1. rq says

    *hugs* for JAL, and CaitieCat

    One of y’all (CC, blf, CD, Ogvorbis for good measure) should prepare a scientific lecture on the origins of the MDP and present it at a serious skeptics’ conference. As seer-yuss science. It’ll be great! People will learn so much! CaitieCat will become famous! It’ll be awesome!!!!

    Also, neither one of the links for the Bruce Springsteen/Jimmy Fallon thing work for me. I’ll have to check youtube tomorrow.

  2. says


    The lawyer for a teen accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who killed herself in 2012 said this week that the victim’s family was to blame for her suicide.

    The parents of Audrie Pott have filed a wrongful death suit against the families of three boys who were accused of sexually assaulting their daughter at a party in 2012. Audrie Pott woke up after a party at a girlfriend’s house to find messages scrawled on her partially naked body. The boys who allegedly sexually assaulted her were also accused of taking photos and showing them to other students on campus.

    I’m crying.
    I’m crying because that poor girl was driven to commit suicide.
    I’m crying because those shitheads destroyed the life of a young woman.
    I’m crying because I’m so fucking angry that the lawyer places ANY blame for her death on her parents.
    The rapists AND their lawyer disgust me beyond all measure.
    Oh, and I’m crying because HER life is over. She’ll never become president. She’ll never discover a cure for cancer. She’ll never go to the moon. She’ll never have the chance to do anything every again. And the guys who raped her face so little punishment that its nonexistent:

    Two of the boys have already finished serving 30 days – all during weekends – at a juvenile facility, while a third boy is currently serving 45 consecutive days in juvenile detention, sources told San Jose Mercury News.

    They were also ordered to perform community service and undergo counseling.
    Hulk smash world!

  3. says

    More GOP assholes who are anti-women:

    “I do not know how you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape, when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie and so forth,” Black says. “There’s not injuries, there’s no separation or anything.”
    It’s still rape you douchemaggott!
    Sex without consent is rape. Period. End of story. It doesn’t matter what the relationship status is.

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

    Sex without consent may be rape, but to give the jerk the benefit of the doubt (I know, I know, “why?” you ask: eternal sense of fairness) it could be hard to get a “valid” conviction (a conviction where there truly is no reasonable doubt) in any number of cases where rape actually exists.

    But Holy Moly, batman! “In a nightie”?

    And what’s with “There’s no injuries”? Like no spouse has ever injured another spouse? Spouses who rape aren’t the kind of spouse that would be willing to injure someone? (Buhwhuh?)

    This guy is so far gone off the human understanding of violence scale, it’s hard to see how he functions in society without randomly slashing throats and assaulting people.

  5. says

    Now for something different.
    I *love* this:

    German design company Goldtatze (Gold Paw) specializes in transforming ordinary rooms into overhead playgrounds for cats. By adding wooden bridges, hammocks, scratching posts, and even little dens for cats to hide out in, each site-specific installation offers playful felines plenty of room for adventurous activity and their much needed catnaps.

    I want a room for my kitties just like this!

    And some *good* news:

    “Exclusion of just one class of citizens from receiving a marriage license based upon the perceived ‘threat’ they pose to the marital institution is, at bottom, an arbitrary exclusion based upon the majority’s disapproval of the defined class. It is also insulting to same-sex couples, who are human beings capable of forming loving, committed, enduring relationships.”

  6. says

    Harold Kroto (Nobel Chemistry 1996), Ian McKellen (aka Henry V/Gandalf), Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace 1976), Eric Cornell (Nobel Physics 2001), Sheldon Glashow (Nobel Physics 1979), Brian Josephson (Nobel Physics 1973), Martin Perl (Nobel Physics 1995), Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry 1981), Gerhard Ertl (Chemistry 2007), Susumu Tonegawa (Physiology/Medicine 1987), Tony Leggett (Nobel Physics 2003), Dudley Herschbach (Nobel Chemistry 1986), Paul Nurse (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 2001), Robert Curl (Nobel Chemistry 1996), Martin Chalfie (Nobel Chemistry 2008), Richard Roberts (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 1993), John Polanyi (Nobel Chemistry 1986), Edmond Fischer (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 1992), Timothy Hunt (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 2001), Jack Szostak (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 2009), John Coetzee (Nobel Literature 2003), Eric Wieschaus (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 1995), Leon Lederman (Nobel Physics 1988), Peter Agre (Nobel Chemistry 2003), John Sulston (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 2002), Herta Müller (Nobel Literature 2009), Brian Schmidt (Nobel Physics 2011), Thomas Steitz (Nobel Chemistry 2009).

    That’s a list of 28 individuals who wrote an open letter of protest to President Putin.

  7. bluentx says

    Heh! One of the Springsteen/Fallon youtube posts, of the above mentioned parody, already has over 900k views. :)

  8. rq says

    Today I woke up wanting to throw things and to yell “I hate you all” at everyone. *sigh* Things can only get better, right?

  9. rq says

    That’s not the real MDP. There’s no cheese in the picture, and I can’t smell the vin. Penguinologists, please remove yourselves to the Lounge, your expertise is required!

  10. rq says

    *hugs* and *confetti&fireworks*
    Here, I made found you a birthday cake, complete with sappy message. I hope you like chocolate!

    (As an aside, anytime someone mentions the word ‘vistas’ seriously in a sentence, I get the giggles, because vista in Latvian is… a chicken. Hasta la vista has a whole new meaning.)

  11. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, I hope your birthday is as happy as it can be and/or that the kids get better really really soon and you get to enjoy a truly great birthday weekend this weekend {{{hugs}}}

  12. says

    Colour Caitie happy: Netflix Canada just got the entire set of Ken Burns’ outstanding documentaries on the history of the US: The Civil War, Baseball, The War, Prohibition, Jazz, and The Central Park Five. Geektacular!

  13. A. Noyd says

    Ahh, insomnia. I finally installed Tumblr Savior to get rid of all the fucking “sponsored” posts (ie. ads) because adding those accounts to your ignore list doesn’t do a damn thing. Which should be criminal. Alas, I could not find a way to block only the ads in the Tumblr Radio sidebar widget thingy, so I had to get an additional script to block the entire thing. And then I went to the trouble of figuring out how to whitelist Disqus comments while keeping Adblock on.


    @CaitieCat (#524)
    They’re on US Netflix, too. Just added a couple of them thanks to your mention.

  14. bassmike says

    Giliell I hope you are able to find some time to celebrate your birthday. Even if it’s after the actual day. I hope your kids get better soon.

    My daughter is still in hospital, but showing all the signs of recovery. We caught the problem earlier than last time, and they started treatment earlier too. Hopefully she’ll be home soon. Nights in hospital are not good for her and certainly not good for her parents!

    My father is also still in hospital. Everyone is working towards getting him home, for some time at least. Other than that we have no real idea of how things are likely to play out.

  15. says

    Thank you all
    The kids are mostly ok-ish, just rather tired and cranky about being retricted to certain foods.

    As for the birthday: I have a whole collection of horrible birthdays, this one doesn’t even make it into the top 5. Last night my friend who’d come for some roleplaying stayed long enough to wish me a happy birthday* and tonight my BFF will come over for some cake.

    *I simply love that group. We have the spoiled educated anthropoligist who set out to get some knowledge, me, her cousin and guard, sometimes a mage and our two guys who are more or less our servants/employees. The player of one of them claims that his horse is smarter than him and I’m inclined to believe him, which makes his character fun to play with.
    The best is the culture we’re all from. It’s loosely based on a 1001 Nights culture with some significant differences:
    1. Women are the dominant group. While de jure everything is patrilineal, it’s actually the wives who hold the power and who then find a woman they consider competent and nice for their son to marry.
    2. Within the 12 gods pantheon they worship the goddess of lust and pleasure. Spouses take pride in the sexual and romantic adventures of their partner, because, well, who’d want to be married to somebody who isn’t considered interesting enough for anybody else?
    Which means that a young woman from a noble family (though not from the wealthy part of the noble family) is really fun to play. Unfortunately, my dear cousin has been educated too far away from home so she permanently gets her knickers in a twist when my character goes adventuring…

  16. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    happy birthday, Giliell.

