1. rq says

    Happiest snake ever!
    Moi, poisonous? Nooooo.”

    * I actually have no idea if that snake is poisonous or not.

  2. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    * I actually have no idea if that snake is poisonous or not.

    The only way to tell is to pick it up by its tail – if it is poisonous it won’t be able to curl up and bite your hand.

    True! Every Australian child knows this!


  3. ajb47 says

    carlie from the last thread re: calling/texting times.

    Also in my 40s and still live by the same rules. I am now wondering where this convention comes from. Was there a Dear Abby letter or an Emily Post… post? describing proper phone etiquette?

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

    To me it looks like a baby snake wild with loving excitement:

    Mom! You’re home!

    But then it’s also possible I’m deranged.

  5. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    A true tale from the puppetmistress: when she was at school in North Queensland, a teacher picked up a ‘tree snake’ to show the children in the playground. He walked around holding the… ‘tree snake’ …until one of the students informed him it was a taipan ( go google taipan – I can wait…)
    The school had to get a local snake catcher out to extract the poor snake from his death grip as he had frozen in terror.

  6. carlie says

    ajb47 – interesting! I have a few etiquette books at home (including one from before people all had phones). I’ll have to check them out and see if they have rules about phone times.

  7. carlie says

    …I wonder too if there is any link to “at home” hours, although those were such complex rules that it might be hard to find a link. It was something like super close friends could visit in the morning, but most people would visit in the afternoon, and even then the timing rules were different if it was a woman visiting, or a couple, or a single man.

  8. rq says

    For Azkyroth (traditional Latvian housewarming present – if you don’t like the bread, it can also be used as a doorstop, or trebuchet-ammunition).

  9. rq says

    I read that (about visits) – I thin it was an etiquette book I found at my dad’s childhood house in Australia. It also had instruction about how to walk properly (for young women, of course). But the visit – sounds familiar. Next time I’m out in the country, I’ll check out the (old and new) etiquette books, and see if this is a cross-cultural thing!

    gobi: my One True Source of Honest To Goodness REAL Snake-lore. Never shall I read another book on snakes again! ;)

    Crip Dyke, deranged?? Nooooo… Not that it’s possible to love you any less, I still think I love you more if you’re deranged. ♥

  10. says

    I recognize the tradition of bread and salt, but I much prefer the housewarming gift I got from a few friends once – a bag of dried peas, a can of cured ham, and a bottle of vodka. Presumably to drink while the peas were soaking for soup, I don’t know, we drank it the same night anyway. :)

    Oh, and I think there were a few bags of salt pinched from a fast food restaurant also.

  11. says

    I usually do bread and salt, but in Azkyroth’ case I’ll send an ice-pack and some regular oce-cream :)

    I haz a lazy, but I must not

    So true about Friday nights. OTOH, back then I never knew that 7 am on Sunday mornings even existed. I don’t know if that’s a positive thing, though…

  12. rq says

    I’ll be honest, Weed(less) Monkey, there’s usually some of this attached, too, but nobody drinks all of that the same night.

    we drank it the same night anyway

    And the peas, too?

  13. rq says

    I don’t know if that’s a positive thing, though…

    Sometimes, I think yes, other times – no. :)

  14. says


    nobody drinks all of that the same night.

    I’ve tasted it a few times, so I know why. :) I kind of liked it in small doses, though.

    And the peas, too?

    Some survived undrunk.

  15. embertine says

    That little bescaled cutie is very apt, as I have just arranged to go and pick up my Western Hognose on Sunday. First pet snake!

  16. birgerjohansson says

    A real Danish folk song
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

    Time flies when you are having funds
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

    U.S. Corporations Now Hold Over $2 Trillion In Untaxed Profits Overseas: Study
    -Poor job creators. they only have 2 million millions overseas….

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Jon Stewart mocks childish fantasies of ‘Noah’ critics: Happily ever after? ‘Everybody drowns!’

    “Have you heard the good news? This week’s top action heroes at the box office are not only Captain America, but also Captain Sumeria,” Stewart said on Tuesday night’s “Daily Show.”
    Conservative critics say the Darren Aronofsky film took too many liberties with the biblical tale, and one Fox News guest complained the movie “is not a documentary.”
    “So you’re telling me that a man who lives to 950 and loads two of every animal onto a 300-cubit-long boat – and by the way, a cubit is from (elbow to fingertips) – 300 of these bad boys, yeah, that’s really going to keep the lions away from the delicious zebras,” Stewart said. “Listen, you’re telling me that film won’t qualify to submit in the documentary category? That’s outrageous.”
    He then showed a video clip of former White House spokeswoman Dana Perino talking about a beloved children’s Bible she’d read as a girl with lovely illustrations of the paired-off animals and a rainbow, saying in that version, “everybody lives happily ever after.” “Everybody? Nobody lives!” Stewart said. “Everybody is one family and two of every animal! Everybody else drowned! Do you know how many koala bears drowned?”

  18. birgerjohansson says

    “The winners of the eVolvo 2014 skyscraper competition have designed some amazing buildings.”

    I expected some electric camper….
    BTW the train hub that stores trains vertically must play murder with the train toilets….

  19. awakeinmo says

    OK, I’m pretty much a lurker, and believe me I feel bad about coming around now only when I need some advice.
    I think I need a new roof. One person told me to call my insurance agent to come out and see if there’s hail damage, so maybe the insurance would cover part of the roof cost. But then I heard that once you call them to come out and look, it’s “filing a claim” whether they find covered damage or not. And of course, with a claim on file, you get looked at with more scrutiny on future claims (or even dropped). Can anyone here confirm/deny that practice?

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


    From Nature:

    “The field is at a turning point,” says Almut Schulze, a cancer researcher at the University of Würzburg in Germany.

    Gack. My dad is an oncologist. My question for Schulze would be, “Which turning point did you have in mind?”

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


    I’ll let more knowledgeable people answer your question, but please permit me to welcome you in.

    No reason is a bad reason for your first Lounge comment, unless you secretly like peas, horses, and #FtBullies. Please, take some grog, chocolate, candied ginger, and grog. It may be a few before someone with good experience in the insurance industry happens by, though undoubtedly a few homeowners will have anecdata for you soon.

  22. violetknight says


    I don’t know about that situation specifically, but I know that over here, if you call out someone to check your dwelling for lead, you’re on the hook for de-leading it. But if you don’t, there’s no compulsion to do so. I would imagine something sort of analogous would be at work in your case… once you know something is wrong, it becomes a sort of “pre-existing condition” for future insurers.

  23. azhael says

    That is a leucistic Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri. I´m disappointed PZ, of all the gorgeous variety of snakes you chose a domestic aberrant that is associated with bug-eyes. The morph/phase market is destroying captive gene pools and perpetuating animal missery.

  24. Portia says

    Welcome, awakeinmo. :)
    I have no roof expertise, but you’ve made me realize I could ask the kind folks here my own question.

    I have some artistic background, and last year I designed a tshirt for the fire department’s kid safety camp day. The fire chief realized how fun that was for me and asked me to do another one for this year. I’d like to do something cooler than a simple line drawing, but I have zero experience with graphic design software. If anyone can recommend a free or low-cost program that is beginner-friendly, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks : )

  25. carlie says

    Isn’t the general rule in Australia “don’t fucking touch any animal at all because it will probably fucking kill you”?

  26. carlie says

    …which is why it always surprised me that a creationist like Ken Ham could come from Australia. How could anyone live there and think that a kind and loving God created that nature for humans to live in?!?

  27. Pteryxx says

    awakeinmo, welcome to the Lounge. (and I’d add that “no reason” isn’t a bad reason for a first comment, either.) ;>

    I don’t know from roofs specifically – the one home insurance repair I’ve had was taken care of without raising my rates, but not all companies or agents treat their customers so well. I’d suggest calling a couple of local roof repair companies and ask *them* how insurance companies in general treat requests to inspect for and cover roof damage. You might even be able to get the roof repair folks to take a look at it for you for free, for a pre-emptive second opinion.

  28. davidchapman says

    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet

    * I actually have no idea if that snake is poisonous or not.

    The only way to tell is to pick it up by its tail – if it is poisonous it won’t be able to curl up and bite your hand.

    True! Every Australian child knows this!


    But I wonder if that works on other continents….Australian fauna is fairly unique.

  29. leel says

    Hello, is Jafafa Hots around? I’m a lurker, and I read on another thread that you can’t or don’t ride a bike any more. That seems to me very sad! I love my bike and would hate to have to give it up. Obviously I don’t know why you don’t bike any more – and if it’s because you’ve lost a limb or something else terrible I’m going to look like a right pillock :( Apologies in advance!
    But if it’s just because of, say, boils on your seat, and you still wanted to cycle but couldn’t sit – there’s this under development:

    Maybe it could fill a niche?

  30. davidchapman says


    That is a leucistic Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri. I´m disappointed PZ, of all the gorgeous variety of snakes you chose a domestic aberrant that is associated with bug-eyes. The morph/phase market is destroying captive gene pools and perpetuating animal missery.

    It had to be a gorgeous variety of snake that exuded cuddliness and fun. That kind of narrowed the field a bit.

    Conservatives according to the John Stewart page (#23 ) have apparently been complaining that there isn’t enough ‘bible-based entertainment’ in the world.
    Barf! :)
    But if they’re planning to bring out a few more god-flavoured movies in the wake of the ark, I’d like to remind everyone that Jesus is not only the Lamb of God, but also the Snake on the Pole. ( John 3:14 ) This guy was hatched out to play the part of Jesus as a snakelet!

    Whose with me on this?? :)

    P.S. no actually I don’t really think so either. And he doesn’t look Jewish anyway.

  31. awakeinmo says

    @ Crip Dyke #28
    Thanks. I secretly do like peas. Especially in a carbonara. Bad?

    @ violetknight #29
    Yeah…I’d really prefer to not fall into a sneaky insurance trap because I knew I needed a roof anyways. My dad apparently had a friendly adjustor who played fast & loose with the rules and gave dad a new roof (maybe it was his last day and was disgruntled?). I have a feeling my luck in adjustors would be the opposite, so I’m hesitant to even call them

    @Portia #32
    I used to work in the t-shirt/promo items business! I liked to use Adobe Illustrator (because that’s what I’m used to) and the company shelled out the cash for it. I know of a free program “Gimp,” but I have not used it, so can’t give you a detailed review. Maybe other folks round here know more. Gimp site:

    @Pteryxx #35
    Thanks, you may be right. I’ll probably just get a couple bids and ask the contractors what they think. I guess I could also shoot my agent an email and carefully phrase a “hypothetical” question about “someone’s” roof that “might” need repair. Oy.

  32. davidchapman says

    @Portia #32
    I used to work in the t-shirt/promo items business! I liked to use Adobe Illustrator (because that’s what I’m used to) and the company shelled out the cash for it. I know of a free program “Gimp,” but I have not used it, so can’t give you a detailed review. Maybe other folks round here know more. Gimp site:

    I was thinking of mentioning that, but I don’t know of it first hand. My brother is a cartoonist and graphic artist, and I remember him saying it was pretty good. Certainly worth trying, as it’s free.

  33. tbtabby says

    The story of Noah is popular because it’s one of the easiest stories to Bowdlerize. You can just gloss over the planetary genocide and leave out the epilogue where Noah becomes a hopeless alcoholic and invents slavery, and then it’s just a story about a bunch of cute animals going on a boat ride. Perfect for children!

    Speaking of perfect material for children, the last two episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic have delivered positive messages about rationality. “Leap of Faith” encourages critical thinking and refutes the “What’s the harm in just letting us believe?” argument, while “Testing Testing 123” promotes alternative teaching methods without condemning traditional methods.

  34. carlie says

    I am actually angry at the halfbike people for their video, showing a person weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic. Either they think that it is ok to use it like that, which it’s not because of how dangerous that is, or they just did it to show maneuverability, which is also bad because it makes it look like you can use it like that. HARUMPF I say.

    Gimp is what I’ve always heard people say is the free version of Photoshop, and I’ve never heard bad things about it.

  35. says

    Gimp is what I’ve always heard people say is the free version of Photoshop, and I’ve never heard bad things about it.

    It’s different but does the same thing, and the most prominent complaint is it’s not exactly like Photoshop.

  36. Portia says

    Given that I know zip zero zilch about Photoshop, maybe I’ll adore Gimp :) I vaguely remember installing it some time ago and never putting in the effort to figure it out. Thanks for the help, everyone :)

  37. azhael says

    @38 Davidchapman

    It had to be a gorgeous variety of snake that exuded cuddliness and fun. That kind of narrowed the field a bit.

    I was mainly kidding, if only because i doubt PZ is familiar with domestic snake varieties and their ailments. Mind you, if you want cuddliness and fun, check out Gongylophis colubrinus or as somebody mentioned above, Heterodon nasicus. Now, those are just cute….

    In all seriousness, though, people who care about animal welfare, should know that if at some point they are interested in acquiring unconventional pets, they are also victims of aesthetics based artificial selection. They may not be brachycephalic and have spina bifida like a pug, but there are popular snake morphs with neurological disorders, spinal kinks, craneal deformities, etc. This affects all popular captive species and is brought on by the morph/phase craze that absolutely dominates the hobby.
    Even mutations that are not deleterious to the animal are being bred chaotically and in huge numbers, being prized over worthless, boring “wild types”, and this carries all kinds of nasty consequences for the totally unmanaged gene pools.
    Consider it before participating of this market just because an animal´s colours are cuddly, fun or cool….

  38. anuran says

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali was set to receive an honorary degree from Brandeis University. After complaints by the BU Muslim Students Union which declared this was a personal attack on them by a Jewish institution the offer has been rescinded.

  39. says

    After watching all the Cosmos episodes that have been broadcast so far, I’m gringing. Does NdGT think he’s talking to children? I hated that when I was one. He’s got a great voice, but that’s not enough without practice.

    He’s overdoing the empathy and enthusiasm part so much it sounds like he’s reading bedtime stories to toddlers.

  40. says

    Portia, all the professional designers that I know use Adobe Illustrator. Yes, there is steep learning curve, but the app is well supported with instructional videos. You would have the best, and you’d have a new skill.

  41. says

    Tony, thank you for posting Kate Mulgrew’s statement in response to her having been ill-informed (or not informed at all?) about the geocentrist nature of the film for which she provided narration. I was really relieved to see that.

    Here’s my comment that prompted Tony to find Mulgrew’s defense.

    The backstory:
    I Have No Idea How I Ended Up in That Stupid Geocentrism Documentary

    ‘Star Trek’ actress lends her gravitas to film promoting idea that sun revolves around Earth

  42. rq says

    I’ve used Gimp, and it’s okay and a lot like Adobe, except it’s really difficult to draw an empty circle. Yeah. I had to look up extra help online for that one, and I think it goes for all regular shape-outlines: there’s a special way to do it, rather than a draw-shape-outline function. Actually kind of annoying. Other things, it does as well as Adobe, with the main complaint that it’s different enough to be confusing.
    I’d recommend Adobe over Gimp, but again, if it’s a question of $$$, then Gimp is the way to go (with online tutorials, of course!!).

  43. says

    A flea-brained politician is claiming that President Obama would have already been impeached if he were white. Good thing President Obama is not a black woman with double protection from impeachment! [/sarcasm for that last sentence.] Sheesh. What stupidity from a U.S. Senate candidate!

    A Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Iowa said this week that President Barack Obama would already be facing impeachment if he were a white man.

    “I would say there are people in the House of Representatives right now that would very much like to take the opportunity to start the process,” Sam Clovis told The Daily Times Herald.

    “It’s not that what he has done would not rise to the level where it might be impeachable,” Clovis continued. […]
    “Now we have a situation where race is thrown into the cards as well,” he remarked. “Whether we like it or not, race is an issue.”

    According to the paper, Clovis did not explain what impeachable offenses the president had committed. [Yeah, they never get around to making a good case for impeachment.]

    The candidate’s remarks sound very similar to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who said last month that Obama wasn’t going to be impeached because the American people would not support “removing the first black president.”[…]

    Raw Story link.

  44. says

    Rachel Maddow covers the gender wage gap in the USA. Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and professor at George Washington University, talks with Rachel Maddow about what the data and social science literature show about the wage gap between men and women in America.

    Rachel Maddow skewers Fox News. Rachel Maddow, using nothing but video tape, shows Fox News closing the gap between their broadcast and a Saturday Night Live parody from two days previous.

  45. says

    Here’s a depressing follow up to the first link I posted in comment #54: Democrats failed to get the Paycheck Fairness Act passed today. Why? Senate Republicans filibustered it. The bill received no, zero, Republican votes. Women, take note. Republican politicians are not on your side.

    Senate Republicans filibustered a debate on a Democratic pay equity bill backed by President Barack Obama Wednesday.

    Sixty votes were needed to allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor, but Republicans refused to allow the bill to come up for debate after complaining Democrats weren’t allowing votes on their amendments.

    Here’s a comment from Steve Benen, writing for the Maddow Blog:

    In case anyone needs a refresher, the Paycheck Fairness Act is a perfectly credidble piece of legislation that would “enhance the remedies available for victims of gender-based discrimination and require employers to show that wage differences are job-related, not sex-based, and driven by business necessity. The measure would also protect employees from retaliation for sharing salary information, which is important for deterring and challenging discriminatory compensation.”

    As we’ve discussed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was an important step forward when it comes to combating discrimination, but it was also narrowly focused to address a specific problem: giving victims of discrimination access to the courts for legal redress. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a broader measure.

  46. says

    Republicans are still fighting, on a state by state basis, the Medicaid expansion that is part of the Affordable Care Act:

    Health Insurance link.

    …I’m offended on two levels here. I’m offended because I believe we can help poor people get health insurance, but I’m almost more offended there’s a principle of political economy that basically, if you’d told me, when the Supreme Court decision came down, I said, ‘It’s not a big deal. What state would turn down free money from the federal government to cover their poorest citizens?’ The fact that half the states are is such a massive rejection of any sensible model of political economy, it’s sort of offensive to me as an academic. And I think it’s nothing short of political malpractice that we are seeing in these states and we’ve got to emphasize that. […]

    [Conservative policymakers in these states] are not just not interested in covering poor people, they are willing to sacrifice billions of dollars of injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. It really is just almost awesome in its evilness.

    That’s MIT economist Jonathan Gruber speaking. Gruber is an expert in health care policy and the director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He helped design Romney’s health care system in Massachusetts and President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

  47. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #56. Here’s one example of the many ways in which Republican legislators are fighting the Medicaid expansion:

    The Commonwealth of Virginia is modeling dysfunction yet again this month, as the legislature fights to the death over Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s proposed two-year, $97 billion budget. The government is imploding in large part due to the fact that state Republicans in the House of Delegates have decided to fight tooth and nail – up to and including shutting down the whole government if this is not resolved by July – to avoid expanding Medicaid benefits to cover up to 400,000 lower-income Virginians who fall into the health care coverage gap. These are the folks who can’t afford to purchase health care under the ACA, but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. The ACA would have taken care of those people through an expansion of Medicaid – money from the federal government to the states to cover the gap. The high court, in 2012, left it to the states to decide whether to accept the expansion. Virginia is one of the states having a hard time making up its mind. As with all government shutdowns, the answer to “why is this happening?” is “Republicans hate Obamacare.” […]

    Last week McAuliffe proposed a two-year pilot expansion of Medicaid, which could be canceled if it proved unsuccessful. This seemed very reasonable. The House Appropriations Committee killed it. So yesterday, in Richmond, both the Senate Finance Committee and the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission met to argue and vote about stuff. Republicans blamed Democrats. Democrats blamed Republicans. Everyone blamed gerrymandering and gridlock and ideology.

    Dahlia Lithwick writing for Slate.

  48. says

    Kind of ‘rupt, been deeply busy with coursework.
    Good to hear the move went well, hope your feet recover.

    GIMP isn’t actually in the same category of graphics software as Adobe Illustrator; it’s equivalent to Photoshop. Inkscape is the free equivalent of Illustrator. GIMP/Photoshop are raster graphics programs, while Inkscape/Illustrator are Vector graphics editors.

    Tony, thank you for posting Kate Mulgrew’s statement in response to her having been ill-informed (or not informed at all?) about the geocentrist nature of the film for which she provided narration.

    When I saw in the initial Raw Story article that Michio Kaku, Lawrence Krauss, and Max Tegmart were also in it, I pretty much assumed that it was another case of dishonest religious assholes quotemining for their bullshit, and what do you know, I was right.

  49. violetknight says

    @Lynna 53

    Let alone a homosexual, as my coworker insists (in great detail).

  50. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Weed(less) Monkey
    I agree with your observation. But I think Dr. Tyson’s been like that since day one. He’s like a kid in a candy store, and his enthusiasm just overflows. He doesn’t have the gravitas that Dr. Sagan had, but I can overlook that because Tyson does such a great job of showing us how cool science is.

  51. davidchapman says


    In all seriousness, though, people who care about animal welfare, should know that if at some point they are interested in acquiring unconventional pets, they are also victims of aesthetics based artificial selection. They may not be brachycephalic and have spina bifida like a pug, but there are popular snake morphs with neurological disorders, spinal kinks, craneal deformities, etc. This affects all popular captive species and is brought on by the morph/phase craze that absolutely dominates the hobby.
    Even mutations that are not deleterious to the animal are being bred chaotically and in huge numbers, being prized over worthless, boring “wild types”, and this carries all kinds of nasty consequences for the totally unmanaged gene pools.
    Consider it before participating of this market just because an animal´s colours are cuddly, fun or cool….

    Christ that’s horrible. Thanks for letting everyone know about this Azhael. It seems like it would be a good issue for other atheists/anti-Creationists to pursue, not only as important in its own right, but because it highlights the issue of how selection for traits does and does not work, and the differences between natural and artificial selection. I discovered last night listening to this conversation on another Freethought site:
    the shortcomings generated by animal breeding — the mutations and diseases caused — are used by Creationists as an argument that selective breeding will only take an animal lineage so far, and then these sort of problems kick in. ( They read out some Creationist bumpf where the author is actually talking about the problems intrinsic to pedigree bulldogs, hence the ref. in the title. ) This specious ( pardon me ) argument is deployed by these fuckers to try to prove that a new species cannot be created. Exactly what the differences are that cause these ugly problems I don’t know for certain, although I think I could make some accurate guesses, but drawing attention to the animal welfare issue would be a good opportunity to explain to people the whole concept of how evolution works in general. Making common cause with animal rights activists can’t be bad. :) It deflates the propaganda that people who believe in evolution derive their moral compass from it.

