1. carlie says

    Oh, our Crudely. Come here for whatever you need to share, any time of the day or night. I wish I could walk in and serve big mugs of David’s happiness tea™ to everyone in your home. Addiction is such an unrepentant, dominating villain to everyone it comes across. We’re always here to love you.

  2. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I may or may not be stupidly drunk. And full of pie.


  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead is arguing with me about a missed episode of last season’s Dancing with the Stars near the finals. One would think after forty year she would know enough not to argue such a factual point, when it was demonstrated to her that the episodes were in sequence from midseason. But I, as the husband, must be wrong, not the possibility she dozed off during the elimination portion of an episode….

  4. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, damn, Crudely, I’m so sorry. I hope you and your daughter and the cubs are OK. I’m so, so sorry :-(((((

    hugs and more hugs

  5. Crudely Wrott says

    @ Tony! & David & chigau & CaitieCat & carlie and all y’all,

    I forgot what I was going to say because in the very middle of the previous sentence, somewhere between chigau and CaitiCat, I had the chance to hug both of the man-cubs and to tell them that I would never, ever call them stupid or dumb and that I would always always be available to them for whatever questions they may need to ask, for any riddles they are worrying over and for any thing at all that might weigh them down or bouy them up.

    They hugged me back. We three hugged roundly, triangularly, lovingly.

    Their dad sits, stoically and silent, his fondleslab at his ear, his eyes on the big screen mounted ridiculously high on the wall. He has recently talked of obtaining a larger one even though he cannot pay for the satellite TeeVee signal that amuses him so (the bastard called me out for what I did or didn’t do thirty odd years ago and he, not old enough to have functional memory of those days, actually thinks he thereby scored points!).

    I hugged my grandsons today!! Outside of the slipper sox that is the best of all possible gifts; given and received. Mutually bestowed and, I’ll wager, long remembered on Christmas days far into the future.

    Thanks to you all for hanging with me. As we, teh Horde, are coming to realize, mutual support means a lot. A powerful lot.

    Grinsandsqueezesallround. ;^> & ;) et cetera . . .

  6. Crudely Wrott says

    Now I am laughing with no control. Perhaps convulsively or compulsively, idunno. Something stress induced?

    Oh, Spocktopus cuddler, would you mind terribly if I called you Yob?

    Smack me mercilessly if I’m out of line but, by the first sparks flying from the anvil of Pluto, why and oh and be spell Yob and for no defensible reason at all that sends me right over the hill.

    If Yob is acceptable then please feel free to call me Crude or some diminutive thereof. I promise to not take offense.
    *probably love you the more in spite of us both*

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    After forty years, it’s in the script.

    Actually, I realized that thirty or so years ago….Sigh.

  8. carlie says

    David – however, in the Lounge it shall be David’s happiness tea. :) Also, I’ve been meaning to mention that it is quite a handsome beard you are wearing these days!

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Let’s see, sweet potatoes, done; scalloped potatoes, done; brocolli, done. That just leaves the entree, and that is close to done. Sniff, ah the smell of Holiday dinner in the air.

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Entree done. A little cool-down before carving and serving. A partial tankard of grog fits the bill….

  11. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Well, I managed to screw up Christmas. My mom called, and thanked me for the gift…that I had packed for my grandmother. And I had to tell her so, or else Grandma wouldn’t have gotten anything, and given that she apparently said a few weeks ago that “I never call”, I didn’t think I could do a quickie switch and mail something else for Grandma to get later. The package in the box had just said “grandma”, and dad thought it was for my mom from my kids. Never mind that for the last 15 years their package has had something for her labeled “mom” and something for grandma labeled “grandma”

    …wait, how is this YOU screwing up?

  12. carlie says

    Azkyroth – not specific enough labeling combined with not getting her a gift specifically from my kids for their grandma.

  13. Crudely Wrott says

    A first! and all of you are witness!

    I have never, at least in sober recall, instigated a rapid real time nym change. And seldom have I been so unintentionally graceful. I feel so clumsy and allthumbs today and now Ye Olde Blacksmith has gone and gotten a new nym just because I was being a wise ass trying to head off frustration and conflict at the pass.*

    An old yoke goes roughly like this: A fellow comes into the office and says, “Hello. My name is Yimmy Yackson. I’m answering your ad in ter paper. I am hoping to work for you and I tink I can do the yob.”
    I asked, “So, Mr. Jackson, what have you been doing for the last couple of years?”
    He smiled broadly and said, “Oh, I was in Yale!”
    (hired him on the spot!)

    Yeah, old . . . rough . . . memory and all that . . .

    Ye Olde Blacksmith, thank you for your graciousness.

    With all presently gathered as witness we do, commonly and with only good intent (and the expectation of at least a few bad puns for our trouble), dub thee Yob and in so doing establish your equanimity for all to see for ever so there and so it is done and so shall all recall and razzamatazz full stop.
    Salute and happy daze!
    (glances at wristwatch in anticipation of scheduled flyover by dangerous looking aircraft and notices that it’s not 12:34)

    *f&c held momentarily but I don’t think I have enough staying power to last for long.

  14. says

    Tony @470

    Well… technically, you’re right, but if you look at the percentage of population versus the percentage affected by poverty, it’s quite clear that black and hispanic people are far more affected by poverty than white people.

    Using your data:

    Roughly 15% (~42 million) of Americans live in poverty.

    African Americans make up 13.1% of the population, with 27.5% living in poverty.

    Hispanic Americans make up 16.9% of the population, with
    25.3% living in poverty.

    By contrast, White Americans make up a majority of the population, and has the lowest percentage, at 9.8%, living in poverty, meaning white people really do have it better.

    Now, you’d expect a steady rate of 15% across the board, however what we see is that blacks and hispanics suffer higher rates of poverty — to the tune of 2-3 times what white people suffer. The reasons behind these disproportionate numbers are many, and a rather disturbing number of them are based on racial/ethnic and gender discrimination by… wait for it… white people.

    I’m sorry to say that your reasoning was entirely wrong, and sounds uncomfortably close to “See? White Menz haz it harder!”

  15. says


    I’m sorry to say that your reasoning was entirely wrong, and sounds uncomfortably close to “See? White Menz haz it harder!”

    Ugh. That’s what it read like?
    My intent did not come through.
    My original point (on FB) was to show that African American and Hispanic Americans aren’t the only ones living in poverty. It was meant to counter the racist beliefs held by many people that only PoC are poor. Not to show that White people have it harder.

    (must be more clear in the future)

  16. says


    Yeah, it came off a little… ergh. I didn’t think you meant it that way, just thought you’d want to know it read that way.

    It was meant to counter the racist beliefs held by many people that only PoC are poor.

    Wait… what.

    People actually believe that?

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    People actually believe that?

    Yep, a standard dog whistle of the right. Never mind the numbers (not percentage of) of whites on welfare is greater than those black or brown, but the pretense by the right/liberturds is that only PoC get welfare. Which they haven’t earned….

  18. Pteryxx says

    carlie: typical Moffat, eh? I’m watching Twitter split right down the middle between loving it and hating it. (me… I liked the ride, but I *know* when it repeats in a couple hours, I’m going to be going EWW HOW DID I LIKE THIS. lol.)

  19. says

    Life would be so much better with no WHO.
    I’ve been teling ya’ll that for a while now.

    Pardon me while I duck…
    ::hides behind Chrimass tree::


    “Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary. None of this helps our McDonald’s team members.”

    [bolding mine]
    They couldn’t just admit their advice was horrible. Nope. It had to be bc people took their advice out of context.

  20. cicely says

    I’m kinda skimming, so I may miss things; apologies and commiserations where appropriate, if I overlook someone.

    *hugs* for everyone!
    Choice of *beverage* chaser!

    *scritches* for WMDKitty. Glad you’re back on-line.

    Tony!, my understanding is that there was an Empire-wide general economic decline. Spare parts might be hard to come by (possibly restricted access—Imperial connections needed for import/export, say), and there’s every chance that there’s a heavy Imperial censorship and restraint on R&D (after all, if there is good, new stuff developed, why would they share?). Luke lives in a back-water, so the shiniest new stuff is unlikely to get there.

    *hugs* for CaitieCat, and I am so glad that you are able to get some serious relief from pain!

    Plus a more sedate *hug* for Little One.

    Oh, Crudely, I am so sorry!
    *hugging* you as hard as you can bear.

    A cinnamon-y *pouncehug* for David.
    Little accident with the sugar/cinnamon mixed nuts.

    The poverty rate for Native Americans seems to be somewhere around 25 to 29 percent (depending on where I’ve looked). That’s from just a quick google.
    They are often completely overlooked, in discussions of this sort.

  21. says

    Born and raised in a township, Mandla Maseko has spent his life at the mercy of the heavens. “Once it rains, the lights go out,” the 25-year-old said. “I do know the life of a candle.”

    But from this humblest of launchpads, Maseko is poised to defy the laws of physical and political gravity by becoming the first black African in space.
    I’m happy for this guy.
    A bit envious too. I would *love* to be able to view the Earth from space

  22. says

    This information (that there are more whites in poverty) is a standard counter to the ‘welfare queens’ meme which is both based in and used to perpetuate racism and push rightwing policies. Said meme is passed around among whites, often themselves poor, to convince them that antipoverty programs are aimed at minorities, especially black people, to keep them at the expense of whites. This in turn is claimed as evidence for the laziness and inferiority of PoCs, because in this narrative whites are industrious and not poor, and used as a justification to cut benefits so as to eliminate the so-called ‘culture of poverty’ that opponents of welfare insist African-Americans have. The meme also serves to perpetuate the idea that white Americans have of being, in Steinbeck’s words, ‘temporarily embarrassed millionaires’ by glossing over the millions of whites who live in poverty as not being poor, or at least not poor enough to need assistance. Presenting the information about the ethnic makeup of poverty in and of itself is not enough, however, to fully counteract the linked set of memes involved. It requires followup discussion of both systemic racism (which leads to the dramatically higher levels of poverty among ethnic minorities) and the need for a unified cross-ethnic class consciousness among the impoverished, which latter calls in turn for poor whites and fellow-travelers from other economic brackets to actively oppose such systemic racism and work to eliminate ethnically based economic inequality along with that based on class. It would further help to bring up the disproportionate levels of poverty among women, and the institutionalized sexism which brings that about, and thus the need for a unified cross-gender class consciousness which actively fights misogyny and structural sexism. And, of course, a cross-gender class consciousness would be hypocritical to the point of absurdity if it didn’t address systemic cissexism and the disproportionate levels of poverty experienced by trans* folk, with the concurrent commitment to fighting same.

    All that said, much of the groundwork re:awareness of systemic racism etc. can rather be taken as read in these particular environs, as folks here tend to build up some awareness on that front, so I don’t really hold it against Tony not bringing it up specifically. Forgive the ponderous wall’o’text.

  23. says


    The poverty rate for Native Americans seems to be somewhere around 25 to 29 percent (depending on where I’ve looked). That’s from just a quick google.
    They are often completely overlooked, in discussions of this sort.

    Yes, and I’m sorry that I did that very thing.

  24. says



    That makes an odd sort of sense, but it still feels like brushing off the fact that PoC do suffer higher rates of poverty. (Much of said poverty directly and indirectly caused by societal bullshit that deems PoC, among others, an “underclass” of sorts.)

  25. says

    Watching the silliest and sweetest movie now, Chinese, called “Kung Fu Dunk”, about an orphan who grows up in a kung fu dojo, and uses his qi-bending skills to become a basketball star. It’s hilarious and adorable. It’s on Netflix instant in Canada, no guarantee it will be on the US side, though.

    Also, Mandarin is such a soft and pretty-sounding language.

  26. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Re: poverty and perception.

    Pure anecdote. I occasionally get behind somebody at the grocery stores who who is using a Link Card (Illinois’ method of assistance). Usually, there is a surfeit of cheap and basic foodstuffs, as one would expect. But, what appears to get in some folks craw, is a couple of beefsteaks, some shrimp, or other “luxury” food. Back when I was a grad student and we were first married, that was typical of months worth of groceries. We ate cheap, but once a month we had something more than cheap eats. And if anything was left at the end of the month a pizza and pitcher of beer at a local bar. I find it hard to criticize anybody on public assistance for that attitude.

  27. says

    Indeed, which is why the additional discussion is called for. A part of the initial basis for the meme is that many whites can indeed look around and point to PoCs who are not any worse off than they are economically,/i> (this comes up a lot in discussions of privilege, as you may have noticed). That’s why discussions of the other disadvantages that also stem from systemic racism need to be pointed out, as well as the proportions of different ethnic groups who are in poverty. This also partakes of the common conservative response of tearing them down rather than pulling us up; that is to say that these poor whites perceive (often incorrectly) that some nonwhites appear to be getting more benefits than they are despite not being visibly more impoverished, and thus call to have those benefits taken away rather than calling for more benefits for themselves as well. You can also see this in the rightwing attitude towards unions and civil servants. To wit, they see that union members and civil servants often seem to get better pay and benefits than they are, and rather than conclude that they are underpaid, gripe about how others are overpaid.

  28. Crudely Wrott says

    Now Jupiter, near overhead,
    The brightest light to see tonight,
    Is just the place I’d like visit.
    I’d go there if I were live or dead.
    To tell those there of earthly sights.
    Arguing eagerly who’s sky this is its.

    *clumsy but chumbly — Cuttle must mumble into his squishy beard*

  29. Crudely Wrott says

    I endure your *hugs* most lovingly and stalwartly
    even as angry voices interrupt my plaintive reverie.

    Hug harder if you will.
    I shall endure and ever be
    The stronger for your care for me.

  30. says

    The Top 10 ways Democrats are like Nazis.
    What an offensive comparison. This was posted to a Tea Party website by a Jewish conservative extremist.

    1. Economic Fascism – Like the National Socialists, Democrats want to maintain the façade of private ownership while putting control in the hands of the state. Whether a business prospered or failed in the Third Reich depended on political pull – how close industrialists were to the Nazi leadership. Similarly, the Obama administration has come more and more to resemble the “crony capitalism” it denounced in 2008. Companies whose executives made lavish contributions to the Obama campaign ended up with contracts worth hundreds of millions for products that couldn’t possibly be manufactured with private financing. Solyndra is the most glaring example. The private/government partnership typical of fascism is taken a step further. In January 2011, Obama appointed General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt head of his jobs council. Need you ask which candidate GE’s executives will invest in next year to keep their jobs?
    10. Come to power democratically, retain power dictatorially – Hitler came to power through the democratic process, then proceeded to eliminate his opponents, by banning competing parties, dissolving trade unions and, eventually, sending the leadership of both to concentration camps. Like the Nazis, Democrats believe their opponents are evil. They’ve done their best to demonize the Tea Parties and talk radio. Periodically, they threaten to revive the Fairness Doctrine and apply it rigorously to the only media they don’t control. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe says that in 2007, he overheard a conversation between Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer in which they agreed that something had to be done about talk radio and “there’s got to be a legislative fix for this.” Democrats also seek to stifle dissent through hate-crimes laws and campaign spending limits. Would they go so far as to imprison opponents of the regime? The president has done a complete about-face on indefinite detention of suspected terrorists, which he swears would never, ever be used against U.S. citizens. In 2009, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said future terrorists would likely come from the ranks of Second Amendment activists, anti-tax protestors, proponents of border security and disgruntled Iraq war veterans. Connect the dots.

    I know people see the world differently, but damn, this guy’s vision is fucked up.

  31. Crudely Wrott says

    Sung to the tune of the well known Oscar Myer Hot Dog jingle:

    Well if I really was a really real live nazi
    I’d try real hard to really kill you all.
    Cause if I couldn’t get it done and quickly
    It’d be my ass that’s up against the wall.

    Fear and hatred: executing itself since forever. Thankfully.

  32. says


    The thing is: I can’t really argue that strip clubs don’t support patriarchy. I also can’t say that I’m not stripping outside the patriarchal system. I know I have been socialized to desire attention and to dress and present myself in ways that are pleasing to those gazing upon me (namely, men).

    But the explanation that patriarchy has oppressed me and forced me to strip is too simplistic for me. There are so many other factors at play (which I have discussed at length in various posts).

    It’s fascinating to me, and I try as best I can to simply remain curious about, the variety of views within the folks who identify as a feminist. This particular guy, who so clearly and evidently opposed men powering over women and supported women as equals, inadvertently took agency and power away from the women who engage in sex work. Simply by making a negative comment, and assuming he knows the motivations and stories of all sex workers, he once again assumed the dominant role: “I know what’s best for women: not stripping.”

    This is something of a grey area. I definitely agree that one of the important missions of feminism is to support the agency of women and help raise women up to full equality in social, political, and economic areas. Sex work, however, has huge problems with misogyny. I do know at the end of the day I’m not about to tell any woman that she can or cannot strip. It’s not my choice to make.

    Tangentially related to the above, I’m reminded of my days stripping.
    Back during Y2K, I stripped at a gay bar in Birmingham, AL for 8 months.
    I didn’t like myself.
    Or, rather, what I looked like. I grew up having poor self-esteem. Through no fault of my parents, once I hit puberty and acne set in, I zeroed in on that and just felt like I was the ugliest person on the planet. I rarely wanted to look in a mirror. I joked about playing connect the dots with the whiteheads on my face. I just really felt undesirable. That’s one of the reasons I began working out. On some level I thought that if my face wasn’t appealing, perhaps my body would be.

    That never really worked.

    So I tried stripping. I thought I’d finally think I was attractive if X number of guys desired me sexually. Boy what a fucked up way of trying to improve my self image.

    Looking back, especially now, I can see that my focus was all wrong. External validation of myself was not the way to improve my self image. Because its all about how *I* saw myself. I needed to change who *I* was and move in a positive direction so I could be happy with myself. This of course wasn’t a lesson I was in a position to learn 13 years ago.

    I feel so different from the person I was more than a decade ago. Not least bc I have a much healthier sense of self esteem (though I cannot lie, there are still times when I fall back to my old self; few and far between are those moments, thankfully).

  33. Crudely Wrott says

    Aahh, Tony!
    I have a notion of your angst and of your self loathing.
    What I lack is the insight to speak wisely to your problems.
    I wish I could hold up some magic mirror or that you could hold up the mirror and gaze deeply into it but I am not able.
    I hold you in high esteem. You do not offend me. I am not like you but I have no problem accepting you aside from not understanding why you are not at ease with yourself. I am at ease with you.
    Perhaps in the morning, having slept on the issue, one or both of us will have something useful to say.

    Tomorrow, then.
    *presses enter with some trepidation*

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


    OMG, I forgot about Doctor Who!

    It was rubbish? I… can actually totally believe that. Oh well, at least I’m going in with low expectations.

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

    How is it that people in this society are allowed to pontificate on science as much as they like without even a basic understanding of statistics? I’ve just been speaking to someone on the subject of passive smoking and they claimed that there were so many carcinogens already in the environment that tobacco smoke exposure could not possibly have any effect. I replied that those other effects should be roughly similar between samples, and he takes me to task for failing to understand chemistry…

    I thing I want to set fire to something.


    In other news, season’s greetings, I’m glad to see people again in the course of my erratic posting patterns, and apologies for disturbing everyone’s conversations.

  36. says

    It may not have come across in my comment, but I’ve put a lot of the self loathing behind me. I feel much more assured and confident in myself, which has resulted in a much healthier sense of self esteem.
    I am the person I was 14 years ago, and yet, I’m nothing like him.

  37. says

    Good morning
    So, last day of Christmas-mess around here. Time to visit my family of origin. Remember when I said that I thought we were moving towards a more respectful relationship?
    I was stupid.
    They just moved to a new terrain.
    Yesterday my MIL asked me how my grandma#2 was, if she was still in hospital. I was confused. I had talked to her on the phone on Sunday and everything was fine. Well, my MIL’s mother had called grandma #1 to wish Merry youknowwhat and had heard that grandma #2 was in hospital. I thought that maybe my grandmother in law was mistaken, because grandmother #2 lives in a nursing home that goes by the same name as a hospital, but I sent my sister a message. Wel, turns out grandmother #2 was in ICU. She’s better already, but hey, why not show me clearly that they still have power by dragging my grandmother into this?
    Well, there go all the slightly fuzzy feelings I had about going there today…

    Big, big hugs.
    The man-cubs are lucky to have you.

