1. rq says

    From the article:

    The traditional binary foundation of 1s and 0s is deeply problematic: 1 is inherently phallic and thus misogynistic. Also, some 1s are 0s, and some 0s are 1s. It is not fair to give them immutable labels. Instead, we have 0s and Os as our fundamental binary logic gates. They symbolise/-ize the varying, natural, and beautiful differences of the female vaginal opening.

    0 is to take the conventional value of 0.

    O is 50% of the time 0, and 50% of the time 1. The determination of this depends on how the underlying logic feels at the moment.


    Curly brackets are not allowed, as they perpetuate our society’s stereotype of the ‘curly’ women. Instead, Python-esque indentation is used.
    Indentation is fluid. Both spaces and tabs are allowed. At no point should the programmer attempt to use indentation to create actual hierarchy in code nesting, as that implies hierarchy in the code. Instead, code indentation is used only for aesthetic purposes.
    In order to eliminate curly brackets and enforce fluidity of indentation, implementation of php’s alternative syntax for control structures is encouraged.
    To turn the patriarchal control structures into liberation statements, every structure starting marker ({ or : ) should be replaced by OPENDIALOGUE, and every terminator (like endif, endforeach and endswitch) should be replaced with ENDMISOGYNY.


    There can be no bugs in this language. To suggest otherwise is offensive.
    There are no bugs, only snowflakes.
    The word debugging also implies the phrase bug chasing, which is a strawman often used as a homophobic smear tactic. This is highly problematic.
    There is to be no debugging. We need to do away with functional-centric, bugphobic attitudes in programming. You need to accept the program the way it is.
    If you ever try to debug a C+= program, the program steps you through the programming, makes you guess what each variable and pointer is currently set to, and throws a Trigger Warning if you get it wrong.
    Any actual errors will simply result in ‘error’ being printed. It is not the program’s job to educate you.

    So yeah…

  2. rowanvt says

    I love my paternal grandmother. I really do. She’s tiny, and she’s fierce, and she loves her family. And she *has* mellowed a lot as she has aged and the last time I had lunch with her she actually managed to refrain from any comments about my weight.

    But I still do NOT want to have lunch with her today because she’ll find *some* thing to guilt trip me about. My brother avoids her for the same reason. :/

    I have so many things I’d rather be doing: buying the wood for the hatchling rack for my baby snakes, potting my little pomegranate tree, finding the right soil to plant my rose seeds, feeding the snakes, making cheesecake, maybe seeing The Hobbit again or even just reading.

  3. says

    Thanks, everybody, for the kind thoughts. I think I’ve overdone today, but I’ve got the Elder Daughter to help with the rest of the laundry, and there really isn’t anything else urgent. So, nap after lunch, and she’s making dinner.

    Beatrice, CONGRATULATIONS! *throws sparkly confetti* You do so deserve it, so there!

    Portia, that is scary. I hope it’s all bluster, and that if the guy does blow up, it’ll be in court in front of everybody.

  4. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Good afternoon, Gobi. Also, *hugs*

    Portia – *pouncehug and chocolate* Please take care and be safe.

    Giliell – *pouncehug* I’m very happy to hear that #1 is impressing her teachers with her writing.

    rowanvt – Enjoy your time off between jobs. In my experience it is very nice to have a break between jobs. It allows you to depressurize and start the new job in better frame of mind.

    cicely – *pouncehug with totally gluten-free chocolate*

    Maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle is very difficult. Like you, bread is one of the hardest things I have had to give up. On the other hand, while I do not have celiac, my intolerance for gluten manifests in impairment of thinking. When my doctor asked me to try a gluten-free diet (because wheat/gluten alleries can cause fibromyalgia-like pain in some people), I didn’t precisely want it not to help, but I didn’t want to have to cope with a gluten-free existence either. About ten days into the gluten-free diet, however, I suddenly felt as if I had woken up for the first time in years. I could actually think more clearly than I had in longer than I really could remember. Given the choice between living in that wretched fog and giving up gluten, there really was no choice to be made. I much prefer thinking. :D

    Mellow Monkey – *hugs and chocolate, provided the latter doesn’t trigger migraines for you* I hope your migraines soon go away.

    I also have cycling migraines and have been fighting to end a cycle the past few weeks. I have about four or five days on, a day or two off, and then it starts again. Today is better, so I’m hopeful maybe this time it is over.

    opposablethumbs – *pouncehug* And I’ll gladly take a hug from the huge pile you left in the last thread.

    Tony – I’m glad you won’t be on the roads for the next couple of days. Keep safe and warm. *hugs*

    ajb47 – Welcome to the Lounge. Would you like some chocolate?

    rq – *pouncehug* I’m sorry you can’t attend the Latvian women in WWII event. I would have loved to hear all about it.

    Anne D – I wish you a very speedy recovery. *gentle hugs*

    Beatrice – Congratulations! *hugs, confetti, and chocolate*

  5. rq says

    Yeah, I muddled through to the end, and there was a link about how women understand cyclic time better than linear time (and not in that haha, look at this funny stuff! kind of way). Ah well. Sorry for posting that shit up here.

    Hekuni Cat
    On the plus side, Friend said the event will be recorded, so I’ll watch the video once it’s up and provide a review. :)

  6. says

    Exploding cow farts:

    Flatulence from 90 cows in a German barn sparked a methane gas explosion that damaged the building and left one cow slightly injured with burns, police said Tuesday.

    “In the barn for 90 dairy cows, methane built up for unknown reasons and was probably ignited by a static discharge, exploding in a darting flame,” said local police in the central town of Rasdorf in Hesse state.

    “Parts of the roof cover were slightly damaged and a cow suffered minor burns,” said police, adding that a fire crew rushed to the scene of Monday’s accident and a gas field crew later measured methane levels.

  7. dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner) says

    Good afternoon/ morning/whatever time of day it is.

    Welcome to ajb47.

    Congratulations to Beatrice.

    rq, I’m pretty sure it’s a bad parody. I’m also curious as to how this would be implemented.


    I’ve just been in contact with someone who I haven’t seen for a few years, and he seems to have gone downhill very quickly. He’s apparently been smoking marijuana quite heavily for the last few years, and it looks to me like his ability to communicate clearly has suffered. He’s also become quite paranoid. It was quite a distressing experience.

  8. says

    I commented in previous Lounge threads about Republicans seeding the audience for President Obama’s State of the Union Address with far-right, whackitude-rich “guests.”

    Now we find out the Duck Dynasty will be represented:

    In case you weren’t excited enough already about Tuesday’s State of the Union, Louisiana Republican Congressman Vance McAllister has announced his guest, and it’s a real game-changer: Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame.

  9. says

    Bad news from India:

    India’s Supreme Court has refused to review a month-old ruling that banned gay sex in the world’s largest democracy, standing firm on a decision that outraged the ruling party and human rights activists around the world.

    The government and seven human rights groups had filed petitions asking the court to review its decision, in the hope it would be overturned.

    “The Supreme Court has turned a cold shoulder to these groups and their suffering,” said Arvind Narrain, one of the lawyers who brought the rights’ groups petitions.

    “The court had an opportunity to correct itself today. This is a court that is meant to be for all human beings.”

    On December 11, the Supreme Court reinstated a colonial-era ban on gay sex, following a four-year period of decriminalization that had helped bring homosexuality out into the open in the socially conservative country.[…]

    So a British-imposed ban on sodomy stands, for now at least.

  10. cicely says

    Trying to catch up….

    rq, I’m not sure how much vitamin C I intake—but I’m going to be paying close attention to it, for a bit.
    We’ll see.

    Portia, I will gladly accept your *hug*, and give you one back.
    Irrational anxiety is irrational, just like it says on the label.
    *additional hug*
    Oh, noes.
    I hope that you’ll be safe from Opposing Party.
    Possibly not someone who is a desirable choice for custody of a child, hmm?

    Pteryxx, it’s tracking my diet and symptoms that lead me to my unwelcome conclusion; the suspiciously-regular 5-days-a-week nature of the wracking pain lead me to conclude that the culprit lay somewhere in my work-day feeding habits, which are boringly similar, day in and day out. Cautious experimentation shows that I can (for unknown reasons) eat about 4 slices of pizza (but only from this one particular pizza place) but not yeast breads, and not Ordinary Mortal Biscuits, and that I am sometimes mugged by the breading on sweet and sour (but sometimes not).
    My guts are an enigma, wrapped in nuisance, and basted in sorrow.
    Woe and alack.
    So, it’s inadequate and unsatisfying not-entirely-un-bread-like substances for me.

    dongiovanni, I *snortled* at the hymn.
    I’m tempted to post it to my Facebook, for the amusement of my athy friends and the dismay of my religious ones.

    Tony!, some of the fey are nasty customers, so I would not be surprised if human blood remained on the menu.

    opposablethumbs, thank you for the USB *hug*.
    Yeah. There was this loaf of Italian bread just the other day…the smell….
    I actually wept a little.

    Beatrice: Hurrah for Permanent Position!

    *deep breath*
    And onward! to the New Thread!

  11. cicely says

    *pouncehugback* for Hekuni Cat.
    *nomming chocolate*
    My mind seems to be working (to the extent that it does, subject to such routine hazards as Mondays and mornings and too-coldness and under-sleptness) pretty much as per usual, so no unexpected Beneficial Side Effect, there.

  12. says

    24 Republicans just voted to deny the reality of climate change:

    The House Energy and Commerce Committee Tuesday voted down an amendment that would have stated conclusively that climate change is occurring.

    E&C Committee members voted 24-20 against the amendment, introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act. That bill, if it makes it through Congress, would put an end to EPA regulations on emissions for new power plants until technologies like carbon capture and storage are commercially viable in at least six states for one year. It passed in Tuesday’s committee, but the amendment, which would have placed on the record that the committee accepts that climate change is happening, did not.

    Twenty-four E&C members — all Republicans — voted against the amendment. Among them was E&C Chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who has said before that he doesn’t think climate change is caused by human activity, and Joe Barton (R-TX), who also questions humans’ role in climate change. In total, the Republicans who voted to deny climate change have accepted about $9.3 million in career contributions from the oil, gas and coal industries, according to analysis by the CAP Action War Room.[…]

    Money was involved.

  13. says

    Anti-abortion forces in Louisiana are still trying to get their way. Reason prevailed in shutting down their recent attempt to legislate a 30-day waiting period before a woman could get an abortion, so now they are trying a different tactic. The kind of regulations they are proposing have been called “trap laws.”

    The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) is currently in process of finalizing new regulations on abortion clinics. The complicated rules, which are more than 20 pages long, could end up closing all five of Louisiana’s abortion clinics — effectively banning the procedure in the state. […]

  14. rq says

    Does your friend situation require hugs? I have some available, if so.
    Otherwise, I invite you to join me at the bar and have Tony provide you with a drink-of-choice.


    Why do the words ‘poker night’ send me into such a similar-to-panic state of mind?

  15. says

    So, layoffs at work. Mostly from closed stores and regional/district reorganization, but some are hitting the stores that are remaining open, including my store, and even my department. Not something to worry about on the larger scale, sometimes companies in strong positions need to do some reorganization to keep going strong. Still, a little worrying when it comes to the details, IE, someone like me with only two more recent hires to go before the sights settle on me.

    But a lucky alignment of career plans people already had leading outside the company or to other positions within the company, not a single person in my department is involuntarily losing their job. This would leave us with fewer people, except apparently we have enough open positions at this point that one remains after the voluntary departures, so we can take someone displaced from their current department. When it’s all settled, we’ll only be down one person, which is manageable.

    And, the coworker leaving the company, I’m in the running for that job. More, and more reliable, hours compared to my current position. More responsibility too(I’ll be in charge of all the price signs- and there are a couple thousand of those), but I can get it done. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one in the running, but I’ve at least got a chance and I trust that management won’t play stupid games and award it on political grounds.

  16. dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner) says

    Alcohol would help.

    I don’t know… I think that the guy probably needs some kind of support, as I’m worried about how this is going, but he’s still functional and I don’t know him that well, so I’m not really sure what the appropriate reaction is here :(.

  17. rq says

    Good luck, gworroll! Some thumbs will be held on your behalf!

    Maybe just have resources (phone numbers, etc.) ready in case he decides he needs help? Other than that, I doubt there’s much you can actually do…

  18. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    So, bananas – just look at them! No, wait, this isn’t BoingBoing. But actually, bananas. There are more than a few botanists that hang around here, so maybe somebody can tell me what would make for several batches of recent banana purchases including one or more with a notably woody stem up the centre? It’s as gross as it sounds; you don’t expect to slice a banana and meet serious resistance in the middle. Blech.

    Just curios if this is a widely known thing and what the cause might be?

  19. says

    Thanks. Unfortunately, in the short term, district isn’t happy with how many hours my manager has been putting on the schedule, so I’m taking a hit right now.

    But at least I have a job I like, with coworkers that, in the worst case, I don’t dislike(and most are well above that), and management whose competence and integrity I can trust. I could definitely use more hours so I could qualify for benefits(at least I got decent health insurance through the exchange) and get more money, but at least I have something.

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

    best of luck with the job situation, gworroll

  21. says

    Some Republican candidates may feel free to run fact-free campaigns because they are not really running for office, they are just building a database of gullible marks on whom they will run scams. They are running a long con on a huge base of conservatives.

    […] Those on [Herman] Cain’s mailing list recently received an alert with an all-caps subject line about a “breakthrough remedy” for erectile dysfunction. It was, of course, an ad — and a rather clumsy one at that. Cain supporters were told they were at risk of losing their loved one unless they got their “manhood mojo back.”

    For many of us, it would appear as if Herman Cain has begun spamming Americans who supported his presidential campaign. But as Ben Adler reports in a fascinating piece, Cain and other Republicans believe they’ve come up with a lucrative business plan.

    While [Caim] has been particularly unabashed in his embrace of the practice, he is not the only past presidential candidate hawking sketchy products. Newt Gingrich now pings the e-mail subscribers to his Gingrich Productions with messages from an investment firm formed by a conspiracy theorist successfully sued for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mike Huckabee uses his own production company’s list to blast out links to heart-disease fixes and can’t-miss annuities.

    The joke about Cain and Gingrich during the 2012 campaign was that they weren’t at all serious about their pursuits of the presidency but instead just lining up future paydays. After Huckabee, who’d parlayed a strong showing in 2008 into publishing deals and his own Fox News show, declined to run again, some wags snickered that his new livelihood must have been too hard to give up. Now all three seem to be proving the cynics right…. Collectively, Cain, Gingrich, and Huckabee are pioneering a new, more direct method for post-campaign buckraking. All it requires is some digitally savvy accomplices — and a total immunity to shame.[…]

    Last summer, for example, as conservatives prepared for their government shutdown, Brian Walsh, a former spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said, “[T]his is about political cash, not political principle.” Far-right groups were getting the base riled up, collecting contributions and email addresses, and weren’t especially concerned with the policy outcome.

  22. says

    Tentacles crossed that you get the promotion.


    a woody stem in a banana? That sounds bizarre. I suddenly have an image of a corndog marrying a banana and making babies…which as I think about it even more is kinda funny…

  23. says

    I recently saw an ad for Mormon themed gay porn. Didn’t click the ad, but I have to admit being curious if anything made the porn specifically mormon.
    Now I wonder about other kinds of porn…christianity can be said to already be its own porn, but Muslim or Quaker porn? Ooooh, Scientology porn.

  24. says

    Oh, dear, oh dear. [clutch pearls everyone] Right-wing whackadoodles did not like the Grammys one bit.

    Anti-gay activists including Rush Limbaugh, Fox News’ Todd Starnes, and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and Tim Wildmon have been having a field day this week attacking the Grammy Awards for hosting a performance involving a mass marriage that included same-sex couples. Today, the Illinois Family Association, the state affiliate of the AFA, joined the fray, sending out an email attacking the awards show for contributing to the “destruction of marriage.”

    IFI’s “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins writes that the Grammys were “a tragic freak show” and “a gawdy[sic] spitball hurled in the all-seeing eye of a holy God.”

    The wedding ceremony, Higgins writes, was “a sorry, sick, non-serious ceremony that looked like something from the garish dystopian world of the Hunger Games” and “a non-wedding festooned with all the indulgent gimcrackery [sic] of Satan’s most alluring playground: Hollywood.” She particularly attacks “homosexual faux-pastorette” Queen Latifah and “the Dorian Gray-esque” Madonna for taking part in the proceedings. […]

    Well, there were some interesting adjectives and metaphors in that rant.

  25. says

    Follow up to comment #32, whackadoodles not much liking Beyoncé and Jay-Z either:

    […] The spectacle was bookended by a soft-core porn performance by the not-single lady Beyoncé who twerked and jerked her half-revealed derriere in a series of “dance” moves that simulated sex and stimulated sexual appetite, while the crowd cheered in puerile excitement.

    Beyoncé was later joined by her husband Jay-Z who seems to revel in the lustings of strangers for his wife. What kind of man gets pleasure from his wife’s flaunting of her sexuality and from the certain knowledge that men desire to do things to his wife because of her arousing dress and actions? Is it money that motivates his eager embrace of his wife’s immodesty, or pride that he has access to her body when all other leering men do not? If it’s money, how is he different from a pimp? […]

  26. says

    A woody banana doesn’t sound right. I’d take them back and complain.

    I missed the grammys, was out at a going away dinner for the coworker whose job I’m currently after. Lack of planning lead to choosing a place that was closed on Sunday(almost unheard of back in CT, depressingly common in Springfield, MO) and me with only facebook contact with one of the people going. Thankfully that was enough to get things sorted out. But I did like that they did the marriage ceremony- things like that will help get people to realize that love is love end of story. A tremendous amount of progress has been made on LGBT rights, but we need so much more, and this should help push things forward.

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

    Ooooh, Scientology porn

    “oh yeah, throw money at me baby”.

  28. kieran says

    Bring back your Banana’s. Basically the desert Banana is triploid sterile hybrid, usually propagated vegetatively. Any ones found to produce a banana with seeds are destroyed since they are not of commercial benefit.

    There is also a chance you got bananas that you’d have to cook mostly known as plantains.

    On another topic completely the Philomena Lee foundation have a petition to ask the catholic church to help mothers find out about their children which they were forced to give for adoption. It can be found here

  29. says

    I’m guessing the Mormon aspect of the porn involves magic underwear, and the participants beginning the shoot dressed like missionaries. There’s probably also dialogue and setups that indicate the mormonness. There’s Catholic porn with the participants dressed as nuns and/or priests and so forth. I’ve also heard of Amish porn.

  30. says

    “The cost to adopt the Caucasian child was approximately $35,000, plus some legal expenses. “Versus when we got the first phone call about a little girl, a full African-American girl, it was about $18,000,” Lantz says. The cost for adoption of a biracial child was between $24,000 and $26,000.

    It is twice as expensive to adopt white children as than black children???
    Yeah, the GOP was definitely right…racism is over.
    Pardon me, fatal eyeroll coming on.

  31. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …why the fuck does adoption cost so much in the first place?

  32. says

    Tony, I’m not sure that leaping to the conclusion racism may have been involved was a) unwarranted, or b) harmful. Far too often, people spend enormous amounts of energy trying to deny that something is racism when it patently is; defaulting to the most-likely explanation is a sound strategy, and given that this strategy is one which is fought with all its might by white supremacy, I would argue that to start from a position that it’s likely racism is, in fact, the most rational position to take.

    There’s also the fact that, even though there are, per Kate, good reasons for this, it still adds to the constant flood of messages that on their surface – and how many white peope will go deeper to find out they’re wrong? – on their surface, devalue Black bodies.

  33. says

    That makes sense. Thank you for the perspective :)


    Sorry to hear that :(


    I know, right? Isn’t the goal “get as many children into loving homes as possible”? I can accept that there are costs involved, but surely there’s a way to decrease those costs so that people can more easily adopt.

  34. Desert Son, OM says

    Hello, vast, impressive minds and compassionate consciences of Pharyngula,

    This is probably going to be long, and rambling, and I apologize ahead of time for incoherencies or poorly linked thoughts.

    I just got off the phone with my sister about an hour ago. Today is her birthday. I called to wish her happy birthday this morning, and when she called me back this evening she told me her cat of 8 years is in renal failure and she has an appointment at the vet tomorrow for euthanasia.

    My sister is terribly, understandably distraught. The last year-and-a-half have had multiple emotional and psychological traumas, too numerous to list in full, but including the dissolution of her engagement, loss of a job, two moves, and increasing health problems. Now she has found out her cat, which is all she feels she has left, is dying and she has to take her to the vet tomorrow to say goodbye.

    During our telephone conversation my sister expressed suicidal ideation. As the conversation progressed she got to talking about all the shit she has been going through, and got angry. I supported her throughout the conversation, including when she got angry. One of the things I have learned at Pharyngula is that anger can be productive, and my sister has a great deal to be angry about (a neglectful biological mother, a long series of abusive and alcoholic romantic relationships, etc.). My father has always been somewhat “regulatory” when it comes to expressing and grappling with certain emotions, and has often admonished my sister, myself, and my brothers not to express or emote anger because he’s convinced it doesn’t do any good and is unseemly.

    So, though I love my dad, fuck that, I think he’s wrong, and in solidarity with my sister, I supported her in her anger. As she spoke more about the things crushing her, the talk moved away from suicidal content. I tried to be empathic throughout the conversation. I offered to drive up to be with her tomorrow during the procedure at the vet and afterward.

    My sister lives 3 hours away, and I will have to return tomorrow evening, but she’s all alone right now and I asked her if she would want me to drive up and be with her during this time. She said she didn’t want me to spend the money (I am in graduate school in the U.S. and the livin’ ain’t exactly champagne and caviar). I told her it was my birthday gift to her. She was so grateful, and I was relieved that the conversation had moved away from talk about suicide.

    So I called my dissertation adviser and cancelled our weekly meeting tomorrow and am getting ready to get on the road in the morning. After I got off the phone with my sister, I called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to talk to someone about other possible resources and recourses that I might think about and that I can also point my sister toward. In addition to the things she is struggling with, my sister has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and because she only has a part-time job at present, she does not have any health insurance (thanks, Republican socio-economic policy of the last 30+ years!). I was hoping to find some links or numbers for free resources for counseling that she might be able to take advantage of.

    Therapy has been very helpful for me in my psychological struggles, and I am fortunate that I have access through my university, but am unfamiliar with what else may be available for someone in my sister’s situation. In addition to the NSPL number, I also got the number of the National Alliance on Mental Illness that I will take to her (they were closed when I called) that may be able to point her to resource in my sister’s area that may be available. The person that I spoke to at the NSPL was very helpful and gave me some good information (things to look out for, behaviors, etc. that might indicate need for immediate evaluation at a hospital).

    But now I’m alone at home and can’t call my best friend for emotional support because he’s two hours behind and still at work, and I am not going to call my parents (my mom is my sister’s step-mom. I dislike the term “half-sibling.” She’s not “half” anything. She’s my sister) because while they love us very much, I would really rather not drink a shot of “We need to pray to god for guidance at this time” followed by a “Your sister needs to stop mourning the break up of her fiancé and needs to quit smoking” chaser. I told my sister on the phone that if she wants, I’ll buy her a pack of smokes if that’s what this week needs.

    So, I thought of the amazing, supportive, and educational community that Pharyngula has been to me so many times in the past on a variety of things and I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions for resources or telephone numbers or websites that I can point my sister toward. She lives in the Dallas area, if regional specificity is an issue, and as I mentioned, sadly at present does not have health insurance and has very little money.