  52. davidchapman says


    Ayaan Hirsi Ali was set to receive an honorary degree from Brandeis University. After complaints by the BU Muslim Students Union which declared this was a personal attack on them by a Jewish institution the offer has been rescinded.

    The Brandeis University Muslim Students Union are quoted as saying ( in the link article ):

    “We understand what Hirsi Ali has gone through. She has overcome horrific experiences in her lifetime, and she has the right to share her experiences however she sees will benefit society,” the op-ed continued.
    “However, Hirsi Ali’s personal tragedies do not give her the absolute right to attack Islam as a religion.”

    Figure that one out.

  53. cicely says

    Banananana bread.

    Welcome In, awakeinmo!
    While I cannot advise you on roofs and insurance agencies, I do feel obliged to tell you that peas are the poster-veg for “Just Because It’s ‘Organic’ Does Not Necessarily Mean It’s Good!“.

    Isn’t the general rule in Australia “don’t fucking touch any animal at all because it will probably fucking kill you”?

    “Some of the sheep.”

  54. anuran says

    @64 davidchapman

    And I can’t imagine a predominantly Muslim university where the Jewish Students Union would be able to prevent someone from getting an award on the grounds that the recipient was antisemitic.

  55. Rob Grigjanis says

    anuran @66: I find it hard to get worked up about the snubbing of a fear-mongering, pro-‘free market’ fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, whose views line up nicely with people like Mark Steyn and her colleague John Bolton.

  56. carlie says

    Does NdGT think he’s talking to children?

    He’s talking to people who don’t like science, who got bad grades in science in school, who say “I was never good at science”. He’s making it accessible. Those of us who like science and are into it forget how much of a hurdle it is for most people just to maintain interest for more than a few minutes without feeling over their heads or getting bored. My 14 year old is a bit annoyed at this Cosmos because “I already know this stuff”, but I keep pointing out that he doesn’t know everything, especially the history parts, and that experiencing it this way is fun and a good thing and reinforces how discovery and the scientific method work. (he does like it, just feels a bit superior to it)

  57. says

    Fox News is helping to spread the Stupid … again. This whole story is full of stupid conservative white male tricks, but it’s the claim that gay rights lead to child molestation that really ticks me off.

    Mother Jones link.

    On Fox News, Dr. Steven Hotze is a hero. “He’s the doctor fighting to let you keep your doctor,” declared Neil Cavuto, who recently ran a segment on Hotze’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. Hotze is challenging the health care law on a technicality: All taxation bills must originate in the House, and part of the law was first introduced in the Senate. The case, which is currently before the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, stands a real chance of heading to the Supreme Court.

    Conservatives, desperate for another opportunity to kill the law, have embraced Hotze.[…]

    In the 1980s, Hotze was the Houston coordinator of a Christian Reconstructionist group called the Coalition on Revival, which contended then and now that “the ultimate cause of all disease, deformity, disability, and death is the sin of Adam and Eve” and that malpractice suits are un-Biblical. He has inflated his own credentials while endorsing a wide range of alternative treatments and theories (such as the idea that women have been “brainwashed” to take the pill, and should avoid birth control because it makes them less attractive to men) […] And for decades, he’s trafficked in hysteria over equal status for gay citizens, which he has said would give gay people “a free hand to come and have relations with a minor, molest a child.” […]

    That’s some “doctor” you’ve got there right-wingers. There’s more, but let me just summarize by pointing out that Dr. Hotze backed a “shoot the queers” candidate in Texas, that he would not eat at restaurants that employed gays, and that he operates the Hotze Health and Wellness Center which is against traditional medicine. He sells colloidal silver and other products which earn him a profit but may harm his patients. Hotze is an anti-vaxxer.

  58. says

    Weed(less) Monkey @48

    After watching all the Cosmos episodes that have been broadcast so far, I’m gringing. Does NdGT think he’s talking to children? I hated that when I was one. He’s got a great voice, but that’s not enough without practice.

    He’s overdoing the empathy and enthusiasm part so much it sounds like he’s reading bedtime stories to toddlers.

    Oh, no, no. He’s like that in his lectures, too. (Some are up on N’flix.)

    jrfdeux, mode d’emploi @61 (In response to @48)

    I agree with your observation. But I think Dr. Tyson’s been like that since day one. He’s like a kid in a candy store, and his enthusiasm just overflows. He doesn’t have the gravitas that Dr. Sagan had, but I can overlook that because Tyson does such a great job of showing us how cool science is.

    His enthusiasm is contagious, and I kinda like it. It makes me feel a like a kid again. In a good way.

    I’m also loving that, if I wanted to, I could totally gather the cubs in my pride (none of whom are mine) and sit down and watch this with them and not worry about parental objections over content.

  59. David Marjanović says

    Tsss. You take two days off of Pharyngula to play 2048 (…and… get some important work done), only ever get to 512, and there’s a whole new page of interesting posts.


    Very short paper on what the wings of Archaeopteryx looked like. No illustrations.

    Mazda has recalled 42,000 cars that were made in one particular factory in Michigan because this spider species, attracted to the smell of gasoline, builds its webs near the tank, clogging pipes and increasing the pressure in the tank to levels that make trouble.

  60. says

    Washington Post link.

    We have tested some of our own services from attacker’s perspective. We attacked ourselves from outside, without leaving a trace. Without using any privileged information or credentials we were able steal from ourselves the secret keys used for our X.509 certificates, user names and passwords, instant messages, emails and business critical documents and communication.

  61. Deoridhe says

    I’m a huge fan of Tyson’s podcast, Star Talk, because it’s the same level of enthusiasm, but often really advanced stuff – and he answers questions people pose to him ALL THE TIME!!! For people who are finding Cosmos a bit basic, Star Talk might be a good antidote. He had some other guy with a less mellifluous voice cover for him this week and the topic was Venus, and it was awesome.

  62. violetknight says

    It’s been a while, but didn’t Carl Sagan speak with roughly that same childlike-sense-of-wonder voice?

    Maybe that’s just how it struck me at the time.

  63. carlie says

    <blockquote.You take two days off of Pharyngula to play 2048 (…

    Hee. I finally gave into the incessant pr it’s getting and tried it. Holy crap, I can see how it hits every addictive button ever.

    Petition to ask Sesame Street not to partner with Autism Speaks.

    God. Fucking. Dammit. This is the kind of thing that sinks me into total despair. Can’t anybody fucking do their job anymore? Hey, this absolute bastion of childhood education is thinking about pairing with a charity – maybe SOMEONE should use fucking google and see what is known about that charity? Maybe somebody ought to think “hey, before partnering with this organization, perhaps we should see what kind of reputation they have”. SERIOUSLY.

  64. says

    The Elder Daughter, who is 26 and working on her MA, has been watching Cosmos with us every week. We don’t feel talked down to at all. We do, however, all dislike the style of the animation.

  65. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    First impression of Your Inner Fish.. Neil Shubin is very charismatic and entertaining. This is going to be good.

  66. Rob Grigjanis says

    Rev BDC @80: Agreed! And the lack of explosions and dramatic music makes for a nice change.

  67. rq says

    only ever get to 512

    You too, huh?

    Wait… No explosions in Your Inner Fish? Probably no car chases, either – just science. Pfft, not watching!
    (Actually, the trailer hooked me – I loved the book, and this is perfect for what the kids wanted a few months ago, “something about the very very very first animals”.)

    I’ve been enjoying NdGT’s style, to be honest, because it’s so engaging. So easy to watch, and understand – especially if I have to sit there and to simul-translate for the kids, since their English isn’t up to Science level yet, plus there’s no voice-over in the Latvian broadcast (though there’s no Latvian voice to compare) and they don’t read fast enough yet. And, you know, as a parent, I just have to be made to suffer – it all works out.

  68. ChasCPeterson says

    @#46: Yep. There is absolutely nothing good about the reptile pet trade. If they’re not illegally overcollected and smuggled, they’re captive-bred in tiny plastic shoeboxes stacked in shipping containers. Huge mortality all around, escapes/releases responsible for dozens of invasive-species situations, irreparable damage to habitats by efficient but destructive collectors, etc. etc. It’s all bad.

  69. johnfredlund says

    The TV show “Your Inner Fish” was badass! I have not seen a better portrayal of the big picture of our early evolution… Big thumbs up from me!

  70. birgerjohansson says

    “Superhuman cyborg drummer plays his first live gig”
    He should end each gig by shouting “I’ll be baaack”
    — — —
    North Korea’s Latest Purge: Execution by Flamethrower
    — — —
    Scientists reconstruct ancient impact that dwarfs dinosaur-extinction blast

  71. azhael says

    Aaaaaarrrrrrgggghhhhh you bastards….I want to watch Your Inner Fish!!
    In the words of the insane supercomputer: “I HAATE! I HAAAAAAAAAAATE!”.

  72. carlie says

    I believe PBS is showing all the episodes online at

    I refused to stay up to watch it, because I’ve gotten decent sleep for the past few days and I forgot how good that feels. So I was all NO, sleep is more important! And went to bed.

    And promptly woke up at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep. At all. So yeah.

  73. carlie says

    Aw, no way, PBS restricts by country? I would have thought better of them. Didn’t know that.

  74. birgerjohansson says

    The dead are treated with this respect because Merica is a Christian nation, you know.

    “One million buried in mass graves on forbidden New York island” Since 1869, still-born babies, the homeless, the poor and the unclaimed have been stacked one upon the other, three coffins deep, on Hart Island.
    People in North America will see a lunar eclipse next week. But in 11 months, northern Europe will be able to see a partial solar eclipse:,_2015
    You’ve Never Known Love Until You’ve Heard A Baby Sloth Squeak (VIDEO)

  75. rq says

    Crip Dyke!!!
    Sometime yesterday, I promised you a bread recipe. IT IS NOW HERE! I will post as a comment, and if you wish, I will also send you text version. :) Again, if the recipe doesn’t work out, these sorts of breads make wonderful doorstops.

    For those not interested in reading lengthy descriptions of how-to-make-bread, with random commentary by me, please skip.

    So, without further ado –
    (Apparently making bread is the perfect way to make this day all sunny n stuff, which is how this article starts. But I’ll skip to woo-y intro about bread smells and the oiie and get right to the making of)

    Three main steps (they cheat, though, because there are actually 4 main stages, but they’re making assumptions about how often you make bread yourself):
    1) dough prep;
    2) dough kneading;
    3) baking

    Dough is prepped usually in the evening, with baking the next day; if dough is prepped in the morning, baking can’t occur faster than 6 – 8 hours after. (My English rocks.)

    First things first, you need the ‘ieraugs‘ (the ear-oggs – the enleavening?). (Once this has been done the first time, you can save a piece of the dough for next time, to skip this step. More on that later.)

    1) In largish bowl, add about a cup of warm water, 1 package dry yeast, 2 – 3 teaspoons sugar and 2 – 3 teaspoons flour;
    2) Mix everything into a soupy porridge;
    3) Let stand in warmth – if your jar or bowl is too small, be warned, IT IS ALIVE and will try crawling out!!
    4) The enleavening is ready the following day (and at some point can be placed in the refrigerator, though perhaps do not attempt the first time and trust in yeast).

    Dough prep:
    1) In large bowl (to be ethnically correct, use brown and/or green and/or cobalt blue clay bowl), add 2 large cups (basically, a heaped cup) rye flour, a handful of caraway seeds (note: caraway can be replaced with sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, raisins, apricots, etc.).
    2) Pour 1.2 litres boiling water over everything and mix to smooth out clumps. The result should be a thickish porridge/sludge, but the recipe doesn’t provide actual viscosity in numbers, so you’ll have to judge for yourself – flour and water can be added as necessary;
    3) Mix intermittently as it cools to warm, basically something around body temp.;
    4) Add the enleavening and mix evenly (if the enleavening has been kept in the refrigerator, it should be removed a little in advance to let it wake from its peaceful slumber); dough should be a bit lighter and runnier after this addition;
    5) The bowl of dough-prep is covered with a towel and placed in a warm, evenly heated temperature overnight (suggestion: wrapping in blankets top and bottom; placing in beanbag chair with towels overtop; applying cats for extended periods of time; etc.).
    Dough is now sitting and getting sour and probably leavening, too. Go dough!

    Dough kneading:
    1) Optional step: prep an extra package of dry yeast – about 50 mL warm water with 1/2 – 1 teaspoons dry yeast, some sugar and flour, left in some warmth until it bubbles;
    2) Once the extra yeast is done, pour into dough;
    3) While dough is prepped, its ‘nest’ should be maintained warm (so have a cat/child curl up in that hole in the beanbag chair or at least cover it with blankets or something);
    4) Add a pinch of salt, 4 – 5 handfuls sugar (about 0.5 kg or slightly less) and regular wheat flour (about 1 kg); mix with a spoon (wooden only!!) until spoon breaks and dough is thick, or by hand after washing hands thoroughly;
    5) If dough is too hard or thick, then bread will be quite dry once baked; if too moist, then the loaves will lose shape on the pan;
    6) Smooth the top of the dough with wet hands, sprinkle a light layer of flour overtop, cover with towel, replace in nest;
    7) Let leaven and stand for 1.5 – 2 hours (up to 4).

    1) Pre-heat oven to 220° (that’s about 400, I think) in convection;
    2) Cover baking sheet with baking paper;
    3) Keep hands wet while working with dough to prevent sticking;
    4) Split dough approximately in half, shape into longish loaf form and place on one side of the baking sheet, repeat with second half, leaving aside some dough (about 250 mL) as enleavening for next time (if there even is a next time);
    5) Arrange loaves so that they are not touching, place in center of oven;
    6) Bake about 55 minutes;
    7) Wipe both loaves with wet hands, cover with towels (while still on pan) and let cool;
    8) Once it is no longer hot, eat and/or place into bags to prevent crust from becoming truly crusty (this isn’t like a whitebread crust, alright, it’s a true test for the teeth);
    9) Remaining dough can be collected into a jar, with lid (untightened), and placed in the refrigerator – if escape attempts are made, it can be stuffed back in and the lid replaced.

    If you ever complete this process, let me know the results (just curious). This is an rq-untested recipe, use at your own risk! (I picked it because it seems most authentic, it is from here.)
    Anyone else is free to make attempts, of course.

  76. rq says

    That information does me no good when I want them out. I don’t care what the point of dandelions is, they should come out with the tap root intact.

  77. azhael says

    Holy shit Skyforger sound fucking great xD Granted i´m diminishing its epic powers by listening to it while crocheting…but at least it´s a fucking dragon \m/

  78. rq says

    1) They’re too scrawny this time of year for salad and only look poorly in the browner bits of my garden, fooling me into thinking something non-radioactivity-resistant is growingthere;
    2) Never tried that (recipe?), but again, no flowers yet;
    3) They either (a) paint themselves yellow with them (which is kind of fun) or (b) blow the seeds all over the yard, thus participating in the cycle of life and my frustration at getting them out of the actually-flowered bits of the garden.
    They can do what they like on the lawn. But they steal nutrients from my roses.

  79. rq says

    (I won’t tell the band its epic powers have been diminished, azhael, but that better be some epic crocheting!)

  80. says

    Well, if it’s about the roses, then bring out the flamethrower.
    I need to ask my friend about the honey recipe…

    How history is taught
    Today in school we could read on the blackboard what the kids’ history teacher wrote about colonialism:
    -conflicts with natives
    So, that’s what they call genocide these days
    -cultural exchange and progress
    Ah yeah. There’s English Curry, so I think that counts….

  81. birgerjohansson says

  82. rq says

    So, the good news today is that we get the car back from the shop again…
    The bad news is, there’s a bill that comes with it. *sigh*

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

    Good afternoon all!
    I seem to have acquired a sinus virus or summer cold of some sort. Whatever it is, it’s majorly affected my ability to be productive.

    *hugs* for those as want them, I intend to pretend to revise some more…

  84. awakeinmo says

    Giliell #109:
    Wonderful! I’ve grown up rather resenting how my mother over-sheltered me. (Well, that, and her rages.) I’ve got a dog that I won’t let out of my sight. I can’t imagine what it must be like to let 2 children go. I’ll totally hold your hand. Or mix you a drink, if you’d like.

  85. says

    Well, they’re back
    With all limbs still attached. And at the time I told them to be back (for a first attempt I thought 30 min to be enough). I’m proud of them.
    I mean I can kind of see them from the kitchen window, and they don’t have to cross a road, but I’m still not comfortable that the 4yo needs the 6yo to ring the door bell in case she needs anything. Like an ambulance…
    Now, everybody can get comfortable again and eat strawberries

  86. rq says

    Yay Giliell! And you survived, too! *high five* And *double-high five* for personal no-kid time!
    I know the feeling – it’s a two minute walk from my parents’ apartment to Eldest’s music group, but the first time he walked it alone (at his own insistence), I think it took half an hour.

    Get well soon!

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


    Thanks for the bread recipe.


    I’m right there with you on child-paranoia.

  88. azhael says

    @101 rq

    (I won’t tell the band its epic powers have been diminished, azhael, but that better be some epic crocheting!)

    Please…it´s a dragon, that HAS to be 100% latvian pagan folk metal approved. If i had known in advance i was going to like the song i would have worn my crocheted viking helmet with knotted beard.

  89. rq says

    I suppose it will do ;) even without the helmet-and-beard combo.
    But you’re right, dragons should be Latvian pagan folk metal approved. They’re not too common in the old stories, but when they appear, they have (up to) 9 heads (evolve THAT body plan!).

  90. blf says


    Fake. No potatoes. And you’re supposed to use zucchinis to beat upknead the dough (well, what else are they possibly useful for…?).

  91. rq says

    Zucchini is not a Latvian sport.
    And trust me on this, the bread doesn’t need potatoes to be decent trebuchet-ammo.

  92. blf says

    The MDP owes me
    -an explenation [sic]
    -several pounds of cheese
    -a wall

    Eh? What did she for you?
    Or are you just trying to lure her from whereever she is… She still hasn’t been seen, I assume she’s either found a Universe filled with cheese, is glued to the floor and can’t leave the party, or has met a particularly intransigent pea.

    Actually, I got a call from the mental aquarium where they are caring for the Giant Squid who keep screaming “Not the penguin again!” from the top of the bell tower for several weeks. Apparently the squid, who had been quieting down and was starting to tolerate being near the water again, is now clinging to the roof of the tank and screaming “It’s coming! It’s coming!” No zucchinis have been sighted, so they were wondering if the squid knew something or was just having a relapse.

    Can’t she just dump her chicks on male penguins like other penguins do?

    Eggs. Not chicks, eggs. Stoopid males then sit on them all winter, starving, whilst she and the other intelligent ones fly off for tropical vacations and feasting, lots of cheese, MUSHROOMS!, vin, cheese, no peas, bacon, chocolate, and moar cheese.

  93. rq says

    I vote this:

    glued to the floor

    Which means someone has discovered super-super-super-super-SUPERGLUE.

  94. rq says

    You know you’re moving in the right circles when an up-and-coming rising star soloist from the national opera calls you up for a consultation on tourism opportunities in Canada. Ka-ching!
    Yes, you can all sit in my box seats whenever you’re in town for a performance; it’ll be fantastic. ;)

  95. opposablethumbs says

    With you on the kids-out-of-sight Giliell, you have done waaay better than we did!

    And the bread recipe sounds great, rq. I miss the kind of bread that you can use as an offensive weapon and need to cut with an axe … srsly, I love bread like that. (the baker from when I was a kid had the audacity to retire – retire, I tell you!!!! The nerve of the man! And he left his recipe to his kids, but the bread was never quite the same …)

  96. blf says

    glued to the floor

    Which means someone has discovered super-super-super-super-SUPERGLUE

    Possibly, but seems unlikely. You’d need a lot of horses to make a glue that strong, and even if that could be done, she’d just rip up the floor and CLOMP CLOMP off…

    The floor, I suspect, is critical to this hypothesis. It would have to be made of something indestructible, impenetrable, and inedible. There’s only one plausible candidate: British industrial cheddar.

    Ignoring, for the moment, the problem of how you would get her onto such a floor — and indeed, how you would make a floor out of something indestructible and impenetrable — there is still the issue of the glue.

    I suspect there isn’t any.

    Instead, a localized extreme gravitational anomaly might do it. Main problem is the impenetrable British industrial cheddar floor, which is, well, impenetrable. It probably would shield her from the downwards pull of a localized extreme gravitational anomaly.

    But not from the downwards push of a localized extreme antigravitational anomaly. Focused on her feet, she’d be unable to go up, cannot tunnel down through British industrial cheddar, and if would be very hard to slide along the floor, especially if the beam tracked her. Certain floor / room geometries, like the inside of a sphere, would also assist in keeping her trapped.

    Yet there remains the problems of how to make such a floor / room out of British industrial cheddar, and of how to get her to got anywheres near the stuff…

  97. azhael says


    I miss the kind of bread that you can use as an offensive weapon and need to cut with an axe …

    Hmmmm…..battle bread, just like Nanny Ogg knows how to make…

  98. says

    You’re not going to tell me that cheese-addicted penguin chick turned up in my fridge all by itself?

    I, once again, managed to stich the sleeve of the shirt to the back of the design.
    At least it explains why my needle suddenly was no longer able to penetrate the fabric.
    Well, it’s getting warmer anyway, the little guy can use a t-shirt, I suppose….

  99. rq says

    the problem of how you would get her onto such a floor

    Isn’t cheddar a type of fromage, and thus, by default, appealing to the MDP? Simply coat with glue, and await MDP impact. Non?

  100. opposablethumbs says

    Cheddar is definitely fromage, but British Industrial Cheddar …. may not be. It’s chemical composition is uncertain, though it probably has lots of numbers and the letter E in it. It’s texture, appearance and taste is that of venomous plastic-wrapped plastic; it comes in square slices and is capable under the right conditions of being both vicious and viscous.

  101. says

    Dalillama @59, Thanks for the additional info on GIMP and InkScape. The difference between raster-based graphics and vector-based graphics can be critical for some applications. I like the fact that vector-based graphics can be scaled up to tradeshow-booth-display size without loss of quality.

    After reading rq’s comments/recipes about Latvian bread and potatoes, I think we all need to visit Latvia. Scheduled activities: eating bread and potatoes.

    In other news mentioned up-thread, I too am going to miss the Colbert Report. Also, its kind of odd to see Colbert going up against Jimmy Fallon.

  102. says

    Lynna 133
    It’s my understanding that raster -based is preferred for many types of image editing, but if you’re changing the size and want to keep the scale intact you always use a vector-based program.