    You grew a beard?
    It’s been way too long since I’ve seen you!

    fluffy hugs to all of you

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

    It was meant to be self – referential… that is to say, I would feel incomplete if I did not change my ‘nym at least once while the capacity was there. Just my somewhat twisted mind at work.

  39. says

    Thanks to Miri, over at Brute Reason, I’ve found a blog called Sexuality Reclaimed, by blogger strippertherapist. Many an interesting entry by the author. She has open, honest, and frank discussions about sex, relationships, and love. One of her posts contains the following, which I found interesting:

    (I think this is my single biggest gripe with swinger spaces. What the hell is so threatening about men exploring their sexuality? I know so many women that find it incredibly hot. I think men police each other, à la internalized homophobia. Just my little bit of ranting and theorizing.)

    I wasn’t aware of women finding that hot. But then I wonder how I’d be aware of that, given that many people aren’t open and frank about sex and sexuality. I know I haven’t always been (and I know I have much to work on before I’m anywhere close to strippertherapist).
    Do men police each other? I can think of one area that they may: bodybuilding. I’ve been in gyms often enough to see heterosexual men discuss each others’ bodies, and even admire one another. It is seemingly devoid of sexual context, but I wonder if this is an outlet for some men to explore their feelings in a socially approved manner.

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


    That’s one of the reasons I began working out. On some level I thought that if my face wasn’t appealing, perhaps my body would be.

    I’m ashamed to admit that something like that has been going through my head for the last half a year.

    I started losing weight last Christmas, not deliberately. Just out of bad eating habits when I started working. Mainly, not eating.
    I lost about 8kg, which is a lot considering I started off with 55-56kg. I was worried about losing more, but I also got a little thrill from the idea that I could make that newly flat stomach look a bit more sculpted. Some muscles on those stick-like arms (in my defense, my arms were stick-like before losing weight, I have exceptionally thin arms and small hands)? Hell yeah. Being too skinny isn’t cool, but skinny and strong is.
    Since I can’t do much about the face, at least I can make my body look great.
    And I still can’t completely shake that. I’m still adjusting to the new job, so I can’t go to aerobic (no, I’m not dedicated enough to actually go to the gym and lift weights and shit) three times a week, but I’ve been religiously doing pushups and situps almost every evening. And sometimes morning.

    That’s probably not a healthy view to have of oneself, but the exercise is actually making me feel better. I feel like shit? Let’s do some situps.

    Unfortunately, getting approval from people about my skinniness isn’t making me feel better, it’s just making me irritated. Stupid unthinking assholes. I’m aware that I’m too thin, and they congratulate me? People I see twice a year think it’s their business to comment how wonderfully thin I look… since when the hell is that acceptable?! I never comment on anyone’s weight unless explicitly invited by them to do so.

    Er. I’m contradictory that way. (wanting approval and then getting irritated by it)

  41. blf says

    OMG, I forgot about Doctor Who!

    Been playing with the forgetfulness worm again?

    I didn’t think this orbit’s end special was “rubbish” — certainly not a classic, and with several points where it could have used some better editing, and with a bit too much cheese (not the edible kind), but “rubbish”? Nah…

  42. carlie says

    RUBBISH, I say. Every rotten line of it. Harrumph.

    I’m in a bad mood because I’ve been laying around for the last two days, and now I feel useless. Must clean all the things.

  43. yazikus says

    Merry Happy to any and all!

    Crudely, your family is lucky to have you in their lives.

    People I see twice a year think it’s their business to comment how wonderfully thin I look… since when the hell is that acceptable?! I never comment on anyone’s weight unless explicitly invited by them to do so.

    This so much. I also weigh much less this year than last, and the year before, for reasons mentioned earlier. It is so triggering when people start going on about my weight. Why can’t they just say they are happy to see me? Why the praise for thinness? Should I tell them I lost weight because I’m stressed out of my mind and I don’t eat enough or sleep enough? Bah. That is one reason I hate holiday gatherings.

    Back at work again. Our Squishmas Day was spent with our elderly recluse/hoarder neighbor (who has no family near). The evening was spent with dear friends and a taco buffet. There was spanish rice, beef, a most delightful vegan taco filling of portabellas, black beans and chimichurri sauce, and all manner of fixins.

    Today always reminds me of when I was a kid, I had a friend who was from the UK, and her father was a brigadier general. Very proper family , she went to boarding school so I ever only saw her on the holidays. We would celebrate Boxing Day at her house, and they would give the servants the day off and give them presents, woohoo for generosity! A whole day off! And a present? My oh my. I cringe now to think of it.

  44. says

    Yes, a good good good story about Boy Scouts in Utah:

    Amid the women in lacy wedding veils and the men in spiffy suits at the county clerk’s office was Peter Brownstein. He’d replaced the blue neckerchief of his Scoutmaster’s uniform with one in the colors of the rainbow, the colors of gay pride. He carried boxes of hot pepperoni and cheese pizzas in his arms. And by his side, he had his son Michael, a 14-year-old Eagle Scout.

    Brownstein, 52, had gone down to the Salt Lake City office to bear witness to a marriage. What he found Monday morning was a line that snaked along halls on two floors of the building. Gay couples had rushed in to tie the knot after a district judge struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. Mayor Ralph Becker called it a “thrilling pandemonium.” […]

    That they performed this task dressed in their Scout uniforms immediately drew attention. Cell-phone photos went off to Twitter and Facebook. Comments like this got posted on blogs:
    “Utah. Boy scouts. Delivering pizzas. To support. Gay marriage. The. End.” Joanna Brooks wrote those words in the online Religion Dispatches.

    Yes, this was conservative Utah, the epicenter of Mormonism. Yes, Brownstein was affiliated with the Scouts, an organization that has been mired in controversy over its policies on homosexuality and earlier this year voted to allow openly gay youths to join. The vote caused an uproar among conservative and some religious organizations that argued the change would dilute the Scout message of morality.

    Brownstein is no stranger to any of that controversy.

    As leader of Boy Scout Troop 351, he’s long advocated for the Scouts to accept all boys and men into the organization. He was reprimanded last June for participating in full uniform in the Utah pride parade in Salt Lake City.[…]

  45. says

    Not to mention how “you look great now!” is always a slap at how you looked before.


    And then there is the even worse insult disguised as a compliment: one of my ex-husband’s ex-girlfriends (she with whom he had cheated while we were still married) said upon first meeting me in person, “You got most of your figure back after giving birth. That’s good! [fake smarmy smile]”

  46. says

    A teacher in Ohio was suspended this week for allegedly telling an ambitious young African-American student that the country does “not need another black president.”

    According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Gil Voigt was suspended without pay from Fairfield Freshman School on Monday, the first step necessary for termination. The teacher has 10 days to ask to for a hearing before the school board or a referee.

    I don’t think the teacher needs to be fired (unless maybe there’s a history of racially insensitive comments). What needs to happen is some diversity training. Give the guy the chance to comprehend the extent of the problem and a chance to make amends.

  47. yazikus says

    “You got most of your figure back after giving birth. That’s good! [fake smarmy smile]“

    Lynna, that is just awful. How hard is it to say “It is so great to see you!” rather than “You look great!”. (Hint, not so hard, if you think about it).

  48. says

    Ugh. What would America look like under libertarian rule?

    These four libertarian/conservative dystopias are offered, as Rod Serling used to say in “The Twilight Zone,” “for your consideration.”


    But it seems even clearer that a “libertarian” in today’s political environment is almost always someone who ascribes to certain core philosophies: He abhors government, hates taxation, and is hostile to collective action on behalf of the less fortunate. Name any prominent modern libertarian—Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Ron Paul, Peter Thiel, Rand Paul—and they are likely to fit this description.

    These figures represent a singular and increasingly dominant libertarian vision. To avoid future confusion, I’ll give their brand of thought an admittedly imperfect name: “libertarian/conservative.” It is that vision, and their future, which I address here—and it’s a frightening future.

    1. What if you cut all benefits?

    You’ve heard it from Sen. Rand Paul and other conservatives this winter: unemployment benefits increase unemployment. It’s an enormously destructive idea, though absurd on its face. It’s like the argument that hospitals create sick people; after all, there are so many of them there.

    We usually consider such thinking “primitive” in modern societies.

    Yet that’s exactly what libertarian/conservatives are arguing when they say that unemployment benefits increased or extend unemployment. There is no credible evidence to suggest that this is true. There is overwhelming evidence suggesting that unemployment is caused by other factors, including poor consumer demand and lack of business confidence.

    Right now there are nearly three job seekers for every job opening. That means there are no jobs available for two out of the three. They will not “go out and find work” once their unemployment benefits stop. They will simply plunge into deeper economic misery. They will become like accident victims who are denied hospital care because it would “foster an attitude of dependency.”

    But, as absurd and unkind as this thinking is, there’s something even more frightening about it: This kind of thinking never ends. If you believe that unemployment benefits cause unemployment, you’ll cut those benefits off. That could throw millions of people onto the welfare rolls. But if you believe that welfare causes dependency, you’ll cut those benefits off, too. That will leave people utterly dependent on programs like heating oil subsidies, food assistance, and even homeless shelters.

    But if you believe that those programs create dependency, too….

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


    RUBBISH, I say. Every rotten line of it. Harrumph.

    Watched it.

    It actually was rubbish, yes.
    There were whats and howthehells while I was watching, but none of the fun kind that I get answers to later.

  50. says

    Hi there
    So, we went to my parents today.
    Guess who got nothing for christmas!
    No, not even a box of chocolates.
    But the kids, OTOH, git the one present I had explicitely said no to.
    Because nothing says “I don’t give a fuck about you” like that.
    Oh, and she tried to get Mr. on her side…
    She would like to help me, really, and support me now that I’m back in college! Why don’t I let her?
    Re: looks
    I always got told I would be so beautiful if I only lost X pounds

  51. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, that’s such a shitty move. I’m sorry you have this bullshit being pushed at you, and I’m not surprised you have as little to do with them as possible. Glad you’ve done such a good job of getting away – I think that’s one hell of an achievement, in fact!

  52. Bicarbonate says

    Hello Giliell,

    I was just thinking of you for a silly reason –simply because you live in Germany (if I remember right). I was listening to Barbara sing Göttingen in German and getting all sentimental and crying my eyes out with her other songs too. I think you are younger than I am and I don’t know how well known Barbara is outside of France, so in case you don’t know her songs, these are for you: here and here and here. She sings of longing and betrayal, the betrayal of her father in the last one there, Nantes.

    I’m really sorry your parents did that to you, that your mom did that. There’s nothing like family to send you off into those regions of crazy hurt we wish on no-one would ever have to know. *hugs* if you would like them.

  53. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Does anyone have any suggestions for resources to get the concept of “sleep debt” through the skull of someone who clings aggressively to a denialist perspective on it?

  54. says

    Alan Turing has been pardoned. A bit late.

    Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon.

    It addresses his 1952 conviction for homosexuality for which he was punished by being chemically castrated.

    The conviction meant he lost his security clearance and had to stop the code-cracking work that had proved vital to the Allies in World War Two.

    The pardon was granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy after a request by Justice Minister Chris Grayling.[…]

    Turing’s work helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German Naval messages enciphered with the Enigma machine. He also contributed some more fundamental work on codebreaking that was only released to public scrutiny in April 2012.

    “His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed,” said Mr Grayling.

    “Turing deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man.”

    The pardon comes into effect on 24 December.

  55. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does anyone have any suggestions for resources to get the concept of “sleep debt” through the skull of someone who clings aggressively to a denialist perspective on it?

    I’m not sure the person who is a denialist is being rational about it; therefore an emotional rather than logical appeal might be warranted. My situation is that I am constantly sleep deprived. I do the arithmetic with awake times for her middle of the night commode breaks, and the Redhead can’t refute it, but she doesn’t like the conclusion that I should put her to bed an hour earlier than at present; an emotional decision on her part. She responds she did X for a while with very little sleep. What she won’t admit is that the task, say student teaching, was for a limited time and afterwards there was a chance to rest. Like several weeks where she slept about 12 hours per day, until her sleep debt was finally paid back. I don’t have that long term rest possibilities until I retire in about 2 1/2 years. She isn’t being rational about it.

  56. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Bicarbonate, I get a page not found error message from the Harvard site.

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


    I’m so sorry your parents are trying to manipulate you and your family like that.

  58. carlie says

    Corrected link.

    Sleep deprivation sucks. I went through several years of it with two babies in a row who wouldn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time until they were in preschool. I’m really sorry, Nerd and others who are dealing with it now.
    Nerd, i’m sure you looked into it long ago, but do you have any opportunities for respite care? Even one afternoon every couple of weeks might help.

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Thanks for the updated link Carlie. From the link:

    Avoid backsliding into a new debt cycle. Once you’ve determined how much sleep you really need, factor it into your daily schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day — at the very least, on weekdays.

    And that is exactly my problem. While on vacation, like at the moment, I get an extra 1 1/2-2 hours of sleep per night. Once I go back to work after the New Year, that goes away.

    Nerd, i’m sure you looked into it long ago, but do you have any opportunities for respite care? Even one afternoon every couple of weeks might help.

    Right after the Redhead got home, we used up that years worth of such benefits due to her taking coumadin at the time. I’ve left it up to her to check on such benefits since I’m still working full time, and we did change insurance companies after my employer was sold earlier this year. Like you say, a little help every couple of weeks would be appreciated. For me, especially one day on the weekend, when I could be home from grocery shopping by the time she finally wants to get up, instead on going to grocery stores several hours later. The problem being she can’t get herself out of bed without assistance if the house caught on fire which makes her paranoid; along with strangers in the house.

  60. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Enough of complaints. The Redhead is dozing after a mostly sleepless night and a welcome visitor (who brought dinner, Columbian tamales). I have a majority (the rest was molding) of the Halloween pumpkin in the oven, making “baked squash” after cleaning up from yesterday’s dinner and doing a load of laundry. I’m sipping grog while perusing Pharyngula, where the tone/concern trolls are being especially obnoxious.

  61. David Marjanović says

    cicely! Yay cinnamon! *pouncehug* ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    Giliell! *so many hugs*

    It’s been way too long since I’ve seen you!

    It has! We’ll need to do something about it! :-)

    Also, I’ve been meaning to mention that it is quite a handsome beard you are wearing these days!

    Uh, that’s not what I have it for. I have it to save a lot of work and pain, and because I sort of always wanted one when I’d grow up because my dad has one. Following a series of experiences more than a year ago, I decided that 30 is a good age to grow up.

    Photos? Only on Facebook.

    Pure gibberish.

    Authentic Frontier Gibberish!

    For those that may not know, I once sported a 14 inch pony tail (sometimes pony-hawk) that was donated to this program Beautiful Lengths.


    Also, Mandarin is such a soft and pretty-sounding language.

    “Soft”? You don’t mind the really strongly aspirated consonants? They’re, like, meant seriously, unlike those of English.

    Forum thread explaining:

    From there:
    “That’s because it’s not really a fireplace we’re seeing, but the red-shifted tailights of Santa’s receding sleigh.”

    I think men police each other, à la internalized homophobia.

    We do, bigtime. Or rather, we self-censor in advance!

    I’ve been in gyms often enough to see heterosexual men discuss each others’ bodies, and even admire one another. It is seemingly devoid of sexual context, but I wonder if this is an outlet for some men to explore their feelings in a socially approved manner.

    Wouldn’t surprise me at all. But if that’s the case, I bet most of them aren’t even aware that that’s what they’re doing.

  62. says

    DM: “Soft”? You don’t mind the really strongly aspirated consonants? They’re, like, meant seriously, unlike those of English.

    Not at all. I think I like the sort of easy way in which the consonants seem to slur into one another, and the unusually short diphthongs, and the “ih/er” sound (depending on which romanization you’re using) is so rare in major languages – a straightforward liquid “r” like that is not common at all, and given my own English non-rhoticity (though my Canadian accent is normally rhotic for the type), it just sounds cool.

    I’ve actually picked languages to learn at least in part based on Rule of Cool. Russian because it was 1987, and Gorbachev existed and glasnost’ and so on, and being able to talk to people who’d been hidden away from the western world for seventy-odd years was a pretty cool bonus. I got to be one of two interpreters for a visit by Elena Bonner in 1992 (the widow of Andrei Sakharov, a remarkable woman with a truly forceful personality, being near her was like walking into a stiff wind all the time), and for various others that were more or less interesting.

    The Russian “biznesmen” with whom I had a few lunches along with the mayor of the city I then lived in, that was…interesting, as we talked over their com-PLETE-ly legeetimat bizness deals. Also horrible, when the two sides got into a spate of telling dirty jokes, and I’m there trying to figure how to translate them and still make them funny (the single hardest bit of translation/interpreting I’ve ever done), while also being thoroughly grossed out at the rank misogyny and racism involved.

    I started Japanese because my linguistics degree made language and linguistics courses both “area” courses, and because I thought Japanese, like Russian, just sounded cool to speak. German I started because I’d had a very serious girlfriend whose family were very culturally German (she and her brothers were born there and moved here as tots), and it was fun learning it with them and they were much nicer than my own family. In fact, we still talk more often than I do with my own family, even though Mutti and Papa (as they’ve always insisted I call them) are no longer together. Also, I’d been posted to Germany, in which time I’d picked up my current mushy Schwarzwalder drawl.

    Also also, I’ve always been fascinated by WWII, and it’s cool to be able to speak all the languages of most of the major combatants. I’ve often thought I’d be in my heaven if I were able to be a research assistant to a prof doing WWII primary research: English, French, German, Russian, and Japanese, and I can usually muddle through Italian and Spanish texts reasonably well too (several years of Latin helps). Probably should add Chinese, too, if I were going to cover all the bigger languages of that war.

    My paternal grandfather, who left my nan before my dad was born just after the war, was a South African polyglot, who was imprisoned in Mejdanek briefly, before escaping and making his way through Sweden to the Soviet Union, and eventually home on a returning Murmansk convoy. Then he joined the SOE, and spent the rest of the war in France helping the resistance and getting flyers home. He is said to have spoken six languages well enough to be a plausible long-duration immigrant to those countries (French, Dutch, German, Swedish, Italian, and English, probably Afrikaans as well). I like to think sometimes that I’d have had the courage to do that. But then I start thinking of living in those days, and how the probability of my being able to be “me” would be somewhere between 0 and 0.00 x 10^1, and I think I don’t want to find out.

    Also, onions, belts, you know the drill.

  63. cicely says

    Hi, dongiovanni!
    Is it okay to talk about science as long as I don’t pontificate? In my absence of understanding of statistics, I mean?


    *big hugs* for Giliell.
    Hopefully Mr. was not game to be sucked into her ploy.


    Authentic Frontier Gibberish!

    It expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.

  64. carlie says

    David – oh, I always assume beards are there for convenience. They just always also look so nice! :)

    Giliell, I’m sorry your family are all being jerks. :(

    For those with USAian dialects, the big survey published last year has been made into an interactive quiz. Pretty fun, although it’s a bit glitchy. Results can vary because there are more questions possible than the number randomly selected during your quiz. For fun I had Child 1 do it, and it gives you your 3 top city matches; one of his was near where we live now (where he’s grown up), and one was where I grew up. :) When I did it myself, one time I got pure western Midwest (Nebraska and Kansas), another time I got Missouri and North Carolina (?)

  65. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    It is currently Thursday, about a quarter before 11 pm.

    Since Monday at this time, I have consumed more alcohol than I generally consume in a fortnight, seen 3 Will Farrell movies (one of which was actually funny and not mind-bogglingly stupid, one of which was boneheadedly offensive in a vaguely amusing fashion, and one of which was just stupidly offensive), and discovered that I use the word “fortnight.”

    The accent map that Carlie just posted thinks that I grew up in a triangle represented by Lexington, Winston-Salem, and Augusta-Richmond. Three cities that share a few commonalities:
    (1) They are all “Southern” in some variety.
    (2) The triangle they form the points of does not include any area I have ever lived in.
    (3) The triangle they form the points of does not include any area I have ever visited, except perhaps to change planes.

    The quiz bases this judgement based on my use of the term “crawdad” and my shunning of “tag sale.” Pfft.

    I grew up along the Cumberland, 300 miles from the closest point of the aforementioned triangle. I am the daughter of a woman whose accent quiz (accurately) spat out “Chicago” and a man whose accent defies understanding.

