have a mean curried potatoe and spinach that we do. Now, recipe? I dunno, take the stuff out of the cupboard, take the other stuff out of the fridge, cook.
    Likely a pound of spinach, two of potatoes, fennel and coriander seeds both whole, red pepper flakes, onion – diced, and some oil.
    Go with a 3/2/1 ratio on the coriander/fennel/red pepper flakes, cook in oil over medium heat to release some of the fragrance, then add onion and potatoes in bite sized chunks, cook with regular stirring until potatoes start to soften (they should not be soft like mashing potatoes at any time during this recipe!) then add spinach and cook it until the spinach, but not the potatoes, is at your favoured level of soft. (Spinach cooks down, a lot, it may go in in waves.) Eat! Repeat.
    This is easy no meat eating.

  53. Dhorvath, OM says

    If you are just veggie and not vegan, I have a real soft spot for frittata. That is so adaptable to what’s on hand and can easily prep for one or more as company requires.

  54. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, bassmike and carlie!

    I love blue hair, parrowing, I bet yours looks great. And happy birthday!!!!

  55. says

    Oh, this is just depressing:

    How do you kill four people in a DUI related fatality, and face no jail time?

    A Texas judge agreed with defense attorneys’ claims that a 16-year-old who killed four people while driving drunk had been given whatever he wanted by his wealthy parents and had never learned to accept responsibility for his actions.

    So she sentenced him to 10 years on probation, setting aside prosecutors’ request for a 20-year prison term after the teen pleaded guilty last week to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury.

    Court records show Ethan Couch had a blood-alcohol content of 0.24, more than three times the legal limit for an adult, when he slammed into four people who’d stopped to assist a stranded motorist June 15 alongside a narrow Tarrant County road.

    All four pedestrians were killed, including a mother and daughter, and two of Couch’s friends were thrown from his pickup and severely injured.

    I wonder what the judge would have done were Couch a PoC…

  56. cicely says


    No, I think I’ll just watch the link and skip on the actual vengeance.

    I am relieved!
    I’m not sure I can take an anvil to the head.

    Why are you putting a white shirt on a child?
    Wouldn’t something patterned in splotches the colours of tomato sauce and grape juice be more practical?

    chigau, I chortled.

    1) Happy birthday! *cake&moar cake*
    2) I am envious.
    I tried to do my hair in black with cobalt highlights, but the blue got completely lost.
    It bodes ill for my desire to dye my hair purple, Come The Day that I am predominantly gray.

    A Texas judge agreed with defense attorneys’ claims that a 16-year-old who killed four people while driving drunk had been given whatever he wanted by his wealthy parents and had never learned to accept responsibility for his actions.
    So she sentenced him to 10 years on probation, setting aside prosecutors’ request for a 20-year prison term after the teen pleaded guilty last week to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury.

    Yeah, and I’m sure that he learned responsibility here, by having the consequences of his actions trivially punished.
    “All the justice you can afford”.

  57. Portia, in absentia says

    Esteleth: Hooray Scholarship!

    Opposablethumbs: highfive for SonSpawn :)

    Tony: I think justice is probably somewhere in the middle between 20 years and no years in prison. Though if “his parents gave him everything therefore it’s not his fault he did this” logically leads to “it’s his parents’ fault he did this” …so …where’s their jail time? : p /not an actual policy advocacy, but still.

    16 is so young. I think some incarceration would be good, but 20 years would probably not serve any good purpose.

  58. says

    16 is so young. I think some incarceration would be good, but 20 years would probably not serve any good purpose.

    I think that some time in a facility that’s not part of the US prison system would be good. 20 years in prison would only make sure that there’s one more deeply broken person out there, but this isn’t a solution either…

  59. Portia, in absentia says


    Exactly. I was thinking maybe a youth services place, but of course those aren’t great either ’round these parts.

  60. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Portia!

    At the very least this kid should make reparations to the families – and be banned from driving for life.

  61. Portia, in absentia says

    Nah, not for life. Just til he’s 21 or 25. We want a productive, self-actualized citizen, and in the U.S., it’s a lot tougher if you can’t legally drive.

  62. says

    I’d rather focus on making cars less necessary than keep letting people who’ve demonstrated they can’t be trusted with them kill others. As far as I’m concerned, any DUI, by anyone should result in a permanent loss of a driver’s license.

  63. says

    I’m afraid I must (gingerly – can’t stand up today, so scratch today from the list of my life’s days where I get to do what is wanted/needed) place my junkyard spine (and my eternal contempt for the shitfaced arsewiped pigfucker whose drunken running of a red light caused it) alongside the Schmott Guy on this one. We don’t give people a special pass on murder with an axe because we’re worried about their ability to keep a job later, and I’m not especially bothered to give them a special pass because they used their bad judgement to kill people instead of an axe. If you can’t be trusted to not drink and drive, then you can’t be trusted to drive.

    I admit I’m quite clearly biased on this one, but no: you get nailed DUI and hurt someone, you never drive again. You get nailed DUI for a second time in any case, you’re done.

    If you can’t be trusted to not drink and drive, then you can’t be trusted to drive.

  64. says

    Glenn Beck thinks progressives are fascists.
    Methinks he doesn’t understand the word ‘fascism’.

    “Remember, progressives are fascists, they are for fascism. Congratulations,” Beck added. “I can tell you right now that they may have put Ted Cruz in the little pool to have his name looked at but nobody considered him.

  65. says

    Ooh, echo (echo) ((echo)) (((echo))). Sorry. Ctl-C is not Ctl-X.

    In fact, maybe that’s a good koan. Or just a translation of Shakespeare into pseudo-pseudocode?

    Ctrl-C, or Ctrl-X? =regexp
    ON Mind.Interior <= Nobility DO
    Suffering ++ RND(Outrageous; (slings, arrows))
    ELSE DO Sea.ErrorMsg /dev null CALL Arms

    Sometimes, it's good to live in Canada, she said, somewhat mysteriously in a "Stuff This Into Your Big Data and Smoke On It NSA Creeps" sort of way...

    I need some Doritos.

  66. says

    Not spicy. I only need a little of a taste to go a long way, and spiciness is one that goes the furthest with the least. Also, capsaicin tastes like evil garbage water to me. :D

    Whatever the red bag is.

    I like the red bag.

    Mmm. Crunchy.

    What was I saying?

  67. rq says

    Well, it was bound to happen sometime: twisted my ankle falling down the stairs. At least it’s not serious.

    In other news, it must be spring outside.

  68. Parrowing says

    Thanks, everyone!


    Thanks for the balloon, rq, I think I’ll go with purple. I would say the shade is cyan, with brighter sections, darker sections, and greener sections. I’ll probably do another round of blue tomorrow, though.



    My hair is naturally very dark so I had to do 3 rounds of bleach to get it light enough for the color to show well. Even with that, there are sections that don’t seem to have picked up much blue. It’s too bad the cobalt didn’t show with the black because it sounds like it would have looked very striking!

  69. says

    Hoo, boy! It’s a hot time on the Salt Lake Tribune’s comment boards today. The paper posted an article that pretty much throws Brigham Young under the bus when it comes to the issue of racism in the mormon church. They finally decided to blame somebody, and Brigham Young was selected as scapegoat.

    In the past, the LDS Church has said history isn’t clear on why blacks were banned from its all-male priesthood for more than a century.

    Apparently, it now is. The reason, according to a newly released explanation from the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is rooted more in racism than revelation.

    “Race and the Priesthood,” posted Friday on the church’s website,, also jettisons any beliefs developed through the years to defend the prohibition. And those findings are drawing praise from black Mormons and historians.

    “Hallelujah,” says Catherine Stokes, a black Mormon who joined the LDS Church in Chicago and now lives in Utah. “I view this as a Christmas gift to each and every member of the church — black, white or whatever ethnicity.”

    The ban began under Brigham Young, second LDS president, who was influenced by common beliefs of the time, reports the article. It did not exist during the tenure of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, who opposed slavery and personally ordained several African-Americans.

    The essay is part of an ongoing series of “gospel topics pages” published by the LDS Church to give Mormons resources for understanding complex issues such as whether Mormons are Christians and differing, sometimes-contradictory accounts of Smith’s early visionary experiences.