  103. bassmike says

    Good morning/afternoon/evening/night lounge.

    I hope everyone is well.

    My Dad’s funeral went well: It was standing room only at the ‘service’ which was nice to see. We had a simple family burial. Then a little get together at a golf club close by. My Mum seems to be bearing up pretty well.

    Now we’re all trying to get back to some normality.

    I see FossilFishy did his gig. Well done! As you say: it will be easier next time. Long may it continue.

    *Hugs*, grog, chocolate and bread-doorstops-trebuchet-ammo to all who want them.

  104. rq says

    [thought] When I go to Canada in June, I have to remember that I am not going home anymore. Things will be different, people will be different, and I am different, too. Let’s put this going-home nonsense away already. [/thought]

  105. rq says

    Hey, bassmike!! *hugs* and I’m glad things went well! I hope your mum and everyone else continue to hold up well, and to find the love and support that is needed in those around them.


    Hedgehog faces, with one mistake – the hedgehog-with-duck face is obviously a platypus/echidna cross. And I think it’s giving the finger in one of those pictures.

    … And the hedgehog faces led to elephant trunks, so I’ll leave that here, too.

  106. Portia says

    As is I didn’t want to explore with you enough, you have to toss bookstores in the mix!? :)

    Last night I summoned some scraps of energy and went to a young lawyers’ gathering (free food and drinks!). It was at a bar, and a young guy who was not with our group migrated over and drunkenly tried to engage me and a few of my friends. He sat down and at one point he was staring at my breasts very intently and asked ‘Where did you grow up?” I motioned to my breasts and said “These? They grew up while I was in middle school” It was lost on him but my friends laughed really hard, absolutely scandalized but loving it. :D

  107. rq says

    As long as he didn’t expect your breasts to reply all by themselves…. Mmkay, I admit, I took a few minutes to recover from laughing before typing that. I hope the rest of the evening was less creeped!
    As for the bookstores? Hey, I know how to have a good time. ;)

  108. birgerjohansson says

    I am glad your mom is holding up well.
    Hugs, if you want them.

  109. says

    [All about me post]
    Guess who’s driving a stick again!
    But I need to re-learn how to walk. ATM I automatically start to limp when I move faster than 1mph. And my shoes look all weird because the left one is brand new while I’ve been wearing the right one for a few weeks already.

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

    Thanks for posting the latvian folk-pop, it turns out that foreign language/intrumental music is the best revision music, and I now have a slight love of Latvian folk music.

    More generally, I’d like to explore more traditional [english/irish/welsh/various european/various non-european] tunes/songs, does anyone have any suggestions for composers or titles or keywords to search for? Typing “[country] traditional music” or “[country] folk music” into youtube is… not very successful.

    It sounds like your dad was well-loved. Hopefully you and your mum and family have good support networks to help you get through.

  111. rq says

    Bookmarking that, in the same stack as my thesis generator, my post-modernism generator, and my random facts generator. So much generation! :D Thanks.

    I’m only decently versed in Latvian folk rock etc., but I can provide some extra info on that, if you like.
    For something with a more Canadian folk spin, youtube Spirit of the West (band), Home for a Rest (song) (I’m at work, and for some reason the idiots have youtube blocked on all the work computers). Also, Great Big Sea (band) does some pretty neat Canadian/Celtic folksy rock stuff. Sarah Harmer is a bit less folksy, but some of her stuff might qualify. She has a great song with Great Big Sea called Captain Wedderburn, and it’s about getting laid. ;)

  112. rq says

    I also love how people keep confusing the Horde with the Hoard, PZ’s secret stash of gold and diamonds and cephalopod brains with which he will eventually acquire the materials and equipment necessary to dominate the world.

  113. says


    More generally, I’d like to explore more traditional [english/irish/welsh/various european/various non-european] tunes/songs, does anyone have any suggestions for composers or titles or keywords to search for? Typing “[country] traditional music” or “[country] folk music” into youtube is… not very successful.

    Off the top of my head.
    (note that there’s considerable overlap in these categories)
    The Corries, The Tannahill Weavers, Ewan McColl, Battlefield Band
    Alan Stivell, Tri Yann
    The Dubliners, the Chieftains, Andy Irvine, the Fureys, the Clancy Brothers (and/or Tommy Makem), Planxty, Tommy Peoples, Pat Kelleher
    Steeleye Span, Nancy Conescu, Show of Hands (also Steve Knightley and Phil Beer’s solo stuff),

    Doc Watson, Andrew Rowan Summers

    Great Big Sea (I think someone mentioned them already), Keith Murphy, Hanneke Cassel

  114. says

    Fucking hell. This is why I hate online payment systems. I paid the electric on Monday. The power company actually took the money on Wednesday. On Tuesday, I spent a couple bucks, and now am overdrawn. Twice, since I’d forgotten that there was a $3 fee coming up automatically as well from another source.

  115. opposablethumbs says

    Glad it went well, bassmike – and many many good wishes to you and yours. From my recollections of when I was in your shoes, there were recurring waves of all sorts of feelings (particularly of NO-this-does-not-compute feeling) at the most unexpected intervals after the funeral, and I’d like you to have plenty of hugs laid up for if that happens. Please help yourself to as many as you’d like, and don’t hesitate to let us know how you’re doing if you want to (hell, I still miss my mother and it’s been a few years).

    Portia, your mentally highly nutritious goodness knows no bounds. The fact that drunk-bro-lawyer didn’t get it makes it even funnier; and clearly your friends have the potential to be almost as cool as you are – if they just learn from you enough, of course! ;-)

  116. rq says

    Also, does Mumford and Sons (?) count? I think they have a bit of that alternative-folksy sound.
    Actually, you should have asked this question about 3 days ago, since there was a program on the local radio on Greek modern folk music, and now I can’t remember any of the band/artist names. :)

    For more of the epic stuff, google “epic folk music” – the first couple of entries look promising (also for just plain folk music: Nordic folk music – The Land of Eternal Winter; Best 10 Folk-Epic-Viking Songs I Ever Listened To), plus what looks like ways to find more stuff. :)
    There’s a bunch of potential folk metal bands listed here.

  117. says


    This is why I hate online payment systems.

    I actually love it. As every transaction happens realtime, there’s no chance of getting overdrawn. (Except for the bank’s own few euro per month fees, but they’re legally not allowed to charge for overdraft caused by their own charges, so it doesn’t matter.)

  118. says

    Weed(less) Monkey
    That’s the smegging problem; it’s not. The fuckers took two full days to process the transaction. This is a problem I’ve experienced with a lot of online bill payments.

  119. says

    When I pay anything it’s immediately withdrawn from my account, and possibly marked red on the online bank as “waiting to be processed”. I have a Visa Electron card because I don’t have a decent credit record… and I think it’s quite handy.

  120. rq says

    I think it’s once again the difference between the North American Way, and the European Way. :/
    I’ve never had a transaction occur slower than same-day processing online, plus if something takes longer to process, it goes into a category of funds called ‘reserved’, so when I look at my account, I see my ‘actual’ amount, then an aisle with the ‘reserved’ amount, and finally the aisle ‘funds at my disposal’, which is ‘actual’ – ‘reserved’, so even if a payment has not gone through immediately, I can see that and I know exactly how much money I can actually use (some local shops tend to be slow in processing if I pay by debit, but I still can’t be overdrawn, because that amount gets reserved as I make the payment in-shop).
    Sorry I can’t help more practically, here’s some *hugs*!! :(

  121. blf says

    You’re not going to tell me that cheese-addicted penguin chick turned up in my fridge all by itself?

    Sure I am! Here you go: “A cheese-loving penguin chick has commandeered yer fridge all by itself.”
    See how easy that was…

    There are other possibilities:

     ●  Matter transporter: Either deliberately or accidentally. Were you pissed off the reptilians lately? Or heard strange whooop-whoop!-WHOOPS!! noises? If not, than penguin transporting seems unlikely.

     ●  Cheese raid: Any penguin-shaped holes in the wall or refrigerator? If not, then a raid seems unlikely.

     ●  Misidentification: Look at the teeth. A penguin’s are ideally suited to eating cheese, MUSHROOMS!, and dentists.

     ●  Peas (or horses): Hiding from…

     ●  You: Remember that unusual “chicken” egg you put into the refrigerator awhiles back…?

    I think the most likely explanation is It’s not your refrigerator. It’s probably a TARDIS with a Chameleon Circuit that isn’t stuck in the “Police Call Box” mode. Does the “penguin chick” have a sonic screwdriver?

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

    Thanks rq & Dalillama, you’re amazing <3 I shall have an interesting revision season yet!

  123. blf says

    “Were you pissed off the reptilians lately?” — please consider that an example of preemptive pissed riting. I hasn’t been to the pub yets ternight…

  124. Portia says

    You’re too kind. ;) The guy was not with our lawyer group, he claimed to be in construction. In retrospect, that makes it funnier to me- the stereotype of a construction worker harassing women held true last night. Sometimes they don’t let you walk by before they catcall, they bring the catcall to you!

    bighugs, that sucks a lot

  125. rq says

    Sometimes they don’t let you walk by before they catcall, they bring the catcall to you!

    They’ve been working on their unwilling customer service standards. ;)

  126. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    They’ve been working on their unwilling customer service standards. ;)

    Nah. After observing the overwhelming dominance of customer disservice in industry, they’ve expanded into noncustomer disservice.

  127. says

    House Republicans in the USA may be unwilling to raise the minimum wage, but many states are going ahead with their laws to raised the minimum wage.

    Minnesota lawmakers passed a $9.50 an hour law and Governor Mark Dayton says he will sign it. (Democrats for the win.)

    Other states that have raised the minimum wage include Maryland and Connecticut. Coming soon, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Vermont. Most of these are right around the $10.00/hour mark. The federal minimum is $7.25. President Obama is working hard to change that, but Republicans in Congress refuse.
    Progress on a by-state level varies, with “blue” states making progress and “red” states stuck in the mud.

    This difference matches up nicely with blue states also expanding Medicaid and red states refusing to do so. What we have now are two different countries within the USA: we have states that treat their citizens well and states that treat their poor and low-wage citizens like shit.

    Even investments in education, environmental safeguards, and unionization of workers varies in a blue/red dichotomy.

  128. rq says

    Yep, your version works better. :)

    And Sarahface, one more for your list: Loreena McKennitt, also out of Canada. She does folksy traditional stuff but also some of the old ballads, plus original works. She also uses various ‘world’ styles sometimes, though she’s predominantly of the Celtic sort (with harp, as she is a harpist by trade).

  129. says

    Here’s a comparison by Steve Benen of two states that illustrate the red/blue dichotomy discussed in comment 172, Wisconsin is controlled by Republicans, Minnesota is controlled by Democrats.

    […] After the 2010 elections, Wisconsin got to work targeting collective bargaining, tax cuts, and reduced spending. After the 2010 elections, Minnesota got to work raising taxes on the wealthy and making new in-state investments in areas such as education and infrastructure.

    Whose governing model is proving to be more effective? […]

    Three years into Mr. Walker’s term, Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. As a candidate, Mr. Walker promised to produce 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term, but a year before the next election that number is less than 90,000. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. […]

    Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business. Republicans deserve some of the credit, particularly for their commitment to education reform. They also argue that Minnesota’s new growth stems from the low taxes and reduced spending under Mr. Dayton’s Republican predecessor, Tim Pawlenty. But Minnesota’s job growth was subpar during Mr. Pawlenty’s eight-year tenure and recovered only under Mr. Dayton.

    Right vs. Left in the Midwest, by Lawrence Jacobs, NY Times.

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

    I bought a bike!
    I’m going to learn how to ride a bike tomorrow!


  131. says

    Nope, no extension of jobless benefits for anyone. Why? Because John Boehner is confused:

    It’s been about four days since the Senate approved a bipartisan bill to extend federal unemployment benefits, and not only are House Republicans refusing to move on the legislation, they also seem increasingly confused about the debate itself.

    Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday it’s up to the White House to make a new proposal before he’ll consider an unemployment benefits extension, as the House left town for two weeks without acting on a bipartisan Senate bill. […]

    Boehner said he had made it clear to the president in December that an unemployment insurance extension would “have to be paid for and would have to include things that would help get our economy moving.”

    Asked what it would take for Boehner to allow House members to vote on jobless aid, the Speaker said, “You’ll have to ask the administration.” […]

    The Senate plan is fully paid for, plus, the Congressional Budget Office says it would create 200,000 jobs. The public supports the plan. I wish we could fire John Boehner.

  132. blf says

    I’m going to learn how to ride a bike tomorrow!

    Just in time for Paris-Roubaix the following day!

    A day’s training is more than adequate for learning how to plant yer face in the pavé.

  133. rq says

    I see chigau beat me to it, haha.

    I especially love her Shakespeare, though the Tennyson has its own awesomeness.
    (I’ll have to check which traditional folk you selected once I’m home, but I’m sure I’ll agree.)

  134. cicely says

    bassmike, I’m glad that the service went well, and your mother seems to be doing okay.


    I motioned to my breasts and said “These? They grew up while I was in middle school”


    As long as he didn’t expect your breasts to reply all by themselves

    Y’know, coulda been a great ventriloquism routine, there.

    *hugs* and sympathy for Dalillama.

    Beatrice, congrats on bikikle purchase, and luck with learning the Care And Feeding of same.

  135. rq says

    The face can be planted in the pavé with no training whatsoever, actually.

    Weed(less) Monkey
    I’m just curious, where do you hang your ski poles on a bicycle? My hands are usually occupied with the handle-bars… I’m for a jousting position front and rear, mostly, but I’m sure there are variants.

  136. Portia says

    Y’know, coulda been a great ventriloquism routine, there.

    HA! He didn’t stop staring even after I said that, and my friends were snickering, so I was egged on to bend down so my eyes were in his line of vision, which put my chin practically on the tabletop. I was very pleased with myself.

  137. rq says

    Y’know, coulda been a great ventriloquism routine, there.

    I just pictured the possible look on his face… “Uh, those things aren’t supposed to have an opinion. Crap.”

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

    you can laugh, but I almost fell over just pushing it home from the bike store.

    (I’m a comedy sketch waiting to happen)

  139. blf says

    HELMET, absolutely!

    I got my first helmet (the original Bell Biker) after watching a friend spectacularly crash at speed at the bottom of a hill we were descending: He misbraked, throwing himself over the handlebars, and instead of planting his face, landed on top of his head. He was absolutely vertical, head-on-ground and feet-in-air, before falling over.

    He was wearing a helmet (a Bell Biker, in fact). He got up, brushed himself off, checked the helmet (it had cracked (which it is supposed to do)), checked the bike, and we continued.

    Several years later, after replacing that original helmet with a lighter, cooler, Bell model, I crashed: Went off the road into a ditch, probably at speed (I have no memory of the actual crash). Woke up as I was being transferred from the ambulance gurney to the ER bed. Diagnosis? “Possible mild concussion” (and a few cuts and scrapes).

    That helmet was cracked. And replaced. Another Bell.

    A Very Good friend of mine once met Dr Bell himself (who is a keen cyclist), and told him about my accident. Dr Bell apparently replied to the effect he had developed that original Bell Biker because he was appalled at all the head injuries he’d seen after cycling crashes. Since then, he’s heard stories such as mine again and again…

    HELMET, absolutely!

  140. says

    rq, I haven’t actually tried bicycling with ski poles, but the idea scares the hell out of those obnoxious people who who rollerskate with ski poles, and I count that as success.

  141. says

    Good evening!
    hugs for bassmike

    yay for beatrice
    I admit to not having been on a bike since 2004

    I love Runrig for Scottish folk

    Talking ’bout music, i just swapped a shitload of music with a friend, very nice
    *puts on Nina Simone*

  142. chigau (違う) says


    …but I almost fell over just pushing it home from the bike store…

    Training wheels?

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

    rollerskate with ski poles


  144. blf says

    The face can be planted in the pavé with no training whatsoever, actually.

    Yes, but there’s a certain style to crashing. My vertical upside-down friend did it with buckets of style (albeit no pavé), whilst I just hit some loose debris (loose pavé ?) and went off the road — boring, albeit going into a ditch and counts for something (with points deduced for knocking meself out).

  145. blf says

    Anyone need an “and”? There’s an extra one for sale, all reasonable offers considered. No peas. Only used once.

  146. blf says

    Good grief. There’s some people (a club?) locally which does “Nordic Walking”, i.e., walking with ski poles. (No, I don’t get it either, and I’ve seen these people live and in-person…) Fortunately, they don’t go as fast as that skater, and are better at going in a straight line, so it’s usually possible to get out of their way instead of being knocked over, trod on, and stamped into the pavé.

  147. ajb47 says

    Sarahface re Music:

    Old Blind Dogs. The High Kings. Solas. Lunasa (I think there’s an accent in there somewhere).

    And seconding Loreena McKennitt and Great Big Sea.

    I also really like Gaelic Storm. They play a lot of up-tempo drinking tunes.

    We also once bought a CD called “Nordic Roots”, with many songs/artists from Scandinavia. I don’t know if it is still available.

  148. says

    So, yeah, let’s talk about peeing. As humans age it is likely that they will need to pee more frequently. Standing in long voting lines in places where the bathrooms are closed is just not going to fly. Furthermore, the statistics show that blacks and latinos and poor white folks stand in longer voting lines than do middle class or rich white folks. So I guess the restrictions on peeing will apply across a broad spectrum. Pregnant women? Parents who are forced by circumstance to have their small children stand in line with them?

    During the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. That wait alone is enough to deter would-be voters from going to the polls. But now residents in Florida’s most populous county will have another disincentive: they won’t be able to go to the bathroom.

    Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department quietly implemented a policy to close the bathrooms at all polling facilities, according to disability rights lawyer Marc Dubin. Dubin said the policy change was in “direct response” to an inquiry to the Elections Department about whether they had assessed accessibility of polling place bathrooms to those with disabilities.

    […] he received a written response announcing that the county would close all restrooms at polling places “to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly,” a January email stated. “[T]he Department’s policy is not to permit access to restrooms at polling sites on election days,” Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves said in a Feb. 14 email. […]

    Dubin said he was “shocked” at this response, and not just because it suppresses the vote for everybody. The Americans with Disabilities Act also requires entities to make “reasonable accommodations” to those with disabilities. For those with a number of conditions, including diabetics and those taking diuretics, closing the restroom will make standing in that line impossible, and thus discriminate against disabled voters.

    But those with disabilities are not the only ones who would suffer disproportionately from this policy. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis found that blacks and Hispanics waited almost twice as long to vote as whites in the 2012 presidential election. Another analysis found that this “time tax” also impacted young voters. And this would be one of a number Florida voter suppression policies that have a particular impact on the elderly. […]

    Think Progress link.

  149. says

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space @ 202, yes, it is an evil action taken by evil people. It is also understandable if you go in for totally unethical politics as a way to win.

    Of the 4,235,270 votes cast for Obama statewide, the president won Florida by just 73,189 votes.

    And some 69,000 of them — a whopping 94 percent — came from his increased vote margin in Miami-Dade County[…].

    So, yes, that’s why it is so important to make people stand in line for six or more hours in Miami-Dade County while also being banned from all the nearby restrooms. No peeing is allowed, no bathroom breaks, for Democrats. Damned liberals anyway. Republicans are practical when it comes to restricting voting rights. This no-peeing thing is evil genius.

    Almost Single-Handedly, Mighty Miami-Dade Delivered Florida to Obama
    Miami-Dade County has a high-density urban population, with more than two million residents. About 20% black, and about 63% Latino. So, yeah, restrict the number of voting days, the number of polling places, the hours polling places are open, and the number of unlocked bathrooms.

  150. opposablethumbs says

    Sarahface – Findask (Scottish). Also consider The Bees’ Knees and their second album, Farewell to Decorum. :-)

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

    Thanks, ARIDS. I’ll look in.

  152. Denverly says

    Anyone know the best way/place to donate hair in the US? I’m ready to get rid of my long hair, and I’ve heard a lot about locks of love and I was wondering the best way to go about donating it.

  153. rq says

    shoot a rifle. Gently, of course

    I would love to shooot a rifle gently, right now.
    Quick, I need some hopeful feminism. I think Husband just killed a lot of my enthusiasm, by presenting the exact kind of attitude that he claims to be fighting against (“Give me some facts and statistics. Mine? I’ just basing my statements on my hopes for the future. Got anything solid to give me?).

    *tearing hear out at the roots*

    And he wonders why women get so fucking exhausted from fighting for their own rights and privileges in larger groups of (un)familiar men.

  154. rq says

    I’m not in the US, but I’m still going with Locks of Love because it’s the only one I know that does charity – every other place locally makes wigs for money.
    And yeah, I’ll be mailing it in. :)

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


    Time zones being what they are I suspect you won’t see this before your big bike adventure. I hope it went well. If you’re having trouble, I own a small bike store and Ms. Fishy has training in teaching people to cycle, mostly special needs folks. I’s got the advices, and plenty of ’em. Some even evidence based!!!11!!!

  156. gog says

    Saw a hoot on my news feed today. I guess some (dis)-ingenous buzzfeed user devised a privilege-measuring quiz One of my friends posted that since he scored 36 (I scored 39) points out of 100, and that it told him that he wasn’t privileged, that means he really isn’t.

    What bugs me is that this is another way for people with very specific privileges (being white, male, etc.) a way to dodge any accusation that they possess privilege.

  157. says

    Promotion now completely official. 175,000 employee, 800+ location, nearly 2 billion in profits company decided to give me some authority. Not a whole lot, and only over a one part of one location, but still. In military terms, it’s about the level of a Corporal. Which, incidentally, was my final rank in the Marine Corps. Which is kind of sad after 5 years, but at least my rank never went backwards.

    Still have some paperwork to do to get everything in the system so I get paid properly and have access to all the systems I need, that’s scheduled for Monday. Had a long day today at training. Well, not long at training, that was only a little over 5 hours… but held at one of the stores nearer the district offices, about three hours away(one way). Add on having to go about half an hour(one way) out of my way to pick up a coworker, it was a very long day.

    I suspect our operations manager is very happy right now. He handles two stores. Of the five stores that sent people for training, there were only two where everyone was actually in dress code- Both of his. It’s really a minor point, but every bit where we look good is nice.

    In non job related stuff… a friend casually mentioned Firefly. This was the final little push for me to actually check it out.

    Now, I’ve been rather unspoiled. I knew the Captains name was Mal. I had heard the name River Tam enough to know she’s important(in what way, and to what extent, I still don’t know- only on episode 3). I knew they were criminals with a bit of a heroic streak. That was really about all I knew. I didn’t even know the ships name was Serenity.

