1. David Marjanović says

    he got a bit of Latvia a few years ago with the signing of the new border treaty: the country lost an entire historically-Latvian province

    Huh. I completely missed that.

    From the “how to piss off a Latvian” article:

    those six cases

    Only? That’s no more than Latin or *whisper* Russian. Even Polish has seven (…though one is weirdly optional… but it’s not in Czech). Doesn’t Lithuanian have eight? :-þ

    and that ķ sound unique to Latvian

    It’s rare, but not unique. The Hungarian ty is the exact same thing.

  2. Nutmeg says

    I experimented with dinner tonight. Skillet veggie lasagna. Very tasty and filling, although the bottom layer of noodles burned slightly. But I think I could minimize that in the future by reducing the temperature of the element.

    I’m experimenting with food because I’m planning a six-week road trip for this spring/summer. I’ll be cooking on my camp stove, and I realized recently that most of my best recipes require an oven at some point. So I’m trying to add to my stovetop repertoire.

    Since my trip will include some coastal areas, I spent time today learning all about tide tables! It’s a new concept for this prairie girl. And now I’m all prepared to get up at the crack of dawn to visit tide pools. :)

    (Yes, I’m both avoiding work and trying to pretend it’s not winter.)

  3. chigau (違う) says

    Two cast-iron skillets on camp stove (better in an open fire) can make a passable ‘oven’.

  4. Nutmeg says

    chigau: That’s good to know. I don’t have any cast-iron cookware right now, but it might be a good investment.

    I think I’ll be eating a lot of foil-packet fish. That’s one of my camping standbys, and I can do several variations.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    If weight is not an issue, cast-iron cookwear is your very best friend for camp cooking.

  6. Nutmeg says

    I’ve been coveting my friend’s cast-iron skillet for a few camping trips now. We’ve successfully done fondues in it, without scorching the chocolate at all.

    I do a lot of canoe-tripping (with portages), so I have to keep my gear light most of the time. *sigh* Maybe I can justify a cast-iron skillet for car camping.

  7. says

    In good news, I had a website account that was not supposed to autorenew. It autorenewed. Sending me into overdraft territory.

    Website CS was amazing. Apologized, immediately canceled the account, issued a refund that would be back to my account in 5-7 days. It took three days to get the money back. Glitches happen, and I really appreciate that it got fixed easily and quickly. This bodes well for them getting my business in the future when my income is in a better spot(like that possible promotion coming up in a month or two). They actually fixed a problem without me having to fight them over it. I reported it, they fixed it. Took all of 10 minutes on the phone.

    My paycard customer service was useless. Couldn’t answer questions about whether the overdraft fee would be canceled on getting the refund, or if it could be waived, or if I’d have to formally dispute the transaction with them. I still have no idea what I would have had to do if I didn’t get lucky and the overdraft fee hold ended up stuck in pending status long enough for my next paycheck to be deposited(which made the original, just refunded transaction, not overdraw after all).

  8. says

    The praise I’m seeing on Twitter for Matthew McConaughay sanctimonious garbage of an acceptance speech is pissing me off. It’s one thing to throw “and I thank God too” out, but saying that he gets all the credit and that he’s somehow proof of the scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates… it was like my TV malfunctioned and switched to a religion channel.

    At least *most* of the winners thanked the actual people that helped them get where they are.

  9. rq says

    Latvian has seven cases, actually.
    I didn’t say everything in that article was correct. :)

  10. says

    Good morning
    I slept modrately well, I have an appointment for evaluation on Wednesday, I went shopping with Mr and now I’m totally spent. The muscles in myarms and the healthy leg are complaining about the extra work and the 50 plus lbs of extra weight.

    GEt well soon, WMD Kitty

  11. opposablethumbs says

    Ginger tea to WMDKitty. With skritches if acceptable.
    Thank you and hugsback to Hekuni Cat.

    David Marjanović how do you manage to be so knowledgeable in so many different fields?!?!?!
    It’s a lovely morning. When DaughterSpawn emerges I’m taking her to get that interestingly blackened foot examined and hopefully x-rayed. And I’m returning the book.
    Speaking of books … if anyone feels like giving me any recs, I’d be glad to get ’em. Something informative but which is also a pleasure to read –

    Basically, I’m looking for something like Altmeyer’s The Authoritarians, probably in relation to feminism and/or science (for a non-scientist). (already got Inner Fish and a few others of a similar nature). Or almost any topic, tbh. I’m so ignorant about so many things … (anything to do with economics has to be a particularly easy read. Trying to think about money makes my brain seize up, which may have something to do with my not having any).
    What non-fiction favourite would/do you read for pleasure, maybe you re-read it every so often because you enjoy it so much?
    … and an armful of hugs for the pile.

  12. carlie says

    Annoyances of what I saw on the bit I watched, and heard about the rest:

    Jared Leto’s speech didn’t mention trans people at all

    Ellen made a transphobic joke right at the beginning of the show

    John Travolta didn’t bother with learning his freaking lines before the broadcast. When you’re going to introduce someone, and you know who they are beforehand (it wasn’t an award, it was a performance), you learn their name.

  13. rq says

    The Duck of Death – that’s all there is. How anti-climactic.

    Also, ķ and ģ, for anyone curious. No, they’re not unique. But they sure are difficult to say properly! Interestingly, they are sounds shared by several Balkan languages (Latvia often gets placed in the Balkans (because Baltics = Balkans, oh yeah!) by those who don’t know any better), in addition to Czech and Hungarian.

    these consonant sounds are only found when a vowel i or e immediately follows

    … With the exceptions of ķauķis (warbler (bird)), ķūlis (which seems to be an obsolete word meaning the front of the pants that was formerly closed by ribbon/string and now by zipper/buttons – the fly, in other words) and ķurķis (slang term for prison). No exceptions for ģ.

  14. Pteryxx says

    *soothing teas* and get well, y’all with snifflings, hackings, disobeying organs and damaged appendages. (What is going ON this week? *muffles everyone in safety padding*)

    Dana Hunter just linked to some history textbook fiskings ( ) and I read this:

    If U.S. History is myopic on the conditions of slavery, our 8th-grade text from A Beka Book, America: Land I Love cheerfully puts on a blindfold. It constantly downplays the impact and extent of slavery, insisting at one point that “Only 6000 families in the entire South had over 50 slaves in 1850.”

    Didn’t I see someone in the Horde debunking that very claim recently as it applies to the extent of slavery?

    Or this, which reminds me of a certain ongoing libertarian-thrashing:

    This week, we’ll look at the beginnings of the modern Civil Rights movement, and next week, we’ll wrap up the decade with the books’ coverage of the economic boom of the ’50s. The important thing to remember about both of those developments is that they came about because Big Government got out of the way and let individual initiative thrive and prosper. […]

    The always hilarious 8th-grade textbook America: Land I Love (A Beka, 2006) suggests that the movement was a natural outgrowth of America’s basic goodness and prosperity. In a section headed “Freedom and Opportunity for All Americans,” we learn that Civil Rights movement just sort of happened:

    The years after World War II brought greater opportunities for all ethnic groups. Minority peoples had served their country well during the war by working and fighting for freedom. Many Americans saw that the time had come to end racial prejudice. The first group to achieve more opportunities were black Americans, who wanted to guarantee a better life for themselves and their children under the legal protection of the Constitution.

    These aren’t *Christian* texts at all; they’re extreme right-wing texts with some Bible painted on to kill the smell. Yeesh.

  15. minusRusty says

    Now I’m conflicted. I want to write “bullspit” here, which may lead to being ejected from soft moderation, but also post #60 on Thunderdome, which conflicts with a decision for someone else to post 60.

    What do I do?

    Well, I don’t know, I guess, but bullspit might be in the air..


  16. David Marjanović says

    David Marjanović how do you manage to be so knowledgeable in so many different fields?!?!?!

    Intarwebz, mostly Wikipedia and what it links to. :-| The future has begun, the Pffft! of All Knowledge is at my fingertips.

    In this particular case, though, I had 6 years of Latin and 4 of Russian in school, have spent 5 x 2 weeks on a dig in Poland, and I know what ķ and ģ sound like because rq linked to that song contest thing some time ago. :-)

    The Duck of Death – that’s all there is. How anti-climactic.


    Not to be confused with the Demon Duck of Doom.

    Interestingly, they are sounds shared by several Balkan languages (Latvia often gets placed in the Balkans (because Baltics = Balkans, oh yeah!) by those who don’t know any better), in addition to Czech and Hungarian.

    …See, palatal consonants are so rare that even many linguists don’t know what they sound like. I once found a French phonetics website where the sound file for [c] was just a French /k/, which is a bit more fronted than in most other languages but by no means a [c]! Many sources, including the one you cite, claim that what happens to /k/ in modern Standard Greek in front of /e/ (ε, αι) and /i/ (ι, η, υ, ει, οι, υι)* is that it becomes [c], but I’ve been to Athens and to Crete, and what happens** is the exact same thing that happens in Russian, which is [kʲ]. [c] sounds almost the same as [tʲ] instead (which Russian also has).

    I need to listen to more Czech to find out if its supposed [c] is really [tʲ]. It might of course be in between, which has been reported for Slovak.

    * Stuff has happened to the Greek sound system in the last 2500 years that has failed to affect the spelling system.
    ** Well, something different again happens in Cretan dialect, which I didn’t get to hear.

  17. David Marjanović says

    …uh, so, I don’t know about southern Albanian and central Macedonian… but Turkish has [kʲ]. …which I know because we get a Turkish TV channel in Austria, and it happened to be on once while somebody was talking about Makedon.

  18. says

    The back story behind the big coal ash spills into the Dan River in North Carolina:

    Last June, state employees in charge of stopping water pollution were given updated marching orders on behalf of North Carolina’s new Republican governor and conservative lawmakers.

    “The General Assembly doesn’t like you,” an official in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources told supervisors called to a drab meeting room here. “They cut your budget, but you didn’t get the message. And they cut your budget again, and you still didn’t get the message.”

    From now on, regulators were told, they must focus on customer service, meaning issuing environmental permits for businesses as quickly as possible. Big changes are coming, the official said, according to three people in the meeting, two of whom took notes. “If you don’t like change, you’ll be gone.”

    But when the nation’s largest utility, Duke Energy, spilled 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River in early February, those big changes were suddenly playing out in a different light. Federal prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation into the spill and the relations between Duke and regulators at the environmental agency. […]

    Well, well, well, coating the bottom of a river for 70 miles with toxic sludge earned Duke an itty bitty fine. Regulators were told to cease regulating or be fired, or be subjected to a zero dollar budget. What is wrong with this picture? A Republican governor and Republican-dominated legislator.

    Some observers have also noted that, under the Republican governor, the regulation agency was weakened so much that it now “plays down science.”

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

    @Carlie, 18

    Jared Leto’s speech didn’t mention trans people at all

    Is there some reason we would expect it to?

    Ellen made a transphobic joke right at the beginning of the show

    at the oscars? I mean, ugh, but yeah – it’s the oscars. It’s that I expect that kind of thing that is part of my motive for never, ever watching the oscars.

    @opposable thumbs, #17

    I love “Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things”

    I also love “The Man Who Tasted Shapes”

    Although she totally screws up around ableism, Angela Davis’ “Are Prisons Obsolete” is a very good book.

    bell hooks’ “Feminism is for Everybody,” “Killing Rage,” and her original landmark work, “Ain’t I a Woman?” are all terrific reads.

    I have serious issues with a number of things in the book, but many, many folk love Julia Serano’s “Whipping Girl”.

    More idiographic than nomothetic, I still find “The Last Time I Wore a Dress” by, I think, Daphne Scholinski to be a useful introduction to a number of related topics including gender, sexual orientation, “reparative” therapy, and misuse of psychiatry. …checking google… Hot dog! Even got the spelling right. “Daphne Scholinski” it is.

    Hope those help.

  20. cicely says

    It’s… not good when you’re coughing so hard you puke.

    No, it is not.
    Don’t do that.

  21. David Marjanović says

    I completely forgot to forward ALL THE PETITIONS. Only four today. :-)

    “Last summer President Daniel Ortega and Wang Jing of a Hong Kong development company sealed a deal to build a canal across Nicaragua. For this impoverished nation, the project’s promises of huge job and GDP growth are hard to resist. But the environmental and cultural costs could be devastating.” The total destruction of Lake Nicaragua, for instance. “Ask Nicaragua to halt construction on the canal until independent loss assessments are done.

    Petition not to reauthorize the NSA dragnet.

    “Our Message to The Republican Party

    The GOP needs to stop wasting time and money trying to make decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor. I’m standing with Democrats working to turn the tide in 2014 by electing a Congress that will work to expand opportunity for all Americans.”

    “Animal Defenders International released an undercover investigation yesterday that reveals cruel treatment and horrible conditions at ‘Monkey School,’ a performing monkey attraction in South Korea. […] Congresswoman Hanna Chang has proposed a Zoo Act that would establish animal welfare standards and prohibit circus-like animal performances like those that monkeys are forced to participate in at Monkey School. Please sign the petition to convince the Korean Government to pass the Zoo Act!”

  22. David Marjanović says

    Oh, I just noticed this paper (pdf) is free. It turns out that as few as three lineages of plesiosaurs may have survived from the Jurassic into the Cretaceous!

  23. ChasCPeterson says

    Is there some reason we would expect it to?

    he won the award for playing a transwoman in Dallas Buyers Club.

    Ellen made a transphobic joke right at the beginning of the show

    Can you be more specific? Are you referring to one of these? Because (though I acknowledge it’s not up to me to decide), none of those seem offensive.

  24. ChasCPeterson says

    uh, and also, according to the transcript, Leto said this:

    And this for the 36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS and to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love, tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.

    which looks to me like it’s meant to include trans people.
    How about attempting to reserve criticism for those who deserve it?

  25. cicely says

    …in a jar under your bed.
    Perhaps the joke doesn’t transfer well….

  26. says

    Didn’t watch the Oscars, and didn’t see most of the films up for awards anyway. I want to watch 12 years a Slave, but I have to be in the right frame of mind and right now my main mode is exhausted (a 3 month old has that effect) Bottom line, I don’t have anything to contribute to the conversation, but I will gladly hang out and simply listen and observe.

  27. rq says

    Glad to see you! I’m willing to send over a few hours of sleep, from one mother to another. I hope you and the baby and the whole family are doing well, and keeping safe and healthy!


    Canadian PEARL lab up North sets up defences against Harper’s next anti-science policies…

  28. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Accident update: The van was officially totalled, with the cost to fix the damage exceeding the worth of the vehicle. My doctor’s appointment was canceled today. I am in a lot of pain. It seems like the accident somehow messed up my TMJ, too. The police officer at the scene of the accident has not filed his report yet, insisting it was a “minor fender bender” and worth no rush.


  29. David Marjanović says

    …that was a reference to comment 36, not 37 which wasn’t there yet.

    *slinks under desk*

    *all kinds of fluff for The Mellow Monkey*

  30. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    David M, well, that would have been a strangely cheerful response… :D

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

    I am wondering if it is possible for me to be cheerful without being “strangely cheerful”. hmm.

  32. rq says

    The Mellow Monkey
    *restorative hugs*
    And I hope you get some efficient pain management soon.
    Also, some legal action on the part of the police officer!
    Heal fast, get better soon, *chocolate*

  33. opposablethumbs says

    Crip Dyke, thank you so much for those recs! Women, Fire and Dangerous Things looks really interesting (they all do, but that one particularly grabs me right now).

    Now all I have to do is get the giver to forgive me for not liking their original choice … I have screwed up quite badly in that respect, I’m afraid. That will teach me to react without stopping to think a moment :-(

  34. opposablethumbs says

    Shit, Mellow Monkey, that’s a real fucker. I’m so sorry you’re in pain. And I hope the police officer gets their act together, and that you can at least get compensation for the van!
    Ah, Giliell, that’s very kind of you to ask! She was luckier than you it turns out – we decided that as the whole point really was to check whether or not there was a hairline fracture, i.e. to get an x-ray (and as the GP’s surgery doesn’t have an x-ray facility, so a referral would have been needed and would have taken waaaaay longer to end up in the exact same place) we would go straight to where they do have an x-ray facility. We happen to live really close to our local hospital, so went to A&E – waited a couple of hours because she was, quite rightly, not high priority – got an x-ray and the confirmation right away that it’s only badly bruised; she just has to wait, basically, but doesn’t need to have the foot in plaster or use crutches. I’m sorry yours is a break, though And that you have to use crutches and I bet that’s a lot of fun. Not.
    Wishing you well-knit bones asap!

  35. ChasCPeterson says

    Well, I’m really not much for this sort of thing, but I really don’t know who else to ask about this. I’m having…interpersonal issues with another person. The details don’t matter, but I’m just not sure I am being objective so i thought I’d ask..

    This other person just (I presume) criticized my behavior by simply e-mailing to me, without comment, the cut-n-pasted Wikipedia definition of “passive-aggressiveness”.

    Am I wrong in seeing in this some irony, if not outright projection?
    Thanks for opinions.

  36. says

    This other person just (I presume) criticized my behavior by simply e-mailing to me, without comment, the cut-n-pasted Wikipedia definition of “passive-aggressiveness”.

    Seriously? That’s hilarious. That’s an aggressively passive passive aggressive complaint about passive aggressiveness, all right.

  37. cicely says

    *careful, gentle hugs* for The Mellow Monkey.
    Somehow, “totaled” and “minor fender bender” don’t seem to go together.

  38. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Please allow me to inject a moment of joy. One of the reasons I moved up the mountain was to be closer to the good friends who are closer to me than my family ever was.

    My BFF’s son and daughter-in-law are having their first child tomorrow morning. (C-section required, the baby is breach). They also live up here on the mountain.

    So my BFF will be a joyful Nana come tomorrow, and I will be “Honorary Nana,” a title bestowed upon me by the mom-to-be herself.

    Joy, joy, joy. We are all hoping things will go smoothly. I’ll let you know.

    Her name is Taliah Elizabeth

  39. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Last night was the Oscars, and the Redhead had me bundle her up (around zero overnight) and watched the redcarpet repeat while I slept, before getting herself (with my help) to bed (she typically gets me up 1-2 time per night for commode breaks anyway). No problem for me, as I got to sleep earlier than normal.
    Today she was sleeping when I got home (and still is). She loves the Joan River’s show Fashion Police, where a team of “critics” argue the pro/cons of various actresses wardrobe choices. I had to DVR it, since she is still sound asleep.

  40. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t think I have ever associated you with the word “passive”.
    I’m guessing irony.

  41. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    My BFF’s son and daughter-in-law are having their first child tomorrow morning. (C-section required, the baby is breach). They also live up here on the mountain.

    So my BFF will be a joyful Nana come tomorrow, and I will be “Honorary Nana,” a title bestowed upon me by the mom-to-be herself.

    Please pass on this Happy Impending Would-Have-Gotten-Shoved-Through-A-Vagina-But-Decided-To-Be-DIFFICULT Day :D

  42. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Please pass on this Happy Impending Would-Have-Gotten-Shoved-Through-A-Vagina-But-Decided-To-Be-DIFFICULT Day :D

    Consider the message passed. Evidently the little sweetie has been playing with the umbilical cord which messes around the heart rate monitor. Her father is a brilliant trickster. She may be following in his footsteps.

    We are all so excited there may be no sleep tonight.

  43. says

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but please know that I care about you. I believe you’re a good person. I support you and I condemn the actions of the pitters. I wish they weren’t so vile.

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

    That’s pretty passively aggressive.

  45. rq says

    Yay for the impending new human! I like Azkyroth’s way of putting it.
    I hope all goes smoothly, and that everyone’s recovery is swift and complication-free!
    Yay for impending Honorary Nana status, too!

    Get well soon! Bronchitis sucks. :(

    Yay for the relative good health of DaughterSpawn, I’m glad it’s not serious. That’ll teach her to stand on tables with friends in dance clubs and take photographs… haha, right. :)
    Sucks about the book giver, though. :( *hugs* Sometimes the mouth is quicker than the brain, and hopefully the giver will be understanding (eventually).

  46. rq says

    I don’t interact with you directly much, but passive (as chigau says) is not really a word I’d associate with you.
    Good luck with sorting things out (one way or another)!

  47. says

    Thanks for the sympathy and well-wishes. Bronchitis is pretty routine.

    I’m just happy it’s not pneumonia.

    And ohmygodscodeine. I’m a touch loopy. Wheee!

    Thank Science and the gods for modern medicine.

  48. opposablethumbs says

    Best of good luck wishes to your BFF’s daughter-in-law and the imminent sproglet, morgan! Here’s to a happy honorary-nanahood :-)
    Thank you, rq, much appreciated. It is a relief that she apparently failed to crack a bone, because she loves dancing so much and would be miserable without it for any length of time. As for the book giver, I can see now that I’ve cooled down (there were, um, other factors involved) that I’ve screwed up here :-(
    Frustrating though it sometimes is to talk at a distance, maybe that’s one of the good things about interacting with people via text on the screen – at least one has a chance to re-think things before uttering/posting them … :-\

  49. Pteryxx says

    Mississippi’s religious ffrrreeeeedoooooom discrimination bill faces a deadline in committee today: (bolds mine)

    Senate Bill 2681 is called the “Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” and it’s similar to a bill that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed last week after critics said the measure could lead to anti-gay discrimination.

    The Mississippi bill passed the state Senate Jan. 31 and faces a deadline today in the House Judiciary B Committee.

    A subcommittee proposes removing parts of the bill that would allow people to refuse service to others based on religious beliefs. If the full committee accepts the changes, the bill would say state government cannot infringe on religious practices.

    “We’re still studying the bill,” the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Joey Hood, R-Ackerman, said Monday.

    The bill also would add “In God We Trust” to the state seal, as requested by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.

    The committee supposedly revised the discrimination portion last week but Deep South Progressive says the tweaks were inadequate. (Source) A rally is starting at 8:30 AM (in ten minutes) at the State Capitol in Jackson with observers inside attending the Judiciary B committee meeting.

    Deep South Progressive has a list of ways to take action here, including a newspaper poll and a Mississippi Equality avatar image. On Twitter, @LambdaLegal, @DSProgressive, and @SFreePress are paying attention using the hashtag #SB2681.

    According to Thinkprogress, Mississippi’s bill may not be salvageable: Source (bolds mine)

    Nothing in Mississippi’s bill attempted to define “person,” which suggested that this second provision wasn’t a problem in that legislation. Mississippi state law, however, has this problem built in. According to Title 1, Chapter 3, Section 39 of Mississippi state code, a “person” is defined as such:

    The term “person,” when used in any statute, shall apply to artificial as well as natural persons; and when used to designate the party whose property may be the subject of offense, shall include the United States, this state, or any other state, territory, or country, and any county, city, town or village which may lawfully own property in this state; also all public and private corporations, as well as individuals.

    With this law already in place, any version of RFRA in Mississippi — even one identical to those in other states — would seemingly open the door to legitimized discrimination by businesses.

    RFRA itself, as it has been passed in other states, does not implicate nondiscrimination protections in this way. For example, New Mexico has a RFRA on the books, but that didn’t stop the New Mexico Supreme Court from unanimously ruling against Elane Photography for refusing to take pictures for a same-sex commitment ceremony. But corporate personhood would make it a very different law.

    One other provision in Mississippi’s bill that could also be problematic is the standard it sets for how much the government can intrude on a person’s religious belief. Other RFRA laws simply state that the government shall not “substantially burden” religious beliefs. Mississippi’s bill suggests that only a “government interest of the highest magnitude” would be allowed to burden the exercise of religion. It’s not clear what would qualify as the “highest magnitude,” but that change in language could open the door for individuals to use their religious beliefs to circumvent laws or government actions in ways that have not previously been demonstrated.

  50. dianne says

    Gulp! My daughter has been lobbying for a pet for some time now. We’ve been looking at shelters and trying to figure out whether we could get a dog reasonably and finally took the step of applying for one the other day…and they’ve approved the application! We get to meet the dogs on Sunday and see if they fit well with us. I wasn’t expecting success…

  51. opposablethumbs says

    Happy dog meeting, dianne – hope it goes well!

    Um, you say you weren’t expecting success … are you slightly in two minds?