    The church-produced article on race argues that “there is no evidence that any black men were denied the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. … “

    Uh, yeah, that last bit is pure bullshit. In trying to save Joe Smith from the charge of racism, church Head Honchos really goofed up. Yes there is evidence, and plenty of it, for Joe’s racism and for his promotion of racism as a mormon doctrine.

    Ex-mormon Steve Benson nuked the bullshit with his rebuttal. You can view all of Steve’s comments by going to the comments section at and sorting for “Best.” Here are a few excerpts from Benson’s posts:

    The Mormon Church’s official, documented history of White supremacist racism includes its official, notorious endorsement of Southern-style slavery, as laid out by its inventor, Joseph Smith. Smith went on record defending slavery against the opposition of abolitionists, declaring it to be a true principle which found support in the Bible and in the teachings of Jesus. Smith, in fact, said that slavery was a divinely-decreed “curse” imposed on Blacks by the command of God and warned against attempts to interfere with its practice.

    In the LDS Church publication, the “Messenger and Advocate” (vol. 2, pp. 289-301, April 1836), Smith asserted that slavery as practiced by the Southern states was ordained by God and in keeping with the “gospel of Christ”:

    “After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject, I do not doubt but those who have been forward in raising their voice against the South will cry out against me as being uncharitable, unfeeling and unkind–wholly unacquainted with the gospel of Christ.

    “‘It is my privilege, then, to name certain passages from the Bible and examine the teachings of the ancients upon this matter, as the fact is incontrovertible that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the holy Bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation and walked with God. And so far from that prediction’s being averse from the mind of God, it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude![…]

    “The conclusion I draw from this is that this people were led and governed by revelation and if such a law was wrong God only is to be blamed and abolitonists are not responsible.”…

    In the same treatise, Smith warned that if Blacks were freed from slavery and the South was militarily defeated, Blacks might overrun the country and degrade societal morals:

    “ . . . I am aware that many who profess to preach the gospel complain against their brethren of the same faith who reside in the South and are ready to withdraw the hand of fellowship because they will not renounce the principle of slavery and raise their voice against every thing of the kind.

    “This must be a tender point and one which should call forth the candid reflection of all men and especially before they advance in an opposition calculated to lay waste the fall States of the South and set loose upon the world a community of people who might peradventure overrun our country and violate the most sacred principles of human society, chastity and virtue.” …

    Smith stated that slave owners should retain final say over the condition and future of their human property and that slaves, should unconditionally & meekly obey their masters …

    “I do most sincerely hope that no one who is authorized from this Church to preach the gospel will so far depart from the scripture as to be found stirring up strife and sedition against our brethren of the South.” …

    “How any community can ever be excited with the chatter of such persons-boys and others who are too indolent to obtain their living by honest industry & are incapable of pursuing any occupation of a professional nature, is unaccountable to me.”

    (Joseph Smith, letter to Oliver Cowdery, published in “Latter-Day Saints Messenger & Advocate,” vol. 2. no. 7, Kirtland, Ohio, April 1836, pp. 289, 291)

    Moreover, during the presidency of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Church desperately came out in favor of preventing the immigration of freed Black slaves into Missouri and against allowing Blacks to join the Mormon Church…

    Benson’s well-researched rebuttal posts are long, so you may have to click “see more” at the end of each comment.

  70. says

    More on Joseph Smith’s racism:

    “In those years when I became acquainted with Joseph myself in the Far West, about the year 1838, I received from Brother Joseph substantially the same instructions. It was on my application to him, what should be done with the Negro in the South, as I was preaching to them. He said I could baptize them by consent of their masters, but not to confer the Priesthood upon them. “(Abraham O. Smoot, ibid)

    “President George Q. Cannon remarked that the Prophet [Joseph] taught this doctrine: That the seed of Cain could not receive the Priesthood, nor act in any of the offices of the Priesthood until the seed of Abel should come forward and take precedence over Cain’s offspring.”

    (22 August 1895, Minutes of Meeting of General Authorities, in Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Way to Perfection” (1931), p. 110.) …”It is true that the Negro race is barred from holding the Priesthood, and this has always been the case. the Prophet Joseph Smith taught this doctrine.

    (Joseph F. Smith, “Improvement Era,” [1924], 27, p. 564,)

  71. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    Happy Birthday! I hear you on the transformative power of changing one’s appearance. I always found that it wasn’t how I looked after I did the thing, the empowering part was following through on the decision to do it. YMMV. Most recently I felt this by giving up on pockets to carry my stuff in. I’m built like a barrel (no discernible hips) so either I cinch a belt so tight it affects my digestion or I have to pull up my pants constantly. I now have a purse. Ms. Fishy keeps calling it my “Man Bag” despite my insisting that there’s already a perfectly good word for it.


    Ahem…I say: ahem good sir! Some of us play a real instrument. ;) Where’s IJoe and Oggie when I need them?


    Thank you. Knowing such things about oneself and feeling the truth of them is a difficult divide to cross. Thank you for that bit of bridge building.

    I hope your ankle isn’t too bad. Soft tissue damage sucks so hard that vacuums have come to worship it as a god.

  72. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Hello Everyone!

    I’m threadrupt, though I’ve tried to keep up and know I missed a lot. *hugs* for everyone, if wanted. Man, I miss you guys.

    I’ve been busy and not a good busy. Mom’s husband went off his meds and on drugs again resulting in the voices being stronger with his paranoid delusions. He blamed Mom for things going wrong with technology, tracking him online, etc. when she can barely work the first gen Nook I gave her. He got so bad he destroyed their apartment several times, and for a week cops were called daily (sometimes more than once a day). The cops wouldn’t arrest him. They told Mom that if they were called again both would go to jail. This did nothing but make Mom leave wondering around stores for hours because she couldn’t stay home and couldn’t come to my apartment because he would just come destroy here as well. Then she was stuck at home because she literally couldn’t get out of bed and move anymore. Yes, most paranoid schizos are not violent but he is.

    They finally arrested him over the Thanksgiving period, resulting him staying in jail for several days before seeing a judge and we got her out of there. She’s staying with friends but he’s found her and he’s found my abusive ex. They hung out, now Mom’s husband (soon to be ex) is knocking on my door all day and my ex is hanging around Mom’s new place. My ex has talked to her told her “I could’ve made a move months ago, I know where they are.”

    It’s a giant clusterfuck. Cops are useless in this situation and sources are already hard to come by, especially during the holidays. I have no job and no hope of getting so I’m tied to Roomie and Roomie needs me because without my foodstamps he doesn’t make enough to eat and pay bills. That’s not even getting into how now we have four cats because we had to take in the kitten Mom and Husband kept. Little One is missing out on all the holiday crap and she can’t play outside with her friend like she used to (with Husband gone, I loosened up my rules a lot because…YAY crazy, violent man is gone), which is fucking heartbreaking. She’s also missing Grandma like crazy. I’ve explained things and she understands so it’s not like that, but she’s crying because life is so unfair. She’s fucking six.


  73. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    On second thought, considering why Ogvorbis and IJoe haven’t been around I shouldn’t have invoked them in such a flippant manner. I apologise, and hope that the two of you are well. And please know that I value you both as members of this community and hope to see you writing here again.

  74. says

    Damn. Sorry to hear that.


    I think these are the Doritos you are talking about.


    Talking about changing hair color has me wondering what I’d look like with blue or red hair. I guess first I’d have to *have* hair.

    There’s a commenter that just doesn’t seem to like what Steve Benson is saying. I haz a tiny violin for hir.
    Also, when did calling someone a Mormon apologist become an ad hominem?

  75. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    All the hugs for you today.

    Is there anything we can do? Any possibility of getting out of there given the resources to do so? I was happy to contribute to your get-out-of-Dodge fund before and I would do so again without hesitation.

    The Small Fry is six also, and lately she’s taken to claiming that things are unfair. Sometimes those claims have merit but often not so much. Your Little One’s complaint breaks my heart, such a truth for one so young to understand.

  76. Nutmeg says

    *ice packs* and *soft blankets for rq’s ankle. Feel better soon!


    I am nervous. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to talk about my night terrors.