    Good luck with the sickspawn.


    I think I have a possible sighting of the MDP — I had a small wedge of domestic brie in the fridge. And it disappeared yesterday. Wife thinks Boy ate it but I have a suspicion . . . .

    Though it does raise the question: why would the MDP be in Wilkes Barre, PA? Why would anyone (or anything) be in WB?

  17. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    It’s in a completely different county. Lackawanna County (Scranton) seceded from Luzerne County (Wilkes Barre). Scranton partners with NYC, Wilkes Barre partners with Philadelphia (goes back to the railroads). Scranton gets lake effect snows, Wilkes Barre almost never does. Both are shitholes. Scranton gets mentioned in popular culture, one of the men Wilkes Barre is named after fled England to avoid prosecution for pornography. Scranton had the DL&W, NYO&W, Erie, D&H and CNJ. Wilkes Barre had the CNJ, DL&W, LV, PRR and WB&E. See? Completely different.

  18. says

    Yes, but the point is, that Scranton didn’t have any bananas. That’s why they’d be coming to Wilkes-Barre, see? Which was what you asked. They didn’t have any there, so they came by to borrow a trailerload of bananas? No?

  19. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    Happiest possible birthday!

    I hope you and the young’ns get plenty of rest today and feel better soon.

  20. rq says

    That still doesn’t explain the MDP. There is no mention of bananas in the MDP’s bio, and I’ve got crates of the stuff lying around here, with not a peep from the MDP. No penguin-sized holes, etc. That brie of Ogvorbis’, though… That sounds suspicious.

  21. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    with not a peep from the MDP.

    To be fair, if she’s familiar with dinosaurs she’s hardly a chick any more.

  22. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    “Congress is the Justin Bieber of our government.

    I would disagree with that.

    One entire political party has, collectively, decided that breaking government and preventing economic recovery is in their political interest, and in the interest of wealthy Americans. And they are acting on that decision.

    One entire political party has, collectively, decided that women are not full humans. And they are acting on that decision.

    One entire political party has, collectively, decided that investing in the health of Americans is, somehow, counter to what America stands for. And they are acting on that decision.

    One entire political party has, collectively, decided that any semblance of honesty in political discourse is anathema. And they are acting on that decision.

    Justin Bieber, however, is an immature and coddled talent who needs to get outside of his bubble. His decisions do not kill people. The decisions of the GOP do.

    Big difference.

  23. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Scranton is on the edge of the lake effect system from Lake Erie. When the wind is out of the Northwest on a really cold day, we get bands of light lake effect snow.

    Wilkes Barre is a little too far south for the bands to reach.

    One of the advantages of living down south.

  24. says

    Republican senators are pulling out every fake excuse they can think of for filibustering an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed on Tuesday. The majority leader, Harry Reid, was mean to us and wouldn’t let us offer amendments, they say. Democrats refused to pay for the benefits. It’s President Obama’s fault people can’t find work because he won’t approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

    The truth is the Republican Party simply does not believe that job-seekers who have been out of work for six months or longer deserve government assistance. The most hardhearted believe cutting benefits will give people an incentive to get back to work. The most cynical are hoping for widespread misery, which they can then pin on “Obama’s economy” for political gain in the elections this fall. Whatever the reason, nearly five million unemployed people will go without benefits by the end of 2014, unless the party backs down.

    That’s an excerpt from a New York Times article. Along with other media outlets, the New York Times is astounded that Mitch McConnell is making public statements that have no relation to reality. For example, McConnell recently said:

    Look, it’s no secret that Democrats plan to spend the year exploiting folks who are still struggling in this economy for political gain, I’d probably want to be talking about something other than Obamacare, too, if I’d voted for it. But to create a conflict where the possibility for agreement was so close, while more than a million people are stuck in the middle, is just outrageous.

    Reality: Democrats crafted a bill to help jobless people, and they did that in exchange for nothing! McConnell leads the Republican group in the Senate that filibustered that bill in order to try to force Dems to meet GOP demands. In 2010, Republicans voted to extend unemployment benefits without any offsets. Now they are demanding offsets, and still refusing to close tax loopholes for the rich.

    In other words, Republican leaders are spouting false, entirely false, reasons for filibustering jobless aid. Fox News and even CBS are eating up the lies and repeating them.

  25. blf says

    Other speculative “sightings” of the mildly deranged penguin:

      ● Hunting the stoopid sentient cidre, who is known to be a fan of English cricket loosing in hilarious new ways, and thus probably in the vicinity of Ozlandia.

      ● Stuck on one of those ships in Antarctica. Seems unlikely, why would she be stuck… more likely she pushed the ice floes together.

      ● In the local bar, which has been closed for renovations for over a week now. It was supposed to be closed for only three-ish days, but if they “hired” her penguinness to do the interior demolition, then, well, I wouldn’t expect them to reopen for several decades. If they work fast and only do basic repairs.

      ● Practicing with a cloak of invisibility ? More likely, forget she’s wearing it… you can’t see it, see, and… But then cheese would still be vanishing and penguin-shaped holes appearing, but it isn’t (the odd Brie excepted) and they aren’t.

      ● Stuck under some banananananaaaas ?

    Or maybe she simply forget the lair has been relocated, and is now just staring at the old, empty, location, wondering where Iher local cheese stash is…

    One way she might have ended up in Wilkes Barre is if she was heading for Andromeda and took a wrong turn near Betelgeuse. Easy mistake to make, it’s why there is so much weird in the area — lost aliens sending out SOS signals (just what do you think crop circles are…?), and so on…

  26. Pteryxx says

    *flings birthday cupcakes at Giliell’s general vicinity*

    via BB: Booth babes are bad for business

    How do I know? Well, I actually split-tested this a few years ago and the results were indisputable. If you have invested in a trade show to generate new business, using booth babes is a lead conversion boat anchor.


    Upon arrival at the show, I get an email on my BlackBerry from the regional sales VP to call him ASAP because there’s obviously been a big “fuck up” in staffing. I gave him a call and he told me that there were two “grandmothers” hanging around our booth stating that they were a part of our team for the week.

    Upon meeting my contractors, my sales VP was right. They weren’t just older than your typical booth babe, one was literally a grandmother. Shit, what have I done?? But it was too late now. After updating the sales team on our staffing strategy it was time for the big show.

    The results? They were great. The booth that was staffed with the booth babes generated a third of the foot traffic (as measured by conversations or demos with our reps) and less than half the leads (as measured by a badge swipe or a completed contact form) while the other team had a consistently packed booth that ultimately generated over 550 leads, over triple from the previous year.

    The story’s so horrific it’s hard to call this GOOD news, but at least it’s a bit of long-denied justice.

    Rape victim awarded $150,000 after police and youth program forced her to say she lied

    also via BB – Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg does an AMA

    and Cracked takes on the troubled-teen prison-camp industry.

  27. blf says

    Things can only get better, right?

    Check the colour of the sky. If it’s a crazy flashing plaid pattern that looks like one of M.C. Escher’s works as painted by Picasso, then Yes, it can’t get any worse, especially if the background sound is French Rap turned up to 11 with the landscape covered by peas and horses, all staring at you

  28. David Marjanović says

    Carrots must be boiled and belong exclusively into soup.

    This is why we need the Commune: group child care.

    + 1

    vista in Latvian is… a chicken

    I know! Windows Vista made that famous! :-)

    Today I woke up wanting to throw things and to yell “I hate you all” at everyone. *sigh* Things can only get better, right?

    I hate you all!

    Oh god this is so ridonkulous and I’m dying and why haven’t these been around before

    Crocheted baby hats that look like Cabbage Patch Kids hair.

    Horror. *retreats from teh Internetz for an hour*

  29. Pteryxx says

    Tony! – further to charter schools in Florida, have some articles:

    This Salon article is linking Teach for America to charter school placements in Chicago, but I bet it’s worth investigating how many of TFA’s new teachers are getting routed directly into religious charter schools.

    The alliance between TFA and charter schools is cemented by an arrangement that few people know about outside of the organization. The teacher placement policy of TFA explicitly states in bold letters, “It is our policy that corps 
members accept the first position offered to them.” The effective result of this policy means that corps members have no bargaining position to negotiate wages or benefits, meaning that whatever offer a school makes, the corps member must accept it.