    My friend mentioned it on Wendsday. Signed up for a Hulu Plus free trial that night, checked it out. I’m up to Episode 3. If it wasn’t for needing to sleep for work Thursday and today(Friday), and being tired from the long day today, I’d probably already be raging at Hulu Plus for not having the whole series up yet.

    People actually still use phillips head screwdrivers in this universe. Yeah, that’s a little thing, but it helps me suspend disbelief- I mean, phillips head screwdrivers are a proven technology. Sure, some other types have advantages, but we wouldn’t give up good old phillips head just because we are in space. This really helped draw me in. Things look like stuff humans would actually build for the purpose they are used in the show.

    Characters are great. And the actors were on their roles from day one so well it’s almost reason to suspect that Joss has a Season 0 hidden in some vault, ready to release if he ever desperately needs money.

    My dad had watched the show, though, and didn’t realize that the same actor played Mal and Castle. He’s put on some weight since…

  158. chigau (違う) says

    gog #214
    I scored 33.
    But I’m old and didn’t grok many of the questions.

  159. says

    Gog@214 –

    Not sure I like that quiz.

    For instance… make more than peers of a different gender? I honestly have no clue. Over the entire workforce, I probably do. But in my field, or in my company, things might be different.

    Some more granularity- even a “don’t know” option, would be nice.

    Of course, in many cases, “don’t know” would be itself an indicator of privilege. Being a cis white guy, I can ignore some stuff entirely and be fine where other people wouldn’t be.

  160. A. Noyd says

    I’m in bed and my cat is curled up with her front legs on my shoulder. She just fell asleep so suddenly she did a faceplant into my cheek. Now she’s twitching.

  161. says

    That quiz. I’ve seen a few where my response after “I have no idea” is “if you expect me to open up enough to strangers to find out, you are insane.”.

    Not sure I can actually make a decision on these questions to get a response. Though I’ll hazard a guess that my reactions indicate at least some awareness of where I am and am not privileged.

  162. rq says

    Congrats on the promotion!! That’s absolutely super, and I’m really glad for you!!
    And yeah, Firefly was pretty enjoyable for little grounding details like proper screwdrivers. :) I finally watched it sometime last year, myself. And once did a quiz that said I was a lot like Captain Mal.


    re: the quiz:
    “I am not nervous in airport security lines”… I understand the point, but I’m always nervous in airport security lines. They could bother narrowing things down and specifying a bit.
    Oh, it’s Buzzfeed. Okay.

  163. says

    chigau @219:
    Thank you for that link. Pharyngula and Dispatches are the only FtB blogs that I regularly follow. I check in frequently on several others (B&W, Almost Diamonds, Mano’s, Lousy Canuck). Then there are the blogs where I check out only occasionally (such as Avicenna’s or Greta’s). I probably wouldn’t have checked out Avicenna’s post otherwise, but your suggestion prompted me to. I’m glad I did.

    (btw, while I don’t regularly read most of the blogs in this network, that’s not due to a perceived lack of quality. I’ve enjoyed a great many posts from Avicenna, Ophelia, Jason, Stephanie, Mano, and Greta ((other bloggers too)). I definitely like having them here and I think each of them is a unique voice that I enjoy reading–there’s just not enough time in the day.)

  164. blf says

    [The cat] fell asleep so suddenly she did a faceplant into my cheek. Now she’s twitching.

    She’s practicing(? dreaming of?) landings for when normal service with the trebuchet resumes.

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

    My ass, arms, hands, whole pelvic area, blisters on my hands, that little blister on top of another blister all hurt… but I drove the bike all by myself!

    I’m still having false starts so I can’t say I’ve really learned how to ride it, but I’m *this* close.

    FossilFishy, thanks for the offer. I’m going to take you on it. I fell a couple of times and probably related to that… the front break is now working a bit too well. As in, making the front wheel squeak all the time. Oil/set something by myself or take it to the store on monday?
    YOu’re going to say to take it to the store, so it’s redundant.
    Have you any idea if this can be result of falls, or something worrying about the bike quality?

  166. Gregory Greenwood says

    In a good mood today? Feeling that there may be a few bastions of decent Cinema left in the world? Let me help you with that – que the forthcoming movie I, Origins* show cased at the Sundance film festival.

    Eyes as literal ‘windows to the soul’? Check.

    Cussing out science for being mean to god? Check.

    Heavy handed plotlines about ‘scientific beliefs’ (a term that on its own demonstrates that the writers have no understanding whatsoever about the scientific method – it is hardly about blind faith) being ‘disproved’ by spiritualism? Check.

    It is a supermassive black hole of teh smug, ignorant stoopid, and that is before we get to the creepy guy stalking a child in India because she supposedly has his deceased wife’s eyes…

    It is enough to put you off films for good.


    * Health advisory for toxic levels of credulous, wooist idiocy

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

    Of all the bullshit on top of other bullshit in that movie, there’s also the improbability of finding that match (even if there was possibility for it to exist), but I guess that was Fate and Serendipity and other randomly bolded words.

  168. opposablethumbs says

    I don’t know how people search for/remember the numbers of individual xkcd’s but I think there was a What If post which actually worked out the odds of finding your soulmate if everybody had one.
    The odds are Not Good.
    So surprising, right? :-)

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

    My email is now filling up with “You changed your password!” emails. The trouble is now going to be remembering all those new ones, because many of the old ones were practically old friends. (Bad practice, I know.) :-/

    Many many thanks to everyone who’s contributed music suggestions, I’ve got a doc of them all to make my way through now. :)

    Congrats on the promotion! Good luck with the new position :)

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

    I tend to find (though I’m not an expert, so FossilFishy is probably going to give you better advice) that squeaky brakes means the brake pads are badly adjusted and are too close to one side or the other. AFAIK, that’s a relatively simple fix.
    If you can find one, try and get a bike shop where not only will they fix your bike for you, but they’ll also teach you how how to fix the issues in the future (or at least common ones, like seat adjustments, punctures, little fixes that you can do at home with few tools).

  171. rq says

    Huh, well, I’m disappointed. I rather enjoyed Another Earth in a weird kind of depressive way, especially the soundtrack. But that one was less woo-y, I think. Was a while ago.

    Go you on that bicycle, and yeah, squeaky brakes seems like something potentially simple and self-fixable, but of course, I expect real expert advice to arrive soon.
    In any case, yay for getting the hang of it (more or less) – with practice, you’ll soon be doing this! ;)

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

    Hey Beatrice, good on you for riding! I’m not sure I would have persisted to the point of blisters myself, but then I’m a wimp.

    Yup, you might need to take it back to be checked. That is of course the safest thing to do.

    But there is a couple of things you can try first. It sounds like one or both of the brake pads is rubbing. Starting at the brake lever on the handlebars follow the cable down to the brake. Make sure that the black plastic housing that the cable runs through is seated at both ends. Sometimes a crash can pull the housing out of its seat causing the brakes to be too tight. If your brake cable goes into a silver noodle-thingy, (noodle is the correct technical term btw) make sure that the noodle’s nose is seated in the brake. It’s hard to explain, but if you look closely at the end of the noodle farthest from the handlebars it will be a bit pointed and have a small collar just above the end. That collar needs to be against the edges of the hole in the brake. It’s not uncommon for the nose of the noodle to be hooked against the hole’s edge instead of poking through it, this is bad.

    If all that’s okay, check to see if it’s only one pad rubbing. If it is, the first thing to do is make sure the wheel is seated correctly in the forks. A crash can push the wheel to one side causing the brake to rub especially if it wasn’t done up properly in the first place.

    There are two attachment systems for wheels, regular nuts (on cheap bikes) and quick releases. If has regular nuts you need to loosen them and push the bike down so that the wheel axle seats properly in the forks before retightening them.

    If it’s a quick release there will be a lever at the axle, usually on the left side, that needs to be pulled open. Once it’s open, again, push down to seat the wheel. When you’re doing pushing the lever back in make sure that the lever is vertical and just in front of the fork when closed.

    There are two general types of quick releases, one’s with straightish blades, usually made out of steel and ones with more curved blades, usually made out of aluminium and almost always featuring a cut out triangle in the side.

    For a steel lever, tighten the nut on the opposite side from the lever until the lever is sticking in straight line out from the axel when you’re pushing as hard as you can with just your little finger. Quick releases need to compress the axle by 0.6mm in order to be safe. The manufactures know this and they all make some way to tell how much to tighten the nut in order to get that compression.

    For the vast majority of steel quick releases the point where you’re now compressing the axle, rather than just taking up slack, needs to be when the lever blade is aligned straight out from the axle. By using your little finger as hard as you can you can find that point without being able to over tighten it. I’m sorry if I’m over explaining, but this is an important thing that is much misunderstood.

    For aluminium quick releases the procedure is the same except that the goal is to have the point of the cut out triangle that points along the lever blade pointing straight out from axle when you can no longer push it in with your little finger.

    Make sure you push the lever all the way in. If it’s resting against the fork it won’t be far enough in to be safe. The mechanism is a simple cam with a high point just before the end of its travel. If you don’t get over the high point all that force you put on it getting it shut can cause it to come open. Equal and opposite forces and all that.

    You also want to make sure your wheel is not bent. If you can get it to turn freely, simply spin it and watch for wobbles. Cheap wheel often get wobbles, “go out of true” in bike jargon, during the first few rides. The store should take care of that, though if it’s obvious crash damage they might not do it for free.

    If the cables are seated properly and the wheel is in the fork properly then it might be that brake itself is damaged or spring has come off. The most common type of brake has two vertical arms that move the pads against the rim. They are held open when the brake isn’t being activated by a long, straight, steel spring that hooks onto the back of them. It’s not uncommon for those springs to become unhooked. Look for a stiff steel wire sticking out next to the brake arm. They’re pretty easy to put back, though sometimes you need a lever of some sort. Check the opposite brake arm for how the spring hooks on.

    If all that seems to check out then either something is damaged, brake or even possibly the fork, and needs professional attention or the cable is too tight and needs to be loosened. Mind you, if this rubbing wasn’t happening before the a too tight cable is pretty unlikely unless someone has been fiddling with it.

    Phew, I talk about this stuff all the time and I’m never sure if it’s making any sense. Sorry if I’m just making things more confusing.

    It’s 12:30am here and I must go to bed. I’ll pop in tomorrow to see how you’re going. If you see dhorvath lurking about somewhere he’s a good one to ask about this stuff too.

  173. Gregory Greenwood says

    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought @ 229;

    Of all the bullshit on top of other bullshit in that movie, there’s also the improbability of finding that match (even if there was possibility for it to exist), but I guess that was Fate and Serendipity and other randomly bolded words.

    Doesn’t that lie at the heart of the entire racket of florrid, ‘find your soul-mate’ romanticism? The idea that the mark is indeed a special snowflake, and that god/destiny/the universe has ensured that there exists one other equally special snowflake in all the world whose heart beats just for you, and that the spheres will align and all of reality will conspire to bring the two of you together no matter how far apart you are or how unlikely it is, despite the ludicrously vast odds of two particular individuals among billions just wandering into one another.

    It is the same hook that pretty much all of religion uses. It seeks to convince the potential convert of that which so many people already want to believe; that, despite the vastness of the universe at large, they are not, in the grand scheme of things, ultimately rather insignificant individuals, but instead are of cosmic import. That the petty too-ings and fro-ings of their lives are important enough to be of interest to anyone outside themselves. Indeed, are so important that they must be pre-ordained.

    And also like religion, this encouragement toward egotistical self-obsession with regard to ordained romance can be dangerous. Afterall, if you buy into this, and believe that you have found your one and only true soulmate who was created just to be with you, only to discover that they do not feel the same, and perhaps find your weird obsessiveness creepy or threatening, then how is the thwarted party likely to react, especially if existing power gradients in society already favour them over the target of their stalkerly behaviour? I wonder to what degree rubbish like this feeble excuse for a movie (and the whole wider industry of promoting obsessive psuedo-love that surrounds it) contributes to a the problems society has with harrassment, stalking, and the violence that often escalates from those roots.

  174. gog says

    @chigau #214

    Understandable. Thirty-three is pretty close to my and my acquaintance’s, so I don’t think you completely failed to grasp it.

    @gworrol #216,220, @rq #221

    It’s not only that the responses aren’t granular or general enough, but that it’s unweighted. If you’re white and male in the United States, you have a lot of leeway in social expectations of your behavior and demeanor.

    Also, yes, it’s Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed is pretty awful most of the time, but I had to look at the quiz because I’m

    a) morbidly curious and
    b) terminally stupid.

  175. rq says

    Plus, Buzzfeed is horribly practiced at the art of clickbait. And even when I know I shouldn’t, I lick…
    (I got a 59, by the way – which doesn’t surprise me at all.)

  176. rq says

    CLICK! CLICK! I meant to say CLICK, last word in first line of my comment!!! I don’t lick things on Buzzfeed, and hopefully never will! Ugggghhh Tpyos, must you really?

  177. gog says


    I, too, have hovered over a link with a sensational title and, before looking at the target URL, thinking to myself “this is fuckin’ Buzzfeed; I really just shouldn’t bother.” Then, shamefully, I click it anyway.

    We certainly aren’t alone, though…

  178. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, anti-vaxxer category.

    Yes, many mormons are also anti-vaxxers. The mormon culture cultivates gullibility. Once you learn to base your decisions on a burning in the bosom that indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit guiding you, well then you’re up for anything. You are the perfect mark for multi-level marketing schemes, for new-age non-traditional medicine, and for whacko theories of all kinds. The anti-vaccine meme is hot in Maricopa County, Arizona, which boasts a concentration of mormons.

    Measles Confirmed In Maricopa County

    Public locations of where and when people may have been exposed to this person are as follows:

    – March 29th- Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 4; 6:30pm until 10:00pm
    – March 30th- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Cave Creek Chapel, 38008 N. Basin Rd in Cave Creek (Cave Creek, Desert Ridge and Pinnacle Peak Wards); 1:00pm until 5:00pm
    – March 31st- Wildflower Bread Company, 15640 N. Hayden Rd in Scottsdale; 12:00pm until 5pm
    – March 31st- Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 4; 3:00pm until 7:00pm

    “Measles is the most contagious disease known to man which is why when we find one case, we must act quickly to identify additional cases and stop the outbreak as soon as possible,” said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

    “The frustration is that if enough people get just 2 doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine, we would have enough immunity in the population to prevent outbreaks from happening at all. But now, again, we may watch individuals potentially get sick, lose time at work and school, and watch healthcare resources unnecessarily devoted to trying to contain this,” England added.

  179. birgerjohansson says

    Bernie Sanders: Greedy billionaires twisting American dream into nightmarish oligarchy

    -He may run in the primaries to provide a genuinely progressive option.

    — — — —

    Behold DeMint, new boss of the Heritage Institute:

    -Odd. I thought the federal government had quite a lot to do with the emancipiation of the slaves…

  180. blf says

    I don’t lick things on Buzzfeed…

    Horses. An obvious plot of the horses. Next you’ll be saying potato is spelled with an e. That, of course, opens the Pathway To A Pea, and the eventual reduction of the Universe to a Fake Beef and Pea Soup, with an Otto garnish…

  181. says

    Possible iris patterns are probably finite. Only so many ways for molecules to form into cells, and still fewer for those cells to form into irises.

    While the number of possible patterns would still be huge, if all he has is the iris pattern match, that’s a curiosity at best. It’s going to happen, eventually, if the set of possible iris patterns, however large, is finite. So really only a curiosity that the two matched people were so close in time, not that they existed as a match in the first place.

    This isn’t a man opening his mind, it’s a man utterly broken after the love of his life died, and reading a mere coincidence as something more- grasping at straws so he can have her back. At least, that could be a movie built off this premise that might be worth watching. Somehow, I doubt that’s where they are going with this.

  182. says

    Sometimes incest is voluntary? Did a Republican politician really say that? Is that really his reason for saying abortions rights are not needed for incest victims? Oh, yeah, that’s for real.

    A Virginia Republican currently running for the U.S. House of Representatives believes that incest exceptions in abortion bans are unnecessary because sometimes incest is “voluntary,” […]

    Delegate Bob Marshall has a record of saying absolutely reprehensible things about absolutely everything — and he has the voting record to match.

    Marshall also believes that children born with developmental disabilities are God’s “vengeance” on people who have had abortions.

    “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” Marshall said at a 2010 event to defund Planned Parenthood. […]

    At a 2013 event, Marshall speculated that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was gay, because he could see no other reason why the justice would write the majority opinion in the court’s ruling on equal marriage. “For all I know, Kennedy’s a homosexual,” he said. “You can’t be doing some of these things without this kind of conclusion.” […]

    Salon link.

  183. raven says


    “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” Marshall said at a 2010 event to defund Planned Parenthood. […]

    This BTW, is totally false.

    They’ve looked at it long ago and the data says this doesn’t happen. Bob Marshall is just flat out lying.

    Hi Lynna. How is the rock hunting going these days?

  184. Gregory Greenwood says

    gworroll @ 246;

    This isn’t a man opening his mind, it’s a man utterly broken after the love of his life died, and reading a mere coincidence as something more- grasping at straws so he can have her back. At least, that could be a movie built off this premise that might be worth watching. Somehow, I doubt that’s where they are going with this.

    That is already a hundred times better than the junk we have seen so far from this movie. An examination of the pain of loss, the perils of confirmation bias leading you into the clutches of charlatans, and the lead character’s journey toward final acceptance that the woman he loved is gone, and that he must learn to live with that reality and try to honour her memory by being a better person would be infinitely preferable to the flaccid mass of woo in the trailer. Sadly, it is very unlikely that any quarter of the movie industry has the backbone to unambiguously stand up to the scheisters like that these days. Instead, they will court the money and influence of the Deepak Chopras of the world in order to turn a quick buck.

  185. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Oh Maude…… Personal moment of Mormon Madness.

    I’ve discovered that “every single one” of my neighbors on this tiny street on top of a mountain are Mormons!

    Either I’ve got my work cut out for me…. Or, I’d better keep my mouth shut.

    I knew I was in republican territory when I saw all the American flags flying. I thought it would be amusing to counter with a flag-flying of my own… A different flag for a different country every month.
    No, huh. Probably not a good idea.

    Ever onward.

  186. says

    Hey, raven, @248, yeah I know Bob Marshall is full of bullshit. He has all of his “facts” wrong, but thanks for making that clear. Many of Marshall’s concepts have been thoroughly debunked, but he is repeating crap that continues to circulate in the synaptic sludge of Republican Old White Guy Land.

    Lots of things have gone wrong in Virginia, politically speaking, and Bob Marshall is jut one of those things. He does not apologize: “I don’t care. I mean, if I say something in public, I say it in public.” Raw Story link.

    Marshall has a strong following among hard-core social conservatives giving him a shot at being the Republican nominee for the seat that the retiring Wolf has held for seventeen terms.

    As for rock hunting, the season for that is almost here! Have to wait for the rest of the snow pack to melt out of the high country. Still have an active mining claim, but thanks to post-stroke disability I am a lot slower when it comes to extending the trench where the main lode is. I have to rely on my brother for help, which is fine. We are still selling raw slabs from rock we mined last year. My brother recently shipped some slabs to Australia, which is just really odd when you think about it.

    I have been easing my cabin fever by cleaning all the debris out of my rock gardens. Lots of junk gets blown in over the winter. Cleaning gives me an excuse to look at my ever-expanding collection. You can’t have too many rocks.

  187. says

    Speaking of rocks, there are lots of sandstone ridges and cliff faces in Utah’s National Parks where you can view pre-historic rock art. Unfortunately, numerous modern day visitors have scratched, painted, or hammered ugly graffiti over the old art.

    Heavily vandalized area of Arches National Park closed

    This vandalism really hurts me. I’ve visited and written about a lot of those sites. About 14 years ago, I finished a book on Utah’s wilderness and proposed wilderness areas (some of the proposed areas are within National Park boundaries). To see these areas degraded is depressing.

  188. says

    More ugly news out of Utah. As is the Utah and mostly mormon way, this ugly news pretends to be loving and tolerant:

    […] “We are not [acting] out of animus or any sinister motives against individuals or families in Utah,” Reyes [Attorney General Sean Reyes] said. “Whenever people suffer or are hurt, I feel sorry. … […]”

    While multiple speakers against gay marriage professed compassion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their families, the rally brushed against the concurrent “National Day of Silence” recognizing LGBT victims of bullying.

    Speaker Cherilyn Eagar focused on that celebration, decrying it as “pro-gay” and urging judges, schools and elected officials to stop the anti-bullying event.

    “Our voices are being silenced,” Eagar said, arguing that such anti-bullying initiatives stifle gay-marriage opponents’ speech. “Stand up today and speak out courageously.”

    Eagar warned that same-sex-marriage advocates “wish to redefine the institution for their own selfish purposes.” She also warned that her Sandy-based group, American Leadership Fund, would seek the removal of any federal judge who finds Utah’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional — as U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby did on Dec. 20, prompting a rush of same-sex weddings at county clerks’ offices across the state and leading to Thursday’s appeal arguments in Denver.

    “Should this panel of three judges declare [the ban illegal], they will be defying their own court’s standard of ‘rational basis,’ and we will petition to have them, and all other judges in the federal courts who are defying or redefining their own rules, removed from the court,” Eager said to cheers from a crowd of about 100 people in the Utah Capitol Rotunda. […]

  189. says

    From the readers comments section associated with the article linked in #253 (anti-gay court battles in Utah, rallies, etc.)

    As a taxpaying citizen, I demand that the State of Utah STOP using my taxpayer dollars to decide and fight for what the LDS Church has determined is right and wrong
    This [rally] was by the very people representing the State of Utah before the appellate court. A higher standard of behavior is not an unreasonable request. They have poisoned the well they are drinking from.
    This issue is just really simple. The people against equal rights for the LGBT community are motivated by their religious beliefs and most of them in this state are Mormon. They’re not in any way motivated by their interpretation of the constitutionality of the laws they are trying to implement and enforce. Quite the opposite; they would really like to change the constitution in order to establish a Mormon Theocracy.

    As for the accusation of their being motivated by hate there is no denying that. When you do hateful things to other people and create misery and discontent in their lives because you so hate their lifestyle choices you would rather deny their civil rights than let them live in peace, you are absolutely motivated by hate…

  190. raven says

    This vandalism really hurts me.

    Yeah, I know what you mean.

