1. birgerjohansson says

    “If you’re geil you want to hump somebody.”

    Wasn’t Geil the niece of Adolph?

  2. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    carlie – Child 1’s symptoms make me think of migraines. Especially when I was younger, I was often lightheaded when experiencing a migraine. Of course, I was usually very light sensitive too but not always. *hugs*


    Who wants to meet me in Seattle?!

    I would love to meet you in Seattle. Unfortunately, I can’t possibly be there in March. And I don’t knit. :(

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Sorry, But Your Cat Is Actually A Total Jerk. It’s Just Science. -but I already knew that. I like cats because they channel my idol…Eric Cartman.

    Also, cat ladies with the home full of cats may have been infected with toxoplasma gondii.

    Damn, I want to make a weaponised form of that toxoplasma. One that makes people obey my commands, and march around in that place in Nurenberg. I will not even have to write a crappy book.

  4. yazikus says

    *Pouncehugs* are warmly received and returned!

    I’ve been super busy- this is my works crunch time- plus the schooling. So I have a total newbie complaint to higher ed. What is up with textbooks??? So heavy! So expensive! Why on earth aren’t they available in a paperless format????

    I had an experience at work, where I was helping and older man (quite old) sign all the right papers he needed to sign. He was there with his wife, and said to me, “It is just so amazing that a little girl like you can keep track of all these papers!” I smiled politely, and his wife rolled her eyes in epic fashion. I have more tolerance when it is coming from someone that age though.

  5. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So I have a total newbie complaint to higher ed. What is up with textbooks??? So heavy! So expensive! Why on earth aren’t they available in a paperless format????

    They often are, but they’re still expensive and so weighed down with DRM as to be unusable.

  6. says


    So heavy! So expensive! Why on earth aren’t they available in a paperless format????

    It’s a racket alright. The textbook publishers don’t want to do that, because then they’d start losing profit margin, and also there’d be rampant piracy because they’re such greedy bastards. I read about a group of professors who are aiming to get there to be textbooks online free for everyone, one of them had already written a math textbook and released it. They haven’t got very far yet though.

  7. Portia, semi-bait says


    I smiled politely, and his wife rolled her eyes in epic fashion. I have more tolerance when it is coming from someone that age though.

    My favorite is when there’s a woman relative around to curtail their sexist male companion. “She doesn’t want to hear about that! Stop interrupting and let her finish her sentence!” :D Makes it easier to be tolerant haha.

    Hekuni Cat and rq:
    Now I’m daydreaming of the three of us hitting the town in Seattle! :D
    One can dream…

  8. says

    I just wrote to a scientist, to say “Thanks for the moment of AWE.”

    The Hubble continues to provide some amazing, AMAZING pictures of deep field astronomy. This post over at Hullaballoo shows one (now my desktop image, replacing a mosaic of the entire earth at night), a picture of clusters of galaxies that are between 3 and 8 Gly away. It’s a picture of a huge collection of galaxies. GALAXIES. Some of them are several orders of magnitude larger than ours.

    So I wrote to the scientist who posted the pictures on the Hubble site, just saying, wow, thanks for that. That is…amazing.

    “I feel so small” doesn’t begin to cover it. And it’s funny to me that some people will say, “Oh, therefore god made it all for us!” To me, it says, “the universe is way, WAY too big to give the slightest teeny piece of a starfart about me.” And that I need to enjoy and love my fellow plains apes more, as we huddle in the dark in that unimaginably huge home we call the universe, because we’re the only ones who care.

  9. rq says

    I was diagnosed with self-induced stress headaches in grade 2, but the following year in grade 4 I got glasses and things got better (this, after I realised that the teacher was writing on the board, and it wasn’t some mysterious invisible chalk she was using…).
    (But then, I was also diagnosed with migraines in university, so…)

    I don’t mind sharing that dream with you and Hekuni Cat. :) Maybe if we all did a lot of wishing, though, we could have some horses (if desired) on top of that. ;)

  10. says

    Care about us, I mean. I cannot imagine that in that enormous universe, life has never existed elsewhere than this one planet. It just beggars the idea of probability.

    That doesn’t mean I think they’re likely to be buzzing the Midwest looking for people whose intestinal tracts they can investigate. I doubt we will ever, in the existence of our species, be able to even communicate minimally with whatever life is out there.

    But I’m pretty sure it is/was/will be out there.

  11. rq says

    Personally, the world is too full of awesome stuff to have room for god.
    And I really like this comment over at ETEV, on that topic.
    And Hubble – yes. So much feelings of awe-inducing-smallness from that incredibly human invention. Yes. I’ve stopped trying to fathom the times and distances. Just enjoying the view.

  12. yazikus says

    And that I need to enjoy and love my fellow plains apes more, as we huddle in the dark in that unimaginably huge home we call the universe, because we’re the only ones who care.

    What a lovely way to express that sentiment! You really do have a way with words. Thanks for sharing.

    Portia, I don’t know if you have ever worked service industry, but the interceding female relative is a common sight to waitresses, for dealing with the flirting middle aged husband. I wish I had been more brave back in my waitress days, I would certainly have not let the shit fly now that I did then.

  13. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    So expensive!

    Way back in ’88, I took a Russian history course. The professor had found a really good, really well written, text. So he made that the textbook.


    It was printed by University of Kentucky (?) or Tennessee (?) and only 100 copies had ever been printed. It was $300.00. In 1988. Luckily, at the end of the semester, the bookstore bought them all back at $400.00 because an Ivy League school was using the same text.

    Good book, but damn!

  14. says

    Yes, organic chicken is just as likely to harbor “superbugs” resistant to antibiotics as are non-organic chickens.

    […] if resistant strains appear to develop much less frequently on organically managed chicken farms, why do they show up at the same alarming rates in organic chicken on the supermarket shelf? Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety and sustainability for Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, says no clear explanation has emerged. “If you don’t use the agent that is accelerating resistance, then you will create less resistance,” she said. Other factors must be coming into play, she said. One possibility is cross-contamination at the slaughterhouse—often the same facility will process conventional and organic birds alike.

    Another possible factor is the one antibiotic loophole in organic poultry production: To get the USDA label, chickens need to be raised under organic rules only from the “second day of life” (PDF)—meaning that they can and commonly do receive antibiotics while at the hatchery. So it’s possible that non-organic chicks could grow into organic chickens with plenty of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains on their meat at the supermarket. […]

  15. says

    Another excerpt from the contaminated chicken meat article (link in comment #23):

    […]A Centers for Disease Control study last year found that 40 percent of restaurant managers “never, rarely, or only sometimes” use separate cutting boards for raw meat—including chicken—meaning that the same surface could come into contact with raw chicken and, say, vegetables for a raw salad. A 2005 survey from the Environmental Health Specialists Network found that nearly a quarter of workers don’t wash their hands after handling raw meat. […]

  16. rq says

    Thanks for the chicken link, sending that to my organic-crazy friends…
    I’m just mystified, though – even at home, I make sure to use separate cutting boards / wash between types of food / cut raw meat last. How do people not do this??? Especially in a public establishment? Gross.

  17. says

    Because restaurant employees are underpaid, disillusioned, incredibly poorly-treated, told to come to work when they’re sick or lose their jobs, and are forced into ridiculous metrics of productivity, forcing them to cut corners if they want to be able to have enough energy to walk home, and reducing their ability to give a fuck about other people’s health over their own.

    So that restaurant owners can take home the most profit for the least amount of work on their own part.

    Capitalism: it’s only good if you’re the one with the capital.

  18. rq says

    I understand. And in my head I was more along the lines of how can any supervising person allow that… Because safety guidelines (mythical creatures). But yes, what you said. Sadly so.

  19. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    I don’t mind sharing that dream with you and Hekuni Cat.

    Personally, the world is too full of awesome stuff to have room for god.


  20. says

    I’d go for superaffenhypermegagigageil, if I were you ;)*

    *the one thing I simply love about my native tongue is its ability to make compounds.

    Yeah, I think at some age everybody around you becomes a boy and girl. Just like my daughter called me an old woman.

    The little girl has the adequate expression: “Why am I stuck with those stupid misogynists?”
    I am sorry for the girl

  21. says

    Oh, is it better as “Affengeil?” I’d only ever heard it used orally, so I’d missed the n. Well, now I’ve learnt something, that’s a good result for a day. :)

  22. thesandiseattle says

    okay so I know I’ve been book reviews lately but…

    The Kings Deception by Steve Berry A+ read for spy/mystery/history buffs. Trying to get SPL to buy Berry’s ebooks, he’s a fav author of mine.

  23. Nutmeg says

    Just submitted paper #1 of what will hopefully be 3 for this year.

    *takes deep breath*

    Now back to labwork for paper #2.

  24. says

    Yay, Nutmeg

    Totally possible that the person who said it had a dialect similar to mine. I’d say “affegeil”, too, but in standard German you need the N. Just like rattenscharf (uhm, same semantic field, actually)

  25. rq says

    Go labwork!
    And hooray for one paper done!

    She’s been placed in a high chair… I think she’s trying to say, “Get me out!”

  26. cicely says

    Dalillama, I saw the other spells at that site, and plan to import every last one of ’em—plus a few variants that have already occurred to me, plus plus whatever else strikes me as funny between now and then.
    :D :D

    Hekuni Cat, unfortunately my players would totally expect penguins—I’ve already mined that ‘berg. Like with the Things With Tentacles.

    Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes….

    rq Crunch-n-Munch is popcorn with peanuts, available in Caramel or Buttery Toffee flavors. Think Cracker Jack, only different, and without the crappy little “prizes”.

  27. A. Noyd says

    rq (#655)

    And then I get called a coward for actually doing what they recommend.

    That’s bullying is what it is.


    Azkyroth (#11)

    They often are, but they’re still expensive and so weighed down with DRM as to be unusable.

    With proprietary viewing software that is designed by people who have no concept of usability. Also, I wonder how many publishers have figured out that they need to make their stupid textbooks tablet compatible. At least my texts for the last year were either regular books available on Kindle or PDFs.

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

    Thank you so much for informing me that your ex secretary was smart and looked fit for Playboy. That was really necessary information for the work I did for you today.

    You know what I think? Men go into inappropriate topics such as that one to put us women into our place. It was completely irrelevant to anything, but there I was, a young woman they just met…

    Ugh. People.

    (nope, that wasn’t all, but I was too busy to think much about all the casual sexism flowing freely all day)

  29. Portia, semi-bait says


    Ah, yes, I spent several years serving and bartending, and you are absolutely right.

    I worked in a German pub once and was often asked if I was a “good German girl.” I do have German heritage*, but it was just…a weird question.

    *Great great grandpa hailed from Bonn, I’m told.

  30. Portia, semi-bait says


    I can’t tell you how much I relate. It’s not always I have the energy to call it out, but I try. I’m sorry you’ve had some mud slung your way like that. *hugs*

  31. says

    Double-talk and back stabbing by the State of Utah as its Attorney General tries to explain why the 1,000-plus gay marriages performed during the time when gay marriage was legal are now, perhaps, invalid.

    Utah will not recognize the hundreds of same-sex marriages that were temporarily allowed by a federal judge’s ruling but before the Supreme Court issued an injunction, the state announced Wednesday.

    Officials say more than a thousand marriage licenses between gay and lesbian couples were issued in the 17 days between the initial ruling and the high court’s Monday order blocking enforcement.

    “Based on counsel from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the Supreme Court decision, state recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice,” said the governor’s Chief of Staff Derek Miller in a letter to cabinet officials.

    “Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages– that is for the courts to decide. The intent of this communication is to direct state agency compliance with current laws that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.”[…]

    Political Ticker link.

  32. says

    More coverage of the “no, we might not recognize your marriage” story out of Utah:

    Think Progress link.

    While it is certainly true that the Constitution of the United States — with its requirement that gay couples be afforded the “equal protection of the laws” — trumps the Utah constitution, Utah has made it perfectly clear that they plan to fight offering equal rights to gay couples until the bitter end.
    The governor’s office made this announcement despite the fact that Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) says that he was “unable to reach a legal conclusion as to the ultimate validity of marriage between persons of the same sex who completed their marriage ceremony in Utah between Dec 20, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014.”

    So, it’s the governor’s office that is fighting gay marriage … again.

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

    Meh. I’m a lousy feminist. I didn’t call anything out, just ignored all the comments I didn’t like.

  34. Portia, semi-bait says


    there are lousy people who call themselves feminists, but nobody who fits your description is a lousy feminist. Pick your battles* and maintain your sanity. Didn’t mean to imply otherwise. *hugs*

    *And often, “zero” is the acceptable max of battles to choose!

  35. says

    More on Utah screwing recently married gay couples, and gay couples with licenses to marry who have not yet married:


    If couples had already received, for example, new driver licenses reflecting new names, those licenses will not be revoked, the letter said. But couples may not now seek new licenses.

    “If someone was four steps along in process, they stop at step four and they remain at step four until we get further direction from court,” Miller said.

    Likewise, if a couple had completed a process — whether that was filing for health insurance coverage or preparing joint taxes — they are now frozen at that point, he said.

    “Wherever anyone was at, that is now frozen in time until we receive further direction from the courts,” Miller said. “We recognize it is the courts that will decide the validity and legality of those same-sex marriages. But we do need to follow the law, and the law tells us we are prohibited from recognizing those marriages.”

    Miller also said licenses, valid for 30 days, issued to couples who had not yet married would be frozen, too, until there is a final court decision.[…]

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


    Oh, I didn’t mean to imply you were implying anything like that :)

    Just feeling bad about not saying anything and then talking here about how people shouldn’t ignore sexism when they see/hear it, raising consciousness and similar. And there I was, just quietly ignoring them.
    I mean, there are reasons, but I’m not sure at which point reasons stop being good and turn into weak excuses.

  37. says

    One legal expert weighs in on Utah’s latest straddle-the-fence tactic against gay marriage:

    Doug NeJaime, a law professor at UC Irvine School of Law in California, said the line the state intends to draw between actions taken or not taken could be hard to maintain.

    “What if a couple requested health benefits before this and continue to access going forward,” NeJaime said. “There are ways in which this is going to create a lot of questions for people in state government.”

    The other big question, NeJaime added, is the different consideration same-sex couples may receive from the federal government versus the state government, which is also occurring in other states where gay marriage is not recognized.

    That said, he called the state’s decision a “middle position.”

    “They are not saying the marriages are void,” NeJaime said. “And they are not commenting on the ultimate validity of them. It’s a middle position that they are trying to carefully carve out it seems.”

    Link in comment #55

  38. says

    From the Readers Comments associated with the coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune:

    Our governor and attorney general and Phil Robertson are men of steel. They are standing up to Obama’s apprehensible war on procreation. The president wants to mandate gay marriage and force contraception on even priests and nuns! Don’t let Obama take away our rights to pursue life, liberty, and procreation!
    Uh yes they DO have the authority to rescind marriages that were illegal when performed, and were only performed because some judicial tyrant issued a ridiculous opinion and utah was trying to follow what SHOULD have been a respectable federal court (which has thankfully been put on hold).
    You libs are running out of arguments, and it’s sad. How have we thumbed our nose at the 10th circus, by following our state constitution, which has been temporarily upheld by scotus (and soon to be permanently upheld, along with the majority of state constitutions in this nation)./blockquote>

  39. says

    Notes from an ex-mormon about the governor of Utah sort of, but not quite, or maybe, invalidating gay marriages during tax preparation season:

    Looks like they are being jerks about this because they think they can.

    I meet with the tax commission tomorrow to find out if it will allow *any* same-sex couple married in Utah or elsewhere, to file a joint state tax return. I bet the answer will be “no”

    State law requires that if you file a joint federal return, you must file a joint state return, and all the procedures and software are written that way. This will make filing a state income tax return a nightmare for same-sex couples. It will probably involve doing 5 returns – joint federal, two single returns federal that are not filed, but used to get data for state return, and two state returns.

    That is a total of 5 returns. Plus the state software compares the state return(s) to the federal return, but in this case the two “single” filing status federal returns are not actually filed, so that comparison will fail, and the returns will need to be processed by hand.

  40. carlie says

    Thank you for the ideas, everyone! He does wear glasses; has for the last 6 years or so. I’m going to be more diligent about making him take antihistamines every day in case allergies are playing any part, and he has a physical late next month so we’ll bring it up then too. He says he feels better now after having slept all day. I, on the other hand, came home from work tired and promptly threw up* *sigh*

    *the gross version is you know how sometimes you throw up, and some of it comes out through your nose, then your nose starts bleeding too, and then your nose goes “OH SHIT NO” and starts mucusing up the place in self-defense and then you have to blow your nose even more and it bleeds more and sometimes bits of food come out and then half of it starts dripping down your throat which makes your stomach upset and you throw up again? WELCOME TO MY NIGHT.

  41. says

    carlie — Migraines. Mine manifested similarly as a child, usually towards the middle or end of the school day. Apparently migraines in children manifest somewhat differently than they do in adults.

  42. says

    Lynna @59-

    Missouri has the same requirement to file jointly with the state if you do with the federal government.

    But rather than allow that Utah like insanity, Gov Nixon issued an executive order allowing legally married gay couples to file jointly here in Missouri.

    Of course, despite joint tax filing being literally the only thing gay marriage is recognized for in Missouri, and this being a situation that *had* to be handled, and it involved an executive department, there was some Republican discontent over the order. Not as much as I expected, honestly, but still more than there should have been. I wouldn’t be surprised if I see some bills come up to change the state tax code to undo the order.

  43. cicely says

    re Crunch-n-Munch
    You are so very wrong!
    In fact, I’m eating some right now.

    *hugs* and encouragement for Beatrice.

    *hugs* and *tissues* and sympathy for carlie.

  44. bluentx says

    Rq and C and M ™:
    You Latvin -Canuckers! No appreciation for dentist-magnet junk food!

    “… cat ladies. .. house full of…”
    Is there a word for “cat lady who feeds own outdoor cats and any transient felines passing through”? That’s moi.

    On Utah not recognizing same sex marriages:
    Unable to read all links ATM but general reaction…

    Bigoted Assholes! Hope they get slapped down!

  45. says

    Somewhere in the last week of hazy weird-sleep and no-sleep, I missed the “you are at 75% of your monthly download”, so when I got the “you have hit 100% of your monthly download” this afternoon, it was an unpleasant surprise, I tell you. *nods*

    So I will be scarce for a few days, as $2/GB is more than I can afford, even to be able to spend time among such excellent hobbits as you.

    So I am going away. Tonight!

    (see you on the 12th, when Santa Bandwidth arrives with its monthly present)

  46. bluentx says

    CatieCat: (if you’re still reading)
    Thanks for the heads up. I would have worried (not seeing any comments) that the guy who’s god was supposed to smite you (on another FtB blog) FINALLY succeeded!

  47. ChasCPeterson says

    you know how sometimes you throw up, and some of it comes out through your nose

    Proper puking takes practice, like everything else.

  48. yubal says

    I have a brief inquiry concerning the issue of morality.

    When I first came to this country, I had no friends, only colleagues and acquaintances. The first real friend I had was Chad (*). I met Chad in a coffee house, we talked a lot, played chess and exchanged phone numbers. We were seeing each other more often, playing chess, drinking, talking, all those things, and he became my friend. I also had other friends but Chad was my first friend and he introduced me to many people who are still very special to me.

    That was many years back. We had a good time. Gradually, I learned about Chad’s disability: he was schizophrenic, although well medicated and in therapy. Over the years I also came to realize that he, my friend, was very special to me. Not because of him, but because of me. Because I was his only friend. He literally had nobody else than his blood relatives, a few acquaintances, and then me. He barely left the house, played chess online, lived of his trust fund and baked cheese breads.

    When we met Chad was drinking occasionally. Smoking pot once in a while.Over the years, he picked up a cocaine habit, drank heavily, neglected his medication, tried to get among people more often. And the wrong type of people he met. The past few years were a struggle for him. Marked by less regular medication he took (against my advice) and an increasing dependency of cocaine, alcohol and pot. This enabled him to meet more people but most of them were no good for him and his limited judgement (not only based on his schizophrenia). When he found a girlfriend (18 years older than him), I was happy for him and hoped things might work out. She was an addict like him but with a way more positive attitude towards life.

    A few years back I learned that Chad was beating up his girlfriend.They stayed in touch, mostly for drug acquisition purposes I assume, but never came back together. I cut all ties with Chad around that time because I do not associate with men who beat up women.

    It must have been also the time when he started to get into heroin. A few days ago I learned that Chad had died from a heroin overdose.

    So here is my problem:

    Should I go to his funeral, or not?

    I was his best friend, which probably doesn’t mean a lot, but I do not know any of his relatives and I did part with him a long time back.

    I kinda have come to a decision already but I am curious what you guys would do.

    (*) name changed

  49. says


    The food… it taunts me… my brain keeps wanting me to get up and go grab a snack

    Don’t do it! You’ll end up in hospital, with med bill stress on top of everything else.

  50. bluentx says

    My two cents worth:
    If you really want to go… go. Saying ‘Farewell’ doesn’t mean you condone(d) his behavior. He had good points too.

  51. chigau (違う) says

    For me, if the only person at the funeral I have any connection with is the guest of honour,
    I have a private ceremony at home.

  52. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Funerals are for the living, they’re the means by which those who still live deal with the death that has touched them. If you feel the need for some kind of closure, or if you wish to support the other people who knew him, then by all means go. But I’ll also say that I don’t think anyone is obligated to attend these things, ever. It’s up to the individual to decide how they wish to grieve.

    For myself, my mother’s funeral was full of people I’d never met. I had no way of telling who was there because they were friends, and who were there because they felt obligated as a part of her congregation. Truth be told, I found little comfort in their presence. It was all a bit empty in that regard. For me the benefit was in being allowed, being privileged, to get up and say how I felt about my mother in public. One more person either way wouldn’t have made any difference.

  53. bluentx says

    Not seeing you here in The Lounge often, I was concerned seeing a news item about explosions, oil spills, etc. in ND! Was relieved to see (your) comments on other threads soon after. :)

    I got the ‘worry gene’ from my mother plus the ‘packrat gene’. I’m doomed!

  54. rq says

    Can you send flowers (or other gesture) without being present yourself? It might be a nice compromise, since it doesn’t much sound like you want to be there. Otherwise, I also agree that chigau’s advice seems solid.

    re: cats and ladies
    Weren’t you also feeding some wayward raccoons? So you’re like a the crazy cat-raccoon lady…

    Yay for the new cushions! *scritches*

  55. bluentx says

    Crazy Cat-Raccoon lady that’s me.

    (CCR first LP I ever bought! ) Jeez, dated myself twice in one sentence!

    But back to the raccoons… Only see two or three at the time these days. They’re hibernating now and only wake up for a snack now and then.

  56. bluentx says

    Also, found out earlier that I know a Game Warden-in-training. May be able to get him to livetrap and relocate the (not so little) bandits. Hope so.

  57. rq says

    I hate paying taxes. Not so much the taxes themselves, but because I’m scared I’ll do it wrong and people will get angry with me.

    Are raccoons like squirrels, though? (They need to go quite a distance before they won’t find their way back.)

  58. Brian O says

    I had an issue with one of Jerry Coyne’s blog posts regarding the ASA boycott of Israeli institutions, where I challenged him to denounce former Ambassador Oren’s suggestion that American academics be subjected to criminal prosecution (jail?) for supporting such actions. Professor Coyne, heroic defender of academic liberty, refused to even publish this rather mild comment. So I’m prepared to assume that Coyne is ambivalent about US citizens being put in prison for disagreeing with the policies of a FOREIGN government.

  59. bluentx says

    Paying taxes… and doing them wrong…
    That’s why I pay (probably too much) for a CPA to do mine.

    Raccoons finding their way back…
    Gack! I hope not but I don’t know. Maybe something to ask the trainee to research… then we’ll both know. Thanks for the question.

  60. bassmike says

    yubal If it were me in your situation I’d probably not go- but then I’d find it socially awkward. As rq suggested above: flowers are a decent compromise.

    CaitieCat We’ll keep the lounge warm until your return.

    Beatrice upthread: not calling out every sexist comment does not make you a lousy feminist. Sometimes circumstances dictate that you have to bite your lip. Never feel bad about it. We need to pick our battles.

  61. bluentx says

    Brian O @ #87:
    Not familiar with the situation so I don’t feel I can comment. Does sound like something interesting to look into though.