    I get on the road tomorrow at 0800 CST, so won’t be able to check back much except this evening, but I can always call her later and follow up with suggestions.

    Regardless, I hope this finds you all well, and I send supportive gestures to those so desiring and needing them. I am very grateful in advance for any help, ideas, or encouragement anyone may have, and just generally grateful that I found Pharyngula six years ago.

    Every time I visit here it is as profound, moving, and important an education as any I have ever had, and I have PZ and the commentariat here to thank for that. If today at all any one of you has felt the world has been grim, I hope at least that you hear from me that I am very grateful for your contributions, insights, perspectives, humor, instruction, creativity, passion, knowledge, and narratives in this space. I remain,

    Still learning,


  35. says

    Desert Son
    *hugs* and sympathies, to your sister as well. I have little advice beyond what you’ve already done, but it wouldn’t hurt to do some Googling on sliding scale/low-cost mental healthcare in her town.

    I’ll probably be around much of the evening, as I’m mostly tied to the computer by my programming homework; I’m having a hell of a time figuring out how to achieve what I need.

  36. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Desert Son, it sounds like you’ve done a lot of good, helpful stuff. Being empathetic and letting her express her feelings and being for her are among the most helpful, I think. Thank you for making the world a slightly more loving place.

    Today is the eighth day in a row I’ve had a migraine. I’m so overwhelmed from this by now I feel as though I’ll crumble if I move too quickly. Earlier I just laid flat on my back on the floor of the living for half an hour staring at the ceiling because it had taken all of the energy and willpower I had left to get that far.

  37. Desert Son, OM says

    Dalillama at #48 and Dhorvath at #49:

    Thank you both. Dalillama, that’s a great suggestion about low/sliding-scale costs, and I am doing some searching now on your recommendation. Thank you very much, that’s a fantastic idea! I also just placed another call to a service that’s local to me, and they recommended a couple of crisis lines in my sister’s area, as well as (and I thought this was brilliant) a pet grieving support group, which can sometimes help a person not only deal with their situation specific grief but can also provide a similar-experience community connection to others or may help spur the move to seek additional counseling.

    So, again, my thanks to you both for your help, encouragement, shoulder, and hugs. Dalillama, I think of you occasionally when I encounter conversations about job hunting, and how the desire to feed and house oneself is as good a job interview reason as any (if not better than many). Some things you have expressed in past threads resonate when I talk to my sister about her circumstances in work. I wish I had a job I could offer you, and can only apologize that such sentiment is poorest comfort at best. In the meantime, I hope your own work and searches for work steadily improve and look forward to hearing good news on your behalf.

    Thanks again.

    Still learning,


  38. Pteryxx says

    Desert Son: sounds like you’re doing a great job of searching on your own, especially with finding the pet grieving support group.

    At any rate, I’m in the Dallas area and Parkland is the go-to for mental health (and public health in general) recommended in all my volunteer communities so far.

    More resources, from the Artists’ Health Resource Center:

    I have mental health needs and I don’t have insurance. What should I do?

    If you are in crisis and uncertain how to proceed, the Tarrant County 24-Hour Crisis Line at 817.335.3022 and the Crisis Center of North Texas at 214.828.1000 are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for confidential phone intervention, information and referral to local resources.

    The Mental Health Association of Tarrant County has an online database of mental health resources, organizations and support groups for both Tarrant and Dallas counties.

    Community Council of Greater Dallas provides a comprehensive online listing of community resources, including mental health counseling, throughout the Dallas area.
    For a selected list of mental health clinics, see below.


    Dallas/Fort Worth – Selected Mental Health Clinics

    Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, 2701 Burchill Rd., Ft. Worth | 817.534.0814
    Child & Family Guidance Center, 8915 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas | 214.351.3490
    Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, 5402 Arapaho Dr., Dallas | 972.437.9950
    Women’s Center of Tarrant County, 1723 Hemphill St., Ft. Worth | 817.927.4040

  39. says

    A massive set of avalanches has closed the Richardson Highway at Thompson Pass. Richardson Highway is the only road into Valdez, Alaska. Warm, wet weather caused snow slides up to 40 feet deep and up to 1,500 feet long. To make matters worse, the avalanches have created a dam behind which an icy lake has formed. Snow removal crew can’t remove the snow without subjecting themselves to a flash flood of icy water.

    Watch the video, it’s impressive. Toward the end of the video you can see, on the left, the old railroad tunnel through which some of the icy lake water is draining, a saving grace. Look upslope on the right side to see the historic Valdez wagon road and mule trail.

    Valdez is about 30 miles from this disaster, and it is also across the bay from where the flash flood, if it breaks through, would empty into the bay. Valdez will probably be okay. Other small settlements might not fare so well.

  40. says

    Well this is lovely. The power is out in the middle of a seriously cold (for Pensacola) winter. I know i can stay warm, but with temperatures in the low 20s, I hope no one is exposed to this weather long.

    I may have to go to sleep at 8 pm bc theres nothing to do.

  41. Desert Son, OM says

    The Mellow Monkey at #50:

    Thank you, and commiserations on your migraines. I had one two weeks ago that felled me for 11 hours. The agony of eight days in a row staggers me even to consider.

    Pteryxx at #52:

    Parkland, of course! I should have remembered, thank you for reminding me, and thank you so much for posting all that excellent information. I will definitely take that along. Many, many thanks!

    Still learning,


  42. says

    Desert Son:
    i think it is wonderful how supportive you are for your sister. No guilttrips . No appeals to imaginary deities for explanations. No denial of any of the many emotions she is dealing with.
    Just empathy and compassion.

  43. says

    Ugh. Hopefully you get a respite soon. I can’t even imagine.

    It’s a Simpsons reference. Abe (Grandpa) Simpson is prone to going on long rambles about his past, one of the most famous of which mentions “So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time”. Onions on belts has become an internet meme used self-deprecatingly to indicate that the speaker is old and/or crotchety for having personal recollections of such a thing.

    This assignment is entirely kicking my ass; I haven’t the first idea what methods to use to accomplish the required goals.

  44. Pteryxx says

    Dalillama: *sympathies*

    I know nothing about it, but maybe you could try the Pharyngula IRC chat? The regulars there run heavily to the tech-informed.

  45. cicely says

    Scientology porn?
    “I have your e-meter right here, baby…’e’ for ecstasy!

    *hugs* for WMDKitty.
    Farts are, indeed, untrustworthy by nature.

    Oh no, Desert Son!
    *hugs* in sufficient supply for you to re-package some of them and give them to your sister.
    It sounds to me as if you are doing everything right.

    *gentle, soothing hugs* for The Mellow Monkey.

  46. Pteryxx says

    Dalillama – there’s a Mibbit (browser-based IRC widget) link in the sidebar; it looks like this:

    • the Pharyngula chat room
    (#pharyngula on

    (if using a script blocker, allow mibbit and amazonaws and it should work – I just tested it)

  47. A. Noyd says

    I just discovered that this place near my house serves grilled brie with crostini, honey and walnuts during happy hour. They should advertise that better, because holy shit, yum.

  48. says

    A. Noyd:
    I have no earthly idea why, but your comment about crostinis brought to mind memories of the NOM-NOM-iness of apple butter on toast.

    And no thats not National Organization for Marriage :-)

    Aaaaaand out goes the power again. I guess my heartfelt prayers to god were insufficient. Or he’s trying to fuck with me. HEEEEY, I’m gay!

    Newsflash there.

    Seriously (not really) is god punishing me for being gay by turning out the power to thousands of homes?
    Or is the storm HERE bc I’m gay?

    Dangit. I cannot figure out how wingnut minds work…

    <a href= "

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dangit. I cannot figure out how wingnut minds work…

    Oh, you mean their slogan regurgitation center?

  50. Desert Son, OM says

    Tony! at #56:

    Thank you for your kind words. Wishing you warmth during the vagaries of variable power and colder weather!

    cicely at #61:

    Thank you very much. I will share those when I see her tomorrow.

    I need to go to bed, so once again, thanks to all for your thoughts, suggestions, and support.

    Still learning,


  51. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Desert Son:

    Captain Awkward has some pretty good posts in her (sadly, extensive) archives about how to best support people in difficult times, too. Also, see if Boggle the Owl does anything, for her and/or you.

  52. rq says

    Desert Son
    The best of luck to you and best wishes and sympathies to you and your sister – I am glad to hear that she has someone to support her as well as you. As much as possible, I hope you enjoy your time together, and that your presence is as beneficial to her as it is hoped to be. Have a safe journey! *hugs*
    I’m glad to know you!

  53. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I just made a variant of this. I suspected (correctly, it appears) that she was way underdoing the vegetables and approximately doubled them; I used steel-cut oats and clearly need to add more liquid (it came out as a glop, rather than a thick but genuine liquid, in bulk), even though I already had most of an extra cup in there. And missed the line about rosemary. >.> Eh, it’s…edible, but it’s definitely underseasoned, probably even with the rosemary. I have some ideas for improving it, but I’m wondering what anyone else would suggest?

  54. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#66)

    I have no earthly idea why, but your comment about crostinis brought to mind memories of the NOM-NOM-iness of apple butter on toast.

    That would be good with the brie and honey and walnuts, too.


    Azkyroth (#71)

    I have some ideas for improving it, but I’m wondering what anyone else would suggest?

    I’d start by sauteing some carrots and celery in bit of oil (or butter!) till the carrots started to get soft. Halfway through the saute, I’d add crushed garlic, rosemary, black pepper and coarse salt. Then I’d add the broth and oats and cook it up as soup. The scallions would go fresh on top (which is what it looks like the recipe author did anyway) along with a little bit of crushed mustard seed.

  55. rq says

    There are now four kinds of tits at our feeder, since the arrival of the coal tit this morning (note white patch on back of head). And I got a photo of the nuthatch.

  56. dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner) says

    Gah. Homophobes. They make my skin crawl, especially when their contempt is thinly buried beneath a layer of “love”.

  57. birgerjohansson says

    Etnic/religious porn.
    “Family Guy” -who is prone to use stereotypes (but in an ironic manner) once had “Jewish porn”.

    And “South Park” had lethal flatulence.

  58. birgerjohansson says

    The vikings liked cunning. They also liked fighting, but even vikings liked to improve their odds.
    My suggestion; If you run out of cunning, hire a Mexican masked wrestler. My favourite is El Borbah, from Heavy Metal magazine a couple of decades ago.

    Denmark is cool

  59. carlie says

    I’m a bit shaken by looking at that picture, which appears to be mostly proper breakfast porridge infested by carrots. *shudder*

    (I like carrots, but not in my oatmeal. Oatmeal is for fruit).

    Child 1 has major oral surgery tomorrow morning (5 tooth removals, all impacted, one sitting on a facial nerve). Now collecting liquid recipes to get him through the next week. Luckily mashed potatoes are one of his favorite foods, so after a day or two when we can go to pureed stuff that will be a staple. This is also the one who hasn’t been eating, so at least he won’t be complaining about it, I guess. I will be in typical mom fret mode for days.

  60. rq says

    Speaking of oatmeal

    *hugs* carlie, I hope all goes well with the surgery and the subsequent recovery! Maybe the lighter diet will provide some general help with the uneating issue a bit.

  61. carlie says

    rq, that clip was amazing. :D (and thanks!)

    Desert Son – I have no advice myself, but it sounds like you’re doing everything right. And I second the refs to Captain Awkward and Boggle the Owl.

    Hugs to all.

  62. dicerosbicornis says

    Just popping in, threadrupt, to say “merci” to dongiovanni for the Montefiore suggestion (history of Jerusalem) and to Cicely for the “welcome in”! (That made me feel oddly happy).

    Wish I could actually *comment* to the events at hand as they are happening. Maybe this spring when I am visiting relatives stateside I will be able dive in here to converse – good way to balance out the sure-to-happen family weirdness. To do that, I will have to travel with laptop in addition to mobile device. I think it might be worth it.

    * adds handful of newbie sparkles to be sprinkled on them who wants *

  63. bassmike says

    Desert Son it sounds to me like you’re doing all the right things. Sadly, I have nothing else to add.

    CaitieCat nice to read your biog after all this time! I feel I know you a little better.

    rq one very small piece of light relief when I’ve been visiting my parents recently is that they have a large variety of birds in their garden. I was there yesterday and there were blue, great, coal and long-tailed tits on view through the day. I wish just a few would migrate east by 65 miles or so!

    As to me parent’s situation: Dad is still hanging in there. He’s getting weaker as time goes by as he cannot take any solid food, and he’s sleeping more. My brother has been there for two weeks, but has to go home at the weekend (home being France), so I will be spending next week there trying to help out as much as I can.

    My daughter has a cold (well hopefully only a cold) but I am concerned that it develops into something else. The worry is not helping my mental state I can tell you. Also on the way back from my parent’s yesterday I had a tyre blow out. So I had to change it with HGVs inches from my back. Not nice.

    Return hugs to all who want them and grog too.

  64. says

    DesertSon- Glad that you are being supportive of your sister without question, though I wish it wasn’t needed, at least not to this extent.

    Don’t have much to give in terms of specific advice, though with the health insurance issue, if she hasn’t already, you should encourage her to go through the federal exchange. I don’t know how good the mental health coverage on exchange plans is, but I got my plan covered entirely by the subsidy and I paid nothing out of pocket for starting it up or the monthly premiums. Might help relieve some stress if she doesn’t worry about a simple prescription wrecking her finances. Even if that’s all it does, that would probably help.

  65. ButchKitties says

    Azkyroth If you’re looking for more flavor, maybe try using a stronger onion than scallions or adding garlic?

  66. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    If you’re looking for more flavor, maybe try using a stronger onion than scallions or adding garlic?

    That was my first thought, yeah; along with either herbes de provence or italian seasoning blend.

    I’d start by sauteing some carrots and celery in bit of oil (or butter!) till the carrots started to get soft. Halfway through the saute, I’d add crushed garlic, rosemary, black pepper and coarse salt. Then I’d add the broth and oats and cook it up as soup. The scallions would go fresh on top (which is what it looks like the recipe author did anyway) along with a little bit of crushed mustard seed.

    Mustard seed, however, hadn’t occurred to me. ^.^

  67. says


    (I like carrots, but not in my oatmeal. Oatmeal is for fruit).

    I’ll remember to send you all the fruit I pick out of my oatmeal.
    At home, E and I both eat oatmeal from time to time. He likes the fruity stuff (apples & cinammon, for instance). I prefer Maple/Brown Sugar (yeah, I still do the easy microwaveable oatmeal). When I’m out of mine, and use his, I do the same thing I did as a kid: pour the oatmeal on a cutting board and pick out the icky pieces of apple. Then I scrape the oats into a bowl, add water, nuke it (though not from orbit), then get my munch on.

  68. says

    Not sure if I’ve seen you here before, so welcome!
    I think the welcome mat is still out.
    If you desire a tasty alcoholic beverage, I’ll be tending bar all day, and probably into the night.

    * adds handful of newbie sparkles to be sprinkled on them who wants *

    Before you toss the sparkles around, we’ll need to inspect them. I don’t know that many people want to sparkle like Meyer vampires…

  69. rq says

    I would love to sparkle, even if only for a little while.
    Pass those sparkles over thisaway, and let me shine like Edward Cullen in sunlight!!

  70. Pteryxx says

    *licks up newbie sparkles*

    Louisiana’s latest TRAP sneak attack on its remaining abortion providers is getting some pushback from the public. (“Emergency rules” pushed through with no public notice, clinics not informed, the usual tricks.) A public hearing originally scheduled for today has been moved to next Tuesday, Feb. 4, due to the cold weather. The New Orleans Abortion Fund and others encourage anyone in the surrounding areas (such as Mississippi and east Texas, who may have to *go to* Louisiana clinics for abortion care) to email and snail-mail comments to be presented at the hearing.

    NOAF advocacy page

    NOAF on Facebook (some folks still use it)


    Schilling says the new regulations appear to mirror legislative actions like those recently taken in Texas, which require abortion providers to make extensive physical plant modifications. Schilling also said Louisiana’s new rules severely limit abortion providers’ access to due process in appealing any citations or violations issued to them by DHH, and make it virtually impossible for abortion facility licensees to maintain licenses in good standing if facility ownership changes, or if facilities move locations. These specific new requirements are not, said Schilling, required by statute.

    “They’re tripling the size of what procedure rooms need to be,” said Schilling. “Nobody else has to comply with this, even general hospitals don’t have requirements like this for procedure rooms, separate recovery rooms.” The rules even dictate what specific kind of flooring materials abortion facilities must use.

  71. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m a bit shaken by looking at that picture, which appears to be mostly proper breakfast porridge infested by carrots. *shudder*

    (I like carrots, but not in my oatmeal. Oatmeal is for fruit).

    How does one render breakfast oatmeal porridge more than “technically” edible?

  72. Pteryxx says

    In other rage-inducing news:

    Wiredscience: FDA documents show decade of unsuccessful attempts to control farm antibiotics

    NRDC report

    Between 2001 and 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) quietly reviewed the safety of 30 penicillin and tetracycline antibiotic feed additives approved for “nontherapeutic use”. Nontherapeutic use refers to using antibiotics for growth promotion or to prevent disease in typically crowded, often unsanitary conditions in livestock and poultry. NRDC obtained the previously undisclosed review documents from the FDA as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the agency and subsequent litigation made necessary by FDA’s failure to provide any of the requested documents.

    FDA’s scientific reviewers’ findings show that none of these products would likely be approvable as new additives for nontherapeutic livestock use if submitted today, under current FDA guidelines. Eighteen of the 30 reviewed feed additives were deemed to pose a “high risk” of exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria through the food supply, based on the information available. The remainder lacked adequate data for the reviewers to make any determination and their safety remains unproven. In addition, FDA concluded in their review that at least 26 of the reviewed feed additives do not satisfy even the safety standards set by FDA in 1973.

    via MoJo: How tech companies conspired to drive down wages

    These secret conversations and agreements between some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley were first exposed in a Department of Justice antitrust investigation launched by the Obama Administration in 2010. That DOJ suit became the basis of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 100,000 tech employees whose wages were artificially lowered — an estimated $9 billion effectively stolen by the high-flying companies from their workers to pad company earnings — in the second half of the 2000s. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied attempts by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the lawsuit tossed, and gave final approval for the class action suit to go forward. A jury trial date has been set for May 27 in San Jose, before US District Court judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the Samsung-Apple patent suit.

    In a related but separate investigation and ongoing suit, eBay and its former CEO Meg Whitman, now CEO of HP, are being sued by both the federal government and the state of California for arranging a similar, secret wage-theft agreement with Intuit (and possibly Google as well) during the same period.

    The secret wage-theft agreements between Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar (now owned by Disney) are described in court papers obtained by PandoDaily as “an overarching conspiracy” in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, and at times it reads like something lifted straight out of the robber baron era that produced those laws. Today’s inequality crisis is America’s worst on record since statistics were first recorded a hundred years ago — the only comparison would be to the era of the railroad tycoons in the late 19th century.

  73. rq says

    Large amounts of butter and brown sugar. :)
    Oatmeal porridge is the best porridge out there. It’s the cream-of-wheat I can’t abide (at least, it used to make me nauseous; now I can eat it in small amounts with raspberry jam in a 1:1 ratio).

    Oh! And dicerosbicornis! I keep meaning to mention – a few years back I saw a (shortish) documentary on Jerusalem called Jerusalem: Holy Deadly City, but I can’t remember specifically how religious it was. I was phasing into doubt and it was recommended to me by Religious Friend (though mostly for the scenery) and back then it seemed pretty alright. So it may be worth a look (on youtube, mayhaps, which I cannot currently access (work)). :) (Love your ‘nym.)


    Anyone have any advice on how I can get over feeling uncomfortable around Husband’s friends? It’s not that they’re bad people, it’s that I constantly feel dismissed by them(for various reasons). Like… None of them ever actually talk to me. But I also don’t go around being super-friendly and smiley and chatty, so there’s that… Which is the vicious circle, because I feel weird, uncomfortable and awkward trying to approach them in the first place. On the other hand, they do have a tendency to descend into inside jokes and the typical masculine insularity one finds around here… which isn’t all that appealing.
    So. Ideas? :/

  74. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Dalillama at #59, thanks for the explanation of “tie an onion on my belt.” The first time I read this reference I thought of Josephine Baker’s dance with a banana belt.

    Desert Son, I wish you well with your sister and her problems. I wish during all my travails I had a sibling like you. Please keep us informed. We care.

    **adding to the shower of sparkles**

  75. Pteryxx says

    via BB, Harper government demolishing the libraries of 12 ministries

    However, Health Canada and the DFO are not the only government bodies to lose access to vital archival material in the past two years. Postmedia reports more than twelve departments losing libraries due to the Harper government’s budget cuts, including the Canada Revenue Agency, Citizenship and Immigration, Employment and Social Development Canada, Environment Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada, the Public Service Commission, Public Works and Government Services, and Transport Canada.

    Many of these departments lost multiple libraries, with historical records and books disappearing from shelves, scattered across private collections or tossed in dumpsters. In 2013 even the country’s main home for historic documents, Library and Archives Canada, faced major cuts to service, including hours, interlibrary loans and staffing.


    But equally as worrisome is the loss of the librarians themselves, some of whom have spent decades familiarizing themselves with the extremely specialized materials in their collections.

    Anyone who has written an undergraduate research paper knows how maddening it can be to dig through online databases for a single piece of information. The same is true for high level researchers, according to Jeff Mason, past president of the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA/ABSC).

    Mason is a librarian at a hospital in Saskatchewan with firsthand experience of working with health professionals. “Much as you would think a doctor would be an expert at treatment and diagnoses, when it comes to information in the health field, librarians are key resources,” he told DeSmog Canada by phone a day after learning of the Health Canada main library’s closure.

    “I was shocked to hear that the Health Canada library had been closed because we thought it was safe as an organization,” says Mason.

    Health Canada used to have 40 librarians; now it has six.

  76. Pteryxx says


    More from the CBC

    “I look at it as an insidious plan to discourage people from using libraries,” said Dr. Rudi Mueller, who left the department in 2012.

    “If you want to justify closing a library, you make access difficult and then you say it is hardly used.”
    Staff borrowed students’ library cards

    The report noted the workarounds scientists used to overcome their access problems.

    Mueller used his contacts in industry for scientific literature. He also went to university libraries where he had a faculty connection.

    The report said Health Canada scientists sometimes use the library cards of university students in co-operative programs at the department.

    Unsanctioned libraries have been created by science staff.

    “One group moved its 250 feet of published materials to an employee’s basement. When you need a book, you email ‘Fred,’ and ‘Fred’ brings the book in with him the next day,” the consultant wrote in his report.


    One of the stated goals of Health Canada’s contracting out of library services was to save money. According to the report, though, the new arrangement is more expensive.

    The report stated that in the 2008-09 fiscal year, Health Canada Library Services had a staff of 36 and a budget of $1.75-million. In 2013-14 there is a staff of 6 and a budget of $2.67-million.

    In addition, Health Canada researchers now have to pay a $25.65 retrieval fee plus the cost of a courier to get a book from the National Science Library. For a scanned document, it now costs $9 plus a $4 to $8 copyright fee.

  77. carlie says

    How does one render breakfast oatmeal porridge more than “technically” edible?

    I like steel-cut oats. It sounds overly snobby, but pricewise it’s not too much more more per serving than rolled oats if you can find it stocked locally and can stomach the larger initial outlay (about $7.50 for a tin where I am, 20 servings per tin (of 1 cup cooked); Quaker instant oatmeal is $3 for 10 servings (of about 2/3 cup cooked)).
    It’s an entirely different food than rolled oats. (unless you are talking about steel-cut, in which case tastes may vary).

