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


    I can’t do song and dance explanations of math, it make sense just as it as (so it’s probably good I was never interested in teaching math), but I’ll try an explanation anyway:

    Let’s use the definition of derivative (literature uses h and delta x interchangeably):

    f'(x) = lim h->0 (f(x+h)-f(x))/h

    You’ve got an exercise where f(x)=3x-7. They want you to see how you can use the definition to get the same result you get using the ready-made formula, where you can see the derivative is 3, just at a glance.

    So you stuff the function into the definition formula and see what you get:
    f'(x) where f(x)=3x-7:

    f'(x)=lim h->0 (3(x+h)-7-(3x-7))/h = lim h->0 (3x+3h-7-3x+7)/h = lim h-> 0 (3h/h) = lim h->0 3 = 3

    I’m not sure that was clear enough. :/

    Not at Dalillama:
    And I’m really annoyed that so many people run away screaming from math. Can I ask you something? Those who interact with children: please don’t react like that when math is mentioned in conversations with them, especially with young ones.
    We prime the children into hating math before they ever meet an actual math teacher. Not everyone is fit for teaching, I’m not. Definitely. That’s why I don’t teach math, but all the fault doesn’t rest on the teachers.

    How do you expect children to learn something, when you tell them before they even set foot in the classroom that it’s hard and difficult, “urgh, math homework” and all the not-understanding-math jokes.
    Scientists are but of jokes in the media, but math just has its own special little placard that says “ATTENTION: DIFFICULT, DON’T EVEN TRY”

    Sorry about the rant. It just gets on my nerves. Dalillama is old enough not to be discouraged by all the people running away from seeing a teeny tiny little math question, but the attitude is something I see everywhere and it annoys the hell out of me.

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

    That’s a prominent spot for my little rant. Sorry, didn’t mean to do that.

  3. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    That really wasn’t funny. Breastfeeding is nothing more than reducing yourself to a mobile milk machine — degrading, undignified, and disgusting.


  4. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Ah, the perils of social interaction! For a light morning read.

    …why do You People DO this to yourselves? O.O

  5. rq says

    Loved your morning Love Math! rant. And for what it’s worth, I agree. :)
    Honestly, I kind of wish Dalillama keeps bringing the math questions here, I’m enjoying everyone’s explanations and realizing that I actually know what they’re on about. It’s a nice recovery of some of my former mental capabilities.

    If I choose to become a mobile milk machine, that’s my choice to do so, and I shouldn’t have to make excuses for myself anywhere I go. I have also done so three times already, and it has been a lot cheaper and more convenient than packing a bottle (and still requires planning ahead due to people who refuse to see it as a normal act of feeding, and instead choose to cry “Indecency!!!” while staring, which means deciding whether that place we go to has sufficient pseudo-privacy for me to not offend the other patrons* within our preferred time window, i.e. seats in corners, etc.). Formula is fucking expensive, especially in bulk, and unfortunately, babies only do bulk.
    And my boobs are just fine, thanks. The only reason they feel degraded these days is because they don’t get enough of the right kind of attention paid to them. Kinda ironic, I know.

    * For everyone else: I just had a funny image about the phrase “patronising a bar”.

  6. rowanvt says

    *lurches into the thread* so… sleep deprived….

    RowanVT’s Hypothesis on the reasons for the existence of Kittenental Drift:

    Kittenental Drift: The inexorable tendency for kittens to turn their heads to either side while being bottle fed. This forces either following the drift with the bottle, often leading to the kitten ‘looking over’ its own shoulder or ending upside down or keeping the bottle steady resulting in a cessation of the latch. Either action usually ends up causing copious flailing and angry kitten squalls.

    The Hypothesis of Kittenental Drift: Felines, being inherently contrarian, do this to force the subjugated human to stay awake far longer than necessary, especially during middle of the night feedings.

    The human servant is supposed to be rendered more compliant by existing in a state of permanent exhaustion, per feline thinking. The fact that all this does is make the human become increasingly cranky does not disabuse this utterly feline notion.

    Much to the dismay of many kittens, the humans instead learn to hold the kitten’s head in place, preventing the expression of Kittenental Drift. Some perfunctory flailing may occur, but lacerations to the human dermis are limited in nature.

    Here Turnip shows us Kittenental Drift in action as evidenced by the turned head and general listing of her body.

    Jicama gives us a look at the beginning of Kittenental Drift.


    … and Potato both declined to perform Kittenental Drift for the camera, but I figured I should show off the fact that these two have eyeballs now.

    And by now the bottle should have warmed up, and I will get to experience this phenomena yet again.

  7. rq says

    … And then there’s that whole thing about breast pumps and… yeah.
    Breastfeeding worked awesome for me.

    It doesn’t for some people, and it’s so awesome that they have the technology available to properly feed their child, but I also know (a) it’s not a particularly happy feeling for them (inadequacy, etc.) and (b) it hits them pretty hard financially (it can).

    And some people choose not to breastfeed, and that is awesome, too, because they have so many other options.

    But breastfeeding was mine. *shrug* My choice.
    That word has been floating around a lot lately.

  8. rq says

    Thank you for that cute this morning!!!!! Soooooooooooooooooo aaaaaaaaaaaaawesooooooooooommmme!!!!
    Also, I didn’t know you had a Latvian kitten. ;) (And Turnip, too… Will the next one be Rutabaga?)

  9. says

    Good morning

    *big hugs*


    WMD Kitty
    I don’t know what your personal problem is here, but get over it.
    Breastfeeding isn’t gross, it’s not dehumanizing, it’s none of your business unless you’re the one with the mammal glands in question.
    Women who decide to breastfeed don’t reduce themselves to a mobile milk machine. They choose one way to feed their baby that is working for them. So, unless you want to argue that:
    -tits are gross
    -breastfeeding women need to stay at home
    -breastfeeding women need to spend a lot of time and money on pumps and bottles and risk giving the kid some infection or other because transporting pumped milk is a tricky thing to do, just leave this alone, OK?
    If you don’t want to see a woman breastfeeding, look the other way.

  10. opposablethumbs says

    I think Azkyroth is a very excellent explainer too.

    I disagree with WMD Kitty; many mothers of infants find that breastfeeding is several thousand percent more convenient – and cheaper – than faffing around with any of the alternatives (expressing, getting breastmilk into a bottle, OR making up formula, and in BOTH cases keeping bottles and teats sterilised, keeping the milk cool until needed, warming it up when needed? Are you kidding me?). Why the hell should the mother of an infant go to considerable extra and unnecessary expense and inconvenience in order to have some semblance of a normal life? I agree with Giliell and rq; if anyone doesn’t want to see it they can look in some other direction for a few minutes. Personally I found it perfectly possible to carry on a normal conversation with friends while breastfeeding (this was a long time ago now, but still within living memory ;-) ) (plus it’s handy to have someone nearby for when you’ve forgotten to get yourself a glass of water (it makes you thirsty)!)

  11. rq says

    The only person I ever knew to be bothered by my public breastfeeding was my dad. And he’s a reasonably conservative catholic, so take from that what you will. All my friends were perfectly discreet and managed not to stare, and if it did make them uncomfortable, they were at least respectful enough to place priority on us having an enjoyable time together, rather than attempting to explain to me how I really shouldn’t do that, you know, right here.

  12. rq says

    That’s one more anti-vaxx post marked as spam on my FB timeline… Ugh, couldn’t find the excellent anti-anti-vaxx takedown that I think someone here on FtB linked to a short while ago, but I did my best. Ech. Anyone remember that one?

  13. bassmike says

    I’m with rq and opposablethumbs with regard to the breastfeeding issue. My wife tried to breastfeed, but there were problems, so we had to swap to bottles. Using bottles is expensive and decidedly less convenient. I’m glad to see that it appears to be becoming more acceptable to breastfeed in public. Though there is still a long way to go.

    Disclaimer: I am male so I’m only going on my vicarious experience and what my wife tell me.

  14. carlie says

    rq – loved the social interaction piece.

    I assume WMDKitty was being sarcastic? Being against breastfeeding goes against everything I know about her personality. But if not, here’s a tip – breastfed babies don’t like drinking from bottles, and will often flat-out refuse to take one when mom is right there because they’re smart enough to know better. So even if a parent tried that, it wouldn’t work. My kids were in full-time daycare and never drank more than about 3-4 oz of bottled breastmilk per day while they were there.

    When people complain about how gross it is to breastfeed in public, I like to remind them about what the babies are all doing in their diapers in public all the time, even when someone is holding them.

  15. rq says

    PZ hasn’t posted any photos of his cat lately. Did he get it adopted after all? :(

    I’ve been re-reading that comment and it’s difficult to read it as mere sarcasm. :/ I hope WMDKitty can clarify.
    The problem is that babies, while pooping in public, do so hidden from view (except for those *squish* moments, ew); when babies eat via The Boob, someone else has to expose a part of their body to the general public. Which makes it just so gross, for some reason.

  16. says

    *staggers into Lounge*

    *Looks around blearily*

    rowanvt, babycats! They’re sooooo adorable!

    WMDKitty, wha? *raises hand in solidarity with other mums who have breastfed in public when necessary* I guess I was fortunate – I got offers of chairs and supportive comments from other women.

  17. azhael says

    I don´t understand why anyone would consider breastfeeding gross (except that i know there are people that are only against it if the woman is “old” or “ugly”….¬¬)…then again i also don´t understand why anyone would consider drinking human milk gross…You see people in tv programs or whatever eating ice-cream made from human milk and it´s like they are mavericks. Oh, how avant garde! Meanwhile everybody is putting faces and saying how disgusting it is that an adult is consuming human milk. It was ok when you were months old but somehow as you age your own species´ milk becomes off limits, the only apropriate milk for you has to come from some distant cuadrupedal relative. Like condemning breast-feeding, it´s all the most absurd negation of natural behaviours for no good reason (made up puritanical cultural notions are not good reasons)

  18. rq says

    I don’t suppose you have any new pictures? :)

    I think it’s the thought that, once, you just may have put your mum’s nipples in your mouth…

  19. azhael says

    I think it’s the thought that, once, you just may have put your mum’s nipples in your mouth…

    Which the vast majority of humans throughout history have. My father has repeteadly confessed that when i was a baby and he changed my diapers he used to kiss my arse. I don´t think that´s either weird or gross, i in fact think it´s yet another reason why my father is great.