  30. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Because he is dishonest, insensitive, dissembling, wedded to binary thinking, and an all around asshole?

  31. David Marjanović says



    Yay! ^_^

    why do I let abewoelk get to me.


    I just replied there – in one word.

  32. rq says

    I actually listened to that song this morning to feel better. :D Thanks for thinking like me!

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

    It’s not big deal, Giliell & rq.

    Nonetheless, instead of just dismissing them, I’ve decided snuggle into them for a moment. Thanks, both.

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

    Happy birthday, Giliell!

    *hugs* for Crip Dyke!

    (btw, plz check your email)

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, just got an e-mail informing me that our scheduled R&D meeting with corporate has been postponed for a month. I’ll try to hold my disappointment down to less than 70 db….That means I don’t have to try to rush the Redhead in the morning; after 40 years I can rush the Redhead???? Bwahahahahaha….

  36. says

    I loathe comcast so fucking much; I deeply wish that I had some other way to get internet services. The assholes failed to take my payment, cut off my internet, then charged me twice, leaving me overdrawn, and won’t refund the money for 10+ business days. Assholes.

  37. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Happy birthday, Giliell! Sorry I am late to the party.
    My day so far: early start to have a ‘conversation’ with a tradesman over work being/not being done.
    Trying to walk ‘worlds worst behaved dog’ to vet for appointment. Got her through the gauntlet of misbehaved dogs in the waiting room for her pre-op check. Just as the thermometer is being inserted in a delicate place a dog fight breaks out in waiting room. Hilarity follows.
    Currently locked outside of house with dog #2.
    If we had bigger dogs we would have had a bigger dog door. I could have crawled though that…
    At least I have dog #2 for company, my phone and a wifi connection until my battery dies.
    Now the embarrassing long wait for the puppetmistress to get home from work and save me.

  38. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Managed to break into my own house.
    Of course I figured out how to do this after I commented here so my embarrassment is permanently etched on the internet.
    Damn you wifi! Damn your easy, convenient connection to the world!

  39. bluentx says

    Just got back from a Water Association monthly meeting. Don’t usually go, but January it is always held in same town I am employed by. Even though I’m on the clock, I can attend long enough to get the hours credit that go toward renewing my water/wastewater licenses.

    So, this one was…

    – boring (as ever)…
    – somewhat informative (as ever)…
    – more ridiculous than usual…

    All rolled into one experience. (At least there was fairly decent food).

    This event gave everyone another opportunity (ye-ha!) to buy tickets for that shotgun raffle I mentioned before. [I did send a comment to the Association office in protest. Tonight I told my supervisor how tacky I thought it was. He got an expression on his face like, “Why I never thought of it that way!” (Guns for scholarship donations.) Then, of course, he brushed it off. “Well, the money goes for a good cause.” Me: “I still think it’s disgusting.”]

    Then, there was the guy walking around in a tee shirt. I wanted to ask him (no time), “Why are you wearing the face of a racist, misogynistic, hateful, jackass on your chest?” [Ya know, prior to a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have even known what/who that silk screen represented much less his name.Why do redneck, ‘long-haired hippie’ haters love Phil Robertson? Could it be… naahhh!]

    But the best part of the evening came right at the beginning.

    There was, of course, the obligatory prayer. “Everyone, bow your heads.” [“Don’t tell me what to do, damn it !”] Out of about one hundred fifty people, I think I was the only one who didn’t respectfully follow orders. I always look around to see if I’m the only potential heathen.

    But Wait! That wasn’t the BEST best part. Oh no! What happened next? The pledge of allegiance to…

    “Uh… we don’t actually have a flag here. So… uh… why don’t we all just look over toward that wall…”

    AND THEY DID with no dissension … except mine. [Shaking my head, “Pledging to The Wall*? I don’t believe this!”] I’ve had a problem with pledging to a piece of fabric for a long time but this… [Shakes head some more]

    *Tho, pledging allegiance to a Pink Floyd album would make more sense to me. :)

  40. bluentx says


    I wouldn’t even mind if they threw in: “under a laser light display” in that pledge!

  41. chigau (違う) says

    bluentx #573
    What a wonderful event!
    If someone put that on a TV sit-com, it would be pooh-poohed as unrealistic.

  42. bluentx says

    And as the credits roll we see the plant operator returning to find the facility (20 miles from town) in darkness. The soundtrack ends abruptly with, “Son of a….”

    No. really! I got back to find that just minutes after I’d left, two hours earlier, there was a power failure! Again! We’ve been having a lot of outages lately.

  43. rq says

    Sounds like a good time was had by all!! :P
    For next time, make sure there’s a giant Pink Floyd poster up on that wall – the one with the rainbow. That’ll go over well.

  44. bluentx says


    Yes! Actually I do prefer Dark Side of the Moon to The Wall.

    They’re scheduled to do major remodeling to that facility before next years meeting. I’m sure they won’t mind if I contribute to the decor.

  45. chigau (違う) says

    Or you could put up a StarsAndStripes with the wrong number of stars or stripes and see who notices.

  46. rq says

    I hate the godsdamned misleading title (really? never heard of a dugong?) but these are some awesomely strange animals. Obligatory: check out part II. *immature snicker*

    Somebody decided to see if rats have empathy. Here’s some more information with possible hypotheses. (I’ll agree that being familiar with their own kind of rat may help a rat be empathetic… But does empathy really, really, always have to come down to the mother-baby bond? Really? Can’t it be the parental-offspring bond? Really?)

    And some good news from India re: polio and vaccines.

  47. Michael says

    Apparently we have a movie called “God’s Not Dead” coming out soon.

    Kevin Sorbo plays an atheist philosophy professor who demands that every student write out “God is dead” in order to pass his course. A christian student refuses, then must debate the prof in class and win in order to pass the course.

    Not impressed by the trailer. A caricature of an atheist professor, an unrealistic scenario, and likely a predictable ending (prof was religious, something bad happened, he turned away from god, and the student brings him back to god).

  48. birgerjohansson says

    Global first: Easing cannabis withdrawal

    I pledge my allegiance to Kate Bush. And…no, that’s it, really.

    Scranton is a town that features in James Blish’s forgettable “Cities in flight” SF stories of the late 1950s.

    I think the very first U.S. flag -the one temporarily used as a naval flag, and sometimes in battle- was more Britain-inspired, but I don’t know what it actually looked like. Margaret Tuchmann mentioned it in “The First salute”.

    And happy birthday, Giliell!

  49. A. Noyd says

    Adventures in interpreting an unfamiliar language through partial fluency in another one:

    This trashy Japanese young adult novel I’m reading right now is about vampires and werewolves and other supernatural critters. It’s set in Germany and the author keeps using German terms (like “Vampir” and “Ketzer” and “Kreis” and “Teufel”). Except, instead of spelling them out in an alphabet, they’re in katakana (one of the phonetic syllabaries), and presented as alternative readings to Japanese words. So I can, for the most part, take what I know the Japanese and look up the German spelling from English.

    But there’s this one term that was a pain in the ass because the Japanese is a phrase meaning “one who transforms to darkness” and the transliteration of the katakana is “feavandorungu.” It refers to humans who have been made into brainwashed slaves of vampires.

    Turns out some other Japanese people have borrowed this exact word for other purposes, and one or two were kind enough to give the German spelling. If I’d just googled the katakana earlier instead of trying to break it down and analyze the bits, I would have found out much sooner that it’s “Verwandlung.” Of course, I was also expecting something with more of the sense of the Japanese phrase.

    And now I have to wonder if the author snagged that term from the German title of Kafka’s novel The Metamorphosis (Die Verwandlung).

  50. says

    @David Marjanovic:

    Thanks for the link to the paper. Turns out the ICR page just was arguing about the use of argon dating as being a scientific lie.

    It’s truly sad how the creationists completely gloss over a very important scientific discovery to pimp their ignorance. The paper’s describing an adaptation in the third finger that scientists knew evolved between 800,000 and 1.8 million years ago, but they located it in 1.4 million year old rock, so that means the evolution was somewhere between 1.4 and 1.8 million years ago. It also predated the creation of more advanced stone tools.