    Happy recipe time? I am currently eating My Favorite Soup, which tastes nutritious and hearty and is so easy to make and I’m sure I’ve written about it a dozen times already.
    Carlie’s Favorite Soup:
    1/2 onion, diced and sauteed in a little olive oil or butter
    1-2 cups broth of choice (I use chicken bullion in water)
    1 can small white beans of any sort
    1/2 box frozen spinach, or 1-2 cups of chopped up fresh spinach
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Optional: garlic with the onion
    Also optional: egg added for richness, if you are good at adding egg to a soup without it turning into scrambled egg bits. But that increases the difficulty level of the soup making by several levels.

    The only difficulty in the original is the sauteeing of the onion, which involves dicing it, then stirring it around for awhile. I like my onions thoroughly cooked, so this part takes me about 15 minutes. But if your pan/pot is big enough for it all to sit in a single layer, you can put it on med-low heat and not bother with the stirring. Then when you’re happy with how the onions look, just dump everything else in and give it another 10 minutes or so to meld flavors. If you use frozen spinach, you don’t need to do any other chopping/cutting.

  78. says

    Now I want soup. I’ve never made any from scratch. I have several types of canned beans, most of the basic dried spices, potatoes, and I *think* I have some onions and/or scallions. I don’t have any milk or stock though.
    Anyone have a random inkling what I could throw together with any of the above?

  79. carlie says

    Tony – stock isn’t entirely necessary, but it helps. What it mainly adds (I think) is a little fat, a little saltiness, and a little robustness. You can get that from cooking the onions (or scallions, just not for as long!) in a little more oil or butter, adding a little more salt, and maybe that egg business (you whip/beat the egg, and then pour it in SLOWLY whilst stirring constantly, off the heat if it’s too hot and coagulates when it touches rather than disappearing into creaminess. It might also help to puree some of the beans, if you like thicker soups.

    With just what you have, onions cooked long and slow on saute with fat,add beans and water, for thickness either puree some of the beans first in a blender (or mash them with a fork), or for thickness cook a potato in the microwave, oven, or stovetop, and then mash/puree and add.
    Then whatever spices you want.

    Or the other way round, potatoes instead of beans for potato soup.

  80. says

    Seriously ‘rupt
    Took a break from studying tonight for a round of RPG and just wanted to let you participate in the chuckles

    DM: What languages can your character read?
    Player: Wait, let me see…. Uhm, I don’t know, I can’t decipher my writing

    Also, my character managed to almost impale herself on her own sword. We needed to roll on body control as the ground was shaking so we would not fall. I rolled 20-20-12. In that system you need to roll low. Double 20 means automatic failure and since she had her sword drawn….
    Still, if she survives the quest I can buy better body control with a 50% discount

  81. says

    Thanks Portia.


    Harnessing the heat within the earth:

    The well funnelled superheated, high-pressure steam for months at temperatures of over 450°C – a world record. In comparison, geothermal resources in the UK rarely reach higher than around 60-80°C.

    The magma-heated steam was measured to be capable of generating 36MW of electrical power. While relatively modest compared to a typical 660MW coal-fired power station, this is considerably more than the 1-3MW of an average wind turbine, and more than half of the Krafla plant’s current 60MW output.

    Most importantly it demonstrated that it could be done. “Essentially, IDDP-1 is the world’s first magma-enhanced geothermal system, the first to supply heat directly from molten magma,” Elders said. The borehole was being set up to deliver steam directly into the Krafla power plant when a valve failed which required the borehole to be stoppered. Elders added that although the borehole had to plugged, the aim is to repair it or drill another well nearby.

  82. says

    He does this with tape!

    Working with bold isometric forms created from bright neon tape, New York artist Aakash Nihalani (previously here and here) transforms outdoor spaces into playful installations. Of his work Nihalani shares:



    I want to play on *any* of these!

    Danish design firm Monstrum (previously) continues to redefine the modern playscape, constructing numerous fantastical scenes for kids to climb on in locations around the world. Founded by Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen, the award-winning firm has an extensive background in theatrical set design in theaters throughout Copenhagen that strongly influences their groundbreaking aesthetic. Each new playground becomes the backdrop for a dramatic scene, from towering robots to hoards of attacking insects.

  83. says

    Assholes being worse assholes.

    My roommie, E, works at a restaurant. He usually works double shifts, and has to be in around 10 am. Despite the hazardous road conditions (we have icing on roads all over the places. Businesses are closed. Bridges are closed. Schools are closed.), his restaurant made him and the other employees come to work. From what E said, none of the other places around his job were open. Moreover, he said that he spun several times, saw multiple cars skid across ice, and saw many people getting stuck. He himself was stuck several times and had to have assistance getting out of some spots. He wound up getting to work an hour and a half later than he was supposed to. His General Manager made the staff stay open until late afternoon.
    What’s worse, is the asshole GM told one employee-who has no car and rides the bus to work (yeah, buses weren’t running either)-that he had to come in to work. This guy apparently lives close to E and I, so I have some idea how far he walked. I applaud his dedication to getting work, but that GM is a fucking asshole.
    Fuck, even my bosses closed down early yesterday and didn’t open today.
    And they are some of the most logic resistant, empathy deprived people I know!

    Thankfully E wasn’t hurt, and he said he saw no accidents, but fuck, if the city shuts down because of hazardous road conditions–there’s a fucking reason for that! Businesses should follow suit. People should not have to jeopardize their lives getting to work. Not to mention the potential to harm others if your vehicle spins out of control. Public safety should trump ‘gimme more $$’.

  84. ChasCPeterson says

    damn you, Tony!, for linking to that amazing Colossal site and depriving me of the rest of my workday.

    (I kid–fantastic stuff there!)

  85. Nutmeg says

    Re: porridge:

    The summer camp I worked at as a teenager used to serve red river cereal for breakfast, sometimes. It was quite excellent with an excessive amount of brown sugar and a lot of raisins. It’s probably mostly a western Canada thing, though.

    I like oatmeal porridge, but it never holds me for longer than an hour or two. It’s too bad, because the little packages of pre-flavoured porridge would make good camping breakfasts (I’m partial to the Maple Brown Sugar as well). But I need lots of protein with my breakfast or I get hungry and cranky mid-morning.

  86. says

    I always thought porridge was something different than oatmeal. A quick wiki search shows that oatmeal is a specific type of porridge. Huh. Interesting.

    Porridge (also spelled porage, porrige, parritch, etc.),[1] is a dish made by boiling ground, crushed, or chopped cereal in water, milk, or both, with optional flavourings, usually served hot in a bowl or dish. It may be sweetened with sugar, or served as a savoury dish. The term is usually used for oat porridge (porridge oats); there are similar dishes made with other grains or legumes, but they often have other unique names, such as polenta, grits or kasha.

    A dish made of oats alone, either in crushed or meal form, or whole-grain, is known simply as oatmeal in the U.S. and parts of Canada. Hot cereals are often prepared as instant breakfasts.


    More cool images:×366.jpg
    The eruption of Mambacho, Nicaragua
    (the image is a blend of three separate images)


  87. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hot cereals are often prepared as instant breakfasts.

    I hear that. Usually four out of five workdays involve instant oatmeal or instant cream of wheat for my breakfast. Quick, simple, filling, and can be eaten while dealing with e-mail. But the fifth day is usually an egg McMuffin with hashbrowns just for variety, and for less than a five.

  88. cicely says

    New Species Of Sea Anemone Found In Antarctica, Mysterious Edwardsiella Andrillae Lives Upside Down Under Ice

    The Husband and I are attempting to make a sort of mushroom, bacon, cheese, and mushroom pot pie, using gluten-free Bisquick™. We shall see….


    I have some ideas for improving it, but I’m wondering what anyone else would suggest?

    Omit the carrots, for They Are Not Food.
    At least, not when cooked.
    Unless they are baked as carrot cake, and served with frosting (buttercream or cream cheese are both acceptible).


    Child 1 has major oral surgery tomorrow morning (5 tooth removals, all impacted, one sitting on a facial nerve).

    Poor kiddo!
    Well-wishes for you both in that enterprise.

    dicerosbicornis, this is the [Lounge]; you come and go as you can/want. No minimum number of posts.

    bassmike, let me just fill up your *hugs* tank, shall I?
    *massive hugdump, well patted down*

    I like my oatmeal with additions from the maple/brown sugar/cinnamon/walnuts menu. Quaker’s has a stunning amount of salt in it. My feet swelled right up.

    rq, would discussing the friends problem with Husband help?

    Giliell, I once had a character roll three successive broken bow strings, then drop his dagger at his feet. All 1s on a d20.
    His name was Random.

  89. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead is still snoozing, but dinner is planned over chili and cornbread, which will be on the table in 15 minutes. No problem on that front, snooze away. Nothing like a cold spell to turn her into a hibernating creature. Today we hit double digits, and tomorrow is almost up to the freezing point of water.

  90. says


    Omit the carrots, for They Are Not Food.
    At least, not when cooked.
    Unless they are baked as carrot cake, and served with frosting (buttercream or cream cheese are both acceptible).

    I was nearly in total agreement with you until the mention of carrot cake. Not a fan.
    I like my carrots raw, with red pepper flakes and ranch. Nom Nom.
    Cooked? Let’s just say that I typically pick out the peas AND carrots when I eat friend rice.

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

    Passed another exam today. Got an 86% on this one – it was 50 multiple choice questions. Meaning I got 7 of them wrong. Not bad, but I need to do better.

    Also got an Official Headpat in skills lab by demonstrating that I know how to operate a thermometer, pulse oximeter, and stethoscope, and can palpate for the brachial, radial, and apical arteries.

  92. carlie says

    Thanks, cicley!

    Nutmeg – Bob’s Red Mill sells breakfast porridges that sound somewhat similar. They sell 5, 7, 8, and 10 grain cereal mixes. I’ve always had trouble figuring out a good breakfast. I’m just as likely to eat dinner leftovers for breakfast as a “breakfast” food.

    Carrots are their best when slow roasted in an oven with a bit of honey glaze. Mixed in with some roasted onions and a grain of some type is delicious.

  93. says


    Official Headpat?
    I’m only familiar with the condescending headpat, which sometimes is accompanied by “there, there” or “bless your heart”. I’m guessing yours wasn’t like that?

  94. says

    I made the soup. It tasted good.
    Next time I’ll go with potatoes though, and maybe some type of cream. I really love creamy, cheesy, potato soup.


    I just heard that temperatures will be in the low 20s/upper teens tonight, but will warm up to the mid 40s tomorrow (all temps in F). The question is: when? I’m supposed to work in the morning (10 am), and I’m uncertain when the ice will melt enough to allow motorists to drive safely.

  95. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also got an Official Headpat in skills lab by demonstrating that I know how to operate a thermometer, pulse oximeter, and stethoscope, and can palpate for the brachial, radial, and apical arteries.

    Good start for professional skills. I have a test order for a local hospital to run blood test for kidney function. I have to admit the people who draw the blood there do it quickly, painlessly, an professionally. Five out of five stars every time. Now, if they could something with the wait time…

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


    The way skills lab works is that to get a passing grade you have to demonstrate to the instructor that you have mastered a skill. This gets you a Headpat.

  97. says

    A Boeing 777 built to scale…from paper manila folders.

    Inspired by high school architecture class where he was assigned to create simple paper models using cut paper manilla folders, San Francisco-based designer Luca Iaconi-Stewart went home to begin construction on an extremely ambitious project: a 1:60 scale reproduction of a Boeing 777 using some of the techniques he learned in class.

    Symmetrical performance art with charcoal.
    Visually stunning!

  98. says

    I’m home at last! Long day: on top of my usual classes, today we had both a job candidate interview and our HHMI student application review…so 13 hours of non-stop stuff, with several occasions where I had overlapping appointments and had to be in two places at once. Fissioning turns out to be rather painful.

  99. Nutmeg says

    We had homemade chicken enchiladas for the past two nights, and both nights I ended up with a very very flushed face for an hour or so afterwards. They weren’t spicy at all, so that’s not it. I’m wondering if it was a very mild food allergy or something.

    All of the ingredients were things I eat regularly, except for a new brand of shredded cheese. I looked at its ingredients, and the only one that jumped out as suspicious was natamycin. Is this a thing that I could be allergic to? Google was all oh-noes-teh-evul-preservatives! and I didn’t get much useful information.

  100. says

    Who knew there was a such thing as competitive aquascaping?

    No, these aren’t exactly your childhood goldfish bowls. The world of competitive aquarium design, or aquascaping, is just as difficult, expensive, and cutthroat as any other sport but requires expertise in many different fields to guarantee success. Aquarium designers possess large amounts of expertise in biology, design, photography, and excel in the art of patience, as individual aquascapes can take months if not years to fully mature into a completed landscape.

  101. Nutmeg says

    Tony: That aquascaping link is so happy-making! I could stare at those for hours. The ones with paths are my favourite – I feel like I could be hiking there.

    I often have dreams where I can breathe underwater, which is awesome. Those pictures remind me of that.

    *scrolls down* Oooh, links to more! Yay!

  102. chigau (違う) says

    Everyone is happy.
    and the last of the dates, if you’re quick enough

  103. Dhorvath, OM says

    Usually four out of five workdays involve instant oatmeal or instant cream of wheat for my breakfast. Quick, simple, filling,

    So, I get two out of three here. Quick and simple I follow, but filling? Damn I hate grains. I mean, I love them, but…they don’t fill anything related to my belly. Grrr. Might as well eat a handful of candy, or, hell, a glass of water for breakfast. I like Carlie’s plan: left over dinner.

  104. Dhorvath, OM says

    I had Unibrou Grande Reserve and now have a glass of red. Rum would have been nice too.

  105. rq says

    The last of the dates? Is s/he cute?

    Also, I was about to have delicious chocolate mousse cake!!! when Youngest decided I need to be woken. Flibbertigibbet!!! It looked so good…


    E’s GM is an asshole; people walking long distances in extreme cold while (most likely) inappropriately dressed (I’m just guessing on that, since it’s Florida, which is never cold…) is life-threatening. I’m glad E’s colleague is okay.
    You have also officially covered all my morning activities with that flurry of links.

    The conversation with Husband has been tried. As far as handshakes. I have since given up and decided it is my problem, and yet somehow I do not want to fall into the box of being One of the Wives, where we sit around and moan about the menfolk while they play poker / play hockey / get drunk / etc. (See, I’m not the only one in the Dismissal Boat… but everybody else seems to be fine with it, since that’s just the way it is – men and women can’t have fun together, besides superficial conversation. AKJRHSKJEHRKJSRHTF.)

  106. says

    So on a forum for a genetics MOOC I’m doing, I’ve gotten drawn into a discussion where Family Research Institute and NARTH articles are being thrown around as credible sources on homosexuality.

    This is giving me some insight into the aggravations people in marginalized groups feel at having demands for 101 level material, and even the 80 and 90 level remedial stuff, thrown at them. With heaping helpings of counterarguments that can effectively be answered with “Point already addressed. Learn to read”.

    If this promotion comes through, I’ll be able to move out. I’ll feel a lot safer coming out as bi and referring to myself as an atheist more freely. With the closet doors thrown off the hinges, I’m thinking it might be a good time to ramp up activity on my blog and become one of those nasty angry types all those hillarious complaints go out against. I’ve run into forum threads like this, gotten annoyed and all, but it’s just gotten to the point where I don’t know if I want to continue running mostly under the radar. I don’t know if it’s something specific about this thread that popped up today, or if it’s just the weight of everything piling up until I can’t stand it. I like playing nice, but I just don’t know if I can do that much longer.

  107. says

    Serious hugs all around, especially for Desertson and sister

    Mummy-hugs for you. And good luck for your son, too. For what it’s worth, I was always fine as soon as teeth were out. Getting them out could be trouble, but once they were out I was fine, even with the heavily infected pain killer resistant wisdom tooth.


    And no thats not National Organization for Marriage :-)

    National Organisation for Munching?

    hugs for bassmike

    We once had a group where somehow, whenever somebody rolled a complete failure, my character would get hurt. Somebody throws a dagger? My calf gets hit. Somebody tries to heal me? Guess what they roll. Only when the evil mastermind rolled an attack against my character, it was a superior succcess.
    And then there was the character who tried to escape by climbing over a fence. I managed to roll 4 normal failures for climbing but 4 excellent saves for “falling without hurting yourself”. Still got caught.

    Have a mug of hot chocolate, PZ

    Talking ’bout food, the kids are seriously carnivorous atm.
    Yesterday #1 ate 4 hot dogs as a snack (no breadrolls involved) and the little one still git one left when she came home from swimming. And they had a non-vegetarian meal at school. And then I served potato wedges with feta cheese and veggies for dinner and they complained about the lack of meat. It’s not as if vegetarian meals were a new concept for them, I cook vegetarian more often than non-vegetarian.
    For today I had to promise them “something meaty!!!!”

  108. rq says

    My sister nearly gave me a giant heart attack. She sent me this: how vaccines cause autism. I am still alive, and I have put away the knives and the angry-voice typing I usually bring out for this sort of bullshit.

    A puppy and a horse. It’s a beer commercial, but it’s cute.

    This is probably a repeat, but I saw it for the first time today – 10 reasons men should not be ordained. And it’s all scientifically true!

    For the hikers among us.

    Classical music is dead. Long live classical music! With neat infographic. And I did not know that the NYC Opera wasn’t a thing anymore.

    /end part 1

  109. rq says

    Is this hair-cleaning method actually viable? I’m curious to try, but I do have to go out in public every now and then…

    The fashions and style of Frida Kahlo, finally revealed – a glimpse into the past. There are many things I love about her, and her clothing is one of them.

    And a song for Tony: “It’s so cold in this country, you can never get warm”.

    Those aquascapes were beautiful, and I have developed a soft spot for Norwegian curling pants. That was amazing. Other countries should definitely adopt a similar loud style – that is, come up with their own!

  110. says

    Vaccines totally cause autism. You have to be alive to have autism, and vaccines help keep you alive. Many autistic people would not be autistic people without vaccines, they’d be dead.

  111. rq says

    Don’t twist my brain like that so early in the morning. That was some terrible, terrible logic! :D

  112. Pteryxx says

    rq: I dunno about the baking soda and coconut oil part, but cutting way way back on shampoo works surprisingly well. See also: A year without soap and just skip over the wild-and-free-paleo stuff.

  113. says

    It’s what really gets me angry at antivaxxers. “Vaccines cause autism, therefore, you shouldn’t vaccinate your kids”… That conclusion rests on at least one or two hidden premises as well- that vaccines don’t work, which is laughable at this point, and/or that autism is worse than death, which is frankly terrifying to me that people might think that.

    Even if they were right about the science here, which they aren’t, but even if somehow every study shooting them down was fatally flawed and we just haven’t noticed, they would still be a scary and dangerous group of people that need to be opposed.

  114. rq says

    Not anymore, they don’t!!
    Well, some days. When Facebook is slow or poor in quality. *ahem* :) birgerjohansson still puts in a pretty good show.

    This is my favourite thing to post in response to “vaccines don’t work”. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s obvious. And yes, I agree that they’re a dangerous group of people, regardless.

    I’e cut down on my shampoo use, but I’m a bit hesitant about the soap bit… Thanks for that link!

  115. opposablethumbs says

    thank you for the pouncehug, Hekuni Cat!

    Desert Son, you are a really great brother. What Tony said. I don’t think anyone could be more supportive. And I really hope your sister is OK. Transatlantic internet-stranger ::hugs:: to you both, if you would care for some.

    dicerosbicornis, sorry I missed saying welcome in! Hey, lots of us are in different time-zones (or work odd hours) – people are used to coversations having a long time-lag, so don’t hesitate to jump in even after a long gap (like this :-) ). Thank you for the newbie sparkles.

    bassmike you have all my sympathy, dealing with ongoing health worries for your little one as well as trying to make your father’s time more comfortable. I hope you get a moment of respite every so often, at the very least (I mean, I hope for more and better than that, but I hope you at least get to recharge batteries enough to cope through it). Roll on spring, and maybe an end to your daughter’s colds-with-extra-added-elements!

    morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor
    , here’s to staying above ground ::toasts you in breakfast coffee:: Yeah, my sibs are decent but either distant, clueless and/or very self-absorbed (well, I should put my hand up to all those too, tbh). I wish so hard I had a sib like Desert Fox. That kind of empathy I have not seen.

    cicely, you understand carrots!!!! That is exactly how and when they qualify (or NOT) as food :-)

    carlie, huge sympathies for #1. So is this why he wasn’t eating? Because that sounds as if it could have been causing a lot of distress.

    ::waves:: and ::hugs:: to Horde – hey, rq! I hear you on the ignoring thing … ugh.

  116. carlie says

    And off we go! Child 2’s bed has been refitted with old sheets that it won’t matter if Child 1 gets blood all over them (Spongebob), Child 1 is getting dressed in comfy clothes he can stay in for a couple of days if necessary, and Child 2 has been made properly ready to leave himself for school after we’re gone.

    Child 1 had a dream last night where he was having the surgery in a hospital, and wasn’t allowed to leave until he solved a series of puzzles to prove he was over anesthesia and fit to go. It included a hunt around the hospital to find 10 flags in 10 minutes, and correctly counting a large wad of cash in 2 minutes. It took him three days to be able to go home. :D

    Thanks for all the well wishes. I get to be there and bring him home, but then have to go in to work for a couple of emergency meetings. :( But Spouse will be home with him.

  117. rq says

    Good luck! Here’s hoping the hospital waives the post-anaesthesia tests this time. ;)

  118. rq says

    Ah, musical interlude!
    I saw that a while ago, but it still makes me giggle. Until I realize it’s based on reality. :/


    Some music of a certain sadness that I enjoy:
    The Beginning After the End by The Stars;
    Up In Our Bedroom After the War, also by The Stars;
    It’s a Good Life if You Don’t Weaken, by the Tragically Hip;
    the Gladiator soundtrack by Hans Zimmer;
    Miss Clare Remembers by Enya;
    and of course the Amelie soundtrack by Yann Tiersen (especially the piano bits).

  119. katybe says

    I just came across this, about stupid things Rand Paul has said about women recently – which I thought I hadn’t seen on here yet – and at the bottom, it references some student “prank” with a link to an article from a few years back that I’m pretty certain I ought to be putting a trigger warning for abduction/kidnap on (hence not linking directly to the article talking about this in particular). I’m in the UK, and if I’m honest, have only ever heard about him in the context of things people have said on here, so it’s the first place I thought of to ask. The article is 3 1/2 years old – did this get debunked, and if not, how on earth is he still taken seriously as a politician, rather than being introduced as Kidnapper Rand Paul every time he’s introduced?

  120. Portia, walking stress ball says

    Let me add a high-five to the HeadPat :D
    I hope you can travel safely to work :(
    Re: aquascaping. I think there should be a Rule 35: If you can imagine it, there’s a competitive subculture dedicated to it.


    Everyone has imposter syndrome except you.

    Thank you for this. It made my morning.

    The last of the dates? Is s/he cute?

