[Lounge #456]


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

Reminder! You can still donate to the Stollznow legal defense fund!

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. says

    Wedding news! (sorry that this seems to be the only thing I discuss nowadays, I’m usually on Newsvine.)

    We’ve made some decisions – we found a place we really like and have a few dates ready. We’ve got to figure out the rental of chairs and tables and such and also how to take care of the alcohol (we wanted to save money by providing our own wine and beer and our caterer was happy with that – but the place we’re at requires the use of one, specific catering company for the bar.)

    I also got her a very pretty ring – a little later than the actual engagement date, but whatever.

  2. says

    Freethoughtblogs and Skepchick have been wonderful voices for me and, in my opinion, for the world. I have grown because of them. I am better because of them. I am grateful for their, your, existence.

    If I were a mystic cannibal, I would humbly ask to eat a bit of you, PZ, (after a natural end, no premature cooking options allowed) in order to envelope a part of your essence to be able to pass it on to those who would eat me. Preferably your brain, mmm, tasty PZ brains. But cannibalism is right out. Unless we’re trapped in a mountain pass or something, then feel free to survive on my frozen corpse…not that you’d need my permission at that point, but just in case you’d be conflicted, don’t worry…it’d be like giving my body to science in a way, letting a biologist survive such a tragic event. But otherwise, yeah, no cannibalism. So I’m fine with just pointing friends and family to your site, where your thoughts can be deliciously consumed through the written word and what not. But when I eat calamari, and whisper dark prayers to Cthulhu, I pretend I’m consuming the thoughts and ideas of you, PZ, gleefully.

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

    Allo! *waves*

    I went away for the weekend. It was nice. Saw friends. Ate yummy food. Fangirled in Bruce Coville’s general direction.

    Just a reminder, CaitieCat’s fund is still in need.

  4. Bicarbonate is back says

    birger 17

    Well it’s sort of uh duh that hearing loss makes people less “outgoing” but I suppose it’s positive to have the proposition actually documented. Hearing aids had no bearing on test results. I suppose that’s because they are not well-like or accepted by the elderly. I know lots of people who have hearing aids that they keep in a drawer with their socks.

  5. says

    I think Republicans have given up on increasing the number of women and minorities that vote for them. Oh, they’ll still mouth the words, but what they are actually doing, the actions they are taking, that speaks volumes.

    No policy changes to create a more diverse Republican base, instead they are just trying ever harder to restrict the numbers of likely Democratic Party voters.

    Pivotal swing states under Republican control are embracing significant new electoral restrictions on registering and voting that go beyond the voter identification requirements that have caused fierce partisan brawls.

    The bills, laws and administrative rules — some of them tried before — shake up fundamental components of state election systems, including the days and times polls are open and the locations where people vote. […] in particular cutting into weekend voting favored by low-income voters and blacks


    North Carolina is asking a federal judge to keep secret Republican state lawmakers’ communications as they pushed through the nation’s most restrictive voting law last summer.

    “They are doing everything they can to try to keep us from finding out what they did and how they did it and who was involved,” Rev. William Barber II, the president of the state’s NAACP chapter, which is challenging the law, told reporters Thursday. “It’s time for what was done in the dark to come into the light.”

    Barber’s NAACP, backed by the Advancement Project, wants access to the lawmakers’ emails and other internal communications in order to bolster the case that the law’s Republican sponsors knowingly discriminated against racial minorities. In response, the state argued late last week that the communications are protected by legislative privilege.


  6. says

    The U.S. Congress has decided to deal with climate change by having less information. They don’t want to be disturbed.

    The House will vote next week on a legislation to require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to focus its efforts on storm predictions instead of researching climate change. […]

    Specifically, the bill requires NOAA to take on the protection of lives and property as one of its core missions, and to improve weather-related research. Among other things, it creates a tornado warning program and requires development of a plan to improve tornado forecasting.[…]
    I’m all for improving forecasting, but what Republicans have done is to order improvements in forecasting at the expense of climate change research.

    The Hill link.

    Same old, same old tactics, similar to the less-information guidelines in Nebraska:

    A study on the impact of climate change on Nebraska, recently approved by the state, may not be carried out – because its own scientists are refusing to be a part of it.

    The problem, according to members of the governor-appointed Climate Assessment and Response Committee, is that the bill behind the study specifically calls for the researchers to look at “cyclical” climate change. In so doing, it completely leaves out human contributions to global warming.</blockquote

    Or, similar to this one in North Carolina:

    Under a GOP plan, officials would be prohibited from relying on the scientific evidence, and would instead have to use a historical model to set expectations. North Carolina would prepare for only 8 inches of sea level increase, since that’s what happened over the last century.

  7. says

    Apologies for borked blockquoting in #20. Still readable, I think.

    Coal ash ponds are worse than we thought, and we already knew they were bad, bad news.

    State environmental regulators announced Friday that tests of surface water found thallium, a highly toxic metal, near two coal ash ponds.

    According to a release from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, tests of surface water near coal ash ponds at Duke Energy’s Cliffside plant in Gaston County found levels of thallium that exceeded recommended water quality standards for drinking water supplies.

    Yum, thallium.

  8. ButchKitties says

    This is probably a weird question, but I can’t think of another place to ask it that has a large enough audience that I might find a yes.

    Anyone here have Essure? If so, do you like it? Pros/cons? I’m getting fixed at the end of this year (YAAAAAAAAAAAY, FINALLY!) and Essure is what my doctor is really pushing, but I don’t know anyone with personal experience with it. It’s hard to find online reviews of medical devices that aren’t sites specifically dedicated to horror stories.

  9. says

    Putting an end to some Moments of Mormon Madness on Sunday, April 6.

    Atheists of Utah, in cooperation with American Atheists, will be hosting a mass resignation event to coincide with the LDS Church’s General Conference.

    Many people confuse being “excommunicated” with resignation from the Church. Resignation is your chance to leave the LDS Church on your own terms. It’s your opportunity to let the LDS Church know that *you* don’t want to be associated with *their* false claims and bigoted views, and that you will no longer allow them to use your name as just another notch on their holy headboard.

    We’re excited to announce that American Atheists President, David Silverman, is making a special trip to Salt Lake City just for this event! […]


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

    That client story: approached a group of taxi drivers, asking if anyone knows where my client’s place is (I had only an approximate address) and one of them said “Sure, I used to work there!”.
    That was some coincidence. (or evidence of God, whichever)

  11. blf says

    …one of [the taxi drivers] said “Sure, I used to work there!”.
    That was some coincidence. (or evidence of God, whichever)

    Reptilians. Almost certainly the reptilians.

  12. says

    Good evening
    I invite any politician who thinks that Daylight Savings Time is a good idea to spend the Monday afterards with me.
    It’s quarter past eight and the kids are still awake. That’s because it’s actually quarter past seven, the time their favourite TV program is usually still on.
    I OTOH could go to bed right now, but I still have Thing To Do™
    On the good news front, my second cousin and her partner have decided that being grandparents was not enough, so they’re going to be foster parent. That’s one unlucky kid in the foster system that just got lucky.

  13. opposablethumbs says

    Snippets of good news: UK faith schools will not be allowed to delete exam questions that they don’t like on grounds of religion (questions about evolution of course …)
    And the BBC quote the British Humanist Association in the article:

    Richy Thompson of the British Humanist Association welcomed that news that schools would not be permitted to “censor exam questions”.

    “Every child has a human right to scientific knowledge, and evolution is fundamental to understanding how life came to be,” he said.

  14. says

    Finland follows the DST of major European countries namely for commerce, which is quite silly in a 24/7 global economy. And in a few weeks any argument of saving daylight can be seen to be ridiculous by simply looking out of the window.

    It doesn’t much affect me personally, though, as I mainly use the time to see if the grocery store is open.

  15. says

    I’ve talked a little bit about my issues before and I think I’ll give an update. 6+ months of therapy and I’m much better. I can actually deal with other human beings now, which is very handy. I’ve gotten the paperwork done for going back to school (I’m a graduate student of biology) and I’m going in later this week to talk to my old adviser about what thesis projects are open, so I can hopefully start on that in September.

    I’m kinda freaking out about that, since I haven’t been in that building for two years. People might just wonder where the hell I’ve been and why I disappeared with no warning. And then they’ll ask about it. Still, there’s no way around it. I figure I’ll take tomorrow to have a big, nice panic attack and then go in on Wednesday.

    This is actually a lot better than it used to be, so I’m fairly optimistic about it all.

  16. rq says

    Yay for progress!!
    I’ll have some thumbs on hold for you. I hope all goes well!!


    Heard today on the radio: “I’m not a chauvinist, but girls, grow your boobs.” Turns out it’s also the title of a song, by a new! independent! totally rad! artist – girls, grow your boobs, we’ll line you up along the border of this country, and the enemy will be so stunned by your boobs that they’ll forget themselves (general gist).
    So much wrong with the entire text and just everything.

    On the other hand, I’ve done one small part of my taxes. Sort of. Which does not follow from the previous, but it’s kinda positive news.

  17. rq says

    And forgot: I want this book. To succeed, first of all, and then just to read. We have a few lowly samples of this kind in country, and there’s something absolutely amazing about them.

  18. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Hello Pharynga-Horde!

    Long time lurker, popped up finally to hail everyone and express how lucky I feel to have found this place. Full disclosure: I’m a once-undecided-now-atheist. I also struggle mightily with depression, and for some inexplicable reason I find reading the discourse here to be an occasional soother, that brings me out of the dark grey hole of nothing. So, you didn’t know it, but you all talking intelligently and with compassion has helped a complete stranger on the Interwebs. I also take great heart in seeing how steadfastly everyone here protects those of us with horrifying triggers and life challenges.

    I’m hoping to participate more as I continue to learn from folks who possess the clarity of thought that I so wish to possess myself.

    Thank you all! JRFDeux

  19. Nutmeg says

    Congrats on progress, LykeX! On the off chance that you are a labmate of mine (your situation sounds like a labmate’s, but probably not), I promise not to ask what’s been going on. :)

  20. davidchapman says

    With reference to the Condaleeza Rice abomination, here’s some more………… Activism on Campus!:


    I’m not crazy about the article actually, which seems to want to restrict the ‘war criminal’ accusation to the issue of waterboarding, without making any sign that its authors have bothered to find out what exactly the protesting students had in mind. However I liked this bit:

    Cheney and former President George W. Bush have each canceled events in Canada after protests by human rights groups who accused the pair of war crimes, and Bush also canceled a speaking engagement in Switzerland over similar concerns.

  21. says

    In an article written for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos takes an in-depth look at the recent chemical spill in West Virginia. In doing so, he also looks at the history of “Chemical Valley” in West Virginia. This history contains details I didn’t know, and which are really telling when it comes to indicting the chemical industry for poor training of employees and for poor compliance with safety regulation (that poor compliance being aided and abetted by pro-industry legislators).

    In December, 1984, a Union Carbide pesticide plant in the Indian city of Bhopal leaked a cloud of toxic gas known as MIC, or methyl isocyanate, killing nearly four thousand people and permanently injuring more than forty-nine hundred. The West Virginia Union Carbide was Bhopal’s sister plant, the only facility in America that still produced and stored large quantities of MIC. In August, 2008, after the plant had been acquired by Bayer CropScience, undertrained workers mishandled the re-start of a sensitive production unit, triggering an explosion that killed two employees. Congressional investigators later found that the explosion at the plant “came dangerously close” to hitting a tank of the chemical that had leaked in Bhopal; if it had, they wrote, the consequences “could have eclipsed the 1984 disaster in India.”

    Worse than in Bhopal?! Holy crap.

  22. cicely says

    Relax, Kevin! Weddings are attention-consuming events to plan. Of course yours is much on your mind!
    Share your enthusiasm with us!

    Chickpeas are not true peas.
    It’s like with zebras, and Horses—similar, but not the same.

    rq, oops, indeed!
    I am reminded of the time my dad had to come get me from college (on accounta my car, the aptly-named ‘Detritus’, refused to move, for no obvious reason a-tall), and half-way home, I mentioned that I was smelling an odd smell. He immediately pulled us onto the shoulder, and just as we stopped, the right front wheel of the pickup truck just snapped right off.
    Coulda been bad.

    LykeX, take this *hug* with you when you go…for encouragement and solidarity.

    Hi, jrfdeux, mode d’emploi; Welcome In! Don’t be a stranger on the Interwebs!

    A victim of the Boston Marathon bombing is suing Glenn Beck for defamation and slander

    May he soon own Glenn Beck’s skivvies.

  23. opposablethumbs says

    jrfdeux, it’s good to meet you. Help yourself to a drink and pull up a chair – we have grog, rum, whisky, beer, mate, Nice Cups of Tea, tisanes, vin, fromage and of course MUSHROOMS (blf will issue details and appropriate warnings). Beware of the peas and of course the HORSES (I’m in the anti-pea, pro-horse camp myself, but we have to tread carefully around here). If you’re good at pictionary, you may need to watch your step around Portia and Tony who are both, simultaneously, undisputed world champion.

  24. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says


    Here’s to you! I was in a similar situation but I never found my way back.

    And here’s to everyone who manages to work their way through the thickets of a disturbed mind. Be it to the sunny open spaces, or even just to some semblance of functional, dappled and dark though it may be.

    When we’re presented with a physical threat the vast majority of us respond as our successful ancestors did: instinctively, no thought required. But what do we do when that threat is inside our skull, when it is in fact our thoughts that threaten to devour us? When it’s not something that a sudden adrenaline sprint could leave behind?

    The readily available choices range from suck to disaster. For myself I climbed half into a the bottle and only the dumb luck of an extremely bad example in my life allowed me to climb back out. Mind you, the voluntary isolation I chose as a second self-treatment wasn’t much better, though it did have the advantage of leaving me with a healthy liver. I mention this not for the sake of sympathy, but to amplify what I’m about to say.

    To everyone who fights back against the myriad ways our brains try to drag us down: you amaze me.

    Such feats should be celebrated in the manner of the deeds of ancient heroes. Publicly, epically and immortally. And until that recognition is chiselled in to marble and distilled into song as it ought to be all I can offer you is my love, support, and sympathy, always and in all ways.

    Be well my friends and know that you are never alone.

  25. says

    I just wanted to drop in to say hi to everyone. Seeing the link to the indego link showing Karen Stollznow got her funds and reading the great responses fill me with hope/joy/faith in humanity.

    I’m a lurker (since 2010? wow it’s been a while) and once-in-a-blue-moon commenter. I’ve only commented in the lounge a few times and don’t regularly read it because the length/number of comments is daunting, so I don’t expect people to remember me. Like fizzygoo above, I feel that reading Pharyngula has helped me grow, as well as introduce me to other great material (Discworld, Sinfest, and Captain Awkward by proxy of other people involved in FTBCon). I also recently friended Sally Strange on facebook (*waves* if you see this) and am excited to meet (and befriend, with time) interesting people. I’d like to get more involved in events and things in about a month when I have a life again. (Finishing teaching credential program!)

    Congrats Kevin on your upcoming wedding! Yay for happy happenings on Pharyngula =)

    (I’ll probably be reading this thread sporadically, so it’s likely I’d miss stuff.)

  26. mikeyb says

    If you get the chance, watch this thoughtful but thorough take down of libertarianism, of a relatively articulate libertarian BTW.

  27. says

    Me, after “huffing”* the cat — “Oh, dear god, WHAT DID YOU GET INTO?”

    Seriously, she got into something funky today, it’s making me all stuffy and itchy.

    *Bury face in fur, inhale. Belly nuzzles optional.

  28. Crudely Wrott says

    Well, dadburn the dadgum dadrat, Now don’t that just blow down yer corral and run yer horses off?

    Gonna miss that loco PhysioProffe feller. Maybe he’ll show up workin’ for that Cracked outfit over in Wassname County. Aww, heck!

    *kicks at tumbleweed, hits hidden rock, hops about holdin’ foot and a’ ki-yi-yi-in’ like a whipped pup*

  29. opposablethumbs says

    Hi Jaimie – I know what you mean, this place does that for me too :-)

  30. says

    Thanks, everybody. The panicking is proceeding on schedule. I’ll leave a stack of hugs here, so grab one when you pass by.

  31. bassmike says

    LykeX The best of luck! In my experience, when you’ve been away for a while and return people generally say they’re glad you’re back. Very few, if any, will ask why you were away.

    jrfdeux, mode d’emploi welcome! You’re right that the lounge is a very supportive group. That’s why I finally got up the courage to join in. I’ve not regretted it. Grab a drink, have a complementary *hug* and enjoy yourself. You can always move to the quiet corner while the bass players are playing and avoid the MDP – which is easy of you don’t touch the cheese!

    Jamie welcome (back)! Stick around and join in.

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

    @rq, 55:

    Yeah, that’s what I thought…particularly since I had a husky until recently. I loved seeing HappyHuskyFace every time, regardless of the quality of the pun.

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

    @LyleX – We’re all here for you, and many of us have been where you are. Lean on us, when you need. Or just hide in your sofa-cushion fort and we can send you what you need by pulley.

    @Kevin – Yay for strong, loving relationships! HappyHappy!

    @Jrfdeux – I see you’ve already been offered the grog. Watch your cup. The Scum and Villainy in this Hive are likely to casually poor the contents of your mug into theirs. The Villainy is especially adept at poaching rum.

    @Jamie – You’re not unknown around here. I don’t remember when it was, but I remember someone just named “Jamie” writing about depression and family members. True, I only really remember it b/c I wondered if you were a Jamie I knew (though IIRC I decided you weren’t…but I don’t remember what evidence I used to make that decision) and because depression is a topic that’s important in my life. So I’m sure not everyone remembers, but I do [Unless that was a different Jamie], and I can’t be the only one.

    Post as rarely as you like, when someone takes the risk of really sharing here, you’re part of the Horde indefinitely. Pull up a chair and a pot of tea, bag of chocolates, or cask of rum as you prefer.

  34. rq says

    What do you call a first-time performance of a musical piece in English? The word(s) is (are) escaping me. Something other than debut.

  35. says

    There are moments my huband is lucky not to live here.
    Like the moment I open a letter from the fiscal agency to find out that instead of getting a few hundred bucks back as usually, we owe taxes for 2011. Because his tax accountant retired and in the last two years he was not able (i.e. he did not try) to find a new one. Well, I never knew we were that rich so we could donate money to the government!
    Holy shit, I’m doing the lioness share of this family work already, am I asking too much if I expect him to do the fucking taxes?

    Hello and welcome (back) JRFDeux and Jamie

    April’s Fool joke at the school I’m currently as an intern: They put an official looking note in one of the teacher’s inbox telling her that next school year she’d be at a different school. They also added a phone number and another teacher answered it as somebody from the ministry.
    We could hear her laughing for 15 minutes once the whole thing got cleared up.

  36. rq says

    New birds at the bird feeder today. Lots of fighting and fluttering about. Until the giant jay came along, haha, and they all scattered.

    [/pointless short story]

  37. carlie says

    Around here, jays are notoriously shy.

    Wow, I didn’t know that! I thought all jays were the assholes of the bird world. I guess some species aren’t.

  38. says

    I thought so too. The jays around here are total jerks.

    Today is the second day of the term, and right on cue my ulcer flares up. I woke up with a stomach full of bile but I can’t afford to not go to class; I’ll be having enough trouble keeping up as it is.

  39. says

    Urgh, sorry, that sucks. Hope you get better soon.

    re: birds
    Yeah, I think that your jays and my jays are not quite the same.

    I’m trying to read Thunderdome, but my day has been limited to 24 hours…

    Also, I never ever become one of those teachers who need to insert themselves in every single conversation they are not involved in in order to lecture people.
    This morning in the staff kitchen I told my friend that the little one was a “pain in the ass” (I used the English expression. Some English teacher overheard that and “volunteered” to tell me that “pain in the neck” is much nicer, especially when talking to a class.
    I thanked her politely and explained that I
    -was not talking to a class
    -she didn’t witness my child this morning.
    She totally was a pain in the ass.

  40. says

    (TMI warning). This definitely sucks. I’ve been intermittently throwing up bile since I got up, and I don’t think I’ll be able to eat anything before I have to go to classes.

  41. chigau (違う) says

    If you got them, plain soda crackers, nibbled with your front teeth.
    Flat ginger ale, sipped no more than a teaspoon at a time.

  42. says

    Conservatives in Oklahoma are getting their way in at least one hospital. Doctors have been forbidden to prescribe any kind of contraception if that contraception is to be used for birth control.

    Some Bartlesville women are taking issue with a recent directive prohibiting doctors affiliated with Jane Phillips Medical Center from prescribing contraceptives, saying the decision is not only an affront to women but could have an economic impact by driving patients away from local doctors.

    Confidential sources told the Examiner-Enterprise this week that a meeting was held Wednesday to inform local doctors of gynecology and obstetrics that they can no longer prescribe contraceptives of any kind — if they are to be used as birth control. […]


  43. says

    This a follow up to comment #76: The hospital in question is the only health care provider in Bartlesville. I think it’s likely that Bartlesville is going to see an epidemic of endometriosis and other conditions for which birth control pills can be prescribed.

    […] “We have one hospital and when that hospital refuses services that almost half the population wants, due to its religious beliefs, it forces money to leave Bartlesville.”

    A representatives for St. John Health System, the Catholic health conglomerate that owns Jane Phillips Medical Center, said that the new policy is “consistent with all Catholic health care organizations” and “in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities.” […]

    Nearly half of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the nation are Catholic; 1 in 6 American patients currently receive care in a Catholic hospital.

    I will just add that a lot of these Catholic hospitals receive public money in one form or another. Are you willing to have your tax dollars support hospitals that practice medicine according to religious doctrine instead of abiding by best medical practices?