    Michael (586):

    See now that could actually be a decent lesson. Do words really trump belief? I could see that idea as being an interesting experiment.

  51. birgerjohansson says

    Does religion turn weak groups violent?

    Study: Violence, infectious disease and climate change contributed to Indus civilization collapse

    Social psychologists say war is not inevitable, psychology research should promote peace

  52. birgerjohansson says

    GOProud co-founder: “Cancer of LGBT bigotry is going to kill the Republican Party”

    Law prof: Coded racial appeals have wrecked the middle class

    The hidden agenda of Obama’s opposition

    “Muslim U.S. President to team up with gay s to make us go extinct just like the gay dinosaurs.”

  53. Pteryxx says

    Hacked-together medical equipment, from Medium via BB: Paging Dr. MacGyver

    “Just because it’s DIY doesn’t mean it can’t be clinical grade and quality,” Gomez-Marquez says. Budget limitations and irregular demand make medical devices especially difficult to distribute and keep working in the developing world. This leads to what Gomez-Marquez calls the “glucometer and Gameboy paradox”: both devices are roughly the same in complexity and price, but only the one made by Nintendo is common even in far corners of the developing world.

    Looking at everyday objects as a source of hackable parts leads to prototypes like the IV fluid alarm that a nurse in Nicaragua made out of the electronics from a $2 plastic gun. Another team from MIT built a solar-powered autoclave that uses a satellite TV dish lined with 140 pocket-sized mirrors to focus the sun’s rays onto a wine bottle filled with water. The steam is fed into a repurposed pressure cooker, where temperatures can reach the CDC-recommended threshold of 250° F at 15 pounds per square inch for at least 30 minutes. The design is easy to build, customize, and repair; during field tests in Nicaragua, broken mirrors were replaced with the shiny linings from potato chip bags, which worked just as well.

  54. says

    Good news for Pennsylvania voters, and for voting rights in general:

    A Pennsylvania judge has struck down the law requiring the state’s voters to show photo identification at the polls.

    Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said the requirement that was the centerpiece of Pennsylvania’s embattled 2012 voter identification law places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote.
    “Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal,” McGinley wrote as part of his 103-page ruling.

    He added that the law “unreasonably burdens the right to vote” and poses “a substantial threat” to hundreds of thousands of eligible Pennsylvania voters.

  55. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, anti-gay and legal shenanigans categories:

    Utah is, of course, continuing to appeal a judge’s decision that did away with the state’s no-gay-marriage-in-Zion law. They’ve appealed three times, but bungled some of the appeals and didn’t get anywhere. Now they have an appeal pending before the 10th Circuit.

    To fight the good fight for freedom to be intolerant and to infringe on the rights of minorities Utah is bringing in the big guns. They have hired outside council, mormon outside council, to prolong the spotlight on their retrograde ways. The Utah AG’s office looked around for the most qualified true-believing-mormon lawyer they could find and came up with Gene C. Schaerr, a guy whose homophobic rating is so high it’s off the charts.

    […] Schaerr, a graduate of Brigham Young University and Yale law school, has handled more than 100 cases in federal and state appellate courts. He was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Justice Antonin Scalia, and spent two years as associate counsel to former President George H. W. Bush. […]

    Schaerr also has been hired as a fellow on marriage and family law issues at the conservative Sutherland Institute.

    Paul Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute, said, “We’re very happy” about the state picking Schaerr. Mero would not go into details about what role the institute played in Schaerr’s selection. [what role? pressure from all the mormon aristocracy except Jon Huntsman, that’s their role]

    “All along, we’ve wanted the right counsel and the right strategy,” Mero said. “He is the right guy for a variety of reasons. Defending traditional marriage and the natural family is part of his DNA.” [That’s not what “DNA” means you walking container of synaptic sludge.]

    Mero added, “that is where other attorneys have gone wrong for us.”

    While at the Sutherland Institute, Mero said Schaerr will create “key papers for us” on standards for how attorneys and lawmakers across the country can address these issues. […]

    The Sutherland Institute?! You have got to be kidding me. That group of mormon dunderheads is so far right that they frequently irritate even their fellow mormons. As for the “papers” they write, think World Nut Daily with mormon flavor added.

  56. rq says

    Their friendships improve, but their relationships don’t… Why a twice-weekly guys’ night is a ‘scientifically proven’ good idea. I have no doubt that socializing in a group of your peers is a good thing – for health, for friendship, for whatever other reason you want. But they make it sound like a specifically-male problem that can only be solved by seeing more of your (male!) friends. To do… manly things, of all things.
    What do they recommend for women, red wine and manicures??? Also twice-weekly?

  57. says

    This is a follow up to comment #598; some comments from the readers section associated withe the Salt Lake Tribune article.

    It’s like hiring a Grand Wizard to defend the Jim Crow laws.
    That should get them a rank advancement in the church of Jesus Lies of Latter Day Saints.
    It is starting to look like the Southerland Institute is footing the bill.
    Local GFC foundation foots the bill for Sutherland & Mr. Stewarts Marriage Law Foundation as well as donating big bucks to Ruth Institute, The Howard Center, NOM etc… And predictably Heritage Fdtn, SPN, & on and on. Thankfully they file very transparent 990’s. The grants page is rich with at once “Free Market & Liberty argle blargle and bigotry. Mr. Stewart has worked with several groups listed as hate groups by the SPLC. that also promoted the recent draconian laws in Uganda and Nigeria and Russia. This should be very interesting to watch. [Monte Neil Stewart, a Boise, Idaho, attorney, was also hired by Utah to work on their appeal of Judge Shelby’s ruling.]


  58. says

    More comments regarding the hiring of Gene Schaerr to fight the anti-gay fight in Utah (see #598):

    Gene Schaerr was one of the Mormon Church’s front men during its failed political campaign to deny marriage equality to gay couples in Maryland. He has also penned an anti-gay article for the Mormon Church religious/political publican, The Meridian.

  59. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Nnngh, “guys’ nights” sound kind of horrifying actually. D:

  60. says

    Here’s a tiny bit of good news from Utah. The gay couples who got married during the brief time when Utah’s anti-gay marriage law was not in effect, those couples can file joint tax returns.

    Utah’s Tax Commission did an about-face Thursday, deciding legally married same-sex couples in the state can file joint state income-tax returns.

    That policy is 180 degrees from the one announced just three months ago.

    […] More than 1,300 marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in the state before the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 6 stayed the ruling pending appeal. […]

    But the new tax policy goes beyond the same-sex couples married in Utah during the 17-day window between court rulings. The state also will allow joint filing by gay and lesbian couples legally married outside the state while residing in Utah.

    That is in accord with an Internal Revenue Service policy first announced in August. The IRS said it would allow joint filing of federal tax returns by same-sex couples legally married anywhere — regardless of residence — based on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act.[…]

    Last week, the governor’s office announced the state will not officially recognize the validity of same-sex marriages that occurred before the Supreme Court’s Jan. 6 stay. […]

    While tax commissioners are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate, the commission is an independent agency under Utah’s Constitution. […]

  61. Dhorvath, OM says

    Having been invited to men’s night more than once, it’s not like a polite no thanks seems to suffice. No, instead I get told that all the things I instantly thought of and wouldn’t want to be party to are on the agenda, as if I need an opportunity to be more like them and less like me. Homogenuous behaviour indoctrination station.

  62. Dhorvath, OM says

    And that kind of slips over the fact that basically all of my professional life has been in male dominated work spaces. I get too much of the bullshit during the day, why would I want to seek out more of it on Friday night?

  63. carlie says

    What do they recommend for women, red wine and manicures??? Also twice-weekly?

    Silly rq! No, what women want and need is babies. So they’re better off if they have babies, then stay home all the time day and night to take care of them. The more they’re with the babies, the happier they are! In fact, men being at home every night of the week is bad for the women, because she then has to pay more attention to her husband than the baby, and sometimes the husband pays attention to the baby and keeps her from playing with it and fully enjoying it. So really, mens’ night out a few times a week is good for the women, too. Gives them more baby time.