    Impudent butting in follows, and you probably know more about dogs than I do; please please (of course) ignore totally if it annoys. I don’t want to be annoying, but I was just wondering …

    Have you definitely decided to make it a dog? I just wondered if you were also considering any other animals that may need slightly less input (I haven’t lived under the same roof as a cat or as rats for many years, but I wonder if there are at least some animals that need slightly less of your time and energy than a dog does). On the other hand, I love dogs! So cool if you and they get on well! Training is time-consuming, but funagility can be a lot of fun (especially if you live in a city and don’t have wild areas handy) … they need to keep busy and occupy their minds.

    Is your daughter going to do most of the looking-after, or are you/some other member of the household?

  52. rq says

    Once again, the universe conspires against parents everywhere. :)
    Good luck with the new addition to the family!

  53. says

    rq @ 61, interesting look at life at PEARL. I’m going to use that “team building exercise” description next time my brothers and I get stuck on one of our backcountry expeditions.

  54. birgerjohansson says

    Many of you may have read this stuff, but I amposting in anyway:

    Georgian governor Nathan Deal ® vs. Reagan legislation: Let destitute patients die.

  55. birgerjohansson says

    Oops! dammit, I keep forgetting how to frame links so the pic will not appear on the comment thread. Sorry for stealing bandwith.

    (logs off to go home and clear up the mind)

  56. birgerjohansson says

    “I’m just happy it’s not pneumonia”

    Seconded. And pneumonia is still lethal for elderly -it is how my aunt passed away.

  57. says

    Republicans are callous about the poor, as Birger’s post @73 shows, but they want to be seen as sensitive to the problems of the poor. To this end, Paul Ryan crafted a poverty report that uses statistics culled through creative surgery on the research of scientists and economists who have since complained about his dishonest use of their research. Ryan’s basic premise is that many government programs meant to help the poor are ineffective, so we should just delete those programs. (No, let’s not improve the programs, let’s just push the delete button.) To prove his premise, he eliminates data showing reductions in poverty, etc.

    […] interviewed some of the same economists cited in Ryan’s paper in support of his thesis. Many of the experts “had reactions ranging from bemusement to anger at Ryan’s report, claiming that he either misunderstood or misrepresented their research.”

    Ryan’s paper, for example, cited a study published in December by the Columbia Population Research Center measuring the decline in poverty in the U.S. after the implementation of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”

    One of the study’s authors, Jane Waldfogel, a professor at Columbia University and a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, said she was surprised when she read the paper, because it seemed to arbitrarily chop off data from two of the most successful years of the war on poverty. […]

    The Columbia researchers found that, using their model of the SPM, the poverty rate fell from 26 percent in 1967 to 15 percent in 2012. Ryan only cites data from 1969 onward, ignoring a full 36 percent of the decline. Fiscal Times link for quote.

    Waldfogel told Garver, “It’s technically correct, but it’s an odd way to cite the research. In my experience, usually you use all of the available data. There’s no justification given. It’s unfortunate because it really understates the progress we’ve made in reducing poverty.”

    She wasn’t the only scholar with concerns. The same article noted a Columbia researcher named Chris Wimer who suggested Ryan used his work in a misleading way when talking about the 1996 welfare-reform law. University of Wisconsin at Madison professor Barbara Wolfe said Ryan’s report simply “misstated” her findings on housing assistance and mischaracterized her research on Medicaid.

    The Fiscal Times also talked to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Jeffrey Brown who said Ryan’s report also ignored relevant caveats when he highlighted Brown’s scholarship on Medicaid. […]

    I think the researchers whose work was misrepresented need to make a really big stink about this. Republicans are trying to use cherry-picked or misleading data as the basis for voting on public policy that affects poor and lower-middle-class people in the USA. That counts as a sin according to the Republican god(s), right?

  58. dianne says

    opposable thumbs: I am nearly always of two minds regarding life changing events. I said almost the same thing when the small one passed her amnio. Partly it’s fear of how life is going to change, partly it’s the feeling that we just haven’t suffered enough yet and can’t possibly succeed on the first try. “Couple wanted a child. They got pregnant and had a healthy baby.” “Family wanted a dog. They adopted one.” Where’s the plot? Surely the Narrative demands more adversity to overcome…

    rq: Yep. That’s about it. I like dogs too though.

    Not that we have these dogs yet or anything. They may turn out to be too yippy. I may freak them out by being too aspie. We’ll see if we get along or not.

  59. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness, UK and European courts expose MMMs category. Add this to the latest fraud charges against the mormon prophet, Thomas S. Monson. Now the courts are saying a big fat “no” to the mormon claim that paying property taxes in the UK is a case of religious discrimination.

    European judges have rejected the Mormon Church’s human rights complaint against the British Government, forcing it to pay local property taxes on one of its English temples after a nine year court battle.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a religious organisation registered as a private unlimited company in the UK, was told in 2005 that it was not exempt from paying business tax on its temple in Preston, Lancashire. Because the public were not allowed access to the temple, which was reserved for the most devout Mormons, the High Court dismissed their appeal in July 2008.

    However, the church refused to accept the decision, claiming that it amounted to discrimination on religious grounds and taking their battle all the way to Strasbourg.

    Now the European Court of Human Rights has upheld the ruling of the British courts.

    […]Only the most devout members of the church, who hold a “recommend” status, are entitled to enter the temples. The House of Lords ruled that the Preston temple was not qualified as a “place of public religious worship” since access was restricted to this select group.

    Therefore temple, which is not open to the public, does not attract the full exemption, but does benefit from an 80% reduction in rates in view of its use for charitable purposes. […]

    Malcolm Adcock, UK spokesman for the Mormon faith, said: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints respects the decision of the Strasbourg court, and is grateful that the charitable activities of churches are recognized under UK and European law.”[…]

    Dafuq? These frauds get an 80% reduction in their property taxes … and they’re complaining?

    Moreover, read the last bit quoted above carefully. This is a statement calculated to affect the outcome of the fraud charges being laid at the feet of prophet/seer/revelator Thomas S. Monson. The mormon church takes in tithes, and uses about 98% of those tithes to promote itself, to insure the survival of LD$ Corp., and to provide super cushy nests and vacations for the General Authorities and the members of the First Presidency. It does less charitable work than most corporations which do not claim to be religions.

    Telegraph link.

  60. opposablethumbs says

    The subject of tempura came up in the Oh, lord, the stupid thread and it reminded me of this short story. I didn’t want to post such a long and frivolous derail in that thread so I’m going to try and post it here.
    With craven apologies to Roald Dahl, of course. And to those who know Japanese.
    The Latin Lover, or, Whatever is the Crime Business Coming to These Days

    The restaurateur’s body had been despatched to the chilly cabinets of the morgue and the coroner had gone home without being able to answer any of the most burning questions. The autopsy had proved baffling; there was a clear enough head wound, to be sure, but its bizarre size and shape offered little clue as to the nature of the murder weapon.
    Detective Inspector Entwhistle stared past his own reflection in the darkened window out into the night. Mr. Sakana had clearly been bludgeoned with some kind of edged club, but nothing remotely matching that description had been found – so how had the murderer managed to get their weapon out of the restaurant? There had been a full complement of customers and no way out other than through the dining area – it had to have been the man’s wife, but with no weapon anywhere to be found there was no evidence it had been anything other than the accidental fall she described.
    Entwhistle knew he was missing something.
    He returned to the restaurant, to find the last of his junior officers taking the final statements and showing the last tired and resentful customers to the door. The smells from the kitchen were a torment at this late hour – he’d had no time for lunch, let alone dinner – and he couldn’t resist wandering back behind the counter one more time.
    The tragically widowed Mrs. Sakana was sitting at the kitchen table reading, drinking green tea and eating the last of the food prepared for sale only a short while earlier. Imperturbably polite throughout the evening, she remained so now and Entwhistle ultimately could not resist her gesture of invitation as she offered him tea and a bowl of rice with half a dozen little pieces of deep-fried eel in the lightest, crispiest batter he had ever tasted.
    He glanced at the book in her hand. He looked again. Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl?
    He looked back at his bowl of deep-fried eel.
    With a groan, he let his head drop into his hands before looking up again at Mrs. Sakana who was just finishing her last mouthful with a smile.
    “Oh tempura, oh morays,” Entwhistle sighed.

  61. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #79: in a sweet bit of schadenfreude-ish desert, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was ordered to pay all of the court costs after their appeal was rejected.

  62. says

    This is also a follow up to comment #79, in which I commented, as an aside, that the LDS Church gives less to charitable/humanitarian efforts than many secular corporations. The info below comes from ex-mormon “Rockwell Americana.”

    […] “LDS Charities, which is self-funded by donations and relies mostly on volunteers, provided $84 million in assistance to people in 130 countries in 2013, according to Eubank.”

    If a TBM [True Believing Mormon] were to just casually read this, $84 million may sound like an impressive contribution. However, using a rough estimate of 3.5 million “active” members, this amounts to the church donating about $16 per member each year. [The mormon church claims to have between 12 and 15 million members, but this figure has been debunked over and over again.]

    The church pulls in $7 billion each year from tithing donations. Meanwhile, 1.2% of that amount is donated to humanitarian efforts.

    […] Nope, the church doesn’t focus its finances solely on perpetuating itself AT ALL.

  63. rq says

    I got the Latin, but I’m afraid even at my (majestic!) height, the Japanese went right over my head. :)

  64. says

    Sarah Palin is once again demonstrating her legendary expertise in foreign affairs:

    Lookit, people are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates. We are not exercising that peace through strength that only can be brought to you courtesy of the red, white and blue, that only a strengthened United States military can do.

    Poetry, absolute poetry. /sarcasm

    Of course, Palin has a platform for this nonsense. Sean Hannity interviewed her on Faux News.

  65. says

    More bogus “research” being used to bolster Republican legislation:

    […] University of Texas at Austin associate sociology professor Mark Regnerus’ research claiming that gay parenting harms children has been discredited by several major medical associations and an editor of the journal that originally published the flawed study, but that hasn’t stopped anti-LGBTQ activists and conservative politicians from using him to build their case against marriage equality.

    On Monday, Regnerus was enlisted as an “expert” witness in a case challenging Michigan’s constitutional ban on equal marriage. Regnerus spoke for three hours and cited his discredited research to argue that “the most prudent thing to do [with regards to equal marriage] is wait … before making any radical moves around marriage.” […]

    Salon link.

  66. says

    It’s an old story that is fresh and new on a daily basis to those it affects. We have more than 2 million people in the USA going without unemployment benefits.

    Lori of Austin, Texas is one of those millions going without unemployment benefits. “I started working when I was 12 years old, started paying taxes when I was 15 years old,” she told ThinkProgress. At almost 60 years old, she has more than 40 years of experience as a registered nurse working in the neonatal intensive care unit of hospitals.

    But she lost her job at the end of 2012. She went a few months without benefits on the assumption that she would quickly find new work, but that didn’t pan out. By March of last year, without a job or any prospects, she enrolled in the unemployment benefits program. She started the EUC program in September but then was cut off along with everyone else at the end of the year. “What irritates me about this is that I have worked hard all my life, I have not lived on the government nor any of their hand out programs,” she said. “This is a benefit that an employer takes out of your salary and you pay in so that when something happens, you have this benefit.”
    “I’ve been working and paying taxes since I was 15 years old and I’ve been a responsible human being,” she noted. “Is this really what it’s come to?” […]

    In the meantime, she has had to move out of her home in Austin […] living out of her car and staying with friends and relatives, including sleeping on a friend’s floor. […]

    Lori noted that she has been a lifelong Republican but “that’s getting ready to change.” While she’s no fan of Democrats, saying the two parties are in bed together, she said she’s “disgusted with my Republicans who have blocked this and don’t care about the real hardworking people.” […]

  67. says

    Fighting a losing battle, and illogically taking a last stand against marriage equality:

    Kentucky will hire outside attorneys to appeal a federal judge’s ruling requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages from outside the state, Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday.

    His announcement came minutes after a tearful Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said his office will not appeal the ruling, calling it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

    Yeah, go ahead, hire some outside attorneys. After all, that has worked well for Utah so far. /sarcasm.

    Yes, waste Kentucky’s taxpayer’s money. I mean, you don’t have anything else to spend it on, right?

  68. opposablethumbs says

    Hey rq! It’s just that the deceased restaurateur and his widow are called, in transliterated form, Mr. and Mrs. Fish (at least, I hope they are. I may well have got the name wrong; sadly I don’t know any Japanese).

  69. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Drum roll please……..

    We have 8lbs, 2oz of beautiful brand new baby person, in fine working order. I am a proud and crying honorary Nana.

  70. Portia says


    That is so wonderful. Congratulations.
    Thank you for the happy in my day :)

  71. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    I am going to get her a little squid hat. Can’t start the indoctrination too soon, ya’ know. She is our newest tiny Hordeling (sp?)

  72. Portia says

    Thanks for the well-wishes everyone. I had a restorative weekend with family but now I’m just deflated again – need to plan to visit Grandpa – need to cover for co-worker whose wife is having urgent surgery on a “significant mass” on her uterus – need to go to my friend’s grandfather’s funeral in an hour.

    I’m just…gonna be over here…maybe under my desk.

    *hugs* all around.

    I really appreciate my friends here.

    Have some cinnamon tea. It helps. Glad you have good inlaws to rely upon.

    Tea for DaughterSpawn too.

    Someone asked if there’s a way to help JAL. The answer is: not right now, but I will keep y’all posted if it becomes something to do that is wanted. Gah. Grammar, how does it work?

  73. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says


    …is someone going to explain the tempura thing?

  74. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Take a big armful of these fluffy hugs under the desk with you.

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

    …is someone going to explain the tempura thing?

    I don’t really get it. I prefer sushi: Oh, for tuna!

  76. says

    Azkyroth @100:
    It began in the Oh lord, the stupid thread with this comment by LykeX.
    Following that, Louis joined the fray.
    Suffice to say, he won the day.
    Now I go to pray, for an increase in Louis’ pay.
    That he may deliver the funny for many a day.

  77. opposablethumbs says

    Huge long line of dancing conga rats on the safe arrival of the latest tiny Hordeling, morgan!
    Portia, thank you very much – and many many hugs to you in what must be one hell of a tough time :-(
    Azkyroth, I apologise: it’s an attempt at a pun – Entwhistle bemoans what things are coming to these days (O tempora, o mores – literally “Oh the times, oh the customs” or “what times, what customs/manners” – it’s a quotation from Cicero, but much repeated so that often sounds familiar without necessarily knowing Latin) while simultaneously bemoaning his failure to solve the crime before he helped to eat the evidence consisting of moray eel in tempura batter.

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

    @Lynna, #87:

    that only a strengthened United States military can do.

    Because stealth bombers that can penetrate the radar nets of any conceivable enemy in the world – including China and Russia – and then drop fusion weapons with literally no warning on said enemy government and/or populace is simply an inadequate capability to deter threats?

    Really, how does Portugal stay free?

    Wow. Just…wow.

  79. says


    O tempora o mores is a popular Latin quotation from Cicero, translating loosely as “What [dreadful] times, what [dreadful] customs,” (before anyone decides to out-pedant me, no word meaning dreadful appears in this line, the dreadfulness is implied from context that isn’t usually quoted) used since by those who want to seem erudite to bemoan the uncivilized state of modern affairs/the lack of seemly behaviour on the part of today’s youth, and all the other sorts of things that people who think gratuitous Latin tags are impressive tend to bemoan. It is also used in the Asterix comics, which feature a group of pirates who get sunk by the heroes every time they meet, after which the eldest pirate makes a sarcastic remark in Latin.

  80. says

    The Attorney General of Kentucky gets it right!

    “As Attorney General, I have vowed to the people of Kentucky to uphold my duty under the law and to do what is right, even if some disagreed with me. In evaluating how best to proceed as the Commonwealth’s chief lawyer in light of Judge Heyburn’s recent ruling, I have kept those promises in mind.

    When the Governor and I were first named as the technical defendants in this lawsuit, my duty as Attorney General was to provide the Commonwealth with a defense in the federal district court, and to frame the proper legal defenses. Those who passed the statutes and the voters who passed the constitutional amendment deserved that, and the Office of Attorney General performed its duty. However, it’s my duty to defend both the Kentucky Constitution and the Constitution of the United States.

    The temporary stay we sought and received on Friday allowed me time to confer with my client and to consult with state leaders about my impending decision and the ramifications for the state.

    I have evaluated Judge Heyburn’s legal analysis, and today am informing my client and the people of Kentucky that I am not appealing the decision and will not be seeking any further stays.

    From a constitutional perspective, Judge Heyburn got it right, and in light of other recent federal decisions, these laws will not likely survive upon appeal. We cannot waste the resources of the Office of the Attorney General pursuing a case we are unlikely to win.

    There are those who believe it’s my mandatory duty, regardless of my personal opinion, to continue to defend this case through the appellate process, and I have heard from many of them. However, I came to the inescapable conclusion that, if I did so, I would be defending discrimination.

    That I will not do. As Attorney General of Kentucky, I must draw the line when it comes to discrimination.

    The United States Constitution is designed to protect everyone’s rights, both the majority and the minority groups. Judge Heyburn’s decision does not tell a minister or a congregation what they must do, but in government ‘equal justice under law’ is a different matter.

    I am also mindful of those from the business community who have reached out to me in the last few days encouraging me not to appeal the decision. I agree with their assessment that discriminatory policies hamper a state’s ability to attract business, create jobs and develop a modern workforce.

    I prayed over this decision. I appreciate those who provided counsel, especially my remarkable wife, Elizabeth. In the end, this issue is really larger than any single person and it’s about placing people above politics. For those who disagree, I can only say that I am doing what I think is right. In the final analysis, I had to make a decision that I could be proud of – for me now, and my daughters’ judgment in the future.

    May we all find ways to work together to build a more perfect union, and to build the future Commonwealth in which we want to live, work and raise all of our families.

  81. carlie says

    rq – the tuna video reminds me of this. :) (we listen a lot more to video games than classical music at my house)

    Portia – lots of hugs

    morgan – congratulations!

    Opposeablethumbs – fantastic. :)

  82. dianne says


    I especially like #1 in your link: When I get depressed crap piles up and that very quickly becomes something to reproach yourself about, i.e. “How can I possibly (go to school, hold a job, raise a kid, etc) when I can’t even pick up the mail?” Not letting that clutter happen can be a morale booster.

    I’d like to add one though: #11: Don’t expect what you’re doing to “work”. Depression is a disease and while sometimes it responds to lifestyle interventions, it doesn’t always. It’s not your fault if your loved one is still depressed despite your decluttering, making them dinner, taking them for a walk in the woods, and giving them a hug– and it’s not their fault either. Sometimes it just takes more than that. Just like a diabetic might be able to control his or her blood sugar with a better diet and more exercise–or might need insulin.

  83. says

    Eight months ago, I pulled a bra out of the washing machine for the first time since breaking up with my college girlfriend and loudly coming out of the closet as a gay man a decade earlier. This bra belonged to someone I would have called my boyfriend a week earlier, before she came out to me as a transgender woman. Bras were just the start of things to which I’d need to adjust.

    To the rest of the world, we’re a couple of gay guys. Only she and I (and a team of medical professionals) know that that’s not the case. While she’s not currently out to anyone else and lives her everyday life passing as a man, she’s medically transitioning so that her body will match her gender identity. Eventually she’ll live her everyday life as a woman.


    When you find out that the person you love is of a different gender than you’d thought, you end up with a lot of questions. Amidst the cacophony of questions I had about her, her experience, her thoughts, the vocabulary, the pronouns, the medical information, the surgical plans and all the other minutiae, the one thing I kept circling back to had nothing to do with her. It was about me:

    I’m a self-identified gay man whose partner is a woman, so what does that make me?


    In lieu of a proper term, I’m choosing to focus on what I know to be true. I know my partner is a woman. I know I’m emotionally and physically attracted to her (even now that her breasts have started to grow and her body becomes ever more feminine). I know we’re more in love than we ever have been. I guess that’s good enough for me.

  84. Portia says

    Thanks for the hugs and support, carlie, rq, morgan, Dallillama, opposablethumbs.

    Tony: Bring. it. ON.

    Thanks for the link to the ways to show love to a partner dealing with depression. S has bouts. I really like the list.

    This one made think.

    “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”

    I use this tactic, sometimes, “look at all the good you do” but I know for me personally when I’m feeling down or anxious, hearing a list of things I’ve done that make me valuable can make me feel like without those things (which happened by chance! I clearly didn’t make them happen!) I would have no inherent value. It’s a hard line to walk. It’s like when S says “No, you’re not fat!” because he thinks that’s the thing to say, but really, I need to hear “It’s ok if you’re fat, I still like you.” /randommusings.

  85. says

    Uh, I have my doubts.

    Stanford University Professor Emeritus William A. Tiller has been researching a level of physical reality hitherto undetectable with conventional measurement instruments.

    He says two kinds of substances exist:

    1. The electric atom/molecule level: Substances on this level can be measured with traditional instruments. We can measure them because they are electric-charge based.

    2. The magnetic information waves level: Tiller explains in an introduction to his research on his website: “This new level of substance, because it appears to function in the physical vacuum (the empty space between the fundamental electric particles that make up our normal electric atoms and molecules), is currently invisible to us and to our traditional measurement instruments.”

    This second type of substance has great power, and it is affected by human thought.[…]

  86. says

    Something uplifting and tear jerking:

    I need to get this off my chest. I love you. You are amazing. I know, that word is just about as overused as awesome, but I mean it this time. I’ll get to that in a minute.

    Here’s some backstory you should know first. I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian cult. We didn’t live in a compound with barbed wire and guns, but we might as well have when it came to relating to anything outside the borders of our beliefs. Everybody who wasn’t with us was called “the world”, and they were scary and bad. I’m talking about people who smoked cigarettes and went to movies here. Being gay was so far removed from our reality that it might as well have been in a different galaxy—the one next door to Hell.


    I know. You probably didn’t set out to change the world. You probably just want to be loved and accepted as you are. I do love you–and you are helping to change the world.

    I’m crying.
    This was incredibly touching.

  87. David Marjanović says

    Oblique rifting of the Equatorial Atlantic: Why there is no Saharan Atlantic Ocean” – or, why this picture isn’t accurate.

    One click away from the Name Travoltifier: “A major new US study at Penn State University has found that Europeans’ light skin stems from a gene mutation from a single person who lived 10,000 years ago.” Of course, there’s no link to the paper; I can’t even find a mention of the journal it’s published in. *rageflail*

    Another click away: Why the Irish language is dying in Ireland – at the bottom there’s a video that features someone holding up a sign that says “my ass!”, too bad I don’t understand the verb.

  88. rq says

    Haha, apparently Putin is just fulfilling prophecy:

    Yet, based on Bible prophecy, the Trumpet persists in forecasting that Vladimir Putin’s ramped up aggression will contribute to a dramatic sea change in Europe.

    To understand the details of how Putin’s belligerence toward Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and beyond is galvanizing Europe and hastening its unification, read editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “Is Vladimir Putin the Prophesied ‘Prince of Rosh’?”

  89. says

    A father teaches his young son about the harms of stereotyping (thanks to a Kevin Hart joke):

    “Some folks might try that sweetie but you know who you are. That Kevin Hart joke might be funny… but it is also a stereotype. From time to time, you will run into people who are jealous of you or just plain dumb, who will stereotype you, but be better than them. People are people and anybody is capable of anything. Always aspire to be the best Chris. Be a king.”

  90. David Marjanović says

    …Wait, wait, wait. Irish has been spoken for almost 9,000 years? What have you smoked, and can I get it legally in Colorado?

    And that English-style r must be a… new development; Wikipedia says Irish has both of the Russian-style ones instead.

    But watch the video anyway.

  91. says

    Lynna @118:
    (from your link)

    “Consciousness lifts the higher thermodynamic free energy state [of the vacuum level], then we can access the physics of the vacuum,” Tiller says. “Accessing that new physics allows intention to bring forth effects you wouldn’t imagine.”

    The consciousness can, in a way, affect or interact with a power greater than anything conventional instruments have been able to measure thus far.

    If you don’t mind, Lynna, can we team up and be the Doubting Duo?

  92. David Marjanović says

    (Indo-European as a whole hasn’t been spoken for 9,000 years, FFS.)