    They haven’t gone away, and it seems like even a moderately stressful week can trigger them, and I’m also doing other weird stuff in my sleep. And I’ve tried all the easy, sensible “improve your sleep hygiene” and “lower your stress levels” stuff already, as much as is realistic. So I think it makes sense to go get some help with this. But I am still nervous about what my family doctor will think and what the process of getting proper treatment will be like, if it’s even possible.

    I also feel like, since they aren’t as bad as they were in the summer, I should just wait and see if they get better. But I’ve been doing the “wait and see” thing since March, and I’m sick of it. And the frequency of night terrors will probably increase again next time my life gets seriously stressful. And I hate worrying that I will scare or hurt my future girlfriends and travel companions. My brain wants to tell me that I’m going to be wasting people’s time by seeking treatment. But I think that’s just my jerkbrain. I’m allowed to seek treatment for a scary sleep disorder that has lasted months, even if it’s not too bad right now, right?

  77. says

    I hope that someday soon, you, Little One and your mom are free from the your ex and your mom’s soon to be ex.


    Jessie McCormick, a senior at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been homeless since running away right before her senior year of high school. Financial aid covers about 85% of her tuition and housing, and odd jobs that pay minimum wage, like helping out at the bookstore and setting up special events, pay for the rest.

    McCormick was shocked to learn, however, that her housing isn’t covered during campus breaks. Instead, she must pay a fee of $12 to $24 a night (depending how far in advance the request is made), which she can’t always afford. Over Christmas, the school shuts down completely and no one can stay on campus — not even for a fee.

    During breaks, McCormick has slept outside on campus, signed up for free, school-sponsored community service trips or stretched her budget to pay the fee to stay on campus. Meanwhile, international students and in-season athletes are able to stay on campus for free.

    This is not right. Small colleges need to do better. Homeless students deserve a place to live. It *can* be provided. It *should* be provided.

  78. chigau (違う) says

    *hugs* for all who can use some
    “lower your stress levels”
    Hey! That’s some awesome advice!
    We should all do that!
    Whadda ya say, Gang?
    Let’s just stop being stressed!

  79. carlie says

    Bad news everywhere this week.

    A colleague of mine at work died today. She was 34.
    She was the primary caretaker for both of her parents; her dad died two years ago, her mom died just 8 months ago. She was an only child, although she had some close cousins. She was the kind of person who knew every employee in the place, and only had to meet you once to know your name forever after. When you would talk to her, she’d make you feel like you were the most important person and talking to you was the only thing she wanted to be doing right then. Everyone loved her. She had just started coming out of the grief of all of the sadness she’s been through, and things were looking up everywhere. She went home sick Monday, had an asthma attack, and after she got to the hospital went into cardiac arrest and a coma until she died today. I went looking online to see if there was information about services published yet; almost every web page with her name on it I found was comments she had made to other people on obituary pages, effusive of love and kindness and remembrances to other people in their times of grief. Because that’s the kind of person she was.

    Life is so goddamned fucking short.

  80. says

    Ok, this is just amazing! Walking in the clouds!
    Not really, but kinda sorta, if you have an imagination:

    Foam is a spectacular installation by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa that transforms a room into a magical scene, making it seem as though visitors are walking up on the clouds. Unveiled at the Aichi Triennale 2013, the artist’s piece offers a dreamy landscape in an otherwise pitch-black room. The Osaka-born, Kyoto-based artist creatively transports viewers to an alternate universe without ever having to physically move them. Instead, he forces visitors to tap into their own imagination.

    Though Nawa’s installation is neither in the clouds or even actually made of cloud particles, he has managed to simulate their appearance enough to excite and delight visitors. Experimenting with variating solutions of detergent, glycerin, and water, Nawa was able to produce the foamy material that is stiff enough to retain an upright position, yet still fragile enough to be manipulated and disintegrate

  81. says

    My thanks to cicely, opposablethumbs and Dalillama. I wasn’t expecting so many welcomes.

    I was going to post something light-hearted, but after reading JAL’s story I felt it was inappropriate. That’s dismaying and heartbreaking. You have my sympathy. I wish there was some way to help.

  82. cicely says

    Tony!: About fucking time indeed!
    I’ll bet that Mr. 1-Vote-Against is facing a possible challenge to his job.
    Don’t want to scare off the Tea Baggers and their precious, precious votes….
    You could paint your head, or have someone else paint it for you. I did The Husband’s head in Viking Rune Stonesque snakes for Halloween one year; it got a lot of attention!

    rq: *ice pack*?

    FossilFishy, The Husband also uses a man-bag, though much larger than the one you linked to.
    Well it has to be; otherwise, how would he get his police scanner in there?
    Ogvorbis remains worryingly missing, but iJoe was in here just a few days ago, and it sounded as if things in his life were looking up.

    *Pouncehug Storm*
    You were on my Worried About List.
    And there you’ll remain. What a clusterfuck!
    I wish I could give you more than my sympathy and well-wishes.

    *hugs* and moral support for Nutmet.
    Tell jerkbrain to shut up; it’s not helping.

    carlie, I’m sorry to hear about your collegue.
    *hugs* as needed; just keep hitting the lever on the dispenser.

    dõki, posting light-hearted things is often of great use in lightening up the direness, one of the best weapons in our arsenal against dismay and heartbreak.Post away!

  83. says

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but sometimes lighthearted posts can help take my mind off problems. If you spend time in the Lounge (which I hope you will), you’ll see us express happiness, joy, frustration, anger, sorrow…pretty much the entire gamut of human emotions. You’ll also see a great deal of kindness, support, sympathy, and compassion. All of the good news gets mixed together with the unfortunate.
    I guess I’m just trying to say: share what you like, when you like :)

  84. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Thanks everyone. You guys are so sweet. There’s no need for a Horde fund yet since Roomie came back (he moved, you guys covered bills for a month, and he won’t talk about why. I think it’s because his friend/boss is addicted to pills). I don’t think he’ll move with us since his dream is for me to get stable and move out. We might go to a shelter eventually, but he’ll be screwed and stuck and I don’t want to do that to him.

    I don’t know. It’s a giant mess. Mom and I might move together somewhere but there’s the divorce and paperwork to do since her and her husband get foodstamps together and she’s his payee for SSI since he’s unfit or whatever they call it. That needs to straightened out so we can move free and clear. She just fucking moved so this new double trouble abusers popped up yesterday and I’m so fucking frazzled I can’t sleep or think straight.

    I’ll certainly take the presents for Little One, the poor kid. If you want to give small for presents that works too. When Mom got her payback check for SSD we splurged on a Leapad for her, which is so helpful since she’s having problems. She’s top of her class, but I’m worried because she gets frustrated when she doesn’t get it right the first time and often mixes up numbers/letters when doing math/reading. I need to get her tested but the Leapad is really great helping her with spelling and making reading interactive (she can’t sit still for a min. just reading a book). So a little to get her a new game would be great.

    Of course she has a long list, from Dora’s Rock kit to My Little Pony everything but she’s learned early about getting presents from people, like they do in shelters.

    Oh and I just found out Mom saw him again so it’s not just he’s keeping an eye on her but she thinks he lives around the area. :(

    I’d ask Santa to make both of them spontaneously combust but that would make me a bad person. The system is fucked – they hurt victims and make abusers worse. I don’t know what else to do. Part of me just wants to escape into a book but that feels stupid, childish and wrong so I’m just up all day and night worrying.

  85. says

    If you had the choice, what book(s) would you escape into?

    Also, there is absolutely nothing childish about wanting to escape from the hardships of reality from time to time. In fact, I’ve found it to be necessary.

  86. says

    I’d ask Santa to make both of them spontaneously combust but that would make me a bad person.

    JAL, can I offer you this booster shot of my prescription of the vaccine Dontgivafuc? Sometimes, being a “bad” person is about the only reasonable response.

    No? Very well, then I shall take up the task for you. Hup that cross onto my poor old back, and let’s get this party started in here!

    Gets prayerlikeish:

    Dear Uncaring Universe, please give JAL’s bad people a mysterious case of spontaneous combustion, that is very quick and unpainful but also completely permanent and non-endangering of other beings.