    This reminds of another extremely ridiculous, puritanical denial of basic nature which is the idea that some people genuinely have had that girls don´t poop or fart. The difference is that at some point you are bound to encounter definitive empirical evidence that this is in fact utterly false, whereas you are very unlikely to ever have your mother´s nipples in your mouth as an adult (i´m not arguing that you should, by the way).

  20. says

    I’ve had mothers breastfeeding at my restaurant and thought nothing of it. In fact, I hope someday that people overcome this puritanical aversion to public breastfeeding. There’s nothing wrong with babies nursing. There’s nothing wrong with breasts. There’s nothing wrong with nudity (every one of the mothers I’ve seen breastfeeding in public have covered up with a blanket of some sort, so they’re not even really nude).

  21. opposablethumbs says

    I suppose it’s to do with the fact that the culture we pretty much all share defines visible women’s bodies very much as sex objects for men (non-sex physicality is s’posed to be hidden away, innit) and this is something we internalise from infancy ourselves. So it’s somewhat hard to perceive a woman’s breast in anything other than a sexual context, which makes breastfeeding a bit does-not-compute argh-it’s-sexual-NO-IT-ISN’T-argh-brain-melt. Hence the feeling some people have that it’s vaguely gross somehow. Or at least, too-intimate somehow. For example, the subject of breastfeeding – both in the abstract and also specifically how convenient it was for us – has come up, very briefly, maybe once or twice in a whole lifetime with my (now adult/nearly adult) Spawn, but I’d be highly unlikely (as in, not happening ever) to dwell at length on the details of my having breastfed them both when they were babies, it would just feel too weird. Irrational, I know ::shrugs::

  22. opposablethumbs says

    Exactly, Tony, and in practice it’s pretty discreet once you get the hang of it (and remember to wear a loose top) :-), mostly people aren’t even going to notice unless they’re deliberately looking for it – and it’s a hell of a lot less disruptive to all parties concerned than traipsing off to some other room, and not forgetting your bag, or your valuables, or whatever, and without anyone to get you that glass of water that you inevitably did forget :-)

  23. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    WMD Kitty
    I don’t know what your personal problem is here, but get over it.

    WMDKitty, I would suggest that (like with several other things that have come up) you’re completely welcome to find breastfeeding an appalling prospect and never personally engage in it…and this doesn’t need to, and shouldn’t translate into knee-jerk global statements denigrating others’ feelings and (non-harmful) choices. >.>

  24. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    then again i also don´t understand why anyone would consider drinking human milk gross…You see people in tv programs or whatever eating ice-cream made from human milk and it´s like they are mavericks. Oh, how avant garde! Meanwhile everybody is putting faces and saying how disgusting it is that an adult is consuming human milk.

    I dunno; my recollection from having-a-pooping-meatloaf-around-era experiments is that it has a strikingly sweet taste, and people are accustomed to “milk” and derivatives having a more savory flavor profile (this is why I can’t eat whole wheat macaroni and cheese with a straight face, sadly – am I the only one to whom whole wheat flour products taste notably sweeter than white)?

    Nah, it’s very unlikely to be anything that rational. >.>

  25. rq says

    am I the only one to whom whole wheat flour products taste notably sweeter than white

    Nope, you’re not… And it’s a weird kind of sweetness, too.

    I like what you both said, Tony and opposablethumbs. :)

  26. azhael says

    @530 From Az to Az.

    I dunno; my recollection from having-a-pooping-meatloaf-around-era experiments is that it has a strikingly sweet taste, and people are accustomed to “milk” and derivatives having a more savory flavor profile (this is why I can’t eat whole wheat macaroni and cheese with a straight face, sadly – am I the only one to whom whole wheat flour products taste notably sweeter than white)?

    Nah, it’s very unlikely to be anything that rational. >.>

    Yeah, i don´t think our culture is known for having a huge problem with supersweet stuff.
    I´ve been told the taste is indeed strange….but so is broccoli and then you realise it´s delicious. For that matter so is natural cow milk when you drink it straight after being sterilized for the average urbanite who has never seen milk that isn´t encased in plastic and alluminium (i´m not even going to address the people who drink that fat-free white water that lies about being milk).
    I know you aren´t seriously proposing that it is a matter of taste, but if that were the case, people really wouldn´t engage in such over the top theatrics to make it absolutely clear that they think human breast milk is disgusting and anyone who tastes it and is not wearing a diaper is some kind of fucked up weirdo on a par with people who drink their own pee. And you definitely wouldn´t have shows where someone tastes it and it is pressented to you like someone was taking a shit on live TV or doing coke.

    It is most definitely a cultural taboo and an extraordinarily silly one at that.
    I´m not saying we should be drinking human milk, mind you, just that if and when it happens it should cause as much shock and comment as when people drink cow´s milk (or actually less since most people are speciesist).

  27. rq says

    Dammit, I can’t see that link (“Humor/Jokes” are also blocked at work…)


    Interestingly, the only recreational site I’m able to visit at work, that doesn’t get classified as Entertainment, Social Media, or some such, is FtB. I’m not complaining!!

    Also, there’s a certain visual poetry about a goth girl, dressed all in black and dark blue ribbons (leather trench and elaborate eyelashes), buying white chocolate. [/random observation]

  28. azhael says

    Oh, forgot to say that i ´m thoroughly convinced the taboo stems very much from what opposablethumbs described at post 527.

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


    I’m actually feeling as close to happy as I ever get right now, and that post resonates with me so much.

    AND, CaitieCat commented there, so that’s a double yay for seeing evidence CaitieCat is around.

  30. rq says

    It’s also part of the reason I linked to it, I was very excited to see her around. :)
    But yeah, that post resonates, and it’s going up on my FB once I get home.

  31. says

    rq and Beatrice, Miri’s post resonated with me too. What with the family stuff of the last few years, I can’t trust feeling happy even for a little while, because I’m always waiting for that next disaster. It’s like the freakin’ Shoe of Damocles hanging over my head. Grmph.

    I’ll just leave a fresh pile of chocolate-covered hugs lying here for anyone who wants one…

  32. says

    Yep, opposabblethumbs nailed it.
    Breatsfeeding panic is a combination of “women don’t have bodily functions” and “boobs are for straight men to enjoy”.
    And yes, breastmilk is pretty sweet.

    Giliell musing
    Why do people assume that children are “carefree” and want to keep that attitude themselves as adults? In my experience, children have worries. Privileged children might worry about things adults find ridiculous, but they still worry. Not to mention that many less privileged children have very serious worries indeed.

  33. rq says

    Shoe of Damocles? :D Love that phrase, Anne D. Here, I’ll trade you some of my chocolate.

    I think it’s the fact that we permit children much more leeway in the ‘having fun’ department, and obviously anyone who can run around giggling like that for so many minutes without tiring out while doing all those silly things must be absolutely carefree….
    But then there’s the fact that such free playtime is a very privileged thing for children to have. So… yes?

  34. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    ….from the Laci Green thread.

    The typical MRA is oppressed, not indeed on the basis of sex, but on the basis of class and sometimes race as well; often too he suffers from a neuropathology such as autism or Asperger’s.

    *curls up and whimpers*

  35. rowanvt says

    Wow… that’s amazingly insulting towards non-neurotypical folks. “Hey, your brain works slightly differently which means you are going to be a raging asshat towards women!”

  36. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Worse. It’s bog standard. (See: my venting about being doxxed by a commenter on Daylight Atheism whose “GIVE ME TOTAL REIGN TO SPECULATE ABOUT HOW AYN RAND TOTES HAD ASPERGER’S AND THAT’S WHY SHE WAS SO ETHICALLY FUCKED UP OR GIVE ME DEATH!” position I successfully drew the blogger’s attention to the unacceptability of).

    It’s like it never fucking ends.

  37. rq says

    *sads and angers*

    Wow, that’s just… Wow. So now “knowingly being an asshole” means being an even bigger asshole because WAAAAAAAAAHHH.
    I’m sorry you (and anyone else on the spectrum/spectra?) get caught up with this sort of splash damage.

  38. rq says

    I wish things in Ukraine would calm down.
    I know that’s kind of a stupid thing to say, just like that. But it’s making me nervous, like a non-stop background noise going constant for several months now – and I know it’s a lot worse over there, but the effect is felt here, too (politically, mostly). And it makes for some anxious times.

  39. says

    Clarification time

    It’s got nothing to do with “OMG tits.” I like boobs.

    I find it disgusting, degrading, and dehumanizing because I am utterly repulsed by the mere thought of someone feeding off of another human being. (See: my thoughts on pregnancy.)

    Naturally, I’m going to take issue with people who decide to shove their crotch-goblin onto a tit without a little fucking discretion and respect for others who just might not want to see it. (And no, it’s not always possible to “just not look”, because some people deliberately make a Broadway production out of it like their babby is some kind of status symbol.)

    Take it to the car, or a back corner, cover up, arrange your friends to provide a “wall”, I don’t care, so long as I don’t have to see it. Put a blanket over my head like that photo, and you WILL get fucking punched because that shit is triggering as fuck. I cannot have my fucking face covered like that.

  40. rowanvt says

    WMD…. I like you. I honestly do. But we are mammals. That means we make milk to feed our young. So unless you are equally repulsed by calves feeding from cows, or kittens from queens, I just don’t get it. But even if that is your personal feeling, you don’t get to shove it on us. It’s honestly no different from those who think it is utterly icky that two guys have sex and say they can’t just ‘not look’.

    Unless you are physically incapable of closing your eyes, or turning your head, you can not look. You can be annoyed. You can find it gross. But that’s on you.

  41. rowanvt says

    *edit to fix missing sentence part –

    It’s honestly no different from those who think it is utterly icky that two guys have sex and say they can’t just ‘not look’ when those two men walk by holding hands or kiss.

  42. Portia says

    This is one of those times where you need to step back and reassess. Your characterizations of breastfeeding are pretty hurtful, and I’ve never even been in a position to need to feed a child.

    Your “do it where I don’t have to see” is uncomfortably similar to “Do that nasty buttseks behind closed doors” …does that bother you?