    One of my stepdad’s favorite stories is when, as a truckdriver at a truckstop, a woman approached him and asked if he “wanted a date.” He claaaaims he told her he prefers figs. *womp womp*


    Is this hair-cleaning method actually viable? I’m curious to try, but I do have to go out in public every now and then…

    I have a dear friend who does it, and my mom does too. Based on that sample of two, I think it’s most successful for people with thick hair, but if you’re interested in it, regardless of your hair type, I’d try it. (Grammar and syntax be damned, it’s an internet comment!) I tried it for a bit but couldn’t last through the awkward phase they say you have to power through to get to a “new normal” that might work.

    that autism is worse than death

    Whoa. Never thought about it that way. My cousin is an antivaxxer…and when her daughter got whooping cough she didn’t even have the decency to stay home from the summer family vacation. Thus exposing my unvaccinated nieces. And me. And several other family members. Yeah…I come from antivaxxers…*shame*

    Actually…now that I have health insurance…I should probably look into getting vaccinated for something besides Hep B.

    Best wishes, hugs, and all manner of other support.

    Desert Son and bassmike:
    *hugs* if desired.

  121. ButchKitties says

    Re: cooked carrots. I normally hate them, unless they are accompanied by spices like tumeric, cumin, cinnamon, or curry. Then I can’t get enough of them. I’ve been making a slow cooker Moroccan(ish) chicken and lentil stew on repeat since the cold snap, and I don’t think it would be nearly as good without the carrots.

  122. birgerjohansson says

    Commencing random factoid bombardment:

    Wave power technology crests economical limits

    Geranium extracts inhibit HIV-1 – a potential new class of anti-HIV-1 agents for the treatment of AIDS.
    …and “Researchers open door to new HIV therapy”

    What makes us human? Unique brain area linked to higher cognitive powers

  123. birgerjohansson says

    Study examines how individuals distort information to make decisions
    “Biased Predecisional Processing of Leading and Non-Leading Alternatives”
    -Maybe it will take future “strong” AI to avoid mistakes like this in decision making, these problems being hardwired into our brains.

    -Another Precursor to the Flood Story Found …and Bryan Fisher has already misunderstood it!

    Shit! Henning Mankell has cancer

    *Some* Republicans see Racism As Factor In Immigration Reform Stalemate

  124. Nutmeg says

    carlie: Best wishes for Child #1’s swift recovery! I hope he can find things that are tolerable to eat.

    When I had my wisdom teeth out, it was just a freeze-and-yank situation, so not too big a deal. (They wanted to give me nitrous oxide, but I said no because I am a control freak and I dislike altered mental states. Also, I was just beginning to suspect that I might like women, and I didn’t want to out myself by hitting on the nurse while all drugged up or something.)

    I had the removal done in the afternoon and skipped dinner that night because it seemed like too much work. Bad idea – I am not a person who can skip meals. I nearly fainted making my oatmeal for breakfast the next morning. I ate so much oatmeal while my mouth was healing. It must have been about a year after that before I could stand to look at oatmeal again.

  125. rq says

    The only kind of cooked carrots I like are:
    – slightly steam thinly sliced carrots, transfer to a saucemen with butter, add honey, chili (enough to be slightly spicy), thyme, salt and pepper, toast until lightly browned, gobble up.

  126. rq says

    Umm, that should say saucepan, not saucemen; saucepan.

    I got my wisdom teeth out under full anaesthetic because anything else freaked me out (so did anaesthesia, I was so keyed up they couldn’t get me calm enough to give it to me for ages). I woke up and sat up and told my mum I wanted to leave. I remember sitting back down, mum insists I nearly fainted. After about 15 minutes of acute painless boredom, I offered her (jokingly) to drive us home if only we could leave right now. She still thinks I was being serious.
    I ate solid foods that same evening, and didn’t take any of my codeine, ever, and had barely any swelling. Apparently, not feeling pain in the teeth runs in the family – mum says her mum (my grandma) was exactly the same way. Had three teeth pulled, and you couldn’t even tell she was recovering from anything. I hope I get her longevity genes, too. [/lucky]

  127. ajb47 says

    Just wanted to pop back in and say thanks for all the welcomes back in the last Lounge. I’m mostly a lurker and mostly because someone else is usually faster and clearer with what I would post. And I was brought up on the internet not to post just, “Me, too” type posts.

    But here’s a link for anti-vaxxers in addition to rq’s @165 above. It showed up in my FB news feed a few days ago.

  128. says

    Good luck and best wishes for Child #1.



    Just wanted to pop back in and say thanks for all the welcomes back in the last Lounge. I’m mostly a lurker and mostly because someone else is usually faster and clearer with what I would post. And I was brought up on the internet not to post just, “Me, too” type posts

    I used to feel the same way. Now I think-depending on the subject-that adding my voice to others’ can be beneficial. I think back to the Grenade thread, and remember the lurkers that expressed their appreciation for people that spoke up to defend Jane Doe and PZ.
    I don’t mean this as a criticism.
    I think your words have value so please don’t be afraid that someone else has said the same thing. Your experiences inform your views. We both may be atheists (or feminists or humanists), but your perspective is different.

    And welcome.

  129. says

    Only in Utah? Come to think of it, this sounds like something Rand Paul would like to see done in Kentucky. He did, after all, recently advise that we cut off benefits to single mothers who have what he considers too many children. In Utah, they go after the children directly.

    Up to 40 kids at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City picked up their lunches Tuesday, then watched as the meals were taken and thrown away because of outstanding balances on their accounts — a move that shocked and angered parents.

    “It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her cafeteria lunch taken from her as she stood in line Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, 1571 E. 1300 South.

    Lukes said as far as she knew, she was all paid up. “I think it’s despicable,” she said. “These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up.”

    Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah had a large number of students who owed money for lunches.

    As a result, the child-nutrition manager visited the school and decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue, he said.

    But cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches, Olsen explained.

    The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, he said, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.

    Children whose lunches were taken were given milk and fruit instead. […] one of the cafeteria workers cried at the sight. And her daughter’s best friend was so upset that she went home Tuesday night and made lunches for all the students who had theirs taken […]

    Kelly Orton is the District Director of Child Nutrition.

    From the readers’ comments:

    Since when was discipline considered “emotional abuse”? These kids finally see some structure in their lives and you want to lock the person up and throw away the keys. You’re overreacting worse than any helicopter parent or overbearing lunch lady has. They probably threw away ten cents worth of some nasty school-cafeteria excuse for lasagna (that the kids weren’t going to eat anyway, they were just going to eat the pudding that came with it and drink the milk and run out to recess). The kids parents are responsible for this, and for once, the kids were allowed to see that mommy and daddy need to pay the bills or everyone gets in trouble.

  130. carlie says

    Thanks everybody – he’s home and resting (I’m at work). The wisdom teeth came out fine, although one had to be cut in half to get it out. The extra tooth in the front was more problematic – he’s inherited from me an extra-thick inner flange at the base of his jaw, and the oral surgeon had to go in from the inside rather than the outside, meaning there was twice as much bone to drill through to get to the tooth. He had to then cut it into several pieces to get it out, and it took 3 stitches to clean up (the wisdom teeth were only one stitch each). He came out of the anesthesia as a champ. Hopefully the Vicodin will help once the swelling starts.

  131. cicely says

    rq: Ah, cultural expectations!
    Like the one that my brother ran into, um…40-ish years ago; two of his good friends married each other—and suddenly, our mother told him that he could no longer be friends with the woman of the pair.
    Because It Just Wasn’t Done.
    Because (obviously!) if you leave a man and a woman alone together, they’re gonna fuck. No, no; that’s just the way it is! It’s just like leaving the cat alone with the pot roast.
    [deleting link to the “10 reasons why men shouldn’t be ordained” link]
    You beat me to it.

    *hugs* and encouragement for gworroll.
    Metaphorically tear their metaphorical throats out with your metaphorical teeth.

    Giliell, we had a group like that, too—which is how my character came to sink a grappling arrow into the half-ogre fighter, who had earlier been the unfortunate recipient of a failed (incoming) ballista shot. And who, in another session, had been the lucky winner in the “over the side of the boat while wearing plate armor thanks to a crocodile attack” stakes.

    Never had any wisdom teeth.
    Make of that what you will.

  132. says

    So, the latest conspiracy theory about the Southeastern snowstorms isn’t that global warming is a lie.

    No, it’s that the snow is a lie.

    Of course, the video evidence has a few dropped frames- not huge, but enough that an actual snowball could have been replaced- though to be fair this could be a small technical glitch in recording or rendering. And the “snowball” in all of them is at least partially obscured from view prior to being burned.

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

    Got into an argument on Twitter, and I’m feeling discouraged, because I feel like everyone lost. :/

  134. says

    This is interesting. It looks like a lawsuit from a climate scientist may take down the conservative National Review.

    Climate scientist Michael Mann is suing National Review and Mark Steyn, one of its leading writers, for defamation. It’s a charge that’s notoriously hard to prove, which is no doubt why the magazine initially refused to apologize for an item on its blog in which Steyn accused Mann of fraud. Steyn also quoted a line by another conservative writer (Rand Simberg) that called Mann “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.” (Simberg and the free market think tank for which he works, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, are also named in the suit.)

    In July, Judge Natalia Combs Greene rejected a motion to dismiss the suit. The defendants appealed, and last week D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg rejected the motion again, opening the door for the discovery phase of the lawsuit to begin.

    That’s not all. On Christmas Eve, Steyn (who regularly guest hosts Rush Limbaugh’s radio show) wrote a blog post in which he excoriated Greene, accusing her of incompetence, stupidity, and obtuseness. As a result of this outburst, the law firm that had been representing National Review and Steyn (Steptoe & Johnson) has dropped Steyn as a client and reportedly has plans to withdraw as counsel for the magazine as well.
    The Week link.

    No matter who’s representing them, however, the outlook for the folks running National Review is grim. Linker reports that, like many political magazines, National Review has a relatively small (but influential) circulation, and frequently loses money. Breaking even is a good year. Therefore, a large settlement with Mann, or a penalty handed down by a judge, could prove catastrophic. Salon link.

  135. rq says


    Never had any wisdom teeth.

    I know a guy who has had several pairs of wisdom teeth. So that goes both ways. :) (What a smile!)

    As for the culture, well, yes. Except nothing so overt. Husband’s Friends just don’t… notice women. They don’t speak to them, besides general polite platitudes and the weather. They even have the indecency to look uncomfortable around women, when no other manfriends are within hailing distance. The thing is, I know it’s not all their faults – we’re all about 30 (+/-), but they still have this medieval idea that, you know, for real fun, men and women need to be separate. Or, if they’re together, then the men will have the fun, and the women will… have less fun, because guys need to let it all out sometimes, ya know?
    (This attitude prevails at weddings. It’s apparently funny, when a Wife manages to snag Respective Husband for a dance, to swarm the Respective Husband and to ‘kidnap’ him away from Respective Wife, because laughs. Seen it in action. Called Husband on it once, for participating. He looked suitably chagrined, but didn’t seem convinced that, yes, Respective Wife was nearly in tears after the stunt.)
    Oh, and apparently women don’t play poker. Or hockey. Which is why I never want to have a poker night (or a hockey afternoon) at our house. Never mind that I can’t play poker, but if nobody let me in my own fucking house, I’m prepared to be pretty pissed. As for the hockey? I’m ready to show them up. *tee hee* Like back in the day when I’d surprise Tha Boyz on the soccer field. Not that I’m a good player, nuh-uh, I just don’t mind messing about, getting in the way and not backing down.

    Sorry for long post to you. :/ I will stop now.

    Here, have some of my saucemen on your friend rice – I hear they go lovely together! :D

    That’s the kind of ignorance you get when people see winter for the firs time. [/snark]
    But to be honest, how snow and different kinds of snow melt (by lighter, match or bonfire) seems so obvious to me, because it’s something I grew up with. Every winter. All kinds of snow. For anyone to even consider the idea that snow could burn is so utterly laughable that I wonder at their education… After all, snow is water. Try setting a full bathtub of water on fire. Good luck.
    (My guess is the chemical smell is from the lighter itself, if kept burning for extended periods of time they tend to get that organic fuel smell going.)
    OH GODS and I just looked at the original link, and they connect this to chemtrails??? Holy shit. And yeah, melting snow with a low-temperature flame like the video shows will leave residue from the lighter flame on the snow, leaving it black. Just means it’s doing a shitty job of turning fuel into heat.

    My, I’m certainly wordy today. *confused*

  136. says

    From the readers’ comments below the Salon article about the troubles of the National Review (links in comment #195):

    For months, the number one advertisement on the National Review website has been to solicit donations for their legal fees. It pops up every few days and remains there on almost every page. […]

  137. ChasCPeterson says

    As for the hockey? I’m ready to show them up. *tee hee*

    ex-wife #2 took up ice hockey in a big way 2 years ago at the age of 54 and has not let even a total hip replacement slow her down much.

  138. says

    FEMA has a Gulag?:

    A white supremacist methamphetamine user with a criminal record was found guilty this week after amassing a cache of assault rifles following last year’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. reported on Thursday that prosecutors are asking that John Christian Parks spending at least a decade in prison after they succeed against him in a jury trial.


    Records showed that Parks purchased one Smith & Wesson AR-15 on Craigslist from a man who had legally purchased it at a gun shop last January or February in fear that the rifles might be banned after the Sandy Hook massacre.

    The seller told the ATF that he made no attempt to check Parks’ ID or background, but he could tell that the buyer was “one of those end of the world types of guy.”


    “Thank you and Yahweh bless you and the men and woman you work with in uniform,” Parks wrote the Virginia man in an email. “Yahweh protect you all from our enemies abroad and may you all uphold your oath to the constitution to protect it from foreign and DOMESTIC enemies that are trying every day … to bring a communist socialist dictatorship (where) the American is … the sheep to be (led) to the Gulag FEMA camps to have a fate as much of our Russian kinfolk did in the 20th century under the Bolshevik revolution IE:Jewish Zionist revolution=TORTURE and DEATH!”

    The guy who sold Parks the AR-15 is not one of those “responsible gun owners” gunholes talk about.

  139. says

    It’s a good sport for women, ice hockey; skating well is often about being able to get low and stable, keep your knees well bent, so you can get short hard thrusts from your skates, particularly when accelerating. There’s actually a surprisingly small difference between speed performance on hockey skates between men and women; the general musclepower difference is offset somewhat by mens’ denser bodies, while the much lower centre of gravity that women tend to have allows a much more efficient power-generating stroke. It’s also part of why some women footballers are able to generate such outstanding shots, despite often being quite small; good technique can add a great deal to one’s physical abilities. With the smaller level of competitive fever attached to women’s sports, training tends to be more emphasized, and the smaller numbers mean coaches can attend to players more effectively. More training (and less playing competitive games) means better technique.

    There’s also a lot less focus in women’s sport on bullying players into performance, and in my long personal experience, this is a MUCH better way to get good performances out of decent athletes. Only the very, very best athletes are energized by being bullied about not being good enough. Most athletes, even at the top levels (I played Canadian university-level hockey and soccer), are not those very best, and are, I strongly believe, diminished in their capacities by being bullied.

    When I began playing women’s sport, I initially had an attitude that, well, of course I’d be better, because I’d been training with the boys. I was quickly disabused of this notion. I wasn’t out, but I very quickly learned that any idea that I might coast because of that “higher level” I’d been playing at was a damned foolish one.

    If you want to see what women can do in sports with men, watch any-gender soccer (often called ‘co-ed’ in the US, for sordid misogynist historical reasons). The teams where the women on the team are an afterthought consistently lose to the ones where the teams recruit women players from good women’s teams. Because the women are good enough to play with the men. Most teams have a similar spread of talent in their men players, usually a mix of a few highly skilled players a few good athletes who have limited football skills, and a bunch of guys out to have some fun and keep fit, with limited skills and athletic traits.

    When they add a group of women to their team (women are usually 3 of the 10 outfield positions in the team; most teams keep it to that minimum), especially when those women are good enough footballers to be better than the men who are out for fun, that team can become a force.

    A couple of years ago, a men’s team wanting to start a “co-ed” league side came to our team looking for recruits. Six of my side went, including me. We were skilled and experienced enough that there were a few games where we played four women, and one where five of us played, when less of the men had showed and they would have had few subs without the extra women.

    We won every game for the two seasons we played, before we stopped because it wasn’t fun anymore. Our mens’ crew were just the same as any other team, same mix above; having a crew of women they could rely on to fill the team made us league-beaters. One season, Mars even lead the team in scoring, from her midfield spot, because she was taking our wicked free kicks.

    I nabbed five goals from defence in the second year, coming up for corners and using my head, beating men who were defending me – because they assumed that a woman player, even in our second year in the league, couldn’t possibly get up well for a header. Five goals in a 15-game season. My best outdoor haul ever, which, y’know, I’ve always been a defender/goalkeeper, so I’m excited by that. I did score 22 once indoor, but that included seventeen that I scored from the other goal, because it was legal until then (for some reason, they changed the rules after that year) to drop-kick from your hands for a goal.

    Oh, and I was 42 at the time, the five goals. And 15 years removed from any support by male hormones beyond that produced by any woman’s body. Mars was 40.

    Why won’t men let women play men’s sports? Because we’d push men out of the game. Not all of them, not many of the top ones probably – testosterone is a powerful PED – but there’d be a fuckton more guys unable to make their way in the world by playing football, if the doors were opened.

    It’ll happen. Probably not in my lifetime, not more than giving a good woman player a deal for publicity purposes if she’s also pretty enough (not her fault if they can’t respect her skills!), but it’ll happen. The games will be better when it does.

  140. says

    Back in high school, there were a few girls who made the American Football team at another high school a couple towns away.

    They weren’t the biggest stars of the team, but they certainly pulled their own weight on the field. Nondiscrimination law only went so far as making sure they could try out in the first place- the rest was on them being better than other tryouts.

  141. rq says

    Ah, you speak of skills which I do not possess. :)
    Like I said, I just get in everyone’s way on the field. In a constructive manner, for the most part, I’ve just never really had any official training in, say, soccer and hockey. It astonishes most guys I know/knew that a woman (or girl) is ready to take some hits, and perfectly capable of receiving them as well as dishing them out. “But I don’t hit girls!” becomes a poor excuse when you’re just losing.
    Interesting interlude: Husband doesn’t like watching women’s basketball because they’re so brutal and unladylike with each other. They’re no worse than any men’s team… And for some reason this is unacceptable.
    I’m all for men’s-and-women’s sports teams. I think it would make a whole lot of violence-based sports (such as, hockey, etc.) far more watchable. And I’m pretty sure that the general brutality wouldn’t be reduced (because sometimes a good fight for the puck against the boards is fun), but the willful glorification of injuries and violence just might take a well-deserved hit…

  142. says

    A RawStory writer goes too far in his criticism of Jeb Bush:

    A coy Jeb Bush is still flirting with the idea although he is getting some static on the home front:

    There is one person who Bush would have to convince who recently threw cold water on another Bush presidency. Former first lady Barbara Bush, Jeb’s mom, said she hopes he won’t run, even though “Jeb is the best qualified person to run.”

    “If we can’t find more than two or three families to run for high office, that’s silly, because there are great governors and great eligible people to run,” Mrs. Bush said. “I refuse to accept that this country isn’t raising other wonderful people.”

    When asked about what his mother said, Jeb replied, “She promised me she wouldn’t keep saying this. But she is 89 years old and if you have elderly parents or grandparents, you know they speak their mind. There is not much stopping between thinking and speaking. I love her.”

    Expect sometime in the next sixth months or so for Barbara Bush to get a late night visit from Mr. Pillow Placed Firmly Over The Face. I bet Jeb can even get Paul Ryan to help her “to the other side” since it will fulfill yet another of a younger Paul Ryan’s childhood dreams.

    (bolding mine)
    Yeah, Jeb made an asshole comment about his mother.
    Perhaps TBogg was trying to joke, but I find nothing funny about the above scenario.

  143. says

    I’m pretty sure that’s nowhere near the first time TBogg’s tripped over that line; he seems to have a genuine liking for making jokes about being violent to his opponents’ family members/partners/lovers, especially their female ones. Too close to falling-down time to spoon out and GFY, but I’m pretty sure I recall this having happened more than once before, possibly at FDL?

  144. says

    Guh, that’s an ugly spot. “…their female ones”. I don’t like centering the sex there, but “their women” sounds awkward in a whole other wrong way, and “their women ones” makes me sound like a Google Translate.

    Ah. Les mots justes: “…especially those who are women.”

    Sorry, that was ugly, apologies.

  145. rq says

    Anyone have any decent and reliable sources on psycho organic analysis? Topic came up during Language Practice this evening. I’ve been fishing around on the internet, and it sounds a bit woo-y, but my knowledge of psychology in general is rather poor. Where’s a good place to start?

  146. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Anyone have any decent and reliable sources on psycho organic analysis?

    I assume this isn’t “O-chem wearing a hockey mask?”

  147. carlie says

    Child 1 is doing better than we are! Spouse has been sleeping poorly for days and has been asleep for a 2 hour (so far) nap. I ate at a fast food place on my way to work and now feel rotten sick. Child 1? Bouncing around like nothing happened. The hydrocodone is definitely working to keep the pain away, but it’s not slowing him down a bit. No swelling yet. He’s eaten pudding and a milkshake already. I made him tell the surgical assistants about his dream, and they thought it was hilarious, and when he woke up they told him that they had hidden his teeth that they took out all over the office and he had to find them. :D

    I think partly we were a lot more worried about it than we even realized, so now’s the downside/collapse now that it’s all over. What he’s had today about equals his entire daily intake from the last week or so, so I think that’s right that part of his problem was probably nerves also.

  148. David Marjanović says

    Oh, I almost forgot.

    The NFL is classified as not-for-profit and therefore hasn’t paid taxes since 1966. Petition to restore sanity at last.

    Child 1? Bouncing around like nothing happened.

    Yay! :-)


  149. says

    So, what do you expect me to say after leaving that snippet here in the Lounge?
    “I’m so sorry” or something like that?
    Well, thank you. Between the two of you you made me feel like a useless piece of skin who’s completely overreacting and doesn’t know shit about anything, not even her area of studies. I don’t think I’ve been this badly triggered or felt this bad in months.
    Yeah, everybody lost, kind of.

    I’m off, folks, see you some time around

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

    Gillell, I do not expect an apology from you – rather, I wanted to offer you one. I should have realized how badly we were talking past each other sooner than I did.

  151. says

    Recently, PZ posted about the letter to the Wall Street Journal in which billionaire Tom Perkins compared liberals to Nazis. Now there has been some follow up from the editors of WSJ … and they are defending Tom Perkins:

    To briefly recap, Perkins made the case that liberal criticism of the wealthiest 1% has “parallels” to Nazi genocide. “Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930,” he wrote, “is its descendent ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?” Soon after, Perkins appeared on Bloomberg Television and apologized for his word-choice, but defended his message. During the same interview, he boasted he “could buy a six pack of Rolexes” while arguing the rich feel put upon.

    It seemed odd that the Wall Street Journal would publish Perkins’ letter, knowing that many would likely find it offensive. Did the paper’s editors want him to make him look bad? As it turns out, no – the newspaper published Perkins’ message because it’s sympathetic to his argument.

    Under a curious “Perkinsnacht” headline, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal argues today that progressive criticism of Perkins “is making our friend’s point about liberal intolerance.” Though the editorial board concedes that his Nazi comparison was “unfortunate,” today’s editorial nevertheless thinks Perkins was onto something.

    While claiming to be outraged at the Nazi reference, the critics seem more incensed that Mr. Perkins dared to question the politics of economic class warfare. The boys at Bloomberg View—we read them since no one else does—devoted an entire editorial to inequality and Mr. Perkins’s “unhinged Nazi rant.” Others denounced him for defending his former wife Danielle Steel, and even for owning too many Rolex watches.

    Maybe the critics are afraid that Mr. Perkins is onto something about the left’s political method.