  44. opposablethumbs says

    Dalillama, I’m really sorry – that sounds like some very nasty shit. Anything else you can take for it? Is this the kind of thing where alkaline OTC remedies are any help at all, or are they useless? I hope you get some relief soon.

  45. David Marjanović says

    *pops in*

    From the previous thread:

    Knight=armored shock troops. That’s what the word means, in a military context (OK, technically the etymology actually means ‘member of an aristocrat’s fighting tail/warband’ but the role of said warbands is heavily armored shock troops, so it amounts to the same thing).

    Etymology? Do you really want to go there? :-)

    It shares a common ancestor with the German word Knecht, which means “farmhand”, more poetically “oppressed servant”. The idea behind “knight” is exaggerated emphasis on the fact that a knight is a vassal to a higher lord; becoming a knight used to involve a whole lot of kneeling, not all of it directly before God. I wonder if it was originally a self-designation used to convey false humility.

  46. opposablethumbs says

    Glad you’ve got some mitigation, at least, Dalillama. Hope this flare-up (if that’s the right word) subsides soon!

  47. cicely says

    *hugs* for Dalillama.
    If I had any possibly-useful advice, I’d lay it on you.
    But I don’t.

    *flying-tackling-pouncehug covered in blueberry preserves*
    That is clearly a Peachy-Salmon Jay—not a Blue Jay at all.

  48. blf says

    With the mildly deranged penguin somewhere out there, routine Universe maintenance tasks she used to do aren’t getting done. So, for example, this year the National Trust in the UK had to adjust the various stone circles (henges) to take into account Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time), Putting the clock forward at Avebury Stone Circle.

  49. rq says

    Whelp, we’ve got David’s sort of jays, and they’re assholes, though less assholish than the blue jays I grew up with. And they’re just much larger than all the other birds at the feeder, who scatter out of respect. The hawfinch was hogging all the seeds anyway.

  50. says

    $49,000+ for Dr. Stollznow!
    I haz joy in my heart :)

    Now to catch up on the Lounge!



    Wedding news! (sorry that this seems to be the only thing I discuss nowadays, I’m usually on Newsvine.)

    I’m happy to read your comments about the impending wedding.
    Congrats on finding a place *and* a ring!


    Esteleth @13:
    Thanks for the reminder about CaitieCat. I am having trouble filling out that GoFundMe form (I can’t seem to access the drop down list of states). Is there another way to get money to her?


    LykeX @30:
    I’m glad the therapy has seen positive results for you!



    Long time lurker, popped up finally to hail everyone and express how lucky I feel to have found this place. Full disclosure: I’m a once-undecided-now-atheist. I also struggle mightily with depression, and for some inexplicable reason I find reading the discourse here to be an occasional soother, that brings me out of the dark grey hole of nothing. So, you didn’t know it, but you all talking intelligently and with compassion has helped a complete stranger on the Interwebs. I also take great heart in seeing how steadfastly everyone here protects those of us with horrifying triggers and life challenges.

    Welcome to the Lounge. We’re happy to have you.

    Also, your comments have brought tears to my eyes. Good tears, mind you. I’m so happy that this place has provided support and help to you.

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

    Earlier, I ferried some money from various people in Europe – if you PayPal me money, I’ll send it on.

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

    Nym at the google.

  53. carlie says

    The banner ad at the top of the page is a tea ad: good.

    The tea being peddled includes gendered varieties of “Man tea” and “Her tea”. BAD. VERY BAD.

  54. rq says

    *hugs* and I hope things settle soon (especially the bile!). *hugs*

    Also, I’ve certainly missed pieces of news on here today, please know I did read and I extend a welcome to all new/returning peoples, and generally offer my support and *hugs* to everyone. Brain’s being a bit flighty, is all. Sorry about that.

  55. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The tea being peddled includes gendered varieties of “Man tea” and “Her tea”. BAD. VERY BAD.

    “Cream and sugar?”

  56. says

    Here’s an update on Republican efforts to disenfranchise voters:

    Republicans like to think of themselves as the Christian party, so it never entirely made sense that they oppose what’s become known as “Souls to the Polls,” a big push by black churches on the Sundays before Election Day to bring worshippers directly from the pews to the polls in states with early voting. But of course they oppose it, because their love of Jesus comes second to their love of discouraging African-Americans from exercising their right to vote. […]

    See the linked article for details:

  57. rq says

    It still makes me giggle when people write the phrase “the servicing of passengers” in translations. [/dirty minds]
    Makes me wonder what kind of a racket this Estonian railway is running…

  58. says

    Trouble with charter schools in NYC:

    […] Contrary to popular myth, the charter schools are more racially segregated than public schools and have performed no better than the public schools on the most recent state tests. But what they have behind them is vast resources, and de Blasio capitulated.

    The underlying question remains: How did a privately managed school franchise that serves a tiny portion of New York’s students manage to hijack the education reforms of a new mayor with a huge popular mandate? […]


  59. rq says

    So, Sir Anthony Hopkins composes (and no, he ain’t decomposing yet). I’m not sure if it’s an April Fool’s or not, as it appeared in Latvian news as a recent premiere, yet the album this piece appears on was released in 2011, and earlier articles make no mention of the 50 year waiting period supposedly endured by Sir Hopkins. Doesn’t really matter, anyway, it’s a rather nice piece. With background dancers.
    (Bonus: I listened to the intro in German without reading the subtitles, and I understood it!)

    Anyway, that’s my good night to y’all!
    *pile of hugs and thumbs*

  60. says

    Jafafa Hots from When will this situation improve?

    so BTW, anyone in the market for three recumbents and several other oddball human-powered vehicles?

    I would be, if I had the money to be in the market for anything much right now.

  61. Portia says

    I’ve been there, with migraines. :( I hope you feel better by now, I’ve been outta the loop for a bit



    *hugs* and well wishes

    Kevin: It’s a big stinking deal for you right now!! :D :D :D

    I want to go to bed right now, at about 6:45..nope it’s 7 now…that means I’m already late for the fire department meeting. Sigh. Here I go.

  62. chigau (違う) says

    During Library Duty we watched this
    (in Japanese with subtitles)
    (we’re all studying Japanese)
    There was not a dry eye in the room.

    The description in the Wikipedia article doesn’t do it justice.
    I loved this movie.
    it passes the Bechdel test with flying colours.

  63. says

    Seconding Chigau’s recommendation. It is an excellent film. My brother spent several years teaching English in Iwaki (the town in which the movie takes place), and made us all watch it.

  64. A. Noyd says

    Wow, is this guy’s attitude familiar or what? He’s a Virginia state delegate responding to a constituent who called him on his bullshit:

    “Pitiful because I am willing to enter a dialogue with you?” he wrote. “All you liberals are the same. As soon as someone doesn’t agree with you, you shut down communication, call the other side names, take your ball and go home. I understand and am saddened by this approach at the federal level … but your reaction below is THE problem. I did not have to write you back … but I did. I think discussing differences is the only way to solve problems.”

  65. Pteryxx says

    Mississippi right-wing legislators have snuck their Arizona-style religious discrimination bill through both the House and Senate as a last-minute surprise, after a single day – total – of debate.

    After simultaneous debate in both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature Tuesday, state lawmakers approved a religious freedom bill that some have argued could lead to discrimination against LGBT people and others.

    First in the House, the bill passed 79-43, and later, Senate lawmakers approved the bill with a wide majority. Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to sign the bill into law.


    The approved bill, the latest of a series of versions over the last three months, emerged from a small committee of House and Senate lawmakers just minutes before a Monday night deadline, surprising some who thought it was stalled for this session.

    Buzzfeed, see also DailyKos.

    From Deep South Progressive:

    New to the bill is this, found in lines 16-18 of Section 1:

    (b) Laws “neutral” toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise; (c) Government should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;

    The target of this section seems to make it clear that the bill is meant to reach far beyond just attacking LGBT rights. In fact, it seems to hint at a case before the Supreme Court right now, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby.

  66. Crudely Wrott says


    New to the bill is this, found in lines 16-18 of Section 1:

    (b) Laws “neutral” toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise; (c) Government should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;

    this is just more of same old same old.

    What boggles is that we got people who claim to have the greatest guy in the universe firmly on their side, answering prayers left, west and crooked, performing miracles at a breakneck pace and healing the sick and weary like Florence Nightingale could only imagine in a fever dream and still . . .

    . . . they gotta get special favor from the nearest legislature in order to feel secure.

    What the fuck is up with that? Is their dog awesome or not?!
    *the question is mere rhetoric and, of course, answers itself*
    I go bed now and read about Bohr and Heisenberg and Schrodinger till my lids droop. Scripture enough for me, boy howdy.

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

    Ahoy there, Horde.
    Another long-time lurker (though occasional commenter of the once-a-year variety >.>) who wants to offer a massive thanks to you all for being the kind of people that you are.
    I guess this partly comes up because I’m home for the holidays from uni, and my parents are fairly christian, and I tend to find myself wandering all round FTB, partly for something to do, and partly to remind myself that, no, it wouldn’t be easier to just convert back and be xtian instead of just pretending a bit to my parents as I currently do.
    You have a massive role in reminding me that re-converting would be fake and untenable with my current knowledge of science/philosophy, and you help me through this every time it comes up, even if you don’t know it, just by being amazing people.
    So yeah, thanks for that <3

  68. Portia says

    Those right wing fantasies drive me booooonkers on facebook.

    Yesterday my bosses decided that I’ve done well enough assisting with the work for a big client, that I should be solely responsible for the big client’s work.

    It’s especially gratifying because the male attorneys in court for this stuff always ask me where my boss is, or when he’ll be back. Now I’ll just tell them I’m the boss.

  69. opposablethumbs says

    Go Portia! ::clenched tentacle salute:: Love it that you’ll be telling ’em that :-)))))

    Hi Sarahface, good to see you! Hope the dreaming spires are treating you well (I seem to remember that it was the dreaming spires, wasn’t it? Or was it the Other Place ;-) ? ) Hang in there, re your parents; I can’t speak from experience in this regard as mine were never xtian, but I gather this situation often gets better and I hope it does for you.

  70. rq says

    Go, Portia! :D That is the most awesome.

    Halloo! If you feel like sticking around, pull up a chair, sit back, relax, enjoy the music or play some of your own, and comment as much as you are comfortable with. Tony mixes a great drink, if that’s your style, and there are always some cookies or cake about, if it hasn’t been eaten. I think it’s been said before, but stay away from the Cheese – the MDP hasn’t been seen in a while, but you never know. Eventually you’ll be forced to take sides in the Pea-Rift and the Horse-Rift, but for now, welcome! :)
    And don’t worry, we’ll keep you god-free! ;)

  71. rq says

    (re: religious parents, yeah… I can sympathize with that, definitely. It’s not easy.)

  72. bassmike says

    Hello Sarahface and welcome. rq has done all the necessary introductions, so join in, or just lurk if you’re happier.

    Apropos nothing at all: my car broke down on the way to work. It stalled and wouldn’t restart at the most awkward junction possible! The AA man came and used his battery and it started again. Then it continued to work. Now I’ve no clue whether the problem will re-occur or not! I hate these types of problem.*

    * I know it’s a first world/ privilege issue. But I’m going to whinge anyway :-P

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

    rq, opposablethumbs
    Thanks :)
    It is not, in fact, the dreaming spires – I spend my term-times in a small city in the North-East. But I am at a university with a college system. Happily, this is a long distance away from my family, thus I have 30-odd weeks of the year where I don’t have to go to church or worry about accidentally saying the wrong thing in front of my parents (except during the weekly catch-up) or spend all my time on ftb looking over my shoulder to check that no one’s looking at my laptop screen >.>
    And it should do, I’m just waiting till I’m financially independent and out from under their roof full-time until I drop that (probably minor) bombshell – just in case things do, in fact, go belly up.

    Yay, Portia! That is the stuff of which badassery is made.

  74. opposablethumbs says

    I am at a university with a college system.

    Ah, sorry – maybe you mentioned that in passing, way back when, and I got confused (my getting confused is easily done!). Sounds like a great place to be (and long distance from family can be a major plus, of course!). Hope the whole uni thing is going really well for you – it’s not easy, there’s so much to adapt to and work out – and that there are plenty of like-minded people around to share with/learn from/do stuff with and all those good things.

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

    opposablethumbs –
    I think I did mention it in passing, but was being quite circumspect about which specific university I meant, thus leading to your confusion.
    It’s going reasonably well, thanks – I love my course (yay) and majorly enjoy being surrounded by people for whom non-belief is the norm. :)

  76. rq says

    Our car has been doing that for a while now (and no, it’s not the battery and no, it’s not the cold), since the last overhaul, but we’ve been putting off taking it in for a check-up, because $$$. :/ I hope it’s nothing serious with yours!

  77. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    [sticks head into the lounge]
    [notices bassmike]
    [drags in his amp, sets up, plugs in and settles down to add a high, off-beat chord to the riddem.]

  78. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Cars are evil in a way that horses can only dream grassy little dreams about.

  79. bassmike says

    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) a jam session – yay! Haven’t had one for ages.

    Cars are indeed evil. I’m sure sapient pearwood is involved in their manufacture as the choose the worst place/time to fail.

    rq my horse-substitute is due a service at the end of the month. Hopefully it’ll keep going till then.

  80. says

    Hi Sarahface!
    Hang in there, college breaks don’t last forever, college doesn’t last forever.

    re: cars
    I’ll never get used to an automatic. I want my manual back.

    No tone-trolling in the staff room today. That’s at least something

  81. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Last time I drove an automatic I nearly put my head through the windscreen the first time I slowed down. I stamped on the brake with my left foot in unnecessary preparation for the downshift. Mind you, I’m a shit driver who was 42 when he bought his first motor vehicle.

  82. birgerjohansson says

    New Law in Saudi Arabia Labels All Atheists as Terrorists http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/04/01/a_new_terrorism_law_in_saudi_arabia_targets_atheists_and_dissent_of_all.html
    Ha! I am finally an official terrorist!

    — — — — — —
    Australian Professor Thinks Oz Needs Two New Seasons: Sprinter and Sprummer http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/04/01/sprinter_sprummer_australian_professor_tim_entwisle_wants_two_new_seasons.html

    — — — — — —
    Video: A 500 mph Helicopter? http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/helicopters/video-500-mph-helicopter
    If you want to go directly to the Youtube video, cut and paste the address
    http://www.youtube.com/ watch?feature=player_embeded&v=0_35146K1rg (I split it in half to prevent the video to pop up in the thread, burning bandwith )

    I first read an article about this concept in a 1994 article in New Scientist –they have had great problems with funding since, and had to progress at a snail’s pace but they have finally proven their second prototype workable.
    -Something for bassmike?

  83. rq says

    Canada was all about automatics when I was learning to drive (and still is). Luckily, my dad insisted we all learn to drive on a manual (we still called it standard shift!), just so we would know, whether we drove manual later on or not. Funny, it was a weird proud sort of sense of accomplishment with which I completed all my driving exams on a manual car; high school friends were very impressed.

    But yeah, our current nag has been suffering from unidentified issues lately. It’s already had three major and unexpected (and expensive) overhauls in the past eight months or so, so we’re hesitant about bringing it in once more (it and the chimney are the reason why the upstairs bathroom is STILL nonextant), at least not until our tickets to Canada have been bought (and YES, I’ve been delaying that too, due to taxes and it must be done soon).
    Oh my, look at that first-world whining. :/

    Anyhoo, any chance of joining in the jam session?
    We may have a new violin joining the family soon (half-size, but still, I have a hard time resisting cheap instruments when they’re offered).

  84. bassmike says

    rq all are welcome in the lounge jam session. Pick up an instrument or sing. I warn you they con go on for a long time!

    Second whinge of the day: I am asked to fix a PC for someone; spend the best part of the day on and off looking at it. Finally show the person the PC now working. His question: how did that happen? My (internal) reply: how do you think: Sid the wily dairy gnome fixed it? Grrrr, why do I help some people?

  85. says

    Well, I’m not at risk of accidentially using my left foot *grumblegrumble*
    But yeah, I always drove a manual. Automatics are not big in Germany. They were in fashion some time in the 70s when my mum in law learned driving, which is why my in laws have one for which I’m grateful.
    But it’s so damn unelegant and honestly, my stomach dislikes that it can’t calculate beforehand when the car is going to slow down in order to shift gears. And since the automatic doesn’t know how the road is going to be it always does so at the wrong moment.
    Well, 2-4 weeks, right? Let’s hope for 2 weeks. I don’t want to drive that car on the Autobahn twice a day.

  86. says

    birger @130, sitting on one’s friends looks like fun. I suppose you don’t have to be a pit bull to enjoy that.

    birger @131, when the Saudis decided to label atheists as terrorists they were, according to the article, reacting in part to the ongoing civil war in Syria. Looks to me like the worst of the worst in the civil war all claim some sort of religious affiliation. This is very confusing. I guess taking the “any dissent of any kind is bad” approach you could sort of explain the catch-all law.

  87. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Fucking hell. Almost got into an accident today taking my daughter to school today. :(

    I was in the left most regular traffic lane, going about 50 in a 65 zone because of matching my speed to traffic, trying to get over into the carpool lane, with a dipshit motorcyclist just sorta hanging out there on my flank going about 54 in the carpool lane, and I was having to repeatedly shift my attention back and forth between the traffic in front of me and said idiot cyclist while he slowly, lazily, quite by accident made room for me, and just as I just about ready to do a final check over my shoulder and change lanes, I glance forward, and I’m roaring up on the red pickup truck ahead of me at about 35mph relative velocity, and I miss striking it by about a foot as I change lanes RIGHT THAT FUCKING SECOND. And notice as I blaze past and lean on the horn that the pickup is tailgating a red sedan, which is crawling along with a good 15 car lengths of free space ahead of it, a gap that is widening, in the leftmost regular traffic lane on the fucking expressway, going 20mph tops, while traffic’s moving at a reasonable-for-congested pace all around it..

    Is there some reason we can’t stick these people’s heads on pikes by the freeway as a warning to others? It’s not like they’d miss them…

  88. says

    Duke, DENR kept potential impacts of coal ash dam breaches secret.

    How did they do it? They claimed that making the information public would aid terrorists and would hamper anti-terrorism efforts. Hmmm. Oddly reminiscent of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to brand all atheists as terrorists.

    Duke Energy and North Carolina environmental regulators worked together to come up with this scheme to hide the dangers of coal ash ponds from residents of North Carolina. That’s right, the industry and the so-called regulators worked together to reduce regulation. Nearby communities were left in the dark, unable to plan for dam breaches.

  89. says

    Despite having a drivers license for 20 years I’ve never owned a car, and have driven less than a few hudred kilometres a year. Trying something different, like an automatic transmission, would be courting with disaster.

  90. Bicarbonate is back says

    Well, looks like the Karen fund will get up to 200% of what she asked for. My Paypal recap shows I donated to Karenina Stollznow. I wonder if that is a pseudo or her real name. Karenina is more fitting for someone her age as most Karens in the U.S. are 50 and older. That’s why the first time I read her name I imagined her as a 60 year old woman with yellow-green swimmer’s hair and big arm muscles — hair and arms like the swimming Karens I knew in grade school.

  91. Bicarbonate is back says

    Anyway, came here to post this :

    Dear Horde,

    You probably know that McDonald’s and other fast food chains don’t pay us enough to make ends meet. You know what’s worse? When they steal from us on top of that.

    They call it wage theft but I call it getting robbed on the job when we are forced to work off the clock or denied breaks during long shifts.

    We have to speak out now to stop it. That’s why I started my own campaign on CREDOMobilize.com, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to McDonald’s Corporation, says the following:

    I call on McDonald’s to pay all employees the wage they deserve – and ensure that no employee is having their pay withheld illegally. No one deserves to be robbed by their boss – it’s time to make sure every McDonald’s employee receives the legal wage they deserve.

    Tell McDonald’s: Guarantee every employee is paid the legal wage they deserve.

    When I was living out of my car in the parking lot of the very McDonald’s where I worked, I was also a victim of wage theft. It’s so infuriating to see it’s happening to other workers across the country, but it’s not surprising.

    A new poll found that 89% of fast food workers say it happens to them. How many fall short of paying rent or can’t afford groceries because they weren’t paid overtime or were made to work off the clock? Even one is too many.

    If we stole $20 from the cash register, we’d be fired and our employers would not hesitate to call the cops. If McDonald’s and the other big chains steal thousands from their employees, they get away with it and corporate executives might even see a bonus. That’s why workers in New York, California, and Michigan brought lawsuits against McDonald’s – charging that they have been forced to work hours off the clock and have been refused overtime….

    You can sign it here.

    Would also be a good place to send the next Libertarian when he claims that people are always free to refuse a job that doesn’t pay enough.

  92. rq says

    I’m fine with lengthy jam sessions. I’ll just quietly stumble along in the background here at work. ;)

  93. says

    New laptop, and it’s a lovely one. 17.3″, core i5, 8G, 1T. Lousy keyboard, though. Hope it lasts for seven+ years like the last one did (it’s still alive, I installed Linux Mint to be rid of XP).

  94. says

    And … the rich just got more powerful.

    […] McCutcheon has now struck down overall limits on individual campaign contributions. This latest outburst of judicial activism in the struggle to render campaign finance laws completely toothless is merely accelerating a historical process that is coming to seem almost inevitable.

    To see why, consider the practical implications of the theory that weak or nonexistent limits on campaign finance will allow the rich to transform what is putatively a democratic republic into an unapologetic plutocracy. […]

    If the Koch brothers want the First Amendment to mean that rich people have a constitutional right to buy unlimited political influence, they and their ilk will use their wealth to eventually bring about the social and political conditions that will guarantee that five people who sincerely agree with them on this point will be sitting on the Supreme Court.