    Haha, apparently Putin is just fulfilling prophecy:

    But then, so is anything and everything else ever.

    is galvanizing Europe and hastening its unification

    Europe: as mythical to American fundies as the Central African Republic.

  93. says

    “Doubting Duo” sounds good, Tony. Even our combined consciousness will be unable to access the physics of the vacuum that is Tiller’s brain.

    Of course “conventional instruments” cannot measure Tiller interacting with great powers. Duh. /sarcasm

    Does anyone else hear a hint of Transcendental Mediation in Tiller’s word salad?

  94. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Lynna @118

    The emeritus says it all. His specialty was materials science. I’ve found that when scientists are washed up, the mediocre ones turn to history and philosophy of science. The really crappy ones turn to woo.

  95. rq says

    But David, the European Union! Says so right there in the name! We are all One with each other.
    Aren’t we? Just like the United States of America. United!

  96. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, carlie :-)

    While I’m gutted that it turns out quite a number of faith schools in the UK are blacking out evolution questions in exams (so their students lose marks but keep their immortal souls, excuse me while I hit something) I’m glad it’s hitting the headlines at least a bit – it was on the TV news tonight. And worried; the government being a bunch of pusillanimous creeps, will they see more votes in xenophobia (the anti-evolution schools are almost all non-xtian) or in crawling to the religious generally?

  97. says

    I have doubts on that 9,000 year figure for the Irish language. Irish is a Celtic language, and the Celts have only existed for a bit over 3,000 years.

    Ireland had people well before this, but they weren’t the ancestors of the Celts- the Celts arose in Central and Eastern Europe and then migrated westward. Whatever these pre-Celtic inhabitants of Ireland spoke, it would have had as little relation to Modern Irish as Modern Irish has Russian, possibly less.

    I suppose it’s possible that of all languages sharing an ancestor ~9000 years ago, Irish preserves more features of the original ancestor language than any other. If so, CITATION NEEDED.

    The whole craziness of such ancient written records? Not sure where they got that from. There’s absolutely no written Insular Celtic of any kind prior to ~400CE. Old Irish literary traditions don’t get going until around 800CE.

    There’s a gigantic crapload of stupid in that video.

    Didn’t see the part with “ass”, where is it in the video?

  98. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    Those suggestions in the depression link in 112 look pretty good to me. Yes, going outside was a benefit to me during the worse of my depression, but the whole ’emf/earthing’ thing is complete bullshit. Emf (Electro Magnetic Frequencie) have no demonstrated effects on humans. A walk through the links shows that the concept of ‘earthing’ comes from Joe Mercola, a known quack.

    Number ten caused me to tear up a bit. Ms. Fishy doesn’t deal with my depression particularly well. She doesn’t understand it at all and flounders a little about what to do. Unfortunately, when I’m in a bad way I can’t tell her what I need, and so the cycle goes. But once, before we were married, she presented me with a list of the good things she saw in me. I carried that piece of paper around with me in my wallet for years. Such a fragile little lifeline it was, wood pulp and ink as a shield against self harm. It wasn’t so much that I could believe what she’d written about me, lying depressed brain lies, but knowing that someone cared enough to make the effort trimmed the nadir off my cycle more than once.

    These days I shamelessly and selfishly use my wedding ring for the same purpose. When the downward slide has pulled my feet out from under me, sometimes I can look at it and remember.

    Remember how I felt as I stood before her, handing her my fancy weddin’ hanky to dry her eyes. How I struggled to not need it myself, thinking equal parts: “Someone has to hold it together or we’re not going to get this done.” and “I don’t want that thing back, it’s sodden!”

    How we were surrounded by loving friends and family, all the people most important in the world to us, and yet they all somehow faded for those few minutes as we spoke of our commitment to each other. How after the ritualistic kiss, I leaned over and kissed her belly, then eight months swollen, and said to the bub-to-be: “I love you too, just remember that your not invited to this party.” and how Ms. Fishy’s laughter caused her to shake.

    When discussion turns to marriage, and how it’s could be an outmoded relic of the age when women were property, I can’t argue that point. But for me, it’s the friction that allows me to stand when all else fails.

  99. says

    Well this is bizarre:

    I do not hold body autonomy sacrosanct and I would support a law forcing me to give blood if it saved lives. Well, I actually wouldn’t because the fifty-year old me is very conservative compared to the mid-thirties me who would not only have supported such a law but would have been shocked and disgusted anyone could possibly oppose it. I find it very weird that you assume body autonomy is universally accepted as a fundamental right rather than the very conservative libertarian idea that it is.

    Seriously, if those seeking abortions were the moral equivalent of people letting others die because that choose not to give blood solely because it’s their right not to, then that would make the pro-choice movement as reprehensible as gun nuts opposing regulations in light of Sandy Hook.

    Bodily autonomy is a libertarian idea?

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


    Don’tcha know? Libertarianism is responsible for the Code of Hammurabi! Look it up!

    Also, not being libertarian is immoral.

    Also, milk chocolate is a crime against humanity.

    Also, dogs are better than cats.

    [insert knowledgeable, reasonable, and yet fairly outraged responses here – frequently ones that cite Ayn Rand as being born slightly after the Code of Hammurabi was composed]

    What? Look, that’s not what I said. I said **libertarianism** was responsible for the Code of Hammurabi in the sense that without some version of libertarian thinking, the code wouldn’t have included those penalties for crimes against persons, and because crimes against persons existed in there next to the regulations on brewing beer, we know that libertarian thinking existed and affected the final format of laws 4000 years ago. Because we know that libertarianism existed 4000 years ago, long before the phrase “natural law” was coined, we know that those early rights related to bodily autonomy must come from libertarianism alone, not from some sense of natural justice or practical community building or anything else. That entails that bodily autonomy is most certainly a libertarian idea, and a libertarian idea alone. QED.

    [knowledgeable, reasonable responses here]

    Don’t lie about me. The only claim I’ve ever made is that some version of libertarian-like thinking must have occurred to someone at least by the time of the Code of Hammurabi.

    [More responses, despairing of my intelligence]

    Yeah? Well, you’re mean.

    And stinky.

    I just want you to know that I don’t wanna be here, I only comment because you all are so, so wrong. If I get banned it will be a tragedy for me, what with the silencing and the censorship and the silencing, but it will be even sadder for you, having to go without the benefit of my beneficial ideas.

    And that I’m not a narcissist.

  101. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Don’tcha know? Libertarianism is responsible for the Code of Hammurabi! Look it up!

    Also, not being libertarian is immoral.

    Also, milk chocolate is a crime against humanity.

    Also, dogs are better than cats

    ::Entering Total Snark Mode::
    I was with you on the first two, but you’ve gone too far on the latter two. We’ll have to settle this with a duel. ::Snark Mode on Pause::

  102. Portia says


    I’ve been authorized to raise the Horde Signal on JAL’s behalf. $235 is the number she gave me to meet her and little ones basic needs and keep a roof over their head this month. If you are able and willing to chip in for this Horde Signal Raising, I’m happy to be the conduit. My PayPal is my nym, with bravo before it, at the goggle maily thingy.

    Many hugs and much love.

    This discussion of Irish is interesting to me, though I didn’t watch the source material. I’m learning things, so the video didn’t have a totally negative impact on the world :)

  103. says

    I’ll be able to add to the fund on Friday.


    This is just ridiculous:

    A Columbus principal suspended a student for three days last week after the child pointed a “lookalike firearm” at another student in class and pretended to shoot.

    The boy’s age? 10. The “level 2 lookalike firearm” cited in his suspension letter? His finger.

    “I was just playing around,” said Nathan Entingh, a fifth-grader at Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in a far northern section of the district. “People play around like this a lot at my school.”

    Other kids have been caught playing pretend gun games on the playground at Devonshire and weren’t suspended, Nathan said.

    Devonshire Principal Patricia Price has warned students about pretend gun play numerous times this year, and everyone should know the rules by now, district spokesman Jeff Warner said. Nathan put his finger to the side of the other student’s head and pretended to shoot “kind of execution style,” Warner said.

    “The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” Warner said. “It’s just been escalating.” Warnings included three newsletters sent home with kids, he said.

    This punishment is disproportionate to his actions. I’m not a fan of the zero tolerance policies because so many times the punishment goes overboard. Yes, this country needs to have an honest discussion about gun control *and* the 2nd Amendment. Yes, gun violence is out of control. But how about opening up a dialogue with the child class student body about gun violence? I just don’t see what lesson the child is supposed to take home except “don’t make my fingers into guns”.

    (also, it’s maddening to hear of stories like this when kids are being bullied and harassed in schools across the country, with little punishment)

  104. Suido says

    Blechh, I hit submit instead of preview. Link works on first two words, the rest is a dud link to this page.

  105. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Portia, looks like I’m finally out of paying for car repairs. If the start of your paypal account is *b*r*a*v*o*p* minus the you know whats, I could send something. Otherwise, my “trash” e-mail is the root vegetable radish with the numerals 1182 at the giant telecom business comcast with a dot net.
    I have worked under many non-disclosure agreements for the last twenty-five years, so to quote Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Hero’s, “I know nothink”….

  106. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “I know nothink”….

    Such a straight line. Have fun horde.

  107. says

    Graphic designer and illustrator Irma Gruenholz toiled away in Madrid as an ad agency art director before shifting gears and launching a freelance career in illustration. While she’s perfectly capable working with pencils and paints, it was her decision to work in 3D that really set things in motion. Gruenholz painstakingly builds each illustration with hand-sculpted modelling clay before lighting and photographing it, giving each piece a beautiful sense of depth.

    Her art is absofreakinlutely stunning! Hand sculpted clay…just wow!

  108. Crudely Wrott says

    In keeping with the “random ejaculations” part of the local ethos, a random dump of neat shit:

    –There is a sculptor in Wyoming named Vic Lemmon. He and his wife used to run a cafe in my little town and several of Vic’s works were on display. One day one of them caught my eye.

    The 18 inch-long bronze depicted a simple grave. A low mound of earth, at one end a crude cross made of dead wood lashed with cord. Sitting on the grave, facing the cross, is a dog. Border collie looking. Sensible dog for a cowboy, both companion and coworker.

    The dog’s head is tilted just a bit to one side, like dogs do, and gripped in its teeth, by the brim, is a Stetson hat. Felt. The work is entitled: “I Brung Yer Hat”.

    Water was flowing freely down my face as I lay down a tip and headed for the door.
    –In Houston, Texas, the 610 loop circles the city. Some of the radio traffic guys used to refer to it as the Houstonappolis Five Hundred. On the east side is a bridge that spans the Ship Canal. During the winter of 1982-3 there came a storm of freezing rain. I was heading home and approaching the bridge in northbound traffic slowed to a crawl. There was one exit between me and the bridge.

    The fellow on the radio was repeating for the nth time how bridges freeze before roads at grade level and my eyes traced the motionless vehicles that covered the three northbound and three southbound lanes.

    As if on cue, a car at the apex of the span began to slide backwards, down the slope. It gently bumped the one behind it and the two slowly slid as one. Bumped a couple more, one slowly got sideways and fetched up against a truck in an adjacent lane. By this simple and, really, quite graceful process the entire mass of vehicles up ahead of me began to slide with elegant deliberateness towards me. The sight was mesmerizing.

    My good fortune was that I was in traffic still moving ahead and by a combination of turn-signal, eye contact via rear-view mirror and downright intimidation I was able to merge right across two lanes of bumper to bumper traffic and just make that last exit.

    Got home forty five minutes later and turned on the TV, grabbed a beer and watched the helicopter cams show a veritable fleet of tow trucks moving along the break down lane and into the fray. Was about the only time I ever wished I owned a tow truck. Over three hundred vehicles helpless, their occupants ripe for the picking. It took about six hours to get them all untangled and on their ways home.

    I just grinned.
    –Ever get to thinking that there are just too many acronyms? No? Well, try this on for size: 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD
    –From the Beeb, musical rocks from Mynydd Preseli invade Wiltshire. So, where are the ancient mallets?
    –Funny computer idiosyncrasies: My long in the tooth PC running Win XP with several privacy/security add-ons has been very slow loading pages lately. I discovered, quite by accident, something that seems to deliver a kick in the pants and encourage a page to load, like, right now.

    I have my Wireless Connection Status box living on my taskbar. If a page load tries my patience I just click and bring that rascal up and, Presto! Down loads the page. I have no idea why.
    *hugs, real whipped cream, commiserations, thumbs up and held thumbs to them what needs ’em—now to get (loosely speaking) caught up =)*

  109. Crudely Wrott says

    @morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor, #97–

    I am going to get her a little squid hat. Can’t start the indoctrination too soon, ya’ know. She is our newest tiny Hordeling (sp?)

    Conga rats and a lifetime supply of happy thoughts for you, your family and the NEW ONE!

    As for the spelling; puuuuurrrrfect.
    *hmmm, nickname?*

  110. says

    I was shocked and appalled to read this crap:

    The great news for people like me who don’t really enjoy math is that A Beka Book provides “traditional mathematics texts that are not burdened with modern theories such as set theory.“ It’s unclear why the branch of mathematical logic that studies sets and is considered to be a foundational system for mathematics is so anathema to God. I assume focusing on the “union of sets” encourages too much premarital coupling and promiscuity


    Like so many of Beka’s critical thinking tools, this one comes in the form of a mnemonic device: “Use the DISCERN method,” Beka instructs, “to determine whether abortion is biblical.” The method allows students to make an informed godly choice around any issue, not just abortion. Once they’ve figured out whether something is biblical or not, they can engage in it and praise it, or refrain from doing it and condemn it. Here’s how DISCERN works:

    Determine your choices

    Inquire of God through prayer

    Search the scriptures

    Consider godly counsel.

    Eliminate worldly thinking.

    Recognize God’s leading.

    Never compromise the truth.


    Also crucial is the instruction not to stray from God’s path by using science to help people. “Others may be curious about the world of nature simply because they want to improve the lives of other humans. Although Christians should also be interested in that, they should mainly be interested in loving God through the study of nature.” I wonder if the Hortons want their doctors to prioritize loving God over helping their patients?


    Beka’s United States History—Heritage of Freedom In Christian Perspective reminds us that the men who founded this great nation would totally oppose background checks: “The founding fathers… understood that unarmed citizens would not be able to stand against a tyrannical government.” Gun control, according to this text, is simply a “gateway to tyranny.” The book’s exhaustive analysis of world history backs up this brilliant assertion: “A study of Hitler’s, Stalin’s and Mao’s ideas on disarming their citizens shows… they were well aware of the concept that control thrives when people are unarmed.


    America: Land I Love In Christian Perspective laments that the death penalty, and thus the sanctity of life, have become less hip. Back in the good old days, “because people believed in the sanctity of human life, most states practiced capital punishment.”

    There is more jaw dropping shit at the link.
    Capital punishment leads to valuing human life?

    Oh, and lest I forget:

    Among other rules, PCC has a zero tolerance policy for “optical intercourse” or staring too intently into the eyes of a member of the opposite sex (also known as “making eye babies”).

    Eye babies? Really?
    Also, does that mean members of the same sex can stare intently into one anothers’ eyes?

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


    Capital punishment leads to valuing human life?

    Hrmm. Far be it from me to declare myself expert on fundie thinking, but I believe A Beka’s claim was that valuing human life leads to capital punishment. I think.

    @Sally Strange
    If you’re around the Lounge, are you ever around the Lower Mainland and/or the islands? I’d love to meet up someday if it’s possible. I have such a huge amount of respect for you.

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


    I want to have your eye babies.

  113. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Hrmm. Far be it from me to declare myself expert on fundie thinking, but I believe A Beka’s claim was that valuing human life leads to capital punishment. I think

    ah yes. I had it wrong. It makes much more sense now :)

    @Sally Strange
    If you’re around the Lounge, are you ever around the Lower Mainland and/or the islands? I’d love to meet up someday if it’s possible. I have such a huge amount of respect for you

    You’re not the only one. Sally rocks.

    Not sure if you’re on Facebook or not CD, but Sally is. If you’d like, I can pass your message along to her.

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

    No, not on FB.

    She can always e-mail me at the ‘nym, with no spaces, using the google thingy.

  115. rq says

    So, when you’re pissed off at someone and give them the straight and level stare, do you make angry eye babies?

  116. Crudely Wrott says

    @Tony!, #154–

    The uber-sadness of such a watered down, boiled and drained education is the release upon society of thousands of prospective young adults whose little brains are going to be blasted to bits by reality and, most jarring of all to them, the millions of people who inhabit that reality and get along just fine, thank you.

    These poor waifs are doomed to stumbling wide eyed and incredulous through a world that leaves them near dumbstruck; the word their trembling tongues will most often voice is “wha . . .?”.

    One can only hope that the percentage of these kids that seek out mates of their own kind and raise children under the same curricula that they were besieged by is small . . . vanishingly small.

    Knowing a bit about youth (cough onemyselfonce cough) through observation and experience, it seems reasonable that many of these graduates will find their outrage and sense of fairness demanding that they wheel about and excoriate, forcefully and with heated intent, those who cheated them of the information and skills that they find themselves lacking.

    I’d be pissed off royally if I were one of them.

    *Thank you, Oyster River School District. Thank you, thank you, thank you.*

  117. says

    More on A Beka Book:


    A realistic view of time, government, geography, and economics based on eternal truths

    Ever since H. G. Wells published his Outline of History in 1920, the theme of world history texts has been man’s supposed progress from savagery toward socialism, from tribal religions toward one-world government. American history is usually presented as a series of conflicts—rich vs. poor, black vs. white, North vs. South, labor vs. management, male vs. female, etc.

    A Beka Book history texts reject the Marxist/Hegelian conflict theory of history in favor of a truthful portrayal of peoples, lands, religions, ideals, heroes, triumphs, and setbacks. The result is positive, uplifting history texts that give students an historical perspective and instill within them an intelligent pride for their own country and a desire to help it back to its traditional values.

    We present government as ordained by God for the maintenance of law and order, not as a cure-all for humanity’s problems. We present free-enterprise economics without apology and point out the dangers of Communism, socialism, and liberalism to the well-being of people across the globe. In short, A Beka Book offers a traditional, conservative approach to the study of what man has done with the time he has been given.


    The investigation of variety, order, and reasonableness revealed in creation

    While secular science textbooks present modern science as the opposite of faith, the A Beka Book science texts teach that modern science is the product of Western man’s return to the Scriptures after the Protestant Reformation, leading to his desire to understand and subdue the earth, which he saw as the orderly, law-­abiding creation of the God of the Bible.

    And I just found out this shit is here in my own backyard (not that it would be any better if it were elsewhere).
    And the hits keep coming. A Beka Book was founded in Pensacola, and is…fuck, I’ll let their shit speak for itself:

    Three decades ago, A Beka Book began with the mission of providing Christian schools with high-quality textbooks and teaching aids to help each school fulfill its educational goals. The hundreds of traditional educational materials from A Beka Book have been developed and refined over a period of 50 years in the classrooms of Pensacola Christian Academy, one of America’s largest and most respected Christian schools. As a result, throughout the nation A Beka Book is recognized as the standard of excellence in the publishing of textbooks and other scholastic materials.

    PCC should also change its name to Pensacola CREATIONIST College:

    We believe God created the heavens and earth in six literal days, and that God created all life (Gen. 1). We reject the man-made theory of evolution occurring over millions of years and believe the earth is 6,000 years old. We believe that man was created in the image of God but chose to sin. Hence, all persons inherit a depraved nature and are lost sinners in need of salvation.

    Anyone have a puke bucket handy?

  118. says

    PCC also has strict policies regarding mixed-gender interaction. Physical contact between members of the opposite sex is only permitted under very limited circumstances. Written permission of the dean’s office must be procured for all off-campus meetings between members of the opposite sex. In addition, all mixed-gender meetings (on and off-campus), must have a PCC chaperone present.[7] Most stairwells and elevators on campus are segregated by gender. In the absence of being able to have physical contact, a fad has developed among dating students on campus where couples stare deeply into each other’s eyes. This practice by students is variously called “eye kissing”, or “optical intercourse” and is jokingly called “making eye babies.”[7] This activity however is discouraged by the administration.

    Other violations of PCC policy include the use of language considered profane or foul by the college administration, visiting movie theaters, patronizing unauthorized area businesses, being off campus after hours and being in another residence hall room after hours. Additionally, being in a residence hall belonging to a member of the opposite sex, the use of alcohol, or tobacco products, gambling, possession or use of pornography, engaging in any form of pre-marital sexual activity or any other actions considered by the college to be immoral, and engaging in social activities with members of the opposite sex as a group while off campus can result in immediate dismissal. The administration of PCC also reviews any reports brought to their attention of students behaving in a manner unbecoming of PCC ideals who are at home or away on school breaks while enrolled at the college

    Holy fuck! This place is a regressive nightmare.

  119. rq says

    Thank you for that beautifully eloquent comment.
    I was also reminded of this, which just goes to prove that my brain is currently making weird associations all over the place.


    Lupita Nyong’o on beauty and the colour of her skin.

    Oh my gosh, I can knit with my hands!! This is awesome!

    Ah, modifiers, how you change the meaning in my sentences!

    And, to finish off (protect your eyes!) it’s not what you expect inside. I think they’re big fans of that colour.

  120. says

    Last one and I’ll stop for the night.

    Those rules extend beyond the campus. A man and a woman cannot go to an off-campus restaurant together without a chaperon (usually a faculty member). Even running into members of the opposite sex off campus can lead to punishment. One student told of how a group of men and a group of women from the college happened to meet at a McDonald’s last spring. Both groups were returning from the beach (they had gone to separate beaches; men and women are not allowed to be at the beach together). The administration found out, and all 15 students were expelled.

  121. says

    I’ve been binge-watching Bob’s Burgers, to be ready for when they return next weekend. So I read

    I want to have your eye babies.

    with Tina Belcher’s voice in my mind, and it was both surprisingly fitting and jarring.

  122. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Capital punishment leads to valuing human life?

    Supply and demand, don’tcha know.

  123. Crudely Wrott says

    @ FossilFishy #135–

    How fortunate for you and Ms. Fishy to have such sweet memories. I have a heart smile for you both.

    That little piece of paper that you kept is the kind of talisman that really has power. I keep a small number of them myself, hidden is small containers inside of boxes. I don’t often take them out because just knowing they are there, that I know just exactly where they are and that I could get to them with just a little effort is all I usually need . . . to remind me.

    Sometimes I just have to hold one of them. When I’m unsure or troubled or frightened or angry or onda verge . . . then I feel the power.

    Later, put them gently away all safe, all mine, all better.

  124. says

    (hat tip to SallyStrange for this)
    That’s not sexual aggression, it’s predatory behavior:

    When researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington observed young people’s behavior in bars, they found that the man’s aggressiveness didn’t match his level of intoxication. There was no relationship.

    Instead, men targeted women who were intoxicated.

    The researchers hired and trained 140 young adults to go into bars in the Toronto area and note every incident of aggression they saw. They found that 25 percent of all incidents involved sexual aggression. And 90 percent of the victims of sexual aggression were women being harassed by men.

    Almost all of the aggression was physical, with about two-thirds of the aggressors physically touching women without consent. About 17 percent threatened contact. And 9 percent verbally harassed their targets.

  125. Crudely Wrott says

    Before sleep claims me, this one last thing. Something right out of my childhood dreams.
    NASA is providing funding to develop a mission plan to send a probe to Europa. Tentative launch in about ten years. Dammit, you guys, I just might last long enough to hear about what they find!

    I am very excited to hear this. Very. Excited. You know, dreams and all . . .
    In my last comment the term “onda verge” is not a typo. Yes, there is a story there. I’ll tell you later.
    *yawn* Good night, sleep tight, dear Hordelings.

  126. hjhornbeck says

    I’m surprised at the lack of skepticism in some quarters. Someone who very, very rarely comments on Pharyngula, let alone has strong ties to the commenting community, suddenly jumps into Pharyngula’s heavily-moderated community thread? Even if you didn’t know much about my commenting history, the chorus of fresh greetings should have been a red flag that I was a newcomer here, and likely plotting something.

    Had the flags gone up, the answer would have immediately followed: I was writing for two audiences in the Lounge, both everyone posting here and for the SlymePit. To the locals, I was sharing my debating tactics and engaging in a little gloating.

    To the SlymePit, I was delivering a warning.