    Have to work tonight. Better get some zzzzs. Later yall.

  62. vaiyt says

    Updates on the little one.

    He was taken off the tubes two days ago. Last time he was off the painkillers, he called my aunts and grandmother by name, and pleaded for the latter to take him out of the hospital. Looks like he’ll recover with no lasting damage.

  63. rq says

    That is great news. I hope his recovery proceeds speedily, and that he gets his wish of getting out of the hospital a.s.a.p.

  64. rq says

    And just because this is cool:
    I think that, with the conversion to euros (yes, Latvia is now in the eurozone, no more awesomely powerful and pretty currency!), my monthly salary (sadly, before taxes) reaches the healthy sum of 666. :D

  65. carlie says

    yubal – if it were me, I would go. I would think his family might like to know that he did have a friend once, that there were good times and that he had enough of an impact on you to remain in your thoughts.

    Also very good news vaiyt. So glad to hear.

  66. opposablethumbs says

    vaiyt, thank you for the good news. Hope there are no lasting ill-effects; I imagine the poor mite and family will be pretty damn traumatised but I hope they’re OK!

    , my sympathies to your stomach. Hope you can at least get lots of flavour into clear broth – when my late mum was taken ill while visiting us and was rushed to hospital, she was on No Solids for a couple of days and desperate for something with any taste to it so we made her clear bouillon out of All The Vegetables and took it in for her just so she’d have something savoury for a change (even with zero salt, it tasted better than infinite lucozade or eternal cups of tea, apparently). I hope you are all right. What are you subsisting on?

  67. rq says

    He does, indeed – he also resembles someone I went to high school with. :) (But no, there’s no relation.)

  68. yubal says

    I will go for the same reason carlie mentioned. For me, there is no need for closure here, I had that when he was still alive.

    vaiyt, that “no lasting damage” sounds wonderful. I hope it will be so!

  69. says



    As the others said: funerals are for the living.
    Do you want to go?
    If not, but you think that others would benefit from your visit, do you think that this significantly outweighs your reluctance?
    If not, sending flowers or a note might be a compromise.

    Have you tried keeping a diary of your son’s illness?
    Sometimes you can spot patterns, maybe a teacher on those days or a subject?
    At least my body is sometimes much smarter than my brain and so I get sick instead of scared or sad.

    Yay vayt

    Came home. Plan was a quick cuppa coffee before I pick up #1 for her ballett class. Found a message from her teacher. Kid was totally upset because she wanted to go to her BFFs birthday, but since nobody had any instructions she had to go to the daycare.
    Now, I wouldn’t put it past her to skip the steps “Hand invitation and information to mum and make sure she organises these things” in her mind and move fast forward to “I’ll go home with A after school”, so I tried to call the kid’s mum and informed the daycare that I would pick her up now. When I finally reached the kid’s mum I found out that it was a missunderstanding between the two kids.
    “Party”* is on Saturday.
    But to make up for my missed coffee I sent #1 off to her ballett by foot herself. She’s a big girl now, it#s only a short walk and I can see most of it from my kitchen window.
    *They are a bit the two outsiders who found each other.

  70. says

    Oh, FFS, another “panel of 12 men” getting ready to tell women what to do — not nice, not right.

    As the Senate takes up a measure to extend unemployment insurance, Republicans in the House of Representatives are looking to make 2014 another banner year for anti-abortion laws.

    A panel of 12 men on the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a bill Thursday that would deny tax subsidies to women and small businesses who purchase health insurance plans that include abortion coverage. The bill only makes an exception for rape and incest victims and women who would die without abortion care, which opponents say could prompt the IRS to audit any woman who claims one of these exceptions.

    If you don’t want to visit the dreaded HuffPo site, you can read most of the same info on the Maddow Blog:

  71. birgerjohansson says

    “Raccoons finding their way back”

    There is a book (set in Japan) named “Two Million Gods” where raccoons in sutis feature heavily. Also, there is a Neil Gaiman story where a raccon acts as a guide for Lucifer when he travels through China to track down an immortal badass (spun from silk) who wants to destroy the world.

    Geil and Tpyos. Yes, Geli is was. Poor spelling skills I have.

    I forget. did I post a comment about the Canadian defence minister who shares Philip K Dick’s belief that space aliens walk among us? And are the space aliens masquerading as raccoons? That would provide them with access without making anyone take note of their tails, and eyes that reflect light.

  72. birgerjohansson says

    “Whatever would we do without them!”

    Asexual reproduction? Being a bit sqeamish about icky stuff, I would not necessarily object*. Amazon Mollies seem to be OK with it. Or we could use electronic media to exchange genetic information.

    *I am a nerd, worse than the guys in Big Bang Theory.

  73. says

    rq @103. Yep. A dozen white dudes have now decided to use small businesses owned by women as yet another means of restricting abortion access.

  74. says

    See comment #102 for background on this issue. Here’s the NARAL Pro-Choice America analysis of the new bill Republican men are proposing (H.R. 7 is the bill number — top priority for 2014!).

    * Raise taxes on small businesses and individuals who buy insurance with abortion coverage outside the exchanges. It does so by imposing tax penalties on individuals and small businesses that choose private health plans that cover abortion care. (Absent political interference, 87 percent of private plans cover abortion services.)

    * Eliminate abortion coverage from private insurance plans sold through Obamacare exchanges. This bill includes a provision that would effectively end abortion coverage for women in state insurance exchanges who use their own, private funds to pay for their insurance and ban abortion coverage for millions of middle- and low-income women who will receive partial subsidies to purchase insurance.

    * Spur audits for rape survivors. H.R.7 eliminates medical-expense deductions for abortion services, with exceptions only for cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman is in danger. As a result, the bill could prompt the IRS to audit a sexual-assault survivor who seeks abortion care with her own, private funds.

  75. says

    As we all know Republican obstructionism when it comes to Obama’s judicial nominees is legendary. Lately, this obstructionism has taken a more ridiculous turn, with more Republicans blocking votes for people they themselves had recommended.

    On Tuesday, the Obama administration confirmed it was pulling back a judicial nominee in Florida after it became apparent that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would not allow a vote, even though the nominee was originally his own recommendation. But Rubio isn’t the only Republican senator holding up a judicial nominee he previously supported.

    Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is also refusing to advance Jennifer May-Parker, a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, though Burr previously put May-Parker forward for the post.[…]

    Obama formally submitted her nomination to the Senate in June 2013. But May-Parker hasn’t moved since because Burr is withholding his “blue slip” to the Senate Judiciary Committee — a de-facto rule in the committee that allows a senator to advance or block a nominee for his or her home state. […]

    Burr hasn’t said why he’s holding up May-Parker, and there is urgency to the delay: The North Carolina judicial seat, empty since 2005, is the longest-standing court vacancy in the country. May-Parker would also make history, if confirmed, as the first African-American district judge in the 44-county Eastern District.[…]

  76. rq says

    re: Canadian defence minister
    PZ did a post about that. I watched it today. Rather difficult to watch, without actually laughing out loud. Good thing there were no adults around.
    As for the genetic information, sending it via internet would be fine – but the actual transformation of information into organism still poses a bit of a challenge for those of us without a fully-equipped bio lab in the basement (or attic, as it may be).

  77. says

    Ex-mormons are discussing the way that mormon Bishops prey on the weak. The bishops use illness and/or disability to force apostates to return to the LDS church, to steer ill or disabled persons toward ineffective treatment, and to instill guilt guilt guilt. Blame the victims.

    […] my dad has cancer & asked his bishop to give him & my mom blessings. My mom doesn’t attend or believe but she supports my TBM father. When the bishop gave my mom a blessing he basically told her that if she does all the “right things” like being an active believing Moron again…my dad will survive his cancer.[…]
    This is a win win for the bishop. If your father is healed, then he gets to give God and the church the credit. If he isn’t, then he gets to blame your mother.
    Bishop and Stake President blessings to my Dad and mother during my dad’s fatal lung cancer gave my mother such false hope, that she made extremely poor financial decisions. She ended up wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as not preparing to support herself. Promises that he would be healed and her end up ‘wealthy’ (yes they actually promised that) meant she wouldn’t listen to any non-penishood finacial advice. She now is destitute and lives in poverty. […],1131960

  78. says

    This information comes from ex-mormon Steve Benson. It is a good sampling of the way a lot of mormons think when it comes to marriage and to gay marriage. (Note, not all mormons think this way, but enough of them do that it affects state laws.)

    Lynn D. Wardle is a law professor at Brigham Young University who recently launched a public tirade against marriage equality (lumping in with that attack his call for criminalization of adultery and cohabitation). Wardle is of the view that society should only provide legal acknowledgment and protection of heterosexual marriage, warning that cohabitating, adulterating and/or same-sex marrying will destroy civilization as we know it. (Wardle, along with two others, was a featured guest on a KUER “Radio West” interview conducted by host Doug Fabrizio (for audio of the interview, go to: “Utah’s Marriage Battle,” 7 January 2014, at:[…]

    “There is an important reason why gender-integration has been a core component of marriage in all societies across all time. It lays the foundation for the equality of both genders and for equal respect for the contributions of both genders throughout society. It protects and reinforces the mother-father family, which is the basic social institution.

    “When marriages are disregarded and trivialized by public officials, as by the judges in the Brown and Kitchen rulings, that weakens the institution of marriage and subverts the integrity of the relationship of marriage.

    “Societies in which marriage is weakened and trivialized suffer severe consequences. History shows that the dependent, the young, the weak, and the aged pay a heavy price when marriage is weakened. […],1130501

  79. rq says

    I think I’m going to lie down and just be sick for a while. This whole attitudinal keeping-it-at-bay thing isn’t working.

  80. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    Hubby just got fired. They love him at work. He’s great at his job. It was a corporate decision made by someone who has probably never even been to our town. Last year the company that originally hired him was sold to a larger company. That company just decided they wanted someone with a masters degree to do the job he’s been doing. He’s stunned.

    It wasn’t too long ago that we went through this and now we’re doing it again. We really didn’t want to do this again.

    But I guess people don’t have jobs because they’re just so lazy. Thank goodness for all those job creators out there. Ain’t they grand? ..and how about those “at will” laws? Aren’t they swell?

    I’m so fucking angry.

    We’ll be OK.
    Not great, but OK.

    Hugs and soft kitties to those who want them.

  81. says

    Yay, that’s good to hear.
    I can’t really advise, but *hugs*
    Chicken broth and assorted fruit juices mostly, supplemented by tea with honey in.

    It has long been an ambition of mine to teach raccoons to use tools, like miniature screwdrivers and wrenches and the like.

    There is a book (set in Japan) named “Two Million Gods” where raccoons in sutis feature heavily

    That would be Eight Million Gods, by Wen Spencer. Two Million Gods appears to be someone’s blog about India.
    Shitheads. I’m sorry.

  82. says

    Not cool.
    Fat-shaming Chris Christie is not how you criticize his legitimate faults. Criticize his policies, not his size.

    Chris Christie’s size is frequently subject to public discussion, leading to widespread speculation that he’s not healthy enough to run for higher office. Just in the past several months, conservative pundit Glenn Beck called him a “fat nightmare,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested he could participate in a “fried Twinkie summit,” former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) said it’s only natural for people to mock his “extreme” weight, and Time Magazine was widely rebuked for putting a photo of Christie on the cover along with the caption “The Elephant in the Room.”

  83. cicely says

    Dalillama, are you not allowed jello? Sometimes that can fool your stomach into thinking there’s something solid in it.

    WKDKitty, hurrah for wheelychair-cushion upgrades!

    Wishes for warmth and safety for CaitieCat in this, her time of involuntary absence.

    Do raccoons hibernate?
    If so, what the hell is making so much noise in our attic at night?
    :( :( :(

    That’s good news, vaiyt!

    *hugs* and *kittehs* and sympathies for Jackie.
    As Tony! says, fuck.

    It has long been an ambition of mine to teach raccoons to use tools, like miniature screwdrivers and wrenches and the like.

    And prybars!
    Raccoons can be/have been modified and used as Special Familiars for magic-user/thieves.

  84. says

    I’m allowed it, I just can’t stand the stuff. Boiled sweets are apparently also ok, though, and L is making me some of those.

    Raccoons can be/have been modified and used as Special Familiars for magic-user/thieves.

    One character of mine exists in the material world only by possessing other things. At one point it restored a bus using a dozen raccoons as hands.

  85. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Jackie @118:

    Shit. That sucks. Sympathy to you and hubby.

  86. Portia, semi-bait says

    I hope they come somewhere close to satisfying your hankering.

    Damn, I’m sorry : (

    I agree with the sentiment that if you want to go, go. Giliell’s cost benefit analysis works nicely. I don’t think you should hesitate out of a fear that you lost touch with him and it’s therefore somehow inappropriate. As FossilyFishy says, for some family members, it doesn’t make a difference to have more folks show up. For me, it was comforting that lots of people came to my grandmother’s funeral and expressed their love by their presence. At any rate, the likelihood that it would be a negative to the family for more people to come to the open-to-the-public service, is low. Take care of yourself first and foremost. *hugs*

    Great news.

    As I mentioned, I have my first jury tomorrow. I’m kind of excited. It should be a fairly easy win for me. The one on Tuesday will be more complicated but a piece fell into place this morning that took a LOT of the stress out (I was scrambling to make it all work). I have my witnesses lined up, my jury instructions ready, and I’m going to work on my opening and closing arguments. Weeeeeee.

  87. rq says

    Aw, wow, that sucks! :(
    *supportive gesture of choice*
    And good luck, good luck, good luck!!

    That’s all rather exciting news! Good luck, I’m sure you’ll shine!


    re: raccoons
    I think in the spring I posted a video that makes a case for raccoon bipedalism (when paws full of food – but they might as well carry tools!). Personally, if they start doing so regularly, I’d be pretty afraid. It would come down to them or the octopoda, and the latter, I believe, aren’t prone to sticking around long enough to teach their children. Small comfort!

  88. Portia, semi-bait says

    Thanks, Og! And good to see you, by the way.

    rq: Thank you! My strategy if something goes wrong is to stand very still and hope the judge and jury can’t see me. ^_^ I’ve never prosecuted anything before, but it’s what I wanted to do all through law school. (But then my politics changed, and prosecution didn’t have quite the same shine, and this job is perfect because I get to defend people who really need help, and prosecute people who do things like speed in school zones).

  89. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    You can see me? You workin’ for the NSA now?

  90. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    Thanks y’all.

    Tool using raccoons sound like a bad thing. They’re far to brazen and wily as it is. Pandemonium and chaos will follow.

  91. rq says

    Make like a raccoon and run for it. ;) Just grab all the snacks!
    I’m sure you’ll do fine, though. They should all be terrified of what awaits them. Such politeness, such civility… So much win for Portia. :) They won’t know what hit them.

  92. cicely says

    *sedate and non-intrusive pouncehug*

    Portia, take this *hug* with you tomorrow.
    To keep you warm.

  93. rq says

    sedate and non-intrusive pouncehug

    Wow, my Oxymoron Alert Signal nearly blew my ears off! :)

  94. says

    Update on Utahans against gay marriage, what are they doing, what are they saying? For the most part, mormon politicians, Eagle Forum dunderheads, and mormon citizens are meeting and planning to do what they can to uphold the ban on gay marriages. They are also pumping each other up, crying when their praying-and-fasting rituals succeed, etc.

    “This is a sacred issue,” said Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, who wrote the law defining marriage between a man and a woman. “It is absolutely constitutional for people to have a moral and religious basis for public policy, along with other social and historical justifications.”

    Speaking to a crowd of about 75 people at a Golden Corral restaurant, Christensen, like other speakers, said he didn’t want to be offensive. “We want to do this in the most kind and loving way possible, but truth is truth,” Christensen said.

    Ex-mormons from Utah will get a good laugh out of the setting. the Golden Corral restaurant chain is a favorite of big mormon families.

    […] “Many people are in shock this even happened in Utah,” said conservative activist Cherilyn Eagar, who organized the event. Radio talk show host Sam Bushman framed the issue as one of state’s rights, saying the federal government doesn’t have the authority to regulate marriage. “The states have way more broad-based authority than the federal government ever did,” Bushman said. “It’s an activist judge that flat-out needs to be reined in.”
    “Do you want to know why we’re going to win?” he asked the responsive crowd. “Because it’s right … We need to turn to our god in prayer and then we need to go to work.”

    Eagar, meanwhile, said her opposition to same-sex marriage isn’t generally about consenting adults, but rather about giving children “the optimal environment to be reared.” “That is, as all credible social science will tell you, with a mom and a dad,” she said.[…]

    Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka, meanwhile, said she “prayed and fasted,” for the marriage stay. When she heard the U.S. Supreme Court had granted it, “I was an emotional basket case.”[…]

    “These attacks are coming from all sides. I guess I’m not surprised, I’m disappointed because we’ve lost our moral foundation,” said Newmeyer. “When it comes down to laws, I think they need to have a foundation in God’s law.” […]

  95. rq says

    I’m going to Trigger Warning this just in case, for hateful language (even though the message is positive):


    The thing about being told to be a man

  96. says

    From the readers comments below the SL Tribune article (link in comment #138):

    Right on! Let’s rally for a change like telling the world more about the devastating impact of totally avoidable sexually-transmitted diseases due to “consensual adult love,” aka, homosexual anal sex. Let’s tell the world there is nothing “gay” about that whatsoever! It is “pathetic!”

    Let’s tell the world more about the rampant gay-on-gay violence.

    Let’s tell the world more about the thousands of people who have left homosexuality and lesbianism behind. “Gay rights” has nothing to do with “civil rights!” How many ex-blacks, ex-Asians, ex-Polynesians do you know? None! Zero!

    How many ex-gays are there? Thousands!

    If gays truly love one another, they would immediately cease the self-destructive sexual behaviors which has decimated their population.

  97. Portia, semi-bait says

    Thank you! I’ve done lots of mock jury trials and lots of bench trials, so I feel well prepared. :D

    I will keep that hug in my pocket for later use. Thank you.

    In college, I did shows with a modern Shakespeare company – very fun, interesting takes on the classics. Tonight, they are auditioning for a gender-bent King Lear. Er, Queen Lear. I’m debating whether my schedule will allow me to try out. I have already gotten myself over the performance/social anxiety part, or rather, steeled myself against it. So that’s a big victory.

  98. says

    Some of the readers of the Salt Lake Tribune (link in #138) are having fun debunking the usual anti-gay arguments. Here’s one:

    I’ve always thought it would be a good idea to prohibit anyone from marrying a Mormon, especially given that we can use the exact same arguments the racists and homophobes have been using:

    1) Since everyone is equally denied the right to marry a Mormon, there is no unlawful discrimination.

    2) Religion is a choice, although Mormonism is obviously a perverse choice. If a Mormon wishes to marry he’s free to choose to become a Southern Baptist prior to being granted a marriage license.

    3) Mormonism is a slippery-slope to polygamy, incest and pedophilia, and thus no one should be allowed to marry a Mormon.

    4) This isn’t anti-Mormon discrimination as you’re still free to be a Mormon and practice your religion as you prefer. It’s just that no one else can marry you while you choose to engage in that disgusting practice.

    5) Remember, Mormonism is a chosen behavior. No one is “born a Mormon”, and scientists haven’t found a Mormon gene.

  99. says

    A counter rally is planned to answer the homophones meeting at the Golden Corral in Utah:

    Stand up for marriage equality in Utah!

    Where: The Utah State Capitol Rotunda

    When: Friday, January 10 at 12:30 p.m.

    What: Join us as we deliver over 41,000 signatures to the governor’s office demanding that he stop the expensive appeal to the court ruling that declared Utah’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional. We’ll stand up and demand in a strong, united voice that he stop standing in the way of love and equality.

  100. rq says

    Only if there’s a bear in the show. Better yet, a raccoon!
    I say go for it (time- and energy-permitting, of course). Sounds like it could be a lot of fun!

  101. rq says

    To close off for the night:
    Some forgotten women.

    Music and text for Latvian lighthouses.

    A look at the Curonians, a tribe of Latvians… Vicious, plundering folk – apparently they had no women, too. Don’t worry, I have no Curonian blood in my ancestry (that I know of – but my neighbours do!). An interesting peek into their religion, though. Anyone ever wants to come over for a tour of locations, let me know. We can do a spirit-hunt (as opposed to a ghost-hunt).

    And I think PZ should be alerted – such genetic manipulation is just Not Allowed!

    And that’s all for tonight, folks.
    *hugs* and *[gestures]* as wanted!

  102. opposablethumbs says

    rq, I’m sorry you feel sick. ::soothing tisane:: and I hope you feel better soon!

    Jackie, that’s bloody horrible. I am so, so damn sorry. Corporate fuckwits, getting rid of good and well-liked employees is such a great way to run a company. Hope you are OK.

    Knock all their socks off, Portia!

  103. Portia, semi-bait says

    Ok – I’m auditioning. I have psyched myself up. I can do it. These acting chops are rusty, but I can do it. :D

  104. says

    The Republican/conservative political agenda in Georgia is a proven failure.

    Conservatives have a theory […] It holds that the best path to economic growth is to slash taxes, cut government, create a regulatory environment that favors business and ensure that the workforce isn’t “spoiled” by a safety net that becomes a hammock, as they like to say.

    Do all that, and business will prosper, incomes will rise, people will have jobs and poverty will ease.

    Since taking the reins of state government in January 2003, Georgia Republicans have implemented every bit of that agenda. They have slashed unemployment benefits and welfare benefits, and pay the lowest Medicaid reimbursements in the country. […]taxes have been slashed and slashed again. […]

    So the experiment has been run for 11 years now. And by any meaningful measure, it has been a failure.

    […] In 2002, 12.1 percent of Georgians lived in poverty. By 2012, that number had risen to 18.1 percent, a jump of 50 percent. […]

    In 2002, that median household made $54,803, adjusted for inflation. Today it makes $48,121, a decline of more than 12 percent and more than $6,600 a year in buying power. […] In 2002, Georgia ranked 15th in median household income; today we rank 33rd. Median household income has declined twice as fast in Georgia as it has nationwide. […]

    We have the worst of both worlds — a high unemployment rate AND a large number of people leaving the workforce.

    Finally, what about productivity? Even if incomes are down, poverty is up and jobs are scarce, improving productivity could at least give us hope that things will improve.

    […]these downward trends show every sign of continuing. […]

  105. carlie says

    Giliell – will try!

    Jackie – I’m so sorry. I hope he finds something else soon.

    Good luck Portia!

  106. bluentx says

    A few days ago I asked (here) about finding obituary info for California. I Googled the name of a relative and had gotten a jolt. It was possible that said relative died five years ago. AND NO ONE TOLD ME!

    More digging gave me a little more information. By the time I commented here I was 85% sure that I had the right person. With better internet access than I currently have at home I just did another search. Now I am 99% sure. AND NO ONE TOLD ME!

    I use the same post office box now that my parents started renting 43 years ago. AND NO ON TOLD ME!

    Yes, my family is weirdly erratic about communication but NO ONE TOLD ME!

    -the person I was closest to growing up…
    -the person I most looked up to as a kid…
    -the person I shared a bedroom with for the first ten years of my life…
    -the sister closest to me in age (seven years older)…

    DIED FIVE YEARS AGO this coming Sunday!

    I am so angry… so sad… and so disgusted with my family!


  107. chigau (違う) says

    Have some hugs.
    My family is minuscule in number, so we all know when someone dies.
    still, even if you have a large family
    five years and no one mentioned anything
    I weep.
    more hugs

  108. bluentx says

    Thanks, chigau. I’ll take both batches of hugs.

    I went surfing around more (to check on other siblings). They seem to be okay though it’s hard to tell with my brother (at one time he worked for IBM and apparently knows how to hide on the interwebs). But then again I found that his wife died two years ago! Didn’t know that either. Last few times I’ve tried to contact him I got no replies to email of voicemail. *sigh*

    Tomorrow I’ll try calling the county records clerk where my sister lived. Maybe they can help clear this up. Also, I have a cousin who lives locally and does genealogy research. Maybe he has some sources if calling the county doesn’t work.

  109. rq says

    I hope your research clears some stuff up – if they’re allowed to disclose information, that is.
    *hugs* about the siblings, I hope at least one of them has the heart (and time?) to speak to you…

    I’m riding a wave of ibuprofen right now, so I feel fine at the moment. I’m pretty sure that’s not an accurate assessment of my situation, though. Ah well.