    I think the joke in rq’s photo is that it’s preposterous to actually think of putting a blanket over an onlookers head. It’s equally preposterous to suggest that breast-owners shouldn’t be able to feed their children. I’m also confused – are you saying babies are ethically in the wrong when they breastfeed? How can you make a moral judgment about the actions of a baby? I don’t geddit.

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


    And no, it’s not always possible to “just not look”, because some people deliberately make a Broadway production out of it like their babby is some kind of status symbol.

    Assholes can turn breathing into an annoying drama. Doesn’t mean you can generalize the fuck out of something some asshole somewhere might or might not do (reading your comment, it looks like merely not being sufficiently apologetic about breastfeeding in public would count as “making a production” for you ).

    You’re being a real ass about this.

    And I’m saying that as someone who feels very squeamish about pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding and all the rest that goes with pregnancy, young children and various related bodily secretions. Which just means I’m unlikely to birth children.
    If I did, I would be even more unlikely to be courageous enough to breastfeed in public because… you, in part. People like you. Cheers!

    Should pregnant women be allowed out or should they just hide in the kitchen until the kid is out and on solids?

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

    Thunderdome might be a better place for this conversation.
    I’ll only say for myself, but I’m unlikely to be any kinder that I’ve been in my last comment ( and that wasn’t very kind to begin with).

  45. rq says

    Pro-wrestler pro gay marriage. Just for some good feels. (He also turns out to be atheist, I think.)

    Some dancing from Australia.

    And yeah, apparently codebabes isn’t a hoax. As my old high school friend put it, “Uh, more accessible to whom?”


    I’m sorry you didn’t find the image amusing.
    Thank you for being so honest about your feelings about this.

  46. says

    rq, codebabes? Stop this planet, I want off and I’m taking the daughters with me. Especially the one who wants to be a programmer. Gah.

  47. consciousness razor says

    Yeah, I’m the bad guy for asking BFing mothers to please respect the people around them and use a little discretion.

    Uhh…. Are you seriously claiming that you’re merely asking for discretion when people go about being “degrading, undignified, and disgusting” by “reducing” themselves to a “machine”? It’s “dehumanizing” and you’re “utterly repulsed by the mere thought” of it, and somehow at the same time, that’s all fine as far as you’re concerned, if it’s done discreetly?

    I don’t believe that.

  48. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (I apologize if this is inappropriate, but…)

    WMDKitty, you use a wheelchair, as I recall, and possibly other assistive devices.. A lot of people find medical devices and public evidence of disabilities distasteful. Try, literally, to imagine how you’d feel getting that kind of rant about “discretion.” See the problem yet?

  49. rq says

    I’m just going to sit here and be all wtf. Because no breastfeeding mother has ever thought of being discreet ever in the history of the world because everyone’s just so fine with it.


  50. says


    Mobility devices like my wheelchair are, in fact, a necessity, and enable me to participate more fully in society.

    Breastfeeding is not a necessity, and only hampers women by keeping them tethered to their crotch-loafs. Leaving the child with the other parent or a trusted caregiver is an option, as are bottles.

    I can’t leave my CP at home. I’m guessing you can’t leave your ASD at home, either.

    On that basis, your analogy falls flat, and then some.

  51. says

    rq, that cat, what a face! Aside from that, yeah, what you said.

    WMDKitty, please either drop the subject or take your mother and baby bashing to Thunderdome.

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

    I strongly suggest this be moved to Thunderdome. Lounge is getting… unpleasant. To put it mildly.

  53. rowanvt says

    Because, naturally, no woman who chose to have a child would want to be around that child. And, of course, every woman who has a child can afford the expense of bottles and breast pumps, as well as want to deal with the discomfort and sheer time involved.

    My sister-in-law dislikes children. So you know what she does? She removes herself from their presence because she understand that *they* and their mothers are humans too and should not be prevented from being out in public. The only things that really annoy her are rambunctious/screaming children in nice restaurants, movie theatres, and the starbucks we tend to go to at 10pm anyway. And even then she doesn’t consider them disgusting.

  54. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I’m having trouble finding a polite way to say “See me in Thunderdome” due to outrage. If this doesn’t move now, I’d suggest a monitor alert PZ to make it move because this is rediculous.

  55. says

    A Jesus series on the CW?:

    Nazareth is the first project under an overall deal for event series that Fox has signed with Cooper and Tyler Mitchell’s Landscape Entertainment. It follows the formative years of Jesus of Nazareth. There had been a lot of interest recently in Jesus’ so called “lost years,” a lesser known period in his life because there is very little written about him from the age of 13, following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he took with his parents, to age 30, when he began his ministry and was baptized by John the Baptist.

    Won’t they have to make up a lot of shit for such a show? I’m sure that will make the Ham’s and the Hovind’s of the world very cross (much like the film Noah).

    Hat tip to Jezebel.


    I had no idea ravens were this smart:

    In certain social organizations and dominance hierarchies, the key to survival is social intelligence and an understanding of community dynamics. Not only do you need to know who’s nice and who’s not to get by on a daily basis, but for every political maneuver, it’s important to know who will support whom.

    To investigate this in these big brained birds, a team led by Jorg Massen from the University of Vienna, Austria, recorded audio files that contain vocal interactions between ravens and played them for a group of 16 captive ravens (Corvus corax). Pictured below, a raven playing close attention to a played-back stimulus.

    They found that ravens paid especial attention and seemed stressed — displaying behaviors like head turns and body shakes — when they hear playbacks that simulate a rank reversal in their group. They just didn’t expect a low-ranking bird to show off to a higher-ranking one — this violates their rank relations. They were fine when the dominance structure in the playback reflects their hierarchy accurately.

    (hat tip to Jezebel once more)


    The world’s largest wind turbine blade!

    This is the world’s largest wind turbine blade en route to the largest offshore wind turbine in the world, in Methil, Scotland. At an incredible 273.95 feet (83.5 meters) long by 13.7 feet (4.2 meters) wide, the blade had to be transported all the way from Denmark, where it was manufactured—a logistical nightmare.

    There is an image of the blade being transported by two trucks. Logistical nightmare indeed!

  56. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    That’s really cool about the ravens, Tony! I knew they were intelligent, but hadn’t heard about them having such complex interactions.

  57. says

    Giliell @541

    Yes the idea that children are carefree I find particularly bothersome. My child has issues with anxiety and I certainly remember my childhood being riddled with it. I don’t remember anything carefree about it. Peer pressure, peer competition, bullies, behavioral expectations, gender expectations, school, fat-shaming and other fun. I find responsibility riddled life as a grown up easier to be truthful.

  58. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#576)

    The only profile change I made was a change of email address. I wonder what’s up…

    Your email is how your gravatar “finds” you. You have to go to your gravatar settings and add the email you updated your profile with. You can have multiple emails associated with a single gravatar account.

  59. A. Noyd says

    My cat’s plan to use cuddling to coax me into feeding her is backfiring. I’m avoiding getting up because I’m enjoying having her in my lap. Even if she does raise her head at the slightest provocation and give me pointed looks.

  60. says

    So this talk of gravatars- how do I get FtB to actually use it?

    I’ve logged in with the Facebook, Google, and options, as well as directly. None pull my gravatar.

    I’ve left the field blank, where it tells me it will pull my gravatar automatically, and filled it in with my gravatar image URL.

    Nothing seems to work. It keeps using my Facebook profile pic. Unless you guys are seeing a cartoony Moonkin?

    It’s not stuck on whatever pic I first started with here, as this pic did not even exist then. I have no idea how it got into my profile here or why it’s stuck. Any ideas? I could possibly be slightly less guarded with some of the things I bring up if I wasn’t immediately displaying who I am to anyone who has met me IRL.

  61. says

    The odd thing is Gravatar can’t link to my Facebook account, and Facebook is the only place I’ve directly uploaded the pic to. So it’s not like FtB is going to Gravatar which is then going to Facebook, and the pic isn’t showing in Gravatar, so it’s not some weird glitch where it grabbed the pic and nothing else.

  62. Desert Son, OM says

    Buenas noches, Lounge!

    Exhausted. End of week. Thanks for stopping by, week, but damnit if you didn’t wear me out.

    Catching up, sorta:

    Dalillama at #398:

    Thanks for the game update! It sounds like a helluva ride so far! If I recall correctly, you all play every couple of weeks? Maybe? Sounds like a lot has happened since the campaign started. How many members in the party? How are you all liking the GURPS? My only experience with games in re: Weird West (or similar) settings is the old TSR Boot Hill from *mumble* years ago, and the Deadlands system from the late 1990s. Hope the system is proving a good fit for your group.

    On the way they set fire to probably a few hundred square miles of scrubland


    After a panicked flight caused by not having let their NPC allies know they were going to do this and giving them a chance to pack up camp before the prairie fire.

    Classic. How often in rpgs the main characters are as much—if not more—danger to NPCs than villains/baddies/monsters!

    approach the sheriff, annoy him, shoot him in the leg, tie him up, blindfold and gag him, and then shove him into a rain barrel, where they left him overnight.

    Making a good first impression on the locals are they?

    were-jaguar . . . fiddler . . . garden-variety serial killer . . . throw them for a loop.

    As I said, sounds like a helluva game.


    Crip Dyke at 454:

    Thank you for that post. Aliens is my favorite action movie of all time, and I really enjoyed reading your discussion about Vasquez. I’m so often awed by the strength, depth, and complexity of your analysis and contributions on so many topics, and this was no exception. Thank you again.

    As an interesting aside, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood occasionally posts (or did, at any rate) on Pharyngula, and he wrote a role-playing game-style (though not exactly) book, a copy of which I own, called the Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual which was excellently researched about the film. Don’t know if it’s still in print, but worth a look if it is and the subject of that particular film is of interest.


    Tony! at #475:

    Thanks for linking to that. I’m grateful to read Rucka’s thoughts, and it’s a fantastic, empowering read.

    I second Crip Dyke’s recommendation of Whiteout. Outstanding comic book, terrific protagonist treated as a real person, complex, dynamic, intelligent, multi-faceted, capable, not a super-hero (not that there’s anything wrong with superheroes necessarily) but a well-written and realized person who performs heroic actions. Great setting for a murder mystery (it’s a murder mystery; this spoils nothing) that treats the dynamics of solving a murder and the complexities associated with the particular environment in a believable way, and as Crip Dyke mentioned, the artwork is beautiful, stark, striking, compelling, pulls you in. I also agree on the sequel. It just didn’t hit the level and power that Whiteout did. Which is fine, because Whiteout.