    I say “y’all,” I have eaten crawdads, I have cheered at a tractor pull, and can distinguish between a dairy farm and a beef-cattle farm with my eyes closed.

    I have, however, never drunk moonshine. I value both my liver and my eyesight too much.

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

    Sorry, didn’t mean to offend. Talking is fine… it just annoys me when someone is talking about science with a great deal of knowledge and self -assurance, not realising how badly mistaken their conclusions are and refusing to even countenance that they might be wrong when I try to point out some of the errors…

    I probably do that myself on occasion and I probably sound like a downright unpleasant person when I go on one of these rants…

  67. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh no, looks like I have some work ahead. Previously, once a year, when we got cold enough temperatures, we would empty and defrost the old upright freezer that the Redhead refuses to get rid of. We haven’t done that for a couple of years now (mostly due to global warming, and lack of a sub zero night when I could work on things). Looks like early next week, sub zero temperatures at night for at least three nights running. But the old I empty and transport, she refills method won’t work…But it would be nice to chuck some old stuff that will never get used, that is taking up space for stuff that will be used.

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

    Good to hear.

    I should probably stop going on facebook, as it’s rarely good for my mental health between the right wing loonies and the conspiracy theorists…

  69. says

    Good morning
    Thank you all for your kind words. Somebody should make me write “I must not think my parents could change” 100 times…


    *big hugs* for Giliell.
    Hopefully Mr. was not game to be sucked into her ploy.

    No chance at that, fortunately. He told her in no vague words that the decisions are our decisions, and that we don’t want her “help” i.e. her having access to the kids because she’s ill. Which she denied. I mean, at the start of the year she almost died, but now that’s crazy talk.

    Big hugs.
    I, too, love advice that’s plain common sense and that you would already follow if your life allowed for it.
    Are there friends or family near who could relief you once a week?

    I have a very comfortable bedcouch in my living room.

  70. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Nearly four months ago I had a slip and fall accident that resulted in the need to reattach my patella tendon. In a few minutes I’m going to attempt to ride my bicycle for the first time since that bit of personal deconstruction. Very nervous, very ready, and so very tired of my own whinging about it all. Please cross any and all appropriate appendages for me.

  71. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Well, there we go. Two and a half K out, the same back. Total distance equal to the trip to town, and more importantly, work. All that remains to be seen is just how much my knee is going to punish me for the audacity of pretending I’m all better.

  72. says

    The Metro here in DC has a new ad campaign – basically a “here’s why we’re awesome” kind of thing regarding the updates they’ve made to the system.

    The single ad I’ve seen with women goes like so:

    Stock lady on left: Did you know the new Metro buses can go (some number of miles) without a checkup?
    Stock lady on right: Can’t we just talk about shoes?

    Seriously WMATA? Shoes? As if there’s nothing else in the world women talk about together besides shoes and men.

  73. says

    Caine? You’re probably not here yet, but if you see this, I need your advice (or anyone else who may know of such things) Tonight a wild rat made its way into our house and got into a fight with my pet rat Jules. He has two bite wounds. They are both superficial, and I washed him as best as I could. Obviously I’m calling a vet in the morning, buts its 4 am now and I’m wondering what I should do? Hero Husband has dispatched the offender and we have rat traps set in case of another intruder. Grrr, I hate not knowing how it got in. Both my rats are freaked out, but safely in their cage now.

  74. says

    DM, LOL, yes, I believe that they’re two sounds, but I’m not speaking it, just admiring it, so that doesn’t matter much to me. They still get Rule of Cool from me. :D

    Mejdanek, Majdanek, it was a Very Bad Place, and (given he hadn’t spawned yet) I’m dead glad he escaped, or I wouldn’t be dead glad about anything at all. I bet I could write a pretty good adventure book about that escape, too. I mean…yipes, you get sent to an extermination camp, and you escape? That’s pretty cool. And the way they got away was kinda like the two guys who got away in The Great Escape, too, going north to the Baltic and then across to Sweden in a little boat. I wish my family were in contact with him, it’d be a hell of a book.

    I like the word “bedcouch”. It’s a nice German solution to the problem of what to call such a hybrid item. :) I wonder what other folk call it in their local dialects of English? I’ve known them as sofabeds, pullouts, and/or foldouts, in various times and at various places. I’ve heard them also called a “hideaway bed”. Anyone got any others? I wonder what the isogloss pattern looks like?

  75. Dhorvath, OM says

    Fossil Fishy,
    I crossed my downtube routed shifter cables, Cali style, for your ride to go well.

  76. blf says

    Dutchgirl, The mildly deranged penguin recommends a strong rouge vin served with roasted wild rat (stuffed with MUSHROOMS!) and a cheese sauce. Baked wild rat in a potatoes, MUSHROOMS!, and a cheese cassoulet is also rather good…

  77. Dhorvath, OM says


    Do men police each other?

    In my experience, yes. Very much so. Men are the audience that other men seek to impress. This is not to say it’s the only factor driving a specific behaviour, but it’s certainly useful to consider. It’s so pervasive that it’s my easiest point of leverage for promoting better behaviour: “That’s not cool.” or “I don’t approve.” generally work better than any explanation with most of the men I rub shoulders with. This is true whether at work, on the trail, or hanging out with swinging friends.

    I can think of one area that they may: bodybuilding. I’ve been in gyms often enough to see heterosexual men discuss each others’ bodies, and even admire one another. It is seemingly devoid of sexual context, but I wonder if this is an outlet for some men to explore their feelings in a socially approved manner.

    How about wrestling? Not the sports entertainment thing, or even the actual competitive sport, but just the idle body touching sparring matches that seem to crop up among men. Or, at least, among the men I know. I suppose that this is so prevalent because just wanting to touch, and be touched, is policed against while aggression is policed in favour of.

  78. says

    Good to hear your knee is recovering and you can get back in the saddle.

    Sorry to hear your family are being assholes.

    What the fuck were those assholes (who made the commercial) thinking?

  79. rq says

    I don’t know if I did so already, but Thank you!! for recommending Walking with Monsters. The kids have been walking around talking about the evolutionary process to random visitors (Giant crabs ate the first fishes! And the fishes were this big! And then the fishes grew legs! And then at the end they all turned into dinosaurs and small rats! [condensed version]), and drawing pictures of dinosaur planets and the earth colliding with the moon, and the ensuing firestorm and poisonous air that slowly turns into water and livable earth. It’s all very abstract, but also very amazing. So thank you.


    I got my ugly boots back.

  80. blf says

    I got my ugly boots back.

    So the tentacles, laser-tipped eye-stalks, and prehensile scales will be vanishing, and you will return to your boringugly normal self?  ;-)

  81. blf says

    This is two-ish weeks old, but very relevant, The drop in teenage pregnancies is the success story of our time:

    The fall in young women [in the UK] having children is no accident — it’s thanks to a programme that should be a model for social policy

    … Teenage pregnancy has fallen at an astonishing rate in recent years, “dropped like a stone”, said one surprised national statistician. Why? It’s no accident, but a prime example of determined social policy, driven nationally and implemented locally with ringfenced funds, good training, joined-up departments and constant checking to see where and why it was working best. Here’s a success for what the right calls “social engineering”.

    … [S]ince 1998, the proportion of pregnancies in under-18s has fallen by a remarkable 34%, to 30.9 per thousand. Until then the number had been rising since the late 1960s. But here’s what people wrongly think: Ipsos Mori says people think 25 times more under-16s get pregnant than really do. Oddly, the 15- to 24-year-olds themselves grossly overestimate the rate. They think 40% of their own generation of under-18s get pregnant — which would mean 12 in a classroom of 30. Most people (80%) think teen pregnancy is still rising.

    The Conservatives [UK’s thugs] ran a grossly misleading campaign at the last election… Moral panic about everything was their theme, figures often wildly wrong. An election document called Labour’s Two Nations claimed that a staggering 54% of 15- to 17-year-olds in the most deprived areas were getting pregnant. The real figure was 5.4%. When caught out, they said it was an errant decimal point — but that figure was repeated three times without anyone at Tory head office stopping to wonder whether it could possibly be right. That suggested deep ignorance of life in the large parts of Britain they don’t represent, distant “bad lands” of their worst imaginings. At that time Chris Grayling was called out by the UK Statistics Authority for his misleading use of figures to try to claim violent crime was rising, when it had been falling for years — and still is. But ignorance is the right’s friend, bogus figures bolstering wrong public estimates of benefit fraud (24%; real figure 0.7%) or numbers of black and Asian people, (a third, real number 11%). When people talk of “single mothers” they imagine girls, like the “young ladies” Peter Lilley mocked in the horrible “little list” he once sang to the Conservative party conference, about teenagers getting pregnant to get a council flat. In real life, the average age of single mothers is 38.

    Here’s another interesting fact: of the declining numbers of teens who do conceive, many more choose abortion. Nor are the outrageous young behaving any worse than their parents, according to a recent report in the Lancet. The survey of sexual attitudes and lifestyles by the London School of Hygiene and others is a vital 10-yearly study that was personally cancelled by Margaret Thatcher, who thought it prurient, until it was rescued by the Wellcome Trust. It finds teenagers are not having more sex or sex at a younger age than they were 20 years ago, with no change in the average age of first sex, still 16. Here’s an odd fact: in 2010, the proportion of conceptions rose for women in their 20s, 30s and 40s — but not for the under-20s.

    The fall in teen pregnancy is no accident or whim, but almost entirely due to a programme that should be a model for social policy, backed by evidence and monitored for success so it could be altered as it progressed to learn from what worked best. …

    The lesson from this programme is that extraordinary things can be done, people can change, but it takes both strong central conviction and good local enthusiasts to see off the doubters.

  82. rq says


    and you will return to your boring/ugly normal self?

    Well, yes, until I shoe the heels with steel and strike sparks with every step. The tentacles, alas, do not fit into the boots anyway (too anteriorly located), but I can tuck the laser-tipped eyestalks quite neatly.

  83. carlie says

    Feminist pillows! Adorable.

    I am trying to be productive with my time off by doing things that are always Needing Done But Never Happening, like cleaning out the scary junk drawer in the kitchen.

  84. says

    So what are we left with? A far-right group of dubious credibility, airing an almost comically misleading attack ad featuring an Obamacare critic who stands to benefit greatly from Obamacare. The critic may now have better insurance at a lower cost, but we don’t know because he doesn’t want to talk about it.

    That’s an excerpt from a Maddow blog post that criticizes the Koch brothers for doing what the Koch brothers do best, putting fucktons of money behind dubious advertising campaigns.

  85. says

    Hooray! Good news for increased mental health services in the USA:

    Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has made mental health legislation one of the central elements of his legislative efforts and appears to have come up with a sensible proposal: the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act.

    The bill authorizes $40 million to extend funding for mental health courts for five years, creates more crisis intervention teams to work closely with police, and offers veterans better screening for mental health problems stemming from trauma and chemical dependency. […]

    Franken said the bill particularly recognizes that veterans with mental health issues should be accorded special consideration if they find themselves in the criminal justice system after committing a nonviolent crime.
    On the surface, the bill’s prospects looked encouraging, at least as of a couple of months ago. Franken’s bill has 30 co-sponsors in the Senate, for example, nearly half of whom are Republicans. What’s more, there’s a companion bill in the House, sponsored by Rep. Rich Nugent, a Florida Republican. Proponents have worked under the assumption for months that the package could reach the floor in both chambers will minimal opposition.[…]

    Wait, don’t celebrate just yet.

    Bad news for increased mental health services! Two total dunderheads from the far-right are going to block the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act. The dunderheads are Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). They placed a “hold” on the legislation, which means that it may never come to the floor for a vote.

  86. says

    Trigger warning for rape.

    The Alabama man who was allowed to walk free after being convicted of rape has had his probation extended by two years, but he still won’t have to serve prison time under a new, supposedly stiffer sentence handed down this week.

    In September, a jury in Limestone County, Alabama found 25-year-old Austin Smith Clem guilty of raping his teenager neighbor, Courtney Andrews, three times—twice when she was 14, and once when was she was 18. […]

    Mother Jones link.

  87. Dhorvath, OM says

    My favourite exposition so far:
    “Toxic planet, no hope for life, when suddenly a meateater smashed into Earth and formed our moon.”
    Kidvath scores the primeval storyline of the year.

  88. Dhorvath, OM says

    Also, the looks on adult faces when your grom opens with evolution stories is priceless. So, you are most welcome.

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

    Your comments today are a mystery to me, rq.
    First the booths and now super-wide tape.

  90. rq says

    Hehehe, I have to say, some versions of ours come pretty close to that, but the image of a meateater floating around in space (with/without spacesuit??) is just priceless. T-rex with its tiny little ‘hands’…

  91. rq says

    Boots, not booths. :) My favorit so-ugly-they’re-fabulous brown leather hiking boots that are about twice as old as I am. They’re not so fabulous, but they sure are comfy. And they give me attitude on the street.
    I’m at work, so that might explain some things (like the (lack of) super-wide tape, which makes envelope-labelling a doubly time-consuming process).

    I can’t wait until they hit my catholic dad up with these dinosaur evolution stories. My brothers have been taking it with amusement (and one of them convinced the kids that grasshoppers – from some images in an insect book the kids have – have a selection of disco masks that they choose for certain evenings, and that beetles wear high heels…).
    Other people just look a bit confused. ;) Priceless, indeed!

  92. rq says

    If it’s big enough… And its own gravity?
    But I was actually imagining the T-rex from Toy Story (can’t google images at work, sorry). …

  93. Dhorvath, OM says

    Or Meet the Robinsons? I have a big head and little arms. I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through.

  94. says

    Dear Neighbours,

    I like you. I actually do. You’re very friendly, and you’ve been helpful when I’ve needed help, and I’ve enjoyed having you live across the hall. And it’s great that your son is visiting for the holidays, and that you and your family love being together so much, and that you are all so happy, with the singing and the laughing and the singing.

    And your son is definitely a lovely guitar player, with a strong even strum, and his chord work seems without blemish to me.

    I have only the two tiniest quibbles. One, if you could perhaps induce your son to play more and sing less, as his ability to find the right note seems strongly constrained by the key in which he plays, and he consistently chooses one much too high for his voice.

    Combined with his knowing, it would seem, only two songs, it is my gentle and loving request that you either get him a playbook of new songs, or even just, y’know, find some tabs on the Net, or something? Or that you smash his guitar into a kajillion tiny flinders unless he promises never to ever again play either Let it Be or So This is Christmas in his unusual and creative seventy-five minute versions. Or that you teach him the same songs in some keys in which reaching the high notes which Messrs. Lennon and McCartney made so justly famous. Not all men can sing high notes. This is not a personal failure. It is an opportunity for growth. A chance to learn some new chords, and some keys suitable to the singing of men with…less advantageous vocal ranges.

    Thank you so much for your kind attention to this trifling matter.


    The Rotten Old Panther next door, who is contemplating Marc Chapman and the goads for his unspeakable act, and wondering whether a neighbour with a new guitar might have been involved, and also what certain neighbours might have been up to in 1980, just randomly, and did they live anywhere near NYC?

  95. David Marjanović says

    Walking With Monsters depicts evolution the Pokemon way. It really didn’t have to. *sigh*

    How about wrestling? Not the sports entertainment thing, or even the actual competitive sport, but just the idle body touching sparring matches that seem to crop up among men. Or, at least, among the men I know. I suppose that this is so prevalent because just wanting to touch, and be touched, is policed against while aggression is policed in favour of.

    Never thought of that, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Feminist pillows! Adorable.


    They placed a “hold” on the legislation, which means that it may never come to the floor for a vote.

    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

    That’s probably a quote from the rules of Congress.

  96. chigau (違う) says

    CaitieCat #635
    I just had a flashback to living in Residence at University and the guy in the stairwell playing Mr. Bojangles.
    A lot.

  97. rq says

    Pokemon evolution?
    Well, at least it’s got the kids interested. I’ve got time to teach it to them right.

  98. rq says

    Can you email me? It’s nothing important, I’ll be getting back to you only in the morning. But I have a question.
    The address is taarpinsh at hotmail dot com.

  99. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks Dalillama. It went well, slowly of course, but no great issues. Not only did it go well, when I woke up my knee felt better than it has in a while.

    Thanks Dhorvath, that gave me a good laugh. The last bike I saw with crossed cables was a Kona, not a Cali bike but one with pretensions to such. (Well, Cali via Hawaii anyway)

    I’m now at work having gotten here through my own power. Can world domination be far behind? I think not!

  100. cicely says

    CaitieCat, your post at 635 gave me an Animal House flashback. The bit with the guitar-playing guy in the stairway….

    FossilFishy, so pleased that your bike ride went well!

  101. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks cicely. It’s funny, I was told that it would be a six month recovery period. Despite that, and despite the fact that my physio was happy with my progress, I felt like it was taking forever. Then I got on the bike, three months almost to the day since the surgery, and suddenly I realised that I’ve actually been making good progress. We can chop up time into such fine and equal measures with our clocks and calenders and yet our perception of it is still spongy and mutable in an incredibly maddening way.

  102. carlie says

    What the hell do the citizens of Christmas eat???

    The tears they shed from the depression resulting from only having 10 minutes of light per day forever.

  103. rq says

    What’s a nice word (preferably one but no more than two) to say that someone is alone with only one other person – that is, two people alone. There’s a nice word in Latvian for this divvientulība, which sort of translates into ‘the loneliness of two’ and is in fact a very un-lonely sort of sentiment. I’m looking for something similar (‘as a couple’ is a bit… cold). Be creative!

  104. says

    Would any of you Pharyngulites like to write a blurb for my next book? The book is very much photo-intensive, featuring my brother’s photography and my minimalist text (with some help on the text this time from my brother’s notes that he took while on numerous photo expeditions).

    “Eastern Montana” is the focus, a difficult place to photograph, and one with its own distinctive feel and culture. Smatterings of geological and/or paleontological information are included, along with some human history. You don’t really need a background as a geologist, or anything else for that matter, to write a blurb for this book. Blurbs will be used on the back cover, and on promotional websites or printed material. Expected availability is March 2014.

    If you’d like to review a draft copy of the manuscript, I will need an email address to which I can send a low-resolution PDF link. The book is 144 pages, so low-resolution is the only reasonable download I can offer. At 100% size, the PDF still looks great, IMNSHO.

  105. says

    There’s the expression for the Canada situation, the two solitudes. Not sure that hits the spot. “Two alone but not lonely.” Clumsy. I wonder if there’s something about nesting that could be used? I don’t think I can come up with any single-word goodies like German can. “Twosome not lonesome”?

  106. says

    An update on gay marriages (make the Yuletide Gay!) in Utah:

    In the week since a federal judge overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, the number of weddings in the state has skyrocketed, shattering records and accruing thousands of dollars for Utah’s 29 counties.

    As of close of business Thursday, more than 1,225 marriage licenses had been issued in Utah since last Friday, according to numbers obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune. Of those, at least 74 percent were issued to gay and lesbian couples.
    Here’s a county-by-county breakdown over the past seven days of same-sex marriages, total marriages and what percentage of the marriages entered were by lesbian and gay couples:


    Beaver County: 0 same-sex marriages | 0 total marriages

    Box Elder County: 2 same-sex marriages | 5 total marriages | 40 percent

    Cache County: Did not respond to calls for comment.

    Carbon County: 2 same-sex marriages | 4 total marriages | 50 percent

    Daggett County: 0 same-sex marriages | 0 total marriages

    Davis County: 150 total marriages*

    Duchesne County: 2 same-sex marriages | 5 total marriages | 40 percent

    Emery County: 0 same-sex marriages | 0 total marriages

    Garfield County: Did not respond to calls for comment.