  110. bluentx says

    Won’t be surprised if the only way they will talk to me is if I fill out the application I’m looking at (for a certified death certificate) and send them the $21 fee.

  111. rq says

    Following procedure usually gets some superficial results.

    I’m trying to figure out if I’m well enough to take Youngest to his final vaccination, or if I should, after all, have Husband go do it. On the one hand, the ibuprofen is working. On the other, I still feel like shit. And on the other, I’m still contagious. Erk.

  112. opposablethumbs says

    Damn, bluentx, I’m very sorry. And I thought some of my family were distant ….

    Hope you are OK.

  113. opposablethumbs says

    I think you’re right, it definitely equates women to burgers, rq. And apart from not being funny, imo, it also does more to equate wrinkles to ugliness than it does to question or undercut that equation.

  114. bluentx says

    I will be OK, opposablethumbs.

    I didn’t let myself get too upset until the details added up to more than I could put off as just coincidence. Now, I’m crying…then mad….crying… then mad. And the eternal optimist in me, that doesn’t want to believe all my sibs are heartless shits, makes excuses for them. “Weeelll, sisters’ husband is a total ass. Maybe he didn’t even try to notify her side of the family.” [Still doesn’t explain brother not telling me about his wife tho.]

    So, if I can verify it I’ll make sure other siblings know… some how.

  115. rq says

    Doesn’t matter if they’re all heartless shits or not, in this case they have failed you, and you have every right (every right!!) to be sad, angry and disappointed with them. You can let the optimist out later, but seriously, there is very little to excuse their behaviour in this particular circumstance.

    It just felt like a huge, unnecessary poke at the concept of natural beauty and those impossible standards… As if it really is that simple. And you’re right, it actually does more harm than good.

  116. bassmike says

    I’m dropping a bucket load of hugs here as they look like they’re sorely needed.

    Jackie I’m sorry to hear that your husband has been fired. It’s terrible for you both.

    bluentx I can’t believe that no-one had the decency to let you know that someone who had been that close had died. I wish I could provide more than virual support.

    rq I hope you are feeling better after a night’s sleep, and are less contagious!

    Portia good luck! I’m sure you’ll be great. And good luck with the audition too.

    Things haven’t been great here since yesterday. My daughter was unwell last night, but seems to be rather better this morning. Also my father is back in hospital. He had a course of chemo for bowel cancer that finished before Christmas. All seemed to be going fine, but for the last three weeks he hasn’t been able to keep food down. Now, after numerous consultations with doctors , he went to A&E and has been admitted to a ward awaiting X-Ray results. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. But all the weight he put back on after chemo has gone again.

  117. rq says

    *hugs* and I hope it’s not a relapse, best wishes for the health of your father!
    Also, I hope your daughter stays healthy. It’s tough when they hover around that line of well/unwell for lenghty periods of time. :( We still haven’t excaped the rat-wheel of illnesses in the family, but at least the kids seem to be on the mend (I feel paranoid about their every little cough and/or sniffle, though).

  118. bluentx says

    Thank you bassmike for the ‘vir(u)al support’ but I think rq is handling that part! ;)
    Hugs right back at cha! And hugs to all who need them.

    Heading home now. Will try to check in again but logging in is never a certainty with my phone.

  119. says

    *big hugs*

    *sends grog*
    Drink and then off to bed (since it’s internet grog it’s compatible will all sorts of medication)

    Oh, I forgot you asked that: I think German “grog” is definitely derived from English grog. It originally belongs to the seafaring folks in the North, so it’s plausible .

  120. birgerjohansson says

    “Pandemonium and chaos will follow”
    -Why do you *think* I favor super- raccoons?

    Something odd just happened. We got snowfall. That means November has finally ended.

  121. rq says

    Our winter is supposed to start on Sunday, so the prognosticators promise us. If the current harsh winds and rain are any indication, they just may be right.

    And yes, bassmike, I’ll take that grog and then I’ll be off to bed, I just have a few skeleton runs left to watch to ensure continued Latvian dominance of the sport. Then I can retire in comfort and satisfaction. :)

  122. bassmike says

    rq we’re fairly optimistic it’s not a relapse. It may be a blockage of some sort. Hopefully the X-Ray and hospital can get to the bottom of it.

  123. bluentx says

    Are US football fans stupid?!
    AP (News) looked for the cheapest tickets for the Super Bowl. Nose-bleed section seats were the cheapest they found: THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS! !!!
    I don’t even grok justifying that EVER but in this economy? This unemployment rate? With multiple news items about children in poverty?
    Attempts to cut benefits for the elderly?

  124. bluentx says

    I’ve already got some three times as big as my biggest cat!

  125. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Safe hugs to bluentx and rq.

    theophontes @161:

    I never quite understand the need to pray to an all-powerful deity AND then have to do everything oneself anyway.

    Because gods help those who help themselves.

    bluentx @174:

    Are US football fans stupid?!

    Er, many are? Perhaps most?

    Another way to look at this, though, is that it is moving money out of the pockets of middle-class fans and into the pockets of one of the most profitable organizations in the US (and it’s even tax deductable!) which are owned by job creators — billionaires. It keeps the money flowing, stops stagnation.

    Of course, the money is flowing to people who don’t actually need it, won’t actually spend it on something that creates jobs, won’t actually put the money back into the economy, but it does keep it in circulation, right?

  126. rq says

    I’m pretty sure money flowing in one direction isn’t ‘circulation’. ;/ There’s got to be a word for unidirectional flow somewhere out there…

  127. bluentx says

    Good to talk to you again! I too was concerned with your absence hereabouts!
    Today our comment hour (s) overlap. I can’t sleep AND I have to wait hours before I can conduct business. .. on the West Coast.

    Yeah, those Job Creators: what swell bunch of [insert insult here]….

    (Have I mentioned how much I hate this Samsung Galaxy S III?????)

  128. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    There’s got to be a word for unidirectional flow somewhere out there…

    Urination? Would explain trickle-down economics, too.

  129. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Face palm.

    Boss talking about one of our volunteers and her giving tours. Said that she really knows what she is talking about, she has written books about the operation of historic machinery. “Really good books. You’d think they were written by a man, but she wrote them.”

    I plan to mention that to his boss next time we talk. He is leaving us so open for lawsuits . . .

  130. rq says

    Ogvorbis @179
    :D :D :D
    It’s about the only thing that makes sense!!

    That was supposed to be a compliment from your boss, right? Have that talk with him. :/

  131. opposablethumbs says


    So there have been some recent changes in the UK benefits system whereby housing benefit will no longer be paid directly from the local authority to the owners of properties being rented by people entitled to said benefit – but will be paid to the people entitled to the benefit, who then pay the rent.

    Property owners are worried that tenants dependent on benefits will not pay rent reliably (hey, they might do something reckless – like buy food instead).

    So some of them are simply refusing to rent to people on benefits any more. Never mind the fact that many property owners have been profiting like crazy on the back of the old arrangement. And one charming couple (who I would seriously cross the road to avoid) have decided that they are going to evict ALL their tenants who are in receipt of benefits (because SOME of them had been in arrears). Out of all those about to be evicted, the person interviewed on TV was a single mother of two (one a baby) who works in a care home for the elderly and who had never been in arrears; she doesn’t make enough in pay to live on, so she’s entitled to some benefits. And these utterly vile, self-satisfied sacks of shit were quite happy about their decision, saying anyone chucked out could just go to their local council (not actually true) and should get a job anyway (many of them have jobs).

    Not that other, less photogenic, tenants deserve this either, obviously. And these scum were happy about it. Happy that they were going to put large numbers of vulnerable people on the street. And talking about “these people need to be responsible” and “the key is to get a job” – when they themselves are putrescent parasites making nothing, who live off other people by virtue of owning property. They are proud of living off the poor. Proud of it. Fuck.

  132. bluentx says

    Gee, and I thought Brits were “too nice” and “too civilized” to be scum-sucking ‘putrescent parasites’ just like good ole ‘Mericans!

  133. rq says

    Nah, it’s the ancestral assholery. :P Or maybe just human assholery.

    That is horrible. People taking pride in their intolerance are just nasty. :( *hugs*

  134. says

    Just a reminder for anyone living in or near Salt Lake City: today at noon you can join with others to show your support for marriage equality in Utah.

    What: Press Conference with plaintiffs, activists and equality supporters to deliver petition to the Governor’s and AG’s office to show mass support for Judge Shelby’s Dec. 20th ruling on Amendment 3. After press conference, attendees will deliver the petition and letters of support.

    When: Friday, January 10, 12:30 PM

    Where: Utah Capitol Rotunda

  135. says

    More details that expose charter schools as a scam, and in some cases, as dangerous environments for students.

    Imagine your 5-year-old boy went to a school where he was occasionally thrown in a padded cell and detained alone for stretches as long as 20 minutes.

    Or you sent your kid to an elementary school where the children are made to sit on a bare floor in the classroom for days before they can “earn” their desks.

    Or your kid went to a school where she spent hours parked in a cubicle in front of a computer with a poorly trained teacher who has to monitor more than 100 other students.

    Maybe you don’t have children or send them to private school? So how do you feel when you find out the local school that you pay for with your taxes is operating a scam that diverted millions of dollars through fake Medicaid billing?

    Or the school used your tax dollars as “grants” to start up other profit-making enterprises … or pay lavish salaries – $300,000, $400,000 or more – to its administrators … or support a movement linked to a reclusive Turkish cleric being investigated for bribery and corruption. […] the charter school movement has come to represent in the landscape of American education.[…]

    Salon link.

    […] The actual academic results of these schools seems to hardly anyone, despite report after report showing that these schools tend to do poorly on state and national tests and fail at providing equitable education to underserved students.

    Yet lobbying for more of these schools continues unabated with more money funneled into the campaigns of politicians who support charters and more efforts to press state lawmakers to lift any provisions currently in place to regulate how these schools operate and are held accountable to the public.[…]

  136. says

    Republicans did not like it when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). Now socially retrograde politicians are looking for a new way to institute a DOMA-like restriction that would halt or hamper marriage equality for gays.

    Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) and 27 other Republicans have proposed legislation that would prevent the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages for couples who live in states that do not permit these unions.

    Weber’s State Marriage Defense Act, H.R. 3829, is a reaction to last year’s Supreme Court decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). That law required the federal government to only recognize “marriage” between heterosexual couples.[…]

    The bill is supported by the Family Research Council and other groups who have argued that the federal government is currently recognizing same-sex marriages that take place in states where those marriages are legal, regardless of whether the married couple resides in a state that allows same-sex unions. […]

    The legislation is also supported by the National Organization for Marriage, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops, Concerned Women for America, and Heritage Action.

    The Hill link.

  137. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    No, no, no. Charter schools are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.

    Which is not educate children.

    Charter schools exist to (1) destroy the teacher’s unions which protect academic freedom and make sure that teachers earn living wages and (2) transfer wealth from the poor and middle class to the looter class.

  138. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes….

    One of my D&D campaigns did have a killer rabbit.

    Beatrice – *hugs*

    rq – *sterile hugs* I hope you feel better soon.

    Portia – Good luck! I offer some chocolate to go along with cicely’s hug. I have a hug for you too, if you have room in your pocket. :D (Of course, you might have already finished with the jury trial by the time you seen this.)

    vaiyt – Excellent news! I hope little one was a speedy recovery.

    Jackie – That’s horrible. *hugs*

    Only caught up through 147. *hugs* for anyone who needs one.

  139. cicely says


    Wow, my Oxymoron Alert Signal nearly blew my ears off! :)

    I was going for “milk spewing out the nose” levels of *snortleness*, but I guess this will just have to do.
    :D :D

    I know it’s meant to be funny, but I can’t help feeling that this equates women to burgers.

    So it’s not just me, then!
    (Even Later)

    I’m pretty sure money flowing in one direction isn’t ‘circulation’. ;/ There’s got to be a word for unidirectional flow somewhere out there…

    “Driving the car over the cliff.”

    *hugs* and other *gestures of comfort and support* for bluentx.

    Are US football fans stupid?!

    Next question.

    AP (News) looked for the cheapest tickets for the Super Bowl. Nose-bleed section seats were the cheapest they found: THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS! !!!
    I don’t even grok justifying that EVER but in this economy? This unemployment rate? With multiple news items about children in poverty?
    Attempts to cut benefits for the elderly?

    Football is religion.
    Everything must be sacrificed for religion.

    *hugs* for bassmike. I’m sorry about your daughter and father’s health-related issues.

  140. says


    Not seeing you here in The Lounge often, I was concerned seeing a news item about explosions, oil spills, etc. in ND! Was relieved to see (your) comments on other threads soon after. :)

    I’m fine. The derail was shocking, still don’t know what caused it. We’re 120 miles from Casselton, though, no where near all the oil bonanza stuff.

  141. says

    While the Powers That Be in Utah are claiming that they don’t know yet if the 1300 gay marriages recently performed in the state are valid (will be ruled valid, or not), the Federal Government is sure that those marriages are valid.

    Mormon right-wing dunderheads can fast and pray all they want to kill the dreaded gay marriage virus, but people who live in touch with reality will scorn them. This includes President Obama and his legal team, who announced today that yes, gay residents of Utah, your marriage is valid.

    The Obama administration on Friday said that it would recognize as lawful the marriages of 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah, even though the state government is refusing to do so.

    Wading into the fast-moving legal battle over same-sex marriage rights in one of America’s most socially conservative states, the administration posted a video on the Justice Department’s website making the announcement. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that the federal government would grant federal marriage benefits to the same-sex couples who rushed to obtain marriage licenses after a federal judge last month unexpectedly struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.[…]

  142. says

    More details from the NYT’s article about the Feds recognizing same-sex marriages in Utah:

    […]on Wednesday, the office of the governor of Utah, Gary R. Herbert, said that the state would not recognize as lawful the same-sex marriages already licensed while it pressed forward with its appeal of the ruling.[…]
    But Mr. Holder said the federal government would not do likewise. He invoked as a historic call for equality a June ruling by the Supreme Court that struck down a ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages that are legal under state law, saying the Justice Department was “working tirelessly to implement it in both letter and spirit.”

    “In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled — regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages,” Mr. Holder said. “And we will continue to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.”[…]

  143. Portia, semi-bait says

    carlie, bassmike, and Hekuni Cat
    Thanks for the well wishes
    I got my guilty verdict.
    Because I had the on-the-spot thought to elicit one more fact from the officer about his account of events, and flesh it out. And the jury foreperson told me that put it over the edge for most of them about him being more believable that the defendant. Which makes me feel pretty good because not only did I win, I won because of a unique idea that I had and implemented successfully.
    Of course, the defendant got the same fine she would have gotten had she plead to begin with. Ah well. At least I am avoiding having a reputation that I’ll drop things if you push me.
    Defendant’s brother shouted at me about “Fucking lying cops” and everything under the sun. The judge said he needed to leave, then didn’t make him leave. That was frustrating. But it was good overall.

    I’m tired now.

  144. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    Congratulations, Portia. I hope you get some much deserved rest.

  145. says

    Today (January 10), the LDS church issued an official response to all the gay marriages that took place in Utah, and to the court battles and controversy. The response is as condescending, clueless, and ripe for parody as you might imagine.

    […] Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We urge you to review and teach Church members the doctrine contained in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

    Just as those who promote same-sex marriage are entitled to civility, the same is true for those who oppose it. The Church insists on its leaders’ and members’ constitutionally protected right to express and advocate religious convictions on marriage, family, and morality free from retaliation or retribution. The Church is also entitled to maintain its standards of moral conduct and good standing for members.

    Consistent with our fundamental beliefs, Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex, and the Church does not permit its meetinghouses or other properties to be used for ceremonies, receptions, or other activities associated with same-sex marriages. Nevertheless, all visitors are welcome to our chapels and premises so long as they respect our standards of conduct while there.[…]

    We invite you to pray that people everywhere will have their hearts softened to the truths of the gospel, and that wisdom will be granted to those who are called upon to decide issues critical to society’s future.

  146. says

    Coverage of people in Utah celebrating gay marriage, and of them delivering petitions to their flea brained governor:

    More than 1,000 people gathered in the Capitol rotunda Friday afternoon to present a petition to Gov. Gary Herbert asking him to stop the state’s appeal of the Dec. 20 decision to overturn Utah’s same-sex marriage ban.

    The petition, organized Tim Wagner of the Sierra Club and Matt Jacobsen, was signed by 58,000 people, and 80 percent of them were Utahns or had a Utah connection, they said. […]

  147. says

    “On Dec. 20, it happened. I saw my moms get married in Utah,” Riley said. “It felt like fireworks bursting in my heart.” That’s a quote from sixth-grader Riley Hackford-Peer.

  148. says

    Here’s what the bigoted, ignorant leaders of NOM (National Organization for Marriage) had to say:

    Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, criticized Holder’s decision.

    “It is outrageous that the Justice Department would move so brazenly and publicly to undermine Utah’s standing constitutional provision regulating marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Brown said. “It is the right of states to determine marriage, and the voters and Legislature of Utah have done just that. Their right to do so is encoded in the U.S. Constitution and was explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court this summer in the Windsor decision. But with this move, the Department of Justice under this Administration signals that it simply has no regard for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

  149. says

    From the readers comments section below the Salt Lake Tribune article about the federal government recognizing gay marriages performed in Utah:

    Did I understand Ms. Larsen correctly, she is saying that other states can recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah but that Utah will not do so. This is at the same time that Utah refuses to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Welcome to cloud-cuckoo land! The Utah refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, by the way, certainly appears to me to be a violation of the Federal Constitution.

    So, that’s the positive and thoughtful side of the debate. And here is the other side:

    1. Why are homosexuals so hyper easily offended, especially if you dare ask about super obvious things such as one of them acting in the role of the opposite sex. They preach about “openness” but a whole set of questions and observations are not allowed to be discussed because they’re so threatened by them. In the relaxed normal world, if you see someone’s wife or husband doing something bizarre, it’s ok to ask, but not with homosexuals. If you ask two guys “why is your partner (or you) playing the role of the female in the relationship, I thought you guys wanted another male and this hetero dynamic is glaring and strange” you’re called a “bigot” for asking about this glaring item, and if they don’t immediately call you a bigot, they won’t discuss the obvious observation you made and are merely curious about.

    2. Why do homosexuals go out of their way to copy HETEROSEXUAL traditions and mannerisms? The famous home depot proposal showcased one guy being proposed to but acting like a woman, and the guy proposing, proposed the exact way you would do if he was proposing to a WOMAN. We’re constantly reading of male gay couples planning their weddings in the exact way hetero couples do, which old traditions were created by WOMEN for their weddings. There is a clear hetero dynamic in homosexual relationships and a clear desire to copy heterosexual weddings. Why? If everything we’re told is true, regarding the dynamics of homosexual relationships, then why all the mimicry and why the hetero dynamic where one male flat out acts like the woman in as many ways as he can? Why not just be two guys, unless there is a lot more going on.

    3. Why do homosexuals and their sympathizers constantly go around saying they’ve “always been this way” when if you actually watch someone grow up who becomes homosexual, you know that they went through many years of struggling and confusion. Why the wide open denial of the struggling and confusion phase that sometimes went on for decades? It’s like someone who builds a patio claiming it was always like that and denying that for a while they wanted to build it in a much different way. Declaring oneself to be homosexual gives some finality to the struggle, but why deny the struggle and why deny the REAL feelings of HETEROsexuality that went on in the struggling phase?

  150. says

    From Think Progress, in reference to the Federal Government announcing that it will recognize the gay marriages performed in Utah:

    This suggests that the other states that recognize same-sex marriages would likely follow this precedent and also recognize the couples from Utah. Holder’s announcement confirms the suspicions expressed by Michael Ferguson and Seth Anderson, the first same-sex couple to marry in Utah, that Utah is now in fact the only place that their Utah marriage license is not recognized.

  151. says

    Update on the fundamentalist mormon compound in Texas:

    The West Texas judge who presided over the criminal cases involving a polygamist sect has ordered the group to forfeit its West Texas ranch to the state.

    State District Judge Barbara Walther’s order came Monday in Eldorado after no one representing the owner of Yearning for Zion Ranch appeared for a hearing, which was a civil, not criminal, matter.

    The San Angelo Standard-Times reported that Walther authorized the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Department to enter the YFZ ranch and inventory the property.

    The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints owned the ranch under the name United Order of Texas. The Texas attorney general’s office filed to seize the ranch in 2012, citing sexual assaults of children committed there and accusing sect leaders of financing the purchase of the remote property through illegal money laundering.

    The state prosecuted 12 men in the sect, including leader Warren Jeffs.[…]

  152. Nutmeg says

    Some belated *hugs if wanted* for bluentx. I hope you can get the information you want.

    And some *very careful germ-free hugs* for everyone who is under the weather right now.


    It’s finally something other than really fucking cold here, for the first time in about a month. So this weekend I get to do things outside! I’m going to try to do some geocaching.

    Does anyone else here geocache? I was a more active geocacher a few years ago, but I found that the geocachers in my area tended to be either families with small children or retired people, so I couldn’t get into the community aspect of it. I also noticed that there seemed to be a strong subgroup of vocally Christian geocachers, and I would have to clean religious tracts out of caches fairly often, and that made me uncomfortable. And then school ate my life for a while, so I had no time for hobbies anyway.

    I’m hoping that I can enjoy the occasional geocaching trip again, though I don’t hold out much hope that the culture has changed. There are lots of things that I enjoy about it – hiking, seeing new places that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about, creative caches, puzzles. Feeling slightly out of place may just be the price of admission.


    And with that, enough procrastinating about looking into Ph.D. options. Back to the interwebs I go!

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

    Slow down, people. Too many comments coming in at the same time, I can’t keep track!

    I wish. This place gets dead during the weekend. :(

  154. rq says

    I found some stuff to kill your time. :)

    A classic picture: if male superheroes had the same dressing guidelines as female superheroes (I say, yes!).

    A call for more male nudity on TV -all I can say, is yes! And more yes! You know, because women watch TV, too – and if I recall correctly, women aren’t even the only ones who enjoy looking at nude men!!!

    Then here’s a cute one, The Owl and the Raven, a short film from 1973 recounting an Inuit (I believe – the title says Eskimo, rather dating itself) legend. Very cute! The kids loved it.

    A story about one of Australia’s few women awarded the Military Cross, her story and her challenges, the attitudes she faces… The worst bit? What her mother said to her. The rest of it is pretty uplifting and completely badass.

    And according to this song (unfortunately, in Latvian!), the melting of the polar ice caps has occurred because people have stopped loving each other, thus causing the world to stop spinning… Which in turn, you guessed it, melts the polar ice caps, because the sun no longer sets and is stuck up in the sky. Well wouldn’t you know! Poetic license and all that…

    Funny story: Don’t know why I remembered this last night, but a while ago I was talking to my Libertarian friend, who is also a proud supporter of and adherent to the paleo diet. We were talking about the benefits / evilness of wheat and other grains, and he says to me, in all seriousness: “Did you know that buckwheat isn’t a grain, it’s a seed?” … Oooooh, so that’s what I’ve been doing wrong – I keep thinking grains are seeds! Just proves that all those paleo health books are rather short on science. *sigh*

    That should keep you going for a short while, Beatrice!!

  155. blf says

    Too many comments coming in at the same time, I can’t keep track!

    Take off yer socks. Then you can count (track) more…

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


    I have things to kill time: cleaning the flat and working*… I just don’t want to. So thanks for the distractions :)

    * funny thing happened. I promised some clients I could finish something for them during the weekend, and then I got a couple of other tasks from a colleague. Things piled up nicely from just a hm, I can finish this in an hour or two, won’t spoil much of the weekend.

  157. rq says

    The lesson here: Never offer to finish something over the weekend! It opens so many doors… But good luck, sounds like you enjoy your job enough to suggest things like that, and that’s a nice thing to have. :)

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

    You really get the feeling of “working from home” when I have to call a client urgently (helpdesk doesn’t work on weekends, so urgent things are taken by whoever sees the email first), and I have to warn mom beforehand not to enter the room and start chatting loudly about today’s lunch or how much dust there was on the shelves.

  159. says

    Good morning
    Ha! My sister told me that one of the bazillion fashion accessoiry and jewelery shops sold broken items in big bags for little money for crafting. Got myself 3 of them. 9 bucks total and I know what I would pay for the glass beads alone…

    Yay for smart-ass Portia!