  64. blf says

    If the mildly deranged penguin was around, she;d explain that what ladies really want is lots of males so stooopid they happily do nothing but sit on eggs all winter whilst she and her friends fly off for a tropical vacation.

  65. cicely says

    Also, cats are fluids, and that is photographic proof.

    Possibly some sort of gel.
    I’ve heard rumors that They Has A Flavor.

  66. rq says

    You non-conformist, you! :)

    Silly me, I must have tried thinking. *tsk tsk* Turning brain off now! Back to the babies!!!

  67. Pteryxx says

    I posted this over on the West Virginia chemical spill thread, too: link

    Tap water photos from HuffPo, some taken after residents were given the OK to use it: link

    CDC warns pregnant women not to drink the water 48 hours after West Virginia declared it safe: link

    Emergency rooms saw an uptick in patients after the ‘do not use’ advisory was lifted. “What we are seeing when we talk to our partners in hospital systems are people with skin and eye irritation, rashes, nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, told the Charleston Daily Mail. Those symptoms are consistent with crude MCHM exposure. However, there is no data on crude MCHM’s carcinogenic effects, ability to cause DNA mutations and physical deformities, or its ability to interfere with human development, according to the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet.

    well nobody could have seen this coming, of course.

    Freedom Industries files for bankruptcy

    “I think they underestimated the liabilities just a tad,” attorney Aaron Harrah, who firm filed a purported class action lawsuit against Freedom and West Virginia American Water Co., told the Wall Street Journal. According to the Charleston Gazette, the company’s assets and liabilities are each listed as between $1 million and $10 million. Freedom owes $3.66 million to its top 20 unsecured creditors, over $2.4 million in unpaid taxes dating back to at least 2000 and nearly $93,000 in Kanawha County property taxes, about half of which were past due and had become delinquent.

    The announcement comes at the end of what turned out to be a rough two weeks for Pennsylvania coal mining executive Cliff Forrest, who purchased Freedom Industries for $20 million a week before the 7,500 gallon leak was discovered.

    Fracking companies and oil/gas developers sometimes avoid penalties by using temporary fall-guy companies to soak up the liability for environmental damage done by drilling. That way, when the temp company goes under, nobody can seek damages from it.

  68. A. Noyd says

    A cat that looks like the soot balls from My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. (I don’t know the source of the pic, alas.)

  69. Crudely Wrott says

    Hey, y’all. I’m ‘rupt and very out of tune but!

    I have a heapin’ helpin’ of hugs that I’m just going to drop right here.

    First come, first served.

    They are all first class hugs, unused and carefully inspected to ensure their effectiveness.

    Lotsa things happening in the Wrott World. Tremulous and promising. So many things to say that I have never said before. Things that must be said.

    Those of you who have entered the sixth or seventh decade of your lives I think will identify with coming to terms with one’s arc of life. So many good parts contrasted with the parts that are not so good.

    This one must fess up. This one is frightened. This one shall tell truths that only recently are realized. Don’t worry overmuch, I’ve not done anything horrible. I have, in a rather round about and good natured fashion, fucked up badly. Now I must acknowledge my failings to my sibs and my surviving offspring.

    Will you wish me well? Will you wish me honesty and candor?

    It would mean a lot if you would.


    Some of my family think that my posting in the Lounge is somehow (vaguely) surreptitiously undermining the give and take of “real life”. No, I answer. It enhances.

    Apologies for not knowing who is doing what, why or how just now. I’m all wrapped up in how I came to be who I am and where I am and it demands some terrible honesty. Not that there are dark secrets; just that there are so many things I never admitted to myself. Now, admitting to my self I find that it is necessary to admit the same to those who love me and wonder where the hell I’ve been for the last few years.

    It’s a long story, dear friends. Once told, I trust, questions will be answered and wonder will be satisfied. But, oh! How frightening it is to say out loud.

    Here, in the Lounge, I have made many friends and have come to love people I’ve never met in meat space. Those dear ones are as real as my own kin. I mean that. Like Oggie (are you listening good buddy?) I have made some errors in my life that have puzzled and frustrated people close to me. Those mistakes, those errors of judgement, have distanced me from them. I want to close the gap. In order to do so I must find the words to tell my story and to show myself and my family how things came to pass. Once told, I think, it will not be such a terrible tale. Just now though it is maximum intimidation. I am very scared.

    So, if you will, please hold my hand. That will give me courage.


    I almost, really, almost deleted this sorry appeal. This >< close! Something larger than my fear stopped me. That would be you dear folks.
    By the way, my Jesi has been clean for some weeks now and is asserting herself in marvelous ways. This daddy is so proud!
    I hope that I will soon be proud of me, too.

  70. says

    Hi there
    Thank you all again for the good wishes
    The little one is out and about again, but #1 is having troubles keeping waterdown. :(

    Hope your little one is safe back home, soon, and best wishes for the situation with your dad


    How come that people are so surprised at the idea of personal non-existence.
    Yesterday I had the pen-ultimate apointment with my therapist, and we were wraping things up a bit.
    I mentioned that I thought that my parents should never had kids, or at least not until they had dealt with their own issues and he was “but then you wouldn’t exist!”
    Well, yes. It’s not that I don’t enjoy being alive now, but there would have been no fucking harm in not existing in the first place. No Giliell-shape hole in the universe. Nobody would miss me. There are millions of people not born every day.

  71. carlie says

    Crudely – I would hope that your obvious desire to do whatever it takes to repair/maintain/enhance your relationships with your family will outshine the negative feelings they would have from any specific revelations of past misdeeds. Perhaps not immediately. There may be an initial drawing away that you should steel yourself for. But if they are even a fraction as loving and forgiving as you are, they will process it, realize why you told them, and come back closer. But, perhaps they know more of it than you realize already, and have only been waiting for you to acknowledge it.

    One thing I’ve always noted about your comments about your life is how strong the family bond is to you, how well you are able to see it as the thing of primary importance no matter what the tiny details of who said or did what and what they are doing now. That couldn’t have come from nowhere: I would think it must run strong through your family as an important trait taught and shown by example to all of you. I am personally so, so impressed to see that you care so much for them that you’re willing to lay yourself bare to them, to risk whatever may come to try to bring them closer. They must be able to see that somewhere, even if it comes underneath and after hurt. I do wish you all of the best.

    (and I’m running off with the hugs FIRST COME FIRST SERVED I GOT THEM)

  72. rq says

    I can always tell someone’s been sitting in my chair at work: I have to raise it back up to an acceptable level (you know, so I can rest my elbows on the table instead of my chin). Too bad I can’t actually tell who, because I’m pretty sure that person also eats all my emergency cookies. Which means it’s probably everyone. *conspiracy*
    (Anyone else ever notice how “conspiracy” is a combination of “cons” and “piracy”?)


    Since carlie was so inconsiderate as to run off with all the hugs (taking advantage of a European Saturday day-time, I see), I shall do my part to Maintain the Hug Reserves and add a few to the stack/pile/storage space.
    And *hugs* in general.

  73. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Crudely Wrott @616:

    Like Oggie (are you listening good buddy?) I have made some errors in my life that have puzzled and frustrated people close to me. Those mistakes, those errors of judgement, have distanced me from them. I want to close the gap. In order to do so I must find the words to tell my story and to show myself and my family how things came to pass. Once told, I think, it will not be such a terrible tale. Just now though it is maximum intimidation. I am very scared.

    So, if you will, please hold my hand. That will give me courage.

    I am holding your hand right now.

    Unfortunately, I know nothing of courage. Telling my story here, admitting what happened, what I did, where I failed, who I failed, is more cowardice than courage.

    When my memories made that uncomfortable transition from ‘I didn’t like Cub Scouts because my leader was a pervert,’ to ‘Holy shit, that bastard raped me and others,’ the easy route, for me, was to write what I remembered here. And every trigger, every association, I dumped here. I still have told no one outside of my pseudonymous presence here on the internet. No one.

    Yesterday afternoon, three middle aged men were at our front desk. I had sold them their entrance passes, told them where to go and how to get there, and they were looking at exhibits and talking amongst themselves. And telling jokes, honest-to-fucking-hell jokes, about raping scouts, and I couldn’t move, couldn’t object, couldn’t do anything except wait for them to leave. Which they did. Laughing.

