[Lounge #446]


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

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. says

    Yay! :)

    May the coming orbit around the giver of all life bring each of you happiness, health, and prosperity, my friends. I feel very lucky to have found such a great community of bright, caring people. You help. All the frakking time, you help.

    Thank you.

  2. carlie says

    rq – I hope you like it! Almost all of the main characters are Broadway trained, so there are a LOT of musical numbers, all big and belty.

  3. rq says

    I like big and belty songs like that. :) All the better to sing with them later! At the top of my lungs! Off-key! While washing dishes/folding laundry! Best.

    Speaking of movies I like, I recently (last week) went to see Hunger Games 2 with Husband, and I loved it. Most people say the second book (which the movie follows surprisingly faithfully) was slow and boring, but I loved it almost the best of all of them – and same with the movie. I loved it (for many reasons if anyone wants to discuss) but Husband thought it was kind of slow and lacking in action.
    Which is kind of the point, if you want a (reasonably) realistic set-up for Part III.
    [possible spoilers]
    My favourite bit was how the love triangle didn’t overshadow the story, and that none of the guys involved went around threatening each other with the lines ‘She is mine!!!’ (or similar), they kind of left the difficult decision to the heroine herself.
    And I freely admit that the very beginning, where they go on tour and they do the first speeches of apology and remorse, I actually cried. Then again, when the music is dramatic enough, this isn’t all so surprising. Just usually doesn’t happen at the beginning of the movie.

  4. thewhollynone says

    Here’s hoping that today’s unusually high tide brings in the redfish!
    Here’s hoping that I can time the withdrawal of funds from my stock market account at the peak of their performance.
    Here’s hoping that the Common Core science standards scare the pants off the fundamentalist Christians.
    Here’s hoping that the 2014 elections trend toward more rational candidates.
    Here’s hoping that all Mississippians lose 10% of their body fat over the coming year– me included.
    Here’s hoping that the guy running the goat farm makes a go of that business.
    Here’s hoping that the rabbits don’t get my spinach crop.
    Here’s hoping that my grandsons prosper in their pursuits of constructive engineering.
    Here’s hoping that the new public library keeps luring more and more customers and that some of them check out books from the science section.
    Here’s hoping that I make it until December 2014 still cancer-free and walking without the cane.
    Here’s hoping that everyone reading this has good luck, too. and that they work hard to take advantage of it.

  5. says

    Bad news — nurtured by Catholics, temporarily propped up by the Supreme Court:

    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a last-ditch plea from Catholic groups Tuesday night to block a birth control mandate in the new health care law for religious organizations, just hours before it was to have gone into effect.

    Sotomayor issued the stay at the request of an order of Catholic nuns in Colorado, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. They are part of a larger effort by Catholic-affiliated groups from around the nation to halt provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require companies — regardless of religious beliefs — to provide contraceptives to their employees.

    The groups want the mandate halted while the court considers a legal challenge, brought by the for-profit company Hobby Lobby, arguing that the requirement violates their religious liberties.[…]

    Still not getting the difference between having the right to refuse birth control yourself, but not having the right to keep birth control out of the hands of others.

  6. says

    The links and comment below are provided by ex-mormon “forestial.”





    “Heartsell” advertisements designed to pressure young pregnant girls to let LDS, Inc. traffic their baby.[…]

    Previous discussion of LDS Social Services and unethical adoption practices in recent Lounge thread.

  7. says

    Can someone explain to me why it is that automated computer systems get holidays? My UI benefits are regularly delayed by some holiday or another, despite the system being (AFAICT) entirely computerised (and if it’s not, it should be). The SNAP system doesn’t do this, what the hell is the deal?

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Quiet day here at Casa la Pelirroja. The Redhead is ODing on Rose Parade coverage, I’ve cleared the snow to date, but more is on the way, enough to make me take the rest of the week off (one of the advantages of being the old fart at my company–lots of grandfathered vacation time). Like in Dah Yoo Pee, the snow is silent as it piles up….

  9. awakeinmo says

    I don’t much go in for “New Year” stuff. But today is special because it’s my dog’s 16th birthday!
    So we’ll just extend birthday-type greetings of another year of happy life to all.

    Also, am I the only one who thinks the “new year” sunglasses are really really stupid if there’s not two zeroes?

  10. Bicarbonate says

    Hello and
    happy happy whatever
    you do or don’t celebrate
    today to everyone.

    My sympathies to all people living in cold snowy places.

    On the 8th of January I will be going into the hospital for a month or two to have certain body parts replaced. So, I won’t be around for a while and will miss you all.

    By the way and re. the “So I invented a new law” thread and the rebuttal of Libertarian views on many things including health care, my hospitalization has been made possible by socialized medicine where I live. I hope someday every one has access to the health care they need.


    Crudely Wrott, I wrote some Lounge threads back about having shown your spider and mourning post to a friend with impeccable taste in writing. No, she is not an editor or anything like that, just a private citizen like you and I. But I do hope to resume this conversation come February or March.

    Caine I wish you joy in your art projects and that your computer holds up, Tony I hope you fall in love with someone who wants to be with you for a long long time, Caitiecat I want your pain to go away and I hope someone commissions you some really rewarding and interesting and steady work, Crip Dyke am so looking forward to reading you again, where are you? Nerd of Redhead I wish you long hours of peaceful slumber and rest.

  11. Crudely Wrott says

    Hello, Aithch see oh three! I’m glad to hear from you with reference to your sharing my writing. Thank you for doing so. Perhaps in the future it will be shared more and perhaps it will improve and more nearly approach what I really mean to say.

    So, you are going to have parts replaced and it will take a few weeks? Will you return to us then as a bionic one? Endowed with powers mere mortals can only dream of? Or will you return as yourself able to be more easily a mere mortal? In either case, take my best wishes with you and know that I eagerly await your fully functional return.

    You might be interested to know that I got a peek at the good mother spider yesterday. I found a peep-hole that I’d missed before and for a moment, just a brief moment, mind you, I looked in. She is well, mobile and . . . she has an egg case!

    She had one earlier but it disappeared. I don’t know why. In any case, I’m trying to keep her little world’s humidity and temperature within the bounds that she might reasonably experience were she in the wider world. This in hope that what would happen naturally will happen now, under imposed conditions.

    This playing god thing is a bit touchy, you know — small things, small changes have a way of precipitating long range repercusions. For her sake, and for the sake of her potential progeny, I hope that I’m being a good god.

    Truth is, I’m a bit uneasy in the role. Imposing my conditions and, indeed, my ignorance upon another living being among other improprieties takes a delicate touch; a touch I’m not certain is under responsible control on my part. It’s just that my curiosity impels me. I just want to see. I want to watch. I want to feel part of the life of a strange and different creature. Is that so bad?

    Having said as much, I cannot help but entertain the notion that other gods might have reflected similarly and have experienced similar concerns. If so, it’s a pity that they have not informed us of how they managed. In explicit terms, that is.
    Anyhow, happy repetitive orbital recognition to you and may your doctors and nurses and orderlies all be right up to snuff!

  12. says


    On the 8th of January I will be going into the hospital for a month or two to have certain body parts replaced. So, I won’t be around for a while and will miss you all.

    Best wishes for a swift recovery.

    Tony I hope you fall in love with someone who wants to be with you for a long long time

    That’s very sweet of you to say. Thank you.

  13. David Marjanović says

    *dishes out hugs and chocolate-covered Newtonmas cookies to all and sundry*

    Is it just me, or has the quality of professional editing been going down of late?

    Many scientific journals aren’t copyedited at all anymore. This goes all the way up to Nature, which published a “tuberocity” in 2001 and has never looked back.

    Where it still happens, it’s known to introduce errors, sometimes even after the authors have sent the corrected proofs back. There are a few cases I’m very grumpy about; none of them happened to me.

  14. says

    Gay teen comes out of the closet. His mother writes supportive letter in response:


    I was surprised by your facebook post where you came out. I want you to know that I love you unconditionally. I love you with my actions, not just my words. I’m so proud of you. You are the bravest person I know. I’ll fight for you always. Your sexual orientation does not define you. You are still the boy who forever won my heart. The only thing that concerns me is the number of empty soda cups and tea bottles in your room. Throw them away before ants come inside.

    I love you always-


    A father supports his gay son after overhearing a conversation.

  15. says

    Attempted arson at a gay club shortly after New Years:

    SEATTLE — Police are searching for an attempted arsonist who allegedly poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway leading to the second level of Neighbours Nightclub and trying to set it on fire.

    Seattle police said an attempted arsonist poured the gas in the stairway just after midnight New Year’s Day. The arsonist lit the gas and left, police said.

    Luckily, the fire was quickly discovered and put out with a fire extinguisher. Someone in the club also pulled the fire alarm, causing sprinklers to activate and dousing the flames

  16. says

    Bicarbonate, thanks for the good wishes. All the best to you in your medical matters, hope it all goes smoothly and your stay is short.

    Just gotta say, after a quick skim, editors aren’t responsible for proofing. Wage slaves known as proofreaders are, and some are good, some aren’t. A good proofer reads for spelling, grammar, and content. I expect certain publishing houses think proofreaders aren’t terribly important anymore.

  17. opposablethumbs says

    Bicarbonate, very best wishes for your hospital sojourn from the 8th – I hope it is so uneventful that the only annoyance is a little tedium, and that all your new parts are sniny and wonderful.

  18. says

    Hey, accommodationists! More from the pope. Think of all the possibilities!

    The Pope is “shocked” by Malta’s Civil Unions Bill, which will allow gay couples to adopt children, Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna has told The Sunday Times of Malta.
    Defending his decision to use his Christmas homily to reiterate that a family had to be built around a man and a woman, Mgr Scicluna said he had aired these concerns with Pope Francis when he met him on December 12


  19. says

    ::somewhere a queer shoop blinks, in disbelief::
    (A&E’s reinstatement of Phil Robertson)

    “We knew we had a great partnership with the family,” said an A&E executive, speaking on condition of anonymity because the channel and the family had agreed not to say anything publicly aside from Friday’s statements.

    Talks between the two sides took place on Christmas Eve, paused on Christmas, and resumed on Thursday, leading to Friday’s announcement.

    While some observers accused A&E of backing down, some of the advocacy groups that were originally dismayed by Robertson’s remarks on homosexuality begged to differ.

    “It’s not really a reversal,” Fred Sainz, a representative of the Human Rights Campaign, told CNN’s Brianna Keilar in a telephone interview on Friday. “We think it’s actually a positive outcome, and we want to thank A&E for their attentiveness and collaboration over the course of the last few weeks.”


    Mr Sainz, I’m sorry but you’re wrong. This is not a good thing.

  20. says

    HRC is the worst frakking suckup/master’s tool users’ organization. I hate them. They will do anything to keep their noses firmly pressed against the butthole of conformity, aching to be let into the festering colon that is their promised land: suburbia and the country club. Fucking class traitors, among other things.

  21. cicely says

    Congrats, ledasmom!

    *hugs* for everyone!—to start the New Year on a positive note.

    Bicarbonate, best wishes for you as you part company with your Selected Body Parts, and for your safe and speedy recovery after the blighters have gone.

  22. says

    Caine #23

    I expect certain publishing houses think proofreaders aren’t terribly important anymore.

    This would certainly appear to be the case, as based on the evidence quite a number of them don’t appear to employ any anymore. My complaint above remains, though: It’s something that ought to be done, that at least some people are being paid to do, and that I would be quite good at, but nevertheless I remain unemployed in any field.

    Fuck A&E, and fuck that asshole from HRC too. Not to mention, it’s not just the homophobic remarks; ol’ Phil said some pretty fucking racist stuff in the same interveiw, which doesn’t seem to be getting nearly the press for some reason (hmmm… I wonder why), not to mention the stuff later on about marrying 15-year-old girls.

  23. says

    I agree with you completely.

    [more of Phil’s disgusting racism]

    The controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has focused mainly on his comments about homosexuality and bestiality, and to a lesser degree, his assertion that black people in the Jim Crow South were happier, but in the GQ interview that started it all, Robertson also equated Muslims with Nazis. Like his other controversial statements, this is nothing new for Robertson, who explained to an Arkansas congregation, in 2008, what would “do in the Muslims,” as well as “the Chinese,” and that Muslims are “famous for murder.”

    In the middle of his speech before the Hillsboro Church of Christ in El Dorado, AR, Robertson asked “What will do the Muslims (pronounced “Moose-limbs”) in?”

    Brandishing his Bible, Robertson answered “Violations of the law, that’s what’ll do ‘em in.”

    “What will do the Chinese in, if they don’t turn to Jesus?” Robertson asked, then answered “One violation.”


  24. says

    Are the claims of 5 Hour Energy false advertising?


    The Oregon Department of Justice filed a motion demanding the makers of 5-Hour Energy provide unredacted data to back its advertising claims.

    Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s health fraud unit wants evidence that 73 percent of doctors recommend 5-Hour Energy, that people who consume it don’t experience a “crash,” and that the product is safe for teenagers.

    In April, the unit asked Innovation Ventures, LLC and Living Essentials, LLC, to provide the documentation on which these claims rest. The manufacturers fought the order in June, insisting that it could not cooperate with the state’s investigation into false advertising without revealing trade secrets.

    (btw, they taste awful)

  25. says

    MJ: Do you think there’s a double-standard for female athletes?
    “I grew up thinking I could have the same attitude on the field that my dad did. When I did that in real life, people thought I was a total bi-atch.”

    KU: There is a double-standard between men and women. My father was a major league baseball player, and I grew up thinking I could have the same attitude on the field that he did. When I did that in real life, people thought I was a total bi-atch. [Laughs.] You know, because women are held to a different standard.

    But there’s a reason for that. Because we are mothers, we are seen in a different light, we have a different role in society. You can’t pretend that you’re a man. Accept that you’re a woman. And work it! There are certain benefits we get being women—and we deserve them! But at the same time, don’t take advantage of them. You have to walk the line and show that you have self-worth. If you lose yourself, then no one’s going to respect or pay attention to anything you have.

    But if you can show you’re a strong, beautiful woman, and that you know what you want and what you’re doing—and even at times that you don’t, but you’re willing to accept the fact that you need to learn—that’s what’s going to make a difference for that woman in the world.

    Katie Uhlaender supports rigid gender roles.
    Also, why is beauty such an important characteristic for women to have?

    Oh, then there’s this:

    MJ: Speaking of injuries, what sort of insurance do you have?

    KU: USOC’s Elite Athlete health insurance. Otherwise I would go out and get a job and buy some. Which is what everybody should do. [Pauses.] I think we should change the topic. Because I know that Mother Jones is very, very liberal, and I’m very, very not. [Laughs.] I’m just going to be honest.

    Oh, because there’s a plethora of jobs and its incredibly easy to get one.
    One that pays the bills, including various types of insurance and allows you to tuck some away in savings. Yeah, those are easy to find.

  26. Crudely Wrott says

    Hehya, Tony!!
    Sweet wishes to you.

    Portia. Long may you run. Looks like you are a long runner, slipping through the threats of good service. (emoticon thingy that looks like a thumbs up)

    Hekuni Cat, I covet your sweet regard and return such regard to the sweetness index that suits you. :)

    For David M @755. with regard to heat shaped bottoms, Taj Mahal has a song that you can make of what you will.

  27. says

    The ‘new law’ thread has taken an odd turn. The delusions of libertarianism has taken a backseat to Dear Muslima in ~400 comments.

    Bicarbonate and Caine are amusingly injecting some humor over there too.

  28. Crudely Wrott says

    I have a hard time going there, Tony! @33.

    Because there are arguments already present and in process sufficient to occupy all my resources just now. The Horde will make a good showing of itself without my poor input.

    Hey, how about outfitting the Lounge with (dimly) colored lights that hover above each of the patrons that reflect their present, or changing, predilections or states of mind? Right now I would be accompanied and illuminated in shades of lavender, touched with grey.

  29. says

    I’m actually enjoying that thread a lot. I had no idea that what I thought was kind of a polite way of saying, “Hey, dude, you might have said something rude there,” would turn out to be revealing me as a cultural relativist, which as we all know is a hundred times worse than Stalin. LOL! I really didn’t realize EL was like a little volcano inside. :)

  30. Bicarbonate says

    We could put on some music like:

    Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
    Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
    Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
    Dance me to the end of love
    Dance me to the end of love
    Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
    Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
    Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
    Dance me to the end of love
    Dance me to the end of love

  31. ajb47 says

    Tony @19:

    The only thing that concerns me is the number of empty soda cups and tea bottles in your room. Throw them away before ants come inside.

    I love you always-

    Yeah, I admit that early on, late teens early twenties — I was ooked. In the way that anything outside of one’s normal experience ooks people out. It was my oldest friend’s statement of, “Yeah, he’s gay” at his sister’s wedding reception when I first realized I was being ridiculous. I love that guy (oldest friend) more than he will ever know.

    From there, I realized that I was not every gay male’s dream (shocking, I Know). Yes, that means I had the also ridiculous view that I would be hit on by gay men — because reasons. “Really? How many women have hit on you?” That was… sobering.

    I have two kids a girl and a boy, and I really am more interested in where they leave their Capri Sun pouches than who they are attracted to.

    Thank you for the Lounge where I can do this without regard to topic.

  32. says

    CaitieCat 35
    IME, people who make a big thing about the Enlightenment, or about being a Classical Liberal, are usually marginally, if at all, better than Libertarians in terms of understanding/caring about social justice, understanding of economics, and capacity to interpret history. They share with libertarians an obsession with centuries-dead European political theorists, ignoring the fact that sociology, economics, and political science have moved on a lot since then.

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


    Here’s hoping you lose the body fat you want to, and that nobody (Mississippian or otherwise) loses any they don’t want to or that they medically can’t spare.

    I know you mean to share good wishes, but not everyone wants to lose even 1% of their body fat.

  34. Bicarbonate says

    I’ve been up all fucking night moving furniture in my little apartment, putting beads away (I make jewellery) and waiting for CM to tell us why hedge funds are good for us.

    In one and a half hours three big guys are going to come and demolish — well put enormous holes — in the wall of my apartment that opens onto the street. Then they will put in new windows and window casings in the holes.

    That is why I have been moving the furniture.

    They will leave at 4:30 p.m. and then I’ll got to sleep.

  35. ekwhite says

    CaitieCat – you cultural relativist you. :)

    You know, I think when comparing the Haudenosopee confederation to enlightenment Europe, one culture is objectively superior – and it ain’t the Europeans.

    On one side, we had relative peace and stability, as well as a relatively egalitarian society. On the other side, we had constant war, the slave trade, genocide, and the oppression of women. Of course the telling superiority that the Europeans had was in weaponry.

    EL needs give us a book report on Eduardo Galeano’s “Memories of Fire” trilogy before he goes on about cultural relativity again.

  36. rq says

    Best wishes for your medical procedure, I hope the correct body parts take their leave and the resulting wounds heal quickly, leaving you happier and healthier. I will be *holding thumbs* for you! (And yay for socialized medicine!!!)


    Going to catch up on some threads now.

  37. blf says

    Can someone explain to me why it is that automated computer systems get holidays?

      ● No-one is around to empty the bit bucket.
      ● The small furry critters powering the treadwheels need a rest.
      ● The automatic payment was made, but since it is a holiday, the bank is “closed” so it won’t be credited to your account, instead held in the bank’s account, allowing the bank to earn an extra day’s worth of interest on the funds. (This one may actually be true, and is one reason that in some locales there are laws limiting the amount of time between payment and crediting.)
      ● The electrons are striking for higher wages.
      ● Peas.

  38. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Hapy New Year, all! How was your Yuletide?

    Damn, I have a lot of catching up to do.

  39. Crudely Wrott says

    How was Yuletide?
    Well, Thumper, it came in then it went out. I can explain that. Really, I can.
    Happy catching up!
    Didja hear the one about the constipated jitterbug?
    Yeah, he couldn’t jit.

  40. rq says

    chigau back @3

    It’s also a New Moon!

    Does this by any chance encumber this new year with a particular kind of magic?
    Just wondering whether now’s a good time to cut my hair or not…

  41. rq says

    Reading the libertarian thread (the one that’s a bit old by now). I’m amazed: I didn’t know that Australians (Australians!!!, who probably live on the least-forested continent of all) were tree people!! It’s true, and not racist at all! [/snark]

  42. rq says

    Crudely Wrott
    *deep breath*
    I would just like to say that ordinarily, I find your writing delightful and a treat to read, but I must confess that this comment of yours (previous thread, #880, in case the link isn’t accurate) made me deeply uncomfortable for two reasons:
    1) the objectification of women as equivalent to a ‘dish’ – a passive recipient of your sexual favours, which is not entirely in context with the surrounding discussion;
    2) the humorous boasting of a sexual conquest, even from the past, within the context of certain pervasive cultural norms that just reeks of frat-boy privilege.
    This, hopefully, will be read as a heads-up type of mild finger-shaking in order to maybe help you think of these things in future comments before typing them out. It is not meant to disparage your writing skills in toto.
    Because as for your fantastic poetry, carry on.

  43. Crudely Wrott says


    I hang my head in shame.

    I am sorry.

    I thought I could point out a failing of men by imitating a caricature of them, us. (also a little drunk and there is hell a-burning ’round these parts but neither provides sufficient cover)

    It came off badly because it was waaay misinformed.

    I will not do it again.

    I promise.

  44. bassmike says

    Hi to everyone. I hope you are all in wokring order. I’m kind of threadrupt, so I apologise to all those who have experienced significant events since I was last around. I will try and keep from now on!

    I’ll leave the left-over mince pies in in the corner if anyone wants any. They’re within their use-by date…honest!

  45. bassmike says

    blf I understand your problem. Allow me to re-phrase: I’ll leave the mince pies we were too full to consume in the corner.

  46. says


    The automatic payment was made, but since it is a holiday, the bank is “closed” so it won’t be credited to your account, instead held in the bank’s account, allowing the bank to earn an extra day’s worth of interest on the funds. (This one may actually be true, and is one reason that in some locales there are laws limiting the amount of time between payment and crediting.)

    This is quite probably the answer. For some asinine reason, all the payments are filtered through BoA, who are just the kind of assholes who’d pull that shit.

  47. blf says

    bassmike, I guess you don’t follow the mildly deranged penguin’s diet plan: Keep eating. Eventually all the food will be gone. Then you can start eating less.

  48. says

    Rand Paul reads a research paper by economist Rand Ghayad … and gets it wrong. Hey, not everybody with the first name “Rand” is a libertarian, Ayn Randian dunderhead. Emphasis in the quote is is from the original

    So why does [the senator] want to end unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for 6 months or longer? Well, Paul cites my work on long-term unemployment as a justification – which surprised me, because it implies **the opposite** of what he says it does.

    Now, we clearly have a long-term unemployment problem. The question is why. Paul says it’s all about incentives. He thinks extending unemployment benefits does a “disservice” to the unemployed by encouraging them to stay unemployed for too long. And as a “big-hearted” member of a party that cares about the jobless, he wants to protect them from making such mistakes – by cutting their benefits, of course.

    But Paul misreads my work to try to back up his argument.

    Ghayad’s piece in The Atlantic fleshes out the details nicely, but the bottom line remains the same: what Rand Paul considers proof that backs up his argument on the merits is actually evidence of how wrong he is. Ghayad added that good policy “requires more than a cursory or selective reading of the research.”[…]


  49. blf says

    Just wondering whether now’s a good time to cut my hair or not…

    If it is showing signs of developing a case of snakes, then you probably should consider hacking away at it. Unless, of course, you are going for the Medusa look.

    Two-handed broadswords work best, but don’t wait until you need a mirrored shield.

  50. David Marjanović says


    Now I get it! :-)

    Girlfriend and I have just celebrated our sixth month anniversary!

    Yay! *Jadehawk’s® Totally Biodegradable Confetti™*

  51. says

    This is a follow up to my comment at #6. That comment needs clarification.

    The decision applies only to the organizations in question and doesn’t affect the broader contraceptive coverage regulations in the Affordable Care Act, which have already gone into effect for millions of American women. But it may signal that the broader court is receptive to arguments that filling out a form for an employee to get birth control directly from an insurer is a substantial burden on religion.

    Many are no doubt familiar with the pending case involving Hobby Lobby, in which private business owners are claiming that corporations are people with religious beliefs, capable of spiritual objections to workers’ contraception access. While that case has already arrived at the Supreme Court, the news on New Year’s Eve is entirely separate – this is a different matter altogether.

    In fact, though both cases deal with birth control, they’re not even seeking the same remedy. In the Hobby Lobby controversy, there are private-sector enterprises trying to strike down the provision in the federal health care law related to contraception. In this other case, there are religious non-profit groups seeking an exemption from the law. […]


  52. Pteryxx says


    This is quite probably the answer. For some asinine reason, all the payments are filtered through BoA, who are just the kind of assholes who’d pull that shit.



    And yes, all the research I’ve been doing just now says that states routinely delay UI payments across the board due to bank holidays.