    I would take this in lieu of my new Lionel Genuine Soviet GuLag Trainset, or my Betta Getmeasammidge EasySerf Oven.

    Thank you,

    Bad Caitie

    You’re welcome. ;)

    Also, y’know, bent and wobbly hugs alongside the grim humour, and to the others.

    Today has been a !walking day. I am able to walk IFF (in the formal sense) I am headed for the elimination facility, aka The Reading Room. My new diet is “How much crap can I pile on carryable containers to a place where I can rest comfortably enough to consume it, with the goal of not having to walk that grueling ten metres between hither and kitchen more than once a day?”

    Fortunately, I have a hobby in “Structural Uses of Food”. I strongly recommend Pop Tarts: strong compressively, and reasonable under tension or combined load. Well-tanned beef jerky makes excellent lintel or flying-buttress material. Use of peanut butter welding is strongly recommended.

  87. says

    I got an early birthday present (38 on the 16th of this month): A Google Nexus 7! Once I get paid, I can buy books on my tablet!
    I’ve been using Google Earth and looking at some amazing images. I saw some gorgeous waterfalls somewhere in South America.

    Wow, there exists tremendous beauty in our world!

  88. says

    My condolences

    There’s nothing wrong with escaping into a book, it’s a major part of my coping strategy. Treat yourself. Also, my email is blaine delancey at gmail, no spaces; if you let me know what address to send to we can ship that elephant.

  89. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    What Tony said, in spades. When there’s nothing to be done, no immediate action that can be taken and things have been thought through to the point where no new insight is likely, escape is perfectly called for. If nothing else the rest will make it easier to tackle reality when the need arises again. Don’t think of it as escape, think of it as medicine.

  90. thunk: she'd rather be on a train says

    Hi all!


    I’m sorry for you and your kids. I have completely lost the ability to can at the appallingness of the situation you are in. *Hugs* and I’ll see if I might be able to send something the way of little one.

    In my life, I’m in a very pissy misandrist mood today. Being forced by cisfucks in positions of power to live around men, many of who brag about being misogynist right in front of me and a few of which are libertarians who claim not to even recognize the right to life, is downright Scary. and extremely rage-inducing.

    I want your abusers, JAL, and those who choose to use their privilege to screw over others, to get properly punished for it. How about that.

  91. Nutmeg says

    *grrr* at friends who leave night-time non-specific-angst-voicemails and then can’t be contacted. (I have PMS. Communicate poorly at your own risk.)

    The logical/more kind part of my brain says, “I’m sure he’s fine, he probably just wants to vent about dating difficulties with a sympathetic friend. He’s a couple timezones ahead and probably sleeping now.” The less kind part of my brain says, “He should know that late-night vague angst makes me jump to all the worst conclusions. And that I hate phone calls. Anything less than an emergency can be expressed in an email or text requesting a Skype time.” And the worrying part of my brain says, “Oh god, I should have caught that call on the last ring, even though it was terribly inconvenient and I was in a bad frame of mind for talking. He’s probably having some kind of a crisis and has no one to talk to and god knows what he’s doing now.”

    *deep breath*


    I hate asking people to modify their behaviour because what they do hits a sore spot for me. I generally take the viewpoint that my problems are my problems, and it’s my job to deal with them. I feel like asking people to change could hurt them and might be manipulative.

    I need to think that through more thoroughly. Maybe in closer relationships, it’s more acceptable to ask someone to change their behaviour if it is a problem for you? I would feel a bit more comfortable asking a serious romantic partner to change something than asking a friend. But even with people I have close relationships with, I’m not sure how to tell when asking them to change would be unrealistic or a huge imposition versus when it would be no big deal.

    Probably some things are simple. “Let’s not watch that movie full of fiery car crashes, because reasons” is something I could say without feeling guilty. But I’m less sure about “Your mode of communication gives me anxiety” or “I know you really like X, but I kind of need the opposite”.

    Just thinking out loud here. Apologies for the poorly-formed ideas and ramblings.

  92. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Oh, that reminds me.

    I just finished Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks. It’s a fantasy that does a great job of portraying a world in which sexual orientation isn’t an issue. Of the three relationships we get to see one is gay, one is lesbian and one is straight and none are unusual enough to elicit comment from anyone. Also the society is egalitarian as regards to gender. There isn’t any correlation between what a character does and their gender, nor between that and their role in the story.

  93. says

    Near fatal headdesk:
    When will Zimmerman ever spend time getting to know the inside of a cell?

    Florida State Attorney Phil Archer announced on Wednesday that former murder suspect George Zimmerman will not face domestic violence charges, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

    The decision came two days after an affadavit surfaced from Zimmerman’s girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, in which she retracted her earlier accusations that Zimmerman pointed a gun at her face and forced her out of her home.


    However, Think Progress reported on Tuesday that Weintraub was criticized by the National Coalition To Prevent Domestic Violence for a motion to modify Zimmerman’s bail terms to allow him to contact Scheibe. Weintraub also revealed while filing the request that she had communicating with Scheibe, conduct that the coalition’s executive director, Rita Smith, said was “not appropriate.”

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

    *hugs* and sympathy for rq, JAL, Nutmeg and carlie

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

    Joining CaitieCat in being Bad and wishing a mysterious case of spontaneous combustion on JAL’s ex and her mum’s ex for Christmas.

    For JAL and for science!

  96. says

    I *had* forgotten about that!


    This seems like an intriguing idea:

    The Thames Estuary Research and Development Company (Testrad) has released a futuristic concept for an airport that would sit on an artificial island all by itself. In collaboration with global architectural design firm Gensler, this proposed design known as London Britannia Airport is in response to a call from the Airports Commission. With the foresight to develop a unique airport that intends to evade the problems of other land-based establishments, it is a revolutionary concept.

    According to the project’s consortium, the plan’s six-runway configuration would allow for three or four aircrafts to operate “at the same time, 24-hours-a-day in all weather conditions” and all while relieving many Londoners of noise pollution. A common complaint being that overhead airplanes landing and departing causes a deafening annoyance, this proposed mid-river scheme would greatly decrease the noise pollution impact.

    I have been seriously WOWed and transfixed to for the last several hours….

  97. rq says

    Wow, so much sympathy and *hugs* for JAL (adding my mind to the Hive now collectively, on your behalf, demanding some spontaneous combustion-like activity from the Universe at Large), for carlie and Nutmeg, and an extra *hug* for thunk!

    You also look good with that particular hair-style. I think you should consider growing it out. :)

    The ankle is rather tender but fine, thank you, all. Although – I can walk, but later today I have to get on a train with a small child and a 5-kilo pastry (and it’s not the low-platform kind of train). (And no, the child and pastry are not connected, you dirty hungry atheists – besides, we’re only supposed to eat babies.)

    Don’t worry about posting light-hearted in the Lounge, as you can see, it’s a muddle of this and that – and all appropriate responses are received, but the light-heartedness is a great relief (as Tony mentioned). (But sometimes, I wait a day or half-a-day before posting lighthearted stuff if there’s something serious being discussed in the Lounge – it just seems polite, and isn’t particularly difficult considering my timezone.)

    In still other news, I don’t have any response from Ogvorbis at all. Anyone else have any way to try to contact him? I hope he’s just avoiding us, and not in any serious distress of any kind…………….

    And because my Facebook feed was oddly devoid of any Lounge-worthy links, you may all enjoy my favourite skeletonist.

  98. says

    [*waves*] I’ve been keeping up on reading (mostly) but behind on commenting, and won’t cover everything I’d have liked to say. Hugs & condolences for those that need them. Welcome to our new commenters.

    Hey, Tony, you share that birth date with my spawn.

    Preparing to go on “vacation” next week. Visiting relatives half a country away; first time back in almost 5 years. I like them all well enough, but … well this time of year is already stressful for a large number of reasons everyone is familiar with, travel + visit lumped on top of that. So I’ve got a bit of dread. And so, so, so many things to do (heaped upon already being behind on numerous “normal” things) is making me shut down, and then feel guilty about not getting anything done … all in a vicious cycle.