    So good. So so good. Go Greg Rucka!

    Also thanks for the link about the ravens at #573. Yeah, corivds are some of the smartest birds ever. Totally awesome. Quoth the raven, indeed.


    rq at #549:

    I empathize with your unease, and I’m even farther removed geographically. Years ago I got to visit what was then still the Soviet Union during a two-week education-related trip. The journey included visiting Ukraine. It was one of those amazing eye-opening events in a young person’s life where you realize “Oh, these are just human beings. Wait! Why do I keep getting told these are the ‘enemy’ again?” (I grew up in Reagan-era U.S.).

    I have two friends who did Peace Corps work in Ukraine a couple of years ago, and the situation is really breaking their hearts (and raising their blood pressure). The whole thing, in all its complexity, gives me unease, too, and I can’t even imagine how much those ripples reach out to other nearby regions.

    I hope this finds you well. Thanks also for the link to the dancer. I’m long since past the age to have had any such grace, and didn’t even have a tenth of that display at my physical peak. My knees hurt just watching some of those moves, but it was amazing to see.


    Thoughts on driving. The more I do it (I have been able/eligible to drive for 24 years) the more alarmed I am about driving that is not very conscientious. I don’t know why the turn signal—eminently useful—is baffling to so many motorists. And not just the turn signal, but using it with enough advance notice so that the flow of traffic can adjust as necessary.

    Of course, emergencies and unforeseen circumstances occur, and we can’t anticipate all of them, I totally understand. But, for example, in the on-ramp/off-ramp exchange, it really does help if both sections use the signal with enough advance warning so the flow of traffic has a good idea of intentions, especially because on-ramp/off-ramp traffic is more likely to be moving at 65+ kph. Also, signals really help when changing lanes in front of heavy vehicles like buses and trucks (lorries). Those vehicles have a much harder time stopping over distance, but I keep seeing drivers dart in front of them without sufficient distance and signal as if the heavy machinery were hatchbacks with new factory brakes. Let’s also be cognizant of motorcycles and bicycles, too. Easy to miss, but causing an accident to one of those is way worse for the cyclist than it is for you in a car.

    Also, in construction zones, there is a reason the speed limits are adjusted down, fellow motorists. I know, you really really really really need to get where you are going, but so do the construction workers, and without life-threatening injury.

    Also also: Dear fellow motorists: Someday you may need an emergency response vehicle’s help, and if you do, I bet you’d be pretty grateful if other drivers on the road pulled to the right (here in the U.S.) and slowed/stopped (safely and conscientiously paying attention to environment, traffic, conditions, etc., of course!) so that the emergency vehicle can get to you sooner. With that in mind, maybe try (conditions permitting, and safely, as always) to do the same when it’s not you that needs the emergency response vehicle, yeah?

    Also also also: Stop for school buses when the red lights flash/stop sign signals. Seriously. That stop sign isn’t optional, not even if you’re on the other side of the street going the opposite direction. And if you are driving more than 48 kph in an area where school buses make stops, I guarantee you are driving way too fucking fast to be able to effectively stop in distance in the event of an emergency, like, say, a child darting out into the road from said bus. Yes, children do learn not to do that, but they are also children and sometimes excited or forget. You are the adult who is operating the 1900 kg internal combustion missile. Rein it in, o.k., Mario Andretti?

    I’m not even going to bring up the amounts of texting while driving I’ve been seeing in the last several months. Fuck.

    Is all this really privileged? I’m worried I’m talking from a lot of privilege here. If so, I apologize. I had to be on the road a lot today, and there were some tense moments, and I’ve been seeing alot of what I cataloged in the last three months. I apologize if I’m being an ass. A frustrating day on the road is not an excuse to be an ass.

    So, to end on something more pleasant: There’s a rosebush just to the side of my apartment’s front door that has been giving me the stuns for the last couple of weeks. Glorious roses, forty or more blooms, deep burgundy with the petal edges curling near the centers almost black the color is so rich. Very faint smell (this could be my sense of smell, which may not be very good. I have no idea), but visually just captivating.

    Lounge, Horde, and Pharynguloids, I hope the upcoming weekend has at least a small moment of surprising beauty or humor that provides some measure of renewal against the wearying elements so often demarcating the course of life.

    Still learning,


  63. says

    Trigger Warning:
    I just got some tragic news. The restaurant I work at is owned by a lesbian couple. One of the women (J) was on her way home and she accidentally struck and killed a pedestrian. Another employee sent me a short text about the accident, which was so shocking that I really didn’t want to believe it. Part of me hoped he was joking (joking about such an accident would be in poor taste, but no one dies from poor jokes), but it was confirmed by another employee who went to the scene.
    Oh my gosh.

  64. Desert Son, OM says

    Tony! at #589:

    Heartfelt support for your employer, and the families and friends of all affected, you included. Devastating news.

    It sounds like you’ve had an awful week with heavy events. Thanks for the work, time, and effort you make here. Yours is a welcoming voice, a powerful outrage against evils and ills, a supportive kindness to those struggling in pain, and an excellent insight into the challenges of difficult life circumstances we all must regularly navigate. Thank you again. Hugs if you want them.

    Still learning,


  65. says

    Desert Son

    If so, I apologize. I had to be on the road a lot today, and there were some tense moments, and I’ve been seeing alot of what I cataloged in the last three months.

    I tell you what, as a bicyclist, every one of those behaviors that you catalog I’ve seen, and been terrified by (not to mention enraged). That shit pisses me right the fuck off.

    Thanks for the game update! It sounds like a helluva ride so far! If I recall correctly, you all play every couple of weeks? Maybe?

    Maybe less now; I just got a part time job (which is good news), but part of that time overlaps pretty heavily with gaming night, so I’m going to have to see if folks can do another time or something.

    As I said, sounds like a helluva game.

    Thanks, I can’t claim credit for all of it, I’m adapting a lot of stuff from other material. I just happen to have a huge ass backlog of gaming materials I’ve accumulated to adapt from.

  66. Desert Son, OM says

    Dalillama at #594:

    Congratulations on the job! Excellent news!

    As for adapting, great stuff also comes from adaptation, and great adaptation is a credit to the person who does the adapting, as well as to the source. It sounds like you are doing good work on the game. Hope you all can keep it going!

    Still learning,


  67. says

    Tony! — Damn, dude. That’s awful.

    Dalillama — Grats!

    BLOOD SUGAR, Y U SO LOW TODAY? I’ve been in a pretty obvious Mood today (I’m sorry!), I’ve taken it out on people (I’m so sorry!), I really can’t brain when it’s low (I’m sorry!), and I have to stick to the low-carb diet because I’m dangerously close to becoming diabetic. It’s really fucking with my moods and my head and even I don’t be around me.

  68. says

    I learned a bit more.
    J claimed it was an accident-that the woman crossed into traffic unexpectedly and too late to correct for-and witnesses at the scene provided corroboration. She was apparently released and went home*.
    My heart goes out to the deceased woman and her family.
    My heart also goes out to J and her family.

    *I think this is important too.
    J drinks. A lot. Her SO has told me that she sometimes drinks behind the wheel and that she drinks a lot at home. She has been known to drink several beers while at work. I (and pretty much the rest of the staff) believe she has an alcohol problem. I don’t know if she had been drinking prior to the accident, but since she was sent home, I hope that means she hadn’t been.


    Congratulations on the job.

  69. says

    A bunch of crap hit and now I’m in one of the horrible depressed moods that hits me. Which I’m starting to think might be something I should have checked out. Sometimes, I just get in a really shitty mood and I just want to cry. Often, I just have no freaking clue why, everything will be going fine and a switch just gets flipped in my brain and I’m all depressed. Of the times I can identify the cause, most of the time it’s something that’s just completely irrational. Someone dies, ok, makes sense I’d get a bit depressed. But seeing a picture of a friend at a bar on facebook sending me into a depressive spiral? Not quite so sensible.

    It will pass. But it will suck until it does.

    And the nagging I get from my mom if I show the slightest sign that I’m anything less than OK, unless there is a clear and completely normal reason, just never does anything but make me pissed off and feel even worse. So I basically have to shut off any display of this. I should be on my own in a month or so, finally that’s in sight, and thicker walls will let me actually cry stuff out. When I can do that iwthout being nagged, it does help these moods pass more quickly, and I’m even more willing to risk getting hurt socially. I’m starting to worry I’ve forgotten how though… but hopefully that comes back when I can do it.

    And the one friend that would really be helpful is on a trip(that has had multiple incidents of passport mishaps and expensive ticket changes involved in getting to that point), so pretty much short of self harm being on the table(I’m not in a great space, but I’m *nowhere* near that) I’m not bothering her.

  70. says

    These depressive moods also suck because they seem to turn off the part of my brain linking the “get motivated” and “do something” parts. I’ll have motivation, be fully able and ready to do something about it,b ut it’s like those two parts of my mind just stop talking to each other. I don’t know enough psychology to really say if that makes much sense in how brains actually work, but it’s the way it feels.

    And yet again just being able to let something out here has helped tremendously. Not entirely out of the mood, but it’s lightened quite a bit.

  71. says


    J drinks. A lot. Her SO has told me that she sometimes drinks behind the wheel and that she drinks a lot at home. She has been known to drink several beers while at work. I (and pretty much the rest of the staff) believe she has an alcohol problem. I don’t know if she had been drinking prior to the accident, but since she was sent home, I hope that means she hadn’t been.

    Holy Red Flags, Batman!
    I’m no professional, but I’m thinking that, well, she’s drinking to excess (per SO) and placing others in danger — that’s something that needs to be addressed, regardless, just from a safety standpoint.

  72. Desert Son, OM says

    gworroll at #598 and 599:

    Which I’m starting to think might be something I should have checked out.

    As someone with a form of depression, and reading the description of your feelings and observations about them, I would encourage you to do so. If nothing else, it can often help simply to know more.

    Support for you at this time.

    Still learning,


  73. says

    I’m not a healthcare professional of any sort, but I’ve had loads of experience with depression and that sure sounds like it to me. *hugs* if desired, and all manner of sympathies.