    Indiana: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120217/BLOGS01/120219514

    Oregon: http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/UI/pages/ui_benefit_faq.aspx

    I also see from New Jersey’s UI FAQ that all customer service regarding their debit cards has to go through BoA’s 1-800 number… not through the state and not even through walking into a BoA branch. The *state* page reads like ad copy directly written by BoA. Disgusting.


  53. says

    I hope you all started well
    Today was the good, the bad and the quite ordinary.
    According to plan #1 and the little one would return to their normal daycares today with school and college starting on Monday and me having 2 days to do me college stuff.
    Because instructors all think that hey, they have two weeks of free time, let’s give them assignments!
    Only that #1’s daycare was somehow closed. I guess that by 9am they concluded that nobody was coming and went home or something like that. But look and behold, ONE child is totally able to keep herself busy in the living room with cookies, TV and things to draw. (Two children are totally able to kill each other and wreck the house).

    Wishing you all the best!

    Since it was mentioned in the other thread:
    How bad on a scale from one to ten for cultural appropriation are dreamcatchers. Because the kids are very fond of them and would like to make some…

  54. rq says

    Crudely Wrott
    Thank you for the apology, and thank you for being so gracious about it.
    May I offer a cookie? And a hug?

    Also, a stack of *hugs* for those who have done such an amazing job of standing up for humanity in the libertarian thread. There’s Sophia and CaitieCat and JAL, and at least several more… I am proud to know you.

  55. Pteryxx says

    And re debit cards in general:


    2. Our Recommendation: Do Not Use Debit Cards

    Many consumers have asked our advice on what we consider the best or safest method for making payments. We encourage you to read this fact sheet and make that determination for yourself. Every person’s financial and personal situation is somewhat different However, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse recommends that consumers never use (or even carry) debit cards (also known as check cards) because of their risks and their limited consumer protections.

    By reading this fact sheet, you will understand how a lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised debit card can result in your bank account being wiped out by a thief, without using your PIN number. Even if you promptly report the loss to your bank, under federal law the bank can wait up to two weeks (or longer in certain cases) to restore the funds to your account. That could make you unable to pay your bills or withdraw cash at an ATM. And if you wait too long to report the loss, you may not be able to recover the stolen funds.

    Debit cards have limited consumer protections, so of course people should be forced to depend on them as a lifeline while being made customers of the biggest and worst banks by no choice of their own.

  56. says

    Let’s see whose updates I can remember, and I apologize for any I miss. I’m short on spoons for much scrollwork, and my short-term memory is one of the small sacrifices I make for having an appetite, and being able to ingest nutrients, and that sort of frivolity.

    I remember rq being back, and having had a sad or two. I should be able to start on that thing you asked me for tomorrow, hope that brings a little happy?

    And Bicarbonate is going in for an overhaul, including some aftermarket parts. I can only recommend going for brand names. For all that there are issues, great ones, with corporations, the large ones do generally at least provide Stuff That Works, anymore. Definitely, and forgive my cultural relativism, I mean definitely avoid any OEM equipment. I mean, you never know what the NSA might have done while the gear was in transit.

    More seriously, I hope it goes well, and that you recover quickly and well. I completely agree on USans having no idea how much stress they bear about medical bills, that most of those of us in the rest of the wesdems just don’t. I simply have never, in my life, worried about a medical bill, except when I have to visit the US. Which is why I could simply never live there. With my medical issues – and my need for pain relievers that happen to be among those that the US is freaking out about because of a relatively a few people choosing to abuse them instead of the more usual heroin, and my regular but careful use of a certain medicinal herb of enormous value to me, but the use of which in many states would lead to my spending the rest of my life as the slave “guest” of a right-wing corporation, or those of my friends who attempt to help me get my meds, ffs – with all that, plus the variously but constantly increasing police-state-y-ness of the place, I don’t even like to enter the country anymore.

    Which is crap, because one of my partners, she whom I consider my primary partner (the MyshkaMouse), lives there, and not just over the border, but more than 800km (500 Miles, which is why it’s our song da-da-daaa, da-da-daaa, da-da-da dun-daddle-a-da dun-daddle-a-da-daaaa) of driving through three states, after the nightmare of crossing under the hard, sunglassed eyes of the НКВД CBP. Hoping that I didn’t accidentally bring The Wrong Purse (the one that doesn’t cross the border, for reasons), or that no bit of medication fell out into an unknown pocket, or anything else that might get our car stolen, and both/all of us sent into the rights-free zone known as US border detention, where they can hold you incommunicado for three weeks without so much as a call to the consulate, let alone a lawyer. Bleah.

    Kevin, that’s wonderful! I can’t believe it’s been six months already. I remember you told us about the start, and those lovely and terrible collywobbles of “will it last a bit?”, and…just yay. I hope it continues as long as you both want it to, and is happy the whole time. :)

    Saw blf, Hekuni Cat, bassmike, carlie, Dallilama, Thumper, ekwhite (I agree completely about the Haudenosee v. European thing – I was honestly just surprised that that blew up, because I really did think I was speaking to Someone On Our Side Who Gets It, not someone who thinks that postmodernism is just like HITLER!!), Portia, David Marjanović (I found it, your diacritic! and now I won’t forget it again, either!), Serendipitydawg, blf, Esteleth, opposablethumbs, Caine, and of course last but never ever least, Crudely Wrott. :)

    Okay, I scrolled a little. But I’m pretty much cutlery-free, now, so forgive me if I can’t dig for the more specific responses. I borked my meds this morning, got the timing wrong (forgot to take my appetite stimulant in time to have food when one of them needs to be taken, missed the window), and thus won’t have a golden hour until my next med cycle. :(

  57. says

    Drug-testing welfare recipients turned out to be an expensive boondoggle that several Republican state governors instituted. So, the program was an epic fail. Now federal judges have ruled that it was also unconstitutional, at least in the case of Florida. So what is the Governor of Florida going to do? He is going to appeal, of course:


    In a scathing, 30-page decision, Scriven [U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven] says “there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied.” She went on to dismiss the arguments put forward by lawyers for the state, writing, “In sum, there simply is no competent evidence offered on this record of the sort of pervasive drug problem the State envisioned in the promulgation of this statute.”

    Despite the setback, Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, vowed to appeal Scriven’s ruling. ”Any illegal drug use in a family is harmful and even abusive to a child,” Scott said in a statement. “We should have a zero tolerance policy for illegal drug use in families — especially those families who struggle to make ends meet and need welfare assistance to provide for their children. We will continue to fight for Florida children who deserve to live in drug-free homes by appealing this judge’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals.”[…]

    Salon link.

  58. Pteryxx says

    via the PrivacyRights site I just linked to above:


    2013 Survey of Unemployment Compensation Prepaid Cards

    NCLC’s survey of 42 states’ unemployment compensation prepaid cards reveals that fees are down, but some states still refuse to offer or inhibit the choice of direct deposit. Giving recipients the choice of direct deposit to their own account before enrolling them in the prepaid card allows recipients to choose the fastest, most convenient, least costly method to receive benefits. Importantly, it is also the law.

    Full Report (PDF)
    Executive Summary (PDF)
    Direct Deposit Enrollment by State (PDF)
    National Overview of Usage and Fees (PDF)
    State-by-State Highlights Chart, Notable Fees, & Bank Issuer (PDF)
    Press release (PDF)
    2011 UC Prepaid Card Full Report (PDF)

    Media Highlight:
    “The price of unemployment debit cards” by Kristin Arnold (video interview with Lauren Saunders)

  59. rq says

    Impending stuff does make me smile. And I hope for a re-settlement of the med schedule on your part.

    re: hair and Medusa
    Well, it’s not so much snakes as it’s getting a bit long (in the teeth?) and scaly… Should I be worried?

  60. rq says

    Mr/Ms Inspector, when you write that request for a DNA analysis, you are allowed to, you know, address the evidence as a group, instead of creating a lengthy and detailed question for every fucking bajilion pieces of it. Please be to limiting yourself to questions maximum of two or maybe three. Because I’m not bitter about re-typing it all, no, not me. [/annoyed]

  61. Nutmeg says

    Interesting article on being a queer autistic woman: http://www.autostraddle.com/body-as-a-second-language-navigating-queer-girl-culture-on-the-autism-spectrum-204172/2/

    I would have liked something more in-depth, but I think it’s the first time autism has been mentioned on that website, so I’ll consider it a good start.

    (I’m presumably neurotypical, but socially awkward enough that I can relate to a lot of the experiences in that article. I’d be interested to hear the thoughts of those on the autism spectrum.)

  62. says

    Utah lawyers asking for stay against the recent ruling that allows gay marriage in the state have changed their tactics. But not by much.

    Utah made a subtle shift in its arguments in defense of opposite-sex marriage in a stay application to the U.S. Supreme Court filed Tuesday.
    Gone is any mention of procreation

    Instead, the state talks about child-rearing without discussing how children may be produced.[…]

    That research [“large and growing body of social science research”], it argues, backs “the importance of providing unique encouragement and protection for man-woman unions” because it shows children do best when raised by their father and mother (whether biological or adoptive) and limiting access to marriage to such unions increases that likelihood. […]

    In a footnote, the state says according to other Supreme Court decisions it has no burden to prove that “its views on marriage are correct or sound.” [What? Why the fuck not?]

    Rather, “the research discussed here briefly sketches what Utah and its citizens could rationally believe about the benefits of limiting marriage to man-woman unions,” it says.[…]


    From the reader comment section:

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that the State is using Regnerus for data on same-sex parenting. They used Lord Monckton as the “expert” for global warming and based their legislative policies on his biased data that 99%of the scientific community dismissed. They are doing the same thing with same-sex parenting data.
    I work with a guy who is a gay mormon, and as gay mormons tend to do, he married a woman. She knew when they got married that he “suffered from same-sex attraction” but they decided that they could work through it. So they now have four children and an empty marriage because even though they love each other, he isn’t attracted to her, and she isn’t attracted to him. They are getting divorced, because they’ve come to agree they both deserve better.

    These types of marriages, in my opinion, will always exist as long as the LDS Church disallows gay people from having gay relationships and remaining members in good standing.

  63. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, Mitt Romney category.

    […]That lawsuit is none other than racketeering charges leveled against one Willard “Mitt” Romney and his co-defendants in Haas v. Romney.

    Filed on October 18 in Los Angeles, CA, in an ironic twist of fate it was decided on November 6, the one-year anniversary of Romney’s loss to Barack Obama, that the lawsuit could go forward.

    eToys executive Steven “Laser” Haas and his company, Collateral Logistics, Inc., was the court appointed fiduciary charged with overseeing the liquidation of eToys. Haas filed the suit after discovering multiple frauds while in the process of liquidating the company. In his affidavit to the Securities and Exchange Commission dated August 3, 2012, Haas charges, among other things, that he was offered $850,00 by Bain Capital to keep quiet about irregularities he uncovered.[…]


  64. carlie says

    Watching a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old for the day, for a friend who’s moving. Came at 8:30, were supposed to be done between 2:30-3:30. At 4:30, called and said it would be another 2 hours more.

  65. blf says

    [I]t’s not so much snakes as [the “hair” is] getting a bit long (in the teeth?) and scaly… Should I be worried?

    It yer mouthparts are becoming hair-like, I suspect you are turning into an Ood.

  66. blf says

    At 4:30, called and said it would be another 2 hours more.

    Assuming yer suing the slow cooker, they should be nicely done by then. I suggest a fruity vin rouge, with penguin-proofed cheese to follow.

  67. dianne says

    Thought I had today when I realized the time: “I’ve been the world’s most useless piece of protoplasm today!” Followed immediately by, “Oh, don’t be so egotistical! Given all the protoplasm in the world, you probably can’t even claim the top 10.”

    Um, thanks, brain.

  68. blf says

    I’ve been the world’s most useless piece of protoplasm today!

    The award is in the mail. Congratulations!

  69. says

    Follow up to my comment #91: BTW, both Evergreen and North Star claim to be completely separate from, and not associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not true. Their own press release announcing the merger mentions the mormon church multiple times, including within this paragraph:

    Since its founding more than 20 years ago as a support organization for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Evergreen’s mission has always been similar to North Star’s in its desire to assist those who experience same-sex attraction and who desire to live in harmony with their spiritual and religious values. This move will create the largest single faith-based ministry organization for Latter- day Saints who experience same-sex attraction or gender identity incongruence and will also provide increased access to resources for Church leaders, parents, family and friends.

  70. David Marjanović says

    I found it, your diacritic! and now I won’t forget it again, either!


    Interesting article on being a queer autistic woman: http://www.autostraddle.com/body-as-a-second-language-navigating-queer-girl-culture-on-the-autism-spectrum-204172/2/

    That’s the 2nd page.

    On that page, the “Connecting” paragraph. So much. ♥

    The 1st page lumps facial expressions and tone of voice with body language. I find that strange; I’m not aware of having problems with the first two*, but I don’t notice the last (both ways: I don’t speak it either**). Importantly, though, all three are massively culture-specific, and the third (it seems) much more than the others.

    * Even though weak emotions don’t reach my face, I haven’t noticed problems reading other people’s faces. Indeed, I overinterpret facial expressions by misinterpreting resting faces that would be facial expressions if I tried to imitate them!
    ** There are photos of me having fun in a group but looking all curled up as if I tried to hide or perhaps discreetly roll out of the picture. That happens when I, say, support my head when sitting. I give comfort priority over body language 100 % of the time.

  71. rq says

    At least you get to give them back at the end of the day, no matter how long it is. :)


    It yer mouthparts are becoming hair-like, I suspect you are turning into an Ood.

    That, or I’m a rat being fed genetically modified food. *shrug* What’s worse?

  72. blf says

    Saw blf, …, blf

    Um, er, Ok ? Does being named twice mean I should expect a shipment of virgin nymphs or cheese-deprived penguins ?

  73. says

    I really don’t know we have to so to Salon’s online magazine for this, but at someone is putting good sex education online where, hopefully, students can find it. (Emphasis mine)

    Sex education in the United States is a mess. Only 22 states and the District of Columbia require that public schools teach sex education in the first place, and among that number, only 19 have laws ensuring that what’s being taught meets the minimum requirement of being medically or factually accurate. Perhaps as a result of these dismal indicators, >b.a recent survey among teenagers reveals that 41 percent know little or nothing about how condoms work, and a staggering 75 percent have almost no understanding of birth control.

    And as for those schools that do elect to teach students about sex and dating, far too many seem to rely on deeply sexist and conservative educators to do so. […]

    So as a small service to the younger generation, Salon reached out to a few of our favorite sex writers and sex educators to get the advice they wish they had known sooner.[…]

    The excerpt above is followed by advice from four experts in sex education.

  74. rq says

    lolmythesis, theses summarised in a sentence. A couple cheat, but there’s one on zebrafish and one about libertarians, and one about… Oh, just go look!!

  75. sugarfrosted says

    @7 Actually according to the Julian Calender, it is still 2013. New years in the Julian calender isn’t for over a week. (We actually use the Gregorian, the Russians still use the Julian though, iirc)

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

    Can’t we all just get along? Get along my way, that is, not everyone else’s wrong way.

    Turns out that if you want people to like you during a war, you probably shouldn’t blow up their house.

    and a (budding?) atheist:

    If you want to lose your faith in God, study religion.

    Theology, Boston College

    (thanks, rq!)

  77. David Marjanović says

    lolmythesis, theses summarised in a sentence. A couple cheat, but there’s one on zebrafish and one about libertarians, and one about… Oh, just go look!!

    But set yourself a low goal and then quit – or stay up all night. I quit after 15 of then 51 pages.

    the Russians still use the Julian though, iirc

    Oh no, they switched shortly after the October Revolution, which was in Gregorian November. The Orthodox Church (everywhere) still uses it, though, so Christmas is on Gregorian January 7th and is going to be on Jan. 8th any decade now.

  78. cicely says

    Friendship is Maddness

    ‘Mornin’, everybody! *hugs* all ’round.
    Welcome back, to everyone who has been forth.

    blf, how does one “penguin-proof” a cheese? I had assumed that to be an impossibility, granting that Quality of Cheeseness is being retained.

  79. says

    blf, that’s easy: I listed you twice because you comment frequently, and are replied to frequently, and I wished to show your contribution to the thread more clearly.

    That’s my story and I’m standing by it.

    Okay, well, I’m sitting nearby, because I’m really not having a good day, painwise, but the connotation is definitely of standing. *nods*

  80. says

    Penguin-proofing cheese is easy, outside of the cartoons.

    You put it at the north pole. Their little stubby wings get tired if they try to fly that far.

    QED, no cheese/penguin interaction.

  81. says

    It doesn’t work in cartoons, because in cartoons, the earth is basically monopolar, as referenced in a line edited out of the Valley of Death psalm: “…the lion lieth down with the lamb, and the penguin doth frolic with the great snowy bear.” Editor thought it wouldn’t really help much in a speech given in Judea, what with the fairly rare appearance of penguins, or polar bears, in that region, prior to the development of truly ocean-going navigational techniques by polar inhabitants or Judeans. When noted penguin explorer Thor Herringjarl put together his famous raft and sloped off to the Eastern Med for a bit of a vacay, of course, that all changed, but the Sermon on the Mount was already being sold on souvenir tea towels by then.

  82. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    [hush]​[hide comment]

    1 January 2014 at 11:33 pm (UTC -6)

    I’ve been up all fucking night moving furniture in my little apartment, putting beads away (I make jewellery) and waiting for CM to tell us why hedge funds are good for us.

    I’m sorry; since I wasn’t reading here, I didn’t know you were talking about me.

    I thought I’d made it clear at … oh, but, this is the Lounge.



  83. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    (It’s funny. Some days you just think “I wonder if I’m mentioned in dispatches?” And then you find you are.)

  84. cicely says

    It doesn’t work in cartoons, because in cartoons, the earth is basically monopolar, as referenced in a line edited out of the Valley of Death psalm: “…the lion lieth down with the lamb, and the penguin doth frolic with the great snowy bear.”

    :D :D :D
    “…and none knoweth where lieth the forkèd tongued serpent.”

  85. carlie says

    They ended up going home just before 8. :) Was just in time for me to watch the new season premiere of Community, and it was great.

  86. Portia, semi-bait says

    I just got a giant dose of “Evolution requires more faith than believing in Gawd!!!”



    (It was in person, too. Jebus).

  87. Portia, semi-bait says

    Teehee! Thanks for making me smile about it Cait. :D

    My cousin is SUCH gawdbotherer.

    I felt a bit like a labrat though – her husband was so genuinely interested in how an Atheist feels about a near death experience and a bunch of other things. I got to quip very dryly: “Believe it or not, there are atheists in foxholes.”

  88. says

    -21/-32 here (C; -6/-26 F). Windy as hell, and snowing, as it seems to have been pretty much constantly since about the 20th. I can’t remember the last time we had so many days of snow one after the other.

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

    I went out for a few hours. When I got home the snow was drifted against my door to waist-high. So I waded up my stoop and climbed over the drift into my apartment.

  90. chigau (違う) says

    Said rain is falling onto the previous 20cm of snow that I didn’t shovel.
    Challenging for the morning.

  91. rq says

    I don’t know how cold it is outside, but the cloud cover is thick enough to make me believe it’s not time to get up yet (I haven’t seen dusk this serious at this time of day since ever). It’s 9AM.

  92. rq says

    Anyone heard of this author? I am intrigued and interested, and am sad to discover another case of history rolling over a talented woman writer.

    Cute: raccoon husky. Or a superhero dog in skimpy black outfit.

    Literacy rates in Livonia in 1897, in case anyone is interested. I don’t think those numbers are quite so high anymore. And some of them are higher. But a clear pattern of historical cultural influence in those numbers.

  93. says

    Good morning
    So, today the door to #1’s daycare was open. Yay!
    But I feel like shit. Sure, by now ony ONE tonsil is the size of a ping-pong ball, but I’m literally sick and tired. And I mean literally. I’ve had one kind of cold or the other ever since before christmas.


    There are photos of me having fun in a group but looking all curled up as if I tried to hide or perhaps discreetly roll out of the picture. That happens when I, say, support my head when sitting. I give comfort priority over body language 100 % of the time.

    #1 has this facial expression that people who don’t know her usually interpret as “OMG, the poor kid is going to cry any minute now, why don’t the parents take the poor kid OUT of that situation???!!!”
    I know it is the facial equivalent of the turning hourglass on Windows: “All my mental capacities are currently used by this totally amazing thing. Do not disturb me”

    Fun with kids:
    Little one: A long time ago, when the dinosaurs lived, like 50 years ago…
    Little one: Mum, why do we only have ONE head?

  94. brucegorton says

    Just read an interesting bit of research in PloS One – and was wondering if anyone here had any thoughts on it.


    Basically the gist of it appears to be that the researchers in question have found that short visits by neuro-scientists to classrooms, improves the kids impressions of neuroscience.

    From the abstract:

    Teachers rated the Brain Awareness program as very valuable and said that the visits stimulated students’ interest in the brain and in science. Student surveys probed general attitudes towards science and their knowledge of neuroscience concepts (particularly the ability of the brain to change). Significant favorable improvements were found on 10 of 18 survey statements. Factor analyses of 4805 responses demonstrated that Brain Awareness presentations increased positive attitudes toward science and improved agreement with statements related to growth mindset

    I find the whole idea pretty damn awesome really.

  95. bassmike says

    CaitieCat it’s great to hear/read you in such good spirits. The new medication regime appears to be so much better.

    It’s taking me a while to get beck in to the swing of things after the break. The weather here in the UK is stormy elsewhere, but I’m lucky enough to be out of the worst of it at the moment and it’s a lovely sunny day……for the present.

    rq did you sing with your choir over the holidays? It’s normally a busy time as everyone loves a choir at X-Mas.

    Our kids concert(s) went very well again this year. It was the first one my daughter came to and she seemed to enjoy it – it’s difficult to tell as she’s 20 months old. It was two sold out concerts, and still there’s a waiting list of 100 people!

    cicely, Giliell, chigau (違う), Esteleth et al it’s nice to see you all again. There were some mince pies, but I think that damned penguin’s finsihed them off. Unless it was blf. :-)

  96. bluentx says

    New Year’s greetings to all! (Whatever your calendar preference. Mine would be The Far Side calendar :)

    Earlier this evening I accepted a chemical delivery (at work, Duuudde, not for personal use). The truck driver was a nice man (early 60’s-ish). He let me know he was “a godly man”. *

    [Okay, whatever, I too try to live by the ‘golden rule’. You do know that wasn’t original to J.C. or even the best way to word it, right?]

    Later he called himself ‘a preacher’ (Baptist) and, of course, had to testify to me. But, funny thing is, again that survey proves true: Atheists (sometimes) Know More About the Bible Than (some) Theists. He told me a (bible) story and got the main characters completely wrong and placed it in the wrong section of his holy book! I smiled, nodded, “Uh, Huhed” in the appropriate places… otherwise he may have gone on even longer! If it had not been almost midnight already I might have reached into my bag and pulled out my KJV or my NIV and shown him. (I’m currently on a Read the Apologetics, Find the Fallacy kick and I am armed! Ten hour night shifts go by faster with something to chuckle over.)

    [Sorry, man it was King Solomon who (supposedly) did that not Jesus. It’s from the Old Testament not New.]

    *Maybe that was his way of putting me at ease? We’re out in the country, after dark, just the two of us…
    And that’s another thing… Why do so many people think it’s odd (unusual, scary…) for me to want to work this shift at this plant? “YOU’RE NOT AFRAID???!! – “Uh, no.”
    The scariest part is when you’re halfway up a flight of stairs (outside) and the trainees at Ft. Hood start squeezing off machine gun fire or high caliber tank rounds! Which way are they aiming and how far away are they, you wonder as you duck … just in case.

    Okay, “I’m a little tired. I think I’ll go home now.” /Forrest Gump voice

  97. rq says


    I’ve had one kind of cold or the other ever since before christmas.

    Oh, I’m feeling your pain. Quite literally, in fact. May your tonsils calm down and the virus leave you unsickened!

    I think they should do that with more types of science. Like, all of them. And engineering.

  98. says

    Interesting. Do you happen to know if that derives from the English word or has a separate etymology? Around here, such a thing is called a toddy, and usually calls for whiskey or bourbon rather than rum.

    My sympathies.

  99. rq says

    No, I didn’t sing – as I mentioned, this year I took a break due to work and family, and realizing that I am not actually capable of doing everything. But the choir did well, apparently, had a great time and got some reasonably good reviews and compliments from the theatre directorship for being entirely appropriate for the kind of show they were putting on this year. Which may or may not be a compliment.
    I hope to get back into the singing towards the end of winter, more sunlight means more energy. :)

    Also, I took my kids (mostly due to lack of options) to most of my concerts when they were babies (Husband refuses to take them now that there’s three, totally understandably), and my rule of thumb was that if they fall asleep, they enjoyed it. For the most part, though, I find that kids enjoy music, even (especially?) classical music and choir music, and it’s never a mistake to bring them – as long as you start teaching them quiet behaviour. (This rule also applies to dramatic music – it doesn’t seem to bother them. My kids, though, had the added benefit (?) of coming to rehearsals through lack of options, so they’ve had some pretty hardcore lessons in patience, music and listening.)