    Another YAY: Mr. is going to load all that girly marked stuff into his car and drop it off at friends’ who were kind enough to have a baby girl.
    I hate gendering…

  160. rq says

    Oooh, thanks for reminding me, Giliell!!
    (And yay for getting rid of the baby clothing… Though it reminds me that I have to do my sorting, seeing as how it’s looking more and more doubtful that we’ll be trying for a fourth.)

    I too bow before your awesomeness, Portia! *thumbs up* for your first court success, both for the verdict and for your quick thinking. Congratulations!!! Here’s some *champagne* to celebrate.

  161. opposablethumbs says

    Congratulations, Portia!

    Good picture, rq, and another good way of making-visible the mysteriously invisible oddness of female character costuming.

  162. says

    I definitely know that I will not have a 3rd. Should contraception fail I will move heaven and earth to have an abortion. I want to finish my education, I want work in my profession, I want a stupid house with a stupid garden and not greatly decreasing everybody’s standard of living by another child. There actually isn’t room enough for all of us in this flat right now, there wouldn’t be for another person.
    What I would like to do some day, when the kids are older and we got that godsdamn white middle class family home is to take in short term foster kids.

  163. carlie says

    Congratulations, Portia!

    bluentx, I don’t even know what to say. Just hugs.

    rq, hope you’re feeling better!

    Nutmeg – I tried geocaching a few times, but it was frustrating and didn’t work well. Bah.

    “Did you know that buckwheat isn’t a grain, it’s a seed?”

    After slamming my head on the desk for awhile, I’m ready to reply to that. Ahem. Yes, it is true that buckwheat is not a “grain”, which refers to members of the wheat family. It is also true that grains are not technically seeds. They’re fruits. WITH A SEED INSIDE. But guess what? Buckwheat is also a fruit with a seed inside. Both are dry and indehiscent (they don’t break open at maturity), but of different structures. Wheat is a caryopsis, and buchwheat is an achene. There is no reason to know this. It makes no difference. So you can tell them that buckwheat isn’t a seed, it’s a fruit, and so is wheat, so there.

  164. says

    Never let the facts get in your way, Rick Santorum, not even those stubborn financial facts:

    The first film released under Rick Santorum’s leadership at EchoLight Studios was “The Christmas Candle,” which didn’t even manage to earn back a third of its $7 million budget.

    But Santorum maintains a grand vision for the future, telling Matthew Hagee, who is apparently a talk show host now, that he intends to turn EchoLight into “the Pixar of faith movies” […]

    Nice to see the bad Christmas movie fail so miserably.

  165. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, child abuse category (UK).
    Trigger warning for abuse of children.

    KARL Monsen Elvik, a former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Pollok, invited children to his house for sleepovers and got them to sit naked in cold baths. […]
    Procurator fiscal depute Pauline Henderson told the court Monsen Elvik was a member of the Church in Pollok and he seemed to get on well with youths and church elders and was encouraged to take activities and classes.

    He taught them the gospel and played sports with them and arranged sleepovers in the church hall […]

  166. says

    There are still way too many troglodytes in Utah, but residents of that state are slowing changing their attitudes when it comes to gay marriage.

    Equality on Trial link.

    The Washington Blade is reporting that a new poll shows a 13 point increase in support for marriage equality in Utah, though a majority of Utahns are still in opposition. According to the results, 41% back same-sex marriage, while 24% back civil unions, and 31% say there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.

    The poll was conducted after the federal district court’s ruling declaring Utah’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but before the stay was put in place. […]

  167. says

    Salon posted an article titled “Ways Atheists Can Stand Up for Rationality. Here’s an excerpt:

    […] Atheists have by necessity explained their views with zeal, which has often irked the religious, who are accustomed to unconditional deference. Even some nonbelievers who, again thanks to custom, consider religion too touchy a subject to discuss openly have been riled.

    We atheists, however, need to buck up, assert our rationality, and change the way we deal with the religious, with everyday affronts delivered (at times unknowingly) by believers, with the casual presumptions that historically have tended to favor the faithful and grant them unmerited respect. A lot is at stake. Religion is a serious matter, reaching far beyond the pale of individual conscience and sometimes translating into violence, sexism, sexual harassment and assault, and sundry legal attempts to restrict a woman’s right to abortion or outlaw it altogether, to say nothing of terrorism and war. Now is the time to act. Polls – see here and here – show the zeitgeist in the United States is turning increasingly godless, that there are more atheists now than ever before (surely thanks in part to the efforts of the New Atheists). Most of Europe entered the post-faith era decades ago. Americans need to catch up. […]

  168. says

    […] I [Brad Friedman, author of the Salon article] don’t claim to be an expert on the man. But, to be frank — having spent a fair amount of time studying Christie in advance of my 2011 exclusive revealing the secret audiotapes of the secret Koch brothers’ summit where Christie was the super-secret keynote speaker — while he can certainly be thuggish, a blowhard, and somewhat of a bully when he likes, retribution against a Democratic mayor for declining to endorse him in a landslide election seems a bit overboard, even for Christie.

    On the other hand, retaliating against the state’s Democratic Senate Majority Leader, who he likely saw as causing him no small amount of embarrassment in the NJ Supreme Court matter, does seem more in keeping with his style. Even if he didn’t know about it (which is seeming less likely by the hour), his staff surely shared the same frustrations with Senate Democrats that Christie would have (even as he often expertly played Democrats in the state legislature like a fiddle.) Weinberg, for that matter, led the charge in the state Senate after the Secret Koch Tapes story, to pass legislation that would keep Christie from secretly leaving the state again in the future, as he had when he appeared at the Koch Summit in Colorado.

    Maddow’s alternative theory is smart, good reporting, might make more “sense” out of this entire matter, and is certainly worthy of further inquiry.

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

    So I totally just cooked some ribs and then got a spoon out of the drawer. They may be soft, but they aren’t that soft.

  170. says

    Some doctors have gotten together to slam Republicans for cutting food stamps and related nutrition programs:

    […] “If you’re interested in saving health care costs, the dumbest thing you can do is cut nutrition,” Dr. Deborah Frank of Boston Medical Center explained in an interview with the Associated Press. […]

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offers benefits to over 47 million Americans. But the benefit level has fallen to the point that recipients only get about $1.40 per person per meal, even though food stamps often constitute the entirety of a family’s food budget. […]

    a 2013 study by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that House Republican proposals to slash food stamps would increase national health costs for diabetes treatment by $15 billion over a decade. Those costs would disproportionately affect Medicaid, since the public insurance program for the poor — who are considerably more likely to have type 2 diabetes — covers an outsize portion of diabetes spending.

    A separate study published this week in the journal Health Affairs illustrates the effect that food insecurity can have on poor Americans’ health in concrete terms. Researchers found that the number of poor Americans being admitted to the hospital because of hypoglycemia — a sharp drop in blood sugar that can be a complication for people with type 2 diabetes — rose by 27 percent in the last week of a month as compared to the first week, since these low-income individuals began to run out of money to spend on food. Wealthier Americans did not experience an analogous spike. […]

  171. Pteryxx says

    *anklehugs* where needed

    Leaving these here…

    Prosecutors wanted Alexander’s bail revoked because she took shopping trips with her family and ran other errands last month, violating the strict terms of home detention imposed upon her release in November.

    “On nine separate days in a two-week period this defendant felt entitled to contravene explicit directions. How many chances before they’re not second chances?” assistant state attorney Richard Mantei told circuit court judge James Daniel at a bond hearing in Jacksonville.

    Daniel, however, sided with Alexander’s lawyer, Bruce Zimet, who told the court each of the outside trips were approved by April Wilson, a corrections counsellor with the Jacksonville sheriff’s office, and that the violations were not wilful.


    “The defendant took advantage of this counsellor,” he said. “The multiple requests and idea that someone could interpret this as licence to do what she felt like doing is in contravention of explicit directions. She clearly knows there are certain things she can’t do; she didn’t go out and get a gun, we hope. To walk in here and say, ‘I found someone who said I could do it,’ the behaviour is like someone who got their hand caught in the cookie jar.”

    Alexander’s supporters have been fundraising to pay her mounting legal costs. Under the terms of her current bail, she must pay $105 a week for a GPS ankle monitor and a further $500 every second week to cover the costs of administering the bond.

    She was running errands with permission. *headshake*

    Daisy Coleman’s alleged rapist will not be charged with sexual assault.

    Matthew Bartnett was accused of sexually assaulting Coleman in 2012 when she was 14-years-old. Coleman says that she went to Barnett’s home in Maryville, Mo., where he allegedly gave her alcohol and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.

    As BuzzFeed reports, Barnett will not face charges for the alleged rape, but has been charged with a single count of endangering the welfare of a child for leaving Coleman in her front yard in freezing winter temperatures. The charge carries a maximum punishment of one year in prison and a fine.

  172. rq says

    Speaking of more children, just had this conversation:
    Eldest: Mum, at this age – you know, your age – can you still grow a baby?
    me: Well, yes.
    Eldest: Oh, goody!!! I want a sister! It’s getting boring, with only boys being born in our family.

    (follows conversation about (a) my and Husband’s current unwillingness to have another child and (b) what he expects to be different about a girl-child in the family (apparently, it’s just for variety))

  173. thesandiseattle says

    Book report again:

    YOU are NOT so SMART by David McRaney

    EVERYONE should read this book! So much info and insight. Including a piece on Duning-Kruger which sadly seems to get misused alot.

  174. says

    More Celebrations (and fundraising for a good cause) in Utah.

    The Rail Event Center
    235 N 500 W
    Salt Lake City
    6:00 to 10:00
    The Rail Event Center

    Tell everyone you know — This is part of a history making process.

    This is also a fundraiser for the legal battle currently underway.

    “All proceeds benefit Restore Our Humanity — the group that made gay marriage in Utah possible. The state of Utah says it will spend $2 million to stop gay marriage in the higher courts. It makes sense we will need to raise that kind of money to keep them from doing so.”

    “Suggested donation $10 per person/$5 for those under 12. $20pp gets you admission and a copy of the glossy, commemorative special edition of QSaltLake, published special for this event. $50pp VIP includes seating in the VIP section, VIP entrance to skip the line, VIP parking lot, VIP bartender, and the special edition of QSaltLake.”

    Tickets will be available at the door ranging from $10 to $50 or in advance (before 4PM)

  175. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Wife woke up in shock this morning.

    She woke up next to a 48-year-old man. Never happened before. Never.

  176. bluentx says

    !!!!@??**!!! Fucking hate this phone! [Have I said that before. .. :)
    Been trying to login for … ? Then keyboard wouldn’t show. ..

    If I’m able to ‘submit comment’ … unlike yesterday, here’s the update:

    Spoke to county clerk where my sister lives (d). No information via phone . Will have to wait two weeks (or so) and they will decide if I can have a death certificate or not to confirm or disprove her deceased-edness.

    *hugs* to those in need and SO appreciate those offered!

  177. says

    Catching up on coursework for one of the classes I started this week (hell of a time for it). Not going real well because of my hunger-fogged brain. Tried solid food today, per doctor’s instructions, but it made me queasy so I stopped, per doctor’s instructions.

  178. says

    Much as I hate to do this, I find that paying my bills has left me without bus fare this week, something which my weakened state requires, as I am in no wise up to riding my bicycle. Therefore I ask the wonderful folks of the Horde if anyone can spare about $10.

  179. rq says

    *birthday hugs* for Ogvorbis – I hope Wife got over the shock! Have a delicious day.

    *hugs* for Dalillama, I think my help may be too slow in arriving this time, but good luck with everything!

    *hugs* for bluentx!!

  180. says

    DL, I think I might have that much in my PayPal account. Can you take a payment through there?

    I don’t have it anywhere else, and it’d take me days to get it out to be able to transfer it any other method. :(

  181. A. Noyd says

    I could easily spare something if I knew where and how to get it to you. If you’d rather communicate privately, I use with “anoyd” before the @.

  182. says

    Happy Birthday. Ogvorbis


    Dah, mummy complaints
    What the fuck is up with #1 at the moment
    She constantly and consciously engages in anti-social behaviour.
    I tried talking to her about why she does it, and that there are negtive consequences with the result that she does three of them in a row with the result that she’s sent to her room…

  183. blf says

    [Wifevorbis] woke up next to a 48-year-old man

    …who was on fire, smoking cigars, snoring like a choo-choo train, and surrounded by bedgoats.

  184. says

    I don’t get to be a non-prime age again until this summer, Og, so I will say happy new personal orbit or so, within the usual tolerances and allowing for the whole “pelting along v. the CMB” concept. I hope it’s a good one

    Mine started in the same circuit as yours, but almost opposite the orbit, so I’ll join you in non-prime age again in August. :)

    There’s about a 50/50 chance, I’d say, that someone will wake up next to a 48-year-old woman on that day, and be in my bed at the time. I wonder who it might be, she said, laughingly, knowing there are very few prospects for the role…;)

  185. rq says

    who was on fire, smoking cigars, snoring like a choo-choo train, and surrounded by bedgoats

    I’m pretty sure Mrs Ogvorbis recognized that part – it’s the 48-year-old man that was new!!!


    In skeleton news, it’s complete domination, for the second time this weekend. I can’t even. *happy dance* In a sport where differences are often down to the hundredth of a second, these two take it to a whole new level.

  186. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Thank you, Nutmeg, Dalillama, Azkyroth, rq, Giliell, blf (by the by, with socks off, you should be able to count to twenty one) and CaitieCat.


    I do not smoke in bed. I do not flame in bed. I do snore, but nothing so regular as a reciprocating steam locomotive. And yes, all seven of them.


    Odd. I imagined you as right around thirty. Not sure why.


    it’s the 48-year-old man that was new

    When did forty-eight years old become new?

  187. says

    No, sadly, 30 is many many moons ago. Not a few suns, either. Some days, it feels like it’s been at least one spin round galactic centre – though I know objectively that it hasn’t been 250 My, my spine does feel a bit paleological sometimes.

    My mother has always said that my obsessive love of football (the round-ball kind loved the world over, not the oddly-shaped ball plus “try never to touch the ball with your foot kthx” game and variants of that name, so much enjoyed by the US & Canada) came from her superstitious belief in Victorian birth folk legends, and that a month before my birth, she was – for some heavily-pregnant variant of “leaping” – leaping around her parents’ living room, where their newly-rented first-ever TV had shown them the spectacle of England winning the World Cup for the only time (and not that, for at least some German fans!) ;).

  188. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Except for a few people, I tend to think of most of y’all as younger, more energetic, far more intelligent than I.

    You should develop a taste for North American Hand Egg. Every year, we have a thing called the Superbowl. I turned one year old at about the same time as the first championship game between the AFL and the NFL. This February 2nd is Superbowl XLVIII which makes it easy to remember how old I am. In Roman numerals.

    February 2nd is also Ground Hog Day, so be sure to plan on sausage that day.

  189. says

    Actually, I’ve been playing some of it on my PS3. A few months back, my local second-hand game store had a sale on old sports games. When you know the sport, the old game is horrible, because it’s got the players on all the wrong teams and wrong skill levels/ages/injuries, and the schedules are wrong, and just…bleah. So every couple of years I wait until the new season of Football Manager is comig out, and get last year’s just before they stop selling it. That way I only have one year where things are off out of two, and still get to have the literally hundreds and hundreds of hours of play I get out of what is by then a $20 game. In the off year, I tend to play leagues I don’t know, so South Korea, or Brazil (after my Minguk game vanished abruptly from my savegame folder the other day, for a completely unknown and distressing reason, I started a new game in Third Division Brazil), or South Africa, or India. Then it doesn’t bother me as much, because I don’t know the players anyway.

    So – they had these games dirt cheap, so I bought NFL 2008, NCAA Football 2009 (I wish I’d known to buy them from the same year, as there’s a fun interoperability benefit that I lost out on), NHL 2009, and MLB 2K8 The Show, for a total of about $12. Yay sale bins!

    I’ve played, and become reasonably good at, the NFL game, particularly operating as a LE or OLB, and the NCAA one lets you create a player as a high schooler, play through your last four games before college, and then get scholarship offers depending how you do. So yesterday afternoon, still being offline more or less, I decided to have a go. I created a MLB (it took me a while to figure out that this meant Middle Line Backer, and wasn’t a weird word pronounced something like “milb” or “melb”), playing for “John Paul Jones” High School in suburban Baltimore, picked Navy as my favourite college, and then turned out to be a pretty good milb! Got JPJ to win the MD state championship about midnight last night (with a literally last-minute kick return TD – for which I milbed up a good block to break the KR free – and 2-point conversion ftw!), and though #1-ranked Georgia (I take it this is good, as they were at the top of the list?) offered me a 3rd-string spot, I took up my role as Midshipman Alphonse Elric, Freshman Milb.

    I might play some more of it later, it was kinda fun. It took me a while to realize that while I was supposed to follow the play as laid out, it didn’t mean that if things changed, I couldn’t react to the change. Once I did, I became a LOT better at milbing. Knocking down the QB is fun, and when it makes him go backwards a bunch and he falls down in the end zone, it’s really fun, they give you points AND the ball back! Then I get to watch our useless offence (splitters!) give it back in three quick tries, and then the mighty defence comes back out to get some more points on the board. Milb rules ok!

    Ahh, it’s good to get my onion back on my belt.

  190. rq says

    for some heavily-pregnant variant of “leaping”

    I read this, and imagined myself trying something similar at the same stage of (any of) my pregnancies… For some reason, the beer keeps coming out my nose. :) “Leaping” is not the word I would choose for that particular attempted activity. ;)


    Wow, I just saw something positive on Latvian TV!! A kids’ show with five guest kids and the host, where each week one of the kids demonstrates one of their hobbies/skills. Three boys, two girls. And guess what?? It’s the boy demonstrating ballet, the girls demonstrating kickboxing and soccer. In a beautifully neutral and everyone-can-do-this way (the girl’s kickboxing trainer also happens to be a woman – unfortunately we missed the episode on ballet).

  191. says

    Yeah, she’s always been clear that “leaping” was more of an imaginative expression for her raising of her arms almost to shoulder height for a second or two, before being too tired to lift them again, but that’s always been a good line in her party piece about it: “Well, when I say ‘leaping’, of course, I was heavily pregnant with this one, so it was more like this, you know.” (makes silly face, raises arms to shoulder, makes more silly face, grabs back, sits down). And ‘this one’ is just kind of a fond way for my mother to mean whichever person she was talking about, when they were present. It now occurs to me that I can’t say this is generally true, because I don’t actually know if I’ve ever heard anyone else use it like that. Hm. I wonder if…hm. Anyone else? English people, particularly, or Scots, since those are the two main cultural elements in my mother’s formation?

    She had also been all gloomy because the weather had been so crap all summer, so she was pretty happy to have something to be happy about. She didn’t even like football much, then or now, just went along with the happiness.

    It might even be something of the contrast between that optimism and the reality of our lives seven or eight years later that got us started on trying to emigrate. As it was before and since, the 60s and 70s were a really crap time to be poor in the UK. Dunno, that’s speculation, but it would fit with various things she’s said.

  192. opposablethumbs says

    Many Happy Circumnavigations of the sun, Ogvorbis!

    Hope you’re OK, bluentx, and many hugs to you. Hope you get the confirmation soon, horrible though it is, and can know for certain :-(

    Good luck with the studies, Dalillama. Dog but it must be tough doing this on an empty stomach and recalcitrant pancreas. Wishing you well, and wishing you better.

    That sounds like a great programme, rq! And so easy to make it great like this too – why don’t they do things like this more often …. ??? (yeah, we know why. But still, dammit)

  193. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, sympathies for dealing with the behaviour stuff that’s going on. So difficult sometimes to get at what it’s about (not to mention tiring … #2, my beloved non-neurotypical #2, was 7-8 years old before he could talk at all (and 12-13 before he could talk in a way that was superficially similar to other kids); it was really exhausting sometimes when he was younger because he was so damn frustrated at not being able to communicate as he wanted to). I know your #1 is very articulate, but I can imagine that there could easily be things she’s frustrated or angry about that she doesn’t know how to express – how often do we all have things we can’t even express to ourselves, sometimes, even as adults!? Wishing you and her and sib and OH all the best for dealing with it all!

  194. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    So at around bedtime last night I figured I’d crack open Going Postal and read a little before trying to sleep. New character, from the description it lacked strong connections to the plotlines I enjoyed, so I figured it’d take me a while to get into it.

    Not so! It caught me up in the story and I found myself wryly amused by the little references to libertarianism. Then I got to “who is Reacher Gilt?” and actually laughed out loud. I was halfway through the book before I finally made myself go to bed and I suspect I’ll be done with this one before the end of today.

    Also, for some reason Moist von Lipwig is played by Tom Hiddleston in the theatre of my mind.

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

    Happy birthday, Oggie! Many more!

    *gives Oggie a 1890 steam locomotive, complete with cow-catcher*

    (when I was a kid I thought that cow-catchers were hilarious)

  196. rq says

    It really was so easy, and fantastic, and refreshing
    By the way, I keep meaning to send some good wishes your way, both for SonSpawn’s accomplishments and project ideas, and just in general! *hugs*


  197. says

    I am not at all surprised; it’s a wonderful book. So’s Making Money, the next Lipwig book


    And ‘this one’ is just kind of a fond way for my mother to mean whichever person she was talking about, when they were present. It now occurs to me that I can’t say this is generally true, because I don’t actually know if I’ve ever heard anyone else use it like that.

    It is a usage I’ve encountered before, but I can’t recall when.

    My paypal can be found at (no underscores) b_l_a_i_n_e_d_e_l_a_n_c_e_y at the googlemail. Thank you all, you’re a wonderful bunch of folks.

  198. says

    Ex-mormon “summer” provides a summary of what the LDS church and its mormon prophets/apostles teach regarding women and working outside the home. Here is just one of summer’s quotes and references:

    “Some years ago President Benson delivered a message to the women of the Church. He encouraged them to leave their employment and give their individual time to their children. I sustain the position which he took.”

    “Women of the Church,” address given by President Gordon B. Hinckley during General Conference, October, 1996

  199. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    opposablethumbs and Esteleth: Thanks.


    *gives Oggie a 1890 steam locomotive, complete with cow-catcher*

    (when I was a kid I thought that cow-catchers were hilarious)

    The first known use of a cow catcher was on the Camden and Amboy Railway in New Jersey. At the time there was a great deal of confusion as to who had the responsibility to keep livestock off the railroad tracks. For early locomotives, hitting a cow was a lose-lose proposition — the cow usually died and the locomotive usually ended up off the rails or on its side — locomotives were lightweight and the cow was dense enough to derail the locomotive’s wheels as the cow went under the train.

    The C&A solved this problem by mounting a cow catcher in front of the locomotive. This early cow catcher was a two-axle flat car with either seven or nine spears, with barbs on the spear head, placed in front of the locomotive. When the cow did not get out of the way in time, the spears prevented the cow going under the locomotive and derailing it.

    As locomotives got heavier and larger, it became less likely that a cow could derail a locomotive, but keeping other things out from under a locomotive was still important. Downed trees and fallen rocks could do a lot of damage to wheels and running gear, not to mention trying to get a 40-ton locomotive back on the tracks. The pointed ‘cow catcher’ of old west fame is more properly called a pilot and it does the same thing that the heavy steel slabs on the front of modern diesel-electric locomotives does — prevents debris large enough to damage or derail a locomotive getting under the frame.

    In 1922, a Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow-gauge steam locomotive came around a bend south of Durango and derailed. The source of the derailment was a 1 by 2 by 5 meter rock sitting between the rails. It had landed lengthwise between the rails so it stuck up about 1.7 meters above the rail. Because of mass and velocity, the crew could not stop the train. It hit the rock, rode up on it, and ended up with all drive wheels suspended above the tracks — the pilot, pilot beam (to which the pilot is mounted) and the pilot truck (the small wheels in front of the locomotive that help guide it through curves) were destroyed and the rock lodged against axles and crossmembers to jack up the locomotive. They had to wait for another locomotive to pull the locomotive off the rock and back to the repair shop.

    Three weeks later, a slightly larger rock — 5 by 5 by 5 meters — dropped in about the same location. This time it did not go under the locomotive. The locomotive just stopped. Suddenly. Much to the demise of the crew.

    By the by, later steam locomotive pilots were built out of used boiler tubes — the pilots regularly were damaged and cheap replacements were made in house.