    Grand County: 6 same-sex marriages | 8 total marriages | 75 percent

    Iron County: 0 same-sex marriages | 3 total marriages | 0 percent

    Juab County: 1 same-sex marriage | 3 total marriages | 33 percent

    Kane County: 0 same-sex marriages | 3 total marriages | 0 percent

    Millard County: 1 same-sex marriage | 2 total marriage | 50 percent

    Morgan County: 0 same-sex marriages | 3 total marriages | 0 percent

    Piute County: 0 same-sex marriages | 0 total marriages

    Rich County: 0 same-sex marriages | 0 total marriages

    Salt Lake County: 655 same-sex marriages | 705 total marriages | 93 percent**

    San Juan County: 0 same-sex marriages | 0 total marriages

    Sanpete County: 3 same-sex marriages | 5 total marriages | 60 percent

    Sevier County: 0 same-sex marriages | 1 total marriage | 0 percent

    Summit County: 37 same-sex marriages | 42 total marriages | 88 percent

    Tooele County: 28 same-sex marriages | 36 total marriages | 78 percent

    Uintah County: 9 same-sex marriages | 11 total marriages | 81 percent

    Utah County: 5 same-sex marriages | 25 total marriages | 20 percent**

    Wasatch County: 2 same-sex marriages | 6 total marriages | 33 percent

    Washington County: 42 same-sex marriages | 63 total marriages | 67 percent

    Wayne County: 0 same-sex marriages | 1 total marriage | 0 percent

    Weber County: 110 same-sex marriages | 144 total marriages | 76 percent**

    Statewide: more than 905 same-sex marriages | 1,225 total marriages | at least 74 percent

    * Did not distinguish between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages; declined to estimate.

    ** Not an exact count. Based on daily percentage estimations by the county clerk.

    That’s more than 905 same-sex couples who received marriage licenses in a week punctuated by holidays and limited — in some counties — by when their clerk began to adhere to U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby’s order […]

  107. says

    From the readers comments below the story in the SL Tribune (link in comment #655):

    Marriage is male and female — to each other. Don’t give me that malarkey about there having been gay marriage here, there, and in the woodpile through world history, because it just isn’t true.
    Traditional marriage was between a boy’s parents and a girl’s parents. And maybe some cattle.
    This was a conspiracy by our beloved president (who’s approval rating is 33% according to Jay Leno last night) to hit and run with this ruling on a holiday weekend. This state has been strong armed by a judge who is making law from the bench.

    My two cents: the judge didn’t make the law, he ruled on its constitutionality.

    Quit complaining, you won, you got gay marriage, now please be quiet about it and show some dignity.
    …homosexual and determined to make war on God.
    I was hoping that one county was standing firm for our state constitution and against the judicial tyranny which should have been properly stayed as we wait for the 10th circus to take up our time and waste time before it inevitably goes to the supreme court.

    Now, since we’re forced to appeal to a closted lesbian named Sonia Sotomayor, we won’t get a stay, but the supreme court will HAVE TO take the case and not ignore it like they prefer.

  108. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    the new med continues to be a bit of a revelation, of a Time Before Pain.

    I’m so happy your new med is working out, and I hope you have many enjoyable walks in your future.

    JAL – *pouncehug* I’m overjoyed to hear that you, Little One, and your cats had such a good Christmas!

    carlie – *hugs and chocolate*

    Crudely Wrott:

    Please hold me.

    Always. *hugs and chocolate and all the support I can provide*

    Giliell – I’m sorry your Christmas was so fraught with family misery. *hugs and chocolate*

    Nerd – I greatly admire your ability to cope and perseverance. *hugs*

    FossilFishy – I’m glad your knee is recovering, and I hope your knee has not been punishing you.

    On a personal note, I am really tired of having migraines. I seem to be stuck in an endless cycle of them this month. I thought I had finally gotten out of the cycle earlier this week, but I was mistaken. Sigh.

  109. says

    New coverage of gay marriage in Utah, from Salon.

    MF: I’ve been on cloud nine for twenty hours. I’ve never felt this way before. For people who say marriage is just a piece of paper, they’ve never been denied basic rights and dignities of civil society.

    RD: Tell me how it happened.

    MF: Seth and I were at work when an attorney friend texted us to tell us that Judge Shelby had declared Utah Constitutional Amendment 3 unconstitutional. I was in disbelief. But we hopped in the car and drove to the county clerk’s. The light was too slow, I literally jumped out of the car and ran across lanes of traffic to get into the office. At first, the clerks thought we were there to do civil disobedience. She said, “The state of Utah does not recognize same sex couples.” I told her, “Haven’t you heard the good news?” She called her supervisor, and they called in the district attorney. And after a meeting, they came out and told Seth and I that we could get a license. That’s when I started bawling.

  110. says

    One of the gay mormons interviewed by Salon (link in #659) said some weird stuff about being mormon and gay:

    RD: You are Mormon.

    MF: I am a member of the LDS Church.

    RD: How does that impact the way you experience this historic moment?

    MF: My upbringing taught me pride in being part of a “peculiar people.” A synonym for peculiar is queer. I was theologized into a queer spirituality.

    RD: Spiritually, given the importance of marriage in a Mormon worldview, what does it mean to be able to marry the person you love?

    MF: It means that the path towards godhood is opened. Marriage is the institution best suited for the purification of your most supernal instincts. It is a place for learning lessons of love, tenderness, forgiveness, compassion. Go down the Sermon on the Mount and tell me which one of those beatific qualities is not fostered in a marriage.

    RD: Who would have thought this would happen so soon in Utah?

    MF: I have felt God working in this. We are told that love is going to come like a thief in the night, and it did. Any anger or bitterness I’ve accumulated from living as a gay man in Utah, when we got married yesterday, it disappeared. A weight has been lifted from my heart.[…]

  111. says

    Hekuni Cat
    I’m dealing with it. The important thing is to learn for the future

    While I’m vain enough to consider myself a decent writer, I’m also smart enough to realise that I shouldn’t write about a place I’ve never been to and ony know that Cptn Kirk’s from there about. ;)

  112. says

    Dalillama @661:

    And of course he credits god with it, despite the fact that the church he believes represents god has been fighting against it tooth and nail.

    Mormon brainwashing runs deep. Being raised in the so-called “Church” makes it worse, as does living in Utah.

    rq @664:

    I can make an attempt, subject to heavy editting?
    My email can be found at 639.

    Thank you, rq. I’ll send you an email with the link. I usually edit blurbs and then submit them to the blurber (is that a word?) for approval. No worries.

    Thank you, Gillell, for the spare “A” — never know when that may come in handy.

  113. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness: white supremacist and blood categories.

    Recently, I commented about Mormon head honchos throwing Brigham Young under the bus, blaming BY for promoting racism as a mormon doctrine. The head honchos did this in an attempt to spare Joseph Smith the charge of racist. The head honchos posted the throw-BY-under-the-bus essay on an official LDS website, but buried it in such a way that most mormons will never see it.

    Apparently, sacrificing Brigham Young in order to enhance the reputation of LDS Inc. is now a thing. A new essay was recently posted, one that blames BY for the doctrine that when Jews and Gentiles convert to mormonism, their blood is literally changed into mormon blood.

    The problem with both essays is that multiple historical sources reveal that Joseph Smith was a racist, and that Joseph Smith was the original source for the Jewish/Gentile blood being turned into mormon blood myth.

    Kudos to ex-mormon Steve Benson for documenting the past stupidity and the present stupidity (not to mention arrogance and ignorance) of mormon head honchos.,1121189

    […]”‘. . . [A]s the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the LITERAL seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; . . . while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a GENTILE, is to PURGE OUT THE OLD BLOOD and make him ACTUALLY of the seed of Abraham.” [– Joseph Smith is quoted here.]
    (“History of the Church,” vol. 3, p. 380, emphasis added)

    “Brigham Young, the second President of the LDS Church, APPROVED OF SMITH’S TEACHING:
    “‘Again, if a pure Gentile firmly believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and yields obedience to it, in such a case I will give you the words of the Prophet Joseph: ‘When the Lord pours out the Holy Ghost upon that individual he will have spasms, and you would think that he was going into fits.'[…]
    (“Journal of Discourses,” vol. 2, p. 269, emphasis added)

    “‘If a Jew comes into this Church, and honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ, and IF THE BLODD OF JUDAH IS IN HIS VEINS, HE WILL APOSTATIZE. He may have been born and bred a Jew, . . . and have openly professed to be a Jew all his days; but I will tell you a secret: There is not a particle of the blood of Judaism in him, if he has become a true Christian, a Saint of God; for if there is, he will most assuredly leave the Church of Christ, or THAT BLOOD WILL BE PURGED OUT OF HIS VEINTS. We have men among us who were Jews, . . . [H]ere is brother Neibaur; do I believe there is ONE PARTICLEW OF THE BLOOD OF JUDAH IN HIS VEINS? NO, NOT SO MUCH AS OULD BE SEEN ON THE POINT OF THE FINEST CAMBRIC NEEDLE, THROUGH A MICROSCOPE WITH A MAGNIFYING POWER OF TWO MILLIONS.”
    (“Journal of Discourses,” vol. 2, p. 142, emphasis added)

    […] Before desperately-apologizing Mormons mount another lame defense by insisting that this is all just a bunch of misguided, racist, Jew-hating Mormon Church blather that the Mormon Church now disavows, the uncomfortable historical reality remains that the LDS Church cannot throw Brigham Young […] under the bus without throwing Joseph Smith there, too.[…]

    Because the notion of “bad blood” literally and physically being purged from the veins of “bad people” before they can be saved by the Mormon God is a badly-bigoted idea that courses straight back to Joseph Smith.

  114. says

    Lynna, I had to laugh out loud at your thing about Joseph Smith and so on. I have a hard time imagining that people honestly believe this stuff is true, about magical blood changes and that in some way this is important to the lives of humans. My apologies if I offend, it’s really not my intent, just completely baffled at how people can make this make enough sense to believe in it.

    Though I guess that’s my pesky atheism poking its head up, demanding that faith-based things make sense. If they made sense, they wouldn’t need faith to believe in them, they’d just be logical principles.

    I guess I just haven’t encountered some of the more bizarre magical beliefs of believers who aren’t Catholics. Them I know about, not least because Supernatural made me do some reading on the whole Christian mythology thing (Lucifer and Michael and stuff), and because my grandparents were awfully devout Catholics – they had a picture of the pope as their mantlepiece centre.

    Like when I discovered the other day that the Dome of the Rock (al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem) is believed to be a flying-horse public transit terminal, or to have been one Back in the Day. Well, I guess if it’s just Mohammed, it’s not public transit, is it? It’s more like his local flying-horse parking garage.

    Religions are a weird, weird thing to me.

  115. says

    CaitieCat, Joseph Smith is often good for LOL-worthy moments. It’s icing on the humor cake when present-day mormons try to justify some of Joe’s unintentionally comic moments.

    That the head honchos find some of Joseph Smith’s pronouncements cannot be justified nor explained away by even their most talented (most duplicitous) apologists, that’s a telling detail. Their only recourse is to blame it all on someone else. Hence the recent mangling of Brigham Young.

    One of my favorite LOL Joseph Smith moments comes from a river trip he made with a few cohorts. Joe and his peeps were paddling canoes downriver when rough water gave Joe a fright. Historical references show that some of Joe’s traveling companions noted how inexpert Joe was with a canoe. He was basically a danger to himself. So, after a near miss and a frantic scramble for shore, what does Joe do? He concocts a revelation in which he sees Satan (The Adversary) riding on the waves. Satan wants to drown Joe more than he wants to drown any other human being. Ever after, many mormon missionaries eschewed swimming, even when on mission in equatorial climates. The Adversary might yank them under if they enter the water.,204842,204847

  116. says

    I swear, if I believed in heaven or an afterlife, I’d have to believe that L Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, Mohammed, and a few other dudes have to be sitting around having a few brews (heavenly pilsner! angelic lager! demonic tequila (an import)!), laughing their ASSES off at how obscenely rich they and their descendants got from making up this bullshit, and the incredibly stupid behaviours that have grown out of their con jobs.

    I mean, at the root of every religion is one guy’s grifting. The one who made it up originally had to KNOW they were making it up. It’s the most successful long con EVAR.

  117. rq says

    Didn’t L Ron Hubbard start scientology specifically as a scam to con people into believing yet another religion, in order to prove that it really is that easy? And the richest people at the top pay for the privilege of knowing this ‘secret’, and laughing down at everyone else?

  118. says

    Yep, rq, the late Fred Pohl used to talk on his blog about the old days, and how L Ron was always talking about how he was going to found a religion, as that was the obvious way to get really rich, conning the gullible. It’s really pretty well-attested, by a number of different people who heard him say these things on various occasions, some of whom hate one another. If they’re agreeing, it’s either the apocalypse, or true.

  119. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks Hekuni Cat. And a very belated thanks for your pouncehug earlier.. It was much appreciated even though I was too busy distracted rude to respond.


    The only thing that I can think of is the phrase “At least we have each other.” Which might not exactly fit the nuances of the original, and definitely isn’t pithy enough.

  120. says


    I mean, at the root of every religion is one guy’s grifting. The one who made it up originally had to KNOW they were making it up.

    That’s not necessarily true on either count. For the first part, Christianity isn’t the result of a single person doing anything, for instance. Christianity is rooted in either the writers of the gospels, who were recording folktales about a miracle worker whom they may well have believed to be a historical figure, and they were sincerely trying to tell people about him, or the writings of Paul of Tarsus (more on him later), or in the Council of Nicea, which may well have been a deliberate con job but involved a lot more than one person, and at least some of them were probably sincere.

    For the second part, it’s entirely possible for someone to have a hallucination or vision which they perceive to be real, and act thereafter as though it were real. These can be caused by several types of organic malfunction within the brain, such as certain seizure disorders and some types of schizophrenia, or externally induced by means of fever, deliberate or accidental ingestion of psychoactive chemicals, or extreme physical injury or deprivation. For instance, taking the story of Paul of Tarsus at face value, he would appear to have suffered a seizure during which he hallucinated a culturally appropriate (based on the folktales mentioned above) divine visitation, and then went on to spread the word based on his sincere belief. I also know an individual on another forum who was previously an atheistic Buddhist. They vanished for some lengthy time, and on returning reported that they had suffered a near-fatal illness, which included extremely high fevers. This person claimed that a god named Jaguar had saved their life, spoken to them, and given commandments and rules which the person felt compelled to follow despite several of them going against previous habits and beliefs. No amount of rational argument would persuade them otherwise. I have no reason to suppose that this person was not sincere.

  121. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    movie interlude:
    Tauriel gets the butt shot… but so does Legolas! And I’m not sure why, but this makes me giggle.

    On that note, I was absolutely dumbfounded to pass a promotional diorama for Divergent, which appears to depict a female protagonist who is clearly intended to be doing some fighting…wearing footwear in which one could actually fight. (And form-fitting pants and a top, granted… *sigh*)

  122. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *snicker* The Redhead is looking for a coat in her size from Lands End; preferably black. She is studying print catalogs. The online-catalog will allow for selections of size and color, and show what is available. Meanwhile, in her opinion, such technology is trash compared to a printed catalog…. *snicker*

  123. David Marjanović says

    Oh, those unique Finns! Only they have a unit of measurement that is based on the frequency of reindeer piss.

    Original here.

  124. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Oh, and sorry to hear about your migraines Hekuni Cat. I have optical migraines, all the pretty lights without the pain. They pop up out of nowhere and I can imagine how difficult it would be to deal with that randomness when it’s cripplingly painful.

  125. cicely says

    Gender and the Body Language of Power

    Four Things that Weren’t Adequately Covered in Mulan’s R.A. Training

    *gentle hugs* for Hekuni Cat.

    CaitieCat, religions are a weird, weird thing, endit, full stop.

    rq, I clicked the poster linkies, and snortled. They’re advertisingThe Hobbit…but the posters are of elves!.

    FossilFishy, I read that as, “I have optional migraines”—which’d be a neat trick. Who would choose that option? What other (and worse!) horrors are lurking on that menu?

  126. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Ha. There have been times in my life cicely where I would have chosen crippling pain over having to say, tell my girlfriend that I drove her car into a telephone pole. Never mind that it wouldn’t get me out of trouble completely, in the moment I’d have gone for it. Mind you, I’m much better at fucking up now, lots of practice don’t you know, so I don’t think I’d still choose the migraine if that were possible.

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

    also completely, utterly threadrupt:

    from morgan’s study in the BMJ:

    Conclusions: From our observational study, chocolate survival in a hospital ward was relatively short, and was modelled well by an exponential decay model. Roses chocolates were preferentially consumed to Quality Street chocolates in a ward setting. Chocolates were consumed primarily by healthcare assistants and nurses, followed by doctors. Further practical studies are needed.

    I fucking love science.

  128. Nutmeg says


    Four Things that Weren’t Adequately Covered in Mulan’s R.A. Training

    So. Much. Awesome!

  129. says

    FossilFishy @684

    I have optical migraines, all the pretty lights

    I get that, and the headache.

    Well, if i take ibuprofen during the aura, it stops there. If I wait till the headache, I might be able to manage some light reading, and I might be able to go to sleep close to when I would have anyways. But that’s about it, and requires max dosing of ibuprofen to achieve that(acetaminophen might as well be a sugar pill to my migraines, at least at doses my liver won’t revolt over).

    Luckily I get the aura, that advance warning lets me remain pretty much fully functional when a migraine hits. And just one 200mg pill will do it.

  130. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Tony, random question for the resident bar-type person:

    What’s a good “starter” brand of gin, for someone who’s skeptical about the whole gin thing? Or is there one?

    (Unrelated news: an Amaretto Alexander is kind of amazing :3)

  131. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Hello All! :)

    *hugs* for everyone, if so wanted.

    I’ve been good, just waiting til the 1st to get to the dentist. Been cleaning, like spring cleaning, as well. Funny how that when good things happen, I get more productive. Little One is happy as a clam. Still playing her all her ponies, building -all- the things and watching all the things. Our cats our better. I’m sad to see Tiger the Abandoned kitty we took in over a year ago move to a new home, but it was for the best. He went to a nice cat lady (<- self described) that currently had no cats. He's happier with a whole house to himself and the ability to cuddle on a lap for hours without interruption. The Three Kitties we have are also happier. I'm happier because no more fighting or skittishness and it's a lot cheaper. (Well, easier since we've been using free sources for food/litter a lot.)

  132. says

    Good morning
    A friend just called and asked if we wanted the baby stuff their son had grown out of back.
    He got a very emphatic: Don’t even think about it!!!!!!!!

    “A Woman’s PERFECT Response to Her Anti-Gay Neighbors”

    The really funny thing: The flag she’s flying isn’t that “gay flag”. She’s flying the christian “PACE” peace flag.
    And from the “me thinks the gentleman/lady protests too much” department:

    Most people do not choose the gay lifestyle, and personally, it irritates me to have to be reminded every day of two men having sex with each other

    Funny, if non-homophobic, mostly straight me sees a rainbow flag, I don’t think about men or women having sex with each other….

  133. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh my god! The newest kitty addition, Lily, for the first time jumped on my lap and really purred! Before she barely purred and you had to practically put your ear on her chest to hear it. But not this time. She was so loud she could’ve given our resident Purr Monster (Sol sounds like a motorcycle and purrs at the drop of a hat) a run for her money.

    It’s a small thing but it makes me ridiculously happy. :D

  134. rq says

    Funny, if non-homophobic, mostly straight me sees a rainbow flag, I don’t think about men or women having sex with each other….

    But Giliell, Teh Gay is all about the Sex!!!!

  135. blf says

    What the hell do the citizens of Christmas eat???

    Doctor Who spoiler alert!


    Indeed. The whole business of only a few minutes of sunlight a day the entire year was one of the things which stuck in my gaw: What in hades are the physics of that? What do they eat? Why bother (This is not needed for the story!)? It’s one example of where some competent editing could have worked wonders.  †

    Another example where some editing would have helped: Translation. First, before The Doctor sneakily summoned the TARDIS to the surface of the supposedly–TARDIS-proof planet; and Second, during the three hundred years when the TARDIS wasn’t there. The first point can be waved away (the planet obviously wasn’t as well shielded as claimed), but some editing to explain the second would not go amiss.

    And then the final showdown where the regeneration somehow also defeated the Daleks. WTF?? Seriously needs some explaining.

    Most of my problems with the story was simply that it was poorly edited. The storyline (plot) broadly worked, but various details, &tc, needs tightening up…

      † There is an example (in Norway?) where the local geography sets up a vaguely-similar situation (the town is in a deep narrow valley in the far North), but that does not seem to be the case for the town of Christmas. The real example has been in the news recently due to the installation of some sun-tracking mirrors to help solve the problem.

  136. blf says

    Teh Gay is all about the Sex!!!!