    [anecdote] When Eldest was 3 months old, I took him to a low-key opera music concert in honour of Latvia’s independence day. We sat down in the back, near the door (just in case), two seats away from an oldish lady who gave me the side-eye and tried to pull her chair away. Too bad they were attached. So she went to sit in the corner, near some teenagers, with the mumbled comment that a concert with babies isn’t a concert at all. Well, Eldest loved the music (esp. the soprano, she’s one of the best local opera sopranos in my opinion, love her timbre), made barely a peep, received compliments on his behaviour from the soprano after the show… And the poor lady had to suffer through the giggles and texting of the teenagers in the corner. Ah, the power of music! [/anecdote]

    Loverly to see you here!!
    Ah, I see you get the same comments I do re: nightshift. I think one of my colleagues has a nefarious plan to start some noise in the evidence room sooner or later, but I actually like the peace and quiet and general productivity of the empty lab. *high five!* (But I don’t have to accept deliveries, chemical or otherwise…)
    And good on you for being prepared. Maybe next time, you should bring out your Bible and shuffle through it clumsily, and maybe he can help you find the correct passage… And see for himself how wrong he is.
    Have a safe drive home!

  100. rq says

    By the way, bassmike, does your orchestra ever do collaborations with choirs? [/just asking]

  101. bassmike says

    rq sorry I missed where you said you weren’t singing in the choir at the moment. I have no excuse other then my ineptitude.

    does your orchestra ever do collaborations with choirs?

    Each year we do a Christmas concert and a chirdren’s choir sing with us. It’s normally only one piece that we play together.

    We have collaborated with choirs in the past. It’s a matter of finding a score that we can use. There are some pieces for singers and the orchestra and we’ve done some of those too. It’s rather good to collarorate as it adds a different dimesion to a concert.Other than that there’s only really carols that we have the audience sing.

    I’m with you about getting kids involved in music from an early age. You can tell that they love singing and listening to music from very early on. I’m hoping to keep my daughter’s enthusiasm going for as long as I can.


    Just one more thing, on seeing bassmike is here:http://youtu.be/wd2ijr6EZUU?t=54s

    Has this been mentioned before?

    I’ve not seen it before. Thanks for the link. If only……(stares into the distance whistfully).

  102. blf says


    Um, sorry, I wasn’t paying too much attention. Did someone mention something about mince penguins?


    I meant pies. Mince pies.

  103. rq says

    Found this one today:

    Songbird Jesus died for your sins. And so we could understand the neuroendocrine response to traumatic brain injury.

    (via lolmythesis.com)

  104. says

    bassmike @122 (me being happier), thank you. I honestly hadn’t noticed. In fact, I was thinking a little while ago, as I struggled to get to sleep (still not there yet – it’s just about 8am! – I hate when I get my meds messed up, it throws everything off), that I wonder if this antidepressant I’m taking is really helping very much, because I feel pretty usual. And we’re already 50% over the on-label maximum dose.

    But, now I reassess a little, if that’s your impression, because outside estimations are actually kind of valuable to me, especially when unprovoked (and thus less likely to fall into social pressure – “yeah, you seem great!” – which helps me not at all, but is a reasonable response to an unusual question, when the question comes from someone whose depression you don’t want to risk making worse by saying “Actually, you seem pretty off to me!”). Realizing that it’s full-on midwinter – growing up, my three-term high school average tended to be 90ish in first term ending before year’s end, in the 20-30 range in second term (ending in February/March or so) when my absence/skipping tended to peak, and then finish strong with a high 90s in third term – and that I’m also in something of a painstorm, and also stressed out of my brains with the whole “welfare pays two-thirds of my rent, and nothing else” problem, then having someone else perceive me as doing reasonably well means that it is, in fact, working.

    It’s just that the midwinter trough is my Marianas Trench, the place where new gloom enters my surface world from whatever deep place it spawns. And it’s hard to recognize your soaring nominal altitude when you’re still below sea level.

    So…thanks, bassmike. That was a nice little ray of unexpected sunshine down here in the cold dark deeps. I appreciate it very much.

    Also, Portia, I’m glad I could make you laugh. Making people laugh is one of my very favourite things.

    I need to figure out a topic for my reading in a few weeks. Every year for the last ten (I may have missed one or two with painstorms, but most of them), I’ve performed at a local event over two nights whereat local performers do readings, songs, dance routines, whatever, in celebration of women’s sexuality. Most years I’ve done my usual poetry thing – a few poems of vaguely erotic nature (last year I wrote three sonnets about MyshkaMouse, about anticipating her warmth in my bed when she’s coming here, enjoying the liveness of her when she is here, and savouring those last traces of her scent and fading heat after she goes back south). A couple of times I read a little sexytimes story – one a sort of fanfic about Wonder Woman landing at my local airport and hitting on me/picking me up for a night’s fun, although I didn’t use her name, just described her, and my favourite line: “I looked at her as she slept beside me, dark hair a sweaty tangle and her scent everywhere, this amazing, incredible – really, this wonder of a woman…”

    Big laugh.

    Trouble is, I can’t think of what I want to write this time. Ooh. Maybe a dwarf woman/elf dude thing, in honour of Peter Jackson™’s The Hobbit Part II: The Empaddening of Mirkwood? Yeah, y’know, maybe I could make that work. Make her a dwarf fan, too. A fan letter, describing that glorious night? With a sardonic “I’m sorry, who are you?” in response?

    I think this might be the track. Thanks for letting me work that out in front of you, folks. LOL, like you had a choice. Mwahahaha. Evil creation!

  105. David Marjanović says

    I went out for a few hours. When I got home the snow was drifted against my door to waist-high. So I waded up my stoop and climbed over the drift into my apartment.


    #1 has this facial expression that people who don’t know her usually interpret as “OMG, the poor kid is going to cry any minute now, why don’t the parents take the poor kid OUT of that situation???!!!”

    I’ve known several people who had that as their resting face.

    I know it is the facial equivalent of the turning hourglass on Windows: “All my mental capacities are currently used by this totally amazing thing. Do not disturb me”


    Little one: Mum, why do we only have ONE head?

    Fun with development genetics. :-)

  106. bassmike says


    So…thanks, bassmike. That was a nice little ray of unexpected sunshine down here in the cold dark deeps. I appreciate it very much.

    You are more than welcome. If I can improve someone’s life in even the most minor way, I’m content.

  107. rq says

    See??? The cold is awesome!! I think this is just a magnified version of what Latvians call lauskis, a relation of Old Man Frost who comes along on cold winter evenings and nights and cracks the icicles with his axe. Totally a natural phenomenon.

  108. says

    Sorta related to Lynna’s #91:

    Those Turkish scientists — what will they think of next?! Having come up with a cure for homosexuality (finally!), the world is their oyster. Shuck away.

    Introducing “Homofin,” an herbal treatment that leaves being gay “up to you” by influencing your hormones. According to Gay Star News, the pill’s site even encourages wary mothers to secretly dissolve it into their son’s food should they suspect him of being gay



    Marriage Equality still has many important battles to be fought:

    New Mexico has seen celebrations across the state since its highest court unanimously ruled it was unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to same-sex couples. Not so for the sovereign Navajo Nation, whose borders spill over into the northeastern part of the state and where tribal law is clear: Such unions are banned.

    Some Navajo hope to change that, buoyed by the cultural climate shift underscored when the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Gay marriage is permitted in the District of Columbia and 18 states, the most recent being Utah, although officials there are appealing a federal court decision that overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.


  109. says

    Update from Utah: one mormon addlepated guy is fasting to stop gay marriage. In the video, you can see Trestin Meacham’s sacred “garmie” line under his white shirt. I’m thinking that magic undies will not prevent him from starving to death.
    4Utah.com link.

    Utah man is vowing to go without any food until the state stops allowing same sex marriages. He claims if Utah wants to protect traditional marriage, it has an option it’s not using, and he’s fasting until it does it.

    When same sex marriage became legal in Utah, people immediately reacted. Couples stormed county clerk buildings. State attorneys tried to stop it, and Trestin Meacham started fasting.

    “I’m very disappointed,” said Trestin Meacham, fasting to stop Utah same sex marriages.

    For the past 12 days Meacham hasn’t eaten anything. He’s surviving solely on water and an occasional vitamin.

    “You can start a blog and you can complain on social networks until you’re blue in the face and nothing will happen but actions speak louder than words and I’m taking action,” said Meacham.

    Meacham tells Reporter Brian Carlson he’s fasting to convince Utah to exercise the option of “nullification.” It’s posted on Meacham’s blog. According to his interpretation of states’ rights, Utah can nullify the recent federal court ruling by simply choosing not to follow it.

    “Jefferson made clear that the courts are not the supreme arbitrators of what is and what is not constitutional. The states also have power,” said Meacham.

    But that’s not the interpretation of attorney Greg Skordas.

    “If people want to change that they have to go through the appropriate processes,” said Greg Skordas, Attorney.

    Skordas said nullification doesn’t work with Utah’s case. When the federal government grants someone a constitutional right, states must recognize it. […]

  110. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #92 — more evidence that Evergreen and North Star are solidly connected to the LDS (mormon) church:

    In the 1990s, my father was released from the stake high council and given a “special calling” as Evergreen moderator. I don’t see how they can claim now that it’s not a church organization just because it is set up legally as a separate organization. It operates as a church organization. [from ex-mormon, “Makurosu”]

    And some humor amid the pain from gay mormons:

    I can’t tell you how many men met their significant others at Evergreen/Northstar, but it’s not a small number.

    I’m certain nothing was going to help, but telling me it’s okay to for me to tackle a hot sweaty gay man was certainly not the answer. [a reference to Rugby games organized by Evergreen]

  111. says

    cross-posted from the Vikings Football thread:

    A Utah family is featured on one of the excellent billboards advertising the American Atheists National Convention in Salt Lake City.

    The billboard text reads: We’re the Monnett family, and we’re Mormons … ex-mormons. We’re Atheists. Come explore your doubt weigh us.

    Mom, Dad and three kids — all looking happy in the billboard photo. Correction: two offspring of the mom and dad, plus one niece.

  112. rq says

    Well, Tony, you’re totes awesome and all, and you get so many things, but the Amazing Wonder of Winter… *shakes head sadly* I guess you’ll just never get it.

  113. says

    More news from Utah: Hoax case filed by Salt Lake attorney without lesbian couple’s permission is closed.

    This amounts to harassment of the lesbian couple, one of many in Utah who recently married.

    A class-action lawsuit was closed Thursday, hours after a Salt Lake City attorney [E. Craig Smay] insisted he had the right to use the names of a married lesbian couple without their permission in the complaint. […]

    Smay told the Tribune on Thursday that under federal court rules, he did not need permission to list the pair as plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit. He also said he informed Fowler by email that he didn’t need her consent and claimed she “blabbed” to the press about the lawsuit.

    “I’ve explained it carefully,” he said. “She can file until the cows come home. She’s wasting her time and she’s wasting my time.” […]

    This is a really odd story. Smay thought he was doing good by filing a suit against the LDS church and the state of Utah, but it is just weird to use the names of a gay couple he didn’t even know. “The demand for a stay in this case is simply a cruel imposition upon gay people,” Smay wrote. “It should be promptly denied.” Well, yeah, but you went about it in the wrong way.

  114. says

    Steve Benen, writing for The Maddow Blog, covers the “Wingnut Hole” in healthcare.

    We have a reasonably good sense of how many Americans have enrolled in the health care system in recent months, signing up for coverage made available through the Affordable Care Act. For a more ambitious tally, Josh Marshall includes exchanges, Medicaid, young adults staying on their family plans, and those who were able to bypass exchanges to buy ACA-compliant policies directly from insurance carriers, for a grand total of about 10 million.

    But every time these numbers are culled, it’s worth remembering that the coverage totals would be far greater were it not for “red” states refusing to accept Medicaid expansion.

    The original plan, you’ll recall, was to simply mandate the greater access. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, said states must have a choice as to whether or not to accept the good deal. Most Republican-led states, naturally, rejected the policy, leaving millions behind for no particular reason.

    But how many million? The Associated Press published a report this week with a striking figure.

    About 5 million people will be without health care next year that they would have gotten simply if they lived somewhere else in America.[…]

    Ed Kilgore started calling it the “wingnut hole” months ago, and it’s certainly a descriptive phrase.[…]

  115. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    It does fit with my calendar. Not sure yet about the happy part, but it is a new year.

  116. says

    *Pouncehugs* on Ogvorbis

    Well, I was lucky.
    Just when I got my sorry ass out of the door Mr. got home and was recruited into coming with me.
    It ended as suspected: I am a horrible person who is out to hurt my mother. You know what? When we were kids sometimes people gave us things they didn’t approve of, too!!!*
    I asked her whether that justifies her behaviour. Apparently that idea never struck her head.
    *Yes, I remember a situation in which my sister wanted a Barbie and they said no, because, well, Barbie. And her godfather then just bought it. They almost broke up the friendship…

  117. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    From Lynna @151 (in the quotes):

    About 5 million people will be without health care next year that they would have gotten simply if they lived somewhere else in America.[…]

    Yet another way in which conservatives, the GOP, the TeaPartiers, the right, are actually killing people — men, women, children, infants.

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

    love and welcome to Og.

    Still threadrupt, but empathy with Giliell.

  119. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Crip Dyke and rq:



    re: the cold temp photos. I experienced something this morning I had never experienced before. I went out to shovel out our cars, our walk, the walk and ramp and driveway of our 91 year old neighbor, and took a soda with me. I drank a little and then lit a cigar to enjoy while I shoveled the snow. I stuck the bottle of soda in the snow on the roof of my sedan. I really didn’t think about the effect of 5F weather on the soda in the plastic bottle. I finished shoveling (half an hour), picked up the bottle, took off the cap, and had a drink. Wow was it cold and refreshing. I put the cap back on and watched as the liquid in the bottle froze. Cool to watch. Tough to drink.

  120. says

    Ogvorbis @157:

    From Lynna @151 (in the quotes):

    About 5 million people will be without health care next year that they would have gotten simply if they lived somewhere else in America.[…]

    Yet another way in which conservatives, the GOP, the TeaPartiers, the right, are actually killing people — men, women, children, infants.

    Quite true, Ogvorbis. Republicans are not fretting over killing people by denying them healthcare, they are worrying that if they do support Obamacare and the Medicare expansion they will primaries from the right. In other words, the threat of losing their cushy jobs that provide them with premium healthcare, that threat matters more to them than few million poor people being pushed closer to death.

    An Ohio tea party leader is expected to challenge Gov. John Kasich in the Republican gubernatorial primary on May 6, making good on the threat from some conservatives in the state to oppose Kasich because of his push for Medicaid expansion and some other policies they reject.[…]

    Columbus Dispatch link.

  121. says

    Follow up to comment #163:

    In this case, Kasich brought in nearly $2.5 billion in federal funds to the state, boosted state hospitals, and brought coverage to as many as 330,000 low-income Ohioans, who would otherwise be forced to go without.

    Maddow Blog link.

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

    *hugs* and *squishy toys* for Oggie.

    Also, some cookies. I’m rather drowning in them at the moment.

  123. says

    This a follow up to my comment #146. The addlebrained mormon who is fasting to stop gay marriage in Utah, Trestin Meacham, posted this on his Facebook page:

    “After explaining the situation to my family, I have decided to pursue the following course of action. After my dinner tonight, I will begin a fast which will not end until all counties in Utah stop issuing marriage licenses and performing marriages for same sex couples. Due to the rogue judge refusing to issue a stay, this will likely take several days.

    “I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home. Some things in life are worth sacrificing one’s heath and even life if necessary. I am but a man, and do not have the money and power to make any noticeable influence in our corrupt system. Never the less, I can do something that people in power cannot ignore.

    “I do not expect anyone to join me in a fast which has no end in sight, but if you wish to join me in a limited fast it would be a big help.”


  124. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Made some spaghetti carbonara for dinner. Even with no cream (skim milk), it came out delicious.

  125. thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing? says

    Fun. Cold outbreak for me too.

    Overnight temps will push -30 C… and day temps at -25.

    With a wind of 30ish kph.

    The forecasters are joking about “frozen tundra” here. and over in florida people are panicking because it’s going to be 0 in Tampa.

  126. chigau (違う) says

    I’m having left-over pizza.
    It’s home-made and next-day delicious.

    Outside it’s -17°C and blowing snow.

  127. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Right now it is 1°F. Which is cold in either Celsius or real temperatures.

    So I am heading for bed. Flannel sheets. Wool blanket. Second wool blanket. Bedspread. Comforter. Wife. Goats. The works.


  128. chigau (違う) says

    Bleedin’ luxury!
    All we have is cotton sheets, two comforters, each other, a heating pad and a cat.
    The cat gets the heating pad.
    Sleep quiet, Ogvorbis.

  129. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hello Lounge.
    For anyone suffering from the cold at the moment, please let me know where I can redirect our surplus heat.
    Just measured 111F on our veranda, in the shade (44 C)
    Parts of the country are pushing 122 degrees F (50 C)
    Stupid hot.

  130. cicely says

    *hugs&chikkensoop* for Giliell.

    Good evening, Ogvorbis.
    Spaghetti carbonara with skim milk? Do go on….
    (A bit later)
    Ah. G’night, then.

    The Husband had an unsatisfactory experience with trying to do the Health Care thing. Apparently you had to commit to buy, and give them all your information, before being quoted a price. He was trying to get clarification, and insurance company vultures started calling, also wanting our info, and a commitment, and didn’t want to quote a price (eventually, was told that the cheapest would be $400 per month, which we just flatly do not have—because the local hospital/health establishment is already getting all our spare money), and didn’t want to even state what that $400 per month would buy…but that if you wanted to be covered in case of an accident, it would be this much extra, and for coverage for that it would be this much extra, and it just went on and on.
    Basically, Affordable it ain’t, except possibly from the viewpoint of the well-to-do.
    And so, we are going to end up being fined.
    Do Not Like.

  131. carlie says

    cicely – do you qualify for any of the subsidies, or is that the cost with the subsidy included?

  132. cicely says

    I don’t know—it was The Husband having this Unsatisfactory Experience. He said something about calling to try and get clarification of something (to do with the questionaire on the website, as I understood it), and immediately reps from various insurance companies started to call. I don’t know at what point (or where) you find out about subsidy criteria.
    I do have a sneaking suspicion that any such criteria won’t take into account that our cash is already going to already-incurred medical expenses…but that could just be the paranoia and despair talking.

  133. ajb47 says

    As people who camp, we have plenty of blankets here. Which is a good thing, because the heater in my house and the thin outside walls cannot keep up with temperatures in the teens. And in southeast Pennsylvania, we are going down to single digits tonight. Not unheard of, but a rarity. Except that it is happening again on Tuesday.

    carlie @177 – Thanks, I had the same thought.

    cicely, I haven’t experienced what you are going through, but from what I’ve read, things may not be as bad as you are fearing after a bad experience with the sign up. Also from what I’ve read, getting all your data is a requirement for getting an accurate quote.

    And this part is based on an imperfect understanding of what I’ve read, but I think you don’t actually get what subsidies you are eligible for until after you get the quote. As to the insurance companies calling you, I have no idea about that, but I guess there’s nothing against getting the best quote from them — lowest deductible, greatest coverage, etc. A simple, “I need to learn what’s going on before I decide,” should help a bit. Some may push their own plan, but some may actually give you the information you are looking for once you explain what you are going through.

    Yes. I admit, everything I have said is based on articles I have read. And I am one of the least effected by what’s going on, so I haven’t done actual research about it, it has just been articles I have come across through blogs and FB friends who care about this. But also from what I’ve read, the worst/lowest plan now available under the AHA is far better than what was available before.

    I hope you can get through the initial rush and find the info you need to get the coverage you need.

    If any of this is wrong from someone else’s reading, I’d like to hear it.

  134. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Rawnaeris, I hope your mother is ok.

    Tony! – you should feel some warmth coming from your network port about… now

  135. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Amazing what you can learn from watching tv news…
    Apparently, our ridiculously high temperatures are because the sun is heating up the land making things hotter… Amazing!

  136. says

    I have this idea for a really cool 3d image, and I wonder if anyone else’s google-fu is up to the task of finding whether someone’s already done it or not.

    I was looking at the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram just now, and was struck by the point that this is really a picture of a point in time – this is, if I understand it, the picture of where each start is at a given point in its own individual sequence, yes? So, The Sun (Sol) starts off in the middle-ish spot where we find it now, but over time, as it gradually exhausts its fuel and shifts parts of the fusion cycle, it will expand into a red giant of as much as 2AU (about Mars’ orbit, give or take a few dozen million km), and eventually wither away into a dead white dwarf.

    And so with other stars, the bigger, the shorter the life, and the more spectacular the short life is: brighter, larger, more likely to go BANG.

    So imagine if you had a 3d version of the HR diagram as it’s usually presented, with time running as an axis directly away from you as you look at Usual!HR. If you slide out to the left or right a bit, now imagine each spot on the diagram following the change of that star over time, first moving up and to the right, and then eventually diminishing down and to the left. The farther up the chart, the shorter and more violent the transition.

    What I’m wondering is, I wonder how you’d get hold of the data to do that, and what kind of computer you’d need to do the render afterwards, and how amazingly cool it would be to watch run, to navigate it along the path of some famous stars.

    Make it all in some vector-based renderer, and you could make it available as an interactive tool online.

    Wouldn’t that be a cool use of time and energy? Anyone want to help me organize it, make a Kickstarter and stuff? :)

  137. blf says


  138. opposablethumbs says

    Rawnaeris, I hope your mum is all right and that material loss is minor. It must be one hell of a traumatic, regardless – I’m one of the bloody lucky ones who has not experienced this, but my late mother did (twice) and it was horrible. Many hugs to her and to you.

    Get-well-ness to Giliell. Hugs from Blighty to the Horde. We’re in single digits or maybe as high as 10 here (in real temperatures, of course, not that old-fashioned Fahrenheit stuff) so it feels pretty mild for the moment.

    So, a couple of days ago I went to the big shunga exhibition at the British Museum with a couple of friends (one other straight woman, one gay man – possibly mildly relevant as it’s an exhibition of erotica). I was a bit disappointed, maybe because I’d probably been expecting too much – I think I was unthinkingly harbouring the notion that there would be sensibilities and attitudes vastly different from what I’ve seen of western-type erotica and/or porn. Of course there are differences, but I felt the blurb and explanatory texts were trying a bit too hard to say “this is very different, it’s much more about mutual pleasure than in the western material” – and that although there was some truth in this, it also gave a misleading impression that there was much less exploitation.

    The most interesting material (to my mind) was the most recent – which we had least time to see, dammit, because it came up to closing time at the museum :-((( (the most recent pieces sometimes had more humour, for example).

    But there was still a near-total focus on the phallus (not 100%, but the vast majority), and in the m/m pieces it was all about fucking-as-domination (either older/more powerful man fucks youth, or, in a couple of later pieces, Japanese soldier fucks enemy).

    I do very much note that my ignorance of Japanese art and culture will certainly have blinded me to lots of narrative and significant indicators in the artworks (in dress, in language, in everything) so I will have missed a lot of things that a contemporary Japanese consumer would have seen. But I still think the much-vaunted differences in sensibilities – although present – did not make this an expression of something non-exploitative, which is what the museum’s added texts seem to seek to imply.

    Anyone else seen the exhibition, by any chance? (Have to nip off in a minute, but I’ll pop back later ::waves:: )

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

    Hm, a garbled message. I think it says mildly deranged penguin decided to share some nicely aged cheddar with you.

    That’s really nice of her.

  140. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Fucking pipes froze. No breakage, but no water, either.

    Turned heat up to 70. Opened door to the area under the porch where the pipes are exposed. Waiting.

  141. blf says

    Ah, so you’re wondering where the mildly deranged penguin is as well? I still haven’t seen her since the last day of the last orbit. Gentle questioning of the Giant Squid who was found the first morning of the current orbit on top of the church’s belltower screaming “not the penguin again!” didn’t provide any useful clews, and the trail of feathers dried up (actually, was washed away in the wind and rain). The local cheese shops have not acquired any new holes in the wall, and there have been no complaints by any extraterrestrial aliens of their UFOs being shot down by trebuchet-launched cats.

    I’m not worried. She’s bound to turn up, probably accompanied by screams, explosions, and so on (the usual fanfare).

  142. blf says

    Fucking pipes froze.

    Ouch! Doesn’t that hurt? I though you were buried deep inside a bed surrounded my multiple layers of sheep, goats, and possibly peas, so I do sortof wonder how you manged to freeze your(?), um, “private parts”…

  143. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    No. Not my (verb)fucking pipes. The (expletive) fucking pipes.

  144. blf says

    Ah, Ok. For a moment there I wondered if, in addition to the dubious step of surrounding yerself with peas to keep warm, you’d used frozen peas.

  145. says

    Thanks for the hugs, everyone. It happened while she was at work, so she’s scared but (physically) fine.