  74. rq says

    Congrats on the job! It’s great to hear some good news for you. :)

    That’s terrible news about one of your bosses. :/
    My sympathies to the family of the pedestrian. :(
    It probably is (relative) good news that they let her go home, but it certainly sounds like she has an issue with alcohol.

    I think I can relate to most of what you said, and I hope it passes quickly. Yay for being on your own soon!

    Desert Son
    Thanks for the summary of things to do / not to do while driving.
    The roses sound beautiful. The colour alone – it sounds very intense, I’m pretty sure none of mine are that dark a red. No chance of pictures, eh?


    Speaking of roses, I haz mah saaaahd. The Amazing Carlie Rose did not survive the last frost, has not put up any shoots, and is, for all intents and purposes, declared officially dead. :( And since Previous Owners did not find their list of Roses In the Garden, I have no real way to find a replacement of the same colour and type (since no picture in a book could do justice to that particular shade).
    Also, one of the yellow Portia Roses did not make it, unfortunately. It was looking good all along, but now the green’s all gone out of it.
    Everyone else seems to be doing fine, putting out leaves and hopefully working on fresh shoots underground.

  75. says

    Damn. I should not have introduced Mr. to 2048. Now he uses my tablet, too.

    Yay for job, Dalillama

    +hugs* for Tony and everybody involved. I hope that maybe it’s at least enough of a shock for J. to tackle her problem. My sis had her driving license revoked due to being drunk in traffic (thankfully no accident) and it really woke her up.

  76. opposablethumbs says

    Shit, Tony, I’m so sorry. For the family of that poor pedestrian, and for everyone involved – it must be one hell of a shock, to understate by miles. I hope you are all ok, and I hope it had nothing to do with drink – and I hope J is motivated to work on the drinking issue (even if it wasn’t the immediate cause).
    Gworroll, if it helps even the least tiny bit to come and vent here occasionally, then please do. That’s one of the things about the Lounge, I guess – most of us are pseudonymous anyway, and it’s a great thing if it can help some of us relieve the pressure a little!
    Dalillama, I’m glad to hear about the part-time work. That’s tiring work, but sounds like it could be a cool place? I hope it is, and that you’re working with people you can get on all right with? And I hope you’re feeling better!

  77. rq says

    I stopped playing because Husband would hog the computer. :D


    Extra sad: Last week Husband and I were thrilled to discover that we have a hedgehog living behind the shed (the one with all the zombies – which means it’s probably a GM police hedgehog set to search out dead bodies etc.), and it was fun listening to it root around in the trees and last night we watched its silhouette along the bottom of the hedge as it wandered along the ground in search of yummy insects and whatever else they eat.
    And then this morning, I found it drowned in our little fish pond. :( Thank you, universe. What a birthday present.

  78. says

    Happy Birthday anyway?
    *cake and chocolate and grog*
    Hedghogs are sad little creatures who manage to kill themselves and get themselves killed in a large number of ways. I’m always surprised that there are still any around.

    I cleaned the balcony!
    What do you mean “it’s almost May?”
    There was lots of, uhm, unintended biodiversity.
    Which is only partly due to me not giving a fuck between October and usually March.
    It’s also the fault of the geniuses who made the floor and placed the lowest point 10″ away from the sink…
    Guess there’s a mighty shift in favour of bought vs. grown plants this year. Sue me…

  79. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And of course, on top of everything else tonight, because Thunderdome has actual fucking monsters in it and I will literally have flashbacks if I go anywhere near it, control of the narrative I get to experience is handed to the least reasonable people in the room on a silver platter by the superstitious interpretation of lounge guidelines, and because of timing it’s the first fucking thing I open it to.

    You know what, fuck everything.

  80. opposablethumbs says

    Happy birthday, rq! All the hugs! All the chocolate!!!!! *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* Cheers and waving sparklers and jumping up and down and flowers and balloons!

  81. opposablethumbs says

    Azkyroth, I’m sorry you’ve been triggered. I hope you are ok to be here, if not right away then very soon.

  82. azhael says


    And the nagging I get from my mom if I show the slightest sign that I’m anything less than OK, unless there is a clear and completely normal reason, just never does anything but make me pissed off and feel even worse.

    So….so familiar….and then there are those, like my brother, who just can´t distinguish between “i feel shitty” and “i´m in a bad mood and it is aaaall because of you”.

    This may sound very silly, but have you tried something like crocheting? I´m not sure why but it helps me…O_o Maybe it´s the repetitive nature of it that just keeps me foccused on something else. I´m not sure, but it does tend to make things slightly more manageable.

  83. blf says

    rq, At the lair’s previous location, there were several hedgehogs who, at assorted times (a) Managed to get stuck behind the shelving on the concrete patio; (b) Run over my (bare) foot, and then, apparently in surprise, run over it again; and (c) Argue with the mildly deranged penguin — and survive. Amazing idiots. Didn’t know they had a potatoe fetish…

  84. carlie says

    Is birthday rq? Sorry for such a sad start to the day – I hope the rest gets much much better.
    I apologize for the inability to persevere of my rose. However, that seems like an end befitting of my namesake – we always joke that if there are, for example, a dozen mugs in the cabinet, the one that falls out and breaks will be my favorite one, always. (And when I find a favorite one of something consumable it immediately gets discontinued, etc.)

    And the nagging I get from my mom if I show the slightest sign that I’m anything less than OK, unless there is a clear and completely normal reason, just never does anything but make me pissed off and feel even worse. So I basically have to shut off any display of this.

    I’m right there with you on that. I have a couple of friends who are that way – I have to be on my best behavior no matter what, because if I let slip at all that something’s wrong they will hound me into next Tuesday trying to figure out WHY WHY WHY so that they can tell me either it’s not that bad or tell me how to fix it and I should know that already. I know they mean well, but ugh.

  85. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Happy solar circumnavigation natal day!


    Many years ago, I was up at a . . .

    [+++FIRE STORY+++]

    Many years ago, I was up at a fire in Idaho. North of a little town called McCall. Nice area.

    My post, for 15 days, was a pass leading down to a hot springs and two small towns inside the fire perimeter. We had a very informal pass system for the residents.

    Some days were busy. Some were dead. All were hot. Blazing hot. 100F in the shade hot. Luckily, there was lots of wind (which explains why the fire kept blowing up).

    Apparently, some of the earlier denizens of this checkpoint were really into feeding the chipmunks. Cute little fuzzy things. I think they were Least Chipmunks (of course, buying would have been cheaper in the long run, but these were Least Chipmunks).

    One hot, sunny day I was sitting in my truck (a Jeep Commander (how can a vehicle that big have so little room?)) with the door open. One leg hung out of the truck. I had some Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie on the iPod and speaker (don’t want to run down the battery in the truck). I was not asleep, but I was dozing lightly. I could here the music and would hear any vehicle coming up the long hill.

    I felt something on my foot. I looked down. There, looking up at me with big hopeful eyes, was a chipmunk. I reacted without thinking and launched the poor little critter about ten feet up in the air and about twenty feet across the dirt. It landed, bounced, rolled, and then jumped up and ran into the bushes.

    So, yeah, having a wild animal cross your feet (I was wearing Georgia boots, no bare feet at a fire) can be a little weird.

  86. says

    So like many twitter users, I add a bunch of actors and other entertainers I enjoy.

    I think Adam Baldwin is going to go the way of Kevin Sorbo and get dropped from my follow list for being a bit of a RWNJ. Global Warming denial, Cliven Bundy support… Baldwin nailed the role of Jayne, but he’s kind of an idiot on a few issues. I’ll give it a few more days to see if more interesting stuff comes up.

  87. says

    The U.S. Army has decided to recognize humanists in foxholes.

    […] The U.S. Army has heeded the plea of Maj. Ray Bradley that he (and others of his kind) receive a “preference code” similar to those accorded to members of traditional religions.

    Religion News Service picks up the story: “In practical terms, the change means humanists could face fewer hurdles in trying to organize within the ranks; military brass would have better information to aid in planning a deceased soldier’s funeral; and it could lay the groundwork for eventually adding humanist chaplains.”

    I have written before about the movement to have the U.S. military recognize “nontheist” chaplains. The idea is anathema to some members of Congress (even though, paradoxically, it arguably confirms the conservative mantra that secular humanism is “just another religion”). Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said the idea of an atheist chaplain was “nonsensical — it’s an oxymoron.”

    A lot of other Americans, some of them atheists themselves, feel the same way. They ask: What’s the point? A Christian chaplain can assure the dying soldier that he’ll be in heaven soon. What words of consolation could a humanist/atheist chaplain offer? […]

    LA Times link.

  88. says

    Extremism and anti-abortion fervor has surfaced again in Alabama.

    Last week, Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled that women who use chemical substances during pregnancy may be charged with child endangerment. The case, Hicks v. Alabama, has been controversial due to its possible implications for abortion access. Now more controversy abounds, given new evidence that at least one justice based the ruling on his personal religious beliefs.</b?

    In his concurring opinion, the court’s chief justice, Roy Moore, peppered his arguments with biblical references and promoted the debunked notion that American law has uniquely Christian roots.

    “I write separately to emphasize that the inalienable right to life is a gift of God that civil government must secure for all persons—born and unborn,” Moore began. […]

    […] According to Moore, this is all evidence that the right to life – which he defines as an anti-abortion stance – is a divine right that should be enforced by government.

    “Although not the source of our rights, governments are instituted in order to ‘secure these rights’ given by God,” he wrote.

    Perhaps the most astonishing section of Moore’s opinion is a bizarre tangent on the Nuremberg trials. […]

    Moore concludes his opinion by declaring that the state of Alabama has a divine obligation to protect unborn children, and offers this as his justification for his ruling. The implication here is startling. Moore is not just saying that divine law exists, he’s asserting that it should receive preference over secular law.[…]

    Americans United for separation of church and state link.

  89. says

    A giant crucifix fell on a man in Italy and killed him.

    A man was crushed to death when a giant crucifix dedicated to Pope John Paul II collapsed and fell on him, ITV News reports. The accident came just days before a historic canonization that will see the late pope declared a saint.

    The 98-foot-high wooden and concrete cross fell during a ceremony in the Italian Alpine village of Cevo on Thursday, killing 21-year-old student Marco Gusmini. Another man was taken to hospital.

    NBC News link.