    <a href="http://www.salon.com/2014/04/02/supreme_courts_abomination_how_mccutcheon_decision_will_destroy_american_politics/"Salon link.

  95. says

    Discussing the fact that 7.1 million people have enrolled in Obamacare is dominating the news cycle today.
    It’s kind of amusing to watch Fox News anchors go from repeating the sound bites about how horrible, bloody awful, Obamacare is to complaining that not enough of the uninsured have gotten coverage. Their heads must be spinning like a Fox News version of The Exorcist.

    Yes, the picture could be rosier.

    […] Imagine if all 50 states had implemented their own exchanges, instead of just 17 of them. Imagine if all 50 states had expanded Medicaid, instead of just 27. Imagine if a well-funded noise machine, from Fox to Rush to the online swarm hadn’t publicized every glitch and every allegation of someone losing their insurance, often fabricating the problems, sometimes lying outright, while ignoring every positive story.

    It’s absolutely true that this first enrollment period still leaves most of the uninsured without insurance. Still, at least 9.5 million of the uninsured now have care, thanks to the state and federal exchanges, Medicaid expansion and people buying coverage privately. (On Fox, Charles Krauthammer simply lied when he says it’s only 1 million.) It must be noted that states that built their own exchanges and expanded Medicaid did much better when it comes to covering the uninsured. The Los Angeles Times estimates that at least 27 percent of the newly insured were previously uninsured; in Kentucky, it’s 75 percent and in New York it’s 70 percent. If Republican governors and legislatures hadn’t sabotaged the program in roughly half the states, we would see numbers like that nationwide. […]

    I live in one of the states that refused the Medicaid expansion, and that refusal negatively affects my health.

  96. Pteryxx says

    Giliell, good luck!


    How to single-handedly erase traffic jams by driving slow[ly]


    and in more Republican sneak legislature: (bolds mine)

    Louisiana house passes omnibus abortion bill

    The Louisiana house passed an omnibus bill Monday, without discussion or debate, that would severely restrict access to reproductive health care and could close three of the five abortion clinics in the state.

    The house passed HB 388, sponsored by Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe), by a vote of 85 to 6. The legislation, which is similar to measures passed in Oklahoma and Texas, would require abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they provide abortions. And it would impose a 24-hour waiting period on surgical abortions (a measure already in place for medication abortions in the state).

  97. says

    More detail on the Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission:

    […] In their dissent, the court’s four liberal justices called their colleagues’ logic “faulty” and said it “misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake.” The dissent continues, “Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”

    The decision is a boon for wealthy donors, a potential lifeline for the weakened Democratic and Republican parties, and the latest in a series of setbacks dealt by the Roberts court to supporters of tougher campaign laws. […]

    Politically active rich people will benefit from being able to now contribute as much as $3.5 million to candidates.


  98. says

    Ugh. Inattentive drivers like that are the absolute worst.

    Weed Monkey #138

    Best of luck

    Last night I sent in my first effort at professional writing, to a gaming magazine. I’m waiting to hear back.

  99. rq says

    *extra thumbs* for you, too! Hope they accept.
    You’re really brave, you know that? (At least, that’s how I see it, since I doubt anyone would ever want to read anything I write/wrote and I doubt I’ll ever get the guts to send anything out.) *hugs*

  100. cicely says

    Hi, Sarahface!


    It’s especially gratifying because the male attorneys in court for this stuff always ask me where my boss is, or when he’ll be back. Now I’ll just tell them I’m the boss.

    *high eight*
    :) :) :) :) :)

    Commiserations, bassmike, on your vehicular misfortune. It sounded…strangely familiar.

    Azkyroth, I’m glad you didn’t have an accident!
    For Driving Fools, I favor the Acme Hood-Mounted Disintegrator. Just one *zap!*, and it’s all over but the driving through their monatomic dust.
    Also, rotting heads are unsanitary.
    And draw vultures.

    Good luck, Giliell!

  101. opposablethumbs says

    Good luck, Giliell! And good luck Dalillama! – I hope you both knock all their socks off. Every single sock.

  102. chigau (違う) says

    I’m seeing a ad for “new music from Michael Jackson.
    I aten’t clicking it.

  103. says


    re: cars
    I’ll never get used to an automatic. I want my manual back.

    I’ve never driven a manual. I had a BF years ago who attempted to teach me how to drive stick (insert {{heh heh}} dirty joke here). After spending 30 minutes watching me grind the gears of his manual, he gave up.

  104. carlie says

    I don’t know how to drive a stick, and I feel zero guilt or shame about it. We have advanced technology for a reason. The more I can concentrate on my surroundings and reacting to them rather than concentrating on just how to make the car go, the better.


  105. cicely says

    Cars were invented in a desperate attempt to rid the world of the Evil that is Horse.
    They should never have called it “Horsepower”.
    One micro-instant of unsympathetic magic later, and we are forever doomed to vehicles and other mechanisms possessed by Them, seeking out and exploiting every opportunity to bite us when we aren’t looking and kick us when we’re down, to slake their need for revenge—revenge for our “impertinence” in daring to dream of a Horseless world.

  106. cicely says

    “Automatic” is obviously an entrenched misspelling of “automastic“.

  107. says

    Well, this is going to make all of us who are authors cringe. Ted Cruz just got a $1.5 million book deal from HarperCollins. That’s $1.5 million in advance.

    Cruz used politics to make a total super ass of himself (i.e. famous or infamous), so he has enough of an audience to sell a book.

  108. Athywren says

    @Tony, 169
    So that’s why I’ve never read this thread before… my ankles hurt just from looking at those shoes.

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

    They should never have called it “Horsepower”.

    Well… I know I was looking it up in the last few months for a project, and there are other terms creeping in now, but I can’t remember them off the top of my head, nor how I got to them. You could always use watts, if you wanted to avoid mentioning That Animal That We Shall Not Name, Lest We Get Complaints…
    Besides, watts are now the standard for engine measurement in the EU, except the bit where most people have no idea what engine power in kW means, so manufacturers still give info in hp as well. 1 metric hp is approximately 735W, and an imperial horsepower is marginally bigger at 745W.
    There is another option, which is around 735W too: the Pferdestärke…


  110. says

    So, a major new IPCC report comes out on climate change, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and how does the media in the USA react?

    CNN – 1 minute and 8 seconds of reporting

    Fox News – 5 minutes of calling the report a waste of time while simultaneously being unaware of the contents of the report.

    MSNBC – 19 minutes, 49 seconds of in-depth coverage.

    Scroll down on this page:
    to watch the Rachel Maddow segment, which is 6:43 long.

    Or, go here to watch:

  111. Pteryxx says

    Cracked doing coverage of the Ukrainian crisis from insiders on the ground:

    6 things you learn overthrowing your own government

    From comments:

    I know, right.
    Virtually none of these pertinent details were covered on popular American news. We get a few colorful stills and video of Kiev but nothing insightful or truly telling. I mean, for fuck’s sake, how hard would have it been to get an exclusive with one of the thousands of protesters on the ground floor vs. just a credible Q&A from any number of the more active participants? It’s super f’ing serious, particularly after the smokescreen of the Olympics, but alas no. We get this endless BS stream of a missing plane and the ineptitude of the powers-that-be to find it. Nevermind the fate of millions and a possible cold war starting up again.

    All my Ukrainian friends were scared sh*tless when the protests began turning violent. If I could add one thing into this article (based on the times I’ve talked to survivors of the Romanian Revolution and, recently, my Ukrainian buddies), is that government backed media will do EVERYTHING they can to make people afraid of the protesters.

    In Romania, people had their guns ready for if the protesters got even close to their homes (even though they all wanted the same things), and many protesters killed each other in the ensuing confusion by thinking they were on different sides.

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

    Oh, and before I go to bed – thanks to everyone who said welcome and other nice things, even if I didn’t mention you by ‘nym :)

  113. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “Automatic” is obviously an entrenched misspelling of “automastic“.

    Car boobs? O.o

  114. rq says


    grind the gears of his manual

    Well, your previous comment about dirty ‘heh-heh’ comments made this sound even dirtier…

    Also, those horseshoe boots remind me of pictures of a fashion show that some friends of mine in Tallinn showed me. She is/was a designer of avant-garde (I suppose) themed shows, and she had one outfit with thigh-high deer-hide boots whose bottom was a hoof, like those horseshoe shoes. And an antlered hat to go with.

    Thank you for that last link on Ukraine, the one that doesn’t focus on all the protesters being fascists. Thank you.


    That Animal That We Shall Not Name, Lest We Get Complaints

    I DEFY YOU: HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES!!!!! Let the complaints roll in. I have my Hoof-ed Friends behind me. ;)

  115. Nutmeg says

    Hi, Sarahface! I remember you!


    Speaking of cars/driving/related scariness, has anyone here driven on California Hwy 38 in the San Bernardino Forest, or on Hwy 198 in Sequoia National Park? How legitimately terrifying are those roads in spring/summer? (Keep in mind that I’m from the flat-as-a-pancake part of the Canadian prairies.)

  116. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Cars are evil! And mine must be monitoring my computer. It’s now sitting in the parking lot of the library with a jammed parking brake, clearly retaliation for my earlier bigotry.

    I’ve picked up some tools from work and am about to walk back, here’s hoping it hasn’t run off to join a roving gang of outlaw station-wagons. I hear that they are a big problem in the Outback.

    Wish me luck.

    (Did I mention it’s pouring and I neglected to bring my wet weather gear?) /Whinging

  117. chigau (違う) says

    What is the temperature where you are experiencing this *ahem* inconvenience?
    (a question from a fellow Edmontonian)
    (I still have plans to move into your gardenshed)

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s food fusion night here at Casa la Pelirroja. The Redhead’s knitting friend from India was here last weekend and made a “chutney” using a couple of frozen jalapenos. The Redhead wanted me to fry up a little ground beef, use the “chutney”, add some beans for a fusion chili. About 4 parts red/chili/black/beans/chickpeas to one part meat. Smells good so far….
    Oops, better turn it down a bit, the Redhead is dozing.

  119. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Be not afraid of California Mountain roads in spring and summer. I live in the San Bernardino mountains and 38 can be narrow and twisty but if you aren’t navigating on anything slippery (in winter) it is lovely and not scary. Any road winding through the Sequoias is beyond beautiful and should be undertaken. Here is the secret: drive slowly. In fact, drive slowly on any unfamiliar road. If someone comes up behind you driving like a maniac it is probably because they have been driving these roads since they were 10 years old. Just pull over and let the folks go by and resume you leisurely drive.

    And if you are in fact coming through the San Berdoo mountains, let me know and if you like we can meet up.

  120. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Point taken chigau. Mind you, I did commute year-round by bicycle in Edmonton for damn near 20 years, if I may have a small moment of petty defensiveness. Anyway I poked around the car’s internals with a sharp implement and splashed toxic fluids around, that’ll show it.

    Hugs gratefully accepted, and returned with interest. Oh, and to answer your question: 17.8 with an apparent temp of 20.8 due to the humidity. Yup, it’s pretty hard to take. ;)

    Nerd! I read that as “It’s cold fusion night…” and was very briefly excited. (Then they turned the lasers off and nothing much had been accomplished…)

  121. chigau (違う) says

    It was hovering around 0°C, which was OK.
    Then the sun went down and I moved indoors.
    Year-round bicycle in Edmonchuk is either admirable or nuts.
    or both.

  122. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    …or both.

    Heh, such accusations are nothing new. I will however point out that the only times I’ve seriously injured myself riding (two broken collarbones and a shattered radius) happened during summer in Edmonton. In winter it just wasn’t possible to get up enough speed to give the orthopaedic surgeons anything interesting to do.

    I’ll also point out that when I started riding to work in winter there were four of us that crossed the Highlevel every morning. I could tell by the tyre tracks in the snow. By the time I moved away the tracks on similar mornings were uncountable. The madness, it’s spreading….

  123. chigau (違う) says

    I walked to Campus from Belgravia for mumble years.
    I was almost always the first set of tracks.
    I really don’t know where the bicycles went.

  124. says


    It’s that time of year again: convention season gets started, students go on Spring Break and we brace ourselves for a new round of stories about creepers, predators and generally shitty dating behavior. It’s Creep Week 2014: like Shark Week, except during Shark Week everyone is actually rooting for the shark. So it’s time to talk about creepy behavior, how to avoid it and what to do about it.

    And today, I’m going to piss a lot of you off. I’m going to piss a lot of you off and I’m going to do it deliberately. Because today I’m going to take a whack at one of the greatest sacred cows on the Internet: the Socially Awkward Exception.

    This is something I’ve seen over and over again whenever the topic of meeting women comes up: the plight of the guys who supposedly have been mislabeled as “creepers” when in reality they’re just socially awkward and we should all be giving them a break, maaaan.

    All too often, we hear that someone who’s socially awkward should get a pass because, hey, he doesn’t know that he’s doing something wrong! He’s probably really just a nice guy! Shouldn’t she be nice to him, anyway? Or maybe she should just teach him what he did was wrong.

    Except… no. No, we shouldn’t.

    I think the author does a good job of refuting the claim that creepers are merely socially awkward.
    He gives a good (and recent) example of a guy displaying creepy behavior:

    Last month, the tale of ”FedoraBeard vs. The Hot Topic Clerk” hit the popular image sharing site Imgur and rocketed across blogs and tumblrs into Internet legend. To sum up the situation: a guy developed a crush on a clerk he saw while shopping at a Hot Topic. After getting her name from a mutual friend, he tracked her down on Facebook and proceeded to attempt to woo her… to disastrous results.

  125. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, morgan! That makes me feel a lot better. Here are some *brownies*, if wanted.

    I’ll be in the San Bernardino Mountains for a conference in late May. And then I’m road-tripping my way back up to Canada, very slowly (crossing the border in late June). The mountain driving is the part I’m most scared about, so it’s good to hear from a local that I’ll be fine if I go slow.

    (Also, mountain lions: not a thing I should lie awake at night worrying about, right? (I lie awake worrying about mountain lions every couple of weeks. Damn brain.) I’ll be doing a lot of hiking alone in California and Oregon, but all in front-country. Maybe I should carry a big stick? I’ll also have bear spray, in places where it’s legal to carry it.)

    Meeting up would be cool if there’s an opportunity. I’ll be sure to mention it again in the Lounge as the time approaches!

  126. cicely says

    Tony!, if I won’t wear heels, I certainly wouldn’t wear hooves.

    Sarahface, it’s far too late—there are no take-backs in unsympathetic magic. Once They were invoked, it was all over but for the Gallopalypse.

    “Automatic” is obviously an entrenched misspelling of “automastic“.

    Car boobs? O.o

    Chewing, Azkyroth.
    They’re Horse-possessed mechanisms—of course they bite.

  127. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Dalillama Be careful my friend. The cars are monitoring for those who know too much… >.>

    I’m pretty sure I read at least one of those stories in Analog IIRC. Once upon a time I remembered in reasonable detail just about everything I read…. these days, not so much.

  128. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    I wouldn’t lie awake worrying about mountain lions. Unfortunately, there are so few left that if you saw one it would be miraculous. About the bears, pretty much the same thing. You have grizzlies up in Canada, but they are no more down here. We have garden variety black bears, but again, not many. Of course carry whatever protection makes you feel secure, but don’t overthink it. It is always best to take necessary precautions. In fact, I’d love to see more mountain lions and bears. They are fewer and fewer.
    Let me know when you will be in these parts and we will meet. It would be grand fun to actually meet another horde member. Go team! What conference are you attending?

  129. ajb47 says

    So, this is breaking into other conversations, so I apologize if that is necessary. And this may be long and a bit sad, though the main events are a couple years old now.

    It’s spring here in southeast Pennsylvania. I’ve been camping since before I was born (seriously — there are pictures of my mother camping while pregnant with me). In 2010, my wife and I bought a camper (the Forest River Sierra model 391QB) which is really an apartment on wheels. And we parked it at Colonial Woods Camping Resort. The place I’ve been camping since I was 8 — holy crap is it really almost 40 years ago?

    So, the campground opens this coming weekend. I’ve driven up there (about an hour’s drive from home) to take our camp chairs (for outside) and the sheets and blankets. It was a cold and snowy winter, so I was happy there were no leaks or signs of mice in our camper. Our camper seems to be in perfect shape. The microwave oven didn’t even need to have the time reset — the electricity didn’t go out all winter up there! A good sign since I have had to reset the time from one week to another during the camping season.

    Yeah, sorry, that is all background.

    Tuesday was my first trip up. I was taking our camp chairs and some wood for when I make our first campfire. But camping — well, my mom spent many years as the manager of Colonial Woods. She was there almost year round. She set up the store in the lodge, she scheduled the workers, she handled the customers who wanted to come camping. And she did this from the time I was 10.

    My mom was killed by cancer in 2011. The year after my wife and I and my kids got our own RV instead of sharing my mom’s.

    The two worst times of the year for me are spring — opening of camping — and December 2 — the day she died. Those are the days/times she is foremost in my mind. And then I ran into this playing on my iPod set to shuffle my Heavy Metal tracks as I was driving up on Tuesday:

    “And she said – don’t cry for me, because I’ll be

    Riding the wind forever free
    High in the wind forever free
    I’ll ride the wind forever free
    High in the wind forever free”

    (Of all bands — W.A.S.P. – Forever Free. Really — the guys who wrote “Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)” put this together? Yeah, after years of following Metal bands, they are deeper than they let on in most of their songs.)

    OK, so it’s not easy to drive with tears in your eyes.

    I miss my mom. Camping was the time I got to see her every week. And she got to see her grandchildren. And every year, that started now, in spring.

    It was horrible, my mom’s last year — technically, my mom’s last 8 months. Pain while vacuuming became a tumor on her liver and her lung. Cigarettes were the death of her, in the end. If anything good could be said to come of it — my kids are well on their way to not smoking cigarettes. And I hate, yes hate, that my children will not know their paternal grandmother outside of the barest impressions.

    I’m sorry again. Jen McCreight’s post put my thoughts in stark relief, and I didn’t want to inadvertently make my condolences all about me, and I thought Lounge might be OK.

    And since I pretty much copied this comment into a post on my own blog, I now want to ask what the policy is for linking to a commenter’s blog. My blog is very… plain so far. But I want to start doing more with it. I just don’t know what that means yet. Is it gauche of me to ask?

  130. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says


    There’s no such thing as off-topic posts or derailling in an open thread like the lounge. Don’t worry about breaking in.

    I’m so sorry about your distress. I hope you find a measure of peace in the sharing of it, and be assured that this is a perfectly appropriate place for doing so.

    In your WordPress account there’s a way to make your nym link to a web page. There have been folks in the past that have always included a link to their blog at the bottom of their comments. PZ didn’t seem to mind. But it doesn’t seem to be the done thing anymore, take that for what it’s worth. I’m pretty sure a link to a blog post that is relevant to the discussion at hand will never be a problem. Just don’t post purely for the sake of publicising your blog and all should be well.

  131. ajb47 says

    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) @203

    Yeah, I was just worried about the length. I knew my… distress was going to take some explanation about how long I’ve been camping and my mom’s employment at said campground and then her diagnosis. And, you know, it’s sad.

    As for linking my WordPress account, I made this (ajb47) account to log in here many months ago. And then a couple months ago, after planning and plotting for many months, I created a separate account and website on WordPress. But in this case, the blog post is just a repeat of what I already said here, so no need to link at this point.


  132. rq says


    Did I mention it’s pouring

    Wait, it actually rains in Australia? ;)
    (Good luck with the feral vehicle. I think ours started acting up because it heard our plan to park it under a tree during high winds for an insurance scam. Just doesn’t have the self-preservation instinct to actually run off.)

    Thank you for sharing. *hugs*
    Also, I think the best way is to link your blog to your ‘nym, sometimes I randomly click on people’s ‘nyms to see if they lead me anywhere other than the current comment page. :)

    “the chigau slink”
    – that slow, surreptitious movement someone makes towards the nearest bottle of rum
    – alternatively, a relaxed, swaying à la King Cobra dance move

  133. says


    I’m so sorry for your loss. My sympathies.

    Also, what FossilFishy said. Leave whatever comment you choose, when you choose. You’ll never be off topic.


    I had forgotten that changes to our nyms are retroactive here. Some of the archived threads had me confuzzled trying to figure out who people were referring to. The confuzzlement didn’t last long though.

  134. chigau (違う) says

    This is one of the best places to dump your pain.
    We just absorb it and offer back hugs and rum or grog or cheese…

  135. ajb47 says

    Brillat Savarin? Manchego? Giggling Goat?

    And whiskey, thanks. Bourbon, to be specific. Although… Pinot Noir is great. And Champagne, containing Pinot Noir, is fantastic.

    I once read that (I think ) Madame Tattinger (a champagne house) said that the two best times to drink champagne were when you were thirsty and when you weren’t. Yeah, I agree.

    And that said, it’s pretty close to 2 am here, so I’ll be going to bed in a minute. Be back in 5 or 6 hours. Thanks for the support.

  136. A. Noyd says

    ajb47 (#204)

    As for linking my WordPress account, I made this (ajb47) account to log in here many months ago. And then a couple months ago, after planning and plotting for many months, I created a separate account and website on WordPress. But in this case, the blog post is just a repeat of what I already said here, so no need to link at this point.

    You can link any site you want to your ‘nym. Go here (while logged in to FtB) and click “profile” in the sidebar. Scroll down to the “contact info” section and update the “website” field to the URL of your blog. Then click the “update profile” button at the bottom. Your ‘nym for subsequent comments will link to that URL. (I just tested this with the bee quilt comment.)