    The mildly deranged penguin thinks you are not doing it right. The trick is to convince the dim ones to sit on a egg all winter in the middle of a frozen plain, whilst the not-so-dim ones fly off to more comfy climes for the cheese, vin, cheese, cheese, MUSHROOMS!, beers, cheese, and perhaps those sorts of other things…

  137. blf says

    Scientists tell us their favourite jokes: ‘An electron and a positron walked into a bar…’ is must read, including the comments, which are equally hilarious.

    Some samples:

    A friend who’s in liquor production,
    Has a still of astounding construction,
    The alcohol boils,
    Through old magnet coils,
    He says that it’s proof by induction.

    A blowfly goes into a bar and asks: “Is that stool taken?”

    They have just found the gene for shyness. They would have found it earlier, but it was hiding behind two other genes.

    A statistician is someone who tells you, when you’ve got your head in the fridge and your feet in the oven, that you’re — on average — very comfortable.

    An interviewer approaches a variety of scientists, and asks them: “Is it true that all odd numbers are prime?” The mathematician rejects the conjecture. “One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, but nine is not. The conjecture is false.” The physicist is less certain. “One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, but nine is not. Then again 11 is and so is 13. Up to the limits of measurement error, the conjecture appears to be true.” The psychologist says: “One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, nine is not. Eleven is and so is 13. The result is statistically significant.” The artist says: “One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, nine is prime. It’s true, all odd numbers are prime!”

    There at 10 types of people in this world. Those who can understand ternary, those who dont, and those who thought this joke was about binary.

    The barman says, “I’m very sorry, but we don’t serve tachyons”.
    A tachyon walks into a bar.

    A neutrino enters a bar. The bartender asks, “Can I get you something?”. The neutrino says, “Nope, I’m just passing through.”

    A neutron walks into a bar and asks: “How much for a drink?” Barman says: “For you? No charge.”

    Heisenberg and Schrödinger are out for a drive when they get stopped by the police. The policeman asks Heisenberg “Sir, do you know how fast you were going?” and Heisenberg says “No, but I know where I am!”. Confused, the officer says “Sir, you were doing 80 mph”, and Heisenberg throws his hands in the air and huffs “Great, now I don’t know where I am anymore!”
    The policeman thinks something is going on, and orders the pair out of the car so that he can search it for contraband. He looks under the seats, in the glove compartment, in the back, and then walks around the car and opens the boot. He stares into it for a moment, turns to Schrödinger and says “Sir, did you know there’s a dead cat in here?!”, so Schrödinger rolls his eyes and snorts “Yeah, we do now!”

  138. says

    Some of those are not bad. The last one made me chuckle out loud. Nice one, blf.

    I’m in the mood to add some !English reading into my life again. Could any of you proficient in those varieties of !English that I am (DE, FR, RU, JP, ES) be so kind as to recommend any good either generally leftist or specifically feminist/progressivist blogs or group sites in those languages?

    For comparison, my daily reading list invariably includes the very feminist Shakesville, US leftist siteHullaballoo, Scots leftist and writer Charlie Stross, US progressive and sf author John Scalzi, “shrill” US leftist economist Krugman, as well as some hairy biologist, and a polite and quietly funny physicist.

    I also occasionally peruse various newspapers, usually the biggest in a given language that is either left or “the paper of record”: Le Monde, Suddeutsche Zeitung (irgendwann auch taz), Труд & Новая Газета, and El País.

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


    Труд = labor? work? Labor as in unions, right?
    Новая = what exactly? I recognize the root = “nova” or “new” but does it mean “news”?

    That would make it the “Labor & News Gazette”, but that seems a little weird – what is the labor if not “news about labor”? Why would it be separate?

    It makes me think that “news” is the wrong translation & it should be something closer to “Labor and Current Events Gazette”. Is that anywhere close to correct? My translate widget (which I think uses google but I’m not sure) isn’t good with nuance and I did something wrong or something because it doesn’t recognize Новая at all.

    Thanks for indulging my not-even-amateur speculation.

  140. says

    Sorry – you’re quite right on the meanings, but the error is mine; they are two papers.

    Trud is labour, yes, and is the working-class/middle-class leftist paper.

    Novaya Gazeta is “(the) New Paper”, in the sense of a new thing, like New York or the new math, not in the “newspaper” sense. Gazeta is just the general Russian (and many other languages’) word for newspaper. NG is…hmm…Mother Jones? Sort of? Investigative journalism, with a strong emphasis on holding the government accountable.

    Both are thrice-weekly, and tend toward longer-form/broadsheet-style presentation, from a leftist position. Nezavisimaya Gazeta can also be pretty good at times, but it’s had a rough go the last few years, being fought over and moved under various people’s control. It’s a more opposition-to-whatever-the-government-is-doing paper, hence its name, which means “(the) Independent Newspaper”. Ne- is in-, za- is de-, and -vis(imaya) is -pend(ent).

    My brilliant first-year prof in Russian set me on the path to glory in Slavic languages: by their roots shall ye know them. Just like Romance (and some other groups of) languages, Slavic words are often built out of recognizable roots, and along with context, can provide a real engine for vocab growth once you know enough of them.

    Thence my ability to understand Spanish pretty well, based on my extensive French and Latin study; I’ve never taken Spanish in any formal sense, more sort of osmotically absorbed it through linguistics and Latin, but I’m quite comfortable reading “standard” Spanish, and somewhat comfortable following it by ear. Its incredible regularity helps a bunch there, though. A Uruguayan friend of mine said that before he arrived at the Canadian embassy to begin the process of emigration, he’d never had to spell his name for anyone before (Javier Escudero), and he’d never had a spelling lesson as such in school.

    Cebollas, cinturones, etc.

  141. says

    BTW, it’s unusual that your translator wouldn’t get “novaya”. It’s nominative case, feminine, singular, adjective “new”. Pretty basic piece of Russian grammar, that. Put right beside Gazeta, it would be unusual for it to be anything but ‘the/a/some new paper’ (Russian doesn’t use articles, so figuring out which article to use is first a big problem for Russians learning English, and also a big problem for translators working into English). The rules for article use in English (when do you use a/the/some/- article? what does it mean when you change “I saw a robot” to “I saw the robots” to “I saw some robots” to “I saw robots”?) are byzantine and picayune, to say the least.

    It is one of my enduring gratitudes that I was born speaking English and with a talent for understanding other languages and rendering them into English, because English is such a clockwork abortion of a language, mooshing together streams from three different language groups to produce a bizarre moosh-mishmash that will remain difficult to translate well for some time to come. Yes, anyone with an iPhone can translate into English. But to do it well – to get the nuance of the thing, the exact combination of word and structure to carry the denotation and connotations and associations, the rhythm and register, that’s a gift for which I regularly thank a completely uncaring universe.

  142. Portia, in absentia says

    ‘rupt. No chance of fixing it.

    I’m laying low today with a bit of a migraine. Other than that i have good and bad news – I got hit by a semi on Friday, went to the ER and I’m mostly ok – no permanent damage to be seen. It was a low speed crash, otherwise I might not be so lucky. My car was smooshed from both ends, though, because it spun around to hard the back end hit the truck too. (The truck driver ran a red light). the good news is I got a new car. well, new to me. I’m pretty happy about that part but sore and achey about the other part.

    I think my stomach has settled a little so i’m goingto go forage for food.

    *hugs* where desired, *hot tea* as well.

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


    BTW, it’s unusual that your translator wouldn’t get “novaya”. It’s nominative case, feminine, singular, adjective “new”. Pretty basic piece of Russian grammar, that.

    1. I didn’t put in Gazette because I already knew the word with both its general meaning and also the contextual meaning of newspaper. So the translator didn’t have that as context for translating novaya.

    2. I get translator fail sometimes. It just reported “new” and b/c I thought that Trud and Novaya Gazeta were the same paper, I thought “Labor & New Newspaper” didn’t make a lot of sense. So I was trying to force the meaning of “news/current events” into it.

    So the translator got it right. I, in my misunderstanding of the context, thought it had failed. I wouldn’t have assumed I had it right, but I was leaning strongly – based on erroneous info – toward a somehow incomplete translation or a word with one common definition but with other uses of which one was actually much more apropos than the common.

    So, thanks.


    to do it well – to get the nuance of the thing, the exact combination of word and structure to carry the denotation and connotations and associations, the rhythm and register, that’s a gift

    I heartily agree. For a time I was able to do this with a good deal of French, but I didn’t keep up with it. I’m sure it will make sense to you when I say that I was fluent in casual and/or conversational French. But I didn’t study physics in French or Econ or Law or…. So reading a newspaper (in which I wasn’t very interested when I was 15, being much more interested in the past than the present), which often assumes specific political knowledge, is something of a chore sometimes, and I wouldn’t trust my translations of child-idioms (the kind you pick up from reading the super-popular children’s books in a given language) either.

  144. says

    *very gentle extra-fluffy hugs* for Portia
    Glad you’re OK

    I liked the one about Heisenberg and Schrödinger, too

    I irregularly read Kleinerdrei

    And the guys don’t even think about it.
    This afternoon, Mr, his brother, brother’s boyfriend and I were chatting. BIL’s boyfriend is a therapist and he mentioned, without even thinking much about it, that his female colleagues all wear a wedding ring, whether they are married or not because otherwise they get harassed by male patients.
    They looked a bit flustered when I said: Well, of course you got to mark her as somebody else’s property. Because while her interests are pretty much irrelevant you wouldn’t mess with another guy’s belongings, right?

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


    I am so glad you weren’t (more) seriously injured. Argh that sucks.


    Yeah. Gross cluelessness is rampant. Sigh.

    On the plus side, every bit you flip is one bit less ignorance.

    Unfortunately, when there are yotta^yotta-bytes of ignorance, it can seem a bit fruitless, but that’s why you have us! To remind you of the fruit! The delightful utricle-fruit we harvest by fighting ignorance and oppression.

  146. opposablethumbs says

    Bloody hell, Portia. I am so glad you’re OK (well, as near to OK as you can be after what happened). So, so glad you’re here! Hope you feel all right really soon ::careful hugs::

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

    And once again a small amount of language knowledge throws me for a loop:

    Kleinerdrei would **seem** to translate as “small/little 3” to the naive non-german speaker who picks up random bits of vocab merely by paying attention and then ignores the context that this is clearly some sort of information outlet. Perhaps that first R is significant, and we’re dealing with an unfamiliar word, like “erdrei” (though probably still paired with some version of “little”). So I put it into my translate widget and you’d never believe what comes up:

    “Little three”.

    Argh. Literally translating from roots without context would have served me better during these last couple of attempts.

    What the heck does “little three” mean in this context?

    Although I am comfortable translating the category “sex sex sex” on the right hand side.

  148. chigau (違う) says

    I googled Kleinerdrei and found a nice German website whose clever motto is in English:
    We put the nerd in Kleinerdrei

    this was rendered by googletranslate as
    We put the nerd in less than three

  149. says

    Glad to hear that Portia is mostly okay. It’s not every day that you can start an explanation with “I was hit by a semi” and end with being hungry and foraging for food.

  150. Portia, in absentia says

    Chigau, CD, opposablethumbs, Dalillama, Lynna, Giliell,

    Thank you all for the well wishes and gentle hugs. My uncle hugged me a little too tight last night, ha.

    My assistant rescheduled my appointments right away and an attorney friend emailed me and S both (S showed up at the scene and helped me unload my car and took me to the ER and then for pain med Rx and then breakfast.) and offered to cover anything in court if we needed it and hoped we were ok (he thought S was in the car too, he wasn’t)

    Lynna: no kidding! For some silly reason I went to the express care clinic instead the ER right away (the neck pain wasn’t bad right away) I walked up to the glass and had this conversation:
    “How can I help you today?”
    “I was hit by a truck.”
    “Is that a joke?”

    I said everybody had a one day pass to tell me I looked like I was hit by a truck. My boss called to check up on me in the evening (I had been on my way to work at 7am on Friday, didn’t go in at all) and he said “Now. I have a question for you. Do you feel like you got hit by a truck?” Quality jokes all around ^_^

    Slightly more seriously, I keep having mental flashes of feeling like I’m dying while spinning in a circle. Oof. It’ll pass.

    Giliell and CD: that language bit made me laugh really hard. I love it.

    And the nerd in less than three. Hahahah. Language jokes are my favorite. (Which I guess is why I like puns so much).

  151. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness cause confusion and moments of tax-preparation madness:

    […] we are bound by federal non-discrimination guidelines. […] about 10 days ago, I got a blast email from the IRS that basically said if a same-sex couple comes in to have their taxes done, all the volunteers are bound by their volunteer agreement to do the return in a professional and respectful manner. You can’t refuse to do it, and you can’t ask to have another volunteer do it. If a volunteer can’t agree to that, they will not be able to participate in the program.

    We are always kind of desperate for volunteers. There was zero wiggle room in that email. However desperate we are, right will be done by gay couples or else. I was proud of the IRS. Bet that’s a sentence you don’t see often. That requirement could be a deal breaker for some volunteers.

    Anyway, we meet with the Utah tax commission in about 2 weeks, and I am sure there is much pencil chewing as they try to figure out what our instructions will be. I of course and hoping for “treat them as a married couple, period.”

    If there is no stay of Shelby’s decision, I am pretty sure they will have no choice in the matter, but if the SC issues a stay, and they go back to their “gay couples get to do 5 returns, 3 federal and two state” total mess plan, I will be a very unhappy camper. […],1121653,1121712#msg-1121712

  152. says

    Fighting gay marriage is costing the State of Utah.

    Utah officials say it will cost approximately $2 million to hire outside counsel to fight a federal judge’s ruling that struck down the state’s voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

    Attorney General Sean Reyes, who was named Monday to replace his embattled predecessor John Swallow, met with the state House GOP leadership on Friday to lay out his case for bringing in outside legal help.

    So why does the AG for the whole state, a guy who is there to serve all the people, only meet with GOP leadership? Why not meet with both Democratic and Republican Party reps?

    […] “We need the best we can get,” House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, told KSL-TV. “He (Reyes) is coming into this, frankly, in the middle.” […]

    After hearing the projected cost, Lockhart said the House Republican majority leadership “felt comfortable telling him, ‘Move forward with what you think is in the best interest of the state.’”

    She said she has learned from other lawmakers that their constituents are willing to defend the constitutional amendment in court even if it means spending more money.[…]

    Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said he would likely be willing to appropriate the funds for outside counsel.

    “This is a big deal for the Legislature and for Utah,” he said.

    Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, said additional attorneys were needed.

    “We should be paying for the best and the brightest,” he said. “This is a case that is not only a historic precedent, but it’s one that really goes to the core of what states’ rights is all about.” […]

    They’re throwing money at what they perceive to be a problem, but the odds of things going their way are ever-diminishing.

  153. says

    Who is the new attorney hired to tilt at windmills for the State of Utah in their fight to “protect heterosexual marriage”? Steve Benson tells us:

    I was told that a member of the legal team hired by the the Mormon Church to fight against marriage equality expects gay marriage to be eventually legalized across the country (and this is an individual who is reportedly in favor of legally protecting heterosexual marriage only).

    This person is said to be an attorney who works for the Mormon Church’s officially-contracted law firm.

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

    *hugs* for Portia.

    I’m tired. Worked yesterday, and then again today and… tomorrow is a workday again?!

  155. rq says

    Not having a nice feeling at the direction alcohol consumption may be taking in this family. I don’t know what to do. It’s a topic that is infrequently discussed due to the rather sharp reaction it garners. But it’s definitely not going in a good direction.

  156. David Marjanović says

    *restocks hug truck*

    Four Things that Weren’t Adequately Covered in Mulan’s R.A. Training

    …Wow, that is awesome.

    I fucking love science.

    Don’t we all! :-)

    I haz hugges.
    I share.

    ♥ ♥ ♥

    Oh my god! The newest kitty addition, Lily, for the first time jumped on my lap and really purred!

    Yay yay yay yay yay!!! ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    Scientists tell us their favourite jokes: ‘An electron and a positron walked into a bar…’ is must read, including the comments, which are equally hilarious.


    Has 747 comments. Not going to read most of them today… oh, it’s 6 7 minutes past midnight as I write this, so maybe I’ll get a stupidity attack and read them all today.

    Cebollas, cinturones, etc.


    It is one of my enduring gratitudes that I was born speaking English and with a talent for understanding other languages and rendering them into English

    Heh, that’s how I feel about German. :-)

    I’m very glad that you are OK.

    Seconded. :-S

    <3 , the combination for a kiss.

    …Uh, no, it’s a heart, lying on its side like a Western smiley. Facebook automatically translates it into a heart. <3 = ♥

    < is the mathematical symbol for “smaller”, kleiner, and then, well, drei

    Grammatically, “less than three” would be “kleiner als drei”, but in math there’s a strong tendency to pronounce each symbol as a single word. “=” is often rendered as “gleich” instead of “ist gleich”.

  157. chigau (違う) says

    Hey, everyone!
    If you have not clicked cicely’s #685 link to the Mulan story, do so.
    You will not be sorry.

  158. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    The newest kitty addition, Lily, for the first time jumped on my lap and really purred!

    Yay! ♥ =^_^=

    Portia – I’m so glad you weren’t serious injured. I’m sorry about the migraine too. *gentle hug*

    rq – *hugs*

  159. cicely says

    I can only assume vast below-ground hydroponics; together with a significant back-up population, or, alternatively, clone-tanks.

    JAL, I’m glad to see you sounding so chipper! And happy for Little One and teh kittehs, too!
    *round of hugs*

    *low-impact pouncehug* for Portia. I’m glad you’re (mostly) okay!

    opposablethumbs, one of my fondest dreams is to one day own this tee shirt.

    *hugs* for rq.

    On the Mulan story, I want to belatedly hat-tip Making Light; specifically, the column at the left, under the heading, “Abi’s Parhelia”. Shoulda oughta dunnit when I posted the linky. My bad; sorries!


  160. chigau (違う) says

    For some reason, the SO is youtoob surfing dance videos.
    Watching over his shoulder, I re-decided that Gene Anthony Ray is the sexiest human, evar.
    and I now know that he’s 10 years dead.
    so it goes

  161. says

    Mai pen rai. (down down down tones; it’s Thai. I loved Thailand SO FREAKING MUCH I COULD LIVE THERE FOREVER; a tonal language where they actually really lay into the tones, especially when talking to an ignorant pharang!).


    De rien.

    Macht nichts (or `mox nix`as it was usually rendered on the Canadian army base).

    Funny how so many languages have a colloquial way of saying `what can you do?’, ne?

  162. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says


    I just saw this.

    So, I’m not the only person who’s reported an experience or response like this, or pointed out the “triggering to survivors of bullying” thing. And apparently, that’s the gold fucking standard of anything I say being believed: someone else saying the same thing.

    On the other hand, as much as I didn’t need to have to think about those periods again, it’s nice to feel humanized by having the mandatory second witness to my lived experiences vindicated. I still want to grab a few people by the shoulders and shake them, though. :(

  163. Portia, semi-bait says

    Beatrice: *hugs*

    Thanks for the hugs and kindness, David, Hekuni Cat, cicely, et al. :)

    I was shaken out of my migraine recovery by a fully involved structure fire. The house is completely gone, it’s so sad. The community is already coming together to respond to our clothing drive for the family though, which is great. I got it in the local paper for tomorrow. No one was hurt, thank goodness. I think their dog is missing though :(

    Now I feel like I got hit by a truck and fought a fire. Whew! Glad I’ll have a day and a half off for New year’s.

    *hugs* all around.

    Especially for rq.

  164. Portia, semi-bait says

    *hugs* if you want em.

    JAL: I was curious how your Christmas was so, devoid of hope of full catching up on the thread, I Ctrl+F’d your nym and your account makes me tear up. I’m so glad you had a great holiday and Little One is happy!

  165. says

    Portia and rq, *hugs* to you both. Glad you came through ok, Portia; and rq, definitely grokked, my mother’s second husband was an alcoholic, before he found AA.

    Before AA, he was a mean, drunken asshole. Then he got sober, which made him a mean, sober asshole, now with added self-righteousness and a drive to police everyone else’s use of alcohol. One of the only good things about his assholeish bigotry over my transition is that he is permanently out of my life. I literally have not exchanged a single morpheme’s communication with the man in twenty-one years, and if I don’t see him in the next 20 or so, it’ll still be too soon. Of course, and forgive me for saying it this way, my friends, I’m pleased to realize that within 20 years, he’ll probably be dead.

    So…big *hugs* offered around.