    At work I saved a colleague half a day of investigation/debugging by guessing the cause of his problem with 10 minutes of shoulder surfing. Came down to two characters. Though I might have that beat with my own issue. I’ve been pounding my head on the desk daily after trying to duplicate a “procedure that works” for others … for over a week. I think it might come down to “3” vs. “4” in one file name (and hint, the newer version isn’t the one that works). Running jobs (~12hr) now to see if the problem is “fixed”.

  99. rq says

    Oh no!!! *scritches* and lots of ’em (for you, but Partner also, if it helps), and hoping for a speedy recovery!

  100. says

    Ahhh, you know, a family is like a nuclear stand-off: Everything is fine as long as everybody keeps the finger from the red button.
    No, nothing major happened, just the little one throwing a major tantrum because the knight costume is in the laundry….

    Best wishes for your partner

    I’m so sorry *hugs*


    I hate asking people to modify their behaviour because what they do hits a sore spot for me. I generally take the viewpoint that my problems are my problems, and it’s my job to deal with them. I feel like asking people to change could hurt them and might be manipulative.

    This sounds uncomfortably familiar.
    Do you also do this thing where you think about asking somebody a favour or something and then think about all the objections and grievances they might have and then you don’t even ask anymore because how could you be so selfish?
    I found out it’s bullshit:
    First: Many times the answer is “yes of course, why not?” Especially if you phrase it as a problem you have and they can help you with. Most people happily help other people, especially if it doesn’t cost much.
    Second: If they say no it does not mean they don’t love you. Well, most people you ask don’t love you anyway. My dear parents made me beg for love, so I ended up not asking people anything (not even asking people whose job it is to be asked) out of fear they would reject me.
    Third: It poisons relationships. Because their behaviour won’t stop to annoy you. And since they don’t know you’re annoyed and upset they don’t have a chance to fix it.

    I’m so sorry to hear :(
    Please consider getting out of there as soon as you and your ma can. Don’t worry about Roomie. Obviously he didn’t worry that much about the two of you when he moved out. Self-care is not selfish and you deserve better.

    +++*signs Caitie’s petition to the universe+++

  101. rq says

    Do you also do this thing where you think about asking somebody a favour or something and then think about all the objections and grievances they might have and then you don’t even ask anymore because how could you be so selfish?

    It’s taking a long, slow time, but I’m getting over this. It’s so hard, though. Not because I had to beg for anything, though, but because my dad was big on self-reliance and not sharing your issues/problems with anyone because conspiracy. And that whole religious aspect of selfishness, where it makes you the worst person ever because you’re not thinking of [the children / the poor / people worse off / your siblings / the person you are asking / etc.].

    Good luck, I’m sure I have some extra thumbs to hold on your behalf!
    Also, the family thing – good luck with that, too. *hugs* if desired!!

  102. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Not sure if you guys already follow but I found this site, Good News Feminism, when I went to check the status of “I’m not a sexist but..” tumblr. It’s great, lots of activist things and positive stories.

  103. opposablethumbs says

    rq sorry to hear about the ankle but glad it’s on the mend. Always a bit tricky negotiating extremely young people, pastries and public transport all at the same time … good luck with that.

    JAL it’s wonderful to see you again! But bloody hell what a fuck-up wrt the lack of protection from your respective exes/soon-to-be exes. I hope your mum and you can get away with Little One eventually. I’m glad that she will have an elephant on its way to her. And you definitely need moments of down time – I escape into fiction when I get the chance, and any troubles I have are less than nothing compared to what you have to deal with.

    Nutmeg it’s great that the night terrors are somewhat abated at present, but in some ways that might make this the ideal time to see someone about the issue – it might be easier to work on them while they’re “down” ? :-) Also, asking people for what you need is a skill I wish I had learned. Giliell is right on that, I think.

    carlie I’m so sorry about your friend. It’s awful to lose someone so young, and losing a really good person is the worst. My most wonderful cousin (incredibly intelligent, politically active, a force in anti-racism) died young while the … less stellar relatives, shall we say, are still around. Bastard Uncaring Universe.

    WMDKitty hope your partner is OK and recovers from the pneumonia soon!

    thunk, I sympathise. Hopefully the day will come when you get to live mostly with/around whom you choose. Glad you can hang around here in the Lounge in the meantime!


    Might it be possible, do you think, for our Squidly Overlord himself to contact Ogvorbis? Just a line to let him know we’re worried about him, as it sounds like the email addresses any of us have may not be current ones …?

  104. rq says

    Success!! I have been rescued from the train – I know have a veheekl at my disposal. Yay! (Because a 5 kg pastry is… rather large.)

  105. Portia, in absentia says

    I’m so so sorry for your loss. *hugs*

    Jesus fuck, I can’t say how sorry I am that all exploded on you. And for Little One. I offer all the support I can give.

  106. bassmike says

    Hugs to all who need them. Especially to WDMKitty. When our little one had pneumonia it was horrible. I hope your partner is well soon

    Happy forthcoming birthday to Tony! Are you folically challenged, as I am?

    rq good luck with train/child/pastry combo. Is there still snow around? As that won’t help matters.

  107. Portia, in absentia says

    JAL – I feel like we have corresponded in the past, but I would love love love to help you give her a Christmas present, so if you would like to, please email me at bravo[nym] at the gaggle mail.

    I haven’t finished this, but I love it so far. It’s the antidote to “What Happy People DO!!111!!!” lists, and it’s called “How to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed.” I hate that first variety of lists.

  108. Portia, in absentia says

    WMDKitty – I’m so sorry, I hope Partner is ok.

    rq – best wishes for that ankle. : (

    Happy early birthday Tony!

    Hugs all around

  109. says

    cicely, Tony! and rq: oh, ok! I’ll try and get the gist of how this place works.

    * * *

    Tony! (#624): Happy unbirthday. There are, indeed, some interesting waterfalls in South America. Perhaps the most famous are the Iguazu Falls, which I had the opportunity to visit twice, once in the summer, once in the winter. The quantity of water flowing changes a lot from one season to another, so it’s quite curious to see the same place in a different light.

    * * *

    Nutmeg (#629): I don’t know about your friends, but I usually want the people I know to tell me if they think I should mend my ways (especially close friends!). I’d hate if I were inadvertently making them uncomfortable somehow. I usually try to make it clear to them that they can talk to me about this sort of thing, but I’m not sure if I’m completely effective with my message…

  110. Portia, in absentia says

    Discussion of sexual harassment of one first grader to another. I guess. Not sure how to warn against what this is about without just saying so.

    A six year old boy, with a history of other such disruptions, kissed a (female) classmate on the hand during class time and was suspended. Cue the outrage…his mother says “now he’s asking what sex is.” Oh, horror! She might have to talk to her child about other people’s boundaries and maybe even explain why what he did was not okay?! (Something tells me that conversation is not going to happen, though). The most disgusting part is that the mom’s defense is quoted as being that the children “consider themselves boyfriend and girlfriend.” Therefore, he can do what he wants when he wants! QED! The article doesn’t say how long his suspension is. I don’t really care, maybe the punishment is a bit harsh, but the reaction is making me the most angry.

  111. says


    A six year old boy, with a history of other such disruptions, kissed a (female) classmate on the hand during class time and was suspended. Cue the outrage…his mother says “now he’s asking what sex is.” Oh, horror! She might have to talk to her child about other people’s boundaries and maybe even explain why what he did was not okay?! (Something tells me that conversation is not going to happen, though). The most disgusting part is that the mom’s defense is quoted as being that the children “consider themselves boyfriend and girlfriend.” Therefore, he can do what he wants when he wants! QED! The article doesn’t say how long his suspension is. I don’t really care, maybe the punishment is a bit harsh, but the reaction is making me the most angry.

    I hate these people so much.
    I had to talk about sexual harassment with my six-year old because she was the victim of it.
    Because that’s what happened, nobody would call it anything else if it were done by adults.
    But I guess this is totally OK and NEVER EVER SAY A WORD ABOUT IT TO THE BOYS!!!!!!
    Also, if your kid doesn’t know what sex is at 6 it’s high time somebody taught him.

  112. Portia, in absentia says

    As usual, you hit the nail on the head.
    It’s all so disgusting.