    I was deploying a tactic I invented on-the-fly when arguing with Gemmer: the longer your opponent keeps talking, the more likely they are to make a slip-up or contradictory statement. Those goofs are scattered away through an entire thread, though, so most people will miss them. This leads to an obvious solution: encourage your opponent to continue talking, then once you think you’ve built up enough contradictions to convince the typical reader, consolidate them into a massive index comment. As a bonus, I can point back there if Steersman and I ever go toe-to-toe again, allowing me to dramatically cut the number of posts I need to return to the same state.

    What I really love about the tactic is that it’s a no-lose situation, even if you know exactly what I’m doing. Either you keep talking, and eventually shoot yourself in the foot, or you keep things short and punctual, in which case I don’t waste much time responding to you. Wiggling out of that is tough!

    Crafting that lecture has been an immense benefit to me, as I’m racking up quite a bit of counter-trolling experience. It’s like I’d planned it that way. ;)

    I was warning them of what I was about to do.

    Then I did it.

    And they fell for it, blindly acting as I’d figured they would. Hello, Batman Gambit! [CONTENT WARNING: TV TROPES]

    See, there are two main hypothesis of the SlymePit: either they are a hate group targeting feminists and those interested in social justice, or they are a band of skeptics ridiculing some clueless peers who’ve practically turned a few bad ideas into a religion. I don’t think I need to tell you which one SlymePit members believe is true, which

    leads to an angle of attack: if their self-perception is true, then their ideas should be unassailable even if you temporarily adopt their core premises as your own. If their self-perception is false, then pointing [out] contradictions between their beliefs and reality ratchets up their level of cognitive dissonance, leading them to either turn into self-refuting conspiracy nuts … or drop out and go silent. Throw enough grit in their wheels, and they’ll grind themselves into extinction.

    Each hypothesis makes slightly different predictions. If they’re a hate group, then they’ll dig hard to find some “dirt” they can fling back at you, no matter how off-topic; if they’re a bunch of skeptics, they’ll stick to the argument. If a hate group, they’ll go for quantity over quality, firing off long rambling posts with little care for the quality of their citations (if they cite at all); if a skeptic group, they’ll go for quality over quantity, writing only as long as needed to set up their argument and being careful to track down reasonably-strong citations. Hate group? They’ll camp on a thread, preferably in groups, and try goading people into replying to them. Skeptic group? They might toss out a bit of snark, but they’ll leave when the argument is done.

    The strategy I previously outlined will never work against a skeptic group. They’ll either fail to generate contradictions, or give up when they realize you’re goading them into continuing, or your index post will be laughable to the average person.

    But it works like a charm against a hate group. Oh my goodness, does it work! I can tell them exactly what I’m going to do, I can openly beg them to do exactly what I want, and they’ll blindly follow. Because that’s how a hate group must behave; they must keep talking to silence their targets, they must dig for every edge they can, no matter how lousy their arguments, otherwise they’ll wither away.

    So let me make my warning to the SlymePit more explicit: I’m going to keep you talking. I’m going to let the contradictions wrack up. And I’m going to punt out an index post. Again. And again. And again.

    By posting this in the Lounge, I’m sharing the same technique with some of your most vocal opponents. Some of them will use the same technique, or a similar one. Again. And again. And again.

    If you’re a hate group, this will slowly ratchet up your cognitive dissonance to levels that would make a 9/11 Truther back away, isolating you and causing your numbers to dwindle as your members silently realize what they’ve become.

    If you’re a skeptic group, you have nothing to fear, and we will be the isolated and dwindling ones.

    Hello, Xanatos Gambit.

  127. hjhornbeck says


    If anyone wants to catch up with my work over at Fogg’s, I recommend this, this, and this.

    Last Lounge, I also said a few things that kicked up some controversy. I’ll circle back and fire off a few replies in the next few days.

    Also, hello! Tony, I see you’ve been kicking out some quality links. I’ve saved one or two for checking out tomorrow.

    In the meantime, I need some sleep. [runs away]

  128. birgerjohansson says

    “It is also used in the Asterix comics, which feature a group of pirates who get sunk by the heroes every time they meet, after which the eldest pirate makes a sarcastic remark in Latin.”

    Forty years on, I can still recall much of the dialogue from Asterix! The corrupt Roman officials come to mind whenever I read about dishonest politicians.

  129. says

    Good morning

    Yay for morgan-extended-family-new arrival.
    If you want to “spoil” the kid with books in a little while I recommend everything by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The Gruffalo people, they are.

    Portia, I’ll send something as soon as I have my computer back.

    Hugs to everybody. Wish me luck in about 2 hours…

  130. rq says

    The only issue I have is that I post here for the Lounge because this is Lounge space, and even though there are many lurkers, they are not my audience.

    This is meant to be a safe space.Your opening paragraph today is… well, mildly insulting, though I think it more points to the fact that you don’t understand how the Lounge is supposed to work:

    I’m surprised at the lack of skepticism in some quarters. Someone who very, very rarely comments on Pharyngula, let alone has strong ties to the commenting community, suddenly jumps into Pharyngula’s heavily-moderated community thread? Even if you didn’t know much about my commenting history, the chorus of fresh greetings should have been a red flag that I was a newcomer here, and likely plotting something.

    I’m not sure if that was a joke, given the fact that this is the Lounge. Newcomers come in all the time (okay, not all the time, but they do), with the best of intentions, and nobody has to suffer through severe bouts of our skepticism before they are accepted as welcome, additional voices. Those who do not have good intentions are recognized by what they say and how they say it, fairly quickly. This is not a factor of commenting history (mine was practically nil on Pharyngula when I stepped into the Lounge), and fresh greetings are rarely a red flag for anything except New Person, as most people do not step into Loungespace because they are likely plotting something, or looking to do so.
    I feel like you’re using this space as a personal experiment, and that doesn’t make me feel too comfortable to be here. If you want to address the SlymePit in any way, shape or form, I would recommend the [Thunderdome].

    What you’re doing at Fogg’s blog, however, is fantastic. I just don’t think that the Lounge is the place to be sending any messages.

  131. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …you know, it still kind of bugs me to see the term “neurotypical” being used to contrast with people who have depression, PTSD, and such. Because it was coined as a way of relating people with ASDs to the people around them who built the world for themselves, and because people with depression, PTSD, and other “conventional mental illnesses” were treated extremely sympathetically, to the point of blatantly erasing the people their actions sometimes affected devastatingly, during the years when the only acknowledgment or engagement people in the social justice movement ever, ever, ever gave to ASDs was “IT’S NOT AN EXCUSE!” and people with ASDs were told that if they were allowed to engage at all, they had to ALWAYS defer to the opinions of Normal people, or maybe just accept that they didn’t get to engage in society at all.

    And yet, I consider the idea that one group can “own” an idea and prevent anyone else from adapting it for their own use for ever and ever to be intrinsically ridiculous.

    I’m not sure how to reconcile these.

  132. says

    tentacles crossed for you in two hours!


    rq @176:
    Initially I was going to say I disagree with you somewhat, but the more I thought about it, I agree with you. While I appreciate what HJ is doing, it feels like an open invitation to the ‘Pitters to venture here. Yeah, they’d get banned quickly, but I think many of us would prefer not to see them here at all.

    Waitaminute…I thought I was a dogmatic feminazi who was resistant to other peoples’ ideas. Here I am changing my mind thanks to you. I’m gonna lose my cred!

  133. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you very much, Crudely! I had never heard of Feghoot, though of course I know I was trying to follow in a lot of footsteps. That punchline structure I was attempting certainly has a very long (and somewhat chequered) history ;-) (and I do remember once reading the Asimov short story mentioned in the Feghoot wiki entry, the one that ends in “A niche in time saves Stein”).

    … Is this the right time to mention that one of my little pipe-dreams is for the Spawn to record a track one day entitled “Gratuitous Sax and Mindless Violins“? (one Spawn plays one, the other Spawn plays the other and they can both write). Seriously, I would so, so love for that to happen :-D
    Tony, the whole concept of biblically-approved maths is mind-blowing. And I’ve never understood what it is about set theory that’s so subversive – y’all probably know that it was banned under the military dictatorship in Argentina too. Why set theory?!?! I bet somebody here knows …
    Portia, I am dumb; I get the first bit, but for the suffix do you mean it’s “gmail” or actually “googlemail” (both are in use, aren’t they?)??

  134. says


    I get the first bit, but for the suffix do you mean it’s “gmail” or actually “googlemail” (both are in use, aren’t they?)??

    (bolding my emphasis in answer to the query at hand)

  135. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, best good luck wishes for … about 1 hour and 40 minutes or so from now?

  136. Pteryxx says

    And I’ve never understood what it is about set theory that’s so subversive – y’all probably know that it was banned under the military dictatorship in Argentina too. Why set theory?!?! I bet somebody here knows …

    Ooh, I have a reference for this one… this is Maggie Koerth-Baker (who kicks ass) in 2012.

    What do Christian fundamentalists have against set theory?

    Set theory actually has its origins in attempts to define infinity and deal with it in a concrete way in mathematics. Checking Wikipedia, you’ll learn that this “modern” theory was actually established in 1874. Why 1874? Because that was when a guy named Georg Cantor proved that there are different infinities and that not all infinities are created equal.

    Again, what?

    This is really where set theory starts to sound like something you thought up while high and later forgot about.

    You can have an infinite set of numbers, right? That makes sense. But, Cantor figured out that an infinite set of, say, whole numbers, is smaller than an infinite set of decimal numbers. They’re both infinite. But they’re not the same.


    First: Some of these folks get very touchy about the idea of infinity. Mark Chu-Carroll is a software engineer at foursquare and a math blogger. Unlike me, he was already aware of the fundamentalist objection to set theory, because he’s actually had people show up in his comment section railing about how the theory is an affront to God. Particularly the part about multiple infinities. Chu-Carroll told me that one commenter explained the problem this way: “There is only one infinity, and that is God.” Basically, this perspective looks at set theory and Georg Cantor and sees humankind trying to replace the divine with numbers and philosophy.

    The second reason she suggests is knee-jerk rejection of any concept even tenuously associated with “modernism”:

    More importantly, they know that we are subtle, and use sneaky means to indoctrinate children and lure adults into accepting modernist values. So the art, the literature, the jazz—probably the Scandinavian furniture, too, though I never heard anyone mention that specifically—are all just traps. They’re ways of getting us to reject to One True Path a little bit at a time. (I should note that, up to this point, I am basing my analysis on what I was taught in Baptist school. After this, I’m speculating, and attempting to connect the ideas I know are present in this subculture with set theory.)

    Set theory, particularly the stuff about infinity, has a bit of that wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey flavor to it. It doesn’t make sense on the level of “common sense”. It’s dealing with things that aren’t standard, simple numbers. It makes links between nice, factual math and floppy, subjective philosophy. If you’re raised in Christian fundamentalist culture, all of that—every last bit—absolutely reeks of modernism. It’s easy to see how somebody at A Beka would look at set theory and conclude that it’s really just modernist propaganda. To them, set theory is just a step on the road to godless atheism.

  137. says

    I haz a sad.
    I had a quadruple extra large bag of popcorn (I really did) at the ready for the new libertarian thread, and there hasn’t been an incursion yet.
    Oh well, perhaps tomorrow.
    Good night all you wonderful Lounge folks!

  138. opposablethumbs says

    Pteryxx, thank you. These people’s ideas are bizarre. I sort of get the eek!!! multiple infinities eeek!!! panic thing, I suppose. I didn’t think about the link between multiple infinities and set theory (and didn’t know that set theory was the main (the only???) way into multiple infinities). And the awful evilness of modernism in general?!?!? Failure to grok …

  139. rq says

    Have that popcorn while reading through Dana’s ACE series. With a few stiff drinks on hand, too.
    But yes, it’s an interesting series.
    Along with most other things on Dana’s blog. :)

    Also, thank you for your vote of confidence (or whatever one should call it). It seems I have been given the reasonable card to play in life – not that I mind, it’s just interesting how that label gets applied to me across the years and across the topics. :)

  140. Pteryxx says

    more on the set theory discussions, because it’s three AM here and why not.

    Comment from link above (there are a LOT of comments):

    There may be another aspect to this. What I think of as the fundamental debate in philosophy of mathematics is whether mathematics actually exists (Platonism) or whether it’s constructed by mathematicians as they go along (Constructivism). The latter isn’t necessarily as crazy as it sounds; consider the fact that the assumption for about 2300 years was that Euclidean geometry was the only geometry. Now it’s been pretty conclusively demonstrated that the real universe isn’t Euclidean in the first place. […]

    and a few folks brought up Kronecker’s critique of Cantor: “God made the integers; all else is the work of man”. (which is also referenced in the title of Stephen Hawking’s 2005 book.)

    MarkCC has a whole category devoted to Cantor Crankery at Good Math, Bad Math (formerly at Scientopia), but here’s a much simpler (and recent) example of a right-wing freakout about math – specifically, algebra:

    The state of Arizona should reject the Common Core math standards, because the math curicculum sometimes uses letters instead of numbers. After all, everyone knows that there’s nothing more to math than good old simple arithmetic! Letters in math problems are a liberal conspiracy to convince children to become gay!

    The scary thing is that I’m not exaggerating here. An argument that I have, horrifyingly, heard several times from crazies is that letters are used in math classes to try to introduce moral relativism into math. They say that the whole reason for using letters is because with numbers, there’s one right answer. But letters don’t have a fixed value: you can change what the letters mean. And obviously, we’re introducing that into math because we want to make children think that questions don’t have a single correct answer.

    and from *those* comments…

    Texas gives final OK to dumping algebra II requirement for high school graduation

    That was January 31 this year. Texas is no longer going to require that high-school graduates know algebra. What?

  141. Pteryxx says

    opposablethumbs, you’re very welcome. (note to self: refresh page, especially while half asleep…)

  142. opposablethumbs says

    Texas is no longer going to require that high-school graduates know algebra.

    Wow. That’s … guh. Pretty gasting, on the flabbergasting scale.

  143. birgerjohansson says

    Land mammals: a scary picture
    That lump in the middle seems rather destructive.

    Moscow professor who criticized Putins crimean invasion has been fired daughter says

    Photography is not a crime Kansas teen charged after filming cops speeding

    Egypt deports Codepink anti war activist Medea Benjamin after police break her arm

  144. carlie says

    Pteryxx – I was searching SO HARD for that article a week or so ago in the last math creationist thread roundup! Bookmarked now.

    hjhornbeck – don’t forget, we don’t just hang out here. A lot of us read a lot of other FTB and related blogs even if we don’t comment at them. Your name’s not brand-new to those of us who frequent the other places you frequent.

  145. carlie says

    Today’s Ash Wednesday, right? So I get to go through the day watching people literally wearing their religion on their face. Bah.

    (I now live in an area that is significantly more Catholic than where I grew up. It was a bit of a shock the first couple of years – had never seen it before)

  146. rq says

    Holy shit, it’s Ash Wednesday?? Ugh, dammit, that’s two years in a row… Ash Wednesday can go screw itself or whatever, but I like doing the pancake Tuesday as a kind of tradition, because it’s about the only way I can give myself sufficient reason to make so many different kinds of stuffed crepes. A once-a-year type thing, you know.
    Ah well, maybe I’ll pull my act together for this weekend. HAHAHA. I’m funny like that.
    (Actually, I think we’ll be going to the end-of-bobsleigh/skeleton-season shebang out in Sigulda, which means no high-stress dinners, haha!)

    I suppose all that biblical math is irreconcilable with the idea that the laws of physics could be equated to god in some way. Because god is limiting himself with simple math. (Honestly, I had a great idea I wanted to type out here, and it just walked out.)
    (Thanks, Pteryxx, for those links – I wonder if Dana knows about them, seeing as she’s doing a series reviewing creationist education at the moment?)

  147. rq says

    Weed Monkey
    It marks the first day of Lent – those 40 days before Easter. Traditionally, you get a cross of ashes smeared on your forehead, as a reminder that you are mortal or something. I think you’re also supposed to wear sackcloth and do a lot of praying.
    The Tuesday before is Shrove Tuesday, more familiarly known to me as Pancake Tuesday, and it’s supposed to be the last meal where you use all kinds of fats and oils and decadent ingredients before entering a period of austerity during Lent (Fishy Fridays, everyone!). With breaks on Sundays.

  148. rq says

    Did I just read correctly? Did the Pope actually say that the catholic church has done more than any organization to fight child (sexual) abuse? Did he really say that they’ve been doing everything possible in a transparent and responsible manner?? (My current source is in Latvian, unfortunately.)

  149. says

    I’ve heard of some of that in school, but it’s mostly celebrated going downhill in a pulk, shouting fertility obscenities and being drunk. Just like our pagan ancestors would have wanted. :)

  150. rq says

    Weed Monkey
    You do that for Ash Wednesday already?? We save that stuff for Easter… Except there’s usually no snow by that time, so we have swinging competitions instead. And boiled egg duels (which are supposed to be good for fertility). Chase birds away from the fields. Actually, it’s all rather tame. Christmas is the one where you’re supposed to throw a pig’s head over the roof of your house for good luck.

  151. says

    rq, I’m not sure, actually. These easter time festivities are a bit confusing. Being drunk and eating pea soup are the things I’m sure are safe all week, but maybe I’ll start shouting obscenities only after the sun has gone down to be safe.

  152. rq says

    Weed Monkey … Doesn’t the shouting happen as the sun rises? After you wash your face in that clear spring of water running from west to east to make sure you’re beautiful all year ’round?
    Pagan holidays are so confusing.

  153. rq says

    The only thing I’m 100% sure of is that you have to eat a lot of eggs. A lot of eggs. It will make everything more fertile. And less insects in the summer. So not the insects, I guess.

  154. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, that’s great news. Hope you’re able to take really good care to make sure you don’t hurt it again!

  155. Portia says

    Thank you for giving to the Horde Fund :)


    Unknown person who gave in Euros:
    Thanks to you, as well.

  156. Portia says

    Portia, looks like I’m finally out of paying for car repairs. If the start of your paypal account is *b*r*a*v*o*p* minus the you know whats, I could send something. Otherwise, my “trash” e-mail is the root vegetable radish with the numerals 1182 at the giant telecom business comcast with a dot net.
    I have worked under many non-disclosure agreements for the last twenty-five years, so to quote Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Hero’s, “I know nothink”….

    Nerd: that is the beginning of it, with a *o*r*t*i*a* then the ending with the world domination-seeking email service :D

  157. says

    I’m not touching the melt water, my neighbours have let their dogs do their business in it. And tap water comes from the water tower a few hundred metres to the south…. I’m screwed.

  158. Portia says

    Weed Monkey:
    Very cool. Thank you.

    Your woo of the day. I hadn’t heard of this one:

    It’s easy to do. Pick an oil, you can use ORGANIC coconut oil or sesame oil (I prefer coconut cause it also has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, & anti-inflammatory properties), put anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon (depending on what you can handle) in your mouth, swish for 20 minutes.

    Now for the benefits::

    I mean… they are pretty much endless & differ for everyone, but some of the big ones are–

    + Whitens teeth

    + Strengthens your gums/teeth/& jaw. It helps with sensitive teeth & even has reported to help TMJ sufferers like myself.

    + Prevents cavities & gingivitis. Some people even reported it HEALED their cavities?! Not sure about that one… but who knows?!

    + Helps get rid of acne/ eczema/ psoriasis/ & other skin care issues.

    + General body detox.

    + Cures a hangover (hallelujah!!!) & a migraine.

    + Helps with sleep issues.

    + Clears out your sinuses & helps allergy sufferers.

    + If you have halitosis, oil pulling has been a big savior for many sufferers & your morning breath will get MUCH better (you can now kiss your S.O. good morning w/o them cringing!).

    + Helps with general pain issues.

    + Manages any weird hormonal imbalances.

    + & so so so so much more. If I listed everything people say, this would be the longest blog post ever. People rant & rave about oil pulling, & I can see why!!!

    Manages any weird hormonal imbalances?!
    First of all, that sounds like fixes that nasty fact that yer a woman with woman stuff! just what you’ve been waiting for! Second, how in the hell could coconut oil, swished around in your mouth, affect your body chemistry?!

  159. rq says

    Also, Portia, how does one round the corners of one’s head? I’m curious. Please enlighten.

  160. says

    Yep, walking is already a lot easier because I can put at least some weight on the foot. I will also be able to wash the foot, wear socks, wash the inlet of the boot…
    Small comforts, I know
    Unfortunately I have to go on and give myself these nasty anti-thrombosis injections. It’s also fascinating that every doctor assumes automatically that I’m on the Pill or some other hormonal contraception…

    Oil pulling is one the recommendations of my woo-infested GP I regularly ignore.

  161. opposablethumbs says

    Very grateful to you for coordinating, Portia, and only sorry it isn’t more :-(

    Weed Monkey, what happened?

  162. Portia says

    Everything helps, opposablethumbs. Don’t apologize for giving what you can – it’s all anyone can do with anything.

  163. birgerjohansson says

    NB: Studies show big promise for HIV prevention drug
    – – – – –

    ‘Dimer molecules’ aid study of exoplanet pressure, hunt for life

    Mineral targeting made easy with database

    Combatting hospital-acquired infections with protein metal complex -useful to prevent pneumonia

  164. birgerjohansson says

    Medical news useful for the elderly:
    New technique opens the door to development of osteoporosis drugs

    Red meat and exercise could be the key to keeping body and mind in peak condition as we age

    Yeast model reveals Alzheimer’s drug candidate and its mechanism of action

    Smart nanofibers to treat kidney failure

  165. birgerjohansson says

    “Mark Regnerus’”

    Every time I see an American religious wingnut with a Scandinavian (usually Swedish) name, I cringe.

    On the other hand, Seaborgium was named after a pretty smart descendant of Swedish immigrants.

  166. Portia says

    I know everyone’s absolutely enthralled by my “assistant” situation, but I have a positive interaction to report! Yesterday she agreed with another attorney’s office to continue a case. It’s what I would have done, hell, it’s what the judge would have done if I objected. But she didn’t check with me. So I talked to Big Boss just to gauge whether I should address it with her. I didn’t want to be nitpicky. He said yeah, if it bothers you, but it wouldn’t bother me. Then he asked his assistant, the office manager who is pretty much the benchmark for professionalism around her. She said “Are you kidding me?? When did she start practicing law?” So I sat down with “assistant” and asked her to do things differently going forward. She said “Ok, no problem” and didn’t even put on her kicked puppy face that usually comes out when she is corrected or criticized in any way. So. Yay. Constructive criticism effectively deployed! :D

  167. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Giliell @ 221

    Oil pulling is one the recommendations of my woo-infested GP I regularly ignore.

    Gah! You’d get more health benefits from just swallowing a tablespoon of sesame seed oil. (And what a waste of a good condiment to go swishing it between your unbrushed teeth. Blech.)

    Out of curiosity, I tried it once just to see what happens with oil swished in the mouth for twenty minutes. In my case it turned into a vaguely soapy looking froth, probably just as a combination between the oil, saliva, and bubbles. I imagine that makes people think it’s doing something. Look! A visual change! Ergo magic! Well, hell, let me eat a lemon and then show you the magic of what happens when I do sodium bicarbonate pulling…

  168. says

    a_ray @128, thanks for the additional info. A materials scientist who turned to woo after retiring. Sheesh. The guy is doing a lot of damage among some of my woo-gullible friends.

  169. birgerjohansson says

    Film: “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale”

    Goddamit, why have no one told me about this gem from Finland’s film industry?

    Also, check out “Troll Hunter” from Norway.

  170. birgerjohansson says

    …but “Hobo with a shotgun” seems pretty tame, despite Rutger Hauer. I still recall that film where he fights the devil, and says “we need bigger fucking guns!”

  171. says

    My dentist’s woo-infested mormon dental assistant recommends “essential oils” for my gums at the end of every visit. I think she is waiting for me to inquire about buying some from her. I smell another mormon-based multi-level-marketing scheme in my neighborhood.

  172. says

    The Mormon Moment of Madness related to property taxes in the UK has finally made its way to USA media outlets.

    European judges have rejected the LDS Church’s human-rights complaint against the United Kingdom, The Telegraph reported Tuesday, so now the Utah-based faith will have to pay property taxes on its Preston Temple.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints claims nearly 190,000 members in the U.K., where Mormon meetinghouses enjoy full exemptions from property taxes. […]

    From the readers’ comments:

    You’ve gotta hand it to the Brits. They’re experts when it comes to sniffing out fairy tales. It’s laughable that the mormons think these are human rights violations. Apparently in their book it’s not a human rights violation to systematically defraud people.