    It doesn’t sound like much was taken, not that she really had anything to take in the first place. I have no idea the damage level her apartment sustained. *sigh* I just don’t understand.

  146. rq says

    I hope your mother recovers as well as can be, and I hope the damage was a minimum (as were the losses).

  147. rq says

    More discussion about the cold: is the windchill factor as useless as we’ve always believed? (Spoiler answer: Yes!)

    This is just sad news, even more so because he really believes in what he’s doing. And he’s so wrong. Same sex marriage and marriage equality are a sign of progress, and he’s trying to live in the past… via hungerstrike. Just sad.

    I knew Harper was anti-science, but wilful destruction of scientific texts? That is destruction of public property and valuable information. And I nearly cried about it. (Silly, I know. And the article Godwins at the end, but I’ve been noticing that a lot of articles do that, lately…)

    *puke* [Warning: rigid gender roles as perfect for relationships, with ‘sassy’ response] This was discovered on my Facebook feed, and promptly cleaned up with the spam marker (and a dirty comment from me).

    A review of things we already know should go away. It’s a bit odd, though – either the style or the presentation left me a bit ‘meh’ about this article, even though it has the best of intentions.

  148. says

    Og, I don’t know whether you can reach them, but one solution for frozen pipes is use of a flat iron, if you have one, and can safely reach the pipes with something electrically powered. I learned this method while visiting a friend in Timmins (northest non-First Nations settlement in the eastish parts of the province) one winter.

    Although why the hell they built houses in Timmins with the frakking pipes on the outside is another question.

    Hope they don’t bust. :(

    Rawnaeris, I’m glad your mother isn’t hurt, and hopefully the apartment isn’t too bad either. Desperation makes people mean and heartless. :(

  149. Pteryxx says

    rq: I thought that ‘scientific texts’ meant Harper was destroying textbooks, but no – those were original research collections being trashed. According to the article they lied about ‘digitizing’ the collections to get at them, too.

    Probably the most famous facility to get the axe is the library of the venerable St. Andrews Biological Station in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, which environmental scientist Rachel Carson used extensively to research her seminal book on toxins, Silent Spring. The government just spent millions modernizing the facility.

    Also closed were the Freshwater Institute library in Winnipeg and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland, both world-class collections. Hundreds of years of carefully compiled research into aquatic systems, fish stocks and fisheries from the 1800s and early 1900s went into the bin or up in smoke.

    Leaving this here since Futrelle is on vacation:


  150. carlie says

    Osczevski and Bluestein made a set of new assumptions to determine wind-chill-equivalent temperatures. Namely, they geared their calculations toward people who are 5 feet tall, somewhat portly, and walk at an even clip directly into the wind.


  151. rq says

    I like the bit later about creating an individual weather index.

    Yes… Original research from the late 1800s lost. I mean… WHOA. Discoveries of original species? Years of data? Irretrievable information on conditions from years and years ago? All GONE. Yeah… Wow. Just wow.

  152. says

    Ugh. My sympathies.

    Nothing a little thermite won’t cure :)

    And I nearly cried about it. (Silly, I know.

    Not at all; it’s a fucking tragedy.

  153. rq says

    PS Pteryxx
    I had the pleasure of spending a week at the St Andrews Biological Station back in grade 11 on the awesomest field trip ever, and I’m sad to see its name appear in connection to such academically tragic events.

  154. David Marjanović says

    Pope makes one step in the right direction. Juuuust one.

    Here, picture 3 is for you.


    This place should be made into a museum. Dust and all.

    So much awesomeness!!!

    ♥ for Ogvorbis and *hugs* for Giliell

    + 1

    Also *pouncehugs* for cicely and Rawnaeris.

    Also, some cookies. I’m rather drowning in them at the moment.

    *contemplates looking for last-minute ticket*

    Made some spaghetti carbonara for dinner. Even with no cream (skim milk), it came out delicious.

    An Italian taught my uncle to cook spaghetti carbonara for real. There isn’t supposed to be any cream in it, let alone anything as inherently ridiculous as skimmed milk. You cook pasta and put it in raw egg so the egg is cooked on the noodles, then you add some pepper. That’s it. Bacon is optional. :-9

    In the cafeteria, they replace the egg by cream, loads and loads of cream. *sigh* Germans. *headshake*

    and there have been no complaints by any extraterrestrial aliens of their UFOs being shot down by trebuchet-launched cats.

    You’ve surpassed yourself. I approve.

  155. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    I have made carbonara with eggs. This was a variation on a recipe from an elderly Sicilian woman who declared that the best way to make it was with buffalo milk. My (altered) recipe:

    1 very thick slice of bacon (1/4-inch), diced
    2 tablespoons butter
    2-4 tablespoons flour
    3 cups skim milk, warmed
    1/2 sweet red bell pepper, diced
    1 onion diced
    1 cup frozen peas, thawed
    2 slices prosciutto, cut in small pieces
    4 to 6 cloves of garlic, slivered
    course ground black pepper
    1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

    Start the bacon in a large heavy skillet (or a wide Dutch oven) and cook over low to medium heat until browned and rendered.

    Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small sauce pan (I have found that a wok works really well for a roux as there are no corners). Add the flour, a little at a time, whisking it together until the flour and butter make a really thick liquid. Keep it on the heat for a few more minutes, whisking counterclockwise, then slowly add the warmed mild and continue to whisk until you have a nice thick sauce.

    Add the onion, pepper, garlic, and peas to the oil rendered out of the bacon and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the prosciutto, pour in the sauce, add the pepper, parsley and cheese. Simmer to thicken and let the cheese melt through. Stir and serve over hot pasta.

    Yes, I use peas. They are delicious when cooked properly and add nice colour to the dish. No, I will not apologize for using peas the way they are meant to be used.

  156. says

    The Koch brothers, or their lawyers, regularly send Rachel Maddow instructions, warnings and cease-critizing-us letters. Sometimes they even call her.

    Most recently, they sent her a script to read in which she would basically denounce herself. Well, Rachel, has had enough, hence Epic Smackdown Time.



    Complete Maddow video here: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/maddow-rejects-kochs-call-for-correction-106406467753

    Transcript here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/04/1267111/-Rachel-Maddow-Speaks-Truth-to-Powerful-Koch-Brothers

  157. says

    President Obama seldom attends church. He didn’t attend church on christmas day. Reviews of this behavior are mixed.

    President Obama celebrated a low-key Christmas in Hawaii this year. He sang carols, opened presents with his family, and visited a nearby military base to wish the troops “Mele Kalikimaka” — the Hawaiian phrase meaning “Merry Christmas.”

    “He has not gone to church hardly at all, as president,” said Gary Scott Smith, the author of “Faith and the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush,” adding that it is “very unusual for a president not to attend” Christmas services.

    Mr. Obama has gone to church 18 times during his nearly five years in the White House, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, an unofficial White House historian, while his predecessor, Mr. Bush, attended 120 times during his eight years in office.[…]


  158. says

    Yet another blow to PZ’s presidential aspirations:

    Bryan Fischer returned to his radio broadcast today where he dedicated his first topic segment to explaining that no person who believes in evolution ought to ever be elected to public office.

    “We don’t share ancestors with apes and baboons,” he proclaimed. “In fact, I would suggest to you that if a politician, if somebody wants to exercise political power and he is an evolutionist, he is disqualified from holding political office in the United States of America.”[…]


  159. blf says

    [I]f somebody wants to exercise political power and he is an evolutionist, he is disqualified from holding political office in the United States of America.

    Translation: If a wannabe politician or lawyer in USAlienstan shows any signs of rationality or an understanding of evidence, she, he, it, or they should be lynched.

  160. Nick Gotts says

    The Orthodox Church (everywhere) still uses it, though, so Christmas is on Gregorian January 7th and is going to be on Jan. 8th any decade now. – David Marjanović@102

    From 2101, tbp. 2100 is a leap year in the Julian calendar, but not in the Gregorian. From 2201 it will be Jan 9th, from 2301, Jan 10th, from 2501, Jan 11th. (2400 is a leap year in both calendars).

  161. says

    Ex-mormons are discussing the merger of two cure-the-gay organizations, Evergreen and North Star. Ex-mormon ire is focused on a Salt Lake Tribune article that calls Evergreen a “support group for gays.” Excerpts:

    Dachau was a “summer camp” for Jews.
    TSCC [The So-Called Church] offered to provide me this support many years ago when I was an 18 year old kid away from home for the first time at school. I was struggling with my sexuality, scared and alone. My biggest mistake was confessing to my “Bishop” who I assumed loved and cared for me.

    They indeed offered to hook me up to electrodes, drug me and flash pictures on a screen of naked women, then naked men, naked women, naked men…..when there was penis on the screen you get shocked, vagina – the electricity goes off. This is the aversion therapy that my loving “leaders” at RICKS prescribed for me (as they threw me out of school for being gay).
    KFC is a support group for chickens.


  162. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Nick Gotts:

    The Ogvorbian Colander has no leap year. It has been noted, however, that the Ogvorbian Colander is full of holes.

  163. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We finally finished up the freezer repack yesterday, triaging the seafood/fish shelf, and disposing of 20+ year old pumpkin (and cleaning the containers). Now, I can get stuff that is clogging the freezer compartment in the fridge to the freezer, freeing up space in the freezer compartment for foodstuffs that be used fairly quickly. Bringing home frozen stuff, and having space to store it. A novel concept.

  164. David Marjanović says

    And I nearly cried about it.

    I’m not crying. I’m having fantasies of violence and of walking through garbage dumps.

    Let’s see. How many crimes have we got here? Fraud (lying about scanning), destruction of public property… any financial ones?


    From there:
    “the Kochs buy their economic studies reinforcing conservative ideas. They do this by donating huge sums to universities and demanding the right to hire faculty who think like they do.”

    How in the fuck can such organizations call themselves “universities”!?! *extra outrage*

    Thanks for the transcript!

    “Mele Kalikimaka” — the Hawaiian phrase meaning “Merry Christmas.”

    It is “Merry Christmas” squeezed into the Hawaiian sound system! [k] is the closests that language has to [s]. :-)

    From 2101, tbp. 2100 is a leap year in the Julian calendar, but not in the Gregorian.

    Of course.

    Pipes are flowing again.

    Yay! :-)

  165. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Please tell me you are keeping accurate records, recording the associations between artifacts, mapping in three dimensions, and photographing the items both in situ and pre-cleaning? Also, does ARPA factor into this?

  166. David Marjanović says

    The Ogvorbian Colander has no leap year. It has been noted, however, that the Ogvorbian Colander is full of holes.

    Subthread won.

  167. blf says

    Pipes are flowing again.

    Sorry to hear that. Sounds dreadful. Usually, it’s the water, sewage, &tc, which flows. Or, in some cases, crawls.

  168. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Sorry, blf, that was a little harsh on my part. Was meant in jest.

  169. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says


    Please tell me you are keeping accurate records, recording the associations between artifacts, mapping in three dimensions, and photographing the items both in situ and pre-cleaning? Also, does ARPA factor into this?

    I’ll start all that (checks garbage collection schedule) Thursday….

  170. rq says

    I’m having fantasies of violence and of walking through garbage dumps.

    Well, so am I – but I also have a tendency to rage-cry.
    As for the crimes, heck, Harper is in power. It’s not like anyone can do anything to him currently. Elections are soon, I think. But he’s a conservative powerhouse in a world where conservative governments are trending. So we’ll see, just as long as he doesn’t destroy all of Canadian science, we should pull through.

  171. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    I’ll start all that (checks garbage collection schedule) Thursday….

    Nerd, do you realize how much invaluable (or valuable (that’s always struck me as odd — like flammable/inflammable)) information, how much archaeological evidence, you are destroying?

  172. Pteryxx says

    Even more on author Naomi Mitchison, from a link in the NPR piece:


    There are so many points of fascination in the long life of Naomi Mitchison (1897-1999) that one could probably write any number of biographical volumes concentrating on different aspects of her experiences without much danger of overlap. She was a socialist activist and birth control campaigner, and also a county councillor and politician’s (later peer’s) wife. She was a well-brought-up young Edwardian lady and scion of the famous Haldane family, who became an advocate and practitioner of polyamory. In her twenties she was a naïve young Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse, caring for injured soldiers during the Great War; in her sixties she was the adoptive mother and advisor to a tribal leader in what would soon become Botswana. There is all this and still Mitchison the writer has not been reached; and even this subject might be (and frequently has been) subdivided into the writer of historical fiction, the writer of contemporary fiction, the writer of genre fiction or poetry or biography or political theory, the Scottish Renaissance writer or the voice of interwar women.

    and a review of Travel Light:

    Mitchison begins the book with the authority-eschewing phrase “It is said,” and her style throughout is that of fireside fairy tale, chatty and universalising (“Now, when anyone changes into a bear, it is bearish they become” (TL, p. 2)) and rhythmically suited to reading aloud; when Matulli leaves the king’s hall with Halla, she travels “through the birch woods and the pine woods into the deep dark woods” (TL, p. 1). But it is also a very sardonic voice. Mitchison delights in poking fun at fairy-tale conventions, particularly those that would idealise Halla as a fairy-tale girl and push her into a predetermined shape, like the “various unicorns which would keep following Halla about and soppily laying their heads down in her lap whenever she sat down, and eyeing her with their great golden eyes. As their heads were very heavy, this was a nuisance, especially when two of them did it together” (TL, p. 18).

  173. says

    My nana made my sister and I a turkey one Christmas (the year before my dad died, now I think about it, so 1980) that had been in the fridge for – I want to say 15 years, but I have a memory of having said twelve before, so I’m going to fight the urge to edit the memory further – for twelve years. Ten years minimum, but I’m pretty sure it was twelve.

    It was a touch freezer-burnt…maybe a touch dry. Okay, dry. Well, quite dry. Really, really dry. Like, “please get me some urgent hydration as my esophagus is becoming desiccated” was the gist of a note I wrote as my lips followed my shrivelling tongue down my throat. Emergency application of over-syruped cranberries helped considerably, although to this day I will not eat cranberries. They used to be one of the only three types of -berries I’d eat (straw-, cran-, and Franken-). Now they give me a queer, sick sort of feeling. And not the good kind of queer, but, the “Oh, mother, I have come over all queer in my stomach!” sort of queer.

    My mother had learnt her cooking skills from her own mother, a school lunch lady (and we all know how good that food often is; my nana gave this sad stereotype fresh and vibrant life, or what had once been fresh and vibrant life but had then been rendered into a sad grey paste). She had come across this turkey while cleaning out the school fridge, it had got stuck behind a barrel or something, and the school said they daren’t serve it, so we got it. We came across for Christmas, and she’d decided she was going to do up a proper American-style Christmas. She was never very clear on the distinction between the US and Canada. But she got some horrid cranberries in golden syrup or something, and had stuffed this poor desiccated carcass with bread and some bits of sausage and some frozen veg before roasting it more or less free of interference by basting or such foolishness. I may have mentioned about the cooking skills.

    All those awful stereotypes about how English people can’t cook: that’s my mother. Some of it was that she’d simply never encountered much in the way of variety either growing up or when she’d had us. We were poor enough that we went short not rarely, so we ate what was there, and if mum didn’t know how to cook it, she’d just fall back on her old staple: boil whatever it is until grey and tasteless, serves four.

    Mercifully, my nana didn’t boil the turkey, but the roasting hadn’t gone well either. The bread was, rather than moistened by the bird, dried out by it – I swear I’m not exaggerating – so that it became rather more like sausage-and-croutons than stuffing.

    And of course, it’s Nan, and she’s smiling and being lovely to everyone, and proud of her special day’s cooking…so we all smiled, and choked it down, and drank a week’s worth of tea in a night. :)

  174. Pteryxx says

    one more quote, since this sounds oddly familiar.

    Mitchison also lectured, although her experiences make it little wonder that she increasingly turned to fiction to explore her ideas. One conference that she attended, that of the World League for Sexual Reform in 1929, covered a range of related topics, including sex education, unmarried motherhood, prostitution, venereal disease, and eugenics. Mitchison and other birth control advocates focused on social attitudes to contraception and its advantages for women, and the beneficial effects of sex when conception was out of the equation. But although the speakers comprised a mixture of professional physicians and social reformists, the former sought to marginalise the latter (one of the organisers, Haire, emphasised his scientific message over “impassioned” feminist politics), and contemporary reports suggest that this was successful. The Lancet, for example, noted that “a number of distinguished literary men” had been involved in the discussions, but mentioned none of the reformist women, and in general the efforts to consider sexuality in its social framework, rather than the purely medical issue of sex and reproduction, were largely ignored [3].

  175. blf says

    Ogvorbis, Thanks for the clarification!

    I admit I was a bit surprised when I read the now-clarified reply, and whilst preparing / eating dinner (which involved peas!) was trying to think of an obviously-humorous yet serious inquiry as to how much grumpyness you stepped in when you unpacked the goats, etc., and got out of bed this morning.

    Peas: I just had pigeon stuffed with sausage, and served with carrots, peas, and a mélange of rices, cooked in a coconut milk based sauce. The basis (the stuffed pigeon, peas, and carrots) were prepared in a local shop (which is why there were peas (I would have used MUSHROOMS!)); the rice and sauce were my additions. Kwak beer to wash it all done (albeit unfortunately not served in the proper glass). And surprisingly inexpensive, less than 6€ / pigeon, albeit since pigeon’s aren’t very big, I suppose that isn’t all that surprising…

    I did make sure all the peas were killed and thus not excessively dangerou—GAARAWKAAAA!!!!


    Sorry there, surprised by an escaped pea. Successfully subdued with a screwdriver (not sonic) and two flamethrowers.

  176. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    inquiry as to how much grumpyness you stepped in when you unpacked the goats,

    These are bedgoats. Small, fluffy, well-behaved bedgoats.

    They give something to hold tight when the nightmares hit.

  177. says

    We need predictions for 2014 … well, no, we don’t actually *need* predictions, especially from the right wing of the religious swamp, but here are some anyway:

    Televangelist Pat Robertson today revealed what God told him is in store for America in 2014, and it’s bad news unless you are a Republican. Robertson explained that he didn’t receive a New Year’s message at the beginning of 2013 because weather conditions prevented him from going to the mountain retreat where God speaks to him. (Or maybe the 700 Club host was still peeved about his 2012 conversation with God, in which Robertson claims God told him that Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama and become a successful two-term president.)

    Keeping with his tradition of passing along extremely vague divine warnings about the country’s unraveling, Robertson reported to co-host Wendy Griffith that God informed him of severe economic problems that will devastate the global economy and the emergence of a nuclear Iran.

    But there is a silver lining, Robertson reported: All of these problems will benefit Republicans, who will win control of the Senate in the midterm elections as Obama retreats to become a surfer in Hawaii. […]


  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, do you realize how much invaluable (or valuable (that’s always struck me as odd — like flammable/inflammable)) information, how much archaeological evidence, you are destroying?

    Oh, you mean the “native American” artifacts the Redhead, a Michigan native, piled into the freezer over twenty-five years (it was empty when we moved here)? *snicker*
    I suppose if someone wants to examine the DNA of the cooked pumpkin, they still could. I will just refer them to the local Advanced Disposal landfill.

  179. rq says

    I have a bedgoat. Oh wait, I think that’s Husband…

    In other news, thanks for more of the Naomi Mitchison information, Pteryxx. Scary how things have not changed at all. So now I want to read buy her books. All of them. Now.

  180. rq says

    Actually, given the recent boom in translated foreign literature leaning towards the fantastical (among that, I am ashamed to say, the Twilight series, but also Harry Potter and Tolkien – marginally better), I’d love to translate her books into Latvian. Just for fun.

  181. carlie says

    rq – that reinforces my wobbly resolve to learn Slovak – it’s tied right in the middle of the entire Slavic group, so once I get that one I should be able to piece out all the others, yes?

  182. cicely says

    Not even slightly caught up, but real quick—I need a link to a site that did a good job of debunking the “vaccines will kill you ded!!!” meme, and I think it was linked from here about 3 months back; and I can’t find it, and I bookmarked it at the office, where I am not, atm, and I really need to smack an antivaxxer on FB upside the head with it.
    Help, plz???

  183. cicely says

    This time, it also comes packaged with “fluoride is poison and it will kill you and give you dental fluorosis”, about which I know nothing. Anybody? All I’ve got is a flashback to an old M.A.S.H. episode wherein Frank is rote-training Koreans to say “Don’t poison our water with fluoridation”, and that’s no real help.

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


    Try copying and pasting the following line into your browser:


    or customize the search, starting with the search terms:

    cicely “anti-vax” 2013 site:freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula

    Place those terms into the search bar exactly as written. Then add/change as necessary to get results that seem most directly related to what you remember.

    “site:url” is your google-friend.

  185. David Marjanović says

    Petition: “Support Mother Who Resists Court Order to Circumcise Son” – it’s a religious court in Israel. Weirdness and the supreme (civil) court are involved.

    For the visual linguistics fans. Cannot attest to the accuracy, but it sure looks pretty.

    Lots of awesomeness. Bookmarked! :-) Contains a few surprises. The usual division between East, West and South Slavic appears very artificial according to that chart, even more so than I expected. I’m also surprised that the distance between Albanian and Serbian wasn’t even calculated; Albanian and Slovene have never been in contact…

    I’d love to see a three-dimensional version where the distances could be represented better.

    I’m surprised Basque is absent, but in spite of its Latin-through-Spanish loanwords it’s probably more distant to anything on the chart than any two languages on the chart are from each other. Spanish would put it in the lower right corner of an expanded chart, though.

    rq – that reinforces my wobbly resolve to learn Slovak – it’s tied right in the middle of the entire Slavic group, so once I get that one I should be able to piece out all the others, yes?

    :-) :-) :-) Yes, but learning any Slavic language makes you able to piece out all the others. None of them has undergone great shifts in sound system, vocabulary or grammar that the others don’t all share, and their last common ancestor was spoken just 1500 years ago – they’re like West Germanic without the Norse and French influences on English. It’s entirely possible that Slovak is the optimal choice, but not by much. :-)

    This time, it also comes packaged with “fluoride is poison and it will kill you and give you dental fluorosis”, about which I know nothing. Anybody?

    Yup, fluoride is dangerous if you eat huge amounts of it. Say, one large tube of toothpaste for every 20 kg of body weight all on the same day. I’m sure Wikipedia is overflowing with details.

  186. says

    The John Birch Society (Precursors of the Tea Party), are the ultimate origin of that one, AFAICT. They claimed that water fluoridation was a Communist plot to make Americans docile in preparation for a Soviet takeover (the Teabaggers only wish they had that quality of paranoia fuel; Evil Empire beats terrorism alone every time). They further claimed that it was derived from nuclear waste. Once out in the conspiracy theoryverse, it mutated, and the anti-nuclear types dropped the Communism, latched onto the nuclear waste bit, and read enough chemistry to know that it *could* kill you (see David’s post for how), and claimed it was a government plot to get rid of nuclear waste and poison americans (no reason usually given). Then every kind of health quack latched onto it as evidence of the Medical Conspiracy to keep them down, and that’s where the anti-vaxxers got it.

  187. Pteryxx says

    Can I ask folks more knowledgeable about trans* history for some background here? This is from a commenter on Boingboing’s article about the Harper research burning:

    If you want to destroy people’s history, book-burning works. And the fewer the records, or the smaller the group one targets, the better it works. It didn’t destroy Jewish history, but many book-burning pictures are from the burning of Hirschfeld’s library, part of a campaign that has destroyed trans and intersex history.

    Now we have to face accusations that we have no history, that we did not always exist, that we were invented by the medical establishment – in some cases, accusations that we were invented by the same Nazi scientists who were trying to exterminate our people. It fucking infuriates me.

    If Thunderdome’s a better place I’ll move it there. I really have no idea who hangs out on which thread anymore.

  188. Pteryxx says

    Crip Dyke: I did find the Pfft about Hirschfeld and the Institute, which basically just confirm that yes there was such a person and a center and yes it was destroyed:

    As well as being a research library and housing a large archive, the Institute also included medical, psychological, and ethnological divisions, and a marriage and sex counseling office. The Institute was visited by around 20,000 people each year, and conducted around 1,800 consultations. Poorer visitors were treated for free. In addition, the institute advocated sex education, contraception, the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and women’s emancipation, and was a pioneer worldwide in the call for civil rights and social acceptance for homosexual and transgender people.

    and my searching (on dial-up) is only turning up more stuff on Nazis, book-burning, and how difficult it was to track down any of the surviving records.

    What did it mean for Hirschfeld’s work and the Institute to exist, though, and what is this history that was erased and means so much? (and what is this ‘accusations that we were invented’ by Nazis, holy hell, who says that?) I get that the narrative was broken, but I’d rather find out what the real narrative *was* if that makes any sense to be asking.

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

    Part of the problem, Pteryxx, is that we don’t know.

    But we **do know** things like the following, from the linked article:

    Magnus Hirschfeld coined the term transsexualism, identifying the clinical category which his colleague Harry Benjamin would later develop in the United States. Transgender people were on the staff of the Institute, as well as being among the clients there. Various endocrinologic and surgical services were offered, including the first modern “sex-change” operations in the 1930s. Hirschfeld also worked with Berlin’s police department to curtail the arrest of cross-dressed individuals on suspicion of prostitution.