    We once went on a raft trip down the Green river. At the takeout, there were some well done petroglyphs in red of a herd of mountain sheep. Unlike a lot of them they were at eye level and you could walk right up to them. Someone had used them for target practice and destroyed some of them.

    Lots of things have gone wrong in Virginia, politically speaking, and Bob Marshall is jut one of those things.

    Guy is an obvious pathological liar and gibbering loon. Can’t see why anyone would trust him.

  191. A. Noyd says

    WMDKitty (#225)

    That’s a classic Nap Attack.

    Wow, that is classic. That strip’s from the first year of Garfield, it looks like.

  192. says

    morgan @250:

    I’ve discovered that “every single one” of my neighbors on this tiny street on top of a mountain are Mormons!

    You can establish your non-mormonness in more subtle ways than the flag flying scheme. Just do some yard work on a Sunday while wearing no shirt if you are male, or while wearing a sleeveless blouse or tank top if you are female. That’ll do it.

    Other options:
    – sit in your front yard drinking coffee and/or booze
    – also a front yard display: read or use electronic devices while still in your pajamas from about 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Sundays
    – host parties with scantily clad guests

  193. carlie says

    Tiny brag/craft tip: I just made the cutest damn stitch markers ever, with about 2 hours total time and $5.50. (and most of the time was driving to two stores and staring at everything forever). I got a couple of boxes of fancy toggle clasps (these )and used the circular part for the main marker. They already have a little spot at the bottom for a connector, so one jump ring and a cute metal bird charm, and voila. The bird charm wasn’t even really a charm, but a metal stamped bird from a string in the strung bead section, so cheaper than in the charm section. Made a full dozen out of that, and am now bemoaning that it’s a gift for someone else. :D

  194. says

    raven @255:

    We once went on a raft trip down the Green river. At the takeout, there were some well done petroglyphs in red of a herd of mountain sheep. Unlike a lot of them they were at eye level and you could walk right up to them. Someone had used them for target practice and destroyed some of them.

    That is just despicable. The semi-good news is that other petroglyphs along the Green River have not been damaged because you have to walk a little ways to see them, because there are so many of them that they haven’t all been spotted by vandals, and because a proposed wilderness corridor protects sections of the river from road access. There’s still a lot of boat access (the river is a veritable highway of rafts each season), but even the boaters who camp on the shore don’t walk the short distances required to view some of the petroglyphs.

  195. says

    More readers comments from the Salt Lake Tribune article (link in #253):

    Nothing screams lack of intelligence like protesting against “marriage for all” with a sign that states, “For Marriage, Not Against Anyone.”
    If you stand up for an unconstitutional law that seeks to deprive people of their fundamental right to marry, it’s quite obvious you hate them whether or not you do it with a smile. Hatred isn’t a feeling, it’s an action, and by his actions, our Attorney General is demonstrating his hatred of gay people all too clearly. He practices such hatred with his eyes on the next election.
    OK, Sean Reyes: You say you’re doing this “for the children.” All of the proof that you’ve cited to show that children are harmed in homosexual families has been debunked but you still won’t change your tune. This shows that you are an ideologue, not a rational peson. How much more “sinister” can you get for your motives?
    The pols pay attention to them because they control the political conventions. They have power because we give it to them through voter apathy. If you don’t like what they are doing, field viable candidates to oppose them and get out the vote. Pretty simple.
    Many gay young men have committed suicide BECAUSE of the bullying which occurs at Utah public schools, Ms.Eagar. Once you made the suggestion to “stop the anti-bullying campaigns”, A.G.Reyes should have had you escorted from the building.
    I know of many friends growing up that wish they had a father. But with 5 or more siblings as well as a dad that is a bishop or stake president, the father was never there.
    It should be a crime that these people trundle out brain-washed 11 year olds to spew their vitriol

  196. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Thanks for the tips, Lynna. I guess I’ve already signaled my “non-compliance.” Hubby and I often sit out front at cocktail time and sip our Tequila or Gin.

    Mission Accomplished!

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

    Thanks for the professional advice, FossilFishy ! (and others too)
    I spent the afternoon out with mum, so I’m a bit tired now, but I’ll follow the instructions and check everything tomorrow. The light will be better then too.
    I also bought a ridiculously expensive lock, so I hope no one will steal the bike. Unfortunately, I have to keep it out in the hallway.

    I live on the thirteenth floor (!), and the couple above me got one of theirs stolen just a couple of months ago.

  198. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness, lying apostles category. This info is courtesy of ex-mormon “Simon in Oz.”

    The Church Is Wonderfully Well in Asia, Elder Holland Reports

    If an apostle says the church is doing wonderfully well in Asia has the thinking been done?

    There can be absolutely no doubt that Holland is fully aware of the disastrous performance of the church in Asia. In some places it can only be described as a collapse.

    South Korea – 27% fall in congregations since 1999 (175 down to 128)
    Meanwhile South Koreas’s population has grown by 7% since 1999

    Japan – 12% fall in congregations since 2000 (317 down to 279)
    Meanwhile Japan’s population has grown by 0.5% since 2000

    Hong Kong – 20% fall in congregations since 2001(41 down to 33)
    Meanwhile Hong Kong’s population has grown by 7% since 2001

    Philippines – 8% fall in congregations since 2002 (1234 down to 1134)
    Meanwhile the Philippine population has grown by 19% since 2002

    The only bright spot I could see was growth in India and Malaysia. But these are from a very low base and probably close to the national growth rate.

    I wonder what Mormons in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong must think when they hear an apostle tell them everything is rosy while wards and branches are closing all around them?

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

    Oh, and that is just one (two-for-one) blister, without exaggeration. I think I was gripping the handles a bit too hard while in fear-mode, and we spent quite some time practicing… more than 3 hours, I think.

    I’m unbalanced and clumsy. Not a good combiantion. :/

  200. opposablethumbs says

    Damn, I meant to say – congratulations gworroll! Glad to know you were successful, and that this will hopefully mean better/more convenient pay/hours/locations for you.

    Yay for present and future biking success, Beatrice! May your blisters be few and your miles be many :-)

  201. carlie says

    You guys, I saw a new brand of yogurt at the store, and it’s called Muller’s and is out of Chicago, and it looked totally like regular yogurt, but on the warning label for ingredients it said “Milk, tilapia (fish”. WHAT THE FUCK?

  202. carlie says

    Sorry, it’s imported through Chicago but made in Shropshire. WHAT THE HELL, UK?

  203. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, on behalf of the UK I apologise for the traumatic experience.

    Total guess – is it possible that we’re talking thickening agent rendered from fish bones here? I can’t believe that even we, nation of cauterised taste-buds though we are, would make yoghurt that actually tasted of fish (at least, I hope not …)
    Information appeal to the Horde: can anyone suggest a good example of a case that the Freedom from Religion Foundation has dealt with any time in recent years? It’s for SonSpawn, for the purpose of mentioning it very briefly in passing in an essay. (it would be literally a passing mention – something like “even though the US Constitution explicitly says that church and state must be separate, there are lots of cases in the USA where parents complain to the FFRF about their children’s schools bringing religion into the classroom such as X case in Y year”. Just, it would be nice to cite a big or famous case as the example.) Many thanks for any suggestions!

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

    What type and flavour of yoghurt was it?

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

    I’m actually just curious because I want to see if it says it on the website.

    Okay, so I went through every product on the UK website and none of them officially include tilapia/fish on their warning labels. And according to the Pffft!, the company is officially headed up from Bayern/Bavaria, Germany (although there is a UK subsidiary).

  206. nich says


    South Korea – 27% fall in congregations since 1999 (175 down to 128). Meanwhile South Koreas’s population has grown by 7% since 1999…

    Could the church have simply decided they could make do with 128 wards instead of 175 wards? My employer recently experienced what one could call a fall in congregations when they closed down a lot of offices. If you didn’t know what was going on, you might have thought they were firing people left and right, but what actually happened is we were consolidated into one large centralized office building vice being spread out in little offices all over the area.

  207. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Hatred isn’t a feeling, it’s an action, and by his actions, our Attorney General is demonstrating his hatred of gay people all too clearly. He practices such hatred with his eyes on the next election.


  208. carlie says

    A friend of mine found it – if you go to the site where they’re partnered with Quaker, it lists that they are using it for gelatin. I don’t understand using fish as a source of gelatin, when there are other ways to do so that are probably less harmful to the environment.

  209. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Aren’t tilapia, like, the one fish that can be farmed without doing more harm than good? If they’re using leftovers from those frozen Tilapia Fillet packs I see on store shelves, that might be a net plus…

  210. Pteryxx says

    thread-rupt, FTB-rupt and basically the internet just keeps on rolling.

    JAL, if you’re around, you have a mail!

    I had to look up fish gelatin in yogurt – it’s made from fish bones and skin, so leftover waste (one hopes) and unlike hoofed-creature gelatin, it’s kosher to mix it with dairy.

    Muller yogurt is kosher

  211. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Glad I waited until the weekend to file my taxes online. I had to enter the data for four W2s, for both state and federal, which took a lot of time and double checking. Had to redo the federal filing as I screwed up the one thing I didn’t double check, my own SSN on one of the W2s.

  212. says

    Nich @273- That’s a good point. My company just had some layoffs and store closures, shifting some stuff around to even out district and region level workload, closing a few stores that were just silly to keep(we didn’t need three within a five mile circle, for instance). No financial distress, just a reasonable aversion to wasting money on inefficiency.

    I could see a church doing that. Consolidate a few locations into one larger location, serve the same number(or even more) people with fewer expenses.

    Though I do hope it is in fact a sign of serious, “we’re about to shut down”, troubles, in this case.

  213. rq says

    Well, I hate George Clooney, too.
    [potential spoilers?] And Gravity is a giant metaphor for becoming a fetus and developing and eventually being born. See, at the beginning of the movie, Sandra Bullock meets a sperm (George Clooney) and gets placed in the womb of technology (she even does the floating fetus womb pose in the airlock, and then is further incubated in the Soyuz capsule!), then throughout various trials develops into a human being who wants to live, and voilà! at the end of the movie, she is born (through fire and water, no less).
    All the pleading to and thanking of non-existent entities kinda bothered me, but there was quite a bit alright with the film, most of all the single-perspective, single-location (all out in space and mostly a mono-performance by Bullock). Very lonely, very solitary.
    And the wanton destruction of various countries’ space technology was pretty fun, too. [/potential spoilers]

  214. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, my amended federal tax form has been accepted by the IRS. Now I can sleep calmly tonight. Typos is snickering at its intervention though…

  215. cicely says


    Anyone know the best way/place to donate hair in the US? I’m ready to get rid of my long hair, and I’ve heard a lot about locks of love and I was wondering the best way to go about donating it.

    Call around to local hair salons and ask if they are part of that program? I know that once when I’d let mine grow out longer than usual—long enough for it to even have been an issue, which is rare for me, these days—the gal cutting my hair asked me if I would like to donate it. This was a Fantastic Sams, so that might be a specific place to start.

    gworroll, congrats on the promotion!
    *high five*
    Also, Firefly is Made of Awesome.


    Tiny brag/craft tip: I just made the cutest damn stitch markers ever

    “Stitch markers”? I am unable to visualize what you mean. Can has description, using Very Small Wurds?

    Tilapia yogurt???
    Anathema! Abomination! Equine Plot!!!!
    (Also, *gag! retch!*)

    opposablethumbs, perhaps you can find something mentioned here that is to your purpose?

  216. carlie says

    cicely – stitch markers are rings that you use in knitting to help know where you are in a pattern. For instance, I’m working on a blanket that has a repeating sequence of 11 stitches, so I have a market every 11 stitches so that I can always check to make sure I haven’t messed it up and ended up with 10 or 12 on a repeat (which would cause the whole thing to be all skewed weirdly later). They just slip over the needles and move along with the row, then get slipped to the next row as you go. I’m just using tied pieces of a different color yarn as markers, or some people use paper clips, or you can buy little plastic rings, or get all fancy. Here’s a site where someone shows how to make some nice ones, and near the bottom you can see them in situ on a piece of knitting.

    I gave them to the recipient, and she was quite happy. She said she’d have to watch or her mom might filch some to dismantle and use in jewelry. :)

  217. carlie says

    Funny – I did an image search for markers and found that website, and only then read through it and saw that he made the same discovery that I did about toggle clasps being good for this purpose! I guess my revelation wasn’t so unique after all. :)

  218. chigau (違う) says

    stitch marking
    I usually use a loop of wool of a totally uninvolved colour.
    (I usually lose 1 or 2 on each pass through the pattern, so really nice ones are not a good idea.)

  219. says

    I recently found something that I thought some people discussing goal oriented behavior might want to check. Right now it is a thing for organizations, called holocracy. “a holarchy is a hierarchy of self-regulating holons that function both as autonomous wholes and as dependent parts.”

    Anyways, I’ll look into it. I’m a bit of a self-professed radical dreamer, and I have a few interests that are related, which is really how I found that particular thing just today (I found it when I was looking for information about meta-organization).

    I asked around here previously about the problems of uniting progressive people (and I’m kind of thinking that some kind of meta-organization is what would be needed for that, or possibly synonymous to it). If anyone knows anything about that, I am still itching to learn more.

  220. ck says

    @A. Noyd,

    I had expected a little more variety on the politics part, since a lot of “libertarians” like to call themselves independent in public. Perhaps they were just a little more truthful than usual this time.

  221. rq says

    A. Noyd
    I’m a little suspicious of the age range – I know a lot of them are 17 – 20, but I would have put most of them in the 21 – 25 or 26 – 30 categories (or at least, more than the graph shows).
    Then again, they do lack a certain… je ne sais quoi in maturity, for the most part.

  222. opposablethumbs says

    Thanks cicely, yes – they have a list on their own site too which is helpful.

    I just wondered if there were any cases which were particularly shiny – the kind one loves to refer to in argument, that kind of thing – in the opinion of members of the Horde. It’s not a problem or anything, though.

  223. says

    We spent a very nice afternoon at my friends’ place, complete with my friends’ daughter and husband and dog and son (also friends) with lots of cupcakes and a barbecue.
    Very funny when the kids tried to explain the Rules™ of catch to the dog.

    Hmmm, looks like whatever A.Noyd linked to is gone

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

    I found a document that I think is that to which A Noyd was linking.

    It’s here.

    It’s formatted very oddly. I can read the data, but it doesn’t scroll in the usual way on my screen.

    And yes, the age data seem suspicious to me. Where, precisely, did this come from? Hrm. I won’t be using this data any time soon, for pretty much anything, even for the most neutral, 1st-degree interpretations possible (e.g. “r/mensrights readers are statistically very likely to be 17-20 years old”). More info about sourcing and methodology might changes its usefulness to me, but frankly the things they actually say are what make r/mensrights horrible to me, not any otherwise-unexpressed political leanings or demographic facts.

    Still, if you’re curious, that doc link should help.

  225. rq says

    I have one more for your music file: Lila Downs.
    She has one of the most amazingly versatile voices I’ve heard (which may not be saying much), and she’s Mexian-American, and sings quite a bit in indigenous languages of the region, too. She appears on the Frida soundtrack, too, but her album Tree of Life / Yutu Tata was the first one I heard (and was impressed).

  226. rq says

    Were you on the receiving or the acquiring end? :) I love her voice.
    And I only remembered her because I have the Frida soundtrack in my music mix at work.

  227. rq says

    Weird. The shaker at work seems to have discovered some ideally low resonant frequency with the table and is making my head hurt. I can feel the vibration in my skull even withmy headphone music on.
    (I admit, for a moment, I thought it was aliens… which wouldn’t be the first time my first thought is aliens – though last time, I panicked enough to jump out of the shower.)

  228. rq says

    The effect is reduced if I sing loudly along to my own music. Ah, resonant frequencies and interference. You make my day hum.

  229. opposablethumbs says

    Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait with short hair is one of my favourite pictures ever.

    Hope the aliens stop making such a racket, rq.

    Sounds like fun, Giliell! Dogs have a notoriously idiosyncratic interpretation of the rules of tag …

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

    Pair-Roubaix starts in 15 minutes! Why yes, I do watch men clad in skin tight, colourful Lycra suffer for my entertainment. Why do you ask?

  231. rq says

    I enjoyed reading through the historical controversies, with much amusement. A great race during which to plant the face in the pavé!
    And hey, men clad in skintight colourful Lycra is my kind of sport. ;) Though I prefer the winter kind.

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

    Oh look, lots of little bruises on my legs merged into big brownish blobs.

    FossilFishy, I’m soooo lazy and everything hurts, so I haven’t checked everything on the list.
    I just looked at the front break and can see where it’s too tight on one side, but I’ll follow the instructions until something works or I run out of instructions when I feel a bit more like moving. Ugh.

  233. blf says

    lots of little bruises on my legs merged into big brownish blobs.

    Boring!! If that is the best you can do, Paris-Roubaix will not only eat you alive. you won’t even make it to the first pavé  !

    The mildly deranged penguin will not be giving you any cheese !

    (This is how you encourage an extremely sensible activity, isn’t it…?).

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

    I shook hands (and knees) with pavé yesterday.

    Oh, I feel encouraged. I considered pavé a bit rude, and plan to stop meeting it as often as soon as possible.

  235. blf says

    I shook hands (and knees) with pavé yesterday.

    BORING! It’s not until you plant yer face in a particularity obstinate section of pavé and then are ridden over by other screaming riders than you discover the true joys of cycling!

    (This is how you encourage an extremely sensible activity, isn’t it… ?).

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

    Sure you’re not thinking about pâté, Giliell?

  237. blf says

    Pâté de pavé is a bit hard on the teeth. I think it makes a good “cream cleaner”, and is an alternative to Lava Soap (which is made, assumingly, but somehow appropriately, by the WD-40 company).

    WD-40 is wonderful stuff. It unstuck the lock on relocated lair, and as far as I know, may also be responsible for keep the mildly deranged penguin at bay. Just don’t use it as a salad dressing or pasta sauce…

  238. opposablethumbs says

    pavé julienne, pavé délice, pavé de veau, pavé au chocolat …. :-)

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

    Every year. Every.Fucking.Year.

    Lilly of the valley looks nice, yes, but its smell gives me a blinding headache. But no one ever listens to me. Except that nice cleaning lady at work who stopped getting lily of the valley spray for the bathroom after I mentioned it bothers me.
    but my own dad? Nah, I bet he barely even listens when I tell him this (every year), let alone tries to remember. As shown by his bringing a bunch of lilies of the valley home today. Excuse me if I don’t say than you.

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

    Hm, my dictionary just says pavement and googling opposablethumbs’s names gives a lot of recipes.
    I’m confused.
    Considering pavé au chocolat, maybe that’s a related meaning where chocolate “pavement” = chocolate bars. Maybe?

  241. blf says

    Lilly of the valley looks nice, yes…

    No, it doesn’t. It is a poisonous weed used by xians to promote torture. Besides smelling like the most appalling shite if it is used as nothing but a statement of domination of ritualistic rubbish over intelligent intellect. Like smallpox and polio, it should be eradicated and driven to extinction.

  242. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I just learned something new about lily of the valley. It contains a substance that attracts sperm.

    Recently it was found that in vitro, bourgeonal acts as a chemo-attractant for human spermatozoa, activating an olfactory receptor called OR1D2 (formerly called hOR17-4)[1] which opens calcium ion channels in the sperm, leading them to swim twice as fast.[2] Bourgeonal is suspected to be involved in helping sperm locate the ovum.

    As of 2010, Bourgeonal is the only known odor substance to which males have a higher average sensitivity than females.[1] This is thought to be because the same olfactory receptor (OR1D2) is expressed in non-olfactory tissue in sperm cells as well as the olfactory tissue of the nose. The involvement with sperm chemotaxis causes an evolutionary pressure for males (sexual selection) that causes them to have more OR1D2 receptors on average, both in the nose as well as in sperm.

    Now I’m going to think of human ova every time I smell it. This isn’t necessarily a good thing.

  243. rq says

    I suppose this is a bad time to confess that Christian Dior’s Diorissimo is my fav’rit perfume…

  244. rq says

    And hey, if Paris-Roubaix was pavé de chocolat the whole way through, I’m sure I wouldn’t mind planting my face, annually.

  245. says

    nich @273:

    Could the church have simply decided they could make do with 128 wards instead of 175 wards?

    Possibly, but not likely. Mormons love big numbers that are mostly meaningless. Their “15 million” members is highly deceptive. They count inactive members, newborn babies of mormon families, and don’t remove inactive members from the count until they are (or would be) 110 years old.

    They love to tout numbers of wards, numbers of stakes, numbers of temples etc. When reality forces them to combine wards they try to disguise the action. Mormon leaders also love to create new wards, and to have a ward close to every mormon. It is more likely that they really are losing so many members that they don’t have enough “volunteers” to perform all the “callings,” and that they don’t have enough attendees to get the money they need to run the ward.

    Tithing money goes to Salt Lake City, and from that tithe collection only a small portion goes back to run the ward. Nobody really knows what happens to the majority of tithing money. The books are not open.

  246. rq says

    Happy pussy-willow Sunday to everyone.

    And here are just some places in the world. That haven’t been photoshopped, in case you were wondering. :P

    Mnyeah. I just took the world’s most inaccurate quiz (NOT buzzfeed but a close relative) that said I’m a daisy because of my bubbly personality. Not going to link to it, because it’s clearly wrong enough to be ridiculed beyond the usual ridicule.
    OK, fine.

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


    Just don’t wear the perfume if we ever have to ride in a car together, and we’ll be fine (and you won’t get puked on).

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

    Daisy here too. People are drawn to me because of my bubbly personality? LOL what? Yeah, that really fits with checking that I’m the one in the corner at parties, and that I like to stay in and read in my spare time.

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

    @ck, #307:

    Thanks for following up on the accuracy of that thing. I really didn’t think the age numbers were right, but I wouldn’t have *asserted* that they were wrong without something else to back up that intuition.

    Now when I ignore that data, I’ll know I have good reason. (Though I still wish I knew where the activist found out about the vote bot, but this source is good enough for me. Given the data, this ain’t an extraordinary claim.)

  250. A. Noyd says

    ck (#307)

    From the same site A. Noyd posted: Apparently those statistics were the result of a voting bot stuffing the ballot box, and not actually a proper statistical survey.

    Aww, that’s too bad. I didn’t expect it was properly statistical, though, just funny. Not as funny if it’s skewed by vote bots, but that’s even less surprising a result in a way.


    rq (#322)

    Just don’t wear the perfume if we ever have to ride in a car together, and we’ll be fine (and you won’t get puked on).