    Of course, FtB currently turns the ‘nym of every logged in commenter into a link to the OP if they haven’t specified a URL of their own, so people might not see that you’ve set a custom one. But as long as you’re making substantive conversation¹ on this blog, people aren’t going to mind if, every so often, you also say something like “if anyone’s interested, I go into more detail on my blog here” and give a link.

    ¹In other words, people can have a full conversation with you even if they decline to check your blog.

  137. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Oh, forgot to mention; a few days ago what I think of as a “mainstream/serious Social Justice Person” linked/gave some attention to a post that discusses the experiences of people with ASD’s not only with at least a grain of sympathy but from an angle/with a takehome other than “IT’S NOT AN EXCUSE!!!111!!!111” If anyone’s noticed any unusual weather, that might be related.

    In less hopeful news, I was at a bar I frequented and haven’t been at for some time, and at the end of the night I half-jokingly asked if I couple have a “sample” of a beer I’d already had earlier, just because I wanted another taste and it would have been a good finish after the flight I’d had. Which, yeah, was kinda not cool, but the bartender, who I’m slightly familiar with, seemed angry about it; I realized like 3 hours later that, especially in light of my tending to “mumble” (because if I talk 0.001% louder people be like “Dude You Don’t Gotta Shout!”) she may well have thought I was propositioning her. x.x

    So I hadn’t planned to spend any more drinking alone but I really should stop by and clear that up tomorrow maybe. :(

  138. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

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

    That Animal That We Shall Not Name, Lest We Get Complaints

    I DEFY YOU: HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES HORSES!!!!! Let the complaints roll in. I have my Hoof-ed Friends behind me. ;)

    …I was trying to avoid re-opening the Deep Rifts on my first day >.>
    Besides, I think horses aren’t that bad, especially if I’m outside kicking distance.

    Welcome in, join the off-topicness of the Lounge. And I’m sorry about your mother, that sucks.

    That bee quilt is awesome! I’d actually quite like using it as a rug, though – given its shape.

  140. rq says


    given its shape

    Actually, it just sleeps 6 on a round surface. ;)
    The Deep Rifts are always with us, you cannot avoid them! The HiveMind awaits your thoughts on Peas.

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

    Honey badgers in adorable form! ^.^ That’s awesome, Pteryxx :D

    As for peas, rq, I think they’re pretty nice. /Deep Rifts

  142. rq says

    Peas? Pretty nice???
    Oooooh, that’s it. I can’t exchange comments with you for AT LEAST another hour.
    Which reminds me, you seem to be my new Euro-Day buddy. Thank you for choosing an optimal timezone.

    I hope these honey badger drawings spawn the book for real. It is awesomely morally ambiguous!

  143. bassmike says

    ajb47 you have my sympathy. As you may know, I lost my father two weeks ago. I guess it hasn’t really hit me yet. But’ I’m sure I’ll have similar experiences to you. He only got to see the first two years of my daughter’s life, having waited for a very long time for a grandchild to appear (I have been divorced and then a long time single, so I have had a child a lot later than most people) and that is something that I will always feel sad about.

    This kind of tangentially leads to bassmike’s life lesson number 34: always check your predictive text, especially on sensitive texts. I received this text from a friend of mine concerning my Dad passing away:
    “These things need space to gerbil terms with”

    Fortunately, I found it quite funny. Am I a sick person?

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

    It is also an advantage of being a student and having Easter holidays :P Alas, the [Lounge] is an excellent way of avoiding revision… >.> Not that I’m doing that at all, no, why would you think that?

  145. says

    I guess the whole stick vs automatic is simply one of what you’re used to.
    I do not claim superiority of one or the other, I just want my car back

    Good luck!

    Well, so far I sent the mail with my final thesis proposal at two adresses that obviously don’t exist.
    Let’s see if I’m third time lucky.

  146. birgerjohansson says

    ajb, if I do not comment in detail, it is beacuse writing about bereavement stirs up some pretty strong feelings. I was at my aunt’s funeral this Saturday, and I fear my ailing mom may not have more than maybe a year left.

  147. birgerjohansson says

    Medical infodump below!

    NB! New general concept for the treatment of cancer http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-04-concept-treatment-cancer.html -Inhibiting a specific enzyme called MTH1. All the investigated cancer tumours need the MTH1 enzyme to survive. Even previously identified substances that kill cancer cells work by inhibiting the MTH1 enzyme, something which has not been realised until now. -Go, Karolinska Institute!!
    — — — — — —

    And, from February “New drug candidate starves dormant cancer cells” http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-02-drug-candidate-starves-dormant-cancer.html
    — — — — — —

    Reboot the immune system to avoid transplant rejection http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229633.000-reboot-the-immune-system-to-avoid-transplant-rejection.html

  148. birgerjohansson says

    Neanderthal variants in genes involved in lipid catabolism http://phys.org/news/2014-04-neanderthal-variants-genes-involved-lipid.html -We got an advantage from the “inferior” Neanderthals!

    — — — —
    Self-segregation of races in public areas http://phys.org/news/2014-04-self-segregation-areas.html

    — — — —
    Iwao Hakamada, the world’s longest-serving death row inmate, is freed and granted a retrial after 48 years in prison. The evidence against him was found to be falsified. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iwao_Hakamada

  149. marko says

    Meh, looks like too much hassle to me, got to spend time learning the proper technique to apply it and make sure it drys evenly, if I can’t just be invisible now I’m not interested.

    I want to know more about the teleporter they preview at the end.

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

    They have such nice shiny labs. I wish we had labs that nice. (Though, saying that, the research labs and later-year labs are probably significantly nicer than most of the ones I’ve been in.)

    I was just wandering through the lounge, looking at the bookshelves, and found a copy of Ken Ham’s ‘Evolution: The Lie’ on the ‘christianity’ bookshelf. I tried reading some of it, and ouch, it’s painful. I can see why it would be persuasive to someone looking to shore up their faith (maybe?) but wow. I had to put it back after a few pages, because I need those brain cells.

  151. says

    Well, the instructor would really like to supervise my final thesis.
    Unfortunately the budget has been cut, the actual position of profesor in linguistics is somewhere in limbus and he’s already supervising 30 people without payment.
    Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck

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

    Giliell, that sucks :( *Hugs* if you want them, and good luck in finding a new supervisor.

  153. bassmike says

    birgerjohansson I’m sorry to hear about your Aunt and Mother and I apologize if anything I’ve written recently has been triggering.

    Giliell I too hope you find a good supervisor soon.

  154. Portia says

    ajb47: Never off topic, and I’m sorry this time of year is so rough. I enjoyed reading about your fond memories of your mother, and hearing about her personality. That’s the stuff that sticks with us, and makes the memories sweeter – never hesitate to share

    Highfive for Sarahface! Good to see you again.

    Repeat after me: I will not contract strep. I will not contract strep. I will not contract strep. : ( S’s Eldest got diagnosed this morning, and S has been feeling sick. I haven’t seen Eldest this week, so I’m hoping S has something else that I will avoid contracting.

    Yeah, my own chances of infection is my first thought……kind of makes me feel like a shit, but I’m allergic to mannnny antibiotics, so….ugh. Fingers crossed.

  155. Portia says


    That royally blows :(


    I’m really sorry to hear about your aunt, and your mother. *hugs* if you want them.

    I’m the same way about bereavement, I am always glad that folks can express themselves here, and find support and solace. I just can’t often participate to much in such discussions.

  156. opposablethumbs says

    “the restaurant Puta Madre” ??

    Not sure about exactly which geographical areas this applies to (possibly only Spain???) but “de puta madre” = “fucking awesome”. Exactly like the sandwich place, in fact.

  157. rq says

    Your brain, no doubt, thanks you for putting the book back! :)
    Also, may I ask what subject you’re majoring in? I wish my work lab was as shiny as the one in the video, too (and yes, the teleporting device would be fantastic). Alas, government funding.

    Dammit, that sucks – it’s probably because I didn’t post you the proper holding thumbs. I hope you find a new supervisor soon!!

    *anti-strep hugs*
    Don’t get strep, it really sucks, it really sucks… Don’t get strep!
    This Anti-Strep Chant™ brought to you by Certified Anti-Disease Chanters of Latvia.

  158. rq says

    Bah I’m doing short individual posts for no reason. (Because I’m lazy and impatient!)

    Your linky comment showed up and it worked and it was good. Just FYI. :)

    My heart goes out to this woman (Rosie) so much. (TW: domestic violence!!) Apologies if it has already been posted.

  159. says

    Thanks, everybody
    There’s a small chance that they’ll get their shit together and get the profesor vacancy filled soon (dunno if he can apply for it or is applying for it. They’d do a good job if they hired him)
    If not, I can always go back to the final thesis I once wanted to write.
    Race and gender in transcultural adaptations of Shakespeare.
    I think I’m now much more qualified on this topic than I was 7 or 8 years ago when I first thought about writing this.
    Part of my new knowledge is the fact that I should not be writing that thesis. Really, who needs another white European kid writing about this?
    Alles doof

  160. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Sorry I’ve been so quiet. Having a really hard time with scoutmares and 9/11mares.


    I know that what I did I was coerced or trained to do. I know that. I know that I was a little kid and there were two men (usually one (the scout leader), sometimes a second man) and they had the power. I know that. I know that when I was twelve I was doing what I had been taught and trained to do. I knew that would make me a man so no one would ever hurt me again (I was wrong). I know that I was a child. And still cannot get past feeling that it was my fault. Every decision was a magician’s choice decision — the choice was actually with my abuser: you can hurt him/her, or I can hurt you — not a real choice at all. But I still made decisions that hurt others to spare me. And it still hurts so much.

    Nothing new coming out of the dreams. Just me dwelling on my failures. Times that I made the choice to hurt others.


    cicely @16o

    The L.P.D. We already tried that. Late 1800s. Private detective services, like the Pinkertons. You could have your own private army. Or, better yet, the Pinkertons could infiltrate an informal mutual insurance group, run by Irish miners, and create, out of whole cloth, a terrorist organization.



    You have my sympathy. I’m about your age. My parents are still living but its scary how fast someone can become old. Not old in years, but body old.

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

    I’m going to be an engineer! Currently I’m in my second year of a general course, next year I actually get to specialise ^.^ I’m currently planning to specialise in electronics.

    I’d also like to dump this here, because I think it’s awesome and I love the harmonies.

  162. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    I hope things work out to your benefit.

    And that Shakespeare thesis idea sounds like a possibility for a really good book.

  163. rq says

    Tangential to your Shakespeare: the ultimate Tempest, with songs by Tom Waits. Shakespeare and Waits, in one show. With Teller.
    (It’s sort of a transcultural adaptation, right?)

    *hugs* and *more hugs*


    Heh. If I manage to go to choir tonight, I’ll be back to semi-regular attendance (meaning I make it to one out of two rehearsals each week). This is pretty good and indicative of my general energy levels, life-sapping Husband issues notwithstanding. (I did pull together and photograph my spoon collection…)
    Now if only people could get their shit together for the Canada trip (oh hey, that’s me, too!).

  164. rq says

    That is an awesome song. I love the original, and your link is excellent, too!
    Also, yay engineering. :) Good luck with that! (Moi, in case it isn’t obvious, I’m a forensic DNA analyst (with hopes of moving into crime scene investigation), therefore biology, but I pretend I understand engineering most days. ;) But electronics – never.)

  165. Nutmeg says

    ajb47, I’m sorry for your loss.

    morgan, thanks for the reassurance that mountain lions are not waiting to pounce on anyone who dares to hike alone! The conference I’m attending is this: basically, queer women’s camp. It will be a new, exciting/scary experience! I’ll look forward to the possibility of a meetup while I’m in your area.


    I’m resurrecting the Misanthropy Blanket Fort. I tried to give Shithead Friend another chance, and she fucked this one up too. It’s hard to do some gentle conversational probing to figure out if someone is having problems or if they’re just a shithead, when they won’t stop behaving like an inconsiderate shithead when you’re trying to schedule a time to hang out.

    She’s officially going into the category of “friends of whom I have greatly lowered expectations”. That category has worked well for me in the past, but I hate that I have to use it for someone who used to be my closest friend.

    So, there will be lemonade and hot chocolate and toffees in my blanket fort. You may not enter my Misanthropy Blanket Fort, but I will use the pulley system to send treats out if desired.

  166. rq says

    *hugs* for birgerjohansson, that’s what I forgot. Okay, I’m going to quiet down for a bit. :)

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

    You’re going to A-camp! I’m so jealous, I’ve wanted to go since the first one, but I’m in Europe and it’s therefore difficult and expensive and on my ‘maybe one day…’ list. But I hope you have an awesome time!

  168. Nutmeg says

    Sarahface: Thanks! I haven’t been to any of the previous ones, and this is probably the only time that the scheduling will work out, so I decided to do it. And then I made it into a road trip! I’m really nervous (I’m shy and I don’t have queer friends in real life and I came out kind of late and the queer culture in my city is so not my thing so I’m worried that I just don’t fit in with queer people in general even though that’s probably ridiculous *deep breath*) but hopeful. And if A-Camp isn’t my thing, then I have the rest of the road trip to look forward to.

  169. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m going to be an engineer!


    I’m currently planning to specialise in electronics.

    …oh. Well that’s okay too I suppose. ;) [/Mechanical]

  170. says

    Regarding the comment up-thread about grizzly bears in Canada. We here in the U.S. have grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park, in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness Area (and in the Scapegoat Wilderness south/southeast of the Bob Marshall Wilderness), in Glacier National Park, in Grand Teton National Park, and in Idaho’s Kaniksu National Forest.

    If you camp or hike in any of the buffer zones around those areas, you will also encounter grizzly bears. Check, for example, Island Park in Idaho.

  171. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    I’m going to be an engineer!

    Conductors make more money. Though the engineer doesn’t have to hike to the other end of a mile-long freight train carrying a 40-pound knuckle to fix a broken coupler. In 3 feet of snow. In subzero temperatures.



    Do you know how you can differentiate between brown bear and black bear scat?

  172. David Marjanović says

    Do you know how you can differentiate between brown bear and black bear scat?

    The one with fewer human bone fragments in it is from a black bear.

  173. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m going to be an engineer!

    Conductors make more money.

    She’s a triple-E. I’m sure they’ve taught her how to be careful not to become a conductor. :P

  174. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Do you know how you can differentiate between brown bear and black bear scat?

    The one with fewer human bone fragments in it is from a black bear.

    The black bear scat has berries, nuts, and a little bit of bone from scavenging. The brown bear scat has bells in it and smells like pepper spray.

  175. Nutmeg says

    Lynna: Thanks for the tip about grizzlies! We have black bears in my usual camping/fishing/canoeing areas around here, so I’m pretty used to them. I’ve never spent very much time in grizzly area, though.

    I’ll be driving through Yellowstone on my way south. I won’t have time for any real hiking, but I’ll stop to see Old Faithful and maybe do some geocaching. There will definitely be bear spray on my belt.

  176. Nutmeg says

    Also re: bears: a student in a lab I TA was telling me all about how he’d seen a grizzly in a dumpster in Kenora, ON. (No. And this was a biology student!) I had to gently educate him about the variation in coat colours of black bears and how grizzlies don’t come anywhere near that far east.

    City kids! Sometimes I forget that not everyone learned about bear species as a child at Grandma + Grandpa’s cabin. Makes me feel fortunate to have grown up with so much time outdoors.

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

    One of the advantages of being at home a lot means I get to hear PM [a news analysis program] on the radio pretty often, including this gem from just now: “The PM Tian Tian Possible Pregnancy News Update”. They have a short segment *every day* (afaik) on whether the pandas in Edinburgh zoo are likely to mate and conceive this time around.
    If this keeps up, I’ll be a layperson expert on panda breeding! Along with everyone else who listens to radio 4 between 5 & 6pm…

  178. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    If you can, I strongly suggest Hayden Valley in Yellowstone. Bison, elk, grizzlies, wolves, swans, almost like the great plains 600 years ago.

    Additionally, if you are headed down towards eastern Utah or northwestern Colorado, try to stop by at Fossil Butte National Monument. The fossils there are among the best preserved in the world.

  179. says

    Ogvorbis, you made me laugh with that old joke. I’ll add:
    What do grizzly bears in Glacier National Park think when they hear bells?
    Dinner time!

    True fact: bells do not deter grizzlies in Glacier National Park. Loud human voices, clapping hands, banging trekking poles against each other, and hiking in groups (instead of alone) — these are all more likely to deter bears or to prompt them to move away from you before you even see them. There are no guarantees. You can do everything according to expert advice and still be attacked. Bears use human trails … a lot. Human trails are easy to walk. If you are observant, you can see where bears enter and where they depart from a human trail.

    Also, many people have used bear spray in the wrong, so wrong way — applying it to the skin of their children like mosquito repellant, for example. Bear spray is an attractant (smells like food) if not used properly. Do not practice spraying from your canister in the vicinity of your camp. If you can’t hit a bear in the face/eyes/nose with the spray, you will find the spray ineffective. Take wind direction and distance into account — use as a last resort. An experiment in which bear spray was applied to ropes securing a canoe and/or to tent guylines, resulted in not just bears, but other creatures being encouraged to chew on the ropes/lines.

    Pepper spray meant to deter humans is not, in general, powerful enough to deter bears. (Law enforcement officials may carry canisters that are good enough to deter bears.) It is illegal to carry bear spray bought in the USA across the border into Canada. We did so anyway when hiking the Continental Divide Trail.

    My personal bear-sighting count is 13: That’s 7 grizzly bears and 6 “black” bears of various colors.

  180. opposablethumbs says

    Nutmeg, sending well wishes in the direction of the Blanket Fort. And yay for what sound like really great plans coming up soon! I am totally a city person (my idea of getting away from my desk is to go to the gym down the road), but I’d love to go on a (easy, beginner-type) hike with someone like you who knows what they are doing and loves and understands where they are.

    Sarahface, that’s so cool that you’re on your way to engineerdom! (I thought of the train kind too. I always think of the train kind, and the IK Brunel kind. Which is odd, because one of my sibs was almost an electronic engineer (health stuff happened, which changed things)). Is the course very male-dominated, and are the staff good about dealing with that?

  181. says


    Mama grizzly rolls like a furred locomotive
    trailing her fat cub as a wobbly caboose.
    Pepper spray, that ludicrous weapon,
    shrinks in my hand
    until it’s too small to hold.

    Her move. She rises like a fat rug
    nailed to the sky to give her nose
    a technologically fabulous sniff of me.

    My move. I don’t move a muscle
    except to avert my eyes,
    the submissive gesture of every culture.
    Don’t run, don’t trigger the predatory
    chase. Speak low and soft, back away—
    if there’s room, but of that I have none,
    with a cliff on one side and bear the other.

    What worries me is the cub,
    his young and foolish curiosity.

    A breeze comes over Triple Divide Pass
    and brings her smell to my poor excuse
    for an animal nose. She-Bear
    odor of ripe toe jam with a hint
    of old tennis shoes slow-baked.

    Finally, she dismisses me
    and its as if I disappear from the world.
    She continues on her way, soon to be downwind.
    She’ll know,
    if she cares too,
    where I am at all times.

  182. says

    Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has been working hard, along with his Republican colleagues in the state legislature, to restrict voting. He’s not done, having lately come up with another voter intimidation tactic:

    Election observers could stand a few feet from voters and poll workers, under one of a series of election bills Gov. Scott Walker signed in private Wednesday.

    The law would allow observers to stand 3 to 8 feet from the table where voters announce their names and addresses and are issued voter numbers, or from the table where people register to vote.

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel link.

  183. says

    Firstly, good to see you my friend.
    Secondly, having just awoken (and being loopy for a few mintues) I read this:

    The brown bear scat has bells in it and smells like pepper spray.

    as “The brown bear scat has balls…”

    Thirdly, the assholes who manipulated and coerced you as a child did not succeed in turning you into a horrible person. Your post-nym is not correct. You haven’t failed as a human being. You overcame some horrific shit to become a productive, empathetic, compassionate human being.


    Sorry asshole friend is being an asshole. Having to recalibrate a close friendship sucks.

  184. says

    Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society — and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.

    That’s David Koch whinging in the Wall Street Journal about being criticized by Democrats and liberals in general. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303978304579475860515021286

    As Steve Benen noted on The Maddow Blog:

    […] It’s true that the Koch brothers, up until fairly recently, were not commonly recognized as major political players. Their names rarely passed through Democrats’ lips. But as they’ve become more deeply involved in policy and campaign debates, effectively creating a well-financed operation that would rival that of a modestly sized national party, the Koch brothers have been subjected to scrutiny and denunciations.

    Not to put too fine a point on this, but that’s what happens in a political system with, to borrow a phrase, “free and open debate.” Those who try to influence the direction of the nation sometimes receive pushback from those who disapprove and prefer a different direction.

    It’s what makes Charles Koch’s complaints unpersuasive. It would appear from his op-ed that he’s comfortable financing attack ads targeting Democrats, but he’s outraged by Democrats who respond in kind with attack ads of their own. When he makes the case for a regressive vision, Koch sees himself as merely celebrating the restoration of a free society, but when his foes make the case for a progressive vision, they’re radicals trying to stifle debate.

    As Jon Chait put it, “[T]he trouble is that his critics attempt to ‘discredit’ and ‘intimidate’ him and employ ‘character assassination.’ All these terms appear to be Koch synonyms for ‘saying things about Charles Koch that Charles Koch does not agree with.’ In the kind of ‘free and open’ debate he imagines, Koch would continue to use his fortune to wield massive political influence, and nobody would ever say anything about him that makes him unhappy.”