    And, I mean, even if it was perfectly fine with the subject of the kiss (and her parents!), can’t these people, at a minimum, recognize that it’s not appropriate classroom behavior? No. Wait. They can’t. Because “boys will be boys” and everyone should just bow and scrape to their uncontrollable urges and make accommodations to the self-fulfilling prophecy of their inability to consider other people’s (read: women/girls’) needs and desires.

  113. says

    Yep. One day these boys will no longer be cure six-year olds. But they’ll keep on victimising girls and women. but, hey, maybe one day a judge will rule that he’s not really to blame because his parents always protected him and he never experienced any consequences!

    And, I mean, even if it was perfectly fine with the subject of the kiss (and her parents!), can’t these people, at a minimum, recognize that it’s not appropriate classroom behavior?

    No, they totally can’t. They can’t do it because they themselves don’t understand the difference between “appropriate” and “consensual”.
    When I talked to the mother whose son had kissed #1 against her will, she ompletely went on the “appropriate” line. She couldn’t understand that I didn’t have a problem with them kissing in the schoolyard, but that he had kissed her against her will (as a “dare” inspired by his friends). So if she talked to him about it, the message he’ll have gotten would be “It’s OK to kiss girls whether they like it or not if I grow older and do it outside of school”.
    As for this boys punishment:
    Blargh, it’s this American obsession with revenge and punishment and law and order.
    Firstly, suspensions are stupid anyway. Really, what are they supposed to achieve? You’ll get the parents against you, because now they have to organize childcare. You’re punishing them. And if they#re older and troublesome, you’ll just give them what they want: a few days off. The school where I’m an intern at the moment recently had the case where they got a call from the police while I was there: Two kids who’d been suspended (happens here too, but not that easily) got caught shoplifting.
    Secondly, yes, over the top and ineffective. Because it does nothing to address the problem. The boy git suspended before for kissing that girl. Look how that worked out.
    Dunno, what does “stays on the school record” mean.? For how long? Stigmatizing 6yo for all time can’t be helpful either.

  114. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I had an argument with my mother awhile back on this issue.

    She was expressing dismay over the Steubenville case (which was still making headlines at that point). She asked what can be done to prevent such things from happening again.

    I suggested teaching boys that they aren’t entitled to girls’ bodies. I brought up as an example such things as grabby kindergarteners.

    She then accused me of not understanding child psychology and asserted that young children being grabby was harmless because it isn’t like there’s any malice behind it.

    Now, I agree that (usually) there’s no malice behind a six-year-old grabbing another. But, by failing to tell a child that you have to ask permission before touching someone else, you’re laying the groundwork for the societal messages that come later, about how women exist for men’s taking.

    *drops a load of hugs for all assembled*

    JAL! I’m glad to see you again, but sorry to hear about how things are going. :( :( :(

    I had a realization the other day as I was drifting off to sleep, so I made a series of stream-of-consciousness tweets. I won’t reproduce them altogether (because who wants to read that?), but here’s the upshot:

    My parents complain every time we see each other or are otherwise communicating that I don’t reach out to them much. They have to call me. Now, part of that is that I’m not the type that picks up the phone to call people just to chat. I also don’t send chatty emails. That’s how I am with everyone, not just them.

    But, when I think on it, I think that part of my aloofness from my parents is deliberate. My parents are very religious. My mother is born-again. They don’t participate in the “culture war” shit, and are pretty progressive, politically, but have some serious blind spots when it comes to biggies like LGBT rights and women’s rights. When I first came out, they made a huge-ass deal about how they weren’t like “those Christians” who would disown a queer child. They would never do such a thing!

    They then expected me to be grateful for this. Grateful? I’m sorry, you don’t get cookies for failing to be a flaming asshole.

    They also went on about how they aren’t in the business of legislating morality. And how they aren’t going to judge other people’s choices. But, well, don’t I agree that drag queens are just weird? And really, what is up with pride parades? And, oh my god, are those men holding hands? And kissing?!

    They’re better about this now. Which is to say that they’ve learned to be subtle about it and not be blatantly homophobic. Around me, that is.

    I’ve thought about bringing this up. But I really don’t want to hear a speech about how change is really hard and how I’m being intolerant and ungrateful and don’t understand what really matters.

    And they wonder why I don’t call. They wonder why there’s a gulf between us.

    The other day, I went to a play. It was a stage adaptation of Frankenstein that was actually an adaptation of the book, rather than being set in a castle in Transylvania with a supporting cast that included Marty Feldman. It was quite good! Delightfully creepy, as the story really commands.

    Except that they made a change that I noticed. In the book, a major plot point is when the Creature murders Frankenstein’s wife, Elizabeth. In the book, it doesn’t directly say how, but it’s implied to be strangulation. In the play, the Creature invades the house while she’s waiting for her husband to come to her on their wedding night. She – unique of all the characters – reacts with pity and kindness to him, and offers him her help and friendship. He then violently rapes her. Frankenstein bursts in mid-rape and is greeted by the Creature yelling about how Frankenstein “gave me life, but now I’m a MAN!”

    The final sequence (Frankenstein and the Creature’s final fight) includes the Creature waxing rhapsodic about Elizabeth’s thighs.


  115. says


    Success!! I have been rescued from the train – I know have a veheekl at my disposal. Yay! (Because a 5 kg pastry is… rather large.)

    Perhaps it is due to the post waking up haze, but my mind drifted off reading this and imagined a fantastic scenario where you were trapped in a train being hunted by a…rather large pastry, searching for your car keys…

  116. Bicarbonate says

    Hi everybody here. I love you all. Thanks to someone here, I think maybe Caine, I discovered Mary Gauthier and have been listening to her in a loop for months. Especially her “Mercy Now”. Yes, I think we could all use a little mercy now.

    So, to all of you having troubles upthread, here.

  117. bassmike says

    Sorry forgot that this needed a reply:

    Fossil Fishy

    Ahem…I say: ahem good sir! Some of us play a real instrument. ;)

    My measured and mature response is:

    Phhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuttttttttttttttttttttt :-P

    Actually I do play ‘real instruments’ as well as bass. But, sadly, you’re more in demand as a bass player than anything else. In my experience.

    Tony! I think the gravatar is a small bit map, so can’t be enlarged. But if you’re bald by choice, it’s not the same! If only I had the option of shaving my head or otherwise. Privileged man mode OFF.

  118. says

    I was looking at a website called, and it rung a bell. They are somehow connected to the LDS. Do you have any dope on this lot?

    (I vaguely recall that they have a perverse fascination with ancestry – in order to necrodunk.)

    All genealogy sites have something to do with mormonism. Mormons have made it their thing to gather and digitally store as many records as possible. They also have allowed untrained mormons to submit records of their ancestors. As you can imagine, their databases are full of errors. Almost no one calls them on this.

    Quotes from ex-mormons:

    My father considered himself a geneology genius. However, he got my birthday wrong in his family chart and the names of both of my children are incorrect. Perhaps that means we’ll be lost in the cracks and get to stay in one of the happier more fun-filled kingdoms of Heaven. Hopefully, this means we’ll dodge spending eternity with the smug high and mighty TBM side of the family.

    I brought that premise up years and years ago to my mother, who was the house genealogist. Her response was priceless Mormonism: “I guess that will all get sorted out in Heaven…”

    My mother was an adopted child. As an adult I learned from a family relative (who had been present when the baby was picked up at the home for unwed mothers) that she was born in Ogden, Utah. The family records have her born in Salt Lake City. When I gave this information to my brother so that he could correct his records, he replied, “Well, the church records show her birthplace as Salt Lake, so I’ll just leave it at that.”

    I have found records posted by Mormons where the person died 157 years after his date of birth. Where two children of a family with the same first name are born on the same day in different towns. Where the ancestor is one of the Norse gods. Where a family of eight children are all born in towns with the same name in different states (supposedly the family moved back and forth every year or so, but always to a town with the same name).

    NEVER trust the accuracy of Mormon genealogical records.,605118,605287 is not owned by the LDS church, but it is run by mormons.

    I did a lot of genealogical research the last couple of years, and I refused to subscribe to get any of their data. Their prices for a membership are outrageous. Almost as bad as paying tithing.

    their info is so messed up. My mom is an avid genealogist and she found things like my aunt married to another man, born in a state she never lived in. Mom has found relatives married to people they didn’t know and having kids they never had. She corrects Ancestry and says they change things promptly when caught but that the information isn’t just often wrong – it’s outrageously wrong sometimes.