    In other words, we were collaborators in the creation of knowledge, the definition of our lives, and the medical responses to our dissociation from our bodies.

    In present-day North America, even in trans communities, it is common to think of Harry Benjamin as the “originator” of medical response to transsexuality. This tremendously changes how people feel about surgery and other medicalized responses. HB was a believer in gender-corrective sex, if not rape, among other atrocious things.

    The Nazi persecution made it impossible to assemble the narratives and definitions as they existed before 1934. There simply is no way to know how our lives might be different now with that information – would the narrative about “trapped in the wrong body” that has done so much harm have been avoided?

    No one can say, but a trans-centered, trans-co-created history did exist, and has been lost through the evils of anti-intellectualism and tribalism.

  190. Pteryxx says

    Crip Dyke, thanks… I was hoping something existed that the Pfft was missing. (and I know nothing about Harry Benjamin, so I’ll look there next.)

    All I could find further was this:

    After the gains made by the homosexual rights movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the vibrant homosexual subcultures of the 20s and 30s became silent as war engulfed Europe. Germany, the traditional home of such movements (Scientific-Humanitarian Committee) and activists (Magnus Hirschfeld, Ernst Burchard, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs or Max Spohr), went from being the best place in Europe to be gay, lesbian or transgender, to the worst, under the Nazis.

    So… there was once a movement and a best, vibrant, place. *headshake*

  191. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Pipes are flowing again.

    Praise Tpipesos!

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist. Departing!)

  192. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, the Apple TV learning curve continues. The Redhead just discovered what I said about putting 8 comedies and one dramadie out for her watching in one transfer was true. She’s going to have to rethink her watching strategy.
    *later* I do I rerun the show, as I busy sorting shit…select and hit play….DUH

  193. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, my last paragraph in #258 should be:

    *later* HOW I do I rerun the show, as I busy sorting shit…*select and hit play, just like the DVD….DUH*

    Dealing with the electronically challenged, *headdesk*.

  194. bluentx says

    re: On willful destruction of texts and the reaction to same…

    On first hearing of the Alexandria Library burning I did the rage-cry thing. (And this news makes me sick!)

    1) Then I actually cried while watching the fire depicted in Agora.

    2) I even hate the idea of taking my mothers Harlequin romance collection to the second hand book store knowing that they will cut off the corner of the front cover or mark it in some way (because they’re worthless dreck, practically unsaleable).

    How does that (1 &2) come out on the silly meter?

  195. says

    Sorry to interrupt, but…

    This summer I took a bunch of video of baby hummingbirds int eh nest in our apricot tree, and I just got around to finishing editing it down to just the feedings.
    I think it’s pretty good if I do say so myself. The nest was a little bigger than a US quarter.

    Thought some bird people and cute-critter people might like this:

  196. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Hmm. Does anyone have any information about LifeLock? They offer monitoring of a child’s credit reports for fraudulent activity as an add-on service and given the situation with my ex that might be a good idea…

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

    just watched a good documentary that revolves around taphonomy. Usually when taphonomy is addressed at all, it’s done in a cursory way or addressed only to say that the manner of preservation suggests or doesn’t suggest group behaviors.

    This one is about Mary Schweitzer’s work and goes into histological distinctions in preservation in order to explore what is learnable (not what is known) about dinosaur histology, the dinosaur proteome, and the dinosaur genome.

    Really great stuff. The techniques that she pioneered were used on Confuciusornis to tentatively ID sexual dimorphic tail development.

  198. rq says

    Jafafa Hots
    So cute! And so tiny! The best I got was some photos of baby crows. :) Hummingbirds are way more awesome! (And Dana Hunter on FtB here might like to make a post about this… she does some on birds from time to time.)

  199. says

    ‘ MOrning
    Still not good. If this cold doesn’t get away soon I will see my doc on Wednesday

    I remember some joint swooning over Folkmanis animals in some long gone Lounge or TET

    Crip Dyke, Pteryxx

    I think this on the Pfft about the institute Herschfeld headed probably answers the main questions you have.

    Interestingly I just recently learned that this institute existed. It’s almost as if they also erased the memory of the Institue as such.
    Berlin is btw still a bad place to be trans an seek medical treatment. The Insititute at the Charité will treat children suspected of being trans* with “gender corrective therapy” where they have to learn to behave and dress and play like their real™ gender, which is, of course, not only devastating for trans* children, but also for all other children who get cis-sexist, heteronormative patriarchal stereotypes hammered into their heads as the only healthy way to behave.

    My husband is funny. I allowed #1 to join an adoptables game I’m playing. So far he’s been shaking his head about adults clicking unicorn eggs to make them grow. Now he’s actively plotting who of these adults could he recruit to help her grow her unicorns?

  200. A. Noyd says

    Speaking of pre-WWII Germany and LGBT+ stuff, anyone else seen the 1918 silent film “I Don’t Want to Be a Man” (German title: “Ich möchte kein Mann sein”)? It’s available on US Netflix. It’s very silly, but I think it’s interesting what it says about German attitudes towards sexuality and gender at the time.

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

    I wonder whether Albanian sworn virgins can be included in trans history of Europe.

    They certainly had all kinds of reasons (mostly to do with patriarchal oppression of women) for taking the vows, some didn’t do it willingly, but it was also a way for trans men to transition and be socially accepted* as men.

    * obviously, not completely – note the name

  202. opposablethumbs says

    I guess you all probably already know about this app, but just in case –


    Apparently if you have a recent android or iphone you can get an app from ACLU called ‘policetape’. If you take footage of police brutality at a demo or similar, you can get it to automatically upload to the ACLU server. So if your phone is confiscated, police can’t delete the evidence. (this is from an old page on the goodnewsfeminism tumblr; I was just wandering through some of the back pages just now)

  203. rq says

    TW: violence

    Sometimes I wish this job wasn’t so hands-on. Then again, I think mostly I just wish people wouldn’t stab each other. The bloodstains don’t wash out all that well.

  204. carlie says

    Azkyroth – monitoring in some form is probably a good idea. My husband’s uncle went thorough that with is (now ex) wife – she opened a few credit cards in their 8 yr old daughter’s name, along with a lot of other financial scams.

  205. says

    Hello all.

    Slightly ‘rupt. Feeling crappy (my dad says my symptoms are similar to sinusitis). Tired of not being able to fully hear from my right ear (this sore jaw is annoying as well).


    *And* gotta go to work and be around people and stuff?
    Double bah.

  206. says

    So there’s this coworker I’ve had a huge crush on since starting a few months ago. Chatting with her to get to know here a bit before asking her out, she casually mentioned her boyfriend. I’m thinking, ok, friendship is probably still on the table- but I’ve been terrified of turning into an Internet Nice Guy.

    Almost turned down an invitation to a New Years Eve party because her bf would be there, and I thought that would be hard to see.

    It… wasn’t. Within just a couple minutes I wasn’t quite resigned to just being friends with her- I was simply happy that I could be friends with her, I could let go of the crush that was destined to go nowhere, and could be genuinely happy she’s got a good relationship.

    I was not expecting that response. But at least I’m confident I can dodge Internet Nice Guy territory here, without having to take the extreme option of basically ignoring her except when work duties required otherwise. And I get a good friend too. This crush turned out better than expected, though in an entirely different way than I initially thought I wanted it to.

    Still single, but hey, now that I’m not so hung up on her I can maybe do better looking elsewhere.

  207. says

    gworroll, among polyamourous people, we call that feeling “compersion”: a feeling of happiness that the person you love is themselves happy. I get it all the time, when I know MyshkaMouse is off having fun spinning her poi with one of her other partners, or at a Deadhead do with the other.

    It’s a much nicer thing than jealousy, both in how it makes you feel, and in how it tends to lead people to act. I’ve never been sure whether it’s a mark of being broken or lucky, that I don’t “get” jealousy. I’ve never understood it, never felt it*, and find it weird when it’s a plot point in a show or book, like, “Oh, right, jealous! Man, mono people are weird!”

    I’m really glad it worked out that way for you, and I hope you find someone who will love you as much as you do them, very soon. :)

    * Separate from envy; I’ve envied things that other people have, but not been jealous over the people they are with.

  208. rq says

    Sounds like sinusitis… Or an ear infection, but the sinusitis is more likely to block off your ears. And if it’s in your ears, it’s difficult to get it out of there (been there… not in your ear, duh).
    I wish you didn’t have to go to work, I’d feet you warm teas and buy you Canadian medicine to make you better. *hugs* And be careful at work (don’t cough on anyone, wash hands more frequently, move slowly, etc.).

  209. rq says

    Oh, I get jealousy – the kind of jealousy that’s Fear of Loss, because I’m not awesome enough.
    The good thing is, I’m growing out of it.
    The bad thing is, it pops up rather unexpectedly sometimes (although now there’s more of a despairing flavour, related to my holiday gripes about alcohol consumption).

  210. says

    Ronald Reagan and the religious/occult source of his America-is-super-special concept:

    After reading this article, one can’t help but hear echoes of current America-is-God’s-gift palaver that saturates the right wing (and is especially prevalent in mormon dogma).

    I wouldn’t have used the description “sunny optimism,” — more like addlepated, wild-eyed dancing around reality.

  211. says

    From the article about Reagan (link in comment #281):

    Reagan’s style was to read selectively and to question narrowly. As soon as he homed in on a position—such as his belief in massive welfare fraud—he would constantly happen upon fact after fact, usually in the form of stories or an offbeat statistic, to buttress his conviction. Campaign aides told of sometimes “misplacing” the chief’s favorite magazines in order to avoid his glomming on to a factoid—such as trees causing air pollution—that would later prove an embarrassment.

  212. says

    Big hugs ((()))

    Well, we’re not poly, but I can gladly say that jealousy is a beast we only know from seeing it in the zoo, so to speak.
    I’ve seen it too often. What I always found interesting was this trope about the third person stealing one’s partner. I know my former BFF had some fits and violent fanstasies about what she wanted to do with the “sluts” who didn’t leave her (cheating, violent, good for nothing asshole) boyfriend alone.
    Wait, there’s two people and only one of them owes you some honestly and loyalty and it’s not the other woman.
    But I get “fear of loss”, but I’m getting better at that, too.

  213. says

    I think “fear of loss” isn’t quite the same thing as jealousy, though. Jealousy – from the outside, of course – seems to me more about “this is mine and you can’t have it because it’s mine!”, or “I want this to be mine and you have it therefore you are evil”, rather than purely out of what I’d call simple insecurity: “I worry that if I lose you, I won’t find anyone and I’ll be alone.”

    Do those things seem like part of the same phenomenon to people? I’d not considered that before. “I’m afraid of being alone” I get. I am alone, a lot of the time.

    I could very well be utterly wrong here. I freely admit, I really don’t get jealousy on a basic level, so I can only guess at people’s motivations when they feel it. Interesting to think about.

  214. rq says

    In my case, it’s definitely a mixture, at least in the manifestation sense – my ‘fear of loss’ often transmits as ‘jealousy’, because the accompanying actions are similar (unwillingness to let Partner go places, see other people, do other things, etc.).
    What’s different is on the inside: I’ve never had the Pure Jealousy type of feeling, where I want to keep away all women from my partner (now Husband); it’s more a fact of trying to keep my partner (now Husband) away from all women. If you get what I’m trying to mean. I’ve always read it as jealousy, even though I do without the violent fantasies.
    It’s definitely a trust issue, which is getting better all the time (when it comes to people, at least). But it’s also heavily tied to my self-esteem, and I really can’t untangle it more than that. And I would call it jealousy, at least a version thereof, because it does (in my case) involve a sense of possession. But definitely a lot of insecurity, too.

    That being said, I’m not horribly terrified of being alone. I like being alone. I like doing things alone. What I don’t like is being abandoned by someone who has been careful to project the intent that they intend to stick around. It circles back to that self-worth thing. I don’t mind random (or even not-so-random) people not liking me, heck, I revel in it sometimes. I don’t like people building trust and then crushing it.
    This very interesting conversation is keeping me from leaving work. Bah.
    [/ramble of thoughts]

  215. rq says

    On the other hand, if my so-called jealousy has only ever been fear-of-loss, then… That changes a lot of things in how I perceive myself and some of my former actions. In a good way. (Because, see, jealousy is a bad-bad thing, whereas fear-of-loss is only a bad thing…)

  216. rq says

    I was never afraid of losing Mr to other women. I was simply afraid of him leaving.

    Hmm. This bears some thinking about. I won’t deny that Other Women have been involved in my thinking, mostly because he (Husband) is/was bound to meet someone far more interesting, and submissive, and less snarky, and more feminine, and more gentle than me… But… Hmm. Mostly the leaving part, yeah, that.

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

    CaitieCat said:

    I’ve never been sure whether it’s a mark of being broken or lucky, that I don’t “get” jealousy. I’ve never understood it, never felt it*, and find it weird when it’s a plot point in a show or book, like, “Oh, right, jealous! Man, mono people are weird!

    I’m right there with you.

    I’m always happy when my partners are happy, whether any of the happiness can be traced back to me or not.

    I **do** feel fear of loss sometimes, but I’m never upset that someone else might gain the attentions of a sweetie of mine, just that I might lose those attentions.

    And in the last 10 years or so (has it really been that long?) I’ve had to do a lot of questioning about whether or not my lack of jealousy has to do with me being so broken that I can’t believe I can really make someone happy, therefore relief that my partner has a source of happiness rather than, y’know, jealousy that my partner has a source of happiness.

    But I feel *more* compersion, not less, when I’m in a good place. That makes me feel like even if my broken-ness is a kind of broken that lends itself to lack-of-jealousy, there is something in me that isn’t broken that also is incompatible with jealousy.

    Or maybe it’s just one thing in me that is all about compersion and not jealousy that is more fundamental, and my brokenness hasn’t fractured me that deep, so both my healthy moments and my broken moments are full of compersion, even if they mediate that feeling differently.

    It’s all very complicated, being me.

  218. rq says

    Crip Dyke

    It’s all very complicated, being me.

    So you’re saying it’s not all about the shoes and handbags???
    More seriously, I think that statement applies to mostly everyone. With few exceptions.

  219. says

    rq, to me, it reads much more as fear of loss, but my p-o-v may not be…canonical. :)

    And that one I do get. When my Ex-Cellent* broke up with me, we were in the middle of planning our wedding, my having achieved ID and bodily congruency** meant we were now okay with getting legally married (it having been legalized just the year before). We hadn’t before because doing so would have meant taking “advantage” of my misgendered ID to achieve a same-sex marriage not available to our friends. As with several of my het friends who refused to get married until we could, it just wasn’t negotiable.

    Anyway, we were about four months out, I was just starting to work with my just-cast group on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the show that became The Nightmare Which Ate My Life***. She looked grumpy while we drove somewhere, don’t know what about, and I asked her what was up, she said the wedding, I asked why, and she said, “Cause I don’t think I want to get married. In fact, I think I need to break up.” We’d been together 11 years, through all the rage and fear and unhappiness of nongruent ID. We talked regularly about how we’d ge old together. And then…we weren’t. This is the most criticism I’ve ever made of her in public; I don’t believe in criticising my partners publicly. Ever. So for me, what I’ve just said is like I put up an old sex picture and sent it to everyone.

    It didn’t help that events conspired that all three of my secondary partners broke up with me around then too. One went mono after starting up with a new guy she’d seen – at my party, no less, celebrating a year since Congruency!, another left everyone and moved out west, and a third just wasn’t feeling it. All fair enough, but wow. Ouch.

    MyshkaMouse was around, and when I plaintively asked on my LiveJournal one day, “Why the hell does anyone like me, if anyone does?”, she was among many of my friends who spoke up in answer. We got talking, and I agreed with her that us was a prospect, but that I needed several months to be sure I wouldn’t be starting under false pretenses: that I wanted to be sure not to treat her as a rebound. We waited, and talked, and waited. And it worked out. Two years later, we handfasted in front of all our friends (she’s a pagan, but not a very devoted or demonstrative one, so we did the ceremony she wanted, as I couldn’t be arsed in either direction), and five and a half years after that, we’re still happily together. She’s still living with her legal husband, her teenage love Wolfie, and now her other partner (BigBunny) has moved in with them down in the DC-ish region.

    And when she started with BigBunny, three years ago, I had some of that insecurity. Having been blindsided by the Ex-Cellent, I was afraid that here it was again: I was too much trouble, and out the door I would go. So we talked, and I trusted her, and it’s all good. BigBunny and I have found some connection points, can spend companionable time together gaming or nerding out. And her moving in means I actually end up with more time; MM not having to travel so much – less than half as much – means she can spend more time here when she comes, losing less of her time to movement. She’s also less sore from being in the car constantly, which is good all around.

    So fear of loss, I get. I have that. But even when I was worried about BigBunny, it never translated to “I don’t want you around her,” it was, “Please make sure you’re attentive to me some too when we’re all together, so I can know I’m not in danger of abandonment here.”

    In the end, I think I just focus on what my relationship with her is, and worry about that, rather than worrying about her relationships with other people. As long as I can trust that our relationship won’t change without talking and bilateral knowledge, then what she does with her other time doesn’t affect me, and if it makes her happy, that’s a clear net good, no?

    Thanks for an interesting chat, btw, this is really learnful for me.

    * The Ex-Cellent: my wonderful ex, who despite the trauma of our breakup, has remained a good friend throughout (okay, we didn’t talk a lot for a few months – I’m not perfect, by any means), and we help each other out and have lunch/watch Netflix together regularly. She has chronic migraines and a crap doctor, so I help her with the occasional med; I have all the problems you all know too well, so she helps me with…lots of things. When she went from being my awesome partner to my ex-partner, she kept the awesome, of course.

    ** As these apply to me; not all trans* people feel the same way, by any means.

    *** But that, as Hammy Hamster’s narrator would say, is another story. Dude was a diva!

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

    I was ark when everyone else homed in on the crucial issue of fear-of-loss. (And here I thought I was making the distinction de novo – in this thread – when I wrote about it; darn Horde always being so smart!)

    I’m quite clear that my fear-of-loss has never had a possessive aspect to it. There’s no doubt at all. And it has never caused me to respond by saying, “Don’t do X” to my partner. Part of that is that my response to abuse is to feel revulsion at the idea of controlling another person. (And thus being an abuser, b/c asking your partner not to go to a movie tonight is totes the same thing as instilling fear for the purpose of control, dont’cha know?) But part is clearly fairly fundamental to me. Whether that is fundamental b/c of early abuse or just fundamental it’s impossible to know, but it’s there, and deep.

    The fear of loss is always focussed on me being deficient, never on other people being attractive. If I can’t love someone well enough, then other people who make Partner feel happy and loved are doing me a favor as it is part of my job description in a partnership to make Partner feel happy and loved. I feel an easing of an impossible burden when I’m feeling my brokenness at the same time that my partner has time with another partner (or a good friend, or …).

    And when I’m happy and Partner has time with another partner or a good friend or…, well then I just feel giddy with delight.

  221. rq says

    I think that’s part of the reason why I don’t think I could ever really make a go of being poly (gave it a half-assed try in uni), it’s enough worrying about the abandonment from one relationship, let alone from several…
    I think it’s the focus on the ‘us’ relationship rather than the ‘other people’ relationships that’s key, in a lot of ways, even in mono relationships. The more you focus on outside influences (potential or actual or imaginary), the less you focus on the relationship that matters, and I think that’s the damaging bit.
    Also, I think I understand your “please make sure you’re attentive to me” bit, because honestly, Husband is so social, he thinks everyone else is, and we’d go out with his friends or to see his family, and he’d sort of plunk me down (not quite literally) in the middle of it all, and go do his thing – never even giving thought that maybe, maaaaaybe, I need a bit of acknowledgement from him, an introduction, an easing-into, rather than ‘oh hey everyone’s nice, it’ll be great!’ Communication rocks, even when it doesn’t. And when the person you’re attached to isn’t attentive in a wildly social situation, that gets a bit… scary.
    I’m going to think more about this on the way home (it’ll keep my mind off emerging flu symptoms!), because that whole fear-of-loss vs. jealousy thing has been an eye-opening moment for me (thank you for that, CaitieCat and Giliell). I’m not quite ready to re-name things completely, since I’ve spent my life being a jealous sort of person (self-labelled), but I definitely feel nicer than I did before. Weird how that works.

    Also, CaitieCat, thanks for sharing your story. If I tried to say it in more words, I’d get all tangled again, but there’s a lot more meaning and sincerity behind those words than may seem at first reading. *hugs*

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

    @A Noyd, #268

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m interested.

    @Beatrice, #269

    The sworn virgins have been included in trans history, and for good reason. “Sworn virginhood” constituted a 3rd gender role in the society, which had its own gender mores and gender punishments, not to mention gender signifiers and other rules of gender expression. We can, post-facto, debate about what might have been going on in the heads of persons identified as sworn virgins, but a 3rd gender is an unusual thing to the mind steeped in Western European culture, whether that gender was created by an individual following an intrinsic drive or whether it was created by a society responding to extrinsic needs.

    @rq, 292:

    shoes and handbags: If only you knew how funny that was to me.

    More seriously, I think that statement applies to mostly everyone. With few exceptions.

    Yeah, I wrote it with self-mocking irony.

  223. rq says

    controlling another person

    I think I’ve spent too much of my life trying to figure out a benign way to make people do what I want them to do. Well, I think I can safely say that it’s impossible.
    But you know what helps? Not control them, but help them understand your needs (which sort of, in the end, gets people to do things your way more often, or at least leaves them open to discussion) – doing a lot of talking, even when it’s tough. Often ad nausem and repetitiously with constant reviewing, but… It helps. And works.

  224. says

    Yeah, the single greatest thing that being poly has taught me – or at least, that’s how the causation arrow feels to me – is that the single rule of good relationships is communicate, communicate, communicate. All the time, about anything and everything. If there’s something you can’t talk about, then you’ve got a much bigger problem, and that’s a good pointer to its existence. Whether the relationship is single or multiple, V or triad or braided or who knows what else, with communication, it can work, and without it, it won’t. It just won’t. It might have, sort of, in the days when divorce was difficult to impossible, and people just had to tough it out because society wouldn’t let you do anything else.

    But now? No. You have to talk. I see those comics talking about how funny it is that they can’t/won’t talk to their partner, and I think, “Wow, this isn’t funny, it’s a huge tragedy, why can’t you people see this?”

    Thank you all. Learnful, definitely.

  225. rq says

    What does a braided relationship look like…?

    I see those comics talking about how funny it is that they can’t/won’t talk to their partner, and I think, “Wow, this isn’t funny, it’s a huge tragedy, why can’t you people see this?”

    Same. Especially when they enforce rigid gender roles in any direction.

    Anyway. I am now going to be in transit. Gloriously.

  226. says

    Braided: A is with B; B is with A and C; C is with B and D; D is with C and E; et c., et c..

    The longest braid I know of is ten people, all of whom got married in their various combos in a big ceremony where they got together in the same place somewhere in the middle. They’re spread out across a couple of thousand miles of the coast of where they live. The ends may or may not be poly, and there can be subcrossings too, where A is also secondarily with F and H, or whatever.

    Seen it called a spiral, too; that family had a necklace they used as their marriage symbol, with a silver double strand of DNA, one for each of the seven of them. They’ve been together now for eight years.

  227. says

    I knew a lesbian braid once of five women; they called themselves, privately, a “bucket brigade”. I’ll leave the image to the reader’s imagination.

  228. Tethys says

    hello lounge,

    I am threadrupt, though following the jealousy/loss discussion. I am functionally a hermit, so not really anything to add.

    Today in Minnesota, the Arctic has come to pay a visit. However, since this is the coldest place in the lower 48 states some people just pay it no mind and continue on with enjoying the great frozen outdoors.

    href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JMjhTGArPwk”>surfing Lake Superior

    I am not that hardy, and will spend the next few days under multiple blankets with kitties tucked in all around me, crocheting another blanket.

  229. says

    Tethys, we’re under a heavy storm warning here, something sweeping up from Arkansas is supposed to wash over us tonight, leaving 6 to 8 inches (15-20cm) of snow, before finishing with some freezing rain and then a blast of Arctic air to finish it. We’re expected to set a new local cold record tomorrow, -22 C or something, which should turn the whole thing to a bloody great skating rink on ‘first day back to school’ day. Should be an excellent day to be a homebody.

  230. says


    Do those things seem like part of the same phenomenon to people? I’d not considered that before. “I’m afraid of being alone” I get. I am alone, a lot of the time.

    I don’t think so. Jealousy and possessiveness are poisonous from the start. Insecurity can become poisonous, if you never express it.

    I’m not a jealous person, and I’ve never worried over much about losing Mister. If he ever shut up about me around other people, then I’d worry. He’s not jealous, either, which is nice. He’s more secure than I am, though, so I did express my fears of abandonment a lot for about the first 5 years. That was 30 years ago now.