  185. says

    More details regarding billionaire crybabies, a follow up to my comment #277.


    <blockquote[…] I’m worried about Charles Koch. For one thing, with all his billions, he couldn’t find a better ghost writer? His silly op-ed, with its alarmist Marxist clichés and fusty Schopenhauer references, would have been dismissed as an April Fool’s joke if published just one day sooner. It came the same day as the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision, which only increased its ridiculousness.

    But Koch’s self-pity and persecution complex is downright unhealthy. He clearly suffers from the same malady as Tom Perkins, who delusionally compared rising political concern about income inequality to “Kristallnacht” for the rich. Newspaper-destroying real estate mogul Sam Zell, who cosigned Perkins, is also a victim, complaining the super-rich “are getting pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so,” when in fact “the 1 percent work harder.”

    Self-pity sufferer Ken Langone of Home Depot even warned Pope Francis that Catholic billionaires might stop contributing to the church because of the pope saying the “exclusionary” culture of the rich made some of them “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.” Langone had earlier joined self-pitying mogul Leon Cooperman to admonish President Obama for “new lows in polarizing rhetoric…aimed at successful people in the business sector.” […]

  186. says

    Pat Robertson and cohorts said something stupid … again.

    In a remarkable report broadcast on Wednesday, televangelist Pat Robertson’s CBN informed its audience that Sweden, long believed to be a healthy liberal democracy, was well on its way to becoming the Orwellian hellscape that is North Korea. And, as is so often the case (at least on CBN) it’s the PC police who are to blame — specifically, those PC police who are assigned to the Islamophobia and xenophobia precincts.

    Salon link.

  187. blf says

    I have my Hoof-ed Friends behind me.

    As Rincewind observes, when you are running away, it is best to have what/whomever you are running away from behind you…

  188. says

    Protesting some Moments of Mormon Madness:

    Utah atheists are joining forces with former Mormons to march around LDS Temple Square during the faith’s General Conference on Sunday.

    “We hope [Latter-day Saints] will join us who are wanting to come out or would like to be able to identify as their more authentic and true selves to let the world know that they are atheists; that they don’t have to try to maintain the facade of being LDS, when they’re not,” Dan Ellis, president of Atheists of Utah, said Wednesday. “Hopefully, it will be cathartic for people who are participating.”

    A former Mormon, Ellis said he stopped attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his early teens.

    In responseto the atheists’ march,the LDS Church reiterated Wednesday the purpose of the faith’s twice-yearly, two-day meetings.

    “The real message of General Conference is to follow Jesus Christ,” spokesman Cody Craynor wrote in an email, “and we hope that others don’t use this religious gathering as a platform for activism.” […]


  189. says

    From the comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article, link in #281:

    There is such a thing as respect. Many active LDS believe these grounds are sacred and historic. They just do and it is their right to enjoy their conference sessions.

    It does not matter if a person believes in this religion or not.It is about manners and not being rude to others.Allow them this weekend to worship with the buildings which are so important to their beliefs without all of this fanfare. […]
    Next thing you know those atheists will be knocking door to door seeking members.
    A true ex-Mormon doesn’t keep going back, even to protest. You haven’t truly left the church until you let it go.
    The problem is, it’s very hard to let go when you are constantly having to deal with it. I have lost so many people that I love because I left the church, and they don’t leave me alone about it. My parents still, everyday, are stricken with guilt and grief, for my leaving. My in-laws won’t talk to me and feel I have brainwashed their daughter. How do I just let these things go? I want my children to know their grandparents. Anyway, the article got it wrong. There’s no march; it’s a mass resignation.

  190. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Oggie, thanks for the bear joke! I LOLed. Haven’t heard that one in a long time.

    About California mountain wildlife… Apropos of the recent conversation I did some reflecting and reading up. I’ve lived in CA most of my sixty-four years and have spent lots of time in the various wilderness areas and I gotta say that I have never come face to face with either a bear or a mountain lion. They are here of course, and you will surely find signs of their presence, but encountering them is more rare than you’d think. Coyotes on the other hand are plentiful and often seen and are pretty darn harmless to humans. Here in the mountains we have few feral cats because the coyotes find them yummy.

    Nutmeg, your planned excursion sounds wonderful and I’m excited for you. I hope we get the chance to meet up.

  191. says

    This is a follow up to my comments #281 and 282, the information comes from ex-mormon “westmon”:

    This article was painfully off the mark. Just to clarify things, this is not a march with chants and signs, and well, marching. It’s a mass resignation. It will be held in one spot, and according to my understanding, will be done in a classy, non offensive way, so no chants, no signs.

    It was planned before we found out Atheist of America wanted to make an appearance though, and hopefully the powers that be aren’t bending to the will of the larger atheist organization. I doubt that though. It was probably some misinformation a reporter picked up on .

    Here is the link for it, and as you can see from it, it’s a mass resignation, not a march.


  192. says

    500 mormon women are also going to protest during the mormon “General Conference.”

    Even though the LDS Church asked Ordain Women participants to stay off Temple Square in their quest to gain tickets to an all-male priesthood meeting at this weekend’s General Conference, an estimated 500 plan to enter that space Saturday night.

    And church officials have no plans to stop them, according to Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly.

    Mormon officials are closing the square in downtown Salt Lake City to news cameras — despite objections from the press — but not to the activists.

    “They have been very clear about keeping media away from Temple Square,” Kelly, a human-rights attorney in Washington, D.C., said in a phone interview, “but we are members of the church and people who want to be active participants in it. We don’t think we will be kept out of holy ground.” […]


    From the readers comments:

    They are doing this against the express request from the church. In doing so, they show that they do not sustain their church leaders.
    Why don’t you lovely ladies start a new church and take all the women with you?
    Ladies, take a breather and go look in the mirror. Did you dress yourselves in the dark? Did you care to put any fake-up on? Youch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Is the course very male-dominated, and are the staff good about dealing with that?

    I’d estimate the course is about 1/4 to 1/3 female, roughly, and as far as I know the staff are pretty good. The department promotes a couple of ‘women in STEM’ initiatives, including funding for summer research placements and a few other things, but the vast, vast majority of professors and lecturers are male (I think I’ve had lectures from one female professor this year, out of *minimum* 15 lecturers.) There are little encouraging things, too, like in examples we very rarely get examples with people/people pronouns, they’re mainly along the lines of “a company is looking to achieve [x objective] with [y constraints], solve”, but occasionally we get something along the lines of “an engineer has designed a solution to [problem], but when it’s installed, she finds [new problem]” and as far as I remember, the majority of those actually use female pronouns! So I suspect this has been raised either by the department as a “remember we need to be inclusive”, or by previous students, or possibly the lecturers themselves came up with it.

    Wow, rich people live in bubbles. I always think my expectations of the super-rich are as low as they can *possibly* get (with a few individual exceptions, like Warren Buffett) and then something like Lynna’s 277/278 comes along, and I have to re-evaluate downwards.

  194. cicely says

    *hugs* for abj47.
    This is a good place for sharing—happiness, sadness, mixed emotions.
    We’re listening reading sympathetically.

    I don’t kill most spiders.
    If they look widowed or reclusive, however….

    But Sarahface…you are never outside of kicking distance. Not if They are after you.
    They will hunt you down like a duck.
    And peas, as well?
    *sighing, and shaking head more in sorrow than anger*

    *hugs* for Giliell. That situation sucks.

    *moar hugs* for Ogvorbis. No limit.
    I interpreted the L.P.D. thing not as a “wished-for outcome”, but as a satire on “what if you guys got what you think you want”.
    Also, what Tony! said:

    Thirdly, the assholes who manipulated and coerced you as a child did not succeed in turning you into a horrible person. Your post-nym is not correct. You haven’t failed as a human being. You overcame some horrific shit to become a productive, empathetic, compassionate human being.

  195. Portia says


    they show that they do not sustain their church leaders.

    Is “sustain” doublespeak Mormonese for something?

    That bear joke is quality. Thank you for the smile today.

    Dear Upstanding Young Man in the White Pickup Truck:

    I appreciate the compliment, I was going for “sexy” when I put on this business suit this morning. However, you drove off so quickly I couldn’t prostrate myself at the altar of your wonderful eloquence. You graced me with your kind opinion, and didn’t stick around to reap the benefits. It’s a real shame, because street harassment uplifting random comments from strangers is how I met my last several paramours. We could have had quite the tryst, you and I.

    Next time,


  196. says

    #288, Portia,

    Is “sustain” doublespeak Mormonese for something?

    Yes, you guessed it. “Sustain” means something like, “yes I vote for you,” and “yes, I support and approve of the decisions of my leaders,” and “yes, I will obey you.”

    Even at the individual “ward” and “stake” levels, mormon congregations and priesthood councils are asked to “sustain” various leaders and their decisions. At General Conference, all of mormondumb sustains the current Prophet, the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Quorum of the Seventy, the Presiding Bishopric, the General Officers of the Relief Society, etc.

    Not surprisingly, the sustaining votes are always 100% for the leaders. Just like in North Korea.

  197. Portia says


    Not surprisingly, the sustaining votes are always 100% for the leaders. Just like in North Korea.

    How very meaningful. Good thing they’re making good use of all that free will their Heavenly Father gave them. (I frequently sit through Mormon prayers in mild discomfort…)

  198. says

    Portia, I should also mention that in mormondumb, the word “sustain” also implies recognition that leader and his decisions come straight from god.

  199. rq says

    You make me laugh, too.

    Mmmm, bears.

    Disappointed with the choir right now. Nothing specific, but just… honestly, it’s a big thing we’re travelling to, in Canada, and nobody seems to understand that but me!
    Then again, I just may be taking things too personally. Ah well. I’m going mostly for me, anyway, not the choir. Still, lately it hasn’t felt up to general standard and that makes me sad because there’s no other equally-qualified musical venue I could have to express myself. Even though I’m not primarily a singer but an instrumentalist.

  200. Portia says

    rq: Thank you :D
    Hope that those chuckleheads get their shit together : /

    Mozilla CEO stepped down after OKCupid blocked Firefox from accessing the site. Because Eich, the CEO, donated in support of Prop 8. Mozilla’s apology is, imo, a model for actually apologizing:

    Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves. We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.


    sorry if this was already posted elsewhere. I really just wanted to highlight those two paragraphs of apology.

  201. Nutmeg says

    Ogvorbis: Hayden Valley is a little out of my way. But Fossil Butte National Monument is very close to my planned route, and it looks really neat! I’ll probably stop and check out the visitor centre there. Thanks for the recommendation!

  202. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves. We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

    An actually and sincere sounding apology from a group? *checks for heavy duty fainting couch in place* SWOON!

  203. says

    I’m facing something of a dilemma. It appears extremely likely that the faculty at my university will be striking later this month, but two of my instructors will not be part of it (one because he’s a grad student not covered by the union and the other is just going to scab), which leaves me with the choice of crossing a picket line or failing two classes this term.

  204. Portia says

    *happydance* I got mail from Hekuni Cat! :D :D :D

    Your card gives me the warm fuzzies, that’s a cuddly kitty on the card :D

  205. says

    I’m currently unemployed. I’m learning coding in hopes of opening new employment avenues, which are unlikely to be helped by the hit to my GPA that two fails would cause, but I don’t know how relevant it’s actually likely to be in the long run. There’s also the matter of some federal grants I’m receiving to defray the costs, and I’m pretty sure I lose those if I have any Fs turning up.

  206. Portia says


    That’s…really tough. : / I have no useful advice.

    I got some plain almonds, and I want to make chewy almond cookies. Any recipe recommendations?

  207. carlie says

    Oh shoot, I forgot you were on the student side of the equation. Ugh. Are the students being asked to participate? I would think that the instructors would be ok with the walkout being all on their side – they wouldn’t ask the students to sacrifice their own academic records that way.

  208. carlie says

    I got some plain almonds, and I want to make chewy almond cookies. Any recipe recommendations?

    Well, it’s going to be hard work making those almonds chewy.

    *ambles away*

  209. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    My go to simple fav almond cookie recipe is simply the classic peanut butter cookie recipe except use almond butter, almond extract, and coarsely chop the almonds.

  210. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Here a Casa la Perirroja, I’m waiting for the Redhead to get hungry enough to serve planned over corned beef and cabbage. I’ve even been dutiful enough to get the end of the month bills done. (still in the black, despite the Koch Bros’. best efforts).

  211. Nutmeg says

    Dalillama: The faculty at my university threaten to strike every three years. The likelihood ranges from “totally possible” to “extremely likely”, but it’s never happened yet in the time I’ve been there. We came very close this fall and then had a final-hour resolution. Literally, final hour. I was checking the website at midnight.

    As the time of the potential strike approaches, your administration will most likely come up with contingency plans for the strike. Those plans will be solidly aimed at ending the strike ASAP and allowing students to finish the term and complete their courses. I know it’s stressful right now, but you’re probably going to be totally fine. In the meantime, try not to lose too much sleep worrying about it.

    *chamomile-mint tea* ?

  212. says

    Portia @293:
    Thank you for that link. It made me happy. Eich stepping down, Mozilla recognizing they handled this badly, and-as Nerd mentioned-a genuine apology! There is often not enough good news on the SJ front so I am quite happy (I also liked that their anti-discrimination policy covers gender identity).

  213. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …Dalilama, why would you as a student feel obligated to participate in a faculty strike, especially at significant cost to yourself?

  214. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “In case of an emergency, please secure your own oxygen mask before assisting other passengers.”

  215. A. Noyd says

    @Dalillama (#309)
    Solidarity is great, but you don’t have a union mitigating damage to your academic record and employment future. Furthermore, you’ve presumably already paid your tuition, so you can’t really punish the university financially like you could by withholding your patronage from a store or restaurant.

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

    I don’t know how it is for you, but I’ve had faculty strikes at my university this year, and several things happened:
    -Lecturers who were going to strike and couldn’t make up the lecture elsewhere generally dropped some non-syllabus stuff to fit in the missed lecture’s topic.
    -The way I got onto campus didn’t actually have a picket line, which helped with the guilty feeling that crossing a picket line would have given me.
    -Is it possible to teach yourself the contents of those two lectures from online resources/lecturer’s notes, or is it a case where not turning up = failing? Because the former would mean you wouldn’t have to cross the picket line, but wouldn’t necessarily fail.
    -It is absolutely okay to prioritise your education.

    *hugs* (if wanted) for a difficult situation.

  217. carlie says

    Solidarity is important, but it doesn’t have to be at your own personal cost. It would make a much bigger statement to the university if the students staged a sit-in or something in front of the admin offices. Administration isn’t going to care much whether students go to class – as A. Noyd said, you’ve already paid them. Students not attending class won’t have much of an impact. Speaking as a faculty member and as a union member, I would never ask my students to make sacrifices on my behalf. My job is to serve them, not the other way around. Expecting, asking, or even hoping for them to give up their own grades for my work negotiations would be exploiting that power differential in the worst way. It’s not like crossing a store picket line – it’s not like you can obtain your grade for that class elsewhere. My anger would be squarely and solely placed on the effin’ scabs. (although the grad student may be in a precarious position themselves, because they are also students, and their advisors should not be pressuring them.).

    If there is a little time before the strike, and you feel strongly about it, you could contact your student association governance. They ought to be mounting some sort of official response and suggestions for what students should do- if they haven’t thought of it yet, they need the prompt. One possibility to deal with the fact that grad students might feel obligated to offer classes would be for the student government to suggest to the grad students to have alternate online assignments for during the strike, so that they are still meeting their obligation but still doing a bit of protest (and not visibly breaking ranks, which is bad for pr). In any case, they should be doing something.

  218. says

    There are weeks that are grinders.
    There is no major catastrophy, nobody dies, no car crash, but they leave you completely exhausted. They grind you down.
    I’m having one .
    The final straw was today’s class.
    They started well. We quickly revised yesterday’s class and I was like “woo-hooo, kid, you learned something, this is going great, I’m proud of you!” and then there was the listening comprehension. I’ve witnessed that listening comprehension being done with a much weaker, much less motivated class and it went fine. My class was on the wrong train of thought. And when I managed to get them off that train we were like three stops away from where I wanted to go.
    Did I mention that today not only our “normal” teacher was there but also the college instructor?
    Yeah, lucky me.

    You can show your solidarity in other ways. Bake a tray of muffins and hand them to the pickets with a card telling them you’re on their side but you cannot afford to fail the classes.
    If they don’t understand then they’re assholes who don’t deserve your solidarity.
    Solidarity, it’s not a one-way street.

  219. says

    Question for anyone who purports to be a Biblical scholar:

    The 144,000 in the Book of Revelation – what do they represent? I know that the book is supposed to be based on the events of the 1st Century, written by a Jewish person in the occupied Roman territory. Are the 144,000 thus a kind of “in the future, there will be 144,000 people to defend us from Rome!” sort of wish?

  220. birgerjohansson says

    Someone found fresh bear traces in a forest quite close to the city. Probably some year-old cub looking for a new domain

    — — — — — — —
    Lignin lobs lethal chemo, looks like cancer losing life “Nanotubes made from plants could allow delivery of DNA into cells, improve chemotherapy treatment”
    Superparamagnetic Swedes shaft cancer sells? Lund lances lethal lumps. “Nanoparticles cause cancer cells to self-destruct” http://phys.org/news/2014-04-nanoparticles-cancer-cells-self-destruct.html

  221. katybe says

    @ Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit

    From someone else trying to lurk less and write more, I do believe I used to attend your current university umpty years back, and my OH and several of his friends studied engineering there. Very fond memories. Wave at the Fulling Mill for me when you’re passing (I’m hoping that’s anonymous enough that only people who already know it will work it out, as you said you were trying to avoid giving away your location too precisely, which means I can’t ask the question all former alumni ask each other when they meet!) Good luck with your exams next term, and hope you still get those lazy couple of weeks at the end of the year while the lecturers are doing the marking.

  222. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Your post-nym is not correct.

    I disagree. I said earllier that no new shoe had dropped? I was wrong. So wrong. So sorry.

  223. rq says

    Horde Signal!!!
    Anyone know if it’s possible to rent a (up-to-24-seats) bus in Canada (Toronto/Hamilton)? Just the bus, not the driver? A choir member has a bus driver license, but I can’t seem to find anyplace that rents buses, they’re all charters with a driver attached. Please help, someone??

  224. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    I wouldn’t worry. Your kiddos probably won’t teach the rats too many bad habits.

  225. bassmike says

    Well, it’s my father’s funeral on Monday. I hope I have the strength to cope. It’s going to be a difficult day.

  226. rq says

    *many supportive hugs*
    I hope the service/ceremony does a great job of commemorating your father’s life, so that everyone (or at least, most of everyone) is happy and satisfied. I hope the day goes smoothly.

  227. opposablethumbs says

    bassmike, we’ll be thinking of you. I hope it’s just the right memorial to him, and that it’s possible for you and yours to take some support from the getting-together and the shared memories. All the very best to you.

  228. ajb47 says

    bassmikeHope everything goes OK for you. My mom was cremated and there was no funeral, just what amounted to a wake at my house. Food and drinks for everyone who could make it. It’s what my mom would have done.

    Ogvorbis Sometimes I feel like I am spouting cliches when I try to offer support or comfort, but I’m going to say, “hang in there” anyway, because I think you should. Hang in there, I mean.

    Thanks again to all the folks offering their support to me. I just hope I didn’t ramble too much, because I feel like I do when it gets late and I’ve had a couple bourbons. And it’s not a constant feeling of loss, just intense flashes of it once in awhile, so there’s that.

    And I’ll finish with this here story, because I didn’t even know there was an ad, and then a backlash before I heard about this.

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


    Similar week here. I just want to go to bed and sleep and not think about next week.
    Hopefully, it will be better.

    My sympathies.

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

    *hugs* and my sympathy, for whatever it’s worth.

    Also *hugs*, sympathy, and a reminder that you’re still a human being, you still have worth, and your past hasn’t made you become a monster – regardless of what you think of you-at-the-time, you are today a knowledgeable and compassionate human being, with a strong sense of right and wrong, and worthy of respect.

    *waves* hi! I’ll try and remember to wave at the Fulling Mill next time I walk past it. And yes, we still get weeks of relaxation post-exams. ^.^

  231. rq says

    Loverly. Measles outbreak in Latvia (currently 8 cases, as opposed to 0 last year and 3 the year before that). Awesome. Thank you, non-vaccinators!

    And what is with those bills, huh? I just paid the whole lot, and suddenly, it’s time to pay them again…

  232. says

    This is from the Republicans being stupid about immigration policy category:

    Democrats are going after immigration hardliners – including Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) – for their remarks against undocumented young people who came to the United States as children. After previously comparing Dreamers to drug mules, King said Wednesday that those who want to enlist in the military should be immediately deported instead.

    “As soon as they raise their hand and say, ‘I’m unlawfully present in the United States,’ we’re not going take your oath into the military, but we’re going to take your deposition and we have a bus for you to Tijuana,” he told Breitbart News.

    Rep. King is referring to a bill from a fellow Republican, Jeff Denham, that would allow young, undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before age 15 to join the U.S. Military. If they serve for two years and are honorably discharged, they would become legal permanent residents and could apply for citizenship.

    Even this military service route to citizenship is too much for Steve King.

    Some surveys have shown that Latino voters are so discouraged that they may not vote at all in the 2014 midterm elections. This would be a mistake. They should vote, if only to vote against idiots like Steve King, a guy more representative of the Republican Party in general than is Denham.