  173. Portia says

    Phone consultation with non-client:

    *ten minutes of non-legal issues*
    “Ok well if any legal issues come up that we can help you with, don’t hesitate to call.”
    “You know, you just have the sweetest voice. I bet you’re real pretty too.”
    [forced laugh] “Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
    “With all the garbage in the world, I try to make sure women hear something nice.”

    …thanks, guy, that totally didn’t contribute to me thinking people are weird and awful.

  174. rq says

    I’m laughing through those Swedish words. I think I may have a few Latvian equivalents. More later.

    Hooray for progress, now hopefully she’ll do as she says!
    As for the caller… Has he ever considered that hearing weird compliments like that aren’t the equivalent of ‘hearing something nice’ for women? Ew.

  175. Pteryxx says

    Red meat and exercise could be the key to keeping body and mind in peak condition as we age

    …adequate protein intake and exercise, from the article.

    okay, now y’all got me curious.

    “Given the results of this study we believe that eating the recommended 3-4 servings of lean red meat a week combined with a strength training program could well be the key to keeping our body and mind in peak condition.

    That’s the first author specifying red meat. Why might that be?

    Deakin’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research conducted the four month trial with 100 women aged 60—90 years to assess the effects of progressive resistance training (a form of strength training) combined with a protein-rich, lean red meat diet on muscle size, strength and function. When compared to women in the exercise only group, those on the lean red meat diet had an 18 per cent greater increase in muscle strength and gained an additional 0.5 kg of muscle mass

    The control group had exercise only plus a serving of pasta or rice. No controlling for protein intake from any other protein source. So what’s the big deal about specifying red meat in the press release?

    The results of this Meat and Livestock Australia funded study are published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    Well, there we go.

    Abstract of research article here:

  176. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Yeah, that. I’ll stick to two eggs a day plus beans, wheat, and cheese. >.>

  177. Pteryxx says

    Portia: thank you so much for keeping in touch with JAL and collecting. (Also the Life of Portia comments. *appendagebump*)


    math creationist thread roundup!

    …NOOOooooooo……. *thud*

  178. Nutmeg says

    *does the “reasonable suggestions for revisions received” dance*

    At least, I hope they’ll still look reasonable once I start on them. But for now, yay!

  179. Portia says

    Hooray for Nutmeg!

    *does reasonableness dance*

    *hugs*, Pteryxx, I’m glad to do it.

  180. says

    I like beans for protein, and eggs. Depends on how you prepare them, of course.

    A very small amount of red lean meat creeps into my diet, and I’m fine with that. Many thanks to Pteryxx for spotlighting the source of that study that recommended eating more red lean meat, and for pointing out the flaws in controlling for other dietary sources of protein.

    Like most people, I don’t get enough exercise, though warmer weather this week has encouraged me to get out and do yard work.

    In other news, another Republican state house has passed an ignorant anti-abortion bill:

    The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday approved several abortion restrictions, including one that bans them once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

    Bill sponsor Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, said a heartbeat is universally accepted as an indication of life and should be protected.

    “Abortion is taking a life,” McClurkin said.

    If it wins final approval, the legislation, which is now going to be considered in the Senate, would tie Alabama with North Dakota as having the most stringent abortion law in the country. It is a direct challenge to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion up until a fetus is considered viable. Opponents called the bill blatantly unconstitutional and destined to be held up by the courts. […]

    “In Alabama, we will fight tooth and nail to preserve and protect the life of the unborn until the liberal, activist Supreme Court decision making abortion legal in the United States is overturned,” Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, said. […]

    The bill gives an exemption to save the life of the mother but not an exemption for rape or incest. McClurkin said the unborn fetus is “a life regardless of the painful, painful circumstances.”[…]

  181. says

    Lookit this
    Christian parents freak out that their daughter is acting like a teenager and kick her out onto the streets. She tries to sue for college support, and society sides with the parents. >:(

  182. rq says

    Hooray! :)
    I’ll dance with you, but I’m not sure how to do so reasonably. So I’ll just flail around over here. :)

  183. Nick Gotts says


    Amusingly, the younger of the father-son pair of creationist-apologist-numpties who visited recently (their names escape me), mentioned a weird French Maoist called Alain Badiou as one of the atheists really worth taking notice of (along with the more usual Nietzsche and Heidegger, who can both be associated with the Nazis). Badiou, who I hadn’t come across before, also thinks set theory is atheistic. I’ll go out on a limb here and hazard the opinion that he’s wrong.

  184. blf says

    Report reveals ‘extensive’ violence against women in EU:


      Trigger warning!





    One in three women report physical or sexual abuse since age of 15…

    Violence against women is “an extensive human rights abuse” across Europe with one in three women reporting some form of physical or sexual abuse since the age of 15 and 8% suffering abuse in the last 12 months, according to the largest survey of its kind on the issue, published [today].

    The survey, based on interviews with 42,000 women across 28 EU member states, found extensive abuse across the continent, which typically goes unreported and undetected by the authorities.

    …[The forward to the report calls] for all [EU] member states to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Istanbul convention, which demands more protection for women, as well as action from private and public organisations. “Action to combat violence against women needs to come from different quarters – employers, health professionals and internet service providers.”

    Calling for a concerted international effort to combat such high levels of violence…: “With the publication of the survey and the necessary follow-up measures by politicians, women who have been victims of violence can be encouraged to speak up. This is crucial in those countries, and among certain groups, where it is not yet widespread to openly talk about personal experiences of violence, where reporting of incidents to the authorities is low, and where violence against women is not addressed as a mainstream policy issue.”

    Among the findings…:

     • One in 10 women have experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 15, while one in 20 has been raped.

     • One in 10 women have been stalked by a previous partner.

     • Most violence is carried out by a current or former partner, with 22% of women in relationships reporting partner abuse.

     • About one third (31%) who report being raped by a partner have been repeatedly raped, which the report defines as six or more times.

     • Violence against women is one of the least reported crimes. Only 14% of women reported their most serious incident of partner violence to the police, while a similar percentage (13%) reported their most serious incident of non-partner violence.

     • Just over one in 10 women experienced some form of sexual violence by an adult before they were 15.

    The report’s authors also urge special preventive and awareness programmes for young women who are “particularly vulnerable to victimisation” as well as a focus on men, who “need to be positively engaged in initiations that confront how some men use violence against women”.

    The Grauniad also has a analysis of the report, Violence against women: what the EU-wide survey tells us.

  185. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #26.

    In 2012, North Carolina’s newly-elected Republican Governor, Pat McCrory, announced the appointment of a businessman named John Skvarla to head the state’s environmental regulatory agency. […] Skvarla has expressed doubts about the science behind climate change and has peddled the obscure theory that crude oil is an infinite, renewable resource. He has insisted that the agency he now leads has been long regarded the primary obstacle to economic growth in the state. Last summer he stated that if environmentalists were to get their way “we’d live in lean-tos and wear loincloths.” And the day before assuming the leadership of the agency (NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR), Skvarla said he knew little about coal ash pollution, an issue dear to environmentalists in North Carolina.

    During the course of 2013, Skvarla’s agency interceded to stop multiple citizen lawsuits against Duke Energy for its mishandling of the coal ash, despite outcry from environmentalists.

    Last month, a facility owned by Duke Energy dumped tens of thousands of tons of toxic coal ash into North Carolina’s Dan River. Duke Energy—a $50-billion company that employed Pat McCrory for 28 years before he became North Carolina’s Governor—initially played down fears that the water spilling from a compromised storm water drain was contaminated. Days later, North Carolinians would know the spill as the third worst of its kind in US history. In short order, the federal government opened a criminal investigation into DENR’s connections to the massive utility it was charged with regulating. […]

    Amy Adams, another former employee, says that, in order to control an increasingly disillusioned workforce, Skvarla’s team created management culture that little tolerated the expression of grievances or criticism. “I had never seen state government run like this,” Adams tells Salon.“They threatened our jobs, they said ‘if you’re not fully on board with our new mission—if you whine and complain—you better get your résumé ready.’ People were terrified to speak out.” […]

    In a just over a year, Skvarla’s team has succeeded in initiating a series of controversial moves in the agency including the consolidation of offices that regulate water and the rejection of a major federal environmental grant despite the agency’s budgetary woes.

    Nothing has received more attention, though, than the recent coal ash disaster. In late February, it was reported that the U.S. attorney’s office widened its investigation into DENR and Duke Energy. Federal authorities have issued subpoenas on numerous current and former officials […]

    Salon link.

  186. blf says

    I’ll stick to two eggs a day plus beans, wheat, and cheese.

    The mildly deranged penguin would suggest — for a proper balance wholesome diet — also having some cheese, more cheese, MUSHROOMS!, lots moar cheese, vin, less eggs (and certainly no penguin eggs!), cheese, plus some additional cheese just to make sure. The beans and wheat and eggs (and certainly no penguin eggs!) are all superfluous.

  187. rq says

    Alain Badiou’s book In Praise of Love was recently under discussion… I think opposablethumbs has had a literary narrow escape! ;)

  188. says

    Iowa Representative Steve King is not sure that homosexuality is real. He wants independent verification, so Stephen Colbert suggests that you send him some. Scroll down for video.
    Salon link.

  189. Nick Gotts says

    Pope proves himself lying scumbag shock!

    Pope Francis has strongly defended the Roman Catholic Church’s record on tackling sexual abuse by priests.

    In a rare interview with an Italian newspaper, the Pope said “no-one else has done more” to root out paedophilia.

    He said the Church had acted with transparency and responsibility, yet it was the only institution to have been attacked.

  190. says

    Portia @228:
    I glad this experience with you assistant was positive.

    Then he asked his assistant, the office manager who is pretty much the benchmark for professionalism around her.

    This put a smile on my face bc
    a) her abilities/skills (what does ‘professionalism’ fall under?) are recognized
    b) your boss inquired with her on this, which shows that her opinion is respected

    Double ugh when compared to how your boss’ assistant is treated.


    Lynna @252:
    A businessman and climate change denialist is made the head of the state’s environmental regulatory agency?
    I just woke up! It’s too early for facepalming!

  191. opposablethumbs says

    I did get the feeling that there might be other books I’d enjoy more … ;-)

    I decided to do something else with the money anyway. :-)

  192. says


    Lynna @252:
    A businessman and climate change denialist is made the head of the state’s environmental regulatory agency?
    I just woke up! It’s too early for face palming!

    Sorry. Couldn’t be helped.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) feels your pain. He too is tired of it all. See:
    Luckily, Elijah Cummings was in a position to shout, proclaim, and generally make everyone aware of his Republican colleague’s stupidity.

    More from Think Progress.

    I’m enjoying pretending that I am Elijah Cummings. I’m letting the dunderheads have it.

  193. says

    Nick @256:
    Fuck that catholic douchebag.
    (this must be what rq was referring to upthread)


    Bible Based Bigotry never goes out of style:

    WestJet pilot Carey Steacy told CTV that crews were cleaning the aircraft after a flight from Calgary to Victoria on Sunday, and they found the note from a passenger named “David” written on a napkin.

    “The cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman,” the note said. “A woman being a mother is the most honour, not as ‘captain.’”

  194. rq says

    Yes, it is – I was hoping it was just a terrible translation and was too scared to look for other sources. *shudder* I think Reality needs to give the Pope a call…

  195. rq says

    A woman being a mother is the most honour, not as ‘captain

    I don’t see how the two are mutually exclusive. Silly David (the one in the note!!!).

  196. Bicarbonate is back says


    Seems like my life has been a long series of them.

    The latest one, which grew out of reading defenses of evolution here but which has little to do with that, concerns the proper way of behaving with other people. I until very recently believed, though rather unconsciously, that there was some right or better or good or best way of treating other people, of interacting with them, of presenting oneself and that if I could only discover this way or ways (its multiple modalities), then my social interactions both personal and impersonal would be smooth and right and good.

    Then someone mentioned in passing here how imperfect our bodies are, how the backaches so many suffer and the knee replacements in old age are due to our not quite being fully adapted to the upright posture. This was in the context of evolution and the fact that we were not created. I began to reflect on all the ways in which are bodies are surprisingly imperfect and on the strangeness of ontogenesis, how hit and miss and haphazard it may seem. I remembered, in particular, the first time I saw an actual image of my own bladder on a medical technician’s screen, and I said to him, “Why isn’t it round? That doesn’t make sense. A sphere can hold more liquid than something irregularly shaped.” The technician, an orthodox Jew by the look of his clothing, got this very strange far away look on his face and answered, “Yes, I have always wondered that too.” I realized that what he meant by this was why God would make something so imperfect.

    Though I never believed like this man that we were created, I did have a belief, rather unconscious again, and related to the creation myth, that our bodies are somehow ideal, or could be or can be, and that it is possible to be in what people call “perfect” health. Though there are usual states of health, deemed normal or abnormal or pathological. And it’s certainly possible to feel good, but that feeling good has nothing to do with perfection, with closeness or identity to some transcendent ideal bodily form or state. No, our individual bodies are not only imperfect but also constantly changing from one minute to the next — all of a sudden I feel hungry, I am not in the same state I was a minute ago. And as uncreated creatures we are no ideal but just one historical form in transition from what we were to what we will be.

    By analogy, the way we interact with each other is something that has evolved haphazardly over time. There is no correct or right way to do it. Yes there are values, courtesy, insight, intuition, understanding of social and cultural forces, of psychology and cognition, but there is no right way to interact, no right way to be with people. There are times when you find the “right” thing to say or do, but these are local not general phenomena, as much due to chance as to agency.

    I had one such happy moment when I was in the hospital. It had to do with making my bed. The first morning I got up and made the bed out of habit. A nurse’s aid came in and told me off. I couldn’t understand it. Why get angry at someone for making their bed? She said, “Don’t think that just because you’re not completely paralyzed like some of the other patients that you can allow yourself to make your bed!” I told her I didn’t mean any harm and that I couldn’t see what harm I had done or why she was complaining, after all I had saved her time by making it because she didn’t have to do it. She then unmade and remade the bed and continued scolding me. The following morning and all the mornings after that, I got up and vigorously tossed the sheets and blankets around to what I imagined would be her liking. I figured, after much reflection, that she figured my making the bed was a way of slighting her because it was her job, her place and she was perfectly good at it. I figured too that if any of her higher-ups somehow discovered I was making my own bed she would get heat for it.

    Toward the end of my stay, I got up and absent-mindedly made the bed. A nurse’s aid came in, looked disconcerted and asked me if I had made it. I said, “No, Hakim, you made my bed.” He looked confused, hesitated, then smiled and went away. I had managed to say the right thing, to understand the significance of making this bed in this place and to save everyone’s face. It was a victory, a small and local victory that I will remember for a long time just like I remember the medical technician’s response to my question about the bladder. It is the best we can hope for.

  197. rq says

    It would be kind of funny in that ironic sort of way if BPA wasn’t even the dangerous substance in the first place, but something else hiding beneath it. :/
    Also, facebooking that link, I have some people who will be very interested.
    We used glass as much as possible (didn’t even know they made sippy cups in stainless steel, but that is awesome!), but it’s so difficult to avoid the plastics completely.

  198. says

    Thanks for sharing your story.
    And yah for small victories!

    BTW, this:

    Then someone mentioned in passing here how imperfect our bodies are, how the backaches so many suffer and the knee replacements in old age are due to our not quite being fully adapted to the upright posture.

    is something I’ve heard and have tentatively accepted, but I’d like to know more. I’m not doubting you, I’d just like to educate myself a bit more.

  199. Bicarbonate is back says

    Tony @ 267

    I read that here on Pharngula somewhere in the past year. Sounds true but I have no idea if it is. There are a lot of people on here who could speak to that though.

  200. rq says

    A short piece on the evolution of bipedalism. There’s a tiny section at the bottom labelled ‘Costs’, which speaks of back issues. It doesn’t go into much detail, however – I’m hoping David M. (or someone equally well-versed) will happen by with some information. ;)

  201. says

    from rq’s informative link @272:

    Lieberman’s recent studies with Dennis Bramble of the University of Utah suggest that running—which our ancestors mastered some two million years ago—was instrumental in the evolution of several features, including our extra leg tendons, our relatively hairless skin and copious sweat glands (which facilitate cooling), and our enlarged gluteus maximus, the biggest muscle in the body, which wraps the rear end and acts to stabilize the trunk, preventing us from pitching forward.

    I never knew that. Cool!

  202. hjhornbeck says

    rq @176:

    I feel like you’re using this space as a personal experiment, and that doesn’t make me feel too comfortable to be here. If you want to address the SlymePit in any way, shape or form, I would recommend the [Thunderdome].

    Deal! I do feel a bit bad for posting that here, instead of Thunderdome, but in this area it would land in front of more eyeballs. Any further posts I make on this subject will be over there.

    Besides, moving over to Thunderdome would allow the SlymePit to help me improve my techniques, one way or another. ;)

    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop! @173:
    Sure, so long as the drink in question is tea. Will you be at Women In Secularism this year?

  203. says

    I doubt I’ll be at WiS3. Financial issues FTW!
    I do hope to venture to some of these conferences one day soon for several reasons. One of which- I’d like to connect [in meatspace] with some of the wonderful people I’ve met here.

  204. rq says

    Also, Bicarbonate, thank you for sharing! I did read your comment, but all I could really do was nod in agreement. :) Having no universal method of communication is what makes life so tough sometimes. Navigating all the ins and outs… Ugh.
    I hope the remainder of your recovery (yes? remainder?) is smooth, swift and complication-free!

    Hey, no problem – but yes, the Thunderdome is a great place to sharpen the teeth. I hear the chewtoys are of variable quality, though. Good luck!
    (And I’m pretty sure the ‘pitters read the Thunderdome, too. But don’t take my word on that!)
    (And feel free to stick around here for the softer, gentler side of humanity. :) )
    (End parantheses!!!)

  205. says

    Oh. Brother.
    I thought I was done with A Beka Book:

    But what really made the ’50s such a great time, according to Land I Love, is that law and order prevailed because Americans respected the sanctity of life by executing evildoers:

    Courts punished criminal offenders; people knew that if they broke the law, severe penalties would follow. Because people believed in the sanctity of human life, most states practiced capital punishment (the execution of those guilty of murder). Most people believed that God instituted capital punishment (Gen. 9:5, 6) to discourage murder and to teach mankind the value of human life. Abortion (the killing of babies before birth) was illegal throughout the United States.

    No, we cannot make up anything to top that. (For more on this weird perspective, see A Beka’s World History book, also, too.)

    I think I’ll need some alcohol if I’m going to bounce back and forth from Adam Lee’s critique of Atlas Shrugged to Doktor Zoom’s Sundays with The Christianists

  206. Bicarbonate is back says


    I’ve been wondering for a long time what a “shoop” was. Makes me think of a boat, a sloop, a doo-wop and so on. So I googled it. Got Salt-N-Pepa and photoshopping, are either of those relevant?

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

    There’s a guy I would really like to ask out. I won’t, because I’m too scared of rejection, but it’s strange to even want this.

    I occasionally felt physical attraction to someone, no matter how much I wanted to “cure” myself from even feeling anything like that, since it wouldn’t go anywhere and I would just feel more lonely.
    But this is the first time in a while (as in, years) that I feel… wonder over how much I really like this guy. It actually feels less disappointing than the feeling I got when I just felt desire that would go unfulfilled.

    This is just…. kind of stronger and broader but also hurting less. I don’t get it.
    Or maybe I did finally get used to the knowledge that it just won’t happen. Whatever I want, in a romantic sense, it won’t happen. Maybe I’ve come to peace with it?

  208. says

    From the Department of WTF:

    The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed charges against a Green Line rider caught snapping photos up the skirts of female Green Line riders in 2010.

    In its ruling, the state’s highest court said the law used to prosecute Michael Robertson applies only to “nude” or “partially nude” women in private locations, such as bedrooms, not to clothed women – even women with no undergarments – in public places such as the T.

    I get it (sort of). This specific law doesn’t apply in this circumstance, but this guy should face some sort of charges. He took nonconsensual photos of women!

  209. says

    Harry Reid is trying again to rescue the jobless people whose benefits have been cut off. This will mark the fourth attempt by Democrats to do the right thing.

    Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said Wednesday that he will need to “pull out all the stops” to get enough GOP support for a 6-month extension to unemployment benefits that could come up for a vote next week.

    “I have to pull out all the stops to try to pick up another Republican vote, it’s not Democrats I have to worry about,” he said. “It’s getting the Republicans to allow these millions of people who are desperate long-term unemployed a shot in the arm.”

  210. says

    I believe ‘shoop’ was a word created or used by one of our fellow commenters. It was a few years ago on one of the threads here, and I *think* it was Nepenthe, though I’m not for certain. In any case, I do recall taking an immediate liking to the term (which I think was meant to be the tongue in cheek plural of ‘sheep’). Given the perception that both religious believers as well as PZ’s followers are ‘sheep’, I thought it would be fun to adopt it as part of my nym.

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

    That was Bicarbonate, asking about “shoop” ;)

  212. Bicarbonate is back says


    Shoop’s a great and evocative word. English doesn’t have a lot of them like that.

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



    I get it. What’s good for the shoop is good for the shander.

    Also: portia, at a request from Pteryxx, I’ve been looking into the Copyright Collaborative. Despite the rather international flavor of certain aspects of the terms of use, it’s a US based corp primarily for US based clients. You might want to give it a look.

    I’ll be posting my own thoughts about it sometime between now & sunday.

  214. Portia says

    I’ve give it a cursory look so far. Am I looking at it through any particular lens? Besides USian. From the perspective of a potential participant in the cooperative? IP was never my area, unfortunately.

  215. rq says


    I think I’ll need some alcohol if I’m going to bounce back and forth from Adam Lee’s critique of Atlas Shrugged to Doktor Zoom’s Sundays with The Christianists…

    I believe Dana also discovered this right quick. :)

    Also, wasn’t the word ‘shoop’ created through a discussion of sheep husbandry – during the first inklings of a Lounge Commune, I believe it was FossilFishy who mentioned sheep husbandry, and you asked about being husbanded in the singular, and so you became the shoop… Am I wrong or am I wrong? :)

    Perhaps it is worth befriending this mysterious attraction – not for romantic purposes, but just to sort out the feelings? Maybe if you go at it not from a rejection/acceptance perspective, but a get-to-know/become-familiar-with perspective, some nerve might return?
    (Feel free to ignore my suggestion.)

    So… I have two teat – a left toot and a right toot? :D

  216. says

    Some hopeful news in the battle against HIV (courtesy of the NIH):

    Scientists today report initial results from humans on the safety and tolerability of a novel strategy to curb HIV disease by removing key cells from HIV-infected individuals, genetically modifying the cells to resist HIV infection and returning them to those individuals. The basic and pre-clinical research on this strategy, which eventually might help people control the virus without drugs, was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The Phase I clinical trial was funded by Sangamo BioSciences and was led by NIAID grantee Carl H. June, M.D., with co-investigators Bruce L. Levine, Ph.D., and Pablo Tebas, M.D., all of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

  217. rq says

    I’m so sad I have to go to bed, but I’ll read the conversation first thing tomorrow!
    Good night, all.
    (Oh, and it’s not toot/teat – it’s boobie and beebee (like the gun!). I have to go.)

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


    Did he have a husband? If he fails the sheep husbandry test, I don’t think he can be a shoop.

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


    I’m examining it
    From the point of view of utility to the potential user. I actually think that I have enough knowledge to do that, but if there are underlying issues of which I’m not aware, I might not be good at quality control. Maybe you could look at it from the point of view of seeing if everything makes sense/ doesn’t look scammy/ doesn’t look like it has holes in it about which someone should be aware?