  200. says

    Hey, Ogvorbis, Happy Birthday! May your bed goats always be warm.

    rq, that was good news re the Latvian TV program. Latvian kids have a chance to be themselves, unconstrained by gender roles.

  201. blf says

    I … imagined myself trying something similar at the same stage of (any of) my pregnancies. For some reason, the beer keeps coming out my nose. “Leaping” is not the word I would choose for that particular attempted activity.

    It’s easier to type then snorting beer out of my nose whilst pregnant.

  202. says

    Follow up to comment #270, and link therein: If you’ve ever wondered what ex-mormon, pulitzer-prize-winning cartoonist Steve Benson looks like, he show up at about 6:54.

  203. says

    Follow up to #272: Oh, yeah, I forgot that Steve Benson is also in the very first segment at the Mountain Meadows Massacre site. He’s the guy in the hat.

  204. says

    Factory farms, human health, the politics of antibiotics, the lies, etc.


    […] Most people have never heard of that campaign, which is named “Healthy People, Healthy Animals, Healthy Planet.” But it’s well known in the worlds of Big Ag, Big Pharma, and PR. In 2009, not long after Celebrity Pet Night featured Sprinkles the cat from “The Office,” the League of American Communications Professionals awarded AHI’s campaign its Magellan Award for “best community relations campaign under $1 billion.” […]

    There is a near consensus among public health experts that the bulk antibiotics produced by AHI’s member companies are accelerating the approach of a post-antibiotics nightmare scenario, in which superbugs routinely emerge from our farms and wreak havoc on a human population living among the ruins of modern medicine. The bloc of skeptics who view AHI’s mission with mounting anxiety includes Pet Night party poopers like the World Health Organization and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Not long ago these authorities joined the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics in pressing their concerns on Congress in the form of a letter. “The evidence is so strong of a link between misuse of antibiotics in food animals and human antibiotic resistance,” it stated, “that FDA and Congress should be acting much more boldly and urgently to protect these vital drugs for human illness. Overuse and misuse of important antibiotics in food animals must end.” […]

  205. blf says

    The wind is so high the lights are flickering. I seriously hope we don’t have an outage.

    Nail yer candles down instead inside of hanging them on threads outside…

  206. carlie says

    Christmas has now been officially removed from the premises. Er, I mean put away in boxes downstairs. The house always looks so dreary after the decorations come down. I can’t believe societies haven’t come up with a good January holiday to ease the letdown. We need some late winter carols or something.

  207. opposablethumbs says

    rq#264 – thank you! That’s so nice of you! ::beams with pleasure::

    And many hugs and good wishes to you and yours too! (I am rather in awe of the whole energy-and-patience-to-wrangle-three-young-children-while-nonchalantly-holding-down-a-demanding-job-and-translating-in-those-abundant-free-nanoseconds thing you do, you know … :-) )

  208. blf says

    I can’t believe societies haven’t come up with a good January holiday to ease the letdown.

    It’s called “February”.
    January is the yearly equivalent of the weekly Monday.
    And Mondays in January are, well, best dealt with by lots of bacon, two towels, and a time machine.

  209. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says



    Nail yer candles down

    a song by Queen?

    Get your flashlight stick
    Get your candle lit
    Get your match flarin’ baby
    Got my flamin’ right
    Got my lamp all tight
    It’s gotta be tonight my power outage

    Your wind says you don’t
    And your wind says you won’t
    And I’m waitin for the dark
    Ain’t no way I’m gonna be in the dark this time

    Tie your candles down
    Tie your candles down
    Lock your fuse box door
    ‘Cause we don’t need it any more
    Tie your candles down
    Tie your candles down
    Give me all your light tonight . . .


    Never mind.

  210. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    January is the yearly equivalent of the weekly Monday.

    Calendarist oppressor!

  211. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    No, no Running Dog Orbital Imperialist. I do have some Imperial Russian Stout, does that count?

  212. says

    Nutmeg@209. Yes, yes, me! I geocache (officially 866 finds, more once I get caught up with logging). I can’t seem to find a clean link to my profile, but you can get to it off the trackable page for Leo, my dog. Huh, looks like he’s got 2350 miles on him.

    carlie, I’m sorry your experience wasn’t so great. The rest of the family is pretty “meh” about it as well (also from so-so outings); mostly geocaching is an excuse to take Leo into some woods that I haven’t previously visited.

    I’m mostly asocial when it comes to caching… or, I guess, in general. I do try to go to events and after those I might join up with a group for the day — usually only because we accidentally end up at the same trailhead at the same time. But in general I do it solo (well w/ Leo, but since he lacks thumbs for opening boxes and he refuses to climb trees, he’s not much of a cacher). Other times I drag a pre-existing friend out into the woods; he’s got an account, but he only caches when he’s out with me.

    Our local community mostly seems okay, I just not really good at integrating myself into groups. For the most part I haven’t encounters much w/ religious tracts (though I too have removed some on occasion). We do have some ongoing just under the surface (personality based) feud locally, but I’m mostly keeping clear.


    Belated Happy Bday Oggie.


    Our spawn was late in arriving (several days overdue, he’s always been stubborn), so my wife spent some time trying to sing and dance him out before her sister had to return home half a continent away (didn’t work). I’m not sure it sped up anything, but he does occasionally spontaneously break into song and/or dance.

  213. blf says

    I do have some Imperial Russian Stout, does that count?

    I’m not aware of any studies of the mathematical abilities of any beers.

    Students do, however, routinely study the mathematical (and other) abilities after drinking a few beers.

  214. says


    Check your account, please

    I just noticed that you’re only 5 years older than Mr. and while your kids are in college, his are in kindergarten and 1st grade.

    Ohhh, pregnancy stories?
    With #1 I used to listen to a lot of Bruce Springsteen, due to no other fact that this was the CD in the car at that time. And I always noticed her kicking a lot when I turned it on.
    Then, about 2 years ago we drove for a slightly longer distance and Mr. put a Springsteen CD on. When we arrived #1 said “I like that music!”

    Music quirks
    Hmmm, am I the only one to listen to a CD or even worse a single song on endless repeat if it’s their “song/CD of the moment”? I know my friends always though me crazy when my tapes would have something like the regular album on the A side and then my favourite song as often as possible. And then I’d listen to that tape for some two or three weeks and only that tape.

  215. says

    The truth will out:

    Recent studies have shown that actual penis size is smaller than men are claiming. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the average male penis measures 5.6 inches when erect; the Journal of Urology puts it at a slightly smaller 5.08 inches. This is considerably smaller than previous numbers from Alfred Kinsey, Durex and the Definitive Penis study, which averaged 6.25 inches in their estimates. The difference between the two estimates: surveys like Durex’s rely on self-reporting, and men are likely to overestimate. As Tom Hickman wrote in “God’s Doodle”: “What is incontrovertible is that where men and their penises are concerned there are lies, damned lies, and self measurements.” […]

    And to add to discussion above of subjecting one’s progeny to music: I treated both of mine to Janis Joplin and to Eric Clapton while they were in utero. Both turned out okay.

  216. opposablethumbs says

    am I the only one to listen to a CD or even worse a single song on endless repeat if it’s their “song/CD of the moment”?

    Hey, I do that sometimes! A particular music feels particularly delicious for a time. And then after a while, I sometimes find I love the CD/track less (while still liking it).
    And of course the version you first hear often becomes the definitive version for you, so all other recordings feel … NotRight!!!!! … or is that one just me? :-)

  217. says


    And of course the version you first hear often becomes the definitive version for you, so all other recordings feel … NotRight!!!!! … or is that one just me? :-)

    It could also be just the two of us…


    The difference between the two estimates: surveys like Durex’s rely on self-reporting, and men are likely to overestimate.

    There’s this old joke (hetero cis-normative): Why can’t women park cars? Well, because men insist that this *meassure distance with thumb and index finger* is 8 inches.

    I will never ever claim that I like to work in teams. I really like to work in some teams. Right now I’m in three teams in different college classes and I hate two of them.
    One team is people who rely on me to get us through the requirements. The whole presentation we’re doing tomorrow was done by me. OK, they did some number-crunching, but everything would still be an Exel file if I hadn’t turned it into a presentation.
    The other one is dominated by somebody who is not the most qualified person in that group but who will put her mark on everything. And I have no time or nerves left to oppose her.

  218. says

    Oh, dear, Wrong Version. That nearly broke me, when I was an actor in a show called Sylvia. I was a mid-rehearsal replacement for the title role, that of a dog who comes to play a third-wheel role in the life of a middle-aged het couple after she’s adopted by the man thereof.

    The problem was, in the middle, there’s a complicated singing bit, where each of the three main actors sings a part of Cole Porter’s Every Time We Say Goodbye. Which was a surprise for me, and an unpleasant one, after I took the role: I’d never sung solo in public before, and certainly never a freaking capella! But, show must go on, so I took up the challenge.

    Where I ran into the Wrong Version problem. The version of the song I was familiar with was that of Simply Red, and Mick and I, we don’t have the same range (I’m a contralto/tenor, he’s more commonly up in alto area). So the version that comes naturally to me, in terms of a starting note, tends to hit a bit in the middle where, singing comfortably for myself, I just drop an octave at the “Why the gods above me/who must be in the know” line and carry on. I didn’t want to do that on stage, because dropping the octave takes me out of that part of my range which I use anymore*.

    So I had to learn a new starting note. If I pick the right starting note, I can adjust the key on the fly to follow it, and I’ll be just fine when we hit the high part. I think Mick starts on an A; I start on an E, or maybe an E-flat. I have always been pretty unsharp at theory, completely, despite being a pretty good player on a natural basis, if you’ll excuse the pun.

    Got the new note, my ASM was trained to sing it reliably for me backstage, and just before going out for the singy bit, I’d go to her and get the note. Dress rehearsals, first weekend’s performances – we do three a week for three weeks, at the community theatre I work with – all went beautifully. I gained confidence.

    Then the actor playing the man in the relationship decided he wanted to help, so he started humming the note backstage while I did my quick-change to head back on.

    Humming, that is, the wrong note. He wanted to start on G, just a little below the A, but 1) G was still too high, and left me choking on the song’s high notes, and b) HE COULDN’T FREAKING SING A STEADY NOTE TO SAVE HIS FREAKING LIFE. So while I’m trying to keep my clear and workable E in my head, he’s warbling an off-tune F-sharpish to A-flattish “trying to help” note. :(

    The second week, I ran into trouble in two of the three shows, before the stage manager could convince him to STOP FREAKING HUMMING BACKSTAGE DUDE YOU’RE KILLING OUR SONG.

    It was completely terrifying to do, but it went surprisingly well. I keep thinking I should find someone doing music and do some backup singing. I bet I’d be good at it.

    * When I transitioned, I retrained myself to use mostly the upper half of my range, hence the contralto part; tenor was where I sang in the choir in high school. My guide to this shift was the voice work of the Indigo Girls; the album Rites of Passage, two weeks alone in my apartment, and a LOT of careful singing and talking, and I had my New Voice. Which, naturally, I still hate.

  219. rq says

    Giliell, opposablethumbs
    re: music and songs and that one correct version
    No, not just the two of you. Me, too!!

    By the way, what does measles look like on children? Youngest had two vaccines on Friday, one of which I think was a repeat of one he had in the summer but because Husband took him and it was the Replacement Doctor in the office, I think she missed the recorded history, which I’d discussed with Youngest’s actual doctor… Either way, he broke out in spots all over his bum and spreading to his legs and his arms, and we’ll call tomorrow, but I’m a bit apprehensive… :/ Anyone?

  220. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    bluentx – I’m so sorry. *hugs and chocolate*

    bassmike – I glad your daughter is feeling better, and I wish your father a speedy recovery. *hugs*

    Ogvorbis – Happy Birthday!


    Dose of Cute: big cats with little cats, and, as a bonus, momma red panda with baby.

    ♥ Thank you!

  221. says

    Oh, and Giliell: Husband is five years younger than me, too, but my eldest grandchildren are halfway through primary school. My older daughter’s first is NINE this May. The youngest of them is now 3 1/2 (my youngest child’s second child, since adopted away by friends of ours), so she’ll be starting junior kindergarten next September, most likely.

    My Eldest turns 29 this April, Middle turns 29 next October (she’s adopted, he’s the son of my Ex-Cellent), and Youngest (the recently-become Muslim(!) daughter) turns 26 next month. Eldest and Middle live together since the summer, along with Eldest’s O: he’s 8 now. Middle’s daughter N, 5, lives across town with her mother, but visits at weekends sometimes. Youngest has two, the older S (nearly 5) is now in the permanent custody of the Ex-Cellent, while the younger A (3.5) has been adopted by some local friends. The latter child is fairly seriously delayed, as was her mother (Youngest) and the fellow we think was her father – a homeless man who’s moved on and proven hard to trace. Youngest has some skill deficits that make her ability to parent seriously questionable, despite her desperation to do so, hence the removal of both children. We’re hoping that this will make the point clearly enough, but none of us is holding our breath about it.

    That’s the Onionbelt family in a (well, for me) nutshell.

  222. opposablethumbs says

    rq, oh bother and buggrit, I had a whole long answer and my browser just crashed and I lost it. Shit.

    Ultrashort version: I bet it’s a reaction to the vaccination – highly likely. On the very remote off-chance, check it isn’t meningitis, just in case – unlikely, and would be one hell of a coincidence right after vaccination, but you could always do the look-though-a-glass-tumbler-pressed-over-the-spots thing (you know, if the spots are still visible and don’t “disappear” when you press a glass over them and look at them through it, then it’s worth seeing about it quickly. Any feverishness, headache, discomfort in ordinary bright light?). Get a better description than mine from a decent website, with pictures! And remember, I’m basically being OTT because we had that scare once; I apologise for saying 99.9% uselessly scary things – this is my OTT-ness talking here.

    Any chance of accidental contact with a playmate with scabies? (I remember having that charming visitor myself). Ditto pet with fleas? New brand of detergent? And I do apologise for saying obvious things that you know better than I do; I’m just in automatic belt-and-braces mode!

    Hope he’s not too uncomfortable, poor mite. And that you are all fine, and I totally apologise for being such a worry-wart.

  223. rq says

    I am officially one year older than your Eldest, give or take a day in April. :)

    He seems fine in all other respects, but we’re a non-allergy-prone family, so it’s always a bit weird when something does turn up. Meningitis and pneumonia are my two favourite ‘scapegoats’. We’ll check the spots tomorrow, but I’ll certainly give the doctor a call. At first I thought it was a reaction to his diapers, though why that should being NOW is… well, who knows. So I think it’s the vaccine, I just hope it’s a mild reaction that will pass. :/ Thanks for the info/support!!!

  224. opposablethumbs says

    He seems fine in all other respects

    Ah, that’s good to hear!

    The joys of parenting young children, eh. :-\

    Hope everyone is comfortable, and that approx. 60% of the family are asleep :-)

  225. says

    Oh FUCK
    I was just nodding off into dreamland when I heard the little one. “Mummy I PUKED” and yes, it deserved all the capital letters. Apparently her stomach has given up on processing the lasagna she had 12 hours ago. Now I’ll get back to bed so I can hopefully sleep for 2 hours before the first load of laundry is done so I can program the second one…
    Wish me luck

    Well, your oldest is only 6 years younger than me, so even if we add 5 years that would not be a likely family situation ;)
    Dunno if I’ll ever get grandchildren, none of my business, I say.

    Good night!

  226. says

    Is it relatively easy to get an abortion in your area (ISTR its Germany, right)?


    A bit late, but I am so sorry to hear about your sister. I agree with rq(?), you have every right to be mad at your family for not telling you. Five years??!!


    I am doing a Snoopy dance in honor of thy birthday. I hope you enjoy it. You deserve it.

  227. opposablethumbs says

    Oy, Giliell,. I hear you all right. Hope you get some sleep despite it all!

    Goodnight, Horde, be well. {{{hugs}}} to any as wants ’em, and here’s wishing you a good night’s rest whenever your particular bit of the world next rolls away from the sun. (speaking of which, I love looking at this now – – and I keep it in an open tab to look at and refresh every now and then. For some reason I find it soothing in these short winter days to look at this and think about where it is sunny … )

  228. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I have now finished Going Postal. Fantastic book. I do look forward to Moist von Lipwig showing up again.

  229. David Wilford says

    One of my favorite skeptic web sites notes a milestone:

    SD Going On Twenty Years

    I find it hard to believe that sometime this year will mark the twentieth anniversary of The Skeptic’s Dictionary (the website….the book is only 10 years old). Sometime in 1994 I posted a few articles on logical fallacies for my critical thinking class. A few days ago I posted entry number 749. That doesn’t include all the book reviews, essays, blog posts, and other scribbling I’ve posted. What have I learned and what good has it done?

  230. says

    Good luck. RE: Music quirks, L does the same thing.

    Best wishes for the little one.

    It’s my understanding that Raising Steam is also a Moist book, but I’ve not got a copy yet and could be wrong.

  231. says


    It’s my understanding that Raising Steam is also a Moist book, but I’ve not got a copy yet and could be wrong.

    I hope you get a copy that’s not moist. It’s hard to read books that are wet. :)


    Tonight at work, one of the servers asked a few of us what the definition of sl*t was (can’t remember if PZ’s spam trap will catch the word or not). Though I wasn’t able to provide a definition, I told her that that it’s a derogatory term which has the effect of shaming women for the choices they make with regard to sex and that I’m opposed to the word bc women have every right to be sexual on their own terms. I told her that men (and women) often use the word to express their disapproval of a woman’s sexual choices, but that it’s none of their damn business.
    Her response?
    “You’re such a feminist. I love you.”
    Made me smile.

  232. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It’s my understanding that Raising Steam is also a Moist book, but I’ve not got a copy yet and could be wrong.

    I hope you get a copy that’s not moist. It’s hard to read books that are wet. :)

    Also, a book moistened by steam is likely to be injurious to hold, with the whole latent heat thing and all. O.o

    Though I wasn’t able to provide a definition, I told her that that it’s a derogatory term which has the effect of shaming women for the choices they make with regard to sex and that I’m opposed to the word bc women have every right to be sexual on their own terms.

    I find “I wouldn’t call a woman a slut unless she asked me to” gets the point across. ^.^ ..sometimes. >.>

  233. says

    Load #3 since 0:00am is running, kid is at her grandma’s and I’ll get a godsdamn hour of sleep before I set out to college which will last until 8pm. She was the 14th kid not going to daycare today because of puking…

    You don’t ask easy questions, do you?

    Abortion is legal in Germany in only three cases:
    -risk for the mother (although I’m not sure at how much risk you have to be)
    -“Psychosocial indication”, which means that it would be considered extraordinarily cruel to make the woman carry to term (just cruel isn’t enough). This means danger to a woman’s mental health or fetal abnormalities, which is a sleazy way to say “sure you can abort in case of Trisomia 21, but we’re not saying that it’s OK to have an abortion because of Trisomia 21”.
    In case of fetal abnormalities the situation is better than in the USA, I think. Those women are treated with compassion and there are even specialised clinics where they also get psychological support. I also had no problems getting an abortion when my first pregnancy went wrong, but that didn’t count as an abortion, even though it was one of the most common abortion procedures, a D&C.
    Now, for the silly sl*ts there is no legal abortion. BUT, you can have an illegal, not prosecuted abortion until week 14 (aren’t they generous?). But you get mandatory pro-life counselling. Only after you have had somebody tell you how wonderful it would be to have a child now and that you really shouldn’t have an abortion because women are clearly too stupid to know for themselves you get a slip that says “wouldn’t see reason” and can have an abortion*. I know where the nearest clinic is , but those things are not widely known.
    You can’t even get Plan B in Germany without having to humiliate yourself in front of a doctor because clearly that’s too much power in the hands of women (and yes, that was an official position from an OB/Gyn professional association). 20km from here women are magically smarter and can get it over the counter…
    It’s also not much in people’s heads. They think pregnancy=baby. I know I had a conversation with friends, one of them being pregnant with an unplanned pregnancy and when I said “nope, not me, never again” she was like “yeah, but when it happend, it happens” and I said I would end it. The thought of this being possible never occurred to her…
    Frankly, the legal situation always gives me Handmaid’s Tale style nightmares, because who knows who might one day decide that all those women and doctors did something that was illegal at that time and who knew it was illegal.

    *When they implemented those rules the RCC shut down many of their services, because they would have to facilitate abortion by signing that document. Can’t be having that, can we? Rather take services away from women who might want to keep the child and need your help then let the sluts get away with it!

  234. rq says

    Wow, Giliell, *hugs* for the puking child (and you) and good luck with that mess… I hope it passes quickly! Thankfully lots of puking is one of the things we have managed to avoid as a family. *shudder* Good luck!!!

    re: abortion
    I actually think Latvia has similar rules to Germany… The list: (a) abortions are ok up to week 12 (woo hoo! – extension up to week 22 granted in cases of rape, fetal abnormality, danger to incubator and/or fetus, but nothing about the psychosocial indication); (b) there’s a committee of doctors that evaluates your choice (psychological state, physical health, economic stuff, etc.) and then counsels you against it because BABY; (c) then there’s a 72 hour waiting period for re-thinking your life (which certain parties are looking into extending at the moment); (d) cost (medication being far more expensive than surgical).

    Abortion for fetal abnormalities is actually a widely accepted thing, too. It’s just accepted as fact and necessity that in cases where the fetus will obviously not be viable, that it’s okay to do an abortion – in fact, it’s a medically prescribed procedure, to protect the life of the mother. Also I think generally it’s more accessible here than in Germany – but then, Latvia has one of the highest abortion rates in the EU, and it’s not due to feminist freedom (lack of proper sex.ed. in schools and kids’ literature – how many times have I picked up a book ‘for girls’ and it still recommends the pulling-out method and the rhythm method as viable alternatives to birth control… and there’s that whole stigma against condoms).

    Plan B, however, is easily available at your local pharmacy. Don’t even need a doctor for that, plus it comes in a pretty little decorative gift bag. :/ :D (My friend showed it to me, she was laughing about it.)

  235. says

    Abortion is very strongly increased in prevalence in all the former Soviet-bloc countries, as it was under the Soviets. They had serious issues with quality control and meeting production goals in the contraceptive field, both mechanical/barrier methods (crappy, poor-quality condoms, leading to a lot of unexpected and unwanted pregnancy) and hormonal methods (poor quality control, corruption in material sourcing, leading to undetectably useless contraceptives: see also offshored illegal pharma), and had, for ideological reasons, full access to all health care for women as needed. This contributed to a culture in which abortion was seen as a necessary evil, and many Soviet women had several during their lifetimes. This is shifting somewhat now that the Soviet production issues around contraception have been resolved to some extent, but the culture is still notable in the much higher rates of abortion in former Soviet and Soviet-occupied countries.

  236. says

    That nap I was talking about?
    School called, #1 fell and now has a split lip and is inconsolable and therefore needed to be picked up…


    but nothing about the psychosocial indication

    As I said, it’s mostly a term used to hide that Baby! is not the desiarable option in each and every case.
    Abortion is not legal as such because our constitution says “Human dignity is untouchable!!!!!”, therefore the embryo must be protected. Which tells you a lot about the human dignity of women as unwilling incubators.
    Some time ago some pro-life politicians wanted to polish their badge and because they know it’s unpopular to touch the current 12 weeks regulation they targeted women with late term abortions because of malformations. Really disgusting. The weakest of the weakest, those who have to deal with the fact that their wanted child is not or hardly viable. Assholes.

  237. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    It’s my understanding that Raising Steam is also a Moist book, but I’ve not got a copy yet and could be wrong.

    It is! My boyfriend got me a copy for christmas, which I finished in pretty short order. It’s pretty good, but I think I prefer the earlier Moist books to it. But then, I prefer the middle-to-late Discworld books on the whole, where the series gets more serious but is still ridiculously silly. Raising Steam was, I think, another step or two over to the serious and away from the silly. But it’s still a very good book and you should read it, time and finances permitting.

  238. rq says


    some pro-life politicians wanted to polish their badge

    Here, they went straight for trying to ban abortion altogether, ignoring all factors such as health, viability, choice. Happily, it was a short-lived conversation, though with far too much political agreement for my liking.