    Reminds me, some assbag on the bus yesterday thought it would be a great idea to spray himself with some sort of body spray (Axe or maybe some knockoff) right after getting on. Why do people think it’s okay to apply or test perfume/cologne/body spray/etc in an enclosed, public area? (Or wear it at all, for that matter!) I gave assbag the dirtiest, most incredulous look I could muster. He apologized sheepishly, opened a window and then proceeded to show off the rest of his repertoire of entitled manners by having a snack and falling asleep across two seats.

  251. says

    And here are just some places in the world. That haven’t been photoshopped, in case you were wondering. :P

    Well, I’ve been to the Giant’s Causeway….

    I iz a ROSE
    Because NOBLE (I think they might have meant nobbly)

    Back to “pavé”
    I know that word exclusively from visits to restaurants and supermarkets. I would have translated it as “steak”. I guess it got it’s name because the meat is usually vaguely cobble-shaped….

  252. rq says

    pavé = slabs of meat?

    Don’t worry, I haven’t owned any Diorissimo in years, and I’ll also keep in mind your puke-readiness. :) For that time when Alan Rickman reads the phonebook to and for us in closed quarters.

  253. says

    morgan @250:

    I’ve discovered that “every single one” of my neighbors on this tiny street on top of a mountain are Mormons

    Your own private Morridor? Ugh. Hopefully you won’t be proselytized to (‘to’ or ‘at’?).


    rq @321;
    Those were some beautiful pictures at your second link. I had to remind myself that these are real places, as a few images really did look photoshopped.

  254. rq says

    I have weird doubts about that desert with the black trees and the orange background, not so much the colours but the trees, since I have a decently-sized version of that picture as my work desktop, and it really looks like someone has photo-painted around the trees to make them smoother and more stylized.
    But I could be wrong.

    It’s still my background because I love the contrasting colours.

  255. rq says

    In worser news, Husband has now twice achieved 2048, and yeah, it lets you keep playing afterwards, so no hack needed for 4096. Just a lot of patience.

  256. says

    That picture is the one that set alarms off. It just doesn’t look right to me.


    Razzum frazzum, rackum frazzum!!!
    I thought my inability to comment at other blogs was a thing of the past. I’ve been able to comment at Mano’s, Dispatches, B&W, Almost Diamonds and more. I tried to leave a comment at Greta’s blog by by Rebecca Hensler and it just freaking disappeared. No moderation message. Nothing. I was trying to respond to this comment:

    Delay the healing?!?!?! WTF….. no one ever heal’s from the death of a true loved one. They cope a bit better over time, but it never goes. So what if people want to believe in some sort of life after death, so what if people want to pay to have their beliefs validated by getting ‘messages’ from these so called psychics, It’s their choice to make.
    I would much rather be one of those people who could believe that there is something after death, rather than being a person who knows I will never see my loved ones again and that life is not a gift, but a pointless waste of time.

    I discussed the death of my best friend as a way to drive home my point, and in doing so it opened up old emotions that I’d largely laid to rest. I knew that would happen, but weighed the benefits against the cost and thought it was worth it. But fuck me the post disappeared.

  257. says

    Bit short on cashe ow with the holidays, but I’ll see what I can do in May. I’ll need to light the esteleth signal again ’cause go fund me does not like Europe.

    My favourite one is “All about Eve” by Joop and right now I have rather too much of a god thing because Mr. forgot to bring the bottle he’d gotten me for christmas at his flat and even though I told him about 10 times that it was really OK, I would totally be just as happy to get it in the new year he went to town on the morning of christmas eve to get me a bottle.
    I don’t know if that’s the sweetest or most stupid thing he ever did

    So, I’ve been browsing music videos on youtube:
    The ultimate 1990’s aesthetics
    I remember that we browsed catalogues where you could order posters with motivs that loooked all like screenshots from this video
    And then there was a surprise
    Well, my French isn’t that good, so I never caught the lyrics while listening, so I watched a video with lyrics and I was like WTF?
    He’s telling that very pale woman on a pedastal what gifts he will give her, begging for her love.
    Yeah, another childhood/teenage pleasure ruined, you know, like when you finally realize that one of your favourite movies is damn racist.
    And then there’s the point where Aisha leaves the pedastal and speaks for herself. She tells him that she doesn’t care for his gifts, she doesn’t want a golden cage, but the same rights as he and respect.
    Day saved.

  258. says

    That picture is the one that set alarms off. It just doesn’t look right to me.

    It’s real, I’ve seen the set that it comes from, with shots from different angles. The photographer managed to catch it at a point where the shadow of the dune behind them reached exactly to the beginning of the slope of the next dune.

    Argh, I hate this. I’ve spent all day trying to get my damn homework done, but I can’t focus on anything. I’ve pissed away practically the whole weekend and I’ve gotten shit all done. It’s partially down to stress, I’m sure; business is right slow on L’s shop this month (anyone need some sugar pigs?) and money’s getting very tight. Also some stuff involving an ex, and a whole bunch of little things that have just been building up; the crap with the electric bill, JWs leaving asshole flyers on the doorstep, and the library canceling my hold a day early so I couldn’t get the book I’ve been looking for (and won’t be able to for about a month since that’s the only copy and someone else has it now), my dérailleur is making a funny noise and I haven’t had the time to deal with it…

    Writing this post is about the most focus I’ve been able to muster all day, and it’s taken me damn near 10 minutes to write because I keep flipping over to other tabs.

  259. rq says

    I’m in the same boat regarding this month, but I will most likely be able to send assistance in May!

    I did find these, which isnt quite the same angle, but comparable. It’s probably just a larger image looks different for whatever reason. Besides, I’d much rather believe it’s real. :)
    Good luck with everything else! *hugs*

  260. says

    Hi, Pharyngulites. Let’s mourn (or not) the passing of Charles Keating. He died last week at the age of 90. Some of us remember him as an unethical financier who was was partially responsible for the Savings and Loan debacle of the 1980s.

    As it turns out, Keating was such a staunch christian that he also left a legacy of sexual conservatism that is still with us today.

    […] In CDL’s miraculously schlocky 1963 short propaganda film “Perversion for Profit,” a barrage of statistics and social science is presented to link obscenity to venereal disease, homosexuality, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy and, ultimately, national decline. [..]

    The purported evidence of porn’s harms was mostly bunk. A few years later, Keating offhandedly explained the source of the film’s figures: They “came out of my head,” he shrugged. […] What Keating accomplished through CDL was to wholly reinvent the battle against pornography […] using sophisticated media tactics and always emphasizing data and law, not overt moralism. […]

    […] to view groups of naked women, undraped muscular men in physique magazines, scenes of bondage, or other such perversions in any other setting was a danger to self and nation; to take them in at a screening of “Perversion for Profit” or CDL’s [Citizens for Decent Literature] other short agitprop films was legitimized through the alibi of educational value. “I repeat, ladies and gentlemen,” Keating declared in his stock speech, “that the purpose of showing these pictures… is not to shock you — it is to inform you.” That came after reading an extended passage from a pulp novel about how “taking a girl’s cherry is hell of a gratifying thing.” Such books, Keating warned, somewhat oddly, appealed not just to the lesbian and the homosexual, but even to the “cunalinguist.” Well, it sounded dirty, whether or not audiences understood it. At annual CDL conventions, the room with the smut on display — for purely informative purposes — was always well attended. Keeping the prurient interest of the material at hand always just below the surface, CDL always delivered the goods, in the purported interest of suppressing the very texts it sampled for its members. […]

    A 1971 contract with direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie — who later helped build the entire interlinked New Right infrastructure of groups like the Moral Majority — is preserved in the papers of obscenity defense attorney Stanley Fleishman at UCLA, and reflects the shift from grassroots organizing to direct-mail fundraising. Indeed, Keating’s shift from opposing filth to filthy lucre was quickly reflected in CDL’s operating budget, almost 90 percent of which went into administration and further fundraising, rather than actual activism against smut.

    Today’s anti-gay and anti-smut campaigns are much the same. There’s a lot of seizing of the moral high ground when conservatives are actually just running fundraising scams.

    […] when George W. Bush sought to reinvigorate obscenity prosecutions in 2004, he relied on former CDL general counsel Bruce Taylor. More significantly, Keating’s tactics helped pave the way for a distinctly modern style of conservative activism […] The groups that followed CDL, from Phyllis Schlafly’s STOP-ERA to Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and beyond, replayed everything from its structure to its endless fundraising fetish. Meanwhile, from the anti-gay movement’s insistent use of ostensible (if laughable) social-science data rather than outright homophobia, to climate-change deniers careful to frame their arguments in the language of science even as they reject overwhelming scientific consensus, today’s conservatives are his descendants. […]

  261. says

    Thanks everyone I really appreciate any sort of help and encouragement.

    On another note…urrrrgh 2048. I’ve only managed 512 but the other day after the second “just a minute” I gave when my daughter was waiting for me to play video games with her I realized that it was time to stop that for good. But it’s still haunting my mind. I know I can do it…

  262. says

    Woops, I didn’t realize that wasn’t Europe friendly. I just went with the one I had heard of that allowed Canadians. I probably should have been more aware.

  263. Nutmeg says

    I am working on setting some boundaries with a couple of flaky/inconsiderate friends. I’m tired of leaving my schedule open, then being kept hanging and eventually stood up/cancelled on. My jerkbrain is telling me that I’m being a terrible, uptight person for saying, “Hey, I’ve got a lot of stuff going on this week, so I need to plan ahead. If we’re going to do X this week, I need you to email me your availability by Y time.” And then becoming unavailable if not contacted before Y time, even if I’m not actually unavailable.

    I wish there was an easier way to do this, one where no one gets hurt or feels awkward or guilty. Cultural conditioning tells me that I’m being a massive b*tch (will that gendered slur make it past the spam filter?). But if so, that’s the kind of b*tch that I need to be right now.

    Still, a little confirmation that this is a totally reasonable stance would be welcome.

  264. says

    I think that sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to handle things. I would think it would help get your point across without having to tell anyone off or anything like that.

  265. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, brianpansky, Tony, Alice! It feels weird to do this. I don’t have a lot of friends, so I hate to take risks with the ones that I have. But I know I need to take some steps towards not being walked all over, for my own sanity. And I am definitely hoping that this will start to get my point across.

    Alice: Everybody borks the html sometimes. :)


    way, way upthread: Congrats on the bike adventure, Beatrice! I hope the bruises are fading now. Yay for trying new things and learning new skills!

  266. Nutmeg says

    And, in a small kindness from the universe, an old high-school friend just FB-messaged me, “Coffee soon?”

    I don’t believe there’s anything in the universe to coordinate such kindnesses. But that was exactly what I needed tonight.

  267. says

    More vaccination news:

    The current studies investigated the potential impact of anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs, and exposure to anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, on vaccination intentions. In Study 1, British parents completed a questionnaire measuring beliefs in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and the likelihood that they would have a fictitious child vaccinated. Results revealed a significant negative relationship between anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs and vaccination intentions. This effect was mediated by the perceived dangers of vaccines, and feelings of powerlessness, disillusionment and mistrust in authorities. In Study 2, participants were exposed to information that either supported or refuted anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, or a control condition. Results revealed that participants who had been exposed to material supporting anti-vaccine conspiracy theories showed less intention to vaccinate than those in the anti-conspiracy condition or controls. This effect was mediated by the same variables as in Study 1. These findings point to the potentially detrimental consequences of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, and highlight their potential role in shaping health-related behaviors.

  268. carlie says

    I wasn’t quite as impressed with this episode of Cosmos. I think they just tried to do too many things in the scope of one episode, and ended up bouncing around too much. Was disappointed in the steampunk machine inside the plant cell – they could have done an animated cell membrane that would have been just as cool, given how little they actually explained about photosynthesis. And I can’t decide how annoyed to be about calling angiosperms 100 million years old – on the one hand rounding is fine, but on the other that’s an awful lot to round, and it’s not any harder to be more accurate. (Plus the Cosmos twitter account compounded it by then saying that 100 million years ago was BEFORE there were flowers.)

  269. says

    Here’s another *extremely* helpful post by Dr. Raff: How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists



    Related to the above, evaluating health information on the web:

    How do I know if the vaccine information I find on the Internet is accurate?
    The Internet can be a valuable resource to find health information. However, the quality of health information on the Internet is extremely variable and difficult to assess. General search engines only identify topics and provide the lists of Web sites that include good sites as well as misinformation.

    Remember that medical information changes rapidly so it is a good idea to check more than one place for information. Here are some suggestions for getting started:

    First, start with a source that you know provides reliable information and which can direct you to other reliable sources of information.


    When you go to a site look for these characteristics:

    A good health Web site will display who is responsible for the site. Also, there will be a way to contact the information provider or Webmaster.
    Information should not be slanted in favor of a Web site’s sponsor or source of funding. Health information should be accurate and unbiased.
    Then, ask the following questions:

    Do scientific experts review the medical information before it is posted on the Web site? What are their credentials? Remember that credentials are difficult to assess on the Internet and experts in one field may not be experts in another area. It is important to look for sponsoring organizations that allow their name and prestige to be displayed. For example, notice the organizations that allow this Web site to display their names and logos.
    Does the information display the date of last revision, and is it kept up to date?
    What is the scientific evidence for claims made? The original source of facts and figures should be shown. For example, the Web site should provide citations of medical articles or other sources of information. You should be able to distinguish facts from opinions. Also, facts are more reliable if they come from a published scientific study on humans rather than from unpublished accounts or from reports of a single person or of animal studies. One needs to recognize, however, that many of the anti-vaccine sites appear legitimate and cite articles from CDC and other reliable sources but either misquote or take a statement out of context. Web sites may inaccurately cite published literature.
    Does the Web site feature anecdotes (stories about individuals) about purported serious adverse events instead of scientific evidence? If so it is likely not a credible source of information.

  270. says

    Yeah, the biochemistry in tonight’s Cosmos was very, very weak — that gizmo in the chloroplast didn’t explain much of anything, but it sure looked pretty and fancy. It did seem kind of scattershot, too. Chloroplasts and neutrinos and tardigrades and the Big Bang all in one?

    By the way, if you noticed I’ve been absent most of today, I gave my genetics students a take-home exam last week, and I’ve been grading. My eyes are currently rather poached, but as a reward, I’ve got a big envelope stuffed full of papers I’ll never, ever have to look at again.

  271. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m finally getting around to watching the Nye/Ham debate.

    From what I’m told, serving the Ham raw was a mistake.

  272. says

    Good morning
    First day of college term.

    I don’t have many close friends either, but one thing that has kept us together all these years is that we respect and accept that people have lives with difficult timetables. We’re glad when we see each other, we often plan months ahead. So, no, you’re not being unreasonable.

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

    I’m all for you setting good boundaries.

    And I’m all for reveling in good fortune when it comes along. So for me, both your posts were good posts, whether you felt bitchy or not.

    I’ve done far less grading than thou (b/c of far less teaching), I’m quite sure. But I’ve graded as a TA and as a quant, and I do know the feeling of “Yay! I never have to look at those papers again!”

    Curiously, however, I do go back and look again at some of that stuff in order to evaluate my own communication and my exam design and whether (when TAing) I’m being stricter or looser than the prof wants me to be. I really want to leave well enough alone, but, no. I look at them again after the grading is done to start thinking about the next term, or the next graded assignment, or whatever.

    Sigh. It’s probably much better when you’re able to teach for 10 or 12 years (especially if you can do it at one school) and have reason to be sufficiently confident in your approach that you’re not constantly second guessing yourself in an ongoing attempt to be fair without lowering expectations.

    Has anyone read this thread over at Ophelia’s?

    I can’t bear to look at the comments, and I daren’t read the OP until I can read the comments…

    Sigh. I hate a world that makes me shy away from reading a good blog (though to be fair, it’s only on days when I’m having anxiety for other reasons and I’m just afraid of being put over the top). Oppression just sucks…in far too many ways, for far too many reasons.

    Fortunately, I have now made up for the 6 free privileges I got for a penny, and I’m canceling oppression worldwide as of 30 April. Or at least I’m trying. Customer service is giving me the run around.

  274. rq says

    Haha Tony I listened to that and … it’s horrible.
    If you look at the chemical structure of the extract he uses (see here), he’s actually putting all those terrible toxins back in the water (fluorine, aluminium, etc.). Plus his chemistry sucks. ;)
    As I mentioned before, common folk wisdom hereabouts assures me that I simply need to keep water in a container with a silver coin, and that will heal all my water. So, in case of natural disaster, I simply keep my silver coin handy, and I know I’m safe!

  275. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Huh. Given that noble metal ions have well-documented antimicrobial properties, that one might not be completely absurd.

  276. A. Noyd says

    Azkyroth (#363)

    Given that noble metal ions have well-documented antimicrobial properties, that one might not be completely absurd.

    Apparently in the case of copper, at least, the metal has to be dry.

  277. says

    Those that don’t oxydate.
    Yes, I’m married to a chemist, why do you ask?

    Giliell musing…
    Now, I’m doing all those internships as part of my teacher training.
    Last year this time I did one with a Spanish teacher in school A. He was probably a few years older than me and one of the teachers you probably wished you had for the sole reasons of him being young, quote good looking and “cool”. You know, modern clothes, jeans, t-shirts and so on, the haircut, everything.
    This turn, the teacher in school B was also only a few years older than me but really old-fashioned when it came to style. I swear that in those four weeks he only once wore something that was not dark grey or navy blue and never anything I’d expect on somebody younger than 50…
    Totally NOT COOL.
    I guess that those trends, the cool one vs the not cool one did not emerge late in their lives. You can picture the first one as the cool and popular kid in the class and the second one as being a bit the outsider.
    In turn, the totally not cool one is quite eager to pay attention to the social interactions, to make sure that all kids feel welcome, that nobody is left out, that boys and girls get along with each other, nobody is bullied…
    The cool one, OTOH, didn’t pay half that much attention and quite often made sexist and insensitive jokes that left me with my mouth open.
    Maybe we should stop cool kids from becoming teachers…

  278. carlie says

    Giliell – it’s kind of fascinating where I am now in geography and time in my life: my child is in high school, and a decent portion of the high school teachers are from right here, as are, of course, a lot of the other parents of high schoolers. And a lot of those are the same cohort right now given our ages. So, there’s a multiple overlapping thing where some of the teachers are people who were classmates of the other parents, so they all still have remnants of their own high school clique interactions, but still some of the other teachers are old enough that they were teachers of said parents and teachers. Open houses* are really interesting to observe. I can’t imagine having to navigate all of it myself.

    *that’s one or two days a year when all the parents go and meet their kids’ teachers and get little presentations and such

  279. opposablethumbs says

    Nutmeg, fwiw I think you’re being totally reasonable. And yay for the coffee invite thingy.

    Beatrice, I sympathise SO much re the perfume! In an enclosed space it can be physically aggressive to the point of making you choke. There are times in the changing room at the gym I’ve had to put something over my nose and mouth because someone in the next cubicle has just doused themselves in a spray of perfume and I can’t catch my breath properly until I leave the room. But obviously it doesn’t bother the user, so I guess some people don’t find it overpowering at all :-\

    Those wonders of the natural world are stunning, rq. Wow. I’d especially love to see the first one, the salar. (partly because it doesn’t involve the visitor either freezing, drowning or falling from a great height :-) )

  280. carlie says

    Also on Cosmos – the intro on how atoms interact was a boy poking a girl in the face, and then him explaining to the non-visible “dad” how the boy “never really touched your daughter”. Um.

  281. birgerjohansson says

    since Mormons technically are pagans/heretics (according to mainstream Xians) you can now proudly claim to be closer to True Xiantity than anyone else in the street. I mean, being a lapsed Xian should count for more than being an outright heretic.
    If they want to convert you, do your best Jerry Falwell imitation and quote the OT part about how to deal with false prophest
    — — —
    Beowulf in under 90 seconds:

    — — — — —
    Statistical analysis rules out natural-warming hypothesis with more than 99 percent certainty

  282. birgerjohansson says

    (In Swedish, a “prophest” is a false prophet. And if you don’t believe me, you can burn in hell!)

  283. birgerjohansson says

    Warning! Medicine/Health infodump below:

    (No-brainer): Reduction in HPV in young women in England seen, following national immunization program -There is really no excuse for not providing vaccines!

    Very good news: New mouse model could revolutionize research in Alzheimer’s disease

    Scientists discover a novel way to make ethanol without corn or other plants

  284. Snoof says

    birgerjohansson @ 376

    Is this a hoax?

    Not according to a person from Finland I know!
    (Reliability of the above statement not guaranteed. Use stamps at own risk.)

  285. Portia says

    I am very rupt.

    But I wanted to say:

    You are taking the very reasonable step of drawing healthy boundaries. Like Captain Awkward says, this is one of those situations, if the other person feels awkward because of your boundaries, it’s because they should feel awkward, because the awkward leads to realizations about what is acceptable and polite behavior. The awkward you feel is normal, but not deserved. *hugs* Hooray for coffee offer :)

    I am glad to see you and wanted to offer a hug. Hope you’re well, friend.

    I keep getting on my feet emotionally, then get knocked down again. We conducted an unsuccessful attempt at rescue on the mile-wide river here on Saturday. Two hours on a boat…it quickly became clear it would be a recovery, not a rescue. That and a laundry list of other issues have made me feel kind of raw-nerved. The least of them is possibly bothering me the most right now: I found a suit jacket at a thrift store, for about 50 cents, and it was gorgeous, and in my size, and synthetic materials (ostensibly washable!)…what do I do? I ruin it by washing it. I’m very sad. I hate waste.

  286. ajb47 says


    I found a suit jacket at a thrift store, for about 50 cents, and it was gorgeous, and in my size, and synthetic materials (ostensibly washable!)…what do I do? I ruin it by washing it. I’m very sad.

    That really stinks. Sorry that happened. On the other hand, “They grew up while I was in middle school” is still pure genius.

  287. awakeinmo says

    @ Nutmeg:
    I agree with all who think some boundaries are a good idea. “Good fences etc…”

    Anyone here have experience in “distilling” hydrogen?
    How does one store it without losing too much?

  288. rq says

    A waste of 50 cents? Yeah… But at least you didn’t buy it full-price!! [/sad for cheap fit clothing]

  289. blf says

    Ok, who let the 40-foot high killer rats out?

     ●  Why you don’t need to worry about giant, invincible man-eating super-rats: “A plague of invincible giant super-rats is reported to be taking over Liverpool…”.