    Oh, I heard back about the Rivers of Life book from Free Gender. R180 ($17.00) to have it sent to NY. I think I’ll donate considerably more and ask politely if I can have it sent to the wilds of ND.

  231. says

    Weather.We have weather. -45 F with a warning:

    … Wind chill warning remains in effect until 6 PM CST /5 PM MST/

    * wind chills… to 65 below zero today through Monday.

    * Impacts… life threatening cold. Frostbite can occur in five
    minutes or less.

    Precautionary/preparedness actions…

    A wind chill warning means the combination of wind and very cold
    air will create dangerously low wind chill values. This will
    result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia or death if
    precautions are not taken.

  232. says

    Yeah, we definitely get the mildest winter in Canada outside of the Wet Coast. It makes sense; we’re way further south than Minnesota, more or less in the same boat as Detroit. This won’t be the all-time record, just the record for that day, but we usually have a small January thaw around this time, so it’s a little unusual, anyway. It’s been snowy as hell for us this year, too, been snowing pretty much steadily since the 20th, and it’s going again right now. I think our all-time year record for snow was set a few years ago at 228cm (a little over 7 feet), so a respectable amount for inter-Lake living.

    We’re in probably the mildest part of the region, too. To the north and west is Lake Huron, to the south and southwest is Erie, and Ontario is to the southeast. We never get weather from the northeast, so when we get weather, it’s coming over a lake, which means lake effect. But, we’re also high enough, compared to the lake shores, that much of the snow has already been dumped on others before it gets to us here. Also the winds off the lakes have been much abated by miles of forests and small hills by the time they reach us. Records for both snow and temperature are notably more severe in pretty much every direction from where I live.

    I’ve been in cold like Caine’s talking about, when I did my winter survival training in the Canadian military. It was…unpleasant. Very difficult to do anything military of use. You can’t dig, you can’t shoot – the metal contracts such that the parts don’t fit well enough to work properly, and it’s dangerous – you can’t cook, you can’t stand watch, you sure as hell don’t drink, you just huddle up together in your tent, with your legs pulled up under your parka and the sleeping bags piled around everyone sitting backs to the pole in the round tent, and you talk about how things were like back when you were still expecting to live to tomorrow. :)

    Hope y’all can stay warm.

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


    With communication, it can work, and without it, it won’t. It just won’t. …

    No. You have to talk. I see those comics talking about how funny it is that they can’t/won’t talk to their partner, and I think, “Wow, this isn’t funny, it’s a huge tragedy, why can’t you people see this?”

    Can I just say?

    You don’t have to talk about everything. I used to think that you did, but you really don’t.

    Sometimes you have to talk about the fact that there’s something about which you’re not talking, but being poly doesn’t mean no privacy.

    I don’t for a minute think that CC meant that, but so many people read similar statements and misunderstand them to say no privacy can exist. That’s not true. I don’t talk with Ms Crip Dyke about the depressive feelings I have. I talk about their existence. I sometimes have to talk about their effects. But I don’t articulate the thoughts or the feelings. It’s not helpful. It creates a risk of turning a partner into a therapist. It’s no fun. And, finally, since inevitably some of the thoughts/feelings involve the people around me, it runs the risk of Ms Crip Dyke thinking that there’s something she can do to make me not feel that thing that relates to her. That’s a recipe for disaster.

    Ms Crip Dyke herself is sufficiently schooled in psych to keep those things mostly separate and the risks very low, but since my depression isn’t responsive to talk therapy – it’s deeply brain, whether it was created as a response to environment originally is now of no consequence – there’s no point in running *any* level of risk, or in spending an afternoon dwelling on miserable thoughts/feelings.

    If there are people reading this who are actually thinking about how to apply some of these thoughts of CaitieCat or RQ or me, I strongly encourage folk to **explicitly** set out zones of privacy. Say, “I don’t want to talk about my ex-partner Niccola,” instead of just avoiding the subject when conversation skirts close. But then go ahead and don’t feel guilty about not talking about Niccola. Same goes with chronic pain or why you bought an SUV or whatever.

    Then the topic is a negotiated place of privacy, not a taboo. This makes exceptions more possible. Just like a closed bathroom door in a partnership can be opened with permission and under exceptional circumstances and for a limited purpose (“I really need to pee, I promise I’m not coming in the shower with you and I won’t hang out!”), a zone of privacy like this can be opened for questions like, “That’s not the same Niccola that Alex works with, is it? Because that Niccola is HIV+ and has been for 10 years and we haven’t been using protection.” Limited intrusion, the question gets handled, and it frequently has nothing to do with the essential reason the privacy area was marked off to begin with. And if the question *does* come too close to the purpose of the zone of privacy, you can ask why the other person needs to know, and come to an explicit agreement about the information shared that tries to meet each person’s needs.

    It sounds like more work than it is, really. The point is that privacy exists, but like other things in your relationships, it’s explicit, not implicit.

  234. says

    No, you’re right, I said that poorly, sorry. I meant, “If there’s something you can’t talk about, at all, not even that it exists as a thing not being talked about.”

    For me, saying I can’t talk “about my ex so-and-so,” or “about that thing that happened back then,” that’s talking. It’s acknowledging that it exists, and saying, I need to draw a line around that. That’s part of communicating, too: saying what you can’t talk about. Without that communication, it just becomes a problem of security through obscurity, and as the NSA is finding out, that’s a poor model.

    So thanks for pointing that out, you’re right that that’s not what I wanted to say, and I’m glad you said so. :)

  235. says


    I’ve been in cold like Caine’s talking about, when I did my winter survival training in the Canadian military. It was…unpleasant.

    Aye. Got up this morning, squinted at the very bright sun, got tea going, and let the dogs out – a blast of wind staggered me back, and I would have fallen, except my damp fingers (from getting tea on) stuck to the damn storm door. I hate mornings like that.

  236. blf says

    c.10℃ here now-ish. Forecast is to get a bit warmer the next few days, albeit with (or because of?) cloud cover, maybe with a bit of rain. Not too sure what the wind forecast is… No icebergs or volcanoes sighted, and also no sign of the mildly deranged penguin (roughly the same thing).

  237. says

    And we are having an exceptionally mild winter so far; all the snow there used to be has melted away everywhere roughly below 65th N. It’s been above freezing and rainy for weeks. If I could, I’d gladly exchange some of your cold air with our warm. Not all, mind you, just enough to balance things out.

  238. says

    K, this is cool: the google maps weather overlay. You can see (as I put this up; it will change, so this link won’t be much use later)the march of the snow coming up through eastern Michigan and across Lake Erie, in the little icons on the towns.

  239. Nutmeg says

    You folks are extra-fascinating today. :)

    CripDyke @ 310:

    And, finally, since inevitably some of the thoughts/feelings involve the people around me, it runs the risk of Ms Crip Dyke thinking that there’s something she can do to make me not feel that thing that relates to her. That’s a recipe for disaster.

    Thanks for writing this (and for your other thoughts). I have trouble figuring out how much to tell people when I have a problem that relates to them. In my head, things are pretty clearly divided into a) my problem, b) your problem, and c) someone else’s problem. But although I understand that the “our problem” category exists in theory, I don’t really know how it works in practice. This causes problems in relationships, especially because of the “lesbians must talk about ALL THE FEELINGS” trope.

    I really like having little mental flowcharts for how human interaction works. Maybe part of my flowchart for this could be “Is there anything person X can do to help with this problem?” —> No —> It is my problem. —> Tell person X that and request to not talk about it.

  240. says

    I was eating some bread with ham, cheese and pepper slices. And beer. Half way through I paused to take a few pictures, as this will be my birthday cake for tomorrow.

    Beer not in picture.

  241. says

    Hmmm, I don’t know if I could ever do Poly.
    To be honest, I haven’t thought much about it, after all I grew up within obligatory heteronomativity. Presently I cannot imagine being involved emotionally anywhere near as close as I am with Mr. Such relationships need work and time, too, and we’re running on a tight schedule. It’s hard to make room for our own “Zweisamkeit”, time for being partners and not parents.
    What I could imagine in perspective some day is doing sexy things with other people, no commitment, just fun.

    Premtive Happy Birthday, Weed Monkey

  242. says

    A half-eaten sandwich?

    Well, I ate it already, to be honest. And I wasn’t going to bake a cake or celebrate anyway.

    The sandwich was nice, though.

  243. says

    Oh! Maybe I should mention I’ll turn 38, following Tony’s lead. It simply jumped at me when I took a bite of that sandwich, but the rest of you are probably thinking I’m off my rocker. :D

  244. says

    Arrgh. What I initially took for heartburn has persisted for a week now, and woke me up last night in tears from the pain. The RN I spoke to at the the hospital said I should go to urgent care immediately. But they want payment up front, which I haven’t got, so I’m off on a merry little trip to the ER (racking up who the fuck knows how much more in medical bills I can’t pay), because I haven’t got fucking health insurance. Fuck, I wish I lived somewhere halfway civilized.

  245. says

    Oh, shit, DL, good luck. I wish you had civilization come where you are too. If someone can update us if you end up having to stay, that’d be awesome, but if no one can, worry about you and your family first, of course.

    Good luck.

  246. says


    Arrgh. What I initially took for heartburn has persisted for a week now, and woke me up last night in tears from the pain. The RN I spoke to at the the hospital said I should go to urgent care immediately.

    Oh shit. That sounds an awful lot like the acute pancreatitis that sent me to the ER a few years ago. If it is that, they’ll keep you a minimum 3 days. You get morphine though. If the horde signal is lit, I’ll happily donate.

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

    @Dalillama –

    The ACA isn’t working for you? What is making it fail in your case?

    @Weed Monkey –


    @Caine –

    I, too, wish Mr Caine a safe journey home.

    @Giliell –

    For me it’s about this: Does Mr Giliell have friends? Do they do things when you aren’t around? What would change if his friends were exactly the same people, but the things that they do when you’re not around including smooching? What if came home excited and happy because he went down on his best friend? If it happened in a nearly health-safe way (since nothing is perfectly safe: you could fall out of bed on your head, after all), how would it be different than if he came home excited and happy because he went to a movie of a type that he and his friend both enjoy but that you don’t?

    None of this is to say that this is how it should be for *you*. It’s just how it is for me.

    yes, communication is important, and health risks make certain topics necessary to cover that would be unnecessary in a monogamous relationship, but as far as **time** goes, it really doesn’t change the amount of time we have for each other at all. We have to have time apart. We have to have our own lives in addition to our relationship or we would merge into uni-dyke and lose what makes each of us special. If some of that time I watch superhero movies and some of that time she boinks someone she finds hot, we’ve still spent the same amount of time apart, and the time still serves the same purpose of giving us each new experiences that support a partnership of two whole people rather than a merging into one pair, each person incomplete without the other.

    So, no, I don’t find it takes more time away from each other. Law school is much more of a time suck.

    On the other hand, we’re more poly-in-theory than in practice, but setting up agreements that value each other’s happiness and feelings of love, setting up agreements that value love and attraction and joy, that has its own value even if I never run across anyone (other than Ms CD herself) to whom I’m attracted ever again.

  248. thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing? says

    Fun everyone.

    Major snowstorm is burying my area under 9 in thus far (22 cm) of snow. On top of 15 more (37 cm) just a few days ago.

    Temperatures are dropping rapidly to nighttime lows of -18 F (-28 C) with highs only to -13 (-25). With blowing snow all over the place.


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

    @Nutmeg, 319:

    the “lesbians must talk about ALL THE FEELINGS” trope.

    ZOMG yes. And, of course, I get myself in trouble with internal use of said trope as much as I get in trouble b/c others buy into the trope. Fortunately, that tendency has been on the decline for quite a while, but damn in the 90s I really bought into that one.

    I really like having little mental flowcharts for how human interaction works. Maybe part of my flowchart for this could be “Is there anything person X can do to help with this problem?” —> No —> It is my problem. —> Tell person X that and request to not talk about it.

    Exactly. If the other person has no power to affect the outcome, it really isn’t their problem.

    Of course, even if the other person *does* have power, it might still not be their problem. Bill Gates could solve a number of problems for me, but they still aren’t his problems. So, like you said, part of the flowchart: not the whole thing, but an important part.

  250. says

    Further to CD’s 330, I find it also helps to bridge between my very low libido and my partners’ almost-always much-higher libido. Given how hard it is to arrange sex for me (meds, foods, timing, it’s a huge pain), I’ve not got a huge impetus to overcome my low libido and the big obstacles. My partners, on the other hand, have much greater interest in sex.

    Were any of those groupings mono, at least one of us would be very unhappy with her sex life. Either we’d be doing too much for me, or too little for her. And within the bounds of “we shall not bump bits with anyone else”, that’d be that: you find a compromise, or you find new partners.

    With poly, I am able to bridge that libido difference, and still have relationships that bring me what I need, while allowing my partner to also get what they need.

    When I played soccer, I put it like this: my partner would never think to say to me that I couldn’t go out once a week and get sweaty with a lot of hot younger women, why would I say it to her? ;)

  251. says

    I’ve been following the jealousy discussion too. I found myself initially thinking I’m jealous of Tethys getting to lay under a bunch of blankets surrounded by kitties, but then I realized I don’t want to rob Tethys of any comfort. I want that comfort without taking from anyone.

  252. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    A half-eaten sandwich?

    Right now there is a half-eaten meatloaf sandwich in the fridge up in the office lunch room. It has now been there for over a month. It is getting fuzzy.

    Not a warm fuzzy. Not an ‘I want to snuggle’ fuzzy. Just, er, fuzzy.


    I got my new winter jacket at work. A down parka.

    I look like an ambulatory hand grenade.

    I got to hike through the snow to replace the time signs.

    Do you know how hard it is to find a small screw dropped into 6 inches of powdery snow overlaying grass? Took two trips to both signs.



    Take care of yourself. Keep us updated if you can.

  253. Tethys says


    I am jealous that you are in a place with live greenery, and non-frozen earth. I will happily share my blankets and kitties with you. I think you would be a grand movie-watching and snuggling companion.


    I am trying to find good free movies on hulu. I started watching Monster’s Ball, but it is too emotionally intense. Seriously, I don’t think I made it 15 minutes in and the racism/classism/abuse/horror was too much to bear no matter that it is just a superbly acted movie.

    I decided to try something a little more light-hearted and settled on a classic, Marriage, Italian Style.
    I expected sexism in a film from 1964, but again did not make it ten minutes into the movie before the AARRGGGHHH became overwhelming.

    Suggestions for smart, engaging, online movies would be very welcome.
    I am hoping for an Ogvorbis fire/train story to pass the cold winter hours in entertaining fashion.

  254. rq says

    Crip Dyke @310
    (and following posts)
    You’re absolutely right re: the communications thing. Which is sort of the direction in which I was leaning as it were – sometimes, the best way to communicate something is to say that you don’t want to talk about it. But in the context of “please pay more attention to me”, it’s definitely something that needs to be said, rather than implied unsuccessfully. No one’s a mind-reader (as far as I know), so for interactive things that matter, the talking is important. For personal things, sure – there’s a few things that Husband knows about me or that I know about Husband in that superficial This this happened to me once way, but there’s no connected in-depth discussion, because it’s not really necessary. But the facts are, at least, visible.


    It’s hard to make room for our own “Zweisamkeit”, time for being partners and not parents.

    Yes. And it’s not so much as having time for fun, but time for fun without the kids and only with each other. Totally understand you.

    And CD‘s response to this, about thinking in a Poly fashion – for me, personally, the trouble that arises is a lack of fairness (which may or may not arise). But it would seriously piss me off if Husband was going out and having himself a good time and not providing me with the same courtesy (which is already an issue), and it would especially hurt (given my insecurities) if it were occurring in a sexual manner, seeing as how I enjoy my mutually-consensual time with Husband, and if he was getting some without me, without me having the opportunity to get some of my own, well… I guess that loops back to the whole communications and fairness thing. Or maybe I’m being selfish, I don’t know.

    Here’s the thumb thing for Caine and mister! For a safe journey!

    I think you’re more thinking of envious – where jealousy implies wanting-to-take-away-from, and envy implies want-some-for-myself-too. Or something.


    I also, during the drive home, think I know where my self-labelling as jealous arises from. You’ll laugh. But from the astrology columns in teen girl magazines when I was in high school. As a right and proper down-to-earth Taurus, I’m supposed to be possessive. I’m pretty sure I am, but I don’t know if I am more so than the average person. But. I have to be possessive in order to be a good Taurus. And Taurus people are also notoriously jealous people due to their possessiveness. See how that works? So any insecure feelings I have about relationships are actually the beginning of jealousy… right? Weird. That was an interesting line of thought, but it seems to make sense (in my context). (The one positive thing about being a Taurus: because Taurus people are naturally really beautiful, all the magazines said I could walk around in jeans and pony-tails and still be hot. Didn’t really help the self-esteem, but it helped some!)
    Saddest part? I never even read these magazines a lot, don’t think I ever bought one, just read them with friends or borrowed them or did the quizzes. And it’s stuck with me this whole time.

  255. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    CaitieCat @ 334

    When I played soccer, I put it like this: my partner would never think to say to me that I couldn’t go out once a week and get sweaty with a lot of hot younger women, why would I say it to her? ;)

    How funny! I’ve made the exact same comparison.

    I have but one partner right now, but that hasn’t always been the case and may not remain the case. We had a rough patch a while back and had to revisit some stuff that had been brushed aside for a while as we settled into monogamy-by-default. Just having options and knowing the boundaries of trust and being open about attractions and crushes and talking about what needs one of us may not be able to fulfill for the other makes me feel really secure.

  256. rq says

    Last addendum to my thought (and this thought also applies to me): I think part of the specialness of sex comes of thinking of it as something exclusive, special, and completely different from all activities. I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to put it in the same category of, say, playing soccer (and who knows how much of that is cultural conditioning and how much actual personal preference, since for me sex is definitely a very intimate sharing activity and I’m not prone to sharing deep personal things with too many people, a lot like dancing, oddly enough…). But I thank all of you sharing your much more relaxed perspective with me, because it is a hugely educational experience to even try to think of it as any other ordinary time-passing activity. Which it is, really. I suppose. :)
    Ugh. I have to stop talking, I’m getting tired and that does not bode well for my ability to communicate clearly. I have no desire to offend anyone, least of all by mistake or misunderstanding.

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

    @rq, 340:

    I was mostly riffing on “time”, since in all relationships we have to spend time apart, and ideally that time apart provides something positive (money, joy, recovery, whatever), I was making the point that it doesn’t necessarily take more time to have your hubby suck off the rugby team than it does for him to go play a game of rugby. If I’m not present, I honestly **don’t know** if he went to the NFL game but came home late to hang out in the locker room in hopes of a gang-bang or if he came home late b/c it was a great game and he’d had a couple beers and was simply talking and sobering up before coming home.

    So it doesn’t make a difference in that sense.

    It can make an emotional difference, though, and you’re right that in part I was riffing on the fact that *for me* it doesn’t make an emotional difference. If what happens during the time a partner of mine spends away means that my partner comes home happy, then I’m quite happy for them even if they are doing something (like playing rugby, watching Desperate Housewives, or having a gang bang) that I would never want to do…or even if they are doing something that I **would** want to do, but that my partner did without me because reasons.

    As for symmetry, I’m not a believer in centrally planned economies, but I am a believer that in a true partnership, it’s “from each according to ability, to each according to need”.

    If you need to have fluid exchange to make your sex with other partners work for you, and if you can arrange things in such a way (stable 2ndary partners with testing, whatever) that this is possible, then the fact that your partner doesn’t need to have fluid exchange and would rather have random, anonymous experiences (your partner already has **loving sex** with you, it’s the hotness of random, anonymous sex that can’t be duplicated with someone you know that your partner craves) using barriers, it seems to me like the asymmetry isn’t a problem.

    But yes, even though the asymmetry of behaviors isn’t a problem, if one person gets their needs fulfilled and the other doesn’t, that’s a problem in any relationship monogamous or poly. It would be even worse if your partner seemed indifferent to your needs when you were making a real effort to meet theirs.

    The scenario you paint is pretty ugly, and I wouldn’t want it for anyone, but symmetry per se isn’t what I would prescribe as the answer.

    B/c, of course, I’m the final authority on what works in your relationship, dont’cha know?

  258. says

    *big hugs*
    Take care


    For me it’s about this: Does Mr Giliell have friends? Do they do things when you aren’t around? What would change if his friends were exactly the same people, but the things that they do when you’re not around including smooching?

    Hmmm, I would say that the one of us who has actually close friends is me. Yes, I’m the horrible woman who chased his best friend away (Full disclosure: his best friend is a horrible asshole. He’s the person who lets his agressive dog run wild and then tells other people that they should fence in their children if they don’t want to be threatened in their own garden), but yes, given that he doesn’t live with us during the week, he already gets to do many things without me.
    And just like rq, I’m sometimes pissed at this. Because all he has to do if he fancies going for a beer is to leave the house. So, opening this relationship would mean actual possibilities for him and hypothetical ones for me. In short, the man gets to fuck around while I get to take care of the kids. Does not sound very appealing to me.

  259. says

    Posting from phone scuse formatting. The ACA is v slow to process, esp for the totally broke.so no help there yet. Plus, even still thered be copays &c. In hospital now, doc says probably not calling for surgery, waiting on test results. Thatnks for good wishes all.

  260. carlie says

    On a much lighter note: researchers study whether laser-focused noticing of spiders is due to an evolutionary fear of spiders or, well, not. They use Doctor Who as the comparison. The fantabulous result: people who are Doctor Who fans get distracted by David Tennant in the same way that people who are afraid of spiders get distracted by spiders. So, no.

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

    No romantic sexual/relationships for me, but I went through a phase when I was jealous of my friend having other close friends. With my insecurities, I was convinced that, the more time she spent with these other friends, sooner she would realize how bad terrible pathetic I am, and soon we would grow apart.

    I think I never showed how I was feeling, but I spent some time fretting about the situation, just waiting for my friendship to fall apart.
    Luckily, that phase is over, but a lot of my insecurities are still here so I’m not sure how jealous I might become if I ever get involved with someone.

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

    [serious talk about jealousy and relationships]
    … Oooh, a shiny object David Tennant!

  263. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tethys @341:

    I succeeded in making you appear. Tell us a story?

    I could tell you the story about the televangelist, the secretary with the unbelievable name, the drugged wine and the doghouse, but I don’t have the thyme right now.

  264. says

    Mister is home, safe and sound.
    I’ve been in long-term poly relationships. They’re quite nice if you all have the temperament to handle it. Some people do, some people don’t.

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


    … Oooh, a shiny object David Tennant!


    glad Mr is home safe. Agreed that some people don’t have the skills and/or temperament to handle poly relationships.

  266. says

    Glad Mr is home safe. We have an agreement that safety is paramount: as much as we miss him, we’ll be glad to have him back home safely the next day.

    People please remind me to get actual paramedics and not TV crime story paramedics if anything ever happens to me. Because on TV they stop reanimation after 10 seconds and declare you dead.

  267. says

    I hate to be all, “me me me”, but right now, it needs to happen.

    I can feel myself starting the slow-but-accelerating slide into a depressive episode, and I don’t know how to stop it.

    Someone please slap some sanity back into me, because I can’t get a fucking grip on myself!

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


    That sucks. *hugs*

  269. Tethys says


    No slaps, but a quick run down the self-care checklist seems in order.

    Are you eating heathily?
    Are you drinking enough fluid?
    Are you sleeping enough?
    Are you getting enough exercise?
    Is your pain controlled?
    Is something in your life causing you lots of stress?

    I know that for me, a bit of focus on those things can help make me feel better, especially during the dark months of winter.

  270. carlie says

    WMDKitty – sometimes for me, watching a really engrossing movie can keep me away from thinking about myself enough to keep it from happening. Something with pathos and a happy ending, but not the exact kind I’m experiencing at the moment. Definitely something I know the ending to already, so I don’t have to get too upset. Singing helps. West Side Story, that kind of thing.

  271. says


    We have an agreement that safety is paramount: as much as we miss him, we’ll be glad to have him back home safely the next day.

    Yep, same here. Weather is much nastier now. If he hadn’t have been able to leave early, he would have stayed.

  272. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    if you click on him, he gets bigger!

    Yet another of those lines that, taken out of context . . .


    Glad mister is home safe.

  273. says


    Are you eating heathily?
    Are you drinking enough fluid?
    Are you sleeping enough?
    Are you getting enough exercise?
    Is your pain controlled?
    Is something in your life causing you lots of stress?

    I’m trying to eat healthy, but my diet’s been all kinds of disrupted the last few weeks. I’m really craving a salad. A proper this-is-a-whole-meal salad, with ALL the toppings. And bacon.

    I drink enough water to drown a fish.

    Sleep has been an ongoing battle for the longest time, but I’m sleeping on a consistent schedule, and napping when needed.

    Exercise… gentle exercise would be nice, but no, I’m not getting enough exercise, unless you count getting up to open the door for Gracie.

    My pain is not controlled. Which does not help. Sure, the edge is off, and I can sort-of function, but… no. I find I need to lie down a few times a day just to get a change of position.