  239. says

    Can I have a cry now?
    I made it to college.
    In time.
    To find an email upon arrival that my first instructor’s son is sick and therefore he (the instructor) can’t come to college and class is cancelled. That would have been 90 minutes of sleep…

  240. bassmike says

    Giliell you have my sympathies. My daughter is suffering at the moment too. My wife has taken her to the doctor’s as a precaution. We’re very wary after her pneumonia last year.

    Portia well done with winning the case.

    Unfortuantely we had some very bad news about my father. They tried to operate on Saturday to relieve the blockage that stopped him keeping food down. It turned out to be further cancer and they were unable to remove anything. This means that there’s nothing further they can do for him. The palliative care people are visiting him today – as it happened over the weekend a lot of the staff were not in. Fortunately, I was able to be with him and my mum over the weekend as was my brother. So we could provide a mutual support network. We don’t know how much longer he has. We just hope he can spend some time at home and hopefully reach his 80th birthday at the end of February.

  241. rq says

    *hugs* :(
    That’s terrible news! All I can offer is my deepest sympathies to you and your family during this time. I hope it passes as painlessly and easily as possible for all involved. :( So glad you have a familial support network to fall back on. *more hugs*

  242. bassmike says

    ……and now my wife has had to take my daughter to A&E. I may end up with two of the most important people in my life in hospitals that are 65 miles apart.

  243. says

    *big hugs*
    I’m really sorry to hear about your father, and I hope he’s in the best care.
    And my sympathies for your daughter, you and Mrs bassmike. Hope she has a speedy recovery.

    I think I’ll just take the sleep depriviation

  244. vaiyt says

    The kid is home! At least my aunt’s home. Everyone, even the parrot, has been spoiling him like crazy since Saturday.

    Maybe now my grandmother will be able to sleep.

  245. carlie says

    Giliell – is it too cold to nap in the car? Because, seriously. :(

    bassmike, I am so sorry. I hope you have enough support people around to keep you afloat.

  246. opposablethumbs says

    bassmike I’m so very sorry. I hope the palliative care is the best possible, and that you have lots of support – I know nothing can help, but I hope so much that you have some support to make it even just a little less awful. You and your OH must have your nerves worn to a thread. Hope your daughter is fine and back with you very soon, and that the two of you get the chance to snatch some rest.

    And I hope you get some solid rest time asap too, Giliell!

  247. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    bassmike ((Hugs)) if you want them, that sucks :( I hope your father’s last few weeks/months of life are as comfortable and painless as possible, and I hope you, your mum, and your brother have good support networks of your own. And I hope your daughter is/will be okay soon.

    Giliell Sleep deprivation is no fun :( Hope you can catch up on sleep soon.

  248. rq says

    I hope your daughter recovers quickly, with a short-to-no stay in the hospital. :(

  249. says

    *hugs* and sympathies.
    Ugh. I hear you. I’m up at 6 this morning for an ultrasound on my gallbladder, I haver to fast which means not even juice or broth this morning, and I have to keep that up until the lipid screen at 11. Then I have class after that. Not helping is the fact that my stomach/pancreas woke me at three and I didn’t get back to sleep til five.

  250. bassmike says

    Thank you all for your support. It does make a difference. My daughter is going to have to spend at least one night in hospital. My wife says it’s nothing to worry about, but obviously it’s not easy to do that.

  251. says

    You have my utmost sympathies. I hope your daughter recovers quickly and that your father’s remaining time is as painless as possible.


    Congratulations on winning your case!

    The rape statute in the US may change for the better:

    The first-year law students I teach – smart, insightful, idealistic – have come of age hearing that “no means no” when it comes to sex. They are almost always stunned to learn that, in most states, the legal definition of rape still requires the use of physical force. In other words, a verbal “no” isn’t always enough.

    Such reactions underscore the extent to which the law lags behind a widespread belief that intercourse without consent is rape, and it should be punished accordingly. Indeed, while non-stranger rape is by far the most common rape scenario, with an estimated nine out of 10 women knowing their assailant, the criminal law was not designed to punish it. Most rapes by intimates and acquaintances are never prosecuted, or even brought to the attention of the police, contributing to their relative absence in mainstream media.

    The good news is we’ve arrived at an opportune moment for change. For the first time in more than 50 years, the rape statute offered as a model for state legislatures and courts – the so-called Model Penal Code – is under revision by the American Law Institute (ALI), an influential body of judges, practitioners, and legal scholars dedicated to improving the law. When the American Law Institute speaks, state legislatures tend to listen. A better model rape statute will likely lead to better rape laws – and ultimately more convictions.

    First of all, the ALI needs to remove the force requirement that still exists in just over half the states and the Model Penal Code. That’s because, unlike sexual assaults by the archetypal knife-wielding sexual predator, acquaintance rape cases often involve little, if any, force. For that reason, in most jurisdictions, such cases may not satisfy state law definitions of rape, regardless of how clearly the woman said “no”.


    This was an interesting read. I was a child during the Reagan presidency, so much of this was news to me.

  252. birgerjohansson says

    I have been going through Glen Cook’s new trilogy “The Instrumentalities of the Night” to try and create a list of place-names, as well as a list of persons of interest for the benefit of impatient readers .

    The patriarch (pope) Sublime V has a formal name similar to his successor, Pacificus Sublime, which can cause confusion. The alteration between common names and formal names also confuse.
    Honario Benedocto is Sublime V.
    Joceran Cuito is Pacificus Sublime .
    Here Cook may have made a mistake, as the name Cuito occurs in relation to his predecessor Sublime V in the second book.

    Later, Hugo Mongoz becomes the patriarch Boniface VII while Rocklin Glas becomes the patriarch Bellicose.

    Platadura is a coastal city or a region with several coastal cities in eastern Spain rivalling the Italian mercantile republics. The location of the fortress Arn Bedu is poorly constrained, apart from being on a mountaintop within sight of the sea on the western coast of Sardinia in the mountain range that dominates the islands interior.
    The monastery Starplire is Cassino.
    Eastern Adriatic: the principality Hovacol is either Hercegovina or Montenegro. The coastal town Liume is near a river used for moving gunpowder and weapons, so possibly Sibenik.
    The dark god Seska the Endless has its roots in the Egyptian pantheon, but I am uncertain which Egyptian god Cook models it on.

  253. says

    Chris Christie is the victim of a “feminized atmosphere” that punishes tough guys. At least that’s the sludge offered up by Fox News:

    It stands to reason that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) admirers are going to defend him as the bridge scandal unfolds. There’s even a predictable defense: the governor wasn’t responsible since he wasn’t aware of his aides’ alleged misconduct.

    But some of the arguments Christie’s allies have come up with are more striking than others. Fox News’ Brit Hume, for example, was asked yesterday about the governor’s reputation for bullying those who disagree with him. Hume responded:

    “Well, I would have to say that in this sort of feminized atmosphere in which we exist today, guys who are masculine and muscular like that in their private conduct, kind of old fashion tough guys, run some risk. […]

  254. opposablethumbs says

    ETA (I mean edited to add, not estimated time of arrival) yay for vaiyt’s news also. Very glad the child is recovering so well.

  255. says

    Paul Krugman talks about the enemies of the poor:

    […] Republicans are doing all they can to hurt the poor, and they would have inflicted vast additional harm if they had won the 2012 election. Moreover, G.O.P. harshness toward the less fortunate isn’t just a matter of spite (although that’s part of it); it’s deeply rooted in the party’s ideology, which is why recent speeches by leading Republicans declaring that they do too care about the poor have been almost completely devoid of policy specifics. […]

    The most important current policy development in America is the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare. Most Republican-controlled states are, however, refusing to implement a key part of the act, the expansion of Medicaid, thereby denying health coverage to almost five million low-income Americans. And the amazing thing is that they’re going to great lengths to block aid to the poor even though letting the aid through would cost almost nothing; nearly all the costs of Medicaid expansion would be paid by Washington.

    Meanwhile, those Republican-controlled states are slashing unemployment benefits, education financing and more. As I said, it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that the G.O.P. is hurting the poor as much as it can. […]

    First of all, they’re deeply committed to the view that efforts to aid the poor are actually perpetuating poverty, by reducing incentives to work. And to be fair, this view isn’t completely wrong.

    True, it’s total nonsense when applied to unemployment insurance. The notion that unemployment is high because we’re “paying people not to work” is a fallacy (no matter how desperate you make the unemployed, their desperation does nothing to create more jobs) wrapped in a falsehood (very few people are choosing to remain unemployed and keep collecting benefit checks).

    But our patchwork, uncoordinated system of antipoverty programs does have the effect of penalizing efforts by lower-income households to improve their position: the more they earn, the fewer benefits they can collect. In effect, these households face very high marginal tax rates. A large fraction, in some cases 80 cents or more, of each additional dollar they earn is clawed back by the government. […]

    a party committed to small government and low taxes on the rich is, more or less necessarily, a party committed to hurting, not helping, the poor.

  256. says

    Yet another possible attack on access to abortion services:

    The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday in a challenge to a 2007 Massachusetts law creating a 35-foot buffer zone around the entrances of reproductive health clinics. The law was created in response to a history of violent harassment outside clinics in the state, including a deadly shooting spree in 1994.

    Supporters of these buffer zones argue that they are necessary to allow women seeking care to enter without harassment or intimidation; prior to the law, antiabortion protestors could gather at the entrances of clinics and physically impede a woman’s ability to go inside, often shouting antiabortion propaganda in the process. […]

    Scroll down to watch video of harassment.

  257. says

    Elizabeth Warren is trying to save US taxpayers some money, while simultaneously serving the causes of justice and of transparency.

    Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a bill with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that aims to make government settlements with corporations more transparent and fair. It could end up saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

    When banks and other corporations are accused of breaking the law, the government often settles cases instead of going to trial. In the wake of the financial crisis, for example, the Department of Justice (DoJ), and government banking watchdogs have settled cases against banks that helped tank the economy. Regulatory agencies have argued that settlements are adequate tools to enforce the law, but Warren has protested. She notes that many settlements are tax-deductible. Other deals are confidential, meaning the public has no idea whether the terms of the agreement are fair. […]

    In October, JPMorgan reached a record-breaking $13 billion settlement with the DoJ over the dicy financial products that it created and sold in the run up to the financial crisis. But JPMorgan will be allowed to soften the blow by claiming up to $4 billion in tax deductions from the settlement. […]

    BP, the company responsible for the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill, entered into a settlement that year with the federal government that set up a $20 billion clean up fund. BP was able to deduct $10 billion of that settlement. […]

    Last year, the banking giant HSBC settled charges that it turned a blind eye to billions of dollars of money laundering by entering into a $1.9 billion settlement with the federal government. The DoJ has not yet disclosed whether the settlement is tax-deductible, but if it is, taxpayers will lose $700 million. […]

  258. says

    Republicans are looking for more ways to damage public education in the USA, and to insure that children of wealthy parents, corporations, and religiously-flavored education programs benefit.

    […]Republicans have touted vouchers as a way to privatize education, undermine teachers’ unions, and give the appearance of compassion towards low-income families. [New emphasis on alleviating poverty — all talk, no data, actually harms the poor]

    But now that some GOP leaders are talking up their approach to combatting poverty, using public funds to pay private-school tuition is generating a new round of attention. […]
    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor vowed Wednesday to protect and promote school choice programs […]

    […] “school choice” is a misleading label for vouchers. […]

    But of particular interest was Cantor’s criticism of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), who intends to charge wealthiest charter schools, many of which receive public education funds on top of private donations.

    […] the House Majority Leader wants Congress to intervene. […] while Republicans spent much of the week arguing that more public resources should be directed to state governments for greater local control, Cantor argued the opposite when it came to schools in New York City. […]

    Cantor called the Washington voucher program an unquestioned success, though he cited academic performance statistics that actually came from the city’s charter schools, not its voucher schools.[…]
    A federal audit of the Washington voucher program this fall found it was riddled with problems. Chief among them: a glaring lack of controls to ensure that the private schools receiving the vouchers were physically safe or academically sound, the Government Accountability Office found.

  259. says

    Bitter, bitter, bitter politician on the way out of office takes one last stab at citizens he hates, gays:

    Just hours before leaving office, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) issued an opinion that appears intended to entrench his own anti-gay policy preferences while he could still speak as his state’s top legal officer. Cuccinelli, who once claimed that the “homosexual agenda… brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul,” lost his bid for Virginia governor to recently inaugurated Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

    Cuccinelli’s non-binding opinion, which is dated January 10, 2014, concludes that “a Governor may not direct or require any agency of state government to allow same-sex couples to receive joint marital status for Virginia income tax returns.”[…]

    Think Progress link.

    Virginians, aren’t you glad you voted this guy out?

  260. says

    The Supreme Court has prevented Arizona from enforcing a 20-week abortion ban:

    On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s decision to block a 20-week abortion ban from taking effect in Arizona. That decision ensures that the law will remain permanently blocked, and women in the state will continue being able to access abortion care until the point of viability as defined under Roe v. Wade, around 24 weeks of pregnancy. […]

    Think Progress link.

  261. says

    Conservative politicians in Colorado are busy making fools of themselves. They think people are buying pot with food stamps, which is not true. One politician has stated that she thinks blacks are more likely to live below the poverty line because black people eat too much chicken.

    Days after Colorado began to allow recreational marijuana businesses to legally operate in the state, a group of state legislators filed a bill to ensure that no food stamps or public assistance funds are used at those shops. The bill comes after a county Republican party committee mistook a satirical news report for fact.

    […] According to the Associated Press, however, there have been no actual reported cases of benefit cards being used at dispensaries.

    Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble (R), the Senate sponsor of SB 14-037, made national news in August when she made claims that poverty was higher among the “Black race” because they eat to much chicken. State Rep. Lori Saine (R), one of the House co-sponsors of the proposal, also made headlines when two weeks after Marble’s remarks, she showed up at a committee hearing with a box of Popeye’s chicken (a move decried by Colorado Republican Chairman Ryan Call as an “insensitive and hurtful” endorsement of Marble’s comments).[…]

  262. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble

    How appropriate – she’s dumb as a rock!

  263. says

    Azkyroth, may I gently point out that name-based mockery is a way that a lot of people are badly bullied, and that it might be better not to do so, at least here in the Lounge? It’s something I’d like to see done less generally in progressive spaces, but I’d settle here for just the Lounge, at least.

    Thanks for hearing me, whichever way you decide to go forward. No anger involved, really just a gentle nudge, and I won’t be turning it into a big Thing; I only want to bring it up as a suggestion for our general awareness.

  264. cicely says

    Campaign dying from Gamemaster Apathy.
    I like my character….

    As BuzzFeed reports, Barnett will not face charges for the alleged rape, but has been charged with a single count of endangering the welfare of a child for leaving Coleman in her front yard in freezing winter temperatures. The charge carries a maximum punishment of one year in prison and a fine.


    Dose of Cute: big cats with little cats, and, as a bonus, momma red panda with baby.

    Is ded of kyoot.

    Happy Birthday, Ogvorbis!
    *cake* and *hugs*

    Also, for some reason Moist von Lipwig is played by Tom Hiddleston in the theatre of my mind.

    I’d buy a ticket to see that. At a first-fun theater, even!

    *hugs* for Giliell. 90 minutes of sleep lost is not trivial. There are times when I would be willing to commit serious mayhem, for an extra hour and a half of sleep.
    “Put down the chainsaw….”

    *manybighugs* for bassmike. I’m sorry about your father.
    (Slightly Later)

  265. says

    *wraps herself in hugs*

    1. I’m home
    2. The kids are asleep
    3. I showered
    4. I ate
    5. This was the first vegan convenience dish that didn’t taste like overspiced cardboard
    6. I will go to bed

    Unfortunately the car park is too far away, and it’s coolish, too.

    And my dudebro story for today
    So, i had this stupid presentation. The “teamwork”.
    I had brought my laptop, which was on the table in front of me while the instructor finished telling us some stuff.
    Then I carried the laptop to the front of the class.
    Then I connected the laptop to the beamer.
    Then I opened the respective files and started the presentation
    After half of the presentation my male partner took over.
    When he was finished I started to deconnect the laptop again.
    The two dudes from the team that had to do a presentation after us asked him if they could use the laptop….

  266. blf says

    This was the first vegan convenience dish that didn’t taste like overspiced cardboard

    I didn’t realize it was possible to overspice cardboard.
    Underspice, yes. Undercheese, yup. Underenjoy, well, uh, cardboard is not that great of a dish… (It isn’t very good to eat either.)

  267. blf says

    The two dudes from the team that had to do a presentation after us asked him if they could use the laptop

    “If you can correctly explain why I am not the person who brought, set-up, used initially, and is now unsetting-up the laptop, then I suspect you might be able to also figure out whether or not you are asking the correct person.”

  268. David Marjanović says

    O hai!

    PZ! Wouldn’t this be great to blog about?

    Already blogged about: “North America: land of obscure, freaky voles


    Ask Italy to drop charges against soldier who saved a dying cat“. “Charges against Lieutenant Balanzoni states that she disobeyed her commanding officer when told n one would be ‘bringing in or having brought in wild, stray or unaccompanied animals.’ She faces a year in the military penitentiary.” And she’s a medical officer.

    Scotland – Ban Gannet Chick Eating Contest on the Isle of Lewis“.


  269. David Marjanović says

    Eastern Adriatic: the principality Hovacol is either Hercegovina or Montenegro. The coastal town Liume is near a river used for moving gunpowder and weapons, so possibly [Š]ibenik.

    What immediately comes to mind, though, is Rijeka, in Italian Fiume, both meaning “river”.

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

    Is it bad that of the seven hours of “Welcome to Nursing School!” talks I had to sit through today, I was most excited that at the meet-and-greet afterwards Team Rainbow (as we immediately dubbed ourselves) found each other?

    At present, we are 4.6% of the cohort. That we know of.

  271. bluentx says

    Happy belated Birthday wishes for Ogvorbis !
    *Hugs* on offer for:

    – Sick kids (projectile vomiting is always fun, especially at 3 am!)

    – Sick parents (and adjusting to the inevitable)

    – Gallbladders (well, don’t actually hug the gallbladder…because Ewww! and Ouch!)
    And now back to clicking on those links offered, that I couldn’t access before….

  272. bluentx says

    Oh, and *hugs* on offer for:

    – Sleep depravation sufferers (I can relate!)

    On arriving at work tonight I found an announcement from the Texas Water Utility Association*. Their motto: Educational Excellence.

    A scholarship fundraiser. A drawing for…. a 12 gauge shotgun! Guns as prizes for school scholarship donatons!!!

    I think I will fax this announcement back to them with the notation:

    “With multiple school shootings in the news, this is a truly disgusting display of insensitivity!”

    *This is the same organization I wrote to last August about proslytization and anti-science garbage spewed by one of their instructors during a training class (Educational Excellence!). I have yet to receive a reply about that.

  273. Ragutis says

    Best “the WORD” from Colbert in a while. I lost it at “went to Hellenistic handbasket”.

    Just thought I’d share.

  274. says

    I always thought couches and sofas were the same thing. Wikipedia agrees with me:

    The term ‘couch’ is used in North America, Australia, New Zealand, whilst the term ‘sofa’ is generally used in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The word originated in Middle English from the Old French noun couche, which derived from the verb meaning ‘to lie down’.

  275. rq says

    You can’t say things like that and then not link to the actual episode. ;)

    Crip Dyke
    Funny you found that research. This paragraph:

    For example, a mother stands in the kitchen and wants her child to come to dinner. The last time she stood in the kitchen and summoned someone to dinner it was Fluffy the dog. The similarity of the situation and repetition of the words, “come to dinner, Fluffy,” primes her to say the dog’s name again when calling out to the child.

    Happened to me in real life while growing up. I don’t think hearing the research behind it makes me feel any better. :)

    *tsk tsk* Tony a couch is not a sofa. Basically, a sofa is anything large, fluffy and soft with arms (the more pillowage the better!). A couch is less fluffy and may not have arms. In Latvian, we simplify by calling everything a dīvāns. :)

  276. rq says

    I suppose it’s not a good idea to rant and rail at a client for not understanding English and for making bad word choices.

  277. bluentx says

    Being called the wrong name… I got that a lot growing up. Being the youngest in a family with three girls, Mom ‘called the role” a lot.

    Then, there were the ‘Phantom Command Performances’.

    I once had a friend over for the afternoon. My mom working in the next room calls my name. I listen… She says it again. I just went back to talking to my friend. My friend stops me: “Aren’t you going to go see what your Mom wants?” ‘Nah, she wasn’t really calling me.” My friend gives me this look. “What do you mean she was’t calling you? I heard her… twice!” “Yeah, but she’s not really calling me. She just does that sometimes.” My friend looks at me as if I am the most awful, disrespectful… So I say, “Okay, watch.” I go to the door. “You need something Mom?” My mother looks at me with a blank expression. I say, “You called me?”… “I did? No, I don’t need anything.” “Oh, okay.” I go back to my friend whose mouth is hanging open. I shrug, “I could tell by the tone of her voice. She just does that sometimes.”

  278. echidna says

    Just checking in with an early evening weather update from Melbourne, Australia: 42 Celsius (thats 107 degrees Fahrenheit). Now and again we get days over 40, but it’s rare to get them strung together like they are this week.

  279. says

    @ David Marjanović

    From your linky:

    I find European voles (and, to a degree, Asian voles) pretty familiar, commonplace, homely.

    Not if we look at their chromosomal makeup.

    unaccompanied animals

    The animal was accompanied by Officer Balanzoni. Case dismissed!

  280. rq says

    So, if I understand you correctly, then global warming is occurring only in Australia. Gotcha. :)
    Good luck, and hopefully things will cool down a bit soon! (My cousin was complaining on Facebook that the rain was hot… Is this true??)

    You’ll get the hang of counting eventually. ;) Just remember to include yourself in the sibling calculations!

  281. bassmike says

    Just visited my daughter in hospital (fortunately within easy walking distance of work) and she seems to be getting better. It looks like it’s pneumonia again. so that’s the second time in three months. They’re now looking to see if there’s an underlying problem. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. I’m going to stay the night with her tonight and give my wife the opportunity to get a decent night’s sleep!

    Thanks again to everyone for their support and concern.

  282. birgerjohansson says

  283. ledasmom says

    As for calling children by the wrong name, I do this so often that I’m pretty sure they think their names are “A, er, B” and “B, er, A” (note: children’s names are not actually “A” and “B”). And except for being four letters each their names aren’t very similar.

  284. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Hell, I’ve got two kids. And I still mixed them up. Sometimes with a cat’s name.

    I thought Bill Cosby was funny until I had kids. Then I realized he was just being honest:

    Boy, Sherman, Girl, Dust, Oreo, whoever you are –what’s your name? And don’t lie, cause I know you live here!

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

    Okay, I’m just having an awful pain day. Every once in a while I get the delightful pleasure of passing a kidney stone (leftover as a side effect from a previous med). Usually it’s a small one, and usually the pain is less than my joint pain (for people who have had more than one kidney stone and can compare them, this might tell you something about my daily pain), but every once in a while, maybe every other year, I get to pass one of the nasty, big ones for which kidney stones are justly infamous. Today is one of those days. I have had joint pain worse than this, but not in a long time. So I have some emotional preparation for this kind of thing. And I know it’s temporary.

    But Holey (Renal) Hilum, Batman this still sucks.

    And when Kitten wakes you up @4am after 2.5 hours sleep and you can’t get back, and then your kids refuse to get dressed with one having to be carried to the car and the other throwing a hairbrush at you, what you really, really want to do is swallow more morphine than a blue whale swallows krill and watch mind-numbing TV shows until your bib is soaked through.

  286. says

    So, a budget deal has been agreed upon, and, barring last-minute obstructionist tactics from the far right, it looks like US politicians will not be shutting down the government again.

    This is not, of course, all good news. Here are some of the awful bits that Steve Benen highlighted:

    * As ridiculous as this may sound, a Republican rider survived that would continue the sale of inefficient incandescent light bulbs.

    * The school voucher program for the District of Columbia will continue.

    * Efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act predictably failed, but at Republicans’ insistence, the package cuts $1 billion from the Prevention and Public Health (PPH) fund.

    * The spending bill reverses some of the cuts to retirement pay for medically retired veterans and survivor benefits.

    * Detainees still can’t be transferred from Guantanamo Bay to detention facilities on U.S. soil.

    Some of this crap really surprises me. There are goals that the far right insists on promoting which do not really affect the budget, or have little effect on the budget, or are not budget-related at all.