    Anyway, my point is, yes, I support you. Yes, I will do what I can to give you what I have not — courage. But how you achieve honesty with your family, how you find a way to explain yourself, to open yourself, to reveal who you actually are, your path will be different. Everyone’s path is different when we finally explore, and reveal, who we are.

    Peace, brother. Whatever way works for you will be the right way in this. I hold your hand to support you. And I hug you because I, in an oblique and completely different way, understand where you are coming from.

  74. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Dalillama and rq:

    There were two ‘jokes’ about boy scouts that I overheard (TRIGGER WARNING (How can you recognize the Eagle Scout candidate? He’s wearing kneepads and his mouth is fixed in a permanent ‘O’ (the other one is far worse))) and then they went into girl scout and brownie scout jokes.

    At least I hope they were jokes.


    And I am still mad at myself that I froze up and was completely unprofessional — I did not do what needed to be done. Only reason I brought it up was as an illustration for Crudely (Hugs to you) that no matter how right or wrong speaking up is, you may not have the ability at the time to do that which requires courage.

  75. rq says

    Today was a hugely special day for Latvians.
    The new national library is complete enough to house all the books, so they formed a giant human chain (on a volunteer basis) stretching from the old building, all through downtown/Old Riga and across the entire bridge to the new building, and the books were passed hand to hand in a show of… cultural solidarity. Love of literature and literacy. Something. Either way, each book/document was packaged carefully in plastic to protect it from the elements, and everyone in that line got to put a hand on a fairly large piece of our cultural heritage.
    The sad part is that they had to do it this way because the national library (as an organization) cannot afford the cost of transporting the contents of the old building to the new one.
    Anyway. Very sad I have to be at work.

  76. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    That is neat. Not the reason for it, but the actual activity. I would love to have been able to participate in something like that.

  77. carlie says

    Holy shit, rq, that is amazing. Both because it is such a solid symbol of it takes a village, but also because they got enough volunteers to make it work. Even though it happened under bad circumstances, it’s impressive.

    Love you, Og. I am also not one to speak up in actual public, and am trying to change it, but it goes slowly.

  78. rq says

    I still think you have courage, even if you freeze up in public. Heck, I do it. It’s horrible enough, as me, hearing about jokes like that… And for you? It is beyond my imagination. So have some more *hugs* and some *simmering rage of solidarity*.

    re: the library
    It’s a total of 3.0 km or so (I’m not sure what route they took – 2.3 km via Google-Maps pedestrian route, yes, the one that’s missing sidewalks…), so you can figure out about how many people were needed shoulder-to-shoulder. The new building has been (nick)named* the Castle of Light, as a reference to several folk tales that speak of a castle of light (often submerged in a lake or sunk beneath a hill, but we can ignore that part!) as the fount of all knowledge and virtues. Rather poetic, if the damn thing wasn’t so expensive. :)
    * Also referred to familiarly as the “Glass Mountain” from folk tales where the hero must ride up a glass mountain on vari-colored horses (copper, silver, gold or silver, gold and diamond) to reach the princess at the top, a la Snow White-slash-Sleeping Beauty-slash-tradition.

  79. ChasCPeterson says

    I still have told no one outside of my pseudonymous presence here on the internet. No one.

    It’s your life, man, but let me once again offer the gentle and entirely sympathetic suggestion that there are people in meatspace that could help you.

  80. says

    Well, we already knew that Jesus Christ loves football, right? But this is taking it to a new level:

    A position coach for the University of Connecticut’s football team said he intends to add a new “superstar” recruit to the Huskies’ squad: Jesus Christ. […]

    “We develop [the players] socially, intellectually, spiritually, physically,” Jones said in a recent radio interview. “That’s what we’re going to do for these young people and [UConn Head] Coach [Bob] Diaco has allowed me to oversee the social and spiritual part of the development. I mean, this is big. This is a big part of our program.”

    Spiritual development? That sounds problematic at a public institution. […]

    […] “We’re going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that’s something that is important. If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships, then you better understand that this didn’t happen because of you. This happened because of our Lord and Savior. […]

    I’ve heard from a lot of young athletes that their coaches helped to shape their character. I don’t the “Jesus-in-the-huddle” tactic builds character.

    UConn is a public institution, publicly funded.

  81. says

    Ogvorbis, I have behaved in a similar fashion when confronted with mormons making anti-gay jokes. It’s really difficult to speak up when you know a group of people are going to hate you for speaking. I didn’t want them focusing their general anti-anything on me.

  82. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    carlie @627:

    I am also not one to speak up in actual public, and am trying to change it, but it goes slowly.

    But speaking out and speaking up in public is my job. And there is this weak spot where I don’t have the courage to tell a visitor they are being inappropriate in certain circumstances. I have told visitors what they are doing is not appropriate here but when it came to jokes about abusing children, I let myself be weak and silent.

    rq @629:

    I still think you have courage, even if you freeze up in public.

    Again, the freeze ups are only when it intersects with my weakness. Only time I freeze up in public. Hell, I enjoy speaking to groups of strangers or coworkers.

    Chas @630:

    but let me once again offer the gentle and entirely sympathetic suggestion that there are people in meatspace that could help you.

    I know. I just am so afraid of being judged for what I know I did. Yes, there were circumstances beyond my control. Yes, I was young. Yes, I wanted to be in scouts. Yes, some of it I enjoyed. Yes, I really had no choices. I understand what I did wrong, the mistakes I made, and, more important, why those mistakes were the wrong thing but, at the time, were the only choice. I understand that. But, well, who else would?

    Lynna @631:

    I don’t the “Jesus-in-the-huddle” tactic builds character.

    Well, it does show the rest of the team who they can gang up on to provide that good team chemistry and camaraderie.

  83. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Lynna @632:

    It’s really difficult to speak up when you know a group of people are going to hate you for speaking. I didn’t want them focusing their general anti-anything on me:

    Again, it is part of my job, part of my duties, but, I guess my weak spots are pretty deep and, luckily, don’t come to the fore too often.

  84. says

    This is probably not an affront to Christianity, but I wish it was. Oklahoma’s new license plate offends some Oklahoma christians, but then, what doesn’t offend Oklahoma christians?

    A federal judge has rejected a claim by an Oklahoma minister that the image on the state’s license plate of a young Apache warrior shooting an arrow skyward conveys a religious message that is counter to his Christian beliefs.

    U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton dismissed the claim Tuesday filed against the state by Bethany pastor Keith Cressman.

    Heaton wrote there is nothing about the image that suggests the Indian warrior is praying or that the arrow he is shooting is sacred, even though the image is inspired by artist Allan Houser’s “Sacred Rain Arrow” sculpture.

    Cressman claimed the plate is an affront to his Christian beliefs and that being forced to display the image on his vehicle violated his First Amendment right against compelled speech.

  85. rq says

    his First Amendment right against compelled speech

    First time I’ve seen in phrased like that!
    And it (the license plate picture) obviously is an affront to christianity. After all, it’s not a jesuit holding the crucifix and bible while walking over the bodies of Indian warriors.

  86. says

    Probably not a good idea to shave or wax your nether regions:

    […] Long ago, surgeons figured out that shaving a body part prior to surgery actually increased rather than decreased surgical site infections. No matter what expensive and complex weapons are used — razor blades, electric shavers, tweezers, waxing, depilatories, electrolysis — hair, like crab grass, always grows back and eventually wins. In the meantime, the skin suffers the effects of the scorched battlefield.

    Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles left behind, leaving microscopic open wounds. Rather than suffering a comparison to a bristle brush, frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that irritation is combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture media for some of the nastiest of bacterial pathogens, namely group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus and its recently mutated cousin methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA). There is an increase in staph boils and abscesses, necessitating incisions to drain the infection, resulting in scarring that can be significant. It is not at all unusual to find pustules and other hair follicle inflammation papules on shaved genitals.

    Additionally, I’ve seen cellulitis (soft tissue bacterial infection without abscess) of the scrotum, labia and penis from spread of bacteria from shaving or from sexual contact with strep or staph bacteria from a partner’s skin.

    Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to the virus carried by mouth or genitals. It follows that there may be vulnerability to spread of other STIs, as well.[…]

    This is an old article, from August, 2012, but the issue is on my mind thanks to hearing an interview with an A-list Hollywood star who said she thinks that “grooming” down there is necessary.

  87. says

    George Takei is in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. He had a few things to say about Utah’s fight to halt gay marriage.

    […]”Why is your Governor Gary Herbert so mean?” the actor asked repeatedly in a 30-minute phone interview on the eve of his Utah visit for the premiere of “To Be Takei,” a Sundance Film Festival documentary about his life. “Your governor seems to believe in governing by hysteria.

    “Your Governor Herbert is consciously bringing harm to 2,600 citizens of Utah,” said Takei, who married his longtime partner, Brad Altman, in California in 2008. “That’s mean-spirited. He didn’t have to do that. Your governor is trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.”[…]

  88. says

    From the comment section associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article about George Takei (link in #640):

    “Your governor seems to believe in governing by hysteria.”

    How hilariously hypocritical.

    Here we have a California celebrity making completely biased comments about a duly elected Utah governor who seeks to restrain an overreaching federal judge from interfering in the operations of a sovereign state based on a debatable ruling regarding competing constitutions by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court which upheld the appeal and granted a stay in the controversial ruling by the overreaching Federal Judge while a very compromised U.S. Attorney General makes premature statements regarding the validity of the hasty “marriages” of those who hoped to take full advantage of the confusion caused by an overreaching federal judge.

    Thanks for your two-cent lecture, George. Run along now. Californicate is calling you home.

    P.S. Don’t mistake the off ramp for the on ramp. It’s unnatural.

  89. says

    Rest assured, we will have plenty of Tea Party candidates to laugh at during the 2014 elections. For example, if you thought Lindsey Graham was bad, just wait until you see his challenger. No, not a challenger from the Democratic Party, but a guy who is further right and further off the tracks of reason than Graham:

    This election season, as in 2012, many sitting Republicans face challenges from tea party candidates, who aren’t afraid to tout conspiracy theories or say brash things about women’s bodies. One GOP Senate challenger, vying against veteran Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), has gone as far as claiming that the IRS is training an army of “Brown Shirts” to enforce Obamacare—with assault weapons no less.

    South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright argued in a speech last August that we should “get rid of that IRS.” (See the video above). He also discussed comments from US Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, who toured a federal law enforcement facility last spring and reported seeing IRS agents training with the semi-automatic AR-15 rifles. Bright added:

    If that’s true…and they’re doing assault-weapon training, the Brown Shirts are next because that’s the enforcement for Obamacare, is the IRS. If you don’t have an IRS, you don’t have Obamacare. That’s the mechanism that’s controlling our lives for far too long. […]

    “Most of the federal government is a scam,” Bright replied. “FEMA is the biggest scam in the world.”

    Mother Jones link.
    Oh, yeah, Bright also believes that South Carolina schools should offer gun training for children.

  90. says

    So, a bunch of immigrant tomato pickers banded together and fought Walmart. And won. Well, sort of won. They are getting paid a penny per pound more for the tomatoes they pick.
    Mother Jones link.

    […] Living in dire conditions, disempowered by their status as undocumented migrants from points south, making sub-poverty wages, subjected to often-violent repression and sometimes outright slavery—all depicted in detail in Barry Estrabrook’s Tomatoland—the workers rolled out an ambitious and quixotic-seeming strategy to improve their lot in the mid-2000s. Rather than continuing to knock their heads against Florida’s entrenched tomato barons directly, CIW instead brought battle to their case to the growers’ customers: massive fast-food chains. […]

    More from Barry Estabrook.

    […] Originating as a solution to the atrocious working conditions in Florida’s $650 million tomato industry, which included several cases of abject slavery, the Fair Food Program was created by the Coalition of Immolakee Workers (CIW), a human rights group based in Immokalee, Florida, the state’s largest migrant workers’ community.[…]

    Slavery within agribusiness in the USA is a real problem, not a myth.

  91. says

    Oh, noes! The “yuck factor” related to gay relationships is diminishing. And god will not like that because the yuck factor is a blessing sent to us by god, or says right-wing doofus, Linda Harvey.

    According to Linda Harvey, among God’s gifts to the world is the feeling that gay people are “yucky,” or at least that is what she said during an interview yesterday with Sandy Rios of the American Family Association.

    Harvey, who runs the Ohio-based group Mission America, was plugging her book Maybe He’s Not Gay, which is meant to explain to young people why homosexuality is wrong. “What’s happening to children is the whole reason I got into this issue to begin with because they are being manipulated at very impressionable ages,” Harvey told Rios, lamenting that children are being told “you need to not find this stuff repulsive.”

    “You need to find these sex acts, once you find out about them at way too early an age, you need to not find them repulsive,” Harvey said. “The yuck factor is being taken away from our kids and that is a huge preventive issue and a common sense issue on homosexuality where people know, wait I would never do that, yeah that’s a basic instinct that God has given you and it’s the right one.”

  92. says

    P.S. Don’t mistake the off ramp for the on ramp. It’s unnatural.

    Lynna: Indeed. Why anyone would want to stick a penis – with its urethra, no less – in their birth canal and next to their own urethra, is beyond me. Just a vile idea.

    That’s what he meant, right?

    All-shaved-ness in genital regions creeps me out. I don’t want to make love to a child, or child-like genitalia, I want to make love to an adult, and adults generally have hair, not red irritated bumps and a stubble field, there.

    Og, being triggered is A Thing. It’s not weak or cowardly to not be able to work past it in the moment, it’s the nature of being triggered. Also, I can name a whole bunch of people who are willing to not judge you for the crimes you were subject to, or for what you did under duress: they’re all around me here. We know, and we accept you anyway. And I’d have you in my home any time. People who like to hurt other people aren’t horrified by what they did; it doesn’t make them cry, or feel shame, or think they’re worthless. That’s an enormous difference between you and them. People who like to hurt others, who are a threat to do so, don’t ever think they did anything wrong.

    Be gentle with yourself, dear natal orbit-sharer. Whatever you feel about what you yourself did, don’t let it hide from you the fact that you were also done to, and that that can have legitimate and serious effects, and that it’s okay if that scarring/hurt makes it hard for you to be always present in your most effective ordinary ways, when someone does something stupid and insensitive, not to mention horrific (seriously? who jokes out loud and in public about children being raped? seriously?).

    Giliell, I’m sorry I completely missed out on saying something on your birthday, but belatedly, let me wish you a superb coming spin about the nuclear explosion we hurtle round, and may it be warm, loving, and may it be followed by as many more as you desire, nor more nor less, with each being better than the last.

    Crudely, silly fellow. Of course we’re listening, and of course we support you, as you do everyone else when they need it.

    Sorry if I’ve missed anyone, a bit short on spoons today. One more little opportunity cost to being poor. I had to visit a friend, who is also in very tight straits at the moment, to pick up a couple of memory sticks with some software I needed. Since he was going up to Toronto for the day, I needed to get there before 0930, when he was being picked up.

    Checking the bus schedule, I had two options: one got me there at 0820 (after a 2km walk), but I had to catch the bus at my end at 07h for that one to happen, and I’d have to wait forty-five minutes in the bus station downtown, on a hard plastic chair if I got lucky enough to score one. The other got me there at 0915, after the same 2km walk, but didn’t leave until 0820. So I’d be cutting it close – if I couldn’t walk quickly enough, I might miss him, and have done the whole trip por nada.

    Did it, got there, walked the 2km back, but missed my bus coming back, so had to wait for the next one, 25 minutes. It’s -15 C out (-5F), and that’s a long time to wait in that kind of temperature. Also standing, because no shelter and no bench. All I could do was lean against a tree. I apparently looked very sore, because I had someone pull over to ask if I was alright.

    Got to the station, and it’s Saturday, so naturally my bus is on a one-hour service. I arrive at the station at 1010, and the next one isn’t until 1045. Thirty-five minutes of the hard plastic chairs, but at least I’m inside for this bit.

    Finally get home a little after 11h. So: in order to pick up a memory stick, I had to take four buses, walk 4km, stand for 25 minutes in -15 C weather, and sit for another 35 on a crappy plastic bench. Total: 2h40, $6 in tickets.