  220. says

    White Supremacy and paranoia :(

    3. What are the main political and cultural statements you are hoping to make with the White Man March?

    We are planning to show that White people are organized and impassioned, that we know what the anti-white agenda is all about, and that we are dedicated to waking up as many of our folk as possible. We will make it clear that we will not sit idly by as our race is discriminated against, mocked, displaced, and violently attacked, all of which amount to white genocide, according to the United Nation’s own definition of genocide. This is why one of our big messages, which will be displayed on many large banners, is “DIVERSITY” = WHITE GENOCIDE. These banners will spread the message to the public at large in the most effective way possible. This “diversity” agenda is being directed at white countries (and only at white countries) with various programs to ensure that there are less white people at schools and in the work force, which is unfair and discriminatory, taking away money and opportunities from the indigenous white people. “Diversity” is a codeword for White Genocide.

    Yes, white people are so oppressed.

  221. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Oh dear! Folks, I need a trigger warning on posts mentioning sheep husbandry. My time playing farmer has left keloid scars upon my psyche. I mean, how could animals so stupid in the individual be so cunning, so evil, so organised with malice a forethought in the aggregate? It must all be an act I tell you, a ruse to lure us poor humans into a false sense of superiority. The singular might indeed be shoop, but the collective noun is without a doubt: “a conspiracy”.

  222. Portia says

    Ok I’ll think about that CD.

    Today my professor sent me a resume for a student who wants to intern with me. His activities included “Republican Club.” This firm is so heavily Democrat that it’s really funny to me – of course I don’t think my prof knows that, and he’s not a Republican himself. So I sent the resume and told my colleagues to check out his activities. One said:

    “Hopefully, that is his title, meaning he considers himself the kind of person to literally bat down misbehaving republicans. In fact, perhaps I will begin calling myself the Republican Club, or to demonstrate some modesty, perhaps merely the Republican Whiffle Bat.”

    I snorted laughing. Just when I was wallowing in the leftiness of my work environment, I walk into the office kitchen to make tea (several other lawyers share the kitchen, and are not in our firm, so they didn’t see the email) and what’s posted to the fridge but a long anti-Obamacare screed that bemoans how cheap poor people can get insurance now, and accuses poor women of producing criminals instead of “particle physicists.” I got my pen and wrote at the bottom of the thing (which was thousands of words long)

    TL;DR “I’ve got mine, screw you.”

  223. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    And apropos of nothing at all (I really meme it!): the butcher next door is cooking bacon. Despite being a vegetarian for lo these many years, it still smells delicious.

  224. opposablethumbs says

    Beatrice, what do you reckon to rq’s suggestion in #300? It sounds good to me.

    I wish you all the best warmest wishes, whatever you decide to do (or not). You are an interesting, engaging, compassionate, clearsighted, aware and intelligent person. Anyone would do well to have you as a friend, and there’s no rule saying friends-or-anything relationships have to follow a template. {{hugs}}
    Portia, I really love the way you work!

  225. says

    So I found out a female coworker won’t go to the food court at the mall we work at alone because of unwanted male attention.

    This is something I knew happened, and it bothered me that it did, but it just got a heck of a lot more disturbing hearing it directly from someone I know personally.

    I really hope that if I ever get over my crippling fear of approaching men and women I find attractive, I also get good at quickly detecting signs of disinterest so I can back off before I creep them out. Or at least pick up that I’ve creeped them out so I can apologize as I back off.

  226. carlie says

    FossilFishy – I laughed so loud I scared the cat. Cannot be unseen, indeed.

  227. says

    I really don’t like Sarah Palin.
    She has this to say on her (very public ((she’s actually proud of the crap she says)) )Facebook page:

    Obama’s Palling Around with Cop-Killer Advocate…

    You know evil reigns when America’s “leader” gives full-throated support for a cop-killer advocate. Obama wants this guy to help run the Department of Justice. Read this:

    (Law enforcement union leaders: are you still proud of your support for liberals?) And here I thought I’d seen it all with the way the administration coddled the racist DHS employee who advocated murder and violent hate speech on his website.

    Friends, what we’re witnessing is a lost cause on the domestic and international fronts. So, what we do is hold on, pray hard, and oust the Obama administration’s agenda at the ballot box. Work hard, America, as you look forward to the end of the Obama era. It will be the end of an error.

    Her rant stems from the Senate blocking the nomination of Debo Adegbile to Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

    Today, the U.S. Senate killed the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be the next Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The Republicans were joined by seven Democrats: Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Pryor (D-AR) and John Walsh (D-MT). The final vote was 47-52.

    Civil rights lawyer Debo Adegbile certainly believes in a fair trial, and in 2009 Adegbile filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the trial and conviction of a man who murdered a cop in 1981 was unfair, given the racial discrimination on display during jury selection.

    Far be it for Sarah to support the notion of a fair, unbiased trial. I guess she doesn’t care how many innocent people wind up in jail.

  228. Nutmeg says

    Never mind about the reasonable-ness of the revisions. The program they want me to use is completely unsuited to my species and data type, and, furthermore, it’s out of fucking 1996.

  229. says


    Phyllis Schlafly is opposing a federal trademark for the name “Schlafly” for beer made by a St. Louis craft brewery co-founded by her nephew, Tom Schlafly.

    The Schlafly beer maker applied for the trademark on the use of the brand name in 2011; Phyllis Schlafly filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in September 2012. Settlement talks have failed to produce a resolution, and neither side appears ready to back down.

    Schlafly beer is made downtown and in Maplewood by the St. Louis Brewery Co., a homegrown craft brewery founded in 1991. Its Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and other beers can now be found in bars as far away as New York and the nation’s capital, as its customer base has grown far beyond its St. Louis roots.


    Phyllis Schlafly, who declined to be interviewed for this story, argues that the word Schlafly has no usage or meaning other than as a last name, and she lays claim to it.

    “In connection with its usage as a surname, it has the connotation of conservative values, which to millions of Americans (such as Baptists and Mormons) means abstinence from alcohol,” her filing with the trademark office states. “An average consumer in Saint Louis and elsewhere would think ‘Schlafly’ is a surname associated with me, and thus the registration of this name as a trademark by Applicant should be denied.”

    My goodness, someone has a biiiiiiiiiiig ego.

  230. says

    Ok, now I’m questioning my #322. Is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a news source, or satire like The Onion?
    I ask because this is really bizarre:

    ST. CHARLES • A man who had a hankering for ice cream and pleaded guilty to breaking into a church freezer to get some was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison.

    Police say that Andrew Steven Jung, 25, of the 500 block of South Eighth Street in St. Charles, smashed in a glass door to the kitchen at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, at 201 First Capitol Drive, last March.

    Officers who went to the church found that a deep freezer had been damaged and an undetermined amount of ice cream had been taken. They also recovered a ball cap at the scene.
    6 years in prison for breaking into a church freezer and stealing ice cream????
    Thus far, I’ve found only one other site running this story, and it has a link to the St. Louis Post Dispatch article.

  231. hjhornbeck says

    Whoops, missed a message:

    carlie @196:

    don’t forget, we don’t just hang out here. A lot of us read a lot of other FTB and related blogs even if we don’t comment at them. Your name’s not brand-new to those of us who frequent the other places you frequent.

    True that, but that line wasn’t meant for the folks around here. ;)

    gworroll @315:

    I really hope that if I ever get over my crippling fear of approaching men and women I find attractive, I also get good at quickly detecting signs of disinterest so I can back off before I creep them out. Or at least pick up that I’ve creeped them out so I can apologize as I back off.

    I wouldn’t worry about it, social anxiety tends to sharpen your awareness of social cues. Your bigger issue will be keeping yourself from over-reacting to those cues. If someone’s truly interested in talking they’ll signal it, so default to assuming disinterest. Practice keeping your interactions short, with some advance planning and a well-defined end goal, and over time you’ll not only feel more comfortable, you’ll start improvising on-the-fly.

    Just my two cents, though, and I’m not a trained councilor.

  232. ChasCPeterson says

    I really don’t like Sarah Palin.

    congratulations on your sanity.
    (is that ableist? sorry.)

  233. Pteryxx says

    Arizona senator comes out after leading opposition to turn-away-the-gays law

    According to, Gallardo said that his decision was chiefly motivated by the state’s brief flirtation with Senate Bill 1062 — a pro-discriminatory “turn away the gays” law that would allow businesses to decline to serve customers so long as the denial was grounded in a “sincerely held religious belief.”

    “Two weeks ago was a difference, Feb. 19 was an actual game changer,” [Gallardo] said at a morning press conference.

    Activists defeat Louisiana bill intended to overturn nondiscrimination policies

    “Less than 24 hours after we activated our supporters, the LGBT community has seen our first win for the 2014 legislative session,” EQLA said. “This is a testament to what we can do when we work together — to the power of building a statewide LGBT coalition.”

    EQLA described it as a “backdoor bigotry” bill. The bill, SB 485, was intended to “premempt local government authorities from adopting different employment standards and conditions.” In effect, that would’ve meant that any local nondiscrimination ordinances would’ve been overruled by state policy.

    Mississippi’s anti-gay bill may be even worse than Arizona’s

    “We did amend the Senate version of the bill in a way that removes the discriminatory — arguably — I think it’s debatable whether it was discriminatory in the first place — but just to move the bill along we removed that language,” Gipson said.

    That doesn’t appear to be true, however. The new version of the bill still says that state action cannot substantially compel “any action contrary to a person’s exercise of religion” and still defines “exercise of religion” to mean “the ability to act in a way that is substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious belief.”


    Bills like SB 2681, which have been introduced across the country thanks to careful coordination by groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, might also have broader agenda, Burke said. As worded in lines 76-79, the bill would effectively grant the highest level of judicial review — heightened (or strict) scrutiny — to court cases involving the free exercise of religion. This would make it exceedingly difficult to win a case against an individual or entity that claimed their free exercise of religion had been “substantially burdened.”

    Cases involving gay people, however, are more likely to be evaluated based on the rational basis test — the lowest level of scrutiny–, making it harder for LGBT people to overcome discrimination in the courts. There’s a chance that the U.S. Supreme Court will soon affirm something akin to rational basis as the correct test for cases involving LGBT people.

    “If someone brings a claim under this bill, strict scrutiny is going to protect them, and rational basis is going to protect the LGBT person,” Burke said. “Who do you think wins?”

  234. Pteryxx says

    That Louisiana backdoor-bigotry bill, incidentally, would have repealed local fairness ordinances such as Shreveport’s, which y’all may remember from this repeal attempt in January:

    Trans woman dares Bible-quoting Louisiana city councilman to stone her to death

    One of them was Pamela Raintree, a transgender woman who quoted the Bible to Webb, saying, “Leviticus 20:13 states, ‘If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, they shall surely put him to death,’” she said. “I brought the first stone, Mr. Webb, in case that your Bible talk isn’t just a smoke screen for personal prejudices.”

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

    rq & opposablethumbs,

    I’m not really a friendship starter, it takes me years of slowslowslow getting to know someone to get there. And from what I’ve gotten to know about him, he’s not easy to get close to either.
    I’m as friendly with him as with the others of the group, and we get along well. So we’ll see, maybe it develops into a friendship. That would be nice too.

  236. Nutmeg says


    social anxiety tends to sharpen your awareness of social cues

    Huh. My experience has always been the opposite – I get too wrapped up in my own thoughts to pay close attention to other people, and so I miss a lot of what’s going on.

    Of course, when I do see something that could possibly be a signal that all is not well, I interpret it as a sign of impending disaster. That part sounds more like what you’re getting at.

    When I’m in a challenging social situation, I try to focus as much as possible on the people around me and what they’re doing/saying, rather than what I’m thinking. That way, there isn’t enough room in my brain for my anxiety to get going full tilt. And I’ve also found it helpful to read up, on my own, on how to interpret common facial expressions and body language signals. (Amazon has books for everything!) And then I practice those skills in the zero-pressure situation of watching TV. (Really. It’s actually super-helpful for me. Especially if I’ve seen the show before and I already know the plot, so I can focus more on watching the actors.)

    Now I’m always watching to see if people are looking bored, turning their bodies away, getting nervous and fidgety, etc. It gives me more confidence just to know that, if I’m making someone bored/uncomfortable, I might be able to see that and adjust accordingly. I couldn’t have done that a few years ago.

  237. says


    And I’ve also found it helpful to read up, on my own, on how to interpret common facial expressions and body language signals.

    interpreting facial expression and body language signals is really interesting, IMO.
    Years ago, I remember watching some show on a cable channel (HBO or Showtime) dealing with the subject of body language. IIRC, the segment I caught dealt with learning to read social cues, such as the ones you mention (turning the body away, getting fidgety). I haven’t read up any further on the subject, but I have on occasion focused my attention enough to notice aspects of others’ body language. I’ve found though, that I usually *need* to focus on doing that or I’ll miss out on these unspoken signals.

    At many a gay bar, I’ve had strangers approach me, usually to express interest in me. I’ve tried to make use of those signals to indicate a lack of interest on my part without having to verbally express my disinterest. That the unspoken language didn’t have the intended effect could indicate a lack of skill on my part, an inability to interpret body language on the part of the other person, some combination of the two, or perhaps something else.

    It’s all incredibly fascinating.

  238. says

    Here’s a list of some common nonverbal gestures, signs, & body language cues.

    BASELINE DEMEANOR 1. The inventory of gestures and postures observed in relaxed settings, free of social
    anxiety or stress. 2. Nonverbal behaviors observed in solitary subjects, who may be reading, snacking, or
    watching TV. 3. Those nonverbal cues presented during the initial “friendly” phase of an interview or
    interrogation, as opposed to those given in the subsequent “stress” phase.


    STEEPLE A position in which the tactile pads of the fingertips of one hand gently touch their counterparts on the


    ZYGOMATIC SMILE 1. A true smile of happiness, gladness, or joy. 2. An expression in which the corners of the
    mouth curve upward, and the outer corners of the eyes crinkle into crow’s-feet.

  239. rq says

    Ohhhh, thank you for posting that link, I’ll have to bring that cheat sheet to the gallery one day and see if it all checks out. Someone should make a similar cheat sheet for impressionists and post-impressionists, though I’m afraid you can’t make one for abstractionis – “If it looks like a 3 year old child threw a temper tantrum and smeared paint on a wall, it could be anyone!”
    And yes… now I’ll be seeing van Eyck everywhere.

    If you’re both slow to get to be known, then there’s no reason to write off any kind of relationship at all at this point. :) Who knows, if you keep hanging out, even in groups, anything can happen!


    Last night CSG, who never initiates conversation, initiated conversation, but of course I couldn’t continue it in any decent manner (fluster!). He is allowed to try again; it’s the one who looks like Satan I wish would shut up.

    Apparently, now everyone can speedread without even trying. What’s interesting is that the 350 wpm seems easy, while the 500 wpm feels within reach. How does this method assist (or desist) dyslexic people? [/curious]

  240. rq says

    That’s a great list, thanks!

    That the unspoken language didn’t have the intended effect could indicate a lack of skill on my part, an inability to interpret body language on the part of the other person, some combination of the two, or perhaps something else.

    There was that whole bit about asking men if they understand non-verbal cues expressing non-interest from women. And their determination to ignore them completely when they have decided they want to flirt. There was a study, and it shows up in and around most sexual harassment/rape threads, when a certain type of person insists that body language is just SO DIFFICULT!!!
    You may be experiencing something similar here. Your cues are probably fine; they are probably received fine; but they juuuuust may be getting flatly ignored due to the person’s conviction that you really, really for real want to talk to them… or, if you don’t, you really should.

  241. says

    Good morning!

    Tony: I always think about the Shoop-Shoop song. I took it as a sign that you’re a good kisser ;)

    Communication: one thing that adequately demonstrates how random many of those things are are the different rules in different cultures and languages. Things limited to family and close friends in one culture are perfectly ok for loose acquaintances in another.
    To a German the sentence “There might be a slight problem with your flight schedule” means “nothing to worry about” while the English speaker probably meant: prepare yourself for being stuck in Novosibirsk”

  242. Crudely Wrott says

    The “Shoop–Shoop SongGiliell?
    Would that be the one by the Nylons?
    Cover of “It’s In His Kiss“?
    Got on my hard drive as an MP3.
    Love it.

  243. opposablethumbs says

    Nutmeg, I forgot to say congrats on the revision thing – but boo for the programme you’re supposed to use. And I’m really impressed by your methodical approach to learning body language cues; it makes me think we should try to get SonSpawn to try something like this.

    Giliell, that is so true. And I love your example … :-)

    Good morning Horde.

  244. says

    My favourite example for “body language is haaaaaaaard” is usually that people are perfectly able to read the body languages of their cats and dogs even though they are different species. Because unlike human women, they are quite likely to harm you if you ignore them

  245. Crudely Wrott says

    Good morning, opposablethumbs and to all good Hordelings! Good day to you all.

    And good night. I’ve miles to go before I wake.

  246. Crudely Wrott says

    One more thought before I slip under the comforters and let my head sink into the pillow:

    Being able to speak throughout all time zones points out the subterfuge of those zones. Such an artifice. It (the time, that is) is, as we all will willingly testify, now.

    For all values of “now”, of course. =)

    Again, good night to those in time zones close to me. To the rest, may your waking days consist of some parts rest amid all the work and devotion and determination that define your lives. Your lives define the world that I really like and couldn’t be here without.

  247. rq says

    But cats and dogs are just so obvious about it. Human body language is confusing and unclear at the best of times, so best to err on the side most convenient to you (and not the other person). And asking, well, we all know that talking is just as confusing and unclear.

  248. birgerjohansson says

    NASA tests new robotic refueling technologies

    Engineering team proposes storing extra rocket fuel in space for future missions
    The MIT team has come up with two cost-efficient depot designs that do not require long-term commitment.

    A small step toward discovering habitable Earths Visible light, adaptive optics.

  249. birgerjohansson says

    Purist Among the Pure: the Forgotten Inventor of Pakistan
    The reality of Pakistan today is a BIG fuckup. Drawing lines on a map is not a good way to start nations…

    — — — —
    Infecting just one tumor with a virus could boost the systemic effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy “The researchers show that NDV (virus) infection alerts T cells of the immune system to the presence of cancer cells, which otherwise suppress immune surveillance and attack” -This is fucking brilliant!

    — — — —
    NB: Studies show big promise for HIV prevention drug

  250. says

    Good night, Crudely!

    Rq, we have to thank those damned post-structuralists for that (I always wondered how Derrida manged to buy a croissant)

    Tonight I’ll get my laptop back. Then I can appreciate all the links people are posting again.

  251. carlie says

    Tony – not only is the Post-Dispatch a real paper, in the last 10 years it has become the ONLY paper. It’s gobbled up all of the smaller newspapers in the cities and towns in the St. Louis metro area – some of them still publish, but through the P-D company and on a more sparse schedule (going from daily to once or twice a week).

  252. carlie says

    That reminds me of one of those odd memory bits – I can sing the entire commercial jingle of the newspaper that used to be the main competitor to the Post-Dispatch, although it ceased publication in 1986. Why is that still in my head?

  253. rq says

    Watching birds is meditative. I’ve discovered I can sit at the window for hours and watch the flit back and forth and fight over the seeds. So many tits about! But besides the tits, the following non-tit birds have been observed (in addition to jays, woodpeckers and nuthatches):
    – siskins, usually one male and several females (a kind of finch similar but not identical to the lesser goldfinch, from what I understand);
    – a goldcrested wren (tentative ID, since it was a bird that wasn’t a tit and didn’t match other birds and it was far away, so I’m not 100%);
    – a tree creeper, which does exactly that: creeps up a tree;
    – yerordinaricommon sparrows of (I think) three different kinds.

  254. carlie says

    Very interesting – an app that seriously increases reading speed by moving the words instead of your eyes. It claims to not decrease comprehension. There is much moaning in comments about how this is the end of all things good about reading, but there isn’t anything magical and special about reading words from right to left in rows (ask all of the languages that are written in other ways). I’d like to try it. I assume you’d be able to pause at any point, and it looks like obviously you set your own speed.

  255. rq says

    I linked to that above, and the short texts they have as examples seem simple enough. I’d like to see how it works for longer, more complicated texts!
    (Also, how is reading faster a bad thing for reading?? Might actually get more people reading, if it means getting through some of those doorstoppers that much faster!)

  256. birgerjohansson says

    More odd films: “Lifeforce”: A reviewer calls it “The greatest naked space vampire zombies from Halley’s Comet running amok in London end-of-the-world movie ever made”
    The domestic USA version was heavily cut, the full ‘international cut’ was made available by MGM in the 2000s.
    — — — — — — —

    Family Guy: Peter and Quagmire on the guitar, doing such classics as “Poop before my anus bleeds”, “Get out of the left lane, you crazy asian bitch”, “People in Florida are stupid” and “Train on the water, boat on the track” /watch?v=bUlWDF1jTuo
    (-to avoid getting the pic displayed on the comment thread and taking up bandwith, I have split the address in two so you can paste it into the appropriate line for viewing )

    BTW, what is the name of that film where Rutger Hauer chases the devil around a partially submerged London? I think it is time they make the “(wossname) 2”. With particle guns, runaway nanotech and the occasional zombie.

  257. Portia says


    thank you ^_^

    I just reread the end paragraph of the anti Obamacare thingy and realized it claims that the motivation behind Obamacare is that poor women will make more poor, worthless, criminal-to-be babies if they have “dollar a month” healthcare…and you know what that means…moar Damnocrat voters! QEMFD, Commies.

    I tried that Spritz reading thing. I found myself filling in the words I missed with what I thought would logically have been there had my eyes been able to communicate it to my brain. But I guess that’s probably part of the point, using your brain’s pre-existing function to assist the technology along. #cheating ;)

  258. rq says

    Firefighters rescue baby deer. I don’t think it’s safe for all those people to be standing around, but at least it all ends well! And cute!!!

  259. carlie says

    rq – oh, sorry! I’ve been skimming lately (HA NO READING COMPREHENSION HERE) and missing posts.

  260. Portia says


    Thank you for not using the “curiosity gap” headline for that video. Even the lead in text teases it.

    “You won’t believe what these firefighters did to this baby deer with the jaws of life!”

    um……is it gonna be gory…?

    /warped humor /paraphrasing

  261. rq says

    You should use Spritz, you’d probably never lose another bit of information ever again!!!
    Also, I just figured it was such an awesome thing that people would want to post it for themselves, too. ;)

  262. rq says

    I hate those… because they’re way over-hyped and always a let-down. Because why wouldn’t I believe it? Ugh. (Ha, though the juxtaposition of ‘jaws of life’ and ‘baby deer’ might spark an interest… with a very disappointing denouement!)
    Same with those “See Hilarious Thing Parent Did! Best Solution Ever!” and you look at it and it’s just like… meh, yeah, that’s kinda cool, I guess… Next! Or the lists, where they’re all “Super-Funny Things Will Have You Laughing All Day!” and there’s barely a chuckle. Or the list “OH-EM-GEE, This was Awesome, Especially #7!” and then I look at #7 and I actually think #13 is the best of the list. Or they’re all pretty bland.
    It seems a lot like anti-marketing, because it sets a really high bar for expectations which is easy to miss, leading to greater disappointment in people. Dunno. Doesn’t seem like a good strategy to me, at least.

  263. Portia says


    It’s a very calculated tactic that does seem to work – it’s like annoying ads, they use em because they’re effective to some degree. I read an article about it once when nosing around the interwebs for tactics to market the firm’s facebook page better.

    On that note, here’s a headline that is phrased similarly but doesn’t hide the ball: This Baby Girl Directs A Church Choir Very, Very Seriously — And It’s Totally Adorable (VIDEO)

    :) It definitely delivers, too.

  264. rq says

    She’s really good, too, even if she is only imitating. Which she doesn’t seem to be doing the whole time. Impressive!

  265. birgerjohansson says

    Peter and Quagmire singing ”Poop before my anus bleeds” com/watch?v=mbn6MjA2RrQ

    — — — — — —
    “Quagmire asks to stay at the Griffin home after he makes eye contact with a transvestite. While hanging out with Peter, a bee accidentally makes them discover that they can share a tone in harmony.” com/watch?v=bUlWDF1jTuo

    (I don’t want links to YouTube to end in a big pic in the coment line and eating bandwith, so I am cutting the address in half, you can paste it into the appropriate line.)

  266. Dhorvath, OM says

    Apparently, now everyone can speedread without even trying.

    Well, if my goal was to read every word once, yeah. Is that how other people here read? I am back and forth constructing the meaning of sentences; it’s not the words that slows me, but the sentence structure. I can’t quite see how that would work with this app.