     ●  Giant rat: Swedes agog at ‘Ratzilla’ in Stockholm: “Measuring 40cm (nearly 16in) plus tail…. Pest controllers finally killed the intruder using an oversized trap. Even the family cat had refused to enter the kitchen while the giant rat was in residence…”.

    And, Scientists say rats could grow to size of sheep in future.

  290. Rob Grigjanis says

    PZ @354:

    the biochemistry in tonight’s Cosmos was very, very weak

    The physics wasn’t that great either. When Tyson walked up to ‘Pauli’ at the start of the neutrino bit, Pauli should’ve kicked him in the shin to demonstrate the importance of the Pauli exclusion principle in the matter of objects getting too close to each other.

    A really good explanation by Terry Bollinger here.

  291. blf says

    Yes, the sheep are getting smaller. That’s what happens when some of you are not deadly.

  292. says

    Good news out of Ohio. Many of the states conservative legislators may have the idea of marriage equality, but now they have no choice but to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states:

    U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black has formally ruled that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states, but he put a hold on his order for the time being.

    “Ohio’s marriage recognition is facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances,” Black said in an order he announced verbally 10 days ago.

    “It is this court’s responsibility to give meaning and effect to the guarantees and of the U.S. Constitution and all American citizens and that responsibility is never more pressing than when the fundamental rights of some minority citizens are impacted by the legislative power of the majority.”

  293. rq says

    So today I was making soup and adding some noodles and I was trying to decide whether I should use the wooden spoon or the whisk, and I decided on the spoon. But as I opened the utensil drawer, I thought to myself, “Nope, I’m going to whisk it.” Still trying not to batter myself over the decision.
    Thankfully, no potatoes were involved.
    [/pointless anecdote about nothing]

  294. blf says

    Thankfully, no potatoes were involved.

    Keep that up and you’ll be thrown out of Latvia. Probably put into an empty potato sack and chucked out of an aeroplace…

  295. says

    This turns out to be a Moment of Mormon Madness, since Cliven Bundy is a mormon.

    U.S. officials ended a stand-off with hundreds of armed protesters in the Nevada desert on Saturday, calling off the government’s roundup of cattle it said were illegally grazing on federal land and giving about 300 animals back to the rancher who owned them.

    The dispute less than 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas between rancher Cliven Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management had simmered for days. Bundy had stopped paying fees for grazing his cattle on the government land and officials said he had ignored court orders.

    Anti-government groups, right-wing politicians and gun-rights activists camped around Bundy’s ranch to support him in a standoff that tapped into long-simmering anger in Nevada and other Western states, where vast tracts of land are owned and governed by federal agencies.

    The bureau had called in a team of armed rangers to Nevada to seize the 1,000 head of cattle on Saturday but backed down in the interests of safety. […]

    The bureau said Cliven Bundy still owes taxpayers more than $1 million, which includes both grazing fees and penalties, and that it would work to resolve the matter administratively and through the court system.

  296. blf says

    An “aeroplace” sounds like a misspelled fish, the “aeroplaice”. A plaice that flys, fresh and direct, to your frying-pan.

    (Feck, my intertubes connection is really slow right now for some reason, looks like c.40% packet loss…)

  297. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, Giliell, CripDyke, opposablethumbs, Portia, awakeinmo. I feel successful because I received an email from my unreliable friend last night, before my stated deadline, suggesting a time to meet. I still feel like my email may have been badly perceived, but at least the results are good. And you’re right, the awkwardness should be hers in this situation.

    Portia: *hugs* for the river recovery. Be gentle to yourself.

    carlie: The situation you described, with the teachers and parents all having gone to high school together, sounds like a special kind of hell. Good thing that you’re from somewhere else, at least. Just the other week, I realized that I was uncomfortable around a certain lab group because one of the women in that lab reminds me of my high school rival. I would hate to have to interact with the actual rival again on a regular basis.


    My [critters] are doing really remarkably well right now. Seriously cool stuff is happening. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even though I know superstition is bunk, there’s a large part of me that thinks that when things are going well, we should pretend not to notice or we’ll jinx it. Working in research seems to feed this superstition.

  298. says

    The Kansas gunman who killed three people at a Jewish community center over the weekend self-identifies as an admirer of Hitler, a supporter of Rand Paul, and a former KKK member. Frazier Glenn Miller also ran for the US Senate in 2010, so we have interviews and video tape of him being blatantly racist, anti-semitic and generally stupid.

    Hitler would have created a paradise on Earth, particularly for white people. But he would have been fair to other people as well. […]

    Patrick Buchanan, he’s a great man, he’s a great historian, he’s one of the very few journalists who has the courage to speak out against Jewish domination in the country. […]

    More here: Mother Jones link.

  299. says

    Over the past century, the federal government has pumped more than $470 billion into the oil and gas industry in the form of generous, never-expiring tax breaks. Once intended to jump-start struggling domestic drillers, these incentives have become a tidy bonus for some of the world’s most profitable companies.

    Taxpayers currently subsidize the oil industry by as much as $4.8 billion a year, with about half of that going to the big five oil companies—ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP, and ConocoPhillips—which get an average tax break of $3.34 on every barrel of domestic crude they produce. […]

    That’s right, we are subsidizing corporations that do not need our subsidies.

    Moreover, there some studies conclude that ending such subsidies would play a part in reducing the man-made portion of climate change. Republican legislators in particular will never end the subsidies. Here’s why:

    Oil and gas companies and their employees have pumped more than $357 million into federal candidates’ campaigns since 1990, with $4 out of every $5 going to Republicans. And that’s nothing compared to what they’ve spent on lobbying: more than $1.4 billion in the past 15 years. Last year, the industry employed 796 lobbyists, nearly 60 percent of them ex-members of Congress and staffers who’d come through the revolving door from Capitol Hill. […]

  300. says

    The NSA knew about the Heartbleed bug for at least two years and actively exploited it in order to gather intelligence, Bloomberg reported on Friday. This means that under the pretense of protecting Americans, the NSA intentionally didn’t notify millions of Americans that they were vulnerable to identity theft. Go read that book, now. […]

    Here’s where you can go to see if a specific site is vulnerable to Heartbleed — that’ll help you decide which of your passwords to change.

  301. blf says

    …a specific site is vulnerable to Heartbleed — that’ll help you decide which of your passwords to change.

    Yes and no. If your password is X at site which was vulnerable, you need to change the passwords at all sites which use that same password (X) or anything “similar to” X, even at sites which were never vulnerable.

    This is because a compromised password is compromised. If a villain (which includes the NSA and GCHQ) knows your password at one site, then that known password, and variants of it, are Good Guesses to try at other sites: Many people use the same / similar passwords, so knowing one password rather often allows access to unrelated other sites.

    You also need to change the password after the vulnerable site(s) have fixed the problem. This is, of course, a hassle unless you routinely change “all” your passwords.

    (I myself do not use the same password, every site has a different password. How I remember them all I shall not reveal, since it could provide a hint to the villains.)

  302. blf says

    Alert! Ed Brayton, of Dispatches from the Culture Wars here at FtB, is being sued by a racist jerk who doesn’t like the fact he(? probably) has been called a racist jerk by Ed multiple times over the years. Ed needs help with the funding of his legal defense, Please Help Me Fight a Lawsuit:

    So it looks like I’m going to be sued by a white supremacist who doesn’t like it that I’ve called him a white supremacist several times over the last few years. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail right now because I need to hire an attorney (one in Texas, unfortunately) and get some advice on how exactly what I can and can’t say publicly, but in order to do that I need to set up an informal legal defense fund. Here’s what I do know: I’m not going to back down from this. I’m not going to let this racist jerk intimidate me into silence. But I need your help on this one, if you can give it.

  303. says

    blf @398

    Yes and no. If your password is X at site which was vulnerable, you need to change the passwords at all sites which use that same password (X) or anything “similar to” X, even at sites which were never vulnerable.

    Thanks, blf, that’s quite true. I didn’t think of that because I never use the same password. I use a different password for every site.

  304. says

    Got the pay information for my promotion.

    Next week, when the fulfillment center begins operation, I’ll be getting just over a 15% bump to my hourly wage. Granted, 15% of not much past minimum wage, but still, it will help quite a bit. Didn’t think to ask if this includes the raise from my annual performance review. If it doesn’t, well, I think the fact that they promoted me says good things about how that is likely to go and I’ll probably see a couple percent more.

    A coworker also got a promotion to lead- and being a single mother, she really needs the extra money she’ll get.

    Missed Cosmos due to weather. Fox was sort of coming in, but was blinking out and skipping audio- I’m at the very edge of where it can be picked up on an indoor antenna, and even that requires an amplifier and careful placement. I’ll watch it on Hulu tonight or tomorrow.

  305. says

    It’s official: the University of Alabama is on the record supporting racial integration – in the year 2014.

    Last week Alabama’s Student Senate passed a resolution supporting the complete integration of Greek life at the university. The renewed conversation about race at the historically troubled campus began after a black female student with a 4.3 GPA was denied by all 16 of the school’s sororities. An earlier resolution supporting racial integration had failed by a wide margin.

    That’s okay, Alabama, you can take your time getting comfortable with racial integration. Sheesh.
    Think Progress link.

  306. says

    Frazier Glenn Miller is a piece of work.

    On the way in to work this morning, one of the morning show hosts talked about how when he ran for Senate, he came in to cut an ad. The host was sitting at his desk right outside the studio just in case. Apparently this guy was a bit frightening.

    Then he got to play guard duty again for the producer who had to actually deal with Frazier, because the first cut of the ad was such over the top hate speech that they couldn’t air it. I got the sense that this was one of the most disturbing moments in his career.

  307. rq says

    I think I prefer tending three little ill people in series rather than in parallel.
    Especially when they’re not sick enough to be down but sick enough to have even shorter hair triggers than usual.

  308. opposablethumbs says

    Even though I know superstition is bunk, there’s a large part of me that thinks that when things are going well, we should pretend not to notice or we’ll jinx it.

    I think you’re actually right, not because it influences the things themselves but because it influences our unconscious expectations and hence our unconscious behaviour, and this then in turn can affect outcomes.

  309. opposablethumbs says

    ugh, rq, that sounds exhausting. Wishing them well, and wishing you a break!

  310. ajb47 says

    rq @405

    We had 5 days this winter where a stomach virus went through each of us in turn. I joked about it being like one of those Oprah giveaway shows where she yells out, “Who wants a stomach virus?!? YOU get a stomach virus. YOU get a stomach virus. YOU get a stomach virus. And YOU get a stomach virus.” Unfortunately, there was some overlap among us.


    So I just finished cleaning out our vegetable garden planting beds. I need to rake one some more, then go out and buy the plants so I can get them in. I hope it goes better than last year. Our tomato plants just exploded all over the place, yet the fruits didn’t last long on the vine so that most of them were rotten by the time they were ready to pick. I think it had to do with the heat and humidity and rain combination. My patty-pan squash did the same thing — killed my cucumber and made me have to pick my onions early.


    Also, camping has started here last weekend (the 4th-6th). The weather wasn’t good enough to have a campfire then, so this week was my first of the year.
    Here’s a picture of the end of the fire on my site. The camper you can see is our neighbor’s, and because of the wide angle shot, it looks closer than it really is. Don’t be fooled by all the chairs, there were only three of us there at the beginning.

  311. says

    I has the nasty flu myself. I wasn’t certain over the weekend, but it hit full bore today, which means I’m not going to make it to class, which means I’m missing a quiz :(. Hopefully I can make it up.

  312. siaran says

    Alright, delurking again to post this:
    “US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study” –

    Now, I haven’t read the study, so I can’t vouch for its validity – but is it really a surprise to anyone?
    (I’m fairly happy I’m not an american myself, to be honest)

  313. Crudely Wrott says

    . . . . . zzzzzzziiiiiippp . . . . .beeeeep . . . . . boink . . . . .
    [sounds of large power machines spinning up; think Bride of Frankenstein]

    “Ahh! My iron lung is working again!”

    Money is nice when you got some. When you don’t got some, ssssshshhhhiiiiicht, there goes yer InnerTubes. Well, we just got some money and –*pop*– the InnerTubes are reinflated for us.


    Have been electronically incommunicado for about a week so have waxed increasingly ‘rupt. It’s so refreshing to rejoin the chaotic flow of electrons that unite us all so cozily nowadays. Why, I feel nearly human again!

    Right now we are getting some dramatically fleeting views of the lunar (end of the world portent again, ho hum) eclipse through ragged storm clouds here on the mid Atlantic peneplain of America. A touch of rusty red borders the growing bite mark of whatever dragon is eating the Moon this time.

    I have the little refractor scope set up in the back yard; if the clouds break I’ll roust the man cubs from their slumber. Anyone looking? Getting good views? Yeah, I know, another non-global-warming cold front meeting some Gulf of Mexico wet air is spreading across the best viewing geography but, hey, how are you, Horde? I’ve missed you.

    I had a birthday on Friday, sixty three laps in the bag. My brother, with whom I shared a room as we grew up, sent me a wonderful book: George Johnson’s Miss Leavitt’s Stars. Henrietta Swan Leavitt did the work but didn’t get the credit until it was too late for her to benefit from the credit. What did she do? Meh, only found the yardstick with which to measure the Universe.

    I am anxious to start reading but just now there is this eclipse and there is also this little mouse who keeps venturing into my room (I have a (literal) open door policy) and . . . looking at me. A bold one it is and small. Just wee small. Perhaps we shall be friends. I doubt it will watch and eclipse with me but if it likes to look at me then that will be just all right by me.

    So. How are you all, dear friends?

  314. says

    Waves at Crudely
    Belated Happy Birthday!
    Here’s cake for you and cheese for the mouse.

    *extra soft tissues* for Dalillama

    Me, I had my first day of term in college yesterday. Man, those ways, they’ve grown long. It’s a bit of a walk from the student car park to the actual campus. Not too much, usually some 6-8 minutes of daydreaming. Now with the foot just healed, the muscles all gone and my stamina being reduced to nothing, it was 20 painful minutes. I thought I would get me some coffee in the 30 minutes between two classes because it’s just around the corner, right, and I nearly missed the start if the next lecture…

  315. Crudely Wrott says

    Just keep walking, Giliell, and the magic of healing will happen. It worked for me that time that I had a fight with a one-ton pickup truck and lost. Sucker ran over my left foot and lower leg. Five weeks later I was off the crutches and riding my mountain bike. Never. Went. To. A. Doctor. neither.

    Many thanks for the birthday wishes and the cake. Mmm, mmm. The mouse liked the cheese and wonders, tentatively, in a mousey sort of way, if you could spare some peas.

  316. bassmike says

    Another belated birthday for Crudely and welcome back. I get twitchy when my home internet goes down. It’s not good.

    Giliell I’m sure that with more exercise things will improve.

    rq good luck with (mildly) ill little ones. I find it hard enough coping with one let alone 3!

  317. says

    You have my sympathies.
    Sick kids suck.
    Well, quite often they don’t suck but puke, but you know what I mean…

    Aaaaand, I got the last result from last term’s exams (they’ve probably been hanging at the blackboard for a while, but I couldn’t go there).
    That may sound bad to you, but in Germany 1.0 is the best you can get

  318. rq says

    Many happy belated returns! 63 is not a small number, and I hope the mouse keeps you good company. ;)

    Congrats on (semi)mobility, and the excellent marks. Go you! :)

    Hullo, bassmike! I hope all is well with you, especially the child. :) *hugs*

    Those are some impressive photos! Beautiful scenery.
    I love how, in comparison to the giant(seeming) eagle, the girl looks small and fragile. :)

    Get well soon!

  319. opposablethumbs says

    Congratulations, Giliell! So, is that like getting 130% ? And how can you get >100%?!?!? :-)

  320. bassmike says

    rq Child is doing well… the moment. We’re a little annoyed at the medical professions though. When our daughter was in hospital in January they said we’d have an appointment with the specialist in 6 – 8 weeks. The appointment then came through for May. This has now been put back to June! I’m a great supporter of the NHS, but sometimes it can get very frustrating.

  321. rq says

    [whinging about money]
    Just handed in my tax forms online.
    I’m so nervous.
    Not that there’s anything wrong, but I’m scared that I did something wrong and they’ll get angry and take away random money.

    Now all I have to do is buy some plane tickets, and my large financial items are done for the year (mostly).
    [/whinging about money]

    Thing #463 to Remember While In Canada:
    Don’t smirk and/or retch during all those religious songs. It might look bad onstage.

  322. birgerjohansson says

    giliell, crudely

    dalillama, get well

    More good news:
    “SpaceX to test landing legs for future reusable rocket”
    Finally! Re-usable rockets who lands on their legs have been around in fiction
    since forever…would be nice to see the real thing while I am still alive.

    New find challenges ‘simple’ Australian artefacts assumption
    I bet the old archaeologists did not credit the nigg….the aboriginies with originality.

  323. says

    Here’s an update on Bundy, the mormon rancher in Nevada who thinks he does not have to pay to graze his cattle on public land.

    Scroll down to watch the video.


    the rancher showed up last night on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

    “I don’t have a response for Harry Reid, but I have a response for every county sheriff across the United States,” Bundy said on Monday. “Disarm the federal bureaucrats.”

    Just to clarify, Bundy is apparently under the impression that county law-enforcement officials should confront federal law-enforcement officials and attempt to take their firearms. […]

    There are lots of ranchers in Nevada who obey the laws, who pay to graze their cattle on public lands in a grazing-lease arrangement. You have to wonder what they think of Bundy, who has not paid his grazing fees for twenty years.

  324. blf says

    There were local elections recently here in France, and the fascists got an uncomfortable proportion of the vote (c.7%). Offhand, I don’t know where the nearest elected fascist is to me, or how well they did in this area — which is a bit sloppy on my part since they got an appalling high percentage of the vote in this area at the last presidential election (c.23%(!) as I now recall…). Nationally, they have won some mayoral positions and so on, but again I’m unsure about this area.

    Anyways, here’s one of the first actions, Pork is the latest front in Europe’s culture wars:

    The far right is fixated on pork and is using it as an excuse to target yet another aspect of Muslim life

    Following its significant gains in last month’s local elections, the French Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, swiftly announced that school cafeterias would no longer serve non-pork substitution meals to children living in towns won by FN candidates. Targeting Muslims for another ritual round of public humiliation, while also excluding Jewish children, Le Pen declared: “There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere.”

    As recently as 2011, Le Pen was threatened with prosecution for describing Muslims praying in the streets as comparable to the Nazi occupation of France, rather than opting to oppose it as an assault on the neutrality of public space. Her subsequent cultivation of a rightwing defence of secularism is based on the realisation that the supposedly universal values of the republic can be appropriated as a productive front in the struggle for national identity.

    This constant manufacture of controversy is a ritual whereby yet another dimension of Muslim life can be stereotyped, held up for public scrutiny and marked out as a problem that requires resolute political intervention. Symbols can be endlessly generated, leaving every cultural marker to be labelled as yet more evidence of the excessive demands of eternal foreigners on an overly tolerant “host”.

    … [A] sinister genre of direct action has developed around symbolically and physically imposing pork products on Muslims. The French “anti-white racism” group Bloc Identitaire has occupied mosques and tried to organise a march to kick back against the “racist refusal” of Muslims to eat pork.

    Pork has become a racist meme, endlessly adapted through practices of harassment: mosques in Europe have had pig’s heads nailed to their doors, pork-filled envelopes sent in the mail,slices of ham rubbed on door handles, bacon slices slipped in the shoes of worshippers as they prayed.

  325. nich says

    Anybody else finding their browser crashes when it tries to load Pharyngula’s front page?

  326. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Offspring is on spring break and stayed with her grandparents last night, so I got to wake up when I was actually ready to. My legs and feet have almost stopped hurting. I also seem to have lost about 7 pounds over the course of the last week and a half. O.O

    Now I just need to figure out how to manage my time and energy to try to get the main area set up by Sunday afternoon, knowing I won’t have Wednesday evening, most of Saturday, or most of Sunday morning… bleh.

    Also, the farmer’s market stand with the fantastic asian pears wasn’t there this week. I has a sad. :(

    Can someone tell me how to feel about this new(?) meme trend of apparently-derisive comments about what “White Girls” do or like or say?

  327. says


    Finally! Re-usable rockets who lands on their legs have been around in fiction
    since forever…would be nice to see the real thing while I am still alive.

    If they’d bothered to keep up with the Delta Clipper we could’ve had one 20 years ago.

  328. tbtabby says

    Ugh…Failblog has an especially big fail today. This entry shows a misogynist on Facebook getting a verbal smaskdown from a man, so naturally, the comments are full of MRAs mocking the “white knighter” for thinking he can trick a woman into having sex with him by sticking up for her when she’s objectified by a sex-crazed creep, because that’s the ONLY possible reason a man could be against misogyny.

  329. says

    Crudely Wrott:
    Happy belated birthday my friend!


    Ugh is right.
    I read a handful of the comments, and the MRA brigade is clueless as ever. They don’t know what “white knight” means.
    I wonder how they rationalize gay men criticizing sexism and misogyny.

  330. says

    Republican-controlled state governments have found yet another way to fight minimum wage increases, ban them by law:

    Think Progress link.

    At a time when many states and cities are working passing minimum wage increases, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has gone in the opposite direction and signed a law banning cities from passing higher wages. The bill also bans them from enacting paid sick days or vacation requirements.

    The law will stymie the efforts of activists in Oklahoma City, where a labor federation has led the push on a petition to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The state’s current minimum has been set at the federal level of $7.25. […]

    Fallin said she signed the bill out of the worry that higher local minimum wages “would drive businesses to other communities and states, and would raise prices for consumers.” She also argued that “most minimum wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry level jobs” and that “many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle-class families.” […]

    But that’s not what the typical American minimum wage worker looks like. Nearly 90 percent of workers who would be impacted by an increase in the wage are older than 20, while the average age is 35. More than a quarter have children to support. More than half work full time, and 44 percent have at least some college education, while half a million minimum wage workers are college graduates.

    Meanwhile, experts have analyzed state minimum wage increases over two decades and found that even at times of high unemployment, there is no clear evidence that the hikes affected job creation. Five other studies have come to the same conclusion. The same has held true for the city of San Francisco, where employment grew by more than 5 percent after it passed a higher minimum wage while nearby counties experienced declines. […]

    Other states that have passed, or are considering passing, bans on raising the minimum wage include Wisconsin, Kansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Oregon, and Texas. There have been similar bans on sick leave as well.

  331. says

    Phyllis Schafly thinks that increasing the pay gap between men and women would be a good thing.

    Think Progress link.