    Wait, it gets worse.

    The Journal’s editorial board proceeded to publish an odd indictment of “liberals in power,” including allegations that there are “federal agencies” trying to “shut down” the Koch brothers, and “President Obama’s IRS targeted conservative political groups.”

    For the record, there are no agencies trying to shut down the Koch brothers and the IRS “scandal” is discredited nonsense.[…]

    Uh, yeah. Because we disagree with Tom Perkins, we are persecuting him.

    And the WSJ buying into the right-wing conspiracy about liberals shutting down the Koch brothers, or about Obama having the IRS target conservatives? That’s just nuts. That’s not journalism. WSJ, where have all your standards gone?

  152. says

    I’m usually just a lurker, but I seriously need advice.

    On another blog that has been mentioned her (pro-feminism, anti-MRA) I asked about an unusual blog by one of the regular commenters. This commenter’s blog expresses the idea that zhe is married to a dead historical figure, and all the blogger’s faces are composites of a real person who is not the blogger.

    It never, ever occurred to me that this blogger actually believed zhe was married to this historical figure. I assume the entire blog was entirely in fun. especially since all the faces of the blogger were superimposed to look like a person of that era. So when I made a joke about it, zhe told me it was neither fiction nor a joke and that my joke was entirely unwelcome.

    Was it so strange that I should fail to take the blog at face value? I am bipolar myself, and am comfortable with all kinds of “mental illness” (or whatever the opposite of neurotypical is), but can one always predict if someone is serious in cases like these? I just can’t believe this blogger wouldn’t expect people to understand unless they knew this person. I was completely shocked.

    I don’t make jokes at people’s expenses. I don’t try to hurt people. But honestly, was I supposed to have known the blogger really intended what zhe wrote to be reality? And if I was, how can I ever be a skeptic?

  153. anteprepro says

    Was it so strange that I should fail to take the blog at face value? I am bipolar myself, and am comfortable with all kinds of “mental illness” (or whatever the opposite of neurotypical is), but can one always predict if someone is serious in cases like these? I just can’t believe this blogger wouldn’t expect people to understand unless they knew this person….
    But honestly, was I supposed to have known the blogger really intended what zhe wrote to be reality?

    It isn’t strange to not take it face value. No, you can’t always predict that kind of thing, which is one of the myriad of reasons why e-psychiatry (diagnosing someone with mental illness based upon what they write on the internet) is frowned upon. If they genuinely believe that they are married to a historical figure, they think it seems reasonable and probably don’t understand how that premise seems from a third party perspective (think: religion). No, you weren’t supposed to have known, but obsessing over what you were “supposed to have known” and so on isn’t going to make things better. You can’t be expected to know, so if you step on someone’s toes, step off and apologize, and don’t fret about how couldn’t have known that their toes were there, and how they should have known to move their toes.

  154. bluentx says

    Threadrupt by several days. I’ve been sick. / whiney voice
    Nope, not yet. More depressing news to come.

    Confirmation complete. I got my sisters’ death certificate in the mail today. Now, to find out if the other sibs know….

    Living up to my nym today!

  155. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Does anyone know whether Ed Brayton cares whether Slymepitters are infesting his blog? >.>

  156. says

    Thanks, Anteprepro, That really helps. I can’t always trust what my mind tells because I tend to blame myself for just about everything …

  157. says

    also ‘rupt, due to class work, now caught up on. *hugs* and sympathies

    General *hugs* all ’round as needed, too.

    He said in the Metzger thread that he usually doesn’t read the comments, so I’m guessing no.

  158. anteprepro says

    I can’t always trust what my mind tells because I tend to blame myself for just about everything …

    I’m pretty sure most people would have interpreted it as humor (at least I know would have, since my favorite type of humor is absurdist…like a 21st century person marrying a historic figure) so definitely don’t blame yourself!

  159. Nutmeg says

    *hugs*, bluentx. I hope you are feeling physically better soon. And I’m sorry about your sister and the family situation.

  160. pakicetus says

    Does anyone have a paper on earliest Palaeocene climate? I got interested after reading on palaeoclimatology.

  161. ajb47 says

    Tony way back @ 187:

    Yeah, I agree with the showing support for victims part of your post. I’ve actually gotten myself to do it on other FtB blogs with posts saying that the support is appreciated. I was more talking about arguments with those folks who occasionally (or frequently, really) show up here with a warped view of equality. And I admit, and I think I have admitted here before, that though I never believed anyone less than any one else for any reason, that I have told the stereotype jokes and such. I am always trying to learn because, though I think I read it in a Sword & Sorcery novel, no day is a waste in which you learn something.

    But I am still learning where my privileges are and where my biases lie, and I really think in the past few years reading here that those areas are far smaller than they used to be. So now I need to learn to speak out better, which is the tougher part for me.

    Lynna @188 – Utah Seizing Student Lunches

    Yes, because missed payments are far more important than children getting the nutrition they need.

    CatieCat @202 – Women in Sports

    As a USAn with its four major sports, I have thought physically, baseball would be the first to bring in women. A good bat contact, quick running singles hitter is gold. I’m not sure MLB would be any less sexist than it was racist when Jackie Robinson joined, though, so unfortunately more than just physically being able to do the job is involved. Or maybe that’s just like the rest of reality.

    Your description of your futbol days have made me remember the time I realized that any player from the US Women’s National Team would start on the MLS’ Philadelphia Union. Perhaps the world’s most popular sport could be the entrance to a non-gendered league.

  162. ajb47 says

    And I wanted to say, despite not responding individually, that as a parent and a husband, and a human being who doesn’t really like other human beings to suffer (except maybe those other human beings who are driving on the roads around me — anyone disrupting traffic flow needs to suffer twice the disruption of traffic flow that they inflict on others), I hope you get through your troubles with a minimum of disruption. As I tried to say earlier, I am terrible at, “Me, too,” but I hope things go as smoothly as possible from here on out.

  163. says

    I hope you feel..err…less blue soon :)


    Anteprepro’s advice is quite good.
    Please don’t beat yourself up too much.


    Ooooh boy, which shitty Slimers are infesting Dispatches?



    But I am still learning where my privileges are and where my biases lie, and I really think in the past few years reading here that those areas are far smaller than they used to be. So now I need to learn to speak out better, which is the tougher part for me.

    I think I have some idea what you mean. It took some time before I felt confident regularly commenting here. I needed to do exactly what you’re talking about (learn about my biases and privileges), as well as accept that I can and will be wrong. Other stuff too, but it boils down to I needed to reflect and think. I think commenting here in The Lounge may be helpful to some in that ‘dipping the toe into the pool’ kinda way.

    I am always trying to learn because, though I think I read it in a Sword & Sorcery novel, no day is a waste in which you learn something.

    It may seem trivial, but I learned something today.
    At worked I waited on a couple (husband and wife, I think). They were a very pleasant couple, and I enjoyed the conversations we briefly had. The man had an accent that I couldn’t place. Though part of me wanted to ask him where he was from, I thought that might be too intrusive, so I decided not to. I wound up getting an answer when I presented the check to him. He paid with a credit card, and I noted his last name. When I brought it back to him, I asked the proper pronunciation of his last name, to which he chuckled. Turns out he’s from Bulgaria and he’s accustomed to people mispronouncing his name (he’s been in the states for decades). His last name started with ‘CS’, which completely threw me (I’m pretty good at correctly pronouncing peoples’ last names). He told me quite an amusing anecdote about his name before informing me that the first two letters of his last name are pronounced like the ‘CH’ in chicken or cheese.

    For some reason, I thought it was soo cool to learn that.

  164. rq says

    An article on men’s cardiological health is titled Girls, protect your menfolk!
    Of course. Because it’s not their responsibility.

  165. bluentx says

    I missed some things while I was sick (and not paying attention to nuthin’ but my pillow and decongestant).

    *sniffle sniffle* (not allergy related)

    Goodbye , Pete Seeger!

  166. bassmike says

    bluentx I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling down. I hope things cheer up for you soon.

    ajb47 & sueinnm I apologise for not previously doing this: Welcome! It’s always good to ‘see’ new people.

    Giliell please don’t leave us! I for one very much value your contribution here.

    Tony you continue to prove what a thoroughly decent chap you are (That’s the British in me coming out). If all staff at restaurants were like you I’d never eat at home!

    After today I will probably be away for a while as I’m going to be looking after my parents for the next week. On and off. I leave a large pile of hugs, another of confetti-sparkles-fireworks, cookies and some grog to cover most eventualities.

  167. bluentx says

    Re: Belize

    A commune in the tropics? Huuummm…. Scouting party! [Any excuse for a party, right?]

  168. bluentx says


    Things may be looking up already. [Where is that Eric Idle link…]

    Overnight, as a result of passing on ‘bad news’, I’ve reconnected with my brother, a niece and a… uh… niece-in-law (?) for lack of a better term. And other reconnections in the works. Maybe it’s good I didn’t delete my FB account afterall.

  169. rq says

    *hugs* and sweet dreams of Belize! Yay for the reconnections, I hope they’re good ones in the long run.

    Good luck, with the next week and all other impending events. May your daughter’s health remain good, and may your father’s time here be as painless and satisfactory as possible!! *hugs* Best wishes to your entire family.

  170. Nick Gotts says

    Seconding bassmike@237 re Giliell – I greatly value your comments.

    Some good news – son heard today that he’d passed the last of his first set of university exams, the one he was a bit uncertain about. So no resits to worry about in the summer (from this batch of exams at least – I think he gets another lot in May).

  171. bassmike says

    rq thank you! My daughter seems to be getting over this cold without it developing into pneumonia, which is good. My wife now has the cold so I’m not feeling great about having to leave her with my daughter, but I have little choice. I want to be in two places at once !! No fair.

  172. rq says

    Somebody needs to invent body-duplication, seriously. Or at least teleportation, then going from place to place wouldn’t be a problem at all.


    On our walk today, finally saw a couple of these tits hanging about a couple blocks from our house – I’m hoping they realize there’s a buffet just around the corner, and I can snap some more (bad) photos. So cute!
    And it would mean I only have one more to cross off the list of tits (the azure one, but it seems to be a rarity). Possibly two, but since I can’t tell the last two apart at all, I’m going to cheat and say I’ve seen them both (one seems to have a longer “beard”, that’s the only visible difference I see).

  173. rq says

    Good luck, with everything (yourself, the family, college, etc.), and I hope to see you again soon.
    Take care of yourself.
    I will miss you!!!

  174. bassmike says

    Giliell take what time you need. I will be very pleased to see you back when you feel ready.

  175. Portia, walking stress ball says

    Hugs for Giliell and Esteleth.

    Some days the lawyer listserv makes me ragey:
    “Ok, I like women as much as the next guy, and I am willing to tolerate them as lawyers, but I need help. … I just don’t know how to celebrate women. If I end up going to this [bar association] luncheon in the loop, I want to be prepared. Do I have to get drunk? Would it be wrong of me to celebrate the incoming male [bar association] president?”

    And the next it makes me wish I could come up with this stuff:

    “Mr. [Poopyhead McMisogynist]:

    I believe that an excellent way to celebrate women would be to send me a gift.

    If it is a nice gift, then I may consider tolerating you back.


    [Wilhemina Awesomeperson]
    Woman Lawyer”

  176. rq says

    Rando quote:

    “You beg the question, Professor Salvage.”
    “I beg nothing. Not even your pardon. I do not even beg to differ. I differ without begging, and would rather beg from an ancient, rib-staring, sightless groveller at the foot of a column than beg from you, sir. The truth is not in you, and your feet smell.”

    – Mervyn Peake, Titus Alone

    (Going through some old papers.)

  177. dianne says

    @143: Re imposter syndrome: I was just writing up a case that I saw recently which was a referral for an “expert opinion” and thought, “And they sent them to ME? WTF?” Despite the fact that, actually, I did know what to do with the case. Still, someone sent a patient to ME for an expert opinion? AHHHH! Are they nuts?

  178. Pteryxx says

    WaPo: Questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask (not my headline)

    The Russian-speaking, eastern half of Ukraine tends to be, big surprise, more pro-Russian. Yanukovych is from that part of the country, has most of his support there, and did not even speak Ukrainian until he was in his 50s.

    The pro-E.U.-deal protests have mostly been in the Ukrainian-speaking, western half. That’s also the half that voted overwhelmingly against Yanukovych in 2010. (That has been changing since the anti-protest law, which inflamed nationwide anger with Yanukovych.)

    This divide has been a challenge for Ukraine since it won independence in 1991. Elections have been near-evenly split between the two halves, pulling the country in opposite directions. As the Ukraine-focused political scientist Leonid Peisakhin put it, Ukraine “has never been and is not yet a coherent national unit with a common narrative or a set of more or less commonly shared political aspirations.”

    In some ways, this crisis is about popular anger against a president who mishandled the economy and whose attempts to quash protests have edged into authoritarianism. But it’s also about Ukraine’s long-unresolved national identity crisis. This story is often framed as Ukraine being pulled by Moscow on one end and Europe on the other. But Ukrainians themselves are doing a lot of the pulling: a 22-year tug-of-war between two halves and two identities.

  179. rq says

    Sounds a lot like most of the former SSR states. Sadly. (Yuh, here too. Just not as explicitly.)

  180. Portia, walking stress ball says

    So Threatening Abusive Asshole has apparently done much worse that the threats he made to me last week. He intimidating his daughter’s therapist into not seeing her anymore. The hairs on the back of my neck won’t lay down.

  181. rq says

    Stay safe!!

    Dunno, when’s good for you? I can be packed in about half-an-hour… It’s summer in Belize, right?

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


    Hopefully, you found out about that at the same time judge did… ?
    Seconding rq, stay safe!

    I’d rather wait until Sunday. Right now, I’d just sneeze on you and we’d both be too sick to enjoy ourselves.

  183. dianne says

    @Beatrice: “So, when are we leaving for Belize?”

    I’m about 1/2 an hour away from the airport…

  184. Portia, walking stress ball says

    Thanks rq and Beatrice.

    I dropped the info to the clerk because I know they’ll tell the judge. I’m considering asking a deputy to walk me to and from my car.

  185. dianne says

    Giliell, if you’re still reading, I just want to say that I value your contribution here and hope you feel comfortable coming back some time, but only if it feels right to you. Hugs, if wanted.

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

    Oh, Alan Rickman.
    You know when people wish they’d been born at some other time so that they could experience something (a particular concert, visit a now devastated place, see someone who is now dead…)? I wish I had been born at the right time and place (and had enough resources)) to see him in Les Liaisons dangereuses.

  187. dianne says

    @Portia: Is TAA’s behavior in any way illegal? Can you get a restraining order against him? Thirding rq on safety.

  188. Portia, walking stress ball says


    It’s just this side of legal. As soon as he makes a slightly more threatening statement to me, he’s getting a restraining order slapped on him. I suppose I could try it with what he’s already said, but I don’t want to stoke his rage without certainty that I could get the order.

  189. Portia, walking stress ball says

    No no not your fault. I’m just thinking about it too much I think.

  190. rq says

    I think a deputy would be a great idea, because TAA doesn’t sound encouraging at all. Make sure you are as safe as possible, alert the authorities (good that you’ve passed the info on), and I hope he is taken seriously by everyone involved.

    That would have been something. No youtube for that, I suppose… But at least we can watch him drink tea in slow motion, high definition!

  191. Portia, walking stress ball says


    Thanks. I did tell the cops. The officer I spoke to was pretty understanding. Fortunately or unfortunately, they probably took me more seriously than they would his ex-wife. It’s not often that an attorney says “Hey, heads up, this guy seems violent.”

  192. says

    At least one other person is going for that promotion I want.

    I don’t know for sure who, but based on things various coworkers have said and whose been tried out as acting signing lead, I think I’ve got a pretty good guess, and if I’m right, I’m almost certainly not getting it. If it’s someone else I’ve got a decent shot, but most of my coworkers really don’t like signing very much.

    Going to try anyways. My chances are low, but they are not zero.

    If this coworker does get it, she’ll do a good job so at least I know I won’t lose out to an idiot. And- her position will suddenly open up. Maybe not as well paying as the signing job, but between wage and hours, better than what I’ve got now. And also a bit of extra responsibility, which is good to show on a resume for career progression. I’m looking somewhat for a second job, but life would be simpler if I just have the one, so it’s good that these opportunities are popping up.

  193. says

    Paul K @277- I saw a mention of that.

    This Chris Christie situation annoys me. He’s the least shitty of potential Republican 2016 candidates. Or at least, before this, he appeared to *easily* take that spot. Yes, I realize this is a very low bar, but still. If Obama screws up badly enough in the next couple years, he could hand 2016 to the Republicans. IF that were to happen, I’d want Christie to be their candidate. That would be a bad result, but less bad than pretty much any of the alternatives. Christies shenanigans, unless he can pull a miracle out and conclusively exonerate himself, have probably increased our odds of getting a President Cruz in the wake of a late second Obama term disaster.

  194. Paul K says

    gworroll @ 278

    I get what you’re saying, but Obama won’t be running again, though I do know he could ruin things for the next Democrat (most likely to be Clinton, unless things really change). I’m not pleased with any potential candidate, of either party. The Democrats left me decades ago. But, if Christie were the Republican candidate, many Democrats looked ready to vote for him. I’ve always thought he was a nasty piece of work. Definitely a bully. A smug, arrogant, lying bully. If he was the most likely Republican candidate to win — the one Democrats could get behind — then he would have been the one it would have been easiest for Obama to ‘hand 2016’ to. I’m glad he’s (probably) gone.

    Also, though I know how easy it is for reality to throw things to the wind, I just cannot see any Republican winning the Presidency in the near future. Demographics are only getting worse for them every day, and they just keep digging deeper into their holes. But the Presidency is way over-rated, anyway. As long as either House is in the hands of Republicans, we’re screwed. Even if they lose in both houses and the Presidency, there’s still the Supreme Court. And too many Democrats have their own issues.

  195. says

    There are a handful of decent Republicans left, mostly in the northeast at the state and local level.

    Our best hope really, is for those remaining sane Republicans to realize that the GOP is beyond saving, and split off into their own party. If they can get at least a handful of House and Senate republicans to sign on, and maybe a few governors, they might stand a chance at defeating the nutjobs once they’ve given up on saving them.

  196. says

    PaulK @279-

    You do have a point. Obama wouldn’t have to screw up nearly as badly to hand it to Christie than he would to hand it to someone else.

  197. bluentx says

    First day in The Year of The H….

    I know, I better not say it unless I want to endure The Wrath of Cicely.

    *waving* instead

  198. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead combined must be fish Friday with the Chinese New Year, so take-out Chinese heavy on seafood. Also, tons of plan-overs making next week, along with the planned over chili, nothing but reheats, making it easy for the Nerd.

  199. cicely says

    The mushroom, bacon, cheese and mushroom more-or-less-pot-pie is workable. The gluten-free Bisquick™ has an odd texture, but that seems to be the nature of the gluten-free beast, and I will simply have to get used to it.
    The vitamin C chewables are reasonably priced, so I shall experiment with them.

    carlie, I’m glad it went so well for Child 1.

    sueinnm howdy, and happy de-lurking!
    What you describe sounds like a subset of “in web-space, no one can hear your tone, see your expression, and easily judge whether you’re funnin'”. I can’t see how you could have been expected to know, since the sort of situation you describe (a nowadays person who matter-of-factly is convinced that they are married to a (presumably dead? or so I assume, from context) historical figure) does not usually even appear on the Menu of Possibilities. You cannot be expected to read minds (by proxy, yet!), and I don’t think you should beat yourself up about it.

    *gentle hugs* for bluentx. Sorry you’ve been sick, glad you’re better.

    *hugs*, with *chocolate&boozes* for Giliell, as a Care Package for you, on your break. Come back when you can/wish; your seat will be waiting.
    Though it may collect cat hair; my Bitsy-beast seems to be shedding all over me (in a fashion for which “area of effect”, or “blast radius” seem to be the best descriptors), and I’m sure some of it will migrate into the Intarweebs.

    Be safe, Portia.

    “Make it easy for the Nerd” is a good thing! The Nerd deserves some breaks.
    On accounta being Awesome.

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

    There’s a ftbcon going on and PZ didn’t say anything :(

  201. rq says

    A bunch of other bloggers did, but yeah, there was a lot less advertising this time around. :(

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

    And now I notice there’s actually a post about it. Oops.

  203. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear your con over all the sexytimes and boozytimes I was having :3

    …now my ~girlfriend is sitting and reading my contribution to this. O.o

    I have no idea if I should be advertising this at all, but this is the weirdest kind of performance anxiety yet.

    Wait, never mind, she says “excellent.” :3

  204. blf says

    Exploding snow, and also cows that refuse to melt when a blowtorch is applied, sound like typical mildly deranged penguin diversions

    And a bacon, cheese, MUSHROOMS!, and cheese pie sounds like an excellent mildly deranged penguin attractor. Just add vin.

  205. bluentx says

    Heh! First comment on Russian wedding link.. Something about how ‘these are so much better than … American weddings’.
    Funny, as I looked through the images I thought how similar they were to …. American wedding photos!
    Go figure!

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

    I approve of these. Weddings don’t have to be serious, they are just supposed to make the couple happy.

  207. says

    Yeah, I dropped the ball on publicizing FtBCon this time around. The last couple of weeks at work have been insane: everything came due at once. Had to do screening for the HHMI applicant pool, had to interview three candidates for a job way outside my field of expertise (but boy, I learned a lot about Big Data this week), had to train 30 students in sexing and raising flies — still ongoing, I’m heading over to the lab at 9 to open it up for students who are setting up crosses — and just generally got dumped on all at once.

    Next week will be better.

  208. says

    As Americans tune in to the Super Bowl this year, fully half of fans — as many as 70 million Americans — believe there may be a twelfth man on the field influencing the outcome,” Public Religion Research Institute CEO Robert Jones said in a statement. “Significant numbers of American sports fans believe in invoking assistance from God on behalf of their favorite team, or believe the divine may be playing out its own purpose in the game.”

    Football fans were the most likely to pray for their own teams to win, with 33 percent saying they ask God to intervene in games, compared to 21 percent of fans of other sports. They were also more likely to think their teams were cursed (31 percent compared to 18 percent) and to take part in rituals before or during games (25 percent to compared to 18 percent).

    Football fans are the most god-addled.

  209. says

    Darwin Day

    Three House Democrats have proposed a resolution that criticizes the teaching of creationism and the denial of man-made global warming as anti-science.

    The resolution from Reps. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Mike Honda (D-Calif.), H.Res. 467, proposes the designation of Feb. 12 as “Darwin Day” to recognize Charles Darwin’s contributions to science.

    The resolution says Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection “provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.” It also says teachings to the contrary go against established science. […]

  210. says

    NBC News link.

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Mont., filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday to pave the way for a $15 million settlement of lawsuits alleging clergy members sexually abused 362 children over five decades, according to a diocese spokesman.

    “The settlement here will be as much help financially as we can offer to claimants,” the spokesman, Dan Bartleson, told “And the bankruptcy puts us in a place at the diocese where we can care for the Catholics who are currently part of the church.” […]

    Desperate attempt to limit payments to those abused?

  211. says

    The makers of this video don’t have enough money to pay to have it aired during the Superbowl, but it is a great ad: Daily Kos link. Full video available at the link. Love the presentation of Native American tribes.

  212. says

    FoodForPatriots is a scam being run on conservatives.

    […]The message was suffused with breathless concern about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s recent order of “420 million survival meals;” such provisions are apparently “the #1 most critical item in a crisis.” You see, “FEMA knows that if you control the food supply, then you control the people.”