  90. says

    Bryan Fischer makes a foolish declaration about foolish declarations:

    […] Fischer spent part of a segment discussing the fact that Dan Haseltine, lead singer of the Christian rock band Jars of Clay, had announced his support for gay marriage. In response to this announcement, Fischer said, some Christian radio stations have begun boycotting the band and refusing to play their songs while some fans have deleted their albums from the music libraries.

    Haseltine, not surprisingly, does not appreciate such responses, but Fischer was entirely unsympathetic, declaring (approximately 5:00 in) that it was because “you are rejecting the authority of the word of God and maybe Christians have a problem with that.”

    “If you want to do that, that’s fine” Fischer added, “but then don’t complain when there are consequences for making a foolish declaration like that” […]

    Right Wing Watch link.

  91. Pteryxx says

    Book recommendation alert: the former Boobzers over at We Hunted The Mammoth (formerly Manboobz) are having a discussion that’s wandered into diversity in SFF with lots of suggestions. (The original topic was Vox Day and the Hugos so be warned.) Here’s a comment around the start point mentioning Samuel R. Delaney’s experience of being targeted at the 1968 Nebulas. (link)

  92. says

    Thanks to commenter Marcus Ranum for linking to this site:

    In September of 1848, the incredible Frederick Douglass wrote the following open letter to Thomas Auld — a man who, until a decade previous, had been Douglass’ slave master for many years — and published it in North Star, the newspaper he himself founded in 1847. In the letter, Douglass writes of his twenty years as a slave; his subsequent escape and new life; and then enquires about his siblings, presumably still “owned” by his old master. He even asks Auld to imagine his own daughter as a slave.

    It’s a lengthy letter, but perfectly written and such a valuable read. The final paragraph is also exquisite.
    At this moment, you are probably the guilty holder of at least three of my own dear sisters, and my only brother in bondage. These you regard as your property. They are recorded on your ledger, or perhaps have been sold to human flesh mongers, with a view to filling your own ever-hungry purse. Sir, I desire to know how and where these dear sisters are. Have you sold them? or are they still in your possession? What has become of them? are they living or dead? And my dear old grandmother, whom you turned out like an old horse, to die in the woods—is she still alive? Write and let me know all about them. If my grandmother be still alive, she is of no service to you, for by this time she must be nearly eighty years old—too old to be cared for by one to whom she has ceased to be of service, send her to me at Rochester, or bring her to Philadelphia, and it shall be the crowning happiness of my life to take care of her in her old age. Oh! she was to me a mother, and a father, so far as hard toil for my comfort could make her such. Send me my grandmother! that I may watch over and take care of her in her old age. And my sisters, let me know all about them. I would write to them, and learn all I want to know of them, without disturbing you in any way, but that, through your unrighteous conduct, they have been entirely deprived of the power to read and write. You have kept them in utter ignorance, and have therefore robbed them of the sweet enjoyments of writing or receiving letters from absent friends and relatives. Your wickedness and cruelty committed in this respect on your fellow-creatures, are greater than all the stripes you have laid upon my back, or theirs. It is an outrage upon the soul—a war upon the immortal spirit, and one for which you must give account at the bar of our common Father and Creator.

    The entire account is worth reading.

    Also, Douglas’ North Star was an anti-slavery newspaper.

  93. Pteryxx says

    of course I had to check. Looks like the shorthand’s now WHTM and Futrelle’s posse are Mammotheers.

    Link to tcwill00’s comment

    Buddy you’re a small fry
    Dumb guy
    Playing on the Net
    Gonna go your own way some day!
    You got red in the face
    Trolling this place
    Mammotheers gonna put you back in your place!



  94. blf says

    For some time now, the ads I’ve been noticing here at FtB are for some kook in Texas who claims to a USAlien Senator and is all for “protecting gun owners” (supporting concealed carry), voter ID (disenfranchising groups who in his opinion (probably) aren’t even people), and I don’t really now recall what else (other than extremely odious).

    Can this arsehole please be fed to the peas? Or, perhaps more usefully (from my perspective in France), can his(I assume) ads be dragged behind wild horses until they revolt and leave whatever it is which is pretending to be his(I assume) brain.

    The racism / bigotry / stooooooopidty is at least at 11. His(I assume) bigotry dial probably goes higher than that, but I have a very hard time imagining what anything over the usual max 4 setting looks like.

    The kook’s name, according to his(I assume) ads, is “John Cornyn“.

  95. Pteryxx says

    ProPublica interview: Meet the doctor who gave $1 million of his own money to keep his gun research going

    Federal funding for research on gun violence has been restricted for nearly two decades. President Obama urged Congress to allocate $10 million for new research after the Newtown school shooting. But House Republicans say they won’t approve it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget still lists zero dollars for research on gun violence prevention.

    One of the researchers who lost funding in the political battle over studying firearms was Dr. Garen Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine who runs the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis. Wintemute is, by his own count, one of only a dozen researchers across the country who have continued to focus full-time on firearms violence.

    To keep his research going, Wintemute has donated his own money, as the science journal Nature noted in a profile of him last year. As of the end of 2013, he has donated about $1.1 million, according to Kathryn Keyes, a fundraiser at UC Davis’ development office. His work has also continued to get funding from some foundations and the state of California.

    We contacted Wintemute to talk about his research, the politics of studying firearms, and how much we really know about whether gun control laws work.

  96. says

    So, after the stunned silence thread shocked me outof years of stupid denial and crap, I had an enormous cookie from Great American Cookies as comfort food. While comforting, the place started reminding me not of hte comfort, but what it was comforting me for. I actively avoided looking at the place, and one time when a coworker had some with her lunch, I had to force my own lunch down and lock up my emotions very tightly to get through it without a troublesome reaction. Not the most crippling trigger, but it’s not fun when it goes off.

    I wanted to get past that, so I made myself go there today and get the exact same cookie. And it was SO GOOD. Small victory, but still, a victory and moving me forward.

    Also, Forever 21 just moved to a larger spot in the mall. The grand opening at the new place was today. So, I’m eating my cookie, celebrating my small victory, and I wander across a grand opening(new beginnings and all), and the DJ just happens to play one of my current favorite songs- Pharell Williams – Happy. It was pretty much the perfect moment. Sometimes luck just goes in your favor. I was just looking to get a cookie and confront a personal demon, I didn’t expect to get basically a little party right after to celebrate.

    Also got new(er) tires on my car. Spent more than I planned, they upsold me but showed me the exact tires that would be going on so I could see why the more expensive(all used at my budget) ones would be that much better. I don’t mind sales people trying to get me to spend more money as long as they do so honestly and keep in mind why I’m in their store in the first place.

  97. says


    The grand opening at the new place was today. So, I’m eating my cookie, celebrating my small victory, and I wander across a grand opening(new beginnings and all), and the DJ just happens to play one of my current favorite songs- Pharell Williams – Happy.

    That song is playing on the radio at the moment :)

    Also, hooray for victories, no matter their size!

  98. blf says

    I was just looking to get a cookie and confront a personal demon…

    Dwarf battle-breadcookies to the rescue!

  99. Pteryxx says

    gworroll, thanks for sharing (and documenting) the small things.

    Battle cookies… now to get more ammo.

  100. A. Noyd says

    Pteryxx (#627)

    Last I heard the Boobzers hadn’t yet figured out what to call themselves now… (Mammothers? Mammites?)

    They should go with some continuity and call themselves Mammaries.

  101. blf says

    …now to get more ammo.

    Boomerang cupcakes.

    (Or Boomerang Bananananana Bread, but that’s a waste of gravel…)

  102. Desert Son, OM says

    rq at #604:

    Before anything else, happy birthday! Sadness that it started with a mortal discovery, but as others mentioned, I hope you find it a happy birthday nonetheless.

    As for rose pictures, I have two on my portable hand-held teleo-communications vaguely Star Trekkian device, but sadly, as a largely ignorant person when it comes to these sorts of things, I have no idea how to transfer the images from phone to computer, and then I think they would have to be loaded to a server site or something before they could be linked to? Not sure how that works.

    :( Sorry. I have access to beauty, but am ignorant of how to share it.


    blf at #629:

    Can this arsehole please be fed to the peas?

    He is up for reelection this year. Unfortunately, the political situation here in Texas is . . . grim, in many ways. Cornyn’s most recent Republican nomination margin of victory was the lowest in state history, but it’s not clear that any of his opponents for the senatorial seat are going to be strong enough to challenge him in November. There is a runoff election scheduled for the two Democratic primary candidates, there are three declared Libertarian candidates (*suppresses gag reflex*), and there is one Green Party candidate.

    But this is Texas, and while there are strong liberal areas in the state on some issues, and a formidable Latino population that tends to strongly support issues like multi-cultural/multi-lingual education, opposition to harsh immigration policies, and better job opportunities, Texas has an abiding and deeply-seated conservative (and often ultra-conservative) socio-cultural undercurrent that permeates so many aspects of politics, from the state school board (which is infamous), to land rights/use issues, taxation, energy (the oil “bidness”), anti-immigration sentiment, anti-sex-education, book banning, periodic calls of outright idiocy in support of secession, overwhelming support for the death penalty (this is the killinest state in the U.S. when it comes to executions), and an individualism-streak so wide and deep that it has cultivated a cultural myth narrative that paints the state as not only the greatest place in all human history, but also the state that got that way entirely on its own independent of socio-historical context.

    I remain hopeful for Wendy Davis for governor, even though public sentiment outside Austin and some areas doesn’t hold with a woman who is genuinely interested in women being able to make their own healthcare decisions. There are days when it feels like 1950 in this state. There are days when it feels like 1850 in this state.

    Sorry you keep getting shit advertisements in support of a shit.



    How are you doing today? Hope today is a little better.

    Still learning,


  103. rq says

    Thanks all for the birthday wishes!