    […] While women prefer to HAVE a higher-earning partner, men generally prefer to BE the higher-earning partner in a relationship. This simple but profound difference between the sexes has powerful consequences for the so-called pay gap.

    Suppose the pay gap between men and women were magically eliminated. If that happened, simple arithmetic suggests that half of women would be unable to find what they regard as a suitable mate.

    Obviously, I’m not saying women won’t date or marry a lower-earning men, only that they probably prefer not to. If a higher-earning man is not available, many women are more likely not to marry at all. […]

    The best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.

    So, how is that Republican effort to rebrand the GOP as having “led the fight for women’s equality” going?

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

    /long boring comment erased/

    I think I’m depressed again. Or still. The whole “happy” thing was just a fluke. I was hoping it was the other way around, and all those years were just unhappiness instead of depression.

    Or maybe it doesn’t matter which one it is, because it’s apparently something I can’t escape either way. I just wanna sleep.

    And everything was going so well.

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

    And I’m off to bed before I overthink myself into feeling even worse.
    Good night.

  334. rq says

    It’ll look better again soon, I hope! You deserve happy, and I hope it returns to you soon.


    In happy news, lingerie for girls – trying to do it the right way.

  335. says

    In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Tuesday created the “third gender” status for hijras or transgenders. Earlier, they were forced to write male or female against their gender.

    The SC asked the Centre to treat transgender as socially and economically backward.

    The apex court said that transgenders will be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category.

    The SC said absence of law recognizing hijras as third gender could not be continued as a ground to discriminate them in availing equal opportunities in education and employment.

    This is for the first time that the third gender has got a formal recognition. The third gender people will be considered as OBCs, the SC said.


    Tired of hiding, a young gay man comes out of the closet at a Christian college:

    If this were a normal occurrence, I would prelude this with, “I’m sorry, but… ”

    But not anymore. I need to get this out of my system. I need to finally get rid of this. I am a 22-year-old gay guy at a Christian college and I am tired of hiding.

    I am fed up with the worry, angst, and fear about what other “Christians” are going to think. I am sick of the judgmental glares that come my way when I walk through the halls. I am tired of thinking in a worrisome manner about what the next words should be that come out of my mouth because I don’t want the “people of God” to think that I am some kind of grotesque being.

    What a courageous young man.

  336. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs to Beatrice – I hope the depression black dog (if it is the black dog at work) lets you go soon, and I hope things look up for you again. You’ve achieved a lot in the last, what has it been, I think it’s maybe the last year or so? I mean, the experience you’ve gained and all the work you’ve done? I’d be proud of you if I were you!

    I wish I could offer you an actual hug (and ask for one back) but I’ll just send you a virtual one and go and hug SonSpawn goodnight I guess :-\

  337. says

    In more good news, Anthony Mackie, one of the stars of Captain America: Winter Soldier used his celebrity platform to say something wonderful:

    When I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, “Wow, next Halloween, I’m gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.” That’s the thing that always gets me. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino superhero. Scarlett [Johansson] does great representation for all the other girls, but there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that. There’s so many of these little people out here doing awful things for money in the world of being famous. And little girls see that. They should have the opposite spectrum of that to look up to.

    I really appreciate him saying this.

  338. A. Noyd says

    Azkyroth (#430)

    Can someone tell me how to feel about this new(?) meme trend of apparently-derisive comments about what “White Girls” do or like or say?

    If it’s coming from people of color, especially women of color, I’m fine with it, personally. I see a lot of how white girls and women behave in spaces they share with PoC/WoC. They (we) tend to be pretty fucking horrible (casually or explicitly racist, dehumanizing, obliviously privileged, unwilling to confront explicit racists), and it’s even worse anywhere racism is an actual topic. They (we) like to derail those conversations and spout bullshit such as “why do you have to make it all about race?” and “you can’t fight hate with hate” or “no one will listen to you if you sound angry” and so on in an attempt to silence PoC/WoC.

    And then there’s the problem of how media will name racist, culturally-appropriative white girls/women like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga as feminist icons while trashing people like Nicki Minaj as a slutty whore and bad role model, even though the latter is, among other things, extraordinarily supportive of girls’ and young women’s academic success.

    I see it as a reaction to white supremacy—a reaction that generally doesn’t hurt me or other white women, but does good in letting PoC/WoC express their anger at white women’s complicity in and co-creation of white supremacy (even while we decry sexism!). But, there are some things I’ve seen which just seem too much like generalized misogyny, and usually come from men of color or even white men. The former do splash damage to women of color and the latter have absolutely no fucking business saying anything derisive about white women.

  339. says

    Photographer Rachel Sussman captures images of some of the oldest living things on Earth.

    Since 2004, Brooklyn-based contemporary artist Rachel Sussman has researched, collaborated with biologists, and braved some of the world’s harshest climates from Antarctica to the Mojave Desert in order to photograph the oldest continuously living organisms on Earth. This includes plants like Pando, the “Trembling Giant,” a colony of aspens in Utah with a massive underground root system estimated to be around 80,000 years old. Or the dense Llareta plants in South America that grow 1.5 centimeters anually and live over 3,000 years. This is the realm of life where time is measured in millennia, and where despite such astonishing longevity, ecosystems are now threatened due to climate change and human encroachment.

  340. says

    well fuck. I accidentally wrote my coding homework on my own machine instead of connecting to the school lab like I was supposed to. In my effort to transfer the file and/or code, I’ve somehow overwritten a few hundred lines of code with my directory listings. I have no clue how this happened, but it’s very aggravating, since that code was due in the morning, and will now be late.

  341. Crudely Wrott says

    Warm gratitude to Giliell, bassmike, chigau, rq, birger and Tony! for their kind birthday regards. I had the finest (and first in a long, long time) birthday party. Family, including, for the first time, SIL’s parents and his grandmother (93!) were in attendance and it was warm and just so doggone down home wholesome and warm. I still have a bit of a glow on. So thanks to you dear folks for adding your part to my happiness.
    Opposablethumbs, I followed your link to the “eagle girl” and I can only say that I am guilty of the deepest envy! She is living a life that is so closely linked to nature and her environment and to the forces that govern it all . . . and oh, the mountains and far horizons!

    I’ve had the privilege of being in the company of eagles briefly on a couple of occasions; magic, magnificent and mystical are terms that apply to how it felt for me. Now comes this young sprout with a golden on her arm! I am heartened to know that such things are possible and actually taking place in my world.

    For those of you who are taken with heroes imbued with super powers there is something of instruction here, I think. This girl, bold, confident, taught by elders passing down knowledge from times long past and this eagle, fierce, terribly strong, aloof and wild have between them a very real super power. Their power is greater than the two separate and is a wonder to behold. For me it is deeply moving as well.

    That final photograph of the two cheek to cheek in a moment felt keenly by both is as eloquent a statement of the link that binds humans and the rest of creation on the most basic level. Pure joy of life.

    Thanks for the link. Really. Thanks.
    Beatrice, I send to you some quiet companionship, some patience and some courage in the hope that you can find a use for them. May you find peace and comfort . . .

  342. Crudely Wrott says

    Aww, shit, Dalillama, that really bites the big one. Dadburn the dadgum dadratted bum luck!
    Hope you can recover successfully and without penalty.
    Lessee, what is it? oh, yes — “Holding Thumbs” for you!
    Good news, Alice Wilde! My best to you for your hopes and your goals.
    I’m really taken by the crowd-funding phenomena; people are really very kindhearted and keen to help others especially when in company with many others. Once they can all find each other, that is. The InnerTubes have provided a wonderfuly efficient way to do that and I keep being amazed at the results.

  343. says

    Crudely Wrott
    Happy Birthday!

    I agree with Tony!

    There’s something about how you write that I cannot figure out, but it has the effect of drawing me in.

    There’something very poetic about how you write. The world can always use a little poetry I think.

  344. Crudely Wrott says

    Hey, Tony! Cast from similar molds, perhaps we are?
    Fact is, I read every word you write and I’ve long suspected that if you and I ever had a chance to sit around a bottle of Old Philosopher that a perceptible quiver would tremble through the very warp and weave of existence. That or it’d be at least a time to remember and write home about. ;^>
    Thanks for the b-day wishes, my friend.

    Thanks also to Dalillama* and Alice. Your kind regards are treasured. Extra thanks, Alice and Tony!, for finding value in my words. It is very, very gratifying that my words carry something to you that might last, might even be passed on. It is with conscious effort I try to “say what I mean and mean what I say”. Within this venue, among such honest and open souls, I simply must.

    *ouch! that 5% hit’s gotta hurt. some extra credit work to make up?

  345. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I was going to assemble the remaining non-bookcase, already-delivered furniture tonight. That didn’t happen. I did get a bunch of other things either sorted or transferred from my CostCo reusable shopping/car cleanout bags to reused moving-style To Sort boxes, and those things piled in the corner of my bedroom where a recliner may go in a year when I can afford one, and a what-the-fuck-I’ve-had-like-no-trouble-for-three-years – on-the-ground-level-and-now-I-get-fucking-ants-the-second-fucking-week – on-the-second-floor problem dealt with for tonight (tomorrow I buy baits >.>). And the table nearly cleared off. So, I was productive.

    I should sleep though. >.>

  346. rq says

    And the long weekend approaches. It’s either (a) stay in town and participate in all the Easter massery because my dad thinks it’s a great way to spend family time together or (b) go out to the country and face Husband’s family en masse for about 4 days in a row.
    We could default to ‘the kids are sick’ but then our family travel options are limited, since obviously sick kids can’t be taken places. Though we did similar when they were recovering from chickenpox, so maybe (plus there’s the fact that both selections have immuno-compormised persons present, so maybe it IS better safe than sorry)…

  347. says

    Argh, I think “we just want to spend our time like this is out of the question? Sometimes not really speaking with your parents has its perks..

    *big hugs*

    Slight envy on the camping. Because of shitty schedules our easter holiday had to be cancelled…
    Do you have your camper in a permanent spot?

    Sometimes even kids manage to make me hate them in an impersonal way.
    Yesterday the little one wore a light blue polo shirt to kindergarten. She liked it and she wore it together with a light blue flower print jeans. The other kids informed her that she looked like a boy and that she was a boy in that shirt.
    At home she dashed to her wardrobe to put on everything that is pink and sparkly. Not that I’m against her liking pink and sparkly, I’m against idiots ruining her light blue shirt for her.

  348. carlie says

    The other kids informed her that she looked like a boy and that she was a boy in that shirt.

    Harumpf. Elsa from Frozen wears blue. And if you google blue women’s polo, there are lots of ladies in polos. Kids are stupid.

  349. rq says

    Nope, can’t escape either family completely. :P
    And yeah, kids are stupid.


    In other news, I guess a mysterious something-plant really has something against being pulled out by the roots. I won the battle, though. [/rash]

  350. Nick Gotts says

    Also, religious crap in schools ffs – opposablethumbs@416

    Did you notice that as yet, there is no confirmation of any of the claims made? The investigation was started as a result of an anonymous, undated letter, although it has since expanded. The UK government has now appointed the former head of the national police anti-terrorism unit to head an investigation – an appointment sharply criticised by the local chief constable, among others.

  351. birgerjohansson says

    I suspect the kids on South Park are more representative of real-life kids than I would like to think…
    Al Quaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States,35788/
    French conservative leader praises European Union for providing ‘porn without borders’
    Spanish judge defies pressure to scrap Guantanamo torture case against Bush

  352. says

    YEah, it’s not like MY favourite colour was blue. Like I was currently wearing blue jeans and a blue T and a blue hoodie…
    That worked with number 1 once: we first agreed that mum – girl, mum’s wardrobe, therefore anything grey in it – mum’s stuff, therefore girls can wear grey.

    I also wished that the person next to me had taken a shower recently.

  353. opposablethumbs says

    Ah, Crudely, I’m so glad you saw those photos – my first reaction when I saw them was wow, of course, and then it was “who can I pass this link on to?!?!?!?!” :-)
    I thought the Horde would enjoy seeing them, and I particularly thought of things you’ve written in the past about your life and activities out in countryside and wilderness areas and I was pretty sure they would find a home in your eyes! Thanks for saying so; I really appreciate it :-)
    Azy, that is definitely productive time. I have a deadline coming up, ugh :-(((( so I am making this a quick visit while I finish lunch-at-my-desk. I think you’ve been a lot more productive than I have …. hope the end-of-move finishing-off is a good feeling and that you get to take a break and enjoy it!
    rq, I think the kids are much too ill to do anything you don’t want to do or go anywhere you don’t want to go. They’re just well enough to benefit from a little fresh air somewhere you do want to go! Srsly, if you have to endure the exhaustion of looking after three kids currently sharing everyone’s favourite microbes then I think you’re bloody well entitled to wriggle out of any other family obligations you don’t want, dammit!

  354. bassmike says

    rq I agree with opposablethumbs make sure that the kids reach the optimum sickness level to give you the options that you want.

    *sigh* I’ve just had an hour visit to the dentist. The upshot is that the tooth that broke requires two further protracted visits and a bill at best £500 and at worst £2500. It’s not been the best of years so far!

  355. rq says

    We might opt for our own roadtrip, especially since it looks like my temperature has been slowly elevating throughout the day… :(

  356. birgerjohansson says

    Haiku from Daily Kos:

    Spring is in the air
    Leopard thong fits perfectly
    Down go neighbors’ blinds

  357. carlie says

    rq – repeat: “I think I may be coming down with what the kids have. I need to take it easy and I don’t want the kids to relapse, THEREFORE we are staying home. We MAY be able to come over for an hour or two on Saturday/Sunday, but that’s as much as we could handle and it depends on if we’re feeling better or worse.”

    That should give you cover if someone spots you out about town, and gives you the dual-phase turndown whereby you can be too sick to do anything later either.

  358. carlie says

    The problem of outside defecation in India is a lot bigger than telling people where to do it. Toilets are not available for a large percentage of people, and using the ones that do exist can be a dangerous proposition for women, as well as expensive, and they don’t have a lot of options. This story just came out about the situation.

  359. rq says

    Actually I think it’s just mild sunstroke from spending 3 hours outside in unshaded garden (it’s not hot, but the sun is strong). :/ I’m no good with lying, but I’ll keep your suggestion in mind! :)

  360. ajb47 says


    Yes, I have been going to this campground for 38 years now. A few years ago, my wife and I got tired of staying in my mother’s camper when we would go (the kids were getting too big) so we bought our own and got a site there. It’s great because it’s only an hour drive from our busy suburb to a place in the woods.

  361. opposablethumbs says

    Did you notice that as yet, there is no confirmation of any of the claims made?

    Nick Gotts, good point – I hadn’t noticed that at the time I posted, only later. The whole situation looks like a more-than-meets-the-eye thing now, like there may be genuine problems being not just tackled but also oh-so-conveniently used.
    rq, carlie is right! I bet you are at great risk of being maybe about to possibly come down with whatever the kids have and/or assorted lurgi, and you will jointly and severally be only just well enough to do what you like to do and not well enough to do what you don’t. It’s a well-established medical condition that must be taken seriously.

    “I think I may be coming down with what the kids have. I need to take it easy and I don’t want the kids to relapse, THEREFORE we are staying home. We MAY be able to come over for an hour or two on Saturday/Sunday, but that’s as much as we could handle and it depends on if we’re feeling better or worse.”

    See? Perfect grasp of exactly how poorly you are!
    Extra hug for Beatrice, because extra hug.

  362. blf says

    Dalillama, You have just learned a very valuable lesson: Use an SCM / VCS. Used sensibly (combined with backups for when you fail to do so), accidents like that don’t matter: Just retrieve the source from the SCM / VCS and attempt the transfer again. Some systems have a transfer ability (e.g., GIT (my favorite)), which makes such accidents less likely to occur in the first place.

    I know this is going to sound a little bit rude, but I don’t have too much sympathy for you: The concept and near-religious usage of SCM / VCS is a critical part of Software Engineering, and has been for decades. (So is Code Review, which is frustratingly more difficult to get self-proclaimed experts (Ha!!) to do, at all, much less appropriately, but I digress… — albeit SCM / VCS plays important roles in Code Review.)

  363. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The problem of outside defecation in India is a lot bigger than telling people where to do it. Toilets are not available for a large percentage of people, and using the ones that do exist can be a dangerous proposition for women, as well as expensive, and they don’t have a lot of options. This story just came out about the situation.

    Yeah I know. I just couldn’t not post that little ditty about putting the poo in the loo.

  364. rq says

    By the way, opposablethumbs, where does the term ‘lurgi’ come from? I mean, I know what it means, but… where’s it from?? (I like it.)
    Also, it’s a matter of convincing Husband, since in his opinion, going out to the country is the Bestest Thing Evarrrrr, and even though he knows I don’t share his enthusiasm, he’s not likely to accept not-going easily. And I just don’t have much energy for the convincing. So, either (a) the kids remain sick (not likely); (b) I get sick (yeah, it may not be sunstroke after all…); or (c) everyone is recovered and somehow I get my spirit back.

    Sorry for dumping on the thread like this. I realize I’m being pretty selfish about pretty minor stuff here. Sorry.

  365. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Dalillama, You have just learned a very valuable lesson: Use an SCM / VCS.

    I know this is going to sound a little bit rude, but I don’t have too much sympathy for you: The concept and near-religious usage of SCM / VCS is a critical part of Software Engineering, and has been for decades.

    It’s fortunate that people who have been thoroughly trained in that background are so diligent about disseminating this sort of important information to people with “the wrong backgrounds” before things go wrong….

  366. says

    Quite. I’ve been lazy setting up git, but my main mistake was procrastination; if I’d done all this earlier, I’d have hit the problem then and had time to fix it before I was late.

  367. says

    The Dreaded Lurgi originated in a Goon Show episode from 1954 about a new disease spreading across the nation, and entered common usage to refer to an unspecified/fictitious disease which prevents one from participating in an activity (it has been used both as an excuse to avoid such and a means of exclusion to prevent such, e.g. so and so can’t play with us, they have the lurgi).

  368. carlie says

    Also, it’s a matter of convincing Husband, since in his opinion, going out to the country is the Bestest Thing Evarrrrr, and even though he knows I don’t share his enthusiasm, he’s not likely to accept not-going easily.

    In your list, I do not see the option of: Husband takes the kids to the country and you stay at home to rest/be sick/recuperate on your own. That, to me, seems like the perfect solution to everything. It’s a win-win!

  369. says

    Dalilama- Check to see if your editor has some sort of autorecovery feature. You might be able to salvage some of the work. Probably not, but it’s worth checking.

  370. says

    This is a follow up to post #247. Some right-wing shenanigans associated with anti-abortion efforts have at least been slowed in North Dakota.

    Lawmakers in North Dakota went further than most in banning abortion last year, approving a state law that would prohibit terminating pregnancies after six weeks of pregnancy. In July, a federal court blocked implementation of the law, deeming it unlikely to withstand legal scrutiny.

    Today, the judge finished the job, striking down the law as unconstitutional.

    A federal judge has struck down one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, ruling that a North Dakota ban on abortions after as early as six weeks is unconstitutional.

    In his decision, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland wrote of the state’s push to end abortions after a month and a half, “The United States Supreme Court has spoken and has unequivocally said no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability.”

    The law, which would have prohibited abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, passed last year and was immediately challenged. The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) filed suit on behalf of the Red River Women’s Clinic, the only abortion provider in North Dakota.

  371. says

    Good news for environmental protection:

    The Environmental Protection Agency took home a sweeping victory Tuesday when an appeals court upheld the agency’s pollution limits for mercury and air toxics from power plants.

    The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld EPA’s rule, known as MATS, denying challenges from states, utilities and industry groups that argued the rules came out of a flawed regulatory process and illegally imposed exorbitant costs on power producers that will force dozens of power plants to shut down. […]

  372. says

    Listen to carlie
    It’s totally OK to take a few days off. You’ll love them all much better when they come back and you’re rested.

    We used to do that when I was a kid. What a fun it was. I don’t know how many times I fell into that little brook on the campsite.
    Since Mr. is only home at the weekends that would be more stress than it’s worth, so we only use the caravan for the spring and summer holidays.

    Ahhhh, RPG nights.
    Our group steadfastly refused to get drawn into any kind of adventure. The GM threw us bone after bone but our characters were just sick and tired of snow and ice (we all come from a place that roughly resembles Arabia). They have a problem? How about the people who live here take care of their own shit for a while? We go SOUTH!!!

  373. blf says

    In your list, I do not see the option of: Husband takes the kids to the country and you stay at home to rest/be sick/recuperate on your own. That, to me, seems like the perfect solution to everything. It’s a win-win!

    In yer list, I does not see, teh optimal:- Husbrigade charges pea with a broadsword, axe, and flamethrower; you stay in the pea- and horse-proof tower; peas and horses and celeries and zucchinis admit defeat and blow up the planet; Thugs are eliminated, the perfect solution on everything. Lotsa wins!

  374. A. Noyd says

    carlie (#477)

    The problem of outside defecation in India is a lot bigger than telling people where to do it. Toilets are not available for a large percentage of people, and using the ones that do exist can be a dangerous proposition for women, as well as expensive, and they don’t have a lot of options.

    While those are problems, I think the music video is addressing a different one. From what I’ve heard, even if toilets or the means to build them are provided, people might still reject them due to cultural taboos. See here, particularly this bit:

    In societies that have a long tradition of just heading to the fields to do one’s business, toilets are perceived as restricted, dirty spaces that should not be near one’s house, says Chandra Ganapathy, programme support manager at Water Aid, an international NGO that works on water sanitation and hygiene.

    The video seems to be aimed partly at overcoming those taboos. Its narrative includes community members not just using a toilet but coming together to build one for the sake of a more pleasant living environment.

    I’ve also heard that places where toilet use is not part of the traditional culture means that locals often don’t do enough to maintain them, which discourages their use even by people who are pro-toilet. So being “rah rah toilets” can help get communities that already have them to take better care of them.

  375. says

    Giving away free guns seems to be the latest Republican vote-getting gimmick. What could go wrong?

    Ron Paul announced recently that he is giving away a gun because “there can be no liberty without the ability to defend it.” As part of its “Defend Liberty Gun Giveaway,” one lucky donor to the former Texas congressman’s organization, Campaign for Liberty, will receive a DDM4 AR-15. But Paul isn’t alone. More than a dozen candidates for national and local office have offered up free firearms to their supporters during the 2014 election cycle, with gifts ranging from pistols to shotguns to an AR-15 customized by the gubernatorial candidate himself. It’s the year’s hottest conservative campaign gimmick. […]