    Normally, such paranoid ramblings merit nothing more than a quick delete and a sad shake of the head. But the New Year’s note stood out because of the source. I was being alerted to FEMA’s nefarious plot by no less than National Review, the nation’s most important conservative magazine.

    “Please find this special message from our sponsoring advertiser Food4Patriots,” the publication wrote. “This important support affords us the continuing means to provide you with National Review’s distinctly conservative and always exceptional news and commentary. We encourage you to patronize our sponsors.”

    Since being added to National Review’s subscriber list, I had received four emails from the venerable publication selling me on Food4Patriots’ plan to “make darn sure your family won’t go hungry or get herded into a FEMA camp” by purchasing the dehydrated food they’re hawking. Indeed, Food4Patriots is deeply ensconced in the conservative movement, placing its ads in both more mainstream outlets (Fox News, and fringier sites (Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, RedState, WorldNetDaily). […]

    Allen Baler is behind this scam and many others. See link.

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

    I have been weirded out officially.

    A meme appeared on Tumblr. It features Josef Stalin.


  214. David Marjanović says

    What, is it weirder than the Downfall video that gets subtitled over and over again?

  215. says

    Regarding the Russian wedding photos (294), not enough pictures of women holding up tiny men, too many pictures of men holding up tiny women. Nevertheless, awesome, totally awesome local color. No need to remove the village drunk from the photo.

    Also, “come as you are” clothing seems acceptable, making for some odd pairings with traditional wedding gowns.

  216. David Marjanović says

    This divide has been a challenge for Ukraine since it won independence in 1991. Elections have been near-evenly split between the two halves, pulling the country in opposite directions. As the Ukraine-focused political scientist Leonid Peisakhin put it, Ukraine “has never been and is not yet a coherent national unit with a common narrative or a set of more or less commonly shared political aspirations.”

    Goes back to the 16th century, when the western part was under Polish-Lithuanian rule and converted to Catholicism. (That’s what Greek Catholic means, BTW: “Greek” (Eastern Orthodox) rite, but Catholic dogma and acceptance of the pope as overlord.) The whole country was only united, as part of the Soviet Union, at the end of WWII!

  217. says

    So one of my oldest friends is pregnant. While not a hugely close friend, she’s been one of the most valued- her marriage is the first same sex marriage I’ve actually seen in the wild. I knew they were out there, and that they worked, but with a whole lot of issues I have socializing, my social circle is too small to encounter much(I’m getting better on this, but it’s hard). So they were the first, really the first long term same sex romantic relationship at all I’ve actually seen.

    Having not had a good role model of this sort of thing, I had some issues with being bi that lasted long after I had settled firmly on that being what I was. But then seeing her again, and her wife, at our high school reunion, just seeing them being themselves, I went from knowing intellectually that it really was a viable option to actually understanding it, in just a few hours. It helped me immensely in being secure in myself and seeing that the option, should I meet the right man, really is viable.

    And now they are having a kid, and I’m really happy for them. They’ve wanted one for a while, and now it’s happening! Hopefully, their current state will get with the program soon and pass marriage equality. That’s about the only thing they don’t like about where they live.

  218. says

    Follow up on a Moment of Mormon Madness from October of 2013. The mormon Boy Scout leaders who toppled a geological formation in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park have been charged with a felony.

    […] Taylor, who is accused of physically pushing over the hoodoo, was charged Friday in Castle Dale’s 7th District Court with third-degree felony criminal mischief. Hall, accused of videotaping the incident, was charged with conspiracy criminal mischief, also a third-degree felony. […]

    Several Boy Scout leaders sparked controversy in October, 2013, when they posted a video of themselves toppling an ancient ‘Goblin’ rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park. […]

    If convicted, the men could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. […]
    Yeah, they were brilliant when they posted a video of the vandalism. The guys were also supervised Boy Scouts who were playing a game of jumping from “goblin” or hoodoo to another hoodoo.

  219. Pteryxx says

    More ragey news… I didn’t think a teacher compensation plan could make me physically sick. (Bolds that follow are mine)

    Latest proposal from North Carolina to reduce costs and *ahem* “embrace high teacher turnover”.

    Taken to pieces beautifully here: Message to North Carolina teachers: We hope you die young

    The latest ideas circulating at the North Carolina General Assembly regarding how to reform the teaching profession certainly makes one wonder what exactly is in the water supply in Raleigh? Is it some brain eating teacher-hating amoeba? Or perhaps some chemical contamination laced with teacher hate? Apparently last year’s legislation to end tenure, abolish pay for advanced degrees, and reward the top 25% of teachers with a $500 raise only if they give up tenure four years early was not insulting enough. The highlights of this year’s 60/30/10 plan include: paying teachers on a per pupil basis, establishing career tracks, forcing all teachers to reapply for their jobs, and the ultimate kick in the wazoo, mandatory retirement after 20 years of service.

    and commentary here: A woman’s place is in the classroom, as long as she doesn’t expect to make an actual career out of it

    Basically, they think teaching should be done by nice neighbor ladies and your best friend’s mom but since that won’t happen thanks to uppity feminists putting notions in good women’s heads, then anyone who wants to go into teaching has to be made aware that all teachers are are a class of babysitters and babysitters don’t get paid more than parents feel like paying them, they don’t get benefits, and they certainly don’t get a job for life—they’re expected to grow up and get real jobs—but, maybe, if they’re lucky and they do a really good job of keeping the kids entertained and well-behaved, they get tips.

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

    The meme features a short clip of Stalin, outdoors. He looks to his right and to his left, and looks vaguely irritated.

    The caption is, “Shit, I hate everyone here.”

  221. rq says

    That sounds like some good news, for you and your friends! Good luck to them, and also good luck going forward for you!!

  222. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …so, I have just been reminded that apparently feminists and others who are supportive of sex worker rights have taken to referring to people who want sex work to remain, or be more broadly, criminalized and have the intention of eliminating it as “abolitionists.”


  223. Pteryxx says

    Attention Kansas – Internet-restriction bill going up for discussion this Tuesday:

    Big cable tries outlawing municipal broadband in Kansas

    Legislation introduced in the Kansas state legislature by a lobby for cable companies would make it almost impossible for cities and towns to offer broadband services to residents and would perhaps even outlaw public-private partnerships like the one that brought Google Fiber to Kansas City.

    The Senate bill doesn’t list any lawmaker as its sponsor, and there’s a reason—a Senate employee told us it was submitted by John Federico on behalf of the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association, of which he is president.

    That’s a lobby group with members such as Comcast, Cox, Eagle Communications, and Time Warner Cable. The bill was introduced this week, referred to the Committee on Commerce, and scheduled for discussion for Tuesday of next week.

    Follow-up here and progress of the bill including possible rescheduling here.

  224. Pteryxx says

    Philosophy has a sex harassment problem, U of Colorado edition:

    Women fleeing department’s rampant sex harassment

    The University of Colorado Boulder removed the chair of the philosophy department and suspended graduate student admissions for two years after a report found evidence that “the department maintains an environment with unacceptable sexual harassment, inappropriate sexualized unprofessional behavior and divisive uncivil behavior.”


    “The Department uses pseudo-philosophical analyses to avoid directly addressing the situation. Their faculty discussions revolve around the letter rather than the spirit of proposed regulations and standards.” The committee found that “[t]hey spend too much time articulating (or trying to articulate) the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior instead of instilling higher expectations for professional behavior.”

    “They spend significant time debating footnotes and ‘what if’ scenarios instead of discussing what they want their department to look and feel like. In other words, they spend time figuring out how to get around regulations rather than focusing on how to make the department supportive of women and family‐friendly.”

    The American Philosophical Association’s report is on Scribd here.

  225. Pteryxx says

    and the APA site report on U of Colorado’s philosophy department is also available here: PDF link including point-by-point evaluations and suggested best practices such as dissolving departmental listservs, appointing an ombudsperson from a different department, developing clear disciplinary and transparency guidelines, and providing anti-harassment and bystander training.

  226. Pteryxx says

    One more good article summarizing the APA report and U of Colorado’s response: Denver Post link

    ‘I think it needs to be public’

    Leigh, the Arts and Sciences dean, said by making the report public and by being transparent, the university is giving Cowell, the new department chairman, the best chance to succeed.

    CU paid $25,000 for the review with funds from the provost’s office, the dean’s office and the philosophy department.

    “We have work to do in this department, and so bringing in (Cowell) to chair the department without any explanation or any background is not acceptable,” Leigh said. “It doesn’t put him in the circumstance that he needs to succeed.

    “Frankly, we’re a public university and we can’t just sort of sink this report and not worry about it ever again. Looking at the report as an action plan, ‘Here’s what you need to do,’ I think it needs to be public.”

    Boulder Faculty Assembly chairman Paul Chinowsky said making the report public also opens up windows for conversations in departments across the campus about what it means to be professional, how to create an appropriate department culture and other topics.

    Chinowsky said the report will be a uniting factor among faculty members, who he expects will want to work together to make the campus safer and more welcoming to everyone. He added that he’s never seen anything like the extent of inappropriate behavior spelled out in the report.

    “This is the first time I have seen something taken to this level,” Chinowsky said. “There are always rumors, innuendos and things happening that are just that: rumors, suggestions, innuendos. This is the first time I’ve seen this type of behavior documented to this extent.”

  227. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Boulder Faculty Assembly chairman Paul Chinowsky said making the report public also opens up windows for conversations in departments across the campus about what it means to be professional, how to create an appropriate department culture and other topics.

    Oh, that is a very significant change in the culture. Not only is the administration against you for being a sexist pig, but your senior faculty members think you need to change your attitude. The very ones who sit on P&T committees, and given the report, would give credence to rumors and innuendo against you at a critical time in your professional development at that campus.

  228. blf says

    poopyhead, “Yeah, I dropped the ball on publicizing FtBCon this time around.”…

    Thank you! The one and only time I checked the site the times for the various blatherings, they were not given in UTC (nor was the difference from UTC given), so I cannot bother to translate them into something useful. Hence, I am ignoring FtCon as a pathetic scam unaware of its potential audience, as clewless as AiG and Faux Newts.

    If you cannot provide any help to yer not-USAlien audience, you should stop this fraud. (And yes, I have had a lot of vin tonight.)

  229. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I was not aware that transdermal magnesium could actually make one feel a bit…stoned. Maybe my brain is weird after being bludgeoned from the inside for a week and a half?

    Upside: No migraine at long last!

  230. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, yay for child#1! Hope he is feeling all right (and glad to hear he’s eating a little already!)

    bluentx, I’m very sorry for the news about your sister. And I’m so sorry about the way you have found out. Hope you are OK, or will be.

    Best wishes for your daughter’s health, bassmike, and for the time your family has left with your father. I hope is as comfortable as medicine can make him.

    Giliell, I hope to see you back on this screen very soon. And that you are all right. Can I send over any hugs at all?

    Portia, take all the precautions and be safe. And I hope you nail this douche in court with so many nails.

    Good luck with the job application/possible reshuffle, gworroll – hope you get the one you want! And I’m happy for your friends; thank you for sharing that good news with us!

    Well, my dearly beloved relative with whom I no longer see eye-to-eye (as he has drifted right over the last few years … it’s like he’s a different person sometimes) has now gone and the visit is over. And I’m really quite shaken up about how changed he is :-(. I’ll always love him, but I miss the person he used to be. And of course he thinks I’m a silly thing (though he loves me too), ridiculously naive and politically ignorant, who unlike him has failed to grow up … I haz a sad.

    Gave me a small but real shock the first time we sat down to eat after his fiancée had arrived to join us, half-way through his fortnight’s visit (she’s religious) and he turned to me without a word of warning beforehand (thank you so much for putting me and OH on the spot like that, btw), held out his hand and asked if we’d “like” (ha!) to say grace with them. OH and I said “no” in unison (in tones of polite surprise, but quite firmly) and the subject was never raised again; they said a quick grace between themselves at each meal, and the rest of us just proceeded as normal. He has never ever had any truck with religion before … but it’s a big thing to her. I haz another, well, another shaken-up-ness I suppose. ::sigh:: And frankly, part of me is pretty fucking angry at him for doing that. How dare you make me look rude in my own godsdamn home by bringing in this bullshit you know bloody well I have no time for, and making it look like it’s such a tiny thing and I’m being churlish by saying no? The religious never ever think their religion could possibly be an imposition. Oh no, it’s always the other person who is being “rude” by failing to make special arrangements to accommodate them. I didn’t bring any of that up – it was his fiancée’s first visit to the UK and first time meeting other relatives of his, and we really did want to make her feel welcome. Apparently according to all reports we succeeded, and I’m glad, we wanted to be welcoming. But that does not include ever-so-gently-and-sweetly bullying me into saying grace at my own fucking table.

    I have some work just coming in round about now-ish/very soon-ish that should keep me pretty busy for a few weeks – and will hopefully be helpful when it eventually gets paid for – so I might (read ought) to be around even less for a while. But I suspect I won’t be able to resist reading you and thinking of you all whenever I take a break.

    Have fun in Belize with Alan Rickman and the phone book, rq , bluentx, dianne and beatrice! :-D

  231. says

    pretty ‘rupt, spent most of yesterday at the clinic for a CT scan, since my abdominal pain wasn’t going away. It shows nothing, but I was till in wuite a bit of pain the past few days, and still am on and off; reduced now, fortunately. The doctor says it’s not pancreatitis in fact, but hasn’t got a good explanation for what it is, which is a joy.

    *Hugs* to all those that want ’em.

  232. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I redid the soup, producing the following recipe, which wasn’t quite what I did:

    -2 cups frozen concentrated vegetable stock, reconstituted with 8 cups water
    -1 large yellow onion, chopped
    -3 medium-large carrots, sliced unpeeled
    -3 scallions, sliced
    -3 large cloves garlic
    -1/2 tsp dried rosemary
    -1/2 tsp dried thyme
    -1/2 tsp dried herbes de provence
    -1 cup steel cut oatmeal
    -1 tbsp olive oil
    -1 tsp ground mustard seed

    Defrost frozen stock in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave. Add chopped onions and olive oil to 4+ qt pot, stir to thoroughly coat. Sautee…ish…until softened, steaming, but dry-ish. Add sliced carrots and herbes, cook for another 10 minutes or so. Crush in garlic cloves, cook another minute, then add frozen stock and water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add oatmeal, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes, add mustard seed and stir in. Add salt and pepper TTOLT.

  233. ajb47 says

    Here is something that has nothing to do with what others have posted —

    Maybe some background first. My daughter is 11, my son 9. I have been going to a campground for my weekends and vacations since I was 8 years old, 39 years ago. My family got our own camper in 2010, before that we just stayed with my mom. There is a plant nursery near the campground that has a Farmer’s Market from April until October, basically during the camping season for the campground. And in the last two years, the market has expanded to short, weekend versions.

    A little bit more backgound — my wife and I don’t believe there are “bad” words, just words that are inappropriate words in certain circumstances. Like, don’t say “shit” in school. Never mind that in first grade, my son was reprimanded for spelling “fuk” (I know, but first grade) on the board with those magnetic letters, and the teacher was a bit dumbfounded that my wife and I were not more upset.

    So, today, we drove the hour to visit the winter Farmer’s Market. We got some great small batch bakery products, local cheese, a local all-natural gluten free cookie baker, and other stuff. We had lunch at what is basically a drive-in type place, but which serves all local, all natural foods. Then we went to get ice cream at a place with the same type of ingredients — all natural, and all local. I had cinnamon-bourbon with fresh whipped cream.

    Have you ever had a car trip with kids in the back seat? I’m sure at least some of you can see what is coming. Sometimes the kids are quiet and well-behaved. But most of the time, they are bouncing off the walls, at various times playing loudly, then sniping loudly, before going back to making strange noises at each other. It’s the kind of trip where you feel you should apologize to your parents because you know you did the same thing when you were your children’s ages. (Yeah, I know this is only tangentially related to some here, but it really was following the stereotype for car rides with kids.)

    Almost home, meaning over 2 hours in the car. My son (9 years old, remember) was leaning towards his window making more annoying noises (BTW – what kind of a noise annoys an oyster? An annoying noise annoys an oyster. Say it out loud — no, it isn’t really any funnier). I admit to trying to get him to tap his head on his window, but then, three lights from home, the light changed when we were close, so I had to apply the brakes very firmly — firmly enough that the seat belts all caught. Everyone in the car gave a hearty, “Whooooooa!” just for the hell of it.

    While sitting at the red light, my son, all of 9 years old and not understanding what he said, shouts out from the back seat — “Daddy, when the light turns green, jerk off at 80 miles an hour!”

    My wife could not breathe because of her laughter. I had to drive the last two minutes home with tears in my eyes from laughing. It’s even worse when we want to be open with our kids, but think this might be a little too open for a 9 and 11 year old. Still, I’m laughing now remembering it.

  234. Nutmeg says

    Ugh, parents behaving in a manner that is hugely stereotypical of older suburban white people. Not that there’s anything wrong with older suburban white people. But if my parents could have been a smidge less nosy about the other people in the restaurant tonight, or could have restrained themselves from stopping to gawk at the size of the TV in someone’s window, that would have been great. Or even if they could have been a bit less obvious about it!

  235. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Absent for reasons of spoons. Sharing for reasons of joy.

    I came home from work today to find that I wasn’t allowed in the house. My naked 6 year old daughter poked her head out the front door and told me to wait.

    “Uhm, okay? Could you please hurry honey, it’s forty* out here.”

    Shortly later I was allowed in. She was now wearing her dance costume, the one with the black fringe skirt and the green and silver hearts on the leotard.

    “Do you know why I’m wearing this Daddy?”


    She trots over to the computer and Goyte’s “Somebody I Used to Know” begins to play.

    And there they were, my wife and daughter, dancing together, choreographed dancing; Ms. Fishy teaches at the local dance school. They’d spent the afternoon going through the playlist for one of Ms. Fishy’s classes, the SF insisting on being taught all the steps.

    I watched them move, eyes a bit blurred at times. The moments of remarkable grace, arms and feet moving through space, defining it with beauty, were made achingly human by the mistakes brought on by age, both youthful and middle. My chest felt too small to contain the immensity of it all.

    Living beings moving to music, learning and loving: the beauty of life, fleeting and imperfect, made manifest on our kitchen floor.

  236. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thanks chigau. I hope you’re having a refreshing sleep.

    Forgot to add:

    * That’s +40c lest anyone think I’m being a Fahrenheit wimp. Way too hot for this Canadian ex-pat.

  237. says

    40c- that’s 104F. That isn’t fun.

    Here in Missouri we’ve gone below -10F, or about -23C, before wind chill. That isn’t fun either. And I had my car crap out due to water in the gas. No gas, heat doesn’t work, and the gloves I had were rubberized work gloves. They’ll keep your hands from getting cold for a little while, but not long, and once your hands start to get cold, they only make things worse. Had I been stuck in that for much longer, my fingers could easily have gone from hurting to frozen.

  238. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I’ve spent a lot of time ouside in -20c and below, proper clothing is vital. Frost bite is no joke, and hypothermia is downright terrifying. I’ve never had the former, but I’ve been into stage two hypothermia and once I’d recovered enough to be able to think again the helpless state I’d been in scared the crap out of me.

    I knew a woman who damn near died on a -20 something night. She’d been to a party and wasn’t dressed for the weather. The car wouldn’t start when it came time to leave. By the time they gave up on the car she couldn’t walk and her companions made the almost fatal mistake of carrying her back to the party house rather than knocking on the nearest door. She was unconscious by the time they got back. Fortunately someone there was medically trained and sober enough to do all the right things. This was in a city of around a million people, the weather doesn’t just kill rural folk.

    Stay safe gworroll. Throwing a couple of wool blankets in the trunk might not be a bad idea.

  239. rq says

    My new record is 50, but I don’t think I’ll be trying to break it any time soon. Working non-stop for that long just leaves me too hungry to think and too cold to type properly (never mind sign my name!).

    re: equipping a car for winter
    Standard objects in cold-weather cars should be blankets (preferably wool, but anything thicker than cotton will help), extra mittens (preferably fleecy or well-insulated, but even those thin stretchy ones, if layered under rubber gloves and the like do wonders), extra socks (again, preferably wool, but anything thicker than a nylon stocking will help). They’re also things that don’t usually take up a lot of space in the car, and can hang around in some small corner or niche throughout the year. Besides, blankets are great for impromptu picnics. If people still even have those. :)

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

    Great news, everybody!

    I broke my elbow last night! :D :D :D

  241. opposablethumbs says

    Bloody hell, Esteleth – and very very ow. Hope you’re OK and that it mends soon. How did it happen?

  242. rq says

    Eldest just designed and drew an engine that uses DNA as fuel.
    I am now pondering the engineering feasibility of such a machine.

  243. says

    Great, rq, now I have a mental image of a man with his pants down by the side of the road, furiously wanking next to the open fuel cap…

  244. rq says

    Not like that!! You’re dirty-minded. :P
    (Secretly laughing. A whole new meaning to loving one’s vehicle…)

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

    Black ice. I was crossing the parking lot, laden with all the stuff in my arms. Down I went. Landed on my right arm and then rolled onto my butt. Flat on my back. Fortunately managed not to hit my head.

    Got up, felt okay (albeit embarrassed). Got in car, realized I couldn’t supinate my arm. Went to ER. Verdict: radial head fracture.

    Have been given a sling, an appointment with an orthopedist, and orders to take NSAIDs.

  246. says

    My theory is that all of these planetary bodies have taken one look at Republicans shenanigans in the women’s rights arena and have been spewing water, or other liquids, all over their keyboards as a result.

    […] Saturn’s diminutive moon Enceladus continues to spew what we think are giant sprays of salty water from gnarled creases in its southern icy surface – captured in glorious imagery by the Cassini spacecraft over much of the past decade. […] the Hubble Space Telescope had caught the Jovian moon Europa seemingly doing the same. Plumes of gaseous water were registered sprouting from this icy satellite’s southerly regions (what is it about the south poles on these objects?) in synch with the apojove, or farpoint, of its 85 hour orbit. And, most recently, the now-defunct Herschel space telescope has left us data indicating that the dwarf planet Ceres (or big asteroid, or big comet-nucleus-like-body, take your pick, whatever you want to call it, really) routinely blows water from patches of its surface. […]

  247. opposablethumbs says

    How close were you to the ER when it happened? I’m hoping, really really close. Hope the NSAIDs do their thing and you feel OK.

    When DaughterSpawn was a bit younger she once fell in the street and fractured her wrist (apparently she fell because she was joking with some friends and laughing too hard to stay upright), didn’t realise it, went home on the bus, started to worry about the still sore and now swelling wrist … and phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there. Good times (for a certain value of “good”. Mind you, it was good to have the ER close to home)

  248. rq says

    I had to look up the word ‘supinate’. :) Me with my fancy biology degree and all.
    I hope it heals fast, Esteleth, get well soon (I ordered you the extra large), and good thing you had it checked out quick – I think my brother spent a week with a ‘hurting’ elbow before he decided it was worth a more serious look… :/

  249. opposablethumbs says

    How close were you to the ER when it happened? I’m hoping, really really close. Hope the NSAIDs do their thing and you feel OK.

    When DaughterSpawn was a bit younger she once fell in the street and fractured her wrist (apparently she fell because she was joking with some friends and laughing too hard to stay upright), didn’t realise it, went home on the bus, started to worry about the still sore and now swelling wrist … and phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there. Good times (for a certain value of “good”. Mind you, it was good to have the ER close to home)

    (PS sorry if this is a duplicate – it’s not showing up for me for some reason)

  250. opposablethumbs says

    How close were you to the ER when it happened? I’m hoping, really really close. Hope the NSAIDs do their thing and you feel OK.