    [pointless story w/ waxing eloquent about well-behaved children, you’ve been warned!]
    It was a quiet but rather lovely day with fantastic weather, marred merely by my father’s few comments about when Eldest will begin education for his first communion, seeing as he’s almost seven and all, and I think I’m just going to have to get up the heart to say I think seven is too young, plus they do it around ten here, and buy myself some time that way.
    But the town was having a sort of arts festival today (coincidence? I think not, haha!) so we (Husband, the Three Little Ones, my parents and youngest brother) took a walk through the open-air market, then down to the river to have lunch at the localest venue, which (unfortunately) was running very slow due to an upcoming banquet this same evening (it’s also motorcycle season opening day today). It was all very delicious, though, and the kids had a great time running around outside and throwing rocks in the river, and then we came home and had cake, and even though they missed their nap, we got through the day with nary a meltdown. Middle Child, in fact, is very proud of himself for walking all the way home without complaining once (deservedly proud, I might add).
    Plus the elder two drew me lovely birthday cards, and Eldest even wrote his own personalized birthday wish – “Have a rosy birth!” Worth being woken up for at 7AM.
    The evening was spent trying to figure out where to plant our three new trees with Husband. He likes straight lines and I don’t – this will take some compromise. Perhaps a geometric shape or something.
    [/pointless story]

  104. Desert Son, OM says

    rq at #639:

    [/pointless story]

    Not at all pointless. Sounds like it was a delightful day with many moments of loveliness, and such stories are often moments of loveliness in themselves for others to read.

    Thanks for that post. Happy birthday, indeed!

    I have typed well past the time I should have foraged for some lunch, must remedy that. If I mess up my eating schedule too badly it can sometimes lead to a migraine. *frets* Off to consume matter for energy!

    Still learning,


  105. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Just returned from a tour.

    Thirty five people.

    Twenty six were boy scouts.

    I did not trigger a panic attack.

    I did, however, make myself ill expecting the panic attack.

    I am so tired of this shit.

  106. rq says

    Desert Son
    That’s alright about the photos, I can’t really help you out (non-smartphone person here!). I’ll just use my imagination. ;)

    Actually, this afternoon I may have regained some hope for your rose. Because I found little leaflet buds on the dead-looking branches of another rose, where I hadn’t expected to see them. That bunch did have a still-slightly-green shoot, so maybe it has a little more life than the Amazing Carlie Rose, but still… I’ll not give up yet. :)

    I’m sorry? :/ Please stick around here.

  107. chigau (違う) says

    I hope your birthday really was rosy.
    (I’m saving that.)

  108. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Sorry. No longer supposed to do that here. If there is a next time, I’ll try to remember before commenting.

  109. rq says



    I know nobody has asked, but I’m going to be brave and say it: I am thirty. But let’s just pretend I’m still 29, okay? (Kidding.)

  110. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, anti-gay category.

    Mormon Leaders Omit ‘Gay’ In Survey Asking Students ‘What Is Your Sexual Orientation?’

    A confidential survey distributed to some Brigham Young University students reveals the depths of ignorance the Mormon Church’s top leadership has about homosexuality. Students were told the survey was created to screen students for a focus group designed to better understand Millennial’s attitudes about “same-sex attraction,” yet it makes clear that “gay” is not an option — literally.

    Sample of survey at the link.

  111. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Happy, happy b’day rq. I wish somehow I could meet you but I’m nowhere near Latvia or Canada, but I do love potatoes, (even more than chocolate, but you can keep that sekrit, right?)

  112. rq says

    Ironically (or not?) we also had chocolate potatoes (photo for illustrative purposes only) for dessert… :D I doubt they mail well, though.


    Again, thank you all for the well-wishes! I am truly lucky to be among you, and I am grateful to each and every one of you for being here and helping me become a better, more educated person. As always, a work in progress, but I’m glad for your support. :)

  113. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I was having problems with my cable modem rebooting frequently. This might happen on Saturday morning when Comcast appears to do some work on the local servers. But happening several times day? Something isn’t right. Figured dust when I changed the orientation from vertical to horizontal, and it became rock steady again. Opened the case today and used compressed air to remove some dust, including a pencil eraser sized dust mite against a capacitor. Now running rock steady when vertical again. Looks like I need a new can of compressed air. Must prove I’m over 18 to buy a can of compressed air in this area.

  114. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, female missionaries category.
    YouTube link. This sister missionary has returned from mission and she has some advice for you. For one thing, she thinks God is so protective of his daughters that he makes them a little fat on purpose.

  115. Desert Son, OM says

    Nerd at #652:

    Must prove I’m over 18 to buy a can of compressed air in this area.

    You just had a birthday! :)

    Still learning,


  116. Nutmeg says

    Happy birthday, rq!

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis. I’m sure it doesn’t feel like it right now, but maybe the lack of a panic attack is progress?

  117. chigau (違う) says

    Rob Grigjanis and rq
    The googletranslate voice for this

    daudz laimes dzimšanas dienā!

    sounds like an old-style Cylon.
    Or is that how Latvian really sounds?

  118. says

    So on Facebook some guy is talking about “crazy internet feminists” who just look for stuff to whine about.

    A guy that consistently takes the most extreme possible interpretations of what said feminists write and takes that as if it is the absolute truth of the modern feminist position.

    He’s doing to feminists, exactly what he claims they are doing to rational people. He doesn’t see the hypocrisy.

    The funny thing is, when he actually says something related to his views on women, rather than attacking feminists, he seems to agree fairly closely with the feminists he complains about in how women should actually be treated. Not perfectly, but to hear him rant about feminists you’d expect the worst of MRAs and he’s really not that bad.

  119. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Desert Son#654

    Nerd at #652:

    Must prove I’m over 18 to buy a can of compressed air in this area.

    You just had a birthday! :)

    For perspective purposes, my ’95 black Ford Probe could by a can of compressed air. Compressed air cans and spray paint are on the must show ID list to try to inhibit “tagging” by gangs. Doesn’t appear to be working that well, IMHO.

  120. says

    Oh, in other goodish news, I may have found a decent apartment. $375 for a 650 square foot 1 bedroom. A little over 2 miles from where I work. I currently live 33 miles from work. Close to half my rent would be paid for with gas savings alone.

    There are cheaper places in town, but I’ve been told that if I have nice things I should probably not rent at those places.

    Partial utilities included, waiting on a response to my email for specifics on that.

    Once my tax return comes in to give me a security deposit, I’ll hopefully be able to call them up and find they have open units. If I’m really lucky, I won’t need a cosigner. If I do need one, while I’m still not the most financially responsible person on the planet, I’ve improved enough(and it’s been noticed) that my dad might be willing to cosign.

    Still looking at other possible options- once I know exactly what utilities are included, I’ll be better able to compare prices with the other, more expensive, all utilities included places.

  121. cicely says

    *pre-emptive hugpile*
    (with sides of Sympathy and Support where needed.)

    little baby kittehs!

    Dalillama, hurray for Employment!

    Additional distributions of *hugs* and sympathy and support for gworroll, Tony!, WMDKitty, Azkyroth.

    rq, Happy Birthday!
    Sorry to hear about the hedgehog. And the roses.
    I have no experience or knowledge of hedgehogs (except that they can, apparently, Never Be Buggered At All)…do they swim?

    Fire Story! Hurrah!

  122. says

    So students at my old high school, they dressed up in all their prom clothes and went to the beach for a vigil in honor of Maren Sanchez.

    The dress they are holding up in the group photo a bit down the page? That was the dress she was going to wear.

    The murder was incredibly sad and tragic, but I love seeing the community come together like this.

  123. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says


    Thanks everyone. But this happened yesterday.

    At around midnight, I got a call from mother. My Fuckface Ex was there a bit ago with a gun threatening to kill us all and kidnap Little One. Her phone wasn’t working (cheap as shit, it’s a consitant problem) but as soon as it was working she called to warn me. In case he came here after leaving there. We hung up and she called the police. I had been hearing people outside being loud and after that call, I went to look out the peep hole to check it out. See a group of men that could easily be my ex and his friends with bikes. And one had a gun.

    I run to the bathroom and call the police. On the phone for several minutes, and the dispatcher is finally like “okay, officers will be out shortly.” 15 minutes later they finally show up. The men are gone thankfully and nothing else happend. First, it was all “Well, are you sure?”, and “But you haven’t seen him in years, yet know he’s after you?” and “So, nothing happened?…” Okay, writing it out it sounds all normal but dear god, they were acting just like the last cop who arrested my ex and told him “Sorry, I have to arrest you, whether it happened or not. She said it, someone has to go to jail and that’s you.” I can’t describe it really but the attitude was there. It was. You could just tell.

    After finding out about what happened at Mom’s (I’d said it several times, but they didn’t pay attention til after speaking to another officer and the dispatcher), they were like “Well, if you see him or feel threatened or if someone you don’t know knocks, just call us, okay?”

    Riiiiiiiiiight. So I can go through the same “Why are calling us for nothing?” routine. And the whole “Get a restaining order” advice. Even after I told them the only thing keeping me safe right now is him not knowing exactly which apartment I’m in. He’s been here doing rounds at night knocking on people’s doors asking about me, FFS. He just hasn’t found me yet.

    But yeah, I’m get the police to hand deliver my apartment number just to speed up this whole murder thing up.

    They can and will arrest him for what he did at Mom’s. When they find him. Supposedly, they’re actively searching for him.

    And Roomie wants to get a gun. Tells me it’s his right and has to do something.


    Obviously, no sleeping. All shaking. Jumping at every noise. With Little One awake now, must act normal which requires distractions. So, I’m posting this and running away. Sure, I have a comment to post elsewhere but not here (Google research distraction prompted by another comment). Can’t do it. Must be numb, cannot cry.

    Oh, dear god if she wants to watch Frost today, I’m screwed.


  124. Desert Son, OM says

    JAL at #664:

    Stunned. Utterly awful and terrifying. In light of what you are going through the following sounds uselessly hollow to my ears, but heartfelt support, consideration, and hugs for you and your Little One at this time if you want them, with wishes for your enduring safety.

    Still learning,


  125. Pteryxx says

    holy moley, JAL. What a bunch of wall-to-wall useless assbricks. Hope you can get the fuck away from there ASAP…

  126. says

    JAL- Good luck. Hopefully they find him before long.

    If you feel the need to cry, I hope you can find a time and place for it soon.

  127. says

    JAL, hugs for you and the little one, and I hope they catch him in short order. I hope also that you can find some time and space to take care of yourself.

  128. says

    Like cicely, I wish there were some way to help you, little one, and your mother get out of there. My deepest sympathies.


    gworroll @663:
    It is great to see the community come together to honor Maren Sanchez.
    Reading about her murder makes me wonder about Chris Plaskon. Why did he choose to kill Maren? The article you linked to indicates he brought a kitchen knife to the school with him. That sounds like he was planning on using it. Why? What events shaped him into the type of person who would commit murder? Why would he murder the girl he wanted to go to prom with? So many questions, and I wonder if there will ever be answers.