  233. rq says

    Sometimes, when I’m alone at work, I pretend I’m the only super-crime-fighter in the whole city, and that I can control the crime rate (that is, lower it) by doing what I do, and that I have the power to make things Better, bringing Justice and Good Results to the world.
    Other times, I’m the master criminal, checking up on minor crime progress (and sometimes major, too) and making sure all my cartels are working smoothly, spreading evil and cackling mercilessly to myself.
    Does that make me weird?

    (Of course, inescapably, I run across some stupidity, and my belief that Monty Python actually runs this show is reinforced, reducing me once again to a minor player in a rather dark and dreary comedy, battling the elements, the power grid, the infinity of stupidity and a general lack of intelligence education with little to no success – yes, Giliell, Monty Python runs your university and Latvian forensics. Scary!)

  234. says

    *hugs* to bassmike

    Well, I shouldn’t have complained.
    Because now my dad in law is in hospital because of heart problems and my parents “have disappeared”. Well, not exactly. Two days ago they called my sister to tell that my mother had “contracted salmonella”* and that they would come home if she didn’t get better. Since then nobody has heard anything.

    *accute withdrawl. But, you know, she ain’t an alcoholic, therefore it can’t have anything to do with the fact that she’s cut off from her schnapps.

  235. rq says

    I hope your parents are alright, and I hope your FiL recovers quickly and without complications. :/

  236. blf says


  237. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    And now in food news… I asked some good friends over for dinner tomorrow night just ’cause I wanted to cook a grand meal. Here is the menu: an especially tasty Tuscan version of Osso Buco, Tuscan white beans (already cooked, you can’t believe how good the house smells) zucchini with shallots, a leafy greens salad with my sooper sekrit dressing, a crusty Italian bread, Chianti Classico Reserva wine, Creme Brulee with macerated berries for dessert and of course excellent coffee.

    Everyone has promised to starve themselves all day in anticipation of gorging themselves tomorrow night. Fun, fun, fun.

    Anybody want to come over for dinner?

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

    sounds amazing, morgan.

    I am not sure if I have the $$ for a plane tick, however.

  239. rq says

    I classify that comment as cruel and unusual punishment to my poor, horribly-tempted-yet-deprived tastebuds.
    I wish I could come. I hope your guests enjoy your efforts!

  240. blf says

    I classify that comment as cruel and unusual punishment…

    Yes, it had zucchini, which are basically elongated peas with an armour covering. Although, unlike peas, zucchini does have some taste — foul and horrible, but taste — and are not known to be allied with horses.


  241. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    I’m going to have to perfect USB transmission of goodies. Truly, if I could cook a grand meal for all of you I would. Cooking is a talent that let’s me tell folks how much I love them.

  242. rq says

    I hear ya! I love putting in the time and the energy to make something truly enjoyable for my favourite people. :) Something very satisfactory about it (plus there’s that whole business of eating it up…)

    I swear I cleared out all the horses and all the peas, from all the inkwells and all the gears of the printer. Plus, I said some kind words to it in cheese, and it seems to be working now, with a nice gentle purr. It was this close, however, to feeling the wrong end of that baseball-bat-shaped evidence I was packing up earlier.
    And don’t you dare ever malign zucchini like that again. EVARRRRR.


    Right, I’ll be back on Sunday. May the printer stay out of trouble in the interim.

  243. says

    Having my usual pre-game jitters, as today we’ll get properly started, and the delay has just made my nerves altogether worse. (last time was at the beginning of vacation and too many players were missing).

  244. opposablethumbs says

    morgan, sounds fabulous. Definitely envy-making!!!!! Take care rq, see you Sunday! Hope the game goes well, Dalillama!

    Went to a free concert this afternoon – wierd-and-sometimes-wonderful type music, it was part of a whole series of events and exhibitions etc. being put on to celebrate the complete refurbishment and rebuilding of this monster organ (the organ is probably 3 times bigger than an ordinary town house … I don’t know, maybe 40m wide x 25m high??? Maybe more? It’s spectacular). Concert for organ + one saxophone. Improvised music. Not my truly honest favourite (OH loves this stuff and SonSpawn likes it), but I did like quite a lot of the bits :-) and I’m glad to have seen the mighty Wurlitzer organ!

  245. Bicarbonate is back says

    Hey is Tony the Queer Shoop around here anywhere?

    Tony, there’s another queer woolly ruminant in the world. The Guardian has reported the birth of a little guy who’s half-lamb and half-goat. It’s getting called a “geep” or a “shoat”.

  246. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    …the organ is probably 3 times bigger than an ordinary town house … I don’t know, maybe 40m wide x 25m high??? Maybe more? It’s spectacular…

    So jealous! I’m not a fan of organ music per say, but I’m a huge fan of hearing organs live. The bigger the better. There’s something awe inspiring and almost scary about an instrument that moves that much air especially when they get down into the low pedals. Infrasound FTW!

  247. rq says

    Quiet night, huh?

    Sorry for the confusion, I meant back at work on Sunday. :) Piles n piles of stuff to do.
    Although, I think I’d rather be doing this. Weekend and all that.


    Some people here might sympathize with being the only expert in the room. I present the short film Expert, by Lauris Beinerts, based on Alexei Berezin’s short story The Meeting. Rather painful, actually.

  248. rq says

    Oh, and organ music (I’ll specify – pipe organ music) is awesome – especially when they open all the registers and go full out, or when it plays with an orchestra (seeing as how it can basically drown out an entire orchestra…), or basically all the time. Honestly, playing two plus keyboards with hands and one with the feet – definitely a full body experience!! My favourite organ work (saw it live in Toronto a few years ago, mind-blowing).

  249. rq says

    And of course there’s the genius that is Bach. But he was genius for a lot of instruments. :)

  250. Pteryxx says

    wow, Giliell.

    *shoves over a giant bowl of freshly picked hugs*

    *or pickled, if that’s what you’re into

  251. blf says

    Quiet night, huh?

    Only if there is an organ is being played with nearby. Otherwise the crickets‘s balls keep coming.

    It can be very frustrating having cricket players knocking on your door all night and shouting over the music that they lost another ball in the garden.

    The mildly deranged penguin once scored a work for organs and massed bombardes called A Quiet Duel as the Planet Vibrates. Reports are the initial and only performance finished early (during the prologue), but this has never been confirmed since their were no survivors due to the host planet’s sun unexpectedly going supernova.

  252. Crudely Wrott says

    Watch your backs, please . . . another truckload of *hugs* for Giliell.
    Best wishes and empathies for bassmike. I know a little about what you are feeling now. The pain goes away in a while but the ache never does. My heart goes to you.

    @ Weed Monkey: upthread you mentioned putting Linux Mint on your PC. I’ve been running Windows XP on this computer since I had it built back in ’06 and while my security is pretty robust and I really hate the idea of changing the OS, support ends next week (thanks, Microsoft) so I think it’s time.

    Any comments, thoughts, exhortations, cautions or such about migrating to Linux? Any input will be useful as it will be added to what I’ve discovered so far as I try to narrow down what flavor would be best for my rather modest machine.
    Ahem . . .
    Since opposablethumbs mentioned jumbo sized organs and rq piped right up by mentioning Bach, I must make the only logical addition:

    I give you Virgil Fox!

    I was fortunate enough to attend two of his performances. One in the 70s and the other in the 80s.

    Wow!!! BIIIG MUSIC !!!

    Fun fact: He filled the Filmore East in the late 60s and blew the room away. There is a live recording of the event. I heartily recommend it.

    Virgil Fox.

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

    *selects the best, most comforting hugs for Giliell from the hug-pile and offers them*

    That sounds delicious, I wish I could somehow travel the 3500+ miles for free in the time before you serve it… Oh for a teleporter.

  254. Crudely Wrott says

    Correction to my #369: The Virgil Fox performance at the Filmore East was in ’71.

    three six nine
    the goose drank wine
    the monkey spit tobacco
    on the street car line
    the line broke
    they all got choked
    and they all went to heaven
    in a little row boat

    thank you and good night =)

  255. opposablethumbs says

    There’s something awe inspiring and almost scary about an instrument that moves that much air especially when they get down into the low pedals. Infrasound FTW!

    Yes!!! It’s – well it feels fantastic, doesn’t it! You’re hearing and feeling the music at the same time :-) (and as my OH commented, no wonder people “knew” god existed, when they made it feel like this in the cathedral). (The organ we went to see and listen to (and, well, feel I suppose) is not in a cathedral, incidentally, but in a nice purpose-built concert venue with no religion in sight).

    The organist had to use (or maybe chose to use) a socked foot on the stops on several occasions, which was cute.

    I can quite understand now why the Librarian is the only organist capable of really dealing with the creation of BS Johnson. Having extra-long reach and four hands makes perfect sense here.

  256. opposablethumbs says

    Ugh, Giliell, I’m sorry. I guess all you can do is what you do – try to minimise the fall-out. I’m so sorry.
    Ah, sorry rq, misunderstood! Hope you(‘re) have(ing) a good weekend :-)

    ::adds a package of hugs to the pile::

  257. rq says

    A Quiet Duel as the Planet Vibrates

    That actually sounds like a lovely piece – like something out of Iain Banks’ Look to Windward, it belongs among the other chapter titles.
    Too bad it has such a destructive resonance, though.

    No worries, the weekend should be lovely, I get a Saturday to do fun-times and a Sunday to do more work-times.

    Which brings me to today’s big realization: I caught myself feeling all perky and happy this morning, and I was wondering Why? since it’s not like giant things have changed around me – except for the fact that, with the return of Colleague from her break and the fixing of The Evil Automated Robot Extractor Machine during its all-too-often-maintenance session, I once again have a giant stack of work to be doing. And that, my friends, is the answer: I have Useful Work to be doing, outside of the home, in amounts that are this close to being Too Much, and that makes me happy. For whatever weird reason.

    The organist had to use (or maybe chose to use) a socked foot on the stops on several occasions

    Organists have been known to have trained monkeys assistants standing by to press all the right buttons at the right times, since even socked feet aren’t always enough to get things right. :)

  258. rq says

    White Host on Latvian radio show about racism: [flabbergast] I mean… I can’t believe it, I’ve never seen it – never seen racism happen. It’s just so unbelievable! Are Latvians racist?
    Black Guest on Latvian radio show about racism: [annoyed patience] Yes.

    What a surprise. :P

  259. rq says

    WH: So, you’ve always liked white women?
    BG: Uh… that’s provocative.
    WH: No I mean do you like white women? Have you had black women?
    BG: I like women.

    This is not going to go well.

  260. rq says

    Neo-Nazi on Latvian radio show about racism: I treat them like people, but you know, each race has its own country, and they should respect that – for example, Latvians don’t chew gum while on the radio.

    *face-palm head-desk*

    NN: He can live here as a guest, but this isn’t his place [about BG who has lived in Latvia for 19 years and who considers himself Latvian by conviction]. He should go back to Africa [that was a paraphrase]. Black people can’t be Latvians.

    (I’m going to listen to this to the end, and I’m going to live-Lounge it, because I need to hear it, but it’s so. fucking. bad.)

  261. rq says

    I think BG is dying of frustration listening to NN go on. WH is being a bit of an ass, but he’s trying, at least. :/

  262. rq says

    NN: Yeah, Chinese are the same as blacks. Definitely. And white colonists. […] Uninvited guests.

    (I should probably stop, but it’s Saturday and quiet in here.)

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

    I have recently concocted Serum α. It increases muscular strength to biophysical maximum, while simultaneously increasing toughness, tensile strength, compression strength and shear strength of bone more than 140%*. This allows me to carry in excess of 4k pounds and very, very close to 2k kg. Combined with the magnetorheostatic resistance in my red, skin-tight body suit that can redirect kinetic energy away from my body, it also has the effect of allowing me to survive nearly unscathed when rammed by a pickup truck moving more than 300 hexes per turn.

    Thus, I require no dump truck, but can haul in this massive load of Giliell-hugs by brute force alone.

    *yes, the increase is 140+*, I know what I’m doing.

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


    Do go on!*

    It’s really quite fascinating. A white media personality denying that racism is a problem? How utterly novel!

    *In all honesty, do go on. This is a great place to divest yourself of the bewildering rage this stuff incites, my snark notwithstanding.

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


    Tony! the queer goop?

    Somehow the connotations seem different.

  266. birgerjohansson says

    General *hugs*, too.

    — — — — — — — —

    The Brit Amazon has previously permitted free shipping when buying books to Sweden for more than 25 quid, allowing me to get the newest and bestest English-language books a year or two before they turn up in our libraries.

    “From April 3, 2014, FREE Super Saver Delivery will no longer be available. You’ll have the option of Standard or Priority Delivery for orders being delivered to Sweden.”
    This requires a Stewie Griffin-level response. Too bad if there are any buildings of historical interest within the blast radius of the Amazon head office.

  267. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    I will go on, but company has arrived so I have to take a break.
    It’s pretty terrible stuff, though.

  268. says

    *wraps herself in hugs*
    You folks are the best!

    I will always share all my higs with you!

    I also hate some people who write books for children.
    #1 and I read a story about a little mermaid. Little mermais swims to a sunken ship. Little mermaid discovers a mirror. Little mermaid is ugly! And fat! Little mermaid locks herself away. Friends come and tell stupid little girl that the mirror is old an broken and that she is totally beautiful and can come out, right?
    Because if she had been fat and ugly she really should have locked herself away. There’s nothing in her personality that would make her friends like her anyway…

  269. birgerjohansson says

    Playing the organ?

    It reminds me of a comic written by Don Martin in MAD Magazine.
    Yes, it involved a hospital and an autopsy.

    — — — — — — — —
    We have a gigantic church organ in Piteå, a tiny north Swedish town most known for its beaches. Its the result of donations, some of them by Ulvaeus (the ABBA guy), only four or five organs in the world have that width of ….frequencies? What is the correct term when describing organs?

  270. rq says

    I have time for 2 more minutes.

    BG won’t even acknowledge NN (I’m watching the youtube recording), won’t even look at him – and I totally approve of that action.

    NN: Please just accept me the way I am, these people have a life-style completely contrary to mine. Why won’t you look at me? But of course, I’m not a girl, but they say the eyes are the window to the soul [uhhh… logic missing?].

    Also, BG just listed a bunch of legitimate reasons for people to live in other countries (economic, social, etc.), and NN just casually dismissed them because… uh, I don’t know, actually. Because a black guy said it? Probably. WH actually gets most of the major points, which is encouraging, but he definitely misses the casual, unconscious racism.

    (Oh, did I mention NN is currently undergoing legal proceedings for possession of illegal firearms and explosives, and for having plans to use them against the Chinese community in one of the larger outside-of-the-capital cities? A gem, he is, that one, a true gem. Especially since this isn’t the first time he’s being charged (and convicted, if that happens!) for similar crimes.)

    Also, CD, the snark is welcome. It’s mostly why I’m venting the frustration here.

  271. rq says

    BG actually had a very good distinction between patriotism and nationalism: patriotism is when you support the country you live in, regardless of where you’re from – where most people support each other in their support of the country and go mostly in the same direction. Nationalism is the bit with the racial purity, where a country’s actual nation is defined by a certain type, and that even those who support the country can’t be members of the nation, and so there are groups opposing each other ideologically.
    It actually sounds a bit clearer in Latvian, but I hope I got the point across.

  272. says

    Crudely Wrott

    Any comments, thoughts, exhortations, cautions or such about migrating to Linux? Any input will be useful as it will be added to what I’ve discovered so far as I try to narrow down what flavor would be best for my rather modest machine.

    Mint is about as user friendly as Linux gets, and it’s certainly not harder on the hardware than XP. The default (easy) installation will rewrite everything on the hard drive, though, so you’ll need to get all the data backed up.
    But. then again. so will upgrading to Windows 7. It will require a clean install on anything older than Vista.
    To start, you’ll need the installer disk image written on a USB stick or a DVD and boot from there. The installer software itself is rather self explanatory.

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

    Re: patriotism vs. nationalism:

    I see patriotism as analogous to how I love my relatives, but I acknowledge that they have flaws, and sometimes these flaws are huge fucking problems. But I love them anyway, and I recognize that they haven’t crossed the line to making it necessary for me to cut them off. I’m sure as hell going to keep working to fix those flaws, though.

    Nationalism is the crappy, “you are never allowed to criticize me, I’m your mother” shit.

  274. says

    The only things I feel slightly patriotic about are German bread and compound nouns.
    Yeah, we know how to make bread, and not just one variety. The French know how to make baguette, and it’s delicious, and that’s it, but we know how to make white buttermilk bread AND black Pumpernickel.
    Apart from that I acknowledge that the way I think and feel is heavily influenced by the country and culture I grew up in.

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

    To be fair, Giliell, white buttermilk and black Pumpernickel are both worth getting patriotic over. All I’ve got is Wonder Bread, now with fresh balloons.

    Also, since I didn’t give them to you earlier, *hugs*.

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

    I believe that’s written:

    Now! with fresh balloons!!!

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

    Neon: Because Americans can’t make decent food.

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

    Believe it or not, I’ve never actually eaten Wonder Bread. I have eaten store-brand white bread, though.

  279. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Wonder Bread! Yech! When I was a kid my sisters and I would peel off the crusts then compress the white part in our grubby little hands and throw these faux marbles at each other. They made pretty formidable weapons. As food, not so much.

  280. Portia says

    I begged out of going to a jewelry-selling party today, so now…I have a sunny, fairly warm, whole day to do with as I like. I feel giddy. I chose to spend the first half of it sleeping, but hey that’s what Saturdays are for, right? :D

    It occurs to me that we should have more parties for people who create their own work (I thought of a friend of a friend who makes jewelry) instead of the jewelry (or handbags, or whatever) that is mass produced and overpriced and poor quality. That’s a neat idea…I’ll store it away for future use.

    How is everyone this morning?

  281. says

    Ahh, bread. One of lifes simpler joys.

    While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with ciabattas and bagels and whathaveyous, my absolute favourite is a sour, dense rye bread, slowly baked in the residual heat of a big oven. It’s been said (with some justification) that Finnish food culture was born at a time when we had no food nor culture, but at least we got the bread right.

    This particular type used to be more of an eastern tradition, with western parts of the country favouring sweeter, Swedish/German kind of bread.

  282. says

    *hugs* for Giliell, bassmike, Ogvorbis et al.

    WH is painfully oblivious, I was facepalming the whole time. NN has a pretty standard line; it sounds even stupider when it’s Yanks pulling it, though: “Every race has their own continent and should stay there!” “So you’re on this continent because…?”

    Crudely Wrott
    I’ve had good luck with Xubuntu as well; with a little bit of poking at the desktop layout, you can get it to behave very similarly to Win XP, which is on my view pretty much where tinkering with desktop layouts/environments should stop.

  283. Portia says

    Now I want to make bread…

    Og: *Big safe hugs* if you want them.


  284. says

    This weekend is mormon General Conference time. I’m sure you want a taste of that, right?

    So far we’ve seen one woman’s sob fest while describing how hard it was for her and her husband to care for four children — but she has 13 children.

    she sobbed as she related that she and hubby felt overwhelmed as parents of four young children. Well, actually Sister Reeves is mother of THIRTEEN


    Also the persecution of prophets was a topic taken up by more than one geriatric male:

    Jesus, ancient prophets and, by extension, Mormon apostles, considered “prophets, seers and revelators” in the 15 million-member faith, are often unpopular because they have to tell uncomfortable truths and insist on upholding moral standards.

    These modern LDS leaders “know full well that the road leading to the Promised Land, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ of necessity runs by way of Mount Sinai, flowing with ‘thou shalts’ and ‘thou shalt nots,’ ” Jeffrey R. Holland of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, said in the opening session of the church’s 184th Annual General Conference.

    LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson did not announce any new temples when ushering in Saturday morning’s session. But he noted that when all previously announced temples are completed, the Utah-based faith will have 170 such edifices throughout the world.

    “We are a temple-building and a temple-attending people,” the 86-year-old Monson said. […]


  285. Portia says

    It took me three months to take down my Christmas tree (first one I’ve gotten as an adult, I savored it…I guess). I will probably be finding needles in my house for just as long.

  286. Nick Gotts says

    In news I’ve kept quiet about for various reasons, wife and I will be leaving Aberdeen on 9th May. Initially for Edinburgh, where we’ve bought a flat (well, the sale only goes through on 9th, but we’re legally obliged to pony up the cash on that date, as are the buyers of our Aberdeen house!), but we hope to be spending a couple of years abroad (Italy? Germany? Iberia?) from sometime around September. She has given in her notice to the NHS (overwork and under-resourcing finally got too much, she’ll be sorely missed by clients and colleagues as many have already told her) and is going to retrain to teach English as a foreign language. Our son and two fellow-student friends will live in the flat, so he has a permanent home while we’re abroad. Provided the remainder of the plan goes through, I might finally learn a foreign language to a higher level than my school-acquired French!

  287. rq says

    I realized another thing that’s been bothering me about the radio show (which I will probably have to finish tomorrow, considering the time right now and my general level of wakefulness) – that the show’s producer (I think the host is also the producer) has created an extremely polar view of what racism is. He has pitted BG against NN, and it is easy to stand against NN and say that yeah, he’s racist, and a terrible person, and an extremist asshole. So it’s easy for the ordinary person to say “I’m not like that and I condemn his words and actions” while completely letting the opportunity for self-examination slip past. Because it’s not this extremist racism that’s a societal problem, but the insidious unconscious kind that the average person isn’t aware of. The show would have been more effective, I think, if they’d taken a more random-ish person of average views and pointed out the biases and unwitting assholery in their racist thinking.
    Of course, this way (NN vs. BG) is much easier. Because the average Latvian, of course, isn’t racist. (Even though it’s fine to call black people in movies monkeys and comment how they’re always in movies these days because it’s the politically correct thing to do – paraphrase of actual text from sister-in-law recently.)