    Stress… there’s really nothing, beyond pain, that’s causing stress. I don’t know if I should count the crap that goes on in my head, because it’s internal, and I should be able to turn it off. It’s the usual litany of “It’s your fault, you’re a failure, you’re a horrible person, *random guilt*, *random guilt*, failed relationships, flunked out of college — TWICE!, can’t even hold down a volunteer position, [insert “The Reason You Suck” speech here]”

    I have no reason not to believe it, because it’s all true.

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

    Hehe, Ogvorbis , I too was thinking there’s a dirty joke somewhere in that sentence, but couldn’t think of a good one.

    depression is a nasty liar.

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

    @Giliell, 355:

    They only do that if it’s impossible to revive a person. If it is possible, they’ll beat your chest until you’ve been unconscious for 7 minutes, only then giving up. After this comes the frantically renewing of resuscitation efforts only to have the injured person suddenly begin breathing on their own, with hypoxic effects disappearing within minutes.

    I know how this works.

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

    @WMD kitty:

    evolutionary biology documentaries for me.

  277. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Folding some laundry for the Redhead, and noticed she was asleep in her wheelchair. Went over to fasten her safety belt to avoid any sleep caused face plants on the floor. The belt, a lap blanket, a fleece blanket, and a headband later, the snores were almost immediate.

    The temperature is dropping rapidly. The last time I faced -20 F was in Dah YooPee, and I was supposed to pick the Redhead up from the airport, as she went to visit her grandparents near Brownsville TX. Couldn’t even get the car to turn over. Luckily, she got the local airport “limo” to get home in (the operator wasn’t going to turn off the motor until the weather warmed up). Two days later, the temperature was +20, and our car started right up.

  278. carlie says

    I know how this works.

    Spouse and I saw that while dating.
    He had already seen it first.
    He told me after that he hadn’t wanted to take me, because he knew I would say “BUT THEY DIDN’T DEPRESSURIZE” right at the crucial moment.

    Yes, I did.

  279. says

    Temps are dropping out here in Missouri too- our dog is normally left out, pretty much regardless of conditions.

    Tonight, though, with expectations of double digit negative temps, we were all “screw that” and brought the dog in. She’s got an old pickup truck cap repurposed as a doghouse, but there’s no way that’s enough over the next day or so if the weather people are anywhere close to right about whats coming.

  280. carlie says

    WMDKitty – comedy might do. Airplane! ? Wait, have you ever watched “A town called Panic”? It’s so bizarre you won’t be able to do anything else but sit and try to figure out what the hell is going on. And laugh.

  281. carlie says

    Some cities have announced reminders of their animal care laws – they’re prepared to ticket people who leave their pets out, esp. in the upper midwest.

  282. says


    That sounds an awful lot like the acute pancreatitis that sent me to the ER a few years ago.

    Bonus points for the correct diagnosis, although apparently mine’s not as bad as yours was; they sent me home with a prescription for painkillers, strict dietary restrictions, and instructions to arrange a followup visit in a few days.

    *hugs* Airplane! is funny. I’m also quite fond of the Cosgrove Hall adaptation of Soul Music, if you haven’t seen it. They also did Wyrd Sisters.

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


    he knew I would say “BUT THEY DIDN’T DEPRESSURIZE” right at the crucial moment.

    Yes, I did.

    That’s why when I said it in the theater the words sounded like they were in stereo!

  284. says

    carlie @374-

    Some cities have announced reminders of their animal care laws – they’re prepared to ticket people who leave their pets out, esp. in the upper midwest.

    Probably a good thing with that. If we were up there, she’d be inside quite a lot during winter and probably have a much better outdoor shelter too. This has just been a much more brutal winter than last year.

    I’m planning some doghouse improvements too right now. Enough to get through the coming weather ok is way too expensive, but with the scrap building materials we’ve got lying around, substantial improvements can be had for basically no money.

  285. carlie says

    Dalillama – I’m so sorry. :( Spouse has it too, never bad enough to end up in the hospital, but he did go to the ER twice before it was properly diagnosed. Biggest thing for him is making it through an episode without the pain bringing on an anxiety attack that makes everything worse.

    Crip Dyke – *rational people fist bump* :D

  286. bluentx says

    Can’t believe I only heard about this early this morning (on the way home) when her release happened Dec. 31:

    Most news groups are describing her as “the ailing attorney” or “the dying lawyer”. Only the compassionate conservatives over at Faux News are callingl her “the terror attorney”. Sheesh, it’s not even safe to defend your client ‘vigorously” any more!

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

    In between the ending of the job and the start of classes is twelve days.

    Twelve days wherein I have zero obligations.

    Today (day four), I:
    (1) Did laundry.
    (2) Played Sims.
    (3) Read various FTB things.
    (4) Bathed.

    And that’s it, unless you want me to list my ingestions and excretions.

  288. thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing? says


    attracted to people with various private part shapes.

    um… I know what you mean, but can we not map attraction onto assigned sex? that’s kinda an odious thing.

  289. carlie says

    thunk – I was trying to indicate that parts weren’t the important thing. I’m sorry I did otherwise.

  290. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Granted, that is actually how it manifests for at least some people. >.>

  291. bluentx says

    We’re playing ‘Identify the Heathen’ over on the MY EYES!!! thread. Need some help.

  292. says

    rq @279:
    Whether it’s sinusitis or not, I felt quite a bit better today. My equilibrium was back to normal, as was my hearing. My jaw is still somewhat sore, but gone is the mild headache and sore throat. I’m off tomorrow, so if I somehow feel worse, my butt shall stay in bed.


    Lynna @:
    Thanks for the link to the Reagan article at Salon. Today was quite a boring day at work, so I read a bunch of stuff from Salon, including that one. Very illuminating.

    Hall’s concise volume described how America was the product of a “Great Plan” for religious liberty and self-governance, launched by a hidden order of ancient philosophers and secret societies. In one chapter, Hall described a rousing speech delivered by a mysterious “unknown speaker” before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The “strange man,” wrote Hall, invisibly entered and exited the locked doors of the statehouse in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, delivering an oration that bolstered the wavering spirits of the delegates. “God has given America to be free!” commanded the mysterious speaker, urging the men to overcome their fears of being hanged or beheaded, and to seal destiny by signing the great document. Newly emboldened, the delegates rushed forward to add their names. They looked to thank the stranger only to discover that he had vanished from the locked room. Was this, Hall wondered, “one of the agents of the secret Order, guarding and directing the destiny of America?”
    There are indications that Reagan and Hall may have personally met to discuss the story. In an element unique to Hall’s version, the mystic-writer (dubiously) attributed the tale of the unknown speaker to the writings of Thomas Jefferson. When Reagan addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on January 25, 1974, he again told the story, but this time cited an attribution—of sorts. Reagan said the tale was told to him “some years ago” by “a writer, who happened to be an avid student of history. . . . I was told by this man that the story could be found in the writings of Jefferson. I confess, I never researched or made an effort to verify it.”

    (bolding mine)
    He never bothered to verify the truth of that story, yet believed it was true…
    I’ll take a facepalm/headdesk combo.

    CaitieCat, Tethys, Caine (and anyone else I’ve missed):
    Best wishes to you having to deal with this winter weather. Stay warm.


    Caine @307:
    I can’t wrap my head around how cold -65° is. Is that typical for this time of year?


    Speaking of bad weather, the erratic weather around here gave us some really cold nights last week, with 22°F being one of the low lows.
    Currently we have temps of 60°F.
    Tomorrow night though?
    We’re supposed to see 17°F.
    {Dear Mother Nature, make up your mind}

    Ogvorbis @337 (who is NOT failing at being human):

    Not a warm fuzzy. Not an ‘I want to snuggle’ fuzzy. Just, er, fuzzy

    Pictures or it didn’t happen :)


    Tethys @339:

    I think you would be a grand movie-watching and snuggling companion.

    That’s kind of you to say. Thank you.
    I must admit that I have a desire to talk about the movie as I’m watching it (the desire is there in theaters, but I refrain from saying much as I don’t want to disturb anyone’s experience. I usually just sit there and complain to myself). Micah and I loved watching movies together, bc we were much the same. It was almost always talking about bad dialogue or acting or events that shook our sense of disbelief. I tend to forget a lot of stuff in a movie after its over, so talking about it during the movie works better. Watching a movie at home, and being able to pause it to discuss certain elements works so much better for me.


    My sympathies my friend. I hope you can get the care you need as soon as possible.

  293. chigau (違う) says

    And when we are talking about
    “various private part shapes”
    “assigned sex”
    we are not talking about a binary.

  294. says

    Tony Tale:
    Actually, I have two short tales.
    Yesterday we had a party of ~30 mothers at work. Apparently they have fun get-togethers every other month at a different restaurant, sans children or significant others. Some of them know one another, and some don’t. I had one woman sit at my bar who only knew one person in the group, and wanted to wait until she arrived before joining the party. She and I chatted briefly until her friend arrived, at which point she mentioned her relief, as A) she didn’t know anyone at the party, and B) she wasn’t a mother. I jokingly responded “I’m sure if you wanted to do so, you could change that [not being a mother].” She agreed, but said she doesn’t want children anytime soon. I told her that I hoped no one in the party would pressure her about having kids and that reproductive freedom for women entails having the freedom to decide if and when to have children without pressure. As they both walked off, both women smiled and responded ‘Yes’.

    Today was exceptionally slow at work (typical of every restaurant I’ve worked at; the first month or two following the New Year see diminished sales) and at one point, there was only one guest in the restaurant. She sat at my bar and ordered a beer. After a short time, I noticed she was writing something. Yeah, I was curious, but it was none of my business. What I did notice was that she was running out of room to write (she was using the back of an envelope). I offered her a larger piece of paper, but she was just about done. We began to chat, and she mentioned that she was writing a Pros/Cons list; something she’d never done before. I was intrigued to know more, but wanted to be careful not to push the boundaries. I simply inquired if her list had to do with a personal relationship. Though she offered no specifics, she did say that was pretty much the case. As we chatted more, we talked about lists of this sort and I told her I thought it was a good idea to do. Prior to our chat, I had checked up on the Lounge and saw the conversation about communication, so that was fresh in my mind. We talked about how she might go about using the list, and the fact that even with applying logic to her relationship problem, that may not be able to overcome the emotional component.

    A short time later, another woman sat at the bar. In time, we came to chat. She mentioned not having eaten much in the last 7 days. When I inquired, she said she had been sick and not hungry, so she was looking forward to food.

    At some point, Woman #1 joined in the conversation and #2 mentioned she had actually been dealing with relationship problems. She had wanted to go eat and watch some football. Sadly, we do not have tv’s yet, which she said didn’t bother her too much–largely bc of the turmoil she was in. That was when #1 said she was kinda in the same boat. #2 asked me if it was common that people would come to my bar and discuss topics like that. I told her that I’ve encountered it before, though not frequently. She said one of the reasons she doesn’t go to bars by herself is bc too many guys won’t leave her alone and when she rebuffs them, she’s accused of being mean. She also talked about how society expects women to ‘look their best’ in public. She said she took hours trying to decide what to wear or even if she should shower; in the end, she showered, threw on something, put on no make up and said ‘fuck it’.

    I nodded in frustration and added that society has expectations of women: that they should always smile and be nice…that they are supposed to be polite and not rude…that they’re very emotional, sometimes hysterical. Contrast that with the men, who are: strong, stoic, and emotionless (unless its anger). Both women nodded as I said ‘Screw that. We need to get away from these ‘rules’ about what men and women are supposed to do, or how they’re supposed to be. You should be able to go wherever you want, with or without makeup, dressed as you choose, and be able to sit-alone-at a bar and drink, eat or do whatever you want without being hit on’.

    Shortly after that, #1 left, but not without telling me she was glad she came and thanking me.

    When #2 got up to leave I told her that anytime she wants to come to a bar, and sit, with or without company, with or without makeup, dressed up or laidback, she can come to mine.

  295. chigau (違う) says

    As soon as we get cheap teleportation, yours is the only bar I shall frequent.
    (until then, I’ll stay home and read you in the Lounge)

  296. says

    Tony, I’d totally spend my time sitting at your bar, if I were close enough. And I don’t even drink anymore.

    I know you didn’t do it for cookies, but you did good there. Yay you. :)

  297. ChasCPeterson says

    Was this, Hall wondered, “one of the agents of the secret Order, guarding and directing the destiny of America?”

    Adam Weishaupt.

  298. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    I hope that everyone is safe and ready for whatever weather is being thrown at us this week.

  299. rq says

    I hope everyone experiencing the giant cold is warm and safe, and all their pets, too!! You can all have some of my extra degrees, I want my 36.6 back.

  300. says

    Definitely not good.
    I’m still sick and feel like shit.

    *gentle scritches*

    Oh, I know, and I admit that nobody would have wanted to watch the end of a movie dragged out for 30 minutes, but couldn’t they have done the frantic rush to the hospital, the desperate colleagues waiting, the doctor coming out with that sad face thing? I know, it’s old, but at least it has some passing acquaintance with reality…
    *rambling about the movie*
    This was an episode of the German cultural phenomenon called “Tatort”. Tatort is every second Sunday night. There are different cities with different detectives and they’re usually produced by the regional subdivisions of public TV.
    The one last night was not broadcasted at 8, as usually, but at 10 because it was deemed too brutal for a general audience. I agree.
    And some things worked out fine, there was definitely the permanent threat, it didn’t have any “slow” parts where you can relax or develop the personal relationships. And if you knew that the actress wanted to leave you kinda knew the end would not be nice.
    Other things? Not that good, apart from the “hey, no heartbeat for 2 seconds, let’s declare her dead”.
    It played in a prison and apparently those guys who’d been jailed for violent crimes were able to sneak not one sharp tool from their workplace, but two, because they don’t count the tools when people leave for lunch.
    And yeah, the rapist and murderer protagonist was abused and tortured as a child by his mother. Because you always need a woman to blame, and if it’s not the female victim then it’s the mother.


    She and I chatted briefly until her friend arrived, at which point she mentioned her relief, as A) she didn’t know anyone at the party, and B) she wasn’t a mother. I jokingly responded “I’m sure if you wanted to do so, you could change that [not being a mother].”

    Please don’t do that.
    It worked out well in this case, but you can go horribly wrong down that road.
    Because you don’t know why she doesn’t have any children. Maybe she just had a miscarriage and her friend wanted to cheer her up? Maybe she’s infertile and spent the last 15 years and 50.000 bucks on fertility treatment. Maybe she thinks that you’re trying the worst pick-up line ever and feels like you’re totally going into sexual harassment territory.
    As a general rule: don’t comment on the reproductive status of any woman unless she volunteers information.

  301. rq says

    Wellp, it’s nice to know I just don’t have the temperament. I guess I can just stop looking at all my preconceptions and insecurities more closely.

    Crip Dyke

    symmetry per se

    Perhaps it might help to think of it not as ‘symmetry’ but as ‘equal opportunity’. I look at it in pretty symmetric terms, but it doesn’t have to be. And as in Giliell’s case, there’s already a serious skew in this relationship (as those who read about a certain work-sponsored ski trip last year may remember), so at the current time there’s not much chance of us trying to make any huge changes in our lifestyle re: sexual relationships. Anyway, that’ll be that.

    This was an awesome conversation, thank you all.

  302. rq says

    *extra scritches* for WMDKitty


    *extra hugs* for Dalillama and the diagnosis (I’m glad you have one, it sucks, but at least there’s now a plan of future action!).

  303. bluentx says

    A corn-on-the-cobsicle?


    ..at least it has some passing acquaintance with reality…

    The least they could do is play Stayin’ Alive as backing music. No… really. A friend of mine told me they use that song to illustrate the timing for compressions in CPR training she took to certify for a Rural Rescue team*! Gee, they didn’t give us a soundtrack last lime I had the course. :(

    * Don’t tell you know who, but they use Horses. (Not as CPR dummies, for transportation cross-country!)

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


    Perhaps it might help to think of it not as ‘symmetry’ but as ‘equal opportunity’. I look at it in pretty symmetric terms, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Oh, I don’t need to think of it at all: in your relationships (or Nutmeg’s or Giliell’s or whomever’s), equal opportunity or symmetry or whatever can be the standard – in sex with each other, in sex with other partners, in going to the mall. I was only talking about what works for me as an example, since it was clear that we all think about these things differently (except for my EvilTwin). Also: sexism totally changes the negotiation dynamics in heterosexual relationships. It is what it is. My wish is for your happiness, however you find it.

    Thanks for your part in a great conversation, too.

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

    well, there goes a cup of coffee. and a keyboard
    fingers crossed it dries into functioning again

  306. rq says

    Let us know if it is resurrected. But you might have to give it the standard three days.

  307. says

    So in the process of trying to get to work, my car got stuck in snow in the driveway.

    In the process of freeing it, I ended up with snow in the air intake(at least that appears to be the problem, still too dark/cold to stay out there and properly inspect things). Cars don’t typically run very well when this happens, and my car is fairly typical in that regard.

    End result, I’m not at work today. Which sucks, I like my job. And of course the money from it. But I’m not getting on the highway until I’m confident I can sustain better than the 20mph or so I was reaching with a floored gas pedal.

    The sooner this weather goes away the better.

  308. carlie says

    Tony – I want you to be my bartender. I wouldn’t be afraid of going to a bar then!

    And what a great picture – you can see the kindness in Micah’s face. I hope the day that was taken is a wonderful memory for you.

  309. bassmike says

    Tony if I was in the position to go to any bar, yours would be my choice.

    Otherwise, the positivity I felt last week has evapourated within five minutes of being at work. Not a happy bassmike at the moment.

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

    hm, keyboard got recognized at least, but it’s still not working.

  311. rq says

    Here’s a little pick-me-up, Latvian stylez (not my choir) – Sorrow, my great sorrow, I did not worry about my sorrow;
    I put my sorrow under a rock and walked all over it, singing
    . Also, the video didn’t make much sense to me in context, either. *shrug?*
    Anything you can sick under a rock and walk all over singing (or percussing or bassing, as preferred)?

  312. bassmike says

    Thank you rq. Does the video have any baring on the song at all?

    A lot of my response to this kind of thing involves music. However, in a work environment it’s not appropriate, unfortunately. I’m afraid it’s the us vs them situation within my department and a manager who can’t manage. Also my iphone has stopped working as a phone. I’ll be over in the corner not communicating with the outside world.

  313. says

    Beatrice- Built in on a laptop or external?

    For an external, you could probably save it by rinsing it out and letting it dry for a while. At least a day or so to be safe, though if you disassemble it it would dry out faster.

    If it’s internal on a laptop, I just hope you aren’t dealing with a MacBook. I replaced my MacBooks keyboard last week. It took close to two hours with all those screws I had to keep track of.

  314. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    It’s -25f (-31c) with a windchill of -38f (-38c ofuckihatewhenthishappens). I don’t wanna go outside. I don’t wanna go outside

    I have to go outside. :(

  315. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Made it in to work today. The gold probe wouldn’t start, but the black probe did. The IT department at work had to replace my work laptop as the motherboard croaked, so they put in the old HD in the new laptop and it works just fine. It appears that the IT department also put a video blocker in IE, so PZ’s videos have a warning label.

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

    I must live with the most fearsome predator ever.

    She can trap a foot against her chest for 2 or 3 minutes, and gnaw on a big toe for 6 or 7 seconds at a time, maybe even twice during a single clasp!

    Fearsome, I tell you!

  317. Dhorvath, OM says

    I just want to say how comforting it is to read people saying that they don’t get jealousy. I am frequently the odd person in meatspace because the idea doesn’t work for me, so knowing that I have people who get, for some meaning of that term, how I feel is a nice change. Further proof of the excellence of knowing you folks.

  318. Dhorvath, OM says

    My feline is trying to kill my foot, through a robust blanket no less. It tickles. Fierce is here too.

  319. rq says

    The video has actually 0 to do with the song itself. I think it’s meant to be a weird reconstruction of a possible form of Latvian entertainment before they had TV and telephones. Or something.
    Good luck with work!


    Whoever thought it was a good idea to take some ibuprofen and come to work anyway, I blame you.

    Oh wait…

  320. rq says

    And wuhoo.

    !! Question at large: I finally decided to go out and read about root vegetables, and I find that the Database is unavailable. Is this a general issue, or is this a country thing?

  321. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Oh, hey…

    Ask Culture and Guess Culture describe two valid yet opposing ways of interacting with the world with very little value judgment given to them.

    Except, of course, that Guess Culture is basically a continuous humiliating, punishing experience for people with ASDs, for no practical advantage, but we don’t count… *facepalm*

  322. dianne says

    Threadrupt comment here, but…

    Patient that I was afraid was going to die because she had no insurance and couldn’t afford the expensive treatment that might save her just got insurance through Obamacare. **Happy dance!**

  323. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yay, the Redhead got her Doctor’s appointment for tomorrow postponed for two weeks.

  324. says


    Bonus points for the correct diagnosis, although apparently mine’s not as bad as yours was; they sent me home with a prescription for painkillers, strict dietary restrictions, and instructions to arrange a followup visit in a few days.

    Oh hell, I’m sorry to hear that. If you end up with chronic pancreatitis, you’ll probably have some grief trying to figure out which foods set your pancreas off, there’s no easy way to do it. Some things that will help – have dramamine in the house. The moment you feel those symptoms, take one. (Very important to stave off vomiting – once you start, you will be back in the hospital.) Stay well hydrated, and if your pancreas goes all pissy on you, don’t eat. Eating makes it much worse. The episodes I’ve had have all been very bad for 3 days, lasting in total for 5 to 6 days.

    You might want to have your gallbother checked too, they can be the villains in the case of pancreatitis. Best of luck with it, and I really hope it ends up being something which is a minor bother.


    Caine @307:
    I can’t wrap my head around how cold -65° is. Is that typical for this time of year?


  325. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says


    Except, of course, that Guess Culture is basically a continuous humiliating, punishing experience for people with ASDs, for no practical advantage, but we don’t count… *facepalm*

    I’m a firm believer in asking and answering. I can see that people raised with the idea that it’s rude to ask/rude to give a clear answer might not like that, but trying to navigate in such a world is pure misery to me. Guess Culture can only work if everyone understands the unspoken assumptions. Ask Culture works regardless, even if it might be a little uncomfortable for people not used to it.

  326. says

    Oh, DLSG, I hadn’t seen the bit about the pancreatitis. That’s awful, man, big sympathy. MyshkaMouse had it when she was visiting her a few years ago, and was too sick for us to even take her to Buffalo for the hospital, she had to go into the one here in town (in Canada) for ten days or so.

    Which meant she had to pay the bills, or her insurance ended up doing so. She’s lucky to have a legal partner with a well-paid government software job and great benefits (yay the military-industrial complex). She was in more pain, I judged, than I’ve ever been, and I don’t say that about a lot of folks. The closest I’ve come was a weekend with three wisdom-teeth wounds that went dry-socket. Waiting for Monday was a long, long thing with bare nerves blowing gently in my mouth every time I breathed.

    Even with her insurance paying it, of course, it was much cheaper than the same would have been in the US, as care is generally much cheaper here.

    Good luck.

  327. says


    She was in more pain, I judged, than I’ve ever been, and I don’t say that about a lot of folks.

    When I was hit with acute pancreatitis, I thought I was going to die before we got to medical help, and that didn’t seem to be such a bad option, either. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone.

  328. carlie says

    Guess culture can maybe be broken down as such:
    Don’t ask anyone for any favors, ever.
    Offer things to people if you like them and want to.
    Offer things to people if you are obligated to.*

    *That’s the hard one, requiring its own subset of rules that may be more or less specific to each in-group. “If they have done you a favor in the past or if you would like them to do one for you in the future” is an easy rule, but, for example, for some family always is an obligation, but how far out “family” goes is up for grabs.

  329. says

    Guess culture can go fuck itself. I was raised that way, it’s a hangover of being a proper lady or gentleman. There are things you simply don’t ask, dear! It’s a Victorian mindset. If you want or need to know something, ask.

  330. blf says

    The last two days seem to have something against Linux workstations, or at least against me and said workstations…

    Yesterday, I stumbled down the stairs, started some coffee, and couldn’t wake up the home computer. No response to the mouse, keyboard, etc. A reset (there is a real reset button on the front panel) did feck all — even the BIOS start-up and POST failed to appear). Feck. Power-toggle. Still nothing. Double feck. Ok, stick in a LiveCD and see what happens. To my considerable surprise, the BIOS and POST came alive and it booted. Odd. Checked out the HDDs, all Ok. Reboot using the HDD, and (as you might guess) it now seems Ok. Weird  And Whew! (Still need to backup the main HDD as a precaution…)

    This morning back at work, my high-end design workstation paused in the middle of booting (after being powered down over the orbit changing holidays) and claim one of my HDDs (which happens to be one containing most of my work) was corrupt. Eeeek! Drop into manual repair mode (I don’t trust autorepairs) and go through the reported problems. Nothing serious, and fortuantely all confined to some new and decidedly temporary files. And nothing obvious in the logs about what the feck happened (I could time-limit when the problem very probably occurred since the affected files were all relatively new). Weird…  And another Whew!