    If I had/could afford a car? It takes about 15 minutes to drive each way. Allow for a few minutes to say hi and stuff, say it took me two full extra hours to do it on the bus.

    Now multiply that by doctor’s appointments, kids’ after-school stuff, and all the other quotidian minutiae, and you’re talking about a LOT of time spent sitting on or waiting for buses, instead of anything productive or enjoyable.

    And we’ve got a reasonably good public transit system. It’s got a good grid that’s relatively fine (meaning short walks to bus stops, wherever you might be), it’s reasonably priced as these things go ($68 for a monthly pass for adults), and they’re in the process of adding to it all the time. We’re in the planning/expropriation stage for a new light-rail RT system, in fact.

    Trying to do this somewhere with a lousy public transit system (e.g., “most places in the US”) would make it all that much worse.

  93. Portia, semi-bait says

    “Competing constitutions” ….supremacy clause. Learn it, love it, love it. Sheesh. Good for George.

    Crudely, my hand is here for you too. Take care my friend.

    Oggie, I’m so sorry. I have been in that position, and it makes me want to scream. I’m so sorry you feel added pressure to curtail horrible behavior on top of your others stresses. I have a big hug here for you. I think you’re brave.

    Happy late birthday to Giliell and Og.

    My news is I won my second jury trial on Tuesday. I’m told I even looked poised. Which is a huge improvement I. The previous trial, wherein I evoked a petrified field mouse in spite of my best efforts.

    Hugs to bassmike and bluentx.

    I’d say more but typing on my phone is diving me up the wall.

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


    Super-Congrats on the win!

    Also, taking off on your critique of the idiot spewing “competing constitutions” garbage:

    based on a debatable ruling

    Um, yeah. If it was literally not debatable, there would have been no trial. The whole point of getting a ruling is that it is debatable.

    It may be ludicrous that it is debatable (schools arguing that their prayer-in-schools-led-by-teachers-over-the-intercom is totes different from Abington v Schempp), but it must **of necessity** have been debatable if there was an actual debate.

    Saying that courts can’t rule or that rulings shouldn’t be respected if there were two sides arguing is to say we shouldn’t have courts at all.

    Seriously, how stupid can one get?

  95. rq says

    Well, I could have been on the next train home, but noooo, we still don’t have super-wide tape re-stocked at work, so I’m stuck here for another hour and a half until the very last one. Poo.
    (This annoying moment brought to you by FMTL.)

  96. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    That is disturbing.


    Which shit would that be?

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


    My guess is that the “shit” is the same disturbing image you critiqued.

  98. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    That was my logical conclusion, but I’m wondering if I said something wrong. Or, more to the point, what I said wrong.

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

    Just as AC/DC are the undisputed uber-meisters of the single entendre, I have always thought that the Scorpions are the undisputed uber-meisters of the cheesy ballad.

    But even I didn’t realize the dramatic proofs of that proposition available with modern technology.

  100. says

    Not cute hawk photo, but interesting:

    CaitieCat @645:

    Why anyone would want to stick a penis – with its urethra, no less – in their birth canal and next to their own urethra, is beyond me. Just a vile idea.

    LOL. Good point, and a nice rejoinder to Linda Harvey.

  101. says

    Yay for the win

    For a few years in my late childhood, we had a pair of gray foxes that came back every year to raise a litter of cubs under our shed. Watching them learn to climb trees (the only canine that does so) was intensely funny. There was a pine tree near the shed, and we could watch the little fox cubs line up about 15 feet away, take a running start, and charge up the trunk to disappear among the dense needles. Then you’d see a branch shake, a lower branch shake, a third branch shake, and the a little fox falls out of the tree like a ripe apple and lands on its ass. Then the next one starts the run up…

  102. opposablethumbs says

    Semi ‘rupt, but I just wanted to send a huge pile of hugs especially to Crudely and also to Ogvorbis. Crudely, I’d like to second what carlie said at #617. I hope very much that you and your family come through this, and I wish you luck and send you a holding-hands. Ogvorbis, all I can say is that you’re a hell of a lot braver than I am.

    Wishing you both, and all the Horders, all the best I can wish.

    So, yeah, family. We have a visitor, as of today, for the next couple of weeks: a relative who I love very much … we don’t exactly see eye-to-eye about quite a lot of things, though. He’s changed over the years and I haven’t (or rather, I have, I’m sure, but less – I think – and definitely in the opposite direction). And now he thinks I’m hopelessly naive, not that he’d say so in so many words, whereas he is … realistic. Hope I don’t implode over the next couple of weeks.

  103. says

    Dalillama at #662: [giggles] Sounds like the best fox cub video of all time. I assume it exists only in your head.

    One of the funniest other-creatures scenes I ever witnessed was in the autumn when a bunch of forest grouse drunk on fermented berries kept trying to cross a dirt road in the mountains. Fall back, try again. Fall over, try again. Make it almost to the other side, fall over, struggle upright and stagger back to the starting point to eat more fermented berries. Stop, swaying in the middle of the road, to look at my truck. Talk to truck. Fall over.

  104. opposablethumbs says

    … and also, extra hugs to rq just because, and because she is a very cool and very nice person, and yay for the library volunteers (what a beautiful thing to do, despite the lamentable reason why).

    And congrats to Portia on another win!

  105. carlie says

    Good point, and a nice rejoinder to Linda Harvey.

    And that’s… the rest of the story.

    Good luck, opposeablethumbs!

  106. cicely says

    *pouncehug*, and all the hand-holding you could possibly want.
    Good news, about Jesi!
    *really big smile*

    *netting a hug* from the heap as carlie tries to make off with them.

    (Anyone else ever notice how “conspiracy” is a combination of “cons” and “piracy”?)

    I hadn’t, rq—but that’s brilliant!
    Perhaps a note in with the emergency cookies: “Warning—some cookies may contain Ex-Lax™”?
    I keep a tin labelled “Emergency chocolate of last resort”, containing old Nestle Crunch™ bite-sizes. I don’t much care for them any way, and when I say “old”, I mean “at least five years”.
    Depredations have ceased.

    Oh, Ogvorbis!
    *extra-deep pile of extra-plushy-and-warm hugs*
    I am so sorry!
    I’d like to test-drive a new aphorism:
    Courage is just cowardice, with a good PR team.
    because I think that often, it is.
    You castigate yourself as a coward. I disagree with your assessment.
    The way we react in an emergency is often not the way we wish we would act—because the emergency is a surprise. That’s why training is important—as dry runs for the real emergency.
    AFAIK, there’s no “training” for the kind of situation you describe, except for instances like the situation itself. There’s training for running into burning buildings, but training for running into flaming assholes?
    *shaking head*
    Another time, you may be better prepared, perhaps dryly telling the next set of jokers that child molestation isn’t funny—because there’s a fair chance that they weren’t even thinking about it in those terms. Another time, you may be able to drag it out, dump it in front of them so they have to give some thought to what the hell they were shitting out their mouths.

    Back after dinner.
    No Game tonight.

  107. David Marjanović says

    Only caught up till comment 615.
    *hugs for Crudely Wrott*

    I pledge allegiance to The Wall of the band Pink Floyd of North London, and to the movie for which it stands, one album, indivisible, with pathos and image for all.

    Ole in ole, you’re just a
    brick in the wole.

    Also, cats are fluids, and that is photographic proof.

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  108. says

    N.K. Jemisin on “Concern trolling and “gratuitous diversity

    Yes, pity the poor straight white guy, endless recipient of profane anger whenever he drops a bit of earnest, well-meaning bigotry. (Warning for Shetterly, linked and in the comments.) So pathos. Much meanies. WOW.

    I’m afraid the white peoples have been jumping all over Ms. Jemisin for “gratuitous diversity”, y’know writing minority characters who just don’t have a good reason for being a minority, and that means they just don’t have a good reason to be in this, that, and every setting, because they aren’t for reals. So sayeth the white peoples.

  109. cicely says

    *hugs* for CaitieCat.
    Being poor sucks. Yea, verily.

    *high five* for Portia.

    *pouncehug* for opposablethumbs, and may your visitor not provoke you to the detonation point.