    Anyway. For those interested I’ll finish up tomorrow with frustrated commentary and lots of head-desking.

    *general hugs*

    Latvians are also bread-masters. With all kinds – from crusty white breads to heavy black ryes and to this amazing sweet-sour medium brown bread that has a seed-and-nuts version that is AMAZING toasted with butter. Like a one-slice meal.

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


    this amazing sweet-sour medium brown bread that has a seed-and-nuts version that is AMAZING toasted with butter.

    Right up my alley. Need this recipe. Now.

  289. rq says

    Good luck with the move and the new adventures, sounds like an amazing opportunity and experience-in-waiting!!

    Crip Dyke
    For best results, use a wood-fired stove. :) I’m going to find you a recipe and translate it, STAT!

  290. rq says

    (BTW, for some reason NN believes that Latvians are not owners in their own house, that some residents are not following the rules – though he’s got me confused here, since I’m pretty sure it’s Latvians all down the line – and that the house is full of cockroaches. And he Godwinned. Argle-bargle.)

  291. chigau (違う) says

    I got an offer for 8.5 million USD from someone in Burkina Faso.
    Should I click?
    (I was beginning to think I’m the only person on Earth who never got one of those.)

  292. rq says

    BG: If someone is half-Latvian and half-other, where should this person live? That’s the question. People have told me that I need to go back to Africa.
    WH: On the street?
    BG: Yes. Situation is such that if a person living here cannot be accepted, no matter where he’s from – and I’m not speaking about the athletes or business people – but those who live here, what should they do to show they are patriots?
    WH: I lived in the States for a while, and why is it that white people find it easier to accept black – sorry, coloured – people, than for coloured people to accept white people?
    BG: Uh… that’s not quite how it is…

  293. rq says

    WH: When I was in America, I saw a lot of couples where a woman – a really fat, ugly woman – was with an athletic, good-looking coloured man. People told me it’s a status thing, if he’s sleeping with a white woman, he gets status [quick summary of blacks-were-slaves-whites-were-masters]. I just found it so weird to see so many couples like that.
    BG: Some people think like that, but only some. […] You can’t say that a part of society represents the whole.
    WH: Do you find it difficult to live in Latvia? […]
    BG: I’m not scared of people. I was born during segregation, I’m the same age as [NN]. He grew up in a single-parent household, and so did I – we’re more similar than we are different. But unfortunately, people look for the differences rather than the similarities.

  294. rq says

    Click it and share with the Lounge!


    NN: But about those mixed-race couples. I can’t evaluate America, except through movies, I’ve never been there. When I see a white woman on the street with a coloured person, I get angry and disgusted – with the woman, not the coloured man. I’m not saying the kids will be better or worse, but except that mixed race children are often more criminal – at least that’s how it happens in America.
    WH: So you assign labels. If they’re coloured, they’re criminals.
    NN: No. That’s not what we’re speaking about. […] See in America those coloured people like those who come here waving the Russian flag… WHat’s keeping them here?
    WH: [BG] here is more of a Latvian patriot than some homegrown Latvians.
    NN: Of course, he’s part of the family, and what’s a family without a cripple or two? Anyway, what’s keeping them here? Let them go to America.
    WH: Family, friends…
    NN: Well let him go to America and dictate his rules there, human rights and all that, what about Latvian rights? [Because, dammit, I knew those blacks were taking over Latvia!!!]

  295. rq says

    BG is so fucking pissed off.
    And I am, too. I’m thoroughly ashamed that people like this live in this country.

  296. rq says

    NN: So he calls me racist or whatever, I’m not, I don’t care what he is – red or yellow or what, but if he’s calling nationalism a negative thing, I have nothing to say to him!

  297. rq says

    Wow. He [NN] just said out loud that it’s not a bad idea to blow up gays and sexual minorities.
    And that BG should know his place here – he’s a guest trying to dictate the rules. I really don’t get which rules are being re-dictated.

    WH: In which country where you have lived have to experienced the most racism?
    BG: Here.
    WH: [surprised] Really! How is it expressed?

    [BG is trying to explain in-group and out-group dynamics (re: the word ‘nigger’). WH seems to get it. I think.]

  298. rq says

    Oooh, I got spam-trapped because of the n-word. :/ (BG was just explaining in-group and out-group dynamics regarding that word and its use.)

    BG: So, why is there racism in Latvia?
    WH: Lack of education?
    BG: So why are people so ready to accept what you see in entertainment, but aren’t ready to accept the living example like me?
    WH: When they start accepting people like [high-profile openly gay person], then they might start accepting you, too.

  299. rq says

    NN: It’s white genocide!

    (Anyone got a bingo card handy? I think this guy’s racist as all heck.)

  300. rq says

    Closing the show by trying to convince the BG to look at NN. He refuses.
    WH: But that’s offensive! You’re showing your attitude and you’re not even acknowledging him. You’re being disagreeable.
    BG: I’m not going to look at him. Why should I?

    Why BG should acknowledge that piece of shit – fuck that.
    I want to applaud that man, he looks so sad and tired.

  301. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    I found you a recipe, but it’s a bit finicky so I’ll have to get it to you tomorrow. Shoulda done that instead of finishing the show. :/ That’ll learn me!

  302. rq says

    Nah, drunk-and-impulsive is the way to go.
    (No, that wine I had earlier isn’t talking through me at all.)

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

    Little #2: [interrupting] What dinosaur is that? [points at picture of fossil skull in book we are reading]

    CD: That’s Baryonyx. Why?

    Little #2: Because it looks like Spinosaurus.

    CD: Wow, that’s a really great observation. What made you say that?

    Little #2: The whole skull! It just looks exactly like Spinosaurus, especially the way where the teeth stick out.

    CD: The shape of the jaw?

    Little #2: Yeah. That’s how Spinosaurus does it. You know, dinosaur scientists are going to figure out that that one is a cousin of Spinosaurus.

    CD: How?

    Little #2: [indignant at my ignorance] By looking at the skulls! [the “duh!” is implied.] Of course, some scientists are so smart about dinosaurs, they probably know that already.

    CD: They probably do. You know, you’re doing thinking that’s a lot like what real dinosaur scientists, paleontologists and anatomists, do.

    Little #2: That’s because I am one. [Again, the “duh!” is implied.]

  304. Pteryxx says

    Attention pony fans – MLP scores another great episode, about learning styles. How can they get Rainbow Dash to successfully study for a history test, instead of just making her endure lectures and books while she’s thinking she’s hopeless? Lots of teachers and parents need to learn from this one.

    Full ep at the Hub

  305. Pteryxx says

    Miscellaneous links:

    via Techdirt, a post by one of the peer reviewers of the Recursive Fury research paper that was disappeared because of climate change deniers’ threats: Source

    But in February 2013, the journal had no such protection, and the lawyer raised concerns about two sentences in the paper that had been the subject of threats of litigation. By the end of the 20-minute conference call, we had all agreed that, if the authors made minor modifications to these sentences, the content would remain intact and the paper could be re-published without fear of successful legal action.[…]

    Yet the paper remained in limbo while the journal’s investigation into the academic and ethical aspects of the study dragged on for more than a year. Finally, the journal reached the conclusion that there was no academic or ethical case to answer; in the meantime, Britain’s Defamation Act 2013 had kicked in to provide scientific journals greater protection against threats of litigation, by privileging statements contained in peer-reviewed studies.

    It is hard to imagine a set of outcomes that would have better remedied each issue flagged by Frontiers as a matter of concern. So it came as quite a shock to hear that the journal had decided to retract the paper ostensibly because “the legal context is insufficiently clear”.


    Marcotte on the Gish Gallop becoming a major conservative strategy: Source

    A critical strategy is to avoid lengthy Lincoln-Douglas-style debates that allow conservatives to lie-dump rapidly during their speaking period, leaving you so busy trying to clean up their mess you have no time for positive points of your own. Better is a looser style of debate where you can interrupt and correct the lies as they come. I’ve also found some luck with setting an explicit “no lies” rule that will be strictly enforced. The first lie receives a warning, and the second lie means that the debate is immediately terminated. This helps prevent you from having to debunk and instead makes the price of participation a strict adherence to facts.

    and Florida is passing a bill to clear the names of future Zimmermans: Source

    “What part of innocence do we not understand?” Dean said. “I feel that should be something we should include (in the bill) that would make sure the record is automatically expunged.”

    Those records, however, are crucial to understanding the implications of the controversial 2005 law, which a newspaper investigation found two years ago to be applied inconsistently.

    “That would be like the police keeping no records of traffic stops as long as you beat your ticket, no record of child abuse as long as you can beat the rap, no record of murders as long as the shooter was found innocent,” said Jason Johnson, a Hiram College history professor. “We all know that, in theory, justice is blind, but this amounts to turning off the lights and closing the door just in case.”

    The Tampa Bay Times reviewed 200 cases, and many of those records wouldn’t be available under the newly passed exemption.

    “The only way we could have any debate (on the law) is because of newspapers who review cases and track it,” said Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) who tried and failed to remove the amendment.

    “With this bill, it makes it harder to track these cases. Why would we tie our hands in knowing what happens in these cases?”

  306. David Marjanović says

    Latvians are also bread-masters.

    I am intrigued.

    Thus, I require no dump truck, but can haul in this massive load of Giliell-hugs by brute force alone.

    ♥ I love you both. ♥

    I present the short film Expert, by Lauris Beinerts, based on Alexei Berezin’s short story The Meeting. Rather painful, actually.

    Oh yes. I’ve bookmarked it.

  307. cicely says

    Blocking Radon—a friend of a friend is worried that “only lead blocks radon”. Google suggests that this isn’t necessarily so. Does anyone have relevant expertise that they’d care to drop on me?

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis, with a hope for future shoelessness.

    *hugs* for bassmike. And *moar hugs* to store up and use on Monday.

    *hugs* for Giliell. Sorry about your mother’s “salmonella”.

    Zucchini/s is/are not food. Nor are they entertainment. They are generally too short to make effective clubs. And I don’t suspect that they are very good catapult loads, either.

  308. Owlmirror says

    Blocking Radon—a friend of a friend is worried that “only lead blocks radon”. Google suggests that this isn’t necessarily so. Does anyone have relevant expertise that they’d care to drop on me?

    I don’t understand the question.

    As I understand radon:

    There are small amounts of radioactive materials in soil/stone. Their decay products are mostly blocked by the soil/stone that they are in. But radon is a noble gas, and therefore becomes chemically unlinked from whatever the parent radionuclide (radium) was bound to, and can go floating about in the air. If a human is present when this radon is floating about, they can inhale the radon. If the radon is exhaled before it decays, no harm. If the radon decays, they now have the decay product (polonium) — which is not chemically neutral, and will probably not be exhaled — somewhere in their mouth/throat/trachea/lungs, interacting chemically and emitting radiation (along with the decay products emitting radiation) directly into the tissues.

    This is probably bad news.

    No-one is going to line their throats and lungs with lead.

    (Caveat: I am not an expert, but I have been thinking about the uranium-lead decay chain for radiometric dating purposes.)

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

    Yeah, anything that is air-tight will block radon…but can be unwise. You don’t necessarily want to make your basement airtight, what with condensation & all.

  310. cicely says

    Owlmirror, I think he is worried about “radon-proofing” his basement.

  311. says

    I need to come here more.

    If you all remember the job stuff I’ve talked about, the plan C that came up, the new position at my store?

    Officially, there are other candidates. Officially, they will be duly considered. Officially, my manager will do her job and consider them.

    Unofficially I’m to report for training next Friday.

    I suppose there’s an outside chance that one of the other candidates will turn in one hell of an interview performance, but that seems to be fairly unlikely.

    Don’t know how much of a raise comes along with it- we expect to find that out sometime next week. I won’t get more hours, in fact, my hours will probably go down a bit as we wrap up our changeover to the spring assortment. But instead of going down possibly to weeks where I just don’t work, I’ll have some guaranteed hours every week. And I’ll still get grabbed when they need an extra body on all the stuff I’ve been doing since August, so I should be ok.

    I might still need a second job to move out, but I’ll have more reliable hours at the first to work that around, and going to the day labor place is much more feasible if I only need to get work every 4th time compared to every 2nd just to cover gas.

    A MOOC of all things may have helped- put down on the application that I’m taking one in Operations Management, and our Operations Manager discussed some of what we do know about the position in proper ops terms saying “you’ll understand this”. Outside the mention of the course on my application, he’s got no reason to think I’ll understand ops management stuff put in proper jargon form.

    May be going to see Noah with the local freethinkers group this week. Debating whether or not I want to not even get home till 10PM when I have to work at 6AM the next morning. It looks like the sort of movie I’d love. This sort of crap is a big part of why I’m pushing for promotion. Living in town will get a good hour a day back, and most of that at night where I need it to do stuff.

  312. Pteryxx says

    gworroll, unofficially, good luck. ;>


    Awful but important reading – the latest from Libby Anne discussing the Christian-patriarchy marriage manual “Created to be his help meet”. In this post, how good wives don’t take kids to the doctor or seek medical help themselves because Godly families just leave everything to God no matter what.

    (warning, home birth and medical neglect)

    In fact, my family didn’t even do home births. Mom once confessed to me that she liked the mini-vacation being in the hospital gave her—two full days of just her and the baby before she had to return home, to the hubbub and commotion. We had lots of friends who did home births, but all of them used midwives.

    Kierstyn King grew up in a homeschool family that didn’t use modern medicine. She grew up assisting at home births where there was mo midwife. If you want vivid and heartrending refutation of Debi’s words about natural medicine, you need look no farther than Kierstyn’s bold, honest, and horrifying posts on the subject. She has written about her untreated abscesses, being traumatized by being required to assist in her mother’s home births as early as age 11, and the preventable stillbirths of two of her siblings.

    I don’t even dare excerpt Kierstyn’s posts that Libby Anne cites above – they’re harsh reading. Instead here’s another of her posts, about churches being unsafe:

    I can’t go to church because my faith in humanity and the pieces of my soul that have been restored start to die. I can’t go to church because I can’t get past the hate, misogyny, and cruel nature of a deity who’s supposed to be loving. I can’t go to church because the atmosphere is so riddled with fear and judgement that I feel stifled. I can’t go to church because I am not accepted there.

    I find that I still accept the idea of a deity, but in a more hands off way – I feel like the message of religion is all centered around the same thing: loving our fellow human beings. And I’ve found that I can accept that, I can do that, I want to do that even. If there is no god and I love my fellow man I have lived a good life, if there is a god and its not the christian god then I have still lived a good life (and assuming the deity is loving, just, and kind, or karma, I won’t have anything to worry about) and if the christian god does exist in the way I hope, from the New Testament, then I expect I’ll be greeted with “well done”.

    Kierstyn is also an artist and art editor for the Swan Children project.

    The Swan Children is an online art gallery and magazine founded to curate and showcase the creative work produced by artists of homeschooled, Quiverfull, and conservative Christian upbringing.

  313. blf says

    I think he is worried about “radon-proofing” his basement.

    For feck’s sake, Radon is a gas. This eejit can fill the basement with lead and it still won’t be “Radon-proof”. The way to make it Radon-proof is to overpressurize the basement with some other gas. Follow the mildly deranged penguin’s advice and use pure Hydrogen. Tell the eejit the way to check that the Hydrogen-filled basement contains no Radon is to toss in a lighted match…

  314. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    Loved the story. :)

    Congrats and good luck? Or in the other order? Yay on mostly getting the job!


    I am intrigued.

    Please elaborate. :) Do you want free samples? a baking lesson? several recipes? All are available (though mailing bread is costly without the trebuchet). (The black rye bread is on this EU list of protectable cultural items, though I can’t find the actual list.)
    But yes, the bread-making tradition in Latvia is very old and well-maintained.

  315. blf says

    mailing bread is costly without the trebuchet

    On the other hand, mailed bread is less likely to be covered in cat hairs, have friction burns from reentry, be shot at by various air-defenses, or collide with a UFO.

  316. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The way to make it Radon-proof is to overpressurize the basement with some other gas. Follow the mildly deranged penguin’s advice and use pure Hydrogen. Tell the eejit the way to check that the Hydrogen-filled basement contains no Radon is to toss in a lighted match…

    …no “set up a grate with cheese-stuffed mushrooms spaced slightly apart over it” first?

  317. blf says

    Good point. Also have some fine vin handy, and — in case of emergencies — moar cheese and MUSHROOMS!

  318. says

    Good morning

    I’m wondering, would Latvian NNs be happy if everybody who left Latvia within the last 300 years or so and/or their descendants would return?
    German idiots are quite unhappy about all those “Russians*” coming back here.

    *This group includes people from all over the USSR, Poland, Romania…
    It ranges from people whose mothertongue is German to people who didn’t speak a word of it when they first arrived, from people named Wilhelm Meier to people named Ivan Balatchkov.
    According to my Dad in law they all can’t drive and had their driver’s license confiscated already.

  319. rq says

    Well, I don’t qualify as Real Latvian* because neither one of my parents were born in Latvia and people like me come back with weird pollutions in the language (like ‘okay’) that just bring the whole level down.
    If, however, one parent is Real Latvian, then the children are Latvian – unless they’re mixed race, of course. NN himself is half-Latvian, half-Russian. And yes, his views are totally internally consistent. NOT.

    * No such thing as Real (= Pure) Latvian. :)

  320. opposablethumbs says

    gworroll, good luck – sounds like it’s in the bag, and I hope it’s every bit as much of a boost as you were describing. I feel sort of sorry for the other candidates who are only there for form’s sake but presumably don’t know it – wish there were a way for this not to be necessary! I mean, if they know they’ve got basically the perfect candidate because of all your previous experience and track record … it seems daft to go through the hoops, but I assume it’s a legal technicality to avoid nepotism (not in your case, I mean, just in general)? Anyway, I hope it goes perfectly for you!

    rq, thank you for relaying the appalling radio show. Ugh. That’s so full of shit you don’t know where to begin … and BG was so tone-trolled “oh, how can you be so rude as to refuse to look at the person who openly and consistently denies your full humanity!” ::spits::

    Nick Gotts
    , wow and wow for the move and the plans! Hey, your son will be/is coinciding with my niece! (oh, I think I said that). They’ll probably never meet, what with being on very different courses and all. Anyway, it’s very very cool. Damn I miss Edinburgh sometimes. It’s such a great city to live in! (well imo. ymmv, but it’s so beautiful … ). Don’t know if you ever read murder-mystery-type stuff in idle moments, but of course reading Ian Rankin is fun when you know the exact streets and locations :-)

    that is one smart Little One. (about how old are they, if you don’t mind my asking? I’m curious) Go them, and their powers of observation and deduction, and go their outstanding role-model adults!

  321. opposablethumbs says

    I’ve avoided stepping in stuff nicer than smarterthanu so as not to have to scrape it off the bottom of my shoe. Something pathetically and unpleasantly wrong with people who derive their best pleasure just from attempting to hurt others. Glad this little splash of pebble-dashing won’t be around for long, at least.

  322. rq says

    I think this little splash is the same one that keeps returning for whatever strange, esoteric reason.

  323. rq says

    (Though just reading the description made me tear up in that emotionally-charged ‘Someone wrote about this!!’ way…)

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


    yeah, that. It’s simply a good book, retelling the war from the nurses’ point of view. Many personal letters and diary entries, from nurses as well as other medical staff.

  325. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says


    Belated hugs. (If they’re surplus to current needs stick ’em on a shelf. They’re long-life, UHT, and vacuum packed.)


    I hope the funeral gives you some closure and that all concerned find peace in the sharing of your loss.

    Welp, I did it, I played in front of people for the first time in six years. I have to say that it was really weird. I spent the better part of a decade doing this sort of thing and yet there I was, hands shaking badly, in front of just eight people, all of whom I knew. Strange.

    I played a classical piece by the Canadian composer Robert Benedict. I’ve played this thing for years and it wasn’t the best performance of it I’ve ever done. I also played a piece that I wrote that used my new looper. Again, not the best performance ever but I got through it. Next time will be better, I’m pretty sure the worst of my nerves have been gotten out of the way.

    The best part was after. I’d forgotten how good it feels after the fact. Sure, it’s in part relief from the tension, but there’s something else there too. I never enjoy the music of others as much as I do after having played. Sitting in that covered beer-garden under the climbing wisteria, sipping a Guinness, watching my daughter tap her feet and wiggle her shoulders to the sounds of the neighbours grinding out a pretty sweet blues in A was as close to perfect happiness as I’ve had in a great long while. And this despite not really liking the blues… :)

    The upshot is that I’ve got three weeks to write something new for the next one. Any suggestions as to a song topic?

    The one I played today was in part inspired by things I’ve learned here. It’s called “An Apology to My Child”. The lyrics are: One third of all children aren’t taught to read./ One third of all food will rot away uneaten./ One third of all women will be assaulted…./ And in the third of a life I have left to live/ There’s not enough time to fix any of this.* All of that spoken as the loops slowly fade out, then it’s all loops to max and cue the loud ‘n sad guitar wanking. It doesn’t quite work I don’t think, but with a little editing and trimming as well as a bit more familiarity with the looper I think there might be something salvageable.

    Anyway, I was serious about song suggestions. I like the idea of trying to write something outside the kinds of topics I usually think up.

    *No prizes for guessing what time signature it’s in. Mind you, I just had to put a bar of ⅝ at the end of each phrase, because I’m not allowed to make it easy on myself.