    One useful side-effect of the home computer problem: I finally got around to checking how much memory the thing supported, and as hoped, it’s a lot more than is installed (this wasn’t clear, it’s a recycled unit from several years ago and until I downloaded the manuals / specifications in response to yesterday’s scare, I wasn’t entirely sure what it supported).

  331. says

    1. Why can’t cats use the toilet? I love my kitties, but geez, they use some litter. You would think I would have gotten over this long ago, as I’ve lived with cats for more than half my life…but no.

    2. After cleaning out the litter box, I went to drop it in the trash outside. Uh uh. It’s currently ~38°F, and I got a blast of wind when I opened the door.

    3. Still not feeling great, but ever so slightly better. Really need to go run some errands, but don’t want to leave my bed.


    But on Sunday, it reported on the abduction and murder of 39 year-old real estate developer Menachem ‘Max’ Stark — whose charred remains were found in a trash bin over the weekend – by asking on its cover “Who didn’t want him dead?” I don’t know, New York Post. Maybe we could start with his wife and eight children and work from there?


    It’s not a “basic fact” to coyly wonder who wouldn’t want to abduct, abuse and murder a fellow human being. It’s insane. And in doing so, the Post has managed to yet again outdo itself, and add to the horror of an already horrible crime


    I agree with *almost* everything in this article by Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams, except the bit about insanity. I don’t think insanity drove the PTB at the New York Post to approve the cover. Shock tactics to sell papers combined with a lack of empathy and compassion seem more likely to me. Too many human actions are “explained away” as being insane, or crazy. That’s not helpful bc doing so deflects attention away from the true reasons.

  332. rq says

    And you’ve been wondering where the MDP is… She’s looking for cheese inside your computer(s)!! I guess all that vin over the holidays messed about with her GPS for the fromagerie homing beacon.

  333. says

    blf, that sounds too familiar. Computers simply go wrong when there’s no reason they should.

    Over the holidays I installed Windows 7 to my parent’s desktop which was running XP, and it was a disaster. And it became obvious they weren’t making backups of the things they thought they were. And should have.

  334. opposablethumbs says

    Pretty ‘rupt, but Dalillama I hope you are OK and that the painkillers and dietary advice you’re getting work. It must be bloody horrible, and I’m so sorry.

    Dianne, yay for your patient’s insurance!

    DaughterSpawn is gone again :-(
    But she might be able to visit again in a couple of months :-))))

    SonSpawn has to do a mini-presentation for Spanish class, topic to be chosen by the student. His chosen topic: “Why the influence of religion in society should be reduced”. Entirely his own idea to pick that :-)
    He has 3 main sub-bits:
    1) the correlation between prosperity + social stability + low inequality and low levels of religion (examples: Scandinavian countries) / the correlation between poverty + social instability + high levels of inequality and high levels of religion (examples: countries in North Africa and Middle East)
    2) injustice of people imposing their religion on others by force or by law: examples – FGM, circumcision, obligatory veiling
    2a) injustice of religious groups getting tax exemptions that mean everyone else pays more
    2b) injustice of religious groups getting an automatic voice in politics (e.g. bishops in the UK’s House of Lords)
    3) the minor detail of religions not being true. No evidence for the supernatural of any kind, ghosts, unicorns or any of humanity’s many gods from Greek/Roman to Norse to “God” ‘n Allah, to Shiva, Hanuman etc.

    It has to be a short, simple presentation (and it’s Spanish class, not Critical Thinking) so inevitably this is going to be patchy and incredibly incomplete – but yay for the topic and the attempt!

  335. Pteryxx says

    Timeline of Canada’s War on Science, via BB and Canada’s Conservative Overlords 2013:


    A sample – in the original, all of those are links.

    Apr 2013. Create barrier to public participation in pipeline hearings
    Apr 2013. Environment Canada name removed from its weather website, replaced with government promotional links
    Apr 2013.Closure of Department of Fisheries & Oceans libraries
    Apr 2013. Prime Minister & cabinet take over power to dictate collective bargaining and terms for other salaries and working conditions at the CBC and three other cultural or scientific Crown corporations
    Apr 2013. Scientist at National Water Research Institute in Saskatoon muzzled
    Apr 2013. Minister blames David Suzuki, Environmental Groups To Blame For Pipeline Opposition
    Apr 2013. Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver condemns climatologist James Hansen, says he should be ‘ashamed’ of his ‘exaggerated rhetoric’ on exploitation of tar sands (and here)
    Apr 2013. Conservative MP Ryan Leaf has been peddling what researchers describe as “bogus” information on polar bears and citing U.S. climate skeptics as experts on the iconic creatures
    Apr 2013. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver told the editorial board of Montreal’s La Presse newspaper that “people aren’t as worried as they were before about global warming of two degrees.”
    Apr 2013. Agroforestry Development Centre wound down (and here)
    Apr 2013. Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration with numerous environmental benefits closed
    Apr 2013. Amends list of industrial projects requiring environmental reviews
    Apr 2013. Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear remarks that “no government in the history of this country has supported science as much as this government has.”
    Apr 2013. Kenora MP Greg Rickford hides from constituents rather than talk about ELA closure

  336. blf says

    A snippet of some of the current deliberate national government authorianism in the UK, At last, a law to stop almost anyone from doing almost anything:

    Protesters, buskers, preachers, the young: all could end up with ‘ipnas’. Of course, if you’re rich, you have nothing to fear

    Street life in [(semi-)privatised public] places [has been] reduced to a trance-world of consumerism, of conformity and atomisation in which nothing unpredictable or disconcerting happens, a world made safe for selling mountains of pointless junk to tranquillised shoppers. Spontaneous gatherings of any other kind — unruly, exuberant, open-ended, oppositional — are banned. Young, homeless and eccentric people are, in the eyes of those upholding this dead-eyed, sanitised version of public order, guilty until proven innocent.

    Now this dreary ethos is creeping into places that are not, ostensibly, owned or controlled by corporations. It is enforced less by gates and barriers … than by legal instruments, used to exclude or control the ever widening class of undesirables.

    The existing rules are bad enough. … antisocial behaviour orders (asbos) have criminalised an apparently endless range of activities, subjecting thousands — mostly young and poor — to bespoke laws. They have been used to enforce a kind of caste prohibition: personalised rules which prevent the untouchables from intruding into the lives of others.

    You get an asbo for behaving in a manner deemed by a magistrate as likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to other people. Under this injunction, the proscribed behaviour becomes a criminal offence. Asbos have been granted which forbid the carrying of condoms by a prostitute, homeless alcoholics from possessing alcohol in a public place, a soup kitchen from giving food to the poor, a young man from walking down any road other than his own, children from playing football in the street. They were used to ban peaceful protests against the Olympic clearances.

    Inevitably, more than half the people subject to asbos break them. As Liberty says, these injunctions “set the young, vulnerable or mentally ill up to fail” …

    All this is about to get much worse. On Wednesday the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill reaches [almost] the end of the [law-making] process …

    The bill would permit injunctions against anyone of 10 or older who “has engaged or threatens to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person”. It would replace asbos with ipnas (injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance), which would not only forbid certain forms of behaviour, but also force the recipient to discharge positive obligations. In other words, they can impose a kind of community service order on people who have committed no crime, which could, the law proposes, remain in force for the rest of their lives.

    The bill also introduces public space protection orders, which can prevent either everybody or particular kinds of people from doing certain things in certain places. It creates new dispersal powers, which can be used by the police to exclude people from an area (there is no size limit), whether or not they have done anything wrong.

    … ipnas can be granted on the balance of probabilities. Breaching them will not be classed as a criminal offence, but can still carry a custodial sentence: without committing a crime, you can be imprisoned for up to two years. Children, who cannot currently be detained for contempt of court, will be subject to an inspiring new range of punishments for breaking an ipna, including three months in a young offenders’ centre.

    The new injunctions and the new dispersal orders create a system in which the authorities can prevent anyone from doing more or less anything. But they won’t be deployed against anyone. Advertisers, who cause plenty of nuisance and annoyance, have nothing to fear; nor do opera lovers hogging the pavements of Covent Garden. Annoyance and nuisance are what young people cause; they are inflicted by oddballs, the underclass, those who dispute the claims of power.

    Too bad it won’t be possible to get a lifetime ipnas with a custodial sentence against the entire government for being extremely annoying nuisances.

  337. blf says

    And it became obvious they weren’t making backups of the things they thought they were. And should have.

    Always verify (check) your backups. ALWAYS.

    My problem — a very common one — is I don’t make backups anywheres near as frequently as I should…

  338. Pteryxx says

    ooh – and coming up this Friday the 10th, the CBC show The Fifth Estate on science muzzling in Canada.

    The Silence of the Labs

    Now some scientists have become unlikely radicals, denouncing what they call is a politically-driven war on knowledge. In Silence of the Labs, Linden MacIntyre tells the story of scientists – and what is at stake for Canadians – from Nova Scotia to the B.C. Pacific Coast to the far Arctic Circle.

  339. blf says

    [The mildly deranged penguin — who is currently missing — is] looking for cheese inside your computer(s)!! I guess all that vin over the holidays messed about with her GPS for the fromagerie homing beacon.

    Don’t think so. Usually, when she winds up in the computer, you can hear LOUD (a) “Wheeeee!” as she sits on a HDD and spins round and round at thousands and thousand of RPM; or (b) “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!” as the DVD head bounces off her head.

    Of course, there was the one time she stuck her beak into the fan… Perhaps the less said about it the better, but watching an entire computer hop about the room in a cloud of feathers and making noises that sounded like a reenactment of the battle for Helm’s Deep is just a tad hard to forget…

  340. blf says

    Oh, I forgot… Also, the mildly deranged penguin has no need of GPS or any other navigation system. She always knows exactly where she is: At the centre of all the multiverses. A few things spin around her, and most everything else rushes away.

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

    Keyboard update. It has risen… as a demon from hell!
    Typing random numbers, opening folders, trying to do things. I had to kill it again.
    Will try to exorcise it tomorrow

  342. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Beatrice, you might try flushing it out with a gallon jug of deionized water.

  343. blf says

    A mentor of mine many yonks ago had this advice: “Never put the beer on the same table as the computer.”

  344. blf says

    Some hilarity from Bad Science (Dr Goldacre (who is one of the good guys) site), Underground Nuclear Explosion At Crippled Japan Atomic Plant. One graphic is a map showing the “Fukushima melt-through point”, resulting in great comments such as:

    Oh, and that “melt-through” point in the Atlantic:
    Does anyone seriously believe that even if the reactor core sank to the Earth’s core without getting dispersed in the molten rock and nickel-iron, it would start rising?

    Of course. It goes straight through the earth and out the other side, because it’s pulled there by the gravity of the surface of the earth. That’s what makes Australians stick to the ground and not fall off into space. Duh.

  345. thesandiseattle says

    Just finished
    The Transparent Society by David Brin
    Interesting read. Some of his predictions have come true. (book is 1999) I’ d award it a B+ on my interesting scale.

  346. blf says

    Are you sure it’s a “demon” from “hell”? Sounds more like the mildly deranged penguin in one of her quieter moods…

    Which would fit with the hypothesis she’s recovering in a computer someplace.

    To test this idea, instead of using deionized water, try some melted cheese. Pour liberally on the keyboard (make keyboard fondue). If she’s in there, the keyboard will be cleaned spotless (er, cheeseless), and should then work great, provided you don’t mind a few (well, Ok, lots) of penguin bite-marks on the keys.

  347. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin rarely destroys anything. She just rearranges the multiverses and their physics in the eternal quests for moar cheese and less peas.

  348. rq says

    I have a friend on Facebook who has been keeping me up-to-date (from a more insider perspective) on the War Against Science in Canada. Sad to see, really. No, strike, that, tragic.
    From facilities closing down, to muzzling scientists’ ability to publish, to removing public access to science (incl. participation in important decision-making)… Tragic.

  349. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The mildly deranged penguin rarely destroys anything. She just rearranges the multiverses and their physics in the eternal quests for moar cheese and less peas.

    Can’t she at least say please? :P

  350. rq says

    Can’t she at least say please?

    Or have an advance warning system… Penguin-sized holes just don’t cut it.

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

    off to bed, sorry. will check in the morning if they’re still making a mess of that thread

  352. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Baby Panda!

    *applause, confetti, whistles, champagne corks popping*

  353. says

    It’s now gotten very, very windy and snowy, and the temperature is plummeting. My north-side windows are now completely frost-covered, which doesn’t happen much down here in Canada’s dangly bit. More or less constant whiteout conditions; I can’t see the apartment building across the street most of the time.

    I am warmly tucked up on my couch, with a fun Korean-Chinese gangster film running, and me doing my damnedest to get Daehan Minguk into the World Cup semifinal in 2014. I just got a second huge break: after finishing in second in my group (we drew Portugal, Paraguay, and the Czechs: 3-1, 1-1, 0-2) behind the Czechs, I thought we were going to get Italy ahead of the Aussies. But then Italy couldn’t beat Algeria on their final day, so they finished second, so we got Australia instead.

    We got past them, 1-0 after they had a man sent off for a bad elbow. So that was good.

    Now we’re in the quarters, and our next opponent is either Brazil! (at home, mind!) or Romania, depending which wins their 2nd round game.

    I’m all set to have the hopeless task of taking on the Seleçao, hit Update…and Romania steals it! Outshot 23-2, they score on a counterattack under enormous pressure, and their man-mountain of a keeper just stones the Samba Men.

    So now it’s Daehan Minguk against Romania; we’re slight underdogs, but not by much, and since I cagily included a good chunk of FC Seoul – like, their entire defensive unit, goalkeeper and back four together – in my team, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to squeak our way into the semifinal.

    The other semi will be Mexico (having put the US out in the quarters) vs. Italy or Greece. Dunno how Greece got there, but if they can beat the Italians, we’re gonna have a new World Cup champion to celebrate (neither Romania, Mexico, nor the Republic of Korea have ever won it).

    붉은 악마에게 행운을 빕니다!

    대한민국! 대한민국! 대한민국!

  354. Tethys says

    I woke this morning to frozen pipes to the kitchen sink. I have the space heater running full blast all day but still no water. I fear burst pipes as the temperature plummets along with the sun so I am forced to rip out basement ceiling to access. I just need to whine a little about this, but if anyone has other suggestions I am all ears.

    ps. multiple gallons of boiling water have been dumped in the sink in an effort to get heat into the floor joist space where the plumbing runs. It isn’t helping.

  355. Tethys says

    Thanks Tony! I have discovered that some of the ceiling tiles have screws in them, so its clearly not the first time this has happened. Its just the first time it has gotten this cold in the 9 years I have lived in this old house.

  356. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    The alternative would be a Penguin Early Warning System. But PEWS has, for me anyway, negative connotations.

  357. Tethys says


    I have also discovered that the plumbing to my sink consists of two 1/4″ copper lines that are intended to supply water to refrigerators with ice makers. They are next to the foundation, which is why they are frozen.

    Space heater is now blowing up into the floor joists and I can hear the ice thawing in the pipes.

  358. Tethys says

    Now there is water running through the basement wall, and there in no shut off valve.

  359. carlie says

    Nonononono – there must be one somewhere. Near the meter, probably? Shouldn’t be outside the house. Secondary shutoffs, at least?

  360. Tethys says

    Yes carlie, I had to shut off the main at the meter. My house is 110 years old and the kitchen is a complete amateur plumbing kludge. Now I have no running water at all. I am a most unhappy camper

  361. says

    Aw, poop. Sorry to hear the bad news, Tethys, hope it sorts out soon. :(

    I almost got there. Beat Romania (1-1 aet, 4-1p); lost to Ecuador in the semi, (0-0 7-6p). Can’t complain too much about that. FAROK were hoping I’d get to the second round. We’ll be no worse than fourth overall. Sounds like a new contract to me! W00t! 대한민국!

    Maybe next time. :)

    Isn’t Hangul pretty? I think it’s pretty.

  362. says

    Tethys *sympathy* If you need water and you’re going to melt frozen precipitation on the stove, use ice not snow. Its much more efficient. Snow’s insulating properties really come into play.

    Currently -12F outside (up from the -21F when I woke up this morning). My feet are just about unfrozen (no longer hurt): went out on a short ~4mile errand; car wouldn’t initially start and I had to break out the battery charger/booster to get it to crank, so there was a little standing around time beforehand.

    On my way I passed a guy trudging along the main road (no clear sidewalk)…in the dark and cold. After a few mutterered complaints to self about how dangerous that was and how I “almost hit him” (not really even close, but he was in the road and all … my window could have been more fully de-iced so if I was they type to hang to the right of the lane instead of the left…), I circled back and offered a ride. Which he refused. I’m confused about why. No one should be out walking in that weather.

    I fear it was because I’m a pasty middle aged guy and he looked the part of the scary black dude out of central casting (probably 30ish, looking 40ish) and he felt obligated to refuse, didn’t actually have a destination or was leery of my motive. But damn it’s cold; I fear for they guy. I hope he finds suitable shelter.

  363. cicely says

    Threadrupt again.
    For any/everybody I miss, *hugs*, sympathies, and congrats, where due/wanted.

    *pouncehugback* for David—now available in chocolate with mint!
    (That would be the *pouncehug*.
    I have no idea whether David is now available in chocolate with mint, or not.

    Crip Dyke, thank you for your valiant attempt to help me search for the anti-vaxxer thing; alas, it failed in the face of my complete and utter technological incompetence, that apparently prevents me from successfully copy/pasting.
    I am embarrassed.
    Fortunately, between the CDC’s site and Wikipedia, I shut my chosen nimrod up. Wikipedia may not be in-depth…but then, apparently, neither was he, so fair enough.

    Dalillama: Birchers, huh? Can’t say I’m surprised. That’s probably the inspiration for the M.A.S.H. episode I mentioned, then.
    Ooof. Sorry about the pain, and the circumstances.
    USAia’s health care situation sucks so hard…for all our sakes.

    Hummingbirds! Thanks, Jafafa Hots!
    Nice work!

    Sinuses were invented by Horses.

    I think that “jealousy” is also often part of the “territoriality” package.
    *bared teeth, brandishing of spear*

    Hi, Tethys!
    *watches video*
    There is not any way in any netherworldly realm you want to name.
    If I am ever seen in any way appearing to be involved in any such damfoolishthing, then CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is here, and someThing is wearing me as a suit.
    Kill it.
    With napalm!.
    Lots of napalm!.

    Happy birthday, Weed Monkey!
    *cake*, but no *ice cream*.
    It’s too cold for *ice cream*.


    Grenade-like or not, a parka sounds lovely.

  364. Dhorvath, OM says

    Having been where you are, but sans basement, I don’t have any useful advice but a whole lot of sympathy. Take care.

  365. says

    So, a coworker expressed shock that I’ve never been horseback riding. She has two horses and has done shows with them. I ooh’d and aah’d, but stopped short of mentioning I’d love to try riding a horse one day.

    ::wonders if cicely will still like me after this ::

  366. cicely says

    Caine, I’m glad that Mister made it home okay.

    David Tennant???
    *perking up “ears”*

    WMDKitty, I am hours too late to be able to offer more than *scritches* and moral support, and my best wishes.
    However, they are yours.
    Depression* lies.
    *…sharp of tooth and claw…

    I can see that there is no substantial chance that I will catch up with the Thread tonight.
    *additional sigh*
    Night, all.

  367. says

    The following link is to a page with several portraits of people baring their insecurities on their bodies.
    While I’m not certain, I lean toward thinking this could be triggering for someone, so a Trigger Warning may apply:

    What I Be Project is a powerful portrait series by photographer Steve Rosenfield that features individuals who have bravely opted to bear their insecurities on their bodies. Hundreds of people have already participated in the ongoing project, revealing a wide range of issues they have with themselves. Whether it be a physical, mental, or social insecurity, each person brands their face and body with words that have scarred them.


  368. Dhorvath, OM says


    I think that “jealousy” is also often part of the “territoriality” package.

    The last time I spoke on how I feel about these things there were some misteps on my part, but this resonates.

  369. says

    Corgi and a baby:

    Many first time parents (myself included), worry about how well their new baby will get along with their household pet. For years they’ve taken care of their furry friend and introducing a new member to the family comes with a mixed bag of emotions. That’s why it’s so great to see these photos by Chris Lowe and his wife Miriam. When they brought home baby Claire in November, their four-year-old corgi Wilbur immediately became enchanted by her.

    In fact, at their first meet and greet, Wilbur adorably laid his head right on Claire’s soft white blanket. ‘We didn’t know how Wilbur would handle not being the only object of our affection, you know?,” he told The Mail Online US. ‘We kept a tight grip in his collar when he first met her, but as you can see from the first pic all he wanted to do was sniff her.”


  370. Dhorvath, OM says

    Our cat would have slept with our newborn more, but newborn’s don’t always have sleep down pat. Still, an accomodation was made for new heat source and they lived together well for close to six years. I had a photo, lost it in a computer crash sadly.

  371. says

    With some stuff to clear water from the fuel system, and time in the sun to melt the snow int he intake, my car is thankfully running properly again. Today would have been much more fun if I hated my job. I like the job and the coworkers so today was kinda meh. Did get some time in on a genetics and evolution MOOC I’m doing, and reading “Why Evolution is True”, though, so that was all good. I know, MOOCs aren’t the amazeballs they are made out to be, but I am learning stuff. Not a replacement for traditional education, but to kill some time it’s not a bad option IMO.

    The dog hasn’t been agreeable to going outside. I expect to play carpet cleaner sometime soon, and at some point after that, to be carrying her out when the weather improves. She doesn’t want to leave the carpet for anything. But we’d rather have to clean the carpet or even replace it than put her through this weather.

  372. says

    The NFL has tax exempt status?

    Times are good for the National Football League. Viewership is up. For the 47th year in a row, Harris Interactive named pro football the most popular sport in America. And with overall revenues north of $9 billion, the NFL is the most lucrative sports league on the planet.

    That’s not enough for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He wants to nearly triple the league’s revenues to $25 billion by 2027—a mind-bogglingly large number. But here’s an even more shocking fact: The NFL pays nothing in taxes on all those revenues. Not a nickel. And now the anti-corruption organization Rootstrikers wants to put an end to the NFL’s free ride.


    Those calling for the NFL to be stripped of its tax-exempt status point out that its leadership is making Wall Street money. In 2011, the NFL paid its five highest-ranking executives almost $60 million. Goodell alone pocketed $29 million. This largesse comes largely on the backs of taxpayers in cities that have pro football teams. As Easterbrook notes, “Judith Grant Long, a Harvard University professor of urban planning, calculates that league-wide, 70 percent of the capital cost of NFL stadiums has been provided by taxpayers, not NFL owners. Many cities, counties, and states also pay the stadiums’ ongoing costs, by providing power, sewer services, other infrastructure, and stadium improvements.” In other words, the NFL isn’t just ducking taxes; it’s fleecing working people who do pay their taxes

    I know precious little about the NFL (or sports in general), but don’t people also have to pay for tickets to football games?
    Yeah, the NFL needs to lose tax exempt status.

  373. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Bicarbonate – I hope all goes well with your replacement surgery and wish you a speedy recovery. *hugs and chocolate*

    Weed Monkey – Happy Birthday!

    Dalillama – I’m glad you know what is wrong and have a plan of treatment. *many hugs and much support*

    WMDKitty – *hugs and chocolate*

    Jafafa Hots – The hummingbirds were wonderful. Thank you.

    Tony – Like chigau, I’d gladly teleport to your bar for the company.

    Crudely Wrott, cicely, David M, Portia – *New Year’s pouncehugs and chocolate* =^_^=

    I’ll leave these here for anyone who needs them: *pile of hugs and chocolate*

  374. says

    One of two relics of the NFL’s sports club past, the other being the Green Bay Packers. The latter team is collectively owned by a significant portion of the citizenry of Green Bay , which nets the team great ticket sales on home games but doesn’t allow some greedy fucker to make a huge profit off owning the team, and prevent all the moving around that teams do now. NFL bylaws now prohibit such arrangements for all other teams.

  375. says

    I don’t even follow the NFL at all, don’t really enjoy the sport, but I’ve heard of Green Bay’s citizen ownership, and it’s all kinds of awesome. Not least, because the team generally employs only highly competent front office staff, giving them the goal of just “make the team a good team”, rather than “make the team a good team, and make sure I don’t lose any money doing it, and by the way, I don’t like the sideburns on the coach, and I don’t care if he’s won the last eight Super Bowls for us, either the sideburns go or he does!”

    Teams not subject to the whims of an owner, whose only great competence in life was in being the product of the particular lucky sperm that created them the child of a Very Rich Person and who’ve never heard the word “no” from anyone but themselves…those teams without one of those kinds of owner, they do well.

  376. A. Noyd says

    I just got a new iPhone and am still trying to figure out the fingerprint scanner thing on the home button. I pressed it too long just now and started Siri up by accident. When it asked me what I needed, I said “nothing, go away.” Which apparently sounds a lot like “a map of Norway” because that’s what it pulled up, with the announcement “Here’s Oslo!”