  166. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    my mother’s second husband was an alcoholic, before he found AA.

    Before AA, he was a mean, drunken asshole. Then he got sober, which made him a mean, sober asshole, now with added self-righteousness and a drive to police everyone else’s use of alcohol.

    Eww. Sounds like my ex, aside from the actually getting sober and not just belligerently pretending to be, over and over and over, part. Hug things, yes. O.o

    One of the only good things about his assholeish bigotry over my transition is that he is permanently out of my life. I literally have not exchanged a single morpheme’s communication with the man in twenty-one years, and if I don’t see him in the next 20 or so, it’ll still be too soon.

    That’s good, at least. :)

    Of course, and forgive me for saying it this way, my friends, I’m pleased to realize that within 20 years, he’ll probably be dead.

    No forgiveness is needed. >.>

  167. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Portia, wow, both getting hit by a truck and attending a house fire in the same day. Not the best of days by a looonnnggg shot.

  168. says

    Big hugs.
    What can I say? It’s good that you don’t lie to yourself about it.
    I did that for way too long with my mother. It didn’t help her and it hurt me. Co-dependence is a thing.

    Getting back to the oblivious guys:
    I always consider my BIL and his boyfriend to be prime-examples of how belonging to one marginalized group does not teach people a clue about how it is for other marginalized groups.
    Of course they’re annoyed about gay stereotypes! And then they’ll turn around and happily repeat stereotypes about women or react surprised when I mention that I found buying a purse for my MIL was a challenge….

  169. says

    If anything, Giliell, gay guys (in my experience) have even less chance to overcome the misogyny we all breathe every single day; unlike het men, they don’t even have the need to hide what misogyny they feel in order to get sex/love/companionship. Not that all het men manage that, either, nor by any means are all gay men misogynist. Many gay men have been my best allies in many situations.

    But gay men who display misogynist – or racist, for that matter, transphobic, whatever, the same array of *-ist and *-phobic we’re all subject to, and definitely including homophobic! – behaviour are sadly no rarer than you find in most other groups. Partly it’s the sexist (et c.) soup we all swim in, where even women can hold deeply misogynist views, and maybe for some it’s even because of the discrimination they’ve faced themselves, again as with any group who’ve experienced being further down the ladder than other folk.

    As a corporal was kind enough to explain to me once, as I filled sandbags for an afternoon (sandbags which I then emptied back into the hole whence they’d come when the sun went down, the labour being the point, not the product of the labour):

    “It’s like this, private. The major’s wife is divorcing him, because he slept with someone on his LTC promotion prep course. So he shits on the captain, to make himself feel better, because someone else has it worse than he does.

    The captain, he called in the lieutenant, because he was mad about the major taking out his shit on him. He shit on the lieutenant over the recruits’ range results, because they’d shot like crap.

    The lieutenant sent Sergeant Kemp to take the recruits on a 10-klick hike with full pack, because Kemp was the one who picked the instructors for that range day.

    So Kemp shat on me, because I’d got the most useless of the bunch and couldn’t make them any better, and he could pass it along and add his own, just like everyone above.

    And then you gave me lip when we did inspection this morning. You tried to make it work the wrong way.

    So this is your lesson for the day, private, and why you’re playing with the burlap and entrenching tool today: shit only rolls downhill. And no one likes being shit on, and the easiest way to get rid of feeling shit on, is to remind yourself that you have other people you can in turn shove the shit off on.

    In the end, it’s shit to be on the bottom of the ladder, and that’s the way of the world.

    Now shut your piehole and dig, private, break’s over.”

    Apply to the Quartermaster for ONE (1) NATO 81mm Onion, White, for Cooking; this is to be worn on the Belt, WEBBING, in the approved manner, per NATO directive 85-603a(II)-sub(g).

  170. says

    Oh, and Giliell: I’m pretty sure most people think it’s a heart. If you type <3 in a program with automatic emoticons enabled (like Google chat), it turns it into a heart. :)

    Though I kinda like the lips idea.

  171. says

    Oh, just heard about the bombings in Volgograd (the former Stalingrad). 17 dead now, plus a number of badly wounded, in two bombings (English link to ITAR-TASS; some potentially disturbing images and descriptions) over two days. Russian link at Труд.

    There are some concerns about this maybe being a campaign by Caucasian Islamists related to the Olympics; Volgograd is a little over 600km from Sochi, and Sochi itself. Grozny (capital of the wantaway Chechnya) is only 500km or so from Sochi, for that matter. One of the main Islamist paramilitary groups called for a serious campaign against the Winter Olympics, back in July.

    Let’s hope it’s not. :(

  172. says


    If anything, Giliell, gay guys (in my experience) have even less chance to overcome the misogyny we all breathe every single day; unlike het men, they don’t even have the need to hide what misogyny they feel in order to get sex/love/companionship. Not that all het men manage that, either, nor by any means are all gay men misogynist. Many gay men have been my best allies in many situations.

    Well, if you’ve been raised to believe that the only good thing about women is its and pussies and then notice your lack of interest in them, the logical conclusion is that women are good for nothing. And since it’s still easy to arrange your way in a way you hardly have any real contact with women at all…
    And even if they’re just your run off the mill guys, they usually don’t have that many women in their lives who would teach them about our world.
    What made Mr. feminist? Well, it was a good starting point that he believed in equality from the start, but he also has a feminist partner who opened his eyes to the realities of our patriarchal society. Sure, I will use “teachable moments” and point out when he gets talked to and I get ignored, but the situation doesn’t even arise for his gay brother….

  173. rq says

    Glad you’re alright, Portia!! That’s some scary stuff! *hugs*

    Thanks all for the words, everyone.
    Most days I lie to myself and say it’s not that bad (with occasional freakishly panicky moments of clarity, like yesterday) because it really isn’t, it’s just incremental increases that are difficult to dial back… and there’s definitely a co-dependency that is already scaring me. But what can I do? Right now, nothing, except try and hit it from the financial angle (works better than the drinking angle). *sigh*
    At least I can say, mostly honestly, that there isn’t much assholishness generally present, so it’s a matter of waiting for certain parties to see the light… The fine example of family history, apparently, doesn’t apply, since he’s had a completely different history growing up (never mind the genetic predisposition factor and the whole ‘it’s not a problem!’ denialism), even though the concept of moderation was never enforced in that household, for pretty much anything.

    Anyway, *hugs* all round and a Happy New Year (I hate it more than any other holiday out there) and best wishes and I’ll see you all when I get back from Denial in the Country. It’ll be awesome! Okay, okay, I’ll put a positive face on it. It won’t be that bad. I have my ereader. :)

  174. Pteryxx says

    If you type <3 in a program with automatic emoticons enabled (like Google chat), it turns it into a heart. :)

    Though I kinda like the lips idea.


    …I’d just like to say that given my personal predilections, when I type that, I tend to think of it as a butt.

    Meant in the best sentiment, of course.

  175. Portia, semi-bait says

    Giliell –
    I’ve read some feminist bloggers (a long time ago) talk about how gay men sometimes do the “Girls are gross!” thing to ‘joke’ about their aversion to female anatomy (which just occurs to me now is very transphobic). The blogger I read pointed out that this is just more misogyny in which some gay men will demonize the vulva and/or vagina in a way that seems subversive (men who don’t like vulvas!) but is really just more oppression (women’s bodies are shameful and disgusting!). It was an interesting read. Point is: I know just what you mean.

    Akyroth; INORITE?! And the light wasn’t even freshly red. It had been red. And mine had been green, so I was going full speed (30mph). He didn’t sneak through a yellow/red. He just blew it completely. I kind of wonder what was going on.

    Nerd: Just to be clear, I’m not that active. It was in a span of two days, not one, that all this activity happened. But yeah. Whew.

  176. says

    Portia: Oh, well, that’s all right then. I mean, getting hit by a truck one day, and fighting a house fire the next day, that’s obviously a doddle, yes? ;)

    You’re adorable. You do understatement like a proper Englishwoman.

  177. David Marjanović says


    I just saw this.

    So, I’m not the only person who’s reported an experience or response like this, or pointed out the “triggering to survivors of bullying” thing.

    I don’t understand it. Could you explain it?

  178. David Marjanović says

    …I’d just like to say that given my personal predilections, when I type that, I tend to think of it as a butt.


    (A heart-shaped butt is mentioned in the House episode on androgen insensitivity. <_< )

  179. says

    So I’ve been playing Saint’s Row the Third all weekend and I have to say something:

    While by no means is the game completely free of sexism and misogyny (I mean face it, there are a lotta “hos” in the game) it’s actually more progressive than the vast majority of games.

  180. says

    Kevin, I don’t know if you’ve played them, but I found Mass Effect 2 & 3 to be both really, really amazingly cool to play, because I could play someone who looked and sounded something like me. The range of options was pretty impressive, though I know that SR has a very strong character creator, from the progressive pov. It was fairly size-normative, but the armour was unmistakably the same, just fitted to a woman’s body. Not “here look at my sexiness, I value showing it over protecting my life as the galaxy’s top killer superhero” fitted, either. Fitted by an armourer, not a wardrober.

    I just think it’s cool in general that there are actually games that are allowing women and/or queer folk to be in the game. Playing a woman (with the outstanding voice acting provided by the FemShep actor whose name I can’t recall just now), who turns out in the game – as I play her, anyway – to be gay, was revolutionary to me. To be able to play someone like me, and have the game take part? Reinvigorated my desire to play games. To be a trans woman video gamer is to be inured to inevitably having to spend any roleplaying/shooter/player-avatar game in a storm of contra-gendering. Every pronoun in the storyline calls you “he”. Your visible presence is unmistakably masculine. The voice actor will be a man. It is in no small way dysphoria-enhancing (that’s not a good thing, if unclear) to have to do that, and eventually a lot of us just stop.

    I know you may well know much of this, I just wanted to agree. I did hear how awesome the SRIII and later char-gen options are, allowing crossing of gender lines and a wider range of skin colours than usual (hueism is just one of the ways in which games reinforce racist memes in society; this is another way in which even the quite-good ME series still has a distance to go, as really dark-skinned people are very rare/non-present).

  181. carlie says

    Portia, I’m so glad you’re ok! And you didn’t take a day off?!

    For some silly reason I went to the express care clinic instead the ER right away (the neck pain wasn’t bad right away)

    Been there. I went to urgent care instead of the ER for anaphylaxis once. Just couldn’t quite believe it was happening, or that I personally would need such a level of care as to go to the ER. I mean, I could still drive, and I couldn’t swallow but I could breathe, so it wasn’t that bad, right? Wouldn’t want to overreact or anything. *headdesk*

    I’m sorry, rq. Nothing to offer but hugs.

    Azkyroth – you’ve mentioned it obliquely a few times, but I’m not sure what it is that’s wrong to see what within commenting culture is the problem.
    Is there a way to explain more what you mean without giving up any more info than you are comfortable with? The comment you linked to was about “calling out”, but that can be done in so many different ways. Calling out just as in letting people know when they’re wrong, or doing it in a specific kind of way? Being called out by multiple people before having a chance to respond?

  182. says


    Oh yes, Mass Effect had the single best female protagonist in years (plus the whole fact that Jennifer Hale nailed the voice acting for that!) It’s definitely a story with no focus on gender. I loved that game series up til the last five minutes of course. I played Femshep as straight, but with a relationship with Garrus cause seriously, he’s hot.

    Saint’s Row certainly has its problems (aforementioned “hos” and the denigration of females by the male main characters) but it has an amazing character-generation system. You can be any size or shape you want. You can be a man in a dress, or a woman with a beard. It’s incredible gender and sex neutral as far as the story-line goes.

    The other thing is the main female characters – Shaundi and Kenzie – are very well written. Even though Shaundi is a bit of a “male gaze” character, she’s completely bad-ass and pretty much pissed off the entire game. Kenzie is a very cute programmer-hacker with a very sex-positive nature about her. The main female villains – the DeWynter Sisters, Kia – are both well written as well, the sisters run a porn empire and Kia is a badass military woman (in battle-armor) who can handle her own.

    Like I said, gaming has miles upon miles to go before we can call it perfect, but I’m happy to see some progress.

  183. says

    Kevin: I almost wish I could bring myself to do the bizarre MaleShep character (my copy of ME3 has a DefaultShep* cover and always will!), because there are some areas where I wonder if they did things differently for different-gendered Sheps, and a couple where I’m pretty certain they did (the chat with the female krogan, for one, if you got that; they have this awesome bonding moment where they talk about how difficult it can be to get by in a world still somewhat geared to men).

    But I’ve tried twice, and I just can’t bear playing that weirdly bulky and stubbly MaleShep. I get to the first mission at deleted spoilery place and quit. I wonder if anyone’s catalogued the ways in which the game plays out differently based on what choices you make at startup.

    I’d really like to see someone address the hueism in a serious way, though. I tried repeatedly to make a truly dark-skinned character, and simply could not. I could not make a credible Uhura, for instance, or Grace Jones, or even Nandita Das (link is Emmanuel Goldstein Al Jazeera, just so you know before you click). It’s possible to play about six different kinds of completely pale skin, but the darker tones top out at maybe the palest 30%/40% of the range of human skin tones. :/

    Features are hard to get to be very African, as well; Asian and Europeans are easy to get to, but many types of African ethnicities would be very difficult to create in ME, which sucks. I don’t even think it’s intentional or conscious, just un-self-aware repetition of cultural standards we all swim in. But it would sure suck to be unable to play a good game with a character that looks even remotely like you want it to, while people say how unabashedly progressive it is**. :(

    * Default=Jennifer Hale, of course.

    ** See also fat and/or height-outlier people , trans people, intersex people, non-binary-gendered people, et c., et c..

  184. says


    I’ve read some feminist bloggers (a long time ago) talk about how gay men sometimes do the “Girls are gross!” thing to ‘joke’ about their aversion to female anatomy (which just occurs to me now is very transphobic). The blogger I read pointed out that this is just more misogyny in which some gay men will demonize the vulva and/or vagina in a way that seems subversive (men who don’t like vulvas!) but is really just more oppression (women’s bodies are shameful and disgusting!). It was an interesting read. Point is: I know just what you mean.

    Prior to the education I received here, much of the above applied to me (I’m sorry to say). I was the guy who would say stuff like “yuck, tits” or make comments about vaginas and bad body odors.
    Needless to say, I don’t do that shit anymore.

  185. says


    The only reason I’m playing a male SR3 is because he’s voiced by Troy Baker (many *hearts* over that guy) and because he can sort of look like me (albeit a bit buffed up.) I’ll play a female character later because of a few achievements. I tried playing as BroShep for a while… but I just got annoyed at his voice acting, it was so deadpan and boring.

    That’s another benefit of Saint’s Row over Mass Effect – you can be any shape or any color you want to be. You can even be fantastical colors. There’s no limit. And more fun is that the characters in the game are extremely diverse – black and white, Asian, hispanic – it’s amazing.

  186. says

    I hope at least you didn’t call women who objected homophobic. Because that happens, too…
    But yeah, divide et impera.

    Also FYI, I wrote a blog post (happens so rarely these days): Gendered kids clothing and craft bragging ;)

  187. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says


    my mother’s second husband was an alcoholic, before he found AA.

    Before AA, he was a mean, drunken asshole. Then he got sober, which made him a mean, sober asshole, now with added self-righteousness and a drive to police everyone else’s use of alcohol.

    *sigh* Yep. Yep.

    Parent #1 had a terrible childhood that, if there was any justice in the world, would have led to certain people getting tossed in prison. Parent #1 dealt with the resultant pain and grief by self-medicating with Various Substances.™

    When Parent #1 met Parent #2, the latter was motivated to Fix™ the former. Now, to be sure, this can be a positive thing for someone, and really help them. And I won’t deny that there probably was some positive in the mix. But most of it was “you should stop using, because Users Are Gross And Bad and besides, Jesus Will Fix Your Heart.” Enter the Twelve Steps and fundamentalist Christianity.

    Thirty years later, they’ve been scared off of the fundamentalism (they watched a friend get shunned for something that wasn’t really wrong and it made them think) but remain fervent twelve-steppers.

    And Parent #1 still hasn’t really recovered. Oh, the scars have faded, to be sure. But Parent #2 remains sanctimonious and “I’m a good person because I Saved™ Parent #1 from themself, so it doesn’t matter that [serious issue] and [serious issue].”

  188. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    And the light wasn’t even freshly red. It had been red. And mine had been green, so I was going full speed (30mph). He didn’t sneak through a yellow/red. He just blew it completely.

    This was very triggering for me this morning. Well, actually, last night too. My mother was nearly killed in an eerily similar accident. She broke her the right side of her pelvis and her left ankle was so badly bruised and swollen the doctors x-rayed it three times because they were certain it was broken. More three weeks after the accident, the bruising all over her body was still black. She was 78 at the time. The doctors told her she’d never walk without a walker again. They were wrong.

    I am so, so happy you escaped relatively unharmed. ♥

  189. says

    Oh, FFS, a country music star is being lambasted by gun owners for posting a “no guns” sign outside his restaurant. Level of ridiculousness High.

    This fracas sheds light on Virginia’s equally ridiculous gun laws.

    Country music star Toby Keith is facing some backlash from gun owners after one of his new I Love This Bar And Grill restaurants in Woodbridge, Virginia posted a “No Guns Permitted” sign outside its premises.

    “I’ll never eat here. Lawfully armed and spending my money elsewhere,” read one of many disgruntled reviews on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

    The furor spurred a response by the restaurant, explaining, “While we understand and respect every person’s right to own and bear arms, we at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, with guidance from the State of Virginia and based on insurance regulations, have adopted a no weapons policy. It is our desire to provided a safe, enjoyable and entertaining experience for our patrons and staff.”

    That did little to quell the ire of gun owners, one whom responded to the restaurant’s Facebook message by saying, “Your post regarding your stance on not allowing patrons to defend them selves should the need arise is a total cop out to the bad publicity that your bad policy has initiated.”

    But gun owners may actually be legally allowed to carry loaded weapons in Keith’s restaurant under Virginia law, irrespective of what the sign says. Virginia is one of at least six states — the others being Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona — that explicitly allows loaded guns in bars. “No Guns Permitted” signs don’t actually have the force of law in Virginia unless the state specifically lists the facility as one where people cannot carry guns. […]

  190. says

    More on the story in comment #769:

    Another 18 states allow loaded weapons in restaurants that serve alcohol, according to a 2010 New York Times report — and data on violence in America suggests that could be dangerous policy. Gun owners are far more likely to binge drink, drive drunk, and engage in other risky behaviors than people who don’t own guns, according to a 2011 report in the medical journal Injury Prevention. Furthermore, arguments and fights that often involve drinking or a perceived insult lead to nearly half of all homicides and an estimated 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women who killed someone had been drinking at the time.

  191. says

    Conservatives continue to go out of their way to sound like dunderheads of the first order. Take, for example this Major General, US Army Ret. (yikes! this guy was in charge of military forces?):

    Paul Vallely, a former general who now works as a conservative activist and Fox News analyst, suggested in a recent interview that President Obama should face citizen’s arrest for his supposedly treasonous crimes.[…]

    Paul Vallely’s website:

    […]Start immediately to cut the government bureaucracy and structure by 25%… Eliminate all unnecessary departments of Energy, Homeland Security, Education, the Federal Reserve and EPA and return the functions to the private sector and the states. Eliminate the IRS and institute a “fair or flat tax”. Initiate the relocation of the United Nations to Athens Greece or a third world country and cut back the funding of this corrupt and ineffective institution.

    Implement an effective national security policy and “forward strategy to defend America’s interests against the threat of Shariah (Islamic law), a nuclear Iran and North Korea, and Islamic terror. Defend our borders and take on the onslaught of the drug cartels, illegal immigrants, and terrorists now pouring into our country.[…]

  192. A. Noyd says

    Kevin (#757)

    While by no means is the game completely free of sexism and misogyny (I mean face it, there are a lotta “hos” in the game) it’s actually more progressive than the vast majority of games.

    I just finished up the second one a bit ago. I loved that my character could be a fat, dark-skinned Latina dyke and she still look 100% badass. It’s actually hard in most games to get a character that looks good in terms of design but not good in terms of conventional attractiveness.

  193. says

    Another update on the gay marriage issue that recently changed so dramatically in Utah:

    […]The LDS Church this month sent to its bishops in Utah — who legally may officiate at weddings — a statement after the same-sex ruling reminding them about its position on such marriages.