  267. birgerjohansson says

    Tpyos. Coment should be comment.
    — — — — — —
    Odd films:
    “Lifeforce”: A reviewer calls it “The greatest naked space vampire zombies from Halley’s Comet running amok in London end-of-the-world movie ever made”
    The domestic USA version was heavily cut, the full ‘international cut’ was made available by MGM in the 2000s.

  268. birgerjohansson says

    Goddamit! Rutger Hauer (Aryan uber-android in “Blade Runner”, the guy in “Split Second” who says “we need bigger fucking guns”) will be 70 this year. I am old.

  269. birgerjohansson says

    rq, Portia,
    there is a guy in Umeå that uses photoshop to make cute but *unusual* photos of his baby: a superbaby who flies after aircraft, does odd jobs at home… , damn I have forgotten his name.

    (Sigh. Snow is melting, turning everything grey. Time to log off and go home)

  270. says

    Rachel Maddow segment link.

    Maddow relates Texas primary battles with Texas las that shuts clinics without helping women. This is a Maddow exclusive. The discussion of Republicans and abortions begins at about 4:30. Back story plus new information is presented.

    The number of abortions has not decreased, but the number of self-induced abortions has increased. Texas is now a pre-Roe world.

  271. says

    From the Rachel Maddow segment linked above (#369):

    It is heartbreaking. It makes me want to cry. It’s my life. I’d a whole lot rather be helping women, but Texas has made it impossible. I just think it’s so sad in Texas, how little respect we have for women. — Dr. Lester Minto, February 27, 2014

    Dr. Minto was referring to the fact that Texas law has now made it impossible for him to help women who have tried to self-abort and who are having serious health problems as a result. Some time ago, Dr. Minto stopped offering abortion services. Now he can’t even help women who have resorted to tactics that leave them in danger of dying.

  272. says

    Trigger warning for rape and injustice.

    A Georgia Court of Appeals judge has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of rape because he doesn’t believe that the victim in the case “behave[d] like a victim.”

    “At no time prior to her outcry … did [the victim] behave like a victim,” Appeals Court Judge Christopher McFadden wrote in the order. “Nor did [William Jeffrey] Dumas behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes against her. … It requires more than that bald argument to satisfy this court that it should ignore the fact that, until the outcry, neither of them showed any fear, guilt or inclination to retreat to a place of safety.”

    McFadden also wrote that the victim, who has Down Syndrome, did not exhibit “visible distress” when she reported the rape. […]

    Salon link.

  273. says

    Now that it’s time for conservatives to meet up, pat each other on the back and fire up the base with their patented nonsense, Salon took a look back at some CPAC moments of WTF:

    “Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink. And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.” – Rick Perry, 2008

    “After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia.” – Wayne LaPierre, 2013

    “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country … It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” – Rick Santorum, 2011

    “More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President. Shoulda started with yours.” – Sarah Palin, 2013

    “I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what the recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s [the age of the Earth] a dispute amongst theologians, and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” – Marco Rubio, 2012 […]

    “Right now about 60 percent of the American people get more benefits in dollar value from the federal government than they pay back in taxes. So we’re going to a majority of takers versus makers in America and that will be tough to come back from that. They’ll be dependent on government [rather] than themselves.” – Paul Ryan, 2010

    “Terrorism kills, and Barbara Boxer is worried about the weather.” – Carly Fiorina, 2010

    “A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market …If I was starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black because I really do believe they have the actual advantage.” – Donald Trump, 1989 […]

  274. cicely says

    *pre-emptive hug-dump* as I start to get caught up. In chunks.

    Happy New Human Day, morgan?!.

    *hugs&boozes* for Portia.

    …is someone going to explain the tempura thing?

    Sure thing.
    Various pigments are mixed with some kind of binder—egg, for instance—and used as paint, ideally on rigid surfaces, ’cause it tends to crack on flexible ones, like canvas. Once oil painting came into the picture (pun certainly intended!), tempera painting phased out.
    I understand from what an SCA acquaintance who did period-correct paint construction as part of an A&S project told me, that the paint-manufacturing process is notably stinky. That, while she didn’t regret having done it the once, she never intended to do it again.
    Oh, wait…this would be an example of Spelling Is Important, wouldn’t it?
    In that case, substitute something involving breading and frying. In some way.

  275. A. Noyd says

    Dhorvath (#364)

    Well, if my goal was to read every word once, yeah. Is that how other people here read? I am back and forth constructing the meaning of sentences; it’s not the words that slows me, but the sentence structure.

    Imagine trying to read just one word at a time through Origin of Species. I spent so much time going back to nail down the meat of each sentence in that book because Darwin insisted on packing each one with loads of extra stuff. There were parentheticals within parentheticals within parentheticals, only without the use of actual parentheses to set them apart.

  276. cicely says

    rq, I like purple…but day-am, that’s a lotta purple!

    *high five* for Giliell for the no-surgery-needed!

  277. says

    Lookee, lookee, a computer!
    I shall be able to click links!
    I shall be able to copy-paste!
    I will do so NOW


    I just reread the end paragraph of the anti Obamacare thingy and realized it claims that the motivation behind Obamacare is that poor women will make more poor, worthless, criminal-to-be babies if they have “dollar a month” healthcare…and you know what that means…moar Damnocrat voters! QEMFD, Commies.

    In that case, shouldn’t they all be in favour of birth control coverage and free and readily avaible abortions?

  278. David Marjanović says

    Melanosomes or Microbes: Testing an Alternative Hypothesis for the Origin of Microbodies in Fossil Feathers

    This paper (open access!) casts strong doubt on the idea that melanosomes are preserved in any fossil feathers where that has been claimed. Also, it points out that all feathers today that contain any melanin contain both eu- and phaeomelanin, so there’s no way to tell the color of a feather just from showing that one of the two was present – their relative abundance needs to be known first.

    Also, too, wrestling a bear [as Palin has claimed Putin is seen as doing] and putting a tracking collar on a tranquilized bear accompanied by a large group of scientists are two different things.”

    The Jews Have Disappointed Michele Bachmann

    MUST-SEE: Jon Stewart BLASTS Fox News for attacking food stamp recipients

    It’s fun to accidentally discharge your handgun at the Y-M-C-A! GunFAIL LIX” – “Since we last visited, and up through last Friday, 15 hearty patriots have accidentally second amendmented themselves. That’s 15 of our 40 entries in this installment. And continuing the pattern, several did so while happily and unconcernedly carrying their hand-held instant death machines among you, while out shopping, dining or otherwise enjoying the amenities. Were you in Chipotle in Sandy, Utah, last week? Walmart in Hattiesburg, Mississippi? Sam’s Club in Waterloo, Iowa? Perhaps the YMCA in Austin, Texas? Maybe you weren’t, but people who were certain they knew how to properly handle their firearms were. And guess where they found out that they weren’t really up to the task? Right in the middle of the crowds, of course! Miraculously, only one car window and one ass (anatomically speaking) were damaged. You can thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that none of the children at their swimming lessons at the Y were shot when mom blew a hole in her purse rummaging around down in Austin.

    A few ‘coincidences’ worthy of note this time around: two people accidentally discharged their weapons while giving demonstrations of how safe they were, one lodging a bullet in his living room floor, and” then it might be said to stop being funny, if you know what I mean.

    – a tree creeper, which does exactly that: creeps up a tree;

    Well, it walks up the tree – by sheer force of will grasping toe power. You know those Shaolin monks holding themselves horizontally off a vertical pole? That, only more so.

  279. David Marjanović says

    The new and improved Christiegate, now with a slush fund.

    “We hadn’t heard from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for a while. I had assumed that was because he had gotten his arms caught in two vending machines, but I see that is not the case. He surfaced this week to warn us that the momentary failure of Arizona nutcases to legalize religious-based discrimination against gay people will bring doom to us all.” I’m not sure how exactly he believes that’s gonna happen; the article tries to understand it, but King’s words are nigh impenetrable.

    What Would Jesus Shoot? Kentucky Baptists giving away 25 guns to attract converts” – scroll to the bottom for a wonderful painting.

    Paul Ryan generates report to disprove effectiveness of Progressive Poverty Programs and – FAILS!” Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

    Tell Kerry to say no to the Keystone pipeline.

    Torvosaurus gurneyi n. sp., the Largest Terrestrial Predator from Europe, and a Proposed Terminology of the Maxilla Anatomy in Nonavian Theropods” – open access. Also, Capitalizing Every Word in a Headline Is Pretty Stupid When Your Journal Publishes Species Names.

    In that case, shouldn’t they all be in favour of birth control coverage and free and readily avaible abortions?

    Thank you so much. Now I have to pick skull fragments out of my face. Not sure how they got through the USB connection… *goes look for USB 3.0 ports*

  280. rq says

    by sheer force of will

    Well, it is very small. I’d be far more impressed if it was the size of an ostrich.

  281. Nutmeg says

    opposablethumbs: Aww, thanks! “Methodical approach” is kind of the only way I know how to do things, but at least it works well for me. It would be great if something similar worked for your SonSpawn. (I was so proud a few months ago when I figured out a particularly juicy bit of departmental gossip by watching my labmate’s eyes. I am very shallow sometimes. :) )

    I feel kind of silly about it, but I’ve spent a lot of time watching TV shows where characters’ facial expressions and body language are important to the plot, because then it’s more likely that these things will be explained somewhere along the way. Lie to Me and The Mentalist are both pretty good for explaining the people skills stuff by the end of the episode.

    rq: Eee, birdy photos! Cute! I especially like the goldcrested wren.

  282. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hello Lounge!


    LifeForce – I love that film! Just got my UK special edition blu-ray version with special bonus content.
    It is a truly over-the-top alien-vampire-zombie-apocalypse film in the style of the classic Quatermass flicks but with a huge budget for more explosions and icky stuff.
    The emphasis on the nudity by the press and public didn’t do it any favours unfortunately.
    It has one of my all time fav lines from an alien-vampire-zombie-apocalypse film: after said alien-vampire-zombies have been blown to bits, the intrepid SAS Colonel commands: “Gather the pieces… and watch them!”
    Practical British advice for alien-vampire-zombie-apocalypse scenarios…



    Egg tempera on board was popular with religious icons and some people still do them that way. Not a bad choice of binder, ever tried to clean egg off something? :)

    I understand from what an SCA acquaintance who did period-correct paint construction as part of an A&S project told me, that the paint-manufacturing process is notably stinky. That, while she didn’t regret having done it the once, she never intended to do it again.

    If done accurately, stinky and poisonous! The original pigments contained lead, arsenic and mercury as well as other lovely teratogens…
    Definitely mask and glove stuff. And don’t lick the brushes to straiten the fibres!

    Click links! Click like the wind!

  283. says

    Dhorvath @365:

    Well, if my goal was to read every word once, yeah. Is that how other people here read? I am back and forth constructing the meaning of sentences; it’s not the words that slows me, but the sentence structure. I can’t quite see how that would work with this app.

    My problem is world building. As I read, my brain is automatically constructing a visual representation of the world presented in the book. But that slows me down in [possibly] much the same way sentence structure does for you.

  284. Crudely Wrott says

    Earlier (yesterday?) I mentioned that NASA is developing a Europa mission. Here’s a couple of links for the curious:

    From the Houston Chronicle with some insider poop.

    From a very hands on outfit.

    Both links via space today dot net which is a worthwhile daily resource for those of us with stars in our eyes.
    Damn links look really bad in preview, eh?

    Good to hear that you get to keep your foot, Giliell. You’d have a terrible limp without it! Prolly go ’round in large circles of just tip right over. Though, if you moved to a mountainous area and kept the short leg uphill . . . Ah. there goes wheeling about smartly to confront the unknown. Better to keep the foot, then. =)
    Tony! says,

    My problem is world building. As I read, my brain is automatically constructing a visual representation of the world presented in the book. But that slows me down in [possibly] much the same way sentence structure does for you.

    I felt a similar problem reading the flashing words. I could read each one but I discovered, quickly, that I wasn’t doing the “linking words together to form coherence” thing. When I read I look at groups of words mostly. I spend about 5 to 10% (at a guess) of my reading time re-reading either for clarity of to enjoy a sequence of words.

    Sure, reading fast might come in handy sometimes. I don’t think, though, that I’ll be trying to digest the Boeing 747 Pilot’s Guide in order to save a plane load of screaming passengers any time soon. Not that it wouldn’t be a good read, mind you. No, I’m sure it is riveting but I’d want to enjoy it.

  285. says

    Crip Dyke:
    I’m not sure. It is a good thing, but then there’s this:

    A Senate measure to strip military commanders of authority over prosecutions of sexual assaults and other serious crimes failed Thursday in a procedural vote.

    The bill known as the Military Justice Improvement Act needed 60 votes under Senate rules in order to end debate and move to a final vote, but received 55. Even if the bill had passed, however, a similar measure is considered highly unlikely to pass the House of Representatives.

  286. Crudely Wrott says

    Recalling Ferdinand Feghoot reference somewhere above, I recall doing something similar in a letter to the editor of theCasper (Wyoming) Star Tribune back in 2001 after an incident between a US reconnaissance aircraft and a Chinese fighter aircraft.

    A description of the incident can be found here.

    Briefly, a Chinese pilot named Wang Wei, flying a Shenyang J-8IM interceptor made three close passes at an American Lockheed EP-3E SIGINT (read: spy) aircraft near Hainan Island in the South China Sea. The EP-3E is a turboprop aircraft that flies much slower than the Chinese interceptor. Wang’s tactic was to approach the American aircraft from behind at a slightly higher altitude and then swoop down rapidly directly in front of the EP-3E. This maneuver subjects the slower aircraft to lots of turbulence as well as jet blast. It is simple intimidation to unsettle the crew of the slower aircraft as they get thrown about quite forcefully.

    On his third pass, Wang nosed down a bit too soon. His J-8 collided with the EP-3E doing considerable damage to both aircraft, Wang’s getting the worst of it. The American aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Chinese territory while Wang and his J-8 were not seen again. Except by my imaginary eye.

    My letter described the collision and my being knocked out of the EP-3E and falling quite close to Wang’s crippled ship. He noted me and waved to get my attention. Then he did the following things.

    He held up a thin, sharp tool and made stabbing motions with it.

    He then produce a bottle of Tsing Tao Ale.

    Next, he waved a pair of lace panties.

    Lastly, he produced a Sharpie Marking Pen and made angry, random scribbles on the inside of his canopy.

    At that point, seeing that my altitude was shrinking rapidly, I pulled my rip cord. Wang’s ill-fated plane plummeted rapidly and made a small white splash in the ocean below.

    Later, writing a report, I noted that I had recorded the final words of “Wrong Way” Wang Wei. His final testament still echoes in my memory:

    Awl ale linen and marks.

    *Nope. No apologies. True story. It’s History Now, Baby.*

  287. says

    Crip Dyke:

    No one was telling her anything about the status of the case.

    It’s not an unusual scenario for sexual assault victims in the military.

    So when one young airman who’d undergone similar treatment and was beginning to despair was told that she could be provided with a lawyer to represent her — not the Air Force, not the command, just her — in a program called the Special Victims’ Counsel, she was skeptical.

    “I honestly felt like it would be just one more person for me to bear my soul to for no avail,” the airman later wrote in a letter to the SVC.

    But that’s not what happened.

    In a military justice system designed to promote good order and discipline, with traditionally few concerns about victims’ rights, her SVC asked her what she wanted. He advised the airman, who is not named according to Stars and Stripes policy and whose identification was in any case redacted in her letter, provided by the Air Force. He guided and fought for her.

    “You’ve been strong when I felt weak, capable when I was disarmed, and wise when I was bewildered,” she wrote in the letter after the accused was convicted. “I will be forever grateful.“

    This is something to be hopeful of as well.

    Btw, thanks for that link to

  288. Crudely Wrott says


    Because I love you so I’ll tell you how to discern.

    Feghoot = human, travels through time and space; by virtue of unavoidable circumstances produces bad puns.

    Foghorn = chicken, travels through coops; by virtue of avoidable reactions to normalcy produces bad advice.


  289. Crudely Wrott says

    The answer to the question, “where does the time go?” is “it goes away”, or, alternatively, “it goes passed”.

    I’m gonna do a Wang Wei now. I’m gonna crash.

    ‘Night, all.

  290. opposablethumbs says

    I can’t remember how I first came across this – it might even have been thanks to someone here, in which case apologies for the repetition – but here’s an alternative to the xkcd time zones comic: a real-time projection of the world showing which areas are currently in sunlight or in darkenss (with real-time cloud formations too). It’s sort of soothing and hypnotic :-) – I just like looking at it from time to time, and thinking of all the countries where it’s dawn, dusk, day or night.

  291. birgerjohansson says

    Advice to Mercan B-film lovers. The third “Riddick” film (thankfully going back to the roots) is cheaper to get if you buy used collections of *all three* films than just the one film.
    — — — —

    Texas school puts date rape drug detectors in drink coasters for spring break

    Jesse Ventura rips bitchy billionaires: The poor work just as hard as you do
    I sort of like Jesse Ventura. He described both parties as “monsters that are out of control” who are concerned only with “their own agendas and their pork.”[

    Chemist hopes new chemical structures will jumpstart stalled antibiotic discovery efforts

  292. bluentx says

    Thanks, opposablethumbs for the link! If you got it here, I missed it so let that be a lesson to all…. Even if you think your ‘cool find’ has already been ‘shared’ with The Horde…. share it again…. some may have missed it!

    Also, I passed it on via Facebook. I hope I’m getting a rep among my ‘Friends’ of being the science nerd of the lot! (As opposed to the ‘Praise the Lord, Pass the Xenophobia lot!) : )

  293. rq says

    Hello, bluentx! You seem to have wandered in on the one day I make my semi-annual children’s clothing shopping trip to town. :) Back now. I survived! Also, it must be spring: in winter, I never have the spoons for this kind of trip, since it involves trains, lots of steps, a child in a pram and lots of luggage on the way home.

    Thanks for the timezone link! It’s so pretty. I’m not sure why, but it’s just really pretty to me right now. (Also, I can predict when the American contingent of the Lounge will start posting! :D)

  294. opposablethumbs says

    You’re welcome, bluentx. It was either somebody here or it was my OH who passed it on to me – a nice one to share, anyway!

  295. Nutmeg says

    Good news: I had a productive appointment at the sleep disorders clinic yesterday. I don’t have to spend a night in the sleep lab, because my history doesn’t suggest that there’s anything going on besides the night terrors. And they’re referring me to a psychologist who does cognitive behavioural therapy for parasomnias. I’m not sure yet how long the wait will be, but it’s covered under the provincial health plan.

    Bad news: Last night I woke up shouting at the imaginary red thing at the end of my bed. It’s weird, the details my brain decides to remember.

    Good news: Another data point!

  296. rq says

    Yay for progress! Of a kind. Good luck with the appointment, may the waiting time be short!
    I hope the imaginary red thing was suitably frightened and scurried off scared. ;)

  297. Bicarbonate is back says


    Are you around here somewhere? ?

    I have a question for you and I’m asking you because, if I remember correctly, you live in Germany and speak German.

    I’m looking for the name of a rapper / singer, a native speaker of German, young black guy who went off and fought in Syria and was killed. He left behind him videos on Youtube that I saw but can’t remember his name. The first ones (before conversion apparently) are urban blight kind of scenes, I believe he’s rapping about how hard and fucked-up things are (I can only understand words and phrases here and there) and there’s a scene where a young woman (an ex ?) denies him access to her kids. Then there are videos from Syria: a waterfall, plant life, rainbows (in the spray of the waterfall), camaraderie and brotherly love, meaningfulness….

    Does that ring a bell ?

  298. birgerjohansson says

    Yay! Chemists discover new class of antibiotics
    And they discovered it “in silico” after going through a million possible substances.

    — — — — —
    H P Lovecraft was here?

    — — — — —
    The invention of acupuncture

    — — — — —
    Did I post this before? I don’t remember.

    Jesse Ventura rips bitchy billionaires: “The poor work just as hard as you do!”
    -I sort of like Jesse Ventura. He described both parties as “monsters that are out of control” who are concerned only with “their own agendas and their pork.”

  299. says

    David M. @379, thanks for the link to the Jon Stewart link. That was a kick-ass segment. I particularly liked the sarcasm with which he discussed the correct proportion of quality to shame-inducing food to which users of food stamps should adhere in order to avoid offending Faux News hosts.

    Here’s one food stamp story that is more hopeful:

    In a move that surprised even his most cynical critics, Gov. Corbett on Wednesday night forestalled an estimated $3 billion in cuts to food stamps in the state over the next 10 years.

    By doing so, Corbett became the first Republican governor in the country to prevent the cuts ordered by Congress, which is looking to slash $8.6 billion over the next decade to the food-stamp program, now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

    The governor’s decision will preserve benefits for 400,000 Pennsylvania households slated to lose a monthly average of $60 to $65 each in benefits, amounting to $300 million a year, said Kait Gillis, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Welfare. Link.
    Some political cynicism is understandable. It’s an election year and polls show Corbett struggling. The governor hasn’t exactly been a friend to food-stamp beneficiaries — it wasn’t long ago that Corbett connected SNAP eligibility to asset tests — so his critics can be forgiven for thinking this latest move is more the result of electoral desperation than genuine compassion.

    But for beneficiaries, the governor’s motivations won’t really matter, and for progressive politics in general, it’s a good sign when Republicans in trouble feel the need to move unexpectedly to the left in the hopes of becoming more popular.[…] Link.

  300. cicely says

    While I have not (yet) attempted tempera painting, I’ve found in a number of other contexts that egg makes a damned fine glue; and that it is important to never let it dry onto your dishes.
    I don’t lick the brushes I use for acrylic, either. Goodness only knows what’s in it, but I’m prepared to bet that it specifically targets bad knees and treacherous gall bladders, and cranks ’em up to 11. In a bad way.


    Nutmeg, hurray! for productive appointment! And boo! for Imaginary Red Thing! Which was probably a Horse, or at least one of Their minions.

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


    Make a go at the Red Thing with a poker. Tell it to warn its friends.

    (Pratchett reference – Susan ♥)

  302. says

    The Republican war on women comes to the Last Frontier: Alaska has its own brand of ignorance and attacks on reproductive health services for women.

    On Wednesday, a Republican state senator in Alaska took to the floor to explain that the government should not pay for family planning services for low-income women, because anyone can afford birth control. “Even the most [sexually] active folks don’t need to spend more than $2 or $3 a day for covering their activity,” state Sen. Fred Dyson (R-Eagle River) said. He explained that it’s easy for women to get access to birth control in Alaska, given that they can get it delivered via Alaska Airlines’ express delivery program.

    Dyson was talking about birth control as part of the debate on a controversial abortion bill. He is one of six Republicans senators cosponsoring the fast-moving bill, which would stop low-income women in the state from using Medicaid to fund abortions, except in the cases of rape, incest, or to “avoid a threat of serious risk to life or physical health of a woman.” The bill outlines a list of 22 conditions that would qualify a woman for a Medicaid-funded abortion, such as risk of coma or seizures. Under Alaska law, since 2001, a woman could still only use state Medicaid to pay for an abortion that was “medically necessary”—but the definition was left up to the woman and her doctor. Critics of the bill say that the bill’s new definition is much more restrictive. (Last year, more than 37 percent of abortions reported in Alaska were covered by Medicaid.) Recently, Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services tried to enforce the same restrictions contained in the bill, but Planned Parenthood sued the state over that decision. A court put the regulations on hold as the case unfolds. If this bill passes, it is expected to be challenged as part of that lawsuit. And it’s expected to pass—Alaska has a Republican majority in the House, and Republican Gov. Sean Parnell opposes abortion.

    Democrats in the state have been trying to limit the bill’s effects on women, successfully adding an amendment to this bill last year that would have allowed at least 14,000 low-income Alaskans without children to get their family planning services—including STD testing and birth control—covered by Medicaid. […] But in February, the House Finance Committee stripped the amendment from the bill. […]

    That “most active” comment reminds me of Rush Limbaugh who seems to think that birth control costs vary depending on how much sex you have.

  303. opposablethumbs says

    I’m glad you like the world sunshine link, rq – it is pretty, isn’t it! :-)
    Nutmeg, that’s great news about the productive appointment. Sorry you had that bad night, but taking this into your own hands + data points ftw.

    it’s covered under the provincial health plan.