    When DaughterSpawn was a bit younger she once fell in the street and fractured her wrist (apparently she fell because she was joking with some friends and laughing too hard to stay upright), didn’t realise it, went home on the bus, started to worry about the still sore and now swelling wrist … and phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there. Good times (for a certain value of “good”. Mind you, it was good to have the ER close to home)

    (OK this is weird. Still not showing up for me. If it doesn’t show up this time imma give up I think.)

  251. says

    Apparently, it is now okay for Tea Partiers to suggest to their leaders that Obama should be killed.

    At a breakfast event with the Tea Party organization Tulsa 9:12 Project last week, Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) saw no need to rebuke or even disagree with a questioner who said that President Obama should be executed.

    “Obama, he’s not president, as far as I’m concerned, he should be executed as an enemy combatant,” the questioner said, before asking the congressman about “the Muslims that he is shipping into our country through pilots and commercial jets” (a claim based on a bizarre right-wing conspiracy theory).

    “This guy is a criminal and nobody’s stopped him,” she declared.

    Bridenstine didn’t respond to her call for the president’s execution, but agreed that Obama is “lawless” and said he rules “by decree” and through the United Nations.

    Video available at the link.

  252. says

    Another take on homosexuality from the ragged far-right dunderheads: homosexuality is just like anorexia.

    Vitagliano agreed with Harvey’s assessment that just as anorexic people are “driven by an impulse not to eat” because they believe they are overweight, gay people are under the false impression that they are gay and so think they are attracted to people of the same sex. “It’s such a perfect and biblical view of a person who sees themselves as homosexual,” he said.

    “Your body is made to eat, otherwise you will starve; with homosexuals, your body is not made for the kind of relations they have, it’s made for heterosexuality,” Harvey added later in the interview. “We’re basically all heterosexuals.”

    She concluded that both people with eating disorders and gay people are “deluded” and on a path to “self-destruction.”

    Video at the link.

    The right-wing keeps trying to explain away homosexuality as some sort of delusion or as a mental illness that focuses on self-destruction. They are so far off that it’s hard to reach them with facts.

  253. opposablethumbs says

    … aaand, that’s weird. Will try again with the original comment:

    How close were you to the ER when it happened, Esteleth? I’m hoping, really really close. Hope the NSAIDs do their thing and you feel OK.

    When DaughterSpawn was a bit younger she once fell in the street and fractured her wrist (apparently she fell because she was joking with some friends and laughing too hard to stay upright), didn’t realise it, went home on the bus, started to worry about the still sore and now swelling wrist … and phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there. Good times (for a certain value of “good”. Mind you, it was good to have the ER close to home)

  254. opposablethumbs says

    Maybe it’s because I used a verboten word …

    try again:

    How close were you to the ER when it happened, Esteleth? I’m hoping, really really close. Hope the drugs do their thing and you feel OK.

    When DaughterSpawn was a bit younger she once fell in the street and fractured her wrist (apparently she fell because she was joking with some friends and laughing too hard to stay upright), didn’t realise it, went home on the bus, started to worry about the still sore and now swelling wrist … and phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there. Good times (for a certain value of “good”. Mind you, it was good to have the ER close to home)

  255. opposablethumbs says

    Nope, still not working (that is, I tried loads of times to post a comment about Esteleth’s broken elbow and it doesn’t show up. Not sure what I did to trigger a spam trap, maybe perhaps)

  256. says

    Some people are trying to mitigate the problems associated with private prisons in the USA.

    Promising to keep private prison cells full will be illegal in Nebraska if a proposal from state Sen. Amanda McGill (D) becomes law.

    McGill, who is running for higher state office this year, has introduced legislation banning the government from guaranteeing payment to private contractors regardless of the level of service the contractor provide.

    While that may sound so obvious as to be unnecessary, states often make those kinds of promises to corporations when they privatize public services.

    The most notorious examples are private prison contracts that guarantee companies like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) a certain minimum occupancy level at prisons, and promise to pay CCA the difference should prison populations sag below that level. Such “lock-up quotas” appear in two-thirds of all prison privatization contracts, according to a report last fall by the anti-privatization group In The Public Interest (ITPI).

    McGill’s legislation would ban those kinds of payment guarantees across all state contracts, but is specifically targeted at prison contracts. The bill also would amend the state’s corrections contracting law in a variety of ways to both protect taxpayers and regulate prison companies more tightly. […]

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

    Lynna, that link does not appear to be related to Hoffman.

    Hoffman was 46. Wow.

  258. says

    This Woody Allen mess is annoying me.

    People don’t seem to understand that you can respect someones artistic talent, while still believing that person is a total shithead in other respects.

    The seem to expect proof beyond a reasonable doubt for any suggestion that Allen might actually be guilty.

    What he did was horrible enough, and I’m not liking what the response is revealing about some people in my social circle.

  259. rq says

    So sad about Phillip Seymour Hoffman… That’s unexpected, and at 46 – wow. :(

    As for Woody Allen, I’ve never been a fan, but it must be difficult for people to realize that the target of their awe is perfectly, unapologetically and humanly capable of horrible behaviour. I just hope it won’tbe all swept under the rug. :( (Futile, I know.)

    Perhaps speaking directly of Esteleth’s elbow is not allowed on Pharyngula? Maybe it’s a weird and obscure euphemism for… something?

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

    Look at me, with my elbow all…purple and bloated?


  261. rq says

    Missed this:

    But they don’t blow as much as Jupiter sucks.

    And who said science is boring and staid and prim?? :D

    Wait… There’s an elbow incest scene?

  262. says

    It’s possible that…er…someone I know might have played Magenta in a revue at the Roxy in Toronto some…30+ years ago. Someone with a lot of hair.

    And who may have very quietly used the term “knee sex” once or twice while my – I mean, her – partner visited her family dinners…

  263. rq says

    Knee sex… I am now imagining a form of sex where all contact occurs only between elbows and knees. A rather pointy affair.

  264. Nakkustoppeli says

    May the NSAIDs take away the pain and may the healing process be go well, Esteleth! Are You right-handed?

    I fractured the upper end of my humerus (luckily not in the the dominant hand side) a while ago (the bone is ok now, but movement of the arm isn’t) when I fell with my bike. I had never had a broken bone in my life before that. I had to carry the arm 3 weeks in a sling and then wait for it to heal properly for the next 7 weeks, but neither cast nor any nails or screws were necessary.

    I discovered for example that making a ponytail wasn’t possible with one hand only, it took at least half an hour to dress in the morning, tying shoelaces takes two hands (solution: bought winter boots with a zipper) and pulling pants/trousers up is difficult with one hand but using suspenders as a winch works.

    Maybe it would be better to be an octopus. Eight arms and no damn bones to break…

  265. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, slipping on black ice? Been there, done that.

    Funny as it may seem working for a chemical company, but the trip from the car to the building in winter is much more likely to result in a lost-time injury than doing our regular work with all the engineering controls/PPE in place.

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

    I am so right-handed it’s hilarious. So…I’m a bit hampered at the moment.

    And I’m currently reading my drug guide (I’m a nursing student, so I have all sorts of useful books) to determine if I’m allowed to have some wine.

    Because, dammit, I need a drink.

  267. says

    Jamie Dimon just got a raise, a whopping 74% raise. What? You have got to be kidding me.

    […] When the board of JP Morgan Chase gave its blowdried, tirelessly self-regarding CEO a whopping 74 percent raise – after a year in which the Justice Department blasted the bank with $20 billion in sanctions – it was one of those rare instances where Main Street and Wall Street were mostly in agreement.

    Everyone from the Financial Times to to the Huffington Post decried the move. The Wall Street pundits mostly thought it was a dumb play by the Chase board from a self-interest perspective, one guaranteed to inspire further investigations by the government. Meanwhile, the non-financial press generally denounced the raise as a moral obscenity, yet another example of the serial coddling of Wall Street’s habitually overcompensated executive class. […]

    Matt Taibbi goes on to point out that President Obama and Attorney General Holder do not understand the depth of delusion under which executives like Dimon operate.

    Eric Holder and his lieutenants thought they were getting tough on Chase by dropping a monster settlement on the firm, but actually all they did was a) inspire the company to punish thousands of low-level innocent employees, while b) doubly- or triply-reinforcing the mass-narcissistic delusion gripping the company’s management that the bank’s serial ethical violations – which ranged from providing see-no-evil banking services, to Bernie Madoff, to rigging retail electricity prices, to covering up billions in losses in the “London Whale” episode – were the fault of someone else.

    Apparently the bank’s board believed the Justice Department was simply caving in to anti-bank sentiment when it targeted Chase, not punishing real offenses.[…]

    Instead of bringing criminal charges against Dimon, the monster fine left Dimon and his board, and his fellow executives, free to layoff 7,500 employees. Salaries for non-executives were frozen. Dimon and his peeps all got massive raises.

  268. rq says

    Well that was a rapey song. (Just watching the Latvian Eurovision semi-finals. It passes the time.)

    Common folk wisdom here has it that, while healing, you shouldn’t have any fermenting drinks (wine, beer) but hard liqueur is perfectly fine (esp. vodka, since it disinfects…from the inside out!). Folk wisdom wins!
    (By the way, is there any substance to the claim that drinking fermenting drinks will cause your body to heal faster? Does it alter body chemistry enough?)

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


    It is safe to drink moderately with ibuprofen. It may, however, get you drunk faster.

    *goes to fetch wine*

  270. says

    More summing up or conclusion-related text from Matt Taibbi’s article (link in comment #379):

    People like Holder still don’t understand that the leaders of these rogue firms have no problem blowing up their own companies and/or imperiling the world economy, so long as they continue to personally get paid.

    Regulators have been blind to this for years, decades. It’s why the Fed, the OCC, the OTS, the Justice Department and a host of other agenices missed incoming icebergs like the AIG and Lehman disasters, once upon a time.

    In fact, since the days of Alan Greenspan and his halcyon dreams of a future of pure self-regulation, the notion that corporate leaders will always act in the interest of their own firms […]

    This kind of delusion on part of financial sector CEOs reminds me of Fox News anchors, or of Mitt Romney not knowing on election night that he had lost. It is also reminiscent of religious bias. We believe, we believe in Jamie Dimon.

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


    since it disinfects…from the inside out!

    That’s funny. I’d pay good money to see that.

    By the way, is there any substance to the claim that drinking fermenting drinks will cause your body to heal faster? Does it alter body chemistry enough?

    No. Not in the slightest.

    There are two chief problems with this.

    Alcohol is in fact a disinfectant (i.e. it can kill single-celled organisms), but only in concentrations >95%. The lethal blood alcohol concentration is generally accepted to be around 0.4%. So, um. No. 95 > 0.4.

    Secondly, to address specifically the healing argument, healing is accomplished by cells undergoing mitosis and making new cells to seal the gap created by the injury. I did a PubMed search, and the science is that the presence of ethyl alcohol (i.e. the kind of alcohol found in booze) inhibits mitosis at the sub-lethal level. The supra-lethal level is, um, lethal.

  272. rq says

    Sooo… if you drink while healing, you’ll heal slower?
    The disinfectant was a bit of flippancy, actually – but interestingly, the slower-healing argument is usually applied only to fermenting drinks, because supposedly yeast interferes with the healing reaction. You have partially vindicated me, because I have always been insistent that it’s the alcohol slowing the reaction, not the yeast.

    Also, everyone’s definition of moderate is different… ;)

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

    Perhaps, Nakkustoppeli, but 60% is still quite a bit bigger than 0.4% :D

  274. says

    I don’t get the whole executive pay thing at so many companies. Where I work, the CEO can bring profits above target, meet or exceed most other financial targets, slip a little on just one of six and he takes a pay cut for his troubles.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re also stomping the competition. The board is forgiving enough that necessary risks are taken, but harsh enough that he doesn’t take them recklessly. Holding the top management accountable can make a big difference, and can set the tone for the whole company.

  275. carlie says

    Oh no, Esteleth! Do you have the ability to get a mom or someone to come stay with you for a week or so to help out? How rotten. :(

    also big hugs for Portia, and everybody else. I’m a bit behind.

    Twitter is astounding. Coke ran a commercial with “America the beautiful” sung in a few languages, so completely manipulative, and what happens? Twitter explodes with “I hate you Coke this is America we speak English” tweets. Can’t win even when you try to cater to the idiots. In better twitter news, I have to laugh at corporations playing off of each other – jcpenny tweeted misspelled tweets supposedly due to wearing mittens they were pushing, so Doritos replied to them and told them to slow down and have a Doritos snack, and Hamburger Helper tweeted at them that you get used to wearing gloves while tweeting. Heh. This is a world of advertising that nobody imagined.

    Child 1 is in the throes of mouth swelling now, and just realized that his Vicodin runs out tomorrow. He’s turned back into a grumpy teenager complaining about the pain, which is strangely comforting because this is more what I thought he’d be like. Hoping it only lasts a couple more days.

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

    I have a neighbor and 60 classmates, Carlie. I’ll get by.

  277. says

    Conservatives are protesting the insult of the Coca Cola ad, it should all be in American damnit!

    I can look past using the dialect name in place of the language name, but it really hurts their credibility when they don’t seem to know it very well themselves.

  278. cicely says

    Great news, everybody!

    I broke my elbow last night! :D :D :D

    Awesome news, Esteleth!
    *splints* and *choice of boozes anaesthetics*
    and *chocolate*.
    Everything is improved with chocolate.
    Black ice was invented by Horses, and is routinely deployed by peas.

    Great, rq, now I have a mental image of a man with his pants down by the side of the road, furiously wanking next to the open fuel cap…

    And thanks to you, CaitieCat, I nearly asperated spinach dip just now.

  279. yubal says

    On the state of the US education system:

    I am terribly sad to report this. Friends of us have their children in the most prestigious, highest ranking (private) school in our county. Ours “just” go to the best public school in our zip code. Instead of paying money, we do rely on supplemental homeschooling to improve our children’s education as much as we can.

    Our friends told us that one of their children was taught in math class that one divided by zero equals zero. (!!WTF!!)

    They could not believe it and questioned the school about it. They were told children should not be bothered with that kind of complexity and it would be the most “natural” answer. Zero is a perfectly valid answer to that question.

    Biting on my pen right now because I don’t know what else I should say about it.

    *Just headache.*

  280. chigau (違う) says

    A. Noyd #392

    I live in Seattle. It sounds like a monkey house getting bombed right now.

    I don’t see why.
    That other team showed up only for a few minutes in the third quarter.

  281. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Our friends told us that one of their children was taught in math class that one divided by zero equals zero. (!!WTF!!)

    They could not believe it and questioned the school about it. They were told children should not be bothered with that kind of complexity and it would be the most “natural” answer. Zero is a perfectly valid answer to that question.

    Biting on my pen right now because I don’t know what else I should say about it.

    *Just headache.*

    Anything divided by zero equals infinity. Except zero divided by zero requires extra innings to define.

  282. rq says

    That other team showed up only for a few minutes in the third quarter.

    I guess they all just stood around watching commercials the rest of the time. :)

  283. opposablethumbs says

    Well just for a laugh I’m going to see what happens if I try again to post the (innocuous, barely-there, not-even-of-fleeting-import) comment I made yesterday about The Elbow:

    How close were you to the ER when it happened, Esteleth? I’m hoping, really really close. Hope the NSAIDs do their thing and you feel OK.

    When DaughterSpawn was a bit younger she once fell in the street and fractured her wrist (apparently she fell because she was joking with some friends and laughing too hard to stay upright), didn’t realise it, went home on the bus, started to worry about the still sore and now swelling wrist … and phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there. Good times (for a certain value of “good”. Mind you, it was good to have the ER close to home)

    Huh. Now what on earth was there in that which triggered any traps? ::iz bewildered::

  284. opposablethumbs says

    OK, this is driving me nuts now. I just tried again (and really, it’s just a little passing comment, nothing of any import whatsoever) and it still won’t show up.

    It can’t be because I said NSAIDs, can it? Other people have said that. And every other word is just a common word. I said “ER” a couple of times …. people say ER … what did I do? ::nonplussed::

  285. opposablethumbs says

    Right. Sod it. One line at a time, until I find the magic vanishing one.

    Please don’t mind me …

    Line 1:
    How close were you to the ER when it happened, Esteleth? I’m hoping, really really close. Hope the NSAIDs do their thing and you feel OK.

  286. opposablethumbs says

    OK, it wasn’t that one.

    Line 2:
    When DaughterSpawn was a bit younger she once fell in the street and fractured her wrist (apparently she fell because she was joking with some friends and laughing too hard to stay upright), didn’t realise it, went home on the bus, started to worry about the still sore and now swelling wrist … and phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there.

  287. opposablethumbs says

    OK, it wasn’t that one.

    Line 2:
    When DaughterSpawn was a bit younger she once fell in the street and fractured her wrist (apparently she fell because she was joking with some friends and laughing too hard to stay upright),

  288. opposablethumbs says

    Line 3:
    she didn’t realise it, went home on the bus, started to worry about the still sore and now swelling wrist …

  289. opposablethumbs says


    Line 4:
    she phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there.

  290. opposablethumbs says

    So … maybe line 4 is the problem …

    she phoned us (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn)

  291. opposablethumbs says

    Definitely something in line 4 ….

    but what? Does not make sense. And although I may be posting too much now, I wasn’t when this all started yesterday!

    she phoned us

  292. Nick Gotts says

    Anything divided by zero equals infinity. – Azkyroth@396

    No, the result of division by zero is undefined, in the context of real numbers, where division is defined as the inverse of multiplication, and there is no number x for which 0x=a for any non-zero real number, while any x will do for 0x=0. This is undoubtedly the answer that should be given in a school maths class, and the teacher is an ignorant numpty. (Not unusual – I had a maths teacher who insisted that .9999… was not equal to 1, although he agreed that .3333… equaled 1/3.) There are various other mathematical structures in which a/0 is defined, but unless one of these structures is explicitly specified, the answer ∞ is wrong.

  293. rq says

    That’s weird… maybe there’s one specific word you’re using wrong?? Maybe it’s just a glitch in PZ’s spam filter (which can be easily remedied)?


  294. opposablethumbs says


    (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then she walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there.

  295. opposablethumbs says


    (we were out somewhere with SonSpawn) and then she walked to the ER while we rushed back across town and met her there.

  296. opposablethumbs says

    Oops. sorry.

    Good times (for a certain value of “good”. Mind you, it was good to have the ER close to home)

    Huh. Now what on earth was there in that which triggered any traps? ::iz bewildered::

  297. opposablethumbs says

    Probably, rq. It was odd. Mind you, I’ve been having some problems connecting to the site at all in the last few minutes – getting error messages – so maybe it’s related.

  298. rq says

    The Forces of the Universe are trying to keep you from here… Resist! Resist!
    I hope the issue is resolved soon. It must be annoying.


    So there was this article, which doesn’t sit comfortably, and then there is the response, which also doesn’t sit well. I’m not entirely sure what bothers me about either article, since they’re both meant to be empowering and validating the experiences of girls women who travel… But the first one insists that a travelling girl woman is far too demanding for a so-called ordinary life (oh, those hard-to-please feminists!), while the second insists that no matter how demanding she is, she just needs that Man in her life (dunno, the tone doesn’t seem all that inclusive). I guess you just can’t win.

  299. birgerjohansson says

    Both Riga and Umeå are named European capitol of Culture for 2014.
    Saturday saw a lot of activity and performances here in Umeå. On the frozen river, the spectacular performance “Snow on Fire” -dance/singing/laser show/pyrotechnics- attracted 55 000 spectators. Unfortunately, not all could get a position from which to get a good view. Myself, I watched on national television.

    — — — — — — — — — —
    I just found out that the late actor Hoffman is the guy who played the super-evil baddie in that Mission Impossible film… It is hard to believe this is the same actor who played Truman Capote.

  300. says

    So a few updates:

    1) I am engaged! I mentioned it earlier, but it was buried in another post and I believe only Carlie noticed. I didn’t respond or mention anything else because a couple minutes after posting it, my fiancee mentioned she wanted to keep it quiet. Whups. So we’re officially telling people now!

    Yay, I’ma get married to the woman I totally fell head over heels* for. We’re thinking September / October, but also pondering just eloping cause goddammit it’s expensive.

    2) I have scrapped the book I’ve been working on. It’s like two completely disparate novels right now, and neither of them are long, nor strong enough to work on their own. The stronger “novel” is not fantasy so why bother writing it in a fantasy world?

    However I’m not done writing, not at all. I have another idea for a book, I don’t know the name yet, but it’s going to be an epistolary novel, written through journal entries and letters. It’s about a pilgrimage by an old warrior priest – traveling all the way around to continent to receive the blessing of the elder dragons. The journals and letters are written by a young novice who he drags along to accompany him and help carry the load.

    3) I hate Facebook for the fact I get to truly see what a tool my sister is. I respected her and thought she was pretty intelligent, but she’s just spouting right-wing talking points about things she just. Doesn’t. Get.

    Her latest is how much she hates feminism because of straw-women. She is complaining that feminism somehow means that girls can’t be girls. They can’t like pink or want to be pretty or whatever. At the same time she puts in this big old thing about how she’s happy to be a pink-loving, Disney movie loving, stay-at-home-mom.

    I want to shake her and tell her that’s the frickin’ point of feminism, that she can be who she wants to be without anyone being able to tell her otherwise. If she wants to love pink and princesses, fine! But women should be able to not be such without being told they’re not women. I want to tell her, but I just don’t know how to approach the topic.

  301. opposablethumbs says

    Oh well, gremlins in the machine perhaps. And it was only a throwaway comment, too :-\

    Maybe that will teach me to actually get a bit more work done today … (actually, I’m almost on track for today. Almost).

    My apologies all round for the egregiously squandered pixels.

  302. rq says

    Congratulations!! I am thrilled for you, and I hope the wedding plans (whatever they may be) cause as little stress as possible. Yay!!

  303. birgerjohansson says

    Congratulations Kevin. And may the cat successfully fire friendly folks.

    — — — — — — — — — —
    Summary of the discussion of Ed Brayton’s post “Russian Bigots as Irrational as American Bigots”

    Modusoperandi *Sigh*. Let me lay it out for you. Again. And I won’t even use Clobber Passages* from God’s Holy Word the The Holy Bible this time.
    1. Marriage is Good.
    2. Gay is Bad.
    3. Therefore, gays can’t get married.
    The logic is unrefutable.

    “Clobber Passages” was also the name of a character in the Ayn Rand novel, Atlus Scratched. He was a minor character, and as such only got a forty page speech expousing her philosophy. True story.
    — — — — — — — — — — —

    birgerjohansson: “Modusoperandi, Is there not a politician named Rond “Bumscratch” Pool advocating the philosophy of Atlus?”

    M.O.: Now you’re just being ridiculous. It’s Roan Powell, named after a character from The Mountainhead.

    tsig: “Sorry M. O. but I think you mean Atlas Pooped which is known for being a 250 page monologue by John Galts’ turd as it slowly swirls down the porcelain bowl contemplating the Anus and concluding that all Arseholes are equal giving rise to the famous A = A.”

  304. says

    Congratulations to Kevin! Empathy and hugs to those injured or ill, including Esteleth’s purple elbow.