    Anyone remember the 90s cartoon Duck Tales?
    Anyone heard of a group called Postmodern Jukebox?
    Creator Scott Bradlee says

    I have long had a love/hate relationship with pop music.

    Growing up as an aspiring jazz pianist, I wasn’t interested in listening to anything that might appeal to those that I deemed to possess a less than refined palette of musical taste. This willful ignorance continued for some time; it was not until I began making YouTube videos (and subsequently receiving requests for modern pop songs) that I decided to drop my preconceived notions and examine contemporary pop with an open mind.

    What I found is that, despite my initial aversion to the stuff I was hearing, I was unable to truly categorize this as “bad music” without first defining a set of arbitrary, culturally-defined criteria. Furthermore, the fact that such a rigorous vetting process exists for the output of major labels indicated that these songs and artists certainly RESONATED with the culture of our times–no easy feat, in and of itself. As a relentless devil’s advocate, I then found that by simply altering the context of such songs, I could find quite a bit of artistic merit inside of them.
    My goal with Postmodern Jukebox is to get my audience to think of songs not as rigid, ephemeral objects, but like malleable globs of silly putty. Songs can be twisted, shaped, and altered without losing their identities–just as we grow, age, and expire without losing ours–and it is through this exploration that the gap between “high” and “low” art can be bridged most readily.

    One of the songs they remixed was the Duck Tales theme song. It is quite nice.


    Lost cities revealed by cold war spy satellites:

    CORONA was the codename for the United States’ first photographic spy satellite mission. For 12 years, it brought back intel on the USSR, China and the Middle East. But that wasn’t all its grainy, black and white images captured — it turns out it also caught an incredible number of undiscovered ancient settlements.

    In a fantastic story on National Geographic, Dan Vergano reports on the Society for American Archaeology’s annual meeting, where a team from the University of Arkansas presented a study showing how the declassified CORONA images from the Middle East actually reveal an incredible wealth of previously-unknown ruins, from Bronze Age cities to ruined canals and roads across Syria and Turkey.

    “We have a real way with all these sites to look across the whole Middle East and see how it was connected,” one researcher tells Vergano. Another major upside to using outdated footage? It was taken before most modern development in these areas, which may have obscured the sites since:

    It turns out that the urban legend about buried video games is not an urban legend:

    Atari 2600 copies of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial have been discovered in the Almagordo, New Mexico desert. IGN is on site and snapping photos of the excavation.

    A brief history: In 1983, the New York Times and other papers reported 14 trucks of unsold Atari products were driven from a factory in El Paso to a landfill.

    This represented the end of an era. With Atari’s business in ruin (thanks to a number of flops, including E.T. and a shoddy port of Pac-Man) and the general public losing almost all interest in home console games, 1983 was a bleak year for the video game industry. What’s become known as the “video game crash” was due in large part to Atari’s collapse, and E.T. was Atari’s final, and costliest, blunder of that era.

    Although the burial was widely reported at the time, Atari employees, including Howard Scott Warshaw, the rushed programmer in charge of getting E.T. shipped in just 6 weeks (games took 6 months or more to make in the early 80s), have disputed the claim. Additionally, if anything was buried, it was crushed and paved over — even before the elements took their toll. Whatever the case, E.T.’s journey from shovelware to shovel is an important historical story that finally has an ending

  129. rq says

    The rest of that information is classified.
    Though I’m pretty sure every language on Google Translate sounds like a Cylon. Them toasters don’t talk too good.

    Whenever the signal goes up, let me know how I can help. I want to, desperately. :(

    Yay for good apartment news!

  130. says

    I must have tripped PZ’s spam filter with the links I had in my previous attempt to comment here.

    Like cicely, I wish there were some way to help you, little one, and your mother get out of there. My deepest sympathies.


    gworroll @663:
    It is great to see the community come together to honor Maren Sanchez.
    Reading about her murder makes me wonder about Chris Plaskon. Why did he choose to kill Maren? The article you linked to indicates he brought a kitchen knife to the school with him. That sounds like he was planning on using it. Why? What events shaped him into the type of person who would commit murder? Why would he murder the girl he wanted to go to prom with? So many questions, and I wonder if there will ever be answers.

  131. chigau (違う) says

    the googletranslate japanesegirl voice sounds more like Sailor Moon

  132. rq says

    Really? O oooh… Perhaps I should donate my sultry dulcet tones to make the Latvian more appealing to humans? :/

  133. rq says

    I love watching male pidgeons do their love-me dance, all puffed chest and fluffy feathers and endless circling and all, and be studiously ignored by the females. Sometimes I imagine them (the females) thinking, “Dude, that is so not a practical skill. Now get off those crumbs, I’m hungry.”

  134. Maureen Brian says

    JAL, Lots and lots of hugs! Is there anything more practical I can do to help you?

  135. Nick Gotts says


    That’s just beyond awful. Sorry, I can’t think of anything useful to say.

  136. Nick Gotts says

    Here’s a petition against the deportation from UK of a Nigerian woman who fears her two young daughters will be mutilated if she’s forced to return there. Latest is that the deportation has been delayed, but signing is still worthwhile.

  137. says

    Lots of hugs and support.
    I hope that you, your mum and the little one can get as far away as soon as possible.

    Yay for new place!

    Big hugs

    I remember that I insisted on waiting until after my 30th birthday before trying for a second kid, because I wanted to celebrate with more than orange juice.
    Mr. conveniently hides behind my complete lack of religion in order to explain the kids’ complete lack of religion. Because they don’t want to tell grandma that he’s in fact an atheist. I always think that they’re doing a lot of projection (My dad in law’s catholic family must have been not perfectly friendly towards my lutehran mum in law and the fact that the kids were baptized lutheran), because gran was never anything but really nice and loving towards me (and since she’s an old friend on my grandma she walways knew about my atheism) and she dealt much better with her other grandson being gay than anybody gave her credit for.

    Nice stories.
    We totally celebrated rq’s birthday by going to a medieval fair with my friends, their daughter and her family (you might remember that I talked about them before). The fair was not very big, about the size of two football fields, and not too crowded, so we just let the kids run. They got a wooden sword and a princess headdress which they swapped constantly, rode a REAL HORSE!!! and ate delicious things.
    I got myself an amber pendant. Sometimes, only rarely, I come across things that fascinate me. Many times I see things that are nice, but I will not remember them again. This one was different. It’s a small rectangle of very light amber with some impurities that look a bit like fishscales (no idea what they are, but you get the idea). The clue is that the backside has been lacquered black and it totally reminded me of the sea at new moon with bioluminescent plankton (one of my most favourite memories ever).
    I also got declared trustworthy by my friends’ almost toddler after feeding him waffles. I’m not one of those people who expect small children to like them and be comfortable with being held by them just because I know really well who they are. Unless necessary for some other reason I would never pick up a child old enough to mind who’s holding them or ask their guardians to hand them over so I could hold them. How much nicer is it then to have them reach for you because they actually want to be with you :).

  138. says

    I don’t really expect small children to like me, but they usually seem to anyway for some reason. I’ve never really worked out why, being as I’m not terribly fond of them.

  139. opposablethumbs says

    re Nick’s post @#678,

    UK citizens can also email Theresa May on
    to (politely of course) request that Afusat Saliu’s asylum case be re-examined. The petition site has more info.

    (ps thank you for posting the link to the petition, Nick. I signed it last week but I’m an idiot and didn’t think to bring it here too)

  140. opposablethumbs says

    JAL, fuck, that’s awful. I’m so hoping you’re able to get right away soon (and that he gets arrested, to give you a bit of a breathing space).

  141. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Dear fellow motorists

    …good for YOU! Really. It’s GREAT that you have so few responsibilities in your life, or such superhuman stamina, willpower, and organizational genius, that you can afford to ALWAYS leave half a life time between when you head out the door to your car, and when you HAVE to arrive at wherever you’re “going,” for an exponentially loose definition of “going [somewhere].” Really. Never, ever, ever, ever being in a hurry for any reason, not just today but so consistently that you’ve never even had to become familiar with the concept of “in a hurry,” is great. Good! For! You!

    However…and I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this…

    [b][size=10^72]YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY PERSON ON THE ROAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!….!!!!!!!!!![/b][/size]

    [Not intended as a rebuttal to Desert Son’s post; continuing in a variation of the same spirit]

  142. rq says

    Concidence alert! The open-air market yesterday also had a horse (fine, a pony!) and Eldest got to go for a short spin. ;) Who’d’ve thought that there could be two horses present simultaneously at two different outdoor events in two different European countries?? Amazing! :D
    Yay on the amber pendant, I know what you mean about the scaly thingies inside – I think they’re either (a) regular some kind of contamination in the pine resin or (b) a product of how the pine resin gets squeezed into amber, because it’s a fairly common feature in amber pieces, especially in green amber.
    Husband and I have actually set this year as the upper limit for childbearing decisions – if it doesn’t happen (by that I mean, if we don’t make a decision and get the job done, we’re not actually waiting for a random event) by the time I hit 31, it ain’t gonna happen anymore at all.
    And lately, I’ve been looking at my mum’s current back problems, and I wonder how much of that is due to the five kids she had… And sorry, potential #4, it’s not looking good for you.

  143. carlie says

    Oh wait, I checked the other one, there it is! Sorry, I hadn’t looked at that one in awhile!

  144. rq says

    Oh, I put in gmail, I think, because something something monitor email that came through to my gmail once blah blah… :/ I can forward to the yahoo one if you like, I thought there was something a bit off when I said (since I’ve previously seen your email address at the yahoo but I figured it was a memory glitch), hooray for not clarifying. :P

  145. blf says

    [Small children] usually seem to [like me] anyway for some reason. I’ve never really worked out why, being as I’m not terribly fond of them.

    Think Dish of the Day: They want to be eaten.

  146. blf says

    Who’d’ve thought that there could be two horses present simultaneously at two different outdoor events in two different European countries?

    Yeah, I though they’d all been turned into “beef” by now…

  147. rq says

    So, Prominent Latvian Musician dies, and rq gets a few tears in her eyes, for no discernible reason. I just really loved his voice.
    (I’ll link to an actual song or two once I’m home.)