    Well I’ll be. DaughterSpawn is going to the dread USA this summer … she finishes her undergraduate sort-of-internship-work-experience-lab-assistant-thing while her boyfriend is still doing his (different course, different timing) so she’s going to visit him. Somewhere near(ish) to Boston, apparently … so, what should she do? And what should she NOT do? Will I ever see her again??? ;-)

  304. rq says

    Oh, nice. In that not-nice-but-racist kind of way. Thank you for those.
    See, I was wondering why they had to use all the same actors instead of using, say, the familial comet birthmark, as a touchpoint between times and generations. Turns out, they didn’t need to! They could have used real people!
    (Husband and I watched the first two hours of it last night before realizing it’s a three hour movie. It reinforces the fact that I don’t like Tom Hanks, and I think he is wildly inappropriate for most of his roles… I like the parts where the actors look like themselves, because seriously, that race-bending is distracting.)

  305. says

    Mormon Moments of Madness (and desperation) exposed: LDS leaders are reduced to telling the sheeple to keep the faith after they learn church history is despicable, dogma is a crock, and leaders have been lying to them all along. That’s my translation anyway of this latest speech from LDS leaders.

    Mormons shouldn’t shy away from their religion’s history, but neither should they be quick to discard their faith if what they learn appears inconsistent with LDS teachings, a member of the faith’s governing First Presidency told attendees at a symposium Friday.

    “There will be times when it may appear that things are going badly for the truth of God, that the evidence of the world contradicts God’s utterances,” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor to church President Thomas S. Monson, told the audience in Salt Lake City’s Conference Center Theater. “For my part, I have learned to be patient, knowing that, in the end, things will work out.”[…]

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

    Is this high school again or does my weirdness just show in ways adolescents have trouble navigating through life?

    That attraction I mentioned… maybe it’s obvious on my part. Or coincidences just happen coincidentally.

    Since you already know I’m not very social, you could have guessed this guy was attending french classes with me. Professor was explaining a phrase tonight and her example was:
    “Beatrice and X are interested in each other, but won’t do anything so I act as their intermediary”

    And I just look at her, frozen, I’m not reacting in any way. I’m focused on this knowledge you are imparting on us via some unimportant example which I’m not even ignoring because that would acknowledge it. *gulp*

    How strangely specific and half accurate.


  307. David Marjanović says

    Erdoğan has uncoupled himself from reality. He said on national TV that if his party will win the community-level elections on March 30, he’ll consider blocking access to Facebook and YouTube because “foreign powers” are using them to damage him the country. “I will not allow that the Nation is sacrificed to Facebook and YouTube”, he said. Source: Spiegel Online, cited here in German.

    Putin, too, has uncoupled himself from reality, says the US Department of State.

    British radical right-wingers who are likewise uncoupled from reality but probably coupled to the BNP have become very upset over a private event in the Windsor Legoland. About 1000 Muslim families had planned to meet there over the weekend; now the whole thing, hotel included, will stay closed because the attendee’s safety cannot be guaranteed. Assholes. Source in German.

  308. David Marjanović says

    Professor was explaining a phrase tonight and her example was:

    *stomach twist*

    What, in front of the class? That’s evil.

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


    It didn’t seem evil, just… strangely specific.

    (And the phrase was par le biais de, since you know french and I’m already mentioning it.)

  310. Owen says

    Not sure if we’re past any sort of deadline, but I sent a contribution to the Horde Fund.

  311. David Marjanović says

    E-mail from Daily Kos…

    David, the Senate voted yesterday on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act—the bill to better prosecute sexual assaults in the military and offer new protections to victims. We were five votes short of overcoming a filibuster.

    This is a tough loss. Daily Kos members have been working to support reform of the military justice system since Gillibrand took the lead on this issue last year. Over 256,000 Daily Kos members took action to support the bill, sending nearly 15,000 emails to undecided senators in the last week alone.

    We won the support of senators from across the political spectrum—from Elizabeth Warren to Rand Paul. But 10 Democrats and independent Sen. Angus King joined most Republicans to kill the bill.

    Christ, what assholes.

    (…I love “congress=113” in the URL.)

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

    David @431,
    Congresses are numbered. The current Congress is the 113th Congress. It was seated on January 3, 2013 and will finally adjourn on January 3, 2015, making way for the 114th Congress. Of course, there will be a substantial overlap between the membership of the 113th and 114th Congress (some 91% of the members of the 112th Congress were seated in the 113th).

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

    Well, I borked that link.

    But yes, if you go to the official website of the House, you will see, right on the main page, that this is the second session of the 113th Congress, and that there is no sitting currently (i.e. the Congress is adjourned and no business is being conducted).

  314. David Marjanović says

    Congresses are numbered.

    I know. It’s still funny to use this for systematic URLs. :-)

  315. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Since this is Lent, and must be fish/seafood Friday, the Redhead is sending me out for a fried special: Fish, shrimp, and potatoes from a local “drive in”. I can feel the arteries clogging already….

  316. Dhorvath, OM says

    I have been discharged from bankruptcy. This means my non-secured debts are wiped as of this week. What a load. Especially frustrating given the roller coaster of answers I have received from my trustee over the past three months. Take care all, sometimes things work out okay.

  317. chigau (違う) says

    I still don’t know what that means, really, but *yay* and have some beer.

  318. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Well, I just had what I believe is my third instance of someone attempting to intimidate me by doxxing; an otherwise-reasonable commenter on Daylight Atheism who seemed to have an obsessive, almost addictive need to crow about how “AYN RAND TOTES HAD ASPERGER’S AND THAT’S WHY SHE WAS SO FUCKED UP” and went full fucking nuclear MRA-style FREEZE PEACH if you suggested this was in any way inappropriate given the way Ayn Rand’s views are received by reasonable and the way people with ASDs are stigmatized and stereotyped…especially if you weren’t calm about being, at the uttermost end of generosity, “talked about like you weren’t in the room” and arguably straight-up dehumanized.

    Adam cleaned it up quickly, thankfully, but I still feel confused and vaguely dirty.

  319. rq says

    That is… weird. And coincidental. *hugs*

    That’s good news! Yay!

  320. cicely says

    *hug* for Beatrice.

    Dhorvath, congrats on the bankruptcy discharge (which sounds…unpleasantly ooze-y). Been there and done that, and it is a relief.

    *hug, or other acceptable gestures of support and comfort* for Azkyroth, together with a *big pile of sterile wipes*.

  321. says

    bluentx @399:
    I have never made that drink, but it sounds tasty!


    Money sent your way.
    Plus an email :)


    Sorry to hear that. That sounds uncomfortable.


    Congrants on the bankruptcy discharge!

  322. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    David M – *pouncehug with American cookies*


    Also, I want cookies but we’re all out.

    *pouncehug with the rest of the cookies* Sorry this is late. Take as many as you late.

    Dutchgirl – *waves and smiles* – Good to read you again.

    The Mellow Monkey – I’m sorry about your car. I hope your jaw is better by this time, but I’m not surprised it was worse after the accident. Even if the accident didn’t hurt your jaw directly, stress definitely would. This has always been my experience with my TMJ. *gentle hugs and liquid chocolate*

    morgan ?! – Congratulations on achieving Honorary Nana status!

    Portia – *pouncehug with much chocolate* – Does JAL now have the money she needs? If not, I am happy to contribute via mail. I’ll email you at the suggested email address. Thank you for handling this, Portia.

    Gilliel – I’m very happy to hear your foot won’t need surgery. I hope you heal as swiftly and painlessly as possible. *very gentle hugs and chocolate*


    I can sing the entire commercial jingle of the newspaper that used to be the main competitor to the Post-Dispatch, although it ceased publication in 1986. Why is that still in my head?

    This is because they get burned into our brains when we are young and defenseless and our brains are sure they must be something very important, so much more important than all the things you need to remember about your life right now. Or at least that’s the way it feels to me. Sometimes I would give nearly anything to get one of those jingles out of my head. :D


    Goddamit! Rutger Hauer (Aryan uber-android in “Blade Runner”, the guy in “Split Second” who says “we need bigger fucking guns”) will be 70 this year. I am old.

    I’m old too. Rutger Hauer was also in Ladyhawke, a movie my mother is extremely fond of.

    cicely – *fuzzypouncehug with chocolate*

    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet – Hello! *waves and smiles* Pull up a chair so we can get caught up.


    Twice now my brain has read this (initially) as ‘Foghorn’. As in ‘Leghorn’…

    So did I. :D *hugs with the offer of a lovely cup of hot chocolate*

    bluetx – *return hugs*

    nutmeg – I recommend keeping a sword under or beside your bed for battle with the Red Thing, but I will allow that using a poker is also an excellent suggestion.

    I ♥ Susan.

    Dhorvath – Congratulations on your bankruptcy discharge. I’m sure you are very relieved to have it finally over.

  323. says

    Good morning and Happy International Women’s Day. The real one, not the one where conservative women pat each other on the back and clueless dudes buy more chocolates and perfume.

    Yay! for Dhorvath

    Nerd I decided to do a walking lent ;)

  324. says

    oooh, Hot Chocolate! Nom Nom (or is that ‘glug’ ‘glug’? Either way, thanks Hekuni Cat)


    Welcome to the Lounge. The bar is over there, the study is over yonder, the mad scientist laboratory is three doors down, and the kitchen isright here!

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

    Happy International Women’s Day!

    I’m angry often enough. Today, I’m going to have a lunch out with mum.

    (We never go out to eat, and we were planning to go one of these weekends Women’s Day or not, but we’re pretending we’re celebrating)

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

    Oh gad, but the standard warning of Don’t read the comments!!! applies to that article so so much.

  327. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    zacharysmith – Welcome to our lounge. Do pull up a chair. And here’s an extra *hug* just in case you need another one.

    Tony! – Perhaps it should be nom glug (and repeat as necessary). :D

  328. zacharysmith says

    Tony! Thanks for your welcome, I’m very handy in the kitchen :)

    Hekuni Cat Your hug is appreciated!

  329. says

    Welcome, zacharysmith

    Well, as I have rather more time than usually for reading atm, I started reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Glamourist” novels. While I liked the first one in a charming Jane Austen fangirl sort of way, I really enjoyed the second one because there the heroine goes out into the world more, does shit and gets into conflict with society’s expectations about women and what they should and shouldn’t do.
    And I read a bit on how she tried to keep her writing within the style of that period. For example she created her own spellchecker based on Jane Austen’s works, so if a word wasn’t in Jane Austen’s books, she would check if that word was used in the intended meaning at that time. Or whether a particular item already existed.
    Which I really like, because blunt anachronisms can really throw me off. Or when authors inflict modern day mindsets and clichés on times or places for which they would be very inappropriate, like describing a poor part of town and mentioning food rotting or broken barrels. Nope, not going to happen in a medievalish town. Food would be fed to animals, barrels are wood and metal, not waste. Or modern ideas about sex and prudery among people who all sleep in one room…

  330. carlie says

    Argh – the local hospital has started what seems to be a wonderful program – specialized volunteers for the nicu and newborn areas to do basic cuddling to keep the babies calm and happy (apart from the hard to measure possible mental benefits, at-risk babies who cry and thrash around a lot lose weight, putting them more at-risk). But they’re calling it the “mother-baby program”, which automatically alienates men and even insinuates that women who aren’t already mothers shouldn’t apply. ARGH.

  331. opposablethumbs says

    Azkyroth: my sympathies. I think I’m only lately starting to really get an inkling of the whole thing you’ve been quietly explaining to us all along, and I’d like to apologise for being so slow on the uptake.
    Dhorvath: happy discharge-from-bankruptcy week!
    Beatrice: hope hearing the teacher’s comment wasn’t an unpleasant moment. Maybe complete coincidence, though I suppose it’s not impossible that the teacher might have thought they had noticed something. Was the other person concerned at all bothered by the “example sentence” your teacher picked? I just wondered, because it’s also not impossible that hearing this could make that other person more likely to think about whether you like him, which kind of puts the notion out there without any risk on your part because you’ve totally got plausible deniability if you want it :-) So, I mean, it might not be a bad thing to have happened after all, maybe, assuming you wouldn’t mind Other Person giving this whole idea some thought? I hope everything’s cordial, anyway. A laid-back friendship would be a cool thing. And I’m sending lots of good wishes your way, for things to work out in whatever way you would be most comfortable with.
    Carlie, what a shame they’re not welcoming men. When DaughterSpawn was born, I had literally (and I mean, genuinely, literally) never held a baby in my life whereas OH had fed/changed/looked after his baby nieces and nephews for years. He did every single nappy change for the first little while (don’t remember exactly – maybe a couple of weeks?) until I got my head round it all enough to start joining in. They really should be welcoming men …

  332. blf says

    zacharysmith, The grog, keys to the Trebuchet, emergency pea repellent, and an collection of reprobates are around the corner. Over by the Möbius Strip “Thunderdome” Club — the venue for one-sided arguments — (with the slightly garish lights and yellow pig logo), just opposite the Fromagerie with the multiple penguin-holes quality kitemark of approval.

    Please do not feed the crocoducks.

    May contain nuts.

  333. carlie says

    opposeablethumbs – in the comments someone asks if men can apply and someone says yes (without saying if they actually know this for sure), so it’s even more perplexing that they’re cutting off such a source of volunteers like that. People don’t seem to understand how exclusionary language usage works, even after terms like putting “man” at the end have been expunged from common use.

  334. Bicarbonate is back says

    In case anyone is interested in seeing Deso Dog in Syria the link if I can mange it is here

    There’s a better one I can’t find in which a guy is dying and then gets buried by his fighter friends in the same romantic spirit as the waterfall video above.

  335. opposablethumbs says

    carlie 458 Funny how the MRAs never seem to notice or care that we’re actually against this kind of unthinking discrimination too …

    I’ve been reading some of the EverydaySexism entries lately, and one thing I noticed was that on the Spain page (which includes some people writing from different Spanish-speaking countries in America too) there are more men writing in to complain about discrimination than I’ve seen on the various English language pages. Some of it is absolutely serious (like male victims of domestic violence) but a great deal of it is … well lets just say that complaints about omg having to pay to get in to the disco make quite a contrast with the surrounding context, much of which consists of threatened or actual violence starting in childhood, harassment ditto, assault, workplace discrimination …
    What annoys me of course is not that men should complain of this – they’re quite right inasmuch as it’s an unacceptable practice – but that they never seem to know or care about how the system operates or why venues do this. And the fact that women are quite openly being solicited to provide an inducement for men to pay to get in (e.g. free entry and/or the first drink free only if you’re revealingly dressed …) – and they see this as a problem only for the men. Puh-leese.

  336. Bicarbonate is back says

    You can download a pdf in English of Snowden’s reply on Friday the 7th of March to questions from Euro-deputies at the end of this article in French:


  337. rq says

    Welcome, zacharysmith. Looks like you’ve received all the important information. Settle in, join whichever conversation suits you, and enjoy!

    Hekuni Cat
    Thanks for the cookies. Those were excellent. Hit just the right spot after a morning of inadvertent exercise (lemmee tell ya, they don’t build bobsleigh/skeleton tracks on flat pieces of ground, no sirree!).


    Well, I stood beside both of them for photographs, and I’m positive at least one of them felt the deep, spiritual connection and love of skeleton we share. Eldest got a giant case of shyness, though, and didn’t ask the questions he had. Ah well, next time!
    I’m disappointed the organizers didn’t let adults into the training bobsleigh for a ride, though. That looked like way too much fun to limit it to kids only!
    But: best of all, the kids behaved all morning/early afternoon. We survived! Yay!
    Now it’s sunny outside, and excuse me while I go trim hack off the rest of the roses.

  338. says

    I just had to approve a bunch of comments help up by my filters: for future reference, there are a bunch of racist epithets, slang insults for women that use body parts as pejoratives, and words like “b*tch” that are automatically kicked into a queue for review. Avoid them in general.

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


    Some of those sound really neat. Like How Not to be a Dick When You Grow Up. A guide.
    Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares is actually not a bad pun.

    Give Baldy Your Tit. What To Do With It Now That It’s Out, with that huge eyed, kinda worried looking baby seems pretty awesome. Baby’s face is saying “OMG, I’m fucked.”

  340. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Gilliel – Thank you for posting your write up about the “Glamourist” novels. They’re now at the top of my reading list. =)


    But they’re calling it the “mother-baby program”, which automatically alienates men and even insinuates that women who aren’t already mothers shouldn’t apply.

    What a stupid name. Why would you risk limiting the pool of people willing to volunteer?


    hack off the rest of the roses.

    This is my most of approach to roses. The rest is a matter of benign neglect. (I didn’t plant them; they came with the house, and generally do what they please.)

    are all of these real books

    I don’t know if they are real, but many of them look as if they were photographed in used bookstores; I saw at least one price tag, and many of the covers have the look and feel of hard cover books with dust jackets from the 1950s and 1960s.

  341. says

    kind of ‘rupt.

    Ugh, that does sound like a bad moment in class there. Best wishes regarding the association with the new person, though.

    Sympathies and *hugs* or other desired gestures of support.

    Cool. Hopefully this signals an overall improvement in your circumstances.

    I just finished the Joe Sandliands novels, a detective series set in the 20s and 30s. The author also does an excellent job with the period setting.

    About half of them I’ve seen myself on the shelves of bookstores and libraries, and I’ve actually read The Right to Arm Bears, which is a collection of short stories about the diplomatic maneuvering of a human and an alien galactic polity to gain the allegiance of the Dilbians, an alien race who resemble sapient bears (hence the title). I have no reason to suppose the remainder aren’t real as well, I’ve seen stranger titles.

  342. says

    Following up on David M.’s comment at #380:

    The Kentucky Baptist Convention wants to “point people to Christ” by giving away guns at Second Amendment Celebrations hosted across the state.

    In the words of spokesman Chuck McAlister the strategy is “outreach to rednecks,” and 1,000 people are expected to attend the next event. To lure the nonreligious into the fold, the churches are offering a handgun, shotgun, or long gun as door prizes. Winners attend church for a photo-op with their new gun, but they must pass a background check before collecting their prize. […]

    Help people discover Jesus with a gun giveaway.

  343. says

    Here are some more Baptists giving away guns (AR-15 type) to draw in new sheeple. The Baptists-and-guns story in #476 is from Kentucky. This one is from Troy, New York.
    NY Daily News link.

    Praise the Lord — and pass the ammunition!

    An upstate pastor is planning to give away an unholy raffle prize at an upcoming service: an AR-15 assault rifle.

    “We’re honoring gun owners and hunters,” the Rev. John Koletas, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Troy, told the Daily News. “And we’re being a blessing and a help to people who have been attacked, viciously attacked, by socialists and anti-Christian people — the politicians and the media.”

    In a bid to lure as many gun lovers as possible to his church, Koletas even rolled out a provocative flier advertising the high-powered giveaway.

  344. says

    A “Jesus Shot”? WTF? Literally trying to inject Jesus into patients? How is this guy a doctor?
    News 9 story from Oklahoma.

    An Edmond doctor is under fire for allegedly injecting patients across Oklahoma with a mysterious formula called the “Jesus shot.”
    Dr. John Michael Lonergan is a former federal prison inmate who was convicted of tax evasion, mail fraud and healthcare fraud in Ohio. Lonergan is also known as “Dr. Mike.”

    In 2005, the State Medical Board of Ohio permanently revoked Lonergan’s medical license following his federal convictions. After Lonergan’s incarceration, the Oklahoma Medical Board voted to allow Lonergan to practice medicine in 2012 under state supervision.

    Recent e-mails sent to News 9’s newsroom claim the doctor is actively injecting people across the state with a mysterious formula called the “Jesus shot.” News 9 tracked Lonergan to Full Circle Health in Edmond as well as Doorway To Health in Moore.[…]

    The “Jesus shot” is described as an injection that takes away pain for life. It costs $300, according to the clinic.[…]

    No word yet on the ingredients in the Jesus Shot.

  345. rq says


    The rest is a matter of benign neglect. (I didn’t plant them; they came with the house, and generally do what they please.)

    If this works for you, then that is my approach from now on. :) We inherited 50 with the house. I plan on keeping most of them alive through benign neglect. With an annual hacking in the spring.

  346. Walton says

    [Trigger warnings on all the links in this post.]

    This International Women’s Day, let’s remember the migrant women unjustly detained in immigration detention at Yarl’s Wood – including pregnant women, survivors of rape and torture, and women with disabilities. This is a place where, when a woman spoke out about her sexual assault at the hands of detention centre guards, the Home Office responded by deporting the witnesses.

    Let’s remember the women forced to relive their most traumatic experiences in the asylum interview process, only for their claims to be refused. And the lesbian and bisexual women disbelieved and put through a humiliating ordeal by the immigration system when they claim asylum.

    Today there is a petition you can sign (via Leeds No Borders) to stop the deportation of Sibo Moyo to Zimbabwe where she faces danger at the hands of the Mugabe government. Please sign.

  347. says

    More gun news, this time from Idaho:

    Idaho lawmakers on Thursday approved a measure allowing concealed guns to be carried onto university and college campuses.

    The legislation, which cleared the state House of Representatives by a 50-19 vote and was overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate last month, now heads to Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter for his signature.

    If the Republican governor signs the bill into law as expected, Idaho will be the seventh U.S. state that allows guns on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.[…]

  348. says

    Oh, Michele Bachmann, you do make me laugh. Her latest bit of dumbfuckery is to claim that conservatism is an intellectual movement.

    Warning that the government is trying to appropriate the roles of the family and the church, Michele Bachmann told CPAC attendees today that the conservative movement must fight back because it is “at its core is an intellectual movement” based “on the greatest ideas that have ever been conceived in the mind of man.”​

    She added that just as America was able to overcome other threats to its survival, “we will survive Barack Obama too.”

  349. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    We inherited 50 with the house.

    Then you have many more to contend with than I have. I generally cut them back in late fall so that the stems aren’t damaged by cold weather, or at least that’s what my sister-in-law told me to do. I wish you the best of luck with your benign neglect campaign. :D

    Walton – *pouncehug* Signed. Happy International Women’s Day!

  350. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    No word yet on the ingredients in the Jesus Shot.

    Faith, trust, and pixie dust?

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

    “Butch” Otter

    Butch Otter is anti-gay? Could someone please tell which Butch Otter we’re talking about?

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

    Welcome zacharysmith!

    I give good hug.

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

    You also give good links

  354. rq says


    cut them back in late fall

    See, this seems to be the common practice… But I bought one (1!!) book on roses, and it actually says to do the cutting back in the spring (with a moderate hack in autumn, but nothing excessive). To a length of about 6 inches. I did this last year, and for about a month, the roses looked like nothing at all, and I was terrified. But they did very well, and I was very happy with their neglected progress throughout the summer.
    So I’m just doing the same this year, and hoping that last year wasn’t an unexpectedly good year for roses.
    Then my aunt’s husband told the story of an Australian gardener’s favourite method of pruning: the chainsaw! And I feel marginally better. ;)

  355. Portia says

    I’m cleaning out my fridge.
    I hate this job.
    But there are a surprising number of blocks of cheeses that are apparently edible.
    One shelf down, three to go.

  356. rq says

    Fridge cleaning at our house? Hah. We leave things in there long enough for them to immediately meet the garbage can – none of this ‘expiry date’ and ‘still edible’ stuff.
    Also, cheese never expires. You can make wonderful mouldy cheeses in your own fridge, no French fromagerie required! Though I haven’t DNA-verified if it’s the right kind of mould. Those guests that one time never complained…
    Gooooood luck, though. :)

  357. rq says

    Hi, Dalillama! *hugs*
    (You’ve gone and done it again with the sci-fi literature. I am impressed. I hope your edumacayshun is proceeding well!)

  358. Portia says

    *hugs* Good to see you, friend. :)


    I like hearing about your rose adventures :D

  359. rq says

    The roses take vengeance on my hands. By the beginning of winter, I was insensitive to their thorns. Alas, a winter of wearing gloves has, apparently, re-sensitized my skin. But I am not to be dissuaded, as they discovered. Because I have the pruning shears. Mwahahahahaaaaaaa!!


    Also, these were kind of cool. I’m swearing off the historical or archaeological accuracy within the article, but it was a fun read. And I love finding out that ancient humans were actually a lot brighter than people assume sometimes. (Also, bonus for the article, no pyramids in the whole thing!)