  326. rq says

    Yay, I’m glad you survived, and I definitely get that’high’ that comes after a performance. It’s especially sharp after really emotionally stressful yet excellently done choir performances, where we’ve really found that one wavelength where we’re all on the same page as the conductor, and just doing Music, not singing a song or several (if you know what I mean). Takes a while for the jitters to pass, but it’s definitely a good feeling.

    in front of just eight people, all of whom I knew

    I’ve always found it more difficult to perform in front of people I know, with immediate family coming in right at the top of the list. For what it’s worth. (You’re not likely to see strangers again, or hear comments from them, or be reminded of failed performances…)
    I have no song suggestions. You seem to do rather well on your own (what are your usual topics?)! Well, you can always write about me, but I don’t see how that would be engaging to the audience (whoever it may be). ;)

  327. blf says

    Any suggestions as to a song topic?

    What the Feck Am I Gonna Write a Song About!?
    Has Thou’st Seen A Mildly Deranged Penguin?
    Why Do All My Song Titles End With Queries?
    Peas Conspiring With Horses
    Rants for the Sane
    Borkquoting Internets

  328. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Thanks rq.

    …just doing Music, not singing a song or several (if you know what I mean)

    Oh indeed I do. Those moments, so fleeting and infrequent, are addictive, and unlike every other possible addiction that’s slunk past my life, this one I embraced with a foolhardy enthusiasm.

    My usual topics all deal with loss, anger, frustration and fear. You see, I was a child of the cold war; I grew up being absolutely convinced that I wouldn’t make it to my current age. The best I expected was to be flashed away in nuclear blink. The alternative, to survive long enough to see the ruin of everything didn’t bear thinking about. One of the reasons I try to write things here that have a positive spin is to deny that part of myself, to give it as little room to breath as I can.

    Despite that, every time I sit down to write something musical I say to myself “Major key, upbeat, positive.” and inevitably the result is a pale shadow of this: Our Darkness”. That song is the echo in my head when all else is silenced.

  329. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Heh, here I am being all angsty and brooding and blf makes me snort loud enough to startle the livestock. Peas and horses, peas and horses…… I might be able to do something with that. I shall brood on it. ;)

  330. Portia says

    Nature sounds for your Sunday morning.

    I am just not good at lounging lately. I see all the posts I want to respond to, then they slip out of my mind like sand through a sieve.

    CD: I Love your little one stories.

    gworroll: *highfive*

    Giliell: another *hug* for good measure

    rq: Way to go slog through the radio show. Ugh.

    I think I’m going to paint a little while I sip my coffee.

  331. blf says

    … me snort loud enough to startle the livestock.

    And now you know why putting the interwebs connection in the barn — or keeping the furries in the house — is generally not recommended.

    With a bit of luck, you’ll only get horned eggs this time, but make sure they weren’t laid by the pigs.

  332. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    But, but, but, the barn is the only place we get decent download speed!*

    *We don’t have a barn**

    **But it’s not far from the truth***

    ***We had to put our wireless internet modem outside to get anything approaching a decent signal /whinging about rural living

  333. blf says

    I think I’m going to paint a little while I sip my coffee.

    Probably more pleasant than sprayingpainting the keyboard or screen via the nose…

    I’ve never heard of paintings made with coffee. Excepting, of course, the frequent redecorating of keyboards, screens, desks, and the occasional cat.

  334. rq says

    or keeping the furries in the house

    Where else am I supposed to keep the furries???

    Angsty and broody? Eek. That’s like emo all over again. :/
    Good luck with the song topic (The Ballad of the Mildly Deranged Penguin? … Too long and dramatic, huh?).
    Can I ask: Is being positive such a necessary thing?
    (I ask because I wonder, but don’t answer if you don’t want to. Personal opinion to follow.) I think the important thing is writing, not necessarily forcing the positivity – I mean, even when I’m deliriously happy with absolutely everything in my life, it’s still the dark and sad songs that I like to listen to. Not because I don’t like any happy songs (*ahem*) but because no matter what, the angsty and broody and angry parts communicate better with me.
    And who knows, maybe getting all the dark parts out will let a little light shine through.

  335. says

    I’ve never heard of paintings made with coffee.

    I once had a friend who did what he called “K&K Kunst” (Kaffee und Kugelschreiber= ballpen)
    He would splash a bit of coffee on a sheet of paper and then sort of doodle around it with a pen. And it became art.

    Fossil Fishy
    Yay for performance. Many happy returns!

    I’m currently cleaning making a bookmark as a thank you for the teacher who’s currently teaching us interns, as it is our last week. 100 Years of Solitude has one of the greatest beginnings of books of all times.

    Well, that NN definition leaves a whole lot of people stranded, right? What’s he going to do with all of those emigrants, children of emigrants, children of mixed marriages, whatever the mix may be…?
    But yeah, my teammate (the one I complained about a lot. I like her much better now that each of us plans her own lessons) remarked that she isn’t really anything. In Germany she’s from Romania, in Romania she’s German. Two identities, none of them her own definition, neither one fits…

  336. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    You might have a point rq. Perhaps working so hard to stay positive in the rest of my life could allow me some leeway. It’s just that I want to make people feel good….and as I wrote that a giant clue-bat appeared out of nowhere. [rubs forehead] Fucking hell, it never occurred to me that songs like Our Darkness do in fact make me feel good, in an odd roundabout sorta way. I’m not unique. I know this. Shit, I’m going to have to think about this. And hey rq? Thanks for that question, seriously.

    {And with dreams of coffee coloured peas gently exploding into horse shaped mushroom clouds, our lobed-finned protagonist staggers his way towards bed. Once again wishing that evolution had made him just teensy, tiny bit smarter, or at least gave him useful legs…}

  337. rq says

    It’s definitely a lacking definition.
    It was pointed out to him several times throughout the hour that BG was actually a very productive member of society, doing a lot of good work for the good of the country. But no, none of that counts, because of the colour of his skin. Even though he (BG) considers himself Latvian.
    No one asked and I hope never to find out how NN dreams of achieving his goal of total genetically racial purity. Though the references to cockroach extermination were quite telling, even though, you know, he’s not really against coloured people at all.

    (Oh yeah, NN’s great joke about the Roma (‘cept he uses the Latvian equivalent of ‘gypsies’): “What do a Russian gypsy, a Latvian gypsy and a German gypsy all have in common? HAHAHA, they all steal! That’s how you know they’re gypsies, even though they’re all different, because they steal!” Yeah, real funny. Treating people like people and not maligning anyone, there.
    The follow-up question from WH to BG was replied to, very pointedly using the word ‘Roma’, with his opinion that the Roma are currently (racial-dynamics-wise) where coloured people were in America 60 – 70 years ago.)
    Anyway. What does your teammate herself identify as? Because that’s the most important bit, and I wish people would respect each other’s self-identification. Whatever that self-identification may be.

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

    Hurray! Songs of Praise is over!
    [I guess I could have moved out of the lounge while my parents watched it? But I’m comfortable here, and all my folders with my notes for revision are here.]
    Also, communion sundays are the worst.

    If you write the songs you want to write, then there’ll be at least some people who also like it? You may not find them everywhere you perform, but unless they’re actually paying for the performance, most people (in my experience) don’t complain much about performers e.g. in an open-mic thing, even if they don’t like the specific song.

    I’m amazed you kept going through that show. BG is admirable, WH and NN not so much. /understatement.

    Crip Dyke,
    Little #2 sounds awesome :D

    *hugs* and congrats where due, *hugs* and commiserations where needed, and *warm fuzzies* to one and all.

  339. says

    And since my brain is finally catching up with the day…

    Careful YAY! for job improvement. I hope things move constantly upwards from here.

    Your plans for the furture sound great. if you find yourselves near that triangle where France, Germany and Luxemburg meet I’d be more than happy to offer you and your wife a beverage of your choice in my living room.

    Yeah, totally not racist that guy. Just facts, you know…

  340. David Marjanović says

    cicely is right about zucchini.

    Please elaborate. :) Do you want free samples?

    Yesyesyes!!! ^_^ Alas, as long as I live alone and eat in the cafeteria 5 days a week, I won’t start baking bread.

  341. rq says

    Good night, FossilFishy, creative dreams!

    So I assume that the best part of Songs of Praise is when it ends? :)


    I’m amazed you kept going through that show.

    Way to go slog through the radio show.

    I appreciate the sentiment here, but I’m a little (okay, a lot) uncomfortable with accepting pats on the head for listening to an hour-long radio show on racism. I mean, as strenuous as it was on me (from the comfort of my own home, with the leisure to not listen to everything at once and the opportunity to vent here), īt was a part-voyeuristic, part-educational journey for me that occurred at my own convenience. And ended. It’s not a hardship that I have to endure day-in, day-out, on the street, on random radio shows (from which I cannot just walk away – well, I could, but…), constantly in the background.
    And I think it’s somewhat trivializing to say that I did a good job in getting through that one hour (like, soooo difficult!), when the issue is the fact that the topic of the show is a reality for people, and that’s a whole different level of hardship and discomfort.
    I’m glad I got to share with the information, but really, it’s not something that deserves a compliment of endurance.
    If y’all know what I mean.

  342. David Marjanović says

    My vasectomy was one of the places where a real MRA (vs. the misogynists that call themselves that) is needed. I actually had to go through several doctors before I got one (no children), and the one I eventually did find wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t been married or any younger. My wife needed to sign a permission slip.

    That’s from here.

    Your plans for the furture sound great. if you find yourselves near that triangle where France, Germany and Luxemburg meet I’d be more than happy to offer you and your wife a beverage of your choice in my living room.

    Likewise you’re both invited to my place in Berlin.

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

    The end is definitely the best bit.
    Apparently today is the day of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race. Who knew?

  344. rq says

    re: free samples
    I don’t think bread mails particularly well, so you’ll have to either (a) visit Latvia or (b) wait until I visit your corner of Germany. :) Or I’ll have to think of something else totally ingenuous, like Random Acquaintance travelling to Germany with free luggage space. (Oh, I’ll be flying through Frankfurt in June, but I hear that’s quite a distance from where you are…)

    Just one more note, regarding pleasing yourself/pleasing others. Using myself as an example, here – and doubling up on what Sarahface said – whatever you write, someone out there will like it. As I said, I certainly prefer the angsty songs over the chipper ones, so even by writing Our Darkness, you’re bound to please someone out there. What’s most important is that it makes you happy and satisfied with your own work (inasmuch as that is possible, your own harshest critic and all that). :)
    May I *hugs*?


    In happier news, I just spotted the bottom of the box. It’s closer every moment!!

  345. rq says

    Oh, and “computer electrical cable” reverse-translated (for one possible translation) back from Latvian is “computer feeding tube”. I knew computers were alive…

  346. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, General Conference category. Here are your absolutely essential (not!) updates from the ongoing General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    First up, gratitude can conquer sorrow.

    Sunday sessions of the LDS Church’s 184th Annual General Conference began with Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the governing First Presidency, offering an unexpected solution to bitterness and sorrow that may come in life: gratitude.

    “I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives,” he said. “There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, even joyful, even glorious. We can be grateful.” […]

    “But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace and understanding.” […]

    From this, I conclude that’s lots of mormons are suffering under the incredible burden of being mormon, and the church has nothing to offer them. They should stop whinging and start praising god and the mormon prophets.

    Next, expect more harassment from mormons:

    Elder M. Russell Ballard, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, later challenged members to replace “fear with real faith” by inviting someone at least once a quarter — four times a year — to be taught by full-time Mormon missionaries.


    Not surprisingly, women asking for more of a role in LDS leadership councils were rejected:

    For the second time in six months, hundreds of women seeking ordination to the Mormon priesthood were turned away Saturday when they sought tickets to an all-male priesthood session.

    Their goal, several said, was to get the attention of the First Presidency and other leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Apparently they did.

    An LDS Church statement indicated patience is wearing thin with the Ordain Women group’s efforts.

    “Despite polite and respectful requests from church leaders not to make Temple Square a place of protest, a mixed group of men and women ignored that request and staged a demonstration outside the Tabernacle on General Conference weekend, refusing to accept ushers’ directions and refusing to leave when asked,” church spokesman Cody Craynor wrote in an email Saturday evening.

    “While not all the protesters were members of the church, such divisive actions are not the kind of behavior that is expected from Latter-day Saints and will be as disappointing to our members as it is to church leaders.” […]


    Meanwhile, apostle Dallin H. Oaks told women that they didn’t need any more authority because they already had it — but, no, women can’t take part in the male-only priesthood council. They can, however, watch it online. And they have their very own society for women, fer chrissakes (okay, he didn’t say “fer chrissakes).

    The Relief Society, for all adult LDS women, “is not just a class, but something they belong to — a divinely established appendage to the priesthood,” Oaks said. “Whoever functions in an office or calling received from one who holds priesthood keys exercises priesthood authority in performing her or his assigned duties.”

    Beyond that, he said, male leaders who preside over the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “are not free to alter the divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.”

    The rest of the program was rounded out with the usual mormon pablum: porn is dangerous, mormon prophets are heroes, technology is dangerous (except when live-streaming mormon meetings), selfies are bad, obey the prophets by paying your tithing, and society is going to the dogs and will fail if we do not defend mormon principles.

  347. says

    BTW, news reporters are still banned from Temple Square. The sign says, “Visitors Welcome,” but they don’t mean you, you dastardly reporters.

    […] The last-minute announcement that news reporters would be banned from Temple Square during General Conference for the first time in anyone’s memory does not signal a withdrawal of the church’s welcoming arms.

    No. This is about trying to manage a story, and the clumsiness is plain to anyone who has watched the church struggle over the years with the world’s perception. It recalls a time when paranoia won out over confidence for the church, a time perhaps best capsulized by the Mark Hofmann episode, when a diabolical crook exploited the fears of church leaders by selling them phony historical documents that they bought and buried, thinking they were hiding evidence of church flaws from the public. […]

  348. says

    There is a realistic chance that we’ll come to Berlin in October. I just realized that while college starts when school is on holiday (yeah, family-friendly my ass), if everything works out and I’m writing my final thesis then, I don’t have to be present in college.

  349. rq says

    The best part is that you Germans can come to and from places. Now that’s talent!
    (Latvians, mostly, just are. How boring!)

  350. blf says

    The Ballad of the Mildly Deranged Penguin? — Too long and dramatic, huh?

    The main problem. I would think, would be the orchestral accompaniment. The trebuchet is — quite unfairly — overlooked as a musical instrument, and in any case is quite difficult to play at the pace required. Besides, I don’t think anyone has ever adapted Yacky Sax for trebuchets, massed bombardes, cheese-stuffed bagpipes, and annoyed pea.

  351. says

    Congrats on the live performance. When you were discussing the type of music you were trying to write, and the context (a lifetime of impending nuclear apocalypse), I immediately thought of The Tide is Turning, the final song on Roger Waters’ album Radio KAOS. I dunno if it will inspire any lyrics or riffs for you, but it’s a good song anyway.

    kind of ‘rupt other than that.
    I ran the first session of my game Friday night, with a very partial group. Because of the number of missing people, I improvised an adventure instead of using the adventure(s) I’ve been working on. I used a kind of river zombie from one of my supplements as the villains, the gimmick being that they are the sapient (but flesh-hungry) revenants of those who drowned while in love, and who serve an unspecified being of darkness. (I’ve decided it’s the same being that’s responsible for the organ-stealing shadow demons I mentioned earlier, who are an advanced version of its corrupted humans idea. I’m not sure if the prairie dogs are directly related, but it makes for a more compact plot if they are). The houngan of the group was approached by a fellow who claimed he was being haunted by his deceased ex, who was one of the river zombies in question. They set off to go deal with it, but discovered that the deceased had actually been murdered, so the crabby wilderness scout dragged their erstwhile client down to the river bank, the houngan released the binding he’d placed on the zombie, and they let supernature take its course. Then they picked a fight with the remaining river zombies, on the general principle that they were dangerous, and much gunfire, panic, and comedy ensued, including a dropped rifle and a botched turn undead spell that re-reanimated the remains of a felled zombie.

    Now I really should stop putting off my calculus homework, so I’ll be back later.

  352. blf says

    Latvians, mostly, just are… boring!

    Except when it comes to potatoes, bread,
    and burying bodies behind the shed.

  353. blf says

    Now I really should stop putting off my calculus homework, so I’ll be back later.

    Just integrate it into yer plans.
    It will make only an infinitesimal difference.
    Which will be vanishingly small as time grows to infinitely.
    Making the differential from reality… ah, cheese-shaped.

    (Most things become cheese-shaped after enough beers HIC including calculus. Important observation for yer future career in cheese-shaped calculus walrus.)

  354. rq says

    burying bodies behind the shed

    Ah, but they’re boring bodies. They just lie there.

  355. says

    Interesting tidbits are revealed about Charles Keatings’s “Stepford Wives”:

    Salon link.

    The infamous savings & loan founder Charles H. Keating Jr. died Wednesday at age 90, a relic from a bygone era. He was by turns the celebrated emblem of American progress, the pious don of a moneyed realm and the symbol of the follies of financial deregulation. His rise and fall took place against the backdrop of America’s S&L crisis, a time in which oil prices, inflation and the fancy-sounding Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 turned the once-staid savings vault into a tomb of broken mom-and-pop dreams.

    When I was a cub reporter starting out in the 1990s, I was assigned to survey the wreckage of his empire; in the course of reporting, I found a perverse side to Keating that never quite made it into the headlines. Here was a religious man, nicknamed Mr. Clean, whose empire-building was assisted by capable women such as CEO Judy Wischer and scores of gorgeous paralegals. At the time, a female chieftain setting boardroom agendas was rare (heck, it still is) and I had been dispatched to Phoenix to report about this novelty for a now-defunct women’s magazine. I learned that these businesswomen were not necessarily the strong, smart, independent types I had thought I might find. Rather, they were polished cogs in a crooked operation and presented themselves as unwitting Ralph Lauren-styled accessories in a Ponzi scheme. As one legal secretary later admitted: “We were known around town as the Stepford Wives because we were so subservient.” […]

    “If you started to gain weight, you were told to go on a diet,” said another woman. At one point, Keating invited a plastic surgeon inside his firm to make a presentation. Later, the surgeon performed liposuctions, breast augmentations and other procedures on the women […]

  356. says

    Hi, I used to post as Shawn here but I’ve just come out as transgender. I really have been mostly a lurker but it would seem strange not mentioning it somewhere that I’m the same person. I hope this doesn’t get classified as sockpuppetry.

  357. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, online media category.


    In a single year they [More Good Foundation] spent over $140,000 purchasing domains and websites that painted Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in a negative light. LDS volunteers can adopt domains, populating them with uplifting and positive pro-LDS content. Volunteers are also encouraged to translate pro-LDS websites, spread the word with their facebook app, and even edit Mormon-related Wikipedia articles.

    On their about page, they state that “While the Foundation is fully supportive of the Church and its mission, it is not directed by or funded through the Church; no Church funds are used for the Foundation.” This is reiterated on their FAQ page. Though this may be crystal clear on their website, their tax returns tell a different story.

    From their inception in 2005 to their latest public tax return for 2011, More Good has received $3,850,986 in charitable donations, with a $150,000 salary going to their president, Jonathan Johnson. The vast majority of the money comes from generous donations from corporations and individuals, including K-Tec (Blendtec), David Neeleman (JetBlue founder), and Bill Child (RC Willey owner).

    Starting in 2009, there were also yearly donations of between $100,000 and $200,000 from “LDS Foundation of the LDS Church.” Over 3 years, donations from this foundation totaled $450,000. […]


    Right now, the mormon General Conference is trending on Twitter. This is not due to mormon GC being anything other than deadly boring, it is due to mormon leaders lining up thousands of missionaries to post like maniacs this weekend.

  358. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I hope this doesn’t get classified as sockpuppetry.

    Since you publicly are announcing the change in ‘nym, there shouldn’t be a problem. Welcome Alice.

  359. says

    Here’s another quote from Mormon General Conference:

    “Our love of the Savior is the key to savior-like obedience.” — apostle Robert D. Hales

  360. Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals says

    Hello y’all… Is this thing on? *taps on the microphone*

    Long time no lounge, instead it’s been all work and next to no play which has made Minnie a dull mouse indeed. How are you all keeping?

    At the moment I’m keeping my fingers, toes and tail crossed, waiting to get the word about whether or not I’ve qualified for the position of a camp councelor (councillor? silly ‘Murican spell-checker) for Prometheus Camp, the Finnish sort-of-version of Camp Quest. If I get the job (an unpaid job, but loads of work nonetheless) I’ll get the chance to warp young (teenage) minds into godless atheists this coming summer. Can’t wait.

    Oh, and before I forget – if Caine is around and has any spare time, could you drop me a line at the email addy that should be visible on my profile? I just have a short question that I think you’d be best qualified to answer… but no pressure if your busy, it can wait.

  361. says

    Hi, Minnie, Good to “see” you! Good luck on the camp counselor position.

    Welcome, Alice, new name and all.

    Mormon apostle, L. Tom Perry is currently comparing mormons to horses who need to be trained so they can live their lives according to mormon principles. Feed ’em peas.

  362. blf says

    Hi Alice!
    Peas, horses, celery, and zucchini are not involved, so why should there be a problem? Though I do note a lack of cheese, MUSHROOMS!, bacon, cheese, vin, and moar cheese…

  363. says

    Hey, Minnie, would you be interested in writing a review or a blurb for my new book? If so, I can send you a link to a low-res PDF of the book. It is just being printed now, should be for sale by the end of this month. I’d love to get a European take on the photos and the text.

  364. blf says

    [T]hey’re boring bodies. They just lie there.

    Ah, Latvia has a serious shortage of brainz then…

    (Or an excess of garlic, stakes, and… ah, no, that’s vampires, Sorry! Different pets.)