    “The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not require ministers to perform marriages that are contrary to their faith,” it said. “The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds that marriage is between a man and a woman. Consistent with that fundamental belief, the church does not perform marriages between two people of the same sex.”

    It adds, “Church policy also precludes the use of church meetinghouses or properties for ceremonies, receptions, or other events associated with same-sex marriage. God loves all of his children and the church respects those with different opinions but its position on marriage is clear and unchanging.”[…]

  194. David Marjanović says

    *hugs for Hekuni Cat* =^_^=
    *hug offer for Esteleth*

    Initiate the relocation of the United Nations to Athens Greece or a third world country and cut back the funding of this corrupt and ineffective institution.

    LOL. Funding? What funding? :-D Joke in diplomatic circles: “let’s pool our money and buy the UN” – its budget is just a few millions.

    Also, Greece is a town in upstate New York, not very far from Utica and Rome.

  195. carlie says

    Also, Greece is a town in upstate New York, not very far from Utica and Rome.

    And not far from the towns of Poland and West Canada. And we wonder why our kids have trouble with geography.

  196. Nutmeg says

    Grr. Went into Canadian Tire today to buy a new extension cord and timer, and there was a bunch of Duck Dynasty merchandise displayed prominently near the front door.

    A large portion of Canadian Tire’s staff are (undertrained, underpaid, poorly supported) high school and university students. I was one of them, for about 6 months when I was 18. It was the worst job I ever had, because of how poorly the management treat their staff. I quit once I realized it wasn’t going to get any better.

    I’m sure that some of the kids working in that store are gay and/or POC. What a slap in the face to them, to see their workplace supporting that bigot. And they can’t do anything about it, because there’s no way anyone in management would care about how their underlings feel.

    I’ll be buying my supplies at other places in the future. I may even write an angry letter. I’ve never done that before, it could be fun.

  197. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Greece is a town in upstate New York, not very far from Utica and Rome

    Point of fact, Greece is a hell of a lot closer to Syracuse than it is to Utica or Rome.

    Not to mention being less than 40 km from Egypt.

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

    I had a stupid phone, where I could set birthday reminders with birth year, so that I could always check how old someone was.

    I got a smart phone and now I will have to get an app for that*** because the phone doesn’t have the setting.

    *grumble grumble*

    ***er, or just try and remember how old people are

  199. Portia, semi-bait says

    You made me laugh out loud with the Englishwoman comparison.

    thanks for the hugs, btw :)

    Y’all might enjoy this little exchange I had today (which is a version of the convo I had with my aunt last night)
    Officemate: Someone was watching over you that day (of the crash).
    Me: Yeah, the engineers who designed the car to deflect impact from the passenger compartment!

    Luckily she laughed and agreed. My aunt sort of brushed past it and said more Jebustalk.

  200. carlie says

    Oh, almost forgot – anyone want to talk about Call the Midwife and how gorgeous Sheila in her wedding dress was? Because seriously.

  201. Portia, semi-bait says

    OOOooooh I haven’t watched the new Call the Midwife season! What was I thinking?! Mom and I watch it together and I squandered four straight days of TV watching last week.

    Fellow knerds (that’s my new term for knit nerds). I just blocked my first lace item. I’m so pleased with the result, which is a relief because I was nervous about it.

  202. Nutmeg says


    I am having some trouble dragging myself out of bed at a decent hour in the morning. That’s pretty typical for me at this time of year. I handle my other winter blues symptoms with lots of exercise and keeping busy, but my midwinter shift to night-owl-dom has persisted for several years.

    So today I bought an indoor light timer, and I just finished hooking it up to a decorative lamp in the corner of my room. I’ve set it to turn on about an hour before my alarm goes off. We’ll see if having some light makes it easier to resist the temptation to roll over and go back to sleep.

    I read somewhere that blue light may be most effective in combating SAD. My decorative lamp is pretty much just a light bulb with a thin coating of blue plastic, and that’s probably not good enough. But if it was, that would be a cool and cheap solution.

  203. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ugh, very long, but mostly successful day. The Redhead helped by not having me wash/dress her so I could just get to the job. With the single-digit weather, got the freezer emptied and transferred to the detached garage. No worries about the stuff thawing for several days. Got the freezer defrosted, and the water mopped up. Undergoing final air drying prior to turning it back on and running overnight prior to restocking. The restocking will be slow, as the Redhead will inspect the contents to toss out all the freezer burnt goods. Quite a bit actually, from what I saw unloading the freezer.

    Went in to work briefly to sign some documents for the department (I’m the closest signee). Then tried to enter my time for the first of December and my work computer died mid mouse move. Not only the computer, the docking station too (makes me suspect the power supply went belly up). I’ll put IT on the case. That was the lone non-success, getting my time entered.

    Meanwhile, saw all the packages we mailed Saturday via priority mail arrived at their destinations as scheduled.

    Now to get the dinner dishes piled in the sink until I can unload dishwasher.

  204. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I am having some trouble dragging myself out of bed at a decent hour in the morning.

    I suspect the root of your trouble is confusing “a decent hour for getting out of bed” with “morning.” >.>

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

    It’s 7am here and I’m mostly sentient. Second cup of coffee would improve my chances.

  206. Portia, semi-bait says

    It’s midnight here and I need to be sentient at 7am. There will be lotsa coffee involved.

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


    I feel for you. Went to bed about 1amyesterday today

  208. Portia, semi-bait says

    *high-five* for Nerd.

    I just discovered a little bit ago that a ceramic house-shaped ornament upon which S had written “Law Office” and given to me a couple days ago – it shattered in the crash. I am really upset about it, more than any other negative consequence of the accident. Maybe it’s just misplaced angst but I am sad about it.

    I swear one of these days I’ll snap out of my Portia-centric attitude and stop rambling about my random thoughts all the time. Maybe I can blame hte muscle relaxers for this one.

    I’m going to high five my pillow with my face now.

  209. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Azkyroth – you’ve mentioned it obliquely a few times, but I’m not sure what it is that’s wrong to see what within commenting culture is the problem.
    Is there a way to explain more what you mean without giving up any more info than you are comfortable with? The comment you linked to was about “calling out”, but that can be done in so many different ways. Calling out just as in letting people know when they’re wrong, or doing it in a specific kind of way? Being called out by multiple people before having a chance to respond?

    So, I typed a whole lot, and then thought better of it.

    There are things people do who are convinced they’re Right and therefore Justified that remind me of the bullying I experienced and the apologetics for it from adults and peers. I feel like there is a subset of social justice activity which fairly uncritically supports harsh social treatment of certain kinds of people, to the point where deliberate relational aggression can be camouflaged as “calling-out” and criticisms which are made not just in harsh words but with disregard for intellectual honesty tend to be given the benefit of the doubt and objections to them equivocated with stereotypical bad-faith objections to social justice arguments and either dismissed or used as jumping-off points for further sneering (specific points of objection include, but are not limited to, recklessly speculative pronouncements about targets’ alleged motives, jumping down people’s throats for saying something that reminded one vaguely of something horrible someone else said sometime and demanding the recipient be gracious about having the two equated based on context they had no access to, and fairly blatant gerrymandering of which privileges “count”).

    This is heightened by vivid memories of one particular Pharyngula commenter who developed some sort of bizarrely personal grudge against me and violated my boundaries fairly badly in the process of pursuing it, with the what-would-be-uncontroversially-be-called-tacit-approval-in-any-other-instance of most of the rest of the commentariat. Which I found fairly traumatic in light of my past experience with severe bullying aided and abetted, mostly tacitly, by pretty much all the relevant authority figures as well as bystanders.

  210. says

    Good morning
    I hope you have a fabulous New Year’s Eve
    Urgh, around here #1 is currently trying to get banned to her room for the rest of the year.
    She’s constantly doing shit she totally knows is not allowed to do and I have no idea how to make her fucking stop.

    Congratulations on cleaning the freezer. I’m still waiting for a spell of cold weather. At least I’m religiously using what’s in there because I am very good at stocking it up and always keep the stuff for “emergencies”.
    And today lots of things shoudl get used because we’Re having a party and I already bought tons of seafood for the Paella the last weeks.

  211. blf says

    As the mildly deranged penguin just pointed out, “a decent hour in the morning” means the sun has just gone down. (Applies only in locales where the sun bothers to come up.) And that is morning — several timezones to the West.

  212. says

    *hugs* or other desired gestures of support. I apologize categorically for times when I have for whatever reason failed to have your back on such things.

    RE: Sleep
    I haven’t slept more than 3-4 hours running for most of a week now, between massive humidity, an ongoing cold, and an ulcer flareup. I apologize for any typos/incoherencies that creep in.

  213. David Marjanović says

    The Top 75 Pictures of the Year for 2013.

    Not bad… not bad at all. Bookmarked.

    And not far from the towns of Poland and West Canada.

    I didn’t know about West (!!!) Canada, but…


    …I forgot Poland.

    Oof. Why is it so easy to stay up too late?

    The later it is, the faster time passes.

    I’m going to high five my pillow with my face now.

    That’s a wonderful way to put it. ^_^

  214. says

    LDS (mormon) Social Services, and the law firm that serves the mormon church, Kirton & McConkie, are being sued.

    […]An unmarried Utah father whose son was placed for adoption at birth without his knowledge or consent has filed a $130 million federal lawsuit against the biological mother, adoption agency, adoptive parents and attorneys alleging they conspired in an “illegal deceit-ridden infant adoption” that deprived him of his son.

    In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Jake Strickland alleges the defendants acted in a “clandestine” manner and “essentially kidnapped” his son. It alleges the defendants engaged in racketeering, human trafficking and various kinds of fraud as part of a conspiracy to deprive Strickland of his child. […]

    “Utah’s pro-adoption and anti-birth father laws, facilitated through fraud immunity, have given rise to a greater number of out-of-state birth mothers forum shopping Utah, and through their own efforts, aided by legal counsel, and in some cases by the prospective adoptive parents, they have been able to successfully place their babies for adoption through misrepresentation and fraud — keeping biological fathers in the dark throughout the process,” the complaint says.

    Utah’s adoption statute, which provides immunity to birth mothers who engage in fraudulent acts, “has become an ugly sword slicing through father/child relationships … resulting in fathers being lied to, deceived, and defrauded out of their paternity rights, all in an effort to manufacture the perception of a new, and perceived ‘improved’ family relationship,” according to the complaint.[…]

    We’ve discussed the deceptive practices of LDS adoption services before. They not only work to keep the fathers in the dark, but they also pressure all single women who are pregnant (with special emphasis on mormon single mothers) to put their babies up for adoption. Their goal is to place babies in mormon households with parents. They should be sued. They should also be shut down.

  215. says

    Lynna @ 803, that’s evil. Just evil. I don’t believe fathers have custody rights before birth – who carries it chooses, I say – but to not give them a chance to have custody of their child if the bearer chooses to bring it to term is just evil. This is the sort of thing MRAs should be focusing on, and if they did, they’d probably find us on their side. :/

    All y’all have probably seen this, but since it made me laugh out loud, repeatedly, I thought I’d offer the Youtube link to the Hurricane Renaming Suggestion Video that digby posted about yesterday. Some impressionistic versions of quotes (because I just spent an hour and a half transcribing a senate session from Texas for a project covering the abortion bill debates from last summer’s awesome Wendy Davis filibuster fight, and I can’t be arsed to make them more exact):

    “I just don’t know what Paul Ryan’s out there doing to my friends!”

    “The Eye of Michelle Bachmann is smashing Florida!” (I have this vision of her flaming eye atop Barad-Dur, looking balefully about for Baggins MOOSLIMS!)

    “The disaster that is James Inhofe continues…”

  216. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Is anyone else drowning in 503 errors? I’m getting them constantly.

  217. blf says

    “Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]”: “Is anyone else drowning in 503 errors? I’m getting them constantly.”

    I was getting many, interspaced with the completely uninformative an error occurred while processing this directive, but things appear to have improved slightly now — First attempt to load this page got yer name as quoted above, second attempt appears to have loaded Ok.

    I suspect the server is having an early New Orbit’s Eve celebration.

  218. opposablethumbs says

    Is anyone else drowning in 503 errors? I’m getting them constantly.

    Yes, although I’m mostly getting the page only half-loaded when I refresh, concluding with a little “failed to execute” text of some kind (don’t remember exactly, and it’s not showing just now)

    The “failed to execute” text always occupies the last few words, whenever it appears – a couple of refreshes ago, I got

    Esteleth, [command has failed to execute] turning up as your apparent nym :-)

  219. says

    I’m getting a few 503s, one re-direct to fucking cloudflare, and a “an error occurred while processing this directive” every time I’ve posted a comment. The comment has posted, but that’s the message.

  220. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    I decided to be obnoxious and rename myself in honor of this outage.

    I am killing time. Today is my last day at work [officially] and I have nothing to do.

  221. opposablethumbs says

    Yes, that was it, of course, that was the nym.

    You must be close to knocking-off time, Esteleth, surely? Or, no, come to think of it it’s probably early afternoon where you are. I’m more confused than usual about people’s time zones today. Is it tomorrow yet?

  222. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    It’s currently about a quarter before 2 pm. I get off at 5.

    The [officially] bit about my last day is the silly part – I’ll be in tomorrow. On the holiday.

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

    ok then, I thought only I was having problems with connecting to ftb

  224. vaiyt says

    The kid we were taking care of just fell in the pool and almost drowned.

    He’s alive, but screaming in pain at the hospital.

  225. vaiyt says

    I was in my cousin’s room when it happened. I was taking care of my uncle’s dog, since my other uncle’s dog has a problem getting along with other males. All I heard was the shouting, and went outside to see my cousin screaming in terror, I didn’t have the fortitude to look closer. All I could do was hope it wasn’t the kid… I think I would break if I saw him unconscious. The thought of a bright little child leaving us so early…!

    The hospital he’s in now doesn’t have an intensive care unit, but we already reserved a bed for him (something important since hospitals around here are always overcrowded).

    I just can’t stop trembling.

  226. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says


    That’s terrible vaiyt!

    Best wishes for the kiddo. Here’s hoping he recovers well.

  227. says

    Well, vaiyt, thank fuck for “almost”, huh? *hugs* offered.

    Esteleth and I have been swapping terrible calumnies about Peter Jackson in e-mail. :)

    Funny thing was, I quite liked the movies, for all their faults. Most of the decisions I could grok, whether I would have done them or not*, but I overall enjoyed the movies. The music was wonderful, the scenery was perfect – I mean, just perfect! – and the acting was alright. Casting was good in some cases, less good in others (yay hobbits; boo John Rhys-Davis’ worst role, and why is Aragorn, despite my love for Viggo, so young and good-looking? he’s supposed to look villainous and scarred, or what’s the point of the “all that glitters” thing?).

    But why has he turned a sweet little book into a giant video-game of a trilogy? I mean, I know why, but why in the name of all that’s elvish did he do it? I thought the point of his doing it was that he’s a fan, and wanted to film the books, not make “Peter Jackson’s Tolkien’s Hobbit Flume Ride” at an amusement park. :(

    * Arwen: I get it, okay; Tom Bombadil and the Electric Brown Acid Trip, no problem; blades dumped in the lads’ laps by Aragorn, not fetched from a barrow-wight at risk of lives, meh; proud Gimli is a bumbling clownish goof, blech; Aragorn is rescued from falling off a cliff by a random horse – unless you see the extended edition explaining how he let the horse go previously – WTF?

  228. opposablethumbs says

    shit, vayt, hope the kid is all right veryveryvery soon. And that you recover from the shock.

    Here’s to your last few hours at work, then, Esteleth, um not counting tomorrow that is!

    We’re going to have an early-for-us supper soon and then go and join the neighbours later for drinks and snacks for that midnight thing.

    My best hugs and wishes for the midnight thing to you all, to those for whom it is already tomorrow morning and to those for whom it is still this morning.

  229. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    Hiya Hordlings!

    It was a morning of blue screens, glass breaking and showers leaking. I was a grumpy-butt for too much of the morning. Then, something sweet happened and now I’m misty-eyed. I asked my husband and my teen to go see Anchorman 2 with me tonight. The declined. So, my 10 yr old son offered to go with me. I thanked him and explained that I didn’t think he’d think the movie was funny. He just smiled his sweet smile and said, “I don’t think anything is funny, but I’ll still go with you.” It’s true that he doesn’t think movies, TV shows or books are funny, or scary or sad. He doesn’t understand why anyone would think they are. He’s just not wired that way. He gets tickled that I react emotionally to situations on a screen or in a book. It’s so strange to him. But he’d still be happy just to go hang out with me. Me: the grouchy lady with the face like a cat’s ass. *sniff*
    Suddenly, feeling and acting like a poop doesn’t make any sense.
    I’m going to check myself and take the kids out for lunch.
    Hugs and tasty burritos to you all!

  230. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says


    Today I find them.

    In my desk at work.

  231. Dhorvath, OM says

    (Xpost from TD) Some of you may know that I had a business selling my service skills and some select models of bicycles, parts, and accessories, a business which fell apart about two years ago. I made my final bankruptcy payment today, just in time for New Years. There is a half decade of earnings which have done little but pay for two glorious years of being in my own space and inviting others to share my passion for pedals, wheels, rubber, and chains. I have regrets, but none strong enough to say I ought not have tried.

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


    I’m glad you can hold that history and its value. I’m sorry it worked out poorly economically, but it sounds like it was a net positive, and now that the worst of the financial negative is over, I hope that assessment only feels stronger over time.

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

    Dalillama speaks for me in #801:

    *hugs* or other desired gestures of support. I apologize categorically for times when I have for whatever reason failed to have your back on such things.

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

    Oh, Vaiyt!

    That is horrifying. I’m sure everyone here will support you in whatever way the internet allows.

  235. David Marjanović says

    I recently reloaded the page, and it didn’t quite work. The page pretended to end at:

    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

  236. Portia, semi-bait says

    Jackie: that warmed my heart. What a sweet boy. Hope you like the movie.

    Esteleth: I forgot to print out my new insurance cards and then got hit by the semi. The cop didn’t care a whit that I couldn’t prove my insurance, thank goodness. (I just realized there’s some race/class privilege in getting such gentle treatment from LEOs, even when I’ve done nothing wrong). Glad you found yours :)

    Dhorvath: Here’s to a new chapter, hope the future just gets brighter.

  237. Dhorvath, OM says

    David M,

    The page pretended

    Hide and go Lounge?

    My life is not so bad, it’s just the finance side that needs clean-up. Thank you though.

    Crip Dyke,
    Yes, as I say, my life is good so it’s easy to spin a bad experience into my web.

  238. carlie says

    Vaiyt – Oh, that’s so terrible. So, so sorry. And don’t let anyone give anyone there shit for it. Every parent, and I imagine damned near every caregiver, has at least one “almost” somewhere in their history deep down where they can’t even bear to think of it again, it was such a close call.

    Axkyroth, I think I get you – I hope some of the commenting changes have helped ease up on those kinds of attitudes/problems.

    Y’all, I am usually a hater of things Disney, but Frozen, omg. It was great. All-broadway cast, so the songs sounded wonderful, and the storyline was a twist on the usual princess saved by prince thing. Child 2 asked on the way there if it passed the Bechdel test. :) (which it did; I had been commenting that I’d heard it had strong female characters.) And if you have a sister nearby whom you like, go with her.

  239. opposablethumbs says

    Dear Lounge, it’s after supper now and we’re just going to go and join the nice (and coincidentally genned up on the whole RW thing!) neighbours to see the new year in – and I just this minute before switching off got a lovely message from rq, wishing us all a happy new year and also to pass on Happy New Year wishes to the Lounge! So here they are: Happy New Year from rq! And also from me.

  240. Portia, semi-bait says

    Cousins are having a game night. Goddy cousin insisted on hosting (not a big deal) and invited her bible thumper friends. (ugh). It’s not so bad, they don’t evangelize or anything, but everything is stiffer with them around and the whole point was a cousin time. She just invited them without a thought. Sigh.

    But, we are doing a song title costume theme. I’m going as this. The costume is obvious. I have also painted scales of justice onto my fingernails. Second choice was Killer Queen, with a paper crown and a big knife.

  241. says

    I love CAKE. Their version of I Will Survive is in my top ten all-time songs.