    With all this sub-par genealogy stuff going on in mormondom, I don’t know why they don’t just make up names, or say something like, “I baptize you in the name of your great grandmother’s grandmother.” If they simply must necrodunk everyone, and they get the names wrong (or recycle the names and necrodunk the same dead person multiple times), the exercise becomes more surreal, more useless than it appears on the surface — which is saying a lot.

  119. says

    Apparently that’s the 2011 adaptation. AFAICT, the original stage version (from 1836) was entirely faithful to the novel. Of course, AFAICT it hasn’t been staged since sometime in the 1840s either.

  120. says

    Tony @602 (in reference to post #596)

    There’s a commenter that just doesn’t seem to like what Steve Benson is saying. I haz a tiny violin for hir.
    Also, when did calling someone a Mormon apologist become an ad hominem?

    Yeah, Commenter88 has a real need to take Steve Benson down, but he/she is not up to the task. Not even close.

  121. Dhorvath, OM says

    There is no too early. Despite introducing these concepts from the start we are still fighting it at six though because the messages our child gets elsewhere are so at odds with our rules at home. I can’t imagine trying to deprogram without our message in the mix all along.

  122. says

    Racist Microaggressions

    Racial Microaggressions is a photo project by Fordham University student Kiyun Kim that addresses the racial comments that she and her peers succumb to on a daily basis. They may not be attacks from organized groups, shunning them for their cultural, ethnic, or religious backgrounds, but the words are tiny jabs that these youths are regularly subjected to because of stereotypical comparisons of behavior and physical attributes associated with their race

    Yup, GOP.
    Racism is dead.
    (can I have another fatal facepalm in less than 24 hours?)

  123. says

    Regarding the 3000 or so comments on the Salt Lake Tribune article that threw Brigham Young under the bus as being the only one to blame for racism in mormon church, Pamela Fletcher offered a summary:

    Basically, Steve Benson came in and enlightened everyone with verified sources, most of them from the volumes of Church History, written articles from the era, or officially written church dogma (oops, I meant doctine) and proved that both J.Smith and B.Young are racist bigots. Then Commentor88, the ever so obvious apologist, ate his own words for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was quite interesting to watch. The end.

    For those of you who may want to dip into this fracas without having to search for the Benson comments:

    Link to the article:

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


    Can I put up a note for PZ that we’re worried and would like him to try and use Ogvorbis’ login mail to contact him?
    It’s skirting the privacy border, but I think the situation warrants it.

  125. says


    There is no too early. Despite introducing these concepts from the start we are still fighting it at six though because the messages our child gets elsewhere are so at odds with our rules at home. I can’t imagine trying to deprogram without our message in the mix all along.

    It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
    They pick up so much gender-shit, it makes you wanna cry.
    And it’s so much everywhere.
    An example? My language class required us to subscribe to a daily mailservice that teaches one word a day to German learners. You get definition, translation, number of google hits, examples, notes on usage.
    Today’s word was “namesake”. The example was all about famous men, sons, fathers and grandfathers. I had to ask our instructor (sarcastically)(who is not the person who writes the mails) if it was also possible to use it for women…

    Urgh, I’m sorry.
    The one thing I have to say in favour of my in-laws (well, no, I have to say many good things about them) is that they really learned and finally got at least the LGB thing. When everybody was still suspecting that their younger son was gay they were like “how can we stop X from turning him gay?” then they went to “Well, you’re gay, but don’t bring your boyfriend to family events because of grandma” but finally they understood. They were honestly pleased to meet BIL’s new boyfriend and said boyfriend was accepted into the family like I was.

  126. says

    Hmmm, breakfast with giraffes in kenya.

    Article from several months ago on a blog I just stumbled across (thanks to the New Civil Rights Movement):

    Therein lies a strategic and ethical challenge. It’s true that little investment in Alabama or Mississippi is needed to reach full marriage equality in, say, five to ten years. But marriage isn’t everything. And more to the point, Alabama and Mississippi have gay people who need protections and deserve equality just as those in coastal states and big cities do. The risk is that these folks will be left behind. Plus, the LGBT civil rights movement has a unique challenge that the black civil rights movement did not share: Queer kids generally grow up in straight families. In hostile states and communities, these kids can suffer for much of their lives under parents who find their own kids disgusting and unworthy of equal treatment.

    Full marriage equality in the US is an important goal.
    It is not the end of the battle for full equality.


    Another interesting post at the same blog:

    Historians have investigated how sexuality has been central to the political, social, and cultural history of the United States. Yet few historians of sexuality have attended to the important ways that religious practices, identities, beliefs, institutions and politics have shaped sexual politics, sexual communities and sexual identities over the course of the twentieth century. Likewise, historians of religion in the twentieth century have only recently begun to account for the changing meanings of sexuality to religious identities, politics, practices and beliefs. To that end, this anthology is accepting proposals for historical scholarship that places the categories of religion and sexuality at the center of its analysis in order to map the interrelation of changing religious and sexual landscapes. We welcome chapters—new or previously published in article form—that take religion as a starting point for rethinking American sexual history and sexuality as a starting point for rethinking American religious history.
    · What discursive and material contexts and practices constructed the relationship between religion and sexuality?

    · In what social institutions did religious and sexual experiences and ideas intersect?

    · How have sexual and religious identities been constructed in relation or opposition to each other?

    · In what ways did sexual subcultures and communities engage with mainstream religions?

    · How did religious authorities, ideas and institutions respond to or shape sexual values, meanings, practices and identities?

    · How did religious authorities’ ideas about (and policing of) sexual norms and deviancies change over time? How did religious authorities, groups or institutions inform or enforce social rules about sexual behavior? How did they shape and reshape dominant sexual meanings?


    Also, this one is still accepting submissions:

    “Making Transgender Count”

    As a relatively new social category, the very notion of a “transgender population” poses numerous intellectual, political, and technical challenges. Who gets to define what transgender is, or who is transgender? How are trans people counted—and by whom and for whom are they enumerated? Why is counting transgender members of a population seen as making that population’s government accountable to those individuals? What is at stake in “making transgender count”—and how might this process vary in different national, linguistic, or cultural contexts?

    This issue of TSQ seeks to present a range of approaches to these challenges—everything from analyses that generate more effective and inclusive ways to measure and count gender identity and/or transgender persons, to critical perspectives on quantitative methodologies and the politics of what Ian Hacking has called “making up people.”


    Potential topics might include:

    * best practices and strategies for transgender inclusion and sampling in quantitative research;
    * critical reflections on past, current, and future data collection efforts;
    * the potential effects of epidemiological research on health and other disparities in trans communities;
    * who counts/gets counted and who does not: occlusions of disability, race, ethnicity, class, gender in quantitative research on trans communities;
    * the tension between the contextually specific meaning of transgender identities and the generality and fixity that data collection requires of its constructs and social categories;

  127. says

    I think it is worth a try.
    I know that PZ has been busy, so he may not even know what the Pitters have been saying about Ogvorbis. You may need to go into detail.
    But yes, Ogvorbis has been dealing with this for so long, and it really seemed–according to him–that he was starting to get better. He does not need to have the lies of the Pit weighing on him.

  128. says

    Grammar and punctuation matter:

    “Top stories: World leaders at Mandela tribute, Obama-Castro handshake and same-sex marriage date set…”

    Sky News reportedly sent out this alert to its followers Tuesday. I knew the Obama-Castro handshake was a big deal and all, but a wedding date, too? Those guys hardly know each other!

  129. says

    For those you who want to act aghast that I’d use a term like “rape insurance” to describe the proposal here in front of us, you should be even more offended that it’s an absolutely accurate description of what this proposal requires. This tells women that were raped and became pregnant that they should have bought special insurance for it. By moving forward on this initiative, Senate Republicans want to essentially require Michigan women to plan ahead and financially invest in healthcare coverage for potentially having their bodies violated and assaulted. Even worse, it would force parents to have similar and unthinkably terrible discussions about planning the same for their daughters. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: This is by far one of the most misogynistic proposals I’ve ever seen in the Michigan legislature.