  287. says

    About that chemical spill in Virginia: it is obvious that Freedom Industries knew about the spill long before it was publicly acknowledged.

    When state inspectors arrived at the Freedom Industries tank farm late last Thursday morning, they found a 400-square-foot pool of clear liquid had collected outside a white tank marked as number 396.

    A 4-foot wide stream of the liquid — thicker than water, but not as heavy as syrup — was flowing across the bottom of a containment dike. The flow disappeared right at the joint where the dike’s wall connected to its floor.

    Freedom Industries had set up one cinder block and used one 50-pound bag of some sort of safety absorbent powder to try to block the chemical flow, state Department of Environmental Protection inspectors say.

    “This was a Band-Aid approach,” said DEP air quality inspector Mike Kolb. “It was apparent that this was not an event that had just happened.” […]

  288. says

    An update on Republican attitudes/actions regarding unemployment insurance:

    [Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)] proposed an amendment Tuesday to make low-income American citizen children of undocumented immigrants ineligible for the refundable Additional Child Tax Credit by requiring parents have a Social Security number to claim the credit. On the Senate floor, Ayotte claimed the benefits are being exploited by “people who are claiming a refundable tax credit for children who should not be entitled to it” and asserted, “Many of these children do not even live in the United States or may not even exist.”[…]

    Think Progress link.

  289. cicely says

    *pouncehug without [pausing to read container] Great Value™ Light Orange Creme Pie flavored Nonfat Yogurt, because it is rather nasty, and friends don’t make friends take their pouncehugs with Great Value™ Light Orange Creme Pie flavored Nonfat Yogurt*

    *pouncehug* for Crip Dyke, as well.
    No blame for absence, just revelling in presence.
    Upon consideration, let’s make that a *low-impact, soft-n-fuzzy pouncehug*
    I’m sorry about the existence of kidney stones, and that they exist in you specifically.


    …couches and sofas are different?

    Not so far as I am aware.
    Sounds like a pop/soda kinda sitchiation, to me.


    Guns as prizes for school scholarship donatons!!!

    Well, of course! Y’see, God and Guns are virtually synonymous, and since they want Moar God In Teh Skools, they must also want more guns in the schools!
    That’s logic, that is!
    </cynical, sarcastic quasi-humor>

    bassmike, I will keep my tentacles crossed on your daughter’s behalf.

    “Her brother told her she is here just to die”

    :( :( :(

  290. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    *sympathies* re: the kids being kids at a time when you just want them to be human

    *hugs* That really sucks, I hope there’s no underlying condition and just a freakish coincidence. Hope you get some rest, at least!

  291. says

    gentle *hugs*.

    *hugs* and sympathies.


    Some of this crap really surprises me. There are goals that the far right insists on promoting which do not really affect the budget, or have little effect on the budget, or are not budget-related at all.

    This is a standard tactic of theirs.

  292. says

    CD: I’d been wondering where you’d got to. Big pain too well grokked. Gentle hugs offered.

    Beatrice: Sorry to hear about your crap day. Want to tell us about it, if that would help? It’s okay if not, too, just want to explicitly offer to listen. Also, hugs offered to you.

    bassmike: Glad your daughter’s “okay” (FSV of “okay”), and I hope there’s nothing systemic, that she’s just been unlucky. I hope too that your father’s passing is peaceful, and at a time that suits his needs and wants. Good thing I can’t run out of hugs, as I must also offer some here.

    Lynna: I’m with DLSG on this one. The reasons generally for their non-budget-related hobbyhorses are either social control (keeping women and minorities where we belong, like fighting access to abortion and contraception, and affirmative action programs); political control (making sure we can’t vote, or that we can’t govern when we somehow manage to vote); financial control (deregulating capitalist industries, making investigatory agencies toothless, reducing taxes on income only available to rich people); or ideological purity (defence spending is ALWAYS GOOD, and is an absolute exception to the idea that government spending crowds out private spending; see also abstinence education, the capital punishment/abortion paradox, gun control, welfare dependency, gold standard, trickledown, and many, many other great hits from the (18)60s and 70s). But at the root, it’s all about control – and ideally, they want to restrict our access to the levers of control so severely that we, the 99%, will fight one another for the puny amount we can wheedle out of them.

    I think it’s about time we started fighting back in the class war. We’ve let them have 30+ years of first shots. Past time for ours to be due.


  293. blf says

    Oh good grief, The one theology book all atheists really should read:

    What if most modern arguments against religious belief have been attacking the wrong God all along?

    One reason that modern-day debates between atheists and religious believers are so bad-tempered, tedious and infuriating is that neither side invests much effort in figuring out what the other actually means when they use the word ‘God’. This is an embarrassing oversight, especially for the atheist side (on which my sympathies generally lie). After all, scientific rationalists are supposed to care deeply about evidence. So you might imagine they’d want to be sure that the God they’re denying is the one in which most believers really believe. No ‘case against God’, however watertight, means much if it’s directed at the wrong target.

    Fail right at the starting block. Magic sky faeries, be it she, it, he, or they, simply do not exist. The details of what “most” believers believe are not-relevant.

    [… A]theists who care about honest argument […] might consider reading just one book by a theologian, David Bentley Hart’s The Experience of God, published recently by Yale University Press. Not because I think they’ll be completely convinced by it. (I’m not[…]

    The God attacked by most modern atheists, Hart argues, is a sort of superhero, a “cosmic craftsman” — the technical term is “demiurge” — whose defining quality is that he’s by far the most powerful being in the universe, or perhaps outside the universe (though it’s never quite clear what that might mean). The superhero God can do anything he likes to the universe, including creating it to begin with. Demolishing this God is pretty straightforward: all you need to do is point to the lack of scientific evidence for his existence, and the fact that we don’t need to postulate him in order to explain how the universe works.

    Fail again. Something that does not exist neither does, nor does not, do anything.

    Some people really do believe in this version of God: supporters of ‘intelligent design’, for example[… but what Hart says is believed in has been summarized as:]

    …according to the classical metaphysical traditions of both the East and West, God is the unconditioned cause of reality — of absolutely everything that is — from the beginning to the end of time. Understood in this way, one can’t even say that God “exists” in the sense that my car or Mount Everest or electrons exist. God is what grounds the existence of every contingent thing, making it possible, sustaining it through time, unifying it, giving it actuality. God is the condition of the possibility of anything existing at all.

    Word-salad. Shifting goalposts, the magic sky faeries are not now observable, never mind that she, he, it, or they very much were observed in various hole-ly books. And a noticeable lack of Occam’s Razor.

    […] If a committed creationist wrote a book called The Evolution Delusion, but only attacked the general public’s understanding of evolution, we’d naturally dismiss them as disingenuous. We’d demand, instead, that they seek out what the best and most acclaimed minds in the field had concluded about evolution, then try dismantling that.

    Oh for feck’s sake. Pointing out this hypothetical book presumes a distorted version of multiple fields of science is not the only “attack”, even if magic sky faeries and/or creationism are never mentioned. Such a book would contain lapses of logic, and very likely contains presupposition nonsense. And if the hypothetical author is true to type, mined quotes and other blatant falsehoods.

    Exactly the same line-of-reasoning could be used for ghosts, ancient astronauts, the causes of disease, and to find the currently missing mildly deranged penguin. Dismissing the concept of evidence allows a feck of a lot of things to be claimed, such as I have three heads, green skin, and and am a black hole in disguise. (One or more of those may actually be true.) All I have to say for something to be “true” in this evidence-free silliness is “I am the unconditioned cause of whatever I choose.” Then it must be true. Unless I say it isn’t. Until I say it is.

    As one of the commentators points out (emboldening in the original):

    The onus, as always, is on those who cleave [sic] to superstitious supernatural worldviews to provide evidence to substantiate their beliefs, atheists and rationalists need not lift a finger. Full stop.

    Whilst the opinion piece’s author all-but-claims to be an atheist, I am not at all convinced he’s ever knowingly met one.

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

    I’m still adjusting, so even relatively small problems send me into panic mode. Don’t wanna screw up by asking too many questions or not asking for help before something escalates, for doing something wrong, responsibilities,….

    I’m just a raw bundle of nerves, that’s what the problem is.

  295. says

    Well, if it helps, Beatrice, so is most everyone else. It only just looks like they’re not on the outside, just as they probably don’t see how worried you are. The only thing that’s ever helped me with my impostor syndrome is knowing that everyone else feels it too.

  296. Rey Fox says

    So, Grand Cosmic Waffle with a side order of Courtier’s Reply.

    No wonder we’ve shifted focus to social justice. The religion argument is so boring.

  297. rq says

    So, Grand Cosmic Waffle with a side order of Courtier’s Reply.

    Does that come with maple syrup? It sounds delicious and not boring at all – yumyum!

  298. Rey Fox says

    Does that come with maple syrup?

    It comes with handwaving, that’s almost like syrup if you look at it a certain way.

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

    of course the new phone doesn’t recognize sim card. That would be just too easy.
    work phone, to make it better. fuuuck. good thing I’m with customers tomorrow again, all of which have my phone and will try to call me
    this just keeps getting better

  300. says

    Hi there!

    *hugs* for beatrice

    Big hugs for CD I know theses days, I know them.
    BTW, if you have constant problems with getting them dressed, try bribing.
    The kids get 10 min in the morning and 10 min in the evening to get dressed. At the beginning I made cards to stamp, but now it works without. They can fuck up once (we started with 3 times out of 14), but if it works the other days they get a Filly horse on Sundays. It costs me 4 bucks a week but saves my sanity.
    Starting this week we included #1’s after school daycare in this, because they complained that it takes dear #1 up to 30 minutes to put on her coat and shoes and walk down two stairs. Not only do they get worried, it also disturbs the schedule. Then they tried to ask 2 other pupils to help her with the result that all three of them were late and having a fight, since her problem isn’t being able to get shit done in time but not wanting to get shit done in time. So I handed them a card to tick off and told #1 that this would be included in her total.
    Feedback today was that she was down there as fast as lightning….

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

    So, I’m ignorant about a lot of things, and I try to learn as many things as this brain will hold, but sometimes I let embarrassment hold me back from asking. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it makes me better at researching for myself. But sometimes google-fu (and other research skills) fail.

    I’ve never been able to find the origin story of the Mildly Deranged Penguin (apparently it doesn’t have its own title and I’m supposed to look in TET Comics, issue X, only I no one sells back issues of TET, so there’s no catalog to look in for each issue’s exciting developments).

    Can someone please explain MDP to me?

    I mean, I’m not so unobservant that I haven’t figured out that part of it is just the DaDa of the whole thing, but I still feel like I’m missing something every time someone brings it up.

    also, thanks to all offering:

    Upon consideration, let’s make that a *low-impact, soft-n-fuzzy pouncehug*


    Rewatching mediocre documentaries. Got a tiny bit of law reading done earlier, but it’s mainly not happening now. Reading is just too much for me at the mo. So back to “animal armageddon” that would be just awesome if I was 8, but right now is a bit disappointing, esp. since I saw it when it first came out. There’s a much better doc about the end Permian somewhere, but AA is the only series of which I’m aware that really discusses the end Triassic. That’s the one I’m actually looking forward to, and it’s up next, so I’ll stick with it for another episode and a half…or until I manage to sleep.

    Love to everyone.


  302. says

    Youngest has always been someone who is infinitely distractable. We lived about a ten-minute walk from her primary school, and at 8, she was plenty big enough to manage it with her brother of 11.

    Or so we thought. Weirdly, he kept showing up on time, and we were getting notes home every day about how she was arriving ten, fifteen minutes late.

    I was house-mum at the time, so one morning I bid her farewell at the door, and then went to the living-room window, whence I could watch her walk away down the road.

    And i waited…and waited. And about five minutes later, she finally popped out from behind the hedge at the foot of our walk, strolling slowly along, stopping to look at worms, or up into the sky, or just to stare off into space and think, about what who knows. She was ten minutes late. I started to think I might have the key.

    Next morning, I watched her through the front door’s little window, and saw how she took five minutes to reach the foot of the walk. There was a little nest just above her reach in the tall evergreens outside our front door, which grew down most of the way to the ground, making them sort of like a big tree-tent over our front walk. This, and the fireplace, were why we bought the house.

    She was trying to climb the tree to be able to see into the nest, without knocking it down.

    That night, I was sweeping the front walk free of fallen needles, when I grabbed my milk crate* to sit down for a bit under the big tree, and then, y’know, accidentally left it out there.

    She got to school really late that day, but after that, was rarely late again. Getting to see into the nest – we’d been pretty clear about not touching or otherwise interfering with wild animals, just being glad that they were nearby – getting to see in was enough to sate her curiosity long enough to get her to school without further pondering-time.

    * The plastic crates that dairies use to ship milk around in; they make great storage for students who *ahem* acquire them, and are also useful lightweight stools for gardening.

  303. rq says

    It comes with handwaving, that’s almost like syrup if you look at it a certain way.

    Might there be a special type of glasses I could get to see it in the right way?

  304. David Marjanović says

    I hate Curtis Reeves. He’s sucked all the time out of this workday.

    Are you sick of highly-paid teachers?” Delicious snark with delicious math.

    Standardized testing makes cheating standard.

    Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told WABC-AM that he was initially intrigued when former Vice President Al Gore began warning about human-induced climate change but became skeptical after discovering that environmental regulations might prove costly to business.” Sorry for the quotation marks generated by the <q> tag.

    Too Big to Jail?” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) argues that finance companies that are too big to fail should be considered too big to exist: “I will soon introduce legislation that would give the Treasury secretary 90 days to compile a list of commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that the Treasury Department determines are too big to fail. The affected financial institutions would include ‘any entity that has grown so large that its failure would have a catastrophic effect on the stability of either the financial system or the United States economy without substantial government assistance.’ Within one year after the legislation becomes law, the Treasury Department would be required to break up those banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions identified by the secretary.” One of the people quoted in the article notes that this would introduce more competition. Socialist for capitalism – I approve.

  305. David Marjanović says

    Your Youngest sounds adorable!! Go curiosity!

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Seconded. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  306. Rey Fox says

    Might there be a special type of glasses I could get to see it in the right way?

    Sure, just don the Spectacles of Special Pleading…okay, I think we’ve taken this metaphor about as far as it will go.

  307. says

    Rand Paul likes this guy. Ann Coulter likes him. Tea Party candidate Greg Bannon is an up and coming Republican star.

    Here are a few of his ideas:

    Food stamps are slavery. “When you’re at the behest of somebody else, you are actually a slavery [sic] to them … That kind of charity does not make people freer.”

    “All ten of Marx’s planks of communism are law in our land today.”

    Bannon’s hero is Jesse Helms.

    He likes the idea of secession and has been a featured speaker at several secessionist meetings.

    Despite his wingnuttery, Bannon is expected to compete well against Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). Oh, and did I say that Greg Bannon is actually Dr. Greg Bannon? Yes, he is a doctor.

  308. says

    Update on Utah’s attitudes toward same-sex marriage:

    A new poll for The Salt Lake Tribune shows that Utahns’ views on same-sex couples’ relationships have dramatically shifted in the decade since voters amended the state’s constitution to prohibit them from receiving any legal recognition.

    Residents are now evenly split on whether same-sex couples in Utah should be allowed to get state-issued marriage licences — 48 percent for and 48 percent against — and nearly three-fourths (72 percent) said same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions or domestic partnerships in lieu of marriage. […]

    The results reflect a remarkable turn since 66 percent of Utahns who participated in the 2004 general election approved Amendment 3, which limited civil marriage to a man and a woman and barred any state recognition of other relationships such as civil unions or domestic partnerships. […]

    Support for same-sex marriage was strongest among non-Mormons, people between ages 18 and 34 and those who described themselves as Democrats. Slightly more than a third of respondents (36 percent) said their views on same-sex marriage have shifted over time, something that was equally true of Mormons and non-Mormons. Overwhelmingly, people in both of those demographic categories said their views had become more accepting. […]

    Utah law currently bars unmarried, cohabitating couples — both opposite-sex and same-sex — from adopting children. […]

  309. says

    Well fuck. The Republicans just decided to fuck over me and a few million other folks; they killed the unemployment extension. This means that the measly $110 a week I was receiving will not start up again, and fuck.

  310. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    That sucks.

    But, on the bright side, they can continue to subsidize the job creators so there won’t be any without jobs.

  311. says

    Wow, it’s been so long since I commented here that I forgot my user name. I guess a newborn’ll do that to ya.

    I try to keep up with the comments, but can’t comment at work, and don’t have time to comment much at home (see above, re: newborn. Not that I was a frequent commenter before, she’s just a convenient excuse.) So: Hugs and commiserations where needed. Congratulations where appropriate.

    I saw some bike commentary in the last thread, and had a question for the bike lovers. I have recently “inherited” a Ciöcc road bike that looks fairly old. I’d guess 70’s maybe? Where would I look for something like serial #s or something that would help me find out more about this bike? I was told that it was used in the Tour de France, which would be cool, but I’ll believe that only with evidence. So, how does one establish provenance on a bike?

  312. yazikus says

    Speaking of waffles (and totally ‘rupt), recently I heard of Stuffing Waffles. So I made them, the next day. You take stuffing (I used a box, eggs, milk, butter), mix it up and cook it in the waffle maker. Serve with gravy and maple syrup. They were confusing and delicious.

  313. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Why did the chicken cross the MC Escher painting?

    To gain perspective.

  314. Acolyte of Sagan says



    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    14 January 2014 at 6:50 pm (UTC -6)Link to this comment

    Why did the chicken cross the MC Escher painting?

    Because life is full of ups and ups?

  315. rq says

    Maps to explain the world in various ways (as my brother noticed, there’s a curious overlap between coffee-drinking and age of first sexual intercourse – and, I’ll add to that, number of researchers per capita; now assuming that correlation does imply causation, those would be some very interesting hypotheses :) ).

  316. says

    Damn, I’d hoped the puking was over

    How cute!
    #1 doesn’t have an excuse that cute.
    If something doesn’t interest her she just doesn’t do it, or does it s-l-o-w-l-y.
    I’m just glad that they had the last number now, because writing exercises always take for ever.
    Doing sums? 5 minutes
    Writing “9”? 1 hour
    Also when she’s not challenged she starts to make mistakes. Just got a math test back. She totally forgot to do some of the tasks and the one she did wrong shows that she can do sums, but doesn’t bother to look whether she’s supposed to + or –

    standardised tests
    They’re the hight of fashion in Germany, too
    Sure they are more reliable than your average teacher made test. the problem is that this also means a shift away from educating children towards teaching testable stuff.
    I learn a lot in college about how to teach stuff, but very little about how to deal with kids

  317. birgerjohansson says

    K computer is unleashed for largest neuronal network simulation ever

    BTW it is my understanding that current synthetic neural networks cannot be scaled up, while biological brains have mastered that trick long ago – for instance most of the visual input through our eyes is processed instantly by layers of neural networks so we only become aware of the tiny part of information that is important. Saccades get “purged” before we become aware of them.

  318. rq says

    I’m pretty sure she said “whargarbl” somewhere around the middle. The rest must be a secret language of excitement. :) (I admit I’m not a fan of public proposals, but I think this one worked out just fine.)

  319. photoreceptor says

    Don’t know quite where to post this, but have any of you atheists (which includes me) read this article from the Daily Telegraph, UK:
    The column is pretty crappy, it seems the guy is playing the agent provocateur, and some of his other columns include casting serious doubt on global warming… ’nuff said – but it would be nice to hear what other atheists (sorry about your short, selfish, stunted life) think about this stuff. I could postulate, if what he says is true, that self-delusion – in the case of religious belief – would tend to make one blissfully ignorantly happy, which would affect life span, etc. And as a neuroscientist, I refute the idea that our brains are hard-wired for faith. We are probably all scared shitless by the thought of death when we first grasp mortality, but having neural circuits looking for a way to fool ourselves?

  320. carlie says

    rq – I hope he’s a better actor than writer, after this statement:

    “Here, in this city, where this beautiful lady was born, 22 years ago, with an amazing audience full of Scottish people”


  321. carlie says

    photoreceptor – thanks, this is the place where people muse and discuss all manner of interesting things.

  322. rq says

    C’mon, he’s nervous! :D It’s a different kind of show!
    And I hope she’s at least decipherable in her role. ;)

    So much bullshit in that article. *sigh*
    Well, I was encouraged since he dismissed IQ tests right off the bat… But in such a manner as to completely negate any results contrary to those he wants in any studies conducted that would have atheists coming out on top. It would have been nice if he had looked at those studies and analyzed where they went wrong in their methods / choice of candidates / etc.
    I’d like more information on some of those studies he quotes as definitive, especially those about health and donating money. I couldn’t read the entire Times article link (the one about donating) because I’m not subscribed, but I’m pretty sure a survey isn’t going to be the best comprehensive information on who actually gives more (especially if a voluntary, self-selecting survey). Plus, that’s just money – I don’t see any information about those people volunteering their time to help others.
    Regarding health, I’m positive there’s information out there refuting that it’s the religious who live healthier. (Anyone? Niggling memories on this, lacking in keywords.) The stress bit is a bit tougher, since yes, praying (meditation-like) and going to social gatherings can decrease stress levels and help people deal with life issues, but it doesn’t have to be church that does it. Atheists can meditate (I believe Greta Christina here on FtB writes about it from time to time) and reap all the secular (health) benefits of the activity just as well as any religious person, just as atheists put great stock in social gatherings and having fun in groups (hello, Lounge!).

    I take great umbrage with two things:

    Believers also have more kids.

    I believe that having less kids on average is actually a greater indicator of progressive, intelligent thinking (there’s all that feeding-and-clothing which involves economic planning, then the awareness that life is more than just passing on your genes, etc.). (Also, I’m pretty sure that having more kids hasn’t made me all that much happier, but that may be just me…)
    And (2)

    Obviously, it’s the believers who are smarter. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mentally ill.

    The ableism is strong with this one. Basically, this shuts down any possible discussion or disagreement with as useless and pointless. Sure, it’s all provocative, but completely trivialises real mental illnesses.

    Then the article completely omits all the negative things religion and belief in god(s) have done over the course of human history. But, you know, since it makes some people feel better (how healthy are those religious people who also struggle with a church-forbidden same-sex attraction? those who live in abusive marriages because their religious community looks down on divorce? those bearing more and more children against their will because – whoops – their religion doesn’t believe in contraception?), that makes it the smarter choice.
    Anyway. That’s my short opinion.

  323. rq says

    Also, the final paragraph:

    Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.

    Maybe he’s trying to imitate Dawkins’ style (and become the first ever militant theist!!!!), but I think he completely misses the mark here.
    If my ‘lack of ability for faith’ is what he calls using science and rational, logical thinking to navigate my way through the world, I’d rather do that, than continue in trying to measure up to the impossible standards of a delusion and a lie. (And I would also disagree – it’s not so much that I lack the ability to have faith, but that I decided that this ability was not contributing to my happiness in life. So there’s that, too.)
    Besides, humans have evolved all kinds of things (like the propensity for violence) that aren’t necessarily good things. So why should faith be, in and of itself, considered to be so amazing?

  324. opposablethumbs says

    photoreceptor, as a neuroscientist you would know much better than I but aren’t there grounds for suggesting our brains are hardwired NOT for “faith” but for filling in the gaps in our sensory input … which would – in combination with the evolutionary advantage of assuming agency as default (i.e. better to err on the side of assuming it’s a predator moving the grasses rather than on the side of assuming it isn’t) – incline us to construct narratives where we “see” or otherwise “experience” the presence of agents in the world around us. Plus the advantages of recognising faces, almost from birth, and recognising patterns – hence the way we “see” faces in the dark, on the moon, in the clouds, “see” animals in clouds or flames etc. etc.

    The fact that we now know better what’s moving the grasses means we ought to know better than to invent agents that don’t exist, but doesn’t stop us being inclined to conjure them up.

    Apologies if this is far, faaaaaaar too obvious and basic and not at all what you meant. Just my 2p’s worth; I’m sure that others around here will have much more to add!

  325. opposablethumbs says

    Oops, sorry, I should have confessed straight off that I don’t have the stomach right now to wade through the article but was only riffing on your comment itself …. my apologies if I am therefore even further off-track!

  326. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, Giliell I’m sorry – it’s all coming at once, isn’t it :-(((

    I do hope you’ve all had your share of illness and general EverythingGoingWrong for a good long while!

  327. rq says

    *hugs* :( I hope it’s nothing serious, and nothing contagious!!! May #1 get well soon!