    Here’s an update regarding the same-sex marriage case in Utah:

    Three same-sex couples — represented by the New York lawyer who represented Edith Windsor in her successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act — have asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to allow them to intervene in the pending lawsuit challenging Utah’s marriage laws.

    In a Friday filing at the court, Roberta Kaplan argued on behalf of the couples that they should be allowed to intervene in the appeal — a move they acknowledge would be an “exceptional case” — in order to raise questions about other portions of Utah law that prevent recognition of same-sex couples.

    Under the rules of the 10th Circuit, they note, it is possible that the court would not allow them to make arguments about those other provisions if they simply submitted amici curiae, or “friends of the court,” briefs. […]

    BuzzFeed link.

  305. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    No, the result of division by zero is undefined, in the context of real numbers, where division is defined as the inverse of multiplication, and there is no number x for which 0x=a for any non-zero real number, while any x will do for 0x=0. This is undoubtedly the answer that should be given in a school maths class, and the teacher is an ignorant numpty. (Not unusual – I had a maths teacher who insisted that .9999… was not equal to 1, although he agreed that .3333… equaled 1/3.) There are various other mathematical structures in which a/0 is defined, but unless one of these structures is explicitly specified, the answer ∞ is wrong.

    “The limit of 1/x as x approaches zero is infinity” and “1/0 is infinity” are equivalent statements except in the context of a level of pedantry which makes the bellyaching over people using “begging the question” to mean what the English phrase itself obviously means seem reasonable by comparison.

  306. says

    Conga-rats Kevin. Helpful hint on wedding planning: don’t try to have it half a continent away (to accommodate distant friends & family) from where you actually live. Do keep it simple. And most importantly: Have Fun!

    Adding my sympathies towards Esteleth‘s elbow. I broke my three front teeth due to black ice. Dangerous stuff.

  307. Dhorvath, OM says

    It’s your wedding. Repeat this as often as necessary. Have fun and congratulations.

  308. Dhorvath, OM says

    When approaching x=0 in the function f(x)=1/x there are two disparate trends and a discontinuity at x=0. From the negative reals 1/x gets increasingly negative, from the positive reals 1/x gets increasingly positive. I don’t think we can stretch hard enough to allow -ve ∞ be equal to +ve ∞. Ergo, 1/0 is undefinied for reals.

  309. opposablethumbs says

    A question to the Horde, possibly (but not exclusively) especially to the musicians among us – can anyone recommend any links or other sources wrt the gender imbalance, particularly in jazz? (I think it’s even more marked in jazz than in some other genres. Not that I can think of anywhere it isn’t marked …)

    Disclosure: I’m thinking I’d like to find a little (relatively “light”) reading for possibly-future-jazz-musician SonSpawn to raise his awareness of what he encounters/will encounter during his studies and beyond. To help me help him lean away from being part of the problem.

  310. says

    Paul Krugman has taken the time to point out not just what’s wrong with Republican falsehoods about Obamacare, but how those falsehoods are actually hurting families in the USA. His column includes a nice takedown of Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican congress critter who gave the official fluffy nonsense reply to the State of the Union address.
    Salon link.
    New York Times link.

  311. Dhorvath, OM says

    Sure, but it isn’t what I just mentioned. -1/x graphs in different quadrants than 1/x. 1/(-0) might more accurately approach the point I made, but it still doesn’t make you correct.

  312. Portia, walking stress ball says


    OUuuuuuuwwwcccch. Glad you have folks around to help you out. Hope the wine helped too ^_^

    Kevin! Confetticongratulationsandchampagne!!!! :D :D :D

    Update on TAA – the County took my report of his threats very seriously. I thought they would just inform the deputies of the issue so they’d know to keep an eye out. (there are deputies at the courthouse anyway). Nope. There were plainclothes sheriff’s investigators with badges and guns on their belts present wherever he was in the courthouse the whole time. A deputy walked me and my client to our cars. I saw an investigator corner TAA and appear to question him as we passed in the hall. I feel much better. Hopefully he is discouraged from trying to intimidate me, and even more from trying to intimidate my client. The latter seems less likely, but I’m really heartened by how seriously the authorities took the issue. It also means the judge can hardly help but be aware of the situation.

  313. says

    Dhorvath Oh, a shiny 1’s-complement “0” vs. “-0”. Haven’t seen one of those since we moved off the CDC Cyber 8600 back in ~1990.

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


    “The limit of 1/x as x approaches zero is infinity” and “1/0 is infinity” are equivalent statements

    No, they’re not.

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

    That link about Impostor Syndrome, from the other day…

    Yeah. That’s totally me. That one exception it mentions, that is.

    I wish crippling self-doubt was a bit less crippling.

  316. cicely says

    Kevin, awesome news!
    Yeah, weddings (conventional ones, anyway) are seriously expensive. Something unconventional, perhaps? Say, you, her, an Internet-registered “cleric”, and a hot-air balloon, with a party for afters?
    Don’t throw out your novel/s—it/they may blossom later, or may be useful root stock for something else.
    I’m sorry about your sister. It’s a bit like people who think that atheism must equal nihilism.

    birgerjohannson: I lol’d.

    Portia, I’m relieved to hear that the TAA threat is being taken seriously. Huzzah!

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

    Congratulations to you and your fiancée, Kevin!

  318. Pteryxx says

    Congratz Kevin, sounds like you’re really looking forward to life as a couple with Kevin-fiancee.


    New Jersey drops the ball on Super Bowl transit, and the excuse of bad winter weather doesn’t cut it. Attendees were stuck for three hours or longer trying to leave:

    Also fans reported that numerous people collapsed waiting for trains both before and after the game. Secaucus Junction was packed with thousands of people and the temperature soared inside the terminal, bringing heat and frustration to the already stressed scene.

    Eyewitnesses on the scene texted they were “sardines” and some people were in need of EMT’s.

    Also, the security system, set up like an airport screening system, was not able to keep up with the mass exodus after the game.

    The mass rail system, ferrying the most people to one event at one time in its history, was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.

    Eschatonblog putting the situation together: Yah they screwed it all up

    Expected rail travelers were about 40% of actual rail travelers.
    There were just 13,000 very expensive parking spaces.
    No dropoffs (or pickups) were allowed. You could not take a (dropoff) cab, limo, or be dropped off by a friend.
    The special charter coach buses which seemed to have been the expected favored travel mode of choice cost about 50 bucks, roughly 5 times the rail fare.
    Even after seeing the massively inflated inbound rail traffic, NJT didn’t jump to schedule any buses in order to deal with the obvious “all at once” problem of fans leaving the game


    Was NJT “discouraged” from providing buses, either at all or just in case for overflow, so as not to compete with the $50 round trip (!) coach buses (this is a 9 mile trip from Midtown). This is roughly equivalent to what a cab fare would be (in ideal traffic circumstances), except you can split a cab fare between 4 people

    CBS Sports confirming those rules:

    -Don’t even think about hiring a taxi or limo to drop you off at the front gates. If a car doesn’t have a parking pass, it won’t get near the stadium.

    “Nobody’s going to be dropped off by black car,” Kelly said. “You can have a black car, a green car, a white car, a red car as long as you have parking, and the car needs to stay on the premises the entire time.”

    Oh and by the way, there are only 13,000 parking spots for the use of fans.

    -Don’t even think about walking to the Super Bowl either.

    “You can get your hotel to drop you off at one of the New Jersey Transit locations or get the shuttle to take you to a Fan Express location, but you cannot walk,” Smith said.

    -Here’s one thing you can do. Take public transportation, or as ESPN New York explains, you can take a charter bus called the Fan Express, “which will cost $51 and pick up and drop off passengers at nine locations around the region.”

    and Metlife Stadium’s own event page.

    How do I get to the Stadium on Gameday?

    ​There are three ways to get to the Stadium: New Jersey Transit Trains, Fan Express Bus (SOLD OUT), or with a pre-paid parking permit.
    Are parking permits required?

    Yes. On Game Day, all vehicles accessing any parking area at the MetLife Sports Complex will require a parking permit.
    Are drop-offs and pick-ups permitted?

    No. Drop-offs/pick-ups from the Stadium/Sports Complex are not permitted. All vehicles will be allowed one (1) trip to and from the property.

    Looks like New Jersey can’t handle anything to do with transit these days. *sad trombone*

  319. opposablethumbs says

    Portia, I’m very glad to hear they’re taking this seriously. And it sounds like it’s helpful for your client both directly and indirectly. Hope you both stay safe, and TAA gets no chance to pull any shit.

  320. says

    More competition for that job I want. I’m not too worried. If it ends up between me and the new competitor, it’s pretty much mine.

    The one I’m worried about, though, got to work with her on some of her existing duties and learned some of that. So I’m finding myself in a good position to work on my plan B, and “get a second job” can go to Plan C status, at least for the moment.

    Also looking at long term career plans. I like retail, but pay tends to be crap. I have had people suggest I might make decent management material. While I don’t have a huge amount of experience in retail, what I do have is pretty broad. Every step from merchandise coming into the store through selling it to the customer, and now I’m learning the processes for sending it back to the warehouse. The administrative, accounting, buying and so on i haven’t done, but I do have a breadth of experience that would be very valuable as a manager. Debating that- it’s either that or getting back into IT, and I’m honestly not sure which I’d prefer.

  321. rq says

    Serious good luck with the employment plans! I hope things go your way, but it sounds like you’ve got contingencies well-covered, too. Go you! :) *supportive thoughts*

  322. says

    Oh, also, I’m 30 today. Mainly because I started counting in base 12, because I’ve begun to dislike the size of the numbers in Base 10. Feel free to do the conversion yourself though, I’m sticking to the 30 number.

  323. opposablethumbs says

    Happy round-the-sun day, gworroll! You sound as if you have a pretty good handle on things …

  324. Pteryxx says

    Republicans pushing school vouchers to court minority votes: Politico

    Calling for more charter schools, vouchers and tax credits to help parents pay private school tuition fits with the party’s mantra that the government works best when it gets out of the way and lets the free market flourish. But top strategists say it’s more than that: Talking about helping poor minority children softens the GOP’s image and lets candidates offer a positive vision instead of forever going on the attack. And unlike immigration reform, school choice is politically safe; there’s no chance of blowback from the tea party.

    Plus, the photo ops are great. As the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks put it in a strategic planning document: “Focus on kids and the future = excellent media opportunity.”

    Yeah, that’s worked out so well with unregulated charter schools in Florida, for instance:

    As the program director of a Fort Lauderdale tutoring and after-school nonprofit called HANDY — Helping Abused, Neglected, Disadvantaged Youth — dealing mostly with poor and African-American children, Kirk Brown is depressingly familiar with the scourge of two-bit McKay schools “preying” on South Florida’s inner cities.

    Twenty-eight percent of the scholarship fund’s students are African-American, and 45 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Ghettos tend to attract the huckster portion of the McKay schools. In neighborhoods such as Liberty City and Sistrunk, it seems, you can’t swing an FCAT without hitting a dubious educator setting up a fly-by-night school designed to lure kids who might otherwise struggle with standardized testing.

    Any combination of the words preparatory, Christian, hope, academy, and perhaps Zion usually appear in the name. The administrators make their arrival to a neighborhood known by leafleting and billboarding housing projects. Or they show up at Sunday services and prowl for old ladies wearing church hats and toting children. “They look for kids who don’t have traditional parents,” Brown says. “Grandmothers, aunts, uncles — anybody who’s not necessarily going to do their homework and may be swayed by the religious angle.”

    The inevitable morning comes when those students show up for class to find only an empty store for rent, or they attempt to transfer to another high school or matriculate to college and are informed their credits are worthless.

    “They have that look of somebody whose house just got robbed,” Brown says of the children he’s watched go through the experience. “These schools are run by the worst kind of parasites. All these kids have is their education, and that’s what they’re trying to steal.”

  325. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Esteleth – I hope your elbow heals quickly and as painlessly as possible. *hugs*

    Portia – *pouncehug* – I’m glad they’re taking your situation seriously. Stay safe.

    cicely – *pouncehug* – I wish I had time to talk D&D today, but alas that will have to wait for another time. =^_^=

    rq – *pouncehug with hot chocolate* – Stay warm and cozy.

    Kevin – Congratulations! And good luck with the wedding preparations.

    gworroll – Happy Birthday! And best of luck with your job situation.

    I’m threadrupt before today, so I’ll leave this *pile of hugs and chocolate* for anyone who needs them.

  326. carlie says

    Congrats, Kevin!

    Also congrats to Portia for speaking up and being believed.

    Gentle hugs to Esteleth.

  327. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Now I know how PZ feels wielding the banhammer.
    The next door neighbor who does the Redhead’s hair has been piggy-backing on my WiFi for a while. They have have had some problems, including high blood pressure and uncontrolled type 2 diabetes of the husband resulting in seizures. So they do have some issues. I don’t mind them keeping it in the family, but her sons think it is fair to give the password to my guest account to their friends. The first friend was just banhammered from my WiFi. Maybe they will listen to their mother, and not overextend a favor.

    Now, if I could find the dog owner who doesn’t clean up after the dog, and offer Xim a clue-by-four.

  328. ajb47 says

    Nerd @470

    Now, if I could find the dog owner who doesn’t clean up after the dog, and offer Xim a clue-by-four.

    Would it amuse you to know my pet waste removal company is named Scoopy Doo? (Which is not to say that we don’t clean up after our dog when we take her for a walk outside of our yard.)

    gworroll @462 – Base 12

    Happy birthday. I have just turned 3C myself. Though since I was a software engineer, I am actually 0x2F. Which means I will turn either 40 or 30 in December. Ugh. I didn’t need to be reminded of that.

  329. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    He’d seen Nutt dribbling candles, but that was at snail’s pace compared with the speed at which the leather was cut for the ball. But that wasn’t creepy, that was just Nutt. What was creepy was that he didn’t measure anything. Eventually, Trev couldn’t stand it any more, and stopped leaning against the wall, pointed to one of the multi-sided little leather strips and said, ‘How long is that?’

    ‘One and fifteen sixteenths of an inch.’

    ‘How can you tell without measuring?’

    ‘I do measure, with my eyes. It is a skill. It can be learned.’

    ‘An’ that makes you worthy?’


    ‘An’ who judges?’

    ‘I do.’

    I’m loving Unseen Academicals so much. I’m sad at how quickly I’ll run out of new Discworld novels to read.

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

    I figured out how to drive my car today!

    I went to the store to buy patches to mend my jeans, which are swiftly on their way to being ass-less. Damn cheap women’s clothing. *grumbles*

    Have had to tell Pandora not to give me “Let Her Go” by Passenger for awhile, as it reminds me of a video I saw that gave me all the feels.


    Life continues.

  331. Dhorvath, OM says

    Our first empathy cry, at least as a family, was to Free Willy. Little person cries, we cry, go to 10.

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

    Mellow Monkey,

    I love Nott.
    I think I’ll have to reread Unseen Academicals soon.

  333. says

    ajb47 @332:

    “Daddy, when the light turns green, jerk off at 80 miles an hour!”

    That was hilarious!
    Sometimes you *don’t* have to “be there” to get the joke.
    Made me LOL quite loud!


    FossilFishy @334:
    Such a sweet story, told with such eloquence (as usual).


    Gentle hugs. I hope you have a speedy recovery.
    BTW, what are NSAIDs?



    But they don’t blow as much as Jupiter sucks

    Zeus liked women *and* men? :)
    (sorry, after ‘carside wanking for the DNA’, my mind was in the gutter)


    Lynna @362:
    (from your quote)
    It’s so nice to know that my status as “lustful cockmoster” stems from being delusional…


    Just read about Woody Allen. Disgusting.


    Esteleth @383:
    Ugh. I’m right handed as well, so my sympathies. How have you adapted to using your left hand?

  334. says

    Does anyone else get a tad uncomfortable talking about themselves (or being the subject of conversation) for extended periods of time?

    I do.

    No idea why.

    Reason for my discomfort?
    I was asked over the weekend when I was going to run for public office.
    (in case you hadn’t guessed, this is a Tony Tale)

    {backing up the truck a bit}
    One of my semi-regular guests came in on Saturday and as we often do, we chatted. When I asked where his wife was, he mentioned she was in New York. She apparently works for a federal organization that deals with sex trafficking.

    Some claim that concerns about a link between sex trafficking and the Super Bowl are overblown, hyperbolic, or, simply, myth. Some have even suggested that a strong law enforcement response is harmful to victims. While it is unfortunately true that there have been arrests of prostituted women in Super Bowl-related policing–a counterproductive strategy that discourages victims from seeking desperately needed police protection–law enforcement is right to step up efforts to investigate trafficking on the eve of the Super Bowl and to hold the real perpetrators–both traffickers and their customers–accountable. For as the recent major busts of traffickers directly marketing women and girls for prostitution to Super Bowl fans underscores, the Super Bowl trafficking link is all too real.

    To understand the dynamics of human trafficking is to understand that events such as the Super Bowl could never not be breeding grounds for sexual exploitation. On the most basic level, any location that sees an exponential increase in large numbers of men travelling for entertainment will receive a proportional increase in those who purchase sex–studies conservatively indicate the number of men who purchase sex to be around 16% of the American population. Thus, of the estimated 400,000 flocking to the New York and New Jersey area this Super Bowl weekend, thousands will likely be purchasers of sex.

    Statistics about sex trafficking are inherently difficult to solidify because trafficking is an industry that flourishes underground and behind closed doors. We do, however, have some hard numbers. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found that over 10,000 women and girls were trafficked to Miami’s 2010 Super Bowl. During the 2009 Super Bowl, in Tampa, the Department of Children and Families identified 24 children trafficked into the city for sex. Internet classified ads featuring child victims of prostitution also rose sharply in February 2009 in advance of the game.

    A 2011 study by Traffick911 found that online escort ads increased radically as the Super Bowl approached, from 135 in January to 367 just before the game. In 2009, a man was arrested for advertising two girls, aged fourteen and eighteen, on Craigslist for $300, as his “Super Bowl special.” Walcott was sentenced to twenty years in prison. The girls had been held captive as sex slaves for two years.

    After expressing my disgust with sex trafficking and my appreciation for his wife’s work in fighting against that shit, we talked about how big a problem sex trafficking is around the world. In short time I found myself talking about being a feminist.

    I guess this piqued his (I’ll call him ‘D’) interest, as he began asking me about my other beliefs. I told him I support a woman’s right to choose, with no exception, the right of all individuals to live their lives and marry whom they want (with the obvious caveats about not hurting anyone, and the individuals being adults), the right of everyone to travel freely (borders? bah!), and the separation of church and state.

    It was the last that D gently prodded a bit more. Initially I was a tad uncomfortable. This being Florida (hello fucking zipper of the bible belt)), I’m cautious to reveal my atheism. I skirted the issue instead, telling D of my opposition to the pushing of creationism in schools. When he asked me about having faith, I told him I base my opinions on logic, reason, and evidence…that faith was the opposite of that and completely unreliable as well as unscientific. We didn’t directly discuss god, but I made a point of mentioning that if evidence is discovered proving the existence of any higher powers, I would amend my views. We also briefly discussed the Argument from Ignorance.

    That led to talking about climate change and how the planet has been adversely affected by humanity.

    It was at some point in the conversation that I realized something: I have never had this conversation in my life. Yes, I’ve talked about these things here and other places online, but to actually *talk* to someone in meatspace? Nope. Moreover, I didn’t realize at first, but it dawned on me that I was presenting a cohesive set of views-that of humanism.

    Though I thought he was kidding at first, it turns out that D was serious about when I was going to run for public office. He was quite supportive of everything I said, and even though he didn’t reveal much about his opinions, his support and curiousity spoke volumes about him. This was about the point where I got a little uncomfortable. Not from anything he said, but talking about myself for this much time.

    D said that when I spoke, he could see the passion (to be honest, expressing myself like that for the first time was bringing tears to my eyes) and drive, which led to revealing that this is the first time in my life I’ve felt passionate about anything.

    That led to a chat about men and women and the social conditioning we have about displays of emotion.

    (btw, our chat happened roughly 30 minutes from closing. It was a slow night, so the servers were beginning to clean up and were buzzing around the restaurant. There were a handful of tables around the bar as well. Though I wasn’t trying to project *too* much, I did attempt to speak loud enough for others to hear.)

    As he left, D thanked me.
    I felt quite good for a while.

    Me, a politician? That’s nothing I’ve ever entertained, and though I still don’t really think of it seriously, the fact that D saw in me the possibility of a progressive minded politician meant quite a bit.

  335. says

    chigau @474:
    I haven’t had the surgery, but my mother did shortly after she turned 50. She’s pretty active, and I recall her being bummed out that she had to avoid strenous physical activity for a while after her recovery.

  336. rq says

    It sounds like the speeching bits of politics wouldn’t be any issue for you at all. :)

  337. opposablethumbs says

    Tony, I’d vote for you!

    We do have a (very) few MPs in the same ballpark, including the very impressive Stella Creasy (she was excellent speaking on TV against online harassment of women, and one of her focus areas is the way “payday loan” companies exploit the poorest families – and campaigning to stop them from doing it). I’d vote for her in a heartbeat, if we coincided geographically, and I’d be very happy voting for a candidate like you. Your compassion and integrity shine through in everything you say.

  338. says

    Goddamn it again. I’m locked out.

    Tinkering has been going on behind the scenes, and the effect is that a whole bunch of us are unable to access the control panel for our site, so we can’t post anything. I do most of my posting between 5 and 8am, and then get sucked into work all day long, so that means Pharyngula goes mostly dry for a day.

  339. birgerjohansson says

    Quickly! South (North? I cannot tell them apart) Dakota may pass a law that requires the teaching of “intelligent design and related subjects” in the schools. This is what Ctul´hu followers have been waiting for. We must educate the world about how humans were created to provide nourishment for the Old Gods.

    Swedish city launches year as European Capital of Culture, “Burning Snow”

    Guitar museum in Umeå

  340. Portia, walking stress ball says

    Thanks for the wellwishes everybody.

    I dropped out of the play. It was a tough decision, but I feel better not having to go places alone at night. And my schedule thanks me.

    Hekuni Cat! *pouncehug!*

    My babble-thumper young-earth creationist cousin (the one who accuses me of having faith in evolution…without realizing she’s implying faith is a bad thing) posted this link to info about Bill Nye debating Ken Ham. I don’t know how to feel about it except to say “Whhhhhy, Nye?!”

  341. Portia, walking stress ball says

    And I’m sorry if that Ham/Nye thing was already on the main page ….I am bad at keeping up.

  342. gussnarp says

    I feel rather rude just popping in to post this, but someone else has mentioned the Ham/Nye debate, so I don’t feel so bad. Just wanted Cincinnati area folks to know there’s another chance to see Nye and maybe ask him a question absent the taint of Ham. Bill Nye will be speaking at the Schilling School for Gifted Children in Cincinnati tomorrow as I write this, February 5th. Tickets seem to still be available. I know nothing about the school or if it’s worth supporting, but you could see Bill Nye. The info is on the school’s website:

  343. birgerjohansson says

    Portia, tell this to the papyrus-puncher:

    Archaeologists pinpoint the date when domesticated camels arrived in Israel
    Camels are mentioned as pack animals in the biblical stories of Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob. But archaeologists have shown that camels were not domesticated in the Land of Israel until centuries after the Age of the Patriarchs (2000-1500 BCE). In addition to challenging the Bible’s historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes.

  344. birgerjohansson says

    “direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes”

    Iron-age hoplite vs. supposedly bronze-age David.

  345. birgerjohansson says

    Good luck Portia.
    Cousin of Portia pounding papers of patriarchal pontification, precipitating post about preposterous passage in the pages?