    That’s Michigan, State. Sen. Gretchen Whitmer speaking.

    Whitmer went on to describe her personal experience of surviving sexual assault. The final vote was 27-11 in the Senate, to go along with passage in the House of 62-47. Republican Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a similar bill last year. But because the bill this time arose as a citizens’ initiative, it does not require a signature from the governor – neither can he veto it. Had the Michigan legislature sent it on to the ballot, it faced a divided electorate, with voters opposed to it by 47 percent to 41 percent in a recent poll. The bill will take effect early next year.

    Right to Life forces in Michigan pushed the bill, and put lots of money and organization behind this misogynist act. They also used outright lies to push the bill.

  130. rq says

    Dammit, Pharyngula, why did you eat my comment???

    I wrote about how I survived the pastry but the pastry didn’t survive us. With picture for Tony and everything (to illustrate the rather large pastry).

    And about how teaching children about boundaries is a work in progress and a lot of effort but they’re slowly catching on to that whole permission/consent before touching/wrestling/any contact thing. And they don’t like hearing ‘No’ from others but they’re learning to respect it. And how it’s difficult. But doable and definitely a thing to do. Gah!

    Also, Beatrice, yes, I think a notice to the overlord is warranted in this case. Ogvorbis might also be a bit more comfortable about hearing from him rather than one of us. And as I said before, I hope he’s just busy and staying away from the internet.

  131. cicely says

    Happy early birthday, Tony!.


    Partner is in hospital with pneumonia.

    I’m sorry to hear that.
    Best wishes for a rapid recovery.

    Hi, Bicarbonate!

  132. says

    A volunteer fire chief in southwestern Indiana resigned Tuesday after posting outrageously racist rants on social media, but he still doesn’t understand why people were upset.

    Chief Sean Sargent used racial slurs and admitted he was a racist who supported the Ku Klux Klan and lynching.

    “I’m just gonna come on out and say it! I’m a full blown racist, I dare a dirty (racial expletive) to try and knock me out, and oh yeah! Support your local klan!!!” Sargent said in one Facebook post.

    He also asked what you would call “1000 (racial expletive) at the bottom of the sea,” saying it would be “a good (expletive) start.”
    He. Doesn’t. Understand. Why. People. Are. Upset???
    America!!! You come here right now. We are going to have a long series of talks about race, you and I.

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

    I’m not dead, just paper writing.

    Happiez, sadz, and hugz where appropriate.

  134. rq says

    Crip Dyke

    I’m not dead, just paper writing.

    Oh, those aren’t synonyms?? (Good luck!)

    re: the anti-happy-crowd link
    I read that a while ago, and I really loved it (the original post that it responds to, too). I’ve always had a secret passionate hatred for those 3948729384 Ways to BE HAPPPPYYYYY!!! lists – because I always read them, looking for an answer of some kind, but they always leave me feeling kind of… bleh and empty. And I’ve never been able to say why, because a lot of things seem like good ideas (yeah, sure, eat healthier; oh yeah, of course, exercise every day; yeah yeah, ignore the negatives focus on the positives, mmhm…).
    To clarify, I don’t think I have depression (no diagnosis, etc.), but I am a down kind of person – enough where it sometimes keeps me from daily routines. And these lists were not helpful in any way possible. I can’t imagine how they sound to people with real, actual depression. So this list of 21 things was especially refreshing, because it was a huge help just to be able to understand that it’s ok to get down, and there are things you can do, even minor ones, but most of all – that I’m down through no fault of my own.

    On a more amusing note, I liked #19 especially due to the phrase “I am not a psychic.” Years and years ago, I realized that I am not a psychic (bet you’re all surprised!), but I use it to my advantage. See, because I am not a psychic, I simply imagine, as realistically as possible, the worst possible things that could ever happen during [trip/day/event/meeting/etc.] and I know, because I am not psychic, that those things will not happen. Because if they did, then I would be psychic. And I’m not. :) So, in a weird way, that’s how I avoid some psychological pit-falls and anticipatory fears: I imagine the worst of them, knowing that they won’t come true because I have now ‘predicted’ them. (Of course, there’s always something I’ve missed, and Life still manages to corner me sometimes, but for the most part, that’s the kind of backwards thinking that helps me get over my fears. Yup, people* are weird.)

    * By ‘people’ in this case I mean, more specifically, moi-self.

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

    From racist firefighter article, some background:

    Sargent said that he’d never treated citizens differently due to their race while performing his job duties, although Greene County is almost entirely white, at 97.2 percent.

    And with that, we can now go on to our regularly scheduled Shorter Sean Sargent’s Backpedal:

    “It doesn’t matter what race you are,” he said. “In Greene, you’re 97.2 percent white to me, and that ought to be good enough.”

    My goodness, this man’s backpedal is amazingly incompetent. Let’s play backpedal bingo, shall we?

    1. He said he’d made the posts “to get a reaction”
    2. he denied (comments like the “good (expletive) start” statement) were intended to disparage any particular race
    3. He was trying to make an important political point that is totes race neutral: “I have an issue with anyone who is being lazy or taking advantage of the system”
    4. “I think this whole thing was turned into more than it really should have been.”
    5. denies that he’s a racist
    6. he does not believe the [KKK] is a racist group: “The Klan is not about threatening people,” he said. It’s just “an organization you can join to be proud of your white heritage”.
    7. he said he had a black family member [boy do I wish I heard how he phrased that – or, y’know, I don’t]

    And after he was done successfully defending himself from the totally unjust reaction that made a big deal out of nothing b/c he was trying to get a reaction and get people riled up? With as many bingos as this guy gives everyone, you know how this is going to end.

    That’s right! Freeze Peaches for all:
    8. “there is still a thing called freedom of speech,” he said. “I can say whatever I want, whether I feel that way or not. In America, you have that freedom.”

    How heartwarming peachfreezing!

    God bless us! Every one!

  136. rq says


    Isn’t one of the colloquialisms for the vulva ‘peaches’? Which… gives this phrase a whole new meaning. A very appropriate one, I should think – along the lines of ‘ball-shrinking’.

  137. cicely says

    Re racist firefighter:
    9. People are too sensitive to this “racism” shit; everyone Just Needs To Get Over It, and Grow A Thicker Skin!

  138. says

    Ok, I’m about to just turn off the world for the rest of the day. ARgh!

    Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah has just introduced legislation offering a religious “license to discriminate” against gay people and same-sex marriage. The so-called “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act” is a direct response to the Supreme Court striking down Section 3 of DOMA, a direct challenge to recent news the IRS may tighten rules governing non-profits, and a direct response to Lee’s suggestion that the President will issue an executive order that would force churches, religious institutions, and non-profits to recognize or even consecrate same-sex marriages.

    This conservative fuckwit wants to legalize discrimination! At least he’s being open and honest about it.

  139. rq says

    Speaking of same-sex marriage, I was quite shocked to hear that the Australian court has ruled against same-sex marriage because the federal government challenged the legality of the original decision – and in the process, has annulled already-completed marriages?? And India recriminalised gay sex… (I’m seeing the same argument in both cases – that such decisions should be made by the parliament/government, not the courts. Is there less common sense in the parliament than in courts or something?)
    So I guess the wave of progress is now ebbing? :(

  140. says

    May I say that I’m totally underwhelmed by AA holiday campaign? The billbord, the displays?
    To me they look like kids bickering over who has the one TROO meaning.
    My daddy is bigger than your daddy.
    Seriously, they need somebody to do their PR.

  141. carlie says

    Speaking of racism and people in authority, this failbook entry was just about the definition of “lolsob”.

    Description: White guy with red hair holding up “iphone” to his head in the car while driving. Status says”Driving around chatting on the iphone cookie I baked, trying to get pulled over so I can just I can just eat the cookie in the cops face.” Comment underneath says “Funny! Wish I was white so I could play tricks on cops without getting shot.”

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

    OK, so I didn’t think this through.

    I’m not sure on the policy on reposting Ogvorbis’ response where everyone (including the slimers ) can see, without his permission, but he responded to PZ. So there’s that.
    I’m a bit less scared for him now.