  328. photoreceptor says

    I cannot pretend to be too wise about the more cognitive aspects, but our brains do always look for patterns in everything, which is why we are so susceptible to visual illusions. And this does have survival value, picking out a predator lurking in the bushes where just bits of the body are visible. Maybe faith-based beliefs can have some “use” in preventing believers from wasting their time questioning the universe (which is what I was told by one such person). It is so much easier to know it is all pre-ordained. Funnily enough, since you mentioned seeing faces in cloud formations, this same particular person told me you could see Allah in the clouds… to which I replied I thought one wasn’t allowed to depict Him/Her/It, so how could she know what He (or She or It) looked like.

  329. birgerjohansson says

    No, that is a two-stage supercharger for the Rolls-Royce Merlin used in late-version Spitfires. What? Am I the only one to see the obvious?

  330. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    No, it is the head of a Carnatosaurus in profile. If you look carefully, you can even see the supraorbital horns.

  331. rq says

    Ah, shit. (No pun intended.)
    I hope it passes you and the remaining healthy members of your family right by!

  332. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Bleach is your friend.

    Been there. Done that. Boy filled the carseat. You have my sympathy.

  333. rq says

    Oy! Citizens of Europa! Copyright is Broken. Ideas are being sought. If anyone can contribute, please share your thoughts and experiences. Crowdsourcing for the win! (Also, I’m sure non-Europeans can try to weigh in, since I’m not 100% it’s for Europeans only.)

    Also, fake bands confuse hipsters, with bonus stab at racism towards the end.

  334. says

    rq @430, the fire sculptures were awesome. I’m liking Latvia more.

    As for Peter Pan’s public proposal, I too laughed when the guy playing Peter Pan asserted that his lady love had been born with an audience watching. Okay. LOL.

    rq @436, to my mind faith is not a “vital faculty” but more like a deadly wound. Few recover.

  335. says

    Ugh. My sympathies.


    I couldn’t read the entire Times article link (the one about donating) because I’m not subscribed, but I’m pretty sure a survey isn’t going to be the best comprehensive information on who actually gives more (especially if a voluntary, self-selecting survey).

    I can’t be arsed reading the article, but the survey that religious types usually quote in these situations basically shows that religious people give money to their churches, which is counted as ‘charity’, and thus they claim they give more to charity.

  336. rq says

    If we go on Saturday, I’ll try to bring back some decent photos. :)

    Aha. That would explain a lot of things.

  337. says

    Ogvorbis @450, best ever Jimmy Fallon/Bruce Springsteen duet. That was awesome. Loved the bit where Bruce offered to wrap his legs around Chris Christie to relieve Christie’s stress. References to the “working man” were good too.

  338. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    If that video can go viral, that could put a nail in Christie’s political coffin.

  339. opposablethumbs says

    Maybe faith-based beliefs can have some “use” in preventing believers from wasting their time questioning the universe

    I would have thought it was less likely to be a direct relationship like this as much as an accidental side-effect – seeing agency in everything, whether or not there is any, may be evolutionarily advantageous (as we were saying earlier, better lots of false positives and we run away from a breeze a few times, than one false negative and the leopard ate us) – and then we are primed to see agency in the universe where there is none, even now when we have a much greater scientific understanding of the cosmos/our own little speck of it.

  340. says

    I just received a mail from an instructor whom I told that I can’t come tomorrow and why
    “That’s OK, I feel with you and I hope you don’t catch it”
    He has two small kids as well…

    The day I picked up my new car #1 vomited in it.

  341. carlie says

    The day I picked up my new car #1 vomited in it.

    It’s better that way. Saves you the hassle of being worried about keeping it fresh and new. Off the table, so no worries.

    Did I ever tell you all about the time Child 2 got an enterprising bug and decided to wash both of our cars for us without asking, hoping to be paid after? And did a quite thorough job?
    And used a kitchen sponge?
    The scrubby that doesn’t scratch Teflon does, in fact, scratch car finishes.

  342. carlie says

    Oh, forgot the relevant point: this was about 2 months after I had gotten my car (used, but it was in fantastic condition)

  343. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    The day I picked up my new car #1 vomited in it.

    When Wife was pregnant with Boy, she decided she wanted a garlic dill pickle from a particular deli at the Emerald Square Mall. So we drove up there. She had her pickle. We wandered around the mall for a bit. We got back in the car. Before we left the parking lot, she told me to pull over. She opened the door and vomited. Into the map pocket.

    We traded the car in a month later.

  344. says

    Oklahoma follows Utah’s lead on marriage equality:

    A federal judge declared Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex nuptials unconstitutional Tuesday, making it the second deep-red state in less than a month to dramatically change course on marriage equality.

    “The Court holds that Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” wrote U.S. District Judge Terence Kern in his opinion. “Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed,” he continued. “It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights.”

    As Rachel explained on the show last night, “Utah is a really, really, really red state. Really red. But, you know, what’s redder than Utah? Oklahoma. And now as of tonight, these are the two most recent states to have their gay marriage bans struck down in the courts.”

    As for the ban’s proponents, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) emphasized the fact that when the issue went before voters in 2004, the ban was approved by a 3-to-1 margin. “The people of Oklahoma have spoken on this issue,” Fallin said in a statement. “I support the right of Oklahoma’s voters to govern themselves on this and other policy matters.”

    In other words, for much of the right, civil rights should be a popularity contest – whether it’s just matters less than whether it’s politically popular. A growing number of courts apparently disagree.

  345. says


    If that video can go viral, that could put a nail in Christie’s political coffin.

    I did my bit. Posted it on Facebook and Jadehawk has already picked it up.

  346. photoreceptor says

    I have to make one more comment about the person refered to in my comment on my comment (443): she was doing a PhD in biology! She believed the earth was created 6000 years ago, that we will all be judged after 150,000 years of waiting around bored (such chronological precision), when the “book of life” will drop from the skies above revealing our sinful existences (stunted, selfish etc as they are) for all to see. Our university has to be more careful on interviews.

  347. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, category: unethical business practices. Nu Skin is a mormon-owned, mormon-operated multi-level marketing scheme headquartered in Utah. The company was in the new briefly during the Mitt Romney campaign for the presidency. Nu Skin head honchos contrived to hide their enormous contributions to Romney. Now the company is in the news because Chinese officials have identified Nu Skin as the pyramid-scheme scam that it is. Nu Skin stock is dropping like a stone.

    Nu Skin (NUS) is trading lower today on the heels of what appears to be an investigative story in the People’s Daily, the communist party’s main mouthpiece, suggesting that Nu Skin’s China operations are a pyramid scheme. The piece is not on the paper’s English language site, but I’ve confirmed its legitimacy.

    Multi-level marketers are tightly regulated in China, where multi-level marketing as practiced in the U.S. is prohibited. […]

    he reporter claims to have found multiple instances of misleading advertising and marketing and business practices.

    My favorite passage:

    “Southwest University of Politics and Law Lecturer Hu Jiang believes that such acts alleged mind control, commonly known as ‘brainwashing.’ Through the implementation of brainwashing, team members will gradually change as well as the negative of the original self-awareness and social awareness, values ​​and code of conduct accepted organizers propaganda. In particular, he stressed that as a member of the loss of self-awareness and social awareness, the organizers claimed that the ‘freedom of choice’ is just an excuse to evade legal sanctions.”[…]

    The Street link.

  348. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I have an ice pack (frozen veg.) on my jaw, a heating pad (used jean pants filled with rice tied up) on my lower back and a cat that keeps pissing on my bed. Mother’s Ex keeps bothering us and mother is having to stay away, which is heart breaking to Little One. She’s a worse morning person than I am, which makes getting her to school a trial. Walking any where give neck and back pain, which is minor compared to my legs from the hips down going numb/pins and needles feeling. During the day sucks for me because I’m in pain, can’t sleep or take meds due to fear of falling asleep or missing pick up. My insurance won’t pay for a cab to go to a doctor and I’m up for renewal anyway so now I’m jumping through hoops again to prove I need some damn help.

    Bonus, found out Roomie is increasingly bitter even though he pays bills he would have to anyways and nothing more. He pays rent and the internet (both in my own name), his phone and household necessities. He doesn’t pay for my phone (it’s free, thank god) or my supplies like tampons and rarely pays for the cats (one of which his and is complaining now that I need him to start paying – resources are running scarce). He’d be paying the same amount living alone but he couldn’t get a place due to his credit history. So, why is it such a problem now? I don’t get it. I clean up, I pay for food (which he couldn’t afford on his own with his job), I take care of the cats, I cook. The only thing I don’t do is his damn laundry and cleaning his area. I don’t want to touch his stuff – boundaries and all. He slipped and made one of those jokes, you know the ones about the woman doing all the cleaning and oh, wouldn’t you like to trade places and actually work? The next day I was complaining to him about his cat peeing on my bed and cleaning the cat box more (bending over and going to the garbage hurts) to hopefully fix the problem. His reply? “I won’t do it because you will. You always do.” GREAT. That made a light bulb go off because when we were dating he complained about his mother nagging him about cleaning his room…

    Where is mom’s payback check already? Caught up in the damn system. Need the fucking money. I’m ready to move and just let Roomie find out about actually living on his damn own.

    Fuck. Everything.

  349. says

    Hugs offered, JAL. Too well grokked, your list of things. Too well. I hope something breaks right for you soon, just for a nice change.

    Of which to be speaking: the numb patch on my leg? The one that was part of my ambulancey trip to the ER/A&E? It’s shrinking. I wasn’t sure at first, but it’s definitely true. MyshkaMouse is coming up tomorrow, and I’ve asked her to bring along a Sharpie, so I can outline the current numb patch and mind it over a few days.

    Also, my doctor says my disability forms are ready, so I can come and get them, and get them sent in. This is good, yay! Much yay. I didn’t realize until yesterday, but apparently when they grant a disability claim under ODSP, they don’t just grant it going forward – they backdate the payments to when you picked up the claim package from the intake worker.

    So if I understand it right, if they grant my claim – which I feel reasonably confident they’ll do, either on the first run or the appeal if that’s not successful – if they grant it, I should also get a cheque for five or six months’ worth of benefit all at once.

    Which would mean I could get my own actual new laptop, and the updated software I’d need to make it professional-ready. And some professional help getting my apartment cleaned up properly.

    I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have a four-figure bank account. The last time I had more than $1000 in my acct at a single time would be…maybe six or seven years ago? Maybe a few times when I had more than fifty or sixty dollars more than the rent, for a few minutes, until the rent came out.

    I’m so fucking tired of being poor.

  350. says

    Can mormons who support gay marriage still get “temple recommends”? Seems like it might be up to individual bishops who approve the recommends, but the LDS church is leaning toward “follow all our rules.”

    […] many Mormons are now comfortable supporting same-sex couples in wider society.

    That’s where the issue of a “temple recommend” comes in.

    A recommend is a card given to devout Mormons attesting to a person’s “worthiness” to participate in temple rituals, including “sealings” in which couples are married for eternity.

    During recommend interviews, local church leaders ask Latter-day Saints, for instance, if they believe in God and Jesus Christ and the LDS Church as a restoration of pure Christianity. They ask whether members live Mormon principles such as paying tithing and abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee. They also inquire about the loyalty of members to LDS leaders.

    “Local church leaders interview a member who seeks a temple recommend to confirm that the member’s actions and beliefs are in harmony with church teachings,” LDS spokesman Cody Craynor said this week. […]

    The LDS church did revoke the temple recommends of some mormons who did not support the anti-gay cause during Prop 8, but they are trying to avoid bad publicity now. The church did issue an official statement about marriage being between a man and a woman after the recent ruling that struck down anti-gay marriage laws in the state. So, it looks to me like the prophet has spoken.

    “There is inconsistency worldwide in the way local leaders view members who support same-sex civil marriage,”said Thacker, president of Affirmation, an LDS gay support group, “Some local leaders, including some in Utah, see this as contrary to sustaining the prophet and apostles, which at times has resulted in threats to revoke or actual revocation of a temple recommend and in other instances the release of otherwise-worthy members from ward leadership callings.”

  351. says

    Follow up to post #475. The quote below is taken from the comments below the SL Tribune article:

    Same sex-marriage is not a political issue, it’s a doctrinal and moral issue. Either you accept the Scriptures and the Proclamation to the World, or you don’t. If you don’t believe the inspiration of the Scriptures and continuing revelation, then what are you doing in the LDS Church? The Lord doesn’t allow us to strategically pick and choose which doctrines we like and are going to accept and practice. If that’s what you’re looking for, there are about 1,999 other Christian churches you can choose from.

  352. says

    More Republicans who have such a winning strategy when it comes to women’s issues:

    State Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black, is running in the Republican primary to replace longtime GOP moderate Rep. Frank Wolf, who is retiring. […] As a state legislator, Black opposed making spousal rape a crime, citing the impossibility of convicting a husband accused of raping his wife “when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth.”

    Black has referred to emergency contraception, which does not cause abortions, as “baby pesticide.” […] He has argued that abortion is a worse evil than slavery.[…]

    Mother Jones link.

  353. says

    Antibiotics are injected into the eggs of “organic” chickens … legally.
    Mother Jones link.

    […] industrial hatcheries that churn out chicks for the poultry industry, eggs are commonly injected with tiny amounts of an antibiotic called gentamicin, which is used in people to treat a variety of serious bacterial infections. […]

    That alone dropped my jaw—what, the practice of dosing chickens with antibiotics has to begin literally in the egg? But get this: The practice is allowed in organic production, too. Organic code forbids use of antibiotics in animals, yet in a loophole I’d never heard of, such standards kick in on “the second day of life” for chicks destined for organic poultry farms. (The practice isn’t used for the eggs we actually eat—just the ones that hatch chicks to be raised on farms.) […]

  354. says

    North Carolina’s Republican legislators screw the poor in order to give goodies to the rich … again.

    The 900,000 poorest working families in North Carolina just got another tax hike from the conservatives who swept state legislature elections in 2010.

    […] taxes those families file this spring will be the last to feature the state’s tax break for the working poor. The provision, known as the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC, will also be 10 percent less generous in its final year. […]

    Many conservatives who oppose other policies to boost poor peoples’ income, such as minimum wage hikes, support the EITC as an alternative way of keeping working people out of poverty without interfering with how private businesses operate.

    But that argument didn’t carry the day among North Carolina Republicans […] That change was overshadowed by the GOP’s broader changes to the basic shape of the income tax code in the state to favor the rich and harm the rest.

    Along with the disappearance of the EITC, low-income North Carolinians will be paying higher taxes in order to pay for a tax cut for the richest people in the state. Republicans moved from a two-tiered, progressive income tax system to a flat tax rate of 5.8 percent. A person who earns a million dollars per year will get a roughly $10,000 tax cut thanks to that move, but the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution will see their taxes rise. […]

  355. says

    Unemployed people are angry at Republicans. I hope they use that anger to propel them to the voting booth.

    […] LeClair says he has sent out over 2,000 resumes and been “rejected on a daily basis.” The benefits, which he pointed out he paid into while he worked for more than 20 years, were the only thing keeping him “glued together financially.” He said he is “absolutely shocked and dismayed” with Republicans, reiterating, “I will never, so help me god, vote for a Republican again, period.” […]

    Keeping children fed and safe is on the mind of L. Moore, who said that she’s been searching for two years to find a job. She “was barely making ends meet with what little bit of benefits I was receiving,” she said. “Now that they have expired, my children and I are literally homeless.” More than 2 million children live with long-term unemployed parents. […]

  356. blf says

    I’ve never been able to find the origin story of the Mildly Deranged Penguin…

    Can someone please explain MDP to me?

    Yes, where did the mildly deranged penguin come from? Will she ever go back? And how did she become only mildly deranged?

    Ye misteries of the multyverses…

    Start with the basics. She’s a bird. A penguin, to be precise, builtin tuxedo, sharp teeth, smells of herrings, flys about the place, torments cats, and hates peas. Yup, check, usual penguin symptoms.

    She, of course, says she’s an ex-dinosaur. A direct descendant of T. rex, albeit her teeth aren’t quite up to the job of eating an coconut.

    Bird means egg. Which means a mommy penguin and a daddy penguin. The mommy penguin presumably returned from her annual tropical vacation, found a sufficiently stupid daddy penguin, and eventually laid an egg. Containing the mildly deranged one herself. The daddy then sat on it all freezing winter whilst the mommy took another tropical vacation.

    Except, we can surmise, in her case, something must of happened whilst daddy was sitting on the egg. Maybe he tried to fry it. Or perhaps scramble it. Most likely, the egg was used in a game of Real Penguin Rugby. Presumably as the ball, possibly as a bludgeon.

    Real Penguin Rugby is Real Rugby played with penguins. Sometimes as players, sometimes as the ball, and sometimes as clubs (the kind you hit other players with, not the kind that plays rugby). In Real Rugby, bladed weapons have not been outlawed, nor has bludgeons, clubs with nails, or steamrollers. If it doesn’t explode (except by “accident”) and isn’t a projectile (ball excluded), it’s legal. Games continue until only one team has players still standing, at which point the team that scored the most goals (or successfully kidnapped the referee) wins.

    After the Real Penguin Rugby tournament, the daddy penguin would probably have feeling a bit sore. So would the egg. And the penguin inside the egg would have been knocked about a bit. Well, a lot

    Eventually the day came when it was time to escape the egg. She’d probably eaten all the cheese inside. Or found a pea.

    Her method of escape is unclear. She’s never really spoken about it, albeit I do understand Uranus’s axis of rotation tilted at about the time. Or maybe one of the supercontinents broke up. She’s a bit imprecise on date…

    She does speak of watching the baby T. rex‘s frolicking in the meadows near the cheese plantations when she was growing up. Apparently they liked to throw coconuts and peas at her. She eventually learned to return their property using a trebuchet, sometimes with the T. rex still attached.

    Her whereabouts and whatnots are mostly known only in occasional glimpses. Such as the time she sank Atlantis. She insists, however, she’s not responsible for all the times Atlantis sank.

    She first showed up in my lair when some cat was trying to taste some of my cheese. There was suddenly a loud BOOOOM!, a penguin-shaped hole in the what, a whirlwind of flying feathers and yowling cat, and a tuxedo-wearing ex-dinosaur sitting on my head finishing off my cheeseboard. And my cheeses.

    I have no idea what happened to the cat.

    It’s never been completely clear why she hasn’t left. Well, Ok, this is France, land of more cheese than days, lakes of vin, and strange smells (herring fits right in).

    And I still haven’t the faintest idea where she is at the moment.

  357. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    I only see one problem with your description of the MDP’s origin: how the hell did juvenile T. rex‘s manage to throw anything? Their arms, while as long as a human arm, could not possibly have created a throwing motion, much less a knuckleball.

    Other than that, old bean, good shew.

  358. blf says

    …a penguin-shaped hole in the wall

    And T. rex throwing things? Grab it in the teeth and then drop it and kick it; or toss it up and bat it with the tail; or just fling it using those powerful muscles. Or just blow read hard, so it flies out of the mouth like a dart from a blowgun.

    For coconuts, grab the tree top in the mouth, pull it down to the surface bending the trunk into an inverted U-shape, and let go… and off flies the coconuts. I suppose that may be how the mildly deranged one learned of catapults and trebuchets.

    Peas are tricker. They fight back. I think horses may have been involved.

  359. says

    Well, peas are at least nominally nutrition, so I’m going to throw in some pheromones and say that’s how it happened. And if you ask me what that means, you can answer yourself:

    Through nutrient-originated alpha-wave tectonic adsorption of time-invariant unmutated pheromone-regulated epigenetic exegesis, substantiated through transrectal exemplification of experimental data with the goal of confounding you theoretical penguinologists, that’s how. And if you don’t understand that, it just proves I’m Galileo, QEP.

  360. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    And T. rex throwing things? Grab it in the teeth and then drop it and kick it; or toss it up and bat it with the tail; or just fling it using those powerful muscles. Or just blow read hard, so it flies out of the mouth like a dart from a blowgun.

    For coconuts, grab the tree top in the mouth, pull it down to the surface bending the trunk into an inverted U-shape, and let go… and off flies the coconuts. I suppose that may be how the mildly deranged one learned of catapults and trebuchets.

    But none of those are throwing. They are drop-kicking it, batting it, blowing it, catapulting it. You wrote throwing.

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

    @blf, 483/485:

    Phew! That explains that.

    I shall never again find anything about the MDP confusing, thank FSM.

  362. blf says

    I think yer word-salad dressing is a bit off
    Also, you forget “quantum”. And “toxins”. And those nasty “mutations”.

  363. says

    True, that I am not fully fluent in Cabbage. I cannot deny it. Nevertheless, that is my answer, and if you don’t understand it, it’s your ignorance at fault! You and all the mainstream titans of penguinology! You’ll learn, when my theory (which is mine, and which I own) overturns everything you ever learned!

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

    I did not know that CaitieCat was actually your last name and that your given name was Ann.

    Or should I not have revealed that on the public interwebz?

  365. says

    No, I will be famous soon anyway when the whole world of penguinology is overturned by my radical new understanding, which will discard and make irrelevant all the previous understandings and comprehensions, and possibly also the getting-its and now-I-sees too (though more research in this area is needed, see my citations of myself 1 through 97).

    So you may reveal my name, which will soon be more Galileoish than that dead Italian guy, I assure you of my uncrankish scientasticness (see second half of bibliographology, where I cite the rest of my 143 papers on nutritive pheromonological penguigenetics close-bracket no i mean the symbol oh fcuk i hate this peach reignition badger oh just fcuking post it will you-

  366. blf says

    i hate this peach reignition badger oh just fcuking post it will you

    Proof! Proof!!!!1! Proof that T. rex can bowl a nasty googly. Especially when you consider the added nutrients and phonemes.

  367. blf says

    I shall never again find anything about the MDP confusing

    Are there bright flashing cheeses? Peas in your head? Do you frequently suffer from these cabbage spells, or only when there are horses around?

  368. cicely says

    *hugs* and encouragement for Beatrice

    *hugs* for Dalillama, also.
    Wish I could help.

    Extra *hugs*-and-sympathy ration for Giliell. Puking and diarrhea…the Classic Combo.

    Seeing God in the clouds.

    *hugs* for JAL, as well.

    I’m so fucking tired of being poor.

    Right there with ya, CaitieCat.

    Well, peas are at least nominally nutrition

    Peas cannot be nutrition, as they are not food.
    They are frequently ammunition, occasionally decoration, and always anathema.
    They were invented by The Horses to be a Plaque Upon Our Houses.

    “If you don’t believe the inspiration of the Scriptures and continuing revelation, then what are you doing in the LDS Church? “

    Why, indeed!

    “If that’s what you’re looking for, there are about 1,999 other Christian churches you can choose from.”

    Or even…(duhn duhn duhn!)…no church at al!l

  369. blf says

    Via Bad Translator:

    Original text:

    Through nutrient-originated alpha-wave tectonic adsorption of time-invariant unmutated pheromone-regulated epigenetic exegesis, substantiated through transrectal exemplification of experimental data with the goal of confounding you theoretical penguinologists, that’s how. And if you don’t understand that, it just proves I’m Galileo, QEP.

    …8 translations later, Bing gives us:

    Adsorption of alpha waves, the tectonic origin of the same lymfoproliferativní rectal pheromones food regulatory interpretation of experimental data, test epigenetics confusing theory with a view to penguinologists here’s how. If you still don’t understand, just to prove that I’m Galileo, QEP.

    I haven’t tried it with any original cabbaggeese.

  370. says

    Umm, this might be a bit weird, but do any of you have Avicenna’s email? I couldn’t find it in his blog page.

    I have just a simple complaint to make: my eyesight isn’t really that bad, but his choice of serifless font and formatting centre makes it really hard to read.

  371. chigau (違う) says

    Weed Monkey #497
    Click on Avicenna’s gravatar then click view profile.
    There’s an email address there.

  372. says

    re: leg numbness. I was experiencing that on the front of my left leg above the knee — even spoke to the doctor about it (in passing, when in for other things) with no real resolution. The next week I realized that whenever I was sitting on the porcelain throne the cat would come in and demand to be petted. This cat, after the first stoke or two, throws herself on her side a little further out of reach. So I would bend further over, resting my elbow or forearm across my leg right above the knee … thus the pinched nerve or whatever.

    I can only hope your issue has a similarly sensible solution.