    I also adore The Distance, and Stickshifts and Safety Belts. Damn good band. Great choice for the costume! Did someone do Chantilly Lace? :D

  242. Portia, semi-bait says

    I will report back once I have guessed the others’ costumes :D

    I think teh infant attendee will be dressed in her ballerina jammies: Tiny Dancer.

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

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Now if only all the fireworks would stop so that I could go to sleep.

  244. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Axkyroth, I think I get you – I hope some of the commenting changes have helped ease up on those kinds of attitudes/problems.

    Except for a couple occasions where they’d been selectively read and used against me in apparent bad faith, yeah, they have. It’s not that easy to let go, though, and I keep expecting the rug to be pulled… :(

  245. says

    Even with the beyond-crappy rollout of, we now have good news to celebrate:

    The most recent data indicate that more than 2.1 million people have enrolled in a private health insurance plan through the Federal and State-based Marketplaces since October 1. […]

    Additionally, 3.9 million Americans learned they’re eligible for coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in October and November. These numbers include new eligibility determinations and some Medicaid and CHIP renewals.

    We are encouraged that over 6 million people have been enrolled in Marketplace or Medicaid coverage since October 1, and will work to give millions more Americans the peace of mind that comes with health security in the months ahead.

    In just three months, over 6 million consumers now have health insurance (or good health insurance) that they did not have before. The total does not include young people under 26 who were able to stay on their parent’s health insurance.

    If some Republican governors would wise up and accept Medicaid expansion for their states, we’d have even more.

    How much coverage do you think the “over 6 million” will get on Fox News?

  246. carlie says

    Azkyroth – I wish I could say something to make you feel more secure, but I know the only thing that can accomplish that is continued monitoring that actually keeps things safe. I’ll do my best, for my part.

    One person has drawn some parallels between autism and the Frozen movie. It seems to be stretching the similarities a bit from my perspective, but then mine isn’t the important one. (there be spoilers there)

  247. vaiyt says

    The little one is breathing well, but it seems he drowned because he hit his head when he fell, so he’s now got a blood clot.

    The main problem now is getting him to a properly equipped hospital. Thank you all for the support.

  248. says

    More classy moves from far-right Republicans:

    Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) tweeted a photo Monday of what he called ‘the best gun lubricant around.’ Stockman, who’s running against incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) next year, tweeted a photo showing a can labeled ‘liberal tears’ spraying a gun.

    Hey, Stockman, that is some really lousy artwork you have there. “The right to bear arms is granted by God …” — Steve Stockman

  249. says

    My sister’s dog isn’t usually allowed to half of our parent’s house, but new year is an exception. She (the dog, not my sister) gets so anxious over the fireworks we let her hang around, and she came to the sauna with us. All the way to the top bench, at around 80 °C.

    My cat also likes to doze off in the sauna where it’s peaceful most of the time, but she usually won’t stay on the benches when it’s being heated. On the floor it’s much nicer with that much fur.

  250. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) tweeted a photo Monday of what he called ‘the best gun lubricant around.’ Stockman, who’s running against incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) next year, tweeted a photo showing a can labeled ‘liberal tears’ spraying a gun.

    ….actually, if we could get them to do that it’d be an improvement, tears being saline and all…

  251. says

    Is it just me, or has the quality of professional editing been going down of late? I’m finding ridiculous numbers of uncorrected typos, incorrect homophones, and incorrect usages in newer novels that I’ve been reading, and just recently about half of two sentences was missing entirely. The problem seems to mostly be about 10-15 years old, but I swear it’s getting worse the newer the books are (That said, cheap pulp books much older than that have similar problems, but I’m talking about brand-new hardcovers and trade paperbacks from major publishers here).

  252. says

    Constantly, Dalillama. All the time.

    Particularly in the homophone area. Their really bad at that, your right they’re.

    I blame it on spellcheck. People don’t learn how to spell anymore, because there’s spellcheck. So if they don’t recognize a given word themselves, how do they know whether spellcheck’s not doing them wrong?

    *shakes actual cane*

  253. cicely says

    Azkyroth, if I have inadvertently added to this tacit approval of which you speak, I apologize. I certainly have not advertently done so…but sometimes, there are interchanges of which I can make nothing, and at those times, I sit mute. And confused
    Apologies also to anyone else I may have similarly inadvertently offended and/or hurt.

    Lynna, they should be sued until they have no asses to call their own!

    *hugs* for vaiyt. I hope the young’un is okay….

    Denethor turned into a raving loony, Faramir’s entire personality completely re-written….
    I’m a Reform, rather than an Orthodox, Tolkienite, but those stuck in my craw, with great fierceness.

    JAL, there is no argument—Horses are Evil!
    Unfortunately, I can’t read the text at your link because of some Final Fantasy XIV ad-thing plastered over top.

  254. says

    CaitieCat #853
    Well, yes, but I thought that was why you have a fucking editor to begin with, innit? The whole point is for someone else to go over it and catch the stuff you missed, right?

  255. says

    DLSG, LOL, I meant the editors.

    Seriously. This is what I do. You wouldn’t believe the things I see. Some of them on previously-edited documents. I’ve met editors who seriously use things like the AutoCorrect function in Word, or use GrammarCheck and think they’re finished when they make all the wiggly green lines go away.

  256. vaiyt says

    Denethor turned into a raving loony, Faramir’s entire personality completely re-written….

    Saruman made to be Sauron’s stooge, The Voice of Saruman axed away (it’s my favorite chapter from the books ): ), Legolas becoming Super The Ninja Elf (with his silly sidekick Gimli Shortybeard) also known as Why Didn’t They Leave The Hobbits With Him Instead of Boromir….

  257. chigau (違う) says

    re: editing
    I long time ago, in the office I worked in in which I worked, MiddleManagement and up got desk-top computers at the same time as the secretarial staff.
    This led the Bosses to believe that they could just type their own letters and the secretaries would print them and mail them.
    This led to tense discussions about proof-reading, editing, “do as your (sic) told”, etc.
    This led to a letter sent to the mother of a potential volunteer that her son need to wear a “long sleeved shit”.

    There was also the classic joke:
    How can you tell if Mr. Boss has been using the word processor?
    There’s wite-out on the monitor screen.

  258. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Question of the night:

    How does one fuck a salad? People keep talking about “fucking salads” and this seems at once uncomfortable and unhygienic.

  259. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Maybe “salad” is meant metaphorically? I could see how someone could fuck various salad ingredients (cucumbers come immediately to mind), but I’ve never once looked at a head of lettuce and said, “Ooooh yeah I want that.”

  260. Crudely Wrott says

    As the old year fades I’m soaring on the strains of “Blue Danube” courtesy of the 24 Hour Classical station here in North Carolina.

    The magic hour is about eight minutes in the future.

    Oh! Waltzing! Oh! Strauss! Oh, joy, oh, Horde.

    To all, mountains of love and gratitude and encouragement and sympathies and empathy.

    Happy New Year.

    See you then.

  261. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says


    People are talking about “fucking salads.”

  262. cicely says

    I’m guessing that you start the meal with fucking salads, then end it with fucking apple pie.

  263. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    That sounds like a yeast infection waiting to happen.

    But then, I know someone (*cough cough*) who inserted Sour Patch Babies.

  264. Crudely Wrott says

    People are talking about “fucking salads.”

    Well, ahem, it wasn’t a salad but I did fuck a dish* one time. *blushes, but proudly!*

    She and I were quite an item there for a while. I heard from her a while back; she’s happily married to a guy I never met and they got kidz.

    And I wonder if she
    Ever tells him of me
    I wonder
    Who’s kissing
    Her now

    *just in case: dish used to mean a pretty young member of the opposite sex

  265. Crudely Wrott says

    perhaps a comma between pretty and young so as to avoid, well, you know . . .

    Honest! She was just as young as I was! I swear!

    *retreats, mumbling about ambiguity and grumble*

  266. Crudely Wrott says

    We were both pretty young members of opposite sex!

    Well, she was prettier than I was but then, I was more handsome.

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

    I’ve heard of “tossing salad” as a thing.

    I can’t remember what thing it was, but I’m inclined to believe it had to do with masturbation and not partner sex.

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


    Okay, I looked it up, and it appears it is about partner sex: rimming someone while manually stimulating their genitals for them. Now that I have that, I vaguely remember that it is specifically a term about rimming/stimulating a partner with male genitals.

    Which is all fine and doesn’t make me say “Ugh.” No, it was the crap on urban dictionary giving usage suggestions that makes me say, “Ugh,” because I can’t tear the internet down with my bare hands.

  269. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    vaiyt – *hugs* I’m glad the child has weathered the experience relatively unscathed.

    Happy New Year, Everyone!

  270. Crudely Wrott says

    Just got back from delivering elder man cub and his BFF to BFF’s house. Stayover. Bein cool. We’ve all done that. Was glad to do so, was glad to be asked. (While I’ve been sippin some brewskies tonight I know how to pace myself to be under illegal BAC. Long experience; don’t ask.)

    Anywho, BFF seems to think that I am some kind of scientist or egghead or walking talking encyclopedia (thanks, Jiminy!) and so launched into a wickedly misaligned sophistry of questions that included Einstein’s IQ, jury decisions and, ah, where exactly his house was.

    Now, I know exactly where his, or, his parents’ house is and so the destination was never in doubt. What became the comic focus was that when he got into the back seat of V’Ger, through the enigmatic SSD (Sliding Side Door), he couldn’t close it. Oh, he got the door to meet the jamb but couldn’t make it latch.

    So I sez: “Try to close it with conviction. Don’t slam it but close it firmly and follow through”. He tried again. Still, the little light on the instrument cluster, and my ear, indicated that the door was not closed. So I sez: “Again, with feeling, and follow through like you were throwing a long down-court pass”. Fail again.

    We went through this four times and then the door finally latched and I sez: “Did you get the feel of it?”. He sez: “How did you get to be so smart?”. I sez: “I’m not that smart, I just know a lot more than you do because I’ve lived a lot longer than you have. You might be lots smarter than I am but you don’t know all the things that I do”.

    There was a pause. Then he sez: “How old are you?” to which I answered, “Over three times your age, almost four times”. Another pause. “So, you’re not a scientist?” I answered, “No. But I know how they think and what they do with what they know”. Long silence till I pulled into his folks’ driveway.

    It took him three tries to close the sliding door!
    Oh! how I love these guys!

    So, on the way back to my house I got to thinking . . .

    I’m thinking of suggesting something like a weekly round table discussion, open floor, rules of debate enforced, humor and satire encouraged. Haven’t breached the idea yet but it might be something of lasting value and a maker of long memory and tall tales.

    Have any of you ever done such a thing? I think that the ground rules are simple if not self evident. I already have the role of “teacher” by virtue of age and respect. (In fact, I suspect that there is some nascent mythology afoot but I wouldn’t be the first to be the object of such. All in a life’s work, I suppose.) We could gather and sup and sip and speak of many things, each in turn holding forth. The first rule would be that while one speaks others hold and listen, considering their replies until it is their turn. A hard thing, I’ve found, in this day of (holds nose) instant messaging.

    I’m waxing wistful here, I admit. Still, I would like to repay those fine old men who once included me in their swapping of tales and talents back in the day. I inherited these notions from them and some of the finer points of conversation and debate come from campfire BS sessions and the things that were said in the times between strikes while standing knee deep in cold waters in pursuit of the wily trouts.

    I just want to give back what was given to me.

    If any of you have had the opportunity to do such things in the fulfillment of your years I would be grateful for your advice and admonishment.

    btw, these fine young fellows are each fifteen whole years old. Fifteen, count ’em, fifteen. Oh, my.


  271. Crudely Wrott says


    Over three times your age, almost four times

    add one to each number.
    Like I can’t add, eh?

  272. Crudely Wrott says

    Well, I have not only added, I have multiplied!

    *chortles and waves a greeting to all who have grand whelps and are wondering what to do with, I mean, for them*

  273. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Hello Everyone :D

    And Happy New Year to those to care. (personally, I’m all “mehhhhhhh” because it’s just another year stuck in the same shithole.)

    Little One has fully recovered finally and accidentally got to ring in the new year already – her sleep schedule being so off because of her cold. We did nothing and she doesn’t really even care, lol. With my “spring” cleaning I found a laser pointer (where/how the fuck we got that, I dunno) and now she is gleefully running around playing with all the kittens.

    Q: At what point to they become cats? A year? They are awfully close to that, in a couple of months, I think.

    Aaaand Little One just got to witness the first coughing up of a hairball. She’s sweet, and worried by the sound of course, but picking the kitten up asking if I can do the Heimlich on her is not exactly helpful…

    There’s something else, rather random now, that I’ve been meaning to tell y’all. She’s never believed in Santa (fuck all that shaming the poor shit) and she’s been quite fine with it. (Telling her that she had to keep that fact quiet, especially at school, fucking sucked. They had a “Santa” on campus for the last day of school.)

    But there is one thing she clings to irrationally – The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Because, according to her, they are too awesome not to exist. So going to New York is one of her Big Plans so she can meet them. Whenever she brings it up and defends her belief with full stomping of feet and pouting, it always makes me smile.


    Update: Mother’s Soon-To-Be-Divored-Ex has been hospitalized. He went to see his case managers and fucking lost it. Screaming, destroying of property and then assaulting people. Cops were called, the case workers listened too (because hey, they aren’t the Lying Sluts like Mom, even though she couldn’t get out of bed because of him and the house was clearly destroyed*) and shit got done. There’s more court dates and we’re not sure at all how it’ll play out with him. Mom has such been free to visit and we haven’t seen/heard from my Ex recently either.

    *Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they were listened to, just fucking bitter that my mother, for no reason besides Patriarchy, wasn’t.

  274. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    And now, she’s spelling out “LAME” with the laser on the ceiling and assigning family members to the letters.

    Apparently I’m the “L” because everything lame starts with me.

    When did she become a teenager?!?

    We built a rocket ship and a boat, watched Equestria Girls like 5 times, played ponies and cleaned today (she actually likes and asks to clean the toilet and walls…) – WHERE is all her energy?!?


    Off to entertain the Energy Monster…

  275. Crudely Wrott says

    It only takes one asshole to sink a ship on calm seas, JAL.
    I know–got one on the line now. Son In Law . . .

    While he is larger and younger and stronger, he is not meaner. I’ve lived twice as long as he and I’m twice as mean. He suspects as much when I look him in his eyes.

    Be steadfast and stand your ground. More lives than just yours are balanced on the blade of history . . . as are mine and my loved ones.

    May this new year bring relief and comfort to you and yours. And some kitties and some hugs and some rich, dark chocolate. And a renewed sense of your own personal power and authority.

    *maximum hugs for you and those who depend on you*

  276. Nick Gotts says

    A happy 2014 to all denizens of the Lounge!

    I’m threadrupt, so until I (maybe) catch up on the current thread, will just say commiserations/congratulations as appropriate to all who would like them.

  277. blf says

    I still haven’t found the mildly deranged penguin after last night’s adventures. I been able to follow parts of her trail (a few feathers here and there, a sunken yacht, the Giant Squid on top of the church belltower screaming “not the penguin again!”, and so on), but don’t have much of an idea where she got to.

    An orbit ago, finding her was much easier. I could hear her kilometres away, screaming “I’ll teach the BBC how penguins really fly!”, followed by a THUMP! or a SPLASH! Frooooomnph!! She was bungee-jumping off one of the masts of a yacht here in the harbour. Extra cheese for picking an actual wooden sailing yacht instead of one of those motorised millionaire’s monstrosities, but… The mast was twenty or so metres high. She was using a hundred or so metres of bungee cord. THUMP! went the penguin landing at speed on the deck, or SPASH! Frooooomnph!! if she missed and hit first the water then the muddy bottom.

    A rather bemused police officer was watching. He was just warning people to keep their cheese secured since there was a vertically incoming penguin in the area.

    But no idea where she is this orbit’s start.

    I can confirm the orbit started Ok. There was a definite bump at the right time, as the French got their unique mechanical orbit changer to actually shift into the new calendar on time. Must of the rest of the world these days uses an electronic orbit changer, except for the British, who insist on sticking with that steam-powered hydraulic contraption. (It sprung another leak so the British are still stuck in the past, out-of-sync with the rest of Europe.)

    Anyone seen a cheese-seeking penguin?

  278. says

    Good morning and Happy New Year
    We had my 2 BFFs plus the one husband over (as usually).
    Dinner was Spanish:
    Salchichón, Chorizo, Jamón and pickled peppers as starters, Paella that claimed to be a rice-based dish with the same legitimacy as chess claims to be a sport for main course. Crema Catalana with marinated oranges for dessert. Let me tell you about the oranges: A week ago I made a syrup of sugar, water, cinamon, cardamom, coriander, cloves and anisseed and then added about 4 parts of 7 year old Cuban rum. Then I drowned the orange filets in this and ignored everything until last night.
    The left-over rum-syrup mixture was a gorgeous basis for an aperitiv.

    Serious big hugs. Hope the kid is allright.

  279. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Got the Redhead up, washed, dressed and ready in time for her to watch the Rose Parade coverage. About the only show she thinks HDTV is worth it. I’ll make her breakfast shortly, waffles with peaches and whipped cream, sausage, coffee, and a mimosa. That is her traditional New Years breakfast.

    Yesterday we got most of the freezer contents triaged and stuff we kept back in. Still have one shelf to do, as my back got tired. Which felt fine this morning until I was washing/dressing her.

  280. rq says

    Best Wishes and *hugs* to everyone (esp. vaiyt and the Child, and one for Azkyroth, and one for… ah heck, anyone who wants one!!). I’m back and connected, and I know it was only like two days, but I missed you all.
    I got to start the New Year off knowing that, yes, there are some people for whom I will never be Good Enough.
    See? Nothing especially wonderful ever happens to me on this evening. If I can survive it without crying at all, that’s a win in my book. Arbitrarily selected dates kind of suck.
    [disproof of above statement] But the kitten (two months) was adorable and I walked around most of yesterday afternoon with her in my pocket. Eee! Then she played with the kids and their Hot Wheels and everyone squealed about little teeth and claws getting everywhere. [/disproof]


    I hate to disappoint your Little One, but my boys are convinced that the TMNT do, in fact, live in the sewer system of our hometown, which is nowhere near (not even the same latitude!) as NYC. Now someone has to get photographic proof, to settle this argument… ;) Good luck with the Energetic Monster!!

  281. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    JAL, re: kittens,

    Female kittens hit puberty around 6 months of age and can start having litters immediately.

    So there’s that.

  282. ledasmom says

    vaiyt: How absolutely terrifying. Hugs if you want ’em.

    I’m an aunt! Ruby, 5 pounds 10 ounces, and Marly, 6 pounds 14, arrived yesterday just before 7 pm to my sister-in-law and my brother.. Everybody is doing fine so far.

  283. rq says

    Congratulations ledasmom (and the Happy Parents too, of course!!). Here’s to the continued health and happiness of your new relatives!

  284. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    JAL, re: kittens,

    Female kittens hit puberty around 6 months of age and can start having litters immediately.

    So there’s that.

    o.0 Thank fuck they are all fixed already. I mean, I knew we could get them fixed early (Well, 4 months seems early anyways) but I didn’t realize it was necessary for them to be fixed so early. And considering Scrappy (my new nick for Little One’s small, scavenging and escaping kitten) has gotten out several times, I am extremely grateful we got the help to get them fixed.



    I hate to disappoint your Little One, but my boys are convinced that the TMNT do, in fact, live in the sewer system of our hometown, which is nowhere near (not even the same latitude!) as NYC. Now someone has to get photographic proof, to settle this argument… ;) Good luck with the Energetic Monster!!

    LOL! Teh Cuteness :DD

  285. rq says

    carlie @845
    re: Frozen
    I have now heard enough positive reviews (including one from my cousin, who is the same sort of independent-minded-sexually-liberated-escaping-from-religion-feminist-die-hard that I am) to take the kids to see this movie. And myself, of course.
    And this review hasn’t ruined anything for me, except possibly solidified my own greater affinity with the Other Sister of the movie (I was called the Ice Queen in high school…). Thanks for the link!

  286. Bicarbonate says

    yes, Chigau. I’m waiting for the new lounge before saying Happy New Year to everyone so it doesn’t get lost.

  287. rq says

    Not as unusually sized as some Lounge threads, though it has been a while since one has reached these proportions.